Weather Vain: Obama Uses Climate Hoax to Bully Govs

obama puppetIf you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em! That’s the President’s new approach to climate change skeptics in conservative states. The Obama administration is apparently so desperate for support that it’s willing to blackmail governors into adding global warming to their disaster planning ‚Äì or block their federal funds. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the conform-or-pay rules would go into effect next March. In the meantime, governors have a choice: they can bow down to the Left’s faulty science or lose millions of dollars in FEMA relief planning.

Under the new regulations, only states that tackle the effects of “changing environmental or climate conditions” in their long-term “hazard-mitigation plans” will qualify for funding. Specifically, governors must “identify tools and approaches that enable decision-making to reduce risks and increase resilience from a changing climate.” It’s a shocking amount of political arm-twisting, even for this administration.

Clearly, the rules were made to hurt ‚Äì and it’s no secret whom. Republican Governors like Rick Scott (Fla.), Bobby Jindal (La.), Chris Christie (N.J.), Pat McCrory (N.C.), and Greg Abbott (Texas) have been openly critical of the administration’s climate push, and these guidelines are payback. Of course, many of these regions ‚Äì including my home state of Louisiana ‚Äì are coastal, meaning that they are especially vulnerable to storms and other natural disasters. And while FEMA promises that it won’t attach these same strings to hurricane, flood, or other post-disaster relief, the administration’s word is about as reliable as the Left’s science.

Interestingly enough, FEMA’s extortion plan comes on the heels of a pretty damning report from key environmental experts, who agreed last year that the White House’s National Climate Assessment is a “masterpiece of marketing” that crumbles like a “house of cards” under the weight of real-world evidence. In an open letter, the group of 15 blasted the government’s “climate models” for “dramatically fail(ing) basic verification tests. Nowhere do they admit to these well-known failures. Instead, we are led to believe that their climate models are close to perfection.” The real damage control started well before when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was forced to admit that the world’s temperatures haven’t risen in 17 years. (If you thought the holes in the Ozone layer were big, you should see the ones in the Left’s credibility!)

Without any real science to prop up his agenda, the President is pulling a page from his abortion playbook: government extortion. Unfortunately, this kind of ideological hostage-taking is nothing new for the White House. When Catholic Charities wouldn’t pledge allegiance to the administration’s abortion views, HHS pulled the plug on more than $5 million in human trafficking grants, despite the fact Catholic Charities is among the most qualified organizations to render aid and assistance to the trafficked.

Obviously, the totalitarian tactics of this administration knows no bounds. “This story really brings together all the elements of Obamaism,” writes Dan McLaughlin. As HotAir puts it, “It’s legally dubious; it ignores Congress… it’s an obvious political pander to the Left with a bonus of putting right-wingers in a spot, even at the expense of placing citizens at risk; and it (mocks) state autonomy. Basically, it’s the environmental equivalent of executive amnesty. All that’s missing is 18-24 months of Obama statements denying that he’d ever do something like this before turning around and doing it.”

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A bloated ABC is crushing its rivals

censorshipPAUL Barry, the ABC’s paid media policeman, was sad to see the corpse. Pity he didn’t arrest the killer.

The corpse was The Hoopla, an online magazine edited by former ABC host Wendy Harmer that’s just shut down after four years. No money.

Barry, the Media Watch host, mourned: “So sad to see @wendyharmer and @thehoopla are shutting up shop. What a shame.”

But spare us the ABC’s tears. The ABC is the killer. You see, the worst thing about the ABC isn’t its bias, even though it’s meant by law to be balanced.

No, what makes the ABC dangerous is its massive size.

The $1 billion a year we give it lets it run four TV channels, five radio stations, an online newspaper and a book publisher.

This makes the ABC not just our biggest media outlet, but a destroyer of other media voices.

Take The Hoopla, pitched at women from the Leftist demographic the ABC services.

It had to charge readers or get advertising to survive, but Harmer this week wrote that its cut-price competitors included “increasingly, material under licence from the taxpayer-funded ABC”.

The Hoopla couldn’t keep paying writers when it was undercut, in part, by ABC content subsidised by taxpayers.

This isn’t the first outlet the ABC has helped put out of business.

Two years ago, Peter Fray, former editor-in-chief of the Sydney Morning Herald, launched a political fact checking website called PolitiFact Australia.

But the Gillard government simultaneously gave the grateful ABC, its ideological ally, a grant to create a rival fact-checker. Months later PolitiFact was gone.

Said Fray: “We don’t have the budget the ABC does and taxpayers’ funding …”

The ABC is also stealing audiences from big media companies, particularly those of the Left.

