Tag Archives: environmentalism

Cuts to NOAA, EPA, and the environmental bureaucracy

Two articles today outline some of the proposed cuts the Trump administration is considering for the EPA and NOAA and their generally bloated and politicized administrative bureaucracies.

The first article focuses on the proposed cuts to the EPA, which would reduce the overall budget to that agency by about 25%.

The Trump administration wants to cut spending by EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) by more than 40% from roughly $510 million to $290 million, according to sources that have seen preliminary directives from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The cuts target scientific work in fields including climate change, air and water quality, and chemical safety. EPA’s $50 million external grant program for environmental scientists at universities would disappear altogether. Such erasures represent just part of a larger plan to shrink EPA’s budget by 25% to $6.1 billion, and cut its workforce by 20% to 12,400 employees, in the 2018 fiscal year that begins 1 October.

The second article focuses on proposed cuts aimed at NOAA and within the Commerce Department, with cuts in specific departments ranging from 5% to 26%, with an overall cut to NOAA of 17%.
» Read more

The tampering of climate data at NOAA and NASA

data tampering at NASA

Last week there was the another Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington. One presentation there by several important climate skeptics outlined in detail the data tampering that has been going on at an increasingly outrageous manner at both NOAA and NASA in recent years. The slides presented by Tony Heller (available here [pdf]), many of which I have highlighted previously here at Behind the Black, are especially educational and damning.

To the right is just one of Heller’s slides, the one that I find the most damning of all. It shows how the surface data issued by NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), the two green lines, does not match the satellite data at all. While the satellite data shows no warming this entire century, the GISS data shows steady rising in the surface data. Other slides by Heller show that this rise comes solely from data adjustments and the extrapolation of imagined temperature data in places where no data exists, neither of which has been explained in any manner by the scientists at GISS.

What is most damning however is the change Heller documents between GISS’s November 2016 and December 2016 data sets. For reasons that are simply unjustified by any scientific measure, GISS somehow found it necessary to adjust its entire data set upward in one month about 0.03 of a degree. The only reason I can find for such a change in such a short period of time is a desire by the scientists at GISS to create the illusion that the climate is warming, and warming fast. They don’t have any real data to show this, so they make it up.

Make sure you look at all of Heller’s slides [pdf]. It is also definitely worthwhile to spend the time to watch the entire CPAC presentation, available at the first link above.

Polar bear populations continue to grow and thrive

The uncertainty of science: Despite numerous doomsday predictions by global warming advocates, new data of polar bear populations in the Canadian Arctic show them to be both growing and healthy in 2016, with the trend lines all rising in the past decade.

The numbers show almost no regions in decline.

EPA employees protest Trump pick for agency head

The law is such an inconvenient thing: In direct violation of the Hatch Act about 30 EPA employees joined a Sierra Club protest of Trump’s pick to head the EPA, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

In Chicago, around 30 employees of the EPA’s regional office there joined a protest organized by the Sierra Club environmental group and the American Federation of Government Employees to protest Pruitt’s nomination.

Doug Eriksen, a spokesman for Trump’s transition team at the EPA, downplayed the Chicago protest, saying “employees have a right to take action on their private time.”

When I worked for the FAA it was made very clear to me that the Hatch Act made it illegal for any government employee to participate in partisan political activities. Your freedom to vote the way you wished was not denied, nor was your general freedom of speech, but it was considered a clear conflict of interest to engage in political activities, especially activities that might put you in conflict with the policies of the President and his administration, your boss. These EPA employees are violating that law.

I suspect the reason the Trump administration is not very bothered by this is because they intend to cut the staffing at the EPA significantly, which means many of these people will be gone anyway. No need to get into a legal battle with them.Trump will propose slashing the EPA’s budget, the Republican Congress should gladly go along, and these partisan Democratic Party operatives with this government agency will be gone.

The Sun turns

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

January 2017 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.

Since my last solar cycle update, sunspot activity showed a slight increase in activity when compared to the previous month. Overall, however, the ramp down from solar maximum continues to underperform the predictions, and suggests that this solar maximum will not only be a very weak one, but a short one as well.

