There goes another Warmist, eco-zealot narrative. It seems the ice isn’t vanishing, after all.
This is excerpted from a longer post at Power Line discussing a report pointing out the benefits of CO2 (hint: it’s plant food) and the nonsensical hysteria climate cultists try to spread about it. Proving the point about roads paved with good intentions, the insane pursuit of biofuels has lead to nearly 200,000 premature deaths:
Between 1990–92 and 2011–13, although global population increased by 31% to 7.1 billion, available food supplies increased by 44%. Consequently, the population suffering from chronic hunger declined by 173 million despite a population increase of 1.7 billion. This occurred despite the diversion of land and crops from production of food to the production of biofuels. According to one estimate, in 2008 such activities helped push 130–155 million people into absolute poverty, exacerbating hunger in this most marginal of populations. This may in turn have led to 190,000 premature deaths worldwide in 2010 alone. Thus, ironically, a policy purporting to reduce [global warming] in order to reduce future poverty and hunger only magnified these problems in the present day.
In the United States we’ve seen increases in the prices of food due in part to cropland being diverted to biofuels, instead of producing feed for cattle or vegetables for the produce sections of our local markets. But, we’re lucky: thanks to a marvelous transportation system, food can still be brought in by land and sea. For the subsistence farmers described above, it’s not an inconvenience: it’s a matter of life and death.
I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: Heaven help us against those trying to “save” us.
PS: The whole report is available at Watt’s Up With That.
Well, how do you like that? Put more CO2 (aka “plant food”) into the atmosphere, combine that with the end of a drought and some human ingenuity, and suddenly another prediction by the global warming prophets of doom goes poof:
The study shows that the West African Sahel – part of the semiarid strip just south of the Sahara desert, which spans the African continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea – has been steadily “regreening” since the severe droughts of the 1970s and 1980s which killed more than 100,000 people.
Among the reasons for the “regreening” are increased rainfall, the beneficial effects of increased atmospheric CO2 on plant growth and the ingenuity of farmers (“community-led conservation efforts) in this harsh, marginal region.
Skeptics have long been aware of these beneficial side effects of “global warming” – see, for example, this report from 2011 by the Global Warming Policy Foundation called The Sahel Is Greening.
I swear these people make it too easy: they issue scaremongering warnings of doom-Doom-DOOM!!, and all we have to do is wait for the Earth (not their goddess, Gaea) to stick a grapefruit in their face. Atmospheric hot spot? Nope. Disappearance of snow? Nope. Continued, unstoppable, catastrophic warming all due to Mankind’s folly? Er… um… Well?
Good thing they have their faith to keep them strong in these trying times:
Visual proof this is a bad drought. Our water tables are recharged by the runoff from the mountains when the snow melts. No snow = no runoff = groundwater runs out.
From the UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
Snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada in 2015 was at the lowest level in the past 500 years, according to a new report led by University of Arizona researchers.
These two natural-color satellite images of the snow cover in the Sierra Nevada in California and Nevada show the last year with average winter snowfall, 2010, compared with 2015 — a year that had the lowest snowpack in 500 years. The images were taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Aqua satellite.
The team’s research is the first to show how the 2015 snowpack compares with snowpack levels for the previous five centuries.
“Our study really points to the extreme character of the 2014-15 winter. This is not just unprecedented over 80 years — it’s unprecedented over 500 years,” said Valerie Trouet, an associate professor of dendrochronology at the UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring…
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Two videos today from Prager University, both narrated by Dr. Patrick Moore, a PhD in Ecology from the University of British Columbia and one of the founders of the environmental activist group Greenpeace.
In the first, Dr. Moore discusses the nonsense surrounding the almost superstitious dread of carbon dioxide among climate alarmists. Notably, and as has been mentioned several times on this blog and elsewhere, Dr. Moore points out the inconvenient truth that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has in the past been up to ten times higher than it is now, without the world ending. That, in fact, we are still in an era of relatively low CO2 concentrations. Also, he mentions a truth so obvious that only climate hysterics need to be told it: CO2 is plant food. In fact, the ideal atmospheric concentration of CO2 is 4-5 higher than it is now. We can already see the benefits of increasing CO2 as the Earth grows greener, contrary to the Cult of Climate Change’s dire predictions.
