Accusations Vs Facts

Congressional hearings provide an opportunity for member of both parties to grandstand on behalf of their pet causes. It is no secret that Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is opposed to fossil fuel in general. However, she needs to get her facts straight before she makes her claims.

The Daily Caller reported yesterday on Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s latest gaffe:

The Daily Caller reported:

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blamed the Keystone XL pipeline for leaking about 5,000 barrels of oil in rural South Dakota about two years ago.

There’s just one problem: The Keystone XL pipeline has not been built yet.

During a House hearing Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez claimed that “Keystone XL, in particular, had one leak that leaked 210,000 gallons across South Dakota” while she questioned Wells Fargo president and CEO Timothy Sloan.

…The existing Keystone pipeline, however, was responsible for leaking up to 9,700 barrels in South Dakota in 2017. The initial estimate for the spill was about 5,000 barrels, or 210,000 gallons of oil. Both Keystone and the planned XL line are operated by Canadian pipeline giant TransCanada.

TransCanada said it repaired the pipeline and cleaned-up the spill, Reuters reported in 2018, though the event has been used by environmental activists to gin up opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Ocasio-Cortez, who recently introduced the Green New Deal resolution, also took aim at Wells Fargo’s financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which sparked violent protests along the project’s planned route throughout 2016.

For those of you new to this site, I have previously posted the reason for some of the opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline during the Obama administration. In a 2014 article I stated:

If the Obama administration holds firm on blocking Keystone, the big loser will be TransCanada Corporation. But who will the big winners be? American railroads:

And of them, the biggest winner might just be the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett. In December, the CEO of BNSF, Matthew Rose, said that his railroad was shipping about 500,000 barrels of oil per day out of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and that it was seeking a permit to send “crude by rail to the Pacific Northwest.” He also said the railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

…The freshman Democrat (Senator Kaine) has between $15,000 and $50,000 invested in Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, according to his most recent financial disclosure. Kinder Morgan is looking to build a pipeline that would directly compete with Keystone.

Kinder Morgan is considering expanding its Canadian pipeline infrastructure with an expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which carries oil sands crude from Alberta to refineries and export terminals on Canada’s west coast.

The expansion would boost Trans Mountain’s capacity to 890,000 barrels per day. Keystone, a project of energy company TransCanada, is expected to carry about 830,000 barrels per day if fully constructed.

Observers have said a rejection of Keystone would be a boon for Kinder Morgan, since the Trans Mountain pipeline presents a viable alternative for exporting crude from Canadian oil sands.

The second scenario is a blatant example of how freshmen Congressmen arrive as middle-class Americans and leave as millionaires. The first example shows how environmental policy can be easily influenced by money.

Should The Government Control What We Eat?

Cory Booker is running for President (along with a lot of other Democrats). He is a vegetarian who believes that the vegetarian lifestyle should be the choice for everyone.

The following quote was posted at The Gateway Pundit yesterday:

Booker told the February issue of VegNews that he became a vegetarian in 1992 when, after a few days of trying the new lifestyle, he said, “Oh my gosh, I will never go back to eating meat.” He made the decision to go vegan in 2014…

The progressive senator doesn’t think veganism is just appropriate for his private life; he’d like everyone to embrace the diet because he believes the world can’t keep providing enough beef and pork to satisfy meat cravings.

“The tragic reality is this planet simply can’t sustain billions of people consuming industrially produced animal agriculture because of environmental impact. It’s just not possible, as China, as Africa move toward consuming meat the same way America does because we just don’t have enough land.”

In addition to convincing the masses to give up meat, Booker has other legislative goals that would interfere with America’s eating habits.

Where in the U.S. Constitution does the government have the right to tell us what to eat?

This Would Be Beneficial On A Number Of Levels

CBN News posted an article today about an innovative energy source that would be beneficial for both energy production and for the environment. The article hits close to home because it involves an issue North Carolina has been discussing for a number of years.

First of all, I need to say that I know very little about hog farming and hog waste. However, it does make sense that some of the by-products of hog farming might create an environmental problem. However, there seems to be an answer that will be profitable for everyone.

The article reports:

In fact, to Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy, converting hog manure to natural gas for powering homes and businesses has a sweet smell of success.

“We think it’s a lot simpler, and we think it will change the face of how manure is handled and turned into energy going forward,” Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables, told CBN News.

…So how does it work – turning this waste into energy? Often called biomethane, renewable natural gas is pipeline-quality gas that comes from organic matter like hog waste.

CBN News went to North Carolina to tour Circle K II Farms, a Smithfield pilot project.

“Manure actually is a positive thing,” said Westerbeek. “It creates value, and it helps fertilize crops; it helps produce energy. It’s not a bad thing. We view manure as an opportunity.”

Kraig Westerbeek explains how the process moves from the hog buildings to a huge covered lagoon called a “digester.”

“The product, natural gas, is actually a product of digestion of the solids by bacteria, so for that reason, it’s called digestion,” he said.

