Guest Post: Natural Gas – Virginia’s Small Business Boon

Guest Post by Willie Deutsch

In the 2014 Midterm Elections, voters supported candidates whose platforms focused on job creation for small businesses. This comes as no surprise, given that between 2005 and 2012 overall employment declined, adding the strain of economic turbulence to all of the other challenges small businesses face throughout the commonwealth. Most Virginians believe a healthy economy is reflected by small business growth, and they want policies that promote growth.

In a recent report by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council titled “Benefits of Natural Gas Production and Exports for U.S. Small Businesses,” economist Ray Keating explains how expanded natural gas production across the country has spurred job creation within the small business community, especially in Virginia. The report states that the Commonwealth’s production has expanded by over sixty-five percent from 2005 to 2012. As a result, businesses supporting oil and gas operations have quickly grown. For example, jobs within the oil and gas pipeline and related structures construction sector have grown by over 100 percent over the same period. While overall job growth was barely one percent, Virginia’s energy sector has continued to produce job and business growth opportunities.

These job increases correlate directly to Virginia’s small business community. According to the report, Virginia’s energy sector is overwhelmingly populated by small and mid-size businesses. In the five energy industries evaluated in his report, Keating notes that businesses with less than 500 employees make up at least 90 percent of employer establishments. Native small business enterprises are able to capitalize on the domestic shale revolution by hiring more employees to handle operations.

It would make sense, then, to support policies that allow oil and gas related small businesses to continue to grow. Unfortunately, current federal policies restricting natural gas exports undermine this effort. If Virginians want to support the continued expansion of oil and gas sector small businesses, it would be prudent to support unencumbered natural gas exports. As Economics 101 teaches us, a larger market will incentivize production which will in turn allow businesses to hire more employees. Doing so would create more jobs, increase GDP, and promote economic stability throughout the state.

What is happening with USHCN temperature data?

Over the weekend, what started as an argument among global warming skeptics became a dramatic indictment of temperature reporting from the United States Historic Climate Network.

Anthony Watts (Watts Up With That) and Judith Curry (Climate Etc.) provide the details on Steve Goddard’s initial attempt to claim that a large swath of temperature “raw” data was in fact estimations. Watts is particularly self-aware in acknowledging why he had trouble with Goddard’s assertions, while Curry ties it to the underlying data problems.

Both then get to the meat of the matter: Paul Homewood’s revelation that data in not one, but two locations were “adjusted” to create a warming trend of 1-2 degrees that never shows up in the actual data.

Meanwhile, Watts also reveals this stunner: as many as one in four stations “reporting” weather data are in fact shut down, and “reporting” estimated figures derived from neighboring – and in theory still operating – stations.

Curry – who does not consider herself a skeptic on global warming, but is rare in that she does not simply dismiss those who are – summed up with this is so important:

This incident is another one that challenges traditional notions of expertise. From a recent speech by President Obama:

“I mean, I’m not a scientist either, but I’ve got this guy, John Holdren, he’s a scientist,” Obama added to laughter. “I’ve got a bunch of scientists at NASA and I’ve got a bunch of scientists at EPA.”

Who all rely on the data prepared by his bunch of scientists at NOAA.

…and if that data is problematic, all of those scientists have a serious problem.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

They did it again: global warming alarmists caught politicizing the science

It’s easy to claim “consensus” when you suppress dissenting voices (Times of London):

Research which heaped doubt on the rate of global warming was deliberately suppressed by scientists because it was “less than helpful” to their cause, it was claimed last night.

In an echo of the infamous “Climategate” scandal at the University of East Anglia, one of the world’s top academic journals rejected the work of five experts after a reviewer privately denounced it as “harmful”.

These were the exact words of the unnamed “scientist” (yes, I used scare quotes) who rejected the piece:

Actually it is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of “errors” and worse from the climate sceptics (UK sp) media side.

Oh yes. Heaven forbid we get oversimplified claims from the media. Oh, wait.

For those who are keeping track (admittedly not easy given the numbers), we have now reached forty-seven examples of data manipulationerrorssuppressionand other shenanigans from global warming alarmistsand that’s just from what I’ve been able to blog on this subject since Climategate broke in November of 2009which is now about four and a half years ago…and here I thought they were slowing down.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Will Western Antarctic ice really flood our shores? No.

Would it surprise you to learn that the global warming alarmists fouled up again? Me neither, but this time its the legacy media that deserves the blame.

