Climate Alarmist John Kerry Invests Massively In Fossil Fuel Stocks

In a March 12 address to the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., Secretary of State John Kerry warned that climate change outranks terrorism, epidemics, and poverty as the worst threat facing the world today. Our only salvation, he asserted, lies in an energy policy that replaces fossil fuels with solar, wind and other “clean energy.”

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Vatican Drama Centers on Pope Francis and His Eco-Encyclical

pope francis environment encyclicalI recently reported that some Vatican officials were unhappy with scientists who directly challenged the questionable data and erroneous assertions being used as the basis for Pope Francis’ upcoming eco-encyclical.

Now, in a drama worthy of a Dan Brown novel, there is a dispute about the status of that much-anticipated publication.

A widely-cited report has been released by an Italian journalist who covers the Catholic Church and the Vatican indicating that these papal plans may be delayed.

Hot from Italy’s “L’espresso”: E questo sarebbe il teologo di fiducia del papa? (Translated by my SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition colleague, Anthony Porrello)

According to Vaticanist Sandro Magister, Pope Francis has decided to postpone the publication of his long-awaited encyclical on the environment. The reason, according to Magister, is that the Pope realized that the document in its current state had no chance of receiving the approval of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith under the leadership of Cardinal Gerhard M√ºller. If it seems somewhat improper for a Cardinal to be telling a Pope what he can and can’t write, don’t fret, gentle reader: the text wasn’t written by Pope Francis at all.

The ghostwriter behind the heavily discussed encyclical is one Archbishop Victor Manuel Fern√°ndez of Tiburnia, a native of Buenos Aires. Archbishop Fern√°ndez, who belongs to Pope Francis’ inner circle in the position of most trusted theological adviser, was already heavily involved in the writing of Evangelii gaudium, and spent the Summer of 2013 in Rome for that purpose. Last March, as Pope Francis set about to compose his Eco-Encyclical, Archbishop Fern√°ndez was again flown in to do the heavy lifting. The close working relationship apparently stretches back to the time when Pope Francis was still Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, with Fern√°ndez working largely behind the scenes, drafting the future Pontiff’s important speeches and letters.

For those not versed in the intricacies of the Catholic Church, the aforementioned Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) promotes and safeguards the doctrine for the Catholic world and “has competence in things that touch this matter in any way.” And while Cardinal Gerhard M√ºller was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI, it is reported that he was also a pupil and friend of Gustavo Guti√©rrez, the “father” of Latin-American liberation theology.

So it probably wasn’t the science team’s efforts that are the root cause of this potential change.

The Italian analysis indicates Cardinal M√ºller anticipated that, as Prefect of the CDF, he would be assuring that the Pope’s publication had a sound theological structure. It appears that Archbishop Fern√°ndez felt that this piece of the doctrinal review process wasn’t necessary. Behind the scenes, there was evidently some discussion.

The article also relates that Vatican sources report that the Pope will not be publishing Archbishop Fern√°ndez’ already-completed text, and has—for the time being—tabled the entire project.

This report has now met with near denial by Vatican officials:

The Vatican has denied that Pope Francis’ forthcoming encyclical has been delayed because the Holy Father feared the first draft would not be approved by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told the Register May 14 that the “preparation procedure of the encyclical took place, and is taking place, in a completely normal way, and there has not been, and there isn’t, any delay compared to what was expected.” [emphasis added]

Compared to what had been expected by whom?

Lomabardi went on to indicate that while there was never a fixed date for publication, it is likely the translations will be complete and the encyclical officially released in June.

But Father Lombardi said it is “normal and obvious” that, as with any encyclical, the CDF would check the document before publication and that he was unaware of “any cause of delays or problems.” He called the speculation “totally unfounded” and said it “seems almost unbelievable that such things are written.”

We will see if the CDF sends it back to Pope Francis for a do-over, which can be considered “expected” as part of any editorial process. Such a move would not be surprising, especially in light of how many Catholics are upset by the use of falsified data and politicized science as the basis for a spiritual document:

For Catholics in particular, the problem is that we believe that the supreme pontiff is singularly protected by the intervention of the Holy Spirit from teaching error in matters of faith and morals. In theory, from a faithful Catholic’s perspective, it is impossible for the pope to proclaim in an encyclical some position of morals or faith that is false. If the pope were to solemnly assert that, as a matter of faith, Catholics must accept that global warming is real, human-caused, and endangering the world, we must then accept a proposition that appears to be contradicted by our own eyes: that the 18-year “pause” in warming does not exist. Such a quandary is unlikely to increase the faith of Catholics in their Church’s divine mission.

