Sunday, April 22, 2018




Hurricanes slowing down in just about every ocean on Earth

Just a 10 percent slowdown doubles volume of local rainfall, a study shows

We have been told by Greenies for years now that global warming causes or magnifies hurricanes and other big wind events.  But the research below says that tropical cyclones are slowing down.  So that must indicate global cooling! Can you have your cake and eat it too? Greenies can!


A new study shows tropical cyclones are slowing down, a development that could carry huge implications for future flooding.

That research was presented for the first time Wednesday at the 33rd annual Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology held in Ponte Vedra.

Research shows slower storms in recent years have produced heavier rainfall, according to the presentation by James Kossin of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.

Hurricane Harvey, for instance, dumped record rain in Texas and underscores why speed matters when tropical systems see their pace slow to a crawl.

In fact, just a 10 percent slowdown results in double the local rain impacts. That could make flooding potentially catastrophic since storms typically slow by 20 percent over land.

Even though Harvey occurred after the study was completed, Dr. Kossin said the hurricane falls in line with the study's trend. Over 67 years of research, there was a clear slowing trend.

That trend coincides with the planet warming nearly 1 degree, and it supports growing evidence that a warming planet triggered the slowdown.

Climate change is weakening the planet's atmospheric circulation pattern, which is the mechanism that guides storm systems across oceans.

The pattern is also modifying hurricanes rain distribution. Observations indicate the heaviest rain no longer centers around the eyewall, but rather it is spread throughout the storm structure.

Slower storms have turned up in every ocean basin, except the North Indian Ocean. North of Australia has seen the greatest decrease in storm speed slowing 30%.

The implications this trend holds for future tropical rainfall are staggering. According to Dr. Kossin's calculations, rainfall becomes 20 percent heavier for nearly each degree Fahrenheit the planet warms.

As hurricanes get wetter and the overall tracks migrate poleward, hurricane flood exposure could expand to areas outside of traditionally hurricane-prone regions.

SOURCE




The Truth Behind Frack Off

I was at the Mall last weekend and came across this local anti-fracking group holding some sort of a workshop.

One wonders if they realize where the energy they use every day comes from?

I am pretty sure the residents of Eckington would not want a nuclear plant built next door, nor have their local forests chopped down for pellets.

And regardless of the hype and wishful thinking, there is simply no way that renewable energy will substantially change the picture in the foreseeable future.

Of course, they may be quite happy to rely on imported oil and gas from the Middle East and Russia, to keep them in their comfortable lifestyles. If so, they might get a shock to learn about the Frack Off Extreme Energy Action Network, of which they appear to be a part.

Frack Off is the UK wide group set up in 2011 to campaign against fracking, including demonstrations, blockades, and trespass. The Telegraph reported in 2013 how it was set up by Dr. Edward Lloyd-Davies, an astrophysicist who became a full-time protester after his academic funding ran out, and how the group tries to keep secret the identities of its leaders.

Frack Off’s website still refuses to publish any details about its leaders or funding. But they do not attempt to hide their worldview.

As would be expected, they believe that there is already a climate crisis, and their battle against fracking is merely a side issue as far as they are concerned.

But what are their proposals?

While they want to immediately cut back the use of fossil fuels worldwide, they are not keen on some of the alternatives:

According to their website, for instance, they are none too keen on bio-energy:

"Bio-Energy is a broad category which includes all energy generated from burning materials produced (recently) by the biosphere. While humans have obtained energy from such sources throughout their history, the amounts of energy that industrial society now demands cannot possibly be sourced in a sustainable way. Every year we burn a number of fossil fuels which it would take the biosphere 400 years to produce. Bio-Energy includes liquid biofuels (or agrofuels) such as palm oil as well as biomass such as wood pellets. The growth in Bio-Energy is devastating large areas of the globe and leading to hunger and poverty for many. Bio-Energy requires a colossal quantity of feedstock and huge areas of growing land. This land must either be land that was previously used to grow food or land that was previously forests etc. Either way, the results are not good."

They also regard nuclear power as part of the extreme energy sector, which they claim is destroying the world.

Even CCS does not meet their objectives:

"Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a technology aimed at reducing the climate-destabilizing impact of burning fossil fuels by capturing the carbon dioxide (a ‘greenhouse gas‘) and storing it somewhere, usually underground. Despite CCS being an unproven technology, it is used worldwide by energy companies and governments to justify new fossil fuel projects.

There’s no time to wait for a technology that may or may not work. The Department of Energy and Climate Change say that CSS will not be ready to deploy commercially until at least the early 2020’s. We need to stop using fossil fuels now. Cuts of 6% a year in emissions are needed to have a chance of not destabilising the climate, starting now and resulting in over a 90% cut over the next few decades."

Indeed, Frack Off’s revealed their true beliefs in this blog in 2012:

"Despite this, there is a massive push to make CCS the alternative to having to worry about the actual cutting of emissions. At both the EU and UK government levels, CCS trials are being encouraged with the offer of large grants to energy companies. A government funding competition initiated four years ago to fund a large-scale trial of CCS ended in a shambles in October after a consortium led by ScottishPower pulled out of plans to build facilities to capture a sixth of the carbon dioxide emitted by Longannet, the UK’s second-largest coal power station.

The reason given was that the £1 billion grant on offer was insufficient to ensure that the project would be economically viable. This has added to a string of recent cancellations of CCS projects worldwide, including the recent cancellation of a $1.4 billion pilot project in Canada because it was not economically viable. In the UK the government’s response has been to announce a new competition to try to resurrect CCS trials. Whether this one will have any more success than the last remains to be seen.

However to see CCS in these terms is to miss the whole point. Whether it ever gets off the ground or not is irrelevant. CCS is about psychology, not engineering. As long as there is the promise of CCS dangled before them it will allow those people who cannot face abandoning the current system an excuse for not facing up to the change that needs to happen. CCS could be considered as part of a category of “Extreme Greenwash” along with similar ideas like geoengineering.

Put simply, Frack Off are virulently anti-fossil fuels, for all sorts of reasons. Emissions of CO2 are only part of the problem, as far as they are concerned.

"Introducing CCS will not only allow fossil fuels to continue to be extracted but, as it is an energy-intensive process, will actually serve to increase demand for them."

For them, fossil fuels are not only destroying the climate, they are also destroying the environment, the economy, and global well-being.

So, given all of this, you would think that Frack Off would be determined to push renewable energy as hard as possible. Yet I cannot find one single mention of wind and solar power on their website.

So, what is their solution? Simple – we are all using far too much energy. Again, this is what their website says:

"The Massive Increase In Global Human Energy Consumption By Source Over The Last 200 Years

The most obvious insight that can be gained from viewing extreme energy as a process is that the dominant factor driving that process is energy consumption. Extreme energy has always existed but due to the huge amounts of energy used by the present system, it is proceeding at a much faster rate. The higher the rate of energy consumption, the faster that resources are depleted and the more rapidly the process of energy extraction becomes more extreme. The insistence that present levels of energy consumption must be maintained, and even increased, makes this process inevitable.

On the other hand, reducing energy consumption would slow this progression towards more extreme extraction techniques. The present system seems unlikely to adopt such a course, however. The intensity of extraction effort needed translate pretty directly into the fraction of the world economy that must be devoted to energy extraction and therefore dictates the fraction that is left over for the rest of society. If allowed to continue unchecked extreme energy will result in massive, though very poorly understood, changes in the world we live in.

To summarise the process definition is: Extreme Energy is the process whereby energy extraction methods grow more intense over time, as easier to extract resources are depleted. The process is driven by unsustainable energy consumption and is important because extraction effort is strongly correlated with damage to both society and the environment."

I doubt whether the mixture of NIMBYs and gullible do-gooders who are fighting fracking in Eckington will be happy cutting their energy consumption to the bone, along with their standard of living.

Indeed it might just occur to them that the massive increase in energy consumption in the last 200 years correlates pretty closely with a similar increase in living standards, quality of life, standards of health and so on.

Frack Off’s role is to encourage and assist the formation of local groups, and provide support with materials, advice, information and advertising.

As far as those local groups are concerned, it’s a bit like inviting the devil into your parlour for a game of cards!

SOURCE





Jerry Brown: 3 Billion Will Die from Global Warming

He's still governor moonbeam

California Gov. Jerry Brown predicted that if carbon emissions aren’t reduced, billions of people will die from “heat events,” and one billion will be subjected to vector diseases.

“When you pick up the paper or turn on cable news, you’d think it’s another planet. It’s all about the nonsense of Washington, and carbon emissions are growing, and we’ve got to radically turn that around, or the migrations you’re seeing now are going to be child’s play,” Brown told reporters Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“We’re going to have widespread disruption, more conflicts, more terrorism, more insecurity because of climate disruption. The prospect is 3 billion people on this planet will be subject to fatal lethal heat events – 3 billion – and 1 billion will be subjected to vector diseases that they’re not now subject to now,” he said. “This is a horror.”

Brown was among a number of governors who established an alliance to reduce climate change in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

When asked what states can reasonably do about climate change, Brown said, “California has adopted an extension of this cap and trade program, which will give us 20 percent of our greenhouse gas reduction. That’s a very important measure that would have gone out of existence in 2020, and that measure was voted by Republicans. It wouldn’t have passed without Republican support.”

