A new American Lung Association (ALA) television ad supports the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed new rule requiring a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions from power plants by 2030, pushing the lie that CO2 emissions are harmful to human health.
The ALA ad, entitled “a mother’s instinct,” shows a child’s toy, a baby monitor, and a sleeping baby, then cuts to a shot of a power plant and states, “The Clean Air Act stops polluters from poisoning his air with arsenic, lead, and mercury. Now the loophole that lets them pump unlimited carbon pollution into his air is closing too...”
For such a short ad (31 seconds), the ALA managed to pack it with lies and misinformation.
First, the ad mentions a “loophole that lets them pump unlimited carbon pollution,” leading one to believe that there are previous regulations on CO2.
The ALA ad mentions “carbon pollution.” This, of course, is referring to CO2 (carbon dioxide), not plain carbon.
Carbon is an element and, in the form of grit and smog, really is pollution. But in developed countries its levels have fallen tremendously in the past 40 years and are now so safe that the costs of reducing them further outweigh the benefits. Carbon dioxide is a compound of carbon and oxygen and not only is non-toxic to humans and other animals but also is essential to life! In fact, humans and other animals exhale it, and plants “inhale” it.
As the Capitol Research Center’s Maria Gerard reports in her August 7 article, “at any given time there is a greater concentration of carbon dioxide in someone’s lungs (12,500 per parts million) than is found in the air surrounding him (400 ppm).”
That point bears expanding: CO2 concentration in a person’s lungs is over thirty times higher than in the surrounding air.
No matter the reductions in CO2, there will be no improvement in air quality. None! Zero! Zilch! Nada!
The ALA has been coopted by the EPA, spouting the rhetoric as effectively (or more so) than the EPA.
$20 million. That’s the amount of taxpayer money paid by the Environmental Protection Agency to essentially buy the American Lung Association.
As Gerard points out in her article, “James Bennet of George Mason University writes in Pandering for Profit: The Transformation of Health Charities to Lobbyists that ‘the ALA has responded by using every possible means to advance the agency’s (EPA) regulatory authority by advocating tougher air quality standards.’”
The ALA even participated in a joint conference callpress conference supporting the Clean Air Act CO2 proposal with President Obama and Gina McCarthy (EPA Administrator).
This type of behavior, by both the ALA and the EPA, is unethical. They are intentionally misleading the public, and it needs to stop.
Reference: Usoskin, I.G., Hulot, G., Gallet, Y., Roth, R., Licht, A., Joos, F., Kovaltsov, G.A., Thebault, E. and Khokhlov, A. 2014. Evidence for distinct modes of solar activity. Astronomy and Astrophysics 562: L10,
What was done
According to Usoskin et al. (2014), the Sun “shows strong variability in its magnetic activity, from Grand minima to Grand maxima, but the nature of the variability is not fully understood, mostly because of the insufficient length of the directly observed solar activity records and of uncertainties related to long-term reconstructions.” Now, however, in an attempt to overcome such uncertainties, in a Letter to the Editor published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, Usoskin et al. “present the first fully adjustment-free physical reconstruction of solar activity” covering the past 3,000 years, which record allowed them “to study different modes of solar activity at an unprecedented level of detail.”
What was learned
As illustrated in the figure below, the authors report there is “remarkable agreement” among the overlapping years of their reconstruction (solid black line) and the number of sunspots recorded from direct observations since 1610 (red line). Their reconstruction of solar activity also displays several “distinct features,” including several “well-defined Grand minima of solar activity, ca. 770 BC, 350 BC, 680 AD, 1050 AD, 1310 AD, 1470 AD, and 1680 AD,” as well as “the modern Grand maximum (which occurred during solar cycles 19-22, i.e., 1950-1996),” which they describe as “a rare or even unique event, in both magnitude and duration, in the past three millennia.”
Figure 1. Reconstructed decadal average of sunspot numbers for the period 1150 BC-1950 AD (black line). The 95% confidence interval is shown by the gray shading and directly measured sunspot numbers are shown in red. The horizontal dashed lines demark the bounds of the three suggested modes (Grand Minimum, Regular, and Grand Maximum) as defined by Usoskin et al.
Further statistical analysis of their reconstruction revealed the Sun operates in three distinct modes of activity (1) a regular mode that “corresponds to moderate activity that varies in a relatively narrow band between sunspot numbers 20 and 67,: (2) a Grand minimum mode of reduced solar activity that “cannot be explained by random fluctuations of the regular mode” and which “is confirmed at a high confidence level,” and (3), a possible Grand maximum mode, but they say that “the low statistic does not allow us to firmly conclude on this, yet.”
What it means
Usoskin et al. (2014) write their results “provide important constraints for both dynamo models of Sun-like stars and investigations of possible solar influence on Earth’s climate.” They also illustrate the importance of improving the quality of such reconstructions, in light of the fact that previous reconstructions of this nature “did not reveal any clear signature of distinct modes” in solar activity.
Unfortunately, it was beyond the scope of this paper to address the potential impact of solar activity on climate. Yet the reconstruction leaves a very big question unanswered—What effect did the Grand maximum of solar activity that occurred between 1950 and 2009 have on Earth’s climate? As a “unique” and “rare” event in terms of both magnitude and duration, one would think a lot more time and effort would be spent by the IPCC and others in answering that question. Instead, IPCC scientists have conducted relatively few studies of the Sun’s influence on modern warming, assuming that the temperature influence of this rare and unique Grand maximum of solar activity, which has occurred only once in the past 3,000 years, is far inferior to the radiative power provided by the rising CO2 concentration of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Is It The Sun?
By Jack Dini August 6, 2014
We may be witnessing the sun’s last dying gasps before entering into a long slumber. The impact of that slumber on Earth’s climate remains the subject of growing scientific speculation. (1)
In 2008 William Livingston and Matthew Penn of the National Solar Observatory in Tucson, in a controversial paper that contradicted conventional wisdom and upset global warming theorists, predicted that sunspots could more or less disappear after 2015, possibly indicating the onset of another Little Ice Age. They stated, “The occurrence of prolonged periods with no sunspots is important to climate studies, since the Maunder Minimum was shown to correspond with the reduced average global temperatures on the Earth.” The Maunder Minimum lasted for approximately 70 years from about 1645 to 1715, and was marked by bitter cold, widespread crop failures, and severe human privation. (2)
There has been increasing evidence in recent years to support this supposition that global warming is linked with solar activity. In 2011, three papers suggested the Earth could be heading for a ‘little ice age’ as solar activity drops once again. (3)
Solar effects could bring on little ice ages
Other research also confirmed that solar effects could bring on little ice ages. Sarah Ineson and her colleagues report that changes in the Sun’s emissions of ultraviolet radiation coincided with observed cold winters over southern Europe and Canada between 2008 and 2011. (4)
And Katja Matthes and colleagues report that simulations with a climate model using new observations of solar vulnerability suggests a substantial influence of the Sun on the winter climate in the Northern Hemisphere. (5)
A 2014 paper by Chinese scientists reported the impact of carbon dioxide on climate change may have been overstated with solar activity giving a better explanation of changes in the Earth’s temperature. The paper found ‘a high correlation between solar activity and the Earth’s averaged surface temperature over centuries,’ suggesting that climate change is intimately linked with solar cycles rather than human activity. Indeed, the study says that the ‘modern maximum’ - a peak in solar activity that lasted much of the last century corresponds very well with an increase in global temperatures. (6)
Russian scientists foresee an even more dramatic situation. They predict that a little ice age will begin in 2014. (7)
In their book, The Neglected Sun, authors Fritz Vahrenholt and Sebastian Luning pose that temperatures could be two-tenths of a degree lower by 2030 as a result of an anemic sun, which would mean warming getting postponed far into the future.
Note that these reports are from researchers around the world.
