The SmartMeter backfiring privacy issue

The SmartMeter backfiring privacy issue (May 12, 2011). Hmm. Is revealing details of an individual’s utility bill a privacy issue? Apparently not when Anthony could delight in partisan intrusions into Al Gore’s private life back in 2007 and 2009 (Gore snubs Earth Hour). Now of course it’s about institutional intrusion, which makes it a bad thing.

Here’s Anthony’s take on “smart meters”:

The promise was to help you control your electricity bill by becoming more aware of your energy use. The downside is that with the data gathered, other people and businesses can also become more aware of your habits, like when you go to work, go on vacation, etc. Is the potential energy savings worth the invasion of privacy trade-off? I sure don’t think so. I really don’t want PG&E or anyone else for that matter knowing how I live my life inside my own home.

Well, here’s something I agree with Anthony, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, on: commercial entities have a responsibility to protect the personal information of their customers. That means securing the data transmissions and protecting the gathered information.

But what about the intended purpose of smart meters, enabling consumers to save money by identifying their most significant energy usages and by better aligning their usage with low-demand periods? After-all even Anthony drives a hybrid car and has a wind turbine; efficiency and self-sufficiency are positive characteristics in themselves.

The paper – accepted

The paper – accepted. (May 8, 2011)  Holy moly, Anthony Watts are a scientist! Well, “Corresponding Author” Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. is a scientist. Anthony announces that Roger and he will have a paper in an upcoming American Geophysical Union publication. I guess the AGU forgot Al Gore’s instructions about maintaining “the consensus.”

Anthony’s even managed to avoid the taint of public funding by getting fellow citizen-scientists (aka blog readers) to cover the page charges. Anthony and Roger have used the color crayons for this one and that’s expensive.

I have to shake my head at the hate-on Anthony has for government grants and the real scientific community. Of course he’s still on the watch for double-crossin’ warmist sneaks:

If you are wondering why I blurred the [DOI] number, it is simply that given what has transpired, with preemptive strikes by NCDC, and the recent BEST ambush before Congress, I’m simply being cautious.

Gosh, I thought it was hard to get papers confirming previous analyses published these days. Another myth demolished.

Will this paper be laced with accusations and faulty logic like his Science and Public Policy Institute pamphlets? Maybe it will just be, well, boring when he has to stay factual and reality-based.

Expect the denialosphere to kick into high gear over this regardless. I’m looking forward to it.

One word: “plastics”

One word: “plastics”. (May 5, 2011) Another half-the-story from Anthony Watts, linking to a Guardian article about the European Union paying fishers to “catch” plastic.

What does this have to do with climate change, or even just science? Nuthin’. It’s just reflexive regulation bashing and tax whining. Funny how there’s nary a peep on Anthony’s blog about the billions in tax cuts that oil companies receive…

So what’s really going on? Reading the Guardian article might help.

The move is intended as a sweetener to fishermen who have bitterly opposed the European commission’s plans to ban the wasteful practice of discarding edible fish at sea. Fleets fear they will lose money by not being able to throw away lower-value catch.

“Ending this practice of throwing away edible fish is in the interest of fishermen, and consumers,” Damanaki told the Guardian in an interview. “It has to happen – we cannot have consumers afraid to eat fish because they hate this problem of discards.”

Fishermen who clear plastic will be subsidised initially by EU member states, but in future the scheme could turn into a self-sustaining profitable enterprise, as fleets cash in on the increasing value of recycled plastics. Cleaning up the rubbish will also improve the prospects for fish, seabirds and other marine species, which frequently choke or suffer internal damage from ingesting small pieces of non-biodegradable packaging.


Are biofuel policies to help Mother Earth killing her most vulnerable children instead?

Are biofuel policies to help Mother Earth killing her most vulnerable children instead?” Indur M. Goklany returns to Anthony Watts’ blog to tell us about his paper in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Could Biofuel Policies Increase Death and Disease in Developing Countries? reveals how “global warming policies may be helping kill more people than it saves.” OMG, stop everything! We’re killing poor people!

I always think it’s a bit dodgy when a scientific paper title is in the form of a question. Maybe because the author is ever so slightly overreaching? “Could” is about as close as Indur gets to any kind of supporting evidence. He calls his research an “exploratory analysis”. With, apparently, exploratory conclusions.

