Thursday, November 26, 2015

What fun!  New nonsense from Lewandowsky!

The king of dodgy climate research strikes again!  He claims to be researching global warming but once again he is looking at what people are doing rather than what the climate is doing. Instead of looking at the evidence for the global warming "pause", he looks at what people say about it. His findings?  Warmist writers disagree about the details of it!  We should worry!  

The only thing that matters is temperature, measured as accurately as possible, not people's comments on it.  So let me yet again bore everybody by pointing to the evidence about global temperatures:

The satellites are the only way of obtaining a truly global temperature reading and for the last 18 years they just show random fluctuations around a constant mean. Here's the graph:


And even the annual terrestrial datasets show no statistically significant global temperature change over the last 18 years.

So there's the evidence that Lewandowsky closed his eyes to!  No "agreed definition" there.  Just the facts


Now hear the oracle:

The study analysed scientific articles spanning the last 15 years which addressed this widely discussed 'pause' in global warming.

Though the term has been used in scientific circles for years, it has no agreed upon definition. 

A new study from the University of Bristol, UK analyzed 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles between 2009 and 2014.

The study found that there was no conclusive definition to address a 'pause' in global warming, and there was no agreement on when it began or ends.

While scientists may refer to this pause in global warming, the researchers say that this comes with the greater understanding that climate change will not stop, and does not imply otherwise.

Professor Lewandowsky warns that continued use of this term is hazardous to public knowledge.

Now, the researchers are saying this is because it doesn't exist. 

With no substantial evidence to support the idea of a pause in global warming, the study concluded that continued use of the term could be hazardous to public understanding of climate change issues.

The team from the University of Bristol was led by Professor Stephan Lewandowsky of Bristol's School of Experimental Psychology and the Cabot Institute, and analysed 40 peer-reviewed articles published between 2009 and 2014.

NASA Exposed in ‘Massive’ New Climate Data Fraud

Written by P Gosselin

Veteran award-winning journalist Günter Ederer reports  a shocking new global warming data fraud in NASA’s global temperature data series, as relied on by the UN and government climate scientists. 

The data has been carefully analysed by a respected data computation expert Professor Dr. Friedrich Karl Ewert and is being made publicly available for independent verification.

Professor Ewert’s findings seem to show NASA has intentionally and systematically rigged the official government record of global temperatures to show recent global warming where none would exist without the upwards ‘revisions.’

The astonishing results are now available online to the public.

Ederer reports not long ago retired geologist and data computation expert Professor Dr. Friedrich Karl Ewert began looking at the data behind the global warming claims, and especially the datasets of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS).

Ewert painstakingly examined and tabulated the reams of archived data from 1153 stations that go back to 1881 – which NASA has publicly available – data that the UN IPCC uses to base its conclusion that man is heating the Earth’s atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels. According to Ederer, what Professor Ewert found is “unbelievable”:

From the publicly available data, Ewert made an unbelievable discovery: Between the years 2010 and 2012 the data measured since 1881 were altered so that they showed a significant warming, especially after 1950. […] A comparison of the data from 2010 with the data of 2012 shows that NASA-GISS had altered its own datasets so that especially after WWII a clear warming appears – although it never existed.”

Ederer writes that Ewert particularly found alterations at stations in the Arctic. Professor Ewert randomly selected 120 stations from all over the world and compared the 2010 archived data to the 2012 data and found that they had been tampered to produce warming.

The old data showed regular cycles of warming and cooling over the period, even as atmospheric CO2 concentration rose from 0.03% to 0.04%. According to the original NASA datasets, Ederer writes, the mean global temperature cooled from 13.8°C in 1881 to 12.9°C in 1895. Then it rose to 14.3°C by 1905 and fell back under 12.9°C by 1920, rose to 13.9°C by 1930, fell to 13° by 1975 before rising to 14°C by 2000. By 2010 the temperature fell back to 13.2°C.

But then came the “massive” altering of data, which also altered the entire overall trend for the period. According to journalist Ederer, Ewert uncovered 10 different methods NASA used to alter the data. The 6 most often used methods were:

* Reducing the annual mean in the early phase.
* Reducing the high values in the first warming phase.
* Increasing individual values during the second warming phase.
* Suppression of the second cooling phase starting in 1995.
* Shortening the early decades of the datasets.
* With the long-term datasets, even the first century was shortened.

The methods were employed for stations such as Darwin, Australia and Palma de Mallorca, for example, where cooling trends were suddenly transformed into warming.

Ewert then discovered that NASA having altered the datasets once in March 2012 was not enough.  Alterations were made again in August 2012, and yet again in December 2012. For Palma de Majorca: “Now because of the new datasets it has gotten even warmer. Now they show a warming of +0.01202°C per year.”

Using earlier NASA data, globe is in fact cooling

The veteran German journalist Ederer writes that the media reports of ongoing global warming are in fact not based on reality at all, but rather on “the constantly altered temperatures of the earlier decades.” Ederer adds:

"Thus the issue of man-made global warming has taken on a whole new meaning: Yes, it is always man-made if the data are adjusted to fit the theory. The meticulous work by Ewert has predecessors, and fits a series of scandals and contradictions that are simply being ignored by the political supporters of man-made climate change.”

Ederer also brings up the analysis by American meteorologists Joseph D’Aleo and Anthony Watts who examined 6000 NASA measurement stations and found an abundance of measurement irregularities stemming in large part from serious siting issues. According to Ederer the findings by Professor Ewert are in close agreement with those of Watts and D’Aleo.

Ederer writes of the overall findings by Professor Ewert:

"Using the NASA data from 2010 the surface temperature globally from 1940 until today has fallen by 1.110°C, and since 2000 it has fallen 0.4223°C […]. The cooling has hit every continent except for Australia, which warmed by 0.6339°C since 2000. The figures for Europe: From 1940 to 2010, using the data from 2010, there was a cooling of 0.5465°C and a cooling of 0.3739°C since 2000.”

Ederer summarizes that in view of the magnitude of the scandal, one would think that there would be in investigation. Yet he does not believe this will be the case because the global warming has turned into a trillion-dollar industry and that that too much is tied to it.

Recent period of extreme weather events unusual?

So they say below.  But it just the usual Warmist cherry-picking.  If you look at the weather record from earlier times, you will see that we live in relatively stable times today.  See the article immediately following the one below

It was a time of yuppies, flash cars, shoulder pads and big hair, but it appears the 1980s was also a key turning point for the world's climate, research has suggested.

Scientists have discovered there was a huge shift in the environment that swept across the globe affecting ecosystems from the depths of the oceans to the upper atmosphere.

They said an abrupt spurt of global warming, fuelled by human activity and a volcanic eruption in Mexico, is believed to have triggered these changes between 1984 and 1988.

The findings indicate that rather than being a gradual process that can occur over decades and centuries, climate change can occur suddenly.

The researchers said the global warming that occurred in the 1980s was the largest shift in the climate to have occurred in around 1,000 years.

They warn the findings demonstrate how unavoidable natural events, such as major volcanic eruptions, can multiply the impacts of human activity in short timescales.

Professor Philip Reid, an oceanographer at Plymouth University who led the research, said: 'Our work contradicts the perceived view that major volcanic eruptions just lead to a cooling of the world.

'In the case of the regime shift, it looks as if global warming has reached a tipping point where the cooling that follows such eruptions rebounds with a rapid rise in temperature in a very short time.

'The speed of this change has had a pronounced effect on many biological, physical and chemical systems throughout the world, but is especially evident in the Northern temperate zone and Arctic.'

In the study published in the journal Global Change Biology, the researchers used data from 6,500 meteorological stations from around the world.

They also used a range of climate models and other measurements such as the temperature and salinity of the oceans, pH levels of rivers and the timing of cherry blossom blooms.

This revealed that a series of dramatic changes began to occur in 1982, around the time when the El Chichón volcano in north-western Chiapas, Mexico, erupted violently.

The explosive eruption killed around 2,000 people and threw an estimated 20 million tonnes of material into the atmosphere.

The new study, however, found there was a steep increase in global temperatures around the world in the wake of this eruption which triggered considerable environmental changes.

These included a 60 per cent increase in winter river flow into the Baltic Sea, and a 400 per cent increase in the duration of wildfires in the western United States.

They also noted there were shifts in the winds high in the atmosphere and an increase in the number of days of topical storms.

And Costa Rica suffered dramatic declines in amphibian and reptile populations during the 1980s.

Elsewhere, the researchers saw a distinct annual spread of the environmental changes as the 'regime shift' in the climate moved regionally around the world from west to east.

They said the changes first appeared in South America in 1984, moving to North America in 1985, the North Atlantic in 1986, Europe in 1987 and Asia in 1988.

These dates coincide with significant shifts to an earlier flowering date for cherry trees around the Earth in Washington DC, Switzerland, and Japan.

They also coincided with the first evidence of the extinction of amphibians linked to global warming, such as the harlequin frog and golden toad in Central and South America.

