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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28 February, 2010

Geert Wilders

Most readers here probably know Geert Wilders as the Dutch politician who dares to speak the truth about Islam. He is at the moment on trial in a Dutch court for doing just that -- but will probably be acquitted. A Dutch reader writes to tell me however that Wilders is also "The only firm anti-green in Western Europe".

A few days ago, however, the Dutch government fell, because of divisions between the coalition partners over Afghanistan -- which tends to discredit the parties involved. New elections will be held in June and Wilders is riding high in the polls. If his party gets more votes than any other, which seems possible, he would be in a very good position to become the next Prime Minister. Nederland has proportional representation so it is very unlikely that any party will get an outright majority in the Dutch parliament.

One can only dream but wouldn't it be good if a Dutch Prime Minister dismissed the global Warming hoax? Wilders is just the man to do so.

Dr. Richard Lindzen's Talk at Fermilab

Richard Lindzen PhD, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was recently invited to give a talk entitled "The Peculiar Issue of Global Warming" at Fermilab 2/10/10 which you can watch in its entirety with slides here.

Dr. Lindzen calmly eviscerates the theory of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) and the IPCC "consensus". Highly recommended. Some of the key slides from the presentation are archived at the link below. Below are 2 slides from the earlier part of the presentation, the first noting that the theory of intelligent design sounds rigorous by comparison to the theory of anthropogenic global warming, the second noting that 3 pro-CAGW publications have already acknowledged that temperature data has contradicted the man-made attribution assumption (primarily CO2), which is the inherent assumption of the IPCC models.


1989 NYT: No Warming In US Since 1895

From the archives of the New York Times:

After examining climate data extending back nearly 100 years, a team of Government scientists has concluded that there has been no significant change in average temperatures or rainfall in the United States over that entire period.

While the nation’s weather in individual years or even for periods of years has been hotter or cooler and drier or wetter than in other periods, the new study shows that over the last century there has been no trend in one direction or another.

The study, made by scientists for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was published in the current issue of Geophysical Research Letters. It is based on temperature and precipitation readings taken at weather stations around the country from 1895 to 1987.

Dr. Kirby Hanson, the meteorologist who led the study, said in a telephone interview that the findings concerning the United States do not necessarily ”cast doubt” on previous findings of a worldwide trend toward warmer temperatures, nor do they have a bearing one way or another on the theory that a buildup of pollutants is acting like a greenhouse and causing global warming. He said that the United States occupies only a small percentage of Earth’s surface and that the new findings may be the result of regional variations.

Readings taken by other scientists have suggested a significant warming worldwide over the last 100 years. Dr. James E. Hansen, director of National Aeronautic and Space Administration’s Institute for Space Studies in Manhattan, has reported that average global temperatures have risen by nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit in this century and that the average temperatures in the 1980’s are the highest on record.

Dr. Hansen and other scientists have said that that there is a high degree of probability that this warming trend is associated with the atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide and other industrial gases that absorb and retain radiation.

But other scientists, while agreeing with this basic theory of a greenhouse effect, say there is no convincing evidence that a pollution-induced warming has already begun.

Dr. Michael E. Schlesinger, an atmospheric scientist at Oregon State University who studies climate models, said there is no inconsistency between the data presented by the NOAA team and the greenhouse theory. But he said he regarded the new data as inconsistent with assumptions that such an effect is already detectable. More Droughts Predicted

Many of the computer models that predict global warming also predict that certain areas, including the Midwest in the United States, would suffer more frequent droughts.

Dr. Hanson of NOAA said today that the new study does not in any way contradict the findings reported by the NASA scientists and others. He said that his study, in which he was joined by George A. Maul and Thomas A. Karl, also of NOAA, looked at only the 48 contiguous states.

Dr. Hanson said that global warming caused by the greenhouse effect might have been countered by some cooling phenomenon that has not yet been identified and that the readings in his study recorded the net effect.

”We have to be careful about interpreting things like this,” he said. What About Urbanization? One aspect of the study that Dr. Hanson said was interesting was the finding that the urbanization of the United States has apparently not had a statistically significant effect on average temperature readings. A number of scientists have theorized that the replacement of forests and pastures by asphalt streets and concrete buildings, which retain heat, is an important cause of rising temperatures.

Dr. Hansen of NASA said today that he had ”no quarrel” with the findings in the new study. He noted that the United States covered only 1.5 percent of Earth. ”If you have only one degree warming on a global average, how much do you get at random” when taking measurements in such a relatively small area, he asked rhetorically.

”We are just arguing now about whether the global warming effect is large enough to see,” he added. ”It is not suprising [sic] we are not seeing it in a region that covers only 1.5 percent of the globe.”

Dr. Hansen said there were several ways to look at the temperature readings for the United States, including as a ‘’statistical fluke.”

Possibililty of Countereffects

Another possibility, he said, was that there were special conditions in the United States that would tend to offset a warming trend. For example, industrial activity produces dust and other solid particles that help form liquid droplets in the atmosphere. These droplets reflect radiation away from Earth and thus have a cooling influence.
Notice that Dr. James Hansen is saying that industrial activity drives down the temperature of the Earth. So doesn’t that mean we need more rather than less industrial activity?
Dr. Hansen suggested that at some point there could be a jump in temperature readings in the United States if the measurements in the new study were a statistical aberration or the result of atmospheric pollutants reflecting heat away from Earth. He noted that anti-pollution efforts are reducing the amount of these particles and thus reducing the reflection of heat.

Several computer models have projected that the greenhouse effect would cause average global temperatures to rise between 3 and 8 degrees Fahrenheit in the next century. But scientists concede that reactions set off by the warming trend itself could upset these predictions and produce unanticipated changes in climate patterns.

Legislative Action Sought

Coincidentally with the new report, legislation was introduced in the Senate today prescribing actions for addressing the threat of global warming. Senator Al Gore, Democrat of Tennessee, introduced a bill that calls for creating a Council on World Environmental Policy to replace the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality. This change would emphasize the international aspects of environmental issues.

The bill would also require a ban on industrial chemicals that not only are depleting the atmosphere’s ozone layer, which blocks harmful ultraviolet radiation, but are believed to be contributing to the warming trend. It would also require stricter fuel-economy standards for automobiles to reduce the consumption of gasoline to reduce carbon dioxide.
So there must have been a helluva lot of warming between 1989 and 1995, which is 15 years ago — and we haven’t had any warming since.


What is Obama's Climate Czar Up To?

Judicial Watch is spearheading a comprehensive investigation into President Obama's appointment of unconstitutional "czars," individuals charged with executing Obama's policy agenda in secret and without congressional oversight. Our first major "czar" lawsuit is over the role of controversial "Climate Czar" Carol Browner.

In February, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Obama Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to obtain documents related to Ms. Browner (who holds the official title of Special Assistant on Energy and Climate) and her role in crafting official U.S. climate policy. Ms. Browner, who was never subjected to Senate confirmation, reportedly served as the Obama administration's point person in secret negotiations to establish automobile emission standards in California and also participated in negotiations involving cap and trade legislation.

Through our FOIA request filed on December 28, 2009, we're specifically seeking all records of communications, contacts, or correspondence between Browner and the Energy Department or the EPA concerning:

A. Negotiations and/or discussions among the auto industry, the State of California, and agencies of the United States with respect to fuel-standards/auto emissions for the time period between January 20, 2009, and June 1, 2009; and

B. Negotiations/discussions with respect to cap and trade legislation for the time period between June 1, 2009, and October 1, 2009.

The EPA has failed to respond to these requests in any manner. Subsequent to filing its lawsuit on February 18, Judicial Watch received a letter from the Energy Department (dated February 17) in which the agency denied that it even had any documents responsive to Judicial Watch's FOIA requests. (I'm not sure I believe that!)

According to press reports, Ms. Browner instructed individuals involved in auto emissions negotiations to "put nothing in writing, ever." The New York Times reported that Browner made every effort to "keep their discussions as quiet as possible."

And here's something else to make you nervous about Browner. Her involvement in these important discussions is particularly troubling given her documented ties to the radical socialist organization Socialist International, which reportedly calls for "global governance" and advocates that wealthier nations should shrink their economies in order to address the climate change "crisis."

According to Fox News, Browner's name was "scrubbed" from the organization's website once she became linked to the Obama administration, but evidence of her involvement (including a photo of Browner speaking to the group's congress in Greece) remained.

So, here we have an unconfirmed Obama administration official conducting secret meetings and instructing participants to avoid producing a written record. This is the perfect storm of corruption: concentrated executive power with no congressional oversight and no transparency. And this stonewalling on the "Climate Czar" documents adds yet another chapter in the growing Climategate scandal. (Click here to read more.)

Too many of Obama's czars seem to wield a tremendous amount of authority and power and they have not been vetted as required by the Constitution. And I don't think it's any accident that every time one of them ends up in the news, it's because of their radical leftist ties. (See Van Jones.)

That's why we're so aggressive in our pursuit of documents detailing the role of Obama's czars in crafting and executing the Obama White House agenda.


IPCC member admits to not reading IPCC report

In another blow to the organization's crumbling credibility, a senior Irish member of the IPCC admitted that he has not bothered to read the fourth IPCC report in its entirety, but advocates "changing our lifestyle" based on its findings.

Pat Finnegan is a member of Working Group III (WG3), which is the mitigation panel of the IPCC. In a shocking admission, he recently disclosed on Irish Radio, during a debate with documentary film maker Phelim McAleer that he has not read the full IPCC report.

Mr. Finnegan explained he had not read the report because "it was over 1800 pages long." But not reading 75 percent of the report didn't stop Finnegan from telling us in a 2007 press release that the world needs to change because of what was in the report and that we all need to "change our lifestyle."

Pardon me, Mr. Finnegan, but given the IPCC's recent difficulties, I think you have some reading to do. You need to read a report before you use it as a basis for changing people's lives — particularly some of the poorest people on the planet who depend on cheap energy so that they and their children can have a future.

For instance, if you had read the whole report you might have noticed a long list of errors spanning from mistaken predictions about melting Himalayan glaciers, counting the sea levels twice in the Netherlands, or simply noticing the IPCC chairman's conflicts of interest.

Perhaps it's time for the IPCC and Pat Finnegan to stop giving advice and start taking it, for starters, by fact-checking their own reports. Rumor has it you do that by actually reading it.


Cancel indexed phone books such as Yellow Pages to tackle climate change -- say British councils

Households are being asked to opt out of receiving their annual phone book to stop thousands of tonnes of paper being dumped in landfill every year. Unwanted phone books left on doorsteps or dumped in the bin cost councils more than £7 million every year to clear up. The Local Government Association (LGA) said the money could be used on more important services and have launched a campaign asking households to cancel the service.

Environmental campaigners welcomed the move and said it was just the start to the gradual phasing out of phone books as more and more people use the internet to find out about local services. However charities feared that households without good internet connection or the elderly may be unable to contact vital services without access to the phone book.

Every year 25 million households in Britain are sent up to three phone books from Yellow Pages, Thompson and BT. Gary Porter, Chairman of the LGA Environment Board, said most are dumped in the bin without even being opened and urged households to cancel the directories by phone or email.

"Council taxpayers’ money could be spent on better things than picking up phone books, many of which are never even used. Cutting down on the number of pointless phone directories could save millions and allow councils to spend more on vital services like care for the elderly," he said.

But Hannah Bellamy of Global Action Plan said most people are too "lethargic" to cancel the phone book. Instead she said there should be a well-publicised campaign asking people to "opt in" so only people who request the phone book receive a copy. "We should go further," she said. "The phone book is not necessary. It is a waste in terms of energy, oil and other resources."

The Say No to Phone books campaign, backed by and the Global Action Plan, is lobbying Government to introduce a centralised opt-in system. An independent survey commissioned by the campaign found that 70 per cent of people would back the phasing out of free phone books in favour of an opt in.

But Michelle Mitchell, the Director of Age Concern and Help the Aged Charity Director, feared the end of free phone books would isolate the elderly. "While many services are shifting online, provision must always be made for people who do not have access to the internet," he said.

Trevor Fenwick, chairman of the Data Publishers Association, said the production of directories like BT and Yellowpages is not only a multi-million pound advertising industry in itself but boosts local business who are unable to publicised their services any other way. "The business to consumer directory sector contributes well over £1 billion to local economies, and therefore local business rates, playing a vital economic and social role in linking businesses with their market," he said. "Millions of people in the UK use our paper directories on a regular basis, and it is simply not the case that consumers who search for businesses online will have no further use of a printed directory."



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 February, 2010

Warmist claims of more extreme weather are contrary to the facts

Thomas Friedman argues (February 17) that global warming should instead be called “global weirding” because as a result of global warming, “The weather gets weird. The hots are expected to get hotter, the wets wetter, the dries drier and the most violent storms more numerous.” The only thing getting weirder, however, is Friedman’s interpretation of reality.

To claim, as Friedman does, that “the hots are expected to get hotter” is quite misleading. Most of the warming from carbon dioxide emissions is expected to occur at night, as carbon dioxide prevents some of the earth’s heat from radiating back into space after the sun sets. Daytime highs are not expected to change much, but evening lows will become somewhat milder. The moderation in nighttime low temperatures, moreover, is expected to occur more in the winter than in the summer. This would make conditions more, not less, comfortable for people.

Far from “global weirding,” this should translate into “global milding.” Global temperature data confirm this, showing no signs of “the hots getting hotter.” The all-time high temperature in Africa was set in 1922; in North America, 1913; in Asia, 1942; in Australia, 1889; in Europe, 1977; and in South America, 1920. In the United States, 30 of the 50 states experienced their all-time high temperature between 1910 and 1940. Fully 40 of the 50 states experienced their all-time high temperature before 1980.

As to “the wets” allegedly getting wetter, global precipitation increased during the 20th century, but this did not happen in a weird or harmful manner. National Climatic Data Center records show U.S. precipitation has increased nearly 10 percent in the past 115 years, but fully half of this increase occurred during the fall drought season, when the least amount of precipitation happens and an increase in precipitation would be most beneficial. Far from a “weirding,” this can best be described as a blessing.

A study of stream flows and flooding events published in the April 2009 peer-reviewed Journal of the American Water Resources Association confirms this. “There is broad evidence … for increased magnitudes of low and moderate flows both regionally and nationally” while “trends in high flows have been much less evident,” the study concluded.

Likewise Friedman’s assertion that global warming is causing the “dries” to get drier. Not only is precipitation--and particularly precipitation during the fall drought season—becoming more dependable, but drought as a whole is in sharp decline. A study published in the May 2006 peer-reviewed Geophysical Research Letters reported, “Droughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the country over the last century.”

A study in the March 2006 peer-reviewed Journal of Hydrology reached a similar conclusion. “Evidence indicates that summer soil moisture content has increased during the last several decades at almost all sites having long-term records in the Global Soil Moisture Data Bank.”

Finally, the claim that “the most violent storms [are becoming] more numerous” is demonstrably false. National Weather Service records show the number of strong (F2 and higher) tornadoes in the United States has been declining for the past 35 years. Roughly twice as many strong tornadoes struck the nation during the 1960s and 1970s, when the globe was cooling, than struck in the 1990s and 2000s.

The hurricane record is similar. National Weather Service records show hurricanes struck the United States far more frequently in the late 1800s through the 1950s than has been the case since the 1960s. In fact, global hurricane frequency during the past two years was lower than at any time since at least the 1970s.

Thomas Friedman may believe there is value in drumming up public alarm by falsely claiming global warming makes the weather “weirder.” In the real world, however, the weather is becoming milder.


Vanishing "experts"

FOR years the media have told us that there is a "scientific consensus" on catastrophic, man-made global warming with anything up to 99.9pc of scientists supporting it.

I decided to carry out a survey to see if this claim had any merit, and asked journalists, politicians and alarmist lobbyists to name two prominent scientists not funded by government or an alarmist lobby group who have said we are seeing a catastrophic degree of warming. As yet, none have been able to do so. Scientists who are seeking government funds have been understandably reluctant to speak.

With more than 31,000 scientists having signed the Oregon petition saying that man-made global warming is bunkum, if there were anything like a consensus to the contrary it would be easy to find a similar number of independent scientists saying so.

I have had a total of two positive responses to my request for the names of independent scientists, who are on record supporting the theory of catastrophic, man-made global warming.

One came from the letters editor of the 'Independent' in London who said she had checked with the paper's environment correspondent who was able to give one name -- Professor James Lovelock. The other came from a South African online journal and also gave only one name -- that of Prof Lovelock.

Prof Lovelock is certainly an eminent and forthright gentleman whose Gaia hypothesis, while not generally accepted, does account for our planet's history. However, to place the entire burden of being the "consensus" among the majority of the world's scientists who are not being paid by government is going too far.

The good name of science has been deliberately abused by this claim of "scientific consensus". There may well be, or may have been, a consensus among politicians and the journalists who have taken their lead from them -- but there is no such consensus among scientists and never has been.

I think it is clear beyond dispute that all those broadcasters, newspapers and "personalities" who over the years have denigrated science by claiming this "consensus" owe an apology to the profession.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Global Warming and the philosophy of science

As people around the world watched the Winter Olympics this week, they were treated not only to images of the world’s greatest Winter athletes performing superbly in the sports at which they excel but they were also given a behind-the-scenes window into the frustrations dealt with by the games’ Canadian hosts. From bare mountain slopes to rain delays that turned what little snow there was into slush to scenes of dump trucks hauling snow up to peaks that should already be white at this time of year, an unusual warm spell in Vancouver has posed problems for the games this time around.

Not surprisingly, Global Warming advocates have pointed to the abnormally warm weather in Vancouver this year, as supporting evidence for their theory. As also did Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., last year, when he published a piece reminiscing about the snowier winters he experienced in the Washington area as a child and bemoaning the relative lack of snow in recent Washington Winters.

Of course, that was before this winter’s record snows in the nation’s capital. Now, critics of Global Warming have understandably mocked Kennedy for his remarks, as they slogged through nearly fifty combined inches of Global Warming in one short week. Undaunted by such skeptics, defenders of the theory have countered “that the ferocious storms are consistent with forecasts that a heating planet will produce more frequent and more intense weather events,” as reported recently in the New York Times and Time magazine.

What a strong theory then is Global Warming, some may think, that supporting evidence can be found for it in such diverse, seemingly opposite, and apparently unrelated events.

But some well-established insights from the Philosophy of Science would quickly disabuse someone of this notion. For, as famously pointed out by giant-in-the-field Karl Popper, it is not a strength of a theory that nearly any observation can be taken as confirming it but this may actually mark it out as a bit of pseudo-science, immune to falsification and held tenaciously by its defenders as an article of faith.

The problem, Popper emphasized in his monumental Conjectures and Refutations, is not one of being able to find confirmatory evidence for a theory, for proponents of pseudo-scientific theories find confirmatory evidence for their theories around every corner. If you held such a theory, he notes, “you saw confirmed instances everywhere: the world was full of verifications of the theory. Whatever happened always confirmed it. Thus its truth appeared manifest; and unbelievers were clearly people who did not want to see the manifest truth…”

What Popper admired most in a theory, and what he thought separated one out as scientific, was that it took risks by making predictions which, if not borne out by observational evidence, would actually disconfirm or falsify it. And perhaps this is a good time to ask the proponents of Global Warming if there is any possible observation that they would take as disconfirming their theory.

To be fair, it did happen once. Last year, Stephan Faris of the UN’s IPCC predicted that “if global warming continues at its current rate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates, the glaciers could be mostly gone from the mountains by 2035.”

Citing inaccuracy in the data on which it was based: “it [the IPCC] plucked the date for the glaciers’ disappearance from a 2005 report by the environmental advocacy group WWF, which in turn had taken the figure from a 1999 magazine article attributing the claim to an Indian glacier expert, who now denies he ever said such a thing.”

This move, while saving the theory from falsification, hardly engenders confidence in the IPCC and shows that scientists can make similar critical mistakes causing misguided government intervention.


British Communist newspaper publishes skeptical letter!

From inveterate Scottish letter-writer Neil Craig of Glasgow. Glasgow probably has Britain's greatest concentration of Communists so Neil's address may well have helped -- JR

Paul Levy (M Star February 18) is erecting a straw man argument when he denounces Jean Johnson (M Star February 17) for claiming "a systematic attempt on the part of the climatic research unit to manipulate" in her response to Michael Meacher's playing down of the collapse of the catastrophic warming evidence.

She did not say that the disappearance of data from Chinese sites and the Climate Research Unit's reliance on measurements which have been urbanised or moved or both was deliberate manipulation.

She merely said that it had happened - though untrusting folk like myself may find it improbable that all the errors uncovered here and elsewhere should accidentally be angled towards scaring us.

The urban heat island effect is well proven and indeed it is obvious that cities, using electricity, cars, fire etc will give off more heat than countryside.

