Peter Foster: More populism at the pumps
Political scoundrels run to revive discredited claims of gas price gouging
The 18th-century lexicographer and wit-about-town Samuel Johnson claimed that patriotism is the last resort of the scoundrel. For populist politicians, the last resort is manufactured outrage over gas prices. Thank heavens there isn’t time for this to become more of an election issue in Canada. Americans may not be so lucky.
In the past week, both Canadian opposition parties and President Barack Obama have claimed that we should ignore obvious reasons for gas price increases and instead look — yawn — for Big Oil conspiracy. Mr. Obama also cited the impact of ever-handy “speculators.” (A 2008 study by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission suggested that oil traders tend to keep prices down, but who wants to hear that?) (Financial Post)
The truth about America’s oil & gas companies — Part I
Perceptive Article On The Sad State Of Research Funding By Toby N. Carlson
Toby N. Carlson of the Department of Meteorology at the Pennsylvania State University has shared with me two article on the sad state of research funding. This sentiment fits with my impressions of NSF funding that I have posted on in my weblog; e.g. see
Uncertain Climate Risks (Nature Climate Change)
Guest Post by Ira Glickstein
Clouds cast a shadow over IPCC climate models.
As I continue to plow through Vol 1 Issue 1 of the new Journal Nature Climate Change, I came to the following amazing statement:
Communicating the value of climate modelling … requires confronting such apparent contradictions as the fact that increasing a model’s complexity — by adding the behaviour of clouds, people or ecosystem feedbacks, for example — may actually increase the uncertainty in climate projections. Atmospheric scientist Kevin Trenberth of the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, has explicitly warned that unless such seemingly paradoxical results are communicated carefully, the more complex modelling being used in climate simulations for the upcoming fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may confuse both the public and decision-makers, thereby reducing their willingness to act. [My emphasis]
“Apparent contradictions”? Heck yes, and more than simply “apparent”! The Warmists finally understand that including the major natural cycles and processes that affect climate change in their models will make it that much harder for them to convince the public that human activities are the main cause and, therefore, changing our activities the main solution! (WUWT)
Storms Kill Over 250 Americans In States Represented By Climate Pollution Deniers
By Brad Johnson on Apr 28th, 2011 at 7:45 pm
Today, news agencies are still tallying reports of deaths from the most devastating storm system in the United States in decades:
Dozens of massive tornadoes tore a town-flattening streak across the South, killing at least 250 people in six states and forcing rescuers to carry some survivors out on makeshift stretchers of splintered debris. Two of Alabama’s major cities were among the places devastated by the deadliest twister outbreak in nearly 40 years.
“Given that global warming is unequivocal,” climate scientist Kevin Trenberth cautioned the American Meteorological Society in January of this year, “the null hypothesis should be that all weather events are affected by global warming rather than the inane statements along the lines of ‘of course we cannot attribute any particular weather event to global warming.’”
The congressional delegations of these states — Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, and Kentucky — overwhelmingly voted to reject the science that polluting the climate is dangerous. They are deliberately ignoring the warnings from scientists. (Think Progress)
NOAA Scientist Rejects Global Warming Link to Tornadoes
Greens hate office supplies, the EPA makes ears bleed and in Antarctica, no one can hear you scream. (Daily Bayonet)
Fighting back against the frauds at the EWG
A new force has joined us in the fight against the fear entrepreneurs. Surf over to Safe Fruits and Veggies.com, and read some common sense, which should help counteract the nonsense disseminated on a daily basis by the inaptly named Environmental Working Group. (I call it “inapt” unless they’re talking about working on the environment of your wallet.)
A favorite (and unfortunately effective) technique of EWG and other bottom-feeders is to simply create a list of chemicals that might be present in a particular food or personal care item. Then, they try to scare you about it, but more importantly try to convince you to send them money.
Forget about the actual concentrations of these chemicals, or the first rule of toxicology “The dose makes the poison.” Forget also, that if you were to run assays on “organically grown” crops, you would still find naturally-present chemicals such as formaldehyde. Moreover, even if you were going to get concerned over such matters, the analytical methods of EWG have often been criticized—that is, when they are even disclosed.
One the many good points made on the site is:
An analysis conducted by a panel of experts recently found that the often cited “dirty” lists of produce items are misleading to consumers, that there is no evidence that the pesticide levels found pose any health risk, and that these lists should not be used to guide purchasing decisions for fruits and vegetables.
