JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Be afraid! Trapped atmospheric waves on the rise. Extreme heatwaves to come.

There are waves piling on waves in the weather.

A new press release tells us that there have been an “exceptional” number of weather extremes in summer.

Weather extremes in the summer — such as the record heat wave in the United States that hit corn farmers and worsened wildfires in 2012 — have reached an exceptional number in the last ten years. Human-made global warming can explain a gradual increase in periods of severe heat, but the observed change in the magnitude and duration of some events is not so easily explained.

Heatwaves lend themselves to headlines. Not only are they scary, but for climate researchers at a loose end, there are 1,000 flavors of wave to comb through. Is that a 3 day, 4 day or 7 day wave you are interested in? Is the cut-off 40C, 38C, 35C or a flexible percentile anomaly above the monthly average? Is it a statewide average, a national record, or a hot week in Houston? Shall we analyze that in seasons, by months, years, or part thereof? The combinations and permutations can keep a supercomputer up late at night. There’s a whole field of cherry trees ripe for the plucking.

It used to be that only long term trends mattered. Now, if something is “linked” to a “cluster” of noisy events over the last 13 years, go tell the world — why not?

Significance (the PNAS term for an abstract of the abstract)

The recent decade has seen an exceptional number of boreal summer weather extremes, some causing massive damage to society. There is a strong scientific debate about the underlying causes of these events. We show that high-amplitude quasi-stationary Rossby waves, associated with resonance circulation regimes, lead to persistent surface weather conditions and therefore to midlatitude synchronization of extreme heat and rainfall events. Since the onset of rapid Arctic amplification around 2000, a cluster of resonance circulation regimes is observed involving wave numbers 7 and 8. This has resulted in a statistically significant increase in the frequency of high-amplitude quasi-stationary waves with these wave numbers. Our findings provide important insights regarding the link between Arctic changes and midlatitude extremes.

Things are getting desperate for the long term climate forecasters when they start listing individual weather events one by one. This is tea-leaf reading from the dregs of the last 3 decades.

Are we adding “winter-like” temperature spells during summer to heat-wave events anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere? That can’t be right…

Fig 2 (See caption below. I split the wide figure)

It didn’t seem to me that heatwaves got worse in the last decade. But if history starts in 1980 I guess it’s quite possible. The graph below is next to the list above, of  “resonance months”.

Fig. 2. Number of July and August resonance months identified by Petoukhov et al. (16) for  eight 4-y periods from 1980 to 2011. Text in the gray bars indicates the actual months with, in brackets, the wave number involved in resonance, and the table on the left lists the associated extreme weather events (adapted from ref. 16). The red line plots the difference of surface warming in the Arctic (north of 65°N) and in the rest of the Northern Hemisphere (south of 65°N), illustrating the much more rapid surface warming in the Arctic since 2000.

Resonance months refers to a particular effect in Rossby waves:

An important part of the global air motion in the mid-latitudes normally takes the form of waves wandering around the globe, called Rossby Waves. When they swing north, they suck warm air from the tropics to Europe, Russia, or the US; and when they swing south, they do the same thing with cold air from the Arctic. However, the study shows that in periods with extreme weather, some of these waves become virtually stalled and greatly amplified.

“Behind this, there is a subtle resonance mechanism that traps waves in the mid-latitudes and amplifies them strongly,” says Stefan Rahmstorf, co-author of the study to be published in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

How significant would the latest resonant months trend be in a graph that includes life before 1979?  Hard to say.

If resonance months and heatwaves are connected…

Looks like it’s time to panic.

This figure shows the annual values of the U.S. Heat Wave Index from 1895 to 2013. These data cover the contiguous 48 states. Interpretation: An index value of 0.2 (for example) could mean that 20 percent of the country experienced one heat wave, 10 percent of the country experienced two heat waves, or some other combination of frequency and area resulted in this value.Data source: Kunkel, 2014 5

Source: EPA

 

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It’s an Unsettling Climate for skeptical scientists like Murry Salby

UPDATED: The full text is now available at City Journal.
Rupert Darwall is the author of Age of Global Warming (and earning excellent reviews). Darwall has a gift for converting tricky scientific concepts into a story. This month in the City Journal, he beautifully summarizes and updates the story of Murry Salby. He’s interviewed Richard Lindzen and others, and discusses Salby’s work in the context of the way heretics are marginalized.

I helped Rupert with some of the background. It’s controversial science, a complex situation, with irrelevant baggage to boot. But that’s exactly the place where science communicators — or in the case of Rupert, excellent historians — are most keenly needed. The scientists, who are more the numbers-men are the ones who need their stories told, because they are the ones not so inclined to play the PR and networking games. Bureaucratized science attracts and rewards the network players instead, and so it has become that even academia favors the social-climber scientists and grant-players over the people who are more interested in data. (Like modern bureaucratized art, where the grants go to those who are good at getting grants, and the art looks more and more like fingerpainting.)