Nick Hallet observes, “The research shows that the current warming models of the IPCC seem to underestimate the impact of natural factors on climate change, while overstating that of human activities. Solar activity is an important ingredient of natural driving forces of climate. Therefore, it is valuable to investigate the influence of solar variability on the Earth’s climate change on long time scales.” (6)
Add to all this a very recent paper that says the modern Grand maximum of the sun (which occurred during solar cycles 19-23, i. e., 1950-2009) was a ‘rare or even unique event in both magnitude and duration in the past 3,000 years.’(8) Unfortunately, it was beyond the scope of this paper to address the potential impact of solar activity on climate. Yet the reconstruction leaves a very big question unanswered - What effect did the Grand maximum have on Earth’s climate? As a ‘unique’ and ‘rare’ event in terms of both magnitude and duration, one would think a lot more time and effort would be spent by IPCC and others in answering that question. Instead, as noted earlier, IPCC scientists have conducted relatively few studies of the Sun’s influence on modern warming, assuming that the temperature influence of this rare and unique Grand maximum of solar activity, which has occurred only once in the past 3,000 years, is far inferior to the radiative power provided by the rising CO2 concentration of the Earth’s atmosphere. (9)
Lawrence Solomon sums this up well, “The upshot for scientists and world leaders should be clear, particularly since other scientists in recent years have published analyses that also indicate that global cooling could be on its way. Climate can and does change toward colder periods as well as warmer ones. Over the last 20 years, some $80 billion has been spent on research dominated by the assumption that global temperatures will rise. Very little research has investigated the consequences of the very live possibility that temperatures will plummet. Research into global cooling and its implications for the globe is long overdue.” (2)
1. "Sun has weakest solar max in over 200years,” the gwpf.org, December 16, 2013
2. Lawrence Solomon, “Chilling evidence,” financialpost.com, September 16, 2010
3. Lewis Page, “Earth may be headed into a mini ice age within a decade,” theregister.co.uk, June 14, 2011
4. Sarah Ineson et al., “Solar forcing of winter climate variability in the Northern Hemisphere,” Nature Geoscience, (2011), doi: 10.1038/ngeo1282
5. Katja Matthes et al., “Atmospheric science: solar cycle and climate predictions,” Nature Geoscience (2011), doi: 10.1038/ngeo1298
6. Nick Hallet, “Solar activity not CO2 could cause global warming,” breitbart.com, July 29, 2014
7. Sebastian Luning and Fritz Vahrenholt, “Will the solar doldrums of the coming decades lead to cooling? A look at the latest scientific publications,” notrickszone.com, May 10, 2014
8. I. G. Usoskin et al., “Evidence for distinct modes of solar activity,” Astronomy and Astrophysics, 562: L10, doi: 10.1051/0004-6361/201423391
9. "A 3,000 year record of solar activity,” co2science.org, August 6, 2014
Update: See more here in the Washington Examiner on The hidden persuaders of the environmental elite by Ron Arnold.
5 WAYS THE ‘BILLIONAIRES’ CLUB’ RUNS THE EPA
By Ben Shapiro
According to a new report from the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, a “club of billionaires” including Tom Steyer and Hank Paulson has effectively hijacked the Environmental Protection Agency for its own purposes to grow the EPA and regulate the economy from stem to stern.
Here are the top five takeaways from the report regarding the billionaire takeover of the EPA:
Agency “Capture.” According to the report, billionaires work with former colleagues in the non-profit sector who are specifically placed at key points within the agency. The report explains, “the Obama EPA has been deliberately staffed at the highest levels with far-left environmental activists who have worked hand-in-glove with their former colleagues.” Furthermore, the EPA sends “grants to their former employers and colleagues.”
The Revolving Door. The report reveals a huge number of EPA officials shuttling into and out of the agency and into and out of associated non-profits funded by the so-called Billionaires’ Club. These include Bob Sussman, Senior Policy Counsel at the EPA under former administrator Lisa Jackson; he came from the Center for American Progress. Other revolving door EPA staffers: Michelle DePass, former Assistant Administrator for the Office of International and Tribal Affairs, who came to her position from the Ford Foundation and actually worked for both organizations simultaneously at one point; Michael Goo, former Associate Administrator of EPA, who worked for Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA); Dr. Al Armendariz, Region 6 Administrator, who worked for the Environmental Integrity Project.
The Secret Emails. Jackson was caught using her private email address to send sensitive material, but she was hardly the only one. Sussman was caught using “his personal email to communicate with environmentalists in violation of EPA policy.” James Martin, former Region 8 Administrator, was similarly caught “using his personal email account to communicate with environmentalists...about official agency business in violation of official EPA policy.” Michael Goo, former Associate Administrator of EPA, also emailed member so the Sierra Club about how to sink Keystone XL.
The Funding. The report shows that EPA regulators have used their influence to send money back to the Billionaires’ Club charities. Grants from the EPA have totaled $3 billion over the last decade; Obama’s EPA “has given more than $27 million in taxpayer funded grants to major environmental groups.” Organizations like the American Lung Association have received $14 million since 2009, even though ALA has repeatedly sued the Agency.
Special Treatment. The report suggests that Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck violated the EPA’s standards and ethics by giving EPA grantees “special treatment.” For example, even though the activist group El Puente had been ruled out of bounds thanks to breaking the terms of its grant, Enck delayed the killing of its grant for ten months. Enck is currently under inquiry by the Office of the Inspector General. Similarly, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB, a former project of the Tides Foundation) grabbed cash from Jackson. That cash went to fighting oil and gas projects in Louisiana.
Americans have long known that the regulatory state is a complete disaster area, and that the EPA is one of the worst regulatory agencies in government. The new report confirms that fear and suggests that for all their complaints about money in politics, leftists are quite comfortable with it so long as it serves their ends.
How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA
A new report was released today by the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, and it is damning. All this time that climate skeptics are accused of being in the employ of “big oil” is nothing more than a projection of their own greed.
Read the entire report here, then demand action from your legislators.
That is why Podesta and Obama/McCarthy are so aggressive on this watermelon (green on the outside red in the middle) agenda. It is the biggest fundraising scam.
See Alan Carlin’s comments on receiving the whistleblower award at the Heartland ICCC9.
My Remarks on New Proposed EPA Power Plant Regulations at ICCC9
Alan Carlin | July 18, 2014
On July 8 I received the Climate Science Whistleblower Award at the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change sponsored by the Heartland Institute and other cosponsoring organizations held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The following are remarks I prepared for my acceptance statement:
I greatly appreciate receiving this award and for the efforts of the many people involved at many levels in making the award possible. I consider it a great honor and thank you for it. I wrote my negative comments on the Endangerment Finding support document because I believed EPA was using bad science and that EPA’s proposed Endangerment Finding would be easier to stop at that stage than later. But it is very encouraging to find that others agree with my decision to do so, which EPA clearly did not.
My offending comments to EPA led to my being immediately muzzled at the same time that Obama was spinning his transparency and scientific integrity line. The Endangerment Finding was issued later that year without any of my suggested changes in the support document, of course. This finding is the legally definitive EPA statement on climate science. It has been tested in the courts and is legally no longer an issue; this is what I hoped to avoid by my challenge to the support document.
For the last few years I have been working on a book-length manuscript describing everything touched on here and much more, including my skeptic efforts, how the environmental movement lost its way since my days as a Sierra Club activist and leader, and the main legal, journalistic, governmental, scientific, environmental, and economic aspects of the climate issue. This manuscript is now complete and up-to-date. If any of you know a good way to get it published so that it will be read, please let me know since I think it has some vital messages for everyone as we approach the showdown over the proposed EPA regulations.
The Endangerment Finding led directly to EPA’s proposed regulations for reducing CO2 emissions from power plants earlier this year. The new EPA proposed regulations are even worse than I expected in 2009, perhaps because the blueprint for them was actually written by an environmental organization. First of all, they are illegal, as per any reasonable reading of Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. They impose many aspects of the Waxman-Markey bill despite Congress’ rejection of it, and try to force red states to adopt the usual market-distorting preferences for power generation promoted by radical environmentalists. The regulations will have major adverse effects on the US economy, all for no or more likely negative benefits, and will result in higher costs for electric ratepayers, with particularly adverse effects on lower income groups. They will also lead to potentially extremely costly electric grid instability and load shedding when electric power is most needed. EPA is effectively trying to rewrite the Clean Air Act without consulting Congress or observing the law or the Constitution.
John Boehner calls Obama’s behavior in this and other areas “aggressive unilateralism;” I call it dictatorial. Even if EPA’s science were correct, which it is not, the regulations should be rejected on the basis of EPA’s illegal power grab. I believe that skeptics need to place greater emphasis on this aspect of the situation. The powers of the Presidency have been an issue since the founding of the Republic and are much more readily understood than climate science will ever be.
So what started out as a scientific issue concerning a proposed Endangerment Finding has now escalated into a major legal and even Constitutional issue concerning Presidential powers. The President roams the country calling us “flat-earthers” and science-deniers. Perhaps it is time to characterize his behavior as illegal and even dictatorial.
Currently the public favors the EPA regulations by 67 to 29 percent so there appear to be many possible recipients for better information if we are to succeed in avoiding the future that radical environmentalists want to impose on our country through unjustified Federal intervention in still another vital sector of the economy. If their efforts should succeed, we can reasonably look forward to much higher levels of mandated CO2 reductions in this sector and probably many others as well. It is better to stop this mission creep now before it metastacizes even further.