The Age and Sydney Morning Herald face ruin if they cannot find a way to make online readers pay enough for the kind of news and views the ABC gives free.

Even News Corp papers like this feel the pinch of this taxpayer-funded competition. The result: the ABC grows stronger while commercial rivals get weaker.

The danger is clear. The ABC is already misusing its vast state power.

Its campaign against the Abbott Government is vicious. Its global warming crusading is fanatical.

What next? Will the only opinions given a platform be those the Government subsidises and the ABC permits?

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Gallup environmental poll: concerns about global warming come in dead last

gallupAccording to a just-released Gallup poll that measures Americansconcerns about environmental threats, global warming came in dead last, dropping more percentage points over last year’s survey. At the top of the list, Americans worried most about polluted drinking water.

Gallup says the environmental agenda may indirectly be effecting the level of concern felt by Americans. “The primary focus of the environmental movement has shifted toward long-term threats like global warming — issues about which Americans tend to worry less than about more immediate threats like pollution. Importantly, even as global warming has received greater attention as an environmental problem from politicians and the media in recent years, Americans’ worry about it is no higher now than when Gallup first asked about it in 1989.”

Put simply, even though the media has given environmentalist groups and climate alarmists top priority in their global warming coverage, Americans don’t see it as an immediate or actual threat. They are more concerned about issues that effect them now, rather than longer-term threats generated by computer climate models.

In all environmental issues, Democrats worried more than Republicans. Democrats also worried far more over global warming now than they did in 2000, another reflection of the environmental agenda focusing more on this faraway issue. And while climate change worries have only gone down 2 points, the issue is last in a list of green concerns, with only 32% of respondents considering it a problem.

It also showed that there is a “sharp political polarization” with respect to global warming, as well as a “politicization of environmental issues.” While environmental issues have become a lower concern for both Democrats and Republicans since 2000, it is even less a concern with GOP members. Since the late 1990s and early 2000s, Americans’ concerns over environmental issues has dipped to “record lows on most issues in 2010 or 2011. The current level of worry on each issue remains at or near those record lows.”

The poll, which is based on Gallup’s annual Environmental survey, was conducted March 5-9 via cell phones and landlines with a random sample of 1,025 adults aged 18 and older and living in all 50 states, including D.C. The margin of error is +/- 4 points.

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Gulf Stream Not Slowing Down, Not Going to Freeze us to Death, Shock

gulf stream watersThe Gulf Stream is slowing faster than at any time in the last millennium, claims a new paper published in the alarmist journal Nature Climate Change.

But the paper, whose co-authors include one Michael E Mann, appears to be contradicted by real-world evidence which shows nothing of the kind.

Here is what the leading expert in the field, H Thomas Rossby, a professor at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography said in 2014 about the Gulf Stream, which he has been measuring for the last 20 years.

“We find absolutely no evidence that suggests that the Gulf Stream is slowing down.”

So why does the new paper, lead-authored by alarmist Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, claim otherwise?

Well, whereas Professor Rosby measures the Gulf Stream using an incredibly accurate device called an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP), Rahmstorf, Mann et al prefer to use computer models.

And not just any old computer models, either but ‚Äì as Anthony Watts notes here ‚Äì computer models based on “adjusted” (ie dodgy) data from GISS which they appear to have misconstrued.

For example, one plank of Rahmstorf and Mann’s argument is that a cold spot south of Greenland is caused by meltwater from Greenland and it is evidence of a slowed circulation.”

What this theory appears to ignore, however, is that far from melting more ‚Äì as you would expect ‚Äì Greenland’s ice mass on the contrary has been increasing this year and is above the 1990-2011 mean.

greenland

So which do we trust: the climate models? Or reality?

Hmm. Tough one.

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CO2’s role in climate hard to prove

earthI am often asked how I could question the greenhouse explanation of global warming, when so many climate scientists believe the theory is sound. One possible explanation is I am not a climate scientist, so I may look at the physics of the atmosphere with more emphasis on the physics. The whole idea of greenhouse-gas warming is based on the “observation” that planets with atmospheres are 33 degrees C warmer than planets without atmospheres.

Now, planets satisfying these criteria are not exactly jumping out of the sky. This would mean to me that this atmospheric-effect theory never actually has been experimentally tested according to the scientific method. This may be acceptable to 97 percent of climate scientists, but it tends to make me itch.

Let’s say, however, that there is something to it. Having established that our atmosphere warms the planet by 33 degrees C (notice, I didn’t say how), what gases are the major components of today’s atmosphere? There is nitrogen (78 percent by volume), oxygen (21 percent), water vapor (about 0.2 percent; it varies), and carbon dioxide (0.04 percent by volume). Other gases are at much lower concentrations and will not be considered.

