Friday, August 31, 2012

From Steve Milloy’s Junkscience.com: My Picks

 According to Professor Frank, stopping global warming may require carbon taxes of about $300 per ton of carbon dioxide emitted, and by implementing such taxes, we can also balance the federal budget. “If such a tax were phased in,” Frank says, “the prices of goods would rise gradually in proportion to the amount of carbon dioxide their production or use entailed. The price of gasoline, for example, would slowly rise by somewhat less than $3 per gallon.  Motorists in many countries already pay that much more than Americans do, and they seem to have adapted by driving substantially more efficient vehicles. . . . many budget experts agree that federal budgets simply can’t be balanced with spending cuts alone. We’ll also need substantial additional revenue, most of which could be generated by a carbon tax.” …..But that’s not all. Because the green tax targets carbon, rather than income, it would act as a dirigiste economic policy favoring businesses that make money trading in paper instruments over those that produce real value through industry, agriculture, transport, mining, and construction. This would impoverish society overall, once again hurting the vulnerable the most, and would destroy tens of millions of blue-collar jobs.
Was ever a more regressive tax policy proposed? And has anyone ever demanded that the United States launch a trade war to force other countries to impose such oppressive policies on their own people, most of whom can afford them even less? There was a time when the Democratic party concerned itself with the needs of poor and working people. Alas, those times are past.

The green tax plan is a declaration of war on the poor.
China’s push into solar energy was supposed to be a proud example of how the country was advancing into hi-tech manufacturing. But now the whole sector is on the brink of bankruptcy.   Two years ago, LDK Solar, one of China's largest solar panel makers, built a new, state-of-the-art factory in the central city of Hefei.  It sits in one of the city's industrial parks, a big LDK Solar logo on its wall, with the New York-listed company's slogan underneath: "Lighting the Future". "It cost 2.5 billion yuan (£250m) to build, the majority of the equipment was imported from Germany, and it hired 5,000 staff," said Jie Xiaoming, a 30-year-old who works at the plant's quality control and packaging department.
Last month, however, 4,500 of the staff were put on gardening leave. They receive 700 yuan a month to stay at home. The factory has shut down 24 of its 32 production lines. "There do not seem to be any orders. People are still turning up for work, but mostly just sleeping. The management has not said much, just that the United States has a new policy that is stopping our exports," said Mr Jie.
My Take For those who have been reading Paradigms and Demographics you are aware that I think this whole bugaboo about the Chinese economy was bogus from the beginning.  It can’t be denied that they did a lot of business, but the fact remains that they only started booming when they reduced their iron grip on the economy.  Having said that, we still have to understand that the country is still run by a socialist elite that believe central planning schemes “MUST” work….otherwise….there is no reason for them to exist as the ruling elite.   Therefore they are never going to give up on their “MUST” work central planning schemes; so ultimately they have to fail. What fascinates me is how many supposedly “really” intelligent people don’t get it!  How could I say such a thing?  As always, the answer is; “It’s history”….get over it!
It’s what we non-alarmists have long wanted: the climate change racket on trial in a court of law. In threatening National Review and its international columnist Mark Steyn with legal action over alleged “defamatory remarks” in his ‘Corner’ column, inventor of the famously debunked “hockey stick” climate graph, Dr Michael Mann, may have finally bitten off way more than he can legally chew…… But why get so upset about this single short blog post when whole books, countless articles and websites have said far worse? ……I rather suspect it is because the Steyn post was savagely witty and stung poor Michael.” I agree. Whenever I have invoked wit against the frailty of climate change rhetoric and its proponents, the blowback in online comments usually, with those ideologically wedded to alarmism, borders on the vitriolic……At time of writing the ball is firmly back in Mann’s court and we await his next move with considerable interest. For my money, don’t expect Mann to carry through on his threat. Once he realises just exactly who he is up against….what is at stake for the whole climate change racket, for Penn State’s coffers, and for his reputation, expect weasel words to the effect that “on reflection, it’s not worth it”.
 After all, he won’t want to risk killing the golden ‘public climate cash’ goose.
My Take – I am inclined to agree that there will be no action from Mann against Steyn or National Review.  However, he has sued Dr. Ball in a Canadian court and Ball has decided his defense will be the truth. In Canada this is called “The Truth Defense to Libel”, which “places a higher – more onerous – evidential burden on the parties. This means any and all evidence demanded by either party in the ongoing discovery process must be revealed. So effective can the “truth defense” be that some cynics refer to it as the “scorched earth” defense.”

