BACK IN 2006, around the time Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” was released, I started a file labeled “What Climate Consensus?” Gore was insisting that “the debate among the scientists is over,” and only an ignoramus or a lackey for the fossil-fuel industry could doubt that human beings were headed for a climate catastrophe of their own making. But it didn’t take much sleuthing to discover that there was plenty of debate among scientists about the causes and consequences of global warming. Many experts were skeptical about the hyperbole of alarmists like Gore, and as I came across examples, I added them to my file.
The thicker that file grew, the more shrilly intolerant the alarmists became.
Over and over the True Believers insist that their view is not just widely accepted in the scientific community, but virtually unanimous apart from some crackpots. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has likened doubters to members of a Flat Earth Society. CBS news reporter Scott Pelley, asked why his “60 Minutes” broadcasts on global warming didn’t acknowledge the views of skeptics, reached for an even more wounding comparison: “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?”
It seems to make no difference that those challenging the doomsday narrative include some of the world’s most distinguished scientists, or that numerous experts in climatology and related earth sciences have repeatedly gone public with their critiques. To climate ideologues, they’re invisible. “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous,” President Obama tweeted in May.
Really? That’s not what the American Meteorological Society learned from a recent survey of its professional members. Only a bare majority, 52 percent, said that climate change is largely being driven by human activity. Scientists with a “liberal political orientation” were much more likely to regard global warming as human-caused and harmful, the survey’s authors found - in fact, as a predictor of respondents’ views on global warming, ideology outweighed greater expertise. “This would be strong evidence against the idea that expert scientists’ views on politically controversial topics can be completely objective,” the authors observe.
In that light, consider the findings of a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Of 117 global warming predictions generated by climate-model simulations, all but three “significantly” overestimated the actual amount of warming that occurred during the past 20 years. The models typically forecast that global surface temperature would rise by more than twice as much as it did.
Why would so many scientists have relied on models that turned out to be so wrong? The authors propose several plausible explanations - volcanic eruptions? solar irradiation? - but their bottom line is that climate science still has a long way to go: “Ultimately the causes of this inconsistency will only be understood after . . . waiting to see how global temperature responds over the coming decades.”
That understanding won’t be advanced one millimeter by ideologues who thunder that the “science is settled.” Perhaps all those climate models wouldn’t have been programmed to overpredict global warming if the pressure to conform to the alarmists’ view weren’t so pervasive.
In a classic 1955 lecture on “The Value of Science,” the celebrated physicist (and future Nobel laureate) Richard Feynman warned that science would be hobbled if it tried to stifle its doubters and skeptics. “If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar ... [D]oubt is not to be feared but welcomed and discussed.”
Science isn’t settled by majority vote, and invoking “consensus” to shut off debate is authoritarian and anti-scientific. There are always inconvenient truths to challenge what the majority thinks it knows. Ninety-seven percent of experts may be impressed with the emperor’s new clothes. That’s no reason to silence those who insist the emperor is naked.
CNSNews.com) The number of Americans who think “dealing with global climate change” should be a top U.S. foreign policy goal continues to fall in a poll that has tracked the issue since the 1990s, and five years under an administration more inclined to make it an issue does not appear to have stemmed the slide.
The latest Pew Research Center poll surveying Americans’ foreign policy goals also found a significant partisan difference when it comes to the importance of prioritizing climate change.
Out of 11 foreign policy goals featured in the poll released Wednesday, climate change ranks fourth from the bottom, with 37 percent of respondents saying it should be a top priority. That has dropped slowly but steadily from 50 percent in 1997, to 44 in 2001, 43 in 2005 and 40 in 2009.
Of the other goals, “protecting U.S. from terrorist attacks” and “protecting U.S. jobs” get the most support, at 83 and 81 percent respectively, while “promoting democracy in other nations” gets the least, at 18 percent.
Unlike the climate change goal’s downward movement, most of the others have risen and fallen in importance at various times over the years of polling, although “reducing dependence on imported energy” has dropped since 2005 (from 67 to 61 percent) and “promoting democracy in other nations,” after climbing from 1997 to 2001 (from 22 to 29 percent), has dropped steadily ever since.
The other goals featured are “preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction” (73 percent in 2013) “combating international drug trafficking” (57 percent), “reducing illegal immigration” (48 percent), “strengthening the United Nations” (37 percent), “promoting and defending human rights in other countries” (33 percent) and “helping improve living standards in developing nations” (23 percent).
Pew also tracked the differences between Republicans’ and Democrats’ views on the 11 foreign policy goals, and found that the widest gap - a difference of 41 points applies to climate change: Fifty-seven percent of Democrats, and only 16 percent of Republicans, believe it should be a U.S. foreign policy priority.
The next biggest partisan gaps relate to strengthening the U.N. (50 percent Democrats vs. 25 percent Republicans) and illegal immigration (62 percent Republicans vs. 38 percent Democrats).
An earlier Pew poll found that Republicans associated with the tea party account for most of the skepticism about global warming: Just 25 percent of tea party Republicans agreed there was “solid evidence the earth is warming” compared to 61 percent of non-tea party Republicans. Eighty-four percent of Democrats shared that belief.
But even among the non-tea party Republican respondents in that survey, only 32 percent said human activity was to blame, while 24 percent attributed warming to “natural patterns.”
Overall, fewer than half of the respondents of all political persuasions (44 percent) believed human activity is to blame.
The continuing downward trend in prioritizing climate change in foreign policy comes despite the fact that President Obama has, in the words of Secretary of State John Kerry, placed the issue “back on the front burner where it belongs.”
Attributing climate change to human activity is a view strongly held by senior administration officials. Kerry himself, who as a senator was an outspoken advocate, has prioritized the issue of human-induced global warming as America’s top diplomat. He recently declared himself “amazed” that some Americans do not recognize the urgency of climate change “for life itself on the planet as we know it.”
His predecessor at the State Department, Hillary Clinton, said in May 2011, “there is no doubt, except among those who are into denying the facts before their eyes, that climate change is occurring, and it is contributed to by human actions at every level.”
In its most recent report, released last September, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that global warming is “unequivocal” and that it is “extremely likely” that human activity has been the main cause.
That was stronger language than appeared in the IPCC’s previous report, in 2007, which asserted that global warming was “very likely” man-made.
A year ago, a peer-reviewed journal published the results of a survey of more than 1,000 professional engineers’ and geoscientists’ views on climate change, and found that only 36 percent fitted into a group that “express[ed] the strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause.”
“They are the only group to see the scientific debate as mostly settled and the IPCC modeling to be accurate,” the survey found.
The rest of the respondents, with slight variations, expressed varying degrees of skepticism about the causes of climate change, the extent of risk it poses, and the accuracy of IPCC modeling.
The believers, members of the Church of Climate Scientology of course tend not to pay any attention actual data but believe their idealogue leaders, the models and their all too compliant leftist media. You can usually pick them out at the beach.
The debate on the social cost of carbon is heating up.
The White House has recently issued a Technical Support Document on the Social Cost of Carbon [link. Excerpts from the Executive Summary:
The purpose of the “social cost of carbon” (SCC) estimates presented here is to allow agencies to incorporate the social benefits of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into cost-benefit analyses of regulatory actions that impact cumulative global emissions. The SCC is an estimate of the monetized damages associated with an incremental increase in carbon emissions in a given year. It is intended to include (but is not limited to) changes in net agricultural productivity, human health, property damages from increased flood risk, and the value of ecosystem services due to climate change.
The SCC estimates using the updated versions of the models are higher than those reported in the 2010 TSD. By way of comparison, the four 2020 SCC estimates reported in the 2010 TSD were $7, $26, $42 and $81 (2007$). The corresponding four updated SCC estimates for 2020 are $12, $43, $65, and $129 (2007$). The model updates that are relevant to the SCC estimates include: an explicit representation of sea level rise damages in the DICE and PAGE models; updated adaptation assumptions, revisions to ensure damages are constrained by GDP, updated regional scaling of damages, and a revised treatment of potentially abrupt shifts in climate damages in the PAGE model; an updated carbon cycle in the DICE model; and updated damage functions for sea level rise impacts, the agricultural sector, and reduced space heating requirements, as well as changes to the transient response of temperature to the buildup of GHG concentrations and the inclusion of indirect effects of methane emissions in the FUND model.
