Monday, January 31, 2011

QUIS MAGISTROS IPSOS DOCEBIT? (Who will teach the teachers?)

Obama's pet nut wants to "educate" people. Yet, no matter how hard they tried, nobody could educate Holdren. He has less scientific competence than most first graders. Note that he talks about "the science" without mentioning one single scientific fact. Some background on the amazing wit and wisdom of Holdren here

President Obama's top science adviser said there's a need to "educate" GOP climate change skeptics on Capitol Hill as the White House seeks to advance its green energy agenda. "It is an education problem. I think we have to educate them," said John Holdren, who heads the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, in an interview broadcast Sunday.

Obama, in his State of the Union speech last week, called for deriving 80 percent of U.S. power from "clean" sources by 2035, and funding increased R&D of green electricity and fuels by repealing billions of dollars in oil industry tax breaks. But the effort comes as a substantial number of GOP lawmakers, such as House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-Texas), are questioning climate science.

Holdren, asked about advancing Obama's agenda in the face of skepticism, said the scientific evidence of dangerous human-induced climate change is powerful. "The science of climate change is really very clear in its essentials," Holdren said on Platts Energy Week.

He said there is uncertainty about details, but noted that's always the case in science. What's plain, Holdren said, is that the climate is changing in damaging ways and that human activities - notably burning fossil fuels - are "overwhelmingly likely" to be the primary cause.

"Those points are clear in the science, and we need to talk with the members of Congress who aren't yet convinced of that to try and convince them," Holdren said.

Obama's Jan. 25 speech didn't mention climate change, greenhouse gases, or global warming explicitly, instead referring briefly to protecting the planet, while repeatedly framing green energy as an economic driver.

The careful phrasing comes after emissions-capping legislation collapsed on Capitol Hill last year.


New paper: Climate change is not caused by greenhouse gases

Dr. Noor van Andel, former head of research at Akzo Nobel, has a new paper out showing the available data to date contradicts the notion of greenhouse gas induced global warming or 'climate change.' He notes that while there have been extensive efforts to 'prove' the 'greenhouse' warming theory by bringing computer models and observations into agreement, this has been done "strangely only by adjusting the measurements instead of adjusting the models," in other words, via unscientific means. Dr. van Andel instead finds that ocean oscillations and the cosmic ray theory of Svensmark et al best explain climate changes.

CO2 and climate change
Noor van Andel,, 17-01-2011.

Abstract: It is shown that tropical Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies are closely congruent to global temperature anomalies, and that over more than a century. When we understand the cooling mechanism over the tropical Pacific, and especially its CO2 dependency, we can draw conclusions for the global CO2 climate sensitivity.

It is shown that the cooling of the tropics, or trade wind belt, is by deep convection, i.e. by a few thousand concentrated tropical thunderstorms that carry all the sensible and latent heat swept up by the trade winds all the way on to the tropopause. The physics of deep convection have been formulated since 1958 and are based on sound thermodynamics and measurements on location.

The trends of the temperature in the high atmosphere in the last half century are very negative, starting on this height where the convection reaches. That means that more CO2 has a cooling effect rather than a warming effect. Cloud tops radiate much more intense than the thin air on this height. This is the cause behind the cooling, as much as the CO2 increase.

The cooling trend is quite in discrepancy with the “greenhouse-gas-induced-global-warming” theory, but is quite in accord with increasing deep convection. The adjustment of these temperature measurements to bring them more in line with the climate models leads to unphysical conditions and processes. The response of the upper atmosphere temperature on volcanic eruptions also fits in the deep convection theory, but not in the mainstream theory.

Not CO2 increase, but two other parameters are the cause of climate change: ENSO or El Ni¤o Southern Oscillation, a large change in the cold water upwelling along the coast of South America correlates well to short term climate change, and change in the intensity of hard, deeply penetrating Galactic Cosmic Radiation, well documented by 10Be deposits and 14C levels, correlates very well with long-term climate change including ice ages.

My conclusion is that climate changes are not caused by greenhouse gases.

A selected excerpt from the paper:

The global warming started in 1976 with the “big climate shift”, the trend stopped in 1999 but the climate stayed warm until 2010. We see that in the warming period 1079-2009 not only the warming trend at the surface is higher, but the cooling trend in the high tropical troposphere is more clearly enhanced. We see even a cooling trend 1979-2009 replacing a warming trend 1958-2009 at the tropical 500-800 hPa height. We could even conclude that more CO2 cools the climate, because it cools the upper regions where the deep convection reaches, increasing the effective lapse rate over the whole height with 0.35 K/decade, over 2 decades and 12 km that means 0.07*2/12=0.012 K/km, not much, but we see in the table that a 0.1 K/km lapse rate increase at SST -302K increases the convection top 1.5 km. So this CO2 cooling trend over 2 decades brings the convection top 1.5 km/0.1*0.012=180 m higher, which is not negligible.

This behavior has been a problem for many, as it contradicts the global-warming-by-greenhouse- gases theory. So there has been a large activity to bring models and observations into agreement, strangely only by adjusting the measurements instead of adjusting the models.

And from the paper's conclusion:

Our present climate is due to an increased length of the last interglacial period, more than 10000 years, due to a low level of GCR [galactic cosmic rays] that maintains a low cloud cover, a low albedo, more absorbed sunshine and a pleasant climate. In the very long run, we need not mind about CO2 or global warming, but instead about higher GCR activity and global cooling. There is no way we can influence GCR activity, originating in active black holes and imploding supernovae.


The Effect of Climate Change on Malaria in Western Africa

Discussing: Jackson, M.C., Johansen, L., Furlong, C., Colson, A. and Sellers, K.F. 2010. Modelling the effect of climate change on prevalence of malaria in western Africa. Statistica Neerlandica 64: 388-400.


The authors write that "malaria is one of the most devastating vector-borne parasitic diseases in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world," where they say it affects over 100 countries. Thus, it should come as no surprise that according to the World Health Organization, Africa carries the highest infection burden of any continent, with nearly 200 million cases reported in 2006; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that between 700,000 and 2.7 million people die annually from the dreaded disease (Suh et al., 2004). In addition, Jackson et al. report that "the African region bears 90% of these estimated worldwide deaths," and that "three-quarters of all malaria related deaths are among African children," citing Breman (2001) in this regard. As a result, they -- as well as many others -- opine that "malaria could be greatly affected by the influence of climate change," such as that associated with global warming. But is this really the case?

What was done

In an effort designed to shed some light on this important question, the five U.S. researchers linked reported malaria cases and deaths from the years 1996 to 2006 that they obtained from the World Malaria Report (2008) for ten countries in western Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo) with corresponding climate data they obtained from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center, after which they searched for transitive relationships between the weather variables and malaria rates via spatial regression analysis and tests for correlation.

What was learned

Jackson et al. report that their analyses showed that "very little correlation exists between rates of malaria prevalence and climate indicators in western Africa."

What it means

This result, as they describe it, "contradicts the prevailing theory that climate and malaria prevalence are closely linked and also negates the idea that climate change will increase malaria transmission in the region."


How BBC warmists abuse the science

Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, is an expert in genetics, not climatology

The timing was immaculate. Last Tuesday, across a two-page extract from the memoirs of Peter Sissons, the senior BBC newsreader, was the headline: "The BBC became a propaganda machine for climate change zealots - I was treated as a lunatic for daring to dissent."

The previous evening the BBC had put out a perfect example of the zealotry which had made Mr Sissons, as a grown-up journalist, so angry. Horizon's "Science Under Attack" turned out to be yet another laborious bid by the BBC to defend the global warming orthodoxy it has long been so relentless in promoting.

Their desperation is understandable. The past few years have seen their cherished cause crumbling on all sides. The Copenhagen climate conference, planned to land mankind with the biggest bill in history, collapsed in disarray. The Climategate emails scandal confirmed that scientists at the heart of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had distorted key data. The IPCC's own authority was further rocked by revelations that its more alarmist claims were based not on science but on the inventions of environmental activists. Even the weather has turned against them, showing that all the computer models based on the assumption that rising CO2 means rising temperatures have got it wrong.

The formula the BBC uses in its forlorn attempts to counterattack has been familiar ever since its 2008 series Climate Wars. First, a presenter with some scientific credentials comes on, apparently to look impartially at the evidence. Supporters of the cause are allowed to put their case without challenge. Hours of film of climate-change "deniers" are cherrypicked for soundbites that can be shown, out of context, to make them look ridiculous. The presenter can then conclude that the "deniers" are a tiny handful of eccentrics standing out against an overwhelming scientific "consensus".

Monday's Horizon exemplified this formula to a T. The scientist picked to front the progamme was Sir Paul Nurse, a Nobel Prize-winning geneticist, now President of the Royal Society (which has been promoting warmist orthodoxy even longer than the BBC). The cue to justify the programme's title was all the criticism which greeted those Climategate emails leaked from Sir Paul's old university, East Anglia, showing how scientists had been manipulating their data to support the claim that temperatures have recently risen to unprecedented levels.

One of the two "deniers" chosen to be stitched up, in classic BBC fashion, was the Telegraph's James Delingpole. He has spoken for his own experience on our website. Still worse, however, was the treatment of Professor Fred Singer, the distinguished 86-year-old atmospheric physicist who set up the satellite system for the US National Weather Bureau.

