Archive for March, 2010

New Jersey dumps carbon cult

03/25/2010

“New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has taken a wrecking ball to the state’s touted Global Warming Response Act, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). In recent weeks, the Christie administration has blocked required reporting from greenhouse gas sources, diverted $300 million in Clean Energy Funds dedicated to energy efficiency and proposed to zero out the state’s Office of Climate Change and Energy.

“New Jersey’s Global Warming Response Act is now a dead letter,” stated New Jersey PEER Director Bill Wolfe, referring to 2007 legislation regarded as the crowning environmental achievement of the Corzine administration. “Whatever progress on climate change we can expect will have to come from Washington, because Trenton has gone AWOL.””  “Christie Shreds New Jersey Climate Change Programs”  h/t Marc Morano

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Aboriginals vow to block oilsands Pacific pipeline

03/24/2010

“Aboriginal groups on Canada’s Pacific Coast vowed on Tuesday to block Enbridge Inc’s proposed Gateway pipeline to carry oil sands crude to export markets including China.

The groups said the environmental danger of oil tankers traveling through the coastal waters of British Columbia is too great, and the announcement could set the stage for a protracted legal and political fight over the pipeline.

“Some people are saying (the pipeline) is a done deal. It’s not,” Art Sterritt, executive director of the Coastal First Nations, a coalition of native Indian communities in the area, often called the Great Bear Rainforest.

The proposed project would carry crude from the oil sands in northern Alberta to a port facility in Kitimat, British Columbia.

Aboriginal leaders said their opposition to the project was strong enough for them to continue the fight, even if Enbridge gets government and court permission to build it — including blockading tankers.

“We are prepared to put boats across the channel,” Gerald Amos, a director of the coalition and a native leader from the Kitimat area, told reporters at a news conference in Vancouver.”  “Native Groups Vow To Fight Enbridge Pipeline

EPA's carbon jihad will freeze refining industry

03/24/2010

“The U.S. refining industry will freeze investment in anything beyond maintaining operations if the Environmental Protection Agency moves to regulate carbon pollution, the chief executive of Valero Energy Corp (VLO.N) said.

Bill Klesse, also chairman of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, said late Sunday at the industry trade group’s annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, that such regulation would increase costs for an industry already struggling with low margins and sluggish demand amid a slow economic recovery.

Expansions will disappear. Improvements will disappear. We will replace everything exactly the way it is so you don’t have to change your CO2 footprint,” Klesse said when asked what the industry would do should the EPA move ahead on regulating carbon emissions.  …

[Iraj Issac Rahmim, a chemical engineer and vice president of technology for CO2 Solutions LLC in Houston, Texas] said it would be “catastrophic” to refiners if they bore the burden for such emissions without being able to pass the potentially enormous cost on to consumers.”  Valero CEO says EPA rules will freeze investment

Sarkozy drops carbon tax after election defeat

03/24/2010

“French President Nicolas Sarkozy is scrapping a planned tax on carbon emissions, three days after the ruling party was defeated in local elections.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon told members of parliament of the Union for a Popular Movement that any carbon tax should be imposed throughout the European Union to be effective.

“The idea is that this carbon tax should be European or not happen at all,” Jean-Francois Cope, the head of the UMP’s parliamentary group, told reporters after the meeting. “It will be a fight at the European level.”

An earlier planned carbon tax was rejected last December by France’s constitutional court, which ruled that it penalized households too heavily and excluded many industrial polluters. France’s Medef business lobby had campaigned against the levy.

In regional elections last weekend, Sarkozy’s UMP kept control of only one out of 22 regional councils in mainland France.

The EU already imposes carbon-dioxide emission quotas on the region’s largest utilities and factories, and requires those exceeding their limits to buy credits.”  “France to Scrap Carbon Tax, Wants an EU-Wide Levy, Fillon Says

Alarmist Great Barrier Reef report debunked

03/24/2010

“The GBR [Great Barrier Reef] is not actually threatened by anything. For over 40 years it has survived unscathed from a constant litany of purported threats, all dire, all demanding urgent attention, and of course funding. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on research with little achieved other than the establishment of a parasitic industry predicated on imaginary threats. This reef salvation industry now supports hundreds of researchers, bureaucrats and activists

Generations of researchers have been schooled in a culture wherein threats to the reef are an unquestionable belief and all evidence is interpreted from such perspective. When evidence of good news cannot credibly be explained away, it is simply shelved, as were the extensive coral trout surveys by Ayling and the large ENCORE (Anon., 1994) experiment on enhanced nutrients. For a researcher to question the prevailing orthodoxy and insist on presenting evidence contrary to consensus belief would be professional suicide. The gravy boat steams on.

