Jerry Brown issues a more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

Gov. Jerry Brown, touting what he called a “high bar” on climate change, on Wednesday issued an ambitious new greenhouse gas reduction target for the state.

The target, contained in an executive order and expected to be folded into pending legislation, seeks to reduce emissions in California 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

The goal is in line with one adopted by the European Union last year, and proponents characterized it as the most aggressive in North America.

Global Warming ‘Pause’ Extends Nearly 18 And A Half Years

Global WarmingSatellite temperature readings show there has been no warming trend for nearly 18 and one-half years, meaning there has been no statistically significant warming since the late 1990s.

Two satellite datasets show that warming has been more moderate than predicted by the United Nations and most climate scientists. The Remote Sensing Systems satellite dataset shows there has been a warming trend of only 0.01 degrees Celsius per century since December 1996.

RSS shows the least amount of warming of the two main satellite temperature datasets, the other dataset is run by scientists at the University Of Alabama in Huntsville. Taken together, both datasets shows a warming trend of just 0.35 degrees Celsius (or 1.37 degrees per century) since 1990 – about half of what was initially predicted by the United Nations.

“The RSS satellite dataset shows no global warming at all for 220 months from December 1996 to March 2014 – more than half the 435-month satellite record,” says Christopher Monckton, an English lord and noted global warming skeptic. Monckton has been researching and tracking global warming data for years.

“The global warming trend since 1900 is equivalent to 0.8 Cº per century. This is well within natural variability and may not have much to do with us,” Monckton says.

Satellites measure the lowest reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere and that data is formulated into temperature readings. Most government climate agencies, however, rely on land and sea surface temperature readings to come up with their global climate measures. While both measures have their setbacks, they both show that warming a has been much more moderate than predicted.

new study by Duke University researchers found that the world has not warmed as fast as previously predicted. Duke scientists found that “natural variability” has dominated the temperature record, causing observed changes in the temperature record from year to year.

Researchers reconstructed a 1,000-year temperature record and “found that climate models largely get the ‘big picture’ right but seem to underestimate the magnitude of natural decade-to-decade climate wiggles,” said Patrick T. Brown, a doctoral student in climatology at Duke University.

“Our model shows these wiggles can be big enough that they could have accounted for a reasonable portion of the accelerated warming we experienced from 1975 to 2000, as well as the reduced rate in warming that occurred from 2002 to 2013,” Brown said.

What does all this mean? Brown said it means that predictions of dire global warming are likely overblown and that a “middle-of-the-road warming scenario is more likely, at least for now.”

“Statistically, it’s pretty unlikely that an 11-year hiatus in warming, like the one we saw at the start of this century, would occur if the underlying human-caused warming was progressing at a rate as fast as the most severe [UN] projections,” Brown said. “Hiatus periods of 11 years or longer are more likely to occur under a middle-of-the-road scenario.”

Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation

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Obama Warns About Sea Level Rise From Global Warming … Buys Beachfront Mansion In Hawaii

News reports indicate that President Barack Obama may have just purchased a beachfront home in Hawaii. But isn’t he worried about sea level rise from global warming?

Hawaii’s KTV4 News reports that a man connected to Obama purchased the multi-million dollar beachfront home featured in the show “Magnum P.I.” — the property was then sold to a limited liability corporation in Colorado. But if the House was bought on the president’s behalf, isn’t he worried that rising sea levels will harm his new real estate?

Obama has long warned that sea level rises caused by man-made global warming will make storm surges and flooding worse for coastal communities. In his 2015 State of the Union speech, Obama said “we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods.”

In 2013, Obama said that “seas will slowly keep rising and storms will get more severe, based on the science” — one of the reasons why he’s imposing regulations on carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants.

Obama also issued an executive order in January calling for the federal agencies to incorporate sea level rises and flood risks in planning and building along the coastlines. The order states that floods from rising seas “are anticipated to increase over time due to the effects of climate change and other threats… which affects our national security.”