We saw Nurse cosying up to Singer in a coffee house, then a brief clip of the professor explaining how a particular stalagmite study had shown temperature fluctuations correlating much more neatly with solar activity than with levels of CO2. This snippet enabled Nurse to imply that Singer's scepticism is based on one tiny local example, whereas real scientists look at the overall big picture. No mention of the 800-page report edited by Singer in which dozens of expert scientists challenge the CO2 orthodoxy from every angle.

The most telling moment, however, came in an interview between Nurse and a computer-modelling scientist from Nasa, presented as a general climate expert although he is only a specialist in ice studies. Asked to quantify the relative contributions of CO2 to the atmosphere by human and natural causes, his seemingly devastating reply was that 7 gigatons (billion tons) are emitted each year by human activity while only 1 gigaton comes from natural sources such as the oceans. This was so much the message they wanted that Nurse invited him to confirm that human emissions are seven times greater than those from all natural sources.

This was mind-boggling. It is generally agreed that the 7 billion tonnes of CO2 due to human activity represent just over 3 per cent of the total emitted. That given off by natural sources, such as the oceans, is vastly greater than this, more than 96 per cent of the total. One may argue about the "carbon cycle" and how much CO2 the oceans and plants reabsorb. But, as baldly stated, the point was simply a grotesque misrepresentation, serving, like many of the programme's other assertions, only to give viewers a wholly misleading impression.

Another came after Nurse had defended his old university's part in the Climategate emails. Inevitably he claimed that various reports had cleared the scientists involved of any wrongdoing, without mentioning that every one of the inquiries had carefully avoided the scientific questions at the heart of the row. (Yet another superficial parliamentary report last week, despite the heroic efforts of Labour MP Graham Stringer, was rendered meaningless by the same central evasion.)

Nurse then held up a copy of The Sunday Telegraph, showing the headline over one of my columns: "The worst scientific scandal of our generation". He implied that this referred only to Climategate, which would have been absurd. My article in fact explained how the emails merely shed further light on all the other ways in which the scientists involved have for years been finagling data crucial to the warmist case, by exaggerating the recent rise in temperatures and eliminating all the evidence that past temperatures have often, through natural causes, been higher than they are today.

Although Sir Paul presented himself as the champion of objective science, he frequently showed that, for all his expertise in cell biology, he knows little about climate. The fact that someone is an expert in one particular field - even if he is President of the Royal Society - gives him little more authority to pronounce on issues with which he is unfamiliar than a man holding forth in a pub.

Far from it being "science" which is under attack from all those experts who dispute the orthodoxy on global warming, the truth is the very reverse. It is the dissenters who are trying to speak for genuine science, against those who misuse its prestige to promote a cause which has too often betrayed the very essence of proper scientific method.

The fact that the BBC has been turned, in Peter Sissons' words, into a mere "propaganda machine" is scandal enough. But a far greater scandal is the way the authority of science has been hijacked to serve a fatally flawed belief system which threatens to inflict irreparable damage on the future of us all.

Is Met Office again playing games with its weather data?

Dr Benny Peiser and Dr David Whitehouse, of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), have written to John Hirst, chief executive of the beleaguered Met Office, asking for an explanation of a press release issued by his organisation on January 20 and headed "2010 - a near record year". This won headlines by claiming that last year was hotter than any other in the past decade.

When the two men examined the original data from which this claim was derived - compiled by the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit and the Met Office's Hadley Centre - it clearly showed 2010 as having been cooler than 2005 (and 1998) and equal to 2003. It emerged that, for the purposes of the press release, the data had been significantly adjusted.

Comparing the actual data for each year, from 2001 to 2010, with that given in the press release shows that for four years the original figure has been adjusted downwards. Only for 2010 was the data revised upwards, by the largest adjustment of all, allowing the Met Office to claim that 2010 was the hottest year of the decade.

I asked the Met Office to comment on what seems like yet another embarrassing example of juggling with the figures. It denied the charge and I shall report on its lengthily evasive reply, once the GWPF has had a more considered response from Mr Hirst.


Does a huge lapse in mainstream media reporting allow the global warming crisis to stay alive?

For most conservatives, some points about the idea of humans causing global warming are no-brainers: plausible doubt arises in quick glances through web sites like Marc Morano’s ClimateDepot, the SPPI blog, WUWT, and ClimateAudit. We don’t have to get down into the minutiae of science reports seen at those sites, it’s just obvious they contradict the supposedly ’settled science’. For seemingly comic effect, Al Gore and other limousine liberals dictate that we should limit our carbon footprint, but their mansions and jet-setting is not up for debate.

You’d have to have a fairly low IQ not to see the irony of greenies’ mansions & jets, and you’d have a lower one if you’re easily led to believe skeptic web site operators just ‘make stuff up’. The far-left loves saying Rush Limbaugh or Marc Morano fabricate doubt about global warming, as though each creates it out of thin air. These smears evaporate when anybody reads the content at Limbaugh’s, Morano’s, and other skeptics’ sites.

Our far-left friends fervently hope you follow the implied “nothing to see here, move along” instruction. My worry is we are letting another major fault in the so-called global warming crisis slip by, because some conservatives might think there is a little something to see.

That would be the near universal accusation of big industry corrupting skeptic scientists. Supposedly, they accept money from coal and oil companies in exchange for assessments intended to confuse the public about the science being settled. A bribe to make stuff up despite knowing better, in other words. When articles, books and op-eds describe various guilt-by-association situations of skeptic scientists and big coal & oil ….. gosh, it does sound a bit plausible, so maybe the topic should be avoided. Take the example where environmental writer Bill McKibben said this,
Six of the ten largest companies on earth are in the fossil-fuel business. Those companies have spent some small part of their wealth in recent years to underwrite climate change denialism: Jane Mayer's excellent New Yorker piece on the Koch brothers is just the latest and best of a string of such exposes dating back to Ross Gelbspan's 1997 book The Heat Is On.

Uh, oh, conservatives better not draw attention to that. Let’s re-frame the discussion by saying cap & trade is too expensive to contemplate during recessions.

I categorically disagree on two counts: we cede the moral high ground to the far-left who’d say conservatives are too cheap to save the planet, but more important, this completely fails to question McKibben’s fundamental assertion about a ’string of such expos‚s’. Al Gore himself provides a tidbit that begins to undermine that assertion, in his New York Times review of Gelbspan’s 2004 Boiling Point book:
Gelbspan’s first book, ”The Heat Is On” (1997), remains the best, and virtually only, study of how the coal and oil industry has provided financing to a small group of contrarian scientists who began to make themselves available for mass media interviews as so-called skeptics on the subject of global warming….documenting the largely successful efforts of companies like ExxonMobil to paralyze the policy process, confuse the American people and cynically ‘reposition global warming as theory rather than fact,’ as one strategy paper put it…

Wait, that was 2004. When Phil Radford talked about his 2009 promotion to head Greenpeace USA and who inspired him, he described Gelbspan in an April 2009 magazine interview:
Ross has been the lone voice, the moral compass, the beacon that has inspired countless people, me included, to demand our country and our future back from the coal and oil interests behind global warming.

So was there a string of exposes between then and Jane Mayer’s August 2010 New Yorker article? Hardly. As I detailed in my September 15, 2010 American Thinker article “Warmist Slander of Scientific Skeptics“, Mayer’s assertions about questionable funding of skeptic scientists relied on information from Greenpeace, Naomi Oreskes, Joe Romm, and the Center for Public Integrity. Each in turn cite Ross Gelbspan as the source for their information. That would then be the same old "exposes", replete with all the inherent problems I describe there and below.

So have others independently corroborated Gelbspan’s accusation? Sorry, no. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why I started in my research, because I was told by a Society of Environmental Journalists board member (deep within the comments section in this page) that:
Gelbspan was only the first of many to document payments by industry to a small group of scientists who consistently defend the interests of industry reliant on not controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

Document? Or just repeat? Books such as James Hoggan’s & Richard Littlemore’s Climate Cover-Up, Mark Bowen’s Censoring science and Thin ice, Jeff Goodell’s Big Coal, Donald Brown’s American Heat, and others, along with magazine articles and TV programs, all directly cite Gelbspan’s “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” accusation or cite other references that themselves cite Gelbspan. However, as I noted in my July 2010 American Thinker article, “Smearing Global Warming Skeptics“, there are fundamental problems with him simply being the center of attention. He did not actually discover the memo he derives his accusation from, the memo is never seen in its full context (until I showed it), the memo seems to be nothing more than an interoffice set of PR instructions, and he is not the Pulitzer winner he is portrayed to be.

Think about the larger picture. This may not be simply a small matter of libel/slander of skeptic scientists - if an ordinary citizen like me was able to find all these problems, why didn’t the mainstream media find these? Why have they instead surged ahead with the idea the science is settled, in the face of such easily found giant red flags?

The new US House GOP committee chairmen aren’t just presented with a ‘witch hunt’ opportunity to score a few points on the ClimateGate scandal, conservatives everywhere now have an unprecedented opportunity to expose the far-left agenda once and for all. Yes, doctoring temperature data is bad, but when people pushing an ideology resort to portraying critics as villains using an unsupportable accusation, solely to distract us from seeing the IPCC’s highly questionable claims about humans causing global warming, we have a huge problem. When an entity as globally influential as the mainstream media fails to seriously question any part of it, and actually joins in on the push, then we have a monumental problem.


