Sunday, May 28, 2017


Trump refuses to get in line for climate deal

President Trump dug in his heels last night over committing America to the climate deal signed by President Obama, citing fears that such an agreement could threaten US jobs.

On the first day of a two-day meeting of the G7 leaders at Taormina in Sicily, the host, Paolo Gentiloni, the Italian prime minister, said that the US leader had yet to be convinced not to back out of the Paris Accord, which seeks to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Gary Cohn, Mr Trump’s economic adviser, said that Mr Trump had stuck to prioritising American jobs, which he believes are threatened by moving to clean energy. He said that the president “wants to do the right thing for the environment, he cares about the environment but he also cares very much about creating jobs for American workers”.

After the first round of talks, Mr Gentiloni said: “We are hopeful that the US will want to participate and we hope there are positive decisions in the coming days or weeks.”

Mr Cohn hinted that the president might yet be convinced, saying after the session that the president felt “much, much more knowledgeable” on the topic than he did previously. He said that Mr Trump had told the G7 leaders that the environment was “very, very important” to him and that he had even cited environmental awards that he had received.

The drafting of a diluted final G7 declaration, which is expected to acknowledge the climate battle, has been hampered by the absence from the summit of Kenneth Juster, Mr Trump’s international economic policy adviser, who has reportedly stepped down and been replaced by his deputy.

SOURCE



Trump’s Budget and the environment

It’s been described as a “slap in the face,” “slaughter,” “a punitive … assault on science, the environment, and indeed the planet.”

Aside from being inappropriate and irresponsible, these remarks are how some in the policy world and media have depicted cuts to global warming spending in President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal.

People seem to have forgotten—or perhaps never noticed—just how much the government spends on direct climate programs.

Trump’s budget proposal does in fact eliminate or cut a number of climate programs. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to realize there are legitimate justifications for doing so.

Even if the federal budget won’t be balanced on the back of eliminated climate programs, there are a number of basic problems with government climate spending.

1. Quite simply, there are a lot of global warming programs.

For all the Obama administration’s emphasis on global warming as an issue, the Government Accountability Office’s December 2016 assessment found only partial improvement in program management and could not yet determine if government standards showed whether programs were being effective, as they had only just been implemented.

The Government Accountability Office noted in 2009 that “the federal government’s emerging adaptation activities were carried out in an ad hoc manner and were not well coordinated across federal agencies, let alone with state and local governments.”

At least 18 federal agencies administer climate change activities, costing at least $77 billion between fiscal years 2008 and 2013, according to the Congressional Research Service.

2. Most of the money goes to green tech rather than science.  

If these technologies are economically viable, there will be plenty of private sector capital available to develop them. Hardworking taxpayers shouldn’t have to dump money into speculative or failing technology companies or pad the bottom lines of successful ones.

The Department of Energy is notorious for spending on research, development, demonstration, and commercialization of technologies like wind, solar, geothermal, electric vehicles, biofuels, coal carbon capture and sequestration, small nuclear, and batteries.

This has been particularly true in more recent years as a result of the Obama administration’s failed stimulus package, which funneled billions of dollars into energy technologies.

According to the Government Accountability Office, the bulk of federal climate spending has gone to technology development rather than science, wildlife, or international aid.

3. There’s a lot of wasteful spending.

While the Navy’s price per gallon may appear cheap, the actual total cost to the government is much higher.

Despite clear direction from Congress that fuels be cost-competitive, the executive branch camouflaged the costs of the Navy’s biofuel program by subsidizing it through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation program and the Department of Energy.

There are other much larger boondoggles, too. The Navy spent hundreds of millions of dollars on biofuels to meet a political objective to “jumpstart” a domestic biofuel economy with no strategic advantage for military capabilities.

There are many other equally ridiculous examples, such as an Environmental Protection Agency grant for “green” nail salon concepts in California.

As just one example of wasteful spending, Office of Budget and Management Director Mick Mulvaney highlighted the National Science Foundation’s grant for a global warming musical. (The nearly $700,000 grant was awarded in 2010.)

4. International climate initiatives are fatally flawed.

There are a number of problems with America’s continued participation in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the body that has produced international global warming agreements and, most recently, the Paris Protocol.

One would think that an international climate conference aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions would be the perfect opportunity to have a teleconference to show some good faith. But instead, government officials from around the world fly to lavish venues while telling you to buy hybrids and eat less meat.

Each year, the result is the same: symbolic commitments that shame industrialization and the use of fossil fuels with little to no actual impact on the climate.

Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority’s participation in the Paris Protocol should be cause enough to halt funding as Congress has stipulated under current law.

As the Trump budget proposes, the U.S. should also end funding to the quasi-scientific body behind the Paris Protocol—the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This panel’s studies have been subject to bias, manipula­tion, and poor data.

5. There are major problems and gaps in climate science.

The fact is, climate modeling is at this point an inexact science. Models have proven to be inaccurate, and regulatory cost-benefit accounting metrics based on them are indefensible.

It is thus no surprise that massive government policies like the Paris Protocol and Clean Power Plan are demonstrably ineffective in addressing global temperatures.

There are many areas of disagreement and uncertainty among climate scientists, not to mention biologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, economists, and others with relevant expertise.

Exacerbating this is the role the federal government has played in toxifying the scientific debate on global warming. Rather than fostering scientific discovery in a field that is a mere few decades old, the federal government appears to have expressed bias in funding science that supports federal climate policies.

Science that challenges the current narrative is pilloried in the press and labeled “denialism,” whereas an intellectually honest approach would seek to understand and improve the science.

The debate is not improved by demands for RICO investigations or anti-science statements castigating those with different opinions as part of the “flat earth society” with their “heads in the sand,” and encouraging people to “find the deniers near you—and call them out today.”

We don’t need more spending on iterative studies telling us that coffee could be more expensive and snakes bigger thanks to global warming. We need better modeling, better understanding of basic science, more data, and a better, transparent discussion on climate science and climate policies.

Even after the president’s proposed cuts, there is plenty of money left in the federal budget to study and model the climate.

For instance, the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, a division that includes many climate programs within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, would be cut by more than $150 million, but still retain a hefty $324 million.

Let’s also not forget the role that universities, nonprofits, and international organizations play in studying the global climate.

Eliminating wasteful spending, some of which has nothing to do with studying the science at all, is smart management, not an attack on science.

It’s time to end the boondoggles and hold the federal government’s climate science activities to the same standards of rationality and cost effectiveness as other government spending.

SOURCE






Major Exxon Investor Warns Shareholders Not to Give Into Global Warming Hysteria

An activist-led measure at Exxon Mobil Corp.’s next annual meeting addressing global warming could financially wipe out the company’s largest shareholders, one long-time Exxon shareholder said.

BlackRock and Vanguard Group are toying with the idea of supporting an investor-created proposal that would force Exxon to measure how regulations limiting greenhouse gasses could impact the value of the company’s oil assets, sources told The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

The measure is receiving intense scrutiny from shareholders who worry Exxon could get wobbly-kneed in the face of the environmentalist push.

Some analysts believe the measure, if passed, could indicate the full weight and force powerful investors and money managers that are concerned about climate change have on energy companies.

Exxon is opposed to the measure and will find out if Vanguard and BlackRock support the measure at the company’s annual meeting on May 31.

But Steve Milloy, a lawyer-statistician and climate skeptic, believes Exxon’s shareholders are flirting with the devil.

Coal companies know what happens when shareholders entertain measures that could potentially affect their financial bottom line, said Milloy, a global warming skeptic and founder of the website JunkScience.com.

“It’s kind of ironic that you have a president who wants to roll back regulations against oil producers, yet companies like Exxon want more rules to be heaped on them,” said Milloy, an Exxon shareholder who will speak in opposition to the measure at the meeting next week.

Milloy has been advocating the oil producer end its support for a national carbon tax, rebuke the Paris Agreement on climate change, and discontinue funding climate research

“The threat would have been hypothetical no more than five years ago,” he added, “but the threat is real now. Shareholders get zeroed out because of all of this global warming hysteria.”

Climate activist shareholders hold a different view.

Timothy Smith, a director at Walden Asset Management, which backs the Exxon measure, for instance, told reporters that a few short years ago investors were not talking about the effect climate change has on business, but “now the evidence just slaps you in the face.”

BlackRock has not publicly supported the measure.

“No decision has been made regarding our vote at Exxon’s Annual Shareholder Meeting. Our deliberations continue and we look forward to continued engagement with the company,” said Zach Oleksiuk, head of Americas for BlackRock’s investment stewardship group.

Vanguard could be dissuaded from joining the climate crowd if Exxon offers concessions, such as allowing non-employee directors to meet with investors, the sources said. Similar concessions have worked in the past on other measures addressing global warming.

“Directors at any company who don’t engage with those on whose behalf they serve risk losing investor support,” Glenn Booraem, a principal at Vanguard, said in a statement about possible concessions Exxon should consider.

The measure comes as Exxon continues beating off an attorney general-led campaign to force the Texas-based oil producer into turning over decades worth of documents allegedly showing it hid knowledge about global warming from the public.

Much of the crusade against Exxon’s climate history is based on reports from liberal-leaning media outlet InsideClimate News and Columbia University, which claim Exxon has known the risks of global warming for decades but kept such knowledge under wraps.

