Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Government futility/stupidity

©Steve Hunter. Source: Andy's Rant
The Australian government recently released an issues paper for the review of the renewable energy target. 

What everyone engaged in this debate should recognise is that policies such as the carbon tax and the RET have contributed to household electricity costs rising 110 per cent in the past five years, hitting the poor the hardest.

Bjorn Lomberg writes in the Australian:
Solar and wind power was subsidised by $65 billion in 2012. And because the total climate benefit was a paltry $1.5bn, the subsidies essentially wasted $63.5bn. Biofuels were subsidised by another $20bn, with ­essentially no climate benefit. All of that money could have been spent on healthcare, education, better roads or lower taxes.
Case Smit, co-founder of the Galileo Movement, has sent the following letter to his local member, Warren Truss, and to various newspapers. He recommends that we all do the same.

Dear Editor,

Surely it defies all logic for the Government to be spending billions of taxpayers’ dollars to reduce our relatively minuscule CO2 emissions when it is encouraging the export of coal, and we know for a fact that China, India, Japan, Germany and even the USA are increasing their emissions. Coal is needed to give developing countries the cheap energy they need to raise their standard of living, but they burn it and put CO2 into the earth’s atmosphere; why should we damage our economy and go without when our action is obviously futile?  Our Government must think that we, the taxpayers, are incapable of seeing the stupidity of their action. Mark Twain is quoted as saying: "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it" and I wonder about Australia. 

Case Smit

The Government is looking for savings. Drop the subsidies on useless renewables and they have an immediate $65 biilion added to their bottom line. Are they smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it?

Monday, 28 April 2014

Weightings on various aspects of climate change

By Alan Barron.                                    Date:    Monday, 28 April 2014.

Sun Spot Activity. Image NY Times
Weighting factors are estimated values indicating the relative importance or impact of each item in a group as compared to the other items in the group. In this instance I shall attempt to weight the various aspects of climate. For the purpose of this exercise `climate’ is defined as a period of weather records over a thirty year time span.

The word `atmosphere’ comes from the mid 17th century from Latin atmosphaera, which derived from the from Greek atmos 'vapor' + sphaira 'ball, globe'. In ancient Greek, `atmos’ is from PIE and refers to wind ("to blow.") It also had a religious meaning, "to inspire, spiritually arouse."

Historically the atmosphere was regarded as `indivisible’ meaning it should be regarded as a whole, and not divided up into systems like the human body which has 11 systems.*   It is therefore misleading to divide the atmosphere into components by using such terms as `greenhouse gases.’  

The greenhouse gas (GHG) theory is a clumsy effort to explain the dynamics of the operation of Infra-Red (IR) on global temperatures.  The correct description of the physical ability of a gas, like CO2, would be a Radiatively Able Gas (RAG). This simply means a gas that can absorb and emit infra red (IR) waves.  By comparison a Non Radiatively Able Gas (NRAG) like nitrogen and oxygen does not have this ability.  A Radiatively Able Gas can cool or warm by emission or absorption of IR. It is oxygen which transfers the heat back to the surface of the Earth.
The atmosphere is one complete entity – it is the envelope of gases surrounding the earth (or another planet) and acts as one entity.  Part of the Sun’s incoming energy is absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere.   It is not as if the atmosphere is stagnant and then along comes a weather system. The atmosphere itself is always the weather system; they are not distinctly two concepts. 

In the same way as the tide is the ocean (in popular usage, although there are geomagnetic tides), and linguistically speaking, you could not describe the ocean tide without the water, the weather if you like is the tide of the air.

The question of whether mankind can influence the weather by land use changes (building cities, clearing large tracts of forests) is an open question.  Certainly it has a local impact but whether that translates into any significance of global proportions is highly dubious.  The atmosphere will just deal with what it finds as it is a dynamic system constantly changing and adapting mostly to external factors with a lesser impact from internal factors. 

The purpose of assigning weighting factors is straightforward.  They help us establish the importance in descending order of the various components which shape the climate on this planet.  There are many elements which contribute to our planet’s climate and weather systems.

Based on my own research and present state of knowledge, I would make the following weightings of components which shape and control Earth’s climate. 

Category.                                                                                                Weighting

Changes to whole planet

Totally irrespective of geography - nothing to do with weather.