In China, the true cost of Britain's clean, green wind power experiment: Pollution on a disastrous scale

On the outskirts of one of China's most polluted cities, an old farmer stares despairingly out across an immense lake of bubbling toxic waste covered in black dust. He remembers it as fields of wheat and corn. Yan Man Jia Hong is a dedicated Communist. At 74, he still believes in his revolutionary heroes, but he despises the young local officials and entrepreneurs who have let this happen. `Chairman Mao was a hero and saved us,' he says. `But these people only care about money. They have destroyed our lives.'

Vast fortunes are being amassed here in Inner Mongolia; the region has more than 90 per cent of the world's legal reserves of rare earth metals, and specifically neodymium, the element needed to make the magnets in the most striking of green energy producers, wind turbines.

Live has uncovered the distinctly dirty truth about the process used to extract neodymium: it has an appalling environmental impact that raises serious questions over the credibility of so-called green technology.

The reality is that, as Britain flaunts its environmental credentials by speckling its coastlines and unspoiled moors and mountains with thousands of wind turbines, it is contributing to a vast man-made lake of poison in northern China. This is the deadly and sinister side of the massively profitable rare-earths industry that the `green' companies profiting from the demand for wind turbines would prefer you knew nothing about.

Hidden out of sight behind smoke-shrouded factory complexes in the city of Baotou, and patrolled by platoons of security guards, lies a five-mile wide `tailing' lake. It has killed farmland for miles around, made thousands of people ill and put one of China's key waterways in jeopardy.

This vast, hissing cauldron of chemicals is the dumping ground for seven million tons a year of mined rare earth after it has been doused in acid and chemicals and processed through red-hot furnaces to extract its components.

Rusting pipelines meander for miles from factories processing rare earths in Baotou out to the man-made lake where, mixed with water, the foul-smelling radioactive waste from this industrial process is pumped day after day. No signposts and no paved roads lead here, and as we approach security guards shoo us away and tail us. When we finally break through the cordon and climb sand dunes to reach its brim, an apocalyptic sight greets us: a giant, secret toxic dump, made bigger by every wind turbine we build.

The lake instantly assaults your senses. Stand on the black crust for just seconds and your eyes water and a powerful, acrid stench fills your lungs. For hours after our visit, my stomach lurched and my head throbbed. We were there for only one hour, but those who live in Mr Yan's village of Dalahai, and other villages around, breathe in the same poison every day.

Retired farmer Su Bairen, 69, who led us to the lake, says it was initially a novelty - a multi-coloured pond set in farmland as early rare earth factories run by the state-owned Baogang group of companies began work in the Sixties. `At first it was just a hole in the ground,' he says. `When it dried in the winter and summer, it turned into a black crust and children would play on it. Then one or two of them fell through and drowned in the sludge below. Since then, children have stayed away.'

As more factories sprang up, the banks grew higher, the lake grew larger and the stench and fumes grew more overwhelming. `It turned into a mountain that towered over us,' says Mr Su. `Anything we planted just withered, then our animals started to sicken and die.'

People too began to suffer. Dalahai villagers say their teeth began to fall out, their hair turned white at unusually young ages, and they suffered from severe skin and respiratory diseases. Children were born with soft bones and cancer rates rocketed.

Official studies carried out five years ago in Dalahai village confirmed there were unusually high rates of cancer along with high rates of osteoporosis and skin and respiratory diseases. The lake's radiation levels are ten times higher than in the surrounding countryside, the studies found.

Since then, maybe because of pressure from the companies operating around the lake, which pump out waste 24 hours a day, the results of ongoing radiation and toxicity tests carried out on the lake have been kept secret and officials have refused to publicly acknowledge health risks to nearby villages.

There are 17 `rare earth metals' - the name doesn't mean they are necessarily in short supply; it refers to the fact that the metals occur in scattered deposits of minerals, rather than concentrated ores. Rare earth metals usually occur together, and, once mined, have to be separated.

Neodymium is commonly used as part of a Neodymium-Iron-Boron alloy (Nd2Fe14B) which, thanks to its tetragonal crystal structure, is used to make the most powerful magnets in the world. Electric motors and generators rely on the basic principles of electromagnetism, and the stronger the magnets they use, the more efficient they can be. It's been used in small quantities in common technologies for quite a long time - hi-fi speakers, hard drives and lasers, for example. But only with the rise of alternative energy solutions has neodymium really come to prominence, for use in hybrid cars and wind turbines. A direct-drive permanent-magnet generator for a top capacity wind turbine would use 4,400lb of neodymium-based permanent magnet material.

The fact that the wind-turbine industry relies on neodymium, which even in legal factories has a catastrophic environmental impact, is an irony Ms Choi acknowledges. `It is a real dilemma for environmentalists who want to see the growth of the industry,' she says. `But we have the responsibility to recognise the environmental destruction that is being caused while making these wind turbines.'

Our current obsession with wind power, according to John Constable of energy think-tank the Renewable Energy Foundation, stems from the decision of the European Union on how to tackle climate change. Instead of just setting targets for reducing emissions, the EU told governments that by 2020, 15 per cent of all the energy we use must come from renewable sources.

Because of how we heat our houses and run our cars with gas and petrol, 30 per cent of electricity needs to come from renewables. And in the absence of other technologies, that means wind turbines. But there's a structural flaw in the plan, which this winter has brutally exposed.

Study a graph of electricity consumption and it appears amazingly predictable, even down to reduced demand on public holidays. The graph for wind energy output, however, is far less predictable.

Take the figures for December, when we all shivered through sub-zero temperatures and wholesale electricity prices surged. Peak demand for the UK on 20 December was just over 60,000 megawatts. Maximum capacity for wind turbines throughout the UK is 5,891 megawatts, almost ten per cent of that peak demand figure.

Yet on December 20, because winds were light or non-existent, wind energy contributed a paltry 140 megawatts. Despite billions of pounds in investment and subsidies, Britain's wind-turbine fleet was producing a feeble 2.43 per cent of its own capacity - and little more than 0.2 per cent of the nation's electricity in the coldest month since records began.

Wind power's uncertainties don't end with intermittency. There is huge controversy about how much energy a wind farm will produce. Many developers claim their installations will achieve 30 per cent of their maximum output over the course of a year. More sober energy analysts suggest 26 per cent. But even that figure is starting to look generous. In December, the average figure was less than 21 per cent. In the year between October 2009 and September 2010, the average was 23.6 per cent, still nowhere near industry claims.

Then there's the thorny question of how many homes new installations can power. According to wind farm developers like Scottish and Southern Electricity, a house uses 3.3MWh in a year. Lobby group RenewablesUK - formerly the British Wind Energy Association - gives a figure of 4.7MWh. In the Highlands electricity usage is even higher.

Last year, a report from the Royal Academy of Engineering warned that transforming our energy supply to produce a low-carbon economy would require the biggest investment and social change seen in peacetime. And yet Professor Sue Ion, who led the report, warned, `We are nowhere near having a plan.'

So, against the backdrop of environmental catastrophe in China and these less than attractive calculations, could the billions being thrown at wind farms be better spent? Undoubtedly, says John Constable. `The government is betting the farm on the throw of a die. What's happening now is simply reckless.'



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Met Office winter forecast lie is finally nailed

And heads must roll

With compliments to Katabasis whose FOI request has been dealt with more quickly than mine… The information in the FOI response he has received today and written up in a detailed blog post goes into much more detail than Bishop Hill’s release from the Quarmby audit team.

A look at the information makes clear there is nowhere left for the Met Office to hide. The Met Office has been caught ‘cold’ lying about its winter forecast in a disgraceful attempt to salvage its reputation. Its claim that it forecast the cold start to the winter lays in tatters thanks to an exchange of emails between the department and the Cabinet Office.

As a result the Met Office is completely discredited. Also utterly discredited is the BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin, who on the Met Office’s behalf used a column in the Radio Times (later carried in the Telegraph and the Daily Mail) to state that:
In October the forecaster privately warned the Government - with whom it has a contract - that Britain was likely to face an extremely cold winter. It kept the prediction secret, however, after facing severe criticism over the accuracy of its long-term forecasts.

Harrabin went on to say in his piece that:
Why didn't the Met Office tell us that Greenland was about to swap weather with Godalming? The truth is it [The Met Office] did suspect we were in for an exceptionally cold early winter, and told the Cabinet Office so in October. But we weren't let in on the secret. "The reason? The Met Office no longer publishes its seasonal forecasts because of the ridicule it suffered for predicting a barbecue summer in 2009 - the summer that campers floated around in their tents.

The email exchange in the screenshot below proves this is a lie. The Cabinet Office civil servant (bottom message) confirms the weather outlook supplied by the Met Office earlier that day is what the government will use in its ‘Forward Look’. The Met Office employee (top message) agrees with it.

The all important sentence is the first. ‘The Met Office seasonal outlook for the period November to January is showing no clear signals for the winter’. The Met Office knew this was the case when it sent Harrabin scurrying off to spin its lie that the Met Office did suspect we were in for an exceptionally cold early winter, and told the Cabinet Office so in October‘. The briefing to the Cabinet Office contains no such warning – and vindicates the parliamentary answer given by Francis Maude when questioned about the forecast the government received from the Met Office.

What is worse is that the Met Office knew this, yet with its claim tried to place responsibility for the lack of prepareness for an extremely cold start to the winter on government inaction. Harrabin added to this by saying he had put in a FOI to the government (referenced in this post) to discover what they were told, the insinuation being it was the government that had something to hide. This is very dangerous ground that leans towards the possibility of the Met Office and a BBC reporter engaging in a joint effort to undermine the government’s credibility.

This leads us to ask a serious question that must be answered: How is it possible that Roger Harrabin could claim the Met Office line he was retailing was the ‘truth’ with such certainty?