Apparently, the EWG has already backed off from some of its initial propaganda, based on data presented on the Safe Fruits and Veggies site, and its Expert Panel Report. (pdf download)
Check it out! (Shaw’s Eco-Logic)
Dodgy figures, wrong questions plague debate
Gary Johns From: The Australian April 28, 2011 12:00AM
AUSTRALIA has had two chances to make a dignified exit from the foolhardy proposition of carbon abatement.
The first was Tony Abbott’s proposal to then opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull to pass then prime minister Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme, with the proviso that it not be invoked until there was an international scheme in place. An international scheme is a chimera. Second was Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s promise to wait until Australians had achieved a consensus on pricing carbon: in other words, to talk it out until after yet another election. For the foreseeable future, these two options have been closed.
Having cost the political lives of one prime minister (Kevin Rudd) and two opposition leaders (Brendan Nelson and Malcolm Turnbull), Australia is now in the end game for pricing carbon. Pricing seemed like a good idea 10 years ago: it is now looking very sick.
Ask an economist the most cost-effective way to abate carbon and they will tell you market pricing. Right answer, wrong question. Ask an economist the most cost-effective way to prepare for the risk of climate change and you will get answers about priorities and adaptation. You hear about research and development, and spending money on things to make people (especially in developing countries) more able to cope with change: health infrastructure, skills, cheap energy. (The Australian)
Three More Attacks on Civilization
Jeffrey A. Tucker
Thank goodness we’ve got a global marketplace where banned and nearly banned products can be purchased with a click. This is how I obtained a box of Savogran Trisodium Phosphate, which sounds like an explosive but is really just a cleanser that was in every dish-washing soap until last year. It is made of phosphorous, an element from bone ash or urine that was discovered in Germany in the 17th century. It is also the reason that dishwashers once cleaned dishes perfectly, leaving no residue or spots.
Remember the old Calgon commercial that showed food falling off plates and glasses left gleaming at the end of a wash? That was phosphorous at work.
It is still a must in commercial establishments like restaurants and hotels. But 17 states have already banned the product for consumers, causing most all makers of the detergent to remove it from their products, which vastly degraded their value. The detergent makers saw the writing on the wall and this time decided to get out in front of the regulatory machine, anticipating a federal ban before it actually takes place.
Most consumers are clueless as to how sometime in the last year, their dishwashers stopped working properly. They call in the repairman, who fiddles with things and announces a fix. But it is not fixed. The glasses are gritty and the plates often need to be rinsed again after washing. Many households have bought new machines or resorted to just running the dishes through twice. (Mises Daily)
George Jonas: Greens Need To Stop Crying Wolf
George Jonas, National Post
A study released this week concludes that government “green-job” programs aren’t the yellow-brick road to happiness in Europe. “Green programs in Spain destroyed 2.2 jobs for every job created,” write Kenneth P. Green and Ben Eisen in their paper for the Winnipeg-based think-tank, Frontier Centre, “while the capital needed for one green job in Italy could create five new jobs in the general economy.”
‘Imported’ Emissions Offset Kyoto Protocol CO2 Reductions
by MARLO LEWIS
Has the EU met its emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol? Not if emissions associated with goods Europe imports from Asia are taken into account. So finds a study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
The study, Growth in emission transfers via international trade from 1990 to 2008, calculates the net increase in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from developed countries’ imports of goods produced in developing countries. The study provides additional evidence of Kyoto’s futility, although the authors, a team of Norwegian, German, and U.S. researchers, don’t draw this conclusion and would likely deny it. (Cooler Heads)
Major polluters say 2011 climate deal “not doable”
The world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters do not expect a legally-binding deal to tackle climate change at talks in South Africa in December, two leading climate envoys said on Wednesday.
U.S. climate negotiator Todd Stern and European climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard played down the chance of a breakthrough after a meeting of the Major Economies Forum (MEF), an informal group of 17 countries including the world’s top polluters, China and the United States.
“From what I’ve heard in these last two days, the conclusion must be that it is highly unlikely that the world will see a legally binding deal done in Durban,” Hedegaard told reporters.