January’s activity however illustrated a statistical phenomenon that is typical of the sunspot count. That count is determined not by the numbers of sunspots on the entire surface of the Sun, but on the sunspots visible on the side of the Sun facing the Earth. Since it is not unusual for one face to be more active than the other, as we transition from maximum to minimum the sunspot counts will often show a more pronounced up-and-down curve reflecting this fact. Since the Sun’s day equals about 27 Earth days, this means that about every two weeks the active side will dominate our view until it rotates away and the inactive side reveals itself for two weeks.

Silso daily sunspot graph, January to February 2017

This pattern was very evident in January, as shown by the graph on the right and obtained from here. During the first two weeks of the month the Sun was blank. Then that inactive face rotated out of view. For the next two weeks or so the sunspot count went up, then began to drop as the active face began to rotate out of view to be replaced by the blank face last seen in early January.

This pattern of course is very fluid, as at any time the inactive face can become more active and the active face less so. Nonetheless, for short periods covering one to three months it helps to partly explain the up-and-down pattern of sunspot fluctuations during this time period when large portions of the Sun’s face are blank.

Whistleblower exposes climate data manipulation at NOAA

The corruption of climate science: A retired award-winning climate scientist has revealed that the publication of a NOAA paper that claimed the pause in global warming since 1998 did not exist was rushed into publication so that it would appear just prior to the Paris climate conference in 2015.

Worse, the paper’s authors disregarded NOAA’s rules for peer review, destroyed their raw data so that no one could check their results, and purposely threw out data that raised questions about their conclusions.

NOAA’s 2015 ‘Pausebuster’ paper was based on two new temperature sets of data – one containing measurements of temperatures at the planet’s surface on land, the other at the surface of the seas. Both datasets were flawed. This newspaper has learnt that NOAA has now decided that the sea dataset will have to be replaced and substantially revised just 18 months after it was issued, because it used unreliable methods which overstated the speed of warming. The revised data will show both lower temperatures and a slower rate in the recent warming trend.

The land temperature dataset used by the study was afflicted by devastating bugs in its software that rendered its findings ‘unstable’. The paper relied on a preliminary, ‘alpha’ version of the data which was never approved or verified. A final, approved version has still not been issued.

None of the data on which the paper was based was properly ‘archived’ – a mandatory requirement meant to ensure that raw data and the software used to process it is accessible to other scientists, so they can verify NOAA results.

Read the whole article. It is remarkably detailed for a modern newspaper story, delving carefully into the kind of details that must be looked at to truly understand the corruption of science that has taken place in government agencies like NOAA and NASA.

Does this story prove that human-caused global warming is not happening? Of course not. What it does show is that there is fraud going on, and that much of the science press releases issued by these agencies cannot be trusted.

Trump’s 1st NASA appointees suggest future policy

A memo released January 20 from NASA’s acting administrator accepting the job also announced the first Trump appointees to NASA. The history and policy positions of those two appointees I think once again give us a very clear indication of where NASA might be going in the coming years.

[Acting administrator Robert] Lightfoot, in the memo, said that the administration has appointed Erik Noble to serve as White House senior advisor and Greg Autry to be White House liaison. The two are the first members of the so-called “beachhead team” of administration staffers assigned to NASA, at least on a short-term basis.

Autry is an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California who has been a proponent of commercial space activities. Autry was one of eight members of the agency review team, or “landing team,” assigned to NASA by the transition office of then President-elect Trump.

Noble did not serve on the landing team, but worked on the Trump campaign as a political data analyst. Noble, who earned a Ph.D. in environmental studies from the University of Colorado, spent seven years at the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York, working on weather and climate models. [emphasis mine]

Autry, believes strongly in private space, and has also been a critic of SLS/Orion. Being placed at NASA as Trump’s first appointee strongly suggests that a Trump administration is going to accelerate the commercial space push that was begun by the Bush administration and then strongly supported by the Obama administration. It also suggests that the SLS and Orion projects are going to face a difficult future and will likely be phased out.

Noble’s appointment is more important. As a former scientist at the Goddard Institute, he is now well positioned to possibly appoint a new head to that organization, or even become its head himself. The present person in charge there, Gavin Schmidt, has increasingly become suspect as a scientist, instead appearing more as global warming political advocate. Since he took over that Institute, the climate data there has been increasingly tampered with, with past data being cooled and recent data being warmed, thus creating the impression that the Earth’s climate has been warming more than indicated by all previous research. Schmidt’s explanations for these “adjustments” (the term he uses) have never been satisfactory. He then uses the results from these “adjustments” to make annual press releases declaring each year as the “hottest” ever, though the raw data shows no such thing.