The media has been abuzz for quite some time about this much-anticipated encyclical and what it will mean for the world. It will be just a little ironic if it is ultimately scuttled due to religion instead of science.

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Walsh takes a page from Deval’s book

walshHas Mayor Marty Walsh gone Deval on us?

Walsh went head first into the shallow end of the Boston 2024 pool. With the potential treasure trove of hack jobs, he could not resist the patronage haven or the glory of being the host city for the Olympics.

Like former Gov. Deval Patrick, he forgot one little constituency — the taxpayers.

Already, there’s one new job at Boston City Hall. Walsh hired Sara Myerson as a six-figure fact-checker to ensure that tax dollars are not used for the Olympics. Luckily, this shouldn’t cost the taxpayers a dime because Boston 2024 is covering the costs of the new office. No conflict there. That makes as much sense as the ‚Ä®Patrick administration replacing the working ‚Ä®Romneycare website that cost $3.5 million with a billion dollar glitch-ridden website.

Last week Walsh announced a Metro ‚Ä®Boston Climate Preparedness Commitment and a Metro Boston Climate Preparedness Task Force. What? It’s “a regional agreement to ‚Ä®establish a common policy framework throughout the Metro Boston area to prepare for ‚Ä®climate change.”

Is he going to post some useless signs for the evacuation route? What’s next, a climatologist for Boston? Is he going to raise the city higher to avoid a sea-level increase?

Wouldn’t a winter storm preparedness commitment be more useful? Or are we going to be told that global warming caused the record snow levels?

While the big announcement was nothing more than an obvious attempt to grab a headline and appear to be fixing global problems at the city level, we should fear it’s another excuse to waste tax dollars.

The commitment pledge was signed by ‚Ä®14 leaders of municipalities, including Somerville’s Mayor Joe Curtatone. In the press release he brilliantly states the obvious: “Neither the Atlantic Ocean nor the weather respects municipal boundaries.”

Curtatone’s involvement is a signal to watch out for our wallets. Last winter he repeatedly rallied at the State House advocating for higher taxes to bail out the MBTA. There was no apology to the taxpayers when the Baker administration exposed the T’s failure to spend $2.2 billion in available funds.

Leaving taxpayers holding the bag for multiple expensive boondoggles resulted in a cushy landing at Bain Capital for Deval. ‚Ä®Maybe Walsh believes he’ll have the same kind of opportunity. But it’s premature to conclude there are no consequences for fumbling tax dollars, now that the feds are investigating the Patrick administration over the failed Health Connector website.

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Bee facts changed – green agendas did not

beeThe White House finally appears ready to announce conclusions and policy recommendations from the Pollinator Task Force it appointed a year ago. Environmentalist groups eagerly await the decision. After clamoring and campaigning for years for government action, they hope to get tough restrictions on using innovative new insecticides called neonicotinoids.

Agricultural interests await the decision with trepidation. A ban or broad restrictions would cost billions of dollars annually, force them to employ pesticides that are more difficult to use and more toxic for beneficial insects, and compel them to confront more secretive government “science” and faulty justifications for policies that are not supported by the evidence.

The deadline imposed by President Obama’s task force memo passed months ago, and yet the White House has been strangely silent on the issue of pesticides and honeybee health. What initially looked like an easy lame-duck giveaway to green groups has turned out to be factually complicated.

Long before the White House weighed in, anti-insecticide activists promoted claims that honeybees were headed for extinction because of pesticides, specifically neonics ‚Äì unless the government banned them. Time magazine picked up their refrain, devoting a long cover story to the scary prospect of “a world without bees.” Other news stories uncritically repeated the end-of-bees assertions. One-third of the food we eat could disappear without bees to pollinate crops, they proclaimed. But there was a problem.

The narrative turned out to be false, extensive evidence now demonstrates – and inconvenient truths had gotten in the way of another slam-dunk Executive Branch edict.

