Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

17 February 2018

Overheated claims on temperature records by Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris

It’s time for sober second thoughts on climate alarms

Now that the excitement has died down over the news that Earth’s surface temperature made 2017 one of the hottest years on record, it is time for sober second thoughts.
Did the January 18 announcement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that 2017 was our planet’s third-hottest year since 1880, and NASA’s claim that it was the second hottest year, actually mean anything?
Although the Los Angeles Times called 2017 “a top-three scorcher for planet Earth,” neither the NOAA nor the NASA records are significant. One would naturally expect the warmest years to come during the most recent years of a warming trend. And thank goodness we have been in a gradual warming trend since the depths of the Little Ice Age in the late 1600s! Back then, the River Thames was covered by a meter of ice, as Jan Grifier’s 1683 painting “The Great Frost’ illustrates.
Regardless, recent changes have been too small for even most thermometers to notice. More important, they are often less than the government’s estimates of uncertainty in the measurements. In fact, we lack the data to properly and scientifically compare today’s temperatures with the past.
This is because, until the 1960s, surface temperature data was collected using mercury thermometers located at weather stations situated mostly in the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom and eastern Australia. Most of the rest of the planet had very few temperature sensing stations. And none of the Earth’s oceans, which constitute 70 percent of the planet’s surface area, had more than an occasional station separated from its neighbors by thousands of kilometers or miles.
The data collected at the weather stations in this sparse grid had, at best, an accuracy of +/-0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit). In most cases, the real-world accuracy was no better than +/-1 deg C (1.8 deg F). Averaging such poor data in an attempt to determine global conditions cannot yield anything meaningful. Displaying average global temperature to tenths or even hundreds of a degree, as is done in the NOAA and NASA graphs, clearly defies common sense.
Modern weather station surface temperature data is now collected using precision thermocouples. But, starting in the 1970s, less and less ground surface temperature data was used for plots such as those by NOAA and NASA. This was done initially because governments believed satellite monitoring could take over from most of the ground surface data collection.
However, the satellites did not show the warming forecast by computer models, which had become so crucial to climate studies and energy policy-making. So bureaucrats closed most of the colder rural surface temperature sensing stations – the ones furthest from much warmer urban areas – thereby yielding the warming desired for political purposes.
Today, virtually no data exist for approximately 85 percent of the earth’s surface. Indeed, fewer weather stations are in operation now than in 1960.
That means surface temperature computations by NOAA and NASA after about 1980 are meaningless. Combining this with the problems with earlier data renders an unavoidable conclusion: It is not possible to know how Earth’s so-called average surface temperature has varied over the past century and a half.
The data is therefore useless for input to the computer models that form the basis of policy recommendations produced by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and used to justify eliminating fossil fuels, and replacing them with renewable energy.
But the lack of adequate surface data is only the start of the problem. The computer models on which the climate scare is based are mathematical constructions that require the input of data above the surface, as well as on it. The models divide the atmosphere into cubes piled on top of each other, ideally with wind, humidity, cloud cover and temperature conditions known for different altitudes. But we currently have even less data above the surface than on it, and there is essentially no historical data at altitude.
Many people think the planet is adequately covered by satellite observations, data that represents global 24/7 coverage and is far more accurate than anything determined at weather stations. But the satellites are unable to collect data from the north and south poles, regions that the IPCC, NOAA and NASA tout as critical to understanding global warming. Besides, space-based temperature data collection did not start until 1979, and 30 years of weather data are required to generate a single data point on a climate graph.
So the satellite record is far too short to allow us to come to useful conclusions about climate change.
In fact, there is insufficient data of any kind – temperature, land and sea ice, glaciers, sea level, extreme weather, ocean pH,  and so on – to be able to determine how today’s climate differs from the past. Lacking such fundamental data, climate forecasts cited by climate activists therefore have no connection with the real world.
British Professor Hubert Lamb is often identified as the founder of modern climatology. In his comprehensive 1972 treatise, Climate: Past, Present and Future, he clearly showed that it is not possible to understand climate change without having vast amounts of accurate weather data over long time frames. Lamb also noted that funding for improving the weather database was dwarfed by money being spent on computer models and theorizing. He warned that this would result in wild and unsubstantiated theories and assertions, while predictions failed to improve. That is precisely what happened.
Each and every prediction made by the computer models cited by the IPCC have turned out to be incorrect. Indeed, the first predictions they made for the IPCC’s 1990 Assessment Report were so wrong that the panel started to call them “projections” and offered low, medium and high “confidence” ranges for future guesstimates, which journalists, politicians and others nevertheless treated as reliable predictions for future weather and climate.
IPCC members seemed to conclude that, if they provided a broad enough range of forecasts, one was bound to be correct. Yet, even that was too optimistic. All three ranges predicted by the IPCC have turned out to be wrong.
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is right to speak about the need for a full blown public debate among scientists about the causes and consequences of climate change. In his February 6 television interview on KSNV, an NBC affiliate in Las Vegas, Mr. Pruitt explained:
“There are very important questions around the climate issue that folks really don’t get to. And that’s one of the reasons why I’ve talked about having an honest, open, transparent debate about what do we know, and what don’t we know, so the American people can be informed and they can make decisions on their own with respect to these issues.”
On January 30, Pruitt told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that a “red team-blue team exercise” (an EPA-sponsored debate between climate scientists holding differing views) is under consideration. It is crucially important that such a debate take place.
The public needs to understand that even the most basic assumptions underlying climate concerns are either in doubt or simply wrong. The campaign to force America, Canada, Europe and the rest of the world to switch from abundant and affordable coal and other fossil fuels – to expensive, unreliable, land intensive alternatives – supposedly to control Earth’s always fluctuating climate, will then finally be exposed for what it really is: the greatest, most damaging hoax in history.

