Guardian finally goes batshit crazy

100ppm CO2 causes this?

The global warming narrative is going nowhere, the public are more sceptical than ever of the outrageous claims of climate scaremongers, and the combined efforts of Climategate (I and II) and Peter Gleick’s recent Heartland deceptions have exposed yet again the rotten underbelly of consensus science.

So instead of taking stock and rethinking their approach, perhaps being more frank and open about uncertainties in the science or conceding that the science isn’t as settled as they like to pretend, the headbangers have gone even further, stretching the alarmism to even more unbelievable lengths in order to get people to listen, when in fact such a course of action will have precisely the opposite effect.

Alarmists have attempted to link “global warming” to other geological phenomena in the past (see “Earthquakes linked to “climate change for example) but this time the headbangers have outdone themselves with a string of exaggerations and scares to match the best in the business:

Could it be then, that if we continue to allow greenhouse gas emissions to rise unchecked and fuel serious warming, our planet’s crust will begin to toss and turn once again?

The signs are that this is already happening. In Alaska, where climate change has propelled temperatures upwards by more than 3 degrees Celsius in the last half century, the glaciers are melting at a staggering rate, some losing up to one kilometre in thickness in the last 100 years. The reduction in weight on the crust beneath is allowing faults contained therein to slide more easily, promoting increased earthquake activity in recent decades. The permafrost that helps hold the state’s mountain peaks together is also thawing rapidly, leading to a rise in the number of giant rock and ice avalanches. In fact, in mountainous areas around the world, landslide activity is on the up; a reaction both to a general ramping-up of global temperatures and to the increasingly frequent summer heatwaves.

Whether or not Alaska proves to be the “canary in the cage” – the geological shenanigans there heralding far worse to come – depends largely upon the degree to which we are successful in reducing the ballooning greenhouse gas burden arising from our civilisation’s increasingly polluting activities, thereby keeping rising global temperatures to a couple of degrees centigrade at most. So far, it has to be said, there is little cause for optimism, emissions rocketing by almost 6 per cent in 2010 when the world economy continued to bump along the bottom. Furthermore, the failure to make any real progress on emissions control at last December’s Durban climate conference ensures that the outlook is bleak. Our response to accelerating climate change continues to be consistently asymmetric, in the sense that it is far below the level that the science says is needed if we are to have any chance of avoiding the all-pervasive devastating consequences. (source)

It’s actually funny, really. The desperation is so palpable. There’s plenty more at the link.

Who would have thought that a planet that has survived for 4.5 billion years and allowed the evolution of myriad species of plants and animals, including humans, could be so vulnerable to increasing a harmless trace gas by 100 parts per million? Sorry, no one’s listening any more, and the more this kind of nonsense is spouted as “science”, and regurgitated by complicit media like the Guardian and Fairfax, the less people will take any notice.

(h/t Bolta)

Environmentalists' hysteria over Fukushima

The way ahead for Australia

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” The Japanese earthquake, one of the worst in recorded history, and the subsequent tsunami, caused extensive damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant, but its resilience is testament to the design of the reactors and the safety of their design. That, however, doesn’t stop hysterical eco-moonbats from jumping on the bandwagon and using Fukushima as an excuse to abandon nuclear power, despite the fact it is cheap, clean and safe, and the only realistic alternative to coal.

Ian Lowe is just such a person, with frequent appearances on these pages (see here and here). Lowe is the head of the Australian Conservation Foundation (which promotes Al Gore’s Climate Project, the aim of which is to disseminate misinformation on climate to the public) and writes in the Fairfax press under the headline “No nukes now, or ever”:

There are five good [?] reasons for Australia to heed the lesson of Fukushima. [The “lesson” of Fukushima is precisely the opposite of the one you’re about to give – Ed]

THE damage to the Fukushima reactors may have ended the risk of Australia going down the nuclear path. [Translation: “ended the dream of cheap, low emissions electricity” – Ed]

In fact, despite some uninformed commentary, there has been no renaissance of nuclear energy, only a resurgence of pro-nuclear talk.

In 2008 and 2009, the world retired 3000 megawatts of old nuclear capacity and only 1000 megawatts was brought on line. In the same two years, about 60,000 megawatts of new wind power was commissioned. [60,000 megawatts of unreliable wind generators probably generates less than the 1000 megawatts of reliable nuclear, and at many times the price – Ed]

While some enthusiasts claim new nuclear reactors would not have the technical limitations of Chernobyl or be built as dangerously as Fukushima, there will always be some risk of accidents. I was calmly sitting in a Christchurch coffee shop at lunchtime on February 22. We can be glad New Zealand does not have nuclear reactors.