Milloy, for his part, submitted a resolution in April through a mutual fund he called the Free Enterprise Action Fund, which requests Exxon change its bylaws blocking stockholders from filing resolutions.

His plan came after an activist-led ploy to force Exxon into naming a climatologist to the company’s board of directors. It relented and elected Susan Avery, a former director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Avery, a climate scientist specializing in atmospheric dynamics and climate change, helped the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cobble together climate research. Milloy thinks activists with political views have been undercutting the company’s interests for years.

BlackRock received scorn and relentless criticism at Exxon’s annual meeting last year after it opposed a similar proposal. The group will make the disclosure of climate risks a key point of discussion with Exxon managers this year.

Next week’s investor-led measure hinges on many of Exxon’s largest shareholders, most of whom own about 20 percent of the company, according to Anne Simpson, investment director for sustainability at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. CalPERS has worked on oil and gas divestment issues in the past.

Simpson added: “At the end of the day, the outcome will turn on what do the big fund managers and mutual funds do.”

SOURCE




The U.S. shale boom will continue to benefit consumers if energy markets are allowed to work

The American energy revolution of the past decade has brought unforeseen economic benefits including billions of dollars in new investments, lower energy costs for Americans and tens of thousands of new jobs.

That energy-driven economic stimulus has been especially powerful in the resource-rich regions in states like North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas where innovation and modern technological advancements in shale development have revitalized local economies. And the energy boom has had the deepest and most positive impact in states that have embraced commonsense policies that foster and encourage competition rather than picking winners and losers in the energy marketplace.

Where energy development has been allowed to take hold without onerous over-regulation, the energy sector's successes buffered local and regional economies from many of the devastating effects of the Great Recession. Since the recovery, the shale revolution has affected transformative changes in national and international energy markets, shifting long-held paradigms involving the production, generation and use of energy in America.

We have seen cheaper, domestically produced natural gas push out other sources of energy used to power America's electric grid, leading to more cost savings in states where consumers choose suppliers. In the Midwest, oil refiners invested billions to expand capacity and update facilities to process the significant boom in North American crude oil production.

As we continue to move away from government-imposed limits on the energy sector such as the now-lifted ban on crude oil exports, and move to encourage more overseas shipments of natural gas products, America's energy revolution is even reaching into global energy markets.

The United States exported oil to 26 different countries last year, according to recent Energy Information Administration data, thanks to the government's decision to finally get out of the way of energy markets. Given this newfound access to global energy markets, U.S. oil and gas producers, refiners and processors are rising to the fresh opportunities.

There's no debating the fact that the domestic energy revolution has delivered a powerful economic stimulus to the economy and made American more energy secure than ever before.

The market dynamics driven by this transformation require larger and more fundamental changes in our systems that move oil, natural gas and fuels. Such change can be painful for some. Communities that might not have seen new pipeline development or infrastructure projects in decades need to accommodate these critical improvements. Businesses that rely on decades-old systems need to adjust and modernize.

SOURCE




Australia: The arrogance of a Greenie

"We have to lead the government in what we want"

SO MANY people feel like they can’t make a difference nowadays but not Dayne Pratzky aka the Frackman.

Eight years ago he started a war with the coal seam gas industry that left him financially and emotionally drained but still angry enough to rip out the gas connection in his new house. “I will not have a part of it, I will not be held hostage to the gas industry in cooking and heating,” Pratzky told news.com.au.

Pratzky, who has embraced solar power at home, gained infamy when he appeared in the hit 2015 movie Frackman about his fight against gas companies who wanted to drill on his property in Queensland’s Darling Downs.

While he now lives in Forster in NSW’s Mid North Coast, Pratzky does not think he lost, despite the high price he’s paid for his activism. “I’ve lost eight years of my life, I’ve financially ruined myself and it will take time to get back on my feet but I’ll be back, I’m not finished.”

Pratzky believes he also helped others, and contributed to destroying the onshore gas industry in Australia. Since then the Victorian government has banned all onshore gas exploration and production, and there are delays over projects in NSW and the NT.

“You could say I lost but you could also say I won because the industry’s social licence has been destroyed,” Pratzky said.

“They are losing the PR battle and people don’t trust the oil and gas industry. “There’s no place for it in this country, and I’m proud of that.”

Ultimately Pratzky believes companies will never be a match for passionate people. “They do this for a job, they get paid, go home and do something else. But activists go home and eat and breathe it, that’s why you can’t beat activists because they are doing it because they want to. You can’t beat passion.”

Asked whether he had any regrets, Pratzky reckons he would have gone even harder. “I realise that being a passenger in policy, it’s no way forward,” he said. “We are having things that are not good for us forced down our throats.

“The government doesn’t lead, it follows. We have to lead the government in what we want.”

Far from feeling disempowered, Pratzky believes the rise of social media has enabled people to fight for what they believed in more than ever before. “Now I say if you’re not an activist, you’re just a whinger — there’s no excuse anymore,” Pratzky said.

“You used to have to fight to get yourself in the media, it would have to be a great story for them to get involved, but part of our rise to notoriety was because of social media.

“We had the ability to get the message out and it’s changed society. “You can be a keyboard warrior now, you can write a letter, join a group and educate yourself far easier than before.”

And contrary to what many people think, Pratzky said activists were not the rainbow-clothes wearing, bong smoking rabble they were often made out to be.

Pratzky, a carpenter and builder enjoys pig-shooting, is himself an unlikely activist and he said the social aspect of activism was actually the best part about it.

“The best thing is the people you meet ... they are absolutely phenomenal people, good Aussies, that’s why I stay involved, to help them save their properties,” he said.

“It’s not the ‘usual suspects’, it’s normal people trying to protect their way of life and business.”

Pratzky, who will be sharing his experiences during a talk at the Opera House on Saturday, wants to continue encouraging people to stand up for what they believe in.

“You’ve got to put yourself out there,” he said. “If there’s something wrong in our area, you should know about it,” he said.

“I’m a custodian of society, we all are. If you don’t want to live in a gun-filled and drug-filled society like America, you’ve got to fight to keep Australia the way it is now.”

SOURCE

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

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

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Friday, May 26, 2017




Astonishing news:  wind turbines may have caused the death of 3 whales

Save the whales! Report below  from The Times of May 22:



SOURCE




The Pope pressed Trump to help with persecuted Christians in the Middle East?  No such luck.  He harped on about global warming

A strange gospel. Has the Devil got to him? But the report below is from the NYT.  Could it be fake news?

Pope Francis put climate change on the agenda of his first meeting with President Trump on Wednesday, and the subject is likely to come up again and again in the president’s encounters with other world leaders in the coming days.

The pope presented the president with a copy of his influential encyclical on preserving the environment, while in a broader meeting, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, urged Mr. Trump not to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord.

Mr. Trump told his Vatican hosts that he would not make a final decision until after he returned to the United States, despite some expectations that he could announce a decision at the Group of 7 summit meeting in Italy this weekend.

“They were encouraging continued participation,” Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson told reporters about the message from the Vatican. “We had a good exchange on the difficulty of balancing addressing climate change, and insuring that you still have a thriving economy and you can still offer people jobs so they can feed their families.”

In their first encounter, the pope and the president, two men with starkly different worldviews, sought to bridge the chasm between them with a handshake, a private audience and a mutual pledge to work for peace.

They stuck mainly to protocol, avoiding a public reprise of the barbs they aimed at each other during Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign or the pope’s thinly veiled critiques of the new president as a symbol of a dangerously reinvigorated nationalism.

But there was also a sense in the Vatican that Mr. Trump was easier to talk to than his tough language on the campaign trail or his sharp words toward Francis had led them to believe. That could be particularly true on the issue of American participation in the Paris accord, where there are sharply conflicting views inside the West Wing.

Francis left no doubt about his message in the gifts he gave to his guest, notably the essay on the importance of the environment, which stands as a rebuke to the climate change skepticism espoused by Mr. Trump. Francis also presented him with a medallion engraved with the image of an olive tree — “a symbol of peace,” he explained. “We can use peace,” Mr. Trump said. Francis replied, “It is with all hope that you may become an olive tree to make peace.” As he bade the pope farewell, Mr. Trump told him, “I won’t forget what you said.”

For Mr. Trump, who came here after stops in Saudi Arabia and Israel, the visit to the Vatican capped a tour of the ancestral homes of three of the world’s great monotheistic religions. For Francis, who made his own landmark visit to Egypt last month, it was a chance to welcome a second American leader, after President Barack Obama paid his respects in 2014. Unlike that meeting, few expected a meeting of the minds. Pope Francis and Mr. Trump have diametrically opposed views on issues like immigration, climate change and arms sales. Although both appeared determined not to let politics spoil their encounter, their fraught personal history and divergent personal styles made for a loaded backdrop.

In Saudi Arabia, Mr. Trump came with a $110 billion arms deal and was embraced by a royal family eager to improve relations with Washington. In Israel, he expressed America’s solidarity with a close ally and staked his claim as a peacemaker. At the Vatican and elsewhere in Europe, however, Mr. Trump has had to overcome suspicions.

