Sunday, September 27, 2009

Liars, Damn Liars, and AGW Climatologists

What does one call a person who deliberately selects (cherry-picks) data to provide evidence that a pre-selected outcome occurs, when that cherry-picked data shows that the modern decades are the warmest in 1000 years? Is liar too strong a descriptor? Is it, perhaps, the only word that fits? A liar tells one thing while knowing it is untrue.

Steve McIntyre, blogger at, wrote on the deception (my word, not his), on his blog. Steve's work shows that, when the entire data set for tree-rings from very old trees is examined and included in the analysis, that the last few decades are not warmer than any in the previous 1000 years, and in fact we are near the coldest.

The IPCC reports are based on the cherry-picked data (Steve indicates that there were 10 such trees hand-picked out of at least 34 total). Steve's work on shows, yet again, that there is no science behind the "science is settled," and indeed, there is pure agenda-driven chicanery. Yet, this is the level of "science" on which California, via AB 32, other states, the USA, and other countries are embarking on a policy to curtail CO2 emissions to stop global warming.

In plain language, here is what happened: (source:, comment #4).

1- In 1998 a paper is published by Dr. Michael Mann. Then at the University of Virginia, now a Penn State climatologist, and co-authors Bradley and Hughes. The paper is named: Northern Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Millennium: Inferences, Uncertainties, and Limitations. The paper becomes known as MBH98.

The conclusion of tree ring reconstruction of climate for the past 1000 years is that we are now in the hottest period in modern history, ever.

See the graph

Steve McIntyre, a Canadian mathematician in Toronto, suspects tree rings aren’t telling a valid story with that giant uptick at the right side of the graph, implicating the 20th century as the “hottest period in 1000 years", which alarmists latch onto as proof of AGW. The graph is dubbed as the "Hockey Stick" and becomes famous worldwide. Al Gore uses it in his movie An Inconvenient Truth in the famous "elevator scene".

2- Steve attempts to replicate Michael Mann’s tree ring work in the paper MBH98, but is stymied by lack of data archiving. He sends dozens of letters over the years trying to get access to data but access is denied. McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, of the University of Guelph publish a paper in 2004 criticizing the work. A new website is formed in 2004 called Real Climate, by the people who put together the tree ring data and they denounce the scientific criticism:

3- Years go by. McIntyre is still stymied trying to get access to the original source data so that he can replicate the Mann 1998 conclusion. In 2008 Mann publishes another paper in bolstering his tree ring claim due to all of the controversy surrounding it. A Mann co-author and source of tree ring data (Professor Keith Briffa of the Hadley UK Climate Research Unit) used one of the tree ring data series (Yamal in Russia) in a paper published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 2008, which has a strict data archiving policy. Thanks to that policy, Steve McIntyre fought and won access to that data just last week.

4- Having the Yamal data in complete form, McIntyre replicates it, and discovers that one of Mann’s co-authors, Briffa, had cherry picked 10 trees data sets out of a much larger set of trees sampled in Yamal.

5- When all of the tree ring data from Yamal is plotted, the famous hockey stick disappears. Not only does it disappear, but goes negative. The conclusion is inescapable. The tree ring data was hand picked to get the desired result.

These are the relevant graphs from McIntyre showing what the newly available data demonstrates.

UPDATE 1 (Oct. 1, 2009): Dr. Briffa responds to the accusations leveled by McIntyre. This is written in high-level scientist gobbledy-gook (and people say lawyers write so nobody can understand!). What Dr. Briffa seems to be saying is that McIntyre got it wrong, that Briffa simply used the methodology of another scientist. That methodology is responsible, not him, and the 20th century warming is real. Or, my words now, is it possible that Briffa selected a methodology that he knew would provide that outcome, and other methodologies (like using all the data rather than a few hand-selected trees) would show no hockey stick? Stay tuned...this is about to get interesting!

