Declaring victory and moving on?

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 6:34 AM GMT on February 14, 2011

Declaring victory and moving on?

In 2006 I started teaching climate change to all comers. It was my first year at Michigan, and I was approached by a set of three students to start a course on climate change. None of these students were physical scientists. It is a fact of universities that professors often start courses so that the professor can learn a subject. I was recruited to Michigan to help develop a focus on climate and climate change, but I was not really a climate scientist. I entered this course with a lot to learn. With the help of the students I structured a course that looked at the intersection of climate change with economics, policy, and business (class link). I think I had 12 guest lecturers the first year.

During the first couple of years there were some truths that became self evident. One of first of those truths was that in the popular discourse of 2006, the arguments around the U.S. not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol was a red herring. Namely, there was this idea that if the U.S. had signed the Kyoto Protocol, then we would have dealt with the climate change problem. It was evident by 2006 that this was not the case; the Kyoto Protocol could not effectively address climate change. In 2006 the students in the class talked about the symbolic meaning of the U.S. as a member of the global community, by 2007 the students arrived at the conclusion that the protocol was, practically, irrelevant.

Several other self-evident truths emerged. People often talk about wanting to look at the evidence themselves and come to their own conclusions. That’s not an easy thing to do in your spare time, and, for climate change, I had the benefit of it being my job. After going through reports and papers and thinking about how to communicate climate-change science to all comers, you realize this massive body of knowledge supports the fact that the surface of the Earth is warming. The evidence is what I called, at the time, coherent and convergent. (In fact, my third blog, a better blog) The correlated information from many measures of the Earth’s climate, the measurements of the feedbacks that follow from the warming, and the stunning amount of evidence from ecosystems form a body of work that, using the word of IPCC 2007, is “unequivocal.”

When we place ourselves in the middle of the climate and its importance to us, the responses to surface warming appear complex. It is easy to conclude that the average temperature of the surface of the Earth will increase, ice will melt, sea level will rise, and the weather will change. We can also say that the changes will be larger in some regions than the other, and that the changes will be disruptive. It is we, the people, that make this more than an academic problem.

More study, more information, and a few outstanding student projects and other truths emerge. One is that there really are not reliable, safe ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere(Reliability of the Forest). Related to this, we conclude that a carbon market cannot be an effective policy vehicle. There are no choices, and markets need choices. There needs to be, at a marginal cost, choices of reduced-carbon energy sources and choices of reliable, safe ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere. All we really have working for us right now is energy efficiency, and we cast efficiency more as a moral value than a monetary value. If we want to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere with a market, then we are going to have to use technology and biotechnology to develop those market choices. Without market choices, we are not going to reduce our emissions, because we are not going to give up the standard of living that comes from the use of energy.

Today, right now, our ability to mitigate climate change by reduction of emissions is severely limited. We can design strategies that could make a difference; people teaching classes like mine anchor themselves in Pacala and Socolow, who describe a portfolio of technologically feasible solution paths to reduce emissions. But are we going to build a meaningful number of nuclear power plants in the next 10 years? Most large solar and wind projects are challenged for a variety of environmental consequences – ending or delaying them. Each year of delay is a few more parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We have no algorithm for trading off a large area of desert for invisible tons of carbon dioxide. Our environmental consciousness has no way to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide except by appealing to efficiency. And with that appeal, to argue that we need no new energy infrastructure, or we can personalize our energy generation. How can we reconcile this with the need for an energy-based economy to grow 2-3% every year to make enough jobs for a growing population? How do we put invisible carbon dioxide emissions in balance with perceived unemployment?

No consensus-based international policy is going to emerge in the next decade that will lead to near-term reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. My takeaway message from Copenhagen 2009 was that if there had ever been a European, Japanese, and U.S. opportunity to set the standard for carbon dioxide reduction it was lost. Emerging economies like China, Brazil, India, and South Africa have lots of emissions and plans to grow. They are spending a lot of money on the development of alternative energy; they are spending a lot of money on the development and use of fossil fuels. They spend enough on alternative energy to claim an environmental high ground, and to develop new technologies, new industries, and new standards. We use enough fossil fuels that even with these new sources of energy, carbon dioxide emissions increase at or above historic rates. Our only measure of success is to point to how high the emissions would be without these new developments.

