16 Dec 2008, 9:59pm
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Dorgan hopes cattle methane emissions fee runs out of gas

Grand Forks Herald, December 14, 2008 [here]

BISMARCK — Sen. Byron Dorgan is raising a stink about feds who may have their eye on taxing cow farts.

In response to an Environmental Protection Agency report citing the amount of greenhouse gases — meth… ane, that is — produced by belching and flatulence of cows and pigs, Dorgan has introduced the Livestock Emissions Tax Ban Act. It would stop the EPA from putting a fee on livestock owners for gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Farm groups, including the Farm Bureau, are worried the EPA could be taking steps that could lead to taxing ranchers’ livestock.

A Dorgan statement said, “If you ever wonder why the American people view their government with distrust, just refer to this weekend’s news about the deep thinking going on at the Environmental Protection Agency.”

He warned that “somebody in the bowels of EPA’s headquarters” has been examining greenhouse gases produced by livestock.”

Federal agencies ought to use common sense, Dorgan said, “and clearly, there are much more important issues facing the nation than this one. So, just to clear the air (legislatively), I have introduced legislation that would prevent the EPA from implementing any scheme the would tax or otherwise charge farmers and ranchers for the methane emitted by their animals.”

He said that while EPA said it’s not proposing such a tax, he wants to ensure that doesn’t happen.

16 Dec 2008, 9:39pm
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Scientists Denounce AP For Hysterical Global Warming Article

By Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters, December 15, 2008 [here]

Scientists from around the world are denouncing an Associated Press article hysterically claiming that global warming is “a ticking time bomb” about to explode, and that we’re “running out of time” to do anything about it.

As reported by NewsBusters, Seth Borenstein, the AP’s “national science writer,” published a piece Sunday entitled “Obama Left With Little Time to Curb Global Warming.”

Scientists from all over the world have responded to share their view of this alarmist propaganda:

How can this guy call himself a “science reporter?”

He is perhaps the worst propagandist in all the media, and that’s stating something.

In his latest screed, he screams: “global warming is accelerating”

How then does he explain the fact that the mean global temperature (as measured by satellite) is the same as it was in 1980?

How can global warming be “accelerating” when the last two years have seen dramatic cooling? Is this guy totally removed from all reality?????

He completely ignores any evidence contrary to his personal beliefs, and twists everything to meet his preconceived notions.

How can anyone so ignorant be a reporter for AP? Seriously? — David Deming, University of Oklahoma … [much more]

16 Dec 2008, 5:19pm
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Defying Predictions, Sea Level Rise Begins to Slow

by Michael Asher, Science, December 15, 2008 [here]

Satellite altimetry data indicates that the rate at which the world’s oceans are rising has slowed significantly since 2005. Before the decrease, sea level had been rising by more than 3mm/year, which corresponds to an increase of about one foot per century. Since 2005, however, the rate has been closer to 2mm/year.

The decrease is significant as global climate models predict sea level rise to accelerate as atmospheric CO2 continues to increase. In the 1990s, when such acceleration appeared to be occurring, some scientists pointed to it as confirmation the models were operating correctly.

Sea level rise was calculated from altimetry data from the TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1 satellite missions, published by the University of Colorado, Boulder. … [more]

16 Dec 2008, 3:33pm
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Alaska Glaciers Growing Again

By DENNIS T. AVERY for the Journal Star,Dec 14, 2008 [here]

Alaska’s glaciers grew this year after shrinking for most of the last 200 years. The reason? Global temperatures dropped over the past 18 months.

The global mean annual temperature has been declining recently because the solar wind thrown out by the sun has retreated to its smallest extent in at least 50 years. This temperature downturn was not predicted by the global computer models, but had been predicted by the sunspot index since 2000.

The solar wind normally protects the Earth from 90 percent of the high-energy cosmic rays that flash constantly through the universe. Henrik Svensmark at the Danish Space Research Institute has demonstrated that when more cosmic rays hit the Earth, they create more of the low, wet clouds that deflect heat back into outer space. Thus the Earth’s recent cooling.