The real science comes with numbers not press releases — and the data-crunchers have so much more to offer. Where do they belong, and who looks after them? They, who really need a whole PR department, increasingly seem to end up without one, wandering in the  independent online science movement, where at least their ideas get a hearing.

I’ve copied some extracts of Darwall’s article below. I recommend reading it all if you can. At the moment that is only available through the print copy of the City Journal.

An Unsettling Climate

Setting the scene:

In April 2013, concluding a European tour to present his research, Salby arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris for a flight back to Australia, where he was a professor of climate science at Macquarie University. He discovered, to his dismay, that the university had canceled the return leg of his nonrefundable ticket. With Salby stranded, Macquarie then undertook misconduct proceedings against him that swiftly culminated in his dismissal.

I wrote about this extraordinary incident in July last year and asked Did Macquarie University sabotage, exile, blackban, strand and abandon Murry Salby?

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It’s buttons for global warming! Hello — Climate Change has a new logo

After 4.5 billion years, finally climate change has a new logo.

But even some fans of the the Big Scare Campaign don’t like it. I can’t think why…

(It is dying – the fear of a carbon crisis.)

 

It looks to me like an inverse-SEO campaign designed by someone deeply afflicted with ASE (Artistic Status Envy — see also its Literary equivalent). Is the aim here just the banal trickery of ambushing the new skeptics who type “It’s not warming” into their search engines? Will gullible teens type in the phrase and find nothing but links to soft-green propaganda? (This could so easily backfire).

Or is this a new form of mental programming for the inductees into the climate faith? Now, when they hear “it’s not warming”, they’ll be getting confirmation — warming means “bad stuff”, now not warming means “bad stuff too!” It’s a form of deep psychology — so deep it’s done right through the magma and come out the other side.

If it looks upside down, that’s because it is.

on Grist is not impressed:

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ABC bias against coal hurts the poor and the workers: Sell the ABC

A new report shows ABC journalists are fond of renewables and overlook their dismal economic value, while putting out bad news on coal, and ignoring the benefits of vast cheap profitable energy. Who could have seen that coming: a large public funded institution attracts employees who like large public funding?

The IPA arranged for a media analysis firm to compare the ABC reporting on coal and renewables.

ABC gives the green light to renewables, and the red light to Australia’s largest export industry and provider of 75% of our electricity.

ABC accused of bias against coalmining

Andrew Fraser, The Australian

The analysis of 2359 reports broadcast on the ABC over six months before March 15 this year found 15.9 per cent of stories on coalmining and 12.1 per cent of those about coal-seam gas mining were favourable, while 53 per cent of those on renewable energy were favourable.

It also found 31.6 per cent of stories on coal mining and 43.6 per cent of stories on coal-seam gas were unfavourable, while only 10.8 per cent of stories on renewable energy were ­unfavourable.

The ABC has become its own best case for privatizing the ABC. How much could we get? The funds from its sale, and the savings of the $1.25 billion it costs annually, would help to pay down the massive debt left by the Rudd-Gillard government.  The real benefits could be much much higher. The ABC has become an advertising agency for any group dependent on public funding. Without the constant one-sided promotion of wasteful spending, Australian policy might shift towards self sufficient entrepreneurs instead of rent-seekers. How many countless billions is that worth?

The economic situation of renewables and coal is blindingly obvious:

Brown and Black coal provide electricity in Australia at less than 4c /KWhr, while Solar costs nearly 20c.  Figures thanks to Alan Moran: Submission to the Renewable Energy Target Review Panel, IPA, 2014

 

Australian energy generation, coal, oil, gas, renewables, hydro, biomass.To put a perspective on it, coal is Australia’s largest exporter industry, producing 33% of our energy and a whopping 75% of our electricity. (Wind and solar produce all of 1%.) The coal industry provides the ABC with funds, via tax, while the wind and solar industries are a net drain on the public purse. The cheapest way to reduce CO2 (and by a whopping 15%) looks like being an upgrade for our coal fired plants so they are like the hot new Chinese plants. But how important is reducing CO2 to the ABC? Apparently it’s not quite as important as cheering on other big-government babies.

We can debate the environmental pluses and minuses of coal, but the economic case is a lay down misere. Renewables are anywhere from 200% to 500% more expensive.

Here’s the ABC view of the economic contribution of coal to Australia.

Chart 4: How the ABC depicts the economic impact of the coal industry

The renewables industry on the other hand makes expensive electricity, which punishes the lower income earners and makes everything from health, to education to organic hemp hairshirts more expensive. Higher energy costs makes it harder for employers to employ people.

Because renewables are awful for the poor and reduce jobs for workers, we can expect the ABC will leave no stone unturned in accurately reporting the economic effect of renewables. Or not…

Chart 9: How the ABC depicts the economic impact of the renewable
energy industry

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Emma Thompson (actress) recites Greenpeace hymn specially for Australian PM

Congrats to Emma Thompson, she knows the litany perfectly.

