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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Democrats doubling down on climate change

Uploaded: Mar 12, 2015
Democrats in the Legislature are doubling down on California's already expansive and expensive efforts to curb global warming/climate change.
Gov. Jerry Brown called for new initiatives in his inaugural address in January and Senate Democrats have jumped on the opportunity.
Senate leader Kevin de Leon from Los Angeles has introduced one bill that would require utilities to generate 50 percent of their power from renewable sources (notably not including hydro) as well as giving the dictatorial air board the power to establish regulations to reduce petroleum use in vehicles by 50 percent by 2030. Sen. Fran Pavley's bill would lock former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ill-advised goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. Four bills were introduced to move the governor's initiatives forward.
Count me among the skeptics—to put it mildly.
Consider an article by Fresno Bee reporter Mark Grossi this week that dealt with how difficult it is for meteorologists to provide accurate forecasts for the weather.
Jan Null, a Bay Area meteorologist for 40 years, noted that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA, made famous by Clive Cussler's novels), forecast last fall called for slightly above average rain and snow for much of California. The agency missed on that, but was right on predicting warm temps this winter.
Grossi's report goes on to note, "The forecasters had other hits and misses around the country. The misses are no big surprise to meteorologists. Folks inside weather prediction circles know that it's tough to look beyond seven days on a forecast. Nobody can reliably predict December, January and February on Nov. 20, as NOAA tried.
"Think of the money you could make if you could do that," says Null.

And the climate change advocates and their scientific friends want us to believe they can predict what the climate will be and how our collective actions will effect it. That is quite a stretch, particularly when geological history tell us that earth has been through ice ages that mastodons and dinosaurs once roamed the earth and the Yosemite Valley was filled with an icy glacier.
Sadly, the Democrats likely have the votes and the governor's signature to continue to jam these anti-growth, anti-economy measures through the Legislature.
They also will have lots of money to spend because the cap-and-trade sales generate plenty of revenues—did you notice how gasoline prices have soared since the new cap-and-trade tax took effect on Jan. 1 (California's custom gasoline blend for the summer also is a major factor).
What's more troubling is that those revenues have bailed out the absurd high-speed bullet train that the governor wants as part of his legacy.
The irony is that in some areas, the governor has a well-deserved reputation as a penny-pincher.
Not so when it comes to the bullet train that is pegged at a $68 billion item before any construction has begun. Given the normal trajectory of big government capital projects, $250 billion or more is a likely number to finish it, if it does ever get completed.
Without the cap-and-trade money ($250 million this year and one-quarter of the revenues going forward) the train would have died for a lack of funding.
That would have been a blessing to taxpayers.

Comments

 +   3 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Mar 12, 2015 at 8:01 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

"dictatorial air board" is a correct appraisal.

I published an opinion piece regarding the BAAQMD in this news paper 01/30/15. I did so because Jack Broadbent, CEO BAAQMD, ignored my emails and voice mail messages. Twenty-four hours after my opinion published, Broadbent responded to my email.

He asked that I not send him any more emails, that I direct them to a member of his staff. When I did so, thee was no response. I than contacted Broadbent again, a member of his staff than sent me a news release.

I sent another email to the BAAQMD public access address and asked if the BAAQMD knows how many restaurants in the nine county bay area have wood fired ovens.

Again, no response, I forwarded the email to Broadbent, asked him to answer my question. Again no response.

The air board is getting ready to outlaw these wood fired ovens going into 2016. The air board states there are 1.8 million residential fire places in the nine county bay area.

My question seemed reasonable. I believe they are continuing to dictate live style and create regulations against the use of inexpensive devices not knowing what and how many devices they regulating against.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Mar 12, 2015 at 10:00 am

"Consider an article by Fresno Bee reporter Mark Grossi this week that dealt with how difficult it is for meteorologists to provide accurate forecasts for the weather."


You've got a few problems with this essay, Tim. Don't have time at the moment to address all of them, but for one you should know that meteorologists are NOT climate scientists. Completely different things. One deals with short-term forecasts and one deals with long-term predictions. Issues such as weather fronts and high- or low- pressure systems are very important factors for meteorologists, but have no relevance at all to climate science. BTW, my father is a retired US Air Force meteorologist. He's also a staunch Republican and doesn't believe in global warming, BUT even he doesn't claim that his meteorological background gives him any expert standing when it comes to climate science.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Mar 12, 2015 at 1:23 pm

"And the climate change advocates and their scientific friends want us to believe they can predict what the climate will be and how our collective actions will effect it. That is quite a stretch, particularly when geological history tell us that earth has been through ice ages that mastodons and dinosaurs once roamed the earth and the Yosemite Valley was filled with an icy glacier."