Unusually large amounts of Alaskan snow last winter were followed by unusually chilly temperatures this summer. “In general, the weather this summer was the worst I have seen in at least 20 years,” says Bruce Molnia of the U.S. Geological Survey. “It’s been a long time on most glaciers (since) they’ve actually had positive mass balance (added thickness).”

more »

11 Dec 2008, 9:29pm
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Northwest Braces for Record Cold

‘Major blast’ forecast Friday with cold to follow

By BRAD WONG, Seattle P-I, Dec 11, 2008 [here]

Winter will come barreling in to Western Washington on Friday, bringing rain and perhaps snow by the end of rush hour.

Subfreezing temperatures and perhaps more snow will follow in what the National Weather Service says may be the worst winter storm here since December 1990.

Snow will fall during the day Friday in the Cascades and Olympics. Forecasters said Seattle would see rain Friday and possibly lowland snow by the evening.

The Kitsap Peninsula, Hood Canal, the foothills and areas just north of Seattle might have the best chance for snow.

The snow will be followed Saturday by Seattle-area temperatures hovering in the 30s and the teens to 20s in the Cascades.

Snow will also be possible Saturday and again on Sunday.

“People have to recognize that we haven’t had it this cold here in a long time,” Brad Colman, the Seattle-based Weather Service meteorologist in charge, said at a media briefing.

“It’s not just a shot of a few snow showers. … It really is a major winter blast, especially cold temperature-wise.” …

In December 2007, when conditions were similar to this winter, six people died in Northwest avalanches, he said.

Cliff Mass, a University of Washington professor of atmospheric sciences, said the cold temperatures are a big issue for Seattle-area residents, who might see highs Sunday through Tuesday in the low to mid-30s.

Low temperatures will be “way below” those numbers. “We’re talking about pipes bursting,” he said.

9 Dec 2008, 9:09pm
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UN suspends leading carbon-offset firm

Emissions trading rocked as Norwegian company is left in limbo.

by Quirin Schiermeier, Nature News, Dec 9, 2008 [here]

As international climate talks began last week in Poland, the United Nations (UN) suspended the work of the main company that validates carbon-offset projects in developing countries, sending shockwaves through the emissions-trading business.

Environmental groups have criticized the social impact of the Xiaoxi hydropower station.C. LarsonBased in Oslo, Det Norske Veritas has in the past four years validated and certified almost half of the 1,200 projects approved under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). At its meeting on 28 November in Poznan, the CDM’s executive board temporarily withdrew Det Norske Veritas’s accreditation after a spot check carried out in early November at the firm’s headquarters revealed serious flaws in project management.

The board did not specify which projects are affected, but cites problems with the company’s internal auditing processes, and says that one of its staff members was verifying CDM projects without proper qualifications. As a result, “validation activities could not be demonstrated to be based on appropriate sectoral expertise”, the board reports.

Det Norske Veritas is a risk-assessment and consulting company with about 8,000 employees in more than 100 countries. Its 2007 revenue was 8 billion Norwegian krone (US$1.1 billion). It was the largest of 19 companies entitled to validate and certify projects proposed under the CDM, which aims to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by promoting climate-friendly energy technologies, such as wind or hydropower. … [more]

Ed Note: Carbon offset trading is going belly up as that market crashes in a wave of bogosity. During the Poznan GW fest, no less. Whoda thunkit?

8 Dec 2008, 12:28pm
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Climate change protesters wreak havoc at Stansted

Thousands of air passengers were left stranded after more than 50 climate change demonstrators breached security

By Caroline Gammell, UK Telegraph, 08 Dec 2008 [here]

Armed with bolt-cutters, activists from the group Plane Stupid cut through the wire perimeter fencing shortly after 3am and chained themselves to metal fences they had brought with them.

Many of the protesters - who settled just 164ft (50m) from the runway - were driven to the airport in a 30-year-old second hand fire engine, while others arrived by bicycle and car.

The stand-off with police lasted for more than five hours as each protester had to be cut free by officers with metal cutters.