Nature assesses the aftermath of a series of nanotechnology-lab bombings in Mexico — and asks how the country became a target of eco-anarchists. … Aceves sat down at his desk to tear the box open. So when the 20-centimetre-long pipe bomb inside exploded, on 8 August 2011, Aceves took the full force in his chest. Metal pierced one of his lungs. “He was in intensive care. He was really bad,” says Herrera's brother Gerardo, a theoretical physicist at the nearby Centre for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (Cinvestav). Armando Herrera Corral, who was standing nearby when the bomb went off, escaped with a burst eardrum and burns to his legs.
The next day, an eco-anarchist group calling itself Individuals Tending Towards Savagery (ITS) claimed responsibility for the bombing in a 5,500-word diatribe against nanotechnology that it published online

Economists are famous for disagreeing among themselves. Yet on the subject of free trade, economic opinion speaks almost with one voice. In a recent survey, 87.5 percent of PhD members of the American Economic Association agreed that “the U.S. should eliminate remaining tariffs and other barriers to trade.”

My TakeWe often hear about industry being responsible for the price of gasoline, which of course implies that all energy prices are fixed by the major energy producing companies.  Horsepucky!  Only ten percent of the oil is owned by private companies.  The rest is being produced by socialist states…including England….and many of them are run by tyrants.  Between socialists and environmentalists (same thing) they have managed to make everything expensive.  We really do need to get this:
They are irrational and misanthropic!
I know I have said that before.  Well, the reason is that nothing has changed!
Germany’s energy revolution is the government’s only major project — but the problems keep piling up. The pace of grid expansion is sluggish, and electricity costs for consumers are rising. The environment minister wants to fundamentally alter the way green energy is subsidized, but will it mean putting the brakes on the entire project?
 
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ANWR: Let’s Go!

If only their hot air could be converted into usable energy.

Drilling won’t generate production overnight. But it will ensure steady new supplies a few years hence. Unlike electricity generation from wind and solar, hydrocarbon development is not an intermittent process. It is 24-7 every month, every year.

Simply announcing that America is finally hunting oil again would send a powerful signal to global energy markets. It would also tame speculators, many of whom bet that continued U.S. drilling restrictions will further exacerbate the global demand-supply imbalance and send prices even higher for “futures” (under which a person pays a specific amount today, with the expectation of selling a commodity on a future date at a higher price).

Pro-drilling policies would likely bring lower prices, as did past announcements that Brazil had found new offshore oil fields, that Iraq would sign contracts to increase oil production, and that hydraulic fracturing had unlocked enormous new U.S. supplies of natural gas.

Conversely, news that supplies are tightening – because of sabotage in Nigeria’s delta region, for example, or continued bans on leasing American petroleum – will send prices upward.

Resourceship

We really don’t know how much petroleum we have. When “experts” discuss U.S. oil and gas resources and reserves, they are basing their estimates on outdated seismic, drilling, and other data and technologies. They often cite reserve estimates that were proven wrong years ago, or treat oil reserves as a fixed number, when in reality reserves are constantly changing and usually increase over time.

“Resources” are the total amount of petroleum geologists believe may be in underground formations, based on what they can “see” with seismic data. “Reserves” are the amount of oil or gas that can be produced at a given price, with existing technology, at a particular point in time, based on actual discoveries and well data, where drilling is permitted and has taken place. One could also say “reserves” are what our government allows us to find and extract.

Seismic provides a cross-sectional view of subsurface structures and rock formations that may hold oil, and technological improvements over the past decade have dramatically increased what we can “see,” in areas where companies are allowed to do seismic work. 3D and now 4D seismic (how rock formations change over time) paint vivid moving pictures of the subsurface and tell exploration geologists there is much more oil down there than previously estimated.

