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Tony Thomas: The Climate Cult’s Blackout Brigade

They perch and preen atop their grants, sinecures and self-regard, forever predicting planetary doom unless their addled sermons are heeded and the carbon-spewing sins of our modern world are expiated. When your lights next go out, blame them and the politicians on whose teats they suckle.
As Australia’s electricity systems slide towards unreliability and more blackouts – half a dozen so far, at last count – let’s pin the responsibility on the true culprits: activist climate “scientists” peddling their dodgy CO2 alarm and insane zero-emission targets.

At their forefront is the climate cabal within the Australian Academy of Science, our peak science organisation. In 2015, speaking for the Academy, they blithely recommended to the federal government that Australia embarks on “significant, urgent and sustained” emissions cuts. Their desired 2030 scenario — which remains the Academy’s policy — is for CO2 emission cuts 30-40% below 2000 levels, en route to the Academy’s desired zero- emissions regime by 2050.

I emailed the Academy the following questions about its submission:

1. I don’t see any costing of the Academy’s 2030 and 2050 targets. Can you provide me with best estimates or something on costings anyway — I assume the report authors did some work on that.

2. I don’t see any breakdown of Academy targets into solar, wind, coal, nuclear, hydro, whatever. Can you assist me by detailing such breakdowns?

3. The report has little/nothing to say about how a reliable base load electricity system will operate on your 2030 and 2050 scenarios. In light of recent events, does the Academy have any suggestions on how blackouts will be avoided as Australia moves to the desired RE [renewable energy] targets?

Th reply:

“The Academy has a broad brief across the sciences. Its Fellows step up in a voluntary capacity to write documents such as this… We don’t have the in-house expertise or resources to answer your detailed questions.”

This reply went on to list the contributors to the Academy’s submission, namely Dr John A Church FAA FTSE FAMS;

Dr Ian Allison AO; Professor Michael Bird FRSE; Professor Matthew England FAA; Professor David Karoly FAMS FAMOS; Professor Jean Palutikof; Professor Peter Rayner; and Professor Steven Sherwood.

The Academy of Science itself admits that it lacks the “in-house expertise or resources” to explain why it wants to destroy the country’s electricity security and raise the price of power to all Australians. But wow, it’s great at puffing itself. The same cabal that is clueless about the real-world impacts of its emissions recommendations bragged in their 2015 submission:

“The Academy promotes scientific excellence, disseminates scientific knowledge, and provides independent scientific advice for the benefit of Australia and the world… The Academy would be pleased to provide further information or explanation on any of the points made in this submission.” (My emphasis. But the Academy wimped out when I actually asked for such information).

The Academy has form in pandering to green nostrums.

Democrats’ Real Global Warming Fraud Revealed By Dennis T. Avery

The Democrats are devastated by their recent lost elections. They will be even more devastated as we learn the details of their massive global warming fraud.

Dr. John Bates, a former high level NOAA scientist, set off a furor by revealing that a recent NOAA paper, which claimed global warming hadn’t “paused” during the past 20 years, was fraudulent. The paper was timed to undergird Obama’s signing of the hugely expensive Paris climate agreement.

This is only a tiny fraction of the climate fraud.

Fortunately, high-tech research has finally sorted out the “mystery factor” in our recent climate changes—and it’s mostly not CO2. Even redoubling carbon dioxide, by itself, would raise earth’s temperature only 1.1 degree. That’s significant, but not dangerous.

CERN, the world’s top particle physics laboratory, just found that our big, abrupt climate changes are produced by variations in the sun’s activity. That’s the same sun the modelers had dismissed as “unchanging.” CERN says the sun’s variations interact with cosmic rays to create more or fewer of earth’s heat-shielding clouds. The IPCC had long admitted it couldn’t model clouds–and now the CERN experiment says the clouds are the earth’s thermostats!

In 2000, for example, the sun was strong, and few cosmic rays hit the earth. Therefore, skies were sunny, the earth warmed and crops grew abundantly. The Little Ice Age sun was far weaker and its heavy overcast clouds deflected more of the solar heat back into space. The earth went cold and the weather became highly unstable. Huge numbers of both humans and animals starved, due to extreme droughts, massive floods and untimely frosts.

We haven’t seen the likes of that extreme weather in the past 150 years!

Scott Pruitt’s Back-to-Basics Agenda for the EPA The new administrator plans to follow his statutory mandate—clean air and water—and to respect states’ rights. By Kimberley A. Strassel

Republican presidents tend to nominate one of two types of administrator to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. The first is the centrist—think Christie Todd Whitman (2001-03)—who might be equally at home in a Democratic administration. The other is the fierce conservative—think Anne Gorsuch (1981-83)—who views the agency in a hostile light.

