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BigCityLib Strikes Back: Arctic Gateway Route Relies On Global Warming To Thin The Ice

Stymied by opposition on the West Coast, the Alberta government has prepared a technical report outlining the possibility of an “arctic gateway” as an alternative means of getting their bitumen to market.

The entire report can be found here.  And below is a graphic showing some of the proposed routes out. (Note: click on the images for larger versions)

Contrary to news reports about it, the report authors seem to realize that their plan is a bit of a “hail Mary”.  For example, it is “conceivable” that the plan could attract support among the local population “…if it can (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Mark Steyn Hires A Spy

As my readers may know, conservative political commentator Mark Steyn is in some legal trouble, having gotten himself sued by climate scientist Mike Mann.  While we should be careful to judge these things before they are done, it is fair to say that things are not going well for Mr. Steyn.  His legal arguments have been shot down at every turn; one team of lawyers have already abandoned him suspecting, perhaps, madness.

Certainly, Mark’s latest activity on this file has the stench of lunacy about it.  He has hired a private investigator to follow Mike Mann around and collect (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: UK Climate Change Deniers Forced To Clean Up Act?

The GWPF  are an organized group of  AGW denialists based in the UK.  They are fronted by the notorious Benny Peiser,  and are known more widely  for the fact that one of their money men  and spokespeople is Nigel Lawson, dad to the sweet and buxom Nigella.

Earlier this year they were called out, by Bob Ward among others, for being a lobby group and not, as they have always claimed, “an educational charity”, as this term is defined by British law.

Earlier this week they basically admitted this charge to be true, and  offered to (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Mann Vs. Steyn: Steve McIntyre Weighs In

I’ve written fairly extensively on the topic of Michael Mann’s defamation case against Mark Steyn. Earlier this month, having fired, or been fired by, his lawyers, Mark Steyn appealed to the Internet to help build a case for claiming that, when he described Michael Mann’s work as “fraudulent”, he was not accusing him of scientific misconduct.  

Canadian climate change denier Steve McIntyre has now stepped up to make that case.  It’s not going to help.

As usual, reading through McI’s writing at Climate Audit is a joyless experience.  There’s veiled accusations, insinuations, quote-mining, tortured semantics …the works.  It’s a (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The Cult of Living Large

2015, we’re told, is the year the developed world (that’s us) and the emerging economies (China, India, etc., etc., etc.) will close ranks to formulate an effective plan of action to fight climate change.  It’s going to be Kyoto on steroids, a true hallelujah moment, a meeting of minds, a global joining of hands, a flexing of collective muscle and sinew.

Yeah, right.

2015 is probably our final chance to reach some sort of meaningful, global consensus.  In case you haven’t noticed we’re already being overtaken by climate change impacts, and this is the ‘early (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Cognitive Dissonance is a Lousy Political Platform, Even for the Liberals.

Cognitive dissonance occurs when an entity embraces two or more contradictory beliefs or values at the same time.  As social psychologist Leon Festinger showed, cognitive dissonance in an individual leads to psychological distress.  To cope, that individual or entity may simply block out information that contributes to the stress of dissonance.

Case in point.  Justin Trudeau is an avowed supporter of bitumen trafficking.  It would seem he draws the line of environmental consciousness somewhere between bitumen and asbestos even though high-carbon fossil fuels, not asbestos, could well destroy our civilization and ruin Canada for future generations.

(Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Global Warming Denier James Delingpole Gets Ass Booted Out Door

Word is the UK Telegraph (the Torygraph, as they call it) felt he was an embarrassment.  And of course, in his sign-off column he admits he knew nothing about science.  Something most of us figured out long ago.

Although I would also suggest he’s pretty ignorant even for one of us English grads.

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Copernicus Publishing Terminates Pattern Recognition In Physics

Here’s what you see when you go to the home page of the journal Pattern Recognition In Physics:

It looks like I may have been wrong about this being a first issue in my previous post.  It was still, however, a relatively new journal.

In any case, Kudos to Copernicus Publications.

