Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

29 July 2017

Comments on the Myth of the World-Class Cuban Medical System

Michael Moore in Sicko, Jimmy Carter, Obama, and CNN, PBS, and ABC News reporters have all praised the Cuban medical system as one of the best in the world.  Most recently, Representative Keith Ellison, also Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee, has made the same claim. An article by Humberto Fontova addresses these evaluations of the Cuban Medical System with some interesting observations.

In summary of the most interesting of these:

  • According to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, more than 75% of doctors with Cuban medical degrees cannot pass the U.S. licensing exam given by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates
  • Most Cuba-certified cannot pass the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates exam for certification as physician assistants
  • In 1958 before Cuba became a Communist regime, Cuba ranked 13th in the world in infant mortality.  Now, it is 43rd in the world, based on massive fraud in its reporting of infant mortality.  41.5% of pregnancies are ended with abortions, because any indication of a troubled birth results in an abortion, in order to keep the infant mortality rate low.  In addition, Cuban "doctors" are pressured to report the deaths of children younger than 1 year old as that of a child older than 1 year old.
  • As in all Communist nations, the finer medical facilities so often pictured in propaganda reporting are not available to most people.
With all the calls for single-payer, a means of avoiding saying government-controlled, medical systems, we should remember every instance of incompetence or downright malignancy in examples of government-controlled medical systems.

16 July 2017

The Oceans are Absorbing Large Quantities of Carbon Dioxide

Alan Siddons recently pointed out that NASA’s James Hansen has been complaining that 44% of anthropogenic CO2 goes missing EACH YEAR, but CDIAC’s data clearly show that the situation has become far worse than that from the alarmist viewpoint.  Alan Siddons found when looking at the CDIAC 2016 Global Carbon Project spreadsheet, under the Historical Budget tab, that he could graph both the annual increase in gigatons of carbon for the atmospheric CO2 concentration growth and for the change in carbon in the Ocean. The values to be discussed here do not resolve man's contribution from natures contribution.   They are totals changes in carbon dioxide in each case. The resultant profile was not what he expected.  The additional carbon dioxide dissolved in the ocean in red is compared with the additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in Alan Siddons plot below.


Since a shallow minimum in about 1840, the amount of the increase in the ocean concentration of CO2 has increased almost every year.  Generally the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has increased except for two brief periods of reductions around 1820 and 1856.  There was a strong decrease in the amount of the increase centered on about 1946.  Because the surface water layer of the oceans is attempting to come into equilibrium in their dissolved CO2 content with the atmosphere, but there is substantial exchange between the warm surface layer and the colder ocean depths, the general increase in CO2 in the atmosphere since the end of the Little Ice Age will result in more dissolved CO2 in the ocean for a given surface temperature for a long period of time.

In 2004, the additional CO2 dissolved in the oceans and other waters of the Earth was a bit more than 60% of the additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, not the 44% that was already so high in James Hansen's mind as to be a troubling indicator of the disappearance of CO2 that he expected to remain in the atmosphere.   For him, this disappearance was a problem with respect to the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis with its claims that man's emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel use and the making of cement would leave that CO2 in the atmosphere for a hundred years or thereabouts.  Basically, these high atmosphere residence times are threatened by the high solubility of CO2 in water.  At 25°C, CO2 is about 26 times more soluble in water than is molecular oxygen.

We are told by the settled science that increased atmospheric CO2 causes warming.  Yet, everyone knows that a warming ocean should release CO2, thereby adding to the CO2 in the atmosphere.  If that picture is right, do we not expect the ocean to act like a source of further CO2, rather than a sink, because CO2 in the atmosphere is supposed to warm the oceans?

Perhaps not.  Let us examine this exchange or equilibrium condition for CO2 between the ocean and the atmosphere. The mole fraction of a gas, X, dissolved in water is given by 

X = (v/RT) eH/RT P,

where v is the free volume occupied by a mole of water, T is the temperature in Kelvin, H is the heat of vaporization of the gas from water, P is the partial pressure of the gas over the water surface or in the atmosphere, and R is the gas constant, as in the Ideal Gas Law equation PV = nRT, where n is the number of moles of the gas and V is the volume of the gas.  The mole fraction is the number of dissolved gas moles in the water divided by the sum of the number of water moles and the number of gas moles.  For the low pressure cases we will be examining, the denominator is essentially the number of water moles since the number of gas moles will be much, much smaller.

Because the mole fraction of the dissolved gas decreases as the temperature increases in this formula at constant P proportional to (P/T) eH/RT , it is commonly assumed that changes in the temperature are the dominant control knob with respect to the solubility of CO2 in the oceans.  But, note that a change of the surface temperature of 0.7°from 14.65°to 15.35°
means that the ratio of the temperatures on the Kelvin scale is only 288.50K/287.80K = 1.00243.

For the sake of this thought experiment, let us assume, albeit wrongly, that the increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1850 has caused a 0.7°or 0.7 K temperature increase as the atmospheric concentration of CO2 went from 180 ppm to 400 ppm. Then a 0.7 K temperature increase to present temperatures would be due to about a 220 ppm increase in CO2 concentration using a linear relationship as the alarmists are wont to do.  It would actually take more of a CO2 increase than that due to the logarithmic saturation of the CO2 absorption of surface thermal radiation  with concentration, but let us use their numbers anyway. The present to 1850 ratio of CO2 atmospheric concentrations is 400 ppm /180 ppm = 2.22 or a 122% increase in the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere.

The Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 96th Edition, has a table for the solubility of carbon dioxide in water.  With a 5 kPa partial pressure of CO2 it says the mole fraction of CO2 is

10°C, X = 0.000048 = 48 x 10-6
15°C, X = 0.000041 = 41 x 10-6
20°C, X = 0.000035 = 35 x 10-6

Let us examine the rate of change of the mole fraction with temperature, while holding the pressure constant.  From 10 to 15°C, the rate of change is a decrease of 7 x 10-6 / 5 K and from 15 to 20°C, the rate of change is - 6 x 10-6 / 5 K.  Thus at about 15 C, the rate of change is about - 6.5 x 10-6/ 5 K = - 1.3 x 10-6 / K.  All of this is for the partial pressure of 5 kPa.

There are 101.325 kPa in one standard atmosphere.  A partial pressure of CO2 of 400 ppm is then (0.000400 atm.) (101.325 kPa/atm.) = 0.0405 kPa. Since the mole fraction X is proportional to the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere, the mole fraction X at 0.0405 kPa is much lower than this lowest partial pressure in the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics table of solubility.  We have

X = [0.0405 kPa)/ (5 kPa) ](0.000041) = 0.332 x 10-6 

at 15°C.  The rate of decrease of X near 15°C with a temperature increase at the partial pressure of 400 ppm at a temperature of 15°is then  

dX /dT = [0.0405 kPa)/ (5 kPa) ] 1.3 x 10-6 / K) = - 0.0105 x 10-6 / K.

If we increase the temperature by 0.7°as it has been claimed is the case since 1850 for the Earth's surface temperature, then near 15°the decrease in X due to the temperature increase is about ( 0.7 K ) ( - 0.0105 x 10-6 / K) = - 0.0074 x 10-6.  Consequently, the mole fraction X after the temperature increase is about 

X = 0.332 x 10-6  - 0.007 x 10-6  = 0.325 x 10-6 

due to the temperature increase of 0.7 K.  The mole fraction was therefore reduced to 97.9% of its prior value by the 0.7 K temperature increase.

But, when increasing the temperature, the partial pressure of CO2 was increased from 180 ppm to 400 ppm, an increase in the partial pressure by a factor of 2.22.  Since the mole fraction is proportional to the partial pressure of CO2, this means the mole fraction was increased by 122%, which is vastly larger than the 2% decrease due to a 0.7 C temperature increase.

Consequently, for the conditions on Earth, the oceans are a strong sink for CO2 as the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere increases.  What is more, increases in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere lead to smaller and smaller increases of the absorption of the Earth's surface thermal radiation, but the solubility of CO2 in the oceans and other waters of the Earth's surface remains proportional to the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere. Thus, for a given increase in the absorption of the Earth's surface radiation or contribution to a temperature increase by that saturating mechanism, more and more CO2 will be absorbed by the oceans for any increase in that effect.

The data that Alan Siddons plotted above shows this effect, much to the consternation of James Hansen.  The more CO2 you put in the atmosphere, the more gets sucked out of the atmosphere by the oceans and water generally, including even water bound up in minerals or soil.  The solubility of CO2 is proportional to its partial pressure, which has increased greatly, while temperature changes measured against the absolute Kelvin temperature scale are very small.  The more CO2 you put in the atmosphere, the less effect it has in absorbing further thermal radiation from the Earth's surface.  The atmospheric CO2 concentration changes are dominant compared to the temperature changes in solubility, which helps to stabilize the atmospheric CO2 concentrations and the resulting temperature.

But it is even worse than this for the alarmist cause, because Alan Siddons made another extremely critical discovery when examining the government's data on CO2 emission increases by man and comparing those annual increases with the government data on the annual increases in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.  He discovered that man's carbon dioxide emission increases each year were a small fraction of those due to natural causes.  Man's emissions are only 4 to 5% of the total annual additions of CO2 to the atmosphere averaged over the period back to 1960.  I will write much more about these findings by Alan Siddons in a future post.

Now, one's first thought about where the huge natural CO2 emissions are coming from would be that it might be the oceans, but as we saw above, the oceans are a large sink for added CO2.  They are not the source. Things are getting mighty interesting!  Scientists clearly need to spend more time learning about nature and a little less trying to damn mankind.  Unfortunately, they are clearly being paid by most governments and the UN to make a case, no matter how, that mankind is evil and determined to destroy the planet.

Of course, some of the alarmists will say, see the oceans are acidifying and isn't that just awful.  But, ocean plant life, mollusks, and coral reefs consider CO2 as much food and construction material as do land plants. They actually thrive on what is still an alkaline ocean with plenty more CO2 for shell building, reef building, and plant food.  On this subject, see: 

Washington Post and Published Research Falsely Report Largest U.S. Reef Dissolving Due to Increased CO2


08 July 2017

The crisis of integrity-deficient science



Falsifying or ignoring data that don’t support conclusions or agendas is worse than junk science
Paul Driessen