…The manure is funneled under the large plastic cover of the lagoon, and it’s mixed over and over. Bacteria break it down, producing what’s called biogas, which causes the cover to bubble up. That gas is 65 percent natural gas.

The biogas produced at farms then moves through gathering pipes to a gas-upgrading unit. That’s when Dominion Energy steps in.

“Where we come in – you see this plant back here – we’re gonna lend our engineering expertise to create a process that’s as efficient as possible in creating clean, renewable natural gas that customers can use,” Childress said.

At the gas upgrading system, the natural gas from the farm is refined. When it leaves there, it is 99.1 percent natural gas. It then enters a pipeline and is funneled to homes and businesses.

The article concludes:

This project involves partnering with local farmers like Dean Hilton, who’s been raising hogs for nearly 15 years. He calls it the “wave of the future.”

“After meeting with Kraig on the trial site, we realized that there’s a lot of opportunity in the fact that we can actually reduce our manure in our current lagoons, as well as turning the solids, the new solids into renewable energy,” Hilton said.

Westerbeek admits turning manure into renewable natural gas is “fairly expensive”.

“You have an investment in a digester like you see in the background, and then the gathering pipelines to gather the gas from different farms and bring it to a central location,” he explained.

“And then one of the more expensive parts of this is actually cleaning the gas from its form as biogas from this digester into pipeline-quality natural gas,” Westerbeek continued.

Both he and Childress along with their bosses believe it’s a worthy investment leading to clean energy, plus economic benefits for their companies, rural America and the general public.

This seems like a win-win situation. Now if we can just do the same thing with cows…

What Does The Green New Deal Have In Common With The United Nations’ Solutions To Global Warming?

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about the Democrat’s Green New Deal. Oddly enough, when you look at the consequences of the policies of the Green New Deal, they have a lot in common with ideas espoused by the United Nations.

The motives of both are somewhat questionable.

In March 2016, I posted an article with the following:

…Then listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:

“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

So what is the goal of environmental policy?

“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

For those who want to believe that maybe Edenhofer just misspoke and doesn’t really mean that, consider that a little more than five years ago he also said that “the next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”

Mad as they are, Edenhofer’s comments are nevertheless consistent with other alarmists who have spilled the movement’s dirty secret. Last year, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, made a similar statement.

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said in anticipation of last year’s Paris climate summit.

“This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”

Let’s compare that to the Green New Deal.

Investor’s Business Daily reports:

Reading the Green New Deal (GND) plan, put out Thursday by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, one is tempted to think it’s not real, just a joke from the satirical “The Onion.” The individual planks in the plan, individually and collectively, sound like the rantings of someone who should be institutionalized, not like a rational political plan to solve a real problem.

Let’s begin with what the plan promises: “a massive transformation of our society with clear goals and a timeline.”

That’s a sweeping, explicit pledge of radical socialist change. And that’s  not all. It offers “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and create economic prosperity for all.”

The editorial at Investor’s Business Daily concludes:

“The so-called Green New Deal resolution presented today by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., is a Back-to-the-Dark Ages Manifesto,” said Myron Ebell, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment. “It calls for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in ten years, ‘upgrading all existing buildings’, and replacing our vehicle fleet with electric cars and more mass transit. And turning our energy economy upside down must be accomplished while ending historic income inequities and oppression of disadvantaged groups. Needless to say, the costs would be stupendous, and the damage done by its policies would be catastrophic.”

We’re grateful that President Trump threw down the gantlet against socialism during his Tuesday night State of the Union address. As he said, “America will never be a Socialist country.” And he drove that point home by adding: “We were born free and we will stay free.”

Scourge Of Socialism

We hope he’s right, and America’s declining education system and the increasingly far-left mainstream media have’t made socialism a palatable choice against the extraordinary success of  the free market. Socialism is among humanity’s worst ideas and it has failed everywhere — everywhere — it has been tried.

Those who don’t think the socialist disaster of Venezuela can happen here are sadly — tragically — mistaken.

It should never be tried again, anywhere, but especially not here.

They idea that a country can prosper by guaranteeing everyone a comfortable standard of living whether they choose to work or not goes against human nature. Prosperity comes from achievement, and achievement is generally spurred on by the rewards it receives. If hard work is not rewarded, there will be no great achievements. It’s that simple.

We Might Take Them Seriously If They Practiced What They Preach

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday about some recent actions by Senator Bernie Sanders. It seems that according to the Federal Election Commission, Senator Sanders spent nearly $300,000 for private jet travel in the final stretch of his campaign for re-election to the Senate.

The article reports:

Air travel is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, with some estimations saying that the aviation industry accounts for about 11 percent of transportation-related emissions in the country. The environmental impact is greatly magnified in cases of private flights, which carry far fewer people per trip than commercial jets.

Sanders claims on his website that “climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet” and puts the blame chiefly on the growing rate of emissions being produced by the transportation sector.