It takes an Oscar winning actress to keep a smug face while saying something this inane.

“Tony Abbott Climate Change is REAL I’m standing on it!”

 

I hope she sends another message when she reaches the place called “climate sameness”.

Something tells me this is a high-carbon-footprint way to send a message. Perhaps an email to Tony Abbott might have saved some fish from becoming reckless in 2050?

Waxing Gibberish sends an alternative sign:

 

There are more gems of wisdom from economist scientist-actress Thompson. She must have  a Nanny McPhee trick or Sybill Trelawney divination up her sleeve: she thinks millions of letters can change the Arctic weather.

SBS

 ”Bear in mind that politicians often lose sight of issues that aren’t in front of them all the time.

“So we all need to be bold.

“If tens of millions of us wrote to our leaders demanding action on the Arctic and climate change, well – that could change everything.”

Royal Mail, a new climate forcing then?

In Thompson’s world, it’s all the governments fault. If only they would get out of the way, I mean, give us everything.

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Peak China

Australia might be the largest coal exporter in the world, but only because all the larger producers of coal keep their own and use it themselves. China is the silent giant coal monster — in 2009 Australia exported 260Mt of coal (our largest export industry). That same year China produced (and used) 3 billion tons. In this era, to predict anything globally, we need to understand China. David Archibald is author of the  Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short. He slices the energy data. (Energy, of course, drives everything). China is eating through its coal — it may be able to sustain this peak rate for a decade or so. Chinese oil appears close to reaching its peak. Growth in Chinese steel production has been slowing since 2006. The implications are provocative. — Jo

Guest Post by David Archibald

China has become wealthier in the last couple of decades but unfortunately is using some of that new wealth for military adventures against its neighbours.  The neighbours aren’t happy.  Over 60 percent of the people in countries bordering the South China Sea fear Chinese aggression and expect imminent war.  If China keeps growing their economy that will only make them more capable militarily and more aggressive.   Increases in Chinese debt have been fuelling growth in GDP but as that debt balloons out further growth becomes unsustainable.  But beyond economic considerations are there any physical limits to how big the Chinese economy might get?

It has been suggested that water availability is China’s hard limit.  But if the Israelis can grow crops commercially using desalinated seawater, then water may not be a problem if the solution is simply to build desalination plants.  All economic activity derives from energy sources so let’s start with them.  This is a graph of China’s coal production from 1981 with a projection to 2050.

China’s coal production compared to the rest of the world from 1981 with a projection to 2050.

China is the big orange blob in the middle.  If this graph is anywhere near correct, China is building coal-consuming steelworks and power stations that are going to run out of coal to burn before the plants themselves wear out.  China started out with coal reserves very similar to the US at 220 billion tonnes.  Of that endowment, 60 billion tonnes have been dug up and burnt so far.  The Chinese coal reserves are counted as those seams down to 1,000 metres.  Beyond that depth mining is much more difficult due to rock stresses, gas outbursts and temperature.  In the north of China where their coal is, the mines in the eastern provinces now have an average depth of 600 metres and the average depth in the main coal-producing province, Shanxi, is near to 500 metres.  At the current production rate of four billion tonnes per annum with 90% of that from underground mines, China’s coal mines are getting deeper by 16 metres every year.  In another ten years China will have burnt through half of its coal reserves with costs rising and production falling after that.  So from about the middle of next decade China will start losing its energy cost advantage.

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Lewandowsky — Do we hate our participants?

José Duarte is a psychology PhD candidate. He is able to make sense of  issues in the “Moon Landing Paper” by Stephan Lewandowsky, with some new angles in a way I haven’t seen before. He makes a convincing case for the paper to be retracted, about six times over. My initial analysis of this paper still stands: This could be the worst paper  I have seen — an ad hom argument taken to its absurd extreme, rebadged as “science”.

I recommend Duarte’s whole long analysis, though there is language there that for legal reasons I won’t repeat or endorse. What we see is sloppy science and grand “incompetence“.

Duarte focuses on the deception of a title based on only 10 responses, some of which were fakes, none of which was disclosed to the reader:

Lewandowsky, Oberauer, Gignac titled their paper “NASA faked the moon landing—therefore, (climate) science is a hoax: an anatomy of the motivated rejection of science.”

Why is their title based on the variable for which they have the least data, essentially no data?

Why in the abstract are they linking free market views to incredibly damaging positions that again, they have no data for?

