Daily Archives: August 22, 2011

The junk science of Keynesian economics and another plug for Roy’s book

The problem with Keynesian economics is that it behaves exactly as the Second Law of Thermodynamics, maximizing the entropy of the [financial] system until everyone has an infinitely small share – but it generates no wealth and creates nothing.

What happened to America? Once a ‘can do’ nation who knew how to make a dollar and create wealth but now degenerated to a simpering bunch of redistributors.

How’s those slogans working out for you? Wreck the economy by forcing the provision of loans to those who could not possibly repay? Yes we did! Drive down interest rates and profit incentive to the point where investing is a pointless risk? Yes we did! Flood the economy with Mickey Mouse money to devalue the once-mighty dollar? Yes we did!

Unleash capitalism and get out of the way, ya dopey blighters!

A Fifth Keynesian ‘Stimulus’?
David Weinberger

The concept of a Keynesian stimulus never seems to tire among politicians eager to grow the economy artificially by spending other people’s money. (The Foundry)

O’Reilly, O’Bama, and the O’Conomy
…or, It’s Not About Money…It’s Our Standard of Living

I just endured a rather inane discussion on the O’Reilly Factor with actor/pundit Wayne Rogers and economist/comedian/actor/pundit Ben Stein, over whether President Obama helps or hurts the economy. (Roy W. Spencer)

Our “warming” world is a calmer world

Severe Weather In The Far East & Pacific Regions Has Declined Over The Last 50 Years, Scientists Confirm

Read here. The UN’s IPCC and associated climate alarmist scientists predicted that severe weather would increase globally as a result of human-caused global warming. Three new peer reviewed studies, representing the large expanse of the Australia-Asia region, determined that cyclone and tropical storm occurrence has actually declined over modern era, post WWII.

Simple summary: The IPCC, its climate “experts” and their predictions were wrong, again. (C3 Headlines)

Global cyclone activity historically low

A new research study shows that overall global tropical cyclone activity has decreased to historically low levels during the past 5 years. Maue analyzes global tropical cyclone data from 1970 through May 2011 to examine the considerable interannual variability of the accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) metric. Since 2006, global and Northern Hemisphere ACE have decreased significantly, reaching the lowest levels since the late 1970s. Also, during 2010-2011, the overall global frequency of tropical cyclones reached a historical low. The researcher demonstrates that much of the variability in tropical cyclone energy during the past 40 years is clearly associated with natural large-scale climate oscillations such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2011GL047711, 2011

Title: Recent historically low global tropical cyclone activity

Author: Ryan N. Maue: Center for Ocean and Atmosphere Studies, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA; (EurekAlert)

Luboš Motl: Sharks join aliens in their bloody fight against AGW

Sharks join aliens in their bloody fight against AGW
Luboš Motl

Yesterday, we learned that Al Gore’s extraterrestrial environmentalist pals are preparing a friendly but lethal attack against the Earth in which they will annihilate us.

Some heretics have expressed doubts about the aliens’ capacity to resuscitate the Kyoto protocols and cap-and-trade bills. However, during the last 24 hours, aliens have built a broader coalition – The Axis of Blood and Gore – that has started the war on humans, the main culprits responsible for the global warming in the Milky Way. (The Reference Frame)

Donna Laframboise: The Backstory to the ‘Fleeing Species’ Claim

The Backstory to the ‘Fleeing Species’ Claim
Donna Laframboise
August 21, 2011

In early 2004 Nature, a respected science journal, ran a cover story titled Feeling the Heat: biodiversity losses due to global warming.  As one critic would laterobserve:

It is rare for a scientific paper to be the lead item on the evening news, or to fill the front pages of our national newspapers, but [that particular study]received exceptional worldwide media attention.

The lead author was named Chris D. Thomas. Now he’s back in the news – this time for a paper published in Science whose very own press release begins:

Many different species of plants and animals have been moving higher in elevation and farther away from the equator to escape the Earth’s warming climate.