We have to plan for an Earth with a lot of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The synthesis provided by the recent National Research Council document, Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia put the stamp of authority and certification on the fact that once fossil-fuel carbon dioxide is placed in the Earth’s atmosphere, it stays there for a very long time. If we held our accumulated carbon dioxide to a trillion tons, then the carbon dioxide would stabilize at about 440 parts per million. That would be a stunning accomplishment. Far more likely, we will emit two or three trillion tons of carbon dioxide, and we will be living with values at double or more compared with pre-industrial levels; we are looking at 600 parts per million.

What is my intent? If you look at the issues raised above, many of them are where we have maintained and will maintain ongoing public arguments. These arguments attract attention, take our time, and take our minds. We align behind ideas like cap and trade and Kyoto, but by the time they might, maybe, possibly be made politically viable, they do little for addressing climate change. They take on the spirit that if we support them, then they are a symbolic first step. We align behind ideas of alternative energy and advocating efficiency, but the implementation of these ideas is met with opposition and challenges. Climate change is from the invisible gas, and the consequences are in the future; we relegate it to an issue of the common good. The urgency to address climate change is lost again and again; it is easily derailed by convenient political arguments and philosophical beliefs. The short-term always trumps the long-term. Our continued use of fossil fuels confirms that we want our energy; our resistance to a comprehensive energy policy relegates attention to climate change as secondary.

The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society has a special issue on world at four degrees warmer. In the Introduction by Mark New and colleagues many of the ideas addressed above are addressed more elegantly and more completely - new ideas emerge. The rate of warming matters a lot. The projected rate of population growth and our current warming trajectory work to maximize stress at the same time. With warming approaching four degrees, stress on resources and human systems related to climate change become comparable to those from population stress.

The acceptance that, with even our best efforts, we are moving to a world that is much warmer removes the incapacitating anxiety of argument. It gets us past the idea that we are going to avoid dangerous warming. We can get to work. I believe that the climate change projections provide us opportunity. I want my students to learn to exploit these opportunities. I believe that trying to exploit these opportunities will make the problem real to many more people, and that their talking about their opportunities, their solutions, will beget more of the same. They will gain, ultimately, advantage.

It is disingenuous to continue to teach my course in the same way. I will talk about the ways we can reduce emissions. I can talk about the need to keep our average warming below two degrees centigrade, our convenient definition of “dangerous climate change.” I can and will talk about policy options, but the truth is, our population and economic imperatives in combination with our lack of real alternatives and policy opportunity leave us with very little wiggle room. Describing that warm world and developing adaptation strategies will make the climate change problem more concrete. It will make the costs far more real. It will bring the problem home to cities, communities, and people. It will motivate technology, solutions.

Here, I advocate we do something different, because what we are doing is not working. I heard arguments for more than a decade that talking about adaptation would keep us from addressing mitigation. Now if we talk about geo-engineering we will fall into the false security that we can manage the climate. It is not rational that by avoiding these subjects that we will somehow change our energy system and reduce our emissions. It is not rational that our denying and ignoring the possibilities, while others take advantage of the information, somehow contributes to a productive dialogue to development of abstract policy solutions to seemingly distant problems. I assert that by addressing these real problems of adaptation, we will identify risk in a meaningful way, and we will make real the need for mitigation.


Figure 1. Cover of Four degrees and beyond: the potential for a global temperature increase of four degrees and its implications

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Sen. Inhofe R Oklahoma

Legislation - Committee Assignments

* Standing Committee on Armed Services
- Subcommittee on Airland
- Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
- Subcommittee on Strategic Forces

* Standing Committee on Environment and Public Works (Ranking Member)

- Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change, and Nuclear Safety
- Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water
- Subcommittee on Superfund and Waste Management
- Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 139973
Ahh yes,,we at wu-Central self moderate our cloned id-its with the Controls.

Use them together,Use them in Peace

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 139973
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Np. Hey, that's a great start. With fresh ideas, innovation and ability to think and come up with solutions...I'm all for.

I'll agree CAT5, I think the tunnels are a great idea, I hope CB will consider me for a position on this project. If you don’t agree with tunnels you must be a mentally challenged. Besides the tunnels offer more than just decreasing hurricanes it has a lot of potential with energy if nothing else. I think everyone needs to get on board with CB design. Who ever designed that drawing done a very good job as well. This could be the begging to a solution for our climate and other resources.
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Yes thats extremely interesting, but as four percent more moisture is in the atmosphere, as it is warmer, and extreme events more likely floods can be expected to become more of a nuisance.

