Don’t sell your coat!

This guest post is well worth a read – Anthony

Guest post by Harold Ambler

What follows is an excerpt from my new book Don’t Sell Your Coat, available here:

I want to examine the moral component of meteorological journalism. As I mentioned near the beginning of this book, I used to be an avid watcher of The Weather Channel. For a good couple of decades, the network was not only an important component for the fledgling cable industry, but an excellent source of information about current weather and climate, as well about atmospheric science itself. An interesting thing took place during the 1990s, though. Weather Channel viewership was found to spike during hurricanes, and not merely among viewers in areas that could be affected by the individual storm being discussed. A lot of folks evidently loved watching the progress of tropical storms, the stronger the better. Hurricanes became, over time, a revenue producer for the network. Experts were hired and given regular on-air time, and hurricane segments were given their own titles, their own graphics, and their own music.

People loved it. Much of this was quite innocuous, and arguably inevitable. Hurricanes are indeed interesting, and for a period of about 15 years it was widely believed, even by many scientists, that manmade global warming was ramping up the number, intensity, and duration of storms. In the last few years, however, links between recent atmospheric warming and hurricane activity, as we have seen, have been reconsidered.

In the meantime, though, the false link had lodged in the popular imagination, and The Weather Channel was more or less avidly exploiting it. The network’s presenters didn’t overtly come out and say that individual storms were generated by tailpipe and smokestack emissions, but they didn’t really have to at this point. The misconception was so pervasive and so widespread that merely trumpeting the “unusual” power of the storms themselves sufficed. In the meantime, the network slowly upped its on-air mentions of the phenomenon of global warming during the daily program cycle and eventually devoted a new segment to the phenomenon known as “Forecast Earth.”

Video alarmism regarding atmospheric phenomena is, perhaps, to be expected by a network like The Weather Channel. After all, it is hardly alone. The major cable news networks routinely send meteorologists and other reporters into the path of hurricanes, so that they can be seen amid the rising waters, gusting winds, and torrential rains.

Get it out of your head: weather didn’t used to be friendly. It didn’t used to rain just enough, snow just enough, with the wind blowing just enough, and the Sun shining just enough. Things didn’t recently go to Hell in a hand basket. That is just a story. And it’s not
a particularly hard story to prove false.

The Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad aka the "KATY". A 1903 Missouri River flood, besides impacting travel, toppled bridges, killed many, and left 20,000 homeless. Passengers and crew stand atop the Missouri-Kansas-Texas train. - Image: library of Congress - click for more flood info

On the other hand, the tranquil weather being experienced by most people around the globe at any given time goes ignored and unvideotaped. Again, one can understand why this would be so. In the newspaper business, and other journalistic domains as well, fires are of note. Non-fires aren’t. Fair enough. But something very insidious has taken place. The selling of weather disasters as entertainment has led to a state in which big business stands to gain handsomely from the perception that the planet has gone meteorologically mad. Specifically, General Electric stands to profit. When in 2008 NBC (owned by General Electric) purchased The Weather Channel, an interesting thing took place: the largest domestic producer of wind turbines became the owner of the best-positioned purveyor of images of destructive weather. The same year, NBC’s Today Show continued its longstanding practice of “showing” the great destruction to the ocean-atmosphere system caused by manmade global warming, with story after story: fires, floods, melting Kilimanjaro, you name it. The rest of NBC News, and the Weather Channel, meanwhile, keep the same pieces of videotape on nearly infinite repeat.

Summing up: Wind turbines do not deliver reliable electric power; the ocean-atmosphere system is not broken; scaring people needlessly isn’t nice – and it distracts them from the actual environmental problems surrounding them.

About Harold Ambler

I was obsessed with weather and climate as a young boy and have studied both ever since. I have English degrees from Dartmouth and Columbia and started my career in journalism at The New Yorker magazine, where I worked from 1993 to 1999. My work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The AtlanticWire (the Atlantic Monthly’s online presence), Watts Up With That?, The Providence Journal, Rhode Island Monthly, Brown Alumni Monthly, and other publications. I co-wrote and edited a 600-page history of rowing for Brown University, published in March 2009. I am grateful for donations to my research through PayPal on this site’s front page. I am married to the painter and illustrator Kim Edge. We have two daughters, one dog, and a cat.

=============================================================

Some reviews:

“ Harold Ambler has assembled an easy-to-follow, systematic, common-sense treatment of the manmade global warming agenda that demands the attention of any person of good
will in this debate.” – Joe Bastardi, chief forecaster, WeatherBELL Analytics

“ How did the good politics of social justice become chained to the bad science of global warming? Read Don’t Sell Your Coat to  find out how it happened.” – Freeman Dyson, world-renowned physicist, professor emeritus at Princeton

“ You don’t need to be a right-wing SOB to think that ‘Man Made Global Warming’ is an Enron-style scam. Harold Ambler is a card-carrying liberal and he thinks so, too.
He’s also very funny. Buy this book!” – James Delingpole, author of Watermelons: The Green Movement’s True Colors

==============================================================

I helped Harold gather some information for this book, and have read portions of this final book, and I recommend it as well. It is an easy to read narrative. It may surprise some people to learn that Harold Ambler is not your typical skeptic. I can collaborate what Delingpole says,  that Ambler’s political leanings are very much liberal. He simply doesn’t buy into the global warming issue anymore as many of us used to, including me. – Anthony

Buy the book here:

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83 Responses to Don’t sell your coat!