The epidemic of agenda-driven science by press release and falsification has reached crisis proportions.
In just the past week: Duke University admitted that its researchers had falsified or fabricated data that were used to get $113 million in EPA grants – and advance the agency’s air pollution and “environmental justice” programs. A New England Journal of Medicine (NJEM) article and editorial claimed the same pollutants kill people – but blatantly ignored multiple studies demonstrating that there is no significant, evidence-based relationship between fine particulates and human illness or mortality.
In an even more outrageous case, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science’s journal Science published an article whose authors violated multiple guidelines for scientific integrity. The article claimed two years of field studies in three countries show exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides reduces the ability of honeybees and wild bees to survive winters and establish new populations and hives the following year. Not only did the authors’ own data contradict that assertion – they kept extensive data out of their analysis and incorporated only what supported their (pre-determined?) conclusions.
Some 90% of these innovative neonic pesticides are applied as seed coatings, so that crops absorb the chemicals into their tissue and farmers can target only pests that feed on the crops. Neonics largely eliminate the need to spray with old-line chemicals like pyrethroids that clearly do harm bees.  But neonics have nevertheless been at the center of debate over their possible effects on bees, as well as ideological opposition in some quarters to agricultural use of neonics – or any manmade pesticides.
Laboratory studies had mixed results and were criticized for overdosing bees with far more neonics than they would ever encounter in the real world, predictably affecting their behavior and often killing them. Multiple field studies – in actual farmers’ fields – have consistently shown no adverse effects on honeybees at the colony level from realistic exposures to neonics. In fact, bees thrive in and around neonic-treated corn and canola crops in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and elsewhere.
So how did the Dr. Ben Woodcock, et al. Center for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) field studies reach such radically different conclusions? After all, the researchers set up 33 sites in fields in Germany, Hungary and England, each one with groups of honeybee or wild bee colonies in or next to oilseed rape (canola) crops. Each group involved one test field treated with fungicides, a neonic and a pyrethroid; one field treated with a different neonic and fungicides; and one “control” group by a field treated only with fungicides. They then conducted multiple data analyses throughout the two-year trial period.
Their report and Science article supposedly presented all the results of their exhaustive research. They did not. The authors fudged the data, and the “peer reviewers” and AAAS journal editors failed to spot the massive flaws. Other reviewers (herehere and here) quickly found the gross errors, lack of transparency and misrepresentations – but not before the article and press releases had gone out far and wide.
Thankfully, and ironically, the Woodcock-CEH study was funded by Syngenta and Bayer, two companies that make neonics. That meant the companies received the complete study and all 1,000 pages of data – not just the portions carefully selected by the article authors. Otherwise, all that inconvenient research information would probably still be hidden from view – and the truth would never have come out.
Most glaring, as dramatically presented in a chart that’s included in each of the reviews just cited, there were far more data sets than suggested by the Science article. In fact, there were 258 separate honeybee statistical data analyses. Of the 258, a solid 238 found no effects on bees from neonics! Seven found beneficial effects from neonics! Just nine found harmful impacts, and four had insufficient data.
Not one group of test colonies in Germany displayed harmful effects, but five benefitted from neonics. Five in Hungary showed harm, but the nosema gut fungus was prevalent in Hungarian beehives during the study period; it could have affected bee foraging behavior and caused colony losses. But Woodcock and CEH failed to mention the problem or reflect it in their analyses. Instead, they blamed neonics.
In England, four test colony groups were negatively affected by neonics, while two benefitted, and the rest showed no effects. But numerous English hives were infested with Varroa mites, which suck on bee blood and carry numerous pathogens that they transmit to bees and colonies. Along with poor beekeeping and mite control practices, Varroa could have been the reason a number of UK test colonies died out during the study – but CEH blamed neonics.
(Incredibly, even though CEH’s control hives in England were far from any possible neonic exposure, they had horrendous overwinter bee losses: 58%, compared to the UK national average of 14.5% that year, while overwinter colony losses for CEH hives were 67-79% near their neonic-treated fields.)
In sum, fully 95% of all the hives studied by CEH demonstrated no effects or benefitted from neonic exposure – but the Science magazine authors chose to ignore them, and focus on nine hives (3% of the total) which displayed harmful impacts that they attributed to neonicotinoids.
Almost as amazing, CEH analyses found that nearly 95% of the time pollen and nectar in hives showed no measurable neonic residues. Even samples taken directly from neonic-treated crops did not have residues – demonstrating that bees in the CEH trials were likely never even exposed to neonics.
How then could CEH researchers and authors come to the conclusions they did? How could they ignore the 245 out of 258 honeybee statistical data analyses that demonstrated no effects or beneficial effects from neonics? How could they focus on the nine analyses (3.4%) that showed negative effects – a number that could just as easily have been due to random consequences or their margin of error?
The sheer number of “no effect” results (92%) is consistent with what a dozen other field studies have found: that foraging on neonicotinoid-treated crops has no effect on honeybees. Why was this ignored?
Also relevant is the fact that CEH honeybee colonies near neonic-treated fields recovered from any adverse effects of their exposure to neonics before going into their winter clusters. As “super organisms,” honeybee colonies are able to metabolize many pesticides and detoxify themselves. This raises doubts about whether any different overwintering results between test colonies and controls can properly be ascribed to neonics. Woodcock, et al. should have discussed this, but failed to do so.
Finally, as The Mad Virologist pointed out, if neonics have negative impacts on bees, the effects should have been consistent across multiple locations and seed treatments. They were not. In fact, the number of bee larval cells during crop flowering periods for one neonic increased in response to seed treatments in Germany, but declined in Hungary and had no change in England. For another neonic, the response was neutral (no change) in all three countries. Something other than neonics clearly seems to be involved.
The honest, accurate conclusion would have been that exposure to neonics probably had little or no effect on the honeybees or wild bees that CEH studied. The Washington Post got that right; Science did not.
US law defines “falsification” as (among other things) “changing or omitting data or results, such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.” Woodcock and CEH clearly did that. Then the AAAS and Science failed to do basic fact-checking before publishing the article; the media parroted the press releases; and anti-pesticide factions rushed to say “the science is settled” against neonics.
The AAAS and Science need to retract the Woodcock article, apologize for misleading the nation, and publish an article that fully, fairly and accurately represents what the CEH research and other field studies actually documented. They should ban Woodcock and his coauthors from publishing future articles in Science and issue press releases explaining all these actions. The NJEM should take similar actions.
Meanwhile, Duke should be prosecuted, fined and compelled to return the fraudulently obtained funds.
Failure to do so would mean falsification and fraud have replaced integrity at the highest levels of once-respected American institutions of scientific investigation, learning and advancement.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

My Comments:

The Duke research that was funded with $113 million of EPA grants should have had active oversight by the EPA professionals who had authorized the Duke research.  This is a great deal of taxpayer money.  Those EPA employees who had this responsibility and failed to fulfill it, should lose their employment with the federal government.  Government mismanagement has to have consequences.

