These are not great souls who alert us to troubles but tiny minds who wish us suffering if we have the presumption to refuse to listen to them. Catastrophe is not their fear but their joy. Pascal Bruckner (http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_2_apocalyptic-daze.html)

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Child Protection Resources: debunking climate scares can help your children shrug off the propaganda

Picture source
So-called environmental organisations can get wealthy by scaring their members and the general public with lurid tales of doom and disaster.  But with what respect to the truth and the limitations of our knowledge?  Next to none, according to James Taylor of the Heartland Institute who has reacted to a recent fund-raising letter from the US Environmental Defence Fund, or EDF.

Below is a long extract from his recent article reacting to their 10 'deplorable'assertions, each highlighted in italics here by me.

There can be little doubt that campaigners will try to scare your children with any or all of them in due course.

Don't let them succeed,  Get better informed than they are:

(extract begins)
'EDF has assembled what it believes to be the 10 most powerful global warming assertions in the alarmists’ playbook. Each assertion either backfires on alarmists or has been proven false. While reading how flawed EDF’s assertions are, remember these are the very best arguments global warming alarmists can make! Open-minded readers should have very little difficulty dismissing the mythical global warming crisis after examining the top 10 assertions in the alarmists’ playbook.

Alarmist Assertion #1
“Bats Drop from the Sky – In 2014, a scorching summer heat wave caused more than 100,000 bats to literally drop dead and fall from the sky in Queensland, Australia.” 

The Facts
Global warming alarmists’ preferred electricity source – wind power – kills nearly 1 million bats every year in the United States alone.[1] This appalling death toll occurs every year even while wind power produces just 3 percent of U.S. electricity. Ramping up wind power to 10, 20, or 30 percent of U.S. electricity production would likely mean annual bat kills of 10 to 30 million. Killing 30 million bats every year in response to dubious claims that global warming might once in a great while kill 100,000 bats makes no sense.

Just as importantly, alarmists present no evidence that global warming caused the summer heat wave in a notoriously hot desert near the equator. To the contrary, climate change theory and objective data show our recent global warming is occurring primarily in the winter, toward the poles, and at night. 
Australia’s highest recorded temperature occurred more than half a century ago, and only two of Australia’s seven states have set their all-time temperature record during the past 40 years.[2]

Queensland’s 2014 heat wave paled in comparison to the 1972 heat wave that occurred 42 years of global warming ago. If global warming caused the 2014 Queensland heat wave, why wasn’t it as severe as the 1972 Queensland heat wave?

Blaming every single summer heat wave or extreme weather event on global warming is a stale and discredited tactic in the alarmist playbook. Objective science proves extreme weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, heat waves, and droughts have become less frequent and less severe as a result of the Earth’s recent warming.[3]


Alarmist Assertion #2
“Lyme Disease Spreads – Warmer temperatures are contributing to the range expansion and severity of tick-borne Lyme disease.” 

The Facts
Lyme disease is much more common in northern, cooler regions of the United States than in southern, warmer regions.[4] Asserting, without any supporting data or evidence, that a disease that prospers in cool climates will become more prevalent as a result of global warming defies objective data and common sense.

Moreover, a team of scientists extensively researched Lyme disease climate and habitat and reported in the peer-reviewed science journal EcoHealth, “the only environmental variable consistently associated with increased [Lyme disease] risk and incidence was the presence of forests.”[5]
Granted, alarmists can argue that forests are thriving under global warming, with the result that forest-dwelling ticks will also benefit. However, expanding forests are universally – and properly – viewed as environmentally beneficial. Alarmist attempts to frame thriving forests as harmful perfectly illustrate the alarmists’ proclivity to claim anything and everything – no matter how beneficial – is severely harmful and caused by global warming.

Moreover, even if global warming expanded Lyme disease range, one must look at the totality of global warming’s impact on the range of viruses and diseases. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports Lyme disease “is rare as a cause of death in the United States.”[6] According to the CDC, Lyme disease is a contributing factor in fewer than 25 deaths per year in the United States. During a recent five-year span examined by the CDC, “only 1 [death] record was consistent with clinical manifestations of Lyme disease.”