The controversy surrounding this issue is reported today in a post by The Hill. Excerpts:
The White House will seek new public comment on the “social cost of carbon” (SCC), a metric that helps regulators estimate the benefits of rules that cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) decision arrives amid criticism from industry groups and Republicans who say the Obama administration’s May 2013 upward revision of the SCC earlier lacked public input.
The “social cost of carbon” has lately been a flashpoint in wider political and lobbying battles over White House’s climate change policy, especially planned Environmental Protection Agency carbon standards for power plants.
Howard Shelanski, the top White House regulatory official, said in a blog post late Friday afternoon that the administration was making new changes to the estimate, and would launch a public comment period “in response to public and stakeholder interest.”
Business groups, such as the Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute, have been challenging the revised estimate on various fronts.
In addition, the GOP-led House recently passed a bill that would prevent the EPA from using the metric in major energy rules.
The Yale Forum on Climate Change has a good post SCC, Social Costs of Carbon: Continuing a little told story. This article provides a lot of good background information. Another good background post is at CSIS.
It is clear from the material presented in this report that the modern rise in the air’s CO2 content is providing a tremendous economic benefit to global crop production.
The very real positive externality of inadvertent atmospheric CO2 enrichment must be considered in all studies examining the SCC; and its observationally-deduced effects must be given premier weighting over the speculative negative externalities presumed to occur in computer model projections of global warming. Until that time, little if any weight should be placed on current SCC calculations..
Another contrary view is provided by Media Matters WSJ Contradicts Experts on Social Cost of Carbon. Punchline:
WSJ Editorial Suggests There Should Be No Social Cost Of Carbon. In an editorial, The Wall Street Journal criticized the Obama administration for raising the social cost of carbon, or the estimate of the damages caused by emitting a ton of carbon dioxide in one year, which is used by regulatory agencies to calculate the benefit of reducing carbon emissions.The Journal suggested that the social cost of carbon should be $0, approvingly citing the previous lack of a social cost for carbon, adding that “Congress has never legislated that there are social costs to carbon emissions” and claiming that assigning such as cost is an “inventio[n]” to “ri[g] the rule-making”:
JC comment: The bottom line seems to be that SCC is being established as a surrogate for a National Carbon Tax. My reaction to all this is that it seems like the uncertainty in SCC is colossal, I am not convinced that we should even have confidence in the sign of the SCC in light of the SPPI and WSJ analyses. And the White House is presenting values of SCC with two significant figures? Uncertain T. Monster is not pleased. There has been no attempt to propagate uncertainty through the FUND, DICE and PAGE models, not to mention whatever front end assumptions about carbon and climate are being used as inputs.
And even if we did have confidence in the SCC numbers, the policies evolving around the SCC seem quite convoluted and who knows how they would even play out at achieving the larger policy objectives.
And finally, I return to the issues raised in the preceding post, 20 tips for interpreting scientific claims. Some commenters seemed to think this was pretty much kindergarten stuff and of course policy makers (or their staffers) understand this stuff. Well anyone taking seriously the White House’s SCC numbers needs to go back to kindergarten and pay attention to the 20 tips.
In light of the importance of SCC to U.S. climate/energy policy, it seems that much more attention needs to be paid to this issue.
“The journals want the papers that make the sexiest claims. And scientists believe that the way you succeed is having splashy papers in Science or Nature - it’s not bad for them if a paper turns out to be wrong, if it’s gotten a lot of attention.” Michael Eisen
Last October, LaTimes had an interesting article in the business section titled Science has lost its way, at a big cost to humanity, subtitle Researchers are rewarded for splashy findings, not for double-checking accuracy. So many scientists looking for cures to diseases have been building on ideas that aren’t even true. Excerpts:
A few years ago, scientists at the Thousand Oaks biotech firm Amgen set out to double-check the results of 53 landmark papers in their fields of cancer research and blood biology. But what they found was startling: Of the 53 landmark papers, only six could be proved valid.
:The thing that should scare people is that so many of these important published studies turn out to be wrong when they’re investigated further,” says Michael Eisen, a biologist at UC Berkeley and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Eisen says the more important flaw in the publication model is that the drive to land a paper in a top journal - Nature and Science lead the list -encourages researchers to hype their results, especially in the life sciences. Peer review, in which a paper is checked out by eminent scientists before publication, isn’t a safeguard. Eisen says the unpaid reviewers seldom have the time or inclination to examine a study enough to unearth errors or flaws.
Eisen is a pioneer in open-access scientific publishing, which aims to overturn the traditional model in which leading journals pay nothing for papers often based on publicly funded research, then charge enormous subscription fees to universities and researchers to read them.
But concern about what is emerging as a crisis in science extends beyond the open-access movement. It’s reached the National Institutes of Health, which last week launched a project to remake its researchers’ approach to publication. Its new PubMed Commons system allows qualified scientists to post ongoing comments about published papers. The goal is to wean scientists from the idea that a cursory, one-time peer review is enough to validate a research study, and substitute a process of continuing scrutiny, so that poor research can be identified quickly and good research can be picked out of the crowd and find a wider audience.
PubMed Commons is an effort to counteract the “perverse incentives” in scientific research and publishing, says David J. Lipman, director of NIH’s National Center for Biotechnology Information, which is sponsoring the venture.
Earlier this month, Science published a piece by journalist John Bohannon about what happened when he sent a spoof paper with flaws that could have been noticed by a high school chemistry student to 304 open-access chemistry journals (those that charge researchers to publish their papers, but make them available for free). It was accepted by more than half of them.
One that didn’t bite was PloS One, an online open-access journal sponsored by the Public Library of Science, which Eisen co-founded. In fact, PloS One was among the few journals that identified the fake paper’s methodological and ethical flaws.
It was the traditionalist Science that published the most dubious recent academic paper of all.
This was a 2010 paper by then-NASA biochemist Felisa Wolfe-Simon and colleagues claiming that they had found bacteria growing in Mono Lake that were uniquely able to subsist on arsenic and even used arsenic to build the backbone of their DNA.
The publication in Science was accompanied by a breathless press release and press conference sponsored by NASA, which had an institutional interest in promoting the idea of alternative life forms. But almost immediately it was debunked by other scientists for spectacularly poor methodology and an invalid conclusion.
To Eisen, the Wolfe-Simon affair represents the “perfect storm of scientists obsessed with making a big splash and issuing press releases” - the natural outcome of a system in which there’s no career gain in trying to replicate and validate previous work, as important as that process is for the advancement of science.
The demand for sexy results, combined with indifferent follow-up, means that billions of dollars in worldwide resources devoted to finding and developing remedies for the diseases that afflict us all is being thrown down a rathole. NIH and the rest of the scientific community are just now waking up to the realization that science has lost its way, and it may take years to get back on the right path.
JC comments: This article raises some important issues, convolutes several of them and then concludes that science has lost its way. Has it?
In thinking about this issue, I find it useful to return to the previous CE post on Pasteur’s quadrant, and the distinction between pure discovery research, use-inspired research, and applied/regulatory research. The arsenic study is arguably pure discovery research, whereas most of the rest of the research (including the deliberately fake paper discussed in this Science article) is use inspired research. It doesn’t really matter outside the scientific community if pure discovery research is incorrect, i.e. it is not immediately obvious what kind of adverse societal impacts might be associated with arsenic and the bacteria in Mono Lake. On the other hand, with cancer research, there are substantial societal and financial impacts involved. The other distinction is between mechanistic research, whereby physical/chemical/biological processes are postulated, in contrast to epidemiological research which is fundamentally statistical. Mechanistic flaws are more easily identified, whereas flaws in epidemiological research is much more difficult to identify and to replicate.
There should be different reward structures for scientists working in the different quadrants – novelty and pushing knowledge frontiers is key for Bohr’s quadrant. However, in use-inspired research there is tremendous potential to provide a misleading foundation for applied/regulatory research, and this is where I see the biggest problem. Replication/auditing and robustness should be key goals for use-inspired research (and part of the reward system for scientists working on these problems). Unfortunately, scientists are rewarded in a way that makes sense for Bohr’s quadrant, and not so much for Pasteur’s quadrant.