The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology is a United Kingdom operation.  The research was funded by Bayer CropScience and Syngenta, who ought to sue the CEH for fraud. The CEH work had been overseen by a scientific advisory board headed by Prof. Bill Sutherland of Cambridge University.  The members of that board are also culpable.


05 July 2017

Canadian Court Limits Effort of Climate Alarmists to Silence Critics by Demanding Alarmist Climate Data

The infamous "hockey stick" alarmist Prof. Michael Mann, condoned by Pennsylvania State University, tried to shut down the criticism of Dr. Tim Ball, a Canadian climatologist, by claiming that Dr. Ball had defamed him.  Dr. Ball had backed up his criticism with publicly available science and challenged Dr. Mann to make his government-funded research data available for public examination.

Many of you will remember that the ClimateGate e-mails had given rational readers good reason to suspect that Dr. Mann had cherry-picked data to create his hockey stick chart of historic temperatures. He had ignored such well-known warm periods as the Medieval Warm Period in order to claim that temperatures were flat and stable prior to the most recent decades and switched his method of determining temperatures to "hide the decline" that method yielded for more recent times.  This was referred to in the ClimateGate e-mails as Mann's Nature Trick.  For a long time, the climate alarmists used the fiction of a 1000 years of temperature stability to point a finger of guilt at mankind for the temperature increase post 1979.




This same Mann hockey stick temperature plot had played a prominent role in the UN IPCC AR3 report of 2001.  The latest UN IPCC AR5 report no longer dares to wipe out the entire Medieval Warm Period in its bloated, alarmist claims.  Even the catastrophic man-made global warming alarmists have had to back away from the Mann hockey stick temperature plot. One wonders that the data, used in such a highly touted UN IPCC report as AR3 was, has been sequestered from general examination by scientists.

Dr. Mann was required to make his climate data on which the "hockey stick" temperature plot was based available to the Canadian court.  Now Mann, despite his initiating a legal challenge against Dr. Ball, has not only not succeeded in the British Columbia courts, but is in contempt of a court order to provide the court with his publicly-funded data and research results.  Apparently, there are limits on the usefulness to CAGW alarmists in using the courts as a tool to silence challenges from other scientists.

In the U.S., the Trump administration is acting to make scientific data and research funded by the government more available for examination by other scientists.  As this data comes to be examined, we are going to find that much more scientific fraud has been committed than we now know about and that many government policies have been based on this fraudulent science.

For more on the outcome of the Dr. Mann vs. Dr. Ball court case, see this article.

Thank you Merlin for drawing my attention to this article.

02 July 2017

Throwing Away Jobs Under the Paris Climate Accord

Obama deposited about $1 billion in the Green Climate Fund for less developed nations as part of an initial U.S. payment of $3 billion he had scheduled  under the Paris Climate Accord without authorization from Congress.  This unauthorized $1 billion was the equivalent of throwing away 20,000 American jobs at $50,000 per job.  Had he managed to pilfer the full $3 billion, he would have destroyed 60,000 American jobs.

It gets worse.  The U.S. obligation for the Green Climate Fund under the Paris Climate Accord not authorized by the Senate as required by the U.S. Constitution was supposed to grow to $23 billion a year.  The rest of the developed nations were supposed to provide enough transfer money to the undeveloped nations to create an annual transfer of $100 billion a year.   The American contribution was the equivalent of destroying 460,000 American jobs.

Then on top of those plans to kill jobs, Obama and his party killed many a coal miner's job, jobs of those who transport coal, jobs of coal-fired power plant operators, jobs of those whose jobs depended on inexpensive and reliable power, and those who served all of these people with their needs.  He also prevented oil and gas drilling on public lands, prevented the building of pipelines, and planned to harass those providing us with the many benefits of the Shale Oil and Gas Revolution.  He backed mandates and unrealistic dangers to suppress fossil fuel extraction and use generally, driving up all energy costs.  His backing of the Paris Climate Accord was meant to serve as a means to apply pressure on the American people to put up with rising energy costs and the inconveniences of energy unreliability.

Obama and the Democrats sure worked hard to create American jobs!  What friends they were to the American worker.  Is it any wonder that the fraction of Americans with jobs is so low and those with jobs have gone so long without real pay increases.  The suppression of energy use was clearly going to destroy jobs and slow down the growth of future employment opportunities.  It was clearly going to reduce the growth of the American standard of living.  When you view man as the monster destroying the planet, of course you are going to want to destroy the monster.  This is exactly what Obama and the Democrats are bent on doing.  It is an intention to do great evil.

Man is not evil.  Man is the best there is in reality and the universe.  There is no other measure of the good, but that which is good for the life of each and every individual human being.  The standard of living, whether measured by human security and survival or by human flourishing, is highly dependent upon our freedom to use energy.  An article in the Washington Post a couple of days ago bemoaned the fact that low income Americans would suffer the most due to "Climate Change."  Of course, low income people are always the most vulnerable to suffering natural disasters.  They are also most vulnerable to suffering from the lost jobs I wrote about above.  They are the ones who will suffer the most in the long run if the American economy does not grow at a healthy rate.  If the American economy grows at a good and compounded rate over the years, any climate change that may happen in 2100 will be much more easily dealt with by a generally much more wealthy nation of people.  Taking advantage of our unbelievable wealth in fossil fuels to grow our economy and make all of the technological advances that allows, is the very best way to deal with the vicissitudes of nature.  Who knows, we may have another Ice Age descend on us by 2100.

