Time out

Life interruptus.

Thanks to a number of things that suddenly demand all my attention, all of the time, the blog is taking a break. It might be a short break, it might be a long break. I can’t predict with any accuracy and since I’m not a climate scientist, I won’t try.

Hosting is paid up for while ahead, so the site’s safe if you need a hottie fix. And the Blogroll is replete with talent, wit and in one very special case, all the nakedry you can shake a stick at. Poor choice of words, but Soylent won’t mind.

For actual science stuff I recommend WUWT and Tallbloke. Climate Change Dispatch is a good source of AGW stories, and for snark you need Ace, or at least Ace’s commenters. And if you’re interested in just how bad a day Raj Pachauri is having, check with Minx the Merciless.

TA covers the UK, Simon at ACM has down-under covered, and Tom Nelson doesn’t miss anything, anywhere. And for pure Internet entertainment, Theo is unbeatable.

As always, thanks for reading.

Update December 2015 

The site was hacked (probably by a disgruntled hippie) and while all posts have now been restored, all images and most videos were lost. Given the age of the blog many links may be broken, navigate at your own discretion.

Oh noes, worriers worry about warming

You don’t have to be a bit crazy to believe global warming is running rampant because of a few factories and a harmless trace gas essential to life on Earth and not the giant ball of nuclear hell in the sky, but it helps:

A new study has found that many people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are worrying about the effects of climate change and global warming. Researchers from the University of Sydney looked at patients attending an anxiety disorders clinic.

They found one-third of the patients had anxiety about the effects of climate change. Their behaviours included checking and rechecking pets water bowls, light switches, taps and stoves.

Chris Mooney hardest hit.

Global Warming Hoax Weekly Round-Up, Mar. 8th 2012

The Hippie of the Week suffered a temporary case of multiple personality disorder, a Kennedy proves technology saves lives and we don’t recommend the soup down under. No, really.

Part One: Hippie of the Week

This week’s Hippie of the Week comes to you by a tip from Anthony Watts, skeptic godfather and man behind the most-read climate site in the world, after some odd behavior in the comments on this post. While hippies might see this as evidence of collusion between evil skeptics, it’s really not. Anthony simply suggested I use his recommendation, or something bad would happen to my racehorse. I don’t own any sort of horse, but when faced with an offer you can’t refuse, why look a gift hippie in the mouth?

The HOTW winner this week is Malte Humpert, Founder of the Arctic Institute. Malte disagreed with things being said about the Arctic Institute on WUWT, but felt it necessary to create sock-puppet identities to defend his case. He got caught, and made a statement on the Arctic Institute’s web page:

Updated March 10

The quote by Malte Humpert and his picture have been removed following a copyright claim by Humpert and/or the Arctic Institute.

To comply with a copyright claim by Malte Humpert, the image that was here has been replaced with this picture of a friendly donkey. Because who would complain about a pic of a nice ass?
What Humpert did at WUWT wasn’t as egregious as Peter Gleick’s illegal phishing of the Heartland Institute, but it indicates a disturbing lack of professionalism. Hippies with strong feelings about geographic areas of Gaia like the Arctic and Pacific would do better to check themselves into Institutions instead of running around founding Institutes.

Unfortunately for Malte Humpert, the efforts to disguise his personal identity at WUIWT only led to a closer look at the Arctic Institute. It turns out not to be an ivory tower filled with learned men with frostbite stories and a penchant for polar bear jerky, but Humpert’s apartment in Washington DC. Oddly, the building has a history of harboring pesky critters:

[REDACTED*] House has bed bugs. I do not think that all of the apartments are infested – but mine is! I have been covered in bites and am miserable.

Note, this is an anonymous report to bedbugregistry.com for the same address, not a report from Humpert. Probably.

Congratulations to Malte Humpert for the big HOTW win, and for being the latest victim of boomerang activism. That’s when whatever you throw comes full circle and smacks you in the back of the head when you’re not expecting it, in case you wondered.

*I’ve got the link, but there’s no reason to publish Humpert’s address.