However, the researchers say another regime shift in the 1990s may have helped to offset some of the rapid changes that occurred in the 1980s.

They also detected a marked decline in the growth rate of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere after the regime shift, coinciding with a sudden increase in vegetation in polar regions using the gas.

Dr Renata Hari, a climatologist at Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology in Dübendorf, Switzerland who also took part in the study, said: 'The 1980s regime shift may be the beginning of the acceleration of the warming shown by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

'It is an example of the unforeseen compounding effects that may occur if unavoidable natural events like major volcanic eruptions interact with anthropogenic warming.'


Study: More Extreme Climate Existed Prior to Pre-industrial Era

A University of Vermont climate study of sedimentary cores shows periods of extreme storminess occurred thousands of years before any human influence. 

Previous periods of extreme storminess: A 13,000 year scientific study of lake sediments by the reliable method of drilling and retrieving cores reveals that the climate of the United States has been through numerous periods of more extreme climate. The research explains:

   “ Storm magnitude, as estimated by average terrigenous layer thickness, was greatest at 11,800, 10,800, and 1,200 years before present, when New England climate was cool and moist.”

   “Storminess reached variable maxima lasting ~1,500 years, centered at approximately 2,600, 5,800, 9,100, and 11,900 years ago, and appears to be presently increasing toward another peak.”

Here we see the periods of greatest climate variation from the established normal happen when conditions are “cool and moist,” which runs contrary to current climate alarmism theory which states that a warmer, drier climate will result in more extreme events.

The research points out that the USA is “increasing towards another peak” in storminess therefore the peaks of extreme climate were larger before the industrial revolution that started in 1851.

This would indicate that variations from the stated “normal” for earth’s climate, as set by the 1961-1990 average relied on by climate science, is not anomalous. We can also clearly see that periods of more extreme climate have happened many times before and that carbon dioxide (CO2) did not drive these extrem events.

A more extreme climate before the industrial revolution

The Industrial Revolution is set by climate alarmists as the bench mark for the start of the rise in atmospheric CO2 caused by humans. Therefore events before this are obviously not caused by human emissions of CO2. According to the so-called greenhouse gas theory, more CO2 in the atmosphere causes more warming.

Using 18 lake sediment cores, the study establishes a 13,000-year storm chronology for the northeastern United States. This is the longest storm record yet established for this region, and reveals regional storm patterns not identifiable from single lake records.

The study took 18 long (3.5 to 6 m) sediment cores from 11 small (0.03 to 4 km2), deep (13 to 32 m) lakes with inflowing streams and surrounded by steep hillslopes across a ~20,000 km2 region in Vermont and eastern New York.

Twelve of the 18 cores were dated and thoroughly analyzed (the remaining 6 cores were either duplicates or contained deeper sediment from the same location as another core from the same lake).

It is shown that during the Medieval Warm Period there were extensive droughts in the USA. These were far larger and longer than anything recorded since the industrial revolution and spanned “multi decadal” time periods.

There were serious drought periods of great severity between 1021-1051 AD then 1130 – 1170, 1240 – 1265 and 1360 – 1382 AD as is recorded in tree ring data in the research titled “The characteristics and likely causes of the Medieval megadroughts in North America.” Richard Seager, Celine Herweijer and Ed Cook. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.

These Medieval Mega Droughts are shown in the reliable research to be of a more extreme nature than anything at present. The authors conclude that:  “The similarity of the spatial patterns suggests that the physical processes that caused the modern droughts also caused the medieval megadroughts.”  

It is possible to extrapolate from this that as there is no direct link with CO2 levels here either.

The extreme Little Ice Age

And then there is of course the far colder than “normal” climate of the Little Ice Age that followed the medieval Warm Period and its extreme droughts. The beginning of this was marked by an extreme climate event called “The great famine”. “The Great Famine started with bad weather in spring 1315. Universal crop failures lasted through 1316 until the summer harvest in 1317, and Europe did not fully recover until 1322. The period was marked by extreme levels of crime, disease, mass death, and even cannibalism and infanticide.”

“In the spring of 1315, unusually heavy rain began in much of Europe. It continued to rain throughout the spring and summer, and the temperature remained cool. These conditions caused widespread crop failures. The straw and hay for the animals could not be properly dried, so there was no fodder or bedding for the livestock. The price of food began to rise, doubling in England between spring and midsummer.”

Here again we can see what is now termed extreme climate events caused millions of deaths. Far worse than anything experienced since the industrial revolution.

Modern extremes?

If we can rely on this research then we may say that the modern period of allegedly extreme climate is an extreme from what they term normal but in no way comes up to the standards of extreme climate from a long term point of view.  

NOAA: Record Major Hurricane Drought Extends to 121 Months

The United States blew past its decade-long hurricane drought record on Tuesday, reaching an historic 121 months without a major hurricane making landfall on the U.S. mainland, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) statistics.

And with hurricane season officially ending on November 30, President Obama is likely to remain the longest-serving president in 122 years - since Millard Fillmore was in office - to have no major hurricanes defined as Category 3 or above strike the continental U.S. during his term of office.

Since 1851, only four other chief executives had no major hurricanes strike the U.S. during their presidencies: Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865); Andrew Johnson (1865-1869); James Garfield (who served only six months prior to his assassination in 1881); and Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893).

According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, major hurricanes classified as Category 3 or above have sustained wind speeds of more than 111 miles per hour and are capable of causing “devastating” or “catastrophic” damage.

The last major hurricane to make landfall on the continental United States was Hurricane Wilma, which slammed into Florida on October 24, 2005, according to data going back to 1851 kept by NOAA's  Hurricane Research Division.

That year, three major hurricanes – Katrina, Rita, and Wilma – killed nearly 4,000 people and caused nearly $160 billion in damages, according to NOAA.

But it’s been quiet on the hurricane front since Obama took office in January 2009.

Just four hurricanes made landfall on his watch, and none of them were classified as major storms by NOAA: Irene (2011), Isaac and Sandy (2012) were all Category 1, and Arthur (2014) was a Category 2.


Australia has met its 2020 greenhouse emissions target five years early, Environment Minister Greg Hunt says

This will burn Greenies up.  It is of course a fudge but the whole Kyoto process was designed for fudges. Everybody else is fudging too. The big fudge is what date you take for your starting point

The Federal Government says it has met its 2020 greenhouse emissions target, ahead of this week's climate change talks in Paris.  It has released figures from the Department of Environment showing Australia had already achieved a 5 per cent reduction based on 2000 levels.

By 2020, the department predicted Australia would have met its target by 28 million tonnes.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt told the National Press Club it would make it easier to make additional cuts in the future.  "We have closed the gap and go to Paris officially subzero and on track to beat our 2020 target," Mr Hunt said.  "This still remains a conservative forecast, and I am hopeful that future updates will show an even greater surplus."

Mr Hunt will be joined in Paris by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop later this month.

The Federal Government has committed to a 26 per cent to 28 per cent reduction by 2030.

Labor has questioned the figures, claiming much of the gains were because of accounting measures. The department figures showed emission reductions from previous years had been carried over, with a reduction in economic growth also factored in.

Opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler said figures from market analyst Reputex showed carbon pollution between now and 2020 would see a 6 per cent rise.

"Malcolm Turnbull will get on the plane to Paris and presumably trumpet the fact that Australia has been able to technically achieve its Kyoto commitment," he said.

"But what will be clear is that Malcolm Turnbull is getting on that plane, laden down by Tony Abbott's policies that were deliberately designed to do nothing to reduce carbon pollution levels."

Mr Hunt rejected the claims and stood by his figures. "We can achieve and will achieve our 2030 target, although it will be a challenge, precisely as it should be," he said. "And we will achieve our targets without a carbon tax and without its pressure on electricity and gas prices."

Under the Kyoto Protocol, Australia promised to look at cuts of between 15 per cent and 25 per cent by 2020, if the rest of the world made similar cuts.

Mr Hunt stopped short of meeting that promise, but stressed that under current projections, Australia "in all likelihood" would go further than the current 5 per cent target.


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


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Unscientific ecofascist, Alan Betts, just KNOWS the truth

Elderly British-born and NOAA funded Vermonter, Dr. Alan Betts, has scientific credentials but a real scientist is always open to new evidence and argument.   We see below however that Betts regards the global warming theory as beyond question and is unrepentant of his wish to use all methods to suppress scientific discussion of it.  He is an ideological descendant of the Nazi book burners.  He regards it as corruption to fund research that does not lead to Warmist conclusions. He just KNOWS the truth, indicating that it is he who is the dogmatist, not skeptics. And everything he himself says below is unsupported assertion and selective use of evidence.  That oil companies give far more to Greenies than to skeptics is unmentioned, for instance.  Skeptics of course have nothing to fear from a RICO investigatiuon  -- but such an investigation would create the impression that they have.  It would be amusing to hear what Betts thinks of the First Amendment

A couple of months ago, I was one of 20 climate scientists who signed a letter to the United States attorney general requesting a RICO investigation of the companies that have poured millions into campaigns against climate science. This law, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, was signed by President Richard Nixon in 1970, and it was used to expose the way the tobacco industry knowingly deceived the public for decades at the cost of many lives.