Dr. Tim Ball is an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba. Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.

My Note:
I added the yellow highlighting.  This is a point I have also long made.  I will add another point, much of the historical data has been "corrected" in recent times and the corrections are very substantial compared to the temperature trends and somehow almost always make the older temperatures colder.  If the older data really does need to have such large corrections, then the older data is worthless as scientific data and should be treated as such.  There is no point in making the corrections on such a wobbly, uncertain base.

14 January 2018

Blatant Blue State Hypocrisy by Paul Driessen

From energy and spending, to climate and debate – silencing all dissenting voices is essential

You’ve got to admire the full frontal audacity of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, and their union and pressure group comrades in arms. Their hypocrisy, fraud and tyranny are boundless, especially on fiscal, energy and climate change issues.

Amid the seventh year of a “New York is open for business” advertising campaign that has spent $354 million thus far, they are presiding over tax and regulatory regimes, mountains of debt, intransigent public sector unions, anti-nuclear, anti-fossil fuel energy policies that are anything but business friendly – and press conferences that promise more of the same for state businesses, taxpayers and pensioners.

As Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn notes, Cuomo and his fellow warriors against Trump and Republicans will do almost anything – “except address the root problem by lowering their taxes and spending. Because to do so would require taking on the public unions that drive much of state spending and debt, and are the key constituency of the 21st-century Democratic Party.”

Across the river in New Jersey, unions resist any reforms to their payrolls or pensions just as fiercely. The NJ pension system is already $90-billion short of what it needs to pay future benefits, says the Manhattan Institute. The state will collect some $35 billion in 2018 taxes, but any new revenue will go to pension payouts and spending on new government programs. Connecticut is in the same boat.

Meanwhile, electricity prices continue to climb: In New York 18.8 cents per kilowatt-hour for families, 15.0 cents for the businesses the state is so eager to attract, and 6.2 cents for its few industries. In Jersey, 14.7, 11.4 and 9.6 cents, respectively. In Connecticut, a whopping 21.3, 16.8 and 13.5 cents per kWh!

On the Left Coast, similarly exorbitant electricity rates pummel California businesses, families, factories, farms, hospitals and schools – while neighborhoods confront monstrous mudslides, resulting from winter rains in the wake of fiery hillside-denuding conflagrations. The fires and floods have destroyed nearly 9,000 homes, killed over 60 people, and devastated entire forests and neighborhoods.

Golden State forests have 129 million dead trees, and enough dry brush to fill LA Memorial Coliseum several times. But state regulators, environmentalists and judges make it impossible to remove any. It’s more “natural,” “sustainable” and “climate friendly” to have it erupt in 1,400 to 2,200 degree F infernos.

Compare those fiscal and environmental train wrecks to results thus far of the deregulation, tax reduction, pro-fossil fuel policies of President Trump and congressional Republicans: new jobs, higher wages, nice bonuses, a coming repatriation of trillions of now overseas dollars to fuel new investment and innovation, the lowest black unemployment since recordkeeping began, and the DJIA stock market reaching a record high of 25,575 January 11, following a record 92 closing highs since President Trump was elected.

Compare that to Nobel Prize winning Blue economist Paul Krugman’s dire prediction after the election: the markets will crash and “never” recover, amid a long “global recession.” Meanwhile, multi-multi-millionaire Nancy Pelosi belittled the $1,000 bonuses as “crumbs.” Tell that to families bringing in $25,000 to $50,000 a year. The House Minority Leader is completely out of touch with average families.

The Democrats need bogeymen, scapegoats, distractions – to deflect attention away from this lunacy. That’s the best way to explain the Cuomo and De Blasio press stunts this past week.

Rather than confronting public sector unions and rabid greens – or supporting onshore and offshore drilling and fracking that would create jobs and improve economies in poor counties far from Albany and Manhattan, generate tax revenues, and reduce electricity prices – the gov railed against the new $10,000 cap on how much of their state and local taxes “the rich” NY residents can deduct on their federal forms.

Mr. Cuomo proposes to transform personal income taxes into corporate payroll taxes, or even charitable deductions! California is trying the same ploy. Friendly IRS auditors will be busy shutting that down.

Meanwhile, Mayor De Blasio went on a rant against fossil fuels – announcing that the city is suing five major oil companies for billions of dollars in “climate damages,” and insisting that the Big Apple must divest its police, teacher and other public pensions from any and all fossil fuel stocks.

