Archive for January, 2011

Warmist journo: "Reframe climate change as a burning economic issue"

01/30/2011

“Like other long-term, seemingly intransigent issues, climate change has lost its media mojo. But there is a way to rekindle its sex appeal: economics. Thomas Carlyle may have dubbed economics “the dismal science”, but economic issues work the US public into a tizzy, routinely topping the list of concerns in “most important problem” public opinion polls. Environmental journalists could leverage this public opinion fact to help jolt us out of our climate slumber and bring the issue into focus in a way that makes clear how climate disruption will affect all of us.  …

Reframing climate change as an burning economic issue could help journalists breathe life into the most important – and complex – issue of our time. Without getting mired in the morass of elaborate mathematical equations and the arcane economics-speak of “discount rates”,  journalists could turn to independent environmental economists for honest [!] assessments of how climate change will affect the global economy.”  “Reheating the climate change story

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Quote of the week

01/28/2011

“What happens to renewable energy when alarmist climate science collapses? And even if the ideological rearguard action drags on for years, what about the fact that shale gas is about to make renewables look even more ridiculous in terms of both economics and emissions?”  Peter Foster, National Post:  “Solar fades as shale gas flares

Obama continues jihad against oil

01/27/2011

“Mr. Obama, returning to the nasty corporate-bashing message of his first two years, attacked the U.S. oil industry by implying it was receiving massive subsidies that could be redirected to clean energy. “I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we’re currently giving to oil companies.” In fact, there is no money going to oil companies. It’s not a subsidy but a tax deduction that is used by all U.S. manufacturing corporations. Now Mr. Obama wants to single out the oil industry for punishment.

When it comes to paying corporate taxes, a recent University of North Carolina study found that U.S. oil giants paid effective tax rates of up to 43.9% (Chevron) between 2003 and 2007. During the same period, the green giant GE enjoyed a tax rate of 11.5%.”  “Ground control to Major Obama

BANANA greenies: No windmills here!

01/26/2011

“Two conservation groups and three American Indian tribes filed suit today to protect a pristine mountain valley adjacent to Great Basin National Park in Nevada from a poorly-sited, 8,000-acre industrial wind energy project approved by the Department of the Interior with minimal environmental review. The valley is home to rare and imperiled wildlife such as the greater sage grouse, as well as sensitive species like golden eagles and free-tailed bats. The project area is also a sacred site to Western Shoshone tribes.  …

On Oct. 15, 2010, the Bureau of Land Management approved a proposal by Spring Valley Wind, LLC, a subsidiary of Pattern Energy of San Francisco, to construct the project on public lands in northeastern Nevada, just north of Great Basin National Park.  …

Perhaps the most critical negative impact of the project will be its effects on the million Mexican free-tailed bats that roost in the Rose Guano Cave near the project area. This cave is one of the most important known bat roosts in the Great Basin. A growing body of science demonstrates that wind turbines can kill bats by the thousands through a phenomenon known as “barotrauma,” in which the pressure difference created by wind-turbine blades causes bats’ lungs to explode.  …

Golden eagles and other bird species that inhabit or migrate through Spring Valley are also put at risk by the project, as wind turbines are known to kill or dismember birds that collide with turbine blades.”  “Suit Filed to Protect One of Nevada’s Largest Bat Roosts, National Park

"It appears the Department of Interior missed that memo"

01/24/2011

“The Department of Interior issued an announcement yesterday that perfectly illustrates the irrationality of our current approach to water issues.

California’s precipitation this season has gone off the charts.  Statewide snow water content is 198 percent of normal; in the all-important Northern Sierra snowpack is 174 percent of normal.  This is not only a wet year – it is one of the wettest years on record.

Yet yesterday, we have this announcement from the Department of the Interior: that despite a nearly unprecedented abundance of water, the Bureau of Reclamation will only guarantee delivery of 45 percent of the California Central Valley’s contracted water supply south of the Delta.  This is the same percentage they received last year with barely average rainfall.

This is of crucial importance to the entire nation, since the Central Valley of California is one of the largest producers of our nation’s food supply.  California produces half of the U.S.-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables on the nation’s grocery shelves and the prices you pay are directly affected by the California harvest.