Scott Pruitt, whom the Senate confirmed Friday, 52-46, doesn’t fit either mold. His focus is neither expanding nor reducing regulation. “There is no reason why EPA’s role should ebb or flow based on a particular administration, or a particular administrator,” he says. “Agencies exist to administer the law. Congress passes statutes, and those statutes are very clear on the job EPA has to do. We’re going to do that job.” You might call him an EPA originalist.

Not that environmentalists and Democrats saw it that way. His was one of President Trump’s most contentious cabinet nominations. Opponents objected that as Oklahoma’s attorney general Mr. Pruitt had sued the EPA at least 14 times. Detractors labeled him a “climate denier” and an oil-and-gas shill, intent on gutting the agency and destroying the planet. For his confirmation hearing, Mr. Pruitt sat through six theatrical hours of questions and submitted more than 1,000 written responses.

When Mr. Pruitt sat down Thursday for his first interview since his November nomination, he spent most of the time waxing enthusiastic about all the good his agency can accomplish once he refocuses it on its statutorily defined mission: working cooperatively with the states to improve water and air quality.

“We’ve made extraordinary progress on the environment over the decades, and that’s something we should celebrate,” he says. “But there is real work to be done.” What kind of work? Hitting air-quality targets, for one: “Under current measurements, some 40% of the country is still in nonattainment.” There’s also toxic waste to clean up: “We’ve got 1,300 Superfund sites and some of them have been on the list for more than three decades.”
Such work is where Washington can make a real difference. “These are issues that go directly to the health of our citizens that should be the absolute focus of this agency,” Mr. Pruitt says. “This president is a fixer, he’s an action-oriented leader, and a refocused EPA is in a great position to get results.”

That, he adds, marks a change in direction from his predecessor at the EPA, Gina McCarthy. “This past administration didn’t bother with statutes,” he says. “They displaced Congress, disregarded the law, and in general said they would act in their own way. That now ends.”

Mr. Pruitt says he expects to quickly withdraw both the Clean Power Plan (President Obama’s premier climate regulation) and the 2015 Waters of the United States rule (which asserts EPA power over every creek, pond or prairie pothole with a “significant nexus” to a “navigable waterway”). “There’s a very simple reason why this needs to happen: Because the courts have seriously called into question the legality of those rules,” Mr. Pruitt says. He would know, since his state was a party to the lawsuits that led to both the Supreme Court’s stay of the Clean Power Plan and an appeals court’s hold on the water rule.

Will the EPA regulate carbon dioxide? Mr. Pruitt says he won’t prejudge the question. “There will be a rule-making process to withdraw those rules, and that will kick off a process,” he says. “And part of that process is a very careful review of a fundamental question: Does EPA even possess the tools, under the Clean Air Act, to address this? It’s a fair question to ask if we do, or whether there in fact needs to be a congressional response to the climate issue.” Some might remember that even President Obama believed the executive branch needed express congressional authorization to regulate CO 2 —that is, until Congress said “no” and Mr. Obama turbocharged the EPA. CONTINUE AT SITE

Don’t Wimp Out on Climate If Trump doesn’t dump the Paris accord, his economic agenda is in jeopardy. By Kimberley A. Strassel

President Trump will soon turn his attention to another major campaign promise—rolling back the Obama climate agenda—and according to one quoted administration source his executive orders on that topic will “suck the air out of the room.” That’s good, but only if Team Trump finishes the job by casting into that vacuum the Paris climate accord.

That’s no longer a certainty, which ought to alarm anyone who voted for Mr. Trump in hopes of economic change. Candidate Trump correctly noted that the accord gave “foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use,” and he seemed to understand it risked undermining all his other plans. He unequivocally promised to “cancel” the deal, which the international community rushed to put into effect before the election. The Trump transition even went to work on plans to short-circuit the supposed four-year process for getting out.
That was three months ago—or approximately 93 years in Trump time. Word is that some in the White House are now aggressively pushing a wimpier approach. A pro-Paris contingent claims that quick withdrawal would cause too much international uproar. Some say leaving isn’t even necessary because the accord isn’t “binding.”

Then there’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who in his confirmation hearing said: “I think it’s important that the United States maintain its seat at the table on the conversations around how to address threats of climate change, which do require a global response.” Those are not the words of an official intent on bold action, but of a harassed oil CEO who succumbed years ago to the left’s climate protests.

Here’s the terrible risk of the wimpy approach: If the environmental left has learned anything over the past 20 years, it’s that the judicial branch is full of reliable friends. Republicans don’t share the green agenda, and the Democratic administrations that do are hampered by laws and procedures. But judges get things done. Need a snail added to the endangered species list? Want to shut down a dam? File a lawsuit with a friendly court and get immediate, binding results.