“Global climate change is real, it is caused mainly by emissions released from burning fossil fuels and it poses a catastrophic threat to the long-term longevity of our planet,” he writes. “The transportation sector accounts for about 26 percent of carbon pollution emissions.”

The Sanders campaign told the Washington Free Beacon it purchased “carbon offsets” to balance out emissions produced on the trip.

“The campaign purchased carbon offsets from Native Energy to support renewable energy projects and invest in carbon reduction projects to balance out the emissions produced on this trip,” Jones said in an email.

The Washington Free Beacon was unable to identify payments made by the campaign to the environmental group. Jones says the purchase will appear in the campaign’s next filing.

So let me get this straight–it’s okay to have a ginormous carbon footprint as long as you are rich enough to buy carbon credits. Meanwhile, all of us little people are supposed to go broke paying ever increasing prices for energy caused by regulations to lower carbon emissions put on us by people who have no intention of curtailing their carbon emissions. Seems a little unfair to me.

Ugly Rears Its Head In The House Of Representatives

Sometimes dumb ideas come from Republicans as well as Democrats. I am about to illustrate that fact. Yesterday Representative Ted Deutch of Florida introduced H.R. 7173 into the House of Representatives. The bills description is, “To create a Carbon Dividend Trust Fund for the American people in order to encourage market-driven innovation of clean energy technologies and market efficiencies which will reduce harmful pollution and leave a healthier, more stable, and more prosperous nation for future generations.” Never trust the government to create a trust fund–remember the Social Security Trust Fund–it was robbed during the 1960’s (by the government that created it).

Let’s talk about this trust fund for a moment.

The bill states:

“A carbon dividend payment is one pro-rata share for each adult and half a pro-rata share for each child under 19 years old, with a limit of 2 children per household, of amounts available for the month in the Carbon Dividend Trust Fund.”

Do you really want the government commenting or being involved in any way with how many children you have in your family?

The Hill posted an article yesterday about the bill. The article included the following:

…the bill would charge companies when they produce or import fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, based on their expected greenhouse gas emissions.

But instead of using the money to pay for health or community projects, the new bill would distribute it to the public. Its backers say those “dividends” would offset the increased costs from the carbon tax, like higher utility and gasoline bills, for about 70 percent of households.

Dividend funds would be handed out by the Treasury Department under the bill, based on the number of people in a household.

“It’s transparent and easily trackable. You know where the money is going. It protects the American family so that families are not adversely impacted. Dividends would protect most families from cost increases,” Ben Pendergrass, senior director of government affairs at Citizens’ Climate Lobby, told The Hill.

“The market signals should still be there to guide things like fuel efficient cars and dividends protect people who can’t make that transition immediately.”

The bill would also prohibit the federal government from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from the sectors that are taxed, unless the taxes aren’t effective after 10 years. That is an effort to attract support from Republicans, who are nearly united in opposition to Environmental Protection Agency climate regulations.

Rooney focused on the economic benefits of the bill, saying in a statement Wednesday that the revenue carbon neutral fee is good policy and a way “to support emerging alternate sources of energy.”

This bill is a really bad idea. It paves the way for more government intrusion into our private lives and takes more money from Americans. America has cut its greenhouse gas emissions without crippling our economy. We are quite capable of doing so in the future without stifling economic growth and creating even bigger bureaucracies.

 

The Things They Never Told Us About Wind Power

An article at the Center of the American Experiment website tells us some of the things the media might not have mentioned about wind power:

An industrial wind facility in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin has been decommissioned after just 20 years of service because the turbines are no longer cost effective to maintain and operate. The decommissioning of the 14 turbines took many people by surprise, even local government officials and the farmer who had five of the turbines on his property.

What’s really surprising about these wind turbines being decommissioned after 20 years is the is the fact that people were surprised by it. You’d be astonished at how many people I talk to that have no idea that wind turbines only last for 20 years, maybe 25. In fact, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory says the useful life of a wind turbine is only 20 years.

The following chart appears in the article:

So what do we do with these things after they have lived their useful life span? Can we dispose of them in a way that is environmentally safe?

The article notes:

The short usable lifespan of a wind turbine is one of the most important, but least-talked about subjects in energy policy.

In contrast to wind, coal, natural gas, and nuclear plants can run for a very long time. Coal and natural gas plants can easily run for 50 years, and nuclear plants can be updated and retrofitted to run for 60 years. This has profound implications for the cost of electricity on a per megawatt hour basis that seemingly no one is talking about.

When the federal government puts out their cost projections for energy, the numbers they produce are called the Levelized Cost of Energy, or LCOE. These numbers are supposed to act as a measuring stick that allows policymakers to determine which energy sources will best serve their needs, but these numbers are wrong because they assume all power plants, whether they are wind, coal, natural gas, or nuclear will have a 30-year payback period.

This does two things, it artificially reduces the cost of wind power by allowing them to spread their costs over 30 years, when 20 would be much more appropriate, and it artificially inflates the cost of coal, natural gas, and nuclear by not calculating the cost over the entirety of their reasonable lifetimes.