It is disheartening to see capable researchers, whose other extensive work clearly conflicts with claims made in this [Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority] report, lending their names to it and, worse yet, such conflicting evidence being glossed over or ignored.

It should be noted that the lead author is employed by GBRMPA, all of the 20 additional authors are either employed by them or are recipients of substantial funding from them and this study was funded by them. The authorship and rather unrestrained positive spin on the benefits and cost effectiveness achieved by GBRMPA management presents the appearance of a promotion piece for and by GBRMPA which the most productive and respected beneficiaries of their research funding have been invited to endorse. In such case, it would have been very difficult for any to decline or to offer much objection to the claims made. At the same time, their names and status would provide credibility and deterrence of criticism while greatly increasing the prospect of acceptance for publication in a prestigious journal. It is incongruous to note that all these employees and repeated recipients of generous GBRMPA funding, could, “…declare no conflict of interest.” (see footnote, p.1 of the report) when they are in fact assessing the value of their own work and that of the organisation which supports them. To compound the impropriety even further, PNAS also requires that, “Authors must acknowledge all funding sources supporting the work.” There appears to be no such disclosure in this study either.  …

It almost seems that somewhere there must be a handbook for agenda science as the reef salvation industry has managed to cover all of the same points of scientific malpractice as revealed by Climategate:

Hide or ignore conflicting evidence.
Dramatic claims and language.
Massage data.
Misrepresent data.
Offer conclusions only. Employ opaque data and methods.
Use peer review to publish in prestigious journals and block publication of conflicting studies.
Denigrate dissent without addressing its substance.
Assert authority and expertise,
Claim Noble Cause to excuse excesses.
Maximise credibility and defence with as many authors from as many institutions as possible.

Reef Salvation score – Ten out of ten.”  “Reef report lacks credibility

AP journo falls for enviro nonsense (what else is new?)

03/24/2010

New Moore Island and Lohachara Island are sediment islands in the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta.  New Moore “emerged in the Bay of Bengal in the aftermath of the Bhola cyclone in 1970” (from Wikipedia).  Such islands are created and destroyed by changing currents and sediment load in the river delta.  The delta as a whole is subsiding.  Sea level rise has nothing to do with it.  Now read the alarmist nonsense below from AP claiming the island is a “rock island” (NOT!) that was “submerged” by an “alarming increase” in sea level (NOT!) caused by “global warming”.  Even more embarrassing than the ignorant journo is the quoted professor, who one hopes knows better (if not then it’s even worse):

“For nearly 30 years, India and Bangladesh have argued over control of a tiny rock island in the Bay of Bengal. Now rising sea levels have resolved the dispute for them: the island’s gone.

New Moore Island in the Sunderbans has been completely submerged, said oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor at Jadavpur University in Calcutta. Its disappearance has been confirmed by satellite imagery and sea patrols, he said.

“What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming,” said Hazra.

Scientists at the School of Oceanographic Studies at the university have noted an alarming increase in the rate at which sea levels have risen over the past decade in the Bay of Bengal.  …

Another nearby island, Lohachara, was submerged in 1996, forcing its inhabitants to move to the mainland, while almost half the land of Ghoramara island was underwater, he said. At least 10 other islands in the area were at risk as well, Hazra said.

“We will have ever larger numbers of people displaced from the Sunderbans as more island areas come under water,” he said.

Bangladesh, a low-lying delta nation of 150 million people, is one of the countries worst-affected by global warming. Officials estimate 18 percent of Bangladesh’s coastal area will be underwater and 20 million people will be displaced if sea levels rise 1 meter (3.3 feet) by 2050 as projected by some climate models.”  “Disputed isle in Bay of Bengal disappears into sea

EPA adds Clean Water Act to its jihad against American industry

03/24/2010

Even though corals and shellfish evolved and thrived when atmospheric CO2 content was an order of magnitude higher than today, and even though there is ample evidence that rising CO2 won’t adversely affect corals and shellfish (prior posts here), EPA continues its anti-scientific jihad against American industry, this time using the Clean Water Act:

“U.S. EPA settled a lawsuit yesterday [March 11] by agreeing to use the Clean Water Act to address ocean acidification, a move that some see as opening a side door to federal curbs on greenhouse gases that scientists link to problems in the marine environment.

The settlement with the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity directly addresses EPA’s failure to require Washington state to list its marine waters as impaired by rising acidity. The deal requires EPA to begin a rulemaking aimed at helping states identify and address acidic coastal waters.

