“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
—Daniel J. Boorstin

What’s Really Happening In Antarctica?

antarctic ice 1 1With competing research saying Antarctic sea ice is growing and shrinking, Michael Bastasch breaks it all down for you. From the Daily Caller:

Environmentalists and some climate scientists are now attributing much of Antarctica’s rapidly growing sea ice coverage to a processing error in the satellite data.

The massive growth of Antarctica’s ice sheets has confounded scientists for years now, as global warming was expected to shrink the polar ice caps. But while the Arctic has shrank some, Antarctic sea ice coverage has broken hundreds of records this year alone. On July 25, the South Pole sea ice reached 436,681 square miles above the 1981 to 2010 average — the 127th daily record for the year.

Who’s really waging the ‘war on science’?

mann michaelProf Michael MannLeft-leaning environmentalists, media and academics have long railed against the alleged conservative “war on science.” They augment this vitriol with substantial money, books, documentaries and conference sessions devoted to “protecting” global warming alarmists from supposed “harassment” by climate chaos skeptics, whom they accuse of wanting to conduct “fishing expeditions” of alarmist emails and “rifle” their file cabinets in search of juicy material (which might expose collusion or manipulated science).

A primary target of this “unjustified harassment” has been Penn State University professor Dr. Michael Mann, creator of the infamous “hockey stick” temperature graph that purported to show a sudden spike in average planetary temperatures in recent decades, following centuries of supposedly stable climate. But at a recent AGU meeting a number of other “persecuted” scientists were trotted out to tell their story of how they have been “attacked” or had their research, policy demands or integrity questioned. 

Roger Pielke Jr. on FiveThirtyEight and his Climate Critics

Roger Pielke, Jr.Roger Pielke, Jr.Earlier in the year, Roger Pielke Jr. was named as a contributing writer for Nate Silver’s newly re-launched FiveThirtyEight site. Shortly after that, Pielke, a climate policy scholar and political scientist at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, published an article at FiveThirtyEight headlined, “Disasters Cost More Than Ever–But Not Because of Climate Change.”

Critics pounced immediately in blogs and on Twitter. That harsh reaction was then reported and commented on at Salon, Huffington Post, Slate, the Columbia Journalism Review, and elsewhere.

I recently conducted a Q & A with Pielke about this episode and the aftermath. The links in my questions are from me. I asked Pielke to provide his own links.

KK: It’s been noted on Twitter that you are not listed on the main contributors page for FiveThirthyEight. Does this mean you no longer write for the site? If so, can you explain what happened?

Fracking: Why Have We Allowed the Left to Make It a Dirty Word?

fracking-protest"Fracking" was the second most popular UK search term in the "what is?" category on Google in 2014.

(The top ten were: Love; Fracking; Gluten; FGM; Lupus; Anxiety; Twerking; Instagram; Gout; Bitcoin).

What this tells you is that capitalism in general and the fracking industry in particular is losing the argument.

How does it tell you this?

Because what it instantly suggests is that "fracking" is a controversial process.

And indeed fracking is a controversial process. But only because it has been tarred that way as a result of several years of very successful propagandising by the green movement, which the fracking industry and its allies in government have proved hopelessly inadequate at countering.

Realistic roundup of renewables

water hydroIf wood-burning power stations are less eco-friendly than coal, we are getting the search for clean energy all wrong.

On Saturday my train was diverted by engineering works near Doncaster. We trundled past some shiny new freight wagons decorated with a slogan: “Drax — powering tomorrow: carrying sustainable biomass for cost-effective renewable power”. Serendipitously, I was at that moment reading a report by the chief scientist at the Department of Energy and Climate Change on the burning of wood in Yorkshire power stations such as Drax. And I was feeling vindicated.

A year ago I wrote in these pages that it made no sense for the consumer to subsidise the burning of American wood in place of coal, since wood produces more carbon dioxide for each kilowatt-hour of electricity. The forests being harvested would take four to ten decades to regrow, and this is the precise period over which we are supposed to expect dangerous global warming to emerge. It makes no sense to steal beetles’ lunch, transport it halfway round the world, burning diesel as you do so, and charge hard-pressed consumers double the price for the power it generates.

Hostages to a renewable ruse

wind farm blightIf there is a sound more pitiable than the whine of a pious environmental activist, it is the wail of a ­financier about to do his dough.

The mournful chorus now wafting from Greg Hunt’s waiting room is the sound of the two in unison, pleading with the Environment Minister to save the life of their misshapen bastard child, the renewable energy target.

You have to hand it to Hunt, who either has nerves of steel or is stone deaf, for he has retained both his cool and his fortitude.

The RET review by Dick Warburton on the government’s behalf has brought the rent-seekers out in force, for billions of dollars of corporate welfare is resting on its outcome.