If it was global cooling wed probably notice more widespread drought and cooler temperatures, even in the summer, so we'd probably be talking about that more.

But as it is global warming with extremes and more moisture some things seem pretty obvious to come up more often than not.

Wow, that's a really objective argument just ripe with facts and figures. So, the part where she says Australia AGW guys said there would be more drought than ever, so much it made no sense to build dams and such, that was just hokum, right? Yeah, you're the expert on stuff like this.
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So You Say Floods Are Manmade?
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December 3, 2009
Climate scientist James Hansen hopes summit will fail
James Bone in New York

A leading scientist acclaimed as the grandfather of global warming has denounced the Copenhagen summit on climate change next week as a farce.

James Hansen, the director of Nasa’s Goddard Insitute for Space Studies, told The Times that he planned to boycott the UN conference because it was seeking a counter-productive agreement to limit emissions through a “cap and trade” system.

“They are selling indulgences there. The developed nations want to continue basically business as usual so they are expected to purchase indulgences to give some small amount of money to developing countries. They do that in the form of offsets and adaptation funds.” he said.

Dr Hansen, 68, the fifth of seven children of an Iowa farmer, joined Nasa after taking his PhD to study Venus but changed course when he realised that man-made emissions were choking the atmosphere on his own planet.

He was one of the first voices to raise the alarm about rising global temperatures in the early 1980s, forecasting correctly that the planet would warm in the coming decades.

Next week he publishes his first book, entitled Storms of my Grandchildren, warning that “our planet, with its remarkable array of life, is in imminent danger of crashing” and declaring, “It is our last chance”.

He decries the cap and trade system envisaged by governments trying to “seal the deal” at Copenhagen as ineffective in stemming carbon emissions. Under such systems, governments set limits on overall emissions and polluters trade quotas among themselves.

“The fundamental problem is that fossil fuels are the cheapest form of energy. As long as they are, they are going to be used,” he said. “It’s remarkable. They refuse to recognise and address the fundamental problem and the obvious solution.”

He dismisses government announcements of national targets for greenhouse gas emissions as promises that will not be kept, noting that even Japan missed its goals under the Kyoto Protocol. He said that it would be better for the summit to fail rather than reach the type of cap and trade-based system envisaged.

“If they sign on to anything like they are talking about then it’s definitely counter-productive. Any time you start down that path, it’s time wasted. We would do better taking a year time-out and figuring out a better path.”

Dr Hansen, an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute in New York, argued that the only effective way to control global warming was to institute an increasing “carbon tax”, not “cap and trade”.

“We are going to have to move beyond fossil fuels at some point. Why continue to stretch it out longer?” he said. “The only way we can do that is by putting a price on carbon emissions. The business community and the public need to understand that there will be a gradually increasing price on carbon emissions.”

He proposes that the “carbon tax” start at the equivalent of about $1 per gallon of petrol but rise in future years. The tax revenues should be returned directly to the public in the form a dividend, he said.

He added that the world must be prepared to abandon coal unless its emissions are captured and embrace a new generation of nuclear power.

Dr Hansen, who was a young post-doctoral student at Columbia University at the time of student unrest against the Vietnam War on the campus in the late 1960s, said that government inaction on global warming called for similar “civil resistance” now. He said: “That is the kind of activism we need.” /article6941974.ece


NASA, James Hansen, and the Politicization of Science
Michael Asher (Blog) - September 26, 2007 11:04 AM

New issues swirl around controversial NASA branch

NASA's primary climate monitoring agency is the Goddard Institute of
Space Studies. Operating out of a small office at Columbia
University, GISS is run by Dr. James Hansen. Official NASA climate
statements come through GISS ... which means they must get by
Hansen. Many other scientists and agencies make climate predictions,
but Hansen's top the list for scare factor, predicting consequences
considerably more dire than his colleagues.

Hansen specializes in climate "modeling" -- attempting to predict
future events based on computer simulations. In 1971, Hansen wrote his
first climate model, which showed the world was about to experience
severe global cooling. NASA colleagues used it to warn the world that
immediate action was needed to prevent catastrophe.

Most research papers are rather dry reading, written to be as
unemotional as possible. Not so with Hansen's reports, whose works
scream alarmism even in their titles: "Climate Catastrophe," "Can We
Defuse the Global Warming Time Bomb," and "The Threat to the Planet."
Hansen was most recently in the news when an amateur blogger
discovered an error in his climate data, a mistake Hansen later
discounted as unimportant to the "big picture" of compelling public
action on climate change.