“So we’ve done that. We’re revising our building standards. We have a scoping plan for our entire greenhouse gas emission strategy that’s going forward. Other states, I think New Jersey is considering significant changes, so there’s a lot of possibilities going on in different states and different provinces around the world,” he said.

“We have an Under Two Coalition – keep the temperature under two degrees Centigrade from growing, and we have over 200 signatories that represent more than a third of the world’s wealth. Is it enough? No. Is the world on the right track? No. Does disaster loom? Yes, and I’m doing what I can to motivate people. People are asleep,” Brown said.

“This is a horror, and that’s why I spend so much time working on climate change even though it is not a big, hot political issue – not in California, certainly not in Washington, and unfortunately, not in a number of other countries, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a big problem. It’s a huge problem, and there’s just two big topics,” the governor said.

“I don’t see any evidence in the paper. One is the risk of nuclear destruction or incident. William Perry wrote a book, ‘My Journey at the Nuclear Brink,’ which I reviewed. He said we’re more in danger now than we were at the height of the Cold War. That’s been repeated by other people. That’s a serious matter, and yet we have very little discussion going on with Russia with climate change – a serious matter, what’s going on,” he said.

SOURCE




Scott Pruitt’s ‘Time 100’ Profile Written By Ex-EPA Chief Who Hates Him

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s TIME 100 profile is very different from most featured on the website. Not only is it negative, it was written by a vocal critic.

Pruitt’s profile was written by former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman. Whitman wrote that “under the administration of Scott Pruitt, the agency is experiencing a new wave of policymaking—or rather, policy dismantling.”

“If his actions continue in the same direction, during Pruitt’s term at the EPA the environment will be threatened instead of protected, and human health endangered instead of preserved, all with no long-term benefit to the economy,” Whitman wrote.

Whitman served as EPA administrator in the Bush administration and as New Jersey’s governor before that. She’s a vocal opponent of the Trump administration and even endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Whitman opposed Pruitt’s nomination to head the EPA back in late 2016, chiding his “seeming disdain for the people at the agency, for science.”

“He is very definitely a denier of climate change, something that scientists, by and large, overwhelmingly, say is occurring and that humans have a role to play in that,” Whitman told NPR in December 2016.

“He also seems to be someone who doesn’t believe in regulation. And that’s a time where you want to say regulations are prevention. They’re trying to protect us,” she said.

Whitman made similar remarks in an interview with TIME given a few weeks later, saying she was “nervous” about Pruitt taking the reins at EPA.

What made Pruitt’s TIME 100 profile interesting is that other prominent Republicans, including President Donald Trump himself, had theirs written by friends or allies. Pruitt’s was written by a vocal critic.

For example, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz wrote Trump’s TIME 100 profile, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ profile. Fox News host Sean Hannity’s profile was written by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a regular guest on his show.

On the other side of the aisle, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards wrote a glowing TIME 100 profile for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat.

Richards wrote that Pelosi is “a voice for the people who are counting on government to be there for them.” Planned Parenthood has donated to Pelosi’s congressional campaigns.

SOURCE

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

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

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Friday, April 20, 2018


Great Barrier grief: Coral 'cooked to death' in scorching summer heatwave

This is just an academic republication of some claims made in 2016, which were shown at the time to be greatly exaggerated.  And note below that global sea surface temperatures actually FELL during late 2016.



So if there was a big warming event in North Queensland waters at the time it was a LOCAL event, not a global one.  So any coral damage was not caused by global warming.

The BOM does record high temperatures in the reef area in 2016 but admits that there were several factors contributing to that.  I quote:

"The 2015–16 El Niño suppressed and delayed the monsoon, leading to reduced cloud cover and weakened winds this summer. Additionally, a relatively low number of summer storms occurred over the Reef. These factors led to increased surface heating and reduced mixing, resulting in substantially warmer ocean temperatures around northern Australia from December to March 2016."

And note that the BOM places the warming in early 2016, not late 2016.  Pesky!

Something else that happened in 2016 was a regional sea-level fall --which really is detrimental to coral and could alone explain any damage.

And note the announcement from late last year that bleached corals are already recovering nicely.  So no fear for them is warranted.

It's just propaganda below -- propaganda in a scholarly disguise.  I actually wonder whether they did all the surveys they claim to have done? A little bit of interpolation here and there, perhaps?  JCU has a record of dubious integrity.  Ask Peter Ridd about that


Millions of corals on the Great Barrier Reef were 'cooked' during a scorching summer in the northern region, according to scientists.

The underwater heatwave eliminated a huge number of different species of coral during a process which expelled algae after the polyps were stressed.

'When corals bleach from a heatwave, they can either survive and regain their colour slowly as the temperature drops, or they can die.

'Averaged across the whole Great Barrier Reef, we lost 30 per cent of the corals in the nine-month period between March and November 2016,' said Professor Terry Hughes from James Cook University said.

Prof Hughes who acts as the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at JCU said his team was very surprised to see a quarter of the corals die in just two to three weeks during the March heatwave.

Scientists researched the entire reef by analysing water surveys at various locations along its 2,300-kilometre distance, and combined insight with aerial data and satellite monitoring.

Results showed 29 per cent of the 3,863 reefs which make up the world's largest reef system lost 'two-thirds or more of their corals', which dramatically impacts the ability of the reefs to maintain full ecological abilities.

'The Great Barrier Reef is certainly threatened by climate change, but it is not doomed if we deal very quickly with greenhouse gas emissions.

'Our study shows that coral reefs are already shifting radically in response to unprecedented heatwaves,' said Prof Hughes.

The team warn that if changes are not made to consider climate change it will have a huge effect on tropical reef ecosystems and, therefore, a detrimental impact on the benefits those environments provide to populations of poor nations.

SOURCE




"The Science"






Sixty years ago, the USS Skate surfaced at the ice-free North Pole





So nothing has changed over the last 60 years, except that the ice is a lot thicker now



SOURCE 




Thirty Years Of The James Hansen Clown Show

It has been thirty years since CO2 hit 350 PPM and NASA’s James Hansen warned that the Midwest was going to burn up and dry up.



Since Hansen predicted heat and drought for the Midwest 30 years ago, they have had above normal precipitation almost every year.

SOURCE 





Australia May Replicate US Shale Revolution

Australia’s Northern Territory has lifted a moratorium on fracking, the process of extracting gas from shale rock, to replicate the US shale revolution in a vast region with massive mineral resources.

The decision on Tuesday was welcomed by the oil and gas industry, which is promising to invest billions of dollars in exploration and create thousands of jobs in an underpopulated region roughly six times the size of the UK.

Australian energy companies Origin Energy and Santos have identified the Northern Territory as a potential source of gas to meet a shortage of the fossil fuel in Australia, which has led to surging energy prices and prompted Canberra to implement export controls on liquefied natural gas — one of the country’s most valuable exports.

“Member companies stand ready to invest billions of dollars in new projects in the territory,” said Malcolm Roberts, chief executive of the oil and gas industry lobby group Appea, after the territory’s government’s decision to lift the moratorium.

SOURCE

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

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

*****************************************

Thursday, April 19, 2018



How can this be? What has happened to “Global Warming?”

Runners racing the Boston Marathon 2018 faced grueling conditions as heavy rain poured and wind gusts hit more than 25 miles per hour in the coldest temperatures for the race in three decades. With temperatures in the 30sF, runners faced a brutal race day.

Just as a comparison, look at these past conditions:

1905: The temperature was reported to have reached the 100-degree mark

1909: The temperature soared to 97 degrees

1915: Reports of “intense heat”

1927: With the temperature reaching 84 degrees, a newly surfaced but uncured road melted under the runners’ shoes

1931: Reports of “terrific heat” that “spelled ruin to the hopes of countless ambitious runners”

1952: The temperature rose to the upper 80s, with a high of 88 degrees

1958: The temperature climbed to 84 degrees

1976: For much of the first half of the race, the temperature along the course was reported to be 96 degrees

1987: The temperature was in the mid/upper 80s and the humidity was more than 95 percent

2004: The hottest Marathon since 1976 (86 degrees at the finish) caused a record number of heat-related illnesses

H/t Bill Shuster

Clearly, this is one of many local redords that are at variance with the stats released by NOAA -- confirming that the NOAA stats are fudged and that we are now probably into a cooling period





The double standards industry

Concerns over impacts from energy projects disappear where “green” energy is involved

Paul Driessen

It’s a good thing environmentalists have double standards – or they wouldn’t have any standards at all.

Empire State legislators worry that anything above the current 0.0001% methane in Earth’s atmosphere will cause catastrophic climate change, and that pipelines will disturb wildlife habitats. So they oppose fracking for natural gas in New York and pipelines that would import the clean fuel from Pennsylvania.

But then they bribe or force rural and vacation area communities to accept dozens of towering wind turbines that impact thousands of acres, destroy scenic views, kill thousands of birds and bats annually, and affect the sleep and health of local residents – to generate pricey intermittent electricity that is sent on high voltage transmission lines to Albany, Manhattan and other distant cities.

Meanwhile, developers are building a 600-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from West Virginia to North Carolina, to power generating plants that provide low-cost electricity almost 24/7/365. A portion of the 100-foot-wide pipeline right-of-way must go through forested areas, necessitating tree removal.

To protect migratory birds and endangered bats, state and federal officials generally require that tree cutting be prohibited between mid-March and mid-October. Because the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is behind schedule, the companies sought approval to continue felling trees until May 15, to avoid further delays that could increase costs by $150-350 million. The request was denied.