Lawsuits are already proving the main tool of the anti-Trump “resistance.” CNN reported that 11 days into his tenure, Mr. Trump had already been named in 42 new federal lawsuits. John Walke, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, told NPR that his group will litigate any Trump efforts to roll back environmental regulations. He boasted about green groups’ winning track record at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which Mr. Obama and Harry Reid packed with liberal judges.

It is certain that among the lawsuits will be one aimed at making the Paris accord enforceable. The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Myron Ebell says judges could instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to implement the deal. “If President Trump doesn’t withdraw Obama’s signature, and Congress doesn’t challenge it,” he says, “then the environmentalists stand a good chance of getting a court to rule that our Paris commitments are binding and direct EPA to make it happen.” CONTINUE AT SITE

A Climate Scientist Is Smeared for Blowing the Whistle on ‘Corrected’ Data The scandal is growing, as Congress investigates and NOAA brings in outside experts to review a key study. By Julie Kelly

Less than 72 hours after a federal whistleblower exposed shocking misconduct at a key U.S. climate agency, the CEO of the nation’s top scientific group was already dismissing the matter as no biggie. On February 7, Rush Holt, head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), told a congressional committee that allegations made by a high-level climate scientist were simply an “internal dispute between two factions” and insisted that the matter was “not the making of a big scandal.” (This was moments after Holt lectured the committee that science is “a set of principles dedicated to discovery,” and that it requires “humility in the face of evidence.” Who knew?)

Three days earlier, on February 4, John Bates, a former official with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — he was in charge of that agency’s climate-data archive — posted a lengthy account detailing how a 2015 report on global warming was mishandled. In the blog Climate Etc., Bates wrote a specific and carefully sourced 4,100-word exposé that accuses Tom Karl, his ex-colleague at NOAA, of influencing the results and release of a crucial paper that purports to refute the pause in global warming. Karl’s study was published in Science in June 2015, just a few months before world leaders would meet in Paris to agree on a costly climate change pact; the international media and climate activists cheered Karl’s report as the final word disproving the global-warming pause.

But Bates, an acclaimed expert in atmospheric sciences who left NOAA last year, says there’s a lot more to the story. He reveals that “in every aspect of the preparation and release of the datasets, . . . we find Tom Karl’s thumb on the scale pushing for, and often insisting on, decisions that maximize warming.” Karl’s report was “an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus and rush to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.” Agency protocol to properly archive data was not followed, and the computer that processed the data had suffered a “complete failure,” according to Bates. In a lengthy interview published in the Daily Mail the next day, Bates said:

They had good data from buoys. And they threw it out and “corrected” it by using the bad data from ships. You never change good data to agree with bad, but that’s what they did — so as to make it look as if the sea was warmer.

Peter O’Brien :Dreadful Heat, Dire Science, Dim Hacks

Why this media preoccupation with days over 35C? The reason is not hard to fathom: 35C is now the magic number the IPCC is using as a benchmark for ‘extreme weather’. It’s that simple — even more simple, come to think of it, than the habitues of your typical ABC or Fairfax newsroom.
It’s hard to be a CAGW sceptic. Just when you think all the ducks are lining up, at a moment when no serious person could invest the slightest credence in catastrophrianism’s sky-is-falling predictions and busted prophecies, summer gets hot, as its wont, and all the usual suspects are speed dialling boy and girl reporters to dictate the last update on the planet’s imminent, heat-addled demise. And we were so close, too, when last week’s Dreadful Heat (™) revived the climate careerists, academic fabulists, grant-snaffling rent-seekers and subsidy hogs.

Think about it: the strongest recorded El Nino only causing the globe to warm by a miniscule amount (less than the margin for error); Donald Trump elected on a promise to tear up the Paris climate agreement; new revelations about the settled science of climatological back-stabbing and skulduggery; more blackouts due in no small part to renewable energy’s impact on the electricity grid and market.

Why, even Malcolm Turnbull was extolling the virtues of coal, albeit “clean coal” and its cousin, “pumped hydro”, a prime ministerial endorsement suggesting the smart money is preparing to mine yet another corner of the public purse.

Then along comes Sydney’s ‘hottest summer on record’ to dominate the nightly news. I’m taking about NSW, but I guess it’s pretty much the same story everywhere else — apart from Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, where summer so far as been a cool disappointment for beachgoers and those who appreciate cool drinks with little umbrellas in them.

