EPA to certain news media: “Fuck You!”

The Environmental Protection Agency excluded several news outlets and reporters who regularly cover the agency from a press briefing and announcement regarding its release of a regulation that expands its jurisdiction over waterways.
The Washington Examiner, as well as publications such as U.S. News and World Report and the Alaska Dispatch-News, were not sent an email at about 7:15 a.m. informing a wide range of reporters and news organizations of the impending Waters of the United States rule. Those reporters also received a later email sent around 9 a.m. that included a blog post from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary for the Army for Civil Works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

via EPA shuts out Examiner, others from water rule announcement | WashingtonExaminer.com.

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Leaving the Church of Environmentalism

That is why the predictions made by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and all the others based on computer models are, by definition, worthless. Computer models cannot predict anything about the vast chaotic global climate system. Even today, meteorologists are mystified by the actions of clouds which can form and disappear in minutes.
It’s useful to keep in mind that climate is measured in centuries, while the weather is reported as what is occurring today and forecast, at best, for no more than a week. Weather records are maintained for purposes of comparison and within the larger context of determining the Earth’s climate cycles. Like those in the past, the present cooling cycle is based on a comparable one of the Sun that is producing lower levels of radiation. You don’t need a Ph.D. in meteorology to understand this.
Carlin does not hesitate to excoriate the blather put forth by the alarmists; particularly their claims that the weather is affected in any significant fashion by human activity and development in particular. “There is simply no evidence thus far that the normal activities of man have or will result in catastrophic outcomes for either man or nature.”

Click forth and read all.

via Leaving the Church of Environmentalism | Watts Up With That?.

Scientists have discovered a new state of matter, Govt officials exploring methods for taxation

An international team of scientists has announced the discovery of a new state of matter in a material that appears to be an insulator, superconductor, metal and magnet all rolled into one, saying that it could lead to the development of more effective high-temperature superconductors.
Why is this so exciting? Well, if these properties are confirmed, this new state of matter will allow scientists to better understand why some materials have the potential to achieve superconductivity at a relativity high critical temperature (Tc) – “high” as in −135 °C as opposed to −243.2 °C. Because superconductivity allows a material to conduct electricity without resistance, which means no heat, sound, or any other form of energy release, achieving this would revolutionise how we use and produce energy, but it’s only feasible if we can achieve it at so-called high temperatures.
As Michael Byrne explains at Motherboard, when we talk about states of matter, it’s not just solids, liquids, gases, and maybe plasmas that we have to think about. We also have to consider the more obscure states that don’t occur in nature, but are rather created in the lab – Bose–Einstein condensate, degenerate matter, supersolids and superfluids, and quark-gluon plasma, for example.

via Scientists have discovered a new state of matter, called ‘Jahn-Teller metals’ – ScienceAlert.

The Sky IS Falling (again)

Time Magazine June 24, 1974:

As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.

Telltale signs are everywhere—from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest. Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data.

Gazprom’s 2014 Was a Year to Forget

Russian state-owned natural gas firm Gazprom had a rough go of it last year, to say the least, as net profits fell 86 percent. The FT reports:

Gazprom, the world’s biggest gas producer which accounts for about a fifth of Russian government revenue, reported on Wednesday that net income attributable to its shareholders for 2014 fell to Rbs159bn ($3.1bn) from Rbs1.1tn in 2013.

A weak ruble goes a long way towards explaining this plunge in profitability, but so too can the company’s decision to shut off gas to Ukraine, one of its biggest customers. So far thanks to a lag in the pricing model, the fall in the price of oil—a benchmark that Gazprom looks to when setting its own gas prices—isn’t yet reflected in the company’s balance sheets. In fact, Gazprom reported that the average price at which Europe bought its gas was up 11 percent in 2014.

Not a good sign for Vlad’s neighbors.  When will he raise the dead specter, of debts still owed to the motherland, and start moving troops to more borders?

via Gazprom’s 2014 Was a Year to Forget – The American Interest.