Part Two: Warmists

Stop the world, Joe wants to get off. The Rommulan suggests we need a ‘massive and rapid deployment of zero-carbon power. It’s a nice idea, but you’ll have to make do with a massive and rapid deployment of hysteria instead:

If you want to have a serious chance at averting catastrophic global warming, then we need to start phasing out all fossil fuels as soon as possible.  Natural gas isn’t a bridge fuel from a climate perspective.  Carbon-free power is the bridge fuel until we can figure out how to go carbon negative on a large scale by the end of the century.

Unicorn futures are up.

Your web searches are increasingly powered by wind turbines. Which gives concerned parents a new angle on an old problem. Kids, every time you search for young ladies who can’t afford clothes, an eagle dies.

Et tu, Gray Lady? The New York Times finds something to like about global warming. Wait, what?

More Google – they’re busy inventing Reefview.

Australian scientists mapping the Great Barrier Reef will broadcast their findings in partnership with Google, emulating its “Street View” to spotlight the impact of climate change.

Dissolving Nemo, or Spongebob Nopants? Ocean acidification rate is unprecedented, because you’re not buying global warming so maybe this scary-sounding stuff will convince you instead:

The oceans act like a sponge to draw down excess carbon dioxide from the air; the gas reacts with seawater to form carbonic acid, which over time is neutralized by fossil carbonate shells on the seafloor. But if CO2 goes into the oceans too quickly, it can deplete the carbonate ions that corals, mollusks and some plankton need for reef and shell-building.

The EU is facing an all-out trade war over efforts to carbon-tax airlines using its airspace, but Germany blinked first.

Eating out in Oz isn’t what it used to be:

That’s right — this pop-up restaurant, which is open from March 2 through the 21st in honor of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, wants you to get all up in its custom-made toilets. The green eatery is collecting human urine and using it to fertilize soybean and canola crops. The restaurant, which is designed by Joost Bakker who is clearly a maniac, then uses unrefined canola oil to generate electricity for all of its operations.

The idea may have been inspired by President Obama’s advice to Republicans that it was time to eat your peas, but if so, something was lost in the translation to strine.

soup of the day, anyone?

America suffered a bad week for tornadoes, but as it worked to clear up the mess, Kevin Trenberth rushed to blame global warming. Because crisis. Waste. Never.

A Kennedy used Twitter to call Sen. Inhofe some names that would have brought howls of protest if anyone on the right had done the same. The good news is that in the modern world, Kennedy’s use Twitter to get themselves into trouble, not bridges and young female campaign workers.

Hey teachers, leave those kids alone.

Mauritius is to celebrate Earth Hour, but seems unclear on the concept.

Why does the Department of Energy need assault weapons and grenades? Okay, we understand the EPA is pushing serious mission creep, but this could completely redefine interdepartmental battles.

California shore birds are threatened by rising sea levels. If only they had wings.

Kiribati is negotiating to buy some land in Fiji, so that when Kiribati eventually disappears under the ocean it can live on a new threatened island. Darwin wept.

She’s back. A sure sign of a new la Laframboise post is when a picture of Raj Pachauri face down in a gutter with a bootprint on his back appears in my feed reader. This week we learn the hapless, hounded head of the IPCC has a dodgy history:

The most explosive revelation involves a 1996 Delhi High Court ruling in which a judge said he had “no hesitation in coming to the conclusion” that Pachauri and two others had “sworn to false affidavits.” The judge went on to remark that the business affairs of the non-profit convention center at the heart of the lawsuit were “not safe in the hands of officers” such as Pachauri (the judge’s ruling is backed up here).

Part Three: Inconvenient Truths

Gaia is getting a solar flare tan today, but overall the Sun has pretty much kept its hat on this cycle.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says wind farms have been wasteful of public money. Which prompts the question why he allowed Chris Huhne to build so many. The GWPF figures wind has added £45 billion to the cost of meeting the UK’s climate targets.

BRITAIN could meet its climate change targets in 2020 for £45 billion less if it abandoned wind power in favour of cheaper gas-fired power plants and nuclear reactors, an independent report has found. The saving would rise to £150 billion by 2050 because of the huge costs associated with building and running the proposed 32,000 wind turbines.