But who is James Hansen? Is he an impartial researcher seeking
scientific truth? Or a political activist with an axe to grind?

In 2006, Hansen accused the Bush Administration of attempting to
censor him. The issue stemmed from an email sent by a 23-year old NASA
public affairs intern. It warned Hansen over repeated violations of
NASA's official press policy, which requires the agency be notified
prior to interviews. Hansen claimed he was being "silenced," despite
delivering over 1,400 interviews in recent years, including 15 the
very month he made the claim. While he admits to violating the NASA
press policy, Hansen states he had a "constitutional right" to grant
interviews. Hansen then began a barrage of public appearances on TV,
radio and in lecture halls decrying the politicization of climate

Turns out he was right. Science was being politicized. By him.

A report revealed just this week, shows the 'Open Society Institute'
funded Hansen to the tune of $720,000, carefully orchestrating his
entire media campaign. OSI, a political group which spent $74 million
in 2006 to "shape public policy," is funded by billionaire George
Soros, the largest backer of Kerry's 2004 Presidential Campaign.
Soros, who once declared that "removing Bush from office was the
"central focus" of his life, has also given tens of millions of
dollars to MoveOn.Org and other political action groups.

Certainly Soros has a right to spend his own money. But NASA officials
have a responsibility to accurate, unbiased, nonpartisan science. For
Hansen to secretly receive a large check from Soros, then begin making
unsubstantiated claims about administrative influence on climate
science is more than suspicious -- it's a clear conflict of

But the issues don't stop here. Hansen received an earlier $250,000
grant from the Heinz Foundation, an organization run by Kerry's wife,
which he followed by publicly endorsing Kerry. Hansen also acted as a
paid consultant to Gore during the making of his global-warming film,
"An Inconvenient Truth," and even personally promoted the film during
an NYC event.

After the the GISS data error was revealed, Hansen finally agreed to
make public the method he uses to generate "official" temperature
records from the actual readings. That process has been revealed to be
thousands of lines of source code, containing hundreds of arbitrary
"bias" adjustments to individual sites, tossing out many readings
entirely, and raising (or lowering) the actual values for others,
sometimes by several degrees. Many areas with weak or no rising
temperature trends are therefore given, after adjustment, a much
sharper trend. A full audit of the Hansen code is currently underway,
but it seems clear that Hansen has more explaining to do.

George Deutsch, the NASA intern who resigned over the censorship
fallout, said he was initially warned about Hansen when starting the
job, "People said ... you gotta watch that guy. He is a loose cannon;
he is kind of crazy. He is difficult to work with; he is an alarmist;
he exaggerates.'"

Hansen's office did not return a request from DailyTech for an
interview for this article.


October 28, 2008: License to dissent: 'Internet should be nationalized as a public utility' to combat global warming skepticism - Australian Herald Sun - Excerpt: British journalism lecturer and warming alarmist Alex Lockwood says my blog is a menace to the planet. Skeptical bloggers like me need bringing into line, and Lockwood tells a journalism seminar of some options: There is clearly a need for research into the ways in which climate skepticism online is free to contest scientific fact. But there is enough here already to put forward some of the ideas in circulation. One of the founders of the Internet Vint Cerf, and lead for Google's Internet for Everyone project, made a recent suggestion that the Internet should be nationalized as a public utility. As tech policy blogger Jim Harper argues, “giving power over the Internet to well-heeled interests and self-interested politicians” is, and I quote, “a bad idea.” Or in the UK every new online publication could be required to register with the recently announced Internet watchdog...

November 5, 2008: UK Scientist: 'BBC SHUNNED ME FOR DENYING CLIMATE CHANGE' – UK Daily Express

Excerpt: FOR YEARS David Bellamy was one of the best known faces on TV. A respected botanist and the author of 35 books, he had presented around 400 programmes over the years and was appreciated by audiences for his boundless enthusiasm. Yet for more than 10 years he has been out of the limelight, shunned by bosses at the BBC where he made his name, as well as fellow scientists and environmentalists. His crime? Bellamy says he doesn't believe in man-made global warming. Here he reveals why – and the price he has paid for not toeing the orthodox line on climate change.

U.N. official says it's 'completely immoral' to doubt global warming fears (May 10, 2007)

Excerpt: UN special climate envoy Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland declared “it's completely immoral, even, to question” the UN's scientific “consensus."