I.  The Sun, Sun spot activity, Cosmic winds, Heliosphere                             
Without the Sun there would be no light or warmth or no life.                             50%

2. Magnetosphere
The magnetosphere protects the planet from too much UV and makes
life possible on Earth                                                                                         20%

3. Deviation of Earth’s rotational axis to the vertical.
Earth’s orbital variations (The Earth’s tilt ranges from 22 to 24.5. Currently it’s 23.3). Our seasons are controlled by the angle of deviation of our rotational axis to the vertical. The angle changes over time and varies between 22.1 and 25.5 deg to the vertical. This variation causes drastic changes to our climate, from ice ages to raging heatwaves.  We have been there many times before over millennia.                                                                               10%

4. Variation of Earth’s orbit.  Variation in distance from the Sun;
more elongated the more temperatures drop. (`Milankovic effect’).                          5%   

Secondary factors influencing climate

5.   Proximity to equator -The further away the colder it gets                                 4%

6.   Direction of prevailing winds,                                                                 4%

7.    Topographic factorsshape of land, proximity to other land masses,
elevation and distance from coast                                                                           2%

Factors which influence weather

8.      Influence of Moon on tides                                                                          2%
(Including air tides), weather comes from the ocean and most rain falls back into it.  
Ocean influences  (The El Nino) this is part of the moon’s influence. 
Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO),
Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO). Jetstream, Gulfstream

9.      Level and intensity of cloud cover.                                                               2%
Keeps heat in and decides what rain will fall and where and when  

10.  Miscellaneous –other factors                                                                           1%
Impact on weather is minimal, these include;
Land use changes,  Ice-reflectivity feedback,  
Industrial and commercial activity of mankind including CO2 emissions,
Size of populations. Volcanic activity.

                          Total                                                                                          100%

Thus we can see that the top 4 account for 85% of the total. These factors are completely outside mankind’s ability to influence or manipulate. Humanity has can choice as to where they care to reside.  This decision will have more impact on how they experience climate/weather rather than land usage, industrial activity and also size of populations.  Man’s industrial production and use of fossil fuels has no significant impact on climate as climate is controlled by factors 1 to 4 above.

In terms of weather, while land usage, industrial production, use of fossil fuel etc, will have a mild local impact on weather (heat island affect).  Man’s activities do not have the ability impact climate to any measurable degree.


The idea that mankind has to zero in on one tiny component in the atmosphere – carbon dioxide - in order to stop `dangerous climate change’ is misleading and dangerous as it diverts attention away from other more pressing environmental issues and is not supported by the science.

In terms of `greenhouse gases’ (so called), water vapour makes up 96%, carbon dioxide about 3 %, and other gases, such as methane 1%.  Warming, or cooling, the climate is not being controlled or primarily driven by CO2, natural or man-made - period.

Notes  * There are eleven (11) systems of the human body.
1. Integumentary System: skin, connective tissue, and fascia
2. Muscular System: muscles
3. Skeletal and Articular System: skeleton, joints, tendons, and ligaments
4. Respiratory System: nose, larynx, lungs
5. Digestive System: alimentary tract, liver, pancreas
6. Cardiovascular System: heart, arteries, veins
7. Lymphatic System: thymus, spleen, lymph nodes
8. Endocrine System: pituitary gland, pineal gland, thyroid, spleen, pancreatic islets of langerhans, some cells in the kidney, parathyroid glands
9. Urinary System: kidneys, ureter, bladder, urethra
10. Reproductive System: penis, testicles, uterus, vagina, ovary, cervix
11. Nervous System: brain, eyes, ears, taste buds

