Archive for February, 2012

Things More Worrisome than AGW: America’s homeless resort to tent cities

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Source:  BBC

      America’s homeless resort to tent cities

Panorama’s Hilary Andersson comes face to face with the reality of poverty in America and finds that, for some, the last resort has become life in a tented encampment.

Just off the side of a motorway on the fringes of the picturesque town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a mismatched collection of 30 tents tucked in the woods has become home – home to those who are either unemployed, or whose wages are so low that they can no longer afford to pay rent.

Conditions are unhygienic. There are no toilets and electricity is only available in the one communal tent where the campers huddle around a wood stove for warmth in the heart of winter.

Ice weighs down the roofs of tents, and rain regularly drips onto the sleeping campers’ faces.

Tent cities have sprung up in and around at least 55 American cities – they represent the bleak reality of America’s poverty crisis. (more…)

The futility of emissions reduction targets

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Source:  Scientific Alliance

The futility of emissions reduction targets

Denmark holds this half-year’s rotating EU Council presidency. As you might expect from a Nordic country which is a leader in wind turbine manufacture and deployment, it favours tough emissions controls. Currently, the bloc is committed to a 20% cut in carbon dioxide emissions (from a 1990 baseline) by 2020. On offer is a 30% cut if other countries follow suit. It will have surprised very few people that there have been no takers.

Now, however, it seems that the Danish presidency wants to get member states to agree a firm target of a 40% reduction by 2030 at the environment ministers’ meeting in early March (see Denmark puts 2030 emissions targets on the agenda, on the Euractiv website). This had always been pencilled in as the likely goal en route to an 80-95% decarbonisation by 2050, but the Danes now want to get an EU commitment to it. (more…)

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Things More Worrisome than AGW: Fed to Devalue the Dollar by 33%

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Source:  Wealth Wire

The Fed is joining forces with the big banks. After their most recent two-day meeting, the announcement has been made official and the message is clear; the dollar will be tanking in no time.

Over the next two decades, the Fed aims to devalue the dollar by at least 33% according to Charles Kadlec from Forbes:

The debauch of the dollar will be even greater if the Fed exceeds its goal of a 2 percent per year increase in the price level.

An increase in the price level of 2% in any one year is barely noticeable. Under a gold standard, such an increase was uncommon, but not unknown. The difference is that when the dollar was as good as gold, the years of modest inflation would be followed, in time, by declining prices. As a consequence, over longer periods of time, the price level was unchanged. A dollar 20 years hence was still worth a dollar. (more…)

Inhofe Introduces Measure to Stop One of Obama-EPA’s Most Expensive Rules

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Source:  Sen. Inhofe

Senate Democrats claim they want to rein in the Obama-EPA; It’s time to actually do it.

Link to Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today filed a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that will prevent the Obama-EPA from going through with its Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology (“Utility MACT”) rule.

“The failure of the United States Senate to rein in the Obama-EPA is having a devastating impact on the pocketbooks of American families and threatens the jobs and livelihoods of millions of Americans,” Senator Inhofe warned. “Over the past year, more than a dozen Senate Democrats have claimed that they want to stop EPA’s destructive agenda, yet when the time comes, they hide behind alternative bills they know will never pass.  This way, they can tell their constituents they are trying to help – when the reality is their actions are enabling them to protect President Obama’s left wing ideals. The House has passed numerous bipartisan bills, yet not a single one has passed the United States Senate.  It’s time for the Senate to do its job and stop this regulatory nightmare. (more…)

Quote of the Day: Andy Revkin

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Source: Aussie Climate Madness

NY Times: Home of clowns

Thursday, 16 February 2012 17:22 pm · 6 comments

by Simon

Andy Revkin, on his Dot Earth blog, attempts to draw comparisons between Climategate and the Heartland release of documents, and chastises Heartland for not reacting to the Climategate release in the same way as to that of their own documents:

[Quoting from Heartland press release] “But honest disagreement should never be used to justify the criminal acts and fraud that occurred in the past 24 hours. As a matter of common decency and journalistic ethics, we ask everyone in the climate change debate to sit back and think about what just happened.”