  1. GregO says:

    Sounds like an interesting read – I’ll put it on my Christmas list. It will be the fourteenth book I have read on Climate since Climategate 1.0 with Donna’s book being the last one read and Mosher and Fuller’s being the first one. I was absolutely not involved until Climategate 1.0 but now am addicted and tell everyone I know about this stuff. Just saying so you all know that non-specialists are passionately interested in your work.

    Keep it up.

  2. Re “one dog, and a cat”
    Thanks for reminding us that it has been raining “cats and dogs” for at least centuries.

    Cycles of a 90,000 year glacial period followed by a 10,000 year interglacial period suggest that we are already well past the probable 50% way to the next glacial period. See: Glacial-Interglacial Climate Cycles

    Time to invest in a long underwear factory!

  3. grzejnik says:

    Neat post, so a giant corporation that makes wind power buys the weather channel and the coverage goes to extreme global warming disaster alarmism. I should buy a network to promote my business lol

  4. Such a gentle, obvious, insidious, no-blame way to see how the development of climate alarmism was almost inevitable, given human nature seeking thrills in freak weather, the decline of belief in God The Punishing Man In The Sky, and press-button media availability.

    Of course.

    We’ve all brought it on ourselves (IMHO). If Mikey Mann hadn’t invented the Hockey Stick, someone else would have done (IMHO).

  5. Otter says:

    The huffington post?

    They accept Intelligent, thoughtful writing?

  6. Monroe says:

    Sounds like a good book. Reminds me of all those thousands of times the good old weatherman used the word “normal” to describe “aveage”. I really think many people believe weather used to be smooth sailing!

  7. John Billings says:

    Sounds like an interesting read. The comments about the Weather Channel are perhaps a bit obvious. Why do people watch the Weather Channel? To hear about dramatic stuff. It’s kind of hard to get people to tune in if you say “The weather’s mostly settled for the next few days, fine and dry conditions, pleasantly warm at 22*C/72*F”. If you’ve got a TV channel that survives on subscriptions or advertising revenue, you’d better give people a reason to tune in.

    One question: Why is the headline from the “summing up” that “Wind turbines do not deliver reliable electric power”? We all know this, but the article isn’t about wind turbines, so why highlight that? Unless you are implying that General Electric sent a diktat to NBC who passed on the diktat to the Weather Channel that they have to exaggerate hurricanes so that people will blame global warming and go and buy wind turbines…

    If that’s the point of this article, then sorry, nope, more likely, it’s just that more people will watch the Weather Channel when the weather’s bad. I do. Don’t you?

    Lastly, we all know GE is a top polluter, the fourth-largest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States, not to mention their appalling track record on toxic waste. What do they care about the environment?

  8. Jon Jewett says:

    I need a recommendation for Christmas:

    Most all of my relatives (except my wife, my son, and my son’s wife) are liberals stuck on stupid. They believe that Al Gore has revealed The Truth and that we are all doomed!
    What would be the best book to get people like that to think?

    Thanks for the help!
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin.)

  9. Al Gored says:

    Nitpicker reporting for duty!

    “I can collaborate what Delingpole says”

    I think you mean “corroborate.”

    No big deal. It is not like you said warming instead of flattening or cooling or anything like that.

    ,

  10. 2ndHalfCor says:

    Next you’re going to tell us that GE contributes to politicians who want to force people to buy their unpopular and expensive CFL bulbs!

  11. Halfwise says:

    @Jon Jewett
    I liked “Taken by Storm” when it came out a couple of years back. Still stands up.

  12. HaroldW says:

    typo/spelling correction:
    In the epilogue, where you have “I can collaborate what Delingpole says” — the correct word is “corroborate”.

    No need to post this.

  13. John West says:

    “Don’t sell your coat”

    Unless you don’t have a sword!

  14. james says:

    “I can collaborate what Delingpole says”

    Small nit, but I think you mean corroborate.

    -J

  15. John Garrett says:

    Dear Mr. Ambler:

    Try telling that to NPR (National Public Radio).

    As best I can tell, wholesale, unquestioning belief in the hypothesis of CAGW appears to be a condition of employment there.

  16. Mardler says:

    Jon Jewett – James Delingpole’s book mentioned above.

  17. Dave Worley says:

    TWC was once useful for getting a quick look at current weather. Now you have to sit through an hour or more of propaganda to get a national forecast. Like NASA, TWC has forgotten its mission.

  18. Curiousgeorge says:

    Having lived thru 67 years of weather in a variety of locales around the globe, I can attest to the fact that nothing much has changed.

  19. DocWat says:

    If I may buck the current… Here in Kansas, Wyoming, and other places, Wind generators make economic sense. They run near full output about 40% of the time and limited output much of the rest of the time.
    I have spoken to executives from local power companies and find their attitude not conducive to intelligent use of the things.
    A fair amount of intelligent management could solve some of the problems inherent with wind generators.

  20. mfosdb says:

    This is why I loath wind turbines and the fanatics who promote them:

  21. mfosdb says:

    Woops, I meant loathe.

  22. LazyTeenager says:

    grzejnik says:
    December 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm
    Neat post, so a giant corporation that makes wind power buys the weather channel and the coverage goes to extreme global warming disaster alarmism. I should buy a network to promote my business lol
    ——————-
    Read the article again. You got the timing way off.

    And the whole — GE owns the weather channel with the intent to promote windmill sales — story was just made up. Until he produces evidence it amounts to just introspection while studying a toilet roll.

    Beats me why you “right wing SOB” guys would fall for standard boring left wing anti-corporation mythology.