Former US Vice President Al Gore compared global warming skeptics to people who 'believe the moon landing was actually staged in a movie lot in Arizona' (June 20, 2006)

Gore Refuses to Hear Skeptical Global Warming Views (Video)

UK environment secretary David Miliband said 'those who deny [climate change] are the flat-Earthers of the twenty-first century' (October 6, 2006)

Well that sounds well balanced.

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On the House Vote to Defund the IPCC
February 19th, 2011 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.
The climate change deniers have no one but themselves to blame for last night’s vote.

I’m talking about those who deny NATURAL climate change. Like Al Gore, John Holdren, and everyone else who thinks climate change was only invented since they were born.

Politicians formed the IPCC over 20 years ago with an endgame in mind: to regulate CO2 emissions. I know, because I witnessed some of the behind-the-scenes planning. It is not a scientific organization. It was organized to use the government-funded scientific research establishment to achieve policy goals.

Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But when they are portrayed as representing unbiased science, that IS a bad thing. If anthropogenic global warming – and ocean ‘acidification’ (now there’s a biased and totally incorrect term) — ends up being largely a false alarm, those who have run the IPCC are out of a job. More on that later.

I don’t want to be misunderstood on this. IF we are destroying the planet with our fossil fuel burning, then something SHOULD be done about it.

But the climate science community has allowed itself to be used on this issue, and as a result, politicians, activists, and the media have successfully portrayed the biased science as settled.

They apparently do not realize that ‘settled science’ is an oxymoron.

The most vocal climate scientists defending the IPCC have lost their objectivity. Yes, they have what I consider to be a plausible theory. But they actively suppress evidence to the contrary, for instance attempts to study natural explanations for recent warming.

That’s one reason why the public was so outraged about the ClimateGate e-mails. ClimateGate doesn’t prove their science is wrong…but it does reveal their bias. Science progresses by investigating alternative explanations for things. Long ago, the IPCC all but abandoned that search.

Oh, they have noted (correctly I believe) that a change in the total output of the sun is not to blame. But there are SO many other possibilities, and all they do is dismiss those possibilities out of hand. They have a theory — more CO2 is to blame — and they religiously stick to it. It guides all of the research they do.

The climate models are indeed great accomplishments. It’s what they are being used for that is suspect. A total of 23 models cover a wide range of warming estimates for our future, and yet there is no way to test them for what they are being used for! climate change predictions.

Virtually all of the models produce decadal time scale warming that exceeds what we have observed in the last 15 years. That fact has been known for years, but its publication in the peer reviewed literature continues to be blocked.

My theory is that a natural change in cloud cover has caused most of the recent warming. Temperature proxy data from around the world suggests that just about every century in the last 2,000 years has experienced warming or cooling. Why should today’s warmth be manmade, when the Medieval Warm Period was not? Just because we finally have one potential explanation – CO2?

This only shows how LITTLE we understand about climate change…not how MUCH we know.

Why would scientists allow themselves to be used in this way? When I have pressed them on the science over the years, they all retreat to the position that getting away from fossil fuels is the ‘right thing to do anyway’.

In other words, they have let their worldviews, their politics, their economic understanding (or lack thereof) affect their scientific judgment. I am ashamed for our scientific discipline and embarrassed by their behavior.

Is it any wonder that scientists have such a bad reputation among the taxpayers who pay them to play in their ivory tower sandboxes? They can make gloom and doom predictions all day long of events far in the future without ever having to suffer any consequences of being wrong.

The perpetual supply of climate change research money also biases them. Everyone in my business knows that as long as manmade climate change remains a serious threat, the money will continue to flow, and climate programs will continue to grow.

Now, I do agree the supply of fossil fuels is not endless. But we will never actually “run out”…we will just slowly stop trying to extract them as they become increasingly scarce (translation – more expensive). That’s the way the world works.

People who claim we are going to wake up one morning and our fossil fuels will be gone are either pandering, or stupid, or both.

But how you transition from fossil fuels to other sources of energy makes all the difference in the world. Making our most abundant and affordable sources of energy artificially more expensive with laws and regulations will end up killing millions of people.

And that’s why I speak out. Poverty kills. Those who argue otherwise from their positions of fossil-fueled health and wealth are like spoiled children.

The truly objective scientist should be asking whether MORE, not less, atmospheric carbon dioxide is what we should be trying to achieve. There is more published real-world evidence for the benefits of more carbon dioxide, than for any damage caused by it. The benefits have been measured, and are real-world. The risks still remain theoretical.

