Wednesday, April 16, 2014


The Science And Politics Of Climate Change

Lennart Bengtsson says that the science isn’t settled and we still don’t know how best to solve the energy problems of our planet. Article originally published in German in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, a major Swiss newspaper. Lennart Bengtsson was until 1990 Director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. After his retirement, he has led, among others, the Department of Earth Sciences at the International Space Science Institute in Bern

Since the end of the 19th century, we have known that the Earth’s climate is sensitive to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. At that time, the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius showed that an increase in CO2 concentrations would lead to a warmer climate. However, Arrhenius harbored little hope that this would happen. Consequently, the Swedes would have to continue to suffer in a cold and miserable climate. Since then, much has changed. Annual CO2 emissions have now reached a level that is about 20 times higher than that of 1896. This has caused concern worldwide.

More CO2 in the atmosphere leads undoubtedly to a warming of the earth surface. However, the extent and speed of this warming are still uncertain, because we cannot yet separate well enough the greenhouse effect from other climate influences. Although the radiative forcing by greenhouse gases (including methane, nitrogen oxides and fluorocarbons) has increased by 2.5 watts per square meter since the mid-19th century, observations show only a moderate warming of 0.8 degrees Celsius. Thus, the warming is significantly smaller than predicted by most climate models. In addition, the warming in the last century was not uniform. Phases of manifest warming were followed by periods with no warming at all or even cooling.

The complex and only partially understood relationship between greenhouse gases and global warming leads to a political dilemma. We do not know when to expect a warming of 2 degrees Celsius. The IPCC assumes that the earth will warm up by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celcius in response to a doubling of CO2 concentration. These high values of climate sensitivity, however, are not supported by observations. In other words: global warming has not been a serious problem so far if we rely on observations. It is only a problem when we refer to climate simulations by computer models.

There is no alternative to such computer simulations if one wants to predict future developments. However, since there is no way to validate them, the forecasts are more a matter of faith than a fact. The IPCC has published its expert opinion a few months ago and presented it in the form of probabilities. As long as the results cannot be supported by validated models they produce a false impression of reliability.

EU member states pursue a strategy of reducing the climate risk by reducing the use of fossil fuels in the shortest time to a minimum. Many citizens are risk averse and therefore support this policy. In addition, many citizens want to phase-out nuclear power, because it is also seen as too risky. To eliminate both nuclear energy as well as fossil fuels is an enormous challenge. Nevertheless, Germany and Switzerland have opted for such an energy transition. To pursue such a radical and perhaps risky energy policy, despite the limited economic, scientific and technical capabilities of the two countries is an enormous undertaking.

There are two things that need to be addressed in this context. Firstly, such energy transitions will, unfortunately, do little to reduce global CO2 emissions, since 90 percent of these emissions come from countries outside Europe. Many of these countries are likely to increase their CO2 emissions in the future, as their population increases and their top priority is to improve the living standards of their citizens. China is a special case. Its CO2 emissions have more than doubled in the last decade and are now about 50 percent higher than those of the United States. For various reasons, there are no alternatives to fossil fuels in the developing countries for the time being. Energy demand there is great. Currently, 1.3 billion people have no access to electricity. To reduce their own emissions easily and quickly, the OECD countries have outsourced some of their energy-intensive production to developing countries. In the national statistics, this looks good. Globally, however, not much changes, since the emissions occur simply somewhere else.

Secondly, the rapid transition to renewable energy has led to a considerable increase in energy prices in many countries, especially in Europe. This weakens the competitiveness and leads to a relocation of energy-intensive industries to countries such as the USA, where the energy price has dropped significantly by the use of shale gas.

It is no surprise that there are other forces that are driving rapid change. Because once government subsidies are involved, huge profits are available. However, before radical and hasty changes to the current energy system are implemented, there must be robust evidence that climate change is significantly detrimental. We are still far away from such evidence. It would be wrong to conclude from the report of the IPCC and similar reports that the science is settled.

We do not yet know how best to solve the energy problems of our planet. But many things can happen in the next 100 years. A moderate climate sensitivity, as suggested by recent observations, could provide the world a breathing space of about half a century (but not much longer) if at the same a switch from coal to natural gas occurs. This gives us the opportunity to avoid unnecessary and panicked investment, and to invest the available resources in well thought-out and long-term oriented research programs instead. These include new types of nuclear energy as well as the use of nuclear waste to generate energy.

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Solar Firms Seek More Cash

Two California companies, Sequoia Pacific Solar and Eiger Lease Co., are suing the Treasury for withholding $14.6 million in cash grants after the parent company, SolarCity, burned through $244 million in tax incentives dating back to 2009. Despite the quarter billion in taxpayer dollars, all they have to show for it is a whopping $166 million in debt. No wonder they're desperate.

According to the lawsuit, Treasury “improperly changed the rules.” Federal officials, however, say that SolarCity inflated sales contracts to retrieve more taxpayer dollars. They're also accused of deceiving its shareholders and releasing erroneous financial reports.

The fact the feds are providing “green” incentives at all is ridiculous enough, especially in the wake of boondoggles like Solyndra. But as Hot Air's Jazz Shaw adds, “is this a private company which is intended to show a profit in the marketplace or a non-profit charity which is only expected to live off the teat of the taxpayer? Well, okay… the 'non-profit' part is probably pretty obvious.”

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Coughing Up Climate Rhetoric

It's spring, and that means allergies. So naturally, alarmists are attempting to identify a link between heavy pollen and global “warming.” For most of the country, a continued cool pattern has delayed the allergy season. “With temperatures finally starting to rise, New Jersey may soon experience a compressed spring, causing an allergy season that's supercharged,” says Christopher Maag of North Jersey.com.

He later adds: “Erratic weather changes and intense pollen seasons are consistent with research on global climate change by Leonard Bielory, an allergist and visiting professor at the Rutgers Center for Environmental Prediction. In a study presented last year … Bielory predicted that annual pollen counts in many parts of the U.S., including New Jersey, will double between the years 2000 and 2040 as higher average temperatures bring longer pollination seasons.”

Perhaps Maag should examine his own contradiction. Bielory cites “longer pollination seasons” thanks to “higher average temperatures,” while Maag's entire premise is on a “compressed” and “supercharged” season shortened by cold weather. Also, earth hasn't warmed in over 17 years. That's nothing to sneeze at.

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Was stopping Nevada’s fracking rush behind the Bundy showdown?

The story of rancher Cliven Bundy has captured an abundance of media attention and attracted supporters from across the West, who relate to the struggle against the federal management of lands. Bundy’s sister, Susan, was asked: “Who’s behind the uproar?” She blamed the Sierra Club, then Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), and then President Obama. She concluded her comments with: “It’s all about control” — a sentiment that is frequently expressed regarding actions taken in response to some endangered-species claim.

An Associated Press report describes Bundy’s battle this way: “The current showdown pits rancher Cliven Bundy’s claims of ancestral rights to graze his cows on open range against federal claims that the cattle are trespassing on arid and fragile habitat of the endangered desert tortoise.”

Bundy’s story has been percolating for decades — leaving people to question why now. The pundits are, perhaps, missing the real motive. To discover it, you have to dig deep under the surface of the story, below the surface of the earth. I posit: it is all about oil and gas.

On April 10, the Natural News Network posted this: “BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases.” It states: “a Natural News investigation has found that BLM is actually in the business of raking in millions of dollars by leasing Nevada lands to energy companies that engage in fracking operations.”

This set off alarms in my head; it didn’t add up. I know that oil-and-gas development and ranching can happily coexist. Caren Cowan, executive director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, told me: “The ranching and oil-and-gas communities are the backbone of America. They are the folks who allow the rest of the nation to pursue their hearts’ desire secure in the knowledge that they will have food and energy available in abundant supply. These natural resource users have worked arm-in-arm for nearly a century on the same land. They are constantly developing and employing technologies for ever better outcomes.”

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wouldn’t be enduring the humiliating press it has received, as a result of kicking Bundy off of land his family has ranched for generations and taking away his prior usage rights, just to open up the land for oil-and-gas — the two can both be there.

The Natural News “investigation” includes a map from the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology that shows “significant exploratory drilling being conducted in precisely the same area where the Bundy family has been running cattle since the 1870s.” It continues: “What’s also clear is that oil has been found in nearby areas.”

Nevada is not a top-of-mind state when one thinks about oil and gas. Alan Coyner, administrator for the Nevada Division of Minerals, describes his state: “We are not a major oil-producing state. We’re not the Saudi Arabia of the U.S. like we are for gold and geothermal production.” The Las Vegas Review Journal reports: “When it comes to oil, Nevada is largely undiscovered country…. fewer than 1,000 wells have been drilled in the state, and only about 70 are now in production, churning out modest amounts of low-grade petroleum generally used for tar or asphalt. Since an all-time high of 4 million barrels in 1990, oil production in Nevada has plummeted to fewer than 400,000 barrels a year. More oil is pumped from the ground in one day in North Dakota — where the fracking boom has added more than 2,000 new wells in recent years — than Nevada produced in 2012.”

