News & Views – October 31, 2011

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Rising antibiotic use on farms prompts renewed push for federal restrictions – Public health advocates are renewing their push for stronger restrictions on antibiotics in food production after a Pew Health Group analysis of federal data found that their use was up 6.7 percent in 2010. (The Hill)

Usual pap from the de-developers: Stalemate over organic farming slows progress in effort to combat food insecurity in Central Africa – KIGALI, RWANDA — The polarized debate over the use of organic and inorganic practices to boost farm yields is slowing action and widespread farmer adoption of approaches that could radically transform Africa’s food security situation, according to a group of leading international scientists meeting in Kigali this week. (EurekAlert)

II: Traditional farm methods help climate adaptation – Traditional agriculture methods could help protect food supplies and make agriculture more resilient to the effects of climate change, a report by the UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) said on Monday. (Reuters)

Living Near a Fast-Food Restaurant Not Linked to Weight Gain – We often eat what’s convenient. So those who live near fast-food restaurants, you’d think, are more likely to be overweight, or to gain weight, than those who live farther away.
But that conventional wisdom — backed by some previous research — isn’t true, says a study that will be published in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology. (WSJ)

Chinese drywall issues explained to a consumer activist – The following is taken from my e-mail correspondence with a well-known consumer activist. Given her legal background, the most difficult concept for her is that conventional litigation will be of no use in this matter. (Shaw’s Eco-Logic)

Tipping point: what happens when our landfills are full? – As space in Britain’s landfills runs out, the race is on to find environmentally friendly alternatives (TDT)

If you are running out of holes it means you aren’t mining and quarrying enough.

Scientist who said climate change sceptics had been proved wrong accused of hiding truth by colleague – It was hailed as the scientific study that ended the global warming debate once and for all – the research that, in the words of its director, ‘proved you should not be a sceptic, at least not any longer’.
But today The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a leading member of Prof Muller’s team has accused him of trying to mislead the public by hiding the fact that BEST’s research shows global warming has stopped. (Mail on Sunday)

Best Confirms Global Temperature Standstill – Contrary to claims being made by the leader of the Best global temperature initiative their data confirms, and places on a firmer statistical basis, the global temperature standstill of the past ten years as seen by other groups.
Many people have now had some time to read the papers issued in preprint form from the Best project. My strong impression is that they are mostly poorly written, badly argued and at this stage unfit for submission to a major journal. Whilst I have made some comments about Best’s PR and data release strategy, I want to now look at some aspects of the data. (David Whitehouse, GWPF)

The BEST is the Worst: Global Temperature Measures Redux; Not! – Anyone who knows anything about global climate knows the Earth has generally warmed since the 1680s. Politics has made that period, which covers the Industrial Revolution, of climatic interest as people wanted to prove that human production of CO2 was causing warming. The problem, ignored by proponents, is that it has warmed naturally since the nadir of the Little Ice Age in the 1680s. The issue isn’t the warming, but the cause. (Tim Ball)

Candid Comments From Climate ScientistsUPDATE:   Paul Voosen has sent the url for his excellent article so everyone can  see the story’s quotes situated in their actual context. It is available from http://www.eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2011/10/25/1
There is  a news release by Paul Voosen on Greenwire titled
Provoked scientists try to explain lag in global warming (Tuesday, October 25, 2011)
There are some interesting quotes from climate scientists in this article that highlight a large degree of uncertainty with respect to the climate system, and the human role in it, even among scientists closely involved with the IPCC reports.  The long article focuses on the question

 ‘Why, despite steadily accumulating greenhouse gases, did the rise of the planet’s temperature stall for the past decade?”

(Roger Pielke Sr.)