Excuse me but there seems to be a step or two missing in the argument here. How is the fact that the Earth has been though ice ages and that mastodons and dinosaurs once roamed the Earth an argument against climate science?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows,
on Mar 12, 2015 at 4:30 pm

With the exception of getting the lead out of gasoline the BAAQMD has just been a job provider to political appointees. During the Chevron refinery fire, 15,000 people were put into the hospital with respiratory distress, but BAAQMD couldn't even detect significant pollution. This is with three air monitoring stations in Richmond and five other monitors in other parts of the Bay Area. California is paying 4.2 million dollars for people to maintain these eight air monitoring stations. We are certainly not getting our monies worth from this agency of non-elected officials.
Michael - BAAQMD is not the only agency that does not respond to email. I have emailed other agencies created for non-elected officals and received no replies also.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Mar 12, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

The BAAQMD is not accountable to anyone.

The BAAQMD is the most arrogant, unelected out of control bureaucracy ever assembled.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Mar 12, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Stay informed re: BAAQMD - Web Link


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Ben, a resident of Birdland,
on Mar 12, 2015 at 7:50 pm

Michael, they are the twin to the just as arrogant, out of control, un-elected bureaucracy named CARB.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Sy O'Nara, a resident of Blackhawk,
on Mar 14, 2015 at 6:54 am

Tim writes good obituaries. This one is for all of us.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by C. O'Toole , a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 14, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Gail Collins FTW: Web Link

"If you?re a presidential candidate, the only three intellectually honest answers to global warming queries are:

?My thoughts about this are similar to those of my intellectual role model, James Inhofe.?

?Yes, climate change is real, and I will give you my plan for reducing carbon emissions just as soon as my six biggest campaign donors finish slamming the door on their way out.?

?Sure, it?s real. But by the time Miami goes under water, I?ll be dead. So who cares??"


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Mar 14, 2015 at 12:55 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

The CARB and the BAAQMD two different bureaucracies both with identical dictatorial philosophies. They promote and transfer engineers from one bureaucracy to the other. Appointments to their management ranks are always from within, will be from BAAQMD to the CARB or CARB to the BAAQMD.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Mar 15, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Prove that BAAQMD is dictatorial.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 16, 2015 at 4:00 pm

The gullibility of the climate change deniers never ceases to amaze me. I understand how the tobacco companies were able to sow uncertainty and doubt in the 70's and 80's because the mechanism by which smoking increased the likelihood was not initially known, only the correlation between the two. But when the fossil fuel corporations hired the same flacks - Steven Milloy and the Heartland Institute among them - to use the ***exact same techniques*** on the gullible contingent of the American public - demonizing scientists, using Red Scare type language accusing those who want to do something about it of being "alarmists" and desiring "dictatorial powers", floating plausible, "truthy" explanations for the measurable events which didn't involve any threat to the corporations interests - well, you'd think the "fooled me once" people would get it.

But they don't. Shame on them.

Tim has trotted out two of the "Beavis and Butthead" level "arguments" for taking the position that the hundreds of scientists actively researching global warming are all either incompetent or corrupt: "we can't predict weather very well so we can ignore predictions of climate change" and "the climate has always changed, so if it's changing it must be due to something else." As pointed out above, weather and climate aren't the same thing, and predicting one has almost nothing to do with predicting the other. And the fact that the climate has changed before is actually part of the proof of human-caused climate change. If the climate had never changed before that would mean its stability was greater than the effect of changes in things like CO2 levels. The fact that the climate has changed in the past doesn't prove that humans aren't causing it to change now, it proves the opposite: that altering the climate is in fact possible.

But the gullibles won't bother to think it through. They'll just line up like bobbleheads and repeat the factoids and soundbites they have shoveled into their consciousness by the denial propaganda machine which has been funded to the tune of tens of millions of dollars - that we know about.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by BobB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 16, 2015 at 10:52 pm

Mr. Hunt, do have any scientific background at all? Any experience? Any training?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Pedal Power, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 1:10 am

Science, by its very nature, is supposed to be skeptical. My own observation is that one side slings names, fudges data and suppresses discussion, while the other side seeks objectivity.
Anyone interested in making up their own mind can do much worse than visiting wattsupwiththat dot com. If nothing else, its page on Climategate is worth a browse Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 6:49 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Perhaps Peter K can show us those climate models that his scientists are using that predict the future of world climate, while simultaneously (and accurately) reflecting past world climate?

He won't. He'll just hurl invective without citing any meaningful data, except - snicker! - "consensus".

The "climate change" camp lost the war when they changed the name from "global warming".

Of course the climate changes...always has and always will. But now they've (the left) politicized weather AND climate to justify more onerous policies: Too many hurricanes? Climate change. Too few hurricanes? Climate change. Too much rain? Climate change. Too little rain? Climate change. WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT ALL THIS CLIMATE CHANGE!!

