Tag Archives: climate

The pushback against Trump begins

Articles today in the science journals Science and Nature give us a taste of the upcoming resistance by the science community to any policy changes put forth by the new Trump administration.

Both articles assume that the Paris climate agreement is already the law of the land, despite the basic fact that the Senate has not approved it. In fact, if Trump and Congress decide to cut all American ties with it, they can. Right now it is merely something that Obama has agreed to, and under our Constitution, the legalities binding us to that agreement are weak, at best.

This quote from the Science article outlines how the science community plans to structure its resistance:

With oilmen like Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, and Forrest Lucas, the founder of Lucas Oil, named as potential candidates to lead the Departments of Energy and the Interior, respectively, in a Trump administration, the mostly likely historical analogue for the next few years could be the start of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, when he appointed senior officials who were often hostile to the policies of their own agencies. For example, Reagan’s Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, wanted to sell off public lands and reduce forest protections, and his EPA head, Anne Gorsuch, moved to soften clear air and water rules. Some agency staff fought back, and there were frequent leaks, resignations, and lawsuits. Both Watt and Gorsuch ultimately resigned amidst political chaos, and were replaced by less polarizing appointments. If Trump follows a similar path, “there could be a whole lot of churn,” Victor predicts.

Indeed, Trump may quickly learn the limits of the presidency, Victor adds. “The Oval Office will be a lonely place,” he says, if the White House attempts to make radical changes that agency professional staff fiercely opposes. [emphasis mine]

And then there is this quote from the Nature article:

“Trump will be the first anti-science president we have ever had,” says Michael Lubell, director of public affairs for the American Physical Society in Washington DC. “The consequences are going to be very, very severe.”

Calling Trump “the first anti-science president” is the kind of name-calling that is typical of the left and the Democratic Party. Not only is it a silly statement, based merely on the partisan hatred of Republicans by scientists, almost all of whom are Democratic Party loyalists, it has nothing to do with reality. Scientists have no more right to a blank check from the government than anyone else. They need to justify their research, and show that it is worthwhile. Since the 1990s they have not had to do this, which has resulted in blooming budgets and a lot of questionable results. And I say this as a science guy. Unlike these partisans, however, I also recognize that there is a gigantic amount of needless spending in the science budgets of numerous government agencies. Their budgets have grown significantly since 2000, with little to show for it. It is time to bring that spending under some control.

This is only the first shot across the bow. I have no doubt that the science community plans to link up with the partisan mainstream press to create a full-court press against any policy changes or budget cuts that either Trump or Congress may propose. These people do not respect the concept of democracy, and will resist the will of the public in every way they can.

Decline in sunspots continues

Late Sunday NOAA posted its monthly update of the solar cycle, covering sunspot activity for October. As I do every month, I am posting it here with annotations to give it context.

October 2016 Solar Cycle graph

The graph above has been modified to show the predictions of the solar science community. The green curves show the community’s two original predictions from April 2007, with half the scientists predicting a very strong maximum and half predicting a weak one. The red curve is their revised May 2009 prediction.

The sunspot decline continued in October, dropping the sunspot number for the month to below the 2007 low prediction. Though the decline continues to track that low prediction, the sunspot count for November has been even lower, suggesting that the ramp down to solar minimum will continue to under perform that prediction and will arrive at minimum sooner than expected. As I noted last month, this fast decline will also mean that the ending solar cycle will be a both a weak and a short cycle, two phenomenon that in the past never went together. In the past, a short cycle meant the maximum was strong, while a long cycle would correspond with a weak maximum.

The Sun continues to behave in a manner that is unprecedented, and suggests the possibility that a Grand Minimum might be coming.

More climate fear-mongering

This article from the journal Nature yesterday, Climate change could flip Mediterranean lands to desert, about a new Science journal paper, is very typical of too much of the climate research and reporting these days.

First, they outline the coming and certain disaster:

Maintaining the historic ranges of the region’s ecosystems would require limiting warming to just 1.5 ºC, by making substantial cuts to the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions, the analysis concludes. Otherwise, the vegetation and ecosystems of the Mediterranean basin will shift as temperatures rise. Increasing desertification in southern Europe is just one of the changes that would result. “Everything is moving in parallel. Shrubby vegetation will move into the deciduous forests, while the forests move to higher elevation in the mountains,” says Joel Guiot, a palaeoclimatologist at the European Centre for Geoscience Research and Education in Aix-en-Provence, France, and lead author of the study.

