Skeptical Trump says would renegotiate global climate deal

trumpRepublican presidential contender Donald Trump said he would renegotiate America´s role in the UN global climate accord, spelling potential doom for an agreement many views as a last chance to turn the tide on global warming.

A pull-out by the world´s second biggest carbon-emitting country would hobble the deal reached in Paris last December by 177 nations, who for the first time in more than two decades found a common vision for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

“I will be looking at that very, very seriously, and at a minimum, I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum. And at a maximum I may do something else,” the New York real estate mogul said in an interview with media.

“But those agreements are one-sided agreements and they are bad for the United States.”

Trump said he did not believe China, the world´s top emitter of the carbon dioxide gas that many scientists believe is contributing to global climate change, would adhere to its pledge under the Paris deal.

“Not a big fan because other countries don¬¥t adhere to it, and China doesn¬¥t adhere to it, and China¬¥s spewing into the atmosphere,” he said.

The accord to transform the world´s fossil-fuel driven economy was a potent signal to investors. It seeks to limit a rise in global temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius through combined national pledges to cut emissions, and provide funding for developing nations to mitigate the damaging effects of a sea level rise and climate change.

The Obama administration pledged a 26 to 28 percent domestic reduction in greenhouse gasses by 2025 compared to 2005 while China promised it would halt increases in carbon emissions by 2030. Both countries have promised to ratify the deal this year.

Many US Republicans have found fault with the deal for overreacting to what they see as an uncertain threat.

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Chinese Coal Power Dwarfs Wind And Solar, Undermining Obama’s Global Warming Plans

tweetA chart posted Tuesday shows just how little wind and solar energy China will use despite its pledge to President Barack Obama to peak its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the next 14 years.

A UK-based global warming researcher posted the chart showing China plans to triple wind power capacity and greatly expand solar power by 2030 to comply with the pledge. This amount of new energy, however, pales in comparison to the amount of electricity the country plans to get from coal. Of the 2,400 coal-fired power plants under construction or being planned around the world, 1,171 will be built in China. This rapid growth of coal power overseas means that, mathematically, Chinese CO2 emissions are unlikely to stop rising.

China has pledged since 2014 to stop its CO2 emissions from rising by 2030 and then to get the emissions to gradually fall. The country reiterated that promise last June. China’s pledge made it much easier for Obama to secure the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change in Paris last December. Despite the pledge, China continues to build numerous new coal power plants, which would make their promise effectively impossible to keep.

Consumption of coal in China has already grown by a factor of three from 2000 to 2013. The country consumes approximately half of all coal used worldwide and gets roughly 66 percent of its electricity from coal, according to the Energy Information Administration.

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Global Sea-level Rise: Faster than Ever?

sea levelIn yet another instance of the media jumping on the climate alarmist bandwagon, The New York Times this past February boldly headlined “Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 centuries.” The article went on to proclaim “the worsening of tidal flooding in coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, scientists reported Monday.”

“Worsening tidal flooding”—”grow far worse”—scary words for coastal inhabitants, but do they help the reader understand what the two reports (here and here) actually said? More importantly, do they help the reader evaluate what was reported? Or does the NYT wording continue the intellectually shallow but emotionally potent sea-level terror theme of Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth?

The two reports published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) made several claims. During pre-industrial history (prior to 1860), global sea level rose at an average rate of 0.1 to 0.3 mm/yr. From 1860 to 1900 it rose at an average rate of 0.4 mm/yr, and from 1900 to the present it has been rising at 1.4 mm/yr. The studies project for various hypothetical CO2 emission-increase scenarios during this 21st century a total rise in global sea level between 1 ft and 2.5 ft.

First, observe that “tidal flooding” is not the same as the spectacular “storm-surge” that accompanies severe coastal storms like Sandy or the fictionalized surge in the 2004 apocalyptic sci-fi film The Day After Tomorrow. Such surges can easily exceed the reports’ estimated increase in tidal flooding by ten times or more. You probably wouldn’t know that from media stories like the NYT piece. Mitigation of known storm surge damage could protect coastal communities from the worst guesses of sea-level rise for the rest of this century!

Second, forecasting sea-level rise involves even more guesswork than forecasting global warming. Actual sea-level direct measurement data exist only for a century and a half and only for a few regions of the earth. Even in the world’s best documented region, the eastern North Sea and Baltic region, tide-gage records of sea-level measurement are less than 200 years old. Estimates of sea-level changes over 28 centuries necessarily rely upon layers of interpretation of various proxies such as evidence of shoreline changes. Extensive modeling, therefore, is required as the two PNAS papers demonstrate. Each model element to some degree has to involve guesswork. Resulting estimates of sea-level rise rates vary from 1.15 mm/yr to about 3 mm/yr—a considerable variation for any long-term projections.

