Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Shouldn't scientists use science as fact, instead of climate alarmism?

Global Warming: it’s Happening Again

by dennis T. avery

Churchville, VA—Senator Boxer recently held a hearing entitled, “Climate Change: It’s Happening Now.” To honor historic truth, the title “It’s Happening Again” would have suited better.

Heidi Cullen, formerly the alarmist voice at the Weather Channel, was one of Boxer’s key witnesses. In her testimony, Dr. Cullen said that “heavy downpours” have increased by 73 percent over recent decades due to global warming. The U.S. Geological Survey data show no such increase over the past 60 years, though there may have been some increase in rainfall variability. She once was too good a scientist to make a misstatement such as that.

In fact, her side has not been able to give her much alarmist ammunition beyond the never-verified and now-failing computer models. At one point, Senator Vitter (R-LA) asked the panel of experts “Can any witnesses say they agree with Obama’s statement that warming has accelerated during the past 10 years?” After a deafening silence, Dr. Cullen said our focus should be on longer time-periods, rather than the ten years mentioned by Obama. When pressed, however, she admitted that global warming has slowed, not accelerated.

Dr. Cullen knows about longer climate cycling. She is an expert on the long, natural 1,500-year climate cycle that gave us the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warming, and more than 600 previous warming/cooling cycles over the past 1 million years.

In fact, Dr. Cullen studied the sediments that accumulated downwind of Akkadia, in the Persian Gulf. She discovered that the first impact of a “little ice age” on the Akkadian Empire (in today’s Iraq) at 2200 BC was a 300-year drought! The drought caused mass starvation and abandoned towns; then for another 200 years, shepherds wandered the semi-arid wasteland. Eventually, a return of global warming brought back stable and favorable cropping conditions to Iraq, new immigrants recreated the irrigated farming that had supported the Akkadians, and the urbanization of human cultures resumed. (This has happened seven times in the last 6000 years.)

Her science career was looking good; but, she chose to become a TV star and author of a book entitled The Weather of the Future. The book, unfortunately, abandons everything she learned about the documented 1,500-year climate cycle. If Dr. Cullen had remained true to her scientific training and experience, she would have told us that the global climate is constantly cycling, but within natural parameters.

The Modern Warming has followed the long and intensely cold Little Ice Age. We cannot predict how long the Modern Warming will last, but it is virtually certain to last another 200–400 years, with a maximum temperature about the same as the highly beneficial Medieval and Roman Warmings. Then, inevitably, the warming will shift abruptly into another “little ice age,” or even into a full Ice Age. What will the successors of Dr. Cullen have us do then?

In the short term, the weather will obey the dictates of the Pacific Ocean, our biggest heat sink. The Pacific’s 60-year warm/cool cycle, superimposed on the 1,500-year cycle, currently predicts continued global cooling—until long after the current crop of politicians has retired or been defeated.

Dr. Cullen tried becoming famous with honest science, and hardly anyone noticed her. Now, her current celebrity is likely to fade with the declining temperatures.

Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., is an environmental economist. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years. Readers may write to him at PO Box 202 Churchville, VA 2442; email to cgfi@mgwnet.com. Visit our website at www. cgfi.org

Monday, July 22, 2013

What is it about data and scientific fact that "climate experts" don't understand? They continue to push alarmism, when it is constantly being disproved.

Delaware’s “future weather”