My first inclination on how this works is by an insulating-blanket effect. Oxygen and nitrogen gases near the surface absorb heat energy from the warm surface by colliding with it during the day, and then hold on to this energy by passing it back and forth through molecular collisions as they slowly rise to higher altitudes. During the night, the gases near the surface pass the energy back to the surface, which then radiates it as infrared light to space. Increasing CO2 levels should have little effect on this mechanism, since the concentration is so low. Since warming of the planet seems to be nearer to the surface, this is a plausible, but untested, theory.

A second possibility is the greenhouse effect. Oxygen and nitrogen gases are not greenhouse gases, meaning they cannot absorb infrared light. So we are left with water vapor and CO2. Now, greenhouse gases can’t just absorb any arbitrary IR radiation. Like a radio or TV, they must be tuned to a specific wavelength of light. Carbon dioxide only can absorb Earth’s IR radiation in a narrow band of wavelengths centered around 15 micrometers. But the Earth does not emit a lot of radiation at 15 micrometers. According to infrared astronomers, Earth radiates strongly in a band that peaks around 10 micrometers (infrared astronomers refer to this as N-band radiation). CO2 does not absorb strongly in the N-band, because 15-micrometer radiation falls in the tail of this band at very low intensity. It does not take a lot of CO2 in the atmosphere to absorb essentially 100 percent of the 15 micrometer radiation in this band. Adding more CO2 to the atmosphere once this radiation is gone has no effect.

Colder areas of Earth’s surface (minus 80 degrees C, Antarctica temperatures) do shift Earth’s radiation toward 15 micrometers where CO2 absorbs more strongly, but these cold regions of the Earth’s surface are very small compared with the warmer areas near the equator.

Which of these theories is correct, and could there be others? Who knows, but until any are tested experimentally, they all are just chalk dust.

James Barrante of Cheshire is a retired college professor of physical chemistry.

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Study: Observations Refute Claims That Climate Change Is Slowing Pace Of Gulf Stream

gulf streamIn contrast to recent claims of a Gulf Stream slowdown, two decades of directly measured velocity across the current show no evidence of a decrease. –T. Rossby et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 41, Issue 1, pages 114‚Äì120, 16 January 2014

New NASA measurements of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, part of the global ocean conveyor belt that helps regulate climate around the North Atlantic, show no significant slowing over the past 15 years. The data suggest the circulation may have even sped up slightly in the recent past. —NASA News, 25 March 2010

The Gulf Stream that helps to keep Britain from freezing over in winter is slowing down faster now than at any time in the past millennium according to a study suggesting that major changes are taking place to the ocean currents of the North Atlantic. –Steve Connor, The Independent, 24 March 2015

A few times a year the British media of all stripes goes into a tizzy of panic when one climate scientist or another states that there is a possibility that the North Atlantic ocean circulation, of which the Gulf Stream is a major part, will slow down in coming years or even stop. Whether the scientists statements are measured or inflammatory the media invariably warns that this will plunge Britain and Europe into a new ice age, pictures of the icy shores of Labrador are shown, created film of English Channel ferries making their way through sea ice are broadcast… And so the circus continues year after year. –Richard Seager, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University

Several recent studies have generated a great deal of publicity for their claims that the warming climate is slowing the pace of the Gulf Stream. They say that the Gulf Stream is decreasing in strength as a result of rising sea levels along the East Coast. However, none of the studies include any direct measurements of the current over an extended period to prove their point. But this is exactly what has been underway at the University of Rhode Island and Stony Brook University for the last 20 years: measurement of the strength of the Gulf Stream. And according to a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers find no evidence that the Gulf Stream is slowing down. These new results reinforce earlier findings about the stability of Gulf Stream transport based on observations from as far back as the 1930s. —University of Rhode Island, 3 March 2014

The ADCP measures currents at very high accuracy, and so through the repeat measurements we take year after year, we have a very powerful tool by which to monitor the strength of the current. There are variations of the current over time that are natural — and yes, we need to understand these better — but we find absolutely no evidence that suggests that the Gulf Stream is slowing down. ‚Äì Prof H. Thomas Rossby, University of Rhose Island, 3 March 2014

From your “Day after Tomorrow” department (where a slowing Gulf Stream turned NYC into an icebox) comes the claim [that the Gulf Stream is slowing due to Greenland ice melt], from the bowels of Mannian Science. Unfortunately, it looks to be of the caliber of Mann’s Hockey Schtick science. –Anthony Watts, Watts Up With That, 24 March 2015

Overall the latest paper by Rahmstorf and Mann did not even survive birth. –Pierre Gosselin, NoTricksZone, 24 March 2015

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Reporters Explain Why Balance Isn’t Needed On Global Warming

taped(h/t Ralph) Is it morally permissible to allow “climate deniers” to appear in print and televised media?

