Mount Pleasant (WI) Patch:

Several staff members and officials from Mount Pleasant traveled to Fond du Lac County on Fri., Nov. 11, 2011 to put wind turbines to the test. Residents were also invited, but were unable to make the trip.

They were interested in measuring the noise levels of wind turbines similar to those proposed by SC Johnson for their Waxdale plant. The Brownsville, WI, location features 86 wind turbines over 12 square miles, at least one of which sits less than 500 feet from a landowner who leases his land for the turbines.

According to Planning Director Ron Meyer, measurements were taken at 800 and 1,200 feet away from a geared turbine. The SCJ turbines would be gearless and probably quieter.

“At 800 feet, measurements came in at 46 – 47 decibels, and at 1,200 feet it was less than 40 decibels, ” he said. By comparison, Meyer said a passing car on the paved road came in at 62 decibels. “The readings could be on the higher side as the corn stubble and hedge row created ambient noise.”

Since Waxdale is located in a mixed use neighborhood of residential, commercial and industrial development, it’s not unreasonable to think most of the surrounding area would muffle the noise from the turning blades.

SCJ is proposing two or three wind turbines of between 300 and 400 feet tall to generate some of the electricity needed to power the Waxdale plant. Predicted to produce about 15 percent of the total energy needed, the turbines are part of SCJ’s plan to generate 100 percent of Waxdale’s energy needs on-site with 60 percent coming from renewable energy sources.

At a public hearing on Oct. 18, Mount Pleasant residents listened to a presentation from SC Johnson officials. Tom Joy from Mount Pleasant and Paul Kocourek from Sturtevant both expressed concerns about the turbines on several levels: noise, sun flicker, aesthetics, property values and deaths of flying wildlife.

“I wish residents could have made the trip,” said Trustee Gary Feest. “I think a lot of their fears would have been put to rest.”


Worth going to the original to take a look.  This is the evolving template for how the mainstream media is approaching the new climate science emails posted on an obscure Russian server this week – that is, handling this demonstrated bogus meme with rubber gloves, hazard precautions, and nose clothespins.


Following the publication this week of 5,000 hacked climate emails, we look at what was happening in those exchanges.

(Stolen email snippets in italics – PS) 

“Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous.”

• Peter Thorne, research scientist, Met Office Hadley Centre, to Phil Jones, UEA, 4 February 2005 (email 1939)

Thorne’s email repeatedly criticises the then-current draft of a report for the US Climate Change Science Programme (CCSP, now the Global Change Research Program) for over-simplifying or even dismissing the uncertainty about temperature rises in the atmosphere. This reflects badly on the authors, but also demonstrates that there are climate scientists who are critical of ignoring contradictory evidence and are not afraid to speak their minds. As urged by Thorne, the final report said: “The new evidence in this Report – model-to-model consistency of amplification results, the large uncertainties in observed tropospheric temperature trends, and independent physical evidence supporting substantial tropospheric warming (such as the increasing height of the tropopause) – favors the second explanation. However, the large observational uncertainties that currently exist make it difficult to determine whether or not models still have significant errors. Resolution of this issue requires reducing these uncertainties.”

“Getting people we know and trust [into the IPCC report team] is vital.”

• Phil Jones, UEA, to Kevin Trenberth, NCAR, 15 September 2004 (email 714)

In an earlier email in the thread, Jones refers to two scientists he does not “trust”. He does not say why, but does not say because he does not agree with them. He and Trenberth discuss a huge range of names as possible contributors, from several countries, and are keen to widen the net.

“Mike, the figure you sent is very deceptive … there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC.”

• Tom Wigley, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, US, to Michael Mann, Penn State University, US, and others, 14 October 2009 (email 2884)

Wigley is referring to a graph on the Real Climate blog by climate scientist Gavin Schmidt. On Wednesday Schmidt responded, again on the blog, saying he “disagreed (and disagree) with Wigley”, and replied at the time to say so. The general allegation about dishonest presentations is uncomfortable, but these are often scientifically difficult judgements, and are being argued out.

“The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guide what’s included and what is left out.”

• Jonathan Overpeck, University of Arizona, to Ricardo Villalba, IANIGLA-CONICET, Argentina, 16 December 2004 (email 4755)

Overpeck is advising Villalba on how to edit something down to a half-page summary, in which context his advice looks less conspiratorial. Notably, he goes on immediately to say: “For the IPCC, we need to know what is relevant and useful for assessing recent and future climate change. Moreover, we have to have solid data – not inconclusive information.”