Obama Lies and Economies Will Die

Some of my friends recently challenged my assertion that Obama lies, and in fact is the Liar-in-Chief. While every politician makes promises while campaigning that he/she likely knows will never be kept, Obama has taken this to a new art. A lie is still a lie, even when delivered in stentorian tones by a master orator. A few days ago, Obama addressed the United Nations on the subject of preventing global warming - although he used the phrase "climate change," as if that makes a difference. Odd, though, that the only type of climate change he is against is the warming kind. And, he cleverly worked in the phrase, "Yes We CAN!!" Such an orator...

Below is a list of eleven lies I found in his speech, and my response to each. Eleven lies in a short, 15 minute speech is beyond acceptable, and the saddest part is that so many people nodded in agreement with each whopper.

1. 1. the threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing (there is no threat from climate change, as warmer is much better – there is no urgency, and therefore there is no growing threat. Any changes in the climate are purely from natural causes such as solar activity, ocean basin temperature oscillations, volcanic activity, the earth's orbital variations, cloud cover. The earth has been through many climate changes before man ever discovered fire, let alone coal-fired power plants).

2. 2. we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe (nothing is irreversible except for entropy; ice ages come and go every 100,000 years, and nothing will stop the coming ice age – and it will come. )

3. 3. Rising sea levels threaten every coastline (sea level is dropping off the coast of California, and many other places)

4. 4. More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent (hurricanes world-wide are fewer in number and intensity, droughts were much worse in the past, and so were floods)

5. 5. More frequent drought and crop failures breed hunger and conflict in places where hunger and conflict already thrive. (there were bumper crops in the U.S. in the last three years; poor land management practices are causing crop failures and famines in under-developed nations)

6. 6. On shrinking islands, families are already being forced to flee their homes as climate refugees. (no islands are losing real estate, the oceans are not rising any more than in the recent past 100 years – see Hilo, Hawaii data on my blog)

7. 7. It is true that for too many years, mankind has been slow to respond to or even recognize the magnitude of the climate threat (nope, an absence of a threat requires no response, and the magnitude of man-made global warming is zero; plus, only 30 years ago the climate alarmists were shrieking that global cooling is imminent and disaster is about to overwhelm us – and look how that turned out! ).

8. 8. the United States has done more to promote clean energy and reduce carbon pollution in the last eight months than at any other time in our history. (Nope, commercializing oil, and especially natural gas in the early 20th century did much more – it freed us all from choking to death from coal soot, and air-borne dried particles of animal manure.)

9. 9. national policy aimed at both increasing fuel economy and reducing greenhouse gas pollution for all new cars and trucks -- a standard that will also save consumers money and our nation oil (nope, the high mpg cars will cost consumers much more, and will never pay for the additional cost via fuel savings).

10. 10. [The U.S. passed an] energy and climate bill in June that would finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy for American businesses (nope, energy prices will rise much more than energy use will decline, resulting in cost increases that will be passed along to customers, making each business un-competitive and forcing many into bankruptcy or to close their doors; Obama himself has stated publicly that his policies will cause electricity prices to skyrocket)

11. 11. There is no other way [referring to all nations working together to reduce GHGs] (nope, there is no need to cut GHGs, rather, there is a need to allow the free market forces to reward innovation so that renewable energy sources gradually supplant high-cost energy sources. This especially applies to oil, which is manipulated into artificially high prices by oil-rich nations hoarding, denying access to oil reserves, and only gradually selling oil so as to maintain the high prices.)

UPDATE 1 (Oct 9, 2009): A commenter (see comments section) took me to task for using "inflammatory language" that only "right-wingers" would use by saying Obama lies. Here is yet another article, completely independent of what I wrote, also stating categorically that Obama lies, and lied again during his UN climate speech. This from a Canadian news source, the Canadian Free Press. Guess I'm not the only one who notices that Obama lies - and lies repeatedly.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mandatory Bio-fuels Very Bad Idea

The U.S. now has mandatory bio-fuels requirements for gasoline and soon for diesel. This is a very bad idea and the consequences will soon be apparent.