NASA May Have Accidentally Created a Warp Field

Which brings us to today’s warp field buzz. Posts on NASASpaceFlight.com, a website devoted to the engineering side of space news, say that NASA has a tool to measure variances in the path-time of light. When lasers were fired through the EmDrive’s resonance chamber, it measured significant variances and, more importantly, found that some of the beams appeared to travel faster than the speed of light. If that’s true, it would mean that the EmDrive is producing a warp field or bubble. Here’s a comment from a space forum following the tests.

Good.

via NASA May Have Accidentally Created a Warp Field | Mysterious Universe.

Are you now or have you ever been a ‘climate contrarian’?

There’s also a palpable religious feel to the denunciations. That student-started petition calling for Lomborg to be kept off campus demands that this be done ‘In the name of science’. Once we had ‘In the name of the Lord’, now we have ‘In the name of science’. The terminology used to denounce those who question climate change, particularly ‘DENIER’, brings to mind dark, intolerant episodes from history when anyone who called into question the truth of the Bible or the authority of the Church was likewise hounded out of universities (think John Wycliffe, expelled from Oxford in 1382 for riling church elders).
The most striking thing about the Lomborg scandal Down Under is the invention of a new term of abuse: ‘climate contrarian’. This is how Lomborg is being referred to by all the metaphorical pitchfork-wielders. Why? Because he isn’t a climate-change denier. He has said repeatedly that he thinks climate change is real and needs to be tackled, just not in the way mainstream greens think it should. So here, explicitly, we can see that someone is being demonised not for being ‘anti-science’ — the usual, unconvincing justification for shutting down criticism of the politics of climate change — but simply for holding the allegedly wrong political and moral views, for daring to put forward an alternative policy vision for environmental problems. As the UWA Student Guild said, ‘While Dr Lomborg doesn’t refute climate change itself’, he does have a ‘controversial track record [as a] climate contrarian’. And we can’t have controversy on a campus, can we?
This scandal exposes the true intolerance of the eco-lobby, their real censorious urge — which is not merely to ringfence science from ridicule, which is bad enough, but to prevent the expression of contrarian ideas. For years, greens have presented themselves as merely the rational, reasoned defenders of science against gangs of charlatans, when in truth they were all about protecting an ideology: the ideology of no-growth, of anti-development, of anti-progress, of population control, of modern-day misanthropy, fortified with bits of science but really expressing an underlying, elitist, growing contempt for humanity and its achievements. Now, in their assaults on Lomborg, their nakedly political censorship, their moral policing, their desire to deflect any criticism of their miserabilist, illiberal moral outlook, has been brilliantly exposed: they want to shut this man down, not because he denies scientific facts, but because he thinks differently to them. It is undiluted intolerance, and at a university too. Proof that the Western academy in the 21st century is giving the old heresy-hunting Church a run for its money in the bigotry-and-dogma stakes.

via Are you now or have you ever been a ‘climate contrarian’? | Australia | Environment | Free speech | spiked.

If you are reading this there is a 63% chance you are already dead from global warming

Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 rose by a record amount over the past year. It is the third successive year in which they have increased sharply. Scientists are at a loss to explain why the rapid rise has taken place, but fear the trend could be the first sign of runaway global warming.
Runaway Global Warming promises to literally burn-up agricultural areas into dust worldwide by 2012, causing global famine, anarchy, diseases, and war on a global scale as military powers including the U.S., Russia, and China, fight for control of the Earth’s remaining resources.
Over 4.5 billion people could die from Global Warming related causes by 2012, as planet Earth accelarates into a greed-driven horrific catastrophe.

via The Canadian National Newspaper: Over 4.5 Billion people could die from Global Warming-related causes by 2012.

Carbon Footprint (Gilbert Grape Edition, con’d)

Update: Environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio, Pals and Model Girlfriend Used Sony Private Plane as NY-LA Taxi Service

Leonardo DiCaprio with his friends and family used the private Sony jet to fly back and forth Los Angeles to New York last year as if it were a yellow taxi.

