Archive for the ‘Science’ Category
Based on an article by Dr Ross McKitrick in the Vancouver Sun.
Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every social, technological and medical advance in the 20th century has depended on inexpensive and reliable electricity.
Giving women the freedom to work outside the home was partly a by-product of the availability of electrical appliances that freed up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing.
The development and provision of modern health care would have been impossible without cheap, reliable electricity.
Many of the world’s poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the need to cook over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung. This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of smoke and parasite related lung diseases.
Anyone who cares about the environment and about people and wants to see conditions in the developing world improve should celebrate access to cheap electricity from fossil fuel based power generating stations.
The mentality of Earth Hour is the demonisation of electricity, upon which all of the great technological and social advances of the last century have depended, including advances in food production and medicine.
That mentality would deny to people in developing nations, people who are desperately poor, the advantages we have as result of that cheap reliable electricity. It would keep them in huts, with no clean water, burning wood and dung for heat and cooking. It would keep them at life spans half of ours, and with child mortality rates up to ten times higher.
Earth Hour celebrates poverty and backwardness. It is ignorant and cruel.
Leave the lights on, and let’s work to bring light, water, medicine and industry to those who need them most.
On the ABC’s Landline in 2007:
SALLY SARA: What will it mean for Australian farmers if the predictions of climate change are correct and little is done to stop it? What will that mean for a farmer?
PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: We’re already seeing the initial impacts and they include a decline in the winter rainfall zone across southern Australia, which is clearly an impact of climate change, but also a decrease in run-off. Although we’re getting say a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in some areas of Australia, that’s translating to a 60 per cent decrease in the run-off into the dams and rivers. That’s because the soil is warmer because of global warming and the plants are under more stress and therefore using more moisture. So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems, and that’s a real worry for the people in the bush. If that trend continues then I think we’re going to have serious problems, particularly for irrigation.
Now, floods everywhere:
Heavy rains hit central and southern parts of the Philippines last week, triggering floods and landslides which killed at least nine people and affected up to 150,000 others. In Tacloban, Leyte, a staggering 397mm of rain fell in the 24 hours to midnight last Thursday. The deluge submerged the city and sparked a landslide which killed a family of seven. This prompted the government to declare a state of emergency. Crops were flooded and dozens of homes were destroyed.
Parts of Australia were also hit by floods. In northern Queensland, onshore flow and the atmospheric instability combined to produce heavy downpours, with 238.6mm of rain falling at Rollingstone in 24 hours last Wednesday. In western Australia’s Kimberly region, severe floods destroyed 45 homes and forced 217 people to evacuate. The Fitzroy River rose to a record level at Fitzroy Crossing on Wednesday, topping that of 2002.
Also in NSW, where the town of Bega has been evacuated. And even here on Kangaroo Island, where unseasonably cool and wet conditions continue.
The Prime Minister is scheduled to speak at Adelaide University tomorrow on ‘Governing for Reform: Values in Practice.’
Short talk, then.
Late notice, but a good opportunity. Copied from menzieshouse.com.au:
We have just received word that Julia Gillard will be speaking at Adelaide University tomorrow evening!
We are sorry for the late notice, but this is a great opportunity for us to send a clear message that Australians oppose this destructive and unnecessary tax, and some of our friends have quickly put together a rally to show her what Australians really think!
Axe The Carbon Tax has arranged a last minute protest, and have asked us to pass on the following message:
Julia Gillard will be speaking at Adelaide University tomorrow evening (7pm, Wednesday, 16 March 2011).
Sickeningly, she is addressing the Don Dunstan Foundation on the topic “Governing for Reform: Values in Practice”. One wonders what values she was demonstrating when she broke her promise and announced a carbon tax!
RALLY AGAINST THE CARBON TAX
6.00 – 7.30pm
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Adelaide University, North Terrace (outside Bonython Hall)
Please note the following:
This is a peaceful and silent rally. There will be a large police and security presence, not to mention another, completely separate rally on the issue of same-sex marriage. Those attending the rally against the carbon tax are expected to refrain from argument with those attending the Gillard function, the other rally, passers-by, etc.
Rally attendees are to obey any and all instructions given by security or police.