  • If Harrabin had seen the evidence and still spun his line then he has knowingly lied to the public

  • If he spun his line without seeing the evidence then he is utterly incompetent and the public can have no faith in the stories he broadcasts and publishes on the BBC

Either way Roger Harrabin’s position is now untenable and in addition to resigning he must make a full public apology. As for the Met Office, the buck stops with the Chief Executive, John Hirst, who has looked on as this false narrative was constructed and insinuations were made to deflect criticism from his department, yet did nothing to correct it.

We now have the truth. It is what many people have suspected since the story materialised. It’s now time for those who engineered the deception and those who allowed it to happen to pay the price for their actions. Over to the executive board of the Met Office and the trustees of the BBC.


Temperatures of the Past Six Millennia in Alaska

Discussing: Clegg, B.F., Clarke, G.H., Chipman, M.L., Chou, M., Walker, I.R., Tinner, W. and Hu, F.S. 2010. Six millennia of summer temperature variation based on midge analysis of lake sediments from Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews 29: 3308-3316.

What was done

The authors conducted a high-resolution analysis of midge assemblages found in the sediments of Moose Lake (61°22.45'N, 143°35.93'W) in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve of south-central Alaska (USA), based on data obtained from cores removed from the lake bottom in the summer of AD 2000 and a midge-to-temperature transfer function that yielded mean July temperatures (TJuly) for the past six thousand years.

What was learned

The results of the study are portrayed in the accompanying figure, where it can be seen, in the words of Clegg et al., that "a piecewise linear regression analysis identifies a significant change point at ca 4000 years before present (cal BP)," with "a decreasing trend after this point." And from 2500 cal BP to the present, there is a clear multi-centennial oscillation about the declining trend line, with its peaks and valleys defining the temporal locations of the Roman Warm Period, the Dark Ages Cold Period, the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age -- during which the coldest temperatures of the entire interglacial or Holocene were reached -- and, finally, the start of the Current Warm Period, which is still not expressed to any significant degree compared to the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods.

Mean July near-surface temperature (°C) vs. years before present (cal BP) for south-central Alaska (USA). Adapted from Clegg et al. (2010).

What it means

In discussing their results, the seven scientists write that "comparisons of the TJuly record from Moose Lake with other Alaskan temperature records suggest that the regional coherency observed in instrumental temperature records (e.g., Wiles et al., 1998; Gedalof and Smith, 2001; Wilson et al., 2007) extends broadly to at least 2000 cal BP," while noting that (1) climatic events such as the LIA and the MWP occurred "largely synchronously" between their TJuly record from Moose Lake and a δ18O-based temperature record from Farewell Lake on the northwestern foothills of the Alaska Range, and that (2) "local temperature minima likely associated with First Millennium AD Cooling (centered at 1400 cal BP; Wiles et al., 2008) are evident at both Farewell and Hallet lakes (McKay et al., 2008)."

In closing, it is instructive to note that even with the help of the supposedly unprecedented anthropogenic-induced increase in the atmosphere's CO2 concentration that occurred over the course of the 20th century, the Current Warm Period has not achieved anywhere near the warmth of the MWP or RWP, which suggests to us that the climatic impact of the 20th-century increase in the air's CO2 content has been negligible, for the warming that defined the earth's recovery from the global chill of the LIA -- which should have been helped by the concurrent increase in the air's CO2 content -- appears no different from the non-CO2-induced warming that brought the planet out of the Dark Ages Cold Period and into the Medieval Warm Period.


Prof. Claes Johnson throws down the gauntlet

For next week's Big Greenhouse Gas Debate on Judith Curry's blog

Questions to Lord Monckton, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, Judith Curry, Fred Singer (and John Costella)

I pose the following questions to Lord Monckton and Roy Spencer motivated by their criticism of the book Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory:

* Do you consider the Kiehl-Trenberth energy budget to be essentially correct?

* Do you consider backradiation from cold to warm to be a real physical phenomenon?

* Have you read and understood my derivation of Planck's radiation law without statistics?

* Do you consider the derivation to be essentially correct?
Have you read and understood Planck's derivation of his law based on statistics?

* Which derivation do you consider to best represent physics?

* Do you think it is necessary to understand the derivation of a physical law to properly understand the meaning of the law?

* Is it correct to speak of a greenhouse effect from a whole range of a causes, but then connect the effect to one (small) cause?

* Is it correct to speak about a greenhouse effect from CO2 which may very well be zero?

* Is it correct to speak about a no-feedback climate sensitivity of +1 C from doubled CO2 obtained by a direct application of Stefan-Boltzmann's radiation law without any consideration of thermodynamics, as a basic value with physical significance? Isn't it a formality like a definition twisted into a physical fact?

* Do you think an IR-meter can give information of radiative flux by effectively measuring temperature? If so, how is the translation from temperature to radiation performed by the instrument?


Yet Another Warmist Group Says Communist Dictatorship “Looks Very Attractive”

What is with the warmist’s love affair with communist dictatorships? Yet another group of committed climate change worriers has come out to declare their abiding admiration for Chinese-style dictatorship.

The Islington and Hackney Carbon Reduction Action Group (how annoying do they sound?) have posted a notice to say that they are no longer trading carbon with each other, due to the fact that there are now only four people willing to trade carbon with each other, and no one wants to do the maths:
"Back in 2006, I thought that personal carbon allowances would be a great leveller in more ways that just in terms of carbon emissions and perhaps that would be a good thing. But now I think that even moderate greens living in our energy intensive, consumer driven western economies would be perfectly happy to buy up carbon credits from another person without feeling much guilt or being too concerned about the morality of it . . .

Looking at the global stage, back in 2006 I would never have believed that so little would be achieved at the international climate conferences over the following 4 years. But until politicians in the West, accept that the largest per capita emitters have to make the largest emissions reductions, and they can find a way of getting the electorate to still vote for them, progress is going to be slow. The Chinese system of command and control government seems very attractive from afar."

As The Register points out, the group managed to reduce their carbon emissions to 3.36 tons per person per year by “heroic” efforts, but their Co2 emissions were still way above the supposedly “sustainable” emissions levels of 0.5 tons.

Sadly for the Islington and Hackney Carbon Reduction Action Group, and warmists everywhere, the sort of WWII sacrifices that Greens are calling for are just not going to happen in a democracy, which perhaps explains the evident longing for the Chinese Communist “command and control” style of Government where they can just tell people what to do (for their own good, of course).


More Greenie misanthropy

To Warmists, Genghis Khan was a good guy

A study touting Genghis Khan's environmental record is being cheered by the team which produced Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Genghis Khan's great accomplishment for the green cause? Killing off 40 million humans so their un-tilled fields would be overtaken by forests.

While some may find genocide morally repugnant, environmentalists had a different concern: Would reforestation be enough to overcome the greenhouse gases released by all those decaying bodies? Julia Pongratz, who headed the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology research project from the Institution's Stanford University campus offices, provides the answer in a January 20 news release:
We found that during the short events such as the Black Death and the Ming Dynasty collapse, the forest re-growth wasn't enough to overcome the emissions from decaying material in the soil. But during the longer-lasting ones like the Mongol invasion ... there was enough time for the forests to re-grow and absorb significant amounts of carbon.

In other words, the problem with the bubonic plague was that is just didn't stick around long enough. The CO2 emissions from all those putrefying corpses were just too much for the regrowing forests to overcome. But Genghis Khan and his successors cleared out their empire for centuries. Once the initial wave of putrefaction ran its course, net CO2 uptake began in earnest.

The Carnegie Institution's conclusion is seconded by the Gore team. An article posted on "Take Part, Inspiration to Action" is titled "War, Huh-Yeah, What Is It Good For? The Climate, Apparently." Its author cheers:
According to a new study, however, war is indeed good for something -- the environment. ...

The study appears to reaffirm cold-blooded Malthusian common sense: there will be more of something (trees) when there are less of the parasites (people) cutting that something down.

So, can we safely assume that to save the planet we just need to wipe each other out in a series of protracted wars? Even that, according to Pongratz's study, may not be enough to overcome the negative effects of deforestation-induced climate change.

Which "we" would be "safe" if the rest were "wiping each other out"? Apparently the Gore team believes that the smug, "enlightened, conscious, and progressive" elite would be above it all.

"Take Part, Inspiration to Action" is part of the corporation which produced An Inconvenient Truth. According to its website, "TakePart is a website, for one, and also a Social Action Network that includes individuals, NGOs, online communities and brands who share a common interest in making the world a better place. We are a division of Participant Media, which has produced culture-shifting films such as An Inconvenient Truth, The Cove, and Waiting for Superman."

Gore's team and the Carnegie Institution are not alone. Leading environmentalists around the world are cheering -- and showing that they fully comprehend the study's misanthropic conclusions. cheers "How Genghis Khan cooled the planet" and takes the time to point out that modern environmentalists must destroy agriculture, not just industry:
"It's a common misconception that the human impact on climate began with the large-scale burning of coal and oil in the industrial era," says Pongratz, lead author of the study in a press release. "Actually, humans started to influence the environment thousands of years ago by changing the vegetation cover of the Earth‘s landscapes when we cleared forests for agriculture."

The answer to how this happened can be told in one word: reforestation. When the Mongol hordes invaded Asia, the Middle East, and Europe they left behind a massive body count, depopulating many regions. With less people, large swathes of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Mother Nature Network asks, "Was Genghis Khan history's greenest conqueror?"
... the Mongol invasion cooled the planet, effectively scrubbing around 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere.