Amy Pascal approved hundreds of thousands of dollars to ferry Leo, his mother, his manager, his manager’s brother, and Leo’s posse pals in and out of New York. They left a carbon footprint the size of Godzilla’s left foot.

Leo also got the Sony jet to fly from Las Vegas to Los Angeles for $12,000. The flight lasts 1 hour. (Actually $26,000 round trip.)

The irony is that Leo does not make movies for Sony Pictures. His films have almost all been with Warner Bros., Paramount, and Miramax/Weinstein. His current film, “The Revenant,” is with Fox.

UpdateLeo flew on a private jet from NY to LA SIX times in SIX weeks

He’s a high profile advocate of environmental causes, believes the world must act now to combat the effects of global climate change and is producing documentaries about endangered species.
But accusations of hypocrisy have also dogged Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio, 40, with detractors accusing him of not practicing what he preaches.
Now with RadarOnline reporting Friday that he took six private jet flights in just six weeks last year, it may prove hard for the actor to justify the need to avail himself of more than $200,000 worth of private travel between LA and New York in such a short period of time.

Leo deplaning private jet

Remember, No matter what you drive, how you travel, or where you live

gas guzzlers     -house

your carbon footprint is a metric fuck-ton less than Leonardo Dicaprio’s:

Graphene device makes ultrafast light to energy conversion

Converting light to electricity is one of the pillars of modern electronics, with the process essential for the operation of everything from solar cells and TV remote control receivers through to laser communications and astronomical telescopes. These devices rely on the swift and effective operation of this technology, especially in scientific equipment, to ensure the most efficient conversion rates possible. In this vein, researchers from the Institute of Photonic Sciences (Institut de Ciències Fotòniques/ICFO) in Barcelona have demonstrated a graphene-based photodetector they claim converts light into electricity in less than 50 quadrillionths of a second.
Graphene has already been identified as a superior substance for the transformation of photons to electrical current, even in the infrared part of the spectrum. However, prior to the ICFO research, it was unclear exactly how fast graphene would react when subjected to ultra-rapid bursts of light energy.
To test the speed of conversion, the ICFO team – in collaboration with scientists from MIT and the University of California, Riverside – utilized an arrangement consisting of graphene film layers set up as a p-n (positive-negative) junction semiconductor, a sub-50 femtosecond, titanium-sapphire, pulse-shaped laser to provide the ultrafast flashes of light, along with an ultra-sensitive pulse detector to capture the speed of conversion to electrical energy.

via Graphene device makes ultrafast light to energy conversion possible.

Large Hadron Collider back on line

The overhaul involved consolidating 10,000 electrical interconnections between the ring’s superconducting electromagnets, the addition of magnet protection systems, and upgraded cryogenics, ultrahigh vacuum systems, and electronics. In addition, the ring has been reconfigured so that subatomic particles bunch in such a way that the time separating them has been reduced from 50 nanoseconds to 25 nanoseconds, to increase the chances of collisions.

via Large Hadron Collider back on line.

Things that will go unoticed by the masses

“Metallic grass” puts the heat on steam turbines

When liquid comes in contact with this surface, it quickly sticks and spreads due to capillary forces, making it harder for the surface to dry out even as it’s boiling. When air bubbles do form on the surface, they also tend to leave faster, for a much greater heating efficiency.
In the team’s preliminary results, applying the metallic grass coating to the boiling surface showed a 240 percent increase in critical heat flux, meaning that much more heat can be transferred from the heat source to the liquid before bubbles start sticking to the boiling surface.

Freightliner SuperTruck

The truck was created through a collaboration between Daimler-owned companies Freightliner, Detroit Engines, Mercedes-Benz and Fuso.

Much of its increased efficiency is due to better aerodynamics. This was achieved partly through a very streamlined tractor that includes features such as adjustable ride height, rear wheel fairings, articulated side extenders that bridge the gap between tractor and trailer, and ventilation slats in the grille that close when the vehicle is traveling at highway speeds.