Columbia University journalism students wrestled with this question recently at a screening of the new documentary, “Merchants of Doubt.” “Merchants,” based on the 2010 book by science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, endeavors to smear skeptics of anthropogenic global warming as the henchmen of the fossil-fuel industry. The film is light on evidence, as I show here, but heavy on verve. Director Robert Kenner (“Food, Inc.”) traces the stories of sly 1950s tobacco reps who hired scientists to cast doubt on a growing consensus that smoking was unhealthy. The film’s implication, insinuated rather than demonstrated, is that global warming doubters are likewise mercenary.

If you buy that argument, then it makes some sense to keep “deniers” from deluding the public. In a room full of journalism students in training to ask tough questions and root out the truth, everyone bought it.

Global Warming Opposition Equals Propaganda

“It is a lie to say that global warming poses no danger,” New York Times reporter Justin Gillis told the crowd as part of a panel after the screening. He was responding to a question from the editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, who had asked him whether news outlets present a “false balance” when they cite both proponents and skeptics of anthropogenic global warming. Since the science is “settled,” and “consensus” has been achieved, why not quote only the proponents? “Journalists care about the truth—that’s my only care in life, to find the truth,” Gillis added. “To act as if the evidence is half and half is to tell a lie. I refuse to perpetuate that lie.”

“Accurate information about climate change is a human right,” insisted Emily Southerd, campaign manager for the advocacy group Forecast the Facts. “Accurate information” in this case apparently means “consensus” information. Southerd shared that her organization is petitioning news stations to quit booking “deniers” like Marc Morano of ClimateDepot.com, one of the “merchants” shown in the film. Wendell Potter from the Huffington Post recommended that newspapers create a new “propaganda beat” with reporters devoted solely to unmasking the “deniers” as frauds.

It’s hard to take such caviling seriously when the New York Times is running beguiling hit pieces on respected (but climate-skeptic) astrophysicist Willie Soon and cheering a McCarthyite investigation into seven other professors who expressed skepticism towards the idea that global warming is dangerous and man-made. In the United Kingdom last summer, after global warming-skeptic Lord Nigel Lawson appeared on the BBC, the head of the BBC Complaints Unit announced that “minority opinions and sceptical views should not be treated on an equal footing with the scientific consensus.” Lawson has not been on the BBC since.

Skeptics are not exactly popular in the media. Gillis acknowledged a tacit pact among print journalists to stop giving credence to climate skeptics. He called this an “enlightenment” that began ten or 15 years ago. American television, he noted, still lets a few skeptics onto the air; broadcasters have yet to come out of the Dark Ages.

Denying the Deniers

The merits of the term “denier” also got some play among the panelists. Southerd cast a strong vote in favor of the term: “these people need to be labeled what they are: climate change deniers.” Gillis explained the need to maintain the appearance of impartiality. “This is much like the abortion wars: what term you use signals what side you are on.” His own preference was to describe the “deniers” as “people who oppose climate science.” He was adamant, though, that these opponents-of-climate-science should never be called “skeptics”; all scientists are professional skeptics, and it would be inappropriate to honor the climate-doubters with such a term.

One member of the audience thought to ask about the funding for pro-anthropogenic global warming scientists. What if someone investigated the money that supports global warming research, and made a “Merchants of Doubt” sequel about the consensus scientists? An excellent question, especially since in the last 15 years pro-sustainability and global warming research has enjoyed nearly $400 million in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); $3 billion from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; $600 million from the National Institutes of Health; $1.7 billion from National Science Foundation; and even $2 million from the National Endowment for the Arts.

No worries about that, Gillis responded: “99.9 percent of climate science is funded by the government.” That means, he explained, that each grant is disclosed by number to the public, making every transaction transparent and trustworthy.

But Gillis neglected to explain that studies from twodifferent organizations have uncovered in this federally-funded research cozenage and artifice of exactly the sort “Merchants” espies in climate change doubters. Paper trails indicate that the EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other federal agencies solicited climate science research that supported their conclusions, cherry-picked peer reviewers known to be sympathetic to the pro-global warming cause, and overlooked conflicts of interest by assigning research papers to be reviewed by members of the same organizations that produced the research in the first place. In response to concerns such as these, the House of Representatives is considering the Secret Science Reform Act and the Science Advisory Board Reform Act to try to bring transparency to the research these federal agencies use as the basis for their environmental regulations.

