Archive for October, 2010

Risky Windfall: Prince Charles To Profit From His Green Energy Campaign

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Source: UK Mail

by Martin Delgado and Christopher Leake,

The Royal Family have secured a lucrative deal that will earn them tens of millions of pounds from the massive expansion of offshore windfarms. They will net up to £37.5?million extra income every year from the drive for green energy because the seabed within Britain’s territorial waters is owned by the Crown Estate.

Under new measures announced by Chancellor George Osborne last week, the Royals will soon get 15 per cent of the profits from the Estate’s £6?billion property portfolio, rather than the existing Civil List arrangement.

Experts predict the growth in offshore windfarms could be worth up to £250?million a year to the Crown Estate. There are already 436 turbines in operation around the UK’s 7,700-mile coastline – but within a decade that number is set to reach nearly 7,000.

Prince Charles is a vociferous campaigner for renew able energy sources such as these, but is opposed to turbines being erected on land – particularly near his own homes.

He has described windfarms as a ‘horrendous blot on the landscape’ and has refused to have any built at his Highgrove home or on the Duchy of Cornwall estate.

But he has expressed enthusiasm for sitting them offshore. (more…)

The Con Grows — Holbrooke’s Amazing Global Warming Claim

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Source: Human Events

by Sen. James Inhofe

Posted 10/25/2010 ET

For some, global warming is the sinister cause of every problem plaguing the world-even the conflict between India and Pakistan.

This misapprehension has apparently taken hold of Richard Holbrooke, President Obama’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Bob Woodward’s new book, Obama’s Wars, Holbrooke believes there is a “global warming dimension” of the India-Pakistan conflict.”In one discussion about the tensions between Pakistan and India,” Woodward wrote, “Holbrooke introduced a new angle. ‘There’s a global-warming dimension of this struggle, Mr. President,’ he said.” Woodward wrote that Holbrooke’s “words baffled many in the room.” It’s not hard to see why.

“‘There are tens of thousands of Indian and Pakistani troops encamped on the glaciers in the Himalayas that feed the rivers into Pakistan and India,’ [Holbrooke] said. ‘Their encampments are melting the glaciers very quickly. There’s a chance that river valleys in Pakistan and perhaps even India could be flooded.’”

Woodward reported that attendees were incredulous. “After the meeting,” Woodward wrote, “there were several versions of one question: Was Holbrooke kidding? He was not. Holbrooke subsequently detailed his concerns in a written report.” I among many others would surely like to read Holbrooke’s report. I wonder if it notes the massive gaffe committed by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the scientific body responsible for, among other treasures, the Kyoto Protocol. (more…)

Queen set to earn millions from windfarm expansion

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Source: The UK Independent

There is more good financial news for the Queen and her eventual successor, among the few beneficiaries of last week’s spending review by George Osborne which cut billions off public spending.

The royals will indirectly benefit from the £200m extra that the Government will invest in offshore wind farms and in the port facilities needed to handle them. The seabed within Britain’s territorial waters, which extend almost 14 miles from the coast, is owned by the Crown Estate. Operators pay rent to the Crown Estate for the right to run cables along the seabed, and they also pay out a percentage of the profit from the electricity generated.

For more than two centuries, income from the Crown Estate has gone to the Exchequer, under a deal reached between Parliament and George III. But during his announcement of the Spending Review, Mr Osborne said the royal family is to receive a proportion of the income from the estate. The civil list, which has been Parliament’s way of financing the royal family up to now, is to be frozen, and then abolished outright in 2013.

The number of turbines operating around Britain’s coastline is scheduled to grow from 436 at present to around 6,400 in 2020, creating thousands of new jobs and generating tens of millions of extra income for the Crown Estate. (more…)

Time To Hold Environmental And Climate Doomsayers To Account

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Source:  Canada Free Press

by Dr. Tim Ball

The 1990 Greenpeace Report on Global Warming said, carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere naturally and unnaturally. They define unnatural as anything humans do. It is part of the theme of environmentalism that humans shouldn’t be here or tolerated only if they behave as they are told. The other part of the idea of unnatural is exploited to keep the people enthralled, fearful and therefore controlled. H.L.Mencken’s comment that, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary” applies and is proof of the political nature of events presented, directly or with implication, as unnatural.