For those who are keeping track (admittedly not easy given the numbers), we have now reached forty-six examples of data manipulationerrorsand other shenanigans from global warming alarmistsand that’s just from what I’ve been able to blog on this subject since Climategate broke in November of 2009which is now about four and a half  years ago. This time, however, it’s a matter of the scientific studies cited being grossly exaggerated and badly misinterpreted.

The two studies were published by Geophysical Research Letters and Science respectively. Together, they have been reported as evidence that Antarctic ice will melt to such an extent that sea levels will rise by as much as 4 feet, and that such melting is “inevitable.” The only silver lining is that such melting could take centuries (or perhaps a millennium), but that didn’t stop the Governor of California from claiming two of his state’s biggest airports will be under water (Watts Up With That).

Larry Hamlin has a post on WUWT debunking the media hype, but I thought it would be best to read the studies myself to see what they actually said. The decision was an eye opener.

First, the GRL paper, which from a methodological perspective, does the exact opposite of what was claimed. It did not predict future ice behavior, but rather mapped an equation to past ice data for several glaciers in Western Antarctica (going back no more than forty years) and as an aside, used it to model temperature change.

The Science paper is even narrower, looking at only one Western Antarctic glacier (Thwaites). Furthermore, the authors of this paper provide neither their data nor their equations for their model (the GRL authors did both), instead only mentioning a melt coefficient. The projections they use for ice melting (and projected sea level rise) are only for the effects of the Thwaites glacier – meaning any countering effects from the rest of the continent were not considered (the authors themselves acknowledged that Antarctic ice as a whole is expected to increase, but only used it to gauge effects on Thwaites itself).

To be fair, the authors admit to the limitations of their work (emphasis added):

Our simulations are not coupled to a global climate model to provide forcing nor do they include an ice-shelf cavity-circulation model to derive melt rates. Few if any such fully coupled models presently exist. As such, our simulations do not constitute a projection of future sea level in response to projected climate forcing.

In other words, the paper explicitly rejects doing what legacy media reports claim it does.

How bad has the alarmist media been on this? This New York Times story even throws up the ozone layer as a reason – something neither study even mentions.

Keep in mind, Antarctic ice as a whole just reached a thirty-year high (WUWT). As for the western Antarctic, it’s had a history of ups and downs (WUWT), in no small part due to a recently discovered under-ice volcano (WUWT).

In other words, don’t believe the hype.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

AfD misses the cut

Damn.

Alternative for Germany came less than a third of a percent shy of qualifying for the German Parliament.

While all of the talk in Germany is about Angela Merkel’s strong performance, it should be noted that the left actually has a majority of seats. They could freeze her out, if they choose (Open Europe).

More likely, Merkel will pick one of them off as a coalition partner. I suspect the Greens: they’re smaller than the Social Democrats, they don’t have the bad history of the Grand Coalition (which did the SDP serious political damage), and Merkel has already swallowed their green energy nonsense whole.

What that would mean for the rest of Europe is less clear. The Greens are europhilic in the core, but more euroskeptic on the periphery (the Greens in Britain, for example, have been sour on the single currency for years). The one certainly is the power bills and energy poverty will rise in Germany, and not by a little either.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Michael Mann reminds me why I’m backing Ken Cuccinelli

Over the last year, I’ve been on a bit of a roller coaster regarding Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli. His waffling on tax increases soured me, badly, but his education reform plan grudgingly won me back. Still, I could hardly say I’m enthusiastic.

Then Michael Mann decided to whine about Cuccinelli’s investigation of his (Mann’s) time at UVA…and sudddenly I remembered why I liked Cuccinelli so much in the first place.

Mann’s column (Richmond Times-Dispatch) was largely refuted by Christopher Monckton (Watts Up With That), but there were some comments by the former that slipped past Monckton without challenge. So I figured I’d do some mopping up.

The first problem comes when Mann shifts away from the ad hominem attacks on his critics and actually tries to defend himself and his “hockey stick” – a reference to his historical graph that claimed temperatures were relatively stable until about 50 years .

Despite Monckton’s rambling attack, the hockey stick most certainly has not been disproved. The highest scientific body in the nation, the National Academy of Sciences, affirmed our research findings in an exhaustive independent review published in June 2006.