Wouldn’t it have been great if a similar message had some from the group and its allies after the mass release of e-mails and files from the University of East Anglia climatic research center in 2009 and last year — documents that skeptics quickly and repeatedly over-interpreted as a damning “Climategate”? That hasn’t been Heartland’s approach. (source)

Whilst there are aspects we should frown upon in both cases (release of confidential documents without authority – although I note that the Liberal media, to which the NYT makes a substantial contribution, rarely get so steamed up about Wikileaks, but that’s another issue), there are huge differences.

Let me make a few obvious points: (more…)

Cold winters in Europe

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Source:  NIPCC

Reference
Lockwood, M., Harrison, R.G., Woollings, T. and Solanki, S.K. 2010. Are cold winters in Europe associated with low solar activity? Environmental Research Letters 5: doi:10.1088/1748-9326/5/2/024001

An extremely cold and deadly winter chill swept eastern and central Europe for two weeks in early 2012 (~27 January – 10 February 2012), killing several hundred people according to multiple news sources. Some locales in Eastern Europe recorded low temperatures of -40°C and below! This severe cold winter in Europe follows equally devastating cold winters occurring in the past decade in 2005/06 and 2009/10. (more…)

4000-year temp History in Greenland

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Source:  NIPCC

Reference
Kobashi, T., Kawamura, K., Severinghaus, J.P., Barnola, J.-M., Nakaegawa, T., Vinther, B.M., Johnsen, S.J. and Box, J.E. 2011. High variability of Greenland surface temperature over the past 4000 years estimated from trapped air in an ice core. Geophysical Research Letters 38: 10.1029/2011GL049444.

Providing some background for their study Kobashi et al. (2011) write that, supposedly, “Greenland recently incurred record high temperatures and ice loss by melting, adding to concerns that anthropogenic warming is impacting the Greenland ice sheet and in turn accelerating global sea-level rise.” However, they state that “it remains imprecisely known for Greenland how much warming is caused by increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases versus natural variability.” (more…)

Heartland Institute Responds to Stolen and Fake Documents

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Source:  Heartland Institute

FEBRUARY 15, 2012 – The following statement from The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more information, contact Communications Director Jim Lakely at jlakely@heartland.org and 312/377-4000.

Yesterday afternoon, two advocacy groups posted online several documents they claimed were The Heartland Institute’s 2012 budget, fundraising, and strategy plans. Some of these documents were stolen from Heartland, at least one is a fake, and some may have been altered.

The stolen documents appear to have been written by Heartland’s president for a board meeting that took place on January 17. He was traveling at the time this story broke yesterday afternoon and still has not had the opportunity to read them all to see if they were altered. Therefore, the authenticity of those documents has not been confirmed. (more…)

Electronic Armageddon

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Source:  National Geographic

A national geographic explorer special on the problems we face if the power grid fails, due to nuclear weapons or solar flares causing electromagnetic pulses (EMP).

 

Things More Worrisome than AGW: Iran and EMP

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Source:CBN

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/threats_to_us_power_grid.html

Iranian Nuke Attack on US Easy as EMP?

WASHINGTON — Pentagon estimates show that Iran could have missiles capable of reaching the East Coast of the United States by the year 2015.

If the Iranians acquire a nuclear bomb, they might be able to cripple their “Great Satan” even sooner through an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, attack off America’s coastline.

Within a year of an EMP event, at least two-thirds of the American population would perish from starvation, disease, and societal collapse. It’s a high-tech means of killing people the old fashioned way,” Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, president of EMPact America, explained.

A nuclear weapon detonated above the U.S. would emit powerful electromagnetic pulses, frying America’s electrical grid and shutting down necessities from cars to computers to airplanes and refrigerators.

Iranian military handbooks point out the benefits of such an attack. Russia, China, and North Korea also possess EMP technology.

Pry, a member of the congressional EMP Commission, said America could plunge back into the 19th century, with Katrina-like chaos nationwide.

“A single nuclear weapon will cause the collapse of the electric power grid, all the critical infrastructures and other electronic systems across the entire continental United States and basically cause a permanent blackout,” he told CBN News.

Pry’s nightmare scenario shows Iran or its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, parking an unmarked freighter off America’s East Coast or in the Gulf of Mexico.