“Not that they do not think it’s important — but there is just this feeling that it’s simply not doable for Durban.” (Reuters)
Update: GE’s Megan Robison has responded with the statement “The foam is no more a risk to consumers in their homes than 134a” so we presume GE must have European statistics on fire incidence, mortality and injury separated by white goods foam type and blowing agent. Otherwise how could they make such a statement?
In fairness I’ve pinned this post to the front page so everyone will immediately see when GE proves me wrong – or if they do. Since this data must already be in hand it’s reasonable leaving this post pinned until what, first posting Monday, May 9? It only took a day for Megan to respond the first time so the working week should be plenty of time, surely.
Alright GE, as Wilbur allegedly said to his brother on that fateful day at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903: “Let ‘er rip, Orville!” – you show us how appliances containing a foam of flammable/explosive cyclopentane offers a zero risk-increment over those filled with non-flammable, non-toxic gases.
Given GE’s absurd scaremongering over matters environmental, particularly gorebull warbling – and their highly magnified risk sensitivity – I can’t wait to see how they go about demonstrating the safety of placing highly flammable and explosive gas-filled appliance cabinets in people’s homes. :End update
Another Publication Of An Unverifiable Multi-Decadal Climate Prediction: “Cold Spells In A Warming World”
I was alerted to an article and news releases on the prediction of cold outbreaks decades from now [h/t Ned Niklov]. The researchers are affiliated with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. That is relevant to me as I was on science review panel at Oak Ridge several years ago where one of our major recommendations was that they assess the predictability of climate forecasts starting as an initial value problem. This would have been a robust scientific approach as observations can be used to test the skill of the multi-decadal predictions.
However, this article (and the climate modeling research program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, if this paper is typical) has been derailed from the proper assessment of the skill at climate prediction.
Instead, as illustrated in the paper below, they have adopted the scientifically flawed approach of making regional climate forecasts decades into the future. The journal, Geophysical Research Letters, by accepting such a prediction paper, is similarly compromising robust science. (Roger Pielke Sr.)
New paper shows how natural ocean oscillations control climate
According to climate scientist Dr. Roger Pielke Sr., “A very important new paper has been accepted for publication in Climate Dynamics,” titled Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation And Northern Hemisphere’s Climate Variability. The paper shows how the climate of the Northern Hemisphere can be explained by a combination of the natural ocean cycles called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), without incorporating greenhouse gases. The graph below, from a poster associated with the paper, shows how the Northern Hemisphere (NH) surface temperature “can be nearly perfectly represented as a weighted sum of the AMO and PDO” natural ocean oscillations. IPCC models do not incorporate ocean oscillations and are purposely programmed to instead attempt to “prove” CO2 controls climate rather than natural factors such as ocean oscillations and solar variability. (Hockey Schtick)
You remember the nonsense about gorebull warbling shutting down Atlantic Meridional Overturning that no one in their right mind could be worried about? These guys say you shouldn’t worry about it – because of gorebull warbling…
Agulhas leakage fueled by global warming could stabilize Atlantic overturning circulation
MIAMI – April 27, 2011 – The Agulhas Current which runs along the east coast of Africa may not be as well known as its counterpart in the Atlantic, the Gulf Stream, but researchers are now taking a much closer look at this current and its “leakage” from the Indian Ocean into the Atlantic Ocean. In a study published in the journal Nature, April 27, a global team of scientists led by University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science Associate Professor Lisa Beal, suggests that Agulhas Leakage could be a significant player in global climate variability. (EurekAlert)
Meanwhile the Greenland current which could affect meridional overturning is just doing its same old thing with no apparent trend:
Probe of influential Greenland current finds no trend
Obama’s Top Six Gas Price Myths Busted
The same Washington press corps that hammered President George W. Bush relentlessly when prices were still well under $3 a gallon—well before the $4 a gallon peak, which lasted only six weeks in 2008—have given President Obama a pass thus far on the recklessness of his energy policy.
In fact, in the first two years of his presidency, as gas prices steadily rose to over $3 a gallon, the press corps never asked the President about gas prices in any of his press briefings. Even when he called a press briefing specifically on gas prices last month, he was asked only one question on the subject, which was historic in itself, being the first question on gas prices of his presidency.
According to the Media Research Center, in the past year, just 1 percent of stories related to oil prices or the Gulf oil spill on the network evening news even mentioned the President’s energy policy.
President Obama has been more than happy to feed the media alternative narratives. But the myths created in the White House don’t stand up to scrutiny. (The Foundry)