Apr 21, 2016
Poll: Australians more skeptical. Climate change “dropped off” political radar
In Australia the latest (unpublished) opinion poll shows concern about tackling climate change has fallen from 55% in 2007 to 35%.
Groupthinking struggles to understand:
The aversion to talking about climate change during the election campaign reflects a wider problem: our concern for this issue has fallen even while it has become larger and more urgent, writes Mike Steketee.
Climate change dropped off the political radar - ABC Drum
It sure does reflect a wider problem: that democracies need real public debate, real choice, and we are not getting it. Skeptics want climate change to be a voter issue - bring on a plebiscite. Let the public decide how much they should spend to change the weather. But that’s exactly what the believer politicians fear. They know they have to hide the topic because it’s electoral death. Everyone wants to stop pollution and “save the planet” - it’s motherhood and apple pie, but no one wants to pay much to try to change the climate. Eighty percent might believe the climate changes, but only 12% want to pay two dollars to offset their Jetstar flight (and it’s less for Qantas). Therein lies a diabolical dichotomy.
IPSOS poll shows Australians care less - there are more skeptics
Common sense is winning.
...a sobering reality: in the last eight years, many Australians’ concern over climate change has fallen even while the problem has become larger and more urgent.
There is no conflict here. “The problem” has become almost non-existent - the rains filled most dams, the seas barely rose, and the temperatures didn’t warm - except for El Nino noise.
The market research company Ipsos has been conducting surveys on the issue since 2007. In that year 54 per cent of people who were presented with a list of issues said climate change was one that needed to be addressed. In the latest report, still to be released, this fell to 38 per cent last year. This is about the same as for the previous two years, although higher than in 2011 and 2012.
Different descriptions on the list for essentially the same issue confirmed the finding, but more strongly. For example, concern about tackling “global warming” fell from 55 per cent to 35 per cent over the eight years. Renewable energy was at the top of the list of issues that needed to be addressed but it also has fallen significantly - from 68 per cent to 51 per cent.
Climate skeptics are gaining ground:
But it also has meant ceding ground to climate sceptics. They certainly did not worry about selling their message too hard: to the contrary, they thrived on their shrill advocacy to grab attention.
The groupthink churns. Look at the language. Steketee thinks skeptics are “selling” something when the vested interests, rewards and resources are almost entirely on his side. And who’s selling “too hard” - the people who say the climate has always changed or the people who say Armaggedon is coming, and climate change causes volcanoes? The hard sell program is the one that tells us we are evil, selfish and stupid people if we don’t drink the kool aid.
And what does “thriving” mean? Believers have jobs and junkets. Skeptics get sacked, and live off donations if they’re lucky. If skeptics were thriving, the government would be giving them grants, awards, and paying for two week extravaganzas in Paris.
More polarisation - thanks to the ABC
Spot the conflict that Steketee can’t explain, but which I can:
The yet-to-be-published data from Ipsos shows a jump from 27 per cent to 44 last year in the group of so called “active believers” - those with a strong sense of urgency and concern about climate change.
Ignore that the numbers don’t add up - 44% are “active believers” but only 35% are concerned about tackling global warming. How is it that there are more skeptics overall and yet also more strident, passionate believers? If Steketee asked me (i.e. did some research) I could have told him. Long ago in 2010 a bigger more detailed opinion poll showed this issue was artificially U shaped, not a normal bell curve. If there was a real debate on a complex topic most people would be in the middle, not at the extremes. Gradually the middle would shift to one pole or the other as the issue resolved. Instead, the opposite has happened and opinions are polarizing rather than reconciling.
Only one side is right. The other side is bolstered, blinded and coached into fits of passion. One side leans to the correct, while the other to the politically correct. There is an artificial U curve because the issue is not calmly debated, it’s not discussed on its merits, and the topic has gone tribal. The ABC (and BBC and CBC) is largely to blame because they won’t allow the skeptical side to present their views. If the skeptics were wrong, a real debate would crush them.