Any attempts to claim global warming will cause a few more Lyme disease deaths must be weighed against the 36,000 Americans who are killed by the flu each year.[7] The U.S. National Institutes of Health have documented how influenza is aided and abetted by cold climate.[8] Any attempt to connect a warmer climate to an increase in Lyme disease must be accompanied by an acknowledgement of a warmer climate’s propensity to reduce influenza incidence and mortality.

The net impact of a warmer climate on viruses and diseases such as Lyme disease and influenza is substantially beneficial and life-saving.


Alarmist Assertion #3
“National Security Threatened – The impacts of climate change are expected to act as a ‘threat multiplier’ in many of the world’s most unstable regions, exacerbating droughts and other natural disasters as well as leading to food, water and other resource shortages that may spur mass migrations.” 

The Facts
The alarmists’ asserted national security threat depends on assertions that (1) global warming is causing a reduction in food and water supplies and (2) migrations of people to places with more food and water will increase risks of military conflict. Facts refute both assertions.
Regarding food and water supplies, global crop production has soared as the Earth gradually warms.[9]

Atmospheric carbon dioxide is essential to plant life, and adding more of it to the atmosphere enhances plant growth and crop production. Longer growing seasons and fewer frost events also benefit plant growth and crop production. As repeatedly documented in my Forbes.com columns,[10] global crops set new production records virtually every year as our planet modestly warms. If crop shortages cause national security threats and global warming increases crop production, then global warming benefits rather than jeopardizes national security.

The same holds true for water supplies. Data show there has been a gradual increase in global precipitation and soil moisture as our planet warms. Warmer temperatures evaporate more water from the oceans, which in turn stimulates more frequent precipitation over continental land masses. The result of this enhanced precipitation is an improvement in soil moisture at almost all sites in the Global Soil Moisture Data Bank.[11]

 If declining precipitation and declining soil moisture are military threat multipliers, then global warming is creating a safer, more peaceful world.


Alarmist Assertion #4
“Sea Levels Rising – Warmer temperatures are causing glaciers and polar ice sheets to melt, increasing the amount of water in the world’s seas and oceans.” 

The Facts
The pace of sea level rise remained relatively constant throughout the twentieth century, even as global temperatures gradually rose.[12] There has similarly been no increase in the pace of sea level rise in recent decades. Using twentieth century technologies, humans effectively adapted to global sea level rise. With twenty-first century technologies, humans will be even better equipped to adapt to global sea level rise.

Also, the alarmist assertion that polar ice sheets are melting is simply false. Although alarmists frequently point to a modest recent shrinkage in the Arctic ice sheet, that decline has been completely offset by ice sheet expansion in the Antarctic. Cumulatively, polar ice sheets have not declined at all since NASA satellite instruments began precisely measuring them 35 years ago.[13]

Alarmist Assertion #5
“Allergies Worsen – Allergy sufferers beware: Climate change could cause pollen counts to double in the next 30 years. The warming temperatures cause advancing weed growth, a bane for allergy sufferers.”

The Facts
Pollen is a product and mechanism of plant reproduction and growth. As such, pollen counts will rise and fall along with plant health and vegetation intensity. Any increase in pollen will be the result of a greener biosphere with more plant growth. Similar to the alarmist argument, discussed above, that expanding forests will create more habitat for the ticks that spread Lyme disease, alarmists here are taking overwhelmingly good news about global warming improving plant health and making it seem like this good news is actually bad news because healthier plants mean more pollen.

NASA satellite instruments have documented a spectacular greening of the Earth, with foliage gains most prevalent in previously arid, semi-desert regions.[14] For people experiencing an increase in vegetation in previously barren regions, this greening of the Earth is welcome and wonderful news. For global warming alarmists, however, a greener biosphere is terrible news and something to be opposed.

This, in a nutshell, defines the opposing sides in the global warming debate. Global warming alarmists claim a greener biosphere with richer and more abundant plant life is horrible and justifies massive, economy-destroying energy restrictions. Global warming realists understand that a greener biosphere with richer and more abundant plant life is not a horrible thing simply because humans may have had some role in creating it.


