2017-03 March

People for the West -Tucson

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

Newsletter, March, 2017

 

Civil Discourse Versus Intolerance

by Jonathan DuHamel

The presidential election of 2016, and its aftermath, ushered in another era of intolerance and name-calling that reflects poorly upon us as a nation and limits our ability to get down to the business of governance and of the people.

Civil discourse requires respectful engagement and consideration of other views. Liberals (and progressives) used to champion tolerance, but they got caught up in the intolerance of political correctness wherein it is traumatic to them to even hear something with which they disagree or might take offence. It has gotten to the point where we cannot share and rationally discuss ideas. Trump was elected because enough people got fed up with this political correctness.

What to do now? Perhaps we should heed the words Thomas Jefferson spoke in his first inaugural address after the election of 1800. The election of 1800 was very contentious and required 36 ballots in the House of Representatives to elect a president:

During the contest of opinion through which we have passed the animation of discussions and of exertions has sometimes worn an aspect which might impose on strangers unused to think freely and to speak and to write what they think; but this being now decided by the voice of the nation, announced according to the rules of the Constitution, all will, of course, arrange themselves under the will of the law, and unite in common efforts for the common good. All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.

In the same speech, Jefferson also said, “I believe it [the government of the United States] the only one where every man, at the call of the law, would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasions of the public order as his own personal concern.” This speaks directly to all the mob violence we have witnessed after the 2016 election. Jefferson stated, “a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” That last sentence may speak to taxation and the welfare state.

“Freedom is not just a coined term, or something that you achieve if you wish for it real hard. With freedom comes responsibility, in both the creation of a system that protects it, and the maintenance of such a system once it comes into being. Liberty requires diligent care applied by an informed populace.” – Douglas V. Gibbs, The Essence of Liberty. (link)

See two essays that bear on this subject:

Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural and the Election of 2016 by Joe Wolverton (link)

Here’s Why Progressives Lose Their Minds When They Lose Elections by David Danford (link)

“Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.” —Thomas Jefferson (1807)

 

Elections have consequences

by Rebecca Antle, President, AZ State Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs

It is so hard to stay quiet about what is going on in this country after the elections. One side is acting like spoiled little children who did not get their way and can’t stop whining. The other side seems to be sitting there watching what is going on while shaking their heads!

There is one comment that always comes to mind, “Elections have consequences.”

It doesn’t matter which side you are on or who you voted for, it is over and the new president is in the White House. We all had our chance now we have to wait for 4 years to do it again.

I have never in my life seen this country as divided as it is today, 50% of the people are unhappy and 50% are happy. This is the way it was has been for the last two presidents and the last five elections (which means three different presidents). But only in two of those elections did the losing side behave themselves and accept the outcome no matter what is was, and that was the right. The other three elections they did not and whined constantly about it.

Nothing will ever be accomplished if we are so divided. The hate speech is on both sides if you listen to the other side. But it really looks like the hate and hate speech is only on one side this election. This is too bad as it just hurts our country and each of us.

What happened in November is over. If you didn’t like it, you have another chance in 4 years. Learn to accept the consequences of the elections like the right has done. Not everyone will be happy, but that is life. Our country changes constantly, we must accept that. Unfortunately, only 50% of the people will and the other 50% won’t.

The only way things will get better is if that 50% that is unhappy and causing problems and inciting violence stop and think about what they are doing. You are the problem, you are the ones that are causing the unrest.

Violence never solved anything. Working together toward a solution is the only thing that will bring us together.

It is hard to stay positive when half of the country is acting without any regard to human lives, freedoms, laws, and common sense. Those of us who watch the news from both sides know who is behind the unrest. All you have to do is read the news to find out who it is. The question is why!

We have the greatest country on earth, but it seems only half of the people know that. What is wrong with the other half. Is it because they want free stuff, don’t want to work, think the government owes them a living, didn’t get their way? Or is it because they follow an ideological idea that isn’t good for anyone.

Nothing in life is free, we have been told that from day one. And it is true. We all work and strive for a better life, we know there will be obstacles and we scale them. Not all of us are going to make it to the top of the mountain, but at least most of us can say we tried.

How can you make it to the top and feel like you have accomplished anything if you do it on someone else’s back? Is that really fair? What did you accomplish?

Again, elections have consequences, but you can change that every 4 years. One power is in the other is out. That is what balances our world.

All I can say is to the side that lost, grow up and live with the consequences your turn comes again in 4 years. ☼

The hidden agendas of sustainability illusions

by Paul Driessen

 

As President Trump downgrades the relevance of Obama era climate change and anti-fossil fuel policies, many environmentalists are directing attention to “sustainable development.”