Then they point out the necessary political solution, which of course requires us to agree to an odious international agreement that will limit our individual freedoms and give more power to international governments:

“I like that they’re doing this comparison across different warming scenarios in line with the Paris agreement, to start to gauge the sensitivity to them,” says Benjamin Cook, a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. The study confirms the vulnerability of many ecosystems, and could guide policymakers’ efforts to help natural systems adapt to climate change, says Patrick Gonzalez, principal climate-change scientist at the US National Park Service based at the University of California, Berkeley. “This study shows how essential it is for nations to meet their Paris commitments.”

Only at the very end of the article, almost as an aside, do they note these inconvenient facts about the limitations of the paper (which also happens to be based entirely on computer models):
» Read more

London university pockets millions for fake global warming research

Follow the money: The research center at a major London university has obtained millions in government grants for global warming research it did not do.

A global warming research center at the London School of Economics got millions of dollars from UK taxpayers by taking credit for research it didn’t perform, an investigation by The Daily Mail revealed. The UK government gave $11 million dollars to the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) in exchange for research that the organization reportedly never actually did.

Many papers CCCEP claimed to have published to get government money weren’t about global warming, were written before the organization was even founded, or were written by researchers unaffiliated with CCCEP. The government never checked CCCEP’s supposed publication lists, saying they were “taken on trust,” according to the report. “It is serious misconduct to claim credit for a paper you haven’t supported, and it’s fraud to use that in a bid to renew a grant,” Professor Richard Tol, a climate economics expert from Sussex University whose research was reportedly stolen by CCCEP, told The Daily Mail. “I’ve never come across anything like it before. It stinks.”

The crime here is not just the fraud committed by the research center. The negligence of the government in handing out these grants without doing any due diligence is equally criminal. And I am being kind. I suspect that it wasn’t negligence but straightforward corruption. I think these grants were likely given for political reasons. Rather than fund real research, the money was intentionally handed out to political supporters in order to advocate global warming politics.

Big warming, or no warming, depending on dataset

The uncertainty of science: Depending on the dataset, the most up-to-date climate data now shows either no warming since 1993, no warming since 1996, or significant warming continuously since then.

On several different data sets, there has been no statistically significant warming for between 0 and 23 years…. Cl stands for the confidence limits at the 95% level.

The details for several sets are below.

  • For UAH6.0: Since August 1993: Cl from -0.006 to 1.810. This is 23 years and 1 month.
  • For RSS: Since December 1993: Cl from -0.008 to 1.746. This is 22 years and 9 months.
  • For Hadsst3: Since December 1996: Cl from -0.022 to 2.162 This is 19 years and 9 months.
  • For Hadcrut4.4: The warming is statistically significant for all periods above three years.
  • For GISS: The warming is statistically significant for all periods above three years.

The quote above lists all the major climate datasets that everyone in the climate field uses. I’ve rearranged the order from the original to put similar datasets together and thus make it easier to digest the information.

The first two datasets are from satellite data. The Hadcrut datasets both use historical ground and sea surface temperature records and are both produced by the Climate Research Unit headed by Phil Jones, who when other scientists asked him for his raw original data in order to check it admitted that he had lost it. Jones was also one of the scientists whose climategate emails revealed a desire to destroy the careers of any skeptics, prevent their work from being published, and an effort to conceal or change data that contradicted the theory of global warming. GISS is the Goddard Institute for Space Sciences, run for decades by global warming advocate James Hansen and now the source of today’s claims that every month of every year is the hottest ever recorded. GISS is also the NASA institute that has been adjusting past datasets to cool the past and warm the present, thus creating a significantly steeper rise in global temperature than is shown by the original raw data.

Of these datasets, three show no significant warming in the past two decades, while two show significant warming. Which is it? Your guess is as good as mine. However, I must point out that the two datasets that show statistically significant warming have both come under question in the past few years because of questionable science practices, which from my perspective makes their conclusions suspect.

Regardless, even if we accept all of these datasets as completely sincere and honestly obtained, they still are in conflict with each other. Under any reasonably scientific analysis, this tells us that the science here is definitely not settled, and that a lot more work needs to be done before anyone can hazard a guess as to what’s going on with the climate.

Suspicious climate data manipulation at NASA

The uncertainty of modern climate science isn’t merely because of the overall complexity of the data and the climate. Though there are numerous factors that contribute to the long term fluctuations of the climate that we do not yet completely understand or can quantify with any precision (the sun, dust, soot, volcanoes, carbon dioxide increase, to name just a few), there is a more tragic uncertainty that global warming scientists at NASA and NOAA have added to the mix, one that is entirely unjustified and harmful to the field of science and the questions that it is trying to answer.