“I find myself in the strange position of being very skeptical of the quality of all present reconstructions, yet sounding like a pro-greenhouse zealot here!”

• Keith Briffa, UEA, to Edward Cook (probably Edward R Cook at the Earth Institute, Columbia University), 20 January 2005 (email 2009)

Briffa explained to the Guardian: “I am trying to reinforce the request to my co-author to provide a strongly critical review of the draft text. I believed that I had taken account of the considerable uncertainties in the evidence when producing the draft and still came to the conclusion that the late 20th century was unusually warm.” This explanation is backed up by the email thread, in which he writes: “Really happy to get critical comment here.” Not in keeping with the idea that the scientists were only interested in opinions that agreed with theirs.

Waspishly, Briffa does also suggest however that another climate scientist, Kevin Trenberth, is “extremely defensive and combative when ever criticized about anything because he figures that he is smarter than everyone else and virtually infallible.” That does not make Trenberth unique!


There’s more here – and there will eventually be a point by point contextualizing of the most widely bandied missives. The most important take away on this is that the press, still peeling egg off its face for the embarrassing performance last time around, is taking a much more measured, even bored, approach with this new scam.
“Climategate” has become the “WMD” of the climate denial movement. There will always be the die hards that insist there really was something there. The rest of us have moved on.

Love John Prine’s droll, aw shucks intro, but the music starts at 1:23, if you can’t wait.


The recent loss of sea ice in the Arctic is greater than any natural variation in the past 1½ millennia, a Canadian study shows

“The recent sea ice decline … appears to be unprecedented,” said Christian Zdanowicz, a glaciologist at Natural Resources Canada, who co-led the study and is a co-author of the paper published Wednesday online in Nature.

“We kind of have to conclude that there’s a strong chance that there’s a human influence embedded in that signal.”

In September, Germany’s University of Bremen reported that sea ice had hit a record low, based on data from a Japanese sensor on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center, using a different satellite data set, reported that the sea ice coverage in 2011 was the second-lowest on record, after the record set in 2007. 

Toronto Globe and Mail:

“If you take this reconstruction and you put it in parallel with a number of studies that have emerged, the indications are pretty strong that the warming of the Arctic is accelerating.”

He acknowledged that although he has been able to get more detail on ice fluctuations than ever before, the time span considered in the paper isn’t very long by geologic standards.

However, he points out he was involved with a previous paper that went back 10,000 years. That paper found sea ice was lower between 6,000 and 8,000 years ago — and also explained why.

“At the time, due to changes in the Earth’s orbit, the northern hemisphere was receiving more solar energy than it does now,” Zdanowicz said.

“That process cannot account for what we are observing now. In fact, we should be heading into a gradual cooling trend right now if our climate was strictly controlled by orbital factors.”

Daily Climate:

When news broke earlier this week that another cache of emails had been released purporting to show that climate scientists had “cooked the books,” parties around the world looked carefully, this time with a doubtful eye. They had a right to doubt. Two years ago, almost to the day, similar emails had been released just before the United Nations’ climate change conference in Copenhagen – the last best hope to take meaningful action to halt the warming climate.

The original 2009 release caught the world by storm and created an uproar that successfully put climate science on the defensive for nearly two years. Whoever is behind the release of these stolen emails was clearly hoping the same play would work again.

It won’t.

A few things are different this time around. Most importantly, many journalists now realize they were played the fools. They were told that these emails showed scientists “hiding declines in temperature” and conspiring against others. These same media outlets had a lot of work cleaning egg off their face when it became clear that the correspondence said nothing of the sort. In a “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” manner, the media is largely ignoring these new emails, or they are reporting the real story: The emails are taken out of context, the science is robust and has been upheld by every investigation of the 2009 release, and that climate change is already underway.

9 Billion Dollar Drought 

That last point is the real story behind this new email leak: The science is so solid, the denier camp can no longer argue an alternate theory. In past years, that camp would promote their own “scientists” whose work, they said, called into question climate change. In the past few years, the evidence of climate change has become so apparent that denial is no longer valid. As Texas sits through a $9 billion drought and other parts of the United States suffer from either record droughts or flooding, even skeptical citizens are starting to realize that climate change is real, and it affects them and their pocketbook.

In addition, the dwindling number of “scientists” that have represented the denialist camp have seen their research crumble like a deck of cards. These scientists have no one to blame. They are one-man wrecking crews of their own reputations. They have regularly published work that reportedly shows climate change either isn’t happening or is inconsequential. And just as regularly, their work is shown to be seriously flawed and is roundly rebutted and criticized.

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