We’re getting burned by phony science and authoritarian power grabs
Paul Driessen and David R. Legates
During this hot, wet summer, a “national climate expert” recently told Delawareans that they can expect even hotter summers – with a climate like Savannah, Georgia’s – by the end of the century.  The culprit, naturally: runaway global warming.
Savannah residents are long accustomed to their climate and, thanks to air conditioning and other modern technologies, are better able to deal with the heat and humidity. Nevertheless, the impact on Delaware will be disastrous, Dr. Katherine Hayhoe claims. Nonsense.
Her forthcoming report promises to be no different from other proclamations that persistently predict dire consequences from climate change – and then present taxpayers with a hefty bill. In this scenario, the State’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) paid $46,000 for her report, presumably to suggest that “independent scholars” support the state’s positions.
The preliminary release of her report reads like the script from a bad disaster movie – think The Day After Tomorrow and An Inconvenient Truth. Like them, it also plays fast and loose with the facts.
It fails to mention the extreme cold that many places around the globe experienced recently.  Europe and Russia in particular suffered through bitter cold the past two winters. The report likewise ignores the fact that average global temperatures have not risen at all over the last sixteen years; in fact, Earth has actually cooled slightly during the past decade.
For its really scary worst-case scenario, Dr. Hayhoe says Delaware’s temperatures will rise astronomically in coming decades: with more than two full months of endless days above 95°F and a hundred-fold increase in days with temperatures at or above 100°F by 2100.  “Trends to more extreme highs and fewer extreme lows already are apparent,” Dr. Hayhoe asserts. Except they are not. 
Data from 970 weather stations across the United States reveal that more record daily maximum air temperatures were set in the 1930s than in any recent decade, and no increase in frequency of higher temperatures has been observed since 1955. The Delaware State Climatologist examined New Castle County Airport records in Wilmington and found no long-term trend in either the total number of days or the number of consecutive days with maximum air temperature above 90°F.
The same can be said for days where temperatures remain below freezing.
Globally, daytime high temperatures do not show significant warming – and most of the warming that has been observed is confined to nighttime low temperatures. Nighttime lows are driven by turbulence (or lack thereof) near the surface, not by the accumulation of energy related to CO2 warming of the deep atmosphere.
By contrast, maximum daily temperature is a measure of the energy content of the deep atmosphere, and is thus a much better measure of the warming due to greenhouse gases. The lack of a signal in maximum temperature suggests that the rate of warming due to CO2 is relatively small – and certainly much smaller than climate models suggest.
As for precipitation, Dr. Hayhoe claims that both floods and droughts will increase, with “more rain arriving as heavy downpours, and more dry periods in between.”  This assertion was dispelled in a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on extreme events, released last summer. 
The IPCC report concluded that “in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense or shorter; for example in central North America.” Similarly, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has produced plots that show which parts of the United States are classified as moderate to extreme for dryness and wetness. While both conditions show considerable variability, neither exhibits a significant trend. NOAA also concludes that snowfall records show no long-term trend, and recent record snowfalls are the result of natural variability.
Why should Delaware’s or the nation’s future be any different than the past fifty years of increasing carbon dioxide concentrations?  Dr. Hayhoe’s bases her extreme scenarios on climate models – the same models that have predicted major temperature trends that have not materialized; greatly exaggerated short-term trends in rainfall, droughts and violent storms; and failed to predict the lack of warming since 1998.  So why should we believe them now?
The real reason behind this report is to provide the State with the justification to enact draconian measures to control Delawareans’ energy use and provide major subsidies for “alternative” and “renewable” energy projects.  Delaware Secretary of the Environment and Energy Collin O’Mara says, “We need to make sure we have good science driving our decision-making in the years to come.” Apparently, $46,000 has bought the State precisely the “science” he wanted to hear.
O’Mara came to Delaware in 2009, as part of Governor Markell’s administration.  Billed as “the youngest state cabinet official in the nation,” O’Mara is a self-proclaimed climate-change and energy “entrepreneur.” During his tenure in Delaware, he has spearheaded the administration’s efforts on “climate change mitigation,” renewable energy subsidies and “sustainable development.”
During the last 4-1/2 years, the Markell Administration has “invested” in Fisker Automotive, leaving the State’s citizens on the hook to pay for an automobile assembly plant that has created zero new jobs and produced zero cars. 
Bloom Energy, which hails from the same town as O’Mara (San Jose, CA), has also been the happy beneficiary of enormous State subsidies and exceptions from environmental regulations. Delaware now labels natural gas as a renewable resource, for example – but only if it is burned in a Bloom fuel cell. This enables the State to funnel taxpayer and ratepayer money from renewable energy credits to Bloom. To top it off, if the State ever decides to renege on the deal, the legislation requires that the State immediately pay Bloom twenty years worth of profits.
O’Mara has also been busy with rule-making by executive fiat. Without any public discussion or debate, and without any vote by the State legislature, O’Mara signed into law new “green” energy standards that make the First State’s emission rules even more stringent than Federal regulations, via a clever process known as prospective incorporation. Through this, all provisions from the California Code of Regulations are automatically “updated,” to ensure that Delaware’s Code is consistent with California’s.
That means any changes to the California Code implemented by the most environmentally dogmatic, job-killing and bankrupt state in the Union are immediately and completely binding via Delaware regulations.  With no presentation to the people, no discussion or vote by the General Assembly, and not even any case-by-case intervention by Delaware’s executive branch, California regulations are automatically the law in Delaware. With the stroke of the pen, Delaware has surrendered its sovereignty to California.
Armed with this new “scientific” report, what draconian measures might Mr. O’Mara and the Markell Administration have in store for the citizens of Delaware? Time alone will tell. However, given their track record thus far, Delawareans are going to get burned – and not by global warming.
Even worse, the same sneaky shenanigans are being played out in other states, in Washington, and all over the world, through the UN, EU and environmentalist pressure groups – in the name of saving the planet from computer model and horror movie disasters. These are bigger power grabs than anything King George III tried. We the People need to take notice, and take action.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power, black death (Merril Press, 2012). David Legates is a Professor of Climatology at the University of Delaware and has studied climate change for thirty years.

The multiple light colored lines track projections of mean global temperature for the lower Troposphere by 44 climate models. The dark black line is the 44-computer-model average, which is what the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses as its best estimate of predicted “catastrophic manmade global warming.” The two brightly colored lines represent the actual satellite temperature records measured by the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH – blue) and Remote Sensing System (RSS – red). These two lines demonstrate that actual planetary temperatures are far below what IPCC models predict. http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/04/global-warming-slowdown-the-view-from-space/    

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The question continues: Why is Obama trying to stall economic activity through regulations that will only raise energy prices and discourage investment?