We must not fail for the sake of the country’s economic and environmental future and the preservation of the rule of law. These new power plant regulations will happen unless a way is found to stop them. There are only three possible ways to do this: A president who will withdraw them, Republican control of both houses of Congress, or rejection by the courts. Obama will not willingly withdraw the regulations before he leaves office in 2017. Rejection by the courts has not proved a dependable strategy to date, but the proposals are becoming increasingly outrageous legally. Congress is the only somewhat dependable avenue in the near term, and there is an election in 2014. A number of environmental groups are already very hard at work trying to influence this election so as to promote their proposed EPA regulations. They have already even sent me two thinly disguised such appeals, probably because I live in a state with a Democratic senator up for reelection!
Obama and EPA are determined to destroy US coal, people’s lives and welfare be damned
By Paul Driessen
Between 1989 and 2010, Congress rejected nearly 700 cap-tax-and-trade and similar bills that their proponents claimed would control Earth’s perpetually fickle climate and weather. So even as real world crises erupt, President Obama is using executive fiats and regulations to impose his anti-hydrocarbon agenda, slash America’s fossil fuel use, bankrupt coal and utility companies, make electricity prices skyrocket, and “fundamentally transform” our economic, social, legal and constitutional system.
Citing climate concerns, he has refused to permit construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and blocked or delayed Alaskan, western state and offshore oil and gas leasing and drilling. He’s proud that US oil production has climbed 58% and natural gas output has risen 21% since 2008. But he doesn’t mention that this is due to hydraulic fracturing on state and private lands; production has actually fallen in areas controlled by the federal government, and radical environmentalists oppose fracking all over the USA.
Above all, the President’s war on hydrocarbons is a war on Coal Country families. For 21 states that still rely on coal to produce 40-96% of their electricity, it is a war on people’s livelihoods and living standards on the very survival of small businesses and entire communities. The price of electricity has already risen 1-2 cents per kilowatt-hour in those states, from as little as 5.6 cents/kWh in 2009. If it soars to the 14.6 to 15.7 cents/kWh paid in “job-mecca states” like California and New York which rely on coal for less than 3% of their electricity, the impacts will churn through coal-dependant states like a tsunami.
Yet that is where rates are headed, as the Obama EPA’s carbon dioxide and other restrictions kick in. Hundreds of baseload coal-fired power plants (some 180 gigawatts of electric generation capacity) will be forced into premature retirement between 2010 and 2020. That’s more than 15% of the United States’ total installed capacity, enough electricity to power nearly 90 million average homes or small businesses. EPA assumes it can be replaced by expensive, unreliable, habitat-gobbling wind and solar power. It can’t.
EPA rules mean the price of everything people do will skyrocket: heating and air conditioning, lights and refrigeration, televisions, computers, medical equipment, machinery and every other gizmo that runs on electricity. Poor, minority and blue-collar families will have to find hundreds of dollars a year somewhere in their already stretched budgets. Shops and other small businesses will have to discover thousands of dollars, by delaying other purchases or laying people off. Factories, malls, school districts, hospitals and cities will have to send out search parties to locate millions a year at the end of rainbows.
Millions will get laid off in coal mines, power plants, factories, shops and other businesses. Entire families and communities will be pounded and impoverished. Real people’s hopes, dreams, pride and work ethic will be replaced by despair and dependency. Bread winners will be forced to work multiple jobs, commute longer distances, and suffer severe sleep deprivation, if they can find work.
Families will have to cope with more stress, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, spousal and child abuse. Nutrition and medical care will suffer. More people will turn to crime. More will have strokes and heart attacks. More will die prematurely or commit suicide. For no measurable benefits.
EPA cites mercury, soot, asthma, climate change, hurricanes, seas rising seven inches a century, and even ocean acidification to justify the draconian rules. But the scientific basis is bogus. The agency cherry-picks data and studies that support its agenda, ignores libraries of contradictory research, rejects experts whose analyses question EPA conclusions, pays advisors and activists millions of dollars annually to rubberstamp and promote its regulations, and hides its work from those it decrees “are not qualified to analyze it.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change operates in much the same fashion.
Moreover, unhealthy US emissions plunged nearly 90% since 1970, even as coal use for electricity generation increased 170% and the newest coal fired power plants reduce pollution by almost this amount, using “supercritical” technologies, while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20% or more, according the EPA and US Energy Information Administration reports.
Meanwhile, China, India, Germany, Poland and other countries are building some 1,200 new coal-fired power plants, and numerous gas plants, to spur economic growth, preserve jobs and lift people out of poverty. So the sacrifices Mr. Obama is imposing will do nothing to reduce global CO2 levels, which the evidence increasingly shows plays only a minor to trivial role in climate and weather fluctuations.
Its true that Detroit temperatures didn’t dip below freezing in January and February in ‘79 followed by a frost in June. But that was 1879! When he was a boy, “snows were frequent and deep in every winter,” Thomas Jefferson recalled in December 1809. “The Greenland seas, hitherto covered [in ice], have in the last two years entirely disappeared,” Britain’s Royal Society reported ...in 1817. “We were astonished by the total absence of ice in Barrow Strait. [Six years ago the area was] still frozen up, and doubts were entertained as to the possibility of escape,” Captain Francis McClintock wrote in his ship’s log in 1860.
And don’t forget the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, and the five frigid epochs that buried North America, Europe and Asia under glaciers a mile thick. Or the 4,000-year-old trees that recently emerged as modern glaciers melted back proving that a forest grew in the now icy Alps just four millennia ago.
On and on it has gone, throughout Earth and human history: wild weather and climate swings on a recurring basis. But now, climate chaos cultists want us to believe such events began only recently, and we could stop today’s climate and weather aberrations if we would just eliminate fossil fuels, destroy our economies, and condemn Third World families to permanent poverty and disease.
The truth is, only once in all of human history was a government able to control Earth’s climate, to make it “perfect all year,” and it is highly unlikely that we will ever return to those wondrous days.
So how do the EPA, IPCC, Michael Mann, Al Gore and other Climate Armageddonites deal with all these inconvenient truths, questions and skeptical researchers?
They hide their data and computer codes. Complain that they are being picked on. Refuse to debate “dangerous manmade global warming” skeptics. Harass and vilify contrarian experts, and boot them off university committees. Refuse to attend conferences where they might have to defend their manipulated data, junk science and absurd assertions. Al Gore won’t even take questions that he has not preapproved.
They have no cojones. They hide behind their sinecures the way Hamas terrorists hide behind children.
EPA won’t even hold hearings in Coal Country or states that will be hardest hit by soaring electricity costs. It hosts dog-and-pony shows and “listening sessions” in big cities like Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC and Pittsburgh where it knows passionate lefty students and eco-activists will dominate. People who will be grievously impacted by the draconian job-killing regulations must travel long distances and pay for expensive hotels and meals… or remain silent and ignored.
That stacks the deck the same way the “public comment” process is tilted in favor of ultra-rich Big Green agitators who have the funding and organization to generate thousands or millions of comments.
We taxpayers pay for these studies, payoffs and propaganda. And we will get stuck with the regulations, soaring prices and lost jobs that result. We have a right to review and analyze the data and claims. We have a right to be heard, in a fair and honest process that truly takes our concerns into account.
The House of Representatives should hold hearings, forcing callous bureaucrats, slick scientists and computer modeling charlatans to present their data, codes and findings under oath. States should sue EPA for violating the Information Quality Act. And voters must vote Republican in November to change the Senate majority, and restore at least a modicum of constitutional checks and balances to a system which has vested far too much power in an unaccountable Executive Branch that shows total disdain for honesty, transparency and working families.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (http://www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.
Aug 14, 2014
Congressional Doctors Warn EPA’s CO2 Rule Threatens Public Health
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims that its new rule restricting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants will improve Americans’ health.
Yet carbon dioxide (CO2) isn’t poisonous at levels more than 20 times what they now are - levels we wouldn’t likely reach for a thousand years or more even without restrictions on emissions, and even if we didn’t run out of or find better replacements for fossil fuels first.
So why does EPA claim reducing its emissions will improve Americans’ health?
Not because of its impact on global temperature, which EPA admits would be undetectable (under 0.02C in a century) and would have no measurable health benefits.
Because, EPA claims, reducing CO2 emissions will have the side effect of reducing emissions of conventional pollutants.
Conventional emissions from coal-fired utilities measured on a per-kilowatt hour basis, have declined by almost 90 percent over the last several decades. Should the EPA choose to make additional claims, it is worth noting that the Agency has already attempted to justify a vast array of other regulations on addressing precisely the same concerns - from the air toxics rule to regional haze to ambient air quality standards… The American public should not tolerate perpetual re-claiming of the same health benefits in order to justify more substantial expansions of EPA regulations.