However, only two-thirds of the Gulf of Mexico and small parts of Alaska are open to offshore operations. The rest of America’s offshore areas, along with most onshore federal lands, are off limits to seismic work and drilling. That means we have up-to-date information on only a small portion of our potential energy base.

If we can’t even use seismic to “see” the vast majority of our underground prospects and resources, we cannot possibly estimate what is actually there. The one thing we can say is: Our current estimates of U.S. oil and gas resources are wrong, and are almost certainly much too low.

Understanding resources “in place” is just the first step. To estimate reserves accurately, we have to recognize that drilling technology has also evolved rapidly over the past decade. Directional drilling now allows companies to drill wells a mile deep and five miles long, and steer drill bits to penetrate multiple oil zones and hit targets the size of basketball courts. This accuracy, coupled with the ability to fracture rock formations and stimulate them to produce far more oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids than previously possible, is simply revolutionary.

In short, our ability to find and capture more of the oil in place has increased our reserves dramatically.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

One of the USA’s best prospects is Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), which geologists say likely contains billions of barrels of recoverable oil. If President Bill Clinton hadn’t bowed to Wilderness Society demands and vetoed 1995 legislation, we likely would be producing a million barrels a day from ANWR right now. That’s equal to U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia, at nearly $40 billion annually.

Leasing ANWR prospects would get new oil flowing in 5–10 years, depending in large part on how many lawsuits and other delays prevent drilling. That’s far faster than benefits would flow from supposed alternatives: devoting millions more acres of cropland to corn-based or (still non-existent) cellulosic ethanol, persuading millions of people to buy expensive hybrid and flex-fuel cars, building a dozen new nuclear power plants, and blanketing thousands of square miles with wind turbines and solar panels.

These alternatives would take decades to implement, and all face political, legal, technological, economic and environmental hurdles.

Drilling in ANWR and other Alaskan areas would also ensure sufficient production to keep the Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAP) in operation. Right now, declining North Slope production threatens to reduce oil in the pipeline to the point where it cannot stay sufficiently warm to flow under months-long Arctic winter conditions. The TAP needs between 200,000 and 300,000 barrels of oil per day to stay open. If there are inadequate supplies, the pipeline will be abruptly shut down – and even torn down, because current laws require complete removal of the TAP if it stops functioning.

That would result in the sudden elimination of a sizeable portion of our national oil production. It would mean billions of barrels of already discovered oil would be left in the ground and unavailable to American businesses, motorists and other citizens – representing a terrible way to “conserve” energy. It would create a huge disincentive to future Arctic oil leasing and development.

All of this might please the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, but it is hardly in the national interest.

Opening Oil Reserves

ANWR is the size of South Carolina. Its narrow coastal plain is frozen and windswept most of the year. Wildlife flourish amid drilling and production in other Arctic regions, and would do so near ANWR facilities. Inuits who live there know this, and support drilling by an 8:1 margin. Gwich’in Indians who oppose drilling live hundreds of miles away – and have leased and drilled nearly all their own tribal lands, including caribou migratory routes, to generate revenue for the tribe.

Drilling and production operations would impact only 2,000 acres (one-twentieth of Washington, D.C.), plus narrow roads between drilling sites, to produce some 15 billion gallons of oil annually. Each drill “pad” would support multiple wells that have the capability to reach miles in all directions.

Saying this tiny footprint would spoil the refuge is like saying a major airport along South Carolina’s northern border would destroy the entire state’s scenery and wildlife. Moreover, the roads would allow caribou and other animals to move around more easily during long, frigid, snowy winters; that would reduce death tolls from starvation and predation, and increase wildlife populations, just as happened elsewhere along the North Slope and TAP route.

Drilling in ANWR is a far better bargain than producing 13 billion gallons of ethanol annually from corn grown on an area nearly as big as Missouri (44 million acres) – using massive amounts of water, pesticides, fertilizer and fossil fuels, and sending corn, food and food aid prices higher and higher. It’s far better than using wind to generate enough electricity to power New York City, which would require blanketing Connecticut (three million acres) with turbines, and putting thousands of eagles, hawks, falcons, whooping cranes and other species at risk of being sliced up by turbine blades.