Note the date on that review: 2006. That’s before the Climategate leak that revealed “Mike’s Nature Trick,” before Mann himself desperately tried to explain a problem with using tree ring data as a proxy, before others noticed serious problems with it. In the history of climatology, 2006 might as well be 1006.

The only other of Mann’s claim that Monckton missed was this pair (emphasis added):

In what is the most personally offensive part of Monckton’s letter, he says that references to climate “ ‘deniers’ and ‘denialists’ would be illegal in Europe as being anti-Jewish, racialist hate-speech.” This is particularly troubling to me both because I am Jewish and because it does not make any sense. No one is attempting to subpoena or prosecute climate change deniers. We are simply trying to make sure the public understands what the overwhelming majority of scientists believe is happening.

The “overwhelming majority” line (typical of global warming alarmists) took a bad hit earlier this month, but it is the previous claim that requires more attention. Perhaps Mann himself does not know, but Richard Parncutt, Professor at the University of Graz (Australia) has not only called for “deniers” to be prosecuted, but executed (Andrew Bolt). From what I can tell, Parncutt has since reversed course on his Final Solution, but it was yet another example of alarmists becoming unhinged. As for Mann himself, the folks at WUWT have been keeping track of his invective and nastiness (thought I should note he steers clear of a Final Solution).

In the end, I get the feeling that Mann, knowing that Cuccinelli is trailing in the polls, is taking the opportunity to kick him when he’s down. For me, that’s all the more reason to back Ken Cuccinelli for Governor.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

About those tree rings…

Michael Mann made his mark in global warming alarmism with the use of dendrochronological data (a.k.a. tree-ring data) as a proxy for temperatures going back over 1000 years. He has clung to it despite its obvious ignorance of the Medieval Warm Period (to say nothing of how it deviated from recent history so much he had to truncate it from his analysis – hence the term “Mike’s Nature Trick”).

Well, as it turns out, the tree-ring data his a problematic bias (WUWT):

Basically, older trees grow slower, and that mimics the temperature signal paleo researchers like Mann look for. Unless you correct for this issue, you end up with a false temperature signal, like a hockey stick in modern times. Separating a valid temperature signal from the natural growth pattern of the tree becomes a larger challenge with this correction.

Trees that grow slower create lower temperature proxies, and thus can mask higher temperatures in periods like the MWP.

Yet another nail in alarmism’s coffin.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

About that global warming “consensus”…it doesn’t exist

Organization Studies has released a peer-reviewed survey of geoscientists and engineers (Forbes, via WUWT) and found the global warming alarmists’ claims of a “consensus” to be way off the mark.

Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies. By contrast, a strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that nature is the primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming will not be a very serious problem.

I’ll leave it to the reader to define “strong”, but 51% of those surveyed either believed Nature is the dominant controller of climate (24%) or refused to say the matter is settled one way or another (27%). All of them (plus an additional 5%) have no use for the alarmists’ insistence that disaster awaits without massive carbon regulation.

Cross-posted to RWL

National Climatic Data Center caught “adjusting” past climate data

Joseph D’Aleo provides the details at WUWT (emphasis added):

[The National Climatic Data Center’s] adjustments made the dust bowl period cooler, while post 1995 had no adjustments applied. This results in a temperature trend that is steeper because the past is cooler than the present. The only problem is that it isn’t what the data actually recorded then.

I think maybe we need to coin a new term for NOAA NCDC – ‘dust bowl deniers’.  Yes it appears there is man made warming underway but the men are in Asheville, North Carolina at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

The particular victim in this case was New York City, which suddenly had a cooler 1930s than any survivor of that decade would remember.

For those who are keeping track (admittedly not easy given the numbers), we have now reached forty-five examples of data manipulationerrorsand other shenanigans from global warming alarmistsand that’s just from what I’ve been able to blog on this subject since Climategate broke in November of 2009just under three and a half years agoand they just keep on coming.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

More defectors from the “consensus”

Remember when I noted that three scientists who were part of a paper decreeing a “consensus” on global warming told Watts Up With That that their positions had been misrepresented?

Well, Andrew at Popular Technology found four more who took issue with their classifications. Ironically, the one most sympathetic to AGW theory (Dr. Richard Tol) was the nastiest to one of the “consensus” paper’s authors (Dana Nuccitelli), telling Nuccitelli, “I think your data are a load of crap.”