Not surprisingly, the pipeline, logging and request to cut during migratory and mating season continue to put the developers, regulators and environmentalists at loggerheads. A 16-mile long segment through Virginia’s George Washington National Forest has garnered particular attention.

Although the short segment would affect just 200 of the GWNF’s 1.1 million acres, the Virginia Wilderness Committee claimed any tree cutting in the area would create an “industrial zone” and “severely degrade some of the best remaining natural landscapes” in the Eastern USA. The Southern Environmental Law Center called the entire project “risky” and “unnecessary.” They and allied groups prefer to “keep fossil fuels in the ground” and force a rapid transition to solar and wind energy.

One has to wonder how they would react to the far greater environmental impacts their “green” energy future would bring. Will they be true to their convictions, or continue applying double standards?

For example, using sun power to replace just the electricity from Virginia’s nearly 24/7/365 Lake Anna Nuclear Generating Station would require nearly 20,000 acres of solar panels (twice the size of Washington, DC) that would provide power just 20-30% of the time. The rest of the time, the commonwealth would need fossil fuel or battery backup power – or homes, businesses, hospitals and schools would have to be happy with electricity when it’s available, instead of when they need it.

That’s 100 times more land than needed for the pipeline, which will be underground and mostly invisible, whereas the highly visible solar panels would blanket former crop and habitat land for decades.

Natural gas and coal generate about 55 million megawatt-hours of Virginia’s annual electricity. Replacing that with wind power would require thousands of gigantic turbines, sprawling across a half-million acres of forest, farm and other lands. Expensive backup battery arrays and transmission lines from wind farms to distant urban areas would require thousands of additional acres.

(This rough calculation recognizes that many turbines would have to be located in poor wind areas and would thus generate electricity only 15-20% of the time. It also assumes that two-thirds of windy day generation would charge batteries for seven straight windless days, and that each turbine requires 15 acres for blade sweep, operational airspace and access roads.)

The turbines, transmission lines and batteries would require millions of tons of concrete, steel, copper, neodymium, lithium, cobalt, petroleum-based composites and other raw materials; removing billions of tons of earth and rock to mine the ores; and burning prodigious amounts of fossil fuels in enormous smelters and factories to turn ores into finished components.

Most of that work will take place in Africa, China and other distant locations – out of sight, and out of mind for most Virginians, Americans and environmentalists. But as we are often admonished, we should act locally, think globally, and consider the horrendous environmental and health and safety conditions under which all these activities take place in those faraway lands.

Many turbines will be located on mountain ridges, where the winds blow best and most often. Ridge tops will be deforested, scenic vistas will be ruined, and turbines will slice and dice migratory birds, raptors and bats by the tens of thousands every year. Those that aren’t yet threatened or endangered soon will be.

The wind industry and many regulators and environmentalists consider those death tolls “incidental takings,” “acceptable” losses of “expendable” wildlife, essential for achieving the “climate-protecting” elimination of fossil fuels. The deaths are certainly not deliberate – so the December 2018 Interior Department decision to end the possibility of criminal prosecutions for them, under the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act, makes sense.

However, when regulators allow industrial wind facilities in and near migratory routes, nesting areas and other places – where large numbers of eagles, hawks, falcons, migratory birds and bats congregate – the number of deaths soars beyond “incidental” or “acceptable.” And as the number of US onshore wind turbines climbs from 40,000 a few years ago, to 52,000 today, to potentially millions under “keep oil, gas and coal in the ground” demands, the threat of decimation or extinction across wide areas skyrockets.

Some say we should install future turbines offshore, in our coastal areas. Truly monstrous 3.5-megawatt turbines would certainly reduce the total number needed to replace substantial quantities of fossil fuel electricity. However, they would destroy scenic ocean vistas, decimate sea and shore bird populations (with carcasses conveniently sinking from sight), impair porpoise and whale sonar, interfere with radar and air traffic control, and create significant hazards for submarines and surface ships.

Even worse, as wildlife biologist Jim Wiegand and other experts have noted, the wind industry has gone to great lengths to hide the actual death tolls. For example, they look only right under towers and blades (when carcasses and maimed birds can be catapulted hundreds of yards by blades that move at nearly 200 mph at their tips), canvass areas only once every few weeks (ensuring that scavengers eat the evidence), and make wind farms off limits to independent investigators.

The bird and bat killings may not be criminal, but the fraud and cover-ups certainly are.

The attitudes, regulations and penalties associated with wind turbines also stand in stark contrast to the inflexible, heavy-handed approach that environmentalists, regulators and courts typically apply to permit applications for drilling, pipelines, grazing and other activities where sage grouse and lesser prairie chickens are involved – or requests to cut trees until May 15, to finish a Virginia pipeline.

The Fish & Wildlife Service, Center for Biological Diversity and Audubon Society go apoplectic in those circumstances. (Audubon was outraged that Interior decriminalized accidental deaths of birds in oilfield waste pits.) But their silence over the growing bird and bat slaughter by wind turbines has been deafening.

These attitudes and policies scream “double standards!” Indeed, consistent bird and bat protection policies would fairly and logically mean banning turbines in and near habitats, refuges and flyways – or shutting them down during mating, nesting and migratory seasons.

It’s time to rethink all these policies. Abundant, reliable, affordable energy makes our jobs, health, living standards and civilization possible. The way we’re going, environmentalists, regulators and judges will block oil, gas and coal today … nuclear and hydroelectric tomorrow … and wind and solar facilities the following week – sending us backward a century or more. It’s time to say, Enough!

Via email




Arctic Freezamageddon…Sea Ice Volume Surges 3 TRILLION Cubic Meters Since Early March!

Using a comparison, Japanese skeptic blogger Kirye at KiryeNet drives home how “the real Arctic sea ice volume is much higher than in 2008.”

Source of images: DMI: http://ocean.dmi.dk

Using images and data from the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), Kirye put together and posted a comparator showing the immense early April volume increase the Arctic has seen since 2008.

It totally defies the panicky claims of a “melting” Arctic, she tweeted.

You can see the animation comparator Kirye put together in action here on Twitter.



Arctic sea ice volume surges a whopping 3000 cubic kilometers since March 1st. Chart: DMI.

Kirye comments that although we have not once seen alarmists’ climate predictions come true, they continue to threaten us with sea ice doom.

Amid rapidly growing Arctic sea ice volume, they continue to cling to the claim it’s melting. That’s irrational.

Media hyperbole

Yesterday Anthony Watts posted here on the Arctic, remarking that the media claims of earlier this year of an unprecedented Arctic warmth had much more to do with hyperbole than with reality.

Lately, the Arctic has been a generous source of fake news from the global mainstream media giants, all claiming something that is not real or making something that’s happened many times before look “unprecedented”.

Warm 12°C temperature spikes more than 70 times!

Back in January 2016, I wrote here how “the Washington Post screamed bloody murder that the North Pole was in meltdown as temperatures at that singular location rose some “50 degrees above normal,” making it sound like this event had been an unprecedented phenomenon.

For that post, I had gone back and examined DMI data Arctic temperatures above 80°N latitude going back some 58 years. Here’s what I found: "And examining all the years since 1958 we see that a temperature spike of some 12°K or more in a matter of a few days (during the November to March deep winter period) occurred more than 70 times! And over 100 times for spikes of 10°K and more.”

SOURCE 





Scott Pruitt, Warrior for Science

Democrats and liberal journalists attack the EPA head for insisting on transparency, shared research, and rigorous peer review

John Tierney

Imagine if the head of a federal agency announced a new policy for its scientific research: from now on, the agency would no longer allow its studies to be reviewed and challenged by independent scientists, and its researchers would not share the data on which their conclusions were based. The response from scientists and journalists would be outrage. By refusing peer review from outsiders, the agency would be rejecting a fundamental scientific tradition. By not sharing data with other researchers, it would be violating a standard transparency requirement at leading scientific journals. If a Republican official did such a thing, you’d expect to hear denunciations of this latest offensive in the “Republican war on science.”

That’s the accusation being hurled at Scott Pruitt, the Republican who heads the Environmental Protection Agency. But Pruitt hasn’t done anything to discourage peer review. In fact, he’s done the opposite: he has called for the use of more independent experts to review the EPA’s research and has just announced that the agency would rely only on studies for which data are available to be shared. Yet Democratic officials and liberal journalists have denounced these moves as an “attack on science,” and Democrats have cited them (along with accusations of ethical violations) in their campaign to force Pruitt out of his job.

How could “the party of science,” as Democrats like to call themselves, be opposed to transparency and peer review? Because better scientific oversight would make it tougher for the EPA to justify its costly regulations. To environmentalists, rigorous scientific protocols are fine in theory, but not in practice if they interfere with the green political agenda. As usual, the real war on science is the one waged from the left.

The EPA has been plagued by politicized science since its inception in 1970. One of its first tasks was to evaluate the claim, popularized in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, that the use of DDT pesticide was causing an epidemic of cancer. The agency held extensive hearings that led to the conclusion that DDT was not a carcinogen, a finding that subsequent research would confirm. Yet the EPA administrator, William Ruckelshaus, reportedly never even bothered to read the scientific testimony. Ignoring the thousands of pages of evidence, he declared DDT a potential carcinogen and banned most uses of it.