But when we suggested that this kind of deliberate fraud should be exposed, since this obstruction of political action will lead to staggering loss of life on Earth this century, the hate mail poured in — targeting us for challenging the gospel of money and power. Fellow scientists at public universities were attacked with demands for all their emails for the past five years, driven by the fantasy that we are a scientific conspiracy, threatening the noble fossil fuel industry with false climate analyses. Really! When there is over $100 billion in annual profits at stake, it is not hard to guess where the conspiracy lies.

We now know that the Exxon team of research scientists examined the evidence that greenhouse gases were warming the global climate back in 1978. Their assessment agreed with the 1979 National Academy of Science report that said doubling carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would warm the planet by 5 to 8 degrees F. But Exxon management decided they should suppress their own scientific assessment and instead fund groups to undermine climate science, because they could see that climate science was an obvious threat to oil industry profits. Two weeks ago, the New York attorney general began a RICO investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public and investors about the risks of climate change.

But it is hard to deny reality forever. Last month the Canadian government that had silenced their own government scientists on climate change to protect the tar sands industry, was thrown out of office. I recall back in 1980, around the time Exxon decided to suppress its own science, meeting with a group of brilliant young Soviet scientists. We were part of an international science team for an Atlantic Ocean tropical experiment. After hours, they explained that the Soviet Union was on the path to collapse because of the irreconcilable conflict between ideology and reality. They were prophetic.

For two centuries the United States government respected scientific evidence and prospered. Now it faces collapse, because the merge of web technology with the infamous principle of the “big lie” has undermined the integrity of so many politicians.

So we, the people, must speak up, elect leaders who stand for the truth, start to work with the Earth, and build communities that are sustainable for generations to come.


Co-Founder of Weather Channel Challenges NOAA’s Winter Forecast: 'Nonsense'

 The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting above-average temperatures for much of the northern and western United States this winter due to the effects of the “strong El Nino that’s currently in place.”

But Joseph D’Aleo, co-founder of the Weather Channel and chief forecaster at Weatherbell Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm, called NOAA’s seasonal forecast for December through February “nonsense” - pointing out that NOAA’s predictions have been proven wrong the past two winters.

During a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Jon Gottschalck, chief of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center's Operational Prediction Branch in College Park, Maryland said that due to the effects of the current El Nino, which is “probably among the strongest on record,” much of the northern and western U.S. would experience “above-average temperatures” this winter.

Only a “small area” along the nation’s southern border would have lower than normal temperatures between December and February, he said..

But Weatherbell's forecast is for below-average temperatures for much of the southern part of the U.S.,with as much as 30 inches of snow predicted for Washington, D.C.

Weatherbell's prediction also calls for higher-than normal temperatures in the Pacific Northwest and along the northern section of the country due to the effect of El Nino.

"Overall, a snowy, colder than normal winter is experienced in the South and East. The core of winter will be late rather than earlier. December could be very warm, with February very cold. El Nino is a big influence, but not the only factor," according to Weatherbell.

D'Aleo also pointed out that Weatherbell’s seasonal predictions for the last two winters were on target, while NOAA’s were not.

“Their forecast was warm for 2013/14 for the Great Lakes when Chicago had their coldest December to March on record,” D’Aleo told in an email.

He also pointed out that on Oct. 16, 2014 NOAA predicted “another warm winter” with “above-average temperatures…most likely in the western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and New England.”

“They were warm in the Northeast last winter when the 10 Northeast states plus D.C. had their coldest January to March in the entire record," he noted.

In contrast, “Weatherbell, in the summer of 2013, suggested the Great Lakes would have an historic winter, which it was. Last year, we forecast another very cold winter for the eastern Great Lakes and Northeast,” D’Aleo told

“Winters have been cooling in the Northeast at a rate of 1.5F/decade for 20 years,” he continued. “There has been a lot of complaints from the local offices and from the energy markets about NOAA's warm bias. A lot of money has been budgeted to try and improve their seasonal forecast ability.”

D’Aleo also challenged a prediction by Ahira Sanchez-Lugo, a climate scientist at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information in Ashville, N.C., who said during the press briefing that “we expect 2015 to be the warmest year on record.”

“We also do not agree with the assessment of the current climate this year, either. Though we acknowledge there will be a bump from El Nino – always is,” D’Aleo told

“Satellites shows no change for 18.6 months. They suggest the year to date is not the warmest ever by a long shot. It’s in the middle of the pack for the last 20 years.

“This is the average of the two satellite sources (UAH and RSS) by month since 1997. The trend is flat,” he said.


Obama: $3B for U.N. Climate Fund ‘A Smart Investment for Us to Make’

Leftists these days call all spending "investments", but investments are expenditures that are expected to yield a measurable profit.  There is not even an attempt to set up any measurement of benefit from this spending

President Obama had an opportunity Sunday to respond to Republican senators’ threat to withhold the $3 billion he has pledged for the U.N. “Green Climate Fund” (GCF) unless any new climate agreement is presented to the Senate for ratification – but chose not to.

Instead, Obama said simply that critics of his climate agenda lost a major argument when China announced it will join international efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

Speaking in Kuala Lumpur, he also defended climate financing, saying that helping poor countries to adapt to green technologies without having their development efforts impaired was a “smart investment for us to make.”

With the opening of the U.N. climate conference in Paris just days away, a group of 37 GOP senators warned Obama in a letter Thursday that they will not allow taxpayer money to go to the GCF “until the forthcoming international climate agreement is submitted to the Senate for its constitutional advice and consent.”

Republican opposition to the administration’s climate change program appears to be driving the administration’s resistance to calls from Europe and elsewhere for the agreement coming out of Paris to be a treaty – and therefore requiring Senate ratification by a two-thirds vote.

The signatories pointed out that Congress had never authorized funding for the GCF, and that Obama’s $3 billion pledge had been made “unilaterally.”

They asked the president to ensure that foreign counterparts in the talks were made aware that “that Congress will not be forthcoming with these funds in the future without a vote in the Senate on any final agreement as required in the U.S. Constitution.”

Speaking to reporters in the Malaysian capital on the final day of a trip to Turkey and South-East Asia, Obama was asked about the issue of raising climate finance, “given especially the Republican opposition back home.”

In his response, he said nothing about the threat to withhold funds or the question of the status of a new climate agreement, which will apply to the post-2020 period.

After outlining the thinking behind climate finance – which will be a central focus in the Paris talks – he turned briefly to criticism of his climate policies.

“Sometimes, back home, critics will argue, there’s no point in us doing something about getting our house in order when it comes to climate change because other countries won’t do anything and it will just mean that we’re in a less competitive position,” he said.

“Well, when I met with President Xi [Jinping] and China signed on to an aggressive commitment, that took a major argument away from those critics,” he said, adding that the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters had now “signed on.”

China announced a year ago that it will aim for its greenhouse gas emissions to peak by 2030, if not earlier. Last September it said it would begin a national cap-and-trade program in 2017.

China has not pledged any contribution to the GCF, saying that must come from “developed nations” – as defined in previous climate change agreements. Instead Beijing says it will set up a separate fund to help developing countries combat climate change.

The GCF is the core of a 2009 agreement by Obama and other leaders to raise – from 2020 onwards – $100 billion each year from public and private sources to help developing countries deal with climate change.

As of early November, 38 countries have pledged a total of $10.2 billion for the GCF, with Obama’s pledge of $3 billion accounting for 29 percent of the total. The next biggest pledges have come from Japan ($1.5 bn), Britain ($1.2 bn) and Germany ($1.003 bn).

Broader climate finance mobilized from public and private sources so far has been estimated at $62 billion, according to a recent OECD study.

The U.N. Environmental Program has argued that $100 billion a year will not be nearly enough to help the world to adapt to global warming.


More costly and destructive EPA regulations aimed at destroying American manufacturing

What’s a Boiler MACT? MACT stands for the Maximum Achievable Control Technology, and is the focus of recently revised rules by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To comply with rules justified by the President’s 2011 Executive Order 13563, industrial operations that generate their own power with boilers must further reduce emissions with questionable benefit through costly retrofitting processes in order to be legally operational. According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), EPA estimates the compliance cost for American Manufacturers will initially be nearly $5 Billion, with $1.5 Billion annually, further hampering wage and job growth.

For industrial users of electricity, Boiler MACT is fast becoming one of their largest obstacles to powering their own factories. Depending on the specific product requirements, industry requires large quantities of electricity to operate. Industries such as the paper industry have long used boilers to meet this demand, and utilized waste products or coal to power steam turbines to generate their electricity. This used to enable them to produce electricity at roughly half the market rate from the power grid.

Because of the costly nature of the rules that would force businesses to purchase new generators or invest large amounts of money to keep existing ones, thousands of jobs would be lost to meet the compliance costs. Why are we continuing to ship jobs overseas? The rules are designed to further reduce exposure to mercury and particulate matter, but it is questionable whether it will achieve the health benefits the EPA projects.