Once more, the media is all over the story – and the headlines are nothing if not dramatic. The BBC declares that species are fleeing a warm climate faster than previously thoughtTime magazine tells us that climate change is turning plants and animals into refugees. CNN asserts that animals are being driven to higher ground by warmth. (Lots more news stories may be seen here.)

What no one seems to realize or remember is that things turned out rather badly the last time Thomas’ work was similarly fêted by journalists. (Although Thomas’ name isn’t listed first on the Science article, both the BBC and CNN say he led the project.)

I’m familiar with the 2004 Thomas paper because the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chose to base its 2007 species extinction predictions on this work despite the fact that it had already been thoroughly trashed by other experts. (No Consensus)

Tom Nelson: Warmist Andy Pitman admits that the science isn’t settled; also admits that climate scientists overseas get “excellent salary packages” and they can “significantly affect policy”

Warmist Andy Pitman admits that the science isn’t settled; also admits that climate scientists overseas get “excellent salary packages” and they can “significantly affect policy”

Right climate to make move into science – National News – National – Education – The Advertiser

IT IS a rapidly growing field, calling for bright minds and big thinkers, but there are not enough environmental and climate scientists coming through university to meet demand.

The director of the Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, Professor Andy Pitman, said while the need for climate scientists in academia, government institutions and the corporate world was fast increasing, ”we aren’t training the next generation of students … to fill in those niches”.

In a bid to boost the numbers of climate scientists, the climate change research centre at the University of NSW is offering honours scholarships to graduates. .

Professor Pitman said many students, conscious of their HECS debt, forgo science or postgraduate degrees and enter what they see as more lucrative careers in business, finance and mining, but it was a misconception that science graduates did not do well.

”Almost invariably, climate PhDs with a physics or maths background find themselves in demand overseas and withexcellent salary packages,” he said. ”This is a growing area with a small number of such specialists, making them an elite that are coming in at the ground floor of a worldwide demand, so it is a great way to fast-track a career.”

Climate systems researchers have the chance ”to pursue some very serious science that will significantly affect policyand – because the field is so new – change our fundamental understanding of climate

Flashback: Scientists ‘losing climate fight’ – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Professor Pitman says sceptics have used the IPCC’s error to skew the climate change debate.

“Climate scientists are losing the fight with the sceptics,” he said.

“The sceptics are so well funded, so well organised. “They have nothing else to do. They don’t have day jobsso they can put all their efforts into misinforming and miscommunicating climate science to the general public, whereas the climate scientists have day jobs and [managing publicity] actually isn’t one of them.

“All of the efforts you do in an IPCC report is done out of hours, voluntarily, for no funding and no pay, whereas the sceptics are being funded to put out full-scale misinformation campaigns and are doing a damn good job, I think.

(Tom Nelson)

Chris Horner Pinocchios WaPo

WaPo Gets its Pinocchio on for Dishonest ‘Warming’ Attack on Perry
Christopher C. Horner

“I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we’re seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes, our climates change. They’ve been changing ever since the earth was formed. But I do not buy into, that a group of scientists, who in some cases were found to be manipulating this data.”

Not much to quibble with Texas Governor Rick Perry about there. Except if you’re the Washington Post which, like Politico, cannot countenance Perry’s refusal to bow at the altar of what has been decided. So for his apostasy WaPo gives Perry a whopping “four Pinocchios” in a sneering, nasty and intellectually dishonest piece, “Rick Perry’s made-up ‘facts’ about climate change”, rife with straw men, heavy on double standards, and otherwise mixing and matching errors of omission and commission.”

First, an editorial note. WaPo reveals its delirium on the issue by citing polls as its apparent evidence for man-made climate change, concluding with “After all, it was first established in 1896 that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could help create a ‘greenhouse effect.’” Apple, meet orange.