But enough of me ranting. Here’s Dr. Moore, not ranting:
The second video is Dr. Moore’s tale of how he came to be a founder of Greenpeace, in its day an organization dedicated to a mix of scientific conservationism and anti-war politics. He relates how the movement changed over time to an anti-scientific, almost anti-human dogma, which at its farcical worst declared banning the element chlorine as a goal, going so far as to label it “the Devil’s element.”
Nothing religious or cultish about that.
Here’s Dr. Moore explaining why he finally had to leave Greenpeace:
That’s the trouble with organizations that get captured by their most ardent activists: they drive out the moderates who could act as a brake on their worst tendencies, which, left unchecked, wreck their credibility.
Prager University has put out a new video for Earth Day to remind us of how much the discovery and exploitation of fossil fuels has improved our world:
Though I think the host should have made a more obvious connection between all the wonderful developments of the last 300 years and the use of fossil fuels, the point made is still true: without gasoline, coal, and oil, we’d be living much poorer, more brutish lives. And he should have spent more time on how advances in technology –themselves made possible by fossil fuels– have helped us deal with the environmental problems created earlier in the industrial age.
But these are quibbles; his main argument is a valid one — the Green hostility toward fossil fuels goes beyond a reasonable concern for the environment and becomes a hostility to the very things that have made our lives so much better.
Because, you see, he’s spending the money on actual environmental projects, rather than giving it to UN bureaucrats who will attend meetings, issue reports, travel in Mercedes…. and ask for more money.
And that won’t do:
This is tin-tacks taken back from the Green Blob, but cheer it on. The Abbott government apparently wants to use the money to protect rainforests, instead of given to green-bureaucrats. Enjoy the apoplexy among greens and environmentalists. Excuse me, I think your priorities are showing!
“The Federal Government has slashed funding to a key United Nations environment agency by more than 80 per cent, stunning environmental groups ahead of a global climate change summit in Peru.
The ABC has learned the Government cut $4 million from the UN Environment Program (UNEP), which provides advice on environmental policies and climate change negotiations.”
Instead of giving $1.2m a year, we are giving $200,000. True to form, the green-blobby is “stunned” and immediately responds with a higher ambit claim. There is a scale for everything, and too much is never enough:
“Environmental groups are stunned, especially because according to UNEP’s Voluntary Indicative Scale of Assessments, Australia should have contributed around $2.2 million next year.”
The money is going to the environment, and environmental groups hate that:
“Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the Government had to “make choices in a difficult budget environment”.”
“‘I would imagine that most Australians would see putting $12 million into coral reef protection within our region and combating illegal logging of the great rainforests of the Asia-Pacific as a pretty good investment compared with $4 million for bureaucratic support within the UN system,’ Mr Hunt said.”
The appropriate response when the government takes money from bureaucrats and uses it to protect reefs and rainforest is to call it “anti-environment”, “anti-nature”, “anti-science”, and “denier”.
Read the rest for the laugh-worthy reaction from the head of the Australian Green Party.
Meanwhile, here in America, President Obama has signed an agreement with China that uses the climate-change fraud to satisfy his radical Green supporters and force energy price hikes here. Sigh.
This leads to the inevitable question: “Abbott 2016?”
I realize misanthropy lies at the heart of hardcore environmentalism, but there’s a substantial subset that revels in almost pornographic fantasies of violence against skeptics of anthropogenic global warming and the policies meant to deal with it. First we were treated to a gory video of skeptics exploding.
Now it’s an award-winning graphic novel –approved for use as a Common Core text!– in which terrorists protest Gaia-harming consumerism by wasting some mall Santas:
When is it acceptable for a terrorist to go berserk in a shopping mall and machine gun innocent victims to death?
When it’s all being done for the noble cause of environmentalism, of course!
Such is the take-home message of an award-winning graphic novel which has been praised by a top scientist at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as “a marvellous way to convey the knowledge accumulated by our scientific community.” (H/T Marc Morano at Climate Depot)
It has also been recommended by a curriculum developer at the US National Council of Teachers of English as a “rigorous” and “highly expressive” work which will make an “optimal text for students at various levels”. (Naturally, the novel has been deemed Common-Core-compliant too.)