Alarmist Assertion #6
“Beetles Destroy Iconic Western Forests – Climate change has sent tree-killing beetles called mountain pine beetles into overdrive. Under normal conditions those beetles reproduce just once annually, but the warming climate has allowed them to churn out an extra generation of new bugs each year.” 

The Facts
Alarmists claim warmer winters are causing an increase in pine beetle populations. This assertion is thoroughly debunked by real-world data.

As an initial matter, alarmists have responded to recent bitterly cold winters by claiming global warming is causing colder winters.[15] One cannot claim global warming is causing colder winters and then turn around and simultaneously claim global warming is causing warmer winters. Global warming activists’ propensity for doing so shows just how little value they place on truthful debate. 
Scientific data verify winters are getting colder, countering the key prerequisite to EDF’s pine beetle claim. NOAA temperature data show winter temperatures in the United States have been getting colder for at least the past two decades.[16] Pine beetles cannot be taking advantage of warmer winters if winters are in fact getting colder. Moreover, recent U.S. Forest Service data show pine beetle infestations have recently declined dramatically throughout the western United States.[17]

Forests and plant life are expanding globally, and particularly in the western United States.[18] Pine beetles are a natural part of forest ecosystems. Expanding pine forests can support more beetles. The predictable increase in pine beetles is largely a product of, rather than a foil against, expanding pine forests. One can hardly argue that pine beetles are “destroying iconic Western forests” when western forests are becoming denser and more prevalent as the planet warms.

Also, beetles have bored through North American forests for millennia, long before people built coal-fired power plants and drove SUVs. Beetles are not dependent on warm winters, as evidenced by their historic prevalence in places such as Alaska.[19]
Finally, pine beetles tend to target dead, unhealthy, more vulnerable pine trees rather than healthy trees. Decades of over-aggressive fire suppression policies have caused an unnatural buildup of older, denser, more vulnerable pine forests. These conditions predictably aid pine beetles.


Alarmist Assertion #7
“Canada: The New America – ‘Lusher’ vegetation growth typically associated with the United States is now becoming more common in Canada, scientists reported in a 2012 Nature Climate Change study.”

The Facts
Only global warming alarmists would claim that lusher vegetation and more abundant plant life are a bad thing. Playing on a general tendency of people to fear change, EDF and global warming alarmists argue that changes in the biosphere that make it richer, lusher, and more conducive to life are changes to be feared and opposed. If barren ecosystems constitute an ideal planet, then the alarmist fears of more plant life make sense. But global warming realists understand a climate more conducive to richer, more abundant plant life is beneficial rather than harmful.


Alarmist Assertion #8
“Economic Consequences – The costs associated with climate change rise along with the temperatures. Severe storms and floods combined with agricultural losses cause billions of dollars in damages, and money is needed to treat and control the spread of disease” 

The Facts
Severe storms, floods, and agricultural losses may cost a great deal of money, but such extreme weather events – and their resulting costs – are dramatically declining as the Earth modestly warms.[20] Accordingly, EDF’s asserted economic costs are actually economic benefits. 
As documented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and at Forbes.com, severe storms are becoming less frequent and severe as the Earth modestly warms. This is especially evident regarding hurricane and tornado activity, which are both at historic lows.

Similarly, scientific measurements and peer-reviewed studies report no increase in flooding events regarding natural-flowing rivers and streams.[21] Any increase in flooding activity is due to human alterations of river and stream flow rather than precipitation changes.[22]
Also, the modest recent warming is producing U.S. and global crop production records virtually every year, creating billions of dollars in new economic and human welfare benefits each and every year. This creates a net economic benefit completely ignored by EDF.

Regarding “the spread of disease,” as documented in “Alarmist Assertion #2,” evidence shows global warming will thwart deadly outbreaks of influenza and other cold-dependent viruses.

Additionally, the alarmists’ desired means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions – more expensive energy sources – make economic conditions even worse. Forcing the American economy to operate on expensive and unreliable wind and solar power will have tremendous negative economic consequences. President Barack Obama acknowledged this fact when he promised that under his global warming plan, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

The economic consequences of Obama’s global warming policies can already be seen in electricity prices, which are currently the highest in U.S. history. Remarkably, Obama’s global warming policies are increasing electricity prices even while new natural gas discoveries, revolutionary advances in natural gas production technologies, and a dramatic resultant decline in natural gas prices would otherwise spur a dramatic decline in electricity prices.