But, Nevada could soon join the ranks of the states that are experiencing an economic boom and job creation due to oil-and-gas development. And, that has got to have the environmental groups, which are hell-bent on stopping it, in panic mode. Until now, their efforts in Nevada have been focused on blocking big solar development.

A year ago, the BLM held an oil-and-gas lease sale in Reno. At the sale, 29 federal land leases, totaling about 56 square miles, were auctioned off, bringing in $1.27 million. One of the winning bidders is Houston-based Noble Energy, which plans to drill as many as 20 exploratory wells and could start drilling by the end of the year. Commenting on its acreage, Susan Cunningham, Noble senior vice president, said: “We’re thrilled with the possibilities of this under-explored petroleum system.”

The parcels made available in April 2013 will be developed using hydraulic fracturing, about which Coyner quipped: “If the Silver State’s first big shale play pays off, it could touch off a fracking rush in Nevada.” Despite the fact that fracking has been done safely and successfully for more than 65 years in America, the Center for Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Nevada-based senior scientist, Ron Mrowka, told the Las Vegas Review Journal: “Fracking is not a good thing. We don’t feel there is a safe way to do it.”

The BLM made the leases available after someone, or some company, nominated the parcels, and the process to get them ready for auction can easily take a year or longer. One year before the April 2013, sale, CBD filed a “60-day notice of intent to sue” the BLM for its failure to protect the desert tortoise in the Gold Butte area — where Bundy cattle have grazed for more than a century.

Because agencies like the BLM are often staffed by environmental sympathizers, it is possible that CBD was alerted to the pending potential oil-and-gas boom when the April 2013 parcels were nominated—triggering the notice of intent to sue in an attempt to lock up as much land as possible before the “fracking rush” could begin.

A March 25, 2014 CBD press release — which reportedly served as the impetus for the current showdown — states: “Tortoises suffer while BLM allows trespass cattle to eat for free in Nevada desert.” It points out that the Clark County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan purchased and then retired grazing leases to protect the endangered tortoise.

Once Bundy’s cattle are kicked off the land to protect the tortoise, the precedent will be set to use the tortoise to block any oil-and-gas development in the area — after all environmentalists hate cattle only slightly less than they hate oil and gas. Admittedly, the April 13 leases are not in the same area as Bundy’s cattle, however, Gold Butte does have some oil-and-gas exploration that CBD’s actions could nip in the bud. Intellihub reports: “The BLM claims that they are seizing land to preserve it, for environmental protection. However, it is obvious that environmental protection is not their goal if they are selling large areas of land to fracking companies. Although the land that was sold last year is 300 and some miles away from the Bundy ranch, the aggressive tactics that have been used by federal agents in this situation are raising the suspicion that this is another BLM land grab that is destined for a private auction.”

The Natural News Network also sees that the tortoise is being used as a scapegoat: “Anyone who thinks this siege is about reptiles is kidding themselves.” It adds: “‘Endangered tortoises’ is merely the government cover story for confiscating land to turn it over to fracking companies for millions of dollars in energy leases.” The Network sees that it isn’t really about the critters; after all, hundreds of desert tortoises are being euthanized in Nevada.

Though the Intellihub and Natural News Network point to the “current showdown” as being about allowing oil-and-gas development, I believe that removing the cattle is really a Trojan horse. The tortoise protection will be used to block any more leasing.

On April 5, 2014, CBD sent out a triumphant press release announcing that the “long-awaited” roundup of cattle had begun.

What I am presenting is only a theory; I am just connecting some dots. But over-and-over, an endangered or threated species or habitat is used to block all kinds of economic development. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the lesser prairie chicken and the huge effort ($26 million) a variety of industries cooperatively engaged in to keep its habitat from being listed as threatened. The effort failed and the chicken’s habitat was listed. In my column on the topic, I predicted that these listings were likely to trigger another sage brush rebellion that will challenge federal land ownership. The Bundy showdown has brought the controversy front and center.

For now, southern Nevada’s last rancher has won the week-long standoff that has been likened to Tiananmen Square. Reports state that “the BLM said it did so because it feared for the safety of employees and members of the public,” not because it has changed its position.

While this chapter may be closing, it may have opened the next chapter in the sage brush rebellion. The Bundy standoff has pointed out the overreach of federal agencies and the use of threatened or endangered species to block economic activity.

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Earth Daze

John Stossel

"The heavens reek, the waters below are foul ... we are in a crisis of survival." That's how Walter Cronkite and CBS hyped the first Earth Day, back in 1970. Somehow we've survived since then, and most of life got better, although I never hear that from the worrywarts.

Of course, some things got better because of government: We passed environmental rules that got most of the filth out of the air and sewage out of lakes and rivers. Great -- but now we're told that we're in big trouble because greenhouse gases cause global warming. I mean, climate change.

"Crop yields are down, deaths from heat are up," says the Los Angeles Times. The "Worst Is Yet to Come," warns The New York Times. This hype is not new. Alarmists always fool the gullible media. They once fooled me.

A few years back, we were going to be killed by global cooling , overpopulation, pesticide residues, West Nile virus, bird flu, Y2K, cellphone radiation, mad cow disease, etc. Now it's global warming.

Reporters don't make these scares up. The recent hype about global warming comes from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Most of its members are serious scientists. But reporters don't realize that those scientists, like bird flu specialists, have every incentive to hype the risk. If their computer models (which so far have been wrong) predict disaster, they get attention and money. If they say, "I'm not sure," they get nothing.

Also, the IPCC is not just a panel of scientists. It's an intergovernmental panel. It's a bureaucracy controlled by the sort of people who once ran for student council and are "exhilarated by the prospect of putting the thumb of the federal government on the scale."

Actually, that wasn't a quote from a global warming alarmist. It's from anti-marijuana alarmist and former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Joe Califano. But it's the same crisis mindset. Scientists who disagree, who are reluctant to put their thumbs on the government scale, don't feel welcome in the IPCC.

It's possible climate change may become a problem. But even if industrialization brings warming, we've got more important problems. On my TV show this week, statistician Bjorn Lomborg points out that "air pollution kills 4.3 million people each year ... We need to get a sense of priority." That deadly air pollution happens because, to keep warm, poor people burn dung in their huts.

Yet, time and again, environmentalists oppose the energy production most likely to make the world cleaner and safer. Instead, they persuade politicians to spend billions of your dollars on symbolism like "renewable" energy.

"The amazing number that most people haven't heard is, if you take all the solar panels and all the wind turbines in the world," says Lomborg, "they have (eliminated) less CO2 than what U.S. fracking (cracking rocks below ground to extract oil and natural gas) managed to do."

That progress occurred despite opposition from environmentalists -- and even bans in places like my stupid state, New York, where activists worry fracking will cause earthquakes or poison the water.

Do environmentalists even care about measuring costs instead of just assuming benefits? We spend $7 billion to subsidize electric cars. Even if America reached the president's absurd 2015 goal of "a million electric cars on the road" (we won't get close), how much would it delay warming of the Earth?

"One hour," says Lomborg. "This is a symbolic act."

Symbolic. Environmentalism is now more religion than science. It even comes with built-in doomsday stories to warn people about what will happen if they disobey -- a bit like the movie "Noah" that's in theaters now.

While environmentalists lament that our time is running out, environmental indicators get better, technological improvements reduce carbon dioxide, water gets cleaner for millions, and human life expectancy goes up.

This Earth Day, instead of attacking those who sell fossil fuels, I will applaud them for overcoming constant environmental hysteria -- while providing affordable energy that will allow us to fight poverty, which is the real threat to the people of the world.

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Reality Check: Irish-British Wind Export Plan Collapses Because It’s Too Expensive

The collapse of a controversial wind export plan has been announced by the Government on the same day that the UN’s top scientific body called for a rapid switch to renewable energy to fight climate change.

Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte said that “given the economic, policy and regulatory complexities involved” the Irish and British governments had failed to agree terms “to facilitate green energy export from the Midlands within the EU’s 2020 timeframe”.

Under the plan, three companies – Element Power, Mainstream and Bord na Mona – planned 1,000 turbines in five Midland counties to export three gigawatts of green energy into the British national grid. Negotiations on the multibillion euro deal were called off because “there was nothing left to discuss”, Irish officials said last night.

The decision to abandon negotiations on the project, which has featured strongly in the local and European Parliament election campaign, comes before a protest march planned in Dublin tomorrow.

Pay negotiations

The scheme needed a regulatory agreement between Dublin and London, which would, among other things, say who would pay for an interconnector to carry energy to Wales.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and British prime minister David Cameron agreed, during St Patrick Day talks in 10 Downing Street, that officials would be told to make another attempt to reach agreement.

The move came as Mr Rabbitte warned a deal was “unlikely” because the British side wanted to pay no more for Irish onshore wind energy than it would pay in Britain – even though it would have to be taken there.

Irish sources said no flexibility had been shown by the British department of energy and climate change after the Downing Street talks.