Since then, the agency has repeatedly been criticized for relying on weak or cherry-picked evidence to promote needless alarms justifying the expansion of its authority (and budget). Its warnings about BPA, a chemical used in plastics, were called unscientific by leading researchers in the field. Its conclusion that secondhand smoke was killing thousands of people annually was ruled by a judge to be in violation of “scientific procedure and norms”—and was firmly debunked by later research.

To justify the costs of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan restricting coal-burning power plants, the EPA relied on a controversial claim that a particular form of air pollution (from small particulates) was responsible for large numbers of premature deaths. To reach that conclusion, the agency ignored contradictory evidence and chose to rely on 1990s research whose methodology and conclusions were open to question. The EPA’s advisory committee on air pollution, a group of outside scientists, was sufficiently concerned at the time to ask to see the supporting data. But the researchers and the EPA refused to share the data, citing the confidentiality of the medical records involved, and they have continued refusing demands from Congress and other researchers to share it, as Steve Milloy recounts in his book, Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA.

Pruitt’s new policy will force the EPA to rely on studies for which data is available to other researchers, ensuring the transparency that enables findings to be tested and confirmed. So why is he being attacked? His critics argue that some worthwhile research will be ignored because it is based on confidential records that are impractical to share. They say that it would cost the EPA several hundred million dollars to redact personal medical information in the air-pollution studies used to justify the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. But even if that estimate is correct—it seems awfully high—it’s a pittance compared with the costs of the EPA’s regulations. The Obama EPA estimated the annual cost of its Clean Power Plan at $8 billion; others estimated it at more than $30 billion. Before saddling utility customers with those higher bills year after year, the EPA could at least pay for reliable research.

Pruitt’s critics have also excoriated him for insisting that the EPA’s advisory boards consist of independent scientists, ending the practice of including researchers who receive grants from the agency—exactly the sort of conflict of interest that progressives object to when researchers receive money from private industry. He has also proposed an analysis of climate change using a “red-team/blue-team” exercise, an innovative technique that has been used to draw up plans at the Defense Department and the CIA and by private industry for industrial operations and projects such as designing spacecraft. A group of outside experts, the red team, is brought in to critique the work of the in-house blue team, which then responds, and the teams keep going back and forth, under the supervision of a moderator. It’s an enhanced form of peer review, forcing researchers and bureaucrats to defend or reconsider their ideas, and ideally leading to sounder conclusions and better plans. A version of this exercise has already been used to bolster the case for man-made global warming, as noted by Joseph Majkut of the Niskanen Institute.

Given the high stakes and the many uncertainties related to climate change—the dozens of computer climate models, the widely varying estimates of costs and benefits of mitigation strategies—who could object to studying the problem carefully? Yet Pruitt’s proposal has been denounced by Democrats as well as liberal Republicans like Christine Whitman, the former New Jersey governor, who argued that the facts are so well-established that further examination is unnecessary. As a former head of the EPA, Whitman no doubt appreciates how much easier it is to make regulations without the nuisance of debate. But what’s good for bureaucrats is not good for science.

SOURCE 





FINALLY! Pruitt’s EPA Kills Obama’s CAFE Standards And Resurrects Consumer Freedom

In early April, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced the agency will roll back the previous administration’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which would have peaked at 54.5 miles per gallon in 2025. Part of the explanation Pruitt gave for why EPA is pulling back from the Obama-era determination is that it “made assumptions about the standard that didn’t comport with reality.”

Reality would have included a serious price increase for pickups and SUVs, about $3,000 for the price of a new vehicle, according to the National Auto Dealers Association. To the many coastal, urban, and suburban liberals who populated the previous administration, that would have been fine. The whole purpose of regulations like CAFE is to increase the price of goods they think are undesirable, like gas-guzzling pickups and SUVs, and to nudge consumers into purchasing the products and services they think are desirable, such as hybrid or electric sedans with great gas mileage. But fantastic gas mileage isn’t the end-all, be-all of utility in an automobile.

One of the problems with the progressive worldview is its insularity. If a liberal can’t see why a tool isn’t useful for him, he at the same time can’t understand how that tool could be useful to anybody else. “If there is no utility in this for me, then there is no utility in this.” Too many of these urban, coastal liberals see pickups, as Kevin D. Williamson cheekily put it, as nothing more than “pollution-belching penis-supplements for toothless red-state Bubbas.” As such, they feel these purposeless vehicles should be nudged out of existence.

Certainly, owning a pickup or an SUV is not conducive to the urban lifestyle these liberals lead. Not too many people living in Park Slope or Russian Hill or Georgetown or Wicker Park will ever find the need for one. Whenever they do, for moving furniture or something of that nature, they can simply contract out for one. But the unfortunate problem for these liberals is not everyone lives their lifestyle, nor lives in neighborhoods like theirs.

I live in South Florida, where pickups are everywhere, mostly because of their utilitarian value to their owners. Lots of people fish here (I live off the coast of the “Sailfish Capital of the World”  for God’s sake), and to do any serious fishing you need to own a boat. But if you don’t have the necessary scratch to rent or buy a slip, then you’re going to have to tow your boat back and forth to a ramp, and you aren’t going to be able to do that with a Nissan Leaf.

Cattle ranching, a billion-dollar industry in the Sunshine State, has been taking place in Florida since those heretical Brownist Puritans who landed at Plymouth Rock were still in their short pants. Nearly half the agricultural land here is used for ranching. You go 20 miles inland—anywhere in the state, from the northern tip of the Everglades to the Georgia border—and you’re bound to run into one of the 18,000 ranches in operation here. A rural, labor-intensive industry where you’re going to be off-road a good chunk of the time (and when you are on-road, that road is probably going to be a dirt one), it isn’t ideally suited for a Toyota Prius.

Friends of mine with necks of a more crimson hue like to hunt feral hogs, which are something of a pestilence down here. Some hunt boar using a pack of hunting dogs to track and bay up the animal. These dogs are transported in separate cages, which you can’t fit in the trunk or backseat of your Tesla Model S. Neither can the hog, for that matter.

Lots of Floridians and millions of people around the country, too, find these vehicles useful. It is no secret that the top three selling automobiles in the United States—the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, and Dodge Ram—are all pickups. That should be instructive.

I won’t get into the other economic and environmental problems with CAFE standards (Mario Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and my Heartland colleague Arianna Wilkerson have done a fine job of that on their own), but the main one is they intentionally raise the price on vehicles some people find undesirable.

If someone wants to buy a small, “eco-friendly” sedan, then good for them. If someone else wants to buy a big, “gas-guzzling” truck, then good for them. To each his own. Bureaucrats in Washington, DC have no business nudging people toward one or against the other. That is what CAFE standards do, and that is why they need to go.

SOURCE 

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

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

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018



Extraterrestrial Forcing of Surface Temperature and Climate Change: A Parody

Jamal Munshi mocks Warmist statistics, showing they prove nothing

Abstract

It is proposed that visitation by extraterrestrial spacecraft (UFO) alters the electromagnetic properties of the earth, its atmosphere, and its oceans and that these changes can cause global warming leading to climate change and thence to the catastrophic consequences of floods, droughts, severe storms, and sea level rise. An empirical test of this theory is presented with data for UFO sightings and surface temperature reconstructions for the study period 1910-2015. The results show strong evidence of proportionality between surface temperature and cumulative UFO sightings. We conclude that the observed warming since the Industrial Revolution are due to an electromagnetic perturbation of the climate system by UFO extraterrestrial spacecraft.

SOURCE 





Study: Battery Storage Far Too Costly For Practical Use

Exorbitant battery storage costs prevent rooftop solar installations from paying for themselves in the long run, making home energy storage an impractical use for average consumers in the foreseeable future, a new study determined.

As the renewable energy industry continues to draw more interest from environmentally conscious consumers, battery storage technology is becoming more sought after as a means to harness energy for future consumption. For example, solar panel batteries can store excess energy captured during the daytime and use that energy to keep the lights on after the sun goes down. Consumers are encouraged to purchase solar panels with promises that, in the long run, they will save money on monthly electrical bills.

However, a study released Monday by the Global Warming Policy Foundation revealed that battery storage is simply too costly to provide long-term financial benefit.

“The price of batteries is relatively high, but the possible savings from adding them to a rooftop solar installation are quite limited, particularly as a fraction of the typical electricity bill. When you add up the costs and benefits, it is quite clear that they are a waste of money,” Capell Aris, a former reactor physics specialist and a fellow at the Institute of Engineering and Technology, wrote Monday.

The study Aris conducted took into consideration typical solar panel installations and basic electricity consumption over the course of one day and a year in the United Kingdom. The variables he considered were comprehensive, factoring in weather patterns and the degradation of solar panel efficiency over time. The factors were repeated to cover a 20-year period.

The results: Solar rooftop installations are a far cry away from keeping pace with household energy consumption in the U.K. Their use would result in long-term savings for users if costs were to drop dramatically, but that does not appear to be happening anytime soon.

“There is no doubt that battery prices are falling, but even if we make some fairly optimistic assumptions about performance, prices would have to fall by another 50 percent just to break even. They would need to come down even further than that to give a financial return,” Aris said. “It’s hard to see this happening any time soon. Battery storage for rooftop solar is simply not an economic prospect, and will likely remain that way.”

The study follows mounting questions about the true cost of solar panel installation in the United States. Widespread residential and commercial use of solar panel technology would not be feasible without a flood of subsidies from the government.