IPCC warming assessments attract the activists and snub the sceptics – A LITTLE-KNOWN Canadian freelancer whowrites a short book dense with data and argument, and self-publishes a kindle version on Amazon, can hardly expect fame and fortune.
Yet this seems to be what is happening to Donna Laframboise, the author of The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken For The World’s Top Climate Expert. (Matt Ridley, The Australian)

The Tragic Befuddlement of IPCC Climate Alarmist Scientists: The Loss of ‘Global Warming’ Is Inexplicable – Read here and here. The below cartoon by Josh is perfect. The prominent and famous climate alarmist scientists are just besides themselves in their attempts to deal with the disappearance of the hypothetical CO2-induced global warming.
The growth of infighting among the UN’s favored climate scientists confirms the obvious – human CO2 emissions are not producing the alarmists’ infamous “accelerating” warming, and CO2 is not the cause of whatever climate change that they believe is actually taking place.
Aerosols_650
(C3)

A Literature Debate On The Lack Of Skill Of Global Climate Model Multi-Decadal Predictions As Reported In The Peer Reviewed Literature By Demetris Koutsoyiannis – UPDATE: The papers are now available (h/t to Dan Hughes) ; See the blue Free Access to the right edge and under the titles.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02626667.2011.610758

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02626667.2011.610759 (Roger Pielke Sr.)

U.S. Hurricanes: worse than we thought…100 years ago – This historical reanalysis by NOAA shows U.S. hurricane landfalls were much more frequent in the past. For example, did you know that the busiest U.S. hurricane season ever was in 1886? Bill McKibben, Joe Romm and other “severe weather is climate” posers won’t like this because it blows the whole “CO2 is causing more hurricanes” argument right out of the water. (WUWT)

Heh… Green groups give EPA more time on CO2 rule – Green groups said on Saturday they would give the Environmental Protection Agency more time to forge the first-ever plan to regulate carbon dioxide from power plants, the country’s single biggest source of greenhouse gases. (Reuters)

IPCC Climate Physicist Verifies Climate Model Predictions Are Worthless For Periods Longer Than A Decade – Read here. It is common knowledge that weather computer models are unreliable for accurate predictions that extend past a three day future. Climate models, which are closely related to weather models, suffer from the same non-reliable prediction issues as the longer than three day weather simulations. (C3)

Obligatory pre-CoP hand-wringer: Governments must plan for migration in response to climate change, researchers say – GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Governments around the world must be prepared for mass migrations caused by rising global temperatures or face the possibility of calamitous results, say University of Florida scientists on a research team reporting in the Oct. 28 edition of Science. (EurekAlert)

“We’re saved!” #7,394,… Super slime Cyanobacteria saviour of the planet in war on climate change – A MICROSCOPIC plant no bigger than a pinhead could be the next weapon in the war on climate change.
Cyanobacteria look like black slime and have been around since the primordial swamp.
The prehistoric organisms changed the Earth’s poisonous atmosphere by converting CO2 into oxygen, until the planet was conducive to life.
A new study has found Queensland’s dry soils teem with the stuff. (Courier-Mail)

Leaving aside the absurdity of microscopic pinheads it remains unclear why anyone gets excited about the carbon cycle anymore. Aerobic life on earth depends on atmospheric carbon dioxide and the only real associated risk is of levels falling too low. Those living in fear of DiOCarbs (O2C) should seek treatment for their phobia(s).

Global Warming Hoax Weekly Round-Up, Oct.27th 2011 – An enraged Rommulan threw a gray lady under a bus, hippies know BEST and eco-concierges are the latest accessory for the 1%, or something. (Daily Bayonet)

Deep storage: Carbon capture remains a good idea, but not much more – IN the push to tackle climate change, most attention is devoted to ditching fossil fuels for low-carbon power sources. But the fight has another prong: stripping carbon dioxide out of the smokestacks of power plants and other factories and storing it safely underground. The distinct parts of this process, known as carbon capture and storage (CCS), are already in operation. But no one has yet joined them together on an industrial scale. So it was a blow when the government recently scrapped plans to build the country’s first CCS unit at the Longannet coal-fired power station in Scotland, claiming it cost too much. (Economist)

No, throwing away about 30% of generated energy in order to bury carbon you have already expended energy digging up in the first place is really not a good idea. It’s about as stupid as it gets.

Anna Bligh’s team wastes another $116m on controversial ZeroGen clean-coal debacle – SAYONARA, Premier. Anna Bligh’s claims her bungled clean-coal dream would live on have collapsed, with the company at the centre put into liquidation at a loss to taxpayers of almost $160 million. (Patrick Lion, Courier-Mail)

It’s a good thing atmospheric CO2 is beneficial: Germany’s Energy Transition: Carbon-Free to Carbon-Full


Der Speigel asks whether Germany’s ambitious energy transition is going according to plan. From the graph above, which is for Bavaria, it looks like Germany had better stock up on carbon offsets, because something looks to give and I suspect that it won’t be the lights going out. (Roger Pielke Jr.)