So how did Genghis Khan, one of history's cruelest conquerors, earn such a glowing environmental report card? The reality may be a bit difficult for today's environmentalists to stomach, but Khan did it the same way he built his empire - with a high body count.

Over the course of the century and a half run of the Mongol Empire, about 22 percent of the world's total land area had been conquered and an estimated 40 million people were slaughtered by the horse-driven, bow-wielding hordes. Depopulation over such a large swathe of land meant that countless numbers of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests.

In Science Daily, putrefaction headlines the story "War, Plague No Match for Deforestation in Driving CO2 Buildup." The article explains: "Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes had an impact on the global carbon cycle as big as today's annual demand for gasoline. The Black Death, on the other hand, came and went too quickly for it to cause much of a blip in the global carbon budget."

Similarly, environmentalists could conclude that the Nazi Holocaust just didn't last long enough. After twelve years of Nazi rule, Germany was defeated, and humans began to grow in number again. For seventy years, communist Gulags kept populations down on a more "sustainable" basis -- but alas, they too are gone. Now it is up to environmentalists, who have for years dominated the culture and legal system of democratic countries, to prove that they can surpass these earlier efforts and -- as Khan did -- achieve much more long-lasting results.

Pongratz explains: "Based on the knowledge we have gained from the past, we are now in a position to make land-use decisions that will diminish our impact on climate and the carbon cycle. We cannot ignore the knowledge we have gained."

According to its website, "The Department of Global Ecology was established in 2002 to help build the scientific foundations for a sustainable future."

After nine years, they have finally discovered the foundation of "sustainability."


What is green job?

What is a green job? That question has a special relevance here in the early part of 2011 now that Team Obama has altered its environmental strategy.

When he campaigned in 2008, President Obama said he would create 5 million new green collar jobs. Even if you do not accept the premise of man-made global warming, it is necessary for the U.S. to transition away from traditional energy sources and embrace new, clean energy technology that create new employment opportunities, Obama declared in his first State of the Union address.

“I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change, Obama said. “But here’s the thing — even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future — because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation.”

On Tuesday, Obama continued his environmental pitch by asking Congress to mandate 80 percent of U.S. electricity come from ‘clean energy’ by 2035. Even with the the demise of “cap and trade” on Capitol Hill, it is now evident the administration remains irrevocably committed to interventionist polices that will ultimately translate into higher costs. The Institute for Energy Research (IER) has issued a report that shows electricity prices are almost 40 percent higher in states that have renewable mandates. Americans who live in the more industrialized areas have good cause to be concerned about policies that could unsettle cheap energy sources.

Thanks to the concerted efforts of various free market groups the public quite rightly came to identify “cap and trade” with “energy rationing” and “higher taxes.” But the repackaged environmental scheme Obama discussed in his second SOTU address is just as menacing to the free market. Benign sounding phrases like “green jobs” belie hard economic realities that deserve greater scrutiny.

Generally speaking, green jobs intersect with the same renewable energy sources that Obama Administration officials favor as a substitute for fossil fuels. But there is no clear definition.

Ben Lieberman, an analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has identified some key complications. “Some jobs are only occasionally green,” he has noted. “For example, workers who produce steel or cement are counted as having green jobs to the extent their products go into making wind turbines — but not when they go into coal-fired power plants.” Moreover, he points out, the definition becomes highly malleable once politics figures into the equation.

“In truth, the definition of a green job is highly subjective and can depend every bit as much on fads and fashions and political correctness as on any objective criteria,” Lieberman has observed. “Of course, now that federal money is involved, various special interests are vying to characterize themselves as green.”

However they are defined, there is no escaping the economic fallout from government policies that prop up green jobs, which would not otherwise be sustainable in the free market.

“To a large extent, the green jobs agenda represents the Europeanization and the Californiazation of the American Economy,” Lieberman has noted. That is bad news for job growth.”

Obama has cited Spain as model for the clean energy economy of the future. But here again, facts and economic realities intrude. Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Spain, has produced a study that shows green jobs are mostly temporary, heavily subsidized and subtract away from economic performance.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hansen to give a "secret" lecture -- for initiates only

Maybe he is going to be even more extreme than he usually is. Or maybe he fears questioning. The following is an email just in from a UCLA alumnus:

I just got an email from the UCLA College of Letters and Sciences inviting me to attend a James Hansen "Research Lecture" on "Climate Sensitivity" on February 22, 2011, at the Ackerman Grand Ballroom, and a James Hansen "Public Lecture" on "Human-Made Climate Change: A Scientific, Moral and Legal Issue" on February 23, 2011, at the Covel Commons Grand Horizon Room.

Both these lectures will happen under the auspices of the "2011 Mautner Memorial Lecture Series at UCLA". It looks like both these events are invitation only - they want formal registration with registration ID numbers provided in the email announcements.

Global warming is not commonsense -- and it isn't global anyway

Or so a Warmist professor says below. Note that he gives a meteorological explanation for cold weather. Odd that Warmists never give a meteorological explanation for warm weather. And what is behind the meteorological events anyway? He does not know. He certainly does not consider that it might be the sun-driven onset of global cooling. He is blind to the possibility that what goes up might also come down -- as indeed it always has in the earth's climate record

The weather seems to be going berserk, with more snow dumped on our beleaguered Northeastern cities in a month than in a year, paralyzing business and our lives. Records are being broken even as we speak.

Common sense says that it's the freezing cold that is behind the freaky weather. But physics says otherwise.

Basically, snowstorms in this region arise from the collision of cold Arctic air from Canada moving south and bumping up against warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, causing water vapor to condense and freeze and then form snowstorms, which travel up the Northeast corridor.

Among many factors, the amount of snow dumped is largely driven by the amount of moisture in humid air and not so much the temperature, and this seems to go against common sense. (For example, if we are making ice cubes, the amount of water in the ice tray, not the temperature, determines how much ice we can make. If we crank down the temperature dial in our freezer, this simply makes the ice freeze faster but does not increase the amount of ice produced.)

There is no single smoking gun that can point us to the origin of these monster snowstorms. But we can focus our attention on two likely culprits. The first is pure chance. There are many random fluctuations in the weather due to many diverse factors (for example, last year's weather was affected by El Niño).

But the second is global warming. This also seems to violate common sense, but realize that global warming can heat the oceans and generate more moisture, which in turn can drive larger storms. Last year was, in fact, tied with 2005 as the hottest year recorded since 1880, when precise measurements began.

However, some people may object, there are vastly different weather patterns around the world. But realize that global warming causes swings in the weather, not a uniform rise in world temperature.


Is It Really The Warmest Ever?

By Joseph D’Aleo

Both NOAA and NASA this month announced that 2010 was tied for the warmest year. The UK Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University proclaimed 2010 the second warmest year since 1850.

But after the incredibly cold and snowy winters in 2008/09 and 2009/10 and so far in 2010/11, those claims are falling on increasingly deaf ears. The public doubt about global warming has been increasing given the Climategate disclosures suggesting scientists have been ‘cooking the books’, especially when earlier promises of warm, snowless mid-latitude winters failed miserably.

Back on March 20, 2000, The Independent, a British newspaper, reported Dr. David Viner’s of the UK's Climate Research Unit warning that within a few years snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event.” Indeed, Viner opined, “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.”

Similarly, David Parker, at the UK’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, said that eventually British children could have only “virtual” experience of snow via movies and the Internet.

The last three winters in the UK were forecast by the UK Met Office to be mild and snowless. Instead, brutal cold and snow in the UK has the UK Met Office on their heels. Indeed the cold and snow was a throwback to the age of Dickens in the early 1800s. UK MPs called for Official Parliamentary Probe into whether the UKMO reliance on their ideology and CO2 models had biased their predictions.

In the United States, NOAA echoing the UN IPCC, claimed snow would retreat north with the storm tracks and major cities would get more rain and mild winters. The Union of Concerned Scientists said in 2004 scientists claim winters were becoming warmer and less snowy. In 2008, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. bemoaned that children would be robbed of the childhood joys of sledding and skiing in the DC area due to global warming. A year later, the area set a new seasonal snowfall record with 5 to 6 feet of snow and sleds and skis were the only way to get around.

The winter of 2009/10 was the coldest ever in parts of the southeast, and in parts of Siberia and the coldest since 1977/78 or 1962/63 in many parts of the United States, Europe and Asia.

The spirits of alarmists and their cheerleaders in the media were buoyed by the hot summer in the eastern United States and western Russia even though that is the normal result when a strong La Nina follows on the heels of a strong El Nino winter. But as is usually the case in La Ninas, global cooling usually follows within 6 months. Indeed, temperatures plunged as winter approached and this past December (2010) was the second coldest in the entire Central England Temperature record extending back to 1659. It was the coldest ever December in diverse locations like Ireland, Sweden, and Florida.

Reluctantly, alarmists and their cheerleaders in the media changed their tune and the promise of warm and snowless winters with ‘global warming’ morphed into global warming means cold and snowy winters. ABC News even said cold and snowy winters would be the new norm because of global warming. Non sequiturs like that have sadly become ‘the new norm’ in the wacky world of the mainstream media.

In Australia, the government’s Bureau of Meteorology and university alarmist scientists promised major drought and blocked dams and flood mitigation projects, but when devastating floods occurred this summer, they blamed that on global warming and again enviros and government agencies escaped the blame. Other scientists had warned that changes in the Pacific would lead to a return of the flood years like 1974, but they were ignored by agenda driven, green leaning government.