In the case of this post, that tragic uncertainty has to do with sea level rise and the “adjustments,” without explanation, that NASA is making to its sea level data. Below is a graph taken from the link, showing the changes that have been made to published data from 1982 in order to eliminate a long period of almost no sea level rise from the mid 1950s through 1980.
» Read more

UN Secretary-General declares climate change debate ‘over’

The certainty of politics: In a newspaper interview on Thursday UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared, without doubt, that the scientific debate on human-caused global warming “is over”.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday that his greatest achievement at the helm of the world’s biggest international organization was last year’s climate change accord in Paris, and he expressed open frustration that Republicans in the U.S. continue to obstruct President Obama and to politicize the subject. “The debate on science and the debate on politics as far as climate change is concerned is over,” Mr. Ban told The Washington Times in an exclusive interview. “Still, the Republican Party, they are not convinced.

“There should be no political consideration on this,” he said. “There should be no room for politics to get involved.” [emphasis mine]

I am so glad that this politician, not a scientist, knows so much about the climate field that he can dictate the future research of scientists. I am so glad that this politician, not a scientist, thinks he has the ability to tell skeptics to shut up. And I am so glad that this politician, not a scientist, can demand that skeptics shut up because he wants to keep politics out of science. (Note the irony and hypocrisy here.)

I find it most interesting that whenever anyone raises questions about the theory of human-caused global warming, the response by its advocates is almost never to discuss the actual data, but to tell the questioners to shut up, and to insist the debate is settled, even though the very existence of those questioners proves it is not.

New evidence of lakes and streams in Mars’ recent past

Using data from three different orbiters scientists have mapped out a region of lakes and streams on Mars that appear to have contained liquid water a billion years after the red planet is believed to have dried up.

To bracket the time period when the fresh shallow valleys in Arabia Terra formed, scientists started with age estimates for 22 impact craters in the area. They assessed whether or not the valleys carved into the blankets of surrounding debris ejected from the craters, as an indicator of whether the valleys are older or younger than the craters. They concluded that this fairly wet period on Mars likely occurred between two and three billion years ago, long after it is generally thought that most of Mars’ original atmosphere had been lost and most of the remaining water on the planet had frozen.

The characteristics of the valleys support the interpretation that the climate was cold: “The rate at which water flowed through these valleys is consistent with runoff from melting snow,” Wilson said, “These weren’t rushing rivers. They have simple drainage patterns and did not form deep or complex systems like the ancient valley networks from early Mars.”

This region, Arabia Terra, is the same area where scientists have found fossilized rivers.

Four different research papers this year find no evidence linking human activity to sea level rise

The uncertainty of science: Despite the claims that human-caused global warming is causing the icecaps to melt and the sea to rise, four different research papers this year have found no “observable” evidence linking human activity to sea level rise.

“It is widely assumed that sea levels have been rising in recent decades largely in response to anthropogenic global warming,” Kenneth Richard writes at NoTricksZone. “However, due to the inherently large contribution of natural oscillatory influences on sea level fluctuations, this assumption lacks substantiation…. Scientists who have recently attempted to detect an anthropogenic signal in regional sea level rise trends have had to admit that there is ‘no observable sea-level effect of anthropogenic global warming’,” Richard points out, listing four peer-reviewed studies published this year that have all come to the same conclusion.

Does this prove that the rise in sea levels is not influenced by human activity (or “an anthropogenic signal” to use the jargon of these scientists)? Absolutely not. What it does show is that the science of climate change remains completely uncertain, and that it is very possible that all of the sea level rise we see has nothing to do with human activity, something that many climate scientists have recognized for decades. We are still coming out of the last ice age, and these scientists recognize that much if not all of the sea level rise we see can be attributable to this fact.

Big money for California air pollution researchers

The next time anyone tries to point out how “Big Oil” or “Big corporations” are using their financial clout to squelch research into air pollution, the environment, and global warming, refer them to this story:

Nineteen California professors earning more than $300 million in grants from the government to study air pollution have issued a letter demanding more air quality regulations, which they can then use as a foundation for earning more government grants studying air pollution.

