2014-10 October

People for the West -Tucson

PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868 pfw-tucson@cox.net

Newsletter, October, 2014

Climate Activism and Communism

by Jonathan DuHamel

If there was any doubt about the mind set of climate activists and their naive, quasi-religious quest to stop climate change, these doubts were put to rest with the “People’s Climate March” in New York City and Oakland, California, last month.

In New York, demonstrators carried signs saying “Climate change is the symptom, Capitalism is the disease, Socialism is the cure.” In Oakland the signs said “Capitalism is killing the planet, Fight for a Socialists future.” See the posters on Wryheat here. See also: Enviros are watermelons -green on the outside red in the middle.

Ironically, two days prior to the march on September 23, New York and New England experienced seasonally early freezing weather. Forbes reports: “Temperatures dropped below freezing Friday in many parts of New York and other Northeastern states, with the freezing summertime temperatures setting many records throughout the Northeast. Global warming activists responded on Sunday by marching in New York City and claiming global warming is baking the planet.” This is another manifestation of Nature’s little joke: The Gore Effect.

John Hayward, writing in Human Events opines:

The funniest bit is watching the crowd clap like baby seals when carbon-blasting celebrities like Leonardo diCaprio – who has been known to fly around the world on a private jet to race the international date line and make New Year’s Eve last for an entire day – descend from the heavens to address them. Nothing says “gullible fool” quite like a throng of people who claim to be concerned about greenhouse gas worshiping celebrity high priests who have a carbon footprint bigger than most of the crowd put together.

More evidence that these activists are not really concerned with the environment is that they left behind mountains of trash (see here).

These activists consist of the “elitists” who think they know everything and the “true believers” who are clueless. As I wrote in the post Environmental Sophistry:

Elitists, or as Thomas Sowell calls them, the “anointed,” think they know better (see Sowell’s book, “The Vision of the Anointed“). “The refrain of the anointed is we already know the answers, there’s no need for more studies …. Problems exist only because other people are not as wise or as caring, or not as imaginative and bold, as the anointed.” writes Sowell. “Evidence is seldom asked or given — and evidence to the contrary is often either ignored or answered only by a sneer.” For the “anointed”, who are often charismatic, articulate and well-educated (some educated beyond their intelligence), the end justifies the means. And, unfortunately, both the end and the means are often based on a socialistic philosophy antagonistic to individual freedom and private property. Sowell lists four principal characteristics of the “anointed” which are true regardless of the issue:

1) Assertions of a great danger to the whole society, a danger to which the masses of people are oblivious.

2) An urgent need for action to avert impending catastrophe.

3) A need for government to drastically curtail the dangerous behavior of the many, in response to the prescient conclusions of the few.

4) A disdainful dismissal of arguments to the contrary as either uninformed, irresponsible, or motivated by unworthy purposes

.

While some elitists may have benign, but misguided, motives, many pander to our desire to do the right thing, simply for personal gain and power.

A subset of the “anointed” are the true believers. These people generally don’t have a clue of how things work, but possess a religious zeal perverted by the siren call of the elitists. True believers aren’t burdened by facts and generally cannot be swayed from their utopian ideals. Like many religious fanatics, they feel justified in using any tactic to defeat the infidels.

And speaking of “infidels,” there is an interesting article by Clarice Feldman in American Thinker in which she coins the term “warmunists” a combination of warmists and communists. Her article compares “warmunists” with our current brand of jihadists.

“Watching the parade of the naïve, the far left, and their energy-hogging celebrity manipulators marching in New York City this week, I was struck by how much these true believers had in common with jihadis…Both movements seem …to be a means of denying death and change and making the mortal, immortal and the insignificant individual life, a significant force when massed with others.”

“Lefties love to talk about revolution, “cause change” fundamental transformations, progress, etc., but they are the most retrograde reactionaries imaginable. They want a one-time revolution to cement and codify utter stasis…These fools of all ages are on a children’s crusade to compel the adults of the world to create an actual real-world Neverland for them where nothing ever changes…”

They want Nature to stop changing the climate and maintain an imagined Eden.

People are free to hold foolish ideas, but it is quite another thing for foolish ideas to become government policy.