Upon a study of their net metering program, Montana revealed earlier this month that their largest utility company was over compensating net metering customers three times the market value for their energy. An investigative report Friday by America Rising Squared detailed the billions of dollars the federal government shelled out in 2016 alone to prop up otherwise unprofitable renewable energy programs.

SOURCE 


 

Starving for Accurate Information on Polar Bears

A viral video of a starving polar bear blamed climate change, but that's yet another lie

At this time of year, we’re accustomed to seeing polar bears as a holiday mascot for a certain soft drink. But you can rest assured that thousands of real live polar bears are anything but cute and cuddly as they hunt down and devour Arctic seals and assorted other prey.

Sadly, there’s one unnamed polar bear that most likely didn’t live to enjoy this time of plenty. In late August, the photography team of Paul Nicklen and Christina Mittermeier happened upon an emaciated member of the species that was down to its last brief bursts of energy, desperately rummaging through garbage heaps in a vain search for nourishment. “This is what a starving polar bear looks like,” wrote Mittermeier. “Weak muscles, atrophied by extended starvation could barely hold him up.”

Laying it on even thicker, Nicklen added, “We stood there crying — filming with tears rolling down our cheeks.” They added that there was nothing they could do to help, because feeding wild animals is illegal and “it’s not like we travel around with 200-300 pounds of seal meat.” And while they conceded that they couldn’t completely pin down the cause of the bear’s imminent demise, they presumed global warming was the culprit. “This is the face of climate change,” Mittermeier asserted. Paul Amstrup of Polar Bears International added, “Despite uncertainties about how this bear got into this starving condition, we can be absolutely certain if we allow the world to continue to warm, there will be ever greater numbers of such events as survival rates decline over more and more of the polar bear range.”

But not so fast, say the skeptics. First off, they counter, it’s not unusual to see starving polar bears in late August as that’s near the end of their dormant period. “That bear is starving, but it’s not starving because the ice suddenly disappeared and it could no longer hunt seals,” wrote Arctic wildlife biologist Jeff Higdon. Population-wise, polar bears are certainly not in immediate danger of extinction. In fact, some regions of the polar north have a significant polar bear presence.

Research — based on years’ worth of observations — tells us that, if anything, Arctic sea ice arrived on time, or even a bit early this winter — so healthy bears were easily able to swim out to their hunting grounds and floes of ice. Polar bear scientist Susan Crockford made the case that things were just fine. For her trouble, Crockford had her reputation sullied in the worst way. Terence Corcoran recounts:

As a starting point, we look to a story published December 1st on Vice News’s tech site. Motherboard, that included an interview with U.S. polar bear scientist/activist Stephen Amstrup. In the article, Amstrup accuses Canadian polar bear scientist Susan Crockford of filling her bear research with extreme allegations. Climate activists have targeted Crockford, a zoologist and adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Victoria, because her research inconveniently finds that, despite their claims, polar bears are not at risk. ‘You don’t have to read far in her material to see that it is full of unsubstantiated statements and personal attacks on scientists, using names like eco-terrorists, fraudsters, green terrorists and scammers,’ Amstrup claimed.

A few days later, Motherboard published a slithery retraction. After Crockford complained that Amstrup’s comments about her were “a lie” and that she has never used such terms, Amstrup “clarified” his comments. He said that when he accused Crockford of calling scientists fraudsters, he really meant to accuse “climate deniers as a whole, rather than Crockford in particular.”

Life is often made more difficult for those who don’t worship at the altar of climate change, and Crockford’s sin is that of being an oft-cited skeptic to the “polar bears are going extinct” narrative. Polar bears do indeed make for cute and cuddly symbols of the far north, and for now they aren’t going anywhere fast — despite what some with an agenda would lead us to believe.

SOURCE 





Short-term versus long-term changes in the temperature record of North Rhine-Westphalia

In pre-industrial times, significant climatic fluctuations occurred in North Rhine-Westphalia and elsewhere, some of which even exceeded the modern temperature level. Common climate models can not reproduce the preindustrial climate history -- Translated from the German of Sebastian Lüning

In the course of global industrialization and the use of fossil fuels, the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has risen to its highest level in 800,000 years. At the same time, the temperature of the earth has increased by almost one degree in the last 150 years. However, the exact quantitative proportion of man-made and natural climatic factors in this warming is still unclear and is due to the inaccurately known climate impact of CO 2 , the so-called CO 2Coupled with climate sensitivity.

In order to better understand the natural contribution to current climate change, a preoccupation with the preindustrial climate history is necessary. Only when the natural climate dynamics of the last millennia have been correctly recorded and the corresponding drives understood, can today's overall climate system consisting of natural and anthropogenic drives be fully understood and quantified.

Great importance is given to earlier natural heat episodes that occurred locally to globally every 1000-2000 years and whose exact causes are still under investigation. Unfortunately, many accounts of climate change lack such a climate-historical vision. Thus, the consideration in the climate status reports on North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) begins only in 1880 (LANUV, 2010, 2016). The publisher of the reports, the State Office for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection of North Rhine-Westphalia (LANUV), blatantly fails to classify the current climatic changes in a longer-term context. The year 1880 corresponds to the end of the so-called Little Ice Age (15th-19th century), one of the coldest episodes in the history of climate in the past 10,000 years.

Thus, the LANUV refers all considerations to a special climatic phase. This is unusual, since it differs from the usual scientific practice to compare the events with long-term average values, the so-called baseline (Lüning and Vahrenholt, 2017). For example, the average temperature of the past 2000 or 10,000 years would have been more suitable, with several natural cold / warm phases included. Only the classification into the longer-term climatic context makes it possible to decide to what extent the current climatic changes have already left the range of the natural fluctuation range.

In the following, therefore, the temperature development of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and neighboring regions will be explained by way of example. In addition, the current state of discussion on the validation of climate models and CO 2 climate sensitivity is summarized.


The record:

Last 100 years

The mean annual mean temperature in North Rhine-Westphalia has increased by about one and a half degrees over the last 135 years based on data from the German Weather Service (DWD) (Figure 1).


Fig. 1: Development of the average annual temperature in North Rhine-Westphalia during the past 135 years. Source: DWD


Last 1000 years

The Modern Heat Phase is not the only warming period in post-glacial climate history. Already in the Middle Ages 1000 years ago, a warm phase occurred, which is particularly well-known from the North Atlantic region, but was also pronounced in many regions of the rest of the world, eg in Africa (Lüning et al., 2017). Thus, the Medieval Warming Period (MWP) and Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) were also described from the NRW neighboring state of Rhineland-Palatinate (RP). Moschen et al. (2011) reconstructed the temperature history based on carbon isotopes in a peat core from the Dürren Maar. They found a warming of more than 5 ° C in the transition of the cold period of the Migration Period (500-700 AD) to MWP ( Figure 2). In this context, there appeared to be strong warming bursts, with temperatures naturally skyrocketing by several degrees within a few decades. In this respect neither the current temperature level nor the current rate of warming in the NRW-RP area seems to be unprecedented in the historical context.


Fig. 2: Temperature evolution of the Dürren Maar (Eifel) during the last 2000 years based on a temperature reconstruction based on cellulose carbon isotopes of a peat core. Zero point of the temperature anomaly scale is slightly above the temperature average of the last 2,000 years (Little Ice Age is missing). Left curve: Unsmoothed data. Right curve: moving average over 60 years. Data digitized by Moschen et al. (2011)


Last 10,000 years

Extending the reference period to the last 10,000 years, it becomes clear that there were a whole series of warm and cold phases in pre-industrial times. In science, it is referred to as climatic millennium cycles, since the changes occurred at intervals of 1000-2000 years. The cycles have been described from all parts of the world (Lüning and Vahrenholt, 2016) and could derive at least part of their drive from fluctuating solar activity (Bond et al., 2001). Other researchers assume an internal climate pulse.

Such a millennium cycle was also described in the Sauerland Bunker Cave by Fohlmeister et al. (2012). Rhythmic changes in the oxygen isotope stalactites have shown continuous natural climate change over the past 11,000 years, with the system varying between warm / humid and cold / dry (Figure 3). The change between the cold phase of the migration period, MWP and modern heat period is clearly visible in the cave reconstruction.


Fig. 3: Natural climatic fluctuations in the Sauerland over the past 11,000 years, reconstructed on the basis of oxygen isotope fluctuations ( δ 18 O) from dripstones of the bunker. Unit in per thousand of oxygen isotopes. CWP = Modern Warm Period, MWP = Medieval Warm Period, DACP = Cold Ages Cold Period, RWP = Roman Warm Period. Age scale shows years before 1950 (Years BP, before, present '= 1950). Data from Fohlmeister et al. (2012) , downloaded from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/study/20589

A particularly warm phase was the so-called Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM), which occurred in the period 8000-5500 years before today. Kühl and Moschen (2012) reconstructed the temperature of this climate episode for the drought Maar using pollen. It was found that the temperatures in the Eifel at that time were more than a degree above the current level of heat (1990-2017, Fig. 1), or almost two degrees, if one takes the cooler reference interval 1961-1990 as a benchmark. The July temperatures of the Eifel during the HTM were 18.0-18.5 ° C, whereas at the nearest weather station Manderscheid in the DWD reference interval 1961-1990 a July average of 16.3 ° C was measured (Kühl and Moschen , 2012).

