Showing posts from July, 2013

Sunspots and the Great Cooling Ahead

Presumably, even among the ill-informed ideologues at the White House, there are a few who have heard of sunspots.  There may even be one who knows, as most informed persons do, of the correlation between sunspot activity and the earth's climate.  But apparently no one has bothered to inform the president. When sunspot activity is high, as it was during the 1990s and early 2000s, temperatures tend to be high as well.  When it is low, as it is now, temperatures fall.  And because sunspot activity occurs in decades-long cycles, the unusually cold winter and spring of 2012 may be just the beginning.  As a Barron's article recently noted, current sunspot activity is now the least it has been in a century. What this means is that the era of global cooling has begun.  In the northern hemisphere, three out of the four last winters and springs have been unusually cold.  This spring was so cold in East Asia that China was forced to import millions of tons of grain and soybeans from the U…

Global warming now a weapon against Scotland’s independence

AN independent Scotland would be "at a deep strategic disadvantage" to Russia in the conflict that is expected to emerge from climate change, according to Icelandic academics. Scotland would need "shelter" from stronger allies which will "incur costs different from, and not necessarily lesser than" those of contributing to UK defence, legal and political experts from the universities of Iceland and Akureyri have advised. But small Nordic states have been living with similar risks for decades while independence would allow Scotland to pursue new tactical alliances more suited to its national interests, they say. First Minister Alex Salmond last week set out his vision for defence in an independent Scotland on a visit to Shetland, which he said would take account of position, size and future responsibilities as global warming opens up shipping lanes and energy sources. The academics said: "Like all Nordic states, Scotland would be at a deep strategic …

Evidence That Demands a Verdict Dismantling the EPA's extremist views regarding CO2.

The systematic assault on economical energy sources and the economy by the EPA was given de facto approval, if not encouragement by President Obama in his speech two weeks ago on the environment. As his words sunk in it became apparent that he seeks to isolate and demonize those who wish to confront him on this matter with facts, and by doing so, destroy opposition to a policy that his EPA has enacted based on easily disproven assumptions. Give the fact that poverty rates continue to rise in our nation under his watch and that the true workforce continues to drop, he seems dangerously out of touch with the facts. Yet he accuses others of such behavior either out of ignorance, arrogance, or both. His EPA has been ruling by decree based on ideas that ignore facts and disregard the harm they are doing to the nation. There are three lines of evidence the EPA uses to back their environmental policies. Greenhouse Gas Trapping Hot Spot Theory. The so-called unusual rise in GAST (Globally Av…

Study: Obesity epidemic partly explained by erroneous data

A new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology indicates that parent-reported height/weight data for children isn’t all that reliable. We have always been critical of self-reported obesity data. The abstract is below. ### Parent-Reported Height and Weight as Sources of Bias in Survey Estimates of Childhood Obesity Margaret M. Weden*, Peter B. Brownell, Michael S. Rendall, Christopher Lau, Meenakshi Fernandes and Zafar Nazarov ↵*Correspondence to Dr. Margaret M. Weden, Rand Corporation, 1776 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401-3208 (e-mail: Abbreviations: BMI, body mass index; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CI, confidence interval; NLSY79, National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Cohort; NLSY79-Child, Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Cohort; PSID-CDS, Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Received June 26, 2012.
Accepted December 3, 2012.
Abstract Parental reporting of height and weight was…

Germans, Danes pay 300% more than Americans for electricity — courtesy of wind, solar mandates

rom the Wall Street Journal’s “Europe’s Renewable Romance Fades”: Europe has bet big on wind and solar energy, and many environmental advocates would like America to follow. Wind and solar have a role in the U.S. energy economy, but we would be wise to see the cautionary tale in the European experience and adjust our plans accordingly. Wind and solar generate 3.5% of America’s electricity today, but Denmark gets 30% of its electricity from wind and hopes to produce 50% by 2020. Germany, Europe’s largest national economy, produces roughly 12% of its electricity from wind and solar today, and it wants renewable energy to account for 35% of electricity generation by 2020. Clean energy powered by renewable resources is understandably attractive. But the honeymoon with renewables is ending for some Europeans as the practical challenges of the relationship become clear. The first challenge is cost. Germany has reportedly invested more than $250 billion in renewable energy deployment, and i…

Politico: Obama looking to deal on Keystone XL

Politico reports: President Barack Obama’s latest critique of the Keystone XL oil pipeline still leaves a path for approving the project — but its supporters may need to make concessions to blunt its impact on the climate, analysts said Monday. Obama’s remarks to The New York Times echoed some of the most potent criticisms offered by Keystone’s opponents, scoffing at GOP claims about job creation and warning that the pipeline might even raise gasoline prices. He also said Canada “could potentially be doing more” to counteract the greenhouse gas emissions being unleashed from Alberta’s oil sands, the major reason for climate activists’ outrage at the pipeline.

Michigan physician licensing board drops human testing complaint

Dropped after a week on the hand-scrawled recommendation of an unidentifiable board member. Click for the notice of termination. Click for the complaint. See if you can reconcile the two with anything other than corruption.