The search for totally green energy is not unlike science’s search for a perpetual motion machine. Scientists and engineers may come close, but the perpetual motion machine cannot exist because it contradicts the laws of physics.

The Problems With The Climate-Change Report

The Daily Signal posted an article today about the new Climate Report presented to President Trump.

These are the four areas of the report that are questionable at best:

1. It wildly exaggerates economic costs.

2. It assumes the most extreme (and least likely)climate scenario.

3. It cherry-picks science on extreme weather and misrepresents timelines and causality.

4. Energy taxes are a costly non-solution.

The article notes that the study was partially funded in part by climate warrior Tom Steyer’s organization. How is this supposed to be an objective study?

The article further notes how the study came up with the economic costs:

The study…calculates these costs on the assumption that the world will be 15 degrees Fahrenheit warmer. That temperature projection is even higher than the worst-case scenario predicted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In other words, it is completely unrealistic.

The article notes that the climate trajectory used in the study is not realistic. The article states:

Despite what the National Climate Assessment says, Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 is not a likely scenario. It estimates nearly impossible levels of coal consumption, fails to take into account the massive increase in natural gas production from the shale revolution, and ignores technological innovations that continue to occur in nuclear and renewable technologies.

When taking a more realistic view of the future of conventional fuel use and increased greenhouse gas emissions, the doomsday scenarios vanish. Climatologist Judith Curry recently wrote, “Many ‘catastrophic’ impacts of climate change don’t really kick at the lower CO2 concentrations, and [Representative Concentration Pathway] then becomes useful as a ‘scare’ tactic.”

The article explains how some of the data in the study is being manipulated:

Another sleight of hand in the National Climate Assessment is where certain graph timelines begin and end. For example, the framing of heat wave data from the 1960s to today makes it appear that there have been more heat waves in recent years. Framing wildfire data from 1985 until today makes it appear as though wildfires have been increasing in number.

But going back further tells a different story on both counts, as Pielke Jr. has explained in testimony.

Moreover, correlation is not causality. Western wildfires have been particularly bad over the past decade, but it’s hard to say to what extent these are directly owing to hotter and drier temperatures. It’s even more difficult to pin down how much man-made warming is to blame.

Yet the narrative of the National Climate Assessment is that climate change is directly responsible for the increase in economic and environmental destruction of western wildfires. Dismissing the complexity of factors that contribute to a changing climate and how they affect certain areas of the country is irresponsible.

The article explains why carbon taxes are not the answer:

Just last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change proposed a carbon tax of between $135 and $5,500 by the year 2030. An energy tax of that magnitude would bankrupt families and businesses, and undoubtedly catapult the world into economic despair.

These policies would simply divert resources away from more valuable use, such as investing in more robust infrastructure to protect against natural disasters or investing in new technologies that make Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 even more of an afterthought than it already should be.

Climate change has been with us as long as the earth has existed–they found plant fossils under the ice in Greenland. The question is, “How much impact does man have on climate, and do we have the ability to impact climate in a positive way?” Considering some of the mistakes we have made in the past when tampering with nature, I truly believe we need to attempt to keep our air and water as clean as possible and leave the rest to nature.

We Need To Learn From Past Mistakes

I live very close to a national forest–a very large national forest. Watching what has happened in California makes me wonder how safe I am here. However, I am also aware that controlled burns in the national forest here are a part of summer life. I should also mention that generally there is enough rain during the summer to make these burns safe. Unfortunately that is not always the case in California, and sometimes a controlled burn is simply not practical. However, there are other ways to clear out brush and possible fuel for a fire.

The Washington Times posted an article about the California fires on Friday. What has happened in California is horrific, and we need to do everything we can to prevent it happening in the future.

The article reports:

A national logging organization is offering support to President Trump following catastrophic wildfires in California and a political debate over the causes of the destructive blazes.

“President Trump blamed poor forest management for wildfires in California and throughout the West, and there is truth to statements he has made,” said Daniel Dructor, executive vice president of the American Loggers Council, a coalition of state and regional associations that represents independent contract loggers.

“It’s time to rise above political posturing and recognize that active forest management — including logging, thinning, grazing and controlled burning — are tools that can and must be used to reduce fire risks and help mitigate the impacts to landscapes,” Mr. Dructor said in a statement.

According to the council, some 60 million to 80 million acres of national forest are at “high, to very high, risk of catastrophic wildfire.”

Citing research from the U.S. Forest Service, the council backs such methods as thinning stressed trees and prescribed burns to reduce wildfires but said “only a small fraction of high-risk acres are being treated.”

Mr. Dructor advised the Trump administration and Congress to expand public-private partnerships to manage the problem.

The article concludes:

Loggers are America’s ‘boots on the ground’ to conserve our forests and reduce the risks of wildfire,” council president Chris Potts said in a statement.

We work in the woods every day, we understand forestry and see the dangers every day, and we know what needs to be done. Without forests, we are out of business. That’s why we’ll continue to work with Republicans and Democrats on needed reforms that will help to sustain our forests and protect our forests and communities from wildfire,” he said.

