Want to see what Obamacare really looks like? Take a gander at this dazzlingly complex chart mapping out America’s new health care system (the chart was developed by the House Joint Economic Committee).
It’s no wonder that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in March said of Obamacare, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.” Well, the health care monstrosity passed and we’re left with a confusing fog of new government agencies, regulations and mandates. Continue reading... (The Foundry)
Health Care: A 2,000-page government takeover of the health system was just enacted, but now congressional Democrats want even more government. The "public option"
is rising from the grave.
American seniors take note: There's a new bureaucrat in charge of your health care. Perhaps zookeeper is a more appropriate title, as the newly appointed but never-to-be
confirmed head of Obama's Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) likes to refer to the U.S. health care payment system as a zoo.
NEW YORK - In the city that never sleeps there is one increasingly busy nocturnal resident who New York wants to evict -- the bedbug.
They even throw in the "climate change" chestnut: Gender-bending fish on the rise in southern Alberta
University of Calgary researchers say cocktail of chemicals skew sex ratios in river populations
Warning to reader: Some of the emails quoted below from Dr. Tyrone Hayes are obscene.
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 23:12
With the financial crisis fading into the past, speculation on agricultural commodities markets has returned in force. Food prices are climbing once again as hedge funds rediscover the immense profits that can be made -- led by a British chocolate baron. (Spiegel)
Scientists have for the first time regrown a joint inside a body, cultivating thigh joints that were fully functioning only one month after the experiment.
In a SPIEGEL interview, genetic scientist Craig Venter discusses the 10 years he spent sequencing the human genome, why we have learned so little from it a decade on and the potential for mass production of artificial life forms that could be used to produce fuels and other resources. (Spiegel)
The American people broke the code. They know about cap-and-trade. They know it’s a huge tax hike and they don’t want it.
Ample blame exists for the demise of climate legislation in the U.S. Senate, from President Obama’s lack of political courage, to the environmental community’s overly ambitious strategy, to Republican intransigence. A way forward exists, however, to build on the rubble of the Senate’s failure to cap carbon emissions. (Eric Pooley, e360)
The Reid energy bill abandons cap-and-trade, dooming the cause.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday rejected 10 petitions challenging EPA's 2009 finding that climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions endanger human health
and the environment.
There is a news release titled July 29, 2010 EPA Rejects Claims of Flawed Climate Science.
It is based on
I am going to comment here on just one of the EPA findings in the rejection. In EPA Rejects Claims of Flawed Climate Science they write
The EPA, however, in contrast to what they write, chose to ignore the conclusion of such reports, peer reviewed papers, and testimony as
National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp.
Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell, W. Rossow, J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian, and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union
Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229.
Pielke, R.A. Sr., 2008: A Broader View of the Role of Humans in the Climate System is Required In the Assessment of Costs and Benefits of Effective Climate Policy. Written Testimony for the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality of the Committee on Energy and Commerce Hearing “Climate Change: Costs of Inaction” – Honorable Rick Boucher, Chairman. June 26, 2008, Washington, DC., 52 pp.
as well as documentation of the deliberate successful attempt to exclude viewpoints in the CCSP and IPCC reports which differ from the EPA findings; e.g.
Pielke, R.A. Sr., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences”. 88 pp including appendices.
The EPA claim that
It is almost trivial to show that the EPA is not properly considering peer reviewed research that differs from their findings.
As just one example, they write
There are not three independent records of surface temperatures trends as we reported in our Pielke et al 2007, i.e.
They also ignored peer reviewed research that shows a discrepancy between the surface and lower tropospheric temperature trends; i.e.
Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2009: An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D21102, doi:10.1029/2009JD011841.
This EPA Denial is yet another perpetuation of the group think that was so evident in the released CRU e-mails. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association on Tuesday filed a lawsuit seeking to rewrite the ballot description of Proposition 23, a measure voters will consider in November
that would suspend California's global warming law.
There is a really interesting article at the Times Higher Ed Supp, discussing the coalition of big business and big green - the baptists and the bootleggers - who have joined forces to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else.
by Richard Morrison
A recent report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has received wide media attention, has come to the conclusion that evidence for anthropogenic global warming is “undeniable.” This has, of course, been seized on by alarmists as confirming that all of their proposed solutions to future warming must therefore be undeniably correct as well. The conclusions of the report are also being used in attempts to try to bury the Climategate scandal of recent months.
Read the full story (Cooler Heads)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its new “State of the Climate 2009” report on July 28, claiming that evidence for global warming is “unmistakable” and that it’s happening because of greenhouse gases. But critics are already poking holes in the alarmist arguments as the press jumps on the story. (Alex Newman, New American)
Recent reports claim June was the warmest on record, but it seems to fly in the face of reports of record cold from around the world. (Tim Ball, CFP)
The Journolist story demonstrates active, covert collaboration among leftists to plant political themes in the media. Long-time listeners of conservative talk radio are
aware of audio montages where old-line media talking heads repeat verbatim a set of words that can't be anything other than shared talking points. A perfect example was the
2000-era Dick Cheney "gravitas" showcased by Rush Limbaugh.
George Monbiot should be calling the IPCC to account for its unreferenced rainforest claims, rather than attacking its critics (Richard North, Guardian)
New Scientist has published a rather remarkable leader to go alongside its interview of Phil Jones:
It would be interesting to see whether the leader writer at New Scientist can explain from where they got the idea that CRU had drowned under FoI requests. This was not the finding of the inquiries. The Information Commissioner specifically told the Parliamentary Inquiry that the level of FoI requests was nothing out of the ordinary:
I'd like to invite whoever it is that wrote this column to provide some backing for their claim - perhaps someone who is registered at the New Scientist website can pass the invitation on. (Bishop Hill)
Panelist says issue must be reframed before time runs out
I do wish the Prince of Wales weren’t such a terrible prat because then I wouldn’t have to say it in print and quite ruin my chances of a knighthood. But he is a prat. A
dangerous prat at that — as he reminded us yet again just the other day in a speech he gave to ‘business leaders’ at St James’s Palace about what he thinks is happening
with ‘climate change’.
Nice work if you can get it: $1.5m for climate chiefs
THE five climate change experts Julia Gillard hopes to inform public opinion on the issue will be paid an average of $300,000 a year.
very large fraction of the respectable names of the climate science that you know - Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, Fred Singer, Henrik Svensmark, Willie Soon, Will Happer, Bob
Carter, Craig Idso, Paul Reiter but also folks such as Lord Christopher Monckton, Joanne Nova, Anthony Watts, or your humble correspondent, among many and many others - have
helped Aeris Systems - a truly professional and well-educated firm - to build the state-of-the-art application that explains and studies the science of climate change.
itunes.com/apps/ourclimateThe result is a fantastic application sold for USD 0.99 (or EUR 0.79) whose real value is hundreds of dollars.
» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)
A game show host challenges Al Gore to live the green life, the Governator seems rudderless in defense of his climate bill and global warming causes Mexicans, or something. (Daily Bayonet)
This is on UHIE: More Frequent, More Intense Heat Waves in Store for New York
Heat waves like those that baked the Northeast in July are likely to be more frequent and more intense in the future, with their effects amplified in densely built urban environments like Manhattan, according to climate scientists at The City College of New York (CCNY).
Running this again because it seems to surprise a few: UI researcher finds black carbon implicated in global warming
Increasing the ratio of black carbon to sulfate in the atmosphere increases climate warming, suggests a study conducted by a University of Iowa professor and his colleagues and published in the July 25 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience. (University of Iowa News Release)
New data indicate rapid temperature rise in the coldest region of mainland Europe
We have featured Antarctica many times in our essay series, and despite a million claims that “the icecaps are melting,” we continue to find no end of articles in major journals building a case for the opposite. Here we examine some recent research, and find evidence for decreased melting and, at least local, mass gains. (WCR)
(UPDATED: 3:10 p.m. July 29, 2010 with temperature difference plot)
As promised, here are the first results from my little backyard experiment to investigate the role of downwelling infrared (IR) sky radiation on air temperature. (High school students looking for a science experiment, pay attention).
It’s a heavily insulated box that — theoretically — should chill air at night to a temperature below that of the outside air. The following is a conceptual design of
The Box before I built it, along with the key components:
This all came about because I got tired of being asked about the theory behind global warming, specifically, how can downwelling infrared sky radiation from greenhouse gases (mostly water vapor, to a lesser extent CO2) cause global warming of the Earth surface, when the emitting temperature of the sky is colder than the surface?
Some people are convinced that this cannot happen, since the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics says energy naturally flows from higher temperature to lower temperature. In contrast, the mainstream science community, while agreeing the NET energy flow is from warm to cold, you can still cause warming by adding more greenhouse gas to the colder atmosphere. This happens even though the IR emitting temperature of the sky “causing” that warming is 10’s of degrees colder than the surface.
[NOTE: the direct warming effect of more atmospheric CO2 is small; its the resulting indirect warming (positive feedbacks) from clouds and water vapor that has most scientists worried. But not me...I think the net feedbacks are negative.]
So, since I have two automated weather stations in my backyard, I decided to build a heavily insulated box that would contain a small amount of air, and try to reduce all the other kinds of energy exchange between that air sample and the environment to a minimum EXCEPT for the influence of the downwelling sky radiation.
The air sample and the sky would be allowed to exchange IR radiation, and the colder the infrared emitting temperature of the sky is, the colder the air in the box should become compared to the air outside of the box. More about that later.
While we might not put the debate to rest with such an experiment, we can build some intuition about the energy flows that cause day and night air temperatures to be what they are. Of course, one could simply buy a hand-held infrared radiometer and take the sky’s “temperature” directly. But since everyone (myself included) has at least some trouble conceptualizing the role of infrared radiation in weather and climate (after all, we can’t see IR radiation), I thought that letting the IR effect be measured through its influence on temperature would make a bigger impact.
So, here’s a picture of the real thing that I took this morning, after collecting data since about noon yesterday:
Here’s a close-up of the cavity. There is an insulating layer of air trapped between the two thin sheets of polyethylene, which are nearly transparent to infrared energy.
The temperature sensor itself can be seen below that, in the cavity, the walls of which are painted with high emissivity paint (Krylon 1502 Flat White, IR emissivity = 0.99;
Note that in the infrared, black is not necessarily more emissive than white…it depends on what the paint is made of, and whether the surface is rough or smooth).
When I first closed up the box with the thermometer placed in the cavity, I was surprised how hot the cavity became. The maximum temperature recorded yesterday afternoon was 158 deg. F, and that must have been the limit for the sensor, because the temperature then flatlined for about an hour.
The reason for the high temperature was some direct sunlight reflecting off of one wall of the airspace, above the cavity. Even though the cavity was painted white, it still absorbed enough energy to make the air very hot. From what I have been able to gather, it is very difficult to get the solar reflectance of white paint above about 0.9.
It is interesting to calculate what rate of energy input would be required to cause this rapid rate of warming, which was about 3 deg. F per minute. If the cavity is initially in energy equilibrium, and we start reflecting 20 Watts per sq. meter more onto the cavity walls, about 10% of that (2 Watts per sq. meter) would be heating the paint, and so the air in the cavity.
According to my calculations, that would be more than enough to explain the initial rapid rise of temperature in the cavity on its way to 158+ deg. F. My calculations are only approximate, though, since I did not take into account the heat capacity of the cavity walls (painted aluminum foil), or the increased loss of IR as the cavity warmed, or conductive losses to the styrofoam and air space above the cavity.
But what we are really interested in is what happens when the overwhelming influence of solar radiation subsides. In the above plot, look at what happens as sunset
approaches. Despite diffuse solar radiation still entering The Box from the blue sky, the cavity air cools to a couple of degrees below the ambient air temperature by
sunset. Then, during the night, the cavity air averages about 4 deg. F colder than the outside air. This is easier to see in the next plot of the temperature difference
between the cavity and the outside air, which we see remains pretty constant during the night:
To see how even a little diffuse sunlight from the sky can cause warming of the cavity, note what happened just after sunrise this morning…even though our yard does not see direct sunlight till close to 11 a.m. (very tall trees in the way), the blue sky started warming the cavity almost immediately after sunrise.
Then, after a short while, I put a white cover from a plastic cooler over the cavity to minimize the daytime heating of the cavity. At the end of the data plot you can see this solar cover caused the cavity to cool back down to the same temperature as the ambient air.
So, we already can see the cooling effect of infrared radiation in the data…in the form of cavity temperatures colder than the air. This happens from just before sunset, until sunrise — the period when there is little or no sunlight, either direct, or diffuse from the sky. But what, exactly, is the reason for this chilling effect?
Why Was the Cavity Colder than the Outside Air Temperature?
But once the rate of energy loss exceeds that gained, then the temperature will fall, as was seen when The Box entered the shade. Then, then rate of IR energy lost (which increases rapidly with temperature) exceeded that gained from diffuse solar radiation, and the cavity temperature fell.
So, at night when there is no solar energy available, what is to prevent the cavity from getting very cold? Outer space is supposed to emit near absolute zero, 3 K. The Box’s cavity enters the hours of darkness at something like 300 K temperature. At 300 K, and assuming an IR emissivity of 0.99, the cavity is emitting IR at a rate of just over 400 Watts per sq. meter. Assuming the box is very well insulated, and is not leaking air, what is to prevent the cavity temperature from dropping well below freezing (273 K)?
The answer is downwelling IR from the sky. During the day in the summer, the broadband infrared sky temperatures viewed from the ground generally runs about 10 – 20 deg. F cooler than the near-surface air temperatures. This source of energy must exist, because without it the temperature of a cavity in a well insulated box at night would plunge even faster than we saw it heat up when exposed to indirect sunlight. And that rapid rate of temperature rise was due to only about 2 Watts per sq. meter! Imagine what in imbalance of 400 Watts per sq. meter would do.
Instead, the sky emits at only a slightly lower temperature than the surface, so the cavity cools only a little at night: about 4 deg. F cooling out of a “potential cooling” of 15 deg. F, assuming the IR emissivity of the cavity is 1.0.
By the way, I calculate that, if the cavity emissivity was only 0.90 rather than the advertised 0.99 (we really don’t know), we could explain the entire 4 deg. F drop based upon the cavity coming to a radiating temperature equal to that of the sky.
Presumably, once drier air arrives here in Alabama in another couple months, I should see larger temperature falls in the cavity, since water vapor is the Earth’s main greenhouse gas. In the meantime, I’m open to suggestions regarding simple ways to make The Box more efficient at rejecting all sources of energy except downwelling infrared radiation from the sky.
…a radiation source which some say, does not exist. (Roy W. Spencer)
Oil refiner and marketer Caltex Australia Ltd says motorists should be excluded from any proposed carbon pollution reduction scheme because it would be ineffective at
reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Ed. note: This piece first appeared on Energy Outlook, Geoffrey Styles’ blog.
I've been going though BP's second-quarter earnings press release and results to get a better sense of the impact of the Gulf Coast oil spill on the company's finances. It's a measure of the scale of a "Supermajor" like BP and the robustness of its underlying cash flows that it could continue to invest more than $6 billion (B) in capital projects and acquisitions in the quarter and even pay down a bit of debt, while recording a charge of $32.2 B against earnings related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster and ensuing oil leak. To put that figure in perspective, it's more than the market capitalization of Exelon Corporation, the largest owner and operator of nuclear power plants in the US. Yet among all of the remarkable and morbidly-fascinating numbers presented here, the one that stood out for me was the net decrease of shareholder equity by $16 B since the end of 2009. Anyone seeking to explain the decision of BP's board to change CEOs should start there. (Geoffrey Styles, Energy Tribune)
For months, the corn ethanol industry has been pushing the Obama administration for permission to increase the amount of ethanol that can be blended into the US gasoline supply. [Read More] (Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune)
Congress must soon decide whether to extend federal tax subsidies for renewable energy that expire at the end of the year. The subsidies for wind, solar and geothermal energy are necessary to give these energy sources the help they need to compete with oil, coal and natural gas. While it renews those subsidies, Congress should end tax breaks for corn ethanol, which can stand on its own and is of dubious environmental benefit. (NYT)
by Marita Noon
New Mexico has enjoyed some of the lowest energy prices in the country—which is good as it is a poor state. However, the major supplier of electricity to the state, PNM, has just asked for a 21.2% rate increase on top of the 24% they’ve received over the last few years. Welcome to the new world of government-forced renewable energy–and one reason why Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) recently said he didn’t have the votes for a federal renewable portfolio standard (RPS).
The anticipated rate shock gets worse for New Mexicans: a nearly 50% rate hike in five years. While PNM claims New Mexico still has some of the lowest rates in the country, the citizens are not taking the preventable increase lying down. David King, chairman of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC), for example, calls the rate increase a “hot potato” saying that he’s received “a flood of calls from ratepayers.”
During the month of July, PNM has been holding Public Forums through out their service area regarding their Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The flyer promoting the event invited the “public” to join in on the discussion on topics such as “To what degree are consumers willing to pay more for a different combination of power sources?” The news about the proposed rate increase came out at the same time as the forums were scheduled. While PNM had a set program they’d planned to deliver, the attendees had little interest in the PNM’s dog-and-pony show. [Read more →] (MasterResource)
Norway's decades-old political consensus on offshore drilling is under attack in the wake of the BP oil spill, just as it covets new riches in the Arctic.
British, American and Norwegian engineers are in a race to design and build the holy grail of wind turbines – giant, 10MW offshore machines twice the size and power of anything seen before – that could transform the global energy market because of their economies of scale. (ERW)
“Energy prices may rise by a third,” says our disastrous secretary of state of energy and climate change Chris Huhne. Rubbish. They’re going to rise by a hell of a lot more than that before he is finished. Alternative energy, let us never forget, is just that: an alternative to energy. Wind power and solar power are so risibly inefficient that the only way they can ever be economically viable is with lashings and lashings of taxpayer subsidy. Nuclear power would be much more effective but Huhne has effectively ruled it out. Why? Because in Huhne’s bizarre Weltanschauung, it’s OK for the taxpayer to subsidise low-carbon energy that doesn’t work (wind, solar) but not low-carbon energy that does work (nuclear). (James Delingpole)
Tucker Carlson's Web site, the Daily Caller, has unearthed a treasure trove of liberal journalists talking (nastily) to themselves in a private e-mail list about how they
should use their media power to remake the world in their image.
Debt: In the long debate over financial reform, proponents repeatedly argued that an overhaul was needed to "prevent the next financial crisis." Who'd have thought
the real threat for another crisis was government itself?
While it's hardly the only cause of out-of-control health care costs, absurd legal judgments are right up there, along with pointless layers of administrative bureaucracy. You've probably read articles by plaintiff's lawyers suggesting that this was a myth.
It's no myth. I grant you that if one considers only the value of the judgments themselves (as all the apologists do), the factor is not terribly large. But, that is a foolish and misleading analysis.
The real cost derives from the countless extra tests ordered on virtually every single patient, done solely to protect against future litigation. A hidden cost—and one that no doubt inflicts harm on many patients—is the tendency toward conventional therapies, as the risks inherent of trying something innovative are more legal than medical.
My latest HND piece describes an incandescently preposterous judgment in California, against a well-regarded nursing home operator, in which absolutely no patient harm was even alleged. The stars were definitely aligned for the ambulance chasers in this one.
A clueless jury, led by a more clueless judge put the worst possible bias on every aspect of the proceedings. And there was also a grotesquely inflated class, likely comprised of a majority of members who had no problem with Skilled Healthcare, and didn't even know that they were included.
Read the piece, and weep for the future of health care. (Shaw's Eco-Logic)
BOSTON, July 28 - When someone collapses suddenly, mouth-to-mouth rescue may not be necessary and could lower the chances of survival, researchers said in two studies on
Wednesday that found chest compression alone is enough.
SAN FRANCISCO - A nonprofit environmental group has sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, claiming the agency failed to regulate toxic chemicals found in
"antimicrobial" soap and other personal care products.
NEW YORK - A woman's overall diet during pregnancy may not be related to her child's risk of developing wheezing problems by preschool age, a new study suggests.
Obesity among pregnant women has reached epidemic levels, according to health experts, who are warning women not to "eat for two".
Anne Milton says word fat more likely to motivate people into shedding pounds, adding it was important they took 'personal responsibility' for lifestyles (Guardian)
The rising rate of obesity means more people are using mobility devices, such as canes and grab bars, and at younger ages than ever before, according to a study released
Wednesday by researchers at Purdue University.
A new study from the US suggests that social interaction should be considered an important factor for extending lifespan, on a par with other health and lifestyle factors,
to the extent that low social interaction harms longevity as much as alcoholism and smoking, has more impact than lack of exercise, and is twice as harmful as obesity.
NEW YORK - Despite its well-known health benefits, a daily multivitamin may not help students ace exams or even make it to school on time, suggests a new study of New Jersey
elementary school kids.
Univ. of Miami oceans and human health study uncovers potential health issues for beachgoers; health tips for bathers
Just as cooking helps people digest food, pretreating polycarbonate plastic — source of a huge environmental headache because of its bisphenol A (BPA) content — may be the key to disposing of the waste in an eco-friendly way, scientists have found. Their new study is in ACS' Biomacromolecules, a monthly journal. (ACS)
Tall men and overweight women are most likely to get bitten by midges, new research has found.
BEIJING - Authorities in China's far west have bred and trained "an army" of silver foxes bought from a fur farm to fight a plague of rats threatening a huge
expanse of grasslands, state media said on Wednesday.
Climate journalism is like being at a third-world bazaar where the media behave like merchants all shouting, pitching their catastrophe stories. (P Gosselin, No tricks Zone)
UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. General Assembly asserted a global right to water and sanitation in a resolution on Wednesday, but more than 40 countries abstained, saying no such
right yet existed in international law.
Do you prefer eggs from free-range hens over those from caged hens? If so, here’s some upsetting news. (Jack Dini, Hawaii Reporter)
Don't believe the headlines. Cap-and-trade is not dead. It's too important to fail. Why? Because well-heeled Democrat cronies are expecting an opportunity to score big bucks via the trading of carbon dioxide. (Brian Sussman, Human Events)
The US leader must lay out a comprehensive and costed plan to the American people showing how he will move beyond oil
Reaching a binding climate deal at the upcoming U.N. conference in Mexico will likely be difficult, delegates from a group of developing nations said on Monday, spurring
further doubts about a global climate accord this year.
by Robert Bradley Jr.
To better understand the broad consequences of the proposed Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act on the U.S. economy, the Institute for Energy Research commissioned Chamberlain Economics, L.L.C to perform an economic and distributional analysis of cap-and-trade portion of the proposal.
The report examines the impacts that the American Power Act would have on the U.S. economy, the method by which emission allowances are distributed to corporations and the distributional cost of the bill on households by income, age group, region and family type.
The study’s key findings of the American Power Act follow:
The authors also explored two specific propositions: the first, the potential for shareholders, and not consumers, to benefit from the distribution of free emission allowances; and, second, the expected consequences of the bill’s creation of a separate pool of allowances for petroleum refiners, thus adding to the price volatility of those allowances. Both conclusions are contrary to Kerry and Lieberman’s stated intent of the legislation. [Read more →] (MasterResource)
Former Enron adviser Paul Krugman delivers the good news that 2010 is "the year in which all hope of action to limit climate change died." Needless to say, he thinks this is bad news, but that's not why we're highlighting his column in yesterday's New York Times. Instead, it is for this passage:
"You've probably heard about the accusations leveled against climate researchers--allegations of fabricated data, the supposedly damning e-mail messages of "Climategate," and so on. What you may not have heard, because it has received much less publicity, is that every one of these supposed scandals was eventually unmasked as a fraud concocted by opponents of climate action, then bought into by many in the news media."
Now, it would be one thing for Krugman to argue--wrongly, in our opinion--that the "supposedly damning e-mail messages of 'Climategate' " were not actually damning. But no one has denied that they are genuine. Krugman's description of them--and every other accusation "leveled against climate researchers"--as "a fraud concocted by opponents of climate action" is flatly false.
Wall Street Journal (GWPF)
A Daily Kos contributing editor has suggested that “Steve Milloy and his buddies” commit suicide or be euthanized apparently for the crime of opposing global warming alarmism.
Amid a rant on his Examiner.com blog about skeptics “carpet-bomb[ing] newspaper editorial pages with climate change disinformation…], Steven Alexander, who writes for Daily Kos under the nom-de-plume “Darksyde,” wrote that,
The reference is to the assisted suicide scene in the 1973 movie Soylent Green, starring Charlton Heston.
The Clarity Digital Group, which owns Examiner.com, removed the offensive posting immediately upon notification.
Former Washington Post reporter David Weigel was recently fired from the paper for privately writing on the Journolist listserv that Matt Drudge should “… set himself on fire.”
Now Alexander has publicly wished a similar fate for climate skeptics.
If you wonder why the skeptics fight so vigorously against the greenshirts, the sort of intolerance exhibited by Alexander over a mere difference in opinion is one reason. God help us all, if they prevail. (Green Hell)
(Steve Woodman, Quadrant)
Stephen H. Schneider, hailed as the “Carl Sagan of climate science,” and who served on the international panel that won the 2007 Nobel Prize with Al Gore, has passed away at 65. He should be remembered as much more than a global warming alarmist. In fact, he was once a global cooling alarmist. (K. Lloyd Billingsley, Daily Caller)
Written by Steve McIntyre
The word “hide” has obviously attracted a lot of attention lately – “hide the decline” even occasioning its own song.
Today I’d like to discuss the following remarkable instructions by a NASA employee in the recently disclosed NASA emails (available at Judicial Watch): Robert please move to the CU site and hide this after Jim checks it. Darnell please send it out to Jim’s email list. Jim said if I don’t want to you should do…
What is that they are planning to “hide”? And why would they be “hiding” it in the first place? And why would Hansen think that one of his employees wouldn’t “want” to send something out to Jim’s email list?
Read more... (SPPI)
A new climate change report from the Met Office and its US equivalent has provided the "greatest evidence we have ever had" that the world is warming. (TDT)
Dubious claim of the day: Scientists warn of global warming threat to marine food chain
Numbers of phytoplankton - the microscopic organisms that sustain the marine food chain - are plummeting as sea surface temperatures rise (Guardian)
Throughout Earth’s history, there is evidence of large carbon dioxide releases, greenhouse conditions, ocean acidification, and major changes in marine life. About 120 million years ago (mya), during the early part of the Cretaceous period, a series of massive volcanic eruptions pumped huge amounts of carbon dioxide into Earth's atmosphere. During the Aptian Oceanic Anoxic Event, atmospheric CO2 content rose to about twice today's level. Eventually, the oceans absorbed much of that CO2, which significantly increased the water's acidity. The change reduced the amount of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the water, making it difficult for creatures such as some kinds of plankton to form shells. But the plankton did not die out. In fact, the geological record indicates that ocean biota can adapt to CO2 concentrations as high as 2000 to 3000 ppm—five to eight times current levels.
Proxy evidence indicates that atmospheric CO2 concentrations were higher during long warm intervals in the geologic past, and that these conditions did not prevent the precipitation and accumulation CaCO3 as limestone. The accumulation of alkalinity from rock weathering, brought to the ocean by rivers, kept surface waters supersaturated. But these were gradual changes that lasted for extended periods of time, not perturbations. More rapid additions of CO2 during extreme events in Earth history include the end-permian mass extinction (251 mya), the Aptian Oceanic Anoxic Event 1a (OAE1a, 120 mya), and the paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, 56 mya).
A team of paleontologists and geochemists have investigated how the high acidity affected the ancient marine ecosystem. Elisabetta Erba, Cinzia Bottini, Helmut J. Weissert, and Christina E. Keller examined fossils from ancient ocean sediments at two drill sites. One site is a now-above-ground formation in northern Italy, while the other lies in deep water in the mid-Pacific Ocean. “The Pacific Ocean was the only big ocean at that time,” Erba says. What they found is contained in a new paper, “Calcareous Nannoplankton Response to Surface-Water Acidification Around Oceanic Anoxic Event 1a,” in the July 23, 2010, issue of Science.
Descendants of ancient calcareous nannoplankton.
In particular, Erba et al. studied the numbers and condition of fossilized specimens of calcareous nannoplankton, the microscopic ancestors of modern plankton. The creatures' shells consist mostly of CaCO3 and therefore could reveal their overall health and the state of the ocean's chemistry. What they found was a bit of a surprise, to say the least:
In plainer terms, as ocean acidity increased the skeletons of some species became malformed, other species shrank in size, and others died out altogether. More importantly, most nannoplankton seemed to adapt to acidification. The finding of dwarfism among marine species is also an interesting discovery.
It has long been known from the fossil record that various species of land animals shrank in size during the PETM. For animals this makes thermodynamic sense—the ratio of surface area to volume is higher for small animals than for large ones. This means a small animal can shed excess heat more readily than a large animal. For the marine creatures, the size change is seen as a response to dropping oxygen and carbonate levels.
“Although the negative carbon isotopic event (CIE) at the beginning of global anoxia (~120 Ma) coincides with the drop in carbonate content, there was an increase in relative abundance of Biscutum constans, Zeugrhabdotus erectus, and Discorhabdus rotatorius, represented by dwarfed specimens,” reports the study. Species-specific size variation was observed at both sites, with the most dramtic reduction registered by B. constans, a volume/mass reduction of 50 to 60% for individual coccoliths. Specimins of Z. erectus diminished to a lesser extent, between 30 to 40%, while D. rotatorius displayed the least reduction, only between 5 to 10%. The details are shown in the figure below.
Comparitive average coccolith size.
The authors, at the end of their paper, noted some of the differences between the OAE1a and the PETM. In particular, they comment on the more rapid onset for the PETM. In their words:
They also note that the recovery phase is also longer for OAE1a, ~160,000 years versus ~30,000 to 80,000 years for the PETM. Consequently, the response of marine life to the PETM is harder to discern. The recovery phase is also longer for OAE1a, ~160,000 years versus ~30,000 to 80,000 years for the PETM.
Of course, in these days of climate change political correctness it is de rigueur to add a disclaimer to any scientific work which might hint that the global warming crisis is not really a crisis at all. So it is with this paper. “The effect of modern surface-water acidification on organisms with CaCO3-based skeletons or tests, such as calcareous nannoplankton, remains elusive,” state the authors, a fairly mild disclaimer. Others, commenting on the paper are not so reserved.
It is a “very important paper [that] provides state-of-the-art understanding of the effects of massive amounts of CO2 in the oceans,” said marine geologist Timothy Bralower of Pennsylvania State University. The difference today is that the rate of CO2 increase “is far faster than anything we see in the ancient geologic record,” he said, in a ScienceNow article online. “The big question is whether modern species will be able to adapt to what I expect will be much more rapid pH reduction in coming centuries.”
Even most land animals got smaller during the PETM.
The charge that the current increase in CO2 is more rapid than historical events is pure conjecture. Trying to nail down precise timing of events 56, 120 or 250 million years in the past is an inexact pursuit at best. Discerning the difference between a few hundred or several thousand years at such a temporal remove is effectively impossible. The passing of time makes the modern-is-faster statement fatuous at best. We do know that these ancient events dwarf humanity's greenhouse gas emissions. Whether human activity can create an event as dramatic as the PETM has been discussed before on this blog (see “Could Human CO2 Emissions Cause Another PETM?”). Such knee-jerk climate alarmist responses can be safely dismissed.
Scientists who study nature, particularly biological organisms, have come to believe that species change. Driven by changing environmental condition, they adapt and they evolve. It should not be surprising that in the past, nature has successfully responded to larger changes in CO2 levels than those created by humans today. Overly sensitive species died out, others had a rough time but most did what successful species always do—they adapted to the new conditions. The lesson here for humans is that continued survival means we must be willing to adapt, because nature is always changing. As the adaptation of simple marine plankton shows, nature has proven predictions of an oceanic apocalypse to be as false as the other climate catastrophes predicted by climate change alarmists.
Be safe, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical. (Doug L. Hoffman, The Resilient Earth
Association of British Insurers warns some areas of Britain will become uninsurable
This stupidity, again: Climate change refugees still waiting for help
MARK COLVIN: The story of Papua New Guinea's sinking Carteret Islands has made headlines around the world.
Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself. Erasmus (1466 - 1536)
A controversial NOAA study estimating CO2 released by US wildfires says they could actually cut emissions
Ken has been a very busy man. Another soul in the dedicated army of volunteer auditors. He’s been going through the entire Australian High Quality Data Set as supplied by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). He’s been assisted by two readers from this site — Lance and Janama — and we’ll be looking to increase the team (see below).
In the State of the Climate report, both the BOM and CSIRO told us that “since 1960 the mean temperature in Australia has increased by about 0.7 °C. The long term trend in temperature is clear… ” but as usual, what they didn’t say was that the raw data since 1910 (not just from 1960) increased only 0.6°C.
The BOM claim their adjustments are random and neutral. Yet when Ken looked at the raw data from Australia’s 100 high quality rural sites, the adjustments increased the trend in the raw data by 40% — from a 0.6°C rise over 100 years, to 0.85°C over 100 years.
In an email to Ken, Dr David Jones, Head of Climate Monitoring and Prediction, National Climate Centre, Bureau of Meteorology, made a clear claim that the adjustments had no real effect:
Once again, the adjusted data shows a temperature change of 0.25°C. More » (Jo Nova)
A collection of papers from Science and Public Policy
Read more... (SPPI)
There is a misleading news article in the Fort Collins Coloradoan (h/t to Steve Geiger) that reads
This article perpetuates the scientifically unsupported claim that there is skill in predicting regional climate decades into the future. Kevin Trenberth, one of the IPCC authors wrote in 2007 (Predictions of climate)
We need regional predictive if droughts decades into the future are going to be correctly forecast, as is claimed in this news article. However, this level of forecast skill does not exist.