The field of paleoclimatology has made great advances in the last 15 years, and a multitude of new local temperature reconstructions have been made throughout the world. However, the regional and supraregional synthesis of these data lags somewhat behind. So far there is still no robust global temperature reconstruction for the past 10,000 years, in which both land and sea temperatures are integrated. The much-cited curve of Marcott et al. (2013) relies almost exclusively on sea temperatures, but the temperature change is much less severe than on land due to the thermal inertia of the oceans. A global temperature reconstruction for the past 2,000 years by the PAGES 2k Consortium (2013) found that in the period 1-600 AD. Apparently already several times at least as warm as today.

However, changes are still to be expected here, as the reconstruction relies heavily on tree ring data, which in many cases comes from unpublished and unexamined sources. In addition, other inappropriate data appear to have been included in the averages (eg, Africa: Lüning et al., 2017)

 In this respect, the focus here should first be placed on more reliable local temperature series such as the Bunker Cave and the Drought Maar, and hopefully soon improved global temperature curves will become available in the future.

SOURCE 




"The Guardian" is disappointed by the polls

See below

Gallup released its annual survey on American perceptions about global warming last week, and the results were a bit discouraging. While 85–90% of Democrats are worried about global warming, realize humans are causing it, and are aware that most scientists agree on this, independents and Republicans are a different story. Only 35% of Republicans and 62% of independents realize humans are causing global warming (down from 40% and 70% last year, respectively), a similar number are worried about it, and only 42% of Republicans and 65% of independents are aware of the scientific consensus – also significantly down from last year’s Gallup poll.

The Trump administration’s polarizing stance on climate change is probably the main contributor to this decline in conservative acceptance of climate change realities. A recent study found evidence that “Americans may have formed their attitudes [on climate change] by using party elite cues” delivered via the media. In particular, the study found that Fox News “is consistently more partisan than other [news] outlets” and has incorporated politicians into the majority of its climate segments.

Nevertheless, public awareness about climate change realities has improved over the long-term. For example, about two-thirds of Americans now realize that most scientists agree global warming is occurring, up from less than half in 1997.

There’s also a strong correlation between awareness of the expert consensus, that humans are causing global warming, and concern about the issue. This suggests that when people are aware that experts agree, they accept the consensus and realize we need to address the problem. This is consistent with research finding that the expert consensus is a ‘gateway belief’ leading to public support for climate action.

SOURCE 

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

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

*****************************************



Tuesday, April 17, 2018



Lost amid all the 'noise' over Scott Pruitt is the very real damage Obama's EPA did to rural communities

The far left will stop at nothing in their efforts to derail the presidency of Donald Trump. Still bitter about the outcome of 2016, the left claims much of their outrage toward the president is driven by his unpredictable personality, but ideological opposition to his administration’s reform-minded agenda is the real root of their anger.

Nowhere is this more evident than the furor surrounding Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Trump’s opponents have seized on a number of recent unflattering news stories involving Pruitt and his agency. While admittedly not the best public relations for Pruitt, his “real sin is that he is one of Mr. Trump’s most aggressive reformers,” as the Wall Street Journal editorialized last week. President Trump expressed a similar sentiment over the weekend when he tweeted praise for his EPA chief’s “bold actions” and “record clean Air & Water while saving USA Billions of Dollars.”

Since taking office last year, Pruitt has boldly carried out the president’s campaign promises. In October, he moved to repeal Obama’s Clean Power Plan regulations, ending the War On Coal and providing a shot in the arm for coal country that had been decimated.

Pruitt and Trump issued an executive order doing away with the Obama-era Waters Of The United States (WOTUS) that sought to impose new regulations on every miniscule body of water in this country.  And Pruitt encouraged Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, an accord which the UN itself admitted last year was largely symbolic, but whose damage to American businesses would have been real.

Environmental protection remains a priority: under Pruitt’s leadership, $100 million dollars have been awarded to Flint, Michigan, to upgrade the drinking water and to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous substances and pollutants – known as “Superfunds” – has been prioritized.

Pruitt’s “scandals” are exaggerated for political expediency: never mind that the Obama EPA spent just as much, if not more, than Pruitt’s team, according to a recent Fox News report.  Or that Lisa Jackson, Obama’s EPA chief, was caught using the email alias “Richard Windsor” to communicate with people outside the government. Or that one Obama-era EPA employee was caught downloading and watching pornography on the job. These issues prompted no outrage from Hill offices, and one questions if Congressional inquiry could possibly be politically motivated, or if left-wing outrage is a one-way street.

These millions of Americans who lost their jobs, their towns, and their livelihood voted to undo the EPA’s destruction, and Scott Pruitt is doing just that.

The left also knows that opposing Trump and Pruitt will curry favor with Tom Steyer, the San Francisco billionaire taking a bigger and bigger role in the public policy debate. Already having pledged $30 million dollars of his vast fortune to help elect identically ideological environmentalists, Steyer has now embarked on a publicity stunt to impeach the president, spending millions on television and digital ads.

Lost amid all the noise is the extreme damage the previous EPA did to rural communities. My work takes me to small, energy-rich towns around the country.  These are the places where America gets its power, where multiple generations of energy workers live and worship and raise their families.  Places where the champions of the eco-left would not deign to visit.  These towns survived dot.com bubbles and housing crashes because the majority had steady, good paying jobs in coal mines or oil fields.

These proud towns went from prosperity to poverty during eight years of EPA regulatory action as unemployment became rampant, and with it, myriad hardships: shuttered stores on main street, depleted education funds, increased opioid use.  Families broke apart as moms and dads moved from their beloved hometowns looking for work.  The very fabric of their communities – neighbors, schools, churches, little league, diners, town squares – destroyed in less than a decade.

The ideologues of the previous EPA believed they were punishing “the fat cats” as Obama liked to call rich people who didn’t vote for him, or “millionaires and billionaires” in Bernie Sanders lexicon, or “big oil” according to the eco-left. But who they really punished were the forgotten men and women in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, New Mexico, Alaska, and Louisiana, among others.  These millions of Americans who lost their jobs, their towns, and their livelihood voted to undo the EPA’s destruction, and Scott Pruitt is doing just that.  His punishment will be severe: the eco-left, in conjunction with their elected patrons in Congress and media allies, will persecute him relentlessly. 

Our message to Administrator Pruitt: American energy workers who are going back to work thank you. The American economy thanks you. And please remember these wise words: if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.

SOURCE 




Tomorrow’s Grim, Global, Green Dictatorship

Viv Forbes

Greens hate individual freedom and private property. They dream of a centralised unelected global government, financed by taxes on developed nations and controlled by all the tentacles of the UN.

No longer is real pollution of our environment the main Green concern. The key slogan of the Green religion is “sustainable development”, with them defining what is sustainable.

Greens hate miners. They use nationalised parks, heritage areas, flora/fauna reserves, green bans, locked gates and land rights (for some) to close as much land as possible to explorers and miners – apparently resources should be locked away for some lucky distant future generation. And if some persistent explorer manages to prove a mineral deposit, greens will then strangle it in the approvals process using “death by delay”.

Greens hate farmers with their ploughs, fertilisers, crops and grazing animals. They want Aussie grazing land turned back to kangaroos and woody weeds. They plan to expel farmers and graziers from most land areas, with food produced in concentrated feedlots, factory farms, communal gardens and hydroponics.

Greens hate professional fishermen with their nets, lines and harpoons. Using the Great Barrier Reef as their poster-child, they plan to control the Coral Sea using marine parks, fishing quotas, bans and licences, leaving us to get seafood from foreign seas and factory fish farms.

Greens hate foresters and grass-farmers. They want every tree protected, even woody weeds taking over ancient treeless grasslands. Red meat and forest timber are “unsustainable”. Apparently they want us to live in houses made of recycled cardboard and plastic and eating fake steak and protein powder made from methane generated from decomposing rubbish dumps.

Greens despise the suburbs with their SUV’s, lawns, pools, rose gardens, manicured parks, ponies and golf courses. They prefer concentrated accommodation with people stacked-and-packed in high-rise cubic apartments, with state-controlled kindies in the basement, and with ring-roads of electric trams and driverless cars connecting apartments, schools, offices and shops.

Greens hate reliable grid power from coal, nuclear, oil, gas or hydro generators. Their “sustainable” option is part-time power from wind and solar with the inevitable blackouts and shortages needing more rules and rationing.

Greens lead the war on fracking and pipelines. The victims are energy consumers. The beneficiaries are Russian gas and Middle-east oil.

Greens think it is “sustainable” to uglify scenic hills with whining wind towers, power poles, transmission lines and access roads, and to clutter pleasant estuaries and shallow seas with more bird-slicing turbines. They think it is “sustainable” to keep smothering sunny flatlands under solar panels and filling the suburbs with extra power lines and batteries of toxic metals.

Greens think it is “sustainable” to clear forests for bio-mass to feed large wood-fired power stations, or for establishing biofuel plantations. They think it is “sustainable” to keep converting croplands from producing food for humans to producing ethanol for cars.

Greens hate free markets where prices are used to signal changing supply and demand. There is no room for fun, frills or luxuries in their “sustainable” world. They want to limit demand by imposing rationing on us wastrels – carbon ration cards, electricity rationing meters, water rationing, meat free days, diet cops and bans on fast foods and fizzy-drinks.

They also favour compulsory recycling of everything, no matter what that process costs in energy or resources. Surveillance cameras will keep watch on our “wasteful” habits.