For those who are keeping track (admittedly not easy given the numbers), we have now reached forty-four examples of data manipulationerrorsand other shenanigans from global warming alarmistsand that’s just from what I’ve been able to blog on this subject since Climategate broke in November of 2009just under three and a half years ago…and they just keep on coming.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

London Meteorological Office caught upping the temperature data – again

“The Met” – as it is known – didn’t bother to warn anyone that is had “updated” their temperature data for their HADCRUT4 and CRUTEM4 data sets, choosing instead to simply unleash them on the public.

The folks at WUWT couldn’t help but notice that the data “updated”….

…are concentrated in the last 16 years, a period that the Met Office is under scrutiny for the lack of warming in their data.

Also, some of the regional changes appear quite contrived, e.g. it looks like they found five hundredths of a degree of extra warming in the Northern Hemisphere in the last couple years.

South America they found almost a tenth of a degree of warming over the last decade;

Africa, had five hundredths of a degree of extra warming in the last few years;

and Australia/New Zealand a tenth of a degree of additional warming over the last few years.

I left out the accompanying graphs, you can find them here. The WUWT fellows also note how this is part of a pattern of “adjusting” recent temperature data upward.

For those who are keeping track (admittedly not easy given the numbers), we have now reached forty-four examples of data manipulation, errorsand other shenanigans from global warming alarmistsand that’s just from what I’ve been able to blog on this subject since Climategate broke in November of 2009, just under three and a half years ago. More to the point, they don’t seem capable of stopping.

In this case, however, it is especially important to remember that the “adjustments” come right smack in the period of the data that has given alarmists their worst headaches: the post-1996 temperature stability. It could very well be that the “solution” is to simply jack up the numbers to make the stability go away…

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Marcott’s update to his global warming paper: never mind everything I said

Shaun Marcott – the latest fellow to claim he’s discovered “unprecedented” warming in recent years – made a stunning admission to Steve McIntyre over the weekend. Ross McKittrick has the details in the Financial Post:

Meanwhile, in a private email to McIntyre, Marcott made a surprising statement. In the paper, they had reported doing an alternate analysis of their proxy data that yielded a much smaller 20th-century uptick, but they said the difference was “probably not robust,” which implied that the uptick was insensitive to changes in methodology, and was therefore reliable. But in his email to McIntyre, Marcott said the reconstruction itself is not robust in the 20th century: a very different thing. When this became public, the Marcott team promised to clear matters up with an online FAQ.

It finally appeared over the weekend, and contains a remarkable admission: “[The] 20th-century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.”

In other words, the most recent part of the data – the very part Marcott et al claimed “proved” the dramatic warming – was junk.

McKittrick also details how Marcott redated ice core tops (if that sounds like fudging data to you, that’s because it is) and grafted current temperature data (which can show variations annually at worst) on top of the past data reconstruction (which smoothed out centuries of variations).

For those who are keeping track (admittedly not easy given the numbers), we have now reached forty-three examples of data manipulation, errorsand other shenanigans from global warming alarmistsand that’s just from what I’ve been able to blog on this subject since Climategate broke in November of 2009, just under three and a half years ago.

I am amazed that anyone still believes this stuff.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Steve McIntyre sends another hockey stick alarmist to the penalty box

Steve McIntyre is the mathematician who destroyed Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” graph (which supposedly proved global warming) in the last decade. This year, he takes aim at the latest nonsense, from Marcott et al. On his blog (Climate Audit), he explains how the timing of  the data was manipulated – in one case, a dataset was moved over 1000 years - to get the desired effect.

For those who are keeping track (admittedly not easy given the numbers), we have now reached forty-two examples of data manipulation, errorsand other shenanigans from global warming alarmistsand that’s just from what I’ve been able to blog on this subject since Climategate broke in November of 2009, just under three and a half years ago.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

FOIA (the Climategate whistleblower) reveals what caring about the poor really means

Watts Up With That found in his inbox the password to a slew of Climategate emails, courtesy of the anonymous whistleblower (who took the pseudonym Mr. FOIA).

Humor and political schadenfreude aside (well, almost – I particular like the part where “Reviewer B.” admits, “I don’t think we can say we didn’t do Mann et al because we think it is crap!”), FOIA explains his actions – and in so doing schools the lefties on what compassion for the impoverished really is (emphasis added):

That’s right; no conspiracy, no paid hackers, no Big Oil.  The Republicans didn’t plot this.  USA politics is alien to me, neither am I from the UK.  There is life outside the Anglo-American sphere.