The environmental movement likes to talk about how big corporate money pays for all the environmental skepticism we see in the press, and if that money disappeared the debate would vanish and everyone would agree with them. The trouble is that most skeptics I know, including myself, get nothing from big corporate money. Instead, it is the environmental movement that gets gigantic amounts of cash from the federal government, run by politicians like President Obama, who has a very pro-environmentalist bias and wants his scientists to confirm his religious belief in human-caused global warming and the evils that humans do to the environment.

Three professors ban skepticism of human-caused climate change

Academic fascists: Three professors teaching an online course at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs have told their students that they are forbidden to raise any skeptical data or sources or even questions when the issue of man-made global warming is discussed.

Signed by the course’s professors Rebecca Laroche, Wendy Haggren and Eileen Skahill, it was sent after several students expressed concern for their success in the course after watching the first online lecture about the impacts of climate change. “Opening up a debate that 98% of climate scientists unequivocally agree to be a non-debate would detract from the central concerns of environment and health addressed in this course,” the professors’ email continued. “… If you believe this premise to be an issue for you, we respectfully ask that you do not take this course, as there are options within the Humanities program for face to face this semester and online next.”

The professors also note this ban on debate extends to discussion among students in the online forums. Moreover, students who choose to use outside sources for research during their time in the course may select only those that have been peer-reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the email states.

Putting aside the fact that the study claiming that 97% of scientists agree with man-made global warming has been debunked, this refusal to allow open debate by these fake teachers makes them the poster child for fascism in academia.

Hat tip to commenter cotour for finding this story.

Obama to ratify Paris climate treaty, bypassing Senate

The Constitution is such an inconvenient thing: The Obama administration is claiming that, should Obama sign the Paris climate accords when he visits China next week, it will be sufficient to make it law, even though it will not have been approved by a two-thirds majority in the Senate as required by the Constitution.

White House senior adviser Brian Deese said the president has the legal authority to ratify the accord without the two-thirds Senate vote required for treaties. He said the pact negotiated by 195 countries in December is merely an “executive agreement. … The president will use his authority that has been used in dozens of executive agreements in the past to join and formally deposit our instrument of acceptance, and therefore put our country as a party to the Paris Agreement,” Mr. Deese said at a White House press conference. “That’s a process that is quite well-established in our existing legal system and in the context of international agreements and international arrangements,” Mr. Deese said. “There is a category of them that are treaties that require advice and consent from the Senate, but there’s a broad category of executive agreements where the executive can enter into those agreements without that advice and consent.”

Gee, I wonder what clause in the Constitution Mr. Deese can name that delineates the President’s power to sign and make binding “executive agreements” with foreign powers? My copy of the Constitution doesn’t seem to have any such clause. What it does say about foreign treaties is quite clear and blunt: The President “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur.” (Article 2, Section 2).

But then, when has the law ever really meant anything to this President and the modern Democratic Party? In fact, it means so little to them that they have nominated a candidate for President who willfully ignores it, and then lies about that lawbreaking repeatedly.

Antarctica defies global warming predictions

The uncertainty of science: Despite numerous climate model predictions during the past two decades predicting that the ice cap in Antarctica will shrink because a global warming, recent data shows its ice cap to have grown to record size.

Climate models predicted Antarctic sea ice would shrink as a result of global warming, but the opposite happened. Antarctic sea ice actually increased in the last two decades. Chinese scientists compared climate model sea ice predictions to actual observations from 1979 to 2005 and found “the main problem of the [climate] models is their inability to reproduce the observed slight increase of sea ice extent.” As it turns out, natural variability plays a big role here as well. “Sea ice extent is strongly influenced by the winds and these have increased from the south over the Ross Sea, contributing to a small increase in total Antarctic sea ice since the late 1970s,” Turner said. “The increase in ice seems to be within the bounds of natural variability.”

Had Chinese researchers gone beyond 2005, they would have found more than just a slight increase. 2014 was the first year on record that Antarctic sea ice coverage rose above 7.72 million square miles. By Sept. 22, 2014, sea ice extent reached its highest level on record — 7.76 million square miles.

The data overall suggests that all the fluctuations seen so far Antarctica appear to be entirely attributable to natural variation, not climate change.

The Earth’s shifting waters

Using satellite data gathered over the past 30 years scientists have now mapped the changes from water to land and land to water across the Earth’s land surface.

Two quotes from this article illustrate once again the incredible uncertainty of climate science. First in the continental interiors they saw an overall increase in land.