By the time all 57 demonstrators had been removed and arrested, 56 flights from the Essex airport had been cancelled or delayed, provoking fury from waiting passengers.

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8 Dec 2008, 10:25am
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New EPA Proposal Could Cost Farmers

New Gas Tax on Cows May Become a Reality

By STEPHANIE MILLER, Dublin (GA) Courier-Herald, 12/07/08 [here]

An attempt to regulate greenhouse gases could put beef, dairy and pork farmers at risk of shutting down should a new proposal become law.

The American Farm Bureau (AFB) and the Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) are concerned if an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) actually moves forward, to become part of the Clean Air Act, farmers will be hit with many fee charges many can’t pay.

“We’re really early on this, but we wanted to get people talking about it and stir the pot so that it won’t go anywhere,” said John Huffmaster, director of GFB’s Legislative Department.

Huffmaster said while the ANPR is in the public hearing phases it is important that the state’s residents let national leaders know they are against it.

“Anybody who has a problem with it can say something about it and that’s what we’re doing is trying to make sure that’s known,” he said. “The reason we’re stirring the pot is so they’ll know we’ll have a problem with it.”

According to a letter The Courier Herald obtained that was written by GFB President Zippy Duvall to various national leaders, if the regulation of greenhouse gases under the authority of the Clean Air Act is approved it could mean that farmers, or any individual who owns livestock, could end up paying as high as $175 per year per dairy cow, $87.50 per beef animal per year and $20 per hog per year. … [more]

See also: EPA Proposes “Cow Fart Tax” [here]

8 Dec 2008, 10:10am
Latest Climate News Latest Fire News
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Carbon: The Biochar Solution

By LISA ABEND / ITHACA, Time.com, Dec. 04, 2008 [here]

On his farm in the hills of west virginia, Josh Frye isn’t raising chickens just for meat. He is also raising them for their manure. Through a process that some scientists tout as a solution to climate change, food shortages and the energy crisis, Frye is transforming the waste into a charcoal-like substance called biochar that in the long run could be far better for the world than chicken nuggets. “It might look like this is just a poultry farm,” says Frye. “But it’s a char farm too.”

Burn almost any kind of organic material — corn husks, hazelnut shells, bamboo and, yes, even chicken manure — in an oxygen-depleted process called pyrolysis, and you generate gases and heat that can be used as energy. What remains is a solid — biochar — that sequesters carbon, keeping CO2 out of the atmosphere. In principle, at least, you create energy in a way that is not just carbon neutral, but carbon negative.

And the benefits only begin there. When added to thin and acidic soil of the kind found in much of South America and Africa, char produces higher agricultural yields and lets farmers cut down on costly, petroleum-heavy fertilizers. Subsistence farmers seeking better soil have traditionally relied on slash-and-burn agriculture, which generates greenhouse gases and decimates forests. If instead those farmers slow-smoldered their agricultural waste to produce charcoal — in effect, slash-and-char agriculture — they could fertilize existing plots instead of clearing more land. This in turn would reduce emissions in the atmosphere, and so on in a virtuous circle of environmental renewal.

Could it really be that simple? It appears to have been for the original inhabitants of the Amazon basin. In the 16th century, Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana wrote home describing the remarkably fertile lands he had discovered there. In the 19th century, American and Canadian geologists uncovered the reason: bands of terra preta (dark earth), which locals continued to cultivate successfully. Research revealed that the original inhabitants of the region had added charred wood and leaves — biochar — to their lands.

Centuries later, it was still there, enriching the soil. “You couldn’t help but notice it. There would be all this poor, grayish soil, and then, right next to it, a tract of black that was several meters deep,” says Johannes Lehmann, a soil scientist who worked in Manaus, Brazil, in the late 1990s. After he left the Amazon in 2000 for a job at Cornell University, N.Y., Lehmann started wondering what would happen if farmers today could make their own terra preta. He has found one answer in a field trial in Kenya, where 45 farmers achieved twice the yield in their corn crops with biochar than with conventional fertilizers. … [more]

22 Nov 2008, 10:37am
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Over 200 whales trapped in Canadian ice

Sydney Morning Herald, November 22, 2008 [here]

At least 200 narwhal whales in Canada’s Arctic, trapped by winter ice and facing starvation or suffocation, must be culled, officials say.