With the very rapid industrialisation of China it is equally obvious that this is an even greater effect there. Those claiming to see catastrophic CO2-caused warming by using uncorrected or not fully corrected measurements from urban areas are clearly doing very bad science, if it can be called science at all.

Unfortunately time after time in figures from country after country this is what we see being done. When Stephen McIntyre found a programming error of this sort in the US figures, he proved that the actual warmest year in the non-urban US was 1933, not 1998.

The alarmists explained that catastrophic warming was still proven by 1998 being the warmest year outside US boundaries, but there must be doubt about that. If so not only do we not have any catastrophic warming but we have had cooling, not only over the last decade but since 1933.

Never mind. I am sure there will be another eco-catastrophe story along shortly.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Meteorological organizations promise to do better next time

World weather agencies agreed this week to enhance data-gathering significantly and allow independent scrutiny of raw figures used in assessing climate change amid charges by critics that global warming scientific data were skewed.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) made the concession after an outcry over e-mails revealing that researchers in Britain had suppressed certain data to bolster claims of global warming. Critics also said some of the manipulated data were included in a 2007 U.N. report on the subject.

Britain's Met Office formally submitted a proposal that scientists around the world undertake the "grand challenge" of measuring land surface temperatures as often as several times a day, and it was approved in principle by about 150 officials at a WMO meeting in Antalya, Turkey.

"This effort will ensure that the datasets are completely robust and that all methods are transparent," the Met Office said, though it added that "any such analysis does not undermine the existing independent datasets that all reflect a warming trend."

It also said that current measurements were "fundamentally ill-conditioned to answer 21st-century questions, such as how extremes are changing, and therefore what adaptation and mitigation decisions should be taken."

Last fall, it was revealed that thousands of e-mail messages discussing the destruction and hiding of data that did not support global warming claims had been obtained through hacking of a server used by the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain. The controversy was dubbed "climategate."

The WMO move is the latest in the growing debate over climate change. Global warming theorists insist that man-made activities have the potential to produce devastating consequences, while skeptics say temperature increases are less alarming and not human-induced.

Scientists and other climate specialists said the WMO has wanted to enhance data collection for years, but it took a persistent campaign by opponents of the global warming science to take the issue more seriously.

"It's interesting how they are couching it and linking it to the skeptics' community," said Sarah Ladislaw, senior fellow in the energy and national security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "There has been a big push in recent years to improve data collection to make sure we understand things better."

Melanie Fitzpatrick, a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the new measures will require additional funds, although the cost will depend on whether data will be gathered from existing temperature sensors or whether new installations are needed.


Obama’s opposition to drilling in Alaska is a romance not supported by the facts

President Barack Obama recently offered some concessions designed to improve the prospects for an energy bill this year. Notable for its absence was opening up Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil and gas development.

This is no surprise. ANWR has become a sacred symbol for the environmental movement, and any Obama overture to develop the refuge would have enraged many core environmental supporters. Yet, if Mr. Obama wants to demonstrate real commitment to “common sense” policies, ANWR is a leading opportunity.

The case is not complicated. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that ANWR has a likely 10.4 billion barrels of oil. At current prices, that amounts to about $800 billion in oil revenue. After production and transportation costs are accounted for, the net ANWR oil “profit” would likely exceed $500 billion. This net revenue would be divided in some fashion among oil companies, the state of Alaska and the federal government. A reasonable estimate is that the federal share would exceed $250 billion.

The potential economic gains represented by ANWR dwarf the costs resulting from environmental impacts. In 2003, for instance, a National Academy of Sciences study on the environmental consequences of oil development on the North Slope of Alaska found that in the Prudhoe Bay area, past oil development “had not resulted in large or long-term declines in the size of the Central Arctic Herd” of caribou. Some animal species—including the caribou—actually increased in numbers and benefited from “the ready availability of new sources of food from people in the oil fields.”

But ANWR is important to the environmental movement in another sense—as a powerful religious symbol. For environmentalists, ANWR has come to represent the preservation of a “last remaining wild place” on earth, a remnant of Eden. This image is powerfully appealing to many Americans. Throughout Christianity’s long history, the faithful have seen the natural world as a product of the handiwork of God at the creation. Christians can learn best about the mind of God, they have believed, by experiencing nature exactly as God designed it. As John Calvin said, “the knowledge of God [is] sown in their minds out of the wonderful workmanship of nature.”

American theologian Jonathan Edwards wrote similarly that encounters with nature “will tend to convey instruction to our minds, and to impress things on the mind and to affect the mind, that we may, as it were, have God speaking to us.”

Environmentalists today usually leave out any explicit references to God, but otherwise the message is little altered. They speak of experiencing powerful spiritual feelings in the presence of wild nature. They can more clearly see the humble place of human beings in a large and wonderful universe.

If ANWR were really a last remaining Eden, the arguments for preserving it would be compelling. Yet the ANWR of the environmental imagination is more a Disneyland creation than a true remaining product of God’s actions at the time of the creation. For one thing, the Earth is 4 billion years old and has experienced countless geological and biological upheavals over time. In truth, every place on earth has already been altered by past human actions. Even before the arrival of Europeans, Native Americans hunted widely, set fires, harvested food and otherwise altered nature for their own purposes. More recently, global climate change has been affecting the ANWR ecology, and more is sure to come.

It is one thing to sacrifice hundreds of billions of dollars for a divine purpose. It is another thing to make this sacrifice for a Hollywood fiction.

Environmental groups have raised many millions of dollars, and enlisted thousands of supporters, by appealing to the powerful imagery of protecting ANWR and other remaining parts of “original nature.” Many environmentalists may in fact believe their own words. The price for the rest of us, however, is too large. America can no longer afford the enormous public expenses required to sustain the cherished illusions of the environmental faithful.



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 February, 2010

The Big Picture on World Temperature Swings

Jo Nova has published a set of graphs produced by David Lappi, an Alaskan Geologist.

This does not look like dangerous global warming. In fact the big picture looks more like long term cooling. For the full report see here.

Note that, as the major Northern hemisphere location for land-based glacial ice, Greenland is crucial to the Warmist story.

The Hidden Flaw in Greenhouse Theory

Insulated by an outer crust, the surface of the earth acquires nearly all of its heat from the sun. The only exit for this heat to take is through a door marked "Radiation." And therein lies a tale...

Recently, I chanced upon an Atmospheric Science Educator Guide [PDF] published by NASA. Aimed at students in grades 5 through 8, it helps teachers explain how so-called "greenhouse gases" warm our planet Earth.

These guides are interesting on a number of levels, so I recommend that you look them over. But what caught my eye was this:

* Question: Do all of the gases in our atmosphere absorb heat?

* Answer: (Allow students to discuss their ideas. Don't provide the answer at this time.)

Indeed, that's a good one to think over yourself. Almost all of what we're breathing is nitrogen and oxygen -- do these gases absorb heat? Lakes and rocks absorb heat, after all, and thereby reach a higher temperature. So can nitrogen and oxygen molecules do the same?

Well, I won't keep you hanging. After allowing students to discuss it, the instructor is instructed to give them the final verdict.

* Answer: No. Only some gases have the unique property of being able to absorb heat. These are the infrared-absorbing "greenhouse gases," of course, substances like carbon dioxide and water vapor, and not nitrogen and oxygen.

Now, is something wrong here? Most definitely, for NASA has a finger on the scale. Let's review a few basics that NASA should have outlined.

Heat consists of vibrating and colliding molecules. The motion of these molecules jostles their electrons around, and this emits light. Heat and light are thus strongly related, but they aren't the same. For instance, heat can't actually be radiated; only the light that heat brings about can. By the same token, light itself has no temperature because temperature is an index of molecular motion, and a beam of light isn't composed of molecules. In short, "heat" can be regarded as molecular excitement and light as electromagnetic excitement.

Observe how NASA describes this relationship, however.

* Question: What is the relationship between light and heat?

* Answer: Things that are hot sometimes give off light. Things under a light source sometimes heat up.

Utterly false. Heated masses always emit light (infrared). Always. That's a direct consequence of molecules in motion. And while it's true that some substances may be transparent to infrared light, it doesn't follow that they can't be heated or, if heated, might not emit infrared. Yet NASA's misleading formulation implies precisely that.

There are three ways for heat (better to say thermal energy) to move from one zone to another: by conduction, convection, and radiation. Conductive heat transfer involves direct contact, wherein vibrations spread from molecule to molecule. Convective transfer involves a mass in motion: expanded by heat, a fluid is pushed up and away by the denser fluid that surrounds it. Radiative transfer arises when molecules intercept the light that warmer molecules are emitting, which brings about a resonant molecular vibration -- i.e., heating.

Heat is transferred and absorbed in several ways, then, and no substance is immune to being heated, which means that all gases absorb heat -- contrary to what NASA tells children.

So how does NASA go wrong? By consistently confusing light and heat, as you see in the illustration below, where infrared light is depicted as heat. Elsewhere, NASA expresses heat transfer in terms that pertain to radiant transfer alone: "The Earth first absorbs the visible radiation from the Sun, which is then converted to heat, and this heat radiates out to the atmosphere, where the greenhouse gases then absorb some of the heat".

Nowhere in its teacher's guide are conductive and convective heat transfer even mentioned. By selective context and vagueness, then, NASA paints an impression that only light-absorbing substances can be heated. Thus, since nitrogen and oxygen don't respond to infrared, NASA feels justified to say that "only some gases have the unique property of being able to absorb heat." Astonishing.

But a mixup like this raises a deeper question: Why does NASA go wrong? Because it has a flimsy yet lucrative theory to foist on the taxpaying public, that's why. As the space agency explains in the Main Lesson Concept, the core idea of greenhouse theory is that downward radiation from greenhouse gases raises the earth's surface temperature higher than solar heating can.

To make this idea seem plausible, therefore, it's crucial to fix people's attention on the 1% of the atmosphere that can be heated by radiant transfer instead of the 99% and more that is heated by direct contact with the earth's surface and then by convection. NASA is stacking the deck, you see. If they made it clear that every species of atmospheric gas gets heated mainly by conductive transfer, and that all heated bodies radiate light, then even a child could connect the dots: "Oh. So the whole atmosphere radiates heat to the earth and makes it warmer. All of the atmosphere is a greenhouse gas."

Crash, boom, there goes the theory. And there goes the abundant funding that this fear-promoting "science" attracts so well. For what CO2 and water vapor emit is miniscule compared to the buzzing multitude of heated nitrogen, oxygen, and even argon, all of it radiating infrared, too. Keep in mind that thermal radiation from this forgotten 99% has never been proposed or imagined to increase the earth's temperature, although by the theory's very tenets, it should....

Accordingly, any heated gas emits infrared. There's nothing unique about CO2. Otherwise, substances like nitrogen and oxygen would truly be miracles of physics: Heat 'em as much as you wish, but they'd never radiate in response.

Yet this amounts to a double-whammy. For meteorologists acknowledge that our atmosphere is principally heated by surface contact and convective circulation. Surrounded by the vacuum of space, moreover, the earth can only dissipate this energy by radiation. On one hand, then, if surface-heated nitrogen and oxygen do not radiate the thermal energy they acquire, they rob the earth of a means of cooling off -- which makes them "greenhouse gases" by definition. On the other hand, though, if surface-heated nitrogen and oxygen do radiate infrared, then they are also "greenhouse gases," which defeats the premise that only radiation from the infrared-absorbers raises the Earth's temperature. Either way, therefore, the convoluted theory we've been going by is wrong.

An idea has been drummed into our heads for decades: that roughly 1% of the atmosphere's content is responsible for shifting the earth's surface temperature from inimical to benign. This conjecture has mistakenly focused on specifically light-absorbing gases, however, ignoring heat-absorbing gases altogether. Any heated atmospheric gas radiates infrared energy back toward the earth, meaning that the dreadful power we've attributed to light-absorbing molecules up to now has been wildly exaggerated and must be radically adjusted -- indeed, pared down perhaps a hundred times. Because all gases radiate the heat they acquire, trace-gas heating theory is an untenable concept, a long-held illusion we'd be wise to abandon.


Climate crooks to investigate themselves

Whom do they think that will impress?

The two most influential advisory bodies on climate change are planning independent reviews of their research in an attempt to regain public trust after revelations about errors and the suppression of data. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is to appoint an independent team to examine its procedures after admitting having made errors that exaggerated the severity of the impact of global warming.

The Met Office, which supplies the global temperature trends used by the IPCC, has proposed that an international group of scientists re-examine 160 years of temperature data. The Met Office proposal is a tacit admission that its previous reports on such trends have been marred by their reliance on analysis by the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit. Two separate inquiries are being held into allegations that the unit tried to hide raw data from critics and exaggerated the extent of global warming.

In a document entitled Proposal for a New International Analysis of Land Surface Air Temperature Data, the Met Office says: “We feel it is timely to propose an international effort to re-analyse surface temperature data in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organisation.”

The new analysis would test the conclusion reached by the IPCC that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal”. The IPCC’s most glaring error was a claim that all Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. Most glaciologists believe it would take another 300 years for the glaciers to melt at the present rate.

The allegations about climate scientists are believed to have contributed to a sharp rise in public scepticism about climate change. This month an opinion poll found that the proportion of the population that believes climate change is an established fact and largely man-made has fallen from 41 per cent in November to 26 per cent.

The Met Office paper emphasises that the assessment would be independent and based on data freely available to the public. It says: “The proposed activity would provide a set of independent assessments of surface temperature produced by independent groups using independent methods.”

The Met Office privately proposed the reassessment last December, soon after more than a thousand leaked e-mails raised doubts about the integrity of some scientists at the Climatic Research Unit. The Times revealed on December 5 that the Department of Energy and Climate Change had stopped the Met Office announcing the reassessment because it feared that it would be seized upon as an admission of weakness on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit.

The reassessment will look at the data in much greater detail than previous attempts and provide more information about which regions are suffering extreme heat waves and the greatest average changes in climate. The Met Office said that this would allow international funding to be directed to where it was most needed.

Data from 3,000 weather stations around the world has already been published on the Met Office website and it hopes that data from the remaining 2,500 will be available later this year. The paper states that the reassessment is intended chiefly to “ensure that the datasets are completely robust and that all methods are transparent”. The Met Office says that it does not expect “any substantial changes in the resulting global and continental-scale multidecadal trends”. It said that the reassessment would take up to three years. It hopes the findings will be ready for the IPCC’s next report, to be published in 2013 and 2014.


John Deere Executives Challenged Directly Over Company Support for Cap-and-Trade

John Deere executives were challenged at its annual stockholder meeting by representatives of the National Center for Public Policy Research Wednesday. The confrontation came over John Deere's membership in the pro-cap-and-trade lobby group the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), and John Deere's support for cap-and-trade legislation.

Tom Borelli, director of The National Center's Free Enterprise Project, and Deneen Borelli, a full-time fellow of the National Center's Project 21 leadership group for conservative African-Americans, asked John Deere CEO Samuel Allen to justify the company's lobbying for climate restrictions that would hurt the company's customers, stockholders, and the U.S. economic climate generally.

They also warned Allen that in light of new SEC guidance on disclosure of climate change-related risk, a failure to fully disclose the business risk of cap-and-trade legislation could expose the company to lawsuits.

Allen defended the company's involvement, claiming farmers could benefit from cap-and-trade. (The Obama Administration argues farmers would benefit from federal government "allowance revenues" under cap-and-trade, while others, including the anti-cap-and-trade American Farm Bureau, say cap-and-trade "will mean higher fuel and fertilizer costs, which puts [U.S. farmers] at a competitive disadvantage in international markets with other countries that do not have similar carbon emission restrictions.")

Deneen Borelli sees the risk of a "green bubble" even if some farmers were to profit from government emissions credits as the Obama Administration argues: "I'm outraged by Allen's justification of the trading aspect of carbon credits where farmers could potentially benefit. Given our current economy, the last thing we need is to expose farmers and the country to another Wall Street risky derivatives trading scheme."

Tom Borelli adds: "Allen dismissed the American Farm Bureau's opposition to cap-and-trade by glibly saying other groups support the legislation. It's a bad sign for investors when a CEO is so out of touch with his customer base."

The Borellis have attended the stockholder meetings of other USCAP members, getting Caterpillar CEO James Owens to admit to his stockholders that his company had not done a cost-benefit analysis of the costs of cap-and-trade before lobbying for it.

The National Center for Public Policy Research in 2007 organized a letter signed by some 70 national organizations and prominent individuals, including a former U.S. attorney general, calling on Caterpillar to withdraw from USCAP.

Caterpillar withdrew from USCAP this year.

An audiotape of the Borellis' questioning of General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt during GE's 2009 annual stockholder meeting drew significant cable and print media coverage after GE cut off the microphone of Deneen Borelli and a likeminded questioner. In the hubhub that followed, LA Weekly reported that GE's Immelt "personally issued a GE ban" on advertising with the parent company of the Hollywood Reporter, which had covered the stockholder meeting story extensively.

In an article published by on Wednesday, Tom Borelli explained the National Center's strategy in challenging these and other CEOs directly: "CEOs see big bucks in big government... Because CEOs can represent as much of a risk to liberty as elected officials, limited government advocates need a voice in the boardroom."


The Copenhagen summit result was good for everyone

The Left is wringing its hands over the “failure” of the World Climate Summit at Copenhagen to approve a binding treaty. But perhaps they should thank God (or Gore) for that fact. That’s because the mere threat of job-killing Cap and Trade legislation has been enough for independent voters in the U.S. to abandon left-leaning politicians in droves.

Along with stiff carbon taxes and straight-jacket regulations comes, inevitably, population control. At Copenhagen, China’s Peggy Liu—chair of the Joint U.S.-China Collaboration on Clean Energy—bragged about Beijing’s brutal one-child policy. That policy, said this winner of Time Magazine’s “Hero of the Environment” award, “reduces energy demand and is arguably the most effective way the country can mitigate climate change.”

Soviet Communist Party boss Joe Stalin would be proud. “You have a problem with a man. If you get rid of the man, you get rid of the problem,” said the top Communist of the Twentieth Century. (Come to think of it, Uncle Joe Stalin even topped Peggy Liu. He was named Time’s Man of the Year not once, but twice—1939 and 1942.)

Thomas Friedman of the New York Times hails China’s one-child policy as “reasonably enlightened.” He likes the fact that Beijing’s rulers—unburdened by those pesky voters voting out their betters—can “impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in 21st century.” Friedman’s best-selling book is titled The World is Flat.” (And liberals accuse us of being the Flat Earth Society?)

Isn’t it really funny how all the “errors” made by the climate scientists seem to fall on one side of the debate? If the glaciers of the Himalayas are all going to melt by 2035, that’s a real problem. But if they’re not expected to melt until 2350, it’s another matter. Guess which date the IPCC chose to publish? Just a typo?

What if the globe is indeed warming but the warming is part of a cyclical pattern of warming and cooling? That’s the thesis of Dr. S. Fred Singer. Dr. Singer and co-author Dennis Avery write in Unstoppable Global Warming that “evidence from North Atlantic deep-sea cores reveals that abrupt shifts punctuated what is conventionally thought to have been a relatively stable Holocene [interglacial] climate. During each of these episodes, cool, ice-bearing waters from north of Iceland were advected as far south as the latitude of Britain. At about the same times, the atmospheric circulation above Greenland changed abruptly….Together, they make up a series of climatic shifts with a cyclicity close to 1470 years (plus or minus 500 years). The Holocene events, therefore, appear to be the most recent manifestation of a pervasive millennial-scale climatic cycle operating independently of the glacial-interglacial climate state (emphasis added.)”

Dr. Singer has been abused by Left-wing bloggers, called a denier, and denounced as a tool of industry. He earned his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, worked with NASA for decades and is thoroughly conversant with satellite measurements of earth’s climate. And he taught Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia for twenty-five years. Dr. Singer might be wrong. He might be seriously in error. But so far, no one has demonstrated that his arguments are wrong. Reviling him, calling him names, trying to shut him up and close him down—none of this is a reasoned argument. It is nothing more than—in the words of Al Gore—an assault on reason. Stay tuned, folks. The earth may be warming—but not as fast as the debate over climate is heating up.


How to waste $10 billion

By Mark Sanford, Republican governor of South Carolina.

So often in politics, what makes the headlines is only half the story. For the other half, you've got to do a little digging.

Last week, President Obama announced that the federal government would guarantee $8 billion in loans for the construction of two nuclear power reactors. On the face of it, this represented good news: The nation faces serious energy challenges, and no new nuclear plants have been built in 30 years.

What the president didn't explain was what his administration planned on doing with the nuclear waste - either the waste produced by these new reactors or the waste we already have in temporary storage facilities in 39 states. He didn't explain it because, earlier this month, he ditched the only responsible and feasible option this country had for the clean disposal of nuclear waste: the Yucca Mountain Storage Facility in Nevada.