They found that 115,000 sq km (44,000 sq miles) of land is now covered in water and 173,000 sq km (67,000 sq miles) of water has now become land. The largest increase in water has been on the Tibetan Plateau, while the Aral Sea has been the biggest conversion of water to land.

More significant, however, was the changes on the continental coasts.

Coastal areas were also analysed, and to the scientists surprise, coastlines had gained more land – 33,700 sq km (13,000 sq miles) – than they had been lost to water (20,100 sq km or 7,800 sq miles). “We expected that the coast would start to retreat due to sea level rise, but the most surprising thing is that the coasts are growing all over the world,” said Dr Baart.”We’re were able to create more land than sea level rise was taking.”

The researchers said Dubai’s coast had been significantly extended, with the creation of new islands to house luxury resorts. “China has also reconstructed their whole coast from the Yellow Sea all the way down to Hong Kong,” sid Dr Baart[emphasis mine]

I suspect that a careful analysis of this data will show that most of these changes have little to do with climate change. However, the fact that human activity has actually increased the amount of land on the coasts despite the slow rise in sea level suggests once again that climate change is not the serious threat it is often made up to be. As a friend of mine once noted, “We’re not going to stand on the beach for decades and let the ocean drown us.” The change is slow enough that the human ability to adapt will easily outstrip it.

“Our projections were completely wrong.”

The uncertainty of science: Despite predictions that global warming would destroy the world’s coral reefs, scientists as well as divers who visit the reefs regularly have found that they are instead thriving, with almost no damage.

[R]ecent research has shown some coral reefs are coming back to life much more quickly than scientists believed possible. Scientists found Coral Castles teeming with life during a 2015 dive, despite declaring the reef dead 13 years ago. “Everything looked just magnificent,” said Jan Witting, the dive’s lead scientist who works at the Sea Education Association, told The New York Times. “Last year, the whole place was holding its breath,” Witting said. “The whole ocean’s in bloom this year.”

Rangiroa lagoon in French Polynesia had rebounded just 15 years after being devastated by the incredibly strong 1998 El Nino warming event. “Our projections were completely wrong,” marine biologist Peter Mumby told BBC News in 2014. “Sometimes it is really nice to be proven wrong as a scientist, and this was a perfect example of that.”

These bad predictions, some as recently as April 2016, not only were not based on facts, they did serious harm to the tourist industry and the people who depend on it.

“Scientists had written off that entire northern section as a complete white-out,’’ Chris Eade, owner of the diving boat Spirit Of Freedom, told The Courier-Mail in an interview. “We expected the worst,” Eade said. “But it is tremendous condition, most of it is pristine, the rest is in full recovery. It shows the resilience of the reef.”

Eade said dire predictions about the demise of the Great Barrier Reef has hurt tourism businesses — a $5 billion industry. He’s particularly angry with scientists who estimated bleaching had hurt 93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef, mostly concentrated in the northern half. “Between 60 and 100 percent of corals are severely bleached on 316 reefs, nearly all in the northern half of the Reef,” Terry Hughes, the lead coral reef scientist at Australia’s James Cook University, said in April. Hughes’ research was based on aerial surveys of 911 reefs, and found 316 reefs were “severely bleached.” But that’s not what Eade and other reef tourist operators have observed taking people out for daily dives. [emphasis mine]

In other words, the scientist really didn’t look at the reefs. Instead, he took a quick distant survey and declared disaster, probably to promote the agenda of global warming.

EPA never did ethanol studies required by law

The law is such an inconvenient thing: Despite a legal mandate from Congress to conduct studies on the use of ethanol in vehicles the EPA has admitted that it simply ignored the law and never did any.

The Obama administration has failed to study as legally required the impact of requiring ethanol in gasoline and ensuring that new regulations intended to address one problem do not actually make other problems worse, the Environmental Protection Agency inspector general said Thursday. The conclusion in the new audit confirmed findings of an Associated Press investigation in November 2013. The AP said the administration never conducted studies to determine whether air and water quality benefits from adding corn-based ethanol to gasoline. Such reports to Congress were required every three years under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Instead, they have been pushing to increase the amount of ethanol used in gasoline, even though they have no idea whether this helps or hurts the environment, and have been told by practically every automotive industry expert that increased ethanol will damage car engines.

But then, who cares what the law says? Who cares what other experts say? The EPA is made up of righteous perfect liberal individuals who simply know better. How dare Congress, or anyone for that matter, tell them what to do!