The false idea is presented out of context then left uncorrected by lack of follow up. This is especially true if the story is a prediction. We need a media vehicle to analyze the story in context followed by the aftermath. It’s time for a program on which doomsayers who profited financially or politically from false stories and predictions confronted and held to account. Here are some recent stories that proved incorrect. (more…)

Science and soothsaying

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Source:  http://www.danielbbotkin.com/2007/12/31/science-and-soothsaying/

by Daniel Botkin

Now that the Bali conference is over and climate scientists have warned us again about the dire predictions of their climate models, a question remains: Will their forecasts come true? Given the current international focus on global warming, you would think that, in 10, 15 or 20 years, many people will want to know whether today’s predictions proved accurate.

But, in fact, people rarely look back to see if their old forecasts were on the mark. Foretelling the future has always been difficult and almost always wrong. Charles Mackay, in his wonderful 1841 book “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,” observes that the so-called necromancers of earlier centuries who purported to divine the future were grouped with the worst alchemists. Today, however, computers seem to have undermined our natural skepticism. Many of us put our faith in complex software that most of us cannot understand. (more…)

Warmists plot secretly to kill off the Medieval Warming Period. Again

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Source:  UK Telegraph

by James Delingpole

Remember how one of the great ambitions of the Climategate “scientists” was to “contain” the “putative” Medieval Warming Period? Well – guess what – they’re STILL at it.

Pretend ruins of fake 12th century Viking church moved to Greenland by Booker, Delingpole, North et al last year in cynical bid to pretend the MWP actually existed

Michael Mann, Phil Jones, Jonathan Overpeck, Eugene Wahl, Malcolm Hughes – just about anyone who’s anyone from the Climategate emails, in fact – have all been on a clandestine boondoggle to sunny Portugal, there to conspire how best to obliterate that embarrassing and inconvenient period of bounteous warmth between around 900 AD and 1280 AD known as the MWP.

Anthony Watts has the full story. The bit that interests me most is the size of their carbon footprint? And even more so, who actually grant-funded all these shysters to fly to Portugal for their weekend reality-denial fest? And even more, more so if it was us – which of course it was, via our governments, the UN and the EU – why we can’t have our money back NOW. (more…)

Species extinction: The teflon doomsayers

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Source:  Stephen Budiansky

In The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley offers example after spectacular example of a phenomenon that has baffled me ever since I began covering environmental issues in my first job in journalism thirty years ago: to wit, that while the entire presumable goal, purpose, and raison d’être of applied environmental science is to solve environmental problems, any environmental scientist who dares to suggest that problems are being solved is asking for trouble. As Ridley observes, we have arrived at a state where even the most wildly irrational pessimism is treated with reverence, while the most cautiously sober optimism is ridiculed.

SPPI NOTE: see these books for more on the topics of species endangerment

Some of this is human nature and was ever thus; intellectuals, as The Rational Optimist reminds us, have been decrying modernism ever since modernism began. Actually, I wouldn’t stop there: the belief in a lost golden age is as old as civilization, as is the intellectual vanity of casting oneself as the lone uncorrupted voice in the wilderness. A few thousand years before Dostoevsky, Malthus, George Orwell, andThe Rational Optimist, the Hebrew prophets were pouring out gloom and dismay with the best of them, dismissing the superficial comforts of the civilized world and its material rewards as a fool’s paradise. Pessimism is what people with deep minds and deep souls have; optimism is what idiots with vacant grins on their faces have. (more…)

Not Really the “Best and Brightest” at the IPCC

Monday, October 25th, 2010

SPPI NOTE: What follows is a series of postings about the lack of qualifications of some key authors of past IPCC reports on climate — which reports are used by governments the world over to justify policy on anything from energy to “social justice” schemes for transferring wealth within and between nations.

