American Elephants


Easing Your Mind a Bit About Climate Change by The Elephant's Child

The Weekly letter from Ken Haapala, President of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) gets into Groupthink or Bureaucratic Science. British journalist Christopher Booker. who has just died, was working on a book on groupthink and climate change— expanding on a paper on the subject which was published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)

NOTE: You can download the complete weekly report in an easily printable form at http://www.sepp.org/the-week-that-was.cfm…

Let me just include a couple of bits from the report:

Led by John Christy, the Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), has 40 years of direct measurement of atmospheric temperature trends, yet the IPCC and others cling to surface measurements with very poor global coverage, with data contaminated by the urban heat-island effect. The IPCC ignores atmospheric data, where the greenhouse effect occurs. Based on their 40-years’ worth of worldwide data, the UAH group has estimated, in a published paper, that a doubling of carbon dioxide (CO2) will result in an increase in temperatures of about 1.1ºC or 2ºF.

And: physicist William van Wijngaarden and his colleagues, using measurements of the effects of greenhouse gases without the effects of clouds, have found that a doubling of CO2 (from 400 parts per million to 800 parts per million), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2O) with a 6% increase in the dominant greenhouse gas, water vapor, will result in an increase in temperatures of about 1 to 1.5ºC or 2 to 3ºF. The lowest value the IPCC projects is 1.5ºC, which is the highest value of what van Wijngaarden projects. The highest value of the IPCC is 4.5ºC, far higher than van Wijngaarden.

The work of van Wijngaarden is based on libraries compiled by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Atomic and Molecular Physics, the updating of which is discussed in a recent paper published in the Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer. Unlike data from some groups, the data are not a secret and can be explored using the internet and a laptop computer. Those who wish to do so need to realize certain terms may be confusing. For example, species and Isotopologues refer to different isotopes of an atom, resulting in variants of the same molecule. For example, Except for extreme cases in laboratories, hydrogen has 3 isotopes depending on the number of neutrons. The most common form of hydrogen has no neutrons.

That kind of puts a different light on the fear that increases in CO2 are inexorably warming the planet and we are all going to die in just 12 years from a roasting planet. Holman Jenkins, writing at the Wall Street Journal says: Ignore climate-science reporting in major U.S. news organs. The press has given up wrestling with the limits of knowledge or accurately relaying the caveats tied to highly abstract computer models. If a worst-case scenario materializes, humanity will have recourse to relatively cheap geoengineering solutions to attempt to mitigate warming.



Climate Alarmism is Now a Real Economic Threat! by The Elephant's Child

From Alan Carlin: Carlin Economics and Science:
Climate Alarmism is Now a Real Economic Threat to the U.S”

Climate alarmism is probably the most insidious, largest, and most dangerous scam ever perpetrated on the American public and most of the developed world. Unless brought down by reality, it is now reaching such dimensions that it could even end the position of the current developed countries as the primary engine for economic and technological progress. Instead, the dictates of climate alarmism may eventually consume as much as half of the resources available and yield nothing but climate virtue signalling. Western Europe has been badly impacted by the climate scam, and is no longer providing the technical and economic leadership that it long has. The United States has been adversely affected by all the money it wastes on economically inferior renewables but the current fiscal stimulus is great enough to obscure it except in very blue states such as California. Here energy prices have increased substantially and some workers are moving elsewhere on a net basis.

In terms of countries, if the scam continues and expands, the “old” developed countries will be the primary losers because they will spend much more for energy of much lower quality. One proposal, the Green New Deal (GND), advocates spending about half of US national product on this virtue signalling over the next ten years That means real output will fall by half since virtue signalling is the only alleged useful product of this half. If the US decides to implement the GND as the Democratic Party wants, it will suffer the consequences. But at least two large countries will gain, China and India, since they are rapidly expanding their already large numbers of coal-fired power plants and are doing so based on their underdeveloped county status (how China made it into this group is unclear to me). I believe that every country in the world should be able to build the lowest cost, most useful power plants, but the case of India is particularly compelling. China, India, and other less developed countries will have much lower energy costs and thereby be able to attract more customers for their products by their lower energy prices.

It is thus rather clear that climate alarmism will help China and India gain economically from radical decarbonization proposed by the developed world. It is not clear whether the US will remain outside the Paris Treaty if Trump loses in 2020. This could lead to a calamitous reduction in US economic strength relative to China particularly. US energy independence has been accomplished during the Trump Administration, but could be rapidly eroded by a Democratic President or Congress if they decided to try to end fracking or oil production on public lands or waters. more…

From Zero Hedge:

Bombshell Claim: Scientists Find “Man-Made Climate Change
Doesn’t Exist in Practice”

A new scientific study could bust wide open deeply flawed fundamental assumptions underlying controversial climate legislation and initiatives such as the Green New Deal, namely, the degree to which ‘climate change’ is driven by natural phenomena vs. man-made issues measured as carbon footprint. Scientists in Finland found “practically no anthropogenic [man-made] climate change” after a series of studies. 

