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Providing Insight
Into Climate Change
Friends of Science Newsletter March 2013

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                                                           March 2013

 The PDF version of this document is here.

FOS MEMBERSHIP QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER No. 37

"FOS is dedicated to providing the public with insight into Climate Change"


 PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

During the past several months, we have continued to expand our efforts concerning communication to the general public in an ongoing programme to inform and educate them concerning the science and reality of climate change.  We continue to broaden our exposure primarily through the diligent efforts of our communications team who are kept very busy preparing press releases to submit to the media.

Our current major communication effort is through the organization PRWeb.  This service offers widespread distribution for a reasonable cost to many different online search engines and news services.  We are pleased that our stories have been picked up several times by influential newspapers like the Houston Chronicle (9th largest newspaper in the US).  We believe we are getting good results with this service, dollar-for-dollar, as we are reaching hundreds of thousands of people.  Through the use of the internet, to our pleasure, many of our releases have also ended up being published abroad in Australia, India, the UK and Europe.

Following are some of our recent press releases, issued between December 10, 2012 and March 28, 2013 that may be of interest to you. Feel free to share these with your friends and your local newspaper, Facebook contacts or through other social media.  We appreciate your ongoing support.

Kyoto Carbon Kleptomania of "Damage Aid" at Doha Denounced by Friends of Science

Scientific American Challenged on Tar Sands and Climate Change by Friends of Science

Massive Erupting Sunspot May Foreshadow Cycle of Solar Hibernation but North America is Unprepared for Resulting Global Cooling Say Friends of Science

Snow blankets Northern Countries Contrary to Global Warming Predictions

Global Warming in Alberta Reveals Massive Big Rock Under Melted Ice, Say Friends of Science

Earth Hour Plays on Climate Change Fears say Friends of Science

Health Stats and Global Warming Fears in Coal Emissions Report by Pembina Institute disputed by Top Scientist and Friends of Science

Under the leadership of director Warren Blair, our Facebook account continues to attract more readers and more "likes".  We feel that it is very useful in expanding participation and readership of our websites.  Again it is a good way to make more people aware of us as well as to communicate and share information.

Friends of Science organized a speaking engagement by Tom Harris, the Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition, at a regular meeting of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen on February 21.  As usual, Tom gave an excellent talk, which was well received by the large group.  The fact that most of them stayed for an hour or two after his presentation, to discuss the various aspects of his interesting points, speaks well for the quality and depth of the information he provided.

With the recent hoopla concerning "Earth Hour", Tom has come up with the novel idea of celebrating "Energy Hour" instead.  See his interesting article here.

Friends of Science will be hosting Dr. Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation of the UK at the 10th Annual Friends of Science luncheon on May 14, 2013 at the Met Centre in Calgary.  The topic will be "To Heat or Eat: Europe's Climate Policy Fiasco."  Dr. Peiser is the founder and editor of the world's leading climate policy network and one of Europe's most influential climate policy analysts.  Hear how Europe's policies to promote inefficient wind and solar power, and impose carbon taxes and emissions trading have caused soaring energy prices, economic decline and plunged millions of families into fuel poverty.  As he stated, "My main aim is to warn Canadians about the European fiasco and its disastrous economic and social consequences."

Tickets are available through the Friends of Science website.

As the common sense author of 86 books including  "Kyoto Fallacy- Hoax of Millenium", and "Nemesis Alert! Re Economic Destruction By Environmental Radicalism - Where Is Leadership To Avert Disaster", Friends of Science member J. Alvin Speers, who calls himself the "Drugstore Cowboy", puts it this way:

"The billions of dollars slated to be wasted on the purely fictional notion that man has any appreciable ability to control nature and its cycles, with no result except destruction of the world economy, is shocking.  The funds could be expended to accomplish so much where effective: health system, law and order, poverty, etc. Instead the politically correct nonsense prevails to the detriment of our nation and the world ".

                                         Len Maier
                                         President Friends of Science
 

POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS

Big Wind's Big Concern: Industrial Wind Turbines and Health

The two favourite forms of renewable energy are wind and solar.  While both are expensive and intermittent, requiring 100% backup by fossil fuel-fired or hydropower, only wind power causes health concerns.  Industrial wind turbines (IWTs) emit sound and in some cases an annoying shadow flicker.  People in many countries living near IWTs complain of sleep deprivation, anxiety, tinnitus, headaches, dizziness, unsteadiness, nausea, exhaustion, mood problems and inability to concentrate.

