Tracking the politics of fear....  

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31 December, 2004


It's all our fault, of course

"Just look at the stark contrast between the damage done by similar disasters in different societies. Exactly one year before the Asian undersea earthquake (which measured 9 on the Richter scale), an earthquake measuring 6.3 devastated the Iranian city of Bam. More than 50,000 people were killed, making it comparable to the recent disaster in human terms - although, partly because none of them were Western tourists, we heard less about it. Just four days before the Bam tragedy, an earthquake of similar magnitude rocked California, one of the wealthiest states in the USA. It destroyed buildings, but left just two people dead. The difference between 50,000 dead and two is one of development. Advances in technology, construction and transport mean that natural disasters rarely cause mass casualties in developed societies. Of course, nothing that exists in California could have prevented the huge Asian tsunami creating havoc. But it could have greatly reduced the human cost.

Instead of acknowledging this simple fact, the message implicit in many responses to the Asian disaster is that it is folly for us feeble humans to get ideas above our station and try to do 'too much'. Writing in the London Times, the Conservative Lord William Rees-Mogg argued that 'the tsunami mocks the pride' of our 'arrogant' modern societies, and shows that 'nature, and not mankind, is still the real master'. While conceding that global warming did not cause the Asian disaster, he insisted that 'the tsunami did mimic some of the effects that global warming is now expected to have' if we do not make sacrifices to protect the environment, and speculated as to what impact such a tidal wave might have on London.

In responses such as these, serious journalism meets the sort of 'what if?' scenario popularised by the movie The Day After Tomorrow, in which man-made global warming causes a tidal wave that devastates New York. These Hollywood-style horror stories bear little relationship to the real science of climate change, where there are still serious questions to be answered about the scale and consequences of global warming. But the logic of the argument for economic restraint is to deny those societies struck by the tsunami the chance to achieve the very levels of development that would best equip them to cope with disasters.

Some eco-activists even claim that the tsunami proves development has already gone too far in these countries. One Indian activist claims that South Asia's ancient mangrove forests provided the best protection against the sea, before many were cleared for construction related to the tourism industry. So the road to the future presumably leads back to the mangrove swamps. But the problem is not that 'over-development' in these parts of Asia has somehow disrupted nature. It is that development has not gone nearly far enough. It has been patchy, uneven and concentrated on such fragile sectors as tourism, leaving millions in poverty and exposed to the elements.

If some crackpot preacher suggested that the South Asian disaster was God's vengeance for the sins of the tourist trade, there would be justifiable outrage. Yet if today's eco-preachers imply that it is somehow Nature's revenge for the arrogance of humanity, we are supposed to feel humble and nod along, head bowed.

More here


"The state's latest strategy to build more affordable housing and limit sprawl is drawing little enthusiasm, including in Governor Mitt Romney's hometown of Belmont, according to a new report and a survey of town and city planners. Officials in about a dozen of the Commonwealth's 351 cities and towns say they are interested in the program, in which the state provides cash for zoning changes that allow dense development in town centers or near transit stations. At least 20 percent of housing built in such 'smart growth districts' must be affordable. Among local leaders' concerns is the lack of money to offset school costs to handle new children in that housing, a provision removed by former House speaker Thomas M. Finneran earlier this year. Towns also say the districts require too much density, especially in suburban areas."

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


30 December, 2004


In order to help the environment, we're encouraged to recycle and upgrade to vehicles and equipment that produce less pollution - hydrogen powered cars, for example. Problem is, some studies show that recycling has a larger impact on the environment than does using virgin resources. And that hydrogen-powered car may not generate pollution in its exhaust, but how much pollution was created to generate that hydrogen? What to do? How to decide? William Baldwin has an answer:

You could drive yourself crazy calculating all the direct and indirect inputs behind a consumer choice, so here's a handy rule, courtesy of Jerry C. Taylor, head of natural resource studies at Cato: If you care about the environment, go for the cheaper item. "Prices are a signal for all of the resources that go into producing something," he says.

Of course, some will argue that the price of something isn't a good indicator, because so many goods that have a signficant environmental impact are subsidized. Their prices don't reflect their "true costs" in environmental terms. So don't order people to spend their money on hydrogen powered cars. Don't shame people into ignoring prices and other economic signals. End subsidies.

Post lifted from Rite Wing Techno-Pagan


I have just put up here an article by Louis Hissink that looks at the recent tsunami event in the light of the new/old plasma universe physics. Louis believes that the recent event helps us to understand some puzzling geology from the past.


EarthJustice, Friends of the Earth, the Center for International Environmental Law and other groups were busy in Buenos Aires, persuading Arctic Inuit Indians to sue an assortment of corporations for climate genocide, or something like that. The Inuits, subsistence traditions are threatened, they claimed, by catastrophic warming caused by our wanton use of fossil fuels. Attempting to paint their claims with a thin veneer of science was Dr. Robert Corell, lead author of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) study that had gotten the New York Times, Washington Post, London Guardian and other liberal media folks all agog.

"Very rapid and severe climate change in the Arctic," rising sea levels from the projected melting of Greenland's ice shelf, changes in animal habitats and possible shifts in ocean currents "present serious challenges to human health and food security, and possibly even the survival of some cultures," Dr. Corell solemnly intoned. Even now, "abnormally warm" weather might be causing wildlife to disappear, and the Inuits snowmobiles to fall through the ice. To back up these gloom-and-doom claims, he presented an array of glitzy charts and maps.

But the linchpin of his Armageddon theory lies in a temperature graph that depicts a 33-year warming trend, during which temperatures rose nearly 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F). Project that out in a straight line, Dr. Corell said, and it's easy to foresee a potentially devastating temperature spike of 4.5 C or 8.1 F over the next century. Rising seas would surely inundate New York City, Bangladesh and the Florida keys, as another graphic graphically showed.

Thankfully, it's all just the stuff of Hollywood horror movies. Not only is the ACIA study flawed. It's as plausible as the "science" in "The Day After Tomorrow." Its horrific scenarios depend on Dr. C's deliberate selection of the 1971-2003 time snapshot, and his faulty assumption that this trend will continue, forever. Relatively cold in 1971 -- warmer in 2003 -- Arctic meltdown by 2100, if we don,t slash fossil fuel use immediately.

But what if he and his team had selected a different window, just a few years earlier -- such as the period 1938 to 1966? During those three decades, Arctic temperatures FELL 3.5 C (6.3 F), according to studies by American, Canadian, Russian and other researchers. At this rate, equally misleading computer models could easily show, temperatures would plummet a whopping 12.5 degrees C (22.5 F) in just one century - and reach the temperature of dry ice (minus 109 F) in just five centuries. Talk about impacting wildlife and Inuit culture. This scenario is just as ludicrous - and just as reasonable -- as the scenarios that Corell & Co. are peddling. Actually, it's only a slight exaggeration of what their predecessors -- the global cooling alarmists who have since morphed into today's global warming alarmists -- did back in the 1970s.

That's when they, Newsweek (see its April 28, 1975 issue) and anxious colleagues were worrying about agricultural disaster brought on by global cooling -- because of our wanton use of fossil fuels, naturally. Had they been quicker on their feet back then, they would no doubt have found some natives in Hawaii (or Tuvalu) to file lawsuits to stop that cultural genocide.

However, it's a fact of life here on Planet Earth that our climate can be as unpredictable and cyclical as the solar and orbital variations that play prominent roles in determining that climate. Thus we get mild temperature shifts every 40 years or so, and much more significant changes every few hundred years -- amid interglacial periods that are marked at either end by massive walls of ice flowing down from this same Arctic, obliterating everything in their path: forests the last time, maybe entire cities the next. The global environmental movement, however, has long portrayed our planet as a stable, idyllic utopia - until evil people, corporations and technologies ruined everything. It has a nice, neat Garden of Eden ring to it. But it ignores the Ice Ages, Medieval Warm Period, Viking colonization of Greenland back in the days (950-1300) when people could actually grow crops there, and Little Ice Age (1350-1650) when northern seas were choked with ice and Europe was plunged into an era of cold, wet, stormy weather that destroyed crops, caused famines, and hammered populations, communities and cultures.

The ample historical record of these events underscores how turbulent and uncertain Earth's climate has always been. (It's doubtful that cavemen, Vikings, Medieval alchemists or a lost race of aliens from another galaxy caused those past climate mood swings.) To suggest that we have suddenly arrived at an immutable ideal state may serve the pressure groups, political ends, but it is not reality.

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


29 December, 2004


The recent devastating tsunami in the Indian ocean that cost thousands of lives was OF COURSE the result of global warming! I think I will leave further comments on the matter to Louis Hissink. He has a provocative conclusion: "Putting it bluntly, the Greens and their fellow travellers must accept responsilibility for the loss of life on December 27, 2004 from the tsunamis of that day."


National Geographic has just listed its ten top news stoiries for the year. Alan Caruba finds that they are mostly bunk science -- including the usual heavily hyped global warming scares, of course. Scares sell magazines, I guess. Any idea that the National Geographic is any sort of quality information-source must be abandoned, however. See here


No matter that ships have been bringing "foreign" algae in for 200 years! It's just the usual self-important Greenie attempt at disruption, of course

A study due out next year is expected to show that efforts to keep more invasive species from entering the Great Lakes have been a failure, according to a published report. The Muskegon scientist who worked on the study says dramatic action is needed now to stop the army of non-indigenous species of fish, mussels and microorganisms marching into the Great Lakes. ``It's time to close the Welland Canal,'' said Gary Fahnenstiel, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Lake Michigan Field Station in Muskegon. ``This a simple problem with a simple solution.''

The Welland Canal connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The canal, which is part of the St. Lawrence Seaway, allows ships traveling through Lake Ontario to bypass Niagara Falls and reach lakes Erie, Huron, Superior and Michigan. ``We have a natural choke point and we can shut off the flow of exotics into the Great Lakes,'' Fahnenstiel told The Muskegon Chronicle for a story today.

Shipping industry officials said closing the Welland Canal would cripple the region's economy.

Fahnenstiel's study, a draft of which was obtained by the newspaper, found several exotic species of algae living in foreign ships with empty ballast tanks. Some of these species thrived when put in fresh water. Since the St. Lawrence Seaway opened, ballast water from ships has accounted for an estimated 77 percent of new exotic species in the lakes. At least 160 exotic species have entered the Great Lakes since 1800.

Although freighters are the No. 1 source of exotics entering the lakes, industry officials said banning foreign ships would devastate the region's economy. Closing the Welland Canal would require ships to unload in Buffalo, N.Y. That cargo would have to be transported by rail or truck to other parts of the region. ``It's somewhat of a simple response to say we need to close off the Great Lakes to oceangoing vessels. What economic impact are you going to have by closing off the Great Lakes to oceangoing vessels?'' said Jim Weakly, president of the Cleveland-based Lake Carriers Association.



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


28 December, 2004


There was a lot a campaign talk about our nation's energy policy, and Bush and Kerry offered their own competing energy plans. With Bush's victory and increased Republican majorities in Congress, the long-stalled energy bill may finally reach passage. But in truth, we don't really need a new national energy policy so much as we need to end our current anti-energy policy.

Too many politicians and far too many regulators believe the federal government's duty is to oppose energy infrastructure. Goaded by environmental activists and like-minded media, they have treated oil and natural gas wells, pipelines, refineries, electric power plants, transmission lines and the like as bad things that need to be stopped, or at least severely limited.

This was particularly true during the Clinton Administration, whose only real contribution to the nation's energy infrastructure was to launch several high-profile legal crackdowns on it. And, despite more pro-energy rhetoric from the current administration, not much has actually changed. Is it any wonder our energy future seems bleak?

Domestic oil production has been declining in recent years, and only part of the reason is limited reserves. Many promising new fields are currently off limits-including the 5.7 to 16 billion barrels estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey to lie beneath Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Likewise, new natural gas production has been held up, as has much-needed natural gas pipelines. And, despite abundant supplies of coal, all but a few new coal-fired electric power plants have been blocked by the federal government.

To the extent this philosophy constitutes our national energy policy, we would be better off without one....

The federal government has made it hard to maintain the nation's existing energy infrastructure-much less build the necessary additions to it-without running into environmental objections. A few of these objections are legitimate, but most are exaggerated. For example, ANWR drilling would only disturb a very small part of ANWR's 19 million acre expanse. Furthermore, the strong environmental record achieved in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay, where drilling has occurred since the 1970s using technology far less environmentally sensitive than that available today, gives additional reason for optimism. Likewise, state-of-the-art coal-fired power plants are far cleaner than those built decades ago and could be added in significant numbers without jeopardizing the declining trends in air pollution.

More here


There is big news from the Middle East that is unusual in several ways: It's positive, involves a scientific advance, and comes from a developing country. Researchers at Cairo's Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute have shown that by transferring a single gene from barley to wheat, the plants can tolerate less watering for a longer period of time before their leaves wilt. This new, drought-resistant variety requires only one-eighth as much irrigation as conventional wheat, and actually can be cultivated with rainfall alone in some desert areas. It could literally make the desert bloom.

Agricultural shortfalls around the world, especially in developing countries, are being aggravated by the potential catastrophe of water shortages, not only for agriculture but also for basic human needs. As groundwater dwindles, millions of wells throughout Asia and Africa are drying up. Bureaucrats and aid workers long have searched for solutions. Gene-spliced, drought-resistant crops might provide one-so long as unfounded fears and flawed public policy don't block progress.

Modern biotechnology, also known as gene-splicing or genetic modification (GM), offers plant breeders the tools to make old crop plants do spectacular new things. In the United States, Egypt and at least 16 other countries, farmers are using GM crop varieties to produce higher yields, with fewer resources and reduced impact on the environment. In spite of activists who have resisted research and governments that have overregulated it, some GM crop varieties specifically tailored to aid the plight of poor countries' farmers are in the development pipeline, and a few are nearing commercialization.

Most of these new varieties are designed to resist the particular pests and diseases that ravage crops in the poor tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Others improve nutritional quality. But the greatest long-term boon to food security in the developing world may be the enhancement of the ability of new crop varieties to tolerate periods of drought and other water-related stresses. In most of central Africa, for example, farmers have no access to water for irrigation, so the development of crop varieties able to grow despite low moisture or temporary drought could both boost yields and lengthen the time that farmland is productive.

Aside from new varieties that use less water, the pest- and disease-resistant GM crops that are widely cultivated by North American farmers indirectly make water use more efficient. Much of the loss to insects and diseases occurs after the plants are fully grown-that is, after most of the water required to grow a crop has already been applied. Therefore, using GM varieties that experience lower post-harvest losses means that the farming (and irrigation) of fewer plants can produce the same total amount of food. Merely by planting some of the insect-resistant GM varieties now grown in America, African subsistence farmers could control the stem-boring insects that destroy as much as half their corn and cotton crops. In other words, more consumable crop for the drop.

There is an impediment to this rosy scenario, however. Unscientific, overly burdensome regulation in the U.S., and by agencies of the United Nations and the European Union, has raised significantly the cost of producing new plant varieties and kept most crops from ever reaching the market. This flawed public policy-which flies in the face of scientific consensus that GM is essentially a refinement of earlier techniques for crop improvement-adds tens of millions of dollars to the development costs of each new GM crop variety. Those extra costs, as well as the endless (and gratuitous) controversy over growing these precisely crafted and highly predictable varieties, discourage research on new varieties of subsistence crops such as millet, sorghum, cassava and sweet potatoes. Not surprisingly, it is primarily the most commercially profitable species-commodity crops grown at vast scale-that have emerged from the research and development pipeline.

Biotechnology applied to agriculture can help the poor by sowing a second Green Revolution, but only if politicians create public policy that enables it to flower.

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


27 December, 2004


The European Commission has recently asked five member states to lift their bans on genetically modified (GM) crops and foods. Nevertheless, the future of agricultural biotechnology in Europe looks bleak. Supermarkets do not stock GM food. Regulatory obstacles make commercial production of GM crops uneconomical, except in Spain. In the US, by contrast, three-quarters of food in supermarkets contains ingredients from GM plants and Americans have been eating food with a GM content for more than seven years without harm and even, significantly, without a single lawsuit alleging harm.

More than 80 percent of the soya bean crop grown in America, 70 percent of cotton and 38 percent of maize is now genetically modified. But in an important book Henry Miller and Gregory Conko show that in the US, too, biotechnology is threatened*. An unholy alliance of big companies and green pressure groups has created a burden of over-regulation that stifles innovation and hamstrings research.....

Field trials with GM crops are now 10 to 20 times more expensive than experiments with similar conventional crops. Over the past 20 years the time to develop a significant GM crop variety has increased from six to 12 years and the cost has risen from $50m to $300m. Competition has been suppressed and so has innovation because neither small start-up companies nor academic institutions, two big sources of innovation, have the resources to comply with the regulatory burdens. For example, an allergen-free GM wheat variety developed at the University of California, Berkeley, will not be tested in the field because the cost of compliance is prohibitive. Products that would benefit the poor and hungry have been hit particularly hard because only field trials of high-volume products for rich markets can be justified commercially.

In Europe, regulatory burdens are even greater and their effect is felt worldwide. Regulations that impose rules for mandatory labeling and traceability are a case in point. They go far beyond any reasonable requirements to provide consumers with choice. The traceability rules alone may finally exclude all GM crops from EU markets because, in practice, they will require exporters to maintain separate grain elevators, freight wagons, barges and drying and processing facilities. Costs will double.

GM plants already help the developing world. More than 5m small farmers in China, India and South Africa now grow GM cotton and the reduced need to use pesticides has greatly increased their income and improved their health. Yet excessive regulation is holding back one of the most promising technologies of modern times.

More here:


The Bush administration issued broad new rules Wednesday overhauling the guidelines for managing the nation's 155 national forests and making it easier for regional forest managers to decide whether to allow logging, drilling or off-road vehicles. The long-awaited rules relax longstanding provisions on environmental reviews and the protection of wildlife on 191 million acres of national forest and grasslands. They also cut back on requirements for public participation in forest planning decisions. Forest Service officials said the rules were intended to give local foresters more flexibility to respond to scientific advances and threats like intensifying wildfires and invasive species. They say the regulations will also speed up decisions, ending what some public and private foresters see as a legal and regulatory gridlock that has delayed forest plans for years because of litigation and requirements for time-consuming studies. "You're trying to manage towards how we want the forest to look and be in the future," said Rick D. Cables, the Forest Service's regional forester for the Rocky Mountain region. The rules give the nation's regional forest managers and the Forest Service increased autonomy to decide whether to allow logging roads or cellphone towers, mining activity or new ski areas.

Environmental groups said the new rules pared down protection for native animals and plants to the point of irrelevance. These protections were a hallmark of the 1976 National Forest Management Act. "The new planning regulations offer little in the way of planning and nothing in the way of regulation," the conservation group Trout Unlimited said in a statement. Martin Hayden, a lawyer with Earthjustice, a law firm affiliated with the Sierra Club, accused the administration of watering down protections "that are about fish and wildlife, that are about public participation, or about forcing the agency to do anything other than what the agency wants to do.".. "What you are left with is things that are geared toward getting the sticks out," Ms. Hayden said.

The original 1976 law on forest management was intended to ensure that regional managers showed environmental sensitivity in decisions on how the national forests would be used. During the 1990's, the Clinton administration sought major revisions in the rules governing how the act was carried out. But the Clinton-era regulation was not completed in time to take effect before President Bush assumed office.

The new rules incorporate an approach that has gained favor in private industries from electronics to medical device manufacturing. The practice, used by companies like Apple Computer, allows businesses to set their own environmental goals and practices and then subjects them to an outside audit that judges their success. These procedures are called environmental management systems. When the Forest Service started investigating these systems, said Fred Norbury, a deputy associate chief at the Forest Service, "what we discovered to our surprise is that the U.S. is a little behind the rest of the world and we in government are a little behind the curve." In the case of the Forest Service, the supervisors of the individual forests and grasslands will shape forest management plans, and the effects of those will be subject to independent audits. The auditors the Forest Service chooses could range from other Forest Service employees to outsiders, said Sally Collins, an associate chief at the Forest Service. She said the auditors could come from an environmental group or an industry group like timber "or a ski area, local citizens or a private contractor."

Forest supervisors are appointed by the Forest Service to manage national forests and report to regional managers. Some are more supportive of pro-timber policies, while others are more steeped in the environmental ethos. One of the ways the new rules give forest supervisors more power is that they are allowed to approve plans more quickly for any particular forest use - ranging from recreation to logging to grazing - and to adjust plans with less oversight.



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


26 December, 2004


The moral high ground is often claimed by and granted to "environmentalist" groups that tend to push a partisan agenda. But citizens need to take a much closer look at the credibility of organizations pushing such dogma before accepting it at face value. The Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, and other eco-activist groups insist, for example, that the Bush administration isn't just misguided, it's immoral. Whether "gutting" environmental laws, "waging war" on the environment, or colluding with "polluters," the dogmatic gist is that "W" stands for "World-killer." One might expect unimpeachable ethical standards from "white hat" critics like these. However, their notion of ethics leaves many of us scratching our heads.

They oppose oil drilling virtually everywhere, for example, and say we should just drive smaller cars. Unfortunately, reducing the size and weight of cars to help meet mileage standards costs lives: an additional 1,300 to 2,600 fatalities every year, and ten times that many injuries, than if people had been driving bigger cars, according to the National Academy of Sciences. Even if every car on the road were economy-sized, we'd still get thousands of needless injuries and deaths every year in collisions with buses, trucks, trees, and walls. Even worse, the impact is felt most by the poor, who can least afford safety features found in late-model luxury cars. They're forced to buy older, less high-tech, less safe cars.

It's curious how environmentalists demand lower arsenic levels in drinking water to prevent a dozen theoretical cancer deaths a year. But they ignore this very real carnage on our roads and demand even tougher mileage standards and the elimination of sport utility vehicles, even though many Americans choose to drive bigger vehicles to give them an extra margin of safety, or to haul boats, kids, or construction tools.

As for global warming, which radical environmentalists claim is exacerbated by SUVs, our planet has warmed a degree since 1900. But catastrophic global climate change theories are supported only by unreliable computer models and ground temperature gauges that are contaminated by urban heat. They are not backed by satellite or weather balloon data, which show little recent warming, or by 18,000 scientists who have signed a petition saying they see "no convincing evidence that humans are disrupting the earth's climate." The Kyoto climate treaty and other "solutions" would do almost nothing to stabilize greenhouse gases or reduce global warming. However, they would send energy prices soaring. In future cold snaps and heat waves, thousands could die because heating and air conditioning would become unaffordable for many, especially minorities and the elderly.

Studies by the U.S. government and a coalition of minority business groups found that the treaty could cost over 3 million American jobs, including 800,000 in black and 500,000 in Hispanic communities. Minority family incomes could plummet by $2,000 or more. The payoff for all this misery? Average global temperatures would rise by 0.2 degrees less than if the treaty had never been implemented, according to studies reported in Nature magazine and by the U.S. Energy Information Agency.

Our planet's poorest and most powerless people are already imperiled by policies intended to prevent theoretical climate change. Over two billion Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans still do not have electricity, and activists tell them they must be content with wind generators or little solar panels on their huts, because fossil fuel plants would cause global warming, hydroelectric plants would dam up scenic rivers, and nuclear power is simply taboo. "Socially responsible" organizations like the World Bank, Citigroup, and Bank of America have succumbed to these claims and now refuse to fund such projects. So millions of people continue to die every year in these countries from lung diseases, because they have to burn wood, grass, and animal dung. Millions more die from drinking contaminated water, because they lack electricity to purify and transport safe water, or to operate clinics.

"Ethical" greens also oppose pesticides that could slash malaria rates, preventing progress against a disease that infects 300 million people yearly, killing 2 million of them. They also battle biotechnology, ignoring the productivity gains that such technology brings with it. Meanwhile, malnutrition strikes down millions of children every year, and leaves others too weak to survive other diseases.

These are bedrock ethical issues. Why do environmentalists rarely discuss them? "Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you." Healthy, well-off First World activists and politicians repeatedly violate this version of the Golden Rule, to ward off distant, speculative, relatively minor dangers, while preventing Third World citizens from addressing very real, immediate threats that are literally killing them and their children.

Environmentalists who disregard the unintended consequences of the policies they advocate fail to assess adequately the ethical implications of those policies. We need to bring honesty, ethics, and humanity back into our environmental debates. A first step toward helping the poorest among us take their rightful place among the Earth's healthy and prosperous is rejecting Green authoritarianism, both at home and abroad.



Yushchenko PROVES it is all hype

It's perhaps fitting that dioxin was used in the attempted political murder of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko. That's because dioxin is the most politicized chemical in history. It's notorious for its role at New York's Love Canal and Missouri's Times Beach, but primarily as an ingredient in the defoliant Agent Orange. Yet Yushchenko is alive because what's been called "the most deadly chemical known" is essentially a myth.

Dioxin is an unwanted by-product of incineration, uncontrolled burning and certain industrial processes such as bleaching. It was also formerly in trace amounts in herbicides and liquid soaps. We all carry dioxin in our fat and blood. But Dutch researchers said Yushchenko's exposure, probably from poisoned food, was about 6,000 times higher than average. So why, as the Munchkin coroner said of the Wicked Witch of the East, isn't Yushchenko "not only merely dead" but "really most sincerely dead"?

The "deadly dioxin" legend began with, of all things, guinea pigs. When fed to them in studies, they did fall over like furry tenpins. Yet hamsters could absorb 1,000 times as much dioxin before emitting their last squeals and other animals seemed impervious to the stuff. Further, the animal deaths were from acute poisoning. Yet as a matter of convenience for activists, it not only became accepted that guinea pigs are the best animal model for humans but also that dioxin is a powerful carcinogen.

The original promoters of the humans-are-like-guinea-pigs legend were Vietnam activists. Agent Orange, which contained a trace of dioxin, effectively stripped away the jungle canopy that hid communist forces. So the enemy and its U.S. sympathizers claimed it was poisoning not just trees but humans. Pressured by these "humanitarians" the military quit spraying in 1971, giving back the enemy his sanctuary from which to kill our troops.

From there, the myth snowballed. After it was found in the goop on which homeowners in Love Canal, New York had built their houses, every illness in the area was blamed not just on the contamination generally but often specifically on dioxin. Likewise for when some yahoo knowingly sprayed dioxin-containing oil near Times Beach to keep down road dust and a flood then swept it into the town. Both areas were ordered evacuated. But "Numerous studies found no excess illness in either area and today children again play in the dirt at Love Canal," notes Michael Gough, a biologist who was chairman of a federal advisory panel concerning Agent Orange from 1990 to 1995. Nevertheless, the cleanup of dioxin-contaminated areas continues to cost U.S. industry a fortune.

As to Vietnam vets, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that despite the earnest beliefs of many vets, "The blood [dioxin] levels of the Vietnam veterans were nearly identical to the levels found among the non-Vietnam veterans." Further, "levels were not related to the estimate of Agent Orange exposure based on either military records or self-reported exposure. Only those who did the actual spraying, members of Operation Ranch Hand, actually got significant doses.

Some did develop the same awful skin disease Yushchenko suffers, called chloracne. But that was only from direct contact with their skin, and they developed no other symptoms at the time. Since then the Air Force has continually monitored them, finding no unusual rates of any illness save for an alleged slight excess of diabetes. Yet a government study of American chemical workers with higher dioxin exposure found no excess diabetes. The Ranch Hands also have only half the normal rate of stomach cancers.

Chloracne was also the only serious symptom in the highest exposures of dioxin ever recorded, in which one young Austrian woman had about 16,000 times the normal body level, while another had 2,900 times the normal level. (Interestingly, the women were given the snack chip fat substitute olestra to help her excrete the dioxin faster. Not exactly a selling point for selling potato chips but . . .) "We don't know of a single person who has ever died of acute dioxin poisoning," says Robert Golden, president of the Maryland-based consulting firm ToxLogic....

The massive dioxin disinformation campaign has caused tremendous harm. But for Yushchenko it was a godsend. He'll look terrible for some time; but he's alive. Had the would-be assassin instead used a few drops of old-fashioned strychnine or even a teaspoon of the vital nutrient iron, Yushchenko wouldn't be running for president; he'd be pushing up Ukrainian daisies. Fortunately, the culprit bought into the myth that began with a guinea pig.

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


25 December, 2004


To all those who come by here on this great day

And may all those who recognize Jesus as Lord always walk in his wisdom


"A group of Connecticut second graders was bused to New York last week for a well-publicized protest to save the rainforest. And the field trip has some up in arms. The kids wielded posters they made in school as part of a contest sponsored by an environmental group called the Rainforest Action Network. 'Today we have rainforest heroes, kids the earth can count on are here today to visit J.P. Morgan Chase, the world's second largest bank, to ask them to save the rainforest,' said Michael Brune, executive director of the network. 'I celebrate the world, I celebrate the rainforest, and I care [about] the reality of what is happening with my students, which is only fair, and I let them make their own choices,' said teacher Paula Healey. ... But when 6 and 7-year-olds stage a demonstration, questions arise as to who is behind the event and whether the children are being manipulated and exploited to serve someone else's agenda."

More here. There are some more comments on the story here and here.


The Bush administration agreed yesterday to pay California farmers $16.7 million to compensate for water the government held back to preserve two imperiled fish species in the early 1990s, a pact that some legal experts said will make it harder for the federal government to protect endangered species. Property rights advocates hailed the settlement between the Justice Department and several thousand farmers from five San Joaquin Valley water districts, who lost as much as a third of their water deliveries in 1992 and 1994, when a long drought threatened the survival of the area's chinook salmon and delta smelt populations. The agreement affirmed a federal judge's 2001 decision that federal authorities' decisions to conserve water for the fish violated farmers' property rights.

The farmers' lawyer, Roger Marzulla, who served in the Justice Department's environmental division under President Ronald Reagan, said the government will no longer be able to deny citizens use of their land or water without compensation, even if a species is in trouble. "The principle has been established that if the federal government does take water rights . . . then the federal government must pay for that water," Marzulla said in a telephone interview. "It is now on the books."

Both California authorities and lawyers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees efforts to protect the fish, had urged the Justice Department to appeal the 2001 verdict on the grounds that a settlement would spark new legal challenges to state and federal water policies. Judge John Paul Wiese ruled the government owed the farmers $14 million, a figure that ballooned after the court added in attorneys' fees and accrued interest. Tom Dresslar, spokesman for California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, said that "the claims court decision will present problems for the state, and hinder its ability to manage water to protect the environment and meet other public interests."

At the Justice Department, spokesman Blain Rethmeier did not explain why the administration decided to forgo an appeal, aside from saying, "This settlement is the result of careful and deliberate negotiations between the parties."

John D. Echeverria, who directs Georgetown University's Environmental Law and Policy Institute, said an appeals court could rule differently on the matter at some point, but "in the meantime, the United States government has given a great big stocking stuffer to California's cotton industry."

It was unclear how much of a legal precedent the settlement might establish. Sue Ellen Wooldridge, an Interior Department lawyer, said many federal and state water contracts include language that protects the government from liability when it acts to protect species. The three-page agreement between the administration and the San Joaquin Valley farmers also says the settlement should not "be interpreted to constitute a precedent or argument in this or any other case." But Marzulla said government officials had already begun to accommodate private property interests because of his lawsuit, and experts across the political spectrum said it could affect government decisions involving water used for public recreation and navigation.


California Farmers have until year's end to turn in plans to clean the air

Suddenly country air is bad for you! Let's all go and take a deep breath of that healthful city smog!

The Central Valley's dairy, cotton, fruit and vegetable farms are the newest front in the fight to clean up one of the nation's dirtiest air basins. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is requiring farmers with more than 100 contiguous acres and dairies with more than 500 cows to submit plans by the end of the year showing what they're doing to reduce the microscopic particles of dust, chemicals or other substances that come from their land. More than 6,400 farms and dairies in the 270-mile-long valley between San Francisco and Los Angeles meet the requirements to participate in the plan. The farmers can choose from dozens of dust-fighting options. They include measures many already practice, such as watering unpaved roads, switching to organic farming and working at night when winds are lighter.

Environmental activists lauded the new requirements, saying it was about time farmers joined local governments and other industries in controlling dust. But critics said the requirement asks for too little and gives farmers too much room to count measures they already were taking as part of their improvement package. The requirements are "really just a sham," said Brent Newell, an attorney with the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment. Farmers are turning in plans in which they give themselves credit for actions they might have been taking for decades, he said. That would include growing permanent crops such as almonds and peaches.

Some farmers also have been critical of the program, although for different reasons. They say air regulators are focusing on agriculture because it's an easy target, while the other big source of particulate matter - vehicle emissions - goes unchecked on the local level. "We have less land in agriculture today than we had 40, 50 years ago, and the pollution is worse," said San Joaquin Farm Bureau program manager Joe Petersen, who farms 50 acres of cherries and wine grapes in San Joaquin County. "That says for me that ag isn't the problem." Despite the concerns, more than two-thirds of farmers with enough land or cows to fall under the new rules had complied and submitted their two-year plans by early December, said Rick McVaigh, the regional air board's permit services manager.

Health advocates said asking farmers to do their part is an important step in addressing the region's pollution problem. Farms raise 51 percent of the tiny specks of dust that help give the valley one of the nation's highest asthma rates.

Farmer John Pucheu said the requirement has raised farmers' awareness of the need to keep dust down. Like many farmers, however, he said the air among the cotton fields where he lives feels a lot cleaner to him than what he sees when he goes into Fresno, the valley's largest city. "In these urban areas, you have hundreds of thousands of cars," said Pucheu, who farms 3,500 acres in the west Fresno County town of Tranquillity. "Out here, most days the fields are just sitting there, growing."

The latest cleanup plan proposes reducing particulate pollution by 23 percent, or 34 tons a day, by 2010. To date, the region has missed a series of federal deadlines to reduce pollution - and residents in the area are paying for it with the nation's highest asthma rate. Medical research has shown that the particles that concern the air regulators and health workers- called PM10 because they are under 10 micrometers, or one-seventh of a human hair in width - can lead to chronic respiratory problems. According to the American Lung Association, the tiniest particles - those smaller than 2.5 micrometers - can lodge themselves deep inside lung tissue. They have been linked to heart attacks, strokes and a shorter life expectancy. The particles can consist of diesel exhaust, soot, ash and organic compounds from dairies such as ammonia, in addition to the dust that can rise from fields during harvest or tilling. "No one likes to get regulated," said Josette Merced Bello, chief executive officer of the American Lung Association of Central California. "Ag is not the only source, and this is not the only solution. But it's important for everyone to get involved."



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


24 December, 2004


The "Biodiversity Crisis" has gained significant attention in recent years as the worlds' leading ecologists and environmentalists warn us that plant and animal species are going extinct in ever increasing numbers; this demise, commonly referred to as "The Sixth Extinction", being largely caused by human destruction of habitat and the consumption of natural resources. Acting on this impending doom, governments worldwide have been greatly stepping up wildlife protection and habitat conservation measures.The Biodiversity treaty signed by 153 nations in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit, places species preservation at the forefront of the global environmental agenda, with staggering political, social and economic ramifications affecting virtually everyone.

Despite the emphasis placed on this dilemma, scientists concede that shockingly little is actually known about global biodiversity and extinction rates in the first place. Because of this, estimates are subject to wild speculations. Currently, these range anywhere from 10 million to upwards of 100 million species; based on these totals, ecologists have projected rates of 27,000 extinctions each year to as much as half of all living species to disappear in our lifetime!

For the first time, the total number of living species on earth, as well as actual extinction rates, have been calculated from reliable data. At most, there are 3.63 million species and the extinction rate is 3 to 5 species annually, vastly differing from the much higher estimates embraced by environmentalists and accepted by many policy makers.In light of the factual evidence presented herein, the entire issue of biological conservation needs to be reevaluated and various endangered species laws in both the United States and abroad reformed or abolished.

(Much) more here


Michael Crichton's new novel, State of Fear , is a gripping novel about eco-terrorism that may do more to raise public awareness about global warming than any academic book on the subject. In his research for the novel, Crichton spent three years immersed in the literature on global warming. His novel remains gripping despite and, in part, because of a wealth of charts, graphs, and footnotes from the scientific literature. Crichton embeds scientific arguments about global warming into the dialogue of the novel itself, so skillfully and lucidly that the narrative tension is enriched rather than hampered.

There are at least four open questions about global warming: (1) Is it bad; (2) Is it happening; (3) Are we causing it; and (4) Will efforts like the Kyoto protocols make much difference anyway? If you can't imagine that all of these really are open questions, consider this one word: Greenland. Notice anything funny about its name? Right. It's not very green anymore--but it was in the Middle Ages when, as we know, the planet was warmer. Thanks to that extra plant energy, it was also a good time to be a farmer. The extra warmth wasn't bad then and it certainly wasn't caused by man.

Crichton never stops being a novelist, but he handles the technical material with such precision and thoroughness that the book could serve as a primer on the scientific debate itself, and on the way the debate has been manipulated by environmental groups and the mainstream media.

Anyone who raises questions about the global warming hysteria usually very quickly gets made to feel like he's against the earth, against trees, flowers, and butterflies. Crichton is to be commended for his willingness to suffer years of extreme discomfort at cocktail parties for the cause of truth.



Some excerpts from here

It seems the ghost of Velikovsky has been resurrected again, which I suspect is my fault. The ad Hominem "Velikovskian" is the means by which the scientific mafia rid themselves of unpleasant truths that contrary scientists utter when facts are considered in preference to complex computer models purporting to be facsimiles of physical reality. In 1950 Immanuel Velikovsky, a Jewish - Russian psychoanalyst, published a controversial book - Worlds in Collision - which caused a furore in academia. His apparent sin was to question the omnipotence of gravity as the sole cosmic force, and accepting the Old Testament as literal fact.

Most of his critics seized on his account of Joshua Ben Nun stopping the sun, mentioned last week, as proof of his status as a crank. However if one actually read World's in Collision one would discover, shock and horror, that Velikovsky wrote no such thing, arguing instead that there must be another force operating in the Cosmos, in addition to gravitation. (Most of Velikovsky's critics have avoided reading any of his books. Your lowly scribe, like the famous American geophysicist, Harry Hess of Princeton University, owned a copy of Earth in Upheaval - Velikovsky's scientific explanation for his historical interpretation described in Worlds in Collision - for some 17 years before finally realising that Velikovsky was onto something).

Velikovsky also wrote, based on the historical evidence, that past civilisations seem to have been destroyed by some sort of cosmic cataclysm involving, at various times, Venus and Mars. I am not going to repeat those stories here as there is plenty of information on the web. However an unfortunate side effect is that religious fundamentalists often tend to favour Velikovskian explanations as scientific evidence for their beliefs, so many critics automatically assume that if one favours Velikovskian scenarios, one must be some sort of religious fundamentalist.

Alas, I seem to have been outed! But I must confess I don't have any religious belief, preferring to remain, as H. L. Mencken wrote, a religious moron. Velikovsky was a man of his time, a European Jew reacting to the German Historical Tradition and in his books, perhaps unconsciously, assigning a more significant contribution to Western civilisation by the Jewish people that available evidence suggests. We all make errors and Velikovsky was not exempt from this common human affliction. Except for Global Warmers and social democrats of course, most of whom are error free, apparently.

Never the less his main argument, that the earth suffered global catastrophes in the past, is strenuously denied by mainstream science. This is, of course, contradicted by recent publications:

Bloomberg, 13 December 2004
Acta Astronautica, Volume 55, Issue 12 , December 2004, Pages 991-1006
San Francisco Chronicle, 13 December 2004
Comptes Rendus Geosciences, Volume 336, Issue 16 , December 2004, Pages 1491-1500
Parade Magazine, 5 December 2004
Michael Martin-Smith
DISCOVER Vol. 25 No. 12 | December 2004

No catastrophes happened in the past but we can expect future catastrophic collisions and all sorts of disasters in the future? Pull the other one....

So it comes with some irony that our scientific post-modernists, the scientific uniformists, deny past catastrophes happened despite an abundance of contrary oral and written evidence, but then have no difficulty predicting future catastrophes. One suspects there are more than the normal number of oxymorons in this mind set. (Excuse me for the use of a misplaced metaphor). Clearly their prognostications of the future are not based on historical precedent. Anthropogenic global warming is one imagined impending catastrophe.

Benny Peiser in a recent CCnet newsletter also pointed to a number of recent books all based on the topic of avoiding future catastrophes, some which I list here.

Oxford University Press, November 2004
Slate, 22 November 2004
The American Lawyer, 1 November 2004

Ironic isn't it - totally rejecting past catastrophes as Velikovskian fantasy, mainstream science has no difficulty coping with future catastrophes, whether climatic, meteoritic or asteroidal. I am sure many would have been excellent subjects for Velikovsky's skills as a psychoanalyst.

Was Velikovsky right in raising questions about gravitation being an unsatisfactory force to explain the historical recorded facts? Yes - it is called Plasma cosmology and I quote a leading scientist in this field, anonymously of course, from an email I received from him a few days ago in response to a comment I posted on a restricted scientific forum, to which both of us contribute, about a question a poster asked reading a new book on the Plasma Universe without crediting existing scientific workers. I replied - "Not to matter Ian, it is the next generation which will change ideas, not ours. We are setting the foundations for others to build on". I received the reply-


Correct and that is really all I want. I am aware of the book Ian has found and like so many other new books on Birkeland, Auroral dynamics, and Space Plasma, we old-timers often don't see our names mentioned at all. But in fact, the Plasma Universe is now PROMOTED by the American Physical Society, parts of the American Astrophysical Society, and most certainly the IEEE. At conferences, the term Plasma Universe is freely used, but presenters at APS and AAS most certainly don't understand the importance of the circuit aspect and usually try a Tycho-Brahe compromise, acknowledging plasma throughout the universe, but trying to meld it with 'traditional' astrophysics ideas.

And why not? It is all about funding. On the other hand, the schools belonging to the American Geophysical Union, Space Plasmas division and the IEEE present the material in the true tradition of Alfven and Birkeland, avoid the non-physical 'magnetic-reconnection' nonsense. Nevertheless, while I saw several presentations of the Plasma Universe at the APS conference in Savannah in November, some even mentioning the big-bang as part of it, there were no presentations on a Big Bang Universe. Of course, it is different in the Astrophysical Cosmological group whose 'standard' cosmology today resembles in no way that presented a decade ago."

The Plasma Universe is the scientific result by those of us who thought Velikovsky's ideas had merit. But the science of geology remains hamstrung in its Lyellian Post-modernism and some us, including your lowly scribe, are starting to develop the science of Plasma Geology. The plasma universe incorporates electricity, in addition to gravity, as the dominant cosmic force. An excellent site is that of the US Scientist Anthony Peratt, the discoverer of Peratt Instabilities described in the scientific Plasma Physics literature.

So why do I even bother with this arcane topic of a Plasma Universe? Because it shows our mainstream understanding of the Sun, and the solar system, is seriously in error, an error that is being propagated into the Anthropogenic global warming frenzy we are being made to suffer by the Greens and their fellow travellers.....


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


23 December, 2004


The Kyoto Club now consists of 129 nations - only 30 of these nations are bound by its restrictive provisions. The other nations are free to use as much fossil fuel as they wish, and are designated recipients of the wealth transfer required of the 30 developed nations.

As far as the Kyoto Club is concerned, human-caused global warming is an absolute fact - regardless of a preponderance of scientific evidence to the contrary. Their battle cry is to prevent the world's temperature from rising two degrees (C) above pre-industrial levels, which they contend will be catastrophic. They completely ignore the fact that a thousand years ago, the global temperature was at least two degrees (C) above current levels, during a period that science refers to as the "Medieval Climate Optimum." Greenland was actually green during this period.

Then the world entered a period known in science as the "Little Ice Age," which reached its depths between 1560 and 1850. Since then, global temperatures have risen steadily, until the mid 1900s, when the temperature leveled, and began to decline slightly.

This scientific record is undisputed, though some global-warming advocates have tried to obscure the record. The Kyoto Club simply ignores the record, and relies instead on computer models which can only predict from the data they are fed. When the same computer models are fed the known data from the last century, they fail to accurately project the known climate pattern. Why they should be relied upon to predict future patterns from projected data is a question that has yet to be answered.

Now that the Kyoto Club has the power of international law, it does not have to answer questions. It can simply issue decrees and declarations, create regulations, and penalize the non-compliant.

Already, the participants at COP 10 are dreaming of ways to penalize the United States, to force the U.S. to join the international global warming club. Cathie Adams, president of Texas Eagle Forum , who is attending the gathering, reports that the World Trade Organization is seen to be the enforcer of choice .

More here


The United Nations' (UN) annual climate change convention conference is meeting from 6-17 December in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In this city famous for its tango dance, it is fitting that nations tango over the scientifically unresolved theory called global warming. Mostly Third World diplomats, led by the infamous "oil-for-food" bureaucrat Secretary-General Kofi Annan, are here to create a methodology to rob industrialized nations. The UN aim is clear: UNLESS the developed countries fill the coffers of corrupt Third World governments, the sky will surely fall.

The official name of this conference is the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change-Conference of the Parties #10 (UNFCCC-COP 10). Since 1997, I have watched the UN maneuver like "Keystone Cops" to conjure up a man-caused global warming theory and then convince the citizens of the world that the sky will fall UNLESS we obey their demands to redistribute wealth via implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.

Of the 191 member nations that promise to be "peace-loving states," including the Islamic Republic of Iran and Communist Cuba, 128 are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The U.S. and Australia are the largest industrialized holdouts of the treaty. Nonetheless, the UN has decided that it will become legally binding on 15 February 2005, since our "ally" Russia ratified it, thus meeting the UN criteria that it would go into effect once 55% of the world's producers of the non-polluting carbon dioxide (CO2) and five other greenhouse gases ratified the protocol/treaty.

Next February 30 industrialized nations will be legally bound to the Protocol to be enforced by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Discussions during this two-week meeting will focus on an international carbon-trading market, Clean Development Mechanisms (CDMs) and Adaptation Fund. This UN-speak requires some explanation.

First, the WTO is a huge international bureaucracy based in Geneva, which was created by a 14-page document sneakily added to the 22,000-page General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT), just before former President Clinton signed it, to set, administer and enforce global rules for world trade.. It has a legislative body (in which 110 nations each have one vote), a multi-national bureaucracy, and a supreme court to decide trade disputes (whose rulings cannot be vetoed by any nation).....

Even though the U.S. is not a party to the Kyoto Protocol, we are members of the WTO, which is its implementation arm. Since they have a history of imposing "sanctions" on the U.S. for not kowtowing to their demands, it remains to be seen whether they will use this legally binding treaty to impose new sanctions, regardless of our non-ratification. Stay tuned for more from the scene of the Keystone COPs and robbers in Argentina.

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


22 December, 2004


The Kyoto treaty is pointless without a follow-up and the combination of the USA, China and India ensures that there won't be one

When Paula Dobrianksy, the State Department's senior official on climate change, presented Washington's partnership programs on climate change this week during the Buenos Aires conference on climate change, alongside her on the platform were the representatives of China, India and Italy. This is who is now in charge of UN climate change negotiations. No wonder NGOs looked glum.....

The EU and the NGOs came to Buenos Aries to celebrate the entry into force of the Protocol. The UN Secretariat had festooned is administrative offices at La Rural, the international conference centre in Buenos Aries with posters carrying the message, "Ten years in partnership". The posters listed the NGOs who had campaigned for Kyoto. The European Commission offices were emblazoned with the message "Combating Climate Change for Ten Years". This message was unintentionally ironic. There is little to show for Commission effort. The Kyoto Protocol will have no impact on levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and would probably slow growth in the world economy a little if it is fully implemented. Climatologists would say, "What would you expect? Ten years is a nanosecond in climate time".

The commitments in Kyoto run out in 2012. They only apply to industrialized countries. The writing was on the wall last year in Milan at the 9th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Developing countries had already made clear they would not make commitments in the future to cut emissions. This made the European Commission, Greenpeace, the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Friends of the Earth edgy in Milan. Despite 10 years of agitation with exaggeration and unsubstantiated claims of calumny and doom about global warming, the Kyoto Protocol was the best they could do and it fell far short of their expectations. To make the best of a bad situation, they started justifying Kyoto as "just the first step", arguing Kyoto itself did not have to make a difference, it would just begin a process where progressively tougher and tougher terms would be adopted in subsequent "steps".

The Environment Directorate of the European Commission has been cocky about Kyoto. The Bush Administration's refusal to support Kyoto had been lambasted in Europe as one of the defining examples of US "unilateralism" (the other being invasion of Iraq) which undermined the multilateral system of international affairs. In Buenos Aires, the Bush Administration showcased peerless multilateral diplomacy. Here it was working publicly hand in glove with China, a leader of the developing country group, and India, another leader in that group. It even was working with Italy, immediate past President of the EU. The European Commission is isolated and casual slights against the US have ceased, except among the NGOs who haven't twigged to the change.

They are simply sullen and puzzled. One confessed he couldn't work out why the mood was different. This was typical. By and large NGOs have failed to understand the capacity of the UN to work conscientiously on colossal white elephants which have no prospect of working and, when finally reality bites -- usually when Governments work out the cost -- discarding them or reshaping them into something else. The US and the developing countries decided in Buenos Aires to discard the Protocol......

The developing countries are not just following the US lead. They appreciate that the Kyoto strategy of regulating reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide will flatten growth. The Greens accuse them of ignoring the impending threat of greenhouse warming. They are not stupid. They evidently find the case of global warming and the science adduced to support it unconvincing.

More here


Louis Hissink has a reply here to a critic who accuses him of not being a proper scientist. One excerpt:

"I am professionally paid as a diamond exploration geologist. My work involves searching for orebodies, specifically diamond bearing orebodies, and in order to do this we do some extremely unusual things - we frame hypotheses, collect samples to test them, and if the sampling is negative, we dump the hypothesis and start on another tack. This practice is done often. It is called the "Scientific Method". My critic insinuates that I don't understand this - the first lie.

I think it would be truthful to suggest that of all the scientists in professional employment, exploration geologists are probably the most intensive practioners of the scientific method, partly because if we don't find anything we don't get paid. This is a serious incentive to actually getting it right, and from many years of experience, we have developed an extremely good ability to discern scientific bullshit when we come across it; human induced global warming is one such instance.

Anthropogenic warming was first mooted by Callender, cited by Jaworowski in his submission to the US Senate in March this year (2004). full text here. As Jaworowski notes in his figure 2, Callender selectively extracted that data to support his hypothesis - hardly a scientific method, but my critic and his/her fellow travellors have yet to contradict this evidence. They have also not countered the fraud committed described in Figure 1 presented by Jaworowski, cited above. Of course they can't, scientific fact is hard to counter".


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


21 December, 2004


November has been quite a month for climate disaster stories! First, Nature magazine reports that the Antarctic food chain is all out of whack, with krill populations crashing around the South Orkney Islands because of global warming. Then a new, federally funded "Arctic Climate Impact Assessment" (ACIA) comes along, predicting the upcoming extinction of polar bears and the death of Inuit culture. But you can breathe a sigh of relief because both of those disaster stories are critically flawed. In fact, the only real disaster they demonstrate is the disheartening decay of the peer-review process in science.

The krill story should be especially disturbing to anyone who places faith in the refereed scientific literature, which once could reliably be cited as the canon of current truth. Krill, if you don't know, are small, shrimp-like animals that basically are manna to whales and other sea life. The authors of the Nature report that the krill population around South Orkney Island in the South Atlantic Ocean varies directly with the amount of sea ice that forms each winter. Because that area has warmed in recent decades, and because the krill population has declined rapidly from the 1970s to today, the authors conclude that global warming is killing the krill.

But the very same data that show a relationship between the amount of ice and the krill also show that there has been absolutely no change in the amount of ice around South Orkney Island since 1975. That's right; the factor that the authors claim is controlling the krill population hasn't changed a lick. The sea ice data were published in the journal Environmental Conservation in 2002. It is inconceivable that the authors of the Nature paper did not know about it, because they used it to "prove" the relationship between ice and krill. Why wasn't this caught in the peer review process? It's in the magazine's best interest for embarrassments like this to get spotted before they appear in print. Anyone sent this paper for commentary would (should?) have asked whether the ice was in fact in decline.

Lax review is also evident in the Arctic Assessment, which probably received more press than any climate story in recent years. One of the big headlines that it generated was that polar bears are going to go extinct because of climate change. the Washington Post quoted Lara Hansen of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), who expressed serious concern that populations will stop reproducing as climate warms. In 2002, the WWF published a huge report on polar bears and global warming, called "Polar Bears at Risk." The organization found 22,000 polar bears scattered in 20 somewhat distinct populations around the Arctic. According to the WWF, 46 percent of the populations were stable, 17 percent were in decline, 14 percent were increasing, and the status of 23 percent was unknown. Red flags waving on bad math! Any number divided by 20 yields a multiple of 5 -- 5, 10, 15, etc... An accompanying map only showed 19 populations, but no whole number divided by 19 yields 46, 17, 14, or 23.

The WWF did not map out the regions where the polar bear populations were changing. They left that to enviro-curmudgeons like me. And what I found was this: Where the polar bear populations are in decline -- around Baffin Bay (the region between Canada and Greenland), temperatures are also going down, big time. And the area where temperatures are rising the most -- in the Pacific region bordering on Alaska and Siberia, polar bear populations are increasing. That fact did not make it into the ACIA report, but the doomsday WWF claim did. Again, the simplest check of an hypothesis was not made.

How many stories are out there like this on global warming? Plenty. These two are just the most recent and two of the more egregious. Why does this happen? Washington has handed out nearly $20 billion in global warming research money in recent years. That is ample money to do good research. There is absolutely no incentive to tell the truth, if the truth will make one poor.



Evidence regardless

Pennsylvania lawmakers are facing pressure from activists to impose stringent mercury restrictions on power companies. Penn Future, an anti-mercury activist group with the motto, "We refuse to accept our current environmental condition and dedicate ourselves to changing it," is pressuring the state legislature not only to issue mercury standards in advance of federal action, but to preempt whatever federal rules are ultimately issued. "Penn Future has formally petitioned the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to adopt new rules to require power plants to reduce their emissions of toxic mercury pollution by 90% by 2007," states the group's Web site. Moreover, Penn Future urges the legislature simply to disregard the prohibitive costs of such a standard. "Whatever the cost is, it's unavoidable," Penn Future President John Hanger told the Harrisburg Patriot on August 10. "We have so much mercury within our borders. It's past time to get going," asserted Hanger.

Analysts contend the proposed restrictions would not only be expensive, but would have little impact on the state's environment. Connie Walker, a spokesperson for Pennsylvania Power and Light, observed in the Patriot that 75 percent of U.S. mercury pollution comes from outside the nation's borders. Walker further noted that power plants are responsible for just 10 percent of U.S. mercury pollution and merely 1 percent worldwide. "State regulations will have little impact on lakes, streams, and fish in Pennsylvania," Walker told the Patriot. "They will put us at a competitive disadvantage and increase the cost of electricity."

In Illinois, activist groups are urging Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) to impose the strictest possible mercury standards on the state's power suppliers. For example, the Illinois Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) is pushing for a 90 percent reduction in mercury emissions by 2010, regardless of cost. PIRG supports its demand by asserting "the vast bulk of mercury loading into our waterways comes from coal-burning electric power plants." Scientists dispute that claim.

A recent study by Derek Winstanley and Edward Krug, published in the journal Hydrology and Earth System Science, concluded most of the mercury found in the environment comes from natural rather than manmade sources. According to a review of the Winstanley and Krug study in Electricity Daily, "The background for the study is a longstanding problem with the theory that coal-fired power plant emissions are the leading cause of mercury in fish, namely that there is no correlation between power plant locations and high mercury levels. To overcome this lack of evidence the proponents of the theory, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, have claimed that mercury circulates nationally and globally via a process of general atmospheric deposition."

The Winstanley and Krug study tested the EPA theory by comparing human-source mercury emissions with newly measured environmental mercury levels globally, nationally, and in Illinois. The study showed most mercury emissions are natural in origin: "Hg [mercury] concentrations and contents of Illinois and USA soils are too great to be accounted for by atmospheric anthropogenic [man-made] Hg deposition," they conclude. As a result, notes Electricity Daily, "reducing the estimated 50 tons of mercury emitted by U.S. coal fired power plants might have little or no effect on environmental mercury levels."

Winstanley and Krug note, "The reported average Hg concentration of USA soils is about 2.5 times greater than that of the Illinois soils, whereas average total USA atmospheric Hg deposition is reported to be about half that of Illinois." In other words, Illinois has twice as much mercury deposition as the U.S. average, but mercury concentration in Illinois soils is about 40 percent lower than in the U.S. on average. For that reason, Winstanley and Krug write, "The hypothesis that most Hg in Illinois and the USA soils is of anthropogenic origin is rejected."

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


20 December, 2004


The Greens will never approve no matter what the GOP does anyway

Environmental activists wanted two things to happen on Election Day—they wanted President Bush to lose and their cause to be a big reason why. They got neither, and that may bode well for the future of environmental policy reform. Surveys taken before the elections showed that the environment was far down on the list of voters' concerns. For example, a Gallup poll taken earlier in 2004 ranked it 11th in importance among 12 issues. The election-day results bore this out, as the environment was barely on the radar compared to security, the economy, health care, and other issues. Overall, it is safe to say that environmental issues played no role in the outcome, and that probably would have been the case even if Bush had narrowly lost.

This was not for lack of trying. The big green groups, most of whom maintain only a pretense of nonpartisanship, began their attacks as soon as Bush took office and never let up during the ensuing four years. When the President wasn't poisoning the children with arsenic in drinking water or mercury in fish, he was handing over national forests to loggers or walking away from the international consensus to fight global warming. The elite media gave these and other factually questionable allegations ample publicity and minimal scrutiny.

The League of Conservation Voters handed Bush a grade of F on the environment, and at a press conference expressed regret that there was no lower grade to give. Natural Resources Defense Council activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. called Bush "America's worst environmental president," and was far from alone in doing so. The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CBS, NBC, and ABC gleefully ran with nearly every hit piece the green groups fed them. And Democratic politicians tried to make the most of these attacks.

But on Election Day, "America's worst environmental president" lost very few votes because of the environment. The eco-vilification could not have been any more intense, yet politically it amounted to nothing. It wasn't, as green activists now assert, that voters were simply distracted by other issues—the electorate also demonstrated skepticism towards the anti-Bush environmental hyperbole.

There are lessons for both parties. The Democrats were proven wrong in thinking that they could beat up Bush and the Republicans with a green stick. Indeed, many congressional Democrats even grandstanded against Bush's least controversial environmental reforms, such as the wildfire-reducing Healthy Forests Restoration Act. They thought they would score political points, but it clearly did not happen. Perhaps Democrats will finally realize that they don't gain from knee-jerk opposition to Republicans on environmental matters.

Republicans have lessons to learn as well. Despite the howls from the environmental left and the media, the real story of the Bush environmental record thus far is one of timidity and fear of criticism. With only a few exceptions, the administration has declined to take bold action to fix the many outdated, costly, and ineffective federal environmental measures enacted over the past three decades. Such efforts would have sparked opposition from the environmental old-guard, who see any fundamental change as change for the worse, even in programs with a poor track record.

Beyond struggling in vain to avoid criticism, Bush also tried to court environmentalists with occasional "me too" measures no different than ones an Al Gore administration would have enacted, such as the tough new emissions controls on diesel equipment. Of course, the Republicans never came anywhere close to placating the greens, and the election results show that they need not have bothered to try.

Looking ahead, the environmental activists will certainly continue their over-the-top attacks, but President Bush and the Republican-led Congress have little reason to be concerned. At the very least, they can safely engage in obstructionism and stop environmental policy from getting worse.... Better still, the administration and Congress could also engage in reforming existing policy. "The environmental regulatory system in the United States is broken and needs repair," says Jonathan Adler, Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law......

More here


After years of cowardly pandering to environmental and animal rights activists, at last industry is fighting back. Groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Wilderness Society have long been getting away with twisting the truth and using questionable methods to push their agendas. Many other groups have become power-crazy bullies using a compliant media to expand their influence. But last week, in a twin blow for fairness, the Tasmanian timber company Gunns Ltd filed suit against 20 activists, alleging they have told lies and sabotaged the company; and Italian clothing giant Benetton refused to cave in to PETA threats and boycott Australian wool. Not only that, but the Australian Wool Innovation group last month launched legal action in the Federal Court to stop PETA threatening clothing retailers.

Gunns filed its $6.3 million lawsuit at the same time as the ABC's Independent Complaints Review Panel upheld three complaints that a Four Corners program in February, Lords Of The Forests, was inaccurate, showed bias and lacked fairness. That's putting it mildly. But it was just this kind of inaccurate, unfair hyperbole that fuelled Opposition Leader Mark Latham's ill-fated visit to Tasmania's forest with Greens leader Bob Brown. Maybe the ALP should join Gunns lawsuit. Gunns, Tasmania's largest employer, is suing 20 groups and individuals, including Brown, Tasmanian Greens leader Peg Putt and Wilderness Society national campaigns director Alec Marr. The company accuses them of a sustained campaign of vilification, vandalising machinery, disrupting operations and seriously damaging crucial business with Japan. Tasting some of his own medicine, Brown went purple at the intimidation. "They can take every penny," he told the ABC. "They can take every peaceful night's sleep. They can take every home comfort. They will never stop me campaigning against their vile destruction of Tasmania's forests and its wildlife." Gunns shares rose to an all-time high at initial news of its legal action, reported Hobart's The Mercury newspaper.

Meanwhile, in Chicago on Friday, PETA made good its blackmail threat to Benetton: boycott Australian wool or face a corporate vilification campaign. Protesters paraded red sheep and bloody videos titled United Cruelty Of Benetton outside Benetton stores to convince shoppers to boycott the label. PETA's target is Australian wool, because it claims the age-old practice of mulesing by Australian farmers is cruel. Mulesing is the removal of loose skin around the sheep's anus to prevent painful, even fatal, attacks by blowflies and maggots. As yet, there is no viable alternative, farmers say. Already, US retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has buckled under PETA pressure and promised not to use Australian wool.

Make no mistake, wool is the new fur and PETA will not rest until it has destroyed our wool industry, in much the same way it has been pulverising the Indian leather industry by persuading shoe and fashion retailers, such as Nike, Reebok, Gap, Marks & Spencer and J.Crew to boycott their leather. India's leather industry is its second largest employer. But PETA, like its fan, the artist known again as Prince, couldn't care less about people. On his new album, Prince poses in fake wool under the words: "To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being."

Right. It's about time activists were forced to take responsibility for their actions, instead of blithely threatening other people's livelihoods in order to make themselves feel good or enhance their social lives. If you tell lies or break the law, you should face the consequences, because the company, its workers, contractors and shareholders certainly do.



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


19 December, 2004


First they destroyed the gasoline station, so that you have to drive miles out of your way to get gas. Then they destroyed a parking lot. Now they want to destroy a dam and a reservoir that supplies more than 2 million people with water. No, these are not al-Qaeda terrorists. These are our own home-grown fanatics -- and the places mentioned are all in Yosemite National Park. They call themselves environmentalists but a more accurate term would be green bigots. What makes someone a bigot is that he wishes to deny other people the same rights he has. That is the hallmark of the environmental zealot.

Green bigots operate internationally, just like the more famous fanatics. They are trying to stop a hydroelectric dam from being built in Uganda and they have already succeeded in getting "nature preserves" created in various parts of Africa -- which is to say, vast amounts of land where Africans are forbidden to hunt for food because the green bigots prefer keeping the land "natural."

African economist James Skikwati in Kenya put the case against affluent Western environmental extremists very plainly when he said, "wealthy countries want the Earth to be green, the underdeveloped want the Earth fed." He asked: "What gives the developed nations the right to make choices for the poor?" A hydroelectric dam in Uganda would bring electricity to millions of Africans but it would also annoy the delicate sensibilities of environmentalists in Berkeley who like waterfalls.

By and large, the green bigots use politics, nuisance lawsuits, and physical obstruction, rather than violence, but some of them do not hesitate to booby-trap trees, threatening those who cut them down with injury or death. And they use the media to spin their party line.

A recent newspaper story -- headlined "Renaissance at Yosemite" -- refers to new restrictions on people who visit Yosemite National Park, created at the urging of environmentalist groups. "The fight to get people out of cars and onto bikes and buses has been won after years of bitter wrangling," the story says. If people wanted to get out of their cars and onto bikes and buses, they could have done this at any time and without any wrangling. We are talking about green bigots forcing millions of visitors to Yosemite to do what the green bigots want, rather than what the visitors themselves want.

Such ego trips by coteries of self-exalting people are treated in the media as idealism, rather than the petty tyranny it is. Making it a hassle to drive a car in Yosemite means letting the green bigots regiment visitors in buses. Instead of going where you want to go, when you want to go there, you will go where the park bureaucracy wants to take you.

When you are in your own car, you can stop and get out to walk around when you see something you like, or just go to the bathroom when you need to. When you are regimented in buses, you can go only when and where the bus schedule permits. For young children and the elderly especially, this can turn what could be an enjoyable experience into needless stress.

The last thing you can expect to learn from most media accounts of the activities of green bigots is an account of other people's objections to their power grabs. Instead, there is a whole vocabulary of misleading words used to paper over and sugar coat the plain fact that green bigots feel entitled to impose their vision at the cost of other people's rights. Thus it is called a "renaissance" to lose your right to choose what you want to do in Yosemite. There is never a lack of excuses when people want to boss other people around. There are lots of vague and lofty words about a "fragile" or "sensitive" environment -- but ask the green bigots for concrete criteria by which we can determine whether a particular environment is or is not "fragile" or "sensitive." Then ask for hard evidence. You are not likely to get any.

The story about the "renaissance" in Yosemite speaks of the new changes as having "restored" the Merced River. I have watched the Merced River flowing and cascading through Yosemite for more than 20 years without seeing anything that needed to be "restored." Maybe honesty needs to be restored.



Comment from a reader: "After a killer shark attack off South Australia, environmentalists are opposing the government's plan to hunt and kill the maneater. Maybe they should put their convictions where its mouth is and create a human chain in the water to 'protect' the shark


An expert glaciologist concludes that big changes happen NATURALLY -- due to solar oscillations -- and that we don't know enough to do anything about it

Glaciologist Lonnie Thompson worries that he may have found clues that show history repeating itself, and if he is right, the result could have important implications to modern society. Thompson has spent his career trekking to the far corners of the world to find remote ice fields and then bring back cores drilled from their centers. Within those cores are the records of ancient climate from across the globe. From the mountains of data drawn by analyzing countless ice cores, and a meticulous review of sometimes obscure historic records, Thompson and his research team at Ohio State University are convinced that the global climate has changed dramatically. But more importantly, they believe it has happened at least once before, and the results were nearly catastrophic to emerging cultures at the time. He outlined his interpretations and fears today at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

A professor of geological sciences at Ohio State and a researcher with the Byrd Polar Research Center, Thompson points to markers in numerous records suggesting that the climate was altered suddenly some 5,200 years ago with severe impacts. He points to perfectly preserved plants he discovered that recently emerged from the Quelccaya ice cap in the Peruvian Andes as that glacier retreats. This monstrous glacier, some 551 feet (168 meters) deep, has shown an exponentially increasing rate of retreat since his first observations in 1963. The plants were carbon-dated to determine their age and tests indicated they had been buried by the ice for perhaps 5,200 years. That suggests that somehow, the climate had shifted suddenly and severely to capture the plants and preserve them until now.

In 1991, hikers found the preserved body of a man trapped in an Alpine glacier and freed as it retreated. Later tests showed that the human -- dubbed Oetzi -- became trapped and died around 5,200 years ago. Thompson points to a study of tree rings from Ireland and England that span a period of 7,000 years. The point in that record when the tree rings were narrowest -- suggesting the driest period experienced by the trees -- was approximately 5,200 years ago. He points to ice core records showing the ratio of two oxygen isotopes retrieved from the ice fields atop Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro. A proxy for atmospheric temperature at the time snow fell, the records are at their lowest 5,200 years before now.

He lists the shift by the Sahara Desert from a habitable region to a barren desert; major changes in plant pollen uncovered from lakebed cores in South America, and the record lowest levels of methane retrieved from ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica and all occurred at the same time -- 5,200 years ago. ''Something happened back at this time and it was monumental,'' Thompson said. ''But it didn't seem monumental to humans then because there were only approximately 250 million people occupying the planet, compared to the 6.4 billion we now have. ''The evidence clearly points back to this point in history and to some event that occurred. It also points to similar changes occurring in today's climate as well,'' he said. ''To me, these are things we really need to be concerned about.''

The impact of a climate change of that magnitude on a modern world would be tremendous, he said. Seventy percent of the population lives in the world's tropics and major climate changes would directly impact most of them. Thompson believes that the 5,200-year old event may have been caused by a dramatic fluctuation in solar energy reaching the earth. Scientists know that a historic global cooling called the Little Ice Age, from 1450 to 1850 A.D., coincided with two periods of decreased solar activity. Evidence shows that around 5,200 years ago, solar output first dropped precipitously and then surged over a short period. It is this huge solar energy oscillation that Thompson believes may have triggered the climate change he sees in all those records. ''The climate system is remarkably sensitive to natural variability,'' he said. ''It's likely that it is equally sensitive to effects brought on by human activity, changes like increased greenhouse gases, altered land-use policies and fossil-fuel dependence. ''Any prudent person would agree that we don't yet understand the complexities with the climate system and, since we don't, we should be extremely cautious in how much we 'tweak' the system,'' he said. ''The evidence is clear that a major climate change is underway.''



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


18 December, 2004


Professor Lloyd Peck of the British Antarctic Survey is worried about - stop me if you've heard this one before - global warming. For this year's Royal Institution Christmas lecture, he'll be warning that the merest smidgeonette of an increase in temperature in the south polar seabed will lead to the loss of a zillion species. As the oceans warm, the ice shelves that extend from the polar depths into the sub-Antarctic light will shrink, and the thick mats of algae on their underside will vanish, and the billions of tiny krill that feed on them will perish, and pretty soon, up at the scenic end of the food chain, all those cute seals and penguins and whales will be gone.

And all this will happen if the temperature goes up two degrees, from butt-numbingly freezing to marginally less butt-numbingly freezing. "It is going to be really unpleasant," Prof Peck tells the Guardian. "We are going to lose things - we just don't know how much."

Maybe if the Antarctic food chain is incapable of evolving to cope with a two-degree increase in temperature across many decades, it isn't meant to survive. Science tells us that extinction is a fact of life, and that nature is never still: long before the Industrial Revolution, long before the first lardbuttus Americanus got into his primitive four-miles-per-gallon SUV to head to the mall for the world's first cheeseburger, there were dramatic fluctuations in climate wiping out a ton of stuff. Yet scientists and their cheerleaders, the hyper-rationalists at the progressive newspapers, have signed on to the idea that evolution should cease and the world should be frozen - literally, in the case of Prof Peck and his beloved algae - in some unchanging Edenic state.

More here


Michael Crichton has done us all the very valuable service of getting his comments into Parade Magazine -- a weekly insert magazine in many U.S. newspapers on Sundays. He is thus getting out to a very wide audience an antidote to the constant drumbeat of lying Greenie propaganda. The whole article is a delightful read with heaps of good points but below are just a few excerpts:

This year I turned 62, and I find I have acquired-along with aches and pains-a perspective on the world that I lacked as a younger person. I now recognize that for most of my life I have felt burdened by highly publicized fears that decades later did not turn out to be true. I was reminded of this when I came across this 1972 statement about climate: "We simply cannot afford to gamble.We cannot risk inaction. Those scientists who [disagree] are acting irresponsibly. The indications that our climate can soon change for the worse are too strong to be reasonably ignored." This author wasn't concerned about global warming. He was worried about global cooling and the coming ice age.

We're all going to freeze! Or is it sizzle?

It may be mostly forgotten now, but back then many climate scientists shared his concern: Temperatures around the world had fallen steadily for 30 years, dropping half a degree in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. Pack ice was increasing. Glaciers were advancing. Growing seasons had shortened by two weeks in only a few years.

In 1975, Newsweek noted "ominous signs that weather patterns have begun to change.with serious political implications for just about every nation." Scientists were predicting that "the resulting famines could be catastrophic." Human beings never tire of discussing the latest report that tells us the end is near.

But it is now clear that even as Newsweek was printing its fears, temperatures already had begun to rise. Within a decade, scientists would be decrying a global warming trend that threatened to raise temperatures as much as 30 degrees in the 21st century. Such predictions implied palm trees in Montana, and they have since been revised downward. By 1995, the UN midrange estimates were about 4 degrees over the next 100 years. Although concern about warming remains, the prospect of catastrophic change seems increasingly unlikely.

Oh no, it's a population explosion!

Similarly, for all of my adult life, informed people have lived in continual anxiety about an exploding world population and the inevitable resulting mass starvation and environmental degradation. In the 1960s, experts like Paul Ehrlich spoke with conviction: "In the 1970s the world will undergo famines-hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death." Ehrlich argued for compulsory population control if voluntary methods failed. In the 1970s, The Club of Rome (a global think tank) predicted a world population of 14 billion in the year 2030, with no end in sight.

Instead, fertility rates fell steadily. By the end of the century, they were about half what they were in 1950, with the result that many now expect world population to peak at 9 billion or so and then to decline. (It's estimated to be about 6 billion today.) And mass starvation never occurred either. Instead, per capita food production increased through the end of the century because of the "green revolution" resulting from increased agricultural efficiency and better seeds. Grain production increased as much as 600% per acre, bringing unprecedented crop yields around the world.....


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


17 December, 2004


I guess I should say something more about all the hot air coming out of the big Greenie conference in Buenos Aires at the moment. Choosing a city with a name that means "Good Air" for a conference designed to tell us that the atmosphere is going to hell in a handbasket may even indicate a rare Greenie sense of humour, I guess. There is one report here. Excerpt:

"Clear-eyed enviros know they're losing. A frank new report, "The Death of Environmentalism" (available at, issued last week by two Green strategists, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, admits that warming advocates have failed. They haven't "come up with an inspiring vision, much less a legislative proposal, that a majority of Americans could get excited about."

True. But don't wait for the Greens to lead. Instead, responsible advocates are building a consensus around the right approach, which concentrates not on destroying the economies of developing countries through limits to growth, but on improving those economies through the use of more energy -- the best leverage for boosting living standards. Wealth, after all, makes health. As a nation gets richer, it gets cleaner.

Poor farmers in China, India and Africa burning dung and charcoal are releasing not just CO2 but real pollutants into the air. The role of rich nations should be to transfer technologies that produce cleaner energy more efficiently.

Meanwhile, there's important research to be done. We still don't know whether the rise in temperatures is natural and cyclical (it was warmer many centuries ago when the Vikings colonized Greenland) or human-induced.

But the radicals are losing. Michael Crichton, author of science-based bestsellers like "Jurassic Park," has a new book, "State of Fear," which casts serious doubt on global warming and extremists who espouse it. As Crichton says, "Why are we not feeding people in this world who are hungry? Why are we not giving clean water to the almost billion people who don't have clean water? The greatest source of environmental degradation is poverty. Why aren't we cleaning up poverty?"

Those are the right questions for the multitudes in Buenos Aires".


"A former member of Greenpeace who became disillusioned with what he saw as bad eco-science urged a United Nations climate change conference to "save the world" by ignoring global warming. "Climate change is a huge thing, but there is very little that we can do about it," Bjorn Lomborg told following a speech in Buenos Aires on Monday. Lomborg, the author of the new book Global Crisis, Global Solutions, also wrote The Skeptical Environmentalist, a book devoted to debunking many of the alarmist claims of environmental groups. He is attending the U.N.'s Conference of Parties or COP-10 meeting on climate change here.

In an essay published Monday in the London Telegraph, Lomborg wrote that "global warming has become the obsession of our time" and "is the moral test of our age." Lomborg believes that global warming is real and is caused by C02, but he adds that mankind can "do very little about the warming." Lomborg, an associate professor of statistics at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, is in Buenos Aires trying to convince world governments to worry less about climate change and concentrate instead on what he considers solvable problems, such as AIDS, poverty and inadequate sanitation.

Lomborg organized the "Copenhagen Consensus," an international team of economists and others who conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the world's most pressing problems. "So in a curious way, global warming really is the moral test of our time, but not in the way its proponents imagined. We need to stop our obsession with global warming and start dealing with the many more pressing issues in the world, where we can do [the] most good, first and quickest," Lomborg argued. According to Lomborg, any effects that global warming may have on people 100 years from now will be muted because poor nations are projected to be much wealthier and thus better equipped to deal with any climate complications. "The people who are going to be affected by it in 2100 are likely going to be much richer," Lomborg told an audience at the Universidad de Ciencias Monday night. "By the U.N.'s own scenarios, everyone [in poor nations] will be at least as rich as we are today in the developed world in 2100; and much more likely, they will be 2 to 4 times more wealthy than the developed world is today. Of course, the developed world will be even much richer than that," Lomborg predicted.

"Imagine if you were a rich Chinese or a rich Rwandan or a rich Bolivian in 2100, looking back on 2004, saying how odd that the people of 2004 were so concerned about helping me a little bit through climate change and so relatively unconcerned about helping my grandfather and my great-grandfather who needed the help much, much more," he said. "If we can't do everything, let's make sure that we actually do something that is going to help the world a lot rather than just a little," Lomborg said".



One way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions would be to stop us all from breathing, of course, but, as much as they would no doubt like it, the Greenies are not proposing that. So what are the realistic options? Below is one excerpt from what the engineers have presented at Buenos Aires. I don't think the Greenies will like it. Why can't having your cake and eating it too be allowed?

"Let's take a look at some of what it would take to achieve the WBCSD goal of stabilizing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over the next 50 years. First, new low carbon technologies would need to begin being deployed almost immediately. To reduce projected emissions by 1 gigaton per year in 2050, the world would have to build 1400 new combined cycle gas turbine 1 gigawatt power plants rather than coal fired plants. A gigawatt is enough electricity to power about 400,000 homes. That translates into a growth rate of 2.6% per year -- or building 2 new gas power plants per month for the next 50 years. The International Energy Agency projects a 2.4% rate of growth through 2030.

To avoid another gigaton of carbon emissions by 2050 would require building 700 1 gigawatt nuclear power plants rather than the equivalent conventional coal facilities. That means that the rate of growth in nuclear power generation needs to be 4 percent per year rather than the current 2.5 percent. One more gigaton of emissions could be cut if the world's projected 2 billion vehicles in 2050 got 60 miles rather than 30 miles to the gallon. Another could be curtailed by 300,000 5 megawatt wind turbines. Of course, the wind turbines would need to be deployed in an area the size of Portugal and 5 megawatt wind turbines are only prototypes now. Biofuels derived from 250 hectares of high yield crops could avoid another gigaton of carbon emitted per year in 2050. This would mean that a sixth of the world's current cropland would be devoted to producing fuel. That can't be good for biodiversity"

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


16 December, 2004


A forgotten old nursery rhyme is having more meaning for Americans these days. "Sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite." But they are biting in all 50 states as they haven't bitten since the 1940s, say pest control companies, scientists and health officials. And, indeed, it is making sleep more difficult for Americans of all walks of life -- from denizens of homeless shelters to those visiting the swankiest five-star hotels. Outbreaks of bedbug infestations have been reported from coast to coast, north and south and among rich and poor.

Experts attribute the plague largely to two factors: increased travel and the banning of DDT and other effective pesticides that virtually wiped out "Cimex lectularious," the Latin name for the pest. A November newsletter from Doctors for Disaster Preparedness made the link between the rise of bedbug infestations and the U.S. banning in 1972 of the potent pesticide DDT. "No chemical in history has saved more lives than DDT, and few if any have a better safety record," the organization decried. Dozens of other experts made the connection with DDT and increased travel. The banning of DDT has also been linked worldwide to the major increase in malaria, which annually took the lives of millions before DDT nearly wiped out the mosquito-borne plague. Many countries have reintroduced the use of DDT to fight malaria.

More here


The renewable-energy lobby is just another oinker with its snout in the trough -- a special interest group slavering after corporate welfare subsidies, special tax breaks, and market rigging rules.

Geman begins by observing that, "Renewable energy advocates are launching a major effort to steer federal and state policies towards far greater utilization of renewable technologies, arguing that decades of research and development have generated mature technologies poised for wider adoption." Now, wait a minute. If those technologies are "mature" and "poised for wider adoption"—wind turbines, after all, have been around for centuries—then why is government intervention needed to ensure their "utilization"? If renewable energy technologies cannot succeed on their own despite "decades of research and development," why should we taxpayers be compelled to keep subsidizing them?

According to an ACORE paper distributed prior to the conference, "It is time to declare an interim success on the 30-year, $14 billion investment in renewable energy technologies, and chart a new course for widespread utilization ('Phase II') of renewable energy in America." But hold on again. When environmentalists enthuse about "renewable energy technologies," they refer chiefly to wind and solar power and biomass fuels, which together supply only 3 percent of all the electricity Americans use—with wind and solar providing less than two-tenths of one percent. If that is all 30 years and $14 billion have accomplished, then isn't it time declare failure and abolish coerced taxpayer support for such techno-underachievers? Not according to the renewable energy industry luminaries Geman cites.

Steve Zwolinski, president of GE Wind Energy, laments that U.S. policy lags behind that of Europe in growing the renewable energy sector: "U.S. policy is not conducive to developing the industry." Yes, and a good thing, too! In America, it is the job of industry to develop itself, not the job of government. What Zwolinski really wants is a government-guaranteed market share for wind-generated electricity, regardless of performance, cost, or efficiency. That may be the European way; it is not the American way.

ACORE President Michael Eckhart advocates federal funding for state renewable energy programs and repeal of the sunset provisions in the current crop of renewable energy tax breaks: "We want renewable energy to be in the tax code." What a noble agenda for the environmental movement! Hide the cost of uneconomic wind farms from local ratepayers (the inevitable effect of federal funding), and, at the same time, further convolute a federal tax code already overloaded with special-interest preferences and loopholes....

"The experience of the 1970s and 1980s taught us that if a technology is commercially viable, then government support is not needed and if a technology is not commercially viable, no amount of government support will make it so." [emphasis added]

Absent special political privileges—federal research and development subsidies, tax breaks, and state RPS programs—today's renewable-energy industry, or most of it, would not even exist. Three decades and $14 billion in direct federal support and untold billions in state taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies have failed to make "green" energy economically self-sustaining. Enough is enough. Congress should terminate, not expand, its patronage of this boondoggle.

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


15 December, 2004


PC wins, apparently

Work on Australia's largest wind farm has been suspended at one of the construction sites after local Aborigines opposing the $170 million project claimed an ancient burial ground was dug up and destroyed.

Archaeologists will next week begin assessing the site, on the proposed Wattle Point wind farm on South Australia's Yorke Peninsula, after excavation last week uncovered bones that the local Aboriginal community says are ancestral.

Police have cordoned off an area around turbine 4 after Narungga Heritage Committee monitor Quenten Agius said he discovered the arm bone of one of his ancestors in topsoil that had been moved by a grader during construction in October. "I was shocked, upset and wild at (developer) Southern Hydro for smashing through our ancestors' burial grounds and angry at the Government for allowing this to happen," Mr Agius said. But an initial study of the remains suggested they "may have been moved from a different part of the Wattle Point site", according to Lange Powell, an official with the Aboriginal Affairs Department's heritage taskforce.

More here


There is a U.N. conference on global warming going on at the moment so more than the usual amount of hot air is blowing through the media. But the statements below are probably the fruitiest:

Severe weather caused by global warming can pose greater physical danger to women than men, a Canadian attending a UN conference on climate change said Friday. "For instance, often women don't know how to swim, so in a flood situation that can lead to a higher instance of death or injury," Angie Daze, a program manager with a Canadian group called Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change, said.

Other speakers on the sidelines of the Dec. 6-17 conference said women in poor countries are particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming, which has been blamed for causing more violent storms and rising sea levels, among other problems. "Women are highly dependent on the environment for their family responsibilities" in developing countries, said one environmental worker based in Bangladesh. "Any type of environmental degradation impacts them more severely than men."

More here


Some Velikovskian reflections by Louis Hissink

A letter writer, Richard S. Woodgate, wrote in the Quadrant Magazine, edited by Henry's contributor Padriac McGuinness, about abnormal weather, past and future and in particular referred to Gavin Menzie's book, 1421: The year China Discovered the World, published in 2003, with a second edition in 2004. Mention was made of a shift in the earth's axis which which appeared to have been associated with a change in the weather.

This is not the first time that shifts of the earth's axis were noted in the historical past, the most infamous being the biblical Joshua Ben Nunn event who commanded the sun stand still by pounding his staff on the ground. Of course no man can do that, (but advocates of anthropogenic global warming assert that while man cannot stop the sun, he surely can change the weather, though it then strikes me that as the devout believe Joshua did stop the sun, then changing the climate would seem a trivial exercise for the devout, whether divine or secular - ask Sir David King - thereby confirming Michael Crichton's observation that anthropogenic global warming is a religious belief rather than scientific fact).

Then there are other more ancient accounts in Egyptian history where the rising and setting suns exchanged places. Where once the sun used to rise, it now sets, and that this happened more than once. So they said. Modern science, limiting its understanding to Newtonian mechanics, finds these ancient accounts extremely problematical, if nigh well impossible but as we all know too well, science also has a habit of changing when new facts are discovered. So while the past might remain inexplicable using existing theories, it is quite likely that new facts will enable us to explain the past in a more sensible manner than by simply dismissing it as impossible today. That is science, of course, which always changes when new facts are discovered. Religion never changes, even when confronted with overwhelming contradictory fact.

But I am not going to dwell on this because it occurred to me that if the earth did change its axis of spin, or careened, slightly, or significantly in the past, then that would have had the interesting effect of moving regions which were once in the tropics, perhaps into more temperate zones, and those in the temperate, perhaps into the arctic zones. We can change the climate of a place simply by moving it about in space?

This would result in the illusion that a particular religion suffered a severe climate change, which in one sense is true, but this was only because that region was moved to a different latitude by a change in the earth's attitude around its axis of spin. The earth's overall thermal balance would not have changed, but only appeared to have changed from a misinterpretation of the evidence.

This then suggests that during the Medieval warming period Greenland was closer to the equator, and afterwards was moved further north to colder latitudes as the result of some cosmic interaction. That also means that Europe moved to colder climates. Is there any evidence for that? Seems so, if the Korean Choson Annals are anything to go by, as well as the necessity to change the Gregorian calendar, at the time. Of course much research needs to be done in this area, but if no one accepts this, then funding of course will not be allocated. Same old story of facts being quietly ignored by denying funding.

So past climate changes may not have been due to the earth cooling down to an ice age, but that overall thermal balance of the earth remained the same, and the illusion of climate change produced by infrequent careening around its axis, removing areas from the tropics to the arctic or polar regions, as hinted at by many ancients myths and legends of many older civilisations. True? Perhaps, and obviously a lot of research needs to be done to clarify our understanding of the past.

Climate science is far more complex than most of use realise, especially if we are using politically correct histories. The debate has only started.

A careening earth caused by close encounters of the cosmic kind, in an electrically dynamic plasma universe would offer some solutions to the interesting questions made in Richard Woodgate's letter in Quadrant Magazine.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


14 December, 2004


Global warming has become the obsession of our time. From governments and campaigners meeting for the climate summit in Buenos Aires right now we hear the incessant admonition: making global warming our first priority is the moral test of our age.

Yet they are wrong. Global warming is real and caused by CO2. The trouble is that the climate models show we can do very little about the warming. Even if everyone (including the United States) did Kyoto and stuck to it throughout the century, the change would be almost immeasurable, postponing warming by just six years in 2100.

Likewise, the economic models tell us that the cost is substantial. The cost of Kyoto compliance is at least $150billion a year. For comparison, the UN estimates that half that amount could permanently solve the most pressing humanitarian problems in the world: it could buy clean drinking water, sanitation, basic health care and education to every single person in the world.

Global warming will mainly harm the developing countries, because they are poorer and therefore less able to handle climate changes. However, even the most pessimistic forecasts from the UN expect the average person in the developing countries to be richer in 2100 than we are now. So action on global warming is basically a very costly way of doing very little for much richer people far into the future. We need to ask ourselves if this indeed should be our first priority.

More here


Comment on the move of a prominent Greenie, Peter Garrett, into the Australian Labor party and a Federal parliamentary seat

The environment is merely a flag of convenience for a large faction of the [Green] party, a mother-earth issue onto which they have parasited their real agenda. That's why Brown and several hectorers on the Green Senate tickets spent so much time talking about everything but the environment during the election campaign. They couldn't help themselves. They fought the election on the Iraq war. Why? Because while many Greens are dedicated environmentalists, the party is basically a branding exercise, a new package around an old product that most political consumers will never buy.

Take Lee Rhiannon, a Greens member of the upper house in NSW. Her mother was Freda Brown, for many years the head of the Union of Australian Women, a communist front in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. Rhiannon also started in politics through a communist front, the Eureka Youth League. She came to notice during a campaign in support of the Moscow Olympics in 1980, working for another communist-dominated organisation, the Seamans Union of Australia, which raised funds, of questionable origin, to help send a remnant Australian team to Moscow in defiance of the federal government's boycott.

Or take Sylvia Hale, another Green in the NSW upper house. Her political career began as a Trotskyite at Sydney University in the mid-'60s, where she and Hall Greenland ran a front called the ALP Club, which had nothing to do with the ALP. She later morphed into the Greens and was elected to Parliament last year.

Garrett learnt the hard way about how Trots operate when he made his first tilt at parliament 20 years ago as a Senate candidate for the Nuclear Disarmament Party. He thought he could control the Trots, but the Socialist Workers Party took over the NDP and Garrett was gone by 1985. Like most hosts invaded by the Trot virus, the party died.

There are many reasons why Garrett didn't join the Greens, but given the party's power structure there was no guarantee he could parachute into the No.1 spot on the Senate ticket in NSW. It was also obvious that the excessive influence of the post-Trots meant the party was dominated by a brand of politics that was self-ghettoising.

This should have been the breakthrough year for the Greens. The Democrats were disintegrating. Iraq had gone bad. Drought and climate change were ravaging the environment. Labor had abandoned the left. Yet the Greens got 7.4 per cent of the Senate vote and 732,000 votes, an increase of 163,000, but a very modest harvest considering the 1.2 million votes for progressive parties three years earlier. And they did not win control of the Senate.

The progressive vote sank this year. Down the Dunnybowl. And Peter Garrett walked into Parliament, knowing the environmental crisis was too important to be left to the Greens.

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


13 December, 2004


There is an allegedly "non-political" climate science site here whose authors nonetheless seems thoroughly committed to the "anthropogenic" theory of recent global warming. So are we to conclude therefore that the "anthropogenic" account is what unbiased science supports? Sadly, No. The arguments put forward in various posts on the site are far from careful and dispassionate. For instance, in this post aimed at defending the ACIA study from criticism by Stephen Milloy, the author immediately does the classical Leftist denigration strategy of referring to Stephen Milloy as an "industry lobbyist". I thought he was an independent journalist myself. But in any case, I could with equal justice refer to most of the global warmers as "research-grant-dependant academics" -- implying that they depend on scaring people to get their livelihood. And I do exactly that when I am looking at climate science as a whole. But I never depend on aspersions to make or examine an individual argument. So on balance I suspect that it is our "non-political" author rather than Milloy who is biased. If the author were interested only in the science of the matter, he would not have felt any need to cast personal aspersions on Milloy. And if he had a strong argument, he would not need to bolster it by ad hominem attacks.

And he doesn't have a strong argument. He accuses Milloy of "cherry picking" the ACIA data and then does exactly the same himself to Milloy's data. He completely fails to mention the banner argument Milloy makes -- that the ACIA claims about a dwindling polar bear population are totally contrary to heaps of other evidence on the subject. That good old selective attention to only that data which suits him: Another of the stigmata of Leftist thinking!

And his basis for rejecting Milloy's point about recent Arctic warming being similar to a much earlier Arctic warming episode seems to involve a circular argument if he is claiming that the ACIA study adds to evidence of global warming. He says that the recent Arctic warming is different from the earlier episode because "The recent warming, in contrast, encompasses the entire planet". So he seems seem to be assuming what he has to prove.

And that sort of thing seems to be a strategy in several places elsewhere on the site. If any particular datum is challenged, the reply seems to be something like: "Yes. That data may have problems but we have other data that says the same thing." Such a reply is all very well but it gives no more than a temporary reprieve. It depends for its persuasive power on the other data being impeccable, so simply moves the need for enquiry elsewhere. And a lot of "maybes" or findings that "can be interpreted as..." do not add up to anything like a certainty. And "models" are, of course, just pretentious guesswork.

And as far as I can see, our particular author's assertion that "The recent warming, in contrast, encompasses the entire planet" is false anyway. As he himself later notes, several large polar areas -- such as Greenland and at least a large part of the Antarctic -- are getting cooler. And even within the Arctic itself temperature change is very uneven. There may be some AVERAGE warming globally but "warming that encompasses the entire planet" is certainly not a description of what is going on. And the satellite data even undermine the claim of average warming -- indicating no global warming at all. So proper scientific care and skepticism are notably absent in the post concerned. Impartiality is certainly out to lunch most of the time.

Some caution does seem to reassert itself in their closing paragraph, however. The author admits that local changes such as those in the Arctic do not permit global inferences: "For this reason, an anthropogenic warming trend can only be clearly identified in hemispheric or global averages or in pattern studies. It can neither be demonstrated nor debunked by looking at individual local time series". So when it finally gets cautious, an article that purported to debunk Milloy and support the ACIA study ends up agreeing with Milloy in his view that the ACIA findings are no proof of anything much. What a mess! I have certainly crossed that deceptive site off my "keep track of" list.


Some excerpts:

I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can't be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people---the best people, the most enlightened people---do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.

Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday---these are deeply held mythic structures. They are profoundly conservative beliefs. They may even be hard-wired in the brain, for all I know. I certainly don't want to talk anybody out of them, as I don't want to talk anybody out of a belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God who rose from the dead. But the reason I don't want to talk anybody out of these beliefs is that I know that I can't talk anybody out of them. These are not facts that can be argued. These are issues of faith.

And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism. Increasingly it seems facts aren't necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It's about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them. Am I exaggerating to make a point? I am afraid not. Because we know a lot more about the world than we did forty or fifty years ago. And what we know now is not so supportive of certain core environmental myths, yet the myths do not die. Let's examine some of those beliefs.

There is no Eden. There never was. What was that Eden of the wonderful mythic past? Is it the time when infant mortality was 80%, when four children in five died of disease before the age of five? When one woman in six died in childbirth? When the average lifespan was 40, as it was in America a century ago. When plagues swept across the planet, killing millions in a stroke. Was it when millions starved to death? Is that when it was Eden?

And what about indigenous peoples, living in a state of harmony with the Eden-like environment? Well, they never did. On this continent, the newly arrived people who crossed the land bridge almost immediately set about wiping out hundreds of species of large animals, and they did this several thousand years before the white man showed up, to accelerate the process. And what was the condition of life? Loving, peaceful, harmonious? Hardly: the early peoples of the New World lived in a state of constant warfare. Generations of hatred, tribal hatreds, constant battles. The warlike tribes of this continent are famous: the Comanche, Sioux, Apache, Mohawk, Aztecs, Toltec, Incas. Some of them practiced infanticide, and human sacrifice. And those tribes that were not fiercely warlike were exterminated, or learned to build their villages high in the cliffs to attain some measure of safety.

How about the human condition in the rest of the world? The Maori of New Zealand committed massacres regularly. The dyaks of Borneo were headhunters. The Polynesians, living in an environment as close to paradise as one can imagine, fought constantly, and created a society so hideously restrictive that you could lose your life if you stepped in the footprint of a chief. It was the Polynesians who gave us the very concept of taboo, as well as the word itself. The noble savage is a fantasy, and it was never true. That anyone still believes it, 200 years after Rousseau, shows the tenacity of religious myths, their ability to hang on in the face of centuries of factual contradiction.

But let's return to religion. If Eden is a fantasy that never existed, and mankind wasn't ever noble and kind and loving, if we didn't fall from grace, then what about the rest of the religious tenets? What about salvation, sustainability, and judgment day? What about the coming environmental doom from fossil fuels and global warming, if we all don't get down on our knees and conserve every day?

Well, it's interesting. You may have noticed that something has been left off the doomsday list, lately. Although the preachers of environmentalism have been yelling about population for fifty years, over the last decade world population seems to be taking an unexpected turn. Fertility rates are falling almost everywhere. As a result, over the course of my lifetime the thoughtful predictions for total world population have gone from a high of 20 billion, to 15 billion, to 11 billion (which was the UN estimate around 1990) to now 9 billion, and soon, perhaps less. There are some who think that world population will peak in 2050 and then start to decline. There are some who predict we will have fewer people in 2100 than we do today. Is this a reason to rejoice, to say halleluiah? Certainly not. Without a pause, we now hear about the coming crisis of world economy from a shrinking population. We hear about the impending crisis of an aging population. Nobody anywhere will say that the core fears expressed for most of my life have turned out not to be true. As we have moved into the future, these doomsday visions vanished, like a mirage in the desert. They were never there---though they still appear, in the future. As mirages do.

Okay, so, the preachers made a mistake. They got one prediction wrong; they're human. So what. Unfortunately, it's not just one prediction. It's a whole slew of them. We are running out of oil. We are running out of all natural resources. Paul Ehrlich: 60 million Americans will die of starvation in the 1980s. Forty thousand species become extinct every year. Half of all species on the planet will be extinct by 2000. And on and on and on.

With so many past failures, you might think that environmental predictions would become more cautious. But not if it's a religion. Remember, the nut on the sidewalk carrying the placard that predicts the end of the world doesn't quit when the world doesn't end on the day he expects. He just changes his placard, sets a new doomsday date, and goes back to walking the streets. One of the defining features of religion is that your beliefs are not troubled by facts, because they have nothing to do with facts.

So I can tell you some facts. I know you haven't read any of what I am about to tell you in the newspaper, because newspapers literally don't report them. I can tell you that DDT is not a carcinogen and did not cause birds to die and should never have been banned. I can tell you that the people who banned it knew that it wasn't carcinogenic and banned it anyway. I can tell you that the DDT ban has caused the deaths of tens of millions of poor people, mostly children, whose deaths are directly attributable to a callous, technologically advanced western society that promoted the new cause of environmentalism by pushing a fantasy about a pesticide, and thus irrevocably harmed the third world. Banning DDT is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the twentieth century history of America. We knew better, and we did it anyway, and we let people around the world die and didn't give a damn.

I can tell you that second hand smoke is not a health hazard to anyone and never was, and the EPA has always known it. I can tell you that the evidence for global warming is far weaker than its proponents would ever admit. I can tell you the percentage the US land area that is taken by urbanization, including cities and roads, is 5%. I can tell you that the Sahara desert is shrinking, and the total ice of Antarctica is increasing. I can tell you that a blue-ribbon panel in Science magazine concluded that there is no known technology that will enable us to halt the rise of carbon dioxide in the 21st century. Not wind, not solar, not even nuclear. The panel concluded a totally new technology-like nuclear fusion-was necessary, otherwise nothing could be done and in the meantime all efforts would be a waste of time. They said that when the UN IPCC reports stated alternative technologies existed that could control greenhouse gases, the UN was wrong.

I can, with a lot of time, give you the factual basis for these views, and I can cite the appropriate journal articles not in whacko magazines, but in the most prestigeous science journals, such as Science and Nature. But such references probably won't impact more than a handful of you, because the beliefs of a religion are not dependant on facts, but rather are matters of faith. Unshakeable belief.

There are two reasons why I think we all need to get rid of the religion of environmentalism. First, we need an environmental movement, and such a movement is not very effective if it is conducted as a religion. We know from history that religions tend to kill people, and environmentalism has already killed somewhere between 10-30 million people since the 1970s. It's not a good record. Environmentalism needs to be absolutely based in objective and verifiable science, it needs to be rational, and it needs to be flexible. And it needs to be apolitical. To mix environmental concerns with the frantic fantasies that people have about one political party or another is to miss the cold truth---that there is very little difference between the parties, except a difference in pandering rhetoric. The effort to promote effective legislation for the environment is not helped by thinking that the Democrats will save us and the Republicans won't. Political history is more complicated than that. Never forget which president started the EPA: Richard Nixon. And never forget which president sold federal oil leases, allowing oil drilling in Santa Barbara: Lyndon Johnson. So get politics out of your thinking about the environment.

The second reason to abandon environmental religion is more pressing. Religions think they know it all, but the unhappy truth of the environment is that we are dealing with incredibly complex, evolving systems, and we usually are not certain how best to proceed. Those who are certain are demonstrating their personality type, or their belief system, not the state of their knowledge. Our record in the past, for example managing national parks, is humiliating. Our fifty-year effort at forest-fire suppression is a well-intentioned disaster from which our forests will never recover. We need to be humble, deeply humble, in the face of what we are trying to accomplish. We need to be trying various methods of accomplishing things. We need to be open-minded about assessing results of our efforts, and we need to be flexible about balancing needs. Religions are good at none of these things.

How will we manage to get environmentalism out of the clutches of religion, and back to a scientific discipline? There's a simple answer: we must institute far more stringent requirements for what constitutes knowledge in the environmental realm. I am thoroughly sick of politicized so-called facts that simply aren't true. It isn't that these "facts" are exaggerations of an underlying truth. Nor is it that certain organizations are spinning their case to present it in the strongest way. Not at all---what more and more groups are doing is putting out is lies, pure and simple. Falsehoods that they know to be false.

This trend began with the DDT campaign, and it persists to this day. At this moment, the EPA is hopelessly politicized. In the wake of Carol Browner, it is probably better to shut it down and start over. What we need is a new organization much closer to the FDA. We need an organization that will be ruthless about acquiring verifiable results, that will fund identical research projects to more than one group, and that will make everybody in this field get honest fast.

Because in the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don't know any better. That's not a good future for the human race. That's our past. So it's time to abandon the religion of environmentalism, and return to the science of environmentalism, and base our public policy decisions firmly on that.

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


12 December, 2004


Brilliant science fiction novelist Michael Crichton is really ruffling the feathers of our intellectual establishment. There is an article in Slate that pulls out all stops in an attempt to denigrate him and his latest novel. Why? Because Crichton casts Greenies as villains and documents at great length the shoddy "science" behind the global warming myth. What they really hate, of course, is that Crichton's great popularity and authoritativeness will bring the Greenie fraud to the attention of millions of people.

Wittingshire has the following apt comment on the matter:

Michael Crichton threw Today Show's Matt Lauer into a metaphysical crisis Tuesday.

Over a novel?

Crichton began his career as a scientist/physician and, according to the press release for his new novel, "STATE OF FEAR raises critical questions about the facts we believe in, without question, on the strength of esteemed experts and the media."

The rhetorical gimmick works like this: "All scientists agree, so shut up and fall into line." In a speech last year at Caltech, Crichton showed how scientists repeatedly used this bullying tactic to prop up theories that were later debunked: "Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had. . . . The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus."


Greenies are always agonizing about the claimed imminent "death" of coral reefs

"Coral reefs could be growing 35 per cent faster by the next century because of global warming, it was claimed yesterday. A new study suggests the effects of warmer waters might offset damage caused by greenhouse gases as higher amounts of dissolved carbon dioxide reduce the levels of calcium and carbonate in seawater needed to make corals.

A team from the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, modelled interactions between the atmosphere, oceans and ice. They calculated the sea’s surface temperature and the levels of calcium carbonate in the water up to 2100 before estimating how these changes would affect the formation of corals. They found that warmer water would increase the rate of coral calcification, outweighing the detrimental effect of lower calcium carbonate levels. By 2100, corals would be growing 35 per cent faster than they do today, they predicted.

But the finding, reported in New Scientist magazine, is rejected by other scientists, who argue that the Australian team did not consider bleaching, which occurs when warmer waters cause corals to expel the algae that live within them and on which they depend for survival."

If this "bleaching" is a problem, isn't it odd that corals live in waters that range widely in temperature? The water gets very warm in shallow tropical seas. How come the corals don't all die there? They in fact flourish there, of course



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


11 December, 2004


Don't hold your breath. This notion of a new deal on climate change is something that Tony Blair has cooked up, with a fair degree of passion, but not yet much claim to reality. The plan has two roots, it seems. The first is the Prime Minister's desire to set his mark during 2005 on Britain's presidency of the G8 - the club of industrialised nations, which indulgently includes Russia. Long ago he earmarked Africa (including Aids) and global warming for the top of his agenda, Washington has acknowledged. "Wouldn't you think he could stick to solving the Middle East and Northern Ireland?" one US official said, with a gibe at yesterday's collapse of a Belfast deal.

The second reason is to solidify Britain's ties with the US, but here he is on shakier ground. "The thing is, the British (team) hasn't yet explained to us why we should really care," said one official close to a senator familiar with the talks. The plan was formed in the first few days of November, after President Bush had been re-elected but before the Prime Minister went to Washington.

The British pitch was tried out first on a visiting team from Congress. "Look how badly the US has suffered internationally from snubbing the Kyoto Protocol. Why don't we try to see if there is some deal the US could sign up to, which would show how it is making strenuous efforts to cut carbon emissions?" That was the thrust of it. It didn't get a very warm response. The congressional team was keen to impress on the Brits that the US's refusal to sign up to Kyoto was not a casual oversight, which would not have been made if the US had foreseen the brickbats that it would receive. The members of Congress did not need European lectures about the "cost" to the US's reputation abroad. Come to that, even if lectures were delivered, they did not much care. The real point, said the team, newly assertive given the strong Republican majority on Capitol Hill, was that Congress would never pass anything resembling Kyoto, even if a president, bewitched by the will-o'-the-wisp of foreign adulation, was crazy enough to put his name to it. Any pledge to cut carbon emissions would cut American jobs. It would give an unjustified boost to developing countries that were not subject to pollution curbs - meaning China and India.

This position, which happens to be exactly in line with the White House's position, has been very convenient for the Bush Administration. It means that Bush does not need to take the blame for the US's stubbornness; he can hide behind the vocal bulk of Congress, even if that is a subtlety lost on activists outside the US.

When Blair arrived in Washington, a few days later, his team presented a more nuanced version of the pitch to Bush's team. Britain could help the US to repair relations with Europe on this front, they argued. It could help the rest of the world to understand that the US was, indeed, working hard to reduce emissions and did take global warming seriously, even if it was not in the Kyoto club.

So what might a non-Kyoto deal on global warming look like? The Blair team have worked hard to fill in this enormous blank. It might include a statement about technologies that could help to combat the emission of greenhouse gases. Yet this could cause problems for Blair, as one of the technologies most able to do so is nuclear power, a subject on which Blair's Government has been energetically non-committal. It might also include an agreement on scientific evidence about global warming, although this, from the US point of view, is controversial. The Bush Administration has not wanted to commit itself to a public statement that science unambiguously determines global warming to be a threat.

Nor has the Blair team yet found a way around the US's main concern: that any deal should bring China and India firmly under its umbrella, in a way that Kyoto does not. Kyoto allows them the forgiving status of "industrialising" countries, although their manufacturing boom - and their share of the world's emissions - makes this look out of date. Nothing that Britain has come up with appears to resemble a plan that would appeal both to the US and to China and India. Yet Blair's support of Bush has bought him at least civility from Washington. During Britain's presidency of the G8, polite evasion seems to be the most likely American response to his bright new idea.


Kyoto Protocol is just lots of hot air

Some wisdom from Russia

ACCORDING to the Kyoto protocol proponents, Australia and the US are the rogue nations. But in the eyes of the absolute majority of the world, they are reasonable and smart. After all, Australia and the US -- along with nine developed countries and 167 other nations -- are refusing to undertake legal obligations in restricting their greenhouse gas emissions. The fact is the Kyoto protocol that will be a global treaty within months is based on fraudulent science. Assertions that global temperatures are higher today than any time in the past are completely false. Fluctuations in climate patterns have existed for millions of years -- for all earth history.

Global temperatures were higher in the Roman times when grapes were grown on British islands and Hannibal's elephants walked through the Alps into Italy. They were higher in the medieval period when the Vikings found and colonised the island that they have called Greenland and when Norwegians grew grain on the fields that are 300m in altitude higher than it is possible to do today.

Temperature variations in the course of the earth's history have been much greater than the increase of 0.6 degrees Celsius estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the last century. In the past, the earth's climate was warmer, the global temperature rose faster, sea level was higher, floods were more severe, droughts lasted longer and hurricanes were more devastating than they were in the 20th century. Moreover, the best available temperature data from satellites show negligible temperature changes over the past several decades.

As pointed out by Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Richard Lindzen, perhaps the world's most respected atmospheric physicist, if global warming were to occur it would be accompanied by reduced rather than increased numbers of severe weather patterns. Pseudo-scientific fabrications cost humankind a lot. Y2K cost consumers worldwide $700 billion. But once December 31, 2000, passed, the hysteria behind Y2K evaporated. The nonsense of global warming triggered by the anthropogenic burning of fossil fuels hypothesis could cost the world economy much more.

The Kyoto treaty means a heavy price in terms of economic growth. Tentative early evidence of this can be seen by examining growth rates of those nations that have and have not enforced restrictions on their emissions. Since 1997, the 17 pro-Kyoto developed nations (15 EU countries, Canada and Japan) have had slower economic growth rates than the 11 non-Kyoto nations (including Australia and the US) -- 1.9 per cent annually compared with 3.3 per cent. There is no way to cheat economic laws -- increase in wealth creation requires more energy.

CO2 is a natural result of the use of fossil fuels that still account for 80 per cent of energy consumed globally. Nuclear energy today is the only commercially viable alternative. But even if green activists and Euro-bureaucrats secretly desire a rapid expansion of nuclear energy, there are still objective limits to how fast hydrocarbons can be replaced. Therefore, limiting emissions means limiting energy consumption, limiting economic activity and limiting technological progress.

Even with Russia on board, the Kyoto treaty will do little to global CO2 emissions considering that 70 per cent of the world's CO2 is emitted by countries not subject to Kyoto restrictions. Moreover, this share is growing as China, India and other non-Kyoto developed and developing countries grow faster than pro-Kyoto ones. Countries around the world must choose what is more important for them -- stagnating, at best, living standards due to Kyoto sclerotic regulations or the rising well-being of billions of people without them.

The Kyoto protocol requires a supranational bureaucratic monster in charge of rationing emissions and, therefore, economic activities. The Kyoto-ist system of quota allocation, mandatory restrictions and harsh penalties will be a sort of international Gosplan, a system to rival the former Soviet Union's. This perhaps explains why it finds such ready support in some quarters. But that's why it should be a warning signal for those who value economic and political freedom.

Last May the Russian Academy of Sciences published its conclusion on Kyoto -- the protocol does not have scientific ground whatsoever. Nobody among Russian decision makers considers the Kyoto protocol either scientifically proven or economically beneficial for the country. The only reasons for Russia's decision to ratify were purely political. For 3 1/2 years, Russia was heavily lobbied by Europeans, Canadians, Japanese and international bureaucrats.

The message for Australians is clear: continued economic growth and rising living standards or make your future and the future of your children a victim of Kyoto-ism, one of the most aggressive, intrusive, destructive ideologies since the collapse of communism and fascism.

(The author, Andrei Illarionov, is chief economic adviser to the president of the Russian Federation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Russian authorities.)



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


10 December, 2004


Some comments by Rush Limbaugh

A new study from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation says that white people are more to blame for global warming. "A new study released by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation suggests that rising temperatures will kill more black citizens than white citizens in the US while claiming African-Americans are less responsible than others for causing so-called global warming." So now even global warming is a racist.... Headline used to be "Women and Minorities Hardest Hit." Now it's just blacks: "Blacks, Period, Hardest Hit."

"The research, conducted by the Oakland, California-based group Redefining Progress, is being billed as the first-ever comprehensive examination of the health and economic impact of climate change on the black population." William Jefferson, Democrat, Louisiana, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation -- this is not the Congressional Black Caucus. They have a foundation. It is the same guys, but they've got a foundation, and William Jefferson said, "We are long past the point where global warming is considered a myth." [sic]

Now, the new report for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation has three main findings. "One: America's black population will be disproportionately burdened by the health effects of global warming. Two: Blacks are less responsible for contributing to global warming than other Americans. Three: Policies designed to mitigate global warming can generate large health and economic benefits for blacks, depending on their implementation."

Well, now, given that this is the Congressional Black Caucus, and given that we know what their politics are, if they think policies designed to end or mitigate global warming will "generate large health and economic benefits for them," what is it they suggest be done? To them, "benefits" all come from the government. Benefits all come from taking from one group of citizens and giving to another.

So they assume that whatever plan we put into effect to fix global warming will include government getting bigger and redistributing benefits. Has this not always been what I said was the point of the environmentalist wackos in the first place, was to grow government? And so now you've got the Congressional Black Caucus getting in on it. Eddie Bernice Johnson, whose last foray into the public was to call for the UN to monitor U.S. elections in November, said, "Time and again, the world's leading atmospheric scientists have warned us about the devastating impact of climate change. We now have irrefutable proof [sic] on its impact on our economy, our way of life, our health, and our children."

"The report claims that more than 160,000 deaths annually can already be attributed to climate change across the world. That figure is likely to increase unless action is taken. More than 70% of blacks live in urban areas which are in violation of federal air pollution standards. Thus more blacks than whites would likely be affected by higher concentrations of toxins in the air."...

one more quote here from the study: "The most direct health effect of climate change will be intensifying heat waves that selectively..." So the heat waves know where they're going! Hang on a minute. "The heat waves that selectively impact poor and urban populations according to the study..." You see, I'm sitting here laughing about it, but this is the kind of stuff, this is no different than the (conspiracy theory) CIA invented AIDS to wipe out the black population. This is no different than some of these cockamamie hare-brain conspiracy theories. So now we're going to have probably P. Diddy and Whoopi Goldberg and whoever else starting national tours saying heat waves target blacks.

More here


"Blair reiterated in an interview with the BBC that "we do want agreement that this is a serious issue and that we need to make progress on it. And so my ambition for the G-8 next year is that we get into a proper dialogue. . In other words, to get a basic agreement of what the science tells us, and secondly then to start a process which will allow us to identify the means of combating it."

Agreement of the sort Blair has in mind might be difficult to come by. Just last month, for example, the underpinnings for Blair's claim that the temperature rise in the northern hemisphere in the last century was the most rapid in the last thousand years have been pretty much undermined -- in a study by a believer in anthropogenic warming.

As Andrew Revkin reported in The New York Times Oct. 5: "A new analysis has challenged the accuracy of a climate timeline showing that recent global warming is unmatched for a thousand years. That timeline, generated by stitching together hints of past temperatures embedded in tree rings, corals, ice layers and other sources, is one strut supporting the widely accepted view that the current warm spell is being caused mainly by accumulating heat-trapping smokestack and tailpipe emissions."

The study by Hans von Storch demonstrated that the famous "hockey stick study" showing stable average global temperatures over the last millennia until a steep rise in the last century was flawed, and that the climate varied a lot more than the hockey stick allowed.

This comports with actual history, and with some common sense.

Consider what the climate was likely like in the fabled time of King Arthur and the Round Table. The myth is believed to have its origins in the lives of a King Arthur in the 5th and 6th Centuries A.D. This Arthur lived in a time when there were vineyards in Britain. Indeed, one reason that Caesar went to Britain in the 1st Century B.C. was to take advantage of its far more equable climate compared with Gaul.

But then things turned bad. It wasn't just the death of the good king in the battle of Camlann (crooked river) around 537 A.D. that caused Britain to enter a dark age. It was, quite literally, that things went dark for a couple years after the massive eruption of Krakatau around 535 A.D. It led to catastrophic global cooling, with two years of unceasing winter that in turn led to starvation and pestilence, and possibly the war in which the real Arthur was killed and out of which the mythological one was born. At any rate, that's something to ponder.

A few hundred years later, though, around 800 A.D., the climate warmed appreciably in what became known as the Medieval Warm Period (PDF). It was during this time that the Vikings raided Britain and set up colonies in Greenland and, possibly, as far west as Nova Scotia or Virginia, if you believe stories of lost tribes.

But climate just never stays the same. And beginning in the 13th Century, a Little Ice Age (PDF) led to the Vikings' withdrawal from their far-flung settlements. The cold period featured terrible flooding from snow melts. It lasted until about the time Prince Albert first took Queen Victoria to Balmoral in 1852. With such a cold beginning, perhaps that's why Queen Elizabeth thinks things have gotten too hot for her estates".

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


9 December, 2004

Suit to de-list endangered species

Bob Briggs' wife's family has owned about 1,000 acres of redwood forest off Waddell Creek since 1913. He doesn't clearcut, and logs about once a decade. He pays the property taxes on the Rancho del Oso land with money from the wood and an organic farm. "If I couldn't farm my property here, if I couldn't harvest my timber from time to time, I would not be in an economic position to keep this land," Briggs said. But coho salmon and steelhead spawn in the creek, so Briggs, 80, said he faces a growing number of restrictions on what he can do with his property, located about seven miles north of Davenport. For example, he said, it took two years and a consultant for him to get a permit to clear a log jam that diverted water over his fields.

Many in the Central Coast Forest Association - a group of about 200 people who own small woodland swaths of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties - share his frustrations, Briggs said. So they have teamed up with a Sacramento law firm and others to challenge the Endangered Species Act listings of salmon and steelhead in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. "All of these regulations and restrictions are not about fish, they're about the government controlling land use," said Briggs, spokesman for the Central Coast group.

The Pacific Legal Foundation recently filed an intent to sue the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, a federal agency responsible for protecting and preserving marine resources. The letter asserts coho salmon and steelhead bred in the wild are genetically identical to those raised in hatcheries, said Russ Brooks, managing attorney for the foundation. Because there is no difference, the filing contends, counters should include both in their tallies and remove the fish from the threatened and endangered species lists. Coho salmon and steelhead spawn in streams and rivers and both are listed as threatened in Santa Cruz County. They also are threatened or endangered around the Pacific Northwest.

In a related development, the Bush administration on Tuesday proposed cutting the federally designated habitat critical to the recovery of threatened and endangered salmon by more than 80 percent in the Northwest and 50 percent in California, focusing protection on rivers where the fish now thrive. Briggs said he looks forward to the relaxed land restrictions his group's lawsuit could provide.

Scientists argue hatchery fish aren't as strong as wild fish. They compete with them for food and threaten the gene pool. Fishermen say the difference between catching a wild and hatchery fish is like that between a wild turkey and a Butterball. But Brooks said the listings are not about fish. Instead, they are a tool to block logging and development.



A Science Magazine essay claiming there is a "scientific consensus" about human-caused "global warming" was ridiculed Monday by a British scientist, who compared such a "consensus" to the near-unanimous elections that existed in the old Soviet Union. On Monday, Benny Peiser, a United Kingdom social anthropologist, called the Dec. 3 essay, "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change," a "disturbing" study. "A one-hundred-percent record of 'scientific consensus' on anthropogenic climate change would be a sensational finding indeed. In fact, such a total result would be even more remarkable than any 'consensus' ever achieved in Soviet-style elections," Peiser noted sarcastically.

The Science Magazine essay analyzed 928 abstracts containing the keyword "climate change," all published in peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003. The essay found that not a single one of the studies showed climate change to be naturally occurring. The essay was written by University of California professor Naomi Oreskes, a member of the University's Department of History and Science Studies Program. According to Oreskes, "None of these (928) papers argued that [current climate change is natural]. This analysis shows that scientists publishing in the peer-reviewed literature agree with [United Nations] IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the National Academy of Sciences, and the public statements of their professional societies," Oreskes wrote. "Politicians, economists, journalists, and others may have the impression of confusion, disagreement, or discord among climate scientists, but that impression is incorrect," she added. "The question of what to do about climate change is also still open. But there is a scientific consensus on the reality of anthropogenic (human caused) climate change. Climate scientists have repeatedly tried to make this clear. It is time for the rest of us to listen," concluded Oreskes.

But Peiser, a senior lecturer in Social Anthropology & Sport Sociology at Liverpool John Moores University and the editor of of CCNet (Cambridge Conference Network) webzine, labeled Oreskes' essay a "disturbing article. Whatever happened to the countless research papers published in the last ten years in peer-reviewed journals that show that temperatures were generally higher during the Medieval Warm Period than today, that solar variability is most likely to be the key driver of any significant climate change and that the methods used in climate modeling are highly questionable?" Peiser asked. "Given the countless papers published in the peer-reviewed literature over the last ten years that implicitly or explicitly disagree with the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming, one can only conclude that all of these were simply excluded from the [Science Magazine] review. That's how it arrived at a 100 percent consensus!" he added.

According to Peiser, Oreskes' assertion that there is a 100 percent consensus about the issue is not backed by science. "Even [former Soviet dictator Joseph] Stalin himself did not take consensus politics to such extremes," Peiser explained. "In the Soviet Union the official 'participation rate' was never higher than 98-99 percent. So how did the results published in Science achieve a 100 percent level of conformity? Regrettably, the article does not include any reference to the [unpublished?] study itself, let alone the methodology on which the research was based. This makes it difficult to check how Oreskes arrived at the truly miraculous results," he added.

Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the free market environmental group Competitive Enterprise Institute, also criticized the idea that there is a "scientific consensus" on "global warming." "Publishing such an easily debunked falsehood in an erstwhile reputable, peer-review publication (Science Magazine) demonstrates either a new low in desperation or a new generation believing there are no checks and therefore no limits," Horner told After all, past nonsense brought increasing taxpayer funding for decades. What would make them think they can't just make things up?" Horner added.

Iain Murray, a senior fellow in International Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, wrote a letter to the editor of Science Magazine questioning why the study was even published. "I was surprised to see Science publish an article crowing over the existence of a scientific consensus on global warming and then advancing the non-sequitur that political action is therefore needed. Neither is a point worthy of consideration in an objective, scientific journal," Murray wrote in his letter to the editor, dated Dec. 6. "...the message of the article -- that politicians must act on the basis of the science -- is clearly a political point rather than a scientific one," Murray continued. "...the argument advanced by the author that 'our grandchildren will surely blame us if they find that we understood the reality of anthropogenic climate change and failed to do anything about it' is barely economically literate and has no place in a scientific journal," he added.


The above story reminds me of this piece of "research" reported in an eminent psychology journal. Although the authors of that study express some pride that they "cast a wide net" in looking for articles to include in their summary, they in fact leave out practically everything that does not suit them. They look only at articles that they like. It is NOT in any way a comprehensive, objective survey of the literature on the subject. For instance, how many of my 200+ published academic journal articles on the subject did they cite? Just two. So just in ignoring the great bulk of my articles on the subject they ignored half the relevant literature. But Leftists always have been good at ignoring evidence. So they concluded that their Leftist approach to the study of politics "has withstood the relentless tests of time and empirical scrutiny" and go on to cite 13 articles that support their approach as evidence for that assertion. If they had been fair and objective, they could also have quoted 100 articles of mine that upset that assertion. But in good Leftist fashion it is only people who support their views that they cite. Any science with Leftist involvement swiftly degenerates into bunk. More on that here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


8 December, 2004

Push towards renewable energy runs out of puff

There is SOME limit to the amount of Greenie nonsense people will put up with

Australia is falling behind other countries in its pursuit of clean energy. Forecasts suggest the proportion of renewable energy - mainly wind and hydro schemes in Australia, but also solar - is declining as the ever-growing demand for electricity is increasingly met by coal-fired power stations. The chief executive of the Australian Wind Energy Association, Libby Anthony, said: "Australia's current energy policy will actually see the market share of renewable energy decline in real terms over the next 10 years." The proportion of energy generated from renewable energy has slipped over the past 20 years, from 20 per cent, primarily from Snowy Hydro, to below 10 per cent. "Countries around the world have embraced clean renewable energies as a significant part of their strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and Australia, the highest per capita greenhouse-gas polluter in the world, has an obligation to do the same," Ms Anthony said. Wind will provide a third of new generating capacity in the European Union this decade, she said. And China has committed to source 17 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2020.

In contrast, Australia's mandatory renewable energy target requires only a 2 per cent increase by 2010, which was based on outdated 1997 projections of Australia's energy needs by that time, Ms Anthony said. The installed capacity of wind turbines was now 379 megawatts, she said. It is expected to grow by 20 per cent a year, with another 324 megawatts under construction, and 415 megawatts approved and at tender stage. Ms Anthony said increasing the mandatory target to 10 per cent by 2010 "would have minimal effect on the economy and would deliver desperately needed jobs and investment to rural and regional Australia".

The target determines how many "renewable certificates" will be issued. Wind farmers can sell the certificates to large energy users, which must meet green targets either by installing green measures or buying certificates. Ms Anthony said her association knew of 4200 megawatts of wind turbine capacity at the feasibility stage that were unlikely to proceed because there were too few certificates.

Others are sceptical about wind and other forms of renewable energy. The outgoing managing director of Energy Australia, Paul Broad, dismisses the contribution wind farms can make. "It's nickel and dime stuff," he said.

But Denmark showed it could be done, Ms Anthony said. It has 5000 wind turbines in giant wind farms. By harnessing North Sea winds it generates electricity for more than 1 million homes, the highest per capita wind energy provision of any country, Greenpeace says. The Danish Government plans to triple wind energy production by 2040 by developing five offshore wind-turbine parks.

There is increasing concern internationally over the noise and visual impact of wind turbines. And in NSW a National Party MP, Duncan Gay, has taken up the cause of the Dooley family, near Crookwell, east of Young. They are fighting plans for another large wind farm, which would leave the family farm surrounded on four sides by wind farms. "Col Dooley compares the sound of the existing eight wind turbines on a windy day to "a stock crate on a gravel road, with its decks down", Mr Gay said.


The green beast is out of control

In campaigning for animal rights, some activists have lost respect for humanity

A sensitive child will always refrain from stepping on ants. Some will burst into tears at the thought of killing one of God's smallest creatures. Kindness to ants is to be encouraged. But not to a ridiculous extent. Sooner or later the child will come to realise one of life's many sad lessons: that if you want to walk around, it is impossible to avoid killing the odd ant. Not so for the increasingly pushy ranks of animal liberationists who seem locked in a childish Eden, in which all animals are sweet and "only man is vile".

The most visible of the animal rights organisations, the US-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has recently turned its sights on Australia. Last month it damaged our $880 million-a-year merino wool export industry by forcing a large US clothing chain to boycott our wool. A vegan organisation which began with campaigns against fur, PETA has been targeting "cruel" Australian rodeos, and last week raised the prospect of running its anti-fishing and anti-fish-eating campaign here on the basis that fish are intelligent and have feelings.

It might seem like a joke but PETA is an ideological organisation committed to winning each of its campaigns and with a pretty good track record so far, exploiting the natural aversion most city dwellers have to thinking too deeply about the origins of that neat piece of steak or plastic-wrapped chicken tenderloin. People in touch with their humanity are, of course, opposed to cruelty to animals.

We are genetically programmed to eat meat, but we cringe at the sight of half-dead lobsters in the fish tanks at the front of seafood restaurants. We seek free-range eggs rather than those laid by battery hens which, by all accounts, lead a bleak existence. We expect humane farming and have been content to fund the RSPCA and animal welfare groups to that end.

But now animal liberation zealots are going too far, and risk losing the goodwill of the public and damaging the animals they profess to protect. The RSPCA, with a proud record of protecting animal welfare in Australia, has become their enemy.

Recently, a university student member of Animal Liberation threw red paint over the RSPCA national president, Hugh Wirth, at a black-tie dinner, in a protest about Pace Farms's eggs. Guests reportedly feared Wirth had been shot or stabbed. One of Wirth's crimes is to state the truth that Animal Liberation's agenda is to force everyone to become vegetarians. In the US, where protests have morphed into terrorism, activists vandalised the house and car of a San Francisco chef who served foie gras, firebombed an apartment complex in San Diego, causing $50 million damage, and regularly smash up McDonald's restaurants, spraying "McKiller" and "meat is murder" on walls. It's an old ploy to make the public arms of the movement, such as PETA, look reasonable, even when they're trying to stop us eating fish.

In its most successful attack in Australia so far, PETA bullied the US clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch into boycotting our wool with a bogus campaign against the age-old farming practice of "mulesing" sheep. While no one would argue the process, which involves cutting off folds of skin around the sheep's anus, is pleasant, it's a lot less painful than what happens to an un-mulesed sheep when attacked by blowflies. But PETA doesn't like mulesing so it targeted more than 20 US clothing retailers, including A&F, showing executives a potential ad campaign featuring the logo "A&F" splattered with blood. Another reads: "Abercrombie or Abercruelty?" The company caved into the blackmail and the Australian wool industry promised to phase out mulesing by 2010, which still didn't satisfy the activists. There is no logic to the boycott against Australian wool but it illustrates the power of eco-warriors and the great cowardice of corporations and their senior managers who have been caving in to all sorts of greenmail lately in order to appease the green beast, funding employees to work as eco-volunteers in the Amazon, for instance.

The effrontery of activists is limitless. One example is that last year a whistleblower sent me a copy of a 16-page letter sent from the offices of Maurice Blackburn Cashman lawyers on behalf of the Climate Action Network. The letter came with a list of 145 Australian and Australian-based companies "given notice by Maurice Blackburn Cashman". From Qantas to Wesfarmers, Foster's and Westfield, the letter warns the company is creating greenhouse emissions and the directors are therefore legally liable. "It would be prudent for your board to assess and, if necessary, address climate risk. A failure to take these steps may raise questions about the fulfilment of the directors' duties under the Corporations Act 2001 and general law." The letter concludes with the insolent request for the company's "plans for assessing and addressing climate risk in the 03-04 financial year and beyond".

The modus operandi for animal liberationists is much the same, seemingly with some success. But in a world in which "meat is murder" the newfound obsession with animal rights is not a sign of a more compassionate society but of one which has lost respect for humanity. It has lost its belief in the soul and free will, which used to distinguish people from animals and gave existence meaning.

The guiding philosophy of animal rightists is that humans are the moral equivalent of animals, no better or worse. Australian philosopher Peter Singer, now a feted professor at Princeton University who advocates infanticide, first mapped out this equivalence in his influential 1975 book Animal Liberation.

Last night the ABC aired a British documentary, starring famed chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall, who expresses a similar view. In the promos, she says: "If you look into the eyes of a chimpanzee you know you're looking into the eyes of a thinking, feeling being. We must redefine man, redefine tool, or accept chimpanzees as humans." The documentary emphasises the fact that we share "98 per cent of our DNA" with chimps. It doesn't point out we share half our DNA with bananas. Where is the Banana Liberation Front?



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


7 December, 2004


Louis Hissink comments:

Finally a short note about Temperature - that property of physical matter that seems to get so much attention these days. Roy Spencer, above, noted that the climate models might be in error. Well there is a fairly obvious error made in estimating the global surface temperature.

It comes about when intensive variables are used as the basis of quantitative analysis and explained in intensive and extensive variables.

Examples of extensive variables are mass, length, area and doing basic arithmetic on them, like addition, is possible. So adding 5 grams of water to 10 grams of water gets you 15 grams of water. No argument about this I suspect.

Examples of intensive variables are ore-grades in grams per tonne, specific gravity or density and temperature. So if I have 5 grams of water at 20 degrees Celsius and 10 grams of water at 30 degrees Celsius does not mean I have 15 grams of water at 50 degrees Celsius. The problem here is that intensive variables are not quantities - you can't go to your local supermarket and buy 20 degrees Celsius of frozen prawns, for example.

And herein lies the fundamental problem of computing the earth's "global temperature" - you cannot simply add up all the mean temperatures, then divide by the total number of measurements to get the overall mean temperature - because intensive variables are not additive. And weighting those temperatures by "urban" effects does not improve the computation.

However the physical quantity which is additive is the amount of thermal energy for a body of atmosphere which is computed as the mass of atmosphere multiplied by its temperature and its specific heat based on the relative humidity of the air when the temperature was recorded. It is a simple concept and usually described in Physics 101 texts as the method of mixtures.

A more accurate estimate is made when the weather stations are assigned to the type of land they are on - and one would need to draw boundaries along urban areas and so forth. These concepts are thoroughly described in any good geotatistical text and not detailed here. Thus each temperature station is assigned an area of influence based on the type of physical environment it is linked to. It is then a simple matter to assign the third dimension to give us volume of atmosphere for that specific area, for which we can measure its density, humidity and temperature. This then allows us to compute the quantity of thermal energy associated with that part of the atmosphere that is linked to a particular weather station. This is repeated for all the rest of the weather stations, divided by the total mass times specific heats to obtain the final global temperature.

This is how the mean global temperature should be estimated. Oh and there is no such thing as an average global temperature either, since one object cannot have an average anything.

Of course simply adding up the temperatures and dividing by the total number of measurements does have a valid physical meaning - it is simply the average temperature of the physical thermometers themselves, assuming physically identical thermometers. The problem is that when a temperature is recorded, it is the thermal state of the thermometer and the mass of substance it is in thermal equilibrium with. The temperature is associated with two physical objects, and estimating the average temperature of the thermometers is one calculation while the temperature of the atmosphere another.

And of course we must not forget the mass of the earth at its temperature, because it too is part of the thermal system that the atmosphere is part of, and so must be factored into the estimate of the global mean surface temperature.

Therefore it is quite possible that the discrepancy between the global surface temperatures and the MSU temperatures of the lower troposphere is the result of faulty computation of the surface temperatures rather than anything else.


The claims get wilder as the contrary evidence piles up

Reuters recently reported that "A study of a 2003 heatwave in Europe may give Pacific islanders and environmentalists new ammunition for legal cases blaming the United States for global warming, advocates said on Thursday."

"Legal cases"! What fun. Just mentioning legal cases is supposed to create the impression of firm evidence, of course. The Article in Nature (PDF) is entitled "Human contribution to the European heatwave of 2003" by Peter A. Stott, D.A. Stone and M.R. Allen. The introduction reads:

The summer of 2003 was probably the hottest in Europe since at latest AD 1500, and unusually large numbers of heat-related deaths were reported in France, Germany and Italy. It is an illposed question whether the 2003 heatwave was caused, in a simple deterministic sense, by a modification of the external influences on climate- for example, increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere- because almost any such weather event might have occurred by chance in an unmodified climate.However, it is possible to estimate by how much human activities may have increased the risk of the occurrence of such a heatwave. Here we use this conceptual framework to estimate the contribution of human-induced increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and other pollutants to the risk of the occurrence of unusually high mean summer temperatures throughout a large region of continental Europe. Using a threshold for mean summer temperature that was exceeded in 2003, but in no other year since the start of the instrumental record in 1851, we estimate it is very likely (confidence level >90%)9 that human influence has at least doubled the risk of a heatwave exceeding this threshold magnitude.

So what does this new evidence amount to? It is no new evidence at all, in fact, It is just a "conceptual framework"! And it is in any case ludicrous to say that they can establish 90% confidence that human influence has anything to do with this. In the Reuters article they quote various environmentalists calling this "evidence" and an "important step". It is in fact just an exercise in number manipulation.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


6 December, 2004


No wonder they signed up

But first a couple of preliminary remarks about the immediate effects of the European mini-Kyoto. Will it reduce emissions? Contrary to what many believe, it will not. On the basis of the allowances allocated to existing facilities covered by the EU emission trading scheme, Fred Singer, the dean of the climate sceptics, forecasts that European industry will be allowed to increase annual CO2 emissions by 5% during the first phase of the scheme (2005 to 2007) relative to their emissions in 2000. Additional allowances will also be available through reserves set aside for the construction of new plants. If all these reserve allowances are issued, then emissions would be permitted to increase by an additional 6%. In total, the first phase of the scheme could therefore allow emissions to increase by up to 11% relative to 2000 levels. And Singer comments: 'These increases are in stark contrast to the commitments of European Member States under the Kyoto Protocol which require a collective reduction in emissions across all EU 15 countries of 8% by 2010 from 1990 levels.'

Moreover, there is this little snag of 'paper compliance'. As David Victor of the Council on Foreign Relations argues, Russia (and Ukraine) agreed in Kyoto to freeze emissions at 1990 levels, but the collapse of the post-Soviet economy in the early 1990s means that their emissions are already far below that target and unlikely to recover fully by 2008. Selling the windfall to nations in emissions deficit could earn Russia (and Ukraine) a considerable sum of money. Since the windfall is free -- completely an artifact of the luck and skill of the diplomats in Kyoto rather than the result of any effort to control emissions -- these extra credits would squeeze out bona fide efforts to control emissions. That buys 'paper compliance' but no reduction in emissions.

So formally the system will run smoothly, but there will be no reductions of emissions. On the contrary, they will still rise. In the mean time there will be a net flow of resources to Russia (and other countries) in order to pay for the emission allowances which Russia does not need for itself. That is a boon for Russia and -- if we take official statements at their face value -- a source of deep satisfaction of European policymakers because it helps Kyoto to enter into force. Whether the average citizen/taxpayer is equally satisfied remains to be seen. Of course, it is true that all European parliaments have approved Kyoto. But did they know the shortcomings of the underlying science? Have they been fully informed by their governments about the costs and benefits of Kyoto? Did they know that Kyoto will result in a net cooling which is so small that even in 2050 it will not be possible to detect it, even with the most sophisticated thermometers? And did they realise that Kyoto is like the proverbial camel's nose: nothing to get excited about in the beginning, but devastating in the end?

It is often argued that CO2 emission trading is in conformity with market principles. However, if we take a closer look, it is not. It requires a prior act of creating and distributing (property) rights (to emit), where no rights existed before. Only governments can do so.

In Europe, national emission ceilings are the outcome of negotiations between the EU member countries and other countries which will join the scheme. Subsequently, individual countries are free to distribute the emission rights nationally according to schemes to their liking......

More here


The results of two research studies announced this week address the infamous discrepancy between satellite and surface thermometer trends over the last 25 years. The original satellite dataset produced by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) now has a warming trend of 0.08 deg. C/decade since 1979, while the surface thermometer trend is two to three times this value. Climate models, in contrast, claim that any surface warming as a result of global warming should be amplified with height, not reduced. This has led to varying levels of concern in the climate community that the theory contained in the climate models might be in error.

As background, a study published earlier this year by Fu et al. (1) attempted to estimate the amount of tropospheric warming by a simple linear combination of the stratospheric and tropospheric channels of the Microwave Sounding Units (MSUs) flying on NOAA polar-orbiting weather satellites. (The troposphere exists from the surface up to a height of around 8-12 miles, the stratosphere overlays it.) Since the tropospheric channel has about 15% influence from the stratosphere -- which has cooled strongly since 1979 -- the tropospheric temperature can only be estimated through removal of the stratospheric component. Fu et al. used radiosonde (weather balloon) data to arrive at an optimum combination of the two channels that, when applied to the satellite observed temperature trends, resulted in a tropospheric warming trend that was larger than that estimated by UAH with a different technique.

In the first article announced this week, Fu & Johansen (2) estimate the stratospheric contribution to the satellite instrument's tropospheric channel through a slightly different method than in their original article. They used previously published radiosonde estimates of temperature trends through the lower and middle stratosphere to estimate the error in their method, as well as the amount of stratospheric cooling contained in the tropospheric channel. While we would prefer to leave detailed comments for a journal article, a couple of general points can be made. For the period they examined (1979-2001), our (UAH) lower tropospheric temperature trend is +0.06 deg. C/decade, while their estimate of the (whole) tropospheric trend is +0.09 deg C/decade. You might notice that the difference between these two trends is small, considering the probable error bounds on these estimates and the fact that the two techniques measure somewhat different layers. Also, their method depends on belief in the radiosonde-measured trends in the lower stratosphere, even though we know there are larger errors at those altitudes than in the troposphere -- and most published radiosonde trends for the troposphere show little or no global warming (!) As is often the case, the press release that described the new study made claims that were, in my view, exaggerated. Nevertheless, given the importance of the global warming issue, this line of research is probably worthwhile as it provides an alternative way of interpreting the satellite data.

The other study (3), published by Simon Tett and Peter Thorne at the UK's Hadley Centre, takes issue with the original Fu et al. method. Tett and Thorne claim that when the technique is applied to variety of radiosonde, reanalysis, and global model simulation datasets in the tropics, it leads to results which are more variable than the UAH technique produces. It also mentions the dependence of the method on the characteristics of the radiosonde data that are assumed.



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


5 December, 2004

What's a lefty eco-activist to do?

America's left wing, anti-corporate, socialist, eco-activists have a terrible dilemma today. Castro-wannabe Hugo Chavez has nationalized Venezuela's oil industry, and his American PR representativces spin fuzzy warm tales of the formerly oppressed masses now enjoying socialist nirvana. One of the messages they tell American lefties is to support Citgo, the American refining company controlled by the Venezuelan state oil company.

The only problem is that the state oil company doesn't bother with state-of-the-art tankers when shipping oil to the Citgo refinery on the Delaware River. An up to date tanker would not have had the ugly oil spill, killing birds and Other Living Things which just took place.

So, for the trendy-lefties the question is: does socialism win (buy Citgo products) or does ecology win (boycott Citgo)?



A team of scientists has condemned claims of climate catastrophe as "fatally flawed" in a report released today. The study appears on the same day that 300 climate scientists warn that winter temperatures in Alaska, western Canada and eastern Russia have risen by up to 4 C in the past 50 years - and could warm by up to 7 C. Martin Agerup, president of the Danish Academy for Future Studies and colleagues from Stockholm, Canada, Iceland and Britain say in their report that predictions of "extreme impacts" based on greenhouse emissions employed "faulty science, faulty logic and faulty economics".

Predictions of changes in sea level of a metre in the next century were overestimates: sea-level rises were likely to be only 10cm to 20cm in the next 100 years. Claims that climate change would lead to a rise in malaria were not warranted. Extreme weather was not on the increase but more likely to be part of a natural cycle, not yet understood by climate scientists. The report says a warmer world would benefit fish stocks in the north Atlantic and reduce the incidence of temperature-related deaths in vulnerable humans.



A very effective rubbishing by George Monbiot of the latest Greenie fad for biofuels based on edible oils. Crop oils are no substitute for petroleum. Alcohol from tropical sugarcane planations is, however. Sugarcane grows extremely well in tropical and subtropical climates and Australia alone could double its production almost overnight without any adverse effects. And it would give poor countries in Africa a cash crop that would be their salvation

The world is finite. This means that when one group of people pursues its own interests, it damages the interests of others. It is hard to think of a better example than the current enthusiasm for biofuels. These are made from plant oils or crop wastes or wood, and can be used to run cars and buses and lorries. Burning them simply returns to the atmosphere the carbon that the plants extracted while they were growing. So switching from fossil fuels to biodiesel and bioalcohol is now being promoted as the solution to climate change.

Next month, the British government will have to set a target for the amount of transport fuel that will come from crops. The European Union wants 2% of the oil we use to be biodiesel by the end of next year, rising to 6% by 2010 and 20% by 2020. To try to meet these targets, the government has reduced the tax on biofuels by 20p a litre, while the EU is paying farmers an extra 45 euros a hectare to grow them. Everyone seems happy about this. The farmers and the chemicals industry can develop new markets, the government can meet its commitments to cut carbon emissions, and environmentalists can celebrate the fact that plant fuels reduce local pollution as well as global warming. Unlike hydrogen fuel cells, biofuels can be deployed straightaway. This, in fact, was how Rudolf Diesel expected his invention to be used. When he demonstrated his engine at the World Exhibition in 1900, he ran it on peanut oil. "The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today," he predicted. "But such oils may become in course of time as important as petroleum." Some enthusiasts are predicting that if fossil fuel prices continue to rise, he will soon be proved right.

I hope not. Those who have been promoting these fuels are well-intentioned, but wrong. They are wrong because the world is finite. If biofuels take off, they will cause a global humanitarian disaster. Used as they are today, on a very small scale, they do no harm. A few thousand greens in the United Kingdom are running their cars on used chip fat. But recycled cooking oils could supply only 100,000 tonnes of diesel a year in this country, equivalent to one 380th of our road transport fuel. It might also be possible to turn crop wastes such as wheat stubble into alcohol for use in cars - the Observer ran an article about this on Sunday. I'd like to see the figures, but I find it hard to believe that we will be able to extract more energy than we use in transporting and processing straw. But the EU's plans, like those of all the enthusiasts for biolocomotion, depend on growing crops specifically for fuel. As soon as you examine the implications, you discover that the cure is as bad as the disease.

Road transport in the UK consumes 37.6m tonnes of petroleum products a year. The most productive oil crop that can be grown in this country is rape. The average yield is 3-3.5 tonnes per hectare. One tonne of rapeseed produces 415kg of biodiesel. So every hectare of arable land could provide 1.45 tonnes of transport fuel. To run our cars and buses and lorries on biodiesel, in other words, would require 25.9m hectares. There are 5.7m in the UK. Even the EU's more modest target of 20% by 2020 would consume almost all our cropland. If the same thing is to happen all over Europe, the impact on global food supply will be catastrophic: big enough to tip the global balance from net surplus to net deficit. If, as some environmentalists demand, it is to happen worldwide, then most of the arable surface of the planet will be deployed to produce food for cars, not people.

This prospect sounds, at first, ridiculous. Surely if there were unmet demand for food, the market would ensure that crops were used to feed people rather than vehicles? There is no basis for this assumption. The market responds to money, not need. People who own cars have more money than people at risk of starvation. In a contest between their demand for fuel and poor people's demand for food, the car-owners win every time. Something very much like this is happening already. Though 800 million people are permanently malnourished, the global increase in crop production is being used to feed animals: the number of livestock on earth has quintupled since 1950. The reason is that those who buy meat and dairy products have more purchasing power than those who buy only subsistence crops.

Green fuel is not just a humanitarian disaster; it is also an environmental disaster. Those who worry about the scale and intensity of today's agriculture should consider what farming will look like when it is run by the oil industry. Moreover, if we try to develop a market for rapeseed biodiesel in Europe, it will immediately develop into a market for palm oil and soya oil. Oilpalm can produce four times as much biodiesel per hectare as rape, and it is grown in places where labour is cheap. Planting it is already one of the world's major causes of tropical forest destruction. Soya has a lower oil yield than rape, but the oil is a by-product of the manufacture of animal feed. A new market for it will stimulate an industry that has already destroyed most of Brazil's cerrado (one of the world's most biodiverse environments) and much of its rainforest.

It is shocking to see how narrow the focus of some environmentalists can be. At a meeting in Paris last month, a group of scientists and greens studying abrupt climate change decided that Tony Blair's two big ideas - tackling global warming and helping Africa - could both be met by turning Africa into a biofuel production zone. This strategy, according to its convenor, "provides a sustainable development path for the many African countries that can produce biofuels cheaply". I know the definition of sustainable development has been changing, but I wasn't aware that it now encompasses mass starvation and the eradication of tropical forests. Last year, the British parliamentary committee on environment, food and rural affairs, which is supposed to specialise in joined-up thinking, examined every possible consequence of biofuel production - from rural incomes to skylark numbers - except the impact on food supply.

We need a solution to the global warming caused by cars, but this isn't it. If the production of biofuels is big enough to affect climate change, it will be big enough to cause global starvation.



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


4 December, 2004


Cheat Seeker has the goods. One excerpt:

"The more significant of the two stories is the LA Times piece, which focuses on a Bush administration proposal to cut critical habitat for two endangered fish species by as much as 80 percent. Bear with me; this really is interesting. Critical habitat is the front in the battle between the grab-everything/sue-everyone faction of the environmental movement and anyone-who-wants-to-build-anything-anywhere. It is a skirmish that shows just how intense and intelligent the radical greens are in their effort to de-populate the West."

Meteorologist Likens Fear of Global Warming to 'Religious Belief'

An MIT meteorologist Wednesday dismissed alarmist fears about human induced global warming as nothing more than 'religious beliefs.' "Do you believe in global warming? That is a religious question. So is the second part: Are you a skeptic or a believer?" said Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Richard Lindzen, in a speech to about 100 people at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. "Essentially if whatever you are told is alleged to be supported by 'all scientists,' you don't have to understand [the issue] anymore. You simply go back to treating it as a matter of religious belief," Lindzen said. His speech was titled, "Climate Alarmism: The Misuse of 'Science'" and was sponsored by the free market George C. Marshall Institute. Lindzen is a professor at MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.

Once a person becomes a believer of global warming, "you never have to defend this belief except to claim that you are supported by all scientists -- except for a handful of corrupted heretics," Lindzen added. According to Lindzen, climate "alarmists" have been trying to push the idea that there is scientific consensus on dire climate change. "With respect to science, the assumption behind the [alarmist] consensus is science is the source of authority and that authority increases with the number of scientists [who agree.] But science is not primarily a source of authority. It is a particularly effective approach of inquiry and analysis. Skepticism is essential to science -- consensus is foreign," Lindzen said.

Alarmist predictions of more hurricanes, the catastrophic rise in sea levels, the melting of the global poles and even the plunge into another ice age are not scientifically supported, Lindzen said. "It leads to a situation where advocates want us to be afraid, when there is no basis for alarm. In response to the fear, they want us to do what they want," Lindzen said.

Recent reports of a melting polar ice cap were dismissed by Lindzen as an example of the media taking advantage of the public's "scientific illiteracy." "The thing you have to remember about the Arctic is that it is an extremely variable part of the world," Lindzen said. "Although there is melting going [on] now, there has been a lot of melting that went on in the [19]30s and then there was freezing. So by isolating a section ... they are essentially taking people's ignorance of the past," he added.

'Repetition makes people believe'

The climate change debate has become corrupted by politics, the media and money, according to Lindzen. "It's a sad story, where you have scientists making meaningless or ambiguous statements [about climate change]. They are then taken by advocates to the media who translate the statements into alarmist declarations. You then have politicians who respond to all of this by giving scientists more money," Lindzen said. "Agreement on anything is taken to infer agreement on everything. So if you make a statement that you agree that CO2 (carbon dioxide) is a greenhouse gas, you agree that the world is coming to an end," he added.

"There can be little doubt that the language used to convey alarm has been sloppy at best," Lindzen said, citing Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbles and his famous observation that even a lie will be believed if enough people repeat it. "There is little question that repetition makes people believe things [for] which there may be no basis," Lindzen said. He believes the key to improving the science of climate change lies in altering the way scientists are funded.

'Alarm is the aim'

"The research and support for research depends on the alarm," Lindzen told following his speech. "The research itself often is very good, but by the time it gets through the filter of environmental advocates and the press innocent things begin to sound just as though they are the end of the world. "The argument is no longer what models are correct -- they are not -- but rather whether their results are at all possible. One can rarely prove something to be impossible," he explained.

Lindzen said scientists must be allowed to conclude that 'we don't have a problem." And if the answer turns out to be 'we don't have a problem,' we have to figure out a better reward than cutting off people's funding. It's as simple as that," he said. The only consensus that Lindzen said exists on the issue of climate change is the impact of the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty to limit greenhouse gases, which the U.S. does not support. Kyoto itself will have no discernible effect on global warming regardless of what one believes about climate change," Lindzen said. "Claims to the contrary generally assume Kyoto is only the beginning of an ever more restrictive regime. However this is hardly ever mentioned," he added.

The Kyoto Protocol, which Russia recently ratified, aims to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by the year 2010. But Lindzen claims global warming proponents ultimately want to see a 60 to 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gasses from the 1990 levels. Such reductions would be economically disastrous, he said. "If you are hearing Kyoto will cost billions and trillions," then a further reduction will ultimately result in "a shutdown" of the economy, Lindzen said.


There Is NO Man-Made Global Warming

By Tom DeWeese

There is no scientific evidence to back claims of man-made global warming. Period. Anyone who tells you that scientific research shows warming trends -- be they teachers, newscasters, congressmen, senators, vice presidents or presidents -- is wrong. In fact, scientific research through U.S. government satellite and balloon measurements shows that the temperature is actually cooling -- very slightly -- 0.037 degrees Celsius. A little research into modern-day temperature trends bears this out. For example, in 1936, the Midwest of the United States experienced 49 consecutive days of temperatures over 90 degrees. There were another 49 consecutive days in 1955. But in 1992, there was only one day over 90 degrees and, in 1997, only five days. Because of modern science and improved equipment, this "cooling" trend has been most accurately documented over the past 18 years. Ironically, that's the same period of time the hysteria has grown over dire warnings of "warming."

Changes in global temperatures are natural. In fact, much of the recent severe weather has been directly attributed to a natural phenomenon that occurs every so often called El Nino. It causes ocean temperatures to rise as tropical trade winds actually reverse for a time. The resulting temperature changes cause severe storms, flooding and even drought on every continent on earth. It's completely natural. El Nino has been wreaking its havoc across the globe since long before man appeared.

How about the reports that the polar ice cap is melting? On Election Day, the Financial Times of London carried the hysterical headline: "Arctic Ice Cap Set to Disappear by the Year 2070." The article stated that the Arctic ice cap is melting at an unprecedented rate. The article is based on a report titled "Impacts of a Warming Arctic," submitted by a group of researchers called the Arctic Climate Impact Assessement (ACIA).

It must be understood just who makes up this so-called group of researchers. The report is not unbiased scientific data. Rather, it is propaganda from political groups that have an agenda. The report was commissioned by the Arctic Council, which is comprised of a consortium of radical envionmentalists from Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. All are nations that possess land within the Arctic Circle. Many of these countries, through the Kyoto Protocol, have a financial stake in pushing the global warming agenda. One of the groups providing "scientists" to the ACIA "researchers" is the World Wildlife Fund, one of the leading chicken-little scaremongers that create junk science at the drop of a news release to terrify us all into proper environmental conduct.

The report is now being used at the global warming meeting currently underway in Buenos Aires to rally the troops and bully the United States into accepting the discredited Kyoto Protocol. We are being warned of killer heat waves, vast flooding and the spread of tropical diseases. Ocean levels are rising, and America's coastlines are doomed, they tell us. Hurricanes and tornadoes have already become more violent, we're warned. Floods and droughts have begun to ravage the nation, they cry. Any change in temperatures, an excessive storm or extended flooding is looked upon as a sure sign that environmental armageddon is upon us. Diabolical environmentalists are using the natural El Nino phenomenon to whip people into a global warming hysteria.

Two kinds of scientists

We are assured by such groups that scientists everywhere are sounding these warnings and that we may only have one chance to stop it. Well, as the debate rages, we find that there are really two kinds of scientists. There are those who look at facts and make their judgments based on what they see and know. Their findings can be matched by any other scientist, using the same data and set of circumstances to reach the same conclusions. It's a age-old practice called "peer review." It's the only true science.

And then, there are those who yearn for a certain outcome and set about creating the needed data to make it so. Usually, you will find this group of scientists greatly dependent on grants supplied by those with a specific political agenda who demand desired outcomes for their money. Let's just take NASA, for example -- the most trusted name in American science. A lot of NASA scientists have fallen into the money trap. Environmental science has become the life-blood of the space program as the nation has lost interest in space travel. To keep the bucks coming, NASA has justified launches through the excuse of earth-directed environmental research. And the budgets keep coming. At the same time, many of NASA's scientists have a political agenda in great harmony with those who advocate global warming. And they're not above using their position to aid that agenda whenever the chance is available.

This was never more clearly demonstrated than in 1992, when a team of three NASA scientists was monitoring conditions over North America to determine if the ozone layer was in danger. Inconclusive data indicated that conditions might be right for ozone damage over North America -- if certain things happened. True scientists are a careful lot. They study, they wait, and many times, they test again before drawing conclusions. Not so the green zealot. Of this three-member NASA team, two could not be sure of what they had found and wanted to do more research. But one took the data and rushed to the microphones with all of the drama of a Hollywood movie and announced in hushed tones that NASA had discovered an ozone hole over North America.

Then Sen. Al Gore rushed to the floor of the Senate with the news and drove a stampede to immediately ban freon -- five years before Congress had intended -- and without a suitable substitute. He then bullied President George H.W. Bush to sign the legislation by saying the ozone hole was over Kennebunkport, Maine, Bush's favorite vacation spot. Two months later, NASA announced -- on the back pages of the newspapers -- that further research had shown there was no such damage. But it was too late. The valuable comodity known as freon was gone forever.

Flawed computer models

Then there are those computer models. Night after night, Americans watch the local news as the weatherman predicts what kind of a day tomorrow will be. These meteorologists, using the most up-to-date equipment available, boldly give you the five-day forecast. But it's well known that even with all of their research and expensive equipment, it really is just a "best guess." There are just too many variables. If the wind picks up here, it could blow in a storm. If the temperature drops there, it could start to snow. The earth is a vast and wondrous place. Weather does what it wants. Yet those who are promoting the global warming theory have the audacity to tell you they can forecast changes in the global climate decades into the future.

The truth is that computer models are able to include only two out of 14 components that make up the climate system. To include the third component would take a computer a thousand times faster than what we have now. To go beyond the third component requires an increase in computer power that is so large, only mathematicians can comprehend the numbers. Moreover, even if the computer power existed, scientists do not understand all the factors and the relationships between them that determine the global climate.

So it's an outrage for the World Wildlife Fund or the Sierra Club to tell you that man-made global warming is a fact and that we Americans must now suffer dire changes in our lifestyle to stop it.

Scientists are not on the global warming bandwagon

And so, too, is it an outrage for the news media to tell you that most true scientists now agree that man-made global warming is a fact. What it doesn't tell you is that roughly 500 scientists from around the world signed the Heidleburg Appeal in 1992, just prior to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, expressing their doubts and begging the delegates not to bind the world to any dire treaties based on global warming. Today, that figure has grown to more than 4,000 scientists. Americans aren't being told that a 1997 Gallup Poll of prominent North American climatologists showed that 83 percent of them disagreed with the man-made global warming theory.

And the deceit knows no bounds. The United Nations released a report at the end of 1996 saying global warming was a fact, yet before releasing the report, two key paragraphs were deleted from the final draft. Those two paragraphs, written by the scientists who did the actual scientific analysis, said:

1. "[N]one of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed climate changes to increases in greenhouse gases."

2. "[N]o study to date has positively attributed all or part of the climate change to ... man-made causes."

Obviously, those two paragraphs aren't consistent with the political agenda the U.N. is pushing. So, science be damned. Global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the people of the world -- bar none...........

Global raid on American wealth

But perhaps you still are not convinced. Maybe you still cling to the idea that such drastic action is necessary -- that those pushing the global warming agenda are truly in a panic over global warming and are just trying to find a solution. If you are one of these people, ask yourself: Why does the Kyoto Protocol only bind developed nations to draconian emission levels? Undeveloped Third World nations would be free to produce whatever they want. These would include China, India, Brazil and Mexico. Yet 82 percent of the projected emissions growth in future years would come from these countries.

Now ask yourself: If the Kyoto Climate Change Protocol is all about protecting the environment, then how come it doesn't cover everybody? The truth, of course, is that the treaty is really about redistribution of the wealth. The wealth of the United States is, and has always been, the target. The new scheme to grab the loot is through environmental scare tactics. And international corporations that owe allegiance to no nation would bolt America and move their factories lock, stock and computer chip to those Third World countries, where they would be free to carry on production.

But that means the same emissions would be coming out of the jungles of South America instead of Chicago. So where is the protection of the environment? You see, it's not about that, is it?........

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


3 December, 2004


Local know-alls restrict the building of new houses so that drives up the price. So new regulations are introduced in an attempt to reverse some of the same price-rise. It will lead to corruption, of course, as people use any non-monetary way they can to get into the artificially low priced homes

Hoping to get a leg up on rising home prices, Davis is climbing the economic ladder to reach the next rung of families who need help finding affordable housing: those earning nearly $100,000. The City Council has approved a plan requiring builders to make 25 percent of homes in new developments affordable for middle-income buyers, defined as families of four who earn $72,240 to $96,320 annually. The rule is on top of an existing 25 percent requirement for low-and moderate-income buyers, who earn $30,100 to $72,240 for a four-member household.

In addition, officials want folks who work in Davis to get first dibs on the affordable homes. Some who don't work, however - including retirees and those with disabilities - also would get preferences. Meanwhile, the city is studying a cap that would limit residential growth to 250 units annually.

While other California cities and counties have similar "inclusionary housing" ordinances targeting families with very low to moderate incomes, Davis is believed to be the only one in the state to extend help to core middle-class households. "Middle income" is defined as 80 percent to 120 percent of the annual Yolo County median income of $60,200 for a family of four. (The median is the point at which half the households earn more, half less.) "We're very excited about it," Mayor Ruth Asmundson said. "This council has been saying we want the people who work in Davis to be able to live in Davis to maintain the quality of life we have. They have to have a vested interest in the community."

After two years of study and public discussion, the City Council approved the new affordable housing rules in concept last month. Staff members are working out key details - including how to give preferences for affordable units - for formal ordinances to be heard early next year, Community Development Director Bill Emlen said.

Basic economic principles of supply and demand are squeezing solid middle-class home buyers in Davis. Relatively low crime and top schools draw many newcomers to the city of about 62,000. Meanwhile, a strong community desire for slow growth has resulted in steep housing prices for even well-educated professionals. "We're talking about folks like nurses, police officers, firefighters, teachers and administrative personnel at UC Davis," Emlen said. "Some professors even fall into that category, depending on where they're at in their tenure." A consultant hired by the city to study the needs of middle-income families found a growing gap between earnings and housing costs. The study said median income in Yolo County since 1995 increased 37 percent, from $44,000 to $60,200. Meanwhile, the average home price in Davis increased 140 percent, from $191,600 to $461,163. The consultant also found that middle-income families in Davis could afford homes costing $282,000 to $387,000. However, in March, the median sales price for all homes in the city was $425,000.

The result is that many who work in Davis - and earn too much to qualify for low-or moderate-income housing - commute from homes in Dixon, Sacramento and Woodland, Asmundson said. To increase housing opportunities in Davis, the council agreed that 25 percent was a reasonable target for middle-income buyers, she said. "Since this hasn't been done before, we need to be cautious ... but my hope is that the percentage can keep going up," Asmundson said. "We want to keep looking for ways so people who work here can live here."

Meanwhile, city officials see the proposed annual limit of 250 new units - which is slightly lower than the current rate - as both a target and a cap for residential growth. Emlen said the goal is to "set a parameter for metered growth" that will help the city avoid boom-and-bust development cycles.

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Compared to the massive heat pouring from earth's core, any effect of carbon dioxide is the merest fleabite. Article reproduced from here. See the original for links

As far as the earth is concerned, and from a geological perspective, 99% of the earth's mass is hotter than 1000 degrees Celsius, and 1% of the earth's mass cooler than 100 degrees celsius - statistics here.

The temperature of space is about 2.7 degrees Kelvin, or expressed in the Celsius scale, approximately -269 degrees Celsius. Therefore the net heat loss from the earth to space is enormous, from which space could be thought as an almost infinite heat sink. And fluctuations of this heat source will overwhelm anything that humanity thinks it could contribute.

And why are we not being cooked to a frazzle on the earth's surface by this enormous mass of matter at a temperature greater than 1000 Degrees Celsius underneath us? Since the temperature gradient between the earth and space is somewhat steep, one wonders about the scientific basis of climate science and the hypothetical construct of anthropogenic CO2 induced global warming, given the overwhelming contribution that the earth's interior makes to the surface temperature of the earth and to space's ability to absorb all this thermal energy.

Given the mass of the solid earth is somewhat greater than that of the atmosphere, of which 0.033 percent is CO2, a simple physics 101 calculation of the heat balance might suggest that the contribution by CO2 to the earth's surface temperature is, for practical purposes, irrelevant. Are these scientific facts incorporated into the climate models? No, for which self respecting climatologist would study geology - the necessary background for miners of coal, oil, metals and industrial minerals.

C02 contributes nothing to the "Greenhouse effect" in practical terms, see here . Climate scientists and the Greens are not repositioning the deck chairs on the Titanic, they are actually screaming about the position of specks of dust on the armrests of those deck chairs.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


2 December, 2004


Making other people pay for Greenie preferences seems like it is coming to an end

Over the past three decades, Oregon has earned a reputation for having the most restrictive land-use rules in the nation. Housing was grouped in and near the cities, while vast parcels of farmland and forests were untouched by so much as a suburban cul-de-sac. Environmentalists and advocates for "smart growth" cheered the ever-growing list of rules as visionary, while some landowners, timber companies and political allies cried foul.

But in a matter of days, the landowners will get a chance to turn the tables. Under a ballot measure approved on Nov. 2, property owners who can prove that environmental or zoning rules have hurt their investments can force the government to compensate them for the losses - or get an exemption from the rules. Supporters of the measure, which passed 60 percent to 40 percent, call it a landmark in a 30-year battle over property rights. "I've been getting calls from California, Idaho, Washington, Alaska and Wisconsin," said Ross Day, a Portland lawyer for the conservative group Oregonians in Action who co-wrote the law, Ballot Measure 37. "They all want to find out what our secret recipe was to get it passed."

Whatever the benefits of Oregon's land-use rules, Mr. Day added, "the people paying the cost are property owners.... If Enron does something like this, people call it theft," he said. "If Oregon does it, they call it land-use planning."...

Conservatives across the country have championed the idea of compensation for aggrieved landowners since at least the mid-1990's and the 1994 Republican "Contract With America." Four states have laws dating from that period that provide some compensation for affected property owners. "In Oregon, they're serious," said Michael M. Berger, a partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. "It helps make people sit up and take notice that this is something they have to deal with. This is a big shock to the body politic - it's a very red-state thing to do, and Oregon is very blue, so this shows it cut across everyone."

Both sides expect the measure to survive judicial scrutiny, and the state and local governments are to start fielding claims on Dec. 2. If claims are found to be valid and the government will not or cannot pay, it must instead waive any restrictions that went into force after the owners - or their parents or grandparents - acquired the land.

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GM crops are no more harmful to the environment than conventional plant varieties, a major UK study has found. The Bright project looked at varieties of sugar beet and winter oil-seed rape which had been engineered to make them tolerant of specific herbicides. The novel crops were compared with non-GM cereals grown in rotation. The project concluded that the GM varieties, used in this way, did not deplete the soil of weed seeds needed by many birds and other wildlife.

The findings of the Botanical and Rotational Implications of Genetically Modified Herbicide Tolerance (Bright) Link project were released on Monday. Bright was designed to mimic normal agricultural practice, and measure how these GM crops would perform when used in a typical crop rotation pattern over four years. Not only did the project find no evidence of seed depletion, it also pointed to potential benefits for farmers of growing the GM crops. "What we have shown is that in the case of these two crops, there are ways of managing them which are quite practical, and farmers can deal with them quite readily," the study's scientific co-ordinator Dr Jeremy Sweet told BBC News. "There appear to be some management advantages in the flexibility of the herbicide usage; there could well be cost-benefit advantages, depending on the price of the herbicides and seeds when the crops are commercialised. So there do appear to be a number of reasons why farmers might be quite interested in growing these crops."

However, there is little prospect of GM crops being introduced into the UK in the short-term. Earlier this year another major trial, the Farm-Scale Evaluations or FSEs, found that two GM varieties, a sugar beet and a spring rape, were more damaging to biodiversity than conventional crops. There were fewer insect groups, such as bees and butterflies, recorded among the novel plants. A GM maize, on the other hand, appeared to do better than its conventional cousin. Following the FSE results, Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett announced that companies wishing to bring GM crops into the UK would have to go through a long approval process. Subsequently, Bayer CropScience, the only company with outstanding applications for government permission, withdrew those applications.

Nevertheless, Bright will help biotech companies and proponents of GM agriculture argue that the crops should not be banned on environmental grounds. The European Union has indicated that member countries will in the future have to base decisions on whether or not to permit GM agriculture on science rather than public opinion.....

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


1 December, 2004


Because it is really just another natural weather system, the ozone hole continues to fluctuate as wildly as it ever did, despite all the bans on refrigerants and other chemicals. Its maximum size from year to year has not diminished at all. As is reported here, the hole was at its biggest in 2000 -- well after CFCs had been banned. Even more interesting, however was that in 2002 the hole shrank so much that it disappeared -- being replaced by two much smaller holes. Then in 2003 it was back at its second largest size ever. Extreme changes like that clearly indicate random natural fluctuation rather than systematic influence from ozone or anything else man-made. But Greenies are still on the attack anyway:

"The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) launched a campaign Tuesday to convince supermarkets in the United States to stop selling food, such as tomatoes, strawberries and nuts, grown or treated with the chemical methyl bromide. Used as a pesticide and soil fumigant, methyl bromide is considered the most potent chemical still in widespread use that depletes the Earth's protective ozone layer.

The international non-profit organization said it plans to investigate the supply chains for major supermarkets and campaign to have products produced with methyl bromide removed from shelves across the nation. "There are viable alternatives to the use of methyl bromide," said EIA President Allan Thornton. "Supermarket chains such as Safeway, Whole Foods, Albertsons, Kroger and Wal-Mart need to ensure that their shelves are free of produce grown or treated with this deadly chemical. We will be writing to major supermarkets to ask them to stop supporting the continued use of methyl bromide."

The depleted ozone layer allows more cancer causing ultra-violet solar radiation to strike the Earth, increasing the incidence of skin cancer. And methyl bromide also should be shelved for its other harmful effects on public health, the EIA said. Direct exposure can result in headaches, nausea, chest and abdominal pain, respiratory failure, and even death. Many strawberry and tomato fields treated with methyl bromide are located so near as to endanger homes, schools, and churches. The chemical has been identified as a source of occupational illness for farm workers who are exposed to it. The EIA's action is timed to coincide with a meeting this week in Prague of Parties to the Montreal Protocol, the international accord that aims to phase out use of ozone depleting chemicals, including methyl bromide.

Methyl bromide production has already been cut by some 30 percent of peak 1991 levels under the Montreal treaty, which the United States ratified in 1988 during the administration of President Ronald Reagan. The remaining 30 percent is to be phased out by January 1, 2005, except for uses that the treaty parties agree are "critical." The Bush administration has drawn criticism from environmentalists for negotiating a change in the treaty that has slowed the pace of the U.S. methyl bromide phase out. The phase out covers such uses as fumigation of soils and pest control on farms. But other pest-control purposes, involving exports of commodity crops, animal fodder, cut flowers, hides and consignments in wooden pallets, are exempted from the international phase out. Some experts estimate that close to a fifth of methyl bromide use worldwide could be excluded from control measures under these quarantine and pre-shipment exemptions, and they warn that the amounts used are even growing in some regions...... "


And it's no wonder the Greenies want to ban the stuff: A total ban would be very disruptive

There is no known single alternative fumigant, chemical, or other technology that can readily substitute for methyl bromide in efficacy, low cost, ease of use, wide availability, worker safety, and environmental safety below the ozone layer. Research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicates that multiple alternative control measures will be required to replace the many essential uses of methyl bromide. For preplant uses, such measures include combinations of fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides; other fumigants; and nonchemical alternatives, including cultural changes in cropping systems, resistant crops, and biological control. For some quarantine and export applications, effective replacements include irradiation, heat, cold, and controlled atmosphere treatments.

The effective application of a single alternative control measure or combination will generally be limited to a specific crop or use because specific crops have widely varying requirements and because of variations in target pests, soil types, climates, and state and local regulations.


Even if the Greenies got their way it would have minimal effect

Note: "Only about a fifth of the methyl bromide that enters the atmosphere comes from human activity" and "Methyl bromide persists for less than a year in the atmosphere, so measures taken now can have an immediate effect." (Source)

The economics of the ban

Production of the gas - scheduled to be banned in the United States as of January 1, 2001 - has already been frozen at 1991 levels. A global phaseout is to be completed ten years later, with exemptions for its use in developing countries. What that means, say farmers, is that America will be at a distinct disadvantage in the global marketplace unless the ban is lifted or an alternative to methyl bromide is found. (Source)

Banning it solves a nonexistent problem

"The main pretext for the ban on this essential compound is the assertion by ``300 scientists'' that it is ``50 times more effective at destroying ozone than the chlorine from CFCs.'' The EPA claims that up to 90% of the methyl bromide used for agricultural purposes finds its way into the atmosphere.

The Methyl Bromide Working Group ( notes that up to 80% of the methyl bromide in the atmosphere comes from natural sources (oceans and biomass burning). Moreover, methyl bromide is destroyed by soil bacteria and chemical processes in the atmosphere (mean residence time about a year) and absorbed by the ocean.

This argument is completely irrelevant because there is no evidence of a net sustained downward trend in stratospheric ozone or upward trend in ultraviolet radiation at earth's surface. But again the hypothetical threat to the Planet trumps the clear and present danger from microbes, pests, and starvation".


Ozone levels have always fluctuated

"Other scientific papers have confirmed that the ozone depletion theory is wrong. The Norwegian science magazine From the World of Physics, for example, published a thorough review of ozone science by Thormod Henriksen from the Institute of Physics at the University of Oslo, which presents evidence that the ozone layer was thinner in the 1940s than today!

Norway has several of the ozone measuring stations that have been operating continuously for the longest periods of time, and these are managed by some of the most qualified scientists in the field. Thus, Norway has some of the best, consistent data for a historical analysis of ozone trends. Henriksen describes the history of ozone research in Norway, and analyzes the ozone data starting in the 1940s. Figure 1 compares measurements done at the Dombaas research center in two periods: 1940-1946 and 1978-1994. As can be seen, the ozone layer went through a thinning process in the 1940s similar to that occurring now, with the exception, as noted by Henriksen, that "the ozone layer over southern Norway was thinner in the period between 1940 to 1946 than it is today." Henriksen also points out that the level of ultraviolet (UV) radiation have hardly changed"



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.