Could this be an error? That seems very unlikely. The researchers have had two years to come clean, to admit that there was no significant data regarding belief in the moon hoax or rejection of the HIV-AIDS or smoking-lung cancer links. They’ve had two years to remove the very-likely-to-be-scam participants identitifed by people who have looked at the data, which will further reduce those trivial numbers at the bottom, and they’ve not done so. I’m not sure they even talk about it. Lewandowsky still won’t tell the public that fewer than 10 participants rejected the moon hoax or HIV and smoking claims – after all this time Lewandowsky is still evading those basic facts and distracting his readers with nonsense statistics. Pearson correlations on essentially dichotomous data skewed 1135 to 10? The paper should have been retracted by the authors long ago.

Duarte reminds us that the title contains a form of reasoning, a causal directional claim for which there is no data. As if readers start from deciding the Moon landing was faked then use that “therefore” to reject “climate science”. In the end there were four (count them, 4)* anonymous online respondents who said the Moon landing was faked AND that climate science was a hoax. Why won’t Psychological Science retract this paper?

The data was so bad, Duarte calls it “go home” data.

I don’t know what’s going on at Psych Science – the stats here were amateurish and deceptive. First, the data here was go home data. If you want to link moon hoax nonsense to your political foes, and in 1145 participants there are only 10 people who endorse that hoax (fewer after you delete the fakes), only 3 of whom endorse the climate hoax idea (fewer after you delete the fakes), you go home. It’s over. If you see similar trivial numbers for the HIV and smoking items, you bail. Go to a show, discover a new restaurant, think about the design of your next study. Those are go home numbers – you definitely don’t write it up.

Duarte asks  “Do we hate our participants?”

This was an awful thing to do. It was damaging to innocent participants. It’s unethical to do this to your participants. It is wildly unethical to invite people to participate in a study, and then do this to them. They are helping us. They are volunteering to participate in scientific research. They’ve take time out of their lives to help us out. And in return, we slander them? We tell the world that they believe things that they do not believe? What Lewandowsky and colleagues did here was despicable.

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A few PR Giants won’t help “deniers of climate change” (but 70% of PR giants will)

The most dangerous thing is a skeptic that can be heard.

If only climate activists had evidence, they wouldn’t need to use social censure, instead of reasoned arguments. But it was never about the science, and always about PR. If skeptical arguments weren’t so powerful, the fans of Climate Change TM wouldn’t be going out of their way to try to silence skeptics.

This article itself is spun. They frame the message to avoid saying that only 28% of PR Firms agreed climate change was a threat or that 60% of PR firms ignored them completely. They only name five PR groups, and at least one (WPP) is a conglomerate of 150 firms which “will all make their own decisions”. So much for that.

The Guardian,of course, gullibly soaks up the meme. Suzanne Goldenberg and Nishad Karim asks no hard questions.

World’s top PR companies rule out working with climate deniers

Ten firms say they will not represent clients that deny man-made climate change or seek to block emisson-reducing regulations

Since no one actually denies the climate changes, this is a bit like refusing to work with Klingons. Though fans of Climate Change TM speak in Spin-English and in that language “climate change” means man-made-catastrophic-weather. In that sense, these firms are boycotting up to 60% of their potential clients. It may not be the best business strategy in a world shifting away from big-spending green projects.

What is most telling, is that even after being repeatedly harrassed by an activist by phone, mail and email from the Climate Investigations Centre, fully 60% of PR companies ignored them completely:

Only 10 of the 25 firms responded to multiple emails, phone calls and certified letters from the CIC, either directly or through a parent company.

And watch the pea, 40% of companies responded, but not all of them ruled out working with “deniers”. Only seven agreed “climate change” was a threat. The number that would boycott “deniers” was described as “smaller” — too small to actually put a number on?

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Green plan causes air pollution, may kill thousands in the UK, thanks to dirty diesel

A Greenpeace Bio-diesel Campaign, November 2000

Golly — who would have thought that policies based on a logical fallacy and a pseudo-religion would be a bad idea? It’s not just bad, it’s deadly. For the last ten years environmentalists and greens told Europeans to buy diesel cars, not petrol, because they produce less CO2. So British people, and a lot of Europe too, did exactly that — lured by generous tax breaks, pushed by the guilt trip if they were thinking of buying a petrol car. The car fleet of the EU was transformed. Back in the early nineties, hardly anyone owned a diesel, but now, as many as half of all new cars in the UK are diesel, and some extra 45 million diesel cars have been bought across Europe. But clean energy turned out to be dirty fuel, with diesels producing tons of small dangerous particulates, black carbon, and other real pollutants.

It’s so bad, the UK is not meeting air pollution standards, and more importantly, by at least one estimate, some 7,000 deaths a year can be attributed to diesel pollution from cars.

Diesel pollution is becoming such an issue in London that Boris Johnson is thinking of charging diesel drivers an extra £10 to drive in London – “a measure that could be copied by as many as 18 other cities. “ A debacle all the way down.

h/t to Colin who helped research the story too. As he describes it, it’s the deadly fruits of greenery.

Telegraph– “Diesel car drivers ‘betrayed’ as EU cracks down on Britain over air pollution”

“For more than a decade, motorists buying diesel cars have enjoyed tax breaks because the cars produce lower levels of carbon dioxide and are more fuel efficient.