Mr Rabbitte’s decision has angered developers who plan to export three gigawatts of offshore energy from a necklace of projects in the Irish Sea. They say the move threatens them, even though the projects are entirely separate.

Brian Britton, who heads one of the developers, Oriel Energy, said: “They have taken only four-and-a-half weeks, rather than the three months set down in the Downing Street agreement.” Mr Britton also leads the National Offshore Wind Association.

Ironic

“It is somewhat ironic in a week which has seen the first State visit from an Irish President to the UK, that the Irish Government has pulled back from a policy initiative which would have demonstrated the real benefits of partnership in both economies,” said the association, in a statement.

Mr Rabbitte regretted that a deal with London “has not been possible” but said wind energy exports from Ireland to Britain “are inevitable after 2020”.

“Economic analysis conducted on the Irish side clearly indicates that under agreed policy and regulatory conditions, renewable energy trading can deliver significant economic benefits to Ireland and the UK, as well as being attractive to developers,” he said.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said delaying the development of renewables would “do us nothing but harm”.

In its latest report, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said a large-scale transformation of the energy sector from burning fossil fuels to relying primarily on renewables is needed to contain global warming at 2 degrees.

“Without additional efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions . . . emissions growth is expected to . . . result in global mean surface temperature increases in 2100 from 3.7 to 4.8 degrees,” it warned.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014



The power of prophecy (NOT)

ALL prophecies, including global warming prophecies, should be taken as seriously as the ones below



What they thought we'd wearing today - as imagined in 1893

An illustrated book from 1893 with one man's prediction of what fashions of the decades to come would look like has been unearthed.

The Future Dictates of Fashion by W. Cade Gall was published in the January 1893 edition of The Strand magazine and contains hilarious illustrations of the 'future of fashion'.

The article, which was found in a library, predicts one hundred years' worth of style.

It begins in 1900 with a rather wizardly array of garments, including plenty of walking sticks, oversized hats and voluminous skirts.

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The Best Thing for the Environment is for the Government to Stop Controlling It

Yesterday, the United Nations released a startling report that concludes that “world leaders” only have a few years to drastically curb carbon emissions, else the world will face debilitating warming, which would lead to a rise in sea level that would dramatically change human life and natural habitats. The report also argues that the world is already beginning to see the effects of climate change: a higher level of disease spread in Africa, an increase in the number and severity of wildfires in North America, and the decrease of food production in South America.

According to Kelly Levin, a climate change scientist from the World Resources institute, "Today's choices are going to significantly affect the risk that climate change will pose for the rest of the century."

Levin is, of course, correct, but perhaps not in the way she means. The United Nations and others involved in averting climate change have all emphasized the importance of the actions of world leaders in the coming years, from preparedness to last-ditch attempts to keep the world cool. But what “world leaders” really need to do is to drastically decrease their “defense” spending, stop propping up oil industries with counter-productive subsidies, and reduce or eliminate the regulatory burden on entrepreneurs so that they can innovate with new energy methods.

Consider the irony: the United Nations calls upon governments to enact emergency policies to mitigate climate change, yet those selfsame governments are actually the biggest hindrances to environmental cleanup efforts.

First, governments are often the largest polluters on the planet, not private entities. For instance, in the United States alone, the Pentagon is actually America’s biggest polluter. The Department of Defense pumps out more than 750,000 tons of hazardous material every year—that’s more than the top three chemical companies combined. How are they getting away with this? Congress passed an explicit provision exempting the military from any energy reduction efforts. The first thing that the U.S. “world leader” should do is to cut its own environmental impact.

Second, the United States government—like many world governments—heavily subsidizes the carbon-based energy industries while simultaneously passing “environmental regulations” that make a microscopic dent in carbon consumption. According to Price of Oil, the U.S. government spends between $14 and $52 billion in subsidies for the gas, coal, or oil industries, yet any attempt to reduce this number is thwarted in Congress. This keeps the price of carbon-based energies artificially low, interfering with the market process that occurs when goods are scarce.

In the meantime, the federal government and local governments impose carbon taxes onto their citizens, creating a perverse double standard. They attempt to keep people from using carbon-based products through tax policies while encouraging people to use them by driving down their prices. Carbon taxes aren’t the only ridiculous burden governments are placing on citizens to make them pay for their mistakes: plastic bag taxes, incandescent light bulb bans, the Clean Air Act, etc.

The list, tragically, is endless, though I would be remiss to not also mention that the U.S. government hand-crafted the conditions for the BP oil spill.

Despite all of this, entrepreneurs and innovators are still trying to come up with ways to save people money and energy by creating new products for them to try—only for government to get in the way when they do. For instance, many of the financial regulations after the bank meltdown have been biased against green companies and technologies and thus prevent investors from providing much-needed capital for these ideas to come to fruition.

Even if you still believe that governments have some role to play, deregulating markets is still the best way to go to make sure those policies are effective. According to a 2012 study, “renewable energy policies are significantly more effective in fostering green innovation in countries with deregulated energy markets.” Better still, “public support for renewable energy is crucial only in the generation of high-quality green patents, whereas competition enhances the generation of green patents irrespective of their quality.”

In short, the UN is correct to call upon “world leaders” to mitigate climate change. But the “action” that must be taken is to deregulate markets, get out of the way of innovators, and stop maintaining duplicitous policies. And if governments really feel like they must “do” something, they can reduce their own carbon emissions by cutting on so-called “defense” spending—with the bonus of making the world a bit more peaceful.

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Is lying about climate change OK?

Those of us who have chronicled the global warming hoax, now called “climate change”, know that it is based on decades of lies about carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gas” with predictions that the Earth will heat up and cause massive problems unless those emissions are drastically reduced by not using coal, oil and natural gas.

Two American think tanks, The Heartland Institute and the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) have been among those exposing those lies for years. The lies have been generated and led by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“Despite the panel’s insistence that the Earth is getting hotter, five different datasets show that there have been no observable warming for 17 and a half years even as carbon dioxide levels have risen 12%,” notes Christopher Monckton, a science advisor to Britain’s former Prime Minister Thatcher. “The discrepancy between prediction and observation continues to grow.”

Recently, two Chinese assistant professors of economics, Fuhai Hong and Xiaojian Zhao, were published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. Their paper, “Information Manipulation and Climate Agreements”, openly advocated lying about global warming/climate change in order to get nations to sign on to the International Environmental Agreement.

“It appears that news media and some pro-environmental organizations,” they noted, “have the tendency to accentuate or even exaggerate the damage caused by climate change. This article provides a rationale for this tendency.”

Craig Rucker, CFACT’s Executive Director, responded to the Chinese authors saying “They’re shameless.” Theirs and others ends-justify-the-means tactics reflects the attitudes and actions of environmental organizations and serves as a warning to never accept anything they say on any aspect of this huge hoax.

CFACT’s President and co-founder, David Rothbard, noted that “Global warming skeptics have long charged that alarmists are over-hyping the dangers of climate change.” How long? Back in 1989, the late Stanford University professor, Stephen Schneider, said, “So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ which we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance between being effective and being honest.”

There is no “right balance” between telling lies and telling the truth when it comes to science or any other aspect of our lives. Suffice to say that thousands of scientists who participated in the IPCC reports over the years supported the lies, but many have since left and some have openly denounced the reports.

As the latest IPCC summary of its report has garnered the usual verbatim media coverage of its outlandish predictions, The Heartland Institute has released its own 1,062 page report from the “Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) called “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts. An 18-page summery is available at http://climatechangereconsidered.org.

Among its findings:

- Atmospheric carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

- There is little or no risk of increasing food insecurity due to global warming or rising atmospheric CO2 levels.

- Rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels do not pose a significant threat to aquatic life.

- A modest warming of the planet will result in a net reduction of human mortality from temperature-related events.

Based on hundreds of peer-reviewed studies, the NIPCC report is free of the lies that are found in the IPCC report whose studies have been, at best, dubious, and at worst, deliberately deceptive.In light of the natural cooling cycle the Earth has been in that is good news and it will be even better news when the planet emerges from the cycle that reflects the lower levels of radiation from the Sun.

On March 31, CNS News reported that “The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report estimates it will cost developed nations an additional $100 billion each year to help poorer nations adapt to the devastating effects of ‘unequivocal’ global warming, including food shortages, infrastructure breakdown, and civil violence. But that figure was deleted from the report’s executive summary after industrial nations, including the United States, objected to the high price tag.”

The price tag reveals the IPCC’s real agenda, the transfer of funds from industrial nations to those less developed. It’s about the money and always has been. It’s not global warming the planet needs to survive, it is the costly lies about it.

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EPA Concedes: We Can’t Produce All the Data Justifying Clean Air Rules

Seven months after being subpoenaed by Congress, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy conceded that her agency does not have -  and cannot produce - all of the scientific data used for decades to justify numerous rules and regulations under the Clean Air Act.