Neonicotinoids are actually much less toxic for bees, other insects, humans and animals than alternative pesticides, in part because they are primarily used to coat seeds. The neonics become part of the plant’s tissue structure and defense system, affecting only pests that feed on the protected crops. Farmers can greatly reduce pesticide spraying, especially with older, more toxic chemicals.

Field studies have repeatedly shown that bees are unaffected by neonics at real-world exposure levels. In fact, bees thrive in canola (oilseed rape) fields and other crops grown with neonic-treated seeds, and the number of bees has been rising steadily worldwide the past few years, even as neonic usage peaked.

U.S. Department of Agriculture annual beekeeper surveys reveal that the number of honey-producing hives in the United States has held steady at about 2.5 million since 1995. Indeed, the numbers increased four of the last five years and are actually higher now than when neonics first came on the market in the mid 1990s. Most beehive problems now involve less experienced hobby beekeepers. 

A similarly hyped issue, “colony collapse disorder,” turned out to be a cyclical problem going back centuries. Recent large-scale die-offs of domesticated bees appear to be caused primarily by Varroa mites (which feed on bees and can transmit bee viruses and diseases), parasitic phorid flies, Nosema intestinal fungi, and tobacco ringspot viruses. Beekeepers have accidentally killed entire hives trying to combat these problems.

Honeybee habitat loss from urban, suburban and even agricultural development has also taken a toll. Just removing fences, to improve agricultural efficiencies and let cattle roam and feed, reduces bee forage and nutrition. That further increases bees’ susceptibility to mites, disease and stress, entomologist and professional beekeeper Randy Oliver told me.

But facts like these never stopped organizations like Beyond Pesticides and the Natural Resources Defense Council from claiming America and the world faced a “bee-pocalypse” ‚Äì and the cause was never a convergence of problems; it was always because of their newest bogeyman: neonicotinoids.

The facts likewise never stopped the White House from telling the EPA to scrutinize neonics intently, in the name of protecting pollinators.

Eventually, though, the facts caught up with the fear-mongering. As journalists wrote articles exposing the environmentalist falsehoods, the “honeybee Armageddon” justification began falling apart.

The White House and Big Green pressure groups did not want egg on their face. What to do? The preferred tactic: postpone the task force report and stall for time to concoct a new fable. It had worked before on other issues. A compliant, allied media and gullible public should make it work again.

The anti-pesticide groups used the postponement to switch their rationale for restricting neonics. Instead of critical threats to managed honeybees, they now say it is native or wild bees that need help. The shift reflects a shrewd, cynical calculation.

Since there are far fewer studies on the status of wild bee populations, activists can make any claims they like. As the NRDC’s Jennifer Sass said in November 2014, environmentalist groups can only “presume” that wild bees are in decline. But they sure know how to get ample press coverage for their presumption.

They, the White House and EPA need to check their facts this time. U.S. Geological Survey wild bee specialist Sam Droege says scientists still don’t know which species are declining or flourishing, but he believes most are doing fine.  (There are some 4,000 native species of wild bees in North America.) Similarly, a 2013 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences analyzed U.S. native bee populations over a 140-year period and echoed that assessment. Of 187 native species analyzed, only three showed steep declines, and they were likely due to pathogens.

This may be why anti-pesticide activists are simultaneously employing another new tactic. By combining summer and winter bee losses, they can make it look like the honeybee crisis is worsening, as a May 14 Wall Street Journal article put it. This stratagem also benefits from the fact that summertime loss data go back only five years, so there is no way to look for historical trends or patterns.

The White House would do well to leave science to experts, rather than activists with an ax to grind. If bee numbers are increasing, it is much harder to justify restricting a pesticide that is needed by farmers – and that would be much better for honeybees, wild bees and other beneficial insects.

As Randy Oliver emphasizes, it is important to let science do its job, figure out and address what is really happening to bees, use all insecticides carefully and responsibly, and not stigmatize neonic seed treatments on ideological or junk science grounds.

Otherwise, bee problems are likely to get worse, while neonic bans cause crop losses and a return to spraying pesticides that really can cause significant environmental problems. 

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: To save the world from the save-the-earth money machine.

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Will David Cameron Make Britain An Energy Powerhouse?