Even if Noble does not replace Schmidt, Noble appears well positioned to force Schmidt to either finally justify his data adjustments, or remove them from the data stream so that the raw data will be allowed to dominate policy decisions once again.

Utah climate scientists whine about possible NASA cuts

The squealing of pigs: In the kind of journalistic pro-government spending propaganda that I despise, the Salt Lake Tribune today published this article giving climate scientists in their local area a platform to lobby the public in favor of their NASA funding.

The article provides a quick quote from a Trump campaign official noting their strong hostility to the politicization of climate research, and then spends the rest of the article allowing scientist after scientist to condemn that position and to defend that spending, repeatedly implying that should the NASA cuts go through, the research will end and even possibly that access to the data from NASA climate satellites will be denied to the public and to the scientists. At no time does the article provide any thoughtful information to explain that Trump administration perspective, which is based on some reasonable and very justifiable concerns.

I note this article as a warning. Expect more of this very bad journalism. Most of the press are blindly liberal and Democratic Party partisans. They are going to work blindly with the climate community to help them defend their funding, without the slightest effort at objective reporting. The public should be aware of this, and see this political lobbying for what it is.

The sunspot crash continues

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

December 2016 Solar Cycle graph

January 2017 sunspots as of January 9, 2017

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.

Sunspot activity continues to decline, and it appears to be declining at a steadily faster rate as the solar cycle ramps down towards minimum. Not only did sunspot activity drop below the 2007 low prediction in 2016, since 2017 began the sun has been blank almost continuously, as shown by the graph on the right. The signs continue to point to a solar minimum occurring much sooner than predicted, producing an unprecedented short and weak solar cycle.

Despite this, the appearance in December of the first sunspot for the next solar cycle suggests that we will not be entering a Grand Minimum in the coming decades. It does not guarantee it, as there is some evidence that even though no sunspots were visible during the Maunder Minimum in the 1600s the magnetic activity that causes sunspots did continue, and with our better observation equipment today we may see sunspots they would not have seen in the 1600s.

First sunspot for the next solar cycle spotted

Solar scientists have spotted the first sunspot on the Sun with a reversed polarity, meaning that it really belongs to the next sunspot cycle.

This is not unusual. The sunspots from different cycles routinely overlap by several years, with the sunspots from the old cycle moving close to the equator with time and the new cycle sunspots appearing at high latitudes. What this does suggest is that there will be sunspots after the upcoming solar minimum, rather than the beginning of a new Grand Minimum with no sunspots for decades.

EPA moves to regulate key pizza ingredients

We’re here to help you! The EPA has instituted new costly regulations on the manufacture of the yeast used to make pizza dough and bread.

The Environmental Protection Agency is targeting a key ingredient for making pizza and bread in its latest last-minute regulation before President Obama steps down. The proposed regulation published Wednesday would make the emissions standards for industrial yeast makers much more strict. The EPA said beer, champagne and wine makers, all of whom use some form of yeast, are safe for now. The real targets are those who produce high levels of hazardous air pollutants. It’s not the bread, bagel and pizza makers who are targeted under the rules, but the less than a dozen big plants that produce the yeast needed to produce the valuable bread-based products.

The key quote in the article, however, is its very last sentence:

The EPA is issuing the proposed rule because of a lawsuit it lost in federal court brought by the Sierra Club, claiming that the rule from the 1990s needed to be updated under the Clean Air Act.

This is part of the legal game that the EPA plays with various leftwing environmental activist groups to whom it is an ally. The activists sue, the EPA makes sure it loses or settles out of court, and so the regulations are then essentially written by these environmental groups. It is a racket that must end.

EPA moves to punish Alaskans for burning wood to heat their homes

We’re here to help you! The EPA is about to declare Alaska in violation of the Clean Air Act for burning wood, the only fuel available to them to heat their homes, and thus threaten the state with the loss of all federal funding.

The New York Times reports the Environmental Protection Agency could soon declare the Alaskan cities of Fairbanks and North Pole, which have a combined population of about 100,000, in “serious” noncompliance of the Clean Air Act early next year.