None of this vast green religious agenda is compatible with individual freedom, constitutional rights or private property - and none of it makes any economic or climate sense.

The Despotic Green New World is coming. Climate alarm is the stalking horse, “sustainable development” is the war cry, and global government is the goal.

SOURCE 





Japan just found a 'semi-infinite' deposit of rare-earth minerals -- and it could be a 'game-changer' in competition with China

Now no fear of shortages

Because China has tightly controlled the world’s supply of these minerals – which are used in everything from smartphones to electric car batteries – the discovery could be a “game-changer” for Japan, according to an analyst.

The study, published in the journal Nature on Tuesday, says the deposit contains 16 million tons of the valuable metals.

Rare-earth minerals are used in everything from smartphone batteries to electric vehicles. By definition, these minerals contain one or more of 17 metallic rare-earth elements (for those familiar with the periodic table, those are on the second row from the bottom).

These elements are actually plentiful in layers of the Earth’s crust, but are typically widely dispersed. Because of that, it is rare to find any substantial amount of the elements clumped together as extractable minerals, according to the USGS. Currently, there are only a few economically viable areas where they can be mined and they’re generally expensive to extract.

China has tightly controlled much of the world’s supply of these minerals for decades. That has forced Japan – a major electronics manufacturer – to rely on prices dictated by their neighbour.

The newly discovered deposit is enough to “supply these metals on a semi-infinite basis to the world,” the study’s authors wrote in the study.

There’s enough yttrium to meet the global demand for 780 years, dysprosium for 730 years, europium for 620 years, and terbium for 420 years.

The cache lies off of Minamitori Island, about 1,150 miles southeast of Tokyo. It’s within Japan’s exclusive economic zone, so the island nation has the sole rights to the resources there.

“This is a game changer for Japan,” Jack Lifton, a founding principal of a market-research firm called Technology Metals Research, told The Wall Street Journal. “The race to develop these resources is well underway.”

Japan started seeking its own rare-earth mineral deposits after China withheld shipments of the substances amid a dispute over islands that both countries claim as their own, Reuters reported in 2014.

Previously, China reduced its export quotas of rare earth minerals in 2010, pushing prices up as much as 10%, The Journal reports. China was forced to start exporting more of the minerals again after the dispute was taken up at the World Trade Organisation.

Rare-earth minerals can be formed by volcanic activity, but many of the minerals on our planet were formed initially by supernova explosions before Earth came into existence. When Earth was formed, the minerals were incorporated into the deepest portions of the planet’s mantle, a layer of rock beneath the crust.

As tectonic activity has moved portions of the mantle around, rare earth minerals have found their way closer to the surface. The process of weathering – in which rocks break down into sediment over millions of years – spread these rare minerals all over the planet.

The only thing holding Japan back from using its newly found deposit to dominate the global market for rare-earth minerals is the challenge involved in extracting them. The process is expensive, so more research needs to be done to determine the cheapest methods, Yutaro Takaya, the study’s lead author, told The Journal.

Rare-earth minerals are likely to remain part the backbone of some the fastest-growing sectors of the global tech economy. Japan now has the opportunity to control a huge chunk of the global supply, forcing countries that manufacture electronics, like China and the US, to purchase the minerals on Japan’s terms.

SOURCE 




Science is Not Truth

Richard Harris has written a startling book about the state of medical research. The preface to "Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions" includes a warning about scientific naivety:

Most of science is built on inference rather than direct observation…Science progresses by testing ideas indirectly, throwing out the ones that seem wrong…Gradually, scientists build stories that do a better job of approximating the truth. But at any given moment, there are parallel narratives, sometimes sharply at odds with one another. Scientists rely on their own individual judgments to decide which stories come closer to the truth…Some stories that seem on the fringe today will become the accepted narrative some years from now. (italics added)

During the years I’ve spent examining the climate debate, I’ve tried to communicate precisely these ideas. Millions of people think there’s a climate crisis because ‘science says.’ But in addition to being hazy and incomplete, that science relies on indirect reasoning and judgment calls.

Scientists, being human, are susceptible to bias, group-think, self-interest, and tribalism. We often hear that 97% of scientists think climate change is caused primarily by human beings. This, let us be clear, is an opinion.

Ideas championed by the greatest minds of one era are frequently tossed into the dustbin by the next. Google eugenics. Or continental drift. Or germ theory. Or stomach ulcers.

For decades, Pluto was a planet. Then it wasn’t. As a non-scientist, I once thought such matters were straightforward. I was naive.

TOP TAKEAWAY: In Harris’ words, scientists “are groping around at the edges of knowledge.” This means we need to be careful, indeed, when basing laws and government policies on scientific findings.

SOURCE 





A SETBACK FOR THE GLOBAL WARMING CROWD

Canadian hockey analyst, Don Cherry, called out global warming alarmists as cuckooloos and like most liberals they demanded he be fired.

The Great Lakes Region a couple of years ago had Arctic like conditions for several months.  This year has been a little more erratic.  Cleveland had historic snow one week and then a fairly standard winter.  Canadian hockey analyst, Don Cherry, called out global warming alarmists as cuckooloos and like most liberals they demanded he be fired.  Cherry was expressing Ontario was having a very cold winter.  Angry liberals couldn’t just change the channel.  Maybe they were even more embittered in the cold.

Six years ago I lived through a 10 day heat wave in the Tidewater region.  Newspaper columnists with no more science background than the rest of us blamed man-made climate change, except.  It had been terribly chilly through most of June and after the heat wave the rest of the summer was cooler than average.  Heat waves happen and have always happened.

Growing up I remember many late springs.  Journalists claim trees now bloom sooner but a scientist told me buds appear when the length of daily sunlight grows.  Temperature isn’t a factor but don’t let that interfere with a liberal narrative.

Climate and weather aren’t the same, although.  Climate is a series of weather events.  When the forecast one week out rarely is accurate then how can we foresee climate in a century?  When a judge at a trial of America’s oil companies accused of warming the planet asked a simple question the environmentalists were dumbfounded.  “What caused the last ice age?” he queried.  The lefties were at a loss for words.

SOURCE 

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

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

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Monday, April 16, 2018



Two CO2 climate change myths

CO2 does not “trap heat” in the atmosphere and the increase in CO2 is not a buildup of our emissions. In fact these are two pseudoscientific myths that appear frequently in alarmist press reports and teaching materials. Neither one is true.

The science is quite different. It is actually pretty complex, which is why the climate change science is so widely debated.

No heat is trapped by CO2 in the air

CO2 both adds heat to the atmosphere and removes it, so it certainly does not trap it there. CO2 is a secondary greenhouse gas (GHG), with water vapor being the primary GHG. What being a GHG means is two different things, as GHGs both add and remove heat in the atmosphere.

It all begins when the sun’s incoming energy heats the surface of the Earth. Some of that energy is then given off as infrared light, which is usually called “long wave radiation” or LWR. A lot of this LWR simply passes through the atmosphere and goes out into space, where it is gone forever. But some of it is intercepted and absorbed by GHG molecules.

These energized molecules then give off this absorbed LWR energy to the rest of the air as heat. (Heat is not a substance; rather it is just molecular motion.) So at this point we can say that the CO2 has heated the air and this is as far as the alarmists go. What they do not mention is that when this heat energizes other GHG molecules, they give off LWR, thereby removing the heat.

So the energy comes into the air as LWR and becomes heat, then it goes out again as LWR, and is gone. No heat is trapped in this process. There is always some heat in the air as this process goes on, but it is like people coming into a store, then standing in line waiting to be served, then leaving. No one is trapped.

Once we see that no heat is trapped, we can ask whether adding CO2 necessarily increases the amount of heat (and the temperature) in the air. Thanks to the complexity of the climate system, the answer turns out to be not necessarily. Moreover, satellite observations tell us that there has been no CO2 warming since records began about 40 years ago.

The CO2 buildup is not made up of our CO2 emissions

It is pretty well established that the amount of CO2 in the air is increasing. It is usually said that this is because we are dumping a lot of CO2 into the air and a lot of it is staying there, building up year after year. This is more or less the standard concept of pollution, which the alarmists constantly invoke, but that is nothing like what is happening with the CO2 increase.

What the alarmists consistently fail to mention is that our emissions of CO2 are tiny compared to those that occur naturally. In fact natural processes both emit and absorb something like 25 times what we emit (the actual amount is not measured). This vast natural flow of CO2 into and out of the air is called the “carbon flux.” It is part of the carbon cycle that sustains all life on Earth.

The point here is that given this huge carbon flux, pretty much any CO2 that we emit is gone in just a few years. Something like 25% of the CO2 in the air is absorbed every year by natural processes, including the CO2 that we put there.

What this means is that the CO2 increase in the air is not made up of our CO2 building up. Our CO2 may or may not be causing the increase, someway or another, but it does not make up the increase. Let me say this again simply, the CO2 increase is not our CO2.

In sum, when you see articles complaining about heat trapping CO2 pollution filling the air, none of it is true. The increase in CO2 is not a buildup of human emissions and it is not causing the atmosphere to heat up.

SOURCE 





Global warming effects: Taps may dry up in India, claims study

A stupid prophecy if ever there was one.  Global warming would cause the oceans to evaporate off MORE, leading to MORE rain.  Shrinking rainfall indicates COOLING

New Delhi: A new early warning satellite system has revealed that India along with Spain, Morocco and Iraq faces the risk of shrinking reservoirs that can lead to taps going dry.