Where does climate research lie in all this? Elements of climate research and mechanistic focused on processes, whereas other elements are statistical in nature. In terms of money being thrown down a rathole for climate research, I argued in the Pasteur’s Quadrant post that taxonomical studies of model-based regional impacts rests on the premise that climate models provide useful information for regional impact studies, and they do not.
And finally, I am a big fan Eisen’s models for open access publishing and extended peer review, and I am not a fan of the Nature/Science model with its press releases and press embargoes. Eisen’s model provides the right incentive structure for scientists, whereas the Nature/Science model IMO does not.
So, has science lost it’s way? I don’t think so, but the Science/Nature publishing model and the way that universities reward scientists are providing perverse incentives that do not serve well the societally-relevant applications of science.
Dec 02, 2013
2013: slowest Atlantic hurricane season in 30 years
By Anthony Watts
A couple of days ago, Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. updated his famous graph of hurricane drought, and despite some ribbing from me on what could happen in May 2014, has confidently extended the drought out to the start of the hurricane season in June 2014:
No major hurricanes formed in the Atlantic basin, first time since 1994
The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ends on Saturday, Nov. 30, had the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982, thanks in large part to persistent, unfavorable atmospheric conditions over the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and tropical Atlantic Ocean. This year is expected to rank as the sixth-least-active Atlantic hurricane season since 1950, in terms of the collective strength and duration of named storms and hurricanes.
“A combination of conditions acted to offset several climate patterns that historically have produced active hurricane seasons,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. “As a result, we did not see the large numbers of hurricanes that typically accompany these climate patterns.”
Thirteen named storms formed in the Atlantic basin this year. Two, Ingrid and Humberto, became hurricanes, but neither became major hurricanes. Although the number of named storms was above the average of 12, the numbers of hurricanes and major hurricanes were well below their averages of six and three, respectively. Major hurricanes are categories 3 and above.
Suomi NPP satellite peers into Tropical Storm Andrea, the first storm of the season. (Credit: NOAA/NASA)
Tropical storm Andrea, the first of the season, was the only named storm to make landfall in the United States this year. Andrea brought tornadoes, heavy rain, and minor flooding to portions of Florida, eastern Georgia and eastern South Carolina, causing one fatality.
The 2013 hurricane season was only the third below-normal season in the last 19 years, since 1995, when the current high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes began.
“This unexpectedly low activity is linked to an unpredictable atmospheric pattern that prevented the growth of storms by producing exceptionally dry, sinking air and strong vertical wind shear in much of the main hurricane formation region, which spans the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea,” said Bell. “Also detrimental to some tropical cyclones this year were several strong outbreaks of dry and stable air that originated over Africa.”
GOES East satellite tracks Subtropical Storm Melissa, the last storm of the season. (Credit: NOAA)
Unlike the U.S., which was largely spared this year, Mexico was battered by eight storms, including three from the Atlantic basin and five from the eastern North Pacific. Of these eight landfalling systems, five struck as tropical storms and three as hurricanes.
NOAA and the U.S. Air Force Reserve flew 45 hurricane hunter aircraft reconnaissance missions over the Atlantic basin this season, totaling 435 hours, the fewest number of flight hours since at least 1966.
NOAA will issue its 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook in late May, prior to the start of the season on June 1.
No mention of the failure of the predictions in 2013, nor the fact that this year goes against wild claims made by alarmists of increasing hurricanes due to global warming, something Pielke Jr. also illustrates with a new graph:
The graph below shows total US hurricane landfalls 1900 through 2013.
The five-year period ending 2013 has seen 2 hurricane landfalls. That is a record low since 1900. Two other five-year periods have seen 3 landfalls (years ending in 1984 and 1994). Prior to 1970 the fewest landfalls over a five-year period was 6. From 1940 to 1957, every 5-year period had more than 10 hurricane landfalls (1904-1920 was almost as active).
The red line in the graph above shows a decrease in the number of US landfalls of more than 25% since (which given variability, may just be an artifact and not reflecting a secular change). There is no evidence to support more or more intense US hurricanes. The data actually suggests much the opposite.
Dr Ryan Maue adds:
Here’s a sorted list of North Atlantic hurricane ACE numbers from 1950-2013 - this year tied for 5th lowest on record
By the way the tornado season was the quietest on record and the wildfire season the quietest since 1985 when the current monitoring method began.
Nov 26, 2013
Meteorologists’ views about global warming: A survey of American Meteorological Society professional
Meteorologists and other atmospheric science experts are playing important roles in helping society respond to climate change. Members of this professional community are not unanimous in their views of climate change, and there has been tension among members of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) who hold different views on the topic.
In January 2012, the AMS surveyed its members via email and found 52 percent believe global warming is happening and is mostly human-caused, while 48 percent do not. The survey also found that scientists with professed liberal political views were far more likely to believe global warming is human-caused than others.
Authors of the survey recommended that the AMS should “acknowledge and explore the uncomfortable fact that political ideology influences the climate change views of meteorology professionals; refute the idea that those who do hold non-majority views just need to be “educated” about climate change; [and] continue to deal with the conflict among members of the meteorology community.”
The “early online release” of the survey, to be published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, is available for free viewing
I did an informal survey of 25 professional AMS member known to be skeptics. I was not surveyed. Only 2 received and one responded to the survey. There were weasal worded questions as is typical of surveys in which Ed Maibach is involved. One of those who have advocated a more open approach among the 25, Mike Smith says it like it is. “I am a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and a Certified Consulting Meteorologist. To the best of my memory I never had a chance to respond to this poll of the AMS membership.
That said, the fact that 70% of scientists say that humans affect the climate is utterly unsurprising. That has been known scientifically since Changnon’s METROMEX study in the early 70’s. The fact that 9 out of ten that publish on the subject of climate believe humans affect the climate is also utterly unsurprising.
For me, the money question was #6, “How worried are you about global warming?” Only 30% answered “very worried.” This would make 70% of the respondents “deniers” since that pejorative term seems to be applied to anyone who does not accept the “IPCC consensus” of catastrophic global warming. A statistically similar number (28%) is not worried or “not very worried” about global warming.
So, you can spin the results any way you want but this survey of a small number of AMS members doesn’t reveal any great concern about global warming.”
I could add a long list of former active professional members including fellows who have left the society because of their stance on climate change. I have kept my powder dry and stayed in the society hoping to be around to pick up the pieces when the lies are openly exposed and the scam collapses.
Rep Kuster (D-NH) partnered with Congressman Jared Polis (CO-02) and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03) to introduce legislation to establish a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES). This bill, the Renewable Electricity Standard Act of 2013, would require utility companies to produce at least 25 percent of their power from renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and biomass by 2025, allegedly helping spur growth in our country’s renewable energy sector.
The claim is that Investments in clean energy are investments in a healthier environment and a stronger economy. This common sense bill will help create good middle class jobs, cut pollution, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, all while saving consumers money on their utilities.
The Department of Energy (DOE) recently updated the list of loan guarantee projects on its website. Unlike in 2008, when Barack Obama pledged to create 5 million jobs over 10 years by directing taxpayer funds toward renewable energy projects, there were no press conferences or stump speeches. But the data are nonetheless revealing: for the over $26 billion spent since 2009, DOE Section 1703 and 1705 loan guarantees have created only 2,298 permanent jobs for a cost of over $11.45 million per job. David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis analyzed a generic RES that starts at 3 percent of total power generation in 2012 and rises by 1.5 percent per year. Such an RES would destroy 1 million jobs by 2020, when the standard reaches 15 percent. Average families will pay $2,400 more per year.
In Europe they heard the same promises and experienced serious pain instead of the promised benefits. UK Prime Minister David Cameron who once pledged to lead the ‘greenest government ever’, has publicly promised to ‘roll back’ green taxes, which add more than 110 pounds a year to average fuel bills. A senior aide said ‘He’s telling everyone, “We’ve got to get rid of all this green crap.”