Sensible carbon tax-related posters are welcome. However, we have been advised that any poster affixed to a stick or pole will be confiscated and could see us removed. Sticks, poles and the like are considered potential weapons. Do not bring them.
Above all else, remember that our rally is intended to demonstrate to Julia Gillard, the media (who will likely be present) and anyone passing by, that we are grassroots members of the community, peacefully presenting a legitimate grievance by our silent presence.
I hope to see you tomorrow night at 6pm. Together, we can defeat the carbon tax.
Obviously, most of you will not be able to attend this rally, as it is in the evening and at rather late notice, however, thought we should still pass the message on. Please contact rally organiser Damian if you have any further questions, or visit AxeTheCarbonTax.org.
We hope to see you, if not at this rally, then at the main Adelaide anti-carbon-tax rally on the 23rd.
Together, we WILL win this battle! While our opponents are flushed with millions of dollars in union funds, and Julia Gillard has already laid plans to use a staggering 30 million dollars in taxpayer funds to produce propaganda, we have truth and the Australian people on our side and WE SHALL PREVAIL!
There is one of these on just about every conceivable subject. A few are clever and amusing. This is one.
Carbon Tax Downfall:
Bob’s a model citizen and busy man trying to save the world from the hundreds of big bad carbon polluters required by law to report their environmental vandalism to the government.
Tim’s article shows just how much of our ordinary daily life depends on the productivity of the ‘carbon polluters,’ how much of our economy would be undermined by a carbon tax, and the sheer hypocrisy of those who campaign for carbon reduction while swanning around the world in business class chewing nuts and drinking pinot noir.
That big scary Mr Garnaut has a big scary splash in the Daily Telegraph claiming that rising seas and increasing incidence of extreme weather events mean that Sydney will be swamped by the sea every year instead of every 100 years.
What is really scary (for Garnaut and Gillard) is that of 38 comments on that story as at time of writing, not one is supportive of Garnaut and the Carbon Tax.
Here are just a few:
Thanks Professor, for your thoughts. I accept without question your ‘global warming’, whoops sorry, I meant ‘climate change’ warnings. As soon as we introduce the carbon dioxide tax (on the air we breathe!) I am sure the oceans will take head and not inundate us any more!!!
Interesting report, from what is undoubtedly the Gillard government’s stooge, no science or data to back up the claims, yelling from the roof top that disaster is upon us unless we act now, confirming the Looney Lefts view on climate change and Labour calls Tony Abbott a fear merchant. I suspect we have a Chicken Little in our midst
Hell we are about to be flooded and the one of the biggest polluters America hasnt signed up to reduce emissions. Damn that, Julia was just over there giving speaches and she forgot to tell them.
Oh Puurrlleeese, enough already. The carbon tax is starting to bite into Labor’s stocks so in rides the White Knight (Professor Garnaut) on his White steed to save the day. The climate is going to change as long as we (the world) keep chopping down trees that breathe in Carbon Dioxide and breathe out Oxygen. So start talking honestly instead of this big Con of just trying to get more money off us.
And even if it were true, the carbon tax would not save us. The nonsense coming from these people just gets louder, shriller, and more bizarre…
As I noted a few days ago, the only way a carbon price can have any affect on CO2 output is by reducing the use of fossil fuels.
It does this by making the use of those fuels more expensive. This increases the cost of electricity, of water (especially if that water come from a desalination plant), of manufacturing and mining, production of agricultural goods, transport and travel. A carbon tax increases the cost of everything, because everything in our economy depends on fossil fuels.
When the cost of production goes up, the price of the items produced goes up. People buy less, production goes down.
This is what the Prime Minister said would happen:
“It has price impacts. It’s meant to, that’s the whole point,” Ms Gillard said. “If you put a price on something, then people will use less of it.”
But now Simon Crean says money taken from CO2 emitting companies (ie, any company that produces anything) will be fed back into the economy in the form of compensation to consumers:
“The cost to the families will be compensated,” Mr Crean told ABC radio this morning.
“We have made that clear. We will ensure that the compensation is totally adequate. We will return all of the monies raised to people through the tax mechanism.”