These complaints are not new.  In 2007 Amanda Harry, a UK family doctor, published a report Wind Turbines, Noise and Health here.  She compiled the results of questionnaires from 42 people living within 300 m to 2 km of an IWT.  The report contains the answers of each respondent (pp. 5-15), followed by statistics, anecdotes from respondents, conclusions and a discussion about effects of sound and noise on human health.  Eighty-one percent of the respondents said that the turbines had affected their health.  Since people up to 1.5 miles from the nearest IWT had been affected, she recommended a 2-mile setback.

Dr. Harry is not alone.  Health practitioners, researchers and acousticians around the world are voicing their concerns about the effects of wind turbines on people's health.  The Waubra Foundation (Australia), the European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW) and the North-American Platform Against Windpower (NA-PAW), with the latter two representing over 600 associations of windfarm victims from 27 countries, have published a report Doctors blow the whistle on wind turbines. This report lists 71 of these professionals who have investigated or voiced concerns for the health of wind turbine neighbours.

What does an IWT sound like?  This particular turbine was measured at 65 dBA on Ontario Ministry of Environment noise testing equipment.  Here's a longer (2:16) recording taken from the CBC program Wind Rush.  It was shot at the Enbridge Wind Farm in Underwood, Ontario, where there are 110 Vestas V82 turbines, each rated at 1.65 MW.  In both cases there's a background rushing sound, which is amplitude-modulated to produce a "swoosh" at about one-second intervals.  This 14-minute abridged version from Wind Rush includes, starting at 2:34, an explanation of the modulation problem, followed by a doctor's findings regarding effects on people living near IWTs in Maine.

IWTs also produce infrasound (generally below 20 Hz), which cannot be heard, but can be perceived by non-auditory mechanisms such as the vestibular balance system and the resonant excitation of body cavities.  At 7:27 of the above Wind Rush video is a discussion about the effects of infrasound - sleep disturbance, fullness in the ears, tinnitus and vertigo.

Ontario Wind Resistance (OWR) has compiled a list of infrasound-related stories, as well as a list of reports on the health impacts of IWTs.  OWR has also prepared a page of video testimonies by people living with IWTs.  Here's a video about the shadow flicker effect from a 123 m-tall IWT.  The home page of OWR's website describes protests, letters to politicians, stories, appeals of siting decisions and court actions.  The website also lists OWR's member groups.

The rural opposition has prompted two rural Ontario municipalities, Bluewater on the Lake Huron shoreline and West Grey, about 165 km northwest of Toronto, to pass bylaws imposing high permit fees and security deposits on proposed new wind developments.  The developer in both cases, NextEra Energy Canada, has dispatched lawyers to both councils to argue that the bylaws won't hold up under Ontario law.  See Toronto Star story and Bayshore Broadcasting story.

Big Wind is aware of the growing health concerns.  For example, the Canadian Wind Energy Association's website has a page Talking about Wind including health issues (starting mid-way down the page).  The health stories, of course, are favourable to the industry, as they were written by experts, consist of just literature reviews, or were sponsored by the industry or by governments promoting wind power.  There are no happy testimonials from neighbours of IWTs.

One report listed on the Talking about Wind page was written by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, titled The Potential Health Impact of Wind Turbines, containing this statement:

"The review concludes that while some people living near wind turbines report symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and sleep disturbance, the scientific evidence to date does not demonstrate a direct causal link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects. The sound level from wind turbines at common residential setbacks [550 m in Ontario] is not sufficient to cause hearing impairment or other direct health effects, although some people may find it annoying."

Apparently rural residents are expected to just put up with "symptoms" and "annoyances" so their government and its rent-seeking partners can pursue their green agenda.  Tired of being treated as lab rats, rural people are fighting back.  During the last election campaign the Ontario government cancelled two gas-fired power projects because of opposition from urban neighbours - and was rewarded when the two government members retained their seats.  Next time, it will be facing a lot more angry rural voters, and with more seats at risk. 

                                                Ian Cameron
 
                                                Director, Friends of Science
 

    SCIENCE NEWS

NASA Satellite Data Shows Declining Water Vapor

The NASA water vapor project (NVAP) uses multiple satellite sensors to create a standard climate dataset to measure long-term variability of global water vapor.  NASA recently released the Heritage NVAP gridded data, which gives water vapor measurement from 1988 to 2001 in three vertical layers.

An analysis of NASA satellite data shows that water vapor, the most important greenhouse gas, has declined in the upper atmosphere causing a cooling effect that is 16 times greater than the warming effect from man-made greenhouse gas emissions during the period 1988 to 2001.