And who could forget Obama’s famous line from his 2008 victory speech when he said this was “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

The “Magnum P.I.” mansion is literally right on the water. So shouldn’t Obama be concerned that sea levels around Hawaii are rising according to government water level stations. At Mokuoloe, on Oahu’s north shore close to wear the Obama’s may have bought their home, the sea level is rising at a rate of one millimeter per year, or 0.36 feet per century.

Across the island in Honolulu, the sea level is rising much the same, at about 1.4 millimeters per year, or about half a foot per century.

Obama’s alleged beachfront estate was sold for $8.7 million, and the new owner got a $9.5 million mortgage to buy the house and fix it up. Residents of Oahu, and the American public, may find out if the Obama’s are in fact the new owners of the house this December when the first family heads out on their annual vacation.

Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation

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Understanding the Meaning about Green Jobs

Given the upcoming proposals on the next generation climate policies, it is critically important to start understanding exactly what the green economy means to California’s long term jobs future. According to a recent review from the Center for Jobs and the Economy, multiple studies indicate that 2% of all California jobs are classified as green jobs.  There is evidence that California has gained temporary jobs around construction and installation of solar facilities and consulting work for government and private employers, but it appears that the green sector has not yet developed substantial permanent, middle income jobs for a long term employment base.

We need to put the numbers into perspective and understand the unique role they will play and how we can develop state policies that recognize their importance while growing the other 98% of our current jobs in other sectors.

For example, the only hard green jobs data from the state was a California Employment Development Department (EDD) survey from May 2009 to January 2010 which found that “the results also showed no discernable difference in the likelihood that a green or non-green firm would experience a net job gain.” The state should have the latest and most transparent green jobs data to help the Governor and policymakers in their decision-making.

While some green industry sectors are growing, many studies rely on reclassification of traditional jobs such as those in garbage, public transit, utilities, and government regulatory positions as “green” in order to arrive at their numbers.  This issue is critically important because major environmental and energy policy decisions will be based on these classifications and incomplete numbers. The Center noted that some reports on green jobs build their numbers by including indirect jobs, including supporting services such as “consulting, finance, tax, and legal services.”

The analysis also found that nuclear, hydro, and natural gas power jobs are treated as green jobs, including in the most recent higher estimates, although those facilities are not designated as such under the AB 32 program.  If we expect to have an accurate accounting that will guide policy-making, then we need to start with a reasoned and practical definition of a green job to be used by government and private entities.

You can find the study here.
Rob Lapsley is President, California Business Roundtable

State to double down on AB32’s failure? Really?

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to double down on AB 32 — the state’s landmark 2006 anti-global warming law — is stark testament to the power of the green religion among California Democrats. It is also a rejection of basic economics and logic.

In 2006, the key rationale for AB 32 and related laws was to inspire the world to take aggressive action to cut the emissions believed to help cause global warning. Supporters acknowledged that one state going it alone against global warming wouldn’t even begin to solve the problem.

The laws required …

Continue reading at utsandiego.com

Obama-China Global Warming Deal Already Running Into Trouble

What was hailed as an “historic” agreement between China and the United States to curb greenhouse gas emissions has broken down less than one month after it was announced.

China is already using its deal to cap greenhouse gas emissions as leverage to strong arm rich countries into spending $100 billion in “climate aid” to poor countries. Rich countries have so far only given $10 billion for climate aid — including $3 billion from the U.S. — which China says is not enough.

The “$10 billion is just one 10th of that objective,” and “we do not have any clear road map of meeting that target for 2020,” said Su Wei, China’s lead climate negotiator, according to Bloomberg. Su Wei added that global warming aid is “a trust-building process.”

“The significance of the China-U.S. announcement is that there’s a general understanding by the leaders of the two countries that climate change is a real threat,” Su Wei said. “A joint announcement does not necessarily blur the distinction between developed and developing countries. They announced their actions but that was in a different manner.”

Su Wei specifically targeted Australia’s conservative government for not giving any money towards international climate aid. So far the biggest givers of climate aid are the U.S. ($3 billion) and Japan ($1.5 billion).

“It is not good news [about] Australia, if it is true that they refuse to provide any money to the GCF,” Su Wei said, according to Reuters.