The deliberate decision by this administration in 2009 and 2010 to divert hundreds of billions of gallons of water away from the Central Valley destroyed a quarter million acres of the most productive farmland in America, it threw tens of thousands of families into unemployment and it affected grocery prices across the country.

At the time, the administration blamed a mild drought, but never explained why a drought justified their decision to pour 200 billion gallons of water (that we did have) directly into the Pacific Ocean.    In a rational world a drought means that you are more careful not to waste the water that you have.

The real reason for this irrational policy, of course, is that they were indulging the environmental Left’s pet cause, a three-inch minnow called the Delta Smelt.  Diverting precious water to Delta Smelt habitat was considered more important than producing the food that feeds the country and preserving the jobs that produce the food.

But that issue is now moot.  This year we have nearly twice the normal water supply at this point in the season, and yet the Department of Interior will allow only 45 percent of normal water deliveries to California Central Valley agriculture south of the Delta.

The difference comes to 1.1 million acre-feet of water.  1.1 million acre feet.

Now consider this: since December 1st, the Central Valley Project has released 1.4 million acre feet more water into the Pacific Ocean than they did just last year.

Let me repeat that.  At the same time this Administration is denying California Central Valley agriculture 1.1 million acre feet of their rightfully contracted water in one of the wettest years on record, it is dumping 1.4 million acre feet of additional water into the Pacific Ocean.

M. Speaker, this is insane.  Coleridge’s lament “Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink” appears to have become the policy of this administration.

The American people did not invest billions of dollars into federal water projects so that their water can be dumped into the ocean to please environmental extremists.

This policy may have been cheered by the previous Congress, but it won’t be tolerated by the new majority, nor by the American people.

There was a time when the principal objective of our federal water policy was to assure an abundance of water to support a growing population and a flourishing economy.  But in recent years, a radical and retrograde ideology has taken root in our public policy, abandoning abandoned abundance as the objective of our water policy and replacing it with the government rationing of government-created shortages.

I cannot imagine a more disturbing example of this ideology at work than the announcement yesterday by the Department of Interior.  Even faced with a super-abundance of water, they are determined to create and then to ration water shortages.

The American people expect better and they deserve better.  They deserve a government dedicated to restoring jobs, prosperity and abundance – all of which is well within our reach – if we will simply reverse the folly that was on full display with yesterday’s announcement.

Ironically, this announcement came on the same day that the President ordered his agencies to identify regulatory policies that are harming the economy.

M. Speaker, it appears the Department of Interior missed that memo.”  Tom McClintock (R-CA) speech “Water, Water Everywhere…Except for California’s Farms

BANANA greenies: No solar here!

01/18/2011

“A U.S. conversation [sic] group has sued the federal government over its approval of a major solar power plant in the California desert, the latest in a string of challenges to the nation’s renewable energy goals from the environmental community.

According to court papers, the non-profit Western Watersheds Project alleged U.S. regulators approved Brightsource Energy’s 370-megawatt Ivanpah solar energy plant without conducting adequate environmental reviews, and asked the court to order the defendants to withdraw their approvals.

The complaint names the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management and the Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as the agencies’ heads and other staffers, as defendants.  …

The complaint said the project’s approval process failed to analyze and mitigate the Ivanpah plant’s impact on migratory birds, the desert tortoise, … desert bighorn sheep, groundwater resources and rare plants.  …

Last month, a group called La Cuna de Aztlan, which represents Native American groups such as the Chemehuevi and the Apache, filed a challenge in federal court to the federal government’s approval of six big solar plants — including Ivanpah.”  “Conservation Group Sues To Stop California Solar Plant

NOAA: "adjusting" a decline into an increase

01/17/2011

“In the original NOAA US data base, NOAA had an adjustment for urban heat island [UHI] contamination. The combination of longer term station stability and this adjustment made that data base (1221 climate stations), the best in the world. This is what it showed in 1999.

Note even with the super El Nino of 1997/98, the trend from the 1930s/1940s was down.  Indeed James Hansen in 1999 remarked “The U.S. has warmed during the past century, but the warming hardly exceeds year-to-year variability. Indeed, in the U.S. the warmest decade was the 1930s and the warmest year was 1934.”

