Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

What UK Prime Minister David Cameron will do, and an extra thing that he should do

CON = 331 (+24), LAB = 232 (-26), SNP = 56 (+50), LIB = 8 (-47), UKP = 1 (+1), OTH = 22

CON = 331 (+24), LAB = 232 (-26), SNP = 56 (+50), LIB = 8 (-47), UKP = 1 (+1), OTH = 22

Here’s an article from the radically leftist UK Independent, which is furious with the Conservative Party victory in Thursday’s national elections.

In it, they explain what Cameron intends to do:

David Cameron will use the Conservative Party’s first majority in the House of Commons for nearly 20 years to “deliver” on a radical agenda to cut welfare, shrink the size of the state and re-define Britain’s relationship with Europe.

Conservative insiders said Mr Cameron would move to the right to consolidate support among his backbench MPs after five years of compromise with the Liberal Democrats.

Among Mr Cameron’s first legislative priorities will be to enshrine an EU referendum into law, bring in the so-called ‘snoopers charter’ to give police greater powers to monitor internet communications and give English MPs a veto over legislation only affecting England.  The Tories also intend to publish plans to scrap the Human Rights Act within their first 100 days. All proposals had been previously blocked by the Lib Dems.

I always think of the UK as the biggest dupes when it comes to global warming, especially after the Climategate e-mails came out showing that that there was a concerted effort to falsify data and persecute global warming skeptics. But, like Canada’s Conservative Party, the UK Conservative Party is taking a stand against the pseudo-science.

Look:

As well as deep welfare cuts The Independent understands that the Department of Business and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, previously run by the Lib Dems, will be among the biggest casualties in terms of spending reductions.

Oliver Letwin, the Tories’ policy chief, has spent the campaign in Whitehall drawing up proposals to merge quangos and slash Government regulation. These are likely to form a key part of the spending review. The review has been made more difficult by Mr Cameron’s late and unexpected election pledge to find an extra £8bn for the NHS. This has yet to be funded and if the Tories stick to their other tax and spending commitments could require further cuts. Most senior Tories had expected to be negotiating another coalition agreement with the Liberal Democrats, giving them the flexibility to raise taxes to fund their additional spending commitments. As it is they are now bound to implement legislation binding the Government not to increase income tax, national insurance or VAT rates for the next five years.

Quangos are “quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations”. Abolishing or merging these will put a serious dent in government over-spending – and overreach.

The Democratic Unionist Party factor

Cameron would do well to add the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) members to his coalition. Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan says that “On immigration, on constitutional reform, on defence, on Europe, on rural issues, on education, on law and order, the DUP is, well, conservative.”The Conservatives need 323 seats to govern. They have 331 by themselves, and 8 more would help them in case there are any rebellions from within their own ranks. If he can get the lone UKIP member on board, that would help too, giving him a majority of 340.

More about the DUP:

The DUP bills itself as “right-wing in the sense of being strong on the constitution”, but “to the left on social policy”. The party’s members show a strong leaning towards the Conservatives, Professor Jonathan Tonge notes, backing them by a ratio of seven to one over Labour. The DUP also back the Conservatives on areas like Europe, with Nigel Dodds insisting that any coalition they are involved in would need to offer an EU referendum.

[…]The DUP, which has close links to the Dr Paisley’s Free Presbyterian Church, has frequently sparked controversy for how it discusses homosexuality. This has led to David Cameron facing tough questions earlier this month during a Q&A when one audience member wanted him to vow not to go into coalition with the DUP because of its views on LGBT rights, something he refused to rule out.

[…]The DUP also oppose the right of women to an abortion, with Jim Wells saying it should be ruled out for rape victims. The party has also called for a parliamentary debate on resinstating the death penalty.

It sounds like they are even further right than Cameron, which is good, because Cameron is what Americans would call a RINO.

Give Scotland enough rope to hang itself

But the most important thing for Cameron to do is to give Scotland full fiscal autonomy.

This is even something that the SNP leader wants:

Nicola Sturgeon was forced to admit in the second Scottish leaders’ debate that her MPs would be prepared to vote next year for full fiscal autonomy, which according to experts would make Scotland £7.6 billion worse off.

