Archive for the ‘ecotheism – enviro nuttiness’ Category

Scandal in Oz — alarmism rejected

03/29/2012
“Like many working couples, Anne and Russell Secombe decided to find a place by the sea where they would eventually retire to live out the rest of their lives pursuing simple pleasures. In the 1970s, the couple, now in their 80s, found it, a modest single-level brick house at 23 Illaroo Rd, Lake Cathie, a town on the NSW mid-north coast.  …

It’s simple bliss: Anne, a retired clerk, spends time keeping up her neat garden; Russell, a retired mechanic, angles on the beach for blackfish, flathead and bream. But yesterday the Secombes’ sense of hard-earned stability collapsed when they discovered they could be among the first victims in Australia to be dispossessed of their home. Not because of any existing environmental threat, but because the local council believes climate change could pose one by the end of the century.

In a move that struck incredulity, alarm and fear among locals, Port Macquarie Hastings Council put a study on the council website recommending that council enforce a “planned retreat” for the owners of the 17 houses on Illaroo Road. The area is one of 15 “hot spots” identified by the NSW government as being vulnerable to the effects of sea level rises due to climate change, as outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  …

Illaroo Road is about 7m above mean sea level, so there’s no danger of flooding.  …

Council’s action has reduced property values on Illaroo Road by between a third and a half, according to local observers.”

Fighting on the beaches as council orders retreat from climate change ‘threat’

“Home owners in the NSW town of Lake Cathie appear likely to escape an eviction order recommended by a consultant’s report that calls for a “planned retreat” from a predicted rise in sea levels, as the O’Farrell government is expected to discard the alarmist climate change predictions of its Labor predecessor.  …

The developments follow revelations in The Weekend Australianon Saturday that the consultants employed by the council, SMEC, had recommended the council buy out 17 homes on Illaroo Road based on predictions by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – and adopted by the previous Labor government – of a sea-level rise of 40cm by 2050 and 90cm by the turn of the century.  …

Mr Porter’s decision that he will work to save the Lake Cathie houses comes as the NSW Coalition government appears likely to determine that the coastal management strategy of the previous Labor government is unrealistic.  …

SMEC’s report made clear that even given the direst climate change and sea-level rise predictions, with Illaroo Road being 7m above mean sea level, “overtopping and coastal inundation are not an issue”.”

Seafront residents in nothern NSW saved from eviction

The horror

01/11/2012

“[C]ostumed demonstrators marched from the Occupy encampment in downtown New York City to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hearing in Greenwich Village. “The whole world is watching!” one demonstrator shouted. The hearing was about Spectra Energy’s plan to build a 30-inch natural-gas pipeline from New Jersey to the lower west side of Manhattan, via Staten Island. Though the streets of Manhattan have been piped for gas since 1825, anti-fracking activists and public officials told the FERC hearing that a new source of natural gas meant trouble: possible radioactivity, terrorism, pollution, accidents, and explosions. Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer warned that the pipeline could be used to transmit natural gas from fracked wells in Pennsylvania.  …

[T]hat anti-fracking demonstrator in Manhattan was wrong. The whole world isn’t watching. What the whole world is doing is fracking.”  “Shale Game

Delusional

01/07/2012

“This failure [by alarmists] to connect with the public is already having a dire effect on political will to deal with the [non-] problem. How should they do things differently?  …

Scientists and environmentalists need to place a greater emphasis on the economic dangers of not dealing with the [non-] problem: household bills will rise exorbitantly if we don’t invest in alternative energy; dealing with disruptive climate change will cost us billions and drive up food prices across the world.  …

Half the population doesn’t need more convincing – it’s the other half that isn’t susceptible to traditional [doomsday] messages.

This means talking about the potential for future innovation, that countries like China and India are investing billions into alternative energy as a key future technology, and how it offers us security from war and disease and a better standard of living.”  “The climate change message is not being heard. Here’s how to change tack

Climate model output is now "data"

08/16/2011

Both [Seth] Wenger [a fisheries researcher with Trout Unlimited in Boise] and [Dan] Isaak, a fisheries biologist at the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station in Boise, were a part of a team of 11 scientists who said trout habitat could drop by 50 percent over the next 70 years because of a warming world. The paper, published Monday in the peer-reviewed science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, predicts native cutthroat habitat could decline by 58 percent.

The two men, who have devoted their lives to scientific research, say they depend on the scientific method and peer review to judge the quality of the research that underscores their findings. The climate predictions are based on 10 of the 20 climate models developed independently worldwide that all show the world is getting warmer.

The climate models have been right for 30 years and they are getting better all the time,” Isaak said.  …

The most dire climate models show temperatures in Idaho rising an average of 9 degrees in 70 years, Wenger said.  …

“I have to set aside my feelings and use the best data,” he said.  …

But what if all the climate models are wrong?

There just is not a lot of data supporting the alternative view,” Wenger said.  “Idaho trout face climate trouble, study finds

EPA madness rolls on

07/15/2011

“What happens if the government mandates the consumption of a product that doesn’t exist? Naturally, the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to punish the gasoline refiners because they can’t buy a type of alternative fuel that no one is making. Consumers will be punished too.

The 2007 energy bill vastly increased the volume of corn ethanol that must be blended into gasoline, though it also included mandates for cellulosic ethanol.  …

The EPA set the 2011 standard at six million gallons. Reality hasn’t cooperated. Zero gallons have been produced in the last six months and the corner isn’t visible over the next six months either. The EPA has only approved a single plant to sell the stuff, … but it shut down its cellulosic operations earlier this year to work through technical snafus.