Right now, our office is actively conferring with other governors' offices, as well as with our state attorney general, to explore all options - including legal options - to prevent the U.S. Department of Energy from closing down the Yucca Mountain project. In fact, our state's attorney general yesterday began pursuing the legal option.

Let me explain why. Since the Yucca Mountain site was selected in 1987, the federal government has spent billions of dollars and countless man-hours preparing for the storage project. During the intervening 23 years, presidents and their administrations of both parties have supported the project, and despite the glacial pace of the nuclear storage permitting process and foot-dragging on the part of the Department of Energy, the Yucca Mountain project was on the verge of functioning as a safe and centralized storage facility.

Taxpayers, meanwhile, had invested billions into the project. Since 1982, the nuclear power industry - and indirectly, the taxpayers of this nation served by power companies - have paid roughly $7 billion into a fund for the purpose of temporarily storing nuclear waste. To date, more than $10 billion has been spent for preparation and construction of a permanent storage site at Yucca Mountain.

Yet after all that, on Feb. 1 of this year Mr. Obama decided to abandon the entire plan. The consequence will be that taxpayers will get nothing - literally nothing - in return.

The administration says it will come up with another plan, and for that purpose it has created a "blue ribbon panel." But the panel has far more retired executives and former congressmen than scientists sitting on it. It's fairly evident that a serious plan for the nation's nuclear waste isn't at the top of the White House's agenda. Far more important were the politics of it - namely satisfying Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada who, as Senate majority leader, has the power to ram through the Obama administration's goals on health care, domestic spending and more - and who just happens to face a difficult re-election race later this year.

Rep. James E. Clyburn, the Senate's majority whip, recently suggested that Congress might fund the project despite the president's objection. That's fairly difficult to believe - but even if Congress does continue funding Yucca Mountain, given the staff reductions and relocations already under way, the project's intellectual infrastructure simply won't be there to support it.

So, that's the background behind the president's announcement that he would commit $8.3 billion worth of federal loan guarantees to the construction of two new nuclear reactors. It may sound like an encouraging sign from this president that he's willing to promote nuclear power - and for that, at least, I'd give him credit. But behind the scenes, this is nothing more than Chicago-style patronage politics: making decisions to curry favor with "friends" regardless of what's best for the nation.

Not only is this a broken promise to the taxpayer to the tune of $10 billion, the temporary storage facilities create big risks. There are 121 locations around the country where nuclear waste is stored, and more than 161 million Americans live within 75 miles of a storage site. It certainly creates a quiltwork of targets for those who would want to do us harm, as every storage site is a potential terrorist target.

In short, this is an issue we would all be wise to make a little noise about, lest this backroom deal be sealed. Energy independence and steps away from depending on the Middle East for energy are not Nevada or South Carolina issues - they're American issues. Air quality and CO2 emissions are not Ohio or Pennsylvania issues, they are American issues.

Walking away from a $10 billion investment and starting all over because of one man's race for office in Nevada doesn't make it Harry Reid's issue or that of the man at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This is an American taxpayer issue, and I'd ask we make our voices heard.



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 February, 2010

Climategate Meets the Law: Senator Inhofe to Ask for DOJ Investigation

He won't be heeded immediately but it is a shot across the bow for the Warmists. There could be a new administration in 3 years' time that WILL heed the call

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) today asked the Obama administration to investigate what he called “the greatest scientific scandal of our generation” — the actions of climate scientists revealed by the Climategate files, and the subsequent admissions by the editors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).

Senator Inhofe also called for former Vice President Al Gore to be called back to the Senate to testify. “In [Gore's] science fiction movie, every assertion has been rebutted,” Inhofe said. He believes Vice President Gore should defend himself and his movie before Congress.

Just prior to a hearing at 10:00 a.m. EST, Senator Inhofe released a minority staff report from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, of which he is ranking member. Senator Inhofe is asking the Department of Justice to investigate whether there has been research misconduct or criminal actions by the scientists involved, including Dr. Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University and Dr. James Hansen of Columbia University and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

This report, obtained exclusively by Pajamas Media before today’s hearing, alleges: "[The] Minority Staff of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works believe the scientists involved may have violated fundamental ethical principles governing taxpayer-funded research and, in some cases, federal laws. In addition to these findings, we believe the emails and accompanying documents seriously compromise the IPCC -backed “consensus” and its central conclusion that anthropogenic emissions are inexorably leading to environmental catastrophes".

As has been reported here at Pajamas Media over the last several months, the exposure of the Climategate files has led to a reexamination of the IPCC Assessment Reports, especially the fourth report (AR4), published in 2007. The IPCC AR4 report was named by Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson as one of the major sources of scientific support for the agency’s Endangerment Finding, the first step towards allowing the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant.

Since the Climategate files were released, the IPCC has been forced to retract a number of specific conclusions — such as a prediction that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 — and has been forced to confirm that the report was based in large part on reports from environmental activist groups instead of peer-reviewed scientific literature. Dr. Murari Lal, an editor of the IPCC AR4 report, admitted to the London Daily Mail that he had known the 2035 date was false, but was included in the report anyway “purely to put political pressure on world leaders.”

Based on this minority staff report, Senator Inhofe will be calling for an investigation into potential research misconduct and possible criminal acts by the researchers involved. At the same time, Inhofe will ask the Environmental Protection Agency to reopen its consideration of an Endangerment Finding for carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Federal Clean Air Act, and will ask Congress to withdraw funding for further consideration of carbon dioxide as a pollutant.

In requesting that the EPA reopen the Endangerment Finding, Inhofe joins with firms such as the Peabody Energy Company and several state attorneys general (such as Texas and Virginia) in objecting to the Obama administration’s attempt to extend regulatory control over carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. Senator Inhofe believes this staff report “strengthens the case” for the Texas and Virginia attorneys general.

Senator Inhofe’s announcement today appears to be the first time a member of Congress has formally called for an investigation into research misconduct and potential criminal acts by the scientists involved. The staff report describes four major issues revealed by the Climategate files and the subsequent revelations:

1. The emails suggest some climate scientists were cooperating to obstruct the release of damaging information and counter-evidence.

2. They suggest scientists were manipulating the data to reach predetermined conclusions.

3. They show some climate scientists colluding to pressure journal editors not to publish work questioning the “consensus.”

4. They show that scientists involved in the report were assuming the role of climate activists attempting to influence public opinion while claiming scientific objectivity.

The report notes a number of potential legal issues raised by their Climategate investigation:

1. It suggests scientific misconduct that may violate the Shelby Amendment — requiring open access to the results of government-funded research — and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) policies on scientific misconduct (which were announced December 12, 2000).

2. It notes the potential for violations of the Federal False Statements and False Claims Acts, which may have both civil and criminal penalties.

3. The report also notes the possibility of there having been an obstruction of Congress in congressional proceeds, which may constitute an obstruction of justice.

If proven, these charges could subject the scientists involved to debarment from federally funded research, and even to criminal penalties.

By naming potential criminal offenses, Senator Inhofe raises the stakes for climate scientists and others involved. Dr. Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit has already been forced to step aside because of the Climategate FOIA issues, and Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State is currently under investigation by the university for potential misconduct. Adding possible criminal charges to the mix increases the possibility that some of the people involved may choose to blow the whistle in order to protect themselves.

Senator Inhofe believes that Dr. Hansen and Dr. Mann should be “let go” from their posts “for the good of the institutions involved.”

The question, of course, is whether the Senate Democratic majority will allow this investigation to proceed, in the face of the Obama administration’s stated intention to regulate CO2 following the apparent death of cap and trade legislation. The Democratic majority has blocked previous attempts by Inhofe to investigate issues with climate science.


Senator Barbara Boxer and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Throw IPCC Under the Bus

Following the release of the Inhofe Report, Boxer claimed she was only quoting "American scientists," and Jackson reversed herself on the use of the IPCC as the "gold standard."

During the review of the Environmental Protection Agency budget in today’s Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, both Senator Barbara Boxer — the chair of the committee — and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson distanced themselves from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).

Boxer and Jackson’s statements, in addition to being a striking change in policy, are problematic because U.S. climate science is very closely tied to the IPCC reports (as Christopher Horner showed in his recent PJM series on the NASA FOIA emails.)

The statements by Boxer and Jackson followed Senator Inhofe’s release in his opening statement of a minority staff report documenting many flaws in the IPCC report and the other evidence revealed in the Climategate files. Both Boxer and Jackson appeared to be trying to distance the EPA from the IPCC report. Boxer said: "In my opening statement, I didn’t quote one international scientist or IPCC report. … We are quoting the American scientific community here."

When Inhofe directly asked Jackson if she still considered the IPCC report the “gold standard,” she answered: "The primary focus of the endangerment finding was on climate threat risks in this country."

Jackson also noted: "[The errors Inhofe had presented were] international events. The information on the glaciers and other events doesn’t weaken … the evidence we considered [to make the Endangerment Finding on CO2.]"

The EPA has specifically cited the IPCC AR4 report as the primary source from which it drew information to make the Endangerment Finding on CO2 as a pollutant. In the past, the worldwide nature of the climate changes, and of the data, had been cited as one of the reasons for using the IPCC report, but now it appeared that Jackson was trying to separate the Endangerment Finding from the IPCC.

However, when Inhofe asked Jackson if she was considering asking the EPA inspector general to investigate the IPCC science, she answered: "If anything changes … certainly I would call for a review of the finding, but I haven’t seen that."


Climate Change and Open Science

In the Internet age, transparency is the foundation of trust, says the article below from the WSJ. "End of certainty on global warming" was the title of this article in the print edition of the WSJ

'Unequivocal." That's quite a claim in this skeptical era, so it's been enlightening to watch the unraveling of the absolute certainty of global warming caused by man. Now even authors of the 2007 United Nations report that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal" have backed off its key assumptions and dire warnings.

Science is having its Walter Cronkite moment. Back when news was delivered by just three television networks, Walter Cronkite could end his evening broadcast by declaring, "And that's the way it is." The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report likewise purported to proclaim the final word, in 3,000 pages that now turn out to be less scientific truth than political cover for sweeping economic regulations.

Equivocation has replaced "unequivocal" even among some of the scientists whose "Climategate" emails discussed how to suppress dissenting views via peer review and avoid complying with freedom-of-information requests for data.

Phil Jones, the University of East Anglia scientist at the center of the emails, last week acknowledged to the BBC that there hasn't been statistically significant warming since 1995. He said there was more warming in the medieval period, before today's allegedly man-made effects. He also said "the vast majority of climate scientists" do not believe the debate over climate change is settled. Mr. Jones continues to believe in global warming but acknowledges there's no consensus.

Some journalistic digging into the 2007 U.N. climate change report revealed that its most quoted predictions were based on dubious sources. The IPCC now admits that its prediction that the Himalayan glaciers might disappear by 2035 was a mistake, based on an inaccurate citation to the World Wildlife Foundation. This advocacy group was also the basis for a claim the IPCC has backed away from—that up to 40% of the Amazon is endangered.

The IPCC report mistakenly doubled the percentage of the Netherlands currently below sea level. John Christy, a former lead author of the IPCC report, now says the "temperature records cannot be relied on as indicators of global change." As the case collapsed, the top U.N. climate-change bureaucrat, Yvo de Boer, announced his resignation last week.

The climate topic is important in itself, but it is also a leading indicator of how our expectation of full access to information makes us deeply skeptical when we're instead given faulty or partial information. In just three years since the report was issued, we have gone from purported unanimity among scientists to a breakdown in any consensus. Opinion polls reflect this U-turn, with growing public skepticism.

Skeptics don't doubt science—they doubt unscientific claims cloaked in the authority of science. The scientific method is a foundation of our information age, with its approach of a clearly stated hypothesis tested through a transparent process with open data, subject to review.

The IPCC report was instead crafted by scientists hand-picked by governments when leading politicians were committed to global warming. Unsurprisingly, the report claimed enough certainty to justify massive new spending and regulations.

Some in the scientific community are now trying to restore integrity to climate science. "The truth, and this is frustrating for policymakers, is that scientists' ignorance of the climate system is enormous," Mr. Christy wrote in the current issue of Nature. "There is still much messy, contentious, snail-paced and now, hopefully, transparent, work to do."

Mr. Christy also makes the good point that groupthink—technically known as "informational cascades"—is a particular risk for scientists. He proposes a Wikipedia-like approach in which scientists could openly contribute and debate theories and data in real time.

The unraveling of the case for global warming has left laymen uncertain about what to believe and whom to trust. Experts usually know more than amateurs, but increasingly they get the benefit of the doubt only if they operate openly, without political or other biases.

We need scientists who apply scientific objectivity, or the closest approximation of it, and then present their information with enough transparency that people can weigh the evidence. Instead of a group of scientists anointed by the U.N. telling us what to think, the spirit of the age is that scientists need to provide open access to information on which others can make policy decisions.

The lesson of the chill of the global-warming consensus is this: Those who want to persuade others of the truth as they see it need to make their case as transparently as possible. Technology enables access to information and leads us to expect open debates, conducted honestly and in full view. This is inconvenient for those who want to claim unequivocal truth without having the evidence. But that's the way it is.


Belief in climate change dives in Britain

PUBLIC conviction in Britain about the threat of climate change has plummeted after months of questions over the science and growing disillusionment with government action, a leading poll has found. Reports yesterday said the proportion of adults who believed climate change was "definitely" a reality dropped by 13 per cent over the past year, from 44 per cent to 31 per cent, in the latest survey by Ipsos Mori.

Overall, about nine out of 10 people questioned still appeared to accept some degree of global warming, The Guardian reported. But the steep drop in those without doubts raised fears that it would be harder to persuade the public to support actions to curb the problem, particularly higher prices for energy and other goods, the paper said.

The true level of doubt was probably underestimated because the poll questioned only 16 to 64-year-olds, it said. People over 65 were more likely to be sceptical, the researchers said. Another finding by the poll that hinted at a growing lack of public confidence was a significant drop in those who said climate change was caused by human activities, the report said. One year ago, this number was one in three, but this year just one in five people believed global warming to be man-made, pollster Edward Langley told the paper.

"It's going to be a hard sell to make people make changes to their behaviours unless there's something else in it for them -- (such as) energy efficiency measures saving money on fuel bills," he said. "It's a hard sell to tell people not to fly off for weekends away if you're not wholly convinced by the links. Even people who are (convinced) still do it."

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, told the paper that fluctuations in public opinion had prompted environment groups to rethink their approach to campaigning -- which had often focused on threats of climate disaster and making people feel guilty for their part in it. "All of us have (talked about these changes)," Mr Sauven said. "A lot of headlines have been grossly distorted, but that doesn't get away from the fact it's quite a complex issue, so we have got to talk about what is engaging and positive in terms of the response (that) can have many benefits to our society, for example energy security."

The shift in public opinion with respect to climate change comes after hackers leaked thousands of emails from a top British research facility showing that some of the world's most influential climatologists had been trying to disguise flaws in their work, blocking scrutiny and plotting together to enforce what amounted to a party line on climate change.

The poll comes after the UN's advisory group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was embarrassed by the revelation some alarming predictions about climate change contained in an influential report that it released in 2007 had little or no scientific basis. But The Guardian said evidence that these events were behind the increased public uncertainty in Britain was mixed.


World cools toward Warmists

They brought it on themselves with their fudged facts

The global-warming industry is getting several bailouts, none of which it wants. Last week, three major corporations - Conoco/Phillips, BP and Caterpillar - bailed out on the U.S. Climate Action Partnership lobbyist collaboration. Arizona bailed on the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) cap-and-trade plan. The Utah House presumably wants to bail on WCI, too, because it overwhelmingly passed a resolution requesting the Environmental Protection Agency to bail on its planned regulation of carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act. Texas and Virginia also want the nation's top environmental regulator to cease and desist.

On Thursday, the Netherlands' Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, resigned. The guru of global-warming diplomacy, after a disastrous December summit in Copenhagen did not produce an international agreement on greenhouse gas reduction, favored bailing over failing. "I saw him at the airport after Copenhagen," said Jake Schmidt, a climate expert for the Natural Resources Defense Council, to Associated Press. "He was tired, worn out." The summit "clearly took a toll on him."

This followed an admission a few weeks ago by Phil Jones, former University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit director, that he had suicidal thoughts over his role in the Climategate scandal.

On behalf of climate realists everywhere, I beg: Spare us the beleaguered scientists story line. The collapse of the hollow cause they advocated, which spurred a sector bubble probably larger than the 1990s Internet craze and the last decade's real estate speculation combined, was inevitable. Billions of dollars - much of it belonging to taxpayers - were poured into climate-related research and heavily subsidized "green" ventures because of the hype.

Over the same period, global-warming skeptics (including respected scientists and policy scholars) warned repeatedly that there was no authoritative, unified view behind climate catastrophism. But rather than heeding their cautions, large news organizations (and the activist Society of Environmental Journalists) joined environmental harassment groups in marginalizing them. They equated the doubters with disbelievers of tobacco's harm, the moon landing and a spherical earth - you know, crackpots.

Had the media scrutinized the reports of the once-heralded U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) rather than listening to the environoia movement, they would have discovered the fragile ceramics were on the alarmists' shelf. It has only taken a few curious bloggers and some journalists from the United Kingdom to finally scrutinize the IPCC's footnotes, which represented the purportedly rigorous scientific study that undergirded the report's conclusions.

What they found beneath the IPCC surface is an error-laden swamp of green groups' promotional materials and amateur compositions by college students instead of the "peer-reviewed" research alarmists had claimed. Climategate spurred subsequent daughter controversies that included "Glaciergate" (Himalayan ice not eroding as quickly as claimed), "Amazongate" (rain forests are suffering from logging, not climate, according to a World Wildlife Fund report) and "Africagate" (a Canadian environmentalist think tank said crop yields would be cut in half because of increasing temperatures). The barrage of revelations has prevented the Big Environment industrial-media complex from controlling the story line.

Climategate data-fudger Michael Mann, the scientist at Penn State University known for the "hockey stick" temperature chart, which rewrote history by eliminating the Medieval Warm Period, last week bemoaned this new discourse on global warming. In an interview with the Web site the Benshi, he whined about "an organized, well-funded effort to discredit" the "scientific community," which he said was driven by the fossil-fuel industry. He accused climate realists of conducting "smear campaigns run against scientists for the sole purpose of discrediting them, so as to discredit the science."

Michael should Mann up. Whatever smudges appear on the reputations of warmism-promoting scientists have been applied by themselves. After all, the skeptics aren't the ones who made up, fudged or twisted data or who employed dubious and biased sources as the foundation for their predictions of calamity. And the alarmists had (and still do) a massive funding advantage, amplified by their colleagues at the major news organizations, which helped keep the messaging winds at their backs. Grammies, Oscars and Nobels were part of their rewards.

But now we have another climate bailout. Though the U.S. media is not hunting down the IPCC fallacies the way their British counterparts are, at the same time, they do not defend global-warming proponents the way they once did. They once championed the cause with vigor, but now a lot of big-city journalists have gone mute about the whole thing.

A suggestion to regain the attention: The scientists should undertake a Mark McGwire/Tiger Woods-like apology campaign. Only then can they start on the road to recovery and restore their lost reputations.


You can't please a Greenie

Environmentalists believe that Taiwanese Buddhists are upsetting the eco-system with their good intentions

The small group gathered after dark at Taipei's Tamshui river with tanks of catfish could be easily mistaken for fishermen. But reciting Buddhist prayers, they haul one tank after the other to the river's edge and tip it over, releasing the meaty, shiny fish into the black water. "May good karma come back to us," they chant at the end of the ceremony, one of hundreds that take place every year in Taiwan.

Freeing captive animals is an age-old religious tradition and is intimately linked to Buddhism, Taiwan's predominant faith, reflecting its emphasis on protecting life in all its precious forms. But the ceremony, known as "mercy release", has raised concerns as conservationists warn the practice hurts the environment and, paradoxically, often involves cruelty to animals. Many followers believe they can get better karma through freeing animals, and that it can help them overcome illness or other suffering, said Lin Pen-hsuan, a sociologist, at Taiwan's National United University.

Birds, fish, turtles, frogs, crabs, crickets and even earthworms are among a variety of animals used in the ceremonies, which have become larger and more specialised in recent years, Lin said. However, with millions of animals being released into the wild each year largely without supervision, conservationists fear the practice will inevitably do little good and much damage. "Wild birds have been captured and sold to religious groups to be 'set free' and the result has been massive injury and death," said Chen Yu-min, the director of the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan. The society said that nearly 60 per cent of the bird shops it asked for a study in 2004 admitted to catching or breeding animals to cater to the vast "mercy release" market.

