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Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities => Politics & Religion => Topic started by: Crafty_Dog on October 14, 2006, 09:03:09 AM

Title: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 14, 2006, 09:03:09 AM
Woof All:

Although this thread is for serious conversation, we begin with a humorous quickie, source unknown


October 12, 2006
Buffalo, NY - An early storm dumped up to two feet of snow in the Buffalo, NY area today. Weather forecasters note it was the earliest snowfall in Buffalo history.
The snowfall caused a number of weather related cancellations including Buffalo State College's sponsored seminar of Al Gore speaking on "Global Warming."
Title: Cosmic Rays and Climate Change
Post by: buzwardo on October 15, 2006, 01:05:41 PM
Some interesting research coming to light that links cosmic radiation to cloud formation and low level cloud formation to global warming and cooling.
Title: The Sky Still Isn't Falling
Post by: buzwardo on October 18, 2006, 04:49:46 PM
Majority Press Release
Contact:  MARC MORANO (202) 224-5762 (, MATT DEMPSEY (202) 224-9797 (
Decorated Scientist Defects From Belief in Global Warming ? Caps Year of Vindication for Skeptics
October 17, 2006

Washington DC - One of the most decorated French geophysicists has converted from a believer in manmade catastrophic global warming to a climate skeptic. This latest defector from the global warming camp caps a year in which numerous scientific studies have bolstered the claims of climate skeptics. Scientific studies that debunk the dire predictions of human-caused global warming have continued to accumulate and many believe the new science is shattering the media-promoted scientific ?consensus? on climate alarmism.

Claude Allegre, a former government official and an active member of France?s Socialist Party, wrote an editorial on September 21, 2006 in the French newspaper L'Express titled ?The Snows of Kilimanjaro? (For English Translation, click here: ) detailing his newfound skepticism about manmade global warming. See: Allegre wrote that the ?cause of climate change remains unknown? and pointed out that Kilimanjaro is not losing snow due to global warming, but to local land use and precipitation changes. Allegre also pointed out that studies show that Antarctic snowfall rate has been stable over the past 30 years and the continent is actually gaining ice.

?Following the month of August experienced by the northern half of France, the prophets of doom of global warming will have a lot on their plate in order to make our fellow countrymen swallow their certitudes,? Allegre wrote. He also accused proponents of manmade catastrophic global warming of being motivated by money, noting that ?the ecology of helpless protesting has become a very lucrative business for some people!?

Allegre, a member of both the French and U.S. Academy of Sciences, had previously expressed concern about manmade global warming. "By burning fossil fuels, man enhanced the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which has raised the global mean temperature by half a degree in the last century," Allegre wrote 20 years ago. In addition, Allegre was one of 1500 scientists who signed a November 18, 1992 letter titled ?World Scientists' Warning to Humanity? in which the scientists warned that global warming?s ?potential risks are very great.? See:

Allegre has authored more than 100 scientific articles, written 11 books and received numerous scientific awards including the Goldschmidt Medal from the Geochemical Society of the United States.

Allegre's conversion to a climate skeptic comes at a time when global warming alarmists have insisted that there is a ?consensus? about manmade global warming. Proponents of global warming have ratcheted up the level of rhetoric on climate skeptics recently. An environmental magazine in September called for Nuremberg-style trials for global warming skeptics and CBS News ?60 Minutes? correspondent Scott Pelley compared skeptics to ?Holocaust deniers.? See: & In addition, former Vice President Al Gore has repeatedly referred to skeptics as "global warming deniers."

This increase in rhetorical flourish comes at a time when new climate science research continues to unravel the global warming alarmists? computer model predictions of future climatic doom and vindicate skeptics.

60 Scientists Debunk Global Warming Fears

Earlier this year, a group of prominent scientists came forward to question the so-called ?consensus? that the Earth faces a ?climate emergency.? On April 6, 2006, 60 scientists wrote a letter to the Canadian Prime Minister asserting that the science is deteriorating from underneath global warming alarmists.

?Observational evidence does not support today's computer climate models, so there is little reason to trust model predictions of the future?Significant [scientific] advances have been made since the [Kyoto] protocol was created, many of which are taking us away from a concern about increasing greenhouse gases. If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary,? the 60 scientists wrote. See:

?It was only 30 years ago that many of today's global-warming alarmists were telling us that the world was in the midst of a global-cooling catastrophe. But the science continued to evolve, and still does, even though so many choose to ignore it when it does not fit with predetermined political agendas,? the 60 scientists concluded.

In addition, an October 16, 2006 Washington Post article titled ?Climate Change is Nothing New? echoed the sentiments of the 60 scientists as it detailed a new study of the earth?s climate history. The Washington Post article by reporter Christopher Lee noted that Indiana University geologist Simon Brassell found climate change occurred during the age of dinosaurs and quoted Brassell questioning the accuracy of computer climate model predictions.

?If there are big, inherent fluctuations in the system, as paleoclimate studies are showing, it could make determining the Earth?s climatic future even harder than it is,? Brassell said. See:

Global Cooling on the Horizon?

In August, Khabibullo Abdusamatov, a scientist who heads the space research sector for the Russian Academy of Sciences, predicted long-term global cooling may be on the horizon due to a projected decrease in the sun?s output. See:

Sun?s Contribution to Warming

There have also been recent findings in peer-reviewed literature over the last few years showing that the Antarctic is getting colder and the ice is growing and a new 2006 study in Geophysical Research Letters found that the sun was responsible for up to 50% of 20th-century warming. See:

?Global Warming? Stopped in 1998

Paleoclimate scientist Bob Carter has noted that there is indeed a problem with global warming ? it stopped in 1998. ?According to official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the UK, the global average temperature did not increase between 1998-2005. ??this eight-year period of temperature stasis did coincide with society's continued power station and SUV-inspired pumping of yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,? noted paleoclimate researcher and geologist Bob Carter of James Cook University in Australia in an April 2006 article titled ?There is a problem with global warming... it stopped in 1998.? See:

?Global?? Warming Misnamed - Southern Hemisphere Not Warming

In addition, new NASA satellite tropospheric temperature data reveals that the Southern Hemisphere has not warmed in the past 25 years contrary to ?global warming theory? and modeling. This new Southern Hemisphere data raises the specter that the use of the word ?global? in ?global warming? may not be accurate. A more apt moniker for the past 25 years may be ?Northern Hemisphere? warming. See:

Alaska Cooling

According to data released on July 14, 2006 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the January through June Alaska statewide average temperature was ?0.55F (0.30C) cooler than the 1971-2000 average.? See:

Oceans Cooling

Another bombshell to hit the global warming alarmists and their speculative climate modeling came in a September article in the Geophysical Research Letters which found that over 20% of the heat gained in the oceans since the mid-1950s was lost in just two years. The former climatologist for the state of Colorado, Roger Pielke, Sr., noted that the sudden cooling of the oceans ?certainly indicates that the multi-decadal global climate models have serious issues with their ability to accurately simulate the response of the climate system to human- and natural-climate forcings.? See:

Light Hurricane Season & Early Winter

Despite predictions that 2006 would bring numerous tropical storms, 2006?s surprisingly light hurricane season and the record early start of this year?s winter in many parts of the U.S. have further put a damper on the constant doomsaying of the global warming alarmists and their media allies.

Droughts Less Frequent

Other new studies have debunked many of the dubious claims made by the global warming alarmists. For example, the claim that droughts would be more frequent, severe and wide ranging during global warming, has now being exposed as fallacious. A new paper in Geophysical Research Letters authored by Konstantinos Andreadis and Dennis Lettenmaier finds droughts in the U.S. becoming ?shorter, less frequent and cover a small portion of the country over the last century.?

Global Warming Will Not Lead to Next Ice Age

Furthermore, recent research has shown that fears that global warming could lead to the next ice age, as promoted in the 2004 Hollywood movie ?The Day After Tomorrow? are also unsupportable. A 2005 media hyped study ?claimed to have found a 30 percent slowdown in the thermohaline circulation, the results are published in the very prestigious Nature magazine, and the story was carried breathlessly by the media in outlets around the world?Less than a year later, two different research teams present convincing evidence [ in Geophysical Research Letters ] that no slowdown is occurring whatsoever,? according to Virginia State Climatologist Patrick Michaels, editor of the website World Climate Report. See:

?Hockey Stick? Broken in 2006

The ?Hockey Stick? temperature graph?s claim that the 1990?s was the hottest decade of the last 1000 years was found to be unsupportable by the National Academy of Sciences and many independent experts in 2006. See:

Study Shows Greenland?s Ice Growing

A 2005 study by a scientist named Ola Johannessen and his colleagues showed that the interior of Greenland is gaining ice mass. See: that Also, according to the International Arctic Research Institute, despite all of the media hype, the Arctic was warmer in the 1930?s than today.

Polar Bears Not Going Extinct

Despite Time Magazine and the rest of the media?s unfounded hype, polar bears are not facing a crisis, according to biologist Dr. Mitchell Taylor from the Arctic government of Nunavut. ?Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present,? Taylor wrote on May 1, 2006. See:

Media Darling James Hansen Hypes Alarmism

As all of this new data debunking climate alarmism mounts, the mainstream media chooses to ignore it and instead focus on the dire predictions of the number-one global warming media darling, NASA?s James Hansen. The increasingly alarmist Hansen is featured frequently in the media to bolster sky-is-falling climate scare reports. His recent claim that the Earth is nearing its hottest point in one million years has been challenged by many scientists. See: Hansen?s increasingly frightening climate predictions follow his 2003 concession that the use of ?extreme scenarios? was an appropriate tactic to drive the public?s attention to the urgency of global warming. See: Hansen also received a $250,000 grant form Teresa Heinz?s Foundation and then subsequently endorsed her husband John Kerry for President and worked closely with Al Gore to promote his movie, ?An Inconvenient Truth.? See: &

American People Rejecting Global Warming Alarmism

The global warming alarmists may have significantly overplayed their hand in the climate debate. A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll this August found that most Americans do not attribute the cause of any recent severe weather events to global warming, and the portion of Americans who believe that climate change is due to natural variability has increased over 50% in the last five years.

Senator Inhofe Chastises Media For Unscientific & Unprincipled Climate Reporting

Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, commented last week on the media?s unfounded global warming hype and some of the recent scientific research that is shattering the so-called ?consensus? that human greenhouse gas emissions have doomed the planet.

?The American people are fed up with media for promoting the idea that former Vice President Al Gore represents the scientific ?consensus? that SUV?s and the modern American way of life have somehow created a ?climate emergency? that only United Nations bureaucrats and wealthy Hollywood liberals can solve. It is the publicity and grant seeking global warming alarmists and their advocates in the media who have finally realized that the only ?emergency? confronting them is their rapidly crumbling credibility, audience and bottom line. The global warming alarmists know their science is speculative at best and their desperation grows each day as it becomes more and more obvious that many of the nations that ratified the woeful Kyoto Protocol are failing to comply,? Senator Inhofe said last week. See:

?The mainstream media needs to follow the money: The further you get from scientists who conduct these alarmist global warming studies, and the further you get from the financial grants and the institutions that they serve the more the climate alarmism fades and the skepticism grows,? Senator Inhofe explained.

Eco-Doomsayers? Failed Predictions

In a speech on the Senate floor on September 25, 2006, Senator Inhofe pointed out the abject failure of past predictions of ecological disaster made by environmental alarmists.

?The history of the modern environmental movement is chock-full of predictions of doom that never came true. We have all heard the dire predictions about the threat of overpopulation, resource scarcity, mass starvation, and the projected death of our oceans. None of these predictions came true, yet it never stopped the doomsayers from continuing to predict a dire environmental future. The more the eco-doomsayers? predictions fail, the more the eco-doomsayers predict,? Senator Inhofe said on September 25th. See:

Related Links:

For a comprehensive review of the media?s embarrassing 100-year history of alternating between promoting fears of a coming ice age and global warming, see Environment & Public Works Chairman James Inhofe?s September 25, 2006 Senate floor speech debunking the media and climate alarmism. Go to: (

To read and watch Senator Inhofe on CNN discuss global warming go to: ( )

To Read all of Senator Inhofe?s Speeches on global warming go to: (

?Inhofe Correct On Global Warming,? by David Deming geophysicist, an adjunct scholar with the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (, and an associate professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma. (

# # # # #
Title: Cold Weather Causes Ozone Hole to Grow
Post by: buzwardo on October 20, 2006, 01:54:31 PM
A byproduct of "global warming," no doubt.

Antarctic ozone hole biggest ever
It's size of Argentina and North America, Boulder experts say

By Jim Erickson, Rocky Mountain News
October 20, 2006

This year's Antarctic ozone hole is the biggest ever, a monster about the size of North America and Argentina combined, scientists in Boulder and at NASA said Thursday.
Unusually cold Antarctic winter and spring weather - not a sudden surge in the level of man-made, ozone-destroying chemicals high in the atmosphere - are being blamed for the record-setter, researchers said.

The ozone hole forms high over Antarctica each September. Low temperatures accelerate chemical reactions that allow ozone-munching chlorine and bromine compounds to devour parts of the layer, which shields Earth from ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancer and cataracts.

Late last month - the start of spring in the Southern Hemisphere - temperatures in the lower stratosphere over parts of Antarctica were 9 degrees lower than average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

"This has been an extremely cold year in the Antarctic, and as a result of that, the chemistry that drives ozone loss has operated remarkably efficiently and has made a very big, very deep hole," said Susan Solomon, a NOAA atmospheric scientist in Boulder.

"What this does not mean is that the Montreal Protocol isn't working, or anything silly like that," Solomon said.

The 1987 international treaty banned production and importation of ozone-destroying chemicals - mainly compounds that contain chlorine and bromine - in the developed world.

As a direct result of the ban, the extent of the annual Antarctic ozone hole began to level off in the late 1990s, scientists said.

But year-to-year climate variability still results in big jumps or dips in the size of the ozone hole.

The 2006 Antarctic ozone hole peaked in late September at 10.6 million square miles in area, surpassing 2003 (10.5 million square miles) to become the new title-holder, NASA atmospheric scientist Paul Newman said.

By Oct. 9, nearly all of the ozone in the layer between eight and 13 miles directly over the South Pole was gone, said David Hofmann, director of NOAA's Global Monitoring Division in Boulder.

"It just kept eating away, more and more, until we saw a region of zero ozone with our balloon measurements down at the South Pole," Hofmann said. "The result was that more ozone, by mass, was destroyed this year than ever before. It broke all records."

But the year-to-year fluctuations can swing in the opposite direction, too. In 2002, the ozone hole's size dropped to 3.7 million square miles.

"In the years to come, I think we'll see some years that will have big, deep holes and years that have slightly less deep holes," said Solomon, who, with her colleagues, is credited with explaining the causes of the Antarctic ozone hole.

"And eventually, we'll start to see a systematic trend toward progressively smaller and less deep holes, but that won't happen for quite a number of years," she said.

Levels of ozone-destroying gases peaked over the Antarctic in 2001 and began a slow decline, according to NOAA. But those chemicals persist in the atmosphere for decades, and a measurable recovery of the Antarctic ozone layer isn't expected to begin until about 2017, Newman said.

Until recently, some scientists had predicted full recovery by 2050. Now researchers such as Boulder's Dale Hurst say that 2065 is a better bet.

The delayed recovery can be blamed in part on unexpectedly high levels of ozone-destroying chemicals still being emitted in the U.S., Canada and other developed countries, said Hurst, who works at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory.

The sources likely include aging refrigerators, air conditioners and fire extinguishers that contain now-banned substances, he said.

Chlorine-containing chlorofluorocarbons had been used as refrigerants and propellants - in aerosol sprays and other products - since the 1930s. Bromine-containing halons were used in fire extinguishers.

On the rise

Maximum extent of the annual Antarctic ozone hole since 1996 (in millions of square miles)












Source: Nasa'S Goddard Space Flight Center
Title: Kyoto A-Go-Go
Post by: buzwardo on October 21, 2006, 12:10:45 PM
The real climate change catastrophe

CSR must recognize how misguided energy policies will affect the world?s poor
By Paul Driessen

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Every snowstorm, hurricane, deluge or drought generates headlines, horror movies and television specials, demanding action to avoid imminent climate catastrophe. Skeptics are pilloried, labeled ?climate criminals,? and threatened with ?Nuremberg-style war crimes trials.?

Britain?s Royal Society has demanded that ExxonMobil stop funding researchers who say global warming is primarily the result of natural forces. Meanwhile, scientist James Hansen received $250,000 from Teresa Heinz-Kerry for insisting that warming is due to humans, and ?socially responsible? investor services refuse to list or recommend corporations they deem insufficiently sensitive on the subject.

Not surprisingly, companies from Wal-Mart to BP, GE and JP Morgan have brought climate activists into their board rooms, lobbied Congress for climate and ethanol legislation, and retooled to produce new product lines intended to boost tax subsidies, favorable PR and profits.

But are these actions socially responsible or in the best interests of society as a whole?

Asserting ?the science is settled? ignores the debate that still rages. Proclaiming that ?climate change is real? ignores Earth?s constant, natural warming and cooling.

Vikings raised crops and cattle in Greenland 1000 years ago, while Britons grew grapes in England. Four hundred years later, the Vikings were frozen out, Europe was gripped in a Little Ice Age, and priests performed exorcisms on advancing Swiss glaciers. The globe warmed in 1850-1940, cooled for the next 35 years, then warmed slightly again.

Detroit experienced six snowstorms in April 1868, frosts in August 1869, a 98-degree heat wave in June 1874, and ice-free lakes in January 1877. Wisconsin?s record high of 114 degrees F in July 1936 was followed five years later by a record July low of 46. In 1980, five years after Newsweek?s ?new little ice age? cover story, Washington, DC endured 67 days above 90 degrees.

Studies by National Academy of Sciences, NOAA, Danish and other scientists continue to raise inconvenient truths that question and contradict catastrophic climate change theories, computer models and assertions. The ?hockey stick? temperature graph (which claimed 1990-2000 was the hottest decade in 1000 years) was shown to be invalid; the Southern Hemisphere has not warmed in the past 25 years; the US is yet to be hit by a major hurricane in 2006; interior Greenland and Antarctica are gaining ice mass, not losing it; and Gulf Stream circulation has not slowed, as claimed in 2005.

Other recent studies conclude the sun?s radiant heat and cosmic ray levels affect planetary warming and cloud formation more strongly than acknowledged by climate alarmists. That?s logical. Why would natural forces that caused climate change and bizarre weather in past centuries suddenly stop working?

Why would we assume (as many climate models do) that energy, transportation and pollution control technologies will suddenly stagnate at 2000 levels, after the amazing advances of the previous century? And can we afford the Quixotic attempt to stall or prevent future climate change?

Just the current Kyoto Protocol could cost the world up to $1 trillion per year, in regulatory bills, higher energy costs and lost productivity. That?s several times more than the price tag for providing the world with clean drinking water and sanitation ? which would prevent millions of deaths annually from intestinal diseases.

Over 2 billion of the Earth?s citizens still do not have electricity, to provide basic necessities like lights, refrigeration and modern hospitals. Instead they breathe polluted smoke from wood and dung fires, and die by the millions from lung diseases. But opposition to fossil fuel power plants, in the name of preventing climate change, ensures that these ?indigenous? lifestyles, diseases and deaths will continue.

Opposition to hydroelectric projects (damming rivers) and nuclear power (radioactive wastes) likewise perpetuates endemic Third World poverty. So would a new European Union proposal to tax imports from China, India and other poor countries that are exempt from the Kyoto Protocol, because this gives them an ?unfair trade advantage? over EU countries that are struggling to meet their Kyoto #1 commitments.

But UK Climate Change Minister Ian Pearson insists that climate change ?is one of the most pressing issues facing countries in sub-Saharan Africa.? And environmental zealots blame malaria rates on climate change, to deflect charges that their callous opposition to insecticides is killing African babies.

Elsewhere, government and private studies calculate that the Protocol would cost the United States up to $348 billion in 2012. The average American family of four would pay an extra $2,700 annually for energy and consumer goods, and in US minority communities, the climate treaty would destroy 1.3 million jobs and ?substantially affect? standards of living.

Yet, even perfect compliance with Kyoto would result in Earth?s temperature being only 0.2 degrees F less by 2050 than under a business-as-usual scenario. Assuming humans really are the culprits, actually controlling theoretical global temperature increases would require 40 Kyoto treaties ? each one more restrictive, each one expanding government control over housing, transportation, heating, cooling and manufacturing decisions.

The real danger is that we will handcuff economies and hammer poor families, to promote solutions which won?t solve a problem that the evidence increasingly suggests is moderate, manageable and primarily natural in origin.

The real catastrophe is that we are already using overwrought claims about a climate cataclysm to justify depriving Earth?s most impoverished citizens of electricity and other modern technologies that would make their lives infinitely better.

Real ethics and social responsibility would weigh these costs and benefits, foster robust debate about every aspect of climate change, ensure continued technological advancement, and give a seat at the decision table to the real stakeholders: not climate alarmists ? but those who have to live with the consequences of decisions that affect their access to energy, health, hope, opportunity and prosperity.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Congress of Racial Equality and Atlas Economic Research Foundation, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power - Black Death. CORE will host a November 29 program at the United Nations on how climate change programs and policies might affect industrialization, families and communities in developing nations.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: rickn on October 26, 2006, 04:49:32 AM
Compare this news wire story from today

with the following excerpt from the introduction to Michael Crichton's novel State of Fear.

"In late 2003, at the Sustainable Earth Summit Conference in Johannesburg, the Pacific island nation of Vanutu announced that it was preparing a lawsuit against the Envrionmental Protection Agency of the United States over global warming.  Vanutu stood only a few feet above sea level, and the island's eight thousand inhabitantswere in danger of having to evacuate their country because of rising sea levels caused by global warming..."

Of course, Crichton's critics claimed that he exaggerated the methods and goals of the environmental movement.  Did he?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: grizzly on November 01, 2006, 09:36:32 AM
The term global warming needs to be changed dropping the warming section, as it seems to many people are getting caught up and focused on one word.

I live in tropical australia and this year we had record cold tempatures during winter and we are entering summer, and so far the tempatures are the hottest it has been in years. We have had less rain during the wet season and more in the dry season than in the past. Last year the weather office predicted a quite year in terms of cyclones and yet we had more than predicted, they were also more destructive, with a couple of them coming at the very end of the cyclone season.

Australia as a whole is also expierencing the worst drought in recorded history, the daly river which is one of the strongest rivers in australia is barely a creek and in many areas you can walk across it without getting your feet wet.

I also think in the last few years the number and scale of natural disasters has been much larger.

Whether the globe is truly 'warming' or not, the weather has definatly been turned around.
Title: CO2 Acquittal
Post by: buzwardo on November 07, 2006, 04:42:12 PM
The following links to a well annotated paper exploring the link between atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures. Though I'm not acquainted with the author or the self published journal, the data appears well considered and presented. I've included the first and last secions of the piece below:


Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the product of oceanic respiration due to the well?known but under?appreciated solubility pump. Carbon dioxide rises out of warm ocean waters where it is added to the atmosphere. There it is mixed with residual and accidental CO2, and circulated, to be absorbed into the sink of the cold ocean waters. Next the thermohaline circulation carries the CO2?rich sea water deep into the ocean. A millennium later it appears at the surface in warm waters, saturated by lower pressure and higher temperature, to be exhausted back into the atmosphere.

Throughout the past 420 millennia, comprising four interglacial periods, the Vostok record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is imprinted with, and fully characterized by, the physics of the solubility of CO2 in water, along with the lag in the deep ocean circulation. Notwithstanding that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, atmospheric carbon dioxide has neither caused nor amplified global temperature increases. Increased carbon dioxide has been an effect of global warming, not a cause. Technically, carbon dioxide is a lagging proxy for ocean temperatures. When global temperature, and along with it, ocean temperature rises, the physics of solubility causes atmospheric CO2 to increase. If increases in carbon dioxide, or any other greenhouse gas, could have in turn raised global temperatures, the positive feedback would have been catastrophic. While the conditions for such a catastrophe were present in the Vostok record from natural causes, the runaway event did not occur. Carbon dioxide does not accumulate in the atmosphere.


The GCMs need to be revamped. They need to have the primary thermodynamic loop restored. This is the chain of dynamic events from solar radiation, through the shading and reflection of clouds responding to temperature changes, absorption primarily in the ocean, and the transport and exchanges of heat and gases by which the oceans create and regulate the earth?s climate and atmosphere. The models need to reflect the mechanisms which make the earth?s climate not vulnerable, but stable.

The CO2 concentration is a response to the proxy temperature in the Vostok ice core data, not a cause. This does not contradict that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but it does contradict the conjecture that the presence of a greenhouse gas has any destabilizing effect on global climate. Other forces overwhelm the conjecture of a runaway greenhouse effect. The concentration of CO2 is dynamic, controlled by the solubility pump. Global temperature is controlled first by the primary thermodynamic loop.

The Vostok data support an entirely new model. Atmospheric CO2 is absorbed by the oceans. Fires, volcanoes, and now man deposit CO2 into the atmosphere, but those effects are transient. What exists in steady state is CO2 perpetually pumped into the atmosphere by the oceans. Atmospheric CO2 is a dynamic stream, from the warm ocean and back into the cool ocean.

Public policy represented by the Kyoto Accords and the efforts to reduce CO2 emissions should be scrapped as wasteful, unjustified, and futile.
Title: Phantom Peer Review
Post by: buzwardo on November 13, 2006, 08:52:51 PM
This is a first person account of what it took to get the information needed to publish this paper:

Following are some remarks about my report ?Grape harvest dates are poor indicators of summer warmth?, as well as about scientific publication generally.

On 18 November 2004, Isabelle Chuine and co-workers published a research paper on global warming. The paper appeared in Nature, the world's most highly-regarded scientific journal. And it gathered some publicity. Chuine et al. claimed to have developed a method for estimating the summer temperature in Burgundy, France, in any given year back to 1370 (based on the harvest dates of grapes). Using their method, the authors asserted that the summer of 2003 was by far the warmest summer since 1370, in Burgundy.

I had been following global warming studies only as a disinterested outside spectator (and only occasionally). Someone sent me the paper of Chuine et al., though, and wondered what I thought of it from a mathematical perspective. So I had a look.

To study the paper properly, I needed to have the authors' data. So I e-mailed Dr. Chuine, asking for this. The authors, though, were very reluctant to let me have the data. It took me eight months, tens of e-mails exchanged with the authors, and two formal complaints to Nature, before I got the data. (Some data was purchased from M?t?o France.) It is obviously inappropriate that such a large effort was necessary.

Looking at the data made it manifest that there are serious problems with the work of Chuine et al. In particular, the authors' estimate for the summer temperature of 2003 was higher than the actual temperature by 2.4 ?C (about 4.3 ?F). This is the primary reason that 2003 seemed, according to the authors, to be so tremendously warm.

There is also another reason. The three warmest years on record, prior to 2003, were 1945, 1947, and 1952. (The instrumental record goes back to 1922, or even 1883 if we accept some inaccuracies.) The estimate of Chuine et al. for the summer temperature in each of those years was much lower than the actual temperature.

That is, the authors had developed a method that gave a falsely-high estimate of temperature in 2003 and falsely-low estimates of temperatures in other very warm years. They then used those false estimates to proclaim that 2003 was much hotter than other years.

The above is easy enough to understand. It does not even require any specialist scientific training. So how could the peer reviewers of the paper not have seen it? (Peer reviewers are the scientists who check a paper prior to its publication.) I asked Dr. Chuine what data was sent to Nature, when the paper was submitted to the journal. Dr. Chuine replied, ?We never sent data to Nature?.

I have since published a short note that details the above problem (reference below). There are several other problems with the paper of Chuine et al. as well. I have written a brief survey of those (for people with an undergraduate-level background in science). As described in that survey, problems would be obvious to anyone with an appropriate scientific background, even without the data. In other words, the peer reviewers could not have had appropriate background.

What is important here is not the truth or falsity of the assertion of Chuine et al. about Burgundy temperatures. Rather, what is important is that a paper on what is arguably the world's most important scientific topic (global warming) was published in the world's most prestigious scientific journal with essentially no checking of the work prior to publication.

Moreover?and crucially?this lack of checking is not the result of some fluke failures in the publication process. Rather, it is common for researchers to submit papers without supporting data, and it is frequent that peer reviewers do not have the requisite mathematical or statistical skills needed to check the work (medical sciences largely excepted). In other words, the publication of the work of Chuine et al. was due to systemic problems in the scientific publication process.

The systemic nature of the problems indicates that there might be many other scientific papers that, like the paper of Chuine et al., were inappropriately published. Indeed, that is true and I could list numerous examples. The only thing really unusual about the paper of Chuine et al. is that the main problem with it is understandable for people without specialist scientific training. Actually, that is why I decided to publish about it. In many cases of incorrect research the authors will try to hide behind an obfuscating smokescreen of complexity and sophistry. That is not very feasible for Chuine et al. (though the authors did try).

Finally, it is worth noting that Chuine et al. had the data; so they must have known that their conclusions were unfounded. In other words, there is prima facie evidence of scientific fraud. What will happen to the researchers as a result of this? Probably nothing. That is another systemic problem with the scientific publication process.

See also   Peer review and the IPCC.

Chuine I., Yiou P., Viovy N., Seguin B., Daux V., Le Roy Ladurie E. (2004), ?Grape ripening as a past climate indicator?, Nature, 432: 289?290. doi: 10.1038/432289a.
Keenan D.J. (2007), ?Grape harvest dates are poor indicators of summer warmth?, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 87: 255?256. doi: 10.1007/s00704-006-0197-9.
Douglas J. Keenan  was last updated on 2006-11-09
Title: 1500 Year Climate Cycles
Post by: buzwardo on November 16, 2006, 10:53:55 AM
Executive Summary. Full report at:

The Earth currently is experiencing a warming trend, but there is scientific evidence that human activities have little to do with it. Instead, the warming seems to be part of a 1,500-year cycle (plus or minus 500 years) of moderate temperature swings.

It has long been accepted that the Earth has experienced climate cycles, most notably the 90,000-year Ice Age cycles. But in the past 20 years or so, modern science has discovered evidence that within those broad Ice Age cycles, the Earth also experiences 1,500-year warming-cooling cycles. The Earth has been in the Modern Warming portion of the current cycle since about 1850, following a Little Ice Age from about 1300 to 1850. It appears likely that warming will continue for some time into the future, perhaps 200 years or more, regardless of human activity.

Evidence of the global nature of the 1,500-year climate cycles includes very long-term proxies for temperature change ? ice cores, seabed and lake sediments, and fossils of pollen grains and tiny sea creatures. There are also shorter-term proxies ? cave stalagmites, tree rings from trees both living and buried, boreholes and a wide variety of other temperature proxies.

Scientists got the first unequivocal evidence of a continuing moderate natural climate cycle in the 1980s, when Willi Dansgaard of Denmark and Hans Oeschger of Switzerland first saw two mile-long ice cores from Greenland representing 250,000 years of Earth?s frozen, layered climate history. From their initial examination, Dansgaard and Oeschger estimated the smaller temperature cycles at 2,550 years. Subsequent research shortened the estimated length of the cycles to 1,500 years (plus or minus 500 years). Other substantiating findings followed:

An ice core from the Antarctic?s Vostok Glacier ? at the other end of the world from Greenland ? showed the same 1,500-year cycle through its 400,000-year length.
The ice-core findings correlated with known glacier advances and retreats in northern Europe.
Independent data in a seabed sediment core from the Atlantic Ocean west of Ireland, reported in 1997, showed nine of the 1,500-year cycles in the last 12,000 years.
Other seabed sediment cores of varying ages near Iceland, in the Norwegian and Baltic seas, off Alaska, in the eastern Mediterranean, in the Arabian Sea, near the Philippines and off the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula all also showed evidence of the 1,500-year cycles. So did lake sediment cores from Switzerland, Alaska, various parts of Africa and Argentina, as did cave stalagmites in Europe, Asia and Africa, and fossilized pollen, boreholes, tree rings and mountain tree lines.

None of these pieces of evidence would be convincing in and of themselves. However, to dismiss the evidence of the 1,500-year climate cycle, it is necessary to dismiss not only the known human histories from the past 2,000 years but also an enormous range and variety of physical evidence found by a huge body of serious researchers.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: rogt on November 16, 2006, 04:10:34 PM
I haven't read all of the paper, but I believe there's good reason to question the credibility of at least one of it's authors.


Accusations of conflict of interest

Environmentalists arguing against Singer's ideas say that he has a conflict of interest, i.e., financial ties to oil and tobacco companies [7], [8]. In 1993 APCO, a P.R. firm, sent a memo to Ellen Merlo, vice-president of Philip Morris, stating: "As you know, we have been working with Dr Fred Singer and Dr Dwight Lee, who have authored articles on junk science and indoor air quality (IAQ) respectively ..."[5]

The 1994 AdTI report was part of an attack on EPA regulation of environmental tobacco smoke funded by the Tobacco Institute.[9] Singer was also involved with the International Center for a Scientific Ecology [10], a group that was considered important in Philip Morris' plans to create a group in Europe similar to The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC). Singer is also a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute,[6] another recipient of Philip Morris and ExxonMobil funds.[7]

A nonsmoker himself, Singer serves on the Science Advisory Board of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH)[8], which strongly opposes smoking but otherwise tends to support industry positions on health issues.

In a February 2001 letter to the Washington Post, Singer denied receiving funding from the oil industry, except for consulting work some 20 years prior. SEPP, however, received multiple grants from ExxonMobil, including in 1998 and 2000.[9]

It's pretty hard to buy these kinds of articles when the authors are known for almost always adopting positions favorable to various pollutive industries (from whom they're also receiving financial support in many cases).  That's not to say none of the so-called "global warming skeptics" has any credibility, but it should be noted that only a small minority of climate scientists holds this view.
Title: Notes from the Underground
Post by: buzwardo on November 18, 2006, 12:58:18 AM
Perhaps I shouldn?t be scribbling as I?m having issues with a dental implant, which likely leaves me crankier than normal. Be that as it may, I wanted to respond to the argumentum ad hominem posted above. Though a welcome, measured tone is evident in the post, attacking the person presenting the data rather than discussing the data itself is an example of fallacious logic, more information for which can be found here:

With a general overview of fallacies of logic found here:

In short, I think it is a lot more useful to discuss the data rather than who provided it, particularly as zealots with dubious associations certainly aren?t exclusive to one side of the debate, while many prefer to disparage the messenger in the hope of dismissing substantive discussion.

As for the claim that only a small minority of climate scientists hold a skeptical view, not only is the point debatable, but it?s also associated with another fallacy called ?appeal to authority,? more info for which can be found here:

An aside: I?ve been a hard core caver for many years and work with an organization chartered to explore caves on federal land. During the course of my caving career I?ve worked with dozens of scientists, many of whom have literally written the textbook on this or that aspect of speleology. Around the meal table or while trudging through some passage me and my caving cohorts have witnessed and participated in numerous conversations with these speleologists, during which I learned that listening to scientists rattle on about their discipline pretty much sucks.

There you are on the 15th hour of some arduous trip, or you?ve been playing camera Sherpa all day, or you?ve been censusing crayfish in 45 degree water, and some self-important SOB starts droning on about the effect of micro-lineaments on local hydrology or somesuch. Indeed, cavers have a joke about it:

Q: What?s worse than caving with a geologist?

A: Caving with two geologists.

Perhaps you have to be there, but the only thing more unpleasant than spending time with a droning know-it-all is hanging out with two of them who invariably can?t agree on squat. Not only does it get old waiting for the argument to end, but you?re usually cold, hungry, tired and would really just as soon be somewhere else with a beer in hand.

Be that as it may, the reason list members are enduring these meanderings is because I?ve spent time in many chunks of cave listening to scientists natter back and forth endlessly. Usually the object of their argument is right there in front of them, yet despite the fact they can reach out and touch all the relevant data, they can?t come to agreement. Cut to the ?global warming? debate where the complexity of the claimed phenomena is many orders of magnitude vaster and the variables exponentially greater, yet a large majority of scientists are said to hold similar views. Trust it?s clear why this claim appears suspicious to me.

The geologic record clearly indicates that global climate change is the rule, not the exception. Perhaps human activity accelerates the rate of change, perhaps it impedes the rate of change, perhaps it does both. Tools that allow us to get a handle on some of the major variables are new on the scene?only now are we measuring the impact of cosmic radiation, the sun?s variability, the ocean?s carbon cycle, to name a few?and these tools certainly haven?t provided a data set covering a geologically significant time frame.

Should we continue to gather data and work to define the scope of human impact on the climate? Heck yes. Does the data gathered to date allow us to make even a rudimentary assessment of the scope of the problem and measure the benefits and costs of proposed responses? I don?t understand how anyone acquainted with the fundaments of scientific inquiry can claim to provide an authoritative answer.
Title: Re: Notes from the Underground
Post by: milt on November 20, 2006, 10:27:07 AM
Perhaps I shouldn?t be scribbling as I?m having issues with a dental implant, which likely leaves me crankier than normal. Be that as it may, I wanted to respond to the argumentum ad hominem posted above.

So is there simply no such thing as a conflict of interest?  Are you claiming that the source of someone's research funding is completely unrelated to the conclusions they might draw?  Their data and methods couldn't possibly be biased in favor of the people/corporations supplying the cash?  I'm not saying they necessarily are, but to claim that viewing them with skepticism is some kind of ad hominem attack is ludicrous.

If the general consensus among environmental scientists was that there was no global warming except for a tiny minority of them who were all funded by the Sierra Club you wouldn't question their conclusions?  You'd claim "ad hominem attack" if anyone suggested that maybe they were skewing the results in favor of their financial supporters?

Title: It's the Data, Darn It
Post by: buzwardo on November 20, 2006, 05:04:04 PM
No Milt, I'm saying what I've said to you and your brother in the past: look at the data, adhere to the scientific method, understand that viable data sets take a lot of time to create, resist the urge to run with the pack or side with the panic mongers and instead do the hard science.

As is all too usual in these instances, you then proceed to ignore about 90 percent of my argument and instead make shrill statements about some narrow slice. I'm once more throwing it back at you, so I 'spose it's now time for you to run to Crafty again and complain I'm a meanie, then your brother can pile on and call me a troll. Sheesh, what a silly dance.

I'll be out for a week busting butt in the middle of nowhere in support of environmental science and hence unable to respond to your next bon mot. How 'bout in the interim you find a peer reviewed set of data supporting your position and post it? We might then manage to expand horizons and further informed debate rather than partake of yet another circular dance as a thread heads down the inane drain.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 20, 2006, 06:31:50 PM
Jeez, I have the sensation of dealing with my children when they are squabbling  :roll:  Oy vey!

I thought the adjective ludicrous a bit strong, but found the overall tone of voice quite plausible -- seems reasonable to me to note where someone gets their bread buttered.   Yes it is tangential to the larger point and non-responsive to your main points and of course you are right that this proves nothing-- the science is the science and deal with it, but  Buz, my man, this:

"As is all too usual in these instances, you then proceed to ignore about 90 percent of my argument and instead make shrill statements about some narrow slice. I'm once more throwing it back at you, so I 'spose it's now time for you to run to Crafty again and complain I'm a meanie, then your brother can pile on and call me a troll. Sheesh, what a silly dance."

is not necessary.  Bad dog!  :-D  The rest, being on the merits, would have been quite effective all by itself  :-D

So, Milt, I'd like to ask you to not continue around the mulberry bush with upir brother Buz's personal comments and simply respond to the part of his post which is on the merits:  Do you have a "peer reviewed set of data supporting your position"?  If so, have at it!

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on November 27, 2006, 05:37:50 AM
**No earth-shattering kaboom this year.**

Hurricane Predictions Off Track As Tranquil Season Wafts Away
By NEIL JOHNSON The Tampa Tribune

Published: Nov 27, 2006

It was not the hurricane season we expected, thank you.

With cataclysmic predictions that hurricanes would swarm from the tropics like termites, no one thought 2006 would be the most tranquil season in a decade.

Barring a last-second surprise from the tropics, the season will end Thursday with nine named storms, and only five of those hurricanes. This year is the first season since 1997 that only one storm nudged its way into the Gulf of Mexico.

Still, Florida was hit by two tropical storms, Alberto and Ernesto. But after the pummeling of the previous two years, the storms barely registered on the public's radar.

So what happened? Lots.

Storms were starved for fuel after ingesting masses of dry Saharan dust and air over the Atlantic Ocean. Scientists say the storm-snuffing dust was more abundant than usual this year.

In the season's peak, storms were curving right like errant field goals. High pressure that normally hunkers near Bermuda shifted far eastward, and five storms rode the clockwise winds away from Florida.

Finally, a rapidly growing El Nino, a warming of water over the tropical Pacific Ocean, shifted winds high in the atmosphere southward. The winds left developing storms disheveled and unable to become organized.

As they say about the stock market: Past results are no indication of future performance.

This year's uneventful season provides no assurance that next year will be as calm:

?The Atlantic remains in a 20- to 30-year cycle of high hurricane activity that started in 1995. Water temperatures are above normal.

?El Nino probably won't be around to decapitate storms.

?There's no promise that the Saharan dust will be as abundant.

9: The number of named storms this year

17: The number of named storms predicted May 31 by a team at Colorado State University led by Professor William Gray

45 mph: The wind speed when Tropical Storm Alberto hit the Florida Panhandle near Adams Beach on June 13, the strongest winds over Florida all season

56 percent: The average homeowner rate increase Citizens Property Insurance Corp. requested even after no hurricanes struck Florida

27 percent: The Citizens rate increase approved to start Jan. 1

$100 million: Estimated damage in the United States from Tropical Storm Ernesto

0: The number of storms that formed in October, the first time since 2002 that no storms formed that month. Also, no Category 4 or 5 storms formed this year for the first time since 1997.



Find this article at: 
Title: Of Ice Sheets and Excitable Boys
Post by: buzwardo on November 27, 2006, 01:34:56 PM

Sorry for my snippy tone. I certainly am an excitable boy and my chef?s temperament has stuck with me despite the fact I?m long out of that game. Combined with similar arguments I?ve had in other venues I tend to get ahead of the game start cleaving sooner rather than later. Be that as it may, it?s not my intent to leave muddy paw prints all over your forum.

I?d like to point out, however, that where science is concerned anyone involved in serious research is getting their bread buttered by someone with deep pockets, a fact that should be so obvious that I don?t understand the value of pointing it out. There has been plenty of research funded by private, profit-seeking entities that has had immense value, and plenty that misleads and hence is worth squat. Similarly there have been publicly funded efforts that have produced profound results as well as boondoggles capable of making every taxpayer cringe.

As everyone is getting their loaves slathered the relevant question is the one about the science: are reproducible results being obtained? If not, the science is bad, if so the science is good; science good or bad is not created by funding method, but by strict adherence, or lack thereof, to sound scientific method.

From mediaeval Popes attacking astronomers to Soviet autocrats dictating genetic findings to environmental extremists demanding ?Nuremburg style trials? there?s been a long history of zealots trying to force science to conform to one orthodoxy or another. These various attempts to quash scientific inquiry have met with short-term success, and they all favored attacking the researcher rather than the research, but ultimately the science has prevailed. I?d be willing to wager a substantial sum that 20 years hence human cause ?global warming? will no longer be the source of concern that it currently is. Alas, someone with an axe to grind will have doubtless embraced some other form of panic mongering in the hope of achieving a dubious end by then.

As that may be, here?s a recent piece that states the Antarctic ice sheet is increasing in mass. Seeing how I bought my mountaintop home near the eastern seaboard in anticipation of eventually having beachfront property, I guess I should sue Al Gore:

Antarctic Ice Sheet Mass Balance

Wingham, D.J., Shepherd, A., Muir, A. and Marshall, G.J. 2006. Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 364: 1627-1635.

What was done
The authors "analyzed 1.2 x 108 European remote sensing satellite altimeter echoes to determine the changes in volume of the Antarctic ice sheet from 1992 to 2003." This survey, in their words, "covers 85% of the East Antarctic ice sheet and 51% of the West Antarctic ice sheet," which together comprise "72% of the grounded ice sheet.""

What was learned
Wingham et al. report that "overall, the data, corrected for isostatic rebound, show the ice sheet growing at 5 ? 1 mm year-1." To calculate the ice sheet's change in mass, however, "requires knowledge of the density at which the volume changes have occurred," and when the researchers' best estimates of regional differences in this parameter are used, they find that "72% of the Antarctic ice sheet is gaining 27 ? 29 Gt year-1, a sink of ocean mass sufficient to lower [authors' italics] global sea levels by 0.08 mm year-1." This net extraction of water from the global ocean, according to Wingham et al., occurs because "mass gains from accumulating snow, particularly on the Antarctic Peninsula and within East Antarctica, exceed the ice dynamic mass loss from West Antarctica."

What it means
Contrary to all the horror stories one hears about global warming-induced mass wastage of the Antarctic ice sheet leading to rising sea levels that gobble up coastal lowlands worldwide, the most recent decade of pertinent real-world data suggest that forces leading to just the opposite effect are apparently prevailing, even in the face of what climate alarmists typically describe as the greatest warming of the world in the past two millennia or more.
Reviewed 8 November 2006
Title: In and Out like a Lamb
Post by: buzwardo on November 28, 2006, 11:59:38 AM
Today's Forecast...

Posted 11/27/2006

Climate Change: What happened to all the monster storms that global warming was going to stir up? The 2006 hurricane season, which officially ends Thursday, came in like a lamb and is going out the same way.

We should all thank Al Gore that we're still alive. After all, it was his widely acclaimed propaganda film "An Inconvenient Truth" that warned us of the coming hurricane plague. Storms like Katrina, which stars in his movie, were going to be arriving in larger numbers and with greater violence. We were doomed, thanks to the infernal internal combustion engine.

But a funny thing happened on the road to ruin: There were only nine named storms in the Atlantic season, with five of them becoming hurricanes. Last year, in an above-average season, there were 27 named storms, 15 of which were hurricanes. From 1995 to 2005, the average was 15 named storms and 8.5 hurricanes.
This was the first season since the 1997 Atlantic hurricane period that the Gulf of Mexico suffered only one storm; it is also the first since that same year that no Category 4 or 5 storms formed.

We've said this before and we have to say it again: When experts can't even predict a six-month storm season with any accuracy, there's no way they can accurately predict the global climate many decades from now.

Yet those who have a deep faith in the global warming theory, like those who from the beginning of man have been predicting the world is about to end, will continue to forecast global warming-related afflictions.

This week many of them will be found in Washington, where the Supreme Court will hear arguments that carbon dioxide should be regulated as a pollutant under federal clean air laws.

This is crazy. CO2 is a naturally occurring gas. During the respiration process, humans and animals emit CO2 into the atmosphere; during photosynthesis, plants take in CO2 and convert it to oxygen. CO2 is used in soft drinks, baking, life jackets, medicines and fire extinguishers. Among other applications, it is used as a solvent by "green" dry cleaners.

Yes, we're aware of its greenhouse properties. Yet we're not convinced that the globe is warming because we burn fossil fuels ? a process that creates CO2 ? for power generation and transportation. The uneventful hurricane season only cements our doubt.
That's not to say that a particularly brutal 2007 hurricane season would make us believers. We understand the storm cycle and know that we're in a turbulent period, so next year might be busy.

We wish Gore had the same grasp of reality, but that's probably asking too much. It's much more important that at least five members of the Supreme Court have an understanding of the issue that isn't tainted with green. The world sorely needs a cool front to blunt the overheated global warming rhetoric.
Title: DDT Deniers
Post by: buzwardo on November 30, 2006, 12:17:22 PM
November 29, 2006, 7:00 a.m.

The Case of the DDT Deniers
Kenya crazy talk.

By John Berlau

Poor little Kenya. That’s the message the media have been sending as the United Nations and European nations hold out this African country as the poster child of America’s environmental sins. In the weeks leading up today’s presentation of oral arguments in Massachusetts v. EPA — the Supreme Court case in which northeastern states are suing the Bush administration to regulate carbon dioxide as a “pollutant” under the Clean Air Act — global-warming alarmists and the media have been pointing to malaria epidemics in the cooler regions of Kenya as proof of the harmful effects of human-induced “climate change.”

At the United Nations global-warming summit earlier this month in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi, the Associated Press breathlessly filed a dispatch citing Kenya as the prime example of how “a warmer world already seems to be producing a sicker world.” The article proclaimed that because global warming was “disrupting normal climate zones” in Kenya, “malaria epidemics have occurred in highland areas where cooler weather historically has kept down populations of the disease-bearing mosquitoes.”

The AP article followed the predictable pattern of blaming America for not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, describing how the mostly Europeans signatories were discussing “how to draw the United States into a plan for mandatory emission caps.”

Many friend-of-the-court briefs point to recent cases of malaria appearing in the world’s cooler regions to try to persuade the Supreme Court that carbon dioxide is already affecting public health and thus should be regulated. With examples such as Kenya, they are likely trying to persuade swing justices, such as Anthony Kennedy, who increasingly weigh international considerations in their judgments about laws.

Al Gore’s book and DVD, An Inconvenient Truth, also showcases Kenya. Recent malaria outbreaks in the city of Nairobi, Gore proclaims, show that “now, with global warming, the mosquitoes are climbing to higher altitudes.” At the Nairobi summit, U.N. head Kofi Annan also turned up the heat by proclaiming that climate change “is a threat to health, since a warmer world is one in which infectious diseases such as malaria … will spread further and faster.” Annan then pointed his finger at what he called “the few diehard skeptics” that “try to sow doubt,” concluding that “they should be seen for what they are: out of step, out of arguments, and out of time.”

But when it comes to global warming and malaria, many of the “diehard skeptics” who are “out of step” with Annan and the media are prominent scientists who have produced studies published by the U.N.’s own World Health Organization. Research papers from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show not only that global warming is not to blame for malaria in Nairobi and the highlands, but that flawed environmental policies are the real culprit. We indeed should cry for Kenya, but our tears need to be directed at the right target. In Kenya and elsewhere, it is modern environmentalism that is “producing a sicker world.” And it is now primarily the U.N. and Europe that are blocking Kenya from using the best tool to fight her malarial epidemics. That tool is the “environmentally incorrect” insecticide DDT.

If the AP and other news services had bothered to talk to critics of global-warming alarmism or had even done a simple Google search with words such as “Kenya,” “malaria,” and “history,” they would have discovered a remarkable fact: Epidemics of malaria in Nairobi and in the highlands are nothing new under Kenya’s sun. They have occurred many times before in this century. In those regions of Kenya, as elsewhere, malaria was greatly reduced by the use of DDT to combat the mosquitoes spreading the disease. And there as elsewhere, malaria came back with a vengeance after DDT use was halted due in large part to the scare-mongering of Rachel Carson and other enviros.

If Annan, Gore or the AP had bothered to look at a comprehensive 1999 WHO report published in conjunction with the U.N. and World Bank’s Roll Back Malaria partnership, they would have come across this startling conclusion about malaria in the Kenyan highlands: “malaria among highland populations is better described as a re-emerging [underlining in original] problem rather than a new, unprecedented phenomena.” This paper, written by scientists at the Kenya Medical Research Institute, documents that malaria “[e]pidemics in highland Kenya, varying in magnitude, location, and effect, were to recur throughout the 1940s.” As for Nairobi, that city experienced malaria outbreaks in the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, according to the WHO report, which is entitled “The epidemiology, politics, and control of malaria epidemics in Kenya: 1900-1998.”

What brought an end to malaria in these regions for decades until it recently resurfaced? In substantial part, the spraying of DDT. “Following concerted attempts to interrupt transmission during the 1950s and 1960, … malaria risks declined significantly,” says the WHO study. And DDT was a large component of these “concerted attempts.”

According to the WHO paper, authorities in Kenya began spraying DDT in the 1940s, with an immediate 98 percent reduction in some regions. The report credited this spraying in substantial part for malaria not reoccurring in Nairobi after a flood in 1961.

The WHO report also casts a skeptical eye on climate playing any significant role in Kenya malaria resurgence. Measuring temperature and rainfall in Kenya’s Kericho district in the highlands, the study states that “there is no obvious effect of ‘warming’ in this area since 1967.” The U.S. CDC reported similar findings in 2005. The CDC study concluded: “Doubts exist as to the plausibility of climate change as proximate cause of epidemic malaria because global warming cannot explain the World War II epidemics. Dramatic increases in malaria in the 1990s are not mirrored by prospectively collected climate data.” And malaria researchers have also noted that the disease was endemic in many of other regions of the world, including the American South, until DDT eradicated malaria in those places after World War II.

But the malaria increases do seem to be mirrored in the reduction of DDT use. After the unfounded hysterics of Silent Spring author Rachel Carson and other eco-activists, DDT began to be used in Kenya less and less. Supply was restricted by U.S. and other nations’ bans, and in 1990 Kenya itself outlawed the insecticide’s use. Now there is extensive debate in Kenya, as elsewhere, about bringing back DDT. Two of the things that may be holding Kenya back from doing this, according to the online magazine Science in Africa, are the United Nations and the European Union. Although the WHO has commendably now called for DDT’s use in anti-malaria efforts, the U.N. Treaty on Persistent Organic Pollutants phases out DDT. It does have an exception for health reasons, but imposes expensive paperwork requirements on countries that use the substance. The European Union is also shedding crocodile tears for Kenya. “Europe is tightening its restrictions on insecticide residues on East African products,” according to the magazine, and this is discouraging DDT’s use, even though it would not be used in agriculture.

Imposing strict Kyoto-like reductions on carbon dioxide may worsen Kenya’s public-health systems, as well as those of other countries including our own, by making electricity use more expensive in setting such as hospitals. My colleague Marlo Lewis delves into more of these details in his report, “A Skeptic’s Guide to An Incovenient Truth.”

Critics of global-warming alarmism are often slammed as “deniers.” But to save Kenya and other poor nations from the ravages of malaria, we need to stand up to the activists and bureaucracies who should be called the DDT deniers.

 — John Berlau, a policy director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, is author of the just-published Eco-Freaks: Environmentalism Is Hazardous to Your Health.

National Review Online -
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 01, 2006, 11:41:26 PM
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains a nationwide network of 27 libraries that provide critical scientific information on human health and environmental protection, not only to EPA scientists, but also to other researchers and the general public.

The libraries represent a unique and invaluable source of scientific knowledge on issues from hazardous waste to toxicology to pollution control. Additional benefit to scientific researchers is gained from the expertise of a dedicated library staff, who field more than 100,000 database and reference questions per year from EPA scientists and the public.
The above was sent to me by a dear friend, Arlene Blum who asked the following:
Please call EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson at (202) 564-4700 either today or Monday and tell him how much scientists rely on data and literature. Urge him to immediately halt the dismantling of the library system until Congress approves the EPA budget and all materials are readily available online.
Arlene is a mountain climber and bio-chemist who recently had an op-ed piece printed in the NY Times.  I re-print it below:
November 19, 2006
Op-Ed Contributor
Chemical Burns


THIRTY years ago, as a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, I published papers in Science magazine calling for the ban of brominated and chlorinated Tris, two flame retardants used in children's sleepwear. Both forms of Tris caused mutations in DNA, and leached from pajamas into children's bodies. In 1977, when brominated Tris was found to be a potent carcinogen, the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned Tris from children's sleepwear.

So I was astonished to learn recently that the same chlorinated Tris that I helped eliminate from children's pajamas is being used today in the foam inside furniture sold in California to meet standards there for fire retardancy, and that the state is considering similar standards for pillows, comforters and mattress pads. The federal safety commission, following California's lead, is working to set a national standard for fire-retardant furniture.

Unfortunately, the most effective and inexpensive way for manufacturers to meet such standards is to treat bedding and furniture with brominated and chlorinated hydrocarbons like Tris. Though the chemical industry insists that they are safe, when tested in animals most chemicals in this family have been found to cause health problems like cancer, sterility, thyroid disorders, endocrine disruption, developmental impairment or birth defects, even at very low doses.

Many of these chemicals are long-lived and accumulate, especially in people and other animals high on the food chain. For example, PCBs, chlorinated chemicals that were also used as flame retardants, were banned in 1977, but very high concentrations can still be found in many creatures, including dead killer whales washed ashore in British Columbia.

According to the polyurethane-foam industry, if the new federal standard for furniture were similar to the California standard, using current technology, then an estimated 17 million pounds of fire-retardant chemicals, mostly brominated and chlorinated hydrocarbons, would be used annually. (A more rigorous standard also being considered by the safety commission would require up to 70 million pounds of chemicals a year, the industry says. Some of that could eventually end up in people and the environment.)
To complicate matters, consumers wouldn't know whether the sofa they're curled up on had been treated with Tris or its cousins. The United States does not require labeling on furniture contents.

All this is not to say that furniture fires don't pose a danger. According to a recent report from the commission, 560 Americans died in house fires that started in upholstered furniture in 2003. But by contrast, cancer killed more than 500,000.
What makes the potential increased use of chlorinated and brominated fire retardants all the more troubling is that it comes at a time when the risk of furniture fires is receding.
Most fatal furniture fires are caused by cigarettes, which typically smolder for half an hour after being put down. The good news is that after decades of opposition from the cigarette industry, cigarettes that extinguish themselves within minutes are now mandatory in New York State and laws have been passed requiring them in five other states. They are likely to become universal in the United States in the near future, thereby greatly reducing the risk of furniture fires  and the need for chemical treatments.
So why are we still using these potentially dangerous chemicals?
In the United States, chemicals are innocent until proven guilty: we wait until someone has been harmed by exposure to chemicals before regulating them. This is not an effective strategy, since most cancers occur 20 to 40 years after exposure, and are usually caused by multiple agents. Consequently, it's very difficult to link human cancer to specific chemicals or consumer products.

And there's another problem: In the United States, the manufacturers of consumer products are not required to disclose the results of toxicity tests to regulators or the public before selling their products.

In marked contrast, the European Union is adopting a "better safe than sorry" philosophy through regulations known as the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals. Manufacturers must demonstrate that their products are safe for people and the environment to introduce them and keep them on the market.

This standard provides a strong incentive for finding new alternatives to potentially dangerous brominated and chlorinated chemicals. An innovative Swedish company, for example, is developing a nontoxic fire retardant, Molecular Heat Eater, derived from oranges and lemons, that prevents fires in plastics and fabrics.

Home fires are a defined danger in the present. Chemical fire retardants pose a more ambiguous risk that can last for decades. We need to consider the larger picture before passing regulations that would put chemical fire retardants inside our pillows and those of our children, who are even more vulnerable to carcinogens. These regulations would lead to the widespread use of fire retardants that could be ultimately much more hazardous to us and our environment than the fires they're intended to prevent.

Arlene Blum, the author of "Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life," is a biophysical chemist.

You can view photos and text from Arlene's new book  Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life at .

Phone: 510-644-3164                     Fax  510 644-2164
E-mail:           Web:

Title: Corporate Gag Order
Post by: buzwardo on December 04, 2006, 03:06:40 PM
Global Warming Gag Order
Senators to Exxon: Shut up, and pay up.

Monday, December 4, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

Washington has no shortage of bullies, but even we can't quite believe an October 27 letter that Senators Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe sent to ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson. Its message: Start toeing the Senators' line on climate change, or else.

We reprint the full text of the letter here, so readers can see for themselves. But its essential point is that the two Senators believe global warming is a fact, and therefore all debate about the issue must stop and ExxonMobil should "end its dangerous support of the [global warming] 'deniers.' " Not only that, the company "should repudiate its climate change denial campaign and make public its funding history." And in extra penance for being "one of the world's largest carbon emitters," Exxon should spend that money on "global remediation efforts."

The Senators aren't dumb enough to risk an ethics inquiry by threatening specific consequences if Mr. Tillerson declines this offer he can't refuse. But in case the CEO doesn't understand his company's jeopardy, they add that "ExxonMobil and its partners in denial have manufactured controversy, sown doubt, and impeded progress with strategies all-too reminiscent of those used by the tobacco industry for so many years." (Our emphasis.) The Senators also graciously copied the Exxon board on their missive.

This is amazing stuff. On the one hand, the Senators say that everyone agrees on the facts and consequences of climate change. But at the same time they are so afraid of debate that they want Exxon to stop financing a doughty band of dissenters who can barely get their name in the paper. We respect the folks at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, but we didn't know until reading the Rockefeller-Snowe letter that they ran U.S. climate policy and led the mainstream media around by the nose, too. Congratulations.

Let's compare the balance of forces: on one side, CEI; on the other, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense, the U.N. and EU, Hollywood, Al Gore, and every politically correct journalist in the country. We'll grant that's a fair intellectual fight. But if the Senators are so afraid that a handful of policy wonks at a single small think-tank are in danger of winning this debate, they must not have much confidence in the merits of their own case.
The letter is so over-the-top that we also wonder if Mr. Rockefeller in particular has even read it. (He and Ms. Snowe didn't return our call.) The Senator hails from coal-producing West Virginia, where people know something about carbon emissions. Come to think of it, Mr. Rockefeller owes his own vast wealth to something other than non-carbon energy. But perhaps it's easier to be carbon free when your fortune comes from a trust fund.

The letter is of a piece with what has become a campaign of intimidation against any global warming dissent. Not only is everyone supposed to concede that the planet has been warming--as it has--but we are all supposed to salute and agree that human beings are the definitive cause, that the magnitude of the warming will be disastrous and its effects catastrophic, that such problems as AIDS and poverty are less urgent, and that economic planners must therefore impose vast new regulatory burdens on everyone around the world. Exxon is being targeted in this letter and other ways because it is one of the few companies that still thinks some debate on these questions is valuable.

Every dogma has its day, and we've lived long enough to see more than one "consensus" blown apart within a few years of "everyone knowing" it was true. In recent decades environmentalists have been wrong about almost every other apocalyptic claim they've made: global famine, overpopulation, natural resource exhaustion, the evils of pesticides, global cooling, and so on. Perhaps it's useful to have a few folks outside the "consensus" asking questions before we commit several trillion dollars to any problem.

Imagine if this letter had been sent by someone in the Bush Administration trying to enforce the opposite conclusion? The left would be howling about "censorship." That's exactly what did happen earlier this year after James Hansen, the NASA scientist and global warming evangelist, complained that a lowly 24-year-old press aide had tried to limit his media access. The entire episode was preposterous because Mr. Hansen is one of the most publicized scientists in the world, but the press aide was nonetheless sacked.

The Senators' letter is far more serious because they have enormous power to punish Exxon if it doesn't kowtow to them. A windfall profits tax is in the air, and we've seen what happens to other companies that dare to resist Congressional intimidation. It's to Exxon's credit that, in its response to the Senators, the company said that it will continue to fund free market research groups because "there is value in the debate" that helps promote "optimal public policy decisions." Too bad that's not what the Senators care about.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: milt on December 05, 2006, 01:53:42 PM
Do you have a "peer reviewed set of data supporting your position"?  If so, have at it!

Title: Comprehensive "Global Warming" Rebuttal Info
Post by: buzwardo on December 05, 2006, 03:27:45 PM
A comprehensive survey rebutting anthropogenic warming fears can be found here:
Title: Re: Comprehensive "Global Warming" Rebuttal Info
Post by: milt on December 05, 2006, 05:02:41 PM
A comprehensive survey rebutting anthropogenic warming fears can be found here:

These sources just aren't credible:

What are the specific claims made by the IPCC that you take issue with?  I suppose I could post a link to some website debunking the rebuttal, but that wouldn't make for a very interesting discussion.

Title: Wikipedia Critique
Post by: buzwardo on December 06, 2006, 06:34:05 AM
Of course there are those who feel Wikipedia isn't credible:

Kinda surprised you are getting on me for posting links as it has been your usual response.
Title: De-Hyping the Climate Debate
Post by: buzwardo on December 06, 2006, 06:35:23 AM
December 05, 2006
Thatcher economist de-hypes climate debate

By Peter C Glover
In November economist and former British Lord Chancellor Nigel Lawson in Maggie Thatcher's government rose to give an address at the Centre for Policy Studies in London. What his audience were privileged to experience was nothing less than a rare phenomenon: sheer force of reason in public debate. I adjure anyone concerned about the lack of emphasis on reason in current public debate to read the text of Lawson's address: The Economics and Politics of Climate Change: An Appeal to Reason in full here.  However, for those who struggle to read even eighteen reason-injecting pages....

Lawson's paper addresses the key scientific, economic, political and social issues surrounding climate change - a tall order within the ambit of a single address. First he deals with the "consensus" that persists in claiming that the climate science is "settled". And, adding his voice to others debunking the recent "scaremongering" Stern Report, Lawson cites the ultimate "uncertainty" inherent in our understanding of the "relatively new" and "highly complex science of climatology". For all its great size, says Lawson, the report "adds disappointingly little"..."apart from a battery of essentially spurious statistics based on theoretic models and conjectural worst cases." 

Lawson then goes back to basics. First, is global warming occurring? Second, if so, why? And third, what should be done about it?  As to the first, he cites the Hadley Centre for Climate Change

Noting that carbon dioxide emissions are an important contributor to the build up of greenhouse gases (gases which keep the earth warmer than it would otherwise be) he points out that carbon emissions are "a long way back" behind the major contributor - water vapour, including in cloud form - and that "neither is a pollutant". He confirms the published view of the British Met Office that attributes around 0.3 degrees C out of the 0.5 degrees increase between 1975 and 2000 to man-made sources of greenhouse gases. "But this is highly uncertain, and reputable climate scientists differ sharply over the subject. It is simply not true to say that the science is settled." And he cites the intervention of the Royal Society "to prevent the funding of climate scientists who do not share its alarmist view" as "truly shocking".  He goes on to identify from where our uncertainty ought to derive:
prediction figures as recording "no further global warming since 1998". Pointing out that the earth saw a total 0.7 degree C rise over the whole of the last century he asks why this has happened. Giving an answer alien to some climatologists: "The only honest answer is that we don't know."  Lawson explains, "Conventional wisdom is that the principal reason is the greatly increased amount of CO2 in the atmosphere."
the science of clouds is " clearly critical" yet it is "one of the least well understood aspects of climate science."
the failure to understand "the extent to which urbanization has contributed to the observed warming".
The lack of correlation between the steady rise in carbon emissions in the twentieth century and the up and down variations in global mean surface temperatures, for which there is "no adequate explanation", and not least,
"the earth's climate has always been subject to natural variation, wholly unrelated to man's activities."
Lawson points out that the work of the UN set-up International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is about more about prediction and "not a matter of science at all, but consists of economic forecasting" that "depends on the rate of world economic growth over the next hundred years." In this vein he points out: "The upper part of the IPCC's range of scenarios - a rise of between one and six degrees in global mean temperatures by the end of this century - is "distinctly unconvincing" depending, as it does, on "an implausibly high rate of population growth or an unprecedented growth in energy intensiveness, which in fact been in steady decline for over 50 years".

 "Equally implausible" are the IPCC's estimates of costs, not least on agriculture and food production. "Whatever climate alarmists like to make out, we are confronted with...the probability of very gradual change over a large number of years. And this is something to which it is eminently practicable to adapt." He goes on to give three reasons why "adaptation" is "far and away the most cost-effective approach".

The benefits of adaptation are that it:
deals with existing issues, eg. coastal erosion.
brings benefits regardless of whether the cause is man-made or natural.
addresses the benefits of global warming as well as the costs.
He then derides a principal tenet of conventional alarmist thinking which argues we "need to cut back substantially on carbon dioxide emissions in order to help the world's poor" as "bizarre in the extreme". He asserts that the enormous cost involved can only "diminish significantly the export markets on which the future prosperity of the developing countries at least in part depends...far from helping the poor, it is more likely to harm them." He notes how even the UN admits Kyoto has failed, yet it still "remains the conventional answer to the challenge of global warming. It is hard to imagine a more absurd response."

Turning to the "immense" folly of any attempt to exclude the major developing countries from the Kyoto process, he highlights the case of China. "China alone last year embarked on a programme of building 562 large coal-fired power stations by 2012 - that is, a new coal-fired power station every five days for seven years." He identifies the shocking reality that: "China is adding the equivalent of Britain's entire power-generating capacity each year." And this is without considering the effect of similar development in India and Brazil.

The logic should be plain to all, he asserts: "If carbon dioxide emissions in Europe are reduced only to see them further increased in China, there is no net reduction in global emission at all." In his understated ‘Lordly' tone we can still glean his concern at the current media-induced hysteria: "The extent of ill-informed wishful thinking on this issue is hard to exaggerate."

Lamenting the "regrettable arrogance and intolerance of the Royal Society" he sees that "the uncertainty surrounding the complex issue of climate change is immense and the scope for honest differences of view considerable." And how "in a world of inevitably finite resources" spending large sums to guard against "theoretical danger" would be unjustified, especially as the "evidence that (warming) will accelerate to disastrous levels is, to say the least, unconvincing."