For this reason, U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, (R-Maine), won support for an amendment to H.R. 2822, which would defund and delay enforcement of these rules until late next fiscal year.

Rep. Poliquin said in a statement, “Overregulation and poor government policies have led to higher energy prices for Maine families and businesses.  Too many of our paper mills have closed because the high cost of energy in our State has made it hard to compete.  With these closures came thousands of jobs lost and several closed businesses.  This is simply unacceptable.

“That is why I’ve stood up to the EPA and the Obama Administration and took action to delay the Boiler MACT rule from being implemented to protect jobs.  This proposal is devastating to the families, businesses and communities in our State, and it’s critical that Congress acts to stop it.”

In the forest products industry alone, these and other regulations caused three Maine paper mills to close already. Other damage is being felt in similar mills in Wisconsin. “For some plants, the capital requirements (of the EPA rule) will deplete multiple years of discretionary capital and include a continued operating cost that often equates to 5 to 10 percent of payroll,” said Expera spokesperson Addie Teeters in 2014. Expera has four paper facilities in Wisconsin, and one in Maine.

These costs impact wage growth in an industry already feeling the impact of electronic modernization, which is decreasing the demand for paper.

Public outcry against the rules a few years ago prompted the EPA to issue a “clarification”.  In a statement recognizing the EPA’s modifications, American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman damned the EPA with faint praise, saying, “The agency has been responsive to many of our implementation concerns as evidenced in this latest rule. However, policy makers must not lose sight of the fact that this rule is only one of a dozen or more potentially affecting our industry to the tune of $10 billion over the next decade.”

On Nov. 5 EPA concluded it’s “reconsideration” phase, leaving implementation deadline to begin in Jan. 2016. If there are operations that have failed to upgrade to new or retrofitted boilers, fines are sure to follow in the forest products industry, as well as many others across the country. As the House has acted, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Governmental and Related Agencies chaired by Sen. Lisa Murkowski(R-Alaska) has reportedly incorporated a delay of implementation into the coming omnibus bill for FY2016.

At the very least, with thirteen long months remaining of the Obama Administration, it is a matter of economic urgency that appropriators the Boiler MACT defund be included in the upcoming omnibus spending bill for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2016. The current Administration may not care about the jobs impacted outside of the beltway, but it is important to buy time for a future administration that might.

If there is to be a renaissance of American manufacturing, Congress must act to run out the clock on this administration, and enable the next president to repair the damage done in its wake.


WA: Judge Finds ‘Constitutional Obligation’ for State to Act on Global Warming

But also finds that what the State is doing is sufficient

In what environmentalists are calling a “groundbreaking” ruling, a Washington state judge wrote that state lawmakers have a “constitutional obligation” to the youth of the state to take action on global warming.

Using some alarming language, King County Superior Court Judge Hollis R. Hill issued a ruling in a case involving eight Washington state youth in a case against the Washington Department of Ecology, seeking to require writing carbon emission rules to protect their generation. Though, Hill ultimately ruled the state was taking proper action to meet its obligation.

“In fact, as the petitioners assert and this court finds, their very survival depends upon the will of their elders to act now, decisively, unequivocally, to stem the tide of global warming by accelerating reductions of emission of GHG’s before doing so becomes first, too costly and then too late,” the judge’s ruling said. ”The scientific evidence is clear that the current rates of reduction mandated by Washington law cannot achieve the GHG reductions necessary to protect our environment and to ensure the survival of an environment in which petitioners can grow to adulthood safely.”

“Therefore, the state has a constitutional obligation to protect the public’s interest in natural resources held in trust for the common benefit of the people of the state,” the judge’s ruling said.

However, the decision concludes citing Gov. Jay Inslee’s efforts to curb climate change as evidence the state isn’t avoiding those duties, and as a reason to side with the state.

“Ecology’s actions are neither arbitrary nor capricious. Now that Ecology has commenced rulemaking to establish greenhouse emission standards taking into account science as well as economic, social and political considerations, it cannot be found to be acting arbitrarily or capriciously,” the ruling says. “For the foregoing reasons, the petition for review is denied due to the Department of Ecology having commenced the aforementioned rulemaking process as directed by the governor.”

The youth were represented by Our Children’s Trust, which describes itself as a “global human rights and environmental justice campaign;” the Western Environmental Law Center, which describes itself as combining “legal skills and sound conservation biology;” and Plant for the Planet, which describes itself as a group that “connects children around the world as ambassadors for climate justice.”

These organizations say they have pending litigation brought by youth in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Massachusetts and Oregon. Looking ahead to other court battles, the groups framed the Washington decision as a victory because the ruling asserted that the state had a constitutional and legal duty to protect the next generation from the impact of global warming.

“In this important ruling, Judge Hill has made it very clear what Ecology must do when promulgating the Clean Air Rule: preserve, protect and enhance air quality for present and future generations and uphold the constitutional rights of these young people,” Western Environmental Law Center attorney Andrea Rodgers said in a statement. “We will hold Ecology accountable every step of the way to make sure that Judge Hill’s powerful words are put into action. This is a huge victory for our children and for the climate movement.”


Australian Greenies still not happy about coal compromise

They've rightly figured out that Australia's conservative government has in fact THWARTED international attempts to stop investments in coal.  New generators are likely to use coal in poor countries only. New generators in advanced countries will be using gas anyhow

By Hannah Aulby, a clean energy campaigner for the Australian Conservation Foundation.

The Australian government has watered down an international deal on coal subsidies – essentially protecting the future profits of the Carmichael coal mine ahead of the best interests of our communities and environment.

Hailed as a ‘landmark’ deal to reduce public subsidies to coal fired power stations, the agreement by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development aims to stop public financing of the dirtiest coal projects. In the past seven years, rich countries' export credit agencies have funded about $35 billion worth of coal. The Turnbull Government was looking to block the deal, but has come onside at the last minute with a caveat – that old dirty coal power plants can still be financed in 8 of the world’s poorest nations.

The Minerals Council of Australia, hardly champions of climate action and poverty reduction, welcomed the deal, saying that it paves the way for coal powered development. And Trade Minister Andrew Robb said the deal provided coal fired power to lift millions out of energy poverty.

Again Australia is getting left behind by a world ready to move beyond coal. As well as the international political intent shown at the OECD, international markets are moving. Global coal consumption has fallen 2-4% this year, including a 6% drop in China. This being the case, we have, in fact, passed peak coal. Demand is dropping, and yet Australia continues to champion the Carmichael mine as the future of low emissions development. Continuing down the mine shaft will only leave us with stranded assets in a dinosaur economy.

Domestically the markets are turning on coal too. New projects are struggling to attract private investment, as seen by the Victorian brown coal project in the Latrobe Valley that was just withdrawn by Chinese firm Shanghai Electric Australia as it failed to reach the first investment milestones.



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


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Neither Australia's bush fire preparedness nor anything recent  is caused by climate change

Contrary to the article immediately below and two following it, recent travails have nothing to do with global warming. Since there has been no global warming for over 18 years the claims CANNOT be true.  Things that don't exist don't cause ANYTHING

The satellites are the only way of obtaining a truly global temperature reading and for the last 18 years they just show random fluctuations around a constant mean. Here's the graph:

And even the terrestrial datasets show no statistically significant global temperature change over the last 18 years.

Global temperatures are anything but uniform, however, and there may have been some local warming in some places which was offset by cooling in other places.  But local warming is not global warming, to be reluctantly tautologous.

What then is going on?  Why the increase in bushfires?  No mystery at all.  Greenies did it.  They have been meddling heavily in forest management.   One particularly pernicious type of interference is Greenie opposition to precautionary burnoffs in winter.  Such burnoffs are easy to keep within bounds and reduce fuel load for later fires.  So any fires that eventuate in warm seasons are much tamer and spread less.

Why Greenies oppose such burnoffs I am not sure -- some feeling that it "unnatural" would be my guess. They say it is to protect forest critters but the big burns are actually the ones that kill most forest critters.  Many of the critters can escape a small controlled burn and a controlled burn can in fact make some provision for that


Now for the Greenie moan:

Australia risks being under-prepared for longer, drier and more severe bushfire seasons, a report from the Climate Council says.

The national report found that record-breaking temperatures and hot winds will place unprecedented strain on firefighting resources, estimating that the number of professional firefighters across Australia will need to double by 2030.

Australia's bushfire season got off to an early start, when more than 200 fires burned across Victoria in the first week of October, and this week, blazes sparked by lightning and burning have destroyed at least 300,000 hectares in the North Cascade, Western Australia, killing four people so far.

Thursday is shaping up as another fire risk day in Victoria, with hot stormy conditions forecast.

"As a country, we are not prepared ... for the impacts of climate change. This is not a future problem; it is already costing us now," said Amanda McKenzie, Climate Council CEO.

"I don't know any [state] government that has a plan for how they are going to manage the need for more firefighters in the future."

