Doing Advance Work

News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Famous 97% human caused global warming consensus claim doesn't stand up: Survey was padded with irrelevant papers, article about tv coverage on global warming was taken as evidence for it, about 3 quarters of papers claimed as endorsements had nothing to say about the subject matter-Richard Tol, The Australian

3/26/15, "Global warming consensus claim doesn’t stand up," The Australian, Richard Tol, opinion

"Now almost two years old, John Cook’s 97 per cent consensus paper on anthropogenic global warming has been a runaway success. Downloaded more than 300,000 times, voted the best 2013 paper in Environmental Research Letters, frequently cited by peers and politicians from around the world, the paper seems to be the definitive proof that the science of climate change is settled. It isn’t. 
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Consensus has no place in science. Academics agree on lots of things, but that does not make them true. Even so, agreement climate change is real and human-caused does not tell us anything about how the risks of climate change weigh against the risks of climate policy. But in our age of pseudo-Enlightenment, having 97 per cent of researchers on your side is powerful rhetoric for marginalising political opponents. All politics ends in failure, however. Chances are the opposition will gain power well before the climate problem is solved. Polarisation works in the short run, but is counterproductive in the long run.
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Cook and colleagues argue 97 per cent of the relevant academic literature endorses that humans have contributed to observed climate change. This is unremarkable. It follows immediately from the 19th century research by ­Fourier, Tyndall and Arrhenius. In popular discourse, however, Cook’s finding is often misrepresented. The 97 per cent refers to the number of papers, rather than the number of scientists. The alleged consensus is about any human role in climate change, rather than a dominant role, and it is about ­climate change rather than the dangers it might pose.
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Although there are large areas of substantive agreement, climate science is far from settled. Witness the dozens of alternative explanations of the 18-year pause in warming of the surface atmosphere. 
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The debate on the seriousness of ­climate change or what to do about it ranges even more widely.
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The Cook paper is remarkable for its quality, though. Cook and colleagues studied 12,000 papers, but did not check whether their sample is representative for the scientific literature. It isn’t. Their conclusions are about the papers they happened to look at, rather than about the literature. Attempts to replicate their sample failed: a number of papers that should have been analysed were not, for no apparent reason.
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The sample was padded with irrelevant papers. An article about tv coverage on global warming was taken as evidence for global warming. In fact, about three-quarters of the papers counted as endorsements had nothing to say about the subject matter.
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Cook enlisted a small group of environmental activists to rate the claims made by the selected papers. Cook claims the ratings were done independently, but the raters freely discussed their work. There are systematic differences between the raters. Reading the same abstracts, the raters reached remarkably different conclusions and some raters all too often erred in the same direction.
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Cook’s hand-picked raters disagreed on what a paper was about 33 per cent of the time. In 63 per cent of cases, they disagreed about the message of a paper with the authors of that paper. The paper’s reviewers did not pick up on these things. The editor even praised the authors for the “excellent data quality” even though neither he nor the referees had had the opportunity to check the data. Then again, that same editor thinks ­climate change is like the rise of Nazi Germany. Two years after publication, Cook admitted that data quality is indeed low.
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Requests for the data were met with evasion and foot-dragging, a clear breach of the publisher’s policy on validation and reproduction, yet defended by an editorial board member of the journal as “exemplary scientific conduct”. Cook hoped to hold back some data, but his internet security is on par with his statistical skills, and an alleged hacker was not intimidated by the University of Queensland’s legal threats. Cook’s employer argued that releasing rater identities would violate a confidentiality agreement. That agreement does not exist.
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Cook first argued that releasing time stamps would serve no scientific purpose. This is odd. Cook’s raters essentially filled out a giant questionnaire. Survey researchers routinely collect time stamps, and so did Cook. Interviewees sometimes tire and rush through the last questions. Time stamps reveal that. Cook argued time stamps were never collected. They were. They show one of Cook’s raters inspected 675 abstracts within 72 hours, a superhuman ­effort.
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The time stamps also reveal something far more serious. After collecting data for eight weeks, there were four weeks of data analysis, followed by three more weeks of data collection. The same people collected and analysed the data. After more analysis, the paper classification scheme was changed and yet more data ­collected.
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Cook thus broke a key rule of scientific data collection: observations should never follow from the conclusions. Medical tests are double-blind for good reason.
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You cannot change how to ­collect data, and how much, after having seen the results.
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Cook’s team may, perhaps unwittingly, have worked towards a given conclusion. And indeed, the observations are different, significantly and materially, between the three phases of data collection. 
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The entire study should therefore be dismissed.
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This would have been an amusing how-not-to tale for our students. 
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But Cook’s is one of the most influential papers of recent years.
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The paper was vigorously defended by the University of Queensland (Cook’s employer) and the editors of Environmental Research Letters, with the Institute of Physics (the publisher) looking on in silence. Incompetence was compounded by cover-up and complacency.
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Climate change is one of the defining issues of our times. We have one uncontrolled, poorly observed experiment. We cannot observe the future. Climate change and policy are too complex for a single person to understand. Climate policy is about choosing one future over another. That choice can only be informed by the judgment of experts — and we must have confidence in their learning and trust their intentions.
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Climate research lost its aura of impartiality with the unauthorised release of the email archives of the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. Its reputation of competence was shredded by the climate community’s celebration of the flawed works of Michael Mann. Innocence went with the allegations of sexual harassment by Rajendra Pachauri and Peter Gleick’s fake memo. 

