American Elephants


Everything You Wanted To Know About Climate Change But Were Afraid To Ask. by The Elephant's Child

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha: From the Daily Caller today —On Wednesday morning’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” the Center for American Progress’ very own Christie Heffner, former CEO of Playboy Enterprises announced that Chicago’s sky-high murder rate could be blamed — at least in part — on climate change.

Yes, last year we hit a record number of murders from guns [in Chicago], And this year we are already outpacing last year’s numbers. Now there are contributing factors that are not under anybody’s control and may seem odd, but it is factually true. One of them is actually the weather. There is a dramatic increase in gun violence when it is warmer. And we are having this climate change effect that is driving that.

The average high temperature in July, the hottest month in both Chicago and the much-safer New York City is the same for both at 84°. Scarborough thanked her on behalf of conservative bloggers across America.

Meanwhile back in the real world, there is a splendid article at WattsUpWithThat from Australian Climate Scientist Professor Robert (Bob) Carter. He is a senior research geologist who has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers on palaeo-environmental and palaeo-climatic topics, and the author of several books, the most recent  Climate: The Counter Consensus, available at Amazon as well

He introduces Katharine Hayhoe, PhD, who wrote the December AITSE piece “Climate Change: Anthropogenic or Not?” is an atmospheric scientist and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. She is senior author of the book “A Climate for Change; Global Warming facts for Faith-Based Decisions.”

Quite clearly, Dr. Hayhoe and I are both credible professional scientists. Given our training and research specializations, we are therefore competent to assess the evidence regarding the dangerous global warming that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) alleges is being caused by industrial carbon dioxide emissions.

Yet at the end of her article Dr. Hayhoe recommends for further reading the websites RealClimate.org and SkepticalScience.com, whereas here at the outset of writing my own article I recommend the websites wattsupwiththat.com and www.thegwpf.org (Global Warming Policy Foundation). To knowledgeable readers, this immediately signals that Dr. Hayhoe and I have diametrically opposing views on the global warming issue.

The general public finds it very hard to understand how such strong disagreement can exist between two equally qualified persons on a scientific topic, a disagreement that is manifest also on the wider scene by the existence of equivalent groups of scientists who either support or oppose the views of the IPCC about dangerous anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming (DAGW).

Dr, Carter goes on to lay out the common ground between the two, explain how the science works, and then asks:

What evidence can we use to test the DAGW hypothesis? He presents five simple tests. I urge you to read the whole thing. It’s a very clear exposition of the current state of the argument in the climate scientist community.  We’ll leave Ms. Heffner out of it, because there have always been a huge number of silly arguments from people of little understanding, but lots of faith. The list of things supposedly caused by global warming is very, very long, and remarkably senseless.

Dr. Carter here offers a really clear, non-partisan review of the argument for those who don’t know a lot about climate change, without getting into the politics at all. And there is an astounding amount of politics concerned with climate change all over the world.



Second Term Agenda? Guns. Immigration. Climate Change. by The Elephant's Child

My bet is that President Obama’s advisers have told him not to worry about the economy, it is improving nicely, and will gradually recover without his doing anything. This leaves him free to take all sorts of actions that he finds more appealing. Easy. According to talking points memo, Obama’s big three goals for his second term will be:  Guns.  Immigration.  Climate Change. We’ll  hear more in the inaugural speech.

Not promising. The President’s proposals to combat gun violence turned out to be completely unserious, and just tired retreads from the left’s long-time wish list. Everybody is supposed to get all excited about “military-style assault weapons,” The key word there is “style”— an AR-15 looks much scarier than an ordinary 22, but it’s all looks. Obama used the phrase repeatedly.

The military uses rifles that have automatic capabilities, either semi automatic— you pull the trigger and it shoots one bullet, or fully automatic — you pull the trigger and as long as you pull it, it keeps firing.  Such weapons are already illegal, and have been since the 1930s. So when Obama talks about “military-style assault weapons” he’s talking about their looks. “Optics” is the more current term. And this kind of ban is not going to get through Congress anyway.

The Green Lobby is very anxious to get some laws passed because their whole program is turning to ash before their very eyes. Obama has signaled that climate change will be a top cause.  Too late. CO2 is not a cause of global warming. Even the IPCC is admitting it. The EPA has become a national disgrace with their grab for ever more power. They have increasingly been slapped down by the courts.

Perhaps the nadir was reached when they claimed that water can be regulated as a pollutant by the authority of the Clean Water Act (CWA). They have claimed the authority under the CWA and their authority over  “navigable waters” to control the tiniest trickle that flows into the runnel that flows into the creek and so on and so on until you get to the navigable river. Their regulatory overreach has done significant damage to the economy and become an unfathomable burden to business, and accomplished nothing at all.

We haven’t heard too much yet about Obama’s plans for immigration, but apparently it involves his passing — by executive order — the Dream Act that Congress refused to pass.

Stephanie Cutter, parseltongued deputy campaign manager for the Obama campaign, was out today saying that Team Obama will activate the campaign apparatus to take on the gun lobby. Activating thousands of volunteers to tackle the NRA,  and get the scary looking gun banned will accomplish nothing at all. And using the tired old phrase “if we can save the life of even one child” is really too much. It is quite notable that Mr. Obama managed to include not one word about movie violence, which is extreme, but movie industry people are big contributors.

President Obama is far more comfortable campaigning than in negotiating with members of the opposition over legislation about debt and deficits. Campaigning means large cheering audiences, and negotiating with people who do not agree with you is much more painful. Richard Epstein referred repeatedly to Obama’s unwillingness to put his ideas out there to be shot down by people who disagree. Epstein’s remarks have been an excellent guide to understanding this president.

This will be the first presidency that has devolved into a permanent campaign. Most presidents turn from campaigning to governing — but that takes an understanding that the American president is president of all the people, not just those who agree with you. It takes an understanding that being president of all the people means that you have to listen attentively to what the other side has to say, and grasp where they object and where they agree and why. It’s called negotiation. But Mr. Obama has already said he’s not interested in doing that.



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.




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