Having pursued the science, economics and politics of climate change, he turns to a fourth social issue. One, he believes, is driving the less-than-scientific and aggressively un-reasoning approach that marks current alarmist intolerance. "It is not difficult to understand...the appeal of the conventional climate change wisdom. Throughout the ages something deep in man's psyche has made him receptive to ‘the end is nigh' apocalyptic warnings."  Lawson believes we, as individuals, "imbued with a sense of guilt and a sense of sin" and he notes how easily we convert this into a sense of "collective guilt and collective sin"   

This in turn spawns a "new religion of Eco-fundamentalism" whose "new priests are scientists (well rewarded with research grants) rather than the clerics of established religions". But this new religion "presents dangers on at least three levels":
Governments of Europe pursuing policies fired by anti-Americanism
a profound hostility to capitalism and the market economy, and, most dangerous of all,
the abandonment of our traditions of reason and tolerance.
The irrationality and intolerance of Eco-fundamentalism, says Lawson, regards the "questioning of its mantras" as "a form of blasphemy."  And he concludes with an apocalyptic vision of his own - and one far more devastating in its consequences than Climate Change: "There is no greater threat to the people of this planet than the retreat from reason we see all around us today."

Climate alarmists are increasingly at the vanguard of Lawson's "retreat from reason". The debate on climate change is, sadly, fast becoming as much about the right to free speech as much a discussion on the issues. As Francisco de Goya once warned: "The sleep of reason brings forth monsters" - a pestilence of national economy-eating Eco-taxes, for instance. 

Peter C Glover has highlighted the failure of the British media to question the climate science "consensus" in this article in British Journalism Review magazine. A free copy of Lord Lawson's lecture (or a copy of the text) The Economics and Politics of Climate Change: An Appeal to Reason can be obtained via can be heard, or a text of the address obtained online here.

Page Printed from: at December 06, 2006 - 09:31:12 AM EST
Title: Synopsis of Piece Cited Above
Post by: buzwardo on December 06, 2006, 06:46:28 AM
The following is the conclusion from the speech mentione above:

Essentially, I have sought to argue three key propositions.

First, the relatively new and highly complex science of climatology is an uncertain one, and neither scientists nor politicians serve either the truth or the people by pretending to know more than they do.

Second, far and away the most rational response to such climate change as, for any reason, may occur, is to adapt to it.

And third, the rich countries of the temperate world have an obligation to assist the poor countries of the tropical world to undertake whatever adaptation may be needed.

It is not difficult to understand, however, the appeal of the conventional climate change wisdom. Throughout the ages something deep in man’s psyche has made him receptive to apocalyptic warnings: “the end of the world is nigh”.

Almost of all us are imbued with a sense of guilt and a sense of sin, and it is so much less uncomfortable to divert our attention away from our individual sins and causes of guilt, arising from how we have treated our neighbours, and to sublimate it in collective guilt and collective sin.

Throughout the ages, too, the weather has been an important part of the narrative. In primitive societies it was customary for extreme weather events to be explained as punishment from the gods for the sins of the people; and there is no shortage of examples of this theme in the Bible, either – particularly but not exclusively in the Old Testament.
The main change is that the new priests are scientists (well rewarded with research grants for their pains) rather than clerics of the established religions, and the new religion is eco-fundamentalism. But it is a distinction without much of a difference. And the old religions have not been slow to make common cause.

Does all this matter? Up to a point, no. Unbelievers should not be dismissive of the comfort that religion can bring. If people feel better when they buy a hybrid car and see a few windmills dotted about (although perhaps not in their own back yard), then so be it.

And in a democracy, if greenery is what the people want, politicians will understandably provide it, dressed in the most high-flown rhetoric they can muster. Indeed, if people are happy to pay a carbon tax, provided it is not at too high a level, and the proceeds are used to cut income tax, that would not be a disaster, either. It would have to be a consumer-based tax, however, since in the globalised world economy industry is highly mobile, whereas individuals are much less so.

But the new religion of eco-fundamentalism does present dangers on at least three levels.

The first is that the governments of Europe, fired in many cases by anti- Americanism (never underestimate the extent to which distaste for President Bush has fuelled the anti-global warming movement), may get so carried away by their rhetoric as to impose measures which do serious harm to their economies. That is a particular danger at the present time in this country. No doubt, when the people come to suffer the results they will insist on a change of policy, or else vote the offending government out of office. But it would be better to avoid the damage in the first place.

The second, and more fundamental, danger is that the global salvationist movement is profoundly hostile to capitalism and the market economy. There are already increasing calls for green protectionism – for the imposition of trade restrictions against those countries which fail to agree to curb their carbon dioxide emissions. Given the fact that the only way in which the world’s poor will ever be able to escape from their poverty is by embracing capitalism and the global market economy, this is not good news.

But the third danger is even more profound. Today we are very conscious of the threat we face from the supreme intolerance of Islamic fundamentalism. It could not be a worse time to abandon our own traditions of reason and tolerance, and to embrace instead the irrationality and intolerance of eco- fundamentalism, where reasoned questioning of its mantras is regarded as a form of blasphemy. There is no greater threat to the people of this planet than the retreat from reason we see all around us today.
Title: Re: Of Ice Sheets and Excitable Boys
Post by: milt on December 06, 2006, 11:06:27 AM
I?d like to point out, however, that where science is concerned anyone involved in serious research is getting their bread buttered by someone with deep pockets, a fact that should be so obvious that I don?t understand the value of pointing it out.

I never said anything about deep pockets.  I pointed out that the funders of the global warming deniers that you cite have a financial interest in the results going a particular way.  It''s got nothing to do with research being expensive.

BTW, I was checking out more of and saw this:

Not infrequently, the question is asked as to why does not weigh into the so-called debate concerning evolution/creation (there'll probably be trouble because I didn't capitalise that). The answer is simple: alleged ID and Creation (there, better?) are matters of faith with zero requirement for science nor proof. In fact, "He said it. I believe it. That's an end to it." leaves no room for debate, informed, reasoned or otherwise - it's faith and perfectly sufficient for believers. The bottom line here is that, if you believe, that's fine, as it is if you don't believe - just don't confuse belief with science. And no, we won't be answering e-mail on this.

Pretty weak, coming from a so-called skeptic.

As everyone is getting their loaves slathered the relevant question is the one about the science: are reproducible results being obtained? If not, the science is bad, if so the science is good; science good or bad is not created by funding method, but by strict adherence, or lack thereof, to sound scientific method.

Unprecedented levels of greenhouse gases have been building up in the atmosphere over the last couple of hundred years due to human industrial activity.  The warming / cooling in different parts of the atmosphere is consistent with what we would expect from an accumulation of greenhouse gases and these temperature changes are occurring at a much greater rate than any prior variations due to the planet's natural climate cycle.  This seems like pretty good evidence of anthropogenic climate change.

Do you have any evidence to the contrary that doesn't come from Exxon researchers?   Which of these claims do you dispute?  I'm happy to discuss any scientific objections you have on any particular point.

Come on, let's talk about the science.  I'll look at some links to actual research papers, but please, no more links to various websites that claim to debunk the other side's arguments.  Let's just put them in our own words.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: SB_Mig on December 06, 2006, 11:30:36 AM
never underestimate the extent to which distaste for President Bush has fuelled the anti-global warming movement

I just can't believe that a group of individuals is sitting around a table saying "We hate Bush, let's do something about global warming cuz it will tick him off."

Title: CACAphony on Parade
Post by: buzwardo on December 07, 2006, 01:14:58 PM
Milt avers:

I never said anything about deep pockets.  I pointed out that the funders of the global warming deniers that you cite have a financial interest in the results going a particular way.  It''s got nothing to do with research being expensive.

Semantic nitpicking. What a surprise. Crafty, in fact, brought up the “bread buttered” metaphor, the point was about financial interests, so I used “deep pockets” and “slathering,” but the issue remains the same. All sides of the debate have financial, and for that matter political, stakes in the research, and if you don’t understand that you don’t understand research. You seek to dismiss one side of the argument by claiming conflict of financial interest. I reply that the same could be said of the other side so let’s look at the science instead. You retort by restating your thesis ever louder and ignoring mine. Circular silliness say I.

BTW, I was checking out more of and saw this:

Not infrequently, the question is asked as to why does not weigh into the so-called debate concerning evolution/creation (there'll probably be trouble because I didn't capitalise that). The answer is simple: alleged ID and Creation (there, better?) are matters of faith with zero requirement for science nor proof. In fact, "He said it. I believe it. That's an end to it." leaves no room for debate, informed, reasoned or otherwise - it's faith and perfectly sufficient for believers. The bottom line here is that, if you believe, that's fine, as it is if you don't believe - just don't confuse belief with science. And no, we won't be answering e-mail on this.

Pretty weak, coming from a so-called skeptic.

Uhm, and your point is? As our exchanges attest, matters of faith resist scientific scrutiny, hence using the tools of scientific inquiry in that context is, as Junk Science states, futile. Be it “God put the fossils there to test our faith” yoyos or “anthropogenic warming dooms us all and if you don’t agree you’re a tool of big oil” panic mongers, there’s little room for science in the face of fervent belief. Think the Church of Anthropogenic Climate Apocalypse (CACA) is horrified by heretics like me, hence the attempts to find a rhetorical stake to tie me to. Gotta match, Milt?

I should certainly know better than to argue with True Believers, but my end is not to sway you as I know that won’t occur. Rather, the doomsayers have almost exclusive access to the mainstream megaphone so in the venues I frequent I post the contrarian view. Hopefully the folks I respect in a given venue will derive some utility from the information I post. I care not at all what others do with it or feel about it. If Crafty finds this attitude abhorrent he can send me packing.

Unprecedented levels of greenhouse gases have been building up in the atmosphere over the last couple of hundred years due to human industrial activity.

As repeatedly mentioned in this thread, the tools for making measurements capable of supporting this sweeping statement are new on the scene, carbon dioxide measurements made over a geologically relevant period are hard to come by, while the geologic record clearly indicates climate change is the norm, rather than the exception. What were the CO2 levels in the late Cretaceous? Don’t know? Then you can’t make sweeping statements about precedents, eh?

An aside: One of the groups I cave with has been gathering data in the same cave system since the late 1950’s. Back in the day a line plot of the cave with a rough sketch of the walls was deemed sufficient. Roughly every decade since then the level of detail considered the norm has risen sharply, requiring resurvey of well-known cave. Each resurvey effort produces new information that alters the way we view the cave system. Though the tools we use to survey the cave have basically remained the same—compass, clinometer, tape, and survey sketchbook—our understanding of the relevant level of detail required has changed dramatically, hence more detailed measurements, hence more detailed understanding, and ever more finite questions.

Jump to climate science where the tools are complex and often hot out of the box, baseline surveys non-existent, major gaps in the database evident every direction you point, doomsayers yodel in the hope of cooking the books, while politicians attempt to warp science to their ends, and you want to chastise me for failing to leap to your conclusions? Sell it to someone who is buying, young acolyte. I’m not.

Do you have any evidence to the contrary that doesn't come from Exxon researchers?

And we are back to the ad hominem. Researchers who you are slapping with that tag could just as easily be labeled “NOAA scientists” or “MIT professors.” You don’t get awarded either title without demonstrating more than a modicum of rigor in your field; alas zealots of all stripes find it easier to attack the messenger than the message. Demanding evidence while embracing fallacious logical technique is disingenuous at best. There is no percentage in partaking of that dissimulative dance.

Which of these claims do you dispute?  I'm happy to discuss any scientific objections you have on any particular point

Come on, let's talk about the science.  I'll look at some links to actual research papers, but please, no more links to various websites that claim to debunk the other side's arguments.  Let's just put them in our own words. .

A casual scan of our various posts demonstrates full well that I’ve far more original writing on display here than you; as for posting links and little else, that’s a habit you’ve honed far more finely than I. As such it’s difficult for me to conclude your cajoling is anything more than gamesmanship, and I’m not here to play games.

My goal is stated above: to provide folks I respect a source for alternative information, among other things. As best I can tell, your goal is to shout me down or, failing that, tie me up in circular arguments, or failing that, convince Crafty I’m such a rotten fellow I should be shown the door. Nothing in my ends, however, bind me to helping you achieve yours, so I will continue partake of discussions that further my goals, and avoid ones that clearly will not bear any fruit.

But hey, if you are indeed interested in discussing science I’ve posted plenty of material to which you haven’t responded so have at it. Perhaps someone else has the time on his hands to pick through the CACA orthodoxies I expect will result.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 07, 2006, 02:10:56 PM

Dad here.  You are so close to actually having a great conversation that it would be a shame to allow the very human temptation to slip in witty zingers ruin things.

I would like to suggest simply taking a clean slate from here forward.

Daddy Dog


I appreciate your point about science is science, no matter who pays for it-- but for us less than fully educated civilians who lack the education to confidently break down stuff that frankly often goes right over our head with nary a look back, it can leave us with an uneasy feeling to see interested money behind the science.  I appreciate, and perhaps Milt underappreciates, that there is money behind the ethos of the Ecos too, but perhaps a moment of reflection will remind you that there are four functions: thinking; feeling; sensation; and intuition and each person has one as a dominant modality.  You are a thinker, which is only 10% of the population.  If I may, the trick for you is to identify the principle modality of non-thinkers and have techniques to effectively communicate with them.  Quick, which type is Milt?

Anyway, lets everyone start with a clean slate-- there is a good conversation to be had here.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: SB_Mig on December 07, 2006, 03:06:42 PM
For those interested in doing some "light" reading:

Title: Re: CACAphony on Parade
Post by: milt on December 07, 2006, 04:08:33 PM
Quote from: milt
Unprecedented levels of greenhouse gases have been building up in the atmosphere over the last couple of hundred years due to human industrial activity.

As repeatedly mentioned in this thread, the tools for making measurements capable of supporting this sweeping statement are new on the scene, carbon dioxide measurements made over a geologically relevant period are hard to come by, while the geologic record clearly indicates climate change is the norm, rather than the exception.

Climate change at the current rate is not the norm.  Are you claiming that the borehole data, surface and satellite temperature measurements, ice core records, etc. are all BS?  I can post the data and graphs if you want.

Quote from: milt
Do you have any evidence to the contrary that doesn't come from Exxon researchers?

Quote from: buzwardo
And we are back to the ad hominem.

Well, all my data comes from peer-reviewed papers published in respected journals such as Nature, Science, etc.  All yours seems to come from industry backed front groups and a handful of scientists funded by them.  If someone's trying to convince me that tobacco doesn't cause cancer, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask them for evidence that doesn't come from Philip Morris.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 07, 2006, 08:24:10 PM

You were doing really well until the last section.  :-D

Starting this up again:

BUZ: My goal is stated above: to provide folks I respect a source for alternative information, among other things. As best I can tell, your goal is to shout me down or, failing that, tie me up in circular arguments, or failing that, convince Crafty I’m such a rotten fellow I should be shown the door.
MILT: I have no idea what you're talking about.  I haven't shouted you down, presented circular arguments, or ever complained to Crafty about you or anyone else.

does not qualify as "start(ing) with a clean slate."  PLEASE, EVERYONE (Milt, Buz and everyone) let it go and PROCEED FORWARD FROM HERE.   

Lets have that great conversation that is just begging to be had.

Hugs to everyone,
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: milt on December 08, 2006, 04:47:13 AM

You were doing really well until the last section.  :-D

I removed it.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 08, 2006, 07:25:09 AM

What of Milt's point assertion of an accelerating rate of change?

TB:  Care to weigh in on any of this?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: milt on December 08, 2006, 08:22:48 AM
Okay buzwardo, it's a clean slate as far as I'm concerned.  It's science only from here on out.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: buzwardo on December 08, 2006, 10:36:50 AM
My points remain the same and have been made repeatedly:

1. The data set is too small to create meaningful extrapolation.

2. Peer reviewed science is peer reviewed science, regardless of the tangential associations occurring on all sides.

Into finals around here, which precludes me from giving any response I pen the scrutiny I know it will be subject too. Perhaps at some point in the future I’ll be inspired to partake of a major deconstructive spasm. In the interim I’ll continue to post things that catch my eye in the hope they provide utility to the folks who do the same for me.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: milt on December 08, 2006, 11:02:37 AM
1. The data set is too small to create meaningful extrapolation.

Global mean surface temperature from the past 100 years:

"Global annual surface temperature relative to 1951-1980 mean based on surface air measurements at meteorological stations and ship and satellite measurements for sea surface temperature."

"The highest global surface temperature in more than a century of instrumental data was recorded in the 2005 calendar year in the GISS annual analysis. However, the error bar on the data implies that 2005 is practically in a dead heat with 1998, the warmest previous year."

"Record warmth in 2005 is notable, because global temperature has not received any boost from a tropical El Nio this year. The prior record year, 1998, on the contrary, was lifted 0.2C above the trend line by the strongest El Nio of the past century.  Recent warming coincides with rapid growth of human-made greenhouse gases. Climate models show that the rate of warming is consistent with expectations"

"Borehole data are direct measurements of temperature from boreholes drilled into the Earth crust. Departures from the expected increase in temperature with depth (the geothermal gradient) can be interpreted in terms of changes in temperature at the surface in the past, which have slowly diffused downward, warming or cooling layers meters below the surface."

Borehole data for past 500 years:

"Underground temperature measurements were examined from a database of over 350 bore holes in eastern North America, Central Europe, Southern Africa and Australia. Using this unique approach, Pollack et al. found that the 20th century to be the warmest of the past five centuries, thus confirming the results of earlier multi-proxy studies."

"The geophysical methods used to generate bore hole temperature reconstructions do not permit annual or decade resolution, but only the century-scale trend in temperatures over the last several centuries. Nonetheless, this record, totally independent of data and methods used in other studies, shows the same thing: the Earth is warming dramatically."

Proxy data from tree rings, coral growth, stalagmites, etc. (2000 years):

"Beginning in the 1970's, paleoclimatologists began constructing a blueprint of how the Earth's temperature changed over the centuries before 1850 and the widespread use of thermometers. Out of this emerged a view of the past climate based on limited data from tree rings, historical documents, sediments and other proxy data sources. Today, many more paleoclimate records are available from around the world, providing a much improved view of past changes in the Earth's temperature."

"Over the last decade, there has been a major breakthrough in our understanding of global temperature change over the last 1000 years. Several different but important studies, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, revolutionized what we know about the 20th century in the context of past centuries. The research of the late 1990s formed the foundation for a progression of studies that followed, incorporating advances in statistical techniques and information from a broad range of proxy data types."

"Although each of the proxy temperature records shown below is different, due in part to the diverse statistical methods utilized and sources of the proxy data, they all indicate similar patterns of temperature variability over the last 500 to 2000 years. Most striking is the fact that each record reveals a steep increase in the rate or spatial extent of warming since the mid-19th to early 20th centuries. When compared to the most recent decades of the instrumental record, they indicate the temperatures of the most recent decades are the warmest in the entire record. In addition, warmer than average temperatures are more widespread over the Northern Hemisphere in the 20th century than in any previous time."

"The similarity of characteristics among the different paleoclimatic reconstructions provides confidence in the following important conclusions:
    * Dramatic warming has occurred since the 19th century.
    * The recent record warm temperatures in the last 15 years are indeed the warmest temperatures the Earth has seen in at least the last 1000 years, and possibly in the last 2000 years."

Ice core data (400,000 years)

"Variations of temperature, methane, and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations derived from air trapped within ice cores from Antarctica."

This graph shows the 100,000 year natural climate cycle and the correlation of carbon dioxide concentration with temperature.

Into finals around here, which precludes me from giving any response I pen the scrutiny I know it will be subject too. Perhaps at some point in the future I\u2019ll be inspired to partake of a major deconstructive spasm.

I understand.

Title: Senate Report Release Today
Post by: buzwardo on December 08, 2006, 04:31:18 PM
Well annotated Senate report that responds to various aspects of global warming doomsaying. Telling discussion of the "hockey stick graph' can be found here also:
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 08, 2006, 08:14:48 PM
Would both of you please be so kind as to provide at least a 1-4 sentence summary of each URL you cite? 

Thank you
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: milt on December 11, 2006, 10:42:42 AM
Would both of you please be so kind as to provide at least a 1-4 sentence summary of each URL you cite? 

Thank you

I just added some descriptive quotes to the original post:

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 11, 2006, 01:47:21 PM
Good doggie!!!  That's very useful and a good model for all of us to follow.
Title: Contraritans Three
Post by: buzwardo on December 13, 2006, 12:01:15 PM
December 2006

Meet the contrarians

Risking their reputations, these three academics buck the general consensus on three contentious current issues

by Léo Charbonneau

To be “contrary” can connote a certain willful or perverse stubbornness. And indeed, contrariness for its own sake can be tiresome, even futile. However, if driven by reason and fact, contrarians can sometimes break from the pack of conventional thinking to uncover difficult or inconvenient truths.

Universities, with their culture of academic freedom, civil debate and the open exchange of ideas, should celebrate the mavericks, the dissenters, the iconoclasts and the naysayers. But some in academe argue that universities today tend more towards group think, political correctness and intolerance of unconventional views.

To explore this issue, we introduce you to three academic contrarians: the global-warming denier, the gun booster and the feminist critic. All three hold views that arguably place them outside the mainstream of academe. The reactions they’ve received from their peers have ranged from polite acceptance to near ostracism. Despite this, all three feel grateful for the opportunities academia has provided them to pursue their ideas – whether others wish to follow or not. Here are their stories.

The global-warming denier
This past spring the little magnolia tree in Tim Patterson’s front yard produced an abundance of flowers. Ottawa is well north of the typical range for magnolias, but if the winter is relatively mild, as it was this past year, the tree does well. A harsh winter and the little tree struggles.

With the advent of global warming, you’d think Dr. Patterson’s magnolia has a secure future. But Dr. Patterson, a geology professor at Carleton University, doesn’t believe the Earth’s climate is warming. The theory of manmade climate change due to greenhouse gases is incorrect and outdated, he says. “I don’t get excited about what climate modelers are saying.”

Dr. Patterson, whose specialty is paleoclimatology, is well aware that his views on climate change place him in a minority within the scientific community. But if he’s feeling the heat, he doesn’t show it. “As a scientist I can only go where the science takes me, and not where someone like David Suzuki wants me to go.” When he does get criticized, it’s rarely about the science, he says, but rather is an “ad hominem attack of some sort, like ‘Patterson’s in the pocket of Big Oil.’ Well I wish!”

In any event, science is not a popularity contest, he points out, and the general consensus is not always right. He cites the example of continental drift, a concept laughed at by most scientists until distinguished Canadian geophysicist J. Tuzo Wilson championed the cause in the 1960s. A more recent example from the 1980s was the theory, considered preposterous by the medical establishment at the time, that bacteria might be the cause of peptic ulcers. Australian physician Barry Marshall, who proposed the idea, was eventually proven right, and he and colleague Robin Warren last year won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their efforts.

Of course, there are many other examples of scientists who bucked the trend and turned out to be wrong. Asked if he has any doubts, Dr. Patterson replies, “Sure I could be wrong … but I don’t think so.”

Dr. Patterson may take comfort in the fact he’s not entirely alone in his views. A number of colleagues share his position, including Fred Michel at Carleton, and Jan Veizer and Ian Clark at the University of Ottawa, among others. “At these [two] institutions, climate researchers who agree with my perspective on climate change actually outnumber the alarmists,” he says.

What these scientists essentially agree on is that the Kyoto Protocol is pointless because carbon dioxide emissions are not driving climate change. The computer models are simply wrong and do not match actual observations. Instead, Dr. Patterson points to solar variability – changes in the sun’s solar cycle – as the likely culprit. The sun experiences an 11-year sunspot cycle as well as much longer cycles of solar activity, and these trends in the sun’s output correlate well with temperature records dating back hundreds of years, he says.

Asked how the scientific community, the media and Al Gore could get the story so wrong, Dr. Patterson says it’s mainly because the debate has become so politicized. Environmental activists have taken what should be rational scientific debates and turned them into occasions for “evangelizing and antagonizing,” even though “they don’t really know what they’re talking about.”

Some climate skeptics, fearing the public backlash or damage to their scientific reputations, decide to keep their views to themselves, says Dr. Patterson. Others, notably scientists working for federal agencies, were effectively muzzled under “previous regimes,” he says. “I’m glad I don’t work for government. Where I am in the university environment, I can pretty much say what I want. … I don’t worry about political correctness too much.”

Dr. Patterson does do the occasional media interview, but somewhat reluctantly. After each one, “the phone starts ringing off the hook” with additional interview requests that he doesn’t have time for. Environmental advocacy groups, on the other hand, “have all the time. It’s their jobs.”

Nevertheless, Dr. Patterson thinks the message is starting to change. The theory of manmade global warming is “a house of cards. It’s going to collapse.” He also thinks the fear mongers will look a bit foolish once we enter the next cooling phase. This will happen likely around 2020 when the next solar cycle begins, he predicts. The fear of global warming will then “go out the window … and I’ll lose my magnolia.”

The gun booster
Two or three times a year, Gary Mauser invites a handful of people to the gun range to do some shooting. That wouldn’t seem too exceptional, except for the fact that Dr. Mauser is a professor at an urban university and his guests are curious students and colleagues – not your typical gun fanciers. That is precisely the point.

Dr. Mauser, a marketing professor at Simon Fraser University, says the aim of these gatherings is partly to teach firearms safety but mainly to demystify guns for individuals who likely have never held one. His larger purpose is to sensitize folks about the wider issues of gun control. He believes guns and gun owners have been unfairly demonized in society, mainly by urban elites.

He also thinks Canadians need to be disabused of a few cherished myths: namely, that access to guns increases crime and that strict gun laws reduce it. And don’t even get him started about the “failed experiment” of the federal gun registry.

Most of those who accompany him to the gun range learn a lot and enjoy the experience, says Dr. Mauser. But he’s not had as easy a time convincing fellow academics about his conclusions on gun control. “There are some people who have supported me, but by and large I meet with this kind of liberal intolerance,” he says. “Many academics will go to great lengths not to let really strong disproof change their basic beliefs.”

Dr. Mauser grew up in California. But, unlike the stereotype of Americans, he had almost no experience with guns while growing up. His first real exposure to gun culture was when one of his students took him to a gun club. “It was such a bizarre world. I figured, hey, I’m going to study these guys.”

A survey researcher with a PhD in social psychology, Dr. Mauser was interested in how policy is developed from a political and marketing perspective. He discovered that the National Rifle Association offered research grants, applied almost as a lark, and got one.

What he found through this and subsequent studies over the years is that there is virtually no empirical evidence to support the notion that restrictive firearms legislation reduces criminal violence. In fact, guns could even be considered a “social good,” he says, citing data which suggest that laws encouraging the use of concealed weapons may actually reduce crime. (Much of Dr. Mauser’s research can be found at

Studies that reached the opposite conclusion, showing the danger of guns, either had faulty methodology or were not reproducible, he says. “These are folk tales, and the empirical support for them tends to disappear when you get close.”

As for the example, held up by gun opponents, of our southern neighbour awash in guns and crime, Dr. Mauser responds that this is more a socioeconomic issue than an issue of “access to one or another kind of weapon.”

His conclusions have not endeared him to many legal reformers, politicians and special interest groups, nor to other researchers. “It’s not easy telling the emperor he has no clothes,” he says. Conversely, he’s wary when some groups attempt to use his research as justification for their own political agendas.

One acclaim he’s received for his work, awarded in 2001, was the Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy. The prize promotes “creative, unconventional” work at SFU which “provokes, and/or contributes to the understanding of controversy.”

Overall, “the university has been tolerant,” says Dr. Mauser. However, within his faculty of business administration, the situation is somewhat more complicated. There are those who applaud him for being a bit of an iconoclast, but others have questioned whether the articles he’s published in criminology and political science journals should count for review when he’s a marketing professor.

The feminist critic
It’s a man’s world, goes the old adage. But is it? Katherine Young, a professor of religion at McGill University, doesn’t think so. In fact, she thinks men are pretty hard done by, and the culprit is ideological feminism.

Her unconventional views have been heralded by the fledgling men’s movement, but the response from academia has been less than enthusiastic. Reactions to her work have ranged from cries of “shame” to doubts about her sanity “for even bringing this up.”

But bring it up she has, first in Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture, published in 2001, and most recently in Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination Against Men, released this past spring. (Misandry is the hatred of men, the counterpart of misogyny).

A third book, Transcending Misandry, is planned to complete the trilogy. All three are co-authored by Paul Nathanson, a researcher at McGill and one of Dr. Young’s former graduate students.

Publishing the books wasn’t easy, says Dr. Young. She credits Philip Cercone, executive director of McGill-Queen’s University Press, “who thinks that an academic press should go after unconventional views.” The opportunity to publish, she adds, “is key to whether academics will risk doing research that is different and not politically correct.”

In the first book, Spreading Misandry, the authors describe how contempt and hatred of men have become deeply embedded in recent popular culture, from movies to TV shows to greeting cards, and so on. The authors say this phenomenon was initiated and is still promoted by “a segment of the academic elite” affiliated with what they call ideological feminism.

In the 1960s, Dr. Young explains, feminism had a strong egalitarian streak, “and we’re fully supportive of that.” However, by the 1970s and especially into the ’80 and ’90s, “there was another development in feminism that began to see women as superior to men,” she says. That particular strand of feminism “became extremely popular” and took root in many of the women’s studies departments.

This worldview spread through the universities into “the whole range of professions, which carry these values at a professional level into society,” says Dr. Young. “They have become pervasive enough in academic, legal and political circles to pass for conventional wisdom.”

The authors expand on this in their second volume, describing how discrimination against men has now become so institutionalized that “it is best described as systemic.” Nowhere is this more evident, they argue, than in the legal system, where a double standard reigns with regard to such things as child custody and support, and accusations of sexual harassment and domestic violence.

The first book generated a smattering of interest in the media, although some journalists didn’t seem to take it very seriously, says Dr. Young. Their goal was to sensationalize the issue, “not to explore a social problem with profound moral implications.” It’s still too early to tell how the second volume will be greeted, but so far the response has been muted, she notes.

As a tenured professor with a strong publishing record, Dr. Young need not be too concerned about how her views may affect her academic standing, yet the process has not been easy. “I find that speaking out on unpopular topics, even in academia, even with its supposed freedom of speech, is a very difficult and potentially detrimental route to take,” she says.

Freedom of speech “is very vulnerable in the universities,” she adds, referring to the recent controversy over the awarding of an honorary degree by Ryerson University to McGill colleague Margaret Somerville, because the ethicist had spoken out against gay marriage. “The attempt to squash public debate is enormous, and the intimidation is enormous.”

Dr. Young hasn’t experienced any overt hostility at McGill, where she says a “culture of politeness” reigns. Nevertheless, she finds “there are very few academics who speak out on unpopular topics, maybe especially in the humanities.”

Challenging established orthodoxy could be particularly difficult for young professors. If her students were to follow her line of research, “I’d be worried for them,” she says. “Ultimately, I want to see people gainfully employed. When you’re secure and older and have nothing to lose, you’ve got more freedom to do these things.”

It’s a paradox at the heart of universities. Tenure gives academics the freedom to speak their minds, she says. Yet, “there is enough pressure to be conformist, to gain your success within a career, that . . . most people will not speak out.”
Title: Re: Contraritans Three
Post by: milt on December 15, 2006, 10:54:27 AM
Universities, with their culture of academic freedom, civil debate and the open exchange of ideas, should celebrate the mavericks, the dissenters, the iconoclasts and the naysayers.

BS.  Or is the author arguing that universities should host conferences such as the recent one in Iran that questions the Holocaust, give a voice to flat earthers, the KKK, etc. all under the banner of being tolerant of different ideas?

This past spring the little magnolia tree in Tim Patterson's front yard produced an abundance of flowers. Ottawa is well north of the typical range for magnolias, but if the winter is relatively mild, as it was this past year, the tree does well. A harsh winter and the little tree struggles.

With the advent of global warming, you'd think Dr. Patterson's magnolia has a secure future. But Dr. Patterson, a geology professor at Carleton University, doesn't believe the Earth's climate is warming. The theory of manmade climate change due to greenhouse gases is incorrect and outdated, he says. "I don't get excited about what climate modelers are saying."

Okay, why is it incorrect?  This article doesn't say.

Dr. Patterson, whose specialty is paleoclimatology, is well aware that his views on climate change place him in a minority within the scientific community. But if he's feeling the heat, he doesn't show it. "As a scientist I can only go where the science takes me, and not where someone like David Suzuki wants me to go." When he does get criticized, it's rarely about the science, he says, but rather is an "ad hominem attack of some sort, like 'Patterson's in the pocket of Big Oil.' Well I wish!"

I'd like to criticize him on the science, but I have yet to see any of it mentioned in this article.

Dr. Patterson may take comfort in the fact he's not entirely alone in his views. A number of colleagues share his position, including Fred Michel at Carleton, and Jan Veizer and Ian Clark at the University of Ottawa, among others. "At these [two] institutions, climate researchers who agree with my perspective on climate change actually outnumber the alarmists," he says.

So they agree with Patterson, but what is their scientific argument based on?

What these scientists essentially agree on is that the Kyoto Protocol is pointless because carbon dioxide emissions are not driving climate change. The computer models are simply wrong and do not match actual observations.

That goes against all the research I've found.  It's too bad he doesn't actually mention which models or what was being observed.

Instead, Dr. Patterson points to solar variability -- changes in the sun's solar cycle -- as the likely culprit. The sun experiences an 11-year sunspot cycle as well as much longer cycles of solar activity, and these trends in the sun's output correlate well with temperature records dating back hundreds of years, he says.

I'd like to see the data.

Asked how the scientific community, the media and Al Gore could get the story so wrong, Dr. Patterson says it's mainly because the debate has become so politicized. Environmental activists have taken what should be rational scientific debates and turned them into occasions for "evangelizing and antagonizing," even though "they don't really know what they're talking about."

Total dodge.  He's asked about the "scientific community" and responds with some criticism of activists, who may or may not know what they're talking about.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: rogt on January 03, 2007, 07:05:51 PM

Group: ExxonMobil paid to mislead public

Wed Jan 3, 2:15 PM ET

ExxonMobil Corp. gave $16 million to 43 ideological groups between 1998 and 2005 in a coordinated effort to mislead the public by discrediting the science behind global warming, the Union of Concerned Scientists asserted Wednesday.

The report by the science-based nonprofit advocacy group mirrors similar claims by Britain's leading scientific academy. Last September, The Royal Society wrote the oil company asking it to halt support for groups that "misrepresented the science of climate change."

ExxonMobil did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the scientific advocacy group's report.

Many scientists say accumulating carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases from tailpipes and smokestacks are warming the atmosphere like a greenhouse, melting Arctic sea ice, alpine glaciers and disturbing the lives of animals and plants.

ExxonMobil lists on its Web site nearly $133 million in 2005 contributions globally, including $6.8 million for "public information and policy research" distributed to more than 140 think-tanks, universities, foundations, associations and other groups. Some of those have publicly disputed the link between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.

But in September, the company said in response to the Royal Society that it funded groups which research "significant policy issues and promote informed discussion on issues of direct relevance to the company." It said the groups do not speak for the company.

Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists' strategy and policy director, said in a teleconference that ExxonMobil based its tactics on those of tobacco companies, spreading uncertainty by misrepresenting peer-reviewed scientific studies or cherry-picking facts.

Dr. James McCarthy, a professor at Harvard University, said the company has sought to "create the illusion of a vigorous debate" about global warming.


On the Net:

Union of Concerned Scientists:

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on January 29, 2007, 11:11:05 AM
My first post on Global Warming, though I have been following the debate here.  Marc, I was wondering whether I would find the category under politics or science.  (

I found this article from the National Post of Canada Friday
interesting in that it draws different conclusions and disagrees with cause and effect assumptions of the 'consensus' anthropogenic-caused global warming model.

Picking out excerpts: "the climate (on Mars)is the warmest it has been in decades", "without a greenhouse", "the sun's increased irradiance over the last century, not C02 emissions, is responsible for the global warming we're seeing", and my favorite part: "Solar irradiance has begun to fall, ushering in a protracted cooling period beginning in 2012 to 2015."

We will know soon enough.


Look to Mars for the truth on global warming
National Post -
Friday, January 26, 2007

Climate change is a much, much bigger issue than the public, politicians, and even the most alarmed environmentalists realize. Global warming extends to Mars, where the polar ice cap is shrinking, where deep gullies in the landscape are now laid bare, and where the climate is the warmest it has been in decades or centuries.

"One explanation could be that Mars is just coming out of an ice age," NASA scientist William Feldman speculated after the agency's Mars Odyssey completed its first Martian year of data collection. "In some low-latitude areas, the ice has already dissipated." With each passing year more and more evidence arises of the dramatic changes occurring on the only planet on the solar system, apart from Earth, to give up its climate secrets.

NASA's findings in space come as no surprise to Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov at Saint Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory. Pulkovo -- at the pinnacle of Russia's space-oriented scientific establishment -- is one of the world's best equipped observatories and has been since its founding in 1839. Heading Pulkovo's space research laboratory is Dr. Abdussamatov, one of the world's chief critics of the theory that man-made carbon dioxide emissions create a greenhouse effect, leading to global warming.

"Mars has global warming, but without a greenhouse and without the participation of Martians," he told me. "These parallel global warmings -- observed simultaneously on Mars and on Earth -- can only be a straightline consequence of the effect of the one same factor: a long-time change in solar irradiance."

The sun's increased irradiance over the last century, not C02 emissions, is responsible for the global warming we're seeing, says the celebrated scientist, and this solar irradiance also explains the great volume of C02 emissions.

"It is no secret that increased solar irradiance warms Earth's oceans, which then triggers the emission of large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So the common view that man's industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect relations."

Dr. Abdussamatov goes further, debunking the very notion of a greenhouse effect. "Ascribing 'greenhouse' effect properties to the Earth's atmosphere is not scientifically substantiated," he maintains. "Heated greenhouse gases, which become lighter as a result of expansion, ascend to the atmosphere only to give the absorbed heat away."

The real news from Saint Petersburg -- demonstrated by cooling that is occurring on the upper layers of the world's oceans -- is that Earth has hit its temperature ceiling. Solar irradiance has begun to fall, ushering in a protracted cooling period beginning in 2012 to 2015. The depth of the decline in solar irradiance reaching Earth will occur around 2040, and "will inevitably lead to a deep freeze around 2055-60" lasting some 50 years, after which temperatures will go up again.

Because of the scientific significance of this period of global cooling that we're about to enter, the Russian and Ukrainian space agencies, under Dr. Abdussamatov's leadership, have launched a joint project to determine the time and extent of the global cooling at mid-century. The project, dubbed Astrometry and given priority space-experiment status on the Russian portion of the International Space Station, will marshal the resources of spacecraft manufacturer Energia, several Russian research and production centers, and the main observatory of Ukraine's Academy of Sciences. By late next year, scientific equipment will have been installed in a space-station module and by early 2009, Dr. Abdussamatov's space team will be conducting a regular survey of the sun.

With the data, the project will help mankind cope with a century of falling temperatures, during which we will enter a mini ice age.

"There is no need for the Kyoto Protocol now. It does not have to come into force until at least 100 years from no w," Dr. Abdussamatov concluded. "A global freeze will come about regardless of whether or not industrialized countries put a cap on their greenhouse- gas emissions."
Title: Global warming math
Post by: DougMacG on February 02, 2007, 09:47:58 AM
Winter in Minnesota brings out the global warming skeptic in me.  We woke today to nice sunshine, a below zero temp and -30 F 'windchill'.  The forecast shows below zero temps every hour for the whole weekend coming up with -33 F windchill during the 'heat' of the day on Saturday.  Not global measures, just giving context to my skepticism. 

Earlier in this thread I saw both sides of the climate change debate well represented. I disclose I am no scientist, just trying to calculate the human caused component of global warming based on the imperfect science I have read so far.  I never see the proponents or alarmists quantify the human element of warming, so here I give it my first shot. I recognize that all components of my math are inexact (wrong) and controversial, but they are based on the best estimates I have found, and I already disclosed my bias above.  Please re-do the math with the data you trust better and post your answer to the question - at what rate is mankind warming the planet?

Estimate of total warming over the last 50 years:  0.5 degrees Celsius

Proportion of atmosphere CO2 attributable to humans:  3% (0.03)

Proportion of greenhouse effect attributable to CO2: less than 2% (0.02)

Negative feedback factor estimate: 50% (0.5)

Conversion factor of 50 year warming to per decade warming: 1/5 (0.2)

Total warming attributable to humans: 0.5 x 0.03 x 0.02 x 0.5 x 0.2 =0.00003 degree C per decade.

This is not in contradiction to the wording of scientists that it is very likely, with 90% certainty, that human activity is contributing to global warming.

Up go the oceans - 20 feet.

Adding to the many skeptic questions about consensus theories, I am curious about Oxygen levels in the atmosphere:

If fossil fuel combustion destroys 2 O2 molecules for each CO2 created, and if fossil fuel combustion is the central reason we see elevated levels of CO2 (I think it isn't), why don't why see matching double depletion levels of O2 in the atmosphere?  Oxygen levels have stayed amazingly steady.  Any measurable oxygen depletion would certainly steal the headlines away from all other issues.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 03, 2007, 05:19:03 AM

I put threads of this name on both the Politics and the S,C & H forums precisely to see what people would do  :lol:

I see today's NY Times front page reports on a big study saying "There is no doubt!" and note the contrast with the seemingly most pertinent observation that Mars is heating up too-- so maybe we're not the cause after all.

The Adventure continues,

Neal Boortz blog

A 21-page report from something called the "Intergovernmental Panel On
Climate Change" has been released Paris, no less...and as
expected, it's predictions are dire. According to the report: "Warming of
the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of
increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting
of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level." Yeah right...we've heard
all this before.

But the biggest bombshell here is this one: no matter what we do, global
warming will not be reversed. It will go on for centuries, according to this
report. The sea levels will continue to rise as polar ice caps melt. So I
guess if Al Gore wins his Nobel Peace Prize, we'll still experience global
warming. So much for riding to work everyday in your hybrid's not
doing a thing. The situation is futile, according to this report.

But really, it makes sense that the global warming crowd would come to this
conclusion. After all, global warming is a religion. The anti-capitalist
enviro-nazis don't ever want the problem to be solved. After all, if global
warming were to be solved tomorrow, what would they blame the United States
for? They'd have to find some other reason.

Sorry .. I'm still a skeptic. In no particular order here are just a few of
the reasons why I'm not buying this man-made global warming scare:

* The United Nations is anti-American and anti-Capitalist. In short .. I
don't trust them. Not a bit. The UN would eagerly engage in any enterprise
that would weaken capitalist economies around the world.

* Because after the fall of the Soviet Union and worldwide Communism many in
the anti-capitalist movement moved to the environmental movement to continue
pursuing their anti-free enterprise goals. Many of the loudest proponents of
man-made global warming today are confirmed anti-capitalists.

* Because the sun is warmer .. and all of these scientists don't seem to be
willing to credit a warmer sun with any of the blame for global warming.

* The polar ice caps on Mars are melting. How did our CO2 emissions get all
the way to Mars?

* It was warmer in the 1930s across the globe than it is right now.

* It wasn't all that long ago that these very same scientists were warning
us about "global cooling" and another approaching ice age?

* How much has the earth warmed up in the last 100 years? One degree. Now
that's frightening.
* Because that famous "hockey stick" graph that purports to show a sudden
warming of the earth in the last few decades is a fraud. It ignored previous
warming periods ... left them off the graph altogether.

* The infamous Kyoto accords exempt some of the world's biggest CO2
polluters, including China and India.

* The Kyoto accords can easily be seen as nothing less than an attempt to
hamstring the world's dominant capitalist economies.

* Because many of these scientists who are sounding the global warming scare
depend on grant money for their livelihood, and they know the grant money
dries up when they stop preaching the global warming sermon.

* Because global warming "activists" and scientists seek to punish those who
have different viewpoints. If you are sure of your science you have no need
to shout down or seek to punish those who disagree.

* What happened to the Medieval Warm Period? In 1996 the United Nations
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a chart showing climatic
change over a period of 1000 years. This graph showed a Medieval warming
period in which global temperatures were higher than they are today. In 2001
the IPCC issued another 1000 year graph in which the Medieval warming period
was missing. Why?

* Why has one scientist promoting the cause of man-made global warming been
quoted as saying "we have to get rid of the medieval warming period?"

* Why is the ice cap on the Antarctic getting thicker if the earth is
getting warmer?

* In the United State, the one country with the most accurate temperature
measuring and reporting records, temperatures have risen by 0.3 degrees
centigrade over the past 100 years. The UN estimate is twice that.

* There are about 160,000 glaciers around the world. Most have never been
visited or measured by man. The great majority of these glaciers are
growing, not melting.

* Side-looking radar interferometry shows that the ise mass in the West
Antarctic is growing at a rate of over 26 gigatons a year. This reverses a
melting trend that had persisted for the previous 6,000 years.

* Rising sea levels? The sea levels have been rising since the last ice age
ended. That was 12,000 years ago. Estimates are that in that time the sea
level has risen by over 300 feet. The rise in our sea levels has been going
on long before man started creating anything but natural CO2 emissions.

* Like Antarctica, the interior of Greenland is gaining ice mass.

* Over the past 3,000 years there have been five different extended periods
when the earth was measurably warmer than it is today.

* During the last 20 years -- a period of the highest carbon dioxide levels
-- global temperatures have actually decreased. That's right ... decreased.

* Why did a reporter from National Public Radio refuse to interview David
Deming, an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma studying global
warming, after his testimony to the Senate Environment and Public Works
Committee unless Deming would state that global warming was being caused by

* Why are global warming proponents insisting that the matter is settled and
that no further scientific research is needed? Why are they afraid of
additional information?

* On July 24, 1974 Time Magazine published an article entitled "Another Ice
Age?" Here's the first paragraph:

"As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past
several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that
many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part
of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place
to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of
temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing
gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication
of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly
apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the
harbinger of another ice age."

Hey ... I could go on. There's much more where that came from. But I need to
get ready to go on the air. Just know that many of the strongest proponents
of this "man-made" global warming stuff are dedicated opponents to
capitalism and don't feel all that warm and fuzzy about the United States.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 26, 2007, 07:59:27 PM
The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through free market policy solutions, issued a press release late Monday: 
Last night, Al Gore's global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.   
Gore's mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).   
In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home. 
The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh--more than 20 times the national average.   
Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh--guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore's average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.   
Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore's energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.   
Gore's extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore's mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.   
"As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use," said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson. 
In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: rogt on February 27, 2007, 05:13:47 PM
Not that I personally think much of Gore or his (IMO) overblown environmentalist credentials, but what exactly does the size of his house and electric bill have to do with whether or not what he (and most of the climate science community) say about global climate change is true?

Is it perfectly OK for Bush and the oil company CEOs to live in huge mansions, drive Humvees, and fly around in private jets because such gross consumption is perfectly consistent with a belief that global warming is bullshit, or at least nothing to be blamed on pollutive industries?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 27, 2007, 07:24:25 PM
C'mon Rog, the accusation here is one of hypocrisy so no, it is not a point on the merits.

As for the merits of his documentary, that has been discussed already.  Glad you agree his credentials are overblown.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: milt on February 28, 2007, 12:04:41 PM
As for the merits of [Gore's] documentary, that has been discussed already.  Glad you agree his credentials are overblown.

I haven't seen the movie and don't need to.  Anyone wishing to do the global warming research on their own will come to the same conclusion when examining all the evidence (on all sides).  Only those that start with the premise that GW is BS will find the contrary evidence (from questionable sources) compelling.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: buzwardo on March 01, 2007, 04:54:15 PM
Milt avers:

Only those that start with the premise that GW is BS will find the contrary evidence (from questionable sources) compelling.

Uhm, horse feces. Though I understand discussing this issue with you will bear no more fruit than discussing a heliocentric solar system with a medieval Catholic Bishop--I'm gonna be declared a heretic regardless--the certainty you bring to your pronouncements is chilling. I'd guess millions of scientists have made billions of observations regarding evolution, and manged to assemble a pretty complete picture of the process, albeit one containing gaps. It's still called the THEORY of evolution nonetheless, and folks who point out flaws in various findings aren't labled tools of biofirms. The THEORY of relativity has a similar history; fruit of that theory is ingrained in our lives yet it's still subject to modification, witness string theory and quantum mechanics. Have yet to hear a string theorist labled a shill for General Electric, however. 

Along comes "global warming" and all the glaring holes documented throughout this thread, but for some odd reason we are supposed to treat this politically charged infant science as though it were carved in stone lest we be called mean things. Fornicate that medieval thuggery; dissent and contrary views are a part of science. Indeed, once those voices are excommunicated it's no longer science, it's religion and hence resistant to reasoned discourse.

Here's a piece documenting a single glaring hole in current global warming theory:


February 26, 2007 -- REPORTS on the global-warming debate have now become part of our daily diet of news. Actors, musicians, politicians, columnists and even the occasional climate scientist all weigh in on how soon planetary disaster will strike, who's to blame and what we should do about it. With claims that manmade warming is anywhere from an undeniable fact to a hoax, anyone can be excused for feeling a little bit confused.

The media is, almost by definition, most interested in extreme views on the issue, so reporting seldom reveals that broad scientific uncertainty still exists. In fact, a silent majority of scientists still think that global warming could end up falling anywhere between a real problem and a minor nuisance: They can see reasons for it going either way. Call them the global-warming moderates.

How can different scientists look at the same atmosphere and yet come to such a wide variety of conclusions? It all depends on their level of faith in our understanding of the atmosphere. We put equations into a computer that describe the basics of how we think the atmosphere works, and then we expect the computer to predict how much warming we will get when we turn up the greenhouse gas "knob."

The Earth's natural "greenhouse effect" traps infrared (heat) radiation because of water vapor, clouds, carbon dioxide and methane. You have probably heard that the greenhouse effect keeps the Earth "habitably warm." So if burning of fossil fuels keeps adding more of a greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide (CO2), the Earth should keep on warming up, right?

Well . . . it's not that simple.

CO2 concentrations - now running at 380 parts per million (ppm), up about 40 percent in the last century - are indeed one possible explanation for our current warmth. But we also know that our climate is a nonlinear, dynamic system - which can go through sizeable gyrations all by itself.

Contrary to popular accounts, very few scientists in the world - possibly none - have a sufficiently thorough, "big picture" understanding of the climate system to be relied upon for a prediction of the magnitude of global warming. To the public, we all might seem like experts, but the vast majority of us work on only a small portion of the problem.

Here, for example, is an insight that even many climate scientists are unaware of: The one atmospheric process that has the greatest control on the Earth's climate is the one we understand the least - precipitation.

Over most of the planet, water is continuously evaporating, humidifying the air to form the Earth's dominant greenhouse gas: water vapor. Climate scientists will tell you that the extra CO2 we are putting in the atmosphere causes a "warming tendency" at the surface, which will evaporate even more water, which will amplify the warming. This positive water vapor feedback, so the theory goes, ends up turning the relative benign direct warming effect of CO2 - only 1 degree of warming late in this century - into a much more serious problem.

But surface evaporation is not what determines how much water vapor, on average, resides in the atmosphere - precipitation systems do. These not only control the water-vapor portion of the greenhouse effect, they directly or indirectly control most of the next most important greenhouse ingredient: clouds.

These systems continuously recycle the Earth's air, and so exert strong controls over the entire climate system. For instance, the rising air in precipitation systems is what causes the sinking, cloudless air over desert areas. Vast oceanic areas of stratus clouds form below a temperature inversion that is also caused by air being forced to sink by precipitation systems, usually thousands of miles away.

So, what does all this have to do with global warming? Unless we know how the greenhouse-limiting properties of precipitation systems change with warming, we don't know how much of our current warmth is due to mankind, and we can't estimate how much future warming there will be, either. To solve the global-warming puzzle, we first need to learn much more about the precipitation-system puzzle.

What little evidence we now have suggests that precipitation systems act as a natural thermostat to reduce warming. For instance, warm, tropical systems are more efficient at converting water vapor to precipitation than their cool high-latitude cousins. Hurricanes are believed to be the most efficient of all.

I believe that negative feedbacks such as this are the only way to explain the relative stability of our climate. Computerized models of our climate have had a habit of "drifting" too warm or too cold. This because they still don't contain all of the temperature-stabilizing processes that exist in nature. In fact, for the amount of solar energy available to it, our climate seems to have a "preferred" average temperature, damping out swings beyond 1 degree or so.

I believe that, through various negative feedback mechanisms, the atmosphere "decides" how much of the available sunlight will be allowed in, how much greenhouse effect it will generate in response, and what the average temperature will be.

Finally, remember that phrase, "the Earth's greenhouse effect keeps the Earth habitably warm?" I'll bet you never heard the phrase that is, quantitatively, more accurate: "Weather processes keep the Earth habitably cool."

Were it not for weather, the natural greenhouse effect would cause the surface of the Earth to average 140 degrees. Wonder why we never hear that fact stated?

I believe that when the stabilizing effects of precipitation systems are better understood and included into the models, predictions of global warming will be scaled back.

Despite current inadequacies, climate models are still our best tools for forecasting global warming. Those tools just aren't sharp enough yet.

Roy W. Spencer is principal research scientist at the Global Hydrology and Climate Center of the National Space Science and Technology Center in Huntsville, Ala. He is also U.S. team leader for the AMSR-E instrument flying on NASA's Terra satellite.

Title: Of Cisterns and Carbon Credits
Post by: buzwardo on March 01, 2007, 05:01:48 PM
BTW, compare and contrast the Bush and Gore homes:

Another Inconvenient Truth…
March 1st, 2007 12:49 pm

We’ve seen all this talk about Al Gore’s hypocrisy in preaching a green lifestyle, but not quite living up to one, himself. Well, now we see evidence that the 2000 Presidential Candidate might actually be an eccentric eco-freak. Caution, though, this source is as liberal as they come:

The 4,000-square-foot house is a model of environmental rectitude.

Geothermal heat pumps located in a central closet circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground where the temperature is a constant 67 degrees; the water heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. Systems such as the one in this “eco-friendly” dwelling use about 25% of the electricity that traditional heating and cooling systems utilize.

A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof runs; wastewater from sinks, toilets and showers goes into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is used to irrigate the landscaping surrounding the four-bedroom home. Plants and flowers native to the high prairie area blend the structure into the surrounding ecosystem.

Like I said, the 2000 Presidential candidate is pretty green.

Unfortunately for Al Gore, it’s the other 2000 Presidential candidate that gets the kudos here.

No, this is not the home of some eccentrically wealthy eco-freak trying to shame his fellow citizens into following the pristineness of his self-righteous example. And no, it is not the wilderness retreat of the Sierra Club or the Natural Resources Defense Council, a haven where tree-huggers plot political strategy.

This is President George W. Bush’s “Texas White House” outside the small town of Crawford.

Oops. Should we wait for a recount?

Now, I realize the rest of the article goes on to bash Bush as an enemy of the environment, but while Al Gore is talking the talk, President Bush is walking the walk… not just at home, but at work, too, where he’s issued an Executive Order to implement energy efficiency in federal office buildings.

Bush is actually doing something to reduce energy consumption… not merely pretending to offset his glutonous lifestyle, while preaching empty words to the masses for a buck. An inconvenient truth, indeed.

Gore buys his “carbon credits” from… himself! (hat tip: Jonathan)

According to the newspaper’s report, Gore buys his carbon offsets through Generation Investment Management:

Gore helped found Generation Investment Management, through which he and others pay for offsets. The firm invests the money in solar, wind and other projects that reduce energy consumption around the globe…

Gore is chairman of the firm and, presumably, draws an income or will make money as its investments prosper. In other words, he “buys” his “carbon offsets” from himself, through a transaction designed to boost his own investments and return a profit to himself. To be blunt, Gore doesn’t buy “carbon offsets” through Generation Investment Management - he buys stocks.

And it is not clear at all that Gore’s stock purchases - excuse me, “carbon offsets” purchases - actually help reduce the use of carbon-based energy at all, while the gas lanterns and other carbon-based energy burners at his house continue to burn carbon-based fuels and pump carbon emissions - a/k/a/ “greenhouse gases” - into the atmosphere.

Not only that, but…

Carbon offsets are an “alternative to reducing one’s own fossil-fuel consumption” and yet “the actual amount of carbon reduction (if any) from an offset project is difficult to measure, largely unregulated, and vulnerable to misrepresentation.”

How convenient.

In a nutshell, Gore consumes large amounts of carbon-based electricity while he trumpets a growing “global warming” crisis that drives up the value of “green” companies like the ones in which he buys carbon offsets invests in their stocks.

So that’s what he means by “green“…
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: milt on March 02, 2007, 08:37:46 AM
Milt avers:

Only those that start with the premise that GW is BS will find the contrary evidence (from questionable sources) compelling.

Uhm, horse feces.

Hey, don't take my word for it.  Like I said, anyone can do the research themselves, check your data/sources and mine, and draw their own conclusions.  They can also look back in this thread and see the numerous times I've tried to draw you into a scientific discussion, and each time you come up with some lame excuse and disappear for a while.

So go ahead and call me all the names you want, it won't change the facts, but I'm done wasting my time debunking every article you post.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: buzwardo on March 15, 2007, 12:04:46 PM
They can also look back in this thread and see the numerous times I've tried to draw you into a scientific discussion, and each time you come up with some lame excuse and disappear for a while.

Pot calls kettle black. Film at 11.

Sorry my medical and vocational complications don't conform to your expectations. I lose sleep over your opinon of me.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on March 18, 2007, 04:19:04 PM
From a discussion a few weeks ago:  Al Gore's 20x electric bill was revealed.  The question back (paraphrasing) - what does that have to do with the merits of the argument?  Answer: it was about hypocrisy, not the merits.

My two cents:  Yes there is hypocrisy which one could use to question character.  More importantly I think is it indicates he may not truly really believes his own story.

Let's say the US or 'Cally-fornia' for example makes a drastic, unilateral mandate to curtail economic activity, travel, production, etc.  In the big picture we are only setting an example for rest of the world, hoping they follow.  If the entire Kyoto group does it - likewise; they still exclude places like China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, etc.  If you include all countries, but still allow massive CO2 production at negotiated levels, you still only touch on real, planetary change.  In my view, the alarmists should be out front in setting the example and showing extreme sacrifices of lifestyle.  My anecdotal observation is that even hybrid owners are generally well above the median in terms of total fossil fuel use when jet travel and utilities for mantions is included.

Further, I think the so-called 'offsets' are bogus.  If they believe their own story, they should be doing both: the drastic personal sacrifices and buying and investing in all the offsets they can afford.

When leaders such as Al Gore have wasteful electrical usage and uncurtailed world jetting, when John Edwards clearcuts a forest to build a monument to himself, when John Kerry buys/owns a powerboat the size of my neighborhood, when Nancy Pelosi demands larger aircraft to carry more friends and avoid the inconvenience of refueling... yes it shows hypocrisy.  But I don't care much about their personal shortcomings.  More specifically it tells me they don't believe their own arguments and that their passion is feigned and opportunistic.  JMHO.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 18, 2007, 11:38:21 PM
WSJ online today:

Whose Ox Is Gored?
The media discover the former vice president's environmental exaggerations and hypocrisy.

Monday, March 19, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

The media are finally catching up with Al Gore. Criticism of his anti-global-warming franchise and his personal environmental record has gone beyond ankle-biting bloggers. It's now coming from the New York Times and the Nashville Tennessean, his hometown paper that put his birth, as a senator's son, on its front page back in 1948, and where a young Al Gore Jr. worked for five years as a journalist.

Last Tuesday, the Times reported that several eminent scientists "argue that some of Mr. Gore's central points [on global warming] are exaggerated and erroneous." The Tenessean reported yesterday that Mr. Gore received $570,000 in royalties from the owners of zinc mines who held mineral leases on his farm. The mines, which closed in 2003 but are scheduled to reopen under a new operator later this year, "emitted thousands of pounds of toxic substances and several times, the water discharged from the mines into nearby rivers had levels of toxins above what was legal."

All of this comes in the wake of the enormous publicity Mr. Gore received after his documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" won an Oscar. The film features Mr. Gore reprising his famous sighing and lamenting how the average American's energy use is greedily off the charts. At the film's end viewers are asked, "Are you ready to change the way you live?"

The Nashville-based Tennessee Center for Policy Research was skeptical that Mr. Gore had been "walking the walk" on the environment. It obtained public records showing that for years Mr. Gore has burned through more electricity at his Nashville home each month than the average American family uses in a year--and his consumption was increasing. The heated Gore pool house alone ran up than $500 in natural-gas bills every month.

Mr. Gore's office responded by claiming that the Gores "purchase offsets for their carbon emissions to bring their carbon footprint down to zero." But reports that Mr. Gore doesn't purchase carbon offsets with his own resources, and that they are meaningless in terms of global warming.

The offset purchases are actually made for him by Generation Investment Management, a London-based investment firm that Mr. Gore co-founded, and which provides carbon offsets as a fringe benefit to all 23 of its employees, ensuring that they require no real sacrifice on the part of Mr. Gore or his family. Indeed, their impact is also highly limited. The Carbon Neutral Co.--one of the two vendors that sell offsets to Mr. Gore's company, says that offset purchases "will be unable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions . . . in the short term."

The New York Times last week interviewed many scientists who say they are alarmed "at what they call [Mr. Gore's] alarmism on global warming." In a front-page piece in its science section, the Times headline read "From a Rapt Audience, a Call to Cool the Hype."
The Times quoted Don Easterbrook, an emeritus professor of geology at Western Washington University, as telling hundreds of experts at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America that "I don't want to pick on Al Gore. But there are a lot of inaccuracies in the statements we are seeing, and we have to temper that with real data." Mr. Easterbrook made clear he has never been paid by any energy corporations and isn't a Republican.

Even James Hansen, a scientist who began issuing warning cries about global warming in the 1980s and is a top adviser to Mr. Gore, concedes that his work may hold "imperfections" and "technical flaws." Other flaws are more serious, such as Mr. Gore's depiction of sea level rises of up to 20 feet, which would cause Florida and New York City to sink below the surface.

Sober scientists privately say such claims are exaggerated. They point to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body that released its fourth report on global warming last month. While it found humans were the main cause of recent global warming, the report also indicated it was a very slow-moving process. On sea levels, the U.N. panel reported its s best high-end estimate of the rise in sea levels by 2100 was three feet. The new high-end best estimate is less than half the previous prediction, which was still far below Mr. Gore's 20 feet. Similarly, the new report shows that the panel's 2001 report overestimated the human influence on climate change since the Industrial Revolution by at least one-third.

In an email message to the Times, Mr. Gore defended his work as fundamentally accurate. But it's increasingly clear that far from the "consensus" on global warming we are told exists, scientists are having a broad and rich debate on many aspects of it. Nearly two decades after Mr. Gore first claimed that "we face an ecological crisis without any precedent in historic times," we don't know if that is really true.

Then there is the Gore zinc mine. Mr. Gore has personally earned $570,000 in zinc royalties from a mine his father bought in 1973 from Armand Hammer, the business executive famous for his close friendship with the Soviet Union and for pleading guilty to making illegal campaign contributions during Watergate. One the same day Al Gore Sr. bought the 88-acre parcel from Hammer for $160,000, he sold the land and subsurface mining rights to his then 25-year-old son for $140,000. The mineral rights were then leased back to Hammer's Occidental Petroleum and the royalty payments put in the names of Al Gore Jr. and his wife, Tipper.
Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider claims the terms of the 30-year Occidental lease agreement gave the Gores "no legal recourse" to get out of it. She said the Gores never thought about selling the land and would not comment on whether they ever tried to void the lease. "There is a certain zone of privacy once people go into private life," Ms. Kreidler said. She said critics of the arrangement should realize it should be viewed in a "1973 context, not a 2007 context. . . . There was a different environmental sensibility about all sorts of things."

But what about a 1992 context? That is the year Mr. Gore published "Earth in the Balance," in which he wrote: "The lakes and rivers sustain us; they flow through the veins of the earth and into our own. But we must take care to let them flow back out as pure as they came, not poison and waste them without thought for the future." Mr. Gore wrote that at a time when he would be collecting zinc royalties for another 11 years.

The mines had a generally good environmental record, but they wouldn't pass muster either with the standard Mr. Gore set in "Earth in the Balance" or with most of his environmentalist friends. In May 2000 the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issued a "Notice of Violation" notifying the Pasminco mine its zinc levels in a nearby river exceeded standards established by the state and the federal Environmental Protection Agency. In 1996 the mine twice failed biomonitoring tests designed to protect water quality in the river for fish and wildlife. "The discharge of industrial wastewater from Outfall #001 [the Caney Fork effluent] contains toxic metals (copper and zinc)," the analysis stated. "The combined effect of these pollutants may be detrimental to fish and aquatic life."

The Gore mines were no small operations. In 2002, the year before they shut down, they ranked 22nd among all metal-mining operations in the U.S., with total toxic releases of 4.1 million pounds. A new mine operator, Strategic Resource Acquisition, is planning to reopen the mines later this year. The Tennessean reports that just last week, Mr. Gore wrote SRA asking it to work with a national environmental group as it makes its plans. He noted that under the previous operator, the mines had, according to the environmental website Scorecard, "pollution releases from the mine in 2002 [that] placed it among the 'dirtiest/worst facilities' in the U.S." Mr. Gore requested that SRA "engage with us in a process to ensure that the mine becomes a global example of environmental best practices." The Tennessean dryly notes that Mr. Gore wrote the letter the week after the paper posed a series of questions to him about his involvement with the zinc mines.

Columnist Steven Milloy recalls talking with Mr. Gore in 2006 about the 1997 Kyoto Protocol he helped negotiate as vice president. "Did we think Kyoto would [reduce global warming] when we signed it? . . . Hell no!" said Mr. Gore, according to Mr. Milloy. The former vice president then explained that the real purpose of Kyoto was to demonstrate that international support could be mustered for action on environmental issues. Mr. Gore clearly believes that the world hasn't acted with enough vigor in the decade since Kyoto, which may explain his growing use of the global-warming hype that concerns many mainstream scientists.
Mr. Gore has called the campaign to combat global warming a "moral imperative." But Mr. Gore faces another imperative: to square his sales pitches with the facts and his personal lifestyle to more align with what he advocates that others practice. "Are you ready to change the way you live?" asks Mr. Gore's film. It's time people ask Mr. Gore "Are you ready to change the way you live, as well as the way you lecture the rest of us?"

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: rogt on March 22, 2007, 12:51:05 PM

Congressional hearings detail political tampering in US climate research
By Naomi Spencer
22 March 2007

Hearings resumed March 19 in the US Congress on charges of political interference in governmental climate research. The evidence and testimony further demonstrate the lengths the Bush administration, at the behest of the oil industry, has gone to suppress scientists’ findings and confuse public opinion of climate change.

Among those testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform were prominent NASA scientist James Hansen and a former officer from NASA Public Affairs, George Deutsch. E-mails presented at the hearing confirmed that Deutsch’s responsibilities as a PA officer included preventing Hansen from speaking about climate data with reporters, a fact that Bush administration officials have repeatedly denied.

Hansen, who is the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), recounted several instances of interference. In one case, one of his staff members submitted a press release based on a GISS paper that found the ocean was less effective at removing human-made carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than had previously been estimated. Public Affairs decided that this story could not be provided to the media.

Another staff member, Hansen testified, was made to attend a “practice” press conference, where he was asked whether anything could be done to stem the accelerating loss of sea ice. When he suggested, “We could reduce emissions of greenhouse gases,” he was told by officials, “That’s unacceptable!” Hansen told the House committee that Public Affairs had insisted, “scientists are not allowed to say anything that relates to policy.”

Following a public talk Hansen gave in 2004, in which he mentioned the practice of muzzling climate data, the NASA assistant administrator for public affairs traveled from headquarters to the Goddard Space Flight Center and gave what Hansen called an “oral ‘dressing down’ of the professional writer at Goddard Public Affairs who had informed me about this practice.”

The writer, Hansen said, “was admonished to ‘mind his own business.’ ” Such reprimands and instructions, Hansen said, are delivered orally so as to leave no paper trail. This way, “If NASA headquarters Public Affairs is queried by media about such abuses,” Hansen testified, “they respond ‘that’s hearsay!,’ a legal term that seems to frighten the media.”

The deliberate lack of written records indicates that administration officials are well aware of the inappropriate and essentially illegal character of restricting scientists’ speech.

However, a series of memos and e-mails in late 2005 detailed instructions on constraining public speech, after Hansen presented GISS climate data to the American Geophysical Union. The GISS analysis demonstrated record global temperature in 2005, a finding that sparked unwanted media attention for NASA.

In response, Public Affairs issued tight regulations on Hansen, including a requirement that media interviews be approved beforehand, with NASA headquarters having “right of first refusal,” and that Hansen obtain approval of any posting on the GISS web site. Hansen testified that while these orders were delivered orally, along with a threat of “dire consequences” for non-compliance, the new Public Affairs officer over him, George Deutsch, left written descriptions of the rules.