Hunters from the village of Pond Inlet on Baffin Island discovered the animals trapped near Bylot Island, about 17 kilometres from Pond Inlet, on November 15.

The local hunters are allowed to harvest only 130 whales each year for food, according to standards set by the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans.

But department spokesman Keith Pelley said: “It’s unlikely the animals are going to survive the winter, so the hunters have been given authorisation to cull them.”

The hunters have been on the ice slaughtering the whales since Thursday and are likely to accomplish their task over the coming days, he said.

Narwhal are found mostly in the Arctic circle, and are renowned for their extraordinarily long tusk, which is actually a twisted incisor tooth that projects from the left side of its upper jaw and can be up to three metres long.

“A couple of weeks ago, when the ice was still moving, there were quite a few narwhal seen out there in the open water,” Jayko Allooloo, chairman of the Pond Inlet hunters and trappers organisation, told public broadcaster CBC.

“About a week later, they’re stuck.”

Community elders and officials feared the whales would die from a lack of oxygen as the ice grew thicker around them, Pelley explained.

There are about a dozen areas of open waters where they could come up for air, but it is a tight squeeze for them.

20 Nov 2008, 12:14am
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EPA Proposes “Cow Fart Tax”

Catttle Network, 11/18/2008 [here]

The Environmental Protection Agency issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking public comment on whether it is appropriate to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from automobiles under the Clean Air Act. In order to regulate automobile emissions, the EPA would first have to make a finding that all greenhouse gases endanger public health and safety and should be classified as a “pollutant.”

Essentially, the EPA is ruling on whether or not GHG emissions should be classified as endangering public safety. If that finding is made, all GHGs including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide would have to be regulated under the Clean Air Act. …

The vast majority of livestock operations would easily meet the 100 ton threshold and fall under regulation. In fact, USDA has stated that any operation with more than 25 dairy cows, or 50 beef cattle would have to obtain permits. According to USDA statistics, this would cover about 99 percent of dairy production and over 90 percent of beef production in the United States.

As the proposal stands today, the permit fees would equate to a “tax” of $175 per dairy cow and $87.50 per beef cow.

Greenhouse gas regulation under the Clean Air Act would not only adversely impact livestock producers but all farmers. Crop production emits nitrous oxide from fertilizer and methane from rice production, and fields that emit 100 tons of carbon would also be subject to permitting requirements as well. Any Florida farm with 500 acres of corn, 250 acres of soybeans, 350 acres of potatoes or only 35 acres of rice would be forced to obtain Clean Air Act permits.

Emissions from farm machinery and energy used in production might also be added. Regulation of other economic sectors will result in increased fuel, fertilizer and energy costs for all farmers and ranchers. … [more]

13 Nov 2008, 4:37pm
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New Ice Age Predicted — But Averted by Global Warming?

by Mason Inman, National Geographic News, November 12, 2008 [here]

Deep ice sheets would cover much of the Northern Hemisphere thousands of years from now—if it weren’t for us pesky humans, a new study says.

Emissions of greenhouse gases—such as the carbon dioxide, or CO2, that comes from power plants and cars—are heating the atmosphere to such an extent that the next ice age, predicted to be the deepest in millions of years, may be postponed indefinitely (quick guide to the greenhouse effect).

“Climate skeptics could look at this and say, CO2 is good for us,” said study leader Thomas Crowley of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

But the idea that global warming may be staving off an ice age is “not cause for relaxing, because we’re actually moving into a highly unusual climate state,” Crowley added.

In about 10,000 to 100,000 years, the study suggests, Antarctic-like “permanent” ice sheets would shroud much of Canada, Europe, and Asia.

“I think the present [carbon dioxide] levels are probably sufficient to prevent that from ever happening,” said Crowley, whose study will appear tomorrow in the journal Nature.

Permanent Ice Sheets?