SOURCE





Pocohontas names the no 1 'Threat to Int'l Peace and Security'--Climate Change

North Korea wants to nuke us; ISIS wants to kill us; Mexican drug lords want to addict us; China spies on us, Iran hates us, and Russia interferes in our elections. Those are just a few of the "global threats" outlined by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

And then there's "climate change," a prime concern of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who raised the issue with Coats at Tuesday's hearing on "global threats."

"The science is unmistakable. Human activities are releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and contributing to climate change," Warren stated.

"A Defense Department report from two years ago observed, 'Global climate change will have wide-ranging implications for U.S. national security interests over the foreseeable future because it will aggravate existing problems such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak political institutions,’ she quoted.

“In short, this DOD report describes climate change as a threat multiplier. Director Coats, do you agree?" Warren asked.

"I don't know if I would describe it as a threat multiplier," Coats responded, noting that his job is to assess the consequences of potential changes in climate as they impact migration and humanitarian issues. He said the science of climate change falls to other federal agencies.

“I think there have always, in the history of the world, been reactions to different climate changes, and this is an issue that continues,” Coats said.

Warren noted again that Defense Department has concluded that climate change exacerbates existing problems: “Do you disagree with any of that?” she asked Coats.

“No I don't disagree,” Coats responded. “I'm simply saying that I think that has been an ongoing issue -- throughout the -- throughout the ages.”

“Well, let me ask the question this way then,” Warren said. “How should we be integrating climate change risks into our national security strategy?”

Coats, haltingly, said: "We should be assessing … the consequences of changes that are relevant to security issues. That should be part of the assessment, and it is.”

“Well,” said a frustrated Warren, “climate change is clearly a threat to international peace and security, and I just think it's critically important that we take this seriously and we adapt accordingly.”

SOURCE





WH Budget Director: Obama Administration Spent Too Much on Climate Change 'and Not Very Efficiently'

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Tuesday that the previous administration spent too much money on climate change in the past "and not very efficiently."

"Can you characterize the treatment of climate science programs and cuts to those? And do you describe those as a taxpayer waste, if you do not cut them?" a reporter asked Mulvaney.

"You tell me. I think the National Science Foundation last year used your taxpayer money to fund a climate change musical. Do you think that's a waste of your money?" Mulvaney asked.

"What about climate science?" the reporter asked.

"I'll take that as a yes, by the way," Mulvaney said. "So you see my point. What I think you saw happened during the previous administration is the pendulum went too far to one side, where we were spending too much of your money on climate change and not very efficiently."

Mulvaney said while the budget doesn't get rid of programs that focus on climate change, it does target them.

"We don’t get rid of it here. Do we target it? Sure," he said.

"Do a lot of the EPA reductions aimed at reducing the focus on climate science? Yes. Does it meant that we are anti-science? Absolutely not. We're simply trying to get things back in order to where we can look at the folks who pay the taxes, and say, look, yeah, we want to do some climate science, but we're not going to do some of the crazy stuff the previous administration did," Mulvaney said.

SOURCE




Are Microbiologists Climate-Denying Science Haters?

Recently, I gave a seminar on "fake news" to professors and grad students at a large public university. Early in my talk, I polled the audience: "How many of you believe climate change is the world's #1 threat?"

Silence. Not a single person raised his or her hand.

Was I speaking in front of a group of science deniers? The College Republicans? Some fringe libertarian club? No, it was a room full of microbiologists.

How could so many incredibly intelligent people overwhelmingly reject what THE SCIENCE says about climate change? Well, they don't. They just don't see it as big of a threat to the world as other things. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of them felt that antibiotic resistance and pandemic disease were the biggest global threats. One person thought geopolitical instability was the biggest concern.

I told them that I believed poverty was the world's biggest threat. The reason is poverty is the underlying condition that causes so much misery in the world. Consider that 1.3 billion people don't have electricity. And then consider how the lack of that basic necessity -- what the rest of us take completely for granted -- hinders their ability to develop economically and to succeed, let alone to have access to adequate healthcare. If we fix poverty, we could stop easily preventable health problems, such as infectious disease and malnutrition.

Was I booed out of the room? No, the audience understood why I believed what I did. But woe unto you who try to have a similar conversation with climate warriors.

Conservative columnist Bret Stephens, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, landed a new gig at the New York Times. His very first column, "Climate of Complete Certainty," caused much weeping and gnashing of teeth. And probably the rending of garments. What did he say that caused so much outrage?

In a nutshell, his thesis was that certainty often backfires. He used the Hillary Clinton campaign as an example; in his view, certainty of victory was one factor in her defeat. Next, Mr. Stephens drew an analogy with climate science, worrying that the certainty expressed by the most vocal proponents of major climate policy reforms are speaking with a sense of certainty that is not well-founded. He warned against taking imperfect models too seriously and the dangers of hyperbolic doom-mongering.

It often irks me when political commentators write about science, usually because they haven't the foggiest clue what they're talking about. But Mr. Stephens' article used reasonable and cautious language, and to my knowledge, he didn't write anything that was factually incorrect. He simply concluded, as I myself have, that doomsday prophesying is wrong -- and even if it was right, it convinces few people, anyway. (Do the antics of the Westboro Baptist Church change anyone's mind?)

Yet, the reaction was swift and entirely predictable. Vox, whose stated mission is to "explain the news," called Mr. Stephens a "bullshitter." GQ ran the headline, "Bret Stephens Is Why Liberals Have Every Right to Be Dicks." And Wikipedia (whose founder is going to try to solve the problem of fake news) labeled him a "contrarian."

All that because Mr. Stephens warned against speaking hyperbolically. The concept of irony appears to be lost on his critics.

Can Smart People Disagree About the Threat of Climate Change?

What so many in the media (and apparently the climate science community) fail to understand is that people have different values and priorities. Foreign policy analysts are terrified of North Korea. Economists fear Brexit and a Eurozone collapse. Geologists, especially those in the Pacific Northwest, fear a huge earthquake. Experts across the spectrum perceive threats differently, usually magnifying those with which they are most familiar.

That means smart people can accept a common core of facts (such as the reality of anthropogenic global warming) without agreeing on a policy response.

Yet instead of being a place to debate a policy response for complex science issues, the media have chosen to be an extension of the militant Twitterverse. Even if you are just discussing courses of action, you are not allowed to deviate from climate orthodoxy lest you be labeled a science-denying heretic.

Perhaps journalists should spend more time talking to microbiologists.

SOURCE

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

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

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Thursday, May 25, 2017



Woof! Peer review in action



MOVE aside quokkas and black swans, Perth is now home to the world’s smartest dog, at least on paper.

Local “academic” Dr Olivia Doll — also known as Staffordshire terrier Ollie — sits on the editorial boards of seven international medical journals and has just been asked to review a research paper on the management of tumours.

Her impressive curriculum vitae lists her current role as senior lecturer at the Subiaco College of Veterinary Science and past associate of the Shenton Park Institute for Canine Refuge Studies — which is code for her earlier life in the dog refuge.

Ollie’s owner, veteran public health expert Mike Daube, decided to test how carefully some journals scrutinised their editorial reviewers, by inventing Dr Doll and making up her credentials.

The five-year-old pooch has managed to dupe a range of publications specialising in drug abuse, psychiatry and respiratory medicine into appointing her to their editorial boards.

Dr Doll has even been fast-tracked to the position of associate editor of the Global Journal of Addiction and Rehabilitation Medicine.

Several journals have published on their websites a supplied photo of Dr Doll, which is actually of a bespectacled Kylie Minogue.

Professor Daube said none of them smelt a rat, despite Dr Doll’s listed research interests in “the benefits of abdominal massage for medium-sized canines” and “the role of domestic canines in promoting optimal mental health in ageing males”.

Today Ollie is being featured in a more reputable publication, the Medical Journal of Australia’s Insight magazine, which is looking at the surge in journals which charge desperate would-be researchers up to $3000 to get their studies published.

“While this started as something lighthearted, I think it is important to expose shams of this kind which prey on the gullible, especially young or naive academics and those from developing countries,” Professor Daube said.

He said the authors would be gutted to know their papers were being reviewed by a dog, who often needed to be offered a treat before she dragged herself in front of the laptop. “It gives all researchers paws for thought,” Professor Daube said.

Dr Doll refused to comment unless she was taken for walkies.

SOURCE




Senator Rand Paul: Say Au Revoir to Paris Climate Agreement

The federal government should be beholden to one authority and one authority alone—our Constitution—and not some U.N. bureaucrats.

It is my duty as a senator to uphold and defend the Constitution. One of my most important responsibilities in this role is to provide advice and consent on treaties, a check and balance on the Executive Branch. It gives us the opportunity to make sure the deals we’re signing up for are good for all Americans.

President Obama wanted to cement his legacy of environmentalism through the Paris Agreement on climate change. Obama also knew the Senate would never ratify the agreement, so he deliberately labeled it as an “executive agreement” to avoid the ratification process and unilaterally pledged the support of the United States with the stroke of a pen.

So what did Obama sign us up for in exchange for maybe reducing global temperature by 0.2°C by 2100? Experts predict that by 2040, the agreement could cost us 6.5 million lost jobs—a number significantly larger than the entire population of Kentucky. It will cost us $3 trillion in lost GDP. For each household, the average annual lost income could be as high as $4,900.