In a March 7th letter to House Science, Space and Technology Committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), McCarthy admitted that EPA cannot produce all of the original data from the 1993 Harvard Six Cities Study (HSC) and the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) 1995 Cancer Prevention Study II, which is currently housed at New York University.

Both studies concluded that fine airborne particles measuring 2.5 micrograms or less (PM2.5) – 1/30th the diameter of a human hair – are killing thousands of Americans every year.

These epidemiological studies are cited by EPA as the scientific foundation for clean air regulations that restrict particulate emissions from vehicles, power plants and factories.

The agency has recently come under fire for exposing volunteers to concentrated levels of particulate matter without informing them of the risks, a practice Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), chairman of the House Science Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, called “despicable.”

The full committee, which issued its first subpoena in 21 years last August after being stonewalled by the EPA for two years, wanted the raw data from the studies so that their results could be replicated by independent researchers. (See EPA subpoena.pdf)

However, despite “multiple interactions with the third party owners of the research data in an effort to obtain that data,” McCarthy wrote, some of the data subpoenaed by the committee “are not (and were not) in the possession, custody or control of the EPA, nor are they within the authority to obtain data that the agency identified.”

“EPA has not withheld any data in our possession that is responsive to the subpoena,” McCarthy stated. “The EPA acknowledges, however, that the data provided are not sufficient in themselves to replicate the analyses in the epidemiological studies, nor would they allow for the one to one mapping of each pollutant and ecological variable to each subject.” (See EPA letter to Smith March 7 2014 (1).pdf)

CNSNews.com asked EPA whether the agency had turned over any data from the Harvard Six Cities and American Cancer Society studies in response to the subpoena.

“EPA provided to the Committee all the data that was in the possession of the agency or within the agency's authority to obtain under the Shelby Amendment,” which requires that results of federally-funded studies be made available to the public, an agency spokeswoman responded. “As such, the agency has now in good faith obtained and provided to the Committee all the requested research data subject to the Shelby Amendment and covered by the subpoena.”

A committee staff member confirmed to CNSNews.com that “EPA gave us what they have of both studies, which is a significant amount of data, but not sufficient" to allow independent reproduction or verification of results.

"We’re at a point where EPA has conceded that they don’t have in their possession the data necessary to fully comply, and in some cases, never did possess the data,” he added.

The subpoena was issued as the EPA moves to finalize strict new regulations that could place 90 percent of the U.S. population in non-attainment areas and impose an additional $90 billion annual burden on the U.S. economy.

However, two newer studies cast doubts on the original research.

Stanley Young and Jessie Xia of the National Institute of Statistical Sciences published a paper last year questioning the EPA’s reliance on the Harvard and Cancer Society studies, both of which found that breathing fine particulate matter (PM2.5) resulted in increased mortality.

“There is no significant association of PM2.5 with longevity in the west of the United States,”Young and Xia  noted, adding that “our findings call into question the claim made by the original researchers.” (See young080113.pdf)

Another recent study by Johns Hopkins-trained biostatistician Steve Milloy that attempted to duplicate EPA’s findings also found “no correlation between changes in ambient PM2.5 mortality” and any cause of death in California between 2007 and 2010.

“Virtually every regulation proposed by the Obama administration has been justified by nontransparent data and unverifiable claims,” committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said in February, denouncing what he called EPA’s “secret science.”

“The American people foot the bill for EPA’s costly regulations, and they have a right to see the underlying science. Costly environmental regulations should be based on publicly available data so that independent scientists can verify the EPA’s claims.”

Smith and Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) have introduced the Secret Science Reform Act of 2014, which would prohibit EPA from “proposing, finalizing or disseminating regulations based upon scientific information that is not publically available in a manner sufficient for independent scientific analysis.”

HR 4012, which would amend the Environmental Research, Development and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978, states that “the Administrator shall not propose, finalize, or disseminate a covered action unless all scientific and technical information relied on to support such covered action is (A) specifically identified; and (B) publicly available in a manner that is sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results.”

At a February 11th hearing before the Subcommittee on Environment, Raymond Keating, chief economist at the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, testified in favor of the bill. (HHRG-113-SY18-WState-RKeating-20140211.pdf)

“The  U.S. has made enormous progress in cleaning the air over the last 40 years, so much so that we now are talking about reducing very small increments of pollution. Achieving those tiny reductions will no doubt be very costly—as EPA itself admitted when it released its cost analysis for ozone in 2010. The question is: will they be worth it?" Keating asked.

“We won’t know that unless we have the scientific data in front of us, unless scientists from all over the country can attempt to replicate it and determine its validity. Without that, EPA is hiding the ball, and imposing costs without truly knowing what the benefits are.”

Congress is expected to consider the bill sometime this summer.

SOURCE





IPCC backs shale

Global emissions need to fall by at least 40 per cent by 2050 and almost to zero by 2100 to have a good chance of limiting the increase in the average temperature to 2C, above which the UN says there could be catastrophic impacts.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will underpin negotiations over a global climate change treaty that the UN hopes will be signed in Paris next year.

The share of energy from low-carbon sources, such as wind, solar, nuclear and fossil fuel plants which capture carbon, will have to increase three or four-fold by 2050.

The IPCC was silent, however, on how much investment there should be in each source of energy. It said it was up to each country to decide on the mix of energy sources it needed to meet its share of the global emissions target.

Countries that relied on exports of coal and oil could see their revenues decline if the world took collective action on emissions, it said. Yet exports of gas, which has about half the emissions of coal per unit of energy produced, could increase.

The report said: “Greenhouse gas emissions from energy supply can be reduced significantly by replacing current world average coal-fired power plants with modern, highly efficient natural gas combined‐cycle power plants.”

It added that “fugitive emissions” from gas extraction, such as methane, that can leak from poorly constructed wells, would need to be tightly controlled to ensure that a switch to gas cut overall emissions.

Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chairman of the IPCC report and professor of climate change economics at the Technical University Berlin, said: “The shale gas revolution… can be very consistent with low-carbon development… Gas can be very helpful as a bridge technology.”

He cautioned however that burning more gas would cut emissions only if it displaced coal. If more gas were burnt as well as coal, overall emissions would rise.

The report said that the world economy would continue to grow if countries made “ambitious” emissions cuts but the annual growth rate would be 0.06 per cent lower than it would otherwise have been.

It added that this estimate did not include the expected economic benefits of cutting emissions, including the health benefits of reduced air pollution.

Emissions could be reduced by planting trees across vast areas to absorb carbon dioxide and then harvesting the wood to burn in power stations fitted with carbon capture systems, the IPCC said.

It added, however: “As of today this combination is not available at scale, permanent underground carbon dioxide storage faces challenges and the risks of increased competition for land need to be managed.”

Almost all power stations burning fossil fuels would have to be fitted with carbon capture systems by the end of the century to avoid catastrophic climate change, the report said. [....]

Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said: “This is the first IPCC report that will be largely ignored by most policymakers. It will have no influence on governments’ energy policies that are now almost completely dominated by energy security and economic considerations. Around the world the climate issue is being pushed to the margins of decision making.”

SOURCE





No High School pass For British Climate Change Sceptic

Brainwashing about global warming percolates throughout the British education system

Not often does a senior Cabinet minister declare that a policy long pursued by his own department is “against the law”. But that was the response of Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, to a report exposing just how profoundly our education system has been hijacked by promoters of the official group-think on global warming.

Expanding on a theme touched on here more than once over the years, the report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation by Andrew Montford and John Shade shows how generations of schoolchildren have been taught to accept as gospel nothing but a propagandist, Greenpeace-type view of the global-warming scare, so one-sided that it makes a mockery of the requirement under the 1996 Education Act that pupils only be taught in a balanced way, allowing them to form their own view of the evidence.

So relentless is this brainwashing that it percolates throughout the curriculum, so that even exam papers in French, English or religious studies can ask students to explain why the world is dangerously warming up, or why we must build more wind turbines. In 2012, I described an A-level general studies paper set by our leading exam board, AQA, asking for comment on 11 pages of propagandist “source materials”, riddled with basic errors. A mother wrote to tell me how her intelligent son, after getting straight As on all his science papers, used his extensive knowledge of climate science to point out all their absurd distortions.

He was given the lowest possible mark, a fail. When his mother paid to have his paper independently assessed, the new examiner conceded that it was “articulate, well-structured” and well-informed. But because it did not parrot the party line, it was still given a fail. I fear this corruption of everything that education and science should stand for has become a much more serious scandal than Mr Gove yet realises.

SOURCE

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

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

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Astrophysics and climate

For some time I have been aware that there are substantial challenges to the conventional picture of the sun as a gas ball.  I am also aware that the "electric universe" theory has been gaining ground.  As I already track social science, medical science and climate science, however, I have refused to add issues in astrophysics to my plate.  Just this once however I am putting up below something from the "Thunderbolt" project  -- which is the organization principally promoting the electric universe theory

Is Kirchhoff’s Law Valid?