The Spectator has the best article on the daft idea of wind power, it’s long but worth the read.

La Nina isn’t going away, which might make things chilly for a while longer.

March is Earth Hour month, which naturally brings the almost Newtonian response: ‘Carbon Belch Day‘. CO2 is innocent, free it. Or something.

Parts of Australia that were warned to expect permanent drought are awash this week, and warmists are spinning faster than bird shredders in a gale to explain away their incorrect forecasts. But neither Andrew Bolt or the Internet ever forgets, the memory hole isn’t what it used to be.

Good news for the spotted owl, the Obama administration is taking action to save it. By shooting barred owls. Wait, what?

why me?

Any computer model can suffer Garbage-In, Garbage-Out errors, but it’s particularly embarrassing when the model is supposed to predict when actual garbage will show up.

Go green, kill a senior:

…rising fuel prices can in no small part be attributed to the environmental mania which is at the heart of the movement. It isn’t oil and gas companies that are killing the elderly with high fuel prices, it’s carbon mania and environmentalism.

Oh noes. Don’t blame micro-funded think tanks for the public’s refusal to buy into the global warming narrative, it’s the fault of those Big Green funders:

Environmental funders spent a whopping $10 billion between 2000 and 2009 but achieved relatively little because they failed to underwrite grassroots groups that are essential for any large-scale change, the report says.

NASA says the environmental impact of Keystone XL would be about the same as that of a large power station. James Hansen hardest hit.

Global warming is a forgotten topic in the halls of European politics.

Delingpole notices that skeptics are winning:

Something extraordinary is happening in the great Climate Wars. I had a taste of it just the other day on an LBC talk show. The producer had only booked me in for a ten-minute slot, in case the listeners weren’t interested in my boring new book about that tediously hackneyed subject Man Made Global Warming. But the switchboards were jammed and the station ended up keeping me in for a full hour to reply to all the calls.

There was one big problem though: “We can hardly find ANYONE who disagrees with you,” whispered the show’s host, Julia Hartley-Brewer. This was true. By the end, things had got so desperate that I found myself accidentally picking fights with callers who were on my side.

Part Four: Global Hottie

While Scarlett Johnasson hasn’t yet slapped a restraining order on the round-up, we’re not taking any chances. So this week, we hop over the pond to see what Britain has to offer. And we found English actress and undercover hottie, Emily Mortimer. Star of Hugo and many other movies that are probably good but we haven’t seen. Emily Mortimer, who knew?

*click*

Thanks for reading.

Polar bears to die from harmless trace gas and hail of hot lead, but mostly hail of hot lead

Richard Branson and Bo Derek have teamed up to save Canada’s polar bears from global warming:

Beauty Bo Derek and billionaire Richard Branson have joined forces to save Canada’s polar bear population from extinction. But the job won’t get done unless individuals harness their power to bring about change, according to actress Derek. …”Right now there’s such a debate on climate change — who is responsible, the science of it. There’s a lot of work to be done and I realize that. But in the meantime we must save polar bears and sharks,” Derek said.

If Bo really wanted to save polar bears, she’d quit worrying about a harmless trace gas and concentrate her efforts on pesky Chinese hunters:
CHINA’S thrill-seeking nouveau riche are being offered a $75,000 trip hunting down endangered polar bears. The hefty price tag for the 10-day expedition across the polar ice pack in Canada includes the services of a taxidermist, who turns the trophy specimens into rugs for the hunters’ living rooms.
Harking back to an era when the immediate response to a sighting of an endangered species was to bag it for posterity before heading back to the tent for a gin & tonic and damned good mustache waxing, the owner of the Beijing-based I Love Hunting Club said:
“If you believe the ice caps are melting as some claim, these bears are going to die anyway, so you may as well hunt them.”

Global warming probably isn’t much of a problem for Ursus Maritimus, but the incoming hail of Chinese lead is going to leave a mark.

Canada’s doomed, eh?