In fact environmentalists and alarmist scientists have reinvented global warming and now attribute all weather to global warming – cold, warm, drought and flood. They call it ‘climate disruption’. But the climate has not been cooperating in a way that is convincing the public they have to sacrifice even more to stop a problem they don’t sense is real. Just imagine if they knew how much they really would cost (trillions – several thousands of dollars per year per family) and how little these deep sacrifices would change the climate (not measureable).

Despite claims to the contrary, in recent years, global temperatures stopped warming. Even Phil Jones of the UK Climate Research Unit after Climategate admitted there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995 (15 years) and between 2002 and 2009, the global temperatures had declined 0.12C (0.22F).

To try and stop the bleeding, NOAA and NASA took steps to reduce or eliminate the cooling.

This aggravated what already was an already a bad situation. CRU data base programmer Ian ‘Harry’ Harris’s frustrated rants in his Climategate log were eye-opening:

“[The] hopeless state of their (CRU) data base. No uniform data integrity, it’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found...There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations…and duplicates… Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight. This whole project is SUCH A MESS. No wonder I needed therapy!!”

Furthermore, in a candid interview on the BBC, CRU’s Director Phil Jones admitted his “surface temperature data are in such disarray they probably cannot be verified or replicated”.

So should we avoid CRU and focus on NOAA and NASA. The answer is an unequivocal no.

In a Climategate email, Phil Jones acknowledges that CRU mirrors the NOAA data. “Almost all the data we have in the CRU archive is exactly the same as in the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) archive used by the NOAA National Climatic Data Center.” And NASA uses NOAA data applying their own adjustments. All three data bases suffer from the same flaws.

All have managed to extract a warming trend from data that suggests cyclical changes and little long term trend. See how the three data centers working off the same data have reconstructed the global temperature history. NASA in green show the warmest anomalies, CRU generally the lowest. Part of this is the base period for computing averages (NASA uses the cold 1951 to 1980 30 year period for normals, CRU 1961 to 1990 and NOAA the entire period of record.

All show a warming period from the 1920s to early 1940s, a cooling from the 1940s to 1970s another warming from late 1970s to around 1998, and then as Jones noted a flattening. The warming early in the century before the industrial boom was very similar to that from 1978 to 1998. The cooling post WWII was during the post war boom.

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

Britons going cold on global warming: Number of climate change sceptics doubles in four years

The number of climate change sceptics has almost doubled in four years, official research showed yesterday. A quarter of Britons are unconvinced that the world is warming following successive freezing winters and a series of scandals over the credibility of climate science.

The figures suggest that a growing proportion of the public do not share the belief of all three major political parties and Whitehall – that climate change is a major and urgent challenge requiring radical and expensive policies.

The survey, carried out by the Office for National Statistics, has plotted levels of acceptance of the theory of man-made global warming since 2006. In that year it found that 87 per cent of people were at least ‘fairly convinced’ that climate change was happening. Last year that share had dropped to 75 per cent. Numbers who say they are unconvinced went up from 12 to 23 per cent.

The erosion of the public consensus behind global warming coincided with the ‘Climategate’ fiasco which came after damaging e-mails from the University of East Anglia were leaked in November 2009, and the arrival of another cold winter.

There were also setbacks for climate change advocates over flaws in UN reports on global warming and evidence that temperatures across the world have been falling.

The proportion of those who said they were ‘not very concerned’ about global warming now includes more than one in five.

The latest polling, carried out in August last year, came before the arrival of another big freeze.

There is also an increasing reluctance to take personal steps to tackle climate change. Fewer than half those polled – 46 per cent – are ready to use their cars less, and only 47 per cent are prepared to take public transport more often. Fewer than a quarter – 23 per cent – are willing to fly less.


Browner Resignation, Obama Omission Could Spell the End of Global Warming Policy, Say Climate Change Analysts

The abrupt resignation of Carol Browner, President Barack Obama’s global warming czar, and the omission by Obama of global warming from his State of the Union speech on Tuesday could mean that the White House has given up on global warming, according to climate change analysts.

Browner, who announced her resignation Tuesday, led the White House effort to enact global warming legislation and policy. A former director of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration, Browner was well regarded in the environmentalist community and served officially as director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Obama left out any reference to global warming or the more ambiguously named climate change, seemingly abandoning what had been one of the most prominent policy areas of the past two years.

Browner’s signature legislative goal – cap and trade legislation – failed in Congress last year when it was not brought up for a vote in the Senate after narrowly passing in the House.

Most recently, Browner was rumored to be in the running to replace Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff. Instead of Browner, Obama chose former J.P Morgan Chase executive William Daley. proprietor Marc Morano told that Browner’s departure was likely a sign of frustration with Obama and the president’s lack of attention to her signature issues.
“She’s probably frustrated with Obama’s lack of commitment on this issue,” Morano said. “I think Carol Browner is frustrated because she realizes Obama is not the man she thought he was when it comes to global warming.”

“Obama is terrified of the issue – it’s never been more than a check-box issue for him – so she was basically reduced to not doing that much of anything and she realized that nothing was going to happen,” he said.

Morano also said that Browner probably read the writing on the wall following the November election that swept a wave of conservative Republicans into Congress, effectively making any new environmental legislation all but impossible. “I think she realizes that her hands may be tied,” Morano said. “She [probably] doesn’t feel like she can be as effective as she wants to. She is a hardcore, committed greenie [environmentalist].”

Morano said that Obama’s omission of global warming from his State of the Union indicated that he would be “running” away from the issue in 2012 because it has become politically unpopular... “The new political expediency is skepticism,” he said. “Man-made global warming is the new butt of jokes in Washington.”

Myron Ebell, director of Energy and Global Warming Policy at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute, said it was “hard to say” why Browner left, citing her rumored loss of the chief of staff position.

Ebell said that her departure and Obama’s omitting global warming from his speech may indicate that the administration was merely putting global warming policy on the back burner, preferring a stealthier approach. “It may be that the White House decided, well, we’re off global warming and she’s the point person on global warming so she no longer has a role here,” he said.

“Remember that when Obama acknowledged this fall that cap and trade was not going to be enacted he said that – and this is pretty close to an exact quote – that there’s more than one way to skin that cat,” said Ebell. “And I think what they’re doing is they are adopting a lower-profile policy, a set of policies, to achieve the same goals without ever mentioning global warming or cap and trade or anything that will allow us to refer back to candidate Obama’s comment [to the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle] when he was senator that ‘under my cap and trade plan electric rates will necessarily skyrocket.’”

“They still want that, they just want to achieve it in a way that the public will have a much harder time seeing and therefore opposing,” said Ebell.


Brazil approves clearing of Amazon forest to make way for controversial dam

No! no! Not one fraction of the sacred Amazon, say Greenies everywhere

Brazil's environmental agency has approved the clearing of nearly 600 acres of Amazon forest so that work can begin on a controversial hydroelectric dam. The Belo Monte dam, which will be the third-largest such project in the world, has been strongly opposed by environmental campaigners and indigenous people who face being displaced.

Last year James Cameron, the film director, compared the plans to the plot of his box office hit Avatar, in which the Na'vi race fight to protect their planet from outside forces seeking to extract resources.

Ibama, the Brazilian environment agency, said on its website that it has approved the clearing of 588 acres (238 hectares) of forest at the site where the dam will be built in the state of Para.

It also said that Norte Energia, the consortium that won the bidding to construct the dam, can begin building roads to reach the remote site on the Xingu River, a tributary to the Amazon.

Contracts for the dam - which the government expects to cost nearly £10bn - were finally signed last August after decades of disputes about plans for a dam in the area and a series of court injunctions.

But several potential legal hurdles remain, with licences still to be granted for the actual building of the plant, which the government wants to see completed by 2015.

The 3.7 mile wide dam will lead to around 190 square miles of land being flooded. Environmental groups have warned that this could displace tens of thousands of people and threaten the survival of indigenous groups in the area.

But Brazil's government has been determined to press ahead with Belo Monte, which is crucial to efforts to keep up with rising demand for energy as the country's rapid economic growth continues.

Ministers have also defended the scheme as a source of clean and renewable energy and Edison Lobao, the Energy Minister, has referred to it as "the jewel in the crown."


Hybrid cars are not about fuel economy

They are about making things difficult for people, in the usual Greenie way. Diesels do all that hybrids do and more -- so they are largely banned in the USA!

I’ve mentioned the little Suzuki Swift Turbo Inter-cooled Diesel Before, this is a prime example of the auto that MIT said would likely rule the road as per efficiency through the year 2040. Nothing on the drawing board comes close to the compression ignition engine which delivers far more work for the energy dollar.

At 61.4 MPG, and with performance auto enthusiasts are giddy over, you can travel 30,000 miles for the same money it cost to purchase and install the optional 240 VAC home charger for the Chevy Volt! When you consider that the inner city crowd make up the majority of folks attracted to the Chevy Volt, and the limited amount of miles they drive, the cost of the Volt home battery charger and installation could pay for all the fuel the Suzuki might use over the average period of ownership for this group of drivers. This is based on $3 a gallon fuel cost, and the information I found on the GM Chevy Volt forum. The optional charger allows you to charge the battery in as little as four hours, the 120 volt charger system won’t cut it for most drivers.