The island's fragile ecosystem is also endangered when huge numbers of animals are released into the wild at the same time, critics warn. "There is neither enough space nor sufficient food when hundreds of thousands of fish are released into a river or a reservoir for example. They could all end up dead and pollute the environment," Chen said. "'Mercy release' has become an organised commercial activity that puts both the animals and the environment at risk."

Such concerns prompted Taiwan's parliament to debate a bill in 2004 to ban the rituals but it fell through amid a backlash from some religious groups. So far there has been no new attempt to introduce a ban. "Mercy release is billed as a quick way to accumulate good karma and it offers a last chance, a bet on luck, for helpless people, particularly the terminally ill who find medicine useless," said sociologist Lin. "There is no loss if it doesn't work while believers think they have much to gain if it does, so they will continue to do it in the foreseeable future, even with a ban or a fine in place."

A main defender of "mercy release" is the China Preserve Life Association, which says that it unleashed more than 20 million animals in 2008 during 300 ceremonies - the vast majority being small acquatic creatures. "We Buddhists believe that all life is equal and it is our duty to protect all and not harm any. We only buy animals to save them from being killed," said Hai Tao, head of the association. "It's a good deed. Some groups choose to drop it because of the criticism but we will not turn our backs on the animals," he said.

The Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan said it angered many Buddhist groups when it started to campaign against "mercy release" in 2004, and many cut off their support. "We urge religious leaders to find alternatives to 'mercy release'. There are many ways to secure good karma such as picking up trash on the beach. That will actually ensure a cleaner environment and save lives," Chen 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


24 February, 2010

A new retreat from the Warmists

These are getting frequent. Rats deserting a sinking ship again?

There appears to be another chink in the armor of manmade global warming supporters as a top science journal has withdrawn a study on sea level rise tied to global warming, after finding mistakes that undermined the projections.

The study published last year in Nature Geoscience predicted sea levels would rise by between seven and 82 centimeters by the end of the century. That backed up the U.N.'s climate change group.

Now The Guardian reports the scientists involved in the study say there are two separate technical mistakes in their research that led them to realize, "we no longer have confidence in our projections."


New Climate Agency Head Tried to Suppress Data, Critics Charge

The thug himself above

The scientist who has been put in charge of the Commerce Department's new climate change office is coming under attack from both sides of the global warming debate over his handling of what they say is contradictory scientific data related to the subject.

Thomas Karl, 58, was appointed to oversee the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center, an ambitious new office that will collect climate change data and disseminate it to businesses and communities. According to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, the office will "help tackle head-on the challenges of mitigating and adapting to climate change. In the process, we'll discover new technologies, build new businesses and create new jobs."

Karl, who has played a pivotal role in key climate decisions over the past decade, has kept a low profile as director of National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) since 1998, and he has led all of the NOAA climate services since 2009. His name surfaced numerous times in leaked "climate-gate" e-mails from the University of East Anglia, but there was little in the e-mails that tied him to playing politics with climate data. Mostly, the e-mails show he was in the center of the politics of climate change decisions

According to a school biography published by Northern Illinois University, Karl shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore and other leading scientists based on his work at the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and he was "one of the 10 most influential researchers of the 1990s who have formed or changed the course of research in a given area."

His appointment was hailed by both the Sierra Club and Duke Energy Company of North Carolina. Sierra Club President Carl Pope said, "As polluters and their allies continue to try to muddy the waters around climate science, the Climate Service will provide easy, direct access to the valuable scientific research undertaken by government scientists and others." And Duke Energy CEO Jin Rogers said the new office, under Karl, will "spark the consensus we need to move forward."

But Roger Pielke Sr., a climatologist affiliated with the University of Colorado who has crossed horns with Karl in the past, says his appointment was a mistake. He accused Karl of suppressing data he submitted for the IPCC's most recent report on climate change and having a very narrow view of its causes.

The IPCC is charged with reviewing scientific data on climate change and providing policy makers and others with an assessment of current knowledge.

Pielke said he agrees that global warming is happening and that man plays a significant role in it, but he said there are many factors in addition to the release of carbon into the atmosphere that need to be studied to fully understand the phenomenon. He said he resigned from the IPCC in August 2005 because his data, and the work of numerous other scientists, were not included in its most recent report.

In his resignation letter, Pielke wrote that he had completed the assessment of current knowledge for his chapter of the report, when Karl abruptly took control of the final draft. He said the chapter he had nearly completed was then rewritten with a too-narrow focus. One of the key areas of dispute, he said, was in describing "recent regional trends in surface and tropospheric temperatures," and the impact of land use on temperatures. It is the interpretation of this data on which the intellectual basis of the idea of global warming hangs.

In an interview, Pielke reiterated that Karl "has actively opposed views different from his own." And on his Web site last week, he said Karl's appointment "assures that policy makers will continue to receive an inappropriately narrow view of our actual knowledge with respect to climate science." He said the people who run the agencies in charge of climate monitoring are too narrowly focused, and he worries that the creation of the new office "would give the same small group of people the chance to speak on the issue and exclude others" whose views might diverge from theirs.

Responding to the criticism, Karl told the Washington Post, "the literature doesn't show [Pielke's] ideas about the importance of land use are correct." Calls to The Commerce Department and to Karl's office went unanswered.

The IPCC in recent weeks has come under severe criticism after e-mails, hacked from a prestigious climate center, revealed some of the political infighting that occurred as its assessments were being put together and called into question its impartiality.

Climate change skeptics, meanwhile, say Karl's appointment was unnecessary and pulls scarce resources from more pressing needs. "The unconstitutional global warming office and its new Web site would be charged with propagandizing Americans with eco-alarmism," wrote Alex Newman of the Liberty Sentinel of Gainesville, Fla.

On the popular skeptic site "Watts Up With That," Anthony Watts called the site a "waste of more taxpayer money" and charged that it is nothing more than a "fast track press release service." He wrote that putting Karl in charge was an issue, because he had fabricated photos of "floods that didn't happen" in an earlier NOAA report.


Green Jobs Obsession Distracts from Real Economy Recovery

The American public has become familiar with many new political phrases since the start of the Obama administration: Jobs saved or created. Bending the cost curve. And, of course, green jobs. As with all political catch-phrase, Americans should be warned: what they think the term means and the actual policies advanced in its name are often very different things.

President Obama has made the creation of green jobs a centerpiece of his economic agenda. Becoming the “world leader in developing the clean energy technologies that will lead to the industries and jobs of tomorrow” is described by the Administration as “critical to the future of our country.” They are investing billions in pursuit of this goal. See here

The 2009 stimulus bill made a massive investment in “green” enterprises: a $6 billion loan guarantee program targeted to green industry, $5 billion for weatherization assistance, $11 billion for “smart grid” technology and modernized high-tech transmission lines, and $500 million to help train workers for green-related careers. The new budget doubles down with similar “green” investments: hundreds of millions for the research and development of new energy technologies, billions of tax breaks for companies investing in clean energy projects, and $74 million for initiatives to “inspire tens of thousands of young Americans to pursue a career in clean energy.”

Just what are American taxpayers getting for this investment? The Administration has struggled to quantify how many jobs were created by last summer's stimulus; identifying government-created “green jobs” is an even more difficult task. Part of the problem is defining exactly what counts as a “green job.” Employment produced by some initiatives--weatherization support and improving buildings' energy-efficiency--are almost indistinguishable from regular construction jobs. Even the money focused on producing “green” energy products, like solar panels and wind turbines, has effects that trickle far outside “green” sectors since the production process requires raw materials and transportation, which cut across the general economy.

Taxpayers should also be warned that creating a “green job” can be expensive. One report examining state and local efforts to encourage the creation of “green jobs” found that the subsidies sometimes exceed $100,000 per job created. Other analysts have pointed out that much of money targeted for “green job” creation is being sent overseas. ABC News reported that nearly 80 percent of the close to $2 billion in the stimulus bill dedicated to wind power went to foreign manufacturers of wind turbines. See here

Yet the bigger question is whether it is sensible for the government to invest so heavily in wind power at all. A report by the minority of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy, entitled “Yellow Light on Green Jobs", revealed that alternative energy sources remain much more costly than traditional power. The report details:

“Comparisons of wind, solar, nuclear, natural gas, and coal sources of power coming on line by 2015 show that solar power will be 173% more expensive per unit of energy delivered that traditional coal power, 140% more than nuclear power and natural gas and 92% more expensive than wind power. Wind power is 42% more expensive than coal and 25% more expensive than nuclear and natural gas power.”

The report further explains that even this comparison overstates the total efficiency of wind and solar since they operate at full optimization only a fraction of the time, and require traditional sources of energy as backup when the sun or wind disappears.

American families used to hearing stories about dubious bank bailouts, wasteful earmarks, and new spending bills with hundred billion dollar price tags may shrug their shoulders. Yet these “green” efforts aren't just more inefficient, ineffective uses of federal money which require a few more bucks out of our paychecks. Government's meddling in the energy sector distorts the market process, rewarding some less promising technologies, while discouraging the creation of others that could truly revolutionize how we power the economy. Government has a habit of rewarding today's favored technology--at one time, corn-based ethanol; today, wind and solar. This discourages outside-of-the-box innovators since they know they won't be competing on a level playing field, but instead one that's stacked in favor of the politically connected.

Even more worrisome, policymakers know that direct government spending alone won't usher in a new “clean” economy, so they are also pursuing a more surefire path to “green” job creation-- driving up the costs of traditional energy sources either through regulation or a costly cap-and-trade system that acts as a carbon tax. Average American families will find that these policies cost them thousands of dollars as the price of everything from food to fuel rise. And while it may create additional “green” jobs, it will strangle many more traditional jobs, as businesses have to invest more on their energy costs and have less to spend on expansion and job creation.

The term “green jobs” must poll well, but in reality these costly initiatives steer money toward inefficient technologies, thwarted the market process, and ultimately act as a drag on economic growth. Instead of “green jobs,” the Administration should focus on facilitating private sector job creation by reducing how much the government meddles in the market.


Snow, Science, and Prizes

“The back-to-back snowstorms in the capital were an inconvenient meteorological phenomenon for Al Gore,” cracks The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank. The largest snowfall in DC’s recorded history unleashed a blizzard of ridicule of “global warming.” Milbank points out that the storms do not in fact disprove the various dire forecasts. Some theorists of climate change have said that a general trend of warming would be punctuated by extreme weather events, so the likes of what we have experienced this winter may not contradict that. But, as Milbank points out, climate alarmists have themselves leaned so heavily on anecdote—a glacier losing mass here, a species altering its habits there—that they have left themselves open to refutation in kind—in this case, millions upon millions of white, flaky anecdotes piling up beyond endurance all over Washington.

These crystalline messengers were not the only thing chilling climate alarmists this winter. There were also new revelations of errors in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN-sponsored body whose 2007 report was widely heralded as the capstone on the global-warming debate. Now an embarrassed IPCC conceded that some of the sources on which it relied were amateurish and others were from the world of advocacy rather than scholarship. It also confessed to “typos,” notably in its assertion that the glaciers of the Himalayas were melting so fast that they might disappear entirely by 2035, a mere 25 years from now. The year should have read 2350, a not-so-mere 340 years from now, far enough into the future for many other things to intervene. And even this forecast for 2350 turned out to have been borrowed from an earlier UN study, which got it from an admittedly non-scholarly source.

This comedy of errors points to the question of why any entity that is sponsored by the UN should be taken seriously. This is the same UN whose Conference on Trade and Development taught poor nations that to escape poverty they needed to cut themselves off from any trade with or investment from rich nations. (As a result of widespread adoption of this topsy turvy advice, the developing world lost an entire generation to stagnation.) It is the same UN whose Human Rights Council categorically refuses to utter a word of reproach aimed at China or Saudi Arabia or Syria or Libya or any of the world’s most tyrannical regimes. The same UN whose oil-for-food program enabled Saddam Hussein to build new castles, stockpile weapons, and buy influence while hungry Iraqis received only food long past its expiration date. The same UN that invited Bosnian Muslims to take refuge in the “safe haven” of Srebrenica, then disarmed them, and abandoned them to their Serbian predators. The same UN whose peacekeepers in Africa exacted payment in the token of sexual favors from the women and children they were sent to protect. This is the UN on which we will rely for the last word on the fate of the Earth?

These two apotheoses of alarmism—Al Gore and the IPPC—jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize. Gore also won two Academy Awards for An Inconvenient Truth, his 2006 film designed, says its director, Davis Guggenheim, to bring “everyone [to] the edge of their seats, gripped by his haunting message.”

The very title of Gore’s film leads us to the deepest issue here. The chief newspaper of the Soviet state was also called, Pravda (“Truth”). But those who truly seek truth know that they can never be certain they have found it. Gore, in contrast, exemplified the conceit of the alarmists that “the science is settled.” Science, however, is less a body of knowledge than a way of knowing, and one of its principles is that conclusions are always provisional, awaiting further reinforcement, refinement, or contradiction. If it’s settled, it’s not science.

Subjects that can be explored through controlled laboratory experiments tend to lend themselves to more robust conclusions. Other subjects may also be investigated in a scientific spirit, but conclusions usually must be more tentative.

Climate science, which entails the intersection of several areas of inquiries that must be explored outside a laboratory, is unlikely to yield much certainty. If Gore were more devoted to truth, he would have titled his film, A Troubling Hypothesis. This might have won no awards from Oslo or Hollywood. But it would have left him much less susceptible to the ridicule of the heavens.


Climate wars have given science bad name, say leading Australian academics

And they're right about that. Admitting that crooks have corrupted and slid past the peer review process and denouncing those crooks would be the first step to restoring the good name of science but they are not willing to go that far. In fact, by continuing to dignify fraud with the label of science they increase the damage to real science.

In any case, peer review is a very weak defence against deliberate fraud. The fact that both British and American climate researchers hid their raw data for many years was a smoking gun that alerted skeptics to the fact that fraud was going on but there is no mention of that below.

Also missing below is any mention of any scientific fact. Why? Because there ARE no facts showing man-caused global warming -- merely guesses dressed up as "models"

UNIVERSITY leaders are pressing for a public campaign to restore the intellectual and moral authority of Australian science in the wake of the climate wars. Peter Coaldrake [Best known for curbing freedom of speech at his university], chairman of Universities Australia and vice-chancellor of Queensland University of Technology, told the HES yesterday he was "concerned about the way the climate change debate has flowed", and would address the role of science in the formation of public policy at his National Press Club address next week. "It worries me that this tabloid decimation of science comes at a time when we have a major national issue in terms of the number of people taking science at university,"Professor Coaldrake said.

Margaret Sheil, chief executive of the Australian Research Council, said she was deeply concerned about the backlash generated by emails from the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, the criticisms of Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, head of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, and poor research on the rate of glacial melting in a 2007 UN report on climate change.

Professor Sheil said she feared that these black marks would spread to a "broader negative public perception" of science. "Anecdotally, we now see tabloids and talkback radio, and even some broadsheet newspapers, perpetuating these criticisms and the notion that `scientists just made stuff up'," she told the HES. "These sort of comments reflect a widespread lack of understanding of the nature of scientists and science more generally."

She urged university leaders to do more to explain the rigour of the scientific processes and peer review. "We also need to learn from the medical community to better engage with the community on these issues," she said. "The National Health and Medical Research Council, for example, has community representatives on a whole range of committees [that] build bridges and trust. Much of our collective science communication efforts are focused on engagement with science at the school level rather than the public at large."

Anna-Maria Arabia, executive director of the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies, called yesterday for concerted action by the funders, producers, advocates and consumers of science to "restore confidence in the scientific process and profession". Ms Arabia said scientists welcomed public debate and embraced scepticism. "In fact scientists would welcome a debate on current climate change that challenges the science with science. A scientist never regards peer-reviewed research as being beyond criticism. "But unbalanced debates pitching peer-reviewed science against opinion, anecdotal evidence or the loud voice of cashed-up lobby groups is not healthy.

"There needs to be a circuit-breaker. And the circuit-breaker is a deeper awareness of the importance of science as a discipline that is based on a time-honoured process called peer review. "Peer review allows ideas, scientific views to change, to be corrected. It allows experts to spot mistakes and omissions. Peer review allows scientists to rigorously test their ideas. It is the robust nature of this process that has given people confidence to fly in planes and feed their children nutritious food."

Ian Chubb, vice-chancellor of the Australian National University, said some populists had found it easy to denigrate science because many scientific conclusions in the field of climate change rested on a balance of probability rather than incontestable proof. "What concerns me is when you get people who are purporting to comment on the science and all they're doing is seeking to turn themselves into celebrities." he said. [The chubby one seems to think that ad hominem abuse is scholarly argument] He also scorned critics of the science who were from other disciplines. "The world can't do without science and if we denigrate it and belittle it and besmirch it by inappropriate behaviour we're in trouble," he said.

Professor Coaldrake said he was attempting to broaden the peak body's public role to include issues such as climate, immigration, ageing and open source information. In attempting to "bridge scientific knowledge, research and public policy", he was seeking a bigger public profile for "the thousands of people within our institutions with a contribution to make", he said.


Australian Labor party out on a limb as as ETS fairyland fractures

THE Rudd government stares down the gun barrel of one of the greatest policy and political retreats of the past generation that confounds its election strategy and its policy credibility.

"Cap and trade in America is dead, the idea is completely dead," Chicago-based global economist, David Hale, participant in the Australian American Leadership Dialogue and a long-time personal friend of Kevin Rudd, told The Australian this week. "The Democrats in the coal-burning states have effectively vetoed a cap-and-trade scheme and Republican gains in the mid-term congressional elections will only make it even more improbable. Cap and trade has been totally submerged in America's economic problems and unemployment near 10 per cent."

Hale says the US confronts a dual crisis of economics and governance with climate change relegated to a minority issue. "America seems crippled by the fiscal crisis," he says. "There is no remote sign of a political consensus about where we are going and my fear is that America is becoming ungovernable. The separation of powers in the US system is the real problem. It means we don't really have government policy, the way you do in Australia. We just have outcomes. There is no government control of the legislature to achieve its program. I think we are heading for some dark moments over the next few years."

Australians, unable to comprehend the scale of this sentiment, should refer to the Pew Research Centre report on the US in late January showing global warming rated the lowest priority, the last out of 21 issues, behind even moral decline, immigration, trade and lobbyists.

Only 28 per cent said global warming was a priority for the US compared with the economy, the highest rating, at 83 per cent, followed by jobs at 81 per cent. (While energy rated 49 per cent or the 11th priority in the US, this usually pertains to energy security, not cap-and-trade laws). Describing voter sentiment, the Pew Centre says: "Such a low rating is driven in part by indifference among Republicans: just 11 per cent consider global warming a top priority compared with 43 per cent of Democrats and 25 per cent of independents."

The latest decisive shift in Australian business opinion comes from the Australian Industry Group and its chief executive, Heather Ridout. "I think the political consensus on climate change both domestically and internationally is now fractured," Ridout tells The Australian. "The emissions trading scheme is on life support. Copenhagen fell well short of expectations."

The AI Group national executive meets today and Ridout's comments leave only one conclusion: the responsible path for corporate Australia is to engage with the Rudd government to find an alternative strategy. Frankly, nobody, including the Rudd government, seems cognisant of what this involves. Ridout says: "Importantly, the way forward is not clear. As an organisation we will operate on the principles that we have already outlined. We continue to believe that a market-based approach is essential. Any scheme must take into account the competitiveness of Australian industry and the current international situation only reinforces this argument."

The Rudd government is stranded without any apparent game plan on its most important first-term policy (outside its response to the global financial crisis). It is rare for a national government to face this predicament in its first term. Labor seems unable to abandon its ETS yet unable to champion its ETS; it cannot tolerate the ignominy of policy retreat yet cannot declare it will take its beliefs to a double-dissolution election; it remains pledged to its ETS yet cannot fathom how to make its ETS the law of the land. Such uncertainties are understandable, yet they are dangerously debilitating for any government. In such a rapidly shifting policy and political climate, even fallback positions risk being rendered obsolete. As Ridout says, the way forward is not clear.

In the interim, Labor's response is to launch a furious series of spins, diversions and alternatives. The list is long: it will make health the main election issue; it will be brave enough to seek a double dissolution on the private health insurance rebate; criticism of its $250 million tax break for the television networks was just a Murdoch media conspiracy; and Tony Abbott is off the planet whenever he attacks the government.

Beneath such drum beating is a government whose world view on climate change is in eclipse and whose domestic political assumptions about climate change have been broken.

As a consequence Labor has lowered, dramatically, its ETS policy profile. Its tactic is to deny Abbott's scare by playing down its ETS. Great tactics, but what's the strategy? Where does this lead? Abbott's bite may be diminished, but what happens to Rudd's credibility? For how long does Labor stop talking about the moral challenge of the age? Is the ETS the policy that dare not bear its name?