For the past three million years, Earth’s climate has wobbled through dozens of ice ages, with thick ice sheets growing from the poles and then shrinking back again.

These ice ages used to last roughly 41,000 years. But in the past half a million years, these big freezes each stretched to about a hundred thousand years long.

Meanwhile, the temperature swings during and between these ice ages became more extreme, soaring to new highs and lows.

These extreme climate swings don’t appear to be easing anytime soon, according to evidence recorded in Earth’s rocks, Crowley said. “The latest two glaciations were two of the biggest we’ve seen.”

The increasing variability is a sign that Earth’s climate will soon move into a new state, according to a computer model used by Crowley and a colleague, William Hyde of the University of Toronto in Canada. They had previously used the model to simulate past ice ages. [more]

5 Nov 2008, 7:05pm
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Green Initiatives Get Slaughtered in California, Will Media Notice?

By Noel Sheppard, Political Climate at Icecap, Nov 05, 2008 [here]

Californians by very wide margins defeated two green initiatives that anthropogenic global warming enthusiasts in the media and in legislative houses across the fruited plain should take heed…but will they?

To begin with, Proposition 7 would have required utilities to generate 40 percent of their power from renewable energy by 2020 and 50 percent by 2025.

Proposition 10 would have created $5 billion in general obligation bonds to help consumers and others purchase certain high fuel economy or alternative fuel vehicles, and to fund research into alternative fuel technology.

Much to the likely chagrin of Nobel Laureate Al Gore and his global warming sycophants in the media, these measures went down, and went down in flames:

Proposition 7 Renewable Energy Generation
Yes 3,294,158 35.1%
No 6,102,907 64.9%

Proposition 10 Alternative Fuel Vehicles
Yes 3,742,997 40.1%
No 5,581,303 59.9%

Will global warming-obsessed media share this news with the citizenry? Shouldn’t this be HUGE news given President-elect Obama’s green sympathies and his desire to enact a carbon cap and trade scheme to reduce carbon dioxide emissions? We’ll see.

1 Nov 2008, 11:51am
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Sno-Park Permits Required Two Weeks Earlier This Year

BY PETE SPRINGER, OPB News, October 31, 2008 [here]

The snow hasn’t yet fallen at most Oregon winter recreation areas such as ski resorts or snowshoe trails.

But a change in state law means that starting November 1st, you’ll need a Sno-Park permit to park in those areas, even if you’re going for a hike along a snow-free trail.

Dave Thompson is a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation, which is responsible for removing snow at the Sno-Parks.

Dave Thompson: “We use the money later on for the usually huge amounts of snow we’re taking out of those Sno-Parks. So it has nothing to do with the fact that it’s snowing or not, this is a user fee for a parking lot. And we only charge the fee during that winter season.”

Thompson says record snowfall last year meant ODOT went $7 million over its budget for snow removal on state highways and Sno-Park areas.

Oregon Sno-Park permits are $20 for the season or $3 for a daily permit. They are also valid in Washington, Idaho, and California.

They’re required at Oregon Sno-Parks until April 30th.

23 Oct 2008, 4:33pm
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Euro Greedheads Carbon Cash-In

Eco soundings by John Vidal, The Guardian, October 22 2008 [here]

Fresh from the devastation they have wrought on the global financial system, some of the world’s leading investment banks meet in London today to discuss how they can “cash in” on carbon. But at least delegates and speakers at the Cashing in on Carbon conference are open about not trying to reduce emissions or helping the environment. Oh, no. This event is to see how “investment banks can profit today from an increasingly diverse range of carbon-related investment opportunities”. +

Particularly reassuring is the emphasis on “hybrid and complex carbon credit structured products”, and how to identify investor demand for them in the US; “derivative/synthetic carbon products”; and “sub-index arbitrage strategies”. Also, we can refresh our knowledge of the basic options for “productising carbon” and of “access channels for producers … speculators, proprietary traders and investors”. Good to see that execs from Lord [Nicholas] Stern’s company, IDEAcarbon, will be there, too.

 
  
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