If someone is still wondering why anyone would take these risks, or sees only a breach of privacy here, a few words…

The first glimpses I got behind the scenes did little to  garner my trust in the state of climate science — on the contrary.  I found myself in front of a choice that just might have a global impact.

Briefly put, when I had to balance the interests of my own safety, privacy\career of a few scientists, and the well-being of billions of people living in the coming several decades, the first two weren’t the decisive concern.

It was me or nobody, now or never.  Combination of several rather improbable prerequisites just wouldn’t occur again for anyone else in the foreseeable future.  The circus was about to arrive in Copenhagen.  Later on it could be too late.

Most would agree that climate science has already directed where humanity puts its capability, innovation, mental and material “might”.  The scale will grow ever grander in the coming decades if things go according to script.  We’re dealing with $trillions and potentially drastic influence on practically everyone.

Wealth of the surrounding society tends to draw the major brushstrokes of a newborn’s future life.  It makes a huge difference whether humanity uses its assets to achieve progress, or whether it strives to stop and reverse it, essentially sacrificing the less fortunate to the climate gods.

We can’t pour trillions in this massive hole-digging-and-filling-up endeavor and pretend it’s not away from something and someone else.

If the economy of a region, a country, a city, etc.  deteriorates, what happens among the poorest? Does that usually improve their prospects? No, they will take the hardest hit.  No amount of magical climate thinking can turn this one upside-down.

It’s easy for many of us in the western world to accept a tiny green inconvenience and then wallow in that righteous feeling, surrounded by our “clean” technology and energy that is only slightly more expensive if adequately subsidized.

Those millions and billions already struggling with malnutrition, sickness, violence, illiteracy, etc.  don’t have that luxury.  The price of “climate protection” with its cumulative and collateral effects is bound to destroy and debilitate in great numbers, for decades and generations.

Conversely, a “game-changer” could have a beneficial effect encompassing a similar scope.

If I had a chance to accomplish even a fraction of that, I’d have to try.  I couldn’t morally afford inaction.  Even if I risked everything, would never get personal compensation, and could probably never talk about it with anyone.

I took what I deemed the most defensible course of action, and would do it again (although with slight alterations — trying to publish something truthful on RealClimate was clearly too grandiose of a plan ;-).

Even if I have it all wrong and these scientists had some good reason to mislead us (instead of making a strong case with real data) I think disseminating the truth is still the safest bet by far.

We may never know who this person is, but I think James Delingpole had it right in calling him “the man who saved the world”…

…unless Mr. FOIA is actually Ms. FOIA, of course. Either way, this is truly a heroic person.

Meanwhile, WUWT continues the fight by continuing to take apart the latest hockey-stick nonsense (Easterbrook and Eschenbach).

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Another busted hockey stick

The latest attempt by the global warming alarmists to make the Medieval Warming Period disappear came into the crosshairs of Watts Up With That – and ended up looking a lot like the gel torsos on Deadliest Warrior.

First up is Don J. Easterbrook, who notices something about the data…

Eighty percent of the source data sites were marine, so temperatures from 80% of the data set used in this paper record ocean water temperatures, not atmospheric temperatures. Thus, they may reflect temperature changes from ocean upwelling, changes in ocean currents, or any one of a number of ocean variations not related to atmospheric climates. This in itself means that the Marcott et al. temperatures are not a reliable measure of changing atmospheric climate.

Making matters worse, one of the land datasets was a tree ring reconstruction from none other than Michael Mann himself (he of “Mike’s Nature Trick”). Keep in mind, Mann has already admitted to errors in his tree ring data.

Meanwhile, David Middleton reveals another problem with the data – time intervals. He graphically explains why using old data that measures by 140-years-plus along with new annual data can cause problems.

Back to the penalty box.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Will Michael Mann never learn?

The latest desperate attempt by global warming alarmists to seize the political initiative fell apart once again – due to exposure to the outside world.

Michael Mann, he of the Nature Trick, is trying to claim that the temperature models really haven’t been exposed as bunk after all. There are only two problems: he uses the wrong set of data, and he stops in 2005.

Steve MacIntyre has the details (Climate Audit or WUWT).

For those who are keeping track (admittedly not easy given the numbers), we have now reached forty-one examples of data manipulation,errorsand other shenanigans from global warming alarmistsand that’s just from what I’ve been able to blog on this subject sinceClimategate broke in November of 2009 just under three and a half years ago.