Climate Changed by Philippe Squarzoni shows a beautiful woman called Camille in a supermarket staring down the sights of an automatic rifle at three men dressed in Santa costumes.
“In an energy model based on a vision of demand continually increasing we produce more so we can consume more,” says the caption, disapprovingly.
Luckily, the author has found the perfect solution to this rampant and offensive consumerism, as he demonstrates in the next frames.
The woman opens up, shellcases tumbling, and the screaming Father Christmases are riddled with bullets.
There’s something disturbingly eliminationist about the Left, whether Green save-the-Earth types or those simply fantasizing about killing a president they don’t like. One can’t simply disagree and yell at each other. No, many on the Left, including climate warriors, are so convinced of their righteousness that they want to eliminate their foes altogether, whether by jailing them or even having them executed.
For what it’s worth, I don’t want to eliminate, jail, or execute climate alarmists. I just want them exposed for the fools (often mendacious ones, at that) they are, so that they’ll slink away in embarrassment and stop corrupting science and trying to reduce us all back to a carbon-free poverty.
And I certainly don’t want to blow away Santa.
Remember, kiddies, liberals are the party of science!
Los Angeles City Council members have discovered how to cause earthquakes. Three councilmen think fracking may be the cause of Monday’s earthquake in the Santa Monica Mountains, and they want the city, state, and feds to do an in-depth review.
Councilmen Paul Koretz, Mike Bonin, and Bernard Parks Tuesday introduced a motion calling for the city, the U.S. Geological Survey, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources to report on whether hydraulic fracturing caused the moderate 4.4-magnitude earthquake, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“It is crucial to the health and safety of the City’s residents to understand the seismic impacts of oil and gas extraction activities in the City,” the motion says. “All high-pressure fracking and injection creates ‘seismic events.’ . . . Active oil extraction activities are reportedly taking place on the Veteran’s Administration grounds in West Los Angeles, nearby the epicenter of the March 17, 2014, 4.4 earthquake.”
Parks, who seconded the motion, tells National Review Online that while fracking is “reportedly” happening near the epicenter, those who signed the motion weren’t completely sure. However, he adds that “earthquakes are happening in areas that are not historically earthquake prone, but they are in places where fracking is going on.”
I’m sorry to say Mike Bonin is my city councilman.
Let’s be honest, here. If Koretz, Parks, and Bonin genuinely think fracking caused an earthquake, they know nothing about earthquakes and are just fearing demons in the night. Earthquakes happen when adjoining tectonic plates, which are constantly in motion against each other, suddenly break and move with a jolt. Sometimes a little bit, as in Monday’s quake, sometimes a lot, as in the 2011 Tohoku quake in Japan. In seismically active areas, such as the western coast of North America, small quakes occur every day and have since long before anyone thought of the words “hydraulic fracturing.”
Here’s the technical information for Monday’s shaker. Note the depth: six miles. This is what a USGS geologist had to say when asked about fracking causing that quake:
However, opponents of the moratorium argue that fracking has not been proven to cause any health risks and that claims that it caused this earthquake are not realistic.
“My first impression is that sounds implausible,” seismologist Lucy Jones said. “The earthquake was so deep. Induced earthquakes are almost always shallower than this.”
In other words, yes you might get hit by a bolt from the blue, but that’s no reason to ban walking outdoors.
This call for a study (borrowing from the neverending studies tactic of NY Governor Cuomo) is just another delaying tactic in furtherance of their earlier motion to ban fracking within city limits. Hydraulic fracturing opponents are using what’s called the “preventative principle” (1) to stop a promising technology that could do wonders for the economy, because the idea of oil and gas exploration goes against their hardcore environmentalist agenda. And then they find lackwit politicians who know nothing about the subject matter, but who are ever so happy to take activists’ donations and campaign help, and get them to pass laws serving that agenda — to the public’s detriment. Their hope is that through delay after delay and more and more burdensome regulations, they can kill what they oppose altogether.
No matter how discredited their propaganda, no matter how safe fracking is shown to be, no matter that even the Energy Secretary of the most left-leaning administration in US history declares it safe, no matter how much this city, this state, and this nation need the economic boost intelligent exploitation of our vast oil and gas resources would provide, fracking opponents continue to throw anything against the wall in the hopes of finding something that will convince people to support a ban.