ShaleFor years, political gridlock and environmentalist opposition have prevented natural gas drilling to move forward in the UK, but the massive conservative victory in the country’s recent election could make Britain a world energy player. Tory Prime Minister David Cameron and his new conservative government have made developing the UK’s vast shale gas reserves a major priority in their bid to create a “Northern Powerhouse” of the island nation. Chancellor George Osborne is a big supporter of the Northern Powerhouse plan, so shale could soon become a reality for the the British. –Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 14 May 2015

The news was welcomed by free market groups that favor energy production and more local control over economic affairs. “We welcome the government’s determination to develop shale gas as a key plank of their ‘Northern Powerhouse’ agenda,” Lord Nigel Lawson of Blaby, chairman of the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF), said in a statement. “The development of shale gas could in time create a whole new energy industry that would generate billions of much needed revenue,” Lawson said. –Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 14 May 2015

The UK’s reliance on gas for heating makes fracking a serious option for governments at both Holyrood and Westminster, according to a Church of Scotland report. In a detailed consideration of the contentious technology, the Kirk’s church and society council said it was inevitable that the country would soon be left with a choice of the development of fuel sources at home, such as shale gas, or a reliance on expensive imports. –Mike Wade, The Times, 12 May 2015

The appointment of Amber Rudd as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change under the new Conservative government marks a critical moment for UK shale developers. Lancashire County Council’s planning committee is due to decide on 30 June whether to give independent UK energy company Cuadrilla the go ahead for what would be the first drilled and fracked shale wells in the UK. “The decision… will be the first test of Rudd’s commitment ‚Äì or not ‚Äì to UK shale,” Alastair Fraser, chair in Petroleum Geoscience at Imperial College London, told Interfax. –Annemarie Botzki, Interfax, 13 May 2015

A study says fracking has the potential to unlock 140billion barrels of global oil supplies. The amount would be equivalent to Russia’s known reserves, according to analysis by IHS. According to the report, countries such as Iran, Mexico, China and Russia are likely to benefit most from exploiting techniques in the US shale revolution. It was also found that two thirds of the extra recoverable oil would come from the Middle East and Latin America. —Energy Voice, 14 May 2015

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), chaired by former Conservative chancellor Nigel Lawson, has recently launched an inquiry into the reliability of global surface temperature records, with a group of international “eminent climatologists, physicists and statisticians” set to probe current data. Dr Benny Peiser, director of the GWPF, has said he hopes the findings will address the lack of clarity and transparency he claims surrounds temperature records – while admitting his “growing concern” about the gathering of global warming statistics. –Levi Winchester, Daily Express, 15 May 2015 

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Pope ponders paganism

paganNot since the rule of Emperor Constantine, during the Roman Warm Era, have pagan gods been tolerated in Rome.

Before Constantine, Romans worshipped 12 main gods, including Apollo (the Sun), Diana (the Moon), Flora (the plants), Uranus (the sky), Ceres (the crops), Gaia (the Earth), and of course Bacchus (wine), Venus (love), and Mars (war). Some of these gods demanded tribute and sacrifice.

Christianity, the worship of one forgiving God, slowly absorbed or eliminated its pagan rivals. The popes in Rome came to lead a Catholic empire of Christians.

In modern times, the old Greek/Roman goddess Gaia has been resurrected by the world green movement.

Pope Francis seems to seek an alliance with these nature-worshipers. Unfortunately, the green wolf will never lie down with the Christian lambs.

Christians promote care for humanity, especially the weak and the poor. The Gaia-worshippers have subordinated humans to “nature,” and their attitude to other humans ranges from contempt to deep hatred. Under their extremist Agenda 21, the priests of Gaia would sacrifice humans by restricting their access to land, oceans, food, minerals, and energy, and then concentrate the survivors in soul-destroying dormitory cities and food factories. Greens want all descendants of Adam and Eve expelled from our Gardens of Eden.

Christians generally value individual freedom and private property. The green priesthood will not rest until there is a world government in which there is no private property and all humans are numbered, controlled, and planned. They are using climate alarmism to achieve these goals.

Priests and pontiffs have no place dictating questions of science and engineering. Climate forecasts and energy policy should be determined by scientific enquiry and sound engineering, not by high priests dabbling in politics.