Cook’s paper shows the climate community still has a long way to go in weeding out bad research and bad behaviour. If you want to believe climate researchers are incompetent, biased and secretive, Cook’s paper is an excellent case in point." .  
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"Richard Tol teaches economics at the University of Sussex and the Vrije University Amsterdam." 
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Richard Tol is also a former UN IPCC author. ed.
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3/25/15, "The Institute of Physics is corrupt," Bishop Hill .

"Richard Tol has posted up a review of the strange affair of the "97% consensus", as the second anniversary of Cook's infamous paper draws near. An edited version has apparently been published in the Australian..

"The sample was padded with irrelevant papers. An article about TV coverage on global warming was taken as evidence for global warming. In fact, about three-quarters of the papers counted as endorsements had nothing to say about the subject matter. 
 
Requests for the data were met with evasion and foot-dragging, a clear breach of the publisher’s policy on validation and reproduction, yet defended by an editorial board member of the journal as “exemplary scientific conduct”.
 

As far as they are concerned when it comes to climate science there is no study too fraudulent, no conduct too reprehensible, no deception too blatant."

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JoNova comments at Richard Tol blog about his Australian piece at top:

"Richard S J Tol25 March 2015 at 10:12

Comment by Jo Nova:
 
Richard, thank you for the hours you've spent trying to analyze this pointless but revealing "work".

Cook is beyond saving, but those who promote him deserve to bask in his science. Daniel Kammen needs to justify his decisions. Cooks standards are his standards now.

It seems to me that UQ and ERL and the Institute of Physics should wear Cook's glory in full.

The bizarre thing is that they don't need Cooks paper to promote "the consensus". It's not like it provides some key evidence for the climate debate, even on a sociological level."





Wednesday, March 25, 2015

2014 Hamas attacks on Israel were war crimes per Amnesty International, Hamas killed civilians in both Israel and Gaza, deadliest event killing 11 Gaza children was caused by Hamas rocket. All Hamas rockets were unguided-Amnesty Int.

3/26/15, "Palestinian armed groups killed civilians on both sides in attacks amounting to war crimes in Gaza conflict," Amnesty International, press release
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"Palestinian armed groups displayed a flagrant disregard for the lives of civilians by repeatedly launching indiscriminate rockets and mortars towards civilian areas in Israel during the conflict in July and August 2014, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.
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Unlawful and deadly: Rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian armed groups during the 2014 Gaza/Israel conflict provides evidence that several attacks launched from inside the Gaza Strip amount to war crimes. Six civilians in Israel, including a four-year-old boy, were killed in such attacks during the 50-day conflict. In the deadliest incident believed to have been caused by a Palestinian attack, 11 children were among 13 Palestinian civilians killed when a projectile fired from within the Gaza Strip landed in the al-Shati refugee camp.
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Palestinian armed groups, including the armed wing of Hamas, repeatedly launched unlawful attacks during the conflict killing and injuring civilians. In launching these attacks, they displayed a flagrant disregard for international humanitarian law and for the consequences of their violations on civilians in both Israel and the Gaza Strip,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.
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All the rockets used by Palestinian armed groups are unguided projectiles which cannot be accurately aimed at specific targets and are inherently indiscriminate; using such weapons is prohibited under international law and their use constitutes a war crime. Mortars are also imprecise munitions and should never be used to attack military targets located in or near civilian areas.
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Palestinian armed groups must end all direct attacks on civilians and indiscriminate attacks. They must also take all feasible precautions to protect civilians in the Gaza Strip from the effects of such attacks. This includes taking all possible measures to avoid locating fighters and arms within or near densely populated areas,” said Philip Luther.
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At least 1,585 Palestinian civilians, including more than 530 children, were killed in Gaza, and at least 16,245 homes were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by Israeli attacks during the conflict, some of which also amounted to war crimes.
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“The devastating impact of Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians during the conflict is undeniable, but violations by one side in a conflict can never justify violations by their opponents,” said Philip Luther.
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“The fact that Palestinian armed groups appear to have carried out war crimes by firing indiscriminate rockets and mortars does not absolve the Israeli forces from their obligations under international humanitarian law. The war wrought an unprecedented level of death, destruction and injury on the 1.8 million people in the Gaza Strip, and some of the Israeli attacks must be investigated as war crimes.
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“The Israeli and Palestinian authorities must both co-operate with the probes of the UN Commission of Inquiry and the International Criminal Court to end decades of impunity that have perpetuated a cycle of violations in which civilians on both sides have paid a heavy price.”
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According to UN data, more than 4,800 rockets and 1,700 mortars were fired from Gaza towards Israel during the conflict. Out of the thousands of rockets and mortars fired, around 224 are estimated to have struck Israeli residential areas, as Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system intercepted many others.
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The death of Daniel Tregerman, a four-year-old boy, on 22 August 2014 clearly illustrates the tragic consequences of using imprecise weapons such as mortars on civilian areas. His family had fled their home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz because of the fighting but returned the day before he was killed.
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Moments after the alarm sirens went off, a mortar launched from Gaza struck the family car parked outside the house. Daniel’s little sister who was also present watched him die before her eyes.
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“My husband and son were in the living room and I was yelling for them to come into the shelter. Shrapnel [from the mortar] entered Daniel’s head, killing him immediately,” his mother, Gila Tregerman, told Amnesty International.
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Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack.
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The briefing also highlights the Israeli authorities’ failure to adequately protect civilians in vulnerable communities during the conflict, particularly Bedouin villages in Israel’s Negev/Naqab region, many of which are not officially recognized by the Israeli government. Ouda Jumi’an al-Waj was killed by a rocket that struck the Bedouin village of Qasr al-Sir near the Israeli city of Dimona on 19 July.
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Most Bedouin villages are classified as non-residential “open areas” by the Israeli authorities, so the Iron Dome system to intercept rockets does not operate there and there are no bomb shelters. More than 100,000 people live in Bedouin villages in southern Israel.
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“Civilians living in Bedouin villages during the conflict were left vulnerable and exposed, one manifestation of the discrimination they face on a daily basis. The Israeli authorities must ensure everyone is given equal protection,” said Philip Luther.
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Other civilians killed by attacks launched in Gaza included an agricultural worker from Thailand, Narakorn Kittiyangkul, who was killed when a mortar struck the tomato farm in southern Israel where he was working. Ze’ev Etzion and Shahar Melamed were killed in a mortar attack on Kibbutz Nirim on 26 August.
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In the deadliest incident believed to have been caused by a Palestinian armed group during the conflict, 13 Palestinian civilians – 11 of them children – were killed when a projectile exploded next to a supermarket in the crowded al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza on 28 July 2014, the first day of Eid al-Fitr.
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The children had been playing in the street and buying crisps and soft drinks in the supermarket at the time of the attack.
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Although Palestinians have claimed that the Israeli military was responsible for the attack, an independent munitions expert who examined the available evidence on behalf of Amnesty International concluded that the projectile used in the attack was a Palestinian rocket.