Who reviewed and published it? Oops, The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is a “politically conservative non-profit organization“. They are anti-vaccination, anti-universal healthcare, pro-gun, don’t think HIV causes AIDS, try to link abortion to breast cancer and claim that illegal immigrants are bringing leprosy to America. Nice.

But is Indur Goklany right? Are biofuel production consequences the result of AGW policies? As I recall American ethanol production began as a response to the “energy crisis” in the Seventies. Nothing whatsoever to do with climate. Some current forms of biofuel production can reduce global food availability and increase global food prices. This says more about the enthusiasm of agribusiness for government subsidies than it does about attempts to reverse AGW. Biofuels are primarily an economic issue.

Indur Goklany illustrates a linear process as a circle, but leaves something out.

This is just another one of Indur’s right-wing think-tank revisionist efforts. Based on a fast-and-loose numbers, with an exaggerated connection to climate policy and used to infer imaginary negative future consequences. This time, instead of understating the consequences of AGW we get an overstatement of AGW’s alleged political power.

Zeroed out: NOAA Climate Service funding axed in budget CR

Zeroed out: NOAA Climate Service funding axed in budget CR. Anthony Watts and his readers gloat over successful Republican maneuvering to cut funding to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s new Climate Service. Funny, until they managed to grasp the levers of power the denialists chorus sang constantly of the need for more and better information. This of course required prolonged waiting.

Suddenly, ignorance is again bliss.

Next up, those communists at the EPA. How dare they tell us what’s safe? If we want lead in our drinking water and gasoline, or prefer to chew our air, we’ll do it! It’s how we raise new Republican voters.

MetOffGate – the questions begin

MetOffGate – the questions begin. A press release from the right-wing think tank Global Warming Policy Foundation! Thanks Anthony, and thanks for the collection of right-wing UK papers singing the same song. Thus disproving Global Warming.

Benny Peiser of the Foundation sez (italics mine):

Not only is the lack of Government preparedness a cause for concern, but we wonder whether there may be another reason for keeping the cold warning under wraps, a motive that the Met Office and the Cabinet Office may have shared: Not to undermine the then forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun.

Nothing like a good conspiracy theory. Here’s the first question: how long have you lads been off your meds?

Kyoto Protocol: Bad Science = Bad Policy

Kyoto Protocol: Bad Science = Bad Policy. Christmas Guest pudding from Ruth Bonnett. Ayn Rand, the novelist and icon of libertarian “thought”, apparently foretold that the Kyoto Protocol would be an attack on Australian farmers. The IPCC is also apparently a tool to “restrict technology” so that we’ll all have to live in caves in the dark and die of starvation.

But what about Nostradamus?

An end of an era – the incandescent light bulb

An end of an era – the incandescent light bulb. Anthony Watts notes that California is phasing out the sale of 100 W incandescent light bulbs. This is, as Anthony need not even mention, an attack on the personal liberties of right-thinking Americans. Anthony’s Californian readers appear to be hoarding the precious items. The maximum available wattage will be now 75 W, which means that this isn’t “the end” at all.

I’m sure that dim bulbs like Anthony will still be readily available though.

A CARB Christmas

A CARB Christmas. Anthony Watts makes fun of a government agency, the California Air Resources Board, by mocking a proposal (outlaw dark-colored cars to cut air conditioning usage) that was never implemented and a fuel efficiency proposal (60 mpg) that also hasn’t been implemented.

So because something is hard it shouldn’t be tried? Sounds exactly like the resistance to reducing Global Warming. Space flight is kinda tough too.

Department of Homeland Security goes off the deep end – now plans to battle “climate change” in addition to terrorists

Department of Homeland Security goes off the deep end – now plans to battle “climate change” in addition to terrorists. You see, for Anthony Watts “security” is just about looking for bombs and patting people down. And scowling at Muslims. It’s definitely not about ensuring safety. Because for example sea-level rise, which isn’t happening, has no implication for places like New Orleans.

The far-ranging Anthony just happened across a right-wing news website, which is “like the National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System” except funded by conservative think tanks, and he encountered the worrying news that the Department of Homeland Security is studying how Global Warming will impact their services. Wow, that’s truly ominous.

Is the Department of Homeland Security’s FEMA division (that’s “Federal Emergency Management Agency” by the way) preparing the ground for a religious war of “climatic jihad”, which of course means oppressive government action? Anthony says yes and reminds us that snow has fallen, which proves that there is no Global warming.