Lumber is a renewable resource. A properly managed forest can continue indefinitely. Good forest management will not only provide jobs and resources, it will create a healthy environment for wildlife and avoid the environmental catastrophe that the California forest fires have been.

There Are Some People Who Just Don’t Want A Level Playing Field

We live in a culture where money talks. People give to politicians to support them (and sometimes to gain access), corporations and unions give to politicians, corporations and organizations buy ads on television and radio to support their cause. Consumers have the option of believing or dismissing these ads. Public relations has become a major part of most businesses, politicians, and charities. Well, not everyone is happy with the idea of equal access to the playing field.

The County Compass posted an article today about two groups attempting to limit the free speech of a company they disagree with. NC WARN and Friends of the Earth have begun legal action to ban what the groups allege is pervasive influence spending by Duke Energy.

The article reports:

The petition calls for the NC Utilities Commission to prohibit the use of customers’ money for influence spending by Duke’s two Carolinas-based utilities and the parent corporation. It details how virtually all the spending for political and civic influence originates from customer bills, and how Duke Energy uses an “accounting fiction” to claim that its stockholders or employees pay for image-polishing propaganda, targeted philanthropy, political giveaways and other efforts to buy favor.

The article includes the reply by Duke Energy:

Reached Wednesday afternoon at Duke Energy headquarters, Meredith Archie with the Corporate Communications department released the following statement:

The claims by this organization about our company are patently false and misleading. Duke Energy is proud to make charitable contributions in the communities where we live, work and serve, as well as to participate in public discourse on important policy matters that affect our customers and our company. The dollars used to fund these efforts are funded by shareholders in accordance with the law.

The article concludes:

Chan (Michelle Chan), the V.P. of Programs at Friends of the Earth, echoed Bradford’s (Peter Bradford, a former chairman of the New York Utilities Commission) statements.

“Adequately responding to the climate crisis means not just tackling the technical question of transitioning to renewable energy,” said Chan. “It also means stopping corporate monopolies like Duke from corroding our democracy and standing in the way of the change we need to protect people and the planet.”

First of all, there is no evidence that man’s behavior is responsible for climate change. Secondly, Solar energy may seem like a wonderful thing, but what is the carbon footprint of manufacturing the panels and how can they be safely disposed of since they have a limited life span?

I am not really surprised that two liberal organizations are attempting to shut down the free speech rights of an organization they have decided to demonize. I just wonder what they would do if Duke Energy went out of business–do they use electricity?

Another Global Threat Down The Drain

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line yesterday about some recent research on deforestation. It seems that it is not happening.

The article reports:

I have noted from time to time the data from the United Nations Global Forest Resource Assessment (UNGFRA) that has found that deforestation stopped at least 25 years ago, and that net reforestation has been taking place.

But the UN data is not as good as one would like. This week, however, Naturemagazine published a major new studywith much more precise measurements and analysis than the UNGFRA based on 35 years’ worth of satellite imagery, and it finds that since 1982 global forest cover has increasedby 7.2 percent, or 2.24 million kilometers.

The article includes information from the study:

Changes in land use and land cover considerably alter the Earth’s energy balance and biogeochemical cycles, which contributes to climate change and—in turn—affects land surface properties and the provision of ecosystem services. However, quantification of global land change is lacking. Here we analyse 35 years’ worth of satellite data and provide a comprehensive record of global land-change dynamics during the period 1982–2016. We show that—contrary to the prevailing view that forest area has declined globally—tree cover has increased by 2.24 million km2 (+7.1% relative to the 1982 level). This overall net gain is the result of a net loss in the tropics being outweighed by a net gain in the extratropics. Global bare ground cover has decreased by 1.16 million km2 (−3.1%), most notably in agricultural regions in Asia. Of all land changes, 60% are associated with direct human activities and 40% with indirect drivers such as climate change. Land-use change exhibits regional dominance, including tropical deforestation and agricultural expansion, temperate reforestation or afforestation, cropland intensification and urbanization. Consistently across all climate domains, montane systems have gained tree cover and many arid and semi-arid ecosystems have lost vegetation cover. The mapped land changes and the driver attributions reflect a human-dominated Earth system.

In addition to the reforestation of the earth, global warming has slowed down since 1999.

In 2014, the BBC reported:

Scientists have struggled to explain the so-called pause that began in 1999, despite ever increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

The latest theory says that a naturally occurring 30-year cycle in the Atlantic Ocean is behind the slowdown.

The researchers says this slow-moving current could continue to divert heat into the deep seas for another decade.

However, they caution that global temperatures are likely to increase rapidly when the cycle flips to a warmer phase.

I guess those who study the earth and its climate have not yet figured out all of the answers.

When We Mean Well, But Just Don’t Get It Right

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about recycling. Most American communities have made provisions to recycle items rather than just dump them in the landfill, but evidently things are not always what they seem. China used to take about one third of America’s recycled material, but China has put strict rules on what it will accept–generally refusing most of our recycled material. This has resulted in many recycling companies dumping recyclables into landfills. So all of our sorting efforts are for naught.