The weather soon returned to normal, but by then the doomsayers and their stenographers were off and running, yelping alarums to every sympathetic journalism-school graduate they could find. As demonstrated by today’s ABC headline, “Climate change: Scientists sad, frustrated as extreme weather becomes the new norm“, the usual suspects couldn’t have moved any faster toward the nearest microphone than if the visiting Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann was offering the hem of his garment for media slobbering.

As it happens, the press pack would have had to take a number and wait its turn, as Fairfax’s Peter Hannam was first in line — and seemingly determined not to mention anything negative about the jet-setting carbon-belcher’s dubious science, his involvement in Climategate, or the defamation action against Mark Steyn for branding a huckster and disgrace to science as exactly that. Deliciously, Hannam reported the author of so much fake news as being deeply troubled by … yes … “fake news.” You couldn’t make this stuff up, except that’s what their climate careerists and their toadies to every day of the week, twice on Sundays.

So forgive me, please, for being a little down in the mouth just at the moment, especially about the increasing tendency for alarmists (and their useful idiots in the MSM) to employ vague hyperbole in reporting weather events, thus avoiding the inconvenient truth that such record temperatures as we have been setting lately are meaningless, being smaller than the margin of error.

The Baker-Shultz Carbon-Tax Plan Is a Bad Deal for Americans The fact that it’s being proposed by Republicans doesn’t make it any more economically palatable. By Rupert Darwal See note please

Anything that James Baker proposes…is wrong….from the time that he was a student….vile man…vile Secretary of State (1989-1992)…rsk
‘Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way,” Barack Obama declared after Democrats’ disastrous losses in the 2010 midterm elections. That shellacking finally killed off the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill. From it was born the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and the Obama administration’s war on coal, in turn a contributory factor to Donald Trump’s election and Republicans’ retaining control of the Senate. Now the grandees of the Old Republican Establishment, led by former secretaries of state George Shultz and James Baker, are calling for President Trump to put the new Republican majority at risk by enacting an escalating $40-per-ton carbon tax.

Where they are right is that a carbon tax is economically superior to cap-and-trade and EPA regulation. Their proposal addresses one of the big weaknesses of the latter two approaches by preventing “carbon leakage,” the migration of energy-intensive production to developing nations. It does this by reimbursing carbon taxes incurred in making goods for export while imposing a tax on imports from countries that did not price carbon, although it glosses over the vast expansion of the IRS that would be required to make such a system watertight.

The package is topped off by giving away the entire proceeds of the carbon tax to anyone with a Social Security number. The political bet is that the lure of free money for all — a reprise of a ploy first used by environmentalists in the 1930s, when the Green Shirts marched through the streets of London demanding payment of the national dividend to all — will be enough to induce wary Republicans who opposed cap-and-trade and want the Clean Power Plan nixed to embrace carbon taxation.

All government interventions to decarbonize impose an economic penalty. The best that can be said for a carbon tax is that it is the least bad way. A government-created market distortion that discourages the use of efficient hydrocarbon energy shrinks the economy’s productivity frontier — its potential output at the current state of best practice — and subverts consumer choice, so that for the same income families are forced to consume less than they would otherwise. This in turn shrinks the Gross Domestic Product, hurting consumers and increasing the deficit — effects ignored by carbon-tax advocates.

In that regard, the Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends produced by the Climate Leadership Council is disingenuous and dishonest. An American receiving as much in carbon dividends as he pays in carbon taxes would end up worse off because the economy would be smaller and his consumer preferences suppressed. So a carbon tax would not contribute to economic growth but detract from it.

Speed Limits on Trump’s Infrastructure Drive: Federal Laws, Rare Species and Nimbys Environmental regulations and neighborhood opposition routinely bog down projects and will likely constrain the administration’s plan to spend $1 trillion on ‘highways, bridges, tunnels, airports’ By David Harrison

Almost sixty years ago, officials at California’s transportation department unveiled a plan to build a six-mile freeway extension in Los Angeles County.

They are still working on it.

During the 1960s, the road plan appeared on track. In the 1970s, new environmental laws required voluminous studies and sparked legal fights between the neighboring towns of South Pasadena and Alhambra, which lie along its intended path. The project remains under review.
“I am totally for the national and statewide environmental laws,” said Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments, who supports the extension project. Still, “sometimes it gets to be ridiculous.”
Many lawmakers and economists agree with President Donald Trump that America needs to fix a backlog of infrastructure needs, which the Transportation Department pegs at $926 billion. There’s a similar agreement that conservation and preservation laws have helped mitigate damage on neighborhoods and the environment.