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“Evidence suggesting that a rocket launched by a Palestinian armed group may have caused 13 civilian deaths inside Gaza just underscores how indiscriminate these weapons can be and the dreadful consequences of using them,” said Philip Luther.
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Mahmoud Abu Shaqfa and his five-year-old son Khaled were seriously wounded in the attack. His eight-year-old son Muhammad was killed. “The rocket fell near the car…The whole car was pierced by shrapnel. A piece of shrapnel pierced me… My son [Khaled] came to me. He was screaming ‘Daddy get up, get up…’ My entire leg was torn open and my arm had been wrenched to my back.”
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There are no bomb shelters or warning systems in place to protect civilians in Gaza.
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The report also details other violations of international humanitarian law by Palestinian armed groups during the conflict, such as storing rockets and other munitions in civilian buildings, including UN schools, and cases where Palestinian armed groups launched attacks or stored munitions very near locations where hundreds of displaced civilians were taking shelter.
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“The international community must help prevent further violations by tackling entrenched impunity and by ending transfers to Palestinian armed groups and Israel of all arms and military equipment that could be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law,” said Philip Luther. Amnesty International is calling on all states to support the UN Commission of Inquiry and the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over crimes committed by all parties to the conflict."
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3/26/15, "Amnesty: Hamas rocket attacks amounted to war crimes," BBC


"Rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian militant groups during last summer's conflict in Gaza amounted to war crimes, Amnesty International says.

Militants displayed a "flagrant disregard" for the lives of civilians during the 50-day war, a report found....

According to UN data, more than 4,800 rockets and 1,700 mortars were fired from Gaza towards Israel between 8 July and 26 August. Around 224 projectiles are believed to have struck Israeli residential areas.
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Amnesty said that all the rockets used by Hamas and other militant groups, some of which have ranges of up to 160km (100 miles), were unguided projectiles which could not be accurately directed at specific targets and were "inherently indiscriminate".

The majority of Israel's 8.3 million people live within reach of the long-range rockets....

Mortars are also imprecise munitions which Amnesty said should never be used to attack military targets located in or near civilian areas....

The group said an independent munitions expert had concluded that a Palestinian rocket had exploded next to a supermarket in the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City on 28 July, killing 13 civilians, 11 of them children aged between seven and 14."...





 
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Due to Great Lakes ice conditions opening of St. Lawrence Seaway connecting Atlantic Ocean to Great Lakes delayed til April 2 though Great Lakes may still not be navigable-NY Times

3/24/15, "Deep Freeze on Great Lakes Halts Cargo Shipments," NY Times,

The trip to pick up a load of iron ore powder in Conneaut, Ohio, was supposed to take four days by way of the Great Lakes. But within sight of its destination, the cargo ship, the Arthur M. Anderson, got trapped in ice. Two heavy icebreakers from the Canadian Coast Guard eventually broke the vessel free.

It was a 24-day ordeal, and the ship returned to its home port in Wisconsin without picking up the cargo.

A deep freeze this winter left much of the Great Lakes blanketed in thick ice, sidelining the ship lines and companies that move vast amounts of grain, cement and other commodities through this system of waterways. And now the spring thaw, which creates piles of impassable ice, will most likely create more delays.

“There’s a lot of ice out there, and we need to understand the impact of that ice,” said Mark Barker, the president of the Interlake Steamship Company, which carries mostly iron ore, coal and limestone on its nine ships. “Last year, we pretty much lost the month of April.”

Cold spells and snowstorms have taken a bite out of businesses across the Northeast and Midwest of the United States, as well as in Canada. Car manufacturers have blamed the weather for weak sales. Housing starts, too, have slumped. And blizzards in places like Boston have been brutal for many local businesses.

Michael Dolega, who analyzes the United States economy at the Toronto-Dominion Bank, says he expects that the weather will cut first-quarter growth by as much as three-quarters of a percentage point. And not all of that loss will be made up later in the year, he said. “I don’t think it’s a welcome development,” said Mr. Dolega, who is based in Toronto.

The Great Lakes shipping trade largely hibernates during the late winter months, with occasional sailings for supplies like road salt. The Arthur M. Anderson was making its last run of the season in early February when it became stuck.

Shipping is usually up and running again by March. But the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the critical system of locks that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, has been postponed until April 2. Even when the locks open, there is no assurance that all of the lakes, particularly choke points prone to ice buildup, will be navigable
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Last year’s ice-induced delays reduced early shipments from the United States by seven million tons, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association, which represents American shipowners. That amounts to about 10 percent of all American shipments on the lakes.