Now, Britain is being sued by the European Commission for breaching air pollution limits, because emissions from diesel vehicles are contributing to tens of thousands of premature deaths each year.”

Diesel drivers may feel a bit betrayed, and the guilt trip gets inverted:

Edmund King, the president of the AA, said: “Some drivers will feel betrayed and misled because they were encouraged to go for the dash for diesel. “In the 1990s there was a near hysteria about carbon dioxide, and yet nobody looked at the bigger picture. “The drivers thought they were doing the right thing, but now they are being told that it has serious health implications. They are being made to feel guilty for something that they were encouraged to do.

The UK government taxed petrol driven cars more from 2001, which meant the public shifted to buying the more polluting diesel cars instead. A third of the British fleet is diesel now!

In 2001, Gordon Brown, the then chancellor, overhauled vehicle excise duty so that cars that emitted a higher level of carbon dioxide faced a higher level of vehicle excise duty. Labour introduced the new regime despite official warnings that diesel vehicles emit “10 times the fine particles and up to twice the nitrogen dioxide”. The move prompted a “profound” shift towards diesel cars, which produce lower levels of carbon dioxide because they are about 20 per cent more efficient than petrol engines. Over the past decade, the number of diesel cars on Britain’s roads has risen from 1.6 million to more than 11 million and accounts for a third of vehicles. The latest government statistics show that in 2011, the nation’s 28.5 million cars emitted 150,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, but a further 97,000 tons were given off by just 400,000 HGVs.

Between 7,000 to 13,000 deaths each year in the UK attributed to diesel:

Prof Frank Kelly estimates diesel causes about 7,000 deaths in the UK each year:

Diesel engines in buses, vans, cars and trains may be responsible for thousands of premature deaths a year and cost the NHS billions of pounds, say air pollution health experts. With government figures for 2008 showing 29,000 people dying prematurely from air pollution each year, diesel fuel burned in vehicles could be responsible for around one in four of all air pollution deaths, said Frank Kelly, professor of environmental health at King’s College, London. -- The Guardian

But Barrett and Yim estimated  in 2012 that diesel emissions from cars, planes and power plants contributed to “an estimated 13,000 premature deaths annually in the United Kingdom.”

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Weekend Unthreaded

A home for lost thoughts.

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Biomass burning kills 250,000 people a year

The headline at Science Daily is that wildfires and other burns lead to climate change. The paper itself asks: “As such, particle burn-off of clouds may be a major underrecognized source of global warming.” For me what matters are the deaths in the here and now:

“We calculate that 5 to 10 percent of worldwide air pollution mortalities are due to biomass burning,” Jacobson said. “That means that it causes the premature deaths of about 250,000 people each year.”

 This is similar to Indur Goklany’s conclusion in 2011:

Killing people with “concern”? Biofuels led to nearly 200,000 deaths (est) in 2010.

In a study  published in  Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Indur Goklany calculated the additional mortality burden of biofuels policies and found that nearly 200,000 people died in 2010 alone, because of efforts to use biofuels to reduce CO2 emissions.

Goklany (2011) estimated that the increase in the poverty headcount due to higher biofuel production between 2010 and 2004 implies 192,000 additional deaths and 6.7 million additional lost DALYs in 2010 alone.

He compared this death tally to the WHO figures for deaths attributed to global warming and finds that the biofuels policies are more deadly. (And he is not including any increase in poverty due to other anti-global warming practices).

What rather matters is how much of this is “wild” fire and how much is agricultural fire. Indur Goklany’s work looked specifically at biofuels, so related to man-made air pollution. From the actual Jacobsen paper it’s clear that this is mostly thought to be man-made fires:

Seiler and Crutzen [1980] further estimated that wildfires in temporal plus boreal forests comprised ~35.7% of all dry matter burned but pointed out that 70–90% of such wildfires were due to human activity (e.g., campfires, debris burning, cigarettes, etc.). Thus, of total world fire emissions today, ~7.1% (3.6%–10.7%) may be natural and the rest, anthropogenic. Houghton [2005] indicates that, in 1850, CO2 emissions from land use change may have been ~34% those in 2005. Thus, in 1850, BB [Burning Biomass] emissions were lower than those today. Such emissions may have been mostly anthropogenic [e.g.,  Marlon et al., 2008] although partly natural as well. Today, BB emissions are much higher with only a small percent natural.

Does black carbon change clouds?

The study goes on to say that black carbon effectively causes global warming too because it heats water droplets, melts clouds and ice,  and reduces the thickness of cloud cover.

So any minute now I expect environmentalists around the world will start a “Boycott Biomass” campaign. Clearly any truly compassionate green could do nothing less since biomass is a net killer, and warms the planet too.

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Broken models predict extreme cold snaps. (CO2 causes every sort of weather.)