Ross Garnaut brands the present phase "the waiting game". But "the agony game" better captures Labor's plight. Garnaut calls this "awaiting the international agreement" that "provides a sound basis for international trade in entitlements". But awaiting the global conditions to make an Australian ETS viable looks like a long wait.

In strategic terms Rudd has three options. They come under the brands belief, compromise and retreat.

The belief option is to stand by the ETS and seek its passage via the deadlock provisions of the constitution at a joint sitting after a successful double-dissolution election around August-September, which approximates a full-term parliament. This is strictly for a government that believes in its policy and its powers of persuasion. Such faith is visibly draining away from Rudd Labor.

The compromise option means radical policy surgery to the ETS, such as legislating a two-year fixed carbon price of about $20 a tonne to get the scheme operational, or even a carbon tax. This is one of Garnaut's options. But it presumably requires some deal with the Greens, a fateful political step that would only create a new set of policy and electoral problems for Rudd. The truth is Labor has not recovered from last year's collapse of its parliamentary strategy of joining with the Coalition to implement its policy.

It was Abbott's election as Liberal [Party] leader that ruined Rudd's entire game plan. The retreat option equates to admitting it is too hard to legislate a policy and too dangerous to make the issue an election centrepiece. Yet saying "no, we can't" would constitute a humiliation for Rudd, making it the worst in a series of unpalatable options.



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 February, 2010

The week that was

Perhaps the major environmental news of the week was a friendly interview of Phil Jones, the former head of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), by BBC’s Roger Harabin. After the interview, a question and answer statement, with some corrections, was released by BBC.

In the interview Jones stated that although there has been a modest warming trend since 1995, it is not statistically significant. Further, there is no statistically significant difference among the four warming trends of 1860-1880, 1910-40, 1975-1995, and 1975-2009. Thus, one can not use the global surface temperature record to statistically establish that the recent warming was different from past warming periods. Many “skeptics” have been vindicated – the global surface temperature datasets do not establish a statistically defensible link between carbon dioxide emissions and the recent warming.

Jones claims the agreement between the CRU and the NASA GISS, and NOAA datasets indicates nothing is wrong. However all three may be wrong. Reports by D’Aleo, Watts, the Russian Institute of Economic Analysis, etc. strongly suggest that the three global surface temperature datasets have been heavily compromised in recent years and likely contain strong warming biases.

These revelations contradict the findings of the IPCC and US EPA in its Endangerment Finding. Since, IPCC and EPA failed to offer strong physical evidence that the recent warming was caused by carbon dioxide emissions, their claims that CO2 was the cause are not scientifically defensible by statistics or physical science.

On New Year’s Eve, after years of requests under the Freedom of Information Act, NASA GISS released emails and data related to its reports on global surface temperatures. The NASA GISS dataset depends, in part, on NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center dataset but is calculated differently. It will take diligent work to understand the full impact of what is being revealed. But the January reports by D’Aleo, et al. on the disappearance of 565 of 600 Canadian weather stations from NASA and NOAA datasets are indications of what may come.

As a whole, the US media has been dismissive of the importance of Climategate and subsequent revelations. The non-scientific claims of the IPCC are considered by many commentators as insignificant. A reading of Chapter 9, “Transforming the Energy Sector and Addressing Climate Change,” in the recently released Economic Report of the President illustrates the significance of the scientifically unsupported claims by IPCC.

The chapter begins by citing claims that CO2 emissions will likely cause large temperature increases – all from IPCC models that have never been validated thus have no predictive power. It continues with claims of “increased mortality rates, reduced agricultural yields in many parts of the world, and rising sea levels that could inundate low-lying coastal areas.”

“The planet has not experienced such a rapid warming on a global scale in many thousands of years, and never as a result of emissions from human activity.”

Elsewhere the President’s report cites EPA’s Endangerment Finding, calculates massive increases in property damage from increased severity of storms, justifies cap-and-trade, and promotes spending $60 Billion in cash and $30 Billion in tax credits for alternative energy. Of course tax credits benefit only those with high tax liabilities (high incomes).

The claims of increased mortality rates and reduced agriculture yields (found in IPCC reports) are directly contradicted by late 20th Century history, the period claimed to be one of unprecedented warming. During this time mortality rates generally went down, human longevity up, and agricultural yields increased dramatically. Ironically, after declaring agricultural yields will decline the President’s report embraced an increase in mandatory bio-fuel use in gasoline from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons by 2022. It does not calculate the farm acreage required for this effort.

The claimed massive increases in property damage are, no doubt, based on IPCC’s claim in which the actual study found no statistically significant link between warming and catastrophic property damage. Sea levels have increased about 400 feet in the last 18,000 years or about 27 inches per century. The report cites a 7 inch rise since 1900 as if it is alarming. The statement that the “planet has not experienced such a rapid warming” has no merit.

Perhaps most journalists consider spending $90 Billion on various schemes to “fight climate change” insignificant. But one would hope for better scientific justification.


Global warming sentiment: A tipping point

This is not intended to toot our own horn, but to demonstrate the reading public’s common sense about global warming. Our column last Sunday, What to Say to a Global Warming Alarmist, was the most-read, bylined article on the Register’s website for almost a four-day period. We also got more than 100 e-mails from readers of the column. We mention this because in all that traffic, I recieved only three e-mails defending global warming. Three.

The game’s up, folks. People realize global warming scare-stories have been a scam and a fraud to get into their wallets and to advance control for those who want to run your lives.

Better yet, the erosion of this false threat is just beginning in this, an election year. Watch as congressional advocates accelerate their retreat and candidates purposely distance themselves from the issue.

By this time next year, global warming won’t rise to the level of late-night TV jokes. That’s my prediction. Of course, the other side’s prediction was that by this time next year we’d be well beyond the tipping point and falling toward a fiery end. Mark your calendars and tell us which prediction is closer to the truth come February 19, 2011.


Getting it partly right on weather vs. climate

Eugene Robinson in today’s Washington Post protests that global warming skeptics are using the current (though very long) cold snap in the mid-Atlantic region, which encompasses the nation’s capital, to confuse weather - a short-term phenomenon - with climate.

Robinson, who last year won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary, correctly notes that, “the Earth is really, really big. It’s so big that it can be cold here and warm elsewhere - and this is the key concept - at the same time. Even if it were unusually cold throughout the continental United States, that still represents less than 2 percent of the Earth’s surface.”

True enough. And he adds:
Those who want to use our harsh winter to ‘disprove’ the theory that the planet’s atmosphere is warming should realize that anecdotal evidence always cuts both ways. Before the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, crews were using earth-movers and aircraft to deposit snow on the ski runs - the winter had been unusually warm. Preliminary data from climate scientists indicate that January, in terms of global temperatures, was actually hotter than usual. Revelers participating in Rio de Janeiro’s annual carnival, which ended Tuesday, sweltered in atypical heat, with temperatures above 100 degrees. Fortunately, the custom during carnival is not to wear much in the way of clothing.
Again, true enough. And regrettably I once again missed going to the Rio Carnival, but hope springs eternal.

But here’s what he doesn’t say. His people have long played exactly the same game.

There’s a wonderful website that keep a more or less comprehensive list of all the things that warmists have attributed to “global climate change” - and mind you, the very term “global climate change’ was coined precisely to be able to tie any change, including things associated with cooling - to the effects of greenhouse gases. One glance at the site blows you away. I want you to click on this link right now and not continue with this blog until you have.

No. Stop. You didn’t click on the link. Do it now.

Okay, the point is made, isn’t it? It includes everything from “acne” to “yellow fever” with “short-nosed dogs endangered” in between. And there are lots of instances of weather change. In fact, time and again cold weather and its fall-out, including blizzards, have been attributed to “global climate change.”

This is from an article of mine that appeared 13 years ago:
But there it was, the cover of the Jan. 22 Newsweek: “Blizzards, floods & hurricanes: Blame global warming.” There also was the New York Times front-page article by William K. Stevens headlined “Blame global warming for the blizzard” and a nationally syndicated article by environmentalist Jessica Matthews that ran under titles such as “Brrr, global warming brings our blizzard.”
Moreover, I note. Moreover, I say for emphasis, while this was a perfect opportunity for Robinson to show he was playing fair, he could have pointed out they’re doing it even now.

Moreover, Robinson could have seen it in his own newspaper from just days ago. There it was, right in the headline of a column by uber-environmentalist Bill McKibben, “Washington’s Snowstorms, Brought to You by Global Warming.” Time magazine also argues “climate change could in fact make such massive snowstorms more common, even as the world continues to warm.” And of course I could go on and on, but point made.

If you live in the mid-Atlantic, don’t go out without a coat. But hypocrisy is a mantle never worn well.


The Multi-Billion Dollar Global Warming Fraud

By Alan Caruba

As the massive global warming fraud implodes, the one aspect of it that has not been explored in depth is the equally massive waste of billions of dollars spent by the United States and nations around the world, we were told, to avoid global warming.

Whole industries such as automobile manufacture had demands and limits put on them. Some states required utilities to buy “carbon credits” to offset their use of “fossil fuels.” The list of things attributed to global warming expanded to the point of total absurdity.

The codification of the fraud into law began with the Kyoto Protocol, an element of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change whose purpose was to fight a global warming that we now know was not happening.

The data to support the fraud came out of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that specialized in distorting climate data in every way possible to emphasize a normal warming cycle and then to minimize any indication of a new cooling cycle dating to around 1998 or earlier.

The IPCC data, released periodically in reports purporting to be the work of some 2,500 scientists from around the world, were actually based the handiwork of a few academic centers such as the Climate Research Center (CRU) at East Anglia University in England, Penn State University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and climate modeling from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

Other participants in the fraud were NASA’s Goddard Institute and NOAA, both of whom produced claims, predictions, and questionable data to support “global warming.”

In the U.S. alone, I have heard figures in the area of $50 billion that have been spent on “climate change” over the course of administrations dating back to Clinton. In England, between 2006 and 2008, the government spent the equivalent of nearly $14 million (U.S.) on publicity stunts to convince Brits that global warming was real.

It is legitimate to ask if global warming has not in effect been a criminal enterprise.

The Kyoto Protocol required the nation states that signed onto it to commit to a reduction of four “greenhouse” gas, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride, and two groups of gases, hydrofluorocarbons and perflourocarbons. These gases occur in minimal amounts in the Earth’s atmosphere which is composed primarily of 95% to 97% water vapor!

The cost of accepting this commitment is measured in several ways, not the least of which was the sale of “carbon credits” to utilities and to industrial enterprises that would permit them to function outside the limits imposed. The exchanges created for this purpose prospered but it increased the cost of providing electrical energy and the manufacture of all manner of products.

The limitations, however, did not apply to either China or India, both of which were exempted, as were undeveloped Third World nations.

The climate change fraud also affected major U.S. corporations, none of whom wanted to appear to be opposed to it. However, on Tuesday, February 16th, BP America, Conoco Phillips, and Caterpillar all announced they were dropping out of the Climate Action Partnership that advocated energy-rationing. Some of the millions squandered on various global warming and “environmental” projects and groups came from the bottom line of corporations across the nation.

At this point, any corporation that speaks of “climate change” in its advertising and other public statements is part of the global fraud that originated in the United Nations Environmental Program.

The carbon emissions limitations also served to justify huge public subsidies for U.S. producers of wind and solar energy, called “clean” energy. Several nations, such as Spain, Germany and Great Britain, invested heavily in these alternative energy sources only to discover that they were massively inefficient and unreliable.

At the same time, the global warming fraud in the United States limited the building of coal-fired plants to generate electricity when, in fact, coal provides 50% of the nation’s electricity needs. Combined with fears of nuclear energy dating back to the 1970s, the United States has essentially starved itself of the energy it needs.

According to a recently released study by the National Association of Utility Regulatory Commissioners, the U.S. gross domestic product would lose $2.36 trillion and American consumers will pay an additional $2.35 trillion for energy if the oil and gas on federal lands remain off-limits through 2030. This constitutes a form of energy and economic suicide!

A British newspaper, the Daily Mail in a recent interview with CRU Prof. Phil Jones, revealed he knew there had been no “statistically significant” warming for the past fifteen years. Little wonder Prof. Jones and the CRU refused to honor UK Freedom of Information requests for the data on which the IPCC claims were based. He and others who provided IPCC data are under investigation.

In essence, the IPCC reports were all fraudulent and all were used to advance the global warming fraud. That is why President Obama’s claim of “overwhelming evidence” of climate change, i.e., global warming is particularly troubling.

It is essential to understand that the “Cap-and-Trade” legislation passed by the House and waiting for a vote in the Senate is based on the IPCC reports and the threat by the Environmental Protection Agency to begin regulating carbon dioxide emissions throughout the nation have no legitimate basis in science.

There are still billions at stake if global warming-related laws, projects such as wind farms or the requirement that ethanol be added to every gallon of gas purchased are permitted to proceed or continue.

Global warming as an issue or basis for any law or expenditure of public funding no longer exists. It’s long passed the time when the nation’s news media should stop referring to it as anything other than a fraud perpetrated on the people of the world.


Rebellion in Idaho

Canyon County Commissioners are furious with the Department of Environmental Quality's plan for vehicle emission testing. They're questioning what the DEQ will do with about $750-thousand dollars they would generate from the testing. Canyon County Commissioners said they are planning on an act of "civil disobedience," which means they will not test 200 of their vehicles. They said they are hoping this act will show the DEQ how they are strongly against the vehicle emission testing program. "Canyon County tried to negotiate that with the DEQ and I feel like we were stiffed armed," said Canyon County Commissioner Steve Rule.

The DEQ's emission testing program will charge motorists no more than $11-dollars every other year and $3-dollars will go directly to the DEQ. The DEQ said that money will be used for an Air Quality Education fund. But Commissioners said that money should help motorists who can't afford to fix their cars to pass the emissions test.

"Something doesn't smell right here and I guarantee it's not the air in Canyon County," said Rule.

The DEQ said they have met with commissioners multiple times in the past 5 months. The DEQ said they are following state law with their emission program. "If we don't do anything proactively we may exceed that federal standard that means people are breathing unhealthy air," said the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Pete Wagner.

Commissioners said they are not against air quality efforts they just want to be included and want to see the evidence behind the DEQ's work. "We want the science that we haven't received showing that this is beneficial and it'll make a change in air quality," said Canyon County Commissioner Kathy Alder.

But the DEQ said they have shown the commissioners their data and explained why the program is necessary. "We have air quality monitors out in the Valley and we measure ozone concentration and report the data," said Wagner.

The emission program is still set to start on June 1st. Motorists will be notified in the mail of their testing month. Under state law anyone who does not get their vehicles tested the Idaho Department of Transportation will revoke their registration.


75 reasons to be skeptical of "global warming"

With thanks to Joshua Fulton for the huge body of work below

* Carbon dioxide contributes to only 4.2 - 8.4% of the greenhouse gas effect

* Only approximately 4% of carbon dioxide is man-made

* Water vapor accounts for 90 - 95% of the green house gas effect

* 99.99% of water vapor is natural, meaning that no amount of deindustrialization could get rid of it

* There have been many times when the temperature has been higher than it is now including the Medieval Warming Period, the Holocene, the Jurassic, and the Eemian

* Increases in carbon dioxide follow increases in temperature by about 800 years, not precede them

* Phil Jones of the Hadley CRU, and key figure in the "climategate" scandal, admits that there has been no "statistically significant" global warming since 1995

* 2008 and 2009 were the coolest two years of the decade

* During the Ordovician period carbon dioxide concentrations were twelve times what they are now, and the temperature was lower

* Solar activity is highly correlated with temperature change:

* Studies show that half of all recent warming was solar

* Mars has warmed about 0.5°C since the 1970's, approximately the same that earth has warmed over the same period

* The 0.7°C increase in temperatures over the last century is entirely consistent with well-established, long-term, natural climate trends

* The distance between Earth and Sun changes every year, affecting the amount of energy the earth receives

* Earth’s tilt oscillates between 21.4° and 24.8°, which affects the distribution of the sun's energy

* Dr. Roy Spencer has written that clouds have been a more important driver of climate than carbon dioxide since 2000

* Approximately 40% of the uncertainty in temperature projections come from uncertainty in the strength of the "feedback loop" between temperature and carbon dioxide. Recent research suggests the "feedback loop" is less than half as strong than many had presumed

* James Hansen of NASA said in a simulation of temperatures from 1880 to 2000 soot accounted for 25% of observed global warming

* Research suggests that soot could have nearly as much impact on climate change as carbon dioxide

* Antarctica has 90% of earth's ice and it is growing

* Arctic sea ice has returned to 1979 levels, which is when records began

* The Arctic ice caps have recovered from their loss in 2007

* The Arctic is now 1°C cooler than it was in the 1940's

* Polar bear populations are increasing

* Polar bears are able to swim over 60 miles continuously

* Sea level 81,000 years ago was 1 meter higher than it is now while carbon dioxide levels were lower

* A chart of sea level change over millions of years looks like this:

* According to satellite data, sea level has been decreasing since 2005

* Instead of hurting forests, the increased level of carbon dioxide has been helping them grow

* The official "record" for temperatures only goes back 150 years

* Although the IPCC may have 2500 members, only approximately 800 contribute to the scientific writing of the report

* Only 52 scientists contributed to the 2007 IPCC summary for policy makers, although diplomats from over 115 countries contributed

* Only 20% of the members of the IPCC deal with climate science

* Head of the IPCC, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri has no background in climate science. His PhD is in economics and he worked as a railway engineer before becoming head of the IPCC

* Former IPCC lead author Ben Santer openly admits that he altered portions of the 1995 IPCC report to make them "consistent with the other chapters"

* John Christy, former lead author on the 2001 IPCC report, speaks of his former co-lead authors deliberately trying to sensationalize the report

*Richard Lindzen, another lead author on the 2001 IPCC report, accused the IPCC of being "driven by politics"

* Michael Mann's "hockey stick" graph, which was featured prominently in the 2001 IPCC report, was created using only portions of a data set. The red line is the graph of Mann's selected data, while the black line is the graph of all the data:

* When asked to act as an expert reviewer on the IPCC's last two reports, Dr. Nils Axel-Morner was "astonished to find that not one of their 22 contributing authors on sea levels was a sea level specialist"

* Until 2003, the IPCC's satellite-based evidence showed no upward trend in sea level, so they used an increase of 2.3mm in one Hong Kong tide-gauge to adjust the entire global sea level up 2.3mm

* The IPCC's claim that the Himalayan glaciers were melting was based off of a phone interview with a non-scientist. They were forced to retract the claim

* The IPCC claim that global warming was led to increased natural disasters was based on an unpublished report that had not been subject to peer-review. They were forced to retract the claim

* The IPCC's claim that global warming was going to lead to deficiencies of up to 50% in African agriculture was based on a non-peer-reviewed and non-scientific paper. They were forced to retract the claim

* The IPCC's claim that "up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation" was based on a non-peer-reviewed and non-scientific paper. They were forced to retract the claim

* The IPCC reported that 55% of the Netherlands was below sea level when just 26% of the country is below sea level. They were later forced to retract the claim

* According to the United States Historical Climatology Network (USHNC,) 90% of US climate-monitoring surface stations have been found to be "poorly situated," meaning that they have a margin of error greater than 1°C, more than the global warming in the entire 20th century. (The US surface data is generally considered the best surface data in the world):

* Many climate-monitoring surface stations are in locations that look like this:

* Temperature measurements from climate-monitoring surface stations are collected by hand. At one surface station in California, Anthony Watts found that only data from 14 out of 31 days had been completed in a month

* If a surface station is missing data for a particular day, data from surrounding surface stations is used to fill-in. Since 90% of all surface stations are poorly situated, even if a surface station itself is not poorly situated, if its data is missing for a day, there is a very good chance its temperature will be calculated using data from surface stations that are poorly situated

* In April 1978, there were 6,000 climate-monitoring surface stations. There are now about 1,200

* The vast majority of climate-monitoring stations that were lost were rural ones, which have been shown to give the most accurate data:

* The raw data is "adjusted" by a computer program. The net effect of this "adjustment" has been to increase the "adjusted" numbers over the "raw" numbers by .5°F, an increase that has been growing year by year:

* Difference between the USHCN "raw" data (in blue) and NASA "homogenized" data (in red):

* According to a leaked email in "climategate," "temperatures in Darwin [a monitoring station in Australia] were falling at 0.7 Celsius per century […]but after the homogenization, they were warming at 1.2 Celsius per century. [...][W]hen those guys “adjust,” they don’t mess around."

* According to a leaked email in "climategate," computer programmer Harry Harris called the CRU data set "hopeless," and said "the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. [...]This whole project is SUCH A MESS. No wonder I needed therapy!!"