UN Launches Major New Agenda. Pope to attend:
http://agenda21news.com/2015/05/in-september-the-un-launches-a-major-sustainable-development-agenda-for-the-entire-planet/

An Open letter to Pope Francis on Climate Change:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/05/10/an-open-letter-to-pope-francis-on-climate-change/

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Flashback 2009: John Kerry’s epic fail on an ice-free Arctic by 2015

kerryWhen John Kerry was still a powerful Democrat from Massachusetts, he stood on the Senate floor on June 25, 2009, and said that in five years, the Arctic would be completely ice free (see video at end). Except that prediction, like so many others made by climate alarmists, failed on every level. Kerry also berated fellow senator James Inhofe (R) on his global warming beliefs, who has gone on the record saying that these very same predictions about catastrophic global warming effects are nothing more than fearmongering.

In 2009, Kerry told the Senate, “You have sea ice which is melting at a rate that the Arctic Ocean now increasingly is exposed. In five years, scientists predict we will have the first ice free Arctic summer.” Kerry’s divinations on an ice-free Arctic were so off the mark that you have to wonder why, in his position as Secretary of State, he keeps predicting that climate change disasters are just around the corner.

Even the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is hedging its bets by telling the press that the Arctic will be ice free in 2040, long after those same fortune-telling scientists have retired and moved to the balmy North Pole to sip margaritas in the shade of a palm tree. Climate scientist Chip Knappenberger told The Daily Caller that an ice-free Arctic “should not be overly worrisome, as there is ample evidence that it has occurred in the past and clearly, polar bears, and everything else up there managed to survive.”

And John Kerry’s boss, President Obama, doesn’t seem overly worried about the Arctic as he gave Shell Oil the “go ahead” to drill in the Arctic, which prompted some environmentalists to label him a ‘climate change denier’ on Twitter and in a New York Times’ op-ed piece. Maybe Kerry knows something we don’t know about all the oil that’s buried under all that sea ice. After all, “public records indicate that Secretary Kerry personally owned an estimated three to six million dollars in stocks of more than 50 oil and gas-related companies.”

Ron Arnold of The Daily Caller first reported on May 13 that “Records from 2004 show that he’s been constantly and deeply invested in fossil fuels for at least a decade, and is still injecting millions in working capital into the very industries he condemns. What is the public to think of a cabinet-level prophet of climate doom who says one thing and does such another?” Indeed, while Kerry is vilifying climate change skeptics in public, privately he’s investing in the very fossil fuels he blames for the trivial amount of warming over the last 60 years.

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The ocean is rising at a quick snails pace

tidal gaugeTidal gaugeWell, well, well, the global warming — no, let me correct myself — climate change alarmists are at it again.

I awaken this morning to the catastrophic news headline on the Internet that “Sea Level Rise Accelerating, say Scientists.” Man, that sounds pretty bad. Before long, I will be able to go to Dothan if I want to spend a week at the beach. New York City will be underwater and Savannah will be like Atlantis — spoken about, but long gone.

These headlines were based upon an international team of scientists who published a report in a publication called Nature Climate Change. I’m no forensic investigator, but do you think a magazine named Nature Climate Change might have a little leaning one way or the other? I suspect if there is no claimed climate change, there is no need for the publication.

But what really caught my attention is this. Since 1901, until 2010, the oceans have been rising. Yes, begin the pounding of the chest and self-flagellation. If you own a beach house, burn it in the middle of the night and collect insurance before it is engulfed in the rising tidal wave.

Oh, by the way, how much in 109 years has the ocean risen since 1901? How about 7 inches … total.

Yep, it has averaged a rise of .06 inch each year, or one inch about every 15.5 years. Seven inches. That is a little more than half the length of my foot, or twice the length of my … well, better not go there, but it is less than the length of a standard ruler.

Next time you are at the beach, look at the high-tide mark and then move it forward toward your beach house, hotel, etc., 7 inches. That is where it will be in another 110 years. I see no way that man can react to this calamity in time. We only have a century before living with 7 inches less of beaches.

It is like being attacked by an army of snails. One day you look out the window and they are 500 yards from your house. A year later they are 200 yards away.

