News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tarp on the field, LA Angels at Chicago White Sox postponed due to rain









6/30/14, Grounds crew rolls out tarp at beginning of scheduled start of LA Angels game at Chicago White Sox, ap. Game was finally postponed due to rain.
















Zurich Insurance Group closing its US Climate Change Office-E and E Climate Wire

In 2012 alone $1 billion a day was invested in the notion of "global warming."

6/27/14, "Leading insurer to close its climate change office, leaving the industry 'mute'," E and E, Climate Wire, Evan Lehmann


[Ed. note: Zurich is a 2014 John Boehner donor. Zurich was also a 2012 John Boehner donor. In 2011-2012 Boehner received $13,000 from Zurich subsidiary Farmers Insurance (#94). In 2010 Boehner wasn't among Zurich's top recipients.] 

(continuing): "Zurich's decision comes amid a flush of visibility for the office and its director, Lindene Patton, who in recent months helped write the National Climate Assessment, testified before a Senate panel and spoke at the White House.

In some circles, that has distinguished Patton as an unusually credible advocate for climate action who speaks from the suit-and-trouser world of the financial sector, where crunching numbers outpaces environmental ideology. One observer described her as a "dynamo."

But behind the forceful public presence is a choppier business environment for Zurich, sources say. Patton and her small team of employees were also tasked with creating new types of insurance policies that would be used by climate-concerned customers, ranging from hybrid car owners to utilities that store carbon dioxide underground. Zurich may have seen those products as not popular enough to justify a standalone climate office, some observers say. The products will instead be folded into the company's traditional lines of business.

The move has gained greater attention for its potential reverberations on climate policy. While many observers believe that the insurance industry could help depoliticize the climate debate, there's little evidence it's willing to do that. And it appears there may be less now.

Some observers described Zurich as perhaps the only company that had both a household brand in the United States and a willingness to talk openly about the risks of climate change. (Farmers Insurance Co. is a subsidiary.) That has placed Zurich at the top among insurers who portray rising temperatures as a business threat that could harm the economy, as opposed to an environmental, and often partisan, peril, advocates say.

When Zurich announced its "climate initiative" six years ago, it was an effort, in part, to rally other members of the massive industry to get involved in shaping public policy. It warned of worsening climate risks that foretold of more than just sharpening damage from floods and storms: The industry also faces increased pressure from regulators and, in the eyes of customers, reputational risk if it doesn't act, the company said.

In a white paper from that period, it noted that only "a fraction" of insurers were taking the threat seriously, adding that the industry is "still a long way from meeting the enormity of the challenge."...

Now, after failing to persuade other insurers to join it in crafting public policy, Zurich appears to be shifting strategy in a political atmosphere that has gotten more divisive on climate issues, not less.

"The internal meaning could be that they don't want to stick their neck out, that they want to be less visible with regard to climate change in general," said Walter Stahel, director of risk management research at the Geneva Association, a Swiss think tank funded by the insurance industry. "And they want to break it down into much more concrete [efforts] to impose adaptation measures."

Zurich might be stepping back from its public policy role because lawmakers hadn't responded to its efforts, Stahel said. He said it's "a pity" that the dialogue between Zurich and lawmakers could slacken, but he noted that the company could be testing other strategies to force changes.

That might have been revealed in a lawsuit filed by Farmers this spring that sought to make Chicago and dozens of other municipalities update their flood infrastructure to reduce growing damages from heavier rainfall. Farmers later withdrew the lawsuit.

"I think insurers would have a number of other hammers to hit the nail" on climate change, Stahel said.

A Zurich spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that the climate office is being closed. But she strongly rebutted assertions by industry observers that it represents a de-emphasis on climate change. She pointed to increased investments and bolstered research efforts that are meant to address warming.

The company, for example, recently launched an effort to measure the value of flood protection measures like sea walls, elevating homes and absorbent surfaces. The $30 million program is meant to make it easier for communities to justify upfront costs for resiliency, leading to less damage.

Zurich also announced last year that it would invest $1 billion in green bonds issued by the World Bank and other institutions for clean power and other projects that are specifically tailored to address climate change.

"Zurich's commitment to addressing climate resilience and extreme weather has not changed," Zurich spokeswoman Jennifer Schneider said in a statement. "We have integrated the knowledge and expertise generated through this [climate] office into every aspect of our business. We will continue to work passionately to help our customers and communities understand and protect themselves from risks and become more resilient and sustainable to natural disasters and extreme weather."...

Others say the announcement falls heaviest on public policy, not on climate-related research. The industry generally has handled the complex issue of climate change cautiously, they say, refraining from becoming heavily involved in risky legislative tussles.

"Wow, what a loss," said Andrew Logan, who follows the industry for Ceres, a group of investors that's pushing for action on climate change.

"We've lost a major voice who consistently brought insurer perspectives to the climate debate," he added, referring to Zurich's Patton. "So with them gone we end up with an industry that is surprisingly mute given the scale of economic risk that they face."

Zurich's climate office will be shuttered Monday, less than a week after a top Zurich executive attended a meeting at the White House about climate change with nine other industry officials. The closing also intersects with a flurry of publicity over the bipartisan "Risky Business" report, which predicts that coastal damage in the United States could rise by $7 billion annually from sea-level rise and hurricanes over the next 15 years.

Still, as some observers see a retreat by Zurich, others see a shifting strategy that embeds research and product development in the guts of the company, rather than being held in a stand-alone climate office.

"I don't think the company is de-emphasizing climate," said one industry official who supports climate action.

Others struggle to see how the company could achieve the same public profile on climate after it closes the office and releases Patton, who holds lofty appointments with the World Economic Forum, National Academy of Sciences and National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee.

When Zurich unveiled its climate initiative six years ago, it also formed a Climate Change Advisory Council to give the company new ideas about how to prepare for the impacts of warming on its business. The council's co-chairman, Ernst von Weizsäcker, lauded Zurich at the time as a company others would emulate.

Now Weizsäcker, a former college dean and German lawmaker, expressed disappointment -- and a little concern -- with the insurer's new direction.

"I deeply regret that Zurich like several other global companies have lost interest in the issue of climate change," Weizsäcker said. 

"I pray that [the] effects of global warming will not lead to more dramatic disruptions of farmland and coastal areas, falling back on the feet of insurance companies."" via Climate Depot, via GWPF

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Citations for 17 year pause in global warming:

2/21/13, "IPCC Head Pachauri Acknowledges Global Warming Standstill," The Australian, Graham Lloyd
 
"The UN’s climate change chief, Rajendra Pachauri, has acknowledged a 17-year pause in global temperature rises, confirmed recently by Britain’s Met Office."...

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July 2013, "The recent pause in global warming: what do observations in the climate system tell us?" UK Met Office

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9/30/13, "Climate Scientist: 73 UN Climate Models Wrong, No Global Warming in 17 Years," CNS News, Barbara Hollingsworth

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Some of Zurich donations and lobbying activity:

Below, Zurich's top 3 individual recipients in 2012--Boehner was second only to Mitt Romney: http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/toprecips.php?id=D000022332&cycle=2012








Below, a few bills Zurich lobbied about in 2013:



















Zurich spent more lobbying House committees in 2014 than Senate committees:
http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/congcmtes.php?id=D000022332&cycle=2014


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Zurich Financial Services

"LOBBYING: $2,860,000 (2013)"
(scroll down)

20 out of 27 Zurich Financial Services lobbyists in 2013 have previously held government jobs. See their employment history by clicking on their RevDoor icon here"

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For many years John Boehner didn't raise much money. It was only after evil Tea Party extremists made him House Speaker that the cash rolled in:
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Chart from Open Secrets



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Friday, June 27, 2014

Jeb Bush and his entire family should be caged and forced to smell urine and overused toilets for a week and get scabies just like the illegals he invited to flood our border. The entire Bush family should lie on the floor with 1100 people in a facility meant for only 380

6/26/14, "The ‘DREAM Act’ I Saw," CNS News, Brittany M. Hughes

"(Editor’s Note: As part of its ongoing investigation of the surging influx of illegal aliens across the U.S.-Mexico border, CNSNews.com recently went to the border in McAllen, Texas. Presented here are our reporter’s personal observations of the detention facility there and the conditions faced by the illegals and the U.S. Border Patrol agents trying to manage the situation.)"

"When you step foot into the control room at the U.S. Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas, the first thing that hits you is the smell.


Hovering somewhere between urine and unwashed humanity, the air is thick and hot. The sound inside the circular, glass-enclosed control room is like that of a beehive, humming with the noise of hundreds of voices mixed with buzzers and footsteps.

“This is where we do the processing,” the border patrol agent tells us.

The border patrol officer gestures to a series of white, cinderblock rooms that form a ring around the enclosed control area. Each small space is sealed by a thick gray door, which is kept locked until an officer motions for the switchboard operator to open it.

Beside each door, dozens of tanned faces press against glass windows, watching the movement on the open floor around them. Dozens more lie on the hard floor in the middle of the rooms, or on the wide benches attached to the walls.

Most of the visible faces belong to young children or teens; the adults are usually clustered in the back or tending to toddlers and infants.

The scene is devastating, and it’s only one of several windows into the illegal immigration crisis that’s sweeping across the Rio Grande Valley Sector of the U.S.-Mexico border. Since October 2013, more than 181,000 illegal immigrants have already crossed this 250-costal-mile area alone, and the McAllen, Texas station has been the hardest hit.

Border patrol officers are doing the best they can, but they simply aren’t equipped to handle the masses that have flooded their facilities.

The people – all Latinos, as far as I can tell – are divided into several groups: family units are crammed into several rooms, teens 14 and under in the next, teens 15 and older in another, and single men and women in separate holding areas on the other side of the circle.

People of all ages and genders – anywhere from young children to old menare systematically brought out of their rooms to be “processed,” which involves taking down any identification, background, where they say they’re headed, anything they can provide. It’s usually not much.

“This is where they start,” the agent explains over the noise. “When they’re picked up at the border, they come here. Once we’ve processed them, they’re taken to the sally port.”
That’s where we head next.


The sally port is a converted bus depot attached to the border patrol station. Typically able to hold upwards of 40 buses at a time, the large, cement-floored space has been converted into a makeshift shelter to house the thousands of illegal immigrants that have been flooding the system since February.

Normally, the border patrol detains people anywhere from 12 hours to three days before turning them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or the Department of Health and Human Services, in the case of unaccompanied minors. But a backlog of people is now forcing them to house people for sometimes more than a week, agents said.


“We’ve gotten pretty good at logistics,” one agents told us. “But we’re still only working with what we’ve got.”


The McAllen station is authorized for 380 people, he explains. It’s currently housing more than 1,100.

They won’t let us in the sally portthe “folks in Washington” require a scheduled visit for that, they tell us. But they say we can stand outside the locked gates at the bus entrance and look. I’ve been outside for all of thirty seconds, but sweat is already starting to bead on my neck by the time I approach the gate to peer inside.
 

If the scene inside the station’s control room is bad, the view into the sally port is appalling.

At first, there doesn’t appear to be a floor. Then I realize that’s only because I can barely see it through the mass of bodies strewn across the massive space. There are people everywhere – lying down, standing, sitting, stepping over others in a strained attempt to move around. Border patrol agents mill about with clipboards, talking to various people and administering basic medicine.

Off to one side, next to a row of blue porta potties, a group of four young girls are curled up together on the floor, resting on one another’s limbs. All four are caked in mud to the knee, most likely from their trip across the border. They remind me of a litter of kittens I once saw, scrunched together in a little ball.


There’s a simple strip of yellow crime scene tape that ropes off a small section of the space, the only barrier that separates the healthy from those who have been diagnosed with scabies.

In the “sick ward,” a mother sits with her back against the locked gate, cradling a small child in her arms. She wipes the sweat from her own forehead before placing a half a dozen wet wipes on the little boy’s face and chest, trying to cool him down. A second toddler sits beside her, sucking on a bottle filled with something that looks like orange juice.

Even standing under the force of five jumbo fans and a strong Texas breeze, the stench of unwashed bodies and well-used toilets hangs heavy, stagnating under the sweltering 100-degree heat and making it hard to breathe.

A border patrol bus pulls up to the gate. The doors open and a dozen more immigrants, mostly children, pile out, having come straight from the banks of the Rio Grande where smugglers ferried them from the Mexican bank to the United States.  An agent ushers them through the door and into the processing room.

This isn’t a dream, and it sure doesn’t look like Ellis Island."

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Images from top: 

1. "An illegal alien child drinks from a plastic bottle behind a security fence door inside a bus depot/housing facility in McAllen, Texas. (Photo: CNSNews.com)"

2. "Illegal immigrants inside a makeshift housing facility maintained by U.S. Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas. (Photo: CNSNews.com)"

3. "Illegal immigrants in housing facility in McAllen, Texas, which is on the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo: CNSNews.com)"

4. "Rio Grande River near McAllen, Texas where many illegal aliens cross into the United States. (Photo: Brittany Hughes/CNSNews.com)"

5. "On the U.S. side of the Rio Grande River in McAllen, Texas,  looking over at Mexico, where people are standing on the shore and where some illegals were taken to the U.S. side by Jet ski and dropped off in the brush at the riverside. (Photo: CNSNews.com)"
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4/6/14, "Jeb Bush says illegal immigration often 'an act of love'," Reuters, Peter Cooney

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6/25/14, "Swine Flu Confirmed at Shelter for Unaccompanied Minors," Breitbart, Kristin Tate, Houston, Texas 










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Monday, June 23, 2014

New University of Minnesota study on Emperor Penguins refutes earlier scientific beliefs, study finds they're quite adaptable, don't have to return to same breeding spot each year nor would they be negatively affected if surrounding oceans ever became warmer. Lead author says findings were "unexpected."

6/22/14, "Emperor Penguins More Adaptable To Climate Change to Find New Breeding," Utah People's Post, Rachel Donald

"A new study released this week led by the University of Minnesota found out that emperor penguins, at least, may be more adaptable than previously expected. It turns out that these penguins are more willing to locate in the face of changing temperatures.
 
Earlier it was thought that the emperor penguins were philopatric that means they return to the same spot, every year to nest and that they are endangered by climate change. New high resolution satellite imagery of Pointe Géologie and the surrounding arctic regions however, shows that both of these things may be wrong.

The research presented at the IDEACITY conference in Toronto on June 21, confirms that penguins are a lot smarter than they look, according to a press release issued by the University of Minnesota.

According to the researchers, in the late 1970s, penguin populations around Pointe Géologie have declined by more than half, with colonies slowly disappearing. It was assumed that warming oceans were causing that decline. The “March of the Penguins” colony is called Pointe Géologie.
 
“It’s possible that birds have moved away from Pointe Géologie to these other spots and that means that maybe those banded birds didn’t die. If we want to accurately conserve the species, we really need to know the basics. We’ve just learned something unexpected, and we should rethink how we interpret colony fluctuations,” said Michelle LaRue, University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering researcher and lead author of the study, in a statement....

The researchers found six instances in three years in which emperor penguins did not return to the same location to breed. One newly discovered colony on the Antarctic Peninsula that may represent the relocation of penguins was also reported.

The study will be published in an upcoming issue of Ecography."

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"Emperor penguins are a well studied species and have recently been elevated to celebrity status with movies like “Happy Feet” and the documentary “March of the Penguins.”"... 

6/18/14, "New research using satellite images reveals that emperor penguins are more willing to relocate than previously thought," discover.umn.edu "Discovery of colony movement challenges long-standing theory that emperor penguins return to the same area each year to nest."

"A new study led by the University of Minnesota offers new insights on the long-term future of emperor penguins by showing that the penguins may be behaving in ways that allow them to adapt to their changing environment better than we expected. 

Researchers have long thought that emperor penguins were philopatric, which means they would return to the same location to nest each year. The new research study used satellite images to show that penguins may not be faithful to previous nesting locations.

Researchers involved in the new study found six instances in just three years in which emperor penguins did not return to the same location to breed. They also report on one newly discovered colony on the Antarctic Peninsula that may represent the relocation of penguins.

University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering researcher and the study’s lead author Michelle LaRue shared her findings at the IDEACITY conference in Toronto on June 20. The study will also be published in an upcoming issue of Ecography, a professional journal publishing research in spatial ecology, macroecology and biogeography.

Our research showing that colonies seem to appear and disappear throughout the years challenges behaviors we thought we understood about emperor penguins,” said LaRue. “If we assume that these birds come back to the same locations every year, without fail, these new colonies we see on satellite images wouldn’t make any sense. These birds didn’t just appear out of thin air—they had to have come from somewhere else. This suggests that emperor penguins move among colonies. That means we need to revisit how we interpret population changes and the causes of those changes.”

Emperor penguins are a well-studied species and have recently been elevated to celebrity status with movies like “Happy Feet” and the documentary “March of the Penguins.”

The “March of the Penguins” colony is called Pointe Géologie and it’s been studied for more than 60 years. Researchers observe the colony every year and look, in particular, for birds that have been banded by researchers to return to the colony. In recent decades researchers have been concerned about how receding sea ice may affect the emperor penguins that breed on it.

Over five years in the late 1970s, the Southern Ocean warmed and at the same time the penguin colony at Pointe Géologie, declined by half (6,000 breeding pairs to 3,000 breeding pairs). The decline was thought to be due to decreased survival rates. In other words, researchers thought that the warming temperatures were negatively impacting the survival of the species.

High-resolution satellite imagery has changed all that because now researchers can see the entire coastline and all the sea ice. Because emperor penguins are the only species out on the sea ice, they can look at images and identify their presence through the telltale sign—their guano stain. Before satellite images, researchers thought Pointe Géologie was isolated and there was nowhere else for the penguins to go. The satellite images show that Pointe Géologie is not isolated at all. Plenty of colonies are within easy travel distance for an emperor penguin.

“It’s possible that birds have moved away from Pointe Géologie to these other spots and that means that maybe those banded birds didn’t die,” LaRue said. “If we want to accurately conserve the species, we really need to know the basics. We’ve just learned something unexpected, and we should rethink how we interpret colony fluctuations.”

Other researchers involved in the study include Gerald Kooyman, University of California San Diego; Heather J. Lynch, Stony Brook University; and Peter Fretwell, British Antarctic Survey."



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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Bored waiting for global warming, fan runs onto Wrigley Field during rain delay, Pirates at Cubs










6/21/14, During rain delay Pirates at Chicago Cubs, a fan runs on the field chased by Wrigley security staff after he jumped an outfield wall,  photo Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune. Final 5-3 Pirates over Cubs.








6/21/14, Wrigley Field during rain delay, Pirates at Cubs, photo Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune. Final 5-3 Pirates over Cubs.







6/21/14, The Fan is tackled by Wrigley staff. photo Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune.
Final 5-3 Pirates over Cubs.





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Establishment Republicans take "two actions unprecedented in Mississippi politics: Elaborately groveling for Democrat and union votes," and using local office holders as a campaign arm when majority of constituents clearly favored another candidate-Chism poll, 6/20/14

6/21/14, "US Senate Mississippi GOP Primary Runoff," Chism Strategies, Brad Chism

"Last night we conducted the final track of our MS Senate GOP runoff surveys. We surveyed 697 voters statewide. The MOE (margin of error) was +/- 3.8%....
McDaniel holds an eight point lead among GOP voters who went to the polls on June 3rd and plan to return on Tuesday. 
 
"No Polling Can Measure the Implications of Two Unprecedented Actions in Mississippi Politics

[1]*Surrogates for the 42 year GOP incumbent are groveling for Democrat and union votes in the runoff after his campaign spent millions in the Primary bashing President Obama and his policies. Can Cochran’s team execute their elaborate, expensive GOTV plan? Will this pivot to a more centrist message erode his conservative base?
 
[2]*Republican office holders have gotten way out ahead of their constituents.
     
Are the establishment Republicans able to bring the rank and file to Cochran?

      o Will there be a backlash from this top down directive?
 
We look forward to seeing the answers on Tuesday....
The survey was restricted to voters from the GOP primary on June 3rd. It does not include potential voters who did not participate in that election

How We See It

Unless Cochran expands the electorate with general election Republicans and crossover Democrats, McDaniel wins.

The electoral math is much closer than the pollingCochran heads into Tuesday only about 6,200 votes down out of a total of almost 319,000 cast on June 3rd. (We assume the third candidate’s supporters do not migrate to Cochran.)"...
 
 
 
 
 
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Moths in the 8th in St. Louis v Phillies







6/20/14, "Second base umpire Angel Campos swats at a swarm of moths flying around the field in the eighth inning of a baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, June 20, 2014 in St. Louis," ap. Final 5-1 Phillies after 50 minute rain delay.

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6/20/14, "Billiant Burnett boosts streaking Phillies past Cardinals," Delaware County (Pa.) Daily Times, Dennis Deitch

"The toughest foe over the final few innings might have been the moths that were swarming the field after a 50-minute rain relay prior to the game.

They were hitting me. It was a mess out there,” said Burnett, who didn’t have to be approached after throwing 100 pitches in the first eight innings to see if he wanted to close out the game in the ninth.

“I was able to put things behind me, whether it was a bad pitch or the bugs.”"...

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Friday, June 20, 2014

New India government places hold on international donations to Greenpeace and other groups they say hurt India's economic progress by campaigning against power projects

"Setbacks are unlikely to be too great a problem, however, as its (Greenpeace) budget is currently around £300 million."
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6/19/14, "Greenpeace funds hit Home barrier," The Hindu, Varghese K George

"Following an Intelligence Bureau (IB) report that alleged foreign-funded NGOs were creating obstacles to India’s economic growth, the Home Ministry has clamped down on Greenpeace, an international campaign group present in 40 countries.

In a letter dated 13th June, the Ministry has directed the Reserve Bank of India that all foreign contributions originating from Greenpeace International and Climate Works Foundation — two principal international contributors to Greenpeace India Society — must be kept on hold until individual clearances are obtained from the Ministry for each transaction. 

The RBI has been asked to direct banks to this effect. The central bank has also been asked to report to the government if any government department or institution is receiving such funds.

According to the report, public protests in Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli region — which produces 15,000 MW energy — were being engineered by Greenpeace, “actively aided and led by foreign activists.” 

In its directive to the chief general manager, Department of Banking Operations and Development, RBI, the Ministry has invoked Section 46 of the Foreign Contributions (Regulations) Act, 2010, that says the “Central government may give such directions as it may deem necessary” for execution of the provisions of the Act. 

The new directive will effectively bar the NGO from accepting foreign money, as it will require seeking case-by-case clearance for each contribution."
 
============================== 
==============================


"Greenpeace India receives about 60 percent of its funding from donors in India and about 38 percent from Greenpeace International, Divya Raghunadan, programme director at Greenpeace India, said. The ClimateWorks Foundation accounts for less than one percent of funding.

No one at the RBI was immediately available to comment on whether it was bound to comply with the ministry's request, which could create a major bureaucratic hurdle for the group.

"Right now, we have no real way of knowing what this means for us or why it's being done," Raghunadan said, noting that the ministry had not officially told the group about the move.

An Intelligence Bureau report leaked last week said Greenpeace and other lobby groups were hurting economic progress by campaigning against power projects, mining and genetically modified food. Greenpeace denies this and has called the allegations an attempt to silence dissent.

In a high-profile campaign at the start of this year, Greenpeace activists dressed in tiger suits scaled the Mumbai headquarters of the Essar Group, an Indian resources conglomerate, and unfurled a banner declaring "We kill forests."

The activists were protesting against plans by Mahan Coal Ltd, jointly owned by Essar and Hindalco Industries Ltd , to mine coal in the central state of Madhya Pradesh."






Thursday, June 19, 2014

Desperately seeking crippling drought in Minnesota, rain delay White Sox v Twins


6/19/14, "Baseball fans wait for the start of the rain-delayed baseball game between the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox, Thursday, June 19, 2014, in Minneapolis," ap













6/19/14, "Baseball fans wait for the start of the rain-delayed
baseball game between the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox, Thursday, June 19, 2014, in Minneapolis," AP










Four big name supporters of the notion of man-caused global warming were asked on the floor of the US Senate to raise their hands if they agreed with climate scare statements made by Pres. Obama in 2012 and 2013 and none raised their hands-Steyn

6/18/14, "Eight Thumbs Down!" Mark Steyn, Steyn Online
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"The US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing today on "climate change". A lot of it was business as usual, starting with the opening statement from Senator Barbara Boxer:
We should all know we must take action to reduce harmful carbon pollution, which 97% of scientists agree is leading to dangerous climate change that threatens our families.
Ah, the old 97 per cent consensus. To illustrate the point, the Democrats had invited as their witnesses four former heads of the Environmental Protection Agency, who all happen to be Republicans and yet who all support the "consensus". They were the Honorable Christine Todd Whitman, the Honorable William K Reilly [WWF], the Honorable William D Ruckelshaus [DDT], and the Honorable Lee M Thomas - a couple of years in the hyper-regulatory bureaucracy apparently sufficing to earn one a prenominal honorific for life.

Still, in the end they turned out to be pretty Honorable. Click the video below, and note the moment 1 minute and 20 seconds in, when Senator Jeff Sessions says:

"The President on November 14th 2012 said, 'The temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted, even ten years ago.' And then on May 29th last year he also said - quote - 'We also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or ten years ago.' Close quote.

So I would ask each of our former Administrators if any of you agree that that's an accurate statement on the climate. So if you do, raise your hand."

Do stick with the video to see how many of the EPA honchos agreed with the President.

"Thank you," said Senator Sessions. "The record will reflect no one raised their hand."



That's a 100 per cent consensus that the President's words were not an "accurate statement". You can put them up there next to "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan", and there's not a "smidgen" of corruption at the IRS, and that video guy's to blame for Benghazi, and all the other stuff - if there's still any room on the board. I wrote yesterday of the Administration's contempt for the citizenry. One measure of that contempt is the ease with which the President and his taxpayer-funded writers slough off obvious falsehoods in speech after speech.

Of course, the difference between "If you like your plan" and "The climate is warming faster than predicted" is that, whereas the "health" "care" "reformers" always knew the former would prove false, the Big Climate alarmists would dearly like the latter to be true. As the global-warming "hiatus" heads toward the start of its third decade, the sky-is-falling types are desperately hoping something will turn up. This spring they pinned their hopes on a 1997-size El Niño, but that's proving just another damp squib.

So the big-picture cartoon climatology is going nowhere. That's true not just of the President's careless and inaccurate statements, but also of James Cameron's unwatched climate-celeb save-the-planet yawnfest and of Michael E Mann's "hockey stick" - the original climate cartoon that, more than any other single image, started the bizarre 21st century trend of presidents, princes and prime ministers running around sounding like the apocalyptic loons who used to wander the street with sandwich boards.

What we saw at the Senate this morning is a glimpse of how meaningless that "97 per cent" consensus is when supporters have to endorse full-scale Big Climate alarmism in full view of the world and under oath. When we eventually get to trial in the clogged septic tank of DC Superior Court, I wonder how many of Dr Mann's colleagues will be willing to stick their hands up for him and his stick. Conversely, the number of scientists who regard his work as "scanty", "sloppy" and "sh*tty", not to mention "rubbish", "a disgrace to the profession" and "just bad science" is already huge - and they're all members of the 97 per cent, too.

Big Climate alarmism advances through a game of Climate Whispers - or, if you prefer, what Dr Mann's colleague Keith Briffa called "letting Mike push you (us) beyond where we know is right". But he never stops pushing, until all the nuances and uncertainties have been pushed out, and only the cartoon alarmism is left, pushed out through the activists to the rube celebrities to the Gores and Kerrys until one day the President of the United States is standing up there pushed so far beyond what's right that his statement is completely wrong - and is, in fact, the opposite of what's been happening these last 17 years.

That was a great moment in the Senate hearing that makes me even more eager to get on with the trial. Meanwhile, we're pushing on with witness interviews and other research on both sides of the Atlantic, and I thank you for your continued support for this campaign via the Steyn store. If you have any info you think might be helpful, you can send it along here. The willingness of "the leader of the free world" to spout this kind of ludicrous propaganda is itself a good illustration of why Big Climate alarmism needs to be decisively defeated." via Free Republic

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6/9/14, "Going My Way," Mark Steyn, SteynOnline

"Herewith the latest commentary re the upcoming trial of the century. In The Washington Post, law professor Jonathan Adler returns to the case for the first time in some months with a column called "Mann v Steyn - Steyn Goes His Own Way":
First, Steyn is again represented by legal counsel. That's good for him. But he has also decided to go his own way due to strategic differences with the other defendants. Whereas NR and the others would like to see Mann's suit dismissed, Steyn has decided to forgo procedural wrangling and would like a full trial on the merits as soon as possible.
Do scroll down for the comments about how I'm too "unlikeable"

and "comedic" to appeal to a DC jury. Hey, and don't forget "foreign". No wonder those Taliban guys decided to skip the trial and hightail it to Qatar.

In Canada's Sun newspapers, my old friend Ezra Levant considers Michael E Mann and his fellow warm-monger and serial litigant Andrew Weaver: 

"These lawsuits are not really about a particular column in a newspaper or magazine. They're about two big bullies – Weaver and Mann – who love to attack their enemies at will, not being man enough to take criticism themselves. Not being scholarly enough to engage in debate. Not being big boys enough to ignore the odd insult. 

It's about silencing of critics. Which is the best these eco-extremists have got."

In fairness to Mann and the other Warmanos, silencing critics is pretty much their standard operating procedure. In my own recent update on the case, I mentioned en passant: 

"We're supposed to ignore this nigh-on-two-decade warming "pause" because the "97 per cent scientific consensus" tell us to. But, as Richard Tol's new paper argues, that 97 per cent consensus is no more real than the rampant global warming. In fact, there's so little consensus that the only consensus the Geological Society of Australia can agree on is a press release saying there's no consensus..."

All of which happens to be true. Nevertheless, Jason Quick of Papillion, Nebraska didn't care for the cut of my jib:

In your blog post of 7 June, you cite Richard Tol's recent paper, covered at Watts Up With That to buttress your claim that there is no consensus among climate scientists on climate change.
However, the very text cited in that page contains the following line from Dr Tol:
'There is no doubt in my mind that the literature on climate change overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis that climate change is caused by humans. I have very little reason to doubt that the consensus is indeed correct.'
In short, Tol AGREES with the idea at issue - namely, that an overwhelming number of those in climate science and related fields accept global warming as real and occurring. In short, he seems to agree with climate-change.
Dr Tol's entire campaign against the Cook paper seems to have been one based on his dislike of Cook's methodology and his perception of a lack of transparency on Cook's part regarding data collection and tabulation.
Dr Tol is also on-record in other fora saying the same thing - to wit:
'Published papers that seek to test what caused the climate change over the last century and half, almost unanimously find that humans played a dominant role.
'Funny enough, Cook et al. failed to establish the obvious.'
Also, consider the fact that other studies have concluded similar things to Cook et al: Oreskes, 2004.
In closing, I have a couple suggestions:
1) It seems like it'd be a good idea to read the things you link to in support of an argument.
2) It also seems like it'd be a good idea to drop the "there's no consensus" argument, because there really is. It's bad enough that your argument essentially consists of wholesale slander of scientists as liars, but employing a blatant falsehood not even supported by your "sources" is downright dumb and self-defeating.
Jason Quick
Papillion, Nebraska
First of all, I link to all kinds of things - stuff I agree with, stuff I think is absolute codswallopping balderdash, and stuff that falls somewhere in between. Every reader is free to click on the link and decide where on that spectrum he personally falls.

You'll notice, for example, that we frequently link to both Michael E Mann's Twitter feed and Facebook page so that readers can judge for themselves the merit of his arguments. Whereas Dr Mann never links to those who disagree with him - I'm referring not merely to myself but to fellow scientists such as Judith Curry. He attacks plenty of people but without linking. That's one reason why he won't share a stage with anyone who disagrees even mildly with him: a man too insecure and cowardly to share a link is not a man who would acquit himself well in any kind of debate, or on the witness stand. I take a different view. I have no fear of people clicking the link and seeing for themselves.

In this case, however, you misrepresent both me and Dr Tol. I never said "there's no consensus", except with respect to the Geological Society of Australia, where there is, indeed, no consensus. I referred to "the 97 per cent consensus" - twice. Because that's what's being claimed. Not a majority consensus - not 53 per cent, not 64 per cent, not 76 per cent, not 89 per cent, not 94 per cent, but 97 per cent. A number that has been hammered on relentlessly since this guy Cook purported to have "proved" it: Google "climate 97 per cent" and you'll get 22,900,000 hits. It isn't enough for you guys that there's a consensus; there has to be an all-but-unanimous election-night-in-Pyongyang consensus.
That's false. No such consensus exists.

Nor does Richard Tol merely have, as you claim, a few statistician's quibbles with Cook's methodology. The other link I included in my piece was to Dr Tol's own website, where, after remarks about "weird patterns in the data that cannot be explained by chance alone" and other technical criticisms, he puts the "97 per cent" in context: 

"Climate policy is for the long haul. We need a broad consensus, maintained over decades, to decarbonize the economy. We need sober, non-partisan research. We need open discussion about the pros and cons of all options for climate policy. 

Instead, Cook and friends tried to shut down the debate, but their incompetence and secrecy only served as fuel on the flames of an already polarized debate."

In other words, the marketing of this fake "97 per cent" is emblematic of what's gone wrong in the broader climate debate
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But, as I said, you not only misrepresent Dr Tol, you misrepresent me. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago:

"Like Steve McIntyre, I'm not terribly bothered about the "97 per cent consensus" thing myself. Aside from the climate of fear Mann & his fellow Warmanos have ushered in, there seems to be a fair element of genuine groupthink at work."

So I don't doubt that there is some kind of "consensus" out there. But click on that Steve McIntyre link, and read what he says:

For the record, the 97% consensus thing is not an issue that has particularly bothered me. Although this topic has been a sore point at some blogs, I've always presumed that the views of IPCC and various national academies represented a form of consensus among the climate science community. However, I doubt that the consensus endorsing the proposition that 2 deg C is "dangerous" is as unanimous as the consensus endorsing the propositions that temperatures are currently warmer than the 19th century and that CO2 has a direct impact on temperature – a proposition uncontested by Lindzen, Christy or Spencer.
So what is the consensus community actually consenting to? There is certainly no "97 per cent consensus" on anything actionable. Indeed, it's not even clear to me that you, as a card-carrying member of the 97 per cent, actually know what consensus you've signed on to. You quote Dr Tol - "the literature on climate change overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis that climate change is caused by humans" - and then say:

In short, Tol AGREES with the idea at issue - namely, that an overwhelming number of those in climate science and related fields accept global warming as real and occurring. In short, he seems to agree with climate-change.
Like a frog-prince Fred Astaire, you've artfully glided across a trio of separate lily pads

"climate change is caused by humans"
"global warming as real and occurring", and finally simple
"climate-change". 

These are three different things:

"Climate change" is a vague, amorphous catch-all going nowhere with the public.
Actual "global warming" was "real and occurring" in the late 20th century, but not so much now, in defiance of all those climate models.

Which brings us to the third-category: "human-caused" global warming. There is a consensus that man was responsible for at least some of the global warming before it ground to a halt. But what proportion exactly? Judith Curry:

I think it is important to include the 'A' [anthropogenic] when we are talking about that unknown fraction of warming since 1950 that can be attributed to humans. If you leave out the 'A', people are misled into thinking that all warming for the past 1000 years is caused by humans (the 'hockey stick' argument).
She's right. Mann's "hockey stick" shows that there was no such thing as "global warming" until the Industrial Revolution took off bigtime. So, in Mann's science, 100 per cent of "global warming" is anthropogenic. In that case, where did it all go in the 21st century? See Tony Allwright's graph above: China and India industrialized in double-quick time, and it made no difference. One obvious explanation is that there is a non-anthropogenic element in play, something called "natural climate variability".

But Mann and the other Warmanos can't admit to that. Because the important and influential part of Mann's hockey stick is not the blade (as Steve McIntyre says, very few people dispute that it's warmer now than 200 years ago) but the shaft. In abolishing the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, Dr Mann wound up abolishing the very concept of "natural climate variability". To the point where all his rube celebrity pals believe there was a millennium-long stable climate until industrial, consumerist humans came along and broiled the planet.

They believe that because that's what the hockey stick told them.

You won't find 97 per cent of scientists willing to sign on to that. Most of them understand that Mann's stick was crude cartoon science that peddled a simple-minded plot something as complex as global climate was never likely to live up to.

As to your closing comments, that my "argument essentially consists of wholesale slander of scientists as liars", actually I'm getting on rather well with all kinds of scientists around the world, as you'll see when I call my witnesses in court. The only one I regularly call a liar is Dr Fraudpants himself, Michael E Mann. Because he is a liar.

He lied on an industrial scale about being a Nobel Laureate.

He lied about having been investigated and exonerated by the British Government and by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

He told the DC Superior Court that he had been exonerated by Lord Oxburgh's inquiry for the University of East Anglia (see page 19), but he told readers of his whiny self-serving book that his "own work did not fall within the remit of [Oxburgh's] committee, and the hockey stick was not mentioned in [Oxburgh's] report" (see page 235). So he's either lying to the judge or lying to his sap readers.

And that's before we even get to his science, where IPCC colleagues refer to Mann's "misrepresentations", and where fellow members of that 97 per cent consensus call his work "scanty", "sloppy" and "sh*tty".

I don't know whether 97 per cent of scientists think Mann's "scanty", "sloppy" and "sh*tty", but it's getting up there. And that's what we'll demonstrate in court."

Caption for above chart: "Following our recent graph showing no global warming for 17 years and 9 months, Dublin reader Tony Allwright superimposed on it the relentless rise of CO2 during the same period. "It is the two curves in tandem that are so damning to the cause-and-effect case," writes Tony."



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I'm the daughter of an Eagle Scout (fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Mets) and a Beauty Queen.