But none of this was relevant, apparently, in an evening’s conversation about threats to the integrity of climate science. Perhaps such obstinate belief in the credibility of global warming research should itself be labeled a kind of doubt-denialism.

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Global warming consensus claim doesn’t stand up

cartoonNow almost two years old, John Cook’s 97 per cent consensus paper on anthropogenic global warming has been a runaway success. Downloaded more than 300,000 times, voted the best 2013 paper in Environmental Research Letters, frequently cited by peers and politicians from around the world, the paper seems to be the definitive proof that the science of climate change is settled. It isn’t.

Consensus has no place in science. Academics agree on lots of things, but that does not make them true. Even so, agreement climate change is real and human-caused does not tell us anything about how the risks of climate change weigh against the risks of climate policy. But in our age of pseudo-Enlightenment, having 97 per cent of researchers on your side is powerful rhetoric for marginalising political opponents. All politics ends in failure, however. Chances are the opposition will gain power well before the climate problem is solved. Polarisation works in the short run, but is counterproductive in the long run.

Cook and colleagues argue 97 per cent of the relevant academic literature endorses that humans have contributed to observed climate change. This is unremarkable. It follows immediately from the 19th century research by ­Fourier, Tyndall and Arrhenius. In popular discourse, however, Cook’s finding is often misrepresented. The 97 per cent refers to the number of papers, rather than the number of scientists. The alleged consensus is about any human role in climate change, rather than a dominant role, and it is about ­climate change rather than the dangers it might pose.

Although there are large areas of substantive agreement, climate science is far from settled. Witness the dozens of alternative explanations of the 18-year pause in warming of the surface atmosphere. The debate on the seriousness of ­climate change or what to do about it ranges even more widely.

The Cook paper is remarkable for its quality, though. Cook and colleagues studied 12,000 papers, but did not check whether their sample is representative for the scientific literature. It isn’t. Their conclusions are about the papers they happened to look at, rather than about the literature. Attempts to replicate their sample failed: a number of papers that should have been analysed were not, for no apparent reason.

The sample was padded with irrelevant papers. An article about TV coverage on global warming was taken as evidence for global warming. In fact, about three-quarters of the papers counted as endorsements had nothing to say about the subject matter.

Cook enlisted a small group of environmental activists to rate the claims made by the selected papers. Cook claims the ratings were done independently, but the raters freely discussed their work. There are systematic differences between the raters. Reading the same abstracts, the raters reached remarkably different conclusions — and some raters all too often erred in the same direction.

Cook’s hand-picked raters disagreed on what a paper was about 33 per cent of the time. In 63 per cent of cases, they disagreed about the message of a paper with the authors of that paper. The paper’s reviewers did not pick up on these things. The editor even praised the authors for the “excellent data quality” even though neither he nor the referees had had the opportunity to check the data. Then again, that same editor thinks ­climate change is like the rise of Nazi Germany. Two years after publication, Cook admitted that data quality is indeed low.

Requests for the data were met with evasion and foot-dragging, a clear breach of the publisher’s policy on validation and reproduction, yet defended by an editorial board member of the journal as “exemplary scientific conduct”. Cook hoped to hold back some data, but his internet security is on par with his statistical skills, and an alleged hacker was not intimidated by the University of Queensland’s legal threats. Cook’s employer argued that releasing rater identities would violate a confidentiality agreement. That agreement does not exist.

Cook first argued that releasing time stamps would serve no scientific purpose. This is odd. Cook’s raters essentially filled out a giant questionnaire. Survey researchers routinely collect time stamps, and so did Cook. Interviewees sometimes tire and rush through the last questions. Time stamps reveal that. Cook argued time stamps were never collected. They were. They show one of Cook’s raters inspected 675 abstracts within 72 hours, a superhuman ­effort.

The time stamps also reveal something far more serious. After collecting data for eight weeks, there were four weeks of data analysis, followed by three more weeks of data collection. The same people collected and analysed the data. After more analysis, the paper classification scheme was changed and yet more data ­collected.

Cook thus broke a key rule of scientific data collection: observations should never follow from the conclusions. Medical tests are double-blind for good reason.

You cannot change how to ­collect data, and how much, after having seen the results.

Cook’s team may, perhaps unwittingly, have worked towards a given conclusion. And indeed, the observations are different, significantly and materially, between the three phases of data collection. The entire study should therefore be dismissed.