Suppressing the freedom to use energy is a severely evil act.  That act is justified as a means to save nature or to save the planet, but neither is a value without man.  And, frankly, the wealthier and more developed our civilizations have become, the more they value nature and act to prevent its destruction.  This is not an either or choice.  We should not do harm to man because we are deceived into thinking it is.  Fortunately, Trump has turned away from the evils of the Paris Climate Accord.

Monumental, unsustainable environmental impacts

Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy would inflict major land, wildlife, resource damage
by Paul Driessen

Demands that the world replace fossil fuels with wind, solar and biofuel energy – to prevent supposed catastrophes caused by manmade global warming and climate change – ignore three fundamental flaws.
1) In the Real World outside the realm of computer models, the unprecedented warming and disasters are simply not happening: not with temperatures, rising seas, extreme weather or other alleged problems.
2) The process of convicting oil, gas, coal and carbon dioxide emissions of climate cataclysms has been unscientific and disingenuous. It ignores fluctuations in solar energy, cosmic rays, oceanic currents and multiple other powerful natural forces that have controlled Earth’s climate since the dawn of time, dwarfing any role played by CO2. It ignores the enormous benefits of carbon-based energy that created and still powers the modern world, and continues to lift billions out of poverty, disease and early death.
It assigns only costs to carbon dioxide emissions, and ignores how rising atmospheric levels of this plant-fertilizing molecule are reducing deserts and improving forests, grasslands, drought resistance, crop yields and human nutrition. It also ignores the huge costs inflicted by anti-carbon restrictions that drive up energy prices, kill jobs, and fall hardest on poor, minority and blue-collar families in industrialized nations – and perpetuate poverty, misery, disease, malnutrition and early death in developing countries.
3) Renewable energy proponents pay little or no attention to the land and raw material requirements, and associated environmental impacts, of wind, solar and biofuel programs on scales required to meet mankind’s current and growing energy needs, especially as poor countries improve their living standards.
We properly insist on multiple detailed studies of every oil, gas, coal, pipeline, refinery, power plant and other fossil fuel project. Until recently, however, even the most absurd catastrophic climate change claims behind renewable energy programs, mandates and subsidies could not be questioned.
Just as bad, climate campaigners, government agencies and courts have never examined the land use, raw material, energy, water, wildlife, human health and other impacts of supposed wind, solar, biofuel and battery alternatives to fossil fuels – or of the transmission lines and other systems needed to carry electricity and liquid and gaseous renewable fuels thousands of miles to cities, towns and farms.
It is essential that we conduct rigorous studies now, before pushing further ahead. The Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and Interior Department should do so immediately. States, other nations, private sector companies, think tanks and NGOs can and should do their own analyses. The studies can blithely assume these expensive, intermittent, weather-dependent alternatives can actually replace fossil fuels. But they need to assess the environmental impacts of doing so.
Renewable energy companies, industries and advocates are notorious for hiding, minimizing, obfuscating or misrepresenting their environmental and human health impacts. They demand and receive exemptions from health and endangered species laws that apply to other industries. They make promises they cannot keep about being able to safely replace fossil fuels that now provide over 80% of US and global energy.
A few articles have noted some of the serious environmental, toxic/radioactive waste, human health and child labor issues inherent in mining rare Earth and cobalt/lithium deposits. However, we now need quantitative studies – detailed, rigorous, honest, transparent, cradle-to-grave, peer-reviewed analyses.
The back-of-the-envelope calculations that follow provide a template. I cannot vouch for any of them. But our governments need to conduct full-blown studies forthwith – before they commit us to spending tens of trillions of dollars on renewable energy schemes, mandates and subsidies that could blanket continents with wind turbines, solar panels, biofuel crops and battery arrays; destroy habitats and wildlife; kill jobs, impoverish families and bankrupt economies; impair our livelihoods, living standards and liberties; and put our lives under the control of unelected, unaccountable state, federal and international rulers – without having a clue whether these supposed alternatives are remotely economical or sustainable.
Ethanol derived from corn grown on 40,000,000 acres now provides the equivalent of 10% of US gasoline – and requires billions of gallons of water, and enormous quantities of fertilizer and energy. What would it take to replace 100% of US gasoline? To replace the entire world’s motor fuels?
Solar panels on Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base generate 15 megawatts of electricity perhaps 30% of the year from 140 acres. Arizona’s Palo Verde nuclear power plant generates 900 times more electricity, from less land, some 95% of the year. Generating Palo Verde’s output via Nellis technology would require land area ten times larger than Washington, DC – and would still provide electricity unpredictably only 30% of the time. Now run those solar numbers for the 3.5 billion megawatt-hours generated nationwide in 2016.
Modern coal or gas-fired power plants use less than 300 acres to generate 600 megawatts 95% of the time. Indiana’s 600-MW Fowler Ridge wind farm covers 50,000 acres and generates electricity about 30% of the year. Calculate the turbine and acreage requirements for 3.5 billion MWH of wind electricity.
Delving more deeply, generating 20% of US electricity with wind power would require up to 185,000 1.5-MW turbines, 19,000 miles of new transmission lines, 18 million acres, and 245 million tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earths – plus fossil-fuel back-up generators for the 75-80% of the year that winds nationwide are barely blowing and the turbines are not producing electricity.
Energy analyst David Wells has calculated that replacing 160,000 teraWatt-hours of total global energy consumption with wind would require 183,400,000 turbines needing roughly: 461,000,000,000 tons of steel for the towers; 460,00,000,000 tons of steel and concrete for the foundations; 59,000,000,000 tons of copper, steel and alloys for the turbines; 738,000,000 tons of neodymium for turbine magnets; 14,700,000,000 tons of steel and complex composite materials for the nacelles; 11,000,000,000 tons of complex petroleum-based composites for the rotors; and massive quantities of other raw materials – all of which must be mined, processed, manufactured into finished products and shipped around the world.
Assuming 25 acres per turbine, the turbines would require 4,585,000,000 acres (1,855,500,000 hectares) – 1.3 times the land area of North America! Wells adds: Shipping just the iron ore to build the turbines would require nearly 3 million voyages in huge ships that would consume 13 billion tons of bunker fuel (heavy oil) in the process. And converting that ore to iron and steel would require 473 billion tons of coking coal, demanding another 1.2 million sea voyages, consuming another 6 billion tons of bunker fuel.
For sustainability disciples: Does Earth have enough of these raw materials for this transformation?
It gets worse. These numbers do not include the ultra-long transmission lines required to carry electricity from windy locations to distant cities. Moreover, Irina Slav notes, wind turbines, solar panels and solar thermal installations cannot produce high enough heat to melt silica, iron or other metals, and certainly cannot generate the required power on a reliable enough basis to operate smelters and factories.
Wind turbines (and solar panels) last just 20 years or so (less in salt water environments) – while coal, gas and nuclear power plants last 35-50 years and require far less land and raw materials. That means we would have tear down, haul away and replace far more “renewable” generators twice as often; dispose of or recycle their component parts (and toxic or radioactive wastes); and mine, process and ship more ores.
Finally, their intermittent electricity output means they couldn’t guarantee you could boil an egg, run an assembly line, surf the internet or complete a heart transplant when you need to. So we store their output in massive battery arrays, you say. OK. Let’s calculate the land, energy and raw materials for that. While we’re at it, let’s add in the requirements for building and recharging 100% electric vehicle fleets.
Then there are the bird and bat deaths, wildlife losses from destroying habitats, and human health impacts from wind turbine noise and flicker. These also need to be examined – fully and honestly – along with the effects of skyrocketing renewable energy prices on every aspect of this transition and our lives.
But for honest, evenhanded EPA and other scientists, modelers and regulators previously engaged in alarmist, biased climate chaos studies, these analyses will provide some job security. Let’s get started.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

Nearly doomed by too little CO2

During the last ice age, too little atmospheric carbon dioxide almost eradicated mankind
by Dennis T. Avery

Aside from protests by Al Gore, Leonardo Di Caprio and friends, the public didn’t seem to raise its CO2 anguish much above the Russians-election frenzy when Trump exited the Paris Climate Accords.
Statistician Bjorn Lomborg had already pointed out that the Paris CO2 emission promises would cost $100 trillion dollars that no one has, and make only a 0.05 degree [Celcius] difference in Earth’s 2100 AD temperature. Others say perhaps a 0.2 degree C difference, and even that would hold only in the highly unlikely event that all parties actually kept their voluntary pledges.
What few realize, however, is that during the last Ice Age too little CO2 in the air almost eradicated mankind. That’s when much-colder water in oceans (that were 400 feet shallower than today) sucked most of the carbon dioxide from the air; half of North America, Europe and Asia were buried under mile-high glaciers that obliterated everything in their paths; and bitterly cold temperatures further retarded plant growth.
In fact, Earth’s atmosphere had only about 180 parts per million CO2, compared to today’s 400 ppm: 0.018% then versus 0.040% today.
The Ice Age’s combined horrors – intense cold, permanent drought and CO2 starvation – killed most of the plants on Earth. Only a few trees survived, in the mildest climates. Much of the planet’s grass turned to tundra, which is much less nourishing to the herbivores prehistoric humans depended on for food and fur. Recent Cambridge University studies conclude that only about 100,000 humans were left alive worldwide when the current interglacial warming mercifully began.
The few surviving prey animals had to keep migrating to get enough food. That forced our ancestors to migrate with them, in temperatures that routinely fell to 40 degrees below zero (both Fahrenheit and Celsius). The Neanderthals had been living in relatively warm caves protected from predators by fires at the cave mouths. They had hunted their prey by sneaking through the trees – which no longer existed. They apparently couldn’t adapt, and starved. Cambridge found no evidence of genocidal warfare.
The most successful human survivors – who provided most of the DNA for modern Europeans – were nomads from the Black Sea region. The Gravettians had never had trees, so they invented mammoth-skin tents, held up by salvaged mammoth ribs. They also developed spear-throwers, to kill the huge beasts from a safe distance.
Equally important, Gravettians domesticated and bred wolves, to protect their tents from marauders, locate game animals on the broad tundra, and harry the prey into defensive clusters for easier killing. The scarcity of food in that Glacial Maximum intensified the dogs’ appreciation for the bones and bone marrow at the human camps.
When that Ice Age ended, moreover, CO2 changes didn’t lead the warming. The atmospheric CO2 only began to recover about 800 years after the warming started.
Carbon dioxide truly is “the gas of life.” The plants that feed us and wildlife can’t live without inhaling CO2, and then they exhale the oxygen that lets humans and animals keep breathing.
Our crop plants evolved about 400 million years ago, when CO2 in the atmosphere was about 5000 parts per million! Our evergreen trees and shrubs evolved about 360 million years ago, with CO2 levels at about 4,000 ppm. When our deciduous trees evolved about 160 million years ago, the CO2 level was about 2,200 ppm – still five times the current level. 
There’s little danger to humans of too much CO2 in the air they breathe. Even the Environmental Protection Agency says 1000 ppm is the safe limit for lifetime human exposure. Space shuttle CO2 alarms are set at 5,000 ppm, and the alarm in nuclear submarines is set at 8,000 ppm!
If there’s little danger of humans having too much CO2 in their air, and a real danger to civilization from having too little, what’s the ideal level of atmospheric CO2? The answer? There’s a broad safe range – with far more risk of too little than too much. At low levels, with few or no plants, there’d be no people or animals, let alone civilization.
Human numbers, moreover, expanded strongly during the Holocene Optimum, with temperatures 4 degrees C higher than today!  Even now, residents of the tropics keep demonstrating that humans can tolerate much higher temperatures than most of us experience. (As we utilize the new malaria vaccine, the tropics will prosper even more.) And far more people die from “too cold” than from “too warm.”
The crops continue to produce record yields in our “unprecedented” warming – and the extra CO2 in our air is credited with as much as 15% of that yield gain!