Alarmist Assertion #9
“Infectious Diseases Thrive – The World Health Organization reports that outbreaks of new or resurgent diseases are on the rise and in more disparate countries than ever before, including tropical illnesses in once cold climates.” 

The Facts
Outbreaks of “new or resurgent diseases” are occurring precisely because governments have caved in to environmental activist groups like EDF and implemented their anti-science agendas. For example, DDT had all but eliminated malaria in the United States and on the global stage during the mid-twentieth century. However, environmental activists championed false environmental accusations against DDT and dramatically reduced use of the life-saving mosquito killer throughout much of the world. As a result, malaria has re-emerged with a vengeance and millions of people die every year as a result.[23]

Also, as documented above in “Alarmist Assertion #2,” global warming will reduce the impact and death toll of cold-related viruses such as influenza. In the United States alone, influenza kills 36,000 people every year, which dwarfs all heat-dependent viruses and diseases combined. Few people other than global warming alarmists would argue that it is better to have 36,000 people die each year from influenza than have a few people die each year from Lyme disease (which, as documented above, isn’t even related to global warming).


Alarmist Assertion #10
“Shrinking Glaciers – In 2013, an iceberg larger than the city of Chicago broke off the Pine Island Glacier, the most important glacier of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. And at Montana’s Glacier National Park glaciers have gone from 150 to just 35 over the past century.” 

The Facts
Calling attention to anecdotal incidents of icebergs breaking off the Antarctic ice sheet, while deliberately ignoring the overall growth of the Antarctic ice sheet, is a misleading and favorite tactic of global warming alarmists. Icebergs break off the Antarctic ice sheet every year, with or without global warming, particularly in the Antarctic summer. However, a particular iceberg – no matter how large – breaking off the Antarctic ice sheet does not necessarily result in “Shrinking Glaciers” as EDF alleges.

To the contrary, the Antarctic ice sheet has been growing at a steady and substantial pace ever since NASA satellites first began measuring the ice sheet in 1979. During the same year EDF claims “an iceberg larger than the city of Chicago” broke off the Antarctic ice sheet and caused “Shrinking Glaciers,” the Antarctic ice sheet repeatedly set new records for its largest extent in recorded history.[24] Those 2013 records were repeatedly broken again in 2014. The Antarctic ice sheet in 2013 and 2014 was more extensive than at any time in recorded history, yet EDF pushes the lie that the Antarctic ice sheet is shrinking.

EDF’s assertion about Glacier National Park is also misleading. Alpine glaciers at Glacier National Park and elsewhere have been receding for more than 300 years, since the Earth’s temperature bottomed out during the depths of the Little Ice Age.[25] The warming of the past 300 years and the resulting recession of alpine glaciers predated humans building coal-fired power plants and driving SUVs. Moreover, opening up more of the Earth’s surface to vegetation and plant and animal life would normally be considered a beneficial change, if global warming alarmists had not so thoroughly politicized the global warming discussion.


There you have it. These are the 10 best arguments global warming activists like EDF can make, along with the objective scientific facts that prove them wrong.

No wonder global warming alarmists are so terrified of people having access to both sides of the debate. '

James M. Taylor (jtaylor@heartland.org) is vice president for external relations and senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001 – 2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.
(extract ends)

See the complete article for the introduction, and for supporting references [1,25 ]:    http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2015/07/27/top-10-global-warming-lies

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Nothing Short of Criminal: Green zealots exploiting children in an Australian primary school

Reblogged from Jo Nova's site:

'High pressure propaganda: Greens using children to write activist letters in school

Gary Johns (former Labor Minister in the Keating Government) writes in The Australian that children are being dished up green speakers at school, asked to write letters about “their thoughts” to politicians, and taking letters home to parents seeking their permission to join the campaign which is run by a volunteer for The Greens. The children were offered sample activist letters to copy.