The Great Lakes are a vital conduit for companies in a wide range of industries. Grain from farms in Western Canada makes its way to markets around the world. Iron ore travels to steel mills along the shorelines. Power plants depend on the coal that travels via the lakes. Companies in steelmaking, electrical generation, construction and agriculture — like Cargill, United States Steel and Lafarge — all need the waterways.

For companies now facing dwindling stockpiles, there are few alternatives to ships for restocking. Shipping by rail is more costly, even if the tracks were not already overloaded. And hauling large quantities of, say, iron ore by truck is neither practical nor cost-effective. Replacing a single Great Lakes ore-carrying ship requires about 2,400 tractor-trailer trucks.
During a normal winter, some ships can continue to make relatively short treks without much trouble, particularly when ice cover is light. But the last two winters have been particularly harsh.

In 2014, ice cover peaked at 92.5 percent, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich. Ice persisted in some places until June. This year, ice cover was 89.1 percent.

“Two especially severe winters back to back — we haven’t seen that in a long time,” said George A. Leshkevich, who tracks the ice for the research laboratory. “All the lakes seem pretty brutal.”

It has created nightmarish troubles for vessels that must continue to attempt runs through the worst of winter.

Truck and train cargo that is too dangerous or too large for the bridge and tunnels spanning the international border between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, must instead travel the Detroit River. But dense ice stopped the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry for 31 days this year, 25 of them consecutively. At one point the ferry’s tug was stuck in Windsor with its barge separately frozen to a dock in Detroit.

Ed Bernard, vice president of the Toronto-based Precision Specialized Division, a heavy haul company, said he waited more than two weeks to ferry across the river sections of large chimneys destined for Ohio.

Gregg Ward, the co-owner of the ferry, said, “Our expenses continue, so it’s a tragedy for us. By the time this is over, we’ve lost 20 percent of the year.”

As the thaw gets underway, the shipping situation can actually worsen if wind causes ice to pile up in stacks. “I’ve been on a 235-foot Coast Guard ship going full speed ahead, and when it hit one of those, the ship shuddered to a stop,” said Lt. Davey Connor of the Coast Guard district in Cleveland, which is responsible for the Great Lakes.

Many companies are now playing the waiting game.

A United States Coast Guard icebreaker made initial attempts at breaking up ice last week in the port here. Eight imposing grain elevators, which collectively have the largest storage capacity in North America, make the Thunder Bay port an important hub for Canadian exports heading to the Atlantic Ocean.

Once again this year, the season’s first ships will not get loaded in March as they normally are. As the Canadian Wheat Board’s elevator nears capacity, Paul Kennedy, its manager, says that he may soon be forced to stop daily unloadings of 90 or so rail cars, which have come from the western part of the country.

“They’re starting to hunt and peck a little bit for space,” Mr. Kennedy said of his employees in the concrete elevator. “You don’t want to get to the point where you can’t unload any more cars and you’ve got loaded cars sitting on track.”

Railroads impose a $100-a-day charge for every loaded but idle car stuck on their tracks. Last year, when shipping didn’t start in Thunder Bay until April 26, Mr. Kennedy estimates that about 2,000 rail cars destined for the eight grain elevators along the city’s shoreline were backed up in rail yards.


The delays are just as painful for the companies that depend on the various commodities.

Robert Lewis-Manning, the president of the Canadian Shipowners Association, said that last year, two large steel makers “were getting awfully close to having to lay off people” because their stockpiles of iron ore, coal and coke almost ran out in the spring. He declined to identify the companies.

As his fleet of 22 ships gears up to resume service, Allister Paterson, the president of Canada Steamship Lines, said he expected that the most anxious customers would be suppliers and users of road salt along the lakes and the east coast of North America. With their stocks all but wiped out, such players will need to immediately start the long process of rebuilding.

They were still recovering from last year, trying to get inventories up,” he said. “And now we have another brutal winter, so I suspect they will be in a restocking mode for quite a while.”" via IceAgeNow.info






NY Times' Justin Gillis says 99.9% of climate science is funded by the government. Thanks for confirming that, Justin

3/24/15, "Reporters Explain Why Balance Isn’t Needed On Global Warming," The Federalist, Rachelle Peterson 

"Elite journalists explain why they have no need for ‘balance’ on the global warming issue. So much for scientific and reportorial inquiry."

"One member of the audience thought to ask about the funding for pro-anthropogenic global warming scientists....

No worries about that, (NY Times Justin) Gillis responded: “99.9 percent of climate science is funded by the government. That means, he explained, that each grant is disclosed by number to the public, making every transaction transparent and trustworthy."...
(Subhead, "Denying the Deniers") via Climate Depot

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Added: The global CO2 danger cash machine was embedded in the US Executive branch in 1990:

11/16/1990, U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990

3/6/15, "Causes and consequences of the climate science boom," William Butos and Thomas McQuade


"1. The Government’s Role in Climate Science Funding...[is] embedded in scores of agencies and programs scattered throughout the Executive Branch of the US government. While such agency activities related to climate science have received funding for many years as components of their mission statements, the pursuit of an integrated national agenda to study climate change and implement policy initiatives took a critical step with passage of the Global Change Research Act of 1990.