Oh noes, global warming hates Canada:

Backyard hockey rinks may become extinct in Canada if climate change goes unchecked, a renowned McGill University scientist says. “In the next 50 years, the skating season could disappear in most of the regions across Canada,” Lawrence Mysak told CTV Montreal.

If only there were indoor rinks that made it possible to skate in any weather, or even for hockey to be played in places like Miami, Tampa and Phoenix. Oh, wait.

But wait, there’s more. Simon Fraser University says no matter how much carbon Canada saves, or how many hippies wander the BC interior, we’re toast:

“Let’s be honest, it’s totally unrealistic to believe that we can stop all emissions now,” says Zickfeld, an assistant professor of geography at SFU. “Even with aggressive greenhouse gas mitigation, it will be a challenge to keep the projected global rise in temperature under 2 degrees Celsius,” emphasizes Zickfeld.

The geographer wrote the paper with Damon Matthews, a University of Concordia associate professor at the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment.

The duo used an earth system climate model developed by the University of Victoria to study the impact of greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions on the world’s climate. The study was based on emission levels that are consistent with data from the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

They used a computer model and data from the IPCC. What could possibly go wrong?

Before you panic and run for the indoor skating rinks to escape slightly milder weather, here’s the Motley CRU’s own Phil Jones on the all-important 2 degree Celsius limit:

The 2 deg C limit is talked about by a lot within Europe. It is never defined though what it means. Is it 2 deg C for the globe or for Europe? Also when is/was the base against which the 2 deg C is calculated from? I know you don’t know the answer, but I don’t either! I think it is plucked out of thin air. I think it is too high as well. If it is 2 deg C globally, this could be more in Europe – especially the northern part. A better limit might be maintaining some summer Arctic sea ice!

Climate scientists making stuff up? Say it ain’t so.

Round-Up tomorrow, unless you behave.

Dam weather

If only Australian politicians had listened to Tim Flannery’s warnings about how global warming would cause permanent drought, they wouldn’t have needed to open the spillways on the Warragamba dam this weekend.

Wait, what?

awkward

Flannery, five years ago:

Flannery predicted cities such as Brisbane would never again have dam-filling rains, as global warming had caused “a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in some areas” and made the soil too hot, “so even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems … “.

Pesky Gaia always waits five years before making fools of warmists.

It might fall to non-Australian blogs to cover stories like this in the future, because Julia Gillard wants her opposition to SHUT UP:

Mr. Ray Finkelstein QC, a left-wing former Federal Court Judge with no media experience, at the request of the Gillard Government, issued a 400 page report which calls for a Big Brother Super-Regulator to ‘regulate’ political speech and – among other things – impose new laws with the power to stop climate change realists from speaking up.

Simon of Australian Climate Madness Menzies House has set up a website to protest this move toward censorship. There is a petition, which needs signing. You know what to do.

*Corrected to attribute the protest web site to Menzies House, with apologies to Simon, who was too busy to do it, or something.

Leaf & Volt Sales: February 2012

UPDATE: General Motors swooned at the prospect of President Obama purchasing a Volt when he leaves office, and as a result, production has been halted for five weeks at the cost of 1300 lay-offs. The real reason for the suspension is that GM needs to ‘align it’s production with demand’, which in plain English means the GE purchase order hasn’t arrived yet and the supply chain is stacked worse than a casting call for Baywatch circa 1991, or something.

Thanks to long-suffering reader WTF for the link, good spot.

Original post:

Electric vehicle sales figures are out for the second month of the year, and GM handily beat Nissan by selling 1023 Volts against the Japanese auto-makers 478 Leafs.

The Volt had its fourth-best ever month while the Leaf sold the fewest units in a month since April last year. Perhaps the Superbowl ads that featured space aliens trying to figure out why an ‘electric’ car has a gas engine helped GM beat out the all-electric Leaf.

The Volt has a potential new buyer in Forbes writer Kenneth Rapoza, who admits to knowing nothing about cars but figures with gas prices hitting near-record levels that he can’t lose. Though someone should tell him the Volt actually does need gas:

The Prius gets 50 mpg’s on average. It cost just $23,000. It’s okay looking. But the Chevy Volt is even better looking, sort of like a brand new girlfriend.

If gasoline is going to $6 a gallon, as libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul thinks, and as Steve Odland considered here at Forbes last week, then I want a car that doesn’t need any gasoline at all. Oil can go to $150 a barrel and my transportation expenses won’t rise a cent. I feel like I’m beating the market, and that feels pretty good; pretty, pretty, pretty good.

GM won the GE lottery when it announced that in future, all sedan purchases by the firm would be Chevy Volts. That will help their numbers, even if there are easier ways to redistribute taxpayer dollars without investing in fiery chariots of doom pretend electric cars.

But GM look like marketing geniuses against Nissan, unless the recall of 86,000 gas-powered cars wasn’t part of a dastardly scheme to drive customers towards the battery option.

Even though sales are still rolling for both Leaf and Volt, there are still at least three good reasons why they’re still a tough sell. Still, things could be worse:

*hippie not included

Neither Chevy or Nissan is facing the level of marketing disaster currently plaguing Tesla. The electric sports car firm was forced to admit that should the battery be drained all the way, it’s no good. Forever:

If the battery is ever totally discharged, the owner is left with what Tesla describes as a “brick”: a completely immobile vehicle that cannot be started or even pushed down the street. The only known remedy is for the owner to pay Tesla approximately $40,000 to replace the entire battery.

Here’s a little something from the Video Volt. See what I did there?

..

 Check in next month for more fun with electric vehicle sales.

Space rocks and red tape

A big lump of rock is headed toward Earth:

The space rock, which is called 2011 AG5, is about 460 feet (140 meters) wide. It may come close enough to Earth in 2040 that some researchers are calling for a discussion about how to deflect it.

Talk about the asteroid was on the agenda during the 49th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), held earlier this month in Vienna.

A UN Action Team on near-Earth objects (NEOs) noted the asteroid’s repeat approaches to Earth and the possibility — however remote — that 2011 AG5 might smack into our planet 28 years from now.

If the rock of doom requires a gentle nudge away from Gaia to prevent a very bad day for Earthlings, NASA won’t be riding to the rescue. These days, NASA does dodgy weather research and outreach programs, not stuff in actual space with rockets piloted by flinty-eyed men called Buzz.

*not actual size

In the absence of NASA leadership, any effort to deflect 2011 AG5 may be left to the United Nations.  What could possibly go wrong?

First, the UN would need to determine which of its bodies has jurisdiction over the giant ball of rocky doom.

The program may be led by the Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), or the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). The Security Council would issue a strongly-worded letter to 2011-AG5, possibly even going so far as to threaten the giant ball of rock hurtling through the cosmos with a Security Resolution. That’ll show it.

In the unlikely event a Security Council letter failed to change 2011-AG5’s mind, or velocity and direction, real action will be required. But who would the UN call in for advice? Earth is 70% ocean and the rock could leave a hefty dent in the seabed, so the International Seabed Authority (ISA) may need to be included. Approximately 50% of human casualties from an impact would be female, so the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) will need to be called, because it’s sexist to assume women vaporize in the same manner as men, or something.

If a decision was made to nuke the rock out of existence before it arrived on our galactic doorstep, approval might be needed from the UN Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Organization, even though technically the mushroom cloud would be extraterrestrial. But nuking it may not be even an option in 2040 if the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) is successful in the interim. Oh, the ironing.

Assuming the worst happened and a mighty global bureaucracy somehow failed to stop 2011-AG5’s deadly progress, at least they’ll be ready to handle the consequences.  The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security, the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the  United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) would immediately call a meeting. The Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) could chair.

Even though the chance of a meteor hit is slim at best, pray for a miss, or we’re doomed.

Round-Up tomorrow, as usual.

Keystone XL: OK to TX gets OK

Transcanada Corporation is to go ahead and build a large stretch of the southern Keystone XL pipeline with the blessing of the White House.

