American Elephants


It’s Over. The New York Times Closes Its Environment Desk. by The Elephant's Child

The president declares that it’s not about spending. But over at the New York Times, when the revenues are down, they immediately tackle — the spending.  Of course the lack of actual global warming means the New York Times environmental desk is being closed. No more environment editor, no more deputy environment editor, no seven reporters and two editors. They are being assigned to other departments.

Over at Ricochet, Britain’s James Delingpole, who is always right, piles on. “New York Times Closes its Environment Desk, Please, Nobody Laugh” That desk has been the launching pad for “some of the most compelling and moving news stories of the last four years.” Among them:

Every time you take an unnecessary shower a baby polar bear dies.

No, it’s getting hotter. Really, it’s getting hotter. Dr James Hansen says so and he works at NASA.

Just because global warming stopped in 1997 doesn’t mean it’s not going to start again, no sirree – and when it does it will be worse, much, much worse.

Al Gore: why selling my environmental channel Current TV to oil-funded Jew-haters for $100 million was the morally right thing to do.

We shall miss you, New York Times environment desk. You saved us from ManBearPig!

So why did Al Gore accept $100 million for a cable channel that clearly wasn’t worth that?  It’s revenue came entirely from the fees that cable companies paid to have it on the air, a number which was going down as they cancelled it. There’s more to it than hypocrisy. This is a channel that had very low value, and had a very low audience.  So they were buying some other product. They now have the former Vice President of the United States on their board, and is a consultant for them.  But this is a state for which oil revenue is important.

Even Pravda has given up on global warming. Officially.



The President Had a Press Conference by The Elephant's Child

President Obama held his first post-election press conference today. His first press conference in eight months, the president doesn’t like press conferences much, even though the press arm of the Obama campaign never asks really hard questions. Even with a press corps that is warmly complimenting the president on his electoral win, and trembling with the wonder of simply being in his presence, they did manage to ask eight questions.

One of the questions was about “Climate Change,” which is not surprising now that Al Gore is back out blaming Hurricane Sandy on dirty CO2.  Mark Landler, with the New York Times asked the following question:

Mr. President. In his endorsement of you a few weeks ago, Mayor Bloomberg said he was motivated by the belief that you would do more to confront the threat of climate change than your opponent. Tomorrow you’re going up to New York City, where you’re going to, I assume, see people who are still suffering the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which many people say is further evidence of how a warming globe is changing our weather. What specifically do you plan to do in a second term to tackle the issue of climate change? And do you think the political will exists in Washington to pass legislation that could include some kind of a tax on carbon?

The president was direct, saying “I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior and carbon emissions.” Consider this as an announcement that he is considering a carbon tax, one of the dumber things some nations have done.

You know, as you know, Mark, we can’t attribute any particular weather event to climate change. What we do know is the temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted even 10 years ago. We do know that the Arctic ice cap is melting faster than was predicted even five years ago. We do know that there have been extraordinarily — there have been an extraordinarily large number of severe weather events here in North America, but also around the globe.

And I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior and carbon emissions. And as a consequence, I think we’ve got an obligation to future generations to do something about it.

Now, in my first term, we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars and trucks. That will have an impact. That will take a lot of carbon out of the atmosphere. We doubled the production of clean energy, which promises to reduce the utilization of fossil fuels for power generation. And we continue to invest in potential breakthrough technologies that could further remove carbon from our atmosphere.

But we haven’t done as much as we need to. So what I’m going to be doing over the next several weeks, next several months, is having a conversation, a wide-ranging conversation with scientists, engineers and elected officials to find out what can — what more can we do to make short-term progress in reducing carbons, and then working through an education process that I think is necessary, a discussion, the conversation across the country about, you know, what realistically can we do long term to make sure that this is not something we’re passing on to future generations that’s going to be very expensive and very painful to deal with.

In the meantime, Britain’s Met Office quietly released a report pointing out that the world stopped getting warmer 16 years ago, and included the chart to prove it. From the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there has been no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.  It has been much warmer in the past than it is today, and much cooler as well. There have been much higher quantities of CO2 in the atmosphere, and much lower. We are at a fairly low point at present.

The whole idea that CO2 (what we exhale) is causing massive climate change  and is something to be concerned about exists only in the computer programs that attempt to reconstruct climate, something we don’t know much about. We simply do not know enough about the natural variability of climate, the effect of clouds, long-term ocean temperature cycles and the changes in the output of the sun. The programs that are the source of global warming alarmism are based on guesses and estimates, and are increasingly found to be flawed.

Well, the president believes, and he does not change his mind. He wants more taxpayer money to invest in global warming stuff, like corn for your gas tank, impossible cafe standards that will accomplish nothing, and make cars less safe and more expensive. He will continue to plow taxpayer money and funds borrowed from China into solar arrays and electric batteries, electric cars that no one wants, and other businesses started by his friends and supporters, which will, in their turn, go bankrupt. But he believes, or at least he believes in the money from big environmental organizations, who had lots of money for the Obama campaign, so you never know whether he really believes in global warming, or if it’s just more crony capitalism.

 



New Questions About Global Climate Predictions! by The Elephant's Child

New NASA satellite data from the years 2000 to 2011 show that the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than the computer models of the IPCC have predicted.  A new study reported in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing indicate that increases in atmospheric CO2 trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

The observations suggest that “there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show.,” said study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville and the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite.  “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”

Spencer and  UA Huntsville’s Dr. Danny Braswell compared what a half-dozen of the IPCC’s climate models say that the climate should do with satellite data showing what the atmosphere actually did during the 18 months before and after warming events between 2000 and 2011.

Not only does the atmosphere release more energy than was believed, it starts releasing it earlier in a warming cycle—more than three months before the warming event reaches its peak.

The paper “On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant energy Balance“can be found here, comments from Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. can be found here.

And all that stuff about the “greenhouse effect,” nevermind.



The Evidence is There, But We Don’t Learn From It! by The Elephant's Child

The public, according to the polls, just doesn’t have much concern about global warming climate change.  On their list of worries, it ranks dead last.  The “official” name change probably indicates that.  At the same time, every business is busily emphasizing how green they are.  This may be simply a misunderstanding of public sentiment, or it may be an effort to avoid any trouble with the Obama administration’s environmental agenda.

America, they claim, is going green.  Green energy, green technology, green homes, green jobs, green business, green living and green government.  Greens aim to bring about their idea of a brave new world by legislation and regulation. Where that doesn’t work, they will settle for creating artificial shortages to price you out of your bad habits with surcharges and taxes.

The agenda goes something like this:  We are going to have a sustainable future and reduce our carbon footprint to save the planet and preserve our biodiversity.  To accomplish this, you must take shorter and colder showers, turn down the heat, start bicycling, recycle everything, buy new approved appliances, use CFL bulbs, lose weight, buy “green” electricity, use cloth diapers, use “natural” products, use a push lawnmower, pay more for “organic” food, use cloth grocery bags, become a vegan, and take mass transit.

However uncomfortable, less convenient, more expensive and less enjoyable your life becomes, the greens will be there to hector you into an ever more narrow lifestyle. There is nothing in your lifestyle too trivial to avoid their efforts to regulate.  Nothing is off-limits. Social and environmental “justice” is their goal.

Obama continues to push his green energy fantasy. He talks about our need to compete with other countries, but he will not learn from them. Germany, for example, went for a renewable energy program that has not paid off, nor has it lived up to promises.  The country’s program is often cited as a model to be replicated elsewhere. It is a model that RWI, a German research center  says, is “without merit.”

German wind power costs were 300% higher than conventional power, and jacked up household electricity prices by 7.5%.  Solar power cost 62 cents per kilowatt hour while conventional electricity cost 3 cents to 10 cents per kilowatt hour. Spain’s experience has been even more disastrous, destroying jobs rather than creating them.  In Italy, the think tank Istituto Bruno Leoni said that “each green job cost 6.9 jobs in the industrial sector and 4.8 jobs across the entire economy.

With this kind of information available, it takes a high degree of arrogance to assume that our experience will be different simply because Obama says so.



Another Day, Another Global Warming Lie Debunked by American Elephant

Actually, it was yesterday, but nonetheless — “progressive” warm-mongers hardest hit:

Himalayan glaciers are actually advancing rather than retreating, claims the first major study since a controversial UN report said they would be melted within quarter of a century.

Researchers have discovered that contrary to popular belief half of the ice flows in the Karakoram range of the mountains are actually growing rather than shrinking.

The discovery adds a new twist to the row over whether global warming is causing the world’s highest mountain range to lose its ice cover.

It further challenges claims made in a 2007 report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the glaciers would be gone by 2035.

Although the head of the panel Dr Rajendra Pachauri later admitted the claim was an error gleaned from unchecked research, he maintained that global warming was melting the glaciers at “a rapid rate”, threatening floods throughout north India.



Climate is Always Changing! Skip the Hysteria. by The Elephant's Child

Richard Lindzen is one of our most esteemed climate scientists, and he has a new essay posted at the Global Warming Policy Foundation:

The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations. Such hysteria simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth, and the exploitation of these weaknesses by politicians, environmental promoters, and, after 20 years of media drum beating, many others as well. Climate is always changing. We have had ice ages and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen. Ice ages have occurred in a hundred thousand year cycle for the last 700 thousand years, and there have been previous periods that appear to have been warmer than the present despite CO2 levels being lower than they are now. More recently, we have had the medieval warm period and the little ice age. During the latter, alpine glaciers advanced to the chagrin of overrun villages. Since the beginning of the 19th Century these glaciers have been retreating. Frankly, we don’t fully understand either the advance or the retreat.

For small changes in climate associated with tenths of a degree, there is no need for any external cause. The earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Recent work (Tsonis et al, 2007), suggests that this variability is enough to account for all climate change since the 19th Century.

Do read the whole essay, it’s worth your time, or bookmark it and read it this weekend.  Clear information.  No Hype.



The Corruption of Science Continues, as Does the Corruption of Government. by The Elephant's Child

It has been a little over a year since the so-called Climategate e-mails were leaked from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in England. The e-mails showed the scientists behind the climate scare plotting to hide, delete and manipulate data. They denigrated scientists presenting differing views in order to force journals to publish only papers that promoted alarm about global warming. They turned “peer review” into review by friends, and made the reports of the IPCC no more than alarmist propaganda.

The Climategate e-mails and the story of the corruption of science are carefully laid out in A.W. Montford’s  The Hockeystick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science.  A worthy companion is Dr. Roy W. Spencer’s The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists.  Dr. Spencer has a marvelous ability to explain complicated subjects simply and clearly.  His book has the coolest book cover ever.

I said that the Climategate e-mails were leaked.  The media has liked to claim that the e-mails were “illegally hacked,” but people looking at it clearly are quite sure that a member of the CRU was horrified and distressed by the perversion of science going on.

Since that time, the work of the IPCC has been largely discredited.  They were found to be using papers from Greenpeace and ordinary mountaineers rather than the work of scientists.  Their claims about African crop yields, the Amazon rainforest, disappearing mountain ice, claims about Dutch sea levels, the melting Himalayan glaciers, and trends in disaster losses — all false exaggerations.

From Andrew Kenny, a consulting engineer with degrees in physics and mechanical engineering:

There is no evidence that mankind is changing the climate in a dangerous way. The slight warming of the past 150 years is no different from previous natural warming periods, such as the worldwide medieval warm period from about 900 to 1200 AD. Global warming and cooling are closely correlated to variations in the sun, especially in its emission of charged particles. Carbon dioxide (CO²), a harmless, natural gas upon which green plants depend, is a feeble greenhouse gas. Its only significant absorption band (15 micron) is saturated, so adding more to the atmosphere has a small and diminishing effect.

Over the past half-billion years (the span of multicelled life), CO² levels have averaged more than  2000 ppm (parts per million) but with wild fluctuations, from more than 6000 ppm to less than 500 ppm. This has had no noticeable effect on global temperatures, which have remained remarkably constant for long periods, pointing to a stable global climate system, without which higher life might not be possible. This stability probably comes from low clouds, which increase when temperatures rise and have a powerful cooling effect by reflecting away sunlight.

The “hockey stick graph” was first published in Nature magazine in 1998, and then shown 6 times in the IPCC’s 2001 report.  It showed temperatures in the northern hemisphere steady from 1000 to 1900  (compared to the long straight handle of a hockey stick) then suddenly rising to unprecedented heights in the 20th century (the blade of the hockey stick).  No medieval warm period, long considered the most beneficent climate of all, which spawned the Renaissance, and wine grapes grew in England, and was well documented in history.  The hockey stick was accepted with unquestioning faith by the IPCC and much of the scientific establishment.  (Not too big on history, those folks).

The hockey stick theory was demolished by Steven McIntyre, an expert (and stubborn) statistician.  He got hold of the data on which it was based,” and found outrageously wrong statistical methods, deliberate use of data known to be wrong, and other manipulation.”

Harold Lewis, emeritus professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, recently resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) after 67 years.  He wrote in his resignation letter:  “the global warming scam with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave.  It is the greatest and most successful psuedoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.  Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the Climategate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organises the facts very well) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion.”

The temperature data on which the CRU supposedly based their work on climate is unavailable, apparently lost.  NASA has admitted that they were just using the CRU temperatures.  Anthony Watts at Watts Up With That with an army of volunteers to photograph American thermometer stations has found that far too many are located next to air conditioner exhausts, trash burners, reflective concrete walls and other temperature-corrupting elements.  Except for the satellite temperatures from University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) which are relatively recent — we don’t have any reliable temperature records.

Weather can be defined as what’s going on outside today. Predictions come as a 5-Day Forecast, not a 50 year estimate.  Climate is an average for a large area, but you can’t predict that for 50 years either.  In fact, scientists are beginning to wonder if the idea of a global climate average is in any way meaningful.  Think that one through — how would you get a meaningful global temperature average?

CO2 is only a minor and beneficial trace gas in the atmosphere. By far the largest and most extensive “greenhouse gas” is water vapor.  We just don’t understand clouds very well.




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