Proved Reserves

Anti-drilling factions often claim that “U.S. energy prices are high, because Americans consume 25% of the world’s oil, while possessing only 3% of its proven oil reserves.” The rhetoric is clever, but misleading, even disingenuous, and ultimately harmful.
Possession has nothing to do with prices, any more than owning a library, but never opening the books, improves intellectual abilities; or owning farmland that’s never tilled feeds hungry people.

The 3% claim refers to now-outdated information about conventional (traditional) oil resources that drilling has confirmed exist and can be produced with then-current technologies and prices. However, American politicians, regulators and courts have made numerous prospects off limits to leasing and delayed or rejected multiple seismic and drilling applications. In so doing, they have ensured that an estimated 170 billion barrels of oil resources in the Outer Continental Shelf, Rockies, Great Lakes, Southwest, ANWR and other areas never become “reserves.”

In fact, conventional reserves will decrease, as we deplete existing deposits and don’t replace them – or we force the TAP to close down, thereby making billions of barrels of proven oil reserves unavailable.

Despite anti-hydrocarbon policies, the United States is still the world’s third largest producer of oil, and its largest producer of natural gas. US oil production is actually increasing today, thanks to production from unconventional deposits, mostly on state and private lands. Moreover, our inability to explore unproven areas onshore and offshore has improved exponentially. If unconventional oil and gas reserves are included, the United States will remain a dominant player in world energy markets.

For example, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has unlocked billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas that just a few years ago were thought to be inaccessible, and have done so with minimal environmental impacts. The new technology has created tens of thousands of direct oilfield jobs, generated billions in revenues, and slashed the price of natural gas by more than 75 percent. Expanded supplies and lower prices for natural gas have spurred a US manufacturing and petrochemical renaissance, creating thousands of additional jobs and billions in additional revenue, and increasing the likelihood that many vehicles will soon run on compressed natural gas.

Applying 3D seismic, fracking and other new technologies to ANWR and other Arctic prospects would likely increase their reserves and ultimate yield many times over.
The U.S. Geological Survey and Congressional Research Service say it’s 95% likely that there are 15.6 billion barrels of oil beneath ANWR. With today’s prices and fracking technology, 60% of that is recoverable. At $100 a barrel, that represents nearly $1 trillion that we would not have to send to overseas. It means lower prices and reduced risks of oil spills from tankers carrying foreign crude to America.

Stimulating the Economy

Producing ANWR’s oil riches represents hundreds of billions in state and federal royalties and corporate income taxes, over the life of the fields, plus billions more in lease sale revenues, plus thousands of direct and indirect jobs, in addition to numerous jobs created when all this money is reinvested in the USA.

In fact, after the IRS, the single largest contribution to the U.S. treasury is oil company oil and gas royalty payments. Companies that produce from federal onshore and offshore leases pay royalties of up to 18% of wellhead prices, and then pay corporate taxes on profits and sales taxes at the pump. Wind and solar companies, by contrast, require perpetual subsidies, taken from profitable sectors of our economy.

Leasing and drilling also translates into additional billions in income tax revenues that oilfield, refinery, manufacturing and other jobs would generate, plus new opportunities for minority, poor and blue collar families to improve their lives and living standards. It means lower prices for gasoline, heating, cooling, food and other products.

Factor in America’s other locked-up energy, and we’re talking tens of trillions of dollars that we either keep in the United States, by producing that energy … or ship overseas.
This energy belongs to all Americans. It’s not the private property of environmental pressure groups, or of politicians who cater to them in exchange for re-election support.

This energy is likewise the common heritage of mankind. Politicians and eco-activists have no right to keep it off limits – and tell the rest of the world: “We have no intention of developing American energy. We don’t care if you need oil, if soaring food and energy prices are pummeling poor families, or if drilling in your countries harms your habitats to produce oil for US consumers.”

Those attitudes are immoral and intolerable. They show disdain for American workers and taxpayers, and for the world’s poor. They are bad for the global environment.