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, maximum temperatures in October averaged 3.44 degrees above the long-run average, and almost all of southern Australia recorded its hottest October, driven higher by a big heatwave across the region.

It is the increasing likelihood of such conditions around the world that the Climate Council report said would challenge Australia's firefighting resources.

"Climate change is impacting on the fire seasons in both hemispheres, meaning that they will increasingly overlap. This has the potential to decrease the capacity to share resources …"

The Climate Council said resources meant equipment as well as hands-on assistance.

For example, some of the largest aircraft in Australia's fleet are leased from international companies and are the same as those contracted to firefighting services during the northern hemisphere summer.In August and September, 72 Australian and New Zealander personnel were deployed to support US firefighters, and 104 were deployed to Canada during the 2015 season.

"It's not just looking at how we share resources between Australia and US. If we have multiple fires happening around Australia, that's where we see very serious situations. That's when you have a very exhausted fire service," said Ms McKenzie.

A spokesperson for the NSW Rural Fire Service said they were aware of research "suggesting climate change could result in longer bush fire seasons and increased demands on resources, including firefighters."

"As the lead agency for bush firefighting and management in NSW, the NSW Rural Fire Service continues to consider the potential for increased fire activity and how it may impact the prevention, mitigation and suppression of bush fires in NSW," he said.

"Irrespective of the cause, the NSW RFS always assesses conditions and prepares based on the prevailing forecast."

Over the past year the ranks of the service swelled to a record 74,516 volunteers, a figure revealed in annual reports of the state's emergency services tabled in NSW Parliament on Wednesday.

"Our services are leaders in emergency management and are doing an outstanding job of meeting the needs of the community during their time of greatest need," said Minister for Emergency Services David Elliot.

"The report does come at an important time, given we have seen an early start to the bushfire season in WA and Victoria."


Prince Charles says Climate change  behind Syrian crisis

The poor soul is desperate to appear wise.  Sad for him that global warming stopped long before the current upheavals.  That PROVES him wrong.  See above

Prince Charles has suggested the cause of conflict in Syria is climate change, in a wide-ranging interview.

Drought and competition for increasingly scarce resources caused by manmade activities also played a role in the refugee crisis which has seen thousands of people leave the Middle East and cross Europe in recent months, the Prince of Wales said.

The remarks were made in an interview with Sky News recorded before the latest wave of terror attacks in Paris, which will be broadcast on Monday.

The Prince, 67, said: “We're seeing a classic case of not dealing with the problem, because, I mean, it sounds awful to say, but some of us were saying 20 something years ago that if we didn't tackle these issues you would see ever greater conflict over scarce resources and ever greater difficulties over drought, and the accumulating effect of climate change, which means that people have to move.

“And, in fact, there's very good evidence indeed that one of the major reasons for this horror in Syria, funnily enough was a drought that lasted for about five or six years, which meant that huge numbers of people in the end had to leave the land”.

Asked by Royal Correspondent Rhiannon Mills if there was a direct link between climate change, conflict and terrorism, the heir to the throne replied:

“It's only in the last few years that the Pentagon have actually started to pay attention to this. I mean it has a huge impact on what is happening. I mean the difficulty is sometimes to get this point across – that if we just leave it and say, well there are obviously lots of, there are endless problems arising all over the place therefore we deal with them in a short term way, we never deal with the underlying root cause which regrettably is what we're doing to our natural environment."

The Prince is expected to deliver a keynote speech at the United Nations climate change conference or COP21 in Paris next week.


Is Prince Charles Correct?

He has a defender below. But he assumes what he has to prove.  He presumes that here has been global warming in recent years.  But there has not been.  Warming stopped long before the adverse weather events that he mentions. It cannot therefore be the cause of those events.  See above

In an interview recorded before the recent Paris massacre Prince Charles has recently told Sky News that he thinks that Climate Change is one causal factor in the ongoing Syrian situation. Rejecting him out of hand does not seem sound to me based on the available evidence.

The key question is whether there is support for him in the primary peer reviewed scientific literature, and there is. Early this year Kelley et al published a paper in PNAS entitled "Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought." PDF.

The abstract of this paper is as follows:

Before the Syrian uprising that began in 2011, the greater Fertile Crescent experienced the most severe drought in the instrumental record. For Syria, a country marked by poor governance and unsustainable agricultural and environmental policies, the drought had a catalytic effect, contributing to political unrest. We show that the recent decrease in Syrian precipitation is a combination of natural variability and a long-term drying trend, and the unusual severity of the observed drought is here shown to be highly unlikely without this trend. Precipitation changes in Syria are linked to rising mean sea-level pressure in the Eastern Mediterranean, which also shows a long-term trend. There has been also a long-term warming trend in the Eastern Mediterranean, adding to the drawdown of soil moisture. No natural cause is apparent for these trends, whereas the observed drying and warming are consistent with model studies of the response to increases in greenhouse gases. Furthermore, model studies show an increasingly drier and hotter future mean climate for the Eastern Mediterranean. Analyses of observations and model simulations indicate that a drought of the severity and duration of the recent Syrian drought, which is implicated in the current conflict, has become more than twice as likely as a consequence of human interference in the climate system.

Obviously natural variability plays a role but the trend of drying and warming is clear and it has the effect of shifting the drying, warming and PDSI short term fluctuation into something unusual.

Note that temperatures in part respond as a feedback on soil moisture, energy lost from evaporation manifests as temperature increases once the soil is dessicated.


Powerless Scotland looming

ENERGY experts have called for some of the Longannet power station's generators to be kept switched on when it closes next year to help prevent a scenario where Scotland could be without electricity for up to 36 hours.

Some of the most experienced figures in the industry have urged the UK and Scottish governments to intervene to prevent Scottish Power's Fife plant, the last coal-fired power station in Scotland, closing completely in March next year.

Sir Donald Miller, former Chairman of Scottish Power, Colin Gibson, retired Power Network Director of National Grid and Professor Iain Macleod, Past President of The Institution of Engineers in Scotland, have now had three meetings with officials in Energy Minster Fergus Ewing’s department and have also briefed the Secretary of State David Mundell.

They say that under the privatisation arrangements neither the power companies nor National Grid have had any responsibility for planning long term security of supplies.

But following a request last year from the regulator Ofgem for National Grid to assume responsibility, the latter had recently published a schedule of studies.  However Sir Donald said: “It is estimated these studies will probably take two years."

He and his colleagues say it is crucial that at least half of 2,400MW of conventional capacity provided by Longannet is retained until these studies are completed and assessed as there would be major implications if there was a shutdown of the power supply before then.

Currently, if there is a problem, Scotland relies on the Cruachan pumped storage hydro station at Loch Awe which can be started in under a minute, supplying power to start Longannet allowing the rapid restoration of supply.

But if Longnannet is no longer operating, the only recourse would be Cruachan combining with the small hydro schemes throughout the Highlands and Galloway.  Sir Donald said even if this was possible it would be a lengthy procedure.

“The joint working party set up by National Grid , Scottish Power and SSE, estimated it could take some 36 hours, a wholly unacceptable scenario,” he said.

Sir Donald added: "Bearing in mind the catastrophic consequences we strongly urge that until such time as the National Grid studies are completed at least 1200 MW of Longannet should be retained."

He said the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Scottish Government between them had means of compensating Scottish Power for the costs of retaining some plant in commission. "Given the potential threat, the modest cost would surely be worth it," he said.

Prospect’s negotiations officer Richard Hardy said the union, which has been trying to save more than 200 jobs at Longannet, shared the experts’ concerns.

A Scottish Government spokesman said National Grid and the UK Government had been repeatedly warned of the consequences of declining capacity margins in the UK electricity system and ministers shared concerns expressed by a range of external experts.


Wind power makes electricity expensive and unreliable without cutting emissions

Matt Ridley

My Times article on wind power is below. An astonishingly poor attack on the article was made in The Guardian by Mark Lynas.

He failed to address all the main points I made: he failed to challenge the argument that wind power has not cut emissions, failed to challenge the argument that wind power has raised the cost of electricity, he failed to challenge my argument that wind speeds are correlated across Europe. And he made a hash of attempting to criticise my argument that wind has made the system less reliable.

The gist of his case was that the recent short-term emergency that gave rise to price spikes was caused by coal-fired power station outages. But the point was that these coincided with a windless day. In a system of coal and gas, the weather would not matter, but in a system dependent on wind, then coal outages on a windless day cause problems. Surely this was not too difficult to understand, Mark? Note that Germany had a windless day too.

Mark Lynas then took to twitter boasting in troll-fashion that he had debunked my article where he was joined by the usual green cheerleaders. They have shot themselves in the foot, I am afraid.

I remain astonished at the fervour with which greens like Mark defend wind power at all costs, despite growing evidence that it does real environmental harm, rewards the rich at the expense of the poor and does not cut carbon dioxide emissions significantly if at all. It might even make them worse, as I argue here. If they really are worried about emissions, why do greens love wind? It isn’t helping.