NVAP Precipitable water vapour by layer

Computations using a line-by-line radiative code program show that water vapour changes in the upper atmosphere layer from 500 mb to 300 mb air pressure (from 6 km to 10 km altitude) has 29 times the effect of changes in a layer from the surface to 850 mb air pressure on the outgoing longwave radiation.

While the total water vapour amount increased from 1988 to 2001, the water vapor decline in the upper atmosphere overwhelms the increase in the lower atmosphere by its greater greenhouse effect. The declining upper atmosphere water vapour allows heat to escape to space, offsetting the warming effect of increasing CO2 concentrations.

Radiosonde data also shows declining upper atmosphere humidity. Both satellite data and radiosonde humidity data contradict the IPCC theory.  The article, written by me, was posted on the Friends of Science website here, and cross-posted on several other websites including the popular Watts-Up-With-That here.  

Breaking the Marcott Hockey Stick

The climate science blogs have been discussing the Marcott et al 2013 paper, which claims to show stable temperatures from 10,000 to 5,000 years ago, slowly declining temperatures over most of the last 5,000 years, then a remarkable increase from 1920 to 1940.  Marcott concludes, "Global mean temperature for the decade 2000-2009 ... are, however, warmer than 82% of the Holocene".

The temperature reconstruction was based on non-thermometer proxy data like microscopic sea creatures that are assumed to be sensitive to sea temperatures.  The results were reported in the New York Times.

Blogger Clive Best prepared an interactive map here showing the location of the 73 proxies.  A click on a dot shows a graph of the measured temperatures and anomalies of a proxy.

Blogger Willis Eschenbach presented graphs of each of the 73 proxies here.  He remarks that some proxies show increasing temperatures over the last 10,000 years, some show declining temperatures over the period, some show warming for the first 5,000 years, then cooling for 5,000 years, while others show the opposite, cooling the 5,000 years then 5,000 years of warming.  Willis writes, "I'm simply not buying the claim that we can tell anything at all about the global temperatures from these proxies.  We're deep into the GIGO range here."

Don Easterbrook compares Marcott's proxies with Greenland ice data and finds them contradictory.  The ice core data is based on thousands of accurate isotope measurements that show much of the Holocene was warmer than current temperatures.

Steve McIntyre asked Marcott how he got the up-tick in temperatures, as none of the individual proxies show that.  Marcott would only say the last part of his analysis is "not robust".  That turns out to be quite an understatement!

McIntyre discovered that many proxies were time-shifted from the original published dates. Some were shifted by up to 1,008 years.  The horizontal handle of the hockey stick has proxies with positive and negative values, but the low or negative value proxies were cut off and not included in the calculation of the hockey stick blade.  The average in the handle had a low value as it included proxies with low and negative values, but the average in the blade included only the high valued proxies.  See McIntyre's posts here and here.

Don Keiller writes, "What they have done is re-dated two proxies which ended with negative signs in the 20th century and replaced them with 3 others, with positive signs from 500 to 1000 years earlier."  Here is a graph of a group of 31 proxies showing just the effect of Marcott's re-dating.  The original dates show declining values but a 20th century increase using Marcott's dates. 

Climategate 3

Mr. FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) released the password to a cache of 220,000 climategate emails to a number of climate skeptic bloggers on March 12, 2013.  He wrote a lengthy explanation of his reasons for releasing the climategate emails.  He says he acted alone. "That's right; no conspiracy, no paid hackers, no Big Oil."

"We can't pour trillions in this massive hole-digging-and-filling-up endeavor and pretend it's not [taking] away from something and someone else.  The price of "climate protection" with its cumulative and collateral effects is bound to destroy and debilitate in great numbers, for decades and generations."

The released emails show accusations of dishonest and misleading presentation in the IPCC reports.  For example, Tom Wigley accuses the IPCC and lead authors of ‘dishonest presentations of model results' and accuses Michael Mann of deception.  "The Figure you sent is very deceptive." says Wigley to Mann.  See here.

                                          Ken Gregory
 
 
 
                                          Director, Friends of Science
     

DONATIONS

To accomplish our educational goals we need financial help from our members. This debate matters, and it starts with you

Donations made directly to Friends of Science will provide us with funds for administrative expenses which are sorely needed in order to back up our volunteer work force and for other planned activities including luncheons and the sponsorships of high profile speakers to address student bodies and other gatherings.  To make your contribution, please go to www.friendsofscience.org; click on DONATE in the upper right of the home page.  Alternately, donations may be mailed directly to us at the following address: 

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