It’s time to drill safely and carefully again here in America – onshore and off, in Alaska and the Lower 48 States. We should and must do so, while also developing economically and environmentally sensible new technologies to improve energy conservation, and provide alternatives to petroleum if Earth’s hydrocarbon deposits really are depleted a century or more from now.
__________

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power ? Black Death.

Scientific Integrity is an Oxymoron: From Retraction Watch

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This is just from 2012 thus far. As you go through these you will see the same names appearing over and over again. Some of these articles are about this same issue, but some involve a number of different issues and over a period of years, as a result it can be clearly seen that these people have been getting away with this stuff for years. That clearly justifies my personal motto:
De Omnibus Dubitandum
(Question Everything!)

Twenty More Retractions For Scientist Who Made Up e-mail Addresses So He Could Review His Own Papers
Hyung-In Moon, the South Korean plant compound researcher who came up with fake email addresses so that he could do his own peer review, has retracted twenty more papers, all in Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, an Informa Healthcare title. The notice is the same as for the four others Moon retracted from Informa journals:
 The peer-review process for all of the above articles was found to have been compromised and inappropriately influenced by the corresponding author, Professor Hyung-In Moon. As a result the findings and conclusions of these articles cannot be relied upon.

 The corresponding author and the publisher wish to retract these papers to preserve the integrity of material published in the journal. The publisher acknowledges that the integrity of the peer review process should have been subject to more rigorous verification to ensure the reviews provided were genuine and impartial. The publisher apologizes for any inconvenience rendered to the readers of the journal and wishes to assure the reader that measures have been taken to ensure that the peer review process is comprehensively checked to avoid a similar error occurring.
 The retractions bring Moon’s total to 31 — 24 from this episode, and seven from several years ago.

 
In the case of Hyung-In Moon — the researcher who faked email addresses for potential peer reviewers so he could do his own peer review — has already led to one resignation.
Emilio Jirillo, the editor of Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, which retracted 20 of Moon’s papers, stepped down earlier this year in the wake of the case, Retraction Watch has learned.
In an unusual move, a German university has issued a statement calling into question “the scientific honesty” of a whistleblower, and suggesting that his emails were “dangerous.”
Some background: Off and on here at Retraction Watch, we have been following a complicated case involving Robert Nitsch, a scientist at the Johannes-Gutenberg-University. In August of last year, we reported on the retraction in the FASEB Journal of a paper on which Nitsch was a co-author. What made that retraction unusual was that it came after Charite – Universitatsmedizin Berlin, where Nitsch and some of his co-authors worked at the time, recommended a retraction even though the journal had originally agreed to a correction at the authors’ request. And a month later, we noted that Nitsch was a co-author on a Cell paper that was corrected for figure errors........
A group of South Korean researchers has decided to withdraw a paper they recently published in the journal Digestion because it was filled with mistakes.
The paper, “Endoscopy-Based Decision Is Sufficient for Predicting Completeness in Lateral Resection Margin in Colon Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection,” was published earlier this year (and online in late 2011) by a group in Seoul. But according to the retraction notice:
A materials researcher faced three months without salary, retired from his research position and may have to return a portion of a grant worth $1 million US as punishment after a postdoc in his lab was caught fabricating data.

Seizo Miyata, formerly a materials researcher at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, headed a group that worked on carbon alloy catalysts. Last year, Miyata told Retraction Watch, he found evidence that postdoc Wu Libin had fabricated data.

Reached by Retraction Watch by phone, Miyata didn’t say who uncovered the evidence, nor how, but when he confronted Libin, the postdoc confessed. Miyata said he alerted Tokyo Tech administrators last year, and requested the retraction of “Preparation of carbon-based catalysts for PEFC cathodes from aromatic polyamide with Fe compound,” which appeared in Applied Catalysis A: General in July 2011. That retraction notice reads: Read the rest of this entry »
Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process


The U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has found that a neuroscientist who studied the effects of pesticides on a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease made up data.
As The Scientist reported on Friday, the ORI found that Mona Thiruchelvam faked cell counts in two grant applications and a number of papers that claimed to show how the pesticides paraquat, maneb, and atrazine might affect parts of the brain involved in Parkinson’s. The Scientist notes: Read the rest of this entry »



·         Fujii retractions mount
·         Can we trust Western blots?