China’s Coal Consumption 14% Higher Than Previously Thought

chartA newly released analysis of Chinese government data by the U.S. Energy Information Administration found over the past decade-plus, China consumed as much as 14% more coal on an energy-content basis than previously reported. Its domestic coal production meanwhile was as much as 7% higher between 2000 and 2013. The upward revisions are also a reminder of just how unreliable Chinese government data can be. It illustrates just how difficult it is to get an accurate historic account of China’s emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere. —The Wall Street Journal, 17 September 2015

Coal India’s plan to double production to almost 1 billion tonnes by 2020 hinges precariously on the successful completion of 25 key projects that are meant to deliver half the targeted output. To speed up the rail links, the government is forming special purpose vehicles in which Coal India is likely to hold the majority stake, followed by the Indian Railways and the respective state governments. –Debjoy Sengupta, Times of India, 11 September 2015

“You made the mess — you clean it up” may well be India’s attitude at the coming international climate-change talks in Paris. “It’s the West which has polluted the world for the last 150 years with cheap energy,” Indian Power Minister Piyush Goyal said in an interview. “I can’t tell the people of India that we’ll burden you with high costs because the West has polluted the world, now India will pay for it. Not acceptable to us.” –Anindya Upadhyay, Bloomberg, 17 September 2015

African negotiators plan to block a global agreement on reducing global warming if the deal is too weak and fails to consider the implications of climate change for the continent’s wellbeing. —SciDev Net, 16 September 2015

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and some of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination slammed the Obama administration’s climate policies during a short exchange on the matter during their Wednesday night debate. “We’re not going to destroy our economy the way the left-wing government we’re under wants to do,” Rubio said at the main-stage event. “Every proposal they put forward are proposals that will make it harder to do business in America, that will make it harder to create jobs in America.” –Devin Henry, The Hill, 16 September 2015

It’s hard to imagine House leadership or any committee of jurisdiction scheduling time to debate or mark up this latest Constructive Republican Alternative Proposal. Nonetheless, given the administration’s increasingly shrill anti-carbon campaign, the impending Papal visit to preach climate alarm to congressional skeptics, and the looming pitched battles over the Clean Power Plan and Obama’s climate treaty agenda, we should not be complacent when a group of GOP lawmakers decides to crank the Me Too amplifiers up to eleven. Perhaps the Me Too resolution will languish in obscurity after today’s unveiling. But if co-sponsors start piling on, congressional constitutionalists, free-marketers, and affordable energy advocates will need to pass their own resolution to marginalize that of the Tweedle Dums. –Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org, 17 September 2015

Looming parliamentary elections in coal-dependent Poland will bedevil European Union efforts on Friday to agree a strong position for a global deal to tackle climate change. EU environment ministers meet in Brussels on Friday to finalise the bloc’s negotiating position for a U.N. climate summit in Paris starting at the end of November. Many EU nations are eager to retain the leading role the bloc has taken in moving to lower carbon energy, but Poland, whose economy relies on coal, says the cost of shifting from fossil fuels will undermine EU competitiveness unless the rest of the world is in step. Warsaw has support from other east European nations, diplomats said. –Barbara Lewis, Reuters, 17 September 2015

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Even Good Climate News Flipped to Alarmism

cartoon-figuresVeterans of the climate policy debate have known for years that no matter what, those worried about emissions can take any new information to conclude: “Things are worse than we thought! We need our preferred policies more than ever!” A Working Paper from earlier this year shows just how far this trend can be pushed, whereby elite researchers took the U.N.’s reduction in the bottom range of man’s likely influence on global temperatures to argue for increased worry about the future.

“When Is Good News Bad?”

To show that I am not attacking a straw man, let me quote liberally from the Abstract of the paper, “Climate Uncertainty: When Is Good News Bad?” published early this year by Freeman, Wagner, and Zeckhauser (two of whom are at Harvard):

Climate change is real and dangerous. Exactly how bad it will get, however, is uncertain. Uncertainty is particularly relevant for estimates of one of the key parameters: equilibrium climate sensitivity—how eventual temperatures will react as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations double. Despite significant advances in climate science…the “likely” range has been 1.5-4.5¬∞C for over three decades. In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) narrowed it to 2-4.5¬∞C, only to reverse its decision in 2013, reinstating the prior range. In addition, the 2013 IPCC report removed prior mention of 3¬∞C as the “best estimate.”

…Intuitively, it might seem that a lower bottom would be good news. Here we ask: When might apparently good news about climate sensitivity in fact be bad news? The lowered bottom value also implies higher uncertainty about the temperature increase, a definite bad. Under reasonable assumptions, both the lowering of the lower bound and the removal of the “best estimate” may well be bad news. [Bold added.]

To paraphrase, the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), which came out in 2013, lowered the “likely” range of global warming as the result of a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Specifically, in the Fourth Assessment Report (issued in 2007), the IPCC had put the bottom end of the range at 2 degrees Celsius, but by the AR5 six years later, it was forced to lower the range by half a degree Celsius in light of the mounting evidence that temperatures were not responding as much to CO2 emissions as the computer models had projected.