NOAA and NASA had to constantly explain why their global data sets were showing warming and the US, not so much. NOAA began reducing the UHI around 2000 and then in USHCN version 2 released for the US in 2007 and individual stations in 2009, the urban heat island adjustment was eliminated which resulted in an increase of 0.3F in warming trend since the 1930s.”  “WHY NOAA AND NASA PROCLAMATIONS SHOULD BE IGNORED

Will Alexander on the suppression of science by the AGW clergy

01/17/2011

“Together with my colleagues, research assistants and students we are now able to demonstrate with a high degree of statistical assurance (95% in many cases) that the annual river flows, rainfall and other hydro-meteorological data exhibit predictable, concurrent, above and below average multi-year sequences. More importantly, we can demonstrate that these multi-year properties are directly related to variations in the receipt and poleward redistribution of solar energy via the global oceanic and atmospheric processes. We were unable to detect any trends or other anomalies in the data that could be ascribed to human activities.

Now my question. Given this readily available information is it not obvious that the fundamental error in climate change science, including the ability to predict regional climatic variations years ahead, is the clear rejection by climate change scientists of the obvious solar energy related processes that drive global climate?  …

There is another issue of major international concern. In the 1970s there was a wealth of international research in this field. I attended discussions and symposia in the UK, Canada, USA, Israel and Taiwan. I do not recall a single major conflict or dispute. Today the situation is totally different. There are no international conferences or symposia where alternative theories can be presented and discussed. Instead, opposing views are vigorously suppressed. This is not science.”  “Will Alexander: Predicting Climatic Extremes

Clueless journo wonders why media ignore breathless bogus warming proclamations!

01/14/2011

“Yesterday’s announcement that 2010 tied for the warmest year ever recorded on Earth was ignored by nearly all UK media outlets. How can this be?

Believe it or not, record warming of the Earth no longer seems to be news as far as the UK media are concerned.

Yesterday, both NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced, based on independent analyses of global weather station data, that 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year on this planet since annual records began in the late 19th century.

But this news was ignored by all of the UK’s national newspapers, apart from the Guardian, online and in print. (The Guardian‘s piece was followed, almost a day later, by the Telegraph online.)”  “Why have UK media ignored climate change announcements?

Enviros unleash litigation blitz on Cape Cod bird shredders

01/14/2011

“Eight months after the Obama administration approved what it hopes will be America’s flagship offshore industrial wind energy factory in the waters of Nantucket Sound … the Cape Wind project is swamped in litigation filed by a rising tide of opposition.  …

On Dec. 13, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, a nonprofit grass-roots organization that has led the opposition to the massive wind turbine proposal, announced that the Alliance, TransCanada [Corporation], and Associated Industries of Massachusetts – the largest business association in Massachusetts – have all filed separate appeals against the DPU’s [Department of Public Utilities] approval of the power purchase agreement. The groups charge that the DPU decision violates several of its own directives including dismissing a competitive bid, failing to determine cost-effectiveness of the power purchase agreement, and discriminating against out-of-state resources.  …

The power purchase agreement approved by the DPU would force Massachusetts ratepayers to pay $2 billion in additional energy costs for Cape Wind’s power. At a rate of 18.7 cents per kilowatt hour, the energy produced by Cape Wind would be double the cost of other renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric energy and various land-based wind projects and over two times the current 9 cents energy price paid by Massachusetts consumers.

On Dec. 1, Californians for Renewable Energy … filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission against Cape Wind. National Grid, and the DPU Wind, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, “for their ongoing conspiracy to violate the Federal Power Act by approving contracts for capacity and energy that exceeds the utilities’ avoided cost cap.” The complaint also charges that the Cape Wind-National Grid agreement “usurps” FERC’s exclusive jurisdiction to determine the wholesale rates for electricity.

The complaint further charges that National Grid and the DPU have “aided and abetted Cape Wind’s fraudulent actions” by claiming both an investment tax credit and a production tax credit – that is, “double-dipping” – under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

Other actions include four lawsuits against the Interior Department by the Alliance, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Cetacean Society International, and Three Bays Preservation for violations of the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and other laws with Wal-Mart filing as an intervener.

The Cape Wind project still needs approvals from various agencies including the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers.”  “Cape Wind bogged down in lawsuits”  H/t Larry Tomasson