That streamlining proceeds back to the trailer, where side skirts channel air past the wheels and away from the underside, while rear fins keep turbulence from building up in the space behind the trailer. As a result, the SuperTruck is a claimed 54 percent more aerodynamic than the baseline truck.

via Freightliner SuperTruck shows other transport trucks how efficiency is done.

Coming Second and Third Order Effects of Cheap Oil

After raising electricity tariffs in early 2014, [the government] took advantage of lower energy prices in the second half of 2014 to reduce and ultimately remove remaining gasoline and diesel subsidies. … [Subsidy reform should] help broaden the base of [the] federal revenue system and diversify it away from volatile oil and gas revenues. A strengthening of Malaysia’s social safety net is an integral part of the authorities’ fiscal strategy. The removal of subsidies freed up resources that can be redirected to better support poorer households through better targeted cash transfers.
Countries from Oman to Indonesia have undertaken similar campaigns to scale back or  eliminate fuel subsidies. In India, the Modi government cut costly public subsidies of diesel fuel, which were long understood to be counterproductive but were nevertheless politically unpopular to shed. Energy subsidies, which amount to more than $540 billion per year worldwide, are as common as they are damaging to economies, the poor, and the environment, since they stimulate consumption and undermine efforts to save energy and use it more efficiently. According to the World Bank, these subsidies are highly regressive: As much as 60 or even 80 percent of what governments in the Middle East and North Africa spend to subsidize energy benefits the richest 20 percent of the population, with the poor receiving less than 10 percent of these public funds.

Good.

via How Cheap Oil Is Reshaping Global Hotspots – Defense One.

Helping Steven R. Donziger with some Streisand Effect

The court found that Donziger corrupted the Ecuadorian case by submitting fraudulent evidence, coercing the judge, paying off a supposedly impartial expert, paying a Colorado consulting firm to write the expert’s report, falsely presenting the report as the expert’s own work, bribing the judge to give a ruling against Chevron and then trying to mislead the US courts.

Greenpeace founder: Why I am a Climate Change Skeptic

I am skeptical humans are the main cause of climate change and that it will be catastrophic in the near future. There is no scientific proof of this hypothesis, yet we are told “the debate is over” and “the science is settled.”
My skepticism begins with the believers’ certainty they can predict the global climate with a computer model. The entire basis for the doomsday climate change scenario is the hypothesis increased atmospheric carbon dioxide due to fossil fuel emissions will heat the Earth to unlivable temperatures.
In fact, the Earth has been warming very gradually for 300 years, since the Little Ice Age ended, long before heavy use of fossil fuels. Prior to the Little Ice Age, during the Medieval Warm Period, Vikings colonized Greenland and Newfoundland, when it was warmer there than today. And during Roman times, it was warmer, long before fossil fuels revolutionized civilization.
The idea it would be catastrophic if carbon dioxide were to increase and average global temperature were to rise a few degrees is preposterous.
By its constitution, the IPCC has a hopeless conflict of interest. Its mandate is to consider only the human causes of global warming, not the many natural causes changing the climate for billions of years. We don’t understand the natural causes of climate change any more than we know if humans are part of the cause at present. If the IPCC did not find humans were the cause of warming, or if it found warming would be more positive than negative, there would be no need for the IPCC under its present mandate. To survive, it must find on the side of the apocalypse.

via Why I am a Climate Change Skeptic | Heartlander Magazine.

Is there anything…ANYTHING?? The State will not stick it proboscis into?

<SIGH> Sadly, no: Backyard burger and wiener roasts targeted by EPA

“Hotels consume a significant amount of water in the U.S. and around the world,” an EPA grant to the University of Tulsa reads. “Most hotels do not monitor individual guest water usage and as a result, millions of gallons of potable water are wasted every year by hotel guests.”
“The proposed work aims to develop a novel low cost wireless device for monitoring water use from hotel guest room showers,” it said. “This device will be designed to fit most new and existing hotel shower fixtures and will wirelessly transmit hotel guest water usage data to a central hotel accounting system.”