Policymakers are being lulled into a false sense of confidence that we understand where water resource threats exits and where they do not. The reality is that natural climate variations have produced multi-decadal droughts in the past (e.g. see) even without human intervention into the climate system. The adoption of a bottom-up resource-based vulnerability perspective (see) is a much more robust approach for policymakers to apply than the use of the top-down IPCC predictions. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
Energy: A new analysis of the effects of the offshore drilling moratorium shows more to worry about than beaches and tourism. Massive job loss and economic hardship lie
ahead, and we're doing it on purpose.
The White House has some tough questions to answer about the Deepwater Horizon disaster in light of a new report from the Center for Public Integrity. In the critical first days after the explosion, the U.S. Coast Guard disregarded its own firefighting policy and might have caused the oil rig to sink — prompting the leak that resulted in the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
New evidence unearthed by reporters Aaron Mehta and John Solomon reveals the cash-strapped Coast Guard broke its own rules and didn’t have a firefighting expert on the scene to oversee the private boats battling the blaze. There’s an ongoing investigation to determine if the salt water sprayed on the burning oil rig caused it to sink.
“[T]he question of what caused the platform to collapse into the Gulf … remains unanswered and could prove vital to ongoing legal proceedings and congressional investigations,” the article states. “That is because the riser pipe from which the majority of BP’s oil spewed did not start leaking until after the rig sank.”
Continue reading... (The Foundry)
The Energy Bill released on Tuesday is a big boost for the natural gas vehicle (NGV) industry, but natural gas faces hurdles to eroding oil's dominance as a transport fuel
in the United States.
As many predicted, Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D–NV) new energy bill contains neither a cap-and-trade program nor a renewable electricity standard (RES). But in a complete change of direction, the bill has made coal, the nemesis of the cap and trade/RES crowd, an alternative fuel. So now, to the list of politically correct alternatives such as wind and solar, we can now add coal.
In addition to the bill’s plethora of subsidies, tax credits, and other “incentives” to increase the production of electric vehicles, the bill, according to a draft summary, Section 2115 of the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act: Continue reading... (The Foundry)
Financial Post Staff July 28, 2010 – 2:55 pm
By Parker Gallant
The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) on July 15, 2010 released a report conducted for them by Ipsos-Reid in June. It was a relatively simple survey with only 6 questions, presumably developed in conjunction with CanWEA. In a press release issued by CanWEA, the President, Robert Hornung, was positively elated and had this to say;
Take a close look at the survey questions, however, and where the polling took place. It turns out Hornung is overplaying the results. While the poll indicates that almost 90% support (Q 1) the development of wind energy in the province only 44% (Q 3) are actually aware of wind developments. Based on the order of those two questions asked of the 1,391 survey respondents I would bet anyone in the business of conducting surveys would say the results are skewed and therefore biased in favour of CanWEA.
Two follow-up questions ask those informed (44%) and uninformed (56%) respondents to pick the “benefits” and “drawbacks” of wind farms and choose from a list of 30 benefits and 26 drawbacks. Even the nouns chosen for these question are skewed. The first benefit is listed as “cheap/affordable/cost savings”. No surprise that 31% picked that one. If you are uninformed shouldn’t Ipsos-Reid simply have skipped over these two questions otherwise the respondent is simply guessing. On the “drawbacks” list “unreliable” is listed 7th and the 1st is “noisy”. How would the uninformed know?
The lead up to the results of the survey by Ipsos-Reid outliness out the geographic location of the respondents and, lo and behold, 384 are from the Greater Toronto Area, where there is one wind demonstration wind turbine, a giant money-losing contraption located on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition. Do GTA residents know about wind turbines, and do they care? With a setback requirement of 550 metres they will never be affected. Why didn’t Ipsos-Reid identify urban vs rural respondents? One suspects the results would have been not quite so favourable and Mr. Hornung would not have liked them.
The take away from this skewed survey is that CanWEA can wave it in front of Premier Dalton McGuinty and his cabinet ministers and declare mass support for wind. The citizens of Ontario love the province’s Green Energy Act and they love big, unreliable, invasive wind farms. (Financial Post)
Bloody idiots! Ban on new coal-fired power plants without CCS
No new coal-fired power stations can be built in the UK without including carbon capture and storage technology, the government said on Tuesday.
The penny is fast dropping that by far the most disastrous appointment made by David Cameron to his Coalition Cabinet was that of the ultra-green, Lib Dem millionaire Chris
Huhne as our Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
July 28, 2010 – 7:53 pm
Like the Apollo program, the Volt is massively expensive, and pointless
Ontario taxpayers should be grateful that the Chevy Volt is not due to appear in the province until next year. Put together a $10,000-per-car provincial subsidy with ultra high-cost solar electricity foisted on the public via feed-in tariffs and you have a level of economic insanity it would be hard to match. Indeed, perhaps the Volt should be renamed “The McGuinty” for the Canadian market. It would take the pressure off the memory of poor Edsel Ford, who gave his name to a tail-finned lemon.
GM announced this week that the Volt, as expected, would cost US$41,000, more than a loaded Cadillac. It will still lose money. GM’s marketing chief, Joel Ewanick, when revealing the price, said the Volt was “starting the world on a different path.” Would that be The Road to Serfdom? But let’s not go over the top. The Volt will collapse under the weight of its own pointless non-viability. GM’s future lies with new conventional fuel-powered models such as the Buick Regal, which by all accounts is a terrific car. The Volt is pure politics.
Read More (Financial Post)
Government commits to just £43m of the original £230m promised for programme to subsidise the uptake of electric cars (Guardian)
The survival of some of the world’s largest freshwater fish — including a giant catfish — is threatened by a series of hydro-power dams planned for the Mekong River, a leading environmental group has warned. (TDT)
“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts” is how the great Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman defined science.
LONDON - An updated edition of a mental health bible for doctors may include diagnoses for "disorders" such as toddler tantrums and binge eating, experts say, and
could mean that soon no-one will be classed as normal.
In the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which will be released in 2013, it appears we may all be a little bit crazy. Which of course I've
known for years.
When the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation decided in 1991 to take on Joe Camel, it became the nation’s largest private funding source for fighting smoking. The foundation
spent $700 million to help knock the cartoon character out of advertisements, finance research and advocacy for higher cigarette taxes and smoke-free air laws and, ultimately,
to aid in reducing the nation’s smoking rate almost by half.
NEW YORK - Children's visits to the emergency room for serious food-allergy reactions may be on the rise, if the experience of one major U.S. medical center is an indicator.
MIAMI - An epidemic of dengue fever in the Caribbean and Latin America has increased the risk of an outbreak of the sometimes deadly mosquito-borne virus in South Florida, a
bioclimatologist and dengue expert said on Tuesday.
NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia - A prominent scientist said hundreds of people could die as smog from peat fires blanketed a sweltering Moscow for a second day on Tuesday.
Financial Post Staff July 27, 2010 – 9:08 pm
Postmedia News files
Chalk River’s problems result from unsustainably low prices for medical isotopes.
Don’t throw out the valuable Candu baby with the AECL privatization bathwater
By Jan Carr
Canadians have a lot riding on the impending privatization of Atomic Energy Canada Ltd. (AECL). We need to wind down our ownership in a fashion that ensures we continue to benefit from AECL’s unique CANDU technology and that requires distinguishing the institutional history of the nuclear industry from its accomplishments and potential.
It is hard to imagine a more difficult company for shareholders to love than AECL. It has been dogged by a long and continuing series of commercial disappointments from cost overruns on power plants to spectacular failures in the production of medical isotopes. It has become a thorn in government’s side through its sometimes ill-timed requests for substantial funding. But much of this results from flaws in AECL’s mandate and the way it is financed.
Read More (Financial Post)
Thanks to Andy Revkin, here’s the link to Walter Russell Mead‘s blog post “The Big Green Lie Exposed“, that I believe vindicates all The Unbearable Nakedness of CLIMATE CHANGE has been writing about since December 2007.
The text is incredibly jam-packed with quotable remarks, such as:
And so on and so forth. Whatever one thinks of AGW, “The Big Green Lie Exposed” has to be mandatory reading! (Maurizio Morabito, OmniClimate)
Something else you can thank the greenie loons for: Why can’t modern washing machines rinse properly?
[Since writing this article (which has over 300 comments) I've just discovered Which? no longer give 1 or 2 star ratings for rinsing ability and the majority appear to get 3
or 4 stars. However, they are still critical of their rinsing abilities in the comments and the pros and cons.]
Within the sludge of wastewater treatment plants is an invisible world teeming with microbes. Here, diverse species of bacteria convert solid and liquid wastes into gases,
some of which contribute to global warming.
The importance to medical research of genetically modified (GM) mice was highlighted yesterday as official statistics showed that their use in scientific experiments has exploded over the past decade. (The Independent)
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Tuesday pledged to fight on for a climate change bill, despite the collapse of US Senate legislation designed to cut greenhouse gas
Climate measures could be added in conference to an energy bill the Senate will take up this week, according to the White House.
By Robin Bravender, E&E reporter
A Senate Republican introduced legislation today aimed at preventing Democrats from adding cap and trade to a House and Senate energy conference, a move anticipated by some Republicans if the Senate fails to pass a climate bill under normal procedures.
The amendment from Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) would require the support of two-thirds of the Senate, or 67 votes, to include cap-and-trade climate legislation in a House-Senate conference report if the Senate has not already debated and approved it with the normal 60-vote threshold."My legislation holds Congress accountable and ensures a fair and open debate about cap and trade instead of quietly slipping it into law," Johanns said. "It's shocking that the majority would consider circumventing the will of the public to pass cap and trade in a lame-duck session with zero debate in the Senate."
Cap-and-trade advocates are scrambling to find a way to eke out a Senate climate bill after Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) dashed their hopes last week by dropping plans to include any emission limits in a scaled-back energy bill. Reid is expected to announce details of the oil spill response and energy package this afternoon, his spokeswoman said.
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the Democrats' top climate negotiator, has suggested that a lame-duck debate is possible after the November election, giving at least a glimmer of hope to many advocates of a carbon cap.
In the end, joint House-Senate conference committees will likely hammer out the final versions of whatever oil spill response or energy measures are passed in the remainder of the session. That might not take place until a lame-duck session after the November election, when much of the political pressure on lawmakers has dissipated.
Some observers have speculated that the House-passed cap-and-trade bill could be back in play during conference, or that Democratic leaders could use a conference to ratchet up the climate regulations beyond what the Senate agreed to.
"We have a lot of wiggle room in conference," a House Democratic aide told E&E last month (E&E Daily, June 28).
"The plan to do cap and trade in a lame duck is premised on senators and House members being free and liberated from the tethers of the American people," Johanns said today on the Senate floor. "That's extraordinary, and it's deeply troubling."
Johanns filed his amendment as a second-degree amendment to a provision from Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and George LeMieux (R-Fla.). That amendment would add a provision to the Senate's pending small-business jobs bill encouraging banks to make loans to small businesses.
Thomas Steyer, a San Francisco hedge fund manager and a big backer of Democratic candidates, will donate $5 million to a group opposing the ballot measure to roll back
California's landmark climate change law.
In the land down-under: Gillard’s people’s assembly ignores the people
On Friday, Gillard announced Labor’s climate change policy in the lead up to the election. She announced her intentions to create a citizens assembly to evaluate the evidence for climate change and confirmed that an interim price on carbon would not be considered by the Labor government at least until 2012.
Cartoon by The Australian's Jon Kudelka
Ironically, she announced this somewhat vacuous, indecisive plan at the University of Queensland – theoretically a place for young people to “move forward” and a place of long-term sustainable innovation. Furthermore, she made this announcement to an audience of young people. Young people, who have a stake in their government taking decisive action on climate change to protect their futures. (Sophie Trevitt, The Punch)
by Chip Knappenberger
While the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency would surely love to use the findings of the Independent Climate Change Email Inquiry (aka the Muir Russell report) to brush aside the many challenges mounted, in response to the Climategate email scandal, to the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases endanger the public’s health and welfare (a finding which enables the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions), they’ll find little in the Muir Russell report to help in their defense.
Well, I should qualify that. They’ll find little scientifically to help their defense. Politics is another matter.
Since the EPA has largely based its Endangerment Finding on an appeal to authority—the primary authority being the IPCC—rather than its own investigations, the Muir Russell report plays right into the EPA’s hands when concluding (emphasis in original):
At face value, it seems as if the EPA could take this as the only proof needed to dismiss all of the post-Climategate calls for it to reconsider it pre-Climategate Endangerment Finding.
But, as with just about everything else about the EPA’s Endangerment Finding, such action would be a gross oversimplification, a side-step around the deeper complexities, and an incomplete address of the issues raised against it. [Read more →] (MasterResource)
That adorable little girl covered in mud isn’t actually a future climate scientist, but she’s paid to look like one.
There's got to be scores of these individuals; perhaps hundreds, even thousands, of hacks in various departments of the U.S. federal government, galavanting around the globe touting their fraudulent haughty-taughty notions, which in practice will amount to nothing more than tyranny. It's bad enough when well known Republican frauds promote 'climate change' and 'global warming' hysteria , but many paid proponents of this scam are largely unknown to the average American. Nevertheless, here is the 411 on one of them. He is preparing for the upcoming U.N. climate conference in Cancun, Mexico. (Martin Hill, Examiner)
Five allegedly independent investigations claim to have cleared U.S. and British climate scientists of chicanery in their global warming research. It's more likely the
investigations will be among the final nails in the coffin for the global warming alarmist movement. That's a position shared not only among respected skeptics in the
scientific community, but increasingly in the mainstream press and even by some global warming believers.
Guest post by Christopher Booker
To the colourful Daily Telegraph blogger James Delingpole, it was winner of the coveted award for the "Biggest front page non-story in history of
journalism". What he was referring to was a tale published a week ago under the by-line of The Times's environment correspondent Ben Webster which led the paper,
covering virtually the entire front-page and with a whole further page inside, beneath the huge headline "Oil giant gives £1 million to fund climate sceptics."
Reuters and dozens of other
sources promote the craziness of the day, namely a bunch of statements by a Michael
Oppenheimer of New Jersey and his pals, Shuaizhang Feng and Alan B. Krueger. The paper was edited by the late Stephen Schneider a month ago.
» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)
African Journalists have been challenged to change the course of science in the continent, by acting as the "broker between actors" in science reporting.
Science is losing its credibility because it has adopted an authoritarian tone, and has let itself be co-opted by politics.
While nobody would dispute the value of a good PR department, we doubted that bad or insufficient PR was the primary reason for the public’s declining trust in scientific pronouncements. Our theory is that science is not losing its credibility because people no longer like or believe in the idea of scientific discovery, but because science has taken on an authoritarian tone, and has let itself be co-opted by pressure groups who want the government to force people to change their behavior. (Kenneth P. Green and Hiwa Alaghebandian, American Magazine)
Pia Heinemann reports in Die Welt today, Ocean Acidification Does Not Lead To Species Die-Off, on a new study appearing in the latest edition of Science. The study contradicts the assumption that ocean acidification leads to species die-off, surprising scientists.
Manmade emissions of CO2 are thought to be partly absorbed by the oceans, which in turn would acidify and pose a huge threat to calcareous organisms like corals and plankton. This is the horror story that has been widely circulating in the media for the last couple of years, and with ever-growing alarmism, at a time the dangers of global warming are turning out to be wildly exaggerated.
Italian and Swiss scientists have found answers by looking at 120 million year old sediment deposits. The team directed by Elisabetti Erba of the University of Milan describes new findings in the latest issue of Science.
They examined microscopic fossils and nannoplankton from a time period just after large volcanic eruptions 120 million years ago, when the air’s CO2 content rose to about twice today’s level. Their studies contradicted their expectations. Die Welt writes:
Heinemann writes that the study also delivered yet another surprise:
These new findings deal a massive blow to those hoping to exploit ocean acidification as the next disaster scenario to replace the discredited catastrophic AGW story. Expect the MSM to bury or spin the story.
Update/Note: Keep in mind that the plankton and coral studied were from 120 million years ago, meaning the species has since survived climate extremes and changes that were off the charts when compared to today’s mild natural changes. They’ve handled much colder and much warmer conditions with widely varying ocean chemistry.
Update 2: The Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany [Read here] is planning years of research on acidification, costing millions of euros, to study a bogus non-problem. They’ve teamed up with neutral Greenpeace, and so you can be sure they’ll come up with “catastrophic” findings and demand more money for research. Whatever it takes to bilk the taxpayer out of money. (P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone)
Will a hotter world lead to more intense storms?
2010 might be on track to be the warmest ever (according to GISS), but right now, we may be about to set a new record of tropical storms — in inactivity. Ryan Maue tracks the global accumulated activity and reports that by the end of July we might break the record low we set last year.
Global and Northern Hemsiphere Tropical Cyclone Activity is near a record low
Looking at the National Hurricane Centre, it doesn’t seem like there is much activity on the way between now and the end of July.
Advisories issued for the North Atlantic, The East Pacific, The West Pacific, and the Indian Ocean are all the same:
There is no tropical storm activity for this region.
Spanish daytime temperatures will rise by an average of between 3 and 6 degrees Celsius by 2100, and rainfall will tumble to 15-30 percent of recent levels, according to
forecasts on Tuesday by the Met Office.
Soot from diesel engines, coal-fired power plants and burning wood is a bigger cause of global warming than previously thought, and is the major cause of the rapid melting
of the Arctic's sea ice, Stanford climate experts say.
This title is part of the America's Climate Change project, the National Research Council's most comprehensive study of climate change to date.
Global climate change is one of America's most significant long-term policy challenges. Human activity--especially the use of fossil fuels, industrial processes, livestock
production, waste disposal, and land use change--is affecting global average temperatures, snow and ice cover, sea-level, ocean acidity, growing seasons and precipitation
patterns, ecosystems, and human health. Climate-related decisions are being carried out by almost every agency of the federal government, as well as many state and local
government leaders and agencies, businesses and individual citizens. Decision makers must contend with the availability and quality of information, the efficacy of proposed
solutions, the unanticipated consequences resulting from decisions, the challenge of implementing chosen actions, and must consider how to sustain the action over time and
respond to new information.
A former NASA contractor whose theory demonstrating that the greenhouse effect is constant and self-regulating and that increases in human CO2 emissions are not
the source of global warming is fighting an uphill battle to publish his controversial work.
From CO2 Science Volume 13 Number 30: 28 July 2010
Subject Index Summary:
The Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age in Arid Central Asia: What was learned about the relationship between temperature and precipitation during the two periods?
Effects of Ocean Warming and Acidification on Jellyfish: Just how devastating is the combination?
Effects of Elevated CO2 on an Economically Important Seaweed: Even in seawater where photosynthetic rates of the alga are essentially saturated, elevated CO2 still boost its biomass production.
A Largely Unappreciated Effect of Elevated Atmospheric CO2 on Coastal Seawater Nitrogen Content: What is it? What is its magnitude? And how does it impact both ocean biology and global climate?
Plant Growth Database:
Warm Period Project:
As a follow-up to my controversial post on the effect of infrared “back radiation” downwelling from the colder sky to the warmer surface, the existence of which some dispute (despite the real-time availability of such data), I’ve come up with an experimental setup to see how IR radiation from the sky influences air temperature near the ground. (Yes, I know some of you think there is no such thing, but please indulge my fantasy as if it was true, ok?)
The design is pretty simple and inexpensive, and looks a little like the blackbody radiators that are used as calibration sources. The following cartoon shows the main components
The idea is to isolate a sample of air and control its environment so that it’s main source of energy gain or loss is through an opening that looks at the sky. You have probably noticed that on a clear evening, dew forms first on the tops of cars and other surfaces. This is because these surface are losing IR energy faster than the air and other surfaces are, so their temperature falls below the dewpoint temperature first.
If we can isolate that effect sufficiently from other sources and sinks of energy, we should be able to get air temperature drops within the cavity in the direction of the colder, effective sky temperature. (We use air since it is very hard to measure the temperature of a cold surface accurately, so we let the cold surface inside the cavity chill the air in contact with it).
The cavity will be lined with aluminum foil, which has very high reflectivity in the infrared, painted on the inside only with high-emissivity paint (Krylon flat white, #1502 if I can find it…apparently, black paint isn’t as good an emitter in the IR.)
The 2 thin polyethylene sheets are in the upward-looking cavity opening to trap a layer of air for thermal conductive insulation, while at the same time passing most IR radiation (something polyethylene is apparently quite good at). The thermal conductivity of the trapped air is a little better (less) than that of Styrofoam, but since convection can occur in an air cavity, I’m sure the actual rate of heat transfer will be more than that for Styrofoam.
SO WHAT KIND OF SIGNALS CAN WE EXPECT?
(…assuming the experiment isn’t a complete failure because of something important I haven’t thought of…)
If you search around on the internet you will find that those who have made such broadband IR measurements of the sky (from what I can tell, usually with instruments that measure between 8 and 14 microns wavelength) report that the effective sky temperature in the infrared is usually 10 to 30 deg. C lower than the near-surface air temperature. Ten deg. C is more typical during humid conditions or cirrus cloud cover, while 30 deg. C would be during clear, low humidity conditions.
Low clouds produce a downwelling sky temperature nearly the same as the upwelling temperature. The sky temperature increases as you scan from the zenith down in elevation, due to the greater path length through the atmosphere.
As an example of the theoretically-expected difference in IR energy flows in and out of the cavity, at an emissivity of 1, a cavity at 300 K temperature should emit a broadband IR flux of 459 Watts/m2, while a downwelling apparent temperature of 290 K (10 deg. lower than the cavity) would produce 401 Watts/m2, the difference being 58 Watts per sq. meter.
In a perfect setup with a cavity emissivity of 1 and no other losses of energy under these conditions, the inside of the cavity would then cool to 10 deg. C less than the surrounding air temperature as the insulated cavity comes into radiative equilibrium with the sky. (I am currently monitoring 2 temperatures in my back yard, with the data sent to my computer by wireless. My first design failed due to large conductive energy loses, which led to the 2nd design, above).
Of course, a “perfect” experimental setup is not possible. I’ve run some numbers based upon the thermal conductivity of Styrofoam and I think I can keep the energy loses to about 20% of the signal being sought, but this is uncharted territory for me.
OK, TIME FOR YOUR PREDICTIONS
So, for all of you who think you know what will happen in this experiment, come on and tell the rest of us. Will the temperature of the air in the cavity stay the same? Will it cool? By how much?
I especially want to hear an answer to 2 questions:
(1) If you think the cavity will be the only source of IR radiation, and there is no downwelling IR radiation from the sky, then what will keep the air temperature inside from falling dramatically lower than the air temperature outside of the box?
(2) If you think the temperature in the cavity will not change, then what is keeping the IR radiation flowing out of the cavity toward the sky from causing a temperature fall? Wouldn’t want to violate the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, ya know.
Let the thinking begin. (Roy W. Spencer)
Update #2 John Nielsen-Gamon has alerted us to more information on the Moon’s radiative temperature. John e-mailed
Update – corrected text (underlined) h/t to Gerald E. Quindry
We have received a further question on our post
The question is summarized by the following text
We have reproduced the substance of our follow up answer below.
(Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
July 27 -- Oil from BP Plc’s record spill in the Gulf of Mexico is biodegrading quickly, probably eliminating the risk that crude will go around Florida and hit the U.S.
East Coast, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
BP Plc's newly named chief executive on Tuesday called the Gulf oil spill a "wake-up call" for the entire industry as the company tallied up its losses and
disclosed two U.S. investigations.
by Richard Morrison
At a time when most businesses are desperately trying to establish their “green” bona fides in a futile effort to placate the environmentalist movement, Washington, D.C.-area auto dealer and former National Automobile Dealers Association board member Geoffrey Pohanka is a breath of fresh air. His unabashed global warming realism is an inspiring reminder that some businessmen still have the wherewithal to fight back. Click on the video below to see Pohanka refutation of climate change alarmism.
July 27, 2010 – 8:14 pm
Coal produces far more greenhouse gases
By W.A. Dymond
U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson has suggested repeatedly that Canada needs to “do more” to reduce the carbon footprint from the oilsands, most recently in a Calgary speech July 19. Perhaps the ambassador should look more closely into his own mirror because, in point of fact, this would appear to be a case of “Old King coal calling the oil sands black” (or blacker). A few pertinent facts are worth noting:
According to both U.S. and Canadian government statistics, greenhouse gas emissions from the Canadian oil sands in 2007 were 37 megatons out of a total in Canada of 747 megatons, ie. 5% of the Canadian total but 0.5% of the U.S. total.
Emissions from U.S. coal-fired electricity from the same period were 1,987 megatons or 28 % of the U.S. total.
Not good. Shouldn't be restricting drilling: Congress Moves to Restrict Drilling Without Curbing Carbon
July 28 -- Congressional Democrats proposed tougher rules for offshore drilling in response to the worst oil spill in U.S. history, while spurning calls to place a price on
Alleged threats of global warming disaster must not hobble justice and civil rights. Endangerment rules and cap-and-trade laws threaten jobs, opportunity and justice.
Paul Driessen recently released a report entitled Justice through Affordable Energy for Wisconsin. In this thoroughly researched report, Driessen analyzes why affordable
energy is crucial to promoting justice and advancing civil rights. Driessen argues:
I am biased, but energy-related news items are some of the very few that really have a significant value for the world. They have an immediacy and they have an impact - positive if things go well, negative if things are left uncorrected. [Read More] (Michael J. Economides, Energy Tribune)
Householders face a £300-a-year rise in their gas and electricity bills and significant cuts in how much energy they use if Britain is to “keep the lights on” and meet its climate change targets, the Government has said. (TDT)
Simply stupid: UK businesses face steep rise in energy bills
Government plans to secure energy supplies and cut carbon emissions means higher energy prices and bills for businesses (Guardian)
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 08:14 Jeremy Nicholson, EIUG
The combined impact of the Government's climate change policies is imposing significant costs on the UK's energy intensive industries, and without urgent review could see some companies leaving the UK for good, warns a report published today.
Steel making, ceramics, paper, cement and lime manufacture, aluminium, basic inorganic chemicals and other industries currently employ some 225,000 workers, producing products essential to the UK's low carbon economy, from steel and light weight composites for wind turbines and electric cars, to glass, ceramics and advanced insulating materials for low-energy housing.
The Cumulative Impact of Climate Change Policies on UK Energy Intensive Industries is published by the Energy-Intensive Users Group (EIUG) and the TUC and says that the forecast increase in total energy bills, taking electricity, gas and emissions reduction schemes together, could be as high as 141 per cent by 2020.
The report says that these cost increases present a major challenge to the viability of a number of named companies across different energy-intensive manufacturers in the UK - including ceramics, chemicals, steel, aluminium and paper.
Commenting on the report TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "Employers and unions in these manufacturing industries are determined to make sure these companies have a future in the UK's low carbon economy. A just transition to a greener economy is vital for these industries and the jobs of the workers they employ, and they make a significant contribution to the UK economy." (GWPF)
Companies including Tata Steel Ltd. and GrowHow U.K. Ltd. may leave the U.K. as climate-protection policies boost electricity and natural-gas costs.
Many of the wonderful-sounding ideas that have been tried as government policies have failed disastrously. Because so few people bother to study history, often the same
ideas and policies have been tried again, either in another country or in the same country at a later time — and with the same disastrous results.
So a now-disbanded group of liberal journalists, who communed in a private e-mail forum known as JournoList, conducted conversations on how to steer the 2008 election toward
an Obama-Biden victory. Should anyone be surprised by the naked partisanship?
Fiscal Policy: Timothy Geithner thinks tax hikes will help the economy dig its way out of the hole. Can we really afford two more years of this kind of thinking?
When their four-week-old baby daughter Dana died from whooping cough Toni and David McCaffery sought love and healing to ease their grief.
CHICAGO - After one patient died and others suffered serious complications following Lap-Band surgery, Dr. Neelu Pal had seen enough. A petite surgical resident now aged 40,
she began quietly calling patients about to undergo the weight-loss procedure at New York University's Medical Center, telling them she feared for their safety.
On my TV show on New Threats to Freedom, I thought I was joking when I used the term “Food Police,” but here they are, caught on tape.
(July 26, 2010) — Chronic excess of linoleic acid (omega 6), coupled with a deficiency in alpha-linoleic acid (omega 3), can increase obesity down the generations. This has been demonstrated for the first time by Gérard Ailhaud (Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis) working in collaboration with three CNRS laboratories and one INRA laboratory. The researchers exposed several generations of male and female adult and young mice to a "Western-like" diet of this type, and then assessed the consequences of such a lipid environment in the human diet. (ScienceDaily)
CHICAGO - Many men with low-risk prostate cancer get aggressive treatment, increasing the risk of serious side effects, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
NEW YORK - Kids shouldn't be forced to miss school because they have head lice, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not known for overly cautious mortgage financing. To the contrary, their open wallets helped fuel the credit crisis of 2008, and drove the two into federal receivership. To date, taxpayers have paid some $145 billion to keep them afloat, with no end in sight.
Thus, its rather surprising to see the two in court for being too stingy. But that’s exactly where they are, having been sued earlier this month by California for refusing to finance properties in the federal government’s “Property Assessed Clean Energy,” or PACE, program. And politicians who control them are lining up to force them to open up their wallets again.
This Obama-backed program, funded by Washington and administered by state and local governments, provides up-front financing for homeowners to make improvements in their home to increase energy efficiency. In return, the property owner pays back the loan over time through a voluntary increase in his or her property taxes.
In effect, the PACE loans become secured debt, with priority over all other lenders. It didn’t take long for Fannie and Freddie to see — correctly — that this put their own stakes at risk. The two have long required that there be no creditor with priority over them in properties they finance. And, with the two $145 billion in hock, now was not the time to bend the rules. In May, they said they would not finance mortgages for properties with PACE debt. This has put the whole PACE program in doubt.
Thus the California lawsuit, filed by Jerry Brown, which claims that Fannie and Freddie don’t understand the program. At the same time, legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to force the two to finance PACE-encumbered property.
Fannie and Freddie should get praise, not subpoenas, for this decision. Defenders of PACE seem to see it as a classic free lunch: all meal and no tab. Unlikely as it seems, it took these two firms — once hosts of their own free lunches — to say ‘no’ to this meal.
The question now is whether they will — or will be allowed to — stand firm. As government-run enterprises, the two are hardly in a position to ignore politics. And its been clear for some time that Fannie and Freddie are viewed as tools of administration policy. A real food fight may be on the way.
Heritage Foundation Young Leaders Program member Stefanie Back contributed to the preparation of this piece. (The Foundry)
THE efficiency of Australian homes built to cut greenhouse emissions is in question due to errors in software that performs the calculations.
With 20 percent of the world’s population but just 7 percent of its available freshwater, China faces serious water shortages as its economy booms and urbanization increases. The government is planning massive water diversion projects, but environmentalists say conservation — especially in the wasteful agricultural sector — is the key. (Christina Larson, e360)
Energy Policy: Senate Democrats have shelved job-killing cap-and-trade legislation, at least for now. Neither the political nor the Earth's climate suggests it's a good time
to try to fool Mother Nature or the American people.
There is plenty of blame to share for the political demise of climate change legislation in Washington. Timid Democrats, obstinate Republicans, a risk-averse White House and
a sour public outlook that green groups couldn't counter. Each played a role.
He fell just short of winning the White House in 2004. Four years later, he was rumored to be a leading contender to be secretary of state, until President-elect Barack
Obama stunned everyone by tapping his former rival Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Back to the future... Toxic fish could help Obama hit 2020 climate goal
WASHINGTON - A proposed rule on mercury, a pollutant bad for fish and the people who eat too many of them, could help the Obama administration get near its short-term
climate goal - even if Congress fails this year or next to pass a bill tackling greenhouse gases directly.
WASHINGTON — A comprehensive national response to climate change should be informed by reliable data coordinated through climate services and a greenhouse gas monitoring and management system to provide timely information tailored to decision makers at all levels, says a report by the National Research Council. The report recommends several mechanisms for improving communication about climate science and responses and calls for a systematic framework for making and evaluating decisions about how to effectively manage the risks posed by climate change. (NAS)
RIO DE JANEIRO, July 26 -- A meeting of the BASIC group, formed by Brazil, South Africa, India and China, ended on Monday without consensus on a unified plan to deal with
the global climate change.
Grand narratives - those overarching, dominant systems of socio-political thought so beloved of post-modernists - come and go. Some, such as major religions, can persist,
through shape-shifting, for millennia; others last for centuries, while most survive for mere decades.
Another Green soul declares enough is enough. It’s a question of conscience.
Physicist Dr. Denis Rancourt is a former professor and environmental science researcher at the University of Ottawa (as green as they come), and has officially bailed out of the man-made global warming movement. He runs a radio show, and speaks with many activists and NGO’s around the world. He claims that the “activists in the developing world, who need to directly defend their own neighborhoods, they understand that this global warming thing is an invention.”
Climate Depot has released a video of Dr. Rancourt: Man-made global warming is nothing more than a “corrupt social phenomenon.” “It is as much psychological and social phenomenon as anything else” .
Rancourt is scathing of universities (and rightly so):
by Chip Knappenberger
Reactions to the findings of the last of the investigations into the “meaning” of the contents of the Climategate emails—the so-called Muir Russell report—are still trickling in. And truly, there have been few surprises.
The Muir Russell panel—hired by the University of East Anglia (UEA)—concluded (some add, predictably) that the scientists from for the Climate Research Unit (CRU, which is part of the UEA) had not really done anything wrong aside from not being particularly cooperative with folks that they didn’t like.
The CRU scientists and their close colleagues who were caught up in the Climategate affair claim vindication (see RealClimate), alarmists love it (see ClimateProgress, Newsweek), those in the middle were a bit displeased (see The Atlantic, New Scientist) or wishy-washy (see DotEarth), and those feel that the Climategate emails revealed glaring problems with how climate change research is being conducted and brought to the public were crying “whitewash” (see Wall Street Journal, Watts Up with That).
It makes me wonder why Muir Russell bothered in the first place.
