Warmist crooks above: Keith "One tree" Briffa; Michael "Bristlecone" Mann; James "data distorter" Hansen; Phil "data destroyer" Jones -- Leading members in the cabal of climate quacks

Against the long history of huge temperature variation in the earth's climate (ice ages etc.), the .6 of one degree average rise reported for the entire 20th century by the United Nations (a rise so small that you would not be able to detect such a difference personally without instruments) shows in fact that the 20th century was a time of exceptional temperature stability.

There is an "ascetic instinct" (or perhaps a "survivalist instinct") in many people that causes them to delight in going without material comforts. Monasteries and nunneries were once full of such people -- with the Byzantine stylites perhaps the most striking example. Many Greenies (other than Al Gore and his Hollywood pals) have that instinct too but in the absence of strong orthodox religious committments they have to convince themselves that the world NEEDS them to live in an ascetic way. So their personal emotional needs lead them to press on us all a delusional belief that the planet needs "saving".

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30 April, 2010

An "Alternative" energy source?

It's just a more efficient fuel cell -- i.e. it converts gas into electricity directly -- an old idea. And at $800,000 each it's so far from economic viability as to be laughable. And you've still got to pump the gas from somewhere

Over the past several years, there’s been no shortage of talk about alternative energy, and its potential to change the world. The problem is that most of it is just that — talk. But tonight, a report that aired on 60 Minutes showed one alternative that is not only real, it’s already being tested by companies such as Google and eBay. You simply have to watch this.

Bloom Energy are producing tiny fuel cell boxes they call “Bloom Boxes.” Two of these can apparently power a U.S. home (and only one for homes in countries that use less power). So how small are they? Look at the picture above, each device isn’t much bigger than a standard brick. Of course, they need to be surrounded by a larger unit that takes in an energy source (such as natural gas). But still, these units look to be about the size of a refrigerator and can easily fit outside of a home, providing it with clean, cheap energy.

Currently, these boxes cost some $700,000-$800,000, but eventually, founder K.R. Sridhar envisions one in every home — and he thinks he can get the cost below $3,000 for a unit to make that happen. And he’s talking a 5 to 10 year timeframe for this.

Naturally, there are plenty who are skeptical of something like this ever working. There have been no shortage of fuel cell ideas over the years, but none get their own segment on 60 Minutes showing working units. And none get to highlight the fact that they’re already installed at companies like Google, eBay, FedEx and others. In fact, four of these Bloom Boxes have apparently been powering a Google datacenter for the past 18 months. eBay says their five boxes have saved them over $100,000 in electricity costs over the past nine months.

Bloom Energy also has former Secretary of State Colin Powell on its board of directors, and he talked up the Bloom Boxes on 60 minutes tonight also. And the company has something in the neighborhood of $400 million in funding from the likes of Kleiner Perkins and others. Kleiner’s John Doerr is also featured heavily in the 60 Minutes segment, talking about why he thinks this company can change the world perhaps even in a more profound way that another company he backed, Google, has. Bloom Energy was Kleiner’s first green tech investment.


Green or Not So Green?

By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”

Ecologist Kenneth Watt made that statement on the inaugural Earth Day in 1970. The “peak oil” warning has been going on long before that, but here we are ten years after Watt’s deadline and we’re globally consuming 85 million barrels of oil per day with increasing amounts of proven reserves each year.

Three decades ago, proven oil reserves were 645 billion barrels; five years ago it was 1.28 trillion and in 2009 it was 1.34 trillion. Yet the push to transition to renewable, allegedly cleaner sources of energy has never been stronger. The question to ask is: why?

A large part of the answer, and the justification for subsidies, tax credits and mandates for renewables, is that they will help cool our planet’s fever. Setting aside the debate of whether our planet is in need of any remedy, the truth is what the government selects as green energy isn’t as green they promote. Robert Bryce, author of the new book, Power Hungry: The Myths of ‘Green’ Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future, explains:
Unfortunately, solar and wind technologies require huge amounts of land to deliver relatively small amounts of energy, disrupting natural habitats. Even an aging natural gas well producing 60,000 cubic feet per day generates more than 20 times the watts per square meter of a wind turbine. A nuclear power plant cranks out about 56 watts per square meter, eight times as much as is derived from solar photovoltaic installations.

The real estate that wind and solar energy demand led the Nature Conservancy to issue a report last year critical of “energy sprawl,” including tens of thousands of miles of high-voltage transmission lines needed to carry electricity from wind and solar installations to distant cities.

Nor does wind energy substantially reduce CO2 emissions. Since the wind doesn’t always blow, utilities must use gas- or coal-fired generators to offset wind’s unreliability. The result is minimal — or no — carbon dioxide reduction.”

But it’s actually worse than that. The intermittency of wind forces coal and gas-fired plants to operate inefficiently and actually increase emissions. This has proven to be the case in Colorado and Texas, two states that have adopted a renewable portfolio standard, which mandates that wind be included in the state’s electricity supply. A new study from the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States finds that:
Coal-fired power plants are designed to run most efficiently at stable rates and are not well-suited to accommodate the load variability imposed by the integration with wind generation. Cycling causes coal-fired power plants to operate less efficiently, and reduces the effectiveness of their environmental control equipment, which together drive up emissions.

Paradoxically, using wind energy in such a way that it forces utilities to cycle their coal generation often results in greater SO2, NOX and CO2 emissions than would have occurred if less wind energy were generated and coal generation was not cycled.”

Politicians can’t account for these unintended consequences that occur when trying to plan our nation’s energy future. And that’s reason enough not to do so.


German scientists suggest per-person carbon emission quotas

Everyone on globe allowed 5 tons of carbon per year...just 1/4 of avg. per-person emissions of a US citizen

German scientists called Tuesday for the world to accept per-person quotas for carbon dioxide emissions to kick-start a global trading scheme where poor nations will benefit.

The Potsdam Institute for Research on Climate Effects said everyone on the globe should be allowed 5 tons of carbon per year. That is just one quarter of the average per-person emissions for a US citizen, but still far above emissions in poor nations.

The government-funded institute said the current arrangement, in which some nations have made voluntary commitments to cut emissions, would not work. The institute says the world needs an effective way to hold global warming to no more than 2 degrees.

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber [Schellnhuber is an oily character who has ooozed his way up the tree of German officialdom. His statements are just claims on praise], director of the Potsdam Institute said voluntary cuts agreed last year at the Copenhagen climate summit would still allow the global climate to become more than 3 degrees warmer by end of this century.

A scheme with worldwide per-person quotas would allow poor nations to sell part of their quotas to rich nations.

Nations such as the United States have very high per-person emissions partly because of high fuel use by industry and government services.


Natural, Man-Made and Imagined Disasters

Excerpt from an article by sea-level expert NILS-AXEL MÖRNER

We have to learn to live with natural disasters; earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, avalanches, tsunamis, cyclones, floods, draughts, blizzards, wildfires, etc. They are all parts of terrestrial system and we cannot change them, but we can prepare for them in terms of warning systems, evacuation plans, aid organization, etc. We may also avoid habitation at spots that cannot be protected.

This seems less feasible, however, as humans, through history, have shown to chose even the most dangerous places for their living (like slopes of active volcanoes, fault zones, foots and slopes of active slides, tops of active coastal cliff erosion, repeatedly flooded areas, etc.). Sometimes we are able to make precautional work like coastal protection, dikes against flooding, bypasses for possible mudflows and other efforts to try to diminish the effects of a potential catastrophe. We also have to make careful risk assessments. This implies temporal and spatial cover of past events.....

Many disaster threats are just imagined, however. We are today living in a world where it unfortunately has become customary to obtain awareness by threaten us with disasters that are imagined. Some of those are of pseudo-scientific type. Others are products of inadequate computerization and modelling, not founded in facts and observations. Some may have political and economical grounds.

The idea of a “Global Warming” that will lead to disastrous effects in the near future is primarily a man-made issue. Climate has always gone up and down for a variety of reasons. In Mid-Holocene time some 8000-4000 BP, climate was significantly warmer. This was a fact over several millennia and may, hence, be called a long-wavelength effect.

We have also experienced short-wavelength episodes, not least in the Late Holocene. Those periods had a duration in the order of 50 years or so and were significantly warmer and drier than today. In Northern Europe and Canada, they are seen as thin black layers in the peat bogs recording short intervals when the peat stopped growing and started to decompose.

In the last 600 years we have had a number of “Little Ice Ages” with significantly colder conditions than today. Those events coincide with Solar Minima. The next Solar Minima is due at around 2040- 2050.

In the 20th century, we experienced warmer conditions around 1930-1940, colder conditions at around 1940-1970 and warmer conditions again in 1980-1998. In the last decade, the warming seems to have ceased.

Similarly, the threat of an ongoing sea level rise, soon to flood low-lying coasts and islands with disastrous effects, seems unfounded in observational facts. Our group have spent several years of painstaking work in the Maldives. We found no traces of any ongoing rise, rather a strong stability over the last 30 years. The same is true for the islands of Tuvalu and Vanuatu in the Pacific, both claimed to be in the process of becoming flooded.

Therefore, my personal believe is that all the talk of an approaching climatic disaster, including a catastrophic sea level rise, is an example of an imagined disaster. This means that we diverge our interest and efforts from real threats; natural as well as man-made. And this, in itself is a disaster.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has recently claimed (August 2009) that the natural disasters have increased drastically in the last 40 years as a function of Global Warming. This is certainly not the case; just another imagined disaster threat (in good timing for the December 2009 international climate meeting in Copenhagen).

Disaster Advances, our International Journal for Researches in Disasters and Related Fields, undoubtedly has a great mission to fulfill in the field of natural, man-made and imagined disasters; that is to drive and enlightening us in the understanding of disastrous events, in the discrimination of real and imagined threats, in the assessment of risks and in the preparation of effective warning systems and precautional handling. It is a privilege to serve in striving to fulfill those goals.


Nails in the Global Warming Coffin

Comment from Professor Philip Stott in Britain

I have to confess that I have become increasingly wearied and bored by the fatuous lack of reality exhibited on this topic by many UK politicians. It is so glaringly obvious that, since the debacle in Copenhagen, ‘global warming’ is dying as a major political trope that I find it less and less exercising as an issue. Indeed, I do not want to waste too much energy in flogging a fundamentally dead corpse.

This last week, however, the nails in the global warming coffin have been driven in so thick and so fast that I thought it might be worth bringing attention once again to what is happening around the world - “You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Global Warming is as dead as a door-nail,” although I suspect that the Global Warming Ghost will hang around moaning and wailing for quite a while yet.

Germany Gets Cold Feet

First, in that paragon of so-called Green virtues, Germany, Spiegel Online reports that the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, ‘Abandons Aim of Binding Climate Agreement’:

“Frustrated by the climate change conference in December, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is quietly moving away from her goal of a binding agreement on limiting climate change to 2 degrees Celsius. She has also sent out signals at the EU level that she no longer supports the idea of Europe going it alone.”

Spiegel goes on to comment: “... now it’s time for realpolitik. Merkel and Röttgen [have] had to admit that countries like China and India will not submit to a mandatory target that others have contrived.” Precisely so.

The Emissions Billycan Waltzes Off Indefinitely

Meanwhile, ‘Down Under’, The Sydney Morning Herald reports: ‘Emissions put on back burner’:
“A Senate vote on the trading scheme legislation, which was due next month, has now been dropped by the government for the May and June sittings of Parliament. A government source said yesterday the fate of the Senate vote on the legislation beyond June was unclear.

The source said the decision to park the legislation indefinitely reflected the political reality that the opposition, under leader Tony Abbott, and the Greens had vowed to reject the scheme in the Senate.

Unless the Coalition or the Greens change their positions the government will now have to wait until July 1 next year for the Senate to change over after this year's federal election to negotiate with a potentially less hostile Parliament - unless a double-dissolution election is called.

The government will now concentrate on passing other matters in the Senate including its national health reform package and the national broadband network. ‘Obviously there are a lot of pressures in the Senate, so the government has to prioritise the reforms that are most likely to be passed,’ the source said.”

Indeed. Most wise. “Good On Yer, Mate!”

Different Priorities In US Too

Then, in the US, as The New York Times reports:
“The Senate climate bill sits on the brink of collapse today after the lead Republican ally threatened to abandon negotiations because of a White House push to simultaneously overhaul the nation's immigration policies.”

Moreover, President Obama has far more pressing worries and priorities as ‘US Republicans block debate of finance rules reform’ - Mr Obama has made reining in Wall Street a cornerstone of his Presidency.

Quite so.

Finally, Elusive Pay-Offs And Not Such A Green-Blue

Further, somewhat unsurprisingly given all of the above, the monies so happily and so readily promised to help developing nations to fight ‘global warming’ are proving remarkably elusive. Only the most politically- and economically-naive of souls could have expected otherwise.

Lastly, even in our ever-Utopian UK, ‘global warming’ has, thank goodness, hardly featured in the election to date, being confined to brief comments hidden in the deepest inner recesses of a few newspapers, although it is worth stating that the energy policies of the newly-resurgent Liberal Democrats would probably do for Britain as a serious economic power.

By contrast, as The Times points out this morning about the Conservatives:
“Despite Mr Cameron’s slogan of ‘vote blue go green’, a recent survey found that only 22 per cent of Conservative candidates in winnable seats strongly supported Britain’s target of generating 15 per cent of Britain’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.

David Davis, the former Shadow Home Secretary, recently warned that the policy of tough targets to cut carbon emissions, supported by Mr Cameron, was ‘destined to collapse’.”

Just so.

Indeed, the complete collapse of the Great Global Warming Grand Narrative continues apace.

It will surely be fascinating to observe precisely the moment when UK politicians begin to stop mouthing pious platitudes about the political significance of ‘global warming’.


Australian PM commits $2.4bn to 'non-feasible' carbon emissions storage

AUSTRALIA'S focus for slowing climate change - the planned storage of power-station carbon dioxide emissions - has been dismissed by a US study as "profoundly non-feasible".

The Rudd and Bligh governments have made carbon capture and storage (CCS) - under which planet-warming emissions from power stations would be removed and stored underground permanently - their biggest single direct investment in new technologies to fight global warming.

The Rudd government is spending $2.4 billion on CCS projects and is putting $100 million a year into the Global CCS Institute it created last year. The Bligh government is spending $102.5 million on the ZeroGen CCS project near Rockhampton and other CCS projects.

Michael Economides and Christine Ehlig-Economides, in a study published in the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, found that for one commercial-scale coal-fired power station, the underground storage area for the removed CO2 emissions would have to be "enormous, the size of a small US state".

"The findings clearly suggest (geological CO2 sequestration) is not a practical means to provide any substantive reduction in CO2 emissions, although it has been repeatedly presented as such by others," they wrote.

"(Storing CO2 in a closed system) will require from five to 20 times more underground reservoir volume than has been envisioned by many, and it renders geologic sequestration of CO2 a profoundly non-feasible option for the management of CO2 emissions."

Michael Economides, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Houston University, said official figures showed the Sleipner reservoir - which is offshore Norway and often held up as an example of carbon storage - injected only a third of the CO2 that one modestly sized power plant would produce.

"Also, our information is that the CO2 injected at Sleipner is a lot less than 1 million tons per year and is closer to 1 million per three years. The whole thing is preposterous," he told The Courier-Mail by email.

Scientists say annual global carbon emissions - mainly from using coal, oil and gas - must peak about 2015 then fall away quickly to give a decent chance of keeping average temperature and sea-level rises manageable for most countries.

In Adelaide this month, University College London professor of chemical engineering and director of UCL's Centre for CO2 Technology, Stefaan Simons, called on Australian policymakers to rethink their pursuit of CCS.

In a lecture event co-sponsored by oil and gas firm Santos, Prof Simons said shifting the world's electricity reliance to coal and gas plants equipped with CCS may take so long that devastating levels of climate change would be locked in.

"(CCS) is potentially a dangerous diversion - soaking up time, resources and funding that could be better and more readily applied to achieving a low carbon future.

"I challenge our energy policymakers to reassess whether ... we should continue to use fossil fuels as our primary energy source. We could replace fossil fuel electricity production with that from renewable sources," Prof Simons said.

The Global CCS Institute said it was considering the US study findings.

A spokesman for the Queensland Government said it didn't know if any of its CCS research partners would be looking at the US findings.

State energy minister Stephen Robertson last week said Queensland had taken the next step to establishing "safe, long-term underground storage of greenhouse gases from coal-fired power stations".

He released a tender for proponents to explore land in central and southwest Queensland that may be suitable for underground storage of CO2.

Mr Robertson said Queensland and Australia would continue to rely on coal as a major source of power generation.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


29 April, 2010

Who's worried about sea level rise? Gore buys $8.8 million ocean-view villa with 6 fireplaces and 9 bathrooms

Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, have added a Montecito-area property to their real estate holdings, reports the Montecito Journal.

The couple spent $8,875,000 on an ocean-view villa on 1.5 acres with a swimming pool, spa and fountains, a real estate source familiar with the deal confirms. The Italian-style house has six fireplaces, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms.


Five myths about green energy

"Green" energy has great emotional and political appeal. However, before we wrap all our hopes -- and subsidies -- in it, let us take a hard look at some common misconceptions about what "green" mean, says Robert Bryce, a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute.

Solar and wind power are the greenest of them all:

* Solar and wind technologies require huge amounts of land to deliver relatively small amounts of energy, disrupting natural habitats.

* The Nature Conservancy issued a report last year critical of "energy sprawl," including tens of thousands of miles of high-voltage transmission lines needed to carry electricity from wind and solar installations to distant cities.

Going green will reduce our dependence on imports from unsavory regimes:

* The United States will be increasingly reliant on just one supplier, China, for elements known as lanthanides.

* Lanthanum, neodymium, dysprosium and other rare earth elements are used in products from high-capacity batteries and hybrid-electric vehicles to wind turbines and oil refinery catalysts; China controls between 95 and 100 percent of the global market in these elements.

A green American economy will create green American jobs:

* In a global market, American wind turbine manufacturers face the same problem as American shoe manufacturers: high domestic labor costs.

* If U.S. companies want to make turbines, they will have to compete with China, which not only controls the market for neodymium, a critical ingredient in turbine magnets, but also has access to very cheap employees.

Electric cars will substantially reduce demand for oil:

* Gasoline contains about 80 times as much energy, by weight, as the best lithium-ion battery.

* The Government Accountability Office reported that about 40 percent of consumers do not have access to an outlet near their vehicle at home.

The United States lags behind other rich countries in going green:

* According to data from the Energy Information Administration, average per capita energy consumption in the United States fell by 2.5 percent from 1980 through 2006.

* That reduction was greater than in any other developed country except Switzerland and Denmark; the United States achieved it without participating in the Kyoto Protocol or creating an emissions trading system like the one employed in Europe.


Earth Day predictions of 1970. A reason you shouldn’t believe the latest ones

Here are some of the hilarious, spectacularly wrong predictions made on the occasion of Earth Day 1970.

“We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
-- Kenneth Watt, ecologist

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
-- George Wald, Harvard Biologist

“We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
-- Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist

“Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”
-- New York Times editorial, the day after the first Earth Day

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
-- Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
-- Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
-- Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day

“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
-- Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
-- Life Magazine, January 1970

“At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
-- Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

“Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.”
-- Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones.”
-- Martin Litton, Sierra Club director

“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”
-- Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

“Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
-- Sen. Gaylord Nelson

“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
-- Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

Keep these predictions in mind when you hear the same predictions made today. They’ve been making the same predictions for 39 years. And they’re going to continue making them until…well…forever.


How loony can you get?

"Green Screen: A Living, Carbon-Capturing Face Mask That Filters Bacteria". I hope it is satire but I fear not -- JR

From color-shifting swine-flu masks to vegetation-filled breathing filters, we’ve seen some wacky mouth sheaths in our time. (And that goes double for accessories made from living plants.) Made with pulp derived from fungal spores, along with seeds that eventually sprout, this concept face mask blows its high-concept competition clear away. Not only does “Green Screen” filter airborne bacteria away from delicate nasal passages, but it also sequesters carbon dioxide from every exhalation.

Besides creating a barrier against germy invaders, the reusable face mask also acts as a miniature ecosystem for the embedded seeds. With every breath exhaled, carbon dioxide and moisture facilitate the germination and growth of the budding flora.

With every breath exhaled, carbon dioxide and moisture facilitate the germination of the embedded seeds.

“An average adult weighing 154 pounds exhausts 456 liters of carbon dioxide a day,” notes designer Robert Ortega. “Encapsulating this from the breath can have a significant effect on the total greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.” Bonus: As the mask takes root, it can be planted directly into soil.


Australia's Department of Hot Air costing taxpayers $90m

TAXPAYERS will fork out $90 million a year to keep more than 400 public servants employed within the Federal Climate Change Department - despite most of them now having nothing to do until 2013.

More than 60 of them are classified as senior executive staff on salaries between $168,000 and $298,000 a year. Their salary bill alone will cost an estimated $12 million every year.

A further $8 million will also be paid in rent for plush offices at Canberra's Constitution Place until 2012, where it is believed 500 new computers will be delivered this week.

It can be revealed that despite Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's decision on Tuesday to suspend the failed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme until at least 2013, the department has ruled out plans to cut back staff.

A formal response by department secretary Martin Parkinson to a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday - the same day as the scheme's suspension - claimed the department would not offer redundancies.

The formal response, obtained by The Daily Telegraph, said there were no plans for "the immediate future" of any scaling back of staff, despite the agency losing its core function.

According to official figures, the number of top-paid bureaucrats being paid up to $298,000 a year has almost doubled since January this year from 39 to 61. That was to gear up for establishment of the Australian Climate Change Regulatory Authority, which will also now have no function.

Overall agency staff has also been ramped up since last year with total climate change employees having risen from an initial 246 to 408.

Of the 61 senior agency officials, only nine have been inherited from the scrapped home insulation scheme. The majority, 38, were employed on the CPRS and a further 19 were employed on the renewable energy scheme which has also been axed.

But none of the 408 staff within the department will be shed even though the department's key function, the CPRS, has been axed.

Its own tender documents reveal a lease contract of $16 million for its offices which expires in 2012.

"The hundreds of public servants who have been beavering away on this policy, the 114 public servants who they took to Copenhagen for that matter in support of this policy . . . none of that's changed," Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said yesterday.

"Which is why I think that Mr Rudd for political reasons doesn't want to talk about his great big new tax on everything but as sure as night follows day, if he gets re-elected, we'll be stuck with it."


Why scepticism is still ‘the highest of duties’

Scepticism is widely denounced as a poison and a disease today, just as it was in the Dark Ages. We urgently need to rescue its reputation.

Over Easter, the official Greenpeace website carried a blog written by Gene Hashmi, communications director of its affiliate in India. Hashmi launched an attack on sceptics, whom he accused of fuelling ‘spurious debates around false solutions’, and concluded with the not-too-subtle threat: ‘We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work. And we be many but you be few.’

Welcome to a world where the term ‘sceptic’ has acquired the kind of meaning usually associated with Dark Age heresy.

Fearing a backlash against a statement which most normal readers would interpret as an incitement to violence, Greenpeace pulled the blog from its site. It defensively justified its act of self-censorship on the grounds that it was ‘easy to misconstrue’ Hashmi’s statement.

However, the use of highly charged, intemperate rhetoric has become the hallmark of the present-day crusade against scepticism. Some contend that the arguments of climate-change sceptics bear an uncanny resemblance to the statements made by pro-slavery reactionaries in the nineteenth century and by Holocaust deniers. More imaginative environmental activists have proposed establishing Nuremberg-style trials for climate-change sceptics.

It is truly astonishing that in an era that claims to uphold the pursuit of knowledge, freedom of speech and scientific inquiry, the term ‘sceptic’ is frequently used to denote immoral and corrupt behaviour. Moreover, today the practice of stigmatising scepticism is not confined to a small minority of dogmatic true believers. It is quite common for scientists, policymakers and campaigners to denounce those who do not share their beliefs as vile and contemptible sceptics.

Self-help guru Deepak Chopra writes of the ‘perils of scepticism’. John Houghton, former head of the UK Meteorological Office, warns of a ‘dangerous mood of scepticism’. Economist Jeffrey Sachs has condemned climate sceptics as ‘recycled critics of controls on tobacco and acid rain’.

Typically in the debate on climate change, sceptics are characterised as dishonest, malevolent, greedy and corrupt. ‘Environmental scepticism is a blunt weapon wielded by desperate and self-interested apologists to perpetuate an archaic system predicated on the destruction of the Earth and her communities’, says New Zealand academic William Hipwell. Scepticism today, as in the past, has a bad name because for the dogmatic believer any sign of doubt, hesitation, uncertainty, questioning and even indifference is interpreted as disbelief.

In recent centuries, disbelief was seen as being synonymous with atheism, and so the sceptic was portrayed as a moral outcast. A wide range of attitudes – ‘denial’, ‘unbelief’, ‘overly questioning’ – were often associated with the morally corrupt, and as a result the term sceptic had a highly charged, pejorative feel to it.

In reality, though, it was some individuals’ insistence on questioning received wisdom which was perceived as the real heresy by the moral crusaders targeting scepticism. The fifteenth-century witch-hunters’ manual Malleus Maleficarum claimed that those who denied the existence of witches were no less guilty of heresy than the active practitioners of witchcraft.

In the centuries to follow, scepticism was frequently treated as a particularly dangerous form of anti-Christian heresy. Thomas Edwards’s Gangraena was one of the most influential works of heresiography in the seventeenth century. Published in 1644, it warned ‘first bring in Scepticism in Doctrine and loosenesse of life, and afterwards all Atheism!’. George Hickes, in his Two Treatises on the Christian Priesthood (1707), wrote scathingly about the heretic who regales ‘his atheist-ridden, or theist-ridden, or sceptic-ridden… or devil-ridden mind’.

The idea that scepticism was the precursor to the spread of moral depravity was frequently promoted by nineteenth-century Christian thinkers who felt beleaguered by the spread of secular culture. ‘A vague kind of scepticism or agnosticism is one of the commonest spiritual diseases in this generation’, wrote John Ryle, Anglican bishop of Liverpool, in 1884.

The metaphor of moral pollution through poison and disease was frequently used to diagnose the threat of scepticism. ‘In listening to the arguments of a sceptic, you are breathing a poisonous atmosphere’, said Christian author Robert Baker Girdlestone in 1863. This was an age where the uncertainties brought on by rapid change created widespread anxieties about the future. John Stuart Mill characterised Victorian England as an ‘age devoid of faith, yet terrified of scepticism’ in his famous essay On Liberty.

Yet by the end of the nineteenth century, the moral crusade against scepticism failed to capture the public imagination. On the contrary, the nineteenth-century scientific and technological revolution created conditions that were unusually hospitable to sceptical thought. English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, who coined the term ‘agnostic’, argued that the ‘improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority as such’, and added that ‘for him scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the unpardonable sin’. Liberal American philosopher and educator John Dewey depicted scepticism as the ‘first step on the road to philosophy’.

Twentieth-century Western societies were no less committed to science than was Huxley’s Victorian England. So how do today’s moral entrepreneurs reconcile their anti-sceptical inquisition with their idealisation of climate science?

Good sceptics and evil sceptics

Recently, Justin Rowlatt, who runs the BBC News ‘Ethical Man’ blog, wrote of his concern that the word sceptic was in danger of becoming a term of abuse. He noted that, since it was ‘the foundation of good science’, scepticism should be praised.

The paradox of demonising scepticism in an age when science enjoys significant cultural status has not escaped the attention of some of the advocates of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) consensus on climate change. Recently David Marsh, style-guide editor of British newspaper the Guardian, wrote that he and some of his colleagues were not sure whether to call critics of this consensus sceptics or deniers. His article appeared to suggest that perhaps a new word that could convey a sense of moral condemnation was needed.

But most supporters of the IPCC consensus are wedded to a language that stigmatises precisely the sort of questioning associated with scepticism. Some of them use the word scepticism in a way that exposes a tension between the aspiration to demonise the sceptic while appearing to uphold the convention of openness that is usually associated with scientific inquiry. Writing in this vein, Bob Ward, of the London School of Economics-based Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, notes that despite all the ‘compelling evidence… there are some who reject or deny the scientific evidence on the grounds of so-called scepticism’.

More specifically, his anger is directed at the refusal of Britain’s Science Museum to take a position on the climate-change debate. Since scepticism is usually associated with the act of suspending judgment – precisely what characterises the response of the Science Museum – Ward’s use of the prefix ‘so-called’ before scepticism suggests that he regards anything other than the acceptance of his ‘compelling evidence’ as morally reprehensible.

Johann Hari, a columnist for the UK Independent, wrote that he would not ‘use the word sceptic to describe the people who deny the link between releasing warming gases and the planet getting warmer’. Why? Because he considers himself to be a sceptic who has been convinced by the evidence offered by the science of climate change. ‘Any properly sceptical analysis leads to the conclusion that manmade global warming is real’, he writes.

From this standpoint, a critic of the IPCC consensus cannot be a real or good sceptic, but a charlatan. James Lovelock, the well-known environmentalist, also makes a distinction between good and bad sceptics. While claiming to value the sceptical ideal, he denounces the bad ones. ‘The good sceptics have done a good service, but some of the mad ones, I think, have not done anyone favours’, he says. Continuing in this vein, Lovelock insists that some of the ‘mad ones’ are of course ‘corrupted and employed by oil companies and things like that’. Moreover, ‘some even work for governments’, he warns.

For Lovelock and his colleagues, a good sceptic is someone who accepts the consensus of environmental science. Questioning such a consensus is deemed irresponsible and dangerous. In truth, Lovelock’s praise for ‘good sceptics’ is entirely rhetorical. Which is why, in a typical anti-sceptical fashion, he calls for a ‘more authoritative world’, where a few people ‘with authority who you trust’ can get on with the job of implementing science-led policies. His lament that ‘of course’ this ‘can’t happen in a modern democracy’ sounds even more ominous than the threat issued by Greenpeace’s Indian communication director.

Even the author of a book titled Empires of Belief: Why We Need More Scepticism and Doubt in the Twentieth Century is committed to routing the bad sceptics. Author Stuart Sim insists that ‘there are many so-called scepticisms around at present which do not deserve our support’. His ‘Who’s Who’ of bad sceptics includes ‘Euroscepticism, global warming scepticism and the scepticism towards modern science that goes under the heading of intelligent design’. Apparently such ‘scepticism is not really scepticism’ since ‘it is in the service of an authoritarian cause’.

A question worth posing is: why denounce individuals for their scepticism if they are not really sceptics? The confusion that surrounds the rhetorical strategy adopted by the moral crusade against critics of the IPCC consensus should not obscure the fact that it is motivated by a genuine hatred for the spirit of scepticism. To understand this process, it is necessary to go beyond the opportunist distinction that is made today between good and bad sceptics, and establish the actual meaning of the term scepticism.

What is scepticism?

Although there are numerous variants of scepticism, as a philosophical orientation it represents a challenge to the all-too human proclivity for embracing dogma. For the Ancient Greeks, scepticism was not about not believing or denying a particular proposition. The genuine sceptic rarely claims to know that a particular proposition is wrong and therefore could not counsel disbelief. No, to the Ancient Greeks, scepticism meant inquiry. Scepticism is motivated by a complex range of motives, but it is underpinned by a belief that the truth is difficult to discover.

When Socrates explained that he was the wisest man in Athens because he knew he was ignorant, he pointed to the need to understand that one’s ignorance is the point of departure for a rigorous search for the truth. The defining attitude of the sceptic is the suspension of judgment. A sceptic is someone who has not decided or is not in a position to decide.

The act of suspending judgment need not mean a commitment not to judge. It can mean the postponement of judgment while the sceptic continues to inquire into the problem. Unlike doubt, which involves a negative judgment, scepticism represents a form of prejudgment. It is opposed to dogma and the attitude of unquestioned certainty.

In some cases, of course, the suspension of judgment can be an act of evasion. But the suspension of judgment also can be a prelude to a commitment to explore further in pursuit of clarity and truth. This is important for the development of science – and it is essential for the flourishing of a democratic public life. There can be no freedom of thought without the right to be sceptical. Which is why the demonisation of the sceptic today does not simply reflect a tendency towards polemical excess – it is also an attack on human inquiry itself.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


28 April, 2010

Mann Lawsuit: 'This Just Goes to Show You How the Mighty Have Fallen'

In case you missed it, expressing dissent about an issue that has become more and more politicized could warrant a lawsuit - even if it's just satire.

Michael Mann, a Penn State professor and a central figure in the Climategate scandal, but is best known for his "hockey stick graph" doesn't like being criticized. He has threatened to sue the creators of a video that has gone viral on YouTube mocking him. The creators of the video are a group called Minnesotans for Global Warming.

The possibility of a suit was the topic on Fox News April 27 "America Live," hosted by Megyn Kelly. Kelly asked executive editor Marc Morano if Mann would be able to prove that this so-called YouTube spoof wasn't true and therefore win his lawsuit.

"I don't think he can," Morano replied. "I mean, this just goes to show you how the mighty have fallen. Michael Mann was a top U.N. scientist who is now in 2010 spending his time worrying about YouTube videos. This video is absolutely accurate. Michael Mann is the inventor of the temperature hockey stick which even recently the Royal U.K. statistical society said was exaggerated. Other German scientists have called it statistical rubbish. He's been called a statistical charlatan. He has had report after report attacking the foundation - the idea that 20th century temperatures are unprecedented is what Michael Mann is peddling through the U.N."

According to Morano, such a lawsuit would likely have the opposite effect on what Mann desires - for the video not to get attention. "He's been shown to have been wrong repeatedly and he's also been shown to be thin-skinned," Morano continued. "If you don't do attention, don't do a lawsuit. Now, this video is going to be immortalized forever now."

Kelly asked Morano if recent finding in the United Kingdom and by Penn State officials that cleared Mann of some wrongdoing exonerated him and his work. Morano explained that was not the case.

"No, in the case of Penn State, it was actually just a local group of Penn State officials, and they actually referred it to further investigation," Morano said. "They cleared him on a few charges but said he needed further investigation. In the case of the U.K., it was run by a fellow named Lord Oxburgh who actually had tied, vested interests in the green climate industry. People said it's like Dracula guarding the blood bank. That investigation has been trashed even by U.N. sympathizers as a whitewash. Michael Mann is facing serious, serious credibility problems and this is a man who's had problems going back almost a decade now."

Specifically, Morano explained that Mann based his assertion that the temperature of the globe was increasing on data from tree rings. However, when he found that temperatures were declining based on this method, he hid that data.

"This hide-the-decline by the way, he used tree rings to reconstruct historical temperatures to show 20th century, you know, unprecedented warmth," Morano explained. "But what he failed to do, he compared apples and oranges. He then -- the tree rings showed a decline in temperatures after 1960. He hid that decline. And that's what this is all about. He compared -- he used temperature data with tree rings. It's very technical, and that's where the phrase came from. But he's been exposed as the best science politics can manufacture. That's what Climategate has done to the global warming movement."


Kiwigate is a Carbon Copy of Climategate

New Zealand climate scientists embroil themselves in as much of a climate data fraud scandal as Climategate and with eerily similar methods and results

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition (NZCSC) in its article ‘NIWA Challenged to Show Why and How Temperature Records Were Adjusted’ (February 7, 2010) provides its readers with an insight into the climate scandal dubbed 'Kiwigate.'

NIWA is New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research and is accused of repeatedly frustrating NZCSC in its attempts to get government climatologists to explain how they managed to create a warming trend for their nation’s climate that is not borne out by the actual temperature record.

According to NZCSC, climate boffins cooked the books by using the same alleged ‘trick’ employed by British and American doomsaying scientists. This involves subtly imposing a warming bias during what is known as the ‘homogenisation’ process that occurs when climate data needs to be adjusted.

Homogenisation Explained

When such data adjustments (homogenisations) are made, scientists must keep their working calculations so that other scientists can test the reasonableness of those adjustments. According to an article in Mathematical Geosciences (April 2009) homogenisation of climate data needs to be done because “non-climatic factors make data unrepresentative of the actual climate variation.”

The article tells us that if the raw data is not homogenised (or, in this case, “fudged” according to sceptics) the “conclusions of climatic and hydrological studies are potentially biased.”

According to the independent inquiry into Climategate chaired by Lord Oxburgh, it was found that it was the homogenisation process itself that became flawed because climatologists were overly guided by “subjective” bias.

Andrew Bolt, writing for Australia’s Herald Sun (November 26, 2009) commented that the Kiwigate scandal was not so much about “hide the decline” but “ramp up the rise.”

Jim Salinger: Another 'Phil Jones'?

Bolt goes on to report, “Those adjustments were made by New Zealand climate scientist Jim Salinger, a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)." Salinger was dismissed by NIWA this year for speaking without authorisation to the media.

Salinger once worked at Britain’s CRU, the institution at the centre of the Climategate scandal.

Salinger became part of the inner circle of climate scientists whose leaked emails precipitated the original climate controversy in November 2009. In an email (August 4, 2003) to fellow disgraced American climate professor, Michael Mann, Salinger stated he was “extremely concerned about academic standards” among climate sceptics.

Circling The Bandwagons?

NZCSC made a joint press release with the Climate Science Conversation Group (December 18, 2009) accusing NIWA of publishing, “misleading material.” The two organisations claim that NIWA had been “defensive and obstructive” in requests to see New Zealand climate scientists’ data.

NZCSC goes on to report, “The main objective of our temperature study was not to show that the raw data has been tampered with, even though that opinion was emphasised and cannot yet be excluded.”

On January 29, 2010, in what seemed like a reprise of the Phil Jones debacle at Britain’s Climate Research Unit, the Kiwi government finally owned up that 'NIWA does not hold copies of the original worksheets.”

Kiwigate Mimics Climategate

Kiwigate appears to match Climategate in three essential characteristics. First, climate scientists declined to submit their data for independent analysis. Second, when backed into a corner the scientists claimed their adjustments had been ‘lost’. Third, the raw data itself proves no warming trend. Thus we may reasonably infer a 'carbon copy' of Climategate.

NZCSC explained their frustrations in trying to get to actual truth about what had happened with New Zealand’s climate history, "NIWA did everything they possibly could to help us, except hand over the adjustments. It has turned out that there was actually nothing more they could have done - because they never had the adjustments.... None of the scientific papers that NIWA cited in their impressive-sounding press releases contained the actual adjustments....”

After a protracted delay NIWA was forced to admit it has no record of why and when any adjustments were made to the nation’s climate data.

Independent auditors have shown that older data was fudged to make past temperature appear cooler, while modern data was inexplicably ramped up to portray a warming trend that is not backed up by the actual thermometer numbers.

Sceptics are asking how can it be that climate scientists in different countries at the opposite side of the world are facing extraordinarily similar data fraud allegations?

Unsatisfactory Outcome

The world is left with more questions than answers. Website,‘Scoop’ echoed the sentiments of other climate sceptics by arguing that because New Zealand’s climate data adjustments cannot be verified (peer-reviewed) like CRU's, then they are thus just as worthless.

With so many climatologists having ‘lost’ their calculations, no one can now replicate their methods and confidence in climate science has evaporated.

In addition, further scandalous revelations with Glaciergate and other 'gates' have mired the IPCC in an alleged international data fraud conspiracy that undermines the entire theory of man made climate change.

The knock-on effect worldwide is a fall away in voters' concerns about ‘global warming’ issues so that international governments are losing their mandate for cap and trade taxes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.


The Laws of Physics Ably Defeat the Global Warming Theory

Another scientist finds further evidence that our oceans and sub-surface material, not greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, control Earth's climate.

Among a steady groundswell of scientists eager to contradict the faltering greenhouse gas theory of man-made global warming, comes 'Induced Emission and Heat Stored by Air, Water and Dry Clay Soil' by Professor Nasif Nahle.

Oceans Drive Climate, Not Trace Gasses

The internationally-acclaimed professor, from Monterrey, Mexico, exposes the weakness of the greenhouse gas theory for its failure to consider that other processes are important in the atmospheric radiative heat transfer event. A former Harvard and UCLA graduate with degrees in science and mathematics, Nahle confidently states, "I demonstrate that the climate of Earth is driven by the oceans, the ground surface and the subsurface materials of the ground."

Warmists Miscalculate Heat

A dwindling band of supporters of the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) still cling to the discredited notion that 50% of the energy absorbed by atmospheric gases (especially carbon dioxide) is re-emitted back towards Earth’s surface, heating it up.

Nahle, whose areas of expertise ranges from Physics to Biology, Ecology, Bioeconomy and Biophysics, attacks this flawed assumption, “The problem with the AGW idea is that its proponents think that the Earth is isolated and that the heat engine only works on the surface of the ground.”

Instead, Nahle's robust calculations prove that photon streams from oceans, the ground and other subsurface materials, both day and night, succeed in overwhelming the emission of photons from the atmosphere, returning them to space.

Laws of Thermodynamics Held Firm

Nahle, like many other respected analysts, insists that a scientific law is exactly that and cannot be ignored. While theories, like AGW, come and go dependent on their ability to withstand scrutiny.

The harshest criticism made by Professor Nahle is that global warmists have absurdly discarded the accepted laws of thermodynamics to prop up their improbable theory.

The professor reminds us that, “at night time, the heat stored by the subsurface materials is transferred by conduction towards the surface, which is colder than the unexposed materials below the surface. The heat transferred from the subsurface layers to the surface is then transported by the air by means of convection and warms up.”

Thereafter, the direction of the radiation emitted by the atmosphere can only go upwards into the upper atmosphere and then out into deep space.

Nahle says we are then forced to conclude that, “atmospheric gases do not cause any warming of the surface given that induced emission prevails over spontaneous emission.”

No Sustained Rises in Global Temperatures

Nahle's findings are supported by the failure of greenhouse gas theorists to evince from global thermometer records any sustained rise in world temperatures other than the short blip of 1975-95.

This failure, plus the ongoing data handling scandals that have mired climatologists in accusations that they falsified temperature records, has seen respected scientific publications, such as 'New Scientist' retreat from the tarnished theory.

Indeed, warmist doomsayer and controversial Climategate scientist, Kevin Trenberth recently was compelled to concede he had 'lost' 50% of the warming that his colleagues had predicted. The leaked Climategate emails reveal Trenberth lamenting that it was a "travesty" that the Earth had failed to show any signs of "catastrophic" warming as the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had warned.

Scientists Misled By Poor Data Handling Skills

Moreover, a recent independent British report into the Climategate scandal found that an elite clique of UN climate scientists who had championed the AGW theory had poor statistical-handling skills and had cherry-picked data to bolster their "subjective" claims.

Nahle neatly sums it up, “The warming effect (misnamed "the greenhouse effect") of Earth is due to the oceans, the ground surface and subsurface materials. Atmospheric gases act only as conveyors of heat.”


Meltdown of U.S. climate-change bill

Democrats recalibrate their agenda for Election Day

Supporters of climate-change legislation veered into the path of another liberal Senate priority during the weekend. The collision has left the strategy of the global-warming theocracy in pieces, at least for the moment.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who collaborated with Democrats in crafting the energy-tax bill, bolted for the tall grass on Saturday just before yesterday's planned unveiling of the long-anticipated climate-change measure, which had been dubbed the Kerry-Lieberman-Graham bill. The South Carolina Republican claimed to be upset at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for pushing ahead with plans for an equally unpopular immigration bill. Mr. Graham called Mr. Reid's sudden decision to advance a bill that would grant legal status to millions of illegals a "cynical political ploy."

The same can be said of Mr. Graham's cooperation on dubious climate-change legislation, but Americans nonetheless can be grateful for the senator's sudden ethical epiphany. Or perhaps he has simply awakened to the unpopularity of his handiwork. The ostensible purpose of the Kerry-Lieberman-Graham bill is to cut emissions of so-called greenhouse gases to clean the air, but the only likely outcome would be a reduction in the prosperity of the nation.

A new poll released by American Solutions, a grass-roots organization advocating more homegrown energy, last week revealed that 71 percent of Americans oppose the higher gas taxes that the climate-change bill would impose. Another 84 percent said they have very little confidence that the fuel tax would result in lower greenhouse gas emissions.

If these numbers aren't enough to make members of Congress nervous, the poll also found that 64 percent of respondents are less likely to vote for a congressional candidate who backs a climate-change gas tax. At a projected cost of trillions of dollars, it's easy to understand why Americans don't want it, especially during the worst economy in generations.

The climate-change bill, which contains a version of the despised cap-and-trade mechanism for taxing carbon, aims to cut emissions of pollution-causing greenhouse gases 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. It also purports to expand domestic production of oil, natural gas and nuclear power. Those provisions sound nice, but recent delaying tactics by the Obama administration on the future of offshore drilling and the storage of nuclear waste cast doubt on prospects for more domestic energy production.

For his part, Mr. Reid apparently has decided that immigration reform, not climate change, is critical for survival - his own, that is. In the aftermath of Obamacare, the Senate majority leader's poll numbers expose that he's as overwhelmingly unpopular at home in Nevada as he is in the rest of the country. Bringing immigration reform front and center in the Senate is an attempt to galvanize the Hispanic vote in time to save his job on Election Day.

Over the past 15 months, taxpayers have become adept at finding the pea in the Democrats' legislative shell game, and the climate bill has fooled no one. Many voters rightly have concluded that no matter what it's called, the Kerry-Lieberman-Graham bill would simply mean higher energy costs. Steadfast opposition has sent Mr. Graham and Mr. Reid scampering in different directions.

As November looms, the president and his liberal cronies in Congress are left scrambling to pick up the pieces of their scheme to load new taxes onto the backs of hardworking Americans.


Meltdown of Australian climate-change bill

THE great fraud has been found out, and his country saved - for now - from the greatest of his follies.

Here's the worst lie that Kevin Rudd, perhaps our most deceitful Prime Minister, once told about global warming and his Emissions Trading Scheme: "The biggest challenge the world faces in the decades ahead is climate change. "It is the great moral and economic challenge of our time."

But on Tuesday Rudd decided "the great moral challenge" of our time wasn't, after all. It was just "a" challenge, he said.

And with public trust falling in his ETS "solution" - a great green tax on gases - he cut and ran. His ETS would be shelved until at least 2013. Two elections away. Yet only last year this same Government claimed "delay was denial", and we could not wait to save "our jobs, our houses, our farms, our reefs, our economy and our future". To stop "700,000 homes and businesses" on our coast from drowning. (Another lie.)

Rudd had his excuses, of course. The naughty Opposition now opposed the ETS in the Senate, and other countries were "slower to act" on global warming themselves. But it was just more Rudd spin.

For years he's mocked warnings from sceptics and some Liberals that it was reckless for small Australia to make cuts that almost no other country would make. As I've often argued, we'd just export jobs overseas without making a scrap of difference to any warming, which seems to have halted since 2001 anyway.

Rudd pretended then that such arguments were mad. Almost criminal. "The clock is ticking for the planet," he said six months ago. "The resolve of the Australian Government is clear - we choose action, and we do so because Australia's fundamental economic and environmental interests lie in action. Action now. Not action delayed." The costs of delay would be "severe".

So why does Rudd only this week agree that waiting for the world is not mad, after all, but responsible? Was he spinning then, or is he spinning now?

Almost as empty is Rudd's excuse that his hand was forced by the Opposition's rejection of the ETS since the accidental rise of Tony Abbott to the Liberal leadership by a single vote.

IF Rudd truly believed his ETS was so desperately needed to meet the world's "biggest challenge", why didn't he fight like sin to get it through the Senate, as President Barack Obama fought to get his health reforms through his Senate?

Why didn't he throw everything into cutting a deal with the Greens and the two independent Senators to vote through an ETS to "save" the planet?

That deal may yet come, of course. Rudd's ETS is not yet a corpse but a zombie, and with an election looming, Rudd wants that zombie down in the crypt, so timid voters won't tremble.

You may think I'm harsh on Rudd, but I say little that he hasn't said himself - and of delayers just like him.

I remember his speech last November to the Lowy Institute in which he vilified me and a few other sceptics he named: "The third group of climate deniers are those who pretend to accept the science but then urge delay because they don't want their country to be the first to act. "What absolute political cowardice. What an absolute failure of leadership. What an absolute failure of logic."

You said it, Prime Minister. Or were you just spinning then, too?


Pressure to publish may bias scientists

This is a well-known process but it is nice to see it convincingly documented. It does help explain the way papers on all sorts of subjects uncritically assume global warming. A much more extensive treatment of the subject here

The qual­ity of sci­en­tif­ic re­search may be suf­fer­ing be­cause scholars are un­der pres­sure to get their work pub­lished in scientif­ic jour­nals, a new anal­y­sis sug­gests.

The study found that the frac­tion of U.S.-pub­lished re­search papers claim­ing “pos­i­tive” re­sults—those that may in­di­cate an actu­al dis­cov­ery—is im­mensely high­er when the au­thors are from states whose aca­demics pub­lish more of­ten. The dif­fer­ence ranged from less than half, to over 95 per­cent.

The find­ings were re­ported in the on­line re­search jour­nal PLoS One on April 21, by Dan­iele Fan­elli of the Uni­vers­ity of Ed­in­burgh in Scot­land.

“Pub­lish or per­ish,” an aphor­ism widely known in ac­a­dem­ia, ex­presses the very real fact that sci­en­tists must pub­lish their work con­tin­u­ously to se­cure jobs and fund­ing, Fan­elli not­ed. Ca­reers are judged based on the sheer num­ber of pa­pers some­one has pub­lished, and on how many times these are cit­ed in lat­er pa­pers—though this is a hotly de­bat­ed meas­ure of sci­en­tif­ic qual­ity.

But pa­pers are more or less likely to be ac­cept­ed by jour­nals, and to be cit­ed, de­pend­ing on the re­sults they re­port. Like a hit song, more in­ter­est­ing re­sults tend to make fur­ther head­way. Thus sci­en­tists are “torn be­tween the need to be ac­cu­rate and ob­jec­tive and the need to keep their ca­reers alive,” Fan­elli said.

Fanelli an­a­lysed over 1,300 pa­pers claim­ing to have tested a hypoth­e­sis in all dis­ci­plines, from phys­ics to so­ci­ol­o­gy, from U.S.-based main au­thors. Us­ing da­ta from the Na­tional Sci­ence Founda­t­ion, he then checked wheth­er the pa­pers’ con­clu­sions were linked to the states’ pro­duc­ti­vity, meas­ured by the num­ber of pa­pers pub­lished on av­er­age by each ac­a­dem­ic.

Re­sults were more likely to “sup­port” the hy­poth­e­sis un­der investi­ga­t­ion, Fan­elli found, when the pa­per was from a “productive” state. That sug­gests, he said, that sci­en­tists working in more com­pet­i­tive and pro­duc­tive en­vi­ron­ments are more likely to make their re­sults look pos­i­tive. It’s un­clear wheth­er they do this by writ­ing the pa­pers dif­fer­ently or by tweak­ing the un­der­ly­ing da­ta, Fan­elli said.

“The out­come of an ex­pe­ri­ment de­pends on many fac­tors, but the pro­duc­ti­vity of the U.S. state of the re­searcher should not, in the­o­ry, be one of them,” ex­plained Fan­elli. “We can­not ex­clude that re­search­ers in the more pro­duc­tive states are smarter and bet­ter equipped, and thus more suc­cess­ful, but this is un­likely to fully ex­plain the marked trend ob­served.” The study re­sults were in­de­pend­ent of fund­ing avail­abil­ity, he said.

Pos­i­tive re­sults were less than half the to­tal in Ne­vada, North Da­ko­ta and Mis­sis­sip­pi. At the oth­er ex­treme, states in­clud­ing Mich­i­gan, Ohio, Dis­trict of Co­lum­bia and Ne­bras­ka had be­tween 95 per­cent and 100 per­cent pos­i­tive re­sults, a rate that seems unrealistic even for the most out­stand­ing in­sti­tu­tions, Fan­elli said.

These con­clu­sions could apply to all sci­en­tif­ic­ally ad­vanced countries, he added. “Aca­demic com­pe­ti­tion for fund­ing and positions is in­creas­ing ev­ery­where,” said Fan­elli. “Poli­cies that rely too much on cold meas­ures of pro­duc­ti­vity might be low­er­ing the qual­ity of sci­ence it­self.”



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


27 April, 2010

Induced Emission and Heat Stored by Air, Water and Dry Clay Soil

By Nasif Nahle, Scientific Research Director of Biology Cabinet Organization. Residencial El Roble, San Nicolas de los Garza, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. CP 66414


In this paper, I have resorted to basic formulas obtained from experimentation and observation by several scientists for calculating the heat stored by any substance and the subsequent change of temperature caused on a determined system. I demonstrate that the climate of Earth is driven by the oceans, the ground surface and the subsurface materials of the ground. I explain also how the photon streams from oceans, ground and subsurface materials of ground overwhelm the emission of photons from the atmosphere to the ground during both daytime and nighttime.


Throughout the last decade, supporters of the idea of an anthropogenic global warming (AGW) or the impact of an anthropogenic "greenhouse" effect on climate (IAGEC) have been insisting on an erroneous concept of the emission of energy from the atmosphere towards the surface. The AGW-IAGEC assumption states that 50% of the energy absorbed by atmospheric gases, especially carbon dioxide, is reemitted back towards the surface heating it up.

This solitary AGW-IAGEC assumption is fallacious when considered in light of real natural processes. AGW-IAGEC states that if the atmosphere absorbs 240 W/m^2 of energy, 50% of that energy is emitted towards deep space and 50% is emitted back to the surface. However, the proponents of AGW-IAGEC are neglecting other processes which take place in every atmospheric radiative heat transfer event.

On the other hand, since the publication of my article on Heat Stored by Greenhouse Gases, many proponents of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) have pronounced themselves against the science of heat transfer. There are common criticisms made against the theory, even though it is founded on indisputable data derived from scientific research accomplished by scientists from all around the world over the last two centuries.

The algorithms that I use to calculate heat transfer by substances are quite ordinary and basic; you can verify them in any scientific book or article on heat transfer or thermodynamics. AGW proponents who have criticized my paper have resorted to pseudoscientific arguments; for example, that heat is not stored, that the atmosphere is a blackbody, that I have not considered feedbacks, etc. Despite many references demonstrating that the algorithms and results are the uncorrupted product of observations and experimentation, AGW proponents continue trying to confound those readers who have understood that carbon dioxide is an ineffective causative agent of climate change or global warming.

The most frequent counterargument used by AGW proponents against the science of heat transfer is that heat cannot be stored by any system. This argument is admissible in science because heat is energy in transit which is transferred from hot systems to colder systems, so heat cannot be stored by any system. However, as heat is energy and energy can be stored by matter, the energy in transit (heat) consequently can be stored by systems.

A second argument from the AGW side is that carbon dioxide behaves like a blackbody, which is absolutely incorrect because carbon dioxide absorbs but a small amount of the energy in transit and emits only a small amount from the energy stored by the molecules. To be a blackbody, carbon dioxide would have to be able to absorb electromagnetic energy from all frequency bands and all existing wavelengths, which is incongruent with reality.

On the other hand, carbon dioxide has a limited absorbency because its concentration in the atmosphere is excessively low. The partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the terrestrial atmosphere is 0.00034 atm m, which allows it to exhibit an absorbency-emissivity of 0.001. For example, if the air stores 100 Joules of energy, then carbon dioxide would have absorbed only 0.1 Joules; from this quantity of absorbed energy, carbon dioxide would only emit 0.0001 Joules by radiation. The remaining absorbed energy (0.0999 J) would be transferred by convection, radiation and to a lesser extent by conduction to other systems, or would be stored as potential energy.


More Global Warming Profiteering by Obama Energy Official

Surprising documents made available to this author reveal that Assistant Secretary of Energy Cathy Zoi has a huge financial stake in companies likely to profit from the Obama administration’s “green” policies.

Zoi, who left her position as CEO of the Alliance for Climate Protection — founded by Al Gore — to serve as assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, now manages billions in “green jobs” funding. But the disclosure documents show that Zoi not only is in a position to affect the fortunes of her previous employer, ex-Vice President Al Gore, but that she herself has large holdings in two firms that could directly profit from policies proposed by the Department of Energy.

Among Zoi’s holdings are shares in Serious Materials, Inc., the previously sleepy, now bustling, friend of the Obama White House whose public policy operation is headed by her husband. Between them, Zoi and her husband hold 120,000 shares in Serious Materials, as well as stock options. Reporter John Stossel has already explored what he sees as the “crony capitalism” implied by Zoi being so able to influence the fortunes of a company to which she is so closely associated.

In addition, the disclosure forms reflect that Zoi holds between $250,000 and $500,000 in “founders shares” in Landis+Gyr, a Swiss “smart meter” firm. She also still owns between $15,000 and $50,000 in ordinary shares.

“Smart meters,” put simply, are electric meters that return information about customer power usage to the power company immediately and allow a power company to control the amount of power a customer can consume. These smart meters are a central component of the Obama administration’s plans to reduce electricity consumption as part of the “smart grid.”

In a rare moment of candor, Obama “Energy Czar” Carol Browner said to US News & World Report last year: “We need to make sure that …[e]ventually, we can get to a system where an electric company will be able [sic] to hold back some of the power so that maybe your air conditioner won’t operate at its peak, you’ll still be able to cool your house, but that’ll be a savings to the consumer.” (emphasis added)

Clearly, DoE funding to encourage the adoption of “smart meters” would very likely lead to much increased sales by Landis+Gyr — and a potential windfall for Zoi. But surely Zoi doesn’t participate in the relevant “energy efficiency” policy?


"Climate Deniers are Polluting the Blogosphere"

Note that despite its huffing and puffing about science, the Warmist article below mentions not one scientific fact. It's just solid dogmatism and "ad hominem" abuse

Humans have put too many heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, and now the Earth is running a fever. But there's also an increasingly toxic atmosphere in the blogosphere, where climate deniers strategically confuse the issue, delay meaningful government action, and harass scientists and authors.

For decades, the media presented the climate "debate" as two sides that were evenly or closely matched. Then a few years ago, around the time Hurricane Katrina struck and Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar and he and the IPCC were awarded a Nobel Prize, the media began to realize that climate science is real and has consequences, and the "other side" is almost all empty rhetoric.

But in late 2009 the deniers had a public relations breakthrough when some unprofessional internal emails from a British scientist were leaked to the public. Deniers, including Sarah Palin and Fox News, named it "ClimateGate" and claimed, more or less, that a few emails could call into question decades of peer-reviewed rigorous research by thousands of scientists from all over the world. The media picked up on the catchy name and returned to their "he said, she said" coverage of climate change. The timing could not have been worse for the Earth, or better for the deniers: the story dominated the news cycle during the UN climate conference in Copenhagen. Nations failed to reach any substantive agreement in Copenhagen, and triumphant deniers proceeded to launch campaigns to block progress on a climate bill in the U.S. Senate and to roll back climate laws in California.

With climate denial resurgent, and linking into the nebulous populist Tea Party movement, the blogosphere has become even more polluted by deniers. Deniers often pile up comments on climate change-related articles, most of which may be grouped into the following categories:

1. Humor (i.e. "What's next, cow farts?" or "Since carbonated beverages release CO2 into the atmosphere, will CalEPA be outlawing beer and sodas in California?")

2. Political (making fun of Al Gore, partisan name calling)

3. Bullying, name calling, threats

4. Despair (i.e. "we're all doomed, humans will go extinct anyway")

5. Junk science -- quoting disreputed sources that reinforce denier preconceptions, or using simple but wrong aphorisms (confusing weather and climate, or saying the climate is always changing)

6. Obfuscation - burying your opposition under a mountain of obscure but usually irrelevant statistics

7. Economic fear -- (i.e. "if we take action on climate, all businesses will leave CA, and we'll lose jobs")

California's Climate Delayers

The California version of deniers, "delayers," are trying to suspend AB32 until unemployment goes down below 5%, which many economists say could take years or even decades. Anti-AB32 efforts argue that AB32 is a good idea, but the timing is wrong with the economy so bad (i.e. great concept, but we just can't afford it). This lets delayers claim it's not their fault. Something like, "We'd like to help, but the State is broke."

The "outsiders messing with our stuff" argument has a California version too. In opposing an international climate treaty, deniers claim the evil Al Gore and the communists at the United Nations are stealing our country's sovereignty. In California, some members of the League of California Cities turn the State into an intruder, arguing that the unfunded mandates for better regional transportation planning in the State's SB375 law infringes on the cities' sacred cow, local land use authority.

More sophisticated denier methods often appeal to:

* Free speech (as if achieving consensus on climate science somehow takes away their Constitutional rights) or

* The nature of scientific inquiry means always questioning your assumptions (ironically, the people who question the science of climate change, are likely those who question all science).

Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute (the Blogosphere)

Deniers can't win on the facts, and it is tempting to just tell deniers, "Turn off the talk radio and go read a book." Pretty much any book on climate, even a children's book, would do. But no, a pile of pages with Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin on the cover does not count.

But the problem is not just the deniers' lack of facts. The problem is that deniers don't want to change their lifestyles or worldview. Cognitive scientist George Lakoff notes that people will block out facts that conflict with their existing worldview. In Lakoff's framework, many conservatives have a strict father frame that places humans above nature. On the surface, climate change would seem to reinforce this. We are dominating the earth? Great! But if the climate goes out of control, and begins to threaten our current way of life and civilization itself, then this puts humans in a subjugated, reactive mode, which is unacceptable to the strict father mindset.

The real ClimateGate is that we are doing nothing about the greatest threat to the planet and civilization, and we're running out of time. "If there's no action before 2012," says Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Nobel peace-prize-winning IPCC, "that's too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment." If you are a denier, it's not too late to change your ways...yet. Do some research, but more importantly, open your mind. If you are already working to stop climate change, decisionmakers and the public need your help navigating through the polluted blogosphere and towards real climate solutions. Working together, we can leave a cleaner, more sustainable blogosphere for our children.


Leading U.S. Science Groups Endorsed the Global Warming Fraud

By Alan Caruba

Americans, from the earliest days of the Republic, have always been fascinated by science and its potential to improve our lives. Benjamin Franklin was as much famed for his early experiments with electricity and his inventions as for his diplomacy to secure funding for the Revolution.

The tragedy of the global warming fraud will be a generation whose faith in climate science will have been severely shaken. They will have witnessed the deliberate distortion of climate data for a political objective.

Consider a letter dated October 21, 2009 and signed by the presidents of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, the American Society of Plant Biologists, the Association of Ecosystem Research Center, the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the American Society of Agronomy, the American Statistical Association,

And the Botanical Society of America, the Crop Science Society of America, the Natural Science Collections Alliance, the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the Soil Science Society of America, the Ecological Society of America, the Organization of Biological Field Stations, the Society of Systematic Biologists, and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Together, they asserted that “Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.” It went on to repeat all the usual scary scenarios of rising sea levels, urban heat weaves, wildfires, and other climate-related events.

In a footnote, the letter to U.S. Senators said, “The conclusions in this paragraph reflect the scientific consensus represented by, for example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. Global Change Research Program.”

We now know that the “science” being cited by these two entities was, at least in the case of the IPCC, totally rigged, but the presidents of these alleged science-based organizations took it on face value despite ample scientific evidence it was false. The revelations of emails exchanged between the perpetrators of the hoax have demonstrated the deceptions.

Ivan Kenneally, an assistant professor of political science at the Rochester Institute of Technology recent wrote in The New Atlantis that “Those who disagree with the scientific and policy orthodoxy (of global warming) have been maligned as greedy capitalists bent on rapid the earth of its natural resources for cheap material gain; they have been cast as the benighted enemies of reason itself.”

Referring to the vast store of emails between the cabal that has provided the IPCC with “scientific” justifications for global warming, Kenneally wrote that, “There can be little doubt after even a casual perusal that the scientific case for global warming and the policy that springs from it are based upon a volatile combination of political ideology, unapologetic mendacity, and simmering contempt for even the best-intentioned disagreement.”

The political ideology is socialism. The objective is power over the lives of Americans, Europeans, and others worldwide, all of whom have been falsely led to believe that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a “pollutant” and responsible for a non-existent rise in the Earth’s average temperature. In point of fact, the Earth has been cooling for a decade and is likely to do so for several decades to come.

In light of this, who can trust these organizations? And who can trust the “science” produced by NASA and other U.S. agencies that have benefited from billions in grants directed at so-called climate, i.e. global warming research?

These organizations must now publicly admit to their role in advancing this international fraud and must take steps to correct the record, to examine the data of those courageous climatologists, meteorologists and others who, while barred from having their work appear in the IPCC reports, did not shrink from sharing it with the public.

It won’t be easy. The President of the United States, despite lofty statements in support of science, is totally committed to the fraudulent “science” of “global warming.” He has surrounded himself with people associated with the fraud, from his “Science Czar” to his “Climate Czar”, as well as appointments such as the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency.

President Obama has repeated every global warming lie that has been around for far too long and will shortly bless the December UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen with a visit before picking up a now worthless Nobel Peace Prize.

All of this is a national disgrace and remains, in the form of the Cap-and-Trade legislation awaiting a vote in the Senate, a threat to the nation’s economic recovery and to the faith that Americans have always had in legitimate science.


‘Solastalgia’ the Next Liberal Buzzword

Bob McCarty makes an interesting point below but the idea that people dislike a warmer climate and move away from it is rather laughable. All the former New Yorkers in Boca Raton must be confused. I myself was born and bred in the tropics -- as were all four of my grandparents -- and I can heartily recommend the relaxed life of the tropics

Remember when the word, gravitas, entered the public conversation for the first time? Well, stay tuned, because solastalgia is next.

A rarely-used 131-year-old word at the time, according to Merriam-Webster, gravitas was introduced en masse to the American vocabulary by members of the liberal media within 24 hours of President George W. Bush’s selection of Dick Cheney to be his vice presidential running mate in July 2000. Almost always used with negative connotations, it was used to describe what “W” was said to lack in terms of experience and what he needed in a running mate. Rush Limbaugh even devoted a segment of his radio show to the mainstream media’s “discovery” of the word.

Eight years after its introduction, gravitas was declared dead and, for almost two years, nothing had surfaced to take its place in the American vocabulary. Then solastalgia arrived just in time for heated debate to begin on Capitol Hill about the so-called “Cap and Trade” legislation.

Solastalgia is a new word that appears in a recently-released report (see Sec. 1, page 38) from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Interagency Working Group on Climate Change and Health. It’s defined as “place-based distress caused by the effects of climate change due to involuntary migration or the loss of connection to one’s home environment.”

Despite the fact that, according to Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), climate change is the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people”, I predict members of the mainstream media will begin using it soon — and with fervor — as if it has existed since the beginning of time.

Despite the fact that Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary doesn’t even list the word, I predict it will become as mainstream as gravitas during the next few years.

Stay tuned for solastalgia.


Warmist laws postponed in Australia

Labor's thwarted emissions trading scheme has become an inconvenience for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the federal opposition says.

The government has shelved plans to push ahead with plans to begin operating its carbon pollution reduction scheme by July 2011, The Sydney Morning Herald said today.

The scheme will not start before 2013 at the earliest following a decision by cabinet's priorities and budget committee, the newspaper said.

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong would not confirm the report. "The blocking of the CPRS legislation by the opposition has caused delays and created uncertainties which will of course affect the budget treatment of the CPRS," a spokeswoman for the minister told AAP. "The government remains committed to the CPRS as the best and lowest cost way to reduce carbon pollution."

Small Business Minister Craig Emerson also refused to confirm the report, saying it was the Coalition that was thwarting efforts to address climate change. "We will take the climate change issues to the next election and the people will have another opportunity to determine their position," he told Sky News. "I know what position they will adopt, and that is that their must be decisive action on climate change."

Opposition climate change spokesman Greg Hunt said the decision would save the government $2.5 billion, and was contrary to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's past claim that climate change was "the greatest moral challenge of our generation". "Now it is an inconvenience for him," Mr Hunt told ABC Radio.

The decision means the government is likely to take its ETS legislation off the table until after an election, expected later this year.

It also means Labor will not use its latest legislation as a double-dissolution trigger, nor its original bills twice rejected by the upper house last year. The Senate was expected to vote on the legislation when parliament resumes sitting in May.

"The Prime Minister clearly has no commitment to climate change," Mr Hunt said, adding the ETS was a tool to get Mr Rudd through an election. "And he's dropped it the moment it's become inconvenient."

Non-government senators have thwarted Labor's bid to win parliamentary approval for its scheme.

The opposition backed away from supporting amended legislation that a Malcolm Turnbull led Coalition negotiated with Labor late last year. Now under Tony Abbott, the Coalition is pushing what it calls "direct action" to address climate change.

"The Prime Minister is not willing to take his emissions trading scheme to the electorate, to the election because he didn't want to put it up against the idea of direct action to reduce emissions," Mr Hunt said.

Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said he had not seen the Senate program for the coming weeks, but believed there was little hope for the scheme with the Coalition and Australian Greens both opposed to it.

It was disappointing if it had been shelved, but there were other issues to think about ahead of the election, he said. "There are plenty of issues around," he told ABC Radio on Tuesday. "The issue of healthcare is going to occupy a lot of people's minds, I might also say, so is the question of economic management.

"We've come out of this global financial crisis in a stronger position than most economies, they are the type of issues that are going to be in people's minds. "Even if we don't get a price on carbon there's still a lot to be done."

Mr Ferguson said energy efficiency and new technologies were still government priorities.

The latest development comes as a poll showed trust in Mr Rudd to manage climate change had dropped to 36 per cent. The result in the Auspoll survey was a fall from 46 per cent in February 2009.

Advocacy group GetUp!, which commissioned the poll in conjunction with the Climate Institute and four other non-profit groups, says the result reflects voter frustration with stalling climate change action.

However, 35 per cent of voters would be more likely to vote for the Rudd government if it took stronger action on climate change, and only 16 per cent would be less likely.

Mr Rudd, as late as last week, was maintaining support for an ETS. "Our policy hasn't changed," he told The Sydney Morning Herald. "We maintain our position that this is part of the most efficient and the most effective means by which we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions with least cost to the economy."



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


26 April, 2010

CFP - Symposium on Peer Reviewing?

An interesting conference invitation below from Although I have had much experience of peer review, both as a recipient and a dispenser, I will not be going to the conference as I no longer travel. But more lively readers may be interested. The topic is certainly an important one. I myself regard the open reviewing system used by some journals as much superior

As you know, only 8% members of the Scientific Research Society agreed that 'peer review works well as it is.' (Chubin and Hackett, 1990; p.192)

"A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision and an analysis of the peer review system substantiate complaints about this fundamental aspect of scientific research." (Horrobin, 2001)

Horrobin concludes that peer review "is a non-validated charade whose processes generate results little better than does chance." (Horrobin, 2001) This has been statistically proven and reported by an increasing number of journal editors.

But, "Peer Review is one of the sacred pillars of the scientific edifice" (Goodstein, 2000), it is a necessary condition in quality assurance for Scientific/Engineering publications, and "Peer Review is central to the organization of modern science…why not apply scientific [and engineering] methods to the peer review process" (Horrobin, 2001).

This is the purpose of The 2nd International Symposium on Peer Reviewing: ISPR 2010 ( being organized in the context of The SUMMER 4th International Conference on Knowledge Generation, Communication and Management: KGCM 2010 (, which will be held on June 29th - July 2nd, in Orlando, Florida, USA.

Deadlines for ISPR 2010
May 4th, 2010, for papers/abstracts submissions and Invited Sessions Proposals
May 18th, 2010: Authors Notification
June 1st, 2010: Camera ready, final version.

ISPR 2010 Organizing Committee is planning to include in the symposium program 1) sessions with formal presentations, and/or 2) informal conversational sessions, and/or 3) hybrid sessions, which will have formal presentations first and informal conversations later.

Submissions for Face-to-Face or for Virtual Participation are both accepted. Both kinds of submissions will have the same reviewing process and the accepted papers will be included in the same proceedings.

Pre-Conference and Post-conference Virtual sessions (via electronic forums) will be held for each session included in the conference program, so that sessions papers can be read before the conference, and authors presenting at the same session can interact during one week before and after the conference. Authors can also participate in peer-to-peer reviewing in virtual sessions.

All Submitted papers/abstracts will go through three reviewing processes: (1) double-blind (at least three reviewers), (2) non-blind, and (3) participative peer reviews. These three kinds of review will support the selection process of those papers/abstracts that will be accepted for their presentation at the conference, as well as those to be selected for their publication in JSCI Journal.

Authors of accepted papers who registered in the conference can have access to the evaluations and possible feedback provided by the reviewers who recommended the acceptance of their papers/abstracts, so they can accordingly improve the final version of their papers. Non-registered authors will not have access to the reviews of their respective submissions.

Authors of the best 10%-20% of the papers presented at the conference (included those virtually presented) will be invited to adapt their papers for their publication in the Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics.

Best regards,

ISPR 2010 Organizing Committee


Chubin, D. R. and Hackett E. J., 1990, Peerless Science, Peer Review and U.S. Science Policy; New York, State University of New York Press.

Horrobin, D., 2001, "Something Rotten at the Core of Science?" Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, Vol. 22, No. 2, February 2001. Also at and (both Web pages were accessed on February 1, 2010)

Goodstein, D., 2000, "How Science Works", U.S. Federal Judiciary Reference Manual on Evidence, pp. 66-72 (referenced in Hoorobin, 2000)

Open Letter: U.S. Climate Action Report 2010. 5th ed.

From Howard Hayden, Prof. Emeritus of Physics, UConn

Many states around the nation are trying to enact laws to restrict carbon emissions, and industries too numerous to mention have begun making changes hoping to be fully prepared to comply with laws they haven’t seen yet. Congress is considering laws in hopes that they can avoid having EPA impose its own version of CO2 restrictions.

Before jumping on this bandwagon, we should be certain that we understand the science. U.S. Climate Action Report 2010, 5th ed. might be understood by some Americans to be the definitive word; however nary a word in the report even pretends to establish a link between CO2 and putative global warming or show that the increase in CO2 concentration is due to human activity instead of natural causes (such as natural warming of the oceans) or show that either an increase in CO2 concentration or an increase in temperature is, on balance, bad (or worse than laws restricting CO2 emissions) or do any science whatsoever.

Despite screams to the contrary, a vast number of scientists dispute the findings of the IPCC. Perhaps the Department of State believes that “the science is settled.” If so, please let us know which of the two dozen models—see Fig. 1 showing a slight disagreement by a factor of 3000 among the models—settled the science so that all of the others can be thrown into the dustbin of failed science and de-funded.

Figure 1: Graph from IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, showing calculations by various models. Note that the range of values spans a factor of 3,000.

Like an ant crawling out an anthill and concluding that the world is made of 1-millimeter rocks, global-warming activists have looked at the last three-millionths of one percent of the earth’s climate history and made brash conclusions about climate, and especially their understanding of it. They wax eloquent about results from computer models. In the longer view---see Fig. 2—we see that the last million years or so are rather anomalous. The highest CO2 concentrations during the last many ice ages and interglacials are lower than at any other time for the last 300 million years. The dinosaurs lived when CO2 concentrations were 5 to 20 times as high as now. Indeed, such large creatures could not survive without the very verdant conditions afforded by adequate plant food known as carbon dioxide.

Figure 2: Carbon dioxide concentrations for the last 600 million years. Points represent actual measurements; lines represent computerized smoothings. The most recent million years is in a very narrow strip to the left of the graph, with concentrations less than 400 ppmv. The right-hand scale is in multiples of quaternary average.

That long history teaches us something else. We have all been in an auditorium when somebody was testing out the sound system and there was a sudden screech owing to a “tipping point” wherein the amplified sound at the microphone was loud enough to be picked up and made louder yet. If the people did not act immediately to cut the gain of the amplifier, and everybody just left the room and locked the door, the screech would persist forever if the power remained on. This behavior, often called “running to the rail” by electronics folks, is characteristic of all positive feedback systems. Once you reach the tipping point, there is no return. If high levels of CO2 were to cause the earth to reach a tipping point, it would have done so a long time ago, and we wouldn’t be here talking about it.

All in all, there is a best policy to direct toward climate change, and that is to have the courage to do nothing. We humans have precious little to do with climate. When and where did you read anything from climate alarmists that said that humans are responsible for about 3% of all CO2 emissions? When and where did you read anything from climate alarmists that said that warming oceans emit CO2? When and where did the climate alarmists tell you about CO2 levels that were up to 20 times current levels when dinosaurs roamed the earth? When and where did alarmists tell you that the conditions they openly worry about have repeatedly happened without turning the earth into an oven?

Nowhere and never, did you say? Perhaps you should consider that you have been deliberately misled.


The Greenhouse Effect: Origins, Falsification, & Replacement by Timothy Casey B.Sc. (Hons.)

This is a MAJOR paper that Hans Schreuder informed Alan Siddons about today. A few choice plums:

#Everyone knows what the greenhouse effect is. Well ... do they? Ask someone to explain how the greenhouse effect works. There is an extremely high probability that they have no idea.

#Beware of wheels within energy diagrams as these usually constitute the energy creation mechanism of perpetual motion machines. One such gem of clarity, used uncited by Plimer (2009, p. 370), was offered by Kiehl and Trenberth...

#The mechanism by which the addition of carbon dioxide warms the atmosphere has no empirical basis. Therefore the assertion that global warming is anthropogenic, may well be philosophical and perhaps political, but it is most certainly not scientific.

#Increasing visible radiation, even by quite a large amount, results in no measurable rise in temperature because no appreciable amount of visible radiation is converted into infrared when absorbed and re-emitted - contrary to Arrhenius' hypothesis.

#Tyndall's confusion of absorption and opacity is a major error that was propagated into Arrhenius' Greenhouse hypothesis, and constitutes a fact not accounted for in Arrhenius' calculation of "Climate Sensitivity" to carbon dioxide.

#Although the greenhouse effect died with the Wood experiment, the diverse multitude of radiation "budgets" shows that the greenhouse effect is far from buried. This is a classic case of shifting the goalposts, because the greenhouse effect is not a scientific hypothesis that can be buried when it dies from experimental causes; it is a political symbol that cannot be allowed a proper burial, and so remains forever on display at the funeral parlor; an eternal viewing just like Lenin's.

SOURCE. Original Site link. Tidied up PDF version here

Demonizing DDT — Challenging a scare campaign that has cost millions of lives

In The Excellent Powder: DDT's Political and Scientific History, Richard Tren and Donald Roberts argue that the infamous insecticide is the world's greatest public-health success stories, saving millions of lives by preventing insect-borne disease. Unfortunately for those in areas still infested with mosquitoes and other flying bugs, DDT is also the world's most-misunderstood substance, the target of a decades-long scientifically ignorant and ideologically motivated campaign that has vastly limited its use and applications.

From Rachel Carson in the 1960s to contemporary critics, DDT has been the object of what Roberts, a professor of tropical public health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, calls "scare campaigns" that link DDT to "theoretical harms to wildlife and human life that simply don't exist."

Dubbed "the excellent powder" by Winston Churchill for its life-saving qualities, DDT has the potential to transform the developing world from a malarial hell into something else again. Yet as Tren, the winner of the 2009 Julian L. Simon Award, warns, under current international conventions, global DDT production is scheduled to be halted in 2017, thereby consigning much of the world to less-effective and more-expensive alternatives that will consign millions of poor people to living hell.'s Nick Gillespie sat down with Tren and Roberts, who are part of Africa Fighting Malaria, to talk about how DDT got such a bad rap and what can be done to set the record straight.

Approximately 9.15 minutes. Shot by Meredith Bragg and Dan Hayes; edited by Hayes and Josh Swain.

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BBC lectures us incessantly on climate change. So why did their bosses make 68,000 domestic flights in two years?

Its viewers are frequently subjected to warnings about climate change. Yet the BBC has spent nearly £5million on tens of thousands of short-haul flights across Britain for its executives, staff and guests.

At a time when programmes regularly highlight the environmental impact of air travel, licence-fee payers have funded more than 68,000 internal trips over the past two years – an average of nearly 100 flights a day.

The BBC’s daily carbon footprint generated by the UK air trips is the equivalent of that produced by the average person in a year, say environmental experts.

Among the users of domestic flights was the BBC’s Deputy Director-General Mark Byford, who flew from Southampton to Edinburgh to watch an England-Scotland rugby match.

Mr Byford, who earns £471,000 a year, also took a flight from London to Manchester to attend the Open golf championship. The same journey would have taken three hours by train.

BBC Director-General Mark Thompson travelled on 16 internal flights. These included a flight to Newcastle from London to attend a Conservative Party reception, and a flight from London to Glasgow to attend a concert. The huge bill for internal flights came to light following a Freedom of Information request.

Critics are bound to question how the Corporation can justify spending such a large sum on short flights – especially in the light of the BBC’s most recent corporate responsibility report, which says: ‘Large organisations like the BBC are under increasing pressure to reduce environmental impacts, use resources more efficiently, and manage their operations in a more sustainable way. We are making progress in all of these areas.

‘We will continue to encourage staff to travel less, and use rail rather than air wherever that is feasible.’

Last night campaigners were also questioning why the BBC had lavished huge amounts on UK air travel at a time of job cuts and cutbacks in programme budgets.

The total cost to licence-fee payers of the 68,063 flights amounted to £4,686,850 between 2007 and 2009. Those who took the flights included BBC staff, freelance workers and guests.

A spokesman for Friends of the Earth said: ‘There’s no excuse for flying across the UK when there are greener alternatives such as travelling by train.

‘It’s vital that we slash carbon emissions from transport to meet the UK’s targets for tackling climate change, and this means changing the way we travel.’

Among the reasons cited for taking flights were attending training days, TV and radio festivals and travelling to meetings.

One of the biggest users of domestic flights among the corporation’s executive directors was Deputy Director-General Mark Byford, who has overall responsibility for journalism and sport.

In March 2008, Mr Byford flew from Southampton – the airport closest to his Winchester home – to Edinburgh to watch a Scotland-England rugby match. On the same trip he also incurred £26 worth of taxi fares to get to and from the airport, a bill picked up by the licence-fee payer. In July that year he flew from London to Manchester to attend the Open golf championship at Royal Birkdale. In September Mr Byford flew to Manchester again to attend the Labour Party Conference. He took 23 domestic flights over the two-year period.

Other top executives made dozens of short-haul flights, including director general Mark Thompson and finance chief Zarin Patel.

Mr Thompson, who earns £834,000 a year, took 16 internal flights, including flying to Newcastle for the Conservative Party reception and to Glasgow for the ‘opening of season for Scottish Symphony Orchestra’.

Ms Patel, who earns £429,000, took at least 10 domestic flights to attend meetings with finance and production staff in Glasgow.

And Timothy Davie, who as the director of audio and music earns £403,000, took 18 internal flights including to attend the Edinburgh Festival last year and a radio festival in Glasgow.

Last night Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said the flights were a needless waste of money. He said: ‘Some BBC staff seem to be accustomed to travelling five star, but this kind of luxury simply can’t go on.

‘Taking a train is almost always far more cost-effective than domestic flights, and a plane simply isn’t necessary to reach most parts of the country other than Northern Ireland.’

Last night a BBC spokeswoman defended its use of domestic air travel. She said the BBC was introducing video conference facilities to cut down on the need to travel to meetings and that rail travel was its ‘preferred mode of transport within England’.

‘We do consider our environmental impact, but obviously we also have to consider value for money for the licence-fee payer. It remains the case that domestic flights are sometimes the cheapest and most time-efficient means for transport.’

She defended Mr Byford’s use of flights to attend the rugby match, saying: ‘His diary is extremely busy and so if he got the train up [from Southampton] it would take eight hours. He could well have had other things to do for the BBC on that day.

‘Just because it was a Saturday it wouldn’t necessarily mean he didn’t have other things to do.’

The BBC executives took their flights even though they have the use of chauffeur-driven cars – funded by the licence fee.

Mr Thompson has a VW Phaeton 3.0TDi V6 which has cost the licence payer £143,000 during the past two years. Mr Byford has a Lexus GS which has cost £133,000 during the same period.

It has previously been revealed that Mr Byford gets his car to pick him up from Waterloo Station every day after he commutes from Winchester to London. The car then drives him the six miles to and from his office at White City in West London.


Climate bill placed on hold over Senate dispute

Long-awaited climate change legislation was put on hold by its authors Saturday when a dispute over immigration politics and Senate priorities threatened to unravel a bipartisan effort that took months of work.

Voicing regrets, Sen. John Kerry said Saturday he is postponing the much anticipated unveiling of comprehensive energy and climate change legislation scheduled for Monday. The Massachusetts Democrat made his announcement after a key partner in drafting the bill, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, threatened to withhold support if Senate Democratic leaders push ahead first with an immigration bill.

Graham is angry that Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is considering that. Legislation to overhaul immigration laws and grant legal status to millions of long term immigrants unlawfully in the country could create problems for Republicans in the midterm elections. It's a top priority for Hispanic voters -- and most Republicans are opposed. Reid's idea amounts to a "cynical political ploy," Graham asserted.

Kerry tried to assure environmentalists and other backers of the climate bill that the delay will be short. The legislation aims to cut emissions of pollution-causing greenhouse gases 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. It also likely will expand domestic production of oil, natural gas and nuclear power.

The bill would apply different carbon controls to different sectors of the economy, without a broad cap-and-trade approach.

"We all believe that this year is our best and perhaps last chance for Congress to pass a comprehensive approach," Kerry said in a statement. "Regrettably, external issues have arisen that force us to postpone only temporarily."

Kerry, Graham and Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman have spent more than six months working on the bill they had hoped to unveil Monday. White House energy adviser Carol Browner praised the three senators, reiterating that the Obama administration wants the energy and climate bill done this year.

Environmental groups said they were disappointed with the delay and they would push Democrats to follow through on their pledge to pass legislation.

Graham's threat to back away from the coalition came Saturday in a letter to groups that have supported his efforts on the climate bill.

He said putting immigration at the top of the legislative priority list would derail efforts to find common ground on climate change, a difficult issue involving critically important economic priorities. And he warned that Republican lawmakers would not take kindly to being put on the spot with Hispanics. Many in the Republican Party's political base are adamantly opposed to 'amnesty' for illegal immigrants.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


25 April, 2010

British science boss wants funding restricted to the existing scientific establishment

Which would be a recipe for complete scientific inertia but very cosy. To encourage innovation, the opposite is needed. Funding should principally be directed towards testing new ideas. Very few scientists have more than one new idea in their lifetime and many do not have even one. They just replough well-worn furrows. The conformity over the wildly speculative global warming theory shows that pressures not to think outside establishment dogma are already alarmingly strong

Public funding of science should become more elitist, says the Nobel laureate nominated as next head of Britain’s national academy of science.

Sir Paul Nurse, named yesterday as the only candidate to succeed Lord Rees of Ludlow as President of the Royal Society, called for reform of the £3.2 billion budget to give more support to the few scientists who can “really move the needle” by making major discoveries.

In an interview with The Times, the geneticist, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2001 and is currently president of the Rockefeller University in New York, said that funders should identify 100 to 150 excellent scientists in all fields, who would get generous long-term support to pursue their interests.

The amount of funding would vary from field to field, and the elite would be assessed for five to seven years to ensure that they still deserved their status. Some money would still have to be available for other scientists to apply for grants to support individual projects, he said.

“I am actually a complete non-elitist in many aspects of my life, including science education up to a certain age, but when it comes to research I am really pretty elitist,” Sir Paul said. “There are not all that many people who can really move the needle.

“It is an interesting paradox, because we have quite a lot of people in the scientific endeavour, but not so many of them are people who are moving things significantly forward. Much of the work is worthybut the question is, do we have enough at that top end who make real discoveries? Are we attracting enough people there, and are we resourcing them enough?

“I think there has probably been too much attention paid to keeping the whole endeavour going in a sensible way, and not enough focus on how you can identify the very, very best, and make sure that they really do perform to their best ability.

“I think this has got to be solved really by having support systems that can reflect the fact that some people are very, very good and we should support them while they are very, very good.

“You need a combination of special systems that attract and support those who are excellent, and rigorous reviews so that when they cease to be excellent, as many often are, they don’t just hang on to those resources ... they can fit into the more general system.”

Sir Paul is a former chief executive of Cancer Research UK. The Royal Society confirmed yesterday that he was its chosen candidate and will ballot its 1,314 fellows to support his nomination.


Why I Am Enlarging My Carbon Footprint

As a psychotherapist, I try my best to calm down my anxious clients. But in this case, I inadvertently triggered a panic attack.

My twenty-something client Emma, a survivor of the Berkeley public schools, had a coughing fit during our session. I helpfully got up to get her some water. When I handed her a cup, she looked at it, incredulous. Her voice quivering, she asked, "Is this Styrofoam?"

I said yes. She stared at the cup, mesmerized by this forbidden fruit. When she finally found her words, she said, "I've never seen Styrofoam before. We learned in school that it kills baby birds."

Worried that Emma would bolt, I quickly defended the contraband, "Actually, I bought the cups years ago, and still have a few left."

When Emma returned the next week (thankfully), I asked about her reaction. She flooded me with stories about indoctrination by teachers. One of her earliest memories was singing songs on Earth Day, prayerfully, when she was five.

A sensitive soul, Emma became terrified that her beloved Earth would perish, and that she'd be culpable. Starting in third grade, she became an environmental fanatic. Emma went ballistic on her disabled grandmother when the old woman threw a bottle in the trash.

After school, she and her friends would sift through other people's garbage to root out recyclables. While Berkeley has plenty of homeless folks going through trash, Emma and her friends were out to save the world.

The poor thing would even sob in her car when she had to drive more than a few miles. She envisioned the pollution burning up the rain forests and asphyxiating polar bears.

A year into our therapy/cult deprogramming, I asked Emma about her fixation with all things ecological. She replied, "I'm over it."

Emma hasn't morphed into a consumer-glutton. But she's not making herself a stress case anymore. Emma even told me, with obvious pride, that for the first time in her life, she took a road trip.

How did I help Emma snap out of her trance? I simply imparted truths that someone should have communicated years ago, like the following:

Emma, you're a wonderful, good-hearted person. You deserve to be here. Your life is a blessing. It's OK to drive your car or to take a bag from the store. You deserve all these things and more. Besides, the earth has been here for millions of years and will be here long after your great grandchildren are gone.

Now, if the planet is not about to crash and burn, why turn children like Emma into eco-warriors? Why condition them to take three-minute showers and lambaste their elders?

The Left's underlying goal: to convince all of us that we don't matter. Our happiness, our cleanliness, our ease of living, our money, and our's the government's business, not ours. While Marxist theory celebrates the proletarian, in actuality, people become interchangeable cogs in the collective wheel.

With the promotion of environmental hysteria, the government keeps the masses frightened and in survival mode. When you traumatize and terrify people, they're malleable. As stated succinctly by Adolph Hitler himself, "Terror is the best political weapon."

Another potent way to dominate people? Blame and shame them; make them feel defective if they trash a bottle or enjoy a hot bath. Self-hate and shame are unbearable states of mind. People will do almost anything to get out of them.

Simply put, the Green Meanies care about power, not the planet. Does anyone out there really believe that Obama gives a hoot about the spotted owl?

I whimsically entitled this article "Why I'm Enlarging My Carbon Footprint." Truth be told, I'm not really into littering or trashing the streets. But I'm also not obsessing about every little thing I ingest or buy.

I refuse to kowtow to a government that not only wants to control my body and my money and what I eat, but also wants to get into my head and become my Higher Power. Frankly, I'm not interested. I've got a Higher Power already, and His name isn't Barack.


Climategate Investigation Only Fuels Controversy

If the University of East Anglia report set up to investigate the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) was meant to put the Climategate controversy to rest in time for Earth Day, it failed spectacularly.

The panel was led by Ernest Oxburgh, who happens to be the honorary president of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association. Carbon capture and storage is an industry that definitely wouldn’t suffer should CO2 limits be imposed. Also, Oxburgh’s involvement with the wind-energy industry raises further conflict of interest questions. With this in mind, the lack of depth into which the investigation went and the complete acquittal the panel gave the CRU, is not at all surprising.

The supposed investigation lasted a mere three weeks and was only five pages in length. Steve McIntyre, a leading critic of the IPCC report and editor of the Climate Audit blog, pointed out that the panel thought it only regrettable—and in no way acknowledged any sort of cover-up– that key facts and figures were tucked away in obscure scientific journals and omitted from the IPCC report. This is significant because, as he put it, IPCC presentations—and not the journals– “are how the climate science community speaks to the world.” Apparently, these scientists did not want the world to understand that their data did not support their theory. At least according to the well-known “climate-gate” emails which show that the scientists involved saw that these facts would “dilute the message.”

McIntyre isn’t the only one who is not sold by this so-called investigation. The Director of Energy and Global Warming Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Myron Ebel, said, “They don’t even make a minimal effort to rebut the obvious appearance of widespread data manipulation, suppression of dissenting research through improper means and intentional avoidance of complying with Freedom of Information requests.” In the scientific community, where transparency and the ability to replicate results are everything, these charges are severe. And unfortunately, the Obama administration is calling for harmful regulations based upon this faulty science.

The same week the panel gave the CRU a free pass, President Obama made the claim to his Economic Recovery Advisory Board that pending climate legislation from the left is good for business. The board would have been good to tell him otherwise. Spain and other European countries that have tried regulating CO2 emissions have suffered drastic economic results. Heritage experts have done the number-crunching and their results show Obama’s statement to be blatantly false. While the figures for the final bill would be slightly different than those calculated by Heritage experts for the Boxer-Kerry legislation, if CO2 emissions or renewable fuel standards legislation was enacted, you could count on trillions of dollars of losses in U.S. GDP, job losses in excess of a million, and trillions of dollars worth of higher energy costs.

If the American people are going to have to bear the consequences of this bill in a time of economic hardship, we should continue to demand a true investigation into the—shoddy at best, deceptive at worst—findings of the CRU. Allowing those that stand to profit from CO2 regulation to be the ones to investigate the science is like having a polar bear guard the seals.


Confirmed! Global warming is 'settled' – as a scam

'Climategate' author unveils evidence of 'every deception imaginable'

Al Gore's insistence that global warming is "settled science" has been used to defend claims humanity is on the edge of destroying the world. Now author Brian Sussman, whose book "Climategate" is being released Thursday – Earth Day – agrees it's "settled," as a scam.

Sussman unveils in his book evidence that the move to restrict carbon-dioxide emissions, tax a multitude of energy programs and create a "Big Brother" that would limit household energy use, among other programs, is a move to give government unlimited control over people.

National Public Radio reported in 2007 how Gore took his "climate-change crusade" to Congress and said the science on the issue was "settled." Then in 2009 the Environmental Protection Agency declared carbon dioxide and other emissions are endangering the future of the world.

Sussman's book, the newest title by WND Books, has been charting for several weeks already among Amazon's top 10 preordered titles. It warns that believing global warming is "settled science" is a danger itself.

He writes that the now-notorious intercepted e-mails that reveal leading global-warming supporters exchanging plans to squelch critics and falsify data are just the tip of the iceberg.

If you thought the record cold winter, expanding polar ice and other factors would make global-warming supporters "chill out," guess again, he writes.

"These people have a plan and they intend to control much more than your thermostat," the book says.

In "Climategate," he explains the science of the subject and how politics have taken control of the data. Further, he explains how many of the global-warming promoters are out to make a buck for themselves.

"It's obvious to everyone that this global-warming facade is in meltdown mode," said Joseph Farah, publisher of WND Books and founder and CEO of "Now Brian's important book comes along just in time to reveal exactly why this Big Lie was foisted on us to begin with and what we can do to stop it cold."

Among other things, "Climategate" reveals the underlying fraud of environmentalism in America. It also depicts the myth that global warming is the consensus of the scientific community.

The book traces the origins of a "climate-scare" agenda to the "diabolical minds of Marx and Engels in the 1800s – down the ages to the global governance of the United Nations today."

On the issue of carbon dioxide, the book points out that nature needs carbon dioxide and generates it through multiple natural processes to ensure its availability.

"Decomposing vegetation, the carcasses of dead animals, forest fires, smoldering peat bogs, volcanoes, plowed soil, weathering rocks, human utilization of fossil fuels, and even termites and crustacean shells – all exude carbon dioxide beneficial to the plant kingdom," he writes. "And the more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the more content the plants become – just ask anyone who has worked in a greenhouse.

"In fact, that is a portion of the carbon-dioxide debate no one bothers to address – the plant kingdom would abound if carbon-dioxide levels were to increase in the global atmosphere," he writes.

WND previously reported among the topics discussed in the book is whether there soon could be "Green Goon Squads" at your door, checking your energy usage.

The author explains federal legislation includes a set of regulations for energy efficiency that will be enforced "by a national, green goon squad."

"The legislation also authorizes the Secretary of Energy to 'enhance compliance by conducting training and education of builders and other professionals in the jurisdiction concerning the national energy-efficiency building code.'"

Sussman warns the focus is not to save energy and money. "It's a social-engineering scheme, designed and promoted by the federal government to change your behavior," he said.

Pollution actually has been decreasing, significantly, he documents. From 1980 to 2005, for example, he wrote, "Fine particulate matter declined 40 percent. Ozone levels declined 20 percent, and days per year exceeding the 8-hour ozone standard fell seventy-nine percent. Nitrogen-dioxide levels decreased 37 percent, sulfur dioxide dropped 63 percent and carbon-monoxide concentrations were reduced by 74 percent. Lead levels were lowered by 96 percent."

Neither are temperatures rising, he documents: "Since 2007, global temperatures are engaged in a significant downward spiral, with government data illustrating a 1°F (.65°C) drop in temperature between 2007 and 2008 alone," he reports.

He reports on e-mails that were hacked from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, which contain references to "hiding" information.

"The Climatic Research Unit had been regarded by many as one of the most credible atmospheric institutions in the world, but with the revelation of the e-mail exchanges, their supposed credibility was reduced to junk science," Sussman writes.

"The e-mails reveal that the world's leading climate scientists were working together to block Freedom of Information requests to review their data, marginalize dissenting scientists, manipulate the peer-review process, and obscure, massage or delete inconvenient temperature readings. One certainly wonders, why? Especially since Al Gore has assured the world that 'the science is settled.'"

Taking on the EPA directly, Sussman says, "Carbon dioxide only accounts for thirty-eight-thousandths of a percent of our planet's atmosphere. It is known as a variable gas, because, like water vapor, it has historically fluctuated. And what percentage of the minuscule amount of CO2 is produced by the activities of man, including the utilization of fossil fuels? According to a thorough analysis by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, a research wing of the U.S. Department of Energy, it is only 3.207 percent. All of this hoopla over an atmospheric component so minute, it is difficult to comprehend."

What could be driving the agenda of global warming? Dollars, he suggests.

"It's widely reported that Al Gore is worth at least $100 million, although my well-connected [source] believes it may be closer to $500 million. Quite a success story for a guy, who, according to financial-disclosure records released just prior to his bid for the presidency, had a net worth near $2 million," he writes.

Last December, the EPA signed two findings that concluded greenhouse gases in the atmosphere "threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations." The EPA's rulings could mean thousands of dollars in additional taxes for individual consumers.

Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Joe Barton, R-Texas, then cited the doubts about the integrity of "climate change" science in a letter and asked for an accounting of U.S. taxpayer support for the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The U.S. since 1994 has given some $50 million to the panel, and contributions under President Obama now have doubled.

Sussman, formerly a highly acclaimed San Francisco meteorologist, also is the newest morning host at KSFO Radio (560 AM), the highest-rated talk show in the San Francisco Bay Area and the fourth-largest radio market in the country.

In the original scandal that spawned the name Climategate, the hacked e-mails of Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit in Norwich, England, and others uncovered schemes to employ "tricks" with warming trends, squelch skeptics and defame journals that published them.

Earth Day is all the evidence of deception needed, said Sussman. First celebrated in 1970 on the 100th anniversary of the birth of communist leader Vladimir Lenin, it was founded by Sen. Gaylord Nelson, D-Wis.; former Stanford student-body president Denis Hayes; and author and Stanford professor Paul Ehrlich.

"Lenin's core political philosophy was linked at the hip with these newly fangled environmentalists who maintained that America's government must be altered, its economy planned and regulated, and its citizens better controlled," writes Sussman. "The environment would be the perfect tool to force these changes, and the most efficient way to gain converts would be through the public-school system – the earlier the better."

Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., has suggested the Justice Department investigate scientists for potentially falsifying data. And the Orange County Register has posted a chart for consumers to try to keep up with all the scandals developing in the "global warming" community. Among the scandals listed are:

* ClimateGate: The scandal over the Climatic Research Unit e-mails from East Anglia.

* FOIGate: In which British officials are investigating whether East Anglia scientists refused to follow that nation's freedom-of-information law about their work.

* ChinaGate: In which dozens of weather monitoring stations in rural China apparently have simply disappeared. This would lead to higher temperature averages since city levels frequently are warmer.

* HimalayaGate: In which an Indian climate official admitted in January that he falsely claimed Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035 to prod governments into action.

* And PachauriGates I and II, SternGates I and II, AmazonGate (in which a claim that global warming would wipe out rain forests was exposed as a fraud), PeerReviewGate, RussianGate I and II and nearly a dozen others.

WND also reported recently when the St. Louis–based Peabody Energy, the largest private coal company in the world, petitioned the EPA to re-examine its decisions in light of the controversy over the scientists' e-mails. The company noted the "seriousness of the flaws" in the work.

Given the EPA's "extensive reliance" on those reports, "the agency has no legal option but to re-examine the Endangerment Finding in light of this new information," the petition said.

On its website, the company said the EPA's earlier ruling "could mean regulation of hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of buildings, farms, businesses and other facilities in the U.S."

Texas officials also have filed a lawsuit accusing the federal government of using "tainted" information to arrive at the EPA conclusion and it asks that the EPA's decisions be set aside. Virginia's attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, also filed a petition demanding the EPA reconsider its greenhouse-gas finding.

The scientific community actually is anything but unanimous on climate change.

The disunity is documented by the Petition Project, launched some 10 years ago when the first few thousand signatures were gathered. The effort by Art Robinson, a research professor of chemistry and cofounder of the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine in 1973, now lists tens of thousands of qualified scientists who endorse the following statement:

"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."

Among the original e-mails hacked from East Anglia and posted online was, "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. The CERES data published in the August (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society) 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate."


The nine-bin nightmare in Britain: Families forced to follow green zealots' new recycling diktats

Families are facing a nightmare future of recycling confusion. In a regime set to spread across the country, residents are being forced to juggle an astonishing nine separate bins.

There has already been a storm of protest with warnings that the scheme is too complex and homes simply don't have the space to deal with the myriad bins, bags and boxes.

The containers include a silver slopbucket for food waste, which is then tipped in to a larger, green outdoor food bin, a pink bag for plastic bottles, a green bag for cardboard, and a white bag for clothing and textiles.

Paper and magazines go in blue bags, garden waste in a wheelie bin with a brown lid, while glass, foil, tins and empty aerosols should go in a blue box, with a grey wheelie bin for non-recyclable waste.

The strict regulations have been introduced as councils come under growing pressure to cut the amount of household rubbish they send to landfill. However, they go far beyond anything previously expected from householders and families.

Retired teacher Sylvia Butler is already being forced to follow the new rules. She said: 'I'm all for recycling and used to help educate the kids about it during my geography classes but expecting us to cope with nine different bins and bags is asking too much.'

Pressure on councils to enforce recycling schemes includes rising taxes on everything they send to landfill and the threat of European Union fines if they fail to hit EU targets from 2013 onwards.

Compulsory recycling is commonly enforced by bin police who can impose £100 on-the-spot fines for breaches like overfilled wheelie bins, extra rubbish left out, or bins put out at the wrong time. If people do not pay the fines, they can be taken to court, where they face increased penalties of £1,000 and criminal records.

Officials in Newcastle-under-Lyme in North Staffordshire anticipated trouble when they introduced the nine-bin system last month. They had to publish step-by-step instructions on how to fold down a cardboard box so that it fits into the green bag.

The council also put a film on its web-site in which a recycling officer demonstrates how to put a tenth container - a biodegradable liner - into the slopbucket.

Mrs Butler, 58, who is secretary of her local residents' association in Newcastle and a former councillor, said the terrace homes in her street had no gardens, yet were expected to accommodate bulky bins for garden waste.

Mrs Butler, who lives with husband Nick, 59, a retired lab worker, said: 'I have had to take my brown bin down to my allotment - there simply isn't room in my back yard to house it.'

Under the previous recycling system in the borough, householders had to juggle with the five containers that have become common in compulsory recycling and fortnightly collection schemes throughout the country.

The new system was introduced by the local council to help boost recycling rates from 26 per cent in 2008 to a target of 50 per cent by 2015.

It means only food waste is now taken each week. All other rubbish has to be stored for a fortnight before it is collected.

Mrs Butler said that whereas previously, only one wagon would collect their recycling, now up to three different lorries and crews do the job.

Samantha Dudley, 34, an office administrator from Newcastle, said recycling bags and their contents blowing in the street were a 'constant problem'. She said: 'This scheme is supposed to increase recycling but the irony is it is creating more rubbish.

'We are on high ground and although you can tie the plastic bags up, the ones full of plastic bottles simply blow away up the street - even when they are full - if they are not weighed down.'

She added: 'I'm used to organising things with two children but even I find juggling nine different recycling bags and bins difficult. I dread to think how elderly people get on.'

Around half the country now has fortnightly collection systems imposed by town halls that prefer to compel their residents to carry out complex recycling than either organise recycling themselves in waste plants or absorb the cost of landfill taxes.

A report for the Environment Department last week revealed that the burning of household rubbish by those trying to evade recycling rules has now become the greatest source of highly poisonous and cancer-causing dioxins in the environment.

Binmen also frequently refuse to take rubbish containers they view as contaminated. Last week in Andover in Hampshire dustmen refused to take away a bin they said was contaminated with a handful of fruit pips.

A spokesman for Newcastle-under-Lyme council, which is ruled by a coalition of Tories and Liberal Democrats, said: 'If residents report litter problems to us our crews will pick it up that day.'

Some Tory-controlled authorities have been among the cheerleaders for compulsory recycling and fortnightly collections despite criticism from their own party's shadow ministers who have accused Labour of forcing councils to behave like 'bin bullies'.

A number of Tory councils are expected to continue to be among the front-runners in enforcing recycling.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


24 April, 2010

Russian scientist says Arctic getting colder

Russians have been routinely navigating parts of the North Eastern passage through the Arctic for over a century so are acutely aware of what the year-to-year variations in it are

A Russian scientist says the Arctic may be getting colder, not warmer, which would hamper the international race to discover new mineral fields.

An Arctic cold snap that began in 1998 could last for years, freezing the northern marine passage and making it impassable without icebreaking ships, said Oleg Pokrovsky of the Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory.

"I think the development of the shelf will face large problems," Pokrovsky said Thursday at a seminar on research in the Polar regions.

Scientists who believe the climate is warming may have been misled by data from U.S. meteorological stations located in urban areas, where dense microclimates creates higher temperatures, RIA Novosti quoted Pokrovsky as saying.

"Politicians who placed their bets on global warming may lose the pot," Pokrovsky said.


Alarmists are not giving up easily

By Richard S. Lindzen, professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

IN November last year a file appeared on the internet containing thousands of emails and other documents from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain.

How this file got into the public domain is still uncertain, but the emails, whose authenticity is no longer in question, provided a startling view into the world of climate research.

In what has become known as Climategate, one could see unambiguous evidence of the unethical suppression of information and opposing viewpoints, and even data manipulation.

Moreover, the emails showed collusion with other prominent researchers in the US and elsewhere. The CRU supplies many of the authors for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

One might have thought the revelations would discredit the science underlying proposed global warming policy. Indeed, the revelations may have played some role in the failure of last December's Copenhagen climate conference to agree on new carbon emissions limits.

But with the political momentum behind policy proposals and billions in research funding at stake, the effect of the emails appears to have been small.

The general approach of the scientific community (at least in the US and Britain) has been to see whether people will bother to look at the files in detail (they mostly have not) and to wait until time diffuses the initial impressions to reassert the original message of a climate catastrophe that must be fought with widespread carbon control. This reassertion, however, continues to be suffused by illogic, nastiness and outright dishonesty.

There were, of course, the inevitable investigations of individuals such as Penn State University's Michael Mann (who manipulated data to create the famous "hockey stick" climate graph) and Phil Jones (director of the CRU).

The investigations were brief, lacked depth and were conducted mainly by individuals already publicly committed to the popular view of climate alarm. The results were whitewashes that are incredible given the data.

In addition, numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Agronomy, the American Society of Plant Biologists and the Natural Science Collections Alliance, most of which have no expertise in climate, endorse essentially the following opinion: that the climate is warming; the warming is due to man's emissions of carbon dioxide; and continued emissions will lead to catastrophe.

We may reasonably wonder why they feel compelled to endorse this view. The IPCC's position in its Summary for Policymakers from its Fourth Assessment (2007) is weaker, and simply points out that most warming of the past 50 years or so is due to man's emissions.

It is sometimes claimed that the IPCC is 90 per cent confident of this claim, but there is no known statistical basis for this claim; it's purely subjective. The IPCC also claims that observations of globally averaged temperature anomaly are also consistent with computer model predictions of warming.

There are, however, some things left unmentioned about the IPCC claims. For example, the observations are consistent with models only if emissions include arbitrary amounts of reflective aerosols or particles (arising, for example, from industrial sulfates) that are used to cancel much of the warming predicted by the models. Without such adjustments, the observations are consistent with there being sufficiently little warming as to constitute a problem not worth worrying about much.

It appears the public is becoming increasingly aware that something other than science is going on with regard to climate change and that the proposed policies are likely to cause severe problems for the world economy.

Climategate may thus have had an effect after all.

But it is unwise to assume that those who have carved out agendas to exploit the issue will simply let go without a battle. One can only hope the climate alarmists will lose so we can go back to dealing with real science and real environmental problems such as assuring clean air and water.


Capitalism: The Anti-Pollutant

Here’s a letter sent this morning to USA Today (By economist Donald J. Boudreaux)

On this Earth Day, Bjorn Lomborg scrubs with facts the noxious notions and emotions that pollute public discourse about the environment (“Earth Day: Smile, don’t shudder,” April 21). Especially useful is his point that the world’s number one environmental killer remains the indoor air pollution suffered by persons in poor countries who burn wood, waste, and dung to cook their meals and to heat their homes.

As the historian Thomas Babington Macaulay reminded us, it wasn’t until Europeans industrialized – or, as we say today, enlarged their ‘carbon footprint’ – that they were saved from that same filthy fate. Here’s Macaulay’s description of the dwelling of a typical 17th-century Scottish highlander:

“His lodging would sometimes have been in a hut of which every nook would have swarmed with vermin. He would have inhaled an atmosphere thick with peat smoke, and foul with a hundred noisome exhalations…. His couch would have been the bare earth, dry or wet as the weather might be; and from that couch he would have risen half poisoned with stench, half blind with the reek of turf, and half mad with the itch.”*

We in today’s developed economies are indeed lucky to be able to worry about dangers as distant and as nebulous as global warming.


Hell of a lot of money to be made on carbon offsets

Carbon offsets are facing criticism from those who say they do more harm than good

Today marks the fortieth annual Earth Day, an international celebration of environmental awareness and eco-activism established by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson. Earth Day is the culmination of Earth Week, which is itself the culmination of Earth Month, a time when millions of Americans renew their commitments to environmental sustainability.

Many of them will consider carbon offsetting, the deceptively complicated practice in which individuals typically spend money to reduce carbon emissions or increase energy efficiency to compensate for their own carbon footprint.

But the message from leading environmentalists and even the government is simple: Those who don’t carefully consider the process may end up doing more harm than good. And even those that do carefully consider it may end up doing nothing at all.

Some have taken extreme measures to raise the alarm. Late last year, a Greenpeace Web editor, Mike Gaworecki, warned in a blog post that “offsets could totally undermine our efforts to combat global warming” by permitting corporations to outsource their emissions obligations to companies that aren’t well-regulated.

He accompanied the post with a satirical video depicting a spokesman from the fictional Carbon Regulatory Offset Committee. In a profanity-laced rant, the spokesman claims to be redeeming his ‘carbon offset points’ as he destroys a forest, detonates mountaintops, and even appears to incinerate a rabbit.

Also last year, the U.S. House of Representatives scrapped its grand plan to become carbon-neutral after spending almost $90,000 on carbon offsets. Many of the projects the House funded with that money were already completed when it paid for them, the Washington Post found. (D.C. finally got its first carbon neutral House earlier this year, but it can only fit six prima donnas instead of 435.)

As recently as late last week, ForestEthics, an environmental nonprofit that focuses on preserving endangered forests, joined eight other environmental groups in strongly condemning a carbon offset plan endorsed by the Pacific Carbon Trust. The Trust, established by the government of British Columbia, requested millions for forestation projects in the hopes of making BC carbon-neutral.

The $700 million international market in carbon offsetting encompasses a wide range of activities, some of them more objectionable to environmental groups than others. Popular offsets fund reforestation projects, prevent deforestation, and finance systems that promote energy efficiency.

Although many prominent organizations that sell offsets, such as, are careful to gain third-party certifications to assure customers that their offsets are going where they think they are, they haven’t assuaged concerns that they’re promising more than they can deliver.

Rolf Skar, a senior campaigner at Greenpeace who has spent years working on environmental issues, took aim particularly at offsets designed to prevent deforestation. “In general, we don’t support forest or even agriculture offsets,” Skar said, adding that deforestation is often caused by “a complicated bastion of drivers” that offsets cannot always reverse., one of the most respected offset vendors, has partnered with big names like the Academy Awards and Dell Computer, but Skar said more and more companies are abandoning offsets because of concerns about their reliability.

Two months ago, reports surfaced that Nike had opted to eschew what it called “increasingly controversial” offsets in favor of improving energy efficiency.

Among the key principles that says are key to the reliability of its offsets are those of “additionality” and “permanence.” Additonality means that offsets are going to projects that would not have occurred without their funding. Permanence means that the offsets won’t fund a forest that corporations chop down within the next few decades.

But neither of those principles is particularly easy to guarantee in practice. “What we’re seeing, is basic questions like whether the forest would have ever been destroyed [without the offset],” Skar said. “Those questions are very difficult to answer.”


'Failure' to pass Warmist bill Would Have Many Benefits

“What’s the cost if Congress fails” to enact a cap-and-trade or carbon tax bill?

The “cost” is actually a multitude of benefits:

-- The U.S. economy won’t be hit by virtual or outright energy taxes in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, improving prospects for a recovery.

-- Congress will not declare political warfare on coal, continuing America’s access to abundant, affordable base-load power.

-- Congress will not adopt carbon tariffs, avoiding an era of trade warfare between the United States and emerging industrial powerhouses such as China and India.

· The U.S. Government will lack a bully pulpit for pressuring poor countries to ban coal-based power, allowing them to escape from energy poverty.

This week’s question asserts that “the companies and nations that are the most energy efficient will prosper the most.”

Energy efficiency can sometimes contribute to economic efficiency, but it is not a magic elixir for job and GDP growth. U.S. energy intensity (the amount of energy consumed per dollar) has declined by 1.9% annually since 1992, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

That translates into a hefty 42% improvement over the past 19 years. Yet the U.S. economy is in a recession. California has the most energy-efficient economy of any state in the Union, yet the Golden State is tottering into bankruptcy.

The EIA projects that under current policies, U.S. energy intensity will decline by another 40% from 2008 to 2035. This will occur whether Congress “fails” or not. Why then the angst about the state of America’s energy efficiency?

Energy secretary Steven Chu and others warn that if we do not put a price on carbon and drive investment into “clean technologies,” China will “eat our lunch.” But one reason China has emerged as a leading manufacturer of solar voltaic panels and wind turbines is that Beijing refuses to put a price on carbon. Chinese manufacturers, including “clean tech” manufacturers, gain a competitive advantage from their uncapped access to low-cost, coal-based power.

This week’s question seems to assume that energy efficiency always more than pays for itself and thus is a bargain at almost any price. But improving energy efficiency is only one possible investment that might improve a firm’s bottom line.

Whether investing in energy efficiency represents the highest and best use of scarce resources depends on each firm’s particular circumstances. Outsiders – politicians, NGOs, and academic experts – are uniquely unqualified to make such particularized judgments.

The question also seems to equate greener with more efficient. Not so. Waxman-Markey includes incentives for carbon capture and storage (CCS), but the main reason CCS is uneconomical is that it makes coal-fired power plants less energy efficient.

Boulder, Colorado is considering a plan to reduce the carbon footprint of the city’s housing stock. Critics point out that the program could cost landlords and tenants anywhere from $400 to $800 per ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) reduced. Such heroic sacrifices may be green, but they are not efficient.

Germany’s feeder tariff program is widely hailed as green. It subsidizes solar power at a rate of 59¢ per kWh, “more than eight times higher than the wholesale electricity price at the power exchange,” the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut (RWI) reported last year.

Between 2000 and 2010, the program will transfer an estimated $73.2 billion to solar power producers. What do German consumers get in return? Despite the whopping subsidy, solar generates only 0.6% of the country’s electricity. That works out to carbon abatement cost of $1,050 for every ton of CO2 avoided, RWI calculates. That’s not efficient, to put it mildly.

One benefit if Congress “fails” to enact cap-and-trade is that Congress will be less likely to adopt tougher measures with even worse economic impacts. A recent Harvard University study finds that Waxman-Markey won’t wring enough carbon out of the transport sector and advises policymakers to supplement the economy-wide cap with new motor fuel taxes. Congress, the researchers contend, should raise gasoline prices to $7-$9 a gallon.

This would indeed spur efforts to improve energy efficiency, but it would also cripple every small business that uses trucks for hauling, pickup, and delivery. Even if phased in over several years, $7-$9 gasoline might make the oil shocks of the ‘70s seem tame by comparison.

If politicians don’t raise energy prices today, America will face a “future where energy and resources will be still more expensive,” this week’s question warns. That’s a little like saying we should shoot ourselves in the foot now because somebody else may shoot us in the foot later.

Waxman-Markey would raise fossil energy prices not just today but over the next 40 years. Would that not also bid up the price of alternative energies that compete with fossil? If the goal is to avoid a future of resource and energy scarcity, then politicians should not cap and tax the most affordable energies in today’s marketplace.


Last in Class: Critics Give U.N. Climate Researchers an 'F'

A group of 40 auditors from across the globe have released a shocking report card that flunks the U.N.'s landmark climate-change research report. It may be time for the United Nations' climate-studies scientists to go back to school.

A group of 40 auditors -- including scientists and public policy experts from across the globe -- have released a shocking report card on the U.N.'s landmark climate-change research report. And they gave 21 of the report's 44 chapters a grade of "F."

The team, recruited by the climate-change skeptics behind the website, found that 5,600 of the 18,500 sources in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Nobel Prize-winning 2007 report were not peer reviewed.

"We've been told this report is the gold standard," said Canadian global-warming skeptic Donna Laframboise, who runs the site and who organized the online effort to examine the U.N.'s references in the report, commonly known as the AR4.

The cover of the IPCC's fourth assessment report to the U.N., "Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report," more frequently referred to as AR4. "We've been told it's 100 percent peer-reviewed science. But thousands of sources cited by this report have been nowhere near a scientific journal."

Based on the grading system used in American schools, 21 chapters in the IPCC report received an F for citing peer-reviewed sources less than 60 percent of the time. Four chapters received a D, and six received a C.

The report also got eight A's and five B's from the auditors, who included Bob Ashworth, a member of the American Geophysical Union, and Dr. Darko Butina, a director of Chemomine Consultancy Ltd.

According to Lafromboise, much of the scientific research published by the U.N. cited press releases, newspaper and magazine clippings, student theses, newsletters, discussion papers, and literature published by green advocacy groups. Such material is often called "gray literature," she said, and it stands in stark contrast to the U.N.'s claims about the study's sources.

In June 2008, Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC's chairman, said: "People can have confidence in the IPCC's conclusions, given that it is all on the basis of peer-reviewed literature. "We don't pick up a newspaper article and, based on that, come up with our findings," he told a group at the Commonwealth Club.

The U.N. is not commenting in depth on the audit, but it has acknowledged its existence. Isabel Garcia-Gill, a spokeswoman for the IPCC in Geneva, told that the U.N. knows of what she terms the "Laframboise report." She declined to answer further questions, and she asked that queries be sent by e-mail; she did not respond to such e-mails.

But not everyone agrees that "gray literature" is bad sourcing for a study. "The category of so-called gray literature includes valuable information that the IPCC -- and we -- shouldn't ignore," argued Peter Frumhoff, chief scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a lead author of the deforestation section of the last IPCC report.

"Handing out negative grades to the IPCC for simply being thorough is wrong," he said, adding that the IPCC should "look at all the information, including peer-reviewed papers as well as gray literature, which includes government reports and other important information sources. By and large, the IPCC process works exceptionally well and the independent review of IPCC procedures now underway will assess opportunities for further strengthening it."

Monique Hanis, a spokeswoman for the Solar Energy Industries Association, downplayed the importance of the report, saying that despite a handful of errors, there is still a pressing need for cleaner energy to help combat climate change.

"Regardless of the debate on the science of climate change, the facts are that we still need to reduce pollution, increase renewable energy sources and shift to a clean energy future," she said. "And despite the disappointing climate change event in Copenhagen, many of us in the industry are simply moving forward."

But other policy experts were unsurprised by the report. Dan Miller, a spokesman for the Heartland Institute, a non-profit think tank that is hosting a global warming conference next month in Chicago, said the bad grades given to the U.N. were apt.

"The IPCC deserves every stroke of its 'F' grade," Miller told "Not only is the data used in the report flawed and suspect, but even more egregiously, the IPCC authors -- very few of whom indeed are scientists -- refused to consult with scientists who are skeptical of the IPCC's defining hypothesis: that the Earth faces a crisis from rising global temperatures and that human activity played a significant role."

"The authors' closed minds are a trait typical of propagandists, not scientists," he added.

Roni Bell Sylvester, editor of environmental policy site Land and Water USA, told "Any policy already made that is connected in any way to climate change/global warming/CO2 theories must be rescinded. Any policy in the works that is connected in any way to climate change/global warming/CO2 theories must be aborted."

There are still many who support restrictions on carbon emissions. A spokeswoman for carbon-accounting software firm Hara told that the need for limits "will only get more critical, with climate-change legislation heating up in Cancun this fall." Corporate giants like Coca-Cola, and Safeway, are among Hara's customers, and venture funding is being provided by the firm Kleiner Perkins.

Others are calling for a more cautious approach than spending public or private dollars on discredited scientific research. "The correct policy to address this non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing," said Lord Christopher Monckton, who was a science adviser to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and now is chief policy adviser to the Science and Public Policy Institute.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


23 April, 2010

Former IPCC chair John Houghton sees climate change as a theological issue: second coming etc

An email from Michael Potts [] below. I hasten to add that the John Ray mentioned is a long-dead English naturalist

Hardly news as such, but if you weren't already aware, I thought you would be interested in taking a look at the website for the John Ray Initiative - a charity set up and run by former IPCC chair Sir John Houghton.

It is very revealing for showing an Al Gore-like combining of environmentalism with religous fervour. Here for example, is their newsletter from 2007


"At Bristol’s Trinity College, we spent a day in March examining the Severn Barrage proposal. ‘Environmental Decision-Making: Does Theology Help?’ was the conference title. The conclusion was that theology does help. It sets the framework of human and creation care in which we must operate"

This is quite representative - all the other newsletters take a similar theme of the end-days approaching and the second coming and see climate change as a harbinger of that. I know it sounds wacky that Sir John Houghton would be publicising this stuff, but it all checks out. The charity is registered and can be verified.

Environmentalism is now a religion, and being overtaken by extremism

Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, which will be celebrated this year, according to the Earth Day Network, by more than a billion people in 190 countries.

When Earth Day started in 1970 few people would have expected it to become a globally observed religious holiday with its own Ten Commandments, including "use less water," "save electricity," "reduce, reuse, recycle," and "spread the word." The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants people everywhere to "commit to action" in defense of the Earth.

America's leading environmental historian, William Cronon of the University of Wisconsin, calls environmentalism a new religion because it offers "a complex series of moral imperatives for ethical action, and judges human conduct accordingly."

In other words, issues such as climate change are now much more than about "science."

And this places a greater burden on environmental theology than it is often able to handle. Success in stirring powerful religious feelings about the environment does not automatically lead to wise and effective policies.

Calamities from inaction

Environmentalists see humans engaged in acts of vast hubris, remaking the future ecosystems of the Earth. By playing "God" with the Earth, humans seek to become as God themselves.

The Bible's book of Deuteronomy reveals dire consequences for those who try to "play God." We learn that those who "worship other gods," can suffer "infections, plague and war. He will blight your crops, covering them with mildew. All these devastations shall pursue you until you perish."

It is no mere coincidence that contemporary environmentalism prophesies virtually the same set of calamities resulting from the warming of the earth -- rising seas, famine, drought, pestilence, hurricanes and other natural disasters. Environmentalism is recasting ancient biblical messages to a new secular vocabulary. One environmental organization even declared that the most important commandment for human beings was to put "Earth First!" -- renouncing the modern worship of science and economics that once provided a secular substitute for God.

Thus the Endangered Species Act is the new Noah's Ark; genuinely wild places are the new cathedrals to find spiritual inspiration; Earth Day is the new Easter.

Much of the attraction of environmental religion is the disguised form in which it is presented. By appearing distinct from formal theologies and official churches of institutional Christianity, it can attract people who would normally not be involved, including residents of many nominally Christian nations and those who think of themselves as "spiritual," while vigorously rejecting any suggestion that they should ever belong to "a religion."

This comes as no surprise. A leading student of environmentalism, Thomas Dunlop, finds that "ever since Emerson, Americans who failed to find God in church took terms and perspectives from Christian theology into their search for ecstatic experiences in nature."

"Environmentalism's rhetorical strategies, points of view, and ways of thought remain embedded in this evangelical Protestant heritage," he writes, even as this heritage has increasingly been disguised. While the language is now different, environmentalists today see "excessive" consumption as a threat to the earth's future.

But all this is much less novel than many people think. John Calvin wrote in the 16th century in "Institutes of the Christian Religion" that God has "revealed himself and daily discloses himself in the whole workmanship of the universe." By visiting places where nature remains little affected by human actions, human beings will be "instructed by this bare and simple testimony which the creatures render splendidly to God."

In the celebrations of Earth Day, however, there is admittedly one critical difference. The message is presented as an actual history of the world with concrete policy recommendations for today.

The task for the future will be to draw on the core truths of the environmental message while adapting them to the full scientific and economic complexities of the 21st century. When environmental religion seeks a return to an earlier primitive and natural existence, it is embracing utopian dreams that easily can pose a danger to man and earth alike.


A gasoline-fueled Earth Day

Government subsidies spawn widespread environmental fraud

The green movement would be a lot funnier if it didn't have access to our pocketbooks. Unfortunately, devotees of "alternative energy" have harnessed the greatest of all sources of renewable power - government taxation - to fulfill their fantasies. The results are as tragic as they are comic.

Last month, the Government Accountability Office released a report on a $300 million Department of Energy program designed to promote commercial products that boast fashionable "green" credentials. A team of GAO investigators with an uncharacteristically fine sense of humor submitted 20 bogus products to the department and walked away with Energy Star certification for 15 of them, including a gasoline-powered alarm clock. GAO deserves credit for illuminating the careless attitude that sets in when the greens start spending other people's money. After all, when it's being done in the name of the environment, liberal thinking is that there's no need to measure a policy's costs against the alleged benefits.

It appears that gasoline generators are at work pumping energy into Spain's heavily subsidized solar panels. Of the 6 billion euros in government aid to the electricity market, 2.3 billion is lavished on electricity that is supposed to be produced by the sun's rays, generating a mere 2 percent of the nation's power needs. Under the profligate plan, anyone installing a solar panel can collect a check for 436 euros for each megawatt of power returned to the electrical grid. Several solar farms have sprung up as a result. As the newspaper El Mundo reported last week, at least 6,000 megawatts of purported solar electricity were generated during the dark evening and early-morning hours over three months. The decidedly nongreen use of generators helped the enterprising fraudsters walk away with at least 2.6 million euros.

The so-called environmentalists who peddle subsidies of this magnitude rarely stop to consider whether government intervention will inspire conduct that ends up causing more harm to the environment in the long run. The folly of tax credits, rebates, grants, loans and other subsidies for solar electricity is not limited to Europe. Washington state, for example, pays up to 54 cents per kilowatt-hour generated by a consumer solar panel and $1.08 per kilowatt-hour for electricity generated by a "community" project. That makes for expensive energy, given that a consumer plugging an appliance into a wall outlet pays an average of 8 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

With our country facing $12.8 trillion in public debt, Americans can't afford to throw away money on a technology that is more efficient at generating laughs than light.


Hockey Sticks and “Climategate”: a Death of Scientific Integrity

Dr. Martin Hertzberg of Copper Mountain, a retired research scientist and consultant in the causes and prevention of accidental fires and explosions, will present the above titled talk at this month’s meeting of the Café Scientifique. The meeting will be held at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, April 27th at the Summit County Senior and Community Center, 151 Peak One Blvd, Frisco, Colorado. Dr. Hertzberg also served as a forecasting and research meteorologist while on active duty with the U. S. Navy. He has been studying the “global warming/climate change” issue for over twenty years and has published papers and articles on the subject.

The presentation will be in two parts: the first will discuss the theory that human emission of CO2 is causing dangerous global warming or climate change and that drastic measures of “carbon control” are needed. That discussion will be prefaced by a showing of a condensed version of the documentary “Not Evil, Just Wrong”, followed by a summation of the available data that shows that the theory is false. The evolution of two fraudulently concocted “hockey sticks” is revealed: one for the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere, and the other for the atmospheric CO2 concentration. They are discussed in the context of the recent disclosures of the e-mail correspondence among the various global warming advocates: the so-called “climategate” scandal. The e-mails reveal an appalling lack of scientific integrity on the part of those advocates.

The second part of the presentation will be prefaced by a showing of a brief film entitled “Unstoppable Solar Cycles”, which will be followed by a summation of much of the available data that elaborates on the real causes of global warmings, global coolings and climate change. Those cycles are controlled by solar activity on the time scale of decades to hundreds of years, and by variations in the properties of the earth’s orbit around the sun on the longer time scale of tens to hundreds of thousands of years. Variations in solar activity modulate the intensity of cosmic rays impacting the earth’s atmosphere. Cosmic ray ionization provides nucleating agents for cloud formation. The cosmic ray flux measured at our own Climax mine correlates precisely with the earth’s total low level cloud coverage, as measured from satellites. Dr. Hertzberg’s analysis of the radiative equilibrium between the sun, the earth, and free space, confirms that all the temperature variations of the last century are readily explained in terms of those modest changes in cloudiness that are observed to correlate with solar activity.

Global warmings result in an increase in atmospheric CO2 as warmed oceans emit their dissolved CO2. Global coolings result in a decrease in atmospheric CO2 as cooling oceans absorb atmospheric CO2. Temperature variations precede those CO2 variations by several hundred to a thousand years, thus indicating that it is the temperature variations that cause atmospheric CO2 changes and not the reverse. The human contribution to the cycle is trivial and furthermore the so-called “greenhouse effect”, touted as the mechanism by which atmospheric CO2 controls weather, has long been known to be devoid of physical reality.

Accordingly, proposed measures of “carbon control” will have no effect on the weather but instead will seriously damage the Nation’s economy and the reliability of its electric generating capacity: a system that is currently working quite satisfactorily and is entirely independent of foreign sources of energy. Clearly, that system for supplying the Nation with its essential need for reliable electricity “ain’t broke”…and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

For information about the Café Scientifique and its programs, contact Dr. E. Koneman at (970) 453-2685.


Bill would widen Clean Water Act

Opponents see federal power grab

House Democrats pushed forward Wednesday with an effort to delete the word "navigable" from the Clean Water Act - a change that would give the government greater ability to enforce clean-water rules but that opponents said amounts to a federal power grab.

Rep. James L. Oberstar, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he's trying to return the law to where it was before 2001, when the Supreme Court issued the first of two rulings that said the Clean Water Act's use of "navigable" limits the government's oversight to major rivers, lakes and similar waterways.

Environmentalists say those rulings and subsequent George W. Bush administration regulations have been exploited by polluters.

"Clean, safe water is a right for all Americans," said Mr. Oberstar, Minnesota Democrat. "Unless we act, the law can't ensure that right. Because of the Supreme Court decisions, companies have spilled oil, carcinogens and bacteria into the lakes, rivers and other waters without being fined or prosecuted."

He said his intention was to return the law to its status in 2001, which he said had the agreement of both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Both sides were still poring over the ins and outs of the legislation, but opponents said they fear the bill goes further than Mr. Oberstar is letting on.

"If this bill were to become law, there'd be no body of water in America that wouldn't be at risk of job-killing federal regulation - from farmers' irrigation canals to backyard ponds and streams to mud puddles left by rainstorms," said Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington, the ranking Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee.

The Waters Advocacy Coalition, made up of farm, manufacturing and housing advocacy groups, said the bill would upset the federal-state balance that has developed on water protection.

At its core, the fight is over how broadly Congress wanted the 1972 Clean Water Act to be applied.

The law in one place says the act was to protect the nation's waters, but in other places, it says it's meant to govern "navigable" waters. The Supreme Court ruled that constrained the Environmental Protection Agency to regulating waterways big enough for ship traffic.

Paul Schwartz, national policy coordinator for Clean Water Action, a lobby group, said that has meant polluters just have to go upstream until they find a waterway no longer covered under the law, and they can pollute.

Mr. Oberstar has introduced similar legislation before but said he has tried in this version to meet the concerns of previous opponents. He said he specifically has exempted groundwater and wastewater and has lifted key language about the definition of water from farm regulations on which all sides already agree.

Mr. Schwartz said folks on his side weren't thrilled with some of the exemptions but said it shows Mr. Oberstar is making a good effort, and he said he doesn't understand those who remain opposed.

"I think our opponents are just in some weird place where they're frantically trying to fix the facts to the conclusion they're trying to drive," he said. "What is it that they think they're going to gain politically and otherwise by being against motherhood and apple pie?"

The chances for the bill are uncertain.

A Senate committee already has passed a similar bill, but it has not received a full Senate vote. Mr. Oberstar said he wants to have the measure on the House floor in September and said the chamber's leaders have promised to carve out debate time.

Mr. Oberstar said he doesn't know how much more water would fall under the federal government's scope under his bill.

The measure is being co-sponsored by two congressman from Michigan, a Democrat and a Republican, who said they are particularly interested in trying to protect waters that feed the Great Lakes.


Australia's green-inspired and disastrous home insulation program to cost taxpayers $1 billion in cleanup costs

TAXPAYERS face a $1 billion bill to clean up the Rudd Government's botched home insulation scheme, which has wasted 2 per cent of its $42bn economic stimulus package.

After months of revelations of dodgy work and rorting of the $2.45bn program, the Government yesterday scrapped it on the basis of an independent report highlighting massive failings in its design and administration, The Australian reported.

As Tony Abbott attacked the scheme as the worst government bungle in Australian history, the Prime Minister left it to junior minister Greg Combet to announce the about-face on an earlier promise to redesign and relaunch the program.

Doing his best to put a positive spin on the debacle, the Assistant Energy Efficiency Minister focused on rorting by unscrupulous installers, rather than poor regulation, as the key cause of the scheme's problems.

The report, by former senior public servant Allan Hawke, blamed weak oversight by ministers and public servants, a rushed time frame, inadequate audit systems and poor communication with state-based regulators.

"Internal management structures, particularly early in the program, did not provide the necessary senior management oversight or allow for considered review at appropriate times," the report said.

"A program of the profile and significance of the HIP (Home Insulation Program) involving an industry that had minimal regulation warranted very close attention."

Dr Hawke's report also questioned whether any of the scheme's aims had been achieved, including energy efficiency, greenhouse gas abatement and job-creation.

The insulation scheme, designed to insulate 2.7 million homes, was announced in February last year as a stimulus measure.

It was suspended two months ago because of serious concerns about fraud and safety that followed the deaths of four young installers, 120 house fires and claims that up to 1000 roofs may have been electrified.

Big fix-up job ahead: The Government now faces the task of finding and fixing safety and quality problems in 1.1 million homes fitted with insulation under the program.

So far the Government has committed to inspecting all 50,000 homes fitted with foil insulation and 150,000 homes with non-foil insulation.

Dr Hawke has warned that significantly more than 200,000 homes might need to be inspected.

He said this work could leave little change from the $1 billion still remaining in the scheme's budget.

Mr Combet defended the program's role in stimulating the economy during the downturn.

"This was a very important program, the home insulation program, in the context of the global financial crisis and it resulted in 1.1 million homes having insulation installed," he said.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


22 April, 2010

The Warmists' flat earth theory

They REALLY are flat earthers. Their models assume it -- and make them just as wrong as the original flat-earthers

All of the computer models of the climate have adopted the flat earth theory of the earth's energy, as portrayed in Kiehl J. T. and K. E. Trenberth 1997. Earth’s Annual Global Mean Energy Budget. Bull. Am. Met. Soc. 78 197-208.

The attached graph is in all of the Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, and it is fundamental to all their activities.

It assumes that the earth can be considered to be flat, that the sun shines all day and all night with equal intensity, and that the temperature of the earth's surface is constant.

All the quantities on the graph are given as correct to the nearer Watt per square meter, but the figures in the paper are shown to possess very high inaccuracy which can never be measured, but always has to be "qualitatively estimated".On this occasion it was possible to stretch these inaccuracies to the level needed to provide a "balanced" energy budget. The total energy entering is made equal to the energy leaving. In this way it is now possible to calculate the effect of additional greenhouse gases. If it was not "balanced" and the "balance" varied it would be impossible to calculate.what are the effects of additional greenhouse gases.

There has now been a change of heart, in the following paper

Trenberth, K E, J T Fassulo, and J T Kiehl. 2009 Earth's Global Energy Budget. Bull Am. Met. Soc. 90 311-323.

This paper does a complete reassessment of the figures in the first paper. Its amended version as a mean between March 2000 and May 2004 is attached.

The earth is now thoroiughly flattened, as if it had been run over by a cosmic steamroller. Most of the figures have changed. Those for input and output of radiation are now apparently correct to one place of decimals. The rest of them are in trouble. The paper is full of discussions on how they could increase the "qualitative estimates" of uncertainty that might be attached to them, but this time they have found it impossible to extend their estimating ability sufficiently. So this time it is "unbalanced" to the extent of a warming of 0.9 Watts per square meter a year for the period 2000 to 2004.

Unfortunately there is no doubt that the earth's temperature cooled over this period. This paper is therefore firm proof that the original concepts behind the models are wrong.

It ought to be obvious. The earth does actually rotate. The sun does not shine at night. The temperature is not constant. Every part of the earth has a different energy input from its output.

There is a correct mathematical treatment. It would involve the division of the earth's surface into a large number of tiny increments, and the energy input and output calculated for each one, using the changes in all the factors involved. There would then have to be a gigantic integration of all these results to give a complete energy budget for the earth. Only when this is done and repeated over a long period will it be possible to find the influence of increases in greenhouse gases.

The data do not exist for such an exercise and probably never will.

Until then we will have to settle for the methods that have been developed by meteorologists over the past two centuries and hope that these can be extended over time to provide us with a means for assessing the effects of additional greenhouse gases on the climate.

The currently promoted greenhouse theory is dead and its consequences have to be removed at once.


The DoD should assess the security risks of climate change policies

The Pentagon is perhaps the most influential lobby on Capitol Hill and has the respect of many on the center-right who hold the likes of Greenpeace, Al Gore, and the United Nations in low regard. What’s more, if “even the generals are worried” and climate change is officially deemed a national security threat, then proponents of cap-and-trade get to wave the flag and depict their opponents as venal, partisan, or unpatriotic. So it’s not surprising that global warming activists for years have sought to institutionalize climate change concerns in Department of Defense (DOD) intelligence assessments, program planning, and budgeting.

They have made some headway, though the Department is still far from a hotbed of climate alarm. DOD’s Quadrennial Defense Review Report (QDR) calls climate change a “key issue” that will play a “significant role in shaping the future security environment.” On the other hand, at a recent briefing on the QDR at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a top-ranking DOD official pointedly declined to define climate change as a “national security threat,” calling it instead an “instability accelerant”—a factor that could exacerbate conditions conducive to conflict within and among nations. Angst, hyperbole, and cheerleading for cap-and-trade were conspicuously absent. Nonetheless, the Wilson Center briefing lacked balance. Panelists discussed the security risks associated with climate change while seeming completely oblivious to the potential of various climate change policies to damage U.S. security interests. Similarly, the QDR says nothing about the security risks of climate policies.

This paper aims to inject some badly needed balance into discussions of climate change and national security. First, it takes a skeptical look at the claim that climate is an important “threat multiplier” or, as the QDR puts it, an “accelerant of instability and conflict.” Second, it outlines several ways in which climate policies can adversely affect U.S. national security.


Spain to stiff solar investors

They're basically broke and their Green/Left policies are a large part of the reason

Spain’s government, after using subsidies to spur more than 18 billion euros ($24 billion) in solar-power projects since 2008, may reduce the premium power rates that attracted clean-energy investors.

The state has the authority to cut prices paid to operating renewable-power plants under a 2007 law, according to an industry ministry spokesman who declined to be identified. All options are being assessed for a new strategic plan this year, he said. Spanish solar and wind developer shares fell as much as 4.1 percent.

“This is nothing less than a catastrophe” for investors, said Stephane Aderca, an energy analyst at Liberum Capital Ltd. in London. “We had believed that a promise is a promise. Going back on a promise brings the whole thing into question.”

Developers built 2.5 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity in Spain in 2008, more than the whole world added in 2007, after the government set rates at about 10 times higher than earned by plants burning fossil fuels. Investment slumped in 2009 after Spain slashed its consumer-subsidized tariff for new plants by about 25 percent.

Industry groups have been negotiating with the government for months over tariff cuts for plants that have yet to begin production.

“Should the government incorporate a back-dated tariff revision that goes against the spirit of the law it would lead to a flood of lawsuits and would affect the credibility of Spain,” said Tomas Diaz, a spokesman for the Spanish Photovoltaic Industry Association.

The government is also considering further tariff cuts for new renewable-power plants, the ministry spokesman said in a telephone interview today.

Spanish companies that own or develop clean-energy plants declined in Madrid trading.

Abengoa SA fell 4.1 percent to 20.23 euros. Acciona SA dropped 3.7 percent, while Iberdrola Renovables SA and its parent, Iberdrola SA, respectively fell 3 percent and 1.7 percent. Those companies are at risk, according to a note Credit Agricole Cheuvreux sent today to clients.

The 88-member WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index lost 1.1 percent.

“The tariff scheme is set out in a Spanish statute so it seems unlikely they would go back and retroactively apply a new tariff,” Olivia Peters, an analyst at MF Global U.K. Ltd. in London said. “The government would be opening a can of worms.”

An Iberdrola spokeswoman in Madrid declined to comment. Officials at Abengoa and Acciona weren´t immediately available to comment. Solaria didn’t respond to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment about whether the government would act against existing plants.

“This will totally alter the perspective of project developers” if it goes forward, Aderca said.


Climate sceptics smell victory in Dutch parliament

The parliamentary committee meeting called to discuss errors in the UN climate report has left climate change sceptics feeling vindicated, writes the Financieele Dagblad on Tuesday.

‘The panel on climate change is irrelevant’. ‘This organisation has put us on the wrong track.’ Scientists Arthur Rörsch (formerly at TNO) and Bas van Geel (University of Amsterdam) could not help but look slightly smug on hearing these words.

Experts on either side of the climate change debate answered the committee’s questions yesterday about their experiences with the UN climate panel (IPCC) and its modus operandus.

The meeting was prompted by the controversy which erupted last year when it became clear that some of the findings in the panel’s 1997 report had been exaggerated. One example was the prediction that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035.

In November last year a batch of leaked e mails suggested that British climate scientists had deliberately suppressed data that would prejudice their research.

The climate debate controversy became polarised to such an extent that former environment minister Jacqueline Cramer decided to take action. In March this year she asked national environment watchdog Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (PBL) to investigate.

The climate sceptics’ harsh words made for an uneasy atmosphere yesterday. Nrc’s science journalist Karel Knip who also appeared before the committee said the climate sceptics and their weblogs have completely destroyed the debate. ‘Personal attacks are the norm and it has ruined the whole discussion. The atmosphere has been so bad that even I have been tempted to have a go at someone’, said unlikely hooligan Knip.

Some committee members were also visibly annoyed. Labour MP Diederik Samson ejected a heated ‘You do not convince me one bit!’when TU Delft’s professor Salomon Kroonenberg again cited the sun and cosmic rays as the main culprits for warming up the planet.

The climate scientists who think climate change is a man made problem were much less vehement. PBL which is expected to present its findings at the end of May even apologised for one of the IPCC’s inaccuracies concerning the consequences of sea level rise in the Netherlands. ‘Those data came from us’, they admitted.

Yesterday’s meeting didn’t provide any answers let alone a solution to the climate problem. Opinion is too divided, especially on the role of the sun’s rays. Just how closely scientists and policy makers should work together is another moot point- not as closely as they currently are at the IPCC say some. It could lead to scientists feeling pressured and likely to exaggerate results. The only thing both camps agreed upon was the fact that evaporation leads to the acceleration of the earth’s temperatures.


The Naked Communism of Earth Day

By Alan Caruba

It is no accident that April 22, Earth Day, is also the birth date of Vladimir Lenin, an acolyte of Karl Marx, the lunatic who invented communism as an alternative to capitalism.

Earth Day is naked communism. To begin, it substitutes a worship of the Earth, Gaia, for the worship of God, creator of the universe and the instructor of moral behavior for mankind.

The Earth does not demand a moral code of personal behavior. Indeed, the lesson it teaches is “the survival of the fittest “and an indifference to suffering. The “natural events” mankind fears most all involve the potential for significant loss of life and for injury.

The Earth is a beautiful place, but it is utterly merciless. Man has learned to adapt to it and, by adapt, I mean to use its resources to build shelter and protection from it, to plant and harvest crops from it, and to domesticate some of its species while hunting and fishing for others for food.

Earth Day postulates that man is the cause of harm to Earth by virtue of his cities, his highways, his use of its sources of energy, and even the garbage that results from the normal course of maintaining life. For centuries mankind routinely burned and buried garbage. Now we are told we must separate and recycle it. We are told that everything plastic is bad even though it is one of the great inventions of modern times.

Communism reached its zenith in the last century. Its imposition in the former Soviet Union, in China, and elsewhere is a litany of murder and oppression. In the 20th century, a minimum 110 million people died as a result. It enslaves mankind wherever it can.

Environmentalism has been built on the foundation laid by communism because both exist to control everyone’s life. They are opposite sides of the same coin, both are opposed to the ownership of private property and both regard man as state property to be drained of his earnings through taxation.

Environmentalism’s preferred method is coercion and the mechanism for this is government.

While America was established to ensure “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, environmentalism exists to exert more and more control over our lives by limiting our choices, our liberty. Environmentalism redefines happiness as doing without the advances of science and commerce that protects and prolongs our lives.

There is nothing voluntary about environmentalism. There is nothing voluntary about having to recycle. There is nothing voluntary about having to fill your tank with a mixture of gasoline and ethanol. There is nothing voluntary about the imposition of mileage standards for cars. There is nothing voluntary about losing access to beneficial chemicals that control countless insect and rodent pests that spread disease and destroy property.

While the vast majority of Americans clamor for the government to permit access to our nation’s vast natural resources of coal, oil, and natural gas it stands in the way, claiming always that drilling and mining pose a threat to the environment. At the same time it acquires more and more of the nation’s landmass to deter access and economic growth.

In the name of the environment, the U.S. government is set to impose a Cap-and-Trade law on Americans that has no basis whatever in science and is, in fact, based on the greatest hoax of the modern era, “global warming.”

Cap-and-Trade will tax energy use and directly control how much energy individual Americans can use to heat or cool their homes through “smart grid” technology controlled by the utilities, not the consumer.

Environmentalism is the reason the U.S. has not had a single new refinery or nuclear plant built since the 1970s. Think about that every time you drive your car or turn on the lights.

The spread of endless environmental propaganda has been taken up by the nation’s mainstream media and has infiltrated the nation’s schools through its textbooks and other means of instruction. Earth Day will be the occasion for an orgy of media coverage.

Just as communism failed the former Soviet Union and just as Red China abandoned communism as the model for its economy, environmentalism continues its relentless quest to deter economic growth and security in America. It is the infrastructure of a New World Order. Do not celebrate Earth Day. Denounce it.


Australia: "Green" NSW Labor party ripping heart out of commercial fishing

THE days of being able to buy fresh, local prawns are under threat from Federal and State Labor following the release of plans to prohibit prawn trawling in the Solitary Islands Marine Park, Federal MP Luke Hartsuyker said.

The NSW Government yesterday announced a proposed new plan of management to expand the sanctuary zone from 12 to 20 per cent and to totally prohibit prawn trawling in the park within two years.

“The extreme actions of the NSW Government follow the Rudd Government’s announcement to further assess an area up to 80 kilometres off shore in order to establish a new Commonwealth Marine Reserve," mr Hartsuyker said.

“The local commercial fishing industry understandably feels very threatened by both Federal and State Labor. “The NSW Government has now made it very clear that they want the commercial fishers gone. There is nothing balanced about this approach.

"Both Federal and State Labor want to rip the heart and soul out of the local commercial fishing industry. “If Labor gets its ways we will no longer be able to catch local prawns and consumers will have no choice but to purchase imported seafood."

Mr Hartsuyker said it would not only cost jobs, but would also be a boon for the seafood black market.

“Today’s announcement also highlights why the local fishing and tourism industries are so concerned about the process to establish commonwealth marine reserves," he said. “There are serious concerns that Federal Minister Peter Garrett will be guided by the extreme ideology in his department. "Those concerns are now well based given what the NSW Government has now announced. “The flow on effect to commonwealth waters is scary.

"Sustainable fishing is vital, but I believe it is wrong to blanket ban prawn trawling over the complete area.”



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


21 April, 2010

Warmist fools never learn

TOM Smitheringale wanted to prove the world was warming. Now he's another alarmist with frostbite.

The 40-year-old from Perth planned to be the first Australian to trek unassisted to the North Pole, but announced he'd raise some consciousness along the way.

As he wrote on his website: "Part of the reason Tom's One Man Epic is taking place now is because of the effect that global warming is having on the polar ice caps."

Indeed, he wanted to see the North Pole while it was still there: "Some scientists have even estimated that the polar ice cap will have entirely melted away by 2014!"

But Antarctica isn't melting away, and Arctic ice has slowly increased since its big low in 1997. But no one seems to have told Tom, who soon found his extremities freezing.

Two weeks ago he nearly called off his trek after suffering excruciating pain in his fingers and thumbs, forcing him to call in emergency help.

And last week he had to be rescued by Canadian soldiers after falling through the ice sheet. "(I) came very close to the grave," he said, on being flown out.

This is actually now the fourth year running that warming alarmists have had to be rescued from expeditions to prove the Arctic is warmer than it actually is. It's a metaphor.

Last year it was British eco-explorer Pen Hadow and his two-person team who had to be flown out mid-stunt, after battling brutal sub-zero weather conditions that gave the team's photographer frostbite.

The year before, eco-adventurer Lewis Gordon Pugh was similarly thwarted.

He'd planned to kayak 1200km to the North Pole to raise awareness of how global warming had allegedly melted the ice sheet so badly that scientists warned the North Pole that summer could be ice-free.

No such luck. Pugh had to pull out, still 1000km from the finish, when a great barrier of sea ice blocked his route.

The year before gave even more farcical entertainment: "Explorers and educators" Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen said they were off on what reporters described as "a historic 75-day expedition to the North Pole and beyond to raise awareness of global warming's impact on the fragile Arctic".

It turned out that what was fragile was not the Arctic but the alarmists, who had to call off their big trip not long after it started, when Arnesen suffered frostbite in three of her toes, and extreme cold drained their batteries.

Explained a spokesman: "They were experiencing temperatures that weren't expected with global warming." Like the globe, really.

The fact is that when Arctic rescuers must save more people from global warming stunts than from global warming itself, it's time to heed again the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself." So if alarmists settled down, they might just live longer, and keep their toes.

And the rest of us might not be put to so much needless expense. Like rescues, for instance.


Carbon offsets: How a Vatican forest failed to reduce global warming

Russ George described himself as a man of vision. He certainly envisioned making money. The San Francisco promoter saw the profit of promising to remove carbon dioxide from the air, and selling that promise as carbon offsets to polluters, a plan he touted in interviews, press releases, and even to a congressional committee.

He just needed seed money. Nelson Skalbania, a high-profile Canadian real estate trader who had spent a year wearing a court-supervised electronic bracelet for a conviction in Canada of misappropriating $100,000 in investor funds, was just the kind of “green angel” – as Mr. George called him – who would put up the money.

With Mr. Skalbania’s backing, George bought the 152-foot research vessel Weatherbird II, repainted it with his new company name – Planktos – and hired a crew to sail for the Galapagos Islands in summer 2007.

His plan was to enlist one of nature’s carbon sponges, algae. He’d scatter a fertilizer of iron dust on 2.4 million acres of the South Pacific, he announced. In three weeks, it would produce a massive bloom of phytoplankton algae, which would inhale carbon dioxide, then sink with the carbon. George would sell his estimate of the absorbed carbon as “carbon offsets” at $5 a ton and make millions.

The Weatherbird II was under sail preparing to scatter 50 to 100 tons of iron dust when an outcry stopped it. Scientists said there was no way to tell what the iron or algae would do to the ocean environment. Diplomats cited treaties against dumping at sea. The captain of a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship threatened to ram the vessel. The Weatherbird II diverted to the Atlantic.

But George already was working on another plan: to plant millions of trees in rural Hungary and sell the carbon dioxide those trees could be expected to absorb.

He formed a Hungarian company, KlimaFa – “Climate Trees.” His publicity strategy: Present the Vatican with carbon offsets to make the Holy See carbon neutral based on the trees he’d plant. The photo of George handing Cardinal Paul Poupard the offset certificates at the Vatican on July 5, 2007, went worldwide.

In the glow of that publicity coup, George offered offsets for sale on his Planktos website. There are no public records of how much he sold. But with the growing outcry over the sea-seeding scheme, Planktos abruptly closed in December 2007.

KlimaFa – and the Vatican’s still unfulfilled offsets – were left in the hands of a Budapest partner, David Gazdag. He blogged a few times about the project, occasionally stopped by government offices to talk, but planted no trees.

“This is a problem,” Gyorgy Dallos, a World Wildlife Federation official, said in Budapest. Carbon offsets create “false hope” if they’re not real. The Vatican’s emissions, he noted, are not neutralized.

Few of the players want to talk about that problem. Mr. Gazdag agreed to an interview in Budapest, then canceled. A Vatican spokesman says “the case is being studied to take legal action in order to defend the Vatican’s reputation.”

The Hungarian government, once an enthusiastic supporter of the project, now wants no part of it. Erika Hasznos, Hungary’s chief climate policy officer, walked out of an interview when asked if KlimaFa had submitted applications for the project.

George created another website in 2008, announcing a new business, Planktos-Science. He did not agree to an interview. He replied by e-mail that this story seemed a “potentially hostile piece” and insisted his new company is “no longer affiliated with the now defunct” old company he ran.

In the impoverished village of Tiszakeszi, where KlimaFa trees were to be planted, Mayor Kiss Lajos looks forlornly over the empty space along the Tisza River where George had promised to plant “the Vatican Forest” and create hundreds of jobs. “We felt honored because the Vatican chose our village,” he said. “Now we feel sorry.”


More on the Greening of Islam

Muslims recognize the Qu’ran has a lot to teach about ecology. A critical mass of Muslims are now working to make the annual Hajj pilgrimage greener. Green was, after all, Mohammad’s favorite color. Image via jonathangill

Ask around in Egypt and the environment is usually not on the top of most people’s agenda, especially considering the vast number of people living in poverty, unemployment rising, sexual harassment burgeoning and a government that constantly pushes its people toward oblivion. But that is not stopping a number of Muslim activists from speaking out on environmental issues, with calls in Jakarta recently at an environmental conference to turn the Islamic pilgrimage, or the Hajj, green.

The movement sees no qualms in combining faith with environmental protection. They argue that global warming does not discriminate between religion or region, activists said at the Jakarta meeting of the international Islamic green movement’s meeting.

Leading activist Mahmoud Akef of the Earth Mates Dialogue Center was one of nearly 200 Muslim delegates from across the world to call for a greener Hajj: “Because we are all living on this Earth and what is happening, or what’s affecting with regard to the climate change, affecting Americans, affects the Muslims here in Indonesia, affects Egypt, Muslims in Africa and Asia anywhere,” Akef said at the conference.

While the West has had lobbyists calling for environmental reform and a push toward ending carbon emissions to curtail global warming and climate change, for the post part, Muslim leaders and activists have shied away from the discussion. This is changing, and Akef is leading the charge.

He said that Muslim environmentalists want to have the message about climate change and global warming heard around the world, in the Middle East, in Islamic countries and in the mosques.

At the conference, the leaders announced a desire to implement a greener Hajj, where some three million Muslims participate in annually in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. They argued that it is the ideal location to raise awareness of global warming and the environmental impact individuals have.

The plan includes a ban on plastic bottles at Hajj sites and workshops about the link between environmental stewardship and the teaching of Islam.

Qu’ran as book of ecology

“The Qu’ran is kind of ecology book. A lot of verses tell about the environment and how to deal with the environment and how to protect the environment,” Akef said.

They are also looking into designating eco-friendly mosques and publish Islam’s Holy Book with paper from sustainable forests.

Muhammad Sembiring, part of the Indonesian environmental organization Kehati, says Muslim activists see no conflict between science and faith on the issue of the environment. “It is proven there is totally no conflict, it is really [a] complement and it is shaking hands, it is matching,” Sembiring said.

The conference agreed that the meeting was a good starting point, but they added that a new approach to educating the larger population is needed in the near future.


BOOK REVIEW: The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World's Top Climate Scientists -- by Roy W Spencer

Roy W. Spencer is a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

The Great Global Warming Blunder unveils new evidence from major scientific findings that explode the conventional wisdom on climate change and reshape the global warming debate as we know it. Roy W. Spencer, a former senior NASA climatologist, reveals how climate researchers have mistaken cause and effect when analyzing cloud behavior and have been duped by Mother Nature into believing the Earth’s climate system is far more sensitive to human activities and carbon dioxide than it really is.

In fact, Spencer presents astonishing new evidence that recent warming is not the fault of humans, but the result of chaotic, internal natural cycles that have been causing periods of warming and cooling for millennia. More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not necessarily to be feared; The Great Global Warming Blunder explains that burning of fossil fuels may actually be beneficial for life on Earth.

As group-think behavior and misguided global warming policy proposals threaten the lives of millions of the world’s poorest, most vulnerable citizens, The Great Global Warming Blunder is a scintillating exposé and much-needed call for debate.


“Gambling our Future on Sunbeams and Sea Breezes”

A Statement by Mr Viv Forbes, Chairman, The Carbon Sense Coalition, Australia

The Carbon Sense Coalition today accused Australian politicians of risking Australian jobs and industry on a quixotic scheme to generate 20% of 2020 electricity from sunbeams and sea breezes.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that even if this were possible, it could only be achieved by tripling power costs to industry and consumers.

“The proposed Renewable Energy Target Scheme would legislate that 20% of Australia’s electricity must come from “renewable” sources. They tell us this will reduce our production of carbon dioxide and thus reduce global warming.

“This is a foolish gamble.

“Firstly, there is no evidence that man’s production of carbon dioxide controls climate. The pulsating sun, the churning cosmos, the restless oceans, the changing clouds, the swirling jet streams and the erupting volcanoes on land and under-sea are the real climate controllers. Man’s effect on global climate is insignificant.

“Secondly, there is extensive evidence that a warmer world with more carbon dioxide plant food in the air would be a cleaner, greener and more abundant place for most people.

“Thirdly, the only non-carbon fuel that can reliably supply the legislated 20% of Australia’s grid power by 2020 is nuclear fuel. But that is currently prohibited, and there is not enough time for development.

“Man has been using wind and solar power for centuries. They were invaluable for the cottages and cottage industries of yesteryear. They are not suitable to supply large modern cities and industries – they are very dilute energy sources needing large areas of land for collection, and they can never supply continuous power. Every large solar/wind facility in the world has to be backed up 100% by a reliable power source – coal, gas, nuclear, geothermal, hydro or some not-yet-invented large capacity storage unit. Of these, only gas is immediately available and politically acceptable in Australia.

“Compulsory development of wind & solar energy will thus force the wasteful construction of backup gas-fired power plants. Soaring capital and operating costs will then force Australia’s electricity prices to at least treble by 2020.

“But, alas, burning gas also generates the dreaded CO2. And it is not “renewable”.

“Every producer and consumer should be free to use wind and solar power at their own expense, but Canberra should not enforce such job-killing and job-exporting silliness onto every consumer and industry in the land.

“Abolish Renewable Energy Targets – Australia and its climate will be better without them.”



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


20 April, 2010

Some more interesting documents showing dubious treatment of climate data by the chief scientists involved

Following is an email from Jill Farrell [] of Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch has been probing NASA over suspicions of climate fraud

I have attached 7 excerpts from the NASA documents that I found the most suspicious/interesting. Below are brief summaries of the pdf’s, and explanations of why I chose these excerpts. Again, I am not sure how long these emails have been posted on the NASA site (they never informed me they were posting them) so I don’t know how widespread the knowledge of this information is/don’t know how much credit we can take for their being posted. That being said, a lot of the quotes I have found that seem somewhat controversial do not make a lot of noise in a Google search…if nothing else might make for a good blog.

1.) The first pdf (NASA_Jones.pdf) is of correspondence between NASA officials and Phil Jones, the central figure in the climate-gate controversy.

In this email chain, Jones tells Hansen what he has been up to in regards to international weather stations, instructing Hansen “Don’t pass any of this on via Real Climate.” He then laments that the Chinese keep moving their weather stations to rural areas as cities develop, writing that “they are doing some reasonable work, but not seeing the big picture…”

In a follow-up email concerning the NASA temperature correction controversy, Jones notes that “I guess if you’d rounded to tenths none of the comments of the last few days would have happened. Our files work the numbers out in thousandths, but we round these for the web!”

Jones also says that in the UK he things has been able to persuade the Times not to cover the story, but hasn’t had the same luck with the Mail on Sunday.

2.) The second pdf (NASA_rounding.pdf) is an email chain concerning a new analysis of US temperature.

One NASA official, Gavin, asks “but did 1934 and 1998 swap places?” The other NASA official, Reto, responds “No – but I needed an extra digit to decide that question…Maybe, we’ll switch to a single digit in the US-table, then we have 3 years in the number 1 position.”

The same official says a few minutes later “Rounding to the nearest .1C was Phil Jones’ suggestion”

3.) The third pdf (NASA_mann.pdf) is of a NASA GISS scientist who is joking around with Michael Mann, who was another central figure in the climategate controversy. Notice that Mann refers to Senator Inhofe as “the chief disinformer himself” – at least I think he is referring to Inhofe.

4.) The fourth pdf (NASA_competition) is an exchange between two NASA officials wondering why a article by a global warming skeptic is a top viewed article of the month. I include this, because in the first paragraph, NASA official Gavin Schmidt writes “However, you have to ask about the competition…” – so…he is referring to climate skeptics as NASA’s “competition”???

5.) The fifth pdf (NASA_pundits) simply contains a quote by Hansen that I find suspicious. Hansen writes to another NASA scientist: “The correction that you made to stations post 2000 records (by setting the means for 1990 to be equal in the two records?) should be fine, and since we have made that available, we should use that. We don’t want still another result, which would really set the pundits happy”

6.) The sixth pdf (NASA_Revkin) is just an off the record comment by NYT writer Andrew Revkin. It probably isn’t a big deal, but I think it speaks to journalistic objectivity. Revkin writes “off record, I never doubted the answer, but had to ask. The spinup in blogosphere these days is instantaneous.”

7.) The last pdf (NASA_hansen) isn’t really all that controversial, but I found it an interesting exchange. Someone from the UK emails Hansen asking him why he had such a strong response to a blogger finding a flaw in NASA data – pointing out that such a strong response only sends the message that agenda is driving Hansen’s actions. In Hansen’s response, he writes “if we just report the science and do not make note of misinformation, it is not clear that the message gets out, and we are running out of time.” I included this email exchange instead of the numerious others that demonstrate Hansen’s agenda (which does not seem to be something he shies away from).

I don’t believe any of the pdf’s were included in the original batch of documents we received. Here is the link to NASA’s posting of the GISS documents:

Finally, I should note that throughout the documents there are small but noticeable redactions (naughty, naughty) that are not labeled.

Climategate: a scandal that won’t go away

From Macbeth to Watergate, it’s not the act that leads to nemesis, but the attempts to 'trammel up the consequence’ , writes Christopher Booker.

If you were faced with by far the biggest bill of your life, would you not want to be confident that there was a very good reason why you should pay it? That is why we need to know just how far we can trust the science behind the official view that the world is threatened with catastrophe by global warming – because the measures proposed by our politicians to avert this supposed disaster threaten to transform our way of life out of recognition and to land us with easily the biggest bill in history. (The Climate Change Act alone, says the Government, will cost us all £18 billion every year until 2050.)

Yet in recent months, as we know, the official science on which all this rests has taken quite a hammering. Confronted with all those scandals surrounding the “Climategate” emails and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the political and academic establishments have responded with a series of inquiries and statements designed to show that the methods used to construct the official scientific case are wholly sound. But as was illustrated last week by two very different reports, these efforts to hold the line are themselves so demonstrably flawed that they are in danger of backfiring, leaving the science more questionable than ever.

The first report centred directly on the IPCC itself. When several of the more alarmist claims in its most recent 2007 report were revealed to be wrong and without any scientific foundation, the official response, not least from the IPCC’s chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, was to claim that everything in its report was “peer-reviewed”, having been confirmed by independent experts.

But a new study put this claim to the test. A team of 40 researchers from 12 countries, led by a Canadian analyst Donna Laframboise, checked out every one of the 18,531 scientific sources cited in the mammoth 2007 report. Astonishingly, they found that nearly a third of them – 5,587 – were not peer-reviewed at all, but came from newspaper articles, student theses, even propaganda leaflets and press releases put out by green activists and lobby groups.

In its own way even more damaging, however, was the report from a team led by Lord Oxburgh on the scientific integrity of the East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Two sets of evidence have been used more than anything else to drive the worldwide scare over global warming. One is a series of graphs showing how temperatures have suddenly shot up in recent decades to levels historically unprecedented. The other is the official record of global surface temperatures. For both of these, the CRU and the key group of top British and American scientists involved in those Climategate emails have been crucially responsible.

Lord Oxburgh himself is linked to various commercial interests which make money from climate change, from wind farms to carbon trading. None of the panel he worked with on his report were climate “sceptics”; and one, Dr Kerry Emanuel, is an outspoken advocate of man-made global warming. Even so, it was surprising to see just how superficial their inquiry turned out to be, based on two brief visits to the CRU and on reading 11 scientific papers produced by the research unit in the past 24 years, chosen in consultation with the Royal Society (which is itself fanatical in promotion of warming orthodoxy).

The crown jewels of the IPCC’s case that the world faces catastrophic warming have been all those graphs based on tree rings which purport to show that temperatures have lately been soaring to levels never known before in history – thus eradicating all the evidence that the world was hotter than today during the Medieval Warm Period, long before any rise in CO2 levels. Best known of these graphs, of course, was Michael Mann’s “hockey stick”, comprehensively discredited by the expert Canadian statistician Stephen McIntyre and Professor Ross McKitrick. But the IPCC was able to defend its case with the aid of another set of “hockey sticks”, based on different tree rings, produced by Mann’s close allies at the CRU.

The most widely quoted of the Climategate emails was that from the CRU’s director, Philip Jones, saying that he had used “Mike’s Nature trick” to “hide the decline”. If there was anything in the CRU’s record which a proper inquiry should have addressed it was the story behind this email, because what it highlighted was the device used by the CRU to get round the fact that its tree-ring data hopelessly failed to show the result the warmist establishment wanted. When their Siberian tree rings showed temperatures in the late 20th century sharply dropping rather than rising, the “trick” used by Prof Jones and his colleague Dr Keith Briffa, copied from Mike Mann’s own “hockey stick”, was simply to delete the downward curve shown by the tree rings, replacing them with late 20th-century temperature data to show the dramatic warming they wanted.

The significance of this sleight of hand can scarcely be exaggerated. Why, in using this misleading graph, did the IPCC not explain the trick that had been played by its leading scientists? If tree rings were so inadequate in reflecting 20th-century temperatures, why should they be relied on to reflect temperatures in earlier centuries? Why, when fresh Siberian tree ring data came to light, making a nonsense of the CRU’s earlier temperature reconstructions, did the CRU simply ignore the new data?

Anyone who has followed the meticulous analysis of this curious story by Steve McIntyre on his Climate Audit website might well conclude that we are looking here at a complete travesty of proper scientific procedure, matched only by the bizarre methods used by Mann himself to construct his original hockey stick. Yet these are the men, Mann, Jones and Briffa, who acted as the “lead authors” of the key chapters of the IPCC’s 2001 and 2007 reports.

They quite shamelessly promoted the rewriting of history produced by themselves and a small group of colleagues – the so-called Hockey Team – which the IPCC in turn used as its main evidence to convince the politicians that the world faces unprecedented warming.

Yet scarcely a hint of this hugely important story is contained in the Oxburgh report, which simply glosses it over, hoping to appease critics by throwing in a few vaguely critical comments about how Jones and his team were a trifle “disorganised” in archiving their data. It ignores the utterly damning critiques of the CRU’s methodology produced by McIntyre and McKitrick. It does not even begin to question the way the CRU has compiled its global temperature record, relied on by the IPCC as the most authoritative of all the official data sources for surface temperatures.

Yet this in turn has given rise to all sorts of controversies, not least when Prof Jones last year admitted that much of his data had been “lost” (following his repeated refusals of applications to see it by McIntyre and others). More damaging still was the charge by senior Russian scientists that, in compiling its global record, CRU had cherry-picked the data supplied from Russia, suppressing that from most of the country while retaining the data from the vicinity of cities which, thanks to the “urban heat island” effect, showed a warming trend. So even the accuracy of CRU’s temperature record has been called seriously in doubt, although one would never have guessed it from Oxburgh.

As is reflected in so many political tragedies, from Macbeth to Watergate, it is often not the original dark act itself which leads to nemesis but the later attempts to “trammel up the consequence”. Nothing will do more to reinforce suspicion of the CRU’s conduct than the failure, first by those MPs, and now by the team led by Lord Oxburgh, to address properly the way in which it appears to have abused the principles of true science – a scandal which should be of concern not just to us here in Britain, who paid for it, but across the world.


Another needless and expensive panic from the British Met office

Remind you of anything? There have now been many test flights through the "danger" zone that were unscathed by volcanic output so we once again have models that don't reflect reality

The Met Office has been blamed for triggering the “unnecessary” six-day closure of British airspace which has cost airlines, passengers and the economy more than £1.5 billion.

The government agency was accused of using a scientific model based on “probability” rather than fact to forecast the spread of the volcanic ash cloud that made Europe a no-fly zone and ruined the plans of more than 2.5 million travellers in and out of Britain.

A senior European official said there was no clear scientific evidence behind the model, which air traffic control services used to justify the unprecedented shutdown.

Eleven major British airlines joined forces last night to publicly criticise Nats, the air traffic control centre, over the way it interpreted the Met Office’s “very limited empirical data”.

Legal experts suggested passengers and airlines may be able to sue the Government for more than £1?billion in compensation. Flights in and out of Britain are scheduled to resume today for the first time in almost a week after Lord Adonis, the Transport Secretary, said there had been a “dramatic decrease” in the volcano’s activity.

Airports in Scotland and the north of England will be the first to open, followed by those in the Midlands and then in the south of England by 6pm.

However, it has been estimated that the travel backlog could take up to a fortnight to clear.

British airspace was shut for the first time in history last Thursday amid fears that the volcanic ash from Iceland could get sucked into jet engines and cause them to malfunction.

The announcement last night that restrictions would be eased was accompanied by arguments over whether the shutdown had been an over-reaction.

Much of the blame was directed at the Met Office’s Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC). It provided the initial warning, which triggered the European-wide ban via Eurocontrol, the air traffic control centre in Brussels.

Matthias Ruete, the European Commission’s director-general of transport, said air traffic authorities should not have relied on a single source of scientific evidence before imposing the widespread ban. He suggested the no-fly zone should have been restricted to a 20 to 30-mile limit around the volcano. “The science behind the model we are running at the moment is based on certain assumptions where we do not have clear scientific evidence,” he said.

“We don’t even know what density the cloud should be in order to affect jet engines. We have a model that runs on mathematical projections.

It is probability rather than actual things happening.”

Mr Ruete said the commission had to intervene to allow airlines to make test flights in order to check the VAAC data “to help us move on from the mathematical model”.

Of the 40 test flights across Europe, including a British Airways flight on Sunday, none found any evidence of ash in jet engines, windows or lubrication systems.

In a joint letter to Lord Adonis, the 11 British airlines said the official response to the volcanic eruption presented “a clear case for government compensation”.

Jeff Zindani, of Forum Law solicitors, said: “Legal analysis suggests that there may be a raft of class actions brought by airlines and companies that are dependent on air travel to move their goods.

“This may well open the way for wider litigation against the Met Office and other government agencies who are found to have failed in their duty of care. The damages and legal costs could break the £1billion mark.”

Andy Harrison, the chief executive of easyJet, said the cost could run into “hundreds of millions of pounds”.

The International Air Transport Association (Iata), the airline industry trade body, also criticised the decision to close airspace based on theoretical modelling of the ash cloud.

“These decisions have been taken without adequately consulting the airlines. This is not an acceptable system particularly when the consequences for safety and the economy are so large,” said Giovanni Bisignani, the organisation’s director general.

He said the £1?billion cost to the aviation industry could be attributed to lost revenue, repatriation, refunds and the cost of supporting stranded passengers. The cost to the wider British economy has been estimated at £500? million.

British Airways announced it planned to begin flying from London from 4pm after Willie Walsh, its chief executive, said the blanket ban had been “unnecessary”. Virgin Atlantic said it hoped to operate flights from London from 7pm.

Mr Walsh was one of the 11 signatories of the letter to Lord Adonis. It said: “We remain concerned that the approach taken by Nats has been too sweeping.” Warning of “long-term damage” to the industry, it added: “We believe that the nature of this natural disaster presents a clear case for government compensation. The closure of airspace is an uninsurable event and thus not a risk that airlines can reasonably be expected to bear.”

David Greene, the head of litigation at Edwin Coe, said legal action was more likely to be successful if taken by a large group of tourists and companies in a class action.


The EPA Monster

By Alan Caruba

Among the legacies of Richard M. Nixon, famed for the Watergate scandal that forced his resignation, it should be noted that he created the Environmental Protection Agency. There was no vote in Congress. He did it with an executive order. Today the EPA has an annual budget of $9 billion and some 18,000 employees.

Not satisfied with the authorized powers given it to ensure clean air and water, the EPA has never ceased to seek expanded powers, culminating soon with a battle over whether it can regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) as a “pollutant.” Labeled a “greenhouse gas”, in the eyes of the EPA it is an “endangerment” to the health of humanity in general and Americans in particular.

CO2 is as vital to all life on planet Earth in the same way as oxygen. It is what plants consume in order to grow, much as oxygen is essential for life among living creatures that, in turn, are dependent on vegetation, crops, for their sustenance. It’s a neat little cycle that has existed since life emerged on Earth.

If the EPA gains the power to regulate CO2, it will have the power to regulate the activities of every individual and the entire economy of the nation. Traditional sources of energy, with the exception of nuclear and hydroelectric power, involve the emission of CO2. A modern society cannot function without CO2 emissions, but they have nothing to do with global warming because there is NO global warming.

CO2 represents a mere 386 parts per million of the Earth’s atmosphere. Humans are responsible for 3% of its generation; Mother Nature produces the other 97%. And the EPA wants to regulate ALL of it!

Actual science is of no importance to the EPA. If the EPA really cared about human life, it would not have a long history of banning beneficial chemicals such as DDT and other pesticides that protect humans against a laundry list of transmittable diseases like malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, et cetera.

The EPA is actually seeking to limit the amount of deicing fluid used to protect commercial and other aircraft on the grounds that it might get into nearby streams and rivers. Never mind the lives of the passengers and crews on planes that would be brought down as the result of such ice. This defies common sense.

In truth, the EPA threatens the economy and our lives in so many ways it is difficult to know where to point first. To my mind, the way it infiltrates the nation’s education system to fill the minds of children with visions of a planet threatened with “warming” or that every species is “endangered” or that all the waters and air are “polluted” is criminal.

The EPA is currently accepting grant applications “to help manage the National Environmental Education Training Program over the next ten years.” Costing $10 million, it “will provide teachers and other education professionals with resources and support to enable them to teach about environmental issues more effectively.” The EPA was not created to go into our nation’s schools in this manner. This is propaganda. This is indoctrination.

Let us grant that, when it stuck to its original purpose, it did make the air cleaner and some of the nation’s waters. Now, however, the EPA is a massive machine designed to destroy the nation’s economy and impede growth and development in every way possible.

The primary tool for this are lies concerning any element of the environment it wants to control and, as a result, retard the economy. As but one example, there are the new “smog” standards the EPA recently announced. It has reduced them to a level of 60 to 70 parts per billion in the air. It released a list of counties it says are in violation of the new limits.

The cost of achieving the lower standard is estimated from $19 billion to $90 billion. If you took one tennis ball from an olympic-sized pool filled with them, you would achieve the same result. It’s not merely absurd; it is yet another attack on every single business and industry operating in those counties.

The same idiocy applies to setting mileage rules or requiring that ethanol be added to gasoline. To achieve the mileage rules, the weight of automobiles must be reduced. People inside those thinner, lighter cars will die from an accident at a rate in excess of larger vehicles. As for ethanol, it requires more energy to produce than it saves. It drives up the cost of all the food we consume. It also reduces the mileage from every gallon of gasoline while emitting more CO2!

The EPA is currently at war with the coal industry, responsible for providing the source of 50% of all the electricity generated in the United States of America. A recent “endangerment” finding against all surface coal mining in the Appalachian States of Virginia, Kentucky, and West Virginia is based on the protection of the Mayfly population, an insect that typically lives for one day!

The list of EPA abuses of common sense and known science could fill a shelf of books in much the same way its ever-expanding regulations do, but the worst of it is yet to come if the Cap-and-Trade Act is passed.

Despite the fact that CO2 has nothing to do with the non-existent “global warming” and therefore does not need to be regulated for any reason, the enactment of the bill will literally prevent a homeowner from selling their home without permission from an EPA administrator. The cost of buying or selling a home will soar.

The Environmental Protection Agency needs to be reduced in size and authority to its original intent. Better still, eliminate it entirely. It is a monster.


Wind energy decision carries political impact

Obama mulls turbine plan off Cape Cod

With a tight-lipped President Obama facing both a political dilemma and a critical deadline, the nation's offshore wind energy industry is about to find out which way the breezes are blowing.

After nine years in the government regulatory mill, backers of the Cape Wind project off the shores of Massachusetts' Cape Cod will learn by April 30 whether Mr. Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will let them proceed, with potentially far-reaching consequences for the industry if the project is quashed.

Mark Rodgers, spokesman for Cape Wind developer Energy Management Inc. of Boston, said that the project is being closely watched because it is the first of its kind in the United States, with a number of other projects being eyed along the Atlantic coastline. Given the length of the regulatory approval process, it will likely be the only one built during the Obama administration. "If it doesn't get approved, it will have a big impact," said Mr. Rodgers.

Beyond being a setback for the industry, Mr. Rodgers said a rejection by the administration will be "a real market signal." "Stakeholder investors will really be looking to see what's happening," he said.

Since taking office 16 months ago, Mr. Obama has made renewable energy a top priority - vowing to double the country's output in three years, supporting wind turbines along the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, and putting more than $800 million in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for such clean-energy initiatives as solar and geothermal power.

In a move that pleased many conservative critics, the president last month gave his support to expanded offshore exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas. But Mr. Obama has yet to tip his hand on the pending Cape Wind project that would put 130 turbines in the Nantucket Sound within sight of the Cape Cod shoreline.

Cape Wind poses a particular dilemma for the administration. It was bitterly opposed by Mr. Obama's close friend and political mentor, the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, even though backers say the completed project could supply well more than half of the cape's power needs.

White House spokesman Ben LaBolt declined Thursday to discuss Cape Wind's place in the administration's renewable energy agenda, and referred questions to the office of Mr. Salazar, who had direct responsibility for approving the Cape Wind application.


Warmist alarmed that the media now sometimes give space to skeptical comments on global warming

The poor soul! His props are being taken away from under him. Just an excerpt below but take it from me that there is not a single scientific fact mentioned in the article. It is all "ad hominem" stuff

Advocates across the political spectrum habitually cite polls to "prove" that the public holds a certain view of a given issue, even when the truth is more complicated or even contradictory. This appears to be happening with the climate issue. As the Obama administration and Congressional leaders prepare to introduce new climate legislation, mainstream media have given fresh prominence to deniers' claims of fraud and rampant error on the part of climate scientists. Meanwhile, surveys by Gallup and other leading pollsters are being spun as evidence that the deniers are gaining ground among the public, which is supposedly divided over whether to take action against rising temperatures and the droughts, storms and sea-level rise they trigger.

A closer look, however, suggests that public opinion has changed very little. What has changed is the message coming from the media, key parts of which have reverted to their longstanding posture of scientific illiteracy and de facto complicity with the deniers' disinformation campaign.

This abuse of polling data has a long pedigree. As a young reporter in the 1980s researching the book On Bended Knee, I watched the Reagan White House use polls to make fools of the mainstream media and the Democratic Party. Reagan's advisers were forever citing polls supposedly demonstrating that the Gipper was wildly popular and thus that anyone who criticized him was taking a political risk. The truth was rather less flattering. Yes, Reagan was personally popular--most Americans thought he was a nice guy--but that had been true of almost all presidents.....

It will not be won if the deniers' narrative--that climate science is dubious and Americans don't really want action--is allowed to stand. Now is the time for journalists to get the story right and for ordinary citizens to speak out, loudly, to stiffen lawmakers' spines. Says Aurillio, "We need sixty senators to be convinced by the public, not the polluters, to do what's necessary to solve this problem."



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


19 April, 2010

European Greenies openly admit destructive aims

Their aim is a much more impoverished world under strict State control. "Selective degrowth" is a term Orwell might have invented in his visions of a coming dystopia

The global environmental crisis requires replacing the existing capitalist model of production with one that promotes "selective degrowth" of the economy and the restricted and responsible exploitation of natural resources, according to European experts and activists.

The movement led by French economist Serge Latouche, Swiss political scientist Marie-Dominique Perrot, the Climate Justice Action (CJA) association and the monthly "La Décroissance" (Degrowth), among others, calls for different forms of consumption, the redistribution of wealth, and technology transfer towards developing countries.

Alexis Passadakis, CJA representative in Berlin, told Tierramérica that "the goals of this restructuring of the economy are the conservation of natural resources and the democratisation of their use in favour of the peoples who live in the zones of exploitation, like the Amazon or the Congo Basin."

He also said it is necessary "to break away from the market logic that characterises the current instruments for fighting climate change, such as trading the rights for emissions of greenhouse-effect gases."

This carbon market is intended to manage and redistribute greenhouse gas emissions, when its main objective should be to reduce emissions at the source, such as from transportation or energy production, both in the industrialised world and poor countries, he added.

CJA will participate in the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, taking place Apr. 19-22 in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The association will lead a workshop on creating inter-continental connections between grassroots movements for climate justice.

Climate Justice Action is a federation of environmental groups and activists that joined forces in 2009 to coordinate actions during the United Nations Climate Summit in Copenhagen last December.

Its members share Perrot's critique of "sustainable development" and Latouche's proposal for selective economic degrowth, which in turn are based on thermodynamics theories applied to environmental analysis of the global economy, put forth in the 1970s by Romanian economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen.

In his book, "The Entropy Law and the Economic Process," published in 1971, the "founder" of the economy of degrowth utilised the concept of entropy and its related laws of thermodynamics to analyze the irreversible environmental degradation caused by the consumption of raw materials.

Following Georgescu-Roegen's argument and taking into account the worsening of the global ecological crisis, Latouche advocates economic degrowth as an indispensable condition for the survival of humanity.

"The logic of economic growth applied since the 18th century has led us to far surpass the planet's physical capacity," Latouche, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Paris-Sud 11, told Tierramérica.

As such, degrowth emerges as the only economically viable formula, not just in benefit of nature but also "to restore a minimum of social justice, without which the world is condemned to destruction," he said.

In parallel with degrowth, Latouche promotes values like frugality, sobriety and austerity - in other words, he calls for renouncing the uncontrolled consumerism of contemporary capitalist societies.

A notion shared by those who promote degrowth is the right to development of the emerging nations, such as China, India and Brazil. But they also share criticism of many of those governments' measures for promoting growth.

Passadakis emphasised reducing consumption of imported goods as a way to promote regional products. "In that sense, the CJA has adopted the Vía Campesina (an international peasant movement) programme to ensure food sovereignty of the people through encouraging consumption of what they themselves produce."

Passadakis suggested that activists promoting these alternatives should focus on two levels: the national level, to foment a vision that is ecological and entails economic degrowth, "for example, through opposition to new carbon-based power plants and in favour of reducing the workday in order to redistribute employment and income."

At the international level, Passadakis pointed out that for the negotiations leading to the 16th Conference of Parties (COP-16) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, "our vision should be to prevent the worst... We have to convince the governments that the World Bank has no role to play in the fight against climate change."

Furthermore, "civil society and indigenous peoples should make it clear that they won't accept it if the conference approves the REDD plan as another market-based instrument that is supposedly useful against global warming," he said.

REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) involves putting a monetary value on tropical forests in order to incorporate them into market mechanisms, just like the trade of emissions credits.


The Greenhouse Gas Theory Under a Cloud

A new study by a leading climate change expert proves clouds and solar radiation better explain global warming than do greenhouse gases - including carbon dioxide

Climate researcher, Jeffrey A. Glassman, PhD presents a compelling new analysis, ‘The Cause of the Earth’s Climate Change is the Sun' that uses respected peer-reviewed data that indicates the sun, not human emissions of greenhouse gases, control our planet’s climate. By employing the data as used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this study cleverly refutes key IPCC conclusions, including those drawn from Lean (2000).

The analysis finds something is clearly amiss with the IPCC model of the Earth’s climate. Glassman identifies a gaping hole of understanding about clouds where the IPCC fails to represent notable peer-reviewed cloud theories (notably Svensmark’s). Critics have accused the UN of politicising the man made global warming debate with unsubstantiated advocacy while it possesses poor levels of scientific comprehension of Earth's climate. It officially has ‘low’ or ‘very low’ understanding of 9 of the 12 variables that impact climate (including solar climate forcing).

Below is a summary of Glassman's key findings:

Climate Change Scientists Omit Cloud Albedo: ‘Cloudgate'?

In the first instance, the study finds that the IPCC erred by abandoning consideration of the Sun and its interaction with clouds as an important instrument of climate change. Incongruously, the IPCC admits “Cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty.” (AR4 Summary for Policymakers, p. 12) while conceding that “Water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas…” (AR4, FAQ 1.3 What is the Greenhouse Effect? P. 115).

Despite its obvious lack of understanding the IPCC bizarrely concludes all climate-forcing factors shall be adjudged as being constant. According to Glassman this position is a scientifically invalid and amounts to an arbitrary decision. Cloud albedo is, in fact, ever-changing.

The paper addresses contradictions by the IPCC that cloud cover, and thus cloud albedo (reflectivity) relies heavily on specific humidity and the availability of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) so that humidity is dependent on surface temperature. This thus affirms a negative feedback mechanism counter to any apocalyptic scenario. But this fact is omitted from climate computer models and reported conclusions.

Put simply, when the temperature in the atmosphere rises water vapour concomitantly increases by evaporation to form more cloud. This then provides greater cloud cover from the sun that in turn cools ground temperatures. This natural mechanism is, and always has been, a 'safety valve' to prevent catastrophic runaway global warming. Yet this self-correcting process is not mentioned in any IPCC report.

However, global warming proponents continue to posit that the greenhouse gas (GHG) theory is analogous to a blanket effect whereby CO2 and other GHG gases increasingly retain the radiant heat energy of the sun leading to runaway global warming. This scenario is contradicted by the fact that the Earth's atmosphere, despite witnessing ever-rising levels of CO2, has seen no statistically significant rise in global temperatures since 1995.

Are IPCC Numbers Fudged to Fit the Conclusions?

Glassman dissects the IPCC's numbers and uses them persuasively to contradict the conclusions of IPCC's climate scientists. The paper examines the global average surface temperature in a solar formula overlay using the IPCC's AR4 Figure 3.6 from HadCRUT3 (known as the Brohan record - similar to the NOAA monthly record). This record, it seems, merely requires its models to have the correct amplitude and slope attached to the end point of the current temperature record. It is not an accurate representation and thus is unhelpful in distinguishing climatic forcing elements.

Glassman censures the IPCC for pursuing the fallacy of "equilibrium" of our climate that ignores ocean oscillations and solar changes. He further accuses the IPCC of disregarding plausible alternative theories (e.g. Svensmark, Lindzen) that argue a build up of greenhouse gases ( e.g. water vapour and CO2) in fact, leads to increased cloud which, in turn, increasingly reflects solar energy back into space. Svensmark likens his cloud theory to the mechanism of the iris of the human eye - the more heat (light) there is the more the iris (clouds) protectively restrict the inflow of solar energy.

Glassman's analysis of the HadCRUT numbers gives credible support to Svensmark's hypothesis based on the temperature record's correlation to solar variance. He reminds observers that because our oceans have a high heat capacity, ocean currents cause delays to neutralize or reinforce solar patterns.

Where Does This Leave the Greenhouse Gas Theory?

Dr. Glassman shows that the greenhouse gas theory correlates only temporarily with temperatures in the period 1850-present. He finds that cloud albedo mitigates warming from any cause, and because of its great power is unfriendly to the greenhouse gas effect. These findings appear to eliminate humans from the climate equation.

Unfortunately, the IPCC is shown to have ignored the fact that cloud albedo is at the same time, both a positive feedback that amplifies solar radiation as well as a negative feedback to mitigate warming from any cause. Advocates of the more alarmist global warming catastrophe theory will view this study as a serious rebuttal of their thesis. Glassman concludes the IPCC willfully ignored the importance of the interaction between the sun and clouds probably to suit a pre-conceived agenda supportive of the man-made greenhouse gas theory.

SOURCE (See the original for links & references). The Glassman paper is here

Aussie Skeptic Attacks Climate Data Fraud

Climate skeptic, Malcolm Roberts, mounts a lucid rebuttal of the man-made global warming theory in his publication, 'Two Dead Elephants in Parliament.'

Among others, Roberts exposes two fatal flaws in the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) greenhouse gas theory. Firstly, the IPCC incorrectly relies on the analogy that the Earth’s atmosphere acts like a giant greenhouse, which it doesn’t. Secondly, Roberts then points out that by their own admission, the IPCC admits to ‘low’ or ‘very low’ understanding of 80% of all factors impacting climate.

Glass Greenhouse is Not Analogous to Earth's Atmosphere

The evidence provided by Malcolm Roberts appears even more credible in light of the alleged data fraud controversy made public since the Climategate scandal of November 2009.

‘Two Dead Elephants in Parliament’ cogently refutes the greenhouse analogy because it improperly envisions the Earth as having a glass barrier acting like a greenhouse. But in truth, this is a bogus comparison because the properties of glass prohibit convection: the greatest remover of heat from the Earth's surface.

By reference to the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, skeptics argue that the Earth’s actual heat transfer occurs not just by radiation alone, a minor player, but also by conduction (contact) and convection (fluid movement). The atmosphere gives off excess heat mainly by conduction and convection because:

* the Sun radiates light

* that heats the Earth

* the Earth’s surface warms air molecules by contact

* this warm air is less dense and rises, causing convection currents which cool the surface

* Earth and air together radiate heat to space

* At night, without incoming solar radiation, Earth and air cools

Thus, excess heat energy is transported into space. This common sense truth controverts the established wisdom of the IPCC and supports the argument that there has been data fraud. The IPCC's Woeful Levels of Climate Understanding

Roberts draws our attention to the IPCC's Table 2.11 (2007). This depicts 16 climate factors that the UN IPCC claims drive radiative forcing. The table reveals that the IPCC has only understanding of carbon dioxide plus a moderate level of understanding of 2 other factors. It then admits to an alarming ‘low’ or ‘very low’ level of understanding of an astonishing 13 of the 16 other possible drivers of climate.

Thus, skeptics argue, with the IPCC having looked nowhere else to increase their understanding, the politicized IPCC appears to have focused on the pre-determined 'villain'- human emissions of fossil fuels.

No Measured Data Supports Warming Theory

To substantiate his case Roberts refers to the fact that the IPCC has found no specific scientifically measured real-world evidence of any causal relationship between human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and Earth's latest modest cyclic warming.

Instead the UN IPCC relies on flawed computer models that are contradicted by real-world temperature measurements of the troposphere. In their Third Report the IPCC claimed that as CO2 levels increased then global temperatures would increase. However, since 1998, despite unending rises in atmospheric CO2 global temperatures have fallen.

Atmospheric Temperatures Support Skepticism

To further embarrass the IPCC and other environmental advocates Roberts asks readers to examine actual tropospheric measurements.There is, in fact, a growing divergence between the untampered and accurate measurements of tropospheric temperature and the ‘fudged’ ground stations data now discredited since the Climategate scandal.

‘Two Dead Elephants in Parliament’ cites weather balloon (radiosonde) and satellite temperature measurements of the troposphere that together prove no net global warming since 1958. Roberts is supported in his argument that the ground temperature data should be discarded as flawed or fraudulent data per the findings of leaked emails of key IPCC climatologists from Climategate scandal.

Climategate Revelations Undermine Public Confidence

Environmentalists and leaders of some the world’s wealthiest nations championed the greenhouse gas theory as a promising vehicle for cap and trade green taxes. Disillusionment in the greenhouse gas theory is increasing among other scientists and in public opinion polls also appears to be related to the growing number of embarrassing revelations undermining the credibility of the IPCC for using dubious non-peer reviewed findings.

Moreover, as the IPCC admits to 'low' and 'very low' levels of understanding of the climate, skeptics have attacked the IPCC's conclusions for over reliance on flawed computer modeling data.

Roberts has provided skeptics with a robust rebuttal to the accepted view that mankind is set to cause catastrophic global warming unless greenhouse gas emissions are drastically reduced.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

The latest scare: Not enough pollution

Believe it or not

You're likely to hear a chorus of dire warnings as we approach Earth Day, but there's a serious shortage few pundits are talking about: air pollution. That's right, the world is running short on air pollution, and if we continue to cut back on smoke pouring forth from industrial smokestacks, the increase in global warming could be profound.

Cleaner air, one of the signature achievements of the U.S. environmental movement, is certainly worth celebrating. Scientists estimate that the U.S. Clean Air Act has cut a major air pollutant called sulfate aerosols, for example, by 30% to 50% since the 1980s, helping greatly reduce cases of asthma and other respiratory problems.

But even as industrialized and developing nations alike steadily reduce aerosol pollution -- caused primarily by burning coal -- climate scientists are beginning to understand just how much these tiny particles have helped keep the planet cool. A silent benefit of sulfates, in fact, is that they've been helpfully blocking sunlight from striking the Earth for many decades, by brightening clouds and expanding their coverage. Emerging science suggests that their underappreciated impact has been incredible.

Researchers believe greenhouse gases such as CO2 have committed the Earth to an eventual warming of roughly 4 degrees Fahrenheit, a quarter of which the planet has already experienced. Thanks to cooling by aerosols starting in the 1940s, however, the planet has only felt a portion of that greenhouse warming. In the 1980s, sulfate pollution dropped as Western nations enhanced pollution controls, and as a result, global warming accelerated.

There's hot debate over the size of what amounts to a cooling mask, but there's no question that it will diminish as industries continue to clean traditional pollutants from their smokestacks. Unlike CO2, which persists in the atmosphere for centuries, aerosols last for a week at most in the air. So cutting them would probably accelerate global warming rapidly.

In a recent paper in the journal Climate Dynamics, modelers forecast what would happen if nations instituted all existing pollution controls on industrial sources and vehicles by 2030. They found the current rate of warming -- roughly 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit per decade -- doubled worldwide, and nearly tripled in North America.

Despite intransigence on carbon emissions, even China is taking aggressive steps to cut sulfate pollution, and temperatures have risen as a result.

But surely the answer can't be to slow our drive to clean our air. One way to buy time might be to tackle another air pollutant that warms the planet: soot. In 2008, scientists estimated that so-called black carbon, soot's prime component, is responsible for 60% more global warming above that caused by greenhouse gases. Cleaner-burning diesel engines in the West and more efficient cookstoves in the developing world are the answer. But on both scores, "relatively little has been done to address the problem," says the Boston-based Clean Air Task Force.

In the face of severe climate risks, credible scientists are beginning to study geo-engineering -- tinkering with global systems to reduce warming directly. One scheme is to spew sulfates or other sun-blocking particles miles high in the stratosphere. If it worked, it would mimic the natural cooling effect of volcanoes, replacing the near-surface sulfate mask with a much higher one. But the possible side effects could be dire, including damage to the ozone layer. The potential geopolitical implications, like wars over the thermostat, could be devastating as well.

We might need geo-engineering to stave off the worst effects of the warming. But most climate scientists think we're not there yet. And so the most important thing we can do now is to train our sights on both the unexpectedly helpful sulfates and the unexpectedly pernicious carbon. We can't continue to only focus on traditional pollutants without reducing greenhouse emissions. We simply have to find a way to clean our air of both.


Some fiery comments from Judith Curry

Prof. Curry is a moderate Warmist and is commenting below on Lord Oxburgh's whitewash of "Climategate"

The primary frustration with these investigations is that they are dancing around the principal issue that people care about: the IPCC and its implications for policy. Focusing only on CRU activities (which was the charge of the Oxbourgh panel) is of interest mainly to UEA and possibly the politics of UK research funding (it will be interesting to see if the U.S. DOE sends any more $$ to CRU).

Given their selection of CRU research publications to investigate (see Bishop Hill), the Oxbourgh investigation has little credibility in my opinion. However, I still think it unlikely that actual scientific malfeasance is present in any of these papers: there is no malfeasance associated with sloppy record keeping, making shaky assumptions, and using inappropriate statistical methods in a published scientific journal article.

The corruptions of the IPCC process, and the question of corruption (or at least inappropriate torquing) of the actual science by the IPCC process, is the key issue. The assessment process should filter out erroneous papers and provide a broader assessment of uncertainty; instead, we have seen evidence of IPCC lead authors pushing their own research results and writing papers to support an established narrative. I don't see much hope for improving the IPCC process under its current leadership.

The historical temperature record and the paleoclimate record over the last millennium are important in many many aspects of climate research and in the communication of climate change to the public; both of these data sets are at the heart of the CRU email controversy.

In my opinion, there needs to be a new independent effort to produce a global historical surface temperature dataset that is transparent and that includes expertise in statistics and computational science. Once "best" methods have been developed and assessed for assembling such a dataset including uncertainty estimates, a paleoclimate reconstruction should be attempted (regional, hemispheric, and possibly global) with the appropriate uncertainty estimates.

The public has lost confidence in the data sets produced by CRU, NASA, Penn State, etc. While such an independent effort may confirm the previous analysies, it is very likely that improvements will be made and more credible uncertainty estimates can be determined.

And the possibility remains that there are significant problems with these datasets; this simply needs to be sorted out. Unfortunately, the who and how of actually sorting all this out is not obvious. Some efforts are underway in the blogosphere to examine the historical land surface data (e.g. such as GHCN), but even the GHCN data base has numerous inadequacies. Addressing the issues associated with the historical and paleo temperature records should be paramount.

SOURCE. For follow-up to her comments, see here

Green bigots want to keep blacks "in their place"

By Richie Ahmat, chairman of the (Aboriginal) Cape York Land Council, Australia

THE confrontation between the Aboriginal traditional owners of Cape York Peninsula and The Wilderness Society in relation to Queensland's Wild River laws is fundamental. If it is not resolved fairly and soon, it will be the beginning of a long war that our people will never abandon until justice is restored.

What is at stake here is the very meaning of land rights. While our people are defending the principle that Australia was not a terra nullius, TWS is pursuing the restoration of terra nullius through the concept of wilder nullius.

Wilder nullius, which is a vision that TWS has for indigenous homelands across northern and remote Australia, allows for black people in the landscape but in a highly restricted form. These blacks are not supposed to engage in any form of wealth creation or development. They are only allowed to pursue traditional activities. They are to eschew employment or consumption, and not participate in or be in favour of any form of industry.

If the blacks abide by the role envisioned for them, then TWS will arrange for the environmental agencies of government to provide funding programs for them to be employed as rangers and so on. If they step outside of this role, then TWS will get the government to stop the funding. Only compliance to the TWS vision of wilder nullius will receive support.

To us in Cape York Peninsula it is disturbing that an environmental organisation born in the genocidal context of Tasmania is seeking to reverse the Mabo principle that Australia is not and has never been terra nullius.

If you want to do anything with Aboriginal land you must get the free and informed consent of the Aboriginal traditional owners. This is our right to self-determination. These are our land rights.

Whether you want to undertake development or you want to create protected areas: the principle is free and informed consent.

And the mechanism for securing this free and informed consent is via Indigenous Land Use Agreements that are registered under the Commonwealth Native Title Act. ILUAs are ultimately supervised by the Federal Court of Australia, which ensures that all of the traditional owner groups have been fully informed, and that they have given their free consent.

Our job as a land council under the law is to make sure the proper process is followed, that all of the traditional owner groups are properly identified and are given all of the relevant information. We are required to ensure that the necessary meetings take place, and that the traditional owner groups have legal representation throughout the whole process. We must make sure that consent is provided by the whole group, not just individuals or subgroups. Where there is dispute within the group, we are required to assist in the mediation of the disputes.

Land councils are like trade unions. We provide support to traditional owner groups, so they are not left vulnerable in their dealings with governments and third parties over traditional lands. We make sure proper negotiation processes are followed. We make sure legal and anthropological advice is available.

We don't allow individuals and subgroups to make agreements without ensuring that the whole group is involved. Otherwise unscrupulous bureaucrats, developers and other third parties will rip the landowners off.

Just look at what has happened and is still happening in Papua New Guinea and throughout the South Pacific with timber companies and tribal groups. Tribal groups are being ripped off because they do not have strong representative bodies with legal and other expertise to support them.

My colleague from the Kimberley Land Council, Wayne Bergman, and my fellow countryman from Cape York Peninsula, Noel Pearson, have pointed out the sinister parallels between the way in which TWS is pursuing its wilder nullius campaign across northern Australia and the way the mining industry used to operate in the 1970s and 80s.

The mining industry used to split tribal groups up, peeling off individuals and subgroups from the main group and setting them against the land councils and the majority of their own people. They discredited the land councils and pushed governments to weaken land rights because they did not want strong land councils. They wanted to rip off the traditional owners without any interference.

TWS has been pursuing the same tactics in its campaigns in the Kimberley and Cape York. As Pearson wrote recently, it is the extreme environmentalists who are today the real rednecks.

My own analogy of what is going on is a bit different. I come from a trade union background; I worked for many years for the Comalco bauxite mine in Weipa and participated in the strike against Rio Tinto's individual contracts.

I know from my CFMEU days about the tactics undertaken by opponents who don't want equality at the bargaining table. They want to peel individuals off and have direct dealings with them without dealing with the tribal group as a whole. This is what TWS is now doing across northern Australia.

The most curious thing about all this, is that the Labor politicians who are playing key roles in the Wild Rivers imbroglio have close affiliations with the trade union movement. Queensland minister Stephen Robertson was the state secretary and national president of United Firefighters Union of Australia. The chairwoman of the senate committee inquiring into Tony Abbott's private members bill which seeks to overturn the Queensland Wild Rivers Act, Senator Trish Crossin, was an industrial officer in Darwin with the National Tertiary Education Union and the Australian Education Union, as well as having been a development officer for the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers' Union.

They should be the first ones to recognise that the way in which the Queensland government has conducted itself, and the divide and rule tactics employed by the environmental groups is exactly what trade unions have experienced throughout the history of organised labour. Robertson should hang his head in shame.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


18 April, 2010

The Fog of Climate ‘Science’

In 2009, environmentalists were sure global warming was the reason California’s Bay Area fog was increasing. Now they’re saying global warming is making the fog go away—indicating that the science may not be as “settled” as some seem to think.

Gateway Pundit noted that in 2009, The San Francisco Chronicle claimed that “The Bay Area just had its foggiest May in 50 years. And thanks to global warming, it’s about to get even foggier.” Yet, in 2010, The Telegraph has asserted that “the sight of Golden Gate Bridge towering above the fog will become increasing [sic] rare as climate change warms San Francisco bay.”

The first article was written in May of 2009; the second, February of 2010. When scientists start trying to explain how global warming is affecting our everyday life, their findings conflict drastically. Both papers and claims are under a year old. Which one do we trust?

The issue isn’t whether or not global warming is happening: the issue is how much scientists really can know about how new climates will effect us. There are far more variables involved with climate change than any scientist in today’s world could hope to understand. Given the constantly evolving stances of climate scientists, we ought to be more careful when it comes to what we believe about climate change.

As Heritage expert Dr. James Carafano explained in his 2009 testimony before the Environment and Public Works Committee, the global warming theory suffers the “folly of simplicity,” pointing out that in Jared Diamond’s study Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, “Diamond lists a daunting 12 factors that historically contributed to the collapse of a society–and these are only the factors directly controlled by humans. It is worth noting,” Dr. Carafano went on, “that Diamond is able to detail how this myriad of forces and choices interacted with one another only through the hindsight gained through hundreds of years of historical and archeological research.”

In other words, the complexity of human-environment causal relationships is such that it typically takes many years—centuries, even—to fully understand what causes what when it comes to humans interacting with the environment:

History is in fact littered with case studies that suggest straight-line mapping of human-environment interaction is problematic,” Dr. Carafano testified. “Anticipating with certainty how climate change will affect human progress is a march of folly.

His points are only validated by the assumptions regarding the Bay Area’s fog today. We cannot anticipate anything regarding climate change with certainty—and the “new” research is proving it.


Greenies lose one

Greenies hate dams, period

A judge has overturned a decision that could have delayed construction of a huge Amazon dam opposed by environmentalists, Indians and James Cameron, the director of Avatar.

The judge in the capital of Brasilia reversed a decision to suspend contract bidding scheduled for next week and also overturned the suspension of the environmental license for the 11,000-megawatt Belo Monte dam, according to a statement from Brazil's solicitor general.

A spokesman for Brazil's electricity regulator, known as Aneel, said that plans were being made to hold the auction as planned for Tuesday but that the latest decision could be appealed. She spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with policy.

Titanic director Cameron was in Brazil this week to protest the dam, and the decision to delay bidding came on Wednesday.

Environmentalists and indigenous groups say Belo Monte would devastate wildlife and the livelihoods of 40,000 people who live in the area to be flooded. They also argue that the energy generated by the dam will largely go to big mining operations, instead of benefiting most Brazilians.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has repeatedly insisted that the dam is essential for Brazil's future energy needs.

Latin America's largest nation has a fragile energy grid that was hit last year by a blackout that darkened much of the nation. Belo Monte would supply 6 percent of the country's electricity needs by 2014, the same year Brazil will host soccer's World Cup and just two years before Rio de Janeiro holds the 2016 Olympics.

Cameron this week called the proposed dam a "pivotal battleground" because it will set the stage for development of more dams.

He took part in a protest against the dam in Brasilia and visited with Indians in the small Amazon city of Altamira near the proposed dam site.


What's Left if We Disregard Non-Peer-Reviewed Claims?

Does it matter that 1 in 3 sources cited by the climate bible aren't peer-reviewed? Yes it does. Because once you strike out all the statements that don't rest on peer-reviewed research there sometimes isn't much left.

Economist Richard Tol blogged about a particular section of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in early March. When I took a look for myself, I discovered seven studies in total being used to support the IPCC's point-of-view on this page of the report.

That sounds like a reasonable basis for drawing conclusions. But checking the full entry for each of these studies in the list of references provided for that chapter reveals that only one out of seven is a peer-reviewed document.

* Bollen et al. (2004) was produced by an agency of the Dutch government

* Russ, Ciscar, and Szabo (2005) was published by the European Commission

* EEA (2006) is a European Union report

* the Stern Review (2006) was produced by the UK government

* Anderson (2006) was published by the Imperial College of London

* Barker et al. (2006a) is a working paper from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

Only Den Elzen et al. (2005) experienced the peer-review process prior to its publication in the academic journal Energy Policy.

So if we subtract all the verbiage associated with those six non-peer-reviewed papers how much remains?

Altogether, the four paragraphs on the page amount to 593 words. But only 98 of those words - 17 percent - are backed up by peer-reviewed research. And remember, according to the IPCC chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, all other research deserves to be thrown into the dustbin

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Not again: Yet another Warmist has to be rescued from Arctic cold

A Smithering idiot with a hunger for self-publicity

Tom Smitheringale's Record Breaking, Unaided North Pole Expedition
Part of the reason Tom’s One Man Epic is taking place now is because of the effect that global warming is having on the polar ice caps. Over the past 20 years, scientists have noticed that our world is heating up. As the great polar ice floes melt, sea levels are slowly rising and the huge glaciers are becoming weaker and weaker. Some scientists have even estimated that the polar ice cap will have entirely melted away by 2014!
April 5: Frostbite
Tom Smitheringale’s frostbitten thumbs caused him a lot of pain, so much so that he decided to ask for an evacuation. After several phone calls and some rest he cancelled his decision and is more than ever determined to carry on.
April 7: Smitheringale's frostbite setback - ABC Perth - Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Tom Smitheringale's One Man Epic trek across the Arctic has suffered a setback as agonising frostbite settles in.
April 16: Australian rescued by Canadian Forces after Arctic accident
Although the weather was favourable for the rescue mission, Smitheringale was about 460 kilometres northwest of Canadian Forces Station Alert — the edge of the operating range of the two twin otter search planes and civilian helicopter that were dispatched to the accident site, said Robert.

..... Smitheringale was picked up around 9 p.m. Thursday and transported to CFS Alert suffering from hypothermia and frostbite in his extremities, said Robert.

...... Smitheringale, who had already trekked nearly 300 kilometres and had endured temperatures as low as -50 degrees Celsius over the previous 46 days, is expected to be evacuated from CFS Alert to a civilian hospital on Friday.


Global warming enslaves African girls!

Since there has been NO global warming for at least the last 10 years, the problems noted below could not be caused by global warming

Lack of adequate education, extreme poverty and the encroaching fallout of climate change is now forcing Masaai parents in the Mar region of Kenya, Africa to ‘sell off’ their young underage daughters to a group of human traffickers who are posing as white foreign tourists.

Problems relating to extreme poverty are not new to the Maasai. As the incidence of human trafficking rises and the sex tourists flock to Kenya, frustration, fear and distrust among Maasai communities is also rising.

“Human trafficking is a serious problem in Kenya,” says a recent 2010 IOM – International Organisation for Migration factsheet. “Kenya has been recognized as a country of origin, destination and transit as well as a place for domestic trafficking. Women, men, girls and boys have been identified to be trafficked in Kenya, although most cases identified to date involve children, especially in cases of domestic trafficking.”

Tourists who come to the region with intentions to market the work labour of Maasai girls, whether for domestic work; street vending; factory or sex slavery; are now entering the country outside the radar of most standard reporting agencies.

“Victims are trafficked mainly for sexual exploitation and domestic labour but also for agriculture work, factory work and street work,” continues the report. “Victims from neighbouring countries have been identified in Kenya and Kenyan victims have been identified in Europe, South Africa, the Gulf States and North America.”

Some traffickers who are entering the Mara region come into Kenya as standard ‘tourists’ saying they are there to visit the nearby Masaai Mara National Park and view wildlife in the world renowned park. But the travel cover is a farce. For those who may not want to stay in high class hotels inside the Mara Game Reserve, they end up choosing lodges in Kajiado and Narok Townships, where they interact freely without sanction from the communities there.

“They are usually friendly and they shower us many times with some small pocket money,” says Hezbon Sarpur, a member of Narok Township, as he describes the general parade of tourists who come to the area legitimately.

Climate Change Impacts

“The Maasai historically have not worked outside their communities,” says Gáldu in a August 2008 report. “They have eschewed a Western style, currency-based economy, opting instead for a life based on nomadic pastoralism. Cattle are the central component of the society. But because of climate change, things are changing in the Maasai lands.”

As climate change intensifies, the impact for families to find food, brings desperate measures. Families are now seeking any solution to survive. The selling of daughters into slave markets is, one of the solutions, causing young women , girls to be swept away by what many guess are modern slave traders.

“In the past few years alone, because of droughts, we have seen a huge number of economic refugees targeted by human traffickers with a promise of better life elsewhere,” said Mr Abdullahi Hirsi, the executive director of Northern Heritage, a local aid agency in Garissa. “A spot-check in Garissa, Wajir and Mandera shows that the illegal business is conducted daily, final arrangements done in Nairobi,” he added.

For decades human trafficking in Nairobi has been relatively ignored. Only within the last ten years has attention to this growing plight been given more notice. Political strife in Kenya, added to climate change stress on the economy has made the area an easy target for international crime cartels.

“They even give us lots more money ($2000 Kenyan Shillings, which equals approx $27 USD) for them to take our daughters, nieces, cousins, and younger sisters for a better life for the girls,” continued Sarpur, explaining the selling of girls.

More bulldust HERE

Poll: Most Nevadans Skeptical of Global Warming

A statewide poll shows 55 percent of Nevadans think global warming is unproven and subject to debate.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal survey found that 35 percent of those surveyed consider global warming a scientifically established reality. The newspaper reported that the percentage of skeptics is up 11 percentage points from a similar survey in 2008.

The poll also found that 55 percent of respondents oppose legislation to restrict carbon gas emissions while 37 percent support it.

Pollster Brad Coker says he thinks there has been a political shift on the issue because of the ailing economy.

The poll of 625 registered Nevada voters was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.


More history: Who's who on climate fraud

In 1912, a respected paleontologist at the British Museum confirmed that bones found in a Piltdown quarry came from the “missing link” between apes and humans. Forty years later, the so-called Piltdown Man was proved to be a hoax. Thanks to purloined e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU), global warming is turning out to be the 21st-century equivalent of Piltdown Man.

E-mails between a small group of highly influential climate scientists at the center of the worldwide panic over global warming exposed multiple discussions among them concerning their manipulation of data and using various evasive tactics to avoid releasing the facts behind their ginned-up numbers to the public via Freedom of Information Act requests. Here’s a rogue’s gallery of five major perpetrators of what’s turning out to be the biggest scientific hoax in modern history:

Geoff Jenkins, chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s first scientific group and self-described “frontman explaining climate change.” Jenkins admitted in 1996 to a “cunning plan” to feed fake temperature information to Nick Nuttall, head of media for the United Nations Environment program. At the time, Jenkins predicted temperatures in London would hit 113 degrees Fahrenheit and the Thames River would rise three feet even though 1996 was, in fact, cooler than 1995.

Phil Jones, director of the CRU, controlled two key databases that are the primary sources underlying claims by the United Nations and others of a global scientific “consensus” that catastrophic consequences will result from man-made global warming unless trillions of dollars are spent now to prevent it. Jones e-mailed instructions to colleagues to “hide the decline” in temperatures and to pressure editors of academic journals to blackball the work of “climate skeptics.” After claiming that the original climate data had been destroyed in the 1980s, Jones was caught urging his CRU colleagues to “delete as appropriate” data requested under Britain’s freedom of information laws.

Michael Mann, director of Penn State University’s Earth System Science Center, is one of the lead authors of the U.N.’s Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change report. Mann was the originator of the “hockey stick” graph that supposedly proved that the Earth’s temperature was at the highest level in recorded history. However, it also appeared to eliminate both the Medieval Warm Period, in which surface temperatures were higher than they are today, and Europe’s “Little Ice Age.”

In 2003, Canadian statistician Steve McIntyre exposed the flawed methodology behind Mann’s hockey stick. The recent e-mail leak led another scientist to quip: “Dr. Mann is in transition from Penn State to State Pen. We can only hope he does a better job with license plates.”

Mann has been a committee chairman for the National Academy of Sciences and a member of multiple NAS panels and committees.

James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, whose records were also cited as evidence, second only to the CRU data, of incontrovertible man-made global warming. McIntyre also caught Hansen engaging in the same sort of statistical manipulation in which past temperatures were lowered and recent ones “adjusted” to convey the false impression that the nonexistent warming trend was accelerating. After trying to block McIntyre’s IP address, NASA was forced to back down from its claim that 1998 was the hottest year in U.S. history.

Al Gore, Former Vice President Al Gore is the author of “An Inconvenient Truth,” star of the 2006 Oscar-winning movie of the same name and winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless efforts to limit economic development in industrialized countries with a cap-and-trade scheme. Many experts agree that such a system would increase food and energy prices, while wasting trillions of dollars on alternative energy sources (in which Gore is heavily invested). Gore’s case rests on the now-discredited theory that carbon dioxide emissions (which are increasing) are heating up the Earth’s atmosphere, even though actual global temperatures have been declining for at least a decade.

These five, though far from being the only ones, are among the top perpetrators of the Great Global Warming Hoax. They should never be taken seriously again.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


17 April, 2010

Is the Icelandic volcano due to global warming?

Scientific American has reported that global warming may cause an increase in volcanic eruptions, due to increased magma formation at lower pressures as glaciers melt.

This caught my attention because I used to work as a volcano researcher and igneous petrologist.
That report said that about 10 percent of Iceland’s biggest ice cap, Vatnajokull, has melted since 1890 and the land nearby was rising about 25 millimetres (0.98 inch) a year, bringing shifts in geological stresses.

They estimated that the thaw had led to the formation of 1.4 cubic km (0.3 cubic mile) of magma deep below ground over the past century.

At high pressures such as under an ice cap, they reckon that rocks cannot expand to turn into liquid magma even if they are hot enough. “As the ice melts the rock can melt because the pressure decreases,” she said. Sigmundsson said that monitoring of the Vatnajokull volcano since 2008 suggested that the 2008 estimate for magma generation was “probably a minimum estimate. It can be somewhat larger.”
Interesting theory, but does it work quantitatively? Magmas, as with most solids, do show a direct relationship between the melting point and pressure. As the pressure increases, so does the melting point. (Ice is a noticeable exception to this, and shows an inverse relationship. The reason that people can ice skate is because the pressure under the blade creates a thin later of melted ice which lubricates the surface.

Below is a phase diagram of a basaltic magma similar to that found in Iceland, showing the relationship between temperature and pressure. The melting temperature does decrease at lower pressures. From 100 km depth to 0 km the melting point drops about 300°C. That is about 3°C / km. Ice is about one third as dense as basaltic magma, so the loss of 1 km of ice lowers the melting point by about 1C, or less than 0.1%.

More precisely, this study from the Carnegie Geophysical Institute did an empirical measurement of the relationship for one basaltic mineral – diposide. They found the relationship to be

Tm = 1391.5 + 0.01297 * P

Where Tm is the melting point in degrees C and P is the pressure in atmospheres. One atmosphere pressure is equal to about 10 metres of ice, so one additional metre of ice increases the melting point by about 0.0013°C. The loss of 100 metres of ice would therefore lower the melting point by about one tenth of a degree. The thickest ice in Iceland is only 500 meters thick, so complete loss of all ice would only alter the melting point by about 0.5°C, or less than 0.05%.

The geothermal gradient of the earth is typically about 40°C per km, so a 0.5°C change in temperature is equivalent to a depth change of about 20 metres. Near mid-ocean ridges this gradient is steeper, so the equivalent depth change in Iceland would be less than 20 metres. Is it credible that a 0.5°C decrease in the melting point could stimulate excess volcanic activity? Short answer – no. Volcanic activity is caused by magma rising to the surface, not glaciers melting. However, the loss of the glaciers would reduce the amount of steam and ash generated. Ash is formed when magma is cooled and fractured by steam. So the loss of the glaciers would reduce the size of the steam/ash cloud and make the Iceland volcanoes behave more like Hawaii volcanoes.

In short, the loss of all ice in Iceland would make the volcanoes less destructive.

SOURCE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Are earthquakes becoming more frequent?

Despite the Haiti earthquake and the recent one in China -- plus smaller ones elsewhere, the Warmists have yet to claim that earthquakes are increasing due to global warming. They WILL get around to it however, so here is what the U.S. Geological Survey says about it:

We continue to be asked by many people throughout the world if earthquakes are on the increase. Although it may seem that we are having more earthquakes, earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant.

A partial explanation may lie in the fact that in the last twenty years, we have definitely had an increase in the number of earthquakes we have been able to locate each year. This is because of the tremendous increase in the number of seismograph stations in the world and the many improvements in global communications. In 1931, there were about 350 stations operating in the world; today, there are more than 8,000 stations and the data now comes in rapidly from these stations by electronic mail, internet and satellite.

This increase in the number of stations and the more timely receipt of data has allowed us and other seismological centers to locate earthquakes more rapidly and to locate many small earthquakes which were undetected in earlier years. The NEIC now locates about 20,000 earthquakes each year or approximately 50 per day. Also, because of the improvements in communications and the increased interest in the environment and natural disasters, the public now learns about more earthquakes.

According to long-term records (since about 1900), we expect about 17 major earthquakes (7.0 - 7.9) and one great earthquake (8.0 or above) in any given year.


NCAR’s missing heat – they could not find it any-where

I briefly satirized the Trenberth/NCAR "missing heat" claim yesterday but Roger Pielke gives it a full examination:

There was a remarkable press release 0n April 15 from the NCAR/UCAR Media Relations titled" “Missing” heat may affect future climate change. The article starts with the text
BOULDER—Current observational tools cannot account for roughly half of the heat that is believed to have built up on Earth in recent years, according to a “Perspectives” article in this week’s issue of Science. Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) warn in the new study that satellite sensors, ocean floats, and other instruments are inadequate to track this “missing” heat, which may be building up in the deep oceans or elsewhere in the climate system.

“The heat will come back to haunt us sooner or later,” says NCAR scientist Kevin Trenberth, the lead author. “The reprieve we’ve had from warming temperatures in the last few years will not continue. It is critical to track the build-up of energy in our climate system so we can understand what is happening and predict our future climate.”
Excerpts from the press release reads
“Either the satellite observations are incorrect, says Trenberth, or, more likely, large amounts of heat are penetrating to regions that are not adequately measured, such as the deepest parts of the oceans. Compounding the problem, Earth’s surface temperatures have largely leveled off in recent years. Yet melting glaciers and Arctic sea ice, along with rising sea levels, indicate that heat is continuing to have profound effects on the planet.”

“A percentage of the missing heat could be illusory, the result of imprecise measurements by satellites and surface sensors or incorrect processing of data from those sensors, the authors say. Until 2003, the measured heat increase was consistent with computer model expectations. But a new set of ocean monitors since then has shown a steady decrease in the rate of oceanic heating, even as the satellite-measured imbalance between incoming and outgoing energy continues to grow.”

Some of the missing heat appears to be going into the observed melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, as well as Arctic sea ice, the authors say.

Much of the missing heat may be in the ocean. Some heat increase can be detected between depths of 3,000 and 6,500 feet (about 1,000 to 2,000 meters), but more heat may be deeper still beyond the reach of ocean sensors.”
Trenberth’s [and co-author, NCAR scientist John Fasullo], however, are grasping for an explanation other than the actual real world implication of the absence of this heat.

* First, if the heat was being sequestered deeper in the ocean (lower than about 700m), than we would have seen it transit through the upper ocean where the data coverage has been good since at least 2005. The other reservoirs where heat could be stored are closely monitored as well (e.g. continental ice) as well as being relatively small in comparison with the ocean.

* Second, the melting of glaciers and continental ice can be only a very small component of the heat change (e.g. see Table 1 in Levitus et al 2001 “Anthropogenic warming of Earth’s climate system”. Science). Thus, a large amount heat (measured as Joules) does not appear to be stored anywhere; it just is not there.

There is no “heat in the pipeline” [or "unrealized heat"] as I have discussed most recently in my post: Continued Misconception Of The Concept of Heating In The Pipeline In The Paper Vermeer and Rahmstorf 2009 Titled “Global Sea Level Linked To Global Temperature”

Kevin Trenberth and John Fasullo are not recognizing that the diagnosis of upper ocean heat content changes (with it large mass) makes in an effective integrator of long term radiative imbalances of the climate system as I discussed in my papers:

Pielke Sr., R.A., 2008: A broader view of the role of humans in the climate system. Physics Today, 61, Vol. 11, 54-55.


Pielke Sr., R.A., 2003: Heat storage within the Earth system. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 84, 331-335.

The assessment of ocean heat storage changes in Joules is a much more robust methodology to assess global warming than the use of small changes in the satellite diagnosis of radiative forcing from the satellites which have uncertainties of at least the same order. Trenberth and Fasullo need to look more critically at the satellite data as well as propose how heat in Joules could be transported deep into the ocean without being seen.

Much more HERE

Some facts in reply to the latest official assertions

Martin Rees, president of The Royal Society, and Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, penned a letter last week to the Financial Post in which they regurgitated many of the favorite bromides of the global warming movement, blaming mankind for rising global temperatures and warning of a coming climate catastrophe unless there is a radical reduction in human CO2 emissions.

Most of their assertions are either unproven or demonstrably false. Neither author was inventive enough to concoct any new anthropogenic global warming (AGW) fictions for public consumption. Everything was straight from the man-is-destroying the planet AGW template.

Let’s analyze several of the myths rehashed by these heavyweights of science.

Article continues below this advert:

Myth: “. . . neither recent controversies [Climategate e-mails], nor the recent cold weather, negate the consensus among scientists: something unprecedented is now happening. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising and climate change is occurring, both due to human actions.”

Fact: First, there is no so-called “consensus among scientists.” More than 31,400 American scientists, 9,029 with PhD degrees and 3,803 with specific training in atmospheric, earth and environmental sciences, have signed a petition urging the United States government to reject any cap-and-trade agreement placing limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the petition, “The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

“There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

Moreover, scientific inquiry is not based on “consensus.” If it were, science still would be wedded to Ptolemy’s theory placing the earth at the center of the universe, with the sun, moon, planets, and stars revolving about it in circular orbits. His theory was the consensus belief of the time.

Real science is driven by investigation, not consensus. Scientists develop a hypothesis, which is subjected to rigorous testing. Eventually it may evolve into a formal theory, which is exposed to further testing and experimentation by scientists determined to challenge or disprove it.

Unlike their “consensus” brethren, scientists worthy of the label carefully search for data that might actually contradict their theory so they can test it further or refine it. The "science is settled" soothsayers, on the other hand, select only data that tends to support their theory, while steadfastly ignoring any data that disagrees with it. The AGW-consensus-bound scientists are not practicing science; they are pushing advocacy.

Myth: “The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising and climate change is occurring, both due to human actions.”

Fact: Although human activity has contributed to rising levels of CO2, there is no empirical or physical evidence to support the contention that man-caused CO2 has caused the planet to warm. The estimated 0.7 Celsius increase in average global temperature during the past century can be just as easily explained by changes in albedo and ocean currents such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, El Nino-Southern Oscillation and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

As former Navy Meteorologist Dr. Martin Hertzberg observes:

“It is shown that modest changes of at most one to two percent in the Earth’s albedo brought about by modest changes in cloud cover, are sufficient to account for the observed average temperature changes of the last century . . . It is implausible to expect that small changes in the concentration of any minor atmospheric constituent such as carbon dioxide can significantly influence that radiative equilibrium.”

Moreover, during the last eight years, from 2001 to 2009, the temperature trend shows a decrease of 0.52 degrees Celsius per century, despite rising CO2 levels, falsifying the IPPC model projections of continued warming triggered by human activity.

Increases in solar activity also have affected temperatures, and not just on our planet. As Earth warmed during the last century, astronomers also saw evidence of rising temperatures on Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Neptune and Pluto in the form of shrinking of CO2 ice caps, moons changing from solid ice to liquid, and frozen nitrogen turning to gas.

During the same time period, CO2 percolated out of the warming ocean on Earth (just as it foams out of a warming glass of carbonated beverage) and increased the amount of atmospheric CO2. So it is just as reasonable to conclude – without resorting to jerry-rigged models – that an active sun, not mankind, was the source of both the increase in global temperature and atmospheric CO2.

By the way, 33 U.S. states reported record high temperatures from the 1880s to 1930s, during a period when far less CO2 was expelled into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels than has been released during the past 50 or 60 years.

Along with the recent eight-year temperature decline, 20th-century temperature records undermine the theory that the warming of the Earth since 1900 has been driven solely by man-made greenhouse gas emissions and will continue as long as carbon dioxide levels rise.

As engineer Dan Pangburn observes, "Average global temperatures for over a century have trended down, then up, then down, then up, then down, while average annual atmospheric CO2 levels have always risen since 1800. Lack of correlation demonstrates lack of causation."

But such facts have not deterred climate-model-addicted scientists whose careers and funding depend on the existence of AGW. In order to coax higher temperatures from what amounts to a tiny increase in CO2-induced warming, scientists have managed to discover an amplification effect, called “feedback,” which they say multiplies the impact of carbon dioxide emissions. One of the gospels of the global warming religion, the theory of positive feedback states that a small temperature increase from rising carbon dioxide levels is amplified by the increase in water vapor caused by the temperature rise. The eventual result is runaway global warming.

Fortunately, the theory of CO2-generated runaway warming is falsified by geological records. During the late Ordovician period, the planet plunged into the Andean-Saharan ice age, while atmospheric carbon dioxide soared to 4,400 parts per million (ppm), nearly 10 times today’s level. Where was the runaway greenhouse effect? Obviously, there must be other influences besides atmospheric carbon dioxide that affect global temperatures.

Ice core records

Antarctica’s Vostok ice core samples clearly show CO2 levels lagging temperature increases by 800 years, plus or a minus 200 years. Apparently, as temperatures increased, the oceans “out-gassed” CO2 as they, too, warmed. Some climatologists claim the CO2 out-gassing then “amplified” the warming. But the amplifier effect is based on unproven assumptions (enter the climate models, again) about the strength of the CO2-induced warming.

As CO2 Science observes, “There is no way to objectively determine the strength of the proposed amplification from the ice core data.” Moreover, during most of the past decade, temperatures have declined while CO2 levels have risen. There has been no runaway greenhouse effect.

The weakness of a CO2-warming correlation confirms the research of Dr. Sherwood Idso, president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. He concluded that "changes in CO2 concentration cannot be claimed to be the cause of changes in air temperature, for the appropriate sequence of events (temperature change following CO2 change) is not only never present, it is actually violated in [at least] half of the record." That is, CO2 levels have been extremely high during ice ages and and periods of relatively cool temperatures, another fact that undermines the global warming alarmists’ pet CO2-causes-warming theory.

Global warming alarmists also ignore the fact that, during the last 600 million years, only the Carboniferous Period and our current age, the Quaternary Period, have experienced CO2 levels less than 400 ppm. Compared to those periods, today’s atmosphere is CO2-impoverished.

So why is there no runaway warming, even at 10 times the recorded levels of the past? One of the answers lies in CO2’s self-limiting absorption characteristic, which follows a logarithmic curve as levels increase. As carbon dioxide doubles, the increase in temperature is the same as the previous increase.

As the research paper “Cold Facts on Global Warming” observes:

“[The logarithmic effect] would be analogous to closing more and more shades over the windows of your house on a sunny day – it soon reaches the point where doubling the number of shades can't make it any darker.”

Even if the concentration of atmospheric CO2 were four to five times current levels, it would produce only a small, incremental rise in the amount of infrared absorption. The large CO2-induced temperature increases predicted by computer models are not supported by results obtained by basic mathematical measurements.

Computer models have become a crutch. William Gray, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University, says the models are incapable of accurately replicating atmospheric conditions – in particular, the effects of cloud cover and precipitation – and therefore, cannot be trusted.

“Most of the rise in temperature from the ‘70s to the ‘90s was natural,” he says. “Very little was down to CO2 – in my view, as little as five to ten per cent.”

Distorted temperature data

Because surface-station temperature data is so poor, we can’t even be certain of the accuracy of the often-cited 0.7-degree Celsius global temperature increase that is supposed to have occurred during the last century. Based on Climategate e-mails and other evidence made public, there is a very real possibility that surface-station data has been manipulated to give the appearance of a warming trend.

Satellite temperature measurements (available since 1979) have been steadily diverging from surface station readings, indicating a warm bias in the surface temperature record, according to a research paper published this week by Intellicast chief meteorologist Joe D’Aleo and former TV meteorologist Anthony Watts, founder of the award-winning WattsUpWithThat science blog.

The authors conclude that the warming trend through the late 1990s was caused not by greenhouse gases, but instead by urbanization and land-use changes. And the warming bias was magnified by the use of improvised and inaccurate data adjustments, along with a huge reduction in the number of Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) reporting stations, many of them eliminated from high-lattitude or high-elevation locations.

“Since these surface changes [urbanization and land use] are not fully adjusted for, trends from the surface networks are not reliable . . . and can no longer be trusted for reliable climate trend assessment,” the authors warn.

Even with the warming bias included, recent temperatures have been declining. But global warming alarmists have found a convenient way to create their fictional “warming trend” by using only the last 30 years of temperature data, writes Pangburn.

”It is often quoted that all (or most) of the highest temperatures on record occurred in the last decade and also that the temperature trend is up. Both of these assertions can be shown to be true, but are misleading. The ‘record’ started with the advent of comparatively accurate and extensive direct measurements and near the lowest temperature of the Little Ice Age. Saying that the latest temperatures are among the highest on record is about as profound as saying that I drove 10,000 miles last year, and the last 10 days were among the greatest distance traveled since the beginning of the year."

Pangburn continues: “[Climatologists] conclude that agt [average global temperature] is rising because the linearized slope for the last 30 years is positive. But this is an artifact of the 30-year assumption. The agt rose sharply for the first 20 of the 30 years, but has been flat or declining since . . . A rising temperature trend is going to be the conclusion if our knowledge is limited to statistical analysis and the 30-year period. However, if the record had started with best estimates of agt during the Medieval Warm Period the linearized trend would be down.”

Model projections are not evidence

Contrary to the easily refuted assertions of Rees and Cicerone, there is no evidence that carbon dioxide emissions are the main cause of recent global warming. The warming and cooling cycles of the past are natural and are caused primarily by changes in solar input, oscillating ocean currents, and the chaotic formation of clouds and precipitation – not by CO2-enhanced greenhouse effects.

The only evidence that humans cause global warming” comes from computer models. The creators of models can make them show whatever they want by simply manipulating parameters. They can be useful, but their results are not evidence of anything, writes engineer Willis Eschenbach.

“Evidence is observable and measurable data about the real world. Climate model results are nothing more than the beliefs and prejudices of the programmers made tangible. While the results of climate models can be interesting and informative, they are not evidence.”

The late, great newspaperman and critic H.L. Mencken would have thoroughly enjoyed debunking and attacking the silly ravings of today’s global warming alarmists. The following quote, vintage Mencken, describes perfectly the forces at work behind the AGW scare campaign.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence clamorous to be led to safety by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

Today’s great hobgoblin appears in the shape of a molecule known as CO2.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Holocaust analogy used to legitimate nutty idea

The campaign to make ‘ecocide’ a crime sums up the opportunism and censoriousness of the green lobby

Under normal circumstances, someone who started a campaign called Trees Have Rights Too in order to convince the United Nations to adopt a Universal Declaration of Planetary Rights, based on the idea that ‘we are all one, life is sacred and love is all’, might reasonably be suspected of being an LSD-tripping hippy.

But it seems that we don’t live in normal times. Because Polly Higgins, an environmentalist barrister and the initiator of the Planetary Rights campaign, was not only included in The Ecologist’s 2009 list of Top 10 Visionaries, but in 2008 she was even invited to address the United Nations. When Higgins launched a campaign last Friday to have ‘ecocide’, the destruction of the natural world, recognised as an international crime, some commentators argued that this confirmed her brilliance and heroism.

At the People’s Climate Conference, which was held in tandem with the 2009 Copenhagen Summit, Higgins explained that we need a paradigm shift, a change in approaches to addressing climate change. She said we need to stop looking at planet Earth as an ‘inert thing’ that can be commoditised, since this only benefits businesses. Instead, we should view the planet as a living being that has intrinsic value. Only when such a mindset prevails can we really ensure that humans will start taking responsibility for the planet.

To say that Marx must be turning in his grave would be to flatter Higgins, whose New Ageism hardly amounts to any substantial supposition. Whatever the usefulness of natural things like flowers, trees and rocks, they are only valuable in so far as they satisfy the needs and wants of human beings – whether that involves cutting down trees for wood, picking flowers to decorate our homes, or climbing rocks to enjoy the view.

To that end, the elements, materials and beings found in nature should be used and ‘abused’ for the benefit of mankind – we should not be forced to protect nature for nature’s sake. Deserts and meadows cannot feel hurt, assaulted or denigrated – they are material things and it is impossible for them to have individual rights. (I’m sure the trees of the world do not mind me saying this.)

Of course, the Trees Have Rights campaign states that natural conservation and protection is for the good of human beings, too, and therefore we all have an interest in putting a stop to pollution and in ensuring nature’s right to restorative justice, as the campaign website puts it (you can tell it has been written by a lawyer). But, in truth, Higgins and other greens who are demanding an end to ‘ecocide’ are elevating what they identify as the needs and rights of nature over the needs and rights of human beings. For them, the primary purpose of humanity is to accept our responsibilities towards the planet, to leave eco-systems alone and, where man has contributed to the alteration of nature, to restore it to its original state – whenever that was.

Here, social progress – great leaps forward that have provided us with material wellbeing, longer life spans, more leisure time and opportunities to pursue individual interests – are reconstituted as ‘pollution’. Man’s interventions in nature are regarded as simply corrosive, hubristic acts of nature-murder that are as abhorrent as the concerted, state-sanctioned extermination of human beings.

Higgins may only have a relatively small band of followers, but her plan to convince the UN to accept ‘ecocide’ as a fifth ‘crime against peace’, which could be tried at the International Criminal Court, chimes with mainstream green thinking. As the Guardian reported, supporters of a new ecocide law believe it could also be used to prosecute ‘climate deniers’.

The terms ‘ecocide’ and ‘climate denial’ of course bring to mind the Holocaust and those revisionist cranks who question its veracity. Environmentalists constantly conjure up Holocaust imagery – on the one hand to stress that climate change is an indisputable evil, and on the other hand to shut down debate on the matter. Anyone who dares to demand that the claims of greens be scrutinised, anyone who questions the severity of the climate threat or argues that how humanity should handle it is up for debate, is put on a par with Holocaust-denying fraudsters. Greens are making use of the fact that the campaign to criminalise Holocaust denial has grown in recent years, consciously putting ‘climate change denial’ on a par with Holocaust denial so that those who question environmentalism can be prosecuted, too.

Never mind hurting the feelings of flora and fauna, tree-hugging, censorship-demanding greens are denigrating the devastating experiences of victims of mass murder by putting them on a par with things like tree-felling and desertification. That is the natural consequence of their putting nature on a par with – in fact even higher than – humankind.

Higgins’ campaign reminds me of a banner at a climate-change demo a few years ago which said ‘trees don’t rape’. The message here is the same: nature is pure, innocent, helpless, while man is repugnant, exploiting, violent. That is, every man who is not already a diehard green, that apparently enlightened kind of individual who assumes he has the right to tell the rest of us that we need to venerate nature, or else.

Instead of flattering tree huggers, it’s time we stopped all this nature-worshipping and added some real fuel to the climate-change debate. One way to do it is by letting us know what you think by sending a response here.


A Week of Green Brainwashing coming up

By Alan Caruba

Brace yourself for a week of Green brainwashing when Thursday culminates in an orgy of Green propaganda called Earth Day.

Be alert to the tons and tons of Green stories in your weekly and daily newspaper of choice, the weekly snooze-magazines, and especially on television where all the local reporters will dutifully interview people who are recycling things destined for a landfill or protesting to save salamanders.

Amidst the deluge will be endless appeals to buy products deemed Green, but which are always more expensive than those that have not been blessed by the Sierra Club.

Your children, in particular, will learn precious little about the way the real Earth functions. Aside from the usual demented “global warming” scenarios guaranteed to give them nightmares, the schools will pretty much abandon efforts to teach anything resembling the way the Earth actually behaves.

With any luck the kids will hear about a Greenland volcano whose eruptions have shut down trans-Atlantic flights because, kids, that’s just one of the horrible things that happens when a volcano goes off. Other times, it destroys all human habitation on a Caribbean island or, as the Philippines’ Mount Pinatubo did in 1991, it not only killed hundreds of people, but put so much pollution in the atmosphere the global temperature actually dropped in the year that followed.

Earthquakes are a natural phenomenon as well. The recent one in Haiti destroyed Port u Prince and has left thousands homeless. An even more recent one in China has had the same affect. Where is the goddess Gaia when you need her? Or maybe she’s angry?

Most certainly, the week will be full of talk about how we’re all going to die from too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, but no one is going to die from the 386 parts per billion up there amidst the 95% water vapor.

Forget about “anthropogenic” (produced by man) CO2. The Earth generates 97% of all the CO2 in the atmosphere. We would all surely die if there was no CO2 because everything that’s really green, from a blade of grass to a giant Sequoia tree, depends on it.

The entire Green movement has depended on propaganda from its start around the time that Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” became a bestseller in 1962, even though most of the claims and predictions were and are sheer bunk. The same applies to the 1968 epic, “The Population Bomb”, and comparable Green pseudo-scientific garbage.

Today, environmental groups rake in millions annually by keeping the masses scared and tapping all manner of public funding and infusions from foundations

It will be difficult to avoid articles or hearing this balderdash because the mainstream media around the world has been in the tank for “the environment” since the 1960s, but you can actively screen it from your daily intake of news.

Remind yourself that, aside from mankind as the most active killer of other members of mankind, Mother Nature doesn’t really care which of her wonders will kill you.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


16 April, 2010

Greenhouse gases account for only 5-10 per cent of global warming

Professor Jyrki Kauppinen built in the 1970s an infrared spectrometer, which measured nearly all the greenhouse gases

From the University of Turku, Department of Physics, a study shows that carbon dioxide has a significantly smaller impact on global warming than previously thought. Results are based on, inter alia, spectrum analysis.

According to research led by Professor Jyrki Kauppinen increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide accounts for only a 5-10 per cent of observed warming of the Earth. "The climate is warming yes, but not because of greenhouse gases," says Kauppinen.

According to him, the UN climate panel, namely the IPCC, projection, has made a magnitude error. The International Panel on Climate Change calculated value is more than ten times larger than our calculated result, Kauppinen says.

He intends to publish research results in Nature magazine June issue.

The Climate Panel understands that climate warming is almost entirely the result of man-made carbon dioxide emissions -- much higher emissions than reality have been implied in the IPCC reports.

I think it is such a blatant falsification, Kauppinen says.

He is not the first IPCC critic. The Panel has had to admit itself to be incorrect, including the forecasts on the melting of Himalayan glaciers

Climategate also known as hacking, caused a stir last year which led back to the IPCC's key researchers in e-mails leaked to the public. Some think the aim of the release of the letters, was to isolate and stigmatize climate change, scientists think otherwise.

SOURCE. (Rough translation above from the original Finnish)

Warmists admit to "missing" heat (CO2 has risen but temperatures have not)

And they are speculatingly wildly about where it has "gone". Perhaps it has sunk deep, deep down in the ocean!

Current observational tools cannot account for roughly half of the heat that is believed to have built up on Earth in recent years, according to a "Perspectives" article in this week's issue of the journal Science.

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., warn that satellite sensors, ocean floats, and other instruments are inadequate to track this "missing" heat, which may be building up in the deep oceans or elsewhere in the climate system.

"The heat will come back to haunt us sooner or later," says NCAR scientist Kevin Trenberth, the article's lead author.

"The reprieve we've had from warming temperatures in the last few years will not continue. It is critical to track the build-up of energy in our climate system so we can understand what is happening and predict our future climate."

The authors suggest that last year's rapid onset of El Niño, the periodic event in which upper ocean waters across much of the tropical Pacific Ocean become significantly warmer, may be one way in which the solar energy has reappeared.

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), NCAR's sponsor, and by NASA.

"The flow of energy through the climate system is a key issue in understanding climate change," says Eric DeWeaver, program director in NSF's Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, which funds NCAR. "It poses a major challenge to our observing systems."

Trenberth and his co-author, NCAR scientist John Fasullo, focused on a central mystery of climate change. Whereas satellite instruments indicate that greenhouse gases are continuing to trap more solar energy, or heat, scientists since 2003 have been unable to determine where much of that heat is going.

Either the satellite observations are incorrect, says Trenberth, or, more likely, large amounts of heat are penetrating to regions that are not adequately measured, such as the deepest parts of the oceans. [It couldn't be that the theory is incorrect, could it?]

Compounding the problem, Earth's surface temperatures have largely leveled off in recent years. Yet melting glaciers and Arctic sea ice, [Really? Sea ice exctent has RISEN in the last 2 years] along with rising sea levels [Not recently], indicate that heat is continuing to have profound effects on the planet.

Trenberth and Fasullo explain that it is imperative to better measure the flow of energy through Earth's climate system.

For example, any geoengineering plan to artificially alter the world's climate to counter global warming could have inadvertent consequences, which may be difficult to analyze unless scientists can track heat around the globe.

Improved analysis of energy in the atmosphere and oceans can also help researchers better understand and possibly even anticipate unusual weather patterns, such as the cold outbreaks across much of the United States, Europe, and Asia over the past winter.

As greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere, satellite instruments show a growing imbalance between energy entering the atmosphere from the sun and energy leaving from Earth's surface. This imbalance is the source of long-term global warming.

But tracking the growing amount of heat on Earth is far more complicated than measuring temperatures at the planet's surface.

The oceans absorb about 90 percent of the solar energy that is trapped by greenhouse gases. Additional amounts of heat go toward melting glaciers and sea ice, as well as warming the land and parts of the atmosphere.

Only a tiny fraction warms the air at the planet's surface.

Satellite measurements indicate that the amount of greenhouse-trapped solar energy has risen over recent years while the increase in heat measured in the top 3,000 feet of the ocean has stalled. [How pesky!]

Although it is difficult to quantify the amount of solar energy with precision, Trenberth and Fasullo estimate that, based on satellite data, the amount of energy build-up appears to be about 1.0 watts per square meter or higher, while ocean instruments indicate a build-up of about 0.5 watts per square meter.

That means about half the total amount of heat is unaccounted for.

A percentage of the missing heat could be illusory, the result of imprecise measurements by satellites and surface sensors or incorrect processing of data from those sensors, the authors say.

Until 2003, the measured heat increase was consistent with computer model expectations. But a new set of ocean monitors since then has shown a steady decrease in the rate of oceanic heating, even as the satellite-measured imbalance between incoming and outgoing energy continues to grow.

Some of the missing heat appears to be going into the observed melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, as well as Arctic sea ice.

Much of the missing heat may be in the ocean. Some heat increase can be detected between depths of 3,000 and 6,500 feet (about 1,000 to 2,000 meters), but more heat may be deeper still beyond the reach of ocean sensors.

Trenberth and Fasullo call for additional ocean sensors, along with more systematic data analysis and new approaches to calibrating satellite instruments, to help resolve the mystery.

The Argo profiling floats that researchers began deploying in 2000 to measure ocean temperatures, for example, are separated by about 185 miles (300 kilometers) and take readings only about once every 10 days from a depth of about 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) up to the surface.

Plans are underway to have a subset of these floats go to greater depths.

"Global warming at its heart is driven by an imbalance of energy: more solar energy is entering the atmosphere than leaving it," Fasullo says.

"Our concern is that we aren't able to entirely monitor or understand the imbalance. This reveals a glaring hole in our ability to observe the build-up of heat in our climate system."


Climategate whitewash

CRU scientists who removed caveats from IPCC reports are praised for warning of uncertainties in their published work!

"Climategate scientists cleared of wrongdoing” read the headline in yesterday’s Post. Who expected anything else? The two self-inquiries launched by the University of East Anglia into its Climatic Research Unit (CRU) were always destined to produce whitewashes, as did a recent UK parliamentary inquiry, and as will an “independent” review by the UN.

The first of the UEA reports, from a committee headed by ardent warmist and anti-carbon profiteer Lord Oxburgh, appeared this week. As Lawrence Solomon points out elsewhere on this page, the choice of Lord Oxburgh indicated that the fix was always in for an inquiry which fails to address, let alone probe, most of the major issues. And yet there is a mountain of condemnation-by-faint-exoneration between the lines of the report’s ridiculously slim five pages.

Its attempt to present CRU head Phil Jones, and his beleaguered band, as unworldly boffins who were blindsided by all this attention is ridiculous. The report claims that it found a “small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers.” The key question is: dedicated to what? Certainly, they weren’t expecting to be outed quite so spectacularly, but to paint them as innocents in the big bad world of climate realpolitik is nonsense.

After reviewing a cherry-picked group of eleven CRU studies, the report gently raps the knuckles of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, for failing to note the reservations that CRU researchers so assiduously attached to their peer-reviewed work. “All of the published work was accompanied by detailed descriptions of uncertainties and accompanied by appropriate caveats,” notes the report.

Global warming alarmists relentlessly chant that there is scientific “consensus” that the “science is settled.” Yet now we are told that somehow the main body for promoting the climate change agenda “neglected” to tell the world that the science wasn’t settled. What we are not told is that the scientists who removed the caveats in the IPCC reports were lead IPCC authors Mr. Jones and his CRU colleague Keith Briffa!

The CRU is concerned with temperature data. Indeed it is one of the principal sources for claims that the earth warmed alarmingly in the 20th century after 900 years of alleged climatic calm (Medieval Warm Period? Little Ice Age? Never happened).

Data from the distant past is reconstructed from problematic “proxies” such as tree rings; but even assembling readings for more recent periods is difficult due to the thin coverage of weather stations and, more seriously, to the impact of the “urban heat island effect” on readings from stations where development has encroached. There, temperature increases may be due to traffic, tarmac and local barbecues rather than global climate.

The CRU’s data has appeared in two forms: raw and cooked. Much of the raw variety, unfortunately, has been “lost.” This is treated by the review as infinitely excusable due to the pressures of the academic life. You know, tedious admin meetings, the pressure to publish, the need to get in those applications for multi-million dollar grants attached to proving man-made global warming. But how can ditching the fundamental data on which your science depends be dubbed mere carelessness with “non-essential record keeping?”

As for the cooked data, the CRU has been accused of “manipulation” not in the legitimate statistical sense, so that different data sets may be comparable, but in support of the results required by government-funded, highly politicized science. Without data suggesting rising temperatures due to anthropogenic emissions, there would be no justification for massive global programs such as cap-and-trade, redistributionist “clean development,” or the hefty subsidization of alternative energy.

The CRU is also gently fingered for its lack of statistical sophistication. As the report admits, “It is regrettable that so few professional statisticians have been involved in this work because it is fundamentally statistical.”

But hang on. Draconian global policies have been made on the basis of dodgy data handled by those who are less than expert? This is surely a little more than “regrettable.” If statistics are so important, why didn’t the IPCC make sure the CRU, and itself, had the world’s greatest statistical minds on tap? Could that be because the data and science are there to support the political position rather than guiding it?

The report does dish out some harsh criticisms, but only to the unnamed CRU critics whose “tone” it “deplores.” They presumably refer to the likes of Canadians Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, whom Lord Oxburgh and his team assiduously avoided. Meanwhile the emphasis on “tone” is farcical, particularly when compared with the kind of anti-skeptic vitriol exposed in the Climategate emails.

According to the report “some of these criticisms show a rather selective and uncharitable approach to information made available by CRU.” So skeptics such as Messrs. McIntyre and McKitrick might have been stonewalled, insulted, undermined and threatened by the CRU cabal, but apparently it was they who should have been more “charitable.”

Lord Oxburgh suggested this week that attacks on the CRU had come from people who do not like the “implications” of their conclusions. If by “implications” he means suicidal and pointless policies, then that might have been the one thing he got right. Otherwise, his report is a travesty.


Seek and ye might be arrested

Rather Orwellian

Police are investigating anyone who requested information from the university department at the centre of the ‘climategate’ scandal.

Norfolk Constabulary is trying to work out who stole thousands of emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia at the end of last year.

The emails, that were posted on the internet, appear to show scientists were unwilling to reveal data on global warming and led to an international scandal known as ‘climategate’.

Already prominent climate change sceptics around the world have been questioned and members of staff at the university, but is has now emerged that ordinary members of the public who did nothing more than request information are also being targeted.

Sebastian Nokes, a businessman and climate change sceptic, wrote to a national newspaper to complain. He said all he had done was request information on the CRU’s disclosure rules and he was questioned on his political and scientific beliefs.

Detective Superintendent Julian Gregory, who is leading the investigation, said his unit is looking into anyone who could give clues to who stole the emails and working with experts in "extremism". “As with any investigation we will interview anyone who may have information which is of relevance to the enquiry,” he said.

The university was cleared of scientific malpractice recently. There is separate ongoing investigation by academics into whether Freedom of Information requests were dealt with correctly.


High-speed folly

President Obama’s decision to travel to Florida to announce federal grants to the states for high-speed trains on the day after his State of the Union address is laden with irony. He claims that high-speed rail is good for the environment, but he apparently failed to read the 2005 environmental impact statement for Florida’s high-speed rail, which concluded that the environmental costs of building it are greater than the benefits.

This conclusion (plus the outrageously high cost) convinced Florida not to build it. But when Obama offered to have federal taxpayers cover half the cost, Florida’s Republican governor said, “to heck with the environment — take the money!” Or maybe he never read the environmental impact statement either; in any case, he strongarmed a special session of the legislature to approve matching funds.

Autos can be more efficient than trains because even lightweight trains like the French TGV typically weigh three times as much per passenger as a typical automobile. Accelerating that extra weight to high speeds requires tremendous amounts of energy, which can generate tremendous amounts of pollution. Considering anticipated improvements in fuel economies, by 2025 the average car on the road will use less energy and emit less pollution per passenger mile than high-speed trains.

The second irony is that Obama announced the high-speed rail grants a day after proposing a spending freeze to reduce federal deficits. The more than $8 billion in stimulus funds for high-speed rail is hardly a spending freeze, as it will mainly stimulate a high-speed rail lobby to promote a national rail network....

Most recently, Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, chair of the House Transit and Highways Subcommittee, offered an estimate of $700 billion for a national system of true high-speed rail. While he called this “unimaginably expensive,” he added that it was “the same amount of money that Congress gave in one day to Wall Street.” Trying to make it sound affordable, he hopes you won’t remember that Congress never gave Wall Street anything; it was almost all loans, and most, if not all, will be repaid.

There is further irony in Obama’s claims that he wants to protect the middle class and soak the rich. Middle-class taxpayers will get to pay for high-speed rail, yet few of them will ever use it.

The week before Obama’s announcement, I made a trip from New York to Washington. When I purchased my ticket, the fare on Amtrak’s high-speed Acela was $155. I choose instead to take Megabus, which charged only $15.50. Megabus and other bus companies offer free WiFi; Amtrak has NoFi. To be fair, Amtrak fares start at $133 with enough of an advance purchase, but Megabus fares start at $1 (yes, $1). Few members of the middle class who have to pay for their own tickets will part with more than $100 to save 90 minutes on the high-speed train.

The final irony is that Obama’s rail announcement came the day after Steve Jobs presented Apple’s iPad to the public amid a wave of almost hysterical publicity. Apple thrives on producing innovative products that do things few had thought of doing. Obama’s high-speed trains are essentially a 1930s technology that will contribute little to American mobility....

Obama says that we need to catch up with countries whose trains are faster than ours. If French horses and buggies were faster than ours, would he want to spend billions of dollars on a buggy-whip technology race? We already have a technology twice as fast as the fastest high-speed trains: it is called the jet airliner.

Unlike high-speed rail, the airlines don’t require huge subsidies. While subsidies to high-speed train riders will exceed 30 cents per passenger mile, federal, state, and local subsidies to air travelers average around a penny per passenger mile — and much of that goes to out-of-the-way airports where local officials fleece taxpayers in usually ill-fated efforts to promote economic development.

Rail advocates point out that high-speed trains can compete with airlines in downtown-to-downtown service. But central-city downtowns host fewer than 8% of American workers — mainly bankers, lawyers, and government bureaucrats. These people, whose incomes tend to be higher than average, hardly need a high-speed subsidy at everyone else’s expense.

Obama has touted high-speed rail as the next Interstate Highway System. But the interstates paid for themselves out of gas taxes and other user fees; subsidies to other highways total less than a penny per passenger mile. The average American travels 4,000 miles and ships 2,000 ton-miles per year over the interstates, vastly more than the use we will ever put to high-speed rail.

The interstates have succeeded because they enable people to go where they want to go, when they want to go there. High-speed rail will reach far fewer destinations and will only go when some government agency decides to run the trains.

Finally, Obama emphasized the jobs that rail construction will create. But considering how much engineering work is needed before construction can actually begin on any of these rail lines, most of those jobs will arrive too late to stimulate the economy out of the current recession. And considering how few people will ride the trains, he might as well spend tax dollars on digging holes and filling them up.

At a time of rising deficits, America can’t afford to dedicate tens or hundreds of billions of dollars to an obsolete technology that is good for neither the environment nor personal mobility. Congress should put an immediate freeze on any further spending on high-speed rail.

More here

Some history: The Amazing Story Behind the Global Warming Scam

By meteorologist John Coleman (Founder of The Weather Channel)

The key players are now all in place in Washington and in state governments across America to officially label carbon dioxide as a pollutant and enact laws that tax us citizens for our carbon footprints. Only two details stand in the way: the faltering economic times and a dramatic turn toward a colder climate. The last two bitter winters have led to a rise in public awareness that there is no runaway global warming. A majority of American citizens are now becoming skeptical of the claim that our carbon footprints, resulting from our use of fossil fuels, are going to lead to climatic calamities. But governments are not yet listening to the citizens.

How did we ever get to this point where bad science is driving big government to punish the citizens for living the good life that fossil fuels provide for us?

The story begins with an Oceanographer named Roger Revelle. He served with the Navy in World War II. After the war he became the Director of the Scripps Oceanographic Institute in La Jolla in San Diego, California. Revelle obtained major funding from the Navy to do measurements and research on the ocean around the Pacific Atolls where the US military was conducting post war atomic bomb tests. He greatly expanded the Institute's areas of interest and among others hired Hans Suess, a noted Chemist from the University of Chicago. Suess was very interested in the traces of carbon in the environment from the burning of fossil fuels. Revelle co-authored a scientific paper with Suess in 1957—a paper that raised the possibility that the atmospheric carbon dioxide might be creating a greenhouse effect and causing atmospheric warming. The thrust of the paper was a plea for funding for more studies. Funding, frankly, is where Revelle's mind was most of the time.

Next Revelle hired a Geochemist named David Keeling to devise a way to measure the atmospheric content of Carbon dioxide. In 1958 Keeling published his first paper showing the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and linking the increase to the burning of fossil fuels. These two research papers became the bedrock of the science of global warming, even though they offered no proof that carbon dioxide was in fact a greenhouse gas. In addition they failed to explain how this trace gas, only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, could have any significant impact on temperatures.

Back in the1950s, when this was going on, our cities were entrapped in a pall of pollution left by the crude internal combustion engines and poorly refined gasoline that powered cars and trucks back then, and from the uncontrolled emissions from power plants and factories. There was a valid and serious concern about the health consequences of this pollution. As a result a strong environmental movement was developing to demand action.

Government heard that outcry and set new environmental standards. Scientists and engineers came to the rescue. New reformulated fuels were developed, as were new high tech, computer controlled, fuel injection engines and catalytic converters. By the mid seventies cars were no longer significant polluters, emitting only some carbon dioxide and water vapor from their tail pipes. New fuel processing and smoke stack scrubbers were added to industrial and power plants and their emissions were greatly reduced as well.

But an environmental movement had been established and its funding and very existence depended on having a continuing crisis issue. Roger Revelle’s research at the Scripps Institute had tricked a wave of scientific inquiry. So the concept of uncontrollable atmospheric warming from the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels became the cornerstone issue of the environmental movement. Automobiles and power plants became the prime targets.

Revelle and Keeling used this new alarmism to keep their funding growing. Other researchers with environmental motivations and a hunger for funding saw this developing and climbed aboard as well. The research grants flowed and alarming hypotheses began to show up everywhere.

The Keeling curve continues to show a steady rise in CO2 in the atmosphere during the period since oil and coal were discovered and used by man. Carbon dioxide has increased from the 1958 reading of 315 to 385 parts per million in 2008. But, despite the increases, it is still only a trace gas in the atmosphere. The percentage of the atmosphere that is CO2 remains tiny, about 3.8 hundredths of one percent by volume and 41 hundredths of one percent by weight. And, by the way, only a fraction of that fraction is from mankind’s use of fossil fuels. The best estimate is that atmospheric CO2 is 75 percent natural and 25 percent the result of civilization.

Several hypotheses emerged in the 70s and 80s about how this tiny atmospheric component of CO2 might cause a significant warming. But they remained unproven. As years have passed, the scientists have kept reaching out for evidence of the warming and proof of their theories. And, the money and environmental claims kept on building up.

Back in the 1960s, this global warming research came to the attention of a Canadian born United Nation's bureaucrat named Maurice Strong. He was looking for issues he could use to fulfill his dream of one-world government. Strong organized a World Earth Day event in Stockholm, Sweden in 1970. From this he developed a committee of scientists, environmentalists and political operatives from the UN to continue a series of meetings.

Strong developed the concept that the UN could demand payments from the advanced nations for the climatic damage from their burning of fossil fuels to benefit the underdeveloped nations—a sort of CO2 tax that would be the funding for his one-world government. But he needed more scientific evidence to support his primary thesis. So Strong championed the establishment of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC). This was not a pure, “climate study” scientific organization, as we have been led to believe. It was an organization of one-world government UN bureaucrats, environmental activists and environmentalist scientists who craved UN funding so they could produce the science they needed to stop the burning of fossil fuels.

Over the last 25 years the IPCC has been very effective. Hundreds of scientific papers, four major international meetings and reams of news stories about climatic Armageddon later, it has made its points to the satisfaction of most governments and even shared in a Nobel Peace Prize.

At the same time Maurice Strong was busy at the UN, things were getting a bit out of hand for the man who is now called the grandfather of global warming, Roger Revelle. He had been very politically active in the late 1950's as he worked to have the University of California locate a San Diego campus adjacent to Scripps Institute in La Jolla. He won that major war, but lost an all important battle afterward when he was passed over in the selection of the first Chancellor of the new campus.

He left Scripps finally in 1963 and moved to Harvard University to establish a Center for Population Studies. It was there that Revelle inspired one of his students. This student would say later, "It felt like such a privilege to be able to hear about the readouts from some of those measurements in a group of no more than a dozen undergraduates. Here was this teacher presenting something not years old but fresh out of the lab, with profound implications for our future!" The student described him as "a wonderful, visionary professor" who was "one of the first people in the academic community to sound the alarm on global warming." That student was Al Gore. He thought of Dr. Revelle as his mentor and referred to him frequently, relaying his experiences as a student in his book “Earth in the Balance,” published in 1992.

So there it is. Roger Revelle was indeed the grandfather of global warming. His work had laid the foundation for the UN IPCC, provided the anti-fossil fuel ammunition to the environmental movement and sent Al Gore on his road to his books, his movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” his Nobel Peace Prize and a hundred million dollars from the carbon credits business.

The global warming frenzy was becoming the cause célèbre of the media. After all, the media is mostly liberal, loves Al Gore, loves to warn us of impending disasters and tell us "the sky is falling, the sky is falling." The politicians and the environmentalist loved it, too.

But the tide was turning with Roger Revelle. He was forced out at Harvard at 65 and returned to California and a semi retirement position at UCSD. There he had time to rethink Carbon Dioxide and the greenhouse effect. The man who had inspired Al Gore and given the UN the basic research it needed to launch its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was having second thoughts. In 1988 he wrote two cautionary letters to members of Congress. He wrote, "My own personal belief is that we should wait another 10 or 20 years to really be convinced that the greenhouse effect is going to be important for human beings, in both positive and negative ways." He added, "…we should be careful not to arouse too much alarm until the rate and amount of warming becomes clearer."

And in 1991 Revelle teamed up with Chauncey Starr, founding director of the Electric Power Research Institute and Fred Singer, the first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service, to write an article for Cosmos magazine. They urged more research and begged scientists and governments not to move too fast to curb greenhouse CO2 emissions because the true impact of carbon dioxide was not at all certain, and curbing the use of fossil fuels could have a huge, negative impact on the economy, jobs, and our standard of living. Considerable controversy still surrounds the authorship of this article. However, I have discussed this collaboration with Dr. Singer and he assures me that Revelle was considerably more certain than he was at the time that carbon dioxide was not a problem.

Did Roger Revelle attend the summer enclave at the Bohemian Grove in Northern California in 1990 while working on that article? Did he deliver a lakeside speech there to the assembled movers and shakers from Washington and Wall Street in which he apologized for sending the UN IPCC and Al Gore on this wild goose chase about global warming? Did he say that the key scientific conjecture of his lifetime had turned out wrong? The answer to those questions is, "Apparently.” People who were there have told me about that afternoon, but I have not located a transcript or a recording. People continue to share their memories with me on an informal basis. More evidence may be forthcoming.

Roger Revelle died of a heart attack three months after the Cosmos story was printed. Oh, how I wish he were still alive today. He might be able to stop this scientific silliness and end the global warming scam. He might well stand beside me as a global warming denier.

Al Gore has dismissed Roger Revelle’s mea culpa as the actions of a senile old man. The next year, while running for Vice President, he said the science behind global warming is settled and there will be no more debate. From 1992 until today, he and most of his cohorts have refused to debate global warming and when asked about us skeptics, they insult us and call us names.

As the science now stands, the global warming alarmist scientists say the climate is sensitive to a “radiative forcing” effect from atmospheric carbon dioxide which greatly magnifies its greenhouse effect on atmospheric warming. The only proof they can provide of this complex hypothesis is by running it in climate computer models. By starting the models in about 1980 they showed how the continuing increase in CO2 was step with a steady increase in average global temperatures in the 1980s and 1990’s and claim cause and effect. But, in fact, those last two decades of the 20th century were at the peak of a strong 24 year solar cycle, and the temperature increases actually may have been a result of the solar cycle together with related warm cycle ocean current patterns during that period.

That warming ended in 1998 and global temperatures (as measured by satellites) leveled off. Starting in 2002, computer models and reality have dramatically parted company. The models predicted temperatures and carbon dioxide would continue to rise in lock step, but in fact while the CO2 continues to rise, temperatures are in decline. Now global temperatures are in such a nose dive there is wide spread talk from climatologists about an impending ice age. In any case, the UN’s computer model “proof” has gone up in a poof.

Nonetheless, today we have the continued claim that carbon dioxide is the culprit of an uncontrollable, runaway man-made global warming. We are told that when we burn fossil fuels we are leaving a dastardly carbon footprint. And, we are told we must pay Al Gore or the environmentalists for this sinful footprint. Our governments on all levels are considering taxing the use of fossil fuels. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of naming CO2 as a pollutant and strictly regulating its use to protect our climate. The new President and the US Congress are on board. Many state governments are moving on the same course.

We are already suffering from this CO2 silliness in many ways. Our energy policy has been strictly hobbled by the prohibiting of new refineries and of drilling for decades. We pay for the shortage this has created every time we buy gas. On top of that, the whole issue of corn based ethanol costs us millions of tax dollars in subsidies, which also has driven up food prices. All of this is a long way from over.

Yet I am totally convinced there is no scientific basis for any of it. Global Warming: It is a hoax. It is bad science. It is high-jacking public policy. It is the greatest scam in history.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


15 April, 2010

'Climategate' scientists criticised for not using best statistical tools

Lord Oxburgh has allowed limited criticisms, which is good of him, considering that he is also the head of the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment, a lobby group for global warming legislation, and an advisor to Climate Change Capital, which aims to cash in on the $45-trillion market in the coming low-carbon economy

Climate change scientists at the centre of an ongoing row over man-made global warming have been criticised for being "naive" and "disorganised".

An independent inquiry said the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia was "ill prepared for being the focus of public attention" when sceptics began to question their figures on climate change.

As well as taking issue with the researchers' record keeping, the panel of experts said better statistical methods should have been used to interpret the "messy" data on world temperatures.

However, there was no evidence of "deliberate scientific malpractice", meaning the conclusion that mankind is causing global warming is probably correct.

The independent panel said any exaggeration of the extent of global warming was made by other organisations, including public bodies and governments, that took the information produced by academics but failed to inform the public about the uncertainties.

Supporters of the scientists called for an immediate apology from sceptics for trying to use the so-called "climategate" scandal as a basis for questioning the whole science of climate change. But sceptics insisted there are still question marks over the extent of man-made global warming.

Thousands of emails were stolen from the CRU at the end of last year. One email referred to a "trick" to "hide the decline" in global temperatures, prompting claims that scientists were willing to manipulate the data to exaggerate the extent of global warming.

The scandal led to a public outcry, casting doubt over climate change just as the United Nations was meeting in Copenhagen to try to agree a deal to stop global warming.

Lord Oxburgh, a former academic and head of Shell, was asked to look back at 20 years of research by CRU in order to check the scientific methods were sound. In a detailed review of 11 scientific papers he found "absolutely no evidence of any impropriety whatsoever". "Whatever was said in the emails, the basic science seems to have been done honestly and fairly," he said.

Lord Oxburgh said any exaggeration of the extent of global warming happened when the data produced by CRU was presented to the public by various organisations, including the UN body in charge of climate change the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that went on to advise Governments around the world. The IPCC has also been criticised for incorrectly claiming the Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035.

"I am sure that they [public bodies including the IPCC] took the uncertainties into account making policy but in the way some of this has been presented to the public, it has not," he said.

The statistical methods used by the scientists could also have been improved, according to the panel. Professor David Hand, president of the Royal Statistical Society and a member of the review panel, said improved techniques developed by computers over recent years could have been used.

"I think that CRU perhaps did not use the most advanced statistical tools. But it's not clear to me that that, had they done, that they would have drawn different conclusions," he said.

However Professor Hand did say that "inappropriate methods" were used by a separate university to draw up the infamous "hockey stick" graph showing the rise in global temperatures over more than 1,000 years. Again, he said the basic shape of the graph would not have been changed but the rise in temperature during the 20th century compared to the past was exaggerated.

Overall Prof Hand said the scientists at CRU were to be commended for making clear there are uncertainties in the extent of global warming – although that does not change the overall trend. "There is no evidence of anything underhand – the opposite, if anything, they have brought out into the open the uncertainties with what they are dealing with," he said. [They did? When? Only after their emails were published]

Edward Acton, Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia, said the report was a great relief to the individuals involved including the head of the CRU at the time Prof Phil Jones. "This has been a horrendous experience for Phil Hones and a turbulent time for CRU," he said. "We have had months of vilification against our most precious asset of scientific integrity which, as this report confirms yet again, was totally unjustified."

Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science, called for an apology from the sceptics. "I think those so-called sceptics who have attempted to undermine the credibility of climate change science on the basis of the hacked emails now need to apologise for misleading the public about their significance.”


Global warming makes you sneeze??

Since there has been no global warming for at least 10 years, this would not be a worry even if there were something in it

Allergy sufferers like to claim — in between sniffles — that each spring's allergy season is worse than the last. But this year, they might actually be right.

Thanks to an unusually cold and snowy winter, followed by an early and warm spring, pollen counts are through the roof in much of the U.S., especially in the Southeast, which is already home to some of the most allergenic cities in the country. A pollen count — the number of grains of pollen in a cubic meter of air — of 120 is considered high, but in Atlanta last week the number hit 5,733, the second highest level ever recorded in the city. (See a 1992 TIME cover on why allergies are nothing to sneeze at.)

The bad news is that in a warmer world, allergies are likely to get worse — and that's going to cost sufferers and the rest of us. A new report released on Wednesday by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) found that global warming will likely increase pollen counts in the heavily populated eastern section of the country and that the effect of climate change could push the economic cost of allergies and asthma well above the current $32 billion price tag. "The latest climate science makes it clear that allergies could get much worse," says Amanda Staudt, a climate scientist at NWF and the author of the report. "I really think this should be a wake-up call."


Promises, promises

New GE LED bulb will last 17 years -- or will they? Twisty globes have not lived up to their lifetime claims

GE’s Appliances & Lighting division announced that it plans to release a new 9-watt LED bulb — a replacement for 40-watt general service incandescent bulbs – that will last for 17 years.

The new "Energy Smart" LED bulb puts out 450 lumens--about the same output as a 40-watt incandescent--while consuming 9 watts and will be available for purchase this fall or early 2011.

Because of their relative energy efficiency and durability, LED lights are expected to start replacing other technologies more rapidly this year.

The new “Energy Smart” LED bulb provides “the instant full brightness of an incandescent or halogen bulb” and solid-state design with no filament to break, GE said. The bulb contains no mercury feels cooler to the touch than compact fluorescents and, of course, far cooler than incandescent bulbs, according to the company.

LED lights tend to give off light in a specific direction, which is why they are often used for spot lighting. The GE light has a shape that looks like fingers wrapped around a traditional bulb and is designed to disperse light. Prototypes of the bulb will be fitted with an LED lamp from LED component manufacturer Cree.

The bulb is rated for 25,000 hours which, if used four hours a day, means it will last for 17 years. The other advantages of LED bulbs are that they don't need to warm up to give off full light, are cooler than incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs, and do not contain mercury.

"This is a bulb that can virtually light your kid's bedroom desk lamp from birth through high school graduation," John Strainic, global product general manager of GE Lighting, said in a statement. He added that the bulb is designed to satisfy consumers who are reluctant to move from incandescent bulbs because they like the light quality.

GE plans to demonstrate prototypes of the bulb, outfitted with Cree XLamp XP-G LEDs, at two upcoming trade shows in Frankfurt, Germany and Las Vegas.

Retailers will set the product’s pricing, but it is expected to be in the range of $40 to $50, GE said.


Emanations from Royal Society less than lordly

Hot air being used to lift a hot-air balloon. Since hot air is invisible, it is essential to mention it when present, else it goes unnoticed while lifting the insubstantial into the heavens. Deep, huh?

There’s little of royalty attached to recent climate change missives emanating from the Royal Society. Did I call them missives? I meant to say emissions.

Professor Keith A. Hunter, FNZIC, FRSNZ, Vice-President, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology, Royal Society of New Zealand, issued a statement on 7 April entitled Science, Climate Change and Integrity.

He means to support the hypothesis that human activity is dangerously warming the world’s climate. He uses whole sentences and impeccable syntax, but the evidence he cites is wrong. The package is lovely but the contents rotten.

There are now several of our prominent public scientists who are unaware it is not sufficient merely to tog themselves out in the royal or other esteemed branding — they must actually live up to it and, before all else, speak the truth.

The senior scientists who’ve made misleading public statements about global warming include Peter Gluckman, David Wratt, James Renwick, Brett Mullan, Andrew Reisinger and Jim Salinger.

Their cheeks are smooth and their mouths are smiling but their breath stinks.

Hunter’s statement has been ripped apart by the chairman of the NZ Climate Science Coalition, Barry Brill, in a remorseless list of rebuttals and by a knowledgeable and tenacious Ian Wishart at the Briefing Room.

Together they give Professor Hunter nowhere to hide. His egregious statement has no leg to stand on and he can only withdraw it and apologise.

Though he raises points that are worth debating, nobody can accept his statement as the last word on the subject, and this for two reasons: he has no relevant expertise and his statements are demonstrably incorrect. If I made similar statements, I would expect nobody to accept them without challenge. Why should he?

That Hunter presents his statement under the imprimatur of the Royal Society does not imbue it with authority but debases the Society. A mud pie made by the King is still just a mud pie.

Professor Hunter should be ashamed of this shoddy piece of research. The lowliest undergraduate would do better than he.

One of the few parts I can agree with is Professor Hunter’s admission that “science is never settled”. As Barry Brill says after dismantling Hunter’s reasoning:

"For not only does he destroy a popular, but tragically incorrect, canon of the warmists, but also he opens the door to a dialogue where none has existed. It will be with a sense of anticipation that we put our fact-based arguments over the very existence of dangerous human-caused global warming to the gatekeepers of our public science academies and at last expect their reasoned response."

I echo the Coalition’s call for the Royal Society to “publicly distance itself from Professor Hunter’s deeply flawed statement, and withdraw it from their website.”

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Islamic Greenies?

Since both want to destroy modern Western civilization, this makes sense

The climate change conundrum has become a talk-shop between politicians of economy-driven developing and developed countries. Prominent British scientist and environmentalist James Lovelock in a recent interview with The Guardian daily quipped that humans were too stupid to stop climate change and suggested democracy be temporarily suspended.

British Muslim environmentalist Fazlun Khalid believes the answer lies in faith.

The founding director of the non-governmental organization Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES), also recognized as one of 15 leading eco theologians in the world alongside the Dalai Lama and the Pope, said recently that “the best way to mobilize people to take action [on climate change] is through their faith”. “Because they believe,” he said.

Sitting in a coffee shop in Bogor, the septuagenarian talked to The Jakarta Post about why faith can motivate people to protect the environment, Islam’s view of humans’ place in the environment, and why he became interested in the politics of environment and conservation.

Khalid visited Indonesia earlier this month to speak at an international conference on climate change – attended by Muslim community representatives from 17 countries, from April 9 to 10. The conference aimed to establish the Muslim Association for Climate Change Action (MACCA).

Khalid said the environmental crisis we faced was rooted in our “competing nation state” model locked into a capitalistic economic paradigm, which encourages a consumer culture and in turn sets no limits on growth.

There are two forces working against each other in the environmental debate, Khalid said. A consumerist force — best described as everyone wanting access to education and a good life, which drives the exploitation of natural resources and will ruin the environment — and morality. “The pull [from morality] is not strong enough,” he said.

Even though scientists have warned about the danger of global warming to the earth and future generations, people still need to be motivated to take action. “That [motivation] comes from your faith,” he said.

“There is a very strong need to raise Muslim awareness, Muslim consciousness to this issue,” he said, adding that Indonesia had enormous potential given how religious its population is.


Is the U.S. Killing 'Green' Jobs?

More cold water on Obama hot air

Solar-cell manufacturing in Frederick, Maryland, dates back to the mid-1970s. BP Solar, one such company, was so profitable it was in the middle of building a $97 million expansion to create more jobs in the solar panel industry. Now the BP Solar building is being demolished and 320 people in Maryland are unemployed.

What happened? The answer is, the federal government got involved and destroyed the free market generated profitability of the making of solar panels.

Here’s how: the Obama Administration has spent billions of dollars to create “green jobs.” Through his tax incentives and credits for those businesses that manufacture renewable energy products, he created a glut in the marketplace. With so many businesses now producing solar panels (most of them overseas in anticipation of a booming U.S. market), the cost of panels has been nearly cut in half, making it impossible for businesses like BP Solar to stay in business in the U.S. In an effort to create green jobs, hundreds of green jobs that had been around for 30-plus years were lost. Ironic isn’t it?

Because companies like BP Solar can’t survive in the U.S. anymore, due to the market being over-inflated with far too many subsidized companies creating a surplus of solar panels, they move to where business is more cost effective. Places like China, India, Mexico and Poland, where less overhead, lower labor costs and fewer taxes make for a friendlier business environment.

Businesses in the U.S. pay huge corporate and property taxes, as well as absorb skyrocketing energy costs. Even if the government subsidized BP Solar, like it has done with so many other green industries, it would not have been enough.

Bill Wilson, President of Americans for Limited Government flatly states, “The market is no longer sustainable because of the glut caused by the overproduction of solar panels. This is a problem unless the government plans to subsidize these companies forever.”

Not only is the U.S. hard on businesses to begin with, but by meddling in the free market, the federal government has made conditions far worse — for everyone.

“320 jobs. That is absolutely absurd,” says Audrey Scott, former Secretary of Planning for the Ehrlich Administration, about the number of jobs lost at BP Solar. “In the Western part of the state jobs are a very critical issue. It’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs.”

You can lay some of the blame of the closing of BP Solar on the State of Maryland’s laws and regulations. Other businesses have left the state and moved to Pennsylvania or elsewhere to more business-friendly environments.

“Maryland is very anti-business and that is one of our issues,” Scott says. “What our government is doing here in Maryland at the present time is getting in the way of the job creation. The regulations and the horrendous atmosphere and environment for jobs and for business here in Maryland are just unacceptable.”

Sound familiar? While Maryland’s drop in 2007 to 47th worse business tax climate, according to a nonprofit Tax Foundation report played a big role in BP Solar’s decision to close, the overall business climate in the U.S. contributed to the shutdown as well. It’s not only solar panels that are being manufactured overseas, it’s other renewable energies as well — even by those companies that received “help” from the federal government.

For example, of the $2 billion already spent on wind power alone, funding the creation of enough new wind farms to power 2.4 million homes over the past year, nearly 80 percent of that money has gone to foreign manufacturers of wind turbines. And wind energy is just another industry receiving some of money spent on this “green” initiative. There are still billions more dollars being spent by the federal government on this initiative.

Obama’s method of subsidizing these renewable energy companies and interfering in free market environments is not original. Spain is a good example of a country that has done exactly what Obama is trying to do. An Institute of Energy Research (IER)-commissioned study coming out of King Juan Carlos University in Madrid by Gabriel Calzada found that, for every green job created, 2.2 jobs in other sectors have been destroyed. Furthermore, Spain’s government spent $758,471 to create each green job and used $36 billion in taxpayer money to invest in wind, solar, and mini-hydro from 2000-2008. The country’s unemployment rate is currently at 19.4% and is nearing insolvency.

Does the U.S. really want to continue down this same path?

It is time to learn from the mistakes of others before it is too late. America is next in line to becoming insolvent, as ALG News has previously reported.

“It is lunacy to expect top-down, Soviet-style economic planning to work in America,” says Wilson. “It has failed all over the world. We need to let markets work. Before the government got involved, 320 Americans were profitably building solar panels in Maryland. Now, they are unemployed.”

When walking the streets of Frederick, Maryland, you sense sadness and frustration. Peoples’ hopes are replaced with despair. Maybe if the federal government would have left the free market system alone, BP Solar might have had a chance and continued to produce solar panels and more jobs.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


14 April, 2010

A crazy New Zealander

Below is about an aging New Zealand climate scientist, Jim Salinger, who is still a Warmist despite all the recent new data -- which he appears to ignore -- and despite the fact that his own data show a warming from 1945 rather than the many years later that is usually alleged. So much of what he says is demonstrably wrong or unfounded that it would be pointless to rebut it so I simply follow the report below with an extended comment from Dr. Vincent Gray, an even more senior N.Z. climate scientist. I suspect that Salinger is not quite "all there". Or else he is a psychopathic crook

Dr Jim Salinger has been in the thick of it. Over the past few months, the veteran climate scientist – one of the most recognised men in New Zealand science – has staved off repeated criticism of his climate change work by sceptics, including Rodney Hide and the ACT Party.

His work, and that of other climate scientists, is repeatedly questioned in the debate about whether the planet is heating up, and if humanity's carbon-burning activities are responsible. Critics have even had a crack at his decades-old Victoria University PhD, which contributed statistics to Niwa's Seven Stations temperature series – research which showed an increase in temperatures around New Zealand.

"No, I'm not worried, because my research is based on facts, and I reach conclusions," the 62-year-old says confidently. "When my PhD thesis was done in 1981, I wanted to work out what was happening with New Zealand climate, particularly temperatures. In those times, we weren't considering `the greenhouse effect', and I thought `this is an interesting topic, see if New Zealand's climate has changed'," Salinger says.

"I proceeded to analyse the records, and discovered there was quite a bit of warming between 1945 and 1955 in New Zealand... the climate was warming slowly. And those facts still stand."

Salinger notes Niwa is likely to be re-checking his PhD work using modern techniques, and he's confident "they'll come up with the same conclusions".

He says that if temperature records showed a "cooling off over the last 10 years, I'd be saying so"....

Even during last year's Climategate email scandal, Salinger, a lead author on the IPCC's report's New Zealand section, was not concerned.

The seizing of University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit emails was, he argues, "an illegal activity", and critics went on to "pick out quotes out of context", selectively releasing one or two comments.

"I think it was a deliberate attempt to discredit the science and the scientists," he says. "Just think – the oil industry has huge amount of money, and a lot of these groups trace to the (political) right-wing in the US."

He quickly reels off figures: "We've now got 390 parts per million of carbon dioxide (in the atmosphere) – we used to have, before the industrial revolution, 270 parts per million – we've got double the methane ... Now, they're very effective greenhouse gases, and the theory was developed well more than 100 years ago – if you double your greenhouse gases, temperatures go up. All the evidence points to the fact land temperatures have warmed up. The globe is covered by two-thirds ocean, and now the measurements of those show a warming.

"These aren't figments of the imagination. Unless someone can find something else mysterious that might change the climate, I think it's all pretty solid. A few emails does not change scientific facts, I'm afraid."...

He did a science degree in physical geography and zoology at Otago University, then four years' work in medical research. He had a New Zealand-specific climate science piece published in the journal Nature, and was a junior lecturer at Victoria University between 1976 and 1979.

His New Zealand climate PhD was published in 1981. He "never imagined that 30 years later" it would be grabbing headlines.

After two years' work with the East Anglia University Climatic Research Unit, Salinger joined the climate research section of the New Zealand Meteorological Service in 1982, and his "public face" began to emerge. The climate researchers wereabsorbed into Niwa, and he worked for the crown research unit through until last year when his dismissal, due to a "management issue", also made the news.

Last year he was one the most high-profile people to join Greenpeace during its "Sign On" campaign, and he works in climate science as a weather commentator on Sky TV's The Country Channel. He has been president of the World Meteorological Organisation's commission for agricultural meteorology since 2006.


Comment from Vince Gray:

It is rather a convoluted story, but here goes. I might start with the paper published in New Zealand Journal of Science 1980 by Jim Hessell; the senior man at the New Zealand Met Office which dealt with New Zealand temperature data and showed they are not reliable or accurate enough to provide evidence for any upwards temperature trend.

Then Salinger arrived from The Medical Faculty in Dunedin, did a PhD at Wellington, published in 1981, which found that New Zealand temperatures, when corrected by his methods, did show warming. He summarized this in a paper in the New Zealand Journal of Science in 1982.

He subsequently became the most obvious spokesperson for New Zealand meteorology, and promoted a temperature record which showed warming, published many papers and got involved with the IPCC.

In 2008 he was sacked by NIWA (National Institute of Water and Air Research) for blatant refusal to carry out instructions. He is now a prominent Greenpeace advocate.

The actual data initially had to be purchased and were confidential but slowly became available. Two Climate Science people recently downloaded the seven station data which were supposed to provide the New Zealand temperature record, and when they put them together they showed no warming.

So NIWA were asked for an explanation. This was embarrassing because the "corrections" were only known by Salinger and he had been sacked. Since then the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition and the ACT Party in Parliament have kept up the pressure to find out how a set of data that show no warming have been converted into a set that do.

They ended up saying it was all in Salinger's Thesis. I got supplied with a copy. It has 862 pages!, much of it appendices. The actual "corrections" were exclusively concerned with site change. The two sites were compared with "neighbour" sites which had not changed. Everywhere in New Zealand was a "neigbour" of everywhere else. What we have not yet figured out is how this seemed always to provide a negative "correction" which was applied to the previous site. It all stopped anyway because no corrections at all have been applied since 1970 since when there has been minimal change, and we have been asking that there ought to be a correction when many were automated....

There were something like 100 stations shut down after 1960, but the published record involves only seven for the whole period.

There is an ongoing exchange between the NZ Climate Science Coalition and NIWA which is played out partly in Parliament and partly on their website.

Serbia volunteers to self-destruct

Notice the complaint about electricity being too cheap. Greenhouse ideology is a brain virus

Minister of Environmental Protection and Spatial Planning Oliver Dulic has stated at the gathering entitled “Climate changes and renewable energy” that Serbia has good chances of being the regional leader in the battle against climate changes and emission of damaging gasses that cause the greenhouse effect. More in the report of Aleksandra Novakovic.

Minister Dulic says that Serbia sees itself as part of the solution to the global problem in struggle against climate changes. He explains that the competent ministry and the Serbian Government have therefore passed several strategies and decrees, in order for Serbia to start solving this problems as successfully as possible.

“Our region is especially sensitive to climate changes, hence the need to consider various ways of creating the infrastructure, communication and strategies at the regional and state level, along with adaptations of the economy”, emphasized Dulic. According to him, there can be no European integrations without the obvious decrease in the greenhouse effect and activities aimed at the environmental protection in many fields – agriculture, technology, industry.

Serbia has accepted the framework adopted at the conference on climatic changes and decrease of damaging gasses emission, held in Copenhagen, so out country will do everything to meet the obligations in a timely manner. The rational electricity consumption, waste management and resolving the problem of dumps with damaging gasses might contribute to the solving of these issues, but at the same time attract investments, which would mean new working places.

Permanent representative of the UN Development Program in Serbia Daniel Infante has assessed that Serbia has low energy efficiency and in the future it must expand the utilization of renewable and alternative energy sources, because at the moment it is overly dependent of fuels such as oil and coal. He said it was necessary for Serbia to decrease the emission of gasses, thus preventing the possibility of being penalized in the future with 100 euro for every ton of waste substances, above the allowed limits.

Infante has specified that the insufficient energy efficiency in Serbia is the result of low electricity prices, which might be the lowest in the region. He added that the Serbian Government will have to aid the development of energy projects by investing in the utilization of biological fuels that do not pollute the environment.

In line with efforts in battling the climate changes, a three-day gathering is commencing in Bon, dedicated to this subject. Representatives of 175 countries will discuss these issues after the unsuccessful summit in Copenhagen. Namely, at that conference the world leaders failed to attain a new global agreement relating to the battle against climate changes, which should replace the Kyoto Protocol after 2012.


EPA puts a Mafia-style hit on sound science

In its finding that carbon dioxide emissions threaten public health and welfare – a necessary prerequisite to stepping in and regulating carbon dioxide – EPA’s scientific analysis essentially deferred to the scandal-ridden United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 report.

Yes, this is the same IPCC report in which key findings were supported solely by propaganda reports from the World Wildlife Fund, the same IPCC report in which the relative handful of lead authors included staff from Environmental Defense and Greenpeace, the same IPCC report in which these same lead authors rejected literally thousands of critical comments and suggested corrections from fellow IPCC contributors, and the same IPCC report that was shaped by the disgraced scientists is at the heart of the Climategate scandal.

Simply deferring to IPCC is hard to justify given the ongoing IPCC scandals and the calls even from IPCC participants for major reforms in the IPCC process. Worse yet, in its Response to Public Comments, EPA flippantly dismissed competing scientific findings that were compiled without the scandal and bias of IPCC. This flippant dismissal of inconvenient science demonstrates extreme bias, extreme stupidity, or both. We have sadly witnessed the equivalent of a La Cosa Nostra-style federal government hit on sound science and objective scientific research.

In response to many submitted public comments urging EPA to give equal weight to Climate Change Reconsidered: The Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, EPA argued, “EPA has reviewed and considered the NIPCC report and found that it lacks the rigorous procedures and transparency required to serve as a foundation for the endangerment analysis. A review of the NIPCC Web site indicates that the NIPCC report was developed by “two co-authors” and “35 contributors and reviewers” from ‘14 countries’ (See here). The organization does not appear to have established any procedures for author selection and provides no evidence that a transparent and open public or expert review was conducted.”

Let’s take a look at the authors and procedures involved in the writing of Climate Change Reconsidered: The Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), and compare them to the IPCC paper to which EPA defers.

The two are authors of the NIPCC report are S. Fred Singer and Craig Idso, both of whom are giants in the climate research community. Singer is President of the Science & Environmental Policy Project and distinguished professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia. His previous government and academic positions include Chief Scientist, U.S. Department of Transportation (1987- 89); Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1970-71); Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water Quality and Research, U.S. Department of the Interior (1967- 70); founding Dean of the School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences, University of Miami (1964-67); first Director of the National Weather Satellite Service (1962-64); and Director of the Center for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Maryland (1953-62).

Singer has received numerous awards for his research, including a Special Commendation from the White House for achievements in artificial earth satellites, a U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award for the development and management of the U.S. weather satellite program, and the first Science Medal from the British Interplanetary Society. He has served on state and federal advisory panels, including five years as vice chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmospheres.

Idso is the founder and former president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change and currently serves as chairman of its board of directors. He has published scientific articles on issues related to data quality, the growing season, the seasonal cycle of atmospheric carbon dioxide, world food supplies, coral reefs, and urban carbon dioxide concentrations, the latter of which he investigated via a National Science Foundation grant as a faculty researcher in the Office of Climatology at Arizona State University. He has lectured in meteorology at Arizona State University. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, Arizona-Nevada Academy of Sciences, Association of American Geographers, and Ecological Society of America.

The NIPCC report contains more than 800 pages of scientific findings supported by hundreds of references to the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Its 35 contributors and reviewers include impeccably credentialed university professors and researchers from around the world. Neither Environmental Defense nor Greenpeace (nor oil or coal groups, for that matter) were represented as lead authors.

EPA claims the NIPCC report “lacks the rigorous procedures and transparency” of IPCC. The IPCC report, however, is rigorous and transparent only in its clear and blatant bias, nefarious attempts to tamper with and misrepresent science, internal dissent regarding its published findings, and reliance on discredited junk science.

How EPA can, in the wake of Climategate, Glaciergate, Amazongate, etc., call IPCC a model of rigorous procedures and transparency would be laughable if not for the serious negative impacts heavy-handed EPA regulation will have on the American economy. Perhaps the federal government should be building a RICO charge against itself.


Faulty European wind farms sinking into the sea

And this comes on top of the many abandoned land-based windfarms in California and elsewhere

HUNDREDS of offshore wind turbines could be suffering from a design flaw that makes them sink into the sea.

Energy company engineers are urgently investigating the extent to which their offshore wind farms are affected, after flaws were discovered on a Dutch wind farm last year.

The problem could cost ?50million ($83m), said Renewables UK, the industry body that represents wind farm developers. It says that almost all of the 336 offshore turbines that have been erected could be affected as these were built to European standards now in question.

The problem arises in the concrete used to fix the turbine to its steel foundation. Shell found that some of the turbines at Egmond aan Zee, its Dutch wind farm, had moved a few centimetres.

Centrica, owner of British Gas, and Dong Energy, the Danish wind group, admitted potential problems with some of their UK farms, but added that there was no safety or operational issue.

Peter Madigan, head of offshore renewables for Renewables UK, said: "A fault has been identified and has been shared with the industry, which has moved to see if there is a larger problem."

If repairs are necessary, energy companies will do them one turbine at a time to keep energy losses down.

Dong Energy said that three of its offshore wind farms were affected, including Gunfleet Sands, which has 30 turbines off the Essex coast, and Burbo Bank, which has 25 turbines in Liverpool Bay.

Centrica said that it was investigating its Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farm in the North Sea but that its Barrow offshore farm was not affected.

However, the industry must revise its design standards before the next round of wind farm construction. Installation of 175 turbines on the giant London Array offshore wind farm off the Essex coast, in which Dong Energy and E.ON are partners, was due to take place this year.

When completed, it is hoped that London Array will provide half the government's target of providing 15 per cent of UK electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

A spokesman for Dong Energy said that an appropriate solution would be found for London Array and that Dong was talking to its lawyers about who should pay for the problem.

The offshore wind industry has been at the heart of the UK economy's shift to low carbon by Labour, but the cost of developing it, although it is heavily subsidised, is high and planning consents have proved difficult to obtain.

Experts say that although the UK coast is one of the windiest in the world, wind farms do not provide the sort of flexible power that Britain will need when its coal-fired and nuclear generators begin to close over the next decade.


Brilliantly Exposing Climategate

By Alan Caruba

Over the years, I have read dozens of books by eminent scientists, climatologists and meteorologists, that exposed the lies that support the greatest fraud ever perpetrated in the modern era, “global warming.” I have always wanted to read one that anyone could understand without having sufficient knowledge of the rather complex science involved.

I finally found that book and, would you believe it, the author is a friend! Every month I put aside time to talk with Brian Sussman, a former award-winning television meteorologist turned conservative talk show host on KSFO, San Francisco.

Like myself, Brian has long known that “global warming” is a bunch of horse hockey and, bless him, after the November 2009 revelations contained in several thousand leaked emails among the handful of perpetrators supplying the phony data to support “global warming”, Brian sat down and wrote Climategate, published by WND Books and the best $24.95 you will ever spend because it is the best book on the topic I have ever read.

Its official publication date is Earth Day, April 22.

To put it plainly, Brian got it right and he does so on every page as he walks the reader through what is often a complex topic. He does this by drawing on more than twenty years as a meteorologist and science reporter. In 2001, he shocked San Francisco viewers with a career change to become a conservative talk radio host.

What all the “global warming” fear-mongering is about is not climate science because “global warming” has nothing to do with climate and everything to do with a political agenda conjured up by Karl Marx and set in motion by Lenin and Stalin.

Brian initially takes the reader through the history of communism-socialism in order to put the environmental agenda in context. “It’s all a lie. The earth is not warming, and climate always changes—and they know it.”

“Global warming is the grandest of all tyrannical schemes”, says Brian and he has the credentials and knowledge to back it up. The first chapter of “Climategate” is worth the price of the book, but it just keeps getting better after that as he identifies the key players in a succession of environmental hoaxes that include, for example, the banning of DDT. Without this chemical miracle, an estimated 96 million people have needlessly died from malaria since 1973.

The most difficult thing to comprehend about the environmental movement is its fundamental hatred of mankind.

Environmentalism is a spawn of communism. The book will help you make the connection between the millions who died under the regimes that embraced it and the tsunami of lies that maintains environmentalism to this day.

It is no accident that Earth Day, April 22, is also the birth date of Vladimir Lenin, the Marxist who led the Russian revolution that led to the establishment of communism in 1917. The Soviet Union, a nation Ronald Reagan called “the evil empire”, finally collapsed in 1991 from its inherent oppression and inability to produce real jobs, real goods, and a life free of an all-powerful state.

“Earth Day,” writes Brian, “has never been a celebration of God’s wonderful creation; instead it’s always been an assault on man.” That is why the central message of environmentalism is that man is a “cancer” on the earth and responsible for climate change. That is why its leading advocates want to reduce the earth’s population by any means possible.

Neither mankind, nor the bogyman of carbon dioxide has anything to do with climate change. Right now the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency is moving to regulate CO2 as “a pollutant” and it has the authority under the Clean Air Act as the result of one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in modern times.

Regulating CO2 would make about the same sense as regulating oxygen on the grounds that it produces rust or that it is a component of fire. Regulating CO2 is crazy!

Climategate is the best book to date about this massive fraud, those who have lined their pockets advancing it, and the political agenda behind it; masterminded out of the bowels of the United Nations.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


13 April, 2010

Goody! UN process in danger unless world agrees on climate change

The United Nation process is in danger of collapsing unless countries are able to agree on the best way to stop global warming by the end of this year, the outgoing head of climate change negotiations has warned.

More than 170 UN countries gathered in Bonn this weekend for the first meeting on climate change since talks ended in chaos in Copenhagen at the end of last year.

Yvo de Boer, the head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is leading the talks, said small progress was made on technical issues.

He said officials will meet at least three more times before a final meeting of ministers in Cancun, Mexico at the end of the year where it is hoped the world will finally reach an agreement on the best way to stop catastrophic warming.

The meeting at Copenhagen failed because rich and poor countries could not agree on the best way to cut greenhouse gases.

Mr de Boer, who will leave his post in June, said the world cannot afford another failure. "Copenhagen was the last get-out-of-jail-free card and we cannot afford another failure in Cancun," he said. "I think if we see another failure in Cancun, that will cause a serious loss of confidence in the ability of this process to deliver."

However the three day meeting in Bonn suggest there are still serious disagreements for the world to overcome. Developing countries accused the rich world of trying to ‘bully’ the poorer nations into signing up to a weak deal by withholding aid.

In response rich countries said there would be no movement until big developing countries like China agree to cut emissions.

The question of who will succeed Mr de Boer will also influence the progress of future talks, with growing speculation that a candidate from the developing world will be brought in to mend trust between the rich and poor nations


Decadal Doubts

It is now clear to most climate researchers that something has been stopping the world from warming in the past decade. During this time, according to the standard hypothesis, levels of man-made greenhouse gasses have increased in our atmosphere so the temperature should have gone up. It obviously hasn’t so what is cooling our world?

For some the answer is so-called decadal variations – influences on our climate that warm or cool and that take place over periods longer than a couple of years but are not long-term trends.

It would be fair to say that the study of such variations is still in its infancy and any use of them to predict future variations in the Earth’s climate is mired with uncertainty.

Many are in no doubt about what lies a century or so ahead. The human “signal” of increased levels of greenhouse gasses causing higher temperatures is written into climate models so decadal variations are seen as just short-term noise. They will eventual be overwhelmed by the incessant AGW climate forcing. Whatever decadal variations are doing they will eventually, according to the standard hypothesis, be averaged out. This means as far as projections of a century ahead one can effectively forget decadal variations. In the short term however, the influences on the climate will be human and decadal, and clearly, as the past ten years have shown, natural decadal variations are far stronger.

The next IPCC assessment is set to include decadal predictions in the hope they will reproduce the observed recent temperature record of the earth which is drastically at odds – far cooler - with the last IPCC assessment. It is hoped that this would give the IPCC’s decadal forecasts more credibility and provide support for those explaining the recent temperature hiatus as strategically unimportant.

Recently the UK Met Office abandoned its three-month forecasts because they were inaccurate. It uses the same climate model to predict fifty years ahead which it says is more certain than its short-term forecasts. However, using the same model just how accurate its decadal predictions will be is a matter for anticipation.

Predicting decadal variations will be a big challenge. For example take the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Reproducing these in a model that has some predictive power will be difficult as there is no accepted theory as to how these oscillations occur. One can look at their past behaviour, look for patterns and try to project them forward in time but it is not clear that their past behaviour has any detailed predictive power in a chaotic climate system. Forecasts for the future decadal variations are contradictory; as many predict decadal cooling as warming.

Nobody predicted the post 1995 global temperature hiatus although some researchers have afterwards said it is “consistent” with their climate models. Being consistent with a model is a very poor form of confirmation, predictive power is another and much more impressive. The current situation is that decadal variations in climate models can prove almost anything.

The recent global temperature standstill can be explained using climate models that incorporate the overall AGW trend. However, it depends upon exactly how long that standstill is.

In such models standstill or slight cooling trends are common for intervals of a decade or less. However, the simulations generally rule out zero trends for intervals of 15 years or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy between the theory that greenhouse gasses force temperature upwards and the observed present-day warming rate.

So it seems that ten years of no global temperature increase can be explained with decadal variations, but 15 years probably not. With 15 years the hypothesis that there is a long-term warming component due to man-made greenhouse gasses is in jeopardy. Recently Prof Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia Climatic Research concluded that there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995, i.e. 15 years.


The fight against eco-imperialism

It is not acceptable to use climate change as an excuse to limit growth in poor countries as the west's carbon emissions rise

Last Thursday the World Bank approved a £2.4bn loan to build a huge new coal-fired power station in South Africa. The issue has exposed the rift between two central international goals – alleviating poverty and preventing global warming. South African ministers claimed that the project was essential for their country's development, while a concerted environmental campaign lobbied international governments to block the scheme. Amid concerns about global warming, this question of development versus environment may become one of the most contentious international issues over the next few years.

Since the 1970s the green movement has acquired ever-greater prominence in international development. In the last decade, global warming concerns have refocused the emphasis of poverty reduction strategies away from development and towards the environment. This is portrayed as a win-win situation – where the interests of the local people are perfectly aligned with the interests of environmental campaigners. Sustainable technologies like wind turbines and solar panels improve the lot of the recipients while keeping their carbon emissions to a minimum. However, this approach has been criticised as a form of eco-imperialism – because western carbon considerations remain a limiting factor on developing world progress.

The Working Group on Climate Change and Development is a network of more than 20 NGOs including WWF, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace. Founded in 2004, its "central message is that solving poverty and tackling climate change are intimately linked and equally vital, not either/ors".

The group's most recent report lists the overarching challenges as (1) how to stop and reverse further climate change, (2) how to live with the degree of climate change that cannot be stopped and (3) how to design a new model for human progress and development that is climate-friendly. The makes fascinating reading – and is illuminating as to the ideological backdrop to development policy.

These environmental groups, while spanning quite a large spectrum, tend to demonstrate an affinity with the pro-rural socialist left. The report describes climate change as not just a threat but also an "opportunity" to re-think the entire global system. It challenges western notions of development and growth and, most starkly, concludes that "mere reform within the current global economic system will be insufficient" to tackle poverty in a carbon constrained future. Indeed, members of these groups often seem to embrace rural village life as representing a pre-industrial idyll which should be preserved.

Such romantic ideology therefore seeks to largely maintain the status quo – where the African poor are kept "traditional" and "indigenous". It's hard to disagree with Lord May, former president of the Royal Society in his observation that "much of the green movement isn't a green movement at all, it's political".

With poverty redefined in terms of the environment and infused with pro-rural socialism, large-scale projects to industrialise or modernise are not the priority – indeed, western-style development and modernisation are seen as part of the problem. Instead there is a self-limiting bottom-up approach which subsidises underdevelopment not as a transitionary phase but as an end goal.

To effectively sideline the development strategy that every western country has undertaken in raising living standards is remarkable. Indeed, while India and China have lifted at least 125m people out of slum poverty since 1990, over the same period 46 countries have actually got poorer – the large majority of them African states.

It would be too simplistic to prescribe the industrialisation and modernisation agenda pursued by India and China as a panacea for the problems of sub-Saharan Africa, and the Indian and Chinese policies have not been without adverse consequences. Nevertheless, it is a staggering achievement which demonstrates that poverty alleviation should be pursued through a developmental agenda.

The truth is that African poverty is not a result of global warming. It is likely that the poor will be disproportionately affected by global changes in temperature – but this is not a reason to limit development. It is development which will allow countries to better cope with the consequences of a changing climate. For example, the Netherlands is better prepared to build dams to protect its coastline from rising sea levels than Bangladesh. Those that will be hardest hit by global changes to temperature will be those who are most exposed to the vagaries of the environment now – the rural poor.

Environmental policies that seek to reinforce the rural status quo as a means of limiting carbon emissions may be of benefit to the developed world, but they are detrimental to the long-term ability of the poor to cope with climate change. The planned South African power plant at Limpopo exposes the collision between these different policy aims. With the country going to the World Bank for a £2.4bn loan, international governments have been forced to weigh up developmental advantage versus environmental damage.

South Africa suffers major power shortages and insists that a new plant is essential to the country's economic progress. Environmentalists are horrified that the plant will emit 25m tonnes of carbon per annum, and point out that much of the new electricity will be used by heavy industry. Despite a concerted lobbying campaign from environmental groups, the loan was approved on Thursday – albeit with abstentions from Britain, America and the Netherlands. A US treasury spokesman explained that the abstention was due to an "incompatibility with the World Bank's commitment to be a leader in climate change mitigation and adaption". Considering that the World Bank's first affirmed purpose is to alleviate poverty, we can see how pervasive the reframing of poverty in terms of environment has become.

It is up to the developed world to produce the technologies for cleaner energy and implement policies to significantly reduce carbon emissions. It is not acceptable to use global warming as a way of limiting growth in poor African countries when our own climate emissions continue to rise.

Environmental movements certainly have a role to play in highlighting ecological degradation and its impact on local people, and in some cases the interests of protecting the environment will be perfectly aligned with the needs of the local community. However, it is unacceptable for poverty reduction in the developing world to become a staging post for ideological battles lost elsewhere. We should embrace whatever methods provide the best outcome in alleviating poverty – whether that be new roads or airports, power stations or renewables. To do otherwise is to be guilty of the worst kind of eco-imperialism – where the poor are held back for the benefit of the rich.


Another nuisance inflicted on us by the Greenies

Screwy Light Bulbs Can Change TV Channels

Some energy saving light bulbs have caused interference with TV remotes. The unruly televisions appeared to take on a life of their own until engineers tracked the interference to a remote source: energy saving light bulbs.

The frequency of the flicker of the bulbs interferes with the infra-red sensors on remote control receivers.

Emma Clements and her husband Alistair were intrigued to find their Virgin Media box switching channels at random as well as turning on and off. They were astonished to find a replacement box did exactly the same thing.

A Virgin Media engineer suggested it could be related to a Philips energy saving bulb that was in a lamp about 12ft away from the television. The hunch proved a good one when removing the bulb solved the problem.

A Philips Electronics spokeswoman said the company was surprised that users of the bulbs still experienced the interference. "Some very early compact fluorescent lamps, shortly after starting, could cause interference with TV controls due to the frequency of operation of the bulb and when placed near a TV," she said. "The frequency was quickly changed many years ago and we have had no recent reported incidents." The company said it hopes to examine the bulb that caused the Clements' problems.

Traditional filament bulbs were banned by the EU in 2008 in favour of the more efficient low energy bulbs.

Shoppers rushed to stockpile the old style bulbs as they were phased out, while health campaigners complained the flicker of the efficient bulbs can cause migraines and dizziness.


Genetically engineered crops are more environmentally friendly than organic ones

THERE IS a green revolution going on, “doubly green’’ according to ecologist Gordon Conway, but it’s one the organic movement does not want to join. This revolution relies on modern biotechnology to create crop hybrids that can better utilize our scarce resources, and there’s the rub: the science is not trusted by organic farmers, and it plays against their economic interests.

The mantra against genetically engineered crops is that there are hidden dangers lurking within this powerful technology and we don’t know how it may harm us. We may not know what we don’t know, but we do know this: since genetically engineered crops have been planted, there have been no incidents of harm to man, beast, or the environment. We also know that organic farming is not any healthier for people than other methods, a unanimous conclusion among peer-reviewed studies as well as the US Department of Agriculture.

We also know that organic farming is not environmentally friendly. Yes, organic farming avoids some harmful chemicals and pesticides, but not as effectively as farms that plant genetically engineered crops.

The yield per acre of such organic crops as wheat and beans, the world’s most widely planted crops, is between 50 and 80 percent of the yield of conventional crops, according to the Elm Farm Research Centre.

Historically, the yields from genetically engineered crops of the same type are even above the yields of conventional crops: 36 percent better per acre for corn and 12 percent better for soybeans. Then there is the reduction of herbicides and pesticides. Overall, since 1997, the reduction in pesticide use resulting from genetically engineered crops is estimated at 790 million pounds, or 8.8 percent, and herbicide reduction in soybeans at 161 million pounds, or 4.6 percent.

But what is most telling perhaps, is a finding reported this year by the USDA: “Farmers who grow Bt-corn [a GE variety that contains the natural pesticide Bt] use 75 percent less pesticides, essentially receiving the benefits of chemicals without releasing them into the environment or leaving residue on the final product.’’ Bt is one of the pesticides organic farmers use to protect their own crops.

Lower yields force more acres of what could be left wild to be turned over to domestication. You want more organic foods? Then think about clearing more forests, more wetlands, and reducing wilderness. You want sustainable agriculture for the future? Then look ahead to the next generation of genetically engineered crops that address what is probably the biggest constraint we face: limited fresh water available to expand crop production. Genetically engineered crops are now under development to address this constraint.

One would expect that “green’’ organizations would welcome genetically engineered crops and part company with the organic movement. But this has not been the case: political expediency and romance have — temporarily at least — trumped science.

The organic movement is largely a romantic ideal, far removed in many ways from science. It believes it is environmentally friendly, but it largely avoids science. True environmentalists look at the facts, and those facts do not support the growth of organic farming as a way to feed the world. However, with few exceptions, environmental organizations do not admit to this publicly. Why? Because they share a constituency: citizens who oppose certain elements of mass production farming, who yearn for a simpler time, when things were more natural. But this constituency is built on a shared belief system about the past, not the future.

At some point the contradiction between what organic farming leads to — more land devoted to farming, higher food prices, less biodiversity — and the goals of environmentalists — sustainability, more biodiversity – will fracture this alliance.

Environmentalists will have to rethink their public position on the benefits that biotechnological innovation provides and the potential harm of an overly ideological organic movement. Stewart Brand, the editor of Whole Earth Catalog, recently summed up the issue best: “The environmental movement has done more harm with its opposition to genetic engineering than with any other thing we’ve been wrong about. We’ve starved people, hindered science, hurt the natural environment and denied our own practitioners a crucial tool.’’


Australia: The "green" reality behind the huge NSW electricity price rises

The NSW government faces rapidly increased demand due to the Federal government's breakneck intake of immigrants so how are they going to cope with that? Increase the supply by building more power stations? No way! The Greenies would have a fit and would block construction until Kingdom Come.

So the government is going to cut down demand. How? By making electricity so dear that most families will be forced to use less of it -- which will have the Greenies rubbing their hands with glee. And the whole process will be repeated to some degree nationwide, depending on how much reserve capacity each State has

BIG businesses in NSW have been spared the crippling 64 per cent increase in power bills that families and small businesses will be forced to pay.

The NSW State Government has even set the terms of reference for independent body that oversees regulation in the power industry so that the hefty rise does not even apply to itself, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Big businesses such as mining company Cadia Valley Operations, which uses almost 1 per cent of the state's power, and power-guzzling supermarkets Woolworths and Coles will also be unaffected by the electricity price hike.

Meanwhile, families in NSW will be paying up to $918 extra a year on their power bill.

Power for the Government buildings and big businesses is set through a competitive contract, meaning bureaucrats and businesses can secure the cheapest deal.

Around the nation, the price of electricity is also likely to keep rising, the Federal Government says. In an opinion piece last month, the Federal Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, Martin Ferguson, admitted that hikes to electricity prices are inevitable.

He put this down to the costs of "increased investment in electricity networks, investment that is critical to guarantee supply reliability."

Mr Ferguson added: "The fact is, state and territory regulators are now fronting up to necessary price increases, most recently the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) in NSW...and earlier in Western Australia."

In NSW, IPART granted the state's three electricity retailer-distributors average annual price rises of between $557 and $918 per household.

The Western Australian Government announced last year that electricity prices would increase by about 18 per cent. Other states would face increases of a similar magnitude, an expert told ABC.

"You would expect that all of the states should pay a similar price," International Energy Consultants managing director, John Morris, said. "There'll be variations from state to state, maybe plus or minus 5 or 10 per cent."

NSW Energy Minister John Robertson said yesterday households were free to select an electricity retailer and negotiate a better price with a different retailer in the same way big business could.

Opposition Energy spokesman Duncan Gay said the benefits for homeowners in switching retailers was only tiny and that they were being punished more by the increase than were big business and the government sector.

"Imagine the outcry there would be if shoppers could only choose between shopping at Woolworths or Coles," Mr Gay said.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


12 April, 2010

To U.N. Climate Representatives In Bonn: No One Believes The Bullsh*t Any Longer - Go Home, Please

The United Nations has always been a byzantine institution of little value and of extraordinary waste. The recent U.N. sponsored climate studies and conferences have certainly provided ample evidence of these traits, with the U.N. consumed only with a political agenda of gaining a world governance position for itself that controlling CO2 emissions would facilitate.

Unfortunately for the U.N., their non-scientific claims that modern world temperatures are accelerating and that temperatures are unprecedented have proven decisively to be "unprecedented and accelerating" bullshit. And the world's citizens now know it and have responded.

Go home please, before you do any more damage to world hunger and poverty.


Melting around the Antarctic peninsula actually slowing CO2 rise

The whole global warming scare is built on postulated feedbacks magnifying the trivial warming observed in the 20th century. The feedback identified below is therefore MOST pesky. It is REDUCING the alleged warming cause, not amplifying it. So what is the SUM of all the feedbacks going to be? Nobody knows. Recent observations of clouds suggest that it could in fact be negative (cooling) overall

Global warming has been blamed for the alarming loss of ice shelves in Antarctica, but a new study says newly-exposed areas of sea are now soaking up some of the carbon gas that causes the problem.

Scientists led by Lloyd Peck of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) said that atmospheric and ocean carbon is being gobbled up by microscopic marine plants called phytoplankton, which float near the surface.

After absorbing the carbon through the natural process of photosynthesis, the phytoplankton are eaten, or otherwise die and sink to the ocean floor.

The phenomenon, known as a carbon sink, has been spotted in areas of open water exposed by the recent, rapid melting of several ice shelves -- vast floating plaques of ice attached to the shore of the Antarctic peninsula.

Over the last 50 years, around 24,000 square kilometres (9,200 square miles) of new open water have been created this way, and swathes of it are now colonised by phytoplankton, Peck's team reports in a specialist journal, Global Change Biology.

Their estimate, based on images of green algal blooms, is that the phytoplankton absorbs 3.5 million tonnes of carbon, equivalent to 12.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal greenhouse gas.

To put it in perspective, this is equivalent to the CO2-storing capacity of between 6,000 and 17,000 hectares (15,000 and 42,500 acres) of tropical rainforest, according to the paper.

The tally is minute compared to the quantities of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels and deforestation, which amounted to 8.7 billion tonnes of carbon in 2007.

But, said Peck, "it is nevertheless an important discovery. It shows nature's ability to thrive in the face of adversity. "We need to factor this natural carbon absorption into our calculations and models to predict future climate change," he said in a BAS press release. "So far, we don't know if we will see more events like this around the rest of Antarctica's coast, but it's something we'll be keeping an eye on."

The Antarctic peninsula -- the tongue of land that juts up towards South America -- has been hit by greater warming than almost any other region on Earth. In the past 50 years, temperatures there have risen by 2.5 degrees Celsius (4.5 degrees Fahrenheit), around six times the global average [while is has cooled in Antarctica as a whole].

Ice shelves are ledges of thick ice that float on the sea and are attached to the land. They are formed when ice is exuded from glaciers on the land. In the past 20 years, Antarctica has lost seven ice shelves. The process is marked by shrinkage and the breakaway of increasingly bigger chunks before the remainder of the shelf snaps away from the coast. It then disintegrates into debris or into icebergs that eventually melt as they drift northwards.

The Antarctic ice shelves do not add to sea levels when they melt. Like the Arctic ice cap, they float on the sea and thus displace their own volume.

Ice that runs from land into the sea does add, though, to the ocean's volume, which is why some scientists are concerned for the future of the massive icesheets covering Antarctica and Greenland.


British campaigner urges UN to accept 'ecocide' as international crime

Oliver Cromwell was a moderate and tolerant man compared to these religious fanatics -- the Ayatollahs of environmentalism

A campaign to declare the mass destruction of ecosystems an international crime against peace - alongside genocide and crimes against humanity - is being launched in the UK.

The proposal for the United Nations to accept "ecocide" as a fifth "crime against peace", which could be tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC), is the brainchild of British lawyer-turned-campaigner Polly Higgins.

The radical idea would have a profound effect on industries blamed for widespread damage to the environment like fossil fuels, mining, agriculture, chemicals and forestry.

Supporters of a new ecocide law also believe it could be used to prosecute "climate deniers" who distort science and facts to discourage voters and politicians from taking action to tackle global warming and climate change.

"Ecocide is in essence the very antithesis of life," says Higgins. "It leads to resource depletion, and where there is escalation of resource depletion, war comes chasing behind. Where such destruction arises out of the actions of mankind, ecocide can be regarded as a crime against peace."

Higgins, formerly a barrister in London specialising in employment, has already had success at the UN with a Universal Declaration for Planetary Rights, modelled on the human rights declaration. "My starting point was 'how do we create a duty of care to the planet, a pre-emptive obligation to not harm the planet?'"

After a successful launch at the UN in 2008, the idea has been adopted by the Bolivian government, who will propose a full members' vote, and Higgins has taken up her campaign for ecocide.

Ecocide is already recognised by dictionaries, but Higgins' more legal definition would be: "The extensive destruction, damage to or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished."

The ICC was set up in 2002 to hear cases for four crimes against peace: genocide, war crimes, crimes of aggression (such as unprovoked war), and crimes against humanity.

Higgins makes her case for ecocide to join that list with a simple equation: extraction leads to ecocide, which leads to resource depletion, and resource depletion leads to conflict. "The link is if you keep over-extracting from your capital asset we'll have very little left and we will go to war over our capital asset, the last of it," adds Higgins, who has support in the UN and European commission, and among climate scientists, environmental lawyers and international campaign groups.

Although there is debate over how frequently people go to war over resources such as water, a growing number of important voices are arguing this case. Most recently Sir David King, the UK's former chief scientist, predicted a century of "resource wars", and in response to a report on resource conflicts by campaign group Global Witness, Lessons Unlearned, the UN appeared to accept many of the arguments.

Controversially, Higgins is suggesting ecocide would include damage done to any species - not just humans. This, she says, would stop prosecutions being tied up in legal wrangling over whether humans were harmed, as many environmental cases currently are.: "If you put in a crime that's absolute you can't spend years arguing: you take a soil sample and if it tests as positive it's bang to rights."

Under an ecocide law, which would be more potent because prosecutions would be against individuals such as directors rather than the companies, traditional energy companies could have to become largely clean energy companies, much extractive mining would have to be scaled back or stopped, chemicals which contaminate soil and water and kill wildlife would have to be abandoned and large-scale deforestation would not be possible. "I'm only just beginning to get to terms with how enormous that change will be," admits Higgins.

Higgins will launch her campaign through a website – – asking for global support to pressure national governments to vote for the proposed law if it is accepted by the UN Law commission. The deadline for the text is January, and a vote has been scheduled on other amendments in 2012. It would need a two-thirds majority of the 197 member countries to pass.

Higgins hopes the UN's "one member, one vote" system will help over-ride likely opposition of some nations and vested business interests. She also believes many businesses favour clear regulation because they fear a future public backlash. And she cites how, when the US entered world war two, its car manufacturers - despite initial opposition - made 10 times the number of aircraft originally asked for. "It shows you how industry can turn around very fast."


Accumulating Evidence of the Corrupted US Temperature Record

A new SPPI paper examines the raw and adjusted historical temperature records for Pennsylvania and finds the mean temperature trend from 1895 to 2009 to be minus .08°C/century, but after unexplained adjustments the official trend becomes positive .7°C/century.

The difference between the raw and adjusted data exceeds the .6°C/century in global warming claimed for the 20th century. An example of the raw and adjusted datasets is shown below for Lebanon, PA:


The new climate game

Climate scientists play a good game of whack-a-mole. Right from the early days of the global warming controversy, they whacked any scientist who dissented from the view that CO2 was warming the planet in a dangerous way. Up popped other skeptical scientists, and WHACK!! Down they went.

Up popped skeptical journalists and WHACK! Down they went, too. Then more whacks for new scientists who surfaced, or pesky scientists who resurfaced.

Today, decades later, the climate science establishment is still whacking away, faster and more frenetically than ever, as more and more skeptical scientists, journalists and politicians surface. And now there’s a new species of skeptic in need of whacking down ­— the many inquiries that have sprung up in the wake of Climategate, the unauthorized release of some 3,000 documents from the computers of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia University showing that data had been manipulated and destroyed.

East Anglia University was the first to establish an inquiry into its conduct. Then it started a second inquiry to complement the first. The Met Office, the UK government’s meteorological department, announced its inquiry to redo the data that CRU had destroyed, a process that would take it three years. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office began an inquiry, to ascertain whether the country’s Freedom of Information Law had been broken. The local police force, working with Scotland Yard, also began an inquiry.

All these would and will need to be whacked, and more would, too. The IPCC itself announced an inquiry. Across the Atlantic, Penn State University, home to Michael Mann, one of America’s most important doomsayers, launched an investigation.

The UK government also decided it needed an inquiry, and fast, to address Climategate before it could call national elections, which were imminent. Its House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee expedited matters by holding a one-day hearing into Climategate during which it took no direct testimony from skeptical scientists. With nothing much discovered the members of the parliamentary committee declared its job done.

“Clearly we would have liked to spend more time of this,” explained the committee’s chair, Phil Willis, en route to the hustings, but “We had to get something out before we were sent packing.”

But many expect the House of Commons committee to pop up again after the elections, particularly since the committee asked whether “publicly funded research groups [were] being as open as they can be, and ought to be, with the details of their methodologies.”

The UK Met Office hasn’t completed its investigation but it has nevertheless been whacked, for announcing its inquiry early on, in December, embarrassing the government before the Copenhagen climate change meetings. The Met Office then assured everyone that it didn’t expect to find anything amiss after its investigation.

In some cases, whacking was not required — at least not by the climate change establishment. The inquiries set up by East Anglia University have as their members people of satisfactory credentials. Consider Lord Oxburgh, who chairs one of the two inquiries. He is also the head of Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment, a lobby group for global warming legislation, and an advisor to Climate Change Capital, which aims to cash in on the $45-trillion market in the coming low-carbon economy. Others on the inquiries have strikingly similar credentials, so much so that the London Telegraph reported that “almost all their members were committed, even fanatical advocates of global warming.”

Whacking was also not required for the Penn State inquiry, which interviewed no skeptical witnesses and has already exonerated Mann on three of four charges.

But a Penn State whacking may nevertheless be required after the Inspector General at the U.S. National Science Foundation, a major funder of Penn State’s global warming research, unexpectedly popped up. The Office of Inspector General states that “in accordance with our research misconduct regulation, (45 C.F.R. part 689), when the OIG is provided with an institution’s investigation report, we review it for fairness, accuracy and completeness.”

When it does, it will represent the first time that an independent investigative government organization will have scrutinized alleged climate change wrongdoing, but it may not be the last, or the most searching.

As made clear in an 84-page Minority Staff report produced in February by the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, criminal charges will be aggressively pursued if the chief force behind the report, Senator James Inhofe, finds himself once again a Senator in the majority after the November elections in the U.S.

Entitled “Consensus’ Exposed: The CRU Controversy,” the report asserts that “The scientists involved in the CRU controversy violated fundamental ethical principles governing taxpayer-funded research and, in some cases, may have violated federal laws... An independent inquiry conducted by the UK’s Information Commissioner has already concluded that the scientists employed by the University of East Anglia, and who were at the centre of the controversy, violated the UK’s Freedom of Information Act. … In our view, the CRU documents and emails reveal, among other things, unethical and potentially illegal behavior by some of the world’s preeminent climate scientists.”

And then the whacking might really start, with the climate scientists at the business end of the mallet.


Stephen Colbert Moderates Global Warming Debate

Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert on Tuesday actually moderated a debate about global warming.

In fairness, it was less of a debate and more a vehicle for him to make fun of his guests Joe Bastardi of Accuweather and Brenda Ekwurzel of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Regardless of the comedic intent on the part of the host, there were indeed some wonderful moments, in particular Bastardi pointing out that we're going to know in the next five to ten years whether there really is a connection between increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global temperatures
JOE BASTARDI: I think that there is some argument that climate, in climate science, that CO2 may have a part of this. But we're going to find out very, very soon. You know why? Because the drivers that have been, we believe, have been pushing the temperature up over the last 20 or 30 years, the Pacific Ocean being warm, the Atlantic being warm, they're all going to come off. So if CO2 continues to rise, and the temperature which has flattened out the last five, ten years starts falling, we'll know. It's a simple answer.
Exactly. The reality is that if you ignore the comedy, Bastardi was quite right. If temperatures do indeed decline in the next five to ten years as CO2 rises, the position of the climate alarmists will be completely invalidated.

This is why there's such a rush to get cap and trade legislation passed quickly, for the alarmists quite understand that recent weather events are conspiring against their beloved theory.

If global temperatures are lower ten years from now despite rising CO2 levels, it will be almost impossible for the alarmists to convince anyone but the hopelessly devoted that their theory has any merit.

Somewhat surprising that such an inconvenient truth would be so prominently displayed on the left-leaning Comedy Central, don't you agree?



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


11 April, 2010

Greenies could die of lead poisoning: Australian research

They already drink a lot of birdshit so what's a little lead? In the old days when Australian country people HAD to use tank water, they used it to make tea, which is, of course, boiled first and hence pretty sterile. But even that won't remove lead. But the lead in today's tanks probably comes from city pollution so that was an unlikely problem for them

PEOPLE who drink from their rainwater tanks may be consuming unacceptable levels of lead, a study says. Scientists from the University of Technology, Sydney, assessed the quality of water stored in household tanks around the city and found that five of the 11 tanks contained lead levels exceeding 0.01 milligrams a litre - the amount considered safe in drinking water by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

They also found the turbidity, or murkiness, of the water exceeded acceptable levels, as did the pH levels in some tanks.

A lead researcher, Benjamin Kus, said the results of their study confirmed past research that had also found rainwater tanks could accumulate higher than acceptable levels of lead and other pollutants.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 16 per cent of households use rainwater tanks, and more than three-quarters of them use the tanks as their main source of drinking water.

The scientists believe high levels of lead and murky water were making their way into rainwater tanks because not enough of the initial roof run-off was being discarded before water entered the tank. The roof run-off, or first flush, was often the most polluted water and was collected in a pipe attached to the tank, they said.

Mr Kus said most first-flush devices collected about 12 litres to 20 litres of roof run-off but there were no exact calculations on how much first flush should be collected. He also said the exact source of the lead was not known.

In an additional study Mr Kus and his colleagues collected water that flowed into the tank from the roof to determine how much water needed to be bypassed before it was safe to drink.

They found that for an average roof - about 250 square metres - the first 1250 litres of water needed to be bypassed before the levels of lead and the turbidity of the water were acceptable for drinking.

According to drinking water guidelines, published by the National Health and Medical Research Council, lead that is absorbed into the body can make its way to the kidney, liver and bone marrow. Lead is a cumulative poison that can severely affect the central nervous system, and can persist in bone for up to 30 years.

The implications of the study are especially relevant to people living outside metropolitan areas, where rainwater tanks are often the principal source of water. More than 30 per cent of non-capital city households use rainwater tanks, according to the Bureau of Statistics.

In NSW there are no restrictions against the use of rainwater for drinking. However, NSW Health recommends that, where available, people should use the public water supply for drinking and cooking because it is filtered, disinfected and generally fluoridated.

Maintenance of tanks is the responsibility of the owner or user of the tank.

A civil engineer and co- author of the studies, Jaya Kandasamy, said bypassing large amounts of roof run-off water was not ideal in drought-affected countries such as Australia, especially when households were installing rainwater tanks to conserve water. Tank water should be treated or filtered, Dr Kandasamy said.

The study, published in the journal Water Science and Technology, found the levels of other heavy metals, salts and minerals in the tank water were acceptable for drinking.


Holes in Climate Science

By S. Fred Singer, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

A recent News Feature in 2010 Nature [pp 284-287] discusses what it calls “The Real Holes in Climate Science.” The problem is that it misses the “real holes” and therefore echoes the IPCC mantra that warming in the last thirty years is anthropogenic.

The author, Quirin Schiermeier, bases his views on the ‘RealClimate’ blog and some of its authors. Needless to say, he has not talked to any climate skeptics. To give a better view of his bias: In his opinion, the leaked CRU emails do not challenge the “scientific consensus” on climate change but only show “rude behavior and verbal faux pas.” The holes he identifies are the conventional ones:

* Regional climate prediction – although this does not stop alarmists from attempting to publish such predictions that promote catastrophic futures

* Precipitation – everyone would agree that this is a “real hole” in climate science -- difficult to fill until we understand better the formation of clouds

* Aerosols – even the IPCC admits there are huge errors when assessing particles such as sulfates, black carbon, sea salt and dust, all of which have different optical properties and can also produce indirect effects on clouds

* The tree ring controversy: QS brings back the hockeystick and blithely ignores the fact that it has been thoroughly discredited. He still insists that the 20th century is unusual in terms of temperature rise. He asserts that the emails that mention “hide the decline” and “Mike’s Nature trick” merely refer to the divergence issue between tree ring data and instrument data. He says that “many scientists are tired of the criticisms” – perhaps because they have run out of excuses.

He finally quotes Susan Solomon, the former co-chair of the IPCC 2007 Science Team, as claiming that “multiple lines of evidence support AGW” – without listing any.

QS tries to dispose of what he calls “Enduring climate myths [by skeptics]” – which all happen to be facts:

* Climate models cannot provide useful information about the real world

* Global warming stopped ten years ago

* Temperatures were higher in pre-industrial times

* Temperature records taken in the lower atmosphere indicate that the globe is not warming

* A few degrees of warming are not a big deal

* Measured increases in temperature reflect the growth of cities around weather stations rather than global warming

But the real holes in climate science are these facts, never mentioned by QS or by the IPCC:

* The absence of ‘fingerprint’ data that would indicate a substantial warming from CO2

* The absence of data for positive feedbacks that might amplify the effects of greenhouse gases like CO2

* The empirical evidence that shows the control of climate fluctuations on a decadal scale by solar activity by way of cosmic rays.

SCIENCE EDITORIAL #11-2010 (April 10, 2010)

Palin enrages the Warmists

"Snake oil" is in fact a good traditional American expression that describes global warmism perfectly. The attempt below to whitewash the deliberate fraud by the major warmist organizations shows how little they care for the truth. And the fact that the only authority they quote to refute Palin is an NBC host would be funny if it were not so pathetic. It's all fairly desperate stuff, actually

America does not need ‘this snake oil science stuff'. That's essentially the message sent by former politician Sarah Palin during a recent speech to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, where she disparaged the work of thousands of the world's top minds to the delight of a large crowd that laughed, clapped and cheered her on the whole way.

She was addressing the increasingly urgent matter of global climate change when Palin whipped out a gem of a quote, telling the conference-goers that American does not need "this snake oil science stuff" and calling climate science "Gore-gate."

The former half-term governor was attempting to make a reference to the so-called "Climate-gate" affair that was orchestrated over a set of leaked emails from the University of East Anglia, providing the world with insight to an internal dispute between teams of scientists. The whole "scandal" is better known to MSNBC host Rachael Maddow as "total bull-pucky": fictional claims blown so out of proportion by right-wing media that the masses at least partially accept it.

In the midst of describing what she thinks America really needs, Palin belted out a truly amazing run-on sentence: "We should create a competitive climate for investment and for renewables and alternatives that are economical and doable and none of this snake oil science stuff that is based on this global warming, Gore-gate stuff that came down where there was revelation that the scientists, some of these scientists were playing political games."

"Nothing about the supposed 'bombshell' climate-gate scandal at all challenges the scientific consensus that global warming is happening, that it is induced by human activity," Maddow scoffed during an April 2 broadcast.

For Palin to play off a fictional theme is expected at this point, as she once fashioned a popular campaign meme off the laughable invention that President Obama "pals around with terrorists [Bernadette Dohrn and William Ayers, to be precise]." In spite of this, it is perhaps her insistence that the United States does not need "this snake oil science stuff" that best highlights the place from which her beliefs spring.

To her credit, Palin has at least been been remarkably consistent on this point, actually calling on President Obama to insult the international community and boycott last year's Copenhagen climate summit over emails stolen from the University of East Anglia. Even then, in December 2009, she was whipping up her fans with the term "snake oil" and claiming that because a small group of people had a dispute over data methodologies [e.g. How to "hide the decline"], the entire body of knowledge generated by tens of thousands from around the world [And summarized by just three crooked and colluding organizations] was suddenly void.

Palin wrote on her Facebook page that "the leaked e-mails involved in Climategate expose the unscientific behavior of leading climate scientists who deliberately destroyed records to block information requests, manipulated data to 'hide the decline' in global temperatures, and conspired to silence the critics of man-made global warming."

She failed to explain how this negates other scientists' work, or how former Vice President Al Gore was involved. [Does THAT need explaining?]


Global warming's weak links

Potential treaty still all pain and no gain

Delegates from around the world gather in Bonn this weekend to chart the future of a new global-warming treaty they hope to sign in Mexico this fall or in South Africa in 2011 at the latest. This treaty would lock our nation into massive new taxation, regulation, subsidies and redistribution; take unprecedented control of our economy; and radically alter our way of life. Laws and regulations that increase the power of government are seldom repealed. Treaties are tougher still. The costs and burdens of the treaty these delegates hope to sign are so extraordinary, they cannot be justified unless every link in the chain of logic supporting the treaty is beyond reproach.

A chain, we all know, is only as strong as its weakest link. We must have extraordinary confidence in the integrity of every link before we trust it. Has the process been sound? Has the globe warmed? Are we humans to blame? Will any warming continue? Would the impacts be terrible? Would the proposed solutions do any meaningful good? Will the benefits exceed the costs? Let any link in this chain of questions fail, and the treaty cannot be justified. It would be all pain, no gain and should be scrapped.

The public's trust in the supposed scientific consensus took a blow when a vast body of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia came to light in what has been dubbed "Climategate." Climate scientists derided their critics, blocked access to peer-reviewed literature, withheld data from examination, planned to "hide the decline" in past temperatures and generally revealed themselves to be shaping their science to their politics rather than the other way around. Anyone who tells you climate science is settled is selling something. The climate is a vastly complicated system. The science that studies it is prone to error and was politicized before it could mature.

The treaty's advocates have long been challenging our credulity as they continually have made assertions people can judge for themselves to be false. You can't hold up every unseasonably hot day as evidence of global warming, dismiss every cold and calm day and hold the confidence of people educated enough to attribute both to natural variability. The treaty advocates hyped extreme tales of drowning bears, famine, plague, pestilence and flood. They flattened past warm and cool periods to make the trend look like a hockey stick. Is it surprising if people aren't buying? You can't demonize, ridicule and ignore opponents without begging the question: Why? Experts confident in their conclusions neither suppress, nor exaggerate.

Has the globe warmed? Most think that since the late 19th century, there has been some warming. The issue becomes muddled when you consider such factors as the reliability of the data sets, the selective use of the proxy data used to estimate historic temperatures and the way urbanization warms local weather stations.

Climate changed continually long before man's activities could have been a factor. It appears likely that man's contribution has been exaggerated and natural variability downplayed. The portion of carbon dioxide we can attribute to man is dwarfed by that which is produced from nature. There have been studies that have show that in the past, temperatures moved first and carbon dioxide followed. Which is the cause and which the effect remains unknown. Because carbon dioxide increased periodically in past millenniums, can we reliably conclude that any of the current increase has come from today's smokestacks and sport utility vehicles?

We had best hope the climate prophets have cried false, as the solutions being put forth in Bonn benefit narrow interests, with no gain for climate. Alternative energy sounds nice but in practice does more to generate fortunes from subsidies than it does meaningful power. Would-be carbon traders hope to reap huge bonuses from mandated markets the climate will never notice. Biofuels profit agribusiness, yet reduce natural habitats, make food scarce and offer little carbon change. Nations with stagnant economies seek handouts, while their citizens really need free elections, free markets and the rule of law.

President Obama recently demonstrated his willingness to ignore public opinion and force a health care bill through Congress while his party's majorities are still strong. It would be a mistake to do this on climate. The process must be reformed, public confidence restored and every link in our climate chain proved beyond reproach before we should agree to a climate treaty.


Weatherization boondoggles nationwide

After a year of crippling delays, President Barack Obama's $5 billion program to install weather-tight windows and doors has retrofitted a fraction of homes and created far fewer construction jobs than expected.

In Indiana, state-trained workers flubbed insulation jobs. In Alaska, Wyoming and the District of Columbia, the program has yet to produce a single job or retrofit one home. And in California, a state with nearly 37 million residents, the program at last count had created 84 jobs.

The program was a hallmark of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a way to shore up the economy while encouraging people to conserve energy at home. But government rules about how to run what was deemed to be a "shovel-ready" project, including how much to pay contractors and how to protect historic homes during renovations, have thwarted chances at early success, according to an Associated Press review of the program.

"It seems like every day there is a new wrench in the works that keeps us from moving ahead," said program manager Joanne Chappell-Theunissen. She has spent the past several months mailing in photographs of old houses in rural Michigan to meet federal historic preservation rules. "We keep playing catch-up."

The stimulus package gave a jolt to the decades-old federal Weatherization Assistance Program. Weatherization money flows from Washington to the states, where it is passed to local nonprofits that hire contractors to spread insulation and install efficient heaters in people's homes.

Energy officials said the stimulus infusion is on track to create thousands of career-pathway jobs and support an industry that lowers carbon emissions while saving consumers money. "This is the beginning of the next industrial revolution with the explosion of clean energy investments," said assistant U.S. Energy Secretary Cathy Zoi. "These are good jobs that are here to stay."

But after a year, the stimulus program has retrofitted 30,250 homes — about 5 percent of the overall goal — and fallen well short of the 87,000 jobs that the department planned, according to the latest available figures.

As the Obama administration promotes a second home energy-savings program — a $6 billion rebate plan — some experts are asking whether that will pay off for homeowners or for the planet.

"A very rosy picture was painted that energy efficiency would be a great way to create jobs and save money," said Michael Shellenberger, an energy expert who heads the Breakthrough Institute, an Oakland-based think tank that is financed by nonpartisan foundations and works on energy, climate change and health care issues. "The Obama administration risks overpromising again."

Many states held off on weatherizing under the stimulus over concerns about a Depression-era law that requires contractors to pay workers wages equal to those paid for local public works projects. The U.S. Labor Department issued wage rules for every county in the country in September but after receiving about 100 complaints, changed the wage rates again a few months later.

Bureaucratic delays kept officials in Austin, Texas, from weatherizing anything while they waited to hire furnace technicians under a $7.4 million federal grant, of which they received the first installment this month.

The recession itself has compounded the problems, since hiring freezes in some states meant there weren't enough public employees to administer the program. In California, where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered many state workers to take "Furlough Fridays," the program had created 84 jobs and weatherized 849 homes at last count, in December. Officials estimate several hundred jobs have been created since then.

Energy Department spokeswoman Jen Stutsman said the program produced 8,500 jobs nationwide from October to December 2009, but said she could not provide job creation figures for the last full year since federal guidelines for measuring the program's impact changed in the fall.

Zoi said the number of jobs created and homes completed would rise quickly as the program emerged from its startup phase, and that it was on target to meet overall goals. Now that the money is trickling down more quickly, auditors are fretting over how to make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

The Energy Department plans to hire one program officer for each state to watch for waste, fraud and mismanagement. That also will help to ensure crews' performance is up to snuff.

In Illinois, the staff of the department's inspector general, Gregory Friedman, discovered that one agency weatherization inspector missed a dangerous gas leak on a newly installed furnace. State and local officials told auditors they would make sure the leak was fixed and retool statewide training materials.

In Indiana, where workers were required to go through a state weatherization training program, local managers say they have spent hours teaching new recruits to do their jobs properly. "We keep getting inundated with all kinds of people who want a paycheck, but just aren't qualified to do this kind of work," said Bertha Proctor, who heads a nonprofit contracting agency in Vincennes, Ind.

Still, some of the stimulus program's flexible standards have allowed for innovation. In Portland, Ore., local officials are reporting an energy-saving boon that has helped minority-owned businesses in the job-starved construction industry. Ohio, which had a strong weatherization program in place at the outset, had completed 6,814 homes by the end of last year, more than a fifth of the total nationwide.

Legislation authorizing a second energy savings program is moving slowly through Congress. Many details of the plan, including how long it will run and its total cost, still need to be worked out. The Obama administration said the "HomeStar" program would reward homeowners who buy energy-saving equipment with an on-the-spot rebate of $1,000 or more, and hope it could become as popular as last year's Cash for Clunkers money-back program for cars and trucks.

Micheline Guilbeault, 65, of Lawton, Okla., whose home was weatherized through the stimulus package, said she thought the new proposal would encourage more homeowners to go green. "My house doesn't shudder anymore when the wind blows," Guilbeault said. "With the door that they just put in, I'm sure that the bill will go down because myself, I can feel the difference."

Still, some government watchdog groups said taxpayers shouldn't be on the hook paying for home improvements if the government has yet to release figures showing how much weatherizing saves. "The government should have stayed out of the weatherizing business in the first place," said Leslie Paige of Washington-based Citizens Against Government Waste. "This is a way to rapidly expand and entrench an existing program without ever going back and looking at the rationale or intent or effectiveness."


Obama's Assault on Private Property: Cap and Trade Will Force Homeowners to Intrusive Federal Inspections

In Illinois every couple of years, I would have to drive my luxury edition 1999 Nissan Pathfinder to the Illinois emissions testing station and pass a clean air test. I always had to time it carefully because my Check Engine light would go on for a thousand miles and then go off for 2,000. It was always better to go during work hours. If you went on a Saturday, you were there for the afternoon. Even with the Check Engine light problem, I always passed, but I never drove it in there when the light was on.

A piece in the American Thinker today tells of Obama’s plan to perform a similar test with your house. If the cap and trade bill passes, there is a law in the cap and trade bill that will require you to register your house with the Federal Government. Your house will also be put through a test regulated a new branch of the Department of Energy that will measure your house’s emissions and efficiency.

A new federal agent will have the right to come onto your private property and declare whether or not your house meets the federal regulations. If your house fails Obama’s test under the coming cap and trade bill that will soon face a vote in the Senate, you will not be able to sell your house until the house passes the government’s strict regulations. You will also be required to fix the problems in your house at your expense. This of course is similar to the law in Illinois that forces car owners to test their cars and then threatens to confiscate their driver’s license and tags if the car fails and is not corrected within a certain time frame.

Of course, there is nothing Constitutional about a federal agent entering your house, but this is the Obama administration and they don’t care. This is a clear attack on private property rights and just another way the federal government will control you and force you onto the smart grid.



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10 April, 2010

Bonn or bust – The UN’s last, desperate bid for unelected world government

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley in Bonn

There are not many empty seats in the dismal, echoing conference chamber in the ghastly concrete box that is the Hotel Maritim here in Bonn, where the UN’s latest attempt to maneuver the 194 States Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change gets underway today.

The “international community”, as it is now called, is here in full force, in the shape of expensively-suited, shiny-shod bureaucrats with an urbane manner and absolutely no knowledge of climate science whatsoever.

However, one empty chair is a pointer of things to come. The Holy See – a tiny nation in its own right, with a billion citizens around the world – has left its chair empty. And that is significant. If “global warming” still mattered, the Vatican would make sure that its representatives were present throughout this gloomy gathering of world-government wannabes.

This emergency conference, called by the UN’s bureaucrats because they were terrified that Cancun this December might fail as spectacularly as Copenhagen did last year, is a much quieter affair than Copenhagen. Not only has the air of triumphalism gone, after the scandals of Climategate, Himalayagate, Amazongate and so forth, but the belief that “global warming” is a global crisis has largely gone too.

There are a few true-believers left among the national delegates, but more of them than before are open to discussion of the previously-forbidden question – what if the climate extremists have made the whole thing up?

The Chinese Xinhua News Agency, for instance, came up to the table manned by the environmental campaigners of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, which takes a hard-boiled, cynical view of the notion that a tiny increase in the atmospheric concentration of a trace gas is likely to cause a thousand international disasters.

The reporters were genuinely interested to hear that there is another side to the story. Huan Gongdi, the Agency’s senior correspondent in Germany, asked me what I thought of the Copenhagen accord (a waste of time), what was happening in Bonn (a desperate attempt to ram through a binding Treaty that can be put in front of the US Senate before the mid-term elections make Senate acceptance of any such treaty unthinkable), and whether or not there was a climate crisis anyway (there isn’t).

I explained to Mr. Huan that even if the UN had not exaggerated the warming effect of CO2 many times over there was still nothing we could do about the supposed “crisis”, because we were emitting so little of the stuff in the first place.

For the record, I did the sum in front of him. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 today is about 388 parts per million by volume. However, we are adding just 2 ppmv a year to the air. So the warming we cause each year, even if one believes the UN’s wild exaggerations of CO2’s warming effect, is just 4.7 times the natural logarithm of the proportionate increase in CO2 concentration from 388 to 390 ppmv.

Thus, 4.7 ln(390/388) = 0.043 Fahrenheit degrees – less than a twentieth of a Fahrenheit degree of “global warming” every year. That is all. Putting it another way, it would take almost a quarter of a century with no carbon-emitting activity at all – not a single train, plane, automobile, or fossil-fueled power station – to forestall just 1 Fahrenheit degree of “global warming”.

That is why no Treaty based on controlling the amount of carbon dioxide the world emits can possibly work. And that is why there is no hurry anyway. The only reason for the UN’s sense of urgency – a panic no longer felt by the majority of the delegates here – is that the bureaucrats know the game is up. Opinion polls throughout the free world show that no one now believes a word of the climate extremists’ nonsense any more. If they can’t get a binding treaty this year, they won’t get one at all, and they know it.


Earth is never in equilibrium

By Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of atmospheric science at MIT.

To a significant extent, the issue of climate change revolves around the elevation of the commonplace to the ancient level of ominous omen. In a world where climate change has always been the norm, climate change is now taken as punishment for sinful levels of consumption. In a world where we experience temperature changes of tens of degrees in a single day, we treat changes of a few tenths of a degree in some statistical residue, known as the global mean temperature anomaly (GATA), as portents of disaster.

Earth has had ice ages and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen. Ice ages have occurred in a 100,000-year cycle for the last 700,000 years, and there have been previous interglacials that appear to have been warmer than the present despite lower carbon-dioxide levels. More recently, we have had the medieval warm period and the little ice age. During the latter, alpine glaciers advanced to the chagrin of overrun villages. Since the beginning of the 19th century, these glaciers have been retreating. Frankly, we don’t fully understand either the advance or the retreat, and, indeed, some alpine glaciers are advancing again.

For small changes in GATA, there is no need for any external cause. Earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Examples include El Nino, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation, etc. Recent work suggests that this variability is enough to account for all change in the globally averaged temperature anomaly since the 19th century. To be sure, man’s emissions of carbon dioxide must have some impact. The question of importance, however, is how much.

A generally accepted answer is that a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (it turns out that one gets the same value for a doubling regardless of what value one starts from) would perturb the energy balance of Earth about 2 percent, and this would produce about 2 degrees Fahrenheit warming in the absence of feedbacks. The observed warming over the past century, even if it were all due to increases in carbon dioxide, would not imply any greater warming.

However, current climate models do predict that a doubling of carbon dioxide might produce more warming: from 3.6 degrees F to 9 degrees F or more. They do so because within these models the far more important radiative substances, water vapor and clouds, act to greatly amplify whatever an increase in carbon dioxide might do. This is known as positive feedback. Thus, if adding carbon dioxide reduces the ability of the earth system to cool by emitting thermal radiation to space, the positive feedbacks will further reduce this ability.

It is again acknowledged that such processes are poorly handled in current models, and there is substantial evidence that the feedbacks may actually be negative rather than positive. Citing but one example, 2.5 billion years ago the sun’s brightness was 20 percent to 30 percent less than it is today (compared to the 2 percent change in energy balance associated with a doubling of carbon-dioxide levels) yet the oceans were unfrozen and the temperatures appear to have been similar to today’s.

This was referred to by Carl Sagan as the Early Faint Sun Paradox. For 30 years, there has been an unsuccessful search for a greenhouse gas resolution of the paradox, but it turns out that a modest negative feedback from clouds is entirely adequate. With the positive feedback in current models, the resolution would be essentially impossible.

Interestingly, according to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the greenhouse forcing from manmade gases is already about 86 percent of what one expects from a doubling of carbon dioxide (with about half coming from methane, nitrous oxide, freons, and ozone). Thus, these models should show much more warming than has been observed. The reason they don’t is that they have arbitrarily removed the difference and attributed this to essentially unknown aerosols.

The IPCC claim that most of the recent warming (since the 1950s) is due to man assumed that current models adequately accounted for natural internal variability. The failure of these models to anticipate the fact that there has been no statistically significant warming for the past 14 years or so contradicts this assumption. This has been acknowledged by major modeling groups in England and Germany.

However, the modelers chose not to stress this. Rather they suggested that the models could be further corrected, and that warming would resume by 2009, 2013, or even 2030.

Global warming enthusiasts have responded to the absence of warming in recent years by arguing that the past decade has been the warmest on record. We are still speaking of tenths of a degree, and the records themselves have come into question. Since we are, according to these records, in a relatively warm period, it is not surprising that the past decade was the warmest on record. This in no way contradicts the absence of increasing temperatures for over a decade.

Given that the evidence (and I have noted only a few of many pieces of evidence) suggests that anthropogenic warming has been greatly exaggerated, so too is the basis for alarm. However, the case for alarm would still be weak even if anthropogenic global warming were significant. Polar bears, arctic summer sea ice, regional droughts and floods, coral bleaching, hurricanes, alpine glaciers, malaria, etc., all depend not on GATA but on a huge number of regional variables including temperature, humidity, cloud cover, precipitation, and direction and magnitude of wind and the state of the ocean.

The fact that some models suggest changes in alarming phenomena will accompany global warming does not logically imply that changes in these phenomena imply global warming. This is not to say that disasters will not occur; they always have occurred, and this will not change in the future. Fighting global warming with symbolic gestures will certainly not change this. However, history tells us that greater wealth and development can profoundly increase our resilience.

One may ask why there has been the astounding upsurge in alarmism in the past four years. When an issue like global warming is around for more than 20 years, numerous agendas are developed to exploit the issue. The interests of the environmental movement in acquiring more power, influence and donations are reasonably clear. So, too, are the interests of bureaucrats for whom control of carbon dioxide is a dream come true. After all, carbon dioxide is a product of breathing itself.

Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted to save Earth. Nations see how to exploit this issue in order to gain competitive advantages. So do private firms. The case of Enron (a now bankrupt Texas energy firm) is illustrative. Before disintegrating in a pyrotechnic display of unscrupulous manipulation, Enron was one of the most intense lobbyists for Kyoto. It had hoped to become a trading firm dealing in carbon-emission rights. This was no small hope. These rights are likely to amount to trillions of dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions.

It is probably no accident that Al Gore himself is associated with such activities. The sale of indulgences is already in full swing with organizations selling offsets to one’s carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant. The possibilities for corruption are immense.

Finally, there are the well-meaning individuals who believe that in accepting the alarmist view of climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue. For them, psychic welfare is at stake.

Clearly, the possibility that warming may have ceased could provoke a sense of urgency. For those committed to the more venal agendas, the need to act soon, before the public appreciates the situation, is real indeed. However, the need to courageously resist hysteria is equally clear. Wasting resources on symbolically fighting ever-present climate change is no substitute for prudence.


Greenie coal-hatred defeated

One of the world’s biggest coal-fired power stations is to be built in South Africa after Britain declined to vote against a $3 billion (£1.96 billion) World Bank loan for the project.

The Medupi plant will be bigger than Drax, Britain’s largest power station, and will pump out 25 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year into the atmosphere. But it will provide reliable electricity for millions of people and thousands of businesses plagued by regular power cuts.

Britain effectively had the casting vote on the loan because the US, the other main donor to the World Bank, had said it would abstain before last night’s vote in Washington.

Green groups had lobbied the Government heavily to vote against the loan, arguing that South Africa should invest instead in renewable energy from wind turbines and solar panels.

The Government had considered blocking the loan to South African state utility Eskom and officials said last week that they had grave doubts abvout the scheme. But Britain chose last night to join the US and the Netherlands in abstaining.

Ruth Davis, the chief policy adviser for Greenpeace, said: “Britain could have stopped the loan if it had wanted to but it took the easy way out. Abstaining at this late stage is effectively allowing it to go ahead. The plant will be a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, paid for partly with aid money intended for the world’s poor.

“Hopefully Britain’s abstention means this will be the last plant of this kind subsidised by the UK taxpayer.”

A spokesman for the Department for International Development said: "The project raises several sensitive and potentially controversial issues which it has not been possible to resolve before this period began." Obiageli K. Ezekwesili, World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region, said: “Without an increased energy supply, South Africans will face hardship for the poor and limited economic growth.

“Access to energy is essential for fighting poverty and catalyzing growth, both in South Africa and the wider sub-region. Our support to Eskom combines much-needed investments to boost generation capacity for growing small and large businesses, creating jobs, and helping lay the foundations for a clean energy future through investments in solar and wind power.”

The loan includes $3.05 billion for the 4800 megawatt coal plant, $260 million for wind and solar projects with 200 megawatts potential capacity and $485 million for energy efficiency measures, including a new rail line to transport coal rather than using lorries.

Pravin Gordhan, the South African Finance Minister, last week accused green groups which opposed the loan of trying to impose their environmental priorities on a country lacking the secure electricity that is taken for granted in the developed world.


EPA’s ginormous power grab

“It’s a sure sign that a government agency has become overmighty when it vastly increases its budget, grabs power unconstitutionally and treats Congress with contempt. All of this applies to the Environmental Protection Agency. Unless Congress acts quickly to curb the EPA's power, it will become a huge drag on the economy. Few bodies are more deserving of cutbacks now. This year, EPA's budget (which had hovered at $7 billion to $8 billion since 1997) increased by 34 percent, to more than $10 billion for the first time ever. The budget increase does not translate into an upsurge in staffing level - which remains lower than its apex of more than 18,000 workers in 1999 - but instead represents much more patronage in the form of grants to states.

This increased patronage comes at a time when the EPA is accruing much more power. Its finding under the Clean Air Act that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare goes way beyond the powers of the act. The agency has decided it has the power to:

c License California and other states to adopt nonfederal fuel-economy standards within their borders.

c Act as co-equal (or even senior partner) with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in setting fuel-economy standards for the auto industry.

c Establish climate and energy policy for the nation.

c "Tailor," that is, amend, the Clean Air Act to avoid an administrative debacle of its own making.

As my colleague Marlo Lewis has pointed out, in each of these cases, the EPA is ignoring the plain language of the statutes and, in some cases, the constitutional requirements of the Supremacy Clause and separation of powers.

The details of each of these actions are complicated, but the basic thrust of this four-step power grab is as follows.

By granting California the power to ignore federal fuel-economy standards, the EPA created a regulatory patchwork that imposes significant burdens on the auto industry.

This led to the White House brokering a deal whereby the EPA muscles in on the NHTSA's statutory authority to regulate fuel-economy standards, something for which the EPA has no statutory authority.

The EPA claims this then compels it to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources, thereby making it the effective arbiter of national climate policy - even as Congress debates what to do about the issue.

Even the EPA seems to recognize the absurdity of the resulting regulations under the language of the Clean Air Act - which would lead to the EPA having to issue permits for fast-food franchises and large apartment buildings to emit greenhouse gases - so the agency took upon itself the power to tailor statutory language, thereby playing lawmaker, to avoid the regulatory debacle which it itself had put in motion.

Fortunately, some lawmakers have caught on to what the EPA is up to. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican, was so concerned that she wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, asking 13 simple questions about the proposed course of action. The reply she received was so evasive that it answered only two of the questions - and partially at that.

Congress may soon get its first real opportunity to rein in this rogue agency. Sometime between now and May 25, the Senate is expected to vote on Mrs. Murkowski's Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval. This measure would veto the legal force and effect of EPA's endangerment finding. The EPA's nongovernmental allies are so worried about this resolution that they have engaged in a smear campaign, accusing Mrs. Murkowski and others of seeking to impose a "Dirty Air Act." She has not been intimidated, though, and her proposal is likely to come to a vote.

A rogue regulatory agency is like an oil tanker with sails. Once in motion, it takes a lot to stop it. Congress can take the wind out of the EPA's sails through the Murkowski resolution of disapproval and a significant reduction in the agency's budget.

On the other hand, if the EPA gets away with this power grab, we can expect further abuses of its authority in relation to the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Protection Act. If it gets its way, the agency's $10 billion budget will look like chicken feed.


Ocean Conveyor Belt Confounds Climate Science

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), also known as the “Ocean Conveyor Belt,” has been the subject of much study since its discovery. The AMOC is primarily responsible for Europe's temperate climate and some scientists have warned that global warming could cause the ocean's flow to slow down or even stop. This rather counter intuitive result of a warming climate would result in a much colder Europe—perhaps even a new mini-ice age. A new analysis of data from satellites and drifting sensors finds no evidence that the conveyor belt is slowing. In fact, a NASA backed study indicates that the conveyor is far less susceptible to throttling by climate change than some climate change alarmists feared.

The heat transported by the AMOC makes a substantial contribution to the moderate climate of maritime and continental Europe. Scientists have long feared that any significant slowdown in the overturning circulation would have profound implications for climate change. In a 2005 Nature paper, “Slowing of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation at 25°N,” Harry L. Bryden, Hannah R. Longworth and Stuart A. Cunningham analyzed temperature and salinity measurements made during five brief ship surveys between 1957 and 2004. These data seemed to indicate that the northward flow of the Atlantic conveyor suffered a 30% decline in volume around the turn of the century. These findings led to warnings that a scenario similar to the disaster film The Day After Tomorrow could be just around the corner.

“'Mini Ice Age' May Be Coming Soon, Sea Study Warns,” was the headline on the National Geographic News site. “Chilling new evidence from the Atlantic Ocean is raising fears that western Europe could soon be gripped by a mini ice age,” reported their 2005 news article. “The study supports computer model predictions suggesting that global warming will switch off the North Atlantic current in the next 50 to 100 years.” But even in 2005, it was noted that the magnitude of these findings did not seem to match up with observed climate variation.

The changes reported were so big that they should have already cut oceanic heating of Europe by about one-fifth—enough to cool the British Isles by 1°C and Scandinavia by 2°C. Richard Wood, chief oceanographer at the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre, said at the time that Bryden et al.'s findings left a lot unexplained. More recently, continuous data measurements from cable-moored instrument arrays identified large yearly fluctuations in conveyor flow even larger than those found by the old ship surveys.

The AMOC, bringing warmth to Europe and Scandinavia since the start of the Holocene.

Now, a new study by physical oceanographer Joshua Willis, working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has further reduced the likelihood of a faltering conveyor belt. Centimeter-accuracy satellite measurements combined with observations from free-floating subsurface Argo drifters indicate that the flow has not diminished in the past seven years. If anything, the satellite data indicate an increase in flow. Here is how Dr. Willis described the work in the abstract from “Can in situ floats and satellite altimeters detect long-term changes in Atlantic Ocean overturning?”:
Global warming has been predicted to slow the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), resulting in significant regional climate impacts across the North Atlantic and beyond. Here, satellite observations of sea surface height (SSH) along with temperature, salinity and velocity from profiling floats are used to estimate changes in the northward-flowing, upper limb of the AMOC at latitudes around 41°N. The 2004 through 2006 mean overturning is found to be 15.5 ± 2.4 Sv (106 m3/s) with somewhat smaller seasonal and interannual variability than at lower latitudes. There is no significant trend in overturning strength between 2002 and 2009. Altimeter data, however, suggest an increase of 2.6 Sv since 1993, consistent with North Atlantic warming during this same period. Despite significant seasonal to interannual fluctuations, these observations demonstrate that substantial slowing of the AMOC did not occur during the past 7 years and is unlikely to have occurred in the past 2 decades.
For the non-oceanographer the increase of 2.6 Sv may not seem that significant but is is, in fact, a lot of water flow. The “Sv” stands for “Sverdrup,” the largest quantity commonly used to express the volume of flowing water. It is named in honor of Norwegian oceanographer Harald Sverdrup who defined it: 1 Sv represents 106 cubic meters per second (~264 million US gallons per second). This is a flow equivalent to of all the rivers in the world that empty into the ocean. So, not only is the increase of 2.6 Sv over the past decade sizable, the seasonal and year to year variation of ±2.4 Sv is also impressively large. Simply put, the conveyor belt is not behaving the way scientists thought it did.

The globe spanning ocean conveyor belt, also known as the thermohaline circulation (THC), is a large-scale ocean circulation that is driven by differences in water density that occur in different parts of the ocean. Thermohaline is a combination of thermo, referring to temperature, and haline referring to salt content, both factors that help determine the density of sea water. Density differences are created by surface heat and freshwater flowing from rivers and melting ice.

Distinct boundaries exist between masses of water which form at the surface, and subsequently maintain their own identity within the ocean. These masses of water can be arranged one on top of the other, according to density. When driven by gravity, wind and Earth's rotation they form a complicated system that circulates water around the world's oceans in a complicated pattern. The term MOC, short for meridional overturning circulation, is often used for the overall circulation system since the currents are not driven by just water density. The AMOC is the Atlantic portion of the larger worldwide MOC system.

The conveyor belt on a continuous ocean map. Image by Avsa.

Scientists earliest vision of the MOC was of a large, orderly circulation that moved heat energy around the globe. The major currents were thought to be fairly steady, but could increase or decrease with changes in global temperature. Only a weakened MOC would flow during an ice age, and anything that could interrupt its smooth functioning could cause abrupt climate change (e.g. the Bølling-Allerød Warming (BA) and the subsequent Little Dryas cooling). Disruption of the conveyor belt's flow is often cited as a mechanism for climate change “tipping points.”

Now, as it turns out, the flow is neither steady nor does it respond to the projected effects of climate change as scientists supposed. A number of climate scientists have hypothesized that global warming would weaken the MOC. This prediction eventually made its way into the IPCC's 2007 AR4 Working Group I report (see “10.3.4 Changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation”). Here is part of what the the IPCC said about global warming and the MOC:
The reduction in MOC strength associated with increasing greenhouse gases represents a negative feedback for the warming in and around the North Atlantic. That is, through reducing the transport of heat from low to high latitudes, SSTs are cooler than they would otherwise be if the MOC was unchanged. As such, warming is reduced over and downstream of the North Atlantic. It is important to note that in models where the MOC weakens, warming still occurs downstream over Europe due to the overall dominant role of the radiative forcing associated with increasing greenhouse gases.
The IPCC based its predictions on simulations from 19 coupled models integrated from 1850 to 2100 under SRES A1B atmospheric CO2 and aerosol scenarios up to year 2100. Some of the models continue the integration to year 2200 with the forcing held constant at the values of year 2100. The results from these simulations are shown in figure 10.15 from the report, reproduced below. Estimates of late-20th century MOC based on direct observation are shown as vertical bars on the left.

Three of the simulations show a steady or rapid slow down of the MOC that is unrelated to global warming. A few others have late-20th century simulated values that are inconsistent with observational estimates. Of the model simulations consistent late-20th century observations, no simulation predicted an increase in the MOC during the 21st century. The predicted flow reductions range from “indistinguishable within the simulated natural variability to over 50% relative to the 1960 to 1990 mean.” None of the models projects an abrupt transition to an off state of the MOC. In other words, no tipping points are predicted.

That seems all well and good, except the MOC is not following the IPCC script. As the paper by Dr. Willis shows, there has been no slowdown over the past 7 years and probably none over the past 20 years, years during which global temperatures are purported to have risen significantly. This is not the first time that the MOC has thrown scientists a curve. As was reported in “Conveyor Belt Model Broken,” when floating measurement buoys became available scientists discovered that the conveyor belt did not flow in large, smoothly predicable masses. In correspondence with Dr. Susan Lozier, lead author of the paper that article was based on, she claimed that their findings did not change the theoretical behavior of the MOC.

“The North Atlantic waters are indeed overturning, flowing equatorward at depth and returning poleward at the surface, but we are now suggesting that the flow at depth is not confined to a narrow boundary current, or 'conveyor belt',” she stated. “The climate models care first and foremost about the return of the surface waters and our research has no bearing in the slightest on those waters.” That this finding does not potentially impact the climate system as a whole is simply false modesty—any change in the behavior of ocean currents affects how they interact. The conveyor belt doesn't work as scientists thought and that has implications for global heat transfer, and hence climate, over time. Now it would appear that discrepancy was only the beginning and climate science has once again gotten the conveyor belt currents wrong.

Climate models are called GCM, general circulation models, because the two most important parts of the models are atmospheric and ocean circulation simulations. Of the two, the ocean holds the most heat energy and has the strongest impact on climate change. It is clear that climate science does not understand precisely how ocean circulation works, and that implies that all of their model simulations do not reflect reality. The upshot of this new information is that Europe's threatened ice age no longer seems imminent, at least not from a conveyor belt slowdown caused by global warming.

This shows the weakness of the science behind climate change. The predictions of future climate change are based on current understanding of how climate works—the theory. And the theory is based on observations of climate behavior in the past—the data. Except that the data regarding fluctuations in the MOC were spotty and incomplete. Now, with better data it looks like the theory is wrong. This in turn, means that all existing models are based on incorrect assumptions and may also have been calibrated using erroneous historical data. Yet predictions of future disaster generated by these models form the heart of the climate change alarmists' case for radical socioeconomic change. And those of us skeptical of climate science's prognostications are considered the foolish ones.

Be safe, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical.


Greenpeace Funded by the Political Class

Far-left advocacy group Greenpeace receives large donations from rich and powerful people, enough to drown the entire notion of political independence and non-partisanship. The mechanism of receiving funding – through foundations – is the same as the opposition “right wing” organizations that it criticizes for funding bias.

Greenpeace is an international conglomerate, composed of corporations in 40 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and the Pacific. Included among Greenpeace’s largest corporate donors are the Rockefeller brothers, Ted Turner and Jane Fonda, and the Macarthurs; as well as a long list of foundations with left-leaning gifting bias.

Since people on the left are generally unfamiliar with religious thought, my guess is that the Greenpeace propagandists are unfamiliar with the rules on casting the first stone. The group’s recent libelous attack against the Koch brothers appears to have had a dual purpose; both obviously connected to the exposure of the global warming scam.

Democrats, including Barack Obama, and politicians world-wide have invested a great deal of political capital in the scheme; pushing hard to put “global governance” in gear. Public awareness that the vast political changes along with exponentially increasing taxes have been proposed on the basis of fraud is harming their political power base.

Greenpeace also profits from smaller donors and operates “efficiently” by not paying volunteer workers. Claims of “saving the Earth” from global warming has been one of their greatest marketing tools for both fund raising and recruiting.

Their website still proclaims as a purpose of their existence: “Catalysing an energy revolution to address the number one threat facing our planet: climate change,” and has a variety of pages dedicated to global warming propaganda; including “Stop climate change,” “Climate change video FAQs,” “Take Action: Write to the oil companies,” “Cool IT Challenge,” “Take Action: Call Koch,” and “Climate blog.”

There is of course, no list of useful Greenpeace inventions or products that would be effective in achieving their stated goals; just calls for action, donations, and volunteers. Being entirely non-productive is one of the key characteristics Greenpeace uses to “grow the brand.”



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


9 April, 2010

IPCC lead author “Dealing a Mortal Blow” to the MWP

"Getting rid of" facts and data is the antithesis of science and "dealing them a mortal blow" is no better

There has been a considerable amount of speculation over the past few years about which “leading” climate scientist told David Deming that we have to “get rid of” the Medieval Warm Period, including speculation (e.g. ukweatherworld) that it was Jonathan Overpeck (recently one of two Coordinating Lead Authors of AR4 chapter 6).

While the identity of Deming’s correspondent remains uncertain, a Climategate letter from January 13. 2005, written as an instruction from Overpeck as Coordinating Lead Author to IPCC Lead Authors Briffa and Osborn (cc Jansen, Masson-Delmotte), states that Overpeck wants to “deal a mortal blow” to the MWP (and Holocene Optimum) “myths” (480. 1105670738.txt).
Subject: the new “warm period myths” box

Hi Keith and Tim -

… In reading Valerie [Masson-Delmotte]’s Holocene section, I get the sense that I’m not the only one who would like to deal a mortal blow to the misuse of supposed warm period terms and myths in the literature. The sceptics and uninformed love to cite these periods as natural analogs for current warming too – pure rubbish.

So, pls DO try hard to follow up on my advice provided in previous email. No need to go into details on any but the MWP, but good to mention the others in the same dismissive effort. “Holocene Thermal Maximum” is another one that should only be used with care, and with the explicit knowledge that it was a time-transgressive event totally unlike the recent global warming.

Thanks for doing this on – if you have a cool figure idea, include it.

Best, peck

Oddly, given Overpeck’s commitment to “dealing a mortal blow” to the “misuse” of the MWP, in another Climategate letter, he didn’t like speculation about him being the one who wanted to “get rid of” the MWP (see 868. 1206628118.txt in March 2008.)


Global warming's unscientific method

Science is undermined by scaremongers' abuse of peer-review process. The sort of thing described below is familiar to me. Most of my papers questioned the conventional academic wisdom and they were routinely rejected by relevant journals for specious reasons. Fortunately, there were a few independent-minded editors who allowed me to breach the dam -- JR

The prophets of global warming continue to lament as their carefully crafted yarn unravels before their eyes. Ross McKitrick, an intrepid economics professor from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, has tugged apart the thin mathematical threads that once held together the story of climate change.

Recent attempts to silence Mr. McKitrick illuminate the extent to which the alarmists have abandoned proper scientific method in their pursuit of political goals.

Mr. McKitrick has spent the past two years attempting to publish a scientific paper that documents a fundamental error in the 2007 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. This U.N. document serves as the sole authority upon which the Environmental Protection Agency based its December "endangerment finding" that will allow unelected bureaucrats to impose cap-and-trade-style regulations without a vote of Congress. The cost to the public in higher gas and energy prices will run in the billions.

One might think that the scientific community would be extra diligent in double-checking the conclusions of a report carrying such weighty real-world consequences. In fact, the opposite happened. Seven scientific journals circled the wagons to block publication of Mr. McKitrick's explosive findings.

The IPCC report argued that temperatures rose one degree Celsius over the course of a century as a direct result of man-made carbon-dioxide emissions. This tiny change in temperature was calculated through the use of an "adjusted" set of global surface-temperature readings.

Mr. McKitrick found that factors unrelated to global climate contaminated this data set, resulting in a higher temperature reading. He showed a statistically significant correlation between the change in temperature readings and socioeconomic indicators. It makes sense, for example, that replacing trees and forests with concrete and glass skyscrapers might contribute to the .01 degree annual increase in local temperature readings. This "urban heat island" effect would not be present in readings taken outside the asphalt jungle.

Scientific journals evaluate arguments of this sort using a peer-review process by which purportedly impartial experts in the relevant field verify the paper's accuracy and suitability for publication. By addressing issues raised by reviewers, researchers are able to present an improved and refined final product. In Mr. McKitrick's case, the process appears to have been abused to stifle dissent.

The leading journals Science and Nature both rejected the paper as too specialized and lacking in novelty. The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society did not respond. Reasons given for refusing the paper in other outlets frequently contradicted one another.

One of the famous leaked e-mails from the former head of the Climatic Research Unit at Britain's University of East Anglia sheds light on what really happens behind the scenes. "I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report," professor Phil Jones wrote in reference to a 2004 journal article by Mr. McKitrick. "Kevin and I will keep them out somehow - even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

Mr. McKitrick's views were indeed excluded from the IPCC report, but his paper will now be published in a forthcoming edition of Statistics, Politics and Policy. One of that journal's editors told The Washington Times that the submission was treated as "fairly routine." That is to say, they treated it as scientists should.

The soundness of a statistical analysis does not change simply because the numbers point to a truth inconvenient for those seeking to manipulate science to advance political policy. Thanks to the exposure of East Anglia's unscientific method, the public can peer behind the curtains and see that the emperors of warming have no clothes.


Cows off the hook yet again

In the past environmentalists, from Lord Stern to Sir Paul McCartney, have urged people to stop eating meat because the methane produced by cattle causes global warming. However a new study found that cattle grazed on the grasslands of China actually reduce another greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide.

Authors of the paper, published in Nature, say the research does not mean that producing livestock to eat is good for the environment in all countries. However in certain circumstances, it can be better for global warming to let animals graze on grassland.

The research will reignite the argument over whether to eat red meat after other studies suggested that grass fed cattle in the UK and US can also be good for the environment as long as the animals are free range.

Klaus Butterbach-Bahl, of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, carried out the study in Inner Mongolia in China. He found that grassland produced more nitrous oxide during the spring thaw when sheep or cattle have not been grazing. This is because the greenhouse gas, also known as laughing gas, is released by microbes in the soil.

When the grass is long snow settles keeping the microbes warm and providing water, however when the grass is cut short by animals the ground freezes and the microbes die.

Dr Butterbach-Bahl said the study overturned assumptions about grazing goats and cattle. "It's been generally assumed that if you increase livestock numbers you get a rise in emissions of nitrous oxide. This is not the case," he said.

Estimated nitrous oxide emissions from temperate grasslands in places like Inner Mongolia as well as vast swatches of the United States, Canada, Russia and China account for up a third of the total amount of the greenhouse gas produced every year. Nitrous oxide is the third most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide and methane.

But Dr Butterbach-Bahl pointed out that the study did not take into account the methane produced by the livestock or the carbon dioxide produced if soil erodes. He also pointed out that much of the red meat eaten in the western world if from intensively farmed animals in southern countries.

He said the study does not overturn the case for cutting down on red meat but shows grazing livestock is not always bad for global warming.


Computer Models Predicting Species' Range Shift Due To Global Warming Fail Spectacularly In Bird Test

Read here. Climate alarmists state that most species will be forced to move substantial distances from their present territories because of global warming. The climate alarmist scientists developed models to predict just how far a species would move due to the increased warmth. Researchers compared the outcome of the models to the actual empirical evidence of birds shifting their territories in the Italian Alps. Surprise! As is most often the case, the computer models were wrong.

"In light of their findings, as well as those of others they cite, Popy et al. conclude that "until a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms is achieved, predictions based only on 'climate envelope' models should be either validated or considered cautiously," which in our view is a pretty generous conclusion. We would suggest that such poorly-performing models not be used at all."


Sorry, your Chinese-made iPad won’t save the planet

Apple’s new iPad, like the iPhone, MacBook, and iPod, derives part of its value as a “signaling” device: When you bust it out next to your latte at Busboys & Poets or scroll through your playlist while waiting for the Metro at the U St./Cardozo stop, you wordlessly broadcast something about yourself to those nearby: you’re hip, you’re educated, you’re not as old as you look.

The Apple clientele is not homogenous -- it’s got a few different species of hip. But watch closely the current iPad commercial and you’ll see Apple’s beau ideal: a New York Times reader who goes kayaking, buys Ted Kennedy’s memoirs, and visits Paris. OK, there’s also nerd stuff in there — “Star Trek” and “Dawn of the Dead” — but the urban, hip, cosmopolitan is a huge target audience for this device, which helps explain Apple’s effort to green itself.

But the greening of Apple has been a matter less of reducing a carbon footprint than of increasing a lobbying footprint.

In the modern Church of Environmentalism, a company is justified not through its works, but through its lobbying efforts. It’s pretty simple in the eyes of the media opinion makers: You’re bad if you oppose cap-and-trade schemes that purportedly cut greenhouse gas emissions and thus slow global warming. You’re good if you support such policies.

While Apple is happy to lobby for energy constraints and carbon caps in the U.S., laboring under them is another question entirely. You do know your iPad was made in China, right?

Apple last October loudly quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because the chamber has lobbied against many federal cap-and-trade schemes.

This public breakup, executed on a letterhead featuring a large green apple and accompanied by press releases and fanfare, can be understood largely as an act of branding and little else.

The greenhouse-gas regulations the chamber opposes are effectively energy taxes. The chamber objects that current proposals would put the U.S. at a disadvantage because they restrict our emissions while leaving other manufacturing countries — such as China — free to emit without cost. Apple, however, has not publicly called on the Chinese or Taiwanese government to institute a cap-and-trade energy tax.

So if Apple’s lobbying effort is successful, American companies will pay for their carbon emissions, but no such carbon costs will fall on Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, which made your iPad.

Under cap-and-trade, Apple company would pay for the 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide emitted annually by its U.S. buildings and domestic operations, and also for the 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide emitted by shipping its products. But the 3.8 million tons of CO2 emitted by its manufacturing — 81 percent of the company’s total — would be exempt from a carbon tax because the emissions would be in China.

Many of the companies who take the Chamber’s side against cap-and-trade schemes are in a different position from Apple. These companies actually make stuff here, and so they would actually pay the energy tax that is cap and trade.

So Apple is loudly and self-righteously lobbying for “green” taxes that it intends to continue avoiding. This may sound bad, but it’s actually fairly moderate on the spectrum of climate hypocrisy.

There’s Nike, which exempts itself from the carbon tax it advocates by making its shoes and golf clubs in Malaysia and Indonesia. By backing cap-and-trade Nike is knee-capping its smaller competitor New Balance, which makes shoes in New England.

Power company AES also lobbies for cap and trade. Why? For one thing, it would drive businesses to the greenhouse-gas-dealing company AES has started with General Electric. AES, meanwhile, is opening new coal-fired power plants in the developing world.

Apple, by contrast, would actually endure — indirectly — some of the economic shelling induced by the green policies it endorses. More precisely, Apple’s customers would shoulder the burden: To its credit, when Apple conducted a study of its carbon footprint, the company included the emissions caused by people running their iMacs and charging and their iPhones. Apple use causes an estimated 5 million tons of CO2 per year, which is more than all of the CO2 emitted by all of Apple’s manufacturing, shipping, and operations.

So Apple doesn’t avoid the costs of cap and trade entirely. The policy would make an iPad slightly less desirable by making it more expensive to recharge by making electricity more expensive in the U.S. -- which doesn’t matter, I suppose, when you’re at a cafe in Paris.


Australia: Greenie scheme burns down houses

As stupid as most Greenie schemes but more visibly so

A YOUNG Malvern East family is the latest face of the roof insulation debacle as figures show insulation was the cause of eight fires a month in Victoria this year. The Opposition has now called for all 1.1 million homes to be inspected as the toll from the government's botched rebate scheme continues to mount.

Father-of-two Kemal Brkic, 35, is counting his blessings after awaking suddenly around 4.30am to the smell of burning electrical wires at his Waverley Rd, Malvern East home. He said he checked the roof when he noticed marks appearing on his ceiling and was confronted by flames leaping one to two feet in the air. He managed to douse the blaze with a fire extinguisher but said it could have been much worse.

Commander Ian Hunter, the head of the MFB fire investigation unit, said the fire in the Waverley Rd home had started after insulation over downlights caught fire. He said the old blow-in insulation had recently been removed from the ceiling and replaced with batts. But he said not all the old insulation had been removed properly and had gathered against downlights. The new batts were placed directly over the lights and they overheated, he said.

Mr Brkic’s new insulation was installed about six weeks ago under the Federal Government’s scheme. "Another five or ten minutes and the whole roof would have gone," Mr Brkic said. "To have woken up at that time, and had a fire extinguisher in the house... we were pretty lucky." He urged anyone who had insulation installed recently to have it checked, especially if they also have downlights. "I'm so grateful all the family was safe. I had my mum and dad in the house and my two young kids. "It was pretty scary.'

Figures show huge increase in the number of house fires caused by insulation in the past 12 months. The MFB attended 31 ceiling fires involving insulation from July to December in Victoria last year, compared to just seven in the first six months. "Coincidentally that's about the time the home owners insulation program commenced," he said.

Fire investigators also looked into a second fire overnight at Glenda Rd, Doncaster, where insulation was installed as part of the rebate scheme in November last year. But it turned out to be caused by a faulty light bulb fitting - not incorrectly installed insulation. However with all the publicity over the debacle the incident had homeowner Wilma Garland, who is in her 80s, worried that she was yet another victim.

The government said last week the number of fires linked to the scheme was 105. It axed the $2.45 billion rebate scheme after it was linked to the deaths of four installers, house fires, and safety and quality problems potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of homes.

It will start a scaled-back scheme on June 1. [They're slow learners]


Enquiries are still ongoing but the house in an overnight fire that killed two people was also "insulated" recently and we may therefore have another result of this "know-all" Greenie scheme


For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


8 April, 2010

The "planet-hackers" are coming

Expensive and dangerous solutions for a non-existent problem. Fortunately, the Greenies themselves will knock this one on the head. Any meddling with "nature" gives them the horrors, this time rightly so. It's meddling with people's lives that gives Greenies a horn

Should we put more pollutants into the air to keep Earth's temperature down? How about covering polar ice with reflective panels to cut down on melting? Or putting a giant umbrella in space to shade the planet?

Some of the ideas for easing Earth's warming trend may sound crazy - but in a newly published book titled "Hack the Planet," Eli Kintisch says scientists may have no choice but to give them a try.

"The only thing crazier than geoengineering is what we're doing now to the atmosphere by continuing to dump carbon dioxide into it," he told me.

Kintisch, a staff writer for the journal Science, delves into the flip side of the global climate issue: If we're in the beginning stages of a radical warm-up in global temperatures, caused in part by greenhouse-gas emissions, what can we do about it?

One part of the answer is to reduce those emissions. Scientists, engineers and policymakers are working on strategies to do that. We could see cleaner cars, less carbon-intensive energy sources, and perhaps carbon-curbing legislation as well. But some researchers say that still won't be enough. Some of the less crazy ideas for hacking the planet might still have to be put into effect. That's why Kintisch calls geoengineering "a bad idea whose time has come."

"Scientists are in a similar position to the researchers who went to the Manhattan Project in the 1940s," he said. "They desperately don't want to study these radical ways of altering the planet, but they feel as though they must. And here's why: Even if we stopped all our carbon emissions tomorrow, the planet would continue to heat up, the ocean would continue to heat up, because carbon dioxide lasts for thousands of years in the atmosphere."

University of Calgary physicist David Keith once observed that scientists studying the geoengineering issue tend to join either the "Blue Team" (who are inclined to invent ways to alter the atmosphere) or the "Red Team" (who are generally skeptical of geoengineering and try to find flaws in the Blue Team's work). Right now, the Blues appear to be in the ascendancy, Kintisch said.

"Since I wrote the book, the number of scientific organizations and prominent scientists who have called for research into geoengineering has only broadened," he said. Legislative hearings are being held, in Washington and in London. Task forces are being set up. Conferences are being conducted. And protests are being organized as well.


Another reply to the New Squawker

By Dr. Martin Hertzberg (Dr. Hertzberg [email:] is a combustion research scientist. He currently teaches science and mathematics at various educational institutions. He served as a meteorologist in the US Navy and has been studying the global warming issue for the last twenty years)

Elizabeth Kolbert, in her "Up In the Air" comment of April 12, 2010, has made an heroic effort to revive the dying theory that human emission of CO2 is causing global warming/climate change. But those of us who know it well and its "living will" to decline heroic measures, feel that the wisest course of action is to let it pass peacefully in the hospice of dying theories.

There is a simple way to tell the difference between scientists and propagandists. If scientists have a theory they carefully search for data that might actually contradict their theory so they can test it further or refine it. The propagandists, on the other hand, select only the data that might agree with their theory and dutifully ignore any data that disagrees with it.

How else to explain Ms. Kolbert's argument that "despite what it might have felt like in the Northeast these past few months, globally it was one of the warmest winters on record"? Actually, the global data summarized in show significant world-wide cooling for the past decade. The data also show nothing beyond the normal range of variability in either the polar ice area coverage or in the rate of rise of sea level for the last 20 years.

She asks for a "plausible account of why...scientists...would bother to engineer a climate hoax". The second attachment to this e-mail "Cui Bono From the Hoax" presents such an account, and the infamous "hockey stick" fraud that she fails to mention is the "smoking gun" of the hoax.

The "detractor" whose death was greeted by one of the "climategaters" as "cheering news", was the distinguished Australian climatologist, John Daly. He knew the "hockey stick" was a fraud from the day it was published, and said so. That is why his death was referred to as "cheering news". That Daly was right, and that it was a hoax, has now been proven beyond doubt.

The "goofball weathermen" she disparages actually know something about meteorology and the factors that control climate since most of them have actually analyzed weather maps and made real world weather forecasts.

She, on the other hand, seems to depend on the anecdotal half truths fed to her by environmental lobbyists or the half-baked IPCC computer models that have already been proven to be wrong. Their predictions of severe global warming over the last decade were worthless, and chasing the phantom of human, CO2-generated global warming is a "fool's errand".


Excerpt from the appendix to the above:

To find out “cui bono” simply “follow the money”.

First the major actor, Al Gore, has made over $100 million from his movie, book, and lectures. Next his advisors, Schneider and Hansen fear mongered about the coming ice age in the 1970’s but are now fear mongering about global warming. In both instances, they argued that human emissions were the culprit. They have a clique of camp followers: in government, universities, among contractors and climate modelers, all with a vested interest in keeping research dollars flowing . The total amount spent so far is about $ 70 billion.

Next there are the nuclear power advocates: nuclear reactors generate no CO2 as they produce electricity, so they can solve our nonexistent C02 problem. Their motives were openly revealed during the last election when John McCain flipped from opposing “cap and trade’ to supporting it. He campaigned for building many more nuclear reactors to solve the “climate-change crisis”. From his earliest days in Congress, Gore himself faithfully represented the interests of the nuclear establishments such as the Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee.

Next there is the renewable energy industry. They also generate no CO2 as they produce electricity. Their advertising campaigns claim that solar and wind power can eliminate our dependence on imported petroleum when, in fact, they do not produce a single drop of the gasoline we need for the transportation sector of our economy. Colorado’s Governor and our members of Congress push their agenda incessantly. Solar and wind power require enormous subsidies and do not presently meet the nation’s requirements for continuous and reliable electric power.

Next there are the bunch of environmental lobbyists and activists and their camp followers in the mass media (even PBS and the BBC) who simply regurgitate the anecdotal clap trap they are fed about polar bears, northwest passages, melting ice-caps, drastic rises in sea level, increases in hurricane frequency and intensity, and all the other weather disasters that you need to feel guilty about! Just remember that they are the same bunch that succeeded in getting a world-wide ban on the use of DDT. The result was a skyrocketing death rate from malaria (estimated to total about 30 million of the world’s children) until the WHO finally rescinded the ban. Immediately upon DDT’s re-use, the death rate declined markedly to its pre-ban level. So, yesterday, the know-nothing environmentalist’s fear-mongering about DDT gave us malaria. What gift will their fear-mongering about climate-change bring to us tomorrow?

Next, it is not simply a matter of money, but one of power. All of the above interest groups and the politicians they support have huge egos and a lust for power. That is far more important to them than the triviality of scientific truth. Once committed to one side of a political issue, they will rarely admit they may have made a mistake. Once having invested their political capital and our economic resources to start the huge, massive inertia wheel turning, it takes too much courage, energy, and loss of face to stop it.

So, for the climate-change issue, it looks like my fellow liberal Democrats are finally learning the lesson: fear mongering can keep the inertia wheel of the global warming hoax rotating to the lucrative benefit of all their supporters. But what about the damage to the nation when it flies off its hinges in the form of draconian legislation for carbon emission control? Such legislation will have absolutely no effect on weather but will do serious harm to our economy and to working Americans.

Power Grab: How Obama’s green policies will steal your freedom and bankrupt America

Christopher C. Horner, author of Red Hot Lies, has a new book coming out Monday, April 19, from Regnery Publishing. Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America is an exposé of the Green Movement’s rise to political power and the frightening consequences of Obama’s Green-friendly energy mandates. Horner reveals who in Washington is driving this expansion of environmentalist policy and analyzes how new restrictions will harm economic recovery and development in America.

From the Front Flap:

If Obama and his “green” coalition get their way, we’re headed for blackouts, skyrocketing energy prices designed to bankrupt disfavored industries, and even greater government control of our economy.

Obama’s green jobs agenda masks a declaration of war against America’s most reliable sources of energy—coal, oil, and natural gas. He seeks to shut them down and convert America to green energy—mostly wind and solar—in an irresponsible experiment that will guarantee an energy crisis and drive America from recession to depression. The Obama administration, working in collusion with green groups allegedly protecting the environment, unions protecting their paychecks, and local elites protecting their ocean views, is putting the special interests ahead of your interests.

From Chapter One:

“Under Obama’s economic and energy plans, conventional energy is punished by government policy in order to force the adoption of new, Obama-favored technologies. These plans will force us into energy poverty, a return to government-inspired uncompetitiveness, and a surrender of individual and economic liberties.

Modern environmentalism in a nutshell sounds something like this: impose energy taxes that serve as a rationing scheme (the “cap”), along with mandates of what sort of energy people can use, and in what amount. Environmentalists seek to use the state to create scarcity in order to further impose their will over our lives.”

From the Back:

“Power Grab exposes the incestuous relationships between the Obama administration and the piles of taxpayer money it wants to pipeline to the Big Green juggernaut consisting of Big Business and Big Labor. Horner shows that the green agenda isn’t so much about a clean environment as it is about redistributing income from us to them.” – Stephen Moore, member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board

“Chris Horner was right in his bestselling The Politically Incorrect Guise to Global Warming and Environmentalism. He was right in his book Red Hot Lies that exposed the cover-ups, lies, and intimidation of the global-warming alarmists. And he’s right again in his new book Power Grab, which exposes what the extremists are really after: power over you, your wallet, and even your right to self-government. Power Grab is essential reading for fighting back. – Congresswoman Michele Bachmann


TV Ad Campaign Targets John Deere for Lobbying for Cap-and-Trade; Urges Employees to Take Action to Save their Jobs

A famous American company has fallen into the hands of un-American business-school types. The career bureaucrat CEO has a degree in industrial management. Guess how much he knows about farming? The original John Deere knew lots

Today FreedomWorks and the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project announce "Backroom Deal" - a joint television advertising campaign that urges John Deere employees to take action to save their jobs.

The ads inform employees that Deere is lobbying for a national cap-and-trade law which may result in significant job losses. The ad urges employees to call the John Deere compliance hotline.

"Employees need to take action to protect their jobs. Cap-and-trade will raise the cost of energy, which will drive high-paying manufacturing jobs overseas. As energy prices soar, Deere can shift its manufacturing to overseas plants in China, Brazil or India leaving its U.S.-based employees out in the cold. It's time for Deere's employees to voice opposition against a company policy that endangers their jobs," said Matt Kibbe, President and CEO of FreedomWorks.

Deere is a member of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) - a lobbying coalition of companies and environmental special interest groups that is pushing for cap-and-trade legislation. Capping carbon emissions will lead to higher energy prices, slower economic growth and an increase in jobs losses.

"Deere's management should side with its employees and its customers in the agricultural community instead of aligning its policies with President Obama's progressive attack on fossil fuels, which provide 85% of our energy needs. Special interest backroom deals are ruining our country. Now is the time for employees to challenge corporate policies that will hamper economic growth and reduce our competitiveness," said Tom Borelli, Ph.D., of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project.

"We challenged Deere CEO Samuel Allen about his support of cap-and-trade at John Deere's annual shareholder meeting in February, but Allen has remained steadfast in keeping Deere in USCAP -- even though Deere's competitor, Caterpillar, left the coalition and the American Farm Bureau opposes cap-and-trade. It's time for us to raise the ante," said Deneen Borelli, Project 21 Fellow.

General Electric, Dupont, Alcoa and Dow Chemical are also corporate members of USCAP. BP, Caterpillar and ConocoPhillips recently ended their membership in the lobbying organization.

"Employees of USCAP-member companies must be told about a company policy that may put them on the unemployment line. We may run similar advertising targeting one or more USCAP companies. Public policy is a contact sport and employees can no longer afford to stand on the sidelines," added Tom Borelli.

The TV ads will be broadcast in Moline, Illinois and Waterloo, Iowa, cities in which Deere has its headquarters and manufacturing facilities. The ads will run in April on CNN, Fox News, Headline News (HLN) and the History channel.


California Water Crisis: Fish vs. Man

The Central Valley of California was once known as the breadbasket of the world—supplying about one-third of the nation’s food. But today, the Westside of the Central Valley is home to hundreds of thousands of acres of dry and desolate land.

Water is now scarcer than ever in this agriculturally rich land. To make matters worse, about 40,000 jobs have been lost as a result, leaving families nowhere to go but to the local food banks.

The Delta smelt, a three-inch bait fish, seems to have won the battle for water—the same water that is necessary for food growth and jobs in the highest-producing valley in the nation. How did a small fish win such a big battle? On August 31, 2007, California Federal Judge Oliver Wanger of Federal District Court protected the declining fish by severely curtailing human use water deliveries at San Joaquin-Sacramento River delta from December to June. These are the pumps at the Banks Pumping Plant that send water to Central and Southern California for agricultural and residential use.

According to a May 2009 study conducted by the University of California, Davis, 35,285 jobs and $1.6 billion in economic revenue have been lost as a result of this environmental ploy in the Central Valley. “The democrats have chosen radical environmental policies over workers,” says Mario Lopez, President of the Hispanic Leadership Fund.

Giving farmers some reprieve was an announcement by Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, stating Westside farmers would receive 25 percent of their water allocation versus the 5 percent they were projected to receive. But this is still not enough. What it comes down to is this: a democratic-run Congress and Administration sees fit to let 40,000-plus people lose their jobs and watch the most fertile ground in the nation go dry, simply to protect a bait fish.

Because of this, unemployment has reached about 30 percent in some of these agricultural towns. Though California and individual counties do not keep record of Latino employment numbers, in the Central California city of Mendota, unemployment averaged 39.4 percent for 2009, of which 94.7 percent of the population is Latino, according to the 2000 Census Report.

“This is a real travesty,” Lopez says about Latinos being hit the hardest by the water crisis. “These people are ready to work. They want to pursue the American Dream and provide for their families. It’s devastating to see the effects of these policies.”

With the help of a few politicians and organizations, the plight of the Central Valley is being exposed. It is no small problem when a fish is valued over the lives of thousands of men, women and children.

“Every corner of the Central Valley is affected by this environmentalist-caused drought. People are losing good jobs because left-wing enviros placed the needs of a fish over thousands of hardworking families,” says Richard Pombo (R-CA), the former Chair of the House Resources Committee.

Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson agrees stating, “When Nancy Pelosi and her environmental henchmen chose a minnow over jobs and growing food to feed the world they went too far. When voters across the nation learn about this travesty, the tidal wave for changing Congressional leadership will overwhelm partisan considerations.”


Red Ink and Green Jobs

Citizens of the Golden State get nervous about carbon rationing plans made in flusher times

In 2006, when California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a mandate for dramatic reduction of greenhouse gasses into law, the state's economy was in a very different place. Unemployment was 4.5 percent and residents felt rich thanks to inflated home values. Today, 12.5 percent of Californians are out of work, the state is in budgetary meltdown, and Californians are re-evaluating their priorities.

Economic distress and skepticism about the power of the state to create "green jobs" are fueling a growing movement to stop deep cuts in emissions standards—which would require Californians to consume 25 to 30 percent less energy than they otherwise would have by 2020—from kicking in.

The Global Warming Solutions Act (also known as Assembly Bill 32, or AB 32) would ration greenhouse gas emissions—forcing them back to 1990 levels by 2020—through a mix of policies including a cap-and-trade carbon market along with a set of complementary measures. Those measures include setting fuel efficiency standards for appliances and buildings, requiring that 33 percent of the state’s energy be produced from renewable sources, setting a low carbon fuel standard for vehicles, and zoning changes to discourage automobile travel, among other new regulations and mandates.

Proponents of the 2006 law assert that its implementation will create a plethora of new “green jobs.” For example, a recent press release issued by the California Business Alliance for a Green Economy quotes self-described “long time environmental activist” and current green economy venture investor Tom Soto as saying, the law “will help to drive California's economy toward a more prosperous, cleaner, more efficient future, meaning more jobs being created in one of the most difficult times in our country's history." Similarly, Cynthia Verdugo-Peralta, founder of VPC Energy and Strategic Energy, Environmental & Transportation Alternatives declared, “When it comes to job growth, there is substantial, irrefutable evidence that growing more efficient and greener will create jobs, not kill them." Verdugo-Peralta added, "That's why I am heartened that CARB's [California Air Resources Board] new economic analysis reaffirms the benefits of implementing California's Global Warming Solutions Act."

Verdugo-Peralta is referring to a new report issued last month by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the state government agency that will largely oversee the new carbon rationing scheme. That analysis finds that implementing emissions cuts will increase the price of electricity by between 0-20 percent, the price of natural gas by between 13 and 76 percent, and the price of gasoline by 6-47 percent.

A competing analysis using the same data by the global consulting firm Charles River Associates finds the costs of carbon rationing are likely to be higher. This is primarily because the requirement that 33 percent of California’s electricity be produced using renewable fuel sources and other similar mandates will inefficiently boost overall costs. Charles River Associates estimate that the 2006 law will increase California’s electricity prices between 11 to 32 percent by 2020, and that gasoline and diesel prices will rise between 14 to 51 percent by 2020.

The CARB best case analysis estimates that the new mandates and carbon market will actually increase employment slightly by 2020, and that per capita income will rise by 0.1 percent by 2020, or about $30 per person. In its worst case scenario, incomes would be reduced by 0.6 percent, or about $300 per capita.

By contrast, the Charles River analysis finds that implementing the carbon rationing law will cost between 0.5 and 1.1 percent per capita by 2020, reducing personal incomes by $200 to $500. The cost differences between the two analyses arise largely from how they treat the mandates. The CARB report suggests that the higher energy prices faced by Californians will be completely offset by conservation and energy efficiency mandates embedded in the law because they force Californians to reduce the amount of electricity and fuel that they will use in 2020. The Charles River analysis finds that the costs of implementing those mandates more than outweigh their benefits.

With regard to “green jobs,” the CARB’s best case analysis estimates that implementing the law will boost California’s employment by 10,000 extra jobs by 2020; its worst case projects 330,000 fewer jobs than there would otherwise have been by 2020. Just ahead of the release of the new CARB report, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) issued an analysis of the law's net impact on jobs in California. While not offering firm figures, the LAO analysis took into account increases in “green jobs” and job losses in other sectors, especially in fossil fuel industries and found that “the aggregate net jobs impact in the near term is likely to be negative.” The LAO report did conclude, “In a relative sense, however, [AB 32’s] effect on jobs in both the near term and longer term will probably be modest in comparison to the overall size of the state's economy.” Even under the best of circumstances, California's carbon rationing scheme will not produce enough “green jobs” to make a significant dent in the state’s very high unemployment rate. Interestingly, Golden State green economy boosters seem to agree.

Take for instance, the Many Shades of Green report issued in December 2009 by the San Francisco-based green think tank, Next 10. That report looked at the growth of green jobs in California between 1995 and 2008. The media widely quoted Next 10’s upbeat claim that “California green jobs increased by 36 percent from 1995-2008 while total jobs expanded only 13 percent. As the economy slowed between 2007-2008, total employment fell 1 percent, but green jobs continued to grow by 5 percent.” A 36 percent increase sounds impressive. But when one looks at the actual numbers, green jobs increased from 117,000 in 1995 to 159,000 in 2008, and currently constitute about 1 percent of California’s total employment. And a five percent increase in green employment nets out to something like 8,000 total jobs, while between January 2007 and 2008, 182,000 Californians lost their jobs. Currently, nearly 2.3 million Californians are looking for work. Next 10 founder F. Noel Perry admitted to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Green tech is not a panacea. We believe green jobs are going to be a significant part of future jobs growth in California. But at the same time, we know they are a small proportion of the total jobs we have now.”

The CARB and green economy boosters like Next 10 have strong ideological predilections that encourage them to minimize the costs of carbon rationing while maximizing the benefits of green investments. Of course, opponents of the carbon rationing law have the opposite motives. It is nevertheless instructive to see what opponents fear the effects of implementing the Global Warming Solutions Act will be on California’s economic prospects. The AB 32 Implementation Group commissioned a preliminary analysis of the CARB’s new study from the consulting group T2 and Associates. The consulting group is headed by Tom Tanton who is also a senior fellow at the libertarian Pacific Research Institute. The T2 analysis estimates that AB 32 will reduce California’s gross state product by 2 percent at a cost about $700 per person and result in the net loss of about 485,000 jobs by 2020.

The AB 32 Implementation Group is seeking to put an initiative on California’s November ballot that would delay the adoption of AB 32’s carbon rationing scheme until California’s unemployment rate dropped below 5.5 percent. Originally entitled the “California Jobs Initiative,” it has been retitled by California State Attorney General (and soon to be Democratic gubernatorial candidate) Jerry Brown to the somewhat less catchy, “Suspends Air Pollution Control Laws Requiring Major Polluters To Report And Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions That Cause Global Warming Until Unemployment Drops Below Specified Level For Full Year Initiative.” Supporters of carbon rationing point out that the initiative is being backed by out-of-state oil companies.

The initiative—however colorfully titled—will likely get on the ballot. Just today, Next 10 released a poll that finds that a majority of Californians still support AB 32, especially if the funds collected through the cap-and-trade scheme are mostly rebated to state residents. Support has eroded a bit, falling from 83 percent in 2007 to 69 percent today, but it remains to be seen how Californians will react once the campaign against the 2012 implementation of carbon rationing takes off. Already, the two leading Republican candidates for governor, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and state insurance commissioner Steve Poizner, are urging a go-slow approach on implementing AB 32. If the economically dispirited voters in the Golden State appear ready to deep six California’s ambitious climate regulations, the prospects of Congress passing a similar national carbon rationing plan this year will look bleak indeed.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


7 April, 2010

Democrats consider big gamble on global warming plan

On the heels of their improbable passage of a massive health care bill, Democrats are weighing an ambitious global warming bill that few lawmakers were even willing to consider just months ago.

"After seeing health care reform pass, it seems to me they can pass any bill they want if they set their minds to it," said Marc Morano, a global warming skeptic and former top aide to Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.,

Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., are expected to unveil their bill the week of April 19 in order to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has suggested he'll try to tackle it this year.

"The leader has been wonderfully committed to making this congress the one that finally passes comprehensive energy and climate legislation," Kerry spokeswoman Whitney Smith told the Washington Examiner.

But Reid stopped short of promising to bring the bill to the Senate floor. Whether he does so will depend on how much support he can get from within his own caucus, where he will likely meet opposition from lawmakers representing oil and coal producing states as well as tax-averse moderates.

The bill calls for reducing carbon emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. The bill aims to draw in moderate Democrats and Republicans by expanding off-shore drilling, nuclear energy and clean-coal initiatives, though on a limited scale.

"What they are doing is really delivering on all the things both sides of the aisle have promised to do and have campaigned to get done," said Tony Kreindler, spokesman for the Environmental Defense Fund. "The chances of us getting a sensible energy bill out of this Congress are as good as they have ever been."

But other believe the bill's passage in the Senate is improbable, if not impossible, this year as 36 Senate seats are up for grabs and polls show the public wants Congress to focus on legislation aimed at creating jobs and economic growth, not global warming. The Kerry-Lieberman-Graham bill would impose some kind of gasoline tax as well as a cap-and-trade system on electric utilities, which could lead to higher rates.

"The biggest problem is overcoming polling data that show the American public is leery of anything that could be called an energy tax," said Jerry Taylor, an energy policy scholar at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

But health care reform was also unpopular in polls, yet Democrats cobbled together enough support to pass it last month. Morano, who now runs the Web site Climate Depot, said Democrats may decide it is "now or never" for a climate bill.

"If they fail this year to get any kind of cap and trade system in place, they are looking at years into the political wilderness when it comes to addressing global warming," Morano said. "We are talking about at least four to eight years before they have another real shot at passing this."


High Sticking: The Flaws of the IPCC and the Hockey Stick Model

Rajendra Pachauri , chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), responded to the errors exposed in the IPCC report saying that “Scientists are demonised because of one error in 3000 pages of evidence.” Truth be told, there were several errors uncovered in the report including questionable sources in the assessment of mountain ice reduction in the Andes, Alps and Africa as well as acknowledged overstating crop loss in Africa, Amazon rain forest depletion, sea level increases in the Netherlands. But Pachauri only acknowledges that the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035 or sooner was speculative at best. The reality is the IPCC reports have significant flaws; they simply aren’t picked up by the mainstream media.

Take the hockey stick theory, for instance. The theory is best explained by a graph that shows a time-series of global temperatures with current and future temperatures increasing at such rapid rates that it resembles the blade of a hockey stick. The graph appeared six times in the IPCC’s 2001 report. Andrew Montford’s new book, The Hockey Stick Illusion, reveals that the problems with the hockey stick theory go back much further than Climategate. In a review of the book, the Prospect Magazine’s Matt Ridley writes:

“The emails that were leaked from the University of East Anglia late last year are not proof of this; they are merely the icing on the lake, proof that some of the scientists closest to the hockey stick knew all along that it was problematic. Andrew Montford’s book, despite its subtitle, is not about the emails, which are tagged on as a last chapter. It is instead built around the long, lonely struggle of one man— Stephen McIntyre—to understand how the hockey stick was made, with what data and what programs. A retired mining entrepreneur with a mathematical bent, McIntyre asked the senior author of the hockey stick graph, Michael Mann, for the data and the programs in 2003, so he could check it himself. This was five years after the graph had been published, but Mann had never been asked for them before. McIntyre quickly found errors: mislocated series, infilled gaps, truncated records, old data extrapolated forwards where new was available, and so on.

Not all the data showed a 20th century uptick either. In fact just 20 series out of 159 did, and these were nearly all based on tree rings. In some cases, the same tree ring sets had been used in different series. In the end the entire graph got its shape from a few bristlecone and foxtail pines in the western United States; a messy tree-ring data set from the Gaspé Peninsula in Canada; another Canadian set that had been truncated 17 years too early called, splendidly, Twisted Tree Heartrot Hill; and a superseded series from Siberian larch trees. There were problems with all these series: for example, the bristlecone pines were probably growing faster in the 20th century because of more carbon dioxide in the air, or recovery after “strip bark” damage, not because of temperature change.

This was bad enough; worse was to come. Mann soon stopped cooperating, yet, after a long struggle, McIntyre found out enough about Mann’s programs to work out what he had done. The result was shocking. He had standardised the data by “short-centering” them—essentially subtracting them from a 20th century average rather than an average of the whole period. This meant that the principal component analysis “mined” the data for anything with a 20th century uptick, and gave it vastly more weight than data indicating, say, a medieval warm spell.”

Ridley’s book isn’t the only evidence. Fred Singer recently published an 800 page report entitled, “Climate Change Reconsidered” that questions and debunks many of the conclusions found by the IPCC report. An article written last year by Kesten C. Green, J. Scott Armstrong and scientist Willie Soon write that scientists in many respects are being paid to make, at best, guesses or projections of how climate change actually works and what temperatures will be like in the future. They say, “The models employed by James Hansen and the IPCC are not based on scientific forecasting principles. There is no empirical evidence that they provide long-term forecasts that are as accurate as forecasting that global average temperatures won’t change. Hansen’s, and the IPCC’s, forecasts, and the recommendations based on them, should be ignored.”

This especially includes costly regulations on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases our government is willing to impose because the IPCC recommends CO2 is a threat to our health and environment.


Global warming: 'Proof' there is no central funding or organisation of skeptics

If Exxon or Koch was funding opposition to climate change, right about now they'd be asking for their money back. The last few months have seen the establishment consensus take body blow after body blow without appearing even bruised.

The reason the establishment is emerging unscathed from Climategate and the Copenhagen disaster is precisely because the opposition is not organised. Oh, I don't doubt that Exxon and Koch give money to conservative thinktanks, and that those thinktanks occasionally write articles opposing the establishment view. But that's a bit different.

The reason I'm sure there is no central direction of opposition is that there are no central directives.

This battle may be about science, it may be about politics--hey, it might even be about policy! But the battle is being fought in and through the media.

Anyone who understands how the media works knows immediately that there is no centrally funded, centrally organised campaign against global warming.

First, there is no calendar. Editors assign reporters to cover events and produce x amount of words or airtime to fill a hole in the product--newspaper, magazine, news show, whatever. The most valuable tool an editor has is a calendar. So every centrally funded, centrally organised campaign in the world that wants to get media coverage supplies calendar items for editors to use. There is no such calendar for skeptics or other opponents of global warming consensus. Ergo, there is no centrally funded or centrally organised campaign.

Second, there are no (or extremely few) phony pseudo-events that exist only to generate media coverage. There are no bikini-clad polar pears handing out Eskimo Pies at travelling skeptic circuses, and media campaigns for the events that do exist (such as the recent film, Not Evil, Just Wrong) are so obviously home-grown as to be evidence in themselves that there is no central direction.

Third, there is no central story-holder. Real Climate has on its website pretty much the whole book on global warming from its point of view, from basics to esoterics. There is no skeptic equivalent--no ready resource to send a reporter to for handy references.

Fourth, there is no co-ordination between the various actors opposing the consensus. No round-robins, no tag teams, no hierarchy such as exists on the other side, where there is a distinct division between first and second tier sources.

Finally, other than the websites that contain skeptic or lukewarmer 'product,' there is no outbound communications program at all. The closest thing I've seen in my inbox is Marc Morano's email for his site Climate Depot--but it only provides links to stories that have already been published. (Now, if he was taking orders from Koch or Exxon, you can be sure there would be a part of the email that hinted at what was coming that week.)

In other words, there is pretty convincing evidence that there is no co-ordinated media strategy used on behalf of skeptics or lukewarmers. They've stayed ahead of the game so far because they have a handful of useful aggregators and their own unruly sense of independence (and stubbornness) to keep them going.

But because they have none of the above-mentioned tools, they haven't had much of an impact, either. Which is why Phil Jones and Rajendra Pachauri may keep their jobs, and why the shoddy standards of climate science may take a long time to improve.

It's all job security for me, of course. As was mentioned during the recent inquiry by the UK House of Commons, Steve Mosher and I have written a book about the leaked emails that have caused so much controversy. The title is Climategate: The CRUtape Letters.


New mileage restrictions, but under what justification?

The Obama administration announced on Thursday it will require vehicles to average 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, requiring an estimated price hike of roughly $1,000 per car. Aside from pricing people out of cars and into bicycles – which seems to be the favored transportation of the left, as popularized out of necessity in poverty-stricken Third World countries such as North Korea and Bangladesh – what is the justification for such vehicle mileage restrictions?

Proponents of the restrictions focus on two asserted reasons: (1) the restrictions will actually save consumers money over the long run because they will be purchasing less gasoline and (2) the restrictions fight global warming because carbon dioxide emissions will fall as less gasoline is used. Both of these assertions are flawed and ignore more significant negative consequences of the new restrictions.

The asserted cost savings are quite deceptive. After all, who doesn’t want to save money? The answer, in the real world, is provided by the millions of people who forego purchasing a Kia Rio or a Smart car each year and instead choose to purchase a Chevy Malibu or a Dodge 300. People already have the option to purchase small, high-mileage vehicles that will save them money over the long term, but they choose not to. There are many reasons for this. Larger, heavier cars protect people better in automobile accidents. Parents with teenagers prefer not to permanently disfigure their children’s legs and spines by forcing them to sit in contorted positions to actually fit in the backseat of a glorified clownmobile. Some families have several children and need a larger vehicle, such as a minvan or SUV, to travel together as a family.

Much of the expected gains in fuel economy will be accomplished by jacking up the price of larger vehicles in order to nudge consumers into vehicles they don’t really want. When consumers purchase these smaller, higher-mileage vehicles, the fact that they save a little money in the long run is little consolation. If saving money was their highest priority, Kia Rios and Smart cars would dominate the automobile market.

And when you think about it, why not ban designer clothes, too? That would save consumers quite a bit of many, also. If everyone had to buy their clothes from Target or Wal-Mart, wouldn’t we all save money in the long run? What’s the sacrifice of a little freedom and style when government can force us to save money?

The global warming issue makes even less sense. Global temperatures show no sign of rapid acceleration, and have not risen at all for more than a decade. A single country getting a few more miles per gallon per vehicle wouldn’t make a significant difference even if global warming were a problem. Moreover, if cars attain more miles per gallon, consumers will drive their cars more frequently, negating much of the projected savings in gasoline use. Do we really want to restrict individual freedom to purchase desired goods and services to achieve negligible “gains” regarding such a speculative and fraud-ridden issue as global warming?

While the asserted benefits of the new vehicle restrictions are speculative and insignificant, proponents of the new restrictions have been remarkably silent about vehicle safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration projects the new restrictions will kill 400 people per year due to lighter, less crashworthy vehicles. If any private sector product or activity killed this many people per year, Keith Olbermann would call it the Worst Product in the World, people would be marching in the streets, and government would surely ban such a wicked manifestation of free market excess. But if the government is involved, and the restrictions can be connected to environmental dream weavers, then surely several hundred Americans can be sacrificed for such a noble purpose.


Ethanol Subsidies Drive Up Cost

The Environmental Protection Agency wants to dump more corn into your fuel tank this summer, and it's going to cost more than you think.

The agency is expected to approve a request from 52 ethanol producers known collectively as "Growth Energy" to boost existing requirements that gasoline contain 10 percent ethanol to 15 percent. The change means billions more in government subsidies for companies in the business of growing corn and converting it into ethanol. For the rest of us, it means significantly higher gasoline and food prices.

It's time that this shameless corporate welfare gets plowed under.

In 2007, members of Congress joined with the Bush administration in mandating by government fiat the annual sale of 36 billion gallons of ethanol by 2022. To meet the ambitious sales targets, the EPA has little choice but to approve the 15 percent ethanol fuel blend. Big Corn's advocates claim that forcing Americans to use this renewable fuel would reduce dependency on Mideast oil and lead to cleaner air. It's just as likely, however, that they want to get their hands on the $16 billion a year from the 45-cent-per-gallon "blender's tax credit" - in addition to the various state and federal mandates giving us no choice but to pump their pricey product into our fuel tanks.

The benefits are overstated. According to the EPA, reduction in foreign imports will result in $3.7 billion in "energy security benefits" at the expense of $18 billion in increased fuel costs by 2022. Environmental testing has proved inconclusive, as certain types of pollutants increase when ethanol content increases. It should be noted that the EPA's track record on "environmental" gasoline additives includes Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE), a possible carcinogen whose once-mandated use has contaminated groundwater across the country.

Ethanol's environmental credentials are further weakened by its inefficiency as a fuel. Higher ethanol concentration will reduce the gas mileage of America's cars across the board by 5.3 percent. In addition to the pain that adds at the pump, repair bills will mount when engines not designed to handle 15 percent ethanol run lean and suffer increased wear and misfires. Because vehicle warranties specifically exclude damage from the use of unapproved fuels, the additional price for this boondoggle will fall on drivers.

The same problem hits gas stations where pumps and underground storage tanks are not certified for use with elevated ethanol levels. The cost of replacing perfectly good equipment will, once again, be passed on to the consumer.

Even those who do not own automobiles will begin to feel the pinch as more and more farm land is shifted towards taking advantage of government-subsidized ethanol production instead of food. Groups as diverse as the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Chicken Council and the American Meat Institute realize that this policy is distorting the market for food prices.

According to the University of Missouri's Farm and Policy Research Institute, the ethanol tax credit increases corn prices by 18 cents a barrel, wheat by 15 cents and soybeans by 28 cents. That means higher prices for most food items at the grocery store and restaurants.

There simply is no justification - environmental or otherwise - for this interventionist scheme. With the economy reeling, consumers can no longer afford to bankroll the politically connected agricultural lobby. The EPA should reject the 15 percent ethanol requirement and Congress should send Big Corn's rent seekers elsewhere with the repeal of all ethanol subsidies.


Close enough for government work

The EPA and Energy Department are caught fudging efficiency ratings

Part of President Obama's health care bill depends on the government telling doctors and hospitals what are purportedly the most efficient medical procedures they should use. Americans are supposed to trust Mr. Obama's bureaucrats over their own doctors. Meanwhile, a new report from the Government Accountability Office shows that the Obama administration has been an utter failure at identifying the efficiency of a wide range of products. As government encroaches on more aspects of American life, the federal bureaucracy is increasingly incompetent.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy are charged with identifying how energy-efficient different products are. They claim that 98 percent of the products they test meet or exceed Energy Star requirements, which are government benchmarks used to regulate greater efficiency. Yet a sting by GAO investigators showed that the government agencies incorrectly identified as "efficient" 15 of 20 bogus products submitted by GAO for testing. No action was taken on two of the 20 products. Overall, the government made the correct decision on 11 percent of the test products.

As the Washington saying forewarns, the difference between 98 percent and 11 percent is close enough for government work.

Most disturbingly, the absurd products in question shouldn't have been close calls. Take the so-called "room air cleaner." The product was a space heater with a duster sticking out of the top and several fly strips attached. The picture submitted to the government of the bogus product is pretty hilarious - but the bureaucracy gave the contraption the federal stamp of approval.

Among the other ridiculous items the government certified as energy-efficient was a petroleum-powered timepiece that was described as a "generator-sized clock run on gasoline." Such a machine obviously would be energy-inefficient. Moving the heavy beast alone would keep greens awake at night worrying about wasted energy, making the alarm on the clock superfluous.

News of these phony approvals has bureaucrats running for high ground. While defensively insisting that they take the tests "seriously," the EPA and Energy Department immediately issued a statement defending their testing and telling the public it should not lose confidence in the government program to monitor efficiency ratings. Incorrigibly, the feds again pointed to their own discredited 98 percent accuracy rate and implausibly claimed the Energy Star program has so far saved Americans $17 billion on their electricity bills.

However much the EPA and Energy Department protest, government agencies will never be as careful as private companies in getting consumers what they want. Shareholders lose their own money if they deceive consumers. If a business had an accuracy rate that was 87 percent lower than what it claimed, few customers would line up to buy its products. Just consider how quickly people stopped buying Toyotas amid charges of dangerous brake failure and electrical problems in a small percentage of the millions of cars sold by the Japanese automaker whose main selling point is reliability.

Given Mr. Obama's massive expansion of the federal leviathan, the defeatist quip "close enough for government work" could become the refrain for a new national anthem.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


6 April, 2010

Reply to The New Yorker

In the usual Green/Left style, The New Yorker has published a very embittered article about climate skepticism that focuses heavily on personalities and politics while ignoring any consideration of the science. Joe Bastardi, AccuWeather's Senior Long Range Meteorologist, was attacked and mocked at the outset of the article. Below is his reply

We finally have an objective way of measuring global temperatures [satellites], and the Warmists are obviously afraid that the resultant answer is wrong.

I am growing weary of stating the obvious.. in a fight that is a side issue to me. My agenda is nailing the weather, not saving the planet. I believe what I believe based on research to get to the correct forecast on anywhere from a day to a multi-decadal trend.

That the IPCC is being shown to have got it wrong on lower tropospheric temps, upper tropospheric temps, the stratosphere, the positive feedback, and that the "death to the icecap" people have now also been beaten back, at least for the time being, should make any person of goodwill understand there is room for a debate here. Which is what I advocate in the spirit of what has made this nation great, the exchange without fear of ideas in the open forum.

It's not a debate I want to be in, but one I want to watch to make sure I have all the ideas in front of me. What could possibly be wrong with this cry for sanity in this matter?

A nation that has homeless and uninsured should not be dumping money into chasing something that may not be there, when we have problems that are here. I am sorry that my old New England John Kennedy roots come out with that statement, actual concern for what I know to be rather than a ghost that may not be there.

A nation that has built itself, in spite of its faults, on the freedom to confront the truth will not survive if those freedoms are discouraged and hard realities are not confronted.

Obviously these people think that MAN MADE global warming is a hard reality. I say there is room for debate and this debate can be settled in the next 20 years based on the now homogeneous way of measuring temperatures via satellite.

Of more importance is to actually get a way to handle the kinetic energy budget, as warming in the arctic is not the same as warming in the tropics, where a small drop in temperature (as you will see again with the La Nina this fall and winter and after what I think is a big atlantic hurricane season cools the tropical waters there again) can easily offset a rise in the arctic.

But only people with an open mind can think like this, and that is all I ask, people look at all the information for themselves.

I have made my forecast, that by 2030 we will return to where we were at the end of the last cold PDO, in the 70s. No one on the AGW side of the issue ever had defined the optimum temp or co2 levels that are ideal for the planet. At the very least I am willing to make a forecast based on what I know, not on what I don't know.

Joe is on vacation so the reply above was received by email in first draft form with a request that it be tidied up grammatically etc. -- which I have done -- JR

Senators Question Flawed NASA Climate Data

After admitting that the United States' own climate data was worse than the Climategate-tainted University of East Anglia’s, two U.S. Senators are demanding answers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

“In light of recent revelations and scientific reports, we are contacting you regarding our continued concerns with the apparent declining credibility of United States climate data," wrote Senators John Barraso of Wyoming and Louisiana’s David Vitter in a letter to NASA administrator Charles Bolden. "With almost ten percent unemployment, America cannot afford to base its energy policy on flawed data."

After a series of scandals and blatant errors largely discredited the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that warned of disastrous global warming, the letter explains that policymakers turned to American data as a sort of back up. "Unfortunately, it appears that U.S. data is equally flawed and corrupted by questionable scientific practices," the Senators stated.

The letter refers to information obtained from NASA by the Competitive Enterprise Institute under a Freedom of Information Act request. In the documents, a senior scientist from the space agency advised a reporter that NASA’s climate data is inferior to the Climategate-spoiled records from the UEA’s disgraced Climatic Research Unit — and that NASA’s information is partially derived from the CRU’s flawed data.

Also casting doubt on U.S. climate data is an investigation by meteorologists Alan Watts and Joseph D’Aleo. “The study highlighted that among many other data integrity issues, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and NOAA have not only reduced the total number of weather stations that they gather climate data from, but have 'cherry picked' the ones that remain by choosing sites in relatively warmer places," explained the Senators’ letter.

The results of the investigation — which also concluded that some 90 percent of weather stations do not even meet the government’s own standards on the appropriate distance of stations from biasing influences like roads or airports — are available at

A former NASA physicist’s study is also cited in the letter, fueling even more questions about the agency’s “science.” Dr. Edward Long, who released the results of an investigation in late February, concluded that "GISS, over a 10-year period has modified their data by progressively lowering temperature values for far-back dates and raising those in the more recent past." And after reviewing the study, the Senators concluded in their letter that the result of NASA's methodology had been to "dramatically change the true temperature record of the United States."

The lawmakers noted that they had “serious concerns” about the recent reports. They also invited NASA chief Bolden to testify before the Senate on the credibility of the agency’s data. “The American people deserve to know the facts about the science behind our policies,” they explained.

Another prominent U.S. Senator, Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe, called for investigations of some climate scientists after a report prepared for his Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee concluded that there were potentially criminal activities involved. Even the former head of the UN’s climate-change panel has called for an inquiry into an apparent “warming bias” by government climate researchers.

In an interview with Fox News about the letter and NASA’s climate data, Senator Barraso also criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate carbon dioxide — a gas exhaled by humans and essential to plant life. "When the administration is trying to make an endangerment finding on carbon dioxide, I think it's reckless to make such huge decisions affecting American jobs and the American economy based on data that may not be reliable, and seems to be contaminated," he said. "I don't think the facts bear out, at this point. You wonder if it's more about politics than it is about science."

But amidst all of the scandals, NASA’s climate research programs are set to increase their funding by a whooping $2.4 billion, or 62 percent through 2015, according to the Washington Post. “The budget increase reflects both a campaign promise by President Obama to focus far more on the threat of climate change and what NASA officials called a ‘philosophical shift’ on the issue,” the paper reported.

Without an even greater outcry from citizens, the governments of the world will continue pouring the people’s resources into this scam. There is too much at stake for them to go down quietly. But as illustrated by the seemingly never-ending stream of scandals, errors, and lies, the climate crusade is imploding, and fast.

The IPCC report has already been all but debunked after a long series of scandals and obvious errors were uncovered. Many American politicians and officials distanced themselves from the flawed report after the revelations, claiming they were relying instead on U.S. government data. But now, it has become obvious that NASA and other American agencies in charge of U.S. “climate science” have been providing less-than-accurate information as well.

As reported recently by The New American magazine, global-warming alarmism is dying a slow death. The recent NASA scandals are just a new chapter in the rapid unraveling of the campaign to convince people around the world to pay carbon taxes to global authorities. And as documented in an earlier article for The New American magazine from the UN Copenhagen global-warming summit, the anti-science climate alarmist agenda is clear: more taxes, more regulation, more government, and less freedom.

With a poll from October of last year showing that barely a third of Americans believed in human-caused global warming, the alarmists were clearly already losing the battle for public opinion. And that was before the recent exposure of all the mistakes and scandals, which also made it clear that alarmists are losing in the scientific arena as well. But governments have vast sums of money at their disposal, and Obama made it abundantly clear when he rammed through healthcare “reform” despite massive opposition that public opinion will not alter his agenda.

Stopping governments from saddling the people of the world with economy-destroying taxes and regulations is a crucial fight. But it will be long and hard. To win, a groundswell of Americans even larger than the opposition to health “reform” must demand an end to unconstitutional EPA carbon regulations and put a stop to the billions in funding for bogus climate “science.” If legislators refuse to listen, they must be removed from office as soon as the next elections permit.


CNN Weather Guy says government-paid Climate Scientists mostly need to be Warmists to keep their jobs

On Tuesday, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers accused climate scientists of corruption, saying that because they “work for the government,” they could lose their jobs if they didn’t say man-made global warming was real. In an interview with CNN’s Ali “Clean Coal” Velshi, Myers responded to a New York Times article that television meteorologists widely believe that man-made global warming is a hoax, in stark contrast to actual climate scientists. After admitting that “man has a lot to do with” the rising global temperatures, Myers went on the attack:

I also think it has something to do — follow the money a little bit. Meteorologists aren’t paid by the government, the ones on TV, the climatologists are. If there’s nothing to talk about, will their jobs really be all that secure? So, follow the money a little bit, I think you’ll find 10% and 15% and every little corner has to do with it.

Myers’ implication of a widespread conspiracy to doctor science for cash seems odd, coming from someone who almost without doubt makes considerably more money than any climate scientist on the planet. The television industry — unlike scientific research — is driven by pursuit of controversy, not accuracy. Myers, who has a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Nebraska, had been a denier of man-made global warming as recently as 2008, telling Lou Dobbs, “To think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant.”


500 scientists support Attorney General Greg Abbott's lawsuit against EPA and global warming

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot recently filed a lawsuit against the federal government regarding global warming a subject that is much discussed when people get together here in Wichita Falls it seems. How does global warming affect people in Wichita Falls? How will any changes in the government's plans of reducing global warming affect jobs in Wichita Falls if it is determined that it is not man-made?

The national news media has headlined Abbott's lawsuit as the first of its kind. What is the basis for this lawsuit?

Abbott is challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's finding that gases blamed for global warming threaten public safety.

More than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting the current man-made global warming scare, according to a new analysis of peer-reviewed literature by the Hudson Institute.

Dennis Avery, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, said, "Of the 500 scientists who have refuted at least one element of the global warming theory, more than 300 have found evidence that a natural moderate 1,500 climate cycle has produced more than a dozen global warmings similar to the current circumstances since the last Ice Age and that such warnings are linked to variations in the sun's irradiance."

Avery reached the conclusion that, "This data and the list of scientists make a mockery of recent claims that a scientific consensus blames humans as the primary cause of global temperature increases since 1850."

At stake are hundreds of thousands of jobs in Texas with energy companies if the Environmental Protection Agency is allowed to further regulate carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases based on the global warming theory. How many jobs could be lost in Wichita Falls. That is yet to be known.

Also at issue are whether imposing costly regulations on energy businesses is a smart move as the nation struggles to emerge from recession.

Abbott stated in his petition for his lawsuit that, "The EPA improperly relied on the scientific conclusions of other groups, particularly the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to make the endangerment finding on heat-trapping gases."

Texas Governor Rick Perry has agreed with the Abbott that the federal finding is inaccurate regarding global warming.

The issue of global warming exploded across the world with the release of the film that former Vice President Al Gore made called "An Inconvenient Truth" which won an Oscar. It has now been put in book form and become mandatory reading for many students in public schools.

Greg Abbott mentioned in his lawsuit against the feds that, "There clearly is lying, falsification, cover-ups etcetera that are going on here(in the federal government report)."

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is also attempting to strip the agency of its power to regulate climate-altering emissions.


Pay Attention Parents: It's Almost Earth Day!

Few adults may know it, but kids across the country are about to celebrate a holiday: Earth Day, which is April 22. Schools will take a break from normal instruction to discuss the importance of preserving the environment. That may sound like a harmless activity, but too often Earth Day becomes a platform for pushing an ideological brand of environmentalism. Parents need to pay attention and ask their children's teachers what's their plans are for Earth Day.

Unlike most holidays, Earth Day expressly focuses on youth. No gifts will be exchanged and no Easter Bunny will deliver jelly beans in biodegradable packages (undoubtedly the process of refining all that sugar alone offends true Earth Day enthusiasts), but galvanizing young people to become involved in protecting the environment is the day's express purpose.

The first Earth Day was held in 1970. Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day's founder, endeavored to bring national attention to the cause of improving the environment. He saw the success of anti-war activists in raising awareness about their cause through demonstration and “teach-ins.” He wanted to enlist the same spirit in the cause of the environment. Today, schools across the country—and even around the world—participate in Earth Day events.

This sounds like a smashing success. And not just for Senator Nelson and environmentalists, but for all of us who benefit from a healthy, clean environment. After all, we all want to protect the planet and have the next generation grow up appreciating nature and the importance of maintaining our natural habitat.

Yet Earth Day organizers too often go beyond promoting that simple message and use the occasion as a platform for advancing a political ideology. Global warming, for example, is a frequent topic on Earth Day. Schools tend to echo the message of global warming alarmists, claiming that man is causing temperatures to rise with potentially catastrophic consequences for our planet and mankind. Many schools even show Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth. That film may have won an Academy Award, but it is widely recognized as propaganda, with a judge in the United Kingdom finding that it grossly exaggerates even the most dire predictions about global warming's potential harm.

Schools shouldn't be frightening our children with misleading information about environmental threats. Research shows that children already have a disproportionate fear of global warming. One study reported that: “Nearly 4 in 5 kids saw global warming as “a very serious problem,” 3 in 4 saw it as “a threat to all life on the planet” and about 2 in 3 felt global warming is “a threat to my future well-being and safety,” and “feel afraid of what might happen.”

Instead of adding to this alarmism, schools should provide students with some balance by presenting evidence from scientists who don't believe we are experiencing unprecedented warming or that warming is caused by man's activities.

One parent in Indiana, a PhD scientist, decided he'd had enough of his children being given a one-sided perspective on global warming. On the last Earth Day, his children's school was set for a school-wide showing of An Inconvenient Truth—that would have been the third time his kids had to watch the movie as a part of their school day. He began talking to teachers. He then went to the principal, and then the school board. He urged them to at least provide the other side of the story, informing them of another film they could show: Not Evil, Just Wrong, which analyzes some of the misleading information presented in An Inconvenient Truth. Not Evil, Just Wrong also highlights alternative theories about what might cause changes in temperatures and the potential consequence in terms of job loss and poverty of the policies that are being advanced in the name of combating climate change.

That parent in Indiana has been rebuffed by school administrators. So he is taking his case to the public. Unlike the opposition, he isn't trying to silence global warming alarmists. He just wants both perspectives to be presented to students. After all, just because it is Earth Day, schools aren't supposed to abandon their mission to educate students, provide facts, and encourage them to draw conclusions on their own.

Other parents need to find out about their schools' plans for Earth Day, and encourage teachers to give their students the balanced education they need and deserve. Schools aren't supposed to engage in indoctrination, no matter what day it is on the calendar.


What's the Next 'Global Warming'?

Herewith I propose a contest to invent the next panic


So global warming is dead, nailed into its coffin one devastating disclosure, defection and re-evaluation at a time. Which means that pretty soon we're going to need another apocalyptic scare to take its place.

As recently as October, the Guardian reported that scientists at Cambridge had "concluded that the Arctic is now melting at such a rate that it will be largely ice free within ten years." This was supposedly due to global warming. It brought with it the usual lamentations for the grandchildren.

But in March came another report in the Guardian, this time based on the research of Japanese scientists, that "much of the record breaking loss of ice in the Arctic ocean in recent years is [due] to the region's swirling winds and is not a direct result of global warming." It also turns out that the extent of Arctic sea ice in March was around the recorded average, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

The difference between the two stories has little to do with science: There were plenty of reasons back in October to suspect that the Arctic ice panic—based on data that only goes back to 1979—was as implausible as the now debunked claim about disappearing Himalayan glaciers. But thanks to Climategate and the Copenhagen fiasco, the media are now picking up the kinds of stories they previously thought it easier and wiser to ignore.

This is happening internationally. In France, a book titled "L'imposture climatique" is a runaway bestseller: Its author, Claude Allègre, is one of the country's most acclaimed scientists and a former minister of education in a Socialist government. In Britain, environmentalist patron saint James Lovelock now tells the BBC he suspects climate scientists have "[fudged] the data" and that if the planet is going to be saved, "it will save itself, as it always has done." In Germany, the leftish Der Spiegel devotes 15 pages to a deliciously detailed account of "scientists who want to be politicians," the "curious inconsistencies" in the temperature record, the "sloppy work" of the U.N.'s climate-change panel and sundry other sins of modern climatology.

As for the United States, Gallup reports that global warming now ranks sixth on the list of Americans' top 10 environmental concerns. My wager is that within a few years "climate change" will exercise global nerves about as much as overpopulation, toxic tampons, nuclear winters, ozone holes, killer bees, low sperm counts, genetically modified foods and mad cows do today.

Something is going to have to take its place.

The world is now several decades into the era of environmental panic. The subject of the panic changes every few years, but the basic ingredients tend to remain fairly constant. A trend, a hypothesis, an invention or a discovery disturbs the sense of global equilibrium. Often the agent of distress is undetectable to the senses, like a malign spirit. A villain—invariably corporate and right-wing—is identified.

Then money begins to flow toward grant-seeking institutions and bureaucracies, which have an interest in raising the level of alarm. Environmentalists counsel their version of virtue, typically some quasi-totalitarian demands on the pattern of human behavior. Politicians assemble expert panels and propose sweeping and expensive legislation. Eventually, the problem vanishes. Few people stop to consider that perhaps it wasn't such a crisis in the first place.

This is what's called eschatology—a belief, or psychology, that we are approaching the End Time. Religions have always found a way to take account of those beliefs, but today's secular panics are unmoored by spiritual consolations or valid moral injunctions. Instead, we have the modern-day equivalent of the old Catholic indulgence in the form of carbon credits. It's how Al Gore justifies his utility bills.

Given the inescapability of weather, it's no wonder global warming gripped the public mind as long as it did. And there's always some extreme-weather event happening somewhere to be offered as further evidence of impending catastrophe. But even weather gets boring, and so do the people who natter about it incessantly. What this decade requires is a new and better panic.

Herewith, then, I propose a readers' contest to invent the next panic. It must involve something ubiquitous, invisible to the naked eye, and preferably mass-produced. And the solution must require taxes, regulation, and other changes to civilization as we know it. The winner gets a beer and a burger, on me, at the 47th street Pig N' Whistle in New York City. (Nachos for vegetarians.) Happy panicking!



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


5 April, 2010

Arctic ice recovers from the great melt

But Warmists are keeping the faith. The huge amount of crowing they did about the 2007 melt does not allow similar crowing from skeptics now, it seems. The average rooster is more profound than they are

IF you thought it was cold in Britain for the time of year, you should see what is happening around the North Pole. Scientists have discovered that the size of the Arctic ice cap has increased sharply to levels not seen since 2001.

A shift in the chilly winds across the Bering Sea over the past few months has caused thousands of square miles of ocean to freeze. The same phenomenon, known as the Arctic Oscillation, is also partly responsible for the cold winter experienced in northern Europe and eastern America.

It allowed icy blasts of air to escape from the Arctic and make their way southwards. Provisional Met Office figures for December to February suggest the UK had its coldest winter since 1979, with an average temperature of 1.6C — a full 2.1C below normal. Last week a teenager was killed in Scotland when a school bus crashed in the snow — just days into British Summer Time.

The Arctic Oscillation usually acts like a ring of strong winds circulating anti-clockwise around the North Pole to dam up cold Arctic air. This year it has turned “negative”, meaning the ring has broken down, allowing blasts of cold air to escape to lower latitudes.

Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Colorado, is surprised by the Arctic’s recovery from the great melt of 2007 when summer ice shrank to its smallest recorded extent. “It has been a crazy winter with Arctic ice cover growing and very cold weather in northern Europe and eastern America all linked to this strongly negative Arctic Oscillation,” Serreze said.

Vicky Pope, a Met Office scientist, said the Arctic Oscillation had affected weather across the hemisphere. “It also played a part in the very warm weather experienced in the Mediterranean, and western Canada, where the winter Olympics were at risk of too little snow,” she said.

Scientists emphasise that the regrowth of ice in the Arctic and the fierce US blizzards are natural variations in weather which have little relevance for long-term climate change. “Records kept by Nasa show that in January and February global average temperatures were actually well above the long-term average by around 0.7C,” Serreze said.

Such caution contrasts with the warnings issued by scientists in 2007 when the north polar ice cap suffered a spectacular summer melt. It hit an all-time low size of 1.65m square miles, about 39% below average, prompting many scientists, including some at the NSIDC, to suggest that global warming had pushed the Arctic to a tipping point from which it might not recover.

By last summer, however, the ice cap had expanded to 2m square miles and this year’s figures show it approaching normal levels for the time of year. “In retrospect, the reactions to the 2007 melt were overstated. The lesson is that we must be more careful in not reading too much into one event,” Serreze said.

The Met Office had taken a more cautious approach in 2007, warning that the melting was a natural variation so the ice was likely to recover.

Scientists have made mistakes over other short-term trends such as increases in tropical storms. In 2004-5 an increase in the number and severity of storms, including Hurricane Katrina, prompted some researchers to suggest a link with global warming — but this was then followed by a decline in storms.

Similar fears were raised in 2005 when scientists at Southampton University published research showing that some deep Atlantic Ocean currents, linked to the Gulf Stream, had slowed by a third.

They issued a press release entitled “Could the Atlantic current switch off?” which suggested that circulation in the ocean, which gives Europe its temperate climate, might shut down. But more recent studies have shown that such currents slow down and speed up naturally, so short-term changes cannot be seen as evidence of global warming.

“The reality is that greenhouse gases are making the world warmer, but it is a mistake to see short-term changes in weather, currents or Arctic ice cover as evidence of this,” Pope said. “Instead you have to look at long-term trends. These show that Arctic summer sea ice is decreasing by 232,000 square miles a decade, nearly 2.5 times the area of Great Britain. “On current trends it will still become ice-free in summer by around 2060.”


Pesky tree rings

A decline that the Warmists were trying to hide

Two tenets of AGW theory are 1) tree-ring paleoclimate data reconstructs an accurate portrayal of the climate of the past [except when scientists don't like what it shows, call it a "divergence problem" and hide the decline] and 2) the poles should show the most warming of all.

Unfortunately, the Scots pines in the Torneträsk area within the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden around 68.5°N have not received the memo on AGW as of 2004. A 2008 paper shows that the updated Torneträsk data "show a trend of -0.3°C over the last 1,500 years". The trees also say that the end of the Little Ice Age in the late 1800's was the lowest temperature over the past 1,500 years, and according to ice core data was the lowest temperature in the past 10,000 years.

By pure chance, this exceptionally cold period is also the same time the global temperature record (HADCRU) begins in 1850. Thus, the global thermometer record showing increasing temperatures in the 20th century mostly represents the recovery from the lowest temperatures of the past 10,000 years during the Little Ice Age. The Torneträsk pines insist that the rate of temperature increase and temperature anomaly of the 20th century was not unprecedented and was less than that of the Medieval Warming Period (~850-1200AD). From the abstract:

"The new data show generally higher temperature estimates than previous reconstructions based on Torneträsk tree-ring data. The late-twentieth century, however, is not exceptionally warm in the new record: On decadal-to-centennial timescales, periods around ad 750, 1000, 1400, and 1750 were equally warm, or warmer. The 200-year long warm period centered on ad 1000 was significantly warmer than the late-twentieth century (p < 0.05) and is supported by other local and regional paleoclimate data. The new tree-ring evidence from Torneträsk suggests that this “Medieval Warm Period” in northern Fennoscandia was much warmer than previously recognized."

As the infamous Phil Jones recently admitted in an interview

"Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today, then obviously the late 20th Century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm than today, then the current warmth would be unprecedented"

OK Phil, here ya go: Medieval Warming Period was Global

More HERE (See the original for links)

A Superstorm for Global Warming Research

From "Spiegel", a major German popular publication

Plagued by reports of sloppy work, falsifications and exaggerations, climate research is facing a crisis of confidence. How reliable are the predictions about global warming and its consequences? And would it really be the end of the world if temperatures rose by more than the much-quoted limit of two degrees Celsius?

Life has become "awful" for Phil Jones. Just a few months ago, he was a man with an enviable reputation: the head of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, an expert in his field and the father of an alarming global temperature curve that apparently showed how the Earth was heating up as a result of anthropogenic global warming.

Those days are now gone.

Nowadays, Jones, who is at the center of the "Climategate" affair involving hacked CRU emails, needs medication to fall sleep. He feels a constant tightness in his chest. He takes beta-blockers to help him get through the day. He is gaunt and his skin is pallid. He is 57, but he looks much older. He was at the center of a research scandal that hit him as unexpectedly as a rear-end collision on the highway.

His days are now shaped by investigative commissions at the university and in the British Parliament. He sits on his chair at the hearings, looking miserable, sometimes even trembling. The Internet is full of derisive remarks about him, as well as insults and death threats. "We know where you live," his detractors taunt.

Jones is finished: emotionally, physically and professionally. He has contemplated suicide several times recently, and he says that one of the only things that have kept him from doing it is the desire to watch his five-year-old granddaughter grow up.

'100 Percent Confident'

One of the conclusions of his famous statistical analysis of the world's climate is that the average temperature on Earth rose by 0.166 degrees Celsius per decade between 1975 and 1998. This, according to Jones, was the clear result of his research and that of many other scientists.

"I am 100 percent confident that the climate has warmed," Jones says imploringly. "I did not manipulate or fabricate any data."

His problem is that the public doesn't trust him anymore. Since unknown hackers secretly copied 1,073 private emails between members of his research team and published them on the Internet, his credibility has been destroyed -- and so has that of an entire profession that had based much of its work on his research until now.

Those who have always viewed global warming as a global conspiracy now feel a sense of satisfaction. The so-called climate skeptics feel vindicated, because Jones, in his written correspondence with colleagues, all of them leading members of the climate research community, does not come across as an objective scientist, but rather as an activist or missionary who views "his" data as his personal shrine and is intent on protecting it from the critical eyes of his detractors.

An Entire Branch of Science in Crisis

The Climategate affair is grist for the mills of skeptics, who have gained growing support for their cause, particularly in English-speaking countries. What began with hacked emails in the United Kingdom has mushroomed into a crisis affecting an entire scientific discipline. At its center is an elite and highly influential scientific group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Working on behalf of the United Nations, the scientists organized under IPCC's umbrella -- including Phil Jones -- regularly prepare prognoses on the Earth's looming greenhouse climate. Without the IPCC reports, governments would not be embroiled in such passionate debate about phasing out the age of oil and coal.

In late 2007, the IPCC was even awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with former US Vice President Al Gore. IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri, as the personification of the world's conscience, accepted the award on behalf of his organization. "Climate change poses novel risks," Pachauri told his audience, saying that the decision to award the prize to the IPCC was "a clarion call for the protection of the earth as it faces the widespread impacts of climate change." He also warned of the risk of not taking action: "Every year of delay implies a commitment to greater climate change in the future."

Sloppy Work

Since then, the IPCC has experienced a dramatic fall from grace. Less than three years after this triumph, more and more mistakes, evidence of sloppy work and exaggerations in the current IPCC report are appearing. They include Jones' disputed temperature curve, the prediction that all Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 -- which was the result of a simple transposition of numbers -- and the supposed increase in natural disasters, for which no source was given.

In mid-March, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon slammed on the brakes and appointed a watchdog for the IPCC. The InterAcademy Council, a coalition of 15 national academies of science, will review the work of the IPCC by this fall.

There is already a consensus today that deep-seated reforms are needed at the IPCC. The selection of its authors and reviewers was not sufficiently nonpartisan, there was not enough communication among the working groups, and there were no mechanisms on how to handle errors.

Offering the Skeptics an 'Unprotected Flank'

Also at issue is the position of IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri, who is praised as a "leading global thinker" in his official biography. A railroad engineer by trade, Pachauri wrote an erotic novel and recommended that people reduce their meat consumption while traveling around the world to save the climate. He has cut a miserable figure during the current crisis. The climate guru summarily dismissed justified objections to the IPCC report as "voodoo science."

Germany's Leibniz Association, an umbrella group which includes several climate research institutions as its members, is the first professional organization to call for Pachauri's resignation. Leibniz President Ernst Rietschel believes that climate research is now "in a difficult situation" because the skeptics have been "offered an unprotected flank." Rietschel told SPIEGEL: "Rajendra Pachauri should take the responsibility for this and should resign."

On balance, the entire profession has been seriously harmed by the scandal. "We are currently suffering a massive erosion of trust," concludes German climatologist Hans von Storch. "Climate research has been corrupted by politicization, just as nuclear physics was in the pre-Chernobyl days, when we were led to believe that nuclear power plants were completely safe."

No other branch of science is as politically charged. A religious war is raging between alarmists and skeptics, and it threatens to consume levelheaded climatologists. But it is a critical conflict, because it revolves around something as massive as the total restructuring of industrial society, a venture that will cost trillions of euros. Powerful economic interests and unshakeable fundamental beliefs come into play.

The credibility crisis in climatology comes at an extremely unfavorable time. Since the failed December 2009 climate summit in Copenhagen, environment policy has been in a state of shock. US President Barack Obama, for example, has put his initiative for new climate legislation on hold. And last week French President Nicolas Sarkozy reversed his plans to introduce a climate tax, saying: "We will not impose any constraints on our industry yet."

On the other hand, Mohamed Nasheed, the president of the Maldives, an island nation threatened with extinction as a result of rising sea levels, accuses the Americans of engaging in intrigue to make climatology seem ridiculous. During a recent speech in Berlin, Nasheed characterized efforts to discredit climate research as "a diabolical plan."

Unwilling to Pay

Meanwhile, there are growing concerns in Berlin that German citizens could become less willing to pay for costly efforts to protect the climate. A poll conducted on behalf of SPIEGEL already signals a dramatic shift in public opinion and suggests that Germans are losing their fear of climate change. The strong majority of 58 percent who said they feared global warming about three years ago has declined to a minority of 42 percent.

German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen, a member of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), is urging the IPCC to deal with its own errors more proactively. "The IPCC should openly admit its mistakes and correct them," he told SPIEGEL. "It is imperative that trust in the work of the IPCC be restored as quickly as possible."

There are also growing concerns at Germany's Ministry of Education and Research, which is spending €250 million ($338 million) to support climate science this year. Research Minister Annette Schavan has already summoned German IPCC scientists to attend a "meeting to clarify the situation and improve quality assurance." Officials at the ministry are horrified over how unprofessionally the IPCC is organized. "The IPCC's results must be above suspicion, because their impact can cost trillions and have serious political consequences," says Wilfried Kraus, a senior ministry official.

Scientists Who Want to be Politicians

Reinhard Hüttl, head of the German Research Center for Geosciences in Potsdam near Berlin and the president of the German Academy of Science and Engineering, believes that basic values are now under threat. "Scientists should never be as wedded to their theories that they are no longer capable of refuting them in the light of new findings," he says. Scientific research, Hüttl adds, is all about results, not beliefs. Unfortunately, he says, there are more and more scientists who want to be politicians.

"If the revelations about the affair in England turn out to be true, it will be a catastrophe for climatology as a whole," says Hüttl. "We can only monitor ourselves, and if we fail in that endeavor, who can be expected to believe us anymore?"

The British climate research center the Met Office has decided that the only way to regain lost trust is to make all climate data available online immediately, in a system that is accessible to anyone, offers maximum transparency and includes critical assessments on how reliable each piece of information is. The Met Office estimates that this major international project will take at least three years.

Despite the controversy, most climatologists agree that in the end the general view of climate change will not have changed significantly. Almost all share the basic conviction that we are headed for warmer times.

Open Questions

Scientists fear that without an open, honest process, they will no longer find a sympathetic ear. This process could mean that much of what has long been considered established knowledge will come under review once again, specifically, five elementary questions on the future of the climate:

* By how many degrees has the Earth's temperature already increased, and how much further will temperatures rise?

* How high will sea levels rise in a greenhouse climate?

* Can we expect to see storms of unprecedented strength in the future?

* Which parts of the world will experience more droughts, and where will there be more flooding?

* Will the situation on the planet truly spin out of control if the average global temperature increases by more than two degrees Celsius?

Anyone who speaks with leading climatologists today will discover how many questions remain open. The media, politicians and even scientists often talk about changes to the weather with a certainty that does not in fact exist.

Much more HERE

Windmills: Bigger waste than eHealth

Comment from Canada

Ontarians take note. A detailed new Danish study shatters most of the myths that the Danish-based wind turbine industry has been propagating in Canada and around the world as to the virtues of wind power. The study, Wind Energy: The Case of Denmark by the Centre for Policy Studies in Copenhagen, strongly reinforces reservations that I have noted in previous op-eds in this newspaper.

While proponents of wind power like to claim that almost 20% of Danish electricity is generated by wind power, in fact over the last five years wind power has accounted for only about 9% of domestic electricity consumption. The other 11% or so — generated when the wind was blowing in the middle of the night or at other times that power was unneeded in Denmark — was exported to Norway and Sweden at spot prices that were substantially lower (often zero) than the subsidized prices guaranteed to Danish wind turbine operators. Meanwhile, when the wind wasn’t blowing in conformity with Danish needs, Denmark needed to import balancing power from Norway and Sweden, typically at substantially higher costs.

The main attraction in wind is the elimination of CO2 emissions. To the extent that wind power reduces CO2 emissions in Denmark, this comes as a subsidy cost of about $124 per tonne of CO2 — one of the most expensive CO2 reduction strategies in the world.

In order to keep industry competitive, the Danish government protects industry at the expense of consumers. Electricity to industry is hardly taxed at all, making for an outsized disparity between what householders and industry pay for their electricity — Danish householders pay 2.5 times more than Danish industry. Even before taxes, the average consumer price for wind-generated electricity is 50% higher than that from fossil fuel generated electricity.

Based on the total subsidies to the Danish wind industry, the average subsidy for the 28,000 workers employed in this sector equals US$9,000 to US$14,000 per year per job. However, this average subsidy does not reflect the actual cost of the additional job creation. In most cases, creating a job in the wind sector has only moved that job from another sector and not resulted in any additional job creation. A very optimistic ball park estimate of real net jobs created is around 10% of the total wind power work force, or 2,800 jobs. In this case, the actual subsidy for each additional job created is US$90,000 to US$140,000.

The Danish study finds that the energy technology sector in Denmark from 1999 to 2006 underperformed the broader manufacturing sector in Denmark by an average of 13% in terms of value added, reducing Danish GDP by approximately $270-million compared to what it would have been if the wind sector workforce was employed elsewhere. The Danish Economic Council concluded in a report in 2006: “The wind power expansion in the 1990s is an example of a policy that was unprofitable from society’s point of view, even taking the economic advantages that the wind business enjoyed into consideration.” The Centre for Policy Studies study concludes: “Denmark needs a proper debate and a thorough reappraisal of the technologies that need to be invented, developed, and costed before forcing the country into a venture that shows a high risk of turning into an economic black hole.”

Partly mesmerized by Danish wind industry propaganda, the Ontario government has embarked upon a similar exercise in economic and environmental folly. When the full costs of this misadventure are revealed — billions of dollars over the next 20years — the province’s recent financial scandals at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission and eHealth will seem trivial in comparison. This is the real political scandal in Ontario, upon which we should all be focusing our attention.


Australian Leftists going limp on push for Warmist laws

THE Rudd Government has transferred its entire emissions trading team into the strife-prone household insulation program, putting plans for carbon trading this year on the backburner.

The team of 154, which has been costing taxpayers an average of $370,000 each planning for the non-existent emissions trading scheme, will be put to work on sorting out the problems with the $2.45 billion home insulation program that left four people dead and has been implicated in 120 house fires up to March 24.

With a budget of $57 million this financial year alone, the emissions team works for an agency that is little more than a name – the Australian Climate Change Regulatory Authority – until legislation to create an emissions trading scheme passes Federal Parliament.

Hiring for the "phantom" agency (as it has been dubbed) continues, with plans to take staffing to 300 by the end of next year, relayed Department of Climate Change deputy secretary Geoff Leeper.

Emissions trading laws, officially known as the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, are stalled in the Senate and now face a firm no vote from the Opposition. They were once the centrepiece of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's response to climate change, which he dubbed "the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time".

The re-assignment of these bureaucrats is part of a quiet gutting of Environment Minister Peter Garrett's department over the past couple of weeks as the Department of Climate Change under South Australian Senator Penny Wong and former ACTU secretary Greg Combet took responsibility for another $400 million in environmental programs.

About 500 Environment Department staff were requisitioned by the Department of Climate Change to keep the programs operating. The Department of Climate Change did not exist until December 2007. The new entity is known as the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. Its secretary, Martin Parkinson, said it now has more than 1000 staff.

Dr Parkinson told a Senate inquiry his agency had taken over the National Energy Efficiency Initiative and Solar Homes and Communities Plan, which were budgeted to cost about $370 million this financial year. These new responsibilities could take spending to as much as $1 billion, according to last year's budget reports on climate change.


Australian conservatives side with blacks against Greens

This is personal for conservative leader Tony Abbott. He has long worked personally in furthering Aboriginal welfare. Comments below by black activist Noel Pearson

THE Senate's legal and constitutional affairs committee this week started its inquiry into Tony Abbott's private member's bill, which seeks to override the Queensland government's Wild Rivers Act 2005. It is one year since the Queensland government announced on April 3 that it had made the first declarations of wild river areas in Cape York Peninsula.

There are serious questions about the validity of these declarations. They were approved by the Governor on April 2 last year, only 12 days after the Queensland state election. The Natural Resources Minister who purportedly made the declarations, Stephen Robertson, had been appointed only eight days earlier.

The Wild Rivers Act requires the minister to consider the results of community consultations and public submissions before deciding whether to declare a wild river area. The minister who decides to make the declaration must be the same person who has complied with the legislative responsibility to consider submissions and the outcomes of consultations. Before last year's Queensland election, the relevant minister was Craig Wallace.

If the legislative responsibility to properly consider public submissions was performed, it could only have been performed by Wallace ahead of the election. The declarations were already finalised and ready to go long before Robertson became minister. We do not know whether Wallace exercised the power to decide to make the declaration.

The Queensland government has since claimed that it was Robertson who made the decision to declare the wild river areas under section 15, and that he did this on April 1 last year.

We need to be assured that legislative requirements were met. Correspondence between Queensland bureaucrats obtained under Freedom of Information laws shows that the declarations were already proceeding to the Governor in Council on March 30 last year, two days before they were supposedly declared by Robertson.

Why is this important? The implementation of the Wild Rivers Act is also at issue.

Two examples illustrate the injustice of the Wild Rivers Act and its implementation. Section 15 of the act stipulates that the minister's decision can be reviewed only if the minister decides not to make a declaration. If he does decide to make a declaration, the minister does not have to provide any reasons for his decision. Those who have questions about the minister's decision have no recourse.

The second example concerns decisions about the width of buffer zones from riverbanks where activities are proscribed. The legislation contemplates that the width of buffer zones is to be determined by relevant scientific information and the public is to be consulted.

Government documents obtained under FoI legislation have disclosed that buffer zones relevant to mining and petroleum exploration activities were subject to an agreement struck between the Queensland government, the Queensland Resources Council and the Wilderness Society. These setbacks from riverbanks are far more lenient for miners than for indigenous interests, in some latter instances just 50m from a waterway in a preservation area.

There are three ways in which Abbott's bill would restore the rights of indigenous people in Cape York and allow us to continue our reform agenda. First, the bill would enhance the land rights of the native titleholders of Cape York Peninsula and enable them to negotiate with the state government so they provide free and informed consent to arrangements to protect the rivers of Cape York Peninsula.

The Queensland legislation offends the commonwealth's Native Title Act 1993-98, enacted by the Keating Labor government as an act of historic justice in 1993. For the Queensland government and environmental groups to claim the Wild Rivers Act does not affect native title, they must believe title is restricted to so-called traditional activities, confined to hunting and gathering. But in many cases native title is a full property right analogous to freehold.

It is remarkable that this bill - which enhances native title - is proposed by the conservatives. The resistance of the Coalition to native title in the past resulted in amendments in 1998 during the Howard government, which reduced the rights of native titleholders. But the weakening of the rights of native titleholders vis-a-vis external development has had the perverse consequence of weakening the rights of native titleholders to undertake their own economic development.

The conservative side of politics has been late in waking up to this effect. However, for anyone concerned about honouring indigenous rights, especially land rights, it is not a matter of who is proposing to honour and enhance the rights but whether the proposal does indeed achieve the honourable result. Furthermore, this bill is consistent with the commonwealth government's commitments as a signatory to the International Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The declaration says governments shall consult and co-operate in good faith with indigenous peoples to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them. It also states indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources. The wild river laws contravene both these articles.

There is an Australian law, a well-established mechanism for governments and other parties to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples in relation to matters affecting their lands: indigenous land use agreements under the Native Title Act.

The Queensland government should have negotiated and settled indigenous land use agreements with native titleholders as part of the process of putting in place environmental protection provisions for rivers.

Finally, Abbott's bill puts the indigenous reform agenda in Cape York Peninsula back on track. The Queensland Wild Rivers Act derails our reform agenda. After 20 years of land rights gains and government progress, indigenous people in Cape York Peninsula are forced to contemplate a restrictive economic future shackling us to continuing welfare dependence.

The most perverse effect of Queensland's wild rivers scheme is that it will make smaller-scale environmentally sustainable developments more difficult while not preventing large-scale industrial developments, such as mining. It will be large-scale external developers, able to pay their way through the heavy transaction costs imposed by the layers of red tape - and able to lobby their way around George Street, Brisbane - that will be able to operate.

This is the hardest point to explain in this debate. The Queensland government claims the Wild Rivers Act allows indigenous economic development. But in reality, jumping through all the bureaucratic hoops is prohibitive to Cape York people.

The green bureaucrats who will have the real power, who are they? They are the public service arm of the extreme preservationist movement that made the deals about the future of our land with the Queensland government in the first place.

These are the reasons the bill to override the Wild Rivers Act must be supported by the commonwealth parliament.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


4 April, 2010

The week that was

By S. Fred Singer, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

One of the remarkable changes over the past few months is the extent to which public skepticism of global warming science has grown. The sloppiness and gross errors of the IPCC reports have been far more widely reported in Europe than in the US and some of the strongest advocates of human-caused global warming are backing down from their prior positions. Various opinion surveys reflect this change.

Perhaps, even a better indication of the change than opinion polls is a major change in editorial policy of various newspapers that previously accepted human-caused global warming unquestionably. One newspaper that has undergone a major shift is the German, Der Spiegel. The online version now carries an eight-part series entitled “A Superstorm for Global Warming Research.”

However, politicians and bureaucrats still act as if nothing has happened. No doubt it will take some time, and voter anger, before these politicians and bureaucrats realize what is happening. The arrogance they exhibit is staggering. The British Prime Minister is now attempting to develop a scheme whereby western nations send $100 Billion a year to third - world dictators so they will do what many of them do best – suppress the economic opportunities of their citizens.

In other news, President Obama announced a plan for off-shore drilling on the southeastern US continental shelf. After initial praise, some commentators began to express concern. Prior to this administration assuming power, most bans on drilling had been removed. The new plan bans drilling off the coasts of western US and much of Alaska. It also delays drilling off Virginia and other states that desire to permit drilling. A recent action by the Interior Department to place greater regulations on drilling in the Rocky Mountains should give many enthusiasts of off-shore drilling pause. Similar actions for off-shore drilling may be in store one or two years from now.

The EPA continues to move forward in its efforts to control the American economy. It has unilaterally announced increased automobile mileage standards, citing its finding that carbon dioxide endangers public health and welfare gives it the power to do so. If this is not rigorously contested, no doubt EPA will aggressively move into other areas.

On Thursday, EPA released two “scientific reports” claiming they show that mountain top removal for coal mining destroys water quality in the regions where such mining activities take place. The same day, EPA announced new guidelines for issuing permits for such activities. Mountain top removal is a contentious issue. But the EPA actions were done in secret and there was no opportunity for public comment on the reports or the guidelines. Apparently, EPA confuses transparency with opaqueness.

Global Warming Science: In the past two TWTW’s it was pointed out that IPCC’s claim that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the principal driver of global warming rests on two crucial assumptions. The first assumption is that the three datasets used to calculate average global surface-air temperatures have been rigorously maintained. Climategate, the Russian Institute of Economic Analysis, the work of Joseph D’Aleo, Anthony Watts, et al, revealed that this critical assumption is false. Hadley-CRU, NOAA-NCDC, and NASA-GISS have failed to rigorously maintain their datasets. It is likely that the datasets contain a significant warming bias of an unknown magnitude.

The second assumption required for IPCC’s claim is that the IPCC has a virtually complete understanding of the natural causes of temperature change. The failure of the earth to warm over the past ten years even as carbon dioxide emissions increased demonstrates the failure of this assumption.

Figure SPM-2 in the Technical Summary for Policymakers of IPCC’s Assessment Report 4 (2007) shows the natural and human forcings on climate considered by the IPCC. There is only one natural warming influence considered – changes in solar irradiance. There are three major human warming influences considered (for purposes here, cooling influences are ignored). The human warming influences are carbon dioxide emissions, other greenhouse gases, and tropospheric ozone. The sum of the coefficients given to the human warming influences is 25 times that of the coefficient for the only natural warming influence considered. With calculated human warming influence 25 times that of natural warming influence, no wonder the IPCC considers it necessary to bury the Medieval Warm Period.

Also, Figure SPM-1 in the same report gives changes in greenhouse gases from ice cores over the past 10,000 years. It shows gradual rise since 5,000 years ago and exponential increase over the last century. When comparing this with temperatures from Greenland ice cores for the past 10,000 years [Figure 2.B, NIPCC 2008 p. 4] one realizes that changes in greenhouse cases cannot begin to explain past changes in temperatures.

An upcoming TWTW will discuss how the IPCC reports dismiss the physical evidence showing significant changes in temperatures over the past 10,000 years.

ClimateGate Whitewash

By S. Fred Singer, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

There is now a desperate effort afoot by assorted climate alarmists to explain away the revelations of the incriminating e-mails leaked last year from the University of East Anglia (UAE). But the ongoing investigations so far have avoided the real problem, namely whether the reported warming is genuine or simply the manufactured result of manipulation of temperature data by scientists in England and the United States.

The latest report is by the British House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee, which largely absolved Philip Jones, head of UEA’s Climate Research Unit and author of most of the e-mails. How can we tell that it’s a whitewash? Here are some telltale signs:

* It refers to the e-mails as “stolen”

* It did not take direct testimony from scientifically competent skeptics

* Yet it derives the conclusion that there is nothing wrong with the basic science and that warming is human caused – essentially endorsing the IPCC

None of the investigations have gone into any detail on how the data might have been manipulated. But this is really the most important task for any investigation, since it deals directly with the central issue: Is there an appreciable human influence on climate change in the past decades?

Instead, much of the attention of newspapers, and of the public, has focused on secondary issues: the melting of Himalayan glaciers, the possible inundation of the Netherlands, deforestation of the Amazon, crop failures in Africa, etc. While these issues demonstrate the sloppiness of the IPCC process, they don’t tell anything about the cause of the warming: natural or anthropogenic.

So what do the e-mails really reveal? We know that Jones and his gang tried and largely succeeded in “hiding the decline" of temperature by using what he termed “Mike’s [Mann] Nature trick.” Most people think it refers to CRU tree ring data after 1960, which do show a decline in temperature. However, I believe that it refers to Michael Mann’s “trick” in hiding the fact that his multi-proxy data did not show the expected warming after 1979. So he abruptly cut off his analysis in 1979 and simply inserted the thermometer data supplied by Jones, which do claim a strong temperature increase. Hence the hockey-stick, suggesting a sudden major warming during the past century.

Only a thorough scientific investigation will be able to document that there was no strong warming after 1979, that the instrumented warming record is based on data manipulation, involving the selection of certain weather stations, [and the de-selection of others that showed no warming], plus applying insufficient corrections for local heating.

SCIENCE EDITORIAL #10-2010 (April 3, 2010)

An important press release

(To resize the type, hold down CTRL and move the wheel on your wheelmouse)

(Zermatt is a Swiss ski resort near the famous and formidable Matterhorn. It is not for the poor)

The voice of the fanatic: Greenpeace issues barely-veiled threats of violence

The excerpt below is from the Greenpeace official blog. The "peace" in Greenpeace seems to have vanished

Pressuring politicians on climate change is not working. We saw that in Copenhagen. Three months later, we also know why. Which is why the global climate movement now must do course-correction. We need to shift targets and go after the real termites that hollowed out and imploded Copenhagen.

Not Barosso, Obama or Wen Jiabao, but the real obstacles to the climate deal this planet deserves and demands. The oil and gas mafia running loose in New Delhi. The coal magnates that have Canberra by the short and curlies. The petrochemical giants that have placed a firm jackboot on the EU's throat. The fossil fools and nuclear lobbyists that have Washington DC on speed-dial.

We need to hit them where it hurts most, by any means necessary: through the power of our votes, our taxes, our wallets, and more.

We need to be inclusive. We need to join forces with those within the climate movement that are taking direct action to disrupt the CO2 supply chain. We need to embrace the conservatives too, the ones that choose scientific rigour and court injunctions as their weapons.

And we need to inspire, engage and empower everyone in between... from the AirPlotters stopping the expansion of Heathrow by purchasing bits of the proposed runway to the volunteer activists that have been making life hell for fossil fuel lobbyists in the US.

Finally, we need to prove repeatedly, consistently, doggedly, that our alternative vision of a world that runs on clean energy isn’t just a prototype, it’s already in production.

Emerging battle-bruised from the disaster zone of Copenhagen, but ever-hopeful, a rider on horseback brought news of darkness and light: "The politicians have failed. Now it's up to us. We must break the law to make the laws we need: laws that are supposed to protect society, and protect our future. Until our laws do that, screw being climate lobbyists. Screw being climate activists. It's not working. We need an army of climate outlaws."

The proper channels have failed. It's time for mass civil disobedience to cut off the financial oxygen from denial and skepticism.

If you're one of those who believe that this is not just necessary but also possible, speak to us. Let's talk about what that mass civil disobedience is going to look like.

If you're one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission, then hear this:

We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.

And we be many, but you be few.


Greenies ignore the science and concentrate on personalities -- as usual

Donations to skeptics are a fleabite compared to what governments give Warmists. No mention of WHICH "misleading" statements have been circulated under the aegis of their latest boogeyman

A Greenpeace investigation has identified a little-known, privately owned US oil company as the paymaster of global warming sceptics in the US and Europe.

The environmental campaign group accuses Kansas-based Koch Industries, which owns refineries and operates oil pipelines, of funding 35 conservative and libertarian groups, as well as more than 20 congressmen and senators. Between them, Greenpeace says, these groups and individuals have spread misinformation about climate science and led a sustained assault on climate scientists and green alternatives to fossil fuels.

Greenpeace says that Koch Industries donated nearly $48m (£31.8m) to climate opposition groups between 1997-2008. From 2005-2008, it donated $25m to groups opposed to climate change, nearly three times as much as higher-profile funders that time such as oil company ExxonMobil. Koch also spent $5.7m on political campaigns and $37m on direct lobbying to support fossil fuels.

In a hard-hitting report, which appears to confirm environmentalists' suspicions that there is a well-funded opposition to the science of climate change, Greenpeace accuses the funded groups of "spreading inaccurate and misleading information" about climate science and clean energy companies.

"The company's network of lobbyists, former executives and organisations has created a forceful stream of misinformation that Koch-funded entities produce and disseminate. The propaganda is then replicated, repackaged and echoed many times throughout the Koch-funded web of political front groups and thinktanks," said Greenpeace.

"Koch industries is playing a quiet but dominant role in the global warming debate. This private, out-of-sight corporation has become a financial kingpin of climate science denial and clean energy opposition. On repeated occasions organisations funded by Koch foundations have led the assault on climate science and scientists, 'green jobs', renewable energy and climate policy progress," it says.

The groups include many of the best-known conservative thinktanks in the US, like Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato institute, the Manhattan Institute and the Foundation for research on economics and the environment. All have been involved in "spinning" the "climategate" story or are at the forefront of the anti-global warming debate, says Greenpeace.

Koch Industries is a $100bn-a-year conglomerate dominated by petroleum and chemical interests, with operations in nearly 60 countries and 70,000 employees. It owns refineries which process more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day in the US, as well as a refinery in Holland. It has held leases on the heavily polluting tar-sand fields of Alberta, Canada and has interests in coal, oil exploration, chemicals, forestry, and pipelines.

The majority of the group's assets are owned and controlled by Charles and David Koch, two of the four sons of the company's founder. They have been identified by Forbes magazine as the joint ninth richest Americans and the 19th richest men in the world, each worth between $14-16bn.

Koch has also contributed money to politicians, the report said, listing 17 Republicans and four Democrats whose campaign funds got more than $10,000from the company.

Greenpeace accuses the Koch companies of having a notorious environmental record. In 2000 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined Koch industries $30m for its role in 300 oil spills that resulted in more than 3m gallons of crude oil leaking intro ponds, lakes and coastal waters.

"The combination of foundation-funded front groups, big lobbying budgets, political action campaign donations and direct campaign contributions makes Koch Industries and the Koch brothers among the most formidable obstacles to advancing clean energy and climate policy in the US," Greenpeace said.

A spokeswoman for Koch Industries today defended the group's track record on environmental issues. "Koch companies have consistently found innovative and cost-effective ways to ensure sound environmental stewardship and further reduce waste and emissions of greenhouse gases associated with their operations and products," said a statement sent to AFP by Melissa Cohlmia, director of communication. She added: "Based on this experience, we support open, science-based dialogue about climate change and the likely effects of proposed energy policies on the global economy."


The idiocy of running your car on corn

'Big Corn' is in bed with the Greenies

The Environmental Protection Agency wants to dump more corn into your fuel tank this summer, and it's going to cost more than you think.

The agency is expected to approve a request from 52 ethanol producers known collectively as "Growth Energy" to boost existing requirements that gasoline contain 10 percent ethanol to 15 percent. The change means billions more in government subsidies for companies in the business of growing corn and converting it into ethanol. For the rest of us, it means significantly higher gasoline and food prices.

It's time that this shameless corporate welfare gets plowed under.

In 2007, members of Congress joined with the Bush administration in mandating by government fiat the annual sale of 36 billion gallons of ethanol by 2022. To meet the ambitious sales targets, the EPA has little choice but to approve the 15 percent ethanol fuel blend. Big Corn's advocates claim that forcing Americans to use this renewable fuel would reduce dependency on Mideast oil and lead to cleaner air. It's just as likely, however, that they want to get their hands on the $16 billion a year from the 45-cent-per-gallon "blender's tax credit" - in addition to the various state and federal mandates giving us no choice but to pump their pricey product into our fuel tanks.

The benefits are overstated. According to the EPA, reduction in foreign imports will result in $3.7 billion in "energy security benefits" at the expense of $18 billion in increased fuel costs by 2022. Environmental testing has proved inconclusive, as certain types of pollutants increase when ethanol content increases. It should be noted that the EPA's track record on "environmental" gasoline additives includes Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE), a possible carcinogen whose once-mandated use has contaminated groundwater across the country.

Ethanol's environmental credentials are further weakened by its inefficiency as a fuel. Higher ethanol concentration will reduce the gas mileage of America's cars across the board by 5.3 percent. In addition to the pain that adds at the pump, repair bills will mount when engines not designed to handle 15 percent ethanol run lean and suffer increased wear and misfires. Because vehicle warranties specifically exclude damage from the use of unapproved fuels, the additional price for this boondoggle will fall on drivers.

The same problem hits gas stations where pumps and underground storage tanks are not certified for use with elevated ethanol levels. The cost of replacing perfectly good equipment will, once again, be passed on to the consumer.

Even those who do not own automobiles will begin to feel the pinch as more and more farm land is shifted towards taking advantage of government-subsidized ethanol production instead of food. Groups as diverse as the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Chicken Council and the American Meat Institute realize that this policy is distorting the market for food prices.

According to the University of Missouri's Farm and Policy Research Institute, the ethanol tax credit increases corn prices by 18 cents a barrel, wheat by 15 cents and soybeans by 28 cents. That means higher prices for most food items at the grocery store and restaurants.

There simply is no justification - environmental or otherwise - for this interventionist scheme. With the economy reeling, consumers can no longer afford to bankroll the politically connected agricultural lobby. The EPA should reject the 15 percent ethanol requirement and Congress should send Big Corn's rent seekers elsewhere with the repeal of all ethanol subsidies.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


3 April, 2010

21st Century Global Cooling Trend Debunks United Nations Computer Climate Models

Computer models that have figured prominently into the climate studies organized through the United Nations show that the warming trend evident in the latter half of the 20th century would continue and even accelerate into the new millennium. But the climate has not cooperated and in fact the newest research shows that a cooling trend has taken hold that could persist for decades.

Dr. Don Easterbook, a geologist and professor emeritus at Western Washington University, has concluded that sea surface temperatures will experience a drop that could last for the next 25 to 30 years based on his observations of the Pacific Decadal Oscilliation or PDO, a weather phenomenon that reverts between warm and cool modes. He’s not alone.

Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics with the National Autonomous University of Mexico sees evidence that points to the onset of a “little ice age” in about 10 years that could last for much of the 21st Century. The U.N. computer models are not correct because they do not take into account natural factors like solar activity, he said in a lecture.

This view is also advanced in a paper published by the Astronomical Society of Australia. The authors anticipate that sun’s activity will diminish significantly over the next few decades.

In reality, the main arguments underpinning man-made global warming have been unraveling for quite some time Bonner Cohen, a senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), has observed.

“The alarmists have a problem,” Cohen explained. “The climate isn’t doing what they theory says it should be doing. The temperature is not rising in a linear fashion, which the man-made global warming theory says it should be doing. Instead there has been virtually no warming over the past 10 years, which is insignificant in geological terms, but very significant when you consider the alarmist theory.”

“Even though man-made greenhouse gases are going up, there is no evidence that these emissions are in fact driving temperature upward,” he continued. “Of course, historically warmer temperatures have lead to higher Co2 levels, not the other way around. The lesson here is that association is not causation.”

When warming and cooling trends are placed within a larger geological context the “alarmist position” becomes unsustainable, he added. The history is deliberately ignored and dismissed by the U.N. because it would undermine the political agenda attached to global warming alarmism, Cohen has argued.

Researchers who have long questioned the premise of man-made global warming theories point out that alarmist claims are driven more by computer models that omit key variables than they are by actual observations. The growing “climategate” scandal goes a long way toward vindicating the scientific skeptics who have been ostracized in the media and the academic community. Emails that have been leaked to the Internet from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia show that researchers have deliberately fudged and manipulated data in an effort to account for predicted catastrophic warming that has not materialized.

“We’ve had no warming for the past 10-15 years, even though carbon dioxide emissions have increased,” notes Steve Milloy, editor and founder of “The upper atmosphere should be warming at a much greater rate than the lower atmosphere but this is not happening. It means that we don’t understand energy flows, and if you don’t understand how something works it cannot be modeled. It’s insanity to go forward with regulations that are not based on something we understand, but that’s what is being proposed.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowsi (R-Alaska) has introduced a resolution to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gases without congressional approval. She has been joined by colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Moreover, opinion polls show that the public become more dismissive of alarmist claims.

Does the mean the global warming industry has reached its Berlin Wall moment?

David Berlinski, a senior fellow with the Discovery Institute, views “climategate” as an “unexpected gift” to skeptics that shows “Big Science in its natural state.” Climategate follows on the heels of other scientific scams that reach back to the Club of Rome in the 1970s that warned pending doom.

“The overwhelming consensus is, as it always is, utter nonsense because it is in the first place an illusion,” he wrote in an email. “There are very many scientists who dissent from global warming. And it is utter nonsense because it is based on nothing more than a trend line. No one has the faintest idea what the trend represents or whether it will continue or whether even the trend itself was based on data so fudged as to be meaningless. The latter, I think.”

“What is at work deep down is a delusion as striking as various Zulu beliefs and no more credible,” he continued. “To wit, that because there is something that might for the sake of convenience be designated as the global atmosphere, there is as well a science of the global atmosphere, one in which for various initial conditions of the GA, laws of its evolution might be adduced from which explanations and predictions would flow. There is no such science; there are no such laws. To be sure one can say with easy confidence that the GA is determined by fundamental physics.”

In reality, science has never operated by consensus. Over time, prevailing views are either substantiated or dismissed as new evidence emerges. The momentum is now very much with researchers who have identified natural forces as opposed to human activity as the primary driving force behind warming and cooling trends. Ideally, they should find greater expression.


UK Parliamentary Report unintentionally condemns climate science generally

The UK Parliamentary Committee was always going to be a whitewash. They put no skeptics on the committee; they interviewed no skeptics; they didn’t ask Steven McIntyre to speak. They tried to put people on the committee like Phillip Campbell, who had already pronounced it was a done deal and ClimateGate a non-event, but were forced to settle for people who were more covertly sympathetic: “impartial” people like committee chairman Phil Willis, who had already made up his mind in January and announced it in the Telegraph:

“There are a significant number of climate change deniers, who are basically using the UEA emails to support the case this is poor science that has been changed or at worst manipulated. We do not believe this is healthy and therefore we want to call in the UEA so the public can see what they are saying”

It’s no wonder the committee made a spin-like press release with wishy-washy weasel words. What’s amazing is that under the spin, they can’t help but bust all of modern climate science.

The UK report: [press release]

“The focus on Professor Jones and CRU has been largely misplaced. On the accusations relating to Professor Jones’s refusal to share raw data and computer codes, the Committee considers that his actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community but that those practices need to change.

The translation:

We were looking in the wrong spot. We don’t think Phil ought to get busted for just doing what all the other sloppy, biased scientists do. He did hide data, but so does everyone else. The whole of climate science has bogus practices that need to change.

It’s official: common practices across all climate science are so poor they need to change.

The UK Report:

Even if the data that CRU used were not publicly available—which they mostly are—or the methods not published—which they have been—its published results would still be credible:… [para 51]


We here in the once-Great British Isles are now happy to accept getting most of the data instead of the full complete set. From now on, we will also accept most of the receipts for your tax returns instead of the original copies, and we will accept most of the receipts of government ministers on working trips to Barbados. Near enough is good enough. With trillions of dollars at stake, it’s no time to get fussy.

The UK Report

[T]he results from CRU agree with those drawn from other international data sets; in other words, the analyses have been repeated and the conclusions have been verified.


The results of the EAU agree with data sets around the world that are also sloppy, incomplete, unverifiable, and by NASA’s own email disclosures, even worse than the EAU’s. This meets the standards of the British Government.



Only limited posts today as I am ill



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


2 April, 2010

Direct Evidence that Most U.S. Warming Since 1973 Could Be Spurious

My last few posts have described a new method for quantifying the average Urban Heat Island (UHI) warming effect as a function of population density, using thousands of pairs of temperature measuring stations within 150 km of each other. The results supported previous work which had shown that UHI warming increases logarithmically with population, with the greatest rate of warming occurring at the lowest population densities as population density increases.

But how does this help us determine whether global warming trends have been spuriously inflated by such effects remaining in the leading surface temperature datasets, like those produced by Phil Jones (CRU) and Jim Hansen (NASA/GISS)?

While my quantifying the UHI effect is an interesting exercise, the existence of such an effect spatially (with distance between stations) does not necessarily prove that there has been a spurious warming in the thermometer measurements at those stations over time. The reason why it doesn’t is that, to the extent that the population density of each thermometer site does not change over time, then various levels of UHI contamination at different thermometer sites would probably have little influence on long-term temperature trends. Urbanized locations would indeed be warmer on average, but “global warming” would affect them in about the same way as the more rural locations.

This hypothetical situation seems unlikely, though, since population does indeed increase over time. If we had sufficient truly-rural stations to rely on, we could just throw all the other UHI-contaminated data away. Unfortunately, there are very few long-term records from thermometers that have not experienced some sort of change in their exposure…usually the addition of manmade structures and surfaces that lead to spurious warming.

Thus, we are forced to use data from sites with at least some level of UHI contamination. So the question becomes, how does one adjust for such effects?

As the provider of the officially-blessed GHCN temperature dataset that both Hansen and Jones depend upon, NOAA has chosen a rather painstaking approach where the long-term temperature records from individual thermometer sites have undergone homogeneity “corrections” to their data, mainly based upon (presumably spurious) abrupt temperature changes over time. The coming and going of some stations over the years further complicates the construction of temperature records back 100 years or more.

All of these problems (among others) have led to a hodgepodge of complex adjustments.


I like simplicity of analysis — whenever possible, anyway. Complexity in data analysis should only be added when it is required to elucidate something that is not obvious from a simpler analysis. And it turns out that a simple analysis of publicly available raw (not adjusted) temperature data from NOAA/NESDIS NOAA/NCDC, combined with high-resolution population density data for those temperature monitoring sites, shows clear evidence of UHI warming contaminating the GHCN data for the United States.

I will restrict the analysis to 1973 and later since (1) this is the primary period of warming allegedly due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions; (2) the period having the largest number of monitoring sites has been since 1973; and (3) a relatively short 37-year record maximizes the number of continuously operating stations, avoiding the need to handle transitions as older stations stop operating and newer ones are added.

Similar to my previous posts, for each U.S. station I average together four temperature measurements per day (00, 06, 12, and 18 UTC) to get a daily average temperature (GHCN uses daily max/min data). There must be at least 20 days of such data for a monthly average to be computed. I then include only those stations having at least 90% complete monthly data from 1973 through 2009. Annual cycles in temperature and anomalies are computed from each station separately.

I then compute multi-station average anomalies in 5×5 deg. latitude/longitude boxes, and then compare the temperature trends for the represented regions to those in the CRUTem3 (Phil Jones’) dataset for the same regions. But to determine whether the CRUTem3 dataset has any spurious trends, I further divide my averages into 4 population density classes: 0 to 25; 25 to 100; 100 to 400; and greater than 400 persons per sq. km. The population density data is at a nominal 1 km resolution, available for 1990 and 2000…I use the 2000 data.

All of these restrictions then result in thirteen 24 to 26 5-deg grid boxes over the U.S. having all population classes represented over the 37-year period of record. In comparison, the entire U.S. covers about 31 40 grid boxes in the CRUTem3 dataset. While the following results are therefore for a regional subset (at least 60%) of the U.S., we will see that the CRUTem3 temperature variations for the entire U.S. do not change substantially when all 31 40 grids are included in the CRUTem3 averaging....

Significantly, the warming trend in the lowest population class is only 47% of the CRUTem3 trend, a factor of two difference.

Also interesting is that in the CRUTem3 data, 1998 and 2006 would be the two warmest years during this period of record. But in the lowest population class data, the two warmest years are 1987 and 1990. When the CRUTem3 data for the whole U.S. are analyzed (the lighter red line) the two warmest years are swapped, 2006 is 1st and then 1998 2nd.

From looking at the warmest years in the CRUTem3 data, one gets the impression that each new high-temperature year supersedes the previous one in intensity. But the low-population stations show just the opposite: the intensity of the warmest years is actually decreasing over time.

To get a better idea of how the calculated warming trend depends upon population density for all 4 classes, the following graph shows – just like the spatial UHI effect on temperatures I have previously reported on – that the warming trend goes down nonlinearly as population density of the stations decrease. In fact, extrapolation of these results to zero population density might produce little warming at all!

This is a very significant result. It suggests the possibility that there has been essentially no warming in the U.S. since the 1970s.

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Destroying America with the EPA's Carbon Lies

By Alan Caruba

Lisa Jackson, Obama’s EPA director, has just announced the agency’s new auto regulations of gas mileage based on global warming. In addition, the agency asserts the right to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions under the Clean Air Act.

There is absolutely no scientific justification for this and, indeed, many observers believe the EPA lacks the legal authority regarding its stance on CO2.

There is NO need to limit greenhouse gas emissions because there is NO “global warming.”

Greenhouse gases are purported to be the primary cause of this fraud. The EPA, like a dozen other U.S. agencies, has been pushing the global warming fraud for decades. One more lie, even a whopper about CO2, is of little concern to the EPA at this point.

Beyond the issue of scientific fraud, there are the scientific facts that demonstrate that CO2 plays a miniscule role, if any, as regards the Earth’s climate. Carbon dioxide is less than one percent of the Earth’s atmosphere (386 parts per million).

There is, in fact, no greenhouse effect. The most active element of the atmosphere is the 95% of water vapor that forms a protective layer around the Earth.

The science involved is fairly simple. Clouds have a warming effect because, in order for water vapor to condense back into water droplets, the water molecules must first re-emit the energy they absorbed to become vapor. That latent heat causes the local environment to feel warmer. It is this constant interchange that determines whether wherever you’re at right now is warmer or cooler.

The public is rarely, if ever, told that meteorologists have NO idea why clouds act as they do. All they can do is track cloud activity via satellite images, but they can only accurately predict the weather at best for three to four days ahead. This is why, when you watch a televised weather forecast, they mostly just point to cloud systems.

The Earth’s oceans contain fifty times the CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere. The Earth’s biomass, oceans, near-surface rocks and soils contain 100,000 times the carbon in the atmosphere.

To declare CO2 toxic, the EPA is saying that all that natural CO2, plus the six pounds of carbon dioxide that every human exhale every day is a “pollutant.”

How can carbon dioxide be a pollutant when all life on Earth is dependent upon it?

CO2 is to vegetation what oxygen is to human and other animal life. Without CO2, all vegetation dies and then all animal life dies for lack of the nutrients provided by food crops.

The EPA will blame the generation of CO2 on energy use, but 97% of the Earth’s CO2 is produced by Nature!

Only about 3% of all the CO2 in the atmosphere is produced by humans via industrial and transport activity. This estimate, in fact, comes from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change! The IPCC’s other alleged climate data is subject to serious challenge, but this is not. It falls into the category of common knowledge among climate scientists.

Environmentalists are insanely opposed to all energy use with the exception of bicycles, canoes, and walking. They particularly hate automobiles, but these are the same people, along with the EPA, that have insisted on the inclusion of ethanol, otherwise known as moonshine, in every gallon of gasoline. The immediate result is less mileage per gallon and the production of more CO2!

None of these facts is a secret yet, since 1989, the U.S. government has spent $79 billion in taxpayer’s money on “climate change” research. To suggest that the government, using the data generated, has any “control” over the climate is absurd.

The result of all that government funded research has been a public that has been subjected to the massive fraud called global warming. Weather data provided by NASA and NOAA, for example, has had to have been withdrawn due to errors.

Not only has the scientific community learned that the IPCC data was manipulated and that efforts were made to suppress data refuting global warming, but the Earth has irrefutably been in a cooling cycle for over a decade at this point.

The EPA regulatory control of auto mileage and CO2 emissions is a complete fraud and a contemptible lie. In doing so it has become a gangster agency that has abandoned any credibility.

Finally, the Cap-and-Trade Act awaiting a vote in the Senate is based on the global warming fraud and, if enacted, would impose massive taxation on all energy use. It must be stopped.

The EPA's latest move must be stopped. The fate of the nation’s economy literally depends on this.


EPA Limits On Greenhouse Gases Will Shift U.S. Production Overseas

Climate change represents a tough and complex policy issue. That's the reason U.S. lawmakers — more than 30 years since scientists first introduced the concept of global warming into the American political dialogue — continue to debate the best way to structure legislation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions without damaging the economy.

As Congress debates domestic legislation, the administration participates in an international process with similar objectives.

As this takes place, the Environmental Protection Agency is engaging in a form of political blackmail, threatening to push ahead on its own if elected officials don't move as quickly as the agency wants. It has already taken the first step toward leveraging the Clean Air Act to mandate GHG reductions.

Headed toward regulatory seppuku, the agency recently finalized a climate change determination that current concentrations of GHGs — about 435 parts per million (ppm) in CO2 equivalents — in the atmosphere endanger public health and welfare.

EPA makes this claim not because these emissions are toxic like pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act, but because of their heat-trapping capacity. EPA has accepted the theory that increasing emissions of these gases will lead to unprecedented increases in the earth's temperature and that a much warmer earth will mean health- and even life-threatening problems.

Although it has been as warm or warmer in the past, EPA wants to act assuming a worst-case scenario — even if the probability of occurrence is incredibly small.

There is support for the theory (a theory, not a fact) that the projected path of human emissions will lead to global concentrations that pose a risk. The U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has set an ambitious goal of cutting GHG emissions so concentrations do not exceed 450 ppm and keeping the global average temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius.

Leaving aside whether achieving such a goal is even technologically or economically feasible, let's focus on the fact that the international goal — which the Obama administration has acknowledged in the Copenhagen Accord — represents a higher concentration than what EPA claims is already endangering all of us.

If EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson really believes this, she must be setting the stage for a massive regulatory assault by declaring that any increase in GHG concentrations will further harm human health and welfare. Once the agency determines that current concentrations of greenhouse gases are unhealthy, how can U.S. negotiators agree to a U.N. limit that is higher?


The Battle Between Image and Reality

Several events, including record snow falls in many parts of the country have brought climate change, also known as global warming, back to the public’s attention. These events include the release of emails indicating manipulation of temperature data, admissions by the former head of the Climate Research Unit about recent and historical temperature, and the reluctant acknowledgement that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) last assessment report contained several glaring errors.

The image, carefully crafted and marketed for over two decades, that temperature increases have been accelerating in recent decades, as a result of human activity, is now suspect. Without that image it is hard to convince the public that a climate apocalypse is likely later this century.

The image that human activity is radically changing our climate does not conform with factual data. The facts suggest claims about accelerating temperatures are an exaggeration and temperature records are of questionable accuracy.

The apocalyptic rhetoric about rapidly rising temperatures is matched with similar rhetoric about sea levels, flooding of small islands and coastal regions, increased drought, diseases, and other ecological effects.

This vision of a dismal future pervaded the recent global climate meeting in Copenhagen. Here in the U.S. such images were used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to justify issuing an endangerment finding which alleges that temperature increases from carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a threat to human health and the environment.

Whenever advocacy groups and the media use scary images, it is always wise to be more than a little skeptical and to check the underlying facts. All too often, the facts do not support the images. That is what led the late historian, Daniel Boorstin, to observe that we live in an age where facts get tested by the image instead of the image getting tested by the facts.

The image that the apocalyptics are touting is that our temperatures were like Goldilocks’ porridge, just right until human activity caused them to increase rapidly because of fossil energy use to heat our homes, operate our businesses and power our cars.

Are the facts consistent with the image? No. There have been periods in the earth’s geological history when CO2 levels and temperatures were higher than they are today. Our more recent temperature history provides empirical evidence that the earth is not experiencing run-away warming and that there has been a cyclical pattern to temperatures, at least, over the past 115 years.

In the late 1800s, we were beginning to emerge from the Little Ice Age and our average temperatures were in the 51º range. Over the next several decades, they ranged between 52º and 53º. Then in the 1940s, temperatures began to decline and that brought concerns of another ice age. In the late 1970s, temperatures started increasing again, rising from 52.3º to a peak of 55.1º in 1998. An increase of 3º in three decades would be worrisome if it indicated a new and continuing trend. But, that is not what has happened. Since 1998, which was an El Niño aberration, temperatures have begun to decline once again...

Professor Robert Balling, a well-known climatologist, has observed, “Confounding many glib assertions is the fact that the warming rate in the early twentieth century (1915-1945) is not significantly different from the warming rate of the past three decades.”

The temperature record since 1895 is a series of ups and downs with changes from year to year or decade to decade being measured in tenths or hundreds of degrees. And last year’s average temperature was similar to what we experienced in the 1920s and 30s.

The figure shows that temperatures have not increased in a manner consistent with the theory that human produced CO2 is causing unprecedented warming and that temperatures in the past decade are not significantly different from temperatures early in the 20th century.

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Make Sure of the Facts on Climate Change

The two largest purchases most people make today are houses and cars. Because of the amount of money involved, prudent consumers do thorough research before buying. When buying a car, the purchaser looks at the manual and test-drives the vehicle, but also talks to owners of the same model and reads reviews in car and consumer magazines and websites.

The prospective homebuyer walks around the neighborhood and looks at the house in person, but also gets reliable information on area home prices, crime statistics, local schools, and of course, a home inspection by a qualified expert.

In the legal field, this is called performing due diligence and as a popular business motto has it, “an informed consumer is our best customer.” If an individual buyer is willing to put hours of work into researching a purchase of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, how much effort should the nation put into investigating a proposal which will cost the nation trillions? That is the estimated cost of the climate legislation before Congress.

Much of the information relevant to houses and cars is easily understood by the general public – safety statistics or the presence or absence of radon and termites – but in the case of climate science, the way in which relevant information is developed and synthesized is far more complex and opaque.

Enough errors and misstatements by reputable climate researchers and organizations have come out recently to provoke a reaction in the public and this provides a good starting point for a discussion of how scientific data is generated, analyzed, stored and used.

Our understanding of the physical world will always be imperfect, but we still have a responsibility to test, validate and revalidate, to be as certain as we can be about the climate data on which our future well-being depends.

Since the late 1980s, there has been growing concern among climate scientists that the earth’s temperature is increasing, which they determined from the study of ancient climate proxies and from modern temperature records. The cause of this warming has been attributed by some to human emissions of greenhouse gases, chiefly carbon dioxide (CO2), although other causes such as natural climate variability have been suggested.

The United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s reports, which are meant to be the most accurate and up-to-date summary of the state of climate change research, include warnings about the potential for significant increases in temperature and the catastrophic consequences which they will produce.

Because of their involvement in this international group, many governments have agreed to greatly reduce CO2 emissions, in spite of the economic and social costs which will result from such a rapid shift in energy use. (It is the abruptness of the change in energy generation and use and the lack of costcompetitive alternatives to fossil energy which are likely to cause economic disruption. Decarbonization, which is the gradual shift from higher-carbon, less efficient energy sources to lower-carbon, more efficient ones, has been going on for centuries and is the default “business as usual” evolution of energy use......

Corrections and even retractions of research findings are a normal part of the scientific method. For example, a prediction made last year in Nature magazine of future sea-level rise of up to 32 inches by 2100 was retracted recently by the authors due to mistakes they detected in their modeling.

Unfortunately, this kind of transparency is not as common as it should be. Leading climatology researchers at the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia and the University of Pennsylvania have also contributed substantially to the IPCC’s reports. These centers and the scientists affiliated with them have been buffeted by charges of improper and unprofessional conduct in their research and analysis, particularly after a mass of their hacked email correspondence was released online in November 2009.

The petty and vindictive tone of many of the messages is not surprising to anyone who has worked in academia, but it shocked and disappointed many people who supposed that scientists were exempt from human prejudice and error. Professor Susan Dudley described the deference usually given to the scientific community as a “cultification of science,” complete with unimpeachable high priests.

Wallace Sayre of Columbia University once quipped, “The politics of the university are so intense because the stakes are so low,” but the stakes here are of great consequence. Some of the errors which have been reported so far are simple to correct. The 2007 IPCC report stated that 55 per cent of the Netherlands is below sea level, when the actual figure is 26 percent.

The same report claimed that it was “very likely” (meaning a greater than 90 percent chance) that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 if current warming trends continued. It was later found that this was simply an opinion expressed by one climate scientist a decade before.

Another claim in the 2007 report was that by 2020 global warming could reduce crop yields in some African nations by half; further investigation showed that the claim was wholly groundless.

Errors of this type might be expected in a high-school research paper, but they are indefensible at the level of the IPCC.

More serious, systemic problems have emerged from the hacked emails. Some messages suggest that the writers intended to keep contrary views from being published in scientific journals. Such actions would seriously endanger intellectual freedom and the scientific method.

Others show that scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit repeatedly ignored Freedom of Information requests for climate data and discussed erasing email messages to avoid having them exposed.

Professor Philip Jones of the CRU, whose work figures prominently in the IPCC’s reports, has admitted that he had not organized his data well and his refusal to release the data behind his findings to outside researchers was based, at least in part, on his inability to document his sources. Jones’ colleagues have suggested that actually he may have lost the original data.

Poor organization is a fact of life and the loss or corruption of scientific data can usually be dealt with on the university department level. But when that data is used as the foundation for national and international economic policy, the standards of generating, organizing and maintaining it must be as high as humanly possible. If Professor Jones’ original data can be retrieved or reconstructed and if it confirms his conclusions, then it can be used in further study. If it cannot be recovered and therefore is not falsifiable, then his conclusions and anything based on them have no scientific validity.

As Karl Popper said, “The criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.” Scientific principles require that an experiment, process or observation be testable and repeatable in order to be validated and without the original data, this is impossible. For that reason, transparency of both method and data is vital for progress in understanding climate.

Equally important, climate data must be reliable, or robust, as scientists say, which means that it must be thoroughly and repeatedly examined for flaws before it becomes the basis for analysis and public policy. No matter how sophisticated our climate modeling is, if the inputs are unreliable, the outcome is of no value.

One solution would be to require that data and analytical methodologies used in governmental and intergovernmental reports be made public for review by both experts and the interested public. This, together with independent external auditing and validation, would go a long way toward guaranteeing the quality of the data and the conclusions drawn from it.

If the scandals arising from the released climate emails and clumsy mistakes in the IPCC reports have any positive result, it will be a demand for greater transparency and corroboration of the scientific data which forms the basis of our public policy.

We cannot guarantee that our politicians will always make the right decision even with the best possible information, but without it, making the right decision is almost impossible.


Feminists and Greens, not Christians, are the real wowsers

"Wowser" roughly means "killjoy" and is of American origin but is now commonly used only in Australia. It was originally an abbreviation of "We only want social evils removed" and was part of the campaign for Prohibition

I'd have thought stripping was the last thing you'd do in a country called Iceland, and now it is. The country's parliament last week voted to ban striptease shows, making it a crime to turn a buck from a naked woman.

Now, normally news from Iceland - even news including words such as "stripper" and "nude" - cuts no ice with me. But there's a moral to this story that helps explain why Formula One driver Mark Webber protested last weekend that Australia had turned into "a bloody nanny state in which we've got to read an instruction book when we get out of bed - what we can do and what we can't do".

Mark, all the way from Iceland comes your explanation. The telling thing about Iceland's ban on strippers is that it's long been a Christian country - yet it's not Christians now forcing everyone else to live by their finger-wagging code.

True, Iceland's Christianity is of that wobbly northern European kind, with only one in 10 believers in a pew on Sundays. Sounds a bit like Australia. Yet the 90 per cent of Icelanders formally registered with a church have long tolerated the strip shows that a new breed of believers have now banned.

And who are these new wowsers? Why, followers of a creed that's also growing strong here, and dangerously lacks Christianity's tolerance. You see, Iceland is the first country in the world to ban stripping and lapdancing not for religious reasons but feminist. Indeed, it's the only European country other than the Vatican City and Andorra to ban stripping at all.

Kolbrun Halldorsdottir, the politician who first proposed this law, says its adoption by parliament is "mainly as a result of the feminist groups putting pressure on parliamentarians". Moreover, almost half of Iceland's parliamentarians are female, and president Johanna Sigurardottir is not only a feminist but the world's first openly lesbian head of state.

This is the coalition of ideologues who have banned what Christians wouldn't, ruling that men may not enjoy what feminists don't like, and other women may not make money in ways their betters think sinful.

True, stripping is a demeaning trade and the less of it the healthier. I'd even admit to being dismayed that our local councils are so indifferent to the trashing of our culture that they allow the huge twirling sign next to the busy Richmond train station that advertises two sleazier strip clubs.

But the issue here is not whether stripping should be banned (I'd say no), but who is most likely to ban it - and ban lots of other things they don't like. Or put it this way: it's to identify just who is most likely to tick off Mark Webber.

We're so often told that the real straighteners are Christians, and especially Catholics. "Get your rosaries off my ovaries," screeched an anti-Catholic Age columnist at Tony Abbott on the ABC's Q&A, as if the Opposition Leader really was about to ban abortions and anything else his Catholic faith didn't like.

In truth, Abbott as prime minister would do no such authoritarian thing, and not just because he's terrified of losing the votes of women. He actually knows Christianity has what so many in-your-face ideologies of the Left do not - a respect for freedom and individual conscience.

Christians, or at least those with brains, understand their God gave us freedom to choose, or else there'd be no Hell. How we choose is ultimately up to us - and it's in that free choice that we show our moral worth. That helps to explain why Australia, despite being an overwhelmingly Christian country, has so few laws passed on purely religious grounds.

We can watch strip shows, divorce, drink, draw rude pictures of Christ, work on Sundays, visit brothels, have abortions, buy condoms, blaspheme and call the Pope a Nazi. We are free to sin against the Christian creed - and to be judged.

But the new moralists aren't quite so keen on such freedom. It's the old problem. Most moralists are really after power, not goodness, and moralising licenses them to do almost anything to make other people nicer, since their bullying is for their victim's own good. And if they don't believe in God, they'll feel even more obliged to do his judging for him.

That's why feminists feel free to ban other women from stripping, and why Webber is being driven mad by laws that are intrusive, expensive, patronising and inconvenient impertinences.

The worst of them are our new racial and religious vilification laws that have done no good and much harm, most notoriously when they were used to punish Christian pastors for quoting Koranic passages on jihad to their flock. This preaching was illegal, ruled the VCAT judge, because it elicited "a response from the audience at various times in the form of laughter".

Amazing - a law against blasphemy that was passed not by Christians but secular multiculturalists.

Then there are those countless other pestering laws that are meant to spread the latest faith of the faithless, rather than achieve any practical good.

* Take the ban on shopping bags that inconveniences shoppers without saving the planet.

* Take the ban on bottled water passed by the NSW town of Bundanoon that strikes the approved attitude but won't stop global warming by a flicker.

* Take the new Victorian law that demands all new houses have six-star green rating, forcing buyers to pay extra to live someone else's green dream.

* Take the recycling laws that force people to ritually separate their garbage at no benefit to anyone.

* Most infuriating of all such laws is Victoria's mad ban on new dams that has forced hundreds of thousands of garden lovers to water their gardens by hand at dark dawn, thanks to the man-made water shortages that followed. We must stand, hose in hand, in our gardens at dawn because influential greens felt more water was a sin.

That's the new green moralist forcing you to genuflect to their faith, using the law in ways Christians can't and won't.

YOU don't believe me? You can't believe that our laws are being used just to ram this new faith down your throat? Then read this letter in The Age from a green in Northcote (where else) infuriated by the Brumby Government's pre-election announcement that it will relax its water restrictions, thanks to good rain and the new desalination plant.

"I was stunned to hear that Melburnians can shortly return to squandering water," this Gaian raged. "After years of drought ... the population was beginning to show that behaviour can be changed, we can become responsible consumers of the Earth's resources. "Now, with a state election looming ... we can return to the head-in-the-sand wasteful behaviour of years past. Shame on you, Mr Brumby." Other writers agreed.

This is the green version of a law to force us all to eat fish on Friday.

Some of these new moralists would go even further, and turn the country into a theocracy. A green Iran. Take James Lovelock, the Gaia guru, who preaches that "climate change may be an issue as severe as a war" and "it may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while".

Or Prof Clive Hamilton, the Greens candidate, who claims global warming may require "emergency responses such as the suspension of democratic processes". Sure, Clive. Can I be the dictator, or is that job reserved for you?

You know the answer. After all, Hamilton is the fanatic who preaches that the "Gaian earth in its ecological, cybernetic way, (is) infused with some notion of mind or soul or chi".

And if it takes a law to make us see things his way - well, let Webber blubber. Or flee to a truly Christian land where he's still free to blaspheme.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


1 April, 2010

British politicians defend climate fraudsters

They refused to see the evidence in front of their eyes

The first of several British investigations into the e-mails leaked from one of the world's leading climate research centers has largely vindicated the scientists involved.

The House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee said Wednesday that they'd seen no evidence to support charges that the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit or its director, Phil Jones, had tampered with data or perverted the peer review process to exaggerate the threat of global warming two of the most serious criticisms levied against the climatologist and his colleagues.

In their report, the committee said that, as far as it was able to ascertain, "the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact," adding that nothing in the more than 1,000 stolen e-mails, or the controversy kicked up by their publication, challenged scientific consensus that "global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity."

The 14-member committee's investigation is one of three launched after the dissemination, in November, of e-mails and data stolen from the research unit. The e-mails appeared to show scientists berating skeptics in sometimes intensely personal attacks, discussing ways to shield their data from public records laws, and discussing ways to keep skeptics' research out of peer-reviewed journals. One that attracted particular media attention was Jones' reference to a "trick" that could be used to "hide the decline" of temperatures.

The e-mails' publication ahead of the Copenhagen climate change summit sparked an online furor, with skeptics of man-made climate change calling the e-mails' publication "Climategate" and claiming them as proof that the science behind global warming had been exaggerated or even made up altogether.

The lawmakers said they decided to investigate due to "the serious implications for U.K. science."


Japanese researchers find that Arctic temperature changes are almost all natural variations -- and that the IPCC conclusions are based on false assumptions

By Hiroshi L. Tanaka

Dr. Kiminori Itoh suggested I contact you to explain our recent work on misleading global warming predictions in reference to the comprehensive study on the Arctic Oscillation [AO]. As you have experienced, the winter of 2009/2010 reminded us of the global cool weather rather than global warming. The occurrence of the extreme AO minus (3 sigma) provided us additional evidence that the AO controls a large fraction of global warming.

We have a paper that was published on 13 March 2010 with my student Mr. Ohashi in SOLA:

Masahiro Ohashi and H. L. Tanaka, 2010: Vol. 6A (2010) : Data Analysis of Recent Warming Pattern in the Arctic. Special Edition -Special Edition of the Fourth Japan China Korea Joint Conference on Meteorology- p.1-4

The abstract reads

“In this study, we investigate the mechanism of the arctic warming pattern in surface air temperature (SAT) and sea ice concentrations over the last two decades in comparison with global warming since the 1970s.

According to the analysis result, it is found that the patterns of SAT and sea ice before 1989 are mostly determined by the Arctic Oscillation (AO) in winter. In contrast, arctic warming patterns after 1989 are characterized by the intensification of the Beaufort High and the reduced sea-ice concentrations in summer induced by the positive ice-albedo feedback.

It is concluded that the arctic warming before 1989 especially in winter was explained by the positive trend of the AOI. Moreover the intensified Beaufort High and the drastic decrease of the sea ice concentrations in September after 1989 were associated with the recent negative trend of the AOI. Since the decadal variation of the AO is recognized as the natural variability of the global atmosphere, it is shown that both of decadal variabilities before and after 1989 in the Arctic can be mostly explained by the natural variability of the AO not by the external response due to the human activity.”

Professor Tanaka summarized the significance of their papers for us in the following:

The main conclusions are:

(1) The most dominant trend in observation for 1950-1999 shows an AO pattern (natural variability), while the most dominant trend in the IPCC models shows an ice-albedo feedback pattern (anthropogenic forcing).

(2) In the observations, the AO pattern appears as the EOF-1. However, in the IPCC 10 model mean, the ice-albedo pattern appears as EOF-1 (which is not seen in the observation), and the AO pattern appears as EOF-2.

(3) In the EOF analysis, the ratio of variance for the ice-albedo and AO patterns are 5:2. Since the AO is a realization of a stochastic process, the variance of the AO pattern in the observations dominates the ice-albedo pattern (5:20 in theory).

(4) Multi-decadal trends of surface air temperatures [SAT] indicates that the AO was negative for 1950-1969, the AO was positive for 1969-1989, and the AO was negative for 1989-2008 (2010 is the extreme value). Those are realized as the natural variability superimposed on the general trend of global warming.


According to our result, the rapid warming during 1970-1990 contains a large fraction of unpredictable natural variability due to the AO. The subsequent period of 1990-2010 indicates a clear trend of the AO to be negative. The global warming has been stopped by natural variability superimposed on the gentle anthropogenic global warming. The important point is that the IPCC models have been tuned perfectly to fit the rapid warming during 1970-1990 by means of the ice-albedo feedback (anthropogenic forcing) which is not actually observed. IPCC models are justified with this wrong scientific basis and are applied to project the future global warming for 100 years in the future. Hence, we warn that the IPCC models overestimate the warming trend due to the mislead Arctic Oscillation.


Climate change, happening before your eyes

Steven Goddard and Anthony Watts: "Barring an about face by nature or adjustments, it appears that for the first time since 2001, Arctic Sea ice will hit the “normal” line as defined by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) for this time of year."

Could the ABC please send alarmist Marian Wilkinson back up to the Arctic to file an update on this report of 2008:

Turns out Wilkinson may have been right: "If you want to see climate change happening before your eyes, scientists will tell you: “Go to the end of the earth”, and that’s why we’re here, in the Arctic Circle."


"Change" is not new

When ancient fossils of creatures that live on the ocean floor have been found in rock formations at the summit of Mount Everest, that ought to give us a clue that big changes in the earth are nothing new, and that huge changes have been going on long before human beings appeared on the scene.

The recent statement that the earth was warmer in the Middle Ages than it is today, made by the climate scientist [Phil Jones] who is at the heart of the recent scandal about "global warming" statistics, ought to at least give pause to those who are determined to believe that human beings must be the reason for "climate change."

Other climate scientists have pointed out before now that the earth has warmed and cooled many times over the centuries. Contrary to the impression created in much of the media and in politics, no one has denied that temperatures change, sometimes more than they are changing today.

Three years ago, a book by Singer and Avery was published with a title that says it all: "Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years."

Contrary to clever political spin that likened those who refused to join the "global warming" hysteria to people who denied the Holocaust, no one denied that climates change. Indeed, some of the climate scientists who have been the biggest critics of the current hysteria have pointed out that climates had changed back and forth, long before human beings created industrial societies or drove SUVs.

It is those who have been pushing the hysteria who have been playing fast and loose with the facts, wanting to keep crucial data from becoming public, and even "losing" some of that data that supposedly proved the most dire consequences. It has not been facts but computer models at the heart of the "global warming" crusade.

Nothing is easier than coming up with computer models that prove almost anything. Back during the 1970s, there were computer models predicting mass starvation and global cooling. The utter failure of those predictions ought to make us at least skeptical of computer models, especially computer models based on data that advocates want to keep from public view or even "lose" when investigators start closing in.

On climate issues, as on many other issues, the biggest argument of the left has been that there is no argument. The word "science" has been used as a magic mantra to shut up critics, even when those critics have been scientists with international reputations as specialists in climate science.

Stealing the aura of science for political purposes is nothing new for the left. Karl Marx called his brand of Utopianism "scientific socialism." Even earlier, in the 18th century, the Marquis de Condorcet referred to "engineering" society. In the 20th century, H.G. Wells referred to the creation of a lasting peace as a heavy and complex "piece of mental engineering."

Genuine science is the opposite of dogmatism, but that does not keep dogmatists from invoking the name of science in order to shut off debate. Science is a method of analysis, rather than simply a set of conclusions.

In fact, much of the history of science is a history of having to abandon the prevailing conclusions among scientists, in light of new evidence or new methods of analysis.

When the scientists in England who were promoting "global warming" hysteria sent e-mails out to colleagues, urging them not to reveal certain data and not to let the fact become widely known that there was a freedom-of-information act in Britain, they were behaving like politicians, rather than scientists.

The huge political, financial and ideological investment of many individuals and institutions in the "global warming" hysteria makes it virtually impossible for many of the climate crusaders to gamble it all on a roll of the dice, which is what empirical verification is. It is far safer to dogmatize and to demonize those who think otherwise.

Educators who turn schools into indoctrination centers have been going all out to propagandize a whole generation with Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth"- which has in fact carried a message that has been very convenient for Al Gore financially, producing millions of dollars from his "green" activities.


Senators Demand Explanation of NASA's Flawed Climate Data

Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and David Vitter (R-La.) have written a letter to NASA chief Charles Bolden demanding answers to questions surrounding newly uncovered irregularities in the space agency's climate data.

Concerns about the validity of NASA's climate research are being raised following revelations that the space agency admitted its data was less accurate than other weather trackers'. Disturbed by these reports, as well as the growing Climate-gate scandal that has left global-warming theorists reeling, Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and David Vitter (R-La.) have written a letter to space agency chief Charles Bolden demanding answers.

"The American people deserve to learn the truth about the data," Barrasso told, stressing the risks of basing public policy on science that remains largely undecided. has obtained an advance copy of the letter -- the third that Barrasso, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Oversight for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Vitter, ranking member of the Committee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, have written in the months following the Climate-gate scandal.

Writing that "American data is partially derived from the corrupted data set that has been criticized as too political and unscientific as a result of the Climate-gate scandal," the senators have invited Bolden to testify before the Senate on the credibility of NASA's data.

"Their efforts to attack the science of climate change may be politically motivated. I see nothing in the NASA/GISS data that suggests anything other than an honest effort to discover the scientific truth about the Earth's temperature record," Barrasso says.

When contacted for comment, NASA had still not received the letter, but a spokesman for the space agency was awaiting to the Senators' comments. "NASA has not received the letter," NASA spokesman Michael Cabbage said. "We look forward to working with the senators to respond to their concerns."

The letter, expressing concern with NASA's newly revealed use of data from the East Anglia University's Climatic Research Unit, cites interviews with CRU's chief Phil Jones and programmer Ian "Harry" Harris, both of whom denigrated the quality of the CRU data. "No uniform data integrity, it's just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they're found. This whole project is SUCH A MESS," Harris reportedly commented.

Barrasso and Vitter also refer to a Feb 27 study by former NASA physicist Edward Long, who was involved in the development of several upper atmospheric research satellites. Long claimed that NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) had been progressively modifying data, "lowering temperature values for far-back dates and raising those in the more recent past."

"We shouldn't make decisions affecting millions of American jobs when the data isn't credible," Barrasso told

He said he's particularly concerned with planned changes to public policy regarding carbon credits and so called "cap and trade" legislation, rules that are based on the assumption that man is at least partly responsible for global warming.

"If the president is successful in passing what I call a 'cap and tax' bill, which is something that's already passed the House last year, I think all Americans will see their electricity rates go sky high," he told

"When the administration is trying to make an endangerment finding on carbon dioxide, I think it's reckless to make such huge decisions affecting American jobs and the American economy based on data that may not be reliable, and seems to be contaminated."

"I don't think the facts bear out, at this point," he said. "You wonder if it's more about politics than it is about science."



To the Green/Left, ALL ionizing radiation is bad. That moderate amounts are actually beneficial and may LENGTHEN life (hormesis) is furiously denied -- despite such pesky things as evidence. The Trinity nuclear test mentioned below was the world's first nuclear explosion -- in New Mexico

Among the various bits of evidence against the LNT theory (that radiation is dangerous even at low levels) & for radiation hormesis (that it is beneficial even as high as 260 mSv - 17 times the official unsafe level) was this: "In 1964, the cows exposed to about 150 rads after the Trinity A-Bomb in 1946 were quietly euthanized because of extreme old age."

Destroying data & scientific evidence is the 2nd worst crime in science, the worst being total fabrication. I thought this deserved deeper coverage.

I couldn't find anything new about the euthanizing but did find this pdf (p 29) from the report on Trinity: "Cattle that grazed on Chupadera mesa suffered local beta burns and temporary loss of dorsal hair (Hempelmann 1947, Hacker 1987, Stannard 1988). Patches of hair grew back discoloured. The army bought in 75 head of cattle from all ranchers, the 17 most significantly marked were kept at Los Alamos, while the rest were shipped to Oak Ridge for long term observation. It was estimated that the doses required to produce such effects were between 4,000 & 50,000 R, most likely around 20,000 R (Hacker 1987)

That must be it. This (page 4) refers to the EPA having maintained a cattle testing station at Oak Ridge since 1964 which I presume means they have taken over the military facilities once they had disposed of the evidence. Los Alamos also still have a facility which has been used for forensic tests on cattle mutilations.

So we are talking about a herd in 1946 of between 75 & 58 cattle at Oak Ridge, depending on what happened to those at Los Alamos. That is a statistically significant number. We don't know how many were still alive in 1964 but if it was described as a herd being put down there must have been a fair number. The animals were a random selection from the cattle of a number of ranchers - the only obvious selection criteria being that they were the ones most affected or expected to be. That means their ages in 1964 should run from 0 to 7 years. Older than that they are no longer commercial & get sold. So in 1964 they were aged between 18 & 25. How "extreme" is that for well cared for cattle?

This chart provides the expected maximum life span for a variety of animals in years. Many of the values are based on record life spans taken from various sources.

So when these cows were put down several of them would have passed the maximum longevity for cattle. Even if an assumption was made that none of those which had been adults in 1946 were more than 3 or 4 years old they would still be about to make records. If one assumes the LNT theory was being heavily pushed by government as the official truth one can see why they had to be disposed of. Because this is virtually irrefutable evidence of radiation hormesis & of it occurring even at high levels of radioactivity.

I regard the destruction of these animals not only as a crime against science but a crime against humanity since it has prevented study of a phenomenon that if made use of, over the last 46 years, could not have failed to extend many millions of lives.

My guess is that although the experiment was destroyed the files & results for the preceding 18 years could not have been since that would have made it blatantly clear what was being done & why. These records probably still exist filed in some warehouse beside the Lost Ark.

If so, bearing in mind how much easier it is to use data nowadays with personal computers available & that more information must have been collated about ordinary cattle providing control group statistics, it is possible, just from the measurements & death records left, to make a good calculation of the statistical effect of hormesis on longevity in large mammals. If so there is a PhD or perhaps even Nobel for some American who uses their Freedom of Information Act to get the data & use it.

A further thought occurs - did these animals have calves (it seems likely that at least in the early years when mutations were expected this would have been encouraged)? If so what happened to them?

SOURCE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)


For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here



After much reading in the relevant literature, the following conclusions seem warranted to me. You should find evidence for all of them appearing on this blog from time to time:

The Greenie message is entirely emotional and devoid of all logic. They say that polar ice will melt and cause a big sea-level rise. Yet 91% of the world's glacial ice is in Antarctica, where the average temperature is around minus 40 degrees Celsius. The melting point of ice is zero degrees. So for the ice to melt on any scale the Antarctic temperature would need to rise by around 40 degrees, which NOBODY is predicting. The median Greenie prediction is about 4 degrees. So where is the huge sea level rise going to come from? Mars? And the North polar area is mostly sea ice and melting sea ice does not raise the sea level at all. Yet Warmists constantly hail any sign of Arctic melting. That the melting of floating ice does not raise the water level is known as Archimedes' principle. Archimedes demonstrated it around 2,500 years ago. That Warmists have not yet caught up with that must be just about the most inspissated ignorance imaginable. The whole Warmist scare defies the most basic physics. Sadly, what the Vulgate says in John 1:5 is still only very partially true: "Lux in tenebris lucet". There is still much darkness in the minds of men.

The repeated refusal of Warmist "scientists" to make their raw data available to critics is such a breach of scientific protocol that it amounts to a confession in itself. Note, for instance Phil Jones' Feb 21, 2005 response to Warwick Hughes' request for his raw climate data: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Looking for things that might be wrong with a given conclusion is of course central to science. But Warmism cannot survive such scrutiny.

Most Greenie causes are at best distractions from real environmental concerns (such as land degradation) and are more motivated by a hatred of people than by any care for the environment

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. -- Prof. P. Stott

Comparing climate alarmist Hansen to Cassandra is WRONG. Cassandra's (Greek mythology) dire prophecies were never believed but were always right. Hansen's dire prophecies are usually believed but are always wrong (Prof. Laurence Gould, U of Hartford, CT)

The modern environmental movement arose out of the wreckage of the New Left. They call themselves Green because they're too yellow to admit they're really Reds. So Lenin's birthday was chosen to be the date of Earth Day. Even a moderate politician like Al Gore has been clear as to what is needed. In "Earth in the Balance", he wrote that saving the planet would require a "wrenching transformation of society".

For centuries there was a scientific consensus which said that fire was explained by the release of an invisible element called phlogiston. That theory is universally ridiculed today. Global warming is the new phlogiston. Though, now that we know how deliberate the hoax has been, it might be more accurate to call global warming the New Piltdown Man. The Piltdown hoax took 40 years to unwind. I wonder....

Bertrand Russell knew about consensus: "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

Motives: 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 generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Policies: The only underlying theme that makes sense of all Greenie policies is hatred of people. Hatred of other people has been a Greenie theme from way back. In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991, p. 104) published by the "Club of Rome", a Greenie panic outfit, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." See here for many more examples of prominent Greenies saying how much and how furiously they hate you.

The conventional wisdom of the day is often spectacularly wrong. The most popular and successful opera of all time is undoubtedly "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Yet it was much criticized when first performed and the unfortunate Bizet died believing that it was a flop. Similarly, when the most iconic piece of 20th century music was first performed in 1913-- Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- half the audience walked out. Those of us who defy the conventional wisdom about climate are actually better off than that. Unlike Bizet and Stravinsky in 1913, we KNOW that we will eventually be vindicated -- because all that supports Warmism is a crumbling edifice of guesswork ("models").

"The desire to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it" -- H L Mencken

Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

I am not a global warming skeptic nor am I a global warming denier. I am a global warming atheist. I don't believe one bit of it. That the earth's climate changes is undeniable. Only ignoramuses believe that climate stability is normal. But I see NO evidence to say that mankind has had anything to do with any of the changes observed -- and much evidence against that claim.

Seeing that we are all made of carbon, the time will come when people will look back on the carbon phobia of the early 21st century as too incredible to be believed

The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) must have foreseen Global Warmism. He said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

The Holy Grail for most scientists is not truth but research grants. And the global warming scare has produced a huge downpour of money for research. Any mystery why so many scientists claim some belief in global warming?

For many people, global warming seems to have taken the place of "The Jews" -- a convenient but false explanation for any disliked event. Prof. Brignell has some examples.

Global warming skeptics are real party-poopers. It's so wonderful to believe that you have a mission to save the world.

There is an "ascetic instinct" (or perhaps a "survivalist instinct") in many people that causes them to delight in going without material comforts. Monasteries and nunneries were once full of such people -- with the Byzantine stylites perhaps the most striking example. Many Greenies (other than Al Gore and his Hollywood pals) have that instinct too but in the absence of strong orthodox religious committments they have to convince themselves that the world NEEDS them to live in an ascetic way. So their personal emotional needs lead them to press on us all a delusional belief that the planet needs "saving".

The claim that oil is a fossil fuel is another great myth and folly of the age. They are now finding oil at around seven MILES beneath the sea bed -- which is incomparably further down than any known fossil. The abiotic oil theory is not as yet well enough developed to generate useful predictions but that is also true of fossil fuel theory


"In science, refuting an accepted belief is celebrated as an advance in knowledge; in religion it is condemned as heresy". (Bob Parks, Physics, U of Maryland). No prizes for guessing how global warming skepticism is normally responded to.

"The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin." -- Thomas H. Huxley

Time was, people warning the world "Repent - the end is nigh!" were snickered at as fruitcakes. Now they own the media and run the schools.

"One of the sources of the Fascist movement is the desire to avoid a too-rational and too-comfortable world" -- George Orwell, 1943 in Can Socialists Be Happy?

Against the long history of huge temperature variation in the earth's climate (ice ages etc.), the .6 of one degree average rise reported by the U.N. "experts" for the entire 20th century (a rise so small that you would not be able to detect such a difference personally without instruments) shows, if anything, that the 20th century was a time of exceptional temperature stability.

Recent NASA figures tell us that there was NO warming trend in the USA during the 20th century. If global warming is occurring, how come it forgot the USA?

Warmists say that the revised NASA figures do not matter because they cover only the USA -- and the rest of the world is warming nicely. But it is not. There has NEVER been any evidence that the Southern hemisphere is warming. See here. So the warming pattern sure is looking moth-eaten.

There goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts. - Duc de La Rochefoucauld, French writer and moralist (1613-1680)

The latest scare is the possible effect of extra CO2 on the world’s oceans, because more CO2 lowers the pH of seawater. While it is claimed that this makes the water more acidic, this is misleading. Since seawater has a pH around 8.1, it will take an awful lot of CO2 it to even make the water neutral (pH=7), let alone acidic (pH less than 7).

In fact, ocean acidification is a scientific impossibility. Henry's Law mandates that warming oceans will outgas CO2 to the atmosphere (as the UN's own documents predict it will), making the oceans less acid. Also, more CO2 would increase calcification rates. No comprehensive, reliable measurement of worldwide oceanic acid/base balance has ever been carried out: therefore, there is no observational basis for the computer models' guess that acidification of 0.1 pH units has occurred in recent decades.

The chaos theory people have told us for years that the air movement from a single butterfly's wing in Brazil can cause an unforeseen change in our weather here. Now we are told that climate experts can "model" the input of zillions of such incalculable variables over periods of decades to accurately forecast global warming 50 years hence. Give us all a break!

If you doubt the arrogance [of the global warming crowd, you haven't seen that Newsweek cover story that declared the global warming debate over. Consider: If Newton's laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming -- infinitely more untested, complex and speculative -- is a closed issue

A "geriatric" revolt: The scientists who reject Warmism tend to be OLD! Your present blogger is one of those. There are tremendous pressures to conformity in academe and the generally Leftist orientation of academe tends to pressure everyone within it to agree to ideas that suit the Left. And Warmism is certainly one of those ideas. So old guys are the only ones who can AFFORD to declare the Warmists to be unclothed. They either have their careers well-established (with tenure) or have reached financial independence (retirement) and so can afford to call it like they see it. In general, seniors in society today are not remotely as helpful to younger people as they once were. But their opposition to the Warmist hysteria will one day show that seniors are not completely irrelevant after all. Experience does count (we have seen many such hysterias in the past and we have a broader base of knowledge to call on) and our independence is certainly an enormous strength. Some of us are already dead. (Reid Bryson and John Daly are particularly mourned) and some of us are very senior indeed (e.g. Bill Gray and Vince Gray) but the revolt we have fostered is ever growing so we have not labored in vain.

Scientists have politics too -- sometimes extreme politics. Read this: "This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism... I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child." -- Albert Einstein

The "precautionary principle" is a favourite Greenie idea -- but isn't that what George Bush was doing when he invaded Iraq? Wasn't that a precaution against Saddam getting or having any WMDs? So Greenies all agree with the Iraq intervention? If not, why not?

A classic example of how the sensationalist media distort science to create climate panic is here.

There is a very readable summary of the "Hockey Stick" fraud here

The Lockwood & Froehlich paper was designed to rebut Durkin's "Great Global Warming Swindle" film. It is a rather confused paper -- acknowledging yet failing to account fully for the damping effect of the oceans, for instance -- but it is nonetheless valuable to climate atheists. The concession from a Greenie source that fluctuations in the output of the sun have driven climate change for all but the last 20 years (See the first sentence of the paper) really is invaluable. And the basic fact presented in the paper -- that solar output has in general been on the downturn in recent years -- is also amusing to see. Surely even a crazed Greenie mind must see that the sun's influence has not stopped and that reduced solar output will soon start COOLING the earth! Unprecedented July 2007 cold weather throughout the Southern hemisphere might even have been the first sign that the cooling is happening. And the fact that warming plateaued in 1998 is also a good sign that we are moving into a cooling phase. As is so often the case, the Greenies have got the danger exactly backwards. See my post of 7.14.07 and very detailed critiques here and here and here for more on the Lockwood paper and its weaknesses.

As the Greenies are now learning, even strong statistical correlations may disappear if a longer time series is used. A remarkable example from Sociology: "The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre’s yield of cotton. He calculated the correla­tion coefficient between the two series at –0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower.... In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic condi­tions and lynchings in Raper’s data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his anal­ysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic condi­tions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added." So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data. In the Greenie case, the correlation between CO2 rise and global temperature rise stopped in 1998 -- but that could have been foreseen if measurements taken in the first half of the 20th century had been considered.

Relying on the popular wisdom can even hurt you personally: "The scientific consensus of a quarter-century ago turned into the arthritic nightmare of today."