Like most people in Alaska, the residents of those frozen cities are burning wood to keep themselves warm this winter. Smoke from wood-burning stoves increases small-particle pollution, which settles in low-lying areas and can be breathed in. The EPA thinks this is a big problem. Eight years ago, the agency ruled that wide swaths of the most densely populated parts of the region were in “non-attainment” of federal air quality standards.That prompted state and local authorities to look for ways to cut down on pollution from wood-burning stoves, including the possibility of fining residents who burn wood. After all, a declaration of noncompliance from the EPA would have enormous economic implications for the region, like the loss of federal transportation funding.

The problem is, there’s no replacement for wood-burning stoves in Alaska’s interior. Heating oil is too expensive for a lot of people, and natural gas isn’t available. So they’ve got to burn something. The average low temperature in Fairbanks in December is 13 degrees below zero. In January, it’s 17 below. During the coldest days of winter, the high temperature averages -2 degrees, and it can get as cold as -60. This is not a place where you play games with the cold. If you don’t keep the fire lit, you die. For people of modest means, and especially for the poor, that means you burn wood in a stove—and you keep that fire lit around the clock.

The level of stupidity here by EPA’s Washington bureaucrats is almost beyond measure. Worse, they and their liberal supporters still have no idea why it appears a Trump administration might be dismantling much of that EPA bureaucracy.

California history professor wants to bar climate skeptics from internet

Fascist: Joseph A. Palermo, a history professor from California, wants to bar Presidient-elect Trump and all climate skeptics from using the internet or any technology. As he wrote,

“Through his public statements and personnel choices Trump has made it clear that he rejects the science of climate change. I’ve always believed that people who dismiss science in one area shouldn’t be able to benefit from science in others. If Trump and his cohort believe the science of global warming is bogus then they shouldn’t be allowed to use the science of the Internet for their Twitter accounts, the science of global positioning for their drones, or the science of nuclear power for their weaponry.”

First, I don’t notice any evidence of Palermo abandoning the use of fossil fuels in order to prevent the certain destruction of humanity and the Earth because of his religious belief in global warming.

Second, notice how his first instinct, like the good liberal that he is, is call for the use of force to restrict, bar, condemn, and oppress his opponents. He doesn’t wish to debate them, he wishes to grind his boot into their face for all time for daring to challenge his beliefs.

By the way, I am not debating the issue of global warming, I am noting the fascist outlook of the modern left and of the global warming activist community.

EPA only archived 86 out of 3.1 million agency texts in 2015

Cover-up: The EPA and its employees only archived 86 out of 3.1 million agency texts sent during 2015.

The EPA Office of Inspector General (IG) released the report requested by Texas Republican [Lamar Smith], which described enormous text message retention problems within the EPA. One unnamed senior official configured his phone to automatically delete texts after 30 days. The IG claimed EPA officials never “intentionally” violated the Federal Records Act and did not include the low number of archived texts in the body of its report, relaying it instead to congressional staff.

Multiple federal laws and regulations require that officials preserve all documents — including email and text messages — created in the course of conducting official business of the U.S. government.

Like the Pentagon officials I noted earlier today, how stupid does this inspector general think we are? When a government agency, in clear violation of numerous laws, archives less than 0.000003 percent of all texts, you either have to be willfully blind, stupid, or a participant in the cover-up to claim that this behavior was “never intentional.” Furthermore, the report included these juicy details, all clear evidence that the failure to archive was for at least two senior officials very intentional indeed:

The anonymous senior official who configured his phone to delete texts may have deleted vital information, the IG found. “The senior official responded that he did not have any text messages on the device for that (three-month) period,” IG auditor Teresa Richardson said in a podcast. “The device had been set to automatically delete text messages every 30 days. So it is likely that any text messages that were substantive and should have been preserved were deleted.”

The report found another senior official claimed to have zero texts, despite EPA’s quarterly mobile device usage report showing frequent texts from that person. Another official, a regional administrator, potentially lost federal records by failing to transfer or otherwise preserve texts after replacing an old phone.

The more people fired at the EPA, the better. It is presently being run by dishonest political hacks who are very willing to do things in direct violation of the law.

Two new studies say different things about Greenland’s icecap history

The uncertainty of science: Two new studies of Greenland’s icecap suggest completely opposite histories, with one saying that Greenland was ice free at least once in the past 2.6 million years, with the other saying that the icecap covered Greenland continuously for the past 7.5 million years.