Deutsch had worked for Bush’s reelection campaign before dropping out of college and taking the appointment for Political Affairs at NASA. Several of his e-mails presented during the hearing plainly demonstrated that NASA leadership was stifling Hansen’s contact with the press. In one, Deutsch wrote, “Senior management has asked us not to use Jim Hansen for this interview.” In another e-mail, it was discussed who could appear in Hansen’s stead to deliver Bush administration talking points: “Are [sic] main concern is hitting our messages and not getting dragged down into any discussions we shouldn’t get into.”

Hansen’s experience is by no means unique. A January survey by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that six in ten federally employed scientists experienced political interference over the past five years, and half were pressured to remove the words “climate change” and “global warming” from their work.

During the hearing, Representative Darrell Issa, Republican of California, ludicrously suggested that it was Hansen who was attempting to curb science and free speech. According to the New York Times, Issa claimed that by speaking out against White House efforts to inject uncertainty on global warming research, Hansen had become “an advocate for limiting the debate.” Hansen replied, “What I’m an advocate for is the scientific method.”

The White House has enormous control over scientific research via the allocation of funds. Along with the various other restrictive measures, punishment by the administration of outspoken climate researchers has also taken the form of budget cuts.

Hansen pointed out that when the Bush administration unveiled its 2007 budget, NASA’s science programs were given a funding increase of 1 percent. Yet Earth Science Research and Analysis faced a staggering 20 percent cut, which was to be enacted by cutting retroactively from the 2006 budget. Hansen remarked, “One way to avoid bad news: stop the measurements!”

“One-third of the way into fiscal year 2006,” Hansen explained, “NASA Earth Science was told to go figure out how to live with a 20-percent loss of the current year’s funds.” The cuts shelve most satellite missions and support for contracting and young scientists.

This comes at a time when NASA satellites are yielding important results. Two satellites measuring the Earth’s gravitational field, for example, found that the mass of Greenland is now decreasing by around 150 cubic kilometers of ice each year. West Antarctica’s ice depletion registered a similar loss. The area of ice sheets with melting has increased substantially, resulting in a doubling in the flow of ice streams, and the area in the Arctic Ocean with summer sea ice has decreased by 20 percent over the past two and a half decades.

Since the first part of the hearings on January 30, the panel has received eight boxes of relevant documents from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). The documents, released amidst Monday’s testimony, strongly support the charges of Hansen and others that the White House made an organized and deliberate effort to mislead the public about the dangers posed by climate change through the editing of government climate reports.

One of those charged with this undertaking was former CEQ chief of staff Philip Cooney, who resigned from his position in 2005 after the New York Times reported that he had made hundreds of edits to climate reports. After quitting, Cooney quickly landed a job at ExxonMobil; prior to his appointment, he was the “climate team leader” for the oil industry’s lobbying agency, the American Petroleum Institute (API).

In his congressional testimony March 19, Cooney said his work was “solely to promote the public policies of President Bush and his administration.” Indeed, the present administration, with its inseparable linkages to the oil industry, appointed him for precisely this purpose.

Documents showed at least 181 edits to the administration’s Strategic Plan of the Climate Change Science Program made by Cooney other CEQ officials, aimed specifically at exaggerating scientific uncertainties, and at least 113 edits to the same document for the express purpose of diminishing the importance of the human contribution to global warming.

Cooney also inserted numerous references to supposed possible benefits of climate change, while removing references to taking action to combat global warming based on the scientific evidence. He deleted references to the threat climate change posed to human health, society, and habitation, edits that he justified by saying he felt they “risked overstating human health impacts.”

He also removed references in the administration’s plan to the comprehensive National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change after an interest group funded by the API sued the government over the report’s linking of global warming to the burning of fossil fuels.

Significantly, Cooney deleted any reference to average surface temperature reconstructions, which indicate they have been rising over the last millennium. In multiple places, he changed the words “global change” to “climate variability and change” to suggest that the current warming trend was part of a natural process.

The hearing committee made special note of dozens of alterations that amounted to reversals or negations of conclusions. For example, after a discussion of climate data in the draft, Cooney proposed insertion of the following sentence: “The negative commentary asserted that certain assessment efforts were exaggerated, contrived, or otherwise unsubstantiated.”

The June 2003 Strategic Plan draft read: “Climate modeling capabilities have improved dramatically in recent years and can be expected to continue to do so. As a result, scientists are now able to model Earth system processes and the coupling of those processes on a regional and global scale with increasing precision and reliability.” CEQ had this passage eliminated.

Most of the alternations were subtler, but had the effect of casting excessive doubt on already cautious and conservatively worded scientific findings. For instance, in one passage, the draft read, “Warming temperatures will also affect Arctic land areas.” As in dozens of other passages, Cooney replaced the word “will” with the word “may” resulting in a statement of complete uncertainty. Similarly, in numerous places, Cooney added the word “potentially.”

During his deposition March 12, Cooney was questioned about the Strategic Plan as well as the climate section of a major EPA report that CEQ insisted be altered in similar fashion. The CEQ exerted so much pressure, insisting on hundreds of edits, that the EPA eventually cut the entire section out of the report.

Related PDF files from the Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearings are available through the committee’s web site.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 22, 2007, 01:39:05 PM

Very interesting!  I look forward to Buz's reply.  Similarly I look forward to your reply to his 10 part post on the Science etc forum in response to your request for a discussion on the merits.   :wink:

Title: World Socialist Web Site
Post by: buzwardo on March 22, 2007, 02:12:32 PM
I dunno, Crafty. I'm not particularly inclined to treat anything off a world socialist web site as definitive, at least until they get around to dealing with the abject failure of communism along with all the attendant human tragedy.

As I've noted here before, I'm pals with a NASA publicist who had to contend with Hansen's antics. There is certainly more than one perspective here.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 22, 2007, 02:45:45 PM
While I certainly agree with you about Socialism/Communism, it reads to me here like they are actually dealing with factual specifics-- which I have seen referenced elsewhere by the way.  I know nothing about Hansen-- what can you tell us about him?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: rogt on March 22, 2007, 03:01:36 PM
Very interesting!  I look forward to Buz's reply.  Similarly I look forward to your reply to his 10 part post on the Science etc forum in response to your request for a discussion on the merits.   :wink:

I think that was Milt.  ;)
Title: Re: World Socialist Web Site
Post by: rogt on March 22, 2007, 03:04:13 PM
I dunno, Crafty. I'm not particularly inclined to treat anything off a world socialist web site as definitive, at least until they get around to dealing with the abject failure of communism along with all the attendant human tragedy.

Fortunately, you don't have to take their word for it.  From the very end of the article:

Related PDF files from the Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearings are available through the committee’s web site.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: buzwardo on March 26, 2007, 09:34:43 AM
Silly me. I get the two of you confused.

Does strike me as odd, however, to post a piece about someone who claims to have been stifled in his attempts to prevent his data as you and your brother attempt to stifle any point that does not fit with your apocalyptic claims. Is it bad for Bush to do it but okay when you do?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 26, 2007, 12:23:53 PM
Ahem, , , lets focus on the science here more than Patricians and Demagogues playing "he said, she said".
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 23, 2007, 07:23:58 PM
From a emailing from Newt Gingrich:

I had a debate a couple weeks ago with Sen. John Kerry -- followed by a speech last week -- about something called "green conservatism." Some of my old friends have approached me to ask why I'm spending so much time talking about the environment -- and with a former Democratic nominee for President no less.

The answer is simple: For the last 36 years, I have watched the pro-regulation, pro-litigation, pro-taxation liberals label themselves as the only Americans who care about the environment.

The leftwing machine would have you believe that to care about clean air and water, biodiversity, and the future of the Earth you have to both buy in to their catastrophic scenarios and sign on to their command-and-control bureaucratic liberal agenda, including dramatic increases in government power and draconian policies that will devastate our economy, as the only solution to environmental challenges.

The time has come to define a fundamentally different approach to a healthy environment and a healthy economy. The time has come for the development of Green Conservatism as an alternative to big bureaucracy and big litigation liberal environmentalism.


Conserving Our Environment, Not Expanding Our Government

Before I talk about what I mean by Green Conservatism, I want to say a few words about how I got to this belief and why I think it's so important for the future of our movement.

I first became interested in conservation when I was a kid in Pennsylvania. Notice that I use the word "conservation." It reflects my fundamental disagreement with today's liberal environmentalists. I believe we should be good stewards of the natural world. We should "conserve" it for our benefit and our children's and grandchildren's benefit, not use it as an excuse for massively expanding regulation, litigation and bureaucracy.

In any case, as a child I originally wanted to be either a zoo director or a vertebrate paleontologist because I was fascinated by the natural world -- and still am. In 1971, I participated in the second Earth Day and became the coordinator of an interdisciplinary Environmental Studies program at West Georgia College. In my commitment to the environment, I was echoing the conviction of two well known Republican leaders. The first was President Theodore Roosevelt, who said that "the nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets, which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value." The other was then Gov. Ronald Reagan, who upon the occasion of the first Earth Day said that "[there is an] absolute necessity of waging all-out war against the debauching of the environment."

Liberal Environmentalism: Radical, Hysterical and Inaccurate

I care about conserving our environment. But for too many years, liberals have defined what it means to care about the environment -- and too often at a level that is so radical, so hysterical and so inaccurate that the first reaction of conservatives is to oppose them. Without articulate conservative leadership on conservation, the result has too often been that conservatives are labeled anti-environment. For too long, we have not led with our solutions for the environment, while liberals propose and dominate the debate with ill-conceived regulations, a focus on litigation instead of science, and a focus on taxes instead of markets and incentives. Conservatives have allowed liberals to monopolize and hold the high ground on a subject of great concern to all Americans. With your help, I want to change that.

We have every reason to call out all outlandish, fear-mongering exaggerations -- but that doesn't mean we should stop there when it comes to the issue of the environment.

For example, former Vice President Al Gore suggests that global warming is so bad that we could have a 20-foot rise in the oceans in the near future. No responsible scientist anywhere believes that to be true. But if the debate becomes, "Al Gore cares about the earth, and we're against Al Gore," we end up in a defensive position where the average American could end up perceiving conservatives as always being negative about the environment.

Green Conservatism: Pro-Freedom, Pro-Market, Pro-Environment

I'd like to offer you a different view: You can be totally committed to conservative principles -- to individual liberty, a market economy, entrepreneurship and lower taxes -- and still be a Green Conservative. You can believe that with the sound use of science and technology and the right incentives to encourage entrepreneurs, conservatism can provide a better solution for the health of our planet than can liberalism.

So what is Green Conservatism? Here are its basic values:

Green Conservatism favors clean air and clean water.

Green Conservatism understands biodiversity as a positive good.

Green Conservatism favors minimizing carbon loading in the atmosphere as a positive public value.

Green Conservatism is pro-science, pro-technology and pro-innovation.

Green Conservatism believes that green prosperity and green development are integral to the successful future of the human race.

Green Conservatism believes that economic growth and environmental health are compatible in both the developed and developing world.

Green Conservatism believes that we can realize more positive environmental outcomes faster by shifting tax code incentives and shifting market behavior than is possible from litigation and regulation.


Key to Green Conservatism: Energy Independence From Dangerous Dictatorships

A key part of Green Conservatism is to make sure that we don't have only an "environment policy," but we have a comprehensive "energy and environment" policy.

For green prosperity and green development, we have to have a strategy that makes the transition from the unimproved fossil fuels that dramatically improved the quality of life over the pre-industrial period. We need a new generation of clean energy that will: enable us, in national security terms, to be liberated from dependence on dangerous dictatorships; enable us, in economic terms, to be effective in worldwide competition; and enable us, in environmental terms, to provide for a much cleaner and healthier future.

Reliable, affordable energy is indispensable to economic growth around the planet, and economic growth is essential to a healthier environment. In so many ways, both here and abroad, we truly achieve "green through growth."

Sounds Good, but How Do We Get There?

You may have heard me say before that one of the reasons I am optimistic about the future of America is that we can expect four to seven times as much new scientific knowledge and innovation in the next 25 years as we have had in the past 100. As a result, America is truly ideally suited to meet the challenges of conserving our environment. Americans excel at precisely those capabilities that will be required: entrepreneurially led technological innovation and utilization of the power of the free market to provide better environmental outcomes with economic growth advantages, not disadvantages.

There are two key ways we can encourage this entrepreneurialism and innovation:

Allow Prizes to Compete With Process in Our Government-led Scientific Research Investments. We should significantly invest in prizes as a competitive alternative to the current peer-reviewed process of scientific research. We should, for example, offer prizes for the development of high gas mileage cars and other carbon-reduction challenges. We must maximize the rate at which we develop and diffuse new technologies both here and abroad, and prizes have historically unleashed dramatic creativity and innovation. Read here for a partial listing of examples of previous and current prizes.

Offer Carbon Reduction Tax Credits. Green conservatism values reducing the carbon loading of the atmosphere. The least economically disruptive and least government empowering models will be the most effective in achieving this value. We should therefore create a program of carbon-reduction tax credits. One such tax credit idea is to incentivize the creation of new energy production technologies that reduce carbon loading.

Our Entrepreneurs and Markets vs. Their Lawyers, Bureaucrats and Regulations

Our generation faces the extraordinary challenge of bringing to bear science and technology, entrepreneurship, and the principles of effective markets in order to enable people to have a good life both economically and environmentally.

So in the future, I'm going to be talking a lot about Green Conservatism. After all, conservatives can stand toe to toe with any liberal anywhere in America when it comes to wanting to build a better future for ourselves and our families. Four hundred years of American experience has demonstrated that a commitment to science, entrepreneurship and free markets can create better solutions for a better future than lawyers and bureaucrats and their never-ending schemes of regulation and taxation.

So stayed tuned. Green Conservatism is an idea whose time has come.

  Your friend,
 Newt Gingrich
Title: Re: Environmental issues - Kyo-Two
Post by: DougMacG on December 06, 2007, 11:34:28 AM
"Capitalism had once been the enemy because it was alleged to make people poor. Now it was the enemy because of the alleged side effects of making them rich."

Road to Bali

Peter Foster, Financial Post Published: Thursday, December 06, 2007

The fate of the Earth hangs in the balance in Bali, but the issue is not whether humanity will succumb to a "climate crisis," or how the international community might craft a successor to the tattered Kyoto Accord (Let's call it KyoTwo). The real theme of this United Nations gabfest -- like that of its 12 predecessors, and of the hundreds, if not thousands, of related meetings --is whether globalization and trade liberalization will be allowed to continue, with a corresponding increase in wealth, health and welfare, or whether the authoritarian enemies of freedom (who rarely if ever recognize themselves as such) will succeed in using environmental hysteria to undermine capitalism and increase their Majesterium. Any successor to Kyoto will be rooted in hobbling rich economies, increasing the poor world's resentment, unleashing environmental trade warfare, and blanketing the globe with rules and regulations that benefit only rulers and regulators. Bali is not about climate; it symbolizes the continued assault on freedom by those who seek -- or pander to -- political power under the guise of concern for humanity.

Just at the point where Marxism was being consigned to the dustbin of history, the more or less concealed power lust that had fed it found a new cause in the environment. The fact that the UN's 1992 Rio conference followed hard on the collapse of the Soviet Union represented almost the passing of a poisoned baton. Capitalism had once been the enemy because it was alleged to make people poor. Now it was the enemy because of the alleged side effects of making them rich. The emissions of carbon-based industrial society would lead to a climate in turmoil:We would be beset by Biblical plagues of floods, droughts and monster hurricanes.

This simplistic narrative depended on carbon dioxide being the main driver of climate. Scientists who pointed that there were likely other more important factors, that climate science was in its infancy and that earth's climate had varied dramatically long before the invention of the steam, internal combustion or jet engine, were not scientifically refuted; they were howled down as "deniers" or industry shills.

The environmental left, centred in the UN, has achieved stunning success in building and pushing the climate change/sustain-ability bandwagon. They have done this first by funding, then hijacking, scientific research via the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They have also promoted and allowed access to an ever-proliferating group of activist NGOs (Bali, significantly, is overrun by the non-elected "representatives" of scores of radical organizations, who have in turn forced similar numbers of industry representatives to follow them). NGOs have also had great success in pushing their alarmist message through a sympathetic media and thus --along with more direct lobbying--in achieving grossly disproportionate influence with democratic politicians. "Progressive" pols, meanwhile, have embraced environmental alarmism because it gives a much-needed boost to their flagging relevance.

Climate-change alarmism couldn't be presented as simply a new justification for power-seeking, so it had to be cloaked--as social-ism has always been cloaked, both consciously and unconsciously -- in concern for "the poor." Addressing climate change has always been linked in the UN script with Third World development, even though it in fact represents the greatest threat to such development. Nevertheless, the prospect of more international redistribution has meant that poor countries' corrupt and/or incompetent governments have become enthusiastic supporters of the Kyoto "process."

The rapid and unexpected explosion of economic growth -- and emissions -- in China and India has created a wrinkle. The United States and Canada claim that the ballooning emissions of these prospective economic superpowers mean that they must be part of any "solution." China and India, by contrast, assert --encouraged by their "poor" colleagues in the Third World bloc -- that since this "problem" was created by the developed countries, the developed countries must deal with it.

Bali will see nothing but posturing and preening, "tough" negotiations, and an agreement to talk further, in yet more exotic locations. But we should remember that the object of the exercise is not to deal practically with the problems of poverty, or to realistically address the challenges of extreme weather, whether caused by humans or otherwise. Bjorn Lomborg has eloquently pointed out why Kyoto-style approaches represent a very poor return on investment, and why we would be much better to deal directly with the specific threats of drought, flooding, malaria or hurricane damage, and with the broader issue of how to promote development. But that criticism misses the real significance of Kyoto and KyoTwo. They are not about effectively addressing specific problems, they are about exploiting ignorance about climate science, and continuing to demonize capitalism, in order to make ecocrats feel good, make others feel bad, pad incomes, and expand travel schedules.

Democratic governments have no choice but to cater to the ignorance/alarm/hypocrisy engendered in their electorates. This catering in turn reflects greater or lesser degrees of cynicism, skepticism, or moralistic bloviation.

The Australian delegation was feted on the first day of Bali because the subcontinent's new government chose at last to sign on to Kyoto, even though the agreement lay in ruins, and would have had virtually zero impact on the climate anyway. Canada's Environment Minister John Baird -- who must cope with the fact that his Liberal predecessors signed Kyoto without any plan or intention of fulfilling their obligations-- must sing from the U.N. hymnbook while keeping a firm hand on the nation's collective wallet. And preparing for the next meeting.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on December 07, 2007, 08:27:17 AM
On the political side of environmentalism, here is a top ten hypocrites list from

The Greenest Hypocrites of 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007

By Steven Milloy

Green has traditionally been the color of the deadly sin of envy. But this year, a trendy upstart mounted a serious challenge to envy’s claim.

Here are green hypocrisy’s top 10 poster children for 2007.

1. Al Gore’s Inconvenient Lifestyle. While the former veep and nouveau-$100 millionaire jets around the world squawking about the “planet having a fever” and demanding that we all lower our standard of living, his own personal electricity use is 20 times the national average, including an indoor pool costing $500/month to heat.

While Gore deflected criticism of his inconvenient electric bill during March congressional testimony by saying he purchased “green” electricity, the truth is, he didn’t start doing so until 2007.

2. Google’s Sky Pig. A photo-op of Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin plugging-in a hybrid car was part of the search engine giant’s June announcement promising carbon neutrality by 2008. But how this PR-fluff squares with the so-called “Google party jet” — Page and Brin’s gargantuan personal Boeing 767, which burns about 1,550 gallons/hour — is any one’s guess.

3. RFK Jr. Tilts at Windmills. Outspoken global warming activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently railed against coal-produced electricity because “climate change is the most urgent threat to our collective survival.”

Meanwhile, Kennedy vigorously campaigns against a proposed Cape Cod wind farm that would generate CO2-free electricity because it would “impoverish the experience of millions of tourists and residents and fishing families who rely on the sound's unspoiled bounties.” Unmentioned in Kennedy’s tirades, however, is the windmill’s unfortunate proximity to his family’s famed Hyannis Port compound.

4. The U.N.’s ‘Bali High’. Early December will witness 10,000 climateers descending upon the paradisiacal island resort of Bali for the 13th annual U.N. global warming meeting. The reason for much jet and limo travel — and other prodigious greenhouse gas generating activity associated with such a mega-conference — is relatively modest: setting the agenda and timeframe for a post-Kyoto treaty. Sure seems like something that could have been handled in a less carbon-intensive way — either by Internet and video conferencing or, if meeting is necessary, somewhere in North America or Europe where most key attendees are based.

5. Nancy Nukes Nukes. Supposedly concerned that “global warming and energy independence…have profound implications for our nation’s economic competitiveness, national security, environmental quality and public health,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi created the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming to take the congressional lead on those issues.

So who did Speaker Pelosi pick to chair the committee? None other than long-time nuclear power opponent Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., who appeared with anti-nuke celebrities Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne at an October Capitol Hill press conference to denounce legislation promoting the development of ultra-green nuclear power.

6. Every home a Superfund site? “Mercury is highly toxic to everyone, but particularly to children and developing fetuses,” says the activist group Environmental Defense, a long-time campaigner against mercury from power plant emissions and in automobile convenience lighting.

So it came as quite a surprise when the group began advocating that consumers bring the “highly toxic” mercury into their homes in the form of compact fluorescent light bulbs in order to reduce power plant CO2 emissions. CFLs are so hazardous, according to public health officials however, that special safety precautions must be taken for disposal or if the bulbs break.

7. Doesn’t everyone own a NASA scientist? In March 2007, NASA’s climate alarmist-in-chief James Hansen criticized “special interests” campaigning against climate regulation.

“By larding the campaign coffers of numerous politicians, the fossil fuel industry has succeeded in subverting the democratic principle…Until the public indicates sufficient interest, and puts pressure on political systems, special interests will continue to rule.”

Though Hansen poses as a humble civil servant, it recently came to light that his alarmist efforts have been bankrolled by leftist billionaire and sugar-daddy George Soros. Doesn’t Soros qualify as a “special interest,” Dr. Hansen?

8. Like a Virgin’s Carbon Footprint. London’s Daily Mail reported (“What planet are they on?, July 7) on the climate consciousness of Madonna and other Live Earth performers.

“[T]he pop stars headlining the concerts are the absolute antithesis of the message they promote with Madonna leading the pack of the worst individual rock star polluters in the world… Madonna alone has an annual carbon footprint of 1,018 tons… the average Briton produces just 10 tons… [her] Confessions tour last year produced 440 tons of carbon pollution in just four months, simply in flights between venues.”

That’s one small footprint for the average Brit, but one giant footprint for celebrity-kind.

9. The NBC Poppycock. NBC-Universal kicked-off of its “Green is Universal” initiative by dimming the studio lights — but not two giant video screens and advertisements — during a break in the Nov. 4 Cowboys-Eagles game.

Candle-lit host Bob Costas then cut to video of Today show personalities Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Ann Curry reporting about climate change from the Arctic, Amazon and Antarctic, respectively. None gave even a nod to the energy-hogging effort required to send them and crews to do such pointless broadcasts from exotic locales.

10. California’s Hypocritenator. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared in June 2005 that, “California will be a leader in the fight against global warming…the time for action is now.”

But just two years later, the Los Angeles Times reported that state efforts had been derailed by the governor’s mismanagement and deceit. Schwarzenegger even fired the state’s chief regulator for refusing to limit the number of greenhouse gas regulations. Columnist Debra Saunders noted that, “Schwarzenegger boasts that he is a world leader in the fight against global warming — but his advocacy shouldn't keep him from flying in private jets or driving a Hummer.”

The one thing these honorees all have in common is that their real-life actions belie their carefully crafted green public images. If they don’t take their commitment seriously, why should you?
Steven Milloy publishes and He is a junk science expert and advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Title: WSJ: Kill the cows!
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 19, 2008, 04:39:20 PM
The Lawnmower Men
July 19, 2008; Page A8
Al Gore blew into Washington on Thursday, warning that "our very way of life" is imperiled if the U.S. doesn't end "the carbon age" within 10 years. No one seriously believes such a goal is even remotely plausible. But if you want to know what he and his acolytes think this means in practice, the Environmental Protection Agency has just published the instruction manual. Get ready for the lawnmower inspector near you.

In a huge document released last Friday, the EPA lays out the thousands of carbon controls with which they'd like to shackle the whole economy. Central planning is too artful a term for the EPA's nanomanagement. Thankfully none of it has the force of law -- yet. However, the Bush Administration has done a public service by opening this window on new-wave green thinking like Mr. Gore's, and previewing what Democrats have in mind for next year.

The mess began in 2007, when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Mass. v. EPA that greenhouse gases are "air pollutants" under current environmental laws, despite the fact that the laws were written decades before the climate-change panic. The EPA was ordered to regulate if it decides that carbon emissions are a danger to the public. The 588-page "advance notice of proposed rulemaking" lays out how the EPA would like it to work in practice.

Justice Antonin Scalia noted in his dissent that under the Court's "pollutant" standard "everything airborne, from Frisbees to flatulence, qualifies," which the EPA appears to have taken literally. It is alarmed by "enteric fermentation in domestic livestock" -- that is, er, their "emissions." A farm with over 25 cows would exceed the EPA's proposed carbon limits. So would 500 acres of crops, due to harvesting and processing machinery.

But never fear. The EPA would regulate "farm tractors" too, plus "lawn and garden equipment." For example, it "could require a different unit of measure [for carbon emissions] tied to the machine's mission or output -- such as grams per kilogram of cuttings from a 'standard' lawn for lawnmowers."

In fact, the EPA has new mandates for everything with an engine. There's a slew of auto regulations, especially jacking up fuel-efficiency standards well beyond their current levels, and even controlling the weight and performance of cars and trucks. Carbon rules are offered for "dirt bikes and snowmobiles." Next up: Nascar.

The EPA didn't neglect planes and trains either, down to rules for how aircraft can taxi on the runway. Guidelines are proposed for boat design such as hulls and propellers. "Innovative strategies for reducing hull friction include coatings with textures similar to marine animals," the authors chirp. They also suggest "crew education campaigns" on energy use at sea. Fishermen will love their eco-sensitivity training.

New or modified buildings that went over the emissions limits would have to obtain EPA permits. This would cover power plants, manufacturers, etc. But it would also include "large office and residential buildings, hotels, large retail establishments and similar facilities" -- like schools and hospitals. The limits are so low that they would apply to "hundreds of thousands" of sources, as the EPA itself notes. "We expect that the entire country would be in nonattainment."

If this power grab wasn't enough, "EPA also believes that . . . it might be possible for the Agency to consider deeper reductions through a cap-and-trade program." The EPA thinks it can levy a carbon tax too, as long as it's called a "fee." In other words, the EPA wants to impose via regulatory ukase what Congress hasn't been able to enact via democratic debate.

That's why the global warmists have so much invested in the EPA's final ruling, which will come in the next Administration. Any climate tax involves arguments about costs and benefits; voting to raise energy prices is not conducive to re-election. But if liberals can outsource their policies to the EPA, they can take credit while avoiding any accountability for the huge economic costs they impose.

Meanwhile, the EPA's career staff is unsupervised. In December, they went ahead and made their so-called "endangerment finding" on carbon, deputizing themselves as the rulers of the global-warming bureaucracy. The adults in the White House were aghast when they saw the draft. EPA lifers retaliated by leaking the disputes of the standard interagency review process to Democrats like Henry Waxman and sympathetic reporters. Thus the stations-of-the-cross media narrative about "political interference," as if the EPA's careerists don't have their own agenda. So the Administration performed triage by making everything transparent.

At least getting the EPA on the record will help clarify the costs of carbon restrictions. Democrats complaining about "censorship" at the EPA are welcome to defend fiats about lawnmowers and flatulent cows.
Title: Monckton to McCain, 1
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 18, 2008, 12:52:48 PM
Open letter from The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley to Senator John McCain about Climate Science and Policy.
Dear Senator McCain, Sir,

YOU CHOSE a visit to a wind-farm in early summer 2008 to devote an entire campaign speech to the reassertion of your belief in the apocalyptic vision of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change - a lurid and fanciful account of imagined future events that was always baseless, was briefly exciting among the less thoughtful species of news commentators and politicians, but is now scientifically discredited.

With every respect, there is no rational basis for your declared intention that your great nation should inflict upon her own working people and upon the starving masses of the Third World the extravagantly-pointless, climatically-irrelevant, strategically-fatal economic wounds that the arrogant advocates of atmospheric alarmism admit they aim to achieve.

Britain and the United States, like England and Scotland on the first page of Macaulay's splendid History of England, are bound to one another by "indissoluble bonds of interest and affection". Here in this little archipelago from which your Pilgrim Fathers sailed, we have a love-love relationship with what Walt Whitman called your "athletic democracy". You came to our aid - to the aid of the world - when Britain had stood alone against the mad menace of Hitler. Your fearless forces and ours fight shoulder to shoulder today on freedom's far frontiers. The shortest but most heartfelt of our daily prayers has just three words: "God bless America!" For these reasons - of emotion as much as of economics, of affection as much as of interest - it matters to us that the United States should thrive and prosper. We cannot endure to see her fail, not only because if she fails the world fails, but also because, as the philosopher George Santayana once said of the British Empire and might well now have said of our sole superpower, "the world never had sweeter masters." If the United States, by the ignorance and carelessness of her classe politique, mesmerized by the climate bugaboo, casts away the vigorous and yet benign economic hegemony that she has exercised almost since the Founding Fathers first breathed life into her enduring Constitution, it will not be a gentle, tolerant, all-embracing, radically-democratic nation that takes up the leadership of the world.

It will be a radically-tyrannical dictatorship - perhaps the brutal gerontocracy of Communist China, or the ruthless plutocracy of supposedly ex-Communist Russia, or the crude, mediaeval theocracy of rampant Islam, or even the contemptible, fumbling, sclerotic, atheistic-humanist bureaucracy of the emerging European oligarchy that has stealthily stolen away the once-paradigmatic democracy of our Mother of Parliaments from elected hands here to unelected hands elsewhere. For government of the people, by the people and for the people is still a rarity today, and it may yet perish from the earth if America, its exemplar, destroys herself in the specious name of "Saving The Planet".

Science and the climate: the facts

The facts about "rising temperatures"

You have said: "We have many advantages in the fight against global warming, but time is not one of them. Instead of idly debating the precise extent of global warming, or the precise timeline of global warming, we need to deal with the central facts of rising temperatures ... Today I'd like to focus on just one [challenge], and among environmental dangers it is surely the most serious of all. Whether we call it ‘climate change' or ‘global warming', in the end we're all left with the same set of facts. The facts of global warming demand our urgent attention, especially in Washington. Good stewardship, prudence, and simple commonsense demand that we act to meet the challenge, and act quickly. ... Across the world average temperatures ... seem to reach new records every few years."

Here, Sir, are the facts about "rising temperatures". The facts which I shall give you in this letter are taken not from my own imagination, nor from the obscurantist reports of the UN's climate panel, nor from any lobby group, but from the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Very nearly all of the citations that support the crucial facts which your advisers seem not to have put before you, and which I shall set forth in this letter, are from peer-reviewed papers. Some, however, such as the documents of the UN's climate panel, the IPCC, are not peer-reviewed in the accepted sense of the term. Peer-reviewed papers will be indicated by citations with the date in parentheses, thus: Boffin et al. (2008). Papers that are not peer-reviewed will be indicated by square brackets, thus: IPCC [2007].

I begin with a geological and historical perspective on global mean surface temperature that your advisors seem to have withheld from you. For most of the past 600 million years, the mode of temperature - the temperature that most often prevailed globally - is thought to have been 12.5 °F higher than today's temperature: for today's temperature, in the perspective of the long recent history of our planet, is unusually low.

During each of the last four interglacial periods over the past half-million years, temperature was 5 to 8 °F warmer than the present (Petit et al., 1999).

For 2000 years in the Bronze Age, during the Holocene Climate Optimum (which is called an "Optimum" because warmer is better than cooler), temperature was up to 5 °F warmer than the present. Thanks to the warmer weather, on many continents simultaneously, the world's first great civilizations emerged.

It was also warmer during the 600 years of the Graeco-Roman warm period, when the twin civilizations that were the foundation of our own flourished in the Mediterranean. And it was warmer during the half millennium of the Mediaeval Climate Optimum, when the Renaissance reawakened humanity after the Dark Ages, and the great cathedrals and churches of Europe were built.

In 2001 the UN's climate panel made a maladroit and disfiguring attempt [IPCC, 2001] to heighten the baseless alarm that underlies all of its reports by denying that the Middle Ages were warmer than the present. However, three eminent statisticians working at the instigation of your own House of Representatives produced the definitive report [Wegman et al., 2005], confirming the peer-reviewed research of McIntyre & McKitrick (2003, 2005) establishing that the UN's graph had been doctored so as falsely to deny the reality of the mediaeval warm period, to whose existence hundreds of peer-reviewed papers from all parts of the globe attest.

At both Poles, it was warmer only half a century ago than it is today. For temperatures in the Arctic, see Soon et al. (2004). For the Antarctic, see Doran et al. (2002).

During the Maunder Minimum, a period of more than half a century ending in 1700 when there were no sunspots on the surface of our Sun, a Little Ice Age occurred all over the world (Hathaway, 2004). In 1700 there began a recovery in solar activity that has continued ever since, culminating in the 70-year Solar Grand Maximum that seems recently to have ended. During the Grand Maximum, the Sun was more active, and for longer, than during almost any previous similar period in the past 11,400 years (Solanki et al., 2005; and see Usoskin et al., 2003; and Hathaway, 2004). A symposium of the International Astronomical Union [2004] concluded that it is the Sun that was chiefly responsible for the warming of the late 20th century.

From 1700-1998, temperature rose at a near-uniform rate of about 1 °F per century [Akasofu, 2008]. In 1998, "global warming" stopped, and it has not resumed since: indeed, in the past seven years, temperature has been falling at a rate equivalent to as much as 0.7 °F per decade [Hadley Center for Forecasting, 2008; US National Climatic Data Center, 2008]. Very few news media have given any prominence to this long and pronounced downturn in the temperature trend.

It is now thought possible that no new global annual temperature record will be set until at least 2015 (Keenlyside et al., 2008). Yet the projection of the UN's climate panel had been that temperature would rise by about 1 °F during the 17 years to 2015. It is no surprise, then, that Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the panel's chairman, has called for a re-evaluation of its hitherto very high estimates of "climate sensitivity" - the temperature change in response to the ever-increasing atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.

The facts about supposedly "rising temperatures" which I have set out above, can be readily verified by your advisors. If you like, I can assist them in finding the relevant peer-reviewed papers and global temperature datasets. On these facts, there is no scientific basis for your assertion that "We have many advantages in the fight against ‘global warming', but time is not one of them."

Since the world is not warming at the rate projected by the UN's climate panel, it follows that the urgency relentlessly suggested by that panel and echoed in your speech is by no means as great as the UN's reports would have us believe.

The correct question, posed by Akasofu [2008], is this: Since the world has been warming at a uniform rate in parallel with the recovery of solar activity during the 300 years following the Maunder Minimum, and since humankind could not have had any significant influence over global temperature until perhaps 50 years ago, if then, is there any evidence whatsoever that the observed anthropogenic increase in carbon dioxide concentration over the past half-century has had any appreciable influence, at all, on global temperature?

Another relevant question may occur to you: Is it not strange that the "global warming" scare has been rising in the media headlines and in the rhetoric of the classe politique throughout the past seven years, even though global temperature has been falling throughout that period?

Finally, now that you have the facts about temperature before you, it will be evident to you that you were not correct in having said that a new temperature record seems to be set every few years. Despite rapidly-rising carbon dioxide concentrations, there has been no new record year for global temperature in the ten years since 1998; and, in the United States, there has been no new record year for national temperature since 1934 - a record set almost three-quarters of a century ago, and well before humankind could have had any significant influence on temperature.

Title: Monckton to McCain, 2
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 18, 2008, 12:53:18 PM
The facts about carbon dioxide concentration

You have said: "We know that greenhouse gasses are heavily implicated as a cause of climate change. And we know that among all greenhouse gasses, the worst by far is the carbon-dioxide that results from fossil-fuel combustion."

Sir, the first of your two quoted statements requires heavy qualification: the second is scientifically false. The combined effect of the two statements is profoundly misleading.

Greenhouse gases keep the world warm enough for plant and animal life to thrive. Without them, the Earth would be an ice-planet all of the time rather than some of the time. The existence of greenhouse gases, whether natural or anthropogenic, retains in the atmosphere some 100 Watts per square meter of radiant energy from the Sun (Kiehl & Trenberth, 1997) that would otherwise pass out uninterrupted to space.

According to the UN's climate panel [IPCC, 2007], anthropogenic "radiative forcings" from all sources compared with 1750 account for just 1.6% of this total, or perhaps almost 5% if temperature feedbacks as currently overestimated by the UN are taken into account. I say overestimated because the sum of the UN's high-end estimates of individual temperature feedbacks exceeds the maximum that is possible in the feedback equation used by the UN, implying that the central estimates are also very likely to be excessive. Your words "heavily implicated", therefore, seem somewhat overstated.

As to your second statement, the "worst" greenhouse gas - the one which, through its sheer quantity in the atmosphere, accounts for two-thirds of the 100 Watts per square meter of greenhouse-gas radiative forcing reported by Kiehl & Trenberth (2007, op. cit.) - is water vapor. Carbon dioxide accounts for little more than a quarter.

Two-thirds of the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is naturally present, and carbon dioxide occupies just one-ten-thousandth more of the atmosphere today than it did 250 years ago (Keeling & Whorf, 2004, updated): for the atmosphere is large and we are small.

The UN's climate panel [IPCC, 2007] thinks that a doubling of carbon dioxide concentration compared with 1750 might occur later this century on current trends, and may lead to a global temperature increase of almost 6 °F. However, numerous papers in the peer-reviewed literature confirm that the UN's central climate-sensitivity projection must be excessive.

Allowing for the fact that the UN's climate panel has exaggerated the effects of temperature feedbacks, the temperature increase in consequence of a doubling of carbon dioxide concentration could be as little as 1 °F. Values as low as this have been suggested in the peer-reviewed literature (e.g. Chylek et al., 2007).

You have proposed, in your speech that three-fifths of the US economy should be closed down by 2060. Do you not think that a far greater degree of scientific certainty as to the effects of minuscule increases in carbon dioxide concentration on temperature would be advisable before strategic damage on any such scale is inflicted upon the US economy from within, and by a Republican?

The facts about the basis of the imagined scientific "consensus"

You have said: "We stand warned by serious and credible scientists across the world that time is short and the dangers are great."

Sir, the implication of your quoted remark is that the "serious and credible scientists" who are warning us that "time is short and the dangers are great" outnumber the equally "serious and credible scientists" who are not warning us of anything of the kind. The reverse is the case. A recent survey (Schulte, 2008) of 539 peer-reviewed scientific papers published since January 2004 and selected at random using the search term "global climate change" reveals that not a single paper provides any evidence whatsoever that "time is short" or that "the dangers are great".

The notion of imminent, catastrophic climate change is a fiction that is almost wholly absent in the scientific literature. Indeed, the only papers that predict catastrophe are written by a tiny clique of closely-connected, extravagantly-funded, politically-biased scientists with unhealthily close political and financial connections to certain alarmist politicians in the party that you nominally oppose.

Suppose, ad argumentum, that the UN's exaggerated climate-sensitivity estimates, proven in the peer-reviewed literature and in the unfolding temperature record to be fantasies wholly unrelated either to scientific theory or to observed reality, are true. Even then, the disasters imagined by the UN's climate panel and by certain politicians are unlikely to occur. Since the UN's estimates are indeed exaggerations, and are known to be so, the only potentially-"credible" basis for the alarmism reflected in your speech falls away. In the scientific literature, there is no "consensus" whatsoever to the effect that anthropogenic "global warming" will be "catastrophic".

It is vital that you should understand the extent to which the UN's case for panic action is founded not upon theoretical proofs in climatological physics, nor upon real-world experimentation (for nearly all of the parameters necessary to the evaluation of climate sensitivity are not directly measurable, and their values can only be guessed) but upon computer models - in short, upon expensive guesswork.

However, using computer models to predict the climate, even if the input data were known rather than guessed, cannot ever be effective or accurate: for the climate, in the formal, mathematical sense, is chaotic. The late Edward Lorenz (1963), in the landmark paper that founded the branch of mathematics known as chaos theory, proved that long-run climate prediction is impossible unless we can know the initial state of the millions of variables that define the climate object, and know that state to a degree of precision that is and will always be in practice unattainable.

Why is such very great precision necessary? Because it is the common characteristic of any chaotic object, such as the climate, that the slightest perturbation, however minuscule, in the initial value of even one of that object's variables can induce substantial and unpredictable "phase transitions" - sudden changes of state - in the future evolution of the object. Unless the initial state of the object is known to an unattainably high degree of precision, neither the timing of the onset, nor the duration, nor the magnitude of these phase transitions can be predicted at all. Accordingly, the predictions go off track very suddenly and dramatically, but ineluctably.

The UN [IPCC, 2001], accepts that the climate is "a complex, non-linear, chaotic object", and, consequently, that "long-term prediction of climate states is impossible". Yet it then attempts the impossible by making predictions of climate sensitivity that are already being proven exaggerated by the failure of temperatures to rise as the computer models had predicted (or, recently, at all).

All of the climate models relied upon by the UN predict that the distinguishing characteristic or "fingerprint" of anthropogenic greenhouse-gas forcing as opposed to any other forcings is that in the tropical mid-troposphere, about 6 miles up, temperature over the decades should rise at two or even three times the rate of increase observed at the tropical surface. However, this predicted "hot-spot" over the tropics is not observed in any of the tropospheric temperature datasets since reliable measurements were first taken by balloon-borne radiosondes 50 years ago.

Douglass & Knox (2006) and Douglass et al. (2008) have established that the absence of the "hot spot" predicted by the UN's models is real, and is not (as was suggested by Thorne et al., 2007) a measurement error or artifact within the estimated uncertainty interval of the observed record. Lindzen (2008) estimates that in the absence of the "hot-spot" the UN's estimate of climate sensitivity must be divided by at least three. Thus, making this adjustment alone, a doubling of carbon dioxide concentration would raise global temperature not by 6°F but by a harmless and beneficial 2 °F.

You also need to know that the values for climate sensitivity in the computer models - in short, the central estimates of how much the world's temperature will increase in response to a given rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - are not outputs from the models, but inputs to them. The computers are being told to assume high climate sensitivity [Akasofu, 2008].

Let me summarize the irremediably shaky basis for the UN's alarmist case. It is not based on physical theory. It is not based on real-world observation. It is based on computer modeling, in which - astonishingly - the models are told at the outset the values for the very quantity (temperature response to increased carbon dioxide concentration) that they are expected to find.

Now you will appreciate how ridiculous it is, to any competent mathematician, to hear the IPCC claiming that it is "90% certain" that most of the observed warming during the 50 years before the warming stopped in 1998 is anthropogenic. For a start, a 90% confidence level is not a recognized statistical interval: 95% confidence, or two standard deviations, is a recognized interval, but that would be even more absurd than trying to claim 90% confidence for a proposition that depends absolutely for its validity upon parameters that cannot be measured and can only be guessed: and a proposition that is demonstrated to be false with each successive year during which no further "global warming" takes place. It is regrettable that anyone should seek to make policy, as you have done, on such a manifestly unsound basis.

Page Printed from: at October 18, 2008 - 12:48:17 PM EDTM
Title: Monckton to McCain, 3
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 18, 2008, 12:56:07 PM
The facts about "rising sea levels"

You have said: "We need to deal with the central facts of ... rising waters."

The "central facts" about "rising" sea levels are as follows.

Sea level has been rising since the end of the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago. It is 400 feet higher now than it was then. The rate of increase has averaged 4 feet per century. Yet in the 20th century, when we are told that "global warming" began to have a major impact on global temperature and hence on sea level, sea level rose by just 8 inches.

That is just one-sixth of the mean centennial rate over the past 10,000 years. Why so little? Because almost all of the world's ice - including the vast sheets that once covered much of what is now the United States - melted away long ago.

True, the UN imagines that most sea-level rise will come not from the melting glaciers about which the media so frequently fantasize, but from thermosteric expansion - sea water swelling as it warms. However, thermosteric expansion can only occur if the body of water in question is getting warmer. The oceans are not getting warmer (except in certain regions, such as the Antarctic Peninsula, where there is evidence of undersea volcanic activity).

Lyman et al. (2006) reported that the oceans of the world had been cooling since 2003. They published a correction the following year, to the effect that the oceans had not been cooling, but had not been warming either.

Now a definitive study based on readings from 6000 bathythermographs, shows that the oceans have indeed been cooling since at least 2003, in line with the atmospheric cooling noted in the observed temperature record.

It is no surprise, then, that the UN's climate panel [IPCC, 2007] has been compelled to cut by one-third its previous high-end estimate [IPCC, 2001] that sea level would rise 3 feet by 2100. Its new high-end estimate is less than 2 feet, with a best estimate of no more than 1 ft 5 in.

The world's foremost expert on sea level is Professor Niklas Moerner, who has been studying nothing but sea level throughout his 30-year career. In a recent paper (Moerner, 2004), he condemns the IPCC for its baseless exaggeration of future sea-level rise, and says there is no reason to suppose that sea level will rise any faster in the 21st century than it did in the 20th - i.e., by about 8 inches.

There is not and has never been any scientific basis for the exaggerated projections by a certain politician that sea level might imminently rise by as much as 20 feet. That politician, in the year in which he circulated a movie containing that projection, bought a $4 million condominium just feet from the ocean at Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco.

You may well ask whether he actually believed his own prediction and, if so, why he spent so much buying a condominium that - if his prediction were right - would very soon be worthless. In a recent case in the High Court in London, intended to prevent the transmission of alarmist pseudo-science to children, the judge said of this politician that "the Armageddon scenario that he predicts is not based on any scientific view."

The facts about "receding glaciers"

You have said: "Satellite images reveal a dramatic disappearance of glaciers ... And I've seen some of this evidence up close. A few years ago I traveled to the area of Svalbard, Norway, a group of islands in the Arctic Ocean. I was shown the southernmost point where a glacier had reached twenty years earlier. From there, we had to venture northward up the fjord to see where that same glacier ends today - because all the rest has melted. On a trip to Alaska, I heard about a national park visitor's center that was built to offer a picture-perfect view of a large glacier. Problem is, the glacier is gone. A work of nature that took ages to form had melted away in a matter of decades."

The facts about "receding glaciers" are by no means as "dramatic" as you suggest. You cite evidence from just two glaciers. Even if it were pardonable to deploy anecdotal evidence from a couple of glaciers and then to perpetrate the logical fallacy of arguing from the particular to the general, it is evident that your two examples do not represent a sufficient sample to be credible as a basis for drawing the drastic conclusion that you have drawn.

It may surprise you to learn that there are more than 160,000 glaciers in the world [IPCC, 2001]. Your two examples are a minuscule fraction of one percent of the world's glaciers. Most of these glaciers have never been visited, measured, or analyzed by humankind. The vast majority of them - including the biggest on the planet, which is 250 miles long and 40 miles wide - are in Antarctica, most of which has been cooling for half a century (Doran et al., 2002).

Professor M. I. Bhat, of the Indian Geological Survey, was kind enough last year to communicate to me his results concerning the 9,575 mountain glaciers that debouch from the Himalayan plateau into India. These glaciers, thanks to the British Raj, have been studied and recorded for longer than any others. Professor Bhat reports that most of the glaciers have been receding at a uniform rate since 1880 at the latest. Some of them had begun receding even before this date. His analysis is confirmed on a global scale by Robinson, Robinson & Soon (2007), who report that since 1880 mountain glaciers have receded worldwide at a near-uniform rate, with no appreciable acceleration in the second half of the 20th century, before which time the anthropogenic influence on climate must have been negligible.

Professor Bhat raises the right question: Given that glacial recession began long before humankind could have had any appreciable effect on global temperature, and given that the rate of recession has remained uniform, on what basis can it be said, as you have implied, that it is anthropogenic "global warming" that is causing the glaciers to recede?

The recession of glaciers in the Swiss Alps has revealed mediaeval roadways, forests, and even an entire silver mine that had been buried by ice during the Little Ice Age. The glaciers had not been present in the mediaeval warm period: now they are again absent. There is nothing "dramatic" about this: climate change is indeed real, and has long been occurring for entirely natural reasons. It is far more difficult than the UN's climate panel and certain politicians have suggested to distinguish between natural climatic cycles and any supposed anthropogenic influence in recent decades. And, as you will now appreciate, it is not scientifically credible to state that the Alaskan glacier you mention had taken "ages" to form. Glaciers come and go quite quickly in response to changing climate cycles.

Mount Kilimanjaro has been one of the poster-children for anthropogenic "global warming". A certain politician has publicly suggested that the observed recession of the Furtwangler glacier at the summit - which, he says, may lead to the disappearance of Hemingway's "snows of Kilimanjaro" within a few years - has been caused by anthropogenic "global warming".

However, the scientific facts are remarkably different. As Professor Bhat might say, the right questions that a true scientist rather than a mere politician would ask are these: When did the recession of the glacier begin? And what has been the trend in temperature at the summit of the mountain? The answers are these: the glacier began to recede in 1880, and more than half of the "snows of Kilimanjaro" had already vanished when Hemingway wrote his novel under that title in 1936. Furthermore, since satellite monitoring began in 1970, the surface temperature at the summit has averaged 12.5 °F below freezing, and has never exceeded 3 °F below freezing (Molg et al., 2003). The glacier is not, therefore, melting. It is ablating, not because of "global warming" but because of desiccation of the atmosphere caused by a prolonged and natural regional cooling, compounded by imprudent post-colonial deforestation of the surrounding territory. The High Court judge rightly had harsh words to say about a certain Democrat politician's highly-publicized suggestion that Kilimanjaro had melted because of "global warming".

In the very cold winter of 2007/8, during which the biggest January-to-January fall in global temperatures since records began in 1880 was recorded, several glaciers in Greenland began to re-advance.

Finally, only a tiny proportion of the future sea-level rise imagined by the UN's climate panel is attributed by it to melting glaciers [IPCC, 2007]. It is true that the excitable media reported that melting glaciers would have a very large effect on sea level, but this was because the UN's bureaucrats had inserted into its 2007 report, after the scientists had signed it off, a table in which the estimated contributions to sea-level rise from glaciers and from ice-sheets had each been multiplied by 10, by the simple expedient of moving four decimal points sideways. When I wrote to the UN pointing out this error, the UN quietly corrected, relabeled, and moved the table: but by then it had obtained the alarmist headlines that had been intended: and not one of the newspapers that had printed the incorrect figure bothered to correct it once the UN had been compelled to revise the table. It is episodes such as this that ought to have led you and your advisors to think very carefully about whether the UN's climate panel is as independent, unbiased, science-based, and competent as would be necessary to justify the very drastic damage which you propose to inflict upon the US economy.

The facts about "disappearing Antarctic ice shelves"

You have said: "Satellite images reveal a dramatic disappearance of ... Antarctic ice shelves."

Eight ice shelves, with a combined area that is less than 2% of the area of Texas, have disintegrated in recent years, and one of them has already re-formed. However, it is significant that all of these ice shelves are concentrated in a single area of Antarctica - the Peninsula - which itself represents only 2% of the total area of Antarctica.

There has been no significant recession of ice shelves anywhere in Antarctica except in the Peninsula, where subsea volcanic activity may have contributed to the observed disintegrations, which are in any event to be expected given that global temperature has been rising for 300 years. In the first 250 of those 300 years, humankind could not by any stretch of the most alarmist imagination be conceived to have had any significant impact on temperature or on melting ice.

It is also significant that the Larsen B ice shelf, which disintegrated suddenly a few years ago, had not been present during the mediaeval warm period (Pudsey et al., 2006). As with the glaciers, so with the ice shelves, all we are seeing is a natural cycle in the coming and going of the Earth's ice. Since it was warmer than the present throughout most of the past 10,000 years, it is likely that at many times there has been less ice at either Pole than there is today.

An interesting recent example is the case of what the alarmist clique calls "Warming Island" - a peninsula in northern Greenland that recently turned out to be an island when a small ice shelf joining it to the mainland melted. The news about "Warming Island" flashed around the world, and various news media carried front-page headlines about this latest alleged evidence for "global warming". Setting aside the consideration - which cannot be too often repeated - that the fact of warming tells us nothing of its cause, one methodical researcher decided to see whether there were any earlier maps that showed "Warming Island" to be an island. The researcher did not even have to go back as far as the mediaeval warm period. In fact, he had only to go back to 1957, when a book published by an Arctic explorer plainly showed "Warming Island" as an island. You will recall that in the 1940s the Arctic was warmer than it is today. Therefore "Warming Island was then an island, and was still visibly an island when the explorer made his map in the late 1950s. Then a natural cooling cycle supervened, and "Warming Island" became what we might call "Cooling Peninsula". Now it is "Warming Island" again.

On the evidence, therefore, the satellite images of disappearing ice shelves do not provide any scientific basis for assuming that the warming that caused the disintegrations was other than local; or that it was caused by anthropogenic rather than solar or volcanic warming; or that the ice shelves that disintegrated had always been present until the recent disintegration. In short, these disintegrations provide no basis whatsoever for the drastic policies that you have proposed to remedy what is on any view a non-problem.

The facts about "melting polar ice sheets"

You have said: "Satellite images reveal a dramatic disappearance of ... polar ice sheets."

Here, Sir, are the facts about "melting polar ice sheets". There are four great polar ice sheets: the East and West Antarctic ice sheets; the Greenland ice sheet; and the Arctic ice-cap. We shall consider each in turn.

The East Antarctic ice sheet is on a high plateau at high latitude. Since most of Antarctica has cooled over the past 50 years (Doran et al., 2002), so much so that environmental damage caused by cold has occurred in some of the Antarctic glens, there is no danger of this ice sheet disappearing, and there are no satellite images revealing that it has done so, is doing so, or is about to do so.

The West Antarctic ice sheet is grounded below today's sea level. From time to time, therefore, the warmer ocean around it causes sometimes very large pieces of the edge of the ice sheet to disintegrate. However, these edges tend to re-form in the long Antarctic winter. Logs kept by whalers going back hundreds of years record flat-topped icebergs - inferentially, pieces of the West Antarctic ice sheet - many hundreds of miles long. So there is nothing new in these occasional breakages from the edge of the ice sheet. They have happened before; they have happened again; and they tell us nothing about whether or to what extent the warming (whether natural or anthropogenic) that ceased in 1998 was or is responsible. We know, however, that both the summer and the winter extent of the sea ice surrounding Antarctica was greater in 2007/8 than at any time since the satellite record began 30 years ago. Therefore the West Antarctic ice sheet gives no ground for alarm.

The Greenland ice sheet, like that of East Antarctica, is on a high plateau. Also, that plateau is ringed by mountains: for the enormous weight of the ice sheet has borne down heavily on the rock below to create a basin in which the bulk of the ice sheet sits. That is why recent alarmist stories about "moulins" - summer meltwaters getting below the ice sheet and lubricating it so as to allow it suddenly to rush down to the sea - are entirely baseless.

Such moulins are not new: they have often been recorded in the past, and they are a normal part of the Greenland summer climate. Some glaciers debouching from the plateau through gaps in the ring of mountains that surrounds it have indeed receded: recently, however, others have advanced. In late May 2008, in south-western Greenland, one would normally have expected spring flowers: however, the snow still lay thick on the ground.

But the most telling evidence of all is that of Johannesen et al. (2005), who used satellite interferometry to determine that the mean thickness of the Greenland ice sheet increased by 2 inches per year - a total of 1 ft 8 in - during the decade 1993-2003. Once again, there is no cause for alarm.

The last time the Greenland ice sheet melted was 850,000 years ago: and that melting, of course, occurred entirely through natural causes. The UN's climate panel [IPCC, 2007] says that if the Greenland ice sheet melts again, it will only do so if global temperature was sustained at 4 °F above today's for several millennia. Even then, according to the UN, the cause of any such disintegration would be natural rather than anthropogenic.

The facts about "reduced snowpack"

You have said: "Our scientists have also seen and measured reduced snowpack, with earlier runoffs in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere."

The facts about "reduced snowpack" are not as you have been led to think they are. Once again, after some three centuries of gradual warming, one would certainly expect to see less rather than more snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere. That would not be surprising. Yet, even if it were so, the fact of the warming that caused the reduction in snow cover would tell us nothing of the cause. However, there has been no reduction in overall snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere in the 30 years since satellites were first able to measure its extent.

Your advisors needed to go no further than the Rutgers University Snow and Ice Lab, which has monitored snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere in the vital winter months for 30 years. During that time, there has been no trend in winter snow cover. There has been no decline at all, either in any individual winter month or at all. Indeed, new records for the extent of Northern-Hemisphere winter snow cover were established in 2001-2 and again in 2007-8, the winter immediately before your speech.

There is, therefore, no scientific basis for the notion that there has been any downtrend in snow cover during the past 30 years. Since natural climate change occurs on regional as well as hemispheric or global scales, there will be some regions with more snow cover and others with less from time to time. But to focus only on those regions with less snow cover, and then to argue from the particular to the general as you have done, drawing the improper implicit conclusion that anthropogenic "global warming" has caused a decline in snow cover, is not only a fallacy of logic but also lacks any scientific foundation in the observed record.

The facts about "sustained drought"

Title: Monckton to McCain, 4
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 18, 2008, 12:56:46 PM
You have said: "We have seen sustained drought in the Southwest ... In the years ahead, we are likely to see reduced water supplies ..."

The facts about "sustained drought" are these. The atmosphere has been warming for 300 years, as the activity of the Sun has increased from the Maunder Minimum that ended in 1700 towards the Grand Maximum of the past 70 years, during which solar activity was greater than at almost any previous similar period in the past 11,400 years (Solanki et al., 2004; and see Usoskin et al., 2003, and Hathaway, 2004). One of the few proven results in climatological physics is the Clausius-Clapeyron relation, which establishes that, as the space occupied by the atmosphere warms, so its carrying capacity for water vapor increases near-exponentially. The UN's climate panel calls this phenomenon the "water-vapor feedback".

Over a sufficient timescale of decades, then, a warmer climate will entail not a drier atmosphere but a moister one. Sure enough, some of the world's driest regions - such as the southern Sahara - have experienced more, not less, precipitation over the period of the satellite record. The Sahara - contrary to the alarmist claims of a certain Democrat politician - has actually shrunk in area by 300,000 square kilometers over the past 30 years, allowing nomadic tribes to return to regions that they had not occupied within living memory (Nicholson, 1998, 2001).

As to your suggestion that "we are likely to see reduced water supplies", you have yet again blamed "global warming" for a problem that has nothing to do with warmer weather. As the human population expands, its demands on water supplies increase, leading to shortages. That, and not "global warming", is why many parts of the world do not have regular supplies of drinking water.

You may have read John Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath. It is set in the Great Plains of the 1930s, and its theme is the prolonged and devastating droughts that occurred in the first half of the 20th century but have been absent in the generally warmer and moister climate since.

Once again, therefore, you have argued from the particular to the general when there was no logical or scientific basis for having done so.

The facts about "extreme weather events"

You have said: "We have seen a higher incidence of extreme weather events ... We are likely to see ... a greater intensity in storms. Each one of these consequences of climate change will require policies to protect our citizens, especially those most vulnerable to violent weather."

Here are the facts about "extreme weather events". The UN's climate panel has said, and said repeatedly, that it is not scientifically possible to attribute any extreme-weather event to anthropogenic "global warming". The most extreme of all extreme-weather events is the hurricane, tropical cyclone, or typhoon. However, there has been no trend in the frequency of hurricanes that make landfall on the eastern seaboard of the United States for a century, even though global mean surface temperatures rose by more than 1 °F during that century. Furthermore, in the past 30 years the frequency of severe tropical cyclones and of severe typhoons has exhibited a pronounced downtrend.

It has long been settled science that a warmer climate would reduce the frequency and intensity of severe storms outside the tropics. Until recently, a minority of dissenting scientists had held that "global warming" might intensify not the frequency but the intensity of hurricanes, tropical cyclones, and typhoons in the region of the Equator. However, it is now known that warmer weather reduces the temperature differential between the Equator and the Poles; and that wind-shear tends to dampen the intensity of the worst hurricanes.

Two prominent dissenters - notably Emanual (2008) - have resiled in recent weeks from their previously-published opinions to the effect that the intensity of hurricanes might be expected to increase with warmer worldwide weather. There is, therefore, no longer any credible, scientific basis for your implicit conclusion that "a higher incidence of extreme-weather events" has occurred because of anthropogenic "global warming", for three reasons: first, there has been no increase in extreme-weather events in the observed record; secondly, it is not possible to attribute any individual extreme-weather event to anthropogenic "global warming"; and thirdly, for the past ten years there has been no "global warming", so that, even if there had been "a higher incidence of extreme-weather events", which there has not, "global warming" (whether natural or anthropogenic) cannot possibly have been the cause.

The facts about "sudden changes" in animal habits and habitats

You have said: "In the frozen wilds of Alaska, the Arctic, Antarctic, and elsewhere, wildlife biologists have noted sudden changes in animal migration patterns, a loss of their habitat..."

The facts about "sudden changes" in animal habits and habitats are not as you have implied. First, since the climate has always changed naturally (it is, after all, a chaotic object in mathematical terms), animals are constantly having to change their migration patterns, or to move to new habitats as old ones disappear. To take one obvious example, sea level has risen 400 feet in just 10,000 years. This rise in sea level occurred naturally. Vast lands that were formerly inhabited by a great variety of land mammals are now underwater, and are inhabited by fish. The North Sea is a good example. It was not there 10,000 years ago, and Britain was joined to Europe.

Secondly, since the fact of the warming that ceased in 1998 tells us nothing of its cause, even where it is possible to attribute significant changes or losses of habitat to warmer weather, and even where such changes or losses are harmful, your implication that the "global warming" that caused these undesirable changes is anthropogenic has no scientific basis.

Thirdly, "global warming" - whether natural or anthropogenic - is by no means the most pressing threat to wildlife. The direct intrusion of humanity into the landscape and seascape is the real danger. Scientifically-unwarrantable tendencies to ascribe every adverse event in the biosphere to "global warming" is actually dangerous to the world's most vulnerable creatures, because it diverts attention and vital resources from the true causes of environmental threats towards the non-problem of anthropogenic "global warming".

Let me take one example - the polar bear, poster-child of the alarmist faction. Acres of print and hours of electronic media coverage have been devoted to the imagined disappearance of the polar bear's habitat - the Arctic ice-cap. A question that ought to have occurred to your advisors is this: How long has the polar bear stalked the Arctic, and has the Arctic ice-cap been there throughout that period? The answer is that polar bears evolved from the land-based brown bear some 200,000 years ago. But 125,000 years ago there was an interglacial period, during which global temperatures - so the ice-core analyses tell us - were about 6 °F warmer than they are today. We may legitimately infer that there was no ice-cap during that interglacial period: yet the polar bears survived. How? Because they are warm-blooded animals and are perfectly capable of surviving on land - such as Greenland, or Siberia, or northern Canada, or Alaska - if there is no Arctic ice-cap.

Therefore, even if it were possible to attribute the disappearance of the Arctic ice-cap to anthropogenic rather than to natural "global warming", it is not scientifically credible to say that the disappearance would in any way threaten the existence of the polar bears. They survived the far higher temperatures of the previous interglacial period: there is no reason to suppose they would not be able to survive this one.

The facts about "polar bears" responding to "new dangers"

You have said: "You would think that if the polar bears, walruses, and sea birds have the good sense to respond to new conditions and new dangers, then humanity can respond as well."

The facts are that polar bears are not intelligent beings. Accordingly, they act not by a conscious effort of will but by instinct. They cannot display "good sense". By natural selection, as they evolved from the brown bear, their coats became white, they became larger and more resistant to cold, and they migrated northward on to the Arctic ice-cap during their hunting season.

The chief danger to polar bears has nothing whatever to do with "global warming" - indeed, a recent survey (Norris, 2001) for the World Wide Fund for Nature shows that in those parts of the Arctic that have warmed the population of polar bears has increased; in those parts that have neither warmed nor cooled the population is stable; and in those parts that have cooled the population has fallen. Polar bears, like us, are warm-blooded animals, and, like us, they prefer warmer weather. The recent bitterly cold winter in the Arctic drove many starving bears to approach human habitations in the hope of finding food.

The real danger to polar bears is hunting. The chief reason for the increase in their population since the Second World War is that both the hunting of polar bears and the culling of the seals on which they feed have been subjected to legislative control. The protection of polar bears and their food supply has worked, is working, and will continue to work. Once again, you have addressed a non-problem by suggesting that the polar bears are at risk (which they are not) because of anthropogenic "global warming", which will be entirely harmless to them, even if the Arctic ice-cap entirely melts away, as it did 125,000 years ago and may well have done during the two-thirds of the past 10,000 years when global temperatures were warmer than they are today.

But the key question is this: Does the polar bear exhibit the key characteristic of a species at risk? Your advisors might have asked that question. And what is the key characteristic of a species at risk? It is, of course, declining population. However, the population of polar bears is not plummeting. Instead, there are five times as many polar bears in the Arctic today than there were in the 1940s. As you may think, that is hardly the profile of a species facing imminent extinction as its habitat shrinks away. Polar bears do not breed on the Arctic ice-cap, but in land-based dens. Though their current staple diet is seal-blubber, their land-based origins are still evident in the fact that their favorite delicacy is blueberries, which do not grow on the Arctic ice-cap, but only on land. Even if the ice-cap vanished, as it has done before, the polar bears would not vanish. There is no scientific basis for your attribution of a non-existent threat of extinction of polar bears to the non-problem of anthropogenic "global warming".

The facts about "more forest fires"

You have said: "We are likely to see more forest fires than in previous decades ..."

The facts about forest fires are that, yet again, you have attributed to "global warming" a problem that manifestly has another and more obvious cause. We have already established (or, rather, the great physicist Clausius established long ago) that warmer weather means a more humid atmosphere, so that "global warming" is not very likely to cause "more forest fires". The obvious principal cause of forest fires is human activities - such as arson, which has accounted for a significant proportion of all forest fires in the United States in recent years, or accidental discarding of cigarette-butts, or arcing power-lines. It would be cheaper, and hundreds of times more effective, to police the forests more efficiently, to educate the population not to light fires near standing timber during dry weather, and to create fire-breaks even in natural forests so that if fires do start they are easier to control.

The facts about "changes in crop production"

You have said: "We are likely to see changes in crop production ..."

The facts about crop production are that it is susceptible to changes in the climate, but only if the changes are very substantial. You have only to look at the wide latitudinal distribution of the world's staple crops to appreciate that - even if "global warming" were continuing, which it is not, and even if humans were the cause, which to a great extent we are not - even substantial rises in temperature are not likely to have an adverse effect on crop yields. Indeed, the UN's climate panel says that increases of up to 4 °F would be likely actually to increase crop yields. The astronomer Herschel, in 1801, noticed when reading a table of grain prices in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations that the price of grain was inversely correlated with the number of sunspots visible on the surface of the Sun. The warmer the weather, the higher the grain yield, and - in accordance with the law of supply and demand - the lower the price. So there is no scientific basis for your implication that "changes in crop production" will be negative, or that any negative changes will be caused by anthropogenic "global warming".

The facts about "heat waves afflicting our cities"

You have said: "We are likely to see more heat waves afflicting our cities ..."

The facts about "heat waves" are that they can and do occur naturally, and that their frequency is likely to diminish during periods of global cooling, such as the last seven years. Studies of deaths caused by heat waves in Texas and Mexico, which have identical (and hot) climates, show that heat-induced deaths are a function not so much of temperature as of the economic capacity and administrative and medical skill that are available. A heatwave in Mexico can kill thousands: the same heatwave in Texas will kill no one. The United States has the necessary economic strength (which your proposals for shutting down three-fifths of the economy would of course put at risk). And it has the administrative and medical ability. Consequently, it has learned how to deal with heat waves so as to prevent deaths. Therefore there is no scientific basis for saying or implying that anthropogenic "global warming" is or may become the principal cause of death from heat waves. It is lack of economic and social development that causes deaths from heat waves.

Science and the climate: conclusion

Sir, every one of the reasons that you have advanced for alarm and consequent panic action has been demonstrated to be hollow and without any scientific foundation or merit. Yet, if your proposal to close down three-fifths of the economy of the United States is to be justifiable, then not only the false scientific propositions but also the false policy propositions that you have advanced must be shown to be true. Here, then, are ten propositions, with each of which you appear to agree, each of which is actually false. All of these propositions must be proven true before any action is taken to tamper with the climate, still less the fatal, self-inflicted wounds that you would invite your nation to make to her economy:
 1.  "The scientists, politicians, and media behind ‘global warming' are honest":  They are not;

 2.  "The debate is over and all credible climate scientists are agreed":                They are not;

 3.  "Temperature today has risen exceptionally fast, above natural variability":   It has not;

 4.  "Changes in solar activity do not much impact today's global warming":       They do;

 5.  "Greenhouse-gas increases are the main reason why it is getting warmer":    They are not;

 6.  "The fingerprint of anthropogenic greenhouse warming is clearly present":     It is absent;

  7.  "Computer models are accurate enough to predict the climate reliably":       They cannot be;

  8.  "Global warming is to blame for present and future climate disasters":          It is not;

  9.  "Mitigating climate change will be cost-effective":                                        It will not;

 10.  "Taking precautions, just in case, would be the responsible course":                       It would not be.

We have examined the scientific propositions that you have advanced, and found them wanting. We now turn to your policy prescriptions and the basis for them.

Page Printed from: at October 18, 2008 - 12:47:07 PM EDT

Title: Monckton to McCain, 5
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 18, 2008, 12:58:29 PM
Public policy and the climate

Global intervention: your proposed remedy for "market failure"

You have said: "For all the good work of entrepreneurs and inventors in finding cleaner and better technologies, the fundamental incentives of the market are still on the side of carbon-based energy. This has to change before we can make the decisive shift away from fossil fuels. ... As a nation, we make our own environmental plans and our own resolutions. But working with other nations to arrest climate change can be an even tougher proposition. China, India, and other developing economic powers in particular are among the greatest contributors to global warming today - increasing carbon emissions at a furious pace - and they are not receptive to international standards ... The United States and our friends in Europe cannot alone deal with the threat of global warming. No nation should be exempted from its obligations. And least of all should we make exceptions for the very countries that are accelerating carbon emissions while the rest of us seek to reduce emissions. If we are going to establish meaningful environmental protocols, then they must include the two nations that have the potential to pollute the air faster, and in greater annual volume, than any nation ever in history. "

By now I hope I have established in your mind the possibility, at the very least, that there is no need whatsoever for any controls on the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that has previously and harmlessly contained 20 times today's concentration. And I trust that you will at least pass this letter to your advisors and invite them to contact me to verify the truth of the facts which I have spelt out here. You owe your nation and its citizens at least that much consideration before you shut down three-fifths of its economy and transfer three jobs in five to China, increasing the world's "carbon footprint" as you do so.

When Sir Nicholas Stern launched his now-discredited report on the economics of climate change, he made it plain from the outset that his analysis was political, and from a Leftist perspective, by announcing that State intervention on a massive scale was necessary to overcome what he described as "market failure". His then Prime Minister, Tony Blair (a Socialist), also used the phrase "market failure" at the Press Conference at which the Stern report was launched.

What you are suggesting in the above-quoted passage from your speech is dangerously close to the Leftist rhetoric of Stern and Blair. You are saying, in effect, that the free market on its own is incapable of acting fast enough to prevent worldwide damage caused by anthropogenic "global warming", and that there should be a globalization of etatiste interventionism to counter "market failure".

The facts are that the free market can scarcely be blamed for having failed to address an imagined "problem" that has not long been widely talked of; that, now that the free market has been made aware of the imagined "problem", it will be able to deal with the "problem" (to the extent that the "problem" is real) far more quickly and effectively than the State; and that, given the late Milton Friedman's Nobel-prizewinning observation that the State consumes twice as much of the world's resources to achieve a given objective as the free market, it is the State, not the market, that has failed, and it is the State, not the market, that must be cut down to size, regulated, and controlled.

A recent report by an association of manufacturers in the United States, designed to demonstrate how heavy the cost of "carbon trading" would be, said that the consequence of the introduction by the Federal Government of a "cap-and-trade" scheme would be the doubling of electricity prices by 2030. However, the free market has already achieved this doubling in just a couple of years.

This illustrates a central point that your advisors seem to have missed: namely, that even if the fancifully-exaggerated estimates of climate sensitivity generated by the UN's climate panel were correct (and they are not), the world will have largely run out of the fossil fuels that are the alleged cause of the alleged "problem" long before any significant environmental damage can occur. And long before the fossil fuels become exhausted, their price will rise (thanks to the free-market law of supply and demand), so that the market will ration them by price long before any State-imposed system of rationing, whether by "cap-and-trade" or otherwise, could possibly have gained sufficient public acceptance to make any difference.

Therefore the "decisive shift away from fossil fuels" that you say is necessary will occur - and rapidly - quite irrespective of any action by the State. The economic competitors of the Western nations know this perfectly well. Russia, India, and above all China have made it abundantly plain that they do not propose to reduce their "carbon emissions".

China, ingeniously, has said that it will happily reduce its "carbon emissions" to the same level per capita as the West. This would, of course, entail a considerable increase in China's emissions, and she is already the world's largest gross emitter. So, even if the West were to close down all of its industries and transport systems and factories and hospitals and schools and power stations, and even if we were to revert to the Stone Age but without the ability even to light carbon-emitting fires, the growth in China's and India's emissions would entirely replace all of our emissions within little more than a decade.

All that we should achieve, if we inflicted upon ourselves a severe enough system of rationing actually to reduce our emissions by the three-fifths you have suggested, would be to transfer our industries, our workers' jobs, our emissions, and our well-controlled environmental pollution to China, which is opening one or two new coal-fired power stations every week, and whose record of pollution is currently the worst on the planet. What conceivable economic benefit could such a policy have, even if China's dictators were prepared to go along with it (which they are not)?

Some defects of your proposed "cap-and-trade" policy

You have said: "For the market to do more, government must do more ... The most direct way to achieve this is through a system that sets clear limits on all greenhouse gases, while also allowing the sale of rights to excess emissions. And this is the proposal I will submit to the Congress if I am elected president - a cap-and-trade system to change the dynamic of our energy economy ... As part of my cap-and-trade incentives, I will also propose to include the purchase of offsets from those outside the scope of the trading system ... The cap-and-trade system will create jobs, improve livelihoods, and strengthen futures across our country. ... We need to set a better example in Washington, by consistently applying the best environmental standards to every purchase our government makes."

Sir, never did I think to see a Republican uttering the words, "For the market to do more, government must do more." It is, of course, the other way about. For the market to do more, government must do less. Remember the Friedman multiple: government consumes twice as much - and hence emits twice as much carbon - to do any given thing than the private sector.

Your proposal to introduce "cap-and-trade" would require a vast, complex, costly, bureaucratic nightmare of controls, regulations, intrusions, and interferences that would swiftly and forever destroy the economic vigor and prominence of the United States. And, in doing so, it would actually increase the "carbon footprint" of the nation, by transferring into the inefficient public sector a range of activities that - to the extent that they were necessary or desirable at all - would be far more efficiently and cheaply and hence non-emittingly done than the same activities done by the public sector.

The facts are that "cap-and-trade" is a concept invented by the Environmental Defense Fund - no friends of the Republican party. We shall see, when I reach the final section of this letter, the catastrophic worldwide effect of a previous intervention in politics by this organization. Given the unsatisfactory track record of this organization, which has long been bitterly and implacably inimical to the Western freedoms for which the Republican party stands, it is no less than breathtaking that you could so insouciantly advocate the introduction of a system of arbitrary, State-controlled rationing at that organization's instigation.

What is "cap-and-trade"? Let us spell it out. First and foremost, it is a complex regime of State-inflicted rationing, by which government officials interfere in the free market by arbitrarily deciding which industries shall or shall not be permitted to emit, and how much each of them shall have the right to emit. The economic distortions caused by this system would be monstrous. Favored industries, with generous permissions to emit, would gain sudden and immense economic advantages at the expense of unfashionable industries, with strictly-curtailed permissions to emit. The industries not favored by the State would either go under or go off-shore. They would leave behind an increasingly unemployed and disenchanted workforce, which would never forgive the Republican party for so deliberate, so baseless and so insensate a destruction of their livelihoods.

For you cannot escape the central flaw of the Environmental Defense Fund's "cap-and-trade" system. If carbon trading is to work, it will not be cheap; and, if it is cheap, it will not work. And when I say it will not be cheap, I am not talking purely in financial terms but in human terms. If you introduce cap-and-trade, you will destroy millions, and probably tens of millions, of jobs throughout the United States and in all sectors of the economy.

And those jobs - the livelihoods of working people and their families throughout the Republic - will have been sacrificed for no environmental benefit whatsoever: for whatever we cease to make, China will make in our place; whatever we cease to emit, China will emit in our place, and will emit in greater quantities because her systems of power generation are far less efficient than our own.

You will not only destroy the livelihoods of tens of millions: you will also increase the planet's total emissions of carbon dioxide. I am not worried by the extra emissions, for they will be harmless; but, if you actually believe (per impossibile) what you have said in your speech about the imagined dangers of increased emissions of carbon dioxide, then you had better abandon "cap-and-trade" at once: for the policy you propose would be calculated to increase the world's carbon footprint, not to reduce it.

The chimera of "market rewards for alternative energy"

You have said: "As never before, the market would reward any person or company that seeks to invent, improve, or acquire alternatives to carbon-based energy."

The facts are that the greatest market incentive is price. While fossil fuels were plentiful, cheap and not in heavy worldwide demand, there was no market incentive to develop new technologies. Now, the price of oil has increased by 1000% in five years, thanks to the free-market law of supply and demand. Therefore, the market has already multiplied by ten the rewards for developing and deploying alternatives to oil.

Since there is no longer any spare capacity in the system of oil production, and since most oilfields are in nations with unstable regimes at least as inimical to the West as your friends in the Environmental Defense Fund, and since China, India, Indonesia, Russia, and Brazil are growing rapidly and using more and more oil, the market will continue to increase the price of oil and, therefore, the incentive to find and fund alternative technologies. On any view, that is market success, not "market failure".

What, then, would happen if you were to introduce a State-inflicted rationing system on an economy already reeling under the oil-price shock? Even if there were a scientific case for cutting carbon emissions (which there is not), there is now not the slightest economic case for doubling the damage already caused by the increase in oil prices by imposing "cap-and-trade" on top.

If you were to impose "cap-and-trade" on top of steep and inexorably-continuing increases in the price of oil, you would merely drive the economy from recession to destruction. In short, the market has already done your job for you. Gasoline prices are higher than they could ever have been under a "cap-and-trade" regime; so are electricity prices. You can safely leave the market to bring about reductions in carbon emissions. No State intervention is either necessary or desirable.

Capital in the service of freedom: Smith's "invisible hand"

You have said: "It is very hard to picture venture capitalists, corporate planners, small businesses and environmentalists all working to the same good purpose. But such cooperation is actually possible in the case of climate change, and this reform will set it in motion."

Sir, please re-read Adam Smith's Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. It was Smith - the world's first economist, and one of its best - who first drew attention to the fact that entrepreneurs are guided as if by "an invisible hand" to provide what their customers want and need. Capitalism is built upon this foundation. It is precisely because entrepreneurs only prosper by giving people what they want that capital and liberty go everywhere hand in hand.

Directly contrary to what you say, it is not in the least hard to picture venture capitalists, corporate planners, and small businesses working together to the same good purpose. However, environmentalists are not always working to a good purpose. They are a narrow, special-interest group just like any other. It would be foolish to ignore the fact that, after the Berlin Wall fell, many on the Left found a new home in the environmental movement, seeing it as the new hope for the destruction of the Western, capitalist hegemony that they so detest.

One of the founders of Greenpeace - a man with a genuine concern for the environment but otherwise with no political opinions - has told me that he was compelled to leave the movement after a year, when the international Socialist Left took it over and used its true objectives as a mere front for what is in all material respects indistinguishable from Communism.

Title: Monckton to McCain, 6
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 18, 2008, 12:59:04 PM
His testimony - and other founders of Greenpeace have agreed with him - ought to alert you to the reality that the environmental movement in general, and the "global warming" alarmists in particular, may have an agenda that is political rather than environmental - an agenda that is a serious, strategic threat to the peace, security, prosperity, and liberty of the West, and an immediate and pressing threat to the very survival of the poorest peoples of the world.

At the very least, there is an obvious coincidence of interest between those who persistently exaggerate the supposed adverse consequences of "global warming", as you have done in your speech, and those who have long planned and intended to dismantle and destroy the economies and liberties of the free and prosperous West from within. In our schools, the slick, relentless propaganda of the alarmists - based not on fact but on fear - infects the minds of innocent children.  Gripping children in a self-serving, manipulative state of fear robs them of their childhood.

In our newspapers and on our television channels, the same half-baked but ingenious propaganda is shamelessly peddled, with little or no attempt either at balance or at genuine identification and presentation of the scientific truth. Among our classe politique, "global warming" is seen not as a crusade to "Save The Planet", but rather as a priceless opportunity to extend the empires of the new and growing aristocracy of overpaid, over-privileged bureaucrats and the politicians who cravenly serve them, and to increase the taxes and imposts inflicted on the people, and to intrude into every aspect of our lives, from the light-bulbs we use to the automobiles we drive.

It is to this admittedly powerful coincidence of interests between the international Left and the powerful educational, media, and political lobby groups that your speech has imprudently pandered. You, of all people, who have served your country and the cause of freedom so gallantly, and who have been tortured and imprisoned to keep us free, ought to be alive to the threat to our liberty that the perversion of environmentalism that is the "global warming" scare ineluctably entails.

As Francis Bacon wrote in one of his Essays, "Walled towns, stored arsenals and the like be to no avail except the spirit of the people be stout and warlike." If the spirit even of a courageous warrior such as you is no longer stout or warlike, what is the point in maintaining armed forces to defend our freedoms and our interests throughout the globe? What is the point of keeping troops in Iraq or Afghanistan, bases in Guam or Diego Garcia, intelligence operations in Cyprus or Beirut?

In giving naïve and uncritical credence to the pseudo-scientific gibberish that is "global warming", you have adopted a policy long beloved of our own Foreign Office - that of the pre-emptive cringe. You have declared to the enemies of liberty and of capital  that they have won; and that the opening words of your Declaration of Independence about "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are henceforth irrelevant, meaningless, and one with the Treaty of Westphalia, which Pope Innocent X described as "null, void, invalid, damnable, reprobate, inane, and empty of meaning for all time."

The heavy cost of the economic destruction you propose

You have said: "We will cap emissions according to specific goals, measuring progress by reference to past carbon emissions. By the year 2012, we will seek a return to 2005 levels of emission ... by 2020, a return to 1990 levels ... and so on until we have achieved at least a reduction of sixty percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050. ... In pursuit of these objectives, we cannot afford to take economic growth and job creation for granted ... We want to turn the American economy toward cleaner and safer energy sources. And you can't achieve that by imposing costs that the American economy cannot sustain."

Let us translate what you have said into plain English. You have said that within 42 years - the working lifetime of a high-school graduate today - the policies which you propose to introduce will have shut down, deliberately, consciously, and to no environmental benefit whatsoever, more than three-fifths of the entire United States economy. You propose to throw your nation back in the direction of the Stone Age - electricity one day a week if that, automobiles replaced by horses and carts, elevators replaced by stairs, all aircraft grounded, the conquest of space abandoned, factories silent, at least one hundred million jobs destroyed and transferred to China, the machine-press and combine-harvester replaced by the hammer and sickle.

You have naively assumed that, somehow, new technologies will emerge to replace fossil fuels and nuclear power (for, like oil and gas, uranium will also be largely exhausted and at best prohibitively expensive by the year 2050). Let us briefly examine the credibility of this assumption. At present, fossil fuels and nuclear power, between them, provide more than 98% of the energy we use. So-called "renewable energy" accounts for less than 2%. Even the UN's climate panel no longer believes that you can close down 98% of your nation's power supplies and retain anything more active than a Stone Age economy.

Already, some 60 coal-fired power-plants have been refused zoning consent for construction in the United States. You have been culpably silent in the face of this attack on the economic lifeblood of your nation, and on the jobs and prospects of the working people who extract the coal and convert it into the electric power your nation needs. I say "culpably", because proven reserves of coal will last for at least 300 years, whereas all other major sources of electric power, fossil or nuclear, will be either exhausted or prohibitively expensive within 50 years.

The pretext for this potentially-fatal, self-inflicted wound on your nation's economy is that the burning of fossil fuels will enrich the atmospheric concentration of "greenhouse gases", causing a dangerous warming of the planet which must be prevented at all costs. If you have done me the kindness of reading the first part of this letter, you will have been given good reason - with dozens of references to learned papers in the peer-reviewed, scientific journals - to disbelieve any such apocalyptic nonsense.

At the very least, I implore you and your advisors to look very much more closely at the supposed science behind the notion that the planet would be at risk if the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were once again to reach a concentration one-tenth of that which occurred - without disaster - in the Cambrian Era. One only has to mention that single fact to draw the attention of any reasonably impartial mind to the probability that the supposed threat posed to our planet by "global warming" must have been exaggerated beyond all reason.

The carbon footprint of the economic interferences you propose

You have said: "Over time, an increasing fraction of permits for emissions could be supplied by auction, yielding federal revenues that can be put to good use. Under my plan, we will apply these and other federal funds to help build the infrastructure of a post-carbon economy. We will support projects to advance technologies that capture and store carbon emissions. We will assist in transmitting wind- and solar-generated power from states that have them to states that need them. We will add to current federal efforts to develop promising technologies, such as plug-ins, hybrids, flex-fuel vehicles, and hydrogen-powered cars and trucks. We will also establish clear standards in government-funded research, to make sure that funding is effective and focused on the right goals."

It is understandable that you should have made a conscious decision, in framing your policies for the Presidency, to adopt a "One-Nation" approach, reaching out to those in the Democrat party whose central belief is in government of the people, by the bureaucracy, and for the bureaucracy - in short, in the tyrannical, anti-democratic system of command-economy administration that we in Europe would call Communism, or Fascism, or International Socialism: there is little to choose between them except in the numbers of people they kill.

With respect, however, your proposal vastly to increase the powers and intrusions and costs of the federal administration at the expense of the rights and freedoms and prosperity of the individual citizen goes very much too far. Every attempt made by any government to dictate the future shape or size or direction of its national economy by the fiat of its ruling elite has ended in failure. Your proposal to command the reshaping of the economy from the center has no merit, not merely because there is no scientific or economic need for it, but because, even if there were, it cannot and will not work.

Remember Friedman's multiple. The State consumes twice as much resources as the private sector in performing any given function. Therefore, if you truly believe that the planet is menaced by an insignificant and harmless increase in the atmospheric concentration of a trace gas that is essential to life, then your first duty as President will be to do the reverse of what you propose: in short, to shut down all unnecessary functions of the federal administration altogether, and to transfer as many as possible of the remainder to the private sector, which has already done a better job of disincentivizing the consumption of fossil fuels in just two years than your proposed "cap-and-trade" system is expected to do in almost a third of a century.

We can no longer afford the luxury of over-extended, over-ambitious, centralized government. The framers of your Constitution intended that power and wealth should be and remain in the hands of the people. Your proposal to concentrate vast additional powers in the hands of government is not merely doomed to ignominious failure; it is not merely guaranteed to increase your nation's "carbon footprint" under the guise of taking steps to reduce it; it is an explicit and abject abandonment of the liberty for which the Republican party stands. If you continue to advocate a policy so purposeless and so self-defeating, you will lose the Presidential race, and lose it spectacularly: and you will deserve to lose.

Your pointless devotion to the pointless Kyoto protocol

You have said: "I will not permit eight long years to pass without serious action on serious challenges. I will not accept the same dead-end of failed diplomacy that claimed Kyoto."

Let me, once again, put the facts before you. During the "eight long years" of the Presidency of the current leader of your party, the United States has succeeded in reducing its "carbon emissions", while the European Union has not; and, during those "eight long years", there has been no increase whatsoever in global mean surface temperature; during seven of those "eight long years", worldwide temperature has actually fallen; and, during those "eight long years", more and more peer-reviewed scientific papers have queried every major tenet of the "consensus" that you believe in.

Under the previous administration - that of Clinton and Gore - the Senate voted unanimously, 95-0, to reject the Kyoto Protocol and any other treaty that imposed upon the United States obligations to reduce its "carbon emissions" that were not also imposed upon China, India, and other substantial emitters worldwide. Faced with this clear and entirely sensible expression of united will on the part of all parties in the Senate, combined with the rickety and uncertain scientific case for global panic, why should George Bush have diverted federal energies and funds towards the chimera of "climate change" with any sense of urgency, or in any greater amounts than those which his administration has already so generously spent? Besides, the United States appears to have acted with a greater sense of urgency than most countries that signed Kyoto - for, unlike most of them, it has reduced its "carbon emissions".

The Kyoto Protocol would have failed whether or not the United States had agreed to participate. Why? First and foremost, because nearly every nation that is obliged by that Protocol to reduce its "carbon emissions" to the levels that obtained in 1990 by 2010 will fail to meet its target unless (as some countries have done) it artificially increases the amount of emissions that it made in 1990. As the European Union's dictators lecture the world about the need to control their emissions, its own emissions relentlessly rise year by year, even as those of the United States fall.

Secondly, the Kyoto Protocol was designed to allow its signatories to evade their responsibilities under it. There is no mechanism in the Protocol for enforcing emission control on defalcating signatories: even if the were, there is (thank Goodness) no international army or police force strong enough to carry out the task of enforcement.

And the Protocol was designed to allow, and even to encourage, fraud. Not only have signatories fiddled their 1990 emissions to allow themselves the right to emit more in 2010 than they did in 1990; many of them have set up "cap-and-trade" schemes, such as that which you have proposed, and have then fiddled the operation of the schemes. The European dictatorship, for instance, allowed each of its satrapies to trade quantities of emissions that exceeded their current total emissions by a comfortable margin. That is why the European "cap-and-trade" scheme collapsed.

Kyoto expires in 2010. So far, there is no agreed international mechanism to replace it. Nor is there any need for one - whether urgent or otherwise. The "climate problem" is in truth a non-problem: and the correct policy for addressing a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing.

Page Printed from: at October 18, 2008 - 12:47:53 PM EDT
Title: Monckton to McCain, 7
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 18, 2008, 01:00:52 PM
The threat that your policies pose to international free trade

You have said: "If the efforts to negotiate an international solution that includes China and India do not succeed, we still have an obligation to act. In my approach to global climate-control efforts, we will apply the principle of equal treatment. We will apply the same environmental standards to industries in China, India, and elsewhere that we apply to our own industries. And if industrializing countries seek an economic advantage by evading those standards, I would work with the European Union and other like-minded governments that plan to address the global warming problem to develop a cost equalization mechanism to apply to those countries that decline to enact a similar cap. ... Pressing on blindly with uncontrolled carbon emissions is in no one's interest, especially China's."

Those who oppose the freedom that capitalism brings with it have always and everywhere been opposed to free trade. Once again, it is baffling that a Republican presidential candidate should threaten to gang up with the European dictatorship (which has always been implacably opposed to free trade, and has repeatedly done its best to wreck the settlement rounds of the World Trade Organization) to try to bully China, India, and other heavy emitters of harmless carbon dioxide into emitting less. Your "cost equalization mechanism" is protectionism under a fancy name. It would have catastrophic economic consequences worldwide: but the greatest harm it would cause would be to America herself.

Consider what would happen if your "cost equalization mechanism" were imposed on China. Then the workers in your own country whom you had flung out of work under the pretext of "Saving The Planet" would not even have the compensating advantage of being able to buy cheaply from China the goods that they had themselves made until you had stopped them. All goods, worldwide, would become more expensive. Free trade, which has allowed not only the free West but also the emerging tigers of Asia to grow and prosper, would be stifled. That would not only harm the United States: it would also harm those nations against which it was directed.

In any event, the United States no longer has it in her power to interfere with international free trade in the dismal, unconstructive manner you have proposed: for it is the World Trade Organization, not the Federal Government, that now protects world trade against protectionism.

You may answer that a sovereign nation always retains the right - or, if not the right, at least the power - to unmake a treaty that is no longer congenial. Not so. If you tamper with the delicate flower of free trade that the World Trade Organization has so patiently established in recent decades by resiling unilaterally from it and reintroducing protectionism, even for purposes that you imagine (however wrongly) to be beneficial, you will inflict incalculable poverty and misery not only upon your own working people but upon the less fortunate peoples of other nations. No policy could be more irresponsible than this. I urge you and your advisors to reconsider, before it is too late.

The immorality and the cruel consequences of your proposals

The UN's climate panel, in its various quinquennial reports, has in the past advocated the substitution of one gallon in ten of gasoline by "biofuels". Unthinking politicians worldwide, panicked by the nonsensical calculations by the UN's climate panel (calculations that egregiously exaggerate the actually very limited effect of carbon dioxide on climate), rushed to support the "biofuels" program, under which agricultural land that had previously been used for growing food was instead used for growing fuel for automobiles.

The entirely predictable result was a doubling of the world price of all major, staple foods. Previously, food production and consumption had been reasonably in balance, except in those countries where dictatorship rather than democracy was the rule. In Africa, for instance, post-colonial dictators such as Mugabe and his carbon-copy "politburo" in Zimbabwe keep their people starving; and in Europe, the dismal dictatorship keeps millions of acres of productive land lying fallow, notwithstanding the will of its unconsidered peoples (who have no say and no vote in this or any other matter within what is laughably described as the "competence" of the European Union).

Now, in all parts of the world, real and serious harm is being caused by the sudden rise in world food prices that is the direct and obvious consequence of the international dash for "biofuels". It matters not that learned paper after learned paper demonstrates with devastating clarity the fact that the production and use of "biofuels" emit more carbon dioxide than the production and use of the gasoline they so inefficiently replace.

In Haiti, the doubling of food prices that resulted directly from the "biofuels" fiasco has forced the poorest of the poor to live on mud pies. Here is the recipe. Mix 6 oz. of soil with enough water to make a paste. Add a pinch of salt and a tiny knob of butter. Stir vigorously. Bake in the sun until dry and hard. Serve, or sell to neighbours for 3 US cents.

Sir, policies - however well-intentioned - have consequences. No one doubts that your intentions in proposing what you have proposed are honorable. But the road to starvation is paved with good intentions. There have been food riots in poor countries throughout the world, as the first victims of the "climate change" policies that you have so uncritically endorsed can no longer afford to feed themselves or their children.

No surprise, then, that even the UN has begun to reconsider its position. At first, it favored the conversion of food into "biofuels". Then, last year, one of its senior spokesmen called for a five-year moratorium on the conversion of food to biofuels. Now, the UN's rapporteur on food for the poor has said that when so many are starving it is "a crime against humanity" to burn their food in our automobiles. The consequence of the policy to which you have given your enthusiastic support is mass starvation. And that, Sir, is morally unacceptable.

Earlier in this letter I undertook to illustrate the track record of the Environmental Defense Fund, which invented the "cap-and-trade" policy that you advocate with such insouciant enthusiasm. It was the EDF that brought the legal case that led to the ban on the use of DDT first in the US and then throughout the world.

The UN's climate panel makes no mention of the three letters "D", "D", and "T" in its mendacious ramblings about the alleged (but in reality non-existent) link between warmer weather and the prevalence of malaria. Therefore I should explain that DDT is the only effective agent against the mosquitoes that carry malaria; that its inventor won the Nobel Prize for Medicine because the use of DDT had reduced malaria deaths to 50,000 per year worldwide; that DDT is entirely harmless to humans, who can eat it by the tablespoonful and not come to any harm; and that, if sprayed in the interior of dwellings, it will not cause any harm to wildlife, except to mosquitoes.

Yet DDT was banned. The effect of the ban was murderous. Annual malaria deaths swiftly rose from 50,000 to 1 million. In a third of a century, the excess deaths caused by the ban on DDT amount - according to the scientific literature - to between 30 and 50 million. Therefore, Sir, if you or your advisors are ever tempted to say that we should introduce such drastic measures as "biofuel" development or "cap-and-trade" or shutting down three-fifths of the US economy, as a precaution just in case the UN's climate panel and other politicized extremists are right, I pray that you will think again. The "precautionary principle" is not a principle: nor do its advocates pray it in aid for any other reason than to provide a specious credibility for policies that would otherwise be self-evidently purposeless and cruel.

The very body that invented the "cap-and-trade" scam that you now propose to sanctify as a policy of the Republican party in government would have the deaths of 50 million children - for it is children who are nearly always the victims of malaria - on its conscience. If, that is, it had a conscience. And, lest its apologists and spin-doctors dare to challenge my presentation here of its murderous role in the DDT ban, I shall tell you a story.

During the final stages of the case that led to the ban on DDT, the Board of the Environmental Defense Fund met with its lawyer. He said to the Chairman: "Sir, I beg you not to press for a total ban on DDT. If you succeed in getting it banned altogether, tens of millions of children will die of malaria. My advice is that, for pressing scientific reasons, you should allow it to be used indoors, so that children will not be bitten at home."

The lawyer carefully put before the Board the scientific evidence he had accumulated, and just as carefully - for he was scientifically literate and competent - he spelled out exactly why and how a total ban on DDT would kill tens of millions, and undo a malaria eradication program that had almost succeeded in wiping this curse from the Earth.

And what was the reaction of the Board of the Environmental Defense Fund - your allies in introducing yet another mad scheme based on a policy that is already killing people of starvation in the world's poorest countries? They dismissed their Counsel on the spot. As he left the room, he heard the Chairman say to the Board, "That's the last time we ever again employ a lawyer who knows anything about science."

There is, however, some glimmer of what may eventually be a happy ending. On September 15, 2006, the World Health Organization - under intense humanitarian pressure from me and many others - at long last reversed the ban on the production and use of DDT. Not only that, but the WHO now once again recommends DDT as the first line of defense against the mosquito.

Dr. Arata Kochi of the WHO, announcing the end of the DDT ban, said that in this field politics usually prevails, but that it was now time to pay heed to the science and the data.

The Environmental Defense Fund, as one of its lines of argument when obtaining the ban on DDT, had said that, even if there was no scientific case against a ban, a ban should be imposed anyway, as a precaution. That "precaution" killed 30-50 million children.

Title: Monckton to McCain, 8
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 18, 2008, 01:01:20 PM
That is why it is necessary not to be careless about the science; not to believe grand-sounding international organizations which put their own political predispositions and financial interests ahead of the common interest and even the life of humanity; not to accept the case for climate alarm merely because it suits you to be seen to reach out to the millions of young people who have been relentlessly propagandized in their schools, or to cross the political divide and attract voters from the Democratic electorate; not to advocate or adopt policies which originate with an organization that had knowingly adopted and inflicted on the US and the world a policy that it had been told would kill tens of millions, but pursued that policy regardless.

That is why it is necessary that you should have the courage and honesty to do what marks out the statesman from the mere politician: to change your mind; to admit that, in relying upon a policy advocated and promoted by the lavishly-funded Environmental Defense Fund, you do not wish to repeat the slaughter of the innocents; to cast aside the corrupt folly of the climate scare and of the policies which its promoters self-servingly advocate; and to tell the people that not another penny will be diverted from the real environmental problems of the world to the non-problem of "global warming" unless and until compelling scientific evidence of the imagined planetary threat shall have been provided. For the avoidance of doubt, the diffuse and corrupt ramblings of the UN's climate panel do not constitute scientific evidence, but a deliberate, artful, systematic fraud.

Let me end this section of my letter by summarizing the moral arguments against alarmism. A certain tendentious Democrat politician goes about saying that what he fatuously calls the "climate crisis" is "a moral issue." So it is. To "announce disasters", as the UN climate panel's first scientific chairman admitted he was doing, or "scary scenarios", as one of the handful of extremist scientists who support the more wayward conclusions of the UN admitted he was inventing, or "over-represent factual presentations", as a certain Democrat politician admitted he was doing, in place of adherence to the scientific truth - that is a moral issue.

To let politicians insert data into official scientific documents; to alter those documents so as to contradict scientific findings; to manipulate decimal points so as to engender false headlines by exaggerating tenfold - those are moral issues.

To exaggerate twenty-fold not only the atmospheric lifetime of a trace gas but also the effect of that gas on temperature; to reduce the magnitude of its predicted influence on temperature without reducing the predicted temperature itself - those are moral issues.

To claim scientific unanimity where none exists; to assert that catastrophe is likely when nearly all scientists do not; to exalt theoretical computer models over real-world observations; to misstate the conclusions of scientific papers or the meaning of observed data; to overstate the likely future course of climatic phenomena by several orders of magnitude - those are moral issues.

To reverse the sequence of events in the early climate; to infect the minds of children with baseless propaganda intended to terrify them; to persist in false denial that past temperatures exceeded today's; to state that climate events that have not occurred have occurred; to ascribe these non-events as well as specific extreme-weather events unjustifiably to humankind - those are moral issues.

To propose, as you have proposed, solutions to the non-problem of climate change that would cost many times more than the problem itself, if there were one; to advocate, as you have advocated, measures to mitigate fancifully-imagined future climatic changes when adaptation would cost far less and achieve far more; to ignore, as you have ignored, the real problems of resource depletion, energy security, bad Third World government and fatal diseases that kill millions - those are moral issues.

To advance, as you have advanced, policies congenial to the narrow, short-term political or financial vested interest of some mere corporation or faction at the expense of the wider, long-term general interest of us all - those are moral issues.

Above all, to propose, as you have proposed, to inflict upon the nations of the world a policy of ever-grimmer energy starvation calculated not merely to inconvenience the prosperous but to condemn the very poorest to remain imprisoned in poverty forever, and to die in their tens of millions for want of the light and heat and power and food which we have long been fortunate enough to take for granted - that is a moral issue.

Sir, in each of us, however far apart in mere distance or origin or wealth or achievement, there is the image and likeness of our Creator. By this intimate communion with our Maker each of us, however poor, is of unique and precious value. Therefore there is only one race, the human race. The suffering, starving children of Africa, of Asia and of South America, imploring us with their hopeless, hopeful eyes, are our people. They cannot look to their own. They look to us. We must get the science right or we shall get the policy wrong. We have failed them and failed them before. We must not fail them again.

The strategic threat to your nation's leadership of the world

You have said: "We need to keep our eyes on big goals in energy policy, the serious dangers, and the common interests of the American people."

The central "goals of energy policy" are security of supply, security of supply, and security of supply, in that order. All other goals are secondary to security of supply. If you run out of energy, then you have no energy policy. Resource depletion will be the hard reality of the 21st century. Demand for gasoline and for electrical power is already outstripping the capacity of the world's fossil-fuel corporations: therefore the iron law of supply and demand is driving up the price of oil and of electrical power worldwide.

And what does your speech say about these increases in the price of oil and electricity which you and I can perhaps afford, for now, but which the poorer people of your own nation and of other nations cannot? Your speech says nothing about security of supply, except to express a vague, pietistic hope that windmills and waves and tides and sunshine will at some imagined future date, in some unspecified manner, replace the 98.5% of the world's energy that is currently supplied by nuclear power and by fossil fuels.

The "serious dangers" that you speak of are not dangers arising from the very slightly warmer weather that the world may enjoy as a result of enrichment of the atmosphere by fractional increases in the proportion of the air we breathe in that is occupied by carbon dioxide such as that which we breathe out. The climate scare is, as you will now realize, a mere bugaboo - a horror story for children, that only children and those with a mental age on a par with children can be expected to swallow. The real, pressing, "serious dangers" to the peace, prosperity, and freedom of the world are the dangers that spring from the very measures you propose to drive away the fearsome-sounding but harmless climate bugaboo.

The world needs the United States to continue as the engine-house of prosperity, the wellspring of invention, the hope of freedom, the guarantor of peace. You must not transform your great nation into merely another stifling, inept, corrupt, bureaucratic-centralist dictatorship such as China, Russia, or the European Union.

At the national election in which you are the Republican candidate, the fate not merely of the United States but also of the world will be decided. We owe you much, and, because you have given us much, we look to you to give us more. We look to the United States for a continuation of her leadership of the world, for what you have called "the common interests of the American people" are the strategic interests of humanity itself.

Not for a single moment longer must you allow yourself to be distracted by the murderous foolishness of the climate alarmists. If the United States does not stand firm against cruel, pseudo-scientific nonsense of the sort that is already killing millions through purposeless starvation, then who will stand firm? Not Britain, alas, nor Europe, for we are closed countries now, administered by closed minds.

Only your "athletic democracy" can save us now - save us from the follies of policy that will merely inconvenience the prosperous but is already killing the poor. Therefore, Sir, I end this letter with the words of your poet Longfellow, addressed by Winston Churchill to your great wartime President in that darkest hour before the new dawn of freedom:

Sail on, o ship of State;

Sail on, o Union strong and great:

Humanity, with all its fears,

With all the hopes of future years,

Is hanging, breathless, on thy fate.

Monckton of Brenchley

Page Printed from: at October 18, 2008 - 12:48:45 PM EDT
Title: Re: Environmental Politics, restrictions on exhaling and driving to work
Post by: DougMacG on April 28, 2009, 06:41:06 PM
The EPA named carbon dioxide a dangerous pollutant and opened a 60 day comment period on April 18.  Even if you have never written your government on anything before, please write to them on this one.  Write to the EPA and write to all the senators and members of congress that you can find unless you want a new intrusion that makes the IRS and tax compliance look like child's play.

Please write to them and post what you write here, if you want, to motivate and help others.

Will we arrest polar bears and fireflies as they emit also, and bicyclists? Ticket God for careless volcano activity?

Would you like to be on the honor system or have the feds GPS your carbon excesses 24/7?

Written Comments

Written comments on the proposed finding may be submitted by using the following instructions:

    Mail: Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket
Center (EPA/DC), Mailcode 6102T, Attention Docket ID
No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW, Washington, DC 20460.


When providing comments, please submit them with reference to Docket ID No.  EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171.
Title: Green-0-cide
Post by: G M on May 04, 2009, 08:16:46 AM

From The Sunday Times
May 3, 2009
'Green' lightbulbs poison workers

Hundreds of factory staff are being made ill by mercury used in bulbs destined for the West
Michael Sheridan, Foshan
WHEN British consumers are compelled to buy energy-efficient lightbulbs from 2012, they will save up to 5m tons of carbon dioxide a year from being pumped into the atmosphere. In China, however, a heavy environmental price is being paid for the production of “green” lightbulbs in cost-cutting factories.

Large numbers of Chinese workers have been poisoned by mercury, which forms part of the compact fluorescent lightbulbs. A surge in foreign demand, set off by a European Union directive making these bulbs compulsory within three years, has also led to the reopening of mercury mines that have ruined the environment.

Doctors, regulators, lawyers and courts in China - which supplies two thirds of the compact fluorescent bulbs sold in Britain - are increasingly alert to the potential impacts on public health of an industry that promotes itself as a friend of the earth but depends on highly toxic mercury.

Making the bulbs requires workers to handle mercury in either solid or liquid form because a small amount of the metal is put into each bulb to start the chemical reaction that creates light.

Mercury is recognised as a health hazard by authorities worldwide because its accumulation in the body can damage the nervous system, lungs and kidneys, posing a particular threat to babies in the womb and young children.

The risks are illustrated by guidance from the British government, which says that if a compact fluorescent lightbulb is broken in the home, the room should be cleared for 15 minutes because of the danger of inhaling mercury vapour.

Documents issued by the Chinese health ministry, instructions to doctors and occu-pational health propaganda all describe mercury poisoning in lighting factories as a growing public health concern.

“Pregnant women and mothers who are breastfeeding must not be allowed to work in a unit where mercury is present,” states one official rulebook.

In southern China, compact fluorescent lightbulbs destined for western consumers are being made in factories that range from high-tech multina-tional operations to sweat-shops, with widely varying standards of health and safety.

Tests on hundreds of employees have found dangerously high levels of mercury in their bodies and many have required hospital treatment, according to interviews with workers, doctors and local health officials in the cities of Foshan and Guangzhou.

Dozens of workers who were interviewed on condition of anonymity described living with the fear of mercury poisoning. They gave detailed accounts of medical tests that found numerous workers had dangerous levels of the toxin in their urine.

“In tests, the mercury content in my blood and urine exceeded the standard but I was not sent to hospital because the managers said I was strong and the mercury would be decontaminated by my immune system,” said one young female employee, who provided her identity card.

“Two of my friends were sent to hospital for one month,” she added, giving their names also.

“If they asked me to work inside the mercury workshop I wouldn’t do it, no matter how much they paid,” said another young male worker.

Doctors at two regional health centres said they had received patients in the past from the Foshan factory of Osram, a big manufacturer serving the British market.

However, the company said in a statement that the latest tests on its staff had found nobody with elevated mercury levels. It added that local authorities had provided documents in 2007 and 2008 to certify the factory met the required environmental standards.

Osram said it used the latest technology employing solid mercury to maintain high standards of industrial hygiene equivalent to those in Germany. Labour lawyers said Osram, as a responsible multi-national company, was probably the best employer in a hazardous sector and conditions at Chinese-owned factories were often far worse.

A survey of published specialist literature and reports by state media shows hundreds of workers at Chinese-owned factories have been poisoned by mercury over the past decade.

In one case, Foshan city officials intervened to order medical tests on workers at the Nanhai Feiyang lighting factory after receiving a petition alleging dangerous conditions, according to a report in the Nanfang Daily newspaper. The tests found 68 out of 72 workers were so badly poisoned they required hospitalisation.

A specialist medical journal, published by the health ministry, describes another compact fluorescent lightbulb factory in Jinzhou, in central China, where 121 out of 123 employees had excessive mercury levels. One man’s level was 150 times the accepted standard.

The same journal identified a compact fluorescent lightbulb factory in Anyang, eastern China, where 35% of workers suffered mercury poisoning, and industrial discharge containing the toxin went straight into the water supply.

It also reported a survey of 18 lightbulb factories near Shanghai, which found that exposure levels to mercury were higher for workers making the new compact fluorescent lightbulbs than for other lights containing the metal.

In China, people have been aware of the element’s toxic properties for more than 2,000 years because legend has it that the first emperor, Qin, died in 210BC after eating a pill of mercury and jade he thought would grant him eternal life.

However, the scale of the public health problems in recent times caused by mercury mining and by the metal’s role in industrial pollution is beginning to emerge only with the growth of a civil society in China and the appearance of lawyers prepared to take on powerful local governments and companies.

A court in Beijing has just broken new ground in industrial injuries law by agreeing to hear a case unrelated to lightbulbs but filed by a plaintiff who is seeking £375,000 in compensation for acute mercury poisoning that he claims destroyed his digestive system.

The potential for litigation may be greatest in the ruined mountain landscape of Guizhou province in the southwest, where mercury has been mined for centuries. The land is scarred and many of the people have left.

Until recently, the conditions were medieval. Miners hewed chunks of rock veined with cinnabar, the main commercial source of mercury. They inhaled toxic dust and vapours as the material seethed in primitive cauldrons to extract the mercury. Nobody wore a mask or protective clothing.

“Our forefathers had been mining for mercury since the Ming Dynasty [1368-1644] and in olden days there was no pollution from such small mines,” said a 72-year-old farmer, named Shen.

“But in modern times thousands of miners came to our land, dug it out and poured chemicals to wash away the waste. Our water buffaloes grew stunted from drinking the water and our crops turned grey. Our people fell sick and didn’t live long. Anybody who could do has left.”

The government shut all the big mercury mining operations in the region in recent years in response to a fall in global mercury prices and concern over dead rivers, poisoned fields and ailing inhabitants.

But The Sunday Times found that in this remote corner of a poverty-stricken province, the European demand for mercury had brought the miners back.

A Chinese entrepreneur, Zhao Yingquan, has paid £1.5m for the rights to an old state-run mine. The Luo Xi mining company used thousands of prisoners to carve out its first shaft and tunnels in the 1950s.

“We’re in the last stages of preparing the mine to start operations again in the second half of this year,” said a manager at the site, named Su.

At Tongren, a town where mercury was processed for sale, an old worker spoke of the days when locals slaved day and night to extract the precious trickles of silvery metal.

“I worked for 40 years in a mine and now my body is full of sickness and my lungs are finished,” he said.

Additional reporting: Sara Hashash
Title: WSJ: Absurd Results
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 05, 2009, 05:38:22 AM
'In recent years, many Americans have had cause to wonder whether decisions made at EPA were guided by science and the law, or whether those principles had been trumped by politics," declared Lisa Jackson in San Francisco last week. The Environmental Protection Agency chief can't stop kicking the Bush Administration, but the irony is that the Obama EPA is far more "political" than the Bush team ever was.

How else to explain the coordinated release on Wednesday of the EPA's new rules that make carbon a dangerous pollutant and John Kerry's cap-and-trade bill? Ms. Jackson is issuing a political ultimatum to business, as well as to Midwestern and rural Democrats: Support the Kerry-Obama climate tax agenda—or we'll punish your utilities and consumers without your vote.

The EPA has now formally made an "endangerment finding" on CO2, which will impose the command-and-control regulations of the Clean Air Act across the entire economy. Because this law was never written to apply to carbon, the costs will far exceed those of a straight carbon tax or even cap and trade—though judging by the bills Democrats are stitching together, perhaps not by much. In any case, the point of this reckless "endangerment" is to force industry and politicians wary of raising taxes to concede, lest companies have to endure even worse economic and bureaucratic destruction from the EPA.

Ms. Jackson made a show of saying her new rules would only apply to some 10,000 facilities that emit more than 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year, as if that were a concession. These are the businesses—utilities, refineries, heavy manufacturers and so forth—that have the most to lose and are therefore most sensitive to political coercion.

View Full Image

Associated Press
 .The idea is to get Exelon and other utilities to lobby Congress to pass a cap-and-trade bill that gives them compensating emissions allowances that they can sell to offset the cost of the new regulations. White House green czar Carol Browner was explicit on the coercion point last week, telling a forum hosted by the Atlantic Monthly that the EPA move would "obviously encourage the business community to raise their voices in Congress." In Sicily and parts of New Jersey, they call that an offer you can't refuse.

Yet one not-so-minor legal problem is that the Clean Air Act's statutory language states unequivocally that the EPA must regulate any "major source" that emits more than 250 tons of a pollutant annually, not 25,000. The EPA's Ms. Jackson made up the higher number out of whole cloth because the lower legal threshold—which was intended to cover traditional pollutants, not ubiquitous carbon—would sweep up farms, restaurants, hospitals, schools, churches and other businesses. Sources that would be required to install pricey "best available control technology" would increase to 41,000 per year, up from 300 today, while those subject to the EPA's construction permitting would jump to 6.1 million from 14,000.

That's not our calculation. It comes from the EPA itself, which also calls it "an unprecedented increase" that would harm "an extraordinarily large number of sources." The agency goes on to predict years of delay and bureaucratic backlog that "would impede economic growth by precluding any type of source—whether it emits GHGs or not—from constructing or modifying for years after its business plan contemplates." We pointed this out earlier this year, only to have Ms. Jackson and the anticarbon lobby deny it.

Usually it takes an act of Congress to change an act of Congress, but Team Obama isn't about to let democratic—or even Democratic—consent interfere with its carbon extortion racket. To avoid the political firestorm of regulating the neighborhood coffee shop, the EPA is justifying its invented rule on the basis of what it calls the "absurd results" doctrine. That's not a bad moniker for this whole exercise.

The EPA admits that it is "departing from the literal application of statutory provisions." But it says the courts will accept its revision because literal application will produce results that are "so illogical or contrary to sensible policy as to be beyond anything that Congress could reasonably have intended."

Well, well. Shouldn't the same "absurd results" theory pertain to shoehorning carbon into rules that were written in the 1970s and whose primary drafter—Michigan Democrat John Dingell—says were never intended to apply? Just asking. Either way, this will be a feeble legal excuse when the greens sue to claim that the EPA's limits are inadequate, in order to punish whatever carbon-heavy business they're campaigning against that week.

Obviously President Obama is hellbent on punishing carbon use—no matter how costly or illogical. And of course, there's no politics involved, none at all.
Title: Mopping the Last Morsels
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 09, 2009, 11:27:19 PM
Never Cleaner

By Robert T. Smith
"The environment has never been cleaner in my lifetime than now".... is the way I begin a part of my guest lecture to the business classes at a local college here in Pennsylvania.  The look on the faces of the products of our public school educational system is one of disbelief.

As a nearby, familiar example, I try to relate to the future of America students the conditions when Pittsburgh was truly the Steel City.  Coke plants, tar plants, steel mills, glass manufacturers, and ancillary other heavy industry lined the banks of the rivers, producing the raw products of the country's industrial revolution.

Donora, Pennsylvania, the location of one of the worst air pollution incidents in our country's history lies just down-river from Pittsburgh.  In October 1948, 20 people died and over 7,000 were hospitalized or became ill as a result of an air inversion that trapped the air emissions from the Donora Zinc Works and other nearby industrial operations in this small town's valley (Donora Smog).  Industrial wastewater discharges were pumped into any nearby stream or river to severely test the buffering capacity of the natural system to absorb such a flux of pollutants.  Wastes were disposed in a manner that simply got them out of the way from the production area so as not to be an impediment to work.  This was the state of the environment up until even the 1970s.

Recognizing these issues, and the work of addressing the obvious environmental concerns, President Richard Nixon began and established the groundwork for many of the alphabet soup of major environmental laws: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), etc.  In addition, he established the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to oversee these programs.  The results of these programs had, and still have tremendous immediate, and long-lasting return on the efforts.

"The problem," I tell the students, "is similar to the experience when watching the Steelers play on Sunday with your wife or girlfriend, while eating potato chips and French onion dip.  At first, each chip is generously covered with dip, a good return on each effort of chip dipping, you can even do it with peripheral vision and focus on the game.  As the dip volume decreases, some adjustments have to be made; additional efforts, focus and attention are expended.  Initially, the extra effort is simply turning the dip tub to a more favorable angle for your chip dipping success, after all, it is in your girlfriend's or wife's best health interest, almost an altruistic act on your behalf.

"Then additional effort is expended to actually retrieve the dip tub and closely focus on ferreting out sufficient dip for each chip way down in the bottom crease or under the lip of the lid.  This is ultimately followed by the effort of the finger swipe and mouth chip/dip mixing.  It is at this point that some reasonable person needs to stop the process. There is no longer a sufficient benefit to continuing efforts to try to ingest the last dip residue ... don't lick that dip tub ... is the admonishment from your better half."

This is the analogy to the history and current story of our environmental regulations.  Where once contamination was emitted almost freely into the environment, now, it is not so extreme.  We continue to expend more and more efforts to seek those last molecules of contamination to satisfy our environmental appetite for cleaner.

Pennsylvania passed a law that disallows diesel engines to idle for more than 5 minutes in an hour.  Think about that as a truck driver working your way through traffic to deliver your goods from point A to point B.

A tar plant spills about a gallon or so of tar on the ground in its facility and spends numerous man-hours and costs to notify the national emergency response center, document the spill event, clean up the material and dispose of it, and submit follow-up reports to the regulatory agencies.  At the same time, the entire road through town outside the gates of the tar plant is being paved with the same material.

A former industrial site is required by the regulators to be cleaned up by a past owner to a regulatory-mandated human health risk assessment level of 1 x 10-6.   That is as if just one person in one million people may (not will, but may) be harmed if they were to accidentally ingest a certain amount of contaminated soil from the site every day for seventy years.

Simply because a facility manufactures a certain product, it falls into a category in which there is a mandate to spend capital to install, monitor, operate and maintain a natural gas-fired thermal oxidizer (incinerator) to destroy any air emissions from tanks containing this product.  Capital costs total hundreds of thousands of dollars initially and ultimately millions of dollars over time.  The amount of air emission "pollutants" from the product storage tanks destroyed is trivial in comparison to the excessive amount of air emission pollutants caused by burning the natural gas to operate the thermal oxidizer equipment.

This is the current story of our environmental regulations.  It is well past time for reasonable people to say to the politicians and government regulators: "Don't lick that dip tub."

Page Printed from: at October 10, 2009 - 02:23:42 AM EDT
Title: CA Oil & Gas Seep Link
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 12, 2009, 06:34:12 AM
Interesting USGS site documenting naturally occurring oil and gas seeps in CA. Comparisons between naturally occurring "pollution" and man made spills are one of the data points that emerge viewing this site.
Title: Buchanan: Copenhagen
Post by: ccp on October 19, 2009, 05:41:26 PM
Fox and anyone else better keep up the noise about what a serious blunder Bama is going to commit and how he is going to continue to destroy our nation as he continues his personal revolution:

Comments The Second Battle of Copenhagen
by  Patrick J. Buchanan


Before President Obama even landed at Andrews Air Force Base, returning from his mission to Copenhagen to win the 2016 Olympic Games, Chicago had been voted off the island.

Many shared the lamentation of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, "What has become of America, when Chicago can't steal an election?"

A second and more serious battle of Copenhagen is shaping up, in mid-December, when a world conference gathers to impose limits on greenhouse gases to stop "global warming." Primary purpose: Rope in the Americans who refused to submit to the Kyoto Protocols that Al Gore brought home in the Clinton era.
The long campaign to bring the United States under another global regime -- the newest piece in the architecture of world government -- has been flagging since 2008. Then, it seemed a lock with the election of Obama and a veto-proof Democratic Senate.

Why has the campaign stalled? Because global warming has stalled. The hottest year of modern times, 1998, came and went a decade ago.

As BBC climate correspondent Paul Hudson writes: "For the last 11 years, we have not observed any increase in global temperatures. And our climate models did not forecast it, even though manmade carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise."

What this powerfully suggests is that what man does and does not do is far less responsible for climate change, if it is responsible at all, than other factors over which he has no control.

Consider. Though the emissions of carbon dioxide rose constantly throughout the 20th century -- with the industrialization of the West, Japan, Southeast Asia and, finally, China and India -- global temperatures have not risen steadily at all. They have fluctuated.

John Sununu, writing in the St. Croix Review, says the Earth underwent "cooling in the 1920s, heating in the 1930s and 1940s, cooling in the 1950s and 1960s and 1970s, warming in the 1980s and 1990s, and cooling in the past decade."

But if there is no crisis, why are we even going to Copenhagen? And if there is no causal connection between carbon dioxide and global warming, what is the true cause of climate change?

Some scientists say that 98 percent of the Earth's temperature can be explained by the sun. When the sun's energy increases, a matter over which man has zero control, the Earth's temperature rises. When the sun's energy diminishes, the Earth's temperature falls.

One solar scientist, Piers Corbyn, claims to have found a link between solar charged particles hitting the Earth and global warming and cooling.

Others, like professor Don Easterbrook of Western Washington University, contend that the oceans explain climate change. As they heat and cool cyclically, the Earth heats and cools. And where the oceans were cooling for 40 years before the 1990s, they have lately been heating up. Easterbrook says these cycles tend to last for 30 years.

As Hudson notes, there are scientists who claim they have taken all these factors into consideration and insist that the Earth, over the long haul, is warming. But Hudson cites Mojib Latif of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who says we are in the first stage of a long-term cooling trend that will last another 10 to 20 years.

The anecdotal evidence almost daily contradicts Al Gore and the end-of-times environmentalists. Lately, there have been record-breaking cold spells in the Midwest and West. Snow came to Colorado this October, postponing a baseball playoff game. The hurricane season turned out to be among the mildest on record. Contrary to predictions, the polar bear population seems to be doing fine.

While the ice cap at the North Pole is receding, the Antarctic ice cap, which contains 90 percent of the world's ice, is expanding.

Moreover, receding ice in the Arctic is opening up a northwest passage from Europe to Asia. The Russians believe the immense mineral resources of the Arctic may soon be accessible. While we wring our hands, they are rushing to get them.

The mounting evidence that global warming has halted and man is not responsible for climate change has thrown the Kyoto II lobby into something of a panic. Barbara Boxer and John Kerry are re-branding the Senate cap-and-trade bill as a national security measure.

If, however, cap-and-trade, which the Congressional Budget Office says will be another blow to economic growth, can be stopped before the Copenhagen summit in December, the republic may have dodged another bullet. And the goal of the globalists -- an end to the independence and sovereignty of the United States, and the creation of a world government -- will have sustained yet another welcome postponement.

Mr. Buchanan is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World, "The Death of the West,", "The Great Betrayal," "A Republic, Not an Empire" and "Where the Right Went Wrong."

Title: Why Buchanan?
Post by: rachelg on October 19, 2009, 06:19:47 PM

This has nothing to with environmental issues but why do you post articles by Pat Buchanan? I don't see the value in spreading his commentary.   There has been some criticism of Pat Buchanan  from this board but why isn't there more?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on October 19, 2009, 09:44:13 PM
Jumping in and guessing Rachel's issue with Buchanan... CCP, you may want to search the anti-defamation league website for Buchanan,  They have quite a focus on him for not being a friend of Israel to put it lightly. 

Buchanan was a huge early critic of Iraq war, which is fine, but I don't like when people imply Israel has too much power in America and that's why we went.  Like the war or not, we didn't go because some group has both parties on puppet strings.

Other areas: He is a consistent opponent of freedom to trade, opponent of free trade agreements etc. which is a political philosophy opposite to mine at least in that area.  He is a critic of immigration, and not just the illegal kind.  Also very pro-life and he is pro-limited government in most other policy areas.  I think he is pretty much right-on with this piece on climate change legislation.  But as mentioned previously, conservatism needs better leaders.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 19, 2009, 09:51:30 PM
This particular piece makes sense, but sometimes Pat gives a pretty good impression of having anti-Jewish tendencies.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on October 20, 2009, 05:12:23 AM

What criticism do you want to see of Buchanan?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: rachelg on October 20, 2009, 06:16:23 PM
It is not the kind of criticism  it is the frequency.

I feel like if  I regularly posted an article from someone who is more left wing that  had  diminished the Holocaust and made somewhat supportive   statements of Hitler  and made antisemitic and anti Israel statements things would be different. You would comment all the time and fill threads with the criticism.  Why is Buchanan being treated with respect at all here. What exactly has he done to deserve that?

It would be nice if when Buchanan got on TV people would change the channel . If a newspaper has the bad sense to publish him don't click on the links for his stories and at the very least don't  republish his works.  Does everyone here really want to be identified with him?  There is no other conservative commentator you like better?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: ccp on October 21, 2009, 05:57:23 PM
I guess I am the perpetrator of posting Buchanan occasionally.
He probably does have a deep rooted dislike of Jews.
I have my own feelings about this.

Yet I find him to be the only one who will state what others are literally afraid to state.

Many could legitimetly argue he was correct about Iraq. 
And he wasn't the only right winger who was against this venture.
I recall Joe Scarborough for one was very skeptical as to the wisdom of it.

I agree with him on protecting our borders although I simply don't know enough about some of his other protectionist ideas.

He has made what most would consider outrageous claims about other wars.
Including an argument that Abraham Lincoln is responsible for more deaths of US citizens than any other President.
He even stated and argued we should have stayed out of Europe in WW2 and that we pushed Japan into attacking us.

Do I agree with these arguments - no.  Yet I find them interesting.

If he offends you I won't post his stuff anymore.

I can think of people who write or say things I wouldn't want to hear.  Take Loius Farrakan for example.

You want a real Jew hater take him.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: rachelg on October 23, 2009, 05:00:53 AM

There are number of reason philosophical disagreements happen

1.Someone does not have all the facts

2. Someone has all the facts but there are things that reasonable  people can disagree

3. People can be very rational on some  parts of their life and not rational in others and they probable think  you  are crazy as well.

It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into. Jonathan Swift Quote

4. There are things that cross the line of human decency.

Buchanan crosses the line of human decency .

There is certainly value  in reading someone who is not afraid to speak their mind  but I don't think Buchanan is worth it. I'm not saying you have to disagree with everything Buchanan says but  If Buchanan is treated a respected commentator we all look bad.
I would greatly appreciate if you wouldn't post  any more article by Buchanan.

Farrakhan is also on the list of those cross the lines of human decency and  the only reason I would ever post anything by Farrakhan would be to criticize him.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: ccp on October 23, 2009, 08:24:01 AM
"Buchanan crosses the line of human decency ."

How so?

I don't expect everyone to love Jews.  I don't care if they don't.  But some Jews take the slightest offence at anything even potentially negative said about them. 

Where is this line of decency?  Some feel Glenn Beck crosses the line of decency.  Yet I feel pretty much everything he says is true.
So should he shut up because those on the left don't like what they hear?

"I would greatly appreciate if you wouldn't post  any more article by Buchanan."

I respect your opinion.   That's is ok.  I don't need to post his pieces if it offends people on this board.  I don't love the guy.  But some of what he says I find I agree with and much of what he says I find food for thought.

I don't particularly like things he says about Jews at times.  Yet there IS a disproportionate number of Jews in high visible places with key advisorial roles in our nation from political, to legal, to health care, to policy, to financial.
So if we are going to be outspoken in our views around the nation, if we are going to keep reminding everyone about the holocaust and our long history of persecution followed by survival followed success followed by resentment followed by persecution followed by the never must we let this happen again then I don't think we can expect everyone else to simply fall in love with us.
It just flies in the face of human nature.

That said I can take the heat.  But that said I amp perfectly willing to defend and go on offense when the heat is a threat of any nature.  But when it is just opinion - well - I don't know.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: ccp on October 23, 2009, 12:52:12 PM
"That said I can take the heat.  But that said I amp perfectly willing to defend and go on offense when the heat is a threat of any nature.  But when it is just opinion - well - I don't know."

I would like to clarify what I meant; of those (such as Buchananan) who want to criticize Jewish opinion I can take that criticism.
When it crosses the line for me is when it evolves into threats like they should all die, or be shoved into the sea, etc.
Or they are to blame for all the world's ills etc, or the holocaust didn't happen, etc.
Just my opinion.
Title: Of Stopped Clocks & Blind Pigs
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 23, 2009, 05:14:06 PM
I'm having trouble wrapping my head around some of the Buchanan discussion. Stopped clocks are right twice a day and blind pigs can find acorns so I can conceive of the notion of reading one of his pieces and perhaps posting it, though the latter is most likely to occur as an example of what I'm arguing against. Plenty of unsavory idiots and pompous windbags on the planet, keeping a list of who's too insufferable to post would require a lot of work, while prior restraint gives me the willies so I'd prefer not to go there.

Think anti-semitism, thinly veiled or otherwise, though, needs to be called and ought to inform us as we are evaluating a source. I've long held that many of the problems on this planet are caused by having simple explanations ascribed to complex phenomena, and holding Jews accountable for any broad conspiracy falls into that category. Makes no more sense than blaming eclipses on right handers, redheads, or the knock kneed, IMO.

As for Pat himself, I think the Thai plum could cure much of what annoys me about him. Minute or two of Thai knees, elbows, and maybe a headbutt would wipe that pig-eyed neo-fascist smirk right off his face and he'd likely run his mouth less, until they removed the wires from his jaw at least.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 23, 2009, 08:07:29 PM
I predict a great future as a pundit  :lol:

Lets take this up to the Fire Hydrant thread.
Title: Trash Myths
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on December 02, 2009, 06:57:35 AM
Three Myths about Trash
Mises Daily: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 by Floy Lilley

There are three things everybody knows when we talk trash:

We know we're running out of landfill space;
we know we're saving resources and protecting the environment by recycling; and
we know no one would recycle if they weren't forced to.
Let's look at these three things we think we know. Are they real or are they rubbish?

1. Are We Running Out of Landfill Space?

Two events created the perfect garbage storm in the late 1980s. One barge and one bureaucrat created this overhyped myth. The garbage barge was the Mobro 4000. The bureaucrat was J. Winston Porter.

The Mobro 4000 gaine celebrity status by spending two months and 6,000 miles seeming to scour the Atlantic coastline and the Gulf of Mexico looking for a home for its load, as if no landfills existed. The physical availability of landfill space was not the issue, but you would not have guessed that from the hysteria the media whipped up.

J. Winston Porter became a star that season at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by writing a report entitled The Solid Waste Dilemma: Agenda for Action, in which Porter proclaimed that recycling is absolutely vital because America is running out of landfill space.

What Porter thought he knew was simply not so. The EPA had noticed that the number of landfills was dropping. They failed to notice that the size of landfills was getting much bigger much faster. Total landfill capacity was actually rising. The EPA also underestimated the prospects for creating additional capacity.

Obviously, and as usual, the real landfill problem is not a landfill problem at all but a political problem. "Fears about the effects of landfills on the local environment have led to the rise of the not-in-my-back-yard (NIMBY) syndrome, which has made permitting facilities difficult. Actual landfill capacity is not running out."

Today, 1654 landfills in 48 states take care of 54 percent of all the solid waste in the country. One-third of them are privately owned. The largest landfill, in Las Vegas, received 3.8 million tons during 2007 at fees within the national range of $24 to $70 per ton. Landfills are no longer a threat to the environment or public health. State-of-the-art landfills, with redundant clay, plastic liners, and leachate collection systems, have now replaced all of our previously unsafe dumps.

"We are not running out of landfill space."
More and more landfills are producing pipeline-quality natural gas. Waste Management plans to turn 60 of their waste sites into energy facilities by 2012. The new plants will capture methane gas from decomposing landfill waste, generating more than 700 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 700,000 homes.

Holding all of America's garbage for the next one hundred years would require a space only 255 feet high or deep and 10 miles on a side. Landfills welcome the business. 40 percent of what we recycle ends up there anyway. We are not running out of landfill space.

2. Are We Saving Resources and Protecting the Environment by Recycling?

What are the costs in energy and material resources to recycling as opposed to landfill disposal, which we've just looked at? Which method of handling solid waste uses the least amount of resources as valued by the market?

As government budgets tighten and the cost of being "green" rubs against the reality of rising taxes, recycling coordinators like Auburn University's Leigh Jacobson will increasingly be under pressure to justify their programs as cost-effective alternatives to waste-disposal methods like landfills.

I don't think she will be able to do it. But it should be easier for Leigh at the university than it will be for her counterpart in the City of Auburn, or in any city that funds curbside recycling. Curbside recycling is substantially more costly — that is, it uses far more resources — than a program in which disposal is combined with a voluntary drop-off/buy-back option.

Overall, curbside recycling's costs run between 35 percent and 55 percent more than other recycling methods, because it uses huge amounts of capital and labor per pound of material recycled. Recycling itself uses three times more resources than does depositing waste in landfills.

The largest US organization dedicated to recycling just found out how difficult this chosen path can be. The final death knell for the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) appeared to ring earlier this year when the organization announced it would be filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The NRC ceased operations and terminated all staff members at the close of business on Sept. 4, shortly after an attempt to merge with Keep America Beautiful failed. NRC is now trying to avoid bankruptcy by reorganization.

Even though they are a half-million dollars in debt, NRC may legally continue to exist if they can raise funds, negotiate with their creditors and develop a business plan. What seems to be their business plan? They are counting on the Kerry-Boxer Bill on clean energy to include recycling language. In other words, they are counting on being bailed out and subsidized. The market knows this is a losing proposition, so these players are trying to get taxpayers to fund their enterprises.

"Wherever private-property rights to forests are well-defined and enforced, forests are either stable or growing."
The Solid Waste Association of North America found that, of the six communities involved in a particular study, all but one of the curbside recycling programs, and all the composting operations and waste-to-energy incinerators, increased the cost of waste disposal. Indeed, the price for recycling tends to soar far higher than the combined costs of manufacturing raw materials from virgin sources and dumping rubbish into landfills.

Recycled newspapers must be deinked, often with chemicals, creating sludge. Even if the sludge is harmless, it too must be disposed of. Second, recycling more newspapers will not necessarily preserve trees, because many trees are grown specifically to be made into paper. The amount of new growth that occurs each year in forests exceeds by a factor of 20 the amount of wood and paper that is consumed by the world each year. Wherever private-property rights to forests are well-defined and enforced, forests are either stable or growing.

Glass is made from silica dioxide — that's common beach sand — the most abundant mineral in the crust of the earth. Plastic is derived from petroleum byproducts after fuel is harvested from the raw material. Recycling paper, glass, or plastic is usually not justified compared to the virgin prices of these materials.

The best way to measure the scarcity of natural resources, such as trees, sand, or oil, is to use the market prices of those resources. If the price of a resource is going up over time, and it's not just inflation pushing those prices higher, the resourceis getting scarcer. If the price is going down, it is becoming more plentiful. Indeed, since 1845, the average price of raw materials has fallen roughly 80 percent after adjusting for inflation.

This paradox of our having more by using more is explained by the use of the most important resource — man's mind. Human ingenuity makes natural resources increasingly available through prices, innovation, and substitution.

Bureaucrats, however, appear to occupy a place at the opposite end from human ingenuity. Their interferences in markets do damage. Just two examples will illustrate what I mean by that. One is about a light that has a dark side. The other example requires that you either clean your plate or become a composter.

In 2007, Congress banned incandescent bulbs — not exactly a market action. The phasing out of incandescent light is to begin with the 100-watt bulb in 2012 and end with the 40-watt bulb in 2014. By 2020, bulbs must be 70 percent more efficient than they are today. While a standard, 100-watt bulb costs $1.24, the spiral compact fluorescent light (CFL) 100-watt sells for $4.97. Advocates argue, however, that the CFL lasts longer and uses less energy. The packaging claims that after six years I will have saved $74 in energy.

Thereby, in the year 2007 alone, under this edict, some 397 million compact fluorescent light bulbs were placed on the market. Their debut is counted as a success.

"Recycling would seem to be the philosophy that everything is worth saving except your own time and money."
However, the recycling of spent household CFLs has been an abject failure. Despite CFL-disposal bans in states like Maine, despite continuing statewide education efforts, and despite a free CFL-recycling program there, households throw the used bulbs into the trash that ends up in the landfills.

What's the problem with that? Landfills, as we've learned, have the space and the appetite for our waste. Well, the problem is the potential public and environmental health effects of the collective release of the small amount of mercury in each discarded CFL. For example, using the mean amount of 5 milligrams per CFL, the total amount of mercury contained in the 2007 shipments of CFLs alone is a large amount.

There is no mention on GE's packaging of the bulb's mercury component or any special precautions you must take when this bulb breaks.

Notice that "mercury free" is already a selling point for the producers of new LED technology Accent bulbs. "Accent" means you can't actually get enough light from them to read by. But, you can tell the packager has obviously experienced how ugly the CFL-produced light is, because the buyer is assured a warm, white light, which is something you do not get with a CFL.

In June of this year, Maine adopted the nation's first law that requires CFL bulb manufacturers to share the costs and responsibility for recycling mercury-containing CFLs through a producer-financed collection and recycling program, which must include an education component. This mandate will drive the CFLs' cost even higher. Additional specialized equipment will have to be created for handling light bulbs that will be seen to be hazardous waste. How can any savings ever result from such a boondoggle?

Then, bringing new depth and meaning to the word "boondoggle," San Francisco's newest mandatory-recycling ordinance took effect last month. All residences, all restaurants and all commercial buildings must participate in the city's recycling and composting programs. A recent study had unearthed the fact that 36 percent of the city's landfilled waste is compostable. That happens to be the ingredient that makes the landfill valuable as an energy source.

Collecting your food scraps, plant trimmings, soiled paper, and other compostables is considered necessary by San Franciscans to fight global warming. Residents get both a green cart and a green report titled "Stop Trashing the Planet." Residents face $100 fines if they fail to separate their food scraps from their papers or cans. Businesses face fines of $500. Really bad actors could be fined $1000. The stated goal is to get to zero waste, meaning no garbage at all going into landfills, by the year 2020.

Obviously, San Francisco believes we have run out of landfill space. Obviously, they do not have the vision to see the energy plants that landfills can become when waste is actually put in them.

In light of these facts, how can San Franciscans and others think recycling conserves resources? First, many states and local communities subsidize recycling programs, either out of tax receipts or out of fees collected for trash disposal. That's the case with Auburn University's recycling grant. Thus the bookkeeping costs reported for such programs are far less than their true resource costs to society. Also, observers sometimes erroneously compare relatively high-cost, twice a week garbage pickup with relatively low-cost, once or twice a month recycling pickups, which makes recycling appear more attractive.

"Mandated recycling exists mainly because there is plenty of money to be made by labeling products as "green" or "recycled" to get municipal and federal grants."
Why do these same people think that recycling is protecting the environment by not polluting? Recycling is a manufacturing process, and therefore it too has environmental impact. The US Office of Technology Assessment says that it is "usually not clear whether secondary manufacturing such as recycling produces less pollution per ton of material processed than primary manufacturing processes."

Increased pollution by recycling is particularly apparent in the case of curbside recycling. Los Angeles has estimated that its fleet of trucks is twice as large as it otherwise would be — 800 versus 400 trucks. This means more iron ore and coal mining, more steel and rubber manufacturing, more petroleum extracted and refined for fuel — and of course all that extra air pollution in the Los Angeles basin as the 400 added trucks cruise the curbs.

Manufacturing paper, glass, and plastic from recycled materials uses appreciably more energy and water, and produces as much or more air pollution, as manufacturing from raw materials does. Resources are not saved and the environment is not protected.

3. Do People Recycle Only When They Are Forced To?

If all we knew about recycling was what we heard from environmentalist groups, recycling would seem to be the philosophy that everything is worth saving except your own time and money. Costs of recycling are mostly hidden. If we add in the weekly costs of sorting out items, it makes more sense to place everything in landfills.

But private recycling is the world's second oldest, if not the oldest, profession. Recyclers were just called scavengers. Everything of value has always been recycled. You will automatically know that something is of value when someone offers to buy it from you, or you see people picking through your waste or diving into dumpsters.

Aluminum packaging has never been more than a small fraction of solid waste, because metals have value. Ragpickers separating out cloth from waste may not be in season now, but cardboard, wood, and metals have always been in some demand.

Scrapyards recycle iron and steel because making steel from virgin iron and coal is more expensive. Members of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industriesrecycle 60 million tons of ferrous metals, 7 million tons of nonferrous metals, and 30 million tons of waste paper, glass, and plastic each year — an amount that dwarfs that of all government (city, county, and state) recycling programs.

Recycling is a long-practiced, productive, indeed essential, element of the market system. Informed, voluntary recycling conserves resources and raises our wealth, enabling us to achieve valued ends that would otherwise be impossible. So yes, people do recycle even when they are not forced to do so.

However, forcing people to recycle makes society worse off. Mandated recycling exists mainly because there is plenty of money to be made by labeling products as "green" or "recycled" to get municipal and federal grants.

Henry Hazlitt and Ludwig von Mises speak to our recycling topic.

In Economics in One Lesson, Hazlitt teaches us that mandatory recycling considers only-short term benefits to a few groups — politicians, public-relations consultants, environmental organizations, and waste-handling corporations — instead of looking at the longer-term effects of the policy for all groups. The negative consequence will be the squandering of human resources.

In conclusion, Mises also teaches us what to expect. Mises, in his great work Human Action, does not say that recycling is a bad belief. He shows by example that mandatory recycling is an inappropriate means of caring about the environment. Waste is inescapable. Austrian economics leaves it to every person to decide whether his or her belief in recycling is more important than the avoidance of the inevitable consequences of forced recycling policies: wasted natural resources and wasted human resources.
Title: Comrade Lysenko Smiles
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on December 08, 2009, 11:49:14 AM
Comrade Lysenko in Copenhagen
How Stalin’s favorite scientist paved the way for today’s global-warming enthusiasts.

By Alex Alexiev

As the illustrious conclave of global-warming true believers, led by Pres. Barack Obama, gathers in Copenhagen for yet another exercise in environmental doom and gloom, observing the proceedings with the sly smirk of somebody who’s “been there, done that” is likely to be the ghost of one Trofim Denisovich Lysenko. No ordinary ghost he: Comrade Lysenko was Stalin’s favorite scientist for decades and the driving force behind the greatest scientific fraud in history prior to anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Indeed, to fully understand the nature, magnitude, and implications of the AGW scam, it’s worthwhile to revisit Academician Lysenko’s exploits.

The 1950 edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, the arbiter and repository of all politically correct Communist knowledge, had the following entry under genetics: “Soviet scientists under the leadership of Academician Lysenko proved scientifically that genes do not exist in nature.” Having Mendelian genetics outlawed on the grounds that it was not a science was probably Lysenko’s crowning achievement.

A self-taught agronomist, Lysenko early on jumped aboard the Stalinist bandwagon and developed a number of agricultural ideas — ideas that rejected all established science as “bourgeois” and therefore “counter-revolutionary,” an approach similar to the Nazis’ assault on “Jewish mathematics.” Included were promises to dramatically raise grain yields through the practice of something called “vernalization,” change the climate of Siberia by planting trees, and make wheat plants produce rye, among others. To push these ideas, Lysenko called his opponents “wreckers” and the mere discussion of his theories “political sabotage.”

Invariably these “saboteurs” lost their jobs (if they were lucky) or landed in the Gulag. Today’s global-warming “deniers” would easily recognize all these tactics minus the Gulag. The U.K.’s energy and climate-change secretary, Ed Miliband, recently even referred to AGW skeptics as “saboteurs.” Some of our latter-day Lysenkos have called for legal prosecution of skeptics.

Despite a well-known record of bogus research, experiment falsification, and faked results, and with Stalin’s blessing, Lysenko and Lysenkoism ruled Soviet agricultural science for three decades with dismal consequences for agriculture and the country at large. While pre-Lysenko Russia was known as the granary of Europe, the Soviet Union was never able to feed its population and relied on huge grain imports until its demise.

Why was this charlatan tolerated for years even after Stalin’s death? The answer to that is simple. Lysenko may have been a fraud as a scientist, but he was a Communist scientist par excellence. Communist ideology, just like Nazi ideology, required strict obedience to partisanship in all realms, and science was not an exception.

And here Lysenko’s contribution was impressive. By denying genetics and propounding the idea that acquired characteristics are inheritable, he provided the “scientific” underpinning of Marx’s theory that after a few generations of Communist dictatorship, a new selfless and docile Communist man — a perfect ant in an anthill — would emerge.

It is here that Lysenkoism’s resemblance to AGW is most striking. Just as the former was only tangentially concerned with agriculture, the latter is only tangentially concerned with climate. Like many previous campaigns against imaginary evils (such as acid rain, overpopulation, urban sprawl, etc.), its real targets are capitalism and individual rights. Its solution is the unrestricted primacy of government over the citizen and of collectivism over individual rights.

The objective is the age-old socialist dream of the Left under a new and more benign guise. This new direction was best framed by the American academic socialist Robert Heilbroner after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Lamenting the fall of Communism and the socialist economic model, he urged his fellow leftists to use the ecological movement to impose socialism and central planning. This has proven to be sound advice, and today radical environmentalism has become the ramming rod of the anti-capitalist Left and a vastly more effective instrument for undermining markets and free societies than socialist ideology ever was.

Man-made climate change has become for its supporters what Lysenko’s theory of heredity was for the Stalinists. For the small international cabal of top AGW functionaries, it isn’t about climate — and it’s about more than money, power, and prestige (though, with the connivance of sycophantic Western governments and U.N. bureaucrats, there is plenty of that too). It is about ideology, in the name of which at least some of them were perfectly prepared to dissemble, falsify records, and destroy others’ careers. And their pseudo-scientific edifice, built with much underhanded effort over the years, will not go down without a fight, as Copenhagen’s confab will undoubtedly prove. For the AGW zealots in government and academia know well that the unraveling of the global-warming scam may well be the beginning of the end of radical environmentalism as the most promising means to destroy the hated free-enterprise system.

Consider, for a minute, how closely the various ongoing assaults on capitalism in the United States depend on AGW. The minute it is proven conclusively to be a fabrication, the rationale for government takeover of the energy sector via cap-and-trade disappears, as does the raison d’être for taxpayer-subsidized renewable-energy fantasies or the efforts to undermine Americans’ property rights through “smart growth” land-use restrictions. Or think of the likely impact of proven malfeasance by the AGW mandarins on their allies in U.S. government agencies, like EPA and NASA, whose regulatory proposals and policy recommendations have relied so heavily on the IPCC’s forged consensus. They are already circling the wagons and, given the support of the Obama administration and the mainstream media, it is premature to write the mandarins off quite yet.

Nonetheless, what looked like an impregnable AGW fortress a while ago has been breached and appears shaken and vulnerable, and Copenhagen will not change that. With China and India not willing to join in the global-warming demagoguery of the West, no agreement worth the paper it’s written on is likely to come out of it. In the meantime, with new Climategate investigations, FOIA requests galore, and almost daily revelations of the disingenuous shenanigans of the environmental zealots and their government supporters, it no longer looks outlandish to imagine the AGW scam and Comrade Lysenko put to rest once and for all.

-- Alex Alexiev is a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.

National Review Online -
Title: WSJ: Lets do what Europe does (right!)
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 09, 2009, 04:04:05 AM
Kill Jobs, Get Rich--What's Not to Like?
The EU Referendum blog has a fascinating story on how Cap'n Trade--or, as it's called in Europe, the "emission trading scheme"--works. It seems that the Corus Group, a London-based steel maker that is a subsidiary of India's Tata Group, is shutting down one of its plants--a plant the company bought just two years ago "as part of its strategy to give it better access to European (including UK markets) [sic]."

Closing the plant, the site explains, will give the company an ETS jackpot:

With redundancy and decommissions costs, very little of that can actually come from the process of closing down the Redcar plant. But, with a capacity of 3,000,000 tons of steel, closure of the plant will deliver further "savings" over 6 million tons of carbon dioxide, worth an additional £80 million per annum at current rates but around £200 million at expected market levels.
This, even for a company the size of Tara steel, is a considerable windfall, over and above the money it will already make from the EU scheme. But, with a little manipulation, the company can still double its money. By "offshoring" production to India and bringing emissions down – from over twice the EU level--to the level currently produced by the Redcar plant, it stands to make another £200 million per annum from the UN's Clean Development Mechanism.
Thus we see Indian plants being paid up to £30 a ton for each ton of carbon dixoide "saved" by building new plant, while the company which owns them also gets gets paid £30 for each ton of carbon dioxide not produced in its Redcar plant. That gives it an estimated £400 million a year from the closure of the Redcar plant up to 2012--potentially up to £1.2 billion. And that is over and above benefitting from cheaper production costs on the sub-continent.
So the company gets a windfall for moving jobs from Britain to India, and the new plant will produce no less carbon than before. Brilliant, isn't it? We can't wait till America has such a policy.
Title: NYT: Millions drink contaminated water
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 09, 2009, 04:56:24 AM
second post

Millions in U.S. Drink Dirty Water, Records Show

Published: December 7, 2009
More than 20 percent of the nation’s water treatment systems have violated key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act over the last five years, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data.

The water system in Ramsey, N.J., has illegal concentrations of arsenic and the solvent tetrachloroethylene, both linked to cancer.

Times Topics: Water Pollution
Series: Toxic Waters »
 Takeaway With Charles Duhigg
That law requires communities to deliver safe tap water to local residents. But since 2004, the water provided to more than 49 million people has contained illegal concentrations of chemicals like arsenic or radioactive substances like uranium, as well as dangerous bacteria often found in sewage.

Regulators were informed of each of those violations as they occurred. But regulatory records show that fewer than 6 percent of the water systems that broke the law were ever fined or punished by state or federal officials, including those at the Environmental Protection Agency, which has ultimate responsibility for enforcing standards.

Studies indicate that drinking water contaminants are linked to millions of instances of illness within the United States each year.

In some instances, drinking water violations were one-time events, and probably posed little risk. But for hundreds of other systems, illegal contamination persisted for years, records show.

On Tuesday, the Senate Environment and Public Works committee will question a high-ranking E.P.A. official about the agency’s enforcement of drinking-water safety laws. The E.P.A. is expected to announce a new policy for how it polices the nation’s 54,700 water systems.

“This administration has made it clear that clean water is a top priority,” said an E.P.A. spokeswoman, Adora Andy, in response to questions regarding the agency’s drinking water enforcement. The E.P.A. administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, this year announced a wide-ranging overhaul of enforcement of the Clean Water Act, which regulates pollution into waterways.

“The previous eight years provide a perfect example of what happens when political leadership fails to act to protect our health and the environment,” Ms. Andy added.

Water pollution has become a growing concern for some lawmakers as government oversight of polluters has waned. Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, in 2007 asked the E.P.A. for data on Americans’ exposure to some contaminants in drinking water.

The New York Times has compiled and analyzed millions of records from water systems and regulators around the nation, as part of a series of articles about worsening pollution in American waters, and regulators’ response.

An analysis of E.P.A. data shows that Safe Drinking Water Act violations have occurred in parts of every state. In the prosperous town of Ramsey, N.J., for instance, drinking water tests since 2004 have detected illegal concentrations of arsenic, a carcinogen, and the dry cleaning solvent tetrachloroethylene, which has also been linked to cancer.

In New York state, 205 water systems have broken the law by delivering tap water that contained illegal amounts of bacteria since 2004.

However, almost none of those systems were ever punished. Ramsey was not fined for its water violations, for example, though a Ramsey official said that filtration systems have been installed since then. In New York, only three water systems were penalized for bacteria violations, according to federal data.

The problem, say current and former government officials, is that enforcing the Safe Drinking Water Act has not been a federal priority.

“There is significant reluctance within the E.P.A. and Justice Department to bring actions against municipalities, because there’s a view that they are often cash-strapped, and fines would ultimately be paid by local taxpayers,” said David Uhlmann, who headed the environmental crimes division at the Justice Department until 2007.

“But some systems won’t come into compliance unless they are forced to,” added Mr. Uhlmann, who now teaches at the University of Michigan law school. “And sometimes a court order is the only way to get local governments to spend what is needed.”

A half-dozen current and former E.P.A. officials said in interviews that they tried to prod the agency to enforce the drinking-water law, but found little support.

“I proposed drinking water cases, but they got shut down so fast that I’ve pretty much stopped even looking at the violations,” said one longtime E.P.A. enforcement official who, like others, requested anonymity for fear of reprisals. “The top people want big headlines and million-dollar settlements. That’s not drinking-water cases.”

The majority of drinking water violations since 2004 have occurred at water systems serving fewer than 20,000 residents, where resources and managerial expertise are often in short supply.

It is unclear precisely how many American illnesses are linked to contaminated drinking water. Many of the most dangerous contaminants regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act have been tied to diseases like cancer that can take years to develop.


Millions in U.S. Drink Dirty Water, Records Show

Published: December 7, 2009
(Page 2 of 2)

But scientific research indicates that as many as 19 million Americans may become ill each year due to just the parasites, viruses and bacteria in drinking water. Certain types of cancer — such as breast and prostate cancer — have risen over the past 30 years, and research indicates they are likely tied to pollutants like those found in drinking water.

Skip to next paragraph
Times Topics: Water Pollution
Series: Toxic Waters »
 Takeaway With Charles Duhigg
A blog about energy, the environment and the bottom line.

The violations counted by the Times analysis include only situations where residents were exposed to dangerous contaminants, and exclude violations that involved paperwork or other minor problems.
In response to inquiries submitted by Senator Boxer, the E.P.A. has reported that more than three million Americans have been exposed since 2005 to drinking water with illegal concentrations of arsenic and radioactive elements, both of which have been linked to cancer at small doses.

In some areas, the amount of radium detected in drinking water was 2,000 percent higher than the legal limit, according to E.P.A. data.

But federal regulators fined or punished fewer than 8 percent of water systems that violated the arsenic and radioactive standards. The E.P.A., in a statement, said that in a majority of situations, state regulators used informal methods — like providing technical assistance — to help systems that had violated the rules.

But many systems remained out of compliance, even after aid was offered, according to E.P.A. data. And for over a quarter of systems that violated the arsenic or radioactivity standards, there is no record that they were ever contacted by a regulator, even after they sent in paperwork revealing their violations.

Those figures are particularly worrisome, say researchers, because the Safe Drinking Water Act’s limits on arsenic are so weak to begin with. A system could deliver tap water that puts residents at a 1-in-600 risk of developing bladder cancer from arsenic, and still comply with the law.

Despite the expected announcement of reforms, some mid-level E.P.A. regulators say they are skeptical that any change will occur.

“The same people who told us to ignore Safe Drinking Water Act violations are still running the divisions,” said one mid-level E.P.A. official. “There’s no accountability, and so nothing’s going to change.”
Title: Madness of the Crowd, I
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on December 11, 2009, 07:09:53 AM
Beyond debate?
10 December 2009

The Copenhagen summit is in full force, and so too is the idea that man-made global warming is incontrovertible. But Martin Cohen argues that the consensus is less a triumph of science and rationality than of PR and fear-mongering

Is belief in global-warming science another example of the "madness of crowds"? That strange but powerful social phenomenon, first described by Charles Mackay in 1841, turns a widely shared prejudice into an irresistible "authority". Could it indeed represent the final triumph of irrationality? After all, how rational is it to pass laws banning one kind of light bulb (and insisting on their replacement by ones filled with poisonous mercury vapour) in order to "save electricity", while ploughing money into schemes to run cars on ... electricity? How rational is it to pay the Russians once for fossil fuels, and a second time for permission (via carbon credits) to burn them (see box page 36)? And how rational is it to suppose that the effects of increased CO2 in the atmosphere take between 200 and 1,000 years to be felt, but that solutions can take effect almost instantaneously?

Whether rational or not, global warming theory has become a political orthodoxy. So entrenched is it that those showing any resistance to it are described as "heretics" or even likened to "Holocaust deniers".

Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize-winning economist, professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University and columnist for The New York Times, has said: "Is it fair to call climate denial a form of treason? Isn't it politics as usual? Yes, it is - and that's why it's unforgivable ... the deniers are choosing, wilfully, to ignore that threat, placing future generations of Americans in grave danger, simply because it's in their political interest to pretend that there's nothing to worry about. If that's not betrayal, I don't know what is."

Another columnist, this time for The Boston Globe, has written: "I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, although one denies the past and the other denies the present and future."

Such pronouncements from these commentators and from other people highly placed in government, international organisations, the press, academia and science make the debate seem closed and the conclusion beyond dispute. Yet the plain fact is that there is something deeply unscientific about the theory of global warming. Despite this, it has gained such widespread, uncritical acceptance that any scientist expressing a doubt often finds his or her actions tarred with accusations of the rankest political and personal motivations.

How this situation came about says much about how science is co-opted to sway public opinion. The case is built, deliberately or not, on misleading images and interpretations that have been perpetuated by parties with a vested interest. It morphs into a tool for governments to intimidate their populations into passive acceptance of very real changes: from the tiny, such as accepting miserable fluorescent light instead of the incandescent light we've been used to; to the major, like welcoming nuclear power plants and obliging rainforest tribes to make way for biofuel plantations.

Indeed, much of what is presented as hard scientific evidence for the theory of global warming is false. "Second-rate myth" may be a better term, as the philosopher Paul Feyerabend called science in his 1975 polemic, Against Method.

"This myth is a complex explanatory system that contains numerous auxiliary hypotheses designed to cover special cases, as it easily achieves a high degree of confirmation on the basis of observation," Feyerabend writes. "It has been taught for a long time; its content is enforced by fear, prejudice and ignorance, as well as by a jealous and cruel priesthood. Its ideas penetrate the most common idiom, infect all modes of thinking and many decisions which mean a great deal in human life ... ".

But call it what you will, as long as you don't think that by calling it "science" it becomes irrefutable. Because that it ain't.

Consider the presentation in one of the most popular works arguing the case for global warming and the need for action. In Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth, the scientists are reduced to a walk-on part: they are, in essence, an audience invited to applaud the decisions of politicians. The former Vice-President unveils as the "scientific" highlight of his presentation a graph offering a clear correlation between CO2 and temperature, as discovered in core samples of polar ice. He goes on to state that as levels of carbon dioxide rise, the Earth's temperature increases because the atmosphere traps more heat from the Sun.

Driving his point home, Gore extends the lines on the graph to terrifying, if distorted, levels (see box, opposite).

To show that these effects are already being felt, the film presents striking images of "global warming", from forlorn boats in dried-up seas to that haunting image at the end of the film of polar bears clinging desperately to a shrinking block of ice (see box, above).

The film - like the theory it is advancing - is not defensible in terms either of factual accuracy or of argumentative logic.

Fine, you may say, but even if the case for global warming really boils down to a few media tricks, how come everyone believes in it? Yet, as Solomon Asch, a social psychologist, discovered in the 1950s via a series of experiments, people are quite prepared to change their minds on even quite straightforward factual matters in order to "go along with the crowd".

You can't blame folk for doing that. Especially when to do otherwise would mean taking a close look at the scientific issues in climate-change theory. Much of the argument for global warming is based on modelling. The mathematics is sophisticated and certainly intimidating to everyone but experts.

As some of the top climate-change modellers have remarked: "Modellers have an inbuilt bias towards forced climate change because the causes and effect are clear." (That comes from the paper "General circulation modelling of Holocene climate variability", by Gavin Schmidt, Drew Shindell, Ron Miller, Michael Mann and David Rind, published in Quaternary Science Review in 2004.)

And there is an impressive degree of consensus in their predictions. Take the modelling of one of the key components of "greenhouse theory", the degree to which warming of the oceans leads to more water vapour in the atmosphere "trapping" the Sun's heat. Advocates of the theory rely on this to show how a little bit of warming owing to CO2 can create very significant changes in the way the climate system operates.

A paper by Richard Lindzen and Yong-Sang Choi, called "On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data", published in July 2009 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, examined the modellers' case for CO2-induced global warming. It offered 12 graphs, 11 of them based on the most sophisticated climate models, all but one of which showed that as the temperature of the surface of the seas increases slightly, the amount of heat then trapped in the atmosphere by water vapour increases - a key element in accelerating the "greenhouse effect". We should be worried.

Yet there was that odd graph out, the 12th one. As Lubo? Motl, a sceptical physicist, joked, could it be that this was a tainted model - with its assumptions "tweaked" to fit prejudices by climate-change "deniers" funded by the oil industry? But no - the graph that contradicted all the others was the one based not on a model but on satellite measurements. It showed the Earth's oceans dampening the heating effect.

So what sort of factors mess up the models? Things like changes in ocean currents, changes in the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere, changes in cloud cover - just about everything that determines climate, really. Alas, there is as yet no way to calculate these. And so, the simple fact is, in our climate modellers' own words: "At present, no climate models have included the full range of effects."

Policymakers seem not to be aware of what the modellers know: that the results of their climate simulations are "likely to remain speculative for some time to come" and that people should be "extremely wary of extrapolating results to longer periods".

This demonstrates that the present climate-change models aren't just useless - by offering spurious precision, they are worse than useless.

How, then, does a theory that is incomplete and missing essential data become orthodoxy?

The reports of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - whose landmark 2001 report paved the way to ratification of the Kyoto Protocol - are not based on any new or original research, but merely reflect the efforts of participants, including government representatives, to overcome uncertainties in knowledge. Policymakers then use the IPCC reports, nuanced findings or not, to demand that the public change their ways. And most of the public are inclined to fall in line.

Social scientists call it "cascade theory": the idea is that information cascades down the side of an "informational pyramid", like a waterfall. It is easier for people, if they do not have either the ability or the interest to find out for themselves, to adopt the views of others. This is, without doubt, a useful social instinct. As it has been put, cascade theory reconciles "herd behaviour" with rational choice, because it is often rational for individuals to rely on information passed on to them by others.

Unfortunately, it is less rational to follow wrong information, and that is what can often happen. We find people cascading uselessly - like so many wildebeest fleeing a non-existent lion - in so many everyday ways. A lot of economic activity and business behaviour, including management fads, the adoption of new technologies and innovations, not to mention the vexed issues of health and safety regulation, reflect exactly this tendency of the herd to follow poor information.

Some people say that what is needed in response is to encourage a range of views to be heard, even when they are annoying to the "majority" - for instance, one should allow people to contest global warming. Or let teachers in schools and universities decide what they are going to teach. But more people say, on the contrary, that what is needed is stricter control of information to stop "wrong views" being spread. It is that view that is cascading down the pyramid now.

One of the best examples of cascade theory is that of the entirely false consensus that built up in the 1970s around the danger of "fatty foods". In fact, this consensus still exists, even though it has never had any scientific basis.

The theory can be traced back to a single researcher, Ancel Keys, who published a paper saying that Americans were suffering from "an epidemic" of heart disease because their diet was more fatty than their bodies were used to after thousands of years of evolution.

In 1953, Keys added additional evidence from a comparative study of the US, Japan and four other countries. Country by country, this showed that a high-fat diet coincided with high rates of heart disease.

Unfortunately for this theory, it turned out that prehistoric "traditional diets" were not especially low-fat after all - indeed, even the hunter-gatherers of yore, if they relied on eating their prey, would have had more fat in their diet than most people do today. As Science magazine pointed out, in the most relevant period of 100 years before the supposed "epidemic" of heart disease, Americans were actually consuming large amounts of fatty meat, so the epidemic followed a reduction in the amount of dietary fat Americans consumed - not an increase.

Keys' country-by-country comparison had also been skewed, with countries that did not fit the theory (such as France and Italy with their oily, fatty cuisines) being excluded. The American Heart Association (AHA), considered to be the voice of experts, issued a report in 1957 stating plainly that the fats-cause-heart-disease claims did not "stand up to critical examination". The case for there being any such epidemic was dubious, too - the obvious cause of higher rates of heart disease was that people were living longer, long enough to develop heart disease. But it was too late: the cascade had started.

Three years later, the AHA issued a new statement, reversing its view. It had no new evidence but it did have some new members writing the report, in the form of Keys himself and one of his friends. The new report made the cover of Time magazine and was picked up by non-specialists at the US Department of Agriculture, who then asked a supporter of the theory to draw up "health guidelines" for them. Soon, scarcely a doctor could be found prepared to speak out against such an overwhelming "consensus", even if a few specialised researchers still protested. And all this was good enough for the highest medical officer in the US, the Surgeon General, in 1988 to issue a doom-laden warning about fat in foods, and claiming that ice-cream was a health menace on a par with tobacco smoking.

It was a pretty silly theory, and certainly not one based on good evidence. In fact, in recent years, in large-scale studies in which comparable groups have been put on controlled diets (low fat and high fat) a correlation has at last been found. It turns out that the low-fat diet seems to be unhealthy. But no one is quite sure why.

The fact is, science has always been about PR, and as this example shows, it is easy for opinion leaders and experts to be misled. These days, it is not merely fellow researchers but professional marketeers vying to press their agenda and that of their clients (see box, page 34).

At the Kyoto summit in 1997, Fenton Communications, a New York PR firm, was working with "green NGOs and leaders", including Gore and the IPCC, to advise on how to "mainstream the climate threat" and to "harness the public 'tipping point'" on the issue and inspire action, as its website today boasts. And indeed, the public have been well and truly tipped.

Title: Madness of the Crowd, II
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on December 11, 2009, 07:10:16 AM
The IPCC reports, which are dull but widely used by governments as the basis for their policy discussions, have become steadily more dramatic. (Not for nothing does the head of the IPCC, R.K. Pachauri, have his own dedicated marketing adviser.) Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis says that "numerous long-term changes in climate have been observed (including) changes in Arctic temperatures and ice, widespread changes in precipitation amounts, ocean salinity, wind patterns and aspects of extreme weather including droughts, heavy precipitation, heat waves and the intensity of tropical cyclones".

Yet none of this is science. It certainly offends against the principle that Karl Popper calls "falsification" - in the case of climate change, there is no possibility of falsification. If you listen to proponents of climate-change theory, there is apparently nothing that counts as evidence against it. Increased rainfall in the northern hemisphere is evidence of climate change, but so is decreased rainfall in the southern hemisphere. Melting of ice in the Arctic is evidence of global warming, but cooling of the Antarctic is not evidence against, but attributed to "other effects".

The fact is, the IPCC report's statement quoted above is speculation and fear-mongering. So how did such language get in the report? Alas, it seems that the social and scientific reality is as Feyerabend describes, and that the language of fear has now "penetrated the most common idiom and infected all modes of thinking".

I have seen the effects of this up close, witnessing how truth can go out of the window in the rush to save the planet. I was co-ordinator of a small Yorkshire Friends of the Earth group, charged with protecting, among other things, the local river, the Wharfe, from a water company. In 1995, Yorkshire experienced just slightly less rain than normal, and the local water company found itself faced with the prospect of empty reservoirs. As standpipes went up in the cities of Leeds and Bradford, and trucks brought water in from afar, it desperately turned to the local rivers to try to make up the shortfall. The national press featured large photos of dried-up reservoir beds, waxed lyrical about how British society would soon break down in water wars, and urged its readers to sympathise with Yorkshire Water.

But our local group was not sympathetic because we felt that the company had failed to invest in its reservoirs and infrastructure. We proposed to put an advert in the Yorkshire Post highlighting this. And at this point, an official of Friends of the Earth formally instructed us that this independent line could not be permitted because it was national policy to attribute the shortages of water in the county that summer to runaway climate change. The "small is beautiful", "start locally" element of environmental tradition had disappeared. We were instructed that if we continued to argue that Yorkshire's water shortages were the result of anything other than global warming, we had to do so outside Friends of the Earth.

This highlighted the dangerous tendency of pressure groups to make specific statements for some supposed worthy campaign end. Ten years on, with Yorkshire racked by the usual floods, the director of Friends of the Earth, Tony Juniper, was pleased to warn against companies using climate change as an excuse. In The Observer on 3 July 2005, he said: "This situation emerges with depressing regularity, where you find insufficient capacity to meet people's needs because there's been a minor fluctuation in rain."

But that wasn't the line in the summer of 1995. Fortunately, our local group ignored the order to abandon our river to a water company and voted to continue to highlight what we saw as the "real causes" of the water supply problems, as an independent group.

Alas, in the climate-change debate, there is a worrying amount of irrationality, incomplete science and skewed presentation. The scientists apparently "cherry-picking" and hiding their data revealed recently in the University of East Anglia email scandal are only following in a long tradition that includes even Galileo "cheating" by saying that the Earth must orbit round the Sun - in a perfect circle. Yet, surely most objectionable of all is the use of gullibility and fear as tactics in campaigns. And if fear requires a world of zero risk, that certainly won't include those mercury-filled light bulbs and nuclear power stations.

Today, global-warming "deniers" have all been told they must fall into line with "the science". But this is not science, this is propaganda. And we are not being asked to be more rational but to suspend our own judgment completely. That, not "runaway climate change", is the most dangerous threat to the world today.


There are many ways to fool people, and linking images with complex theories is a good one.

One of the most potent images used to show the impact of rising global temperatures was that of fishing boats stranded in a desert that was once the world's largest freshwater sea. It features in Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and in his 1992 book, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit.

But the Aral Sea is actually not a sea, but rather a huge lake supplied by rivers, which have been gradually choked off since the end of the Second World War by Soviet-era irrigation schemes. Its plight has nothing to do with global warming.

Nor do polar bears.

When Gore used a picture of two polar bears supposedly stranded on a melting iceberg to support his claims about global warming, he chose a photo that had been taken by Amanda Byrd, a marine biology student, on a research cruise in August 2004, a time of year when the fringe of the Arctic ice cap normally melts. The image was later distributed by Environment Canada, a Canadian government department, to media agencies.

With that polar bear picture on the screen behind him, Gore says, "Their habitat is melting ... beautiful animals, literally being forced off the planet. They're in trouble, got nowhere else to go."

However, Byrd says that when she took the picture, the bears didn't appear to be in any danger. An Environment Canada spokesman, Denis Simard, told The National Post, a Canadian newspaper, that you "have to keep in mind that the bears aren't in danger at all. It was, if you will, their playground for 15 minutes ... they were not that far from the coast, and it was possible for them to swim."

The polar bear is still the symbol of the effects of global warming - but it is a cleverly designed marketing symbol, and not a rational, scientific marker.


Although global warming theorists say they are concerned for the fate of the planet, it does not necessarily mean that their methods are beyond critique. Indeed, much of the "evidence" that makes up the "scientific case" is flawed.

In An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore unveils as the "scientific" highlight a graph offering a clear correlation between temperature and CO2, as discovered in core samples of polar ice, with these words: "The relationship is actually very complicated, but there is one relationship that is far more powerful than all the others - and it is this. When there is more carbon dioxide, the temperature gets warmer, because it traps more heat from the Sun inside."

He then asks "Do they go together?" and extends the lines on the graph to terrifying levels.

Well, hang on a minute. First of all, historically, CO2 levels and temperatures have not marched in "lock step". Over geological time, the only thing the two variables share is a random walk. The Late Ordovician period saw CO2 concentrations nearly 12 times higher than those of today - and it was also an Ice Age. In fact, over the past 600 million years, only on two occasions have CO2 levels been as low as they are now, at below 400 parts per million.

Even restricting our survey to the past 100,000 years, the relationship is not as Gore and others think. Far from increases in CO2 leading to higher temperatures, the ice-core record shows rises in temperatures preceding (by between 200 and 1,000 years) increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Which is what you would expect. Slightly higher temperatures mean more plant and animal life, and that means more CO2.

Nor do claims of record high temperatures have anything to do with the theory of anthropogenic global warming. The theory concerns the amount of heat radiated back into space at night, not how much heat "gets in" during the day. It is interested only in the supposed warming of the surface of the seas at night under a cocoon of atmospheric CO2 - the greenhouse. And is that happening? Er, no, as recent satellite surveys have found.

But let's return to that graph. It's not that complicated. We can start by looking at the recent history of the climate and the so-called hockey stick curve. The chart, which correlates temperatures and carbon dioxide levels, is called the hockey stick because it depicts the northern hemisphere's temperatures over the past 1,000 years as a fairly regular flat line until the late 20th century, when it curves sharply upwards as runaway warming appears.

The graph contradicted all the previous research into climate, which had indicated that there was a warm period about 1,000 years ago followed by the "Little Ice Age" in the 14th century.

By the time climatologists had pointed out that the graph had missed both the well-known warm periods and ice ages alike, and by the time mathematicians had had a chance to challenge the methodology and sample size, it was too late.

The exact relationship between CO2 and temperature remains elusive.


Those making the case for global warming present the theory as the unvarnished work of hard-working and sober scientists who have been guided by evidence.

That view would be underlined by anyone reading the glowing endorsement of the "science" behind An Inconvenient Truth published by the website, which is edited by Gavin Schmidt, a mathematician at Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

There, Eric Steig of the University of Washington's Earth and Space Sciences Centre answers the question "How well does the (Gore) film handle the science?" by saying unambiguously: "Admirably, I thought. It is remarkably up to date, with reference to some of the very latest research."

RealClimate's site is hosted by Environmental Media Services (EMS), which sounds very suitable until one discovers that EMS was a creation of Fenton Communications, a New York public relations firm.

The scientists writing on the site are not being paid for their campaigning. But clearly the debate is attracting groups outside science and policy that have interests of their own.

Global warming's believers are quick to note the presence of the fossil-fuel industry behind a variety of lobby groups and reports.

But the green side has its allies, too. Take Fenton, which prefers to be known as "a public interest communications firm". It describes itself as using "sophisticated communications tools that Madison Avenue executives and corporations use and harness[ing] them for progressive change".

And so, of course, it was at the Kyoto summit in 1997 working with people and groups including Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to "highlight" the climate threat.

It has a presence in Gore's circle through Amy "Kalee" Kreider, Gore's communications director and environmental adviser, who can be spotted standing alongside him whenever he testifies on environmental matters to Senate committees, and who was a staffer at Fenton when the firm was advising Gore. Before that, she was a campaigner for Ozone Action in charge of handing out "ozone-friendly" strawberries to the press.

Fenton may hold no sway over Gore, but its involvement shows how sophisticated the forces involved in the debate are.

Fenton's campaigns are never random issues. It specialises in scary stories of the potential human health dangers of many substances such as Alar (a chemical used to control the growth of apples and improve their appearance), plasticisers (chemicals, especially phthalates, used in plastics) and bovine growth hormones.

In 1989, the firm played a pivotal role in the anti-Alar campaign, which resulted in sales of apples and apple products plummeting in the US.

Years after what would come to be known as "the great Alar scare", Fenton's biggest project is climate change. Among its clients are all the most respected names in the environmental business, from Greenpeace USA and Friends of the Earth US to the National Geographic Society and the UN Environment Programme.

Climate change is a big business, and it's not surprising that they want to have the world's biggest "public interest" PR firm running the campaign.


"We are witnessing the birth of the greatest and most complex commodity market the world has seen," wrote The Times' environment editor, Jonathan Leake, in a November 2008 article.

Carbon-trading schemes originate from the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. Governments adhering to the protocol impose limits on the CO2 that companies can emit; the firms are then obliged to buy annual permits to exceed them. Permits are bought from governments or from carbon traders in the City who charge a commission. In terms of dollars, the World Bank has estimated that the size of the carbon market was $11 billion (£6.6 billion) in 2005, $30 billion in 2006 and $64 billion in 2007. The money collected by the UK Treasury, for example, came mainly from UK power companies, with the cost added directly to heating bills.

Meanwhile Russia - because when the Kremlin signed up to the Kyoto treaty it was given an annual emissions limit based on the dirty old Soviet industries - has accumulated emissions permits for about 4 billion tonnes of CO2. Call it a £50 billion early Christmas present from Western consumers.

Many companies, too, have found the initiative profitable. SRF Ltd, which produces refrigeration gases at a chemical plant in India, made £300 million from selling certificates to transnationals including Shell and Barclays. It spent just £1.4 million on equipment to reduce its emissions, and used the profit to expand production of another greenhouse gas 1,000-fold.

Postscript :
Martin Cohen is editor of The Philosopher, and himself an environmental activist involved in many campaigns. His latest book is Mind Games (in press), which discusses the psychology of societies, and he is actively researching a critique of climate change for Pluto Press provisionally titled Climate, Chaos and Irrationality: How the Green Agenda Was Hijacked by Global Warming Theorists.
Title: Eco-Nazis Go Over the Top
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 01, 2010, 09:27:57 PM
Wow, I thought this was a parody, but it appears this video was seriously meant to persuade:
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on October 02, 2010, 09:40:13 AM
BBG, That video was unbelievable without even considering that it was produced by advocates of the policy or that taxpayer funds (UK) played a major role along with major corporations.  Nice rip in the 'Telegraph' story: Be not surprised that The Guardian is their ‘media partner’.

The non apology in the story: "Many people found the resulting film extremely funny, but unfortunately some didn’t and we sincerely apologise to anybody we have offended." (Any strange individual who may be offended by young schoolchildren blown up into strewn blood, guts and body parts for not following the totalitarian state thought police guidelines gets their sincerest apology.)
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: prentice crawford on March 07, 2011, 01:04:51 PM
 Just in case anyone still believes in Al Gores' science. ( ( (                    P.C.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: prentice crawford on September 02, 2011, 08:18:54 PM
 Sounds like a cat fight...

Posted on July 26, 2011 by onthelevelblog

By Joshua Hart MSc

We send out a lot of press releases here at Stop Smart Meters!  Some of them get picked up by the mainstream media.   Most undoubtedly get relegated to the trash bins of reporters.   But it is rare to get a request from them to actually remove their e-mail address from our list.   They are the media, after all; part of their job is to receive press releases from a variety of sources and then–using a complex formula of political and economic interests, combined with the need to appear ‘objective’—decide which they will report on.

That is why we were so surprised to receive such a request last September from none other than Paul Rauber, the Editor of Sierra Magazine, the official magazine of the Sierra Club:

On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 8:16 PM, Paul Rauber wrote:

Please take me off your list. PR

We replied to Paul, a bit taken aback that the Sierra Club was not even interested in hearing about mounting evidence that ‘smart’ meters are harming human as well as animal and plant health:

From: Stop Smart Meters! <>

Date: 09/07/2010 08:21PM

Hi Paul,

More than happy to oblige, but isn’t this something that the Sierra Club should be concerned with?   People are getting sick from these new meters and being forced from their homes.   There’s also evidence that EMF’s harm wildlife and trees.

best wishes,


Paul replied:

Josh: What hurts wildlife, trees, and humans more: climate change or barely measurable EMFs? These are serious times, and nothing I have read about supposed health claims regarding these meters convinces me that this is a serious issue. Best, PR

We responded with numerous peer-reviewed studies documenting harm by wireless technology to humans, animals, insects, amphibians, and plants as well as many first person accounts of harm.   No reply.

This response really should surprise no one.  The “big three” corporate environmental organizations in the US- the Sierra Club, NRDC, and EDF- have all been cheerleaders for the ‘smart’ grid for years.  It’s not surprising that the national Sierra Club would rather not hear about how the lovechild of their technological obsession and corporate ‘partnerships’- the ‘smart’ meter- is unleashing significant damage to the natural environment.  If you listen to some ‘smart’ grid proponents and their ‘environmentalist’ supporters, it’s a little like they are worshipping an idol the way they refer to “Smart Grid” without an article.  As in, ‘Smart Grid’ will save the planet.  “Smart Grid” will solve homelessness.  “Smart Grid” will save the polar bear.   Bow down before “Smart Grid.”

Yes these are serious times, Mr. Rauber.   The seriousness of our predicament makes it all the more important that we find real climate solutions rather than getting distracted by false climate solutions- especially ones that carry their own steep ecological pricetag.   Perhaps it helps your organization to have an idol to give people hope, keep calm, and carry on- even if that idol is made of straw, empty promises, carbon pollution and lots of corporate cash.

These are the same groups that are still suffering fallout from the publication of “The Wrong Kind of Green” in The Nation last year, an article that revealed how mainstream ‘environmental’ organizations are increasingly behaving like ‘satellite PR offices for the corporations who support them.’

Let’s take a look at how that article reports that the Sierra Club uses its political muscle to “solve” climate change:

“In 2009 the EPA moved to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, which requires the agency to ensure that the levels of pollutants in the air are “compatible with human safety”–a change the Sierra Club supported. But the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) petitioned the EPA to take this commitment seriously and do what the climate science says really is “compatible with human safety”: restore us to 350 parts per million (CO2 concentration in the atmosphere). (Kieran) Suckling (of CBD) explains, “I was amazed to discover the Sierra Club opposed us bitterly. They said it should not be done. In fact, they said that if we filed a lawsuit to make EPA do it, they would probably intervene on EPA’s side. They threw climate science out the window.”

In other words, there was something that made the Sierra Club and the other environmental organizations oppose what the science is telling us we need to do, and instead push for what is ‘politically feasible’ at the moment.   Since reaching the 350ppm goal would necessitate cultural and lifestyle changes that would be considered unimaginable in the current political context, the Sierra Club made the decision to push for ‘realistic’ cuts that- according to the science- will likely doom us to runaway climate change and environmental catastrophe.  But at least the organization wouldn’t be marginalized.

“By pretending the broken system can work–and will work, in just a moment, after just one more Democratic win, or another, or another–the big green groups are preventing the appropriate response from concerned citizens, which is fury at the system itself. They are offering placebos to calm us down when they should be conducting and amplifying our anger at this betrayal of our safety by our politicians. The US climate bills are long-term plans: they lock us into a woefully inadequate schedule of carbon cuts all the way to 2050. So when green groups cheer them on, they are giving their approval to a path to destruction–and calling it progress.

‘At Copenhagen, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” says Kevin Koenig of Amazon Watch, an organization that sides with indigenous peoples in the Amazon basin to preserve their land. “These groups are positioning themselves to be the middlemen in a carbon market. They are helping to set up, in effect, a global system of carbon laundering…that will give the impression of action, but no substance. You have to ask–are these conservation groups at all? They look much more like industry front groups to me.’”

We are seeing the same pattern in the way that the “big three” are behaving with respect to the ‘smart’ grid debacle.  EDF has lately been acting as a propaganda machine dismissing widening reports of health damage without investigation, and making unsupported claims about the green credentials of their beloved idol.  The organization (together with NRDC) is also taking thousands of dollars of public money from the California Public Utilities Commission- as well as the utilities themselves- for smart grid “consultation.”

SF Sierra Club Group Defects; Calls for Smart Meter Criminalization

Thankfully, it appears that local chapters of even corporate environmental organizations like the Sierra Club have the ability to think for themselves.   In March 2011, the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club San Francisco group voted unanimously to send a letter to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors requesting an ordinance prohibiting any further “smart” meter installations.

Their letter states:

“The concerns of the San Francisco group are:

•  The increase in electromagnetic frequency radiation (EMF), in the absence of FCC standards for long-term exposure or exposure from multiple sources, that these wireless meters will add to the environment;

•The possibility that wireless meters will not save energy and may, in fact, require more energy for production, operation, and disposal; (and)

•The unknown impact that an increase in EMF could have on migrating birds and other wildlife……”

This is a courageous act.  The group should be recognized for their independent thinking, leadership, and rejection of false, groupthink-led climate ‘solutions.’  Sierra Club members and the general public should now exert pressure on the national organization to reconsider its blind support of the “smart” grid, given mounting evidence of harm to ecosystems.  Refusing to change their stance will further erode an already damaged reputation as having been co-opted by the corporate interests they are meant to defend against.

Real vs. False Climate Solutions


We’ve been down this road before.  It’s easy to fall for the false techno-solutions we are offered.     Compact fluorescent bulbs- promoted widely by these same environmental groups, are now being condemned for their mercury contamination and high EMF pollution.  Catalytic converters in California’s cars have reduced smog- but at the cost of reducing fuel efficiency and increasing carbon emissions.  Biofuels, promoted by industry as a way to cut fossil fuel consumption, have ended up causing skyrocketing food prices and riots in many countries, as calories bypass hungry mouths on their way to our gas tanks.  Electric cars- often cited as justification for the “smart” grid, will simply relocate the pollution from the tailpipe to the smokestack.

There is no doubt that our society is facing serious times and that we cannot continue polluting like we have been- it is absolutely critical that we dramatically cut our carbon emissions, avoid widespread nuclear contamination and start closing down coal and nuclear power plants.   This will necessarily involve major changes to our consumption and travel habits, an end to wasteful lifestyles, and an equitable agreement with the global south, who have barely contributed to climate change- yet are faced with most of the hardships.  The industrialized economies of the north must make deep cuts to emissions – and soon- if we are to avoid unacceptable risks to the stability of life-support systems of the planet.

The problem is that governments and industry- using corporate environmental organizations as cover- are using the climate emergency to push forward an agenda that will likely fail to cut carbon emissions or benefit the environment, but will erode our privacy and civil rights, hurt our health, and strengthen corporate profits and power over governments.  Just saying that something is green does not make it so- but people are so worried about the environmental crisis that they are willing to accept just about anything if there is even a vague promise that it will solve the problem.  These so-called ‘false climate solutions’ are- in our opinion- a worse threat than maintaining the status quo- because they drain energy, money and political will from the real solutions that we’ll eventually be forced to adopt out of necessity by external events – specifically a re-localization of our economies and lives in response to a decline in global oil supplies and an unstable concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“Smart Grid” — Is it Safe?  Is it Green?

There are two questions raised by Mr. Rauber’s e-mail response.   First, to what extent does non-ionizing microwave radiation (used for cell phones, wifi, and now ‘smart’ meters) negatively impact the health of living plants and animals?  Second, will the “smart grid” as it’s currently being implemented move us in any significant way toward the low carbon future critical for sustaining life on Earth as we know it?  And if it can, is it necessary that we utilize wireless technology and violate individual privacy to harness these alleged benefits? It appears that mainstream environmental groups are vastly underestimating the potential damage from wireless technology and overestimating the potential energy savings from techno-fixes like the ‘smart’ grid.

Let’s take a closer look at these questions.

Are ‘Smart’ Meters Really Safe?

One of forty public comments- all opposing “smart” meters at Santa Barbara County’s recent “smart” meter town hall forum.  Is this what “environmental” organizations had in mind when they backed the smart grid, with its huge increase in microwave radiation exposure in our communities?  We certainly hope not.

The truth- if the Sierra Club leadership would care to look past utility misrepresentations- is that ‘smart’ meters emit a whole lot more than ‘barely measurable EMF’s.’  According to an analysis by UC Nuclear Policy Lecturer Daniel Hirsch, the meters emit approximately 100-150 times the cumulative, full body microwave radiation exposure of a cell phone.   And there is increasing evidence that cell phones are causing brain tumors.  On May 31st the World Health Organization placed wireless non-ionizing radiation into carcinogen category 2B- shattering any notion of the safety of wireless tech (WHO press release pdf).

A study carried out by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that cell phones increased glucose metabolism in the brain, adding more evidence that microwaves can disrupt biological systems even at sub-thermal levels.  There is also evidence that the series of microwave spikes emitted by “smart” meters are more harmful than continuous exposure.

There are growing rumblings that the sudden proliferation of radiation in our environment is opening up a Pandora’s box of unknown- and in some cases terrifying- health effects, such as television personalities like Judge Judy suddenly suffering severe speech impediments around areas of strong wireless signals.

It appears that thousands of people are being sickened by strong pulses of microwave radiation from ‘smart’ meters, as well as radiation from cell towers, wifi base stations, and other sources. There are hundreds of firsthand reports of increasing electro-sensitivity from ‘smart’ meters– potentially from both the microwave radiation and from the powerful high-frequency currents that the meters’ switching mode power supply add onto the wiring of our homes.

But what about animals and plants who can’t voice their agony or tell us they are being injured?  From severe systemic stress response from tomato plants exposed to sub-thermal levels of microwaves, to evidence that tadpoles suffer high mortality when exposed to cell phone tower radiation, the evidence of harm is as extensive as it is disturbing.  Many species (including humans) have a substance called magnetite in their brain to navigate using the Earth’s natural magnetic field.  There is growing evidence that artificial EMFs can interfere with this ability and disorient species like birds, bats and bees.  Combined with climate disruptions and chemical pollution, the cumulative impact is likely to devastate many species.  A study by researcher Alfonso Balmori of Spain found that:

“microwave and radiofrequency pollution constitutes a potential cause for the decline of animal populations and deterioration of health of plants living near phone masts.”

You would think that this would be of some concern to those organizations who purport to defend nature.  But apparently access to iPhone wildlife apps is more of a priority than preserving the real thing.


Why are mainstream environmental organizations turning a blind eye to the impacts of wireless?   A lot of it is that- like much of the population- they are simply not informed about the science.  You can blame the mainstream media for that.  They are also probably afraid of being labelled as ‘tin foil hat eccentrics.’ In addition, many of their corporate partners make a lot of money from so-called ‘clean tech’ and they’re reluctant to put those profits- some of which flow to these organizations- in jeopardy.  On a personal level, it’s often easier to stay in denial and believe the technology we have become addicted to will not hurt us despite the growing evidence to the contrary.   Add wireless electrosmog to already severe air, water, noise and climate pollution, and it’s a lot for anyone to take in.

This might explain Mother Jones magazine’s inexplicably bad journalism when it came to covering the ‘smart’ meter revolt in January.  Our sources tell us that writer Kiera Butler is a heavy user of her ‘smart’ phone.  It must be hard for people like her to believe that a device that has become such a cornerstone of their lives is inflicting great harm on themselves and others.  No wonder it was so appealing and comforting to digest and regurgitate PG&E’s talking points.  The real Mother Jones- who fought for the rights and health of workers and communities- is no doubt turning over in her grave, as her namesake is being used in this context as a shill for corporate interests.

Are ‘Smart’ Meters Really Green?


A tree in Berkeley just before (on the left) and about a month after (on the right) a bank of 120 “smart” meters was installed behind it.

So what is the truth?  Will ‘smart’ meters actually reduce our carbon emissions?  Will the ‘smart’ grid really be a net benefit to the environment?  Must we diminish our quality of life – suffering health impacts, ecological damage, privacy violations, and a significant financial hit — just so we can “save the planet?”

The phrase “Smart Grid” is in fact an oxymoron; a contradiction in terms.  There is nothing “smart” about our national electrical grid.  Generating power from coal burning, nuclear fission, and large dams exacts a huge toll on the environment and human health.  Transmitting that electricity thousands of miles along high tension power lines- resulting in clearcuts, childhood leukemia and other diseases- with a significant loss of energy along the way- just adds to the list of problems.  The sane response to the emergency of climate change and nuclear disasters- a so-called “wise grid”- would re-localize energy supplies, take the power out of the hands of energy monopolies and put it back under control of local communities, enabling low impact, renewable generation and more affordable power.  The current ecological nightmare of the electrical grid is only made more hellish with the addition of millions of pulsing, cancer causing wireless devices on every building in America.  Not “smart” and definitely not wise.  If the public had been given a chance to decide whether to implement the “smart grid” there is no doubt they would have put the brakes on, as evidenced by the 45 local governments in California who have demanded that this boondoggle be stopped.

What’s the Footprint?

Unfortunately there is no way of knowing for certain how the “smart grid” will affect our overall carbon footprint. To date, there has not been an independent, exhaustive, cradle to grave analysis investigating the energy savings or loss from the ‘smart’ grid. This fact is truly shocking given that utilities around the country have used climate change as a pretext to tap billions of taxpayer and ratepayer funds to pay for the development of the ‘smart’ grid.  If there is a full independent analysis that considers both the energy costs and benefits of the “smart grid” please post it here.  Without that evidence, it’s simply not factual to claim that “smart” meters or the “smart” grid will save energy or reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That hasn’t stopped the utilities for making outlandish, unsupported claims, inferring that if you oppose “smart” meters then you are not “green.”  The real climate criminals of course are the utility companies who continue to dump millions of tons of greenhouse gases into an already fragile atmosphere, and the corrupt governments that enable them to laugh all the way to the bank while screwing future generations.


There are already troubling signs that ‘smart’ meters are likely to increase overall carbon emissions.  There is a significant energy cost to the new meters’ manufacturing and transportation, their installation and continuous operation, as well as for the transportation and ultimate disposal of perfectly functional analog meters, and the startling amount of energy needed to keep ever increasing acres of server farms humming to store our second by second private home energy use data.

What’s more, energy usage data on the internet (that PG&E claims will help households reduce energy usage) will only be for periods at least 20-30 minutes earlier–not very helpful in analyzing the impact of using specific household devices in “real-time.” To obtain closer-to-real-time data, the customer would have to buy (both financially and environmentally) expensive new appliances that will constantly transmit data (and additional radiation).  These too would be running 24/7 consuming substantial additional energy. The unproven conservation claims of “smart” meter boosters conveniently disregard all these additional drains on the energy supply, which a more honest accounting would require.  Overall, the technology sector is one of the fastest growing sources of carbon emissions, and ‘smart’ meters are a significant contributor to that.

Another rationale given for the new meters is that they can enable time-of-use pricing (i.e. charging more for electricity when it is most in demand). In theory this could reduce both peak-time electricity use and the use of dirty ‘peaker’ power plants (that are only fired up when regular production falls short). Here too, no evidence exists that smart-meter-produced data would be any more valuable for the retail customer than simply increasing direct education efforts and electricity rebate incentives.  Mindy Spatt of Northern California’s Utility Reform Network (TURN) says:

“Smart meters are energy measuring devices- they are not energy saving devices.  People save energy- not meters.  PG&E might have had more luck if they sent out fridge magnets encouraging conservation at peak times, along with a clothesline and clothespins.  Thusfar TURN is not aware of any energy savings justifying the obscenely high costs of these meters.”

An analysis by Oxford University shows that ‘smart’ meters alone do not result in net energy savings. And a study of smart meters in actual operation- from Toronto Hydro- showed no significant increase in energy conservation, but a considerable increase in energy bills for customers. Still, the promise of the smart grid was that it would send price signals that would support conservation and make people more aware of their energy usage, and many people bought into the hype.  The terms “clean tech” and “smart grid” sound great- especially when backed by multi-billion dollar marketing campaigns.  The reality of course isn’t so pretty.

You often hear that the “smart” grid will facilitate renewable energy integration.  Yet that seems to be the furthest thing from the minds of utility executives.   For example, Southern California Edison (SCE) has not even developed a “smart” meter that is compatible with household solar arrays, and has the ability to run backwards.  It seems that at the end of the day, they don’t really want the competition.

Official PG&E Report: Zero Energy Savings

PG&E is required to submit an annual report on the energy and cost savings from the “smart” grid to the CA Public Utilities Commission.  Given that between 8 and 9 million of 10 million “smart” meters have been installed in California, you would expect that some of the promised benefits of the “smart” grid would start materializing.  However, in Tables I and II of PG&E’s 2010 Program Year Demand Response and Energy Conservation Annual Report, an energy savings figure rather embarrassing to PG&E and “smart” grid proponents is revealed: Zero. Zip. Nada. Zilch.   We hear lots of promises of future savings, but after billions of dollars in expenditures and nearly 90% of the system in place there are no energy savings to demonstrate.  So much for the “green” legacy of CPUC President Michael Peevey.   And the “smart” grid’s large manufacturing and operational carbon footprint grows bigger every day….

Nevertheless, groups like Environmental Defense Fund continue to back the ill-fated project, ignoring the widespread reports of human health impacts, privacy violations, and increasing evidence of excess carbon emissions being generated.  They (along with similar groups) also benefit from payouts of public funds from the CA Public Utilities Commission through cozy contractual relationships and smart grid demonstration projects like those in Austin and Charlotte.

Despite all this documented harm, PG&E and other California utilities failed to complete an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to assess potential environmental impact from their wireless systems.  In fact the utility initially submitted a plan for wired (broadband over powerline or “BPL”) data transmission and based their environmental review documents on that system.  After receiving an environmental exemption, they then pulled a bait and switch, adopting a wireless communication system without any additional environmental review, a tactic that has led CPUC administrative law judge Steven Weissman to declare that the utilities are vulnerable to CEQA lawsuits.   Because of the widespread nature of the system, even minor damage may be exponentially magnified by the millions of meters and wireless antennae that are being installed rapidly.  And the anecdotal health effects already visible are tiny compared to the longer term effects that the scientific evidence brings into the realm of possibility.

More About EDF and False Technological Market Based Solutions 

EDF’s response to the ‘smart’ meter health crisis has been schizophrenic at best.   They say they support PG&E’s ‘cop out’ opt out plan in which customers will be double charged but urge utility customers to keep their microwave transmitters switched on and say that ‘key benefits will be lost’ if many people opt out.

What’s going on here?  It turns out that EDF’s conflicts of interest run deep.   John Doerr of Woodside CA is one of the main venture capitalists backing Silver Spring Networks- the company responsible for the health damaging wireless technology in “smart” meters.   He is on President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and is the 540th richest man in the world- worth approximately $2.2 billion- ironically the same amount as PG&E’s initial costs of smart meter deployment.  When Obama visited the Bay Area in February, he (drove past our protests) and dined at Doerr’s house in Woodside.  This guy has connections.    His wife Ann Doerr- is on the board of directors of Environmental Defense Fund.  Beginning to catch on?   The trail leads to the most powerful people in the country. The advisory board of Silver Spring Networks includes none other than Al Gore.  The growing debacle of the “smart grid” must be quite an inconvenient truth.

The remainder of EDF’s board of trustees reads like a who’s who in the U.S. corporate power structure.   The organization promotes ‘market-based climate solutions’ such as California’s cap and trade program, which allows companies to purchase ‘carbon offsets’ rather than make cuts in their own emissions.  Just like the ‘smart’ meter false climate solution, CA’s market-based cap and trade program is also coming under increasing attack, with a San Francisco Superior Court Judge recently ruling that the plan violates the state’s environmental quality act.  Those in favor of the carbon trading/ offset approach argue that it doesn’t matter to the atmosphere where reductions in carbon emissions take place as long as they take place.  However, in practice some offsets have been found to double- or even triple emissions, and are subject to all sorts of accounting tricks and shenanigans.  The bottom line is that climate destabilization has been caused by unconstrained market forces.   Do we really believe that the market can fix what the market created in the first place?  As Albert Einstein once said, “Problems cannot be solved using the same level of thinking that created them in the first place.”

Corporate “Environmentalism” and the “Smart Grid” Must be Put Down

So what’s going on?  We have seen that ‘smart’ meters are likely to increase climate damage rather than reduce it.   And to make matters worse, they are creating new problems related to EMF illnesses, wildlife impacts, privacy violations, and fire safety risks.  Yet organizations that are supposed to be fighting for a safe and sustainable future are strangely silent, sitting on their hands while electrosensitive people are being thrown out of their homes and elderly people are being threatened.  Perhaps they don’t want to admit they were wrong, or even consider that possibility.   Perhaps they don’t want to admit that they didn’t do their homework, instead relying on industry reassurances.   But I believe it goes deeper.   If they were to admit that we cannot blindly rely on technological false solutions to solve these massive, looming environmental threats, that would mean that we must begin considering real solutions, such as a shift away from personal car travel and aviation, smaller, denser walkable communities, locally controlled power generation, a more equitable distribution of wealth, and a stigmatization of overconsumption.  All anathema to a philosophy that says if we don’t force economic growth to continue- by whatever means necessary- then we are all doomed.  Of course, we can’t have infinite economic growth on a finite planet with finite resources.  Everybody knows that, right?

The particularly scary thing about all this is the extent to which corporate interests seem willing to go in the name of achieving even unproven, tiny reductions in our carbon footprint.  If governments, industry, and ‘environmental’ organizations are willing to accept people being thrown out of their homes and forced to live in their cars or in the woods as the price we have to pay for even unproven climate mitigations, what violation of our personal or civil rights is coming next?  Re-location camps?  Forced sterilization?  Dangerous geoengineering experiments? The time to draw the line is now.

Over the past year we’ve spoken directly to a number of employees and directors of these corporate environmental organizations, presenting to them evidence of how people are suffering because of the “smart” grid.  Often, their eyes will glaze over, and they will mutter something about how climate change is such an emergency and how there are so many people on the planet anyway, and how perhaps a little harm is justified if we can cut emissions.  EXCUSE me?  So it’s not moral to urge people to only have one child, but it is acceptable to essentially cull the population with powerful microwave emitting devices?  That cell phone must really be frying your moral compass.  From where I’m sitting, this is truly a dangerous trend that we all must confront and nip in the bud before it evolves into something truly terrible.

Another World is Possible

The sad thing about this is that another world is possible- one where quality of life comes before profit and power, where we achieve previously unimaginable carbon cuts AND enjoy life more.   Real climate solutions are grassroots, inherently local, bottom up, equitable, and beneficial to quality of life.  False climate solutions concentrate money and power, violate privacy and civil rights, and often increase carbon emissions.  This is the choice we’re going to have to make.   Without local leadership, we’re left with a vacuum that corrupt government, industry and “green” groups are happy to fill.

Real climate solutions have ancillary benefits that go beyond carbon reduction- improvements in social capital, cleaner air and water, and healthier happier fitter people.  But for a culture run by an elite whose goal is to promote individualism, consumerism, and accumulation of wealth at the expense of almost everything else, to admit we need to pursue such a shift is the acceptance of the failure of an entire worldview.  That worldview- the one that sees the Earth and all the sentient beings upon it as a machine to be manipulated, extracted, and bought and sold- along with its technocratic “smart” grid- cannot fail soon enough.

Title: Obama Clubs Baby Seals
Post by: prentice crawford on September 03, 2011, 02:08:11 AM
 Lib's are so gullible  :lol:, (oh, I'm sorry, it's the holy subject of the enviroment), I'm shocked :-o that the President is using enviromental issues just to pander votes and then sells the true beliver's out the first chance he gets. :lol: I'm sorry it's still funny.

 WASHINGTON (AP) — In a dramatic reversal, President Barack Obama on Friday scrubbed a clean-air regulation that aimed to reduce health-threatening smog, yielding to bitterly protesting businesses and congressional Republicans who complained the rule would kill jobs in America's ailing economy.

Withdrawal of the proposed regulation marked the latest in a string of retreats by the president in the face of GOP opposition, and it drew quick criticism from liberals. Environmentalists, a key Obama constituency, accused him of caving to corporate polluters, and the American Lung Association threatened to restart the legal action it had begun against rules proposed by President George W. Bush.

The White House has been under heavy pressure from GOP lawmakers and major industries, which have slammed the stricter standard as an unnecessary jobs killer. The Environmental Protection Agency, whose scientific advisers favored the tighter limits, had predicted the proposed change would cost up to $90 billion a year, making it one of the most expensive environmental regulations ever imposed in the U.S.

However, the Clean Air Act bars the EPA from considering the costs of complying when setting public health standards.

Obama said his decision was made in part to reduce regulatory burdens and uncertainty at a time of rampant questions about the strength of the U.S. economy.

Underscoring the economic concerns: a new report Friday that showed the economy essentially adding no jobs in August and the unemployment rate stubbornly stuck at 9.1 percent.

The regulation would have reduced concentrations of ground-level ozone, the main ingredient in smog, a powerful lung irritant that can cause asthma and other lung ailments. Smog is created when emissions from cars, power and chemical plants, refineries and other factories mix in sunlight and heat.

Republican lawmakers, already emboldened by Obama's concessions on extending Bush-era tax cuts and his agreement to more than $1 trillion in spending reductions as the price for raising the nation's debt ceiling, had pledged to try to block the stricter smog standards as well as other EPA regulations when they returned to Washington after Labor Day.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, had muted praise for the White House Friday, saying that withdrawal of the smog regulation was a good first step toward removing obstacles that are blocking business growth.

"But it is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to stopping Washington Democrats' agenda of tax hikes, more government 'stimulus' spending and increased regulations, which are all making it harder to create more American jobs," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.

Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the move was "an enormous victory for America's job creators, the right decision by the president and one that will help reduce the uncertainty facing businesses."

White House officials said the president's decision was not the product of industry pressure, and they said the administration would continue to fight other efforts by Republicans to dismantle the EPA's authority.

But that was little consolation for many of the president's supporters. The group issued a scathing statement, saying Obama's decision was one it would have expected from his Republican predecessor.

"Many MoveOn members are wondering today how they can ever work for President Obama's re-election, or make the case for him to their neighbors, when he does something like this, after extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich and giving in to tea party demands on the debt deal," said Justin Ruben, the group's executive director.

The American Lung Association, which had sued the EPA over Bush's smog standards, said it would resume its legal fight now that Obama was essentially endorsing the weaker limit. The group had suspended its lawsuit after the Obama administration pledged to change it.

Obama's decision, in fact, mirrors one made by Bush in 2008. After EPA scientists recommended a stricter standard to better protect public health, Bush personally intervened after hearing complaints from electric utilities and other affected industries. His EPA set a standard of 75 parts per billion, stricter than one adopted in 1997, but not as strong as federal scientists said was needed to protect public health.

In March, the EPA's independent panel of scientific advisers sent a letter to the agency's administrator, Lisa Jackson, saying it was its unanimous recommendation to make the smog standards stronger and that the evidence was "sufficiently certain" that the range proposed in January 2010 under Obama would benefit public health.

But the White House, which has pledged to base decisions on science, said Friday the science behind its initial decision needed to be updated, a process already under way at EPA. The smog standard now is to be revised until 2013.

Whether Obama still occupies the White House at that point depends on the outcome of next year's presidential election.

Cass Sunstein, the head of the White House regulatory office, said changing the smog regulation now, only to have it be reconsidered again in two years, would create unnecessary uncertainty for the private sector and local governments.

The stricter limits initially proposed by Obama would have doubled the number of counties in violation. Smoggy cities such as Los Angeles and Houston would have been joined by counties in California's Napa Valley and one in Kansas with a population of 3,000. They would have had up to 20 years to meet the new limits, once EPA settled on a final number, or would have faced federal penalties.

In his statement, the president said scrapping the stronger smog standards did not reflect a weakening of his commitment to protecting public health and the environment.

"I will continue to stand with the hardworking men and women at the EPA as they strive every day to hold polluters accountable and protect our families from harmful pollution," Obama said.

Even before Friday's decision — announced as many Americans were paying more attention to their Labor Day weekend plans than the news — the White House has faced some criticism for its record on the environment. Obama abandoned a campaign pledge to set the first-ever limits on the pollution blamed for global warming, and he announced an expansion of offshore drilling before the Gulf oil spill sidelined those plans.

However, he has successfully taken other steps to reduce air pollution, such as doubling fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, clamping down on pollution from power plants that blows downwind and setting the first national standard for mercury, a toxic metal, from power plants, all in the face of Republican and industry opposition.

The ground-level ozone standard is closely associated with public health — something the president said he wouldn't compromise in his regulatory review.

 Oh, those mean old Republicans are making him do it. :x

                               P.C. :-D
Title: Environmental issues: Role of the EPA
Post by: DougMacG on October 13, 2011, 08:39:09 AM
Pulling out one point of CW from Politics: "main points I don't agree with the tea party... the EPA..."

I would think the federal role for protecting our air and water involves watching for gaps in necessary regulation and enforcement from across the 50 states and taking action in certain extreme circumstances that can't be solved a better way.  I don't understand having a federal standard for something that is stricter than what the people in the states chose for their standard at home.   But let's say 49 states have good and reasonable air and water protections and one state doesn't, and from that one state they spew filth or pollutants down wind or downstream outward across state lines.  That is when a federal government role is appropriate and justified.

All I think a conservative or tea partier would want for environmental regulation is a practice that regulations are reasonable and based on real cost/benefit analysis.  To unilaterally drive all factories off our shores alone does not reduce global carbon or anything else on the planet by a milligram.
Title: WSJ: Pittsburgh-- more than meets the eye
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 06, 2012, 08:20:24 AM
PITTSBURGH—It has been decades since industrial soot blotted out the sun here and streetlights were needed during the day to cut through the gloom, but less-visible air pollution still ranks among the nation's worst.

So a new coalition including businesses and environmental groups has taken on the tricky task of persuading skeptical residents that their air isn't nearly as clean as it appears—an initial step toward making Pittsburgh's air fit its reputation as a city reinventing itself as a hub for science and technology.

"The air is so much better than it used to be, at least what you can see, that people are not aware that the air is still a challenge," said Bobby Vagt, president of the Heinz Endowments.

The nonprofit group has contributed $4 million so far to the Breathe Project, the coalition that has drawn members from U.S. Steel Corp. to the Sierra Club. It is focused for now on raising awareness and promoting steps residents and companies can take voluntarily. Other ideas include steps to reduce vehicle pollution and, possibly, pushing for regulatory changes.

One example of Pittsburgh's new focus as a tech hub is Google Inc.'s 200-worker office here. The employees work on online commerce and data storage, among other things, a company spokesman said. The office added 50 people in 2011, but the city's air quality is a "big problem" when it comes to recruiting employees to work here, said Andrew Moore, a Google vice president and head of the operation.

Enlarge Image

CloseBloomberg News
Pittsburgh in 2010. The city has been recognized for its efforts to make the transition from an industrial city into a hub for science and technology.
."If we can't offer [clean air and clean water] to employees we need to recruit to fill the jobs of the future, then we will lose them to those cities that do," said Mr. Moore, who backs the Breathe Project.

Today's air-quality problems come primarily from tiny particles and chemical pollutants that are largely invisible but that health experts warn can contribute to problems such as asthma and heart disease. In 2010, the Pittsburgh area—with 2.4 million people—ranked third in the country for short-term particulate pollution, according to the American Lung Association, which lobbies for clean air. Pittsburgh has been among the top 10 cities since the rankings began in 2004.

The particulates come from local sources including diesel engines, remaining steel plants and other industrial sites. They are also carried to Pittsburgh from coal-burning power plants in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois and then trapped by the Allegheny Mountains and river valleys.

Pollution levels are just one factor that affects asthma, but Allegheny County—which includes Pittsburgh—has one of the highest rates in the state. Of 73 Pennsylvania counties and school districts, Allegheny County had the ninth-highest lifetime prevalence of asthma among children under 18, at 11.3% in 2009, according to the latest statistics available from the state Department of Health.

Enlarge Image

Close.The Breathe Project, formally unveiled in October, has studied efforts by other cities, including Houston and San Diego, to improve air quality by timing traffic lights to reduce idling and switching public buses to natural gas. Breathe, which hasn't received any government funding, also recently gave $1 million to a program to help small construction contractors cut emissions.

"We absolutely support the project," said Joanna Doven, press secretary for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who recently proposed running city trash trucks on natural gas to cut emissions.

The Pittsburgh effort comes as lawmakers and companies in states including Texas and West Virginia have pushed back against stricter federal air regulations. A spokesman said the coalition hasn't ruled out seeking stronger air-emission regulations. That is a cause for concern among some.

"It's very important to have clean air. It's also important that you're not hindering small businesses," said Eileen Watt, president of the Western Pennsylvania chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc.

The focus now, though, is on spreading the word about the city's air quality and the importance of improving it, starting with steps like biking to work and planting trees.

More than half of the residents here aren't aware that Pittsburgh's air ranks among the worst in the nation, according to a survey commissioned by the Heinz Endowments. Only 15% of residents feel that a "lot of work" needs to be done on it.

"When you look back, we had problems when we had the mills," said Richard Wilson, who said he does tai chi outside without worrying about the air. "The air in Pittsburgh is pretty good."

Sentiments like that prompted Breathe to launch a $500,000 media campaign that includes ads on TV, in newspapers, on billboards, on the sides of buses and at the homes of the Steelers and Penguins.

A 30-second TV ad shows purple dots floating across images of a jogger on a sunny day, children playing and an elderly couple walking, contrasted with shots of factories emitting white smoke. A narrator says, "Pittsburgh is a great place to live, but if we could see the invisible pollution in our air we'd realize the air quality in our region is among the worst in the nation."

Bob Butter, principal of Veritas Communications Advisors, a communications-consulting firm, said the campaign has avoided reinforcing the city's former Rust Belt image. "That's what's disarming about this. The sky is blue and the air looks pretty clean" in the ads, he said. "They've teed up a subject that otherwise was relegated to a few people that had a concern," he said.

Title: Re: Environmental issues - Missing in the WSJ Pittsburgh story...
Post by: DougMacG on January 07, 2012, 07:43:02 AM
Steven Hayward, author of 'Air Quality in America' reminds us on Powerline yesterday that the WSJ is home of famous editorial page but the rest of the reporting is often right out of MSM script.  You will need to read at the link to catch the graphs:

The Journal Blows a Story

The editorial page is the glory of the Wall Street Journal, which often reports the facts better than its news pages.  Today the Journal’s news pages feature a truly pathetic example of conventional, follow-the-crowd journalism with a story entitled “Pittsburgh Tries to Clear the Air on Pollution.”  It has every trope of superficial environmental news reporting and is simply a lazy and tarted-up version of an activist group’s press release—in this case, a local enviro group called the “Breathe Project,” which upon reading between the lines of the story is simply a cat’s paw for the usual suspects such as the Sierra Club.  It is another vindication of an observation the Washington Post’s longtime media critic Howard Kurtz once acknowledged: “Some reporters say privately that it is difficult to write stories that debunk the conventional wisdom of environmental activists, whom the press treats more deferentially than industry spokesmen and other lobbyists.”

The piece is almost comical in the lengths it goes to try to persuade people that air pollution in Pittsburgh is a serious problem, which may require “more regulation,” naturally.  As the story reports,

    More than half of the residents here aren’t aware that Pittsburgh’s air ranks among the worst in the nation, according to a survey commissioned by the Heinz Endowments. Only 15% of residents feel that a “lot of work” needs to be done on it.

    “When you look back, we had problems when we had the mills,” said Richard Wilson, who said he does tai chi outside without worrying about the air. “The air in Pittsburgh is pretty good.”

    Sentiments like that prompted Breathe to launch a $500,000 media campaign that includes ads on TV, in newspapers, on billboards, on the sides of buses and at the homes of the Steelers and Penguins.

One of the real howlers in this excerpt is what I call the “reverse Lake Woebegone Effect,” namely, that Pittsburgh’s air is among “the worst in the nation.”  Turns out the American Lung Association’s annual report on air pollution—a shoddy report I’ve repeatedly called “a smoldering stogie of misinformation”—always has local versions of a press release that say each metropolitan area suffers from “some of the worst air pollution” in the nation.  I did a Nexis search for the phrase “smog” and “some of the worst” a few years ago, and discovered the phrase in press coverage in dozens of American cities.  Of course, if everyone has about the same level (which is true for just about every place except the region that actually does have the highest air pollution levels—California), then no one has air that is notably “worse” than everybody else.  But it’s always good for the harum-scarum narrative that environmentalists and regulators can’t do without.

The Journal story is entirely typical of media malpractice for its complete absence of data.  Reporters ought to ask—but never do—what the underlying trend is, and how ambient conditions measure up against Clean Air Act standards.  Air pollution in Pittsburgh, like everywhere else in America, is declining, as a check of the EPA’s data would show.  Apparently this was too much trouble for the Journal reporter, Kris Maher, to do, even though the EPA now has a very user-friendly site where you can check both ozone levels and particle pollution levels on a monitor-by-monitor basis.  Pittsburgh currently meets the Clean Air Act standard for particulates (fine particulate pollution levels have declined 22 percent over the last decade), and is only slightly above the current very tight ozone standard.

This makes all the more comical this paragraph:

    One example of Pittsburgh’s new focus as a tech hub is Google Inc.’s 200-worker office here. The employees work on online commerce and data storage, among other things, a company spokesman said. The office added 50 people in 2011, but the city’s air quality is a “big problem” when it comes to recruiting employees to work here, said Andrew Moore, a Google vice president and head of the operation.

    “If we can’t offer [clean air and clean water] to employees we need to recruit to fill the jobs of the future, then we will lose them to those cities that do,” said Mr. Moore, who backs the Breathe Project.

Hmm.  How do ozone and particulate pollution levels compare between Pittsburgh and Google’s home office in Silicon Valley?  Google also has a large office in Atlanta—are air pollution levels in Atlanta also an impediment to recruiting workers?  Let’s look first at the data for fine particles (known as “PM2.5” in the trade).

Figure 1: Fine Particulate Levels in Pittsburgh and Atlanta

The story for ozone is a little more complicated, because there isn’t complete data for Sunnyvale (the closest EPA monitor to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View), but the figure below shows that Pittsburgh not only has a lower ozone level than Atlanta, but has been flirting with attainment of the 0.75 8-hour ozone standard for the last few years.  Sunnyvale has been in attainment of the ozone standard, but as you can see from the figure Pittsburgh is not notably worse than Sunnyvale on ozone either.

Figure 2: Ozone Levels in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Sunnyvale

Conclusion: the Journal reporter is a dupe.  The Google manager is a fool.

P.S. As my last witness, I offer Seymour Garte, professor of public health at the University of Pittsburgh (someone the Journal ought to have called as an expert source on this story) who wrote a terrific book entitled Where We Stand: A Surprising Look at the Real State of Our Planet.  Prof. Garte relates the story of attending a professional conference in Europe, where he was struck by the data from a speaker showing steadily declining air pollution trends, being surprised by the data, and being even more surprised to hear the speaker say, “Everyone knows that air pollution levels are constantly decreasing everywhere.”  “I looked around the room,” Prof. Garte writes:

    I was not the only nonexpert there.  Most of my other colleagues were also not atmospheric or air pollution specialists.  Later I asked one of them, a close friend, if he had known that air pollution levels were constantly decreasing throughout Europe and the United States on a yearly basis.  “I had no idea,” he said.  It certainly was news to me.  Even though I was a professor of environmental health and had been actively involved in many aspects of air pollution research for many years, that simple fact had somehow escaped me. . .  I had certainly never seen it published in the media.

Well, if you’re reading the Wall Street Journal in Pittsburgh today, you still aren’t getting an accurate account of the story.

Lastly, if you want to know more about all of this generally, see my Almanac of Environmental Trends website, or track down the book I wrote on this with Joel Schwartz, Air Quality in America: A Dose of Reality on Air Pollution Levels, Trends, and Health Risks.  - Steven Hayward at Powerline
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 07, 2012, 08:26:37 AM
Very interesting; good follow up to what I posted!
Title: Clean Air Rankings
Post by: JDN on January 07, 2012, 08:54:42 AM
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on January 07, 2012, 10:28:34 AM
JDN,  Thank you.  Your link confirms much of Hayward's point, 5 cities in Calif and 6 in the southwest came in worse than Pittsburgh yet that piece was all about slamming one city.  Also confirmed is the amazing improvements not mentioned in the original piece.  Particulate is one measurement and the standards give a good benchmark, but are arbitrarily set IMO. 

The same political movements decrying dirty air the loudest as I see it also want people to live more in centrally planned density.  But the air we breathe tends to be cleaner further away from the central cities, out in those xurban sprawl communities the planners so despise. 

The air quality monitors are mostly measured at the most dangerous intersections as I understand it but for scare purposes they count the number of people in danger for living anywhere in that county no matter the proximity.  That doesn't seem right.

The current political argument over emissions is almost 100% over CO2, not the filth that everyone opposes.  No one is proposing to build 1950s era autos, buses or coal plants today.

I wonder what the soot level would be if domestically produced clean natural gas was readily available as a transportation fuel? Ironically it is the same environmental groups working to block that production as well.
Title: WSJ: The Bacteria did it
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 09, 2012, 03:26:53 PM
A fortuitous combination of ravenous bacteria, ocean currents and local topography helped to rapidly purge the Gulf of Mexico of much of the oil and gas released in the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010, researchers reported on Monday.

After spewing oil and gas for nearly three months, the BP PLC well was finally capped in mid-July 2010. Some 200,000 tons of methane gas and about 4.4 million barrels of petroleum spilled into the ocean. Given the enormity of the spill, many scientists predicted that a significant amount of the resulting chemical pollutants would likely persist in the region's waterways for years.

According to a new federally funded study published Monday by the National Academy of Sciences, those scientists were wrong. By the end of September 2010, the vast underwater plume of methane, plus other gases, had all but disappeared. By the end of October, a significant amount of the underwater offshore oil—a complex substance made from thousands of compounds—had vanished as well.

"There was a lot of doomsday talk," said microbiologist David Valentine of the University of California at Santa Barbara and co-author of the study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But it turns out "that the ocean harbors organisms that can handle a certain amount of input" in the form of oil and gas pollutants, he said.

A year ago, Dr. Valentine and other scientists published a paper describing how naturally occurring bacteria had apparently devoured much of the toxic chemicals released in the BP spill. That federally funded study, published in the journal Science, triggered disbelief among other researchers who questioned whether microbes could gobble up that much gas and oil so quickly.

Dr. Valentine and his colleagues have now used a computer model to explain just how that scenario might have played out. "The skepticism was certainly one of the contributing factors that spurred us to go and do this [new] study," he said.

It was an intricate challenge. The first step was to estimate the flow rate of the various hydrocarbons from the well over the 87 days that the spill continued. The researchers identified 26 classes of such chemicals; they then had to figure out which of these chemicals stayed in the deep plume that remained more than 1,000 meters underwater, and which ones rose up to the surface. For example, in the plume, certain chemicals dissolved completely in the water, including the methane gas, while some of the oil droplets were atomized and remained suspended in the water. A lot of the surface oil evaporated or washed up on Gulf shorelines.

Next, the scientists set about identifying the main species of oil-and-gas-eating bacteria that lived in the deep Gulf. They identified 52 main species of such microbes. The scientists also estimated how quickly the bacteria consumed oil and gas, and how much the bacteria colonies grew.

The final step was to model the complex movement of the water in the Gulf to determine where the oil and gas—and the bacteria—got transported. Igor Mezic, a colleague of Dr. Valentine's and also a co-author, had published a study in 2011 predicting where the BP oil slick had spread. That analysis included data from the U.S. Navy's model of the Gulf's ocean currents and observations of the water's movements immediately after the spill and for several months after it ended.

The UC Santa Barbara researchers decided to marry their two computer models—the one about the spill-eating bacteria with the one that captured the movement of water. When they ran the joint model, they found that it helped to explain the puzzle of the rapidly vanishing oil spill.

The model showed that the topography in the Gulf had played a vital role. Since the gulf is bounded on three sides by land—north, east and west—the water currents don't flow in a single direction as in river. Instead, the water sloshes around, back and forth, as if it were trapped in a washing machine.

An initial population of bacteria encountered the spill near the BP well, its population grew, and then it was swept away by the ocean currents. But when the water circled back—that washing-machine effect—it was already loaded with these hungry bacteria, which immediately went on the attack again, mopping up another round of hydrocarbons. These repeated forays over the BP well, by the ever-growing bacterial populations, sped up the rate at which the methane and offshore oil got devoured.

Dr. Valentine suggested that oil companies ought to ascertain the currents, water motion and native microbial community in the water before embarking on any major offshore drilling project. "Then, if there is an event, we'd be many steps ahead of understanding where the oil may go and what the environment's response may be," he said.

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Office of Naval Research.

Write to Gautam Naik at

Title: fallout of BP oil spill
Post by: bigdog on March 04, 2012, 04:52:16 PM
Title: Kill the Bald Eagle!
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 11, 2013, 12:31:37 PM


For some environmentalists, the threat of climate change is so great that we must allow wind turbines to kill bald and golden eagles. The argument I've heard is that renewables, including wind energy, will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Less carbon dioxide reduces the threat posed by climate change, which benefits eagles and other wildlife.

In other words, we have to kill eagles in order to save them.

If this sounds far-fetched, consider the notice that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published in the Federal Register on Sept. 27. It seeks public comment on a proposed permit that will allow a wind project to kill up to five golden eagles over a five-year period, despite their protected status under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

The permit is sought for the Shiloh IV Wind Project in Solano County, Calif. If it is granted, it would formally recognize a legal double standard that is already in existence with regard to wildlife protection in America.

Wind projects routinely violate the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, but no wind farm has ever faced a single prosecution. Meanwhile, companies in the oil and gas industry and other sectors are routinely indicted for violating those same statutes.

The illegal bird kills are not insubstantial. On Sept. 11, some of Fish and Wildlife's top raptor biologists published a study in the Journal of Raptor Research that found the number of eagles killed by wind turbines increased to 24 in 2011 from two in 2007. In all, some 85 eagles have been killed since 1997. Joel Pagel, the study's lead author, recently told me that the figure is "an absolute minimum." Among the carcasses: six bald eagles.

Mr. Pagel's study was published just five months after Fish and Wildlife issued a report that stated "there are no conservation measures that have been scientifically shown to reduce eagle disturbance and blade-strike mortality at wind projects." So if more turbines are built, more eagles will be killed.

Wind turbines overall kill some 573,000 birds per year including 83,000 birds of prey, according to a study this March in the Wildlife Society Bulletin. Yet the effect that wind power has on reducing global carbon-dioxide emissions is so small as to be insignificant. Elementary math proves that point.

The American Wind Energy Association claims that in 2012 wind energy production reduced domestic CO2 emissions by 80 million tons. Last year, global emissions of that gas totaled 34.5 billion tons. Thus, the 60,000 megawatts of U.S. wind-generation capacity reduced global carbon-dioxide emissions by about two-tenths of 1%. To achieve a 1% reduction in global carbon-dioxide emissions, the U.S. would have to install at least 120,000 more turbines (assuming each machine has a capacity of two megawatts).

Last year, all of the wind turbines on the planet provided the energy equivalent of about 2.4 million barrels of oil per day. But over the past decade, the annual increase in coal use averaged some 2.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. Merely to keep pace with the soaring growth in coal usage, the world's electricity producers would have to nearly replicate the entire global fleet of wind turbines—some 285,000 megawatts of capacity, or roughly 142,000 turbines—every year.

There are two scandals here. First, wind turbines are killing legally protected eagles in the name of slowing climate change, but whatever reductions in carbon-dioxide emissions that may be occurring is equivalent to a baby's burp in a hurricane.

Second, the wind-energy industry is lobbying to extend a production tax credit—the 2.2 cent-per-kilowatt-hour subsidy that has fueled the turbine-building craze over the past few years. Last year the subsidy was extended for one year, at a cost to taxpayers of $12 billion. Another one-year extension will cost an additional $6.1 billion, according to a recent estimate by the congressional Joint Tax Committee.

It's bad enough that this so-called green industry wants to continue killing eagles with impunity. Taxpayers should not be subsidizing the slaughter.

Mr. Bryce is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
Title: HI plastic bag ban
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 04, 2014, 10:42:29 AM

I confess to being sympathetic to this.
Title: Re: HI plastic bag ban
Post by: DougMacG on January 05, 2014, 08:06:29 AM
I confess to being sympathetic to this.

Sympathetic to the choice of bag or who should decide your choice of bag?  What could possibly go wrong with govt or simple majorities making the right choices for us?
Plastic Bag Ban Responsible For Spike In E. Coli Infections
97 per cent of people admit to never washing their reusable bags.

(  Stick-fighting banned,  Laws passed to ban stick-fighting)

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 05, 2014, 09:45:07 AM
Of course I understand your point, but again would underline the concept of external dis-economies. 

Vast experience has shown that the reality is that the plastic bags at the grocery store foul our planet, both land and sea, at great cost to marine life in particular.   This cost is not born by buyer or seller and as such violates the natural law of the free market and therefore is a valid area for governmental action.

How the government should proceed is then a matter for the democratic process.  If people are too stupid to wash the re-usable bags and/or their food, then I am willing to say "Life is tough and it is tougher when you are stupid."  I say the same when people don't wash their hands after going to the bathroom.

Our oceans are clogged with these bags and other forms of plastic refuse-- all of which does not degrade in relevant time frames and thus continuously accumulates.  Search youtube and you will find vast areas of our oceans and seas that are swirling garbage dumps of many square miles.  Search and you will find much about the costs to marine life.

Metaphorically we can say that God drove us from the Garden of Eden for eating from the Tree of Knowledge, but is this not the same thing as saying that our scientific knowledge destroys the Garden of Eden that God gave us?

Title: Environmental issues: The Plastic Bag
Post by: DougMacG on January 05, 2014, 01:27:14 PM
May I suggest pricing in the externality and/or banning the act of putting the bags in the oceans rather than have a government body decide ("plastic bags will still be available for bulk items such as nuts, fish, meat, grains, and fresh produce" - from the Hawaii link) which uses are valid and which are not.

I have no affinity to plastic bags although when I have one, I re-use it.  I have seen similar thinking - ban it - destroy valuable liberties. 

If the argument is that strong, why not use persuasion.  OTOH maybe there arguments on the other side.  See below.

"If people are too stupid to wash the re-usable bags..."  - We are talking about 97% of the people according to U. of Penn study cited.  Their E coli can quickly become your E coli.  "Person-to-person contact ...transmission of the bacteria can occur."  The fact is, if you ban plastic but offer paper, people take paper - triple the greenhouse gas emissions, 4 times the water consumption to produce, emits methane in the landfiull.  If you offer neither, the cloth re-use bags carry harmful bacteria, also viruses.  We could require people to wash their bag.  But we might also ban hot water for washing, ban bleach, ban soaps or ban certain soaps.  (Not being facetious.)

Bags are not the only thing made of plastic and nearly all things have external dis-economies.  What principles guide us to ban this and not that?  Rock solid "science"?


March 8, 2008
By Alexi Mostrous

Scientists and environmentalists have attacked a global campaign to ban plastic bags which they say is based on flawed science and exaggerated claims.

The widely stated accusation that the bags kill 100,000 animals and a million seabirds every year are false, experts have told The Times. They pose only a minimal threat to most marine species, including seals, whales, dolphins and seabirds.

Gordon Brown announced last month that he would force supermarkets to charge for the bags, saying that they were “one of the most visible symbols of environmental waste”. Retailers and some pressure groups, including the Campaign to Protect Rural England, threw their support behind him.

But scientists, politicians and marine experts attacked the Government for joining a “bandwagon” based on poor science.

Lord Taverne, the chairman of Sense about Science, said: “The Government is irresponsible to jump on a bandwagon that has no base in scientific evidence. This is one of many examples where you get bad science leading to bad decisions which are counter-productive. Attacking plastic bags makes people feel good but it doesn’t achieve anything.”

Campaigners say that plastic bags pollute coastlines and waterways, killing or injuring birds and livestock on land and, in the oceans, destroying vast numbers of seabirds, seals, turtles and whales. However, The Times has established that there is no scientific evidence to show that the bags pose any direct threat to marine mammals.

They “don’t figure” in the majority of cases where animals die from marine debris, said David Laist, the author of a seminal 1997 study on the subject. Most deaths were caused when creatures became caught up in waste produce. “Plastic bags don’t figure in entanglement,” he said. “The main culprits are fishing gear, ropes, lines and strapping bands. Most mammals are too big to get caught up in a plastic bag.”

He added: “The impact of bags on whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals ranges from nil for most species to very minor for perhaps a few species. For birds, plastic bags are not a problem either.”

The central claim of campaigners is that the bags kill more than 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds every year. However, this figure is based on a misinterpretation of a 1987 Canadian study in Newfoundland, which found that, between 1981 and 1984, more than 100,000 marine mammals, including birds, were killed by discarded nets. The Canadian study did not mention plastic bags.

Fifteen years later in 2002, when the Australian Government commissioned a report into the effects of plastic bags, its authors misquoted the Newfoundland study, mistakenly attributing the deaths to “plastic bags”.

The figure was latched on to by conservationists as proof that the bags were killers. For four years the “typo” remained uncorrected. It was only in 2006 that the authors altered the report, replacing “plastic bags” with “plastic debris”. But they admitted: “The actual numbers of animals killed annually by plastic bag litter is nearly impossible to determine.”

In a postscript to the correction they admitted that the original Canadian study had referred to fishing tackle, not plastic debris, as the threat to the marine environment.

Regardless, the erroneous claim has become the keystone of a widening campaign to demonise plastic bags.

David Santillo, a marine biologist at Greenpeace, told The Times that bad science was undermining the Government’s case for banning the bags. “It’s very unlikely that many animals are killed by plastic bags,” he said. “The evidence shows just the opposite. We are not going to solve the problem of waste by focusing on plastic bags.

“It doesn’t do the Government’s case any favours if you’ve got statements being made that aren’t supported by the scientific literature that’s out there. With larger mammals it’s fishing gear that’s the big problem. On a global basis plastic bags aren’t an issue. It would be great if statements like these weren’t made.”

Geoffrey Cox, a Tory member of the Commons Environment Select Committee, said: “I don't like plastic bags and I certainly support restricting their use, but plainly it’s extremely important that before we take any steps we should rely on accurate information. It is bizarre that any campaign should be endorsed on the basis of a mistranslation. Gordon Brown should get his facts right.”

A 1968 study of albatross carcasses found that 90 per cent contained some form of plastic but only two birds had ingested part of a plastic bag.

Professor Geoff Boxshall, a marine biologist at the Natural History Museum, said: “I’ve never seen a bird killed by a plastic bag.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: ccp on January 05, 2014, 02:41:26 PM
"“The Government is irresponsible to jump on a bandwagon that has no base in scientific evidence. This is one of many examples where you get bad science leading to bad decisions which are counter-productive. Attacking plastic bags makes people feel good but it doesn’t achieve anything.”

Yup.  Beware the academic industrial government complex.

Most studies in health care are of little value.  Even ones we think are helpful often later are found to be mistaken.

I don't see why it would be any different in other fields.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 06, 2014, 07:08:51 AM
I'm fine with plastic in general being seen as having substantial external dis-economies.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on January 06, 2014, 04:56:46 PM
I'm fine with plastic in general being seen as having substantial external dis-economies.

I don't see that justifying a ban.   Charging something commensurate with the economic damage, perhaps 6 cents per bag, $600 for willful or neglectful littering and $6 million for harmful municipal level dumping might accomplish the same thing without ending personal choice.

The theory for banning uses also empowers government to decide which personal driving or air travel is allowed.  Healthcare is now a public cost so personal risk taking is now has an external dis-economy, same theory justifies banning my favorite sport - mountain skiing - or your industry.

Please click through the links at for an opposing view of the environmental effects.  A paper product not recycled is worse for the environment than a plastic bag in a landfill.  A re-usable bag used less than 13 times is worse than a grocery plastic bag re-used once.  What about plastic bags for garbage?  Allow these but not those?  Based on what?  Decided by whom?  I use only re-used bags for garbage now, but that could be gone.  Unbagged garbage has other issues.  Good luck stopping on the slippery slope in just the right place with no math or science-based, evidentiary requirement. 
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 07, 2014, 07:12:19 AM
The underlying point here is that of external dis-economies being a violation of free market principles and as such being a valid area for governmental action.

Are we in agreement here?
Title: The Environmental Eugenics of the Left...
Post by: objectivist1 on March 13, 2014, 07:23:13 AM
The Environmentalist Eugenics of the Left

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On March 13, 2014 -

Pick up a copy of Obama’s $3.9 trillion budget and there among the TSA fee hikes, Medicare payment cuts and the $400 million for the Department of Homeland Security to fight global warming is a curious little item.

On Page 930 of the budget that never ends is $575 million for “family planning/reproductive health” worldwide especially in “areas where population growth threatens biodiversity or endangered species.”

The idea that the way to protect insects, fish and animals is by preventing human beings from having children is part of an approach known as Population, Health and Environment (PHE) which integrates population control into environmentalist initiatives.

PHE dates back to the 1980s and is practiced by mainstream organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund. The Smithsonian’s Woodrow Wilson Center, which is funded partly by the US government, aggressively champions PHE eugenics and USAID funds PHE programs and distributes PHE training manuals derived in part from Wilson Center materials.

PHE had been baked into congressional bills such as the Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act of 2013 co-sponsored by Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and Sheila Jackson-Lee which urged meeting United Nations Millennium Development Goals by using birth control as, among other things, a means of “ensuring environmental sustainability.”

Obama’s budget is more open about its PHE eugenics agenda. While PHE backers usually claim that they want to reduce population to prevent famine and promote gender equality, the budget explicitly states that its goal is to reduce human population growth for the sake of the animals, without any of the usual misleading language about feminism and clean water.

The budget is a blunt assertion of post-human values by an administration that has become notorious for its fanatical environmentalism, sacrificing people on the altar of Green ideology.

When Obama’s Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visited Alaska, she told the residents of an Eskimo village where nineteen people had died due to the difficulty of evacuating patients during medical emergencies that, “I’ve listened to your stories, now I have to listen to the animals.”

Jewell rejected the road that they needed to save lives because it would inconvenience the local waterfowl. When it came to choosing between the people and the ducks, Jewell chose the ducks.

Ducks don’t talk, but environmentalists do, and they had vocally opposed helping the people of King Cove. Jewell had received the Rachel Carson Award, named after an environmentalist hero whose fearmongering killed millions. Compared to the Carson malaria graveyards of Africa, nineteen dead Eskimos slide off the post-human conscience of a fanatical environmentalist like water off a duck’s back.

USAID, which played a key role in the war on DDT, has openly embraced PHE. The arguments against DDT often focused not on saving lives, but on taking them. PHE prevents children from being born, but environmentalists don’t stop with the unborn. Malaria was an even more effective tool for reducing populations.

Environmentalist population reduction activists originally cloaked their real agenda in claims about worldwide famine. Paul Erlich, author of “The Population Bomb,” had predicted mass starvation by the 1970s and the end of England by 2000. Today Global Warming activists set empty dates for the destruction of mankind that they themselves don’t believe in.

The post-human left seeks to maintain a state of perpetual crisis so that governments and corporations will be more inclined to accept even the most horrifying solutions to avoid the end of mankind. What it does not tell them is that its goal is the end of mankind.

In February, Population Action International and the Sierra Club sponsored a congressional briefing on PHE post-2015. Population Action International was originally founded as the Population Crisis Committee in the sixties. Its preceding organizations included the Hugh Moore Fund for International Peace which claimed that population control was necessary to defeat Communism.

Like the Communists, the post-human activists were adept at disguising their agenda in the concerns of the moment, shifting from national security, feminism, the coming Ice Age, mass starvation and now Global Warming.

Environmentalists are even attempting to shoehorn the War on Terror into their agenda as the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program attempts to tie every terrorist conflict zone to global warming.

Environmentalist fearmongering has never been about saving people. Its activists, like Sally Jewell, are too busy playing duck whisperer to care about people.

Green programs have yet to save lives, but they do cost lives. The elderly in the United Kingdom are dying of electric poverty after facing cold winters and shocking price increases due to sustainability mandates, asthma sufferers are dying because the affordable albuterol inhalers they used were banned by the EPA, and people die in fires and floods, in natural disasters that could have been prevented, but are instead blamed on their victims by the environmentalists, who helped make them so lethal.

Not only do environmentalists kill, but they also profit from the deaths of their victims.

Elliot Morley, UK Labour’s Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, had directed that flooding in Somerset should be promoted because “wildlife will benefit from increased water levels.” Baroness Young, an environmental activist, who had become the chief executive of the UK’s Environment Agency, took steps to increase the possibility of flooding.

As she said, the formula was “for ‘instant wildlife, just add water.’”

When the flooding came, children were trapped on buses, 7,000 homes were flooded and many residents lost everything. Environmental activists blamed global warming and “careless farming” for the floods that they themselves had engineered.

Survivors of the Black Saturday bushfires in Australia which killed 173 people blamed environmental regulations for worsening the fires by preventing residents from clearing trees. The environmentalists blamed global warming and sent around an editorial suggesting that people “who don’t like to end up in flames” should read the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change report.

California’s drought was likewise engineered by environmental activists who then blamed their own handiwork on global warming.

Environmentalists wield unprecedented power over the lives of millions and yet they claim that each engineered disaster could have been averted if they had only been given even more power.

The left is not only becoming post-American or post-Western, but post-human, applying the same tactics that they used to target majorities in Western countries to the human race as a whole. Class war and race war are giving way to species warfare. And since the ducks cannot talk, ultimate power rests with the duck whisperers, those who speak for the animals, the fish and the trees.

The post-human left takes social justice to its natural conclusion, going beyond all the human categories to level mankind with the polar bear, the duck and the microbe. Total equality for the post-human left is not the equality of the rich and the poor, of men and women, of blacks and whites, or even of the First World and the Third World, but the equality of man and microbe, of a pregnant woman in a small Alaskan fishing village with a duck and a hungry California child with the Kangaroo rat.

The post-Human left seeks to put the species in its place. That is the final endgame of the environmentalist movement. It isn’t out to save mankind; it’s out to destroy it.
Title: Choking the Oceans with Plastic
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 26, 2014, 07:51:39 AM
By way of prefacing this article I claim that I think my hard core right wing credentials are in good order.

One of the key rules of the free market is that buyer and seller to a transaction should bear all its' costs.  Costs not so born e.g. pollution, are called "External Diseconomies".  (Other rules of the free market are No Fraud, No Theft, and Voluntary Interactions)

As a violation of the rules of the free market EDs are a suitable area for governmental action.  I oppose, for example, the sneering reaction of some of my cohorts on the right to oppose regulations and bans of plastic bags at the supermarket etc.  I wonder why the cartons in which I buy my coconut water cannot also be used in lieu of plastic bottles for drinking water.


Choking the Oceans With Plastic

AUG. 25, 2014
NYT Opinion

LOS ANGELES — The world is awash in plastic. It’s in our cars and our carpets, we wrap it around the food we eat and virtually every other product we consume; it has become a key lubricant of globalization — but it’s choking our future in ways that most of us are barely aware.

I have just returned with a team of scientists from six weeks at sea conducting research in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — one of five major garbage patches drifting in the oceans north and south of the Equator at the latitude of our great terrestrial deserts. Although it was my 10th voyage to the area, I was utterly shocked to see the enormous increase in the quantity of plastic waste since my last trip in 2009. Plastics of every description, from toothbrushes to tires to unidentifiable fragments too numerous to count floated past our marine research vessel Alguita for hundreds of miles without end. We even came upon a floating island bolstered by dozens of plastic buoys used in oyster aquaculture that had solid areas you could walk on.

Plastics are now one of the most common pollutants of ocean waters worldwide. Pushed by winds, tides and currents, plastic particles form with other debris into large swirling glutinous accumulation zones, known to oceanographers as gyres, which comprise as much as 40 percent of the planet’s ocean surface — roughly 25 percent of the entire earth.

No scientist, environmentalist, entrepreneur, national or international government agency has yet been able to establish a comprehensive way of recycling the plastic trash that covers our land and inevitably blows and washes down to the sea. In a 2010 study I conducted of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers, we extrapolated that some 2.3 billion pieces of plastic — from polystyrene foam to tiny fragments and pellets — had flowed from Southern California’s urban centers into its coastal waters in just three days of sampling.

The deleterious consequences of humanity’s “plastic footprint” are many, some known and some yet to be discovered. We know that plastics biodegrade exceptionally slowly, breaking into tiny fragments in a centuries-long process. We know that plastic debris entangles and slowly kills millions of sea creatures; that hundreds of species mistake plastics for their natural food, ingesting toxicants that cause liver and stomach abnormalities in fish and birds, often choking them to death. We know that one of the main bait fish in the ocean, the lantern fish, eats copious quantities of plastic fragments, threatening their future as a nutritious food source to the tuna, salmon, and other pelagic fish we consume, adding to the increasing amount of synthetic chemicals unknown before 1950 that we now carry in our bodies.

We suspect that more animals are killed by vagrant plastic waste than by even climate change — a hypothesis that needs to be seriously tested. During our most recent voyage, we studied the effects of pollution, taking blood and liver samples from fish as we searched for invasive species and plastic-linked pollutants that cause protein and hormone abnormalities. While we hope our studies will yield important contributions to scientific knowledge, they address but a small part of a broader issue.

The reality is that only by preventing man-made debris — most of which is disposable plastic — from getting into the ocean in the first place will a measurable reduction in the ocean’s plastic load be accomplished. Clean-up schemes are legion, but have never been put into practice in the garbage patches.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States supports environmentalist groups that remove debris from beaches. But the sieve-like skimmers they use, no matter how technologically sophisticated, will never be able to clean up remote garbage gyres: There’s too much turbulent ocean dispersing and mixing up the mess. We should use skimmers in the coastal zone, especially at the mouths of urban rivers where tons of stuff enters the ocean daily, but it’s not a matter that can be compared to encircling massive oil slicks with containment booms.

The problem is compounded by the aquaculture industry, which uses enormous amounts of plastic in its floats, nets, lines and tubes. The most common floats and tubes I’ve found in the deep ocean and on Hawaiian beaches come from huge sea-urchin and oyster farms like the one that created the oyster-buoy island we discovered. Those buoys were torn from their moorings by the tsunami that walloped Japan on March 11, 2011. But no regulatory remedies exist to deal with tons of plastic equipment lost accidentally and in storms. Government and industry organizations purporting to certify sustainably farmed seafood, despite their dozens of pages of standards, fail to mention gear that is lost and floats away. Governments, which are rightly concerned with depletion of marine food sources, should ensure that plastic from cages, buoys and other equipment used for aquaculture does not escape into the waters.

But, in the end, the real challenge is to combat an economic model that thrives on wasteful products and packaging, and leaves the associated problem of clean-up costs. Changing the way we produce and consume plastics is a challenge greater than reining in our production of carbon dioxide.

Plastics are a nightmare to recycle. They are very hard to clean. They can melt at low temperatures, so impurities are not vaporized. It makes no difference whether a synthetic polymer like polyethylene is derived from petroleum or plants; it is still a persistent pollutant. Biodegradable plastics exist, but manufacturers are quick to point out that marine degradable does not mean “marine disposable.”

Scientists in Britain and the Netherlands have proposed to cut plastic pollution by the institution of a “circular economy.” The basic concept is that products must be designed with end-of-life recovery in mind. They propose a precycling premium to provide incentives to eliminate the possibility that a product will become waste.

In the United States, especially in California, the focus has been on so-called structural controls, such as covering gutters and catch basins with 5-millimeter screens. This has reduced the amount of debris flowing down rivers to the sea. Activists around the world are lobbying for bans on the most polluting plastics — the bottles, bags and containers that deliver food and drink. Many have been successful. In California, nearly 100 municipalities have passed ordinances banning throwaway plastic bags and the Senate is considering a statewide ban.

Until we shut off the flow of plastic to the sea, the newest global threat to our Anthropocene age will only get worse.

Charles J. Moore is a captain in the U.S. merchant marine and founder of the Algalita Marine Research and Education Institute in Long Beach, California.
Title: Re: Choking the oceans with plastic...
Post by: objectivist1 on August 26, 2014, 08:31:53 AM
I have no argument with Crafty's preface - he's correct that there are legitimate reasons for government regulation of business other than laws against fraud, and those preventing coercion.  HOWEVER - this article doesn't pass the smell test in my opinion.  I'd like to see documentation of some of these claims the author makes, in particular - 

"Plastics are now one of the most common pollutants of ocean waters worldwide. Pushed by winds, tides and currents, plastic particles form with other debris into large swirling glutinous accumulation zones, known to oceanographers as gyres, which comprise as much as 40 percent of the planet’s ocean surface — roughly 25 percent of the entire earth."

REALLY?  That sounds utterly preposterous to me.  The author also clearly accepts the premise of man-made global warming, which has been thoroughly debunked and exposed for the fraud that it is, for going on three years now.  University of East Anglia, anyone?  Of course the establishment media haven't mentioned it since the story broke, and would just as soon everyone forgot about it.

I'm all for a healthy environment, but the radical environmentalists pushing much of this information are simply frauds.  Their real agenda is anti-capitalist.  Environmental alarmism is simply a tool for them.  I know nothing about the author other than what is stated at the end of the piece, but I'd also like to know about this institute he founded, and what connections he has, if any, to radical environmentalists.  I suspect he has many.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 26, 2014, 09:25:25 AM
a) I read the "40% gyres" as saying that 40% of the oceans are gyres, not that the gyres are 100% full of plastic.  So yes, he is being Clintonesque in this but still IMHO the problem remains.

b) I have read elsewhere about this issue and seen stuff on TV.  In my considered opinion there really is a horrific problem with this about which we SHOULD be alarmed.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: objectivist1 on August 26, 2014, 09:43:04 AM
I interpreted what he says as you explain it.  It still sounds utterly preposterous to me.  We're talking 40% of the surface area of the oceans on the planet.  Claims - especially outrageous ones like this - mean nothing without supporting evidence.  Show me the evidence.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 26, 2014, 10:01:20 AM
I grant that many greens are watermelons, but can easily imagine that gyres are broadly defined. 

Is the point really so important that we need to lose track of the underlying fact that we are crapping up the oceans? 

In my considered opinion, we of the right are often regarded with deep suspicion by those whose primary modality is emotion (60% of the population?) as having a default setting of not giving a flying fk about the planet.  Here we have something that is a clear violation of free market principles.  This is a golden opportunity for us to disprove the suspicion , , , or prove its veracity.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: objectivist1 on August 26, 2014, 11:13:05 AM

Anyone who seriously considers arguments on the right regarding environmental concerns already knows that we DO care about the environment, and that we have no interest in promoting pollution.  The very idea is absurd - as we obviously have children and grandchildren as well, who will suffer the ill effects.

Those that are driven solely by emotion - which you estimate at 60% - are utterly unreachable with reason, especially in light of the fact that the establishment media and popular culture accept radical environmentalist claims uncritically.  "The science is settled," as they like to say.  To expect that an acknowledgment of concern about this issue or any other leftist dogma on our part will convince these people is beyond naive.  There are plenty on the right who do and have expressed genuine concern about pollution over the last 50 years.  That hasn't changed the situation with regard to those 60%. 

I'm not rejecting outright the idea that humans have and continue to take "environmentally - unfriendly" actions from time to time.  However - the worst offenders - by orders of magnitude - are totalitarian societies such as China.  Thus my contention that the vast majority of the people making these extreme claims are motivated not by concern for the planet, but by their political agenda.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 26, 2014, 11:34:05 AM
Most people think backwards, they choose the position that makes the statement about themselves that they wish to make, then they learn the facts and reasons to justify the position.  This is why reason does not work in persuading people to change their minds.

I disagree with what some of what you say.

Name me positions where the right is in the lead against external diseconomies?

Off the top of my head I cannot think of any-- and most people would take the absence of such examples as proof of an underlying attitude.  Here we have a perfect issue to illustrate free market environmentalism and where are we?  Quibbling about the definition of gyres , , ,
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on August 28, 2014, 03:40:22 PM
Great discussion here, jumping in a little late.

Answering the last, first: "Name me positions where the right is in the lead against external diseconomies"

The greatest external dis-economy I see in the US economy is the power of excessive government to tax and regulate beyond reason or proportion, choking out private businesses and transactions.  The right is the only side sounding off against that.

It is true that the left is so far out front on all issues environmental.  They are on it before there is a problem.  There is no reasonable room I have seen for the right to take the lead.  You would have to be very, very quick to beat the left to the punch. 

The right has sided with the environment plenty though.  A Republican President started the EPA and a family member, Republican, was the first national director of water quality.  He applied rigorous math and science to the priorities of measurement and cleanup of water supplies.  No partisan.  Not exactly what I see today.

One point of environmental lead for the right might be to attack the level of carbon emitted by excessive governments, federal, state and local.  Their total likely amounts to 40% of our carbon emissions and 40% of our garbage and ocean filth output.  What part of THAT could we cut back?

Where we weren't in the lead, it seems that Republicans have (almost?) never rolled back environmental standards.  The air and the water have never (in the last 50 years or so) been cleaner.  Give liberals some credit and lock in the gains.  But the success of the programs removes a lot of the future urgency.  Growing the economy would help people quite a bit more right now, IMHO.

If Dems say gas mileage should be 100 mpg by mandate, should Republicans say 105?  If they say do it in one year, we could say 6 months, even if the technology to do so either practically or affordably does not exist?  Again, it is hard to be out front when the anti-commerce, anti-freedom side is already all over it.

"Quibbling about the definition of gyres , , ,"

So what is a gyre?  I have no idea, but the "facts" stated in the article are intuitively unbelievable.  If I read it correctly, 40% of the oceans are so clogged in plastics and garbage that navigation is jeopardized.  I sincerely doubt that.  Of the people here who live near the coast, what percent of what you see is disgusting and what percent is beautiful?  Either 40% has some trace in it, or if it is all drifting to the same places, then a tiny percentage of the oceans, maybe .001%, are too clogged for surface travel or sea life.  These pollutants never break down, yet see fish are tearing them apart as fast as they can to their own demise.  Which is it?  And why does a liberal publication run the facts in the opinion section.  Crafty sees a real problem.  Fine.  Let's wait for those real facts.

This discussion started earlier with the idea of banning plastic bags in San Francisco.(?)  But if this is "a perfect issue to illustrate free market environmentalism", isn't the answer is to add the environmental cost of a plastic bag to the transaction?  That is NEVER what is proposed.

Why are we dumping garbage into the ocean?  We don't need to.  Who is doing that?  I'm not doing that.  Governments control garbage.  If San Francisco is doing that, STOP DOING IT!  Non-coastal areas are not doing it.  Are they saying that is just what blows into the water off of litter on the streets?

What is the cost of cleaning up one ocean square mile, acre or hectare?  And how many plastic bags does it contain?  Certainly that is quantifiable, at least with estimates.  Add up the cost, assess it to the perpetrators, and start the cleanup.  Who is proposing that?  I have not seen it.

"...the underlying fact that we are crapping up the oceans" 

If so, then let's take the gathering and presenting of those facts seriously.  And make our response to it effective and proportionate.

We were crapping into Lake Superior decades ago; there it was taconite tailings.  It was wrong and it was stopped.  No one has a right to do that.  Maybe liberals were out front stopping that, but isn't the issue non-partisan?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 28, 2014, 11:55:09 PM
"There is no reasonable room I have seen for the right to take the lead.  You would have to be very, very quick to beat the left to the punch."

I disagree.  First you have to be emotionally available.  For example, I see no reason that a Rep could not seize upon the plastic bag issue, using the ED analytical framework I describe.  Yes the left has yapped about PBs first, but with no discernable limiting principle.  Lots of people intuitively understand the lack of cost-benefit in watermelon thinking and the lack of limiting principle and here we have a great chance to establish the principle while simultaneously allaying concerns that Reps are always going to find the analog the of the definition of gyres to quibble about.

The Rep who gets on our front with this, and similar problems will be seen as a uniter, the kind of leader that we need, blah blah.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on August 29, 2014, 08:27:18 AM

Title: Re: Environmental issues - Plastic Bag Ban
Post by: DougMacG on August 29, 2014, 09:12:56 AM
"There is no reasonable room I have seen for the right to take the lead.  You would have to be very, very quick to beat the left to the punch."

I disagree.  First you have to be emotionally available.  For example, I see no reason that a Rep could not seize upon the plastic bag issue, using the ED analytical framework I describe.  Yes the left has yapped about PBs first, but with no discernable limiting principle.  Lots of people intuitively understand the lack of cost-benefit in watermelon thinking and the lack of limiting principle and here we have a great chance to establish the principle while simultaneously allaying concerns that Reps are always going to find the analog the of the definition of gyres to quibble about.

The Rep who gets on our front with this, and similar problems will be seen as a uniter, the kind of leader that we need, blah blah.

[Add GM's link to the points made below.  "Without presenting any quantitative evidence, the editors wrote that plastic bags pose a huge cost to the environment..."  In 2011, the United Kingdom’s Environment Agency released a study that evaluated nine categories of environmental impacts caused by different types of supermarket bags. The study found that paper bags have a worse effect on the environment than plastic bags in all nine impact categories, which include global warming potential, abiotic depletion, acidification, eutrophication, human toxicity, fresh water aquatic ecotoxicity, marine aquatic ecotoxicity, terrestrial ecotoxicity, and photochemical oxidation.]

Since yesterday's posts:
On second try, California plastic bag ban passes Assembly

Crafty,  Respectfully, may I assume this 'solution' (above) is not the approach you are describing?  But do you support this ban?

Giving credit where due, Crafty's gave support to this quite a ways back:
"plastic bags at the grocery store foul our planet, both land and sea, at great cost to marine life in particular."

I trust our host but still would like to see the math and science on this problem and this policy.  What about stores other than grocery, dollar store, home depot, mall stores, etc.  Why is it okay to target one industry and not all?  What about the other plastic wrapping in a grocery store?  I have made a conscience effort to take and use fewer plastic bags in all stores since that post of yours, while awaiting convincing evidence.  

We could asses everything a packaging tax.  But I am already paying a waste disposal charge - to my local government who chooses and pays the hauler and landfill.  Why am I paying a flat rate - for water, sewer, garbage - when my usage is a tiny fraction of my neighbors?  And I pay nothing in marginal cost for adding more bags to whatever garbage is there now.  It is actually against the law to NOT bag my garbage.  Reforming that is a better approach.

Common sense conservatism says that excessive waste is stupid, and wrong.  Libertarian principles say that people should retain choices - until they are hurting someone else.  Business economics tells businesses that packaging serves a valuable purpose, increasing quality and satisfaction while decreasing (direct) costs.  "External Dis-economies" tell us that the business and consumer can't feel the entire cost, therefore the government should intervene by levying that cost onto that transaction.  But that is not at all what is happening here!

I thought carbon was the largest problem on earth.  Toward that end, nuclear power is the only major source that is carbon-free.  (We didn't come to agreement on that either.)  Paper bags in place of from grocery stores triple the greenhouse gas emissions of plastic, require 4 times the water consumption to produce, and emit harmful methane in the landfiull.  How does that math  compare with the math on this ban?  [See GM's post.]  Re-use bags carry harmful bacteria, also viruses.  Even more so after we ban dangerous chemicals.  We could wash more, but these are current facts, repeatably measurable.  Public health and public healthcare costs are affected.  Where is that externality measured?  Government mandates have consequences, and usually not the intended ones.  My proposal is that new taxes and new regulations should require the passage of an accompanying, unintended consequence statement, not just an environmental impact statement.  

How mush clearer will the ocean be after this ban goes into effect?  They will tell us none until everyone, everywhere does it.  How much clearer will the ocean be and how much healthier will marine life be after the inland states follow?  None, so we switch over to the landfill argument.  What proportion of landfills are excessive grocery bags?   More importantly, we will feel better about ourselves if we pass more laws, and more laws are certain to follow this one.

The lesson learned in California is that government makes better choices than people.  Good luck translating that into conservative, free market enthusiasm.

The Republican who gets out in front of plastic bag bans (and soda bans, gun bans, SUV bans, campfire bans) across the country won't be the nominee.  Speaking for the 10% who need facts, evidence and reason (I don't buy that either), I will be emotionally available to these kinds of policies after I see the math and the science that supports it.  

The issue regarding ocean crap IMHO is proper disposal.  The fact that we generate too much waste is way more complicated than a grocery store plastic bag ban.  For one thing, why do I have to buy two or three of something when I need only one?  Maybe government could pass a law...
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on August 29, 2014, 09:16:05 AM
I'm pretty sure much of the world's population will not follow California's lead. What will mean as far as actual impact, even if a ban is actually the best policy?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 29, 2014, 09:45:13 AM
Well, if the US were to ban plastic bags for groceries I DO think it would make a difference and encourage others to make a difference.  As for the logical points raised, fair enough-- perhaps a mesh bag would answer the objections raised to the other alternatives?

If not, what about those cartons instead of plastic bottles for drinking water, juice, sport drinks, etc?

The larger point I am making is that we cannot ALWAYS be against every proffered solution.  We need to OFFER solutions.  

I offer that the ED model of analysis gives us a principled way of doing so -- and does not give ground to watermelon foolishness.

If not grocery bags, then something else, but dammit! SOMETHING!

PS:  Have you ever seen a serious documentary showing the gyres of plastic in the ocean?  If not, you need to! 

Forgive me, but our Creator gave us this planet and put us in the Garden of Eden.  Made in his image, it is the responsibility of our dominion over this planet to beware the by-products of the apple of Knowledge (science and technology) and to work towards restoring the Garden of Eden everywhere insofar as is plausible.
Title: CA to ban plastic grocery bags?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 31, 2014, 10:30:35 PM
Well it looks like my idea is going to be given a shot , , ,
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on August 31, 2014, 11:40:19 PM
What is the mechanism  that deposits plastic bags Into the ocean to form the gyres?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 01, 2014, 12:19:27 AM
I suspect the currents called gyres are already there and the mechanism that gets the plastic there is human laziness and stupidity.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on September 01, 2014, 12:41:41 AM
I suspect the currents called gyres are already there and the mechanism that gets the plastic there is human laziness and stupidity.

No one on the west coast has been dumping bulk garbage into the water for more than 50 years, right?

What sort of impact would a plastic bag ban actually accomplish?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on September 01, 2014, 05:41:26 AM
You don't insert external costs into a transaction by passing a ban.

We don't advance equal protection by applying laws to different products and industries differently.

Martial arts in a public healthcare state arguably has an external cost.  The answer is to pass a ban?
Good luck with majority-decides-your-choices thinking.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on September 01, 2014, 05:46:51 AM
Title: Environmentalists Mocked In Hermosa Beach, CA...
Post by: objectivist1 on February 12, 2015, 12:31:39 PM
Title: Plastic bags and other external diseconomies
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 24, 2015, 09:59:17 AM
Title: Climate Change Reconsidered
Post by: prentice crawford on March 21, 2015, 07:37:47 AM

The newest volume in the Climate Change Reconsidered series, released on April 9, is Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts. One more volume in the CCR-II series, subtitled Human Welfare, Energy, and Policies, is due out in June. A digital version of the first report is available on this Web site.

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts constitutes an independent, comprehensive, and authoritative report on the impacts of climate change on plants, terrestrial animals, aquatic life, and human well-being. Climate Change Reconsidered II: Human Welfare, Energy, and Policies will use economics and policy analysis to explain the implications of climate change on energy production and consumption and a wide range of public policies.

These two volumes are the fifth and sixth in a series of scholarly reports produced by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), an international network of climate scientists sponsored by three nonprofit organizations: Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), and The Heartland Institute. Previous volumes in the Climate Change Reconsidered series were published in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2013. Those volumes along with separate executive summaries for the second, third, and fourth reports are available for free online on this site.

Whereas the reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warn of a dangerous human effect on climate, NIPCC concludes the human effect is likely to be small relative to natural variability, and whatever small warming is likely to occur will produce benefits as well as costs.

Climate Change Reconsidered II  consists of three parts, the two being released now and an earlier volume, subtitled Physical Science, released on September 17-18, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois USA. Additional release events took place the following weeks in Washington, DC, New York, Florida, St. Louis, England, Germany, Holland, and California.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: ccp on August 10, 2015, 06:55:35 AM
Colorado governor should put his boot on the neck of the White House to fix the mess their EPA made in that river over there.   

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on August 11, 2015, 07:05:31 AM
A link for ccp's post yesterday on river contamination in Colorado.

On another matter, an obvious but never stated point was made by a founder and defector from Greenpeace:

Does anyone know where "manmade" CO2 comes from?  

CO2 released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels came from earth's atmosphere via decayed and stored plant life.  It isn't "manmade".  (Another case of liberals hijacking our language.)

Back when those plants were decaying and CO2 levels were ten times what they are now, the earth was colder and the ice caps were larger.  Go figure. It's almost as if there are other factors, solar for example, in play.

Title: Is this due to fertizilizer run-off into the Mississippi?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 15, 2015, 05:34:17 AM
Title: Environmental issues, Cleaner atmosphere means more Arctic sea-ice melt
Post by: DougMacG on November 23, 2015, 08:45:03 AM
Cleaner atmosphere means more Arctic sea-ice melt, study says

Mitigating the cost of the externality that we assess to the polluter?
Title: Re: Environmental issues. 97% Agree
Post by: DougMacG on November 27, 2015, 12:44:15 PM
Amazingly, 97% agree.  Manmade global warming is not the biggest problem we face.

Fox News poll
Title: NRO: Abolish the EPA
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 23, 2016, 09:50:39 AM

Many interesting points in here but the "abolish the EPA" notion is political suicide.
Title: Exxon vs. Trump on Paris Accords
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 30, 2017, 04:55:53 AM
Title: A PR stunt while the LEFT is going after them ?
Post by: ccp on March 30, 2017, 05:16:24 AM
From the above CD post :

"Exxon has a complex and controversial history with climate change. The energy giant is being investigated for allegedly misleading the public and shareholders about what it knew about the dangers of climate change.
But in 2007 Exxon admitted publicly that climate change poses risks and said it's responsible to begin working on ways to reduce emissions.
Exxon has also been a consistent public supporter of the Paris agreement."
Title: Trump: $100M to Flint, Michigan
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 16, 2017, 06:44:13 PM
Title: POTH: Evangelical Environmentalists
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 17, 2017, 03:27:04 AM
Title: Earth Day predictions over the years
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 23, 2017, 05:53:24 PM
Title: Re: Environmental issues, real climate change is survivable
Post by: DougMacG on July 31, 2017, 06:19:10 AM
"Most buildings are rebuilt about every 50 years. If we simply stopped building in flood-prone areas and started building on higher ground, even the costs of moving cities would be bearable."
Title: Wind Farms vs. Birds
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 19, 2018, 08:52:03 AM
Title: Plastic eating enzyme
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 17, 2018, 10:06:58 AM
Title: EPA Drinking Water Study
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 19, 2018, 11:55:25 AM
Title: PFAS in water supply
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 25, 2018, 10:36:49 AM
Title: I confess this makes me a bit nervous , , ,
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 26, 2018, 11:56:44 AM
Title: Re: I confess this makes me a bit nervous , , ,
Post by: G M on May 26, 2018, 12:05:32 PM

Yes. The slack-jawed locals in Alaska and other places without a Starbucks on every corner are utterly incapable of sound wildlife management on their own and require that the benevolent elites from the coasts provide guidance.
Title: GM: free bathrooms also exist in parts of Alaska
Post by: ccp on May 26, 2018, 12:09:42 PM
Title: Re: GM: free bathrooms also exist in parts of Alaska
Post by: G M on May 26, 2018, 12:52:12 PM

Good. I’d hate to have meth addicts forced to shoot up on the frozen tundra.
Title: changing with the times
Post by: ccp on May 26, 2018, 08:35:21 PM
Schultz rebranded Starbucks from a gourmet chain coffee house to a fancy chain out house   :lol:

I hope the rumors we've heard are true and he DOES run for President  
Title: California vs. Plastic Pollution
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 28, 2018, 07:48:02 PM
Title: Re: California vs. Plastic Pollution
Post by: G M on May 28, 2018, 10:31:00 PM

There is stupid. Then there is California level stupid.

Thankfully, I now know that everything causes cancer, thanks to California's environmental laws.
Title: 95% of ocean pollution comes from 10 rivers
Post by: ccp on May 29, 2018, 04:28:24 AM
None are in the United States:
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 29, 2018, 10:20:50 AM
So, what do you/we propose?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on May 29, 2018, 10:32:47 AM
So, what do you/we propose?

Instead of meaningless environmental virtue signalling that only wastes money and creates another regulatory money pit, sometimes doing nothing is the better option.
Title: Environmental issues, WSJ, Steve Hayward, Climate Change Has Run Its Course
Post by: DougMacG on June 07, 2018, 08:52:24 AM
They merged it with Leftism and lost us.

From the article:  "Scientists who are genuinely worried about the potential for catastrophic climate change ought to be the most outraged at how the left politicized the issue and how the international policy community narrowed the range of acceptable responses. Treating climate change as a planet-scale problem that could be solved only by an international regulatory scheme transformed the issue into a political creed for committed believers. Causes that live by politics, die by politics."
Title: Environmental issues, Environmentalists foolishly go to war against nuclear
Post by: DougMacG on June 13, 2018, 04:53:04 PM
A point I have been trying to make.  Proof of the unseriousness of environmental groups.  Let a professional take a shot at it:

"Environmentalists foolishly go to war against nuclear power"

[Nuclear is carbon-free you idiots.  And it works even when the sun and the wind go down.]

They also oppose fracking which single handedly lowered America's CO2 emissions and stopped the rise of the oceans (?).
 NG is 40% cleaner than coal.

On another note, in Steve Hayward's brilliant WSJ piece last week he noted that part of the credibility problem on the lack of seriousness on the part of climate change scientists is that none of them changed their own lifestyles.  Instead sought more dollars to heat and air condition more offices and fly more jets to more conferences in more far away places.
Title: Micro-plastics in the food chain
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 31, 2018, 10:02:56 AM
Not familiar with this source, but in general I am in accord with what this article says.  Note well the part about endocrine disruptors.
Title: YES! Plastic Clean up of the Ocean
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 31, 2018, 07:26:21 AM[0]=68.ARAPkKbUzmVVGFzbKSXeXaXGbbUZfSVzK7gF4cwSHCSJAmB1_GmlpfFOIO_wqG1W_RlkmvsAx3sT6YJZ2j3V4nA4wUCx2k5MHBExQP-5VLbpbBP9Me_C7XqFMfrUNkRZMuU81L4HmjnAL-T2dA-m34GdIqiuIBfTGC1EMRsJaH0Imf58XH4APH0&__tn__=FC-R&fb_dtsg_ag=AdwjqEjCOqnNJVoGB7GNo5H9FpfSG1GWYSZml0jcgo_2BQ%3AAdzV3rbrB5PeO_0F27vrFKFAli7nOcWDepY__4EQrGlzfg
Title: Re: YES! Plastic Clean up of the Ocean
Post by: G M on August 31, 2018, 01:25:43 PM[0]=68.ARAPkKbUzmVVGFzbKSXeXaXGbbUZfSVzK7gF4cwSHCSJAmB1_GmlpfFOIO_wqG1W_RlkmvsAx3sT6YJZ2j3V4nA4wUCx2k5MHBExQP-5VLbpbBP9Me_C7XqFMfrUNkRZMuU81L4HmjnAL-T2dA-m34GdIqiuIBfTGC1EMRsJaH0Imf58XH4APH0&__tn__=FC-R&fb_dtsg_ag=AdwjqEjCOqnNJVoGB7GNo5H9FpfSG1GWYSZml0jcgo_2BQ%3AAdzV3rbrB5PeO_0F27vrFKFAli7nOcWDepY__4EQrGlzfg

How much does each trip to empty the plastic catcher cost? How often does it need to be emptied? How much plastic is removed on each trip?

Another self-licking ice cream cone enviro-scam.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 31, 2018, 04:42:10 PM
What cost the trajectory we are on?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: ccp on August 31, 2018, 04:42:49 PM
I read one report about the plastic pooper scooper and while it is  a nice idea
 it is like bailing out a sinking rowboat.
 going no where and probably won't make even a dent
until China India and African nations and other Asian nations stop dumping in all their rivers this type of "treatment" won't likely do much.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on August 31, 2018, 04:55:23 PM
I read one report about the plastic pooper scooper and while it is  a nice idea
 it is like bailing out a sinking rowboat.
 going no where and probably won't make even a dent
until China India and African nations and other Asian nations stop dumping in all their rivers this type of "treatment" won't likely do much.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 31, 2018, 05:03:44 PM
Getting China, India, and other Asian nations to take this seriously is essential.  AGREED.

AND there is the matter of what to do about the plastic already in the ocean.

This seems to me an ingenious idea, one well worth noting and developing demonstration projects.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on August 31, 2018, 05:32:32 PM
Getting China, India, and other Asian nations to take this seriously is essential.  AGREED.

AND there is the matter of what to do about the plastic already in the ocean.

This seems to me an ingenious idea, one well worth noting and developing demonstration projects.

Is it? Let’s see the hard numbers that this is actually more than some vaporware enviroscam? How long from launch will the device need to be emptied? How much plastic can be hauled out by the ship in a single trip? What is the cost of each load? What is the operating cost of the organization?

Prediction: a whole lot of fundraising and posing and very little actual plastic removed from the ocean.

BTW, recycling plastic isn’t cost effective in any way. But it makes rubes feel good.

Title: Pick up your trash!
Post by: G M on August 31, 2018, 07:06:01 PM

Solutions tend to be boring.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 31, 2018, 08:11:51 PM
The proposed solution here reduces additional supply 23%.

Great-- BUT that leaves 77% plus what is already in the ocean.

There is no ONE solution.  Many will be needed.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on August 31, 2018, 09:03:33 PM
The proposed solution here reduces additional supply 23%.

Great-- BUT that leaves 77% plus what is already in the ocean.

There is no ONE solution.  Many will be needed.

Those responsible for it need to clean it up.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 31, 2018, 09:14:11 PM
OK India, China, and sundry Asian countries-- here's the bill.

Oh wait, you'll need a way to "pick up the trash" , , , but that's what you just aimed the snark at when I posted someone thinking about how actually to do that , , ,
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on September 01, 2018, 01:34:07 AM
OK India, China, and sundry Asian countries-- here's the bill.

Oh wait, you'll need a way to "pick up the trash" , , , but that's what you just aimed the snark at when I posted someone thinking about how actually to do that , , ,

Pick it up, at the origin point. I am going to start an NGO where I have robots that look and sound like Sam Kinison, deployed to third world counties responsible for the plastic ocean pollution. They'll scream at anyone dumping plastic into a waterway. "Pick it up! Pick it up, you fcuking third world savage! Oh OH AUGGGGGggggGGGGGGGGGG!!"

I can't wait for the money to roll in from eco-rubes. I'll ride in limos and drink champagne and eat caviar with all the other eco-grifters at Davos.