This would have been an amusing how-not-to tale for our students. But Cook’s is one of the most influential papers of recent years. The paper was vigorously defended by the University of Queensland (Cook’s employer) and the editors of Environmental Research Letters, with the Institute of Physics (the publisher) looking on in silence. Incompetence was compounded by cover-up and complacency.

Climate change is one of the defining issues of our times. We have one uncontrolled, poorly observed experiment. We cannot observe the future. Climate change and policy are too complex for a single person to understand. Climate policy is about choosing one future over another. That choice can only be informed by the judgment of experts — and we must have confidence in their learning and trust their intentions.

Climate research lost its aura of impartiality with the unauthorised release of the email archives of the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. Its reputation of competence was shredded by the climate community’s celebration of the flawed works of Michael Mann. Innocence went with the allegations of sexual harassment by Rajendra Pachauri and Peter Gleick’s fake memo. Cook’s paper shows the climate community still has a long way to go in weeding out bad research and bad behaviour. If you want to believe climate researchers are incompetent, biased and secretive, Cook’s paper is an excellent case in point.

Richard Tol teaches economics at the University of Sussex and the Vrije University Amsterdam.

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Environmentalists go after science museums for accepting ‘tainted’ money

originsAs reported today in the NY Times, a letter was sent by environmental groups and some climate scientists asking that museums that receive contributions from fossil fuel companies stop taking those donations, even though these donors have no control over the presentation of scientific content in any way.

The letter says the “money coming from philanthropists like the Koch brothers is tainted,” and could be used in some way to deny the effects of climate change. A quick viewing of global warming exhibits all follow the basic climate change narrative that theorizes that increased carbon dioxide emissions is warming our planet. The Smithsonian takes it a step further by showing that even in a warming world, humans can adapt quickly with little to no ill effects, something the global warmists are adamantly opposed to acknowledging.

“When some of the biggest contributors to climate change and funders [sic] of misinformation on climate science sponsor exhibitions in museums of science and natural history, they undermine public confidence in the validity of the institutions responsible for transmitting scientific knowledge,” the letter states. “This corporate philanthropy comes at too high a cost.”

One of the museums being targeted by climate activists is the Smithsonian, which receives contributions from fossil fuel companies as well as the Koch Bros, a privately held petroleum byproducts in its sundry interests. Donations given to museums contain accompanying contracts that stipulate that donors names can not be used in order to protect their brand’s identity, and if their names are used, they have a right to review any documents that include their names. This is standard legalese that all companies use to prevent its brand and logo being used in a manner inconsistent with its product.

For example, Southern Company Services (SCS), a coal company and long-time donor to the Smithsonian, requires the Smithsonian to provide the coal company “advanced written copy of proposed publications … for comment and input.” In other words, if the Smithsonian is going to use the company’s name or logo in a manner inconsistent with its brand image, it needs to be notified before those materials are made public. Nothing nefarious in that request.

Joe Romm, who runs the website Think Progress, writes that these contracts give donors the legal right to influence and change displays and materials and “may be pursuing yet another strategy to influence how climate science is communicated to the public.” In a 2011 contract Romm gained access to, it shows that the Smithsonian agrees (in clause 15) that “it shall provide SCS an advance written copy of proposed publications regarding the deliverables for comment and input, if any, from SCS.”

Romm goes on to smear the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History’s David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins exhibit, which includes a segment on how humans can adapt to a warming world, because it paints a picture of “don’t worry, be happy,” which isn’t frightening enough for young minds.

The exhibit, which was unveiled in 2010, is named after its largest patron, David H. Koch. Koch had no involvement in its content, presentation, or scientific musings of the exhibit, which “tells the epic story of human evolution and how the defining characteristics of our species have evolved over 6 million years as our ancestors adapted to a changing world.”

Interestingly enough, the letter doesn’t mention any fossil fuel companies by names, but it does mention David H. Koch, who sits on the advisory “boards of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Koch is known for giving tens of millions of dollars to these museums. … In another petition drive sponsored by Greenpeace and Sierra Club, the two environmental organizations urged the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History to ‘Kick Koch off the board!'”

Because of the petition and to tamp down the misinformation being disseminated by environmental activists, Randall Kremer, director of public affairs for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, said that Mr. Koch serves on the “advisory board, which is a consultative board not a governing board,” and that “the museum director has no plans to ask any members to step down.” Kramer also said that Koch signed the standard gift agreement, which “prohibits donor or sponsor involvement in content.”

Roberto Lebron, a spokesperson from the American Museum of Natural History, said “Donors do not determine the interpretation or presentation of scientific content.” Exactly.