So there won’t be price impacts, so people won’t be using less of anything, so there will be no reduction in CO2 output.
So what is the point? What is the Gillard government trying to achieve?
Ms Gillard also warned that Australia would miss out on new green jobs and be left behind the rest of the world if it did not create a “low carbon economy”.
The Verso study finds that after the annual diversion of some 330 million British pounds from the rest of the U.K. economy, the result has been the destruction of 3.7 jobs for every “green” job created.
The study concludes that the “policy to promote renewable energy in the U.K. has an opportunity cost of 10,000 direct jobs in 2009-10 and 1,200 jobs in Scotland.” So British taxpayers, as is the case here in the U.S., are being forced to subsidize a net loss of jobs in a struggling economy.
This is the grand plan: a huge bureaucracy to manage a tax to reduce carbon output that won’t reduce carbon output, and a green job scheme that will cause higher unemployment.
Dyson Freeman is probably the most important 20th Century scientist not to win a Nobel Prize, and more important than many who have. He is certainly the world’s leading theoretical phycicist.
James Delingpole reports today on a correspondence between Dyson, the scientist’s scientist, and the notoriously alarmist UK Independent.
A couple of samples:
First, the computer models are very good at solving the equations of fluid dynamics but very bad at describing the real world. The real world is full of things like clouds and vegetation and soil and dust which the models describe very poorly.
Second, we do not know whether the recent changes in climate are on balance doing more harm than good. The strongest warming is in cold places like Greenland. More people die from cold in winter than die from heat in summer.
Third, there are many other causes of climate change besides human activities, as we know from studying the past.
Fourth, the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is strongly coupled with other carbon reservoirs in the biosphere, vegetation and top-soil, which are as large or larger. It is misleading to consider only the atmosphere and ocean, as the climate models do, and ignore the other reservoirs.
Fifth, the biological effects of CO2 in the atmosphere are beneficial, both to food crops and to natural vegetation. The biological effects are better known and probably more important than the climatic effects.
Sixth, summing up the other five reasons, the climate of the earth is an immensely complicated system and nobody is close to understanding it …
I am saying that all predictions concerning climate are highly uncertain. On the other hand, the remedies proposed by the experts are enormously costly and damaging, especially to China and other developing countries.
On a smaller scale, we have seen great harm done to poor people around the world by the conversion of maize from a food crop to an energy crop. This harm resulted directly from the political alliance between American farmers and global-warming politicians.
Unfortunately the global warming hysteria, as I see it, is driven by politics more than by science. If it happens that I am wrong and the climate experts are right, it is still true that the remedies are far worse than the disease that they claim to cure.
The US Congress has voted to cut funding to the IPCC, the bloated and corrupt UN organisation charged with producing scary graphs about climate change.
Of course, the Republicans’ proposed changes to the budget won’t make it through the Senate.
But at least the enviro-crats are no longer having it all their own way.
More from Energy Probe:
In a major victory for American taxpayers, the House of Representatives today passed a budget amendment offered by U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9) that would prohibit $13 million in taxpayer dollars from going to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an organization fraught with waste and engaged in dubious science.
The amendment, which is identical to a separate bill sponsored by Luetkemeyer, was passed in a direct challenge to the president’s request to fund the IPCC, which has provided information that purports to support the administration’s call for job-killing cap-and-tax legislation.
Luetkemeyer’s amendment was one of 19 amendments highlighted this week by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.
“The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an entity that is fraught with waste and fraud, and engaged in dubious science, which is the last thing hard-working American taxpayers should be paying for at a time of out-of-control spending and historic debt, which is why I am extremely pleased that my amendment passed,” Luetkemeyer said. “It is time for Washington to combat this year’s record budget deficit and fast-growing national debt. This amendment is part of that effort.”
The IPCC advises governments around the world on climate change, and supporters of cap-and-tax legislation have used questionable findings by the IPCC as reason to support onerous legislation. Criticism of this science intensified over the last two years when emails publicly released from a university in England showed that leading global scientists intentionally manipulated climate data and suppressed legitimate arguments in peer-reviewed journals. Researchers were asked to delete and destroy emails so that a small number of climate alarmists could continue to advance their environmental agenda.