It’s not whether more CO2 in the air raises Earth’s temperatures. We know it does, by some small but still hotly debated amount. Both sides agree that a redoubling of CO2 in the air – by itself – would raise earth’s temperature by only about 1 degree C.
That’s hardly noticeable or measurable in the midst of all the local temperature variations, with the myriad of natural forces that govern planetary climate, with all the discrepancies among the various measuring systems, and amid all the errors, biases and missing or revised data that have crept in.
Moreover, 1 degree C of warming was obviously not enough to frighten the public.
So, the computerized models cited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made another assumption: that a hotter world would hold more moisture in its atmosphere. Since water vapor is the most effective greenhouse gas, the climate modelers claimed Earth might heat by 5 or even 10 degrees C. One scientist (who supposedly advises Pope Francis) recently claimed 12 degrees C (21 degrees F) of overheating!
The awkward truth, however, is that NASA has monitored moisture in the atmosphere since 1980 – and water vapor has not increased despite the higher levels of CO2 in the air. Is that why the IPCC models have predicted more than twice as much warming as we’ve actually seen?
The year 1936 recorded the hottest thermometer readings of any year in the last 5,000. However, these days NOAA reports only its “adjusted” temperatures, which always seem to go only higher. In fact, the first surge of human-emitted carbon dioxide after World War II should have produced the biggest surge of warming – if CO2 is the control factor. Instead temperatures went down from 1940 to 1975.
Why did the computer models fail to predict (or even factor in) either the Pacific Oscillation’s current 20-year non-warming or the coming solar sunspot minimum?
Only one model has verified itself by back-casting the temperatures and weather we’ve had over the past century. That model is from Nicola Scafetta at Duke University, and it’s based on solar, lunar and planetary cycles. The latest data from the CERN particle physics lab have also produced a model based on cycling – and it foresees no runaway warming. Instead, it sees an impending cold solar minimum.
Is the long, wrong-headed war against carbon dioxide finally fading? Science certainly says it should. But perhaps there is still too much money, prestige and power in climate alarmism for that to happen.
___________
Dennis T. Avery is an agricultural and environmental economist and a senior fellow for the Center for Global Food Issues in Virginia. He was formerly a senior analyst for the U.S. Department of State and is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years


My Comments:

"It’s not whether more CO2 in the air raises Earth’s temperatures. We know it does, by some small but still hotly debated amount. Both sides agree that a redoubling of CO2 in the air – by itself – would raise earth’s temperature by only about 1 degree C."

The first couple hundred ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere may have raised the Earth's temperatures a very little bit, but additions to the present levels probably actually cool the Earth very slightly. Initially, the additions did much more to absorb the Earth's surface thermal radiation than additions can now do. That absorption effect is logarithmic and largely saturated. The ability of CO2 to radiate energy into space from the upper troposphere and above is not at all saturated, so additional CO2 has a strong cooling effect. Because the mean free path for infrared absorption by CO2 is already short, added CO2 provides a small speed-up in the transport of energy upward through the lower atmosphere as an adjunct to thermals or the latent heat of evaporation.  In addition, CO2 absorbs some of the incoming radiation from the sun, which cools the surface, and that effect is also not as saturated as is the absorption of radiation from the surface of the Earth.  Consequently, doubling the present 400 ppm of atmospheric CO2 would most definitely not make a change in temperatures as large as 1 degree Celcius and that effect would be a cooling effect.

Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years by S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery was the first book on the issue of the climate and its cycles that I read when I started to become interested in the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.  I found it a very useful book.  While Avery is a lukewarmer, he has done great work in tamping down the alarmism on man's role on the climate and has earned my respect.  In the end, however, it will be discovered that I am right and the effects of additional CO2 are minuscule and are cooling effects at that.

