Archive for April, 2012

UK Sea Level Changes–A Case Study At North Shields

April 14, 2012

April 12, 2012

Paul Homewood

Amidst the latest controversy surrounding Envisat and their unexplained retroactive changes to their satellite sea level database (which, yes you’ve guessed it, have increased sea level rise in the last few years), we should not lose sight of tide gauges, which have been monitoring sea levels for a century or more.

Tide gauges, while not being subject to the calibration issues that satellite measurements face, have one major drawback. Many coastal locations round the world are subject to isostatic changes. Since the end of the Ice Age, land previously covered by glaciers has ben slowly rebounding, while others have been sinking. In the UK the effect can be seen on this map.

Rates of Isostatic Rebound
in Great Britain (in mm/yr)

An added complication comes when silting and erosion affect coastal areas. However, although these factors can affect absolute sea level changes, they don’t affect relative sea level changes, at least not over short time scales as their effect is a very long term process.

In this series, I will be looking at a cross section of UK sites and examining tide gauge records to see if there are any trends in the rate of sea level rise. We start at North Shields, which is situated on the Tyne in the north east of England. On the map above, it fits perfectly into the “green” zone, where isostatic change is pretty much zero.

Figure 1 shows the annual mean sea levels there between 1896 and 2009. (There is no data for 2010 or 2011). (Full data is available from PMSML – http://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/stations/95.php )


FIGURE 1

Since 1896, the level has increased from 6793mm to 7007mm, an increase of 214mm or 188mm per century or 7.4 inches. This figure is, of course, pretty much in line with global estimates over the last century, so we seem to have picked a fairly representative site!

But has the rate of increase been increasing in recent decades? The evidence from Figure 1 would suggest no. There is a small blip upwards between 1992 and 2002 following a big drop in 1991, but this has already been reversed and the 10 year average line since 1970 is bang on the long term trend.

But we don’t have to rely on eyeballing this graph. We can go one better than that and look at the year on year changes in Figure 2.


FIGURE 2

The 10 year average shows quite clearly that the rate of change has not increased since the start of the record. Figure 3 shows the 10 year average line in much closer focus.


FIGURE 3

Sea level rises over the last 10 years are below the long term mean (red line).

DEFRA are forecasting a sea level rise of 13mm / year by the end of the century. Perhaps someone should tell the North Sea.

Obama Administration’s War on Natural Gas Continues To Expand

April 13, 2012

Link to Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, blasted President Obama’s executive order, “Supporting Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources,” released today that will coordinate the activities of thirteen or more different federal agencies on natural gas development.

“President Obama now believes that his administration’s efforts to regulate natural gas production have become so complicated and convoluted that he needs yet another government board to coordinate them,” Senator Inhofe said, “While he makes disingenuous claims about how this working group is to increase natural gas production, we all know that the more layers of government involved, the greater the likelihood that he can stall efforts towards development. He already has ten federal agencies looking into hydraulic fracturing with the express purpose of trying to find something wrong with it – now President Obama wants to add yet another layer of bureaucracy. And to make matters worse, this working group incorporates even more federal agencies in the mix, bringing the total to thirteen with the possibility of more. So why, when states are already regulating the process safely, efficiently, and effectively is President Obama pushing for the involvement of more than thirteen different federal agencies? The answer is simple: with an election on the horizon – and the American people are feeling the economic pain of his disastrous war on fossil fuels – he’s trying to pretend he supports natural gas production, while ensuring that the federal government does everything possible to impede hydraulic fracturing.

“While President Obama continues to push for increased federal regulations, Republicans believe that states have demonstrated that they are far better equipped to regulate fracking on a regional basis. Just ask the experts in my home state of Oklahoma: the first use of hydraulic fracturing took place in Duncan, Oklahoma in 1949, and in over 60 years there has not been one confirmed case of ground water contamination from fracked formations. Oklahoma is a leader in natural gas development, with 43,000 producing natural gas wells which support hundreds of thousands of jobs and contribute billions to our state’s economy every year. The last thing we need is more federal entanglement in natural gas production that would hinder these jobs and economic growth all for little to no environmental benefits.

“That’s why I recently introduced the Fracturing Regulations are Effective in State Hands Act, (FRESH Act), S. 2248; my bill ensures that states will continue to have the sole authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing – not the federal government. That way, President Obama will not be able to impose federal regulations that will stop natural gas development in this country; it would keep his administration from achieving one part of their war on affordable energy.”

The Environmental Terrorizing of Children

April 9, 2012

By Alan Caruba

In many ways, the worst aspect of environmentalism is why Greens not only feel free to terrorize children with doomsday scenarios, but feel compelled to do so.

I have been reviewing books for some fifty years and with the publication of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” in 1962 and books such as Paul Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb” have been offering scenarios intended to move people and governments to take action that, in retrospect, were based on bad “science” and absurd doomsday predictions.

If you were fooled by global warming, they are counting on you to be fooled again by “sustainability”, their reworking of Marx’s communism in the form of a grandiose scheme to control all of the Earth’s bounty. In June the United Nations will hold a Rio+20 conference that will declare that governments exist to ensure “sustainable well-being and happiness.” The Declaration of Independence offers the opportunity to pursue happiness. It does not guarantee it, nor does it suggest that it is government’s job to provide it.