Remember how CO2 is supposed to cause warmer winters, and warmer nights? Well now CO2 also produces cold snaps. No matter what weather you get, there is a citation to blame CO2. Nature (the formerly great science journal) and Northeastern University have produced another permutation of outputs from models we know are broken.

The first line in the press release is false and smugly so: “most sci­en­tists — 97 per­cent of them, to be exact — agree that the tem­per­a­ture of the planet is rising and that the increase is due to human activ­i­ties….”  10 seconds on Google would have shown — 60% of geoscientists and engineers don’t agree.

If Kodra and co were trying to be accurate, they could have said “97% of annointed climate scientists agree… “. If they were trying to be scientific, of course, they wouldn’t mention a consensus at all. If they had good evidence, they’d talk about that instead.

They dug deep in The-Book-of-Cliches for the press release. Strip away the advertising spin and I think this is the nub of the work:

“While global tem­per­a­ture is indeed increasing, so too is the vari­ability in tem­per­a­ture extremes. For instance, while each year’s average hottest and coldest tem­per­a­tures will likely rise, those aver­ages will also tend to fall within a wider range of poten­tial high and low tem­perate extremes than are cur­rently being observed. This means that even as overall tem­per­a­tures rise, we may still con­tinue to expe­ri­ence extreme cold snaps…

Essentially, by using a models that didn’t predict the pause, nor the missing hot spot, and with homogenized, reanalyzed data that probably does not resemble the observations, they found something “interesting”. The modern witchdoctors are at work. Runestones, tea-leaves, broken models, what’s the difference?

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Senate Report: Billionaires covertly funding environmental machine

There is a big new 92 page Minority Staff Senate report on “the Billionaires Club” that funnels money through labyrinthine mechanisms and sophisticated tax loopholes to conceal the source of the funding.
It is corruption all the way down…

The Chain of Environmental Command, (2014) United States Senate, Committee on Environment and Public Works, Minority Staff Report

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

…an elite group of left wing millionaires and billionaires, which this report refers to as the “Billionaire’s Club,” who directs and controls the far-left environmental movement, which in turn controls major policy decisions and lobbies on behalf of the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Even more unsettling, a dominant organization in this movement is Sea Change Foundation, a private California foundation, which relies on funding from a foreign company with undisclosed donors. In turn, Sea Change funnels tens of millions of dollars to other large but discreet foundations and prominent environmental activists who strive to control both policy and politics”

The donations are fed to a public charity (with tax benefits), which then forwards the money to a different linked type of organization which is permitted to lobby and campaign politically.

“…what is clear is that these individuals and foundations go to tremendous lengths to avoid public association with the far-left environmental movement they so generously fund. The report attempts to decipher the patterns of “charitable giving.” Often the wealthiest foundations donate large sums to intermediaries – sometimes a pass through and sometimes a fiscal sponsor. The intermediary then funnels the money to other 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations that the original foundation might also directly support. The report offers theories that could explain this bizarre behavior, but at its core, the Billionaire’s Club is not, and seemingly does not, want to be transparent about the groups they fund and how much they are supporting them.
  • Nearly all of the public charities discussed in this report have an affiliated 501(c)(4) that engages in activities designed to influence elections and have no restrictions on their lobbying efforts. The funding of a 501(c)(4) by a 501(c)(3) affiliates is provocative in light of the legal restrictions on public charities from participating in political campaigning, either directly or indirectly, while permitting a 501(c)(4) to significantly engage in campaign activities. (Pg. 14)
In advancing their cause, these wealthy liberals fully exploit the benefits of a generous tax code meant to promote genuine philanthropy and charitable acts, amazingly with little apparent Internal Revenue Service scrutiny. Instead of furthering a noble purpose, their tax deductible contributions secretly flow to a select group of left wing activists who are complicit and eager to participate in the fee-for-service arrangement to promote shared political goals. Moreover, the financial arrangement provides significant insulation to these wealthy elite from the incidental damage they do to the U.S. economy and average Americans.
The “green revolving door” at the EPA uses your tax funds to reward activists with careers, who in turn send more taxpayer funds to friends and colleagues.
“The Billionaire’s Club achieves many of its successes through the “capture” of key employees at EPA. These “successes” are often at the expense of farmers, miners, roughnecks, ii
small businesses, and families. This report proves that the Obama EPA has been deliberately staffed at the highest levels with far-left environmental activists who have worked hand-in-glove with their former colleagues. The green-revolving door at EPA has become a valuable asset for the far-left and their wealthy donors. In addition to providing insider access to important policy decisions, it appears activists now at EPA also funnel government money through grants to their former employers and colleagues. The report tracks the amount of government aid doled out to activist groups and details a troubling disregard for ethics by certain high powered officials.”
  • Under President Obama, EPA has given more than $27 million in taxpayer-funded grants to major environmental groups. Notably, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense Fund – two key activists groups with significant ties to senior EPA officials – have collected more than $1 million in funding each. (Pg. 34)
Is this where the fantasy of “organized networks of skeptics” comes from? Those bizarre spaghetti diagrams with tenuous links are just a “projection” of the real organized networks of lobbyists and activists.