At the time of the AR5’s release, many of the moderate (sometimes known as “lukewarmer”) analysts announced the good news—see for example climate scientist Judith Curry’s summary. Yet as the block quotation above illustrates, Freeman, Wagner, and Zeckhauser study various conditions in which the latest IPCC report would be bad news, meaning we should be more worried about human-caused climate change.

Turn That Smile Upside Down

To be clear, I want to explicitly confirm that there is nothing demonstrably incorrect in the analysis from Freeman et al. Although their arguments will probably only appear comprehensible to professional economists, the underlying logic of their case is straightforward enough: People are “risk averse,” meaning they care not just about the mean of an uncertain distribution but also about its variance.

For example, imagine Lottery A has a 50% chance of paying $900 and a 50% chance of paying $1,100, whereas Lottery B has a 50/50 chance of paying $300 and $1,700, respectively. Both lotteries have the same expected payoff—namely, $1,000—but Lottery B has a wider variance. It is riskier. Most people would probably choose Lottery A versus B, because it is closer to a “sure thing” of $1,000. Indeed, many people are so risk averse that they would take a guaranteed $900 (say) rather than play Lottery B, even though Lottery B’s expected payoff (of $1,000, remember) is higher than $900.

In this context, Freeman et al. develop a model of social preferences over climate outcomes in an environment of uncertainty. They document conditions under which even ostensibly “good news” that results in a reduction in the lower bound of predicted temperature increase nonetheless constitutes an inferior “lottery,” compared to a prior “lottery” in which we had a smaller variance but with the same (or even higher) mean prediction of temperature change.

This is the technique by which Freeman et al. take the IPCC’s good news and make it bad. The reduction in the lower bound on the range of climate sensitivity—from 2¬∞C down to 1.5¬∞C—other things equal is obviously a good thing, from the perspective of avoiding future climate change damage.
However, Freeman et al. point out that other things aren’t equal. The change in the range could mean that humans now assign a higher variance to future temperatures. Coupled with risk aversion, this could imply that we are worse off than we thought as of the Fourth Assessment Report, and that citizens should be more willing to have their governments engage in costly mitigation policies to halt carbon dioxide emissions.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Model

To repeat, there is no demonstrable mistake in the analysis of Freeman et al. However, we should still interpret their paper with a large degree of caution.

In the first place, they most definitively do not show that the latest IPCC report actually is cause for increased alarm. Rather, they merely show that it might be. For example, on pages 5-9 of the paper they come up with specific numerical examples consistent with the broad IPCC statements, which—when plugged into their formal model—yield the answer of “bad news.” Yet to repeat, the IPCC’s statements themselves do not directly yield this answer, because they are not specific enough.

More generally, however, we have to recognize that academic economists are very clever people and can come up with models to prove just about anything. (You think I’m bluffing?) Ask yourself this: Suppose the AR5 had instead raised the lower bound from 2¬∞C to 2.5¬∞C. Would Ivy League economists have produced a paper showing that this actually reduced the need for a carbon tax?

Of course, we can’t know for sure what would have happened in that alternate universe, but I am pretty sure that if the latest IPCC report had raised the bottom end of its projections, then the overwhelming interpretation would have been: “Human activities more damaging than we originally thought! The ‘social cost of carbon’ estimate has been increased by such-and-such percent. It’s more urgent than ever to impose a carbon tax and other restrictions.”

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Global warming promoters: Use RICO on critics

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSen. Sheldon WhitehouseDespite no rise in average global temperature for nearly two decades, some two dozen scientists with major U.S. universities are urging President Obama to use RICO laws to prosecute opponents who deny mankind is causing catastrophic changes in the climate.

That’s the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which can put people in jail.

In a letter addressed to Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren, the scientists said they “appreciate that you are making aggressive and imaginative use of the limited tools available to you in the face of a recalcitrant Congress.”

“One additional tool ‚Äì recently proposed by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse ‚Äì is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change,” they wrote, according to Politico.

The scientists said their critics’ actions have been documented in various publications.

“Climategate” exposes the global warming scam. Get it now at the WND Superstore.

“The methods of these organizations are quite similar to those used earlier by the tobacco industry. A RICO investigation (1999 to 2006) played an important role in stopping the tobacco industry from continuing to deceive the American people about the dangers of smoking,” the scientists said.

“If corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles, it is imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as soon as possible so that America and the world can get on with the critically important business of finding effective ways to restabilize the Earth’s climate, before even more lasting damage is done,” they said.

Whitehouse lobbied for the extremist response in a commentary in the Washington Post last year.

He wrote that the “parallels between what the tobacco industry did and what the fossil fuel industry is doing now are striking.”

He noted the tobacco industry “joined together in a common enterprise and coordinated strategy.”

“The fossil fuel industry, its trade associations and the conservative policy institutes that often do the industry’s dirty work met at the Washington office of the American Petroleum Institute,” the senator said.