30 June 2017

US funding dubious science and unfounded fear

Eco-militants that defiled scientific integrity in government agencies defy corrections
by Ron Arnold       

Donald Trump’s EPA is facing a tsunami of vitriol for trying to drain the DC swamp of rogue regulators that rule with made-to-order scientific lies and invented threats, such as its ruling that the carbon dioxide which makes life on Earth possible is a pollutant. When President Trump proposed a $1.6 billion cut from EPA’s expected $8.1 billion budget, employee screams of doomsday intimidated Congress into forking over the full gimme-gimme. In response to the specter of lost jobs and less political power, entrenched Obama holdovers have organized to sabotage Trump’s reforms in what is being called the Deep State.
Fear is palpable throughout the EPA, where secret email accounts revealed serious abuses of power, where bureaucrats dictatorially took over virtually anything wet as “Waters of the United States,” including agricultural irrigation ditches and stock watering ponds (Trump revoked that rule), and where policies that destroyed the homes and lives of thousands have been routinely based on “liberal” interpretations of federal laws and scientific research that did not stand up to critical scrutiny.
The fear evidently touched EPA “Scientific Integrity Official” Francesca [Grifo], an Obama appointee who previously oversaw the “scientific integrity program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (“an oxymoron if there ever was one,” said Forbes magazine). She postponed this year’s meeting of EPA’s scientific integrity “stakeholders” when she found out that her faithful corps of environmental activist advisors was to be joined by independent scientists approved by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
The Grifo flap and other Environmental Protection Agency problems masked a much bigger government science outrage: the $315 million scandal engulfing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This scandal further underscores why Trump’s reforms are necessary.
In March, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee probed into HHS’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the $315 million in taxpayer-funded grants awarded since 1985 to the Italian research group Ramazzini Institute. The organization is an “independent” science academy focused on cancer research into commercial products. Its output had become the subject of controversy for its fixation on “scaremongering about chemicals, artificial sweeteners and other products.”
Ramazzini’s early claim that sweetener aspartame was carcinogenic was widely panned by the European Food Safety Authority, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Italian media. Its 2016 claim that sucralose (Splenda) was linked to cancer brought similar reactions. Not surprisingly, government and scientific bodies around the world have long criticized it for using secretive, questionable science to reach politically motivated conclusions.
In 2012, EPA scientists “identified discrepancies in the results of methanol studies” conducted by Ramazzini. Similar EPA complaints from 2010 prompted Senators James Inhofe (R-OK) and David Vitter (R-LA.) to say Ramazzini’s work “is in dire need of review.”
The question remains: Who opened America’s public coffers – mostly without competitive bidding – for Ramazzini and its New York-based affiliate Collegium Ramazzini, the advocacy cooperative of scientists and researchers in the grant-gobbling Ramazzini circle?
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute (E&E Legal) confirm that the money came from HHS’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program.
Since toxicologist-microbiologist Linda Birnbaum became director of both in 2009, the two agencies provided $92 million, one third of Collegium members’ support. She herself is a Collegium member. A knowledgeable source says she got the NIEHS-NTP appointment largely because she was willing to expand the agency’s mission to include the health effects of climate change, while the other candidate for her job was not.
According to public records, Birnbaum’s NIEHS contracted with Ramazzini and its affiliates – through multiple third parties – muddying it up what services were rendered under these contracts and how they were prearranged.
Another Ramazzini fellow, Dr. Christopher Portier, a senior collaborating scientist for the anti-pesticide Environmental Defense Fund, and a well-known anti-glyphosate activist, worked for an HHS agency for 32 years. He initiated a report claiming the common weed killer glyphosate (used in Roundup herbicides) is carcinogenic. It was the only study among many that made this assertion, but activists used it to call for banning Roundup, which is often used in conjunction with genetically engineered crops to eliminate the need for weeding and tilling, thereby reducing erosion. 
The president of Collegium Ramazzini is former NIH researcher Dr. Phil Landrigan, now a professor at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. According to reports, Director Birnbaum coordinated with Dr. Landrigan to publish more than two dozen Ramazzini studies in the NIEHS-run journal, Environmental Health Perspectives. Landrigan also received substantial funding from Birnbaum’s NIEHS, E&E Legal reported.
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee continues to probe the Ramazzini morass. Backed by Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is following up on a joint letter to HHS Secretary Tom Price, requesting documents and correspondence between Ramazzini and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 
The letter noted that Birnbaum’s NIEHS “has refused to respond to [FOIA] requests seeking information related to contracts between your Department, including NIH and NEIHS, and Ramazzini.” A source familiar with the issue says a dialogue was established and is progressing.
The controversies are likely to heat up in the face of news stories saying that Aaron Blair, the scientist who led IARC’s review of glyphosate risks, deliberately withheld findings from studies of some 89,000 U.S. farm workers and family members, concluding that there was no link between cancer and exposure to the chemical. Under Blair’s direction, while he and his team for years apparently ignored evidence that contradicted that conclusion, IARC found that the weed killer was “probably carcinogenic.”
Collegium Ramazzini strongly rebuts any assault on its integrity and infallibility. Its website says its mission “is to be a bridge between the world of scientific discovery and the social and political centers which must act on the discoveries of science to protect public health.” Is this self-congratulation, a power ploy – or a subtle warning to anyone who might question its funding arrangements?
In his 1961 farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned against the military-industrial complex and included this important final caveat: “In holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
Can the Trump Administration or Congress untangle today’s web of the scientific-technological elite and, more importantly, prevent our health and agricultural policies from being driven by dubious science, unfounded fears, deliberately withheld studies, and serious potential conflicts of interest?
It would take more than plowing through mountains of paper. We would learn a lot more from public testimony taken under oath.

Ron Arnold is a widely known researcher, columnist and the author of eleven books on environmental and public policy issues.

My Comments:
"The fear evidently touched EPA “Scientific Integrity Official” Francesca [Grifo], an Obama appointee who previously oversaw the “scientific integrity program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (“an oxymoron if there ever was one,” said Forbes magazine). She postponed this year’s meeting of EPA’s scientific integrity “stakeholders” when she found out that her faithful corps of environmental activist advisors was to be joined by independent scientists approved by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt."
I was one of those rational scientists who was to attend the EPA Scientific Integrity meeting Wednesday afternoon on 14 June. I was notified of the cancellation of that meeting on Friday, the 9th of June.