More than 700 acclaimed international scientists have challenged the claims made by the IPCC. These 700-plus dissenting scientists are affiliated with institutions like the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense, the U.S. Air Force and Navy, NASA, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
On the NPR (US public radio) website, Brian Reed writes condescendingly about the benighted residents of Kiribati.
Even in a place as vulnerable as Kiribati, there are skeptics.
“I’m not easily taken by global scientists prophesizing the future,” says Teburoro Tito, the country’s former president and now a member of Parliament.
“Saying we’re going to be under the water, that I don’t believe,” Tito says. “Because people belong to God, and God is not so silly to allow people to perish just like that.”
Tito is not alone in his views. Of the more than 90,000 people counted in Kiribati’s last census, a mere 23 said they did not belong to a church. According to the most recent census, some 55 percent of citizens are Roman Catholic, 36 percent are Protestant and 3 percent are Mormon.
As a result, many are torn between what they hear from scientists and what they read in the Bible.
Silly deniers! If only they’d listen to reason! Then they’d realise their whole country is going to be submerged.
Except that the faith-filled folk of Kiribati are the ones whose views are closer to reality.
This graph shows changes in sea level at Kiribati over the last twenty years:
This graph shows what the rise would look like if the alarmists’ claims were true:
Now a study by scientists in New Zealand and Fiji has found that not only are sea levels in Kiribati and Tuvalu not showing any dangerous long term rising trend, but the islands themselves are growing.
Professor Paul Kench, of Auckland University, who co-authored the study with Dr Arthur Webb, a Fiji-based expert on coastal processes, said the study challenged the view that the islands were sinking as a result of global warming.
“Eighty per cent of the islands we’ve looked at have either remained about the same or, in fact, got larger.
“Some have got dramatically larger,” he said.
“We’ve now got evidence the physical foundations of these islands will still be there in 100 years.”
There is a collision between faith and science. But it is the warmists’ faith, not the faith of Kiribati Christians, which distorts the facts and makes for bad policy.
It has been estimated that 160 people die every minute from malaria or its complications. Malaria is a disease we could eradicate.
Many chemotherapy drugs for treating cancer have highly unpleasant side effects – hair loss, vomiting, intense joint pain, liver damage and fetal defects, to name just a few. But anyone trying to ban the drugs would be tarred, feathered and run out of town. And rightly so.
The drugs’ benefits vastly outweigh their risks. They save lives. We need to use chemo drugs carefully, but we need to use them.
The same commonsense reasoning should apply to the Third World equivalent of chemotherapy drugs: DDT and other insecticides to combat malaria. Up to half a billion people are infected annually by this vicious disease, nearly a million die, countless survivors are left with permanent brain damage, and 90% of this carnage is in sub-Saharan Africa, the most impoverished region on Earth.
These chemicals don’t cure malaria – they prevent it. Used properly, they are effective, and safe. DDT is particularly important. Sprayed once or twice a year on the inside walls of homes, DDT keeps 80% of mosquitoes from entering, irritates those that do enter, so they leave without biting, and kills any that land. No other chemical, at any price, can do this.
Even better, DDT has few adverse side effects – except minor, speculative and imaginary “risks” that are trumpeted on anti-pesticide websites …
Anti-DDT fanaticism built the environmental movement, and gave it funding, power and stature it never had before. No matter how many people get sick and die because health agencies are pressured not to use DDT, or it is totally banned, Environmental Defense, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Pesticide Action Network, US Environmental Protection Agency and allied activist groups are unlikely to reform or recant.
Worse, they have now been joined by the United Nations Environment Program, Global Environment Facility and even World Health Organization Environmental Division – all of whom share the avowed goal of ending all DDT production by 2017, and banning all use of DDT in disease control by 2020.
More people have died as a result of the fraudulent research leading to bans on the use of DDT than were killed by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot combined. Yet the UN, governments and environmental organisations continue to support this monstrous policy, and the lies that feed it. And millions of people die as a result.
Cold and wet again this weekend on Kangaroo Island. So wet the race club’s major meet for the year had to be cancelled. I guess this proves global warming.