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Green is the New Red

Image: Whalen Politics
This blog wrote of the departure of Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore after the movement was hijacked by the communists; by the
political and social activists who learned to use green language to cloak agendas that had more to do with anticapitalism and antiglobalization than with science or ecology. (LINK)
Now The American Spectator opines that Green is the New Red.
The environmental movement has been hijacked by those who worship the created and not the creator. They regard industrialization as retrograde, resource extraction as evil, and human beings as net destroyers of the planet. I remember several years ago reading an article by a prominent environmentalist who said Earth’s greatest problem is that mankind has no natural predator. In other words, it is a global curse that human beings sit atop the food chain.
After mentioning how environmental groups have rallied against the Keystone XL Pipeline, the writer   continues:
The greens are, in short, against almost all forms of electric power, except those that are prohibitively expensive. They are against oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, and hydro, which together account about 90 percent of our electric power production. They want wind and solar energy, which produce about 3 percent of our electricity and aren’t even green. We’d have to pave over entire states and vast stretches of desert with solar panels to produce enough electricity to power our $18 trillion economy. We’d have to drop windmills—whose blades already Cuisinart more than 83,000 hunting birds, such as falcons and eagles, every year—on every hill, plain, and coastline. The entire wilderness would be industrialized with these inefficient contraptions.
Meanwhile, BBC Presenter and Spectator Chairman Andrew Neil appeared on Channel 10's The Bolt Report and after Bolt commented that "you don't exist in Australia...." meaning "our ABC" doesn't have a journalist who would "run a program vigorously contesting the climate science consensus that man made global warming is dangerous" like Neil did on the BBC.
BOLT: Now how difficult was it for you to do that show?
NEIL: I don't think it was difficult at all...... What we did specifically was too zoom in specifically on the pause in temperatures in Australia, most of the Western world particularly in Britain though,   energy policy is based on assumptions that temperatures will continue to rise.....for the last 15-17 years they've not been rising to any significant degree so what we've asked the Energy Secretary and the Climate Change Secretary was simply - does this not mean that you should be rethinking your policy?
.....We simply used the "science to show that there was a pause and that that pause could have implications for policy.

Listen at the end where Andrew Neil says that journalists should be sceptics and they should NOT become pally with politicians and think that they are in the same club. They are not!

Well, they should not be but unfortunately most are in the same club as the pollies.

Belfer Center for (UN)Science and (Some) International Affairs: Is the IPCC Process Broken?

Donna Laframboise, on her blog No Frakking Consensus, wrote of the IPCC Asessment report approval process:
Since Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been in a meeting. The purpose of that meeting is to take a document authored by scientists and ensure that its wording is palatable to the powers that be. 
Called the Summary for Policymakers, this is a 30-page précis of the IPCC’s as-yet-unreleased Working Group 1 report (which is expected to total 1,000 or so pages). 
At the meeting, one sentence after another has been projected onto large screens. Diplomats, bureaucrats, and politicians from dozens of UN nations have haggled, horse traded, and negotiated. Eventually, phrasing that everyone can live with has been agreed upon. Then they’ve moved on to the next sentence. (bold added)
If Donna is correct, and I believe that she is, scientists are absent from the redrafting of the Summary for Policymakers.

Robert N. Stavinsthe Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, and Chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources Faculty Group, on the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Blog agrees, asking "Is the IPCC Government Approval Process Broken? (link)
Over the past 5 years, I have dedicated an immense amount of time and effort to serving as the Co-Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) of Chapter 13, “International Cooperation:  Agreements and Instruments,” of Working Group III (Mitigation) of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  It has been an intense and exceptionally time-consuming process, which recently culminated in a grueling week spent in Berlin, Germany, April 5-13, 2014, at the government approval sessions, in which some 195 country delegations discussed, revised, and ultimately approved (line-by-line) the “Summary for Policymakers” (SPM), which condenses more than 2,000 pages of text from 15 chapters into an SPM document of 33 pages.  Several of the CLAs present with me in Berlin commented that given the nature and outcome of the week, the resulting document should probably be called the Summary by Policymakers, rather than the Summary for Policymakers.
Further Professor Stavins wrote to IPCC leaders:
No institution can be all things for all people, and this includes the IPCC.  In particular, in the case of the IPCC’s review of research findings on international cooperation, there may be an inescapable conflict between scientific integrity and political credibility.  If the IPCC is to continue to survey scholarship on international cooperation in future assessment reports, it should not put country representatives in the uncomfortable and fundamentally untenable position of reviewing text in order to give it their unanimous approval.  Likewise, the IPCC should not ask lead authors to volunteer enormous amounts of their time over multi-year periods to carry out work that will inevitably be rejected by governments in the Summary for Policymakers.
Prof Stavins told The Mail on Sunday yesterday that he had been especially concerned by what happened at a special ‘contact group’. He was one of only two scientists present, surrounded by ‘45 or 50’ government officials.

Many of the officials were themselves climate negotiators, facing the task of devising a new treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol in negotiations set to conclude next year.

Prof Stavins said: ‘This created an irreconcilable conflict of interest. It has got to the point where it would be reasonable to call the document a summary by policymakers, not a summary for them, and it certainly affects the credibility of the IPCC. The process ought to be reformed.’(bold added)

Professor Stavins is concerned about the IPCC's suppression - he  revealed the original draft of the summary contained a lot of detail on how international co-operation to curb emissions might work, and how it could be funded. The final version contains only meaningless headings, however, with all details removed.