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Lawsuit: EPA’s ‘Independent’ Science Advisers Got $190 Million In Agency Grants

gina wh eventA free market legal group is suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for allegedly stacking a scientific advisory panel on air pollution with researchers who had received more than $190 million in grants from the agency.

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (EELI) is suing EPA on behalf of the Western States Trucking Association and Dr. James Enstrom, a retired University of California-Los Angeles epidemiologist who was blacklisted for challenging EPA claims about particulate matter.

“The EPA has stacked the panel, which is required by law to be independent and unbiased, with researchers who have received over $190 million in discretionary grants from the EPA,” said Steve Milloy, an attorney with EELI, in a statement.

“This clearly violates the law and makes a mockery of the notion of ‘independent’ scientific review,” he said.

The EPA relies on a panel of scientific advisers, called the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, to validate the science underlying key clean air regulations pushed by the agency. In this case, EELI is asking the court to prevent the EPA from convening a panel tasked with reviewing the science behind agency regulations on fine particulate matter, or PM2.5.

EELI believes the agency has stacked the panel with researchers who will rubber stamp EPA rules regulating PM2.5. EPA also relies on claimed PM2.5 reductions for the majority of health benefits in some of its largest regulations on power plants.

Some 24 of the 26 members of EPA’s PM2.5 panel have gotten or are the current recipients of EPA grants. In total, panel members have gotten more than $190 million from the agency, according to EELI. Milloy says this violates the federal laws requiring such scientific advisory panels be “independent.”

EELI isn’t alone in pointing out potential problems with using scientific advisers financially reliant on EPA. Earlier this year, Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe sent a letter to the EPA, criticizing the agency for selecting advisers who benefit from federal largesse.

In 2014, Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith pointed out that many science panel members were often peer-reviewing regulations based on their own research, corroding the integrity of the peer-review process.

“Not only does the EPA pay researchers to produce controversial research that advances its PM2.5 regulatory agenda, but the agency pays the very same researchers to review their own controversial work,” said Milloy, who also runs the blog JunkScience.com and has been involved in the PM2.5 debate for years.

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Maine hit with record-breaking spring snow

snow in MaineCCD Editor’s note: As Maine gets walloped with record-breaking snow, and not just in the mountains but low-lying areas, NOAA / NASA announce warmest month ever (thanks El Ni√±o). New England and much of the Midwest has had temperatures 10-20 degrees colder than average for April and May. More bad timing for the alarmists. How much warmer was it? About 1/10 of 1 degree globally. A real barn burner. From the AP:

The leaves are coming out on trees, daffodils are starting to bloom and snow is falling in parts of Northern New England, a month before the official start of summer.

The National Weather Service says 3.4 inches was recorded in the northern Maine town of Caribou early Monday, setting a record for the most snow this late in May.

Five inches of snow fell in Caswell and New Sweden, Maine.

In northern New Hampshire, Pittsburg recorded 2.5 inches. The Vermont towns of Middlesex and Hyde Park and near Pomfret got 2 inches Monday morning.

But the snow is expected to be short-lived. The forecast calls for temperatures to rise, with rain in northern New Hampshire and Maine.

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Setting the Record Straight on Solar Activity

sunsetThere are valid reasons to conclude that long-term changes in solar output are a key driver of global climate. 

In fact, evidence for the influence of solar variability emerges rather clearly throughout the climate swings of the past 2,000 years. Heightened solar output correlates remarkably well with both the Roman Warm Period (250-400 AD) and the Medieval Warm Period (950-1250 AD). And, diminished solar activity corresponds equally well with the cooler climate of the “Little Ice Age” (1350-1850 AD).

However, in an effort to prove that only man-made emissions of carbon dioxide drive contemporary global warming, climate activists will sometimes refer to a graph of recent solar activity in order to dispel the notion of solar influence. Specifically, they cite a chart showing the sun and global temperatures moving in “opposite directions” over the past 35 years (see figure A.)

Fig. 1Figure A

Their argument goes something like this: If solar activity drove climate change, the graph in question should show an exact, continuous correlation between the trajectory of solar activity and global temperatures. But since their trajectories start to diverge, somewhere around 1980, this proves there’s no causal relationship.

Unfortunately, this assumption misses a key point about recent solar activity. 

There was a continuing net uptick in solar output from the latter portion of the 1800s, right up through the start of the 2000s. If one scrutinizes Figure A carefully, they’ll note that solar activity essentially plateaued at an incredibly high level from roughly 1950 into the early 2000s. This ongoing, high output helped to drive a continuing climb in temperatures.