The doctors also point out that “if the EPA were to succeed in forcing coal out of the marketplace by confiscatory regulations - certainly the objective of some in the activist community demanding stronger action - the result would be the loss of some 600,000 jobs, loss of manufacturing base, aggregated loss of some $2.23 trillion in gross domestic product, and a loss of family income of some $1,200 per household per year.”
Higher prices for energy and all other goods and services, coupled with lower incomes and job losses, all driven by the new regulation, would themselves harm Americans’ health.
“Our colleague, Senator John Barrasso, also a medical doctor, published a recent report based on a literature search and specific testimony taken before the US Congress that demonstrated that extraordinary costs due to EPA regulation have profound negative impacts on public health. The report found that unemployment due to EPA regulation:
“Increases the likelihood of hospital visits, illnesses, and premature deaths in communities due to joblessness.
“Raises healthcare costs, raising questions about the claimed health savings of EPA’s regulations.
“Hurts children’s health and family well-being.”
The Congressmen/medical doctors also point out that reduced reliability of the electrical grid, caused by the unpredictable intermittency of wind and solar energy, would also threaten public health through more frequent, widespread, and intense brownouts and blackouts, like the Great Northeast Blackout of 2003 (set off by a computer failure), which killed at least 11 people, interrupted water supply, transportation, communication, and industry, and cost between $7 and $10 billion.
For the sake of Americans’ health, EPA’s proposed new carbon dioxide regulation should be scrapped!
Aug 10, 2014
“Climate-smart” policies for Africa are stupid, and immoral
The US-Africa Leaders Summit is ending, with many interesting observations about the continent’s future, the most memorable of which might be Secretary of State John Kerry’s suggestion that African nations should practice “climate-smart” agriculture...to accompany the Obama Administration’s determination that they also practice “climate-smart” electricity generation. In the real world, this would translate into “Develop and modernize, but not too much and only in line with our Deep Ecology policies” ... “generate electricity, but only what you can get from wind and solar power”...and “Increase food production, but only to the extent that you can do so without relying on biotechnology, chemical fertilizers or tractors.”
Africans would be crazy to buy into this scheme, even to secure foreign aid money being dangled in front of them. Indeed, their guiding principle should be this: Africans should not do what the United States is doing now that it is rich. It should do what the United States did to become rich.
Obama-Kerry policies would perpetuate energy poverty, malnutrition, disease and death
The 2014 US-Africa Leaders Summit hosted by President Obama this past week brought together the largest-ever gathering of African government officials in Washington, DC. They discussed ways to bolster trade and investment by American companies on a continent where a billion people including 200 million aged 15 to 24 are becoming wealthier and better educated.
They have steadily rising expectations and recognize the pressing need to create jobs, improve security, reduce corruption, and control diseases like Ebola, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. They also understand that better roads and air transportation, improved agriculture and nutrition, and far more energy especially electricity are the sine qua non to achieving their aspirations. Indeed, nearly 700 million Africans still do not have electricity or get it only sporadically, a few hours a day or week.
“The bottom line is, the United States is making a major and long-term investment in Africa’s progress,” Mr. Obama stated. One has to wonder whether his rhetoric matches his policy agenda and whether Africans would do well to remember the president’s assurances that Americans could keep their doctors, hospitals and insurance, when they hear his fine words and lofty promises for Africa.
The fact is, no modern economies, healthcare systems or wealth-building technologies can function in the absence of abundant, reliable, affordable electricity and motor fuels. They require far more than can possibly come from “climate-smart” wind, solar and biofuel sources. Adequate food and nutrition require modern agriculture. Eradicating malaria requires chemical insecticides, DDT and ACT drugs.
Obama Administration policies on all these matters are likely to hold Africa back for decades.
For President Obama, everything revolves around fears of “dangerous manmade climate change” and a determination to slash or end fossil fuel use. He has said electricity rates must “necessarily skyrocket.” His former Energy Secretary wanted gasoline prices to reach European levels: $8-10 per gallon. His EPA is waging a war on coal. And his own requirements would prevent Africa from modernizing.
In 2009, the president told Africans they should focus on their “bountiful” wind, solar, geothermal and biofuel resources, and refrain from using “dirty” fossil fuels. He signed an executive order, directing the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to ensure that any projects it finances reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020. He launched a number of domestic and international climate initiatives.
Afterward, when Ghana asked OPIC to support a $185 million gas-fired electrical generator (that would utilize natural gas being flared and wasted at its oil production operations), OPIC refused to help. When South Africa sought a World Bank loan for its state-of-the-art Medupi coal-fired power plant (which will reduce dangerous pollutants 90% below what 1970s-era plants emitted), the White House “abstained” from supporting the loan. Thankfully, approval squeaked by anyway, and Medupi will soon be a reality.
Even more absurd and unethical, the White House announced last October that it will now oppose any public financing for coal-based power projects, except in the world’s poorest nations, unless they meet the draconian carbon dioxide emission standards now imposed on new coal-fired generators in the USA.
These policies prolong reliance on open fires fueled by wood and dung. They mean families are denied lights, refrigeration and other benefits of electricity, and millions die every year from lung and intestinal diseases, and other effects of rampant poverty. With hydrocarbons still providing 82% of the world’s energy and China, India and other rapidly developing countries building numerous coal-fired generating plants retarding Africa’s development in the name of preventing climate chaos is useless and immoral.
Meanwhile, President Obama is still guided by science advisor John Holdren, a fervent opponent of fossil fuels who infamously said the United States should support only the “ecologically feasible” development of poor countries, in line with his perceived “realities” of ecology and rapid energy resource depletion. How that translates into official policy can be seen from Mr. Obama’s 2013 remark: “Here in Africa, if everybody is raising living standards to the point where everybody has got a car, and everybody has got air conditioning, and everybody has got a big house, well, the planet will boil over.”
Secretary of State John Kerry’s inane recent statements are equally problematical for Africa. His fixation on “climate-smart” energy and agriculture suggests that he lives on another planet and cannot imagine life outside a $5-million mansion and certainly not life for destitute families in sub-Saharan Africa.
For proof of manmade climate change, Kerry told US Africa Summit attendees, one need only look at the “hotter temperatures, longer droughts and unpredictable rainfall patterns” that farmers must now deal with. Not only are global temperature trends flat for the past 18 years; actual records show clearly that drought and rainfall fluctuations are no different from what North American, African and other farmers have had to deal with for centuries. Moreover, increasing evidence suggests that the sun’s ongoing “quiet” period may portend several decades of markedly colder global temperatures.
Even more absurd, Kerry told attendees that “carbon pollution” is making food “less nutritious.” First, it’s not carbon (soot). It’s carbon dioxide, which makes food crops, trees and other plants grow faster and better, and survive better under adverse conditions like droughts. Second, hothouses routinely increase their CO2 levels to two or more times what is in Earth’s atmosphere, to spur crop growth. Are these German, Israeli and American tomatoes and cucumbers less nutritious than field-grown varieties? In fact, recent studies have found increased nutrient concentrations in food crops, thanks to higher CO2.
To the extent that “research” supports any of these ridiculous claims, it merely underscores what scientists will concoct when tempted by billions in government grants or intimidated by activists and colleagues who attack them as climate change “deniers” if they do not play the Climate Armageddon game.
Secretary Kerry did suggest that the best way to help farmers is through “climate-smart agriculture” and “creative solutions that increase food production.” But it’s a virtual certainty he did not mean any of the things that really would help: biotechnology, modern mechanized farming and chemical fertilizers.
Genetically engineered Golden Rice and bananas are rich in beta-carotene, which humans can convert to Vitamin A, to prevent childhood blindness and save lives. New Bt corn varieties both kill insect pests, dramatically reducing the need for pesticides, and enable corn (maize) plants to survive droughts. New rice varieties can survive prolonged submergence during monsoons and floods. These crops, modern hybrid seeds and chemical fertilizers multiply traditional yields many times over. Other developments let farmers practice no-till farming, which protects vital soil organisms and nutrients and reduces erosion.
These solutions won’t just improve adaptation to whatever climates might confront us in the future. They will also enable us to feed billions of people including some 250 million malnourished Africans without having to plow under millions of acres of wildlife habitat. However, Big Green activists in and out of government oppose GMO crops, fossil fuels and modern farming, whatever their benefits to humanity and regardless of the death and destruction that result when people are denied access to them.
Africa is blessed with abundant oil, gas and coal. Turning food into fuel would squander those resources and divert land, water, fertilizers and energy from feeding people to produce expensive fuels and leave people malnourished. This is not “climate-smart” energy or agriculture. It’s just plain stupid.