Anyway, here’s the article:

Suppose that a government policy had caused shortages of bread, so the price of a loaf had shot up and was spiking even higher on certain days.

Suppose that the high price of bread was causing massive job losses. Suppose that the policy was justified on the grounds that the bread was now coming from farmers whose practices were better for the environment, but it turned out they were probably worse for the environment instead. There would be a rethink, right?

For bread, read electricity. The government needs to rethink its electricity policy. Last week’s emergency was a harbinger of worse to come: because the wind was not blowing on a mild autumn day, the National Grid had to call for some large electricity consumers to switch off, and in addition offered to pay up to £2,500 a megawatt-hour — 40 times the normal price — for generators capable of stepping into the breach at short notice.

Among other lessons, this teaches us that letting Liberal Democrats run the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for five years was an expensive mistake. What puzzles me is how little the current government seems to realise it must make a U-turn or get the blame itself.

The coalition promised secure, affordable and low-carbon power, but instead gave us unreliable, expensive and high-carbon power. What is worse, this outcome was “wholly predictable but wholly unanticipated by policymakers”, in the words of Rupert Darwall of the Centre for Policy Studies, speaking to a House of Lords committee (on which I sit) earlier this year.

Mr Darwall’s argument is that wind farms, which cost a lot to build and maintain but pay nothing for fuel, can sell electricity for very low prices when the wind’s blowing. Being intermittent, this power therefore destroys incentives to invest in highly efficient “combined-cycle” gas turbines (CCGTs).

If, when the wind blows, a new gas plant has to switch off, then the return on investment in gas is negative. Combined-cycle plants are sophisticated machines and don’t like being switched on and off. Therefore the gradual replacement of coal-fired power by much more efficient gas-fired power has stalled as a direct result of the wind-power boom.

To solve this problem, the government came up with a “capacity mechanism”, a fancy name for subsidising fossil fuels. But this further impost on the hard-pressed bill payers (likely to exceed £1.3 billion by 2020), instead of bringing forward new gas turbines, last year went mostly to keep old coal-fired stations going.

The next auction, due in December, has brought a rash of bids from diesel generators. This is madness: wind power has made the country more reliant on dirty, high-carbon coal and diesel. (I declare my usual interest in coal, but note that coal has probably benefited from the policy I am criticising.)

Meanwhile, the old coal stations that have not attracted a subsidy are closing because of the coalition’s unilateral carbon tax (sorry, “floor price”).

Eggborough, for instance, tried to switch to subsidised biomass, better known as wood — a fuel that emits even more carbon dioxide than coal per unit of energy — but was refused and so is closing. Thus, when the wind drops, we are plunged into crisis.

Wind’s advocates have long argued that cables to Europe would help on windless days because we could suck in power from Germany when the wind’s blowing there but not here.

Yet last week, as we were debating this very issue in the Lords, I checked and wind was generating about 1 per cent of our electricity, and even less of Germany’s. Studies by the Renewable Energy Foundation published as long ago as 2008 have shown that wind speeds are well correlated across Europe most of the time. Was anyone listening?

Prices charged to electricity consumers have been rising because of the high cost of subsidies for wind power, especially offshore wind. The DECC’s numbers show that small businesses will be paying 77 per cent more per unit for electricity by 2020 than they would be if we were not subsidising renewables.

The cost of the subsidies is on track to hit roughly £10 billion a year in 2020 and that’s before paying for the fleet of diesel generators being subsidised under the capacity mechanism and extra grid infrastructure costs.

What are we getting for that money? A less reliable electricity system, a big increase in cost, lost jobs in the aluminium and steel industries and no discernible cuts in carbon dioxide emissions.

If that last claim seems far fetched, consider the following calculation. According to the wind industry, a 2-megawatt onshore wind turbine could cut emissions by about 1,800 tonnes a year in average conditions, offshore a bit more.

With about 13 gigawatts of wind now in service, that would mean the total wind fleet can displace at most 15 million tonnes, or 2 per cent of our 700 million tonnes of total annual emissions.

But, since the effect of the wind boom (solar production, by the way, is an irrelevance lost in the decimal points) has been to deter new gas and prolong the life of inefficient coal, and since it wastes power to get a fossil-fuelled power station up to speed when the wind drops, and since expensive wind power has driven energy-intensive industries abroad to more carbon-intensive countries, the actual emissions savings achieved by wind are lower and probably negative.

We would have been far better off buying new gas or “clean-coal” capacity instead: replacing coal with gas more than halves emissions.

After Wednesday’s near emergency, ministers must surely realise that we cannot rely on the weather to produce the right amount of electricity, and gas is far cheaper and more environmentally friendly than the DECC’s dirty diesel solution. As for nuclear power, Hinkley C was supposed to help with the supply crunch, but it will only come on stream in the mid-2020s, and at a gigantic cost.

The poor and the elderly are hardest hit by high electricity bills. What Chris Huhne and Ed Davey have done to our electricity supply, following the lead of Tony Blair’s foolish 2007 decision to accept a European Union target for renewables, is bonkers.
It has cost wealth, jobs, landscapes, wildlife, security of supply: and all for nothing in terms of emissions savings. It is no comfort to know that some of us have been predicting this for years.


BOOK REVIEW of "The No Breakfast Fallacy: Why the Club of Rome was wrong about us running out of minerals and metals" by Tim Worstall

It's a standard part of the modern story, that we're about to run out of resources. There's only so much available, metals and minerals are soon to be in short supply. This is incorrect and this book walks through the reasons why it is incorrect.

For example, we are told that we are likely to run out of mineral reserves in a generation or so. This is correct but entirely unimportant. For every generation runs out of mineral reserves: the reason being that mineral reserves is the name we give to those minerals we're going to use in the coming generation. We are no more going to run out of mineral reserves than we are going to run out of breakfast because we eat what is in the refrigerator.

The book notes and explains Worstall getting the China rare earths scare correct, in advance (yes, explaining in 2010 why the problem would not be a problem, when all others were headless chickens on the subject). Discusses the purblind ignorance on display from the New Scientist and various environmentalists on mineral reserves and points to the one fatal assumption that the Club of Rome made in their report, Limits to Growth. The assumption that cooked their conclusion into their report, whatever else they did. Jeremy Grantham's mistake about the minerals for fertilisers running out is also explained. Further, when we should recycle and when we shouldn't is laid out in a form that even a member of a Green Party should be able to understand.

Written in Worstall's usual light style, no prior technical knowledge is needed.

That there might be environmental problems out there is entirely true. That there might even be environmental problems with mineral use could also be true. But the idea that we're about to run out of them, or even face any possible shortages on anything like a human related timescale, simply isn't.

And this book proves it.



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


Monday, November 23, 2015

Prominent Scientists Declare Climate Claims Ahead of UN Summit ‘Irrational’ – ‘Based On Nonsense’ – ‘Leading us down a false path’

A team of prominent scientists gathered in Texas today at a climate summit to declare that fears of man-made global warming were “irrational” and “based on nonsense” that “had nothing to do with science.” They warned that “we are being led down a false path” by the upcoming UN climate summit in Paris.

The scientists appeared at a climate summit sponsored by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The summit in Austin was titled: “At the Crossroads: Energy & Climate Policy Summit.”

Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen, an emeritus Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT, derided what he termed climate “catastrophism.”

“Demonization of CO2 is irrational at best and even modest warming is mostly beneficial,” Lindzen said.

Lindzen cautioned: “The most important thing to keep in mind is – when you ask ‘is it warming, is it cooling’, etc.  — is that we are talking about something tiny (temperature changes) and that is the crucial point.”

Lindzen also challenged the oft-repeated UN IPCC claim that most of warming over past 50 years was due to mankind. “People get excited over this. Is this statement alarming? No,” Lindzen stated. “We are speaking of small changes. 0.25 Celsius would be about 51% of the recent warming and that strongly suggests a low and inconsequential climate sensitivity – meaning no problem at all,” Lindzen explained.

“I urge you when looking at a graph, check the scales! The uncertainty here is tenths of a degree,” he noted.

“When someone points to this and says this is the warmest temperature on record. What are they talking about? It’s just nonsense. This is a very tiny change period. And they are arguing over hundredths of a degree when it is uncertain in tenths of a degree,” Lindzen said.

“And the proof that the uncertainty is in tenths of a degree are the adjustments that are being made. If you can adjust temperatures to 2/10ths of a degree, it means it wasn’t certain to 2/10ths of a degree,” he said.

“The UN IPCC wisely avoided making the claim that 51% of a small change in temperature constitutes a problem. They left this to the politicians and anyone who took the bait,” he said.

Lindzen noted that National Academy of Sciences president Dr. Ralph Cicerone has even admitted that there is no evidence for a catastrophic claims of man-made global warming. ]

See: Backing away from climate alarm? NAS Pres. Ralph Cicerone says ‘we don’t have that kind of evidence’ to claim we are ‘going to fry’ from AGW

Lindzen also featured 2006 quotes from Scientist Dr. Mike Hulme, Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, and Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, admitting that claims of a climate catastrophe were not the “language of science.”