More significantly, even accounting for the up-down variations seen since roughly 1960, the overall level has been unprecedented in historic terms (see Figure B.)

Figure 2Figure B

And even at the lower level marked for roughly 2010, solar output remained higher than seen in the early 1900s.

Overall, one could say that the sun put the pedal to the floor starting in the late 1800s, and powered a warming trend that lifted global climate out of the troubling cold era of the “Little Ice Age.”

Interestingly, the decline in solar activity at the start of the 2000s coincides rather intriguingly with the observed “pause” in global climate starting around the same time. One could ponder if this might also argue in favor of the overall impact of solar variability.

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Climate activists arrested in Washington for blocking railroad tracks

protestSpearheaded by the activist group 350.org, protesters from around the world focused on disrupting key energy hubs from May 3 to 15 to inhibit the flow and transport of fossil fuel energy. In Washington state, protesters tried to shut down the transport of fossil fuels by barricading the railroad tracks at two refineries in the Anacortes area over the weekend. At one point, the activists totaled 150 people, but after authorities asked them to move along and protest in a designated area, 52 held firm and refused to budge.

Many had pitched tents and sleeping bags on the the tracks and were asked to leave early this morning. At least 80 percent left with their belongings and cleared out, a railway spokesman said. Others were arrested for trespassing and one was locked up for resisting arrest. Skagit County Sheriff Will Reichardt told reporters that prior to anyone getting arrested, his officers told the protesters they could move to a designated area and continue demonstrating.

Fully one-third of the protesters found that idea unacceptable and refused to leave, even after being warned they would be arrested. The protests, said Emily Johnston, a spokeswoman for the activists, would continue near the tracks, and said the success of protests like this one actually inspire people to speak out about global warming.

Johnston expected those who were arrested to be released from police after being processed. She also found it ironic that her activists were being arrested while no one is holding the fossil fuel industry accountable for global warming, a common theme gathering support among some government officials and certain Democratic attorneys general.

Since the protests began on Friday, the rails had been closed on those two tracks and rerouted using different lines. Many of these protests were fomented by the activist group 350.org, who have been actively trying to persuade college campuses to divest from fossil fuels and force industry groups to keep its products in the ground.

The website 350.org is touting that from May 3 to 15, thousands of people protested against our “addiction” to fossil fuels. They call it an unwavering resistance in the face of the world’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels, despite the fact that the use of oil, coal, and natural gas has raised the standard of living in countries that utilize this energy source.

They even have areas on their website devoted on garnering media attention, with a how-to guide for getting in the news using their tips and tricks. This Washington protest was part of a larger 350.org campaign that stretched across numerous continents where “people tried new things, pushing the boundaries of what movements had done before.”

They even write that “coal, oil and gas companies are in a financial crisis” as the planet cooks, and that there has never been a “better time than now to break free from fossil fuels. A global resistance is growing to confront the industry wherever they turn,” 350.org says, as indicated in the coordinated efforts between climate activists and Democratic AGs to charge oil and gas companies under the RICO statute.

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The Latest: 52 activists cited for trespassing Washington

protestThe Latest on oil protests (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

Fifty-two climate activists were cited for trespassing Sunday morning after authorities cleared their protest campsite on top of railroad tracks leading to two oil refineries in Washington..

One person was also cited for resisting arrest.

A spokeswoman for the protesters says she expected everyone to be processed and released from police custody. Emily Johnston says protests would continue around Anacortes on Sunday, but she doesn’t expect people to return to the railroad tracks.

Protesters in kayaks and canoes were putting their boats in the water Sunday about 70 miles north of Seattle, to demand action on climate change and an equitable transition away from fossil fuels such as oil and coal.

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9:30 a.m.

Authorities cleared the tracks of protesters and arrested 52 climate activists Sunday morning in Washington state.

A spokesman for the rail line near two refineries in northwest Washington says about 150 people spent the night in tents and sleeping bags on the tracks near Anacortes, about 70 miles north of Seattle.

BNSF Railway spokesman Gus Melonas says they were asked to leave at about 5 a.m. and most gathered their belongings and peacefully left the area.

The rail line has been closed since Friday because of the protests. Melonas says trains will begin running Sunday afternoon.