I find my reaction somewhere between the last two categories, which I guess would make me wishy-whitewashy. I don’t think Climategate revealed any great fractures in the general concept that human greenhouse gas emissions are leading to a warmer world, but it most definitely did confirm what I felt had been the case all along—that the Climategaters were not playing fair. And not playing fair has a lot more consequences than the Muir Russell panel cared to admit—this is where the “whitewash” comes in for me. [Read more →] (MasterResource)
I’m sure that many will dismiss this because, well, ‘he’s a game show host”. But, most people don’t know this, but Pat was the TV weatherman for KNBC-TV in Los Angeles before being recruited by Merv Griffin for “Wheel of Fortune”. He also served in Vietnam, working in the Armed Forces Radio Network. So, he knows something not only about weather and climate, broadcasting, and human nature when money is involved as well.
Maybe he can teach these guys something?
This excerpt from Pat Sajak’s essay on Ricochet.com yesterday, h/t to Planet Gore
Manmade global warming, like so many other social and economic issues, has become hopelessly politicized. Each side has dug in its heels and has accused the other of acting irresponsibly and dishonestly. For the believers, the other side has become the equivalent of Holocaust deniers; and for the doubters, the other side has become a cult intent on manipulating mankind to remake the world in some sort of natural Utopian image.
The divide has become so great, it seems virtually impossible to bridge the gap. However, I’m not writing for Ricochet merely to outline problems; I’m here to offer real solutions. And I’m not just blowing carbon dioxide.
Continue reading (WUWT)
Junior's still anti-carbon, he just thinks it should be achieved by stealth: Personal Insecurity and Climate Politics
week I suggested that Julia Gillard, Australia's Prime Minister, was asking
for trouble by promising that carbon pricing would transform society:
When will politicians learn that climate policies are a political loser if they require that people "transform the way we live and the way we work"? The vast majority of people simply do not want their lives transformed. Promising that government will transform your life is one way to ensure a rough political road for any policy -- climate change, health care, economic, whatever.Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations presents a similar argument with respect to "green jobs":
Basically, cap-and-trade introduces uncertainty at an individual level (though it does the opposite for actual investors); in the current economic climate, that scares people into thinking that they will lose their jobs. . . Anything that the public is unfamiliar with adds to uncertainty – and that is precisely what people don’t want. Second, green jobs may poll well across a wide spectrum of voters, but that doesn’t mean that selling regulation or taxation with a jobs message will work.To succeed, policies focused on decarbonizing the global economy must not be seen as adding to personal insecurities, better yet, they should add to personal security. This should be a major lesson taken from the failure of US climate legislation. (Roger Pielke Jr.)
A warming world can still see severe storms
It happened in 1816 and is bound to happen again.
There are three interesting papers on the role of the land surface in human caused climate change (h/t to Anthony Watts’s post Cooler white roofs – no complaints there). In this case, the focus is on urban albedo.
The importance of this paper is that if such a significant effect on radiative forcing can be achieved by altering the urban albedo, a much larger radiative effect also occurs with other land use/land cover change! (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
A team of scientists at George Washington University and Howard University have devised a theoretical means of splitting CO2, turning the demon gas into either solid carbon or into carbon monoxide, CO. The CO could be used to generate hydrocarbon fuels with the aid of hydrogen -- a by-product of their theoretical process "STEP" (Solar Thermal Electrochemical Photo). ( Al Fin)
Britain's offshore wind ambitions will face a £10bn funding gap within five years, energy experts will warn today, and the Government's legally-binding 2020 green targets
will not be met unless the deficit can be closed.
The Lib Dems' championing of alternative energy will leave us all in the dark, says Clive Aslet. (TDT)
In news that signals a sea-change in European nuclear energy policy, Finland's parliament has voted to build two additional nuclear reactors to augment the four they already operate. When this expansion is complete, nuclear power will provide half of Finland's electricity. Following in Finland's footsteps, their Nordic neighbor Sweden has announced that it will also build new reactors. The intention being to replace the reactors at their 10 existing nuclear power plants when the old ones are shut down. This reverses a 1980 referendum that called for them to be phased out entirely. Sweden and Finland have concluded that greenhouse gases can only be cut and energy security guaranteed with continued or greater reliance on atomic power. read more (Doug L. Hoffman, The Resilient Earth)
Posted by Michael F. Cannon
Ezra Klein writes:
I doubt that investors worry more when they hear threats to repeal ObamaCare or its Medicare cuts, which few took seriously in the first place. Given that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the non-partisan chief actuary of the Medicare program, and even the International Monetary Fund have all expressed skepticism that those cuts will take effect, I expect investors have already discounted claims that ObamaCare will reduce the deficit.
More generally, the problem is not that the political system is breaking down. That system is working pretty much the same way it always has and always will: it promotes irresponsibility. Republicans and Democrats are merely responding to the incentives created by the system in which they operate. (If they didn’t respond to those incentives, the political system would throw them out and replace them with people who do.) If investors don’t already understand that, the sooner the better.
This is why responsible people want to take responsibility for our health care, etc., out of the hands of politicians. (Cato at liberty)
JournoGate: For those who think the growing JournoList scandal is much ado about nothing, think again. It's about secrecy and power among the left-wing media — and leads
all the way into the White House.
What would you think about a medical practice officially sanctioned by the American College Of Surgeons that supplants—for no reason other than greed—a non-surgical procedure that cures the condition 82% of the time?
And, what if this very surgery is actually the leading cause of the condition recurring again and again?
Welcome, friends, to the sad and convoluted world of Small Bowel Obstruction (SBO). Surprisingly, SBO accounts for 20% of all acute surgical admissions in the United States. Or, maybe I should have said "Not surprisingly," given that this very surgery begets more of the same surgery.
Nice work if you can get it, as long as you're not the patient. Read all about it in my latest HND article. (Shaw's Eco-Logic)
VIENNA - An international AIDS conference has exposed a gulf between scientists and politicians on how to tackle the deadly HIV pandemic.
Junk food sales curbed in schools
Lucky Charms. Froot Loops. Cocoa Pebbles. A ConAgra frozen dinner with corn dog and fries. McDonald’s Happy Meals.
They were the kitchen saviours that freed up time for busy working mothers and delivered adventurous dishes from the microwave within minutes.
NEW YORK - It's known that obese children tend to have "flatter" feet than their normal-weight peers, but it has been unclear whether that reflects a potential
problem in the foot's bone structure or simply extra fat padding. A new study suggests that it's both.
A leading Belfast paediatrician has echoed calls for child protection services to intervene in the most serious cases of child obesity.
In his latest weekly radio address, President Obama talked about jobs. “Too many Americans whose livelihoods have fallen prey to the worst recession in our lifetimes – a
recession that cost our economy 8 million jobs – still wonder how they’ll make ends meet,” he said. Then Obama called for special measures to create more employment.
LONDON, July 22 - Britain's Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government said on Thursday it would cut funding to green advisory bodies, a move sharply criticised by
green campaigners and members of parliament.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has asked for public comment on Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s proposal to eliminate a rule that limits federal funding of particularly wasteful rail transit projects. The Cato Institute has submitted comments arguing that, instead of eliminating the rule, the FTA should strengthen it, but also give transit agencies more flexibility in defining the goals of new projects. (Cato at liberty)
Officials plan to reduce the number of Canada geese in New York State by two-thirds, eventually trimming the population to 85,000 from 250,000, according to a report
prepared by several city, state and federal agencies.
Botswana's High Court has ruled that the Bushmen must not be provided with water, says Christopher Booker
Eighteen months ago, Barack Obama took office pledging to deal with a “planet in peril.”
Take credit for a job well done: The Right and the Climate
Climate change legislation has been dying in the Senate for months now, but Harry Reid’s decision to finally admit as much — in the midst of an endless East Coast heat
wave, no less — has supporters of cap-and-trade casting about for somebody to blame. They’ve blamed the Obama administration, for prioritizing health care reform over an
energy bill. They’ve blamed the American people, for being too concerned with economic issues to grapple with longer-term threats. And they’ve blamed figures like Lindsey
Graham and John McCain, erstwhile supporters of cap-and-trade who have steadily backpedaled away from it.
The Democratic leadership in the US Senate has suspended efforts to pass a climate change bill. It abandoned not only its planned comprehensive cap-and-trade measure,
similar to one already passed by the House of Representatives, but also a more modest bill aimed at electric utilities. The Senate will most likely pass an energy bill of some
sort, but this will barely even pretend to make progress on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
Liberal and environmental activists say that Democrats will not suffer in November because of their failure to pass Senate climate change legislation.
They'll keep coming: Time to Bury Cap and Trade and Plan Anew
The latest death of cap and trade demands a fundamentally new clean energy strategy designed to overcome political obstacles to carbon pricing and simultaneously achieve the primary objective upon which our climate future hinges: making clean energy cheap. (Breakthrough Institute)
The Carbon Sense Coalition today called for an end to deceptive advertising regarding Global Warming Policies.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard reaffirmed on Friday a delay in introducing a price for carbon pollution, angering environmentalists, scientists and business ahead
of her bid to secure re-election.
Why the environment is no longer a surefire political winner.
You can't be allowed a choice: Only Bureaucrats Can Solve Global Warming
Five years ago, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham joined a handful of senators traveling to the Yukon territory to view firsthand the effects of climate
change. Witnessing melting ice caps and permafrost, and Inuit communities struggling to cope with a transforming environment, Graham was “moved.” “Climate change is
different when you come here, because you see the faces of people experiencing it,” he said. In the following years, he asserted that “climate change is real” and
promoted a cap-and-trade bill in the Senate.
A headline on Thursday screamed: “Democrats pull plug on climate bill.” Don’t believe it. It’s a diversionary tactic.
Oh... We’re Gonna Be Sorry
When I first heard on Thursday that Senate Democrats were abandoning the effort to pass an energy/climate bill that would begin to cap greenhouse gases that cause global
warming and promote renewable energy that could diminish our addiction to oil, I remembered something that Joe Romm, the climateprogress.org blogger, once said: The best thing
about improvements in health care is that all the climate-change deniers are now going to live long enough to see how wrong they were.
Network's senior congressional correspondent tries to conflate weather with climate, which alarmists cried foul over during this year's winter weather. (Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute)
When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sat down to sign AB32, the state's climate change law, California ensured its reputation as a green legislation pioneer by putting caps on
The state's landmark global warming law has yet to create the promised bonanza of green jobs, but it has boosted payrolls in another sector of the economy: state government.
OLYMPIA—Today a group of six taxpayers filed a lawsuit to invalidate an executive order issued by Gov. Chris Gregoire.
Warmists may be winning the big grants, but they're not winning the argument, says Christopher Booker
Pennsylvania State University recently released a report summarizing its final “investigation” into whether one of its employees had committed scientific misconduct. The
report exonerated Dr. Michael Mann of all charges, although he did receive a tap on the wrist – for sharing unpublished manuscripts with third parties without first getting
the authors’ permission!
Shortly after climate scientist Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann got word that a panel of his Penn State colleagues had cleared him of misconduct in the so-called
“climategate” scandal, Prof. Mann was quoted in the British media as saying he believed that his little graph had gained undue attention.
The Hockey Stick Illusion is the shocking story of a graph called the Hockey Stick. It is also a textbook of tree ring analysis, a code-breaking adventure, an intriguing detective story, an exposé of a scientific and political travesty, and the tale of a herculean struggle between a self-funded sceptic and a publicly funded hydra, all presented in the measured style of an analytical treatise. The hero of the story is Steve McIntyre, honourably assisted by fellow sceptics, especially by Ross McKitrick. The villain is Michael Mann, dishonourably assisted by global warming alarmists, especially by his “Hockey Team”. The bare bones of the Hockey Stick story are as follows. (John Dawson, Quadrant)
Eduardo Zorita has a must-read post up at Klimazwiebel, discussing a new paper by Smerdon et al. Michael Mann fans will be amused to read of geographical problems uncovered in some of Mann's papers, which will instantly bring to mind favourite episodes from the Hockey Stick story, like the Rain in Maine (falls mainly in the Seine) and the documentary records of East African climate from the medieval period (Mann et al 2008). Here's a sample:
As Eduardo points out the implications are rather interesting, since Smerdon's findings imply that Mann's stress-testing must have been too weak to actually demonstrate what they purported to do. Fascinating stuff. (Bishop Hill)
by William Yeatman
Don Blankenship, Chairman and CEO of Massey Energy Company, gave a great talk at the National Press Club this week on energy realities versus global warming fantasy as well as some other topics. It was broadcast on C-Span and can be viewed online.
Americans for Prosperity’s New Jersey chapter is building support for legislation to withdraw New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional cap-and-trade energy rationing scheme. Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll and Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose introduced A3147, a bill to repeal the Global Warming Response Act of 2007. To learn more, including how you can help, click here.
In the News
Read the full story (Cooler Heads)
While there’s always lots of worry in California and Nevada over water supplies driven by the Sierra snowpack, and wailing in the MSM over what global warming will do to the snowpack, there doesn’t seem to be any trend, up or down.
John Christy has provided me with his latest paper, just published in E&E. I’m been authorized by him to present it here. In this case, no news is good news.
CHANGES IN SNOWFALL IN THE SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA OF CALIFORNIA SINCE 1916
Continue reading (WUWT)
The Maldives have become a symbol of the dangers of global warming, amid fears the low-lying nation could disappear as a result of rising sea levels. But one team of
scientists believes the truth is more complicated. The Maldives coral islands, they postulate, may be growing with the rising waters.
The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected that global sea level will rise by up to 60 cm by 2100 due to global warming. The cause of this rise is twofold: expansion of ocean waters as they warm and additional water from glaciers melting. Despite nearly stable sea levels over the past 3,000 years, a number of low-lying and island nations have seized on the imminent flood as a reason to demand reparations from developed nations. In reality, most of the areas in the world that are suffering from inundation are threatened because of human actions, but not global warming. Damming and rerouting of rivers combined with over-pumping of ground water has led to subsidence in many areas—in other words, the seas are not rising, the land is sinking.
As reported in a review article in Science, authored by Robert J. Nicholls and Anny Cazenav, global sea levels have risen throughout the 20th century but key uncertainties remain. Mean sea level has remained nearly stable since the end of the last deglaciation. The rate of sea level rise over much of the last 6,000 years has been an almost-imperceptible 1.4 millimeters per year (about 6 inches per century). Based on tide gauge measurements, sea level has risen by an average of 1.7 ± 0.3 mm/year since 1950. Since the early 1990s, sea level rise (SLR) has been measured by high-precision altimeter satellites. Between 1993 and 2009, the mean rate of SLR was reported as 3.3 ± 0.4 mm/year. Naturally, to climate change alarmists, this suggests that SLR is accelerating because of warming climatic conditions. (Doug L. Hoffman, The Resilient Earth)
I’m sure WUWT readers will recall this excellent guest post at WUWT just over one year ago:
Now published in E&E Volume 21, Number 4 / August 2010
The thunderstorm thermostat hypothesis: How clouds and thunderstorms control the Earth’s temperature
Continue reading (WUWT)
Sadly, we don't appear to have been terribly successful showing people the error of their ways as they tried to
convince us atmospheric infrared emissions could not result in a net warmer temperature at Earth's surface. It seems they have been trying to promote this misconception rather
Post By Ben Herman and Roger A. Pielke Sr.
During the past several months there have been various, unpublished studies circulating around the blogosphere and elsewhere claiming that the “greenhouse effect” cannot warm the Earth’s atmosphere. We would like to briefly explain the arguments that have been put forth and why they are incorrect. Two of the primary arguments that have been used are
Both of the above statements are certainly true, but as we will show, the so-called “greenhouse theory” does not violate either of these two statements. (we use quotation marks around the words “greenhouse theory” to indicate that while this terminology has been generally adopted to explain the predicted warming with the addition of absorbing gases into the atmosphere, the actual process is quite a bit different from how a greenhouse heats).
With regards to the violation of the second law, what actually happens when absorbing gases are added to the atmosphere is that the cooling is slowed down. Equilibrium with the incoming absorbed sunlight is maintained by the emission of infrared radiation to space. When absorbing gases are added to the atmosphere, more of emitted radiation from the ground is absorbed by the atmosphere. This results in increased downward radiation toward the surface, so that the rate of escape of IR radiation to space is decreased, i.e., the rate of infrared cooling is decreased. This results in warming of the lower atmosphere and thus the second law is not violated. Thus, the warming is a result of decreased cooling rates.
Going to the second statement above, it is true that in equilibrium, if the amount of solar energy absorbed is not changed, then the amount of IR energy escaping out of the top of the atmosphere also cannot change. Therefore the effective radiating temperature of the atmosphere cannot change. But, the effective radiating temperature of the atmosphere is different from the vertical profile of temperature in the atmosphere. The effective radiating temperature is that T that will give the proper value of upward IR radiation at the top of the atmosphere such that it equals the solar radiation absorbed by the Earth-atmosphere system.
In other words, it is the temperature such that 4 pi x Sigma T4 equals pi Re2 Fso, where Re is the Earth’s radius, and Fso is the solar constant. Now, when we add more CO2, the absorption per unit distance increases, and this warms the atmosphere. But the increased absorption also means that less radiation from lower, warmer levels of the atmosphere can escape to space. Thus, more of the escaping IR radiation originates from higher, cooler levels of the atmosphere. Thus, the same effective radiating temperature can exist, but the atmospheric column has warmed.
These arguments, of course, do not take into account feedbacks which will kick in as soon as a warming (or cooling) begins.
The bottom line here is that when you add IR absorbing gases to the atmosphere, you slow down the loss of energy from the ground and the ground must warm up. The rest of the processes, including convection, conduction, feedbacks, etc. are too complicated to discuss here and are not completely understood anyway. But the radiational forcing due to the addition of greenhouse gases must result in a warming contribution to the atmosphere. By itself, this will not result in a change of the effective radiation temperature of the atmosphere, but it will result in changes in the vertical profile of temperature.
The so-called “greenhouse effect” is real. The question is how much will this effect be, and this is not a simple question. There are also questions being raised as to the very sign of some of the larger feedbacks to add to the confusion. Our purpose here was to merely point out that the addition of absorbing gases into the atmosphere must result in warming, contrary to some research currently circulating that says to the contrary.
For those that might still question this conclusion, consider taking away the atmosphere from the Earth, but change nothing else, i.e., keep the solar albedo the same (the lack of clouds would of course change this), and calculate the equilibrium temperature of the Earth’s surface. If you’ve done your arithmetic correctly, you should have come up with something like 255 K. But with the atmosphere, it is about 288 K, 33 degrees warmer. This is the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
Probably as the result of my recent post explaining in simple terms my “skepticism” about global warming being mostly caused by carbon dioxide emissions, I’m getting a lot of e-mail traffic from some nice folks who are trying to convince me that the physics of the so-called Greenhouse Effect are not physically possible.
More specifically, that adding CO2 to the atmosphere is not physically capable of causing warming.
These arguments usually involve claims that “back radiation” can not flow from the cooler upper layers of the atmosphere to the warmer lower layers. This back radiation is a critical component of the theoretical explanation for the Greenhouse Effect.
Sometimes the Second Law of Thermodynamics, or Kirchoff’s Law of Thermal Radiation, are invoked in these arguments against back radiation and the greenhouse effect.
One of the more common statements is, “How can a cooler atmospheric layer possibly heat a warmer atmospheric layer below it?” The person asking the question obviously thinks the hypothetical case represented by their question is so ridiculous that no one could disagree with them.
Well, I’m going to go ahead and say it: THE PRESENCE OF COOLER OBJECTS CAN, AND DO, CAUSE WARMER OBJECTS TO GET EVEN HOTTER.
In fact, this is happening all around us, all the time. The reason why we might be confused by the apparent incongruity of the statement is that we don’t spend enough time thinking about why the temperature of something is what it is.
How Cooler Objects Make Warmer Objects Even Hotter
One way to demonstrate the concept is with the following thought experiment, which I will model roughly after the Earth suspended in the cold of outer space. Even my oldest daughter, a realtor who has an aversion to things scientific, got the right answer when I used this example on her.
Imagine a heated plate in a cooled vacuum chamber, as in the first illustration, below. These chambers are used to test instruments and satellites that will be flown in space. Let’s heat the plate continuously with electricity. The plate can lose energy only through infrared (heat) radiation emitted toward the colder walls of the chamber, since there is no air in the vacuum chamber to conduct the heat away from the plate. (Similarly, there is no air in outer space to conduct heat away from the Earth in the face of solar heating.)
The plate will eventually reach a constant temperature (let’s say 150 deg. F.) where the rate of energy gain by the plate from electricity equals the rate of energy loss by infrared radiation to the cooled chamber walls.
Now, let’s put a second plate next to the first plate. The second plate will begin to warm in response to the infrared energy being emitted by the heated plate. Eventually the second plate will also reach a state of equilibrium, where its average temperature (let’s say 100 deg. F) stays constant with time. This is shown in the next illustration:
But what will happen to the temperature of the heated plate in the process? It will end up even hotter than it was before the cooler plate was placed next to it. This is because the second plate reduced the rate at which the first plate was losing energy.
(If you are unconvinced of this, then imagine that the second plate completely surrounds the heated plate. Will the heated plate remain at 150 deg., and not warm at all?)
Since the temperature of an object is a function of both energy gain AND energy loss, the temperature of the plate (or anything else) can be raised in 2 basic ways: (1) increase the rate of energy gain, or (2) decrease the rate of energy loss. The temperature of everything is determined by energy flows in and out, and one needs to know both to determine whether the temperature will go up or down. This is a consequence of the 1st Law of Thermodynamics involving conservation of energy.
Note that the above example involving 2 plates, one hotter than the other, is apparently where the greenhouse effect deniers (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) would claim the “physically impossible” has occurred: The presence of a colder object has caused a warmer object to become even hotter. Again, the reason the heated plate became even hotter is that the second plate has, in effect, “insulated” the first plate from its cold surroundings, keeping it warmer than if the second plate was not there.
The only way I know of to explain this is that it isn’t just the heated plate that is emitting IR energy, but also the second plate….as well as the cold walls of the vacuum chamber. The following illustration zooms in on the plates from our previous illustration:
What happens is that the second plate is heated by IR radiation being emitted by the first plate, raising its temperature. The second plate, in turn, cannot cool to the temperature of the vacuum chamber walls (0 deg. F) because it is not in direct contact with the refrigerant being used…it can only lose IR at a rate which increases with temperature, so it achieves some intermediate temperature.
Meanwhile, the cooler plate is emitting more radiation toward the hot plate than the cold walls of the vacuum chamber would have emitted. This changes the energy budget of the hot plate: despite a constant flow of energy into the plate from the electric heater, it has now lost some of its ability to cool through IR radiation. Its temperature then rises until it, once again, is emitting IR radiation at the same rate as it is receiving energy from its surroundings (and the electric heater).
As we will see, below, in the case of the Earth being heated by the sun, the vacuum chamber “wall” (outer space) is close to absolute zero in temperature. Putting anything between that (essentially infinite) heat sink and the Earth’s surface will cause the surface to warm.
Examples are All Around Us
Examples of objects with lower temperatures causing objects with higher temperatures to become even higher still are all around us.
For instance, in terms of these most basic heating and cooling concepts (energy gain and energy loss), the same thing happens when you put a blanket over yourself when it is cold. The blanket stays cooler than your skin, but it nevertheless makes your skin warmer than if the cooler blanket was not there. Even though the direction of flow of heat never changes (it is always from warmer to cooler objects), a cooler object can still make a warm object even hotter.
It doesn’t matter what the mechanisms of energy transfer are….if the presence of a cooler object keeps a warmer object from losing energy as rapidly as before, the warm object will become even hotter.
But if you insist on another real-world example involving infrared radiation, rather than heat conduction, let’s use clouds at night. Almost everyone has experienced the fact that cloudy nights tend to be warmer than clear nights.
The most dramatic effect I’ve seen of this is in the winter, on a cold clear night with snow cover. The temperature will drop rapidly. But if a cloud layer moves in, the temperature will either stop dropping, or even warm dramatically.
This warming occurs because the cloud radiates much more IR energy downward than does a clear, dry atmosphere. This changes the energy budget of the surface dramatically, often causing warming — even though the cloud is usually at a lower temperature than the ground is. Even high altitude cirrus clouds at a temperature well below than of the surface, can cause warming.
So, once again, we see that the presence of a colder object can cause a warmer object to become warmer still.
Extending the Concept to the Atmosphere
As mentioned above, in the case of the cold depths of outer space surrounding the Earth’s solar-heated surface, ANY infrared absorber that gets between the Earth’s surface and space will cause the surface to warm.
This radiative insulating function occurs in the atmosphere because of the presence of greenhouse gases, that is, gases that absorb and emit significant amounts of infrared energy…(mostly water vapor, CO2, and methane). Clouds also contribute to the Greenhouse Effect.
Kirchoff’s Law of thermal radiation says (roughly), that a good infrared absorber is an equally good infrared emitter. So, each layer of the atmosphere is continuously absorbing IR, as well as emitting it. This is what makes the Greenhouse Effect so much more difficult to understand conceptually than solar heating of the Earth. While the sun is a single source, and most of the energy absorbed by the Earth is at a single level (the surface of the ground), in the case of infrared energy, every layer becomes both as source of energy and an absorber of energy.
It also helps that our eyes are much more sensitive to solar radiation than they (or even our skin) are to infrared radiation. It’s more difficult to conceptualize that which you can’t see.
Our intuition begins to fail us when presented with this complexity. The following illustration shows some of these energy flows: just the IR being emitted upward and downward by different atmospheric layers. If I included arrows representing the IR energy being absorbed by those layers, too, it would become hopelessly indecipherable.
As a result of the atmosphere’s ability to radiatively insulate the Earth’s surface from losing infrared energy directly to the “cold” depths of outer space, the surface warms to a higher average temperature than it would have if the atmosphere was not there. The no-atmosphere, global average surface temperature has been theoretically calculated to be around 0 deg. F.
This, then, constitutes the basic mechanism of the Greenhouse Effect. Greenhouse gases represent a “radiative blanket” that keeps the Earth’s surface warmer than it would otherwise be without those gases present.
In fact, research published in the 1960s showed that, if the current atmosphere suddenly became still – with no wind, evaporation, and convective overturning transporting excess energy from the surface to the upper atmosphere – the average surface temperature of the Earth would warm dramatically, from 0 deg. F with no greenhouse gases, to about 140 deg. F. That the real world temperature is much lower, around 59 deg. F, is due to the cooling effects of weather transporting heat from the surface to the upper atmosphere through convective air currents.
Weather as we know it would not even exist without the greenhouse effect continuously destabilizing the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere. Vertical air currents associated with weather act to stabilize the atmospheric temperature profile, but it is the greenhouse effect that keeps the process going by warming the lower atmosphere, and cooling the upper atmosphere, to the point where convection must occur.
What About Kirchoff’s Law?
Many well-meaning people think that one of the consequences of Kirchoffs Law of radiation is that an individual layer of the atmosphere that absorbs infrared energy at a certain rate must also emit energy at the same rate. This is NOT true.
The rate of emission becoming the same as the rate of absorption occurs in the very special case where (1) the temperature has reached thermal equilibrium, and (2) that equilibrium is the result of only those two radiative flows, in and out of the object.
Interestingly, this condition of a layer emitting the same amount of IR as it is absorbing is virtually never met anywhere in the atmosphere. This is because of the vertical, convective flows which are also transporting energy between layers.
In the global average, air below about 5,000 feet in altitude is absorbing more infrared energy than it emits, while air above that altitude (up to the top of the troposphere, the 80% of the atmosphere where weather occurs) is losing infrared energy faster than it is gained.
The reason why these two regions stay at roughly a constant temperature, despite very different rates of infrared loss and gain, is convective heat transport by weather: air heated by sunlight absorbed at the Earth’s surface has its excess energy transported to the upper troposphere, where a lack of water vapor (Earth’s main greenhouse gas) allows that energy to escape more rapidly to space.
The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: Can Energy “Flow Uphill”?
Yes, thermal conduction involves energy flow in only one direction. But radiation flow involves energy flow in both directions.
Of course, in the context of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, both radiation and conduction processes are the same in the sense at the NET flow of energy is always “downhill”, from warmer temperatures to cooler temperatures.
But, if ANY flow of energy “uphill” is totally repulsive to you, maybe you can just think of the flow of IR energy being in only one direction, but with it’s magnitude being related to the relative temperature difference between the two objects. The result will still be the same: The presence of a cooler object can STILL cause a warmer object to become even hotter.
Anyway, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Until someone convinces me otherwise.
So, let the flaming begin! No, really, have fun…but if you want your comments to remain available for others to read, please keep it civil. (Roy W. Spencer)
In addition to the carbon cycle-climate interactions that have been a major focus of modeling work in recent years, other biogeochemistry feedbacks could be at least equally important for future climate change. The authors of the Nature Geoscience article argue that it is important to include these feedbacks in the next generation of Earth system models. (University of Helsinki)
In conversations with a physicist involved in studying the effect of nuclear explosions on the upper atmosphere I was amazed to learn he did not know the tropopause was at different altitudes between the poles and the equator. This is so fundamental that it is impossible to imagine him finding out anything meaningful about radiation distribution in the atmosphere. Some have a better understanding of the structure of the atmosphere, but it is still inadequate to draw any conclusions about what is happening to temperatures, gases, energy distributions or anything else fundamental to understanding climate change. It is also inadequate as the basis for building computer models used to predict future climate. (Tim Ball, CFP)
by Robert L. Bradley, Jr. and Richard W. Fulmer
Between the current financial mess and the debate over carbon dioxide emissions controls, there is a lot of talk about regulation these days. We are told, for example, that the recession would have been prevented if proper regulations had been in place. While it is true that (by definition) the “right” regulations would have prevented bad and ensured good, it is also true that had an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent dictator been in charge, the recession would have been avoided as well. The problem, of course, is that God, being otherwise occupied, didn’t run for President during the last election.
Enacting the right regulations is somewhat simpler than electing an omni-everything being to run the world, but not much. As evidence, consider the fact that it was a lot of the wrong regulations that got us into this mess in the first place. Also consider the oft heard argument that financial regulators needed to “get out ahead of the innovators.” Clearly, a job for the omniscient. There is, after all, a reason why the Wright Brother’s flight at Kitty Hawk preceded the establishment of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Any time government regulators try to do much more than lay out the basic rules of the game, unintended consequences and moral hazards rear their ugly heads. The following list of pitfalls, adapted from our book Energy: The Master Resource, is offered as a caution to regulatory enthusiasts. [Read more →] (MasterResource)
Washington, July 21 – Voters in 10 key states oppose higher taxes on America’s oil and natural gas industry by a 2-to-1 margin, according to a new poll released today. Both the administration and some members of Congress have recently proposed billions of dollars in new taxes on the industry. (API)
Coal-fired power stations are a major producer of the greenhouse gas CO2, but there is no alternative to the fuel in the near future. Energy companies are hoping that carbon
capture and storage technologies may be the answer, but many local residents don't want CO2 stored under their backyards.
CANONSBURG, Pa. — The streams of people came to the public meeting here armed with stories of yellowed and foul-smelling well water, deformed livestock, poisoned fish and
itchy skin. One resident invoked the 1968 zombie thriller “Night of the Living Dead,” which, as it happens, was filmed just an hour away from this southwestern corner of
“After all, oil is a finite resource. We consume more than 20 percent of the world’s oil, but have less than 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves.” -- President
Obama, June 15
A recent bit of news from Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) suggests that James Lovelock, the scientist behind the Gaia theory of Earth and its life systems, might have a
point when he criticises most renewable energy sources as inefficient at best and foolish at worst.
If I stood up, in all seriousness, and said that the moon was made of green cheese, my readers – I hope – might look a little bit askance at me, and conclude, as many
already have, that I have finally lost it.
Taxpayer money is being used to create a chimera to satisfy the vanity of a powerful Green demagogue longing to appear visionary. (PJM)
Posted by Michael F. Cannon
As of mid-July, it appears the American public still opposes ObamaCare, with the opposition strongest among those most likely to vote.
Judging by the latest data at the poll-aggregating site Pollster.com, a solid plurality of adults continues to oppose ObamaCare (46.8 vs. 40.1 percent):
The trendlines don’t look so good for supporters of the law. (The public isn’t so hot about President Obama’s handling of health care, either.) Yet the above graph includes (polls that include) adults who are neither registered nor likely to vote.
If you want to know how public opinion about ObamaCare will influence the November elections, you’ll want to look at polls of likely voters. Those suggest a majority opposes the law (51.3 vs 42.9 percent):
It’s hard to know what to make of the trendlines, since the last poll of likely voters was in April and Pollster.com’s trend estimates can be skewed if the most recent poll is aberrant.
Polls of registered voters (which include both likely and unlikely registered voters) again show that a majority opposes ObamaCare (50.7 vs. 42.7 percent). Compared to the graph of likely-voter-only polls, the “oppose” trendline appears flatter, while the “support” line appears to have the same slope:
Yet the “support” trend-estimate among registered voters started from a lower base, so that the July point estimate (42.7 percent) is roughly the same as that for likely voters in April (42.9 percent). And the most recent spread between opponents and supporters is roughly the same in the two graphs (8.4 vs. 8.0 percentage points).
Combining polls of likely voters and registered voters produces a higher ratio of likely-to-unlikely voters than looking at just registered voters. It also shows that a majority oppose ObamaCare (50.7 vs. 41.2 percent), with a persistent gap of about 9 percentage points:
(NB: The figures I cite in this post are the figures that appeared on these graphs on July 17. Since these graphs are embedded from Pollster.com, the figures in the graphs will change as as Pollster.com adds new polling data to their graphs.) (Cato at liberty)
Media Bias: Ever wonder why 2008 VP candidate Sarah Palin was so ridiculed before much was known about her? Turns out liberal journalists engaged in a coordinated smear
campaign to aid the Democratic ticket.
Posted by David Boaz
The estimable Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala has just posted 15 hours of interviews with F. A. Hayek, conducted in 1978, four years after he won the Nobel Prize for Economics.