“There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” – George Orwell

“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.” – H L Mencken

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” – Bertrand Russell

New report from CO2Science examines extreme weather events

Abstract: Multiple climate models project that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations will increase the frequency and/or severity of a number of extreme weather events. This projection has been accepted as fact by numerous scientific organizations and government agencies, including the U.S. EPA. Such claims, however, often fail to stand up against appropriate scientific scrutiny. When key principles of scientific inquiry are adequately addressed and followed, the model projections are consistently seen to conflict with real-world observations, indicating it is highly unlikely that increasing temperatures, whether or not they are driven by rising atmospheric CO2, will increase the frequency and/or magnitude of severe weather events. In fact, most evidence to date suggests an opposite effect, where rising temperatures would produce less frequent and less severe extreme weather.

Read full report PDF or index by subject

Ooops! First animal claimed extinct due to ‘climate change’ found ‘alive and well’

by Anthony Watts

A snail once thought to have been among the first species to go extinct because of climate change has reappeared in the wild.

The Aldabra banded snail, declared extinct seven years ago, was rediscovered on Aug. 23 in the Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles. The mollusk, which is endemic to the Aldabra coral atoll — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — had not been seen on the islands since 1997, said the Seychelles Islands Foundation. Read more

Why climate models cannot be relied upon to determine climate sensitivity to CO2

from The Hockey Schtick

A new paper published in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society demonstrates why state-of-the-art climate models are a travesty of “parameterizations,” a fancy word for “fudge factors,” and are not based upon basic physics as commonly believed. Not only are the models not comprised of ‘basic physics’, they have been found to violate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics!

This new paper finds that various combinations and permutations of the four basic parameterizations/fudge factors that govern convection [which is only one of many poorly-understood major climate variables] result in an astonishing range of climate sensitivity estimates to doubled CO2 levels, ranging from 3C to more than 10C – essentially a range varying by a factor of 3.3 times or more, and of no practical use to anyone including policymakers. And this is only with various fudge factors for convection only, not to mention infinite other combinations and permutations of parameterizations/fudge factors for clouds, ocean and atmospheric oscillations, mixing, gravity waves, etc. etc. that make climate models “close to useless” and “can get any result one desires.” Read more

Paper finds drought 1100 years ago in southwest US was much more severe & extreme than any drought since

from The Hockey Schtick

A paper published in PNAS reconstructs droughts of the southwest US over the past 1,200 years and finds the natural drought ~ 1,000 years ago [during the Medieval Warm Period ~1,300 to ~900 years ago] was far more severe and longer lasting than any droughts since.

The paper also reconstructs solar activity and finds similar very high levels during the Medieval Warm Period as during the second half of the 20th century. Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the Medieval Warm Period are also found to be almost the same as at the end of the 20th century. Read more

Research shows declining levels of acidity in Sierra Nevada lakes

by Anthony Watts

From the University of California – Riverside, something that makes me wonder: if the oceans are supposedly becoming more acidified due to CO2 in the atmosphere, why aren’t lakes in the Sierra Nevada?

UC Riverside-led team did long-term measurements of lake chemistry; studied sediment cores from the lakes. These lakes are the most sensitive lakes in the U.S. to acid rain, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Less acidity and lower nitrogen inputs have allowed sensitive aquatic species to be maintained in the Sierra Nevada lakes. Read more

Are Opinions on Climate Change Related to Dependency on Government Money?

By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger

In our post last week titled “Climate Alarmism: When is this Bozo Going Down?” we described how new research increasingly casts doubt on the validity of climate models and their projections of future climate change. It is increasing clear that climate models simply predict too much warming from human greenhouse gas emissions.

But the scientific community, or at least that part of it which makes its living off climate alarm, is slow to accept this.

Who can blame these folks? More money flows from the government into universities (or government labs) to study the effects of climate change if we all agree that human greenhouse gas emissions are leading to climate change of a dangerous magnitude.

So it is left to the emeritus or retired profs to lay bare the truth.

In the remainder of the article the authors give examples of attitudes which seem to depend on career stage. Read more

Germany’s Solar Failure

by Doug L. Hoffman

A new analysis answers the question “should other nations follow Germany’s lead on promoting solar Power?” That question was asked on Quora and answered by Ryan Carlyle, BSChE, and a Subsea Hydraulics Engineer. His detailed and well reasoned answer is the most forceful possible NO. According to Carlyle, Germany’s program has the “absurd distinction” of hitting the trifecta of bad energy policy: bad for consumers, bad for industry, and bad for the environment. So while misguided greens point to Germany as a solar success, a rising tide of opposition and resentment is growing among the German public.

Germany is widely considered the global leader in solar power, with over a third of the world’s nameplate (peak) solar power capacity.