New Report: The Cloud Begins With Coal

Coal provides 40% of the world’s growing demand for electricity. Marshall Institute Director Mark Mills released “The Cloud Begins With Coal,” an examination of the energy demands of the global information technology economy. The information economy is a blue-whale economy with its energy uses mostly out of sight. Based on a mid-range estimate, the world’s Information-Communications-Technologies (ICT) ecosystem uses about 1,500 TWh of electricity annually, equal to all the electric generation of Japan and Germany combined — as much electricity as was used for global illumination in 1985. The ICT ecosystem now approaches 10% of world electricity generation. Or in other energy terms – the zettabyte era already uses about 50% more energy than global aviation. Read ““The Cloud Begins With Coal”. Note this is a 45 Page PDF Lock file.

Audit shows Obama admin wasted $135 million on electric car charging stations

Paul Chesser writes: An audit by the Department of Energy’s Inspector General found that the persistent weak demand for electric vehicles harmed the deployment and timeliness of a $135 million-plus taxpayer funded charging network, which spun a cycle of excessive grants and project expansion, that led to an enormous waste of public money. The investigators, led by IG Gregory Friedman, determined that conditions for reimbursement to Ecotality, Inc. (and its subsidiaries) for the EV charging demonstration project were “very generous,” although not explicitly prohibited under federal regulations. “While we acknowledge that the Department had maintained and archived award documentation, an independent reviewer cannot understand the rationale behind important decisions made by Department officials, as required by government internal control standards,” Friedman’s report said. “Additionally, the Department’s weaknesses in oversight of administrative aspects of Ecotality’s awards may have l…

Super: Feds paying millions in subsidies to farmers no longer among the living

I’m starting to get the sinking feeling that — for all of the recent ado about finally decoupling the usually omnibus farm bill into the two separate, more accessible issues of food stamps and agriculture ‘policy’ — what we’re might end up with is some kind of last-minute stopgap extension of the current farm bill, which is supposed to expire at the end of September. Congress still has plenty to duke out on both issues; the Democrats are refusing to stand for any substantive cuts to the national food-stamp program (the enrollment for which has grown by 70 percent since 2008, by the way), and while House Republicans actually did succeed in finally decoupling the issues, they ended up cutting hardly a dang thing from what is mostly millions of dollars a year in corporate pork for agribusiness in rural states andare still trying to figure out what they want to do with food stamps. They need both their agriculture bill and a food-stamp bill to send into conference with the Senate’s versi…

NYC’s Sugary Drink Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

A New York appeals court is upholding a ruling striking down New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on sugary drinks.

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City's crackdown on big, sugary sodas is staying on ice. An appeals court ruled Tuesday that the city's Board of Health exceeded its legal authority and acted unconstitutionally when it tried to put a size limit on soft drinks served in city restaurants.

In a unanimous opinion, the four-judge panel of the state Supreme Court Appellate Division said that the health board was acting too much like a legislature when it created the limit, which would have stopped sales of non-diet soda and other sugar-laden beverages in containers bigger than 16 ounces. The judges wrote that while the board had the power to ban "inherently harmful" foodstuffs from being served to the public, sweetened beverages didn't fall into that category. They also said the board appeared to have crafted much of the new rules based on politi…

Infographic of the day: Sec. Kerry is killing the Earth trying to save the Middle East

Secretary of State John Kerry and his advisers have emitted more than 35.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the environment during their ill-fated attempts to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, according to a Washington Free Beacon environmental impact study.

There is a price for keeping hope alive for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, no matter how unchanged the facts and futility on the ground. And the price is steep. For Gaia: Secretary of State John Kerry and his advisers have emitted more than 35.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the environment during their ill-fated attempts to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, according to a Washington Free Beacon environmental impact study. After taking six trips to the region since February, Kerry and his crew have expended almost twice the amount of carbon that the average American emits yearly, according to an analysis based on statistics from the U.S Energy Information Administration. Kerry alone has pro…

Anti-Keystone XL protests losing steam

Some protesters carried anti-capitalist signs. One such sign read Capitalism is killing the planet. Atheist Communists slaughtered more than 100 Million people in the last century  So tell me all about Stalin was responsible for about 20 million deaths and Mao Zedong's regime for approximately 70 million.  Pol Pot, who led the Communist Party faction known as the Khmer Rouge, killed over 1.5 million of his own Cambodian people.6 Add to these numbers the atrocities committed by Soviet dictators like Lenin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev. 
Also add atheists like Fidel Castro and Kim Jong-il. All total, atheistic regimes have slaughtered more than 100 million people within the last 100 years. That averages to more than 1 million people per year.

Attendance at protests against the Keystone XL pipeline appears to be in decline, despite warmer weather. As part of the “Summer Heat” campaign to challenge the fossil fuel industry and hold Pr…

Obama’s sneer at tar sands jobs is a sneer at $17 trillion in wealth creation

How many millions of jobs is the Keystone XL worth? In a New York Times interview over the weekend, President Obama sneered at 2,000 or so construction jobs created by construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Here’s what he doesn’t get — and perhaps doesn’t want to understand either. Tar sands development is about wealth creation or creating something out of nothing or more out of less — the very engine that has provided developed nations with their unparalleled prosperity, astonishing public health and clean environments. Alberta has reserves on the order of 170 billion barrels of oil locked in the tar sands. Left alone, the tar sands are worth nothing. But excavated and processed into crude oil, they are worth (at today’s prices) more than $100 per barrel — i.,e, $17 trillion. That is a lot of wealth to create out of nothing — wealth that can create a lot of jobs. The U.S. economy employs about 150 million people on a GDP of about $16 trillion. The remarkable thing about the Keyst…