A tour through of the nation’s thorniest infrastructure struggles shows how these two goals are often in conflict. As a result, long, costly reviews and legal battles will likely confront Mr. Trump’s efforts, just as they delayed much of President Barack Obama’s 2009 economic-stimulus efforts.

“You would have to fix some of these issues” said McKinsey & Co. partner Tyler Duvall, a DOT assistant secretary for policy in the George W. Bush administration, “in order to get the money into the system in a productive way.”

The president has yet to reveal details of his plan. On Jan. 24, Mr. Trump issued an executive order calling for expedited reviews on “high priority” projects. Before signing, he said: “We can’t be in an environmental process for 15 years if a bridge is going to be falling down or if a highway is crumbling.”

Any significant new infrastructure-spending package would have to clear Congress. And executive orders alone won’t do much to change a well-entrenched four-decade-old regulatory process, said Philip Howard, chairman of Common Good, a think tank favoring looser federal regulation. The White House didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The Times Manipulates the Climate Science Scandal Data By Tully Borland

If you were only to read the New York Times’ latest article on the most recent Climate Change scandal first reported by the Mail and the Daily Mail, you would never know that there was any scandal to speak of in the first place. Headline: “No Data Manipulation in 2015 Climate Study, Researchers Say.” Well, not all researchers. The background of the data manipulation story revolves around accusations made by David Bates, a recently retired scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Among his several accusations is that NOAA “rushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris agreement on climate change,” a paper which would have been welcomed with open arms by the Obama administration. On February 4, Bates wrote a lengthy blog post at his website detailing the accusations. Here is a brief list of some of the charges:

1. Climate scientist, Tom Karl, failed to archive the land temperature data set and thus also failed to “follow the policy of his own Agency [and] the guidelines in Science magazine for dataset archival and documentation.”

2. The authors also chose to “use a 90% confidence threshold for evaluating the statistical significance of surface temperature trends, instead of the standard for significance of 95%,” and according to Bates, the authors failed to give a justification for this when pressed.

3. Karl routinely “had his ‘thumb on the scale’ — in the documentation, scientific choices, and release of datasets — in an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus and rush to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.” Bates adds, “[a] NOAA NCEI supervisor remarked how it was eye-opening to watch Karl work the co-authors, mostly subtly but sometimes not, pushing choices to emphasize warming.”

4. Experimental datasets were used that were not run through operational readiness review (ORR) and were not archived.

Degrees of Delusion by Peter O’Brien

Does anybody, apart from the Prime Minister, really believe that wrecking the economy in order to combat a trace gas makes any sort of sense whatsoever. Worse than that, if are we just going through the motions to look good before the rest of the world, that isn’t working either.
First the good news if you happen to be a warmist. As of November 4, 2016, precisely 116 “parties” of 197 nations had ratified the Paris climate accord. Even better, the UNFCC website tells us that 112 of those countries submitted CO2 emissions reduction targets, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). These are generally couched in terms of percentage reductions by a pre-determined year –2030, say, against a baseline year of, say, 2005 — and the latest additions to the list mean the accord has now reached its required threshold of global support.

Ostensibly, these contributions have been crafted to help attain the goal of limiting global warming to 2C, but preferably 1.5C, above pre-industrial times. Notice the wording of the national targets. It’s bit of a giveaway. Firstly, they are ‘intended’, i.e. no guarantee they will ever be delivered. And secondly, they are ‘nationally determined’.

On what basis are they determined? This is where the rest of us get to the bad news. One would imagine, ‘climate science’ being such a settled thing, that the UNFCC, prior to the Paris meeting, would have issued some guidance as to exactly what total global CO2 reductions would be needed to meet the 2C goal. How much less CO2 must we emit? Without such guidance how do we know that our nationally determined targets are going to be effective in achieving the goals? Further, how are INDCs to be co-ordinated to maximize the chance of success?

Well, guess what! There is no such official guidance anywhere. Countries simply decided what they could afford. In other words, there is a disconnect between the goal of limiting warming to 2C and what is being promised to achieve it. I’ve written before of this but it’s worth re-visiting the subject in order to highlight the absolute vacuousness of official policy on both sides of the political divide in this country.

Imagine a NSW Premier talking to the CEO of a major construction outfit:

Premier: “We want to build a bridge across the harbour from South Head to North Head. How much will it cost?”

CEO: “How much you got?”

Premier: “We’ve budgeted for $1 billion”

CEO: “Well, give us the billion and we’ll see how far across we can get”

Premier: “Well, it’s worth a shot. When can you start?”

Sounds fanciful, right? What politician in his right mind (admittedly a dying breed) would sign up to something like that? But that’s exactly what we’re doing in relation to the vaunted Paris agreement, only the dollar costs are much bigger.