Of course your friends who are all excited by the Chevy Volt will think this Zuk is a stinker! Nothing could be further from the truth, read the article here

The only thing that stands between us and the People’s Car is the EPA. There’s a new conspiracy theory I heard… was it out of wikileaks? It’s reported that American Big Oil bribed top officials at the EPA in order to keep the super high efficiency vehicles out of the Country….. Ralph Nader Killed the Corvair, and now this… when will the corruption end? When will the American public be able to own the cars they want?

As I look at the hybrids and think about the advantages we might all visualize in stop and go traffic, my thoughts are interruped by reality.. I think of all the days here that it’s so wet, the windshield wipers on, the heater and defrosters going to keep a safe view of the road in all directions, and other reasons the power consumption is high. About the time these conditions let up, it’s too hot, the AC is on as we watch the heat waves rise from the hot asphalt. But there’s more to think about. In EV mode, we might charge batteries off the grid, but what kind of losses have we then inserted between the distant prime mover and the rear wheels of our Car? What investment will it take to assure the grid can handle the charge current of all these EVs?

Some will note, compression ignition engines run cool while idling, it’s a sign of their far better efficiency, and under realistic conditions, and over a reasonable periods of time, it’s going to be very difficult for the EVs to deliver cost per mile at less cost than a diesel like the Zuk. I say the Volt doesn’t have a chance. History will tell. The Zuk Diesel is my choice for ‘Car of the Year’

OK, OK, I can hear it now..some will say.. ”you don’t understand, the Volt is no People’s car, there’s more luxury here, it’s a step up from your diesel Zuk” my reply… “Then why are all Americans forced to subsidize it, let the wealthier people buy their own Volt”.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Friday, January 28, 2011

Skeptical paper accepted for presentation at GCGW (Global Conference on Global Warming) Lisbon, Portugal, July 201‏1

The paper is "C curves and the Global Warming phenomenon". Summary from author Ritesh Arya [] below. Presumably, the final paper will include clarifying graphics

The paper for the first time shows actual geological evidence to show global warming is a 100% natural cyclic process and man and his activities have no role in enhancing or reducing the cyclic process.

The proposal highlights the discovery of paleo climatic signatures by Dr Arya carved on batholiths of Ladakh Indian Himalayas due to climate change mainly induced due to global warming and cooling since time immemorial and tends to redefine global warming as part of a natural cyclic process responsible for transporting various materials deposited during global cooling times.

It is evident that we are in a global warming era and the process of warming has been continuing since the last ICE age -- believed to have ended around 10,000 years ago. Taphonomical research of these preserved signatures on banks of the River Indus reveal that beautiful C shaped structures were carved by action of Indus Glacier(cooling) and river (warming) in past on the batholiths.

Structures preserved clearly show that warming and cooling don’t have a linear or a hockey stick curve relationship but follow a C type structure. If these paleo-signatures embedded are critically analysed they show cyclicity in events of warming and cooling in form of C alphabet. Where C represents and is symbolic for completeness of natural climatic cycles of cooling – warming – cooling processes.

If we write the alphabet C then starting and ending of C alphabet show some linearity which represents – cooling and curve portion in C alphabet represents warming. C shape also shows that cooling-warming and again cooling are all part of natural cyclic processes and the transition from one into another is somewhat gradational in nature, one complements the other.

Centre of C alphabet represents global warming maxima and it is at this time where maximum mountain flash flooding leading to maximum destruction and erosion along glacio-fluvial basin takes place ultimately leading to sea level rise and land submergence in coasts. This global maxima in C curve is cause of maximum destruction and submergence.

The author was able to discover 8 such cycles and 1 half intermittent cycle. Actually after every four cycles of 1176 years we have a half cycle of 588 years. Beauty of these cycles is uniformity in thickness and size. If 10,000 years is bench mark then each C cycle represents a time of about 1176.47 years roughly and each global maximum(marked by massive flash floods, cyclones and sea level rise will be around 500-600 years respectively.

Thus by knowing which part of the C curve paleo signature we are in, we can actually predict whether we are entering the global warming or cooling phase and when will the next global warming maxima going to be.

But lot depends of accuracy of exact age of the last ICE age. Presently we are in a half cycle and seeing these signatures at present it seems that we have entered into warming phenomenon and are yet to experience the global maxima in the present C curve which may be around from today.

The proposal tries to corroborate the geomorphological evidences carved by the forces of warming in the historical past along with Borewell data to understand the dimensions of the warming events in the geological past.

Historical and religious events are also used to corroborate the findings of C curves and make the understanding of warming and cooling simpler and easier and end the debate about man-made global warming processes

Confirmation bias in the name of global warming

A new paper has been published in Ecology Letters: Ran Nathan, Nir Horvitz, Yanping He, Anna Kuparinen, Frank M. Schurr, Gabriel G. Katul. Spread of North American wind-dispersed trees in future environments. Ecology Letters, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01573.

In this paper the authors have assumed that climate change will cause changes to CO2 concentration and wind speed. They have assumed also that increased CO2 will “increase fecundity and advance maturation”. They have then modelled the spread of 12 species as a function of wind speed.

So far so good – they have actually modelled only the effect of wind speed which they assume will reduce due to climate change.

Their results basically showed no effect of wind speed: “Future spread is predicted to be faster if atmospheric CO2 enrichment would increase fecundity and advance maturation, irrespective of the projected changes in mean surface windspeed”.

And now comes the perversion!

From their fundamental conclusion that wind speed has no effect and that therefore any CO2 increase resulting from climate change will enhance the spread of the trees, they invoke “expected” effects to deny what they have just shown: “Yet, for only a few species, predicted wind-driven spread will match future climate changes, conditioned on seed abscission occurring only in strong winds and environmental conditions favouring high survival of the farthest-dispersed seeds. Because such conditions are unlikely, North American wind-dispersed trees are expected to lag behind the projected climate range shift.”

This final conclusion is based on absolutely nothing and their modelling showed nothing and yet this paper was accepted for publication. I have no problem that a result showing “no effect of wind speed” be published but suspect that it needed the nonsense, speculative conclusion to comply with current dogma.

Science Daily then produces the headline: Climate Change Threatens Many Tree Species when the reality is:

This study Shows No Effect of Wind Speed But Yet We Believe that Climate Change Threatens Many Tree Species
“Our research indicates that the natural wind-driven spread of many species of trees will increase, but will occur at a significantly lower pace than that which will be required to cope with the changes in surface temperature,” said Prof. Nathan. “This will raise extinction risk of many tree populations because they will not be able to track the shift in their natural habitats which currently supply them with favorable conditions for establishment and reproduction. As a result, the composition of different tree species in future forests is expected to change and their areas might be reduced, the goods and services that these forests provide for man might be harmed, and wide-ranging steps will have to be taken to ensure seed dispersal in a controlled, directed manner.”

Whether the perversion is by the authors themselves anticipating what is needed to get a paper published or whether it is due to pressure from the Journal Ecology Letters or by their referees is unclear.

Despite ample research, understanding plant spread and predicting their ability to track projected climate changes remain a formidable challenge to be confronted. We modelled the spread of North American wind-dispersed trees in current and future (c. 2060) conditions, accounting for variation in 10 key dispersal, demographic and environmental factors affecting population spread. Predicted spread rates vary substantially among 12 study species, primarily due to inter-specific variation in maturation age, fecundity and seed terminal velocity. Future spread is predicted to be faster if atmospheric CO2 enrichment would increase fecundity and advance maturation, irrespective of the projected changes in mean surface windspeed. Yet, for only a few species, predicted wind-driven spread will match future climate changes, conditioned on seed abscission occurring only in strong winds and environmental conditions favouring high survival of the farthest-dispersed seeds. Because such conditions are unlikely, North American wind-dispersed trees are expected to lag behind the projected climate range shift.

In essence this paper is only based on belief and the results actually obtained are denied. It seems to me that denying or twisting or “moulding” results actually obtained to fit pre-conceived notions is not just a case of confirmation bias but comes very close to scientific misconduct.


Power of Language: "Refrigerator Effect" vs "Greenhouse Effect"

Below is a post from Swedish mathematician and physicist Claes Johnson. He claims that the entire notion of a greenhouse effect is contrary to basic physics so he is critical of other skeptics who take a less radical position than that. He announces below that his contentions are now to be debated on a prominent Warmist site and also offers below some provocative preliminary comments -- JR

Lord Monckton, Judy Curry and Roy Spencer are critical of the critique in the new book Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory of the "greenhouse effect" underlying CO2 climate alarmism. My arguments that the standard conception of the "greenhouse effect" represents a scientific dead end, are summarized in my contributions to the book:

* Computational Blackbody Radiation

* Climate Thermodynamics.

By double negation (critique of critique) Monckton, Curry and Spencer effectively come out as supporters of the claimed consensus of (alarming) global warming by a "greenhouse effect".

M, C and S claim that they do not have the time required to enter into the mathematics of the criticism in the articles, but nevertheless remain critical of the critique referring to a strong belief that the greenhouse gas theory with its "greenhouse effect" cannot be killed because it is strong, healthy and very much alive. A seemingly invincible Sky Dragon...

It is natural to ask how it is possible to be so sure about the existence of a "greenhouse effect", which in fact is not well described in the scientific literature? The meaning of the term ranges from the total effect of the atmosphere as an "atmosphere effect" to the absorption spectrum of the "greenhouse gas" CO2 with unknown warming effect.

Is it simply due to the folklore description of the "greenhouse effect" acting like a "blanket" or "sheet of glass" helping us to stay warm in a chilly Universe at 3 K? Even if the atmosphere does not act like a blanket or sheet of glass at all?