You know the interviewee is important when the interviewers include James M. Buchanan, Robert Bork, Armen Alchian, Axel Leijonhufvud, and Leo Rosten. Along with the streaming video, there’s a complete transcript posted. What an amazing resource! We are indebted to Armen Alchian, Bob Chitester, the Earhart Foundation, the Pacific Academy of Advanced Studies, and now Francisco Marroquin for making these interviews available.
CHICAGO - People with high levels of the so-called good cholesterol HDL tend to have fewer heart attacks but HDL may offer little protective benefit in people who take
statins to lower harmful LDL cholesterol, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.
The number of women suffering womb cancer is at its highest for more than 30 years - with obesity playing a key role, figures have shown.
PARIS — Overeating combined with the wrong mix of fats in one's diet can cause obesity to be carried over from one generation to the next, researchers in France reported
BERLIN - A conservative member of Germany's parliament wants overweight people to pay more for healthcare insurance, arguing that their unhealthy lifestyle is putting too
much of a strain on hospitals.
Risk found to be independent of physical activity level
Disrupted sleep patterns seem to contribute to the risk of obesity and diabetes, according to numerous studies. Researchers have theorized that disrupted circadian rhythms throw off various hormonal processes in the body that contribute to disease. (LA Times)
Still trying with this nonsense: Key Compound of Ozone Destruction Detected
KIT Scientists Disprove Doubts in Ozone Hole Chemistry
The American Cancer Society (ACS), in collaboration with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
and the National Cancer Institute, is targeting 19 chemicals and shift work for additional epidemiological research in the hopes of clarifying their potential to cause cancer.
Critics of the federal Environmental Protection Agency's ongoing re-review of the commonly used pesticide atrazine and pending lawsuits against its makers say the potential
ramifications could be staggering if the pesticide was ever banned.
Instead of taking the fight to big polluters, President Obama has put global warming on the back burner
This article is from RS 1110, on newsstands July 23, 2010. This issue and the rest of the Rolling Stone archives are available via All Access, Rolling Stone's premium
subscription plan. If you are already a subscriber, you can click here for the archives. Not a member? Click here to learn more about All Access.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will bring a limited package of oil spill response and energy measures to the floor next week, delaying action until at least this
fall on a broader proposal that would impose greenhouse gas limits on power plants, senior Senate Democratic aides said.
It’s an unofficial “clean energy week” for Barack Obama’s administration. The U.S. President and several of his team members are fanning out across the country,
visiting clean-energy project sites. And the White House has tabled a major report to convince the public that the billions of federal dollars invested in clean-energy
start-ups will pay big economic and job dividends down the road.
Senate Democrats are increasingly divided over whether to move forward on any energy and climate bill in the coming weeks.
Hurray, more propaganda... U.S. agency to look at climate change
WASHINGTON, July 22 -- The Obama administration's planned national climate service will equip decision-makers with hard facts about long-term environmental changes instead
of long-term research, the service's provisional director said.
Amendment to NASA Bill Seeks to Ensure Climate Data Integrity after Climategate
Peddlers of phony scare stories are afraid to release data
This is a good way to get countries to pull out of Kyoto: UN in fresh bid to salvage international deal on climate change
Campaigners welcome plans to amend the way Kyoto protocol resolutions are passed
JULIA Gillard is to create a Citizens Assembly to forge a national consensus on action on climate change and a commission of experts to help inform its deliberations.
Julia Gillard has put the pretty wrapping paper of conviction and consensus around Kevin Rudd's emissions trading backdown. But inside it's the same poll-driven backdown. (SMH)
In any debate it is a major strategic blunder to fall into an error of which you might justly accuse your interlocutor. Once you start justifying the unjustifiable you are on that slippery slope that leads to perdition. So it was with the climate alarmists when they began to clutch at every straw that might support their case, a path which culminated in our now notorious list. The same danger exists for their opponents, the climate sceptics.
When Gerlich and Tscheuschner's paper on Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics appeared, your bending author, in response to a number of requests, offered a comment . This opinion was less than sanguine and was made in the hope that the affair would experience a quiet death after a short life. Now the paper has emerged twice in the last couple of days. The first reference occurred within the relative privacy of our Forum, which is perhaps of little moment, but the second, within a couple of days, was in a list of the worst AGW papers.
Perhaps the original view put forward in that opinion was a trifle understated, so here is a more forthright one – the paper is a load of old hogwash. Although it appears superficially to provide support for the sceptical case, jumping onto this particular bandwagon would be a disservice to the cause of science. (Number Watch)
Alex Reichmuth, Die Weltwoche, 22 July 2010: In November 2009, just days before the big climate summit in Copenhagen, thousands of internal e-mails from leading climate
researchers at the University of East Anglia were made public. In the e-mails, the researchers at the university's Climatic Research Unit discussed how to manipulate data
series. They discussed with colleagues from other research centres how to sideline critics of mainstream climate science. And they requested each other to delete scientific
data in order to protect the scientific information from the clutches of their critics. The affair - soon referred to as "Climategate" - was explosive because the
IPCC, in its reports, had again and again relied substantially on the research conducted at CRU - for example, in reconstructing the climate of the last thousand years with the
help of so-called proxy data, such as tree rings or ice cores. In addition, CRU researchers also play a leading role in determining the global temperatures today.
Eye-roller: Green view: The geography of geoengineering
IN DISCUSSIONS of climate change it is an article of faith that there are no winners, only losers. This is in part an expression of bien-pensant solidarity, but it is also
realistic. It recognises the degree to which current human arrangements—farming practices, positioning of cities, etc—are adapted to current climatic conditions, and that
shifts in those conditions will impose transition costs even if not in absolute terms dreadful. It also acknowledges the world’s ever greater level of interdependency. If the
local effects of climate change in Syldavia, say, are pleasing to the residents, those benefits can still be offset by a loss in trade with the much worse affected Ruritania,
or through conflict over water resources with now-parched Borduria, or by influxes of refugees from Vulgaria, and so on.
Environmentalists in the U.S. are increasingly trying to use the Endangered Species Act to ease the impact of global warming on numerous animals and plants, including the American pika. The goal is not only to protect the habitat of at-risk species but also to force reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. (Todd Woody, e360)
California, Pacific Northwest and Colorado achieve positive net impacts; other states languish
Hippie heads exploded when uber-skeptic Marc Morano was given an award, if global warming doesn’t get you the super marmots will, and the most important thing ever caused by global warming, revealed. (Daily Bayonet)
According to a recent paper, human actions may have caused Earth's climate to warm much earlier than previously expected. In an article to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, and widely reported in the media, around 15,000 years ago, early hunters were a major factor in driving mammoths to extinction. Supposedly, this die-off had the side effect of heating up the planet. This is an interesting conjecture, since a letter just published in Nature Geocience reaches the opposite conclusion regarding climate and the mammoths' decline. This mammoth confusion illustrates the uncertain and even contradictory evidence that abounds in climate science.
In a new study, “Biophysical feedbacks between the Pleistocene mega-fauna extinction and climate: The first human-induced global warming?,” Chris Doughty, Adam Wolf, and Chris Field—all from the Carnegie Institution for Science—present an hypothesis explaining how neolithic hunters triggered global warming thousands of years before the invention of agriculture. You might recognize Field as the co-chair of the IPCC working group on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Here he participates in what The Economist called “some serious boffinry.”
Supposedly, the demise of leaf-chomping woolly mammoths at the hands of Homo sapiens contributed to the spread of dwarf birch trees in and around the Arctic. This proliferation of previously suppressed birch trees darkened the largely barren, reflective landscape and accelerated temperature rise across the polar north. (Doug L. Hoffman, The Resilient Earth)
Posted by Randal O'Toole
Posted by Randal O'Toole
I’ve been hearing dark mutterings about the imminent ‘end of North Sea oil’ all my life, with the dramatic impact that would have for the UK economy. North Sea oil was a diminishing resource that would be “gone by the end of the century” experts constantly assured back in the 1970s. [Read More] (Peter C Glover, Energy Tribune)
Coal-fired power stations are a major producer of the greenhouse gas CO2, but there is no alternative to the fuel in the near future. Energy companies are hoping that carbon
capture and storage technologies may be the answer, but many local residents don't want CO2 stored under their backyards.
by Eric Lowe
Sharp increases in windpower output on the Pacific Northwest electricity grid has lead to a number of problems. This has fallen into the lap of the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), the Pacific Northwest federal power marketing authority that must integrate the large influx of wind energy into the electricity grid.
In 1998, the BPA’s wind generation was roughly 25 megawatts (MW). Today, it totals 2,780 MW and, with the Oregon Renewable Portfolio Standards passed in 2007, over 6,000 MW of wind power is expected to be on-line by 2013. Often overlooked are the impacts of increasing wind generation on the reliability and affordability of electricity that might very well outweigh any of the environmental benefits that are proclaimed to exist.
The negative aspects of wind are quite apparent. Obviously, wind is unpredictable and inconsistent, creating a significant problem for BPA and electric utilities. To prevent brownouts or overloads on the grid, BPA has to schedule energy production in advance and the ability to predict when and how hard the wind will blow is extremely limited (usually a two or three day window) and is often inaccurate.
Because wind power is so unpredictable, every MW must be backed up by an equal amount from reliable, reserve energy sources to replace the energy lost when the wind dies down. This means BPA must have a “balancing” reserve equal to or greater than the wind power capacity utilized at any given time. In the Pacific Northwest the backup source has traditionally been federally owned hydroelectric dams, which are shut on and off to respond to fluctuations in wind energy. [Read more →] (MasterResource)
As Washington prepares to implement the White House's health care reforms, no one is talking much about Regina, Saskatchewan, these days. Maybe that's not surprising: With
so much work falling on state governments, the news cycle focuses on Albany, Indianapolis and Sacramento, not some small city in the middle of the Canadian prairie.
Wagons were being hastily circled around Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, last night as top aides absorbed the shock of one of their own blasting him for allegedly
thwarting attempts to combat corruption in the world body and leading it into a "process of decay" and "irrelevance".
The President is busy creating jobs. In the current Weekly Standard , Andrew B. Wilson points out that President Obama proudly promised:
“ ..to spend as much as $2 billion to support creation of 1,585 ‘permanent’ jobs by two solar energy companies. That comes to a potential cost of over $1.25 million per job.”
That doesn’t strike me as a great deal for taxpayers. (Stossel)
July 21, 2010 – 6:32 pm
Despite anti-market views in the media, polls show an eye-opening level of support for free markets around the world
How do you feel about the following statement? “Most people are better off in a free market economy, even though some people are rich and some are poor.”
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably agree, maybe even agree strongly. If you’re at the CBC (and if so, what are you doing reading this blog?) you probably have serious reservations.
The Pew Research Center in Washington keeps track of how people around the world have been responding to this question over the last few years. The results of their research might not be what you’d expect.
Journo-Gate: For decades, moderates and conservatives have been derided and ridiculed for complaining about the mainstream media's pervasive liberal bias. As it turns out, however, their worst fears were true. (IBD)
NEW YORK - Men who enjoy their morning cup of coffee can drink a little easier. A new research review finds that java lovers appear no more likely to develop prostate cancer
than other men.
NEW YORK - Overweight people may respond more to a piping hot pizza, but they don't necessarily eat more of it in a single sitting, according to a new study. (Reuters Health)
A scientific breakthrough might assist in the fight against mosquitoes. New research carried out at the University of Haifa in collaboration with researchers from other universities has chemically identified, for the first time, compounds released by mosquitoes’ natural aquatic predators that function as warning signals for egg laying mosquitoes. Introducing these natural chemicals into mosquito breeding sites will cause the mosquitoes to sense risk of predation to their progeny and avoid laying their eggs there. These findings will soon be published in the prestigious journal Ecology Letters. (University of Haifa)
Fiends of the Earth seek trade protectionism: UK-imported animal feed blamed for rainforest destruction
Friends of the Earth report says South American soy crops used to feed British livestock could be replaced with homegrown alternatives
by Marlo Lewis
Many have already written the obituary for the Kerry-Lieberman bill and other cap-and-trade legislation in the current Congress. In today’s Politico, however, columnist Darren Samuelsohn quotes Sen. John Kerry’s denial of that assessment: ”No, it’s not dead because we’re going to have a lame duck session and we have weeks ahead of us.”
Re-read the first part of Kerry’s explanation. Kerry is saying that even if the Democratic leadership does not hold a vote on cap-and-trade before the November elections, fearing the wrath of the electorate, the greenhouse gang might still enact cap-and-trade after the elections, when voters could no longer hold them accountable.
How exactly would cap-and-traders pull it off? Samuelsohn summarizes the strategy as explained by an unnamed spokesman for a “major advocacy group”:
Read the full story (Cooler Heads)
Hmm... it's after November you have to worry about: Climate bill on the ropes
The Senate climate bill has been at death’s door several times over the past year. But with the days before the August recess quickly slipping away, the case may truly be
There have been several press accounts lately outlining Democratic plans to hold off on taking difficult votes before November, and then to have a robust “lame duck” session in November and December, where they can get the rest of their liberal agenda and pork passed.
I couldn’t think of a worse idea for America.
Not only are cap and trade, card check, and ratification of the START being thrown around as possibly getting legislative action during the lame duck , there will also be a need to wrap up the appropriations process, the process that determines $3.6 trillion worth of federal spending every year.
A better idea for America, and Americans’ pocketbooks, is instead to look at the 2006/2007 transition as a model. By the time the 2006 elections rolled around, only two appropriations bills (those funding the departments of Homeland Security and Defense) had become law, and the rest of the federal government was being funded through a continuing resolution (CR), which maintains the level of spending of the previous year. Continue reading... (The Foundry)
Climate superstition should trump strategic requirements... Researchers: EPA should recognize environmental impact of protecting foreign oil
Military's greenhouse gas emissions are relevant to US fuel policies, University of Nebraska authors say
Millions of electric-powered vehicles that would slash America's dependence on foreign oil and cut its carbon emissions would be put on the road under legislation approved
by a Senate committee on Wednesday.
LONDON July 21 - The Kyoto Protocol's clean development mechanism (CDM) may end from 2013 unless the world can agree and put into force a new round of carbon emissions
targets before then, a U.N. paper has said.
Existing carbon caps may be extended to 2013, and number of countries needed for deal may be lowered
KEVIN Rudd is in line for a plum job as a United Nations climate change adviser.
Source: Journal Bioscience, vol. 60, 552-553
REVIEW OF HEATSTROKE: NATURE IN AN AGE OF GLOBAL WARMING by Anthony D. Barnosky, 2009 (Washington, DC: Island Press) 269pp.
[Dr. Botkin in not associated with SPPI.]
In the late 1960s I began studying possible ecological effects of global warming, and first published a paper about these possibilities in 1973. Thus, I have watched with surprise, and sometimes dismay, the sudden development of scientific and public concern over this issue. When I first began to explore the mechanisms by which a trace gas such as CO2 could influence our planet’s climate, getting into the then abstruse topics of atmospheric physical chemistry and energy exchange, there were just a few scientists — mainly climatologists, meteorologists, and ecologists — who even knew about the possibility, and even fewer who were doing scientific research on it.
It was a time when not many were aware that life of any kind could affect the environment at a planetary level, but several of us were exploring those possibilities. I was fortunate to be one of the first to help NASA begin using satellite remote sensing to study a planetary perspective on life. I also worked with scientists at IBM to develop one of the first computer models that could be used to forecast possible effects of climate change on any kind of ecological system. It seemed at that time, through the 1970s into the early 1980s, an uphill battle to even get a large number of scientists to believe in such possibilities, let alone the public. Read the rest of this entry » (SPPI)
World doomed! Poor most at risk: Climate change threatens poverty fight, report warns
Climate change threatens to undo years of work to tackle poverty in developing countries, a report warned today.
Written by Angelo M. Codevilla
Once an official or professional shows that he shares the manners, the tastes, the interests of the class, gives lip service to its ideals and shibboleths, and is willing to accommodate the interests of its senior members, he can move profitably among our establishment's parts.
If, for example, you are Laurence Tribe in 1984, Harvard professor of law, leftist pillar of the establishment, you can "write" your magnum opus by using the products of your student assistant, Ron Klain. A decade later, after Klain admits to having written some parts of the book, and the other parts are found to be verbatim or paraphrases of a book published in 1974, you can claim (perhaps correctly) that your plagiarism was "inadvertent," and you can count on the Law School's dean, Elena Kagan, to appoint a committee including former and future Harvard president Derek Bok that issues a secret report that "closes" the incident. Incidentally, Kagan ends up a justice of the Supreme Court. Not one of these people did their jobs: the professor did not write the book himself, the assistant plagiarized instead of researching, the dean and the committee did not hold the professor accountable, and all ended up rewarded. By contrast, for example, learned papers and distinguished careers in climatology at MIT (Richard Lindzen) or UVA (S. Fred Singer) are not enough for their questions about "global warming" to be taken seriously. For our ruling class, identity always trumps.
Read more... (SPPI)
Probably not what they had in mind: CLIMATEGATE at UN: Maurice and his Dirty Dozen
After Climategate and Glaciergate the UN (Mr. Ban Ki-Moon) and IPCC (R.Pachauri) have selected, who should investigate them. I wonder who Al Capone would have appointed
to investigate him, if he had the chance, and what the results would have been? Probably similar.
Much organically bound carbon is deposited on inland lake bottoms. A portion remains in the sediment, sometimes for thousands of years, while the rest is largely broken down to carbon dioxide and methane, which are released into the atmosphere. Swedish researchers have shown that carbon retention by sediment is highly temperature-sensitive and that a warmer climate would result in increased carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere. The study is published in the current issue of the journal Nature. (Uppsala University)
Written by Edward R. Long and Jennifer M. Cohen
A survey of the West Virginia temperature record reveals that temperature anomalies were stable or fell from 1905 to 2009. Raw data from a set of meteorological stations show cooling at the rate of ?0.6±0.2 ºC/century, while United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) Version 2 adjusted records for the same station set yield no change, 0.0±0.2 ºC/century. For the 1998-2009 interval the average temperature anomalies of the station set declined at rates of ~6.8±3.6 ºC/century and ~4.8±3.6 ºC/century, respectively for the raw and USHCN Version 2 adjusted data.
Read more... (SPPI)
Damselflies don't sound like they'd do anything as dramatic as invading anywhere, and the dainty damselfly sounds like it would do so least of all. But that's what's
happening in southern England, as several species of these delicate, smaller relatives of the dragonflies cross over from the continent and start establishing populations here.
Interesting take: British seas: More fish, cleaner and greater biodiversity, says Defra
'Significant improvements' in UK's seas, but litter, pollution, climate change and greater acidity are cause for concern
Written by Joseph D’Aleo
Recently we shared a story in the Wall Street Pit how NASA has gradually reduced the warm middle 20th century blip and created a more continuous warming. You can see in this 1976 National Geographic graph, a rather significant warm period starting in the 1920s and peaking during the dust bowl era in the United States in the 1930s and only slowly declining heading into the 1950s. It showed more significant cooling in the 1960s and 1970s. The story questioned where to from there.
Read more... (SPPI)
Oops! Way off message... Climate change causes larger, more plentiful marmots, study shows
Finding by University of Kansas researchers is likely to have implications for many creatures that hibernate
Extreme extrapolation: Wacky weather could squeeze Florida's citrus season
Citrus growers, beware. Florida winters are getting more extreme, causing plants to flower later and potentially shrinking the growing seasons for some of the state's most
The first six months of 2010 brought a string of warmest-ever global temperatures, but connecting these dots to long-term climate change patterns remains frustratingly
difficult, experts say.
David Ivory argues the variation in energy received from the sun has a much greater effect on global temperature balance than the effect of greenhouse gases. (Climate Realists)
As a teen in his native Taiwan, Bo-wen Shen observed helplessly as typhoon after typhoon pummeled the small island country. Without advanced forecasting systems, the storms
left a trail of human loss and property destruction in their wake. Determined to find ways to stem the devastation, Shen chose a career studying tropical weather and
There are quite a few examples of overstatements and errors in media reports on climate science (and in the associated research paper). Today, I present one example that appears in a UCAR press release
The attribution of the positive temperature anomalies “primarily because of human-generated emissions in greenhouses gases” ignores research that documents in the peer reviewed literature a much more complicated role of human and natural climate forcings and feedbacks in affecting all aspects of the climate system (e.g. see and see).
The current sea surface temperature anomalies are presented below. The attribution of the Indo-Pacific warm pool to human-generated emissions in greenhouse gases without commenting on the reasons for the cooler than average anomalies (e.g. see the developing La Nina and the cool south Atlantic Ocean) illustrates how this UCAR study has selectively chosen data that fits their preconceived assumptions of climate.
From http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/ml/ocean/sst/anomaly.html [see also a larger view of the globe at http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2010/anomnight.7.15.2010.gif] (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
by Michael Lynch
In the last few weeks, rhetoric about America’s oil addiction has resurfaced, years after being pushed by former President George W. Bush. It is meant to explain the inability of Americans to become energy independent or at least to significantly reduce consumption. The implication is that consumers are either foolish or brainwashed, and that the government is a slave to the oil industry’s lobby.
I submit that this claim reveals an ideological bias, as well as a degree of energy illiteracy.
Such illiteracy is not new and is often battled by economists. For example, when I was at MIT, one class was taught by an engineer who believed that oil was underpriced because it cost less than mineral water. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that this is a common misconception: the prices of the two are completely unrelated.
Now there is a new litmus test for energy illiteracy, namely the claim that America is ‘addicted to oil.’ Those stating this are either being less than honest (politicians and special interests) or have failed to comprehend either addiction or economics. For example, why say Americans are addicted to oil, but not food, housing and clothing? Or cement or steel? It is easy to compare the traditional types of addiction with the reliance on these substances to see where oil falls on the spectrum.
What is ‘Addiction’?
Addictive substances typically cause changes in brain behavior, create a sense of euphoria but also reduce productive activity, making citizens less capable and/or less interested in being productive. They serve primarily to stimulate pleasure and often distort mental processes, creating biochemical dependencies to the point where those consuming the substances sacrifice their careers, livelihoods, families and everything they hold dear to acquire it on a continual basis. While there are many functioning addicts, there are also huge numbers whose lives have been ruined by their addictions. (Just watch “Behind the Music” on VH1.) [Read more →] (MasterResource)
Last week China announced a surprising revision to its official data with the effect of making the achievement of its aggressive energy intensity targets within reach. According to the FT:
China also has taken issue with claims this week that its energy usage has surpassed that of the United States:
If a policy goal is expressed in terms of a reduction in the ratio of energy consumption to GDP, then there will be incentives to show growth in energy consumption as low as possible and growth in GDP as high as possible. Such incentives don't make China's data automatically wrong, but they should be examined from an independent perspective. So far at least, independent data suggests a different interpretation of energy intensity decline than China is suggesting. (Roger Pielke Jr.)
July 20, 2010 by E.M.Smith
Coal Consumption in China
China is the worlds largest energy consumer
In recent news we had that China has surpassed the USA as the worlds largest energy consumer. It’s now the “Big Boy” on the block. All the proposed CO2 “control” treaties to date have given a ‘free pass’ to the poor underdeveloped world on the theory that they needed special favors to ‘catch up’ to the evil west that had suppressed them. Well, folks, China is now the “Big Boy” on the block. Not some little backwater nobody striving to get their first light bulbs and flush toilettes. If you want to “control” CO2 emissions, you absolutely must include China. And that is just not going to happen. (Chiefio)
More adventures in wonderland: First Clean Energy Ministerial Builds Global Low Carbon Future
WASHINGTON, DC, July 20, 2010 - Ministers from 24 governments took part in the first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial in Washington Monday and Tuesday, launching 11 new
initiatives to accelerate the global transition to clean energy.
Outlook Neil Woodford, the star fund manager at Invesco Perpetual, is not one of the City's more outspoken figures, so when he does stick his head above the parapet, it's
worth taking notice. And yesterday, Mr Woodford did more than that: you might say he climbed on top of the parapet and waved his hands about in a concerted bid to attract
Britain's previous government had visions of a nuclear renaissance for the country. But the new energy minister in London is an atomic energy opponent and utility companies, including two based in Germany, fear he may derail their plans. (Spiegel)
Throughout his presidential campaign, then-candidate Barack Obama promised the American people: “If you’re a family that’s making $250,000 a year or less, you will see no increase in your taxes.” After he became President, Barack Obama reiterated that pledge, promising the American people in his September 9th health care press conference: “The middle-class will realize greater security, not higher taxes.” But Obamacare does contain tax hikes. Tons of them. From taxes on tanning beds to taxes on employment and investments, Obamacare is a certified job-killing machine.
None of these taxes touches the lives of every American as closely as the individual mandate to purchase health insurance. For the first time in American history, Obamacare forces all Americans to purchase a product or face sanction from the Internal Revenue Service. This is clearly a tax, as pointed out by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos during a September 20th interview with the President himself. In an exchange that can only be described as “Clintonesque” Stephanopoulos pressed President Obama to admit his individual mandate was a tax. But President Obama refused to acknowledge reality and denied it. Stephanopoulos was forced to read the definition of “tax” straight from Merriam Webster’s Dictionary. But even then Obama refused to come clean: “George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. … Nobody considers that a tax increase.” Well nobody but President Barack Obama’s Justice Department. Continue reading... (The Foundry)
If you lavish manure upon your soil you will enrich it and encourage your crops to grow, but you will also cause weeds to grow, which will suffocate your crops. Therefore you must be active with your hoe, cutting them off at the roots so that your crops may flourish. Likewise if you throw money at a public enterprise you will also enable it to grow, but you will also cause a growth of managers, which will stifle the growth you desire. So it has been in the UK and will be in the USA .
The UK National Health Service was not originally a socialist creation. It was supported by all parties in the war time coalition following the acceptance of the Beveridge report in 1942. Churchill spoke in favour, but counselled caution over speed of implementation on the grounds of cost. In the end the provision was implemented by the post-war Labour government and in the hands of an extreme socialist (Bevan). It was a top-down state-controlled organisation and part of the Welfare State, not the localised affair envisaged by Beveridge. The cost was enormous at a time when the country was flat broke. The consequent debts crippled that nation for years and the generation who were children at that time spent their whole lives repaying them. Subsequent governments (such as that of Thatcher) exacerbated its problems by adding layers of administration. The New Labour Government of Blair and Brown simply threw money at it, taking little interest in how it was spent. Thus, although professional staff increased, modestly, the managerial staff grew by leaps and bounds. They had a symbiotic relationship with the also expanding Government bureaucracy and its obsessions with targets and tables, each justifying the growth of the other. The administration became an out-of-control monster that did great harm to the effectiveness of the service. Cameron made a considerable mistake in ring-fencing the service from the nationwide cuts that became inevitable after the New Labour spending and borrowing spree.
Likewise the BBC had money thrown at it by remorseless increases in the poll tax by which it was funded. As with the NHS this resulted in a huge expansion of management, not only in numbers but in scale of salaries, to which the cliché “obscene” seems to be appropriate. Again, this was accompanied by a precipitous decline in quality of programming. It ceased to exploit its unique advantage of being able to provide programmes uninterrupted by advertising and instead chose to compete with its commercial rivals on the downward path to catering for the basest of public taste.
It is in the nature of managers that they seek to expand their empires, while guarding their backs and justifying their existence. One generation of professionals appoints clerks to disburden themselves of administrative chores and the next generation finds itself reporting to those clerks as their managers. These grant themselves huge rewards in salaries and pensions and are grossly parasitic on the groaning taxpayers.
As we wrote in these pages over two years ago, before the disaster actually struck “If the wealth creating part of any enterprise shrinks continuously, while the wealth dissipating part grows relentlessly, there can be only one eventual outcome.”
If only the new political class were up to dealing with the situation. (Number Watch)
AUSTRALIA'S top health standards body has been accused of subverting food science to fit a green agenda.
The World Health Organization's emergency committee will not meet this week to review data on the H1N1 swine flu pandemic nor will it declare for now an end to the pandemic, a WHO spokesman said. (Reuters)
WOMEN who regularly use cleaning products may be at higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who say they use them sparingly, according to a new study.
Can cleaning products ever be good for the environment? Not according to the man behind the biggest green brand – but some are more eco than others (Sophie Morris, Independent)
Written by Dennis Ambler
Recent remarks by President Obama and Treasury Secretary Geithner, promote the idea that the US can no longer be the primary driver of world economic growth and that other world economies must grow in preference to the US, to achieve “global economic growth”.
Read more... (SPPI)
by Robert Bradley Jr.
The greenwashing strategy of BP and Enron has been the subject of three recent posts at MasterResource:
Don’t believe that “Beyond Petroleum” BP fooled the politically correct after Enron and even all the way up to the Deepwater Horizon explosion/Gulf spill of May 2010? Then consider the Wall Street Journal’s “Oops: ‘Socially Responsible’ Funds Hold Big Stakes of BP” (reprinted below as Appendix A). [Read more →] (MasterResource)
July 16 -- Proposed Senate legislation to limit greenhouse gases from power plants, refineries and factories would cut U.S. gross domestic product by $452 billion, or 0.2
percent, between 2013 and 2035, the Energy Information Administration said today.
MORRIS TOWNSHIP — A group of conservative activists rallied in Morris Township today for repeal of New Jersey’s "cap-and-trade" law that aims to curb
greenhouse gases and global warming.
Some 7,500 British firms are expected to miss a September 30 deadline to register for the UK's new energy efficiency scheme, meaning they face fines of at least 5,000 pounds
each ($7,644), an environmental consultancy said on Tuesday.
Germany’s energy intensive industries may have their profits cut by as much as 87 percent by 2020 due to the costs of carbon emissions certificates, the Financial
Times Deutschland said, citing a report from Goetzpartners Corporate Finance Ltd.
What's a little more climate fraud? Climate change chief clueless on euro loan
MANILA, Philippines – Climate Change Commission vice chairman Heherson Alvarez said he was unaware of the disbursement of the 150-million euro (roughly P10.5-billion)
French loan that was originally intended to enhance the Philippines’ capability to deal with climate change but was used instead to plug the yawning budget deficit.
It’s hot out right now, but new research from North Carolina State University will help us know what to expect when the weather turns cold. Researchers have developed a new methodology that improves the accuracy of winter precipitation and temperature forecasts. The tool should be valuable for government and utility officials, since it provides key information for use in predicting energy consumption and water availability. (NCSU)
Longwinded way of say "cold kills": Temperature constancy appears key to tropical biodiversity
New paper answers longstanding scientific question about cause of tropics' stunning biodiversity
Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth's climate.
Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth and future generations into a range of impacts, some of which could become very
severe. Emissions reductions decisions made today matter in determining impacts experienced not just over the next few decades, but in the coming centuries and millennia.
The phrase “first order climate forcing” has been used in our papers and in my posts. I want to make sure this terminology is clearly defined; thus the reason for this post.
I offer this definition
A first-order human climate forcing is one that results in alterations in the climate system which have significant effects on societally and environmentally important resources. These alterations would include changes, as examples, in drought, flood and hurricane patterns.
Using this definition, added CO2 is clearly a first order climate forcing as the alteration in the atmospheric and ocean concentration of CO2 is a biogeochemical change which results in alterations of the physiology of plants and other organisms. It also is a positive radiative forcing as the 2007 IPCC reports.
However, in contrast to the narrow perspective presented in the 2007 IPCC report, there is a diverse set of other first order climate forcings. The 2007 IPCC view seems to be that only changes in the global annual radiative forcing matters in terms of multi-decadal climate forcing, and this is their implicit definition of a first order climate forcing. This is the dominant (i.e. first order climate forcing) in their view.
However, this is a flawed incomplete perspective as we have written on in our paper
Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell, W. Rossow, J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian, and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union.
In that paper the hypothesis
is the only view that is supported by the peer reviewed literature. These other climate forcings alter atmospheric and ocean circulation features away from what they would be in the natural climate system [NRC, 2005], and, moreover, as with CO2, the lengths of time that they affect the climate are on multidecadal time scales and longer.
presents insightful comments on how this hypothesis can be fine tuned. However, a clear message is that, in addition to added CO2, deliberate and inadvertent land use/land cover change, and a diverse range of influences from aerosols are also first order climate forcings. The next IPCC assessment must include this broader view in their assessment of climate science. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
From CO2 Science Volume 13 Number 29: 21 July 2010
Subject Index Summary:
A Holocene History of Floodplain Occupation on the Upper Reaches of the Zapadnaya Dvina and Volga Rivers: What does it reveal about the region's temperature history?
The West Nile and Saint Louis Encephalitis Viruses: Would the maladies they cause be greater or lesser problems if the world began to warm again?
Aspen and Birch Trees Exposed to Significant Heat Stress: Would a modest increase in the air's CO2 content provide them any relief?
Spring Leaf Flush in Aspen Trees: How is it affected by atmospheric CO2 enrichment?
Plant Growth Database:
Warm Period Project:
If DEC chief had heeded Exxon, harm to environment would have been
China on Tuesday disputed that it had surpassed the United States last year to become the world's largest energy user, and defended its efforts in boosting cleaner energy
Energy chiefs defended deepwater oil as crucial to meeting future demand, saying on Tuesday that a prolonged U.S. drilling ban in response to the giant Gulf of Mexico spill
could stoke costs and threaten security of supply.
The National Mining Association, which represents most major U.S. coal mining companies, on Tuesday filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency, saying it was
unlawfully obstructing permits for coal mining operations in Central Appalachia.
A broad coalition of oil, trucking, airline, manufacturing and other companies Tuesday will roll out a two-week advertising campaign accusing senators of hurting consumers
and jobs if they lower the greenhouse gas content of fuels.
One of the energy industry’s biggest shareholders has threatened to block all new investments in British renewables unless the Government increases the returns available
to investors and gives greater certainty over its future policy.