Instead, the poor denizens of “ABC-World” are fed a litany of unbalanced, badly researched articles just like Mike Steketee’s. They hear ad hominem fallacies, innuendo, and wild conspiracies of fantasy “fossil fuel” funding that appeals to their base instincts. They are told they are smart for calling people names - “denier”. The hatred and sense of injustice inures them against rational arguments - even when skeptics are right they are wrong because they “must be paid liars”.
The ABC has burned years of trust and goodwill on this debate. Who wants public funded propaganda? Time to axe the funding, not because of its bias, but because of its incompetence.
Wherefore art the active 44%?
Looking at the IPSOS poll of 2015 the “27%” of active believers (that is apparently now 44%) comes from the researchers own categorizations which don’t even include an “active skeptic” position - a person can only be an active believer, an engaged moderate, or a passive doubter. There would be no “U” shape because of the poor design. In the US one recent poll showed 30% were happy to call climate change a “total hoax”. These would be categorised as “passive doubters” in Ipsos speak, which also finds that this group are least likely to have a university education - something that conflicts with other better surveys that show skeptics are better at science and mathematical reasoning. Still other large studies show there are proportionately more skeptics in the upper middle educated class than in the unskilled. The whole Ipsos survey is an online questionnaire. Whatever.
Believers have to hide the topic from voters
Abbott made climate change an issue and won resoundingly. Gillard gave mixed weak messages and barely won - then was caned when she broke promises and demanded hundreds of dollar per household in order to change the weather. The only time in the last five years that Australians got to vote on “climate” they chose the skeptical choice. Believer politicians have to hide this debate because they lose every way.
Apr 17, 2016
Warren Buffett - Berkshire Hathaway on Climate Change
From their annual report:
I am writing this section because we have a proxy proposal regarding climate change to consider at this year’s annual meeting. The sponsor would like us to provide a report on the dangers that this change might present to our insurance operation and explain how we are responding to these threats. It seems highly likely to me that climate change poses a major problem for the planet. I say “highly likely” rather than “certain” because I have no scientific aptitude and remember well the dire predictions of most “experts” about Y2K. It would be foolish, however, for me or anyone to demand 100% proof of huge forthcoming damage to the world if that outcome seemed at all possible and if prompt action had even a small chance of thwarting the danger.
This issue bears a similarity to Pascal’s Wager on the Existence of God. Pascal, it may be recalled, argued that if there were only a tiny probability that God truly existed, it made sense to behave as if He did because the rewards could be infinite whereas the lack of belief risked eternal misery. Likewise, if there is only a 1% chance the planet is heading toward a truly major disaster and delay means passing a point of no return, inaction now is foolhardy.
Call this Noah’s Law: If an ark may be essential for survival, begin building it today, no matter how cloudless the skies appear. It’s understandable that the sponsor of the proxy proposal believes Berkshire is especially threatened by climate change because we are a huge insurer, covering all sorts of risks. The sponsor may worry that property losses will skyrocket because of weather changes. And such worries might, in fact, be warranted if we wrote ten- or twenty-year policies at fixed prices. But insurance policies are customarily written for one year and repriced annually to reflect changing exposures. Increased possibilities of loss translate promptly into increased premiums.
Think back to 1951 when I first became enthused about GEICO. The company’s average loss-per-policy was then about $30 annually. Imagine your reaction if I had predicted then that in 2015 the loss costs would increase to about $1,000 per policy. Wouldn’t such skyrocketing losses prove disastrous, you might ask? Well, no. Over the years, inflation has caused a huge increase in the cost of repairing both the cars and the humans involved in accidents. But these increased costs have been promptly matched by increased premiums. So, paradoxically, the upward march in loss costs has made insurance companies far more valuable. If costs had remained unchanged, Berkshire would now own an auto insurer doing $600 million of business annually rather than one doing $23 billion. Up to now, climate change has not produced more frequent nor more costly hurricanes nor other weather related events covered by insurance. As a consequence, U.S. super-cat rates have fallen steadily in recent years, which is why we have backed away from that business. If super-cats become costlier and more frequent, the likely - though far from certain - effect on Berkshire’s insurance business would be to make it larger and more profitable.