Greens infiltrate the classroom

I received a letter this week that had been sent to the parent of a 10-year-old schoolboy and signed by the deputy principal of Cottesloe Primary School, Perth. The letter requested her permission to send a letter, allegedly written by her son, to Julie Bishop regarding the UN climate talks.
The activist site is Curtin’s CASE: Climate Action for a Safe Environment. Curtin refers to the electorate (not the university). The site has sample letters to ask Julie Bishop to get climate action and change the weather. The speaker at schools was Dr Chilla Bullbeck, who was “chair of women’s studies at ­the University of Adelaide until 2008 but is now a full-time “volunteer” for the Greens in Western Australia.” She claims “Curtin’s CASE is not a political organisation, but admits “our project does appeal to Greens members and supporters”.
The letter to parents directs them to the campaign website where a standard letter is ready and waiting.
“Dear Julie Bishop,
My name is … and I am an ­average … student … please help this goal of mine (to stop global warming) become yours too ­because we can make a difference for Australia” (emphasis added).
Craft a persuasive letter using their thoughts, describing their goal? This is a deception. This is high-pressure propaganda and it is taking place in primary schools right now.
Johns has some very good questions:
A representative of a political party was allowed into the classroom to push the party’s agenda on young children and to use them to write letters to achieve the party’s goals. Were other ­voices heard?
Were children aware that if the world decides to cut the output of carbon dioxide emissions by denying cheap energy-dense sources they are condemning ­millions to an early death through poverty?
This exercise in high-pressure manipulation of 10-year-olds took place a few suburbs from the University of Western Australia where a posse of ignorant academics and students ran Bjorn Lomborg out of town.
I will send a message to Johns about his use of “climate-change deniers” — the mythical creatures no one has ever met who deny ice ages and what not. Johns inadvertently feeds the monster by pretending that this phrase has any meaning at all. Lomborg is not a climate change denier, but no one else is either. Can we start writing in accurate English instead of activist strawmen?
They asserted he was a ­climate-change denier. He is not. Lomborg knows the cost of trading the possible loss of life in 100 years from climate change against the certain loss of life now through lack of access to cheap dense forms of energy.
Better terms are climate-crisis-believers, versus climate-crisis-skeptics.'

End of reblog.  The original posting at J Nova is here, along with discussion comments:  http://joannenova.com.au/2015/07/high-pressure-propaganda-greens-using-children-to-write-activist-letters-in-school/

N.B. The following would be illegal in at least England & Wales according to the Education Act of 1996:  
'A representative of a political party was allowed into the classroom to push the party’s agenda on young children and to use them to write letters to achieve the party’s goals. '

An aside.  I am clearly running months late on my next two promised posts.  They are still on the cards.  I hope to get back to them soon and get them published here.

Monday, 27 April 2015

The future of this blog: helping anyone wanting to resist climate scaremongering in schools

My heartfelt apologies to regular visitors.  It has been a long gap since the last post, and you may feel clicking to here has been wasting your time.  I had hopes that this blog would encourage discussion and lead to lively exchanges with frequent inputs from active teachers and educational administrators as well as parents, but this has not happened.  Given the trolling and junk comments that occur so often on more lively sites, the tranquillity here has not been all bad!

I now see the next phase of this blog as focusing on proving reference materials, useful links, and occasional encouragement for parents and others who wish to see an end to schools being used to promote radical political views using concern over climate variation as the vehicle, and often 'sustainability' as the cloak.  The facile use of fearful images and projections about the near future has been part of this, and deserves to be the first target of those concerned to let children grow up without such burdens being imposed on them by ruthless campaigners, or by naive followers convinced they are doing what has to be done.

The astonishing political success of eco-alarmism over the past few decades has been a dismal sight for anyone who has spotted the lack of substance behind so many of the claims and campaigns.  The global warming one has been the most successful by far, and has arguably done the most harm as a result.  The penetration of school curricula, both formal and informal, has been part of this 'success', and the prevalence of 'sustainability', so closely associated with climate alarmism,  in tertiary educational institutions recognised in the recent NAS report* suggests that new waves of teachers and administrators will emerge to damage the mental and indeed physical and moral well-being of further generations of schoolchildren.