Rationers rationed: UK health watchdog NICE faces 20 pct budget cut
LONDON - Britain's health cost watchdog NICE, the body responsible for recommending which drugs should be used on the state health service, is preparing for a 20 percent cut
in its budget, its chief executive said on Monday.
NEW YORK - There is little need to worry about serious side effects if your toddler is getting vaccinated against whooping cough, researchers from the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.
NEW YORK - Very high cholesterol levels in kids may decline over time even without intervention, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Motorway lights are being switched off at midnight across the country, raising safety concerns.
Farmers whose crops are raided by wild animals like elephants should try driving them away with pepper spray, using guard donkeys or booby trapping food with snakes, the
U.N. said on Monday.
One of the world’s rarest primates driven to the brink of extinction by Britain's taste for tea has been photographed for the first time, scientists said.
The frog-killing disease which is sweeping parts of the world is now wiping out amphibian species before they have even been described, new research has shown.
The recent news that the UN was creating an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) created a bit of a stir. It was
obviously (and openly) modeled on the IPCC, an organization which has its share of problems. This new 'IPCC for biodiversity' panel has already been viewed with serious
skepticism, especially among those who challenge the validity of the IPCC's unique brand of 'science'. However, new ideas aren't invalid simply because they resemble old ones,
so I decided to look a little further into the subject. I found that the new IPBES is not an attempt to further the science of biodiversity, it exists to help create a new and
'more effective' version of International Environmental Governance (IEG). I will explain IEG later, but first I want to show you how I reached this conclusion. I started out
with this question:
by Lisa Linowes
Against a backdrop of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration stepped up its campaign to pass national climate change legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV announced last week that he plans to bring a comprehensive energy and climate bill to the Senate floor by the end of the July. The bill, still to be written, is expected to include a cap on carbon emissions produced by the nation’s electricity providers.
But before the U.S. embraces such a program, Congress — and the public — would be wise to examine the early performance of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation’s first mandatory greenhouse gas cap and trade system.
Bottom line, the program has raised electricity prices, created a slush fund for each of the member states, and has had virtually no impact on emissions or on global climate change.
The federal government has been debating national climate legislation since 1992. Over one-hundred heads of state attended the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, where it was assumed that man-made global warming was a problem and deserved public-policy action.
The Kyoto Conference followed in 1997. The conference resulted in the proposed Kyoto Protocol, a treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (“GHG”) through either a cap-and-trade or a carbon tax programs in developed nations, and through carbon emission subsidies for underdeveloped nations.
The Protocol established the concepts of Joint Implementation (“JI“) and Clean Development Mechanism (“CDM”) as means to fund GHG reductions in the developing world. With Kyoto, “carbon finance” was born.
Major compromises in Kyoto included setting 1990 as the baseline to get Eastern European buy-in and exempting the underdeveloped world. The 1997 Byrd-Hagel Resolution, which passed the U.S. Senate by 95-0 ensured the U.S. would not sign onto Kyoto. It was the sense of the Senate, as cited in the resolution, that the protocol would “result in serious harm to the economy of the United States.”
RGGI in Action
Ten years later, in 2008, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”) was launched. [Read more →] (MasterResource)
If the planet determines Canada should freeze again, the best response would be to sell your Canadian real estate
IS CLIMATEGATE finally over? It ought to be, with the publication of the third UK report into the emails leaked from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit
(CRU). Incredibly, none looked at the quality of the science itself.
When my FoI request to Imperial led to the disclosure of the Hand and Hoskins emails, there were many redactions of names, which I found rather frustrating. From the language of many of the emails, it appeared that many of the names were of senior people and should thus have been disclosed. I queried this with Imperial who have now disclosed almost all of the relevant detail.
One interesting snippet has emerged from this. When the original emails were released I reported on an inquiry made to Lord Oxburgh by Oliver Morton of the Economist about how Oxburgh's Eleven papers were chosen. When he replied, Oxburgh said in essence that he didn't know.
Well, now we know who the redactions were. The contact through with the Royal Society was through Martin Rees - we knew that already. The other redaction, the other person consulted about whether the sample of papers was reasonable, was...Phil Jones.
Now, whichever way you look at it, this is a funny question to put to the accused if one's objective is a fair trial. I mean, what could Jones say? "You've picked all my bad papers"? And of course Jones must have known that the sample was not representative. (Bishop Hill)
Calling for ExxonMobil to stop funding climate-sceptic groups is really a demand that these groups be silenced.
In the propaganda stakes: When Climate Change Becomes a Health Issue, Are People More Likely To Listen?
New study suggests re-framing the issue helps people better understand and relate to climate problem
Andy Revkin is interviewed on America's NPR on the subject of the aftermath of Climategate. A transcript can be seen here. During the course of the interview, a member of the public asks AR about the Hockey Stick.
All very strange. Can Andy really be unaware that Mann was a lead author on the paleoclimate chapter of the Third Assessment Report? Does he also not know that the "repeated replications" mostly rely on the same faulty data as the Hockey Stick itself? And I can't say I was aware that the IPCC had removed the error bars from the graph either (perhaps he means in the spaghetti graphs?). (Bishop Hill)
Can light-colored rooftops and roads really curb carbon emissions and combat global climate change? The idea has been around for years, but now, a new study by researchers
at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that is the first to use a global model to study the question has found that implementing cool roofs and cool pavements in cities
around the world can not only help cities stay cooler, they can also cool the world, with the potential of canceling the heating effect of up to two years of worldwide carbon
There is a new paper in press at the Journal of Climate that we were made aware of only a few days ago (July 14, 2010). It specifically addresses our (Spencer & Braswell, 2008, hereafter SB08) claim that previous satellite-based diagnoses of feedback have substantial low biases, due to natural variations in cloud cover of the Earth.
This is an important issue. If SB08 are correct, then the climate system could be substantially more resistant to forcings – such as increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations — than the IPCC “consensus” claims it is. This would mean that manmade global warming could be much weaker than currently projected. This is an issue that Dick Lindzen (MIT) has been working on, too.
But if the new paper (MF10) is correct, then current satellite estimates of feedbacks – despite being noisy – still bracket the true feedbacks operating in the climate system…at least on the relatively short (~10 years) time scales of the satellite datasets. Forster and Gregory (2006) present some of these feedback estimates, based upon older ERBE satellite data.
As we will see, and as is usually the case, some of the MF10 criticism of SB08 is deserved, and some is not.
First, a Comment on Peer Review at the Journal of Climate
It is unfortunate that the authors and/or an editor at Journal of Climate decided that MF10 would be published without asking me or Danny Braswell to be reviewers.
Their paper is quite brief, and is obviously in the class of a “Comments on…” paper, yet it will appear as a full “Article”. But a “Comments on…” classification would then have required the Journal of Climate to give us a chance to review MF10 and to respond. So, it appears that one or more people wanted to avoid any inconvenient truths.
Thus, since it will be at least a year before a response study by us could be published – and J. Climate seems to be trying to avoid us – I must now respond here, to help avoid some of the endless questions I will have to endure once MF10 is in print.
On the positive side, though, MF10 have forced us to go back and reexamine the methodology and conclusions in SB08. As a result, we are now well on the way to new results which will better optimize the matching of satellite-observed climate variability to the simple climate model, including a range of feedback estimates consistent with the satellite data. It is now apparent to us that we did not do a good enough job of that in SB08.
I want to emphasize, though, that our most recent paper now in press at JGR (Spencer & Braswell, 2010: “On the Diagnosis of Radiative Feedback in the Presence of Unknown Radiative Forcing”, hereafter SB10), should be referenced by anyone interested in the latest published evidence supporting our claims. It does not have the main shortcomings I will address below.
But for those who want to get some idea of how we view the specific MF10 criticisms of SB08, I present the following. Keep in mind this is after only three days of analysis. (Roy W. Spencer)
Government plans to replace Air Passenger Duty with a per-plane tax would be “ineffective and damage competitiveness”, business leaders warned today. (Evening Standard)
Ed. note: This piece first appeared on Energy Outlook, Geoffrey Styles’ blog.
This week Secretary of Interior Salazar reissued the administration's deepwater drilling moratorium, with a few new twists and a notional six month limit. This happened in spite of loud protests from the states most affected by the spill, some of their representatives in Washington, and even some skepticism from the heads of the President's own drilling commission. The old ban is still in court, and the new one probably will be soon, but this is really all moot, because whether the Salazar moratorium is technically in force or not, the legal battle over it has created a moratorium limbo that few companies would be willing to test, given the costs involved. One irony of all this is that in addition to the obvious indirect winners in OPEC, there's at least one direct winner in this hemisphere: Brazil, which will be quite happy to export to us their deepwater oil that we're inadvertently helping them to develop quicker and cheaper. (Energy Tribune)
The U.S. Interior Department issued its first shallow-water drilling permit since offshore exploration companies were required to meet two sets of new safety regulations in
response to the BP oil spill, a department official said on Monday.
Oil sands producers must do more to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. ambassador to Canada said on Monday, as the two countries move to harmonize rules on carbon dioxide cuts. (Reuters)
Angola is an unmitigated success story when compared to their neighbors in Nigeria and other dysfunctional African oil producers such as Sudan and the perennially, maddeningly weird, Libya. It is also an example on how the turbulent post-colonial past, so evident practically everywhere in Africa, can be overcome and give place to a far calmer and far more productive future. [Read More] (Michael J. Economides, Energy Tribune)
by Robert Bradley Jr.
Energy is the master resource. Without it, other resources could neither be produced nor consumed. Even energy requires energy: There would not be usable oil, gas, or coal without the energy to manufacture and power the requisite tools and machinery. Nor would there be wind turbines or solar panels, which are monuments to embedded fossil-fuel energy.
And just how important are fossil fuels relative to so-called renewable energies? Oil, gas, or coal generates the electricity needed to fill in for intermittent wind and solar power to ensure moment-to-moment reliability. So renewable energy, ironically, is dependent on nonrenewable energy short of prohibitively expensive battery technology assuring the flow of electricity.
As a component of all products and services, energy needs to be affordable, convenient, and reliable. To this end, public policy should respect consumer preference and allow energy producers to meet the demands of the marketplace. This requires a respect for private property rights, voluntary exchange, and the rule of law to facilitate the global exchange of energy and its innumerable subcomponents. [Read more →] (MasterResource)
HOUSEHOLD energy prices may have stopped their climb upwards but behind the scenes something else has been going on which is pushing our power bills higher. And it looks set
to get far worse.
BRITAIN faces years of blackouts and soaring electricity bills because of the drive toward green power, a leading energy expert warned last night.
Some sense penetrating at last: PM slammed for investment U-turn
Cameron reneges on eco jobs pledge. Uses cash for 'ethical' bank instead
The Carbon Sense Coalition today called for an end to the massive subsidies distorting all energy markets in the name of global warming.
On 14 July the Energy Research Institute of the University of Melbourne hosted a seminar on “The Future of Renewable Energy in Australia”. The centrepiece was a report
by Matthew Wright (Director, Beyond Zero Emissions) who presented a ten year roadmap for 100% renewable energy from stationary sources. Other speakers were John Daley (CEO
Grattan Institute), Keith Lovegrove (Solar Thermal Group Leader, ANU), and Lane Crockett (General Manager, Pacific Hydro).
All Americans, by 2014 will be required to have an individual obesity rating electronically recorded. It has been determined that under the new health stimulus law passed by
President Barack Obama recently, that all Americans, by 2014, will be required to have electronic health records which will include their height, weight and body mass index
OBESITY is set to overtake smoking as the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia, and experts are calling on government authorities to take the same tough
stand on the weight crisis as it did on tobacco.
AUSTRALIAN food authorities may ban artificial food colours from breakfast cereals and confectionery items following new scientific evidence that shows it may pose a cancer
risk, as well as causing hyperactivity and allergic reactions in children.
WASHINGTON - A two-step flu vaccine using DNA to "prime" the immune system and then a traditional seasonal influenza vaccine may be able to protect against all
strains of the virus -- providing a long-sought "universal" flu vaccine, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.
Without any scientific proof of their effectiveness, homeopathic remedies are highly disputed in Europe. With budgets strained, politicians are questioning whether the alternative treatments should be covered by state insurance systems. (Spiegel)
NEW YORK - Even as summer temperatures soar, Americans are turning a cold shoulder to sunscreen, according to a poll released on Friday.
Limited Government: You may laugh about the White House assistant chef being appointed "Senior Policy Adviser." You'll stop laughing when you realize that those in
power really do want to tell you what to eat.
MAD cow disease is on the verge of being eradicated in Europe, the EU's executive arm said as it proposed an end to the systematic killing of entire herds when a sick cow is
UN trying another fundraising scam: New UN body to put value on planet, show cost of damage
The world relies on a range of services nature provides -- water filtration by forests, pollination by bees and a supply of wild plant genes for new food crops or medicines.
The fashion for screw cap wines among the middle classes is destroying forests and could lead to the extinction of one of world's rarest wildcats, ecologists claim. (TDT)
The Soviet Union's demise helped usher in manmade catastrophic global warming as the new "central organizing principle of civilization." Now, global warming is
giving way to a growing recognition that: climate change is primarily natural, cyclical and moderate; China, India and other countries will not sacrifice CO2-generating
economic growth to prevent speculative climate crises; and carbon taxes strangle competitiveness, destroy jobs and send families into fuel poverty.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
How a long-ago Secretary of Agriculture became the demon of industrial food critics; and how those critics get the last half-century of agricultural history wrong.
First Lady Michelle Obama has refused to plant corn in her famous White House organic garden. That's a direct result of the attack on corn and modern agriculture, led by local and sustainable food advocates, small farm groups, food writers, and the producers of film documentaries. The only kind of corn that would be grown in any garden, organic or not, is sweet corn, and sweet corn is the only thing that makes July survivable in hot Midwestern summers, but never mind. The organic garden is a political exercise, and corn is in bad odor with environmentalists, the New York Times, and.
According to the narrative, we farmers plant far too much corn; in particular, too much of the kind of corn livestock eat. And we do this even though corn is really cheap.
What’s more, corn has become an industrial product like polypropylene or stainless steel; it's no longer really food for any creature, great or small. Corn sweetener receives more bad press than methamphetamine, so the Obamas will eat no fresh sweet corn dripping with butter and sprinkled with salt. (President Obama can seem peevish at times; I'd prescribe sweet corn, twice a day, for the week or so that corn from the garden is at its peak.) (The American)
Research professor Jonathan Jones says his verdict on a potato trial in Norfolk will not be influenced by his past commercial ties to Monsanto (The Observer)
As White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel expressed in the midst of the financial crisis, this administration follows the rule "Never allow a crisis to go to
waste." And following President Obama's Oval Office address, it is apparent that many in Washington are doing their best not to let the oil spill crisis in the Gulf
"go to waste."
Senate wants cap and trade scheme to tackle rising emissions rather than green new deal
People who are sceptical of climate change could soon be facing criminal charges in the European Court of Justice, British National Party leader and MEP Nick Griffin MEP has
TONY Abbott has vowed any government he leads would never introduce a carbon price
The American government has suspended its funding of the University of East Anglia’s climate research unit (CRU), citing the scientific doubts raised by last November’s
leak of hundreds of stolen emails.
A British museum is urging the public to record trees in parks, streets and gardens as part of a three-year survey to uncover how climate change is affecting the
In May I was flown to Pittsburgh, birthplace of America's coal industry, to attend the annual conference of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute.
Talk about misreading a situation: Britain trails China in dash to low-carbon economy, warns Tim Yeo
Conservative says Beijing may be 'playing the bad guy' to grab green profits 20 years ahead
Environment: A federal agency is reporting that the world has just had its warmest June on record and the agency's climate chief is blaming man for the increasing heat. And
he would know ... wouldn't he?
July 17, 2010 – 4:20 pm
The planet is experiencing “a summer of swelter,” states a front-page story in today’s Globe and Mail that provides us with anecdotes of the upshot, such as “more than 1000 Russians have drowned in the last month trying to escape record temperatures.” The Globe then speculates that one cause of the worldwide heat wave could be “the ever-shrinking size of the world’s ice caps.”
First, the Russians. The Globe might have told us that they drown in droves every year, disproportionately in the summer months, and the Globe might also have told us why. “The majority of those drowned were drunk,” explains Vadim Seryogin, a department head at Russia’s Emergencies Ministry. Last year, when 3000 Russian drowned, one analysis of drowned Russian males found that 94% had been drunk.
Perhaps the heat caused Russians to drink more – the data is not yet in – but most don’t need heat to drive them to drink. According to a study last year published in the British journal, the Lancet, alcohol was responsible for the deaths of about three quarters of all Russian men, and half of all Russian women, aged 15-54.
Next, those “ever-shrinking” ice caps, of which this planet has two. The ice cap in the southern hemisphere, in the Antarctic, has been growing steadily since the 1970s, especially so this summer. The ice cap in the northern hemisphere, in contrast, did shrink temporarily over the last few months, after having expanded temporarily earlier in the year, and it is now expanding again. On balance, Planet Earth now has slightly more ice than usual, according to the most recent data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It shows the Arctic to have 1.379 million fewer million square kilometres of ice while the Antarctic has 1.404 more.
“Ice reflects sun and when you melt it, the Earth absorbs more heat, which causes further melt back, which causes more warming,” Danny Harvey, a climate researcher at University of Toronto, told The Globe. “So when you lose ice, it means we’re in big trouble.”
So, when we gain ice, as the Earth is now doing, does it mean we are we safe and sound? The Globe didn’t ask, and Harvey didn’t answer.
Poor deceived blighters: Africa looks to vast forests for carbon credit
Ivory Coast - They inhabit a polluted part of Ivory Coast's main city with few jobs and a swelling population, but residents of Abidjan's slums have a rare respite: a
stretch of pristine rainforest.
by Case Smit
July 18, 2010
An appeal from Case Smit:
When John Smeed and I brought Lord Monckton to Australia earlier this year, we found that the overwhelming majority of the audiences was definitely of the older generation. Where were the next generation of leaders and problem solvers? Where were the under 40’s? Most of us, but particularly that generation, have been exposed to inconvenient (un)truths, errors and exaggerations from Governments and most of the media, leading to a belief that mankind is guilty of starting a global warming trend that will have catastrophic consequences.
A suggestion was made during the Monckton Tour that a movie be made, aimed specifically at young people, to give them the real facts. This suggestion has been widely supported and has grown to a proposal to make a series of short movies that could be made into one documentary covering the science, economics and the morality of the “global warming” hypothesis. The bulk of the Australian filming is planned for Lord Monckton’s next visit to Australia in September/October 2010. Some more information about the movie is given in the dedicated web site: climatesciencerevealed.com
The North American Directors for this proposed movie are Susan Kucera and Gawain Bantle of Cinepartners. The budget amounts to about $300,000, which is very low for the quality of product we have planned given it must contain only incontrovertible facts and be professional enough to have credibility yet sassy enough to outdo “An Inconvenient Truth” in its appeal to youth. Joanne Nova, an experienced science communicator, will be the principal script writer and the anchor person. The documentary will feature Lord Monckton, Prof. Ian Plimer, Prof. Peter Ridd, numerous other Australian and overseas experts as well as some teenagers and older “young” people. We will use animated graphics and humour to keep young viewers interested.
The intention is to distribute this movie to schools and to make it available on the internet. We may not be able to get mass distribution, but we expect to get it shown at film festivals and selected cinemas.
We can put on a powerful display of all the images and information that hasn’t been featured in the media – it’s all the front-page news-busting headlines that no one has told our youth.
John Smeed and I are not in a position to underwrite this venture, so we are seeking donations from all like-minded individuals and organisations to provide the necessary funding. To join the team which is fighting back and to help us raise the $300,000 required, there is a “donate” button on page “The Plan” on our web site. Given the expected wide distribution of this appeal, an average donation of $250 should get us to the target, but obviously we would need quite a few donations much greater than that; naturally any donation will be welcome.
Coral reefs are suffering widespread damage in what is set to be one of the worst years ever for the delicate and beautiful habitats. (TDT)
Rahmstorf still trying to minimize solar effect: On the effect of a new grand minimum of solar activity on the future climate on Earth
The current exceptionally long minimum of solar activity has led to the suggestion that the Sun might experience a new grand minimum in the next decades, a prolonged period of low activity similar to the Maunder minimum in the late 17th century. The Maunder minimum is connected to the Little Ice Age, a time of markedly lower temperatures, in particular in the Northern hemisphere. Here we use a coupled climate model to explore the effect of a 21st-century grand minimum on future global temperatures, finding a moderate temperature offset of no more than −0.3°C in the year 2100 relative to a scenario with solar activity similar to recent decades. This temperature decrease is much smaller than the warming expected from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the century. (GRL)
I receive many e-mails, and a recurring complaint is that many of my posts are too technical to understand. This morning’s installment arrived with the subject line, “Please Talk to Us”, and suggested I provide short, concise, easily understood summaries and explanations “for dummies”.
So, here’s a list of basic climate change questions, and brief answers based upon what I know today. I might update them as I receive suggestions and comments. I will also be adding links to other sources, and some visual aids, as appropriate.
Deja vu tells me I might have done this once before, but I’m too lazy to go back and see. So, I’ll start over from scratch. (Insert smiley)
It is important to understand at the outset that those of us who are skeptical of mankind’s influence on climate have a wide variety of views on the subject, and we can’t all be right. In fact, in this business, it is really easy to be wrong. It seems like everyone has a theory of what causes climate change. But it only takes one of us to be right for the IPCC’s anthropogenic global warming (AGW) house of cards to collapse.
As I like to say, taking measurements of the climate system is much easier than figuring out what those measurements mean in terms of cause and effect. Generally speaking, it’s not the warming that is in dispute…it’s the cause of the warming.
If you disagree with my views on something, please don’t flame me. Chances are, I’ve already heard your point of view; very seldom am I provided with new evidence I haven’t already taken into account.
1) Are Global Temperatures Rising Now? There is no way to know, because natural year-to-year variability in global temperature is so large, with warming and
cooling occurring all the time. What we can say is that surface and lower atmospheric temperature have risen in the last 30 to 50 years, with most of that warming in the
Northern Hemisphere. Also, the magnitude of recent warming is somewhat uncertain, due to problems in making long-term temperature measurements with thermometers without those
measurements being corrupted by a variety of non-climate effects. But there is no way to know if temperatures are continuing to rise now…we only see warming (or cooling) in
the rearview mirror, when we look back in time.
3) Haven’t Global Temperatures Risen Before? Yes. In the longer term, say hundreds to thousands of years, there is considerable indirect, proxy evidence (not from thermometers) of both warming and cooling. Since humankind can’t be responsible for these early events, this is evidence that nature can cause warming and cooling. If that is the case, it then opens up the possibility that some (or most) of the warming in the last 50 years has been natural, too. While many geologists like to point to much larger temperature changes are believed to have occurred over millions of years, I am unconvinced that this tells us anything of use for understanding how humans might influence climate on time scales of 10 to 100 years.
4) But Didn’t the “Hockey Stick” Show Recent Warming to be Unprecedented? The “hockey Stick” reconstructions of temperature variations over the last 1 to 2 thousand years have been a huge source of controversy. The hockey stick was previously used by the IPCC as a veritable poster child for anthropogenic warming, since it seemed to indicate there have been no substantial temperature changes over the last 1,000 to 2,000 years until humans got involved in the 20th Century. The various versions of the hockey stick were based upon limited amounts of temperature proxy evidence — primarily tree rings — and involved questionable statistical methods. In contrast, I think the bulk of the proxy evidence supports the view that it was at least as warm during the Medieval Warm Period, around 1000 AD. The very fact that recent tree ring data erroneously suggests cooling in the last 50 years, when in fact there has been warming, should be a warning flag about using tree ring data for figuring out how warm it was 1,000 years ago. But without actual thermometer data, we will never know for sure.
5) Isn’t the Melting of Arctic Sea Ice Evidence of Warming? Warming, yes…manmade warming, no. Arctic sea ice naturally melts back every summer, but that meltback was observed to reach a peak in 2007. But we have relatively accurate, satellite-based measurements of Arctic (and Antarctic) sea ice only since 1979. It is entirely possible that late summer Arctic Sea ice cover was just as low in the 1920s or 1930s, a period when Arctic thermometer data suggests it was just as warm. Unfortunately, there is no way to know, because we did not have satellites back then. Interestingly, Antarctic sea ice has been growing nearly as fast as Arctic ice has been melting over the last 30+ years.
6) What about rising sea levels? I must confess, I don’t pay much attention to the sea level issue. I will say that, to the extent that warming occurs, sea levels can be expected to also rise to some extent. The rise is partly due to thermal expansion of the water, and partly due to melting or shedding of land-locked ice (the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and glaciers). But this says nothing about whether or not humans are the cause of that warming. Since there is evidence that glacier retreat and sea level rise started well before humans can be blamed, causation is — once again — a major source of uncertainty.
7) Is Increasing CO2 Even Capable of Causing Warming? There are some very intelligent people out there who claim that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere can’t cause warming anyway. They claim things like, “the atmospheric CO2 absorption bands are already saturated”, or something else very technical. [And for those more technically-minded persons, yes, I agree that the effective radiating temperature of the Earth in the infrared is determined by how much sunlight is absorbed by the Earth. But that doesn't mean the lower atmosphere cannot warm from adding more greenhouse gases, because at the same time they also cool the upper atmosphere]. While it is true that most of the CO2-caused warming in the atmosphere was there before humans ever started burning coal and driving SUVs, this is all taken into account by computerized climate models that predict global warming. Adding more “should” cause warming, with the magnitude of that warming being the real question. But I’m still open to the possibility that a major error has been made on this fundamental point. Stranger things have happened in science before.
8 ) Is Atmospheric CO2 Increasing? Yes, and most strongly in the last 50 years…which is why “most” climate researchers think the CO2 rise is the cause of the warming. Our site measurements of CO2 increase from around the world are possibly the most accurate long-term, climate-related, measurements in existence.
9) Are Humans Responsible for the CO2 Rise? While there are short-term (year-to-year) fluctuations in the atmospheric CO2 concentration due to natural causes, especially El Nino and La Nina, I currently believe that most of the long-term increase is probably due to our use of fossil fuels. But from what I can tell, the supposed “proof” of humans being the source of increasing CO2 — a change in the atmospheric concentration of the carbon isotope C13 — would also be consistent with a natural, biological source. The current atmospheric CO2 level is about 390 parts per million by volume, up from a pre-industrial level estimated to be around 270 ppm…maybe less. CO2 levels can be much higher in cities, and in buildings with people in them.
10) But Aren’t Natural CO2 Emissions About 20 Times the Human Emissions? Yes, but nature is believed to absorb CO2 at about the same rate it is produced. You can think of the reservoir of atmospheric CO2 as being like a giant container of water, with nature pumping in a steady stream into the bottom of the container (atmosphere) in some places, sucking out about the same amount in other places, and then humans causing a steady drip-drip-drip into the container. Significantly, about 50% of what we produce is sucked out of the atmosphere by nature, mostly through photosynthesis. Nature loves the stuff. CO2 is the elixir of life on Earth. Imagine the howls of protest there would be if we were destroying atmospheric CO2, rather than creating more of it.
11) Is Rising CO2 the Cause of Recent Warming? While this is theoretically possible, I think it is more likely that the warming is mostly natural. At the very least, we have no way of determining what proportion is natural versus human-caused.
12) Why Do Most Scientists Believe CO2 is Responsible for the Warming? Because (as they have told me) they can’t think of anything else that might have caused it. Significantly, it’s not that there is evidence nature can’t be the cause, but a lack of sufficiently accurate measurements to determine if nature is the cause. This is a hugely important distinction, and one the public and policymakers have been misled on by the IPCC.
13) If Not Humans, What could Have Caused Recent Warming? This is one of my areas of research. I believe that natural changes in the amount of sunlight being absorbed by the Earth — due to natural changes in cloud cover — are responsible for most of the warming. Whether that is the specific mechanism or not, I advance the minority view that the climate system can change all by itself. Climate change does not require an “external” source of forcing, such as a change in the sun.
14) So, What Could Cause Natural Cloud Changes? I think small, long-term changes in atmospheric and oceanic flow patterns can cause ~1% changes in how much sunlight is let in by clouds to warm the Earth. This is all that is required to cause global warming or cooling. Unfortunately, we do not have sufficiently accurate cloud measurements to determine whether this is the primary cause of warming in the last 30 to 50 years.
15) How Significant is the Climategate Release of E-Mails? While Climategate does not, by itself, invalidate the IPCC’s case that global warming has happened, or that humans are the primary cause of that warming, it DOES illustrate something I emphasized in my first book, “Climate Confusion”: climate researchers are human, and prone to bias.
16) Why Would Bias in Climate Research be Important? I thought Scientists Just Follow the Data Where It Leads Them When researchers approach a problem, their pre-conceived notions often guide them. It’s not that the IPCC’s claim that humans cause global warming is somehow untenable or impossible, it’s that political and financial pressures have resulted in the IPCC almost totally ignoring alternative explanations for that warming.
17) How Important Is “Scientific Consensus” in Climate Research? In the case of global warming, it is nearly worthless. The climate system is so complex that the vast majority of climate scientists — usually experts in variety of specialized fields — assume there are more knowledgeable scientists, and they are just supporting the opinions of their colleagues. And among that small group of most knowledgeable experts, there is a considerable element of groupthink, herd mentality, peer pressure, political pressure, support of certain energy policies, and desire to Save the Earth — whether it needs to be saved or not.
18) How Important are Computerized Climate Models? I consider climate models as being our best way of exploring cause and effect in the climate system. It is really easy to be wrong in this business, and unless you can demonstrate causation with numbers in equations, you are stuck with scientists trying to persuade one another by waving their hands. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that climate models will ever produce a useful prediction of the future. Nevertheless, we must use them, and we learn a lot from them. My biggest concern is that models have been used almost exclusively for supporting the claim that humans cause global warming, rather than for exploring alternative hypotheses — e.g. natural climate variations — as possible causes of that warming.
19) What Do I Predict for Global Temperature Changes in the Future? I tend to shy away from long-term predictions, because there are still so many uncertainties. When pressed, though, I tend to say that I think cooling in our future is just as real a possibility as warming. Of course, a third possibility is relatively steady temperatures, without significant long-term warming or cooling. Keep in mind that, while you will find out tomorrow whether your favorite weather forecaster is right or wrong, no one will remember 50 years from now a scientist today wrongly predicting we will all die from heat stroke by 2060.
Climate researchers do not know nearly as much about the causes of climate change as they profess. We have a pretty good understanding of how the climate system works on average…but the reasons for small, long-term changes in climate system are still extremely uncertain.
The total amount of CO2 humans have added to the atmosphere in the last 100 years has upset the radiative energy budget of the Earth by only 1%. How the climate system responds to that small “poke” is very uncertain. The IPCC says there will be strong warming, with cloud changes making the warming worse. I claim there will be weak warming, with cloud changes acting to reduce the influence of that 1% change. The difference between these two outcomes is whether cloud feedbacks are positive (the IPCC view), or negative (the view I and a minority of others have).
So far, neither side has been able to prove their case. That uncertainty even exists on this core issue is not appreciated by many scientists!
Again I will emphasize, some very smart people who consider themselves skeptics will disagree with some of my views stated above, particularly when it involves explanations for what has caused warming, and what has caused atmospheric CO2 to increase.
Unlike the global marching army of climate researchers the IPCC has enlisted, we do not walk in lockstep. We are willing to admit, “we don’t really know”, rather than mislead people with phrases like, “the warming we see is consistent with an increase in CO2″, and then have the public think that means, “we have determined, through our extensive research into all the possibilities, that the warming cannot be due to anything but CO2″.
Skeptics advancing alternative explanations (hypotheses) for climate variability represent the way the researcher community used to operate, before politics, policy outcomes, and billions of dollars got involved. (Roy W. Spencer)
There is a new paper
Ming, Y., V. Ramaswamy, and G. Persad (2010), Two opposing effects of absorbing aerosols on global-mean precipitation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L13701, doi:10.1029/2010GL042895
which further documents the complexity and diversity of human climate forcings. While it still, unfortunately, focuses on a global average (in this case precipitation), it does add to the understanding of the role of aerosols in climate.
The abstract reads
There are some interesting findings in this paper. These include
The proposal for new metrics on hydrologic forcing was introduced in
National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp
where we wrote
We have proposed specific hydrologic metrics in our presentation
Pielke, R.A. Sr., and T.N. Chase, 2003: A Proposed New Metric for Quantifying the Climatic Effects of Human-Caused Alterations to the Global Water Cycle. Presented at the Symposium on Observing and Understanding the Variability of Water in Weather and Climate, 83rd AMS Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA, February 9-13, 2003.
As research papers such as Ming et al continue to appear, the realization that the human influence on the climate system is significant beyond CO2, as we discussed in Pielke et al 2009, will become better realized. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
We have a new paper published. It is
Matsui, T., D. Mocko, M.-I. Lee, W.-K. Tao, M. J. Suarez, and R. A. Pielke Sr. (2010),Ten-year climatology of summertime diurnal rainfall rate over the conterminous U.S., Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L13807, doi:10.1029/2010GL044139
The abstract reads
(Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
Energy: Oil firms have been lumped into one big, bad group by the U.S. drilling moratorium. But they're not all alike. BP's green politics played a big role in the Gulf
spill. That's what should be repudiated, not drilling.
They call it “Iceberg Alley”, which doesn’t take much imagination and Geoffrey Lean sailed down it three years ago.
Carbon Energy Ltd says it will cooperate with any requests for an environmental study at its Queensland plant, amid concerns about technology that converts coal into
There were a myriad of factors that contributed to the demise of the British Motor Industry in the mid seventies. The storied brands of Jaguar, Bentley, Aston Martin
and MG of the automotive and Triumph, BSA and Norton of motorcycle industry all suffered under onerous labor union contracts and government ownership and controls. All of
these brands also suffered with defective electrical components produced by the Joseph Lucas Company.