“The discourse of catastrophe is a campaigning device,” Hulme wrote to the BBC in 2006. “The language of catastrophe is not the language of science. To state that climate change will be ‘catastrophic’ hides a cascade of value-laden assumptions which do not emerge from empirical or theoretical science,” Hulme wrote.

“Is any amount of climate change catastrophic? Catastrophic for whom, for where, and by when? What index is being used to measure the catastrophe?” Hulme continued.

Lindzen singled out Secretary of State John Kerry for his ‘ignorance’ on science. “John Kerry stands alone,” Lindzen said. “Kerry expresses his ignorance of what science is,” he added.

Lindzen also criticized EPA Chief Gina McCarthy’s education: “I don’t want to be snobbish, but U Mass Boston is not a very good school,” he said to laughter.

Lindzen concluded his talk by saying: “Learn how to identify claims that have no alarming implications and free to say ‘So what?’”

Princeton Physicist Dr. Will Happer, who has authored over 200 peer-reviewed papers, called policies to reduce CO2 “based on nonsense.”

“Policies to slow CO2 emissions are really based on nonsense. They are all based on computer models that do not work. We are being led down a false path.

“Our breath is not that different from a power plant,” he continued. “To call carbon dioxide a pollutant is really Orwellian. You are calling something a pollutant that we all produce. Where does that lead us eventually?” he asked.

“Coal, formed from ancient CO2, is a benefit to the world. Coal is CO2 from ancient atmospheres. We are simply returning CO2 to the atmosphere from which it came when you burn coal. And it’s a good thing since it is at very low levels in the atmosphere. We are in a CO2 famine. It is very, very low,” Happer explained.

Happer continued: “CO2 will be beneficial and crop yields will increase.” “More CO2 will be a very significant benefit to agriculture,” he added.

Happer then showed a picture of polluted air in China with the caption: “Real pollution in Shanghai.” “If you can see it, it’s not CO2,” Happer said.

“If plants could vote, they would vote for coal,” Happer declared.

Happer also rebutted the alleged 97% consensus. “97% of scientists have often been wrong on many things,” he said.

Ecologist and Greenpeace founding member Dr. Patrick Moore discussed the benefits of rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. “Let’s celebrate CO2!” Moore declared.  “We know for absolute certain that carbon dioxide is the stuff of life, the foundation for life on earth,” Moore said.

“We are dealing with pure political propaganda that has nothing to do with science,” he continued.

“The deserts are greening from rising CO2,” he added. “Co2 has provided the basis of life for at least 3.5 billion years,” Moore said.


Doubters of Global-warming Apocalypse Must Be Silenced?

In a speech delivered November 10 at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, Secretary of State John Kerry (shown) appeared to be intentionally amping up the already incendiary rhetoric aimed at those scientists and citizens who express doubt or skepticism about — or opposition to — the wild, apocalyptic claims of the climate-change choir. “The science tells us unequivocally, those who continue to make climate change a political fight put us all at risk,” Kerry said. “And we cannot sit idly by and allow them to do that.”

This was not the first time Secretary Kerry has made comments that lightly veil an implicit threat aimed at climate realists. Kerry, who has been beating the anthropogenic (manmade) global (AGW) warming drum loudly all year long, in preparation for the imminent UN Climate Summit in Paris, made a similar comment before the Atlantic Council in March. “When an apple falls from a tree, it will drop toward the ground. We know that because of the basic laws of physics. Science tells us that gravity exists, and no one disputes that,” Kerry said, in statement of supposedly unassailable logic that should end all debate. “Science also tells us that when the water temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it turns to ice. No one disputes that,” he continued. Then came the “logical” clincher: ”So when science tells us that our climate is changing and human beings are largely causing that change, by what right do people stand up and just say, ‘well, I dispute that, or I deny that elementary truth?’”

Yes, by what right? After all, they are “putting us all at risk,” right? “And we cannot sit idly by and allow them to do that,” can we?

Kerry doesn’t say what “we” can do to stop these doubters who put us all at risk, but he is playing to a powerful global choir that has already been salting public opinion with invective, the purpose of which is to demonize and criminalize those who challenge the “elementary truth” or the “settled science” of the AGW alarmists.

Recently, as we have reported, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) called on the Obama administration earlier this year to use the anti-mafia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to persecute heretics who cast doubt on the AGW dogma.

That tyrannical proposal, which should have earned Senator Whitehouse an immediate recall effort, was echoed shortly afterward when a group of 20 so-called climate scientists sent a letter to President Obama urging him to use the federal RICO statute to prosecute their fellow scientists who disagree with them and publicly expose the fallacies and fraud underpinning the “settled science” of cataclysmic climate change.

Talking Points Memo (TPM)  infamously published an article (which has since been removed from its website) entiled, “At what point do we jail or execute global warming deniers.”

Posted under the pseudonym  “The Insolent Braggart,” the profane incitement to violence and intolerance of diverse opinion stated:

"What is so frustrating about these fools is that they are the politicians and greedy bastards who don’t want a cut in their profits who use bogus science or the lowest scientists in the gene pool who will distort data for a few bucks. The vast majority of the scientific minds in the World agree and understand it’s a very serious problem that can do an untold amount of damage to life on Earth. So when the right wing f***tards have caused it to be too late to fix the problem, and we start seeing the devastating consequences and we start seeing end of the World type events — how will we punish those responsible. It will be too late. So shouldn’t we start punishing them now?"

Very prominent voices in the climate-alarmism choir have been priming the lynch mob.

James Hansen, the discredited NASA climateer and “grandfather” of the AGW lobby, called for prosecution of climate-catastrophe skeptics for “high crimes against humanity.”

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who is notorious for his environmental extremism, has said of climate realists who doubt the UN IPCC dogma: “This is treason, and we need to start treating them as traitors.”

Joe Romm, a former Clinton administration official who now runs the influential alarmist ClimateProgress website, published a commenter who ominously threatened climate skeptics: “It is not my wrath you need fear when there’s an entire generation that will soon be ready to strangle you and your kind while you sleep in your beds.” This may not be an idle threat, as millions of school kids are being brainwashed with emotional AGW propaganda in classrooms across the nation, and around the world. Romm later took the comment down, but defended it by claiming it “was clearly not a threat but a prediction,” and those who detected a threat had “misread it.”

Bill Nye, of TV fame as “The Science Guy,” recently appeared on the Huffington Post’s TV program, where he called on the host to stop using the term “skeptic” and use the more hateful term “denier” when referring to climate realists. “We just don’t like to use that word [skepticism],” Nye told host Josh Zepps. “These people are deniers.”

In a November 6, 2015 interview with Salon, Nye again hit the theme of tarring opponents with the “denier” label, censoring them, and denying them a place at the “debate” table. “Part of the solution to this problem or this set of problems associated with climate change is getting the deniers out of our discourse,” said Nye. “You know, we can’t have these people — they’re absolutely toxic.”

Nye was one of the signers of a letter sent to media organizations last December calling on journalists to stigmatize AGW skeptics as “deniers.”  Among the dozens of academics who signed the letter (which was larded heavily with psychologists and social “science” professors) were, notably, the two academics most responsible for concocting the fraudulent claim that “97 percent” of scientists endorse the “overwhelming  consensus” that AGW is a serious danger: John Cook and Naomi Oreskes.


Britain To Slap Tax On Wind And Solar Farms

The Govt Giveth, The Govt Taketh Away

Wind and solar farms will be forced to pay for the extra costs they impose on the UK’s electricity system as a result of their intermittent nature, Amber Rudd, the energy secretary has announced.

Renewable generators will be held “responsible for the pressures they add to the system when the wind does not blow or the sun does not shine”, she said, under new plans being drawn up by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

In a long-awaited policy “reset” speech, Ms Rudd also unveiled plans to offer billions of pounds of new subsidies for offshore wind farms, potentially doubling the UK’s offshore wind capacity with a further 10 gigawatts in the 2020s, on top of 10GW expected by 2020.

However, she said that offshore wind remained “too expensive” and that the cash would be strictly conditional on deep cost reductions.

She also confirmed plans to close down unabated coal-fired power plants by 2025, but said the Government would only proceed with the policy if it was “confident” that replacement gas plants would be built in time.

Ms Rudd said she wanted “a competitive electricity market, with government out of the way as much as possible, by 2025″.

But a competitive market – in which the cheapest technologies triumph – could only be achieved “when different technologies face their full costs”.

Critics of wind and solar have long argued that they impose greater costs on the UK energy system than simply the subsidies they are paid for the electricity they produce.

If the renewable generators were forced to pay their true costs, they would require even higher subsidies to be viable – affecting their competitiveness, they argue.

For example, the fact solar will generate no power at times of peak demand on dark winter evenings – and that the entire UK wind farm fleet may produce almost no power on a calm day - may increase the total amount of power plant capacity needed on the UK system to act as backup.