We simply don’t know enough about Earth to be totally confident that any specific location is safe. An accident in a nuclear power station is a much more serious risk than a problem with any form of renewable energy supply.

Where do you start? Fukushima was built on an active fault, and was designed expressly for that purpose. When a massive magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck, there was no breach of the reactor cores, no significant radiation leaks, in fact it behaved exactly what it was supposed to. Contrast this with Australia, which has very little significant earthquake activity and massive reserves of uranium – the ideal location for nuclear generation. And to seriously compare nuclear power with expensive, hopeless, unreliable, inefficient wind is nothing more than a joke. Lowe is a climate alarmist, yet still cannot bring himself to admit that if you genuinely believe the AGW scaremongering, then nuclear is the only option for electricity generation.

The idiocy of his position is summed up in the final paragraph:

The nuclear debate should be a no-brainer for Australia. There is no case for us to commit to a dangerous, slow and expensive energy option when we have such plentiful sources of safe, clean renewable energy. (source)

Delusional doesn’t come close. He genuinely and honestly believes that solar and wind can replace baseload coal and gas! Solar, that doesn’t work at night, and wind that only works when the wind blows. Words. Fail. Me.

Christopher Booker, writing in the UK Telegraph, skewers all this hysteria:

The scaremongers were certainly out in force last week, with talk of “meltdown” and claims that the Japanese nuclear power plant emergency threatened a disaster “worse than Chernobyl”. There is, of course, no parallel with Chernobyl at all. The problem at Fukushima was not the explosion of a working nuclear reactor (all its reactors had been automatically shut down). The main problem was the lack of water to cool spent fuel rods. Even if the overheating rods caught fire, the worst-case scenario was never more than that some radioactive particles, given an unfavourable wind, might reach as far as Tokyo. There was never any chance that this could compare with Chernobyl, although even the long-term effects of that 1986 disaster, as it turned out, were very much less serious than scaremongers at the time predicted.

Read it all.

ACM Comment: The retreat of reason

Astrology and pseudo-science rules

I have been thoroughly amazed at the response to the Japanese earthquake from both the public and the media, and the similarities between the reactions to that event and the hysteria surrounding climate change. I believe that what we are witnessing is a wholesale abandonment of rational thought and a retreat into astrology and pseudo-scientific, apocalyptic sooth-saying. It is as if the Enlightenment, and the triumph of rational thought and scientific enquiry over mythology and witchcraft, never happened.

Whenever there is a natural disaster, people seem to rush to blame Earth gods for “punishing humanity” for its sins against the planet, rather than analysing the situation rationally, and understanding that we live on a dynamic and dangerous planet, comprising tectonic plates moving relative to one another, resulting in earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

First came the earthquake, then the tsunami and now there’s a storm of speculation, myth and rumour.

If you believe everything you hear or read, the natural disaster in Japan is linked to climate change and was a “sign from nature”, while some even believe it’s a sign of the beginning of the end of the world.

Social networking sites are riddled with theories that the earthquake was a prophecy written in the gospel of Luke and people should prepare for “the end”.

Some are linking the September 11 terrorist attacks to the Haiti earthquake on January 11 last year to the latest disaster on March 11.

On 2UE talkback radio yesterday morning, callers were also talking about apocalypse theories.

“[There will be] thunderbolts like you’ve never heard and the whole earth will shake,” one caller said.

“19th of March, this month, is the one we have look out for.”

We are rapidly regressing into a frightening new Dark Age, an age of ignorance, scientific illiteracy, witchcraft and superstition, when such nonsense should have remained firmly in the dustbin of history. It is the same forces that drive the notion of Gaia – Earth as an organism – with enough “consciousness” to punish humanity for its wickedness. Even the theologians can see through such ridiculous notions:

Canon Scott Cowdell, an associate professor of theology at Charles Sturt University, said people always panicked after large scale disasters, but such theories did not bring out the best in people.

“I think people in the popular imagination associate God with stability and order and predictability and control and whenever those things are lost, people panic that the world’s coming to an end,” he said.

“The best instincts of Christians are not to associate God with all those things.

“Christians, at their best, don’t go looking for signs in history like this.

“Even in the gospels Jesus warned about it, he said there’d be wars and rumours of wars and all sorts of signs, but they’re not to be gone after.

“They’re not to be obsessed about.”

“There really are just things that happen.” (source)

Precisely, they are just things that happen. Earthquakes and tsunamis are what the earth does, and has done for billions of years. And the arrogance that we have to think that somehow we caused it, is utterly breathtaking.