A key element of the Green’s endless indoctrination schemes has been to reach children, the most vulnerable among us and for this reason our schools have been turned into Green prisons where their version of the Earth is pumped into the minds of children here and around the world.

Their primary teaching tool is fear. Fear that the oceans will rise and wipe out entire cities. Fear that the rainforests are disappearing. Fear that entire species are being destroyed by the hand of man. Fear that the use of any kind of fuel, coal, natural gas, and oil is despoiling the planet.

I have reviewed books for some fifty years at this point and I could not put a number on the books for children that hammer home these and other terrifying themes. One crossed my desk the other day, “Our House is Round: A Kid’s Book About Why Protecting Our Earth Matters” by Yolanda Kondonassis and illustrated by Joan Brush. It has been called “the perfect children’s introduction to environmental issues” by Fred Krupp, the president of the Environmental Defense Fund.

The author is not a biologist, a geologist, a meteorologist, or any other kind of scientist. She is a Grammy-nominated classical harpist. A harpist!

“Our Earth has gotten messy. What should we do?” she asks her young reader. What does she mean by “messy”? Her answer is that “cars, trucks, and factories make pollution, a kind of dirty gas or liquid that goes out into the air and into our rivers, lakes, and oceans.” This book is written for children age five to nine!

Imagine now what it must be like to be that age and be told that the air is polluted and the water is as well. This verges on child abuse.

“Pollution goes up into the sky and forms a blanket of gas that holds heat within Earth’s atmosphere. That makes our whole Earth warmer and leads to unclean air for breathing, melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, and extreme weather patterns. Scientists call this warming of our Earth’s temperature CLIMATE CHANGE.”

It is a LIE. The Earth has been cooling for fifteen years.

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is a gas as vital to all life on Earth as oxygen is to the life of living creatures. Without it, not a single blade of grass or tree or the vegetation we call “crops” would not grow. Livestock and wildlife depend on that vegetation. If you are age five to nine, you likely are unaware of this.

This book and all the others that incorporate these lies are a form of psychological terror.

The same week I received “Our House is Round”, I also received “The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea” and “Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges, and More.” You could stack all the environmentally-themed children’s books I’ve seen and it would reach up several stories.

They are a corruption of geophysical and biological science. They have nothing to do with “saving the planet” and everything to do with distorting children’s understanding of the real world.

It does not matter that the Ms. Kondonassis thinks she is serving humanity. The great lie of communism is that it will create a collectivist utopia. In reality it has always depended on terror to maintain itself and it has failed wherever it has been tried. Environmentalism is its latest permutation.

It is the same reason that communism derides religion for its emphasis on life and morality.

It is the same reason Americans are being subjected to government imposed limitations on energy and transportation, and coerced social change, altering and secularizing our society.

I have devoted my life to freedom of the press, freedom to publish, freedom to speak out, and to urge participation in the life of the greatest nation on Earth, but some books like “Our House Is Round” are the worst kind of mental pollution.

Envionmentalism, like all tyrannies, begins by indoctrinating children.

Editor’s Note: In 1974 Alan Caruba was a founding member of the National Book Critics Circle.

‘Fakegate’: Climate Change Fanatics Wage War on Dissenters

April 7, 2012

Why would Dr. Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and chairman of an American Geophysical Union task force on “scientific ethics and integrity,” break the law to engage in a smear campaign against a small think-tank called The Heartland Institute that resulted in “Fakegate”?

As Alan Caruba related in the opening paragraph of his article published on Tuesday, April 3rd, titled “Fatetgate: The War on Science,” “[g]enerations of Americans have been raised to venerate science and those who have enhanced and extended our lives through its application. The rise of environmentalism, however, has generated a war on science, first by distorting it, and then by propagandizing the ‘findings’, studies’ and resulting claims based on them.”

The Heartland Institute, as a leading voice, led the effort to debunk the hoax through its sponsorship of six international conferences featuring scientists and others who presented papers demonstrating “that 0.038 percent of CO2 in the atmosphere had little or no “greenhouse” effect on the Earth’s climate or weather events.”

Heartland’s six International Conferences on Climate Change (ICCC) attracted scientists worldwide, who employed science rather than pseudo-science in their presentations. Among these scientists were such notables as Lord Monckton, special adviser to former Margaret Thatcher, and former Czech President Vaclav Klaus. Monckton and Klaus were featured guests at Heartland’s Fourth International Conference on Climate Change in May of 2010.

An economist by training, Klaus made the following statement in 2011:

I’m convinced that after years of studying the phenomenon, global warming is not the real issue of temperature. That is the issue of a new ideology or a new religion. A religion or climate change or a religion of global warming. This is a religion which tell us that the people are responsible for the current, very small increase in temperatures. And they should be punished.

In light of Heartland’s worldwide recognition as a global warming/climate change skeptic of merit, it was only a matter of time before rage would ensue among climate alarmists to single out Heartland for discrediting and destruction.

So it was, on January 27 of this year, that Peter Gleick stole the identity of a member of Heartland’s board of directors and then used that identity to steal corporate documents describing Heartland’s budget, fundraising plans, and more. When those documents failed to produce a “smoking gun” — for example, they showed that Heartland received only small amounts of funding from the Koch brothers and from fossil fuel companies — Gleick or an ally forged a memo alleging to describe Heartland’s “Global Warning Strategy.”