Professor Stavins has his own record of removing and suppressing comment. 

In a companion piece  The Warsaw Climate Negotiations, and Reason for Cautious Optimism Professor Stavins writes: 
First of all, the annual carbon dioxide (CO2) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of these two countries have already converged. Whereas U.S. CO2 emissions in 1990 were almost twice the level of Chinese emissions, by 2006 China had overtaken the United States.  We are the world’s two largest emitters. 
Second, as I explained above, cumulative emissions are particularly important, because they are what cause climate change. 
Professor Stavins' pieces are published on the site: The HARVARD Kennedy School: BELFER CENTER for Science and International Affairs. The centre describes itself:
The Belfer Center is the hub of the Harvard Kennedy School's research, teaching, and training in international security affairs, environmental and resource issues, and science and technology policy. 
 Now the Oxford Dictionary defines "Science" as:
The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment:
Perhaps Professor Stavins has forsaken the observational science for the religion of the Global Warming Nazis.

Looking at the observations of non-polluting carbon dioxide and global temperature we find that atmospheric CO2 keeps rising at a fairly uniform rate....
Ole Humlum: Climate4You

whilst global temperatures have NOT risen for the past 17 years and 8 months (204 months)


and global temperatures have fallen for the last 111 months:

  • Not only has Professor Stavins apparently not kept up with recent observational science, he or his blog manager is oppressing dissenting opinion on his Belfer Blog.

    This comment was awaiting moderation and then disappeared. 

  • Geoff Brown says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. 
    April 26, 2014 at 2:20 am
    As the CAGW hypothesis has been falsified, and while atmospheric CO2 has continued rising, the global temperature has not risen for more than 17 years, about half the time of the satellite data.
    Having recently visited China, that country should certainly do something about “particulates and other pollutants.”
    However, CO2 is innocent.
  • When I tried to repost, the email address used was disallowed by the Stavins/Belfer blog. Surely Scientists should allow dissenting comment; should have enough courage of their own convictions to at least allow dissenters and then, if they can, show where the dissenters are wrong.

    So I posted again using a different name and email address.

  • The Belfer Center showed that they WEREN'T robust enough to address dissenting comments!

    One last try. And I can guess it's fate......

  • Science vs Spin; which will win?

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Lest we Forget

Anzac Day 2014 marks the 99th year after the landing at Gallipoli, however Anzac Day goes beyond the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915. It is the day on which we remember Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. The spirit of Anzac, with its human qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity.

Requiem for a Soldier:

Presented by Former member of The Ten Tenors, Brisbane's Gregory Moore along with Scotland The Brave Soprano, Bundaberg's Suellen Cusack

You never lived to see
What you gave to me
One shining dream of hope and love
Life and liberty
With a host of brave unknown soldiers
For your company you will live forever
Here in our memory

In fields of sacrifice
Heroes paid the price
Young men who died for old men's wars
Gone to paradise
We are all one great band of brothers
And one day you'll see we can live together
When all the world is free

I wish you'd lived to see
All you gave to me
Your shining dream of hope and love
Life and liberty
We are all one great band of brothers
And one day you'll see - we can live together
When all the world is free

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

NASA discovers: Greenland WAS Green 3 million years ago

About 3 million years ago, Greenland looked like the green Alaskan tundra. 
Most people who have studied Climate Matters would be aware of  GUS -Gården Under Sandet (See Alarming News for the Alarmists) GUS proved that the Medieval Warm Period existed and hence the naming of the island "Greenland" by Eric the Red.

Now however a team of university scientists and a NASA colleague were greatly surprised to discover an ancient tundra landscape preserved under the Greenland Ice Sheet, below two miles of ice. The team reported their discovery on April 17 in the journal Science.

Just think! Greenland was really Green 3 million years ago.
The discovery indicates that even during the warmest periods since the ice sheet formed, the center of Greenland remained stable. This allowed a tundra landscape to be locked away, unmodified, under ice through millions of years of global warming and cooling. 
“The traditional knowledge about glaciers is that they are very powerful agents of erosion and can effectively strip a landscape clean. Instead, we demonstrate that the Greenland Ice Sheet is not acting as an agent of erosion; in fact, at it’s center, it has performed incredibly little erosion since its inception almost three million years ago,” said co-author Lee Corbett, a graduate student at the University of Vermont. (source)
The paper, published in Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1249047  Paul R. Bierman et al