Strange, after all the predictions of drought and heat, you’d think the climate alarmists would at least have the deceny to say ‘Oops. Got that wrong. Sorry. Maybe we ought to look at those figures again.’
But no, Al Gore pops up and says ‘No, really, that’s what we’ve been saying all along.’
Right Al. Right Tim. Sure David.
Then, as if on cue, a study is published in Nature demonstrating a connection between use of fossil fuels and global increases in rain, snow and ice. Based on modelling of selected data. With the assumption that what cannot be explained by what we think we know about natural variation must be caused by us. Roger Pielke Jr has more on why the Nature articles don’t demonstrate any connection between AGW and a purported increase in natural disasters.
But what is really happening? And why?
Mexican geo-physicist Víctor Manuel Velasco has been saying for years that there is no correlation between human activity and global climate change. Based on observations of solar activity, and records of past correlation between solar activity and climate, Dr Velasco says the change we need to be preparing for is an extended period of cold.
Piers Corbyn says the same thing. And his predictions have been uncannily accurate. Predictions from Al Gore/Tim Flannery/David Suzuki and the whole global warming cabal have not.
That is not a small point. Science advances step by step by saying ‘On the basis of the evidence, if this theory is true, then this should happen.’ Then checking to see if it does happen.
If the prediction is not accurate, the scientist looks at the evidence again, and considers whether it matches the theory, and if not, whether the theory might be wrong.
Evidence, facts, observation, trump theory every time. If the theory doesn’t fit reality, it isn’t reality that is wrong.
That is not the way of the alarmists. Their response is to do more computer modelling, to pretend they said something else, to state their views ever more stridently, and if all else fails (and it has) to discredit, abuse and belittle anyone who disagrees with them.
Billions of dollars have been wasted on the global warming scam, and the Australian government is still determined to introduce a carbon tax. A tax designed to slow down the economy, to reduce farming and maufacturing output, to increase the cost of transport. A tax that will increase the cost of every basic commodity.
My school motto was ‘Truth will prevail.’ Even as a teen I thought that was probably wishful thinking.
But in science, truth does prevail. Eventually. Because societies that prefer ideology to science cannot compete in the real world. The USSR discovered this (after immense cost to its people) with Lysenkoism.
The similarities between warming alarmism and Lysenkoism have previously been noted by Australian geologist and paleo-climatologist Bob Carter.
Lysenko, incidentally, denounced real biologists as ‘wreckers’ and ‘people haters.’ He would have called them denialists if he’d thought of it.
Piers Corbyn can have the last word:
Ron Burgess at Business Spectator describes Australian uber-alarmist Flim Flannery as ‘Labor’s new bogeyman.
I am not sure in what sense Flannery or his message are new. He has been constantly, amusingly wrong, but at least he has been consistent.
Ron says he doubts that Australian politicians, even those most stridently in the AGW (warming) camp, really believe what they are employing Tim Flannery to tell us to believe.
After all, you can judge what people really believe by what they do. If politicians like Wong and Garrett and Gillard really believed that human activity was causing catastrophic global warming, they would stop doing climate warmy stuff like flying everywhere and living in huge houses, and they would be doing their best to convince everyone else to do the same. But they’re not.
There’s an opnion that despite what they say, leftist politicians don’t really believe this. After all there’s no evidence for AGW and never has been (not that reality is a major factor in leftist policy development). They only espouse global warming alarmism because it gives an opportunity for restrictions on industry, and greater government control over almost every aspect of the lives of ordinary citizens.
I disagree. I think that on this, Wong, Garrett, Gillard, Turnbull, etc really do believe what they say they believe. People’s actions are not always consistent with what they believe, even if those beliefs are deeply and sincerely held.
In the case of politicians, the need to get re-elected is pre-eminent. After all, having high ideals and believing the right things is important, but if you are not in power, you can’t change law or policy. So it’s better to stay in power and do what you can, even if you think that is not enough, than to be out of power and not be able to do anything.
Here is where Ron Burgess’ assessment of this appointment is spot on. He says Flannery’s real job is to ‘put the wind up Australians.’ For non Australian readers, that means to scare people.