“A memo from that meeting that was leaked to the New York Times documented their plans for a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign to undermine climate science and to raise ‘questions among those (e.g. Congress) who chart the future U.S. course on global climate change.'”

At that point, Whitehouse admitted to a lack of evidence.

“To be clear: I don’t know whether the fossil fuel industry and its allies engaged in the same kind of racketeering activity as the tobacco industry. We don’t have enough information to make that conclusions. … But there’s an awful lot of smoke,” he wrote.

Climate expert Marc Morano at Climate Depot said such threats weren’t new.

Morano cited Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s threat to “jail” his opponents, accusing the Koch brothers of “treason” over the issue.

The “warmist” Gawker website, Morano pointed out, wrote: “Arrest Climate-Change Deniers.”

In 2009, he noted, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman accused congressmen who voted against climate cap-and-trade bill of “treason against the planet.”

The threats have been more that just for legal prosecution and punishment, Morano reported.

“On June 5, 2009, Joe Romm of Climate Progress defended a posting on his website warning that climate skeptics would be strangled in bed for rejecting the view that we face a man-made climate crisis,” Climate Depot reported. “‘An entire generation will soon be ready to strangle you and your kind while you sleep in your beds,’ warned the message posted on Climate Progress,” he wrote.

Romm later insisted it was “not a threat but a prediction,” Climate Depot said.

Climate Depot posted: “The warmists have it exactly backwards. It is the global warming proponents who are guilty of the tobacco tactics.”

WND reported only days ago that new evidence indicates the polar ice cap is growing, not declining.

Blogger Steven Goddard at Real Science cited information from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, showing the Arctic ice mass, as of Sept. 7, is substantially bigger than it was in September 2012.

“Nobel Prize winning climate experts and journalists tell us that the Arctic is ice-free, because they are propagandists pushing an agenda, not actual scientists or journalists,” he said.

In the past three years, he pointed out, the Arctic ice mass “has gained hundreds of miles … much of which is thick, multi-year ice.”

WND long has reported the predictions of an ice-free Arctic by scientists who believe mankind is causing global warming.

But in just last few winters, Cairo saw its first snow in 100 years. And Oregon, like several other states, reached its coldest temperature in 40 years. Chicago saw the coldest days ever recorded, and – as if to add finality to the trend – Antarctica reached the coldest temperature ever recorded anywhere on earth.

The holes in the theories that form the basis of ice-free Arctic forecasts are evident.

For example, London’s Independent newspaper declared at the turn of the millennium “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.” The report quoted David Viner, senior research scientist at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, long considered an authoritative resource for global warming research, saying snow would soon be “a very rare and exciting event” in Britain.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he claimed at the time.

Former vice president and current carbon-credit entrepreneur Al Gore told an audience in a 2009 speech that “the entire north polar ice cap during some of the summer months could be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years.” And his 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” famously predicted increasing temperatures would cause earth’s oceans to rise by 20 feet, a claim many scientists say is utterly without rational basis.

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Scientists ask Obama for RICO investigation to end climate debate

jailAccording to Politico’s Morning Energy report published today, twenty climate scientists have sent a letter to President Obama urging him to jail climate skeptics using the RICO act. In a letter dated September 1 and sent to the president and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the scientists argue that the “systemic efforts to prevent the public from understanding climate change resembles the investigation undertaken against tobacco.”

The letter, which was signed by Kevin Trenberth, a UN IPCC Lead Author, says it drew inspiration from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who said on the Senate floor that there “might be a conspiracy here, and a civil trial could provide the tools of discovery needed to find out.” That tool would be the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act, which gives the Attorney General unfettered access to “investigate corporations and other organizations” that may have “knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change.”

In the letter, the scientists cite books written by environmental activists and radical organizations, including the box-office flop “Merchants of Doubt” based on the titular book. They equate climate scientists who question the global warming orthodoxy as being similar to Big Tobacco, which knowingly mislead the public on the dangers of smoking. A RICO investigation uncovered their role and led to one of the largest tobacco settlements in U.S. history.

The letter goes on to say that if “corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles, it is imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as soon as possible.” They believe that a conspiracy is occurring and that the American people, nay, the world have largely been hoodwinked by the energy industry.

The scientists believe that by stopping these fossil fuel companies now will allow America and the world to get on with the “critically important business of finding effective ways to restabilize [sic] the Earth’s climate, before even more lasting damage is done.” This letter may be a last-ditch effort before what many pundits believe to be an impending Republican presidency, as the American people have grown leery of Obama. The last two election cycles showed Republicans gaining majorities in the House and in the Senate, respectively.

According to journalist Marc Morano, “one of the scientists who signed the letter was Alan Robock of Rutgers University. Robock has expressed very positive views of Cuba’s Fidel Castro.” Morano also writes that “top U.N. scientist Dr. Kevin Trenberth and the 19 other scientists have become so tired of debating global warming that they are now apparently seeking to jail those who disagree with them.”