Just recently, German figures were released on the actual productivity of the country’s wind power over the last ten years. The figure is 16.3 percent! Due to the inherent intermittent nature of wind, their wind power system was designed for an assumed 30% load factor in the first place. That means that they hoped to get a mere 30% of the installed capacity versus some 85 to 90% for coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric facilities. That means that, when they build 3,000MW of wind power, they expect to actually get merely 900MW, because the wind does not always blow at the required speeds. But in reality, after ten years, they have discovered that they are actually getting only half of what they had optimistically, and irrationally, hoped for: a measly 16.3 percent.
Even worse, after spending billions of Euros on subsidies, Germany’s total combined solar facilities have contributed a miserly, imperceptible 0.084% of Germany’s electricity over the last 22 years. That is not even one-tenth of one percent. Even in rock-solid Germany, up to 15% of the populace is now believed to be in “fuel poverty.” Some 600,000 low-income Germans are now being cut off by their power companies annually, a number expected to increase as a never-ending stream of global-warming projects in the pipeline wallops customers. In the U.K., which has laboured under the most politically correct climate leadership in the world, some 12 million people are already in fuel poverty, 900,000 of them in wind-infested Scotland alone, and the U.K. has now entered a double-dip recession.
Whatsmore the wind power that Kuster and her party is pushing polices that will have:
Wind turbines produce human health hazards from noise even miles away from the turbines where the noise is just below the threshold for hearing. The New York Times reports residents living less than a mile from the $15 million wind facility in Vinalhaven, Me., say the industrial whoosh-and-whoop of the 123-foot blades is making life unbearable. In Canada, Carmen Krogh, a retired Alberta pharmacist and a group of volunteers surveyed residents in areas near wind farms. Of 76 people who responded to their informal survey, 53 reported at least one health complaint. All across the US, lawsuits have been filed against the wind farms because of these health issues.
According to an estimate published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin in March, almost 600,000 birds are killed by wind farms in America each year, including over 80,000 raptors such as hawks and falcons and eagles (Wildlife Society). Many of the birds are either endangered or protected species.
Even more bats die, as their lungs are inverted by the negative pressures generated behind the 170 mile-per-hour spinning blades. A new study from the University of Colorado, Denver, estimates that 600,000 bats were killed by wind turbines last year alone could be as high as 900,000. Feed on insects that would otherwise destroy crops, and it pollinates as it goes about its nightly tasks.
In Digby, Nova Scotia, an Emu farm was put out of business. Operators of Ocean Breeze Emu Farm in Digby County are shutting down due to a nearby wind turbine farm. The operators said the birds “had died of fear.”
The Obama administration last week announced it would exempt their friends in the wind industry from laws protecting the animals.
EFFECT ON TOURISM
Tourism is New Hampshire’s second-largest industry. The Outdoor Foundation reports tourism supports 53,000 jobs, generates $261 million in annual state tax revenue and produces nearly $4 billion annually in retail sales and services. Will tourists and Adirondack mountain hikers and climbers be less likely to come to areas blessed with natural beauty of mountains lakes and oceans because the turbines and transmission lines ruin what Lori Harnois, NH Director Division of Travel and Tourism called “...the natural beauty of our quintessential New England landscape?” Plans to dot France with wind farms are facing fierce opposition from critics worried they will blight a landscape that has helped make the country the world’s top tourist destination. ...opponents are urging the government to tread carefully so as not to damage France’s thousands of kilometers of stunningly beautiful landscapes.
Though proponents of wind say it enhances property value, there is concrete evidence to the contrary. In a wind impact study in Dodge and Fond Du Lac Counties in Wisconsin, large turbines (389 feet high) using a literature study, an opinion survey of realtors and sales studies determined that sales were less than outside the areas, and prices were lower. Land values were decreased an average of 30%.
IMPROPER MAINTENANCE BUDGETING
In Florida, the Desert Valley Star reported in January 2009 that FPL/NER operates 60 wind turbines - and reportedly 40% were “malfunctioning, in disrepair, or need maintenance.” Broken blades and fires are much more common than the industry will admit to.
Windtech International reported that a survey of 75 wind farm operators in the U.S. in 2008 found that 60% of turbines may be behind in critical maintenance due largely to a shortage of qualified turbine technicians.
NOT RIGHT IN THE NORTH
Several years ago a lengthy study was conducted evaluating the potential to harness wind power from Mount Washington’s endless and reliable supply. The study concluded that the frequent icing of equipment and the strength and gustiness of the wind at this location was so severe that wind energy would not be a practical or cost effective alternative. The Finnish Meteorological Institute, found some ice layers 6 inches thick and could be thrown up to 1800 feet and land with impact speeds up to 170 miles/hour.
Kuster’s husband Brad is a lawyer with the Conservation Law Foundation which believes “Wind power is an important part of the solution to the energy and climate challenges we face. It is an emissions-free form of energy that takes advantage of what is arguably nature’s cleanest and most sustainable power source.”
Unless congress does their homework and like in Europe says no to the environmentalists and defeats the Kuster, Polis and Lujon bill, 2025 will have our level of health and wealth reduced without real benefit.It is perfectly reasonable to be green minded and work towards conservation of our resources.
CO2 has been incorrectly blamed for the natural cycles of temperatures and weather extremes of drought, flood, hurricanes, tornadoes, heat and cold. It is now called carbon pollution, a term that really applies only to soot, largely removed from coal plant effluence with scrubbers.
In fact, EPA’s own charts show a 30% decline in these small particles the last 30 years. The US is exporting fuel oil but no thanks to the administration, which has blocked drilling on all federal lands and offshore and the Keystone Pipeline. It is the heavy drilling and fracking in states on private land that has fed the boon led by clean burning natural gas. After destroying the coal industry, the EPA intends to impede natural gas production by stopping the long used fracking process. The administration admitted openly they want $8/gallon gasoline to make their renewables cost seem less onerous. Thomas Stocker, co-chair of the UN working group on climate change wrote in the Calgary Herald in 2011 that gasoline prices in the US and Canada should increase 300-400% to encourage conservation.
Instead of a health hazard, CO2 is plant food and has helped greatly improve global crop yields and feed the increasing population. Stanford’s Paul Ehrlich wrote in The End of Affluence in 1974, “Due to a combination of ignorance, greed and callousness, a situation has been created that could lead to a billion or more people starving to death."(starting in the 1980s). Instead. thanks to improved hybrids and farming practices and increased CO2, a 50-year trend of remarkable growth in world grain production has followed. Since 1960, global wheat and rice production has tripled, and corn production is almost five times higher.
CO2’s claimed effect on climate has been falsified. A new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change found that of the 117 global warming predictions generated by climate-model simulations, all but three “significantly” overestimated the actual amount of warming that occurred during the past 20 years. Warming has stopped for 17 years (0.9F cooling here in the northeast in winters during that period) even as CO2 has risen 11%.
The 2003 heatwave was blamed for 2,000 deaths, and treated as a national emergency. Sir David King, then chief scientific officer, declared that this meant climate change was ‘more serious even than the threat of terrorism’.
Since then, some 280,000 Brits have died from the cold and barely 10,000 from the heat. We have been focusing on the wrong enemy.
Sea level rise has slowed dramatically (down 43% from the 20th century), and there is no upward trend in drought and flood. Hurricane activity globally has been at a 34 year low. Tornadoes this season were fewer than any year since records started in the 1950s. Wildfires are the lowest since modern record began in 1985, and the arctic bounced back 57% with the coldest summer on record while new records for ice were set in Antarctica. The only weather event that has increased is snowstorms. 4 of the top snowiest years for the northern hemisphere have been in the last 6 years.
The UN IPCC and others with a vested interest in the global warming scare have not bothered to check what sea level evidence says about global temperature changes.
Sea levels are very sensitive to temperature changes, and the oceanic indicators are currently reading “steady”.
So are all other thermometers.
Apart from bubbles of heat surrounding big cities, the thermometers and satellites of the world have not shown a warming trend for 17 years. This is in spite of some inspired fiddling with the records by those whose jobs, research grants and reputations depend on their ability to generate alarming forecasts of destructive global warming.