Source:  No Frakking Consensus

Lead Author Lacked a Master’s Degree

October 19, 2010

A PhD is an indicator that someone is proficient in their field. If an organization like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims to be comprised of the world’s “best experts” and “top scientists” it’s reasonable to assume that almost all will have earned their PhDs.

As I’ve mentioned, however, Lisa Alexander helped write the 2001 and 2007 IPCC assessment reports, yet only received her PhD last year. Prior to that, she was a research assistant in an arts faculty. It’s puzzling how someone who joined the IPCC a decade prior to receiving her PhD could possibly have been considered one of the world’s top scientists.

It turns out she isn’t alone. Laurens Bouwer is employed by VU University Amsterdam. According to that institution’s website, he too remains PhD-free. Yet a bio dated last month tells us he was a lead author for the the 2001 assessment report, as well as a contributor to the IPCC’s “Special Report on Extremes.” (more…)

Climate Heretic: Judith Curry Turns on Her Colleagues

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Source:  Scientific American

by Michael D. Lemonick

In trying to understand the Judith Curry phenomenon, it is tempting to default to one of two comfortable and familiar story lines.

CRITIC: Judith Curry has traded harsh words with many of her colleagues in climate science

For most of her career, Curry, who heads the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has been known for her work on hurricanes, Arctic ice dynamics and other climate-related topics. But over the past year or so she has become better known for something that annoys, even infuriates, many of her scientific colleagues. Curry has been engaging actively with the climate change skeptic community, largely by participating on outsider blogs such as Climate Audit, the Air Vent and the Black­board. Along the way, she has come to question how climatologists react to those who question the science, no matter how well established it is. Although many of the skeptics recycle critiques that have long since been disproved, others, she believes, bring up valid points—and by lumping the good with the bad, climate researchers not only miss out on a chance to improve their science, they come across to the public as haughty. “Yes, there’s a lot of crankology out there,” Curry says. “But not all of it is. If only 1 percent of it or 10 percent of what the skeptics say is right, that is time well spent because we have just been too encumbered by groupthink.” (more…)

Global Warming not to blame for toad extinction

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Source: Wattsup

Anthony Watts

From a Columbia University press release, here’s a case where the early speculation of science was wrong. Originally global warming was blamed, but it turns out to be El Niño helping along an already established pathogen.

El Niño and a pathogen killed Costa Rican toad, study finds

Challenges evidence that global warming was the cause

The Monteverde golden  toad disappeared from Costa Rica Pacific coastal forest in the late  1980sThe Monteverde golden toad disappeared from Costa Rica Pacific coastal forest in the late 1980s. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Scientists broadly agree that global warming may threaten the survival of many plant and animal species; but global warming did not kill the Monteverde golden toad, an often cited example of climate-triggered extinction, says a new study.  The toad vanished from Costa Rica’s Pacific coastal-mountain cloud forest in the late 1980s, the apparent victim of a pathogen outbreak that has wiped out dozens of other amphibians in the Americas. Many researchers have linked outbreaks of the deadly chytrid fungus to climate change, but the new study asserts that the weather patterns, at Monteverde at least, were not out of the ordinary. (more…)

Where Are The Corpses?

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Source:  Wattsup

by Willis Eschenbach

Abstract

The record of continental (as opposed to island) bird and mammal extinctions in the last five centuries was analyzed to determine if the “species-area” relationship actually works to predict extinctions. Very few continental birds or mammals are recorded as having gone extinct, and none have gone extinct from habitat reduction alone. No continental forest bird or mammal is recorded as having gone extinct from any cause. Since the species-area relationship predicts that there should have been a very large number of recorded bird and mammal extinctions from habitat reduction over the last half millennium, I show that the species-area relationship gives erroneous answers to the question of extinction rates.