Energy stocks are leading the latest US stock market rally, fossil fuels will continue providing 75-80% of US and global energy for decades to come, resurgent economies overseas are booming thanks to coal, oil and natural gas, and forecasters are predicting $80-per-barrel oil in 2018, as demand surges. So Liberal Logic says it’s time to divest from fossil fuels – and maybe switch to ideologically sympatico holdings, like subsidized wind turbines or booming economies like Argentina, Venezuela and North Korea.

Greenhouse gas emissions produced disasters like Superstorm Sandy, De Blasio railed. “I remember those days. I remember how desperate it was, how much fear and confusion there was. This tragedy was wrought by the actions of fossil fuel companies.” Now New York needs $20 billion “to build resilience against rising seas, more powerful storms and hotter temperatures.”

Nice try, Mr. Mayor. But blaming sub-hurricane-strength Sandy for the actions and incompetence of city and state officials won’t cut it. As environmental consultant Pat Moffitt and I explained in great detail in a three-part series (herehere and here) several months after the storm pounded the NYC area, fossil fuels and GHGs had zero to do with the damages – any more than they did for HarveyIrma or other storms.

They likewise played no role in California’s wildfires and mudslides, despite Governor Jerry Brown’s scapegoating insistence that GHG emissions are responsible for that too. It’s all self-serving fraud.

Fuel oil and natural gas got millions of New Yorkers and New Englanders through the recent record cold snap, while wind turbines froze up, solar panels went AWOL, and Al Gore blamed the cold on global warming! But who are we to argue with Hizzoner da Mare about fossil fuels, dangerous manmade climate change, Sandy or divestment? He might sic his RICO attack dogs on us again.

Indeed, such prosecutions are part and parcel of the new leftist-fascist world order, under which partisans, politicians and professors shut down debate, impose uniform thinking, decree corporate policy, and even punish intolerable contrarian views with physical violence when those views threaten their “safe spaces.” 

It’s not yet as dicey as getting into a Moscow elevator. But one climate doomsayer wants to ship climate chaos skeptics to a Kerguelen Island gulag off Antarctica, where he probably assumes they could watch the entire continent melt – from GHG emissions, if not from the volcanoes and magma beneath its ice.

Antifa leftist-fascists have learned well from their predecessors and contemporaries, but are now employing their technological prowess as well. Google and Facebook use clever algorithms to steer searches and help liberal news and views reach audiences, while conservative perspectives get shunted to the “back pages.” Google now displays “fact checks” next to Daily Caller and other conservative views, though not with liberal leaning stories; Snopes says its fake news, but others say it’s absolutely true.

Twitter allegedly uses “shadow banning” algorithms to make users think their tweets have been posted, when in fact they’ve been sent to cyber oblivion. And talk show host Dennis Prager is suing YouTube for using “restricted mode filtering” to keep PragerU educational videos from reaching audiences. The LA Times and other liberal papers won’t even publish letters to the editor challenging climate alarmism.

Former Colorado Democratic Governor Richard Lamm would instantly recognize these tyrannical tactics. In 2005, Mr. Lamm said they were integral parts of an eight-step program to “destroy America.” (This audio of the talk on YouTube must have escaped their censors.)

The future of our free speech and other democratic safeguards and institutions is at stake. So is the future of sound, evidence-based science, on climate and other topics – and of reliable, affordable energy.

Blue State officials, unions and activists may be delighted with how their agenda is “progressing.” The rest of the United States … and world … are not so happy.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of articles, reports and books on public policy.

01 January 2018

A little slice of Alaskan tundra is finally open for drilling by Paul Driessen


Tax bill provision opens ANWR, to bring more oil online and keep Alaska pipeline operating

Way back in 1980, Congress passed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, establishing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and making numerous other land use decisions for our 49th state. Section 1002 of the act postponed a decision on managing ANWR’s 1.5-million-acre coastal plain, which has enormous oil and gas potential and is [an] important summertime wildlife habitat.

For four decades, environmentalists blocked legislation that would have opened the coastal plain to leasing and drilling. In 1995 President Clinton vetoed a pro-drilling bill that had passed both houses.

At long last, the tax-cut legislation just passed by Congress allows America to benefit from the petroleum resources that experts predict will be found in a small section of the plain, along Alaska’s northern coast. The legislation directs the Interior Department to hold at least two lease sales over the next 10 years, for a maximum of 2,000 acres opened to drilling. Analysts say the sales could fetch as much as $2.2 billion.

The area contains an estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil, says Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Others put the petroleum potential even higher.

The U.S. Geological Survey and Congressional Research Service say it’s 95% likely that there are 15.6 billion barrels of oil beneath ANWR. With today’s exploration, drilling, fracking and other technology, up to 60% of that may ultimately be recoverable.

At $50 a barrel, that represents $460 billion that the USA would not have to send overseas; tens of billions in Alaskan and United States royalty and tax revenues; and thousands of jobs in oilfield, manufacturing and many other sectors.

After the IRS, oil company oil and gas royalty payments represent the single largest contribution to the U.S. treasury. Companies that produce from federal onshore and offshore leases pay royalties of up to 18% of wellhead prices, and then pay corporate taxes on profits and sales taxes at the pump. Workers pay income taxes, instead of receiving unemployment and welfare checks.