Wind and solar will let people in remote areas have light bulbs, tiny refrigerators and cell phone chargers, until they can be connected to an electrical grid. They cannot support modern economies, factories, shops, schools, hospitals or families. Coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydro-based electricity are essential.
Here is the real bottom line: Africans should not do what the United States is doing now that it is rich. It should do what the United States did to become rich.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (http://www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.
What recourse do you have if the feds say your property contains wetlands and you disagree?
According the the Fifth Circuit, you’re out of luck.
Circuit Judges Reavley, Davis, and Higginson (appointed by Presidents Carter, Reagan and Obama) ruled in Belle Co. v. Corps of Engineers that landowners cannot appeal determinations by the Army Corps. of Engineers that their land contains federally controlled wetlands to the courts.
You can read the full decision at CFACT.org.
The judges held that landowners must go through the entire costly ordeal of seeking a permit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) before they can challenge the Corp.’s determination. The judge’s convoluted rationale was that the government’s determination that your land falls within the jurisdiction of the CWA is not final, however, for people seeking to use their land, final is just what it is.
In effect, if the feds say you have wetlands and you reply, “no I don’t, my land’s dry,” there’s nothing you can do.
This decision will not only make it harder and more expensive for people to use their own property, it is likely to discourage some landowners from developing their property at all.
EPA is currently accepting public comments on its proposed rule to broaden the definition of what constitutes “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the CWA to include just about every occasionally damp ditch and puddle in the nation. This will bring vast new parcels of land under federal control.
There’s a nationwide outcry going on over EPA’s WOTUS land grab and it’s not pretty for the Obama Administration.
Farm Bureaus and free market think tanks like CFACT have labored long and hard to educate the public about WOTUS and to encourage citizens to speak up before the public comment period expires October 20th.
You can sign CFACT’s public statement to EPA here. Please circulate it to a friend.
Efforts to educate the public about EPA’s new WOTUS rule are having an impact. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy actually said, “I have never proposed anything that I thought would be so well-received as this that has fallen totally flat on its face.”
EPA would like the public to believe its new rule to be benign, but landowners aren’t buying it.
Green-Left gadflies consider the Clean Water Act to be among their most potent weapons for thwarting economic activity.
On Monday Green campaigners used a bogus rationale about water to convince the Oregon Department of State Lands to deny a permit to Ambre Energy to export coal from Oregon’s Ports to Asia. The Australian energy company’s plans would have created 3,100 jobs and generated billions of dollars of economic activity. The plans were blocked when Oregon officials ruled that trace amounts of coal dust would hurt fisheries used by native American tribes.
If EPA’s WOTUS rule goes through, the Green’s ability to control land with this kind of trumped up rationale will magnify many fold.
Help CFACT collect as many signatures as possible.
It never fails. Hurricanes and tropical cyclones always bring out the manmade global warming alarmists, with their claims of unusually warm sea surface temperatures along the storm tracks. Of course those fictionally warmed sea surface temperatures were caused by rising CO2 emissions. We expected and saw that nonsense when Sandy struck the east coast of the U.S. mainland back in 2012. Not unexpectedly, data contradicted the claims. See the posts here and here.
The same unwarranted alarmist claims magically appeared when the two tropical cyclones (Iselle and Julio) threatened Hawaii last week. Iselle’s storm track is shown on the map to the right. (Please click on it to enlarge.) I’ve highlighted the coordinates I’ve used for Iselle’s storm track...before it reached Hawaii. Julio’s track was similar but ran a little north of Iselle’s. So, were the sea surface temperatures along Iselle and Julio’s storm tracks unusually warm, and have the sea surface temperatures there warmed during the satellite era?
The weekly Reynolds OI.v2 sea surface temperature anomalies for the coordinates of 15N-20N, 155W-120W, for the week centered on August 6, 2014, were above the 1971-2000 average. (Those are the base years used by NOAA for the Reynolds OI.v2 data.) But they were not unusually warm as shown by the horizontal red line. They have been warmer quite regularly since the start of the weekly data in January 1990. And it’s blatantly obvious that the sea surface temperatures have cooled there. The cooling rate is -0.3 deg C/decade since 1990, based on the linear trend shown in blue.
Weekly Hawaii Storm Track SSTa
Weekly Iselle and Julio Storm Track SST Anomalies
The monthly satellite-enhanced Reynolds OI.v2 data stretches back as far as November 1981. The July 2014 sea surface temperature anomalies for Iselle and Julio’s storm tracks (shown in red) were not unusually warm, and the sea surface temperatures there have cooled since November 1981 based on the linear trend (shown in blue).
Monthly Hawaii Storm Track SSTa
Monthly Iselle and Julio Storm Track SST Anomalies
HOW FAR BACK CAN WE GO AND STILL SHOW NO WARMING IN THAT PART OF THE EASTERN TROPICAL NORTH PACIFIC?
The next graph shows the NOAA ERSST.v3b-based sea surface temperature anomalies for the coordinates of 15N-20N, 155W-120W, from January 1880 to July 2014. I’ve highlighted the period of January 1930 through July 2014 in brown. Since January 1930, the warming rate of the sea surface temperatures for Iselle and Julio’s storm track is only +0.004 deg C/decade. That’s 4 one-thousandths of a degree C per decade. And as shown by the red horizontal line, the sea surface temperature anomalies back as far as the 1880s were comparable the July 2014 value...if you believe sea surface temperature data back that far.
Long Term Monthly Hawaii Storm Track SSTA
Long-Term Monthly Iselle and Julio Storm Track SST Anomalies
YEAH BUT, YEAH BUT, YEAH BUT
History has shown, if I were to end the post there, then someone would say something to the effect of, Greenhouse gases have increased the amount of moisture in the air, making tropical storms worse than before.
To counter that nonsense, we turn to the NCEP/DOE Reanalysis-2 outputs of Specific Humidity, which represents the amount of moisture in the column of atmosphere. The units are kilogram of water vapor/kilogram of dry air. For Iselle and Julio’s storm tracks, there is nothing unusual high in the specific humidity for July 2014, and the trend since 1979 shows a decrease, not increase, in specific humidity southeast of Hawaii.
Monthly Hawaii Storm Track Specific Humidity
Monthly Iselle and Julio Storm Track Specific Humidity Anomalies
The weekly and monthly Reynolds OI.v2 sea surface temperature data are available through the NOAA NOMADS website here. The long-term monthly NOAA ERSST.v3b sea surface temperature data are available through the KNMI Climate Explorer. And the monthly specific humidity output of the NCEP-DOE Reanalysis-2 is available from the NOAA NOMADS website here.
Aug 08, 2014
California Water Management Fails Epically
By Michael Reagan
Long before Al Gore went off the deep end over global warming, my home state of California was experiencing climate extremes. In fact Mark Twain, a former resident of San Francisco, used to complain that everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.
Currently the state is experiencing ONE OF the most severe droughts since 1877 when record-keeping began.
The Los Angeles Times reports, “In June, nearly 80 percent of California was considered to be under “extreme” and “exceptional” drought conditions, the highest categories of dryness, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map.”
But it’s not like this is California’s first drought. (Homeowners whose formerly grass-covered front lawns have turned into mini-deserts might take issue with the notion that “the past century has been among the wettest of the last 7,000 years,” as Scott Stine, professor of geography and environmental studies at Cal State East Bay, asserted in the San Jose Mercury News.)
In response to the shortage of water, the California Water Resources Board wants to institute a punitive fine of $500/day for people it calls “water hogs.”
But I think Thomas Del Beccaro, writing in Forbes, has a better idea: Let’s fine the board for failing to do its job over the last 40 years.
He explains, “California is the most populated state in the Union, with more than 38 million people. Its population was just under 20 million in 1970, when the bulk of its current water storage and delivery systems were already built. In other words, the California governments have done very little to significantly increase water supplies in over 40 years, even though its population has doubled during that period of time.”
Instead of realizing that “water” was its middle name, the board has been made captive by enviro-Nazis who think people in general are the enemy. Rather than build dams and reservoirs to keep up with a growing population, state government has preferred to depend on the kindness of clouds to provide water for taxpayers.
Then the clouds stopped being kind.
Felicia Marcus, chairman of the water board, exemplifies the arrogant, buck-passing mentality of its members: “I like to say, having a browning lawn and a dirty car is a badge of honor.”
No Felicia, the dead grass and filthy car are the result of a do-nothing board that should be thrown out on its ear.
Forty years of advance warning wasn’t long enough for state government to build additional dams and reservoirs, so farmers are forced to rely on increased groundwater pumping to supply desperately needed water on the surface.
According to a report at TakePart.com, “As much as 20 cubic kilometers of Central Valley groundwater may have been pumped out in just the last three years, according to one estimate. That’s about 12 percent of the last 150 years’ total depletion.”