Germany’s residential electricity cost is about $0.34/kWh, one of the highest rates in the world. About $0.07/kWh goes directly to subsidizing renewables, which is actually higher than the wholesale electricity price in Europe.

Germany’s utilities and taxpayers are losing vast sums of money due to excessive feed-in tariffs and grid management problems. The environment minister says the cost will be one trillion euros (~$1.35 trillion) over the next two decades if the program is not radically scaled back.

Here’s the truly dismaying part: the latest numbers show Germany’s carbon output and global warming impact is actually increasing despite flat economic output and declining population, because of ill-planned “renewables first” market mechanisms. This regime is paradoxically forcing the growth of dirty coal power. Photovoltaic solar has a fundamental flaw for large-scale generation in the absence of electricity storage — it only works for about 5-10 hours a day. Electricity must be produced at the exact same time it’s used. The more daytime summer solar capacity Germany builds, the more coal power they need for nights and winters as cleaner power sources are forced offline. Read more

AND:

German Power Grid More Vulnerable Than Ever…”On The Brink Of Widespread Blackouts”!

By P. Gosselin

There was a time when Germany’s power was mostly generated by the traditional sources of coal, nuclear, oil, natural gas and hydro. These sources were reliable and keeping the power grid under control was a routine matter. Germany’s power grid was among the most stable worldwide. But then came Germany’s renewable energy feed-in act, and with it the very volatile sources of sun and wind.

As a result, today’s German power grid has become a precarious balancing act, and keeping it from collapsing under the load of wild fluctuations has become a real challenge. At the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) here, Dr. Klaus Peter Krause writes a piece titled: Always on the brink of a widespread blackouts, where he writes how and why Germany’s power grid has become extremely vulnerable:

Already 3500 emergency grid interventions per year – According to the TAB report of 2011: More than a couple days of blackout would be a national catastrophe – Germany sacrifices its uniquely reliable power supply for the ‘transition to renewable energy’.”

Krause writes that the frequency of emergency grid intervention by grid operators has skyrocketed since renewable energies started coming on line. Read more

The experience in Germany with alternative energy should be a lesson to us, but states and the feds keep promoting renewable energy.

DOE study shows no contamination of water from fracking

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has released a technical report on the results of a limited field study that monitored a hydraulic fracturing operation in Greene County, PA for upward fracture growth out of the target zone and upward gas and fluid migration. Results indicate that under the conditions of this study, for this specific location, fracture growth ceased more than 5,000 feet below drinking water aquifers and there was no detectable upward migration of gas or fluids from the hydraulically-fractured Marcellus Shale. Read more

In an earlier study in PA, “The National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh monitored wells for a year by injecting special tracers into fracking fluid to see whether any chemicals migrated up towards drinking water. Researchers found that the fracking fluid stayed nearly a mile below drinking water supplies.” Read more The Environmental Protection Agency has failed to link fracking to groundwater contamination on three separate occasions.

Iceland Volcano Emitting More SO2 Pollution than All of Europe

By Páll Stefánsson

The sulfur dioxide (SO2) emitted from the Holuhraun eruption has reached up to 60,000 tons per day and averaged close to 20,000 tons since it began. For comparison, all the SO2 pollution in Europe, from industries, energy production, traffic and house heating, etc., amounts to 14,000 tons per day.

It’s clear that no eruption [in Iceland] in the 20th century comes close to this one. We have to go far back to the 19th century, to find eruption as voluminous in gas emissions.

The Holuhraun lava now covers between 40 and 45 square kilometers (15 to 17 square miles). The volume is about 500 million cubic meters and is one of the biggest in Iceland in such a short time. Source

Tax Dollars at Work:

Ninety Percent of EPA Stimulus Funding for Diesel Reduction Program Misspent

by Elizabeth Harrington, Washington Free Beacon

Over 90 percent of funding for a diesel reduction program paid for by the stimulus law was misspent, according to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG).

An audit analyzing $26.3 million in funding to non-profit organizations and state governments meant to reduce truck emissions and create jobs found that the program had “significant financial management issues.”

The OIG reviewed six projects under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program, finding four “did not meet all the objectives of the award,” or their requirements under the Recovery Act. Five of the six projects “did not have a financial management systems that met federal requirements that applied to the grant award.”

“As a result, we questioned a total of $23.8 million of the $26.3 million claimed under the assistance agreements,” the OIG said.