On February 14, Gleick sent the stolen and forged documents to fifteen allies in the environmental movement and mainstream media, resulting in a wave of criticism of Heartland’s supposed plans to “infiltrate schools” and “undermine” climate science. Gleick confessed to stealing the documents on February 20, but media coverage of the event focused overwhelmingly on the false claims in the fake memo rather than on Gleick’s criminal actions.

Gleick’s allies immediately used the forged memo and stolen documents to target Heartland’s donors and the scientists who have helped write its publications.

A group calling itself “Forecast the Facts” challenged the chairman and CEO of General Motors to defend the company’s foundation’s support of an organization that opposes the teaching of science in public schools.

On Friday, March 30, General Motors spokesman David Barthmuss succumbed to what amounted to bullying, confirming that the company’s foundation will no longer donate to The Heartland Institute.

Regarding the loss of General Motors as a source of funding, Heartland CEO Joseph Bast had this to say: “The General Motors Foundation has been a supporter of the Heartland Institute for some 20 years. We regret the loss of their support, particularly since it was prompted by false claims contained in a fake memo circulated by disgraced climate scientist Peter Gleick.”

Bast subsequently told me: “The Left has attacked our donors before, but never had a list, and never had a fake memo to use that made it sound like we were truly evil and deliberately misleading people about our program. That’s what Fakegate provided…and the wacky Left let loose the hounds at “Forecast the Facts.”

In the eyes of those who are global warming skeptics, Peter Gleick might be labeled as an uncouth and evil person, but not according to Paul Joseph Watson, an Oregon-based professor of sociology and environmental studies. In Professor Watson’s mind, Peter Gleick is the hero, while those having doubts about anthropogenic climate change are sick and in need of treatment.

Even if evil is in the eyes of the beholder, destructive policies spawned by global alarmists and environmental extremists, and from state and federal government entities, etc., cannot be permitted to stand unchallenged. In Heartland’s case, there was nothing remotely scandalous in its behavior.

In an effort to move forward in a positive way from Fakegate, Bast announced on Monday, April 2, that the seventh International Conference on Climate Change will be held in Chicago on May 21-23 to demonstrate, among other reasons, that the global warming skeptics movement has not lost any momentum due to the Fakegate scandal.

(See here for the author’s account of The Heartland Institute’s 2010 Fourth International Climate Change Conference held in Chicago, as published at the American Thinker on May 22, 2010.)

Read more

Taxpayers’ $1.4B ‘Investment’ in Nissan EV May Make Volt Look Good by Comparison

April 6, 2012

Submitted by Paul Chesseron Fri, 04/06/2012 – 14:00       

Printer-friendlyEmail to friend

While General MotorsChevy Volt assembly workers are sidelined for five weeks (and more this summer) because demand for its strongly hyped electric car is weak, the prospects for its chief rival – Nissan’s Leaf – are shaky at best.

 

Nissan North America, Inc. – a subsidiary of its Japanese parent – is the beneficiary of a $1.4 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, to convert a plant in Smyrna, Tenn. to produce the Leaf and batteries for it. The project’s promoters say the alterations will lead to 1,300 new jobs, enabling Nissan to produce up to 150,000 Leafs and 200,000 battery packs per year, which will lead to the all-important avoidance of 204,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions – or so they say.

But there’s just one problem: Sales of the Leaf are not much better than the Volt’s have been, and lately have been much worse. In 2011 Chevrolet sold 7,671 of its plug-in Volt, whose range is extended with the help of a small gasoline tank. Nissan sold 9,674 of the purely electric Leaf last year. So far through the end of March this year GM has delivered 4,095 Volts, while only 1,733 Leafs have been sold.

So if demand isn’t strong enough to keep a GM line running to build the Volt, how can the current level of sales for the Leaf justify the enormous plant investment Nissan is making in Tennessee? USA Today reported a few weeks ago that as gasoline prices reach $4 per gallon, electric vehicles still “face dark days.” Industry expert LMC Automotive predicts EV sales will remain below 1 percent through 2017.

Why would this be? Because even with billions of dollars in “investment” from the government to help Ford, Nissan, Fisker, Tesla, and The Vehicle Production Group build EVs, and to fund companies like Ecotality to build out a charging network at places like Cracker Barrel, the technology is impractical for most people. Besides the obvious range anxiety experienced by EV drivers, because the batteries don’t maintain their charge long enough, there’s the problem of lengthy times required to “fill up” again. Even the extremely expensive ($40,000 each) and hard-to-find “fast-chargers” (440 volt) take 30 minutes to get a Leaf going again for any reasonable distance, and most chargers require four to five hours to re-boost.

At least the Volt has a small gas engine that extends its range, although its (highly subsidized) $41,000 retail cost is still a lot to overcome for most consumers. But the Leaf is all-electric – no juice, no go, which may be a big reason the Volt has inched past it in sales recently. One EV enthusiast had to stop and recharge his Leaf four times to travel 180 miles last year. Besides the facts that range is reduced even more by using heating and air conditioning, or by driving on inclines, there is the issue that you can’t even depend on its battery gauge (the equivalent of a fuel gauge in a gas-powered car).

“I am ready to turn over a new Leaf – my own,” wrote Rob Eshman, editor-in-chief of The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.

While Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn (pictured) would obviously love to see sales of the Leaf take off, he has said (in so many words) that government subsidies are the reason for his pursuit of EV technology, rather than successes based upon qualities such as value, styling, safety rankings, or popularity with the purchasing public.

“It does not matter if, for example, Portugal stops the incentives, as long as other countries like the United States continue to support,” Ghosn told Reuters in October. “If countries like France, Japan and the UK support and then China, that is about to start to support, that’s fine.”

The Brazilian-born Frenchman, who also chairs Renault, also does not hide the fact that he supports government control of markets and its attempts to stimulate technologies, no matter the cost.

“We must diversify the energy mix used to fuel our vehicles,” Ghosn wrote last month for Forbes. “Petroleum-based fuels now account for 96 percent of the world’s automotive energy mix. By mandating targets and requirements at the level of the state, we can increase the mix of renewable fuels.”

And, obviously, he believes in the state’s expenditure of billions of dollars on EVs. At this week’s New York International Auto Show, he repeated his assertion that Nissan’s future depended on development of EVs, predicting to the Wall Street Journal, “when we get to 500,000 sales we can be profitable.” He believes that goal will be attained in 2015-2016.

Meanwhile an analysis of fuel efficiency by the New York Times determined that it would take nine years before Leaf owners break even by saving money on gasoline versus the extra cost of the EV. That is a dubious assumption, since after that amount of time all – or a lot of – the depleted battery pack will need to be replaced. Time will tell, but if like most batteries it needs entire replacement, the cost is likely to exceed $30,000.

Nissan disputes that, of course. But is it worth risking the unknown for a vehicle that is only capable of traveling much fewer miles than would an equivalent gas-powered car such as the Nissan Versa or Chevy Cruze?

Not that that matters to Ghosn, since in his view, the purpose of the automobile business is to serve the collective through the manipulations of government.

“We have a social responsibility to ensure that this industry grows sustainably,” he wrote in his Forbes piece, “and if we uphold our responsibility, we will increase the quality of life for everyone on our planet.”

Paul Chesser is an associate fellow for the National Legal and Policy Center.

The Contradictions of Obamaism

April 6, 2012

By William Tucker on 4.6.12 @ 6:10AM

As a faithful tool of the environmentalists, the president betrays his main constituents.

There is a fundamental contradiction in the philosophy of President Obama that he is going to have to resolve before the electorate hangs him out to dry in the coming presidential campaign.

As the first African-American President, Barack Obama has come to embody the hopes of other groups that felt excluded from American society — Hispanics, women, gays and lesbians, the handicapped and so on. There is an openly articulated strategy among his supporters that these out-groups can be forged into some grand coalition — along with young people, pensioners and government employees — to outvote the only group that does not seem to respond to the President’s ministrations — white men employed in the private sector.

But there is a problem with this strategy. In climbing through the ranks of academia and the liberal political world, the President has found himself welcomed at every level by people who saw in him the qualities of leadership that could represent their case. But in making this ascent through academia, he has imbibed the reigning ideology of this world — environmentalism. Although the President may not recognize it, environmentalism works in direct opposition to the groups he purports to sponsor — the poor, the disenfranchised, the unemployed, and so forth.

When stripped of its homilies about the beauties of the nature and virtues of a “sustainable” economy, environmentalism is basically an ideology for the protection of privilege. It works in favor of those who feel satisfied with current levels of consumption and against those who are trying to achieve greater levels of prosperity. As Michael Schellenberger and Ted Nordhaus expressed it in their landmark essay, “The Death of Environmentalism”:

Environmentalists… aim to short-circuit democratic values by establishing Nature… as the ultimate authority that human societies must obey. And they insist that humanity’s future is a zero-sum proposition — that there is only so much prosperity, material comfort and modernity to go around. If too many people desire such things, we will all be ruined. We, of course, meaning those of us who have already achieved prosperity, material comfort and modernity.

Environmentalists make a living going around stirring up local opposition to all manner of development — drilling for oil, harvesting forests, building power plants. The premise is always that this is the “wrong place” for such development and that whatever needs to be done is better taken care of somewhere else. What never gets noticed is that environmentalists are also doing the same thing in the next valley and the one after that and the sum of all this is that nothing gets done. They urge people to “think globally, act locally,” but what this means in practice is professing some grand support for a “sustainable” economy built on “renewable” technologies while opposing the same things at the local level.

The Sierra Club, for instance, constantly opposes all manner of conventional electrical generation on the premise that it is supports “renewable” forms of energy. Hydroelectricity is considered a form of “renewable energy,” but this means building dams and the Sierra Club is opposed to all forms of dams. For years it has been carrying on a quixotic campaign to tear down the Hetch-Hetchy Dam in the Yosemite Valley, built in 1921, that provides San Francisco with one-third of its electricity and most of its drinking water. “Oh, but we don’t mean big dams,” they respond. “We’re in favor of small dams.” Yet when Free Flow Power, a Boston company, announced plans to try to build a 3 megawatt dam near Bellingham, Washington in January 2011, the Sierra Club announced its opposition the next day.

The Sierra Club and other environmental groups all profess to be in favor of wind and solar energy as “clean, green and sustainable.” But these energy sources are extremely dilute and involve covering huge amounts of landscape. On the east coast the best place to put them is on mountaintops, which always generates opposition. In California, however, there is always the possibility of the desert. Yet when the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power proposed in 2005 to build the Green Path North, a transmission line designed to bring wind and solar power from the Mojave Desert to Los Angeles, the project was opposed by the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, the California Desert Coalition, The Redlands Conservancy, Friends of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, Stop Green Path North and every municipal government in its path. After six years of fighting opponents, the LADWP finally gave up on the project last year.

The truth is, when it comes right down to it, environmentalists don’t want much of anything. They are happy with the way things are. In fact they wouldn’t mind going back a bit to a time when there weren’t so many cars, so many power plants and — let’s face it — so many people around all clamoring for a piece of the pie. This philosophy may work for those comfortably ensconced in a mountain hideaway but it hardly speaks to the vast majority seeking some improvement in their lot.

President Obama has not yet grasped this contradiction. He thinks he wants economic prosperity but he wants to please his friends in the environmental movement as well. As a result, he finds himself in ridiculously contorted positions such as traveling to Oklahoma to celebrate the construction of a pipeline that he is preventing from being built or responding to criticisms about high gas prices by asking Congress to revoke the oil industry’s modest tax breaks, which can only drive prices even higher, or bragging about the production of American oil when he has achieved the lowest rates of production in recent history from federal lands.

This problem is not going to go away. There is no limit to what the President’s environmental supporters will demand in terms of thwarting prosperity. The talk this week is that even if we have discovered much greater oil and gas resources than previously recognized, we should not develop them for fear of falling into the trap of “resource poverty” that supposedly afflicts states like Nigeria and Indonesia. Someone should tell this to the Canadians who are buying second homes by the drove in Arizona or the Russians who the New York Times tells us are snapping up million-dollar apartments in Manhattan, all because Canada and Russia have decided to develop their own resources.

Everyone is an environmentalist when it comes to answering a pollster or buying a Sierra Club calendar. But when the economy is visibly wounded by efforts to make oil a “fuel of the past” and replace it with immature and flawed technologies — or nothing at all — the electorate is eventually going to rebel. If the President doesn’t figure this out soon — and it doesn’t seem likely he will — he is likely to face a huge backlash in November.

The Utter Desperation of Global Warmists

April 5, 2012

By Alan Caruba

In the “glory years” of the global warming hoax, you had Al Gore picking up Oscars and Nobel Prizes (shared with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and government employees like James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies were picking up wads of cash as awards, speech fees, and grants.

The folks who conjured up the computer models featured in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports also did quite well for themselves, along with all the others who climbed on the gravy train of global warming grants.

And then in 1998 a cooling cycle set in. It was hard to hide because the weather satellite data was indisputable, but try to hide it they did. Even then, however, there was a handful of outspoken meteorologists and climatologists who were trying hard to get out the message that the perfectly natural warming cycle was over and had been replaced, thanks to—guess what?—a lower output of solar radiation by the SUN.

Still the warmists persisted, infiltrating school systems to frighten children, brainwashing students in colleges, and coercing the public through apocalyptic books, through magazine and newspaper articles, and on television and the Internet.

In 2009, the release of a huge cache of emails between the IPCC global warming perpetrators instantly became known as “Climategate” as the world learned that it was all a scam, a hoax, a fraud based on deliberately falsified computer models, and force fed to the public.

The desperation of the warmists was palpable.

In 2006, Grist, an eco-magazine, called for Nurenberg-style trials for skeptics. By 2007, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. had called any doubts about global warming treason. “This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors.” Two years later in 2009, Kennedy called coal companies “criminal enterprises”, declaring that their CEO’s “should be in jail…for all of eternity.” In 2008 NASA’s Hansen was calling for trials of climate skeptics for “high crimes against humanity.”

Didn’t like the warmist’s bogus science? A former member of the Clinton administration, Joe Romm, defended a comment on his Climate Progress website that warned that a generation of brain-washed youth would see to it that skeptics would “be strangled in their beds.”

Today, another Clinton appointee, Carol Browner, former Environmental Protection Agency administrator is one of Obama’s “czars” and the unseen specter whispering in the ear of Lisa Jackson, the current EPA administrator. She is joined by John Holden, an Obama science advisor, and Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu.

If threats of jail and murder couldn’t shut up the skeptics, then Professor Kari Marie Norgaard, speaking at a warmist confab, “Planet Under Pressure”, put forth the notion that any science-based skepticism—based on actual, not fictional data—should be “recognized and treated” as some sort of aberrant behavior.

Doubt global warming? Well, you must be nuts!

Norgaard is a professor of sociology and environmental studies at the University of Oregon. As she put it, “Climate change poses a massive threat to our present social, economic and political order. From a sociological perspective, resistance to change is to be expected. People are individually and collectively habituated to the ways we act and think. That habituation must be recognized and simultaneously addressed at the individual, cultural and societal level—how we think the world works and how we think it should work.”

“Should work”? The Earth—the oceans, the clouds, and its entire eco-system—doesn’t give a rat’s patoot about how warmists and other weather crazies think it “should work.” All that intellectual claptrap adds up to a totalitarian belief that people who disagree with global warming should be jailed or killed.

And in true totalitarian fashion reminiscent of the Stalin era when people simply disappeared from public records and reports, on April 2nd Norgaard’s bio for Whitman College could no longer to be found on the its website. True to the eco-fascist approach, she had become a liability, a non-person for having revealed their plans for humanity.

Regular people who actually do something useful with their lives know that intellectuals like Norgaard hold them in utter contempt, but it is those who profess belief in global warming that should be regarded with grave and serious suspicion.

Those who use global warming, i.e., the assertion that carbon dioxide emissions should be restricted and controlled, are the true enemies of progress, of freedom, and of humanity.

In the twentieth century intellectuals foisted Communism on the world, thus ensuring that millions of Russians, Chinese, Cambodians and others would be killed for their dissent. Intellectuals are always the first to embrace every dictator and to excuse their methods.

The warmists are increasingly desperate as their dreams of global domination are falling apart.

In Europe and here in America all their schemes to replace the real production of electricity with solar panels and wind turbines are being rejected. Their plans for herding populations into cities and onto mass transit meet with resistance. Parents are objecting to their eco-curricula in schools. Al Gore has become a joke.

Consider this, if they were in charge, anyone who voiced dissent from their global warming-climate change lies would be in concentration camps, undergoing “re-education”, being “treated” with mind-altering drugs, or dead.

Another Taxpayer-Funded Solar Company Looks Like a Failure

April 5, 2012

submitted by Paul Chesser on Thu, 04/05/2012 – 08:31

An Ohio-based solar company received millions of dollars in state and federal subsidies despite government officials’ knowledge that the company was in financial trouble, and now a local newspaper reports little activity at the manufacturer’s Perrysburg plant.

According to a report last month in The Toledo Blade, Willard & Kelsey Solar Group was lent $10 million by two state agencies even though the company showed little more than a half million dollars in revenue for 2009 – that being a grant from the Buckeye State – and a loss of $4.2 million. State officials told the newspaper that loan was completed because it had already been promised.

“We are just executing that commitment at that point,” Daryl Hennessy, assistant chief of the business services division at the Department of Development, told The Blade. “While it looked like a lot of bad things happened in between, the commitment had already been made. We weren’t giving them any more money at that point. We weren’t adding on additional benefits at this point.”

Other records show that part of the money that flowed to Willard & Kelsey came from U.S. taxpayers, even though the company told the newspaper it received no federal funding. Reports posted at the Recovery.gov Web site, which discloses information about funds dispensed out of the 2009 Recovery Act (aka the “stimulus”), shows a $6 million award to the Ohio Department of Development for its “Energizing Careers” project. Of that, according to a department press release from January 2011, $700,981 went to Willard & Kelsey “for worker training to manufacture highly efficient frameless Cadmium Telluride photovoltaic solar panels….”

The company did not show much of a track record that showed it was a worthy investment. The department press release noted the company began commercial operations in January 2011 “at a state-of-the-art 250,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.” In reality, it was more “art-of-the-state.”

“The company plans for a major expansion within the next six years,” the press release boasted, “building an additional 750,000-square-foot factory and employing 3,600 people.”

The program and grant were initiated under Ohio’s previous governor, Democrat Ted Strickland (in photo). Current Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, defeated Strickland in 2010.

“These training dollars ensure our workers are highly skilled in manufacturing that supports the evolving technologies that help our economy flourish,” said Lisa Patt-McDaniel, director of the Ohio Department of Development in Strickland’s administration. “By training employees in advanced energy manufacturing, these companies will see continued growth and success in our state.”

Besides the state backslapping, Vice President Joe Biden and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined Gov. Strickland on a tour of Willard & Kelsey in June 2009.

“There are far too many valuable resources, too much valuable capital and especially too much human skill and know-how embedded in America’s manufacturing sector to allow it to go to waste,” Biden said in Perrysburg. “The President and I are committed to doing everything we can to prepare the manufacturing sector for the future and to protect families and communities hurt by recent job losses.”

Apparently Willard & Kelsey is another of the Obama administration’s solar failures that fell through the cracks. The Blade reported last month that the company’s development has been marked by delays and “operational issues,” with only one production line started since the company’s inception. Another promised line has been held up, and the company has asked the state to extend a deadline for its initiation to Sept. 2012. But first-hand observations by Blade reporter Kris Turner don’t look promising:

Four cars were in the company’s parking lot at 3 p.m. Tuesday (March 13). The front door to the facility was locked and no one answered knocks at that door or the employee entrance. Michael Cicak, the company’s chief executive officer and chairman of the board, was contacted by phone but said he was in a meeting. He had previously refused to respond to phone calls from The Blade….

The company laid off workers in January because it was making changes to its production line to increase the efficiency of those panels, Mr. Cicak said in a previous interview.

Although Mr. Cicak has said the company employed more than 100 people at times, state documents tell a different story. A document from April, 2011, states the company had 72 employees and intended to create 133 jobs. None of the other documents lists more than 72 employees.

Crony socialism may have contributed to Willard & Kelsey’s friendly reception from state officials under the previous administration. Company employees — mostly executives that included Cicak and President James Appold — donated $24,400 in 2010 to Strickland’s campaign to retain the governorship. The grant to Willard & Kelsey was announced January 5, 2011, five days prior to Kasich’s inauguration.

While not a big illustration from a cost-to-U.S.-taxpayers standpoint, Willard & Kelsey are no less an example of failed government picking winners and losers than are First Solar, Abound Solar, and Solyndra, among others. It also shows how much the Green energy agenda and policy practices extended to the states. It sure didn’t help Gov. Strickland keep his job.

Paul Chesser is an associate fellow for the National Legal and Policy Center.

Italy to end renewable subsidies

April 5, 2012

Italy will move to reduce taxpayer subsidies to its renewable energy sector after last year’s boom in solar power, Industry Minister Corrado Passera says.

The official said Saturday in Cernobbio, Italy, that taxpayer subsidies doled out to the wind and solar power industries had generated “excessive” investments in the sector, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“Italy has important goals to meet and even surpass,” he said, but added, “we need to do so without over-reliance on taxpayer resources.”

The government, Passera said, will in the coming years “realign” the level of its incentives to those of other European countries.

The comments came a day after Paolo Andrea Colombo, chairman of Italian electric utility Enel SpA, said the heavy subsidization of alternative energy was hurting traditional producers such as his company.

“The development of renewables, combined with the stagnation of demand, is making it difficult to cover the production costs of conventional systems, putting at risk the ability to remain in operation,” Colombo said.

The problem, Enel contends, is that that big investments were made in traditional power plants in order to ramp up production at levels that are no longer necessary with the boom in solar and wind, which account for 26 percent of Italy’s electricity production.

Nando Pasquali, the chief of Italy’s GSE energy services operator, said last week that preliminary 2011 estimates of the country’s renewable capacity stood at about 41 gigawatts, with a total output of 84,000 gigawatt hours, the Agenzia Giornalistica Italia reported.

The estimate put the number of active generation plants at 360,000, with incentives totaling $10.7 billion — more than enough to put Italy on target to reach the European Union’s goal of generating 29.4 percent of Italy’s electricity from renewable sources.

Last year saw a huge jump in the installation of solar power capacity — a boom that happened despite the recession, the sovereign debt crisis and the fall of the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Some 9 gigawatts were connected to the country’s grid last year, nearly quadrupling its total capacity and bypassing Germany as Europe’s leader in the regard.

But the solar installation boom has put a burden on Italian ratepayers.

Some estimates contend the feed-in tariffs paid to photovoltaic user/generators will amount to $59 billion over the next 20 years, and so the government last year moved to reduce the tariffs for new plants.

Passera also said Saturday at the Ambrosetti Forum annual business conference that energy prices are too high in Italy, and talked up the possibility of developing more domestic oil and gas resources, Corriere della Sera reported.

“We must keep (energy prices) from growing further,” he said, pointing to the further liberalization of the gas market as “a way to think about the reductions.”

The country should tap “the potential of Italian resources that we have,” such as “oil and gas fields not yet developed. This will help in both the short and medium-term,” the industry minister said.

Ignoring their own experts

April 2, 2012

by John McLean
Quadrant Online April 2, 2012

The recent climate report from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and CSIRO was remarkable more for what it didn’t say than for what it did.

——————————————————————–

Like previous BoM-CSIRO climate reports it showed no evidence to support its assertions, encouraged a notion that correlation amounts to proof of cause and repeated the tired mantra of “multiple lines of evidence” without stating what these were.

This time it also failed to mention that greenhouse gas emissions have risen over the last ten years but average global temperatures have not, and that temperatures did rise during 1977-97 when emissions were lower.

Recent floods forced the report to acknowledge that the El Nino-Southern Oscillation system has a major influence on Australia’s weather but it’s curiously reluctant to fully discuss that impact.

Why was that I wonder when BoM and CSIRO scientists have written peer-reviewed papers on the subject and seemingly several web pages and documents for the BoM. The experts’ work not only describes that influence in detail but it shows good reason to attribute the findings in the climate report to the ENSO rather than human activity.

On the subject of sea level the report said:

Since 1993, the rates of sea-level rise to the north and northwest of Australia have been 7 to 11 mm per year, two to three times the global average, and rates of sea-level rise on the central east and southern coasts of the continent are mostly similar to the global average.

Almost as a footnote to the paragraph the report blandly stated

These variations are at least in part a result of natural variability of the climate system.

John Church, a CSIRO scientist, was lead author of a 2006 peer reviewed paper that tells us very clearly about this ‘natural variability’. The paper, written with two CRISO colleagues as co-authors, says:

The observed interannual sea-level variability is strongest at locations along the northwestern and western Australian coast. This variability is clearly related to El Nino–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events … There are suggestions in both the Australian mean time-series and in a number of the individual records (e.g. Fremantle) that the rate of sea-level rise was at a minimum from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. This minimum occurs during the period of more frequent, persistent and intense ENSO events, as evidenced by the SOI since the mid-1970s.

The ‘natural variability’ therefore seems to be the ENSO, and the method by which the ENSO influences sea level to our north is easily explained.

Under “normal’ ENSO conditions easterly winds drive the top layer of water across the Pacific Ocean. Not only does the water warm by ten degrees or more while in transit but the western side of the Pacific can easily be a metre or two higher than the eastern side. La Nina conditions occur when the winds are even stronger and more water and heat are shifted to the west. Under El Nino conditions the winds weaken or even cease, which causes the pool of warm water to spread to the central Pacific and the ocean height to level out.