 Kirchhoff’s law of thermal emission (formulated in 1860) is presented and demonstrated to be invalid.  This law is crucial to our understanding of radiation within arbitrary cavities.  Kirchhoff’s law rests at the heart of condensed matter physics and astrophysics.  Its collapse can be directly associated with 1) the loss of universality in Planck’s law (Planck’s constant and Boltzmann’s constant are no longer universal in nature), 2) the collapse of the gaseous Sun as described in Standard Solar Models, and 3) the inability of the Big Bang to act as the source of the microwave background.

Pierre-Marie Robitaille, PhD is a Professor of Radiology at The Ohio State University, with a joint appointment in Chemical Physics. He initially trained as a spectroscopist and has wide ranging knowledge of instrumentation in the radio and microwave bands. A recognized expert in image acquisition and analysis, Professor Robitaille was responsible for doubling the world record in Magnetic Resonance Imaging in 1998. In 2000, he turned his attention to thermodynamics and astrophysics, demonstrating that the universality advanced in Kirchhoff’s Law of Thermal Emission is invalid. He has published extensively on the microwave background, highlighting that this signal arises from water on the Earth and has no relationship to cosmology and has recently published a paper on the Liquid Metallic Hydrogen Solar Model (LMHSM).

Writes PSI President John O’Sullivan:

PSI’s Vice Chair Dr Pierre Latour was a co-speaker at the Thunderbolts Conference where Dr Robitaille gave that address. Latour peer reviewed Robitaille’s science and affirmed it was sound. Latour agrees that what Robitaille has now proven about radiation also applies to –  and discredits – global warming ‘science’ because it shows that the IPCC’s understanding of how radiation warms the climate is wrong.

Robitaille’s science says that when atmospheric temperature increases, then CO2 emissivity goes down. This entirely supports what 350+ PSI experts say. Moreover, Dr Latour affirms this is consistent with Hottel, Perry’s “Chemical Engineer’s Handbook”, 1950. It again shows that experts from the ‘hard’ sciences are better able to adduce what happens within earth’s climate system than those climatologists (mostly geographers) who are ‘soft’ scientists, with inferior knowledge and training in higher physics and chemistry.

Robitaille’s explanation of solar behavior (sunspots, eruptions and wind) fits beautifully with that of PSI consultant and friend, Piers Corbyn, the worlds best independent long range weather forecaster. Dr Laotur reports, “Robitaille’s science points to how Corbyn does it: solar wind drives jet streams which drive climate change. Electric Universe is coming into focus, ions and electrons on the go, electrical and chemical engineering hand in hand. CO2 is innocent.”

SOURCE





UN green police say ditch oil and change your diet

Governments must switch from fossil fuels to nuclear, wind and solar energy to avoid a global-warming catastrophe in a move costing about £300 billion a year, a United Nations report warns.

The study, by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), lays out the pressing need for the world to ditch coal and oil and switch to green energy.

However, the report is likely to spark a new row over the cost of countering global warming. Climate-change sceptics issued a warning to governments not to succumb to a green agenda, alleging that to do so would drive up living costs for the rest of the century.

A leaked draft of the report, obtained by The Telegraph, provides a blueprint on how to tackle climate change, including not only the switch to green energy but even what people should eat. It claims:

 *  An estimated £300 billion a year is needed for investment in low-carbon sources of electricity such as nuclear, wind and solar energy over the next 20 years;

 *  Gas should replace coal-fired power stations as soon as possible to reduce carbon emissions, although gas should eventually be phased out, too;

 *  Nuclear power is an established method for producing low-carbon electricity, although the report notes its use has waned since 1993;

 *  Experts estimate that by 2030, global gross domestic product (GDP) could be as much as 4 per cent lower through measures to combat global warming. By 2100, global GDP could be down by as much as 12 per cent;

 *  Western diets need to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. This is likely to include a call to eat less meat.

The change of lifestyle is not mapped out in detail but the UN suggests that people living in the richest countries should eat less. That advice will inevitably lead to accusations that the UN is interfering in personal habits.

The central thrust of the report will be a call for “large-scale changes in the global energy system” and increased subsidy for green energy to help countries make the switch from fossil fuels.

The cost of doing so, according to the 29-page draft summary, will require an additional £90 billion a year investment, a rise of a third on estimates of current spending.

That will take the total investment in low carbon energy sources to about £300  billion a year until 2030. Britain now spends about £6 billion a year, trying to cut greenhouse gas emissions through such measures as subsidies for wind farms and solar power. There will be pressure for that figure to rise sharply.

The report warns that to achieve a target of keeping the global temperature rise to within 3.6F (2C) by the end of the century will require spending on alternative energy and a scaling back of fossil fuels that, the report acknowledges, will damage economic growth.

The call for a change in energy policy will inevitably lead to further tensions in the Coalition with many back-bench Conservatives anxious that wind power is too expensive and the turbines unsightly.

Many Tories are pushing for the exploitation of underground shale gas reserves through the controversial process of fracking to extract the gas. Fracking has become big business in the US and driven down the cost of energy.

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary, is likely to seize upon the report to resist further demands to cut green energy subsidies.

Senior Tory MPs warned the Government not to succumb to pressure from the UN to plough more money into renewable energy, driving up household energy bills and threatening to make British industry uncompetitive in the process.

Chris Heaton-Harris, a Conservative MP who led a successful back-bench campaign to cut the consumer subsidy to wind farms, said: “This IPCC report is backward looking. We can be a lot greener, emit less carbon and produce cheaper energy if we switch to shale gas rather than ploughing our money into wind farms that plunge the poorest people into fuel poverty.”

Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think tank that has warned against the cost of switching to green energy, said: “Even if the IPCC assumptions prove correct, it will be much more cost effective and rational to invest in adaptation strategies to deal with climate change than try to decarbonise the world economy.”

However, [geologist] Bob Ward, policy director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, based at the London School of Economics, said: “This report shows that if we carry on the way we are going, it will be much more expensive and risky to take action later on.”

The IPCC report into man-made climate change is the most authoritative of its kind and forms the basis for policymaking among UN member nations.

Last week, government officials meeting in Berlin were combing through the draft report to come up with a final document countries can agree upon.

World leaders will gather at a specially convened UN conference in New York in September, before approving a new set of international agreements on carbon emissions in Paris next year. The new report will form the basis for those negotiations.

SOURCE




China going hard for shale

Residents of an isolated mountain valley of terraced cornfields in China were just going to sleep last April when they were jolted by an enormous roar, followed by a tower of flames. A shock wave rolled across the valley, rattling windows and a mysterious, pungent gas swiftly pervaded homes.

"It was so scary - everyone who had a car fled the village and the rest of us without cars just stayed and waited to die," said Zhang Mengsu, a hardware store owner.

All too quickly, residents realised the source of the midnight fireball: a shale gas drilling rig in their tiny rural hamlet.

This verdant valley represents the latest frontier in the worldwide hunt for shale gas retrievable by the technology of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. It is a drilling boom that has upended the energy industry and spurred billions of dollars of investment.

Like the US and Europe, China wants to wean itself from its dependence on energy imports - and in Jiaoshizhen, Chinese energy giant Sinopec says it has made the country's first commercially viable shale gas discovery. Its efforts could also help tackle another urgent issue, as Beijing looks to curb an overwhelming reliance on coal that has blackened skies and made China the largest contributor to global warming.

But the path to energy independence and a cleaner fossil fuel is fraught with potential pitfalls. Threats to workplace safety, public health and the environment loom large in the shale gas debate - and the question is whether those short-term risks threaten to undermine China's long-term goal.

The energy industry around the world has faced criticism about the economic viability of vast shale projects and the environmental impact of fracking. But interviews with residents of six hamlets here where drilling is being done, as well as with executives and experts in Beijing, the US and Europe, suggest China's search poses even greater challenges.

In China, companies must drill two to three times as deep as in the US, making the process more expensive, noisier and potentially more dangerous. Chinese energy giants also operate in strict secrecy; they rarely engage with local communities, and accidents claim a high death toll.

The still-disputed incident in Jiaoshizhen has raised concerns among residents. Villagers said that employees at the time told them that eight workers died when the rig exploded that night. Sinopec officials and village leaders then ordered residents not to discuss the event, villagers said. Now, villagers complain of fouled streams and polluted fields.

"There was a huge ball of fire," said Liu Jiazhen, a mustard greens farmer with three children who lives a five-minute walk from the site. "The managers here all raced for their lives up the hill."

Sinopec describes the incident as a controlled flaring of gas and denies anybody died. While the company would not speak in detail about its shale projects, Sinopec said it ran its operations safely and without harm to the environment.

Sinopec president Li Chunguang said last month that nothing had gone wrong in Jiaoshizhen.

The Chinese energy giants have plenty of money to fund efforts. Sinopec has 1 million employees and is the world's fourth-largest company by revenue after Royal Dutch Shell, Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobil; the fifth-largest is China National Petroleum. With their deep pockets, the companies have been investing heavily in North American shale businesses; Sinopec paid $US2.2 billion in 2012 for a 30 per cent stake in Devon Energy's shale gas and oil operations in the US.