Carbon dioxide is necessary for life on Earth. That it has been so successfully demonized with so little hard evidence is truly a testament to the scientific illiteracy of modern society. If humans were destroying CO2 — rather than creating more — imagine the outrage there would be at THAT!

I would love the opportunity to cross examine these (natural) climate change deniers in a court of law. They have gotten away with too much, for too long. Might they be right? Sure. But the public has no idea how flimsy – and circumstantial – their evidence is.

In the end, I doubt the IPCC will ever be defunded. Last night’s vote in the House is just a warning shot across the bow. But unless the IPCC starts to change its ways, it runs the risk of being totally marginalized. It has almost reached that point, anyway.

And maybe the IPCC leadership doesn’t really care if its pronouncements are ignored, as long as they can jet around the world to meet in exotic destinations and plan where their next meeting should be held. I hear it’s a pretty good gig.
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house gop to eliminate climate change science? budget

NASA is one of the three top climate change research organizations worldwide, and the ability of the world to gather data will be impacted.

But with no funding, future taxpayers will no longer have to hear from scientists like James Hansen

NASA was established for the purposes of space flight. NOAA (National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration) was established for purposes that include studying the weather and climate. NOAA receives funding for climate research while NASA does as well, which the author is failing to disclose to his attempts to mislead the reader that the GOP is canceling all climate research. In addition, scientists at universities throughout the world receive funding through the NSF and federal government for climate research. The space flight program under Obama has been severely cut (to the point we will no longer even have a space vehicle to transport astronauts to the space station in a matter of months) so that funding to Hansen at NASA’s GISS could be increased.

All the GOPs are attempting to do is restore NASA to its mission and keep NOAA to its, eliminating the money wasted by having duplicate functions performed in different government agencies.


Hansen Recieved $250,000 from partisan Heinz Founation & Endorsed Dem. John Kerry for Pres. in 2004

Excerpt: For example, Brokaw presents NASA’s James Hansen as an authority on climate change without revealing to viewers the extensive political and financial ties that Hansen has to Democrat Party partisans. Hansen, the director of the agency’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, received a $250,000 grant from the charitable foundation headed by former Democrat Presidential candidate John Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz. Subsequent to the Heinz Foundation grant, Hansen publicly endorsed Democrat John Kerry for president in 2004, a political endorsement considered to be highly unusual for a NASA scientist. Hansen also has acted as a consultant to Gore’s slide-show presentations on global warming, on which Gore’s movie is based. Hansen has actively promoted Gore and his movie, even appearing at a New York City Town Hall meeting with Gore and several Hollywood producers in May. Hansen also conceded in a 2003 issue of Natural Science that the use of “extreme scenarios” to dramatize climate change “may have been appropriate at one time” to drive the public’s attention to the issue—- a disturbing admission by a prominent scientist.

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On this day in 1884, an astonishing series of 37 tornadoes sweeps across the Southeast United States. The twisters, which came at a time in which there was no warning system in place to alert area residents, killed 167 people and injured another 1,000.

The tornadoes began early in the afternoon in Alabama. The town of Goshen lost 26 people to an F4 twister, classified as "devastating" with winds between 207 and 260 mph. A brick school building literally exploded when the tornado hit it dead on, killing six students and a teacher. Outside of Goshen, 13 more people lost their lives in Alabama.

Late in the afternoon, the storm began battering North Carolina. The town of Philadelphia lost 23 people, while another eight were killed in other smaller tornadoes in the state. There were several reports of bodies thrown hundreds of yards by the powerful twisters. In South Carolina, 27 people died, and there were also deaths reported in Kentucky and Mississippi.

Of the 37 reported tornadoes that struck the Southeast on February 19, 29 killed at least one person. The hardest-hit state was Georgia, where 68 deaths were attributed to the storm. The town of Jasper suffered 22 casualties when another F4 twister struck. Across the state, hundreds were injured, many of them rural sharecroppers.

In the years since this disaster, there have been other occasions when a series of tornadoes has reached across a broad area, but advances in weather forecasting and communications have helped to minimize deaths and injuries. oes-strike-the-southeast


Severe storms indicate AGW, oops 1884.
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Number 8, now this is a victory.

House greenhouse gas vote on tap
By Ben Geman - 02/18/11 12:01 PM ET

The year’s first floor showdown over greenhouse gases will probably begin Friday.