The problem caused by this groundwater depletion is somewhat confusing to a non-expert like me. In one part of the report the land is sinking as much as a foot per year, “damaging roads and other infrastructure and exposing communities to increased flood risk.”
But a few paragraphs later the problem is not enough weight: “Groundwater pumping unburdens the lithosphere,” said William Hammond, a geologist at the University of Nevada, Reno. When you pump that much groundwater, the load gets taken away and the landscape essentially bounces up. The Sierra Nevada is rising more quickly as a result of groundwater pumping in the Great Valley.”
Bouncing. Sinking. Make up your mind.
But the result of all this hyperactive geology is supposedly an increased potential for earthquakes. This is where the politicians come into the picture. Other states run by leftists have banned the oil extraction technique known as fracking because it supposedly causes earthquakes, too. The real reason for the ban is it works and proves “peak oil” environmentalists wrong.
Now it’s time for California Democrats to ban droughts for the same reason: Increased earthquakes.
I can see it all now, a statewide media tour that hits the driest part of the state.
Politicians desperately in need of a humidifier will express their concern for farms, lawns and vacant car washes. There’s even a chance for coalition-building and additional news coverage as a Blue Ribbon Drought Study Group reaches out to Native Americans to see if anyone recalls how to do a rain dance.
Of course it won’t do any good, but that’s never stopped the great minds in Sacramento before. Besides banning droughts will provide the rest of us with needed comic relief until our Maker decides it’s time for the rain to come again.
Michael Reagan is the son of former President Ronald Reagan and chairman of the League of American Voters.
It is not surprising that climate alarmists, who desire above all else blind allegiance to their cause, would demand all school teachers toe the “official party line” and quash any dissent on the subject of man-made global warming in their classroom. What is absurd is that any teacher, or free-thinking person for that matter, would listen to them. In the past, of course, those who would even suggest such censorship would have been ridiculed and viewed as enemies of intellectual freedom. But the ‘times-they-are-a-changin.’ News outlets such as the BBC and LA Times may benefit from freedom of speech, however, they are among the first to push censorship on those with whom they disagree.
Like all who want to limit free speech, the alarmists claim they are doing a great public service. After all, since 97 percent of total scientists are in agreement with them, why give equal (or any) press to the pitiful 3% who remain deniers? Sounds reasonable, right? Well not really.
Putting aside the reprehensible term “denier,” an obvious reference to those who deny the Holocaust (which is even more offensive to climate skeptics who happen to be Jewish), is there any validity to 97% claim? If skeptics made the same 97% pitch in reverse, would the media demand they produce a solid source or study to back it up? You bet they would! And it’s doubtful any study skeptics actually did produce would be simply accepted at face value - no, the media would scrutinize it and put it through the ringer to see if it passed the smell test. But alas, such inquisitiveness is lacking whenever a climate alarmist squeals “consensus.”
So where does this 97% mantra come from? Well one major source to be sure is an April 2013 research paper by Australian scientist John Cook [John Cook et al., Environ. Res. Lett. 8 024024]. Now Cook did claim his research showed “97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.” And others, eager to promote his study, used his research to claim that “97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing at least 50.1% of the warming of the Earth in the last quarter of the 20th Century.” But a closer look shows something much different. Cook’s data actually showed only a lame 64 of 11,944 papers surveyed made this bold claim; the rest either ignored the subject altogether (two-thirds did not address the issue at all), did not quantify any percentage of warming they perceived to be caused by human activity, or flatly rejected the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) position. A consensus? Hardly.
Indeed, the gleeful distortion of Cook’s actual findings by the alarmists (with Cook himself one of the perpetrators) is just another example of the attempt to justify the canonization of pseudo-scientific dogma despite the real-world climate data. This near-conspiratorial attempt to declare an end to scientific research which might yield conclusions that are “inconvenient” for these dogmatists would be laughable were it not for the insistence that school children be indoctrinated with their propaganda.
The politicization of “science” in the public school system is just plain wrong, as is demonizing those who disagree or doubt the party line anywhere in society. Indeed, it is especially sad to see the press, even the National Journal itself, all too often mention “the 97% solution” as if it were the gold standard, the gospel that cannot be questioned by any sane person. They are being made look particularly bad, as polls indicate, as the public becomes more skeptical of alarmist claims. A recent Rasmussen poll found only 20% of the public thinks the debate about the science of climate change is over. Apparently the 97% mantra becomes meaningless to many when real-world climate data shows no increase in global temperatures over the past 17 years.
So what should children be taught? Well, how about both sides for starters. Yes, let the alarmists make their case. But what’s the fear that students should also learn that other, very credible scientists have published peer-reviewed papers attributing significant impacts on the Earth’s climate to solar activity (or inactivity). They can be taught that the Earth’s climate changes in cycles over long periods of time, and they’re impacted by changes in tides, ocean currents, winds, volcanoes, solar activity, meteors and comets, and of course to a limited extent, human activities. What they should not be taught is to parrot a political line, but for students to think for themselves, challenge ideas, and investigate every angle. Students should be taught that the scientific method demands that all scientists be skeptics for it is by being skeptical that a number of scientific “law” that stood for centuries have been disproven by better research.
If there is any national standard, then, it must be one that takes no position on the science itself, which is ever changing, but rather on the methodology for investigating the myriad scientific questions that have been and might be raised regarding how the Earth’s climate has changed all along.
The 2013 report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that “global warming is unequivocal and human influence has been the dominant cause since the mid-20th century.” During his State of the Union speech in January, President Obama declared “the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.” As a physician-scientist who has carried out basic research for more than 50 years, I agree that we should not pollute the planet unnecessarily; however, I find the above statements far beyond the truth.
Estimates of numbers of scientists who “believe” in global warming range between 40 percent and more than 99 percent. Those in disagreement have been called “skeptics,” “deniers,” and “nonbelievers.” However, “believing” and “denying” are terms used in “consensus science,” not terms in “basic science.”
What’s the difference? Basic science is defined as knowledge about, or study of, the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observations. A theory (hypothesis) is tested by performing experiments and interpreting results either to prove or disprove the hypothesis in a way to minimize uncertainty. It’s best if those doing the experiments are “blinded”, i.e. samples are coded so that those doing the experiments are not biased toward any expected outcome. These experiments must also be repeated by other groups to confirm the original findings. Only after data have been properly collected, vetted and thoroughly corroborated, do we have a conclusion - with the least amount of uncertainty needed to establish a scientific fact.
In contrast, consensus science is what the majority in a particular field of study agree upon might be true. The consensus may or may not turn out to be confirmed by further research. For example, 15 years ago simulation models predicted that all Arctic ice would disappear by September 2013. In fact, Arctic ice thickness doubled between summer of 2012 and summer of 2013. Other forecasts 15 years ago included substantial melting of Antarctic ice, warming of global temperatures, and rising sea levels. Although carbon dioxide levels have risen during the past 15 years, the Antarctic ice shelf has become thicker, there’s been no increase in global temperatures and (if anything) global sea levels have slightly decreased. Thus, these simulation models included much uncertainty and, to date, all have been proven to be invalid.
There are many instances in which “established science” has been overturned by further experiments. In other words, science is never completely irrefutable.
For example, mad cow disease and the human equivalent, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, were degenerative brain diseases of unknown cause. After 10 years of experiments, neurologist Stanley Prusiner reported in 1982 that these diseases were caused by a virus-like protein which he named “prion” (derived from “protein” and “infectious"). Almost every scientist laughed, because viruses had been well known to always be made of DNA or RNA. Prusiner persisted, however, because he was convinced the consensus was wrong. He proved to be correct and was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology for his novel discovery. Prions are now realized to affect tissues other than brain and, in fact, are found even in lower organisms such as yeast.
For decades, peptic ulcer was believed to be caused by mental stress and excess stomach acid. Following many years of experiments, physicians Barry Marshall and Robin Warren reported in 1985 that peptic ulcer was caused by Heliobacter pylori. This finding forever changed the field of ulcer research: Instead of treating ulcers with antacid medications and/or surgery, antibiotics could now kill the bacteria and cure the disease! Marshall and Warren were awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology for this breakthrough.
It is a fact that Earth’s climate has been changing for 4.5 billion years. Indeed, fossil records in the Americas over the past 16,000 years have confirmed countless serious droughts lasting many decades, sometimes hundreds of years. Climate is measured in centuries; today’s global warming “scientists” are talking about weather (measured in months or years). Is it reasonable, when U.S. debt is increasing at a rate of $3.7 billion each day, for any taxpayer money to be spent on consensus science speculation?
Daniel Nebert, MD, is professor emeritus at the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. He lives in Wilsonville.