They would fire a nuclear-tipped scud above a city like New York, then immediately sink the freighter to destroy evidence of their handiwork. (more…)

Government’s ethanol mandate invites corruption

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Source:  Washington Times

EDITORIAL: Clean green fraud

The spectacular failure of Solyndra opened a lot of eyes. Yet the bankrupt solar panel manufacturer is far from the only fly-by-night outfit to take advantage of the current “green energy” fad. No program is more ripe for abuse than the renewable fuel standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Last week, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, Michigan Republican, and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield, Kentucky Republican, opened their own investigation into the fraudulent outfits that sell tradeable biodiesel fuel credits to legitimate companies that need to meet the arbitrary mandates established by the EPA and Congress.

In 2007, President George W. Bush signed a law declaring 36 billion gallons of ethanol would be used in gasoline by the year 2022. Though the move purportedly would help the environment, it’s no secret that the corn fuel mandate has more to do with politicians seeking Midwestern votes. There wasn’t a lot of thought put into the consequences of this unrealistic and pointless command handed down from above. (more…)

That jobs thing sure didn’t last long

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Obama rejects Keystone XL jobs, promotes more wind and solar subsidies. What to do now?

Paul Driessen

President Obama “is focused like a laser on putting people back to work,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) assured us last fall – echoing repeated statements by President Obama and Administration officials who “can’t wait” for Congress or others to take action and create jobs.

The jobs thing didn’t last long, however. The President soon vetoed TransCanada’s application for permits to build the Keystone XL pipeline. Approving them “would not be in the national interest,” he declared.

It is hard for most Americans to understand how it is contrary to the national interest to create 20,000 construction and manufacturing jobs, increase US gross domestic product by an estimated $350 billion, and bring 830,000 barrels of oil per day via pipeline from friend and neighbor Canada to Texas refineries. It’s hard for us to grasp how pipelining Canadian oil is worse than importing oil in much riskier tankers from unstable, unfriendly places like Venezuela and the Middle East – or how it’s better for the global environment to transport Canadian oil by tanker to China, where it will be burned under far less rigorous pollution laws and controls. (more…)

Support for the saturated greenhouse effect leaves the likelihood of AGW tipping points in the cold

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Source:  Wattsup

From The Hockey Shtick, word of a new paper that supports Miskolczi’s theory of saturated greenhouse effect. We’ve seen this before, in the form of this graph.

In 2006, Willis Eschenbach posted this graph on Climate Audit showing the logarithmic net downward IR forcing effect of carbon dioxide relative to atmospheric concentration:

The flatter portion of the graph gradually smooths out, as the effect of CO2 forcing becomes saturated with increased concentration. And this graphic of his shows carbon dioxide’s contribution to the whole greenhouse effect:

What’s more, in this new paper there appears to be some evidence for a negative climate feedback, in the form of slightly lowered relative humidity trend, which makes climate sensitivity lower. Relative humidity (RH) is the ratio of the actual amount of water vapor in the air to the amount it could hold when saturated expressed as a percentage OR the ratio of the actual vapor pressure to the saturation vapor pressure expressed as a percentage. The amount of water vapor the air can hold increases with temperature. Relative humidity therefore decreases with increasing temperature if the actual amount of water vapor stays the same. While the study found a slight increase in specific humidity (the mass of water vapor per unit mass of air), relative humidity (near the surface, 2 meter measurement) decreased by 0.5% per decade, resulting in an overall slightly drier atmosphere. (more…)

NM regulators repeal carbon cap and trade rules

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Source:  CBS Money Watch

SPPI Note:  Our collection of State Climate Papers (here) have played an instrumental role in State climate regulatory policy and outcomes.  The specific New Mexico Paper can be read here.  Here is the Executive Summary:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
In this report, we review New Mexico’s long-term climate history and find little in the way of evidence that greenhouse gas build-up in the atmosphere has altered New Mexico’s climate. Instead of long-term changes, short-term variability dominates the state’s average temperature, precipitation, and drought frequency. Current temperatures are not all that different than the ones observed at the beginning of the last century—100 years ago. And a long-term look back more than 2,000 years into the state’s moisture history shows that until very recently, the state’s natural climate was characterized by much, much drier conditions. Other research shows that variability in the state’s moisture conditions can be tied to oscillations in patterns of sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans—oscillations which are part of the earth’s natural cycles. Cycles of wildfire can also be traced back to these same oceanic patterns. Further, scares of increasing tropical diseases and a rising sensitivity to excessive heat are easily shown to be misapplication of the true facts. (more…)