However, as the proliferation of subsidised renewables means reliable gas-fired plants may only be needed for short periods of time as backup, they are uneconomic to build without either subsidy, or sky-high prices when they do generate.

The Government has already introduced the capacity market scheme,which will cost consumers £1bn a year, in part to address this issue by offering subsidies to new gas plants.

There may also be extra costs from wind and solar because their output may fluctuate more, and less predictably, than conventional power plants – so increasing the costs of minute-to-minute balancing of UK electricity supply and demand.


The UK's energy 'policy’ is an act of national suicide

Britain is heading for the greatest self-inflicted political disaster in its history

In years to come, last Wednesday’s speech by Amber Rudd on our energy policy may be looked back on as the moment when, more clearly than ever before, she confirmed that Britain is heading for the greatest self-inflicted political disaster in our history.

The Energy Secretary’s “main purpose” was to “make clear” that, over the next few years, the Government is determined to see the closing down of all those remaining coal-fired power stations that still supply a third of all the electricity we need (and easily the cheapest) to keep us functioning as an industrial nation.

This brings starkly nearer that long-predicted moment when we finally confront the catastrophic consequences of how, for more than a decade, successive governments have deliberately set out to “decarbonise” our electricity supply, by eliminating the fossil fuels that still provide nearly two thirds of our power – to rely on “carbon-free” renewables and nuclear energy.

To this end, they have, on one hand, forced us all to pour ever more billions of subsidies into renewables, while on the other piling easily the world’s highest “carbon taxes” on to coal and gas, to make those renewables somehow seem “competitive”.

At least the penny has finally dropped that weather-dependent wind and solar are hopelessly unreliable – which is why Ms Rudd recognised that, to provide reliable back-up for all those times when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining, we urgently need to subsidise a doubling of our gas-fired power plants.

But so far this just isn’t happening. To such a state of chaos and uncertainty has the Government’s hostility to fossil fuels reduced our electricity market that our largely foreign-owned supply companies are simply not stepping forward to build the new gas plants Ms Rudd dreams of. Only one, near Manchester, is still under construction. Plans for any more are firmly on hold.

In a new study for the Centre for Policy Studies, energy analyst Tony Lodge predicts that, with the closure of three more major coal-fired power stations early next year, we could by next winter be facing that critical moment when any surplus of reliably available electricity over predicted demand finally disappears.

The long-predicted crunch will at last have come. Beyond that will be nothing but a great black hole. And, for all those thousands of diesel generators under contract at colossal expense to provide emergency back-up, there will be nothing the Government can do to fill the gap.

We cannot be reminded too often that this will not be just a repeat of those “three-day weeks” of the Heath era.

From cash points and shop tills to our entire transport system, our computerised economy is now so wholly dependent on electricity that without it, as the windmills fail to turn on windless winter days, the nation will grind to a halt.

Nothing better underlines the total insanity of all this than Ms Rudd’s claim that we are doing it to “to set an example to the rest of the world”.

She seems wholly oblivious to the fact that, with the approach of that Paris climate conference, both China and India have announced that, over the next 15 years, they plan to double and triple their CO2 emissions by building hundreds more coal-fired power stations. They each plan to add more CO2 every year than the mere 1.2 per cent of global man-made CO2 emitted by Britain.

Ms Rudd may wish us to take pride in committing national suicide, “to set an example to the rest of the world”. But the rest of the world is not taking a blind bit of notice.


Make it cheaper to go green

Germany has committed to pay more than $110 billion in solar subsidies over the next 20 years

By Bjorn Lomborg

WITH LEADERS gathering in Paris later this month for a major climate summit, it is clear that our modern-day approach to climate change is backwards. We spend a massive amount of effort trying to make carbon too expensive and unappealing for the world to use. Instead, we need to make green energy much cheaper.

Our dependency on carbon-emitting fuels is overwhelming. The fact is that the world will not stop using fossil fuels for many decades. Despite all the excitement about green energy, globally we get a minuscule 0.4 percent of our energy from wind and solar panels.

According to the International Energy Agency, even with an optimistic scenario, we will get just 2.2 percent of our energy from solar and wind in 2040, and even then those industries will still need $77 billion in subsidies per year. In 2040, renewables will still on average be the most expensive option for all regions.

We must acknowledge that fossil fuels will be part of the energy mix for a long time. That certainly doesn’t mean doing nothing. It means that we need to put a stronger focus on moving from coal to gas, since gas emits about half the greenhouse gases.

Next we need to recognize that bad climate policies could easily cost much more than global warming damage will — while helping very little.

Consider Germany. It has committed to pay more than $110 billion in solar subsidies over the next 20 years, even though solar contributes only one percent of primary energy consumption. The net effect of these solar panels for the climate will be to delay global warming by a mere 37 hours by the end of the century.

Globally, we will spend $2.5 trillion on subsidies for wind and solar over the next 25 years — and they will still need subsidizing, according to the IEA. The impact will be a trivial reduction in temperature rise by 2100 of 0.03 degrees Fahrenheit. What if, instead of spending these trillions of dollars trying to push the deployment of inefficient solar and wind, we devoted ourselves to making green energy cheaper?

If we could make solar and wind cheaper than fossil fuels, we wouldn’t have to force (or subsidize) anyone to stop burning coal and oil. Everyone would shift to the cheaper and cleaner alternatives.

This could take a decade or it could take four. But the truth is that, as long as we invest mostly in today’s inefficient technology that we know doesn’t work, we will not get much closer.

In 2009, the Copenhagen Consensus on Climate gathered 27 of the world’s top climate economists and three Nobel laureates. They found that the smartest long-term climate policy is to invest in green R&D in order to push down the price of green energy.

If we were willing to devote just 0.2 percent of global GDP to green-energy R&D, research shows that we could dramatically increase the chance of a breakthrough. This would be significantly cheaper — and much more effective— than our current approach. Economists have calculated the returns to society from focusing on green energy R&D as $11 on every dollar invested. This is 100 times more good than what comes from current subsidies to wind and solar.

A technology-led effort would have a much greater chance of actually tackling climate change. It would not just focus on solar and wind power, but also on a wide variety of other alternative-energy technologies. Moreover, it would also have a much greater chance of political success, since countries that fear signing on to costly emission targets are more likely to embrace the cheaper, smarter path of innovation.

We need to stop subsidizing inefficient technologies and trying to make fossil fuels too expensive to use. Instead, let’s fund the basic research that will make green energy too cheap to resist.


NYT Laments Global Warming Has Affected Fall Fashion

Since there has been no global warming for 18 years, this MUST be false.  The time of onset for the seasons varies from year to year -- as it always has

 In what has to be one of the more unusual pieces by the liberal media sounding the alarm on global warming, a piece in Thursday’s New York Times complained about the inability of wealthy (liberal) New Yorkers to wear their lucrative fall clothing due to the alleged climatology on earth and stretches of warm temperatures in the Empire State.

Profiling a plethora of New Yorkers stricken with this predicament, reporter Miranda Purves explained that “[f]all has long been New York’s proudest season” in terms of fashion but have suffered:

"But this has been the warmest fall quarter in 25 years. And while many people are concerned with global catastrophe — contemplating harrowing images of Greenland melting away and scorched earth in Los Angeles — others are just spinning wildly, like the confused leaves, to figure out what autumn in New York means for their wardrobes".

Purves also spoke with owners of high-end stores who have resorted to altering their orders and inventory as a result of the climate change:

"The woolen mittens memorialized by Oscar Hammerstein may be languishing on store shelves, but “we sold over 80 units of Dior sunglasses alone in October,” said Elizabeth von der Goltz, a senior vice president and general merchandise manager at Bergdorf Goodman. She herself bought a heavy Burberry cape and hasn’t had call to bust it out since Paris Fashion Week in September.

Although Ms. von der Goltz still sees those traditional “upper tier” department store customers who buy their full fall wardrobes in May, and the second tier of wealthy but busy professionals who do a one-stop for their full fall in September, she said there had been a major shift to “a buy now, wear now” model with “special” replacing “seasonal.” ....

Beth Buccini, an owner of the 16-year-old SoHo boutique Kirna Zabête, preordered a different version of the hot (as in temperature) hot (as in trendy) fur-lined parka, by Mr. and Mrs. Italy, back in May. “I’m like a psycho next-level planner because I see everything first and I know what I like,” she said.....

Buyers say that these “precollections” — formerly done by only a few labels and now widely embraced — have become synonymous with “seasonless,” relied upon more and more to keep revenues up as weather-driven shopping becomes increasingly unpredictable and customers, encouraged by the 24/7 Internet, seek more instant-gratification purchases.

“Heaven knows that you cannot control Mother Nature, and so every season it seems that we buy ‘seasonless’ more,” Ms. Buccini said."

Invoking the upcoming United Nations summit in Paris on global warming, Purves also joked that “one might fantasize about the eggheads at M.I.T. devising a new discipline — Fashionology-Climatology? — to explain the mystifying algorithms where both rapidly changing systems intersect.”



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