In China, workplace safety is a significant concern. Thousands die each year in coalmines, according to government statistics that have prompted a national crackdown in the past decade.

Residents interviewed welcomed the drilling for one reason: money. Sinopec rents land from farmers for 9000 renminbi, or $1543, an acre each year. Farmers earn that much money from growing crops only in the best years, and then after hundreds of hours of labour.

SOURCE





The Times Diary: Blair’s honest moment

Carbon emissions are in the news again, with the EU proposing a hefty reduction, but is this all a lot of hot air? In her new autobiography, The Bird and the Beeb, the broadcaster Liz Kershaw recalls a surprising moment of honesty on the subject from Tony Blair in 2007.

With the microphones switched off, the presenter was chatting about green issues when Blair suddenly sighed. “Liz, we in the UK could shut everything down and turn everything off,” he said. “And within two years all our efforts would have been wiped out by what’s happening in China now.” Kershaw says she hasn’t bothered to switch off her television since.

SOURCE




EU Commission Announced End Of Green Energy Subsidies

Renewable energy subsidies that helped spur Europe’s €48-billion-a-year clean energy industry are to be phased out across the continent, under new market-friendly state aid rules announced by the European Commission Wednesday (9 April).

"It is time for renewables to join the market,” the Commission's competition chief, Joaquin Almunia, said in a statement. “The new guidelines provide a framework for designing more efficient public support measures that reflect market conditions, in a gradual and pragmatic way."

Under the new rules, renewable energy subsidies will have to be replaced by market-based mechanisms for all but the smallest of clean electricity generators by 2017, following a pilot phase that will start next year.

Feed-in tariffs will be replaced by feed-in premiums that expose renewables to market signals, while energy infrastructure and cross-border schemes will also to some extent be protected, and 68 energy intensive sectors will be singled out for subsidies.  Aid may also be earmarked for measures to keep the lights on through capacity mechanisms should power cuts threaten.

More generally though, competitive bidding processes will become the rule, forcing power generators to sell electricity on the market with balancing responsibilities for “short-term deviations” from delivery commitments.

EU states will be obliged to use premiums – top-up’s on the going price – as support instruments to integrate renewables into the market.

 The complicated new regulations emerged from an investigation into the market-distorting potential of Germany’s renewable energy subsidies which were intended to help the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy after the Fukushima disaster.

It was premised, Almunia said, on the principle that “Europe should meet its ambitious energy and climate targets at the least possible cost for taxpayers and without undue distortions of competition.”

Free market limitations

In a sign that the Commission’s free market vision had some limitations though, high-polluting industrise such as the chemicals, metals, paper, and ceramics sectors will be allowed exemptions from paying full market premium support to renewable power generators.

One report by Germany’s respected Öko Institute suggests that these opt-outs could be worth as much as €2 billion. But Gordon Moffat, the director-general of Eurofer said that although the new rules were “appreciated,” the Commission’s proposed 15% minimum contribution to renewable subsidies would “lead to a further substantial increase in energy costs”.  He called for a revision of the EU’s 2030 climate and energy framework.

While welcoming the proposals as “a step in the right direction,” the European Aluminium Association also said that to restore Europe’s industrial competitiveness, they would need more access to public revenues.  

“We regret that the new guidelines still enforce additional burden to the industry,” said the EAA’s director-general, Gerd Götz. “The state aid rules must now be accompanied by appropriate and long-term compensation measures for all costs related to climate and energy policies, also beyond 2020.”

For the Green MEP Claude Turmes though, the industry exemptions were in “complete contradiction” with the Commission’s free market principles.

Free ride for energy intensive industry?

“The energy intensive industry is not just the biggest polluter in Europe, it is a ruthless sponge lobbyist,” he told EurActiv. “If you offer them a finger they will take the hand. If you give them that, they take the arm. If you give them the arm, they will devour you in your entirety.”

“Despite consuming up to 35% of electricity, these sectors will get a free ride, with private consumers and small businesses left to foot the bill of the energy transition.”

The Commission’s announcement was made two days after the United Nations Environment Programme reported a 44% plunge in renewable energy investment in Europe, spreading a sense of gloom among clean energy enthusiasts.

One clause in the new rules lowering the cap on the level of allowed support to energy efficiency measures was described as “astonishing” by E3G, an environmental think tank.

“This seems ironic, if not illogical,” the group said. “Only last month, the European Council concluded that energy efficiency was the first step to take to reduce the bloc’s energy dependency and deliver its energy and climate objectives.”

The new rules may, however, make it more difficult for the UK and other governments  to subsidise nuclear energy projects such as the proposed Hinkley Point reactor, according to Greenpeace.

A general block exemption regulation is still being drafted by the European Commission and, analysts say, could have a significant effect on resource efficient technologies and their cost-effective financing.

SOURCE





CO2 emissions have increased since 2011 despite Germany’s $140 billion green energy plan

Carbon dioxide levels in Germany have been increasing in the last three years despite the government spending nearly $140 billion (100 billion euros) on a green energy since 2005.

The German newspaper Die Zeit writes that Germany won’t be able to meet its emissions reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Currently, the country has only reduced emissions 23.8 percent below 1990 levels.

The “German government wanted to decrease the emissions of CO2 — also through the transition to renewable energy,” writes Die Zeit. “However our chart shows the opposite is the case. Greenhouse gas emissions have been increasing for three years in Germany, 1.2 percent for last year.”

In 2009, Germany emitted 913 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, mainly due to a lagging economy from the global financial crisis. Last year, the country emitted 951 million metric tons of carbon dioxide despite spending about $138 billion to go green in the last decade.

What’s causing the rise in carbon dioxide emissions? Coal power, according to Die Zeit. The newspaper writes that “CO2 emissions continue to rise as more and more coal and lignite power stations” are brought online and natural gas plants remain uneconomical to operate.

German power prices have been driven to three times what they are in the U.S. and 50 percent higher than the rest of Europe because of green energy tariffs. In order to meet its emission reduction targets, Germany has been taxing businesses and households to subsidize green energy sources, like wind and solar.

But the tax to fund green energy has been increasing rapidly, more than fivefold since 2009 — costing Germans $26 billion last year alone. German industries have also been hit hard with rising power costs and are pushing for reform.

The German government is now looking to reform the green energy law that has caused energy prices to spike. The German cabinet approved amendments to the country’s green law on Tuesday that would contain rising energy costs, reports the Wall Street Journal.

But energy analysts are wary that the amendments don’t go far enough to curb rising energy costs. The reform would still exempt many of the same energy-intensive industries from green taxes as it did before, meaning German households would still bear most of the cost of going green.

“Germany says the exemptions are crucial to keeping its energy-intensive industries competitive, but Brussels fears that too many businesses might have benefited from what it considers state aid,” the WSJ reports. “While the exemptions originally focused on such sectors as steel and machinery engineering, they were later expanded to include less obvious beneficiaries, such as railway operators.”

Germany’s energy and economics minister Sigmar Gabriel said the number of exempted companies was reduce to from 2,000 to about 1,600, and that companies that previously benefited from exemptions have to pay 20 percent of the green tax going forward.

SOURCE

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

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

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

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Liberals focus on happy thoughts? Really?

The article criticized below goes back to research by John Hibbing.  Hibbing is an expert at applying derogatory names to highly ambiguous stimuli.  His research amounts to little else.  Changes in skin conductance, for instance, could mean many things but Hibbing always manages to label such changes in a way that is derogatory to conservatives.

He certainly does show some physiological differences between liberals and conservatives but ALL the differences he describes could much less imaginatively be described as showing simply that conservatives are more cautious and more alert for things that they should be cautious about.  That conservatives are more cautious is no discovery, however.  Conservatives have rightly been described that way -- by both themselves and others -- for over 100 years

Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass, whose writing I commend heartily to readers of Somewhat Reasonable, this morning called my attention to some fascinating research reported recently in Mother Jones. It is truly not every day that Kass cites Mother Jones, so I was intrigued.

In ”Can Conservatives be fixed scientifically?” Kass quotes an April 4 Mother Jones article – This Machine Can Tell Whether You’re Liberal or Conservative – as saying conservatives “go through the world more attentive to negative, threatening and disgusting stimuli.”

For reasons that won’t come as any surprise to readers of Somewhat Reasonable, my mind immediately turned to environmental issues, and climate change in particular. Surely Mother Jones and the researcher whose work it reports, University of Nebraska-Lincoln political scientist John Hibbing, would recognize environmental alarmism as a glaring exception to this notion that conservatives are the “negative” ones?

But alas, there’s no evidence Mother Jones or Hibbing recognize this gap in Hibbing’s theory.

Mother Jones reports: “Some of us are more hierarchical, as opposed to egalitarian; some of us prefer harsher punishments for rule breakers, whereas some of us would be more inclined to forgive; some of us find outsiders or out-groups intriguing and enticing, whereas others find them threatening.” (italics mine)

Hibbing and Mother Jones clearly want to conclude conservatives are the ones described by the phrases I’ve italicized. But on climate change and other environmental issues, that’s simply not true.