The letter comes at a time when the global warming pause hit a new record length of 18 years 8 months and the Arctic summer ice cover is the 31st highest ever recorded. That’s because there is only a set of 35 accurate results showing Arctic ice cover (when satellite mapping began). As The Register also noted, it’s a “lot more fashionable to report this as the fourth lowest on record,” even though that number has “no real significance at all.”

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Jailed for scientific dissent?! 20 climate scientists call for RICO investigation of climate skeptics

Scared Straight?Scared Straight?Top UN scientist Dr. Kevin Trenberth and 19 other scientists have become so tired of debating global warming that they are now apparently seeking to jail those who disagree with them.

Warmist scientists including UN IPCC Lead Author Kevin Trenberth to Obama: ‘We appreciate that you are making aggressive and imaginative use of the limited tools available to you in the face of a recalcitrant Congress. One additional tool ‚Äì recently proposed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse ‚Äì is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change. We strongly endorse Senator Whitehouse’s call for a RICO investigation.’

Via Politico: ‘Twenty climate scientists called for RICO investigation in a letter to Obama and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The scientists argue that the systemic efforts to prevent the public from understanding climate change resembles the investigation undertaken against tobacco. They draw inspiration from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse who said on the Senate floor that there might be a similar conspiracy here, and a civil trial could provide the tools of discovery needed to find out.’

Letter reproduced in full:

Letter to President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and OSTP Director Holdren

September 1, 2015

Dear President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and OSTP Director Holdren,

As you know, an overwhelming majority of climate scientists are convinced about the potentially serious adverse effects of human-induced climate change on human health, agriculture, and biodiversity. We applaud your efforts to regulate emissions and the other steps you are taking. Nonetheless, as climate scientists we are exceedingly concerned that America’s response to climate change ‚Äì indeed, the world’s response to climate change ‚Äì is insufficient. The risks posed by climate change, including increasing extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and increasing ocean acidity ‚Äì and potential strategies for addressing them ‚Äì are detailed in the Third National Climate Assessment (2014), Climate Change Impacts in the United States. The stability of the Earth’s climate over the past ten thousand years contributed to the growth of agriculture and therefore, a thriving human civilization. We are now at high risk of seriously destabilizing the Earth’s climate and irreparably harming people around the world, especially the world’s poorest people.

We appreciate that you are making aggressive and imaginative use of the limited tools available to you in the face of a recalcitrant Congress. One additional tool ‚Äì recently proposed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse ‚Äì is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change. The actions of these organizations have been extensively documented in peerreviewed academic research (Brulle, 2013) and in recent books including: Doubt is their Product (Michaels, 2008), Climate Cover-Up (Hoggan & Littlemore, 2009), Merchants of Doubt (Oreskes & Conway, 2010), The Climate War (Pooley, 2010), and in The Climate Deception Dossiers (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2015). We strongly endorse Senator Whitehouse’s call for a RICO investigation.

The methods of these organizations are quite similar to those used earlier by the tobacco industry. A RICO investigation (1999 to 2006) played an important role in stopping the tobacco industry from continuing to deceive the American people about the dangers of smoking. If corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles, it is imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as soon as possible so that America and the world can get on with the critically important business of finding effective ways to restabilize the Earth’s climate, before even more lasting damage is done.

Sincerely,

Jagadish Shukla, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Edward Maibach, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Paul Dirmeyer, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Barry Klinger, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Paul Schopf, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

David Straus, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Edward Sarachik, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Michael Wallace, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Alan Robock, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Eugenia Kalnay, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

William Lau, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO T.N.

Krishnamurti, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Vasu Misra, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Ben Kirtman, University of Miami, Miami, FL

Robert Dickinson, University of Texas, Austin, TX

Michela Biasutti, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY

Mark Cane, Columbia University, New York, NY

Lisa Goddard, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY

Alan Betts, Atmospheric Research, Pittsford, VT

#

End letter

#

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Low Oil Price Drives New Shale Revolution

cartoonEasy money, super-sized frack jobs, and desperate drillers offering deep discounts to oil producers ‚Äì all three have been credited for sustaining U.S. crude output during the worst price slump in six years. Now there appears to be a new factor in the mix: old vertical wells that can quickly be drilled, injected with water or fracked for a second time to increase production at low cost. The industry’s ability to find some workaround every time prices seem too low to keep pumping explains in part why 15 months into the downturn U.S. output stays near highs of around 9 million barrels a day and the government forecasts only modest declines through mid-2016. —Reuters, 15 September 2015

For Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world’s petrostates, facing off against upstart U.S. oil producers must feel like playing a game of whack-a-mole. The American oil industry’s ability to innovate has shocked the Saudis and stymied their strategy, and even now we’re seeing evidence of new techniques being employed to help keep the crude flowing in today’s bear market. This is far from the first creative U.S. solution to the problem of continuing to produce oil at sub-$50 per barrel prices, and you can be sure that it won’t be the last.  —The American Interest, 16 September 2015