Figure 1. The Object of My Quest — The Corpse of an Extinct Bird

Extinction Fiction

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Source:  No Frakking Consensus

by Donna Laframboise

October 9, 2010

I’ve been asked to combine two posts from earlier this week – regarding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s dubious species extinction claim – into a single document.  They have now, therefore, been transformed into a spiffy, 9-page PDF.

read/download it here:

http://TinyUrl.com/extinction-fiction

For more info on the topic of species extinction, see this excellent essay by Stephen Budiansky (hat tip to Bishop Hill).

Willis Eschenbach’s essay Where Are the Corpses? over at Watts Up With That is thought-provoking – as are Benny Peiser’s views on the fate of Easter Island.

A few more interesting links regarding the extinction issue are here, here, and herethanks Tim.

Finally, this is a long weekend in Canada. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving a month ahead of our American neighbours, our traditions are similar – gathering with family and friends to feast on roast turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, autumn vegetables, pumpkin pie, and more.

This is my favourite holiday of the entire year. Only a fool could fail to be thankful for this gorgeous planet, its myriad lifeforms, for the people to whom we are connected, and for our opportunities and experiences.

When you hear the word ‘Biodiversity’ reach for your Browning

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Source: UK Telegraph

by James Dilingpole

This column comes to you from sunny Rajasthan, India, where I have taken my family to look for leopards (and crocodiles and monkeys and black buck…).

As you can imagine taking the kids somewhere so exotic at half term is costing me an arm and a leg I can ill afford. But I want them to share with me the almost matchless pleasure of seeing big cats (or big anything else: sharks are good too; and bears; and elephants…) in their native habitat. Being amid unspoilt nature, whether it’s walking in the Welsh or Scottish hills or going on safari in Africa or India, is what makes me truly happy, and I’m sure this will rub off on my miserable, ungrateful, ‘urrggh it’s spicy we hate spicy food isn’t there a Pizza Hut round here?’ kids eventually too. (more…)

‘Biodiversity’: the new Big Lie

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Source: UK Telegraph

by James Delingpole

And so it begins. With all the shamelessness of a Goldman Sachser trading in his middle-aged wife for a hot, pouting twentysomething called Ivanka, the green movement is ditching “Climate Change”. The newer, younger, sexier model’s name? Biodiversity.

When I say shameless, I’m talking so amoral it makes the Whore of Babylon look like Mother Theresa; so flagrant it makes Al Gore’s, ahem, alleged drunken “Love poodle” assault on the Portland Masseuse look like an especially delicate passage from Andreas Capellanus’s The Art of Courtly Love.

Consider this summary of the UN’s two-week Convention On Biodiversity, launched on Monday:

Delegates from nearly 200 countries are being asked to agree to new 2020 targets after governments largely failed to meet a 2010 target of achieving a significant reduction in biological diversity losses, a goal set at the last biodiversity conference in 2002. And one of the same issues that led to failure the first time around could jeopardize this meeting: money.

Developing nations say more funding is needed from developed countries to share the effort in saving nature. Much of the world’s remaining biological diversity is in developing nations such as Brazil, Indonesia and in central Africa.

Do you see what’s going on here? (more…)

The Non-Stop IPCC Spin Machine

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Source:  http://nofrakkingconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/the-non-stop-ipcc-spin-machine/

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) press release issued last week talks about transparency and openness. But don’t be fooled. Preparation of the 5th assessment report – known internally as AR5 – isn’t even fully underway, yet the organization is up to its old tricks.

Take a look at the Notes to Editors on the second page of the press release. This is supposed to be the non-controversial stuff, the basic nuts and bolts. Instead, it’s spin, spin, spin. Here’s a sentence for you:

Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the IPCC reports.

Back in June, the IPCC released the list of people who’ve been selected to work on AR5. It said that list contained 831 names  – not thousands. But the situation is really worse than that, since only those individuals assigned to Working Group 1 deal with hard science. (Working Group 2 speculates on how climate change might effect our world. Working Group 3 discusses what might be done in response.) (more…)