Every step in the leasing, drilling, production and pipeline process will require extensive environmental reviews. Unfortunately, each step will likely generate lawsuits and delays.

As they have since long before 1980, activists continue to claim that any drilling would destroy the entire ANWR area’s wilderness character and threaten its caribou, polar bears, birds and other wildlife. In all too typical hyperbole, League of Conservation Voters president Gene Karpinski claimed the tax law provision will “turn one of our last remaining wild places into an industrial oilfield.” That’s absurd.

Alaska alone has 57 million acres (more than all of Utah) set aside as wilderness, plus tens of millions more wild acres off  limits to drilling in national park, wildlife refuge and similar designations. Nationwide, land several times the size of California is protected in these and other land use categories.

ANWR is the size of South Carolina: 19 million acres. Of this, far fewer than 2,000 coastal plain acres would actually be disturbed by drilling, roads and other development work. That’s 0.01% of ANWR; one-twentieth of Washington, DC; 20 of the buildings in which Boeing manufactured its 747 jetliners.
To claim this minimal impact will despoil the entire refuge is like saying a few farms and airports scattered along South Carolina’s northern border would kill wildlife and ruin scenery throughout the state.

The potentially oil-rich coastal plain is actually flat, treeless tundra, 3,500 miles from Washington, DC – and 50 miles from the beautiful Brooks Range mountains that feature so prominently and deceptively in Sierra Club and other anti-drilling campaigns.

Even more telling, the same environmentalists never object to forests of 400-foot-tall wind turbines installed in or next to forests, grasslands, wildlife sanctuaries, migratory bird flyways and other sensitive areas – where they slice and dice eagles, falcons, geese, bats and other magnificent flying creatures day after day, year after year.

During some eight months of winter, when drilling will take place, virtually no wildlife are present in the coastal plain. Food is buried under snow and ice, and temperatures plummet as low as minus 40 F. The tundra turns rock solid. Spit, and your saliva freezes before it hits the ground.
But the nasty conditions mean exploratory drilling can be done using roads, “drill pads” and even airstrips that are all constructed with ice and snow. Come spring, all of this will melt, leaving only puddles, little holes and a few permanent facilities. The caribou will return – just as they have for years at the nearby Prudhoe Bay and Alpine oilfields – and do what they always have: eat, hang out and make babies.
In fact, the Prudhoe Bay oilfield’s Central Arctic caribou herd is over 20,000 today, compared to 5,000 in 1975. Arctic fox, geese, shore birds and other wildlife also return each spring, along with the Alaska state bird: giant mosquitoes.  [That is a joke Anna.  The Alaska state bird is really the Willow Ptarmigan.]
If oil is discovered, modern Arctic drilling technologies from small gravel pads will ensure minimal land impacts, as other North Slope operations have demonstrated. Each drill pad will support multiple wells, and modern “directional” and “extended reach” drilling  technologies will allow companies to punch multiple holes a mile deep and five miles long in any direction, steering drill bits to penetrate multiple oil zones and hit distant targets far below the surface, without disturbing the tundra high above.

Coupled with the ability to fracture rock formations and stimulate them to produce far more oil and natural gas liquids than previously possible, this accuracy means a series of small sites totaling less than 2,000 acres could produce up to 15 billion gallons of petroleum annually.

That’s far better than producing 15 billion gallons of ethanol annually from corn grown on an area larger than Iowa: 36 million acres – via a process that also requires massive amounts of water, pesticides, fertilizers and fossil fuels, to create fuel that gets one-third less mileage per gallon than gasoline. [at an average cost of about an extra $0.87 to provide the same travel distance as pure 87 octane gasoline. The US Dept. of Energy is still making the false claim that ethanol use reduces pollution and produces a net increase in energy.]

Inuit Eskimos who live in or near ANWR have supported drilling by an 8:1 margin. They no longer want to live in poverty – especially after having given up their traditional land claims for oil rights that Congress, greens, presidents and courts have repeatedly denied them.

Gwich’in Indians have opposed ANWR drilling, and some were paid by environmentalist groups to appear in anti-drilling commercials. However, they actually live hundreds of miles away on the other side of the Brooks Range. And they leased many of their own tribal lands to generate revenue. Their leased areas were close to a major caribou migratory route, where caribou often birth their calves before arriving in ANWR. Unfortunately for the Gwich’ins, no oil was found.

Drilling in ANWR will also ensure sufficient production to keep the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in operation. Right now, declining North Slope production threatens to reduce oil in the pipeline to a point where it cannot stay sufficiently warm to flow under months-long winter conditions.

The pipeline needs between 250,000 and 350,000 barrels of oil per day to stay open. If there are inadequate supplies, because ANWR or other deposits are not developed, the pipeline will be shut down – leaving millions of barrels and billions of dollars behind. That makes ANWR oil doubly important.

Adding to the complexities, $50-per-barrel oil prices, shale development in the Lower 48, and decades-old seismic data mean relatively few oil companies may be interested in leasing acreage in the remote, frozen area. But America’s long-term strategic interests require a thorough look at ANWR’s potential.