Preservation of a Preglacial Landscape Under the Center of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Continental ice sheets typically sculpt landscapes via erosion; under certain conditions, ancient landscapes can be preserved beneath ice and can survive extensive and repeated glaciation. We used concentrations of atmospherically produced cosmogenic beryllium-10, carbon, and nitrogen to show that ancient soil has been preserved in basal ice for millions of years at the center of the ice sheet at Summit, Greenland. This finding suggests ice sheet stability through the Pleistocene (i.e., the past 2.7 million years). The preservation of this soil implies that the ice has been non-erosive and frozen to the bed for much of that time, that there was no substantial exposure of central Greenland once the ice sheet became fully established, and that preglacial landscapes can remain preserved for long periods under continental ice sheets.

The findings show that the soil had been stable and exposed at the surface for somewhere between 200,000 and 1 million years before being covered by ice. To help interpret them, the scientists also measured nitrogen and carbon that could have been left by plant material in the core sample. 
“The fact that measurable amounts of organic material were found in the silty ice indicates that soil must have been present under the ice,” said co-author Dr Andrea Lini from the University of Vermont. 
Greenland really was green! However, it was millions of years ago. Greenland looked like the green Alaskan tundra, before it was covered by the second largest body of ice on Earth,” Dr Rood said. (bold added - Source)

Monday, 21 April 2014

Arctic Temperatures highest on 44,000 make that 5,000 Spruce made a Goose!

Headline of an article written for Yahoo News by Douglas Main:

Arctic Temperatures Highest in at Least 44,000 Years

Plenty of studies have shown that the Arctic is warming and that the ice caps are melting, but how does it compare to the past, and how serious is it? 
New research shows that average summer temperatures in the Canadian Arctic over the last century are the highest in the last 44,000 years, and perhaps the highest in 120,000 years. (Unprecedented recent warmth in Arctic Canada)
"The key piece here is just how unprecedented the warming of Arctic Canada is," Gifford Miller, a researcher at the University of Colorado, Boulder, said in a joint statement from the school and the publisher of the journal Geophysical Researcher Letters, in which the study by Miller and his colleagues was published online this week. "This study really says the warming we are seeing is outside any kind of known natural variability, and it has to be due to increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere."
Part of the abstract says: (link)
Reconstructed changes in snowline elevation suggest that summers cooled ~2.7°C over the past 5000 years,
Courtesy of Dr Tim Ball (link) (written in March 2012 before the above story)

Sensationalist And Distorted Climate Stories Increase As Climate Science Failures Exposed 
However, if you are unconvinced by the ice core data, it is supported by physical evidence. Professor Ritchie (University of Toronto) identified and photographed a picea glauca (white spruce) stump on the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula in tundra some 100km north of the current treeline (Figure 2). Radiocarbon date was 4940 ±140 years Before Present (BP). It was featured in Hubert Lamb’s classic work Climate, Present, Past and Future.
Tim says, of the above photo, 
(It) is a photo of a White Spruce radiocarbon dated at 5000 years old located 100 km north of the current tree line. Temperatures had to be 2-3°C warmer than at present for this to happen. 
Warmer 5,000 years ago? So much for Miller et al's "peer-reviewed"unprecedented warmth.

Dr Judith Curry on her blog Climate etc. also wrote:
Miller et al. assume that the Baffin Island melting is attributable to AGW.  Maybe it is.  In the Chasing Ice post, I noted that the peak glacier discharge from West Greenland occurred in the 1930′s. The Ellesmere ice shelves also saw a melt back earlier in the 20th century circa the 1930′s.  The Miller et al. paper does not remark on any evidence of warming in the 1930′s, or the LIA or MWP for that matter, but note only a cooling over the past 5000 years, with marked warming in the past 100 years.  The reasoning behind the Miller et al. conclusions is rather complex, with a number of assumptions, I’m not sure what to make of their arguments. 
In any event, how representative of the Arctic is their findings from Baffin Island?  Well, it doesn’t even seem to be too representative even of Ellesmere Island and West Greenland.
After discussion of a somewhat conflicting(peer-reviewed) paper by Opel et al, Dr Curry concludes:
The natural internal variability in the Arctic seems to be an exceedingly complex dance between atmospheric circulations, sea ice, ocean circulations and ice sheet dynamics, on a range of timescales.  We have some hints about how all this interacts, but much is unknown.  In light of this, simplistic inferences about global warming in the Arctic seem unjustified.