To explain this absence of warming on Earth’s surface, the warmists now claim that “the missing heat is hiding in the deep oceans”.
This sounds like a water-tight alibi, hard to disprove because of our inability to measure “average ocean temperature” directly.
However, the ocean itself is a huge thermometer - all we have to do is to read the gauges.
Most liquids expand when heated, and this property is used in traditional thermometers. They have a glass reservoir filled with liquid (usually mercury) and a graduated scale to measure any thermal expansion of that liquid.
Oceans have the essentials of a global thermometer - the huge ocean basins are the reservoir, sea water acts like the mercury, and tide gauges on the shoreline (or satellites) measure changes in sea water volume.
Two factors, both dependent on global temperature, are the main causes of any general rise in sea levels, how much ice has melted from land-based ice sheets like Greenland and Antarctica; and the expansion of sea water volume as ocean temperature rises.
Therefore changes in average sea levels are sensitive and accurate indicators of changes in average global temperature.
There are of course some locations where tectonic movements mean that the land is rising or falling relative to the sea, but these areas are easily identified and should be ignored in determining actual changes in sea levels.
Historically, sea levels (and global temperatures) rose steeply as the great ice sheets and glaciers melted as Earth emerged from the last ice age. Sea levels rose by 130 metres in just 10,000 years but they have been relatively stable for the last 7,000 years.
The sea level thermometer was higher than today during the Roman Warm Era, and lower than today when the Little Ice Age ended about 160 years ago. There has been no unusual spurt in recent years, proving conclusively that there is no significant extra heat going into the deep oceans, and no global warming hiding there.
Extortion Attempts Continue At Climate Doom Conference
By Meteorologist Art Horn
Well they’re at it again. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded yet another in what seems to be an endless number of climate doom conferences. This time it was held in Warsaw. Poland. Perhaps the IPCC’s name should be changed to the IPCD (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Doom).
The conference claimed to have some significant achievements such as the $280 million dollars pledged by the combined United States, United Kingdom and Norway to help stop deforestation. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) is the UN’s program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation. I kid you not, the program is actually called REDD, remember? like hammer and sickle? You can’t make this stuff up! The UN IPCC is using the threat of climate change caused by increasing carbon dioxide emission to coerce money from those who they believe are responsible for global warming. They are attempting to make policies that, if fully implemented, will serve to extort vast sums of money from developed nations.
The reason I make this claim is based on what leading members of the IPCC have said in the past. For example, three years ago in November of 2010, Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the IPCC working group three said “the climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the second world war.” Gee, and all the while I though this was about stopping global warming, silly me!
Actually this was not news at the time. One of the most significant demands of the 2009 Copenhagen climate change conference was that “Developed counties promise to fund actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change in developing countries.” The key part of this statement is “Developed countries...adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change in developing countries.” By “adapt” they are saying pay up. The statement goes on the say “Developed countries promise to provide US$30 billion for the period 2010-2012 and to mobilize long term finance of a further US$100 billion a year by 2020 from a variety of sources.” That should get your attention.
In the 2010 interview, Ottmar Edenhofer was describing what the IPCC ‘s goal is. Since the assumed effects of climate change will be most severe on developing nations and since climate change has and is being caused by developed nations the UN IPCC demands that $100 billion dollars a year be provided (extorted) from developed nations.
In order to extort money from someone or some company or nation the extorting party must have the means to force payment. In the case of the mob they would extort a certain amount of money from a business for a promise of “protection” from other gangsters. If you decline the protection you end up sleeping with the fishes...dead. The UN IPCC is attempting to use climate guilt to extort payment.
The IPCC issues big reports at lavish meetings attended by thousands of people each year. The purpose is to impress everyone. They have concluded with 95% confidence that the developed nations are responsible for global warming. This climate change will have severe impacts especially on developing nations. Since these developing nations can’t use fossil fuels to lift their people out of poverty, it is the developed nations responsibility to pay reparations to them for the wrong they have done. If the leaders of the developed nations are gullible enough to believe this claim they will (and are) in favor of making these payments.
Now, as a way to implement the extortion of money from the developed nations, the UN IPCC is proposing a new strategy. Instead of paying for global warming over the long haul, they want their money now. The idea is to have a legal document ratified by the members of the conference to make the United States and all other developed nations pay for storm damage. No matter where a storm does damage and no matter what the cost the United States and other developed nations would foot the bill. Who would determine what storm was caused by climate change and which ones don’t qualify? take a wild guess!
Connie Hedegaard, EU commissioner for climate action said “We cannot have a system where there will be automatic compensation whenever server weather events happen in one place or another around the planet.” She’s right! Such a ruling would be a disaster for the United States and others. Any nation could demand payment for virtually any weather event deemed caused by “climate change.” Such a proposal could only be made by those looking for free money. That is exactly what the UN and all of these developing nations are looking for. It’s not about saving the world from global warming, it’s about taking money from those that have earned it and giving it to those that have not.
To paraphrase Apollo Astronaut Walt Cunningham “You can’t reason with someone who believes in man made global warming because reason has nothing to do with how they arrived at their belief.” The real reason behind man made global warming is to extort money from the developed world. The extortionist is the United Nations. Its troops on the ground to achieve this is the IPCC. PDF
There are certain basics which we need to stay alive. For any animal, food and water top that list, since survival is impossible without them, but sufficient warmth and shelter come a close second. The needs of hunter/gatherer communities are much the same as for groups of animals with similar diets, although the use of fire increases the range of foods consumed.
The emergence of farming allowed larger settlements to develop, although food security was by no means guaranteed. Even today, with an enormous variety of food available to the great majority of the population of the developed world for the first time in history, around one billion people, principally in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, are chronically undernourished.
Should we conclude, therefore, that food security is the biggest issue facing the world today? For the remaining bands of hunter/gatherers, it is certainly the key focus of their existence. But the great majority of those who go to bed hungry do not rely on game animals or wild plants; they are either subsistence farmers or the urban poor. In the first case, they are dependent on the success of their own harvests and do not have the money to buy additional food (nor, in many cases, the opportunity). For the urban poor, the problem is purely and simply a lack of money.
So, although food remains at the apex of the pyramid of needs, what we should really be considering is what is needed to either grow more food or to become prosperous enough to be able to afford to buy it. And the answer is: energy. Food is itself energy for the human body. For those of us lucky enough to live in the industrialised world (and for the minority of kleptocrats in poor countries) the enjoyment of food is one of the pleasures of life, with entire industries growing up to supply our needs (food manufacturers, retailers, restaurants and celebrity chefs, for example). But, ultimately, we eat to stay alive and healthy and be able to work to grow more food or earn money to buy it.
Subsistence farmers have only their own muscle power and that of any animals they may own to till their fields, plant, tend, weed and harvest their crops. This is a major constraint on both the area of land they can manage and the harvest they can expect from it. Yield is further limited by the availability of key nutrients: particularly nitrogen, but also potassium and phosphorus. So it was also in Europe until the industrial era.
Then the availability of steam power began an extended process of replacing the horse or ox (themselves offering a considerable advantage over puny humans) by the tractor. The invention of the Haber-Bosch process and its first commercial-scale use one hundred years ago made synthetic nitrogen fertilizers widely available and greatly increased the yield potential of existing land.
Nowadays, a relative handful of people grow much more food than produced from the same area at a time when the majority of people worked on the land. Rapid urbanisation in developing countries will mean that, before too long, agriculture will be a minor part of the economy of nearly every country, rather than being one of the largest sectors as at present for much of sub-Saharan Africa and South and South East Asia. But this seemingly unstoppable process of development can only continue if there is a reliable and affordable supply of energy to replace muscle power.
This is why, despite its engagement with the travelling circus that is the ongoing round of climate change negotiations, China will not be stopping building new power stations anytime soon. As some will point out, the country is installing lots of wind farms and solar panels but, in a country with such enormous energy needs, these pale into virtual insignificance compared to the coal-fired and nuclear capacity being installed.