Spending U.S. or Alaskan funds to pay an independent company to conduct high-tech modern seismic and other surveys of the coastal plain would ensure that energy companies and American citizens have the best possible information on which to base decisions on leasing and exploring those 2,000 scattered acres.

ANWR’s energy belongs to all Americans. It can and should be produced safely, to generate tremendous oil, gas, job, revenue and other bounties – in yet another huge benefit from this tax reform legislation.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author of many books and reports on energy and environmental issues.

Charles Anderson:  [My additions/comments are in red.]


24 December 2017

Global Warming: Fake News from the Start -- Article by Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris


Senator Tim Wirth, scientist James Hansen and others manufactured the climate “crisis”
President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change because it is a bad deal for America.
He could have made the decision simply because the science is false. However, most of the American and global public have been brainwashed into believing the science is correct (and supported by the faux 97% consensus), so they would not have believed that explanation. 
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and indeed the leaders of many western democracies, support the Agreement and are completely unaware of the gross deficiencies in the science. If they understood those deficiencies, they wouldn’t be forcing a carbon dioxide (CO2) tax on their citizens. 
Trudeau and other leaders show how little they know, and how little they assume the public knows, by calling it a “carbon tax” on “carbon emissions.” But CO2 is a gas, the trace atmospheric gas that makes life on Earth possible. Carbon is a solid, and carbon-based fuels are solid (coal), liquid (oil) or gaseous (natural gas).
By constantly railing about “carbon emissions,” Trudeau, Obama and others encourage people to think of carbon dioxide as something “dirty,” like soot, which really is carbon. Calling CO2 by its proper name would help the public remember that it is actually an invisible, odorless gas essential to plant photosynthesis. 
Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is arguably the most misinformed of the lot, saying in a recent interview that “polluters should pay.” She too either does not know that CO2 is not a pollutant, or she is deliberately misleading people.
Like many of her political peers, McKenna dismisses credentialed PhD scientists who disagree with her approach, labelling them “deniers.” She does not seem to understand that questioning scientific hypotheses, even scientific theories, is what all scientists should do, if true science is to advance.
That is why the Royal Society’s official motto is “Nullius in verba,” Latin for “Take nobody's word for it.” Ironically, the Society rarely practices this approach when it comes to climate change.
Mistakes such as those made by McKenna are not surprising, considering that from the outset the entire claim of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) was built on falsehoods and spread with fake news. 
The plot to deceive the world about human-caused global warming gathered momentum right after the World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) created the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988.
After spending five days at the U.N. with Maurice Strong, the first executive director of UNEP, Hamilton Spectator investigative reporter Elaine Dewar concluded that the overarching objective of the IPCC was political, not scientific. “Strong was using the U.N. as a platform to sell a global environment crisis and the global governance agenda,” she wrote.
The political agenda required “credibility” to accomplish the deception. It also required some fake news for momentum. Ideally, this would involve testimony from a scientist before a legislative committee. 
U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth (D-CO) was fully committed to the political agenda and the deception. As he explained in a 1993 comment, “We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing.…” 
In 1988 Wirth was in a position to jump-start the climate alarm. He worked with colleagues on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to organize and orchestrate a June 23, 1988 hearing where the lead witness would be Dr. James Hansen, then the head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Wirth explained in a 2007 interview with PBS Frontline:
“We knew there was this scientist at NASA, who had really identified the human impact before anybody else had done so and was very certain about it. So, we called him up and asked him if he would testify.”
Hansen did not disappoint. The New York Times reported on June 23, 1988: “Today Dr. James E. Hansen of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration told a Congressional committee that it was 99 percent certain that the warming trend was not a natural variation, but was caused by a buildup of carbon dioxide and other artificial gases in the atmosphere.”
Specifically, Hansen told the committee, “Global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming…. It is already happening now.”
Hansen also testified: “The greenhouse effect has been detected, and it is changing our climate now…. We have already reached the point where the greenhouse effect is important.”
Wirth, who presided at the hearing, was pre-disposed to believe Hansen and told the committee. “As I read it, the scientific evidence is compelling: the global climate is changing as the earth's atmosphere gets warmer,” Wirth said. “Now the Congress must begin to consider how we are going to slow or halt that warming trend, and how we are going to cope with the changes that may already be inevitable.” 
More than any other event, that single hearing before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee publicly initiated the climate scare, the biggest deception in history. It created an unholy alliance between a bureaucrat and a politician, which was bolstered by the U.N. and the popular press – leading to the hoax being accepted in governments, industry boardrooms, schools and churches all across the world.
Dr. John S. Theon, Hansen’s former supervisor at NASA, wrote to the Senate Minority Office at the Environment and Public Works Committee on January 15, 2009. “Hansen was never muzzled, even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress.”
Hansen never abandoned his single-minded, unsubstantiated claim that CO2 from human activities caused dangerous global warming. He defied Hatch Act limits on bureaucratic political actions, and in 2011 even got arrested at a White House protest against the Keystone XL pipeline. It was at least his third such arrest to that point. 
Like Trudeau and other leaders duped by the climate scare, Senator Wirth either had not read or did not understand the science. In fact, an increasing number of climate scientists (including Dr. Ball) now conclude that there is no empirical evidence of human-caused global warming. There are only computer model speculations that humans are causing it, and every forecast made using these models since 1990 has been wrong – with actual temperatures getting further from predictions with every passing year.
President Trump must now end America’s participation in the fake science and fake news of manmade global warming. To do this, he must withdraw the U.S. from further involvement with all U.N. global warming programs, especially the IPCC, as well as the agency that now directs it – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He should also launch a “Red Team” exercise that lets non-alarmist scientists examine climate cataclysm claims and the purported evidence for them.
Only then will the U.S. have a chance to fully develop its hydrocarbon resources to achieve the president’s goal of global energy dominance and long-term prosperity for America and the world. 
Dr. Tim Ball is an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba. Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.