It reminds me of one of my favorite jokes. A man hears a knock at his door and looks down to see a snail at his doorstep. He figures he should do a kind act, so he takes him about two miles down the road to a nice forested area. A year later there is another knock on the door and the man looks down at the same snail. The snail looks up and says, “What did you do that for?”

Seven inches. The Sahara Desert was once underwater and we are in a state of hysteria about 7 inches. We have ISIS, Ebola, cops killing folks and folks killing cops, California drought, and Kim Kardashian hasn’t shown a single naked photo of her booty in over two weeks and we are worried about a 7-inch rise over 109 years?

By the way, exactly who was measuring the starting point of the tides back in 1901? I can see it now: “Clem, just put a stake right here. I can’t wait all day to see where the tide ends. We’ve got a pint of ale to drink.”

I’ll be at the beach in a few weeks and I’ll be sure to put my lounge chair .06 inch back, lest it wash away from where I put it last year. I’m selling my condo, too, ’cause if I don’t by 2816, the ocean will have swallowed it whole anyway. Oh, brother.

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Toyota Challenges Tesla With A Hydrogen Car

MiraiTesla Motors founder Elon Musk recently introduced a new line of batteries to help solve the energy storage problems with his luxury electric cars. Too bad for him Toyota’s plans for a hydrogen powered car could upend Musk’s designs.

The Toyota Mirai, a four-seater sedan, is challenging Tesla’s Model S for the spot of “car of the future,” getting its power from hydrogen tanks under the sedan’s seats instead of relying electricity and battery storage.

The Mirai began selling in California last October, but has been slow to catch on. While Toyota has put a lot of resources behind the vehicle, there are only about a dozen hydrogen fuel stations in the country and people are still skeptical of how safe the car is — remember the Hindenberg?

“If you’re going to pick an energy source mechanism, hydrogen is an incredibly dumb one to pick,” Musk said in January. “It doesn’t make sense, and that will become apparent in the next few years.”

But Musk’s comments may signal a sense of insecurity about his own position in the alternative vehicle market. The Mirai is already significantly cheaper than the Model S — the hydrogen car comes in at $57,500 compared to a Tesla at $69,000.

The Murai also takes only 5 minutes to refuel, compared to the 5 hours it takes a Model S to refuel. Even if a driver buys the Tesla “supercharger,” refueling still takes 20 minutes — four times longer than the Mirai. The Toyota can also drive 300 miles on a tank before having to refuel.

But here’s the kicker: the Mirai is said to be more eco-friendly than the Model S.

How can that be? The Mirai makes its own energy by “gulping in air and mixing it with hydrogen in a stack of fuel cells,” according to The Washington Post. “The reaction cleanly powers the motor and belches out no exhaust, save for a thin trickle of water.”

Tesla’s Model S, and other all-electric cars for that matter, have to plugged in to get power from the grid. Most of that power is going to be generated by natural gas or coal. Such considerations virtually eliminate the environmental benefits of electric cars, according to researchers.

Numerous studies have been done, showing that electric cars much less eco-friendly than advertised. A 2012 Norwegian study found that “the production phase of electric vehicles proved substantially more environmentally intensive” than producing traditional gas-powered cars.

The study found that electric car factories emit more toxic waste than traditional car factories and carbon dioxide emissions for electric car production is higher if coal is used to charge the vehicles.

Mazda even claims that its new gas-powered engines will emit 30 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than electric cars. The Daily Caller reported that Mazda’s SkyActiv uses an “increased compression ratio of 18:1 … and a homogeneous charge-compression ignition” to improve engine efficiency.

Adding to Musk’s woes is that Japan’s government is subsidizing fuel cell vehicles, like the Mirai — much like how the U.S. government subsidizes Teslas and other electric cars.

“Japan is now offering subsidies of 3 million yen, or about $25,000, to buyers of fuel-cell vehicles in Tokyo, which has pledged $375 million worth of hydrogen-related development before the city’s 2020 Olympics,” The Washington Post reports.