Evidence buried in Greenland’s bedrock shows the island’s massive ice sheet melted nearly completely at least once in the last 2.6 million years. This suggests that Greenland’s ice may be less stable than previously believed. “Our study puts Greenland back on the endangered ice-sheet map,” says Joerg Schaefer, a palaeoclimatologist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, and co-author of a paper published on 7 December in Nature.

A second paper in the same issue paints a slightly different view of the ice sheet’s past stability. A group led by Paul Bierman, a geomorphologist at the University of Vermont in Burlington, found that ice covered eastern Greenland for all of the past 7.5 million years. Experts say the two papers do not necessarily contradict one another: at times, nearly all of Greenland’s ice could have melted (as seen by Schaefer’s team) while a frosty cap remained in the eastern highlands (as seen by Bierman’s group).

If all of Greenland’s ice melted, it would raise sea levels by seven metres. Models suggest that Greenland could become ice-free as soon as 2,500 years from now, depending on the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. [emphasis mine]

This story is a perfect example of how the passionate belief in a theory (that global warming is happening, is a threat, and will melt the icecaps) can warp a scientist’s thinking. Both studies used a single drilled ice core, with the first from Greenland’s central region and the second from Greenland’s eastern region. Thus, there is no reason to say that the entire Greenland icecap had melted, as noted in the highlighted text that describes the first study. What the data merely suggests is that these two regions might have had different histories.

Instead, the article, in its effort to confirm the possibility that Greenland’s icecap could melt entirely and thus pose a threat of a big sea level rise, ignores this simple detail and struggles to justify the concept that the entire cap certainly melted in the past, even though one study suggests otherwise. This causes everyone to misunderstand the results, and draw conclusions that are uncalled for, based on the available data.

USGS responds to Congressional inquiry about data tampering with blank documents

Why we got Trump: In response to a demand for documents from a Congressional investigation into data manipulation that the US Geological Survey allowed two chemists to do for nearly two decades, the USGS turned over documents with almost all the pages blank.

“Are we supposed to play tic-tac-toe on this?” Gohmert asked Tuesday, while waving one of the documents during a hearing of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on the data manipulation. The USGS lab where two chemists skewed data for nearly two decades was finally closed in March 2016.

Gohmert’s subcommittee had requested the documents in September. The blanks received Tuesday represented only a small portion of the total sought by the panel. “We’re still waiting for documents we requested three months ago,” Gohmert said. “Some of the documents we did receive were redacted, they were duplicates or were even blank pages.”

Meanwhile, the USGS refuses to name the two chemists or describe how they were punished. For all we know, they still work there. And it is important to note, that the data manipulation took place in connection with “various energy-related topics, including coal reserves and uranium deposits.” Want to bet the manipulation was done to discourage development?

Trump picks oil industry ally and global warming skeptic for EPA

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Scott Pruitt, to run the EPA.

An ally to the fossil fuel industry, Pruitt has aggressively fought against environmental regulations, becoming one of a number of attorneys general to craft a 28-state lawsuit against the Obama administration’s rules to curb carbon emissions. The case is currently awaiting a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which heard oral arguments in September.

Pruitt, who questions the impact of climate change, along with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, penned an op-ed in the Tulsa World earlier this year that called criticism they’ve received “un-American.” “Healthy debate is the lifeblood of American democracy, and global warming has inspired one of the major policy debates of our time,” states the op-ed. “That debate is far from settled. Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind… Dissent is not a crime.”

Not surprisingly, environmentalists have already begun the campaign to destroy him, based on the quotes at the link.

Republican Congress passes National Park bill that raises fees

More bull from the House Republicans: In an effort to fix budget problems at the National Park Service, caused by years of Congressional and Presidential budget malfeasance, the lame-duck Republican-run House today passed a bill that would raise the lifetime fees for a park senior pass.

The House of Representatives moved quickly Tuesday to pass legislation designed to provide the National Park Service with badly needed funds to help the agency chip away at a staggering $12 billion maintenance backlog. However, without concurrence by the Senate by week’s end, the measure could die.

As passed by the House, the National Park Service Centennial Act would increase the price of a lifetime pass for senior citizens 62 and older to $80 from its current $10 lifetime fee. Seniors who don’t want to pay the $80 could purchase an annual pass for $20. Park Service staff estimate that the increase in the cost of a senior pass would generate $20 million a year.