One Year on Earth – Seen From 1 Million Miles

An evening pause: This video release from NASA made the rounds a few weeks ago. It isn’t news, but it is cool. One important fact noted during this video is that the Earth’s cloud cover both warms and cools the planet. What wasn’t noted was that there is gigantic uncertainty about how much the clouds warm and cool, which is one of the main reasons no climate models have been even close to successfully predicting the climate.

Hat tip Wayne DeVette.

Sunspot ramp down continues

Below is NOAA’s monthly update of the solar cycle, posted by them on August 7. It shows the Sun’s sunspot activity in July, with annotations.

July 2016 Solar Cycle graph

The graph above has been modified to show the predictions of the solar science community. The green curves show the community’s two original predictions from April 2007, with half the scientists predicting a very strong maximum and half predicting a weak one. The red curve is their revised May 2009 prediction.

As expected, there was a recovery in sunspot activity in July compared to June. Also as expected, the recovery was not significant, so that it appears, based on the past two months, as if the ramp down to solar minimum is accelerating so that solar minimum will occur sooner than expected, possibly as soon as two years.

I would not put much stock on that prediction, however. When sunspot activity first reached this level during the past solar cycle in late 2005, it still took three more years before solar minimum was reached. If this cycle matches the last, that would mean that this cycle, from minimum to minimum, will have lasted 10 years, making a short solar cycle though not one of the shortest. However, it is more likely that the ramp down will stretch out, as it usually does, gliding downward to solar minimum in a slow gentle curve that makes for a full cycle of about 11 years.

No U.S. category 3 hurricanes for more than a decade

I’m glad the science is settled! Despite predictions more than a decade ago that the world was faced with increased extreme weather due to human-caused global warming, including more hurricanes that were more powerful, the United States has now set a record for the longest stretch ever recorded, 129 months, without a single major hurricane.

Trump considers fracking businessman for Energy Secretary

Good news if true: Reuters today reported that presidential candidate Donald Trump is considering nominating Oklahoma businessman Harold Hamm as energy secretary if he wins the election.

In addition to considering Hamm, who has also functioned as Trump’s informal energy adviser in recent months, the article also noted this:

Trump, who has yet to make any announcements about his prospective cabinet, has already surrounded himself with strong advocates of traditional energy sources like oil, gas, and coal and has promised to gut environmental regulations to boost drilling and mining if elected. He tapped U.S. Congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, a climate skeptic and drilling advocate, to help draw up his campaign energy platform, and picked Indiana Governor Mike Pence, also a climate skeptic, as his running mate.

Both moves cheered the energy industry but alarmed environmental activists who say a Trump presidency would set back years of progress on issues like pollution and climate change. “Given that Hamm’s as close as we’ve got to a fracker-in-chief in this country, it would be an apropos pick for a president who thinks global warming is a hoax manufactured by the Chinese,” said leading environmental activist Bill McKibben.

I keep saying it: Should Trump win, the best way we can guarantee that he favors conservative values is if he is surrounded by conservatives. These moves suggest that that Trump is agreeable to this, though there is also possibly a bit of some crony capitalism going on here as well. While these guys will likely advocate for less environmental regulations, I also doubt that they will work to eliminate the gobs of corporate welfare the federal government presently hands out.

New climate model works better, but doesn’t!

New climate model
Image from Junk Science. I indicated the pause

The uncertainty of science: Scientists have developed a new computer climate model that does a better job of predicting the actual climate, until you get to the pause in warming during the past 18 years. The graph on the right, from the paper, shows the model’s prediction compared to the raw data. The two line up perfectly, until around 1998, when the pause or hiatus in global warming began. From that point, the model fails.

I especially like this quote from the press release, made by one of the paper’s two authors:

“Most of the difference between the raw data and new estimates is found during the recent 18 years since 1998,” said Xie. “Because of the hiatus, the raw data underestimate the greenhouse warming.” [emphasis mine]

Note how he reverses things. For him, the raw data is wrong, as it underestimates their perfect model of human-caused greenhouse warming. In reality, it is their model that has failed, as it fails to predict the pause in warming, showing that it must be missing important factors that are influencing the climate. Or as physicist Richard Feynmann so cogently put it,

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

Note also that this research paper, released today, recognizes the pause, which shows again that the claims by some scientists that the pause did not exist have not been convincing to other climate scientists. This in turn once again illustrates the overall uncertainty of this field of science.