“Hierarchical” describes people who see the world as being “ranked,” with some groups of people higher than others. Think of the left’s obsession with “class warfare” and you’ll get some idea of where they’re coming from. People who are “more hierarchical” are likely to believe individuals can’t manage their own lives – they need the government to tell them what to do and how to do it. Granted, some conservatives are like that on some issues … but liberals are like that, big time, on energy and environment and climate change issues. It is the liberals, after all, who talk about “global” warming and think a “global” governing body – the United Nations – has all the answers on climate change.

And on climate change, clearly liberals are the ones who “prefer harsher punishments.” They call for Nuremberg trials and even the death penalty for climate change “deniers.”

(N.B.: The phrase “climate change deniers” is not something that would be used by “happy,” “positive” people. Nobody is denying climate change happens. The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change notes in Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science, “Any human global climate signal is so small as to be nearly indiscernible against the background variability of the natural climate system. Climate change is always occurring.”)

Finally, it’s clearly the liberals who find “outsiders or out-groups” threatening. Why else would they label the scientists who disagree with them “deniers,” refuse to engage in civil debate or even speak at events to share their views in an open forum?

On energy, environment, and climate issues, it is the “conservatives and their rambunctious libertarian siblings,” as Kass calls us, who have a positive message to deliver: that global warming is not a crisis, the likely benefits of man-made global warming exceed the likely costs, and mankind is not the scourge on Earth that liberals make us out to be.

SOURCE




Researchers say reefs and their fish were almost identical to today's far earlier than thought

Warming by a couple of degrees is regularly said by climate catastrophists to "endanger" coral reefs.  Coral reefs as we know them could be wiped out, they claim.  The record below shows the opposite.  Even the vast temperature changes (up and down) over the last 50 million years have wrought NO change to coral reefs

The world's reefs looked almost identical 50 million years ago, researchers have said.

They say reef fish - including the clownfish made famous in Disney's Finding Nemo, were already in place, alongside virtually all the major families of the 4,500 species of fish seen today.

The new study shows that the ancestors of these fish colonized reefs in two distinct waves, before and after the mass extinction event about 66 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs.

'Reef fish represent one of the largest and most diverse assemblages of vertebrates', said Samantha Price, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Evolution and Ecology at UC Davis.

'If you were able to dive on a coral reef 50 million years ago, the fishes would seem familiar, you would recognize it as similar to a modern reef,' she said.

Price is first author on a paper describing the work, published April 2 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

They found fossil record of reef fish is patchy, so Price and colleagues traced their ancestry by developing a comprehensive family tree of the major group of modern ocean fish, the acanthomorphs or 'spiny-finned fish,' and calculating the times when different groups migrated into or out of reef habitats.

The first wave of colonization occurred between 70 and 90 million years ago, before the end of the Cretaceous period, they found.

At that time, most the world's reefs were built not by coral but by mollusks called rudists.

Rudists disappeared in the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous, 66 million years ago, and corals became the world's great reef builders.

While the first-wave reef fish hung on to leave descendants in the present, a second wave of colonization took place as the world recovered from the extinction event.

The early wave of colonization began with lots of different-looking fish and over time there was an eventual filling of ecological niches accompanied by a decrease in colonization, Price said.

By about 50 million years ago, the fundamentals of modern coral reefs, including the ancestors of most major families, such as clownfishes and parrotfishes, were in place, Price said.

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Why is the American Geophysical Union Prioritizing Climate Alarmism Over Scientific Inquiry?

I had a comment rejected by a blog of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) last night because I included within it a link to a blog post by a climate scientist, Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr., who has over 370 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals to his name.

Any aspersions this casts on the AGU's objectivity and spirit of scientific inquiry are entirely earned.

Climate alarmists -- those who believe humankind is dramatically affecting the climate in a very harmful way -- have often censored contrary views (e.g., routinely deleted comments at the uber-alarmist blog Real Climate; the revelation in Climategate that alarmist scientists were prepared to "redefine what the peer-review literature is" or shut down academic journals if they published skeptics' papers; the decision by various publications and websites including Popular Science, the Los Angeles Times and Reddit to block comment postings by skeptics; among others).

Despite this, I did not expect my rather casual comment to the AGU blog to be censored. In it, I provided a link to a paper praised by the blog's author, Dan Satterfield. The blog post itself had encouraged people to read the paper, but a linking error prevented full access to the paper itself at a spot where such a link was advertised. I supplied one.

But in a move that proved fatal to my comment, I also included a link to comments by Dr. Pielke, Sr. questioning the methodology of the paper recommended by the AGU post.

I know this because Mr. Satterfield sent me an email highlighting the following from his blog's comment policy: "I do not publish links to junk science papers/sites. This is not a platform for you to publicize junk science."

Let us examine what constitutes "junk science" to the AGU and/or its representative.

Mr. Satterfield was promoting a 2010 paper, Anderegg et. al., 2010, "Expert Credibility in Climate Change," whose lead author was a graduate student, which attempted to claim scientists who are alarmist on global warming are more prominent than those who are not by counting the number of journal papers with the word "climate" in them, per scientist, that pop up in Google.

Dr. Pielke, Sr., who is not, as it happens, a skeptic of the theory that humans are having a strong impact on global climate (though he does believe the IPCC underestimates the impact on climate of humans' use of aerosols and land, which irritates some anti-CO2 activists), believed the Anderegg paper had weaknesses. He commented on this in a 2010 blog post and provided links to comments by other experts unconvinced of the strength of the Anderegg paper.

One of those, Science magazine reporter Eli Kintisch, writing on the American Association for Advancement of Science website, explained three criticisms of the paper's methodology:

        The study allowed for no nuance in the views of scientists. All scientists were lumped into one of two groups.

        The study limited its analysis to scientists who had signed public statements on climate science or participated in IPCC proceedings.

        The study conflated frequency of appearance in peer-reviewed publications with prominence.

The AGU blog didn't want its readers to know of these and other criticisms.

Why?

And it's not as if the AGU blog post itself was high-minded and limited only to discussions of peer-reviewed science.

        Its opening paragraph criticized anticipated commenters for linking to websites with unflattering pictures of Al Gore before they could even have read the post, let alone commented.

        It bizarrely claimed the fact that an NBC correspondent interviewed a non-skeptic political scientist instead of, presumably, a skeptic climate scientist to "balance" alarmists in a story was evidence for the catastrophic global warming theory.

        It said that interviewing anyone [emphasis added] about climate science who has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal is "lousy journalism, and the equivalent of doing a story about the Apollo Moon missions, and then giving the chem-trail believer down the street equal time to say the Moon landing was fake, and pro-wrestling is real!" Really? Anyone?

        And most significantly, it rudely and one-sidedly attacked a University of Colorado at Boulder professor (who is not a skeptic), Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. (coincidentally, the son of the scientist I linked to about the Anderegg study, but the two debates are unrelated otherwise and separated by about four years) for telling the Senate last year that extreme weather events have not increased in recent decades, a view that happens to be consistent with that of the IPCC, but also politically inconvenient for the White House, which attacked him. (For background on that not supplied by the AGU, go here for his story in the New Republic; go here for a review of the matter in the New York Times by Andrew Revkin (also not a skeptic).)

My blog comment was nothing special, nor was the blog post upon which I commented. But it is important to note how little it takes for an AGU blog to censor an opposing view, even about a study as unremarkable as one that counts the number of papers scientists study (aka, a study not even about hard science!).

The American Geophysical Union stands with a small clique of "approved" alarmists on global warming, and it wants to make sure you do, too.

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Obama’s new budget will hamper energy job creation

President Obama just unveiled his FY2015 budget proposal.  His plan includes hefty new taxes on job creators. Much of this burden will fall on the energy industry, which has proven to be a particularly powerful engine of new employment in recent years.

Indeed, the oil and natural gas sector now supports 9.8 million jobs. Yet the Obama budget slaps it with $100 billion in new taxes over the next decade -- that's about 10 percent of all of the new tax revenue his package would generate.

In pushing for higher rates on proven job creators, President Obama is undermining his own State of the Union promise to provide government-based solutions to economic inequality.

The average oil and natural gas sector wage is about $12,000 above the national average. And these industry opportunities aren't exclusively the domain of highly educated specialists, like geologists and petrochemical engineers. In fact, most energy jobs are skilled blue collar, such as drill operators and construction specialists.

Job opportunities abound for women and minorities. A new study from IHS finds that the oil, natural gas and petrochemicals industries will generate up to 1.3 million new job opportunities by 2030 -- with almost 408,000 positions projected to be held by African American and Hispanic workers, while women will fill an estimated 185,000 industry jobs.

The domestic energy industry has already turned around the economic fortunes of some parts of America. North Dakota, for example, has recently become one of the largest energy producers in the United States. In the fourth quarter of last year, the state generated an astonishing one million barrels of oil a day.