I am stunned that Mann really didn’t think he would get caught.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Uranium mining issue plagued by myths and misconceptions

Lt. Gov. Bolling swung though Pittsylvania County on Friday, 14 December, to announce his opposition to lifting the “ban” on uranium mining at the Cole’s Hill property. Sadly, he seems to be more concerned with the myths and fears surrounding uranium than he is in the facts:

“…even though two well respected organizations have completed reviews of the efficacy of removing the ban on uranium mining and milling, I believe there are still too many unanswered questions regarding the potential impact that an incident at the mine might have on the environment and, subsequently, citizens in Southern Virginia and beyond. Given these legitimate environmental concerns, I believe the ban on uranium mining should remain in place.”

It’s quite sad that he still has questions, because Virginia Uranium was available and willing to answer him:

In a statement, Virginia Uranium complained that Bolling has refused its invitation to tour the so-called Coles Hill site of the uranium deposit and attempts to brief him on the scientific and technical aspects of its mining and milling plan.

“We took Lt. Gov. Bolling at his word when he claimed to support the expansion of Virginia’s nuclear power sector and an ‘all of the above’ approach to energy policy,” Patrick Wales, the company’s project manager, said in a statement. He added that Bolling is “clearly pursuing a ‘some of the above’ energy policy that is the antithesis of free enterprise and free markets.”

While this doesn’t really surprise me, considering Bolling’s political implosion over the past few weeks, I do find it very irritating that Bolling seems willing to sacrifice the economy of Pittsylvania to draw some thin support for the sinking possibility of a “possible” independent run for Governor.

Sadly, as Jim Hoeft notes over on Bearing Drift, this also indicates an incredible lack of leadership, as well as quite a bit of hypocrisy on Bolling’s part. The website for his gubenatorial run (and here’s a screenshot, in case the site is taken down) clearly states Bolling’s support of nuclear energy:

Governor McDonnell and Lieutenant Governor Bolling believe in an “all of the above“ approach to energy policy. They strongly support the expansion of traditional forms of energy, such as coal, natural gas and nuclear power; but they also support expanding renewable forms of energy in Virginia, such as wind, solar and biofuels.

Bolling4GovenergyWell, Mr. Bolling, nuclear energy requires fuel – and at the moment, we IMPORT most of the fuel for our nuclear energy plants. Many of the countries which supply uranium have governments which are unstable or hostile to the United States, which would, of course, jeopardize our supply if something untoward should happen to these governments. Have we not had – do we not continue to have – for this reason, the debate about using our own resources for oil and gas?

The National Academy of Science report (summary downloadable as a .pdf here, full report available here) is one of the reviews to which Bolling referred. The report is quite dense, and neither I nor Mr. Bolling are qualified scientists on this subject, so let’s see what one of the panel’s members has to say in summary.

Dr. Corby G. Anderson was a member of the NAS panel which wrote the report, and his op/ed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on 09 September has this to say:

Virginia legislators and residents should keep in mind that much of the NAS report focused on the impacts of uranium-mining practices dating back to the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, long before any of today’s strict regulations were put in place or modern industry practices were adopted.

Fifty years ago, we had neither the technology nor the understanding about the effects of radiation to mine uranium safely. That is not the case today. The NAS report affirms that and provides a “starting point” for Virginia by identifying internationally accepted best practices and regulatory standards for uranium mining.

Uranium is mined safely with minimal environmental impacts throughout the world. Studies conducted by leading epidemiologists demonstrate that today’s uranium workers and the public living near modern uranium mines are as healthy as the general population.

Consider that about one-fifth of the world’s uranium is mined in nearby Canada, largely in Saskatchewan. Since a government study panel concluded in the 1990s that the environmental impacts of uranium mining could be minimized, the Saskatchewan government has fully embraced the industry and still boasts an enviable record of environmental stewardship.

Today the uranium-mining industry there supports thousands of high-paying jobs and is rigorously regulated by the provincial and federal governments. Virginia would be well served to draw upon the Saskatchewan experience. [emph. mine]

Dr. Anderson rightly reminds us in this op/ed that he is speaking as a private citizen, and not as a representative from the NAS panel, but is remarks should be taken seriously. Technology has made tremendous strides since the moratorium on uranium mining, and the NAS report, while carefully examining the problems associated with uranium mining and acknowledging the difficulties associated with it, mainly concludes that is can be done – assuming proper regulation and oversight is in place.