This non-sequitor misreads WaPo’s own cited source and is more confused than the ritual confusion of climate change with man-made climate change, then conflated with the alleged catastrophic climate change (which WaPo also then offers). So, Mr. Kessler, the greenhouse effect, in existence somewhat longer than man, enables life on earth. Man does not help create it. It’s here with us, or without us. OnWaPo’s relative scale, this scolding of another for supposed ignorance, clueless about that of which it scolds, merits at least five Pinocchios. (Big Government)

Still trying to figure out ocean heat transport

New Iceland current could sway N. Atlantic climate

A newly discovered deep, cold current flowing off Iceland’s coast may reveal that the North Atlantic is less sensitive to climate change than previously thought, researchers reported Sunday.

The new current, the North Icelandic Jet, feeds the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, a giant pattern known as the “great ocean conveyor belt,” or by the disconcerting acronym AMOC.

Because this pattern is critically important for regulating Earth’s climate, including European and North American climates, any strong influences on it, and their response to a warming Earth, are of keen scientific and practical interest. (Reuters)

Ocean Current Could Lead To Cooling Of Northern Hemisphere Climate

An international team of researchers has confirmed the presence of a deep-reaching ocean circulation system off Iceland that could have “important ramifications” for ocean circulation’s impact on climate in the Northern Hemisphere.

The current, called the North Icelandic Jet (NIJ), contributes to a key component of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), also known as the “great ocean conveyor belt,” which is critically important for regulating Earth’s climate.

Climate specialists have been concerned that the conveyor belt is slowing down due to a rise in global temperatures. They suggest that increasing amounts of fresh water from melting ice and other warming-related phenomena are making their way into the northern North Atlantic, where it could freeze, which would prevent the water from sinking and decrease the need for the loop to deliver as much warm water as it does now. Eventually, this could lead to a colder climate in the northern hemisphere. (Irish Weather Online)

Predictions about the future are so hard to make

NASA Climate “Scientists” Called Out For Their Incredibly Bad Super El Niño Predictions

Read here. NASA has been the heart of this nation’s global warming hysteria, with the most recent evidence being just a plainly bizarre “aliens hate global warming” study published by a NASA scientist.

Another aspect of NASA’s being led by the hysterics of its “scientists” is the ongoing, incredible incompetence of their climate predictions. Besides the laughable, ludicrous NASA prediction that sea levels will rise by some 82 feet by 2100, there is the never-ending prediction of a Super El Niño that never seems to happen. (C3 Headlines)

This is what Australia’s Red/Green/[dubious] conglomerate government wants to inflict on its citizens

Australia will send $57bn a year overseas by 2050, Treasury modelling shows

BY 2050, Australia will be sending $57 billion a year overseas just for the right to keep our lights on, as a direct consequence of Julia Gillard’s carbon dioxide tax and consequent emissions trading scheme.

Let me make it perfectly clear. We won’t be getting anything tangible back for that $57bn.

It doesn’t buy us windmills or solar panels made in China. It doesn’t buy us technology or licensing rights. It’s not even a (carbon dioxide) tax, that would at least generate revenue for the government. It just sends money to foreigners for “permission” to keep a few of our coal-fired power stations operating.

That is to say, it will be an entirely artificial cost, imposed on all Australians, by this Gillard-Brown government, with not the slightest offsetting benefit. It has the same economic consequences as taking $57bn and just shredding it. Every year.

This extraordinary “fact” is in detailed Treasury modelling of the proposed carbon dioxide tax.

It’s astonishing that a government could blithely commit to throwing away — it’s not even like foreign aid — $57bn a year of our national income.

It’s even more astonishing that the formerly credible Treasury department could conclude that throwing away that money every year would have almost no negative impact on our economy.

And even more startling yet that all this is of no interest to the media or the broader commentariat. (The Australian)

With an Administration so keen to act against American interest it’s easy to see why some would question their president’s nationality

Exxon Fights Regulatory Pirates

Oil: During the Age of Exploration, seafarers carefully guarded their maps of discovery to ward off plunderers. Incredibly, Exxon faces a similar kind of piracy against its big Gulf oil discovery, as regulators snatch at its permit.

Make no mistake about it: American oil companies are operating in a great age of exploration comparable to the uncharted waters that Henry the Navigator, Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan sailed.