These numbers are jaw dropping. Why can’t we work toward a future that protects both our environment and our jobs? Why did the past administration always force the latter to be a martyr for the former?

Thankfully, President Trump has the opportunity to reverse course on Obama’s mistake.

President Trump has delivered on almost all of his promises to have an America First energy plan. He has directed the EPA to suspend, revise, and rescind certain actions related to the Clean Power Plan. He has removed regulatory roadblocks to American energy independence, including signing the resolution Congress sent him to repeal the Stream Buffer rule. He has also instructed agencies to review existing administrative policies harming domestic energy production.

But there’s one missing piece to being truly America First, something President Trump promised on the campaign trail. He promised he would cancel the Paris Agreement as president. Can we really have an America First energy plan if we are needing to seek the endorsement of the U.N. as we make determinations about our country’s environmental and energy policies? The federal government should be beholden to one authority and one authority alone—our Constitution—and not some U.N. bureaucrats.

I ran for Senate to protect Kentucky jobs and restore the Kentucky coal industry from regulatory overreach. I stood right behind President Trump as he signed the bill I cosponsored to repeal the Stream Buffer rule.

I previously introduced a resolution requiring the Paris Agreement to be considered a treaty needing the Senate’s advice and consent. I am keeping my word to Kentuckians.

That is why I introduced a resolution Monday, with a companion resolution cosponsored by Congressman Andy Barr, calling on President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, an agreement which experts believe will not actually solve the environmental issues it was intended to address.

We founded our country on a system of checks and balances, and no president should have the unilateral authority to make such significant international commitments without input from Congress.

I look forward to President Trump following through on his promise to exit this agreement.

SOURCE




European Nations Set To Wipe Out Forests To Cheat On CO2 Emissions

It looks like greenwash.  European nations publicly keen to boost their climate credentials by switching to “green” biomass are accused of working behind the scenes to expunge their carbon emissions from burning wood in power stations from national emissions statistics.

“If we don’t measure emissions when trees are cut, we won’t measure them at all,” says Hannah Mowat of FERN, a European NGO working to save the continent’s forests, who has followed the EU negotiations on the issue.

Under international climate treaties such as the Paris Agreement, burning biomass like wood is defined as carbon-neutral, even though it emits as least as much carbon as fossil fuels. The assumption is that new trees will be grown to take up the carbon emitted from the burning.

If countries reduce their forest cover – as a result of harvesting trees for biomass burning or anything else – the carbon loss should show up in national statistics under a complex accounting process known as LULUCF, for Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry.

But measuring carbon stocks on the land and in forests is an inexact science, and critics say the LULUCF rules are wide open to accounting errors.

On 19 June, European environment ministers will set their own rules for LULUCF carbon accounting. How they do this will play an important role in Europe meeting its emissions targets under the Paris Agreement.

But Mowat says that countries with plans to replace coal and nuclear fuel burning with wood are lobbying for rules that will obscure likely resulting emissions.

“France, Austria, Sweden and Finland are fighting tooth and nail to weaken the EU’s rules,” Mowat told New Scientist. “This is because they all plan to significantly increase the amount of trees they cut in the next decade: Finland will increase harvesting by 25 per cent and France by 20 per cent, and they don’t want to count the emissions.”

Government data show that France plans to increase timber harvesting by 12 million cubic metres by 2026.  Finland plans a 15 million cubic metre increase, almost entirely for burning more wood in power stations.

Fewer trees will mean less carbon being soaked up from the atmosphere, too.

Mowat estimates that the reduction in the EU’s total forest carbon sink between now and 2030 is equivalent to the emissions of 100 million cars.

SOURCE




Trump's budget proposal 'savages' climate research, scientists say

Scientists poring over President Trump's proposed 2018 federal budget say it guts funding for climate science.

Under the proposal, the three federal agencies that perform the bulk of that research face dramatic cuts.

David Doniger of the Natural Resources Defense Council said the budget "savages" the agencies' programs, noting dramatic slashes in funding at NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the proposal would "stall out U.S. technological innovation and scientific research, and the country’s capabilities to respond to extreme weather and national security threats."

NASA's Earth science mission faces cuts of 8.7%, according to Chris McEntee, executive director of the American Geophysical Union. Overall, there is a 45% cut in research in the EPA budget, the NRDC said. And NOAA faces a 16% reduction. Cuts were also proposed to the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of Energy.

Trump's Office of Management and Budget defended the cuts at a media briefing in Washington, D.C., Tuesday morning: “What I think you saw happen during the previous administration is the pendulum went too far to one side, where we’re spending too much of your money on climate change and not very efficiently," said OMB director Mick Mulvaney.

"We don’t get rid of it here," he said. "Do we target it? Sure. Do a lot of the EPA reductions aim at reducing the focus on climate science? Yes. Does it mean that we are anti-science? Absolutely not. We simply try to get things back in order so we can look at the folks who pay the taxes and say: ‘look, yeah we want to do some climate science but we’re not going to do some of the crazy stuff the previous administration did.' ”

Both Republicans and Democrats have raised concerns about various parts of the budget plan and have indicated they are not using the president’s request as the starting point for drafting a spending bill for next year.

The elimination of five NASA Earth science space missions "were not identified as high priority," according to the budget. Those missions have yielded safeguards to avoid eating toxic shellfish, reduce aviation disruptions and take precautions for unhealthy air quality, to name a few, the Union of Concerned Scientists said. NASA has instructions to "stop looking at Earth and only focus on other planets," Doniger said.

But Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot disputed the characterization that the space agency was abandoning the mission.

"This budget still includes significant Earth Science efforts, including 18 Earth observing missions in space as well as airborne missions," he said in a prepared speech to NASA employees.

The EPA's program that reports on greenhouse gas levels drops from $95.3 million to $13.6 million, according to the budget. Carbon dioxide and methane are greenhouse gases that are most responsible for global warming.

“This is a budget declaring war on climate change," said Elgie Holstein of the Environmental Defense Fund. "It’s not a particular surprise though it’s deeply disappointing and (with rollback of Clean Power Plan) an abdication of American leadership on climate."

In addition to its 16% overall reduction, NOAA faces deeper cuts to climate and other research programs, McEntee said. The agency provides weather and climate data that protects more than half of all American who live along the coasts, over 2.8 million jobs in ocean reliant industries and coastal property valued in excess of $10 trillion.

"We are concerned that the administration's proposed cuts to research into the Earth system sciences will undermine the continued scientific progress that is so vitally needed to better protect the nation in the future from costly natural disasters," the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) said in a statement.

Last year, the nation endured a whopping 15 separate disasters that each cost at least $1 billion in damages, including tornadoes, drought, and widespread flooding, UCAR said.

Enacting the budget would bring serious repercussions for the U.S. economy and national security and to the ability to protect life and property, UCAR said. "Such funding cuts would be especially unfortunate at a time when the nation is moving to regain its position as the world leader in weather forecasting."

McIntee said: "The President’s FY18 proposal instead charts a course of destructive under-funding for scientific agencies that stimulate the economy, protect public safety, and keep our nation safe and secure."

SOURCE




New maps show the risk of sea level rises to Australian cities

Another Greenie prophecy that will fail like all others before it

SAY sayonara to Sydney airport, farewell to Fremantle and bye to Byron Bay.

A series of maps has graphically illustrated how Australia could be affected by climate change and rising sea levels. And it looks like many of our major towns and cities could be getting a lot soggier.

Hobart Airport would be underwater, Melbourne’s Southbank submerged and the WACA in Perth would be inundated.

Famous sea side resorts like Byron Bay, Port Douglas, Noosa and the Gold Coast are in danger of seeing the sea get a whole lot closer for comfort.

A climate expert has said rising sea levels globally could displace “tens of millions of people”.

The new maps come from Costal Risk Australia run by Western Australia business management consultants NGIS. The data is fished from the US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA to show which areas will be at risk from a “business as usual” scenario of a 2 metre sea-level rise by 2100.

Just by putting in your suburb name into the Coastal Risk Australia, you can see if you area is at risk of flooding.

Website co-creator Nathan Eaton said that with more than 80 per cent of Australians living near the coast, it was critical for people to appreciate what rising sea levels in the decades to come could mean for their communities.

However, in some areas its likely even a 2 metre sea rise will be surpassed. Climate scientists have pointed to parts of northern and Western Australia where rises could be higher.

The Torres Strait Islands have experienced regular king tides, an area which rarely got any of the monster tides in the past.

Professor John Church from the University of NSW’S Climate Change Research Centre said flooding to the measure forecast would cause catastrophic problems for many Australians.

“With business as usual emissions, the questions are when, rather than if, we will cross a 2 metre sea level rise,” he told Fairfax. “This scenario would result in major catastrophes and displace many tens of millions of people around the world.”

One of the worst affected areas would be Cairns with vast tracts of the city’s CBD and suburbs at risk from rising sea levels.

But Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said he wasn’t going to lose any sleep over the maps. He said claims Cairns could be under the ocean by the end of the century were “outlandish”.