The Federal Government already decides your maximum water temperature to bathe.

Just. Fuck. Off.

via EPA Wants to Monitor How Long Hotel Guests Spend in the Shower | Washington Free Beacon.

EPA Head McCarthy: Can you just fuck off with all the Chicken Little warnings?

In a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, Ms. McCarthy said the changing climate — which she believes is largely caused by human activity — puts economies, global security and food supplies at risk.

Coffee lovers also will eventually feel the effects, the EPA chief said.

“Climate change puts the world’s coffee-growing regions at risk,” Ms. McCarthy said, adding that the world must begin to weave climate-change efforts into virtually every other policy.

“Growth depends on a safe environment and a stable climate. We can no longer accept the false premise [How Obama like.] that pollution is somehow part of the growing pains of growth,” she said. “If that’s your premise, then the foundation of that growth was not built to last. It was wrongly designed. … Climate change isn’t just a moral responsibility we must accept. It’s an economic opportunity we can seize.”

Your spiel is getting dog-ass tired.

via Climate change puts coffee at risk, EPA chief warns – Washington Times.

Congratulations: Solar Impulse 2 sets distance record

The Solar Impulse 2 solar-powered airplane may have only just begun its attempt at a round-the-world flight, but it’s already broken a world record. By traveling from Muscat, Oman to Ahmedabad, India, it broke the Solar Impulse team’s previous record for longest solar-powered straight distance flight between predeclared waypoints.
The 1,468-km (912-mile) Muscat to Ahmedabad flight was the second leg of the planned 5-month journey, which began this Monday in Abu Dhabi. Pilot Bertrand Piccard took the aircraft to an altitude of 8,534 meters (27,999 ft) and maintained a ground speed of about 100 knots (185 km/h or 115 mph), landing in Ahmedabad this Tuesday at 11:25pm. He was in the air for a total of 13 hours and 20 minutes.

via Solar Impulse 2 sets distance record.

When your SCIENCE is political appeals to authority, your hockey stick might get splintered

“I would be surprised if Mann didn’t have any supporting briefs. I was in court when Ms Reilly’s genial co-counsel made his argument for Mann, which was a straightforward appeal to authority: Why, all these eminent acronymic bodies, from the EPA and NSF and NOAA even unto HMG in London, have proved that all criticisms of Mann are false and without merit. So I would certainly expect them to file briefs – and, given that Mann sees this as part of a broader “war on science” by well-funded “deniers”, I would also expect briefs from the various professional bodies: the National Academy of Sciences, the American Physical Society, etc. As pleasant as it is to find my side of the court suddenly so crowded, I’m confident Mann will be able to even up the numbers.”

Well, yesterday was the deadline, and not a single amicus brief was filed on behalf of Mann. Not one. So Michael Mann is taking a stand for science. But evidently science is disinclined to take a stand for Michael Mann.

Ouch.  An aviation reference to a situation like this is:

“Low, slow, and out of ideas.”

Almost time to bail out Dr. Mann.  Or are you going to ride it down?

via The drawn-out Mann lawsuit: Science is not taking a stand for Michael Mann | Watts Up With That?.

Vlad: Biding time to use the ‘Brad Thor Plan’ on Ukraine

The suggested formula of the ultimatum is as follows: Ukraine must withdraw heavy weaponry from the zone of the conflict on a par with federalists, Kiev must take under full control all of its military formations, including the Right Sector group, cease fire and observe all other provisions of the Minsk peace accords signed on February 12.

If these conditions are not met, Russian government and banksmust demand the immediate repayment of all loans, and Russian natural gas company Gazprom must take urgent measures against the reversal supplies of Russian natural gas to Ukraine from European countries.

In the latter case, Russia could use the received funds for support of its own industry and agriculture, banking sector and small businesses, the Communists state.

BTW: You should read Act of War. It was a fun read.

via Ukraine should observe peace accords or return Russian loans – Communists — RT Russian politics.