Plans to use money from the sale of government assets to provide the riskiest of equity investment in green energy projects such as offshore wind and carbon capture have
been shelved by the government.
HONG KONG/SYDNEY - A massive pool of renewable energy certificates will limit the impact of Australia's new energy laws until 2014, even as the rules inject a welcome dose
of long-term certainty into the market.
SCOTLAND'S wind farms have produced only around half the amount of power they were expected to this year, Scotland on Sunday has learned.
Posted by Michael F. Cannon
The Obama administration announced yesterday its plans for implementing ObamaCare’s mandate that consumers purchase first-dollar coverage for preventive services. The press release reads (emphasis added):
Of course the administration would emphasize that consumers will pay nothing for these services at the moment of service, and elide the fact that this mandate will increase their health insurance premiums. The administration’s use of the word “free” is what we call spin.
What’s surprising–and more than a little disappointing–is that journalists and headline writers at major media organizations would repeat the administration’s spin, as if the government really is giving away free stuff:
Each use of “free” and “no cost” in these excerpts is false, even within its original context. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Everything has a cost. No government can change that. Mandating that insurers cover certain services does not magically make them free. Consumers still pay, just in the form of higher health insurance premiums and lower wages.
The Wall Street Journal (in paragraph six), The New York Times (paragraph seven), Reuters (paragraph 16), and the Los Angeles Times (paragraph 19 or so) do mention that consumers will pay for this mandate in the form of higher premiums–but that doesn’t make the untrue stuff true. It just makes the article internally inconsistent. Moreover, the Los Angeles Times incorrectly suggests that the higher premiums would be offset by lower out-of-pocket spending. (The change in premiums will be larger due to moral hazard and administrative costs.) And Reuters mentions higher premiums only vaguely, and as if insurers would bear that cost. Each article also repeats the administration’s spin that spending more on preventive care would reduce health care costs, without mentioning that the Congressional Budget Office and other health care researchers dispute that claim.
Journalists need to be very careful with terms like “free” and “no cost.” (Cato at liberty)
Posted by Michael F. Cannon
Christopher Weaver of Kaiser Health News has an excellent article in today’s Washington Post on the various government agencies that will now be deciding what health insurance coverage you must purchase, and how many of those decisions will ultimately fall to lobbyists and politicians:
And it’s not just the USPSTF that will be deciding what coverage you must purchase:
The chairman of the USPSTF says the task force will try “to stay true to the methods and the evidence… the science needs to come first.” A noble sentiment, but as my colleague Peter Van Doren likes to say, “When politics and science conflict, politics wins.” Witness how industry lobbyists have killed or neutered every single government agency that has ever dared to produce useful comparative-effectiveness research. (You’re next, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute!)
When government agencies are making non-scientific value judgments–e.g., are these studies reliable enough to merit an A or B recommendation? what should be the thresholds for an A or B recommendation? will the benefits of mandating this coverage outweigh the costs?–politics does even better. Witness Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md) overruling a USPSTF recommendation when she “inserted an amendment in the [new] health-care law to explicitly cover regular mammograms for women between 40 and 50. ”
Speaking of value judgments, the one flaw in Weaver’s article is that it inadvertently conveys a value judgment as if it were fact. He writes that the mandate to purchase coverage for preventive services is “good news for patients” and that 88 million Americans “will benefit.” Whether the mandate is good news for patients depends on whether patients value the added coverage more than the additional premiums they must pay. (The administration estimates that premiums for affected consumers will rise an average of 1.5 percent. One insurer puts the average cost at 3-4 percent of premiums. Naturally, some consumers will face above-average costs.) Whether the benefits outweigh the costs is ultimately a subjective determination. (The best way to find out, as it happens, is to let consumers make the decision themselves.) (Cato at liberty)
A novel weapon in the battle against malaria has been developed by scientists: the malaria-proof mosquito.
Economist and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has cited several reasons — including higher productivity, businesses' cost-cutting and a trend toward lower wages —
that in the current "tepid" recovery "many people will lack the money needed to buy all the goods and services the economy can produce."
WASHINGTON, July 14 - Proposals to ban the use of antibiotics as a livestock growth promotant could drive up farmers costs without improving public health, skeptical
lawmakers said on Wednesday.
Child health experts say 'parental failure' over diet and exercise becomes a child protection issue
WASHINGTON — House Democrats are moving forward on first lady Michelle Obama's vision for healthier school lunches, propelling legislation that calls for tougher standards
governing food in school and more meals for hungry children.
STOCKHOLM, July 15 -- Obesity prevention and treatment need the change of living environment, concluded experts at the end of the 11th International Congress on Obesity in
Stockholm on Thursday.
Radio masts operated by the Vatican's radio station are causing cancer in children, a medical expert has told a Rome court – resulting in six officials of the station
being investigated for manslaughter.
NEW YORK - Americans in certain lines of work, including transportation, food service and farming, may have a relatively high rate of risk factors for heart disease,
diabetes and stroke, a new study finds.
NEW YORK - Middle-aged and older adults who live near high-traffic roads may have a heightened risk of dying from heart disease -- but the odds seem to go down if they move
to a less-traveled neighborhood, a new study finds.
WASHINGTON, July 15 - The American Cancer Society and three federal agencies named 19 chemicals and shift work on Thursday as potential causes of cancer that deserve more
Gore, Blair and the Prince of Wales are the modern equivalent of the mediaeval Bishops who would go on a progress, flaunting their wealth and possessions, while preaching to hoi polloi the virtues of modest living and sacrifice to the true religion.
To a man, such people are completely ignorant of the basis of the global warming hypothesis, the errors of which arise originally from a misunderstanding of the quantum physics of the interaction between matter and radiation, compounded by a huge raft of other errors of logic and measurement.
Prinny, however, while matching the others in gross excess of consumption, has a much wider range when it comes to junk science. Homeopathy, Organic Farming and Climate Change are all part of his extensive faith-based portfolio of junk science, while evidence is not exactly his strong suit.
For those of us who are Royalists at heart and admirers of Her Gracious Majesty, the abuse of his position within the constitutional monarchy is a gross affront. His vocabulary is that of the inveterate scaremonger – environmental collapse; Russian Roulette; so-called climate sceptics apparently able to intimidate; make no mistake the sceptics have no wider love of Nature and her crucial role etc. All this came out in his address to business leaders at St James’s Palace, duly celebrated by the impressionable Louise Gray. It is a farrago of insults to those who adhere to science and its methods. Who are these sceptics who are not lovers of nature? Has anyone ever met one?
Such routine abuse has become standard for the proponents of the new religion. For it to come from the Heir to the Throne, speaking from the imposing location of a Royal Palace is unconscionable. (Number Watch)
Union 'card-check,' cap and trade, and so much more.
A scaled-back climate change bill Senate Democrats are considering would achieve far less than President Barack Obama promised at a U.N. global warming conference last year
-- but even this may be too much for Congress.
Have you heard about the “growing number” of eminent scientists who reject the theory that man-made greenhouse gases are increasing the earth’s temperature? It’s one of those factoids that, for years, has been casually dropped into the opening paragraphs of conservative manifestos against climate-change treaties and legislation. A web site maintained by the office of a U.S. Senator has for years instructed us that a “growing number of scientists” are becoming climate-change “skeptics.” This year, the chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation gave a speech praising the “growing number of distinguished scientists [who are] challenging the conventional wisdom with alternative theories and peer reviewed research.” In this newspaper, a columnist recently described the “growing skepticism about the theory of man-made climate change.” Surely, the conventional wisdom is on the cusp of being overthrown entirely: Another colleague proclaimed that we are approaching “the church of global warming’s Galileo moment.” (Jonathan Kay, National Post)
15 Jul 2010: Prince of Wales accuses those who question whether human activity is causing global warming of 'peddling pseudo science' and blocking action (The Guardian)
Very wishful thinking and outright nonsense: Science Matters: Science delivers repeated blows to deluded deniers
It must be difficult, if not downright embarrassing, to be a climate change denier these days. After all, the scientists they’ve attacked have been exonerated, London’s Sunday Times newspaper ran a retraction and apology for an article deniers were using to discredit climate change science, and more and more denier "experts" are being exposed as shills for industry or just disingenuous clowns. (Naomi Oreskes’s excellent book Merchants of Doubt offers insight into how the deniers operate.) Meanwhile, evidence that fossil fuel emissions contribute to dangerous climate change just keeps building. (David Suzuki with Faisal Moola, David Suzuki Foundation)
More like a 160-page evasion of the real issues that confront global-warming science.
Last week, the third of three allegedly independent inquiries into last fall’s Climategate scandal at Britain’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) was concluded. Like the other
two, it found troubling behaviour by the scientists at the CRU or by the University of East Anglia, of which the CRU is a part — most notably attempts to hide data from
critics and from government investigators. Yet in the end, all three conclude no real wrongdoing occurred and that the basic premise of mainstream climate science — that our
climate is changing for the worse and human activity is at least partly to blame — remains undamaged by the scandal.
15 Jul 2010: Damian Carrington: Polemical and partisan characterises the climate debate online - but at last night's Guardian debate there was courteousness and a distinct warmth in the air (The Guardian)
Audio (98min 06sec), 15 Jul 2010: The entire recording of the Guardian's 'climategate' debate, presented by George Monbiot
Written by Christopher Monckton
On Friday, you sent me a list of questions from the Select Committee. Here are the answers. I have taken the liberty of conflating questions 8 and 12. I shall do my best to supply any additional information on request.
Read more... (SPPI)
John Abraham, University of St Thomas.
What do you do when someone speaks against your faith, sounds authoritative, well informed, and backs everything up with lots of evidence? If you’re sane, you change your mind.
If you are John P. Abraham, a lecturer in fluid mechanics at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, you write to a few select scientists distorting what your opponent said, and then collect the infuriated responses. Abraham went on to assemble a list of things Christopher Monckton didn’t say, complained about things he didn’t cite (even if he did and it’s printed on his slides), pretended he couldn’t find sources (but didn’t take ten minutes to ask), and created a litany of communication pollution in an effort to denigrate Monckton’s character.
The untruths and fabrications have come back to bite him.
We’ve seen these tactics before. Tim Lambert (aka Deltoid) did a similar thing when he ambushed Monckton with quotes from Pinker that he arranged with emails he still hasn’t revealed. And when it comes to attacking things, graphs and arguments that weren’t made, John Cook of SkepticalScience did the same with his attempt to rebut the Skeptics Handbook. What matters to the religious is not the details, but the keywords. They hope that if they use confident bluster to mention the same hot topics in general, and find mistakes in reasoning that someone else said (and it may be someone imaginary), it will win the PR war. The attack-dogs get their dog food, the daily-bread of misinformation, and it keeps those pesky skeptics busy pointing out error after error, tying them up for days.
Monckton replied on June 10th with a 84-page letter and 466 questions, in a polite list of mistakes, errors, and misquotes pointing out how embarrassing it was for a learned center of higher education to be seen in the same domain-name as such a malign, uninformed and dishonest production. He gave Abraham and the university a month to apologize, remove the embarrassing video, and pay $110k to a Haitian charity. Calling Monckton’s reply “detailed” and “comprehensive” is an understatement. It’s exhaustive, enumerating, eviscerating. More » (Jo Nova)
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on July 5th warned the scientists in its camp to avoid talking to the press. The warning came just before the Muir Russell report into the Climategate Email scandal stated that IPCC scientists needed to enter “a new world of openness” because their bunker mentality was harming the cause of science.
The July 5th letter, written by IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri to hundreds of scientists preparing the IPCC’s next mammoth report, expected to be published in 2013, stressed the importance of managing the media through the IPCC’s PR department:
“I would also like to emphasize that enhanced media interest in the work of the IPCC would probably subject you to queries about your work and the IPCC. My sincere advice would be that you keep a distance from the media and should any questions be asked about the Working Group with which you are associated, please direct such media questions to the Co-chairs of your Working Group and for any questions regarding the IPCC to the secretariat of the IPCC.”
The scientists may have trouble reconciling Pachauri’s instructions with those from Muir Russell, who stated that “Climate science is a matter of such global importance, that the highest standards of honesty, rigour and openness are needed in its conduct.”
There are so many variables ignored, underreported or simply not understood in climate science and especially in the computer models that purport to simulate global climate, that they destroy any pretence we know or understand weather and climate. But don’t take my word for it. Consider the comments from proponents of anthropogenic global warming including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (Tim Ball, CFP)
As the reports from Dutch and British watchdog panels came in last week, greens hailed what they see as a vindication of the East Anglia Climate Research Unit and the
partial rehabilitation of the IPCC, but they are wrong. As usual, the greens (and many of their critics) are missing the point.
Hippie Dave gets mad at skeptics again, the IPCC gags scientists for their own good and Ontarians are rising up against a new eco-fee stealth tax. (Daily Bayonet)
In a pioneering use of computed tomography (CT) scans, scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have discovered that carbon dioxide (CO2)-induced global warming is in the process of killing off a major coral species in the Red Sea. As summer sea surface temperatures have remained about 1.5 degrees Celsius above ambient over the last 10 years, growth of the coral, Diploastrea heliopora, has declined by 30% and “could cease growing altogether by 2070” or sooner, they report in the July 16 issue of the journal Science. (WHOI)
Well, not quite that bad, but if I was still on TV, that would probably be the tease during prime time. It appears that solar influences are mostly at work here.
By Dr. Dr. Tony Phillips NASA
“This is the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years,” says John Emmert of the Naval Research Lab, lead author of a paper announcing the finding in the June 19th issue of the Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). “It’s a Space Age record.”
The collapse happened during the deep solar minimum of 2008-2009—a fact which comes as little surprise to researchers. The thermosphere always cools and contracts when solar activity is low. In this case, however, the magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.
“Something is going on that we do not understand,” says Emmert. Continue reading (WUWT)
Observations show that microorganisms display a behavior characteristic of larger animals
A.T.J. de Laat (Jos) has alerted us to a new paper
Dunstone, N. J., and D. M. Smith (2010), Impact of atmosphere and sub-surface ocean data on decadal climate prediction, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L02709, doi:10.1029/2009GL041609.
The abstract reads
Excerpts from the paper are
There are two conclusions from this study that have direct relevance to the IPCC multi-year global climate predictions. First, climate is an initial value problem as I wrote on in the paper
Pielke, R.A., 1998: Climate prediction as an initial value problem. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 79, 2743-2746.
Secondly, the climate models drift from reality unless real world data is continually assimilated (i.e. inserted) into the model equations. The multi-decadal global climate models have no such real world constraint. There is no way to determine how far they drift from reality, but this study (although with a single idealized model) suggests that they deviate significantly with respect to what the real world will actually be decades from now. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
Around 400 years ago, Britain faced another problem of dwindling energy resources: ‘peak wood’.
Energy Policy: As the job-killing deepwater drilling ban continues offshore, our interior secretary defends an onshore ban imposed in Utah. If we could drill in places like
that, maybe oil wouldn't be gushing a mile under the Gulf of Mexico.
The Crone is still against energy supplies: Whittling Away the Petroleum Reserve
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced last week that he will open 1.8 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve in northern Alaska to oil and gas leasing. He pledged to protect habitat for migratory birds and caribou near Teshekpuk Lake, an ecologically sensitive area inside the 1.8 million acre tract — welcome news. Even better news would be a pledge by the secretary to go slow on any future development in the reserve. (NYT)
More anti-energy nonsense: U.S. Green Groups Attack Alberta Tourism Industry
Environmentalists are taking aim at Alberta's C$5.6 billion ($5.4 billion) tourism industry in the latest battle over the impact of developing the Canadian province's oil
He is opening the oceans off the Shetland Islands to deep-sea drilling, and promising Big Oil tax breaks to drill, baby, drill
Italy is drafting a proposal for a regulated European bourse for physical oil trade in order to cut speculation, the country's energy regulator chairman, Alessandro Ortis,
said in his annual speech on Thursday.
An increase in the amount of ethanol in your gasoline won’t hurt your lawnmower…if it’s a push-reel. Otherwise be prepared for big repair bills. [Read More] (Harry Wertheimer Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune)
Demonstrating a desperate lack of investment in useful power generating capacity: More Than Half New Power In U.S., EU Is Green: Study
More than half of all new electricity capacity added in the United States and Europe last year was from renewable power such as wind and solar, a body backed by the
International Energy Agency and the UN reported.
by Tom Tanton
Any reader lucky enough to have a new iPhone4 knows that sometimes technology just doesn’t work out the way sellers claim. Other times they do, but not in the way that consumers want or expect.
Such is the case with a major component of the so-called “smart grid”– the smart meter. There is growing agreement among federal and state policymakers, business leaders, and other key stakeholders, that a Smart Grid is not only needed but well within reach.
But it is not. Think of the Smart Grid as the 4G network for electricity. Smart meters, are a prime example of an unnecessary and expensive change that will provide little in the way of consumer benefit. They do, of course, provide utilities and energy marketers and government with a host of new tools, which is why they’re being sold in the policy arena. That plus the fact that makers just want the consumer to pay for something that isn’t (yet) cost effective explains the extracurricular (political) push. Add to all this the government’s insistence–encouraged by intermittent renewable developers lobbying efforts and billions in “stimulus” funding–and the momentum is hard to overcome.
The energy utilities want the meters to send price signals that change as generation costs change. By charging you more during high-usage “peak” times (e.g. hot days) they hope to persuade you to shift your usage to “off-peak” evenings and weekends, as many consumers now do with long-distance phone calls, when generation costs are lower. Of course, after a few days the inconvenience of getting off the couch every hour to read the new signal and turn on or off appliances, may lead people to the conclusion that the savings are not worth the effort. It might be smarter, and more effective to install additional generation capacity that can actually perform on those hot days. [Read more →] (MasterResource)
One of the more attractive forms of green renewable energy is geothermal—harnessing the natural heat of Earth's interior to provide warmth and electricity. Unfortunately, geothermal is really only viable in limited areas around the globe, due to crust thickness and strata type. One of those fortunate places is the American Southwest, the eastern part of California and the states of Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. The sixteen geothermal plants already present in California's the Imperial Valley are among the first signs of what California hopes will become a renewable-energy boom. But without water these plants cannot generate any power, and their water comes from far away—from the already stressed Colorado river.
As reported in The Energy Gap, geothermal energy supplies more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) to 24 countries worldwide, producing enough reliable electricity to meet the needs of 60 million people. The Republic of the Philippines generates 23% of its electricity from geothermal energy and is the world’s second biggest producer behind the US. Geothermal energy can preserve the environment in developing countries while providing stable power for homes, industry and national energy independence. It has helped developing countries such as Indonesia, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and the Philippines.
In other countries, the prospects of geothermal energy exploitation are varied. Australia has discovered that its vast interior overlays a huge hot rock deposit, which could supply green energy in the future. In Africa, some experts think the Rift Valley, which stretches from the northern end of the Red Sea down to Mozambique, is ideal for generating geothermal power. The United Nations Environment Programme, headquartered in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, thinks the geothermal potential of the Rift Valley is 14,000 MW, yet to date only 200 MW actually is captured. Geothermal power enthusiasts say it could provide 10-25% of the region’s energy by 2030. (Doug L. Hoffman, The Resilient Earth)
Mosquito and vector control officials will begin aerial spraying Tuesday and Wednesday in south Sacramento to prevent West Nile virus, officials said today.
LONDON - People at high risk of malaria may benefit from taking a cocktail of antibiotics as a preventative step, according to the results of a study in mice.
WASHINGTON - Three diseases spread by drinking or inhaling contaminated water cost the U.S. healthcare system as much as $539 million a year in hospital expenses,
researchers reported on Wednesday.
STOCKHOLM, July 14 -- A study from European Childhood Obesity Group (ECOG) showed that child obesity in developed world is stabilizing and even decreasing in France, but
experts warned against being happy too early for that at the ongoing 11th International Congress of Obesity in Stockholm on Wednesday.
STOCKHOLM — Losing a lot of weight at once is the best way to permanently slim down, studies presented at Stockholm's International Congress on Obesity showed, going
against accepted wisdom even among doctors.
Posted by Jason Kuznicki
It’s nice to get quoted in the Los Angeles Times, even if the author obviously didn’t understand what I was getting at. I’ll try to clear up the confusion here.
I certainly don’t think that a healthy diet means only reducing one’s calorie intake. I do, however, believe that the stated goal of the policy was not to improve overall health, but to reduce obesity. And for that, which one do you pick?
a) consume fewer calories
b) get more calcium and vitamin D.
Does anyone seriously suggest that (b) is the right choice? Is this what passes for nutritional advice at the Los Angeles Times? Eat whatever you want, and as long as you take your vitamins, you won’t get fat?
The policy we’re talking about was not intended to make sure that people get all their vitamins and minerals. It was intended to curb obesity. And for that purpose it will do essentially nothing, as I noted, I still think correctly, in the original post. (Cato at liberty)
Joining a support group that promotes simple messages – such as walking more, eating fruit and veg, and avoiding junk food – can help women avoid gaining weight, new research says. Researchers have also identified a weight-loss strategy that seems doomed to failure: relying on over-the-counter weight-loss supplements. These products work no better than dummy placebo pills, researchers say. (BMJ Group)
The world's mangroves are being destroyed up to four times faster than other forests, costing millions of dollars in losses in areas such as fisheries and storm protection,
a report said Wednesday.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., plans to bring a comprehensive energy and climate bill to the Senate floor by the end of the month that will include a cap on carbon emissions produced by the nation's utilities. (The Examiner)
We're receiving word that the next three weeks -- prior to Congress' summer recess -- represents the Democrats' best chance at getting a climate change bill passed this
year. Senate leaders are working overtime on this contentious issue to try to cobble together a piece of legislation that will muster the votes.
In the midst of a crisis in the Gulf, some Senators are making a final push to pass energy and climate legislation this year. Senators John Kerry (D–MA) and Joe Lieberman (I–CT) are introducing a scaled-back version of their original cap-and-trade bill but still want to maintain a carbon cap. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) wants to bring an energy bill up for debate the week of July 26 that addresses the oil spill response and a greenhouse gas reduction plan for utilities only. A draft leaked from Senator Jeff Bingaman (D–NM) would go after utilities and aim to “cut emissions from the electric utility industry by 17 percent in 2020 and 43 percent by 2030.”
When asked if the bill would contain a cap-and-trade program, Senator Reid responded, “I don’t use that. Those words are not in my vocabulary. We’re going to work on pollution.” But this is not about pollution. Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring component of the air and is also the ubiquitous and unavoidable result of fossil fuel production and other naturally occurring events. Any bill drafted by Congress that aims to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions translates into rising energy prices for energy consumers, lost jobs, and a slower economy.
Continue reading... (The Foundry)
A group with ties to the fossil fuel industry launched a new ad campaign today pushing the idea that carbon dioxide isn't an environmental pollutant. ( Greenwire)
Penn State University just exonerated Professor Michael Mann for wrongdoing related to Climategate. While that good news for Mann is no surprise, it came at a dear cost to
Penn State – its integrity.
Late yesterday the State Attorney General of Virginia posted this legal brief which had been filed with the courts, and also served to the University of Virginia (UVA).
This legal brief document is about discovery, not about a lawsuit. It is a prelude, and it is possible that no lawsuit may be filed if there is insufficient evidence to back up speculations that have been raised over the Climategate affair.
The current issue is over UVA refusing releasing emails from Dr. Michael Mann related to his work on the MBH98 and MBH99 papers, which later generated the famous “hockey stick” graph used by the IPCC:
Via the Charlottesville Daily Progress (thankfully unrelated to Climate Progress) Attorney General Ken Cuccinnelli wrote this in the brief:
UVA has been stonewalling, and the State Attorney General has made it clear that their line of defense has limited traction and a very limited shelf life, setting deadlines. Here are a couple of excerpts from the document. FATA is the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act. A link to the legal document follows.
Continue reading (WUWT)
We always knew Climategate would the test the cohesion of the “team”. The reputations of good greens, good journalists, and decent politicians (there are a few) are on the line. They have to draw a line somewhere, and six months later, a few more cracks in the wall are showing.
Even people who think we need action against CO2 are not convinced by the whitewashes. And for many of them, it’s not the ClimateGate emails themselves which pushed them over the edge, but the blatantly surreal nature of the so-called inquiries which don’t ask the basic questions or invite the key people.
Of course, in order to attack any part of the great facade, it’s important to recite the incantation against bullies. Phrases about how the science is still settled (even though the scientists themselves might cheat) are like a pass-code that allow commentators to say something pointed against the tribal witchdoctors without getting too many nasty spells cast on them by the disciples. By using the incantation they mollify the bullies would would hurl abuse.
The Economist suggests there’s still a carbon-related-crisis, but that if we ditch Pachauri it will all be ok. Their essential incantation is right up in the subheader: ” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change needs reform. The case for climate action does not.”
Then having mentioned … “ClimateGate” they have to throw in another meaningless recitation: “Neither report does anything to weaken the case for acting to limit carbon emissions.” Well no. The reports wouldn’t say that would they? The reports were not supposed to audit and redo the entire IPCC declarations in a weekend, and they didn’t ever ask that question: Does Carbon cause Catastrophic Warming? It’s more communication pollution as journalists, possibly unconsciously, cave in to the social pressure to reaffirm their attendance at the church. More » (Jo Nova)
Accessing environmental information relating to climate change: a case study under UK freedom of information legislation’, by JOHN ABBOT and JENNIFER MAROHASY, Environmental Law and Management, ISSUE 1 VOLUME 22 
The United Kingdom’s Freedom ofInformation Act (FoIA) and the Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) are intended to provide a mechanism whereby information held by public authorities can be accessed by the public. The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee recently considered the disclosure of information from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia and concluded that emails revealed scientists encouraged colleagues to resist disclosure and delete emails, apparently to prevent disclosure through FoI requests. The case study presented here focuses on requests under FoI legislation to obtain climate information from the Met Office, particularly relating to assessments of global warming and causal relationships with greenhouse gas emissions. Evidence suggests both the CRU and the Met Office are part of a culture where institutional climate scientists are antagonistic towards disclosure of information. This has serious implications for both the effective operation of FoI legislation and the openness and transparency of climate change assessments. (CRN)
Still trying to promote the "climategate was nothing, see, climate science is solid" line: Climate-change sceptics should be given a fair hearing
THE GREAT majority of climate scientists say that the world is warming, human activities are contributing strongly to this warming and catastrophic environmental
consequences will ensue unless we bring this warming under control. But, public opinion polls reveal that the number of people who are sceptical about climate change is rising
significantly. Obviously, the mechanism for persuading the public has failed, but, to judge from the recent RTÉ film The Burning Question , screened on June 29th, this lesson
has not been learned.
Former head of research unit responds to criticism by arguing for necessity of assessing excerpts by independent reviews
Just back from the Climategate debate run by the Guardian tonight. We’re assured that the Guardian website will have a full video of the whole proceeding sometime tomorrow. So just some very sketchy impressions.
Steve obviously read the remarks from last night’s meeting and insisted on speaking from a lectern. This was a good move as it gave him more ‘authority’. And he was (mostly) crisper…making his points more directly. The others spoke while seated.
George Monbiot chaired the meeting and I think he did a fair job of it. He tried hard to be unbiased, and only once or twice strayed into partisan territory. And he managed to keep the speeches and questions mostly to time and to the point
Fred Pearce took a longer perspective than the others. He spoke well and described Climategate as a tragedy rather than a conspiracy…the tragedy being that the CRU guys had adopted siege mentality. Climategate has certainly widened his perspective.
Trevor Davies representing UEA/CRU was appallingly bad. He mouthed platitudes by the shedload, but was unfamiliar with the details of any of the subjects likely to be raised. And was several times embarrassed by doing so. Apart from the fact that he had a sharp suit. I can find nothing positive to say about him. Struck me as a devious smooth cove.
Bob Watson opening remark was that he hadn’t read the e-mails in question. This was a bad mistake – many in the audience were very familiar with them, and not happy to be lectured by somebody who wasn’t. IPCC was imperfect but the best that could be devised 95% of scientists agree…it is now just a risk management exercise. Errors corrected quickly…As good as having Ravendra, but no need for the extra slot at Heathrow for him to land his jet. Very much the Scientific Establishment figure.
Keenan was interested in research fraud and the lack of accountability in science as a whole. He accused Jones of committing fraud, even after being given a chance to withdraw the remark. Davies tried to defend Jones but had no details. Keenan showed a more street-savvy business approach than any of the other participants. I’d like to have heard him at greater length.
Overall conclusion: there was no conclusion. Everybody agreed that openness and transparency were good, that debate should be with all parties and that uncertainties should be made more clear.
But my own view is that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. This one still has legs and will run and run. (Maurizio Morabito, OmniClimate)
to Letters IHT
Is climate change a threat large enough to make you undermine the very foundations of your trade? That’s the most important question upon observing your cavalier attitude to Freedom of Information (FOI) in the editorial titled “A Climate Change Corrective” (printed on the IHT on 14 Jul 2010), regarding the alledgedly “manufactured controversy” also known as Climategate.
Forget science, and forget politics for a moment: Climategate, as established by every official British investigation about it, has shown a deliberate, concerted attempt at circumventing the letter and the spirit of the local FOI Act. In more than one circumstance, the Information Commissioner’s Office has found that FOI requests were not dealt “as they should have been under the legislation“. Lord Oxburgh’s and Sir Muir Russell’s reports say as much too, just like the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s.
A wide range of commentators of all scientific and political stances have remarked this, and the general consensus is that from now on science itself will have to change its practice, becoming more transparent and open especially to knowledgeable members of the public. We are talking FOI, after all, an extension to the freedom of speech, a right that people including journalists, and The New York Times, have successfully fought for during the past half-century.
It’s only because of the statute of limitations that there has been no prosecution in the UK regarding the attacks on FOI revealed by Climategate. And what do you have to say about that instead? Absolutely nothing, apart from an absurdly understated remark about “a timid reluctance to share data“.
And so you have sacrificed the right to FOI in an attempt to get “firm action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases“. Good for you. And good for Governments the world over: they will surely rejoice upon hearing that the most influential and authoritative global and US newspaper does not care about FOI. Why, all they have to do is claim “a timid reluctance” to open up their files: and all you will be able to print, will be regurgitated propaganda and half-truths.
I have heard the hamburgers are good, in Pyongyang.
July 15--CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A new bill being promoted by Sen. Jay Rockefeller would boost federal efforts to deploy greenhouse gas controls on coal-fired power plants, but
an expert says the measure won't work unless it's part of a larger package to address climate change.
The European Union must raise its emissions targets if it is to compete with the likes of China, Japan or the United States in the race for green technology, ministers from the bloc's most powerful nations said. (Reuters)
Scam collapsing: Layoffs, Lost Business as World Cools to Carbon Permit Brokers
London. Once high-flying carbon emissions permit brokers have been grounded by the recession and dwindling client volumes, with layoffs and business lost to exchanges
clouding the horizon of a once sunny future.
Finally got one thing right and ignored climate hysteria: [Australian PM] Gillard speech cops green flak
GREEN groups keenly awaiting Julia Gillard's climate change policy are disappointed she mostly ignored the topic in a major agenda-setting speech today.
According to the leading press agencies, this is one of the most important climatic stories of the day. :-)
» Don't Stop Reading » (the Reference Frame)
Piling on the scares: Climate Change report sets out impact on British seas
The UK's seas are experiencing warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, changes in fish stocks and declines in breeding seabirds as a result of climate change, a report showed today. (TDT)
With its new Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard – Australia is due for an election soon and the pro-labor media is cranking up the effort.
“Carbon courage: there’s no need for a consensus” Ben Eltham is a true believer as are most of the commenters.
Last Monday my local paper the Canberra Times published this breathless gush – “Climate change last hurdle before setting election date”. It reads as though Saint Julia just has to dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s” on her latest iteration climate masterwork and presumably – problem solved. Facts are that GreenLabor could smash our economy back to the Stone Age – and there would not be an iota of detectable effect on climate – except – urban heat islands would decrease in magnitude.
There are a few cases – will add more as I note them. (Warwick Hughes)
Polar bears in the Hudson Bay area of Canada are likely to die out in the next three decades, possibly sooner, as global warming melts more Arctic ice and thus reduces their
hunting opportunities, according to Canadian biologists.
Guest post by The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
Once again I have much to thank Anthony Watts and his millions of readers for. My inbox has been full of kind messages from people who have now had the chance to dip into my point-by-point evisceration of Associate Professor Abraham’s lengthy, unprovoked, and widely-circulated personal attack on me.
Latest news – sent to me by two readers of Anthony’s outstanding blog – is that Abraham, inferentially on orders from the Trustees of his university acting on advice from their lawyers, has (without telling me) re-recorded his entire 83-minute talk to take out the very many direct accusations of “misrepresentation”, “complete fabrication”, “sleight of hand” etc. etc. that he had hurled at me in the original version of his talk. For instance, he now seems to have appreciated his unwisdom in having accused me of having “misrepresented” the work of scientists I had not even cited in the first place.
Continue reading (WUWT)
Toronto Sun has picked up on the "Amazongate" story with
journalist Brian Lilley reporting the response of the WWF, which says "it cannot be held responsible for how the UN climate change group used its data."
... the IPCC's Amazon statement is supported by peer-reviewed scientific evidence. In the case of the WWF [World Wildlife Fund] report, the figure had, in error, not been referenced, but was based on research by the respected Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) which did relate to the impact of climate change."Failure to publicly correct the record undermines the very heart of journalism - to report the truth," declared the WWF.
Now, when given the opportunity to set the record straight, all it can manage, is: "We tend not to make statements in contexts where there seems to be limited interest in a balanced appraisal of an issue." How interesting. (EU Referendum)
As Chinese policymakers grapple with an expected increase in extreme weather due to global warming, a study has found that periods of cooling between AD 10 to 1900 also
caused a wave of disasters, war and upheaval.