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The candidate in the coalfields

Bo Copley listens to Clinton wiggle her way out of her kill coal industry comments.Bo Copley listens to Clinton try and wiggle her way out of her anti-coal comments.The picture was worth a thousand words. An AP photo of Hillary Clinton confronted during a West Virginia campaign stop by unemployed coal miner Bo Copley and his wife, holding a picture of their young daughters. Copley, tearful and choked up, managed to ask the presumptive heir to President Obama’s anti-coal policies how she could “come in here and tell us you’re going to be our friend” after promising on CNN two weeks earlier to “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

The pained smile on Clinton’s face said “Good Question.” Think of a defendant stumped under cross examination by an irrefutable piece of evidence. But her answer said much more than her views on coal mining. “I don’t know how to explain it,” she said, “other than what I said was totally out of context for what I meant.” What was this context from which her meaning was wrongly plucked? “It didn’t mean that we were going to do it,” she said. “What we said is that is going to happen unless we take action to help and prevent it.”

That’s not what the 39-year-old Copley heard, nor was it what I heard. What I suspect we got was the logical conclusion of the “context” Clinton herself spelled out weeks earlier when she confirmed to a group of enviro NGOs that the goal of the Obama administration is “to keep coal in the ground” and that her administration would strive to do the same thing.

So, promising a $30 billion aid package for coal fields ravaged in part by the very policy she supports is farcical. It recalls that notorious Vietnam-era epitaph for a Viet Cong hamlet flattened by GIs: “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.” Appalachia might not need an aid package, however, if coal workers hadn’t been buried by policies designed to drown their high-wage employer.

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FOIA E-Mails: Politically Inexperienced, Publicity-Hungry Scientists Get Burned In Political Arena

FOIAUnfolding is the latest chapter in the sad state of climate science and the tragic consequences scientists face when they decide to go political without having the experience to do so.

One has to wonder what these people were thinking when they expected dissenters to just roll over and waive their precious free speech rights.

A Virginia judge has ruled in favor of The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in a Virginia Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against George Mason University, which was ordered yesterday to release documents and e-mails related to a group of scientists calling for the prosecution of organizations that promote manmade climate change skepticism ‚Äì all under the US Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

Full story here.

WUWT sees the scandal surrounding the controversy as one that is even more serious than the 2009 “Climategate” ‚Äì an affair where e-mails exposed climate scientists exaggerating climate trends, manipulating the peer-review process, and skirting the freedom of information act.

A total of 5 PDFs have been released concerning George mason University, and with climate scientist Jagadish Shukla with a leading role.

Pages 1- 59
Pages 60-102
Pages 103-133
Pages 134-178
Pages 179-190

As one reads the e-mails, it quickly emerges that some of the involved scientists (unwittingly) meandered out of their academic realm, with which they are comfortable and familiar, and into a political one that is very unfamiliar to them. Their scheme was ultimately aimed at intimidating and silencing scientific dissent.

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Indian court says former UN climate chief to stand trial

pachauri(h/t Raining Sky) A court in India’s capital ruled Saturday that there’s enough evidence in a stalking and sexual harassment case for former U.N. climate chief Rajendra Pachauri to stand trial.

Judge Shivani Chauhan announced that the next hearing in the case will be on July 11, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Police filed charges against Pachauri earlier this year after a female colleague filed a complaint. Pachauri, 75, has been charged with sexual harassment, stalking and criminal intimidation of the 29-year-old woman.

The judge said in her ruling that there was “sufficient material to proceed against” Pachauri, PTI reported. She said the allegations against him include making sexually explicit remarks, and inappropriate touching and texting.

Pachauri worked with the woman at The Energy and Resources Institute, or TERI, a New Delhi environmental think tank he had headed for more than three decades.

He has denied the allegations, but resigned last year from both the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and TERI after the woman’s allegations were made public.

The allegations caused public uproar in India, where women face cultural taboos against discussing issues such as sexual harassment in the workplace.

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Sons of Climategate: Dodgy Scientists Caught Red-Handed by FOIA Lawsuit

shukla letterThe dodgy scientists who wrote to President Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch demanding that RICO laws be used to prosecute climate skeptics just got even more badly screwed.

Already one of them — George Mason University professor Jagadish Shukla — is under Congressional investigation for what has been described as the “largest science scandal in US history.”

Now the background to their footling conspiracy has been exposed thanks to a FOIA request by the Competitive Enterprise Institute which has forced them to release their private letters and emails.

Like Climategate, it makes for some fascinating reading, mainly because — yet again — it shows the climate alarmist establishment in such a terrible light.

Remember, these guys are supposed to be the experts on whose judgment our political leaders base their policies; every year they snaffle millions and millions of dollars worth of grant funding courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer — some of them may even be teaching your kids.

It is therefore a matter of considerable public concern to see them revealed by their correspondence to be such a bunch of bumbling shysters, apparently more interested in political activism than engaging in rigorous science, and even prepared to flirt with breaking the law in order to conceal their dubious antics.

Here are some of the things we learn from their correspondence.

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