This Act established institutional structures operating out of the White House to develop and oversee the implementation of a National Global Change Research Plan and created the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) to coordinate the climate change research activities of Executive Departments and agencies.[33] As of 2014, the coordination of climate change-related activities resides largely in the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, which houses several separate offices, including the offices of Environment and Energy, Polar Sciences, Ocean Sciences, Clean Energy and Materials R&D, Climate Adaptation and Ecosystems, National Climate Assessment, and others. The Office of the President also maintains the National Science and Technology Council, which oversees the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability and its Subcommittee on Climate Change Research. The Subcommittee is charged with the responsibility of planning and coordinating with the interagency USGCRP. Also, the Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy is housed within the President’s Domestic Policy Council. While Congress authorizes Executive branch budgets, the priorities these departments and agencies follow are set by the White House. As expressed in various agency and Executive Branch strategic plans, these efforts have been recently organized around four components comprising (1) climate change research and education, (2) emissions reduction through “clean” energy technologies and investments, (3) adaptation to climate change, and (4) international climate change leadership.[36]....By any of these measures, the scale of climate science R&D has increased substantially since 2001. Perhaps, though, the largest funding increases have occurred in developing new technologies and tax subsidies. As can be seen from Table 1, federal dollars to develop and implement “clean energy technologies” have increased from $1.7 billion in 2001 to $5.8 billion in 2013, while energy tax subsidies have increased from zero in 2001 and 2002 to $13 billion in 2013, with the largest increases happening since 2010. The impact on scientific research of government funding is not just a matter of the amounts but also of the concentration of research monies that arises from the focus a single source can bring to bear on particular kinds of scientific research. Government is that single source and has Big Player effects because it has access to a deep pool of taxpayer (and, indeed, borrowed and created) funds combined with regulatory and enforcement powers which necessarily place it on a different footing from other players and institutions. Notwithstanding the interplay of rival interests within the government and the separation of powers among the different branches, there is an important sense in which government’s inherent need to act produces a particular set of decisions that fall within a relatively narrow corridor of ends to which it can concentrate substantial resources.

2. By any standards, what we have documented here is a massive funding drive, highlighting the patterns of climate science R&D as funded and directed only by the Executive Branch and the various agencies that fall within its purview.[40] To put its magnitude into some context, the $9.3 billion funding requested for climate science R&D in 2013 is about one-third of the total amount appropriated for all 27 National Institutes of Health in the same year,[41] yet it is more than enough to sustain a science boom. Its directional characteristic, concentrated as it has been on R&D premised on the controversial issue of the actual sensitivity of climate to human-caused emissions, has gone hand in hand with the IPCC’s expressions of increasing confidence in the AGW hypothesis and increasingly shrill claims of impending disaster.

3. The recent pattern of federal climate science funding, moving toward emphasis on the development of technologies and their subsidization through the tax system, suggests that climate change funding has become more tightly connected to agencies like the Department of Energy, NASA, the Department of Commerce (NOAA), EPA, and cross-cutting projects and programs involving multiple agencies under integrating and coordinating agencies, like the USGCRP, lodged within the Executive branch. The allocations of budgets within these agencies are more directly determined and implemented by Administration priorities and policies. We note that the traditional role of NSF in supporting basic science based on a system of merit awards provided (despite some clear imperfections) certain advantages with regard to generating impartial science. In contrast, even a casual perusal of current agency documents, such as The National Science and Technology Council’s The National Global Change Research Plan 2012-2021, shows that those driving this movement make no pretense as to their premises and starting points.[39]

4. To be sure, the very opaqueness of these allocations and their actual use only provides for “ball park” estimates. However, we believe that the results presented in Table 3 come closer to a useful accounting than what previously has been provided. We have combined data from Leggett et al. (2013) and the AAAS Reports for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013 (the only years for which the AAAS provides detailed budgetary data for climate science R&D and climate-related funding). This constrains Table 3 to including data only from 2010 through 2013. We have adjusted budgetary data and categorized it in light of discussion points 1-5 above. Note that the estimated aggregate expenditures for climate science and climate-related funding (excluding tax subsidies) from 2010-2013 in Table 3 are about twice that of the Leggett findings.

5.5 Funds administered by the Treasury Department in Table 2 are credit lines and loans channeled through the World Bank earmarked for international organizations to finance clean technologies and sustainable practices; consequently such funds would also more accurately be considered as climate-related sustainability and adaptation....

8. This summary and the detail in Table 1, however, do not capture the full scale of federal funding for climate science R&D. Two complications must be considered to capture a more accurate estimate. First, the entries in the first row of Table 1 for climate science only refer to monies administered by the Executive branch via the office of the USGCRP and does not include all climate-related R&D in the federal budget. For example, the entry in Table 1 for the USGCRP in 2011 is just under $2.5 billion; yet the actual budget expenditures for climate science-related R&D as calculated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) total about $16.1 billion.[38] In addition, since USGCRP funding is comprised of monies contributed from the authorized budgets of the 13 participating departments and agencies, a more accurate estimate of climate-related R&D requires deducting USGCRP funding from the aggregated budgets of those 13, most of which are included in Table 2.

9. Leggett et al. (2013) of the Congressional Research Service provides a recent account of climate change funding based on data provided by the White House Office of Management and Budget (see Table 1, below). Total expenditures for federal funded climate change programs from 2001-2013 were $110.9 billion in current dollars and $120.2 billion in 2012 dollars. “Total budgetary impact” includes various tax provisions and subsidies related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (which are treated as “tax expenditures”) and shows total climate change expenditures from 2001-2013 to be $145.3 billion in current dollars and $155.4 billion in 2012 dollars.[37]

10. The USGCRP operates as a confederacy of the research components of thirteen participating government agencies, each of which independently designates funds in accordance with the objectives of the USGCRP; these monies comprise the program budget of the USGCRP to fund agency cross-cutting climate science R&D.[34] The departments and agencies whose activities comprise the bulk of such funding include independent agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, US Agency for International Development, the quasi-official Smithsonian Institute, and Executive Departments that include Agriculture, Commerce (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology), Energy, Interior (the US Geological Survey and conservation initiatives), State, and Treasury.[35]

11. The past 15 years have seen a sustained program of funding, largely from government or quasi-government entities.[31] The funding efforts are spread across a bewildering array of sources and buried in a labyrinth of programs, agency initiatives, interagency activities, and Presidential Offices, but what they seem to have in common is an adherence to the assumption that human activity is primarily responsible for the warming observed in the latter part of the 20th century. Funding appears to be driving the science rather than the other way around. And the extent of this funding appears not to have been heretofore fully documented.[32]"...



 
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The term 'climate change' is political speech-Commenter to Judith Curry post about 2016 US presidential election and issue of man caused global warming

3/24/15, "The stupid party," Judith Curry, Climate Etc.

"The emergence of candidates for U.S. President in the 2016 election is raising some interesting issues about climate change."...

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Among comments to Dr. Curry's post: 

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Use of the term "climate change" is political speech:

"Bob Greene

"Usually, when I see the words “climate change” I disregard all that follows. The words, as used in this article and in the mainstream jargon of climate science have been bent out of normal recognition. 

We are going to “fight climate change” means we are going to stop it from changing? Climate stasis? 

Expert climate scientists claim they can control the climate and keep it from changing. Really?
 

If you dare to question orthodoxy you are a “climate change denier?” Now do you deny the climate is changing? No, you deny that man has sinned against the earth and deny that you must make the proper propitiations to the climate gods.
 

The use of the word is political speech: it snows, it’s hot, it rains, thunderstorm, tropical cyclone, earthquakes, volcanoes: all “climate change.” It’s cooler than normal today and predicted to be warmer than normal tomorrow: must be climate change.

 Anyone who actually thinks Governor Brown is a spokesman for “climate change” rather makes my point that the words are gibberish as used today.

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World's largest oil expo to kick off in Beijing, 46 Fortune 500 companies, 16 national delegations will attend including US, Germany, UK, and France. 70,000 professional visitors expected-Saudi Gazette

3/25/15, "World’s largest oil expo to kick off in Beijing," Saudi Gazette, Beijing
  
"China International Petroleum and Petrochemical Technology and Equipment Exhibition (cippe) will be held on March 26-28 in Beijing. The event has attracted many well-known enterprises at home and abroad, including 46 Fortune 500 companies and international giants like Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Cameron, NOV, Caterpillar, Rosneft, Gazprom, Naftogaz, Cummins, MTU, 3M, Honeywell, Tyco, Siemens, Schneider, Hempel and Jotun, as well as 16 national delegations from the United States, Germany, UK, France, Canada, Norway, Italy, Russia, South Korea and Denmark. The proportion of international exhibitors exceeded 40%.

Along with the international giants, leading domestic players, including CNPC, Sinopec, CNOOC, CSSC, CSIC, Jereh Group, Shandong Kerui, Sichuan Honghua, Nanyang RG, JUMA Group, SANY, NHI, Shanghai Shenkai, Huabei Rong Sheng, GN Solids Control and Yantai Moon Group, also leveraged cippe’s world-class platform to exhibit the latest technologies and equipment in petroleum and petrochemical, shale gas, offshore oil and gas, natural gas, pipelines and storage and explosion-proof instruments.

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cippe’s global buyer invitation plan covered the oil-producing regions in the Middle East, the Americas, the North Sea, North Africa, Southeast Asia and other places, with campaigns in popular oil and gas exploration and development regions. Professional international buyers including Gazprom, BP, Rosneft, NIOC, Shell, Saudi Aramco, ExxonMobil, Petrobras and Total all arrived with huge purchase orders. cippe received more than 200 purchase delegations and over 70,000 professional visitors.

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Multiple summits on natural gas, pipelines, offshore oil and drilling were held simultaneously. The International Shale Gas Conference jointly organized by cippe and China Mining Association of the Ministry of Land and resources discussed the grand prospects of shale gas in China. The International Petroleum Industry Leaders’ Summit, which has seen success in the past years, invited keynote speakers including Cheng Siwei, former Vice Chairman of the People's Congress, and Yao Jingyuan, Counselor of the State Council. China's top academicians, experts and guests shared insights on the trends and outlook of the world’s energy industry as well as the latest oil equipment, technologies and thoughts.

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As the Chinese economy enters a new era highlighting "all-round optimization and upgrading of economic structure" and a new wave of innovation led by China's reform, Zhenwei as a leading comprehensive exhibition service provider will continue adhering to its philosophy of professional services, brand building and international development, serving the enterprises, boosting the industries, and creating a world-class exhibition brand. — SG"





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Massachusetts will seek federal disaster aid for record 2015 snow-AP

3/24/15, "AP NewsBreak: Massachusetts seeks disaster aid for snow," AP, Bob Salsberg


"Massachusetts will seek a federal disaster declaration for the record-setting snowstorms that wreaked havoc on the state and piled up what state officials estimate to be $400 million in snow removal costs and other damage, Gov. Charlie Baker's administration said Tuesday.

Baker planned to send a letter to President Barack Obama by the end of the week asking for the disaster declaration for 10 counties, an area encompassing about 250 cities and towns, a spokesman told The Associated Press. The letter would be submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, with the final decision on the request to be made by the president.

In what the administration acknowledges is an unusual request, the state is asking the federal government to treat the several weeks of storms that began in late January as a single disaster, compounded by frigid temperatures that prevented any immediate melting.

As of March 15, Boston had received 108.6 inches of snow, topping a seasonal record of 107.9 inches that was set in 1995-96. Nearly 65 inches fell in February alone, shattering the previous one-month record of 43.3 inches in January 2005.

Tim Buckley, Baker's communications director, said that based on information gathered by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the storm resulted in an estimated $350 million in unanticipated snow removal expenses and caused $50 million in other damage.

If the disaster declaration is approved, the state would hope to get 75 percent reimbursement, though there is no guarantee the federal government would agree to the full amount the state will seek.

"The unprecedented monthlong weather pattern that brought record snow, crippling vital systems across the Commonwealth requires an unprecedented response and the administration is hopeful that together with the congressional delegation, Massachusetts will receive the appropriate support from Washington," Buckley said in a statement.

"Roughly 250 cities and towns' budgets were busted by the 30 day long weather incident and federal assistance will go a long way to recovering from the record-setting severe weather," he added.

The snow clogged streets, forcing many communities to cancel schools for days at a time. Baker activated the National Guard and appealed for equipment and personnel from other states to help remove the snow.

Roofs collapsed throughout the region under the weight of the snow. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the Boston area's transit system, experienced massive delays and at times was forced to shut down completely.

Baker, a Republican, worked closely with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other members of the state's all-Democratic congressional delegation in formulating the request, Buckley said.

Massachusetts' four westernmost counties, Hampshire, Hamden, Berkshire and Franklin counties, were less severely affected by the storms and would not be covered by the governor's disaster request."

Top image caption: "File-In this Feb. 23, 2015 file photo, a car remains buried in snow along a residential street in South Boston. Boston's miserable winter is now also its snowiest season going back to 1872. The official measurement of 108.6 inches at Logan International Airport Sunday night topped a season record of 107.9 inches set in 1995-96. The final 2.9 inches came in a snowstorm that was relatively tame after a record-setting monthly snowfall of 64.9 inches in February. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)" 

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Boston, Mass. snowfall, 1902-2005:



















Above chart, p. 3

"SNOWFALL ANOMALIES IN RECENT DECADES – DRIVEN IN PART BY MULTIDECADAL OCEAN CYCLES," by Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, Fellow of the AMS 

pg. 3: "Despite the IPCC claim in their 4th Assessment that cities with winter average temperatures near 32F are seeing less snowfall and more rainfall, this is not the case in the eastern United States. Boston has an average winter temperature of 32F. Boston since 1992/93 had had 5 years that rank top 12 snowiest winters in over 130 years of record, including numbers 1, 3, 5, 7 and 12th. If you do a running mean of average snowfall over dozen years, the period from 1993/94 through 2004/05 for Boston, the average is the highest in the entire record dating back to the 1880s." 
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Boston Globe is aboard the gravy train saying excess CO2 that only exists in China means Americans are bad and must pay:

2/4/15,  "How global warming can worsen snowfalls," Boston Globe, by Carolyn Y. Johnson

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Added: The $2 billion a day CO2 scare industry cash machine was embedded in the US Executive branch in 1990.

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Added: "From the 2009 Old Farmer's Almanac," by Joseph D'Aleo 

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New FEMA guidelines for governors don't go into effect until March 2016:

3/23/15, "FEMA targets climate change skeptic governors, could withhold funding," Washington Times, Dave Boyer

"The Obama administration has issued new guidelines that could make it harder for governors who deny climate change to obtain federal disaster-preparedness funds.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new rules could put some Republican governors in a bind. The rules say that states’ risk assessments must include “consideration of changing environmental or climate conditions that may affect and influence the long-term vulnerability from hazards in the state.”

The policy, which goes into effect in March 2016, doesn’t affect federal money for relief after a hurricane, flood, or other natural disaster. But states seeking disaster preparedness money from Washington will be required to assess how climate change threatens their communities, a requirement that wasn’t included in FEMA’s 2008 guidelines.

FEMA said it recognizes there exists inherent uncertainty about future conditions, and will work with states to identify tools and approaches that enable decision-making to reduce risks and increase resilience from a changing climate.”

“An understanding of vulnerabilities will assist with prioritizing mitigation actions and policies that reduce risk from future events,” the agency said.

Among the GOP governors who could face a difficult decision are Rick Scott of Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Pat McCrory of North Carolina and Greg Abbott of Texas."

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11/16/1990, U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990 

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3/6/15, "Causes and consequences of the climate science boom," William Butos and Thomas McQuade


"1. The Government’s Role in Climate Science Funding...[is] embedded in scores of agencies and programs scattered throughout the Executive Branch of the US government. While such agency activities related to climate science have received funding for many years as components of their mission statements, the pursuit of an integrated national agenda to study climate change and implement policy initiatives took a critical step with passage of the Global Change Research Act of 1990. This Act established institutional structures operating out of the White House to develop and oversee the implementation of a National Global Change Research Plan and created the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) to coordinate the climate change research activities of Executive Departments and agencies.[33] As of 2014, the coordination of climate change-related activities resides largely in the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, which houses several separate offices, including the offices of Environment and Energy, Polar Sciences, Ocean Sciences, Clean Energy and Materials R&D, Climate Adaptation and Ecosystems, National Climate Assessment, and others. The Office of the President also maintains the National Science and Technology Council, which oversees the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability and its Subcommittee on Climate Change Research. The Subcommittee is charged with the responsibility of planning and coordinating with the interagency USGCRP. Also, the Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy is housed within the President’s Domestic Policy Council. While Congress authorizes Executive branch budgets, the priorities these departments and agencies follow are set by the White House. As expressed in various agency and Executive Branch strategic plans, these efforts have been recently organized around four components comprising (1) climate change research and education, (2) emissions reduction through “clean” energy technologies and investments, (3) adaptation to climate change, and (4) international climate change leadership.[36]....By any of these measures, the scale of climate science R&D has increased substantially since 2001. Perhaps, though, the largest funding increases have occurred in developing new technologies and tax subsidies. As can be seen from Table 1, federal dollars to develop and implement “clean energy technologies” have increased from $1.7 billion in 2001 to $5.8 billion in 2013, while energy tax subsidies have increased from zero in 2001 and 2002 to $13 billion in 2013, with the largest increases happening since 2010. The impact on scientific research of government funding is not just a matter of the amounts but also of the concentration of research monies that arises from the focus a single source can bring to bear on particular kinds of scientific research. Government is that single source and has Big Player effects because it has access to a deep pool of taxpayer (and, indeed, borrowed and created) funds combined with regulatory and enforcement powers which necessarily place it on a different footing from other players and institutions. Notwithstanding the interplay of rival interests within the government and the separation of powers among the different branches, there is an important sense in which government’s inherent need to act produces a particular set of decisions that fall within a relatively narrow corridor of ends to which it can concentrate substantial resources.