Ban AC for DC

Link here. As Glenn Reynolds notes

I’m inspired by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Tex., who noticed something peculiar recently. It seems that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who spends a lot of time telling Americans that they need to drive less, fly less, and in general reduce their consumption of fossil fuels, also flies home to see her family in Boston “almost every weekend”; the head of the Clean Air Division, Janet McCabe, does the same, but she heads to Indianapolis. In air mileage alone, the Daily Caller News Foundation estimates that McCarthy surpasses the carbon footprint of an ordinary American. Smith has introduced a bill that wouldn’t target the EPA honchos’ personal travel, though: It provides, simply, that “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to pay the cost of any officer or employee of the Environmental Protection Agency for official travel by airplane.”

This makes sense to me. We’re constantly told by the administration that “climate change” is a bigger threat than terrorism. And as even President Obama has noted, there’s a great power in setting an example: “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.”

Likewise, it’s hard to expect Americans to accept changes to their own lifestyles when the very people who are telling them that it’s a crisis aren’t acting like it’s a crisis. So I have a few suggestions to help bring home the importance of reduced carbon footprints at home and abroad:

Reynolds than goes on to suggest further restrictions on the fossil fuel use of the hoi poloi in Washington, including heavy taxes on fuel used by private jets, heavy taxes on coastal regions like liberal cities like New York, Boston, and Washington to prepare for sea rise, and the banning air-conditioning in the District of Columbia.

Obama makes a great point about setting the thermostat at 72 degrees. We should ban air conditioning in federal buildings. We won two world wars without air conditioning our federal employees. Nothing in their performance over the last 50 or 60 years suggests that A/C has improved things. Besides, The Washington Post informs us that A/C is sexist, and that Europeans think it’s stupid.

Makes sense to me!

Two anti-fracking/anti-oil industry environmental papers retracted

Thank goodness these were peer reviewed! Two environmental papers, one claiming increased air pollution near fracking sites and the second claiming that the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill caused air contamination, have now both been retracted because of “crucial mistakes.”

According to the corresponding author of both papers, Kim Anderson at Oregon State University, the journal plans to publish new versions of both papers in the next few days. In the case of the fracking paper, the conclusions have been reversed — the original paper stated pollution levels exceeded limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for lifetime cancer risk, but the corrected data set the risks below EPA levels.

The fracking paper received some media attention when it was released, as it tapped into long-standing concerns about the environmental dangers of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which extracts natural gas from the earth. A press release that accompanied the paper quoted Anderson as warning: “Air pollution from fracking operations may pose an under-recognized health hazard to people living near them.”

Both papers, published in Environmental Science and Technology, were retracted on the same day (June 29), both due to mistakes in reported levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pollutants released from burning oil, gas, and other organic matter.

They say that the errors were due to an “honest spreadsheet error.”

A short but weak solar maximum?

On July 4th NOAA released its monthly update of the solar cycle, showing the Sun’s sunspot activity in June. It is annotated and posted below.

June 2016 Solar Cycle graph

The graph above has been modified to show the predictions of the solar science community. The green curves show the community’s two original predictions from April 2007, with half the scientists predicting a very strong maximum and half predicting a weak one. The red curve is their revised May 2009 prediction.

Not surprisingly, the time periods with no sunspots in June, including a 12 day stretch that just ended today, is reflected by the graph’s precipitous drop in June.

What is significant to me is the speed with which this solar maximum seems to be ending. Normally, weak solar cycles are also long solar cycles. The Sun not only doesn’t get as active, but the ramp up and down is extended, as is the period of the solar minimum. This is what happened during the solar minimum from 2007 to 2010. It was longer than normal, which meant that the solar maximum occurred much later than predicted by the 2007 predictions of the solar science communities (shown in green).

This recent stretch of blank days however is now suggesting that the solar maximum is going to end much sooner than the later 2009 prediction (shown in red). Even more astonishing, the numbers in June aligned with the 2007 high prediction, which would make this one of the shortest solar maximums on record!

I don’t expect these low numbers to continue. I expect sunspot activity to recover and continue, with the minimum likely occurring after 2018. If it does come sooner, however, that will once again be evidence suggesting we are heading for a Grand Minimum, with no sunspots for decades.

Oakland city council micromanages the shipping industry

Fascist California: The Oakland city council has voted to block coal shipments through its brand new marine terminal.

The Oakland city council voted unanimously to bar shipments of coal through a proposed marine terminal on Monday, setting the stage for a legal battle.