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The scandal of sea levels — rising trends, acceleration — largely created by adjustments

ocean wavesHeadlines across Australia yesterday told us the dire news that a new study finds that “Sea level rising faster in past 20 years than in entire 20th century.   A new paper by Watson et al is driving the headlines, but underneath this Nature paper is a swamp of adjustments, an error larger than the signal, and the result disagrees with many other studies and almost all the raw measurements. Paper after paper kept showing that sea levels rates had slowed (e.g Chen showed deceleration from 2004, Cazenave said in the last decade sea-levels had slowed 30% (but argued post hoc adjustments could solve that). Beenstock used 1000 tide gauges and found no acceleration of sea levels over the last 50 years. A different researcher — Phil Watson, found that Australian sea levels rose faster before World War II then slowed down.)

Firstly,  hundreds of tide gauges show sea level rising at about a third of the rate than satellites do. Worse, the original satellite raw data showed the same slow rise, until it was suddenly adjusted. The real scandal is that the rapidly rising trend was largely created by adjustments in the first place. These latest corrections just adjust down part of the rate which had been created by adjusting up. On top of all that, the long paleo-history of sea levels done by people like Nils-Axel M√∂rner  show that the current rise is not unusual or unprecedented at all. Could it get more pointless? It can: the acceleration Watson et al found is so small it’s less than the errors. (See the graph below).

The conclusion of the paper is that instead of the sea levels rising at 3.2mm/yr as per the official satellite data, the are rising at 2.3mm/yr + 0.043mm/yr2 of acceleration. Over a century that means the projected sea level rise is revised downwards from 320mm to 251mm. That means sea level rise on current trends has dropped off the bottom end of any UNIPCC projection for sea level rise (AR5 WG1 SPM) for the period 2081-2100, as against 1985-2005. The likely range is between 260 and 820mm under all scenarios. The projection (mid-point 400mm) range is based on succeeding in cutting global emissions to near zero before 2100.

Tide gauges don’t agree with the satellites on sea level. The 68 most stable NOAA tide gauges around the world show about 1mm a year rise. Beenstock use a thousand tide gauges around the world and found the same rise of about 1mm/year. Nils-Axel M√∂rner has studied arrays of gauges as well but also used the opposite approach and found practically the single most stable beach in Northern Europe. He analyzed long records on all the beaches around it to figure out which way the whole area was tilting — again he found the change of the most stable point is about 1mm/year.

We’re analysing the decimal points of the acceleration of a trend that was largely created by adjustments in the first place. Why bother? The raw satellite data showed almost no rise at all from 1992-2002, and was post hoc adjusted up from less than 1mm to 2.3mm/yr (Aviso, 2003). And the raw low rate was skewed high by the El Nino in 1997. These adjusted figures have been used to generate thousands of headlines about how sea levels are rising faster after 1992. (Anyone going to retract those headlines?) The European satellite data was also adjusted up. Nils-Axel M√∂rner has described the whole sordid process of sea level adjustments in detail. Knowing this puts the ABC version is a new light. Christopher Watson, lead author, “said the study suggested satellites marginally overestimated the rate of sea level rise in the first six years and that distorted the long-term picture.” He didn’t mention that it was the overestimate of the underestimate and all these numbers were subject to change, post hoc, ad hoc, as the wind blows…

Sea levels are always changing and past changes were often larger.

  • Past changes were larger in the Maldives (M√∂rner, 2007); In Connecticut (van de Plassche, 2000),; SW Sweden ‚Äì Kattegatt Sea region (M√∂rner, 1971, 1980);  In the Kattegatt and the Baltic (√Öse, 1970; M√∂rner, 1980, 1999; Ambrosiani, 1984; Hansen et al., 2012). Other sites (e.g. Pirazzoli, 1991). [See the link above for the full references].
  • White et al showed seas around Australia were rising at about the same speed during the depression era as they are now.

The rate since 2002 is slowing despite the massive emissions of  CO2: The new adjustments on adjustments bring the 1992 ‚Äì 2012 rate down (did the ABC tell you that?). This changes the curve, and creates a weak acceleration that was not there before.This also creates new headlines of “acceleration”. At some point in the future, today’s measurements will be adjusted down to create more headlines of “acceleration”. Rinse Repeat Recycle.

If tide gauges were good enough to figure out the rate of acceleration from 1900 – 1992, why are they wrong as soon as the satellites start operating? Does anyone think we should compare highly adjustified satellite data to tide gauges if there are continuous tide gauge records over the same period? Its like a tree-ring spliced to a thermometer: Good PR, bad science.