In Germany, the physicist Horst-Joachim Lüdecke has been talking of the 'sobering-up process' he thinks may be underway with regard to the excesses of renewable energy programmes there:

'Lüdecke thinks that the sobering-up process will take time because every political party has made green issues part of its platform. Green is a very difficult colour to wash away, the German physicist writes.'  

Lüdecke then explains the primary disadvantage of renewable energy: their low energy density, i.e. meaning they require vast areas and that the major ones are weather-dependent. The German EIKE professor does not know how long the sobering-up process will take, citing the immense power of an array of lobbies behind the green movement.

Lüdecke also aims harsh words at Germany’s pompous and one-sided media:
Finally a word for the German media, here especially for the public TV and radio networks. They are rightly being compared by the current contemporaries to the conditions of former East Germany or even earlier times.”

At the political level, Lüdecke blasts the atmosphere of intimidation against people who have alternative views, who often are threatened with physical violence from radical leftists groups.'
I fear something similar applies in schools.  The standard leftist mentality that anyone who disagrees with them has to be malevolent and must be treated with contempt is part of the problem.

I have been involved in a couple of unsuccessful attempts to get groups of people together to campaign against climate alarmism in schools, and I have concluded that I am not well-suited to that, nor at stimulating debate through this blog.  I have therefore decided to concentrate on studying the details of one corner of climate science.  The corner I have chosen is the Arctic in general, and Greenland in particular.  I will simply be aiming to become much better informed about them, and in due course be ready to contribute when they are raised in support of political/educational goals.

I will keep this blog going however, by updating its reference pages from time to time, and with the occasional post.  My hope is that some of those who will think of becoming more active against climate scaremongering, and other manipulation of children for radical political ends, will find useful information and ideas here to help them get started.  Next month, I plan posts on two themes:
(1) some issues or tactics that seem to be emerging from 'the other side', and (2) some suggested reading for those thinking of getting involved to protect children from the threat of being misinformed, misled, and indeed scared by those who want to use them as footsoldiers in their war against industrial civilisation.



*'Sustainability is fast becoming the dominant ideology at colleges and universities in the United States, Britain, and many other parts of the Western world. It is an ideology that harms both the spirit and the substance of liberal education.'
 http://www.nas.org/images/documents/NAS-Sustainability-Introduction.pdf




Thursday, 18 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all people of goodwill everywhere

Of the three major religions to emerge from the Middle East, Christianity seems to be the most impressive for its compassion, gentleness, and generosity towards non-followers (such as myself) as well as to its faithful. It has also inspired far more great works of art and music than any other religion anywhere as far as I know (which is not very far, but I share my limited view nevertheless). J S Bach produced a fair few of them. Here is an exquisite rendition of his 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' by the Norwegian singer often referred to there simply as Sissel, assisted by a young choir and orchestra:





Wednesday, 17 December 2014

CO2 Driven Climate Panic in Jeopardy: a prospect of it being disgraced even further by observation of ice variation

WUWT
WUWT has what I think is an informative and important presentation by Jim Steele.

Very much in the tradition of Hubert Lamb, he makes a plea for much better understanding of natural variation of climate as a pre-condition for being able to assess our impact on it.

He makes a plausible case that the next 10 to 20 years could be decisive in assessing the strength of human impact (via CO2 in particular) and natural variation on glacier and icecap variation.

Another reason to postpone panic over our CO2 emissions.  Unfortunately, we have had panic already, and a great deal of consequent suffering and damage to societies around the world, and indeed to the environment thanks to the headlong rush into bio-fuels and wind-turbines.  The damage to children who grew up over the last 20 years or so of intense scaremongering directed at them, and an associated promotion of contempt for industrial progress, may be the biggest harm of all.  But who can tell?  How could this be measured?  How might that damage, however extensive, be repaired?

Jim Steele notes that 'the public remains ill-informed and fearful about the causes of retreating ice'.  He presents evidence for solar, and oceanic influences being the dominant sources of variation over the past several thousands of years.