The editorial reports:

But this isn’t even the worst of it. As John Tierney explained in an exhaustive analysis of recycling programs, also published by the New York Times, recycling is not only costly, but doesn’t do much to help the environment.

The claim that recycling is essential to avoid running out of landfill space is hogwash, since all the stuff Americans throw away for the next 1,000 years would fit into “one-tenth of 1% of land available for grazing,” Tierney says.

Other environmental benefits, he finds, are negligible, and come at an exceedingly high price. Tierney notes, for example, that washing plastics before recycling them, as is the recommended practice, could end up adding to greenhouse gas emissions. And the extra trucks and processing facilities produce CO2 as well.

Since it costs far more to recycle trash than to bury it, governments are wasting money that could be more effectively spent elsewhere.

We need to find a way to convert waste into energy without pollution. That might be a pipe dream, but it is a worthwhile goal.

 

A Picture Of The Climate Change Fraud

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today explaining why global warming is a hoax.

Included in the article is the following chart:

The panic over global warming is a thinly disguised attempt to take money away from free nations where people have earned it and give the money to nations that recognize neither freedom or personal property rights. It is the latest form of socialism to be trendy on planet earth.

The article at Power Line concludes:

As discussed in the Climategate emails, this (chart) is how Mann and his fellow alarmists “hi[d] the decline” in Briffa’s data. It is hard to imagine a worse case of scientific fraud, but the history of alarmist “climate science” is rife with this kind of misconduct. In my opinion, the systematic alteration of data by government agencies to make the past look cooler is just as bad. This is what happens when governments offer billions of dollars to scientists, but only if they come up with ever more alarming predictions of what will happen if we don’t give the political class more money and power.

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My Nomination For The Understatement Of The Year

Yesterday wattsupwiththat posted an article entitled, “Report from the Office of the Inspector General: Global Climate Change Program Data May Be Unreliable.” No kidding. First of all, climate change has been with us since the early days of earth. Second of all, in 1985 TIME Magazine predicted global cooling (which I think may have actually been right). We have already read the emails showing that the charts used to create panic about global warming were rigged. Now the Inspector General is getting into the act.

The article reports:

Lack of oversight, non-compliance and a lax review process for the State Department’s global climate change programs have led the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to conclude that program data “cannot be consistently relied upon by decision-makers” and it cannot be ensured “that Federal funds were being spent in an appropriate manner.”

…OIG’s original report found that “OES did not fully implement the guidance for conducting [Data Quality Assessments] to help ensure that the data used in reporting programmatic results were complete, accurate, consistent, and supportable.”

Unfortunately climate science has become a vehicle for poorer countries to shake down richer countries by holding the richer countries responsible for global warming. It is almost impossible to trust any of the data that has been released on climate change. Until the link between politics and science is broken, we really don’t know what the truth is. There are some of us, however, who at this point would not object to a small amount of global warming.

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Don’t Panic–Here’s The Picture

As a major snowstorm bears down on the northeastern United States and a bunch of scientists and tourists are stuck in unusually thick ice in Antarctica, the U.K. Telegraph proclaims that the earth is warming faster than ever.

The rebuttal can be found at wattsupwiththat in an article entitled, “IPCC silently slashes its global warming predictions in the ARS final draft.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its Assessment Reports on Science (ARS).

The article at wattsupwiththat reports:

In the second draft of the Fifth Assessment Report it had broadly agreed with the models that the world will warm by 0.4 to 1.0 Cº from 2016-2035 against 1986-2005. But in the final draft it quietly cut the 30-year projection to 0.3-0.7 Cº, saying the warming is more likely to be at the lower end of the range [equivalent to about 0.4 Cº over 30 years]. If that rate continued till 2100, global warming this century could be as little as 1.3 Cº.

A graph in the article explains the problem with the old model on global warming:

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Unfortunately, global warming science has become more about obtaining funds for studies and about redistribution of wealth. I think when we finally look at global warming objectively (if we ever do), we will be amazed at how easily we were deceived.

 

 

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As 2013 Draws To A Close

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today that included the following graph:

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The graph is from a website called Real Science. The article at Real Science states that 2013 will go down as one of the coldest years in history since 1895. The graph shows the average temperatures recorded at all NOAA USHCN stations from 1895 to the present.

The article at Real Science mentions the following:

NOAA will reporting something very different, because they subtract up to 1.7 degrees from older temperatures. Essentially all reported US warming is due to a hockey stick of temperature adjustments, which makes the past appear to be much colder than what the thermometers measured at the time. (They of course do not mention this in their press releases.)