Bill Cotton , a Professor at the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (and a colleague of mine) has given a lecture
Cotton, W.R., 2010: Is Climate Really Predictable on 10-50 Year Time Scales? International Symposium on Prediction, San Diego, CA, July 2010.
The entire set of slides is worth viewing. Selected conclusions that he reports are
(Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
Because they can remove carbon dioxide from the flue gases of coal-burning facilities such as power plants, solid materials containing amines are being extensively studied
as part of potential CO2 sequestration programs designed to reduce the impact of the greenhouse gas.
BATON ROUGE, LA — BP has yet to make a single payment from the highly publicized $20 billion claims fund negotiated by President Obama last month at the White House. The fund, which Obama hailed as a breakthrough, is supposed to provide $5 billion by the end of the year to those impacted by the oil spill.
The Pelican Institute for Public Policy, a free-market think tank in Louisiana, reports that while BP has paid $162.7 million in claims since the Deepwater Horizon explosion, that money is not part of the Victim Compensation Fund, managed by Obama’s former pay czar Kenneth Feinberg.
Patience is wearing thin in Louisiana, which faces the dual economic impact of Obama’s offshore drilling moratorium and devastating toll on fishermen from the oil-infested waters.
Feinberg doesn’t expect to start fulfilling the June 16 pledge until next month at the earliest. With $5 billion earmarked for 2010, that means he would be doling out more than $30 million per day through the end of the year.
Continue reading... (the Foundry)
The team Heritage sent to the Gulf has been reporting on what they found during their tour of the Gulf states. Last Thursday, one member of the delegation, Distinguished Fellow Ernest Istook, interviewed Loren Scott, professor emeritus at Louisiana State University on President Obama’s oil drilling moratorium.
Professor Scott has garnered some attention recently for his research in to the economic cost of the President’s blanket ban. His projections were featured prominently in a Christian Science Monitor story about the ban:
Continue reading... (The Foundry)
In it lies the real key to the electric car’s success or failure.
Finally doing something useful: Rich countries to pay energy giants to build new coal-fired power plants
UN's Clean Development Mechanism to use European carbon offset credits to subsidise 20 'efficient' coal plants in India and China
by Glenn Schleede
SUBJECT: Federal and State Tax Breaks and Subsidies for Wind Energy
Both of you have made statements indicating that you favor greater use of wind energy in Virginia and you have used our tax dollars[i] to promote wind energy. However, if you consider objectively the true costs and benefits of electricity from wind, you will conclude that greater use of wind energy is NOT in the best interests of Virginia’s taxpayers or electric customers.
Recently, I have sent you several emails demonstrating that:
When initially proposed, the rationale for providing tax breaks and subsidies for wind energy was to help a relatively new technology for producing electricity compete with established electric generating technologies until advances in technology would permit wind to compete without subsidies.
However, the tax breaks and subsidies for wind energy have grown and grown. The massive tax breaks and subsidies now available and the wind industry’s well-financed lobbying efforts to preserve, expand, and extend them makes clear that there is no longer any serious expectation that electricity from wind will become commercially viable without massive subsidies or that significant advances in wind technology are likely to ever permit wind to become a competitive source of electricity. [Read more →] (MasterResource)
The administration has shown no deference to the rule of law while trying to close Yucca Mountain and halt deepwater drilling.
It is disturbing, to say the least, how little deference the president and the administration give to the strictures of the Constitution and existing law. Whatever suits Obama’s partisan political interests takes precedence, regardless of the cost to us. However, it is heartening that judges are increasingly unwilling to let this rampage continue.
The most recent example involves the planned nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
Almost everyone acknowledges that nuclear power is clean and safe, even though there has been a decades-long campaign against it by ill-informed advocacy groups. The remaining concern about nuclear energy in this country, for some decades, has been how to dispose of the spent fuel created in the electrical generation process. In Europe, they have largely dealt with this problem by reprocessing that fuel and reusing it to create more energy. In this country, that option was discarded years ago in favor of long-term geological storage. Decades of expensive studies zeroed in on Yucca Mountain as the best site for such storage.
Presently, the nuclear waste generated by energy and weapons production is being stored in vulnerable storage facilities throughout the country, waiting for transfer to Yucca Mountain. The cost of that facility has been borne largely by electricity consumers paying into a nuclear-waste fund — already, $10 billion has been spent on developing Yucca. (Clarice Feldman, PJM)
Today’s announcement that engineering and construction giant Bechtel will join forces with Babcock & Wilcox to build modular nuclear reactors is a big deal. [Read More] (Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune)
My latest HND piece examines the current round of infection control breaches at certain Veterans Affairs medical facilities.
The glitches at the St. Louis VA are getting the attention at the moment, along with an announcement that 79 possible victims from breaches last year at a Miami facility were somehow not notified to come in for testing. But there is a bigger story that is being pretty effectively covered-up.
A series of much worse infection control breaches occurred at facilities in Mayagüez and San Juan, PR, only in these cases, the possible victims were never even notified. As identified by infection control expert Dr. Lawrence Muscarella, and originally reported by fearless Puerto Rican journo Jannette Rios...
These infection-control breaches are numerous and include the following:
Note that each of these breaches has been linked either directly to patient injury or, at the very least, poses an increased risk of transmission of such infectious agents as HIV and the hepatitis B and C viruses. More than that, there is the possibility of tuberculosis and even cervical and anogenital cancers.
Readers may not be aware that the VA medical system represents the purest example in the entire world of a government-controlled health care monopoly. The entire system was literally built from the ground up by the government. In European countries with completely socialized medicine, the infrastructure and most physical facilities were originally operated by others.
With the VA, however, even the original 54 facilities were part of the Public Health Service.
These massive infection control failures are a disgrace, and dishonor our brave warfighters. Worse, though, is that these debacles only portend the future for all of us under government-controlled health care.
Maybe that's why they are being covered up. (Shaw's Eco-Logic)
It used to be the exploding population of rats in New York City that gave everyone the creeps, but today it's a different urban infestation that is gripping the imaginations
– not to say sucking the blood – of its residents. The city does sleep occasionally, which is when the bed bugs come out to play – lots and lots of them.
LONDON - More than half of people who died from swine flu or were admitted to hospital with it during the first wave of the H1N1 pandemic in Britain were previously healthy
people with no underlying risks, a study has found.
Age-old advice encouraging expectant mothers to eat for two during pregnancy could condemn women to a life of obesity and illness, a new study has found.
Speechless: Audit cites wide fund abuse by NOAA cops
Tens of millions in fines levied against U.S. commercial fishermen held in an unrecorded account were used by the fisheries law enforcement division of the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration to fuel extravagant purchases and foreign travel, according to a forensic audit for a U.S. inspector general made public Thursday.
The misanthropy of the would-be energy rationers becomes ever more blatant: PopOffsets
PopOffsets is unique - the first project in the world that, simply and transparently, enables individuals and organizations to offset their carbon footprint by funding the
unmet need for family planning and the removal of the many barriers to women who want smaller families.
Much as I think Pearce is a green nitwit at least he is waking up about population panic: On World Population Day, take note: population isn’t the problem
A green myth is on the march. It wants to blame the world's overbreeding poor people for the planet's peril. It stinks. And on World Population Day, I encourage fellow
environmentalists not to be seduced.
Robert Walker, of human haters inc., disagrees with Fred's rationality.
Posted by Walter Olson
To be sure, investigators agreed that one high-profile California crash, in which a family of four was killed in a loaner Lexus, was caused by floor mat “entrapment” of the accelerator pedal, a freakishly rare (and avoidable) event. But that does little to vindicate the trial-lawyer-allied “safety advocates” we heard from this spring, many of whom consistently downplayed floor mat theories because they were useless in explaining the great majority of the cases lawyers wanted to sue over.
Can we now look forward to the stream of apologetic stories from major news organizations that bought into theories about mysterious electronic defects in the cars? Or will the media add another chapter to its long record of gullibility on these matters? (Cato at liberty)
The greatest threat to species is not modern technology -- but environmentalists
I DON’T want to sound blasphemous, but do we really care if the golden sun moth becomes extinct?
Shouldn’t we just harden up about this whole “endangered” racket?
Maybe we’d actually be better off without this damn bug - this orange bellied parrot of the insect world - that’s now crippling developments from Sydney to Melbourne.
Oh, and spare me your huffing about biodiversity, sustainability and my children’s children’s children.
You see, I’ve seen the dodo.
In a cupboard in a monastery on a hill above Prague, he was, and looking rather startled. So would you, if you’d just learned you were to be stuffed and mounted as the last of your kind.
To be frank, I wasn’t impressed. It was as ugly as sin, with the body of a turkey, the neck of a duck and the head of a vulture.
Here was indisputable proof that the universe was not created by an all-knowing God. Whatever made the dodo got the proportions so screwed up, with a monster beak but midget wings, that the bird couldn’t fly, and survived only as long on Mauritius as it took dogs, pigs, cats, rats and monkeys to find their way to its island and its eggs.
Nor was it of the slightest use to us. Its feathers were dull grey and its meat tough and nasty. It was so brainless besides that the Portuguese gave it their word for fool - duodo. Its Latin name says it all: Didus ineptus.
In fact, looking at the goofy thing, I felt serenely confident that there was not the slightest gap left in my life by its passing, just as I have no reason at all to regret never being able to see a herd of tyrannosaurus rex in my front garden.
Rather the reverse. The dodo’s extinction has been a gift to the language, giving us the pithy phrase “as dead as a dodo” as well as a good-natured word to describe the brainless.
Here’s an animal of more use to us dead than alive, which brings me to our golden sun moth, and our peculiar new habit of losing all ability to reason once someone screams “endangered”.Continue reading 'Column - Why save an animal just begging for extinction?' (Andrew Bolt)
July 13 -- U.S. lawmakers might be too focused on elections in November to approve legislation this year that charges power plants and other industrial companies a price for
releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, said Senator John Kerry, a leading advocate of the pollution-cutting plan.
by Marlo Lewis
“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will bring a sweeping energy and climate bill to the floor as early as the week of July 26, including a controversial cap on emissions from power plants,” Greenwire reporter Darren Samuelsohn writes today in Politico.
Except that Reid — like Sens. John Kerry (D.-Mass.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) – won’t call a spade a spade.
“I don’t use that,” Reid said, referring to the term cap-and-trade. “Those words are not in my vocabulary. We’re going to work on pollution.”
For years, so-called progressive politicians clamored for cap-and-trade — the Kyoto Protocol, the McCain-Lieberman bill, the Lieberman-Warner bill, the Waxman-Markey bill, etc.
No longer. Thanks to the educational efforts of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform,…
Read the full story (Cooler Heads)
Peterson Institute's Prediction of 203,000 Net Jobs Gained is Just More Spin
Just a year ago, it seemed a near-certainty that the US would eventually adopt some form of cap and trade mechanism for greenhouse gases (GHGs). [Read More] (Geoffrey Styles, Energy Tribune)
<chuckle> Canberra wants China to lead on climate
Australia has called on China to do more to tackle climate change even though the Gillard government does not have a scheme in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A preoccupation with 'green' energy policies at any cost undermines the competitiveness of manufacturing industry
By way of preamble, let me remind you where I stand on climate change. I think climate science points to a risk that the world needs to take seriously. I think energy policy
should be intelligently directed towards mitigating this risk. I am for a carbon tax. I also believe that the Climategate emails revealed, to an extent that surprised even me
(and I am difficult to surprise), an ethos of suffocating groupthink and intellectual corruption. The scandal attracted enormous attention in the US, and support for a new
energy policy has fallen. In sum, the scientists concerned brought their own discipline into disrepute, and set back the prospects for a better energy policy.
Most people understand what an independent public inquiry is
Oh dear... Here We Go Again
see that four climate scientists, including the incoming head of IPCC WGII, Chris Field, have written up an op-ed
for Politico calling for political action on climate change. That they are calling for political action is not problematic, but the following statement in the op-ed ed is a
Climate change caused by humans is already affecting our lives and livelihoods — with extreme storms, unusual floods and droughts, intense heat waves, rising seas and many changes in biological systems — as climate scientists have projected.I have sent Chris Field an email as follows:
I read your op-ed in Politico with interest. In it you state:I'll report back how he replies. Suffice it to say that it would not be good form for leader of the IPCC to be making political arguments using scientifically unsupportable statements. (Roger Pielke Jr.)
The United Nations' climate change panel is facing fresh criticism after new research contradicted the organisation's claims about the devastating effect climate change
could have on the Amazon rainforest.
New propaganda effort: Environmental Reporters Receiving Training To Cover Climate Change in Developing World
Change is afoot in the number of international journalists in developing countries reporting on global climate change.
Written by William O'Keefe and Jeff Kueter
The book Merchants of Doubt, written by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, ostensibly provides insight and understanding about the challenge to the climate science orthodoxy. Although cloaked in the appearance of scholarly work, the book constitutes an effort to discredit and undermine the reputations of three deceased scientists who contributed greatly to our nation. These men were accomplished scientists, leaders of universities and major research organizations, advisers to government, and the founders of the George C. Marshall Institute. This book questions their integrity, impugns their character, and questions their judgment on the basis of little more than faulty logic and preconceived opinion.
Read more... (SPPI)
Guest Post by Jos de Laat
While seeing several official investigations related to the ClimateGate emails coming by, sifting through some of their reports and through commentary in newspapers, magazines and on the internet, I came across a blog by Richard Horton in the Guardian in the aftermath of the recent British Muir-Russell report.
Horton is not a climate scientist but a medical doctor and chief-editor of the well known medical journal the Lancet. He contributed to the Muir-Russell report, mainly for explaining what peer-review actually consists of.
His Guardian blog is well worth reading and reminded me of a paper that was published 10 years ago in BAMS, and has been stuck to my notice board ever since.
“On the lack of accountability in meteorological research”, Bulletin
BAMS is obviously not the least of the Climate Science journals (http://sciencewatch.com/dr/sci/10/jan31-10_1/). The paper is a little editorial comment and analysis that worries about the “sloppy” (my words) state of checks and balances in publishing meteorological research. In the introduction, the paper notes that:
Apparently it was already observed 10 years ago that there were issues with regard to accountability and the peer-review process in meteorological research – and
presumably throughout climate science. One might look at what is going on right now and wonder if what we see happening is actually what the editorial already warned for 10
And remember, this paper was published long before any ClimateGate emails, before the start of the “science” blogs, before any Hockeystick issues, even before the release of the third report of the IPCC, which played a major role in the advancing climate change as a political and public topic.
The paper is freely available here:
The recommendations put forward at the end of the paper are also well worth reading.
A.T.J. de Laat (Jos), Ph.D
Here we go again. I like Alan Kohler, the economic reporter on the nightly ABC news. He likes numbers, graphs and hard data. Yet here he is, setting up a new project which looks like it ’s another climate clone site analyzing everything carbon-related in the harsh light of day except the assumption about climate “feedbacks” that the whole error cascade is based on. (This is the same assumption that the empirical evidence has shown was too high by a factor of six.) [See here for my latest demolition and here where a Dr of Paleoclimate comes unstuck.]
The Business Spectator wrote so sagely and incisively about the Super Profits Tax, I’d love to think they would apply the same sharp brainpower to the issue of climate. But Kohler writes:
Despondent? Imagine them saying “Interest rates were raised and we were despondent?”
But Kohler and the other economic commentators have been caught watching the money instead of the reasoning (they’re watching the wrong money too, here’s the money that speaks volumes). If upper tropospheric water vapor doesn’t increase as the world warms, the reason for the worldwide carbon market is null and void. And the radiosonde evidence, for example, is pretty insistent that it doesn’t. This is good news for the carbon shorts, but I guess the Climate Spectator won’t be reporting that universal cataclysmic systemic risk. More » (Jo Nova)
CULLING the feral animals that burp and fart their way around Australia's outback could eliminate billions of tonnes of carbon emissions, an environmental group says. (AAP)
I recommend readers of my weblog read Tom’s interview. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
The past 15 years have seen marked progress in observing, understanding, and predicting weather. At the same time, the United States has failed to match or surpass progress
in operational numerical weather prediction achieved by other nations and failed to realize its prediction potential; as a result, the nation is not mitigating weather impacts
to the extent possible.
By Steve Goddard, as a follow up to this story
The press has been getting worked up about a 7 km² chunk of ice which broke off the Jakobshavn (Greenland) glacier on July 6. Is this an unusual event?
Since 1831, the glacier has retreated about 60km, as seen in the image above. About half of that occurred in the first 80 years (prior to 1931) and the other half has occurred in the last 80 years. The long term rate has not changed. As you can see, the retreat occurs in spurts, with quiesced periods in between.
It's very warm in Central Europe - high temperatures in Pilsen reach 35 °C - and the global mean temperatures are close to the July 2009 values which were pretty warm.
» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)
Antarctica’s ice continues its relentless advance, as seen in this striking animation from NASA, based on satellite data. The advance, which NASA estimates at about 1% per decade since the late 1970s, can also be seen in this more mundane but easily followed chart from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.
Before the advent of satellite data, humans had no way to accurately determine the overall state of ice in this immense continent. Photos from a boat offshore Antarctica could only provide anecdotal, albeit spectacular, imagery, such as the collapse into the ocean of an immense slab of ice. Yet now that satellite data is available, and humans can now what is happening to Antarctica, the media still prefers to show the spectacular images, and to imply – or assert — that they present the whole picture.
Greenhouse gases are playing a role in changes, say scientists
Written by Dr. Richard Keen and Joe D’Aleo
Although I’ve lived in Colorado for 40+ years, Philadelphia is my ancestral home and I keep track of the weather there. Of course, I’m excited about any event that sets records there, and last week’s heat wave set several. Apparently Michael Mann is excited, too, and in his “Victory and Vindication” interview, he said: “Record heat wave in the US that’s part of a larger picture of early summer temperatures that are the warmest on record, which is part of a larger picture of a globe that is running warmer than ever before...”
Read more... (SPPI)
Guest post by David Archibald
Professor Jan-Erik Solheim of the University of Oslo recently contributed an article to the Norwegian magazine Astronomi with the title: “The Sun predicts a colder (next) decennium”. Oddbjorn Engvold, a Norwegian solar physicist, has summarised the article in English:
In the first section he refers to the earlier work by Eigil Friis-Christensen and Knud Lassen who showed a connection between the length of a solar cycle and temperature in the northern hemisphere.
The next section deals with “sunspot periods and temperatures in Norway”. He selected series of temperatures for a total of 10 locations in Norway. In these series of temperature he detected no, or hardly any, correlation between length of the sunspot cycle and temperatures averaged over the cycles. On the other hand, he found a strong dependence between the length of the sunspot cycles and the mean temperatures in the following period.
Richard Berler alerted us to this interesting post on the weblog the Yale Forum Climate Change & The Media
“Black Carbon’s Grey Areas: Key Messages from a Yale Workshop” By Bidisha Banerjee July 13, 2010
The post starts with the text
The entire post is worth reading. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
From CO2 Science Volume 13 Number 28: 14 July 2010
Subject Index Summary:
The Temperature Dependence of Cuban Coral Calcification Rates: How does it compare with that of the same (Montastraea annularis) and related (M. faveolata) species growing in other locations?
The Depths to Which Some Roots Will Go: Atmospheric CO2 enrichment appears to give roots -- especially those of trees -- what it takes to grow ever deeper to acquire more of what they need to maintain their elevated-CO2-provided potential to grow ever more abundantly.
Effect of Elevated CO2 on Uptake of Organic Nitrogen from Soil: Even plants in hot arid environments appear to be able to do what it was long thought most all plants could not do.
Will Rising Temperatures Lead to Greater Respiration Rates in Boreal Black Spruce Trees?: ... as has often been claimed by climate alarmists? Well, will they?
Plant Growth Database:
Warm Period Project:
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued revised rules on Monday for a six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, replacing an earlier one that had
been declared invalid by federal courts.
Commerce: What does it say about America’s investment climate when the Republic of Congo now attract oil rigs that once drilled the Gulf of Mexico? That’s the effect of
the Obama administration’s nonstop bid to halt production here.
Hello! Where were you? In BP’s Record, a History of Boldness and Costly Blunders
Hurricane Dennis had already come and gone on July 11, 2005, when a passing ship spotted a shocking sight in the Gulf of Mexico: Thunder Horse, BP’s hulking $1 billion oil
platform, was listing precariously to one side, looking for all the world as if it were about to sink.
With the oil continuing to flow into the Gulf of Mexico, BP is facing ever greater challenges. Already, the company has lost half its market value. Should it be unable to
cap the leaking well soon, the British oil giant may be forced to sell of assets. That could spell disaster for Great Britain.
by Marlo Lewis
No, Sylvester, not even close! As noted in a previous post, on Earth Day (April 22), a Navy F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet became the first aircraft to “demonstrate the performance of a 50-50 blend of camelina-based biojet fuel and traditional petroleum-based jet fuel at supersonic speeds.” Camelina is a non-edible plant in the mustard family.
Navy Secy. Ray Mabus crowed that the biofueled fighter demonstrates “the Navy’s commitment to reducing dependence on foreign oil as well as safeguarding our environment” and to being “an early adopter of alternative energy sources.”
Secy. Mabus neglected to mention that camelina-based fuel costs $65 a gallon (ClimateWire, 6/28/10, subscription required) – about 30 times more than commercial jet fuel. Only an organization funded with your tax dollars could afford to ignore so…
Read the full story (Cooler Heads)
Some marine life thrives on oil bubbling up naturally from the seabed even though it cannot cope with giant single leaks like from BP's ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico,
by Robert Peltier
Part 1 of this series explored the historical context of the U.S. nuclear waste storage policy. Part II and Part III looked at the failed Salt Vault and Yucca Mountain projects, respectively. Part IV reviewed the legal and political fallout from the Yucca Mountain failure. In this final post, we review the past failed attempts to reprocess nuclear fuel in the U.S. and examine the global state-of-the-art reprocessing plants now operating or under construction.
Reprocessing and recycling in the U.S.
The reprocessing of nuclear fuel first began in the U.S. in January 1943. The Bismuth Phosphate Precipitation Process was used for recovering macroscopic quantities of plutonium. The REDuction-OXidation (REDOX) process was the first successful solvent extraction process to recover both uranium and plutonium; it was further refined into the Plutonium and URanium EXtraction (PUREX) process, which has become the most common and fully commercialized liquid-liquid extraction process for the treatment of spent nuclear fuel (SNF).
In order to support a self-sufficient commercial nuclear power industry in the 1960s, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC, circa 1946 to 1974)—the predecessor regulatory agency to the NRC (1974 to present) and the Department of Energy (circa 1977 to present)—encouraged the transfer of nuclear fuel reprocessing from the federal government to private industry. The three privately owned reprocessing plants constructed were the Western New York Nuclear Service Center (West Valley, N.Y.), Midwest Fuel Recovery Plant (Morris, Ill.), and the Barnwell Nuclear Fuel Plant (Barnwell, S.C.). [Read more →] (MasterResource)
Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell
Eline van den Broek probably is not happy today since she was in South Africa watching her team lose a high-scoring (by soccer standards) battle with Spain, but she should be very proud of the new video she narrated that urges the repeal of Obamacare — and also points out some of the other reforms that are needed to restore a free market to the US health care system.
Her comments on how the American health care system was a mess even before Obamacare are particularly important and echo many of the points made by Mike Tanner and Michael Cannon. (Cato at liberty)
At more than 2,500 pages and 500,000 words long, the new health care bill — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — is the most significant transformation of the American health care system since Medicare and Medicaid.
The bill’s complexity has created confusion, frustration, false expectations, and conflicts about its coverage and impact. An incisive new report by Cato scholar Michael D. Tanner provides an authoritative and deeply revealing explanation of its provisions.
The diagnosis: the bill is bad medicine. It is likely to make Americans less healthy, less prosperous, less able to direct their own health care decisions, and places huge burdens on our economy and already massive national debt. It is now certain that the debate over health care reform will be with us for much longer.
LONDON - Britain's new coalition government, seeking to cut a record budget deficit, announced a radical shake-up of its sprawling health service on Monday.
Posted by Michael F. Cannon
This interesting NBER study just came across the transom:
The study is, “Death by Market Power: Reform, Competition and Patient Outcomes in the National Health Service,” by Martin Gaynor (Carnegie-Mellon University), Rodrigo Moreno-Serra (Imperial College Business School), and Carol Propper (University of Bristol). (Cato at liberty)
Debtocracy: As a president, it's one thing to know you have a big fiscal problem. It's quite another when a panel you appointed tells you the policies you have in mind will
only make things worse.
If you could spend vast amounts of other people's money just by saying a few magic words, wouldn't you be tempted to do it? Barack Obama has spent hundreds of billions of
dollars of the taxpayers' money just by using the magic words "stimulus" and "jobs."
State Finances: Oregon voters decided in January that it was a good idea to raise taxes on the wealthy to increase revenues. The result: Tax revenues are actually down. The
lesson: Envy doesn't pay.
WASHINGTON - The federal Environmental Protection Agency says a new review of atrazine, a commonly used agricultural pesticide, is rooted in a statutory mandate and prompted
by new evidence about the effects of the pesticide to humans and animals.
Having low vitamin D levels may increase a person's risk of developing Parkinson's disease later in life, say Finnish researchers.
STOCKHOLM, July 12 -- Obesity is still increasing in Asia at a fast rate while in the western world the increase has possibly stopped, said Stephan Rossner, president of the
11th International Obesity Congress in Stockholm on Monday.
Thousands of sixth graders who participated in a school-based health program were less obese by eighth grade than a group of similar children who did not, according to a new
study done for the National Institutes of Health.
NEW YORK - Tens of thousands of kids may benefit from cholesterol-lowering medication, but no one would know because screening guidelines exclude too many children, U.S.
doctors said Monday.
the Bush Administration, a lot was made about how Republicans were waging a "war on science." The Bush Administration was particularly ham-handed and certainly tried
to use (and abuse) science in support of its political agenda. There is no dispute about this. For many years I have disputed the notion that such actions were simply
characteristic of Republican leadership which might be addressed at the ballot box, returning science to its proper place, rather than via more
systemic policy reform. With the election of Barack Obama and a significant Democratic majority in Congress we can test this hypothesis.
When he ran for president, Barack Obama attacked the George W. Bush administration for putting political concerns ahead of science on such issues as climate change and public health. And during his first weeks in the White House, President Obama ordered his advisors to develop rules to "guarantee scientific integrity throughout the executive branch."What are some of the complaints being levied against the Administration?
[I]nterviews with several scientists — most of whom requested anonymity because they feared retaliation in their jobs — as well as reviews of e-mails provided by Ruch and others show a wide range of complaints during the Obama presidency:Of course, during the previous presidency if you supported the policies of the Bush Administration, you might have found it easy to look away from issues of scientific integrity. Similarly, if you support the policies of the Obama Administration you might choose to remain silent about the continuing issues of scientific integrity. This sort of selective concern exacerbates the pathological politicization of science. Distinguishing partisan politics from issues of scientific integrity is important, but unfortunately, difficult to do. (Roger Pielke Jr.)
Gasp! Mommy Nature is a... tree killer! Staggering tree loss from 2005 Amazon storm
WASHINGTON—A single, huge, violent storm that swept across the whole Amazon forest in 2005 killed half a billion trees, a new study shows
For anyone who has ever taken a timed shower or gone to a laundromat to cut down on their household utilities bills, it should not come as a surprise that an efficient showerhead is an easy way to cut costs. Likewise, luxury shower and bath lovers might consider the extra energy cost of multiple showerheads to be a worthy sacrifice for the daily spa experience. Either way, the choice is a personal one made based on preference or financial constraints.
Or is it?
Of the many microscopic issues in which the Department of Energy (DOE) involves itself, one of the most ridiculous could be showerhead flow-capacity limits. In the name of conservation, a federal law limits the amount of water that can pass through a nozzle to 2.5 gallons per minute. The law was designed to limit both water and energy use related to pumping the water. Continue reading... (The Foundry)
A solution in need of a problem: mandatory training is of questionable legality, and gun misuse is not generally due to a lack of skill or knowledge. (Clayton E. Cramer, PJM)
Posted by Walter Olson
Just before the holiday I sent off to Encounter Books the manuscript of my next book, tentatively titled Schools for Misrule: Law Schools and an Overlawyered America. One of the themes the book explores is how, after years of arguing that courts should read the U.S. Constitution as requiring the adoption of the liberal policy agenda of the moment (welfare rights, free health care, or whatever), cutting-edge law school thinking now promotes the idea that international human rights law requires the adoption of that same agenda. Thus the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in San Antonio v. Rodriguez (1973) and Milliken v. Bradley (1974) that the U.S. Constitution does not mandate (respectively) “Robin Hood” school finance redistribution and school busing across district lines; now it’s argued that both decisions need to be revisited and overturned as contrary to (ever-evolving) conceptions of international human rights. Similarly, there are said to be internationally recognized rights to government-provided housing, day care, and even (at least in Europe) tourism.
These notions are at odds with longstanding ideas of sovereignty and national independence, as held by (among many others) the Founders of this Republic. That they could also pose more direct dangers to individual liberty is suggested by a news item that drew only passing attention a few weeks ago: Chicago Mayor and long-time anti-gun advocate Richard Daley convened an assembly on global issues at which (per the Chicago Sun-Times) he “convinced more than a dozen of his counterparts from around the world to approve a resolution urging ‘redress against the gun industry through the courts of the world’ in The Hague.” According to another local news report, Daley “said American gun manufacturers should be held responsible in the World Court, since American-made guns are used in violent crime elsewhere in the world.” Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and the mayor of Mexico City were among those endorsing the idea. David Kopel at Volokh Conspiracy has much more on the conditions that would have to be met for the World Court to assert jurisdiction.
Chicago and its mayor were in the Second Amendment spotlight most recently with the McDonald case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the city’s ultra-strict anti-gun ordinance as in violation of the Bill of Rights. But the real antecedent of Daley’s latest idea was the late-Nineties litigation ginned up by anti-gun advocates and trial lawyers on behalf of three dozen cities and counties, which mostly fared poorly in court, yet still, through sheer cost-infliction, very nearly achieved its goal of off-the-statute-books gun control through litigation). That litigation campaign was decisively rejected and stopped in its tracks by Congress in the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, signed by then-President George W. Bush in 2005. In other words, Daley is seeking an international end run around both the Bill of Rights and the democratically expressed will of the American people. Aren’t Chicago voters tired of this yet? (Cato at liberty)
Just three years ago the politics of global warming was enjoying its golden moment. The release in 2006 of Al Gore’s Oscar-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth, had riveted global audiences with its predictions of New York and Miami under 20 feet of water. Within 12 months, leading politicians with real power were on board. Germany’s Angela Merkel, dubbed the “climate chancellor” by her country’s press, arranged a Greenland photo op with a melting iceberg and promised to cut Europe’s emissions by 20 percent by 2020. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who called climate change a scourge equal to fascism, offered 60 percent by 2050. In December 2007, the world got its very first green leader. Harnessing the issue of climate change, Kevin Rudd became prime minister of Australia, ready to take on what he called “the biggest political, economic, and moral challenge of our times.” Now, almost everywhere, green politics has fallen from its lofty heights. (Newsweek)
From: the Deputy Assistant Head of National Materials Acquisition
To: All Public Sector Materials Acquisition Officers
Subject: The World Whitewash Crisis
Most of you will know that there is now a serious global shortage of whitewash; the worst since the Iraq WMD inquiries. This memorandum is designed to inform you of how the crisis has arisen and what we must do about it.
There has been a sudden global increase in demand for whitewash. This largely arises from side issues related to the Climate Change Industry. Demand acceleration has been concentrated at certain geographic locations around the world. Among the major consumers are the UN IPCC and certain academic institutions, including The University of East Anglia and Penn State University. The UK House of Commons and a Dutch institution are among others involved. Fortunately the media are sympathetic to this cause, so they also have a major requirement. The industry has to be seen to be whiter than white, which is why some circumstances have required a triple application. The result has been a shortage of supplies for some time to come.
What we can do
The Climate Change Industry is not only a vital young trillion dollar business, but it provides the basis for vital major tax increases throughout the world, without which public authorities at all levels would be starved of finance. It requires faith on the part of the public at large for such increases to be accepted, without which there is the possibility of civil disturbance, as the UK is experienced over the poll tax. It behooves us all to give this industry all the support we can. Meanwhile we have to keep a close watch on the consumption of whitewash. Extensive and costly research shows that consumption is closely related to the occurrence of public enquiries, which therefore must be avoided as far as possible. Contact this department for assistance in inquiry avoidance.
Meanwhile, whitewash is a vital contributor to the smooth operation of world government, so it is necessary for all of us to conserve it for those applications where it is really needed. (Number Watch)
With respect to the kerfuffle over a statement by the IPCC on the Amazon, I have been somewhat aware of the various claims, counterclaims, accusations, apologies, threatened lawsuits, demands for even more apologies, demands for retracted apologies and overall stridency that is endemic to blog debates over climate change. I haven't discussed the topic on this blog, because I didn't really know enough to say anything about it. But I spent a bit of time over the weekend looking into the issue, and here in capsule form is what I learned. (Roger Pielke Jr.)
An honest one would be more useful: Climate change needs a plain English guide
The science is solid but popular understanding of climate change lags.
Written by Christopher Monckton
Christopher Monckton has issued an extensive and detailed critique and refutation of a widely circulated 83-minute personal attack on him by one J.P. Abraham, a lecturer in fluid mechanics at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota. Read more... (SPPI)
India will try to push climate talks forward at a two-day ministerial meeting in November by focusing on winning agreement on sharing clean technologies, a sticky issue that
divides rich and poor countries.