As a result of its ongoing energy boom, North Dakota's per-capita income has jumped an astounding 114 percent since 2000, raising the state from 39th to 5th in average personal income. And its unemployment rate is now at a national low of 2.6 percent.

North Dakota shows how unleashing private energy entrepreneurs to develop our natural resources generates robust employment and widespread economic opportunity. Strapping those same firms with huge new taxes will drain them of the capital needed to finance such expeditions. And it will mute the profit potential of new ventures, reducing the incentive to take the risk in the first place.

Fortunately, there's still time for the administration to move away from policies that undermine job creation potential in the oil and natural gas sector. And there are obvious, pro-active steps officials could be taking to hasten energy sector growth and cultivate job growth.

For starters, the government needs to open the door for private investments to modernize the national energy infrastructure. The existing pipeline, storage, processing, and rail systems were designed at a time when the bulk of our domestic energy transportation involved moving imported crude and petroleum from the Gulf Coast toward the northern United States.

Thanks to the production surge in the Northeast and Canada, the national flow of energy shipments has effectively reversed since then. Crude oil shipments from the Gulf to the Midwest decreased 500,000 barrels per day over the last five years. Meanwhile, shipments running the opposite direction jumped from 50,000 to 380,000 barrels a day.

Clearly, our national energy infrastructure needs a redesign. And investment in infrastructure upgrades would generate massive economic gains. A newly released analysis from the IHS consulting group found that essential infrastructure improvements could, over the next decade, elicit up to $1.14 trillion in new private capital investment and support 1.15 million new jobs per year.

Public policymakers should also revisit decades-old restrictions on energy exports. A new International Energy Agency report warns that the growing volume of crude oil prevented from reaching international markets threatens to put the brakes on production growth. Exporting a portion of our abundant supplies to overseas allies would stimulate additional industry expansion here at home.

Of course, this administration's big concern when considering pro-energy policies is climate change. But the president needs to recognize that the oil and gas industry is an ally, not an enemy, in this fight.

The voluntary evolution of the energy sector toward natural gas has dramatically reduced greenhouse emissions. And the traditional energy sector has been investing heavily in low- and zero-carbon technologies. Indeed, one out of every six dollars going to green tech today comes from the oil and gas business.

As the president begins his campaign to promote his new budget, the oil and natural gas industry stands ready to work with anyone interested in harnessing our nation's vast energy resources to create jobs and grow the economy.

SOURCE





The world must adopt nuclear power to beat global warming, says U.N.

The world must switch from fossil fuels to nuclear power to beat global warming, a major United Nations report warns today.

Scientists claim governments need to ditch traditional sources of energy, such as coal and oil, to avoid a climate change catastrophe.

Instead, they must adopt nuclear power in a 'large-scale' move costing around £300billion a year.

The report, by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), also highlights an urgent need for governments to switch to green energy sources, such as wind and solar power.

It states that additional spending on alternative energy is needed to keep the global temperature rise to within 3.6F (20C) by the end of the century, according to a leaked draft of the report obtained by The Sunday Telegraph.

Meanwhile, fossil fuels, which are damaging to economic growth, will need to be scaled back.

The move should see gas replace coal-fired power stations in upcoming years to reduce carbon emissions, before gas itself is eventually phased out too, says the report.

The 29-page document has already sparked concern over the cost of countering global warming.

Last night, senior Tory MPs warned governments about the risks of increasing funding for renewable energy sources, saying this would drastically raise household and other living costs.

Chris Heaton-Harris MP, who led a successful campaign to cut the consumer subsidy to wind farms, told the newspaper: 'This IPCC report is backward looking.

'We can be a lot greener, emit less carbon and produce cheaper energy if we switch to shale gas rather than ploughing our money into wind farms that plunge the poorest people into fuel poverty.'

However, others have claimed it would be much more expensive to continue using fossil fuels and risk sea-level rise, flooding, droughts and other impacts of global warming.

As well as a switch to nuclear power, scientists have also recommended that Western diets should become more sustainable and enviromentally friendly.

People in the richest countries should eat less food - and in particular, less meat, they said.

According to the report, the cost of the 'large-scale changes in the global energy system' will cost £90billion a year.

The U.N.'s expert panel on climate change spent the whole of yesterday putting together the document, which aims to help governments, industries and people take action to stop global warming from reaching dangerous levels.

Like many scientific studies, it uses a breakdown of emissions from low, lower-middle, upper-middle and high income countries.

It was the third of the IPCC's four-part assessment on climate change, its first since 2007.

SOURCE






Warmists reduced to criticizing Morano's wardrobe

Controversy. Confrontation. Facts.  Such words could be used to describe the past, exciting week for CFACT as they held their 2nd REAL Energy Speaker Series, featuring Marc Morano.

Morano, the founder and executive editor of ClimateDepot.com, and noted TV commentator on such channels as FOX News, CNN, and The Blaze, was the featured speaker for two different New York campuses.

For two nights at Syracuse University and SUNY-Albany, Morano addressed large crowds to discuss the climate change narrative driving so much of our popular culture and policy. Morano focused on the growing number of contradictions within the rank-and-file of scientists and climate change activists, and how it has overshadowed much of the scientific evidence prevalent in those same circles.

First, on a Tuesday evening in the 100-seat Gifford Auditorium, the room was nearly filled with students and activists on both sides of the issue, eager to hear what Morano had to say.

Morano started his discussion with introductory videos of his past debates on television, then dipped into the myriad of quotes setting the stage for where the climate change debate stands today. He talked about how all of these ideas simply amount to “scientific crap.”

From there, Morano looked into all areas of the debate, from stagnant global temperatures, carbon-dioxide emissions, the geological record, what the UN-IPCC (The global warming division of the United Nations) has recently published, and where scientists have begun to “jump ship” from their previously held beliefs of human-induced global warming.

The most interesting point raised by Morano was that most people in the room hadn’t experienced “global warming” since they were infants.  Despite the dire warnings from alarmists, there has been no rise in the global mean temperature in the last 17.5 years.

Speaking on the issues of energy, and its potential alternatives, Morano noted that carbon-based energies are “the moral choice.” The REAL Energy, Not Green Energy campaign has centered its approach around these arguments, since tangible, ‘real’ forms of energy provide for a lifestyle that is clean, productive, and healthy. Other forms of energy touted by environmentalists, such as wind and solar simply cannot produce enough to serve as a viable alternative.

Quotes served as a driver for much of the lecture, from both those who openly claim the true nature behind the global warming narrative, to those who have rescinded their alarmist views. Although some would be quick to dismiss these as anecdotal, Morano noted how prominent some of names are. Many of the scientists and scholars he quoted throughout the presentation were previously global leaders of the climate change movement, such as those involved with the UN-IPCC.

At the end of the lecture, many of those staunchly opposed to even considering the Morano’s point-of-view took the opportunity to ask questions.

While some questions served to clarify certain points, most served as a platforms to denounce Morano and his “fancy” wardrobe.

“This suit cost $200,” quipped an incredulous Morano.

One noted environmentalist sought to yell at the Climate Depot founder for not supporting an economy solely run by green-energy alternatives. Of course, the question was asked in an air-conditioned and well-lit room, thanks to those very fossil fuels the student reviled, but Morano addressed the importance for technological innovations to ensure affordable, secure, and efficient energy solutions.

James Ward, the Chairman of CFACT at Syracuse, said of the evening, “Mr. Morano gave a very different take on the global warming movement. Instead of embracing it, he brought up logical questions that tore it apart. It’s wrong to correlate climate change with just one variable (CO2 emissions.) The earth is way too complex to simplify it like that.”

The following night at SUNY-Albany, Morano took to the stage to give a similar lecture to an audience that contained students, professors, and local community members who had heard him earlier on local talk shows.

Morano called for accountability of the many claims made by climate change activists and environmentalists that have proven untrue over time. Some of these claims include, as Morano noted in this report:

“We envision rising temperatures, prolonged droughts, freakish storms, hellish wildfires, and rising sea levels…food riots, mass starvation, state collapse, mass migrations, and conflicts of every sort, up to and including full-scale war, could prove even more disruptive and deadly…persistent drought and hunger will force millions of people to abandon their traditional lands and flee to the squalor of shantytowns.”

After finishing his talk, audience members had the opportunity to ask questions and it started right away with a in-depth discussion between Morano and a professor in the audience. He attempted to belittle Morano’s credibility and held up scandal plagued Michal Mann as the preferred voice on the topic.

The event concluded with several other questions on different areas of the climate change debate, as well as the viability of various energy sources such as coal, natural gas, and solar power.

Pat Moran, CFACT Chairman at Albany, thought that the event was a huge success. He said of the event, “Mr. Morano’s presentation challenged the established views of students and instructors, which made some nod their heads in agreement, while others tried to shout him down. We at UAlbany were very impressed with Mr. Morano’s unabashed critique of the global warming hysteria, and his ability to stand true to his principles under such rigorous questioning from UAlbany faculty and students.”

SOURCE

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

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

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