[…]In March, she suggested it might not happen straightaway as she faced claims it would cost almost 140,000 jobs and leave Scotland with a higher deficit than Spain.

[…]It would mean Scotland opting out of the Barnett Formula which currently sets Scotland’s public spending block grant, and gives Scots around £1,200 extra per head.

[…]In March, Ms Sturgeon dismissed warnings from the impartial Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) that her general election demand for full fiscal autonomy would create a multi-billion pound financial black hole in Scotland’s finances.

Daniel Hannan thinks this would be a great idea:

Commentators struggle to explain the rise of the SNP: why, seven months after rejecting separation, should Scots turn to the separatist party? Those commentators miss the point. The SNP knows fine well (as Scots say) that opinion has not moved on the independence issue. Nicola Sturgeon had to keep promising that there’d be no re-run of the vote.

No, the SNP is better understood as Scotland’s version of Greece’s Syriza or Spain’s Podemos – a far-Left, populist insurgency. Like those parties, it has a touching belief in its ability to conjure wealth through alchemy.

[…]There is a very weak link in Scotland between taxation, representation and expenditure. Because of the Barnett Formula, Scottish politicians get to spend money that has been raised through taxation elsewhere. This incentivises their constituents to vote for high-spending parties. Over time, that tendency has become self-reinforcing to the extent that the very act of calling for fiscal restraint is seen as alien, un-Scottish.

Not all Scots are on the Left, obviously. There are some free-marketeers in the land of Adam Smith. But the prevailing assumption among Holyrood politicians and pundits is that higher spending is a defining national characteristic. They don’t use those words, of course. They say, “We’re a compassionate, fair-minded people”. But it’s what they mean.

What can be done about it? Well, the SNP demands full fiscal autonomy, and David Cameron should hurry to meet that demand. Partly because linking taxation to expenditure north of the border might allow a revival, over time, of Right-of-Centre politics in Scotland. Partly because the measure will also be popular with English taxpayers. Partly, too, because, without such a reform, separatism will revive. And partly because greater autonomy for Scotland could bring about a new, devolved settlement for the entire United Kingdom, something that is long overdue. Mainly, though, because most Scots say they want it, and the SNP has won an unarguable mandate. What are we waiting for?

The Scottish electorate – by and large – make Greek socialists like Tsipras / Syriza appear fiscally prudent. They need to find out how economics works the hard way. Let them make their own decisions, and maybe when they are picking leaves off of trees to feed themselves in a few years, they will come to their senses and be ready to deal. It’s very important for people who are led by their feelings and who pursue dreams against reality to crash and burn, so that they understand the value of practical people who have worked hard, saved and played by the rules.

The Scots are voting for slogans like “stop austerity” without any idea of how difficult working and saving really is for taxpayers, of which there are precious few in Scotland. Let them face the consequences of their own folly, and then come back to the negotiating table with a weaker hand, just as Greece is doing now. Maybe if Cameron does this in the UK, it will inspire Harper to do the same with Quebec in Canada. Just give Quebec full fiscal autonomy and then cut off the equalization payments that allow them to live far beyond their means. Make them grow up.

One thing is for sure. The UK electorate (aside from Scotland and Wales) has impressed me. This is the beginning of a period of liberty, prosperity and security for the UK, and I for one am envious that they are getting a head start on it, while we have to wait another year and a half before we join them by electing a Republican president, and holding the House and Senate.

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How accurate are past global warming predictions ?

I like this article from The Stream, which lists a bunch of failed predictions by global warming socialists.

Here’s the list:

  1. 2015 is the ‘last effective opportunity’ to stop catastrophic warming
  2. France’s foreign minister said we only have “500 days” to stop “climate chaos”
  3. President Barack Obama is the last chance to stop global warming
  4. Remember when we had “hours” to stop global warming?
  5. United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown said there was only 50 days left to save Earth
  6. Let’s not forget Prince Charles’s warning we only had 96 months to save the planet
  7. The U.N.’s top climate scientist said in 2007 we only had four years to save the world
  8. Environmentalists warned in 2002 the world had a decade to go green
  9. The “tipping point” warning first started in 1989

Here are the 3 I thought were the worst:

7. The U.N.’s top climate scientist said in 2007 we only had four years to save the world

Rajendra Pachauri, the former head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in 2007 that if “there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late.”