And sometimes they find the fools they need.
(1) Watch for words like “may,” “might,” “possible,” “could” and other weak words that don’t require any evidence to back them up, just the doubt and fear they create in the (they hope) credulous listener.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
As in headlines that make you say “huh?”
Mongolian Neo-Nazis rebrand as environmentalists to harass foreign business
Mongolian neo-Nazis have latched on to environmentalism as a way new way to fight the influence of foreigners in the country.
The group Tsagaan Khass, or the White Swastika, is now one of several neo-Nazi groups linking the country’s vast mineral resources to Mongolian nationalism, going so far as to launch raids on mining projects of foreign-owned companies to demand things like paperwork and soil samples.
“We used to talk about fighting with foreigners, but some time ago we realised that is not efficient, so our purpose changed from fighting foreigners in the streets to fighting the mining companies,” Tsagaan Khass leader, Ariunbold Altankhuum told Reuters.
The White Swastika got their start like so many Fascist and Neo-Nazi groups: economic difficulties combined with a resentment of foreigners and a firm belief that Mongolians are being cheated, the mix of which gets funneled into a violent nationalism. But, according to the Mongolian police, they represent a very small threat. I don’t think we’ll have to worry about sieg-heiling Mongol hordes sweeping off the steppes while singing Die Wacht am Rhein.
What’s odd (1) at first glance is the redirection into environmentalism. But it really isn’t, when you think about it; a love of Nature was a large component of German Romanticism, which influenced the development of the Nazis, who themselves were strong environmentalists. Hitler was an ardent environmentalist, so I’m not surprised his Mongolian fans would adopt it as part of their National Socialism.
Oh, yeah, that “Socialism” part. Fascism, and its specific Nazi variant, are products of the Left, falling under the broader umbrella of “Statism,” along with Progressivism, Socialism, and Communism. And all, to one degree or another, use environmentalism as a means of extending state control over individuals.
And, no, I’m not saying that Progressives are Nazis, though they both share roots and an unhealthy reverence for the State; nor does it make one a totalitarian to want to take good care of the land and the sea. But stray a ways into Environmentalism as a religious ideology, and those pretty Greens start turning Red.
I wonder what the Mongolian is for “Watermelons?”
(1) Aside from the combination of Nazis and Mongolia, which we all know is ludicrous; the Nazis are really hiding out in secret bases in Antarctica.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
One of the things about the environmental Left that drives me most nuts is its resistance to reason and empirical fact. Global warming is a good example: what started as a theory many years ago, that the Earth is warming dangerously and the climate heading for disastrous changes because of the carbon dioxide Man has been adding to the air, has been shown time and again in recent years by empirical observation to be false. There has been no statistically significant warming since the mid-90s, the polar bears are not dying out, and prediction after prediction made by the warming alarmists has failed to pan out. But, in the face of overwhelming evidence that should at least cause strong skepticism, they cling bitterly to their computer models — which haven’t been right, yet.
Similarly with radical environmentalists who oppose any and all development of hydrocarbon resources (coal, oil, natural gas), no matter what the actual research shows of its safety, no matter the reasonable measures taken to protect the environment, and no matter –perhaps especially regardless of– the economic benefits to people.
Take hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for example. That’s the extraction of natural gas and oil by forcing water into cracks in underground rock formations and widening them to release the resources. New York State is one of the states sitting atop the Marcellus Shale formation, which has been estimated to hold immense reserves of natural gas. In an article in the June 17th print edition of National Review (1), Ian Tuttle talks about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) Hamlet-like coy reticence (2) to develop the shale, in spite of the evident economic benefits from fracking for counties that have been hit hard by the “recovery” from the Great Recession and in spite of his own Health Department’s certification that fracking is safe. The article overall is worth reading, but one fact jumps out and that I want to share:
“Twenty-eight New York counties sit atop the Marcellus Shale, a natural gas bearing subterranean rock formation that also stretches across part of Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Geologists estimate that the entire region contains 489 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Given that a third of the Shale’s 55,000 square miles is in New York, the Empire State has access to a sizeable portion of that — certainly enough to supply much of its own in-state natural gas demand: a mere 1.1 trillion cubic feet each year.”