Almost nine months have passed since the historic OPEC meeting when its swing producer role was abolished and its members were allowed to produce as much oil as they can in order to cause the oil prices to reduce so that US shale oil producers would be forced out of business. However, the opposite happened. Shale oil producers are still in business even though oil prices have dropped below $50 per barrel. In fact, USA oil production is at its peak with production of more than 9.5 million barrels a day, and is bound to increase further. So where did OPEC go wrong? Despite having all kinds of information regarding energy and being in daily contact with both sides of the market – consumers and producers, it still failed to estimate the power of the shale oil producers. In fact, it even failed to know the actual cost for producing one barrel of shale oil. —Arab Times, 30 August 2015

The flow of crude from what had been the country’s fastest-growing oil and gas regions, like Texas’ Eagle Ford shale, is declining rapidly, according to new data released by the federal government this week. The Energy Information Administration reports that across the country’s seven largest shale deposits oil production is expected to fall to 5.2 million barrels a day next month, the sixth consecutive month of decline and a six percent drop since April. Now drilling rigs are sitting idle and producers are actually opting not to turn on the wells they drill, letting the oil sit underground until prices improve. By and large, most forecasts predict U.S. oil production will continue declining through mid-2016. At that point, the theory goes, the decrease in supply should push up crude prices and get drilling rigs back in the fields. –James Osborne, The Dallas Morning News, 16 September 2015

SNP members are preparing to take on Nicola Sturgeon’s government over fracking in a highly unusual public show of rebellion within the nationalist party. In the most significant internal challenge to the controversial extraction practice, seven SNP activists, including a sitting councillor, have called on fellow members to back their bid for an outright ban. Holyrood has faced calls to clarify its policy on fracking from both sides of the debate ever since its moratorium was imposed in January. Jim Ratcliffe, the chief executive of the petrochemical firm Ineos, has claimed that he has received private assurances that the SNP is “not against” fracking, suggesting that the moratorium could eventually be lifted. Ministers were also criticised after it emerged that personal assurances were given to another firm, Cluff Natural Resources, over its proposals for an offshore operation in the Firth of Forth. –Paris Gourtsoyannis, The Times, 17 September 2015

The “Leap Manifesto” issued on Tuesday by an asylum full of celebrity victims of Harper Derangement Syndrome ‚Äì led by Naomi Klein and David Suzuki ‚Äì is certainly a thought-provoking platform. The main thoughts it provokes are: Does achieving celebrity cause a sharp drop in IQ and increase in hypocrisy, or does all-consuming artistic ego and/or power-hungry socialist inclination prevent all logical thought? –Peter Foster, Financial Post, 17 September 2015

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GOP candidates respond to climate change question at CNN debate

debateToward the end of the GOP presidential debate last night on CNN, moderator Jake Tapper pressed the Republican candidates on climate change, likening it to Reagan’s response to the ozone layer. Tapper asked Senator Marco Rubio, “Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, George Shultz, says Ronald Reagan urged skeptics in industry to come up with a plan. He said, do it as an insurance policy in case the scientists are right. Secretary Shultz asks, why not take out an insurance policy and approach climate change the Reagan way?”

“We’re not going to destroy our economy the way the left-wing government that we are under now wants to do,” Rubio said. “I am not in favor of any policies that make America a harder place for people to live, or to work, or to raise their families. Every proposal they [Obama administration] put forward are going to be proposals that will make it harder to do business in America, that will make it harder to create jobs in America.

“Single parents are already struggling across this country to provide for their families. Maybe a billionaire here in California can afford an increase in their utility rates, but a working family in Tampa, Florida, or anywhere across this country cannot afford it.”

Rubio went on to say, “So we are not going to destroy our economy. We are not going to make America a harder place to create jobs in order to pursue policies that will do absolutely nothing, nothing to change our climate, to change our weather, because America is a lot of things — the greatest country in the world, absolutely — but America is not a planet.”

Christie followed up on Rubio’s comments. Christie in the past has said that he believed climate change is real and humans are to blame. But at the debate last night, Christie went full circle and said, “I don’t think Senator Rubio is a skeptic of climate change. I think what Senator Rubio said I agree with. That in fact we don’t need this massive government intervention to deal with the problem. … I agree with Marco. We shouldn’t be destroying our economy in order to chase some wild left-wing idea that somehow us by ourselves is going to fix the climate. We can contribute to that and be economically sound.”

Rubio came back in and said “Here is what I’m skeptical of. I’m skeptical of the decisions that the left wants us to make, because I know the impact those are going to have and they’re all going to be on our economy. They will not do a thing to lower the rise of the sea. They will not do a thing to cure the drought here in California. But what they will do is they will make America a more expensive place to create jobs.

“And today with millions of people watching this broadcast that are struggling paycheck to paycheck that do not know how they’re going to pay their bills at the end of this month, I’m not in favor of anything that is going to make it harder for them to raise their family.”

This gave Walker an opportunity to get in on the conversation, pretty much mimicking Rubio and Christie’s answers. Walker told the viewers that the policies currently being put forth by the current administration to address climate change will tank the already fragile job market and ruin the manufacturing base that supports his state.