2. By any standards, what we have documented here is a massive funding drive, highlighting the patterns of climate science R&D as funded and directed only by the Executive Branch and the various agencies that fall within its purview.[40] To put its magnitude into some context, the $9.3 billion funding requested for climate science R&D in 2013 is about one-third of the total amount appropriated for all 27 National Institutes of Health in the same year,[41] yet it is more than enough to sustain a science boom. Its directional characteristic, concentrated as it has been on R&D premised on the controversial issue of the actual sensitivity of climate to human-caused emissions, has gone hand in hand with the IPCC’s expressions of increasing confidence in the AGW hypothesis and increasingly shrill claims of impending disaster.

3. The recent pattern of federal climate science funding, moving toward emphasis on the development of technologies and their subsidization through the tax system, suggests that climate change funding has become more tightly connected to agencies like the Department of Energy, NASA, the Department of Commerce (NOAA), EPA, and cross-cutting projects and programs involving multiple agencies under integrating and coordinating agencies, like the USGCRP, lodged within the Executive branch. The allocations of budgets within these agencies are more directly determined and implemented by Administration priorities and policies. We note that the traditional role of NSF in supporting basic science based on a system of merit awards provided (despite some clear imperfections) certain advantages with regard to generating impartial science. In contrast, even a casual perusal of current agency documents, such as The National Science and Technology Council’s The National Global Change Research Plan 2012-2021, shows that those driving this movement make no pretense as to their premises and starting points.[39]

4. To be sure, the very opaqueness of these allocations and their actual use only provides for “ball park” estimates. However, we believe that the results presented in Table 3 come closer to a useful accounting than what previously has been provided. We have combined data from Leggett et al. (2013) and the AAAS Reports for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013 (the only years for which the AAAS provides detailed budgetary data for climate science R&D and climate-related funding). This constrains Table 3 to including data only from 2010 through 2013. We have adjusted budgetary data and categorized it in light of discussion points 1-5 above. Note that the estimated aggregate expenditures for climate science and climate-related funding (excluding tax subsidies) from 2010-2013 in Table 3 are about twice that of the Leggett findings.

5.5 Funds administered by the Treasury Department in Table 2 are credit lines and loans channeled through the World Bank earmarked for international organizations to finance clean technologies and sustainable practices; consequently such funds would also more accurately be considered as climate-related sustainability and adaptation....

8. This summary and the detail in Table 1, however, do not capture the full scale of federal funding for climate science R&D. Two complications must be considered to capture a more accurate estimate. First, the entries in the first row of Table 1 for climate science only refer to monies administered by the Executive branch via the office of the USGCRP and does not include all climate-related R&D in the federal budget. For example, the entry in Table 1 for the USGCRP in 2011 is just under $2.5 billion; yet the actual budget expenditures for climate science-related R&D as calculated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) total about $16.1 billion.[38] In addition, since USGCRP funding is comprised of monies contributed from the authorized budgets of the 13 participating departments and agencies, a more accurate estimate of climate-related R&D requires deducting USGCRP funding from the aggregated budgets of those 13, most of which are included in Table 2.

9. Leggett et al. (2013) of the Congressional Research Service provides a recent account of climate change funding based on data provided by the White House Office of Management and Budget (see Table 1, below). Total expenditures for federal funded climate change programs from 2001-2013 were $110.9 billion in current dollars and $120.2 billion in 2012 dollars. “Total budgetary impact” includes various tax provisions and subsidies related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (which are treated as “tax expenditures”) and shows total climate change expenditures from 2001-2013 to be $145.3 billion in current dollars and $155.4 billion in 2012 dollars.[37]

10. The USGCRP operates as a confederacy of the research components of thirteen participating government agencies, each of which independently designates funds in accordance with the objectives of the USGCRP; these monies comprise the program budget of the USGCRP to fund agency cross-cutting climate science R&D.[34] The departments and agencies whose activities comprise the bulk of such funding include independent agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, US Agency for International Development, the quasi-official Smithsonian Institute, and Executive Departments that include Agriculture, Commerce (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology), Energy, Interior (the US Geological Survey and conservation initiatives), State, and Treasury.[35]

11. The past 15 years have seen a sustained program of funding, largely from government or quasi-government entities.[31] The funding efforts are spread across a bewildering array of sources and buried in a labyrinth of programs, agency initiatives, interagency activities, and Presidential Offices, but what they seem to have in common is an adherence to the assumption that human activity is primarily responsible for the warming observed in the latter part of the 20th century. Funding appears to be driving the science rather than the other way around. And the extent of this funding appears not to have been heretofore fully documented.[32]"...
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