According to a recently-posted web article (ChinaFAQs: Renewable Energy in China, An Overview), the country gets about 8% of total primary energy from non-fossil sources. However, much of this is hydroelectricity: it has nearly 230GW of installed capacity (the largest of any country), compared to 75GW of wind and just 7GW of solar PV. China may be the world’s largest producer of PV cells (many of which are exported) and plans many more wind farms, but this does not represent a shift away from fossil fuels.
An article in the Guardian from late last year tells the story: More than 1,000 new coal plants planned worldwide, figures show. The World Resources Institute found that 1,200 coal stations were being planned, about two-thirds of them in China and India. Some coal-fired plants in Beijing are being replaced by gas-fired ones, in a bid to reduce the capital’s notorious air pollution problem, but it seems clear that China and India are set for coal-fired growth for the next few decades.
China’s main comparative advantage is in low-cost manufacturing and this will not be compromised by raising energy prices unnecessarily. India, although with a less dynamic economy than its northern neighbour, can really only boost growth by exploiting similar labour cost advantages. And only by growing the economy will it be able to reduce the shockingly high level of undernourishment across the country.
Cheap and secure energy is the key to economic growth and productive farming. It is also, ultimately, the answer to the growing problem of fresh water scarcity. Water per se is not a limiting resource, but it is often either in the wrong place or too saline to use. A secure and expandable energy supply enables reverse osmosis to purify seawater, as well as powering more intelligent irrigation systems.
Global warming may or may not cause problems later this century, but a prosperous, well-fed population will be in a much better position to deal with this than a world where a billion people remain malnourished. Energy security is today’s imperative.
By Madhav Khandekar, Excerpt from Special Reports on Extremes
Have cold weather extremes been on the rise in recent years? A quick survey of weather extremes since the millennium seems to suggest this may be the ‘new’ reality of climate change. The northern hemisphere has witnessed four severe winters (2002/03, 2005/06, 2007/08, 2009/10) since 2000, with the European continent bearing the brunt of the cold weather. The severity of winter 2002/03 was felt all the way to south Asia, where hundreds of people in Vietnam and Bangladesh were reported to have died due to exposure to colder weather (due to lack of adequate heating in residential houses).
The winter of 2011/12 was quite severe, especially the month of February 2012 when minimum temperatures in parts of eastern Europe plunged to -40C in some locales, leading to several hundred deaths. The winter of 2012/13 was also colder than normal, with March 2013 setting record-breaking low temperatures in the UK, Berlin and parts of eastern Germany. Over North America, the winters of 2002/03, 2007/08 and 2009/10 were
significantly colder and snowier than normal and were linked to an extreme negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation, a slow-varying large-scale atmospheric flow pattern (Seager et al. 2010). Winter severity has also increased in northern India in recent years, where several hundred deaths (mostly of elderly people living in houses with no heat or insulation) have been reported in the last five years.
Several papers published in the last three years (Benestad 2010; Cattiaux et al. 2010; Lockwood et al. 2010) have linked the cold European winters of the last ten years to low solar activity (see NIPCC post on ‘Extreme cold winters over Europe’, dated 12 February 2012). Many solar scientists now suggest that winters in Europe could become even colder, as the sun enters a grand minimum in the next few years.
Besides Europe and North America, the entire continent of South America has seen colder winters over the last five years. The winters of 2007 (July in particular) and 2010 (June to July) were significantly colder than normal and several dozen deaths were reported in Argentina and Chile. Some locales in Argentina recorded low temperatures of −25C, and in July 2007 Buenos Aires recorded its first snowfall since 1918. The most recent winter (July 2013) saw snowfall at several dozen locales in Argentina, Chile and parts of southern Brazil (see Khandekar 2010, for a list of additional cold weather extremes).
It is of interest to note here the lack of news items on cold weather extremes in the media.
Most of the media seem to be obsessed with extremes of heat, completely ignoring cold weather extremes, despite these apparently being on the rise and despite the IPCC’s science failing to offer an explanation for them. In fact, the IPCC extreme weather events table projects ‘fewer cold days and frost in future’. It is also of interest to note here that most climate scientists and advocates of the global warming hypothesis have ignored the
‘cold’ reality of present climate change. The IPCC (2007) has discussed in some detail the European heatwave of summer 2003, but made no mention of the severely cold winter of 2002/03 and the deaths it caused in south Asia. The latest IPCC SPM AR5 released in Stockholm in September 2013 once again fails to mention increasing cold weather extremes of recent years.
Se support for the northern hemisphere winters cooling since 1995 here.
Also see the 17 year winter trends are negative for all 9 climate regions and the contiguous US.
Perhaps you’ve been wondering why the alarmists have been so shrill lately? It’s not because the climate is overheating, to the contrary it’s beginning to cool and so their sham is about to be blown out into the open for everyone to see.
Austrian meteorological data show that European Alps have been cooling, at times massively, over the last 20 years. Public domain photo.
Evaluated data from the Austrian ZAMG meteorological institute now unmistakably show that the Alps have been cooling over the last 20 years and longer, “at some places massively” thus crassly contradicting all the loud claims, projections, and model scenarios made earlier by global warming scientists.
German meteorologist Dominik Jung reports on the data he himself evaluated from the European Alps and concludes at the German-language Huffington Post here:
We are obviously very far away from milder winters. The trend actually is moving in the opposite direction! A few years ago climatologists advised winter sports locations in the Alps to reduce their investments in winter sports facilities’ because of the ever increasing mean temperatures, they soon would not be worth it. So we ask ourselves, which increasing temperatures are the ladies and gentlemen even talking about?”
Some places have seen “massive cooling”
According to an expert review conducted by the Zentralanstalt fur Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG), the Austrian state weather service, using weather data from the last 20 years or more: “Winters there indeed are shown to have gotten colder over the last 20 years, and in some places quite massively. The last two winters at Kitzbuhel were in fact the coldest of the last 20 years.”
Jung then writes that also four other high elevation stations in the Alps were assessed: Zugspitze in Germany, Schmittenhohe in Austria, Sonnblick in Austria and Santis in Switzerland. Result:
They all yielded the same amazing result: Winters in the Alps over the last decades have become significantly colder, the data show.”
Jung writes that data from extra long datasets from 20 to 30 years were examined, “just like climatologists always insist.”
Jung then informs readers that he asked the Austrian meteorological experts on site what they thought of the results. According to Jung, the reaction was either dead silence induced by shock, or attempts to downplay the results. Had the data shown warming instead, then of course we would be hearing just the opposite of silence and downplaying...we’d be hearing the hysterical screams of bloody climate murder!
Jung speculates that the reason meteorologists and climatologists don’t want to hear about the results is because “it doesn’t fit with their world view.” After all, just a few years ago they were cocksure about their predictions of winters without snow and that skiing was only going to be possible at extremely high elevations. Science just possibly could not be humiliated to a greater extent.
Near the end of his Huffington Post essay, Jung comments that it appears that “climate warming has become a religion. Those belonging to it do not tolerate new findings”, even those that stem from solid observations and measurements.
Meteorologist Jung concludes that it’s almost scandalous that the responsible authorities are simply ignoring these findings.
In the US, some at NOAA research and who authored the CCSP documents and support material for the EPA promised the same. The worst offender may be the Union of Concerned Scientists. They are not really scientists but environmental advocist. Unfortunately they have displaced the real scientists at the universities in many locations. The Universities have little regard for the truth but see their chances of getting funding with warmists on staff.
In a meeting in 2007 on Mt. Washington these UCS reps form the UNH and other locations advised the ski and sugar industry that AGW will destroy their industries. That winter set new record for snow in New England and across the US north to Alaska. Last year UCS testified to NH legislature promising the same. Record snows in February and March followed. We need to purge our universities of UCS members and replace with real scientists for our children’s sake. I give talks to college students. In one class, a student stood up after my lecture and said he was mad...not at me but at his school. He said he paid for two courses in climate science and never heard in class of many of the factors I discussed in that lecture. In another even larger school a real meteorologist/climatologist who teaches a course and in his section on climate takes a very balanced approach was told by the Environmental Scientist chair of the department if he wanted to continue to teach there he could only talk weather as in the climate section he was bringing up factors that he could not talk intelligently about. These friends are not isolated instances.