Think about that for a moment and let the implications sink in. Assuming for a moment that the natural gas is evenly spread throughout the Shale (I’m sure it isn’t, but what is there is substantial), there are roughly 163 trillion cubic feet of natural gas under New York, enough to meet the state’s needs for 140-150 years. Natural gas is cheap, clean fuel that could replace coal and oil in homes and businesses. Even if New York’s consumption suddenly doubled, there’s enough for decades, at least. And let’s not forget the the jobs created: in counties where fracking is underway, guys driving water trucks make $60,000 per year. I imagine New Yorkers would like to enjoy the cheap, safe fuel and the good-paying jobs, but their governor and their legislature have more important things in mind, like keeping the Green lobby happy.
New York isn’t the only state where this environmentalist madness has taken hold: my beloved California is sitting atop its own fracking pot of gold, but the Cult of Gaea is spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt (as well as campaign cash) to fight it here, too.
I can’t tell you how frustrating it is: the United States and many of her 50 states are in an economic mess, and yet radical environmentalists fight tooth and nail against one very powerful tool that can help rebuild prosperity, and they do it in the face of all evidence that the process is safe.
How much do you have to hate humanity to do that?
(1) Sorry, no direct link is available. The issue has a five-article section on resource development. I highly recommend buying it or hunting it up at your local library.
(2) Meaning he’s afraid to go against a legislature largely owned by the enviro-lobby, and he wants the lobby’s cash and campaign work for when he runs for president in 2016, what’s right for his state be damned.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
Sigh. When “global warming” made people roll their eyes, the alarmists trotted out “climate change.” Now, when the whole “climate whatever” edifice is crumbling, they fall back to “sustainable.” In the end, it’s all about control — of them over us.
The UN’s Rio+20 agenda would harm health, welfare and nature – and make poverty permanent
Guest post by David Rothbard and Craig Rucker
Twenty years ago, the Rio de Janeiro “Earth Summit” proclaimed that fossil fuel-induced climate change had brought our planet to a tipping point, human civilization to the brink of collapse, and numerous species to the edge of extinction. To prevent these looming disasters, politicians, bureaucrats and environmental activists produced a Declaration on Environment and Development, a biodiversity treaty, Agenda 21 and a framework for the Kyoto climate change treaty.
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Once again, some sanctimonious celebrity Gaea-cultist who wants us to cripple our economies and lifestyles to save the world from a problem that doesn’t exist, global warming, gets caught with his hand in the CO2-cookie jar:
Musician Will.I.Am has been criticised for arriving at a climate change debate in a private helicopter, producing the same amount of CO2 most people do in a month.
The Voice judge had been meeting climate change experts at Oxford University as part of a guest speaking role.
Despite his environmentally-conscious stance on green issues, the Black Eyed Peas rapper, 37, chose to take a private helicopter to the venue.
It is understood the journey, which is a 286 mile round-trip from London, used 71.5 gallons of fuel and released three-quarters of a ton of CO2 into the atmosphere.
He even tweeted pictures of the so-called “hip.hop.copter” for fans to admire, after landing at the Oxford’s University Parks.
From there, the singer used a pedal cycle to travel the remaining few hundred yards to the Radcliffe Observatory Weather Centre.
See? He’s committed to a Green lifestyle! The wealthy, globally conscious one-percenter used a bike to reduce his carbon footprint! An example for all of us: environmentally safe, fossil-fuel free, it’s enough to make any member of the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming swoon in religious ecstasy.
And pay no attention to the helicopter; I’m sure it will be converted to algae-power real soon.
RELATED: Meet some more elite eco-hypocrites: liberal fascist NYT columnist and China admirer Thomas Friedman and “do as I say, not as I do” Robert Redford. Oh, and let’s not forget the high priest himself, Al Gore.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
Al Gore and Thomas Friedman shriek in rage.
From John Droz’s newsletter with a hat-tip to Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. for bringing it to my attention and via the “I can hear Joe Romm’s head exploding” department and Electric Light and Power comes this story:
CHINA TO DROP SOLAR ENERGY TO FOCUS ON NUCLEAR POWER
China will accelerate the use of new-energy sources such as nuclear energy and put an end to blind expansion in industries such as solar energy and wind power in 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says in a government report published on March 5.