See how that works?

Talk about anti-science.



 +   3 people like this
Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 7:54 am

@Formerly Dan: "Of course the climate changes...always has and always will."

Thanks for telling us that, Mr. Obvious. As for climate models, no one has yet produced a climate model which can perfectly predict the future and model the past. If that's your standard for judging scientific models, then you've just pretty much claimed that you don't believe in anything. Goodye theory of evolution. Goodbye plate tectonics. Goodbye standard cosmological model.

Since you're jumping into the fray, perhaps you can explain Tim Hunt's reasoning of why the fact that "mastodons and dinosaurs once roamed the earth" is an argument against global warming? (BTW, contrary to your claims the term "global warming" has not fallen out of favor, and I have no hesitation about using it, as you just saw here.)


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 8:04 am

@Pedal Power: "Science, by its very nature, is supposed to be skeptical. My own observation is that one side slings names, fudges data and suppresses discussion, while the other side seeks objectivity."

Well, that's a pretty broad brush you're using isn't it? You're saying that the majority of climate scientists who believe in global warming are slinging names, fudging data, and suppressing discussion? Your claim is bizarre. By the way, it's a bit amusing seeing you claim that you are on the side seeking "objectivity" when you then try to promote a one-sided, anti-global warming website. What's up with that?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Sam Ramon, a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 9:25 am

Now for some actual informed commentary:

The new optimism of Al Gore: Web Link
"The same kind of transformation that turned those expensive, clunkers into powerful computers in every pocket is happening now in energy, he says, with new technology leapfrogging old infrastructure. ?It?s coming so fast,? he says. ?It?s very, very exciting.?

All of this means, he adds, that the worst effects of climate change can be blunted. ?We?ve got a lot of work to do,? he says. ?We?re going to win this.? He pauses and repeats for effect, part preacher and part TED talk. ?We?re going to win this. ?The only question is how long it takes.?
...

And In anticipation of the sniping, because it's easy to get personal (Al Gore lol!!!11ty):

"Mr. Gore has learned to live with the scorn. ?Anyone who carries this banner is going to get shot at,? he says. ?And I could say it?s an honor to be the object of such ire from those who are so on the wrong side of history,? he adds, laughing.

?It doesn?t feel like a great honor,? he says. He spreads his arms. ?I?m certainly no longer surprised by it.?

Another pause. ?Let them have at it.?"


 +  Like this comment
Posted by BobB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 9:35 am

There aren't "two sides". This isn't a for or against type of thing. Sides?

Tim's arguments for being counted among the "skeptics" has obvious flaws that anyone with experience or training in science would see immediately.

There are better reasons to be skeptical of predictions made by some advocates than given here.

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 10:50 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Damon,

"...hurl invective without citing any meaningful data..."

Q.E.D. :)

You are so predictable.

And thanks for repeating what I said about models. I see that your implicit trust in flawed data does not override your infantile wailing.

Perhaps YOU missed the greater message in Tim's point there "captain obvious"? Since you insist there is a "step or two missing" in Tim's essay, why don't you fill us in with those missing steps?

There is a geologic history of the earth warming and cooling to extremes much more than what is happening now and no matter how much caterwauling you do, you can't change that fact.

"Climate change" politics and policy is a ruse, scientifically and historically.

Next time have some data please. Provide links if you must. I'm happy to read anything you got.





 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 10:58 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Interesting article from BobB. I liked this part:

"Also, I soon realised that all the mathematical models predicting rapid warming assume big amplifying feedbacks in the atmosphere, mainly from water vapour; carbon dioxide is merely the primer, responsible for about a third of the predicted warming. When this penny dropped, so did my confidence in predictions of future alarm: the amplifiers are highly uncertain."

Good article.

But lets not get hung up on DATA! <--- sarcasm


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 11:19 am

@Formerly Dan: "Perhaps YOU missed the greater message in Tim's point there "captain obvious"? Since you insist there is a "step or two missing" in Tim's essay, why don't you fill us in with those missing steps? There is a geologic history of the earth warming and cooling to extremes much more than what is happening now and no matter how much caterwauling you do, you can't change that fact."

LOL! So that's your explanation of the missing steps in Tim Hunt's logic? That in the past the Earth has experienced temperatures both higher and lower than current highs and lows? Again, Mr. Obvious, do you really believe that you're saying anything that climate scientists and many others don't already know? Also, you do know that in the "geologic history" of the Earth that you're referring to that the composition of the Earth's atmosphere was much different from today's, that the amount of UV and other solar radiation may have greatly exceeded today's amounts, and that human life would have been difficult to impossible in those eras, don't you?