It appears that already purchased lifetime passes would still be valid, though I am willing to bet that, given time, these bastards will change that as well. What really annoys me about this is that the reason the Park Service is short of funds is not really because they don’t have enough money. The budget isn’t really any smaller than it’s been for decades. The reason it is short of money is that the federal government, and the Park Service, wastes enormous amounts on things that are not essential, on pork (such as dozens and dozens of tiny park facilities spread throughout the country that are really outside the Park Service’s original purpose and exist mostly because some elected official pushed for their creation).

What these idiots never do is find ways to reduce or rearrange spending to pay for things that are important. Instead, they constantly work to suck more money from the taxpayer, endlessly. And they wonder why they got Trump.

NASA global warming advocate Gavin Schmidt fights back

The head of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), Gavin Schmidt, declared in a newspaper interview on Thursday that “Global warming doesn’t care about the election.”

The science community and environmental campaigners in the US have already begun efforts to persuade Mr Trump that climate change is actually real before he takes office next year. Dr Gavin Schmidt, the director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, signalled they would have allies among the federal science agencies. He tweeted a graph including new data from Nasa showing that last month was the second warmest October on record, putting 2016 firmly on course to be the warmest year. “No surprise here, planetary warming does not care about the election,” he wrote.

I would not be surprised if Schmidt ends up getting fired by Trump. His monthly graphs showing each month to be the hottest on record, such as the one he tweeted in the quote above, have been absurd campaigning, not science. For one thing, the differences from month to month have been in the hundredths of a degrees, well within the margins of error and essentially insignificant in value. To claim that his data has determined the “hottest” month on record from this is demonstrating that he is not a scientist, but a political activist.

Gavin Schmidt vs the satellite data

Secondly, his data is not trustworthy to begin with. Schmidt has been in charge of all of the data tampering at NASA that has consistently altered the decades-old surface temperature record — without any clear scientific justification — to cool the past and warm the present so that the amount of warming is emphasized. While his graphs show the climate to be warming, based on surface data that he has been adjusting, the satellite data that NASA gathers that he (a NASA scientist) generally ignores, does not. The image to the right illustrates this, and shows that the divergence between his adjusted surface data and the satellite data has been increasing steadily over the years.

I fully expect Schmidt and the other global warming scientists in NASA and NOAA to team up with the press, as Schmidt does here, to defy Trump. Whether Trump will have the courage to fight back, something no Republican has been willing to do for decades, will be the key question.

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.

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.

Federal agencies question establishment of SpaceX spaceport and three liquefied natural gas plants in Brownsville

Two federal agencies are questioning the safety of establishing three liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants near SpaceX’s new spaceport in Boca Chica, Texas.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is reviewing the applications for the LNG export terminals, which plan to take natural gas from the Eagle Ford south of San Antonio, liquefy it and export the LNG to overseas customers.

The Federal Aviation Administration hosted an Aug. 18 meeting to discuss space launch activities near the proposed LNG facilities, according to a FERC filing released on Thursday. During the meeting, FAA officials discussed their role and regulations regarding commercial space launches, as well as the agency’s licensing and public safety requirements prior to the launch of any future mission.

While it makes perfect sense to keep a rocket launchpad safely away from large amounts of liquefied natural gas, I found the article’s concluding paragraphs to be most revealing:

Meanwhile, environmentalists, who were critical of the SpaceX project and oppose the LNG plants, said the launch site is too close to the proposed export terminals. “This announcement should be a wake-up call and warning that putting LNG terminals within six miles of the SpaceX launch site is a bad idea,” Lower Rio Grande Valley Sierra Club Chair Jim Chapman told the Business Journal. “Furthermore, Annova LNG wants to put its facility within the SpaceX launch closure area. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that idea won’t fly.” [emphasis mine]

Note how the environmentalists are essentially against everything. They really aren’t opposed to having these two facilities being placed too close to each other, what they really want is that nothing gets built at all. Most instructive.

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.

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.

Court rules EPA violated privacy of farmers and ranchers

The law is such an inconvenient thing: A federal appeals court has ruled that the EPA violated the privacy rights of farmers and ranchers when it provided environmental groups their personal information.

I find it interesting that the federal bureaucracy is often very quick to redact vast amounts of information demanded of them due to investigations of their corruption and abuse of power, but here they hand over the private confidential information of farmer and ranchers to their political enemies, without a second thought. You’d almost think they were working in league with these environmental groups.

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.

1 2 3 20