I expect we’ll be discussing the details for some time to come. I have no problem with anonymous donors to real charities, but tax dodging, fake grassroots movements, coupled with political influence, and ultimately amplification through government funds is something else.

Why are some groups allowed to get away with what appears to be a form of tax evasion? Is this selective enforcement (like the IRS Scandal), or can any side of politics get away with it?

REFERENCE:  The Chain of Environmental Command, (2014) United States Senate, Committee on Environment and Public Works, Minority Staff Report
h/t to Randy, Pat, truthseeker, John Smith and James Delingpole’s view too.
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Let’s copy California and have less jobs, less money, less energy. Feel that Green Glory!

NSW (and a lot of Australia) is a closeted corner of the world where electronic news can take decades to arrive. The electrons themselves make it downunder in 150 milliseconds or so, but the message may never make it past the ABC-Fairfax filter. Apparently the highest office in NSW wants to emulate California. It’s like it’s 1994.

“When it comes to clean energy, we can be Australia’s answer to California.”

– Rob Stokes, NSW Environment Minister.*

Maurice Newman sets him straight in The Australian.

In short –  companies are fleeing from a green California to Texas where electricity is half the price. For some reason jobs, profits, products and opportunities are following the energy. California’s unemployment rate is 7.4%. Texas’ is 5.1%.

California dreaming is nuts in NSW

“The NSW government must also be oblivious to the steady exodus of Californian businesses and jobs. Companies like Toyota, which after 60 years has moved its US headquarters to Texas, or Occidental Petroleum, which after 50 years has left for Houston. Chevron is next. Other stalwarts like ARCO, Getty Oil, Union Oil, Fluor, Calpine and Intel have all moved in search of a more business friendly environment and lower energy costs. Texas has been the main beneficiary. It has added 200,000 jobs in the energy sector in the past decade while California has barely managed 20,000. Texas leads California in the export of hi-tech.”

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Did Australian monster volcanoes cause the mass extinction 510m years ago?

Marvel this: It would seem that massive volcanic eruptions in Australia wiped out 50% of all species 510 million years ago.

Try to imagine a volcano so big, the lava flow covers 2 million square kilometers. For US folk, that would be like a volcano that covered California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Idaho and Washington State combined.

(And some people think we are facing a “crisis” today?)

It was, to put it mildly, quite bad news for trilobites which had only been around for a trifling 10 million years at that stage. Otherwise life at that time was sponges, fungi, algae, and on land, attractive sounding things like microbial mats. (I suspect a Cambrian-era-Greenpeace would have struggled to find cuddly photogenic targets. Oops, no cameras either.)

 

510m years ago that Kalkarindji volcano erupted.  The dashed line indicates the borders of the Kalkarindji “large igneous province.” Image: Fred Jourdan/ Curtin University Department of Applied Geology

I love the grand big-picture in all its imponderable vastness and power. I’m not so enthused on their climate analysis. I half wonder – half marvel at whether we can really figure out what happened that long ago.

The poor researchers are burdened with the culture of bad climate models. You can feel their struggle: volcanic dust causes cooling, but CO2 causes warming.  Which wins? Do we get the ultimate volcanic winter or will that be global warming? Answer, apparently “both”:

“The study states it would result in “rapid climate changes and climate oscillations.”

Translation, Jourdan said: “Game over.”

“It was a yo-yo effect,” Jourdan says. “You had a long-term warming with the greenhouse gasses, but also a back-and-forth between warming and a cooling.”” — Washington Post

I wonder what resolution they get on that climate yo-yo 510,000,000 years ago. Were those annual, decadal, or centennial swings?

Their climate speculation aside, I found the rest of the paper intriguing. It was first released at the end of May.

—————————————————–

Australia’s deadly eruptions were reason for the first mass extinction

[Curtin University, May 30th 2014]

A Curtin University researcher has shown that ancient volcanic eruptions in Australia 510 million years ago significantly affected the climate, causing the first known mass extinction in the history of complex life.

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Gina McCarthy, EPA: carbon reduction is not about pollution – it’s about money

I don’t think Gina McCarthy had thought this through. McCarthy to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:

“And the great thing about this proposal is it really is an investment opportunity. This is not about pollution control. It’s about increased efficiency at our plants…It’s about investments in renewables and clean energy. It’s about investments in people’s ability to lower their electricity bills by getting good, clean, efficient appliances, homes, rental units,”
“This is an investment strategy that will really not just reduce carbon pollution but will position the United States to continue to grow economically in every state, based on their own design,” McCarthy added.