This letter, written by William Hallstein, MD, a practicing psychiatrist with over 40 years of experience, was delivered to the Chairman of the Falmouth Board of Health. Dr. Hallstein is also a resident of Falmouth Massachusetts. In his letter he explains the very real impact of the Falmouth turbines on human health.
Jed Goldstone, Chairman
Falmouth Board of Health
Subject: Falmouth wind turbines and sleep deprivation
Dear Mr. Goldstone:
In way of introduction I have been a Falmouth resident since 1970. I am a psychiatrist, my career working its way through its 44th year. Consultation/liaison psychiatry has been my primary setting. In this role one treats patients with combined physical and psychiatric illnesses in the general medical center population, be it medical, surgical or emergency units, in addition to the most severely psychiatrically ill patients admitted to locked psychiatric units and correctional institutions.
I am thoroughly acquainted with the turbine issues and neighbors who are affected. I have made it my business to spend significant amounts of time experiencing the turbine effects. I know exactly what they are describing and have experienced it.
Turning now to the topic of sleep interruption and deprivation. Sleep disturbance is not a trivial matter. Children with inadequate sleep perform poorly academically, emotionally and physically. Errors in judgement and accident rates increase with inadequate sleep and fatigue for everyone: athletes, truck drivers, ship operators , aircraft pilots and physicians. No one is exempt.
In the world of medicine illnesses of all varieties are destabilized by fatigue secondary to inadequate sleep. Diabetic blood sugars become labile, cardiac rhythms become irregular, migraines erupt and increase in intensity, tissue healing is retarded, and so forth, across the entire field of physical medicine. Psychiatric problems intensify and people decompensate. Mood disorders become more extreme and psychotic disorders more severe.
People with no previously identified psychiatric illness are destabilized by sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation experiments have repeatedly been terminated because test subjects become psychotic; they begin to hallucinate auditory and visual phenomena. They develop paranoid delusions. This all happens in the “normal” brain. Sleep deprivation has been used as an effective means of torture and a technique for extracting confessions.
I could work my way thru the presentation of 43 years of sleep deprivation observations, but that is more than the scope of this letter. I am writing because I have witnessed Town of Falmouth officials and members of other boards trivialize symptom reports from people living close to the wind turbines. I have witnessed attempts to discredit people who are being hurt by the turbines.
Sleep deprivation breaks down individual defenses and mimics a broad range of physical and mental illnesses. Let’s hope the Town of Falmouth comes to its senses and stops the abuse.
William Hallstein, MD
Falmouth, MA 02540
Climate Science Lawyers Up
American Geophysical Union adds legal counseling to its Fall Meeting agenda, citing scientists’ need to defend against increasing attacks on research, correspondence and public statements
By Lindsey Konkel and The Daily Climate
POSTER HALL AT AGU: The American Geophysical Union will now be offering legal counseling during its sponsored events in order to help better scientists’ communications and interactions with the broader world outside of science.
Image: Jesse Varner/Flickr
Time for climate scientists to lawyer up? One of the world’s premier science associations is offering the option.
The American Geophysical Union, representing more than 62,000 Earth, atmospheric and space scientists worldwide, has teamed with the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund to make lawyers available for confidential sessions with scientists at its annual meeting next month.
Legal counseling is not a typical agenda item for a science confab, but it’s become an important one in today’s political climate, scientists say.
The role of science in society is evolving, said AGU’s executive director Chris McEntee. As society faces more conflict over natural disasters, natural resource use and climate change, scientists increasingly find themselves in the spotlight, forced to communicate findings in ways they haven’t in the past.
One-on-one litigation counseling, McEntee said, is “part of a broader suite of services to help our scientists communicate and interact with the broader world outside of science.”
It’s an issue few researchers contemplate as they prepare for a career in science, said Scott Mandia, professor of physical sciences at Suffolk County Community College in New York and founder of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund.
“When you get your degrees in science, you have no understanding of how the legal system works” he said. Such naivety is often exploited to slow down the scientific process, he added, especially in controversial areas like climate research.
The Legal Defense Fund and AGU teamed up last year to test interest; 10 scientists signed up for counseling. Mandia expects “many more” this year.
Lawyers will be available seven hours a day for the first four days of AGU’s massive five-day Fall Meeting, held every December in San Francisco and drawing 22,000 scientists to share and discuss their work.
Wrong message to young scientists?
While Mandia sees a need for scientists to get legal savvy, he also fears the message it sends to early-career scientists unprotected by tenure or institutions.
“Will young scientists shy away from controversial studies if they fear their work will constantly be under attack?” he asked.
Penn State climatologist Michael Mann has been at the receiving end of multiple legal challenges as the creator, more than a decade ago, of the now-famous “hockey stick” graph merging contemporary and prehistoric temperature records.
There’s no question to him of the value or need for legal knowledge.
“Many scientists in my field now find themselves at the receiving end of attacks by groups who abuse open records laws to saddle scientists with vexatious and intimidating demands for personal emails and other materials,” he said in an email. “It is critical that they be informed about their legal rights and available recourse.”
The AGU Fall Meeting starts Dec. 9.
This article originally appeared at The Daily Climate, the climate change news source published by Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit media company.
Wind and solar power alone won’t do enough to counter climate change, say four top climate scientists
Nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, in Waynesboro, Ga.(Credit: AP/Mary Ann Chastain)
In an ideal world, we’d move steadily away from fossil fuels to renewable energy, like wind and solar, while neatly avoiding messy alternatives like natural gas and nuclear power. But according to four top U.S. scientists, renewable energy won’t be enough to head off the rapidly advancing reality of climate change. Despite the scary things you may be hearing about it, they said, nuclear power is a solution, and it needs to be taken seriously.
The letter, signed by James Hansen, a former top NASA scientist; Ken Caldeira, of the Carnegie Institution; Kerry Emanuel, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Tom Wigley, of the University of Adelaide in Australia all of whom, according to the AP, “have played a key role in alerting (lying) to the public to the dangers of climate change” was sent to leading environmental groups and leaders around the world. Advocating for the development of safe nuclear power, they wrote:
We appreciate your organization’s concern about global warming, and your advocacy of renewable energy. But continued opposition to nuclear power threatens humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous climate change.
Renewables like wind and solar and biomass will certainly play roles in a future energy economy, but those energy sources cannot scale up fast enough to deliver cheap and reliable power at the scale the global economy requires. While it may be theoretically possible to stabilize the climate without nuclear power, in the real world there is no credible path to climate stabilization that does not include a substantial role for nuclear power.
Using a bit less tact, Hansen told the AP: “They’re cheating themselves if they keep believing this fiction that all we need” is wind and solar.
The experts also took pains to address concerns over nuclear safety something that’s been a particular sticking point for nuclear power in the wake of the disaster at Fukushima:
We understand that today’s nuclear plants are far from perfect. Fortunately, passive safety systems and other advances can make new plants much safer. And modern nuclear technology can reduce proliferation risks and solve the waste disposal problem by burning current waste and using fuel more efficiently. Innovation and economies of scale can make new power plants even cheaper than existing plants. Regardless of these advantages, nuclear needs to be encouraged based on its societal benefits.
Quantitative analyses show that the risks associated with the expanded use of nuclear energy are orders of magnitude smaller than the risks associated with fossil fuels. No energy system is without downsides. We ask only that energy system decisions be based on facts, and not on emotions and biases that do not apply to 21st century nuclear technology.
Fanciful predictions of all the deaths that will result from climate change, decades into the future, are regularly thrown into public debate. Less attention has been given to a real statistic from the here and now, released by the Office of National Statistics this week, which shows the effects of one of the policies designed to tackle climate change: high energy prices. It emerged this week that there were 31,000 ‘excess’ deaths in England and Wales last winter, almost a third more than the previous year. Almost all were, in effect, British pensioners who died of the cold.
It’s odd: Britain is a rich country with a massive welfare state - and we know how to heat and insulate houses. We also send millions away in overseas aid. Yet somehow we have failed to find a way to stop our own people dying of the cold. Each winter, we tolerate a death toll which runs into the tens of thousands. Worse, we seem to have become inured to it.