  23. pat says:

    16 Dec: Ria Novosti: Russia says Kyoto protocol no longer effective
    Canada’s decision to quit the Kyoto protocol confirms that it had lost its effectiveness, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Friday…
    Japan and Russia have also recently announced that they will not be signing the treaty renewal in 2012, but have yet to withdraw officially. According to Kent, other countries could soon follow Canada’s example, which perhaps indicates the need to find new approaches to battling climate change…
    Lukashevich also said that Canada would remain a Kyoto protocol country for another year, until all its obligations under the Kyoto protocol expire. The country, which signed the treaty in 1997, failed to meet the target of decreasing carbon dioxide emissions by 6 percent in the 2008-2012 period, which has instead grown by 17-30 percent.
    http://en.ria.ru/Environment/20111216/170302678.html

  24. jim heath says:

    Don’t make things too hard for them, buy them a talking book

  25. LazyTeenager says:

    Jon Jewett says:
    December 16, 2011 at 2:52 pm
    I need a recommendation for Christmas:

    Most all of my relatives (except my wife, my son, and my son’s wife) are liberals stuck on stupid. They believe that Al Gore has revealed The Truth and that we are all doomed!
    What would be the best book to get people like that to think?

    Thanks for the help!
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin.)
    ————–
    And what would you think if they gave you a copy of Inconevient Truth for Christmas? Maybe you need to rethink this, particularly the contempt you feel for others and your imagined superiority, especially around Christmas time.

  26. pat says:

    16 Dec: UK Telegraph: Donna Bowater: Snow and ice warning for entire UK
    Weather forecasters have warned that the entire country faces snow and a blanket of ice that will persist into next week.
    The Met Office issued a yellow alert, predicting icy conditions on the roads for the whole of Britain, with travel disruption expected to continue until Tuesday. Heavy rain will turn to snow which is expected to affect parts of the country…
    Widespread frost was expected as temperatures drop to 25 to 30F (-1C to -4C) overnight and reach just 37 to 43F (3 to 6C) during the day…
    The Highways Agency said it had a fleet of 500 state-of-the-art winter vehicles on standby, and enough salt to deal with severe conditions…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/8960173/Snow-and-ice-warning-for-entire-UK.html

  27. LazyTeenager says:

    Mofsdb says

    This is why I loath wind turbines and the fanatics who promote them:
    ————-
    Let’s see if this attitude survives the hypocrisy test.

    Do you own a car?
    If so get in the car and go for a drive in the countryside. Count the number of dead animals by the side of the road. These animals were all killed by cars. In my part of the world they include cats, dogs, possums, kangaroos, foxes, wombats and lots of birds. The birds like to eat the carrion you see.

    Now do you loath cars and the fanatics who promote them?

  28. Wendellwx says:

    Sounded so good I just bought the book. Thanks for sharing this Anthony.

  29. u.k.(us) says:

    Yep, for years I would spend my spare time reading a book with the Weather Channel playing in the background.
    The weather has always interested me, and even impacted my work as a land surveyor.
    (I’ll leave out the part it might have played in getting my private pilot license, as I never really used said license).
    It might have been the Weather Channel that drove me to google “arctic ice”, and click on their return of a post at WUWT.
    Unintended consequences.

  30. Smokey says:

    Lazy,

    Just because you banged a hammer on your thumb last week is no reason to bang a hammer on your other thumb today.

  31. John West says:

    Jon Jewett says:
    “They believe that Al Gore has revealed The Truth and that we are all doomed!”

    IMO there’s really no one answer to this, there’s as many paths to skepticism of CAGW as there are people it seems.
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/reader-background/

    If they’re into history then something that goes through the historical evidence of the LIA and MWP might be a good place to start.

    If they’re “people” people then a book that organizes and explains climategate might be better. Does “I would not give them *anything*. I would not respond or even acknowledge receipt of their emails. There is no reason to give them any data, in my opinion, and I think we do so at our own peril!” (Michael E. Mann to Phil Jones) really inspire confidence?
    http://assassinationscience.com/climategate/1/FOIA/mail/1076359809.txt

    If they’re scientifically literate then Jo Nova’s “Skeptic’s Guide” might be enough.
    http://joannenova.com.au/global-warming/

  32. GeoLurking says:

    Yeah, I remember when Geraldo was down here in Pensacola hyping up one of our hurricanes. Idiot was dragging tree limb around trying to set up an interesting background for hit on air spot.

  33. Bill Illis says:

    At any time, 98% of the planet is having normal ordinary weather. 1% is having abnormally cold weather and 1% is having abnormally warm weather. Its just the stats of a 100 year record of weather.

    Climate science is constantly trying to tie the 1% abnormaly warm weather to global warming but, as the above statement notes, it is completely normal for 1% of the planet to be abnormally warm.

    The same place in Russia that had the heat wave in 2010 (just south of Moscow) is now having the 1% abnormally cold weather over the past 6 weeks at 8C below normal. No one is running climate models over this particular cold spell.

  34. Steve C says:

    @Jon Jewett … If they’re really far-gone, useless cases, a nicely bound copy of the Last Rites might prove appropriate and reasonably … well, ok, almost tasteful … :after all, if we’re destroyin’ the planet at the rate they think, they’ll be needing it really, really soon. We’ve gotta look after our immortal souls in these ordinary terrifying times, and it would show how deeply you care.

    I know, too morbid. I’ll get me coat. It’s not for sale, the book above will tell you why..

    [Thought for Anthony - a book sales page (or extension to the Stuff page) might be worth considering for generating a bit extra site-running money, split with a book outlet to handle all the actual book stuff. This book, Donna, quite a few spring to mind.]

  35. davidmhoffer says:

    Lazy Teenager;
    Maybe you need to rethink this, particularly the contempt you feel for others and your imagined superiority, especially around Christmas time.>>>>

    Well, yes, if it wasn’t Christmas time, a higher degree of contempt would obviously be more appropriate.

  36. davidmhoffer says:

    LazyTeenager;
    Now do you loathe cars and the fanatics who promote them?>>>

    Nope. I don’t recall any of the promoters of cars telling me they are economical to do things they are not economical for, nor do I recall promoters of cars insisting that the road kill has nothing to do with the cars.

  37. John West says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    “And what would you think if they gave you a copy of Inconevient Truth for Christmas?”

    I’d think, they haven’t been listening to me pointing out all the flaws in it at all (or read my editorial in the local paper), if they’d been paying attention they’d know that I had already seen it /read it / debunked it. Then I’d think, this thing can’t even be re-gifted! After awhile I’d probably realize that it would make a decent target and be proportionately grateful.

    “Maybe you need to rethink this, particularly the contempt you feel for others and your imagined superiority”

    It has nothing to do with contempt for others or any imagined superiority. When you see someone you care about being scammed by a con artist, you tell them.

    “especially around Christmas time.”

    What better time of year to spread cheer? Hey, good news, we’re not doomed after all, you’re free to be happy.

  38. u.k.(us) says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    December 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm
    “Now do you loath cars and the fanatics who promote them?”
    =========
    Is it safe to assume that at least some of those cars are making their journey in an attempt to improve the economy, as opposed to the windmills suckling from the taxpayers tit.

  39. LazyTeenager says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    December 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm
    LazyTeenager;
    Now do you loathe cars and the fanatics who promote them?>>>

    Nope. I don’t recall any of the promoters of cars telling me they are economical to do things they are not economical for, nor do I recall promoters of cars insisting that the road kill has nothing to do with the cars.
    ————–
    That’s odd, maybe you look at different car advertising than I look at. In my world car promoters of cars tell me that cars are fun and inflate my social status. Economical transport is rarely mentioned. I am not sure that cars are an economical way to have fun or inflate my social status.

    But hold on, you are executing the good old “move the goal posts tactic” tsk tsk! You seem to be trying to move from – wind mills are bad since they kill birds – to – wind mills are bad because the wind mill company lied to me – . Does this mean you are conceding my point that as far as bird kill and animal kill rates are concerned cars may very well be much worse?

    And an even handed approach would require measures against both cars and wind mills that was in proportion to the kill rates?

  40. tesla0x0 says:

    Am I *REALLY* going to need that coat?
    This post re a Russian Neutron monitor reading:

    Signal or noise of a quiet sun…or something else?

    http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread786624/pg1?

  41. Wade says:

    Looks interesting. But this is the book I am most looking forward to reading.

    Regarding the Weather Channel. Many years ago, I used to watch TWC with regularity. This was before the alarmist days. One day I decided to pay attention to their forecasts. I began to notice that the forecasts tended to be as accurate as a disgraced prophet. So I stopped watching. If you can’t get the weather prediction right, why are you called the weather channel?

  42. nofreewind says:

    >>>Here in Kansas, Wyoming, and other places, Wind generators make economic sense. They run near full output about 40% of the time and limited output much of the rest of the time.

    I think not. Wind output averages 25% in the US. If what you say is true, then the Wyoming output would average 50% or more. That’s not true. Likely their output is in the 35% range, on average. Just because they are spinning doesn’t mean they are creating full output. I don’t think there are any wind turbines ANYWHERE that average over 40% output on average. And no, they don’t make economical sense. That’s why they get the enormous subsidies that they do.
    About 70x more subsidy per kWhr than nat gas or coal
    http://windfarmrealities.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/eia-subsidies-2010-wg-chart1.jpg
    from here, the 2010 story on electricity subsidies.
    http://windfarmrealities.org/?p=1240
    Also, in most places, there is more wind energy produced at night, when it’s value is low to the grid and our society.

  43. DocWat says:

    To mfosbd 3:36 pm…
    One of my ecology students did a term paper on animal casualties caused by wind generators Vs. animal casualties done by automobiles. Would you be surprised to know that no deer have ever been proved to have been killed by wind generators? Would you be surprised to know that in most states, more deer are killed by autos than are taken by hunters? Would you be surprised to know that about 100,000 birds/bats are killed by autos for every one killed by wind generators. Look it up, she found all this on the internet.

    For myself, every turn these wind generators make, that is one more turn of a screw in our rich middle eastern trading partners’… well you know the word.

  44. Steve from Rockwood says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    December 16, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    And an even handed approach would require measures against both cars and wind mills that was in proportion to the kill rates?
    —————————————————————————————–
    The biggest difference between wind mills and cars is that while cars kill animals, wind mills kill the economy. So why subsidize them? Just to kill a few birds?

  45. polistra says:

    Ambler left out part of the story that actually helps to make his point. Earlier this year NBC was bought by Comcast, which doesn’t need to sell Chinese bat-mashers to increase its share price. Since that purchase, the Weather Channel has downplayed the Gaia crap. Heidi Cullen is no longer on staff as High Priestess, and the features about Our Noble Planet Suffering From Our Grievous Sins no longer appear on their website.

    So it’s a classic A/B experiment. With only one direction of change, you don’t know for sure if the effect is coincidental. With an on/off change, you can spot causality.

  46. DocWat says:

    To nofreewind 5:55…
    Your estimates may be average. I presume you do not live near Wyoming or Kansas. I got my numbers from the vice-president of an electric power generating company. He was quoting his own company studies (43% actually) and like you, he hated wind generators. One has to presume he was not inflating the usefulness of the things.

  47. DocWat says:

    I have a peculiar view of the economics of the wind generator argument. I can see wind generators from my town. That means money is flowing into the county coffers, that does not come out of my pocket. Money is given to my customers, that replaces some of the taxes they pay, and when they do business with me, it trickles into my pocket.

  48. Smokey says:

    Doc,

    You should read up on economist Frederic Bastiat’s Broken Window fallacy. Money isn’t tricking into your pockets, it’s trickling into other pockets.

  49. DocWat says:

    For those who have never served in the military, There is a comment always made when you say you are from Kansas: ” There is no such place as Kansas, It is Oklahoma blowing north in the summer and Nebraska blowing south in the winter.”

  50. DocWat says:

    Smokey, No doubt about it!!

  51. davidmhoffer says:

    LazyTeenager;
    Nope. I don’t recall any of the promoters of cars telling me they are economical to do things they are not economical for, nor do I recall promoters of cars insisting that the road kill has nothing to do with the cars.
    ————–
    That’s odd, maybe you look at different car advertising than I look at. In my world car promoters of cars tell me that cars are fun and inflate my social status. >>>

    You’ve clearly never driven into a high school parking lot in a Ferrari.

  52. davidmhoffer says:

    LazyTeenager;
    But hold on, you are executing the good old “move the goal posts tactic” tsk tsk! You seem to be trying to move from – wind mills are bad since they kill birds – to – wind mills are bad because the wind mill company lied to me – . Does this mean you are conceding my point that as far as bird kill and animal kill rates are concerned cars may very well be much worse?>>>

    That wasn’t the issue. The car companies didn’t try to sell me 500 cars to move 500 bails of hay on the premise that it is more economical that way than to buy one large truck. The car companies don’t take my tax money to subsidize the cost of cars so that 500 cars at retail pricing actually cost less than one truck. The car companies didn’t try and tell me that running 500 cars down the highway is less wear and tear on the highway than one large truck.

    If you weren’t so lazy, you would think these things through before coming up with a retort that has nothing to do with the main issue.

  53. Steve from Rockwood says:

    DocWat says:
    December 16, 2011 at 7:06 pm
    I have a peculiar view of the economics of the wind generator argument. I can see wind generators from my town. That means money is flowing into the county coffers, that does not come out of my pocket. Money is given to my customers, that replaces some of the taxes they pay, and when they do business with me, it trickles into my pocket.
    ———————————————————————
    This is a common fallacy – thinking that local subsidies benefit you because they bring money into your community. The reality is there is a net outflow (a negative trickle) from your pocket, through the government and into the hands of “entrepreneurs” who oddly weren’t around trying to build businesses in your community prior to the government money becoming available to them.

    In Toronto I watched a couple of young British “entrepreneurs” talking sweetly about how progressive our Provincial government was in taking “bold” steps toward a greener future (lots of wind turbines) and how happy they were to be a part of it. Why did these guys come all the way from the UK to help Canada spend its government subsidies? If you don’t know the answer, I would like to start a business with you. You invest the money and I will supply the entrepreneurial sweetness.

    If you like mathematical examples:

    Start with $700 million.
    Subtract 15% which is eaten by the government as a handling fee.
    Subtract 10% to the entrepreneurs.
    Buy some wind turbines from Germany or solar panels from China.
    Install them.
    Run them at a cost which is 2-3 times your revenue.
    ————————————–
    Calculate what the return was on the $700 million.
    Now ask yourself how much of the $700 million you would be willing to put up if you were asked.

  54. Damage6 says:

    @ Doc Wat who said “If I may buck the current… Here in Kansas, Wyoming, and other places, Wind generators make economic sense. ”

    Speaking as a guy who makes his living designing mechanical systems one of the biggest and often most overlooked flaws in wind power is the decentralization of maintenance associated with large scale wind turbine power generation. In a traditional power generation plant you have a small number of very efficient large turbine and generator sets (anywhere from 2-20) that are centrally located and relatively easy to maintain in a efficient systematic way. In a wind farm however you have hundreds if not thousands of gen-sets spread over many square miles on top of tall poles. This not only makes the collection of power for transmition less efficient but both increases the amount of maintenance that must be performed and complicates the maintnenance procedures by an order of magnitude. These are major contributing factors to the high cost of wind power that can never be mitigated by economies of scale. Actually as this infrastructure ages and requires a higher frequency of maintenance the problem gets worse not better. It gets much worse with the off-shore wind farms being championed by big green. Finally due to the inherient inefficiency of collecting the power from a distributed generation grid each turbine must be as efficient as possible to minimize the effect of power loss during collection. This has led to a real environmental disaster due to the use of neodymium (rare earth) magnets in wind turbine gen-sets as can be seen here. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1350811/In-China-true-cost-Britains-clean-green-wind-power-experiment-Pollution-disastrous-scale.html

  55. DocWat says:

    Steve from Rockwood, Damage6,
    You boys are chasing the wrong rabbit. Just because this concept is not properly managed (we agree on that) does not mean it cannot be properly managed.

  56. DocWat says:

    In all my years on this earth, I have never seen “the government” fix anything. If it is a mess, the government makes it worse. If it is not a mess, the government turns it into one.

    Feel free to point out any instances I may have incorrectly assessed.

  57. DocWat says:

    Too many fingers in the pie.

  58. DocWat says:

    A case: AGW
    Not a problem until the government got involved. Now it is a huge, expensive mess.

    Mr. Ambler has my vote: Don’t sell your coat!

  59. davidmhoffer says:

    LazyTeenager;
    Before you respond to me, please read what Damage6 wrote above.

    Then add to that the extra capacity that must be built into other energy sources to pick up the load when the wind don’t blow, and the reduced efficiency of other energy sources because they are most efficient when run “steady state” and are least efficient when fluctuating up and down to accomodate the vagaries of the wind, and then add to that the increased capital costs you will have to bear because the lifetime of conventional power plants will be dramatically shortened due to accomodating highly fluctuating loads.

    NOW let’s go back you your car analogy. Find me a lie from the car industry as ridiculous as the notion that wind power makes any sense at all. Keep in mind BTW, that money = energy. All that money that must be spent to run wind mills, comes from other sources which by definition are not “green”. So not only is wind uneconomical, it more than likely has a net positive increase in CO2 associated with it. (backfilling with hydro generation may be the only exception that comes to mind, and why would one backfill with hydro if it was available since it is low carbon and cheaper than wind in the first place, so just use it instead of building wind mills!)

  60. Harold, At last :)

    Good luck with the book

    Tonyb

  61. Hexe Froschbein says:

    LazyTeenager,

    Because A causes misery and it’s tolerated, B, which also causes misery must be tolerated too according to your logic.

    Sounds to me like you need to get clued up and study a bit here: http://summalogica.com/logic101/

    Life is better if you don’t end up fooling yourself with fallacies…

    8():

  62. Harold

    Have been to Amazon. I couldn’t see any full page description of what the book is about nor if it is available in Kindle format.

    Tonyb

  63. mfosdb says:

    @LazyTeenager.
    Your argument seems to be that if I loathe something that causes harm I should loathe all things that cause harm. But the harm that something causes should be weighed against its benefits.
    If you’ve been reading WUWT you’ll know the answer and perhaps if you think about it for a while you’ll understand that in the context of cars and wind turbines the charge of hypocrisy is an oversimplified, ad hominem irrelevance.
    By the way loath is an adjective meaning unwilling. You shouldn’t blindly follow my spelling just as you shouldn’t blindly follow AGW.

  64. Eric Huxter says:

    @LazyTeenager

    If you look at the figures for roadkill and turbinekill each turbine has an annual kill rate of tens kilometres of main roads (apologies, I do not have the precise figures to hand of the analysis).. The cost benefit analysis of roads to human activity (utility, economy and happiness) also outweighs that of turbines even though the accident rate is significantly higher for cars. No contempt, just analysis of the available facts.

  65. Kozlowski says:

    “How did the good politics of social justice become chained to the bad science of global warming?” – Freeman Dyson

    Liberals have been latching on to all sorts of sorry issues over these last decades. A bit depressing as there are many good causes which will be discredited as a group when now, yet another liberal cause, AGW, becomes publicly known as a major fail.

    And how did Conservatives become associated with God, guns, anti-science etc? Can’t one be a social liberal, fiscal conservative, atheist, science geek all at the same time without the MSM stereotyping us? Sigh.

  66. Harold Ambler says:

    Thanks to Anthony, first of all.

    I will update the book yearly, at least, and am always grateful for information and corrections. I will, for instance, have to deal with the Comcast deal, which I knew of but wanted to let the dust settle more first.

    @TonyB, the Amazon functionality will improve in the next several days. Thanks for your help throughout my process.

    In terms of my politics, I can agree that I have been a liberal for much of my life. In truth, however, as I tried without much success to communicate to James D., my change of heart regarding AGW has left feeling like a man without a country in the political sphere. I must admit that I was not very charmed by the treatment that I received from the left when my HuffPo piece came out in early 2009. Probably more important, though, I am left speechless by the supposed eco-warriors actions regarding carbon dioxide, and the effect this has on otherwise intelligent friends of mine, and on human civilization itself.

  67. Gary says:

    Harold, modern liberalism has become fertile ground for totalitarian tendencies. Return to the classical liberalism of personal freedom, property rights, and true respect for the rights of others (rather than the psuedo-tolerance being promoted). You’ll be much happier. Still hated by those in your former country, but much happier because it’s the right place to be.

  68. Steve from Rockwood says:

    DocWat says:
    December 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm
    Steve from Rockwood, Damage6,
    You boys are chasing the wrong rabbit. Just because this concept is not properly managed (we agree on that) does not mean it cannot be properly managed.
    ——————————————————————————–
    Just for the record DocWat, I am not against wind power. I am against government subsidies. If someone wants to establish a wind farm and sell the power to the public utilities at normal rates, I’m all for it. But what we have is the government giving people tax payer money to set up the farms and then the government paying 2-3 times as much as traditional energy suppliers earn to keep these people in business. This is not green energy.

  69. Alan T says:

    I can relate to the Weather Channel references. Ironically it played a big part in my becoming aware of the CAGW mass psychosis. During the 2000′s I had been encountering more and more global warming-as-fact mentions in various media and it was probably Heidi Cullen’s spots that finally nudged me to look further into it. Even before getting to the science, the “debate is over”-”science is settled” -”we’ve got to act now” remarks I read smelled fishy. And then that’s when I came across an account of Ms. Cullen’s diatribe calling for decertifying AMS meteorologists who dared to not accept the dogma that had been built up around the new religion. Thanks to Icecap, WUWT, Climate Audit, and many other fine bloggers I found plenty more to raise my ire at this travesty of politicized science. (I even wrote & recorded a song called “Political Science Fiction” I was so disgusted). The intrigue that has unfolded the last few years has been stunning and now it seems that the powers-that-be may be getting twitchy to play their hand. Keep your head down FOIA, whomever you are, and thanks for trying to keep the conversation open.

  70. harrywr2 says:

    DocWat says:
    December 16, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    I presume you do not live near Wyoming or Kansas. I got my numbers from the vice-president of an electric power generating company. He was quoting his own company studies (43% actually) and like you

    The air is considerably thinner in Wyoming due to elevation. Yes, there is some exceptional wind but it doesn’t have the same force as wind going the same speed at sea level. But for the residents of Wyoming, for every 9 cents/Kwh of wind they buy they can displace about 1 cent of coal.

  71. klem says:

    “He simply doesn’t buy into the global warming issue anymore as many of us used to, including me. – Anthony”

    I used to be a rabid warmist. But for me, and I expect many warmists who have moved to the skeptic side, truth is more important than ideology. I’ve often wondered what percentage of skeptics were at one time alarmists.

  72. Jon Jewett says:

    LazyTeenager says: December 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm
    And what would you think if they gave you a copy of Inconevient Truth for Christmas? Maybe you need to rethink this, particularly the contempt you feel for others and your imagined superiority, especially around Christmas time.
    *************
    Hey, persons, I have finally “arrived” at WUWT! I been dissed by the Lazy Teenager!
    Cool! For those who have NOT been dissed, eat your hearts out!

    As for receiving a copy of the Goracle’s “Inconvenient Truth”. Well, as long as a cover letter explained that before it can be shown to British school children the teacher is required to tell them of the fallacies in it (I.e. lies). It would also be helpful if the cover letter pointed out:
    The snows of Kilimanjaro are not melting from AGW but from deforestation.
    The temperature increase this century is neither extreme nor unusual and that the temperature this last decade has been pretty much flat.
    The glaciers in the Himalayas are not catastrophically melting,
    That the sea level rise over the last two years has stopped.
    That the stated correlation between AGW and increase of tropical storms is a lie.
    That the Polar Bears are NOT drowning but thriving.
    That the “Hockey Stick” graph is a fantasy construct.
    That The Goracle Himself has made $100,000,000 from this hoax.

    With that understanding, I would relish a copy of the “Inconvenient Truth”. I would also like a first edition of Paul Ehrlich’s book “The Population Bomb”. I read it back then and believed it (I was really stupid back then. I also smoked cigarettes and voted for Donks!) The predictions Ehrlich made (e.g. Great Britain would cease to exist by now and there would be massive world-wide famines) are so wildly wrong that it should be categorized as “humor”.

    Anyway, I hold no ill will at being dissed by you. It just isn’t your fault! I expect that you went to public schools and were taught by Donks.

    Steve C says: December 16, 2011 at 4:51 pm my reply: Probably so.

    jim heath says: December 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm my reply: Well my brother has a PHD and is a Senior Research Scientist at ——-. But, he got his education at UC Berkeley. An uncle went to Berkeley in the 30’s. He was a really sweet, caring person. Yet, during that period Stalin was murdering literally millions of people in the Soviet Union (The Terror and the famine he engineered in the Ukraine), my uncle was studying Russian so that he could greet the Soviet troops when they came to liberate us. UC Berkeley hasn’t changed.

    John West, Mardler, Halfwise, thanks for the suggestions.

    Very best regards,
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  73. ChE says:

    How did the good politics of social justice become chained to the bad science of global warming?

    Leaving aside the question of whether “social justice” is “good politics”, the more basic question is how did the ostensibly “progressive” politics of the left end up entangled with the reactionary Luddites and Malthusians of the environmental movement?

  74. RE: grzejnik says: Dec 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm and
    LazyTeenager says: 3:42 pm

    I for one find very believable the link between a major corporation slanting the news through a network it owns. The case is superbly made in Paddy Chayefsky’s Network (1976)

    Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn’t come out of this tube. This tube is the gospel, the ultimate revelation; this tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers; this tube is the most awesome goddamn propaganda force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls into the hands of the wrong people, and that’s why woe is us that Edward George Ruddy died. Because this company is now in the hands of CCA, the Communications Corporation of America; there’s a new chairman of the board, a man called Frank Hackett, sitting in Mr. Ruddy’s office on the twentieth floor. And when the 12th largest company in the world controls the most awesome goddamn propaganda force in the whole godless world, who knows what s#!t will be peddled for truth on this network?
    –<a href= http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Network_(film) Howard Beale, Act II, Network – 1976.

    Who knows, indeed. Mind you, Paddy wrote about television of which he knew well. That was before the internet was invented. Someday, I hope someone as talented will write “Inter-Network.”

  75. Theo Goodwin says:

    John Garrett says:
    December 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm
    “Dear Mr. Ambler:
    Try telling that to NPR (National Public Radio).
    As best I can tell, wholesale, unquestioning belief in the hypothesis of CAGW appears to be a condition of employment there.”

    I would call it Pavlovian but its spookier than that. It is something like an overwhelming, deeply embedded psychological need to live in a world of romance with heroes, villains, innocent victims, and the certainty that you know the only narrative that ends in happiness.

  76. Theo Goodwin says:

    ChE says:
    December 17, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Ooh! Ooh! Ask me! Ask me! All good communists know that one path to victory is to “assist” some social movement as it progresses toward self-destruction through the weight of its own contradictions. In other words, the Greens of the 1950s have been infiltrated and are now serving as rich useful idiots.