Screenshot from video
He notes the 'failed climatic interpretations' of glacier retreats on Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and Glacier National Park in the United States. Neither of them correlate with rising CO2 levels, and both can be explained by other sources of variation.  It is worth noting that 'failed climatic interpretations' would make a good sub-title for the propaganda movie 'An Inconvenient Truth' which was foisted upon schools by a government in the UK and has been widely shown in schools elsewhere as well.


Jim Steele concludes the substance of his presentation with these words:

'With the recent decline in solar flux, and the shift to cool phases of ocean oscillations, natural climate change suggests that although glacier retreat and sea level rise will likely continue for the next few decades, the rates of sea level rise and glacier retreats will slow down.

The next decade will provide the natural experiment to test the validity of competing hypotheses.
Are changes in the Earth's ice driven by natural, or by CO2-driven climate change?

I'm betting on natural climate change.'


Jim Steele's website is here: http://landscapesandcycles.net/

It is of particular interest for this blog that as well as being a director of a field centre for nature studies, Jim Steele has decades of high school teaching experience in San Francisco.  See: http://www.sfsu.edu/~sierra/Instructor_JimSteele.html

Thursday, 4 December 2014

President Obama's Last Resort? A New Propaganda Push on Children and Climate.

US News
Allie Bidwell writes at US News: 

'Perhaps unable to convince older Americans of the severity of global warming, President Barack Obama is hoping to have better luck with the next generation by turning to the classroom.


The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on Wednesday announced it will launch a new initiative aimed at climate education and literacy that will distribute science-based information – in line with the administration's position on the issue – to students, teachers and the broader public.
Educators, government officials, philanthropic leaders and those from the private sector will participate in a roundtable discussion at the White House Wednesday. The participants will focus on how to spread more resources to teachers and increase professional development and training related to climate change for educators, federal employees and informal educators, such as those working in national parks, museums, aquariums or botanic gardens. '
This is not good news.  After blundering big-time in both domestic and foreign policy issues, and with only 2 years of shelf-life left as president, Obama will have noticed that his legacy is going to be a very unflattering one.  He may now be betting on there still being lots of momentum left in the climate scaremongering movement.  He may well be right.  But, to borrow a phrase, will no one think of the children?

PS There was an announcement back on October from the OSTP*, giving a two-week window for inputs: 'Do the activities of your school, institution, organization, or company align with the call to action to enhance climate education and literacy? Send your ideas, commitments, summaries of your work in this area, or even photos of you, your students, and colleagues working to enhance climate literacy to ClimateEd@ostp.gov by November 7. 
Your input is critical to building an educated, next-generation American workforce that grasps the climate-change challenge and is equipped to seek and implement solutions. '  I dread to think what the campaigners sent them, or had already sent them since two weeks looks like a nominal gesture of 'public consultation'.  

*OSTPCongress established the Office of Science and Technology Policy in 1976 with a broad mandate to advise the President and others within the Executive Office of the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. The 1976 Act also authorizes OSTP to lead interagency efforts to develop and implement sound science and technology policies and budgets, and to work with the private sector, state and local governments, the science and higher education communities, and other nations toward this end.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Background briefing for climate teachers: false prophets and false prophecies from the cult of CO2 alarmism

What with a Nobel Peace Prize shared between the IPCC and Al Gore, and no end of awards presented by CO2 alarmists and their followers to one another, the casual observer is at risk of concluding that wise and distinguished people are leading the call for dramatic reductions in our CO2 emissions. The reality is that buffoons and charlatans, confidence tricksters and shallow opportunists, not to mention malevolent sociopaths, are in this odious vanguard. Dramatic threats of imminent doom, portentous language, terrifying imagery about what is going to happen to us are their stock in trade. A journalist has picked up on summaries of failed prophecies from such as the WUWT site, and in a recent article at The New American he notes:

'Warnings have been issued for many decades now regarding catastrophic climate change that forecasted certain trends or occurrences that we should already have witnessed. Yet such predictions have turned out to be very, very wrong. This was certainly the case with the alarmist predictions of the 1960s and ’70s that man’s activities on Earth were causing a catastrophic cooling trend that would bring on another ice age. And it is also the case with the more recent claims about catastrophic global warming. '

The examples he gives are listed below:

Global cooling – one of the eco-threats of the 1970s: FAIL (see the article for more details of each fail here and below)

Global warming – one of the eco-threats from the 1980s onwards: FAIL after FAIL after FAIL:

'In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warned that imminent sea-level rises, increased hurricanes, and desertification caused by “man-made global warming” would lead to massive population disruptions. '  FAIL

'In its final 2007 report, widely considered the “gospel” of “settled” climate “science,” the UN IPCC suggested that Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035 or sooner. ' FAIL

'Like the UN, the Pentagon commissioned a report on “climate change” that also offered some highly alarming visions of the future under “global warming.” The 2003 document, entitled “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security,” ...
By now, according to the “not implausible” scaremongering outlined in the report for a 10-year time period, the world should be a post-apocalyptic disaster zone. Among other outlandish scenarios envisioned in the report over the preceding decade: California flooded with inland seas, parts of the Netherlands “unlivable,” polar ice all but gone in the summers, and surging temperatures. Mass increases in hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters were supposed to be wreaking havoc across the globe, too. All of that would supposedly spark resource wars and all sorts of other horrors.' FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL


'For well over a decade now, climate alarmists have been claiming that snow would soon become a thing of the past. In March 2000, for example, “senior research scientist” David Viner, working at the time for the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, told the U.K. Independent that within “a few years,” snowfall would become “a very rare and exciting event” in Britain. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he was quoted as claiming in the article, headlined “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.” ' FAIL

'The IPCC has also been relentlessly hyping the snowless winter scare, along with gullible or agenda-driven politicians. In its 2001 Third Assessment Report, for example, the IPCC claimed “milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms. ' FAIL

'In 1988, Hansen was asked by journalist and author Rob Reiss how the “greenhouse effect’ would affect the neighborhood outside his window within 20 years (by 2008). “The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water,” Hansen claimed. “And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change...There will be more police cars .... [since] you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up.” In 1986, Hansen also predicted in congressional testimony that the Earth would be some two degrees warmer within 20 years. ' FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL

'Separately, another prominent alarmist, Princeton professor and lead UN IPCC author Michael Oppenheimer, made some dramatic predictions in 1990 while working as “chief scientist” for the Environmental Defense Fund. By 1995, he said then, the “greenhouse effect” would be “desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots.” By 1996, he added, the Platte River of Nebraska “would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers.” The situation would get so bad that “Mexican police will round up illegal American migrants surging into Mexico seeking work as field hands.” '  FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL

'Perhaps nowhere have the alarmists’ predictions been proven as wrong as at the Earth’s poles. In 2007, 2008, and 2009, Al Gore, the high priest for a movement described by critics as the “climate cult,’ publicly warned that the North Pole would be “ice-free” in the summer by around 2013 because of alleged “man-made global warming.” ' FAIL

'Even more embarrassing for the warmists have been trends in the Southern Hemisphere. Of course, all of the “climate models” and “climate experts” and “scientists” predicted that rising CO2 emissions would increase global temperatures, which would melt the ice in Antarctica - by far the largest mass of frozen H2O on the planet. ' FAIL

'In his second-term inaugural address, Obama also made some climate claims, saying: “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgement of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and powerful storms.” Ironically, all three of the examples he provided of what he called the “threat of climate change” actually discredit his argument. ' FAIL FAIL FAIL

The article, by journalist Alex Newman, concludes 

'Few people would make an important decision based on next week’s weather forecast. When it comes to “climate,” though, the $360 billion-per-year climate establishment is telling humanity that civilization must be reorganized from top to bottom based on failed models purporting to make predictions decades and even centuries in advance. Flawed predictions aside, a great deal of evidence suggests accuracy or truth was never the intent — generating fear to seize more money and power was (and is). Many top alarmists have admitted as much, with some responding to the implosion of their theories with calls for censorship or, more extreme still, the imprisonment, re-education, and even execution of “climate deniers.” '



So, beware of what you are letting into your classroom should you be tempted to bow to the establishment pressure to promote acute alarm over our CO2 emissions. The case for alarm over these emissions is very weak (See for example the recent NIPCC reports). On the other hand, the case for alarm over those those who promote such alarm is very strong.