(As an aside, please remember that “ban” is actually incorrect, while “moratorium” is more accurate. The relevant portion of the Virginia code states

§ 45.1-283. Uranium mining permit applications; when accepted; uranium mining deemed to have significant effect on surface.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, permit applications for uranium mining shall not be accepted by any agency of the Commonwealth prior to July 1, 1984, and until a program for permitting uranium mining is established by statute. For the purpose of construing § 45.1-180 (a), uranium mining shall be deemed to have a significant effect on the surface. [emph added]

So there is no “ban,” as such; rather, no mining may be done until proper statutes are drawn up for regulating uranium mining.)

I have met with several people at Virginia Uranium; they all seem quite above-board and truly interested in the economic health and future of Pittsylvania County. Now, certainly I can be fooled – we can all be fooled at one time or another – but if these men and women are truly the nefarious reprobates intent on destroying the culture and environment of our county (as the anti-uranium folks are wont to picture them), then why are they all so willing and eager to be subject to the regulations Virginia would have to enact? Why are they so willing to dig in and hold on to their ownership, when it would be far easier to sell out and let one of the big companies shoulder the headaches that crafting, editing, and passing the regulations – and then the whole, nightmareish process of actually getting permitted under those regulations! – entails?

Heck, if it were me, I’d be sitting on a beach somewhere, sipping mai tais rather than attempting to inform people of the FACTS about uranium and slamming my head against the brick wall of people who just don’t care about facts!

One of the most common myths I’ve heard promulgated is that, appaerntly, Virginia has a climate that is wet with lots of rainfall, and is thus utterly unique in all the world, so mining couldn’t possibly be done safely here. (Yeah, tell that to the farmers who are currently lacking about 16 inches of rainfall this year…)

Uh-huh. Well, it seems to me that Canadian mines seem to be doing quite well. Rabbit Lake (Cameco) is practically surrounded by water, plus it has to deal with snow and snowmelt far greater than anything we’ll ever see (oh, and it’s won several safety trophies, too!). Or take a look at AREVA’s operations in France (which, by the way, is not at all an arid country). Cleanup and proper shut down of old mines is extremely important in protecting the environment, of course. Note that AREVA is very concerned with complying with regulations set up by the French government!

Oh, did you mean that Virginia has no experience with this “wet climate” mining? How about I refer you back to Dr. Anderson?

The report emphasized the effectiveness of runoff and wastewater collection systems, as well as buffer zones and groundwater monitoring wells surrounding the site to detect the slightest elevations in contaminant levels and prevent contaminated water from escaping the site.

Virginia does not have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to uranium mining and milling. It can draw from the international best practices reported in the NAS study as well as borrow from effective regulatory regimes established in other states and countries. [emph. mine]

We do not live in a vacuum, people. We do not live in the 1970’s or 80’s. We live in 2012 (soon to be 2013), and in an area where we have the chance to help supply America’s energy needs. We have a chance to be part of it – and whether we go ahead and use this resource or not, let’s make the decision with our brains and not our emotions!

The second report Bolling may have referred to could have been either the Chmura report or the George Mason study (links go to .pdfs). The summary at the beginning of the GM study (pp. 2-5) reviewed the circumstances of Pittsylvania County and also examined the impact of existing mines in communities in Texas, Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming. It concluded:

  • The fiscal impact analysis of the proposed mine and mill on Pittsylvania County found a substantial net fiscal benefit for the County.
  • The regional housing market analysis found that economic and demographic factors have the greatest impact on housing sales and values with recent housing trends showing gains from the 2008-09 recession.
  • Spending from the uranium mine and mill construction and operation would also be expected to increase demand for housing in the County.
  • The analysis of how uranium operations have affected the economies of other counties have found that uranium has had a positive economic impact on these communities with no effect on business attraction and retention.
  • The business climate analysis concluded that recent gains in the housing market and multiple business attraction successes indicate that the proposed mine and mill do not create a stigma that negatively impacts the County’s economy.

When looking at other communities and reviewing recent changes in the housing and business sectors, the George Mason report indicates that this would be a definite positive for Pittsylvania. I would suggest you download the report and at least read the four page summary at the beginning.

A look at the Chmura report’s summary will quickly demonstrate that, while it appears to have a more cautious view of the possible socioeconomic stigmas many citizens are concerned about, overall the mine will have a positive impact on the county. Of the four scenarios Chumra looks at, only one – the one where current federal standards on uranium mining are not met – has no positive impact at all.