As a citizen, you may understandably find climate change keeping you up nights. As a homeowner in a low-lying area, you may wish to consider moving. But when you are thinking only as a shareholder of a major insurer, climate change should not be on your list of worries.
Apr 08, 2016
Continued Attack On The US Constitution
Steve Goddard, Real Science
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
The White House continues their attack on free speech, claiming that their abuse of power is for the public good.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) today denounced a subpoena from Attorney General Claude E. Walker of the U.S. Virgin Islands that attempts to unearth a decade of the organization’s materials and work on climate change policy. This is the latest effort in an intimidation campaign to criminalize speech and research on the climate debate, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and former Vice President Al Gore.
“CEI will vigorously fight to quash this subpoena. It is an affront to our First Amendment rights of free speech and association for Attorney General Walker to bring such intimidating demands against a nonprofit group,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman. “If Walker and his allies succeed, the real victims will be all Americans, whose access to affordable energy will be hit by one costly regulation after another, while scientific and policy debates are wiped out one subpoena at a time.”
The subpoena requests a decade’s worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents regarding CEI’s work on climate change and energy policy, including private donor information. It demands that CEI produce these materials from 20 years ago, from 1997-2007, by April 30, 2016.
On March 30, 2016, Attorney General Schneiderman, former Vice President Al Gore, and attorneys general from Massachusetts, Virginia, Connecticut, Maryland, Vermont, as well as Attorney General Walker, held a press conference in New York City to announce “an unprecedented coalition of top law enforcement officials committed to aggressively protecting and building upon the recent progress the United States has made in combating climate change.” Schneiderman said that the group, calling itself “AGs United for Clean Power,” will address climate change by threatening criminal investigations and charges against companies, policy organizations, scientists, and others who disagree with its members’ climate policy agenda.
CEI Fights Subpoena to Silence Debate on Climate Change | Competitive Enterprise Institute
I meet with CEI almost every month in DC to discuss ways of ending government climate fraud. Their only interest is getting legitimate science into the policy debate. I have never seen anything but integrity on display from their staff.
The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution was written specifically to prohibit this sort of abuse of power. It was a response the British general warrant.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
There is no probable cause against CEI, or any sort of cause at all. It is an attempt by the White House to harass dissidents into submission to White House tyranny.
Yes, Let’s Prosecute Climate-Change Fraud - and Start with the Scaremongers
By David French April 8, 2016 4:00 AM
If propounding pseudoscience in pursuit of self-serving goals is a crime, here are some hardened offenders. The attorneys general of New York and California are on the warpath. They’re fed up with dissent over the science and politics of global warming, and they’re ready to investigate the liars. California’s Kamala Harris and New York’s Eric Schneiderman have Exxon in their sights, and they’re trying to pry open the books to see whether the corporation properly warned shareholders “about the risk to its business from climate change.” Not to be outdone, Attorney General Loretta Lynch revealed that the federal Department of Justice has “discussed” the possibility of civil suits against the fossil-fuel industry. The smell of litigation is in the air.
See more here.
Perspective on the Claimed Changes
Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
The claimed consensus on the global temperatures among the surface station data bases occurs because there is over 97% overlap of data - with the data gathered by and originating from NOAA. Well over half of the change over time is due to adjustments - the data is no longer data but a hybrid of data and models (that adjustment is based on modeler assumptions). But even if the data were right if you use a reasonable scale it looks less impressive.
Consider that we are talking tenths of a degree - the range in your car from front to back and in my office here from one side to the other may be 5 degrees or more. If you consider the normal diurnal range is 30F in these latitudes and the range of warmest month to coldest month is 50F or so and the range of extremes for most cities is more like 120F, the idea that we need to live in the dark or give up our conveniences given the minute change to save humanity is total nonsense.
This ‘perspective’ chart plots the Hadley data on a scale that compares it to the diurnal, seasonal and extreme variance.
We with a large team of scientists and economists and lawyers recently published a detailed scientific brief to the courts battling bad science. It was the 5th such brief the last 5 years.
Apr 04, 2016
Alarmist Sea Level Data May Raise Flood Insurance
By Larry Bell
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which provides unrealistically cheap flood insurance to high-risk property owners is experiencing a disaster of its own making - a balance sheet that is $24 billion under water.