Farmers know that farming and crop production are not reliable - some years produce good crops, other years do not. Even if a growing season is long enough and warm enough (more on that later), a bad year can be caused by (among others), flood, drought, hail, insects, and blight. Then, if none of those occur, untimely rain can cause the fields to be too wet to plant or too wet to harvest when the soil becomes too soft due to the rains. See here and here for current assessments of the farmers' plight.

A late frost can delay planting, and an early frost can ruin the crop before harvesting. Farmers made up for some of these issues by planting amazing seeds that yield many more bushels of product per acre than in the past. Proper use of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides also remove some of the risk. Irrigation also helps to ensure the proper amount of water applied at the correct times for optimal yield. Yet, no one can control the rain, or hail, or frost. So, even if a farmer does all the right things at the right time, he can still end up with no crop to sell. And, where corn for ethanol is the crop, there will be no ethanol for blending into gasoline. The same is true of crop-based bio-diesel, such as from soy beans.

This year, 2009 summer, has farmers in the U.S. Midwest anxious about an early frost. The planting season was delayed one to two weeks in many areas this year, due to inclement weather. Or was it a climate change? No matter what label it is given, the fact remains that the crops were not planted as early as usual, therefore they cannot be harvested when they normally would. If the weather predictions are true, that this winter will be severely cold and long, an early frost may occur and eliminate much of the crops this year.

There have already been several days in late August where large portions of the northern states experienced frost. A few more of those in the next two to three weeks and the ethanol for next year may be very difficult to obtain.

On the other hand, oil wells produce around the clock, with no concern for weather or climate. Refineries run 24/7, each day of the year. Natural gas is weather-independent, also, and therefore has yet another reason to be the transportation fuel of choice.

None of this should come as a surprise. At least as far back in time as Joseph of Egypt, and the Pharoah who had a dream about seven lean cows that ate seven fat cows, famines due to crop failures were known. Not much has changed, except the wisdom of the leaders and decision-makers.

The normal manner to handle variation in supply is with storage, or inventory. There is an inventory for ethanol in the U.S., and per the EIA there are approximately 14 million barrels of fuel ethanol in storage at this time. However, that represents merely 17 days of demand, given that U.S. gasoline demand is approximately 8 million barrels per day, and ethanol content is approximately 10 percent. There may be corn storage at corn refineries.

UPDATE 1 (Sept 15, 2009): An early frost prediction for late next week has corn futures rising, and corn farmers worried. "Corn is lagging in maturity with USDA estimating that only 12% of the crop is mature versus the five-year average of 37%" And so, we see the new life we live. Gasoline blended with ethanol made from corn that is not reliable due to shortened growing seasons and early frosts. Who will the government penalize, when there is not enough ethanol to meet the increasing mandates? The farmers? The ethanol refiners? The coal plants' owners for pumping out all that global-warming CO2?

UPDATE 2 (Sept 27, 2009): And the frost is on the way, tonight. Western Nebraska is predicted to have a hard freeze, which will kill crops. See image below.

UPDATE 3 (October 13, 2009) The killing freeze occurred before the crops were mature this year in the farm belt of the U.S., as shown in this article. From the article, "About a quarter of the country's corn will leave the field immature [due to the killing freeze]. As of this past weekend, about 3/4 of the nation's corn crop is fully matured, according to Tuesday's USDA Crop Progress report. That's almost 20% more than a week ago, but still almost 20% below the previous 5-year average.

Corn harvest is at a similar pace: 13% of the corn crop's out of the field, versus the previous 5-year average of 35%." It is a very good thing that there is plenty of oil for manufacturing gasoline, and natural gas for powering CNG vehicles. It is a very bad policy to rely on weather and agriculture for our nation's energy security. This year's harvest is a prime example.