I don’t know if the earth is warming or cooling. What I do know is that man is not important enough in the grand scheme of things to significantly impact the earth’s climate. Those who are shrieking that we are all going to die unless we give money to dictators in underdeveloped countries are really not primarily concerned about the planet. They have other priorities. I would like to  mention that most of the civilized countries in the world  have taken steps to curb pollution of all kinds. The idea of penalizing countries for being civilized is someone’s very bad idea for redistributing wealth worldwide. The way to prosper poorer countries is to give them freedom and property rights, but somehow that never gets mentioned by the global warming crowd.

 

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This Happens A Lot

Some conservatives call it the “Al Gore Effect.” Almost every time global warming groups plan a big meeting in Washington, they get snowed out (you’d think they would get smart and move their meetings to Florida). Well, it happened again.

Western Journalism reported yesterday that this week the White House hosted the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. The group headed to Washington, D.C. to discuss a plan of action against the perceived threat of global warming just as a massive winter storm struck the nation’s capital.

The article reports:

One of the participants, Gov. Pat Quinn of Obama’s beloved Illinois, made the trip Tuesday after Chicago experienced its coldest night in nearly 20 years. Everyone on the task force got a taste of reality as D.C. was largely shut down due to inclement weather.

Though government offices were closed, the global warming summit continued as planned. This delicious irony was apparently lost on these cult-like adherents to a flawed climatological hypothesis.

There is a school of meteorology that has been warming of global cooling due to the slow down in the number of solar flares (rightwinggranny.com). These scientists believe that the sun has a very large impact on the earth’s climate.

Meanwhile, global warming meetings keep encountering unexpected snow storms.

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What Did Your Child Learn In School Today?

Today’s Daily Caller posted an article about a quiz given to a ninth-grade Health Class in New Canaan, Connecticut. The quiz is entitled, “How WELLthy Are You?”

Some of the statements in the quiz:

“I vote for pro-environmental candidates in elections” is one of the statements.

“I write my elected leaders about environmental concerns” is another one.

Still other statements in the section include “I report people who intentionally hurt the environment” and “I try not to leave the faucet running too long when I brush my teeth, shave, or bathe.”

For example, the “Spiritual Health” section contains this hopelessly confused religious statement: “I have faith in greater power, be it a God-like force, nature, or the connectedness of all living things.”

The article further reports:

A score of 35-40 points in each category allegedly indicates that New Canaan ninth-graders are “practicing good health habits” and “setting an example” for “family and friends to follow.” It is mathematically impossible for ninth-graders to achieve this score in the “Environmental Health” section if they “rarely, if ever” vote for “pro-environmental candidates” or write to “elected leaders about environmental concerns.”

I have no problem with encouraging high school freshmen to protect the environment and to be politically aware. I do, however, have a problem with telling them what their criteria should be when they vote. The article points out that the students are told that they do not have to answer all of the questions. I would like to suggest that they not be asked to answer any of the questions, and we go back to spending health class encouraging good individual health habits. This quiz sounds more like brainwashing than a quiz.
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Greetings From The Flat Earth Society

On June 25, President Obama gave a speech on the subject of climate change. He also detailed his plan (which incidentally does not include Congress) to structure America’s energy policies in order to avoid climate change.

In the process of that speech, President Obama declared, “But I don’t have much patience for anybody who argues the problem is not real. We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society.” I guess at some time I joined the flat earth society.

On Sunday, the Boston Herald posted an article about the President’s speech.

The article reminds us:

However, most international and national agencies have found no increase in storm activity. Warming? The alarmist British Meteorological Office finds no warming since 1998 while the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has increased by 7.4 percent.

Doomsday scenarios depend largely on unreliable computer models whose builders have no explanation for such conflicts.

The bottom line here is simple. As much as our over-inflated egos would like to think that we totally understand changes in the earth’s climate and that we can control them–we don’t. And we probably won’t for a long time. I am not against doing what is possible to control pollution. I am against using unproven science to cripple America’s energy production and economy.

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The Coming Ice Age

On Friday, Anthony Watts posted the graph below on his WattsUpWithThat website.

“Data adapted from ‘The Laurentide and Innuitian ice sheets during the Last Glacial Maximum’ by A.S. Dyke et. al., which was way better than the sequels ‘The Laurentide and Innuitian ice sheets during the Last Glacial Maximum: The Meltdown’ and ‘The Laurentide and Innuitian ice sheets during the Last Glacial Maximum: Continental Drift’.”

The bottom line here is simple–we are more at risk from global cooling than from global warming. Before we panic, we might also consider that as of yet we haven’t come up with an accurate computer model that correctly predicts long term trends in weather. Weather is the result of all sorts of things–carbon levels, sun spots, ocean temperatures, etc. Even at that, we really don’t know which of these things exerts the greatest influence or how they interact. Generally speaking, we need to do everything we can to keep the planet clean, but we need to balance that effort against the needs of the people who live on earth.

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Remember The Promise Congress Made To Read The Bills Before They Vote On Them?

CNS News posted a story yesterday about the immigration bill hearing which is scheduled for Friday. The bill was actually introduced Wednesday morning. The bill is 844 pages long. Does anyone actually believe that this bill will be read before the hearing occurs and before it is voted on? Does anyone believe that the public will have a chance to take a really good at this bill?