* When looking at source code leaked in "climategate" used to "process" and "adjust" temperatures, software engineer John Graham-Cumming said he found at least five errors and "wouldn't trust it"

* The Hadley CRU, the institution at the center of the "climategate" scandal, threw out original temperature data because it claimed it did not have "storage space"

* In 1990, Dr. Phil Jones, the man at the center of the "climategate" scandal, contributed to a paper arguing that the effect of urban warming in eastern China was "negligible." This became a key reference source for the IPCC. It turns out that 49 of the 84 climate-monitoring stations used for this report had no history of their locations or other details. This included 40 of the 42 rural stations. Of the rest, 18 had "certainly been moved" during the study period, including one that was moved five times over a total distance of 41 km. When Jones "re-examined" data in the same area for a 2008 paper, he found that urbanization was responsible for 40% of the warming found from 1951 to 2004

* Ross McKitrick and Patrick Michaels have argued that half of the global warming trend from 1980 to 2002 is caused by urban warming

* The Hadley CRU has been accused of using data from just 25% of Russia's surface stations, deliberately overstating Russia's warming by .64°C between the 1870's and 1990's

* According to emails leaked in "climategate," when "Climate Research" published articles by global warming skeptics, Phil Jones and others urged scientists to "stop considering 'Climate Research' as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal"

* William Connolly, a Wikipedia administrator and co-founder of, a website that supports the theory of anthropogenic global warming, "touched" over 5,400 Wikipedia articles, routinely omitting voices that were skeptical of global warming

* Large computer climate models are unable to even simulate major features of past climate such as the 100 thousand year cycles of ice ages that have dominated climate for the past 700 thousand years

* This is a picture of what Britain looked like in the summer of 2009 when its sophisticated climate "supercomputer" had predicted a "barbeque summer":

* The US government spends over $2.5B funding climate research every year, and over $7B when grants for technology, tax breaks, and foreign aid are included (this is while Exxon gave $22M to global warming skeptics over a 10 year period)

* Many scientist assert that government grant money is given preferentially to advocates of man-made global warming

* Bart Chilton, a CFTC commissioner, said "carbon markets could be worth $2 trillion in transaction value – [...]within five years of trading (starting). [...]That would make it the largest physically traded commodity in the US, surpassing even oil"

* The owners of the trading floor where the carbon credits will be traded, including Goldman Sachs and Al Gore, stand to earn trillions if cap-and-trade is passed

* The cap-and-trade bill allows the government police powers to come into your home and inspect it for "energy efficiency," and to fine you every day your home is not compliant

* Australian homes now have to undergo a mandatory energy-efficiency assessment - costing up to $1500 per property - before they can be sold or rented under new laws to tackle carbon emissions

* UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has called for "global governance structure" to monitor greenhouse gases, which everyone on the planet emits with every exhale

* The United Nations forecasts that the global population will rise, peak and then decline between 2050 and 2300 to just under 9 billion

* Despite proclamations that there is a "consensus" and the debate is "settled," 18% of scientists surveyed in the last poll trying to discern scientific consensus do not believe in man-made global warming

* 45% of Americans think global warming is man-made, down 9% from just half a year earlier

* In the court case Dimmock v Secretary of State for Education and Skills, a British judge ruled that there were nine "inaccuracies" in An Inconvenient Truth, including Gore's claim that sea level could rise by up to 20 ft. The IPCC's own report predicted a maximum rise of 59cm in sea level over 100 years. The Science and Public Policy Institute has taken issue with thirty five of Gore's claims in An Inconvenient Truth

* Al Gore bought a $4M condo feet from ocean in Fisherman's Wharf, San Fransisco, a city he had explicitly warned about in An Inconvenient Truth

Hmm, well, that's suspicious, but I suppose that doesn't matter if he tells us it's alright.



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 February, 2010

Evidence that Al Gore does not believe in the sea-level rise he preaches

Below are two real-estate advertisements. Would Gore invest in a seaside property if he thought the sea was going to rise and swamp him?


This private, peaceful ocean side haven offers bright blue waters and long stretches of beach, and is home to notables like Al Gore, John Edwards, and others who relish seclusion and natural surroundings. This 1,300 acre 5 mile island does not offer hotels, shopping centers, and tourism. However if bird watching, quiet walks and sunbathing is your strong suit you may find life here appealing. There are only 441 homes, no condos, but it does offer proximity to activity rich Wilmington, NC. Enjoy the myriad architectural styles of neatly cared for properties if you can get onto the island. If this is your style, Figure 8 Island may be your place.


Figure Eight Island is one of the places in North Carolina that is home to many celebrity houses. Celebrities like John Edwards and former Vice President Al Gore own houses on this island. The island has beautiful views as it is located between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. The entire island only has about 440 houses making it an ideal place for couples and individuals to relax. It is also home to many beautiful exotic animal species. If you are looking for a vacation house, check out the Figure Eight island real estate. Wrightsville beach real estate also offers many bargains and great houses.


Barack Obama's climate change policy in crisis

President Barack Obama's climate change policy is in crisis amid a barrage of US lawsuits challenging goverment directives and the defection of major corporate backers for his ambitious green programmes. Oil-rich Texas, the Lone Star home state of Mr Obama's predecessor George W Bush, is mounting one of the most prominent challenges to the EPA

The legal challenges and splits in the US climate consensus follow revelations of major flaws in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which declared that global warming was no longer scientifically contestable.

Critics of America's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are now mounting a series of legal challenges to its so-called "endangerment finding" that greenhouse gases are a threat to human health. That ruling, based in part on the IPCC's work, gave the agency sweeping powers to force business to curb emissions under the Clean Air Act. An initial showdown is expected over rules on vehicle emissions.

Oil-rich Texas, the Lone Star home state of Mr Obama's predecessor George W Bush, is mounting one of the most prominent challenges to the EPA, claiming new regulations will impose a crippling financial toll on agriculture and energy producers. "With billions of dollars at stake, EPA outsourced the scientific basis for its greenhouse gas regulation to a scandal-plagued international organization that cannot be considered objective or trustworthy," said Greg Abbott, Texas's attorney general. "Prominent climate scientists associated with the IPCC were engaged in an ongoing, orchestrated effort to violate freedom of information laws, exclude scientific research, and manipulate temperature data. "In light of the parade of controversies and improper conduct that has been uncovered, we know that the IPCC cannot be relied upon for objective, unbiased science - so EPA should not rely upon it to reach a decision that will hurt small businesses, farmers, ranchers, and the larger Texas economy."

Mr Abbott’s comments follow the controversy over the work of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, whose research was at the heart of IPCC findings. Leaked emails indicated that the freedom of information act was breached and that data was manipulated and suppressed to strengthen the case for man-made climate change.

A series of exaggerated claims, factual mistakes and unscientific sourcing have subsequently been uncovered in the 2007 IPCC report - such as the alarming but unjustified warning that Himalayan glaciers might disappear by 2035. Scientists insistent that humans are causing climate change have said the mistakes do not overturn an overwhelming burden of proof backing their case.

The case brought by Texas is one of 16 challenging the IPA over its data or procedures. They have been lodged variously by states, Republican congressmen, trade associations and advocacy groups before last week's cut-off to file court actions.

The pro-market Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and US Chamber of Commerce are also mounting high-profile battles to overturn the EPA decisions through petitions filed with the US Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington. "The Clean Air Act is an incredibly flawed way to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and the findings on which it is based are full of very shoddy science," said Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy at the CEI. "Many policies and proposals that would raise energy prices through the roof for American consumers and destroy millions of jobs in energy-intensive industries still pose a huge threat."

Among those he listed were the EPA's decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act, efforts to use the Endangered Species Act to stop energy production and new power plants, the higher fuel economy standards for new passenger vehicles enacted in 2007, and bills in Congress that require buildings to use more renewable electricity and introduce higher energy efficiency standards.

The EPA, a federal agency which is increasingly key to Mr Obama's green agenda as his legislative policies become bogged down in Congress, refuted the charges. "The evidence of and threats posed by a changing climate are right before our eyes," said Catherine Milbourn, EPA spokeswoman. "That science came from an array of highly respected, peer-reviewed sources from both within the United States and across the globe."

The Environmental Defence Fund is leading the defence of the EPA's findings, arguing that critics are deliberately ignoring science to set back efforts to tackle climate change. "The EPA's decision is based on a 200-page synthesis of major scientific assessments," said the Fund, denying the work was simply attributable to the IPCC.

Also last week, the United States Climate Action Partnership, a grouping of businesses backing national legislation on reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, suffered a major blow when oil firms BP America and Conoco Phillips and construction giant Caterpillar left the group. The two oil firms, the most significant departures, walked out on the industry-green alliance protesting that "cap and trade" legislation would have awarded them far fewer free emission allowances than their rivals in the coal and electricity industries.

Last week also saw the United Nation's top climate official, Yvo de Boer, announce his resignation after the failure of the recent Copenhagen climate conference to agree to more than vague promises to limit carbon dioxide emissions.


Virginia Attorney General fights the EPA

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli took a gutsy and intelligent step Feb. 17 when he petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its ill-advised "finding" that carbon dioxide creates an endangerment for human health. The endangerment finding would let the EPA battle alleged global warming by regulating emissions of CO2, which of course is the gas that every animal and person exhales with every breath. The finding was ludicrous from the start, and now Mr. Cuccinelli makes a reasonable case that it also was unlawful.

"Attorney General Cuccinelli believes that the EPA acted in an arbitrary and capricious fashion and failed to properly exercise its judgment by relying almost exclusively on reports from the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an arm of the United Nations] in attributing climate change to [human-caused] greenhouse gas emissions," the AG's office explains. "The IPCC is an international body that is not subject to U.S. data quality and transparency standards and the IPCC prepared their reports in total disregard to U.S. Standards."

Since the EPA finding was issued, the IPPC's reports have become subject to scandal on multiple fronts. Those scandals reached a crescendo when a British newspaper, the Daily Mail, reported Feb. 14 that "The academic at the centre of the 'Climategate' affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble 'keeping track' of the information. ... And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no 'statistically significant' warming."

Obviously, if the EPA were relying on bad data like all of the other climate-change fanatics, it ought to reconsider its plans to further strangle our struggling economy with more unnecessary red tape.

Mr. Cuccinelli argues that the EPA failed to meet its responsibility to conduct appropriate cost-benefit analysis, and that the economic harm to American citizens - including Virginians - would outweigh any purported benefits of the new regulations. As the AG put it, "We cannot allow unelected bureaucrats with political agendas to use falsified data to regulate American industry and drive our economy into the ground." Of course, he's spot on.


Where's Al?

“I’m like Punxsutawney Phil, but do you know what it means when I see my shadow? It means the earth is dying. Have you been outside today? It’s 60 degrees in late November. I mean there’s a Christmas tree in front of this building and guys are wearing flip-flops. You can’t say this isn’t real.” -Al Gore on Saturday Night Live, November 2009

It was all laughs for Al Gore last November when he hit the media circuit to promote his new book and educate the ignorant masses about the imminent threat of catastrophic climate change. He had the rapt attention of the politicians and the pundits and the celebrities. He’d won an Academy Award! The former Vice-President and presidential hopeful had built a new career as the voice of the Green Movement, and business was booming. What a difference three months makes.

In the face of the embarrassing Climategate scandal and an unprecedented winter season that has for the first time ever delivered measurable snowfall to all 50 states, Al Gore’s absence from the public stage has been conspicuous. Perhaps he’s taken a page from Punxsutawney Phil’s playbook and is hibernating in hopes of a sunnier forecast come April.

All kidding – and snowstorms – aside, recent events have caused many to doubt the veracity of Al Gore’s award-winning claims about man-made global warming and the “settled science” behind climate change. In the aftermath of “Climategate” – in which several e-mails revealing manipulative and unethical behavior by some of the main scientists responsible for gathering and analyzing global temperature data were exposed – the scientist at the center of the controversy has admitted that his method of handling the raw temperature data used to compile climate reports is “not as good as it should be,” and furthermore has conceded that there has been no “statistically significant” warming of the earth in the last 15 years. This is a fascinating revelation, considering that global warming alarmists have been prophesying the imminent ruin of Planet Earth for over three decades.

The bottom line is that intelligent, responsible people are getting tired of being made to feel guilty for every carbon credit consumed and every mile-per-gallon burned, especially when it’s becoming more and more clear that the current climate change hysteria is being fueled less by solid scientific evidence than by an extreme Green ideology that – much like Agent Smith in the Matrix movies – views humanity as a virus, a plague upon the earth that must be contained and ultimately eradicated. For the extreme enviro-ideologues, mankind’s devastating impact on the earth is a foregone conclusion; the appeal to “science” is simply a clever public relations tactic.

There aren’t many fields of scientific inquiry where the level of negligence, irresponsibility, and carelessness that characterizes the study of global climate trends would be allowed to prevail. Scientists take pride, above all, in their dedication to The Method. In order for a hypothesis to gain any traction, it much be researched, tested, replicated, and analyzed. Any 8th-grader will tell you that sloppy work in setting up your experiment, failure to account for relevant variables, or insufficient presentation of data will get you an F on your end-of-semester project. Yet somehow the entire globe has been taken captive by an ideology driven by shoddy science.

Meanwhile, the number of people who would claim that mankind has made zero impact on the environment in the last century is understandably small. Most reasonable, sensible individuals – regardless of their party affiliation or their penchant for Birkenstocks and IMF protests – will agree that there are many ways in which we can do better.


Blinded by Science

Science, many scientists say, has been restored to her rightful throne because progressives have regained power. Progressives, say progressives, emulate the cool detachment of scientific discourse. So hear now the calm, collected voice of a scientist lavishly honored by progressives, Rajendra Pachauri. He is chairman of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the 2007 version of the increasingly weird Nobel Peace Prize. Denouncing persons skeptical about the shrill certitudes of those who say global warming poses an imminent threat to the planet, he says: "They are the same people who deny the link between smoking and cancer. They are people who say that asbestos is as good as talcum powder -- and I hope they put it on their faces every day."

Do not judge him as harshly as he speaks of others. Nothing prepared him for the unnerving horror of encountering disagreement. Global warming alarmists, long cosseted by echoing media, manifest an interesting incongruity -- hysteria and name calling accompanying serene assertions about the "settled science" of climate change. Were it settled, we would be spared the hyperbole that amounts to Ring Lardner's "Shut up, he explained."

The global warming industry, like Alexander in the famous children's story, is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Actually, a bad three months, which began Nov. 19 with the publication of e-mails indicating attempts by scientists to massage data and suppress dissent in order to strengthen "evidence" of global warming.

But there already supposedly was a broad, deep and unassailable consensus. Strange.

Next came the failure of The World's Last -- We Really, Really Mean It -- Chance, aka the Copenhagen climate change summit. It was a nullity, and since then things have been getting worse for those trying to stampede the world into a spasm of prophylactic statism.

In 2007, before the economic downturn began enforcing seriousness and discouraging grandstanding, seven Western U.S. states (and four Canadian provinces) decided to fix the planet on their own. California's Arnold Schwarzenegger intoned, "We cannot wait for the United States government to get its act together on the environment." The 11 jurisdictions formed what is now called the Western Climate Initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, starting in 2012.

Or not. Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer recently suspended her state's participation in what has not yet begun, and some Utah legislators are reportedly considering a similar action. She worries, sensibly, that it would impose costs on businesses and consumers. She also ordered reconsideration of Arizona's strict vehicle emission rules, modeled on incorrigible California's, lest they raise the cost of new cars.

Last week, BP America, ConocoPhillips and Caterpillar, three early members of the 31-member U.S. Climate Action Partnership, said: Oh, never mind. They withdrew from USCAP. It is a coalition of corporations and global warming alarm groups that was formed in 2007 when carbon rationing legislation seemed inevitable and collaboration with the rationers seemed prudent. A spokesman for Conoco said: "We need to spend time addressing the issues that impact our shareholders and consumers." What a concept.

Global warming skeptics, too, have erred. They have said there has been no statistically significant warming for 10 years. Phil Jones, former director of Britain's Climatic Research Unit, source of the leaked documents, admits it has been 15 years. Small wonder that support for radical remedial action, sacrificing wealth and freedom to combat warming, is melting faster than the Himalayan glaciers that an IPCC report asserted, without serious scientific support, could disappear by 2035.

Jones also says that if during what is called the Medieval Warm Period (circa 800-1300) global temperatures may have been warmer than today's, that would change the debate. Indeed it would. It would complicate the task of indicting contemporary civilization for today's supposedly unprecedented temperatures.

Last week, Todd Stern, America's Special Envoy for Climate Change -- yes, there is one; and people wonder where to begin cutting government -- warned that those interested in "undermining action on climate change" will seize on "whatever tidbit they can find." Tidbits like specious science, and the absence of warming?

It is tempting to say, only half in jest, that Stern's portfolio violates the First Amendment, which forbids government from undertaking the establishment of religion. A religion is what the faith in catastrophic man-made global warming has become. It is now a tissue of assertions impervious to evidence, assertions which everything, including a historic blizzard, supposedly confirms and nothing, not even the absence of warming, can falsify.


Global warming lunatics

What a difference a few years can make

Phil Jones, the man who more than anyone else (besides Al Gore) was responsible for perpetuating the Man-Made Global Warming hysteria, has now conceded that, ahem, there's a tiny problem with his data. Namely, it doesn't exist.

Now mind you, Phil Jones isn't saying that it never existed. It did, really, at one time, honest, believe him. It's just that, like that missing earring your wife misplaced, or the proof of purchase receipt you swear you have as the cops nab you for shoplifting that brand new watch in your pocket, you can't, er, find it. So, you're just gonna have to take Dr. Jones' word for it that his famous "hockey stick graph" is 100% real, no question about it. It's just that he can't actually prove it because, well, his "organizational skills" are a tad bit deficient.

But it gets even better. For the data that hasn't been misplaced, erased, shredded, or eaten by the family dog, it shows that for the past 15 years there has been no "statistically significant" global warming — which is a nice sounding way of saying "actual reality shows the exact opposite of what our politically-motivated theories predicted." And to cap off the dismantling of the Climate Change Hat Trick, recent news accounts have noted that, "Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now — suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon."

Now I realize that some Climate Change Advocates are still knee deep in their "investigation phase" of looking really, really, hard at all the evidence of malfeasance and deception that's come to light since the Climategate scandal first broke. Far be it from me to continue to point out the same things that I and other Anthropogenic Global Warming Deniers have consistently pointed out for years, if not decades — namely, that this is all a croc — but in the interest of moving this discussion along, I thought it might be interesting to take a slightly different approach to this subject.

Rather than focus on the things we know today, thanks to the Climategate scandal, let's have a look back at the positions taken by AGW supporters over the last few years. How exactly did they react to the questions we raised about the whole notion of Man-Made Global Warming? What exactly was the "settled" part of the "settled science" they used to produce their "scientific consensus" that the world was getting hotter, and that man was responsible for it?

Fortunately, the comment section to The Intellectual Conservative contains the musings, protestations, and analyses of a number of folks who drank the Global Warming/Climate Change Kool-Aid. Neither they, nor we, are climate scientists. But we all have a brain, and it's interesting to see how each of us used it to address one of the most important issues of our time; an issue with far-reaching social, economic and political implications.

So here it goes. I'll begin with a restatement of my main thesis, as stated in my 2006 essay "An Even More Inconvenient Truth: The Myth of Man-Made Global Warming," which launched my own foray into this debate.

1. We can't actually measure the temperature of the Earth precisely enough to measure a .5-1 degree "change" in world temperatures over the last 100 years, let alone use this as a basis to project future climate changes of 2-6 degrees over the next 100 years.

2. 100 years, even 200-300 years, is hardly enough time to discern a "trend," even if such data was to exist.

3. Even if we had the precise data, and had it over a long enough time frame, science still has not shown us how to actually separate man's supposed influence on climate from natural factors influencing climate. Only his hubris allows man to think that his actions are determinate in shaping the natural process of the planet – with the Earth itself, and the sun that heats it, only incidental factors in this explanation.

4. Legitimate scientific inquiry always begins with a simple question that few people today – even rational thinkers – bother to ask when presented with a statement of "fact": "How do you know that?" The people who propose a theory have the burden of proof to demonstrate its validity. It's not my responsibility to prove your theory wrong. It's your responsibility to prove it right.

And what, you may ask, was the response of the Warmers to my heresy of issues raised? We'll begin with a gentleman by the name of Bill Provost, who had a number of problems with the points above as he discussed at length in 2006. According to Mr. Provost:

* Research from NASA related to the rapid global warming seen over the past three decades [1980s-2000s] shows that this "warming today is primarily driven by man-made greenhouse gases, not solar changes . . . Rather than assume that hundreds of professional climate scientists around the globe had NEVER even THOUGHT to ask about solar irradiance changes, you should have done a little more research."

