Day by Day

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cap and Trade, an Exercise in Futility


Europe’s cap-and-trade system for carbon is in the news: the price for a metric ton of carbon just fell 27% since the start of the year to a new low of $6.37, almost a dollar less than an 8.3 lb. bag of Kingsford charcoal briquettes. Still, that’s over 120 times the price per ton on the Chicago Climate Exchange just before it collapsed two years ago.

California’s carbon trading price is substantially higher at $10 per ton, but its rules don’t allow the price to fall lower.

Getting back to Europe, a UBS analyst in Paris stated: “With current rules (the European Union Emission Trading Scheme) won’t work until 2045, thus carbon is worthless.”

I wonder when the same will be said about carbon on the California market? Unfortunately, it won’t collapse soon enough to prevent higher consumer prices and the exodus of good California jobs.

James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, and one of the most virulent anthropogenic global warming crusaders in the World, thinks carbon trading is corrupt and ineffective. (It’s) a hidden tax … because cap-and-trade increases the cost of energy for the public, as utilities and other industries purchase the right to pollute with one hand, adding it to fuel prices, while with the other hand they take back most of the permit revenues from the government. Costs and profits of the trading infrastructure are also added to the public's energy bill."

"You are choosing the path focused on corporate greed," Hansen told carbon traders.

I agree with Hansen that carbon trading is useless, not just because it breeds corruption, but also is unnecessary. Climate change is natural, and no CO2-reduction scheme will result in a measurable reduction or even slowing. But that won’t stop futile efforts.

Monday, January 14, 2013

2012 Hottest? It Ain't Necessarily So


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) just announced that 2012 was the warmest continental U.S. year, but inflated the 2012 number by adding stations which didn't exist during the hotter years of the 1930s. An apples to apples comparison using only the same stations shows that 2012 wasn't even in the top ten hottest since 1920.

Previously, the NOAA claimed that 1998 was the 'hottest on record', but in a 1999 NASA article, James Hansen stated that 1998 was only the fifth warmest year, after 1934, 1921, 1931 and 1953. In fact, 1998 was 1°F cooler than 1934. However, over the past decade, NASA and NOAA have continuously altered the temperature record to cool the past and warm the present, eerily like Orwell's 1984.

The 1930s are still the warmest decade, followed in order by the 1940s, 1950s, then 2000s and 1990s.

2012 was the 11th warmest year globally since the satellite record began in 1979, near the median according to RSS AMSU satellite data. Therefore warmistas focus on 1.6% of the globe: “Because the global mean temperature in 2012 (and most of the previous years) looked so unspectacular, the media focused on a different quantity. 2012 was (inflatedly) the warmest (continental U.S.) year on record. Look at other regions such as Europe, Asia, Australia, or even the notorious Arctic, and you will see that 2012 wasn't spectacular as far as its temperature went. (Lubos Motl, Physicist, Czechoslovakia)”

The New York Times admits that although the continental U.S was warm in 2012: "Even so, the last year's record for the U.S. is not expected to translate into a global temperature record when figures are released in the coming weeks.”

And it didn’t. Global warming stayed stagnant for 16 years, and is projected to remain flat at least another five. 

Monday, January 07, 2013

Environmentalist Ignorance - GMO


A while back I told appreciative Gualala Rotarians of the benefits to mankind (and safety) of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), and criticized the ignorance and unscientific biases that resulted in the passage of Measure H, the Mendocino County GMO ban. As characterized in Wikipedia, “Mendocino is famous for being a bastion of rural counter-culture where many liberal activists and members of California’s hippie generation led a ‘back to the land movement’ during the 1970s.”
Happily, I found unlikely reinforcement from Greenpeace environmental activist Mark Lynas in his “Lecture to Oxford Farming Conference,” January 3, 2013. Lynas had significantly contributed to an unscientific and emotional environment that led governments around the world – especially Western Europe, Asia, and Africa – to ban GMOs. 
Thus spake Lynas:
“I want to start with some apologies. For the record, here and upfront, I apologize for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonizing an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.
“As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counter- productive path. I now regret it completely.
“So I guess you’ll be wondering – what happened between 1995 and now that made me not only change my mind but come here and admit it? Well, the answer is fairly simple: I discovered science, and in the process I hope I became a better environmentalist.”
His lecture is fascinating, but it's 5,000 words long, so everyone who dares risk having their ignorance confronted and expelled should read it online (http://www.marklynas.org/ ).