“I’m someone who takes environmental issues very seriously,” he told the Cairns Post. “But if we’re going to run around every day because some group comes up with some wild or outlandish or extreme prognosis — and we don’t have any verification on it — then we’ll just spend the next so many years going crazy.”

He said the decisions made by the council were based on the “best scientific evidence we’ve got” and that the city worked with the Local Government Association of Queensland’s sea-level adaptation unit.

Earlier this month, climate scientists at the University of Melbourne warned an agreement reached in Paris to hold global average temperatures rise to under 2C above pre industrial levels would inevitably fail.

Last week, US researchers said sea levels driven by global warming were on track to dramatically boost the frequency of coastal flooding worldwide by mid-century, especially in tropical regions.

A 10 -20cm jump in the global ocean watermark by 2050 — a conservative forecast — would double flood risk in high-latitude regions, they reported in the journal Scientific Reports.

Major centres such as Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, along with the European Atlantic coast, would be highly exposed, they found.

But it would only take half as big a jump in ocean levels to double the number of serious flooding incidents in the tropics, including along highly populated river deltas in Asia and Africa.

Even at the low end of this sea rise spectrum, Mumbai, Kochi and Abidjan and many other cities would be significantly affected.

“We are 95 per cent confident that an added 5 — 10 centimetres will more than double the frequency of flooding in the tropics,” lead author Sean Vitousek, a climate scientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, told AFP.

SOURCE

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017



Even the Antarctic peninsula is cooling

The Antarctic peninsula is the most Northerly part of Antarctica so by reason of that alone is the warmest part of Antarctica. Additionally, it is known to have a degree of subsurface vulcanism, which warms bits of it even more, so it is the part of Antarctica that Greenies normally talk about.  A glacier breaking off or splitting there gives them erections.  But glacial ice is always splitting off somewhere so what they see proves nothing.  I put up something about peninsula glaciers yesterday.

Implicitly, they tend to generalize a slightly warmer area of the peninsula to Antarctica as a whole and regard what they observe as proof of global warming.  It has long been known however that Antarctica as a whole is cooling so that claim is just the usual Warmist dishonesty.

The article below, however, rubs salt into the wound.  Not only are a few bits of the Antarctic peninsula not typical of the Antarctic, they are not even typical of the Antarctic peninsula.  The peninsula overall is cooling too!


Recent regional climate cooling on the Antarctic Peninsula and associated impacts on the cryosphere

M. Oliva et al.

Abstract

The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is often described as a region with one of the largest warming trends on Earth since the 1950s, based on the temperature trend of 0.54 °C/decade during 1951–2011 recorded at Faraday/Vernadsky station. Accordingly, most works describing the evolution of the natural systems in the AP region cite this extreme trend as the underlying cause of their observed changes. However, a recent analysis (Turner et al., 2016) has shown that the regionally stacked temperature record for the last three decades has shifted from a warming trend of 0.32 °C/decade during 1979–1997 to a cooling trend of − 0.47 °C/decade during 1999–2014. While that study focuses on the period 1979–2014, averaging the data over the entire AP region, we here update and re-assess the spatially-distributed temperature trends and inter-decadal variability from 1950 to 2015, using data from ten stations distributed across the AP region. We show that Faraday/Vernadsky warming trend is an extreme case, circa twice those of the long-term records from other parts of the northern AP. Our results also indicate that the cooling initiated in 1998/1999 has been most significant in the N and NE of the AP and the South Shetland Islands (> 0.5 °C between the two last decades), modest in the Orkney Islands, and absent in the SW of the AP. This recent cooling has already impacted the cryosphere in the northern AP, including slow-down of glacier recession, a shift to surface mass gains of the peripheral glacier and a thinning of the active layer of permafrost in northern AP islands.

Science of The Total Environment. Volume 580, 15 February 2017, Pages 210–223



Temperature hasn't risen in 20 years: latest data

Recently published data from independent meteorologists Dr Ryan Maue of WeatherBELL Analytics and Dr Roy Spencer show that global temperatures have fallen back to about the levels of 20 years ago.

The two scientists use different data sources – one terrestrial, the other from satellites – so the convergence of their findings is particularly significant.

WeatherBELL is a commercial forecaster using land-based climate data, and specialises in providing long and short-term forecasts for the agriculture, energy, hydrology, retail and aviation industries. It has its own computer models, but also accesses information from both the American NOAA and Britain’s Met Office.

According to Dr Maue, global temperatures dropped 0.5 degrees Celsius in April. In the northern hemisphere they plunged a massive one degree. The Global Warming Policy Foundation commented: “As the record 2015–16 El Niño levels off, the global-warming hiatus is back with a vengeance.”

Dr Maue said the fall in temperatures (in degrees Celsius) over the past year are seen in the following variations from the 1981–2010 average:

March 2016     +0.673
April 2016       +0.557
March 2017     +0.558
April 2017       +0.375

The explanation of the temperature pause since 1998 – which contradicts the computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – has been the subject of widespread discussion in academic journals, including the American Geophysical Union journal, Geophysical Research Letters, as well as Climate Dynamics, and the Scientific Report of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. All agree that temperature rises have stalled, but there is no consensus on the cause.

Dr Roy Spencer publishes every month the average global temperature derived from satellite observations. Since 1979, satellites have been sending back to earth data on the temperature of the lower atmosphere, and this data is published by the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH) and on Dr Spencer’s website.

The satellite data indicates that average temperatures in April 2017 were 0.27 degrees above the 30-year average from 1981–2010. In the previous month, the data showed that the temperature was just 0.19 degrees above the 30-year average. The IPCC had forecast temperature variations five to 10 times as large.

The UAH chart for the entire period shows that in the 1990s, temperatures remained relatively steady until the large El Niño of 1997–98, and then oscillated around a new higher level until the El Niño of 2015–06, when it rose again, before falling back towards the 30-year average.

Another recent source of climate alarm has been the appearance of a large crack on the Larsen C ice-shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula, which stretches up towards the tip of South America (News Weekly, March 11, 2017).

The ice-shelf is fed by several glaciers, which flow into the sea.

The splitting off of ice-shelves is an entirely natural phenomenon, and is the cause of icebergs, which are common around Antarctica and, historically, have been observed as far north as New Zealand’s South Island. The most recent media report of icebergs being seen off the coast of New Zealand was in 2016. Previously, they had been reported in 2009 and 2006.

Calving of the Larsen C ice-shelf would be the largest recent iceberg to break off from Antarctica, prompting claims that it is caused by global warming or “climate change”.

However, the overall area of sea ice around Antarctica is close to normal for this time of year, and recent research indicates that temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula have fallen slightly in recent decades.

Dr Marc Oliva from the Centre for Geographical Studies at the University of Lisbon, with others wrote a recent paper, “Recent regional climate cooling on the Antarctic Peninsula and associated impacts on the cryosphere”, which was published in last February’s issue of Science of the Total Environment.

They looked at the temperature record on the Antarctic Peninsula from 1951 to 2011, using data from 10 weather stations dotted around the peninsula.

Earlier conclusions of warming of Antarctica had been based on the recorded weather at just one station, the Faraday/Vernadsky station, where temperatures had risen by 0.54 degrees per decade, one of the largest warming trends on earth since the 1950s.

“Accordingly, most works describing the evolution of the natural systems in the [Antarctic Peninsula] region cite this extreme trend as the underlying cause of their observed changes.”

However, when data from all 10 stations is considered, a very different picture emerges.

It shows that a more moderate warming trend of 0.32 degrees per decade from 1979–97 was succeeded by a cooling trend of -0.47 degrees per decade in the period 1999–2014.

The figures also show that the most pronounced cooling occurred in the north and northeast of the peninsula, where it lies adjacent to Cape Horn and South America.

The new data contradicts the repeated claims of the IPCC that global warming is causing irrevocable damage to the Antarctic continent.

SOURCE




This green and poisoned land: British river is devastated by toxic tsunami of sludge from a 'green' energy plant receiving thousands in subsidies from the taxpayer

You would struggle to find a lovelier view anywhere than that from Pencefn, a hilltop farm near Tregaron in mid-Wales.

Lush meadows with sheep grazing peacefully roll down towards the valley of the Teifi, renowned for its salmon and sea trout. Close by are the Cambrian Mountains, where the river begins its journey at the limpid Teifi Pools.

But dwarfing the main farm are the towers and tanks of an anaerobic digester. The Government-subsidised 'green guzzler' turns animal excrement, human food waste and specially grown rye into methane gas, which is burnt in a generator to make supposedly environmentally friendly electricity for the National Grid.

Last December, just a few months after it was built, the digester triggered an ecological catastrophe. Unnoticed by the farm's owners, brothers Jim and William Lloyd, a pipe from a storage vat sprang a leak.

Thousands of gallons of black, toxic slime began sliding slowly downhill across those verdant meadows to a nearby stream – a tributary of the Teifi. The result was a poisonous 'tsunami', a flood of putrid sludge that flowed down the stream and into the river for hours. The consequences were devastating, and are likely to last many years.