  77. Jon Jewett says: December 16, 2011 at 2:52 pm
    I need a recommendation for Christmas: Most all of my relatives… believe that Al Gore has revealed The Truth and that we are all doomed! What would be the best book to get people like that to think?

    Jon, I have problems like that. Brother BSc Cantab etc. It’s an ongoing challenge. I’m going to give you the same advice I gave Jeff Id which probably helped him set up his blog. Stay in your integrity. Let that direct you. Follow your heart and your intuition. Give your relatives something they can relate to so they don’t lose faith in you. Meanwhile, do something useful for the whole beleaguered Science that is in your power to do well for future generations…

    LazyTeenager says: December 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm
    And what would you think if they gave you a copy of Inconevient Truth for Christmas? Maybe you need to rethink this, particularly the contempt you feel for others and your imagined superiority, especially around Christmas time.

    Ye gods you really are lazy. Click my name to discover the details of the many and thorough debunks of AIT. Monckton did it best. And won a court case.

  78. P Walker says:

    I asked my wife to get this for me as a Christmas present . When she went to Amazon , she learned that the book required special shipping and probably wouldn’t arrive until some time after Christmas . However , when I clicked the link here , I found no such disclaimer . A visit to the Amazon website showed no disclaimer , so I suggested she use my laptop to order the book . She preferred to use her Mac for security reasons , but still got the special shipping notice , even when she linked via WUWT . Can anyone explain this ?
    BTW , thanks for your work , Mr. Ambler ( and Anthony too ) . Hopefully I’ll be reading your book soon .

  79. Gail Combs says:

    Kozlowski says:
    December 17, 2011 at 4:38 am

    And how did Conservatives become associated with God, guns, anti-science etc? Can’t one be a social liberal, fiscal conservative, atheist, science geek all at the same time without the MSM stereotyping us? Sigh.
    ______________________________________________
    AGREED!

    I absolutely HATE being stereotyped. If I am a female and get a science degree and stick up for my rights that does NOT mean I am a “Feminist” for example.

  80. Gail Combs says:

    John Garrett says:
    December 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm
    “Dear Mr. Ambler:
    Try telling that to NPR (National Public Radio).
    As best I can tell, wholesale, unquestioning belief in the hypothesis of CAGW appears to be a condition of employment there.”
    _____________________________________
    Theo Goodwin says:
    December 17, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I would call it Pavlovian but its spookier than that. It is something like an overwhelming, deeply embedded psychological need to live in a world of romance with heroes, villains, innocent victims, and the certainty that you know the only narrative that ends in happiness.
    ______________________________________

    Actually it is propaganda and very much controlled. Go digging around and see the interlocking boards. Finding a member of the Council on Foreign Relations on a LIBERAL news media was a bit of an eye opener for me.

    From Willis

    …it’s not like Rockefeller money went to any summits on how “the second largest producer and distributor of public radio programming and the largest owner and operator of public radio stations in the nation” could examine “the organization’s sustainability coverage”, including “examination of the sustainability of the modern consumer economy. They looked at what worked editorially and organizationally and what didn’t. In addition, they gathered to map out the next three years of APM’s sustainability coverage, deciding that a new position would be created to coordinate coverage across APM programs. It was also decided that APM’s coverage would focus on what actions, large and small, individuals and institutions were taking to reduce green-house gas emissions.”

    Or that Dr. Curry was a panelist there.

    http://www.rbf.org/info/info_show.htm?doc_id=649324 [dead link to Rockefeller brothers fund ”Philanthropy for an interconnected world” SURPRIZE!]

    SOURCE: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/25/judith-i-love-ya-but-youre-way-wrong/

    The other big money bags in the USA – JP Morgan had a lot of the news media sewn up starting in 1917.

    http://www.examiner.com/la-county-nonpartisan-in-los-angeles/congressional-record-jp-morgan-co-purchased-all-major-media-for-propaganda-1917-and-now
    http://www.foreclosurehamlet.org/forum/topics/jp-morganour-next-big-media
    http://www.newsandtech.com/dougs_page/article_f3a45be0-4717-11df-aace-001cc4c03286.html
    Most recently:

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. is raising a $500 million to $750 million fund to invest in ventures being spun out of social media….

    Das reports:
    It isn’t clear whether JPMorgan plans to invest directly in target companies or buy and sell shares on behalf of clients. But the investment fund will target “late-stage” private companies, or those with an up-and-running business model, steady revenue, and cash flow, according to people familiar with the situation.
    http://www.portfolio.com/views/blogs/pressed/2011/02/14/jpmorgan-new-media-fund-targets-convergence/

    All the news media is good for is the sports scores and the temperature. Everything else has to be looked at with a LARGE grain of salt. That is why I like WUWT it provides the salt.

  81. Jon Jewett says:

    Lucy Skywalker says: December 17, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions. Should you ever get to the heart of Texas, give us a shout. The Mrs. and I would be happy to take you to eat BBQ, drink beer, shoot guns, go to a good bible thumping church service, and all of those other things that us Red-Neck Texans (and proud of it) do!

    Regards,
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  82. kim2ooo says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    December 16, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    …………..”In my World” ]

    ha ha ha …says it all.

  83. Maxbert says:

    I bought “Don’t Sell Your Coat.” It’s an excellent, gently humorous introduction to the many fallacies of AGW. I recommend it as an ideal Christmas gift for any friend or relative blinded by warmist propaganda.

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