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U.S. Republican Bill Delays Obama’s Climate Rule, Gives States Veto

sea ice extentHouse Republicans are preparing a bill that would delay implementation of the Obama administration’s climate rule for power plants and let state governors veto compliance plans. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s panel on energy and power, unveiled the draft legislation Monday that he worked on with Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the full committee chairman, and other members. The draft bill would delay the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule until all court challenges are over and let governors block any plans to implement the regulation — whether from the state or imposed by the EPA — if they think it would significantly increase electricity rates or harm reliability. –Timothy Cama, The Hill, 23 March 2015

The administration’s new rules for hydraulic fracturing on federal lands will add to the cost of shale oil and gas drilling operations and hamper an industry that’s been front and center in the economic recovery. Given this president’s allegiance to the environmental lobby, this may be the whole point of the new rules — to stop fossil-fuel development in order to make expensive renewable energy the only alternative. But a new study from the Brookings Institution — hardly conservative in its orientation — suggests the biggest victims of these new rules will be the poorest Americans, who’ll have to pay higher energy costs. –Editorial, Investor’s Business Daily, 24 March 2015

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is making it tougher for governors to deny man-made climate change. Starting next year, the agency will approve disaster preparedness funds only for states whose governors approve hazard mitigation plans that address climate change. This may put several Republican governors who maintain the earth isn’t warming due to human activities, or prefer to do nothing about it, into a political bind. –Katherine Bagley, Inside Climate News, 18 March 2015

If your state gets levelled by an earthquake, you get help from the feds after everything’s been reduced to rubble. What you don’t get is help beforehand to mitigate the effects of earthquakes unless you’re willing to swear your oath of allegiance to the warmist cause. The biggest recipient of preparedness funds is Louisiana, so if a new hurricane ends up killing a few hundred people there, we’re all set for the mother of all blame games between Obama on the one hand and the state government on the other over whose fault it is that Louisiana didn’t get the money it needed up front to save lives. —Hot Air, 23 March 2015

Despite all of the headlines recently about “record low Arctic ice”, sea ice extent has actually been regrowing for the last two weeks, and is nearly back to where it was on 22nd February. According to PIOMAS, volume has been growing back rapidly in the last few years, and is “roughly back to 2006 levels.” Average ice thickness is also back to 2006 levels, and is higher than any other year since at this time of year. The reason is very simple ‚Äì multi year ice has been steadily growing back after being blown out of the Arctic in 2007 and 2008. –Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 23 March 2015

The detection of miniature black holes by the Large Hadron Collider could prove the existence of parallel universes and show that the Big Bang did not happen, scientists believe. The particle accelerator, which will be restarted this week, has already found the Higgs boson ‚Äì the God Particle ‚Äì which is thought to give mass to other particles. Now scientists at Cern in Switzerland believe they might find miniature black holes which would reveal the existence of a parallel universe. And if the holes are found at a certain energy, it could prove the controversial theory of ‘rainbow gravity’ which suggests that the universe stretches back into time infinitely with no singular point where it started, and no Big Bang. -Sarah Knapton, The Daily Telegraph, 23 March 2015

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Claims on reliable trends in regional sea level rises unreliable

ocean wavesMore Data From Oceans Needed for Sea Level Rise

How quickly sea level will rise in the next 100 years can be roughly calculated on a global scale. However, for specific coastal-protection measures, you need to know how sea level will actually rise at a particular coast. The regional sea level rise may be different from one region to another. Climate scientists from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel have shown in Nature Climate Change that reliable claims on regional trends are currently not possible, because observation data from the oceans are lacking.

There are several reasons why sea level is rising. Glaciers are melting in response to warming temperatures and at the same time seawater is expanding. The rate of current sea level rise amounts to approximately three millimeters per year as a global average. Sea level rise significantly differs from one coast to another, according to climate scientist Prof. Dr. Mojib Latif of GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. Changes in various currents and wind circulations are to blame for these regional differences, but also the fact that temperatures on Earth are rising at differing rates. In a study, published in Nature Climate Change, a group of climate scientists from GEOMAR and the University of Isfahan (Iran) shows that a reliable prediction of regional sea level trends based on today’s oceanic database is very difficult. The research’ results are an appeal for more ocean measurements.

For their study, the authors used the Kiel Climate Model (KCM), which simulates the ocean, the atmosphere and the sea ice. First, they simulated a control climate of 3,000 years with the KCM. Then they chose 22 states from that control run and performed global warming simulations by increasing in each of them the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) at a rate of 1 percent per year, approximately corresponding to present rate. Thereafter, the scientists evaluated 100- year trends in sea level at each point and their regional variations.