20 December 2017

The US EPA Provides Us with the Historical Annual Heat Wave Index

We are told ad nausea by the socialist media, academics, and many governments that the sky is falling because of man's use of fossil fuels and the subsequent warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions.  Under Obama, we were told that this was a national security issue of the highest importance.  We have been told that we must tear down all of the coal-fired electric generators.  We must stop hydraulic fracturing, stop tar sand oil production, and stop building oil and gas pipelines. It is a dire emergency to develop solar cell and wind generator electrical capacity as long as we can find someplace to put them that will not offend the very people who most loudly insist upon their development and use.  A recent issue of The Economist even told us that we must start pumping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere because there is already so much carbon dioxide there that even if everyone stopped all CO2 emissions, the consequences will be catastrophic.

We are told that the last decade is the hottest ever.  So here is the U.S. annual heat wave index back to 1895 now on the EPA website:


While highly unlikely, it is at least theoretically possible that adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, and there is more now than there was 80 years ago, only warms the cooler areas of the US where heat waves do not occur or it only warms those areas subject to heat waves when those areas are cold.  Most people would actually see that as a good thing, at least if they lived in the area in question.

Of course we are talking about global warming, so it might be that all of the warming is outside the U.S.  But, the climate scientists beholden to government have been telling us that the U.S. itself is the hottest it has ever been.  That sure does tax our credulity when we examine the Heat Wave Index record above.  That record shows that the only catastrophe was in the dust bowl days of the 1930s.

But do not let us dare think for ourselves, because the scientific authorities have reached a consensus that all of us must have complete and utter faith in them. 

Despite their commands, do listen to them squeal as their research funding is either cut off or re-directed toward trying to understand the natural effects that provide us with our climate.  These almighty authorities know so very little about the natural effects that their proclamations about how man-made effects dominate the natural effects are ringing mighty hollow.

17 December 2017

Does Additional CO2 in the Atmosphere Cause Warming or Cooling?

I have long argued that CO2 has both warming and cooling effects on the surface temperature and the temperature of the atmosphere.  The first portion of the CO2 in the atmosphere provides a net warming effect, but as one adds further CO2 to the atmosphere the additional CO2 may cause a cooling effect.  The basic reason for this is that CO2 slows radiative cooling from the Earth's surface by preventing some of the radiative spectrum from escaping straight out into space through the atmospheric window.  However, by the time one approaches a concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere of 400 ppm, this effect is largely saturated.

The cooling effects are generally not so saturated.  Added CO2 provides many more emitters to radiate thermal energy into space from above the water condensation altitude in the troposphere.  This is a cooling effect.  CO2 also absorbs a bit of the longer wave infrared radiation from the sun before it reaches the surface.  It has a heat capacity which is 27% higher than that of nitrogen molecules, so it carries more heat energy upward in a convection current, which is a cooling effect which does not saturate with added CO2 in the atmosphere.  The fact that the CO2 in a given layer of atmosphere at a given altitude also radiates energy to cooler molecules in layers of air above it is also a cooling effect.

The net result is that at the lowest concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, the net effect is a warming effect.  Additions of further CO2 warm less and less, until finally a concentration is reached where further CO2 causes a slight cooling, which becomes a greater cooling as still more CO2 is added to the atmosphere.  The net temperature effect attributed to CO2 in the atmosphere passes through a maximum at some atmospheric concentration which it is extremely important to determine.  Indeed, learning the complete nature of the net temperature effect versus atmospheric concentration of CO2 is the scientific task a rational program of climate science would take as one of its central goals to understand.

I usually read the weekly reports of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), which has long been headed by the physicist Fred Singer.  He has recently retired as Chairman of that organization, but the most recent weekly report of SEPP found here notes that Fred Singer has come to understand the significance of the competition between the warming and the cooling effects of CO2.  Here is the relevant excerpt from the 16 December weekly report of SEPP:
Warming and Cooling? S. Fred Singer, our founder and newly elected Chairman Emeritus, is busily working on an interesting question: can carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, cause a cooling as well as a warming? The answer is YES, depending on subsidiary conditions. The notion has been checked by several atmospheric physicists. One issue is putting the concept into a format that is easily understandable, without many highly technical equations. The concept has the potential of partially explaining the hiatus in measured atmospheric warming despite increasing carbon dioxide (CO2). If correct, adding more CO2 will produce a cooling, not a warming of the atmosphere. Does it sound counter-intuitive? YES!
While my discussions with Fred Singer have been few and not very recent, it was my evaluation that he was one of the brighter and most open-minded of the people who had been a luke-warmer. I am eager to read his argument on this subject of the competing warming and cooling effects of CO2.  This is the very question I have been raising since December of 2010 and taking endless abuse for doing so.  Until now, I have taken pleasure in seeing the expectations for the warming effects of CO2 consistently dropping among the better scientists considering this issue, but Fred Singer coming around to the realization that added CO2 may actually cause a net cooling is a real milestone.