Note: Just for giggles, Google "NASA Global Warming Errors," "James Hansen fraud," etc., to get a 2010 update on the quality of this, ahem, unbiased "research."

Why did Mr. Provost believe so strongly that man, not nature, was the cause of Global Warming? (Again, note that this discussion took place before "Global Warming" trans-mutated into Global "Climate Change.")

* "Global warming isn't a question of agreeing or disagreeing. This isn't a philosophy debate. In science, there are right answers and wrong answers, there are things that can be supported by evidence and things that cannot." Any "weaknesses" pointed out by critics of the Man-Made Global Warming hypothesis "are more often 'weaknesses' of conservative understanding than 'weaknesses' of the science."

One commentator, reacting to Mr. Provost, mentioned that, "The author [Jackson] does make a good point about the suspect quality of temperature measurements in terms of accuracy, consistency, and location," to which Mr. Provost replied:

* "Not really. All of these issues have been hashed out in the literature and appropriate error bars assigned . . . Global warming deniers are behaving like religious fundamentalists. No matter how compelling the evidence, they will never admit that man-made global warming is real. They engage in all kinds of shameless sophistry and sloppy thinking to avoid the undeniable conclusion. Confronting reality and embracing empiricism would mean risking government regulation and, even worse, admitting that those environmentalists they despise so much are right and they are wrong. As time goes on and the evidence builds, this just makes them look ever more ridiculous-like the creationists." In case you didn't get the point, Mr. Provost went on to state, "this article . . . only extends and confirms the position that conservatives fundamentally don't understand the science."

As for the caliber of scientific inquiry demonstrating Man-Made Global Warming, Mr. Provost had a few additional thoughts on the subject. Once again, please note that this is from the pre-Climategate scandal days when little things like statistical "tricks" and "artificial adjustments" had not yet come to light.

* "Why do you assume . . . that [downplaying the role of natural forces contributing to CO2 emissions] is evidence of 'alarmists' pushing 'an outside, hidden agenda?' Basically, you present me with two options: 1) Climate scientists are incompetent hacks; or 2) You need to hit the books a little harder. Of the two, the latter seems more likely."

Alas, this was the last we heard of Mr. Provost, who having smited the ignorant conservative fundamentalist creationists who dared to ask "how do we know that?", went on to spread his wisdom in other forums.

A later article on "How to Increase Your Carbon Footprint" brought out a few more comments on the need to put our full faith and trust in the scientific community to tackle the most important issues of our time. Someone by the name of "Dave Patriot" put it tactfully, and succinctly:

* "Why do you brainless [deleted by moderator] recognize that the science is there but your ego won't let the information in. But I'm sure you same idiots go telling everyone that evolution is a myth. Fill that empty space between your ears and get out and see the world for yourself, not from that rotting trailer."

If that wasn't convincing enough to accept the Truth About Man-Made Global Warming, Mr. Patriot had even more cogent arguments to offer. Those who disputed Anthropogenic Global Warming were just listening to scientists "on the payroll of Exxon-Mobil or Shell or BP." The "fact" was that "greenhouse gasses and mean global temp have a positive relationship, they go up together."

Note: This, again, was written before the recent "corrections" from the scientific community that showed while industrial output and human-generated CO2 emissions have steadily increased, global temperatures have, er, not. But even had this been known in 2007, it wouldn't have been enough to dissuade Dave the Patriot, who insisted that "computer models postulate many scenarios, NONE of which can be dealt with in a 'wait and see' attitude. We can disagree on opinions of results of global warming, but there aren't many intelligent folks who truly deny the existence of a warming planet aided by human activity."

And just in case you didn't get it the first time, if you questioned any of the things back then which today have been shown to be worthy of questioning, your arguments would make you "sound like the tobacco companies lies about the harmfulness of cigarettes. Just keep it real man, we live on the same planet and must preserve it the best we can."

Another individual by the name of gnarlyerik tried a different tact to convince us ignorant skeptics. Notice the string of "conservative" assumptions that went into his final piece of logic:

* Since 'scientists' per se are characteristically a conservative lot, and since 95% of scientific opinion is that Global Warming is a seriously dangerous issue, and that mankind is a strong contributing factor – why is it that dogmatics such as are found on this [conservative] site so insistent that it's a myth? The real myth is the one they serve up themselves that there's nothing to it. Wake up! Open the windows! Look outside!"

Note: I woke up, looked outside, and saw record snowfalls in Dallas, Texas this year (both in the number of snowfalls, and depth of accumulation). Live by the anecdote, die by the anecdote.

Gnarlyerik conceded that, like most of us, he was not a scientist. But as a man of reason he knew that scientists had only the purest of motives and the most objective research available upon which to base their conclusions. So, if "scientific opinion" said it was so, well "the only rational choice for any layman like me is to go with the VAST MAJORITY of prevailing scientific opinions. To do otherwise is to stick one's head in the sand."

And why is this so? "'Majority' opinions have many times been wrong in the past – but that does not make any particular minority theory correct today. In fact, statistically the odds are heavily against that being the case. For a minority to go around insisting they are right is downright silly."

I put this passage in here not so much to add to the arguments presented by the Man-Made Global Warming Hysterics, but in the hope that someone, some day, might be able to tell me what this thought process actually means.

Fast forward now to 2009. In an essay entitled "The Day Science Died," I railed against the kind of "consensus science" which gave us non-existent Man-Made Global Warming by saying "'consensus science' and 'settled science' . . . is shorthand for ‘would you shut up and stop asking these kinds of embarrassing questions because we already have the conclusions we want.' It's the day real science was replaced with the notion that the consensus of non-scientists and scientists, who gather together in quasi-political organizations, was all that was needed to shut down debate. It is, in effect, the day science died."

Well, just when you thought it was okay to go to church, Raymond Ingles followed the well-trodden tradition of condemning legitimate inquiries into agenda-driven science with a familiar broad brush: "That sounds so much like the language young-Earth creationists use that it triggers automatic suspicion with me. The spheroid Earth is 'settled science' too, but that doesn't make the Flat Earther's questions ‘embarrassing,' merely annoying. Thankfully, the political clout of the flat-Earthers has ebbed. I can only hope the young-Earth types don't take centuries to fade to that level."

Fear not, though. Despite the obvious religious overtones to any and all objections to the theory of Anthropogenic Global warming, Mr. Ingles wanted to hedge his bets a bit, unlike those in whose anti-creationist path he had followed. To this end, he assured us that:

* "I'm still looking into global warming, but I haven't seen the distortions and unethical behavior the scientists are accused of, certainly not on a widespread level. That things are getting warmer over at least the past century and a half is pretty clear. Things like how much humans have contributed this is less clear in my mind – but again, I'm not finding debased motives among those proposing it and mustering their evidence. They may be wrong, but I don't see them as any more evil and deceptive than any other humans. And I certainly do see troubling signs – like the rhetoric I noted above – in their debate opponents."

This investigation continues into 2010, but still nothing has risen to the level of concern for Mr. Ingles. The earth is still getting warmer, even if it isn't actually getting warmer these last 15 years. Consensus-driven Global Warming/Climate Change scientists are still operating with the highest level of ethics, even as they hide, destroy, or just "can't find" the data to support their agenda-driven conclusions. And if one day they are shown to be venal self-serving shills, well, they're not so much different from you or me, so what's the real harm?

This is science, as seen from a man who views himself as a kindred spirit (I would have said "soul", but that opens up an entirely different subject with Mr. Ingles). Meanwhile, my knuckles are getting raw from dragging through the snow as I head for church to worship at the altar of Creationism because I dare to ask "how do we know that?" instead of blindly accepting universal truths which, it has come to light, aren't nearly all that universal, nor true.

Which leads to the last great defender of AGW to grace the comment section of The Intellectual Conservative: Chasm. Commenting on an article about "The Lies About Green Jobs" when all else fails in a debate on Man-Made Global Warming, Chasm knew enough to invoke the IPCC, NISDC, NASA, and other governmental bodies to show that temperatures are rising, and the ice caps are melting, and that man is responsible for it. This would certainly be enough to convince any sane, rational, objective person — which definitely isn't me and other AGW-Deniers, because even if the evidence was presented, according to Chasm "you wouldn't listen and you'd figure out another reason they [the scientists] could be wrong. Just like the anti-science creationists."

Note: Are we noticing a consistent theme among the learned folks who endorse the scientific consensus of Anthropogenic Global Warming?

Anyway, let me just offer a couple of things to close out this discussion of the so-called scientific consensus of Man-Made Global Warming. Keep in mind the arguments of those who insisted that there was nothing to debate, nothing to dispute, and nothing to challenge the motives or credibility of anyone disagreeing with "settled, scientific consensus."

The Poles are not Melting

Associated Press 2002: "New measurements show the ice in West Antarctica is thickening, reversing some earlier estimates that the sheet was melting."

"Nature" May 2005: "Increased snowfall over a large area of Antarctica is thickening the ice sheet and slowing the rise in sea level caused by melting ice"

"Science" 2005: "Oslo – Greenland's ice-cap has thickened slightly in recent years despite wide predictions of a thaw triggered by global warming"

Journal of Glaciology, July 2008: "Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut, Canada, has been losing mass since at least 1960. Laser-altimetry surveys, however, suggest that the high-elevation region (>1200 m) of the ice cap thickened between 1995 and 2000"

International Arctic Research Center (IARC/JAXA): "During October and November 2008 the extent of Arctic ice was 28.7 percent greater than during the same period in 2007."

The Himalayan Ice Caps are not Melting

"A warning that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it.

"Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world's glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

"In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC's 2007 report.

"It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

"Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was'"speculation' and was not supported by any formal research. If confirmed it would be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research. The IPCC was set up precisely to ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change." See here

NASA has an agenda

"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." See here

The IPCC has an agenda

"IPCC Researchers Admit Global Warming Fraud. Among the IPCC elite embarrassingly, if not criminally, compromised is Phillip D. Jones …" See here

The NSIDC has an agenda

In 2007, Mark Serreze, of the NSIDC said North Pole ice could be gone in the summer of 2008." See here

Er. It's still there. And getting thicker.

And doncha know, I'm just a "creationist" for raising these issues … along a bunch of scientists who still have some professional integrity. See here



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 February, 2010

A Green Tea Party

States' Rights being reasserted to block crazy climate schemes

A revolt against economic hardship imposed by unelected bureaucrats based on junk science is brewing. This Tea Party movement wants the faulty finding on carbon dioxide to be reviewed and dumped. They say you shouldn't mess with Texas, and on Tuesday the state filed suit to overturn the "endangerment" finding by the Environmental Protection Agency that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant that must be regulated.

CO2, the basis for all plant and therefore all animal life, was targeted early by environmental activists as the root cause of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW). But the Earth has cooled over the past decade, and reputable scientists predict the trend will likely continue for decades to come, influenced by natural phenomena such as ocean currents and solar activity.

According to research conducted by professor Don Easterbrook of Western Washington University, for example, the oceans and global temperatures are closely related. They have, he says, a natural cycle of warming and cooling that affects the planet.

The most important ocean cycle is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. "The PDO cool mode," Easterbrook says, "has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of three decades of global cooling."

Such solar and ocean cycles explain why the earth can cool and polar ice thicken even as CO2 levels continue to increase.

The revelations of climate fraud perpetrated by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Climate Research Unit at Britain's University of East Anglia have exposed the global warming "consensus" touted by Al Gore to be a conspiracy of fools and charlatans. Worse, this fraudulent work has formed the basis for U.S. climate policy.

In Texas' suit, state Attorney General Greg Abbott said the IPCC and CRU shenanigans made any policy decisions based on that work flawed and unjustified. Abbott cited several examples in which he said climate scientists engaged in an "ongoing, orchestrated effort to violate freedom of information laws, exclude scientific research and manipulate temperature data."

"With billions of dollars at stake, EPA outsourced the scientific basis for its greenhouse gas regulation to a scandal-plagued international organization (the IPCC) that cannot be considered objective or trustworthy," Abbott argued.

"This legal action," said Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a 10th Amendment champion, "is being taken to protect the Texas economy and the jobs that go with it, as well as defend Texas' freedom to continue our successful environmental strategies free from federal overreach."

Joining the fray are Virginia and Utah. Virginia has filed petitions with the EPA and the federal appeals court in Washington asking for a review of the ruling based on new evidence. Its attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, based his request on the fact that the damning CRU e-mails and the discovery of IPCC fraud were released after the public comment period.

Like most Americans this snow-riddled winter, Cuccinelli is an admitted climate skeptic. In the Feb. 8 edition of the Cuccinelli Compass, his e-mailed newsletter, he noted that residents of Fairfax County were looking "out the window at 30+ inches of global warming." So too were the judges on the federal appeals court.

The Utah House has passed a resolution asking the federal government not to proceed with its plan to regulate carbon dioxide. The resolution claims, among other things, that there's "a well-organized and ongoing effort to manipulate global temperature data in order to produce a global warming outcome."

We couldn't have said it better. As the political climate changes, we hope global warming will be restored to its rightful place as junk science, and the policies derived from it soundly repudiated.


Evidence of Climate Fraud Grows, Media Coverage Doesn't

Newsbusters' Noel Sheppard lets the mainstream media have it for completely ignoring this weekend’s game-changing revelations from Climategate conspirator Phil Jones while jumping all over the ejection of director Kevin Smith from a Southwest Airlines plane for being too fat.

For those who may have taken the three-day weekend off from the blogosphere (and Fox News) -- the BBC released a Q&A and corresponding interview with the embattled erstwhile CRU chief on Friday. In each, the discredited Climategate conspirator revealed a number of surprising insights into his true climate beliefs, the most shocking of which was that 20th-century global warming may not have been unprecedented. As I pointed out in Sunday’s article, Climategate's Phil Jones Confesses to Climate Fraud, as the entire anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory is predicated on correlation with rising CO2 levels, this first-such confession from an IPCC senior scientist is nothing short of earth-shattering.

Noel has dug up some statistics on the major news agencies’ coverage of this vital chapter in what history will likely deem its greatest case of scientific fraud ever:

· No mention by the New York Times
· No mention by the Washington Post
· No mention by USA Today
· No mention by ANY major U.S. newspaper EXCEPT the Washington Times
· No mention by the Associated Press
· No mention by Reuters
· No mention by UPI
· No mention by ABC News
· No mention by CBS News
· No mention by NBC News
· No mention by MSNBC

As well as their treatment of Clerks director Kevin Smith being thrown off an airplane for the alleged crime of donut overindulgence:

· The New York Times reported it
· The Washington Post reported it
· The Associated Press reported it
· UPI reported it
· ABC News reported it
· CBS News reported it
· CNN reported it -- 14 TIMES!

Noel points out that the same complicit media entities were similarly asleep-at-the-wheel when the Climategate scandal broke last November. Indeed, with the notable exceptions of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, it was exclusively new media outlets such as this one reporting and analyzing the facts uncovered concerning the fraud-suggesting-emails, the data-manipulating computer source code, the funding hypocrisies, and exactly which “decline” the scoundrels were hiding.

Of course, I must add that the blackout didn’t end with Britain’s Climategate. The MSM have been equally silent about the complicit conspirators on this side of the Atlantic. As we reported last month, a report by three Americans (Joe D’Aleo, Anthony Watts and E.M Smith) has uncovered intentional global temperature misrepresentations by the two premiere U.S. climate agencies: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

The ramifications of this doctoring of the temperature records used by policy-influencing agencies worldwide – including the green-guidelines-granddaddy of them all -- the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- to analyze temperature anomalies are staggering. And yet – where was the MSM?

And speaking of the Nobel Prize winning IPCC, the seemingly never-ending number of “facts” in their most recent Assessment Report found to be utterly false and/or of questionable origin -- See IPCC: International Pack of Climate Crooks -- should be front page news. After all, this is the green bible on which every crazy and economy destroying scheme from domestic cap-and-tax to EPA chief Lisa Jackson’s sinister carbon regulation plot to international “climate debt” reparations is based.

Yet – the complicit media continue to speak of fantasy “green jobs” and the failings of Copenhagen and big-oil-paid-for Republicans and the need to pass President Obama’s so-called climate bill rather than doing the job they signed on for and unequivocally owe the American public: Asking questions.

I think Noel’s choice of closing words and punctuation expresses it perfectly: Shame on them!!!


British Council gets in on the climate act

Why is the British Council spending taxpayers' money on the recruiting of 100,000 "international climate champions"?

Last December, our television screens were filled with scenes of young demonstrators from all over the world parading through the streets of Copenhagen to call for action to halt global warming. Few people will have been aware, though, that they were being funded with the aid of millions of pounds from British taxpayers. What makes this even more curious is that the money was provided by a body set up to promote British culture internationally.

Last Sunday, when I reported on some of the ways in which an array of British ministries have poured hundreds of millions of pounds into projects related to climate change, I overlooked one branch of government which has been as active in the cause of saving the planet as any – the British Council, created more than 70 years ago to stage lectures on Shakespeare and Jane Austen, and to spread the use of the English language.

In recent years, however, on the initiative of Lord Kinnock when he was its chairman, the British Council has been hijacked to promote the need for action on climate change. In answer to a Freedom of Information request, we can now see some of the curious ways in which the British Council has been spending our money.

More than £3.5 million has gone on recruiting a worldwide network of young "climate activists" in over 70 countries to engage in climate change propaganda – what Marxists used to call agitprop – and to pressure their politicians to join the worldwide struggle. Under a programme called Challenge Europe, £1.1 million has been paid out to fund young "climate advocates" in 17 countries across Europe, including Britain itself. But £2.5 million has been spent on a more ambitious project to recruit a global network of 100,000 activists in 60 countries across the world, led by 1,300 young "International Climate Champions", to participate in "international peer networks, both in person and online, to share ideas, projects and experiences".

Of this sum, £303,093.24 went to China; £71,262.91 to Brazil; £53,006.25 to Japan; £70,132.88 to India (including £11,000 to Dr Pachauri's Teri institute); £77,507.89 to oil-rich Qatar; and £50,000 to the US. There was £120,000 for a dozen different countries in Africa, including £14,000 to fund climate champions in starving Zimbabwe.

All this, it is comforting to know, is being led by the climate-change activist Dr David Viner, formerly employed by East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (the focus of the "Climategate" emails scandal), who is most famous for the prediction he made in 2001, that within a few years winter snow would become "a very rare and exciting event". No doubt the climate champions we are funding in the eastern US will have been grateful for our support last week as they tried to explain the several feet of snow across the region which broke records established in the 1880s. What it all has to do with Macbeth or Pride and Prejudice is something of a mystery.


A Global Warming Snow Job

This winter, white is the new black

“More than two-thirds of the nation’s land mass had snow on the ground,” the Associated Press reported last week, “and then it snowed ever so slightly in Florida to make it 49 states out of 50.” Only Hawaii remained snow free. So far, anyway.

While shoveling, then, Americans could be forgiven for mumbling, “bring on some global warming.” Ah, but we won’t be forgiven by the likes of Thomas Friedman, globe-trotting environmentalist columnist at The New York Times. “Of the festivals of nonsense that periodically overtake American politics, surely the silliest is the argument that because Washington is having a particularly snowy winter it proves that climate change is a hoax,” Friedman wrote on Feb. 17. “You really wonder if we can have a serious discussion about the climate-energy issue anymore.”

Yes, you do. Mostly because the folks who want us to believe that humans are changing the planet’s climate insist the “science” is “settled” and so there’s nothing to talk about. Of course, many of these folks then get caught making up their data and behaving like hypocrites.

For example, Friedman’s Times Web page features video of a CNBC interview with him, “at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.” Hum. Wonder how Mr. Alternative Energy got to the Alps for that meeting. Did he peddle himself across the Atlantic in a carbon-neutral paddleboat, glide across the continent on efficient mass transit and then ascend the mountain on a dogsled? It’s impossible to believe he’d go the old-fashioned way: via carbon-belching plane and car.

In any event, “the climate-science community should convene its top experts -- from places like NASA, America’s national laboratories, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, the California Institute of Technology and the U.K. Met Office Hadley Centre -- and produce a simple 50-page report,” Friedman advises. “They could call it ‘What We Know,’ summarizing everything we already know about climate change in language that a sixth grader could understand, with unimpeachable peer-reviewed footnotes.”

Wait -- didn’t they already do that? In 2007, a United Nations outfit known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced the definitive report on “what we know” about climate change. This report was so iron-clad it won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Except -- the report was wrong about so many things. It claimed that the probability of Himalayan glaciers “disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high.” That bold statement wasn’t based on science, it was based on one interview with one expert 10 years earlier in an obscure magazine. Oh, and it’s not correct. Oops. “We slipped up on one number. I don’t think it takes anything away from the overwhelming scientific evidence of what’s happening with the climate of this Earth,” Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the U.N. panel, later told reporters.