In its wisdom, Congress decided that some companies should be penalized if the targets aren’t met.  …  U.S. oil refiners that make gasoline … will end up buying six million cellulosic waivers by year’s end at $1.13 a pop. That’s $6.78 million in higher costs at the pump, in return for nothing.

That might not be much in the scheme of things, though late last month the EPA proposed a 2012 mandate that will fall somewhere between 3.55 million and 15.7 million gallons. Barring a miracle, cellulosic producers won’t hit even the lower end, refiners and the driving public will continue to pay for the mistake, and the mandate will continue to ratchet up annually. Perhaps the EPA can also find someone to tax for the lack of unicorns.”  “Cellulosic Ethanol and Unicorns

Trade war begins

06/24/2011

“China’s anger with the European Union’s emissions-trading scheme for airlines has delayed the revealing of a major Airbus deal and could undermine upcoming deals, according to people familiar with the situation.

Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., had expected to announce at the Paris Air Show this week that Hong Kong Airlines Ltd. ordered 10 of its A380 superjumbo jetliners, with a catalog value of almost $4 billion. The deal’s unveiling was put on ice by officials in Beijing, who must give final approval, these people said.

The Chinese government held off because it disapproves of the EU’s intention to regulate greenhouse emissions of foreign airlines operating to and from the 27-country bloc, according to the people close to the talks.  …

“The Chinese have told us directly that their airlines are not allowed to get into deals with Europe,” said a person close to the European side of the discussions.  …

China’s move appears to be the first retaliation against the EU program. China, the U.S., Russia and other countries have strongly objected to the plan.  …

EU officials have repeatedly said they won’t retreat on their program.”  “China Delays Unveiling Airbus Deal

The absurdity of it all

04/29/2011

“Cuts in carbon [dioxide emissions] by developed countries since 1990 have been cancelled out many times over by increases in imported goods from developing countries such as China, according to the most comprehensive global figures ever compiled.  …

[T]he latest research, published on Monday, provides the first global view of how international trade altered national carbon footprints during the period of the Kyoto protocol.  …

According to standard data, developed countries can claim to have reduced their collective emissions by almost 2% between 1990 and 2008. But once the carbon cost of imports have been added to each country, and exports subtracted – the true change has been an increase of 7%. If Russia and Ukraine – which cut their CO2 emissions rapidly in the 1990s due to economic collapse – are excluded, the rise is 12%.”  “Carbon cuts by developed countries cancelled out by imported goods

Hypocrite in Chief

04/27/2011

“President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged world oil producers to lift crude output, as he sought to deflect public anger over high gasoline prices that has hurt his popularity among voters.  …

“They need to increase supplies,” Obama told CBS affiliate WTKR in Hampton Roads, Virginia.”  “Obama Urges Oil Producers To Increase Output

 

“Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits.  …

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says … [h]e’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area.  …

The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the United States. According to the latest census, the population is 245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.  …

At stake is an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil[,] … two and a half times more oil than has flowed down the Trans Alaska pipeline throughout its 30-year history.”  “EPA Rules Force Shell to Abandon Oil Drilling Plans

DOI issues new model-based alarmist report

04/26/2011

“Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today released a report that assesses climate change risks and how these risks could impact water operations, hydropower, flood control, and fish and wildlife in the western United States. The report to Congress, prepared by Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, represents the first consistent and coordinated assessment of risks to future water supplies across eight major Reclamation river basins, including the Colorado, Rio Grande and Missouri river basins.  …

The report, which responds to requirements under the SECURE Water Act of 2009, shows several increased risks to western United States water resources during the 21st century. Specific projections include:

  • a temperature increase of 5-7 degrees Fahrenheit;
  • a precipitation increase over the northwestern and north-central portions of the western United States and a decrease over the southwestern and south-central areas;
  • a decrease for almost all of the April 1st snowpack, a standard benchmark measurement used to project river basin runoff; and
  • an 8 to 20 percent decrease in average annual stream flow in several river basins, including the Colorado, the Rio Grande, and the San Joaquin.  …

To develop the report, Reclamation used original research and a literature synthesis of existing peer-reviewed studies. Projections of future temperature and precipitation are based on multiple climate models and various projections of future greenhouse gas emissions, technological advancements, and global population estimates.”  “Interior Releases Report Highlighting Impacts of Climate Change to Western Water Resources

Tortoise shuts down $2B solar project

04/20/2011

“Federal officials have told a solar developer to stop work on two-thirds of a construction site in northeast San Bernardino County because no more tortoises can be disturbed.

Until wildlife authorities reassess the tortoise population, work on the $2.1 billion project — hailed by the Obama administration — is limited to a 2-square-mile area cleared of the protected reptiles last fall. BrightSource Solar’s entire work site, on public land near Primm, Nev., is 5.6 square miles.

The suspension order, made official Friday, was triggered when biologists hired to remove tortoises from the property handled their 39th animal earlier this month, said Amy Fesnock of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

A federal permit allowed for the displacement of no more than 38 desert tortoises found within the project’s borders, said Fesnock, a wildlife biologist in the BLM’s California office. The species is listed as threatened with extinction.

The suspension forced crews from Bechtel, BrightSource’s contractor, to stop building fences and to fill in postholes and trenches so tortoises won’t fall in and get injured or trapped.”  “MOJAVE DESERT: Tortoise finds curtail solar-site construction