She is discussing something called the Clean Power Plan. Mark this day. She goes on to find the perpetual motion machine of economics:

Sir, what I know about this rule is that I know it will leave the United States in 2030 with a more efficient and cleaner energy supply system — and more jobs in clean energy, which are the jobs of the future,” McCarthy responded.

The EPA doesn’t just have a landline to God. They are God. They can use less energy to generate more wealth, more employment, and global peace.

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Weekend Unthreaded

A place for roving thoughts …

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Half the world is immune to “expert consensus” they don’t think scientists know what they are talking about

The headline here is that nearly half the population don’t think climate scientists know what they are talking about. Effectively thse people are immune to the 97% consensus figure. Who cares if most “experts” agree, if the blind are leading the blind?  The most skeptical of environmental scientists were the people of China, Japan, and Germany. Two thirds of Swedes, on the other hand, still trust environmental scientists.

Ipsos Mori  conducted this massive survey. Though, like many international multi-lingual endevours, there are confounding conflicts in the answers. All up, 16,000 online adults based in 20 countries were asked some interesting questions, and sometimes their answers made sense, but unfortunately we just can’t be sure when. In China 75% of respondents think scientists don’t know what they are talking about; 51% think that current climate change is natural, but 93% think it is also largely man-made. So 42% think that it’s our fault but it’s also natural. I suspect there is a language barrier. The Chinese were simultaneously the most paranoid cynics and the most dutiful recyclers. They were the third most skeptical nation while being the single most fervent believers and both simultaneously. Perhaps someone who knows more about China than I do can explain that contradiction?

The four most skeptical nations were respectively, the US, Great Britain, Australia and Russia. A recent large and detailed poll of the UK with full demographic information showed 62% of the UK (or GB, as it is listed below) were skeptical and didn’t believe the recent floods in the UK were “man-made” through climate change. That detailed poll was more internally consistent than this international one. It also showed there was a higher proportion of skeptics among the well educated, and the largest contingent of believers was left in the unskilled worker category.

Ipsos Mori did the survey and their website has all the percentages on every bar as well. Their data is available here.

Environmental scientists don’t know what they are talking about:

Total 48% agree. 42% disagree.

q3 Even the scientists don’t really know what they are talking about on environmental issues.

58% of Germans agree that environmental scientists are guessing what goes on. 54% in India (they are quite skeptical overall). Around 43% of people from Britain, the US and Australia agree.

Look out! Disaster coming.

But what kind of disaster? Other studies show people worry about smog, litter and other stuff before they worry about the climate. And people generally worry about everything else — like the economy and jobs, before they worry about the environment. Only 3% of Americans named “The Environment/Pollution” as the top issue. The question: “We are headed for an environmental disaster unless we change our habits quickly” is the loaded motherhood type question that doesn’t ask people to rank different fears or put a dollar value on their fears.  A CSIRO survey showed 80% of Australians chose not to voluntarily pay money for “the environment”.

q1 We are headed for an environmental disaster unless we change our habits quickly.

Governments just want your money:

Europe leads the pack. Fittingly, the Spanish lead the pack that leads the pack.

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The mystery of cooling deep ocean, volcanoes, and missing heat

That deep heat almost seems to coincide with Atlantic and Southern Ocean volcanoes?

All roads lead to the ocean. This time, though, we’re talking about the mysterious deep abyss, below 2,000m and even below 3,600m. Wunsch et al, claim the data shows the deep ocean cooled by one hundredth of a degree in the last 19 years. But they admit that really… this could just be noise. (Well, shock me.) But they have some new and glorious heat maps, and I use those to do some wild speculation about volcanoes.

When all is said and done, there are three inescapable oceanic truths:

  1. Around 90% of all the energy in the Earth’s climate system is in the oceans.
  2. Thou shalt not create nor destroy energy.
  3. If there was an energy imbalance running day after day, gazillions of Joules of energy must be somewhere. They cannot “pause”, take holidays, nor appear in future without being present in the now.

Despite the 95% certainty among 97% of certified “climate scientists”, no one can find that energy. Thus the social-science-fact meets the physical-science-fact. Which “fact” should we spend billions on? The stone-age approach is to go with the “doctors” not the data, and western civilization seems pretty comfortable with that.

In the end, the uncertain data and lower-than-expected warming are the foundations under the “95%” certainty, and those statements should be accorded all the scientific respect that any political slogan deserves.

Some glorious heat-maps.

The first map shows how patchy the ocean is, which makes it all the more difficult to measure accurately.

Figure 14: Di fference in heat content of the annual average of 2011 minus that of 1993, H (0;-h; 2011) – H (0;-h; 1993) : The strong spatial structure represents a major observational challenge to determining an accurate mean change.

Secondly, Wunsch slice through the depths, so we can see that the top 700m is warming near Greenland, and in the Western Pacific. But the potential hot spots below 2000m areon the other side of the planet. How curious?

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