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Your goddess will be angry with you…
According to a recent study by researchers at UT-Knoxville, electric cars have a greater pollution impact than comparable (and evil, EVIL, EVIL!!) gasoline-powered vehicles:
“An implicit assumption has been that air quality and health impacts are lower for electric vehicles than for conventional vehicles,” [Chris] Cherry said. “Our findings challenge that by comparing what is emitted by vehicle use to what people are actually exposed to. Prior studies have only examined environmental impacts by comparing emission factors or greenhouse gas emissions.”
Particulate matter includes acids, organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles. It is also generated through the combustion of fossil fuels.
For electric vehicles, combustion emissions occur where electricity is generated rather than where the vehicle is used. In China, 85 percent of electricity production is from fossil fuels, about 90 percent of that is from coal. The authors discovered that the power generated in China to operate electric vehicles emit fine particles at a much higher rate than gasoline vehicles. However, because the emissions related to the electric vehicles often come from power plants located away from population centers, people breathe in the emissions a lower rate than they do emissions from conventional vehicles.
Still, the rate isn’t low enough to level the playing field between the vehicles. In terms of air pollution impacts, electric cars are more harmful to public health per kilometer traveled in China than conventional vehicles.
The key is that the electricity needed to charge the batteries of those virtuous electric vehicles has to be first generated somewhere; in China, the vast majority comes from plants using fossil fuels. The effect is simply to transfer the generation of pollutants from where the vehicle is used to where its power is created.
Bear in mind, this study was conducted in China, which relies overwhelmingly on coal. While the US generates far less of its electricity from coal, it’s still significant — about 46%. (See Table 1.1) And China’s pollution controls are notoriously weak, so coal-fired plants in the US probably generate far fewer pollutants than their Chinese counterparts. Still, coal is a dirty fuel source, one of the great demons in the Cult of Anthropogenic Global Warming, and air pollution does not respect national boundaries.
Preening Greens charging their Volts and Leafs and Priuses and oh-so Smart ED cars should perhaps remember that their virtue comes at the cost of (environmental) sin.
RELATED: It’s similar to that other fetish object of the Green cult — wind power. The wind is so unreliable a source that, to make sure the power grid stays up, backup coal, gas, and even nuclear plants have to be kept running on standby for those times when the wind stops or blows too fast. Kind of defeats the purpose, no? Unless that purpose is just to make oneself feel good, or profit from government subsidy… or both.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
All I can say is “yuck!”
Just remember: it was for the environment, and so there just couldn’t be any bad consequences.
Two posts at Watts Up With That bring news that that ought to turn the Gaea-cultists’ sweet dreams into nightmares. First, a study from Civitas in the UK demolishes any idea that wind-power is a practical, economic alternate energy source:
The focus on wind-power, driven by the renewables targets, is preventing Britain from effectively reducing CO2 emissions, while crippling energy users with additional costs, according to a new Civitas report. The report finds that wind-power is unreliable and requires back-up power stations to be available in order to maintain a consistent electricity supply to households and businesses. This means that energy users pay twice: once for the window-dressing of renewables, and again for the fossil fuels that the energy sector continues to rely on. Contrary to the implied message of the Government’s approach, the analysis shows that wind-power is not a low-cost way of reducing emissions.
(Full report here (PDF))
They have to pay lip-service to the idea of reducing CO2 emissions, even though there’s no credible evidence of a man-caused greenhouse effect from CO2, because of the success the Green Statists in and outside of government have had in demonizing a gas that’s essentially plant food. The key takeaways, though, are these: because of the unreliability of wind, conventional power stations have to be kept running on standby to handle those times when the turbines aren’t running, either because there’s no wind, or the wind is blowing too fast. That means costs to the consumer skyrocket, as UK residents are finding out. (And we will, too, if Obama and the Eco-lobby in the US have their way.)