The pipe will run from Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas. Since it does not cross an international border, State Department approval is not required. Which lets President Obama off the hook for making a decision. No wonder he approves:

“The president welcomes today’s news that TransCanada plans to build a pipeline to bring crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the Gulf of Mexico,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

The plan will “help address the bottleneck of oil” in the U.S. Midwest that has resulted from increased domestic production in areas like the Bakken oilfields of North Dakota. “We look forward to working with TransCanada to ensure that it is built in a safe, responsible and timely manner, and we commit to take every step possible to expedite the necessary federal permits,” Carney said.

The announcement came on the same day anti-energy activist Weepy Bill McKibben wrote this:

the White House continued to stand strong against Congressional efforts to force a permit for Keystone — as the president’s press secretary pointed out (in a pointed tweet) the administration’s new fuel efficiency standards for cars would save more oil than the pipeline could deliver in 45 years.

Oh noes, Weepy Bill is under the bus, and he doesn’t even know it. At least he won’t be lonely, Daryl Hannah, Mark Ruffalo and Margot Kidder can keep him company under the diesel reaper.

Here’s the obligatory Weepy Bill Google juice, Round-up reader favorite Olivia Wilde:

*click*

Fakegate: DeSmogBlog’s epic fail

You almost have to feel sorry for the folks at DeSmogBlog.

Their moment of glory after they revealed the Heartland Institute’s documents took only days to blow up in their faces, and they’ve been playing defense ever since.

Brendan DeMille is upset that the shocking admission from a once-respected scientist that he committed fraud to obtain the documents became the story, instead of the somewhat more mundane fact that an ideological entity supported people of similar ideology:

The debate about what Gleick did to acquire the internal documents from Heartland will surely rage on. It will make good fodder for university students in ethics and journalism classes for years to come.  But as Republic Report points out, it is hardly the most vital aspect of the story for mainstream media outlets to prioritize coverage on right now. That is, if the mainstream media are truly reporting what’s in the public interest, rather than chasing advertising revenue through scandal-mongering.

Note to Brendan – when the FBI is called in to investigate your source, it is the story.

Fellow DeSmogger Richard Littlemore is equally upset that Heartland outplayed the warmists at every turn since the document release:

In the last week, Heartland has been able to rely on this network – and on its own considerable skill as a propaganda machine – to deflect responsibility for the recent revelations of its own improprieties.

Most impressive, however, in Heartland’s campaign to spin this reputational catastrophe was its creation of the website www.fakegate.org.

Yet, in less than a week, it picked the its favourite meme “fakegate,” and ran up an entire website inlcuding everything from a section dedicated to inciting people to harass Heartland critics to a solicitation for funding for Heartland’s “legal defence.”

Clearly this was not a fair contest. How could DeSmogBlog expect to compete with Heartland when it came to messaging, it’s not like they’re a PR firm or anything. Oh, wait:

The DeSmogBlog team is led by Jim Hoggan, founder of James Hoggan & Associates, one of Canada’s leading public relations firms. By training a lawyer, by inclination a ski instructor and cyclist, Jim Hoggan believes that integrity and public relations should not be at odds – that a good public reputation generally flows from a record of responsible actions. His client list includes real estate development companies, high tech firms, pharmaceutical, forest industry giants, resorts and academic institutions. He is also a Board Member of the David Suzuki Foundation.

In case you were wondering, I’m pretty certain it was DeSmog who put the PR in pratfall.

For bonus comedy, here’s the strategy statement from Hoggan and Associates web page:

1.            Do the right thing.

2.            Be seen to be doing the right thing.

3.            Don’t get #1 and #2 mixed up.

We know that recognizing “the right thing” can be difficult. Sometimes what’s right is a matter of perspective. Sometimes it means taking a short-term hit to ensure long-term gain. But in a climate of mistrust, where people have learned to recognize authenticity, we believe that doing the right thing, and being seen to do the right thing, is a sure strategy for success.

Good luck with that long-term gain, hippies.

NOTE: Thanks to Anthony Watts for the link, and welcome Wattsians. I didn’t know traffic could go to 11, but it can.