Hurricane Arthur (as viewed from the International Space Station) slammed the Outer Banks of NC and then brushed New England, contributed to the rains, well needed though untimely on the 4th.
Early this spring, we (weatherbell.com) predicted on this page and on our site that there would be more threats than normal to the east coast and New England this season despite the fact there would be overall less activity in the deep tropics and fewer storms that made their way from Africa (called Cape Verde storms). This was because of cooler than normal tropical water, dusty, dry air blowing off the Sahara into the high atmosphere, and increased vertical wind shear because of a developing El Nino. This shear is in the form of anomalous westerly winds at high levels that come east from the warm eastern Pacific and blow the tops off of thunderstorms that are trying to organize in waves moving west in the subtropical Atlantic.
The ocean from the Bahamas north off the east coast where the Gulf Stream carries warmth Poleward, is warmer than normal and is north of the unfavorable dry Saharan air and wind shear.
We forecast that old fronts or disorganized waves from the east would get their act together often closer to the mainland like Arthur did. Hurricane Carol, one of the worst New England storms organized over the Bahamas and slammed Long island and eastern New England in short order in 1954.
Arthur developed last week just off the southeast coast and feeding off the Gulf Stream, developed into a Category 2 hurricane crossing the Outer Banks of North Carolina before brushing New England in a weakened state. It brought some needed rains but is a potential omen of storms to follow.
The oceans and sun are the primary drivers to the climate regimes we find ourselves in when it comes to hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts and floods, heat and cold, and snowstorms. In terms of the ocean, the current combination of a cool Pacific and warm Atlantic Multidecadal modes is most like the 1950s. That was a period of drought in the southern Plains like the past few years, and a decade where 6 hurricanes created havoc on the Atlantic Coast. We had Carol, Edna, and Hazel in 1954, Connie and Diane in 1955 and Donna in 1960.
The ocean cycles average about 60 years and 60 years ago was the hurricane era of the middle 1950s.
A lesson from the 1950s is that you can have multiple landfalling storms in a season, even ones with a normal number of Atlantic named systems. As the Atlantic cooled, the flurry of landfalling storms ended in 1960 with Donna. The Atlantic warmed again in 1995 and the Pacific cooled after 1998. Floyd developed in 1999, Isabel made landfall in the Mid Atlantic in 2003, Irene hit New York and western New England in 2011 and Sandy, New Jersey and New York City in 2012. Arthur made a close pass this week and there may be more.
The Atlantic will cool within the next 5 years in its 60-year cycle and then both oceans will be cold. We can rest easier in the east in the summer and fall. Our winter temperatures will accelerate down though.
The 1960s and 1970s had the oceans go into their cold phase and the sun turn relatively quiet and the globe cooled. A series of volcanoes in the 1960s also contributed by creating an aerosol layer high up that reduced sunlight. There was also a concern about what was called “the human volcano”, man-made particulates that were also blocking sunlight. This is no longer an issue in the US with scrubbers on our coal plants and cleaner, more efficient cars, but a real one in China and India.
Some leading scientists and the government then warned of the possibility of a return to the little ice age conditions we experienced from the 1600s to early 1800s. The CIA in a 1974 report said “There is a growing consensus among leading climatologists that the world in undergoing a cooling trend… already causing major economic problems throughout the world.” Sound familar? See thisLeonard Nimoy video from 1978. “Climate experts believe the next ice age is on its way.”
Though Wikipedia will list reasons why this fear then never really happened, you can see evidence here that it did.
These factors cooled the globe then, but then from 1979 to 1998 when the sun rebounded and the oceans cycled back warm, the globe warmed again. Man has the arrogance to think we control the planet’s climate. We do play a role with urbanization, deforestation and locally where pollution is an issue but these effects are small and localized relative to the main, powerful natural forcings. See how US temperature cycles match to these cycles in the sun and ocean and not well with CO2, which has risen this whole period.
The solar has begun its downwards spiral after 1995, accelerating after 2000 and the oceans have begun cooling. Global warming has ceased for 12 to 20 years (depending on the data and region). As the Atlantic cools and all these three factors synchronize, look for temperatures to accelerate down. Throw in a major volcano (which can cool the earth a half degree) and we will have to cue Mr. Spock again.
We will cool like we did in the 1960s and 1970s, and, as we will explain in the next story, then potentially like the early 1800s. This will have major negative, even dangerous impacts on our region especially given the unwise and ultimately very costly energy policies of the EPA and state elected officials. Increasing energy prices also cause the cost of all goods and services to rise, increasing the stress further on those on fixed income and the poor and middle class. Dr. Frank Clemente of Penn State University explains the risk here in this IEA report.
My talk at the Heartland was on the cold and snow on the increase (around minute 17)
As far as American voters are concerned, energy is not a partisan issue. New polling shows strong majorities across the political spectrum support increased domestic oil and natural gas production and agree it is good for the economy and our national security. What’s more, Democrats, Republicans and Independents are all more likely to vote for candidates who support increased production and offshore drilling.
The national telephone poll, conducted for API by Harris Poll among 1,012 registered voters, found that:
77 percent support increased production of America’s oil and natural gas resources, including 92 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of Independents and 66 percent of Democrats.
68 percent support offshore drilling for domestic oil and natural gas resources, including 80 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of Independents and 61 percent of Democrats.
68 percent would also be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports offshore drilling and producing more oil and natural gas from here in the U.S., including 80 percent of Republicans, 71 percent of Independents and 59 percent of Democrats.
Only 28 percent think the federal government does enough to encourage the development of oil and natural gas resources in the U.S., including just 12 percent of Republicans, 31 percent of Independents and 40 percent of Democrats.
80 percent agree that producing more domestic oil and natural gas could help strengthen America’s national security by lessening the negative impacts of political instability occurring in other parts of the world.
Unfortunately, federal energy policy is often at odds with the wishes of the American people. While production on private lands is soaring, production on federal lands dropped 28 percent for natural gas and 6 percent for oil between 2009 and 2013, according to the Congressional Research Service. And a full 87 percent of federally controlled offshore acreage remains off-limits to exploration even though development in the Atlantic alone could support 280,000 new American jobs and $51 billion in revenue for the government. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s recent decision to issue permits for modern geological surveys in the south and mid-Atlantic is a positive step, but more action is needed. To create more jobs, grow the economy and increase revenue, the federal government should listen to the American people and say yes to domestic oil and natural gas.
In case you get the AMS produced, NOAA prepared government funded State of the Climate, I thought it would be worth it to present what a real climatologist report looks like. The AMS version is nothing but propaganda and its best use might be to toss it in the wood stove when we are in the dark and trying to stay warm this winter because of the bad energy policies enacted by the EPA based on bad science from NOAA and AMS. It will provide a few minutes of usefulness. Many local offices also do a fine job reporting on local climate anomalies and summaries though there are a few offices that have a Minister of Propaganda brainwashed by the poor educational system we have moved to in this country under so called progressive leadership. I am an independent without party affiliation, but I am not blind or stupid and have had decades to observe from both inside and outside the system.
This is the June Alabama Climate Report by Dr. John Christy, State Climatologist from Alabama. It is a monthly and not an annual summary so it is short enough to post.
There is hardly anyone around anymore, who remembers the summer of ‘54, although it was memorable. By some measures, the summer 60 years ago this year was the “worst” summer in at least the past 131 years.
It was also the end of a four-year stretch of summers that, in some ways, helped to change the face of Alabama for the past 60 years. More on that later. First, the numbers.
In an 1883-2013 reconstruction of summer daily high temperatures within 50 miles of Alabama’s four biggest cities, the summer of 1954 was the hottest in that 131-year record. The summer of 1954 edges out 1902 by one tenth of a degree, with an average high temperature of 95.8 F. No other year is really close, although the summer of 1952 touched an average high of 95.03. (The 131-year average is 91.1F, and no summer since 1954 has hit an average high of more than 93.5.)
That makes the summer of 1954 a few degrees warmer than normal, but how bad was it?
The average weather station in Alabama registers 73 days a year with temperatures of 90F or warmer, ranging from only 45 days a year in Valley Head to 95 days a year in Brewton.
In 1954, looking at the entire state, the average weather station recorded 117 days with a high temperature of at least 90F. Strung together, that’s almost four months. By comparison, 1994 saw an average of only 33 days of 90F or higher temperatures.
Some days during the summer of 1954 were scorchers. The July 1, 1954, edition of the Huntsville Times, in addition to reporting on the French withdrawal from Indochina, noted:
June Cracks All Records With 104 Degrees For City
An all-time record for June heat was set here yesterday at 3 p.m. when the thermometer hit 104 degrees at the local TVA sub-station.