But wait, there’s more! It turns out that wind-turbines actually increase the use of CO2 -spewing fossil fuels:
In a comprehensive quantitative analysis of CO2 emissions and wind-power, Dutch physicist C. le Pair has recently shown that deploying wind turbines on “normal windy days” in the Netherlands actually increased fuel (gas) consumption, rather than saving it, when compared to electricity generation with modern high-efficiency gas turbines. Ironically and paradoxically the use of wind farms therefore actually increased CO2 emissions, compared with using efficient gas-fired combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) at full power. [p. 30]
Second, you know all those fears of “ocean acidification,” the Green Left’s latest environmental bogeyman? Turns out it’s another …say it after me… natural process:
It turns out that far from being a stable pH, spots all over the world are constantly changing. One spot in the ocean varied by an astonishing 1.4 pH units regularly. All our human emissions are projected by models to change the world’s oceans by about 0.3 pH units over the next 90 years, and that’s referred to as “catastrophic”, yet we now know that fish and some calcifying critters adapt naturally to changes far larger than that every year, sometimes in just a month, and in extreme cases, in just a day.
Data was collected by 15 individual SeaFET sensors in seven types of marine habitats. Four sites were fairly stable (1, which includes the open ocean, and also sites 2,3,4) but most of the rest were highly variable (esp site 15 near Italy and 14 near Mexico) . On a monthly scale the pH varies by 0.024 to 1.430 pH units.
The authors draw two conclusions: (1) most non-open ocean sites vary a lot, and (2) and some spots vary so much they reach the “extreme” pH’s forecast for the doomsday future scenarios on a daily (a daily!) basis.
pH varies widely and often, yet life adapts and prospers, in a process that’s gone on for hundreds of millions, if not billions of years. No need to invoke the Demon Man and his evil capitalism to frighten people into obedience and submission to a bunch of liberty and economy-killing transnational bureaucracies.
Though I’m sure they’ll try, anyway.
Keep dreaming, cultists.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
Well, that would seem to be the upshot of recent research indicating that accelerating tropical forest growth could lead to even more carbon entering the atmosphere, which would mean… CLIMATE CHANGE!!! AAAIIIEEE!!!
The researchers used results from a six-year experiment in a rainforest at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, Central America, to study how increases in litterfall – dead plant material such as leaves, bark and twigs which fall to the ground – might affect carbon storage in the soil. Their results show that extra litterfall triggers an effect called ‘priming’ where fresh carbon from plant litter provides much-needed energy to micro-organisms, which then stimulates the decomposition of carbon stored in the soil.
Lead author Dr Emma Sayer from the UK’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said, “Most estimates of the carbon sequestration capacity of tropical forests are based on measurements of tree growth. Our study demonstrates that interactions between plants and soil can have a massive impact on carbon cycling. Models of climate change must take these feedbacks into account to predict future atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.”
The study concludes that a large proportion of the carbon sequestered by greater tree growth in tropical forests could be lost from the soil. The researchers estimate that a 30% increase in litterfall could release about 0.6 tonnes of carbon per hectare from lowland tropical forest soils each year. This amount of carbon is greater than estimates of the climate-induced increase in forest biomass carbon in Amazonia over recent decades. Given the vast land surface area covered by tropical forests and the large amount of carbon stored in the soil, this could affect the global carbon balance.
Tropical forests play an essential role in regulating the global carbon balance. Human activities have caused carbon dioxide levels to rise but it was thought that trees would respond to this by increasing their growth and taking up larger amounts of carbon. However, enhanced tree growth leads to more dead plant matter, especially leaf litter, returning to the forest floor and it is unclear what effect this has on the carbon cycle.
In other words, it’s all our fault. If we hadn’t spewed so much carbon into the atmosphere (1), plant life wouldn’t have flourished (2) as much and threaten us with even more of that nasty, evil carbon. Don’t you see? We’ve turned the trees against the Earth! What have we done? What will we do??
Well, according to the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming and its priesthood, the answer is simple: we must sacrifice our wasteful lifestyles, cut back our carbon footprints to just a toe-print, submit to economy-killing regulatory regimes and transfer wealth to poor nations victimized by our carbon-hogging existence — and all this administered by a selfless transnational bureaucracy, of course. (3)
Now, this isn’t to pick on Dr. Sayer or her research; there is undoubted value in gaining more knowledge about how the carbon cycle works. That’s the whole point of science: to learn How Stuff Works(tm). And I’m certainly not impugning her motives, for, after all, I have no idea what she believes in her heart of hearts about “dangerous man-caused climate change.”