“So we’re going to put [at risk] thousands and thousands of jobs in my state,” Governor Walker said. “I think it’s something like 30,000 in Ohio, other states across this country, we’re going to put people — manufacturing jobs, the kind of jobs that are far greater than minimum wage, this administration is willing to put at risk for something its own EPA says is marginal.”

EPA head Gina McCarthy reluctantly admitted to a House Select Committee that Obama’s Clean Power Plan would only avert warming by .01 degrees. McCarthy said the primary goal of the Clean Power Plan was to show strong domestic action which can trigger strong global action, e.g., getting other countries to follow our lead.

CNN hosted last night’s debate in the Ronald Reagen Presidential Library in California, a state being devastated by a four-year-long drought. Scientists from NOAA as well as studies published in peer-reviewed journals have already stated that global warming has nothing to do with state’s water woes.

In fact, a study published in the American Meteorological Society journal said the drought was “not unprecedented” over the past 440 years and that nine other droughts were as bad or worse. Past dry periods have lasted for over 200 years and “researchers have documented multiple droughts in California that lasted 10 or 20 years in a row during the past 1,000 years.”

Recently, California’s legislature rejected Governor Brown’s latest attempts to impose draconian measures to fight so-called global warming. In a major setback for Gov. Brown, “legislative leaders on [Sept 9] abandoned an effort to require a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use in motor vehicles by 2030.”

The top reason for dropping the mandate was the inability of middle- and low-income families to afford higher gasoline prices, which increase the cost of food, disposables, traveling, and anything reliant on petroleum-based infrastructures. Other reasons stated by the legislature for killing the measure were to prevent job losses and help people maintain their standard of living.

As an aside, when Reagan said to take out an “insurance policy” in case the scientists are right about the depletion of the ozone layer from CFCs (chlorofluorocarbon), it was not a far-flung theory as Jake Tapper insinuated. As early as 1973, it was established that CFCs were the cause of ozone depletion and accepted fact in the late 1970s. You can read more about the history and regulation of CFCs here.

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Lawmakers Slam EPA Chief For Not Firing Anyone After Spilling Toxic Waste

animas riverRepublican lawmakers grilled EPA Chief Administrator Gina McCarthy for not firing any agency employees or contractors after workers accidentally unleashed millions of gallons of toxic wastewater in a Colorado river last month.

When pressed by Republican senators during a Wednesday hearing about which individuals were responsible for the spill, McCarthy said the agency as a whole was responsible. McCarthy said she was waiting for the Department of the Interior to release its external review of the Gold King Mine blowout before she held individuals accountable.

McCarthy said she would not “make a judgement based solely on our internal review.” She added “the agency itself has been held accountable and we’re responding robustly.”

Her answer, however, didn’t sit well with Republicans, especially Arizona Sen. John McCain. The former presidential candidate slammed the agency for its slow response to the spill and how long it took for them to get in touch with Navajo Nation.

“Has anyone been fired for almost taking two days to notify the Navajo about the disaster?” McCain asked McCarthy. “Has anyone been fired for the Navajo’s complaint that the emergency response was inadequate?”

“In other words, you’ve done nothing,” McCain said to McCarthy when she said no one had been fired for its handling of the spill. She reiterated the EPA itself was being held accountable.

“Isn’t the agency composed of people?” McCain retorted. “Don’t you think someone is responsible for an accident that happened?”

“Someone should be held responsible because it happened,” McCain said. “So far, no one has been held responsible, except ‘the agency.'”

In early August, EPA contractors working under direction of the agency accidentally breached a retaining wall and unleashed an estimated three million gallons of wastewater from the Gold King Mine. The spill sent a plume of orange-colored toxic waste into Colorado’s Animas River which eventually made its way through New Mexico, Navajo Nation and Utah.

The spill initially caused rivers to become contaminated with heavy metals, like lead and arsenic, but EPA now says that water tests show that river quality has returned to pre-spill levels. State and tribal officials have been furious with EPA over its response to the spill. Navajo Nation has even threatened to sue the federal government over the mine waste polluting its waters.

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China’s coal consumption higher than thought

coal 2China’s coal use this century has been significantly underestimated, according to analysis of new Chinese data by the US Energy Information Administration, adding to climate change negotiators’ problems ahead of December’s UN conference in Paris.

Based on revised data released by Beijing this summer, the EIA has concluded that the world’s largest polluter and consumer of coal burnt up to 14 per cent more of the fossil fuel between 2000 and 2013 than previously reported. It said this meant China’s energy consumption and production were also much higher.

he EIA’s analysis squares with the supercharged economic growth of the decade before 2013 and much slower growth now but throws into confusion the calculations on which climate change negotiators rely to determine the level of emissions produced by each nation. Talks this December in Paris will attempt to rein in those emissions, in the hopes of preventing dangerous global warming.

The fact that China has made GDP figures a political target has resulted in a remarkably smooth growth path, which critics say obscures the real cycles in the Chinese economy. Higher energy consumption from 2000-2013 would tally with other indicators of an economy that grew more quickly than official figures over that period suggest, including high commodity prices, a boom in coal mining and the proliferation of private mines and smelters.