Chmura is also quite blunt about the fact that the local community is very skeptical about whether federal or state regulation would, in fact, be able to keep the mine operating within safe environmental standards. The report puts forth a suggestion

… that several steps could be taken to mitigate some of this skepticism and bolster the public’s confidence in VUI as well as in state and federal regulatory agencies. These steps include the signing of an “Impact-Benefit Agreement” between VUI and Pittsylvania County, the establishment of permanent Environmental Quality Committees, and the utilization of “adaptive management” practices by VUI. [page 10]

You see? Yes, there are problems associated with the uranium mine – there are problems associated with any type of heavy industry like this – but they are not insurmountable. If we step back and look at the facts with our BRAINS, and do not succumb to emotional impulses based on myth and fear, uranium mining could be a positive development for us all.

America has historically been a place where people dare to do great things and reach out to better themselves and their communities. Of course we have failed at times; that’s part of life. However, failure is only an opportunity to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and learn from your mistakes so you can make it succeed the next time you try.

Does uranium mining have the possibility of failure? Of course it does! However, when you step back, look at the facts, and evaluate them carefully with your intellect rather than your fears, I believe that the chances of success far outweigh the chances for failure.

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat)

(NOTE: I apologize for any formatting weirdnesses; I tried a copy/paste from Typepad, and when that didn’t work, I stripped out all the formatting and added it back in through WordPress’ interface, which still seemed to balk at what I wanted it to do. — Kat)

Get Gas For $1.84 / Gallon In NOVA This Wed.!

Gas Can Man is coming to Northern Virginia THIS Wednesday! Four gas stations inside the Beltway will be selling regular gas at $1.84 per gallon — the price of a gallon of regular the day that President Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009.  The stations will be in McLean, Annandale, Columbia Pike, and Seven-Corners with exact locations and details to be announced on WMAL (630 AM / 105.9 FM) in the morning!

You can also follow Gas Can Man on Facebook.

Organized labor admits to ignoring Obama/Kaine War on Coal for “weeks”

Amidst the brouhaha over the labor bosses’ PAC “Worker’s Voice” ads ripping Allen in Northern Virginia, many of us in the rightosphere wondered why the union folks were suddenly ignoring the plight of their brothers and sisters in the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) who are losing employment in heavy numbers in southwest Virginia due to President Obama and Tim Kaine’s determination to shut down coal production (Shaun Kenny at BD). Well, the folks at WV were good enough to answer, via Twitter:

@WorkersVoice: @bearingdrift sorry to burst your conspiracy bubble, but we’ve had these ads for weeks. Just waited for conventions to end to run them.

So…they’ve been ignoring the Obama/Kaine War on Coal “for weeks.”

I’m glad that’s been cleared up!

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

NASA gets caught fudging the temperature record

Randall Hoven (American Thinker, h/t SDA) caught NASA “adjusting” past data again:

A funny thing happened on the way to determining how hot 2012 has been on a global basis: temperatures changed in 1880.

I knew NASA would occasionally update its estimates, even its historical estimates. I found that unsettling when I first heard about it. But I thought such re-estimates were rare, and transparent. There is absolutely no transparency here. If I had not kept a copy of the data taken off NASA’s web site two months ago, I would not have known it had changed. NASA does not make available previous versions of its temperature record (to my knowledge).

NASA does summarize its “updates to analysis,” but the last update it describes was in February. The data I looked at changed sometime after early July.

In short, the data that NASA makes available to the public, temperatures over the last 130 years, can change at any time, without warning and without explanation. Yes, the global temperature of January 1880 changed some time between July and September 2012.

Surprise of surprise, the change had the effect of making the long-term temperature record support conclusions of faster warming. The biggest changes were mostly pre-1963 temperatures; they were generally adjusted down. That would make the warming trend steeper, since post-1963 temperatures were adjusted slightly upward, on average. Generally, the older the data, the more adjustment.

C’mon, NASA, did you really think we wouldn’t notice?

For those who are keeping track (admittedly not easy given the numbers), we have now reached forty examples of data manipulation, errors, and other shenanigans from global warming alarmists, and that’s just from what I’ve been able to blog on this subject since Climategate broke in November of 2009 just under three years ago.

Keep this in mind the next time someone screams “hottest (day/week/month/year) on record.”

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal