Tuesday, October 24, 2017




Climate excuses add up as climate theory fails

Tony Abbott may have annoyed the climate change mob with his speech in London, but a far more serious problem for that industry is an admission that global temperatures have not been following climate models.

Besides the two papers making that admission, including one in Nature Geoscience, that massive industry also faces the problem of a possible La Niña this year, which will pull global temperatures down.

Selling disaster stories about rising temperatures, the main way the industry justifies itself, is harder if temperatures are falling rather than rising.

The June 19 paper, "Causes of differences in model and satellite tropospheric warming rates", states in part: ‘We conclude that model overestimation of tropospheric warming in the early 21st century is partly due to systematic deficiencies in the post-2000 external forcings used in model simulations.’

Scientists have made this observation before and been bitterly attacked for their troubles, but this paper is notable for including, as authors, the global warming leading light Professor Michael Mann, of Pennsylvania State University and one of Australia’s most distinguished scientists in this area, Professor Matthew England of the University of NSW.

In other words, the climate establishment has finally conceded some ground by agreeing that climate models may not be right all the time.

The concession is still comparatively limited as the paper refers to the troposphere (the upper atmosphere) and, as the authors have subsequently made clear, they blame the difference on a combination of ‘internal variations’ and short-term natural cooling such as volcanic eruptions injecting material into the atmosphere.

They are not abandoning global warming as a theory, merely explaining why the models are falling short. The implication is that the models will still accurately forecast warming over the long term.

The second paper "Natural climate variability, part 2: Interpretation of the post-2000 temperature standstill" published on October 2 in the less prestigious International Journal of Heat and Technology, adjusts recorded temperatures by removing the massive El Niño that rolled through the climate system in 2015-2016.

Scientists have claimed that the obvious spike in temperatures in 2015 and 2016 were the end of the so-called ‘pause’ in global temperatures. The paper, by three Italian academics led by a Nicola Scafetta of the University of Naples Frederico II, states ‘by removing the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) signature, the authors show that the temperature trend from 2000 to 2016 clearly diverges from the general circulation model (GCM) simulations.

Thus, the GCMs models used to support the AGWT (anthropogenic global warming theory) are very likely flawed.’

This is the sort of inconvenient paper that the climate establishment is adept at ignoring and discrediting, and Professor Scafetta, an astronomer and statistician rather than a climate scientist, has theories on the sun and the planets influencing climate that make his straight statistical work easy to unfairly deride.

However, as the climate establishment is making similar noises, albeit while insisting that global warming theory still rules, Scafetta’s paper has caused comparatively little fuss.

Any laymen/women with expertise in the Excel spreadsheets can also download the earth’s global temperature records from the Hadley Climate Unit site in the UK and examine the resulting graph for themselves, without the mixed benefit of highly trained scientists interpreting the results.

That graph clearly shows the spike in temperatures in 2015-16 is due to the previously mentioned El Niño, but it is equally clear that temperatures have fallen back to about where they were before El Niño, at least to judge by just looking at a 13-month rolling average.

Then there is the real possibility of La Niña, the opposite of El Niño, pulling temperatures down. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology takes a typically conservative line on the warning signs of cooler waters (as measured by satellite) in the Pacific by saying on its site, ‘The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral. The surface of the tropical Pacific has warmed over the past fortnight as a result of weaker trade winds.

‘International climate models surveyed by the Bureau suggest this recent surface warming may only be temporary, with further cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean likely. Five of the eight models suggest sea surface temperatures will reach La Niña thresholds by Dec. 2017, but only three maintain values for long enough to be classified as a La Niña event.”

The private US meteorological service Vencore Weather, however, said on its site in early October ‘there is now substantial agreement amongst numerous computer forecast models that La Niña conditions are likely to become established over the next couple of months and current observations back this notion’.

As the Vencore site also points out ‘if history is any guide, once La Niña becomes well-established in the tropical Pacific Ocean, global temperatures should drop noticeably relative-to-normal’. This will make life difficult for the many global warming proponents trying to push a bleak view of the world’s future.

These efforts are not helped by the many wild-eyed forecasts of the dreadful effects of higher temperatures, including sharp increases in the number of deaths that will result from problems such as heat stroke affecting the elderly.

In his speech to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Abbott pointed out that in developed countries more deaths result from winter cold than summer warmth, so that overall a slight increase in temperatures should result in fewer deaths due to changes in the weather. This difficult to refute point drew howls of outrage from the climate establishment, but Abbott did not take the next step.

As is now well established, death rates among those vulnerable to extreme weather, usually the elderly, depend on many factors including access to air conditioning or heating, or on whether they have been warned to drink more fluids (hot days) or wrap up warmly (cold days).

By concentrating on possible additional risk for this group in coming decades, climate policies are creating more risk now by pricing air conditioning and heating beyond the means of the elderly.

In the meantime, we are being handed reasons, which critical people might call excuses, as to why climate theory does not seem to be working.

SOURCE





Irish Government Proposes To Weaken EU Climate Targets

The Irish government circulated a fresh set of proposals aimed at weakening EU climate legislation last Monday. In a leaked paper dated October 16, which was circulated to other member states, Ireland argued against several proposals designed to ensure the EU meets its renewable energy and greenhouse gas goals for 2030.

The EU has set a collective aim of having 27% renewables in its energy mix by 2030, and is currently negotiating how it will meet this target, as member states have refused to take on any more binding national targets after 2020.

The proposed solution is that countries will “pledge” their own renewables targets for 2030 and the European Commission will assess whether they are sufficiently ambitious. The commission will then monitor member states’ progress, with a checkpoint scheduled for 2025. If it looks like member states will not meet their collective 27% goal, governments would have to pay into an EU renewables fund which would invest in additional projects across the union.

Ireland proposed several amendments last week. It believes countries which fail to meet their 2020 renewables targets should get a fresh start in 2021 rather than being expected to meet and exceed that level in 2021. A source with knowledge of the talks said Ireland was isolated on this issue.

Ireland is also opposed to payments to the new EU renewables fund being mandatory. It argues that such a requirement would “reduce the ability to invest in renewable energy” in countries that are currently behind target.

Ireland is also against being required to be 50% towards its 2030 target by 2025, arguing this is “not practical”….

As part of the new EU climate and energy rules, countries will be required to publish detailed strategies for the 2021-30 period. However, the Irish paper argues this is “not realistic”. At a meeting of environment ministers last week, a senior diplomat representing Ireland argued that 2021-30 climate and energy measures were not yet budgeted for and “perhaps society is not yet fully on board”.

SOURCE





Yes, I’m a global warming skeptic

By Rob Jenkins

So sue me. Throw me in jail. I know some blue-state attorneys general would like to.

What I don’t know is if any substantive warming is happening or not, and neither do you. How can we reach firm conclusions about long-term trends based on a few decades of data, when scientists say Earth is millions of years old?

This isn’t about climate change. Although warmists keep trying to conflate the two, mostly to cover up holes in their theories, global warming and climate change are not the same. No one disputes that the climate has been changing for as long as the planet has existed, generally from warmer to cooler but occasionally in the other direction.

I’m simply skeptical of claims that Earth has gotten significantly warmer in recent years; that humans are to blame; that it’s likely to get much worse; and that warming is necessarily a bad thing.

No, I’m not a scientist. But as a trained science writer, recruited by both the NSA and the U.S. Department of Energy, I can tell you that the prevailing theory of scientific communication is “consensualism,” which means that what is true is what the science establishment can convince people is true. In other words, contrary to popular perception, public science is less about “proof” than about persuasion, based on available evidence.

This can easily be seen in the way researchers change their minds, over time, about things like how much fat we should have in our diet. As more evidence comes to light, conclusions naturally change. Meanwhile, science journalists use researchers’ findings to influence public opinion and behavior.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But given such a system, doesn’t it make sense to be just a bit skeptical?

Of course, I’m always skeptical of any research that claims to find exactly what it set out to find. True science rarely works that way.

I’m skeptical of data sets that must be “adjusted” based on assumptions about what they ought to be.

I’m skeptical of researchers who talk openly, in emails, about manipulating the data.

I’m skeptical of computer models that claim to predict the temperature in 50 years when we can’t project the path of a hurricane with any certainty more than a few days out.

I’m skeptical of wolf-criers. It’s hard to take seriously dire warnings about melting polar ice caps when we were told, 10 years ago, that they’d be gone by now.

And finally, I’m skeptical anytime adherence to a theory becomes a badge of political correctness. If anyone should habitually defy the PC police, it’s scientists.

Fortunately, despite what you may have heard, thousands of scientists are just as skeptical as I am, for many of the same reasons. And while the warmists are busy cherry-picking data to advance their political agenda, the skeptics will continue actively searching for the truth.

SOURCE






President Trump Shouldn’t Give in to the Solar Industry’s Drama

President Trump is about to decide whether to raise the price of solar energy, based on an economic theory refuted in 1845.

In response to a formal complaint, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled this month that imported solar cells are putting too much competitive pressure on domestic cell producers. The commission will now examine what remedy would be appropriate, and then it will be up to the Trump administration to decide whether to take action. The likely remedy would be to impose tariffs on imported solar cells, thus protecting U.S. cell manufacturers and raising prices for consumers.

The solar industry is already receiving this sort of protection. In 2014, in response to a complaint by U.S. manufacturers, the Commerce Department imposed tariffs of up to 78.42 percent on imports of solar panels made in China, increasing the price for any U.S. consumer purchasing the panels. But that wasn’t enough for the U.S. companies filing this year’s complaint relating to the cells that make up the panels.

This attempt to raise the price of using sunlight for energy reminds me of one of the most famous documents in the history of free trade. In 1845, the French economist Frederic Bastiat wrote “The Candlemakers’ Petition,” in which he imagined the makers of candles and street lamps petitioning the French parliament for protection from a most dastardly foreign competitor:

Let’s hope that this time President Trump stands up for American consumers and workers and tells the uncompetitive solar panel manufacturers to go build a better mousetrap.
“We are suffering from the ruinous competition of a rival who apparently works under conditions so far superior to our own for the production of light that he is flooding the domestic market with it at an incredibly low price [ …] This rival … is none other than the sun.”

After all, Bastiat’s imaginary petitioners noted, how can the makers of candles and lanterns compete with a light source that is totally free?

Thank goodness we wouldn’t fall for such nonsense today—or would we? Solar manufacturers are asking for pretty much the same thing: protection from a cheaper competitor.

Perhaps the comparison is unfair. After all, the solar manufacturers haven’t been asking for protection from the sun, only from foreign companies.

What’s the difference, though? Any source that supplies solar panels to American consumers and businesses is a competitor of the American industry. And any source that can deliver any product cheaper than American companies is a tough competitor. Domestic producers will no doubt gain by imposing a tariff on their Chinese competitors, but American companies that install solar power will lose, by having to pay higher prices for panels.

Indeed, as is often in the case in trade matters, not all the companies in the industry are in agreement. This case was brought by two companies, but the largest solar trade group in the nation, the Solar Energy Industries Association, opposes tariffs. The association says that if the two companies get what they are asking for, prices for solar power will rise, consumer demand will fall, and the industry will lose some 88,000 jobs, about one-third of the current American solar workforce.

Interestingly, the two companies that brought the complaint, Suniva and SolarWorldAmericasTwo, are based in the United States but are respectively owned by German and Chinese firms. It’s ironic that companies made possible by cross-border investment are now seeking protection from cross-border trade.

Businesses would always prefer a world without competitors. If they can’t outcompete their rivals in the marketplace, they may be tempted to ask the government for protection. And our trade laws actually invite such complaints. But economists agree that consumers, and the businesses that use imported products, lose more on net than producers gain. Protectionism is a bad deal for the American economy. And in this case, a bad deal for anyone who wants to see more solar energy in the United States.

Let’s hope that this time President Trump stands up for American consumers and workers and tells the uncompetitive solar panel manufacturers to go build a better mousetrap.

SOURCE




Electric hybrid car emits four times more CO₂ than advertised, Australian real-world testing shows

A purportedly eco-friendly hybrid electric car emits four times more greenhouse gas than manufacturers claim, according to a report backed by Australia's motoring heavyweights that opens up a new front in the nation's energy policy tussle.

The report by the Australian Automobile Association, members of which include the NRMA and RACV and RACQ, says real-world testing reveals some new cars are using up to 59 per cent more fuel than advertised. Almost six in 10 exceeded the regulated limit for one or more pollutant in cold-start tests.

The AAA says consumers are being "increasingly ripped off", forking out for vehicle technology that cuts emissions in the laboratory, but not on the road.

It says the findings cast doubt on whether more stringent vehicle emissions laws – a move being considered by the Turnbull government – would reduce pollution and lower fuel use.

But environment groups accused the association of spreading "misinformation" and seeking to derail attempts to make Australian cars less polluting.

The AAA report, conducted following the Volkswagen emissions testing scandal, tested 30 popular Australian passenger and light commercial vehicles on Melbourne roads. It did not name makes or models.

Emissions and fuel use were tested under real driving conditions, with Australian fuel types, and urban, rural and freeway settings.

The report found that, on average, real-world fuel consumption was 23 per cent higher than laboratory results, including one diesel vehicle that used 59 per cent more fuel than lab tests indicated.

One fully charged plug-in hybrid electric car consumed 166 per cent more fuel than official figures suggest – or 337 per cent more when tested from a low charge. It also emitted four times more carbon dioxide than advertised.

Of 12 diesel vehicles tested, 11 exceeded the laboratory limit for nitrogen oxides emissions. Overall, 18 vehicles, or almost 60 per cent, failed to achieve the regulated emissions limit for one or more pollutant in cold-start tests.

The report concluded that vehicles with the highest emission standards had the largest discrepancy between lab and on-road fuel use results, and urged regulators to be "cautious" when implementing new vehicle emissions laws.

AAA chief executive Michael Bradley said Australia's motoring clubs want appropriate pollution reduction but "real world testing is clearly required if either consumers or the environment are to benefit".

The government has proposed reducing new car emissions to 105 grams of CO₂ per kilometre by 2025 – a change Mr Bradley has previously said was "extreme" and would make vehicles more expensive.

ClimateWorks Australia project manager Claire Painter said the government must include light-vehicle CO₂ emissions in its upcoming climate policy review if Australia is to meet its obligations under the Paris climate deal. The proposed new standard could save the average motorist $519 a year in fuel costs, she said.

Ms Painter accused the AAA of seeking to delay the introduction of new standards while the emissions testing regime was improved – adding this was unnecessary because while discrepancies existed between lab and on-road test methods, "the absolute emissions saved is roughly the same for both tests".

Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy urged the government "not to be put off by misinformation and to adopt strong pollution standards".

A spokesman for consumer group Choice, Tom Godfrey, said the test results showed consumers could not trust the fuel efficiency claims made by car manufacturers and "real world testing is clearly needed to ensure consumers are getting what they're paying for".

Mr Godfrey rejected suggestions this should mean the delay of more stringent emissions standards, saying "the government can walk and chew gum".

A spokeswoman for Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher said a ministerial forum on vehicle emissions could assess the merits of real world testing.

SOURCE

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Monday, October 23, 2017


Increased storminess is associated with global COOLING

Recent big storms hitting the USA have been seized on by Warmists with a gladsome heart.  There must now be hundreds of articles in the papers which assert that the recent wind events are PROOF of global warming.  We have frequently been told what blockheads we are to continue as skeptics in the face of such proof.

So of particular interest is a recent article here by some German climate skeptics which looked to history to see what climate conditions produced most storminess.  They found  five recent academic journal articles on storminess.  And they found that high levels of storminess were associated with unusually COLD conditions and low levels of solar activity.

So the recent big blows hitting the USA in fact prove global COOLING, if they prove anything.  I give below the conclusions of the article in both German and English:


Fazit: Die Sturmtätigkeit in Europa hat sich stets während Kältephasen verstärkt. Kälte und Stürme ereigneten sich im Zuge von solaren Schwächeperioden, die sich als Auslöser der Variabilität anbieten. Der übegeordnete Zyklus beträgt hier 1000 Jahre (Eddy-Zyklus), der wohl den Wechsel zwischen Römischer, Mittelalterlicher und Moderner Wärmeperiode und den dazwischengeschalteten Kältephasen gebracht hat. Ozeanzyklen modulieren das Geschehen im Jahrzehntmaßstab, mit einer Zyklendauer von 60 Jahren. Die Sturmrekonstruktionen aus Europe zeigen ein einheitliches Bild, das die Klimamodellierer und Attributions-Forscher nun aufgreifen, erklären und in ihre Simulationen aufnehmen müssen. Angesichts der starken und systematischen solaren Signatur wird es schwer werden, den verschwindend gering angenommenen Strahlungsantrieb für solare Schwankungen in der Klimagleichung aufrechtzuerhalten.

Conclusion: The storm activity in Europe has always intensified during cold phases. Cold and storms occurred in the course of solar weakness periods, which are the causes of variability. The overriding cycle is here 1000 years (Eddy cycle), which has probably brought the change between the Roman, Medieval and Modern periods of warmth and the intermediate cooling phases. Ocean cycles modulate events on a decade scale, with a cycle duration of 60 years. The storm reconstructions from Europe show a uniform picture, which the climate modelers and attribution researchers now take up, must explain and incorporate into their simulations. In view of the strong and systematic solar signature, it will be difficult to maintain the diminishingly small radiation forcing over solar fluctuations on the climatic conditions.




Climate change could spell disaster for coffee?

We seem to hear this scare at least once a year.  The truth is that coffee crops -- particularly the Arabica variety -- are quite sensitive to weather variations and do from time to time have "bad" years.  When that happens global warming is an easy culprit to blame. But there are problems with that:

All that global warming would do for ANY crop is to shift polewards the areas where it is grown.  There is no conceivable reason for a lasting shortage.  There are always new areas opening up for coffee growing anyway.

Secondly, coffee growers and regions would actually benefit from higher atmospheric CO2 levels. More CO2 stimulates plant growth and increases survival rates under drought and other adverse conditions.

Thirdly, if they understood any economics they would know that any lasting reduction in supply would cause price increases and sustained price increases would then draw out more supply.  Australia's "empty" North, for instance, could undoubtedly be opened up to coffee growing in some parts.  There is already a small operation on the Atherton Tableland.  They even grow Arabica there

Fourthly, you will note below that both drought and high rainfall are said to be bad for coffee growing.  Nice to have it both ways?


Centroamericano, a new variety of coffee plant, hasn’t sparked the buzz of, say, Starbucks’s latest novelty latte. But it may be the coolest thing in brewing: a tree that can withstand the effects of climate change.

Climate change could spell disaster for coffee, a crop that requires specific temperatures to flourish and that is highly sensitive to a range of pests. So scientists are racing to develop more tenacious strains of one of the world’s most beloved beverages.

In addition to Centroamericano, seven other new hybrid varieties are gradually trickling onto the market. And this summer, World Coffee Research – an industry-funded nonprofit group – kicked off field tests of 46 new varieties that it says will change coffee-growing as the world knows it.

“Coffee is not ready to adapt to climate change without help,” said Doug Welsh, the vice president and roastmaster of Peet’s Coffee, which has invested in WCR’s research.

Climate scientists say few coffee-growing regions will be spared the effects of climate change. Most of the world’s crop is cultivated around the equator, with the bulk coming from Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Rising temperatures are expected to shrink the available growing land in many of these countries, said Christian Bunn, a postdoctoral fellow at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture who has analyzed the shift in coffee regions. Warmer air essentially “chases” coffee up to cooler, higher altitudes – which are scarce in Brazil and Zimbabwe, among other coffee-growing countries.

Temperature is not climate change’s only projected impact in coffee-growing regions. Portions of Central America are expected to see greater rainfall and shorter dry seasons, which are needed to harvest and dry beans. In Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, rainfall is projected to decrease, potentially sparking dry periods.

These sorts of changes will pose problems for many crops. But coffee is particularly vulnerable, scientists say, because it has an unusually shallow gene pool. Only two species of coffee, arabica and robusta, are currently grown for human consumption. And farmers traditionally haven’t selected for diversity when breeding either plant – instead, essentially, they’ve been marrying generations of coffee with its close cousins.

As a result, there are precious few varieties of arabica that can grow in warmer or wetter conditions. In addition, diseases and pests that might be exacerbated under climate change could knock out entire fields of plants.

SOURCE





Climate Change: The Facts 2017

A new book is out under the above title by redoubtable skeptics such as Anthony Watts, Matt Ridley and Bjørn Lomborg.  Below is the very modest blurb

There are certain things best not discussed with neighbours over the fence, at barbeques and at gatherings of the extended family; these topics used to include sex and politics, but more recently climate change has become a sensitive issue and has, consequently, crept onto the best-to-avoid list. At the same time as climate change has assumed this status, it has become a topic more likely to be included in a church sermon. Indeed, while once considered the concern of scientific institutions, climate change is now increasingly incorporated into faith-based initiatives with even Pope Francis weighing in, issuing an encyclical on the subject as explained in chapter 16 by Paul Driessen.

There are those who believe Pope Francis, and admire another climate change exponent, Al Gore – who marketed An Inconvenient Truth with comment, ‘the fact of global warming is not in question’ and that ‘its consequences for the world we live in will be disastrous if left unchecked’. And then there are the die-hard sceptics who dare to doubt. Many claim that these climate sceptics and their support base have an undue political influence, successfully thwarting attempts to implement necessary public policy change.

This book is a collection of chapters by so-called climate sceptics. Each writer was asked to write on an aspect of the topic in which they are considered to have some expertise. None of them deny that climate change is real, but instead, they point out how extremely complex the topic of Earth’s climate is, with some of the contributors also querying the, often generally accepted, solutions.

As you will see, this is not a book with just one message, except perhaps that there is a need for more scrutiny of the data, and of our own prejudices. This book’s reason for being is to give pause for thought, and to throw some alternative ideas and considerations into the mix.

SOURCE





DC Swamp denizens strike back

Senators and crony corporatists deep-six proposed EPA reductions in biodiesel mandates

Paul Driessen

Despite what I thought were persuasive articles over the years (here, here and here, for example), corn ethanol and other biofuel mandates remain embedded in US law. As we have learned, once a government program is created, it becomes virtually impossible to eliminate, revise or even trim fat from it.

This year, it looked like this “rule of perpetuity” might finally change. The Trump-Pruitt Environmental Protection Agency proposed to use its “waiver authority” to reduce its 2018 biodiesel requirement by 15% (315 million gallons) and (possibly) lower the 2019 total down to the 1-billion-gallon minimum mandated by Congress. The proposed action would not affect corn or other ethanol production and blending requirements, despite growing problems with incorporating more ethanol into gasoline.

The biodiesel proposal reflects hard realities. Biodiesel costs over $1.30 more than regular diesel made from petroleum. Despite this far higher cost, it gets fewer miles per gallon than conventional diesel. Domestic US producers are unable to make enough biodiesel. In fact their output is at least 250 million gallons below the mandated amount; the rest is imported, keeping America reliant on foreign suppliers.

Some analyses conclude that domestic biodiesel output is actually one billion gallons below what the mandate explicitly and in reality requires. So the USA is truly reliant on imports to meet the quota.

Since biodiesel is made from soybean, palm, canola, flax, sunflower and other plant oils, those crops must be grown on millions of acres of land, using enormous amounts of water, fertilizer, pesticides and energy. (Biodiesel can also be made from waste vegetable oil and animal fat, but those are in minuscule supply.)

The demand for biodiesel is down. Volkswagen’s fraudulent emissions tampering reduced demand for diesel-powered cars, and more people are driving electric and hybrid vehicles. Fraud is also rampant over Renewable Identification Numbers that must be issued for every gallon of biodiesel produced and sold.

Moreover, the primary justifications for biodiesel (and all biofuels) are missing in action. Fracking and other technologies have ended worries about imminent depletion of petroleum supplies, and a growing body of evidence shows that climate chaos due to human emissions of (plant-fertilizing) carbon dioxide exists almost entirely in computer models and data manipulation – not in planetary reality.

Finally, foreign production often generates more social and environmental problems than biodiesel. Oil palm development in Indonesia, for example, causes deforestation, soil erosion, water and air pollution, habitat and wildlife losses, and social unrest. Plantation owners, investors and employees do well; some become very wealthy. Others, especially traditional landowners, suffer from reduced incomes and land use rights, takings of cropland they relied on for survival, rising land prices and other conflicts.

In addition, like any carbon-based fuel, biodiesel emits carbon dioxide when it is burned. In fact, over the entire life cycle of growing and harvesting crops, turning them into fuel, transporting and using them in vehicles, ethanol and biodiesel emit as much CO2 as petroleum – and require infinitely more acreage.

However, anyone who thinks reality, logic and common sense do or should play an essential role in public policy decisions has an abysmal understanding of how the Washington, DC Swamp operates. Programs, mandates and subsidies beget vocal beneficiaries, industries, lobbyists, and crony corporatist arrangements between them and elected representatives – who receive dinners, trips and campaign contributions in exchange for votes that perpetuate programs, mandates, subsidies and electoral success.

No sooner had EPA announced its intended biodiesel reductions, than the Swamp Denizens rose up in righteous wrath and united indignity. Several US Senators threatened to block confirmation of President Trump’s EPA nominees, unless the agency abandons its plans. Confronted with this reality, EPA caved. The biodiesel quotas remain, and will increase even further. The DC Swamp won – this round.

It’s pretty easy to understand why Illinois Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth would battle EPA over biodiesel. Hers is a farm state, with a lot of Big Biofuel farmers and distillers, and her party has become solidly anti-hydrocarbon and anti-Trump. These days, Democrats line up largely in lockstep in opposition to domestic drilling, pipelines and refineries – though hardly on any personal actions to reduce fossil fuel use in their homes, offices, vehicles or especially air travel.

However, biofuel advocacy and confirmation blocking has become bipartisan. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is leading the charge. The powerful Republican chairs the Judiciary Committee and serves on the Agriculture, Budget, Finance and Tax Committees.  He was once a self-proclaimed “pig farmer,” but these days he and his family are mostly involved in growing corn for ethanol and soybeans for biodiesel.

Indeed, the Grassley family together collected $1.4 million in farm subsidies between 1995 and 2014.

Even Senator Joni Ernst (also R-Iowa) is on the nominee blockade bandwagon. She may have been raised on a pig farm and learned how to drain swamps, kill pork and make special interests squeal. (Recall the famous campaign ad.) But she is also on the Ag Committee, and Iowa is the corn state. Indeed, corn grown on acreage equivalent to her entire state (36 million acres) is converted to ethanol every year.

These senators (and many House and Senate colleagues) are determined that ethanol, biodiesel and other biofuel mandates and “targets” will always and only go in one direction: upward.

They are all convinced that any change, no matter how small or how focused on foreign imports of biodiesel, is a potential threat to the entire biofuel program, including their beloved corn ethanol program. (Even worse, the EPA proposal could threaten their future campaign coffers and reelection prospects.)

They’ve promised to “oppose any effort” to reduce blending levels for ethanol in gasoline or “undermine the integrity” of biofuel programs. They threatened to “vote down” the President’s EPA nominees, unless the agency totally scrubbed its plan to reduce biodiesel mandates and imports. They claim these actions are necessary to protect energy innovation, fuel diversity and jobs. Some still talk about biofuel preventing petroleum depletion and dangerous manmade climate change.

Perhaps they are all smoking that special tobacco product they sell in Boulder, Colorado. But they have powerful positions and powerful friends, and they mean business. So the EPA and White House capitulated.

The Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS) legislation began as an environmental program. But it has become a major farm subsidy program – and a vital campaign contributions program. It distorts markets by creating cash flows that people depend on for their livelihoods, lifestyles and lobbying fees.

In the case of ethanol, it involves growing corn that requires millions of acres of land, billions of gallons of water, and vast quantities of pesticides, fertilizers, tractor fuel and natural gas … to produce energy that drives up food prices, damages small engines, and gets one-third fewer miles per gallon than gasoline.

With biodiesel, we have congressionally mandated production levels that are unnecessary and unrealistic. They are far above what farmers have shown they can grow and produce here in the USA. The mandates are also well above the amounts of biodiesel we need. And yet the laws require that production from biodiesel, corn ethanol and advanced biofuels (from switchgrass, et cetera) climbs steadily year after year.

For once we have some people at EPA who might – and should – look into all of this, and implement practical, defensible reductions in these domestic and foreign biofuel levels. We should not saddle them with more politically driven mandates that hurt the environment and American consumers.

But we did. The Washington Swamp won. That’s how it operates. However, the battle is not over. It has merely been joined. Next time around, there may not be critical nominees to hold hostage.

Via email




Climate change is ‘the biggest scientific fraud ever perpetrated’: scientist

Social scientist and author Steven Mosher called the global warming movement an enemy of the sanctity of innocent human life at an international symposium that began online Tuesday to address the anti-Christian nature of population control.

Mosher, long recognized as an expert in China’s domestic policy, started his address by explaining that the earth’s temperature has always fluctuated, sometimes dramatically.

“I did a historical study of climate change in China, which shows that the climate in China 2,000 years ago was several degrees warmer than it is today,” Mosher said, adding, “And of course that was a long time before we started hearing about climate change and global warming.”

The bestselling author, who went through a Ph.D program in Oceanography at the University of Washington, further noted that during the Jurassic period, the earth was 15 degrees warmer on average than it is today.

Criticizing global warming fearmongers, Mosher said not long ago the same “experts” were frantically making the exact opposite claims. “In the 1970s … the climate ‘experts’ were warning about a coming ‘ice age,’” he said. “Now it has flipped over 180 degrees to be global warming.”

“The truth is, nobody really knows what’s going to happen to the climate in the future,” Mosher explained. “We’ve seen extremes of temperatures on the cold side and on the warm side that make any projection of one or two degrees pale in comparison.”

Mosher spoke on “Environmentalism and Climate Change as an Avenue for Population Control.” The International Conference on Population Control is sponsored by the Lepanto Institute. Its theme is “How Radical Enemies of Life are Pushing Their Global Agenda to End Poverty by Eliminating the Poor.”

“We had global warming and ice ages a long time before human beings invented the internal combustion engine, and a long time before there were a million or us running around the planet giving birth to little ‘carbon dioxide emitters,’“ he quipped, quoting how climate change activists refer to children.

Turning to his compromised colleagues, Mosher said too many are swayed by the government dole. “I’m really appalled at how the scientific community has sold out for big research grants and to get their name highlighted in the faculty journal and get invited to U.N. conferences,” Mosher said. “This is the biggest scientific fraud ever perpetrated on the family of man.”

Mosher accused “experts” of jumping on the global warming bandwagon because “they are well paid to do so.” “When you spend billions of dollars subsidizing research, you generally get what you pay for,” he charged. “The climate scientist who gets the million dollar grant and says, ‘After study, there’s really no danger of global warming,’ doesn’t get his grant renewed.”

“But the guy who gets 10 million dollars for ‘finding’ global warming probably gets a hundred million after that,” Mosher illustrated.

Mosher, who received the Blessed Frederic Ozanam award from the Society of Catholic Social Scientists for “exemplifying the ideal of Catholic social action,” mentioned that meteorologist Anthony Watts has tallied government payouts related to global warming.  Watts estimates $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion are “tied up in the climate hoax.” ClimateDepot‘s Marc Morano described the racket as the “Great Climate Hustle.”

But even if the earth’s temperature is rising, Mosher says that does not translate into the doomsday predictions of Al Gore — that the state of Florida sinks into the ocean in a decade.

“In my view, a little bit of warming is not necessarily a bad thing,” Mosher claimed. “Even if the earth does warm in the next hundred years, I argue it will be a good thing for humanity.”

A warming planet will open up land for much needed farming. If temperatures rise, “we will see Canada be able to bring vast areas of land under cultivation.  We will see Siberia bloom. We will see food production go up,” Mosher said.

“More people die in the winter of cold than die of heat in the summer,” he explained.  “We’ll see mortality rates among the very young and the very old go down.  Lives will be saved,” Mosher said. “There will be less hunger in the world.”

Other speakers at the conference include Child Advocacy attorney Lis York, LifeSiteNews’ John-Henry Westen, Human Life International’s Dr. Brian Clowes, HLI president Fr. Shenan Boquet, La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana’s Riccardo Cascioli, Italian economist Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, Sacred Heart Institute’s Raymond De Souza, and Dr. Philip Chidi Njemanze.

Mosher calls the current politically correct environment a billion-dollar a year “giant propaganda effort” against science and common sense. “This is a myth of guilt,” he said. “This is a myth that drives population control. This is a myth that will decrease the use of energy that will literally kill poor people.”

“This is ultimately about radical environmentalists (engineering) their idea of paradise before man,” Mosher charged, saying radicals believe that people “ruined it.” “They have seized upon global warming as an excuse to justify their war on people to promote abortion, sterilization, and contraception around the world.”

Mosher emphasized that the ultimate goal of global warmists is population control. “They cheered China’s one-child policy from the very beginning,” he mentioned.

The Q&A session then turned to Catholic leaders’ part in the anti-life global warming movement.

“Catholic teaching promotes stewardship of the environment,” Mosher reminded listeners, “but some of the participants of recent Vatican conferences have a history of promoting population control (and) abortion. That’s in opposition to Catholic teaching. I’m surprised they were invited to these conferences (and) given a platform by the Vatican itself to propagate views to directly violate Catholic teaching.”

According to Michael Hichborn, president of conference sponsor the Lepanto Institute, pro-abortion population control activists have established a foothold inside the Catholic Church under the pretext of environmental protection. Now they are “actively working to undermine and subvert the Church and her teachings from within” in an “unprecedented attack.”

Mosher agreed. “The radical environmental movement is using the borrowed authority of the Vatican to propagate its false view of humanity (and) its false view of the relationship between man and the environment,” he charged. “Unfortunately, some in the Vatican are allowing themselves and the Catholic Church to be misused in this way.”

The pro-life researcher and social activist questioned the motivations of those in the Vatican who would give pro-abortionists a voice. “I’m afraid there are certain people in the Vatican who are more interested in winning applause from the world than … evangelizing and getting as many people home to heaven as possible,” he said.

Mosher quoted one Vatican guest speaker, former colleague Paul R. Ehrlich, who claims  “the biggest problem that we face is the continuing expansion of the human enterprise.”  Mosher quoted Ehrlich as saying, “Perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell.”

Mosher criticized Ehrlich for his extremist view of population growth and for “comparing it to a cancerous growth. I can hardly imagine a more derogatory description of the human family than comparing it to a cancer cell,” Mosher said.

“When my wife and I had nine children, we didn’t think that they resembled cancer cells.  We thought that we were new souls into existence, cooperating with God in populating this world and hopefully in the next,” Mosher commented.

Mosher then took on worldwide abortion promoter Bill Gates. “Bill Gates tried to argue that he was only funding population control programs in countries where the population was increasing at three percent a year,” Mosher quoted, adding that he disagreed that high birth rates are a problem in the first place. “But I said, ‘Bill, there are only a few small islands in the Pacific where the birth rate is still that high.’”

Then Mosher got to his point with Gates. “If you’re worried about high birth rate, cure childhood diseases, reduce the infant mortality rate, and the birth rate will come down naturally,” he told the Microsoft billionaire. “The reason why families in Africa still have four and five children is because they expect to lose one or two children to disease before they reach adulthood.”

Mosher went on in his address to assert that climate changers have the solution all wrong. “This is all done under the false assumption that if you reduce the number of people on the planet you will somehow increase the number of seals and whales and trees and other things that the radical environmentalists seem to value more than human beings,” Mosher revealed. “What we need to have is continued economic growth, because once a country gets above $2,000 per capita, they have the resources to set aside natural parks and nature preserves and national forests and so forth.”

“It’s poverty that’s the enemy of the environment, not people,” he summarized.

“It’s poverty that leads the poor to cut down the last tree, as they have in Haiti, to build a house or cook their food,” Mosher pointed out. “It’s poverty that leads them to pollute the water that they need to drink because they can’t afford to dig a well or build a sewage treatment plant. It’s poverty that leads them to plant the last square foot of land because they … can’t afford fertilizer or they can’t afford proper irrigation.”

“Poverty is the enemy of the environment,” the human rights advocate said. “And we know how to cure poverty: You have the rule of law, you have property rights, you have an open and free economic system. And once you cure poverty, people will take care of the environment.”

But the radical environmentalists’ have it backward, Mosher claimed. Their “more people equals less of everything else” narrative is not true, he said. “More people as good stewards of the environment means more of everything else: more whales, more trees, more land set aside.”

The author described the global warmist movement as “anti-people.” “Here we almost have a demonic hatred of our fellow human beings,” he said. “They cry copious tears over a mistreated dog or cat, but they ignore that 4,000 babies are being brutally killed -- torn limb from limb -- in wombs across the United States today.”

“The other side of the evangelization coin,” Mosher said, “is allowing the human beings to come into existence in the first place.”

Back on the subject of Catholic response to global warming threats, Mosher said the Christian response cannot be legislated. “The questions of how we should be good stewards of the environment are prudential questions that will never be settled dogmatically,” the Population Research Institute president concluded.

Part of the Catholic solution is the Pontifical Academy of Science should invite as contributors “only people who were Catholic,” Mosher offered.

“If you do not have a Trinitarian worldview,” he explained, “then your position on many of these issues are going to be radically different than what the Catholic Church teaches.”

Global warmists “are people who have radically different views of what humanity is,” Mosher said. “It makes a real difference if I think that mankind is only a little lower than the angels, created in the image and likeness of God. Paul Ehrlich believes that we’re only a little higher than the apes, and it’s necessary now to thin the herd. He believes that we’re only animals, (so) there’s no moral question to be answered; it’s just a simple question of numbers and power.”

“Such a radical reductionist view of what human beings are should not be endorsed by the Vatican,” he opined.

Mosher commented that after listening to some of the non-Catholic Vatican conference speakers, Pope Francis himself has talked about climate change as the cause of world hunger. “That gets the facts exactly backwards,” he said. “I think we need to go to Rome … and talk and educate people.”

Hichborn noted the significance of the issue today. “Population Control is an agenda that ties together nearly every major cause of the anti-family left,” he said. “Homosexuality, environmentalism, poverty reduction, foreign aid, and even mass immigration are connected to the population control agenda.”

“For the sake of souls, lives, and the family, it is vitally important for everyone who calls themselves pro-life to stand up now,” Hichborn added. “If we don’t fight this now, it won’t be long before there won’t be a civilization left to defend.”

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Sunday, October 22, 2017



Scientific Establishment Rocked By New Science Scandal

The World Health Organization’s cancer agency dismissed and edited findings from a draft of its review of the weedkiller glyphosate that were at odds with its final conclusion that the chemical probably causes cancer.

Documents seen by Reuters show how a draft of a key section of the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) assessment of glyphosate – a report that has prompted international disputes and multi-million-dollar lawsuits – underwent significant changes and deletions before the report was finalised and made public.

IARC, based in Lyon, France, wields huge influence as a semi-autonomous unit of the WHO, the United Nations health agency. It issued a report on its assessment of glyphosate – a key ingredient in Monsanto Corp’s top-selling weedkiller RoundUp – in March 2015. It ranked glyphosate a Group 2a carcinogen, a substance that probably causes cancer in people.

That conclusion was based on its experts’ view that there was “sufficient evidence” glyphosate causes cancer in animals and “limited evidence” it can do so in humans. The Group 2a classification has prompted mass litigation in the United States against Monsanto and could lead to a ban on glyphosate sales across the European Union from the start of next year.

The edits identified by Reuters occurred in the chapter of IARC’s review focusing on animal studies. This chapter was important in IARC’s assessment of glyphosate, since it was in animal studies that IARC decided there was “sufficient” evidence of carcinogenicity.

One effect of the changes to the draft, reviewed by Reuters in a comparison with the published report, was the removal of multiple scientists’ conclusions that their studies had found no link between glyphosate and cancer in laboratory animals.

In one instance, a fresh statistical analysis was inserted – effectively reversing the original finding of a study being reviewed by IARC.

In another, a sentence in the draft referenced a pathology report ordered by experts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It noted the report “firmly” and “unanimously” agreed that the “compound” – glyphosate – had not caused abnormal growths in the mice being studied. In the final published IARC monograph, this sentence had been deleted.

Reuters found 10 significant changes that were made between the draft chapter on animal studies and the published version of IARC’s glyphosate assessment. In each case, a negative conclusion about glyphosate leading to tumors was either deleted or replaced with a neutral or positive one. Reuters was unable to determine who made the changes.

SOURCE




Another good pick by Trump.  She has called belief in global warming a 'kind of paganism'

Trump last week nominated Kathleen Hartnett White, who previously led the Texas Commision on Environmental Quality, to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality, a post that requires Senate confirmation. Hartnett White, currently a senior fellow at the conservative think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation, has long expressed skepticism about established climate science and once dismissed the idea that carbon dioxide is a pollutant, calling it "the gas of life on this planet."
As head of the Council on Environmental Quality, Hartnett White would oversee environmental and energy policies across the government.

Hartnett White appeared on "The Right Perspective," an online conservative radio show, in September 2016 when she made the comments talking about a "dark side" to belief in global warming. "There's a real dark side of the kind of paganism -- the secular elites' religion now -- being evidently global warming," Hartnett White said.

To illustrate her point, Hartnett White pointed to comments made by the former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres.
Figueres told Bloomberg News that on combating climate change and reducing pollution, China was "doing it right," adding that the country was able to enact key tough climate policies because of its political system. In the same interview, Figueres said that the divided US Congress was "detrimental" to combating climate change.

Hartnett White also referenced comments made by Figueres in which she spoke about intentionally changing "the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution."

Hartnett White characterized these comments as admissions by believers in climate change of an intent to create a "one-world state ruled by planetary managers."

"Some of the leaders, totally open, like the just stepping down head of the United Nations climate change program, Christiana Figueres, from Costa Rica, openly says that communism is the best system and maybe our only last chance to use -- and she uses China as some good example as the way we can avert global warming," Hartnett said.

She continued, "On other occasions [Figueres] says, 'we have, the first time, a clear opportunity using climate policy, climate plans, to undermine the system of economic growth and industrialization that began a couple hundred centuries ago.'

I mean totally open. We're talking about, you know, one-world state ruled by planetary managers, you know to kind of allocate our little portion of grub and energy, but they're open and adamant about it."

Hartnett White did not respond to a request for comment. A representative for the White House also did not respond to an email requesting comment.

Hartnett White has drawn condemnation from environmentalists, who view her nomination as a threat to enacting policies that would combat climate change. If confirmed, Hartnett White would join several other Trump administration officials, including EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, who are skeptical of climate change and have opposed regulations that seek to stymie its effect.

SOURCE





Trying to perpetuate alarmist climate “science”

The Obama era “Climate Science Special Report” demands a “red team” analysis

By David Wojick. Dr. Wojick specializes in unpacking the structure of complex issues.

Several months ago a brief furor erupted when the New York Times leaked the final draft of the upcoming Climate Science Special Report (CSSR), an extremely alarmist rendition of what is supposedly happening with Earth’s climate. Dangerous climate change and weather events, the report says, are due to mankind’s use of fossil fuels to create and maintain modern living standards and to the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that result from that energy use.

The CSSR is being prepared by the federal Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and has been in the works for several years, mostly under Obama and still staffed by diehard alarmists.

The USGCRP consists of the 13 federal agencies that conduct and analyze climate science and supposedly “consensus” views on the topic. The Times and other news stories speculated that one of the agencies, especially the EPA under Administrator Scott Pruitt, might block the CSSR. This has not happened, and the Report is now scheduled for release next month.

The CSSR is far more alarmist than any IPCC report. Most other USGCRP reports have been, as well, thanks in particular to NOAA. The new CSSR will be an official Federal report, which will give it more credibility than it deserves.

Even worse, the Report is slated to be Volume I of the National Climate Assessment (NCA), which is due out late next year. The NCA is mandated by law, which gives the CSSR even more status as federal policy.

It would be ironic indeed if the skeptical Trump Administration were to simply issue this alarmist report as federal policy on climate change science. In fact it would be tragic, a major defeat for climate realism and sound science.

Thankfully, there is a simple way to turn this looming defeat into a major victory. The solution is to do an official Red Team critique of the CSSR.

The Red Team concept has been under discussion for some time now, including being endorsed by EPA Administrator Pruitt and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Some useful background and online discussion are available on Judith Curry’s manmade climate chaos skeptics blog here and here.

The unduly and unscientifically alarmist CSSR cannot be put back into its political bottle. But it is the perfect vehicle for critical analysis and robust criticism, precisely because of its radical alarmist nature. Most importantly, this criticism would be official, which will make climate skepticism official U.S. policy.

Mind you, the CSSR is over 600 pages long, so its rebuttal would not be a trivial exercise. On the other hand, only the most central claims need to be refuted. In particular there are a number of cases of so-called “high confidence” in important assertions that are actually nothing more than highly speculative alarmist dogma.

This is especially true of the groundless attribution of human activities causing bad weather. The Red Team critique must be comprehensive, clear and coherent if it is to be effective. Properly done, that should not be a problem, however.

Making a detailed critique and rebuttal of the CSSR official would go a long way toward putting federal policy on the right track, which is that the scientific debate is very real and far from being resolved. Costly, draconian actions like hefty carbon taxes and forced lifestyle changes are simply not justified. In particular there is no scientific basis for EPA's finding that CO2 emissions “endanger human health and welfare.” Indeed, the clear benefits of carbon-based fuels and plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide are tens or hundreds of times greater than any (highly speculative) costs that might be attributed to them.

There is no need for the Red Team to break new scientific ground. It is just a matter of clearly stating what is already known. In fact simply and visibly starting an official Red Team exercise will go a long way toward blunting the rampant CSSR alarmism.

However, this must be done very shortly after the CSSR is officially released. If not, then the CSSR is likely to become the official US standard bearer for the alarmist version of climate science. That would be a truly tragic outcome.

It is no accident that the CSSR is coming out now. This is a deliberate attempt by the climate alarmists entrenched in the federal research agencies to defy the skepticism of the Trump administration. It must not succeed.

Via email




Trump’s EPA Chief Charts a New Course: An Interview With Scott Pruitt

Rob Bluey

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt spoke to me earlier this week at The Heritage Foundation’s annual President’s Club meeting in Washington. We discussed his leadership of the EPA, the agency’s top priorities, and what Pruitt considers true environmentalism. An edited transcript of our interview, along with the full video, is below.

Bluey: You’ve had a busy week. On Monday, you took a decisive action and ended the sue and settle process that has been plaguing the EPA and our government for a number of years. Can you explain to this audience why that is so significant and what it actually means?

Pruitt: Yes, well, it’s good to be with you. In fact, I see [former Attorney] General [Edwin] Meese here in the front and it’s always good to see General Meese. He has served as a great inspiration to me over the years.

With respect to this particular question on sue and settle, it is actually something General Meese talked about back in the 1980s. We’ve seen agencies at the federal level for many years engage in rulemaking through the litigation process, where a third party will sue an agency and, in the course of that lawsuit, an agency will agree to certain obligations. Maybe take a discretionary duty under statute and make it nondiscretionary or there will be a timeline in a statute and they’ll change the timeline.

But suffice it to say, they engage in what we would call substantive rulemaking, and then the court blesses it without much inquiry. The agency will take that consent decree and go to the states and citizens all over the country and say, ‘Thou shalt,’ and sometimes that mandate is totally untethered to the statute—the obligations that Congress has passed for that agency to engage in.

My job is to enforce the laws as passed by whom? Congress. They give me my authority. That’s the jurisdictional responsibilities that I have, and when litigation is used to regulate … that’s abusive. That’s wrong.

It is fifth-grade civics. I don’t know if they teach civics in fifth grade anymore, but at least they used to. I hang out at the executive branch; we’re an executive branch agency. My job is to enforce the laws as passed by whom? Congress. They give me my authority. That’s the jurisdictional responsibilities that I have, and when litigation is used to regulate … that’s abusive. That’s wrong. We took the first step under the Trump administration [Monday] to end the sue and settle process entirely at the EPA.

It is not just an attitude shift, not just a commitment to not engage in sue and settle and regulation for litigation. We actually put directives in the memoranda, safeguards if you will.

For instance, if there is settlement that we are engaged in, settlement discussions with a third party that sued the agency, we will post that settlement for all the world to see, for at least 30 days, for people to comment on it across the country so that there is transparency with respect to those discussions.


If a state seeks to intervene in litigation with respect to issues that impact them, we’re going to have a very generous and accommodating attitude to our states participating in those settlement discussions. But here’s one of the more important ones: in the past the sue and settle process has been affected by third parties. They would go to the EPA and they would say, ‘Let’s work out a deal,’ and, as I indicated, go to the court, put it within a consent decree without any type of transparency.

But then here’s the kicker: They would pay attorneys fees to the group that sued them. So the group is effectively engaging in rulemaking and they get attorneys fees to get paid to do it.

In my directive to the agency, I said this: We’re not going to pay attorneys fees anymore in that regard. If we have a settlement and there’s no prevailing party, there shouldn’t be attorneys fees. We’ve directed no attorneys fees as part of the end of this sue and settle practice. It’s been a busy week already but every week is that way.

Bluey: The left, over the past generation, has defined environmentalism in a way that is counter to freedom, conservation, even science. I want to ask, what do you consider true environmentalism?

Pruitt: That’s a great question, and it’s one our society needs to ask and answer. The past administration told everyone in this room at some point, told the American citizens across the country, that we have to choose between jobs and growth and environmental stewardship.

We’ve never done that as a country. To give you an example, since 1980, there are certain pollutants that we regulate under the Clean Air Act, criteria pollutants, they are called. … We’ve reduced those pollutants over 65 percent since 1980, but we’ve also grown our [gross domestic product] substantially.

We, as a country, have always used innovative technology to advance environmental stewardship, reduction of those pollutants, but also grown our economy at the same time. It was the past administration that told everyone that you had to choose between the two. That just simply is a false narrative. It’s a false choice, so we need to ask ourselves, what is true environmentalism?

True environmentalism from my perspective is using natural resources that God has blessed us with.

True environmentalism from my perspective is using natural resources that God has blessed us with to feed the world, to power the world with the sensitivity that future generations cultivate, to harvest, to be respectful good stewards, good managers of our natural resources, to bequeath those natural resources for the next generation.

SOURCE





Great Barrier Reef recovering from coral bleaching

The Greenie panic was for nothing, as usual.  Julian Tomlinson didn't go to journalism school so he tells it like it is below -- supported by extensive video evidence

NEWS of the Great Barrier Reef’s demise have indeed appeared to be premature – as predicted. Cairns-based environmental science body, Tropical Water Quality Hub, released exciting news this month in an email titled: Signs of recovery on bleached coral reefs.

This is no surprise to reef operators, climate change sceptics and scientists who urged everyone not to believe the hype about the Reef’s certain doom.

The TWQH said researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science went back to 14 reefs between Townsville and Cairns they surveyed at the height of this year’s bleaching event and saw “significant” recovery. “The majority of coral colonies on the inshore reefs have regained their colour and some even appear to have developing eggs in their tissues,” said project lead Dr Line Bay.

This evidence is directly in line with the views of James Cook University’s Professor Peter Ridd who said this year that corals were experts at adapting to changing environments and that they would recover – as they had done in the past.

But still, Prof Ridd was dismissed by reef doom merchants and has even been threatened with disciplinary action by JCU because of his contrary views. One hopes the university will now apologise unreservedly to Prof Ridd for its treatment of him.  All he did was urge his colleagues to not take such an absolute and alarmist view of Reef health.

Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, believes Ridd’s treatment was so bad that he raised it in state parliament this month and suggested JCU’s administrative procedures should be reviewed. “I have been offered some explanations for the actions taken by JCU against Peter Ridd, but they were most unsatisfactory to the point of being feeble,” said Mr Cripps.

Marine biologist Walter Starck has spent a lifetime studying marine ecosystems and made the same observations as Ridd in a Quadrant magazine article he wrote last year.

Starck is considered by naysayers as a scientific fringe dweller but anyone who challenges the alarmists is always going to be ridiculed and have their credibility questioned.

While the TWQH researchers say it’s still early days, news of coral recovery is fantastic for our tourism operators.

Cairns reef dive company, Spirit of Freedom, has also given activists reason to stand down. Just last month, the company released a video of Ribbon Reefs, Lizard Island and Osprey Reef.  Shot by Stuart Ireland of Calypso Reef Imagery, it reveals a truly spectacular undersea paradise.

Tourists also appear on the video saying they can’t believe how beautiful the Reef is after what they’d been told about its imminent demise.

Check it out for yourself at https://vimeo.com/229457310.

I can’t wait for Midnight Oil to come back to spread the good news and for my Facebook feed to be cluttered with ecstatic posts from The Greens and GetUp!

Somehow, I think I’ll be waiting a long time. They’ll still say we must stop human-caused carbon emissions to ensure the recovery continues.

But environmental scientist Bjorn Lomborg has backed opponents of attempts to force us all to toe the man-made global warming line.

In The Australian this week he wrote that if every country honoured its emissions promises, 60 gigatonnes of carbon would be stopped from entering the atmosphere… whereas 6000 gigatonnes needs to be stopped to keep temperature rises below 2C.

Again, all the pain of high power prices and being lectured to and attacked by fanatics is for nought.

Another recent study has backed critics of laboratory tests claiming ocean acidification caused by CO2 emissions is a coral killer. The critics say the lab tests expose corals to increased CO2 too quickly for the organisms to adapt, therefore exaggerating the results.

Now, in the Nature Communications journal, researchers say they have shown this is the case, and that coral in the wild is able to adapt to changes in ocean composition when they happen gradually.

With all this evidence, we should all – especially politicians and the media – be taking the reef alarmists with a grain of salt and reject claims that we’re all environmental vandals.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

*****************************************

Friday, October 20, 2017



World’s First Offshore Wind Farm Retires: A Post-Mortem

It barely paid for its construction and maintenance

The first-ever offshore wind farm, Vindeby, in Danish waters, is being decommissioned after twenty-five years, DONG Energy has announced. By its nature it was an experiment, and we can now see whether or not is has been a successful alternative to fossil or nuclear-fuelled electricity.

It consisted of eleven turbines, each with a capacity of 0.45 MW, giving a total export capacity for the wind farm of 5 MW. The hub height of each turbine was 37.5 m and blade height 17 m, small by today’s standards. Because of its date of construction, it would have been all but totally reliant on conventional energy for its manufacture and installation. The original stated project cost was £7.16 million in 1991, which is equivalent to approximately £10 million today.

During its lifetime, it delivered 243 GWh to the Danish electricity grid. This means that the actual amount of electricity generated was 22% of that which would have been generated if it had delivered 5 MW all the time for 25 years. In technical terms, it had a load factor of 0.22.

From the same source we see the initial expectation was that 3506 houses would be powered annually, with a saving of 7085 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum. There was no clear indication of Vindeby’s expected lifetime. Since the average household’s annual use of energy in Denmark[4] is 5000 kWh, we can calculate that the windfarm’s anticipated energy output was 438 GWh over its 25-year lifetime. The actual total of 243 GWh was therefore only 55% of that expectation.

The (annual average) spot price for electricity from both the European Energy Exchange and Nordpool quoted over the period 2006–2014 dropped approximately linearly from €50–55/MWh in 2006 to €32–37/MWh in 2014.[5] If we assume that this trend was constant over 1991–2017, we can see that the average wholesale price paid for the Vindeby electricity was of order of €50/MWh. On this basis the revenue of the windfarm was approximately €12 million: perhaps €15 million at today’s prices.

This means that the windmill spent 75% of its life paying off the £10 million cost of its construction, and most of the rest paying for maintenance. In terms of effective energy revenue, the return on input cost was close to 1:1. The individual project may have been just profitable, but the project is insufficiently productive as will be seen below.

Other windfarms have performed even worse. Lely, an smaller farm sited off the Netherlands coast, was decommissioned last year.[6] It consisted of four turbines of 0.5 MW capacity, and cost £4.4 million in 1992. One nacelle and blades failed in 2014 because of metal fatigue.[7] It produced 3500 MWh per year, implying a load factor of 20%. At the same €50/MWh as above, it would have earned €4.2 million, less than the initial project cost, let alone the additional cost of any maintenance, by any way of reckoning.[8]

The reader should note that the analysis above assumes that the scrap value of the wind turbines will pay for the decommissioning process, and so does not degrade the ratio any further: presumably the bases will remain in the sea. This assumption has been made explicit for the Cowley Ridge wind farm in Alberta, Canada, for which the actual electricity energy delivered into the Canadian grid is not in the public domain, so this similar exercise cannot be repeated.

For a typical fossil-fuel plant, effective energy revenue return on input cost is of the order of 50:1 if one considers the plant alone and about 15:1 when one includes the cost of the fuel. For a nuclear plant the ratio is more like 70:1, and the fuel is a negligible part of the overall cost. The energy generation and distribution sector makes up approximately 9% of the whole world economy, suggesting that the global energy sector has an energy return ratio of 11:1.[10] It is this high average ratio, buoyed by much higher ratios in certain areas (e.g.15:1 in Europe), that allows our present world economy to function.

The lesson learned from the considerations discussed above is that wind farms like these early examples could not power a modern economy unless assisted by substantial fossil-fuelled energy.

Interestingly, DONG Energy, which built Vindeby, is proposing the much newer and bigger Hornsea Project One in the North Sea. This wind farm will have 174 turbines, each with a hub height of 113 m, 75 m blades and a nameplate capacity of 7 MW. It is due to be commissioned in 2020. The project capacity is 1218 MW, and it has a current cost estimate of €3.36 billion. No clear statement of expected lifetime has been provided, but DONG has stated that 862,655 homes will be powered annually. Assuming the average per-household electricity use in the UK[12] to be 4000 kWh, this implies a constant generation of 394 MW over the year, which is 32% of capacity, which is probably realistic.

The agreed wholesale price of the Hornsea energy over the next twenty-five years is £140/MWh. Even assuming a very generous load factor of 50%, Hornsea’s lifetime revenue would be about £20 billion, suggesting a ratio of revenue to cost of 6:1 (reduced further by any maintenance costs), still barely half the average value that prevails in the global economy, which is more than 85% fossil-fuel based.

The secret of the fossil fuel success in the world economy is the high calorific value of the fuel. A ton of coal costing £42.50 produces of the order of 2000 kWh of electricity in a new coal-fired power plants (up 30% from older plants). This sells for £400 wholesale, with an energy return on energy invested (EROEI) of 10:1. A therm of natural gas costs £0.40, and produces 30 kWh of electricity, which sells for £6, representing an EROEI of 15:1.  Fuel-less technologies do not have this advantage.

The disappointing results from Vindeby, and the likely results from Hornsea and similar projects must be seen in the context of the increasing wealth of a growing world population. If all the world’s 10.3 billion people alive in 2055 were to lead a European (as opposed to American) style of life, we would need 2.5 times the primary energy as used today. If, say, half of the energy is suddenly produced with an energy return on investment of 5.5:1 (i.e. half the present world average), then for the same investment we would get only 75% of the energy and we would need to cut energy consumption: the first 10% reduction could come by curtailing higher education, international air travel, the internet, advanced medicine and high culture. We could invest proportionately more of our economy in energy production than we do now, but that will still mean a step backward against the trend of the last 200 years of reducing the proportion of the total economy taken by the energy sector.[13] To avoid this undesirable scenario we would need new forms of energy to match the fossil/nuclear fuel performance.

In this context it is useful to remember that global economic growth is very sensitive to the cost of energy. The energy cost spikes in the mid-1970s and in 2010 form the boundaries between the 5% growth rate of the global economy from 1950–1975, the 3% from 1980–2008, and the 2.5% since 2012. There is a lot at stake in the choice between cheap fossil fuels and expensive renewables.

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Will Tesla Be A Zero This Month?

The Tesla production line seems to be at a halt

Leading up to the end of September, we saw new-high Model 3 VIN numbers in the wild almost every other day, culminating in number 521.

But since the beginning of October, nothing. I can’t find a single one above 521 with VIN picture evidence on any forum.

It’s unlikely to end up this way, but the sole evidence we have to date is this: Tesla is on track to deliver zero Model 3 units in October.

Of course, I don’t believe it will be exactly zero.  However, it’s no longer an impossibility.  It’s looking like my previous estimate of 240 units may be way too high.

Talking about anywhere from zero to 240 is almost meaningless given that Chevrolet Bolt EV U.S. sales are rising rapidly and could hit 3,000 per month soon.

No, I don't mean the stock. I mean Model 3 customer deliveries.

People had a lot of fun about me pointing out that the Chevrolet (GM) Bolt EV outsold the Tesla (TSLA) Model 3 in August to the tune of 28:1 in the U.S.: August Sales Are In: Chevrolet Bolt EV Out Sold Tesla Model 3 To The Tune Of 28:1.

Just wait for September, they said, and this ratio would be closed or reversed. Then September came around, and the Bolt EV outsold the Model 3 to the tune of 23:1 in the U.S.: Will Tesla Manage To Sell 720 Model 3 Units In December? Maybe Less?

Just wait for October, they now said, and this ratio would once again be closed or reversed into Tesla's favor. Well, we are now in the second half of October, and I'm eager to hear if the bulls remain of the belief that the Model 3 will finally crush GM's electric juggernaut, the Bolt EV, in October.

At this stage, I'll continue to roll the dice one more time in favor of betting that for a third full month, the Chevrolet Bolt EV will out-sell the Tesla Model 3 in the U.S. - and probably by a very wide margin, along the lines or 10:1 or more. Maybe even 100:1 or an infinite margin.

Why does it seem a good idea to make such a prediction right now? If we assume that the Chevrolet Bolt EV will continue to sell at the current rate - let alone continue to grow, the bar is somewhere North of 2,500 units, perhaps closer to 3,000 or even higher. What makes me believe that the Tesla Model 3 will be somewhere below 240 units and with a potential for zero, in October?

SOURCE




Pruitt Holds the Line Against the Left at the EPA

"Green" groups will no longer get away with surreptitious changes to climate-related rules.

The EPA is getting a refreshing makeover after Gina McCarthy spent years directing the agency to enact unconstitutional power grabs and enforcing other forms of corruption. For example, the Clean Power Plan — a carbon-capture scheme that was developed under Barack Obama’s administration — was recently and mercifully flagged by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for elimination, saving the economy upwards of $73 billion annually.

Now it’s ecofascists’ turn to feel the direct influence of new management. Under McCarthy, “green” interest groups basically viewed the EPA as the go-to agency for changes to climate-related rules and regulations. Not anymore. As Reuters reports, Pruitt “issued a directive to his agency on Monday seeking to end the practice of settling lawsuits with environmental groups behind closed doors, saying the groups have had too much influence on regulation.”

The report goes on to note, “The EPA under former President Barack Obama quietly settled lawsuits from environmental groups with little input from regulated entities, such as power plants, and state governments.” How’s that for the most transparent administration in history? But according to Pruitt, “The days of regulation through litigation are over. We will no longer go behind closed doors and use consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the agency.”

Reuters adds, “Daren Bakst, a research fellow in agricultural policy at the Heritage Foundation think tank, said sue and settle has led to ‘egregious antics’ that have ‘effectively handed over the setting of agency priorities to environmental pressure groups,’ and has led to rushed rulemaking by the agency.” Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) regurgitated this view: “The Environmental Protection Agency should not make regulations by settling lawsuits behind closed doors. Under the last administration, the EPA advanced its political agenda by abusing its authority and leaving states and Congress in the dark. The public deserves to know how its government is operating.”

There’s really no reason to oppose these changes — unless you’re an activist who can no longer deploy covert tactics to circumvent the Rule of Law. And, to no one’s surprise, green groups aren’t happy with Pruitt’s move. What became customary at Obama’s EPA should never have become so. But it did, no doubt because McCarthy agreed with these lawsuits. Obama’s EPA was not impartial, nor was it transparent or legally minded. Pruitt is doing a masterful job ensuring this injustice ends.

SOURCE




Surprise: Defying Models, Antarctic Sea Ice Extent 100 Years Ago Similar To Today

Satellite measurements of Antarctic sea ice do not go back even 40 years. That’s not very much, especially when we consider that many natural climate cycles have periods of 60 years and more.

Luckily we have the field of climate reconstruction. Using historical documents and sediment cores, the development of ice cover can be estimated. In November, 2016, Tom Edinburg and Jonathan Day examined shipping log books from the time of Antarctic explorers and published on ice extent in The Cryosphere:

Estimating the extent of Antarctic summer sea ice during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration

In stark contrast to the sharp decline in Arctic sea ice, there has been a steady increase in ice extent around Antarctica during the last three decades, especially in the Weddell and Ross seas. In general, climate models do not to capture this trend and a lack of information about sea ice coverage in the pre-satellite period limits our ability to quantify the sensitivity of sea ice to climate change and robustly validate climate models.

However, evidence of the presence and nature of sea ice was often recorded during early Antarctic exploration, though these sources have not previously been explored or exploited until now. We have analysed observations of the summer sea ice edge from the ship logbooks of explorers such as Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton and their contemporaries during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration (1897–1917), and in this study we compare these to satellite observations from the period 1989–2014, offering insight into the ice conditions of this period, from direct observations, for the first time.

This comparison shows that the summer sea ice edge was between 1.0 and 1.7° further north in the Weddell Sea during this period but that ice conditions were surprisingly comparable to the present day in other sectors.”

The surprising result: with respect to sea ice extent 100 years ago things looked similar to what we have today, with the exception of the Weddell Sea. A study by Hobbs et al. 2016 also looked back at the last century, here using geoscientific sea ice reconstructions. Once again the strong discrepancies between the real ice development and model simulations were criticized:

Century-scale perspectives on observed and simulated Southern Ocean sea ice trends from proxy reconstructions

Since 1979 when continuous satellite observations began, Southern Ocean sea ice cover has increased, whilst global coupled climate models simulate a decrease over the same period. It is uncertain whether the observed trends are anthropogenically forced or due to internal variability, or whether the apparent discrepancy between models and observations can be explained by internal variability.

The shortness of the satellite record is one source of this uncertainty, and a possible solution is to use proxy reconstructions, which extend the analysis period but at the expense of higher observational uncertainty.

In this work, we evaluate the utility for change detection of 20th century Southern Ocean sea ice proxies. We find that there are reliable proxies for the East Antarctic, Amundsen, Bellingshausen and Weddell sectors in late winter, and for the Weddell Sea in late autumn. Models and reconstructions agree that sea ice extent in the East Antarctic, Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas has decreased since the early 1970s, consistent with an anthropogenic response.

However, the decrease is small compared to internal variability, and the change is not robustly detectable. We also find that optimal fingerprinting filters out much of the uncertainty in proxy reconstructions. The Ross Sea is a confounding factor, with a significant increase in sea ice since 1979 that is not captured by climate models; however, existing proxy reconstructions of this region are not yet sufficiently reliable for formal change detection.”

A paper published by Ellen & Abrams 2016 even looked back 300 years ago and showed that the increase in sea ice from 1979-2016 has been part of a long-term growth trend of the 20th century:

Ice core reconstruction of sea ice change in the Amundsen-Ross Seas since 1702 A.D.

Antarctic sea ice has been increasing in recent decades, but with strong regional differences in the expression of sea ice change. Declining sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea since 1979 (the satellite era) has been linked to the observed warming on the Antarctic Peninsula, while the Ross Sea sector has seen a marked increase in sea ice during this period.

Here we present a 308 year record of methansulphonic acid from coastal West Antarctica, representing sea ice conditions in the Amundsen-Ross Sea. We demonstrate that the recent increase in sea ice in this region is part of a longer trend, with an estimated ~1° northward expansion in winter sea ice extent (SIE) during the twentieth century and a total expansion of ~1.3° since 1702.

The greatest reconstructed SIE occurred during the mid-1990s, with five of the past 30 years considered exceptional in the context of the past three centuries.”

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Greens have the mind of a flea

Comment from Australia on opposition to a planned big new coal mine (Adani)

The Coalition has begun to restore a modicum of rationality to the electricity market in Australia. There is more to do. They must assault the green mindset.

Greens are shallow, short-term and anti-democratic, precisely the opposite of the ideals they claim to champion: deep, long-term thinking with liberal democratic souls and pure of heart.

Instead, Greens are shallow because they spend their lives campaigning on the basis of crises that never eventuate. Overpopulation, mass starvation, ruination by agricultural chemicals, mass extinction of species, ecosystem collapse and resource depletion never happen. The world refuses to succumb to the calamity du jour.

But Greens need a calamity to thrive. When one calamity fails to materialise, they invent another. The latest is the alleged threat to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef from the Adani Carmichael coalmine. The reef is an icon, the mine its bete noire.

A Morgan Poll suggests that most Australians do not think the Adani (Carmichael) mine should proceed. I have my doubts about the veracity of the result, especially as another ­Morgan poll of “issues of concern” showed that climate change was mentioned by ­8 per cent of Australians, about the voting strength of the Greens.

Why, when climate change is such a low priority, should Adani be such a target? The Adani polling result is a shocking indictment of the wilful misrepresentation of evidence in the Adani case. Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale says he is prepared to stand in front of bulldozers and be arrested to stop it. Green activists allegedly are trying to recruit pro­fessional moles to infiltrate jobs in the construction of the mine.

Di Natale believes that “losing” the Great Barrier Reef would cost 70,000 jobs. How will the reef be lost? Greens conflate an alleged physical threat to the reef with a broader climate threat. Coal has been hauled across the reef for generations without harm. There is no physical threat to the reef from shipping Adani coal across it.

The Morgan poll on Adani reflects a deliberate conflation of direct and indirect harm. There is no direct physical threat and the indirect threat is a fast fading theory. Even “the brightest man in Australia”, Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, would know that if Australia were uninhabited there would be no change to the potential threat to the reef from burning coal.

Recall Bjorn Lomborg’s observation of the Paris Accord, achieving the 1.5C global warming target “would require nothing less than the entire planet abandoning the use of every single fossil fuel in less than four years”.

Adani, as with so many other proponents for resource extraction in Australia, has complied with environmental legislation. Green activists assisted both major political parties to write such legislation. From the 1970s environmental impact statements have grown into extraordinarily complex studies, in the Adani case costing tens of millions of dollars and years to compile. And, after all the hurdles have been cleared, still green activists are unhappy. Democracy is ignored.

Instead, greens threaten to trash the law. Di Natale boasts: “You will see a campaign every bit as big as the campaign that stopped the damming of the Franklin.” The Franklin is a lovely river, most of it would have survived a dam, and Tasmania could have been energy self-sufficient with it. Instead, when drought hits Tasmania, the state must rely on coal generation from Victoria for electricity. Green Tasmania is bludging off the mainland.

Hydro is a renewable source of energy. Or at least it was until greens discovered wild rivers. And greens stopped nuclear power, the cleanest source of power. The trouble with greens is their thinking is so short-term.

The time has come to slap a writ on campaigners who set out to destroy others’ livelihoods. The time has come to confront, disrupt and punish environmental campaigners who break the law, ignore parliament and harm legitimate business and workers.

Civil disobedience has an honourable place in the world. It has helped to change attitudes and laws that ended slavery, secured the rights of women, and blacks, and gays. But it is an abuse of the noble tradition to suggest that civil disobedience is justified to prevent a theoretical harm at a far-distant time. Stopping an unrelated activity, a coalmine in Australia, at significant immediate cost to Australians and Indians will not stop climate change.

Activists are damaging Australia. It is about time politicians grew a backbone and confronted these latter-day Luddites.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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