 

03 December 2017

When is Colder Thermal Radiation Incident Upon a Warmer Body?

In my recent articles on thermal radiation physics (here and here), I showed that the consensus physics on thermal radiation is wrong in its belief that black body radiators near one another emit the same radiation as they would when isolated from one another and surrounded by an environment at T = 0K.  That is, they do not each emit power per unit area as given by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law when they are in the vicinity of one another.

How then is it that one can detect the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation with a detector at 4K when the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is that of a black body radiator at 2.73K?  This might at first blush seem to be an argument against my claims.  It may not be a very sound argument, however, due to the very unusual circumstances of detecting this radiation from gigantic distances and long ago.

The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is believed to be radiation left over from the Big Bang.  The remaining radiation has had little in the universe that can absorb it since the universe cooled to the temperature at which electrons and protons could form hydrogen atoms.  The really long wave radiation left now is not absorbed by hydrogen atoms, which are about all that fill most of the space in the universe.  This microwave background radiation is cooling with time as the universe expands.

This microwave background radiation is now commonly detected by transition edge detectors using the rapid increase in resistance with temperature increase as a superconductor warms through the transition to the normal state at temperatures such as 0.1K.  A map of this background radiation is shown below:



Why does this microwave radiation background not violate my explanation of thermal radiation when it was originally detected by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson using a detector warmer than 2.73K?  One reason is that this radiation was not emitted from a cooler body to a warmer body.  It is in fact the radiation from much hotter matter and it has been in the form of photons flying about the universe for eons of time.  The Earth did not even exist when this thermal radiation was emitted, so the relative electromagnetic field energy density at the surface of a detector on the Earth to that adjacent to some matter from which this radiation was emitted is not at all in play.

Let us take a case of thermal radiation emitted from an actual body in the universe today far from Earth.  Any photons emitted because that body has a temperature higher than that somewhere else in the universe at a particular instant in time could be in flight for a long time.  Let us suppose that the warmer Earth moves into the trajectory of that long ago emitted photon and as a result the photon strikes a warmer detector on Earth.  There is every reason to believe this could happen.

These are two cases where one expects to detect radiation with a lower characteristic black body radiation temperature than a sensor might have on Earth.  Indeed, such radiation can and does bombard our planet.  This does not invalidate the theory on thermal radiation I have presented.  In the context of the Earth's surface emission of infrared radiation and its absorption of infrared radiation emitted by greenhouse gases, colder greenhouse gases do not emit radiation which is absorbed by the Earth's warmer surface.  There is no such back radiation contributing to catastrophic man-made global warming.

UN agency to Congress: Drop Dead by Paul Driessen

IARC takes US money, manipulates studies, colludes with activists – and snubs Congress

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in France has received over $48 million from America’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), to determine whether various chemicals cause cancer in humans. Of more than 900 chemicals it has reviewed, only one was ever found non-carcinogenic. The latest substance to face IARC scrutiny is glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp.

Not surprisingly, the agency branded glyphosate carcinogenic. But this time evidence is surfacing of collusion with anti-chemical activist groups and class action lawyers, serious conflicts of interest involving a key IARC glyphosate reviewer, and IARC manipulation of scientific reports along with deliberate withholding of studies that concluded the chemical is safe, so that the agency could get a guilty verdict.

Despite this disturbing evidence, and demonstrable proof of the chemical’s safety, the European Union barely extended its authorization for glyphosate use, and then by just five years, instead of the usual 15.

The House of Representatives Science Committee is deeply concerned about this corruption of science, its potential impacts on US regulatory decisions, and the use of IARC rulings by predatory lawyers who are suing glyphosate manufacturers. It sent letters to Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan (who oversees the NIH and its agencies) and IARC director Chris Wild. The letters “request” all relevant documents and the names of IARC-affiliated people who could testify at Committee oversight hearings.

Dr. Wild’s artful and legalistic response emphasized “scientific consensus” among all review panel members; said “deliberative” documents would not be made available; claimed there were no conflicts of interest among any IARC reviewers; said he and his staff would not be “pressured” by “vested interests,” the media or Congress; and said congressmen can come to France if they want answers to their questions.

In other words: Drop dead. Members of Congress who authorize taxpayer funding for IARC have no right to scrutinize its deliberations and decisions, to ensure sound science, transparency and accountability. 