Is the power of language so strong that the "greenhouse effect" from a "blanket in the sky" is so seducing for the soul that the body becomes convinced? Maybe.

Suppose then that we change vocabulary and describe the effect of the atmosphere as the "refrigerator effect", which is in fact more logical than the "greenhouse effect", because what the atmosphere does is to transport heat (from insolation) away from the Earth surface to the top of the atmosphere for radiation to outer space. In the same way as the cooling system of a refrigerator transports heat from the inside of the refrigerator to the outside.

OK, so everybody can now understand the "refrigerator effect" and with this understanding comes the immediate threat of a too strong effect of global cooling. Like with alchohol the risk is a too strong effect, not a too small effect (unless you are completely addicted).

So, with a "greenhouse effect" the imminent risk is too much of the effect into global warming. While with the "refrigerator effect" the threat is instead global cooling.

We see that semantics can twist our brains into firm beliefs which may lack scientific rationale. Of course we are all too familiar with this phenomenon in politics.

So how would the debate change if "greenhouse effect" was changed to "refrigerator effect? Such a change could get quick acceptance this winter.

Judy now signals that she is ready to initiate a discussion on her blog starting from the two articles listed above. I look forward to this discussion. Science without discussion is dead immobile science, while science with discussion is live science which can move forward.

PS If you want to get to understand thermodynamics for the first time in your life, download the draft of my upcoming book Computational Thermodynamics and explore physics with confusing statistics replaced by analog finite precision computation (reality) modeled by digital finite precision computation (virtual reality).

The idea of finite precision computation also underlies the new analysis of blackbody radiation as Computational Blackbody Radiation.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

The “Green” Treason

It’s the same old story: The U.S. has abundant natural resources, but refuses to extract and produce them, as usual, because of environmental restrictions and regulatory costs. In the meantime, we are exporting our energy security, job security, and now, national security to China and other emerging markets.

Since 2002, the U.S. has not mined any rare earth elements (REEs) — today used in U.S. smart bombs, silent helicopter blades, night vision, missiles, and tank guns, as well as computers, cell phones, DVD players, and other civilian technologies.

These metals are not even that rare. The nation as a whole has about 13 million metric tons in reserves according to the U.S. Geological Survey. We could make them ourselves. But we don’t.

Leaving that aside for a moment, a modern military, and many common conveniences we today take for granted, would not be possible without these metals. They are essential.

Which is why China has rapidly developed its rare earth element mining sector, with over 55 million metric tons in reserves and 130,000 metric tons of annual production. It now controls over 97 percent of REE mining and refinement in the entire world. China is largely able to do so because it holds about 36 percent of global reserves, has lower labor costs, and because it largely ignores the environmental impact of the REEs. Finally, it lacks competition since the U.S. dropped out of the market.

With the rise of China’s REE near-monopoly, concerns have emerged that the communist dictatorship has too much control over these metals that have become critical to defense and other high technology needs.

So, how could China, an adversary, gain so much control over such a strategically critical industry? Call it the green treason.

The problem is that nearly all of the nation’s production of REEs was done by a single company, Molycorp, at a single mine in California, Mountain Pass. From 1965 to 1985, Molycorp was the world’s leader in this industry, but because of a series of main wastewater pipeline spills from the mine, state and federal environmental regulators all but shut it down.

As reported by the Washington Independent, “Mining at Mountain Pass stopped soon after the spills came to light. Industry sources say Union Oil of California, which bought Molycorp in 1977, couldn’t afford to comply with environmental rules and felt that it couldn’t compete with China.” In other words, the environmental regulatory costs made it cost-prohibitive to produce the metals at a competitive price versus the Chinese.

But, rather than help the industry out with the regulatory problems, the government acted punitively against Molycorp. The regulators were indifferent if domestic production was completely turned off. It made sure production of REEs in the U.S. was severely hindered, even though shortages would disrupt the defense supply chain.

Just like that, a few faceless bureaucrats shut down an entire domestic industry — essential to national security — just as the Chinese overseas competitor was emerging. And it was all in the name of radical environmentalism.

Fears of Chinese manipulation in the market have subsequently been confirmed in July when China once again reduced its export quotas for these metals. Since 2005, it has reduced these quotas from over 65,000 metric tons to just over 30,000, according to the Department of Energy. This has caused prices of the metals to skyrocket.

Already, the scarcity of the REEs is having an impact on U.S. defense capabilities. According to a Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) summary, “A 2009 National Defense Stockpile configuration report identified lanthanum, cerium, europium, and gadolinium as having already caused some kind of weapon system production delay and recommended further study to determine the severity of the delays.” Which, unless the U.S. ramps up production, will only get worse as China tightens the entire world’s supply of REEs.

The GAO report notes the decline of the nation’s capabilities in this area: “The United States previously performed all stages of the rare earth material supply chain, but now most rare earth materials processing is performed in China, giving it a dominant position that could affect worldwide supply and prices.” The Department of Defense is undergoing several other evaluations to determine its dependency on these metals, but we already know that it is high.

So, what can be done to ramp up new domestic production? Right now, the U.S. imports about 10,000 metric tons of these metals, or 7.6 percent of global production, according to the USGS.

Unfortunately, the Mountain Pass mine has been gutted. According to the GAO, it “currently lacks the manufacturing assets and facilities to process the rare earth ore into finished components, such as permanent magnets.” It also lacks “substantial amounts of heavy rare earth elements” used in industry and defense. Nonetheless, Molycorp intends to begin mining again this year, and in July offered a successful $393.75 million IPO to rebuild its capabilities.

According to Dr. Madan Singh, director of the Department of Mines and Mineral Resources (DMMR) in Arizona, it could take up to two years to get the mine back online.

But to get the heavy rare earths, we’ll also need to mine in Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Missouri, Utah, and Wyoming. Again, the GAO report is not comforting: “Once a company has secured the necessary capital to start a mine, government and industry officials said it can take from 7 to 15 years to bring a property fully online, largely due to the time it takes to comply with multiple state and federal regulations [emphasis added].”

So, barring regulatory waivers being granted to companies to begin extraction immediately, it won’t be until 2020 at least before the nation’s REE capabilities can be fully reconstituted. In the meantime, it is likely that China will continue to reduce its export quotas, ratchet up prices, and hoard the REEs for its own defense stockpiles.

It’s bad enough that environmental radicalism has made the nation more dependent on foreign sources of fuel, and has exported hundreds of thousands of jobs. Now, it is harming our security as a nation.

It is up to Congress to urgently enact legislation that will cut through the red tape and help this domestic industry get its feet back on the ground. We have to make sure we’re not dependent on a hostile nation like China or a single mine in California in order to maintain first-rate defense capabilities. And our security must not be held hostage to onerous environmental regulations. This green treason must be stopped.


Revkin doubts the efficacy of putting Warmist propaganda into movies

Revkin is chief Warmist for the NYT

David Roberts has posted an interesting Grist interview with Sandra de Castro Buffington, who directs the Hollywood, Health and Society program at the University of Southern California.

The program, in collaboration with several federal health agencies, works behind the scenes in Hollywood to foster smarter public health choices by, among other things, shaping story lines in scripts for TV shows and movies. One example was the “Hammered” episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which focused on alcohol abuse.

In the Grist piece, Buffington talks enthusiastically about doing for human-driven global warming what’s been done for HIV awareness, diabetes, alcoholism and the like. (This is not entirely new terrain, mind you; the Environmental Media Association began doing the same thing starting in the late 1980s.)

I could see storytelling, particularly melding images and ideas, bringing a fresh focus to the scope of the country’s, and world’s, energy gap. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t repeatedly post the photo of kids doing homework under parking lot lights in Guinea (and more recently the hopeful photos of kids in rural Kenya doing the same thing at home because of a small solar panel).

But I’m deeply doubtful that this is a path to changing public attitudes and — more importantly — behaviors related to curbing emissions of greenhouse gases. There’s simply too much evidence that the fundamental characteristics of the rising human influence on climate are a very bad fit for how humans absorb and respond to risks.


“Capitol Greening” program scrapped by GOP

Nancy Pelosi promised to "drain the swamp" when she took the gavel as speaker. Now Republicans want to clean up the compost heap.

Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., announced this week that he's ordered an end to the Pelosi-championed composting program in the House of Representatives. The chairman of the House Administration Committee said an internal review of the program showed it wasn't living up to expectations. "After a thorough review of the House's composting operations, I have concluded that it is neither cost-effective nor energy-efficient to continue the program," Lungren said in a written statement, claiming the composting was costing taxpayers $475,000 a year.

The decision is a symbolic but disappointing one for Democrats who pushed the composting as a pillar of Pelosi's "Green the Capitol" initiative. Under Pelosi, Styrofoam and plastic materials were discontinued in House eateries, replaced by biodegradable alternatives. The House then shipped its biodegradable waste to a composting site in Maryland.

"Obviously, it is disappointing to see this important component of the program suspended. The commercial food composting industry has not fully developed yet, and we would hope that when a closer commercial composting site opens and more competition brings down costs, the program would be reinstituted," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in an e-mail.

It's not clear what other elements of the "Green the Capitol" program might come under scrutiny, but Lungren committed to keeping the Hill clean and green where possible. "While I am suspending this program because it is costly and increases energy consumption, I would like to assure the House community that this committee will continue to evaluate all components of House operations and will work with the appropriate agencies to incorporate environmentally sustainable practices when feasible," he said.

More here


For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here