Actually, I think that I may now understand what point Tim Hunt was trying to make, so since both Tim Hunt and you were unable to properly articulate his own point (and since you did such a bungling poor job of it), let me try: I think that what Tim was trying to say was that since the Earth has been through ice ages including one in the not so distant past (about 10,000 to 20,000 years ago, I believe) that the RATE at which temperatures are now increasing is not so far out of line with "natural" climate temperature increases, such as the natural warming trend that accompanies a recovery from an ice age. (Of course, I can't mind-read and speak with certainty, but since Tim has gone AWOL on us and hasn't clarified his own statement and since your interpretation makes no sense at all, we'll go with this one.)

The natural warming trend that accompanies a recovery from an ice age is about 10-times smaller than the rate corresponding to the 0.8 C increase in average global temperatures that we've witnessed in just the past 100 years. To put it another way, it would take 1000 years for such a natural warming trend to result in as much warming as we've seen over the past century.

That enough information and data for you, Dan?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 10:36 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Damon,

Let me explain this to you boy: YOU are the one that said that Tim was missing a "step or two". Please do try and keep up, simpleton.

And of course, you still will not address flawed data in modern models.

For the purposes of brevity, this Web Link explanation should help explain to someone as bright as you the 'physics' behind the .8 C increase.

You can thank me later, dude.




 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Mar 17, 2015 at 11:31 pm

@Formerly Dan: "Let me explain this to you boy: YOU are the one that said that Tim was missing a "step or two". Please do try and keep up, simpleton."

Dan, for someone who is accusing someone else of being a "simpleton", it's amazing how you keep missing the point again and again and again! What are you talking about? Of course I said he was missing a step or two. Because he was! I said it then, and I'm saying it now, and I've been saying it all along. I've never wavered in that. Do you have some sort of reading comprehension problem understanding my posts?

As for your helpful link to a critique of global warming written by an author who has a Ph.D. in "physics education", thanks but no thanks. The essay you posted to has "amateur" written all over it. The author pulls numbers out of thin air without even bothering to provide references to where they came from. Didn't take me more than a glance to see that it wasn't even worth reading further. And, yes, as a professional research physicist with over 25 years of research experience and over 100 publications I know what a professionally written scientific paper looks like. The fact that you thought that this essay was so well written and convincing that it was worth presenting to me as a solid counter-argument tells me a lot about your ability to judge scientific publications and scientific essays. Maybe you should just stick to computer science?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Lappry Kahn, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 18, 2015 at 8:00 am

Somebody's been served: Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Mar 18, 2015 at 8:27 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Damon,

What part of the article, exactly, did you not like? Was it his title, or the data.

I'd like to know which data you find conflicting with your beliefs, physics man.

Take your time, I have all day.

Thx in advance.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Mar 18, 2015 at 8:29 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Oh, and please site your own references...I'm sure we could have fun with that.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Mar 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm

@Formerly Dan: "What part of the article, exactly, did you not like? Was it his title, or the data. I'd like to know which data you find conflicting with your beliefs, physics man."

Come on, Dan. I approached the essay that you linked to with an open mind. As a scientist, that's natural for me. But how am I supposed to critically examine and judge a scientific essay which produces numbers out of thin air without bothering to give the source of the information so that no one can double-check the numbers or the context in which they were stated? And if I, as a professional scientist, was unable to critically evaluate that essay because of missing information, how were you able to critically evaluate it? Or did you?

The bottom line is that essay was a shoddy piece of work. And don't think that I'm saying that just because I'm "biased". Just about any scientist examining that essay would have the same complaints about the way it introduces unreferenced facts and figures in such a careless manner.

As a sidelight, out of curiosity I looked up some information on this essay author, Stanley Robertson. It appears that not only is he a global warming denier, but also is a denier that astrophysical black holes exist, a point of view that is, shall we say, rather unique in the scientific community.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Louise58, a resident of San Ramon Valley High School,
on Mar 18, 2015 at 1:29 pm

@PedalPower- thanks for the link. WattsUpwithThat has a Wide variety of information there- on both SIDES. Yes, @BobB there are two sides- those who believe Anthroprogenic Global warming caused by C02,will be catastrophic and those who believe that warming will not change the earths climate significantly- there are plenty of scientists/researchers/people in both camps. When politicians/media claim the science is settled, it makes me cringe. Demanding that the science is settled, and that only ONE theory is correct- is anti-scientific AND will ultimately be more harmful to environment. How can we make the best decisions for the earth and its biodiversity if we base all our actions on ONE possible theory, one that MAY be incorrect?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by BobB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 18, 2015 at 2:37 pm

Louise58,

You forgot about the people who say the whole greenhouse gas warming thing is a hoax, that it doesn't even happen. Isn't that another "side"?

Web Link



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