The change in CO2 was the same in each of the global warming simulations. Nevertheless, regionally, the sea levels evolved rather differently depending on the initial state of the ocean and the atmosphere, while, as expected, the global sea level rise was virtually identical in all the 22 simulations. In order to estimate the relative importance of the atmospheric and oceanic intial conditions, the authors started another set of 22 global warming simulations. This time, they used the same ocean state as the starting point in every run. Only the atmospheric conditions varied. The regional variations in sea level rise were much smaller than in the first 22 simulations, according to co-author Dr. Thomas Martin of GEOMAR. However, due to the chaotic nature of weather some spread remained, which provides an estimate of the centennial sea level predictability limit.

Thus, the model calculations show that the state of the ocean at the beginning of a simulation has a huge impact on the regional sea level trends. To apply the calculations to the real Earth, the researchers would need to know the state of the ocean at a particular point in time and also the history over a few decades in order to make reliable statements about the regional evolution of the sea level, but there is far too little historical and current data. This is especially true for processes that occur in the deep ocean below 1,800m. In the model, even the state in these deep layers has an influence on later changes. There are hardly any observations from these depths, explains the Kiel climate scientist.

Thus the legitimate question of coastal protection agencies and local residents regarding how high dikes and dams have to be built at a particular coast in the course of the next 100 years will probably remain unanswered for the time being.

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Noted Global Warming Skeptic Gets His Twitter Account Suspended

goddardTwitter has suspended the account of Steven Goddard, the pseudonym of a well-known blogger who is critical of man-made global warming.

After receiving messages of complaints against his account from Twitter in late February, Goddard woke up Monday morning to find his account had been suspended for violating Twitter’s rules.

“I tried to make a tweet around 8 am, and it failed to go through,” Goddard told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Then a message appeared at the top of my Twitter account, saying that my account had been suspended for ‘violation of Twitter rules.'”

Twitter has previously told Goddard users complained against him for making “non-violent threats” and for “abusive behavior.” Goddard denied ever making threats or being abusive, saying that he was himself often the target of attacks.

“I have never violated any Twitter rules, and Twitter has failed to respond to my requests to provide any details,” Goddard said.

Goddard earned notoriety among environmental activist circles for his criticism of man-made global warming. Most notably, Goddard, who has degrees in geology and electrical engineering, has been widely cited for showing evidence that government climate agencies’ adjustments to temperature data have created an artificial warming trend.

Goddard’s work has gotten attention from some climate scientists, Republican lawmakers and conservative writers, like Christopher Booker. Goddard has even been listed on the “Who’s Who List of Climate Denialists” — list put together by environmentalists of global warming “deniers” targeted by email hackers.

The Who’s Who List says Goddard has “called it ‘a massive lie’ that 97 percent of climate scientists agree the world is warming. He also maintains that U.S. and global temperature records have been tampered with, rendering global warming projections inaccurate.”

Goddard has gotten into many heated arguments with scientists, activists and individuals who argue that man-made global warming is a threat to civilization, so it could be that anyone of them that complained to Twitter.

Twitter could not comment on suspending @SteveSGoddard because the company does not disclose information about individual accounts. Twitter’s rules say the company can permanently suspend an account for rule violations or if they “suspect an account has been hacked or compromised.”

Ironically, Goddard said the last tweet he sent out before having his account suspended was “After taking power, progressives changed their motto from ‘always question authority’ to ‘it is illegal to question authority.'”

Goddard noted on his blog Real Science this morning that his account had been deleted. After the news had spread, many of his followers spoke out on Twitter to petition that his account be restored.

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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” width=”500″><p>Hey, <a href=”https://twitter.com/Support”>@Support</a> reinstate <a href=”https://twitter.com/SteveSGoddard”>@SteveSGoddard</a> right away. It&#39;s pathetic that you suspended his account. In no way abusive. Get it together</p>
<p>&mdash; Ori (@OriKeinan) <a href=”https://twitter.com/OriKeinan/status/580014288552796160″>March 23, 2015</a></p></blockquote>
<p><script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script></p>
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” width=”500″><p>WTH <a href=”https://twitter.com/twitter”>@twitter</a>, You suspended <a href=”https://twitter.com/SteveSGoddard”>@stevesgoddard</a> twitter account for what reason? &#10;&#10;People Vote! Please RT if you feel Twitter is wrong doing this</p>
<p>&mdash; Chris Beal (@NJSnowFan) <a href=”https://twitter.com/NJSnowFan/status/579987469107486720″>March 23, 2015</a></p></blockquote>
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