Readings for the period of 2 through 4 p.m. were 101, 104 and 102 degrees. July started off today to bid fair for a crack at past records…
On July 1 the temperature at Huntsville’s TVA sub-station hit 106. (Official temperatures at the Huntsville airport were slightly cooler: 98 on June 30 and 102 pm July 1.) That doesnt mean the airport was a cool place to hang out. The official weather record at the old Huntsville airport recorded 18 days in June, July and August 1954 with a high temperature of 100F or higher, with an official high of 105F on three consecutive days (15-17) in August.
The rest of the state was just as toasty. Birmingham saw eleven days with highs of 100 or more, Muscle Shoals 18, Montgomery 20, and Tuscaloosa a wilting 28 summer days with a high temperature of at least 100F, including eight consecutive days in August.
The official high temperature for the year was 108F, reached three times: June 28 in Greenville and Selma, and August 16 in Belle Mina. The official record high in Alabama’s recorded history is 112F on Sept. 5, 1925, in Centerville.
Did you know that when it gets hot and dry, rattlesnakes come out of the mountains? A newspaper story from Aug. 15, 1954, noted:
Drought Bringing Out Rattlesnakes
Timber rattlesnakes appear to be on the move in this area now, evidently in search of water due to the drought.
Which brings us to how the string of hot, dry summers in the early 1950s changed the face of Alabama. The four-summer stretch from 1951 through 1954 was the hottest four-consecutive-summer period in the 131-year record. It was also a period during which many farmers across Alabama were forced to get out of the farming business, a trend that continued for many years and turned Alabama from an agricultural powerhouse into something very different.
The average high temperature during that four-summer span was a blistering 94.4F (1951 94.0F, 1952 95.0F, 1953 92.9F and 1954 95.8F). The second worst 4 consecutive summers (that did not include the years 1951 to 1954) was 1899-1902 at a mere 92.8F.
The hottest similar stretch since 1954 was mild by comparison; 91.7F in the summers of 2008 through 2011.
The six coolest summers, all under 88F, have occurred since the first such summer in 1967, with 2013 (last summer) being one of them.
But hot summers are usually also dry summers, and that is what happened in the 1950s. Summer 1954 tied 1902 as the driest summer in 120 years, with only eight inches of rainfall in three months. If we look at NOAA’s Palmer drought index, it shows the summers from 1951 through 1957 all in varying degrees of drought. That is the longest unbroken string of drought summers since 1895.
The impact was significant.
The Huntsville Times, Aug. 16, 1954:
Farm Situation Near Its Worst
Crops and pastures are nearing their worst conditions of the season, County Agent Loyd H. Little estimated today…
It has been four weeks since anything like a general rain has fallen in the county. In the last three weeks, only .07 of an inch of rain has fallen at the Huntsville sub-station.
Facing increased competition from farms in western states that benefited from billions of dollars in federally-subsidized irrigation projects and with almost no irrigation to help Alabama farmers deal with the drought, the state’s farmland began to go fallow or to be used for other purposes.
Although agriculture (largely poultry) is still the state’s largest industry, Alabama lost millions of acres of harvested cropland between 1950 and today, which is a big enough change to quite literally change the face of the state.
Fortunately, this summer to date seems to be neither generally dry nor unusually hot. Let’s hope it stays that way.
Update: Today UAH reported: Compared to seasonal norms, the coldest place in Earth’s atmosphere in June was over the Ross Ice Shelf, where Antarctic winter temperatures were as much as 5.37 C (about 9.67 degrees Fahrenheit) colder than seasonal norms.
The sea ice coverage around Antarctica over the weekend marked a record high, with the ice surrounding the continent measuring at 2.112 million square kilometers, according to an environmentalist and author who says the ice there has actually been increasing since 1979 despite continued warnings of global warming.
The new record was posted for the first time by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s online record, The Cryosphere Today, early Sunday morning and continues to grow an an alarming rate.
It’s not apparent if the record actually occurred on Friday or Saturday, says Harold Ambler on his blog, Talking About the Weather.
Ambler is a journalist and author of the book “Don’t Sell Your Coat: Surprising Truths About Climate Change.”
“The previous record anomaly for Southern Hemisphere sea ice area was 1.840 million square kilometers and occurred on December 20, 2007,” said Ambler. Meanwhile, he pointed out, global sea ice area on Sunday was standing at 0.991 million square kilometers above average, a figure he arrived at by adding anomalies for the North and South hemispheres.
While early models predicted the sea ice would decrease because of global warming, other models are showing that the opposite is happening around Antarctica, where sea ice growth is increasing.
“A freshening of the waters surrounding the southernmost continent as well as the strengthening of the winds circling it were both theorized as explanations for the steady growth of Antarctica’s sea ice during the period of satellite measurement,” said Ambler.
However, he pointed out that climatologists have discounted the importance and growth of the Antarctic sea ice.
According to Walt Meier, formerly of the National Snow and Ice Data Center and currently of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, most of the Antarctic sea ice does not survive between years, and it’s less significant to the Earth’s climate than is the ice around the Arctic.
Meanwhile, Ambler said that the growth of the Antarctic sea ice is providing “a public relations problem, at a minimum, for those warning of global warming’s menace.”
During the past 18 months, global sea ice “has seen its most robust 18-month period of the last 13 years, maintaining, on average, a positive anomaly for an 18-month period for the first time since 2001,” he wrote.
In addition, Ambler said, the South Pole’s temperature has been dropping over the past 40 years.
NOTE: Mark Serreze of NSIDC here says the record ice is due to global warming
8 min. video also makes all kinds of renewable energy claims.
DiCaprio fights ‘carbon monster’ in new eco-documentary featuring Joe Romm & Sen. Bernie Sanders
Leonardo DiCaprio: ‘We no longer need the dead economy of the fossil fuel industry.’
‘DiCaprio and climate scientists argue that coal, natural gas and other carbon-based forms of energy are a “monster” that has created catastrophic surges in the earth’s surface temperature. In response, some lawmakers around the world are tinkering with ways to make carbon more expensive, and sustainable forms of energy - such as wind power - cheap.’
The first film in the series, titled “Carbon,” calls for more federal action to control carbon dioxide pollution. We cannot sit idly by and watch the fossil fuel industry make billions at our collective expense. We must put a price on carbon - now,” DiCaprio said in a statement. The eight-minute long film argues that a tax should be placed on carbon in order to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.
DiCaprio produced an AGW movie 11th Hour that bombed in the box office. Here he shows how little science and how few people saw his film.
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.
See all the talks at the latest ICCC9 Conference in Las Vegas in 2014 here.
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.
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)
Alice Babbette “Babs” Christy stepped into eternity on Thursday afternoon, August 7, 2014. She began her life’s journey in St. Louis as the first child of Irwin and Alice Joslin on April 14, 1951. She leaves behind her devoted husband John, sister Ruth Ann (and Joshua) Wong, daughter Alison (and Garet) Fields, son Brian (and Kristen) Christy and the grandchildren she absolutely adored; Levi, Kara and Garison Fields, and John and Ruby Christy. Grandson Isaac Christy is now in her arms. Her family moved from St. Louis to Peoria Illinois early in her life and she counted Peoria as her home until finishing college.
An extremely bright young lady, Babs was Valedictorian of her senior class at Woodruff High School. After graduating with a degree in English Literature and American History from Illinois State University, she served in Kenya, East Africa, teaching at Nyeri Baptist High School. There she met her future husband and upon return they were married in 1975. Their lives were enriched as they experienced Mill Valley California, Vermillion South Dakota, Champaign Illinois but it was in Huntsville Alabama where they established their permanent home in 1987. A passion throughout her entire life was Southern Baptist Missions. After her service in Kenya she was heavily involved in teaching and leading mission organizations everywhere she lived. She was a member of the boards of Christian Women’s Job Corps and the Alabama Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union.
At Farley Community Church she taught several classes including Vacation Bible School and mission programs up through this past summer though plagued by the last stages of cancer. In other service roles she taught homebound students for the Huntsville City Schools and English as a Second Language for the Madison County Baptist Association. She also touched many lives through teaching in Weight Watchers and through the quilting guild. She is now free of the infirmities brought on by the cancer, but those who loved her, especially her husband, children and grandchildren are feeling the pain of an intensely wonderful part of their lives now lost. Our grateful hearts acknowledge the many folks who helped and supported Babs and family through this ordeal. On Tuesday, August 12th, a brief graveside service will be held at Maple Hill Cemetery at 9:30 a.m. An 11:00 a.m. memorial service at Farley Community Church will be officiated by Revs David Blakeney and Michael Hulsey. The family urges that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Christian Women’s Job Corps of Madison County.