As Global Warming Stalls, Activists Talk 'Climate Change' 

By Diana Furchtgott-Roth

July 16, 2013

With an apparent stall in global warming, the focus among environmentalists has switched to "climate change," perhaps to justify President Obama's new environmental regulatory initiatives.

On Thursday the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works holds a hearing entitled "Climate Change: It's Happening Now."

And last week the Department of Energy issued a report called U.S. Energy Sector Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Extreme Weather. The report projects increases in storm and flood frequency.

However, a review of the data over the past 100 years does not show a steady increase in major storms such as hurricanes, or a steady increase in the number of floods, even though global greenhouse gas emissions increased.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows the number of hurricanes over the past 100 years has been volatile, with no clear trend. There were seven floods reported by the NOAA's Mid-Atlantic River Forecast Center in 2012, the precise number reported in 1912.

In between, some years have shown higher numbers, others have shown lower numbers. The only trend is that data have been volatile.

Since 2003 global temperatures appear to have reached a plateau. With rising greenhouse gas emissions from Asia and other emerging economies, many predicted that temperatures would continue to rise. Why they have not done so is a puzzle.

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have been declining since 2007, and fell by 1.6 percent between 2010 and 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency announced earlier this year.

The Energy Department report offers ammunition to President Obama's possibly extra-legal plans to use his executive power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite the 111th Congress's decision in 2009-2010 not to pass cap-and-trade legislation, when Democrats had veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate, on June 25, in a speech at Georgetown University, Obama called for similar regulatory measures to reduce greenhouse gases. His wish list includes:

• Reduction of greenhouse emissions from existing power plants, as well as future plants;
• Increases in efficiency standards for appliances;
• Placement of wind farms and solar power plants on federal lands;
• Installation of three gigawatts of renewable power on bases; and
• Production of 20 percent of the federal government's energy from renewable sources over the next 7 years.

The cost of the legislation was a major reason for the failure of the Waxman-Markey and Kerry-Lieberman "cap-and-trade" bills, which would have capped emissions and encouraged firms to buy and sell rights to pollute. The revenues from the bills, about $646 billion over 8 years, would have at that time been the largest tax increase in history.

The bill would have required EPA to shrink greenhouse gas allowances steadily to 2050. When any year's emissions exceeded a firm's cap, the firm would have to purchase allowances from the government or other companies. That is a tax under another name, driving up costs that would be passed on to consumers in the form of higher energy bills.

The price increases in cap-and-trade systems disproportionately affect low-income Americans, who spend a higher share of their income on energy. Data from the Labor Department show those in the lowest fifth of the income distribution spend an average of 24 percent of income on energy, compared to 10 percent of income for those in the middle fifth, and 4 percent of income for those in the top fifth.

Even if rising greenhouse gas emissions are affecting the climate, actions by the United States, whose global share of greenhouse gases is 17 percent, will not be helpful in the absence of changes by China and India.

Other countries are increasing emissions. China, India, and Germany are expanding coal consumption, according to the International Energy Agency. Global coal use will rise by 1.2 billion tons in five years. "By 2017," according to a December 2012 International Energy Agency report, "coal will come close to surpassing oil as the world's top energy source." Obama's planned reductions in U.S. emissions, with associated costs, will just be a drop in the global bucket.

With the slowdown in many measures of global warming over the past decade, climate change is playing second fiddle to jobs in the public eye. Americans know that no reduction in global warming will occur if America reduces greenhouse gases without similar action by China and India, and these countries have not agreed to comparable steps.

The president's climate change measures will reduce economic growth by raising energy prices. As well as reducing jobs in the mining industry—over 100 coal-fired power plants have closed since the beginning of 2010—it will also discourage energy-intensive manufacturing.

Manufacturers are returning to America due to low-cost energy, and the president's proposals could drive them away and discourage others. The new French Vallourec Star pipe mill in eastern Ohio is making tubes for the electric pipe industry. Other companies making similar investments are Luxembourg's Tenaris and China's Tanjin Pipe. Royal Dutch Shell is building a $4 billion ethane cracker plant in Pennsylvania, and is planning on hiring 5,000 construction workers.

Since 2009, the German chemical company BASF has invested more than $5.7 billion into North America, including a formic acid plant under construction in Louisiana. BASF officials say that energy prices in America are lower than in Europe, where fracking is discouraged.

Other European countries planning to invest in America due to low energy prices include Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine (an iron-ore processing plant in Texas), and South Africa-based Sasol (a natural gas to diesel conversion plant in Louisiana).

Imposing cap-and-trade by regulation will drive away such companies and slow America's economy, without significantly affecting global temperatures.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.