Tag Archives: environment

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.

New EPA toxic spill in Colorado

Government in action: The EPA has once again accidently released toxic waste into the same Colorado river it mistakenly dumped 3 million gallons of toxic waste from an abandoned mine last year.

Local officials said this week’s release was not large enough to warrant a public advisory. Last year’s spill sent nearly 1 million pounds of metals into the waterways of the Animas and San Juan rivers, which traverse three states. The metals include arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel and zinc.

This week’s spill came from the treatment plant that the EPA set up near the mine to filter water coming from the mine before releasing it into the creek and river systems. A large amount of rain in Colorado caused the treatment facility to overflow and some of the untreated water to spill into the waterways. EPA said the water that spilled from he plant was partially treated, and the metals present in it should quickly settle to the bottom of waterways where they are less harmful.

How many of you out there trust the EPA in this? Considering the stonewalling and lying the agency practiced when the original spill occurred, I see no reason to believe anything they say now.

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.

Federal court rules a farmer plowing his land violates Clean Water Act

Fascists: A federal court has ruled that a farmer in California is violating the Clean Water Act by plowing his own property.

The court ruled that the company violated the Clean Water Act by plowing its property, even though the Act exempts normal farming practices. And, the implementing regulations state that plowing is never even subject to the Act, so long as it does not convert wetlands to dry land. Since no wetlands were lost or reduced in acreage by the plowing in this case, the court’s decision amounts to a rule that you may not plow in federally regulated wetlands without an Army Corps permit, the clear exemptions to the contrary notwithstanding.

The court also reversed an earlier ruling in the case and held that although the Corps ordered Duarte Nursery to halt all activity in any area of its property that could be considered waters of the U.S. on its property, the company did not suffer any deprivation of its property. On this basis, the court then ruled that Duarte Nursery’s due process rights have not been violated by being ordered not to farm its property for the last three years.

More here. Even though the Supreme Court has twice told the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers that their interpretation of the Clean Water Act is wrong and overreaching, the agencies continue to use their interpretation to fine and restrict the actions of farmers and private property owners. In this case, they are forbidding a farming company from farming their property under Clean Water Act regulations, even though the law specifically exempts farming from Clean Water Act regulations and the Supreme Court has also ruled that interpretation of the law by these agencies is wrong.

What makes this worse is that a California federal court has agreed with the agencies, even though the Supreme Court has previously ruled otherwise. It is as if the lower federal court in California have decided they don’t need to follow the rulings of the higher court.

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.

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.

Wyoming rancher beats EPA over stock pond

Good news: A Wyoming rancher who built a stock pond on his property, after obtaining all local permits, and was then hit by the EPA with gigantic fines totaling more than $16 million if he didn’t remove it, has won his case in court.

Under the settlement, Johnson’s pond will remain and he won’t pay any fines or concede any federal jurisdiction to regulate the pond. And the government won’t pursue any further enforcement actions based on the pond’s construction. The only conditions, according to Johnson’s lawyers, are that willow trees be planted around the pond and a partial fence installed to “control livestock.” “This is a victory for common sense and the environment, and it brings an end to all the uncertainty and fear that the Johnson family faced,” said Jonathan Wood, a staff attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation who represented Andy Johnson in his court challenge to the EPA, and in negotiating the settlement.

“The EPA never identified any environmental problems with the pond,” Wood told FoxNews.com. “In fact, it’s been a boom for the environment.”

Though he won his case, because there apparently was no cost to the EPA for attacking him it is really the EPA that has won. In the future I expect them to use their ability to impose fines more widely in even more egregious situations, knowing it will cost the agency nothing and might gain them more power. It will worth it, since the only way to stop them would be to hire lawyers and spend a lot of money in court.

A review of Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth”, ten years later

climate data showing pause in warming since 1998

The uncertainty of science: A new review of Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth”, ten years later after its release, looks closely at the predictions the film made to see if they have come true, or were at least pointed in an accurate direction.

Guess what? The film’s predictions have turned out to be generally wrong. From predicting an ice-free Arctic to a snow-free Mt. Kilimanjaro to more extreme weather to a continuing warming as carbon dioxide increased, Gore’s predictions have each failed.

I especially like the last one, that as carbon dioxide rose the temperatures would rise in lockstep, as predicted by all climate models. The article notes that temperatures have not done so, that the global climate temperature has been practically unchanged since 1998, and backs up this point with a paper published by the science journal Nature.

The graph above is from that paper. The black line that rises above the red, blue, and gold lines is one of the more respected climate models. The other lines are from the actual data. As you can see, the climate model fails to predict the climate, meaning that the theory used to create it is incomplete or inaccurate.

This is not to say that the theory might not be true. Global warming, initiated by the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, might very happen. The data shows however that the climate scientists touting this theory do not yet understand the Earth’s complex global climate well enough to prove their theory true. There are other factors influencing the climate they have not yet recognized, factors such as the Sun’s variability and the fact that CO2 by itself is a actually a trace gas and not the atmosphere’s chief global warming component, which is water.

The Oil Seepage Thread

Because the comment thread to this post, “New research confirms CO2 increase is greening Earth,” has become quite long and somewhat off the original topic, yet still interesting and worth continuing, I have decided to create a specific post where comments relating to these two questions, asked by Wayne DeVette, can continue:

  • How much does Volcanic activity contribute to particulate & “greenhouse gas” emission’s on the Planet ? (I am under the impression contributions by human-activity are dwarfed by natural-events.)
  • What is the natural (non human-activity related) background seepage rate of crude-oil, into the Worlds oceans, across the Planet?