It has highlighted poor rains in 2017 to show the shrinking of the Indira Sagar dam in Madhya Pradesh and the Sardar Sarovar reservoir in Gujarat that supplies drinking water to millions.

Shrinking reservoirs could spark the next "day zero" water crisis, according to the developers of a satellite early warning system for the world's 500,000 dams, the Guardian reported on Thursday.

Cape Town grabbed headlines on "day zero". It launched a countdown to the day when taps would be cut off to millions of residents as a result of a three-year drought. Drastic conservation measures have forestalled that moment in South Africa.

However, dozens of other countries face similar risks from rising demand, mismanagement and climate change, said the World Resources Institute (WRI).

The US-based environmental organisation is working with Deltares, the Dutch government and other partners to build a water and security early warning system that aims to anticipate social instability, economic damage and cross-border migration.

A prototype is due to be rolled out later in 2018, but a snapshot was unveiled on Wednesday that highlighted four of the worst-affected dams and the potential knock-on risks.

Tensions have been apparent in India over the water allocations for two reservoirs connected by the Narmada river. Poor rains last year left the upstream Indira Sagar dam a third below its seasonal average.

When some of this shortfall was passed on to the downstream Sardar Sarovar reservoir, it caused an uproar because the latter is a drinking supply for 30 million people. Last month, the Gujarat government halted irrigation and appealed to farmers not to sow crops.

Spain has suffered a severe drought that has contributed to a 60 per cent shrinking of the surface area of the Buendia dam over the last five years, the Guardian report said.

All the dams are in the mid-latitudes, the geographic bands on either side of the tropics where climate change is expected to make droughts more frequent and protracted. As more reservoirs are scanned, the WRI expects more cases to emerge.

"These four could be a harbinger of things to come," said Charles Iceland of the WRI. "There are lots of potential Cape Towns in the making. Things will only get worse globally, as water demands increase and the effects of climate change begin to be felt."

Gennadii Donchyts, senior researcher for Deltares, said the reservoir-monitoring service will steadily grow in size as information is added from Nasa and European Space Agency satellites that provide resolutions of between 10 and 30 metres on a daily basis.

SOURCE 





'Longest winter of my life': Edmonton breaks record with historic cold stretch

It’s the never-ending winter. Or at least it feels like that in Edmonton.

The city’s winter-weary residents may be forgiven for griping about the lingering chill this year after they broke their record for most consecutive days of temperatures at or below freezing.

On unlucky Friday, April 13, the temperatures dipped to a low of -2 C with a wind chill of -6 C, according to Environment Canada. It marked the 167th consecutive day of minimum temperatures at or below 0 C, which means Edmonton hasn’t seen an overnight temperature above the freezing mark since Oct. 29, nearly six months ago.

Edmontonians have endured 167 consecutive days with minimum temperatures at or below 0 C.

That’s according to weather historian Rolf Campbell who shared a chart on Twitter with historical data from the city’s coldest stretches. The previous record was set in 1974 to 1975 when Edmonton endured 166 consecutive days of temperatures at or below the freezing mark.

Resident Adam Morris wasn’t alive back then, so for him, this winter’s stubborn cold is unprecedented.

“This is the longest winter of my life,” he told CTV Edmonton on Friday.

Despite the weather, Morris attempted to get into the spring spirit by hitting some balls at the Victoria Driving Range in the city’s River Valley.

“It felt great getting out to swing some clubs,” he said.

Kevin Hogan, the head golf professional at the range, said the business chose Friday as its opening date two weeks ago.

“Bring toques and mitts and when you start hitting some balls you’ll warm up pretty quick,” he recommended.

Other residents tried to find spring indoors at a local garden centre filled with flowers.

“We came today to feel the life, to see all the flowers and spring’s on its way,” one visitor said.

Despite the optimism, it could be a while yet before seasonal temperatures return to Edmonton with Environment Canada predicting a continuation of chilly overnight lows for the coming week.

SOURCE 




Famed US lawyer burns himself alive to protest global warming

Obviously a nut but it does show how Warmist screams of doom can be harmful for people with marginal psychological functioning

High-profile US gay rights lawyer and environmental advocate David Buckel, 60, has self-immolated in a public park in a grisly protest against humanity’s destruction of the planet.

His charred remains were found just after sunrise on Saturday (Sunday Australian time) in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York City.

Hours before his death, Mr Buckel emailed a copy of his suicide note to several media outlets. In it he urged the world’s residents to protect the planet, The New York Times reported.

“Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather,” he wrote. “Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result — my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves.”

Mr Buckel also insisted in the email he was in “good health to the final moment”.

In a handwritten note left near his body, Mr Buckel said his suicide was a “protest” and added: “I apologise to you for the mess.”

Mr Buckel was the lead attorney in a case involving Brandon Teena, a transgender man murdered in the US state of Nebraska. He won the lawsuit, resulting in a county sheriff being held liable for failing to protect Mr Teena. Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her portrayal of the transgender man in the 1999 movie Boys Don’t Cry.

He was also the strategist behind same-sex marriage cases in New Jersey and Iowa, and helped set a precedent that US schools have a duty to prevent anti-gay bullying.

After his lengthy legal career, Mr Buckel became deeply involved in environmental causes.

In several online videos from 2014, he spoke passionately about techniques for turning garbage into compost in inner cities.

Camilla Taylor, acting legal director at Lambda Legal, Mr Buckel’s former employer, described him as a “brilliant legal visionary”.

“This is a tremendous loss for our Lambda Legal family, but also for the entire movement for social justice,” she said in a statement.

“David was an indefatigable attorney and advocate, and also a dedicated and loving friend to so many. He will be remembered for his kindness, devotion, and vision for justice.”

Mr Buckel wanted his death to lead to increased action, according to the suicide note.

SOURCE 





Can The U.S. Break Russia’s Gas Monopoly In Europe?

In a statement that is sure to provoke Russian backlash, while also sending a strong message to both Moscow and European energy markets, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry said on Thursday before the Senate Armed Services committee that moving U.S. energy supplies into Eastern Europe is one of the more powerful ways to contain Russian influence.

He also agreed that Russian cyberattacks on the U.S. energy sector were "an act of war.” His comments come just a week after the U.S. Treasury Department revealed that so-called Russian government actors targeted "multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors" with cyberattacks at least since March 2016.

A report in UPI last week said that a ransomware cyberattack from the Petya or NotPetya bug targeted thousands of government and private corporate servers across the globe in 2017. The attack demanded a ransom paid in Bitcoin to release the encryption imposed by the virus that prevents users from accessing their devices. The U.S. Treasury claims the NotPetya attack was attributed to the Russian military.

"An energy policy where we can deliver energy to Eastern Europe, where we are a partner with people around the globe, where they know that we will supply them energy and there are no strings attached is one of the most powerful messages that we can send to Russia," Perry added in his remarks on Thursday.

Gas as a geopolitical weapon

The National Defense Authorization Act has said that U.S. efforts should promote energy security in Europe, stating Russia uses energy "as a weapon to coerce, intimidate and influence" countries in the region.
Related: What Trump’s Tariffs Mean For Global Oil And Gas

Perry’s comments also come as ties between Washington and Moscow reach post-Cold War lows over numerous issues ranging from Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, its continued involvement in the Ukraine, and Syria, and its purported nerve agent poisoning of what is being referred to as a Russian double agent and his daughter on British soil.

However, Perry’s message may not be as welcome as he would like in Europe. Though EU members, including an increasingly alarmed Germany, appear to be waking up to Russian influence and blatant geopolitical maneuvering, many in the EU are still equally as cautious over American motives to export its liquefied natural gas (LNG) to European markets.


Additionally, challenging Russia’s dominance in European gas markets is no small feat – even for the U.S. which by the end of the decade will have as many as five major LNG exports projects operational, thus becoming the third largest LNG exporter after Qatar and Australia.

Russia's gas exports to Europe rose 8.1 percent last year to a record level of 193.9 billion cubic metres (bcm), despite rising competition and concerns about the country’s dominance of supply, the London-based Financial Times recently reported.

The report added that Russian state-run gas giant Gazprom, the world’s largest natural gas producer, has a monopoly over Russia’s network of pipelines to Europe and supplies nearly 40 percent of Europe’s gas. However, Gazprom has been forced to lower its prices in recent years to protect its market share in the face of moves by EU member states to buy more gas from the U.S., Qatar and other producers.
Related: The Battle For China’s Growing Gas Demand

Additionally, Nordstream 2, Russia’s ambitious but controversial natural gas pipeline project, is set to be completed next year. This route will further secure Russia’s grip on European gas market share, and its accompanying geopolitical influence will be a hard task for the U.S. to dislodge.

Economic factors also come into play. As discussed last week, American LNG is at a cost disadvantage compared to Russian piped gas. Using a Henry Hub gas price of $2.85/MMBtu as a base, Gazprom recently estimated that adding processing and transportation costs, the price of U.S.-sourced LNG in Europe would reach $6/MMBtu or higher – a steep markup.

Henry Hub gas prices are currently trading at $2.657/MMBtu. Over the last 52-week period U.S. gas has traded between $2.602/MMBtu and $3.82/MMBtu. Russian gas sells for around $5/MMBtu in European markets and could even trade at lower prices in the future as Gazprom removes the commodity’s oil price indexation.

SOURCE 

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

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

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