The prospect of train cars carrying millions of tons of coal mined in Utah through Oakland before heading to Asian markets has inflamed passions in the city. Opponents argue it will harm health and exacerbate climate change. Proponents say it will provide good jobs in an impoverished area.

And I say it is none of the damn business of these petty dictators to decide what and where stuff gets shipped, especially if it is legal product.

Global warming skeptic responds bluntly to Democratic subpoena

In response to a subpoena from the Democratic Attorney General of Massachusetts, Maura Healey, for 40 years of past correspondence between a think tank and Exxon, the think tank founder had this response: “F–k off, Fascist”.

Healey subpoenaed Exxon as part of a multi-state effort among liberal prosecutors to investigate the company for allegedly trying to cover up global warming science. Healey alleges the oil giant lied to shareholders and consumers about the risks of global warming in its communications and shareholder filings, according to a copy of the subpoena obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

She’s targeting CIP and other prominent conservative groups, like the Heritage Foundation and Americans for Prosperity (AFP), because of their supposed ties to Exxon. The only problem is, neither CIP nor AFP are funded by Exxon.

I think this response not only provides an accurate description of this liberal Democratic effort to squelch dissent, but is the correct response. It is clear that the Democratic Party has become the home for intolerant, hate-filled totalitarians who think it okay to silence debate and use the law to oppress those who disagree with them. It is also clear that more people have to tell them to go to hell.

Sunspot cycle update

NOAA today released its monthly update of the solar cycle, showing the Sun’s sunspot activity in May. It is annotated and posted below.

Mayl 2016 Solar Cycle graph

The graph above has been modified to show the predictions of the solar science community. The green curves show the community’s two original predictions from April 2007, with half the scientists predicting a very strong maximum and half predicting a weak one. The red curve is their revised May 2009 prediction.

Though sunspot activity increased in May, the increase was not significant. The ramp down from solar maximum continues to track the 2007 low prediction for this maximum.

Meanwhile, the Sun continues its first multi-day string of blank days since 2011, now up to 3 days with all indications suggesting it will continue at least one more day. This early blank string, combined with the relatively fast decline in sunspots in the past two years, suggests that the solar maximum is ending sooner than predicted by the 2009 prediction (the red curve above), and that the next minimum will possibly be longer as well.

California effort to make climate dissent illegal fails

The Democratic fascists in the California Senate have lost their bid to pass a law that would have made it a crime to express skepticism of human-caused global warming.

The bill only failed because the Senate did not take action before the end of its session, and could reappear agian.

Later this year, however, the same language could be reintroduced under a waiver of the rules or inserted into another bill as part of the gut-and-amend process.

And I fully expect these fascists to try again, especially considering this:

The measure was introduced amid a national push by Democrats and activist groups to use the legal system to prosecute climate change “fraud,” prompting a backlash from skeptics who have denounced the campaign as an assault on free speech. A coalition of 17 state attorneys general, including California Attorney General Kamala Harris, have joined forces to pursue climate change skeptics. At least four prosecutors reportedly have launched investigations into Exxon Mobil for climate change “fraud.”

Introduced by state Sen. Ben Allen, Santa Monica Democrat, S.B. 1161 had strong support from environmental groups, led by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

California moves to ban climate dissent

Climate fascists: The California legislature is considering a bill that would make it illegal to express skepticism about human-caused global warming.

The bill declares that there is no legitimate disagreement on the causes and extent of climate change, stating that, “There is broad scientific consensus that anthropogenic global warming is occurring and changing the world’s climate patterns, and that the primary cause is the emission of greenhouse gases from the production and combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas.”

What I find frightening about this is that the liberal Democrats who are writing and pushing this bill, with the full support of numerous liberal environmentalist groups, no longer feel the slightest shame about their oppressive and tyrannical preferences. They are now out in the open, suggesting that they sense a wide support for their actions. I fear that they are right.

A bibliography of my research into climate

The recent long and refreshing debate thread on the subject of climate change between myself and others on Behind the Black has prompted me to upload my bibliography of the research I did on climate change and the sun’s influence from 2002 to 2010.

This bibliography, which is quite long, can be found here. I have also added a link to it in the top menu just below the banner at the top of the page

Though I stopped adding new entries to this bibliography in 2010, my research has not ceased. I just don’t update the bibliography anymore.

I make it available partly as a reference to my readers, and partly as a document to show that I base my opinions on solid research. I might not be a climate scientist, but I have made sure that I have a solid understanding of the science before speaking publicly about it. I think it wise that more people do the same.

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