Like “dangerous manmade climate change,” sustainability reflects poor understanding of basic energy, economic, resource extraction and manufacturing principles – and a tendency to emphasize tautologies and theoretical models as an alternative to readily observable evidence in the Real World.

It also involves well-intended but ill-informed people being led by ill-intended but well-informed activists who use the concept to gain greater government control over people’s lives, livelihoods and living standards.

The most common definition is that we may meet the needs of current generations only to the extent that doing so will not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainability thus reflects the assertion that we are rapidly depleting finite resources, and must reduce current needs and wants so as to save raw materials for future generations.

At first blush, it sounds logical and even ethical. But it requires impossible clairvoyance. Read more

CLIMATE ISSUES

Computer Predictions Of Climate Alarm Are Flawed

by Jonathan DuHamel

The Global Warming Policy Foundation, a British think tank, has just published an excellent review of climate models, their problems and uncertainties, all of which show that they are inadequate for policy formulation. The paper is written by Dr. Judith Curry, the author of over 180 scientific papers on weather and climate. She recently retired from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she held the positions of Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. She is currently President of Climate Forecast Applications Network.

You can read the 30-page paper here:

http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2017/02/Curry-2017.pdf

Here is the executive summary:

There is considerable debate over the fidelity and utility of global climate models (GCMs). This debate occurs within the community of climate scientists, who disagree about the amount of weight to give to climate models relative to observational analyses. GCM outputs are also used by economists, regulatory agencies and policy makers, so GCMs have received considerable scrutiny from a broader community of scientists, engineers, software experts, and philosophers of science. This report attempts to describe the debate surrounding GCMs to an educated but nontechnical audience.

Key summary points

• GCMs have not been subject to the rigorous verification and validation that is the norm for engineering and regulatory science.

• There are valid concerns about a fundamental lack of predictability in the complex nonlinear climate system.

• There are numerous arguments supporting the conclusion that climate models are not fit for the purpose of identifying with high confidence the proportion of the 20th century warming that was human-caused as opposed to natural.

• There is growing evidence that climate models predict too much warming from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide.

• The climate model simulation results for the 21st century reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) do not include key elements of climate variability, and hence are not useful as projections for how the 21st century climate will actually evolve.

Climate models are useful tools for conducting scientific research to understand the climate system. However, the above points support the conclusion that current GCMs are not fit for the purpose of attributing the causes of 20th century warming or for predicting global or regional climate change on timescales of decades to centuries, with any high level of confidence. By extension, GCMs are not fit for the purpose of justifying political policies to fundamentally alter world social, economic and energy systems. It is this application of climate model results that fuels the vociferousness of the debate surrounding climate models. ☼

 

Climate Stability and Political Stability

By Alan Carlin

 

The basic scare tactic spread by climate alarmists is that climate is so unstable that a slow increase in a very minor but vital constituent of the atmosphere will result in runaway increases in global temperatures. It turns out that the climate system is actually amazingly stable, however, so none of the alarmists’ predictions have proved accurate. Fortunately, the response of the US political system has been much slower than that of some Western European nations, who in many cases have taken this very seriously and mortgaged their economic futures in a misguided attempt to avoid the adverse consequences predicted by the alarmists. In other words, because Western Europe generally uses the parliamentary system of government, the political system is more unstable than the climate. The results to date have been disastrous in the case of climate.

The much more stable US political system came very close to following these European nations, and probably would have if the outcome of the 2016 elections had been different. But by a fairly narrow margin the voters elected candidates who were not convinced by the “green” scare tactics. So in the US case, the political system was sufficiently stable to withstand the “green” onslaught, but just barely. Significant resources have been wasted on building expensive, unreliable wind and solar energy sources, but nothing like what some European nations have done, or the poster child for alarmism, the Australian state of South Australia. These actions will damage US growth and economic well being for a number of years to come, but will not have a huge adverse effect as in the case of Western Europe and South Australia.

The Longer Run Problem

The outcome of the US election with regard to climate policy will last at least two years and more likely four years or maybe even eight years. The main question is what will happen to the climate alarmist cause in two, four, or eight years? Will it become stronger or gradually fade away? With a little cooperation from Congress, the Administration should and hopefully will kill Federal climate regulations and hopefully even subsidies. But it could do much more. It could, for example, publicize the skeptic case, just as the Obama Administration publicized the alarmist cause. It could fund a neutral Presidential commission to evaluate the scientific arguments and recommend future actions. It could reverse the current overwhelming Federal Government concentration on alarmist climate research to a neutral research agenda or even an all skeptic climate research program.

The Obama Administration took its advocacy of climate alarmism to an extreme extent by mobilizing efforts in many if not most Federal departments to promote the alarmist cause. This included the military, the National Park Service and even the National Science Foundation. The Trump Administration could go just as far as the Obama Administration but in the opposite direction. An interesting issue is what the new Administration should do in this regard, assuming that it takes strong action to derail the climate regulations and hopefully subsidies that it inherited. The decision by the Trump Administration on this issue may ultimately determine whether the US ultimately follows the European example with its huge costs, particularly to lower income households. Thanks to the stable climate there is no urgency to do anything in terms of averting an alleged climate catastrophe, but it is important to avoid future US political instability on this issue down the road. (Source) ☼

 

Some climate madness:

Arizona State University researchers want to deploy 100 million ice-making machines to the Arctic

by Jonathan DuHamel

Fourteen researchers from Arizona State University want to save the Arctic ice sheet by deploying up to 100 million ice-making machines at a cost of about $5 trillion over the next 10 years. Essentially, wind-powered pumps will spread ocean water over ice where it will freeze and thicken the sea ice. Their proposal was published January 24, 2017, in Earth’s Future, an open access journal of the American Geophysical Union. You can read their full paper here:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016EF000410/epdf

The researchers claim that loss of Arctic sea ice is due to global warming caused by human release of CO2 (they don’t provide any evidence). Thus, there is an “urgent need to deal with climate change.” Within the paper they invoke all the usual boogeymen of dangerous global warming alarmism.

The paper abstract begins: “As the Earth’s climate has changed, Arctic sea ice extent has decreased drastically. It is likely that the late-summer Arctic will be ice-free as soon as the 2030s. This loss of sea ice represents one of the most severe positive feedbacks in the climate system, as sunlight that would otherwise be reflected by sea ice is absorbed by open ocean. It is unlikely that CO2levels and mean temperatures can be decreased in time to prevent this loss, so restoring sea ice artificially is an imperative.”

Their ice-making machine:

“We propose that a wind pump mounted on a large buoy, could perform the function of capturing wind energy to pump seawater to the surface. The basic components of such a device would include: a large buoy; a wind turbine and pump, drawing up seawater from below the ice; a tank for storing the water; and a delivery system that takes the water periodically flushed from the tank and distributes it over a large area. The goal is to raise enough water over the Arctic winter to cover an area approximately 0.1 km2 with approximately1 m of ice. A system of such devices would have to be manufactured and delivered to the Arctic Ocean, probably repositioned each season, and would need to be maintained.”

The researchers recognize “it is a challenge to prevent the water inside the device (tank, delivery system) from freezing.” But, they provide no solution. Where will they get energy to heat the water to prevent a freeze? They also say that the buoy-turbine contraption must be sturdy enough to prevent it tipping over in the fickle Arctic environment.

The researchers propose starting small with only 10 million pumps at a cost of $500 billion. They say we would need 100 million devices costing $5 trillion to cover the entire Arctic.

In my opinion, this is just another wacky and completely unnecessary geo-engineering scheme. It is also a complete waste of money and resources. Within the paper is a discussion of the need for a multinational governance of the Arctic ice. This seems to me to be a plea for more bureaucracy and future funding. Why 14 authors for this paper? Maybe the group wants to get “publish or perish” credit, which is vital in academia, before President Trump pulls the plug. Or, it could be a class project with professors and students. By the way, a note in the paper says: “The authors received no funding to carry out this work.” That probably means they had no special grant funding. I presume that the University pays the professors a salary (with taxpayer’s money).

I saw no mention in the paper of an unintended consequence of freezing ocean water: it will increase the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere. “When sea water freezes, all of the CO2 that is bound up in that water is forced out. Not only is the dissolved gaseous CO2 released, but all of the CO2 held in the carbonate form is released as well.” (Source) ☼

 

GREEN ENERGY ISSUES

Green Lunacy: £450 Million Lost Over Failed ‘Green’ Power That Is Worse Than Coal

by Dr. Benny Peiser

Britain is wasting hundreds of millions of pounds subsidizing power stations to burn American wood pellets that do more harm to the climate than the coal they replaced, a study has found. Chopping down trees and transporting wood across the Atlantic Ocean to feed power stations produces more greenhouse gases than much cheaper coal, according to the report. It blames the rush to meet EU renewable energy targets, which resulted in ministers making the false assumption that burning trees was carbon-neutral. ☼

The Impacts of the Demand for Woody Biomass for Power and Heat on Climate and Forests

by Duncan Brack

Although most renewable energy policy frameworks treat biomass as carbon-neutral at the point of combustion, biomass emits more carbon per unit of energy than most fossil fuels. One reason for the perception of biomass as carbon-neutral is the fact that, under IPCC greenhouse gas accounting rules, its associated emissions are recorded in the land use rather than the energy sector. However, the different ways in which land use emissions are accounted for means that a proportion of the emissions from biomass may never be accounted for.