“What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment,” he said.

Well, it’s 2015 and no new U.N. climate treaty has been presented. The only thing that’s changed since then is that Pachauri was forced to resign earlier this year amid accusations he sexually harassed multiple female coworkers

8. Environmentalists warned in 2002 the world had a decade to go green

Environmentalist write George Monbiot wrote in the UK Guardian that within “as little as 10 years, the world will be faced with a choice: arable farming either continues to feed the world’s animals or it continues to feed the world’s people. It cannot do both.”

In 2002, about 930 million people around the world were undernourished, according to U.N. data. by 2014, that number shrank to 805 million. Sorry, Monbiot.

9. The “tipping point” warning first started in 1989

In the late 1980s the U.N. was already claiming the world had only a decade to solve global warming or face the consequences.

The San Jose Mercury News reported on June 30, 1989 that a “senior environmental official at the United Nations, Noel Brown, says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000.”

That prediction didn’t come true 15 years ago, and the U.N. is sounding the same alarm today.

Should we believe the global warming socialists? Based on past predictions, we should not. And we especially should not because current levels of solar activity – which is the actual cause of climate change – are extremely low. It’s getting colder, not warmer.

 

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IPCC chief resigns over scandals, declares global warming “is my religion”

Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri

Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri

This is from the pro-global-warming Scientific American.

It says:

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), resigned today following accusations of sexual harassment by a former employee at the energy think tank he heads in New Delhi.

The United Nations’ climate science body, which is currently meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, will now be headed temporarily by Vice Chairman Ismail El Gizouli.

Pachauri, 74, did not travel to Nairobi this week for the IPCC meeting due to a police investigation into a complaint filed Feb. 13 by a 29-year-old employee. According to to the complaint, she accused Pachauri of sending text messages and emails since September 2013 that were inappropriate (ClimateWire, Feb. 19).

Since then, at least one other former employee has leveled similar accusations at Pachauri through Indian media.

[…]Pachauri’s term as chairman of IPCC was due to expire in October 2015. He has served as head of the panel since 2002, and in 2007 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

“For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission,” he wrote. “It is my religion and my dharma [duty].”

It’s his “religion”. That apparently means you can believe anything you want and it’s untestable, and completely divorced from evidence. This guy would make a lousy Christian if that’s his view of what religion is.

Remember when he lied about Himalayan glaciers, as the radically leftist UK Guardian reported:

Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the international body which produces key reports to advise governments on climate change, today defended the use of “grey literature” which is not published in scientific journals.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has come under fire after a high-profile mistake was exposed in its most recent assessment of the scale and impacts of global warming — a claim the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035.

The claim came from a report by charity WWF and was based on remarks made by an Indian scientist which were never published in a scientific, peer-reviewed journal.

Here is a reaction to the news from climate skeptic Marc Morano:

If Pachauri had any decency, he would have resigned in the wake of the Climategate scandal which broke in 2009. Climategate implicated the upper echelon of UN IPCC scientists in attempting to collude and craft a narrative on global warming while allowing no dissent. Or Pachauri could have resigned when he wished skeptics would rub asbestos on their faces or conceded that the IPCC was at the ‘beck and call’ of governments. There were so many opportunities to to the right thing and fade away. But it took the proceedings of the Indian court system over the allegations of sexual harassment to finally bring Pachauri down. Things can only be looking up for the UN IPCC now that it has ridded itself of this political and ethical cancer.

Pachauri couldn’t be brought down for lying about the science, because that’s what the whole thing is about – that’s his job. He would have been fired by the UN if he had started to tell the truth about global warming nonsense.

So global warming is his religion, and guess what? This religion comes complete with witch-hunts!

Check out this article from the Daily Caller. (H/T Joshua P.)