Title: Xi and "ecological civilisation"
Post by: ccp on September 01, 2018, 07:48:13 AM
I do remember Xi claiming he is making the environment one of his priorities but listening to Gordon Chang and other China scholars on John Batchelor radio Xi 's power may well be threatened :
Title: Walter Russell Mead: Environmentalists Need to Get Real
Post by: DougMacG on September 04, 2018, 07:37:38 AM
I don't fully agree with him on the dangers but there is a lot of wisdom here on how to move forward. Serious environmentalists should consider these thoughts. - Doug
Environmentalists Need to Get Real
The problem isn’t climate-change denial. It’s doubt that activists have the answers.
Walter Russell Mead. Sept. 3, 2018

Last week French environmental minister Nicolas Hulot, once a prominent supporter of President Emmanuel Macron, threw in the towel. “I don’t want to lie anymore. I don’t want to create the illusion that my presence in the government means that we are on top of [environmental] issues,” he said during a live broadcast announcing his resignation.

Mr. Hulot is not alone among environmentalists in denouncing the hypocrisy and inadequacy of government action on climate change. The Paris accords are “a fraud, really, a fake,” said climate activist James Hansen in 2015. “There is no action, just promises.”

Three years later, Mr. Hansen’s words look prescient. Even ostensibly committed countries like Germany and France are on course to miss the voluntary 2020 targets they announced to such fanfare in 2015. The Climate Action Tracker estimates that only Morocco and Gambia are on a “Paris agreement compatible” path.

The climate-change movement is stuck, even after a scorching summer elevated the issue across much of the Northern Hemisphere. It is powerful enough to command lip service from politicians, but too weak to impose the policies it says are needed to prevent catastrophic change.

Many environmentalists fail to grasp that the real problem isn’t skepticism that the climate is changing, or even that human activity is a leading cause of the change. Millions worry about climate change and believe human activity is in large part responsible. But they do not believe that the climate movement has the answers for the problems it describes. Green policy blunders, like support for ethanol in the U.S. and knee-jerk opposition to nuclear power, erode confidence that environmental activists—who too often have an anticapitalist, Malthusian and technophobic view of the world—can be trusted, to as they often say, to “save the planet.”

For center-right politicians and people who support both free markets and a healthy environment, the status quo is also a problem. In the U.S. and abroad, market-friendly politicians cannot embrace the stagnant, statist and rent-seeking policies often proposed by environmentalists. Yet neither do they wish to turn a blind eye to a consequential problem that voters care about.

The world needs a green movement that can command more than lip service from politicians. Such a movement would be tech-positive, pro-science and pro-growth, recognizing that capitalism can deliver technological and social changes that offer humanity’s best hope of a greener and cooler future. A realistic green movement would not only embrace zero-carbon nuclear power as part of the solution to the climate problem; it would embrace the broader potential of the information revolution to raise living standards around the world while reducing humanity’s carbon footprint.

One example would be the promotion of telework and other changes to the way people commute. The daily trek of hundreds of millions of commuters around the world is a major contributor to world-wide emissions. Commuting’s pernicious influence will grow as developing countries continue to urbanize. Promoting telework—substituting the movement of data for the movement of people and cars—will bend the carbon curve even as it saves time and money. The shift to autonomous cars can have a similar impact and reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

Videoconferencing is already making inroads in the business world. Instead of $100 billion boondoggles like California’s struggling high-speed rail project, policy makers should encourage the development and deployment of this technology—reducing emissions and saving taxpayer dollars.

A smarter green movement also would embrace the development and use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture. Tweaking the genes of specific crops can raise yields while shrinking humanity’s carbon footprint. A field of “tweaked” soybeans that need little or no fertilizer or pesticides is the real killer app for solar power. Human ingenuity plus sunlight can dramatically reduce the need for fertilizer and pesticides with all the greenhouse-gas emissions and other environmental damage they entail.

These ideas are neither Malthusian nor anticapitalist. For that reason, many green activists will shun them. Some would rather see the planet perish in a runaway greenhouse effect than see gene-tweaked soybeans in European grocery stores—just as they would rather risk catastrophic flooding than accept nuclear power. But market-friendly, pro-science think tanks, researchers and politicians should not be deterred. Developing a green agenda that is high tech but not hair shirt is a crucial project if the world is to break the dangerous gridlock on climate change.

Walter Russell Mead writes for American interest and wsj.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 04, 2018, 12:41:07 PM
Very good!
Title: This too is worth remembering
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 04, 2018, 01:14:22 PM
Title: Re: This too is worth remembering
Post by: G M on September 04, 2018, 01:23:07 PM

Did it make polyester leisure suits go away? Because then it would be totally worth it.
Title: Hopefully this is viable
Post by: G M on September 04, 2018, 10:33:29 PM

The key is making recycling profitable.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 05, 2018, 05:08:53 AM
Title: Guardian: The plastic backlash
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 14, 2018, 11:45:51 AM
Title: Number of Forest Fires the Same but Severity Worse
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 17, 2018, 09:59:08 AM
Title: Re: Number of Forest Fires the Same but Severity Worse
Post by: DougMacG on November 17, 2018, 10:46:49 AM

I haven't wanted to speak (or write) while human tragedy is happening but I am pleased to  see someone offer honest analysis.

Trump:  "There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!"

Observations from afar: 
1. These fires are 90% human caused.
2. We never seem to hear the cause while it's burning.
3. In the rush to put them out (for good reason) we lose the natural consequence of having all that dead kindling destroyed, keeping the new fire danger at extreme risk levels.
4. They (California) have all the answers for us on everything else but can't get their own act together on this deadly issue. Why does the richest place on earth need federal help?
5. I'm not an expert on fire management and prevention but someone should be.  Basic steps they have long known to do aren't being done.
6. People keep moving and settling away from water sources and then notice the lack of water.
7.  Drought and variability of rainfall is not a new phenomenon nor exacerbated by a fraction of a degree warming of the planet.

Look at a population map of anywhere on earth and see how migrate to water.  If oxygen were as unevenly distributed as water, people would migrate to oxygen.  Now people move away from water then argue over the scarcity.  At least that's how it looks from the land of 15,000 lakes where people are migrating out.

Here is Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke on wildfire prevention written and published before this latest deadly round:

Here is the bill Jerry Brown vetoed relating to wildfires:
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: ccp on November 17, 2018, 11:02:05 AM
''it’s hard not to see the connection between this increase in wildfires and the land management policy changes that have occurred since the 1970s.'

but the LEFT and their propaganda outlets seem to have no problem not seeing this connection.

of course moon beam is not going to accept any responsibility and blame a more convenient political enemy - climate  change and by twisted association Trump.

and the mario kids the lemons the white hairs and the baldwins will be all over the airways agreeing with moon beam and doing the same.

couldn't we just replace all agriculture in California with marijuana crops and make these infernos into massive bongs that would desirable to many Californians.

Title: More on the consequences of plastic
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 19, 2018, 07:49:46 AM
Title: If Trump was wrong, why did Gov. Brown ease logging rules in August?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 21, 2018, 04:09:22 AM

also see

Title: Ocean plastic
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 21, 2018, 04:10:23 AM
second post

Title: Re: Ocean plastic
Post by: DougMacG on November 21, 2018, 07:04:57 AM
second post

95% of the plastic in the oceans comes from 10 rivers (in Asia)

When do we go from studying this to stop doing it?  The amount of plastic and other packaging materials we use here is obscene.  But NONE of my garbage or recycling is going into the oceans.  In Africa and Asia, they use the rivers for waste dump; it's an intentional act, not litter blowing into the ocean from the US.

Everything it seems to me in the environmental movement is designed around stopping capitalism but our prosperity and consumer culture is not what is clogging the oceans.  It is the lack of real capitalism and prosperity in the world that is doing this.

I drink tap water, cart groceries out of the store without bags and drive a 60mpg car but have to constantly take the guilt of being human and American.  The answers we hear are bans and mandates but the filth always turns out to be far worse where they have the LEAST economic freedom.

I wonder how much wasted government climate change money it would take to clean this up.
Title: Re: Ocean plastic
Post by: G M on November 21, 2018, 07:48:07 AM
second post

95% of the plastic in the oceans comes from 10 rivers (in Asia)

When do we go from studying this to stop doing it?  The amount of plastic and other packaging materials we use here is obscene.  But NONE of my garbage or recycling is going into the oceans.  In Africa and Asia, they use the rivers for waste dump; it's an intentional act, not litter blowing into the ocean from the US.

Everything it seems to me in the environmental movement is designed around stopping capitalism but our prosperity and consumer culture is not what is clogging the oceans.  It is the lack of real capitalism and prosperity in the world that is doing this.

I drink tap water, cart groceries out of the store without bags and drive a 60mpg car but have to constantly take the guilt of being human and American.  The answers we hear are bans and mandates but the filth always turns out to be far worse where they have the LEAST economic freedom.

I wonder how much wasted government climate change money it would take to clean this up.

It’s not about protecting the environment, it’s about power and control.
Title: Re: Environmental issues, wildfire climate drivel
Post by: DougMacG on November 21, 2018, 07:53:03 AM

How much more warming can we take, it's already gone up zero degrees and it's accelerating!  

Accuweather today in Paradise, California, 50 degrees F. 40% humidity, winds SE 8 mph.  It's November in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

I believe the book was called Fahrenheit 451 where paper will combust without spark.    We have a ways to go.

From the article:  "Congress must pass meaningful legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Good grief.  For one thing, I didn't know Congress governed China where the new coal plants are being built.

The number one greenhouse gas trapping in the heat of the earth oddly is water vapor, an antidote to fire.

The number one emission from fossil fuel combustion is water vapor.

What if we ended fossil fuel use instantly and droughts and fires got worse?  That's what the science says.

In a world where politicians believe water vapor causes drought, "green" movements prevent forest management and "wild"fires are 90% human caused, I don't think we can be this stupid and solve a major problem.  Don't expect things to get better soon.

One idea, why don't we make California's National Forests state forests and move control over it to the people who have the most stake in it.  Tax their air pollution as it comes across state lines until someone stops the fires.

If an oil companies had fires this big and damaging you can bet they'd find a way to stop it.
Title: Re: Ocean plastic
Post by: DougMacG on November 21, 2018, 07:59:42 AM
"It’s not about protecting the environment, it’s about power and control."

When it becomes all about protecting the environment (not in our lifetime) and not about power and control, I'm in.  Nothing would clean up the oceans and the environment like rampant, unbridled free enterprise-based prosperity.
Title: Wildfire climate drivel continued
Post by: DougMacG on November 21, 2018, 08:51:10 AM
Further irony, isn't everything you can use to fight a forest fire fossil fuel based?

Water trucks, aircraft, excavation equipment, logging equipment, pipelines, pumping stations, lots and lots of horsepower, evacuations, ambulances, flying in additional resources, even the air conditioning over at Sierra Club headquarters, they are all fossil fuel based.  Shut 'em all down and still not stop 'global warming'.

Now try that in a state or nation that shut down its own energy supply before the (90% human caused) fire.

More resources wisely brought to the fire is better.  Prevention is the only cure.

How much carbon is released by a forest fire?

How much heat is released by a forest fire?!  1400 degees over 7 million acres?

What is the environmental cost of not managing our forests?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: ccp on November 21, 2018, 10:00:23 AM
" Further irony, isn't everything you can use to fight a forest fire fossil fuel based?"


I don't see solar panelled firetrucks do you !  :))

Now if only we could harness the energy from all that fire........

BTW aren't we reading about possible ice ages now.  No solat spots .  Of course that is Trump's fault too.
Title: Micro fibers from clothing in the ocean and sea
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 21, 2018, 10:54:06 AM
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 22, 2018, 08:52:48 AM
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on November 24, 2018, 04:34:58 AM
Coldest Thanksgiving since 1871 per Drudge and accuweather.  The odds of that happening 100 years into an irrersible, atmospherically caused heat spiral are ___ .  Mathematically zero?
Title: Palm oil backfires
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 24, 2018, 09:44:25 AM
Title: POTH: Insect Apocalypse
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 29, 2018, 10:37:16 AM
Could someone please post the content of this article?  TIA
Title: Re: POTH: Insect Apocalypse
Post by: DougMacG on December 07, 2018, 09:49:49 AM
Could someone please post the content of this article?  TIA

The Insect Apocalypse Is Here
What does it mean for the rest of life on Earth?

CreditCreditPhoto illustrations by Matt Dorfman. Source photographs: Bridgeman Images.

By Brooke Jarvis
Nov. 27, 2018

Sune Boye Riis was on a bike ride with his youngest son, enjoying the sun slanting over the fields and woodlands near their home north of Copenhagen, when it suddenly occurred to him that something about the experience was amiss. Specifically, something was missing.

It was summer. He was out in the country, moving fast. But strangely, he wasn’t eating any bugs.

For a moment, Riis was transported to his childhood on the Danish island of Lolland, in the Baltic Sea. Back then, summer bike rides meant closing his mouth to cruise through thick clouds of insects, but inevitably he swallowed some anyway. When his parents took him driving, he remembered, the car’s windshield was frequently so smeared with insect carcasses that you almost couldn’t see through it. But all that seemed distant now. He couldn’t recall the last time he needed to wash bugs from his windshield; he even wondered, vaguely, whether car manufacturers had invented some fancy new coating to keep off insects. But this absence, he now realized with some alarm, seemed to be all around him. Where had all those insects gone? And when? And why hadn’t he noticed?

Riis watched his son, flying through the beautiful day, not eating bugs, and was struck by the melancholy thought that his son’s childhood would lack this particular bug-eating experience of his own. It was, he granted, an odd thing to feel nostalgic about. But he couldn’t shake a feeling of loss. “I guess it’s pretty human to think that everything was better when you were a kid,” he said. “Maybe I didn’t like it when I was on my bike and I ate all the bugs, but looking back on it, I think it’s something everybody should experience.”

I met Riis, a lanky high school science and math teacher, on a hot day in June. He was anxious about not having yet written his address for the school’s graduation ceremony that evening, but first, he had a job to do. From his garage, he retrieved a large insect net, drove to a nearby intersection and stopped to strap the net to the car’s roof. Made of white mesh, the net ran the length of his car and was held up by a tent pole at the front, tapering to a small, removable bag in back. Drivers whizzing past twisted their heads to stare. Riis eyed his parking spot nervously as he adjusted the straps of the contraption. “This is not 100 percent legal,” he said, “but I guess, for the sake of science.”

Riis had not been able to stop thinking about the missing bugs. The more he learned, the more his nostalgia gave way to worry. Insects are the vital pollinators and recyclers of ecosystems and the base of food webs everywhere. Riis was not alone in noticing their decline. In the United States, scientists recently found the population of monarch butterflies fell by 90 percent in the last 20 years, a loss of 900 million individuals; the rusty-patched bumblebee, which once lived in 28 states, dropped by 87 percent over the same period. With other, less-studied insect species, one butterfly researcher told me, “all we can do is wave our arms and say, ‘It’s not here anymore!’ ” Still, the most disquieting thing wasn’t the disappearance of certain species of insects; it was the deeper worry, shared by Riis and many others, that a whole insect world might be quietly going missing, a loss of abundance that could alter the planet in unknowable ways. “We notice the losses,” says David Wagner, an entomologist at the University of Connecticut. “It’s the diminishment that we don’t see.”

Because insects are legion, inconspicuous and hard to meaningfully track, the fear that there might be far fewer than before was more felt than documented. People noticed it by canals or in backyards or under streetlights at night — familiar places that had become unfamiliarly empty. The feeling was so common that entomologists developed a shorthand for it, named for the way many people first began to notice that they weren’t seeing as many bugs. They called it the windshield phenomenon.

To test what had been primarily a loose suspicion of wrongness, Riis and 200 other Danes were spending the month of June roaming their country’s back roads in their outfitted cars. They were part of a study conducted by the Natural History Museum of Denmark, a joint effort of the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University and North Carolina State University. The nets would stand in for windshields as Riis and the other volunteers drove through various habitats — urban areas, forests, agricultural tracts, uncultivated open land and wetlands — hoping to quantify the disorienting sense that, as one of the study’s designers put it, “something from the past is missing from the present.”

When the investigators began planning the study in 2016, they weren’t sure if anyone would sign up. But by the time the nets were ready, a paper by an obscure German entomological society had brought the problem of insect decline into sharp focus. The German study found that, measured simply by weight, the overall abundance of flying insects in German nature reserves had decreased by 75 percent over just 27 years. If you looked at midsummer population peaks, the drop was 82 percent.

Riis learned about the study from a group of his students in one of their class projects. They must have made some kind of mistake in their citation, he thought. But they hadn’t. The study would quickly become, according to the website Altmetric, the sixth-most-discussed scientific paper of 2017. Headlines around the world warned of an “insect Armageddon.”

Within days of announcing the insect-collection project, the Natural History Museum of Denmark was turning away eager volunteers by the dozens. It seemed there were people like Riis everywhere, people who had noticed a change but didn’t know what to make of it. How could something as fundamental as the bugs in the sky just disappear? And what would become of the world without them?

Anyone who has returned to a childhood haunt to find that everything somehow got smaller knows that humans are not great at remembering the past accurately. This is especially true when it comes to changes to the natural world. It is impossible to maintain a fixed perspective, as Heraclitus observed 2,500 years ago: It is not the same river, but we are also not the same people.

A 1995 study, by Peter H. Kahn and Batya Friedman, of the way some children in Houston experienced pollution summed up our blindness this way: “With each generation, the amount of environmental degradation increases, but each generation takes that amount as the norm.” In decades of photos of fishermen holding up their catch in the Florida Keys, the marine biologist Loren McClenachan found a perfect illustration of this phenomenon, which is often called “shifting baseline syndrome.” The fish got smaller and smaller, to the point where the prize catches were dwarfed by fish that in years past were piled up and ignored. But the smiles on the fishermen’s faces stayed the same size. The world never feels fallen, because we grow accustomed to the fall.

By one measure, bugs are the wildlife we know best, the nondomesticated animals whose lives intersect most intimately with our own: spiders in the shower, ants at the picnic, ticks buried in the skin. We sometimes feel that we know them rather too well. In another sense, though, they are one of our planet’s greatest mysteries, a reminder of how little we know about what’s happening in the world around us.

We’ve named and described a million species of insects, a stupefying array of thrips and firebrats and antlions and caddis flies and froghoppers and other enormous families of bugs that most of us can’t even name. (Technically, the word “bug” applies only to the order Hemiptera, also known as true bugs, species that have tubelike mouths for piercing and sucking — and there are as many as 80,000 named varieties of those.) The ones we think we do know well, we don’t: There are 12,000 types of ants, nearly 20,000 varieties of bees, almost 400,000 species of beetles, so many that the geneticist J.B.S. Haldane reportedly quipped that God must have an inordinate fondness for them. A bit of healthy soil a foot square and two inches deep might easily be home to 200 unique species of mites, each, presumably, with a subtly different job to do. And yet entomologists estimate that all this amazing, absurd and understudied variety represents perhaps only 20 percent of the actual diversity of insects on our planet — that there are millions and millions of species that are entirely unknown to science.

With so much abundance, it very likely never occurred to most entomologists of the past that their multitudinous subjects might dwindle away. As they poured themselves into studies of the life cycles and taxonomies of the species that fascinated them, few thought to measure or record something as boring as their number. Besides, tracking quantity is slow, tedious and unglamorous work: setting and checking traps, waiting years or decades for your data to be meaningful, grappling with blunt baseline questions instead of more sophisticated ones. And who would pay for it? Most academic funding is short-term, but when what you’re interested in is invisible, generational change, says Dave Goulson, an entomologist at the University of Sussex, “a three-year monitoring program is no good to anybody.” This is especially true of insect populations, which are naturally variable, with wide, trend-obscuring fluctuations from one year to the next.

When entomologists began noticing and investigating insect declines, they lamented the absence of solid information from the past in which to ground their experiences of the present. “We see a hundred of something, and we think we’re fine,” Wagner says, “but what if there were 100,000 two generations ago?” Rob Dunn, an ecologist at North Carolina State University who helped design the net experiment in Denmark, recently searched for studies showing the effect of pesticide spraying on the quantity of insects living in nearby forests. He was surprised to find that no such studies existed. “We ignored really basic questions,” he said. “It feels like we’ve dropped the ball in some giant collective way.”

If entomologists lacked data, what they did have were some very worrying clues. Along with the impression that they were seeing fewer bugs in their own jars and nets while out doing experiments — a windshield phenomenon specific to the sorts of people who have bug jars and nets — there were documented downward slides of well-studied bugs, including various kinds of bees, moths, butterflies and beetles. In Britain, as many as 30 to 60 percent of species were found to have diminishing ranges. Larger trends were harder to pin down, though a 2014 review in Science tried to quantify these declines by synthesizing the findings of existing studies and found that a majority of monitored species were declining, on average by 45 percent.

Entomologists also knew that climate change and the overall degradation of global habitat are bad news for biodiversity in general, and that insects are dealing with the particular challenges posed by herbicides and pesticides, along with the effects of losing meadows, forests and even weedy patches to the relentless expansion of human spaces. There were studies of other, better-understood species that suggested that the insects associated with them might be declining, too. People who studied fish found that the fish had fewer mayflies to eat. Ornithologists kept finding that birds that rely on insects for food were in trouble: eight in 10 partridges gone from French farmlands; 50 and 80 percent drops, respectively, for nightingales and turtledoves. Half of all farmland birds in Europe disappeared in just three decades. At first, many scientists assumed the familiar culprit of habitat destruction was at work, but then they began to wonder if the birds might simply be starving. In Denmark, an ornithologist named Anders Tottrup was the one who came up with the idea of turning cars into insect trackers for the windshield-effect study after he noticed that rollers, little owls, Eurasian hobbies and bee-eaters — all birds that subsist on large insects such as beetles and dragonflies — had abruptly disappeared from the landscape.

The signs were certainly alarming, but they were also just signs, not enough to justify grand pronouncements about the health of insects as a whole or about what might be driving a widespread, cross-species decline. “There are no quantitative data on insects, so this is just a hypothesis,” Hans de Kroon, an ecologist at Radboud University in the Netherlands, explained to me — not the sort of language that sends people to the barricades.

Then came the German study. Scientists are still cautious about what the findings might imply about other regions of the world. But the study brought forth exactly the kind of longitudinal data they had been seeking, and it wasn’t specific to just one type of insect. The numbers were stark, indicating a vast impoverishment of an entire insect universe, even in protected areas where insects ought to be under less stress. The speed and scale of the drop were shocking even to entomologists who were already anxious about bees or fireflies or the cleanliness of car windshields.

The results were surprising in another way too. The long-term details about insect abundance, the kind that no one really thought existed, hadn’t appeared in a particularly prestigious journal and didn’t come from university-affiliated scientists, but from a small society of insect enthusiasts based in the modest German city Krefeld.

Krefeld sits a half-hour drive outside Düsseldorf, near the western bank of the Rhine. It’s a city of brick houses and bright flower gardens and a stadtwald — a municipal forest and park — where paddle boats float on a lake, umbrellas shade a beer garden and (I couldn’t help noticing) the afternoon light through the trees illuminates small swarms of dancing insects.

Near the center of the old city, a paper sign, not much larger than a business card, identifies the stolid headquarters of the society whose research caused so much commotion. When it was founded, in 1905, the society operated out of another building, one that was destroyed when Britain bombed the city during World War II. (By the time the bombs fell, members had moved their precious records and collections of insects, some of which dated back to the 1860s, to an underground bunker.) Nowadays, the society uses more than 6,000 square feet of an old three-story school as storage space. Ask for a tour of the collections, and you will hear such sentences as “This whole room is Lepidoptera,” referring to a former classroom stuffed with what I at first took to be shelves of books but which are in fact innumerable wooden frames containing pinned butterflies and moths; and, in an even larger room, “every bumblebee here was collected before the Second World War, 1880 to 1930”; and, upon opening a drawer full of sweat bees, “It’s a new collection, 30 years only.”

On the shelves that do hold books, I counted 31 clearly well-loved volumes in the series “Beetles of Middle Europe.” A 395-page book that cataloged specimens of spider wasps — where they were collected; where they were stored — of the western Palearctic said “1948-2008” on the cover. I asked my guide, a society member named Martin Sorg, who was one of the lead authors of the paper, whether those dates reflected when the specimens were collected. “No,” Sorg replied, “that was the time the author needed for this work.”

Somewhere in creation there is a species that evolution primed for conscious, intentional, rational long-term collective thinking and planning. They will exist for a long, long time. We are not them.

Sorg, who rolls his own cigarettes and wears John Lennon glasses and whose gray hair grows long past his shoulders, is not a freewheeling type when it comes to his insect work. And his insect work is really all he wants to talk about. “We think details about nature and biodiversity declines are important, not details about life histories of entomologists,” Sorg explained after he and Werner Stenmans, a society member whose name appeared alongside Sorg’s on the 2017 paper, dismissed my questions about their day jobs. Leery of an article that focused on him as a person, Sorg also didn’t want to talk about what drew him to entomology as a child or even what it was about certain types of wasps that had made him want to devote so much of his life to studying them. “We normally give life histories when someone is dead,” he said.

There was a reason for the wariness. Society members dislike seeing themselves described, over and over in news stories, as “amateurs.” It’s a framing that reflects, they believe, a too-narrow understanding of what it means to be an expert or even a scientist — what it means to be a student of the natural world.

Amateurs have long provided much of the patchy knowledge we have about nature. Those bee and butterfly studies? Most depend on mass mobilizations of volunteers willing to walk transects and count insects, every two weeks or every year, year after year. The scary numbers about bird declines were gathered this way, too, though because birds can be hard to spot, volunteers often must learn to identify them by their sounds. Britain, which has a particularly strong tradition of amateur naturalism, has the best-studied bugs in the world. As technologically advanced as we are, the natural world is still a very big and complex place, and the best way to learn what’s going on is for a lot of people to spend a lot of time observing it. The Latin root of the word “amateur” is, after all, the word “lover.”

Some of these citizen-scientists are true beginners clutching field guides; others, driven by their own passion and following in a long tradition of “amateur” naturalism, are far from novices. Think of Victorians with their butterfly nets and curiosity cabinets; of Vladimir Nabokov, whose theories about the evolution of Polyommatus blue butterflies were ignored until proved correct by DNA testing more than 30 years after his death; of young Charles Darwin, cutting his classes at Cambridge to collect beetles at Wicken Fen and once putting a live beetle in his mouth because his hands were already full of other bugs.

The Krefeld society is volunteer-run, and many members have other jobs in unrelated fields, but they also have an enormous depth of knowledge about insects, accumulated through years of what other people might consider obsessive attention. Some study the ecology or evolutionary taxonomy of their favorite species or map their populations or breed them to study their life histories. All hone their identification skills across species by amassing their own collections of carefully pinned and labeled insects like those that fill the society’s storage rooms. Sorg estimated that of the society’s 63 members, a third are university-trained in subjects such as biology or earth science. Another third, he said, are “highly specialized and highly qualified but they never visited the university,” while the remaining third are actual amateurs who are still in the process of becoming “real” entomologists: “Some of them may also have a degree from the university, but in our view, they are beginners.”

The society members’ projects often involved setting up what are called malaise traps, nets that look like tents and drive insects flying by into bottles of ethanol. Because of the scientific standards of the society, members followed certain procedures: They always employed identical traps, sewn from a template they first used in 1982. (Sorg showed me the original rolled-up craft paper with great solemnity.) They always put them in the same places. (Before GPS, that meant a painstaking process of triangulating with surveying equipment. “We are not sure about a few centimeters,” Sorg granted.) They saved everything they caught, regardless of what the main purpose of the experiment was. (The society bought so much ethanol that it attracted the attention of a narcotics unit.)

Those bottles of insects were gathered into thousands of boxes, which are now crammed into what were once offices in the upper reaches of the school. When the society members, like entomologists elsewhere, began to notice that they were seeing fewer insects, they had something against which to measure their worries.

“We don’t throw away anything, we store everything,” Sorg explained. “That gives us today the possibility to go back in time.”

In 2013, Krefeld entomologists confirmed that the total number of insects caught in one nature reserve was nearly 80 percent lower than the same spot in 1989. They had sampled other sites, analyzed old data sets and found similar declines: Where 30 years earlier, they often needed a liter bottle for a week of trapping, now a half-liter bottle usually sufficed. But it would have taken even highly trained entomologists years of painstaking work to identify all the insects in the bottles. So the society used a standardized method for weighing insects in alcohol, which told a powerful story simply by showing how much the overall mass of insects dropped over time. “A decline of this mixture,” Sorg said, “is a very different thing than the decline of only a few species.”

The society collaborated with de Kroon and other scientists at Radboud University in the Netherlands, who did a trend analysis of the data that Krefeld provided, controlling for things like the effects of nearby plants, weather and forest cover on fluctuations in insect populations. The final study looked at 63 nature preserves, representing almost 17,000 sampling days, and found consistent declines in every kind of habitat they sampled. This suggested, the authors wrote, “that it is not only the vulnerable species but the flying-insect community as a whole that has been decimated over the last few decades.”

For some scientists, the study created a moment of reckoning. “Scientists thought this data was too boring,” Dunn says. “But these people found it beautiful, and they loved it. They were the ones paying attention to Earth for all the rest of us.”

The current worldwide loss of biodiversity is popularly known as the sixth extinction: the sixth time in world history that a large number of species have disappeared in unusually rapid succession, caused this time not by asteroids or ice ages but by humans. When we think about losing biodiversity, we tend to think of the last northern white rhinos protected by armed guards, of polar bears on dwindling ice floes. Extinction is a visceral tragedy, universally understood: There is no coming back from it. The guilt of letting a unique species vanish is eternal.

But extinction is not the only tragedy through which we’re living. What about the species that still exist, but as a shadow of what they once were? In “The Once and Future World,” the journalist J.B. MacKinnon cites records from recent centuries that hint at what has only just been lost: “In the North Atlantic, a school of cod stalls a tall ship in midocean; off Sydney, Australia, a ship’s captain sails from noon until sunset through pods of sperm whales as far as the eye can see. ... Pacific pioneers complain to the authorities that splashing salmon threaten to swamp their canoes.” There were reports of lions in the south of France, walruses at the mouth of the Thames, flocks of birds that took three days to fly overhead, as many as 100 blue whales in the Southern Ocean for every one that’s there now. “These are not sights from some ancient age of fire and ice,” MacKinnon writes. “We are talking about things seen by human eyes, recalled in human memory.”

What we’re losing is not just the diversity part of biodiversity, but the bio part: life in sheer quantity. While I was writing this article, scientists learned that the world’s largest king penguin colony shrank by 88 percent in 35 years, that more than 97 percent of the bluefin tuna that once lived in the ocean are gone. The number of Sophie the Giraffe toys sold in France in a single year is nine times the number of all the giraffes that still live in Africa.

Finding reassurance in the survival of a few symbolic standard-bearers ignores the value of abundance, of a natural world that thrives on richness and complexity and interaction. Tigers still exist, for example, but that doesn’t change the fact that 93 percent of the land where they used to live is now tigerless. This matters for more than romantic reasons: Large animals, especially top predators like tigers, connect ecosystems to one another and move energy and resources among them simply by walking and eating and defecating and dying. (In the deep ocean, sunken whale carcasses form the basis of entire ecosystems in nutrient-poor places.) One result of their loss is what’s known as trophic cascade, the unraveling of an ecosystem’s fabric as prey populations boom and crash and the various levels of the food web no longer keep each other in check. These places are emptier, impoverished in a thousand subtle ways.

Scientists have begun to speak of functional extinction (as opposed to the more familiar kind, numerical extinction). Functionally extinct animals and plants are still present but no longer prevalent enough to affect how an ecosystem works. Some phrase this as the extinction not of a species but of all its former interactions with its environment — an extinction of seed dispersal and predation and pollination and all the other ecological functions an animal once had, which can be devastating even if some individuals still persist. The more interactions are lost, the more disordered the ecosystem becomes. A 2013 paper in Nature, which modeled both natural and computer-generated food webs, suggested that a loss of even 30 percent of a species’ abundance can be so destabilizing that other species start going fully, numerically extinct — in fact, 80 percent of the time it was a secondarily affected creature that was the first to disappear. A famous real-world example of this type of cascade concerns sea otters. When they were nearly wiped out in the northern Pacific, their prey, sea urchins, ballooned in number and decimated kelp forests, turning a rich environment into a barren one and also possibly contributing to numerical extinctions, notably of the Steller’s sea cow.

Conservationists tend to focus on rare and endangered species, but it is common ones, because of their abundance, that power the living systems of our planet. Most species are not common, but within many animal groups most individuals — some 80 percent of them — belong to common species. Like the slow approach of twilight, their declines can be hard to see. White-rumped vultures were nearly gone from India before there was widespread awareness of their disappearance. Describing this phenomenon in the journal BioScience, Kevin Gaston, a professor of biodiversity and conservation at the University of Exeter, wrote: “Humans seem innately better able to detect the complete loss of an environmental feature than its progressive change.”

In addition to extinction (the complete loss of a species) and extirpation (a localized extinction), scientists now speak of defaunation: the loss of individuals, the loss of abundance, the loss of a place’s absolute animalness. In a 2014 article in Science, researchers argued that the word should become as familiar, and influential, as the concept of deforestation. In 2017 another paper reported that major population and range losses extended even to species considered to be at low risk for extinction. They predicted “negative cascading consequences on ecosystem functioning and services vital to sustaining civilization” and the authors offered another term for the widespread loss of the world’s wild fauna: “biological annihilation.”

It is estimated that, since 1970, Earth’s various populations of wild land animals have lost, on average, 60 percent of their members. Zeroing in on the category we most relate to, mammals, scientists believe that for every six wild creatures that once ate and burrowed and raised young, only one remains. What we have instead is ourselves. A study published this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that if you look at the world’s mammals by weight, 96 percent of that biomass is humans and livestock; just 4 percent is wild animals.

We’ve begun to talk about living in the Anthropocene, a world shaped by humans. But E.O. Wilson, the naturalist and prophet of environmental degradation, has suggested another name: the Eremocine, the age of loneliness.

Wilson began his career as a taxonomic entomologist, studying ants. Insects — about as far as you can get from charismatic megafauna — are not what we’re usually imagining when we talk about biodiversity. Yet they are, in Wilson’s words, “the little things that run the natural world.” He means it literally. Insects are a case study in the invisible importance of the common.

Scientists have tried to calculate the benefits that insects provide simply by going about their business in large numbers. Trillions of bugs flitting from flower to flower pollinate some three-quarters of our food crops, a service worth as much as $500 billion every year. (This doesn’t count the 80 percent of wild flowering plants, the foundation blocks of life everywhere, that rely on insects for pollination.) If monetary calculations like that sound strange, consider the Maoxian Valley in China, where shortages of insect pollinators have led farmers to hire human workers, at a cost of up to $19 per worker per day, to replace bees. Each person covers five to 10 trees a day, pollinating apple blossoms by hand.

By eating and being eaten, insects turn plants into protein and power the growth of all the uncountable species — including freshwater fish and a majority of birds — that rely on them for food, not to mention all the creatures that eat those creatures. We worry about saving the grizzly bear, says the insect ecologist Scott Hoffman Black, but where is the grizzly without the bee that pollinates the berries it eats or the flies that sustain baby salmon? Where, for that matter, are we?

Bugs are vital to the decomposition that keeps nutrients cycling, soil healthy, plants growing and ecosystems running. This role is mostly invisible, until suddenly it’s not. After introducing cattle to Australia at the turn of the 19th century, settlers soon found themselves overwhelmed by the problem of their feces: For some reason, cow pies there were taking months or even years to decompose. Cows refused to eat near the stink, requiring more and more land for grazing, and so many flies bred in the piles that the country became famous for the funny hats that stockmen wore to keep them at bay. It wasn’t until 1951 that a visiting entomologist realized what was wrong: The local insects, evolved to eat the more fibrous waste of marsupials, couldn’t handle cow excrement. For the next 25 years, the importation, quarantine and release of dozens of species of dung beetles became a national priority. And that was just one unfilled niche. (In the United States, dung beetles save ranchers an estimated $380 million a year.) We simply don’t know everything that insects do. Only about 2 percent of invertebrate species have been studied enough for us to estimate whether they are in danger of extinction, never mind what dangers that extinction might pose.

When asked to imagine what would happen if insects were to disappear completely, scientists find words like chaos, collapse, Armageddon. Wagner, the University of Connecticut entomologist, describes a flowerless world with silent forests, a world of dung and old leaves and rotting carcasses accumulating in cities and roadsides, a world of “collapse or decay and erosion and loss that would spread through ecosystems” — spiraling from predators to plants. E.O. Wilson has written of an insect-free world, a place where most plants and land animals become extinct; where fungi explodes, for a while, thriving on death and rot; and where “the human species survives, able to fall back on wind-pollinated grains and marine fishing” despite mass starvation and resource wars. “Clinging to survival in a devastated world, and trapped in an ecological dark age,” he adds, “the survivors would offer prayers for the return of weeds and bugs.”

But the crux of the windshield phenomenon, the reason that the creeping suspicion of change is so creepy, is that insects wouldn’t have to disappear altogether for us to find ourselves missing them for reasons far beyond nostalgia. In October, an entomologist sent me an email with the subject line, “Holy [expletive]!” and an attachment: a study just out from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that he labeled, “Krefeld comes to Puerto Rico.” The study included data from the 1970s and from the early 2010s, when a tropical ecologist named Brad Lister returned to the rain forest where he had studied lizards — and, crucially, their prey — 40 years earlier. Lister set out sticky traps and swept nets across foliage in the same places he had in the 1970s, but this time he and his co-author, Andres Garcia, caught much, much less: 10 to 60 times less arthropod biomass than before. (It’s easy to read that number as 60 percent less, but it’s sixtyfold less: Where once he caught 473 milligrams of bugs, Lister was now catching just eight milligrams.) “It was, you know, devastating,” Lister told me. But even scarier were the ways the losses were already moving through the ecosystem, with serious declines in the numbers of lizards, birds and frogs. The paper reported “a bottom-up trophic cascade and consequent collapse of the forest food web.” Lister’s inbox quickly filled with messages from other scientists, especially people who study soil invertebrates, telling him they were seeing similarly frightening declines. Even after his dire findings, Lister found the losses shocking: “I didn’t even know about the earthworm crisis!”

The strange thing, Lister said, is that, as staggering as they are, all the declines he documented would still be basically invisible to the average person walking through the Luquillo rain forest. On his last visit, the forest still felt “timeless” and “phantasmagorical,” with “cascading waterfalls and carpets of flowers.” You would have to be an expert to notice what was missing. But he expects the losses to push the forest toward a tipping point, after which “there is a sudden and dramatic loss of the rain-forest system,” and the changes will become obvious to anyone. The place he loves will become unrecognizable.

The insects in the forest that Lister studied haven’t been contending with pesticides or habitat loss, the two problems to which the Krefeld paper pointed. Instead, Lister chalks up their decline to climate change, which has already increased temperatures in Luquillo by two degrees Celsius since Lister first sampled there. Previous research suggested that tropical bugs will be unusually sensitive to temperature changes; in November, scientists who subjected laboratory beetles to a heat wave reported that the increased temperatures made them significantly less fertile. Other scientists wonder if it might be climate-induced drought or possibly invasive rats or simply “death by a thousand cuts” — a confluence of many kinds of changes to the places where insects once thrived.

Like other species, insects are responding to what Chris Thomas, an insect ecologist at the University of York, has called “the transformation of the world”: not just a changing climate but also the widespread conversion, via urbanization, agricultural intensification and so on, of natural spaces into human ones, with fewer and fewer resources “left over” for nonhuman creatures to live on. What resources remain are often contaminated. Hans de Kroon characterizes the life of many modern insects as trying to survive from one dwindling oasis to the next but with “a desert in between, and at worst it’s a poisonous desert.” Of particular concern are neonicotinoids, neurotoxins that were thought to affect only treated crops but turned out to accumulate in the landscape and to be consumed by all kinds of nontargeted bugs. People talk about the “loss” of bees to colony collapse disorder, and that appears to be the right word: Affected hives aren’t full of dead bees, but simply mysteriously empty. A leading theory is that exposure to neurotoxins leaves bees unable to find their way home. Even hives exposed to low levels of neonicotinoids have been shown to collect less pollen and produce fewer eggs and far fewer queens. Some recent studies found bees doing better in cities than in the supposed countryside.

The diversity of insects means that some will manage to make do in new environments, some will thrive (abundance cuts both ways: agricultural monocultures, places where only one kind of plant grows, allow some pests to reach population levels they would never achieve in nature) and some, searching for food and shelter in a world nothing like the one they were meant for, will fail. While we need much more data to better understand the reasons or mechanisms behind the ups and downs, Thomas says, “the average across all species is still a decline.”

Since the Krefeld study came out, researchers have begun searching for other forgotten repositories of information that might offer windows into the past. Some of the Radboud researchers have analyzed long-term data, belonging to Dutch entomological societies, about beetles and moths in certain reserves; they found significant drops (72 percent, 54 percent) that mirrored the Krefeld ones. Roel van Klink, a researcher at the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research, told me that before Krefeld, he, like most entomologists, had never been interested in biomass. Now he is looking for historical data sets — many of which began as studies of agricultural pests, like a decades-long study of grasshoppers in Kansas — that could help create a more thorough picture of what’s happening to creatures that are at once abundant and imperiled. So far he has found forgotten data from 140 old data sets for 1,500 locations that could be resampled.

In the United States, one of the few long-term data sets about insect abundance comes from the work of Arthur Shapiro, an entomologist at the University of California, Davis. In 1972, he began walking transects in the Central Valley and the Sierras, counting butterflies. He planned to do a study on how short-term weather variations affected butterfly populations. But the longer he sampled, the more valuable his data became, offering a signal through the noise of seasonal ups and downs. “And so here I am in Year 46,” he said, nearly half a century of spending five days a week, from late spring to the end of autumn, observing butterflies. In that time he has watched overall numbers decline and seen some species that used to be everywhere — even species that “everyone regarded as a junk species” only a few decades ago — all but disappear. Shapiro believes that Krefeld-level declines are likely to be happening all over the globe. “But, of course, I don’t cover the entire globe,” he added. “I cover I-80.”

There are also new efforts to set up more of the kind of insect-monitoring schemes researchers wish had existed decades ago, so that our current level of fallenness, at least, is captured. One is a pilot project in Germany similar to the Danish car study. To analyze what is caught, the researchers turned to volunteer naturalists, hobbyists similar to the ones in Krefeld, with the necessary breadth of knowledge to know what they’re looking at. “These are not easy species to identify,” says Aletta Bonn, of the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research, who is overseeing the project. (The skills required for such work “are really extreme,” Dunn says. “These people train for decades with other amateurs to be able to identify beetles based on their genitalia.”) Bond would like to pay the volunteers for their expertise, she says, but funding hasn’t caught up to the crisis. That didn’t stop the “amateurs” from being willing to help: “They said, ‘We’re just curious what’s in there, we would like to have samples.’ ”

Goulson says that Europe’s tradition of amateur naturalism may account for why so many of the clues to the falloff in insect biodiversity originate there. (Tottrup’s design for the car net in Denmark, for example, was itself adapted from the invention of a dedicated beetle-collecting hobbyist.) As little as we know about the status of European bugs, we know significantly less about other parts of the world. “We wouldn’t know anything if it weren’t for them,” the so-called amateurs, Goulson told me. “We’d be entirely relying on the fact that there’s no bugs on the windshield.”

Thomas believes that this naturalist tradition is also why Europe is acting much faster than other places — for example, the United States — to address the decline of insects: Interest leads to tracking, which leads to awareness, which leads to concern, which leads to action. Since the Krefeld data emerged, there have been hearings about protecting insect biodiversity in the German Bundestag and the European Parliament. European Union member states voted to extend a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides and have begun to put money toward further studies of how abundance is changing, what is causing those changes and what can be done. When I knocked on the door of de Kroon’s office, at Radboud University in the Dutch city Nijmegen, he was looking at some photos from another meeting he had that day: Willem-Alexander, the king of the Netherlands, had taken a tour of the city’s efforts to make its riverside a friendlier habitat for bugs.

Stemming insect declines will require much more than this, however. The European Union already had some measures in place to help pollinators — including more strictly regulating pesticides than the United States does and paying farmers to create insect habitats by leaving fields fallow and allowing for wild edges alongside cultivation — but insect populations dropped anyway. New reports call for national governments to collaborate; for more creative approaches such as integrating insect habitats into the design of roads, power lines, railroads and other infrastructure; and, as always, for more studies. The necessary changes, like the causes, may be profound. “It’s just another indication that we’re destroying the life-support system of the planet,” Lister says of the Puerto Rico study. “Nature’s resilient, but we’re pushing her to such extremes that eventually it will cause a collapse of the system.”

Scientists hope that insects will have a chance to embody that resilience. While tigers tend to give birth to three or four cubs at a time, a ghost moth in Australia was once recorded laying 29,100 eggs, and she still had 15,000 in her ovaries. The fecund abundance that is insects’ singular trait should enable them to recover, but only if they are given the space and the opportunity to do so.

“It’s a debate we need to have urgently,” Goulson says. “If we lose insects, life on earth will. ...” He trailed off, pausing for what felt like a long time.

In Denmark, Sune Boye Riis’s transect with his car net took him past a bit of woods, some suburban lawns, some hedges, a Christmas-tree farm. The closest thing to a meadow that we passed was a large military property, on which the grass had been allowed to grow tall and golden. Riis had received instructions not to drive too fast, so traffic backed up behind us, and some people began to honk. “Well,” Riis said, “so much for science.” After three miles, he turned around and drove back toward the start. His windshield stayed mockingly clean.

Riis had four friends who were also participating in the study. They had a bet going among them: Who would net the biggest bug? “I’m way behind,” Riis said. “A bumblebee is in the lead.” His biggest catch? “A fly. Not even a big one.”

At the end of the transect, Riis stopped at another parlous roadside spot, unfastened the net and removed the small bag at its tip. Some volunteers, captivated by what the study revealed about the world around them, asked the organizers for extra specimen bags, so they could do more sampling on their own. Some even asked if they could buy the entire car-net apparatus. Riis, though, was content to peer through the mesh, inside of which he could make out a number of black specks of varying tininess.

There was also a single butterfly, white-winged and delicate. Riis thought of the bet with his friends, for which the meaning of bigness had not been defined. He wondered how it might be reckoned. What gave a creature value?

“Is it weight?” he asked, staring down at the butterfly. In the big bag, it looked small and sad and alone. “Or is it grace?”

Brooke Jarvis is a contributing writer for the magazine. She last wrote about American children of undocumented parents.

Title: Environmental issues, Media Fake News, Political: The Hurricanes haven't changed
Post by: DougMacG on December 07, 2018, 10:00:11 AM
More people are building more homes, more businesses of greater value in their path, but you won't get research grants with that story.

Wrong narrative, I wonder which publications won't cover this scientific study:


"[Measure] economic losses from a historical extreme event if that same event was to occur under contemporary societal conditions."

And lose all the alarmist conclusions?  Why would you do that?

Title: Plastic eating bacteria?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 08, 2018, 09:45:14 AM
A ray of hope!!!
Title: China uses cockroaches to solve food waste and create protein heavy food.
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 10, 2018, 12:19:18 PM

Sorry that it is in Spanish, but I found it quite interesting:
Title: Cow Flatulence and Global Warming
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 10, 2018, 04:38:57 PM
"“According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the largest sources of US GHG emissions in 2016 were electricity production (28% of total emissions), transportation (28%) and industry (22%). All of agriculture accounted for a total of 9%. All of animal agriculture contributes less than half of this amount, representing 3.9% of total US greenhouse gas emissions. That's very different from claiming livestock represents as much or more than transportation. Why the misconception? In 2006 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization published a study titled "Livestock's Long Shadow," which received widespread international attention. It stated that livestock produced a staggering 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. The agency drew a startling conclusion: Livestock was doing more to harm the climate than all modes of transportation combined. This latter claim was wrong, and has since been corrected by Henning Steinfeld, the report's senior author. The problem was that FAO analysts used a comprehensive life-cycle assessment to study the climate impact of livestock, but a different method when they analyzed transportation. For livestock, they considered every factor associated with producing meat. This included emissions from fertilizer production, converting land from forests to pastures, growing feed, and direct emissions from animals (belching and manure) from birth to death. However, when they looked at transportation's carbon footprint, they ignored impacts on the climate from manufacturing vehicle materials and parts, assembling vehicles and maintaining roads, bridges, and airports. Instead, they only considered the exhaust emitted by finished cars, trucks, trains, and planes. As a result, the FAO's comparison of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock to those from transportation was greatly distorted.” READ FULL ARTICLE IN LINK:"
Title: Re: Cow Flatulence and Global Warming
Post by: DougMacG on December 11, 2018, 05:06:30 AM
Great to see the math and measurement systems equalized here.  It still begs the question, what is the the right or optimal amount of greenhouse gas emissions?  Without a 'greenhouse' effect, life on earth as we know it ceases, is zero emissions for transportation or animals the right answer? 

Even Al Gore believes a wasteful lifestyle can be "offset":
Someone should check his math as well.
Title: PopSci: What is inside the permafrost?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 13, 2018, 01:28:17 PM
Title: Environmental issues, Climate, Adjusted Data
Post by: DougMacG on December 13, 2018, 02:01:59 PM
See Pathological Science thread for extended coverage of adjusted data.

Agenda 'scientists' give lots of good reasons why data gets adjusted.  They just don't explain why all adjustments made are in the direction of exaggerating global warming.

Global warming (whatever that means) is real.  Humans make a contribution to it.  But the agenda driven narrative overstates it by 2 1/2 to 7 times in my humble opinion.

Here are some links to follow:

Temperature Adjustments Account For ‘Nearly All Of The Warming’ In Government Climate Data
Each new version of GAST has nearly always exhibited a steeper warming linear trend over its entire
history.  That was accomplished by systematically removing the previously existing cyclical temperature pattern. This was true for all three entities providing GAST data measurement, NOAA, NASA and Hadley CRU.

Even Though Warming Has Stopped, it Keeps Getting Worse?
The largest adjustments were to earlier years in the dataset, which were made colder.
The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever.
One of the first examples of these “adjustments” was exposed in 2007 by the statistician Steve McIntyre, when he discovered a paper published in 1987 by James Hansen, the scientist (later turned fanatical climate activist) who for many years ran Giss. Hansen’s original graph showed temperatures in the Arctic as having been much higher around 1940 than at any time since. But as Homewood reveals in his blog post, “Temperature adjustments transform Arctic history”, Giss has turned this upside down. Arctic temperatures from that time have been lowered so much that that they are now dwarfed by those of the past 20 years.

NOAA Whistleblower:

Major research interests include satellite observations of the global water and energy cycle, air-sea interactions and climate variability. B.S., meteorology, 1976, Florida State University, M.S., meteorology, 1982, and Ph.D. meteorology 1986, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (1986-1987), Meteorologist NOAA Boulder Climate Diagnostics Center (1988-1999), Meteorologist NOAA Boulder Environmental Technology Laboratory (1999-2002), Supervisory Meteorologist NOAA National Climatic Data Center (2002-2012).

Dr John Bates, a now-retired climate data expert, late of the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), a branch of NOAA, claimed the agency “breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.”

Bates said that Thomas Karl, who was until recently the director of NCEI, was “insisting on decisions and scientific choices that maximised warming and minimised documentation … in an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming pause, rushed so that he could time publication to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy” (ellipsis original).

The data, Bates claimed, was never “subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process.” When Bates complained, “His vehement objections to the publication of the faulty data were overridden by his NOAA superiors in what he describes as a ‘blatant attempt to intensify the impact’ of what became known as the Pausebuster paper.”

“Thomas Karl and his colleagues … tripled the warming trend over the sea during the years 2000 to 2014 from just 0.036C per decade — as stated in version 3 — to 0.099C per decade.”

Bates said, “They had good data from buoys. And they threw it out and ‘corrected’ it by using the bad data from ships.”

Similar statistical manipulations were done to land-temperature data, with adjustments being of the same low level. Bates not only questioned the timing and direction of adjustments, but said the programs used to make them were “highly experimental” and “afflicted by serious bugs.”

Karl “admitted” to the Daily Mail that “the data had not been archived when the paper was published,” making replication by colleagues impossible or difficult. Karl also said “the final, approved and ‘operational’ edition of the [data] would be ‘different’ from that used in the paper’.”

NASA : Doubling Global Warming By Altering The Data

At the time, there was unanimous consensus among scientists that Earth was cooling.

Doctored Data, Not U.S. Temperatures, Set a Record This Year
Raw temperature data show that U.S. temperatures were significantly warmer during the 1930s than they are today. In fact, raw temperature data show an 80-year cooling trend. NOAA is only able to claim that we are experiencing the hottest temperatures on record by doctoring the raw temperature data.

Audit of global warming data finds it riddled with errors
The first ever audit of the world’s most important temperature data set (HadCRUT4) has found it to be so riddled with errors and “freakishly improbable data”  that it is effectively useless.

Title: Politics of Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on December 14, 2018, 07:26:20 AM
When do we mock back on climate?  A few people get this.

At the latest 'climate conference' they booed the speaker who mentioned fracking.

Coincidentally only one country lowered its emissions, the country that dropped out of 'the accords', the US and we did it with fracking.  Nuclear energy and cleaner use of existing fossil fuels represent far more potential immediate gains with emissions reductions than all  others combined.  If anyone cared...

On the Climate Crusaders' side, their policies lead to failure.  Their practices of flying from conference to conference with huge numbers of activists are beyond hypocritical.  Innovation, not cronyism subsidies and arbitrary prohibitions, is what works.

In Venezuela, they are producing less oil and they forced out the capitalists for a double win.  How's that going for the people?

Meanwhile take a look at nuclear energy, the only current technology that could power the grid carbon free when we start plugging in all our cars and trucks.  We are projected to build zero more new nuclear power plants in our lifetimes.

If you believed in smart planning, subsidies and cronyism, and believe Carbon Dioxide released in the combustion of the fossil fuel is the biggest threat ever to life on the planet, why wouldn't you crony your government up to this industry and make something big happen?

So much for wanting to be carbon free.
Title: Re: Politics of (Energy and) Environmental issues, Glenn Reynolds Instapundit
Post by: DougMacG on December 17, 2018, 10:59:50 AM
Doug 12/14
Meanwhile take a look at nuclear energy, the only current technology that could power the grid carbon free when we start plugging in all our cars and trucks.  

Glenn Reynolds 12/16:
UNSUSTAINABLE: We Might Not Have Enough Materials for All the Solar Panels and Wind Turbines We Need. Actually, we don’t need very many of them. We need nice, clean nuclear plants.

Famous people caught reading the forum.
Title: Re: YES! Plastic Clean up of the Ocean
Post by: G M on December 18, 2018, 05:39:06 AM[0]=68.ARAPkKbUzmVVGFzbKSXeXaXGbbUZfSVzK7gF4cwSHCSJAmB1_GmlpfFOIO_wqG1W_RlkmvsAx3sT6YJZ2j3V4nA4wUCx2k5MHBExQP-5VLbpbBP9Me_C7XqFMfrUNkRZMuU81L4HmjnAL-T2dA-m34GdIqiuIBfTGC1EMRsJaH0Imf58XH4APH0&__tn__=FC-R&fb_dtsg_ag=AdwjqEjCOqnNJVoGB7GNo5H9FpfSG1GWYSZml0jcgo_2BQ%3AAdzV3rbrB5PeO_0F27vrFKFAli7nOcWDepY__4EQrGlzfg

How much does each trip to empty the plastic catcher cost? How often does it need to be emptied? How much plastic is removed on each trip?

Another self-licking ice cream cone enviro-scam.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 18, 2018, 08:53:01 AM
Thanks for the follow up on this.
Title: Europe begins to take action on single use plastics
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 22, 2018, 03:42:43 PM,internal&utm_medium=email,email&cid=44877&mid=384749086
Title: Re: Europe begins to take action on single use plastics
Post by: G M on December 22, 2018, 07:18:13 PM,internal&utm_medium=email,email&cid=44877&mid=384749086

Yeah, that’s their biggest threat!

Title: LEGO goes enviro
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 31, 2018, 09:53:59 PM
Title: Recycling circling the drain
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 06, 2019, 09:09:49 AM 

The fouling of the planet continues.  What is to be done?
Title: NASA interrupts with intrusion from reality
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 06, 2019, 05:08:14 PM
Title: A different approach
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 06, 2019, 06:08:42 PM
Whoops!  I failed to notice that that article was four years old.  Apologies.

Anyway, here is this:
Title: Greenpeace founder says climate change a fraud
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 07, 2019, 09:33:31 PM
Title: There goes the sun , , , a mini-ice is coming
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 10, 2019, 05:40:56 PM
Title: Re: There goes the sun , , , a mini-ice is coming
Post by: G M on March 10, 2019, 06:10:59 PM

The snow in Vegas and Arizona would seem to support such things.
Title: Environmental issues, Solar Waste, not nuclear waste, is the problem
Post by: DougMacG on April 03, 2019, 04:54:10 AM
"Clean" Solar energy has 200 times more toxic waste than nuclear, and it is uncontained.

Instead of subsidizing, we should be taxing that externality and capturing the cost to society at the manufacturer and consumer level.  Right?
Mike Shellenberger, hat tip Alan Reynolds

“What about the waste?”

nuclear waste
- never hurts anyone
- forever contained
- low & declining radiation
- tiny amount
- already paid for

solar waste
- sent to poor nations
- forever toxic
- uncontained
- 200x more than nuc waste
- burden on future generations

Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress.

If Solar Panels Are So Clean, Why Do They Produce So Much Toxic Waste?
 Michael Shellenberger, Forbes Magazine 5/23/2018

The last few years have seen growing concern over what happens to solar panels at the end of their life. Consider the following statements:

The problem of solar panel disposal “will explode with full force in two or three decades and wreck the environment” because it “is a huge amount of waste and they are not easy to recycle.”
“The reality is that there is a problem now, and it’s only going to get larger, expanding as rapidly as the PV industry expanded 10 years ago.”
“Contrary to previous assumptions, pollutants such as lead or carcinogenic cadmium can be almost completely washed out of the fragments of solar modules over a period of several months, for example by rainwater.”
Were these statements made by the right-wing Heritage Foundation? Koch-funded global warming deniers? The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal?

None of the above. Rather, the quotes come from a senior Chinese solar official, a 40-year veteran of the U.S. solar industry, and research scientists with the German Stuttgart Institute for Photovoltaics.

With few environmental journalists willing to report on much of anything other than the good news about renewables, it’s been left to environmental scientists and solar industry leaders to raise the alarm.

“I’ve been working in solar since 1976 and that’s part of my guilt,” the veteran solar developer told Solar Power World last year. “I’ve been involved with millions of solar panels going into the field, and now they’re getting old.”

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2016 estimated there was about 250,000 metric tonnes of solar panel waste in the world at the end of that year. IRENA projected that this amount could reach 78 million metric tonnes by 2050.

Solar panels often contain lead, cadmium, and other toxic chemicals that cannot be removed without breaking apart the entire panel. “Approximately 90% of most PV modules are made up of glass,” notes San Jose State environmental studies professor Dustin Mulvaney. “However, this glass often cannot be recycled as float glass due to impurities. Common problematic impurities in glass include plastics, lead, cadmium and antimony.”

Researchers with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) undertook a study for U.S. solar-owning utilities to plan for end-of-life and concluded that solar panel “disposal in “regular landfills [is] not recommended in case modules break and toxic materials leach into the soil” and so “disposal is potentially a major issue.”

California is in the process of determining how to divert solar panels from landfills, which is where they currently go, at the end of their life.

California's Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), which is implementing the new regulations, held a meeting last August with solar and waste industry representatives to discuss how to deal with the issue of solar waste. At the meeting, the representatives from industry and DTSC all acknowledged how difficult it would be to test to determine whether a solar panel being removed would be classified as hazardous waste or not.

The DTSC described building a database where solar panels and their toxicity could be tracked by their model numbers, but it's not clear DTSC will do this.

"The theory behind the regulations is to make [disposal] less burdensome," explained Rick Brausch of DTSC. "Putting it as universal waste eliminates the testing requirement."

The fact that cadmium can be washed out of solar modules by rainwater is increasingly a concern for local environmentalists like the Concerned Citizens of Fawn Lake in Virginia, where a 6,350 acre solar farm to partly power Microsoft data centers is being proposed.

“We estimate there are 100,000 pounds of cadmium contained in the 1.8 million panels,” Sean Fogarty of the group told me. “Leaching from broken panels damaged during natural events — hail storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. — and at decommissioning is a big concern.” 

There is real-world precedent for this concern. A tornado in 2015 broke 200,000 solar modules at southern California solar farm Desert Sunlight.

"Any modules that were broken into small bits of glass had to be swept from the ground," Mulvaney explained, "so lots of rocks and dirt got mixed in that would not work in recycling plants that are designed to take modules. These were the cadmium-based modules that failed [hazardous] waste tests, so were treated at a [hazardous] waste facility. But about 70 percent of the modules were actually sent to recycling, and the recycled metals are in new panels today."

And when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last September, the nation’s second largest solar farm, responsible for 40 percent of the island’s solar energy, lost a majority of its panels.

Destroys Solar Farm in Puerto Rico BOB MEINETZ
Many experts urge mandatory recycling. The main finding promoted by IRENA's in its 2016 report was that, “If fully injected back into the economy, the value of the recovered material [from used solar panels] could exceed USD 15 billion by 2050.”

But IRENA’s study did not compare the value of recovered material to the cost of new materials and admitted that “Recent studies agree that PV material availability is not a major concern in the near term, but critical materials might impose limitations in the long term.”

They might, but today recycling costs more than the economic value of the materials recovered, which is why most solar panels end up in landfills. “The absence of valuable metals/materials produces economic losses,” wrote a team of scientists in the International Journal of Photoenergy in their study of solar panel recycling last year, and “Results are coherent with the literature.”

Chinese and Japanese experts agree. “If a recycling plant carries out every step by the book,” a Chinese expert told The South China Morning Post, “their products can end up being more expensive than new raw materials.”

Toshiba Environmental Solutions told Nikkei Asian Review last year that,

Low demand for scrap and the high cost of employing workers to disassemble the aluminum frames and other components will make it difficult to create a profitable business unless recycling companies can charge several times more than the target set by [Japan’s environment ministry].

Can Solar Producers Take Responsibility?

In 2012, First Solar stopped putting a share of its revenues into a fund for long-term waste management. "Customers have the option to use our services when the panels get to the end of life stage," a spokesperson told Solar Power World. “We’ll do the recycling, and they’ll pay the price at that time.”

Or they won’t. “Either it becomes economical or it gets mandated. ” said EPRI’s Cara Libby. “But I’ve heard that it will have to be mandated because it won’t ever be economical.”

Last July, Washington became the first U.S. state to require manufacturers selling solar panels to have a plan to recycle. But the legislature did not require manufacturers to pay a fee for disposal. “Washington-based solar panel manufacturer Itek Energy assisted with the bill’s writing,” noted Solar Power World.

The problem with putting the responsibility for recycling or long-term storage of solar panels on manufacturers, says the insurance actuary Milliman, is that it increases the risk of more financial failures like the kinds that afflicted the solar industry over the last decade.

[A]ny mechanism that finances the cost of recycling PV modules with current revenues is not sustainable. This method raises the possibility of bankruptcy down the road by shifting today’s greater burden of ‘caused’ costs into the future. When growth levels off then PV producers would face rapidly increasing recycling costs as a percentage of revenues.

Since 2016, Sungevity, Beamreach, Verengo Solar, SunEdison, Yingli Green Energy, Solar World, and Suniva have gone bankrupt.

The result of such bankruptcies is that the cost of managing or recycling PV waste will be born by the public. “In the event of company bankruptcies, PV module producers would no longer contribute to the recycling cost of their products,” notes Milliman, “leaving governments to decide how to deal with cleanup.”

Governments of poor and developing nations are often not equipped to deal with an influx of toxic solar waste, experts say. German researchers at the Stuttgart Institute for Photovoltaics warned that poor and developing nations are at higher risk of suffering the consequences.

Dangers and hazards of toxins in photovoltaic modules appear particularly large in countries where there are no orderly waste management systems… Especially in less developed countries in the so-called global south, which are particularly predestined for the use of photovoltaics because of the high solar radiation, it seems highly problematic to use modules that contain pollutants.

The attitude of some solar recyclers in China appears to feed this concern. “A sales manager of a solar power recycling company,” the South China Morning News reported, “believes there could be a way to dispose of China’s solar junk, nonetheless.”

“We can sell them to Middle East… Our customers there make it very clear that they don’t want perfect or brand new panels. They just want them cheap… There, there is lots of land to install a large amount of panels to make up for their low performance. Everyone is happy with the result.”

In other words, there are firms that may advertise themselves as "solar panel recyclers" but instead sell panels to a secondary markets in nations with less developed waste disposal systems. In the past, communities living near electronic waste dumps in Ghana, Nigeria, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India have been primary e-waste destinations.

According to a 2015 United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report, somewhere between 60 and 90 percent of electronic waste is illegally traded and dumped in poor nations. Writes UNEP:

[T]housands of tonnes of e-waste are falsely declared as second-hand goods and exported from developed to developing countries, including waste batteries falsely described as plastic or mixed metal scrap, and cathode ray tubes and computer monitors declared as metal scrap.

Unlike other forms of imported e-waste, used solar panels can enter nations legally before eventually entering e-waste streams. As the United Nation Environment Program notes, “loopholes in the current Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directives allow the export of e-waste from developed to developing countries (70% of the collected WEEE ends up in unreported and largely unknown destinations).”

A Path Forward on Solar Panel Waste

Perhaps the biggest problem with solar panel waste is that there is so much of it, and that's not going to change any time soon, for a basic physical reason: sunlight is dilute and diffuse and thus require large collectors to capture and convert the sun's rays into electricity. Those large surface areas, in turn, require an order of magnitude more in materials — whether today's toxic combination of glass, heavy metals, and rare earth elements, or some new material in the future — than other energy sources.

Solar requires 15x more materials than nuclear EP
All of that waste creates a large quantity of material to track, which in turn requires requires coordinated, overlapping, and different responses at the international, national, state, and local levels.

The local level is where action to dispose of electronic and toxic waste takes place, often under state mandates. In the past, differing state laws have motivated the U.S. Congress to put in place national regulations. Industry often prefers to comply with a single national standard rather than multiple different state standards. And as the problem of the secondary market for solar shows, ultimately there needs to be some kind of international regulation.

The first step is a fee on solar panel purchases to make sure that the cost of safely removing, recycling or storing solar panel waste is internalized into the price of solar panels and not externalized onto future taxpayers. An obvious solution would be to impose a new fee on solar panels that would go into a federal disposal and decommissioning fund. The funds would then, in the future, be dispensed to state and local governments to pay for the removal and recycling or long-term storage of solar panel waste. The advantage of this fund over extended producer responsibility is that it would insure that solar panels are safely decommissioned, recycled, or stored over the long-term, even after solar manufacturers go bankrupt.

Second, the federal government should encourage citizen enforcement of laws to decommission, store, or recycle solar panels so that they do not end up in landfills. Currently, citizens have the right to file lawsuits against government agencies and corporations to force them to abide by various environmental laws, including ones that protect the public from toxic waste. Solar should be no different. Given the decentralized nature of solar energy production, and lack of technical expertise at the local level, it is especially important that the whole society be involved in protecting itself from exposure to dangerous toxins.

“We have a County and State approval process over the next couple months,” Fogarty of Concerned Citizens of Fawn Lake told me, “but it has become clear that local authorities have very little technical breadth to analyze the impacts of such a massive solar power plant.”

Lack of technical expertise can be a problem when solar developers like Sustainable Power Group, or sPower, incorrectly claim that the cadmium in its panels is not water soluble. That claim has been contradicted by the previously-mentioned Stuttgart research scientists who found cadmium from solar panels “can be almost completely washed out...over a period of several rainwater.”

Third, the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Partnership for Waste Management, as part of its International Environmental Partnership Center,  should more strictly monitor e-waste shipments and encourage nations importing used solar panels into secondary markets to impose a fee to cover the cost of recycling or long-term management. Such a recycling and waste management fund could help nations address their other e-waste problems while supporting the development of a new, high-tech industry in recycling solar panels.

None of this will come quickly, or easily, and some solar industry executives will resist internalizing the cost of safely storing, or recycling,  solar panel waste, perhaps for understandable reasons. They will rightly note that there are other kinds of electronic waste in the world. But it is notable that some new forms of electronic waste, namely smartphones like the iPhone, have in many cases replaced things like stereo systems, GPS devices, and alarm clocks and thus reduced their contribution to the e-waste stream. And no other electronics industry makes being “clean” its main selling point.

Wise solar industry leaders can learn from the past and be proactive in seeking stricter regulation in accordance with growing scientific evidence that solar panels pose a risk of toxic chemical contamination. “If waste issues are not preemptively addressed,” warns Mulvaney, “the industry risks repeating the disastrous environmental mistakes of the electronics industry.”

If the industry responds with foresight, Mulvaney notes, it could end up sparking clean innovation including “developing PV modules without hazardous inputs and recycled rare metals." And that's something everyone can get powered up about.