Last month, the Obama administration announced it had reached a deal with China to curb greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to fight global warming. President Obama promised to drastically speed up its greenhouse gas reduction plans, pledging cuts of 26 to 28 percent by 2025.

China, on the other hand, only promised to peak its emissions by 2030 — something which some energy analysts said was on track to occur even without a government pledge. China also promised to increase its share of non-fossil fuel energy sources to 20 percent of its power supply by 2030 as well.

Republicans criticized the announcement as being a “non-binding charade” that commits the U.S. to economically harsh cuts while China gets to keep emitting.

“In the President’s climate change deal, the United States will be required to more steeply reduce our carbon emissions while China won’t have to reduce anything,” said Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, who will take control of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee next year.

“It’s hollow and not believable for China to claim it will shift 20 percent of its energy to non-fossil fuels by 2030, and a promise to peak its carbon emissions only allows the world’s largest economy to buy time,” Inhofe added.

China is the world’s largest user and producer of coal and the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter — the U.S. is the second-largest greenhouse gas emitter. But complaints about poor air quality in urban areas of the country have Chinese officials clamping down on some coal use.

Though after the agreement, China released a plan to limit coal use until 2020 and boost its use of natural gas and coalbed methane. Even under this plan, however, coal use will continue to grow.

“The share of natural gas will be raised to above 10 percent and that of coal will be reduced to under 62 percent,” according to China’s State Council. “Production of both shale gas and coalbed methane could reach 30 billion cubic meters by 2020.”

“Annual coal consumption will be held below 4.2 billion tonnes until 2020, 16.3 percent more than the 3.6 billion tonnes burned last year,” the State Council reports.

“China builds a coal-fired power plant every 10 days and is the largest importer of coal in the world. This deal is a non-binding charade,” Inhofe said. “The American people spoke against the President’s climate policies in this last election. They want affordable energy and more economic opportunity, both which are being diminished by overbearing EPA mandates.”

Su Wei did say that China would work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for every dollar of gross domestic product, reports Bloomberg. But his calls for emissions cuts were couched in calls for more climate aid to help developing countries adapt to global warming.

“We would redouble our efforts in terms of taking actions on climate change for the period up to 2020 and we would markedly reduce the carbon intensity,” Su Wei told reporters.

Su Wei’s remarks were made during the United Nation’s climate summit in Lima, Peru. The Lima conference is supposed to help set the stage for the next major summit in Paris, France in 2015 where diplomats will debate a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol.

But questions over climate aid have derailed negotiations in the past and it’s unclear if that will be the case in 2015.

This article was originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation. 

Time for a Real Debate on the Cost of Climate Programs

Finally, it’s here. A spirited, inclusive, and extremely critical debate over the true costs of California’s climate programs to our economy, small businesses, and working families.

On the heels of an abysmal voter turnout in this month’s election, the emergence of a growing chorus of diverse voices on a vital public policy issue should be welcomed news. It turns out, however, that certain state officials and other vested interests are not interested in debating the costs imposed on small business by California’s broad environmental policies.

But their actions have awoken a sleeping giant. Although CARB made no effort to hear concerns, and debate was shut down in the state legislature, people who are learning about the “hidden gas tax” have started speaking up and working together. From small business owners in the Bay Area to farmers in the Central Valley, religious leaders in San Diego to a mobile health clinic operator in the Inland Empire, consumers from throughout the state are banding together. This movement of drivers and fuel users has serious questions and concerns about the unilateral process used to increase household costs, particularly at a time of high unemployment and economic uncertainty.

To date, the cost of California’s programs to reduce greenhouse gases, subsidize the development of alternative energy, and change consumers’ purchasing choices and modes of transportation has been perceived by many to be someone else’s problem: large industrial energy users.

In this dynamic, the cost to real people – and the disproportionate burden on the low-income – has been mostly invisible, but still very real. As a result, everyday voters have been left out of the debate, which has been limited to just a few interests: industry, government, the environmental lobby, and those who benefit financially from cap-and-trade revenue.

Enter the “hidden gas tax,” the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) plan to expand its cap-and-trade program to gasoline and diesel next January. For the first time, state government is knowingly imposing the cost of its climate programs onto consumers in the form of higher fuel prices.