Research suggests that hurricane forecasts on intensity could never be feasible
Rising seas from global warming, coming after years of coral reef destruction, are forcing thousands of indigenous Panamanians to leave their ancestral homes on low-lying Caribbean islands. (Reuters)
Palo Alto, CA—A tiny, little-understood plant pore has enormous implications for weather forecasting, climate change, agriculture, hydrology, and more. A study by scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, with colleagues from the Research Center Jülich in Germany, has now overturned the conventional belief about how these important structures called stomata regulate water vapor loss from the leaf–a process called transpiration. They found that radiation is the driving force of physical processes deep within the leaf. The research is published the week of July 12, 2010, in the on-line early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Carnegie Institution)
The ocean is Earth's largest single sink for CO2 outside of the planet's crust itself. Simple sea creatures depend on carbon dissolved in the ocean's water for their existence, and their actions create a biological carbon “pump” that removes vast quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere. Large amounts are suspended in the water column as dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and each year the ocean's biological pump deposits some 300 million tons of carbon in the deep ocean sink. New findings have revealed that massive amounts of carbon are converted into “inedible” forms of organic carbon that remain out of circulation for thousands of years, effectively sequestering the carbon by removing it from the ocean food chain. According to Jiao Nianzhi, a microbial ecologist here at Xiamen University, the amount stored is tremendous: “It's really huge. It's comparable to all the carbon dioxide in the air.”
On average, the world's oceans absorb 2% more carbon than they emit each year, forming an important sink in the overall carbon cycle. CO2 is absorbed by the ocean in a number of ways. Some dissolves into the water column, forming carbonic acid (H2CO3) while more enters the seas through the food chain. Green, photosynthesizing plankton converts as much as 60 gigatons of carbon per year into organic carbon—roughly the same amount fixed by land plants and almost 10 times the amount emitted by human activity. But this form of carbon is only stored for a short period of time. (Doug L. Hoffman, The Resilient Earth)
A new report says climate change could be putting Canada's Arctic whales in hot water.
Geology journal discusses the recent scare claims about “unprecedented” warming on just one small part of an otherwise cooling continent:
Kiminori Itoh, a faculty member of the Engineering Department at the Yokohama National University, has graciously permitted us to post his excellent powerpoint presentation The need for diversity in the perspective: The case of temperature data, as an example at the InterAcademy Council Committee to Review the IPCC, Tan Sin Lin Center, Peking University, Beijing, June 29, 2010. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
They never get it: The Emerging Climate Technology Consensus
The twenty-year effort to create a single global pollution framework to reduce carbon emissions is in a state of collapse. Meanwhile, a new climate policy consensus is emerging, one which prioritizes direct investment in technology innovation to make clean energy cheap. The new framework begins from the understanding that the root cause of the failure of the pollution paradigm was the technology and price gap between fossil fuels and their alternatives. But hard and important questions are being asked of the new investment-and-innovation paradigm. How is it different from just increasing subsidies for clean energy? How can we be sure it will reduce emissions? What role should carbon pricing play? Here Breakthrough Institute answers frequently asked questions of the climate technology paradigm and responds to challenges raised by Alex Evans on the left and Robert Bradley on the right, among others, who have taken aim at Breakthrough's and Bill Gates' proposals, respectively. (Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, Breakthrough Blog)
Once again, a wacky, divisive, leftist president is nationalizing industries for political gain. [Read More] (Mac Johnson, Energy Tribune)
After the BP oil spill, the Obama Administration offered little excuse for instituting a moratorium on deepwater drilling regardless of the fact that it brought one of the Gulf Coast’s main industries to a sudden halt. Despite federal judge Martin Feldman’s ruling on the moratorium and despite a federal appeals court upholding that decision, the U.S. Department of Interior issued a new moratorium on deepwater drilling this afternoon.
The new ban will not apply to a specific depth but instead “apply to any deep-water floating facility with drilling activities.” But changing the rules of the ban does not change the fact that the moratorium would do nothing to address the oil spill. Instead, it would unnecessarily destroy jobs in a region struggling to manage an environmental and economic crisis—largely in part because of the federal government.
In the face of a disaster that has already torn through the economic fabric of many coastal industries, denying jobs to the area is unjust. If the newly issued moratorium circumvents judicial ruling, more than 120,000 jobs could be lost in the Gulf Coast, and the ripples from these lost jobs would be seen throughout all sectors of the economy. Continue reading... (The Foundry)
Lawmakers and experts fear loss is only the start of offshore exodus
Idiot Lefty, the Crone, is at it again: Big Oil’s Good Deal
No industry enjoys the array of tax breaks and subsidies that the oil and gas industry does. No industry needs them less. For all the damage it has caused, the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may provide the political momentum to end this special treatment. (NYT)
For environmentalists, the BP oil spill may be disproving the maxim that great tragedies produce great change.
What would you do if the government forced you to turn off your air conditioning? Could you still live where you live or work where you work? Probably not. But that’s not just a bug in the enviro-left’s high energy cost future, its a feature! Stan Cox makes the case in yesterday’s Washington Post:
Continue reading... (The Foundry)
Some households just can’t afford to save energy. When the upfront costs of new light bulbs exceed the savings from using less electricity, people will stick with the old ones.
That also appears to be the case for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In spite of supporting regulations that will force all Americans to switch out old light bulbs for more expensive new ones (the good old incandescent bulb will be illegal in 2012), it seems that the DOE itself finds that it’s too much trouble and too expensive to adopt the latest energy-saving technologies. Continue reading... (The Foundry)
THE hidden costs of green policies are set to cause agony for Britain’s already over-stretched households, campaigners claim.
Britain's competitiveness and future security will come under threat if the Government fails to act on energy policy, the Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF) will warn
Today the man who runs British Gas was reported as saying something so culpably fatuous and wrong in every way it cannot be allowed to pass. Phil Bentley, the company’s MD, reckons that our religious buildings should follow the German model and cover themselves in solar panels – making themselves as much as £29 million a year.
And where, pray, does this weapons-grade pillock imagine that this “up to £29 million” (though, of course, it could be less) is going to come from? (James Delingpole)
by Robert Peltier
Part I of this series reviewed the historical context of the U.S. nuclear waste storage policy. Part II and Part III historically reviewed the ill-fated Salt Vault and Yucca Mountain projects, respectively. This post reviews the legal and political fallout from the Yucca Mountain failure, and Part V tomorrow will explore failed attempts to reprocess nuclear fuel in the U.S. and examine the global state-of-the-art reprocessing plants now operating or under construction.
Ratepayers Pay to (Not) Play
The nuclear industry is unique among energy producers in its contractual commitment to cover the full costs for managing its waste. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982 directed utilities to levy fees on electricity generated by nuclear power and to pay those fees into a federal Nuclear Waste Fund (NWF) that was to be used to develop and operate a national repository. In return for the payment of fees, the NWPA directed the federal government to accept ownership and begin disposing of the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and other high-level waste (HLW) no later than January 31, 1998. Those fees included the cost of transporting SNF to the repository.
Since 1983, consumers of electricity from nuclear power plants have paid approximately $32 billion into the NWF. Consumers in Alabama and Georgia, for example, have sent more than $1 billion to the NWF and continue to contribute over $44 million a year. The current balance in the NWF exceeds approximately $22 billion, and consumers nationwide are contributing about an additional $750 million a year. The difference between total collections and the current balance is roughly equal to the approximately $9 billion already spent on preparing the Yucca Mountain site to date. [Read more →] (MasterResource)
Health Reform: Key provisions of the president's health care reform are about to take effect. Don't expect any of it to be pretty.
The Obama administration and their Keynesian media allies are desperately pushing back against a growing consensus that President Barack Obama’s expansive and intrusive domestic agenda is to blame for high unemployment and the economy’s slow recovery. So in Paul Krugman’s Pity the Poor C.E.O.’s column today he asserts:
Krugman needs to start talking to more businesses. His own paper reported from a White House sponsored event last December:
Continue reading... (The Foundry)
Humans have underestimated the disease for millennia; new research, and new worries
NEW YORK - Living in city smog may be bad for the lungs, but whether it also plays a role in jacking up stroke risk, as studies have suggested, warrants another look, new
Canadian research concludes.
NEW YORK - Young people who live in areas with higher levels of certain air pollutants may be more likely to have inflammatory bowel disease than those living under clearer
skies, a new study suggests.
It's tough wading through health claims for food supplements, but Brussels has rejected 80% of 900 examined so far
It is up to society and its leaders to ensure that companies do not become cancerous, says leading UN official
Southern Hemisphere weather patterns have changed significantly over the past few decades. Modeling studies have shown that these changes can be mainly attributed to
stratospheric ozone depletion. However, the ozone layer is predicted to slowly recover over the next several decades, and climate modelers would like to predict how the
atmosphere will respond to this recovery.
What a fanciful load of nonsense: Arid Australia Sips Seawater, but at a Cost
BRISBANE, Australia — In Australia, the world’s driest inhabited continent, early British explorers searching for a source of drinking water scoured the bone-dry
interior for a fabled inland sea. One overeager believer even carted a whaleboat hundreds of miles from the coast, but found mostly desert inside. Today, Australians are
turning in the opposite direction: the sea.
It was the book that finally proved what egalitarian-minded liberals knew all along – that inequality was not only morally wrong but was literally the leading cause of all social ills, from homicide to obesity to early death and divorce.
The more equal a country was, claimed Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett in The Spirit Level, the better everyone, both rich and poor, performed in every measure of social development. It must have been true – because they had graphs and statistics to prove it.
Roy Hattersley said: “It demonstrates the scientific truth of the assertion that social democrats have made for a hundred years.” Yasmin Alibhai-Brown gushed in the Independent that: “All free marketeers should be made to memorise it from cover to cover.”
The theory has just one tiny flaw – it’s complete rubbish. According to Natalie Evans in the Guardian:
They’re not the only ones. Last week, having read The Spirit Level “from cover to cover”, I then read Christopher Snowdon’s The Spirit Level Delusion: Fact-checking the Left’s New Theory of Everything.
Snowdon goes through the methodology involved in The Spirit Level and picks so many holes in the theory that were it a building it wouldn’t be passed as structurally sound by the most crooked of third world local government surveyors. Snowdon should get a job de-programming Independent readers. (Ed West, TDT)
Have your say and help us to improve the World Environment News for your chance to win a $100 Amazon Voucher. Just click here to complete a quick survey and enter the draw.
The Crone doesn't like you having Constitutional Rights: The Hard Work of Gun Control
Thirteen days ago, the Supreme Court undermined Chicago’s ban on handguns by applying the Second Amendment to the states, ruling that people have a right to protect their
homes with a gun. Four days after that, Chicago passed another handgun restriction that edged right up to the line drawn by the court. And on Tuesday, a group of gun dealers
and enthusiasts sued the city again to overturn the new law.
Barack Obama isn’t the one that hundreds of millions of poor Indians have been waiting for. Many unemployed in Milwaukee won’t be too happy either.
The U.S. Export-Import Bank just denied a $250 million loan guarantee for the construction of a 3,690-megawatt coal-fired power plant and nearby mine in Madhya Pradesh, India.
According to a report in Climatewire, Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg said:
The plant would have provided electricity to 300 million homes in seven Indian states.
According to President Obama’s Department of Energy:
How important is electricity to India? The United Nations Habitat for a Better Urban Future says that increased access to electricity would:
But the benefits of the loan guarantee aren’t limited to India. It would have made possible $600 million worth of sales from, and almost 1,000 jobs with Bucyrus International, a Milwaukee-based mining equipment company. National Mining Association spokesman Luke Popovch told Climatewire that Obama’s denial of the loan was “incomprehensible” given that more than 15 million Americans are out of work. (Steve Milloy, The Daily Caller)
Climate policymaking in our nation’s capital is best explained in the lingo of Hollywood mobsters and banditos. (Marlo Lewis, PJM)
July 9, 2010 – 7:04 pm
A panel criticizes the Climategate scientists for being defensive and unhelpful, for withholding data, for providing misleading information, for having been “blinded … to the possibility of merit” in the claims of their critics
‘Panel in Britain clears scientists of misconduct allegations in ‘Climate-gate’,” read the Washington Post headline, one of many describing a vindication of the Climategate scientists at East Anglia University’s Climatic Research Unit in the U.K. Other press outlets saw the panel’s finding differently: “Clouds of doubt still hang over climate scientists,” the Calgary Herald’s headline stated.
The conflicting takes by the press are understandable. The British panelists, established by East Anglia University, saw too little evidence to declare the Climategate scientists at CRU guilty on most counts, and they saw too much to be always confident of their innocence.
But here’s another take on the same report, and another headline, that almost all newspapers would agree to: “Panel recognizes that the science is not settled on climate change.”
The Crone tries the big lie theory: A Climate Change Corrective
Perhaps now we can put the manufactured controversy known as Climategate behind us and turn to the task of actually doing something about global warming. On Wednesday, a panel in Britain concluded that scientists whose e-mail had been hacked late last year had not, as critics alleged, distorted scientific evidence to prove that global warming was occurring and that human beings were primarily responsible. (NYT)
Global warming alarmists claim vindication after last year's data manipulation scandal. Don't believe the 'independent' reviews.
Russell report is inadequate, says Stringer
July 10, 2010 – 12:10 pm
The UK Parliament was misled by East Anglia University when it conducted hearings into Climategate earlier this year, charges Graham Stringer, a scientist and prominent Labour Member of Parliament, in an article published yesterday in The Register, a UK science and technology journal.
Dr. Stringer, a member of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology, was reacting to the release this week of the Russell Report on Climategate, which he considers a betrayal of an understanding that the Select Committee had with East Anglia University, home of the Climategate scandal.
As the Official Hansards of the Select Committee show, MPs believed that they needn’t examine the science in great detail following assurances from East Anglia that its own independent inquiries would serve that purpose. “I am hoping, later this week, to announce the chair of a panel to reassess the science and make sure there is nothing wrong,” the Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia, Edward Acton, told the committee.
The first of the East Anglia inquiries, by Lord Oxburgh, did not do so and never intended to. As Oxburgh told Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit in an email, “The science was not the subject of our study.” Now that the Russell report is in, and it too underlines it never had any intention of examining the science, the snookering of the UK Select Committee is complete.
Dr. Stringer’s sense of betrayal is shared by the former chair of the Science and Technology Committee, Phil Willis, who in an interview with BBC on the Oxburgh report stated “Quite frankly, I couldn’t believe it. …There has been a slight of hand in that the actual terms of reference were not what we had been led to believe.” Other MPs feel as he does,
The call to reopen the Select Committee hearing arises because the Russell report failed to answer fundamental questions. Among these, Stringer told The Register: “Why did they delete emails? The key question was what reason they had for doing this, but this was never addressed; not getting to the central motivation was a major failing both of our report and Muir Russell.”
Although the Select Committee had stressed to East Anglia the importance of having open and independent inquiries, the hearings failed to oblige. The Russell inquiry, the last straw for Stringer, was held behind closed doors and heard only one side of the story. It failed to interview any scientist critical of the Climategate scientists; it failed to call witnesses who were the subjects of the emails, it failed to publish all the depositions, and its panellists could hardly be viewed as independent. One panellist, Geoffrey Boulton, was a climate change advisor to the UK and the EU; another, Richard Horton, had deemed global warming “the biggest threat to our future health.”
Here's some wishful thinking: Climategate shows the need for openness by scientists
In the age of the blogosphere, blocking facts means science is damaged and public trust lost
July 9, 2010 – 7:09 pm
The third British investigation into the Climategate scandal — led by former civil servant Sir Muir Russell — amounts, at best, to a greywash. No reason, it claims, to doubt the honesty of the scientists related to the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (which commissioned the review). However, buried within the review’s 160 pages considerable doubt is raised about the operations of both the CRU and the organization that it serves, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
For anybody who wants to understand the scientific and psychological background to Climategate, there is no better read than Andrew Montford’s new book, The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science.
Climategate was based largely on emails related to the so-called “Hockey Stick,” an iconic graph that purported to show that 20th-century temperatures were unprecedented in at least a thousand years. As Mr. Montford points out, “[T]he chief importance of the Hockey Stick lies not in that it is central to the case for man-made global warming, but in the fact that the IPCC promoted it as if it were.”
In other words, the real scandal lies in whoever was pulling the political strings of the IPCC.
The IPCC's attempts to hide the truth about its exaggerated claims on the deforestation of the Amazon have ended in defeat, says Christopher Booker.
July 12, 2010 – 1:36 am
“Climate science is a matter of such global importance, that the highest standards of honesty, rigour and openness are needed in its conduct,” stated the Muir Russell report into the Climategate scandal after it found the Climatic Research Unit at the UK’s East Anglia University guilty of “a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness.” This failure, the Russell report declared to wide agreement among climate scientists, led to harm “to the reputation of the University and, indeed, to the credibility of UK climate science.”
To ensure that climate scientists never again harm the cause of science in this way, the Russell report then recommended that scientists adhere to new standards of openness. “Without such openness, the credibility of their work will suffer because it will always be at risk of allegations of concealment and hence mal-practice.”
The Russell report was released last week. This week the UN’s Intergovernmental; Panel on Climate Change and other scientists have their first opportunity to apply the new standards by admitting to yet another gross transgression.
The opportunity comes via the latest revelation over Amazongate, a scandal that erupted in January, just two months after the Climategate scandal broke in November. The Amazongate story begins with a claim in the IPCC’s 2007 report that “up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation,” leading to the forest’s conversion to savannah. The IPCC gave as its source a report by WWF, the environmental lobby group. The press then dubbed this failure by the IPCC to rely upon peer-reviewed science “Amazongate.”
Last month, one of the media outlets that exposed Amazongate, the Sunday Times, retracted its story, apparently in the belief that the WWF had based its claim about the looming destruction of the Amazon on legitimate peer-reviewed science. If so, the IPCC’s error was trivial – it had sloppily quoted WWF instead of the actual peer-reviewed science.
With the Sunday Times retraction, most of the worldwide press and climate-friendly blogosphere jumped to the assertion that the IPCC had been exonerated. “Newspapers retract faulty climate reporting,” stated a Washington Post headline. “Lies Concocted By Climate Deniers Likely To Stick Around Despite Corrections,” stated the Huffington Post. Climate scientists everywhere supported the belief that WWF had based its views on peer-reviewed science.
One reporter, Christopher Booker at the London Telegraph, wondered where, exactly, was the peer-reviewed document that the WWF relied upon. When he was stonewalled in obtaining answers he dug and dug and finally found WWF’s source. As he explains, it “was not based on peer-reviewed science, as repeatedly claimed, but originated solely from anonymous propaganda published on the website of a small Brazilian environmental advocacy group.” Booker’s impressive sleuthing is described in detail here.
The IPCC now has the opportunity to rise to Muir Russell’s challenge. He posed the following problem for science in introducing his Climategate report to the press: “How is science to be conducted in a new world of openness, accountability and indeed what I might term citizen involvement in public interest science? … There need to be ways of handling criticism and challenge, of responding to a range of different sorts of criticism and getting into a more productive relationship with critics than we have sometimes seen in this case.”
Will the IPCC and others in the climate science establishment pass this, their first test in the new world of openness? I hope they do. I know they won’t.
Until this month, Yvo de Boer served as executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the body that oversees international climate negotiations. After supervising the Copenhagen climate talks last year, a process he has called frustrating, de Boer suddenly announced in February that he would be stepping down. After nearly four years on the U.N. job (he describes it as "three years and 11 months," but who's counting?), he just started work as an adviser on climate change and sustainability at KPMG International in London. The Washington Post's national environmental reporter Juliet Eilperin spoke with de Boer last week about leaving the United Nations, why he never kept Al Gore out in the cold and how President Obama has his brain in the right place. (Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post)
Check out this excellent news report on Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's options on climate policy. As I've argued, Australia does not have many very good options. We have not seen the end of political fallout on emissions trading in Australia by a long shot. (Roger Pielke Jr.)
LABOR'S closest business adviser, Heather Ridout, has warned Julia Gillard to slow down as the PM prepares to rush out a climate change policy.
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard's refusal to set a carbon price will cost Australian households an extra $2 billion a year in higher electricity prices.
One of the ironies of globalisation is that in every country in the world you can probably find a majority of people who think their country is getting a raw deal and the
rest of the world is ripping them off.
The Prince of Wales has launched a unit to help prevent ecological disaster.
It has been hotly debated recently whether global warming has led to an increase in tropical cyclone activity in the western North Pacific over the past several decades. One
complicating factor in the debate is that different data sets show different trends in tropical cyclone activity.
Cancun is coming – and it will pointlessly cost you dear The authoritative Monthly CO2 Report for June 2010 discusses the failure of the Climategate enquiries to do their job, and the coming Cancun Conference, which will be pointlessly expensive for all. (SPPI)
Every time you think that the global warming crowd couldn’t be any more ridiculous or brazen, somebody manages to turn the shameless meter up another notch. This month’s offering from the alarmists is a “scientific” study that basically demonstrates that alarmists are right about climate change because alarmists who believe they are right about climate change publish a lot of papers that demonstrate how right they are about climate change. That isn’t circular logic. Circular logic would be embarrassed to be seen in the same room as this study. This sort of tortured reasoning is so twisted that M.C. Escher and Salvador Dali would have trouble coming to grips with it. (Rich Trzupek, Front Page)
WALKING into a cave of stalagmites and stalactites is like entering a Tiffany's showroom. But unlike an expensive ring, the sparkle of these formations is a precious record
of climate history.
In the virtual realm: Warming's water changes locked in for decades
One of the most significant direct effects of global warming is an alteration of the hydrological cycle affecting the world's water supplies, floods, and droughts. Most
studies assume that if human-induced temperature changes were reversed, the hydrological cycle would revert to its prewarming state.
Flushing another half-million: Lab at Bangor University aims to fight climate change
A £500,000 research laboratory to develop ways of fighting climate change has opened at Bangor University.
Accurately predicting climate change involves a thorough knowledge of how perturbations in the Earth's radiation balance influence temperature and other climate variables.
These feedbacks alter the Earth's capability to absorb incoming solar radiation, and they involve water vapor, clouds, and ice and snow effects. Traditionally, changes in
atmospheric chemistry induced by changes in climate have not been fed back into climate models to further change the climate itself. Thus, studies that evaluate the effect of
reducing emissions typically assume a constant climate state rather than an evolving one, neglecting the effects of how changing atmospheric compositions influence climate.
In my post
I communicated regarding the publication of the paper
Marshall B. Burke, Edward Miguel, Shanker Satyanath, John A. Dykeme, and David B. Lobell, 2009 Warming increases the risk of civil war in Africa. PNAS. December 8, 2009 vol. 106 no. 49. www.pnas.org cgi doi 0.1073 nas.0907998106
The Comment and Reply to this paper are presented at
Alexandra E. Sutton, Justin Dohn, Kara Loyd, Andrew Tredennick, Gabriela Bucini, Alexandro Solórzano, Lara Prihodko, and Niall P. Hanan, 2010
Marshall B. Burke, Edward Miguel, Shanker Satyanath, John A. Dykema, and David B. Lobell, 2010 Reply to Sutton et al.: Relationship between temperature and conflict is robust PNAS 2010 107 (25) E103; published ahead of print June 10, 2010, doi:10.1073/pnas.1005748107
The Sutton et al 2010 paper has the insightful comments
The Burke et al 2010 Reply to Sutton et al titled “Relationship between temperature and conflict is robust” further defines how they view their results. Extracts from their paper read
The Burke et al paper emphasizes why we need to change from the top-down global climate model driven focus on social and environmental risks, to the bottom-up, resource based focus on food, water, energy, human health and ecosystem function as we present in our paper
Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell, W. Rossow, J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian, and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union.
The Sutton et al 2010 Comment is much more in line with this multi-faceted assessment of risk than the more narrowly focused Burke et al 2009 study. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
There is a new paper on heat-related deaths in the United States (thanks to Willie Soon for altering us to it). It is
Laurence S. Kalkstein, Scott Greene, David M. Mills, Jason Samenow: 2010: An evaluation of the progress in reducing heat-related human mortality in major U.S. cities. Nat Hazards DOI 10.1007/s11069-010-9552-3.
The abstract reads
The reduction in excess deaths due to heat waves since 1996 is interesting. This study also illustrates why a more broadly focused perspective on the risk from heat waves needs to be developed, as it is clear that simplistic approaches, by themselves, such as presented in the Sherwood and Huber 2010 study (see and see) are inadequate for planners who seek to reduce the threats from heat waves. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)
Partly right: Lloyd's adds its voice to dire 'peak oil' warnings
Business underestimating catastrophic consequences of declining oil, says Lloyd's of London/ISS report
BY JACK DINI - A judge recently found Syncrude Canada Ltd, Canada’s largest oils sands producer, guilty in the deaths of 1,600 ducks that landed on a toxic Northern
Alberta tailings pond in 2008, ruling the company should have had deterrents in place. There’s no word yet on a sentence but Syncrude faces possible fines of $800,000. (1)
Five Chicago suburbs and dozens of other Midwest towns in power-plant deal now face the prospect of rising electricity bills (Chicago Tribune)
With the election this week of President Bronislaw Komorowski, Poland will likely attempt to renegotiate its energy relationship with Russia and the Poles believe their huge shale gas potential provides them with new bargaining power. The only problem is that Warsaw’s leverage is far from proven. [Read More] (Andres Cala, Energy Tribune)
BY JACK DINI - What’s the message to the rest of the world when a country with the world’s fifth-largest oil reserves plans to invest in nuclear power? The oil-rich
Arab emirate Abu Dhabi plans to get about 25% of its energy from nuclear stations. Two items have contributed to Abu Dhabi’s interest in nuclear power. First, the country
didn’t foresee the rapid growth in electricity use and is now running out of its preferred fuel for power generation, natural gas. Secondly, Abu Dhabi would like to turn
itself into a global energy center that would create high-quality jobs even after its oil runs out. (1)
by Robert Peltier
Part I in this series reviewed the history of nuclear waste storage policy in the United States. This post reviews Project Salt Vault, an early attempt to solve the dilemma of storing spent nuclear fuel. Part III will cover the history of Yucca Mountain.
Project Salt Vault
The primary objective of Project Salt Vault was to demonstrate the safety and feasibility of handling and storing high level nuclear waste (HLW) solids from power reactors in salt formations. The engineering and scientific objectives were to:
· Demonstrate waste-handling equipment and techniques required to handle packages containing HLW solids from the point of production to the disposal location.
· Determine the stability of salt formations under the combined effects of heat and radiation (approximately 4,000,000 curies of radioactive material, yielding up to 109 rads).
· Collect information on creep and plastic flow of salt needed for the design of an actual disposal facility.
· Monitor the site for radiolytic chemical reactions, if such should occur.
The demonstration site selected was the inactive Lyons, Kansas mine of the Carey Salt Co. The 1,020-foot deep salt mine had operated from 1890 to 1948 and had been kept open for possible future use. Preparations for the demonstration began in 1963, and the first radioactive material was placed in the mine in November 1965. The tests involved the emplacement of actual irradiated fuel assemblies from the Engineering Test Reactor (ETR) in Idaho. The ETR assemblies were chosen because of their availability on a dependable schedule and their relatively high radioactivity levels. [Read more →] (MasterResource)
by Robert Peltier
This post looks at the legislative history of the ill-fated Yucca Mountain repository and the formation of a committee to explore alternative storage sites (again). In Part IV, we will look at some of the legal and political repercussions of Yucca Mountain’s failure. Finally, in Part V, we explore failed attempts to reprocess nuclear fuel in the U.S. and examine the global state-of-the-art reprocessing plants now operating or under construction.
The Retrievable Surface Storage Facility
The AEC announced plans (circa May/June 1972) to construct an engineered, at-grade Retrievable Surface Storage Facility (RSSF) to be used until a permanent geological repository would be available. The plan was to locate the RSSF at an AEC or federal site in the western U.S. However, the environmental impact statement (EIS) issued by the AEC in support of the RSSF concept drew intense criticism from the public and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Both criticized the plan because of the possibility that economic factors could later dictate using the facility as a permanent repository, contrary to the planned interim use of the RSSF. In this instance, it was unacceptable to proceed with an interim storage system unless there were unambiguous assurances that a permanent repository would be developed.
In 1975, Dr. Robert Seamans—in one of his first acts as administrator of the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA)—withdrew the EIS associated with the RSSF and decided that a permanent waste repository should be given budget priority. ERDA was created to assume the responsibilities of the then-dissolved AEC that were not covered by the newly formed NRC. [Read more →] (MasterResource)
Another lot wanting to gorge at the green slops trough: Nuclear targets 'at risk'
Britain needs to replace its ageing power plants, but needs better investment incentives to do it.
Health Care: The president recess-appoints a fan of rationing and Britain's National Health Service to direct one-third of American health care. Why does the administration want his views hidden from scrutiny? (IBD)
Exactly one hundred days ago today, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. The President promised that the law would extend access to high quality care to the millions of uninsured Americans, while at the same reducing costs and overall health spending.
Forget it. It’s not going to happen. It is clear that none of these promises will come true; instead, the legislation is likely, even certain in some cases, to make existing problems worse. To mark the 100 day anniversary of the health care bill, Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and John Barrasso (R-WY), both physicians, released a study compiling the mounting evidence of the real impact of the new health law. Based on a summary of the evidence thus far, Sens. Coburn and Barrasso show that Obamacare will: Continue reading... (The Foundry)
CHICAGO - Heart imaging procedures can deliver a significant amount of radiation to patients, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday, urging patients and doctors to weigh the
risks against the benefits.
WASHINGTON - Some stress can be good for the body, helping fight off cancer, researchers reported on Thursday.
Washington, DC -- At the Oral Comment Meeting of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, held today at USDA headquarters, the Salt Institute cautioned that instead of
improving the health of consumers, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines will result in confusion and unintended consequences. Reduced salt in food will fuel the obesity epidemic as
individuals will consume more to satisfy their natural sodium appetite and their hunger for taste satisfaction. It will also lead to other serious unintended health risks.
It's an urban myth that won't go away: mobile phones and petrol are an explosive combination.
President Obama's recent radio address continues the mythology of "green jobs" — even though his models for the green jobs program have been proven not to work. (Christopher Horner, PJM)
UNDERTAKERS could dissolve corpses in chemicals then flush the remains into the sewage system under plans being studied by European bureaucrats.
More green taxation: Council tax to increase because of landfill
Households face an increase in council tax of at least £50 every year unless more is done to boost recycling, town halls have warned. (TDT)
Who would have guessed that 18 months into the Obama administration and a nearly filibuster-proof, Democratic-controlled Congress that cap-and-trade would still be just a green dream? Not many. But then not many people would probably think there’s enough time or political will to make cap-and-trade happen in the time remaining for this session of Congress. That’s wrong, too. (Steve Milloy, Roll Call)
Here’s a principles-of-economics question: Suppose the U.S. gross domestic product (national income) is currently $14 trillion. Then suppose the U.S. raised all tariff, income tax, and sales tax rates to 100 percent. How much money would the government collect? If you realized that nobody would generate taxable income under such a regime and answered “zero,” congratulations.
If, instead, you answered $14 trillion, you may have a future at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), because that is how they analyze (score) the fiscal impacts of the Kerry–Lieberman climate change bill. In defense of the many good economists at the CBO, the Kabuki Theater of legislation-scoring requires they use static analysis—that is, they have to assume that higher tax rates do not affect investment or work-effort decisions and, therefore, have no negative impact on national income and income-tax revenues. Continue reading... (The Foundry)
In this LOL-interview with CleanSkiesTV, hockey stick inventor Michael Mann blames
the current East Coast heat wave on manmade warming!
Meanwhile, in the real world: Heat islands: Cities heat quickly, cool slowly
NEW YORK (AP) -- Hot town, summer in the city? No kidding.
We bet they do: Climate Scientists Praise Report On Hacked Email Scandal
Leading climate scientists on Thursday welcomed a British report that cleared researchers of exaggerating the effects of global warming and said they hoped it would restore faith in the fight against climate change. (Reuters)
So yet another tribunal has cleared the “Climategate” conspirators. One can only echo the comment that “we are shocked, utterly shocked – that anyone could have thought that the review might have found otherwise.” The multiple apologias issued by university authorities only add to the stench of corruption emanating from the institutions practising politically controlled science. If the climateers had been working in the fields of business or finance they would be in jail by now for a range of crimes including falsification of information, conspiracy to corner a market, breach of freedom of information acts and conspiring to conceal evidence of crime. The institutions have confirmed the belief that the only criterion for evaluating a professor is the ability to bring in funds, regardless of the propriety of methods used.
The technique of multiple small inquiries with highly restrictive purviews is the one invented by the Blair government to whitewash the WMD fiasco. As for having a “neutral” chairman who is actually making money out of the scam under investigation, it would have beggared belief in more honest times. The arrogance and contempt for society at large revealed by these official cover-ups is an open festering lesion in the body politic. (Number Watch)
The last of three British investigations into the notorious Climategate emails, the Independent Climate Change Email Review, landed yesterday and left behind enough cherry-pickable material to give all sides an opportunity to claim modest vindication. (Terence Corcoran, National Post)
“Move along now, please… Nothing to see here…” was the predictable burden of Sir Muir Russell’s investigation into Climategate. Are we surprised? Any other
conclusion would have made world headlines as a first for the climate change establishment. This is the third Climategate whitewash job and it would be tempting to see it as
just as futile as its predecessors. That, however, would be to underrate its value to the sceptic cause, which is considerable.
The National Academy of Sciences creates virtual blacklists of scientists who dare to disagree with ‘the consensus.’
the moment the property and casualty insurance industry is awash in capital -- so much so that it is making it difficult to make strong profits because the excess capital
exerts a downward pressure on the pricing of coverage. This situation is what is known as a "soft market."
With $100 billion in excess capital, the property and casualty insurance market is not turning, a Wall Street analyst said Thursday, and a carrier executive attributed existing conditions to the absence of AIG’s historical price leadership.It make strike some people outside the industry as odd, but what the reinsurance market needs is a big catastrophe, maybe even two:
In the context of the soft market, some in the reinsurance industry are looking for a justification to try to firm up the market, to justify increasing premiums. If the economics don't justify increasing rates, maybe there is some other justification? Here is an Australian Broadcasting Corporation interview with a representative from Munich Reinsurance: