American Elephants

Brave Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry Testifies. by The Elephant's Child

Dr. Judith Curry has had the temerity to question the reigning authorities in climate science. Here she is testifying before the Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee. This is one very brave and honest lady. Here’s an article from Reason that explains why she resigned her position as Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology.

The following videos that pop up when you finish this one vary, so I can’t point you to any specific one, but if you have time keep watching. There are some doozys there. Ted Cruz and the head of the Sierra Club, Mark Steyn and Senator Markey, and more.

They Just Do Not Know What They Are Doing, It’s That Simple. by The Elephant's Child

To save us from the horrors of global warming, the administration has gone to great lengths to promote electric cars, and hybrids, subsidize their manufacture, offer big tax credits, the government has mandated  better gas mileage, and a bad economy and high gas prices have dictated that people start watching how much they drive. When you issue a lot of regulations and mandates there are always consequences. In this case, with less driving, there is far less money coming in the form of gas taxes.

So what next? Will more and more people opt for electric cars or hybrids? Fiskers has given up, the Volt is apparently a flop that catches fire, and a Tesla turns into a brick if the battery runs down. Is there any resale value? The batteries are horrendously expensive. Hybrid and electric cars are sparing the environment by issuing less CO2. On the other hand, CO2 is not the cause of global warming, and in a cooling world more CO2 will help crops to grow.

Hybrids and electric cars do just as much wear and tear on the roads as any gas-powered vehicle, but they are not paying their share of gas taxes. So naturally, states are debating just how to tax electrics so they are paying “their fair share”.

Add in the fact that to promote the use of bicycles, States and local governments have used gas tax money to pay for bike lanes, animal overpasses or underpasses, freeway art, and rest stops that they can’t seem to keep open and functioning.  Here in Washington state, electric-car owners began paying a $100 annual fee. Virginia has approved a $64 annual fee on hybrid and electric cars. Arizona,  Texas, Indiana, North Carolina are all considering fees. Copycat legislatures. And if someone else is doing it first, then they have an excuse. Expect big hikes in the fees.

The electric cars that were subsidized with taxpayer money (for cars costing over $100,000) don’t sell as well as hoped, even though we offered tax credits as an incentive to buy. And to reduce the damage from CO2 we used taxpayer money to subsidize wind and solar energy, but they cost far more than conventional power, which is the engine that powers our economy. People aren’t excited about wind and solar, so we try to force all the coal-fired power plants out of business, which means thousands of more jobs lost, so there is less taxpayer money coming in. And now there is less tax money coming in from the subsidized buyers of hybrid and electric cars.

If you tried to graph the mandates that kill jobs, the subsidies that don’t work — except to enrich  the president’s cronies — the regulations that mean less tax income, and the need to increase tax income because the government spent it all on subsidies, you might well go mad in the process. In both senses — crazy and furious. It all makes no sense. These people do not know what they are doing, and they are making a mess of everything they touch.

When the government finally gives up on the vast solar arrays and the onshore and offshore wind farms, will the failed promoters have to take them down and restore the landscape? Didn’t think so. Many of the enthusiastically installed charging stations for electric cars have already been torn out. The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing, and we are asked to pay the cost.

The Scientific Method, or How the Scientific World is Supposed to Work! by The Elephant's Child

In the wake of the ClimateGate scandal, it’s worth reviewing the Scientific Method, with a graph borrowed shamelessly from Watts Up With That, Anthony Watts’ splendid website.  As the emails and documents are exposed, the cry from the University of East Anglia’s CRU is about villains stealing documents, taken out-of-context, misunderstood, criminal theft and so on and so on.

Those who have their careers, reputation, prestige and livelihood invested in the concept of dangerous global warming, quickly remind us that all scientists except worthless skeptics confirm that global warming is real and the world is warming, heating up, getting hotter while the rest of us turn the furnace up a little higher and wonder why it was snowing in October.  There is “Consensus” among scientists, you know, “peer-reviewed” scientists: and you must never listen to or read what a scientist who has not been “peer-reviewed” has to say.

Except that isn’t the way science works.  1,000 scientists can have a “consensus” and it doesn’t matter a whit.  What matters is the evidence, and the experiments that support the hypothesis, and the further experiments that also support the hypothesis and so on.

Just something to keep in mind.

ClimateGate: Destroying the Claims of the Climate Alarmists One by One. by The Elephant's Child

An enormous scandal is roiling the scientific world.  A researcher, investigating the climate numbers behind anthropogenic global warming, had filed a Freedom of Information request to look at the data behind recent claims, from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU), and was met with stalling, refusal, files not available, that sort of thing.

A hacker broke into the University’s CRU and released 61 megabytes of confidential files onto the internet.  The files include 1,079 emails and 72 documents exchanged by some of the most prominent scientists pushing the anthropogenic global warming theory.  Hadley CRU’s director Phil Jones has confirmed in an interview that they are genuine.

The emails suggest manipulation of evidence, destruction of evidence, private doubts about whether the world is really heating up, efforts to force dissenting scientists out of the peer-review process, attempts to delegitimize journals that allowed publications by skeptical scientists, and manipulation of IPCC reports.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) was founded in 1988  as a political organization to publish special reports on climate.  They do issue occasional reports, and more importantly issue a summary of each report written by bureaucrats and politicians which is usually the only thing read by governments and the media, for the actual report comes along months later.

Much of the drama in the IPCC reports came from a graph of global temperatures over many centuries by Dr. Michael Mann.  It showed temperatures going along without much variation for hundreds of years and then suddenly shooting up in the late 20th century, like the blade of a hockey stick.  Here was cause for real alarm. If temperatures were climbing, so was the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Correlation does not mean causation, but that rule was quickly tossed to the winds, for hated fossil fuels are clearly the greatest source of carbon. Governments wanted to know how bad, and what to do.  Vast amounts of money flowed from governments all over the world to scientists who would establish how humans were causing  the warming.  Scientists in every field were suddenly writing grant proposals.  Career advancement, prestige, money, university distinction.

Canadian researchers got interested in the data behind Dr. Mann’s “hockey-stick” graph.  After all, it eliminated the Medieval Warm Period — a time when the climate was much warmer, when the Vikings farmed in Greenland, wine grapes grew in England and civilization flourished.   They found statistical errors that would have produced a “hockey-stick” graph no matter what data was entered.  The graph was in error.

Then James Hansen, head of the Goddard Center at NASA, was found fudging data in the claim that October of 2008 was the warmest year on record.  Anthony Watts enlisted hundreds of citizen volunteers to photograph the temperature stations around the United States and measure and describe their location.  Situated next to parking lots, air-conditioner exhausts, trash burners, reflective concrete walls, busy streets their location precluded any accurate temperature being recorded.  The surface temperature records were flawed, and recorded temperatures much higher than actuality.

Stephen McIntyre, the aforementioned Canadian researcher, looked into tree-ring data from an examination of tree rings from 12 trees from a Siberian peninsula that seemed to be proof of warming.   When rings from 35 nearby trees were included, temperature anomalies disappeared.  A senior researcher at the EPS’s National Center for Environmental Economics, Alan Carlin, dared to say that “available observable data..invalidate the hypothesis” that humans cause dangerous global warming.  He was silenced.

Viscount Monckton is furious about the content of the leaked CRU emails and says you should be too:

The tiny, close-knit clique of climate scientists who invented and now drive the “global warming” fraud — for fraud is what we now know it to be — tampered with temperature data so assiduously that, on the recent admission of one of them, land temperatures since 1980 have risen twice as fast as ocean temperatures. One of the thousands of emails recently circulated by a whistleblower at the University of East Anglia, where one of the world’s four global-temperature datasets is compiled, reveals that data were altered so as to prevent a recent decline in temperature from showing in the record. In fact, there has been no statistically significant “global warming” for 15 years — and there has been rapid and significant cooling for nine years.

Worse, these arrogant fraudsters — for fraudsters are what we now know them to be — have refused, for years and years and years, to reveal their data and their computer program listings. Now we know why: As a revealing 15,000-line document from the computer division at the Climate Research Unit shows, the programs and data are a hopeless, tangled mess. In effect, the global temperature trends have simply been made up.

It is fraud for the EPA to claim that carbon dioxide is a “pollutant” that should be regulated.  Billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted on studies of global warming and poured into agencies that have encouraged the global warming fraud.  Christopher Horner, author of Red Hot Lies said that the initial revelations “give the appearance of a conspiracy to defraud, by parties working in taxpayer-funded agencies collaborating on ways to misrepresent material on which an awful lot of taxpayer money rides.”

Don’t bet on a quick or easy resolution.  Careers, reputations, money, funding are all involved along with government and media exposure.  Nobody is going to give up easily, and governments are inclined to protect their own.

The most thorough coverage be followed at Climate Depot, and at Anthony Watts website where you can find a video from Dr. Timothy Ball.  Dr, Roy Spencer’s comments can be found on his website.  Climate Depot has constantly updated links to the emails, the documents and comments from all over the world.

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