The acceleration is so small it’s less than the errors. (Be afraid, it’s accelerating at 0.043 +/- 0.058 mm/yr2.) Normal scientists don’t get excited at this. They don’t issue press releases.

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Obama’s Energy Regulations Will Cost $460 Billion To Implement

Shown here is water vapor leaving a tailpipeShown here is water vapor leaving a tailpipe.Between 2009 and 2015, the Obama administration enacted energy and environmental regulations that will cost a total of $460.5 billion to implement, with the most expensive coming as a result of President Obama’s push for cleaner greenhouse gas emissions, according to data from the American Action Forum (AAF).

During those years, the administration finalized 275 energy and environmental regulations, each averaging about $1.75 billion. Twenty-nine regulations cost $1 billion or more each to implement, reported The Daily Caller.

To comply with the regulations, Americans will have to complete an additional 3.95 million hours of paperwork, according to AAF.

The most expensive, finalized in 2012, is the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2017 and Later Model Year Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission regulation. It will cost a total of $156 billion to implement, or about $10.8 billion per year, and require an additional 5,667 paperwork hours.

It’s designed to fight global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving fuel economy for light-duty vehicles for model years 2017 and beyond, according to the Federal Register.

The first phase of that car-emissions rule was the second most expensive regulation finalized by the Obama administration, costing $51.8 billion, or $4.9 billion per year. It’s called the Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and was passed in 2010 to reduce greenhouse gases and improve fuel economy for vehicles made between 2012 and 2016.

According to the EPA, these two regulations will result in “an average industry fleetwide level of 163 grams/mile of carbon dioxide (CO2) in model year 2025, which is equivalent to 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) if achieved exclusively through fuel economy improvements.”

The program would “cut 6 billion metric tons of GHG over the lifetimes of the vehicles sold in model years 2012-2025,” “save families more than $1.7 trillion in fuel costs,” and “reduce America’s dependence on oil by more than 2 million barrels per day in 2025.”

A new study released this week by the Competitive Enterprise Institute found that federal regulations cost U.S. consumers and businesses an estimated $1.88 trillion in lost economic productivity in 2014.

Since 1993, some 90,836 new rules have been issued, and regulation enforcement alone cost the government $59.5 billion in 2014.

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Record Antarctic sea ice causing serious problems for scientists

antarcticRob Wooding, the operations manager of the Australian Antarctic Division, told the media on Monday that growing sea ice around Antarctica is creating ‘serious problems’ for scientists studying the continent. Mawson Station, the longest continuously operated outpost in Antarctica, has relied on access to a nearby bay, which is increasingly becoming more complicated by sea ice blocking the way.

Wooding said “We are noticing that the sea ice situation is becoming more difficult.” This briefing was in preparation of “two days of meetings between top Antarctic science and logistics experts in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania.”

He said that it’s especially bad at Mawson, where the ice typically breaks up for maybe one or two months each summer, but “in the last four to six years this has not happened every year, and some years only partially.”

“In the 2013-14 season we couldn’t get anywhere near Mawson due to the sea ice,” he said. “We had to get fuel in there by helicopter which is inadequate for the long-term sustainability of the station.” He also noted that the French and Japanese are having the same problems. Though they haven’t come close to shutting down the base because of expanding sea ice, they did have to use “unusual measures” to keep it operational.

Antarctic sea ice extent hit a new record in September 2014, “with the US-based National Snow and Ice Data Center reporting that the ice averaged 20.0 million square kilometres (7.72 million square miles) during the month.” The strong winds produced by the Southern Ocean are believed to be affecting sea ice conditions, which push the ice out from the continent.

Workarounds to the sea ice problem include using large aircraft and hovercrafts to deliver much-needed fuel and other supplies to the outposts affected by the growing sea ice problem. “I think a lot of it really will revolve around perhaps shifting more to an over-ice approach, or to even thinking about where your stations are located — I think (that) is something that will have to be looked at over time as well,” Wooding said.

He also said there were some spots that may become even more difficult to operate if the trend continues. Tony Worby, from an Australian centre studying Antarctic climate and ecosystems, also said at the briefing that, “It’s almost an inevitability that we are going to get ships stuck occasionally — it’s just the nature of working down in Antarctica.”

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