Five hundred years after the Caribbean was explored, oil is being discovered in unheard-of quantities, 230 miles into the Gulf of Mexico in waters so deep its retrieval would have been impossible even five years ago.

ExxonMobil, and its Norwegian partner Statoil made the biggest discovery of all — a field worth a billion barrels of oil — 7,000 feet below sea level in its “Julia” field in 2007.

Exxon tried to keep its discovery secret to keep marauders away. Sadly, the pirates in this instance are U.S. regulators — and their aim is to stop them.

That’s right: Instead of marvel at the continuing treasures of the New World, or hail the human ingenuity that made retrieval of so much oil possible, or simply quantify how this discovery will boost U.S. energy security, Interior Department bureaucrats moved instead to snatch Exxon’s permits and shut the whole thing down.

Employing an extreme technicality, these regulators claimed that Exxon’s request in 2008 for a short suspension of activity to upgrade and make safer its drilling operation amounted to an abandonment of three of its five permits, simply because Exxon hadn’t signed a contract with another partner, Chevron, by the time the suspension was completed.

In the past, such glitches were no problem — after all, it’s obvious Exxon, which spent $300 million on exploratory wells, hasn’t abandoned the operation.

But in the Obama era, which demonizes oil production in American waters by American companies, the bureaucrats came up with this permit technicality to effectively expropriate the entire operation. (IBD)

In one sense these guys are right…

… if “alternatives” had any hope of ever being a viable replacement for oil there would be incentive for current oil producers to maximize output to extract resource value. However, the only real alternative foreseeable is coal to liquids (for which we have truly extraordinary feedstock available) and the longer oil remains above $70/bbl the greater the likelihood countries will tool up for this cheaper alternative to conventional oil sources. As far as wind and solar go, who really cares? Neither they nor electric vehicles pose any threat to oil producers regardless of source.

Is oil pricing itself out of the market?
U of A researchers explore hypothetical economic models that oil producers should pay attention to

University of Alberta researcher Andrew Leach likes the way Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal thinks.

A new paper by Leach, an associate professor in the Alberta School of Business, and fellow University of Alberta economics researcher Ujjayant Chakravorty, posits scenarios that parallel a statement Alwaleed made in May declaring that it is in the best interests of Saudi oil producers to keep oil around the $70 mark to prevent the West from developing alternative energy sources. Their paper, co-written with a colleague from the Toulouse School of Economics , hypothesizes scenarios wherein a narrowing of the gap between developing renewable energy resources and fossil fuel resources might mean a rush to drain the oil from its source. (EurekAlert)

Death by regulation

EPA’s Ongoing Assault on the Economy
Sterling Burnett

Affordable energy is critical for a prosperous economy. Yet, despite the fact that the U.S. is still in the middle of a pronounced economic slump, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of proposing or finalizing a number of air-quality regulations that would limit energy choices and increase energy prices, thus seriously retarding the economic recovery. (Planet Gore)

USEPA: Hell-Bent on Over-Control
Harvey M. Sheldon

In the United States, we are repeatedly told that good science requires this or that regulation because this or that bad thing will happen otherwise. We live in a world that depends on honest answers to good questions in order to keep itself from making serious mistakes. Unfortunately, government is not an institution designed to ask all the right questions, and it often fails to give good or honest answers to the questions it does ask. This is occurring more and more often in the environmental arena, where political and ideological goals are driving the misuse of science by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to churn out highly questionable new regulations. For example, in the field of air pollution control, companies big and small are faced with some new requirements that will do little for the environment while shrinking the chances of business or job growth. (American Thinker)

Obama’s War On Americans: His EPA Strangles New Mexico’s Economy With A New $370 Million Regulation

Read here. The Obama-approved rogue EPA agency is determined to crush any economic activity in the name of inconsequential benefit if coal is involved. In the most recent case case, the EPA is mandating that a New Mexican power facility install a $370 million retrofit that will not make any significant difference in the air quality – basically, a waste of money.