Michael Shellenberger, President, Environmental Progress. Time Magazine "Hero of the Environment."
Title: Environmental issues: 95% Fewer Climate-Related Deaths Over Last 100 Years
Post by: DougMacG on April 03, 2019, 05:48:24 AM
Bjorn Lomborg: 95% Fewer Climate-Related Deaths Over Last 100 Years

Prosperity gives us our resilience.
Title: What do we make of this?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 13, 2019, 07:15:48 PM
Post by: ccp on April 13, 2019, 07:32:35 PM
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 13, 2019, 07:34:03 PM
Any answer on the merits?

My son has quoted this to me.
Title: wish I could
Post by: ccp on April 14, 2019, 11:14:33 AM
comment on the merits?

I wish I could.  I tried searches but I don't know who or what to believe honestly.

merits could be true or not true for all I know.

Title: Re: What do we make of this? NCA 2014
Post by: DougMacG on April 15, 2019, 06:17:55 AM


"Using climate models to simulate the climate of the past century"

No climate model accurately 'predicts' the climate outcomes of the past, much less the present, much less the future.  I notice they use that in the plural, acknowledging that no climate model to date can be accurately applied to the past and obtain the actual results.  If there is such a model, name it, and let's see if it accurately explains the past, present and future.  It doesn't.  For example, who predicted the cooling of the 70s?  Who predicted the pause of the last almost 20 years.  Who predicted the record colds of this winter?  Who predicted the recent ice gains in Greenland?  Who predicted the Arctic Ocean level falling when the other ocean levels were rising - at the same rate they were rising before the industrial age?

To the contrary, the "best" climate models predicted acceleration of growth, cf. the "hockey stick", now fully discredited.  The "best" models predicted the Arctic will be free of ice by the end of 2010., oops that now is 2040:

Climate writers write with certainty.  Scientists don't.

The "best" climate models do not take into account the variability of clouds and cloud cover.  The "best" climate models do not take into account the variability of wind.  Why not?  Because scientists don't understand these major forces and their effects on the climate and cannot predict them.  Not because they aren't important or aren't variable.

How much has the earth warmed in the last 100 years?  To how many digits is that accurate?  What is the margin of error?  Margin of what error, statistical or sampling error?  What are the other errors?   What proportion of that warming comes from human sources?  From urban heat island causes?  From human use fossil fuel based CO2 sources?  From volcanoes, from methane that leaks out of the ground without human intervention?  From solar variation?  From atmospheric variations that are not human caused?  No one writes specifics on these because no one knows with any degree of accuracy.  At least not before this particular study.  We don't have 98% agreement of scientists on any of the details asked above.  We don't have 98% agreement on the catastrophic prediction of anthropogenic warming, only that there is some warming and there is some human-based component in it.

From the report:
"Atmospheric water vapor is increasing in the lower atmosphere because a warmer atmosphere can hold more water."

Warmer air holds more water vapor so that is the cause of the higher level of water vapor.  Warmer air also hold more CO2 in this case they have the cause reversed.  Why?   CO2 is a much less efficient greenhouse gas than water vapor, yet the CO2 is causing the heat.  How do we know they don't have this exactly backwards?

From the post:
"Another line of evidence involves so-called “fingerprint” studies that are able to attribute observed climate changes to particular causes. For example, the fact that the stratosphere (the layer above the troposphere) is cooling while the Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere is warming is a fingerprint that the warming is due to increases in heat-trapping gases. In contrast, if the observed warming had been due to increases in solar output, Earth’s atmosphere would have warmed throughout its entire extent, including the stratosphere."

This is written with an impressive amount of certainty in a field poorly understood by the experts.  Taken literally, the percentage of warming attributable to humans in this report is more than 100%.  I don't believe that, but if true, doesn't it mean the sun is losing its energy and its ability to heat the earth, and if so, don't we want to trap in all the heat we can find for as long as we can?  Funny that the heat trend of the earth was upward prior to the industrial age and after the debunking of the acceleration theory has continued that trend.  The timing, the time periods covered and the scale in all charts depend on the agenda of the person or organization creating them.

Where in this debate do they honestly account for the corruption of the science and the scientists proven in climategate email disclosures, where those in 'scientific' power actively prevented dissenting views from attaining peer review and publication?

Here is a beautiful chart in the report implying CO2 warming causation certainty:  (Needs to be resized to be shown here.)

Never referenced in the beautiful charts is the component of reported warming that is the result of adjustments to the data.  We have documented the corruption of these numbers well on this board and those charts almost perfectly match these, on the micro and on the macro scale.  Because of our bifurcated media, most viewers of the climate alarm charts have not seen or been made aware of the data adjustment charts that systematically adjust older temperatures downward and newer temperatures upward:

Even with all the adjustments, the chart shows a lengthy "pause" that was not predicted by any of the models.  All of a sudden, other natural causes are greater than the human causes?  That is not the conclusion of the study or the premise of the models.

More of the NOAA reported warming since 1895 comes from DATA ADJUSTMENTS than from any other source.  These revelations mostly came after the publication of the 2014 report under discussing.

Lastly, watch what people do instead of what they say.  Have those who are most convinced by the data changed their own behavior, or do they accelerate their own air travel while calling for more and more government curtailment on others?  Climate scientists notoriously jet around the world to meet each other in person and petition governments for more rules and more funding.  If the science is settled, if the models are perfected, what is the need for more and more research?  In truth, like studying the human body, the more we learn about climate science the more we realize how little we know. 

In a rare moment breakthrough, James Hansen, former chief data adjuster at NOAA, is now supporting nuclear energy - or greatest known source of clean energy.  Nuclear power creates carbon-free power with 1/200th of the toxic waste of solar panels per kWH, yet the purveyors of catastrophic warming have most often shunned this too, along with fossil fuels.  Also they have opposed fracking right while the conversion from coal to natural gas offers is cutting those CO2 emissions in half.  If these are the greatest minds of our time, where are the great solutions, other than asking prosperous nations to give up their freedoms and developing nations to stop developing?  If there is one thing we learned in the recent history of environmental science it is that a prosperous society is more able to clean up its mess than a poor society.  The economically free countries of the last generations were far cleaner than the Soviets and the socialists.  Yet nearly all of the proposals that come out of climate alarmism call for fewer freedoms and sacrificed prosperity.

My view is that the science is in its infancy and the solutions offered are mostly lousy.  Given all the unknowns, skeptics and alarmists should still agree on action to move our economies away from CO2 emissions, gradually and decidedly, using honesty, economic freedom, prosperity and innovation as our methods.
Title: Warning when reading Bloomberg businessweek expect
Post by: ccp on April 15, 2019, 06:55:04 AM
LEFTIST propaganda to pop up out of nowhere now and then .

In one of the  Boomer's businessweek article about Wegman's grocery store chain opening a store in Brooklyn 
Wegmans had to elevated the area a few feet to avoid flooding if it recurs like it did during hurricane Sandy (which occurs in NJ NY every 50 yrs or so)

BUT, the way they describe it is Wegmans had to combat ***climate change*** (hurricane Sandy) as though it is 100% clear and done deal that man-made climate change caused the hurricane.

I notice when reading articles there are often sudden LEFTist propaganda or anti Trump like positions thrust into the middle of an article out of nowhere .

The leftist stance jumps out every now and then . 
More like a pro business wall street leftist like Howard Schultz perhaps

Title: POTH: Jerry Taylor changes his mind
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 25, 2019, 10:31:03 AM

Op-Ed Columnist

For anyone worried about climate change, Jerry Taylor is an intriguing figure.
He “spent years as a professional climate denier at the Cato Institute, arguing against climate science, regulations, and treaties in op-eds, speeches, and media appearances,” the MIT Technology Review explains. Taylor’s view, as he told Vox’s David Roberts, was that “it’s unclear how big a problem it is, there’s a lot of uncertainty, and there’s probably more of a chance that it’s going to be a relative non-problem than it will be a problem.”

But then Taylor began to change his mind.

First, he was willing to continue reading the scientific evidence with an open mind. And it became strong enough to persuade him. “While one can do some gymnastics to continue to defend the ‘there’s nothing to see here, folks’ argument, it became harder and harder,” he told Roberts.

Second, he was influenced by a couple of arguments from other conservatives — much as I hope that his own arguments may now persuade still other conservatives. One argument pointed out that climate change damages private property and impinges on people’s freedom. Another came from the risk-management ideas of Wall Street — that even small risks with terrible potential consequences must be taken seriously.

“If this sort of risk were to arise in any other context in the private markets, people would pay real money to hedge against it,” Taylor said.

In 2014 Taylor founded the Niskanen Center, which is doing important work imagining what a healthy conservative party could look like in this country. (David Brooks and New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait have written more broadly about Niskanen’s work.) Having a non-destructive climate policy is, of course, a big part of the answer.

For anyone looking for other conservatives making the case for climate action, try:

•   Kathleen Parker of The Washington Post, who — perhaps not coincidentally — is based in the coastal state of South Carolina. “Make no mistake,” she wrote after Hurricane Harvey battered Texas. “We are being warned.”
•   Debbie Dooley, a pro-Trump conservative whom The Times has profiled.
•   Students for Carbon Dividends, a group with multiple college chapters.

Several of these conservatives think a carbon tax is more politically realistic than I do. Taylor, for example, makes the case for such a tax in his recent critique of the Green New Deal. But I’ll say this: If the conservatives who are worried about the climate can win enough Republicans to their side, a carbon tax may become more feasible than it is today. That would be very good news.

Our biggest disagreement

I thought of Taylor this week, because my colleague Ross Douthat suggested we devote another segment of “The Argument” podcast to climate change. He did so after I told him that it had been the hardest subject for me to discuss with him. On many other subjects — health care, religion, abortion, criminal justice and more — I understand where Ross is coming from even when I disagree with him. But I don’t understand how someone as smart as he is can be blasé about climate change.
In this follow-up conversation, we managed to find more common ground, just as he predicted. If you listen and have thoughts, send me an email at

Title: China emits more CO2 than US and EU combined
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 10, 2019, 08:41:53 AM

yet the Paris Accord lets China (and India) completely off the hook.
Title: Dr. Willie Soon: The Sun also warms
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 10, 2019, 08:42:55 AM
second post
Title: Re: China emits more CO2 than US and EU combined
Post by: G M on May 10, 2019, 11:09:38 AM

yet the Paris Accord lets China (and India) completely off the hook.

Because it's not really about global warming climate change at all.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 10, 2019, 02:29:19 PM
A response on my FB page to the Dr. Soon clip:

" I'm really struggling with the format of his talk. It isn't terribly scientific and isn't geared toward much of a scientific discussion. I do appreciate the Bach at 22:00 though.

"The solar irradiance curves have been evaluated previously and the energy input part of the equation is obviously important. If you look at the change, the implication is that a 5 W/m^2 change over 200 years has caused the apparent global warming. That's a change of 0.3% which doesn't sound that significant to me but is quite similar to the temperature changes we are talking about which is 1 deg. C / 273 Kelvin. People that are running models of course have access to the solar irradiance numbers (it would be a huge oversight to not account for it) so it is part of everyone's calculus here.

"So we are showing an approximately 1:1 change in solar irradiation and temperature. Seems pretty decent. But 30% of all sunlight is reflected back into space. Now our correlation becomes 0.7:1. Not quite as good. The percentage of the planet that faces the sun is only 1/4 mathematically speaking so our correlation now becomes 0.28:1. Not very good at all. None of this was discussed in the talk which seems like a surprising oversight."
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on May 10, 2019, 02:54:58 PM
Any answer on the merits?

My son has quoted this to me.

Ask your son if the climate model predicted the snow in Las Vegas, Phoenix and LA this year. Vegas is on the way to breaking a 20 year record for rainfall. All the Warmin' Church scare articles from 2018 tell how Vegas will be getting hotter and dryer.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 11, 2019, 06:53:00 PM
I want to thank everyone for the citations on this thread on the issue of plastics in the ocean.  They just enabled me to respond well on FB.

Here is to what I was responding:
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on May 11, 2019, 07:04:37 PM
I want to thank everyone for the citations on this thread on the issue of plastics in the ocean.  They just enabled me to respond well on FB.

Here is to what I was responding:

Oh, and an update on the Ocean Cleanup boondoggle:

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 11, 2019, 10:54:08 PM
If I read correctly, the Krogers article is looking primarily at carbon emissions in its comparisons-- which is not really the point with regard to disposable plastic.

To say that Asia is worse is also not really the point either.  Besides, how can we criticize if we use the same technology.

Also there is the matter of plastics, chemicals, and drugs neutering our endocrine systems.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on May 11, 2019, 11:27:10 PM
If I read correctly, the Krogers article is looking primarily at carbon emissions in its comparisons-- which is not really the point with regard to disposable plastic.

To say that Asia is worse is also not really the point either.  Besides, how can we criticize if we use the same technology.

Also there is the matter of plastics, chemicals, and drugs neutering our endocrine systems.

How many plastic bags have you thrown into the ocean? I am going to guess "none" is what you would reply. In North America, as we ll as in europe, the vast majority of people don't just throw their garbage into the street, woods or coastal waters.

Plastic bags are not tunneling their way of of California landfills to jump into the Pacific.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 12, 2019, 01:24:02 PM
That may be, but what is your analysis of the 30% decline in 40 year old American male testosterone levels over the last 30 years?

Is there nothing in all this that concerns you?

If so, what solutions occur to you?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on May 12, 2019, 01:31:03 PM
That may be, but what is your analysis of the 30% decline in 40 year old American male testosterone levels over the last 30 years?

Is there nothing in all this that concerns you?

If so, what solutions occur to you?

This is a serious issue, but it’s not caused by plastic bags going into landfills. It’s exposure to various chemicals that mimic female hormones.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 12, 2019, 01:33:58 PM
Some of which come from plastics degrading into our environment, both ocean and land.

Any thoughts on solving the problem?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 14, 2019, 11:54:28 PM
Feeling pretty rattled by some articles about it hitting the 80s at the Arctic Circle in Russia, highest C02 in 800,000 years, etc.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on May 15, 2019, 03:14:24 AM
Feeling pretty rattled by some articles about it hitting the 80s at the Arctic Circle in Russia, highest C02 in 800,000 years, etc.

Some parts of Colorado just got hit with 16 inches of snow. They have been memory holed, but back in the 90’s, there were articles quoting experts that said the ski industry would be over due to a lack of snow because of global warming.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on May 15, 2019, 07:58:15 AM
"highest C02 in 800,000 years"

Or at least the highest since we've been measuring it, since 1960. 

The new record high concentration of life essential CO2 in the atmosphere is now how many parts per thousand with proper mathematical rounding?  ...  drum roll please ... zero.  How can any light or heat even get through when it so dense at zero parts per thousand.

The source of this new life essential CO2 in the atmosphere, it originally came from ...  drum roll please ... the atmosphere.

At 100,000 through 500,000 PPM there are mammal and human health concerns that should worry us.

I can say with confidence that more health damage is being done by the scare tactics in the form of anxiety and depression than by the CO2 levels to the ecosystem.

Instead of the unhinged screaming, the altered data, adjusted data, exaggerated data, why not just build now what we know how to build, nuclear and more hydro powered electricity?
Bags in the ocean?  We know where they are coming from, 10 rivers in Africa and Asia, especially water bottles.  Where I live we have clean, crystal clear drinking water in the tap (and people still drink packaged drinks).  What these areas all have in common is a ... lack of economic freedom and prosperity.  WHY NOT FIX THAT?

Plastic in the landfills?  I don't know what to do about that but we already have big government so that doesn't seem to be the solution.  Giant trucks come down my little street every week or two to pick up these things in a government organized sort of way with the cost all force-added to my water bill.  Just tell me where you want the plastic; we are already paying for the disposal.  Stores sell quantities I don't want to buy with packaging that always seems like more than I need.  Government powers, it seems to me, should be aimed at INCREASING consumer choices not eliminating them.

In the inner city I watch the poor-thinking people throw their empty containers and fast food packaging out of their cars and into the street for someone else to pick up - or not.  Makes me think what we have around the world is a people problem, not a plastic or packaging problem.

Yes, biodegradable has a great advantage so let's keep pushing and choosing in that direction.

Wait until you see all the old solar panels and lithium batteries in the landfills after we get the plastics under control.
"What is your analysis of the 30% decline in 40 year old American male testosterone levels over the last 30 years?"

Great question.  On the other side of the health trends, why did life expectancies  skyrocket during the industrial, CO2 emitting age?  It's hard to sort out real danger signals through all the noise.   What is causing the testosterone decline?

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 15, 2019, 09:31:21 AM
A thoughtful answer, but , , , why is the Arctic ice free where it wasn't before?  Why is it 84 degrees today at the Arctic Circle (just below to be precise) in Russia?

blah blah

Hard for me to avoid the gut sense that we now are regularly outside the bell curve of the probable  , , , ,

"What is causing the testosterone decline?"

Plastics (and pharma drugs) entering the food chain.

Title: Re: Environmental issues, Ice free Arctic
Post by: DougMacG on May 15, 2019, 10:21:19 PM
I had not seen that the Arctic was ice free and experiencing unusually warm weather so I searched and found this.  Rated true by Snopes
"The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds."
  - Associated Press / Washington Post Nov 2 1922

I was just noticing that the glaciers that once covered the midwest have melted too.
Title: Re: Environmental issues, Greenland glacier reversal
Post by: DougMacG on May 15, 2019, 10:28:43 PM
Greenland glacier reversal

European satellites have detailed the abrupt change in behaviour of one of Greenland’s most important glaciers.

In the 2000s, Jakobshavn Isbrae was the fastest flowing ice stream on the island, travelling at 17km a year.

As it sped to the ocean, its front end also retreated and thinned, dropping in height by as much as 20m year.

But now it’s all change. Jakobshavn is travelling much more slowly, and its trunk has even begun to thicken and lengthen.

“It’s a complete reversal in behaviour and it wasn’t predicted,” said Dr Anna Hogg from Leeds University and the UK Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM).

   - BBC  May 14 2019
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on May 15, 2019, 10:29:11 PM
A thoughtful answer, but , , , why is the Arctic ice free where it wasn't before?  Why is it 84 degrees today at the Arctic Circle (just below to be precise) in Russia?

blah blah

Hard for me to avoid the gut sense that we now are regularly outside the bell curve of the probable  , , , ,

"What is causing the testosterone decline?"

Plastics (and pharma drugs) entering the food chain.

Dropping human fertility may be a serious problem, natural fluctuations in the earth's climate, and concerns about the environmental impact of plastic grocery bags and drinking straws are not.
Title: Re: Environmental issues, Arctic Ice Melting
Post by: DougMacG on May 15, 2019, 10:35:29 PM

Title: We are going to die!!!!
Post by: G M on May 15, 2019, 11:01:26 PM

Oh no!
Title: Re: We are going to die!!!!
Post by: DougMacG on May 16, 2019, 07:16:21 AM

Oh no!

G M:  Science used to be wrong about this stuff and now they get everything right.  That is the difference.

In the real world, 20 year trends and 100 year trends are a blip in time.

The people who died of anxiety, depression and suicide because they were told by trusted sources the world is going to end in 10 years, every 10 years, are not going to look back at this episode and laugh.
Title: Environmental issues, New extreme, 144 degrees! (below zero)
Post by: DougMacG on May 16, 2019, 07:24:03 AM

Coldest Place on Earth Is Colder Than We Knew
By Chris DolceJune 26 2018 01:30 PM
Satellite Data Shows Extreme Cold Temperatures in Antarctica
Researchers have used satellite data to determine just how cold it can get on Earth and their findings might surprise you.

Antarctica's eastern plateau has the coldest temperatures on Earth.
Satellite data was used by researchers to find out how far below zero temperatures can plunge.
Clear skies, light winds and dry air can drop temperatures as low as minus 144 degrees Fahrenheit.
Scientists have found a new threshold for how far temperatures can plummet below zero on Earth, according to a study published this week in Geophysical Research Letters.

Antarctica's eastern plateau can see temperatures as cold as 144 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, according to new data
Was it 145 below before man-made global warming?
Title: Cause and effect, chicken or egg?
Post by: DougMacG on May 16, 2019, 08:00:20 AM
Required reading, I hate to excerpt and miss any part of it.

Warming precedes CO2 increases.  Which causes which?

Greenhouse gas percentages, blue equals water vapor, brown equals CO2:
Water Vapor 95%, CO2 3.6%


Humans and Animals                                                     45 to  52

Oceans’ outgassing (tropical areas)                                90 to 100

Volcanic and other ground sources                                0.5 to    2

Ground bacteria, rotting and decay                               50 to   60*

 Forest cutting, forest fires                                              1  to    3

 Anthropogenic emissions (2010)                                                    9.5

 TOTAL                                                                      196  to  226.5

* other published values: 26 Gt, resp. 86-110 Gt


Vegetation on land                                                      55 to 62

Oceans’ uptake                                                               87 to 95*                           

Algae, phytoplankton, seaweed                                       48 to 57

Weathering (Silica minerals)                                              3 to  6

TOTAL                                                                               193  to  220

Notice that the range of error of estimates for emissions of Oceans and Ground Bacteria exceeds the total for humans.

In the early IPCC Reports they promoted the idea that the length of time CO2 remains in the atmosphere, known as the Residency Time is at least 100 years. Although the 100 years is not mentioned, the concept is still on or implied on many government web pages. For example, Environment Canada says, “As carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for a long time, levels of carbon dioxide continue to build-up in the atmosphere with ongoing human emissions.” Actual Residence Time for CO2 is only 5 to 7 years after which it is cycled back through natural sinks (an area of absorption) such as plants, oceans and soils. (Figure1)

The ocean is the major control of atmospheric CO2, but its ability varies with water temperature. A cold ocean absorbs more than a warm ocean.

Humans produce CO2, but they also remove it from the atmosphere. Agriculture and forestry are the major absorbers, removing an estimated 50 percent of total production.

The Antarctic Ice core record shows temperature increases before CO2.  A similar relationship is shown for every single record of any duration and for any time period. Despite this, all computer models are programmed so a CO2 increase causes a temperature increase.

Carbon dioxide is essential for all life on Earth. Research shows current levels of 392 ppm are approximately one third the optimum for most plants. Empirical evidence from CO2 levels injected into commercial greenhouses indicate optimum yields at levels between 1000 and 1200 ppm. Interestingly this is the average level of the last 300 million years.

Negative Feedback Loop:
"Research shows current levels of 392 ppm are approximately one third the optimum for most plants."

(Doug)   - In other words, as CO2 increases, photosynthesis efficiency increases , up to 1200 PPM, centuries and centuries out at current rates.  Increased photosynthesis means increasing the rate of converting atmospheric CO2 to oxygen. Beyond the positive feedback factor of water absorbing more than ice, negative feedback is the predominant result.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: ccp on May 16, 2019, 08:58:35 AM
" Coldest Place on Earth Is Colder Than We Knew.......
Clear skies, light winds and dry air can drop temperatures as low as minus 144 degrees Fahrenheit."

so if we accept highest temperature was 137F that means the temp on Earth can swing a high to low of 281 degrees

for contrast I just read the Moons swing can be up to 400 degree F

For Mercury it is far more incredible . -
hard to believe that Mercury , so close to the Sun is unbelievable cold on the "dark side"
No atmosphere or heat from planet itself to warm .  I would have thought the Sun's heat would radiate around but I guess not that much :

 "The day side of the planet reaches temperatures of up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit (427 degrees Celsius). In contrast, the chilly night side can get as cold as minus 290 F (minus 180 C). The planet has an average temperature of 332 F (167 C). These variations are relatively long-lived.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: G M on May 16, 2019, 01:06:43 PM
"The people who died of anxiety, depression and suicide because they were told by trusted sources the world is going to end in 10 years, every 10 years, are not going to look back at this episode and laugh."

Can't argue that point.

I am pretty sure I was in my teens when I was first told we only had 10 years left. I think the world has ended 3 times or so since then.

Oh, and the earth has warmed so much, it's about to snow in California!
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on May 16, 2019, 09:08:01 PM
"I am pretty sure I was in my teens when I was first told we only had 10 years left. I think the world has ended 3 times or so since then."

The global cooling of the 70s was mostly a one time Newsweek article no more believable than a palm reader or someone who says they know what the market will do next year.  But I do remember being told in 9th or 10th grade that we will run out of natural gas in 1982.  It was that specific, like they already knew the month and day we would run out. That meant nothing to me out of ignorance of context but natural gas is what we heat our homes and schools with and businesses and hospitals.  We were running out - meaning that in a few short years we would not be able to heat our homes and buildings in a severe winter climate.  The end of life here as we know it.  Devastating - and false.

Now its climate change with certainty and teaching us that coercive, centrally controlled economies are great and that freedom is out of date.
Title: CA Waterboard on keeping trash out of the waterways
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 16, 2019, 10:47:00 PM
Title: Re: CA Waterboard on keeping trash out of the waterways
Post by: G M on May 16, 2019, 11:24:11 PM

Keeping the waterways clean is a good thing. Trying to ban everything that might be used to litter isn’t the correct approach. I would be willing to bet that a lot of the “vibrant diversity” California welcomes is disposing of trash in the same ways commonly done back in their sh*thole countries. But that truth is unpalatable, so virtue signaling via plastic bag and drinking straw bans will have to suffice.

Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 17, 2019, 10:06:40 AM
I am of the opinion that costs to a transaction should be born by the parties to the transaction. 

Pollution is a cost to certain transactions and its costs should be born by those generating it and by so doing the inherent efficiencies of the market will steer us away from things will pollute.

Plastic has tremendous costs to it and looking to phase out frivolous uses is a good thing.

Of course plastic straws in and of themselves are de minimis, but OTOH why not use the paper straws I remember being used in my youth?

Why not use cardboard egg cartons instead of plastic egg cartons?

Why not use cartons such as are used for milk for water bottles as well?

Why not use aluminum for all soda cans instead of some?

AND bring these solutions to the big Asian polluters as well, perhaps as part of trade negotiations , , ,
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on May 17, 2019, 07:07:26 PM
Title: Re: Environmental issues, The Arctic is Melting, 1817
Post by: DougMacG on May 19, 2019, 08:10:55 AM

“It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated….
….. this affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.” A request was made for the Royal Society to assemble an expedition to go and investigate.

President of the Royal Society, London, to the Admiralty, 20th November, 1817, Minutes of Council, Volume 8. pp.149-153, Royal Society, London. 20th November, 1817.
Title: Can someone take a quick look at the global warming climate model?
Post by: G M on May 20, 2019, 06:33:40 PM
I'm trying to find out how much more snow Colorado will be getting.

Denver weather: Snow arrives early at DIA, potential of 1 to 2 inches of accumulation in city
Snow wasn’t expected in Denver until early Tuesday morning
By KIRK MITCHELL | | The Denver Post
PUBLISHED: May 20, 2019 at 6:24 am | UPDATED: May 20, 2019 at 2:19 pm
Denver weather: Snow arrives early at DIA, potential of 1 to 2 inches of accumulation in city
Eastbound I-70 closed near Eisenhower Tunnel due to weather-related crashes
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Colorado weather: Another record-setting storm this week? It’s possible.
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Snow began falling at Denver International Airport early Monday afternoon, hours earlier than forecasters had predicted, forcing meteorologists to increase their projections for snowfall in the Mile High City.

“Right now there is currently a snow shower at Denver International Airport,” said Natalie Sullivan, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Boulder. She said a band of snow arrived at DIA much earlier than originally expected.

“We’re looking at the potential of 1 to 2 inches of snow in Denver now,” Sullivan said. The NWS had predicted as recently as Monday morning that it wouldn’t start snowing in Denver until 1 a.m. Tuesday.

It officially began snowing at 1:37 p.m. at the airport, Denver’s official weather location.

Mix of rain and snow now falling at DIA early this afternoon, Latest observation at 137 PM says all snow! #COwx

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) May 20, 2019

Denverites shouldn’t be blamed for thinking they were finished with snow for the season after last week’s streak of high temperatures in the 80s, but northerly winds have brought frosty temperatures back to Colorado, forecasters say.

Denver metro residents need to get back into a winter-safety mindset, driving slower and keeping in mind that black ice could, Sullivan said. The temperature in Denver is 36 degrees, 9 degrees lower than the previous projected high, according to the NWS.

Heavy wet snow is forecast for the foothills and mountains Monday. A winter storm warning and a snow advisory is in place for the foothills and mountains until midnight Tuesday, according to the NWS.

RELATED: Why lightning is one of the top weather-related killers in Colorado
The mountains will get between  8 inches and 18 inches of snow, Sullivan said. The foothills west of Denver could get between 5 inches and a foot of snow. Castle Rock could get up to 6 inches of snow.

“It will be getting worse,” Sullivan said of driving conditions. Icy and snowpacked conditions are expected in the mountains.

Heavy wet snow for the mountains and foothills. #cowx

— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) May 20, 2019

As temperatures plummet into the 30s, snow was originally expected to start falling in Denver by 1 a.m. Instead, it started falling nearly 12 hours early. Thunder mixed with snow is also part of the forecast.

Up to a half inch of snow could be on the ground by Tuesday morning. It could snow until 8 a.m., when the moisture transitions back to rain. The chance for rain is 90 percent. Rain and thunderstorms are expected through the night.

Eastbound I-70 closed near Eisenhower Tunnel due to weather-related crashes
Colorado weather: Another record-setting storm this week? It’s possible.
While Denver sees storms, isolated tornadoes and large hail hit southeast Colorado
Denver weather: Cooler temperatures, rain showers and thunderstorms expected, with possible snow in the mountains
Colorado weather: Reports of baseball-sized hail in as storms hit part of the state
The wet weather will continue on Wednesday between noon and 3 p.m., the NWS says. Afterward, temperatures will begin to rise. The high on Wednesday will be around 59 degrees, the weather service says.

By Thursday the high temperature will be around 61 degrees, but there will still be a chance for afternoon rain showers and thunderstorms.

The first sunny day of the week will be on Friday, when the high temperature will be around 69 degrees. The weekend will be sunny and pleasant, with temperatures in the lower 70s, the NWS says.
Title: Re: Can someone take a quick look at the global warming climate model?
Post by: DougMacG on May 21, 2019, 06:11:30 AM
quote author=G M
I'm trying to find out how much more snow Colorado will be getting.
Denver weather: Snow arrives early at DIA, potential of 1 to 2 inches of accumulation in city
Snow wasn’t expected in Denver until early Tuesday morning
May 20, 2019
A-Basin extending its ski season:
"The longest season in Colorado just got longer."

Breckenridge, Colo:  Open

Snowbird Utah:  Open

The ski resorts are fully on board with global warming, Winter and snow will end soon, probably when the Arctic is ice free.

Meanwhile Alta reported 626 inches of fresh new powder on the slopes this season.
Go figure.
Title: More model questions
Post by: G M on May 22, 2019, 01:03:18 PM

Water experts: Climate change intensifying effects of persistent drought

UNLV drought presentation

UNLV geoscience expert Matthew Lachniet explains rising temperatures in the West, as Colby Pellegrino, director of water resources at Southern Nevada Water Authority, and Lynn Fenstermaker of Desert Research Institute look on. The trio spoke during a panel discussion on climate and drought at UNLV on June 29, 2017.

By Mick Akers

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 | 2 a.m.

The effects of global climate change are being felt in the West’s continuing drought, according to a panel discussion at UNLV last week.

Wildfires have increased over the last several years, something one of Colby Pellegrino’s mentors told her years ago would show that climate change is legitimate.

“We’ll know if it’s real, because the West will be on fire long before it hits the watershed,” said Pellegrino, director of water resources at Southern Nevada Water Authority.

Pellegrino said the average temperature was up 8 degrees during March in Colorado, home of the snowcap that feeds the Colorado River and, in turn, Lake Mead. “It clocked in as the warmest temperature for the month in the state of Colorado ever.”

This year’s unseasonably warm temperatures in the West have had sizable impacts on the snowpack in the Rockies this year, Pellegrino said.

“It caused an adjustment in the forecast of over 2 million acre-feet just as a result of the temperatures in March,” she said.

Data recently published on the issue said the drought was caused by temperature changes. In contrast, there was a similar shortage of water in the 1950s, which was caused by the lack of precipitation.

Dr. Matthew Lachniet, a UNLV geoscience expert, said Pellegrino was alluding to what is known as a hot drought. Studying cave deposits from various areas in Nevada, Lachniet and his associates have been able to create a climate history showing how temperature and precipitation have changed over a span of 11,000 years.

“Pretty simple, hot and dry, that’s the pattern for Nevada,” Lachniet said.

A temperature curve created for the 11,000 years of data shows that temperatures peaked about 8,000 years ago and dropped thereafter, but recently the temperature is beginning to rise again, which Lachniet said is the effect of global warming.

“The answer is, yes, it’s really unquestionable that climate is changing and humans are driving it,” he said. “We know that since the 1980s that temperatures have exceeded the long- term means.”

When it gets hot, it gets drier, and the data show that Nevadans can expect to see hotter and drier conditions to persist heading into the future, Lachniet said.

By AP | Posted: Fri 10:16 AM, May 10, 2019  |  Updated: Fri 10:35 PM, May 10, 2019
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A storm that swept through Las Vegas on Thursday set a record for the date and gave the region an early push past the average amount of rainfall for a year.

National Weather Service meteorologist Andy Gorelow said Friday steady rain and thunderstorms overnight raised the rainfall total past 4.5 inches (11.4 millimeters) since Jan. 1.

Las Vegas usually averages just less than 4.2 inches (10.7 centimeters) of rain in a year, according to records kept since 1938 at the official measuring station at McCarran International Airport.

The wettest year on record was 1941, when the region tallied 10.72 inches (27.2 centimeters) of rain.

Gorelow says the 0.45 inches (11.4 millimeters) of rainfall on Thursday tripled the previous record of 0.15 inches (3.8 millimeters) set on May 9, 1977.
Title: Re: More model questions
Post by: DougMacG on May 22, 2019, 01:35:01 PM
Good find!  Do they publish the weather report in the corrections section?  Have they issued an apology for the false story?

"There was a similar water shortage in the 1950s."   - Oops

"When it gets hotter, it gets dryer."    - Right, except when the heat in the first place is caused by increased humidity, how can that make it dryer?

Octane combustion:  2 C8H18 + 25 O2 ---> 16 CO2 +18 H2O

More H2O is emitted during combustion than CO2 and H2O has the largest total  warming effect on the globe of all greenhouse gases.

So the increasing humidity makes it dryer, said the 'expert'.
Title: Re: More model questions, LV drought 2017, rain 2019, Great Lakes
Post by: DougMacG on May 22, 2019, 05:30:49 PM
Reminds me of the Great Lakes story posted elsewhere.
Record low levels, may never recover, 2013:

Record high levels now:

Is this climate change, catastrophic, human caused, or is this natural variation?  What did the all-knowing models predict?  Drought or high water?  Was it drought caused by water vapor in the atmosphere or rain caused by drought?  Can you really have it both ways?  Only with a dishonest media, bureaucracy and academia.
Update, I didn't see that Powerline had the same story at the same time.

You can see from their chart how the a date range of about 1998 to 2014 looks like we are in a never ending drought narrative.  Look at a wider range and we see a variability cycle within a remarkable narrow and stable water level range:


That's what they do with temperature data, talk about warming since a certain date when it was cooling in the period right before that.  Hottest day since the 1930s?  Interesting but how do you explain the 30s?  Hotter than the 30s?  Only after you adjust the data for those years downward.
Title: Rise of the Plastic Eaters
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 22, 2019, 07:39:23 PM
Title: Re: More model questions
Post by: G M on May 22, 2019, 10:17:26 PM
Yeah, they'll get to that as soon as they apologize for 2 years of "Russia! Russia! Russia!"

Good find!  Do they publish the weather report in the corrections section?  Have they issued an apology for the false story?

"There was a similar water shortage in the 1950s."   - Oops

"When it gets hotter, it gets dryer."    - Right, except when the heat in the first place is caused by increased humidity, how can that make it dryer?

Octane combustion:  2 C8H18 + 25 O2 ---> 16 CO2 +18 H2O

More H2O is emitted during combustion than CO2 and H2O has the largest total  warming effect on the globe of all greenhouse gases.

So the increasing humidity makes it dryer, said the 'expert'.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on May 24, 2019, 05:54:47 AM
A study in British medical journal The Lancet reached the following conclusion:

"Cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather, according to an international study analyzing over 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries."
I would be more worried if the Earth was cooling by 1 degree per century, 20 times more worried, and I would be more worried if life essential CO2 levels at zero parts per thousand were falling, infinitely more worried.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on May 24, 2019, 06:26:01 AM
The environmental movement in politics is like a watermelon, green on the outside and then red (communist) all the way through once you cut through the surface.
   - Paraphrasing Seb Gorka
Title: Democrats’ Curious Disdain for Nuclear Power
Post by: DougMacG on May 31, 2019, 09:31:31 AM
Democrats’ Curious Disdain for Nuclear Power

Until they embrace nuclear energy as a key to reducing emissions, the party’s many presidential candidates will be hard to take seriously on climate change.

The Democratic Party has not supported nuclear energy since 1972.  Here is the 1972 platform:
"By 1980, we may well have to depend on imports from the Eastern Hemisphere for as much as 30 to 50 percent of our oil supplies. At the same time, new forms of energy supply—such as nuclear, solar or geothermal power—lag far behind in research and development."

    - Prescient.  They saw the energy crunch of the 1970s coming - and did nothing about it.
Title: Re: Democrats’ Curious Disdain for Nuclear Power
Post by: G M on May 31, 2019, 11:06:25 AM
A constant theme with the left applies here. It’s about power and control over the population. If nuclear addresses “global warming” then there is no need for additional taxes and government.

Democrats’ Curious Disdain for Nuclear Power

Until they embrace nuclear energy as a key to reducing emissions, the party’s many presidential candidates will be hard to take seriously on climate change.

The Democratic Party has not supported nuclear energy since 1972.  Here is the 1972 platform:
"By 1980, we may well have to depend on imports from the Eastern Hemisphere for as much as 30 to 50 percent of our oil supplies. At the same time, new forms of energy supply—such as nuclear, solar or geothermal power—lag far behind in research and development."

    - Prescient.  They saw the energy crunch of the 1970s coming - and did nothing about it.
Title: Environmental issues, Alberta Introduces Carbon Tax Repeal Bill
Post by: DougMacG on June 09, 2019, 10:04:35 AM

“The carbon tax has been all economic pain and no environmental gain. If Justin Trudeau’s government then seeks to impose a federal carbon tax in Alberta, we will see him in court,” Alberta’s Premier told media. This will add Alberta to three other provinces that have taken the federal government to court over the carbon tax: Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

According to the Alberta government, repealing the tax will bring more than a billion dollars into the provincial coffers and create as many as 6,000 new jobs—a sensitive issue in the energy industry-dependent province that has yet to fully recover from the 2014 oil price crisis.
Tax the external cost of a pollutant?  - Yes
Is CO2 a pollutant?  - No / Disputed
What is the external cost of a CO2 transaction?  - No one can measure it.
Where did this manmade Carbon originate that man is taking from the ground and artificially putting in the atmosphere?   - It came from the atmosphere.
Is the external cost taken from the transaction be transferred to the right parties that are injured by the transaction?  - No
Does taxing 20% of greenhouse gases make the total go down?   - Mostly it causes a shift of the consumption to untaxed areas.
Title: Re: Environmental issues, plastic bags continued
Post by: DougMacG on June 18, 2019, 10:04:12 AM
I guess they banned the free plastic bag in California.  I arrived in sunny southern Cal without sunglasses, stepped into a drug store, found a decent deal at $20, then noticed it was 2 for 1 if I sign up for whatever so I checked out with two, realized they were giving me two fragile pair of sunglasses that I always get scratched without a case so I asked for a bag.  You should have seen the look of the cashier.  Instead of a thin disposable bag free I had to pay $0.10 for a nice heavy duty bag.  One pair of sunglasses broke that day and one pair broke before I got home.  I'm not sure if I still have the bag.  Nice bag.

Is there something short of banning plastic bags, like just quit being so wasteful?

Bjorn Lomborg writes:

"We also need to consider the wider environmental impact of our bag choices. A 2018 study by the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food looked not just at plastic waste, but also at climate-change damage, ozone depletion, human toxicity and other indicators. It found you must reuse an organic cotton shopping bag 20,000 times before it will have less environmental damage than a plastic bag.

Does anyone look into these things before they knee jerk into legislation?
Title: Re: Environmental issues, plastic bags continued
Post by: G M on June 18, 2019, 01:41:08 PM
I guess they banned the free plastic bag in California.  I arrived in sunny southern Cal without sunglasses, stepped into a drug store, found a decent deal at $20, then noticed it was 2 for 1 if I sign up for whatever so I checked out with two, realized they were giving me two fragile pair of sunglasses that I always get scratched without a case so I asked for a bag.  You should have seen the look of the cashier.  Instead of a thin disposable bag free I had to pay $0.10 for a nice heavy duty bag.  One pair of sunglasses broke that day and one pair broke before I got home.  I'm not sure if I still have the bag.  Nice bag.

Is there something short of banning plastic bags, like just quit being so wasteful?

Bjorn Lomborg writes:

"We also need to consider the wider environmental impact of our bag choices. A 2018 study by the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food looked not just at plastic waste, but also at climate-change damage, ozone depletion, human toxicity and other indicators. It found you must reuse an organic cotton shopping bag 20,000 times before it will have less environmental damage than a plastic bag.

Does anyone look into these things before they knee jerk into legislation?

Look at California today and tell me if you can find any evidence of coherent thought behind their legislation.
Title: But straws and plastic bags!
Post by: G M on June 18, 2019, 07:45:19 PM
Title: Mario's other kid
Post by: ccp on June 19, 2019, 05:28:55 AM

"The comment ended months of speculation over the fate of climate legislation in New York. Democratic lawmakers, who seized complete control of state government when they took over the state Senate last fall, had been pushing a bill called the "Climate and Community Protection Act." The bill would spend 40% of the state's clean energy revenues on energy efficiency measures and renewable installations in disadvantaged communities."

Title: US's carbon emission reductions
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 24, 2019, 07:46:13 AM
After reading this I must say I feel misled by some things I have previously read on this.
Title: Re: US's carbon emission reductions
Post by: G M on July 24, 2019, 05:15:48 PM
After reading this I must say I feel misled by some things I have previously read on this.

Does North Korea get some sort of prize for their low carbon footprint?
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on July 24, 2019, 05:36:52 PM
Yes but the hundred million killed by socialism in the last century take first place with zero atmospheric carbon emissions.
Title: China emits more CO2 than US and EU combined
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 13, 2019, 10:07:39 AM
Reposting this just because , , ,
Title: Trees are the answer
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 23, 2019, 11:30:22 PM
Title: Re: Trees are the answer
Post by: G M on August 24, 2019, 12:52:10 AM

Not enough potential graft in planting trees.
Title: Grannis on warming data
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 27, 2019, 11:37:10 AM
Title: Magnetic liquid to trap micro-plastics
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 09, 2019, 04:57:24 PM
Title: Plastic pollution Guatemala
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 13, 2019, 07:47:49 AM

Also see
Title: Bill Gates' toilet
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 15, 2019, 10:24:43 PM
Title: Re: Bill Gates' toilet
Post by: G M on November 15, 2019, 10:29:33 PM

I hope they get them to California soon!
Title: North pole moving rapidly
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 07, 2019, 11:27:25 PM
Title: Man caused bird deaths
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 25, 2019, 09:52:55 AM
Title: The Mars coincidence
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 25, 2019, 02:41:52 PM
Title: Mexico bans single use plastic bags
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 01, 2020, 08:11:52 PM
Title: Re: Mexico bans single use plastic bags
Post by: G M on January 01, 2020, 09:27:33 PM

Straws! Don't forget straws!

Oh, and beheadings, if you get the chance...
Title: 10 Rivers= 95% of all plastic into the ocean
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 02, 2020, 11:13:37 AM
Title: China's rivers and plastics in the oceans
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 04, 2020, 03:37:28 PM

Title: Re: China's rivers and plastics in the oceans
Post by: G M on January 04, 2020, 03:44:34 PM

Obviously they need to copy their fellow socialists in the PRK and ban bags and straws!

Title: Plant trees!!!
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 12, 2020, 10:46:40 PM
Title: Re: Plant trees!!!
Post by: DougMacG on January 13, 2020, 05:23:17 AM

And maintain our forests better than Calif and Australia do.  There is a lot of warming released in a forest fire.

Imagine all that money spent on falsifying data put into planting seedlings.`

It would be a setback for Big Pharma if we address the issue instead teaching children the planet will die before they grow up.
Title: Re: Plant trees!!!
Post by: G M on January 13, 2020, 12:29:08 PM


Title: Australian Brush Fires
Post by: rickn on January 15, 2020, 07:14:22 AM
Interesting video about the Australian bush fires. (
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 15, 2020, 07:46:32 AM
I went to post it on FB and was told by FB:

"Independent fact-checkers at Science Feedback say this post has false information. To help stop the spread of false news, a notice will be added to your post if you decide to share this.
Pages and websites that repeatedly publish or share false news will see their overall distribution reduced and be restricted in other ways."

I posted anyway.

Title: Ecuador sold 1/3 of its rain forest to China
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 15, 2020, 07:47:03 AM
From 2013
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on January 15, 2020, 08:41:48 AM
I went to post it on FB and was told by FB:

"Independent fact-checkers at Science Feedback say this post has false information. To help stop the spread of false news, a notice will be added to your post if you decide to share this.
Pages and websites that repeatedly publish or share false news will see their overall distribution reduced and be restricted in other ways."

I posted anyway.

What is the "false information"?  Arsonists lit the fires?  Lack of fire breaks allowed the spread?  All true.  Lack of warming shown on a specific December chart he cites?  That's false(?) but the adjusted NOAA data is true?  Says whom?  Not the thermometers in Australia:

Can you post a warning to warn to warn of their warning? 

False information spread by mis-named,"independent fact-checkers" along with repeated curtailment of our ability to communicate here without interruption will result in reduced future market share for biased proprietary websites. 

  * For Environmental Posts with a different set of fact checkers, please visit:
Title: Re: Ecuador sold 1/3 of its rain forest to China
Post by: DougMacG on January 15, 2020, 08:47:53 AM
From 2013

Did the Obama administration approve the sale - or just finance it?

Title: China doing same thing all over the World
Post by: ccp on January 15, 2020, 09:12:10 AM
Title: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico using corn husks to replace styrofoam
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 15, 2020, 10:21:07 PM
Title: WSJ: The Green Leap Forward in Action
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 17, 2020, 11:25:38 AM
The Best-Laid Energy Plans
The feds bet $737 million on a salt tower for solar power. You’ll never guess the result.
By The Editorial Board
Jan. 16, 2020 7:03 pm ET

Government planning and subsidies will make America the world’s green-energy superpower, create millions of jobs, and supercharge the economy—or so we’re told. The reality is closer to Crescent Dunes, a Nevada solar-energy plant that has gone bust after receiving a $737 million federal loan guarantee.

An inconvenient truth is that the sun sets each day, but the Obama Administration’s green planners had an app for that. They decided to invest in the Crescent Dunes facility that would use molten salt to store heat from the sun, produce steam, and generate electricity even at night. The utility NV Energy had already agreed to buy the electricity. Government support would carry the project to sunny success.

Warren Plays the Gender Card Against Sanders

In September 2011, the Energy Department described how the 110-megawatt facility would “be the first of its kind in the United States and the tallest molten salt tower in the world,” powering more than 43,000 homes a year. The precedent was Solar Two, a small pilot plant decommissioned in 1999 that had shown it was technically feasible to use molten salt to store and generate power. But in a 2006 report the Energy Department said the 10-megawatt facility “was never expected to be a viable commercial-scale plant and, in fact, did not validate economic feasibility.”

No worries. It’s only taxpayer money, and the feds jumped into Crescent Dunes anyway. The Department of Energy finalized its loan guarantee on Sept. 23, 2011, a week before the federal loan program expired. A month earlier Nevada had approved $119.3 million in tax abatements for Crescent Dunes over 20 years. The plant also received some $140 million in private investment.

Crescent Dunes began by missing the deadline established by its agreement with NV Energy, becoming operational months late. Commercial operations began in November 2015, but less than a year later the facility went offline because of a “massive leak in the hot salt tank,” according to SolarReserve, a partial owner of Crescent Dunes.

Through the first half of 2017 the plant generated no electricity and no sales, according to its disclosures to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Yet in April 2017 the Department of Energy proclaimed Crescent Dunes a “success story” taken from “mirage to reality,” “a milestone for the country’s energy future,” and a global “blueprint for solar projects.”

In a fact sheet advertised as “up-to-date as of June 2017,” the Energy Department claimed Crescent Dunes was “operational” and projected energy generation of up to 482,000 megawatt hours a year. The plant never generated that much power in the entirety of its operations. An Energy Department spokesman declined comment.

Crescent Dunes resumed operations in the latter half of 2017, but problems persisted. In a June 2019 report to the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, NV Energy described how the plant “has experienced frequent and prolonged outages.” Crescent Dunes’ performance problems were so severe that they posed “the most significant risk” for NV Energy’s ability to meet its renewable portfolio standard obligations, the utility said.

Last summer Crescent Dunes’ hot salt tanks “suffered a catastrophic failure, which caused ground contamination and required the removal of the solar tower that is essential to the plant’s ability to generate any electrical power to function as designed,” SolarReserve said in recent court filings.

Operations halted again. The Department of Energy sent a formal default notice in September. Weeks later Crescent Dunes’ sole customer, NV Energy, terminated its power purchase agreement. The plant has no prospective clients and couldn’t supply energy even if it found a buyer. Even if the plant began running again, it would face competition from solar photovoltaic projects. Crescent Dunes’ average price was more than $132 per megawatt hour, but Techren Solar II in Nevada’s Eldorado Valley offered the same unit of power for $31.15 in the fourth quarter of 2019.

SolarReserve, which did not respond to requests for comment, is now suing for the equitable dissolution of Tonopah Solar Energy LLC, the entity created to run Crescent Dunes. In November SolarReserve told a federal court that “the plant is moribund—neither generating energy nor revenue” and that Tonopah is “insolvent,” has debt of more than $440 million with “assets of much less value,” and is “unable to pay its debts as they come due.”

Scores of new businesses fail, but private investors lose their own money. Government investments turn on politics more than feasibility. Hand the energy economy over to the government in the name of climate change, and there will be countless more Crescent Dunes fiascoes.
Title: China banning single use plastics?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 22, 2020, 12:17:16 AM
If true, this is huge!
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on January 22, 2020, 05:37:38 AM
I agree.  Like some of my tenants, you shouldn't be allowed to use plastics if you can't successfully land them in a garbage can.
Title: 500 scientists see natural factors
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 22, 2020, 01:34:26 PM
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on January 23, 2020, 09:58:20 AM

Great post, great points made.  This is not denial; it is realism.

* Main points
1 Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming.
 2. Warming is far slower than predicted.
 3. Climate policy relies on inadequate models.
 4. CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a plant food that is essential to all life on Earth. Photosynthesis is a blessing. More CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth: additional CO2 in the air has promoted growth in global plant biomass. It is also good for agriculture, increasing the yields of crops worldwide.
 5. Global warming has not increased natural disasters.
 6. Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities.
 7. There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic.

I would add that fracking has reduced emissions more than wind and solar and that new nuclear power along with greater world prosperity could virtually end man-made emissions - if anyone really cared.

More than half the reported problem is falsified, "adjusted" or manipulated data.  You will change behavior voluntarily after you gain people's trust.  So far, they are only trying to change behavior coercively.
Title: Dirty Solar
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 29, 2020, 03:02:27 PM
Title: Refillable plastic bottles?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 02, 2020, 08:00:09 AM
Title: Re: Refillable plastic bottles?
Post by: G M on February 02, 2020, 09:30:41 AM

Mexicokes in glass bottles taste better.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 02, 2020, 08:14:24 PM
KISS-- aluminum cans instead of plastic bottles.
Title: Re: Environmental issues
Post by: DougMacG on February 03, 2020, 09:26:23 AM
KISS-- aluminum cans instead of plastic bottles.

Yes, looks like recycling alum uses the least energy:

Fill the oceans with aluminum?  Big problem is cultures using rivers for garbage disposal.  The mess is tied to poverty.

I like re-using glass.  Single use, it seems to me, is not optimal.  Clean it and refill it.  Problem is I keep dropping and breaking them.  Also, freeze-ups are tough on glass.
Title: Study: Fracking does not dirty water tabe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 16, 2020, 04:07:33 PM
Title: Fracking contaminates water table
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 17, 2020, 02:28:35 PM
From a MD friend:
Title: WSJ: Solar beginning to eclipse fossil fuels
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 18, 2020, 01:32:16 PM
Title: WSJ: The case for plastic bags
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 18, 2020, 02:42:27 PM
Plastic Bags Help the Environment
Banning them provides no benefit other than to let activists lord their preferences over others.
By John Tierney
Feb. 18, 2020 12:54 pm ET

Why do politicians want to take away our plastic bags and straws? This moral panic is intensifying even as evidence mounts that banning plastic is both a waste of money and harmful to the environment. If you want to protect dolphins and sea turtles, you should take special care to place your plastic in the trash, not the recycling bin. And if you’re worried about climate change, you’ll cherish those gossamer grocery bags once you learn the facts about plastic.

During the 1970s, environmentalists wanted to restrict the use of plastic because it was made from petroleum. When the “energy crisis” abated, they denounced plastic for not being biodegradable in landfills. They blamed it for littering the landscape, clogging sewer drains and global warming. Plastic from our “throwaway society” was killing vast numbers of sea creatures, according to a 2017 BBC documentary series. The series prompted Queen Elizabeth II to ban plastic straws and bottles from the royal estates, and it galvanized so many other leaders that greens celebrate what they call the “Blue Planet Effect,” named for the series.

More than 100 countries now restrict single-use plastic bags, and Pope Francis has called for global regulation of plastic. The European Parliament has voted to ban single-use plastic straws, plates and cutlery across the Continent next year. In the U.S., hundreds of municipalities and eight states—California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont—have outlawed or restricted single-use plastic bags. Greens in California are pushing a referendum to require all plastic packaging and single-use foodware in the state to be recyclable, and the European Union has unveiled a similar plan.

Popular misconceptions have sustained the plastic panic. Environmentalists frequently claim that 80% of plastic in the oceans comes from land-based sources, but a team of scientists from four continents reported in 2018 that more than half the plastic in the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” came from fishing boats—mostly discarded nets and other gear. Another study, published last year by Canadian and South African researchers, found that more than 80% of the plastic bottles that had washed up on the shore of Inaccessible Island, an uninhabited extinct volcano in the South Atlantic, originated in China. They must have been tossed off boats from Asia, the greatest source of what researchers call “mismanaged waste.”

Of the plastic carried into oceans by rivers, a 2017 study in Nature Communications estimated, 86% comes from Asia and virtually all the rest from Africa and South America. Some plastic in America is littered on beaches and streets, and winds up in sewer drains. But researchers have found that laws restricting plastic bags and food containers don’t reduce litter. The resources wasted on these anti-plastic campaigns would be better spent on more programs to discourage all kinds of littering.

Another myth—that recycling plastic prevents it from polluting the oceans—stems from the enduring delusion that plastic waste can be profitably turned into other products. But sorting plastic is so labor-intensive, and the resulting materials of so little value, that most municipalities pay extra to get rid of their plastic waste, mostly by shipping it to Asian countries with low labor costs. The chief destination for many years was China, which two years ago banned most imports. It now goes to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Some of the plastic from your recycling bin probably ends up in the ocean because it goes to a country with a high rate of “mismanaged waste.”

Yet single-use plastic bags aren’t the worst environmental choice at the supermarket—they’re the best. High-density polyethylene bags are a marvel of economic, engineering and environmental efficiency. They’re cheap, convenient, waterproof, strong enough to hold groceries but thin and light enough to make and transport using scant energy, water or other resources. Though they’re called single-use, most people reuse them, typically as trash-can liners. When governments ban them, consumers buy thicker substitutes with a bigger carbon footprint.

Once discarded, they take up little room in landfills. That they aren’t biodegradable is a plus, because they don’t release greenhouse gases like decomposing paper and cotton bags. The plastic bags’ tiny quantity of carbon, extracted from natural gas, goes back underground, where it can be safely sequestered from the atmosphere and ocean in a modern landfill with a sturdy lining.

If the goal is to reduce carbon emissions and plastic pollution, we can take some obvious steps: Repeal misguided plastic-bag bans. Stop exporting plastic waste to countries that allow it to leak into the ocean. Help those countries establish modern systems for collecting and processing their own plastic waste. Send plastic waste straight to landfills and incinerators. Step up enforcement of laws and treaties that restrict nations from polluting the ocean and prohibit mariners from littering the seas.

Plastic bans are a modern version of medieval sumptuary laws, which forbade merchants and other commoners to wear clothes or use products that offended the sensibilities of aristocrats and clergymen. Green activists have the power to impose their preferences now that environmentalism is essentially the state religion in progressive strongholds. They can lord it over the modern merchant class and corporations desperately trying to curry social favor. The plastic panic gives politicians and greens the leverage to shake down companies afraid that they’ll be regulated out of business.

Most important, the plastic panic gives today’s elites a renewed sense of moral superiority. No matter how much fuel politicians and environmentalists burn on their flights to international climate conferences, they can still feel virtuous as they issue their edicts to grocery shoppers.

Mr. Tierney is a contributing editor of City Journal, from whose winter issue this was adapted.
Title: Kellogs, palm oil, and orangutans
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 24, 2020, 02:56:23 PM
Title: Emissions down
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 02, 2020, 07:53:44 PM
Title: Re: Emissions down
Post by: G M on March 02, 2020, 08:06:22 PM

Xi is doing an even more impressive job!
Title: Re: CA Waterboard on keeping trash out of the waterways
Post by: G M on March 23, 2020, 11:29:24 AM

Keeping the waterways clean is a good thing. Trying to ban everything that might be used to litter isn’t the correct approach. I would be willing to bet that a lot of the “vibrant diversity” California welcomes is disposing of trash in the same ways commonly done back in their sh*thole countries. But that truth is unpalatable, so virtue signaling via plastic bag and drinking straw bans will have to suffice.
Title: Sun entering solar minimum
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 18, 2020, 02:12:14 PM
Title: "I apologize for climate scare"
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 01, 2020, 07:31:35 AM
Title: Richard Epstein: Trump helps the Environment by Enraging Environmentalists
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 31, 2020, 09:51:23 AM
Trump Helps the Environment by Enraging Environmentalists
His plan to reform NEPA would speed replacement of old, dirty projects with cleaner new ones.
By Richard A. Epstein
July 30, 2020 6:50 pm ET

Train cars carrying coal roll into an unloading facility in Newport News, Va, May 22, 2014.

The Trump administration recently published the first comprehensive revision of federal regulations under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970. Environmental groups predictably denounced the initiative. Among its many detractors, the Wilderness Society insists that these regulations will “essentially gut” NEPA by putting “polluters in charge of environment protection.” This objection wholly overlooks NEPA’s deeply dysfunctional features.

From its inception in 1970, NEPA had two basic objectives: first, to require all new projects to receive a thorough and transparent vetting of potential environmental risks; second, to expand democratic participation in the review process via public hearings.

Five decades later, it is clear that NEPA has achieved neither. The most obvious sign of institutional distress is the long time—4.5 years on average—to complete the elaborate environmental impact statement before work can commence. Today’s NEPA behemoth is far from its 1970 origins, which is why the Trump administration’s update is overdue.

Environmentalist critics work on the flawed assumption that the longer the review period, the greater the environmental protection. But that’s untrue for the large majority of important projects. As I detail in a report for ConservAmerica, these new projects typically replace older, more dangerous projects and use superior technologies unavailable generations ago. When NEPA review delays a state-of-the-art pipeline, for instance, that requires greater shipment of fossil fuels by rail and truck, which is far more likely to cause major spills with extensive collateral damage.

As drafted, NEPA requires the government agency in charge of a review to consider “every significant aspect of environmental impact,” a clear impossibility for complex multibillion-dollar projects. Typically the truncation of that open-ended inquiry leads officials to become preoccupied with small defects and overlook the major improvements in both consumer welfare and environmental safety that new roads, bridges, airports and other projects promise.

Ostensibly, the report released in July by the Trump administration is concerned only with NEPA’s extensive procedural provisions. It contains many useful proposals on how to coordinate and streamline a cumbersome process often divided haphazardly among multiple agencies. One set of needed changes is strict timelines and page limits on environmental impact statements to speed up and focus the review process.

But by far the most important proposal is to soften the devastating consequences that flow from any asserted NEPA violation. Courts have wrongly created a strong presumption that any deviation from NEPA’s exacting requirements, however trivial, requires that the permit be denied. The endless rounds of NEPA reviews led to the abandonment of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline this month before construction could begin, and to shutting down for the flimsiest of reasons the Dakota Access Pipeline after three years of successful operation.

NEPA rules also deviate from sound judicial practice. An injunction is appropriate only when a plaintiff can show irreparable harm, which can’t be demonstrated solely by showing that the project developer does not yet have in place a perfect plan for containing oil spills that are unlikely to occur in the first place. Ironically, NEPA’s laborious process undercuts the statutory objective of making informed public decisions. Trying to decide everything at the initial stage of review requires speculation and invites errors in judgment. A far more sensible process would allow work to begin while these details are ironed out through project upgrades, backed by public and private inspections, strong liability protections and extensive insurance policies. These sensible precautions would sharply cut down both the frequency and severity of adverse environmental impacts.

As drafted, NEPA was intended to invite all segments of the public to submit comments to improve decision making. But in 1971, in Calvert Cliffs’ Coordinating Committee v. U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia invited a flood of new litigation by holding that any disappointed party may challenge an agency approval in federal court. Even if the bulk of informed opinion supports a new project, an extreme outlier can sue to stop it. NEPA includes no provision establishing a private right of action, but the practice has become so ingrained that it can’t be undone by regulation.

Congress should act to stop the hijacking of the permit process to block the use of fossil fuels throughout the economy. Informed, democratic decision making requires consistent environmental regulation, not a patchwork of dubious judicial decisions that turn NEPA into a legal swamp that now must be drained.

Mr. Epstein is a law professor at New York University, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.
Title: WSJ: CA's Green Blackouts
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 21, 2020, 11:44:33 AM
California’s Green Blackouts
If you eliminate fossil fuels, power shortages are inevitable.
By The Editorial Board
Aug. 19, 2020 7:20 pm ET

Millions of Californians have lost power in recent days amid a brutal heat wave, and state regulators warn of more outages in the days and perhaps years to come. Welcome to California’s green new normal, a harbinger of a fossil-free world.

“These blackouts, which occurred without prior warning or enough time for preparation, are unacceptable and unbefitting of the nation’s largest and most innovative state,” Gov. Gavin Newsom declared Monday while ordering regulators to pull out all stops to keep power on. “This cannot stand.”

Mr. Newsom is demanding an investigation, though he can start with his party’s obsessions over climate and eliminating fossil fuels. Even former Gov. Gray Davis admitted the culprit is the state’s anti-fossil fuel policies. “The bottom line is, people don’t want lights to go down,” he told Politico. “People also want a carbon-free future. Sometimes those two aspirations come into conflict.” They certainly do.

California’s Independent System Operator (Caiso) has been warning for years that the state’s increasing dependence on intermittent renewables, especially solar, is making it harder to ensure reliable power. Renewables currently make up about 36% of California’s electric generation, and Democrats have set a 60% mandate for 2030 and 100% for 2045.

Caiso in part blamed cloud cover, weak winds and failures at a couple of power plants for this weekend’s power outages. But this happens when you rush to shut down power plants to meet government diktats and reduce the amount of reliable baseload power. Unlike fossil-fuel plants, solar and wind can’t ramp up quickly when other power generators go down. Solar power also plunges in the evening, and the state didn’t have enough backup power to compensate to meet high demand.

Dozens of natural-gas plants that can ramp up power on demand have closed since 2013—enough to supply about four million households—so California is relying more on energy imported from other states when needed. In normal times it imports about 15% of its energy. But the Golden State’s neighbors are also experiencing heat waves, and many have also been replacing fossil fuels with renewables too.

Over the weekend, Caiso imported hydropower from the Pacific Northwest, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released emergency water flows from the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River to generate hydroelectricity. Californians are fortunate that reservoirs were relatively full this year after a somewhat wet winter.

California's Renewable Ramp-Up
Percentage of California's electricitygenerated by renewables
Source: California Energy Commission
Los Angeles’s Department of Water and Power, which draws nearly 20% of its electricity from out-of-state coal, also chipped in supply. And Mr. Newsom on Monday waived the state’s emissions standards to allow businesses and utilities to run fossil-fuel generators, many procured for emergency power outages during wildfire seasons.

The power outages will get worse and more frequent as the state becomes more reliant on renewables. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has directed utilities to triple their battery storage for electricity by 2026. But this won’t make up for the natural-gas and nuclear plants that are slated to shut down in the interim—or the state’s power shortfalls during the heat wave.

Batteries are also expensive and present their own environmental hazards. Caiso has warned that the PUC isn’t accounting for battery recycling and replacement costs or how several days of cloudy weather could reduce solar energy storage. Batteries need to be replaced after 10 or so years, and disposing of their toxic metals is expensive.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the capital costs for a solar plant with an attached battery system run between 50% and 150% higher than for a new natural-gas plant. Natural-gas plants are still much less expensive after accounting for fuel costs, and they generally have a lifespan of 30 or more years.

Mr. Newsom on Monday acknowledged “gaps” in reliability amid the state’s transition to renewables while affirming the state remains “committed to radically changing the way we produce and consume energy.”

In other words, Democrats in Sacramento are so committed to ending fossil fuels that the hoi polloi are simply going to have to make some sacrifices—such as living with blackouts as if the state were a Third World country. So shut up and broil, and wait for the Green New Deal to do this for the rest of America.
Title: Re: WSJ: CA's Green Blackouts
Post by: DougMacG on August 22, 2020, 04:17:50 AM
WSJ, correctly associate blackouts with becoming a third world country.

Biden', Harris, Democrats promise green new deal, code for making us a third world country with energy outages, shortages, wild price swings and blackouts.

After all the turmoil since the seventies, America became energy independent and the world's number one producer of gas and oil. We don't rely on Middle East war or oil anymore. The switch to natural gas has been the biggest greenhouse gas advancement in modern history.

Democrats promise to chuck that all away.

Thinking you can do it all with wind and solar without interruption is truly Flat Earth material, that the Earth doesn't rotate and that the sun and the wind stay up all night, every night.

Sorry, just not so., deniers of science.

Amidst all that, they are afraid to utter the words
Title: Prescribed burns
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 04, 2020, 02:58:16 PM
Title: Re: Environmental issues, wildfires
Post by: DougMacG on October 11, 2020, 05:12:59 AM

As of October 5, fires have consumed 7.8 million acres of land in the US over the last year. That’s less over the same period that burned in 2017, 2015, 2012, and 2011. Moreover, it’s a small fraction—about 1/4th—of the yearly average between 1926 and 1952, according to the official historical data.

Fires were MUCH bigger before "climate change".  Isn't THAT inconvenient?
Chart is too large, scroll across to see current years:


California is 4.3% of US landmass—but has 50% of its burn area in 2020

Texas is Hotter Than California and Has More Forests, but Far Fewer Megafires
Title: Re: CA Waterboard on keeping trash out of the waterways
Post by: G M on January 04, 2021, 10:32:44 AM


Keeping the waterways clean is a good thing. Trying to ban everything that might be used to litter isn’t the correct approach. I would be willing to bet that a lot of the “vibrant diversity” California welcomes is disposing of trash in the same ways commonly done back in their sh*thole countries. But that truth is unpalatable, so virtue signaling via plastic bag and drinking straw bans will have to suffice.
Title: Re: CA Waterboard on keeping trash out of the waterways
Post by: DougMacG on January 05, 2021, 06:56:08 AM
G M:  "Keeping the waterways clean is a good thing. Trying to ban everything that might be used to litter isn’t the correct approach. I would be willing to bet that a lot of the “vibrant diversity” California welcomes is disposing of trash in the same ways commonly done back in their sh*thole countries. But that truth is unpalatable, so virtue signaling via plastic bag and drinking straw bans will have to suffice."

   - Yes.

Like the hammer and the nail, government knows coercion.  Tax it, regulate it or ban it, that's governing, even if the government is allowed to do it itself, like gambling and the state lotteries.  But one size fits all isn't right or best for most things.  If a hospital or an ambulance driver have a sanitary purpose for a plastic bag, then a lobbyist and a technocrat get together and carve out exceptions and pretty soon plastic bags are banned for some, legal for others, depending on how those in control view the [political] importance of their subjects' needs. Like the frog enjoying the warm water before it boils, they hope you don't notice we aren't fighting over straws, bags or masks.  It's all about who controls whom.