In principle, sustainability criteria can ensure that only biomass with the lowest impact on the climate are used; the current criteria in use in some EU member states and under development in the EU, however, do not achieve this as they do not account for changes in forest carbon stock.

In the national policy frameworks of almost all the countries analysed above, biomass is classified as a source of renewable energy, benefiting from financial and regulatory support on the grounds that, like other renewables, it is a carbon-neutral energy source. However, at the point of combustion, it is of course not carbon-neutral – if biomass is burnt in the presence of oxygen, it produces carbon dioxide – and the argument is increasingly being made that its use can have negative impacts on the global climate. This classification as carbon-neutral derives from either or both of two assumptions.

The first assumption is that woody biomass emissions are part of a natural cycle in which, over time, forest growth balances the carbon emitted by burning wood for energy. In fact, since in general woody biomass is less energy dense than fossil fuels, and contains higher quantities of moisture and less hydrogen, at the point of combustion burning wood for energy usually emits more greenhouse gases per unit of energy produced than fossil fuels. The volume of emissions per unit of energy actually delivered in real-world situations will also depend on the efficiency of the technology in which the fuel is burnt. Dedicated biomass plants tend to have lower efficiencies than fossil fuel plants, though this depends on the age and size of the unit. The impact on the climate will also depend on the supply-chain emissions from harvesting, collecting, processing and transport; estimates of these factors vary widely, but particularly where methane emissions from wood storage (for example from wood chips and sawdust during storage, either at the pellet mill or the power station) are taken into account, these can be very significant. Overall, while some instances of biomass energy use may result in lower lifecycle emissions than fossil fuels, in most circumstances, comparing technologies of similar ages, the use of woody biomass for energy will release higher levels of emissions than coal and considerably higher levels than gas.

The impacts on the climate will also vary, however, with the type of woody biomass used, with what would have happened to it if it had not been burnt for energy and with what happens to the forest from which it was sourced. Full paper

 

Study: Batteries For Wind And Solar Do ‘More Harm Than Good’ For Environment

by Andrew Follett, Daily Caller

Trying to store green energy in a battery does more harm to the environment than good, according to a new study by the University of Texas Energy Institute.

Storing solar energy in batteries for nighttime use actually increases both energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the study found. Researchers concluded that homes which used battery storage ended up consuming between 8 percent and 14 percent more electricity than homes that didn’t.

“The researchers also found that adding storage indirectly increases overall emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide based on today’s Texas grid mix, which is primarily made up of fossil fuels,” reads a summary of the research. “Because storage affects what time of day a household draws electricity from the grid, it also influences emissions in that way.”

Burning natural gas for electricity will generally result in lower pollution and fewer CO2 emissions than trying to store green energy in batteries — largely because batteries waste a lot of power charging themselves.

Storing enough electricity in batteries to support wind and solar power also face enormous physical problems, which could make it economically impossible, according to another study published in June by chemists at Texas A&M.

It turns out that when electrons combine with the lithium ions in a battery, they distort the electronic structure of the device, essentially trapping unused energy in the battery, causing it to degrade rapidly. This means that it may be inherently impossible to store large amounts of electricity cost effectively in a battery.

“Fundamentally, when you have a battery, every time you use it, it starts to die a little bit,” Dr. Sarbajit Banerjee, a chemistry professor at Texas A&M, wrote in a press statement. “The more you use it, the more it dies. Eventually, it becomes unusable. Theoretically speaking, you expect a certain performance from a battery, and you rarely ever get there. People have been at a loss to understand all the factors that contribute to this lack of full capacity.”

Without large-scale energy storage, the power grid needs demand for energy to exactly match supply to function properly. Power demand is relatively predictable, and conventional power plants, like nuclear plants and plants using natural gas, can adjust output accordingly. Solar and wind power, however, can’t easily adjust output and provide power unpredictably relative to conventional power sources. (Source) ☼

Madness is rare in individuals — but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule — Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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Newsletters can be viewed online on Jonathan’s Wryheat Blog:

https://wryheat.wordpress.com/

 

See my essay on climate change:

https://wryheat.wordpress.com/climate-in-perspective/

 

The Constitution is the real contract with America.

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People for the West – Tucson, Inc.

PO Box 86868

Tucson, AZ 85754-6868

pfw-tucson@cox.net

 

Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor

Dr. John Forrester, Vice President

Lonni Lees, Associate Editor

 

People for the West – Tucson, Inc. is an Arizona tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) corporation. Newsletter subscriptions are free.

 

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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