Under El Nino conditions the sea level to our north, northeast and north west will be lower than it is under La Nina conditions, but when that El Nino fades away the warm water moves back to the west. Depending on the time of the year, that warm pool might pass just north of Australia or strike the Great Barrier Reef, which incidentally is not mentioned in this latest climate report.

When the shift to La Nina is quite abrupt, as was the case in April 2010, the amount of warm water being pushed to the west and the heat in that water are considerable.

It’s no wonder that the climate report says about sea surface temperatures:

The warm sea-surface temperatures in 2010-11 were strongly influenced by La Niña. La Niña events are typically associated with warmer-than-average ocean temperatures in the Australian region.

But then it goes on to assert

Ocean temperatures around Australia were warmer during 2010-11 than for any previously identified La Niña event, likely due to the influence of the long-term warming trend of the past century.

Forget the last half of that sentence; it’s window dressing. The simple truths that the report failed to mention are that the 2010 La Nina was the strongest La Nina since 1917, lasted 10 months and came very abruptly after a sustained period when the Pacific Ocean was often in a semi-El Nino state. It’s no wonder at all that our surrounding oceans were warmer.

On the subject of rainfall the climate report says:

Australia’s rainfall is highly variable. During recent decades, there has been a general trend towards increased spring and summer monsoonal rainfall across Australia’s north, higher than normal rainfall across central parts of the continent, and decreased late autumn and winter rainfall across the south. … Recent drying trends across southern Australia in autumn and winter have been linked to circulation changes. The causes of these changes are an area of active research.

There’s no hint of the period of time used to determine those “recent drying trends” but a check of the BoM’s “Time series” graphs shows no particular decreasing trend in winter rainfall in southern Australia. There is however a slight autumn decrease that appears to be related to the state of the ENSO system, but it’s difficult to be sure because the data is skewed by a few years of very high rainfall, usually just after La Nina events.

Another document from the BoM’s website, says the greatest El Nino related decreases in rainfall are usually over inland eastern Australia; in some other regions, such as south-west Western Australia and coastal New South Wales, the effects of El Niño on rainfall are variable, and in western Tasmania the effects are generally weak.

A map accompanying this text shows that El Nino events typically cause reduced winter/spring rainfall most eastern Australia except the far north, which corresponds rather well to the numberless figure on page 5 of the climate report.

On the subject of land temperatures the climate report says Australia’s temperatures have risen since 1950, then goes on to say:

Australian annual-average daily maximum temperatures have increased by 0.75 °C since 1910, with most of the warming trend occurring since 1970. There has been an increase in the frequency of warm weather and decrease in the frequency of cold weather. … The number of climate reference stations recording warm (top ten per cent) night-time temperatures and the frequency with which this occurs have increased since the mid-1970s.

According to widely accepted knowledge of the ENSO and information from the BoM and CSIRO, these changes are easily explained.

La Nina conditions are typically cool and wet and with High and Low pressure cells that track slightly south across the Australian continent. In contrast, El Nino conditions are warmer and dryer and with pressure cells that track slightly north.

More cloud cover can be expected with La Nina conditions than with El Nino, and El Nino conditions will tend to drag warm air from central Australia towards the southern coastline. El Nino conditions might reduce but don’t prevent night-time cloud from forming, and if the ground surface is warm from bright sunshine and warm winds then the heat is easily trapped by nocturnal cloud and the night will be warmer than usual.

But surely this is known to Neville Nicholls, formerly of the BoM and author of numerous peer-reviewed papers on the impact of ENSO on Australia. Nicholls is by no means alone because several past and present employees have written papers on these subjects.

The two mentions of the 1970s in the discussion of land temperature, a mention of the same during the discussion of heat content of the oceans and another in the quote from Church et al draws attention to that time.

Atmospheric CO2 is known to have been increasing since 1959 and it’s physically impossible for the gas to have had no impact for over 15 years and then suddenly be activated.

A simpler and more plausible cause was the Great Pacific Climate Shift, the abrupt 1976 shift from La Nina dominated conditions to El Nino dominated conditions. The shift might not be mentioned on BoM web pages but it certainly is mentioned in IPCC Assessment Reports.

For all its talk on its web pages the BoM fails to tell us that the ENSO is not three distinct steps but a continuous range of states that span from La Nina at one end of the scale to El Nino at the other. We are also not told that the thresholds for declaring La Nina and El Nino events are arbitrary and by convention, and that conditions just short of a threshold are very similar to conditions just past the threshold. These facts are highly relevant when we look at ENSO history because the number of declared El Nino and La Nina events is not the complete story.

By drawing on the per-reviewed papers of BoM and CSIRO scientists, and the web pages of the BoM, we can put the climate report’s observations into the context of ENSO events. The recent sea level rise to our north and the rise in ocean temperatures are due to warm water flooding back to the region in 2010 when the Pacific changed from a multi-year period of semi-El Nino or very weak La Nina to a far stronger La Nina situation that repeated in 2011-12.

Further, according to documents from these two organisations the ENSO also can account for the change in rainfall patterns and the variations in minimum and maximum temperature.

With these simple explanations in mind we need to ask why these two organizations ignored their own experts and put the blame on greenhouse gases. Just what game are these two playing?


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.