Excerpt:

An investigation by Democratic lawmakers into the sources of funding for scientists who challenge details of the greater global warming narrative has already forced one scientist to call it quits.

University of Colorado climate scientist Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. has been targeted by Arizona Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking liberal on the House Natural Resources Committee, for his research challenging the claim that global warming is making weather more extreme.

This investigation, and other attacks, have forced Pielke to stop researching climate issues. He said the “incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues.”

“I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject,” Pielke wrote on his blog.

Pielke is one of seven academics under Grijalva’s investigation for allegedly taking money from the fossil fuels industry in exchange for research. Pielke says he’s never been funded by fossil fuels interests — a fact to which Grijalva already knows since Pielke disclosed as much when he testified before Congress.

[…]So what’s Pielke’s connection to all of this? Grijalva’s staff wrote that Pielke “has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress on climate change and its economic impacts.” One “2013 Senate testimony featured the claim, often repeated, that it is ‘incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases.’”

Why is Pielke a target? Because White House science czar John Holdren has “highlighted what he believes were serious misstatements by Prof. Pielke,” according to Grijalva’s letter to the University of Colorado.

“Congressman Grijalva doesn’t have any evidence of any wrongdoing on my part, either ethical or legal, because there is none,” Pielke wrote. “He simply disagrees with the substance of my testimony – which is based on peer-reviewed research funded by the US taxpayer, and which also happens to be the consensus of the IPCC (despite Holdren’s incorrect views).”

Holdren said Pielke’s views were “outside the mainstream.” Pielke presented evidence to the Senate that global warming is not causing weather, like hurricanes and floods, to become more frequent or extreme. Holdren, disagreed, and singled out Pielke in a six page statement saying that global warming was making the weather worse.

The main problem with Holdren’s argument is that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — which Holdren himself often defers to — has said the evidence favors Pielke’s argument that weather has not gotten more extreme.

I find it ironic that John Holdren is calling Pielke “outside the mainstream”. Recall that Holdren has the bizarre view that a world police force is necessary to oversee forced abortions and compulsory sterilizations. The man’s a psychopath, in short. Exactly the kind of man who would be selected as “science czar” by Democrat Barack Obama.

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New study: EPA carbon emission regulations eliminate 586,000 manufacturing jobs

Why don’t we build anything in America any more?

Well, we do build many things, but if the question is changed to “why aren’t we building more?” then the answer is that the costs of building things in America are much higher than building them elsewhere. One reason is that we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Another reason is that we pass regulations that make it expensive to make anything here.

Here is a report from the Daily Signal about a new study by the Heritage Foundation.

They write:

A new study predicts that more than a half million manufacturing jobs will be eliminated from the U.S. economy as a result of the Obama administration’s proposed regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

“Every state would experience overwhelming negative impacts as a result of these regulations, but especially those with higher-than-average employment in manufacturing and mining,” said Nick Loris, a co-author of study, which was completed by energy experts at The Heritage Foundation—the parent organization of The Daily Signal.

The researchers projected how many manufacturing jobs would be eliminated in each state and congressional district as a consequence of the carbon plan, which is the centerpiece of President Obama’s effort to combat climate change.

The results show that 34 states would lose three to four percent of manufacturing jobs by 2023, and nine other states would lose more.

In Ohio alone, 31,747 jobs would be lost.

The study predicts that the Midwest would be hit the hardest, with Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin losing more than 20,000 jobs each.

[…]The analysis comes just months before the Environmental Protection Agency is set to finalize its carbon regulations covering new, existing and modified/reconstructed power plants by mid summer of 2015.

Heritage’s study looked at the totality of the Obama administration’s efforts to limit carbon dioxide emissions—from motor vehicles and power plants, both new and existing.

The EPA’s plan forces states to cut power-industry emissions by 30 percent in 2030 from 2005 levels.

We have to save the planet!!!1!!

Meanwhile, in Boston:

It's global warming! The EPA must save us!

It’s global warming! The EPA must save us!