This week, an investigation by this newspaper has revealed:

I According to local experts, the effects of the spill are so deadly, the river may take years to recover, so ruining the local economy;

l At least 1,000 mature trout and salmon were found dead immediately, but the full toll will be many times higher;

l Poison levels in an eight-mile stretch of the Teifi were so high almost no living things survived;

l The fly-fishing season should be in full swing this month but long stretches of the river are devoid of anglers;

l Lavish Government 'green' levies on fuel bills mean Pencefn's owners – despite being the source of the deadly leak – will continue to reap tens of thousands of pounds in subsidies, while also paying nothing for their own electricity;

l Despite this generous Government support, no official agency checked the plant's design or safety systems before it was built, or monitored its operation;

l The ultimate cause of the leak was shoddily installed plastic pipework – and both firms responsible have now gone into liquidation;

l Although the Pencefn leak is at least the 20th 'serious pollution incident' caused by an anaerobic digester since the beginning of 2015, scores of new ones are being planned across the country – some of the biggest by 'green' tycoon and former 'new age traveller' Dale Vince of Ecotricity, who advises Labour on its energy policy.

The impact of the Teifi spill soon became apparent. Late on Saturday, December 17, locals noticed the river was covered with a foul-smelling, bubbly slick below the town of Tregaron.

Because it was dark, it was not until the following morning that the source was located at the stream flowing down from Pencefn. Local fishing guide Steffan Jones walked the riverbank shortly after. Dead fish were everywhere.

At the confluence with the Pencefn stream he said he could 'clearly see the stain of the effluent about five feet above the river level. The stain had discoloured the bank all the way down to the water. I walked the whole stretch of the contamination – seven or eight miles – and the scale of this disaster was horrifying. It wiped out every living thing in the river for eight miles'.

The slick moved downstream at 5mph, contaminating everything in its path. Residents say that at Llandysul, the most popular angling centre on the Teifi, 30 miles below Tregaron, the river still stank.

Dr Ian Thomas, president of the Llandysul Angling Association, said the timing made matters worse. Mid-December is the peak of the winter spawning season, when salmon and sea trout swim from the ocean to lay eggs in the same pools and eddies where they were spawned. Both the fish and eggs they had laid were poisoned.

'The whole river has been affected, from the estuary to the headwaters,' said Dr Thomas.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW), which deals with pollution, said after the spill it had counted 1,000 mature dead fish. But Dr Thomas said there were many more.

Freshwater biologist Frank Jones said: 'There is still no final estimate from NRW of the total number of fish killed, but it will be a very big figure. Many of the sea trout had not yet spawned, and because they spawn several times in their lifespan this will have a big impact on future generations.

It could be years before they recover.' He said the fish population, especially salmon, had already been declining because of earlier slurry spills into the river. 'Slurry is stored in vast artificial lagoons, many of them well beyond their sell-by date. Sometimes they overflow and the slurry goes into the river.'

Other anaerobic digester leaks have been almost as damaging. In December, the MoS revealed the case of Crouchland Biogas in West Sussex, which has received millions in subsidy yet has operated without planning permission since 2013. It sprang two huge leaks within a year, wrecking the neighbouring farmer's rare-breed sheep and cattle business.

Yet Mr Vince and Ecotricity – who are not connected to Crouchland Biogas – are pressing ahead with the first of many huge anaerobic digesters it wants to build at Sparsholt Agricultural College in Hampshire.

NRW said that it could not comment because its investigation is continuing.

SOURCE





China Claims Methane Hydrates Breakthrough May Lead To Global Energy Revolution

China is talking up its achievement of mining flammable ice for the first time from underneath the South China Sea.

Estimates of the South China Sea’s methane hydrate potential now range as high as 150 billion cubic meters of natural gas equivalent. That’s sufficient to satisfy China’s entire equivalent oil consumption for 50 years.

The fuel-hungry country has been pursuing the energy source, located at the bottom of oceans and in polar regions, for nearly two decades. China’s minister of land and resources, Jiang Daming, said Thursday that the successful collection of the frozen fuel was “a major breakthrough that may lead to a global energy revolution,” according to state media.

Experts agree that flammable ice could be a game changer for the energy industry, similar to the U.S. shale boom. But they caution that big barriers — both technological and environmental — need to be cleared to build an industry around the frozen fuel, which is also known as gas hydrate.

China, the world’s largest energy consumer, isn’t the first country to make headway with flammable ice. Japan drilled into it in the Pacific and extracted gas in 2013 — and then did so again earlier this month. The U.S. government has its own long-running research program into the fuel.

The world’s resources of flammable ice — in which gas is stored in cages of water molecules — are vast. Gas hydrates are estimated to hold more carbon than all the world’s other fossil fuels combined, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

And it’s densely packed: one cubic foot of flammable ice holds 164 cubic feet of regular natural gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua says that makes the fuel a strong contender to replace regular oil and natural gas. But like any fossil fuel, flammable ice raises significant environmental concerns.

Experts worry about the release of methane, a superpotent greenhouse gas with 25 times as much global warming potential as carbon dioxide. And although burning natural gas is cleaner than coal, it still creates carbon emissions.
The fuel source has a lot of potential in China, analysts at Morgan Stanley said Thursday, citing the country’s successful trial and government support to develop the industry.

But commercial production is unlikely in the next three years due to high costs, potential environmental concerns and technological barriers, the analysts said in a research note.

“If there is a real breakthrough,” they wrote, “it could be as significant as the shale revolution in the United States. Under such a bull case scenario, we’d expect a significant increase in offshore exploration and production activities.”

SOURCE



Wind turbines are neither clean nor green and they provide zero global energy

We urgently need to stop the ecological posturing and invest in gas and nuclear

Viscount Ridley

The Global Wind Energy Council recently released its latest report, excitedly boasting that ‘the proliferation of wind energy into the global power market continues at a furious pace, after it was revealed that more than 54 gigawatts of clean renewable wind power was installed across the global market last year’.

You may have got the impression from announcements like that, and from the obligatory pictures of wind turbines in any BBC story or airport advert about energy, that wind power is making a big contribution to world energy today. You would be wrong. Its contribution is still, after decades — nay centuries — of development, trivial to the point of irrelevance.

Here’s a quiz; no conferring. To the nearest whole number, what percentage of the world’s energy consumption was supplied by wind power in 2014, the last year for which there are reliable figures? Was it 20 per cent, 10 per cent or 5 per cent? None of the above: it was 0 per cent. That is to say, to the nearest whole number, there is still no wind power on Earth.

Even put together, wind and photovoltaic solar are supplying less than 1 per cent of global energy demand. From the International Energy Agency’s 2016 Key Renewables Trends, we can see that wind provided 0.46 per cent of global energy consumption in 2014, and solar and tide combined provided 0.35 per cent. Remember this is total energy, not just electricity, which is less than a fifth of all final energy, the rest being the solid, gaseous, and liquid fuels that do the heavy lifting for heat, transport and industry.

Such numbers are not hard to find, but they don’t figure prominently in reports on energy derived from the unreliables lobby (solar and wind). Their trick is to hide behind the statement that close to 14 per cent of the world’s energy is renewable, with the implication that this is wind and solar. In fact the vast majority — three quarters — is biomass (mainly wood), and a very large part of that is ‘traditional biomass’; sticks and logs and dung burned by the poor in their homes to cook with. Those people need that energy, but they pay a big price in health problems caused by smoke inhalation.

Even in rich countries playing with subsidised wind and solar, a huge slug of their renewable energy comes from wood and hydro, the reliable renewables. Meanwhile, world energy demand has been growing at about 2 per cent a year for nearly 40 years. Between 2013 and 2014, again using International Energy Agency data, it grew by just under 2,000 terawatt-hours.

If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000, since a two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum. That’s one-and-a-half times as many as have been built in the world since governments started pouring consumer funds into this so-called industry in the early 2000s.

At a density of, very roughly, 50 acres per megawatt, typical for wind farms, that many turbines would require a land area greater than the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year. If we kept this up for 50 years, we would have covered every square mile of a land area the size of Russia with wind farms. Remember, this would be just to fulfil the new demand for energy, not to displace the vast existing supply of energy from fossil fuels, which currently supply 80 per cent of global energy needs.

Do not take refuge in the idea that wind turbines could become more efficient. There is a limit to how much energy you can extract from a moving fluid, the Betz limit, and wind turbines are already close to it. Their effectiveness (the load factor, to use the engineering term) is determined by the wind that is available, and that varies at its own sweet will from second to second, day to day, year to year.

As machines, wind turbines are pretty good already; the problem is the wind resource itself, and we cannot change that. It’s a fluctuating stream of low–density energy. Mankind stopped using it for mission-critical transport and mechanical power long ago, for sound reasons. It’s just not very good.

As for resource consumption and environmental impacts, the direct effects of wind turbines — killing birds and bats, sinking concrete foundations deep into wild lands — is bad enough. But out of sight and out of mind is the dirty pollution generated in Inner Mongolia by the mining of rare-earth metals for the magnets in the turbines. This generates toxic and radioactive waste on an epic scale, which is why the phrase ‘clean energy’ is such a sick joke and ministers should be ashamed every time it passes their lips.

It gets worse. Wind turbines, apart from the fibreglass blades, are made mostly of steel, with concrete bases. They need about 200 times as much material per unit of capacity as a modern combined cycle gas turbine. Steel is made with coal, not just to provide the heat for smelting ore, but to supply the carbon in the alloy. Cement is also often made using coal. The machinery of ‘clean’ renewables is the output of the fossil fuel economy, and largely the coal economy.