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world. It is vital to modern agriculture – and one of the most extensively tested chemicals in history: some 3,300 studies over four decades attest to its safety. Indeed, virtually every reputable regulatory agency and scientific body in the world has determined that it does not cause cancer – including the European Food Safety Authority, European Chemicals Agency, German Institute for Risk Assessment and US Environmental Protection Agency.

Only IARC says glyphosate causes cancer. To help it reach that conclusion, the agency employed the services of Italy’s Ramazzini Institute, which also concocted studies claiming cell phones and artificial sweeteners cause cancer. It relies on Ramazzini even though regulatory bodies in Europe, the United States and New Zealand have investigated and criticized Ramazzini’s sloppy, suspect pseudo-science.

Dr. Wild’s agency has also worked closely with Dr. Linda Birnbaum, director of the $690-million-a-year National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences or NIEHS (an NIH agency in the HHS). Birnbaum is also a member of the Collegium Ramazzini and has directed over $90 million of US taxpayer funds to her Ramazzini colleagues, many of whom serve on numerous IARC “expert panels.”

Evidence is accumulating that Brinbaum has worked closely with anti-chemical pressure groups and even trial lawyers, thereby undermining the US regulatory and chemical review process and perhaps ultimately forcing glyphosate off the market. She has helped to coordinate and direct these activities, and has turned the United States into IARC’s biggest donor, earmarking $4.2 million to support IARC’s current effort to list more agricultural and industrial chemicals as carcinogens – including artificial sweeteners. Even GMO foods are on the agency’s hit list.

The well-funded, carefully coordinated effort to eradicate weed-eradicating glyphosate has also involved a number of devious, secretive, deceptive actions.
 
The 2014 advisory group that decided IARC would review glyphosate was led by activist statistician Dr. Christopher Portier, who worked for years for NIEHS and Birnbaum. In fact, investigative journalists David Zaruk (Risk-Monger) and Kate Kelland (Reuters) discovered, Portier drove the glyphosate review, while also working for the anti-pesticide Environmental Defense Fund and serving as the only “invited specialist” on the working group that labeled glyphosate carcinogenic.

At the same time, Portier was also advising trial lawyers suing over other chemicals that IARC had found carcinogenic – and shortly after serving on the advisory group signed with the same lawyers to work on their glyphsate suits, a gig for which he has so far been paid $160,000. No conflicts of interest?

Even more outrageous, as Ms. Kelland explained in another article, IARC repeatedly ignored or altered studies that exonerated glyphosate. One report clearly said the researchers “unanimously” agreed that glyphosate had not caused abnormal growths in mice they had studied. IARC deleted the sentence.

In other cases IARC panelists inserted new statistical analyses that reversed a study’s original finding; quietly changed critical language exonerating the chemical; and claimed they were “not able to evaluate” a study because it included insufficient experimental data, while excluding another study because “the amount of data in the tables was overwhelming.” These machinations helped to ensure a “consensus.” 

Equally questionable, NIH Cancer Research Institute scientist Aaron Blair conducted a years-long study that also found glyphosate was not carcinogenic. But he held off on publishing his results, and did not divulge his findings, knowing IARC would leave “unpublished” work out of its analysis.

This is not science. It is manipulation and deception – supported by our tax dollars, and used to drive safe, widely used chemicals off the market.

Other activists repeatedly claim “endocrine disrupting” chemicals which don’t cause cancer or other harm in high doses somehow do so at barely detectable levels. Another clever ploy claims no actual exposure is needed; kids get cancer because their parents or grandparents were exposed to something, perhaps years ago. It’s ridiculous. But convincing a jury there’s no cause-effect relationship is a Sisyphean task.

The end result, if not the goal, is to undermine public confidence in science-based risk assessments, lend credibility to agitator claims that countless chemicals contaminate our foods and imperil our health, endlessly frighten consumers, and set the stage for billion-dollar lawsuits to enrich class-action lawyers and organic food interests.

More than 1,000 US lawsuits already claim glyphosate causes cancer, and law firms are running ads saying anyone who has cancer and was ever exposed to glyphosate in any form or amount may be entitled to millions in compensation. Other lawyers are playing the same games with “manmade climate change.”

Ending legal predation will require major state and federal reforms. However, the American people elected this President and Congress to bring transparency and accountability back to Washington and international regulatory agencies. They need to use their oversight and funding powers to do so.

Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith told me he is reviewing Mr. Wild’s response. “Given the serious nature of our concerns related to IARC’s expenditures of taxpayer dollars, IARC should exercise due diligence and provide a complete response to my November 1 letter. The Science Committee will use all tools at our disposal to ensure the stewards of our taxpayers’ dollars are held accountable,” Smith said.

That is good news. Too many regulators and “scientific” panels have the attitude, “We are accountable only to ourselves. We will not have any member of Congress or the Trump Administration presume to tell us how to run our business, do science or be transparent.” That arrogance is intolerable.

Even if Dr. Wild is beyond the reach of US law, Drs. Birnbaum, Portier, Blair, et al. are not. They should be compelled to testify under oath, and funding for their agencies and work should be made contingent on their cooperation in rooting out the apparent secrecy, corruption, conflicts of interest and junk science.
   
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of books and articles on energy and environmental policy.