Researchers at Alfred Wegener Institute expand prevailing theory on climate history
Climate researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association (AWI) expand a prevalent theory regarding the development of ice ages. In the current issue of the journal Nature three physicists from AWI’s working group “Dynamics of the Palaeoclimate” present new calculations on the connection between natural insolation and long-term changes in global climate activity. Up to now the presumption was that temperature fluctuations in Antarctica, which have been reconstructed for the last million years on the basis of ice cores, were triggered by the global effect of climate changes in the northern hemisphere. The new study shows, however, that major portions of the temperature fluctuations can be explained equally well by local climate changes in the southern hemisphere.
via New interpretation of Antarctic ice cores.
They were doing well discussing how we do not in fact understand climate and its changes when they were overcome with a terrible case of PC:
To avoid misunderstandings, a final point is very important for the AWI scientists. The new study does not call into question that the currently observed climate change has, for the most part, anthropogenic causes. Cyclic changes, as those examined in the Nature publication, take place in phases lasting tens of thousand or hundreds of thousands of years. The drastic emission of anthropogenic climate gases within a few hundred years adds to the natural rise in greenhouse gases after the last ice age and is unique for the last million years. How the climate system, including the complex physical and biological feedbacks, will develop in the long run is the subject of current research at the Alfred Wegener Institute.
By Roger Bate and Richard Tren
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Setting up experiments and then ignoring the results when they do not give you what you want amounts to scientific malfeasance. All in a day’s work at the UN Environment Program.
If the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claimed herbal tea, Pilates, and a better diet could effectively treat leukemia, one would be outraged (even more so if one’s child were very sick with the disease). You might also wonder why the EPA was interfering with public health. Fortunately, America’s children do not face such insanity; but children at risk of malaria do, courtesy of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
By Daniel Ben-Ami
Social pessimism stands in the way of tackling the real challenges facing humanity. Growth skepticism has become a barrier to rediscovering the potential of human progress.
Most people would invariably say yes if you ask whether they want a more prosperous life for themselves and their families. But ask them about the consequences of rising prosperity for society as a whole, and doubts will quickly start to creep in.
by Robert Bradley Jr.
March 3, 2011
If there is one quotation by Obama’s new science advisor that every American should hear, it is this:
“A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States. . . . Resources and energy must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries. This effort must be largely political” (italics added).
- John Holdren, Anne Ehrlich, and Paul Ehrlich, Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions (San Francisco; W.H. Freeman and Company, 1973), p. 279.
Holdren’s deep-seated belief of the human “predicament” as a zero-sum game–America must lose for other countries to win–was also stated by him two years before:
via John Holdren: White House Malthusian — MasterResource.
The second round of large-scale renewable energy projects totalling 872 MW of new generation contracts was announced by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) Feb. 24. These contracts included 215 MW of solar and 615 MW of wind renewable, which the Ontario ratepayers will subsidize at a cost (over existing wholesale prices) of $3.3-billion over the next 20 years.`
Let’s hope this is the last of Ontario’s extravagant installations under the Green Energy Act before the provincial election in Ontario. Whoever wins then—even the Liberals—will hopefully begin the process of dismantling the act.
via Parker Gallant: Time to Deep-Six the Green Energy Act | FP Comment | Financial Post.
Regulators are congenitally incapable of grasping that they create more problems than they solve
Psychologist Abraham Maslow is famous for formulating a personal “hierarchy of needs” that stretches from breathing and eating at one end to conspicuous commitments to Save Africa at the other. He is also credited with the insight that if you are a hammer, the world looks like a nail. Regulators are perhaps more like another implement: a shovel. When they find themselves in a hole, they are inclined to keep digging (intriguingly, just like proponents of using aid to save Africa).
A recent paper by the University of Kiev’s Slavisa Tasic, Are Regulators Rational?, analyzes this mental peculiarity of regulators via the burgeoning field of cognitive science. He suggests that if regulators appear congenitally incapable of grasping that regulation creates more problems than it solves, it’s because they are congenitally incapable.
via Peter Foster: One flew over the regulator’s nest | FP Comment | Financial Post.
Brazil Court Lifts Suspension Of Massive Amazon Dam
A Brazilian court on Thursday lifted an order that suspended construction of the massive Belo Monte hydroelectric plant in the Amazon rain forest, a project expected to face barrage of lawsuits by environmental critics.
via World Environment News – Brazil Court Lifts Suspension Of Massive Amazon Dam – Planet Ark.
Senators Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul propose restrictions on EPA over mine permits
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s authority over permits for mountaintop removal mining operations would be restricted under legislation introduced Thursday by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul.
The two Kentucky Republicans said their bill is vital to protecting the more than 200,000 jobs that depend on the coal industry.
In Senate floor remarks, McConnell accused the EPA of “waging a war on coal.”