The 2003 heatwave was blamed for 2,000 deaths, and treated as a national emergency. Sir David King, then chief scientific officer, declared that this meant climate change was ‘more serious even than the threat of terrorism’.
Since then, some 280,000 Brits have died from the cold and barely 10,000 from the heat. We have been focusing on the wrong enemy.
Yet still the government seems little bothered by the link between green levies, which are already jacking up our heating bills, and rising winter deaths. Whenever the Climate Change Secretary is presented with the charge that climate levies are hurting the poor he always makes the same claim: that one of the main roles of the levies is to subsidise home insulation schemes for low-earners, and that by doing so their energy bills will actually fall. This is a dubious assertion in that it relies on the elderly and the poor all being able to access subsidised insulation schemes. Many cannot.
The green schemes always look better on paper. The proposed ‘Green Deal’ was supposed to have led to the installation of insulation in 10,000 homes by the end of the year. It emerged this week that barely a tenth of this figure, 1,170 households, have been helped. Little wonder - the IPPR think tank (below) has shown that Green Deal repayments on the extra insulation will add back whatever is saved in energy payments. People are no better off, which is why so few have signed up.
It is hard to escape the conclusion that by adding the cost of levies onto fuel bills (rather than paying them out of general taxation) the Blair and Brown governments hoped to deflect blame to the energy companies. And the Tories signed up to this
agenda by voting for Ed Miliband’s Climate Change Act.
Far from helping the poor, a remarkable amount of money raised in green taxes seems to land at the feet of the rich: wealthy landowners who rent their land to subsidised wind farms, and well-off homeowners who can afford to fit solar panels to their roofs or to invest in ‘green’ central heating systems such as ground-source heat pumps and woodchip boilers. This, in itself, is a scandal. But we are in a situation where people are dying because they cannot afford to heat their homes. That fact that most of the 31,000 who perished last year are over 75 years of age seems to take the political sting out of this scandal. It is as if elderly lives are somehow less valuable.
Reports that David Cameron now refers to such initiatives as ‘green crap’ suggest that he has finally come round to appreciating the potential political cost of green stealth taxes on the poor. The failure of his famous wind turbine on his house in Ladbroke Grove ought to have alerted him to the false claims made of green energy. But it is no credit to him that he previously subscribed to such measures with enthusiasm. The price of ‘green crap’ is reflected not just in higher energy bills, but in the fate of pensioners who dare not turn on the radiator after having faced punitive hikes in their heating bill.
For years the Prime Minister has stuck to the conceit that the Climate Change Act would cut energy bills in the longer run by bringing forward investment in renewable energy which, though it might be more expensive now, will steadily fall in price while the cost of fossil fuels soars. It is becoming more apparent by the day that this assumption is deeply flawed. Fossil fuel prices are no longer soaring; on the contrary, in the US they are falling as fracking reduces the cost of extracting unconventional reserves. Global temperatures, too, have declined to follow the predicted path on which the Climate Change Act was justified. While other countries loosen their carbon reduction targets Britain remains legally bound to targets which threaten to render industry chronically uncompetitive.
It is highly desirable that carbon emissions fall as indeed they have in the US as gas pushes out coal as the main form of electricity generation. But it shouldn’t come at the cost of economic growth or the welfare of the old and poor. If David Cameron really wants to tackle ‘green crap’, sooner or later he is going to have to tear up the Climate Change Act and replace it with a policy aimed at lowering bills and saving lives.
The landfall of supertyphoon Haiyan has led to a predictable upsurge in attempts by unscrupulous environmentalists to turn the drama into a political opportunity. For example, Jamie Henn of 350.org calls the storm a wake-up call for the upcoming UN climate summit. Simon Redfern in the Mirror says we should expect more such storms in future. There are plenty of others I could link to as well, there is, after all, no shortage of unscrupulous environmentalists, but I’m sure you get the drift.
Meanwhile, we learn of this 2004 paleoclimate reconstruction of hurricane landfalls in Southeastern China. The conclusions seem to contradict the wild claims of the drama greens more than somewhat:
Remarkably, the two periods of most frequent typhoon strikes in Guangdong (AD 1660 to 1680, 1850 to 1880) coincide with two of the coldest and driest periods in northern and central China during the Little Ice Age.
“The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given idea, however fundamental it may seem to be, for a better one; the essence of theology is that it holds its truths to be eternal and immutable.”
The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce
Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway
Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic
zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.
Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the
report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.
Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are
being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.
November 2, 1922, as reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post - 90+ years ago.
Warmist Kevin Drum on selling the global warming hoax: “...anecdotal evidence (mild winters, big hurricanes, wildfires, etc.) is probably our best bet. We should milk it for everything it’s worth” H/T Tom Nelson.
See Dr. Doug Hoyt’s Greenhouse Scorecard on Warwick Hughes site here.
From Jack Black’s Climate Change Dictionary
PEER REVIEW: The act of banding together a group of like-minded academics with a funding conflict of interest, for the purpose of squeezing out any research voices that threaten the multi-million dollar government grant gravy train.
SETTLED SCIENCE: Betrayal of the scientific method for politics or money or both.
DENIER: Anyone who suspects the truth.
CLIMATE CHANGE: What has been happening for billions of years, but should now be flogged to produce ‘panic for profit.’
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: Leftist Nutcase Prize, unrelated to “Peace” in any meaningful way.
DATA, EVIDENCE: Unnecessary details. If anyone asks for this, see “DENIER,” above.
CLIMATE SCIENTIST: A person skilled in spouting obscure, scientific-sounding jargon that has the effect of deflecting requests for “DATA” by “DENIERS.’ Also skilled at affecting an aura of “Smartest Person in the Room” to buffalo gullible legislators and journalists.
JUNK SCIENCE: The use of invalid scientific evidence resulting in findings of causation which simply cannot be justified or understood from the standpoint of the current state of credible scientific or medical knowledge
Speaking of junk science, see Lubos Motl’s excellent point by point counter to the John Cook 104 talking points document attacking the skeptical science here.
NOTE: Heartland has the presentations and powerpoints posted for the Heartland ICCC IV. If you could not go, there is plenty to see there. Please remember the goldmine of videos and PPTs at the Heartland ICCC proceeding sites for 2008 NYC here, 2009 NYC here and 2009 DC here. Here is a PPT I gave at the Heartland Instutute ICCC Meeting in 2008 and here is the follow up in 2009. Here is an abbreviated PPT in two parts I presented at a UK conference last month: Part 1, Part 2.
See C3 Headlines excellent collection of graphs and charts that show AGW is nonsense here.
See Climate Theater with a collection of the best climate skeptic films and documentaries here. See additional scientific youtubes here.
“The above papers support skepticism of “man-made” global warming or the environmental or economic effects of. Addendums, comments, corrections, erratum, replies, responses and submitted papers are not included in the peer-reviewed paper count. These are included as references in defense of various papers. There are many more listings than just the 900-1000 papers. Ordering of the papers is alphabetical by title except for the Hockey Stick, Cosmic Rays and Solar sections which are chronological. This list will be updated and corrected as necessary.”
The less intelligent alarmists have written a paper allegedly connecting the scientists to Exxon Mobil. Here is the detailed response from some of the featured scientists. Note that though this continues to be a knee jerk reaction by some of the followers, there is no funding of skeptic causes by big oil BUT Exxon has funded Stanford warmists to the tune of $100 million and BP UC Berkeley to $500,000,000. Climategate emails showed CRU/Hadley soliciting oil dollars and receiving $23,000,000 in funding.
Many more papers are catalogued at Pete’s Place here.
The science and economics of global warming are not too complicated for the average person to consider and make up his or her own mind. We urge you to do that. Go here and view some of the articles linked under “What’s New” or “A Primer on Global Warming.” Or go here and read about the new report from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), which comprehensively rebuts the claims of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Go here for the sources for the factual statements in the ads.
See the ICECAP Amazon Book store. Icecap benefits with small commission for your purchases via this link.
Also available now some items that will gore your alarmist friends (part of the proceeds go to support Icecap):
The Weather Wiz here. See how they have added THE WIZ SCHOOL (UPPER LEFT) to their website. An excellent educational tool for teachers at all class levels. “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel” - Socrates (470--399 BC)