I thought these were great questions, and ask Wayne and others to do some digging. Gary and Wayne did, and what they found is worth reading.

Please place future comments on this topic here.

New research confirms CO2 increase is greening Earth

The uncertainty of science: New data from satellites have confirmed that the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the past century is contributing to an expansion of plant life globally.

Researchers studying NASA satellite data on the Earth’s vegetation coverage have discovered that plants have significantly increased their leaf cover over the last 35 years to the point that new growth across the planet is equivalent to an area twice as large as the continental United States. According to the study, the largest contributor to this greening is the growing level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

Using data collected from instruments such as NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer mounted on the AquaProbe satellite and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (such as that deployed on NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite), an international team of researchers has determined that CO2 fertilization explains fully 70 percent of the greening effect observed.

I love how the article repeatedly inserts several out-of-context comments about the dangers of global warming, even though everything in the story suggests that global warming might actually be beneficial.

The failed predictions of Earth Day

On this anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970, it behooves us to once again review the predictions of the environmental experts that even today the environmental movement relies on and continues to worship, men like Paul Ehrlich and David Brower, the first executive director of The Sierra Club.

The Daily Caller today provided us a list of the seven most significant predictions from that day, all of which turned out to be wrong. For example, Ehrlich repeatedly predicted that millions would starve in the coming decades:

Stanford professor Dr. Paul Ehrlich declared in April 1970 that mass starvation was imminent. His dire predictions failed to materialize as the number of people living in poverty has significantly declined and the amount of food per person has steadily increased, despite population growth. The world’s Gross Domestic Product per person has immeasurably grown despite increases in population.

Ehrlich is largely responsible for this view, having co-published “The Population Bomb” with The Sierra Club in 1968. The book made a number of claims including that millions of humans would starve to death in the 1970s and 1980s, mass famines would sweep England leading to the country’s demise, and that ecological destruction would devastate the planet causing the collapse of civilization.

Brower meanwhile revealed the tyrannical aspect of the environmental movement, stating that “[a]ll potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.” He went on to found Friends of the Earth and the League of Conservation Voters.

Ehrlich continues to push the same predictions, even though none of his past predictions have come true. But, then, what does that matter? Why should reality have anything to do with anything? It’s that he cares that matters!

In the wild

An evening pause: A beautiful nature video from National Geographic. Though it contains lots of cute animals, it also shows them in the wild, as they really are, hunting and being hunted. I am thus reminded of Tennyson’s description of nature, “red in tooth and claw,” from his poem In Memoriam, written at the death of a close friend.

… A monster then, a dream,
A discord. Dragons of the prime,
That tare each other in their slime,
Were mellow music match’d with him.

O life as futile, then, as frail!
O for thy voice to sooth and bless!
What hope of answer, or redress?
Behind the veil, behind the veil.

Hat tip George Petricko.

Another subsidized solar power company going bust?

Your tax dollars at work! The U.S.’s largest solar power company, heavily subsidized by the federal government, now faces bankruptcy.

An SEC filing from TerraForm Global, a unit of SunEdison, claims “due to SunEdison’s liquidity difficulties, there is a substantial risk that SunEdison will soon seek bankruptcy protection.” Both SunEdison and TerraForm are delaying the filing of their annual financial report to the SEC.

News of SunEdison’s impending bankruptcy filing comes after the company’s shares fell 95 percent in the past 12 months, with shares now trading for less than $1 for the first time since the green energy company went public in 1995. SunEdison’s market value fell from $10 billion in July 2015 to around $400 million today.

The news also comes after the SEC announced it was launching an investigation into SunEdison’s disclosures to shareholders regarding the company’s liquidity. SEC enforcement officials “are looking into whether SunEdison overstated its liquidity last fall when it told investors it had more than $1 billion in cash,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

…The pro-labor union group Good Jobs First reported last year that SunEdison and its subsidiaries got nearly $650 million in subsidies and tax credits from the federal government since 2000. It was the 13th most heavily-subsidized company in America. This includes nearly $4.6 million in subsidies from the Department of Energy and Department of Treasury. Watchdog.org reported in October 2015 that SunEdison had gotten nearly $4.6 million from the Obama administration, including funding to build semi-conductors. A SunEdison bankruptcy could leave taxpayers on the hook for more than $2 billion.

But hey, what’s a few billion here or there, if the cause is worthwhile?

Democratic AGs team up to prosecute global warming skeptics

Fascists: Democratic attorney generals from 16 states announced today that they plan on investigating and prosecuting companies for fraud if they dare express any skepticism about global warming.

“The bottom line is simple: Climate change is real; it is a threat to all the people we represent,” [New York Attorney General Eric] Schneiderman said. “If there are companies, whether they’re utilities, whether they’re fossil fuel companies, committing fraud in an effort to maximize their short-term profits at the expense of the people we represent, we want to find out about it. We want to expose it and want to pursue them to the fullest extent of the law.”

The concept of dissent and debate increasingly appears completely foreign to liberal, leftwing politicians and activists. Disagree with them in any way, and they think that gives them the right to destroy you.

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