So given the ludicrous hysteria that has accompanied the Japanese tragedy, is it any wonder that we rush to blame ourselves for climate change, despite the fact that climate has likewise changed for billions of years without humanity’s help. There seems to be this bizarre psychological and quasi-religious urge to self-flagellate and take responsibility for any disaster that befalls us, viewing it as a punishment from nature, and that we must atone for our sins by sacrificing our standards of living with carbon taxes – the modern equivalent of purchasing indulgences from the Catholic Church.

What this demonstrates, more than anything, is a horrifying ignorance in the general population about the nature and history of the planet we live on, its workings and place in the solar system, and indeed the solar system’s place in the universe as a whole. One must therefore conclude that there has been a staggering failure of our educational system to properly equip the population with the necessary scientific knowledge and tools to understand even the most basic natural phenomena. Without any concept of our insignificant role in the workings of the cosmos, our hubris grows unchecked, to the point where we believe that we can significantly influence the climate or the geology of the planet.

Benjamin Franklin must be turning in his grave.

Hippies can't decide which is worse: "carbon pollution" or nuclear power

Temple of the Anti-Hippies

Because they hate them both. They hate nuclear power because they are still stuck in the 1960’s “Nuclear Power No Thanks” bumper-sticker mentality, despite the fact that technology has advanced to the point that nuclear is the cleanest and safest form of electricity generation. And they hate “carbon pollution”, in fact harmless carbon dioxide, because they’re saving the planet. But which is worse? This is the dilemma facing the ecotards.

Now the Japanese earthquake has reignited their hatred of nuclear power because of possible incidents at a couple of nuclear facilities. So the logic goes like this: you build a nuclear power station on an active fault; everyone is surprised when the fault ruptures and damages the station; therefore, nuclear power should be abandoned everywhere. Capisce?

The BBC is flying the flag for the hippies as usual:

However, possible implications outside Japan are already beginning to emerge.

In Germany, scene of a big anti-nuclear protest on Saturday, Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen suggested that safety systems at nuclear plants would be analysed anew in the light of the Fukushima incident.

“This happened in a country with very high safety standards… the fundamental question of whether we can guard against all dangers is now open again, and we will address that question,” he said.

In the UK, the Stop Hinckley pressure group has called for a halt to a proposed new reactor at Hinckley Point in southwest England, on safety grounds.

Environment groups are beginning to feature Fukushima in their energy communications – and whatever actually happens at the site, it is likely to become a major card in campaigns to promote renewable energy above nuclear. (source)

Because obviously we could switch off all our nuclear plants tomorrow and rely on farts and sunbeams.

But as James Delingpole points out:

I’m grateful to “David” – a reader at Watts Up With That – for putting this into perspective: in the last decade the wind farm industry, it turns out, has killed far more people for far less electricity produced than the nuclear industry

Nuclear fatalities in the last ten years: 7

Wind farm fatalities [PDF] in the last ten years: 44.

In those ten years nuclear provided thirty times the energy of wind. This means in the last decade, nuclear has been around 200 times safer than wind on an energy produced/accidents basis. (source)


Devastation in Japan

Yep, you’ve guessed it. In the wake of the tragic events in Japan, a hysterical global warming activist site [ – no link because I don’t want to give that bunch of ecotards any more traffic, but you can find it yourself] has linked climate change to increased earthquakes and tsunamis. We’ve heard this before, of course, see here, but to publish so soon after such an event shows astonishing bad taste.

So far, today’s tsunami has mainly affected Japan — there are reports of up to 300 dead in the coastal city of Sendai — but future tsunamis could strike the U.S. and virtually any other coastal area of the world with equal or greater force, say scientists. In a little-heeded warning issued at a 2009 conference on the subject, experts outlined a range of mechanisms by which climate change could already be causing more earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic activity.

“When the ice is lost, the earth’s crust bounces back up again and that triggers earthquakes, which trigger submarine landslides, which cause tsunamis,” Bill McGuire, professor at University College London, told Reuters.

Melting ice masses change the pressures on the underlying earth, which can lead to earthquakes and tsunamis, but that’s just the beginning. Rising seas also change the balance of mass across earth’s surface, putting new strain on old earthquake faults, and may have been partly to blame for the devastating 2004 tsunami that struck Southeast Asia, according to experts from the China Meteorological Administration.

Never let a good crisis go to waste, right? And as Soylent Green rightly points out:

Earthquakes and tidal waves never happened before industrialisation.

These half-wits have no concept of the fact that earth is, and has always been, a dynamic planet. Earthquakes and tsunamis are what the earth does.

h/t Soylent Green [offensive language alert – he was rightly very, very angry at this]



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