The planned bailout solution will remap flood zones based upon hypothetical sea level rise projections to spread premiums rather than penalize high-risk flood-prone development.
A Biggert-Waters bill passed in 2012 was intended to get FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) out of the red by mandating that the agency establish more realistic pricing in keeping with about double the “actuarial” rates charged by private companies.
The strategy was to discourage homeowners and developers from rebuilding in active flood zones, in part due to cut-rate incentives afforded in about one-fifth of FEMA policies.
So in 2013 FEMA did exactly that, phasing in higher premiums which were often thousands of dollars higher - most particularly for second homes and properties which have subsequently changed hands.
This led to a different sort of FEMA disaster as disgruntled property owners flooded their congressional representatives with angry calls.
That tidal wave of protests led to an emphasis upon Plan B.
Buried in the 63 pages of the Biggert-Waters bill was a provision requiring that a sea level rise (SLR) component be added to future coastal and flood maps to reassess flood zone designations and risk categories.
Whereas these maps were previously based upon the last 100 years of historic data, they were now to be adjusted by a national committee called the Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC) which would determine which data sources should be used.
Last October TMAC made their official recommendations - and that’s where it gets into hot water. A key source will be the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and its SLR data will be heavily based upon wildly speculative global warming scenarios.
NOAA recently released a report that downwardly adjusted previous ocean temperature records in order to make global changes between 1998 and 2012 appear much warmer.
This was accomplished by throwing out global-coverage satellite-sensed sea surface measurements taken since the late 1970s - the best data available - and upwardly adjusting spotty and unreliable hit-and-miss temperature readings taken from oceangoing vessels.
NOAA’s “corrections” to suggest warming between a huge 1998 El Nino another big one last year contradict data provided by a large integrated network of Argo ocean buoys operated by the British Oceanographic Data Center in combination with satellite-enhanced data which reveal no statistically significant warming.
House Science Committee Chairman Smith has expressed strong suspicion that the real purpose of NOAA’s report was to push President Obama’s political agenda.
In 2012 NOAA projected “with very high confidence” (greater than 90 percent chance) that the global mean sea level will rise at a huge possible range of at least 8 inches and no more than 6.6 feet by 2100.
The lowest scenario is based upon historic rates, with the highest assuming a maximum plausible contribution of ice sheet loss and glacial melting due to ocean warming.
Bear in mind that sea levels have been steadily rising in at the rate of about 4-8 inches per century over the past 150 years, with no significant acceleration over the past half-century.
Even according to the latest of all unfailingly alarmist U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, “It is likely that GMSL [Global Mean Sea Level] rose between 1920 and 1950 at a rate comparable to that observed between 1993 and 2010.”
Also consider that while the world’s mean surface temperatures have also been gradually rising in fits and starts over the past 100 years, they have been flat between the two major El Nino’s over the past 18 years despite rising atmospheric CO2 levels.
Warren Buffet whose Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. is the largest shareholder in Munich Re, the world’s biggest re-insurance company, summed up the situation in his 2015 annual report: “Up to now, climate change has not produced more frequent nor more costly hurricanes nor other weather-related events covered by insurance. As a consequence, U.S. super-cat rates have fallen steadily in recent years, which is why we have backed away from that business. “
“If super-cats became costlier and more frequent, the likely - though far from certain - effect on Berkshire’s insurance business would be to make it larger and more profitable.”
Buffet then offered some good advice: “As a citizen, you may understandably find climate change keeping you up at nights. As a homeowner in a low-lying area, you may wish to consider moving.
“But when you are thinking only as a shareholder of a major insurer, climate change should not be on your list of worries.”
As for many thousands of FEMA National Flood Insurance Program subscribers, worry more about a rising tide of climate alarm that will influence premiums.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of “Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom"(2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2012)
Mar 29, 2016
The Devastating Impact Of Germany’s Green Energy Transition
Green Europe Lets Its Poor Freeze To Death
No Tricks Zone, 29 March 2016 Pierre Gosselin
The poor are the real victims of Europe’s green energy drive: tens of thousands of deaths every year, millions losing their power.