Cheniere to Export LNG: The Beginning of a New Energy Era – It takes a visionary (Sharif Souki), a surfeit of US natural gas and a 4-to-1 price disparity between what the US and what other people pay and you have the makings of perhaps, if not the biggest certainly part of the biggest, energy stories for some time.
The just announced 20 year contract between BG and Cheniere to export 3.5 million tons of liquid natural gas (LNG) – a little over 500 million standard cubic feet per day- from the United States to foreign destinations is one of those announcements that was logical to make but had to actually be made and it will open the floodgates to others before too long. (Michael J. Economides, Energy Tribune)

Our coal industry is in tatters and the gas is running out. Is there an alternative? Incredibly, there really is – Beneath swathes of the UK lie billions of pounds worth of shale gas. And now we can get to it. David Rose reports on how the recession (and wind turbines) may soon be just a bad memory (Daily Mail)

‘Green’ Steel Giveaway – Detroit — Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars designated for green manufacturing are being spent on one of America’s most carbon-intensive heavy industries: Big Steel. (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

Beacon Power bankrupt; had U.S. backing like Solyndra – Beacon Power Corp filed for bankruptcy on Sunday just a year after the energy storage company received a $43 million loan guarantee from a controversial U.S. Department of Energy program. (Reuters)

Airlines ready for next battle against EU carbon law – Twenty-six nations are expected to lodge a formal protest on Wednesday against a European Union law to make airlines pay for carbon emissions — adding to transatlantic tension on an issue that has triggered a tit-for-tat bill in the Congress. (Reuters)

<chuckle> GREEN IS UGLY: STYLE PROBLEMS PLAGUE CLEAN ENERGY PUSHGermany is a world leader when it comes to green energy. But while its windmills and solar panels may be cleaning up the atmosphere, they’re also sullying the landscape.
Is staying happy and healthy as long as possible worth it in an ugly world? Or will old buildings disfigured by insulation material, landscapes spoiled by windmills and dull living rooms barely illuminated by energy efficient light bulbs end up being more unpleasant – and unhealthy – than polluted air? (Worldcrunch)

Biofuel makers lobby to save incentives – But a tight federal budget and the Solyndra failure have complicated their task. (Des Moines Register)

Government subsidy cut pulls plug on solar panels – Homeowners who decide to save money by generating their own renewable energy for the National Grid are to lose almost half their Government subsidy, prematurely published documents suggested yesterday. (Independent)

UK firm’s failed biofuel dream wrecks lives of Tanzania villagers – The collapse of Sun Biofuels has left hundreds of Tanzanians landless, jobless, and in despair for the future (The Observer)

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3 responses to “News & Views – October 31, 2011

  1. I’m all for waste incineration. It’s foolish to waste good land on burying garbage. Most metals can be profitably recycled, pretty much everything else can be burned for energy. The ash that is left makes good concrete. It’s a win-win scenario.

    For this same reason, I’m chosing cremation when I die. It’s a darn shame to waste good land on the dead when the living have so many better uses for it.

  2. The last time we had a “landfill crisis” was in the early 90’s, and the resolution was to build more landfills. Worked a treat, and we have heard nothing about the problem until recently, nearly 20 years later.

    And keep in mind that those landfills are full of useful material. It may be considered waste today, but in the future that stuff (plastics, metals, paper, fibers, etc.) will have value to society, and we will mine those landfills. For this reason we need to keep close track on where they are, and what is in them, so that future retrieval will be easier.

    Think this is far-fetched? In the late 80′ I was responsible for drilling and mining one specific landfill, and the profit was gratifying. It was a special case, but the principle is sound.

    George CPG

  3. Not a crisis, no, but it’s the principle. The same way I’m against turning farmland into housing when there is unfarmable hill country or clearing trees when you can build around them. Simply because I’m a conservative doesn’t mean I don’t want to preserve the environment, and land use is man’s primary impact on the environment.

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