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Naomi Klein Barks, The Caravan Moves On…

"<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Naomi_Klein_Occupy_Wall_Street_2011_Shankbone_2.JPG#/media/File:Naomi_Klein_Occupy_Wall_Street_2011_Shankbone_2.JPG">Naomi Klein Occupy Wall Street 2011 Shankbone 2</a>" by <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="http://blog.shankbone.org">David Shankbone</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>. Licensed under <a title="Creative Commons Attribution 3.0" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0">CC BY 3.0</a> via <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/">Commons</a>.Naomi Klein Occupy Wall Street 2011 Shankbone 2” by David ShankboneOwn work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons.Canadian activist Naomi Klein has given an interview ‚Äì yet another one ‚Äì to promote her latest turgid eco-project.

Purely by accident, she and her activist husband Avi Lewis are captured talking a lot of sense. Here’s how.

1. This is a war.

I was really struck that it’s a war. When you see the way it plays out when people try to stop a coal plant or a mine: The guns come out. That’s just true, and that’s hard for people to see. There are sides to this thing. And if you try to stop it, you’re going to see that there really are sides.

Dead right, Naomi. Too often this is presented as a debate between the consensus of the world’s greatest scientists on the one hand and the maverick views of a few Big-Oil funded denialists on the other. But it’s not, it’s an ideological war between those who believe in liberty, human progress and economic growth, and those who believe in constraint, bigger government, rationing, and doomsday messages of Malthusian despair.

2. This is Occupy, only instead of Watchmen-style Guy Fawkes masks, Naomi’s team are wearing native feathers, bleeding hearts, and green cloaks.

We had a meeting in Toronto in the spring that brought together First Nations activists, trade unions, environmentalists, migrant rights and economic justice organizers.

Yep. And First Nations activists, trade unions, migrant rights people and economic justice organizers are just famed for their intimate understanding of climate science, rationalism and cost benefit analyses. Almost as much as “environmentalists”, in fact.

3. Greenwashing is a waste of time.

You can see with the “Beyond Petroleum” campaign exactly what it means, since they abandoned it in relatively short order.

Thanks for that insight, Avi. And you know why BP abandoned that campaign? Because they’d diverted so many of their resources to loss-making renewable energy projects that they forget their core business, cut corners and ended up with disasters like the Gulf oil spill. Oh the irony!

4. Naomi’s and Avi’s eco-documentary built up a carbon footprint the size of China’s.

It’s very expensive to travel for a documentary, especially when you’re trying to do it with high production value and there’s 20 pelican cases every time you get on an airplane.

So what you’re telling us, Avi, is that on your mission to save the planet you had to help destroy it?

5. No serious US presidential contender gives a rat’s ass about “climate change” any more

There’s better candidates and worse candidates, but I actually think that the American political system has not produced the conditions for the kind of shift that’s required, that science tells us we need to make as a society.

Oh dear. No more Solyndras. Tragedy.

6. History is a nightmare from which the green movement is trying to awake

We need to outgrow this 400-year-old narrative that we can control nature, bend nature to our will, and that there will be no consequences for society based on that premise.

Hmm, Avi, here’s my problem with this. If the narrative has been going on successfully for 400 years ‚Äì with the good consequences (increased life expectancy; higher standards of living; greater literacy; cleaner ‚Äì yes cleaner ‚Äì rivers and air) far outweighing the bad (er, executive stress?) ‚Äì then isn’t that maybe a sign that most people believe it and want to believe in it. And that if anyone is on the wrong side of history it’s you guys?

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Moonbeam Science – And Then There’s Dr. Ben Carson’s Real Science

"<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JerryBrownByPhilKonstantin.jpg#/media/File:JerryBrownByPhilKonstantin.jpg">JerryBrownByPhilKonstantin</a>" by <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Philkon" title="User:Philkon">Phil Konstantin</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>. Licensed under <a title="Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a> via <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/">Commons</a>.JerryBrownByPhilKonstantin” by Phil KonstantinOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.California Gov. Jerry Brown calls Dr. Ben Carson a science denier for not buying into his global warming agenda. Would that be the same Dr. Carson with a degree in neurosurgery and a science school named after him?

Horning in uninvited on Carson’s presidential campaign, Brown sent Carson a letter questioning the latter’s skeptical stance on global warming. The letter, complete with a thumb drive of a United Nations report, questioned Carson’s motives and condescendingly concluded:

“Please use your considerable intelligence to review this material. Climate change is much bigger than partisan politics.”

Then Brown called Carson a “climate-science denier” in a retweeted tweet from his press office.

Never mind that Carson calls himself a “climate science questioner.” Brown is such a green zealot he calls anyone who asks questions an anti-science yahoo.

That’s something else, given Carson’s stunning record of achievement in actual science. We aren’t talking about the dreamy theories of global warming that amount to Brown’s faith, but in actual mastery.

Carson, according to his Wikipedia page, was a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics, and the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, one of the most prestigious medical establishments in the world. He has done life-saving, ground-breaking surgery and won top professional awards in his field.