Needless to say, the war on average Americans and the economy by Obama’s regulators continues. (Time to defund the EPA?) (C3 Headlines)

You mean, it’s about “capturing revenue”?

Big Brother Goes Green
Audrey Hudson

Gas-guzzling vehicle owners pay the lion’s share of highway maintenance, but advanced technology is paving the way for eco-friendly cars to contribute more revenue through a new tax.

By requiring cars to be equipped with odometer spyware that will report to authorities how many miles are driven, government is looking to toss out the old gas tax for a new miles-driven fee.

“The Left is always pushing for more and more regulations, and more and more taxes. Now an insatiable Washington is looking to tax so-called green vehicles in a Big Brotheresque way,” said Robert Gordon, senior adviser for strategic outreach at The Heritage Foundation.

“The green chickens could be coming home to roost, and with them, the Left may have finally met a tax it doesn’t like,” Gordon said.

Sen. Kent Conrad (D.-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, is expected to make a recommendation later this year on whether the federal government should drop the gas tax and implement the Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax.

During a hearing earlier this spring, The Hill reported Conrad as saying that President Obama is asking for $556 billion over the next six years to fund federal transportation projects. Money from the Highway Trust Fund is also used to support mass transit, walkways, bike paths and scenic trails.

“Do we move to some kind of an assessment that is based on how many miles vehicles go, so that we capture revenue from those who are going to be using the roads who aren’t going to be paying any gas tax, or very little, with hybrids and electric cars?” Conrad suggested. (Human Events)

Property rights trashed in pursuit of “green power”

Lawrence Solomon: Tyranny of the north
Alberta passes draconian laws abolishing property rights

Venezuela’s dictator, Hugo Chavez, was in the news this week for brashly announcing an expropriation of the mineral rights of the citizens of his country. We don’t seize private property that way in our democracy. We seize it silently and in plain sight, as seen in the province of Alberta, which so deftly passed stealth legislation two years ago that most Albertans are only now discovering the government’s audacious takeover of their property rights.

The stealth occurred through a suite of four cleverly worded laws passed under the radar in 2009 and 2010. Their effect is to place all economic power in the hands of Cabinet, usurping the role of the legislature and negating the role of the courts.

“These laws — which have just been used to tear up some two dozen oil sands leases — are without precedent in either Canada or the Western democracies,” states Keith Wilson, an Edmonton-area lawyer who recognized their implication a year ago and has been criss-crossing the province ever since to argue for their repeal. “The Alberta Cabinet can do virtually anything it now wants to do — it can tear up any contract that it had made without any recourse by the party on the other side. That contract could be a farmer’s water licence or grazing lease, a real estate company’s development rights, a forest company or a mining company lease, anything.” (Financial Post)

Britain may yearn for the time wind allowed it to rule the waves but this is not the path for a return to glory

The BBC steadfastly avoids the facts about the wind farm scam
David Shukman’s reports on energy policy for the BBC failed to explain the true lunacy of the Government’s plans.
Christopher Booker

What is the maddest thing going on in Britain today? There may be many competitors for that title, but a front-runner must be what the Government has made the centrepiece of its energy policy, to ensure that our lights stay on and that our now largely computer-dependent economy remains functioning. Last week, the BBC ran a series of reports by its science correspondent, David Shukman, on the Government’s plan to ring our coasts with vast offshore wind farms.

The nearest thing allowed to criticism of this policy came in an interview with the Oxford academic Dieter Helm, who we were told had “done the sums”. What, Shukman asked, had he come up with? The only figures Helm gave were that the Government’s offshore wind farm plans would, by 2020, cost £100 billion – scarcely a state secret, since the Government itself announced this three years ago – plus £40 billion more to connect these windmills to the grid, a figure given us by the National Grid last year.

Helm did not tell us that this £140 billion equates to £5,600 for every household in the country. But he did admit that the plan was “staggeringly expensive”, and that, given the current extent of “fuel poverty” and the state of our economy, he doubted “if it can in fact be afforded”. (TDT)