But… Beyond the pure science, that press release reeks of an agenda. Whether it’s pro-alarmist “Something could, might, maybe happen, so we’d better do something now!” scare-mongering or simply “I’ve got to say the magic PC words in order to get my grant money,” (4) I don’t know. But an agenda is there, another example of the politicization of science in the service of a cause.
(1) In spite of there being no clear signal in the scientific evidence for a significant role for CO2 in global warming. Or that there has been no statistically significant warming at all in the last 15 years, per alarmist-extraordinaire Dr. Phil Jones, himself.
(2) No, really. CO2 is plant food. They love the stuff, and increasing levels of it lead to more plants, which is a good thing.
(3) Who hobnob with celebrities who themselves fly in private jets to conferences around the world, thus spewing nasty CO2 all over the place. But that’s different. Because. So, shut up.
(4) Grad school. Been there, done that.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
Maybe “scam” would be a better word for something that is pushed as a “green solution” to anthropogenic global warming (1) , yet doesn’t do what it promises to do, but what it does do is done at tremendous public cost, all while making the alleged problem worse. In the UK, wind farms have become the government’s centerpiece for fighting climate change (2). Christopher Booker, writing about this policy in the Telegraph, explains why wind power is a chimera worthy of Don Quixote tilting at windmills:
Centrica and other energy companies last week told [the Department of Energy and Climate Change] that, if Britain is to spend £100 billion on building thousands of wind turbines, it will require the building of 17 new gas-fired power stations simply to provide back-up for all those times when the wind drops and the windmills produce even less power than usual.
We will thus be landed in the ludicrous position of having to spend an additional £10 billion on those 17 dedicated power stations, which will be kept running on “spinning reserve”, 24 hours a day, just to make up for the fundamental problem of wind turbines. This is that their power continually fluctuates anywhere between full capacity to zero (where it often stood last winter, when national electricity demand was at a peak). So unless back-up power is instantly available to match any shortfall, the lights will go out.
Two things make this even more absurd. One, as the energy companies pointed out to DECC, is that it will be amazingly costly and wildly uneconomical, since the dedicated power plants will often have to run at a low rate of efficiency, burning gas but not producing electricity. This will add billions more to our fuel bills for no practical purpose. The other absurdity, as recent detailed studies have confirmed, is that gas-fired power stations running on “spinning reserve” chuck out much more CO2 than when they are running at full efficiency – thus negating any savings in CO2 emissions supposedly achieved by the windmills themselves.
And before we laugh and point at the Brits for their folly, keep in mind that these are the very same “solutions” that the Obama administration, its eco-statist allies, and the corporations that would benefit from the required government subsidies all want to impose on us. We even have a whole government agency devoted to pimping wind power, while the administration has shown repeatedly its hostility toward developing our vast coal and oil supplies.
Rather than laugh, we should look to Britain for a warning.
(1) A problem, remember, that does not exist.
(2) Attempting to control the world’s thermostat. Someone should introduce these idiots to King Canute.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)
A rare victory for commonsense in the Golden State:
Judge places California’s global warming program on hold
A San Francisco superior court judge has put California’s sweeping plan to curb greenhouse gas pollution on hold, saying the state did not adequately evaluate alternatives to its cap-and-trade program.
In a 35-page decision, Judge Ernest H. Goldsmith said the Air Resources Board had failed to consider public comments on the proposed measures before adopting the plan, which affects a broad swath of the state’s economy.
In particular, the judge noted, officials gave short shrift to analyzing a carbon fee, or carbon tax, devoting a “scant two paragraphs to this important alternative” to a market-based trading system in their December 2008 plan.
The air board said it would appeal the judge’s decision, which was filed late Friday and released Monday.
Sure, the judge wasn’t rejecting anthropogenic global warming per se, but instead objecting to the board’s lack of attention to public comment and consideration of alternative means to fight a problem that does not exist*. But, still, this functions as a temporary restraining order on a bill that would only do further damage to this state’s already gut-shot economy. The judge may be doing the right thing for the wrong reason, but it’s still the right thing.
*Okay, I may have editorialized a bit with those last few words.
ADDENDUM: Even if one thinks there’s some validity to the theory of AGW, the idea that California by itself can make a significant impact in the face of gross polluters such as China is laughable. AB32 is patent medicine meant only to make the Green Statists feel good about themselves, even though it’s laced with poison.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)