So, the next time anyone asks you why we don’t build anything anymore, tell them it’s because they voted for Democrats, and how this resulted in higher taxes and more burdensome regulations. Higher taxes and more regulation causes companies to close down here at home and move elsewhere, or they just scale back here and expand elsewhere. Democrats cause American jobs to go overseas, raising the unemployment rate. That’s why our labor force participation hasn’t been this low for decades. It’s basic economics.

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New study: new climate change model finds IPCC model predictions too hot

Here is a report on a new study on global warming, from Phys.org.

They write:

A major peer-reviewed climate physics paper in the first issue (January 2015: vol. 60 no. 1) of the prestigious Science Bulletin (formerly Chinese Science Bulletin), the journal of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, exposes elementary but serious errors in the general-circulation models relied on by the UN’s climate panel, the IPCC. The errors were the reason for concern about Man’s effect on climate. Without them, there is no climate crisis.

The IPCC has long predicted that doubling the CO2 in the air might eventually warm the Earth by 3.3 °C. However, the new, simple model presented in the Science Bulletinpredicts no more than 1 °C warming instead – and possibly much less. The model, developed over eight years, is so easy to use that a high-school math teacher or undergrad student can get credible results in minutes running it on a pocket scientific calculator.

The paper, Why models run hot: results from an irreducibly simple climate model, by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, Willie Soon, David Legates and Matt Briggs, survived three rounds of tough peer review in which two of the reviewers had at first opposed the paper on the ground that it questioned the IPCC’s predictions.

When the paper’s four authors first tested the finished model’s global-warming predictions against those of the complex computer models and against observed real-world temperature change, their simple model was closer to the measured rate of global warming than all the projections of the complex “general-circulation” models:

Next, the four researchers applied the model to studying why the official models concur in over-predicting global warming. In 1990, the UN’s climate panel predicted with “substantial confidence” that the world would warm at twice the rate that has been observed since.

[…]The measured, real-world rate of global warming over the past 25 years, equivalent to less than 1.4° C per century, is about half the IPCC’s central prediction in 1990.

[…]The new, simple climate model helps to expose the errors in the complex models the IPCC and governments rely upon. Those errors caused the over-predictions on which concern about Man’s influence on the climate was needlessly built.

So what are the specific errors in the IPCC model?

These:

Among the errors of the complex climate models that the simple model exposes are the following –

The assumption that “temperature feedbacks” would double or triple direct manmade greenhouse warming is the largest error made by the complex climate models. Feedbacks may well reduce warming, not amplify it.

The Bode system-gain equation models mutual amplification of feedbacks in electronic circuits, but, when complex models erroneously apply it to the climate on the IPCC’s false assumption of strongly net-amplifying feedbacks, it greatly over-predicts global warming. They are using the wrong equation.

Modellers have failed to cut their central estimate of global warming in line with a new, lower feedback estimate from the IPCC. They still predict 3.3 °C of warming per CO2 doubling, when on this ground alone they should only be predicting 2.2 °C – about half from direct warming and half from amplifying feedbacks.

Though the complex models say there is 0.6 °C manmade warming “in the pipeline” even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases, the simple model – confirmed by almost two decades without any significant global warming – shows there is no committed but unrealized manmade warming still to come. There is no scientific justification for the IPCC’s extreme RCP 8.5 global warming scenario that predicts up to 12 °C global warming as a result of our industrial emissions of greenhouse gases.

Once errors like these are corrected, the most likely global warming in response to a doubling of CO2 concentration is not 3.3 °C but 1 °C or less. Even if all available fossil fuels were burned, less than 2.2 °C warming would result.

Conclusion:

Dr Willie Soon, an eminent solar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said: “Our work suggests that Man’s influence on climate may have been much overstated. The role of the Sun has been undervalued. Our model helps to present a more balanced view.”

I think it’s a credit to the scientific enterprise that they grilled this paper with peer-review, and then allowed it to stand, even though if it becomes widely-known and accepted, it will dry up their grant money. They rely on a crisis in order to obtain research money, and what this new, simpler model shows is that there is no crisis. It’s bad for the scientists’ wallets, but good for science as a whole. Respect++.

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