The effort could lead to the first Clean Water Act effort to protect acidifying marine waters — a move the center sees leading to restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions …

In the settlement filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, EPA agreed to take public comment on ocean acidity, ways states can determine if coastal waters are affected, and how states might regulate “total maximum daily loads” of [CO2].

“Protection of the nation’s water quality, including the health of our ocean waters is among EPA’s highest priorities,” an EPA spokeswoman said in a statement. “EPA is interested in learning more about how to protect our ocean and coastal waters from acidification.”

EPA must start the process by posting a notice in the Federal Register next week. The settlement requires the agency to decide how to proceed by Nov. 15.  …

The center’s lawsuit over ocean acidification is one of several legal actions all aimed at forcing the federal government to address climate change.  …

The group has also filed dozens of lawsuits seeking endangered or threatened status for plants and animals at risk from climate change.”  “Some See Clean Water Act Settlement Opening New Path to GHG Curbs

NAS: delta smelt 1, farmers 0

03/22/2010

“A highly anticipated study of water diversions in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has found federal efforts to protect endangered fish “scientifically justified” but added that problems facing delta smelt and chinook salmon are not entirely caused by thirsty farms south of the estuary.

With release of the study today, the National Academy of Sciences stepped into a battle over a pair of federal biological opinions that limit water for farmers to protect the fish. But what many had hoped would clear up controversy over water restrictions has been greeted as another mixed analysis of the region’s overlapping environmental stressors.

The National Academies’ National Research Council said the diversions ordered under the bi-ops from the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service are sound, but the timing of methods to protect fish from pumps on the south end of the delta — the water source for many farmers in the San Joaquin Valley — is “less well-supported” by science.  …

“The committee concluded that in winter, high reverse river flows from high levels of pumping probably adversely affect smelt. Therefore, reducing the high reverse flows to decrease mortality of smelt is scientifically justified,” the NAS report says. “However, the data do not permit confident identification of when to limit reverse flows of the rivers or a confident assessment of the benefits fish receive by reducing reverse flows. … As a result, the implementation of this action needs to be accompanied by careful monitoring, adaptive management and additional analyses.””  “National Academies Deliver Mixed Message on Calif. Delta Dilemma

EPA: the science is settled, that's our story and we're sticking to it

03/22/2010

“At least 15 U.S. states have sued the Environmental Protection Agency seeking to stop it from issuing rules controlling greenhouse gas emissions until it reexamines whether the pollution harms human health.

Florida, Indiana, South Carolina and at least nine other states filed the petitions in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, states said.

They joined petitions filed last month by Virginia, Texas and Alabama.  …

The state petitions call for the EPA to reopen hearings on the so-called “endangerment finding” the agency issued last year declaring the emissions dangerous to people.

“If EPA doesn’t reopen the hearings we will move forward to try to stop them from regulating greenhouse gases,” said Brian Gottstein, an assistant to Virginia’s Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli.

The states have complained that the EPA relied too heavily from reports by the U.N.’s climate science panel which included information that exaggerated the melting of Himalayan glaciers.

The EPA said it was confident it would withstand legal challenges on the issue. “The question of the science is settled,” spokeswoman Adora Andy said. The science “came from an array of highly respected, peer-reviewed sources from both within the United States and across the globe, and took into consideration hundreds of thousands of comments from members of the public, which were addressed in the finding,” she said.”  “States Sue EPA To Stop Greenhouse Gas Rules

Carbon cult will cause Canada to sell oilsands oil to China

03/22/2010

“The United States should not discriminate against the Canadian oil sands industry, Canada’s ambassador in Washington said on Thursday, warning that trade restrictions could cause the top energy supplier to U.S. markets to seek out other customers.

Canada’s abundant oil sands resources have been threatened in the U.S. market with proposed climate change policies that would place additional costs on fuels that emit higher levels of carbon dioxide.  …

“We absolutely want states and provinces to not discriminate against one sector without looking at the big picture,” [Ambassador Gary] Doer said.  …

California has already adopted a so-called low carbon fuel standard, which attempts to limit the carbon intensity of transportation fuels burned in the state. At least 11 other states are considering similar measures.

Ultimately if the United States becomes less open to oil sands, Doer said the fuel can go elsewhere.

“This is a commodity that can sold somewhere else. It’s not as if the United States is the only country interested in purchasing oil,” Doer said.

Plans are already in place to build a multibillion-dollar pipeline to Canada’s West Coast, where tankers could ship oil sands-derived crude to refineries in Asia …”  “U.S. mustn’t discriminate against Canadian oil sands