A two-megawatt wind turbine weighs about 250 tonnes, including the tower, nacelle, rotor and blades. Globally, it takes about half a tonne of coal to make a tonne of steel. Add another 25 tonnes of coal for making the cement and you’re talking 150 tonnes of coal per turbine. Now if we are to build 350,000 wind turbines a year (or a smaller number of bigger ones), just to keep up with increasing energy demand, that will require 50 million tonnes of coal a year. That’s about half the EU’s hard coal–mining output.

Forgive me if you have heard this before, but I have a commercial interest in coal. Now it appears that the black stuff also gives me a commercial interest in ‘clean’, green wind power.

The point of running through these numbers is to demonstrate that it is utterly futile, on a priori grounds, even to think that wind power can make any significant contribution to world energy supply, let alone to emissions reductions, without ruining the planet. As the late David MacKay pointed out years back, the arithmetic is against such unreliable renewables.

The truth is, if you want to power civilisation with fewer greenhouse gas emissions, then you should focus on shifting power generation, heat and transport to natural gas, the economically recoverable reserves of which — thanks to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — are much more abundant than we dreamed they ever could be. It is also the lowest-emitting of the fossil fuels, so the emissions intensity of our wealth creation can actually fall while our wealth continues to increase. Good.

And let’s put some of that burgeoning wealth in nuclear, fission and fusion, so that it can take over from gas in the second half of this century. That is an engineerable, clean future. Everything else is a political displacement activity, one that is actually counterproductive as a climate policy and, worst of all, shamefully robs the poor to make the rich even richer

SOURCE

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

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

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017



Another Greenie false prophecy:  Cocoa

The price of chocolate was bound to soar as climate change reduced the cocoa crop, was the wisdom of a few years ago.  An example here. I   rubbished the scare at the time so I am pleased that the latest reports tell of a cocoa GLUT, not a shortage. It's so easy being right when you are contradicting Greenies.  They don't understand and don't care about how the real world works so are always getting it wrong


The supply of cocoa is extremely concentrated. According to data from Euromonitor International, Ivory Coast alone accounts for more than 40pc of global production, while a further 20pc comes from nearby Ghana, which said last month that it had lost out on almost $1bn (£768m) in export earnings due to the fall in prices.

Ivory Coast was named the fastest growing economy in Africa by the IMF in April 2016. How things change. Two weeks ago, the price of cocoa was $1,780 per tonne, its lowest in almost a decade and 45pc lower than in June last year.

Even now, after a minor rally due to political instability caused by last weekend’s mutiny, it is trading at around $2,058 per tonne, still down more than 36pc compared with the prices from less than a year ago.

A convergence of factors have combined to wreak havoc on these still-developing markets.

The first is demand. “For years we were working with a scenario of low supply and high and fast-growing demand, particularly in the new markets of China and India,” says Kristy Leissle, a cocoa marketer for the Twin and Twin trading company and a lecturer on the global chocolate industry at the University of Washington Bothell.

Now, however, that demand is failing to meet expectations. There are similar problems in the mature western markets, too, where a growing trend of health consciousness and anti-sugar lobbying means demand in the West is starting to plateau.

The situation is exacerbated by a more pressing issue, though: massive oversupply. Around 4 million tonnes of cocoa are produced each year, yet this year’s surplus is expected to come in at between 350,000 tonnes and 400,000 tonnes, around 10pc of production.

It marks a dramatic shift from recent years, where the price of cocoa shot up due to fears over the Ebola crisis and then the strongest El Niño, the weather phenomenon that takes place when ocean temperatures rise in the eastern Pacific, in almost two decades.

“El Niño weather tends to be detrimental to the production of cocoa so we had less cocoa produced than we might have done, leading to high prices” says Jonathan Parkman, co-head of agriculture at Marex Spectron, one of the world’s biggest brokers of cocoa.

“This year we have had much better weather, the crops have recovered, but demand has not yet recovered because the fall in prices is yet to feed through to the consumer.”

So what the farmers in West Africa are left with is essentially the worst-case scenario: abundant supply and poor demand.

SOURCE




Antarctic Peninsula ice more stable than previously thought

Glacier flow at the southern Antarctic Peninsula has increased since the 1990s, but a new study has found the change to be only a third of what was recently reported.

An international team of researchers, led by the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds, is the first to map the change in ice speed. The team collated measurements recorded by five different satellites to track changes in the speed of more than 30 glaciers since 1992.

The findings, published today in Geophysical Research Letters, represent the first detailed assessment of changing glacier flow in Western Palmer Land — the southwestern corner of the Antarctic Peninsula.

The new Leeds-led research calls into question a recent study from the University of Bristol that reported a 45 cubic kilometres per year increase in ice loss from the sector. The Leeds research found the increase to be three times smaller.

Lead author Dr Anna Hogg, from Leeds’ School of Earth and Environment, said: “Dramatic changes have been reported in this part of Antarctica, so we took a closer look at how its glaciers have evolved, using 25 years of satellite measurements dating back to the early 1990s.”

The researchers found that between 1992 and 2016, the flow of most of the region’s glaciers increased by between 20 and 30 centimetres per day, equating to an average 13% speedup across the glaciers of Western Palmer Land as a whole.

These measurements provide the first direct evidence that Western Palmer Land is losing ice due to increased glacier flow — a process known as dynamical imbalance.

The team also combined their satellite observations with an ice flow model using data assimilation to fill in gaps where the satellites were unable to produce measurements. This allowed the complete pattern of ice flow to be mapped, revealing that the regions glaciers are now pouring an additional 15 cubic kilometres of ice into the oceans each year compared to the 1990s.

The earlier study reported that the region was losing three times this amount of ice, based on measurements of glacier thinning and mass loss determined from other satellite measurements. The Leeds study casts doubt on that interpretation, because the degree of glacier speedup is far too small.

Study co-author Professor Andrew Shepherd, from Leeds’ School of Earth and Environment, explained: “Although Western Palmer Land holds a lot of ice – enough to raise global sea levels by 20 centimetres – its glaciers can’t be dramatically out of balance, because their speed hasn't changed much over the past 25 years.

"It could have snowed less as well – that would also cause the glaciers to thin and lose mass."

The greatest speedup in flow was observed at glaciers that were grounded at depths more than 300m below the ocean surface.

Dr Hogg said: “We looked at water temperatures in front of the glaciers which have sped up the most, and we found that they flow through deep bedrock channels into the warmest layer of the ocean. This circumpolar deep water, which is relatively warm and salty compared to other parts of the Southern Ocean, has warmed and shoaled in recent decades, and can melt ice at the base of glaciers which reduces friction and allows them to flow more freely.

"With much of Western Palmer Land’s ice mass lying well below sea level, it is important to monitor how remote areas such as this are responding to climate change. Satellites are the perfect tool to do this."

Pierre Potin, ESA’s Manager of the Copernicus Sentinel-1 Mission, which was used in the study, said: “We will continue to use Sentinel-1’s all weather, day-night imaging capability to extend the long term climate data record from European satellites.”

SOURCE





OPEC crying about U.S. shale output

OPEC officials gathering in Vienna on Friday to prepare for next week’s ministerial meeting kept their focus on rising U.S. shale oil production, which has been diluting the price impact of their production cuts.

National representatives from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and officials from several non-members heard a presentation on the outlook for the U.S. industry from Roger Diwan, a Washington-based analyst at IHS Markit Ltd., according to delegates familiar with the matter. Mark Papa, a partner at private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC and former boss of shale pioneer EOG Resources Inc., also spoke to the group, delegates said.

Officials at the meeting were relieved that the two outside consultants had estimates for growth in average U.S. crude output of 450,000 to 500,000 barrels a day this year, lower than the 562,000 barrel-a-day forecast from OPEC’s own analysts, said two delegates.

The emphasis on U.S. production underscores the dilemma for OPEC and its allies as they consider whether to extend their cuts beyond June. The producers, who together account for about half the world’s oil supply, have seen the initial price boost from their historic agreement fade as shale companies deployed more rigs and raised the country’s output to the highest since 2015. That recovery could accelerate if they decide on May 25 to prolong the curbs.

IHS’s Diwan presented an estimate that U.S. output this year will be about 500,000 barrels a day higher on average than in 2016, the delegates said, asking not to be identified because the meeting was private. That still means that production at the end of 2017 will be 700,000 to 1 million barrels a day higher than at the start, the delegates said.

That compares with a supply reduction of 1.2 million barrels a day from October levels implemented by OPEC, plus a cut of less than 400,000 barrels a day from non-members.

Papa, who helped create the shale industry more than a decade ago, estimated that average U.S. output would be 450,000 barrels a day higher this year, the delegates said.

SOURCE





Industrial Energy Consumers to White House: "No Benefit" to Paris Agreement

There is “no benefit” to U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement, the Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) argues in a letter sent yesterday to President Donald J. Trump. The IECA is a nonpartisan association of leading manufacturing companies with $1.0 trillion in annual sales, over 2,300 facilities nationwide, and with more than 1.6 million employees worldwide.