The latest story on “green energy” here at the German online FOCUS magazine website actually shocked me.
Europe’s energy policy is, under the bottom line, costing the lives of tens of thousands of citizens - all at the holy altar of “climate protection”.
The title of the FOCUS article: “The grand electricity lie: Why electricity is becoming a luxury”
One of the sickest things about Europe and its disconnected leaders is that often a full-scale disaster first needs to happen before policy gets corrected. Often the scale of the death and devastation becomes known only after the clean-up crews have come in and sifted through the rubble.
FOCUS now cites a documentary film which is set to be broadcast this evening on European television station ARTE.
The documentary presents how Europe’s electricity prices are spiraling out of control, and horrible consequences this is having on the continent’s citizens.
The situation, we are discovering, is far more disturbing than even the earlier worst case scenarios every imagined.
In 2014 in Europe there were about 40,000 winter deaths because millions of people were unable to pay for their electric bills - the so-called energy poverty currently impacts about ten percent of all Europeans. In the past 8 years the price of electricity in Europe has climbed by an average of 42 percent.
7 million German households in energy poverty
FOCUS writes that the poor are the real victims of “socialist” Europe’s clean energy drive.
In Bulgaria people see half of their income gobbled up by energy costs alone. In Spain 28 percent of the citizens live in “energy poverty”.
In Germany, FOCUS writes, 7 million households are considered to be living in “energy poverty”.
The consequences of energy poverty are profound: tens of thousands of deaths every year, millions losing their power.
The fact that Germany is a world leader in green power is by now familiar. Much less familiar is the price the country is paying for it, not just in cold hard cash, but in growing losses and dislocations across the entire economy. The losers include once-stalwart utility giants like E.ON and RWE that are struggling with rising debt and falling shares. Manufacturing companies, from chemicals maker BASF to carbon fiber producer SGL Carbon, have shifted investments abroad, where energy costs are often a fraction of Germany’s. Losers include laid-off workers in these industries, but also millions of ordinary consumers. Their utility bills have skyrocketed, largely driven by subsidies for eco-friendly fuels. Germany’s “green” revolution has a dark shadow. --Gilbert Kreijger, Stefan Theil and Allison Williams, Handelsblatt, 24 March 2016
European global warming policies are hurting the continent’s poor, according to a Manhattan Institute study published Thursday. Europe has tried to fight global warming with cap-and-trade schemes and lucrative financial support to green power since 2005. Though well-meaning, the continent’s environmental efforts have only made life harder for Europe’s poor. Between 2005 and 2014, residential electricity rates on the continent increased by 63 percent according to the study. European-style global warming policies hurt the poor 1.4 to 4 times more than they hurt the rich, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. --Andrew Follett, The Daily Caller, 25 March 2016
Since 2005, members of the European Union have aggressively pushed policies aimed at addressing climate change. Those policies are primarily designed to decrease carbon-dioxide emissions and increase the use of renewable energy. At the same time, several European countries are restricting the production of natural gas and, in the case of Germany, aiming to phase out nuclear energy. These policies have resulted in dramatic increases in electricity costs for residential and industrial consumers. Although the E.U. has seen a reduction in its carbon-dioxide emissions since 2005, those reductions pale in comparison with increases in the developing world. The observable results from Europe thus offer a cautionary tale to policymakers in the United States who seek to tackle climate change via government mandate. --Robert Bryce, Manhattan Institute24 March 2016
Steel giant Tata is holding a board meeting in India which could decide the fate of thousands of UK workers. In January, Tata said it planned to cut more than a thousand jobs at its UK plants - with 750 due to be lost at Port Talbot in south Wales. Unless the board meeting in Mumbai agrees to this turnaround plan, the future of the plant could be in doubt. The UK steel industry has been hit by a combination of factors that have hit its competitiveness. These factors include relatively high energy prices, the extra cost of climate change policies, and competition from China. --BBC News, 29 March 2016
See Winters not Summers cause Excess Mortality here
The administration, the environmentalists and Hollywood are pushing us to become a European like nation. The poor will suffer here too!