On paper, the primary role of Tim Flannery’s new position is to ‘provide independent information for members of the community … on three areas in particular: firstly, the science of climate change and its impacts on this country…’
We all know he is not going to do that. Independent information on the science of climate change is the last thing Flannery is interested in. He has made huge amounts of money by ignoring climate science. What he is an expert in is scaring people. Good choice for a bogeyman.
Except that, as I noted above, his scary predictions have been consistently wrong.
The problem for the Labor government is that this fact, and this appointment, make it clear right from the beginning that there is no objectivity, no interest in a fair assessment of climate science, no commitment to truth.
People are not buying this. The bogeyman just isn’t scary anymore.
Update: Saturday – Andrew Bolt has a useful and extensive list of Flannery’s failed predictions, and the cost imposed on the community by those who believed them.
So you might think I’d agree with the Economist Intelligence Unit that the Australian Labor government’s NBN is not a good plan because it is going to cost a lot more money and deliver slower speeds that South Korea’s similar proposals.
On this, a spokewoman for Communication Minister Stephen Conroy:
“Comparing Australia to Korea is like comparing apples to oranges. Investment in Australia’s road, rail, telecommunications and utility infrastructure faces vastly different factors than countries such as South Korea,” she said.
“Australia’s land mass is over 7.6 million square kilometres compared with South Korea’s which is just over 100,000 square kilometres. Australia has a population density of 2.7 people per sq/km compared with 487 people per sq/km for South Korea.
She’s right. For any group calling itself intelligent, that is not a terribly intelligent comparison to make.
And the NBN is still a dumb idea.
Sigh… If only it were that easy.
Had a letter from the Kangaroo Island Council today, inviting us (and every other ratepayer) to an information session on the ‘Solar Councils Community Program.’
This is free advertising for one of the solar panel carpetbaggers – ZEN Home Energy Systems. KI Council thoughtfully enclosed a brochure so we could be impressed by how green and nice and renewable and sustainable and everything their panels are.
They even won an award – from the Municipal Association of Victoria, the ‘Award of Excellence in Sustainability.’ So they must be good, eh. Choice, bro!
Of course, they give money to the local Council too, in the form of grants for a local ‘Renewable Energy research Fund,’ which will be used to investigate further options to cut greenhouse gas emissions in local areas.
Perhaps they could investigate the number of vegetarians eating excessive amounts of cabbage.
The brochure tells us that ‘The introduction of renewable energy in communities has the potential to create jobs through the greater take up of renewable energy opportunities and growing industry. it will ultimately lead to lower power bills.’
Lovely. Except that nothing in that sentence is true.
The experience of every country that has ‘created jobs’ through the installation of photo-voltaics is that approximately 5 jobs are lost for every job created. This is because it takes an average of $400,000 in subsidies (in other words, money taken from taxpayers) to create each new job.
That is money taken from businesses which are creating something useful or offering useful services. It is money that cannot be spent employing people to create those useful things, because the government is taking it to spend on solar panels.
If solar panels really did save more energy than they cost, they wouldn’t need to be subsidised.
And as for leading to lower power bills – ROTFL!
Well I would be if it were not so damned tragic. Solar subsidies will actually raise power costs by about 20%. And this, like every other increase in basic living costs, will impact most on people who can least afford it.
But who cares, as long as the government looks like it’s being green and responsible and stuff, and the solar carpet-baggers are making their loot?
I do, for one.
The subsidies are wrong, the advertising dishonest, and the overall cost to the consumer and the wider community ridiculously expensive. Rooftop solar schemes will increase unemployment, and because of the utterly useless increased taxes they require, reduce our competitiveness in industry and export.
So should I get solar panels? The problem is that whether I get them or not, I am still paying for them – both in the initial subsidies and the in the ongoing forced (by the government) payment by power companies of excessive rates for solar power fed back into the grid – payments which increase the cost of power for everyone.
Even with the subsidies they would barely save me anything over their lifetime. And straight away that tells you there is something wrong. If they really did save energy they would be cheaper. They wouldn’t need to be subsidised. But I’ve already said that.
So should I get them?
I would be participating in a scheme that rips everyone off if I do.
But I’m paying for them anyway. I feel like I’m ripping myself off if I don’t.