The House is slated to vote on an amendment to federal spending legislation that would block Environmental Protection Agency climate rules.

The GOP’s underlying fiscal year 2011 spending bill already blocks funding for EPA’s implementation of greenhouse-gas permitting rules for stationary sources.

But the overlapping amendment filed by several Texas Republicans — if it comes up as scheduled — sets up a politically volatile vote on the rules.

The amendment — filed by Reps. Ted Poe, Joe Barton and John Carter — would restrict the agency for the balance of the fiscal year.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is planning to move a more sweeping bill later this year to outright nullify EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants, refineries, factories and other facilities.

GOP votes to dethrone Obama's policy 'czars'
By Andrew Restuccia - 02/17/11 07:01 PM ET

The House GOP approved an amendment to a government-spending bill that would block funding for the Obama administration’s so-called policy "czars,” appointed advisers to the president that have been much-criticized by Republicans.

The vote was 249-171.

The amendment, offered by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), specifically targets Obama’s “climate czar” by blocking funding for the assistant to the president for energy and climate change, the position's official title. The amendment would block funding for the 'czars' through the end of the fiscal year, when the spending bill would run out. The underlying bill also includes a provision to block funding for the position.

"I think this sends a strong signal to the president that we are tired of him running this shadow government, where they have got these czars that are literally circumventing the accountability and scrutiny that goes with Senate confirmation," Scalise said after the vote.

Carol Browner, who currently holds the position, announced last month that she will resign, leaving the future of the office in doubt.

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Boy, our English friends have certainly seen through
the scam and the jobs that never materialized from Green power. They started in 2007, still sucking
wind. (forgive the pun)

Can the government be trusted on solar subsidies?

Paul Hudson | 17:13 UK time, Thursday, 17 February 2011

The government have announced that they are to look at subsidies payable to large scale solar power farms that have started to spring up across the country.

The so called 'feed in tariffs' are the cash subsidies given to anyone who generates electricity by putting solar panels on their roof, and amounts to a generous 41.3p per Kilowatt hour.

Unsurprisingly, because of the generous level of subsidy available, the commercial sector has started to take advantage of the scheme.

In October planning permission was granted to the UK's first purpose built solar farm in Cornwall.

And planning permission has been sought for a 1MW solar farm in Lincolnshire, by green energy firm Ecotricity, who reacted angrily to the news of a likely cut in the level of subsidy.

The government are worried that the money set aside to fund the system of feed in tariffs will be used up by these large scale commercial solar farms, when one of the aims was to encourage individual households to generate green electricity.

Schemes which produce more than 50KW - which is around the output of 20 typical homes under the scheme - are likely to face a change to their tariffs, according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Other European countries have already announced subsidy cuts.

Last year the German government decided to cut the level of subsidy available for solar power generation in their country.

And the Spanish government recently announced it too will cut the price guarantees on offer to solar power generation, first set out in 2007.

Such was the generosity of these Spanish subsidies, offering 10 times the average price for electricity in 2007, that it lead to a 'Spanish solar gold rush' as ordinary Spaniards piled into the sector - but now more than 50,000 Spanish solar entrepreneurs face financial disaster with a 30% reduction in the revenue that solar projects will be allowed to earn over the next 3 years.

The Spanish government made the controversial decision in December to cut the financial support offered to solar power generators as part of its ongoing austerity cuts.

Back here in the UK, the government announced recently that the whole Feed in Tariff scheme (FITS) is to undergo a comprehensive review.

With similar budgetary pressures, there are bound to be worries that renewable subsidies in general could be cut, which may make some people think again about investing in solar panels until the results of review are made public. the-government-be-trusted.shtml#comments

* 1. At 8:57pm on 17 Feb 2011, millennia wrote:

What the heck do you expect, a Govt with a term of only 5 years actually guaranteeing payments for 25 years? Anybody who rushed in actually believing that was blinded by their own greed - we never learn do we?
The reason these tariffs have been cut in many countries is that they were threatening to deepen the economic crisis still more, the myth of green jobs in Spain has already been shown to be a lie with each green job cause the loss of two jobs in the mainstream economy - they just couldn't afford this ridiculous situation of paying up to 10x the real value of the product. It's an episode straight out of Fantasy Island, and it was inevitable Canada, Holland and even Germany would have to make their own realistics cuts to subsidies.
Wind is an even bigger scam than solar, Denmark is often shown to be the pioneer in this technology but the only way they can make it work at all is to have spinning reserve in fossil power stations and by importing hydro from Scandinavia at great expense, while they send wind generated power back to Scandinavia at off peak rates. Sweden loves wind power, all the benefits and no infrastructure investment. Meanwhile carbon emissions in Denmark increased 30% because of all the extra power stations needed to back up the intermittent wind power.
Thank God the coalition has seen the light so early, let's hope they do a proper cost benefit analysis and finally see that this lunacy could never have worked. Bankrupting UK Plc may be a dream for lefty ecomentalists, but the rest of us struggling to make a living would not appreciate that battle being made all the harder, just so a few people can get rich on the next ponzi bubble investment scheme.

Meanwhile, when you run out of political support,
foist your golden dream on all by force.

Scrap wind power veto: environment minister

Published: 4 Feb 11 08:44 CET | Double click on a word to get a translation

Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren has announced that he wants to remove the municipal vetoes against wind power farms that are currently in place.

* Vattenfall invests in North Sea wind farm (21 Oct 10)
* Sweden welcomes army of wind turbines (13 Jun 10)
* Sami district rejects wind power compensation (22 Apr 10)

He believes that in certain cases, the national interest in renewable energy must take precedence over the autonomy of local governments, citing security issues.

"Here, we must change so that local authorities are not just listening to opinions and saying no without even trying to resolve conflicts. If it does not work, it may be necessary to remove the municipality's veto power," Carlgren told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet's (SvD) website on Thursday.

Forestry companies and agriculture must shoulder the burden to address environmental problems as well, the minister added.

Carlgren wants the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svenskt Näringsliv) to be a driving force in environmental work, become a partner in the development of new technologies and not be reluctantly dragged into it.


Back on the home front:

Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant

Profile: Originally proposed by Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH) the Seabrook plant was the last proposed nuclear power plant that was built in the United States. The project later was the direct cause for the bankruptcy and bailout of PSNH by New Hampshire ratepayers who are still paying for the stranded costs. It started generating power in 1990 for the long-term contracts to municipalities and businesses outside of the state of New Hampshire. Currently owned by Nextera Energy the nuclear power plant generates 1,244MW of electricity each year.

Company website

Operating Permit Renewal: The current owners of Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant have asked for a 20-year renewal of their operating license, 20 years before the current one expires. Recently, the federal agency overseeing nuclear power plants changed the timeline for renewing licenses making it possible to continue operations 20 years in advance. But a lot can happen in 20 years!

NH Sierra Club believes this is an unreasonable change and would allow the nuclear plant to avoid health, economic and environmental requirements over time. While getting the renewal now will no doubt increase its market value and the owner's ability to sell the facility, it represents many increased and prolonged risks for our future health and environment, not to mention a huge impediment to building our sustainable energy future.

NH Sierra Club and Seacoast Anti-Pollution League with national group Beyond Nuclear have stepped up to defend our clean energy future and forestall this premature preclusion of safer alternatives, as required by the law. Without the State of New Hampshire participating in the public process, it is up to us to call for reasonable oversight and public protection.


Northern Pass Transmission Line Proposal

The proposal is for 1200MW transmission line from Canada to an undetermined location in the town of Pittsburg, the state’s northernmost town, through Coos County and the White Mountain National Forest to the City of Franklin. Franklin will host a substation to convert the Direct Current power to Alternating Current power. The facility is expected to require 23 acres. From Franklin the AC transmission lines will go to the town of Deerfield to another substation and from there through the existing transmission lines to Massachusetts.

The project is proposed by Northeast Utilities and NSTAR. Northeast Utilities is the parent comany of Public Service Company of New Hampshire. The companies must obtain a Presidential Permit from the Department of Energy, a process that will include the National Environmental Permit Application, which will address the environmental impacts for the proposal through the White Mountain National Forest, as well as financing, ratepayer impacts and future impacts on renewable energy and existing energy facilities.

The Chapter is very worried that the impacts on National Forests lands will be significant and the transmission lines will adversely impact the charactor of the communities in the North Country. The source of the electricity is also problematic in that the large scale hydro is not a proven carbon neutral or carbon negative source and the local impacts are unclear. Also at issue is the impact on future renewable energy projects and existing plants.


So what's it going to be, No Hydro, No Nuclear, No,No
No,No. Well that's one way to return to the stone age.

I bet they support wind power!
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