“During the last hundred years the temperature increased about 0.1°C because of carbon dioxide. The human contribution was about 0.01°C”, the Finnish researchers bluntly state in one among a series of papers.

This has been collaborated by a team at Kobe University in Japan, which has furthered the Finnish researchers’ theory: “New evidence suggests that high-energy particles from space known as galactic cosmic rays affect the Earth’s climate by increasing cloud cover, causing an ‘umbrella effect’,” the just published study has found, a summary of which has been released in the journal Science Daily. The findings are hugely significant given this ‘umbrella effect’ — an entirely natural occurrence  could be the prime driver of climate warming, and not man-made factors.

The scientists involved in the study are most concerned with the fact that current climate models driving the political side of debate, most notably the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) climate sensitivity scale, fail to incorporate this crucial and potentially central variable of increased cloud cover.

There’s more, Do read the whole thing.

I’m particularly interested in the spread and adoption of radical ideas. There seem to be an uncountable number of people who not only believe in climate change, and that we have only a short time to save ourselves and the earth, without ever having read anything from a scientist of some repute, nor from many scientists, nor found out where they got their information and why they believe what they do believe. I call it “doing your homework”, and keep urging everyone to “study up.”

I am certainly not a scientist, but I grew up in the mountains of Idaho, largely outdoors, on 400 acres surrounded by National Forest and Bureau of Land Management land, with a river running through it. I’ve been snowed in, had lightening strike close by, and coped with floods. Five feet of snow is not a big deal if you keep it plowed. I’ve had the Union Pacific derailed in the front yard as well, so I’m not apt to fall for a sudden panic about climate change. Some winters are mild, some are hard, and sometimes it gets very hot in the summer. There seem to be some long cycles, but then there always have been. Everybody seems to confuse climate with weather. California wildfires are neither, but have specific causes. Hurricanes are weather, not climate. And an unusually long hot summer is indeed, climate.



Today’s Breaking News on the Subject of the Climate Crisis by The Elephant's Child

7/10/2019
Climate Depot headline:

Breakthrough: Scientists Find Hard Evidence Cosmic Rays Influence Earth’s Climate
New evidence suggests that high-energy particles from space known as galactic cosmic rays affect the Earth’s climate by increasing cloud cover, causing an “umbrella effect.”

Watts Up With That headline:

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez move to declare the climate crisis an official emergency-–
Democrats to introduce resolution in House on Tuesday in recognition of extreme threat  from global heating, after considerable pressure from environmental groups.The activist group Extinction Rebellion has said the declaration is a crucial first step in addressing the crisis.

Zero Hedge headline:

Bombshell Claim: Scientists Find “Man-made Climate Change Doesn’t Exist in Practice”
A new scientific study could bust wide open deeply flawed fundamental assumptions   underlying controversial climate legislation and initiatives such as the Green New Deal, namely, the degree to which ‘climate change’ is driven by natural phenomena vs. man-made issues measured as carbon footprint. Scientists in Finland found “practically no anthropogenic [man-made]climate change” after a series of studies.

During the last hundred years the temperature increased about 0.1°C because of carbon dioxide. The human contribution was about 0.01°C”, the Finnish researchers bluntly state in one among a series of papers.

This has been collaborated by a team at Kobe University in Japan, which has furthered the Finnish researchers’ theory: “New evidence suggests that high-energy particles from space known as galactic cosmic rays affect the Earth’s climate by increasing cloud cover, causing an ‘umbrella effect’,” the just published study has found, a summary of which has been released in the journal Science Daily. The findings are hugely significant given this ‘umbrella effect’ — an entirely natural occurrence  could be the prime driver of climate warming, and not man-made factors.

I’m sure that makes it all perfectly clear, and you know just how to think about the critical problem of the heating of the climate. Glaciers, in Glacier Park and Iceland and Antarctica are growing, by the way.



National Priorities on the Environment and How It’s Working by The Elephant's Child

President Trump delivered some remarks on environmental leadership, and brags a little, but backs it up. You may enjoy this.



Promises, Promises, Democrats Pander with Promises of Free Stuff. by The Elephant's Child

Campaign season always gets a little odd. It is not unusual for candidates to be poorly informed, and what seemed a fine idea in preparation for a speech or event, turns out not to be. But before you adopt something as an issue, it’s wise to do your homework. Eliminating private health insurance, late-term abortions, the Green New Deal, open borders and free health care for illegal immigrants may have seemed like good ideas when competing with (25?) other candidates for the presidency, but out in the real world where pollsters do their thing, these bright ideas are not popular at all.

Americans support access to abortion in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, but it drops off. Action to address climate change? A lot of people have studied up a little, and are not convinced that a rise in the amount of CO² in the atmosphere is a sign of impending doom. CO² is plant food, and the planet is greening, crops are bountiful, and lots of hungry people have enough food. It is currently just over 400 ppm in the atmosphere, and yet greenhouses keep it closer to 1000ppm to grow healthy plants. The “Green New Deal” is absurd, both in its aims, and the costs, which would be far beyond unaffordable.

Back when attention was being called to the fear of climate change, government money to address the matter became available, with lots of grants to scientists who could write a good grant proposal for their efforts to investigate. With the prospect of improved labs, possible assistants, and prestige for their universities, many scientists adopted the computer programs used by the big investment houses to project the future stock market action and returns. So they put in what they knew for sure about the climate, which wasn’t all that much, and added what they thought was probable, and some good guesses, and got their grants to tell everyone what the climate was going to do in the next hundred years or so. Uh huh.

The climate of the earth has been changing for millions of years. There has been bountiful weather as there was in the Renaissance when wine grapes grew in England, and ice ages when ice sheets were shaping our lakes and mountains. There was a little ice age in the 1800s when we had some really bad weather. We don’t have good records of temperatures in the past. Ships captains kept some records, but there just aren’t good records, and we’re reduced to looking at paintings and written descriptions, which is not a scientific source.  Dr. Roy Spencer notes that we don’t understand the action of clouds at all. They can block the sun, and on a nice day moving clouds at different levels, blowing in different directions clearly must affect the temperature, but we can’t measure it. And what about cloudy days and weeks? AOC came up with her “Green New Deal” but nobody thinks she knows anything about the climate at all. Actually there are quite a lot of climate prognosticators out there trying to work up public panic, from Al Gore on down to AOC and Tom Steyer.

Some are running on initiating a “carbon tax” which would be poisonous to the economy, accomplish nothing whatsoever about climate change, and please only those who have no comprehension of the fact that our economy runs on fossil fuels. We no longer need to import oil or gas and have such a plenitude that we can export oil to other countries as well.

Democrats have pretty much given up on pretending there is no border crisis, and the consensus seems to be to fix it with open borders. Julian Castro said that illegally crossing the border should no longer be a crime but merely a “civil offense.” Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Kamala Harris agreed. Democrat candidates (all of them) also proposed that free health care be given to all undocumented immigrants. Hardly “free” but taxpayer funded. Obamacare was supposed to fix our “broken health care system”, but Democrats decided it was a for-profit nightmare that requires more radical intervention.

Kamala Harris, Sanders, Warren and Gov. DeBlasio called for the abolishment of private insurance plans in favor of a government-run plan. Kamala Harris backed off the next day, but wanted Medicare for All available to everyone if they want it, but they still get to keep their private health insurance if they have it. Clearly they have no idea how a government-run plan would work, how much it would cost and what an enormous drag on the economy it is. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and entrepreneur Andrew Yang boasted about their 6-figure college debts and others promised to cancel debt and make college free. This was a great opportunity to show what they can do, and present some programs meant to help the country, and all we got was pandering. They clearly have no idea about what, if anything, should make anyone want them in office or what they could do for the country, and are convinced that how you get votes is to give people free stuff.

The Trump economy is working for everyone, but Democrats are hoping that nobody will notice. They want to claim that minorities are being left behind, and you would think we are in the midst of the Great Depression. The jobless rate for blacks is 6.2% only 2.9 percentage points higher than for whites, compared to a 4.6 percentage point difference before the start of the 2008 recession. They prefer to think that the economy is only working for the rich and people are scraping by with several jobs. The facts don’t support that idea. There are now 1.3 million fewer Americans working part time for economic reasons. It is a matter of faith for Democrats that tax-cuts only go to the rich and only benefit the rich.

These Democrat candidates are offering a lot of ideas that polls show the people don’t want. They don’t want to lose their private insurance. They don’t want open borders, nor do they want to give illegal aliens free health care. Free stuff may sound good, but it is not, as claimed, free. Somebody has to pay for it. Guess who?



Never Fear, Common Sense Is Here! by The Elephant's Child

KOMO-TV reported last Wednesday that “a climate study has estimated that Seattle’s costs associated sea level rise could be more than $23.8 billion by 2040.”They said that the “Center for Climate Integrity conducted the evaluation of potential costs of constructing seawalls in 22 coastal states and the District of Columbia.”

Well, not so fast. Junk Science.com pointed out that while high water and/or flooding may be a future problem for Seattle, it won’t be because of sea level rise so much as subsidence.

The NOAA tidal gauge data shows that for the past 120 years or so the rise has been about 8 to9 inches–nothing unusual.

What is happening is that manmade activity (land use, groundwater withdrawal) is making Seattle subside. A 2016 study showed that “Fast subsidence in downtown of Seattle was observed with satellite radar.



You Learn Something New Every Day if You Are Paying Attention! by The Elephant's Child

There was a big hailstorm yesterday in Guadalajara, Mexico. I saw that this morning, and then promptly forgot where it happened, and started looking for the article, and learned that massive drops of hail happen somewhat frequently — at least there were other examples in the Western hemisphere, Argentina, Denver. I never knew that was possible. My experience with hail was that it came looking much like white peas, at least the hail as I knew it was pea size.

I had heard about big hailstones in some places, even big enough to break some fragile windows, but in such quantity that it ended up with several feet, I had never heard or read of. One finds new or unexpected things in the news frequently, and you just say a mental “Oh!” and feel that you learned something new. Hail in 3 and 5 foot dumps means you have to get out the snowplows and shovels!




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