In response…CARB offered no response at all. They denied that their program was intended to raise costs or that fuel prices would increase next year, despite the fact that their own expert advisors were stating publically that prices at the pump would go up significantly.

What’s more, CARB claimed this wasn’t an issue of consumers. Rather, it was an “oil industry” issue. They went one step further and claimed that drivers didn’t need a public forum on the “hidden gas tax” because the board had held various workshops over the years attended by…you guessed it…environmental groups, bureaucrats, and big business and industry.

In short, CARB only wants to debate “Sacramento insiders,” not the millions of impacted Californians.

So it goes with the environmental lobby. At every turn, the organizations voicing concerns about the hit on jobs and working families have been dismissed as “front groups” and marginalized as “Astroturf”—all part of an elaborate oil industry “conspiracy.”

To their way of thinking, there are only two points of view: theirs and the oil industry. Either you buy into their worldview lock-stock-and-barrel or you are just a puppet on a string. If you’re looking to create your own space in the debate, they are not about to oblige. Unfortunately, every person in the state is impacted by their policies every time they make a purchase or drive their car.

These groups could promote the benefits and the costs of programs to combat climate change and welcome a vigorous debate. Instead, they would prefer to shoot the messenger and silence those with whom they do not agree.

Doubling down on ad hominem attacks may make for salacious blogs and sensational news copy, but it won’t keep the debate at bay for long. It is time for every Californian to ask questions and fight for their right to be heard by those charged with representing them, and not accept being told “it’s in your best interest”. So bring on the debate!

John Kabateck is California Executive Director, National Federation of Independent Business

This article was originally published on Fox and Hounds Daily

Climate Changing

Climate Change

Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

Surviving Global “Warming”

Global Warming

Cam Cardow, Cagle Cartoons

Climate Activists Tout Effectiveness Of School Brainwashing

Climate change activists are touting new evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of educational programs that seek to transform American schoolchildren into anti-carbon activists through the power of animation and freestyle rapping.

The Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) is a non-profit organization that seeks to educate students on climate science and inspire them to take collective action to fight global climate change.

One of the major ways it does so is by organizing school assemblies in which it uses cartoons, music, and even rapping to motivate children to stop living large and join climate activist groups. The assembly has been performed at over 2,300 schools and has reached over 1.7 million students. The long-term goal is to boost climate engagement among young people and minorities, mobilize some of them to become activists for the cause, and in turn counteract recent evidence that relatively few Americans are worried about climate change as an issue.

Now, a new study released in the latest edition of the journal Climatic Change indicates that this school propagandizing may be working. Researchers from Yale, Stanford, and George Mason University surveyed a total of 1,241 high school students at 49 schools that hosted the assemblies to gauge their opinions and actions regarding climate change both before and after the presentations.

When researchers checked up on them several days after the assemblies, students were significantly more likely to express agreement with ACE’s ideology. “Recognition of scientific agreement that climate change is happening” soared by 15 percent, while 38 percent of children rose to a higher level of climate concern on a six-point spectrum that ranges from “dismissive” to “alarmed.”

They were more likely to take action as well: the proportion of students talking to their friends or parents about climate change more than doubled from 9 and 6 percent, respectively, to 21 and 15 percent.

“We find this encouraging,” researchers said, “as it suggests that students carry the Climatic Change information and enthusiasm they gained from the edutainment presentation into their families and social circles.”

The survey also found that high schoolers were more likely to perform a host of minor climate-saving behaviors, including taking shorter showers, unplugging electronic devices when not in use, and shutting off the lights more frequently.

The authors, hardly neutral on the topic themselves, conclude that more effort is needed, however, and that “further intervention will likely be necessary to cultivate deeper engagement in the climate change issue among youth.” That further intervention is close at hand, as researchers note that ACE’s long-term strategy is to collaborate with willing school staff to present updated and modified assemblies to the same students for several years in a row.

“Given the changes resulting from a single presentation, the net impact of all these intervention efforts could be a population shift in climate science knowledge and positive engagement in the issue of climate change.”

This piece was originally published at the Daily Caller News Foundation