Puzzle of deep ocean cooling

oceansTHE deep oceans have been cooling for the past two decades and it is not possible to say whether changes in ocean heat adequately explain the “pause” in global warming, two of the world’s leading ocean scientists have said.

Warmer oceans have been a key explanation for the “missing” heat. Global average surface temperatures have not increased dramatically for more than a decade despite steadily rising carbon dioxide levels in the ­atmosphere.

A paper by Carl Wunsch from Harvard University and Patrick Heimbach from MIT, accepted for publication with the Journal of Physical Oceanography, says more work is needed.

U.S. exports coal to German power plants, as it shuts its own down

coalOne of Germany's newest coal-fired power plants rises here from the banks of a 100-year-old canal that once shipped coal mined from the Ruhr Valley to the world.

Now the coal comes the other way.

The 750-megawatt Trianel Kohlekraftwerk Luenen GmbH & Co. power plant relies completely on coal imports, about half from the U.S. Soon, all of Germany's coal-fired power plants will be dependent on imports, with the country expected to halt coal mining in 2018 when government subsidies end.

Coal mining's demise in Germany comes as the country is experiencing a resurgence in coal-fired power, one which the U.S. increasingly has helped supply. U.S. exports of power plant-grade coal to Germany have more than doubled since 2008. In 2013, Germany ranked fifth, behind the United Kingdom, Netherlands, South Korea and Italy in imports of U.S. steam coal, the type burned in power plants.

There's A U.S. Energy Boom, No Thanks To Obama

energyIt would be easy to look at the dramatic 35% increase in America's oil and natural gas production since President Obama took office and think the administration deserves much of the credit. But the energy boom has happened in spite of him.

Production could have been even greater if the administration embraced America's new energy superpower status instead of being so hostile to the development of our fossil fuel resources.

Since Obama took office, oil and gas production has soared on private and state land, for which he deserves little or no credit. Meanwhile, production on federal lands has dropped sharply due to a cutback in leasing of deepwater areas for energy development.

The U.S. government leases less than 2.2% of the energy-rich Outer Continental Shelf, and less than 6% of federal onshore lands. Offshore leasing is at half the level recorded during the Clinton administration, and its decline is indicative of Obama's hostility toward the oil and gas industry.

Air conditioner service calls down during cool summer

acThis July could down as one of the coolest on record, of late.

That's bad news for air condition repair companies.

The normal high temperature in Windsor this time of year is 28 C.

Looking ahead, the temperature isn't expected to hit that number once during the last few days of the month.

It means July would only see two days of 30-degree heat.

Jim Bessey says service calls to his air conditioning business are down about 20 per cent this summer.

Report erroneously links global warming and wildfires

wildfireA new report warns about climate change and wildfires, but one prominent skeptic says the report’s authors are simply wrong.

According to the report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, "Climate change and development patterns are contributing to the soaring costs of Western wildfires."

Cal Beisner of for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation - a coalition of clergy, scientists and academics - disagrees.

"The Union of Concerned Scientists - which is largely not composed of scientists but of laypeople and which has a long history of supporting all kinds of left-wing, green causes - is simply wrong," he says.

Obama on Climate Change: We Must Make Sure the Planet Works

The sweatiest man in America.The sweatiest man in America.At a fundraiser in Washington state, President Obama promised supporters that he would work to make sure the planet Earth continues to function.

“[A] long-term challenge that has to be dealt with right now is making sure that the planet works for the next generation and the generation after that,” he said, citing the growing global warming threat.

During his speech, Obama cited global warming for causing the dry conditions that were the cause for so many forest fires in the region.

“A lot of that has to do with drought. A lot of it has to do with changing precipitation patterns,” he said. "And a lot of that has to do with climate change.”

Globetrotting Harvard Prof Takes Break From Jet-Setting To Gripe About Climate Change Deniers

It's the end of the world and she knows it.Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard University professor who flies around the world in pollutant-spewing jumbo jet airliners to proclaim that climate change is a terrible menace, has co-written another book warning about the planet’s dire environmental situation.

The book, called “The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future,” is a tale told with sound and fury by a historian living in the year 2393 who looks back on global collapse caused by global warming.

While The Daily Caller is not about to spoil it for you by giving away the role globetrotting Ivy League professors and their ilk play in Oreskes’s science fiction potboiler, The Guardian published an interview on Thursday in which she suggests that climate change “deniers” are diabolical marketing geniuses.

The professor describes “the denial industry” as a motley crew of “very cynical individuals” “with little or no regard to the consequences for others” as well as people who believe that environmentalists are “green on the outside, red on the inside — and that climate change is just an excuse to bring in socialism by another name.” Still others, she says, think climate change is a “fad” that will pass or have such a vested interest in “the fossil fuel industry” that they are willfully blind.

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