BigCityLib Strikes Back: On Pattern Recognition In Physics

Pattern Recognition In Physics (PRP, I’ll call it) is a new, open access journal devoted to “experimental and applied aspects of pattern analysis, extraction, classification and clustering in all branches and disciplines of physics”.  This sounds quite sciency but may mean not very much when you parse it carefully.  Anyway, it’s published by Copernicus Publications, an “innovative” open access publisher of open access scientific journals that, from what I hear, is making an  honest stab at intellectual respectability.

To do a bit of foreshadowing, publishing PRP won’t help them in achieving that goal.

One of Copernicus publishing’s “innovations” is (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Speaking Of Losing Your Lawyer: Mark Steyn Has Lost His in Mann v. National Review

A print-screen from a recently filed motion (its only two pages long):

One can only speculate.  But Steyn has, as Ezra Levant sometimes does, kept up with the abuse once proceedings have been launched against him.  For example last week on his N.R. blog.  Lawyers don’t like it when you make their job defending you more difficult by playing an asshole on the Internet.  So it might have something to do with that.

Some background here.

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Kinder Morgan Pipeline: Might Be A Little Problem With That

Seventy-three per cent of the proposed new routing will follow existing rights-of-way. About 980 kilometres of new pipe would need to be constructed.

According to my calculations, Kinder Morgan will have to buy or otherwise gain access to a strip of land 311 long (about 186 miles) and probably about 50 or 60 meters wide, if Keystone XL is any guide.  I’ve written earlier that  the chances of this project happening vary inversely with the amount of new right-of-way Kinder Morgan needs to get hold of.  I would suggest that those chances have fallen somewhat.

BigCityLib Strikes Back: A Couple Of Polls On CDN Pipelines

From Forum, so FWIW:

A bit surprising, or at least other polls in B.C. have shown support for NG drifting upward.  And, nterestingly enough, opposition to the Keystone XL line is and remains much higher in Canada than in The United States.

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Tom Adams In Sun: Mostly Sane

There are bits of it I don’t agree with.  For instance, any fair reading of Ontario history would show that the province’s dalliance with gas power predates the Green Energy Act, and wasn’t  a conspiracy to cover-up (or “backstop”) the poor performance of its wind farms.

But most of it (meaning over half) is OK, even relatively informative.  There are several bits that are particularly interesting, because they undermine the arguments anti-wind types, Adams among them, have made on previous occasions.  For instance this:

Adams said the real effect of the wind and solar investments on bills has yet to (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Northern Gateway Set To Heat Up

The National Energy Board (NEB) report on the project is set to be released by month’s end.  All the media hoopla around the release will occur…wait for it…in Alberta, with B.C., the province through which most of the pipe-line will run, made a mere spectator.  Assuming the NEB gives its approval, and Harper’s cabinet signs off on the project, this issue will dominate B.C. politics up until the next federal election.  Former government chief of staff Norman Spector gives a hint of the gathering mood:

“There are a lot of people in Alberta who (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Denier Down: Lindzen Retires

Climate change skeptic Richard Lindzen, most famous perhaps for arguing that global warming would be naturally offset by the Earth’s adaptive infrared iris ( a theory which has been pretty thoroughly discredited over the years) , has officially retired.  Perhaps, and hopefully, he will step away from various odd theories, but who knows he might take this as an opportunity to pursue the right-wing talking-head circuit with renewed vigor. His work passed long ago from the realm of science to propaganda.

BigCityLib Strikes Back: 23 Seconds Of Truth

…on the tar-sands, from Alberta’s Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths.  Kooky boy thinks this will get the minister in trouble.  I don’t pretend to know the politics out there well enough to say.  But stay tuned for possible recantations.

Update: A warm-up to a recantation?  Will his career implode, or will he be forced to grovel before an angry mob of tar miners?

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Jonathan Chait’s Puzzling Defense Of Keystone XL

He writes:

Keystone is at best marginally relevant to the cause of stopping global warming. The whole crusade increasingly looks like a bizarre misallocation of political attention.

My view, which I laid out in a long feature story last spring, is that the central environmental issue of Obama’s presidency is not Keystone at all but using the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate existing power plants. That’s a tool Obama has that can bring American greenhouse gas emissions in line with international standards, and thus open the door to lead an international climate treaty in 2015. The amount of carbon emissions (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: For Mac Mayor Talks Global Warming: B.C. Is Sinking And Alta. Real Estate Is Going UP UP UP

 Three-time mayor Melissa Blake on AGW:

“I’m a big believer that, yes, the climate is changing. If the climate goes up by two, three, four degrees in the future, we’re lucky to be here in Fort McMurray. We’re lucky not to be in California or BC. They’re going to fall in the ocean. In a place like this, we’re going to survive a lot better.”