The article states:

So, will anyone actually read the entire immigration bill prior to the hearing – or even before voting on it?

History says “no,” if you look at some of the previous long, important bills congressmen have admitted they didn’t read before voting on them:

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About That Global Warming Thing…

Again, the best site on the Internet for climate change information is wattsupwiththat.com. I strongly recommend that you visit that site any time you hear alarming news about global warming. It will give you the real information.

Meanwhile, UpNorthLive is reporting that a new ice island has formed in Lake Michigan.

The article reports:

An island has sprung up off the coast of Lake Michigan and this one isn’t made of dirt.

It was just a bunch of blocks piled on top of each other and they were welded together with the wind and snow,” Outdoor enthusiast Josh Baker explained.

Over the weekend, Baker and his family stumbled across this giant island floating in Lake Michigan outside of the small town of Good Hart.

Sunday, he decided to climb the jagged, 15foot ice mountain. Once he made it to the top, he noticed the structure was different on the other side.

The side facing the lake was almost sheer, it was pretty neat. So the side I was on was all jumbled and the opposite side was just sheer down to the water,” Baker said.

That has to be an amazing sight! I guess we will have to wait another year for some serious global warming on Lake Michigan.

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Sometimes You Just Wonder…

On Saturday the New Zealand Herald reported that Leonardo DiCaprio is taking a break from acting for a while.

The article reports:

In an interview with Germany’s mass circulation daily Bild, the 38-year-old American actor said: “I am a bit drained. I’m now going to take a long, long break. I’ve done three films in two years and I’m just worn out.”

“I would like to improve the world a bit. I will fly around the world doing good for the environment,” added DiCaprio, in comments published in German.

The article goes on to explain that the actor’s house has solar panels and that he drives an electric car. That’s nice. Has it occurred to him that flying around the world to help the environment is somewhat counter-productive? Is he flying commercial or in a private plane? Has he considered the carbon footprint of his trip around the world to help the environment?Enhanced by Zemanta

One Way To Deal With A Shakedown By Extreme Environmentalists

Reuters is reporting today that China is banning its airlines from the European Union (EU) policy that charges a carbon fee for flights in and out of Europe. The carbon fee is essentially an additional tax and China has said that it simply will not pay the tax.

The article reports:

The EU plan is intended to curb rising greenhouse gas pollution from aviation and fight climate change. Globally, emissions from aviation comprise about two percent of mankind’s greenhouse gas pollution and this share is expected to grow.

“China hopes Europe will act in the light of the broader issues of responding to global climate change, the sustainable development of international aviation and Sino-European ties, strengthening communication and coordination to find an appropriate solution acceptable to both sides,” an unnamed official from China’s civil aviation authority said, according to the announcement.

The interesting fact in this little dust up is that China is included in the EU plan to reduce air pollution. One of the problems with the Kyoto Protocol of 2006 was that the restrictions on greenhouse gases were not extended to India and China.

The National Geographic Magazine reported in July of 2007:

Damaging air pollutants include sulfur dioxide, particulate matter—a mixture of extremely small particles and water droplets—ozone, and nitrogen dioxide. China accounts for roughly one-third of the global total for these pollutants, according to Krzyzanowski (Michal Krzyzanowski, an air quality adviser at the WHO Regional Office for Europe).

China is not willing to play the global warming game. As I have stated before, I do not support dirty air. However, I think we need to make sure that any climate change is man-caused before we cripple the major free economies of the world in the name of saving the planet. The current ‘solutions’ to global warming are nothing more than a global redistribution of wealth–the major polluters are not included in the restrictions. Evidently China does not like being included in the efforts to save the planet.

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The Money In Climate Science

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story about James Hansen, one of the leaders in the fight to convince the world that global warming is real and man-made.

The article reports:

It recently came out that James Hansen, one of the two or three most prominent global warming alarmists on whose work the IPCC reports rest, “forgot” to report $1.6 million in outside income, as required by his government contracts. Is that significant? Well, yes: A handful of scientists, including Hansen, have gotten wealthy on climate alarmism. They have an enormous financial interest in the faux science they have done so much to perpetrate.

Mr. Hinderaker points out that being a global-warming alarmist can be very profitable. The federal grants go to the people who claim that we are in serious danger, and the exotic speaking engagements go to the more radical proponents of global warming.

There is another aspect of this that I find extremely interesting. There is a website called surfacestations.org that shows some of the locations of the temperature gauges the global warming people are using to monitor temperature changes.

This is a sensor in Marysville, California.

This sensor is in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Note that it is very close to both the house and the air conditioning unit.

There are more pictures available at surfacestations.org.

I am probably one of the least scientific people on the planet, but even I have figured out that when you stand near an air conditioning unit, the air next to that unit tends to be a bit warmer than the air farther away.

We need to understand that there are climate cycles that occur naturally. We are not in control of the climate–either in a positive or negative way.

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