Science? The record also shows that he graduated from the University of Michigan’s medical school, one of the nation’s top five according to U.S. News and World Report. To get his degree, he had to acquire an expertise in subjects so difficult that only a few are conversant in them.

To dismiss someone with this kind of record as somehow anti-science is the height of frivolity and malice.

Such criticism is rich coming from Brown, given his own record of hostility to science. Science writer John Horgan, in a 2014 Scientific America essay called “My Weird ’96 Chat With Jerry Brown About The Evils Of Science,” wrote of how Brown hectored him on how science was the root of all the world’s evils.

“I found myself in the odd position of having to defend scientists,” Horgan wrote.

And this governor thinks he has a right to lecture Carson about science? Like so much else about Brown, it’s fantasyland stuff.

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Obama Snookered As Developing Nations Reject CO2 Emissions Diktat

India and other developing countries today signalled that they would resist any “obligatory review mechanism” intended to increase their individual efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions warming the planet. Climate change negotiators from the so-called like-minded developing countries (LMDC), concluding a two-day meeting hosted by India, said any review of actions to curb greenhouse gas emissions should factor in the differential responsibilities of developed and developing countries. In a joint statement, the negotiators said the LMDCs have expressed “strong reservations” against any obligatory review mechanism to increase individual efforts of developing countries. —The Calcutta Telegraph, 15 September 2015

India on Monday hosted a meeting of Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDCs) on climate change to prepare strategies for negotiation for the Paris conference slated to be held later this year.India on Monday hosted a meeting of Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDCs) on climate change to prepare strategies for negotiation for the Paris conference slated to be held later this year.

India will negotiate together with a so-called group of like-minded developing countries (LMDCs) at the climate change summit in Paris at the year-end, environment minister Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday. At the end of a two-day meeting of negotiators from 13 LMDCs in New Delhi, Javadekar asked rich nations to walk the talk in transferring funds to the poor to mitigate the effects of climate change. Javadekar said: “…if developed world doesn’t walk the talk on issue of finance, there will be a problem for the Paris outcome. I hope the developed world will consider it and rise to the occasion.” –Mayank Aggarwal, Live Mint, 16 September 2015 

Don’t look for the drama of an Amer­ic­an pres­id­ent bar­ging in on fel­low heads of state in a private meet­ing on the fi­nal night [of the Paris summit], be­cause—if all goes ac­cord­ing to plan—none of them will be there. In­stead of bring­ing in heads of state at the end of the two-week con­fer­ence, French of­fi­cials have flipped the script and in­vited them to the be­gin­ning. Not every­one is ex­cited about the early ap­pear­ance by heads of state. Former U.N. cli­mate chief Yvo de Bo­er said it it’s not clear what pur­pose it serves, and that it could even de­tract from dis­cus­sions on the hoped-for pact. And lead­ers may not want to fly to the City of Lights just to give a speech at the start of the meet­ing and then go back home. “My ex­per­i­ence is, politi­cians travel in or­der to cel­eb­rate suc­cess,” he said. “To fly to Par­is and just show a bit of leg at the be­gin­ning of a con­fer­ence is not really enough of a reas­on,” he said. –Ben Geman, National Journal, 15 September 2015

When the International Energy Agency reported in March that global carbon emissions had stayed flat in 2014, even as the world economy grew, the news was hailed as a turning point in the struggle to curb climate change. But more recent data about Chinese coal consumption, seen by Reuters, raise doubts about whether that historic decoupling of economic growth and carbon emissions from energy use actually occurred. One of the keys to keeping carbon emissions flat in 2014 was significantly lower coal consumption in China, the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter: a 2.9 per cent drop, reported in preliminary Chinese data in February. But in May, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released a China Statistical Abstract, not available online but only on paper, showing that coal consumption edged up by 0.06 percent from 2013. –Alister Doyle and David Stanway, Reuters, 16 September 2015

Resource investors, take note: By 2025, just 10 years from now, energy consumption in Asia will increase a whopping 31 percent. A whole two-thirds of that demand, driven largely by China and India, will be for fossil fuels, most notably coal. That’s according to a new research piece by financial services group Macquarie, which writes that the estimated rise in fossil fuel demand is equivalent of “three times Saudi Arabia’s current (all-time-high) oil production.” Macquarie’s research is in line with BP’s “Energy Outlook 2035,” released earlier this year, which predicts that more than half of the world’s energy consumption will come from China and India by the year 2035. –Frank Holmes, Mineweb, 15 September 2015

Anyone hoping that Australia will do more to fight climate change after Malcolm Turnbull ousted Tony Abbott to become prime minister may be disappointed. After beating Abbott in a late-night ballot of Liberal Party lawmakers, Turnbull described the nation’s current climate policy as “a very, very good piece of work.” Turnbull, speaking in parliament on Tuesday, called the auction earlier this year “a resounding success” and defended the climate change plan that Environment Minister Greg Hunt helped introduce. “The government policy on climate is right, and it is being proved right,” Turnbull said. –Angus Whitley and James Paton, Bloomberg, 15 September 2015

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