You mean digging up bitumen is a good thing, because it will make Fort McMurray’s winters milder?

With a nervous laugh, she assents: “And that means my real estate becomes a very important asset (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Its David Rose

So its best to ignore him when he writes on the issue of Global Warming or, really, on any issue, but this bit:

The continuing furore caused by The Mail on Sunday’s revelations – which will now be amplified by the return of the Arctic ice sheet – has forced the UN’s climate change body to hold a crisis meeting.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was due in October to start publishing its Fifth Assessment Report – a huge three-volume study issued every six or seven years. It will now hold a pre-summit in Stockholm later this (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Harper’s New Enviro Plan: Show Me The Money

…or, more precisely, the cuts in Carbon Emissions.  Simon Donner of UBC has it right: @tyler_bryant @StephenLeahy Right. Climate value of “trading” pipeline for GHG reduction elsewhere will depend on the numbers— Simon Donner (@simondonner) September 6, 2013

…which is to say that a deal is doable, if whatever Keystone XL produces by way of carbon emissions can be offset elsewhere.  To embed Mr. Donner again: @StephenLeahy Not ideal, but not impossible. Lots of other GHG reduction opportunities in Canada which could be offered.— Simon Donner (@simondonner) September 6, 2013

We shall see.  But I should say I (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Harper Government Enviro Plan: Do Anything But Regulate CO2

“As an Arctic nation, Canada profoundly understands the climate and public health benefits of reducing short-lived climate pollutants, such as black carbon and methane,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “I look forward to meeting with my international colleagues to advance the collective efforts of the CCAC.”

Canada’s North is especially sensitive to the effects of black carbon as there is an additional warming effect when deposited onto snow and ice. Reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants is an integral part of Canada’s broader climate change and clean air agenda, and the Arctic Council program during Canada’s chairmanship.

It’s not that this (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: No Wonder Mark Steyn

…is considering a run for the U.S. Senate.  He may need an extra income source if Mike Mann’s defamation case against the National Review goes the way it appears to be headed:

“The Court finds that there is sufficient evidence in the record to demonstrate that Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits,” said a DC Superior Court judge in her latest procedural ruling in the defamation case of Michael Mann v. National Review, et al. “The evidence before the Court indicates the likelihood that ‘actual malice’ is present in the [National Review's] conduct.” 

This language is (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Looks Like Keystone XL Faces Another Delay

The investigation of an alleged conflict of interest by a U.S. State Department contractor reviewing the proposed Keystone XL pipeline won’t be complete until January.

The State Department’s Office on the Inspector General announced today that it was reviewing whether recommendations it made in a separate February 2012 report into conflict questions about another Keystone contractor are being followed as the department conducts an environmental review of the $5.3 billion project.

Announcing a Keystone approval/rejection before this investigation has been completed isn’t impossible, but it would be, as the folks at Desmog Blog note, “odd“.  I’ve been (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Carbon Taxes And The Poor

From Simon Donner, and offered here without comment:

The fundamental objective of carbon controls is to reduce the emission of gases that contribute to climate change. A primary reason to combat climate change is to protect those most vulnerable to its effects. Pretty much every analysis, not to mention every extreme weather event, shows that the most vulnerable are and will continue to be the poor and disenfranchised. Politics certainly influence the design of the carbon policy,more than many people would like. Nevertheless, at the most base level, carbon taxes are being proposed and enacted to help the poor, not (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: The State Of Surface Temperatures

From Simon Donner, about as clear an explanation I’ve heard re the “pause” in AGW (which isn’t really a “pause” in any case):

Over the past 10-15 years, the global mean surface air temperature did not increase at the rate of the previous decades. The cause of the slowdown is primarily natural variability, variability that is driven by long-term oscillations in the oceans. The planet is still adding heat – we can see in this planetary energy balance data. The difference is for the past few years, more of that heat is gathering in the deep ocean.

In a few (Read more…)