Alluding to a recent New York Times op-ed by former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Ted Halstead, the IECA letter states: “We disagree with those who say that staying in the agreement will spur investment and American competitiveness, create jobs, and ensure access to global markets.”

The IECA is skeptical of climate agreements in general, which typically fail to “provide a level playing field” and actually “create greater uncertainty” for energy intensive, trade exposed (IETE) U.S. firms. IECA President Paul N. Cicio explains:

All costs of reducing GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions, whether imposed on the electric generation sector or the oil and gas sectors, are eventually imposed upon us, the consumer. We are the ones who eventually bear the costs of government imposed GHG reduction schemes. At the same time, we are often already economically disadvantaged, as compared to global competitors who are subsidized or protected by their governments. . . .

IECA is wary of international climate agreements because the U.S. manufacturing sector competes globally, and because other countries do subsidize, and will continue to subsidize and provide advantages to their manufacturing sectors, regardless of any global climate agreements. And, importantly, because the U.S. government does not subsidize U.S. EITE industries, we can become non-competitive in the global marketplace. Global GHG reduction agreements may sound well-intentioned at the macro level, but at the micro level, where we reside, it can create significant uncertainty, risk, and job loss.

The Paris Agreement exemplifies such pitfalls. It will make U.S. manufacturers less competitive vis-à-vis their Chinese and Indian counterparts:

Furthermore, the U.S. commitment under the agreement is significantly more stringent than the commitments undertaken by some of our largest competitors in the global marketplace, many of whom, including China and India, essentially pledged to continue increasing their GHG emissions substantially for the foreseeable future. . . . China’s pledge under the Paris Climate Accord would allow it to actually increase GHG emissions by 117 percent by 2030 before they start reducing.

The IECA also objects to the mode by which President Obama purported to make the United States a party to the Agreement:

Any U.S. commitment to reduce GHG emissions under an international construct should only have been undertaken through the process prescribed in Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution. IECA believes that U.S. participation in any global agreement to reduce GHG emissions, whether such agreements are binding or not, should be submitted to the U.S. Senate for a vote of ratification. Our forefathers made it clear that the checks and balances between the Executive Branch and Congress are essential.

IECA member companies come from a diverse set of industries including chemical, plastics, steel, iron ore, aluminum, paper, food processing, fertilizer, insulation, glass, industrial gases, pharmaceutical, building products, automotive, brewing, independent oil refining, and cement. Lest anyone suppose IECA’s position on the Paris Agreement reflects a lack of commitment to energy efficiency, Mr. Cicio points out:

The manufacturing sector already has an incentive to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions, it is called global competition. Global competition is relentless and requires EITE industries to reduce energy consumption to be competitive. If we are not globally competitive, we cease to exist. . . .

For a variety of reasons, including a dedication to energy efficiency and energy cost reductions to improve global competitiveness, today’s U.S. manufacturing sector’s GHG emissions are 26 percent below 1973 levels. The industrial sector is the only U.S. sector whose GHG emissions are below 1973 levels.

SOURCE




Bill Nye, the people hater

To be fair, Bill Nye didn’t actually say people should be eliminated by their governments to save the environment and the planet. He did say that there are too many people and parents, at least in the developed world, should be punished for having "too many” children:

The season finale of pop scientist Bill Nye's new Netflix show "Bill Nye Saves the World" suggested that the government should punish people who have too many children, for the sake of the environment.

"The average Nigerian emits 0.1 metric tons of carbon annually," noted Nye's guest, Dr. Travis Rieder. "How many does the average American emit? Sixteen metric tons."

Rieder said Americans having an average of two children are "waaaay more problematic" than Nigerians having seven when it comes to preventing global warming.

"Should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?" Nye asked.

“I do think we should at least consider it," Rieder said.

Nye pushed him even further.

"Well, ‘at least consider it' is like, ‘do it,'" he opined.

The other two guests pushed back, however, pointing out that what Nye and Rieder were proposing came dangerously close to the eugenics policies of America's past, which ending up disproportionately targeting poor women and minorities.

Yes, his remarks are perilously close to advocating eugenics. It is a short trip from deciding how many children people should be allowed to have to deciding who gets to have children at all. It bears a striking resemblance to China’s one-child policy, which included sterilization and forced abortion. China’s one-child policy, instituted by the Communist government in the late 1970s to stem rising population, compels couples in urban areas to have just one child and limits couples in rural areas to two children if the first child is a girl, as girls are seen as having lesser value than boys in some parts of the Asian nation. As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized, John Holdren, President Obama’s science adviser, agreed with Bill Nye that too many people were a problem that needed to be dealt with:

This administration supports draconian actions to fight climate change. In 2007, at climate change talks in Vienna, Su Wei, a senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official, boasted that China's one-child policy had reduced China's population at that point by some 300 million human beings, roughly equal to the U.S. population.

Avoiding those 300 million births "means we averted 1.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2005," based on average world per capital emissions of 4.2 tons, he said.

John Holdren, the president's top science adviser, has no quarrel with this barbarism, seeing it as necessary to fight global warming and resource depletion. Even the U.S. Constitution can't stand in his way.

In a previous book, "Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment," co-authored with Thomas Malthus fans Paul and Anne Ehrlich, Holdren writes that large families "contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children" and "can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility."

On page 837, he writes, it has "been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.

Hillary Clinton’s idol, and founder of Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger, had her particular idea on which children should be allowed to be born. As J. Kenneth Blackwell, writing in the Washington Times, noted, those who chant “black lives matter” obviously exclude the abortion rate of black babies that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and the KKK could only dream of:

138,539 black babies, nearly one baby in three, were killed in the womb in 2010. According to the CDC, between 2007 and 2010, innocent black babies were victimized in nearly 36 percent of the abortion deaths in the United States, though blacks represent only 12.8 percent of the population. Some say the abortion capital of America is New York City. According to LifeSiteNews, the city’s Department of Health reported that in 2012, more black babies were aborted (31,328) than born (24,758). That’s 55.9 percent of black babies killed before birth. Blacks represented 42.4 percent of all abortions.

This is a disturbing and tragic situation that continues unabated and is the fulfillment of Sanger’s dream. As Blackwell also noted:

According to Sanger, “Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.” She opened her first abortion clinics in inner cities, and it’s no accident that even today, “79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities are located in black or minority neighborhoods.”

Population control is the tool of tyrants. Whether it is to build a master race or lower carbon dioxide emissions, it is inherently evil in its methods and goals. Ironically, and contrary to Nye’s hypothesis, wealthier societies are healthier societies. Which is better for the environment -- to reduce emissions thanx to natural gas obtained by fracking, or to let families in underdeveloped countries burn animal dung to cook their food and heat their homes? Wealthier societies can afford the technology to clean the air and water without sacrificing human lives.

It is fracking that has produced a boom in the production of natural gas, a fossil fuel, that has produced a significant reduction in the U.S. of so-called “greenhouse gases”. As the Washington Times reported:

White House senior advisor Brian Deese cheered the falling carbon dioxide levels at a Monday press conference without mentioning the outsize role played by natural gas, as the cleaner-burning fuel increasingly overtakes coal in electricity generation.

“For those of you who are not breathlessly following the most recent data that has come out, I would note recent data that we’ve seen suggests or finds that for the first half of 2016, energy sector emissions in the United States are actually down 6 percent from last year, and 15 percent from 2005,” said Mr. Deese. “And they’re at their lowest level in nearly 20 years.”

He said nothing about the U.S. natural gas boom, an omission that critics say has become par for the course as the Obama administration highlights renewable energy and emissions restrictions without acknowledging the role of fracking in natural gas extraction.

“To add dishonesty to injury, his administration is bragging about the reduced CO2 emissions of [the] U.S. industry without crediting the fracking for natural gas, a fossil fuel, that largely caused it,” said Alex Epstein, author of the book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.”

Carbon dioxide is the basis for all plant and animal life on earth, whether it emanates from the nostrils of Bill Nye or from the children he wishes would not be born. He is lucky his parents didn’t come up with the idea first and eliminate a dangerous source of hot air.

Nightmare scenarios regarding overpopulation have made the rounds since Thomas Malthus predicted in 1798 that overpopulation would outstrip England’s food supply and the British Empire would literally starve to death. Similar nonsense was express in Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb (1968) which warned: “In the 1970s, the world will undergo famine -- hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked on now.” Today, a major problem America faces is not famine, but obesity.

Malthusian thinking fails to grasp that human beings are the ultimate resource, that with more bodies come more minds that create more ideas. Neither Malthus or Ehrlich could envision the advances in medicine, science, technology, and biotechnology that would tame disease, increase the food supply at exponential rates, find new resources, or create new substitutes.

The view that human beings are inexorably outstripping the globe´s capacity to sustain them is one of the most vivid, powerful, and enduring economic myths of the modern era because the chicken littles who argue it forget one simple fact -- with bodies come minds.

Bill Nye is wrong. We are not cattle that graze until there is no grass. Our species, unlike all others, can consciously apply problem-solving techniques to the project of expanding its resource base. Minds matter economically as much as hands and mouths. And minds arrive only in company with bodies. Be fruitful and multiply.

SOURCE

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

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

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