“The EPA has turned the permitting process into a back-door means of shutting down coal mines by sitting on permits indefinitely, thus removing any regulatory certainty,” he said. “What they’re doing is outside the scope of their authority and the law and represents a fundamental departure from the permitting process as originally envisioned by Congress.”
via Senators Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul propose restrictions on EPA over mine permits | The Courier-Journal | courier-journal.com.
By Timothy Gardner
WASHINGTON, March 2 (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to protect citizens from premature death and other health problems would be gutted if Congress slashes funding as threatened by Republican lawmakers, its chief said on Wednesday.
Republicans in the House of Representatives have been trying to cut the EPA’s budget for this year, saying its regulations on clean air and water hurt businesses.
By Kenneth P. Green and Hiwa Alaghebandian
In a survey of which regulations most impede the ability to do business, environmental regulation was the greatest concern.
In December 2010, Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, launched an examination of regulatory barriers to business. Chairman Issa sent 171 letters to businesses, industry groups, and think tanks, asking them to identify the government regulations that most impede their ability to do business.
On February 7, 2011, Chairman Issa released a 2,000-page PDF of responses from 113 organizations. We dug into the file, and even we were surprised: While complaints about Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, the tax code, and provisions of the new healthcare law were expected, the clear focus of most responses was environmental regulation. As the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council warned:
by ANGELA LOGOMASINI on MARCH 3, 2011
The greens and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson have dismissed the nation’s bed bug problem as a nuisance because the critters don’t transmit diseases as they feed on humans while they sleep. Accordingly, they think it’s fine to continue using government regulations to limit access to pesticide products that could help solve the problem.
… The real solution lies involves reevaluating the nation’s pesticide laws. During the past several decades, EPA has been banning many products based on scientifically questionable claims about the risks. This all started with the ban on DDT — the product that once eliminated bed bugs in the United States — in 1970. And the pace of government bans has grown since Congress passed a “reform” to the nation’s pesticide laws — the Food Quality Protection Act. With so many products banned and reduced innovation, we are experiencing a resurgence of pest-related problems.
via Economic Consequences of Bed Bugs and EPA Policy.
The NIH on drugs
By Dr. Josh Bloom
In late January, Obama administration officials announced that they were very concerned about the slow pace of new drugs coming from the pharmaceutical industry. They should be concerned. The number of new chemical entities (NCEs) launched in recent years is near historic lows. And there are many unmet medical needs for which no therapies are available or on the horizon.
The administration’s “solution” to this problem was to create a new branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) dedicated to working (presumably in cooperation with the drug companies) to do pharmaceutical discovery research. We can use all the help we can get, and I wish them well, but there are so many reasons why this won’t work that I don’t know where to begin.
via NIH pharmaceutical development | NIH drugs | The Daily Caller – Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment.
Scary or spurious? Diet soda and the statistical probability of heart attack
Rebecca Goldin, PhD and Cindy Merrick, March 3, 2011
What if you drink diet soda to compensate for other unhealthy food?
Drinking diet soda every day is associated with a dramatic increase your chance of stroke or heart attack, according to the results of new research presented at the recent American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference.
The study, which has so far been published only in abstract form, used self-reported data from a food frequency questionnaire given during the Northern Manhattan Study, whose multi-ethnic sample of participants had a mean age of 69. It compared what they said about what they ate against the the total number of vascular events that occurred during nine years or more of follow up.. The study claims the association between diet soda and heart attack persists even when the population is controlled for age, sex, smoking, daily caloric intake, and many other vascular risk factors, like previous cardiac disease.
It is important to note that these results are preliminary, and the study hasn’t yet appeared in a peer-reviewed publication.
via STATS: Scary or spurious? Diet soda and the statistical probability of heart attack.
EPA Accepting Applications for Environmental Education Grant Funding
Release date: 03/03/2011
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting grant applications for $1.9 million in funding for environmental education projects and programs. The purpose of the grants is to promote environmental stewardship and help develop knowledgeable and responsible students, teachers and citizens. EPA expects to award at least 20 grants nationwide ranging from a minimum of $15,000 to a maximum of $100,000 and will accept applications until May 2, 2011.
via 03/03/2011: EPA Accepting Applications for Environmental Education Grant Funding.
Chris Huhne: A blueprint for our energy future (speech)
Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change
In autumn 2000, more rain fell on England and Wales than at any time for 230 years. 10,000 homes and businesses were flooded.
In 2003, a heatwave gripped Europe. Drought and wildfires put health services and national infrastructure under huge pressure.
Thousands died. Forests were destroyed by fire, and crops by drought. Energy and transport were hit hard.
We can’t say for sure that climate change caused these extreme weather events. But the science tells us that as our climate changes, the likelihood of these events increases.
In 2004, research suggested human action had doubled the risk of a European heatwave.
And now, for the first time, scientists have been able to say what role global warming played in a major flood.
Chris Huhne: A blueprint for our energy future (speech)
The ‘research’ he cites is just more PlayStation® climatology as various model outputs were compared so ‘researchers’ could draw the conclusion they wanted.