The OIG said the entirety of a $9 million grant given to Cascade Sierra Solutions was wasted after the non-profit failed to accomplish any of the project’s goals. The grant was intended for upgrading diesel trucks made before 2007 with emission control technologies. Read more

Report – emails reveal ‘collusion’ with green activist groups over EPA climate agenda

by Anthony Watts

FOIA’d Emails show outside ‘green’ lobby groups staffed up, collude with Obama EPA, calling rules’ legality into question

Report details the conflicts of interest, “unalterably closed minds,” internal activism and influence of outside interest groups on the Obama Administration EPA. Documents raise questions re EPA rules legality.

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) released a report…revealing and piecing together dozens of emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which lay out in detail EPA’s collusion with senior activists within environmentalist pressure groups, and proving the real thinking about the intent behind and impact of EPA’s “climate” regulations.

Far from the required recusing to avoid the appearance of a conflict, EPA filled its senior political ranks with green pressure group activists, continuing their life’s work and coordinating with former colleagues from their new positions in government. These emails show the groups sharing jokes about EPA assurances that it isn’t waging a war on coal, and gloating about the courts serially siding with EPA as it rewrites federal environmental law. More important, they show the special role and undue influence these relationships provided, the very sort of influence the Obama Administration once disavowed. Read more

More tax dollars at work:

Administration’s Efforts to Cut Red Tape Cost Economy $23 Billion

By Elizabeth Harrington, Washington Free Beacon

Administration efforts to cut red tape have actually added $23 billion in costs to the economy this year, according to a new report released by the American Action Forum (AAF).

Cabinet agencies are required to issue a “retrospective review” every six months on how they are improving burdensome regulations, in order to comply with Executive Order 13563, which was issued by President Barack Obama in January 2011. However, AAF has found that these efforts rarely reduce the costs of regulation.

“Despite attempts to reduce red tape and ‘promote economic growth,’ recent regulatory reform plans from the administration actually added more than $23 billion in costs and 8.9 million paperwork burden hours,” AAF said. “Only three agencies managed to reduce costs.”

The report analyzed agencies’ regulatory plans from January through early August, which included a review of 529 regulations, an average of 22.5 per agency.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contributed the most in costs to the economy with $14.4 billion added from the 21 regulations it reviewed. The costs are mostly attributed to its “Tier 3” rule to reduce the sulfur content in gasoline, which will add 150,000 hours in paperwork.

The purpose of the executive order is for the government to modify “outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome” rules, though AAF has found that retrospective reviews allow agencies to expand regulations.

“In the past, AAF has found that not all regulations are ‘streamlined’ or ‘repealed,’ but rather many are expanded,” the report said. “In fact, that’s the main reason why many cabinet agencies are actually adding regulatory burdens in these biannual plans.”

AAF also found that federal agencies have only reviewed one third of the more than 400 regulations identified for reform earlier this year.

The one bright spot from the last retrospective review earlier this year was the Department of Transportation, which revised a regulation to save $1.7 billion a year and eliminate 46.6 million paperwork-burden hours. In the latest report, the DOT does not live up to this example.

“Although DOT did propose to modify the ‘Safe Transportation of Bulk Explosives,’ saving more than $100 million, several new requirements dwarfed this deregulatory measure,” AAF said. “The agency decided that new standards for tank cars, which will cost more than $5 billion, are retrospective.”

“On net, DOT’s new ‘reform measures’ will increase costs by more than $5.7 billion,” the report said. Source

Having solved all other problems, Obama to fix your dishwasher

by Jazz Shaw, The Westerner

I guess he really was multitasking out on the golf course. The President’s team has been hard at work behind the scenes, coming up with a strategy … well, maybe we should say plan, to address the nation’s many challenges.

Spurred by President Obama’s climate action plan, the Department of Energy is pumping out new standards for refrigerators, dishwashers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, furnaces, boilers, water heaters, lamps and many more appliances. The administration says the standards will not only help the planet but also stimulate the economy by saving consumers money on their energy bills that they can spend elsewhere.

After what we’ve been through with energy regulations, you’d think the administration would be at least a little hesitant to leap in for another grab at that brass ring. I mean, won’t a sudden raft of new requirements for the products everyone has to purchase have some, er… unintended consequences? William Teach seems to have been thinking along the same lines.

While the rules may save a bit of energy (and there is nothing wrong with that, though it should be the consumer choice, not Government Mandate), it will also drive up the cost of the appliances/devices, which will harm the lower and middle classes. Apparently this was obvious to everyone except the White House…read more

Dietary recommendations may be tied to increased greenhouse gas emissions

from University of Michigan

If Americans altered their menus to conform to federal dietary recommendations, emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases tied to agricultural production could increase significantly, according to a new study by University of Michigan researchers.

Martin Heller and Gregory Keoleian of U-M’s Center for Sustainable Systems looked at the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of about 100 foods, as well as the potential effects of shifting Americans to a diet recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

They found that if Americans adopted the recommendations in USDA’s “Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010,” while keeping caloric intake constant, diet-related greenhouse gas emissions would increase 12 percent. Read more.

Secretary of State John Kerry Explains the Greenhouse Effect

by Myron Ebell

One of the disturbing aspects of the global warming debate is that so many of the leading public officials who espouse alarmism know so little about the basics of climate science. I have seen many instances of ignorance over the years and have largely gotten used to it, but I recently happened on an example from Secretary of State John Kerry that astounded me.

Reporters and commentators noted that in his major speech on climate change given in Jakarta on 16th February, Secretary Kerry claimed that “climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” But reporters and commentators (including me) overlooked an even more remarkable passage in that long speech in which Secretary Kerry explains some “simple” climate science. According to the State Department’s web site, here is what Secretary Kerry said about the greenhouse effect in Jakarta on 16th February:

In fact, this is not really a complicated equation. I know sometimes I can remember from when I was in high school and college, some aspects of science or physics can be tough – chemistry. But this is not tough. This is simple. Kids at the earliest age can understand this.

Try and picture a very thin layer of gases – a quarter-inch, half an inch, somewhere in that vicinity – that’s how thick it is. It’s in our atmosphere. It’s way up there at the edge of the atmosphere. And for millions of years – literally millions of years – we know that layer has acted like a thermal blanket for the planet – trapping the sun’s heat and warming the surface of the Earth to the ideal, life-sustaining temperature. Average temperature of the Earth has been about 57 degrees Fahrenheit, which keeps life going. Life itself on Earth exists because of the so-called greenhouse effect. But in modern times, as human beings have emitted gases into the air that come from all the things we do, that blanket has grown thicker and it traps more and more heat beneath it, raising the temperature of the planet. It’s called the greenhouse effect because it works exactly like a greenhouse in which you grow a lot of the fruit that you eat here.

This is what’s causing climate change. It’s a huge irony that the very same layer of gases that has made life possible on Earth from the beginning now makes possible the greatest threat that the planet has ever seen.

For those who followed former-Senator Kerry at committee hearings over the past three decades, his belief that greenhouse gases are “a very thin layer of gases – a quarter-inch, half an inch, somewhere in that vicinity –….way up there at the edge of the atmosphere” is perhaps not surprising. Nonetheless, it is remarkable that Kerry’s explanation, which sets a new standard for utter imbecility, got by the highly-educated State Department officials in charge of vetting the Secretary’s prepared remarks.

Later in his speech, Secretary Kerry made the usual sneering remarks about people who don’t think that global warming is a crisis: “President… Obama and I believe very deeply that we do not have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society.” I suspect that were Secretary Kerry to find the time to attend a meeting of the Flat Earth Society, his presence might lower the level of discourse. Source

John Kerry: Bible says save Muslims from AGW

September 5th, 2014

Source: Breitbart

Clueless – still

Clueless – still

I’m not sure what is the most disturbing part here, is it Kerry quoting scripture, Kerry protecting Muslims, or Kerry on global warming?

Check it out:

Wednesday at a ceremony to appoint Texas lawyer Shaarik Zafar to be special representative to Muslim communities, Secretary of State John Kerry said it was the United States’ Biblical “responsibility” to “confront climate change,” including to protect “vulnerable Muslim majority counties.”

Kerry said Scripture, in particular the Book of Genesis, make clear it is our “duty” to protect the planet and we should look at Muslim countries “with a sense of stewardship of earth,” adding, “That responsibility comes from God.” See more at WUWT

Parting Thoughts:

“…attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile. The hiatus in warming observed over the past 16 years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales. Even if CO2 mitigation strategies are successful and climate model projections are correct, an impact on the climate would not be expected until the latter part of the 21st century. Solar variability, volcanic eruptions and long-term ocean oscillations will continue to be sources of unpredictable climate surprises.” -Dr. Judith Curry

“Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory.” – Stephen Hawking

“The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men.” –Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 21, 1787

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.

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