If only it was one mistake. Climate-change believers also have been rocked by the release of thousands of documents from the Climate Research Unit at Britain’s University of East Anglia. These papers show climate scientists withholding information, fudging data, even interfering with the peer-review process that Friedman and others celebrate.

As for Pachauri, he too seems less than willing to live a carbon-free lifestyle. Three years ago a newspaper in India reported he once flew from New York to New Delhi to participate in a cricket practice. Days later, he made the round-trip again to play in a match.

And while skeptics of global warming aren’t supposed to cite this winter’s weather, proponents of man-made climate change are, apparently, free to do so. “One of the consequences of a warming ocean near a coastline like the East Coast and Washington, D.C., for instance, is that you can get dumped on with more snow partly as a consequence of global warming,” announced atmospheric researcher Kevin Trenberth on NPR last week. If snow is caused by warming, it’s little wonder that just about everything can purportedly be.

Friedman ends his column with his all-too-common celebration of China’s leadership. “It is investing heavily in clean-tech, efficiency and high-speed rail. It sees the future trends and is betting on them. Indeed, I suspect China is quietly laughing at us right now.”

Indeed, laughing that an American columnist would cite it -- the world’s most polluted nation -- as a paragon of environmental virtue. China burns more coal than the United States, Europe and Japan. Combined. Its cities are blanketed in smog. While it may lead the way into a cleaner 22nd century (after we’re all dead), its environment will look pretty messy for decades as China tries to get there.

Before we get worked up about climate change, let’s recall that’s what climate does, regardless of human behavior: change. This winter’s snows will melt away, fueling the growth of flowers and plants. There will never be a “Silent Spring.” Or, unfortunately, a silent global-warming fanatic.


It's the hype, not global warming, that is the problem

Q: As the controversy swirling around the IPCC deepens at the same time some are questioning the significance of global warming now that large portions of the U.S. are buried under record-breaking snow, what kind of information do policymakers need to make decisions about climate change?

A: Any risks of global warming need to be weighed against the risks of global warming policies. Policymakers must have accurate information on both sides of the equation in order to avoid measures that do more harm than good. Most of the recent proposals -- the Senate's Boxer-Kerry cap-and-trade bill, a new UN treaty, EPA's regulatory scheme -- fail to accurately weigh the risks because they are based on the false premise that climate change is a dire threat.

Simply put, global warming is not a crisis and should not be addressed as one. The recent wave of climate science scandals -- climategate, glaciergate, hurricanegate, amazongate, others -- have exposed a number of efforts initially crafted to hype the issue into something far scarier than the underlying science actually shows. Climategate -- the release of internal emails from scientists with key roles in the UN's 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report -- largely centered around the strained attempt to portray temperatures in recent decades as unprecedented throughout recorded history. The researchers had to go to extreme lengths to create this impression -- grafting one data set onto another to manufacture the desired "hockey stick" effect, using computer programs that add warming to the underlying temperature data and then destroying that data before others could see it -- which speaks volumes about the weakness of their case.

To his credit, Phil Jones, the head of the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit who had to step down pending the climategate investigation, recently conceded that temperatures have been statistically flat since 1995 and that the Medieval Warm Period may have been as warm as modern times. Slowly but surely, the hype and false certainty is being replaced by a more accurate picture of what the science really tells us about the earth's temperature history.

Similarly, most of the IPCC Report's apocalyptic claims about the consequences of global warming - that Himalayan glaciers would completely melt by 2035, that damage from hurricanes and other extreme weather events has increased, that African agricultural production is poised to plummet, and that the Amazon rainforest is under grave threat - have been shown to be far-fetched speculation devoid of scientific support. Yvo de Boer, the UN's top climate official, has just announced his resignation, in part due to the fact that so much so much alarmist junk made its way into the IPCC Report.

There is a reason proponents of costly measures to address global warming have so exaggerated the risks - they essentially had to for there to be any chance the public would accept the high price tag for action to ratchet down carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Once the gloom and doom is replaced by a more accurate assessment of the risk, such measures as the Senate's Boxer-Kerry bill, a new UN treaty, or EPA regulations look like an especially bad deal.


Nuclear’s global renaissance

By economist Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich, commenting from Australia

The announcement by US President Barack Obama this week to provide federal loans for new nuclear power stations signals a revival of this technology. This may have implications for Australia, too.

For the United States, the President’s push for a new generation of nuclear power plants did not come a day too early. There are about 100 nuclear plants operating in the United States. Yet, the last one was built more than 30 years ago. Originally constructed for operating periods of just over 40 years, most of the existing plants had already been approved for a total of 60 years. Experts have been discussing a further extension to 80 years.

However, at some stage such lifecycle extensions will reach a limit and, thus, the Americans urgently had to make a decision in principle whether to continue with nuclear power. Nuclear contributes about 19% to US electricity production. It’s a substantial amount of energy, and the Obama administration has apparently concluded that currently there is no viable, let alone a better, alternative than building a new generation of nuclear stations.

Predictably, environmentalists have criticised the Obama’s decision. Yet, it is precisely the green lobby that should welcome the drive towards nuclear power if they are concerned about the use of fossil fuels. Despite all the talk about renewable energies such as solar and wind, it will take decades until these alternatives would be able to provide reliable and affordable base load power. In the meantime, nuclear power can be the bridge towards the age of renewable power.

Of course, environmentalists never tire to warn of the dangers of nuclear power generation. However, the risks are overstated. The two worst accidents in nuclear power’s history happened at Three Mile Island and at Chernobyl. Fortunately, no one was killed at Three Mile Island, whereas at Chernobyl an estimated 56 people died. Tragic as this had been, there are other industries with far worse safety records. Yet nobody would shut down road transport, coal mining, or the chemical industry. In any case, today’s generation of nuclear reactors simply cannot be compared with the shoddy standards used by the then Soviet Union.

More and more countries are re-embracing nuclear power. In China alone, 21 new nuclear plants are being built. Worldwide, the figure of new reactors in the pipeline is 56, so there is a good chance that the nuclear industry will enjoy a global renaissance over the next decades.

With giant uranium reserves under our feet, Australia should seriously consider whether it wants to be part of the new nuclear age or content itself with just providing nuclear fuel to others.

The above is a press release from the Centre for Independent Studies, dated February 19. Enquiries to Snail mail: PO Box 92, St Leonards, NSW, Australia 1590.


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20 February, 2010

UN top climate change official quits

Rats deserting a sinking ship?

The senior United Nations climate change official has announced his resignation, weeks after admitting that the Copenhagen climate summit had failed to reach a robust deal on cutting greenhouse gases. The departure of Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and a passionate supporter of carbon reduction policies, is a setback for the global environmental movement.

The Dutchman is trusted as an honest broker by the 194 countries who are members of the convention. He exerted pressure on world leaders to raise their commitments on climate change and was widely credited with bringing the issue to the top of the global political agenda before the December summit in Copenhagen. Finding a figure who commands similar respect will be a difficult task.

Mr de Boer, 55, broke down in tears and had to leave the debating chamber at the Bali climate summit two years ago during bitter infighting over UN procedures. He returned to the platform to an ovation from the thousands of delegates.

Only two weeks ago, Mr de Boer was forced to admit that even the weak and not legally binding accord reached in Copenhagen was beginning to unravel. Several countries failed to meet the January 31 deadline agreed in the Danish capital for committing to emissions reductions.

His resignation takes effect on July 1, five months before the 194 nations are due to reconvene in Mexico for another attempt to reach agreement on controlling greenhouse gases.

Mr de Boer — who will be joining the consultancy group KPMG as global adviser on climate and sustainability as well as working with several universities — denied that his resignation was related to the failure of the Copenhagen summit. He said that he had begun looking for another job before the summit.

Jake Schmidt, a climate adviser for the US-based Natural Resources Defence Council, said: “I saw [Mr de Boer] at the airport after Copenhagen. He was tired, worn out. [The summit] clearly took a toll on him.”

Mr de Boer said yesterday: “Copenhagen wasn’t what I had hoped it would be. We were about an inch away from a formal agreement. It was basically in our grasp, but it didn’t happen. So that was a pity.” In his resignation statement, he said that he would continue to work for an improvement in emissions but through the business community and academia .

Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General, will make the final decision on who will replace Mr de Boer.


The Yucca Mountain Blues

By Alan Caruba

Are you worried about your “carbon footprint”? Still think “global warming” is real despite the fact that one of its leading advocates, a climatologist, recently said that there’s no significant data to demonstrate any warming since 1995? Can’t figure out why the White House is still trying desperately to pass the “Cap-and-Trade” bill based on the totally discredited claim that carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere are “causing” the non-existent “global warming”?

Do you increasingly think that you are Alice in Wonderland and now living in a nation where the White House and Congress keep telling you things that are totally absurd?

Let’s put aside the claim that we have to borrow and borrow in order to keep on spending and spending to save the economy when common sense says that is the worst way to end the economic death spiral they have created.

The latest ploy by the White House was a move in the direction of nuclear power to generate the electricity the nation needs for its current and future needs. Since the 1970s, for reasons that defy understanding, several administrations, Democrat and Republican, have done little to encourage nuclear power despite the fact that a nation like France derives most of its electricity from it.

Even so, nuclear provides about twenty percent of the electricity we use while coal provides just over fifty percent. In both cases, neither has anything to do with “greenhouse gases” because the gases play no role in climate change. Indeed, more carbon dioxide, being plant food, would greatly enhance the growth of crops and forests.

“Cap-and-Trade” is nothing more than a tax on energy use. Simple put, it has been cheap, abundant energy that has fueled the economy of the United States since it was founded. The discovery of oil in 1859 also played a major role and, despite the lies, the U.S. has an abundance of oil.

Like nuclear power, however, successive administrations since the 1970s have ensured that U.S. oil companies were kept from exploring for it, extracting it, refining it and selling it to us at affordable prices. This is in sharp contrast to the endless babble about the need to be “energy independent.”

The talk about support for the nuclear energy industry is welcome, but what the White House is not saying is that his proposed budget has no funding for the nuclear waste facility in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain.

Congress passed a Nuclear Waste Policy Act in 1982 and amended it in 1987. Yucca Mountain is the only permanent nuclear waste repository in the nation. I repeat, the only one. Why isn’t it in operation? Glad you asked. Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, has blocked its completion and use.

So we could build two or a dozen new nuclear plants—a very good idea—but there would still be no place to put the waste despite the fact that the U.S. has spent $9 billion on the first phase to build the Yucca Mountain site. A $13 million tunnel boring machine sits idle at the site.

That has not stopped the White House from wanting to put U.S. taxpayers on the hook for $8 billion in loan guarantees for two new reactors in Georgia.

The purpose of all this is to get a few senators to sign on to the passage of Cap-and-Trade, a bill based on a non-existent threat from “greenhouse gases” in order to avoid a non-existent “global warming.” There are two fears; one that the Senate might pass the bill and, two, that the White House might impose it by executive order.

What we are witnessing is yet another really big, really bad idea out of the White House that continues to lie to everyone and anyone who thinks the problem is “global warming” when the problem really is a mad desire to destroy of the nation’s economy.

This has always been the single goal of the environmental movement when the global warming fraud began in the late 1980s. It accelerated with the UN Kyoto Protocol in 1997. The U.S. has never accepted the Protocol and those nations that did have since discovered that it’s been a very costly fraud.

Cap-and-Trade is a fraud. Let your senators know you oppose their vote for it. Any senator that does vote for it should be replaced if they are running for reelection in the November midterm elections


Reality dawns in broke Britain

Major power plant suspends plan to replace coal with greener fuel -- because coal is cheaper

Britain’s biggest power station has suspended its plan to replace coal with greener fuel, leaving the Government little chance of meeting its target for renewable energy. Drax, in North Yorkshire, which produces enough electricity for six million homes, is withdrawing a pledge to cut CO2 emissions by 3.5 million tonnes a year, or 17.5 per cent.

The power station, which is the country’s largest single source of CO2, has invested £80 million in a processing unit for wood, straw and other plant-based fuels, known as biomass. The unit is designed to produce more renewable electricity than 600 wind turbines, but will operate at only a fraction of its capacity because Drax says it is cheaper to continue to burn coal.

Drax is also one of dozens of companies delaying investments in new biomass power stations because of uncertainty over the Government’s policy on long-term subsidies. Hundreds of farmers growing biomass crops may now struggle to sell their produce.

Drax’s decision will make it almost impossible for the Government to meet its commitment to increase the proportion of electricity from renewable sources from 5.5 per cent to 30 per cent by 2020. Renewable energy is a key component of Britain’s legally binding targets to cut overall emissions by 34 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. In an interview with The Times, Dorothy Thompson, Drax’s chief executive, blamed the Government for failing to give sufficient subsidy to biomass to make it competitive with coal. Drax has bought two million tonnes of biomass, but Ms Thompson said that it was considering selling it overseas because it no longer made economic sense to burn it in its six boilers.

Ms Thompson said: “We are not confident that the [subsidy] regime for what is one of the cheapest forms of renewable energy will support operating the biomass unit at full load. The UK is missing out massively on the potential for renewable energy from biomass. We want to run in a lowcarbon way but policy is against us.”

She accused the Department of Energy and Climate Change of lacking the skills to develop a successful biomass policy and focusing too heavily on expensive and unreliable wind turbines. “I think they simply have not put enough expertise into biomass. Wind is not a silver bullet; its benefits have been overstated.”

Ms Thompson said that the Government was holding back biomass by offering it only a quarter of the subsidy given to offshore wind farms and capping the amount of crops that can be burnt in coal-fired power stations. She said that it was cheaper for Drax to pay for emissions permits to burn coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, than to switch to biomass. Each megawatt hour of electricity costs Drax £31 to produce from coal and £40 from biomass.

Ms Thompson said that Drax would also be unable to proceed with its £2 billion plan for three new biomass power plants unless the Government offered longer-term support. “We do not believe we can create a credible investment case for our shareholders if there is complete regulatory uncertainty. This is a very serious issue because renewable energy through biomass is a key component for delivering the 2020 target.”

The Renewable Energy Association said that plans for more than 50 biomass projects, totalling £13 billion of investment, had been suspended because of uncertainty over policy. Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, the Energy Minister, said this month that the subsidy regime for biomass needed to be reviewed. Wind farm developers are guaranteed fixed subsidies for 20 years, but biomass investors could have the subsidy cut after four years.


Britain's bleak winter could be the worst for 81 years

The long, hard winter looks like dragging on into March. And if the bitter winds carry on for the next two weeks, there is a very good chance that this winter will turn out to be the coldest across the UK since 1929.

The National Trust reports that spring flowers have been set back by up to four weeks compared with recent years, although they expect that when some decent warmth arrives it could unleash a huge burst of flowering.

In the latest outbreak of wintry weather, heavy snow swamped much of the South West, Wales, the Midlands and parts of East Anglia, with the threat of ice on those roads not covered with snow. There’s a risk of a similar snowfall returning on Monday, stretching from the M4 corridor across Wales, the Midlands, East Anglia and parts of the North.

These snowfalls have come from a collision of wet, mild, Atlantic air smashing into freezing colder air stuck over northern parts of Britain. This stems from a problem that has plagued much of this winter — the weather patterns have become blocked and sent the jet stream running south.

This wind runs a few miles high and marks the battlefront between Arctic air and tropical air, and usually lies close to the UK during winter, delivering mild but wet weather. This winter, though, bitterly cold air from the Arctic thrust down into Europe and sent the jet stream off-course.

And the same happened in the eastern US, where the bitter cold has produced monster-sized snowfalls that have set new records in many places.

While much of Europe, North America and Asia have shivered, other places have been ridiculously warm. Just like squeezing a balloon, mild air has shifted to other regions such as Vancouver, where the Winter Olympics are in dire trouble with incredibly warm weather, heavy rains and fog.

The blame for this mess is partly thanks to El Niño, the warming of the tropical seas of the Pacific, which causes a huge upheaval in weather patterns across much of the globe.

This current El Niño is fairly powerful, and has swept warm air across Alaska and the West Coast of Canada, which is why Vancouver broke its record for the warmest January. Even the UK has caught the turmoil from El Niño, despite being thousands of miles away. Warm air from El Niño shot up into the stratosphere and shunted a surge of cold air from the Arctic down across the Continent and the UK this month.

Despite the snow and recent rain, this winter could turn out to be one of the driest on record, based on Met Office figures up to February 15. Although snowfalls through January and February were often heavy, they did not amount to much in terms of rainfall. Even showers forecast next week will not substantially change the average rainfall for the whole winter.


British government lavished £9m on climate change stunts... but public opinion is left cold by global warming 'propaganda'

A disastrous series of failed climate change publicity stunts cost taxpayers £ 9million, it emerged yesterday. The projects paid for by the Government’s Climate Challenge Fund did next to nothing to change public opinion, a Whitehall report found. It said the initiatives were almost entirely preaching to the converted and that trying to drum up interest through sensationalism only put people off.

Schemes included a £40,000 DVD in which schoolchildren explained that in ten years everyone will have to wear sunglasses all the time, because the sun will be shining more.

A tent set up in shopping centres and labelled an ‘experiential climate dome’ was subsidised by Whitehall to the tune of nearly £400,000; a computer game cost £47 every time it was played; and a series of ‘ challenging pub quizzes’ about climate change cost more than £85,000.

Large grants went to councils, schools and youth groups for ‘ attitude modification’ programmes and to assure the public that man-made global warming is an established scientific fact. And £200,000 went to Oxford University to ‘take climate change into the community’.

Details of the projects and the report for Ed Miliband’s Department of Energy and Climate Change – which was never published – were unearthed by the TaxPayers’ Alliance through Freedom of Information requests. Matthew Sinclair, the group’s research director, said: ‘The Government has clearly crossed the line from public information to propaganda on climate change. ‘Many of the Climate Challenge Fund projects are utterly bonkers and misleading, and come with a huge price tag.

‘Despite a fortune having been spent on these projects, the fund has failed even on its own spurious terms. It is infuriating for taxpayers to see their money squandered on attempts to scare and indoctrinate the public.’

The report by consultants Brook Lyndhurst said the projects largely failed to produce any changes in the opinions among their target audiences. It judged that ‘the aggregate picture is one of neutral or very modest positive shifts’. Future programmes should ‘avoid sensationalist or shocking imagery in climate change messages, since respondents are likely to find this off-putting’, it said.

The report added that those attracted to the projects were ‘already interested in climate change’. It suggested that in many cases organisations viewed the funding as ‘a way to secure additional resources’, and said the people running the projects often did not have ‘necessary skills’. The money was paid to public organisations and voluntary groups between 2006 and 2008.

Details emerged after several other high-profile climate change failures in recent months. The Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, which received £16,000 from the Climate Challenge Fund, has come under fire over leaked emails which show scientists attempted to hide data from sceptics.

And the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been found to have made exaggerated and ill-informed claims, for example over the rate at which Himalayan glaciers are melting. Its chief, Rajendra Pachauri, has faced calls to resign.


The lies of Aussie Climate Minister, Penny ‘Wrong’

A comment from Britain

Our Australian skeptic friend, Val Majkus, has sent me a link to a speech made yesterday by Australian nutjob, Penny Wong, who is the Aussie Federal Minister for Climate Change and Water. Wong somehow kept a straight face when she told the crowd: “Climate change [is] happening more quickly than we previously thought.”

Wong was addressing the first national forum on coasts and climate change in Adelaide and promulgating all the usual doomsaying myths for her dwindling band of climate cult followers that global temperatures are fast rising and sea levels, as a consequence, will rise by a meter this century.

Then, the self-serving climate minister showed no remorse for going on to smear tens of millions of concerned citizens that form the grassroots movement of climate skeptics by implying they are under the sway of the tobacco lobby! Wong will come to rue her ludicrous statements. Projecting herself as some kind of high priestess. She is, in fact, no more than another gray-suited peddler of snake oil patter.

Here in Britain the mainstream media has remembered what it means to do objective journalism. Sadly, the Aussie press hasn’t yet woken up to Wong’s wonky word spin–but they will. The days of her ilk are numbered. So I need only proffer a couple of simple facts to debunk Wong’s ‘catastrophic’ global warming myth. But the minister won’t want her audience to hear such basic truths:

First, as widely reported, Professor Phil Jones, one of the world’s key alarmist climate scientists, admitted to the BBC last week that there has been no statistically significant rise in global temps for 15 years.


Second, scientists from 50 research and operational agencies from 26 countries have proved that world sea levels have fallen for the past six years.



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 February, 2010

Another IPCC misrepresentation: Antarctic Sea Ice Increase Underestimated by 50%

Several errors have been recently uncovered in the 4th Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These include problems with Himalayan glaciers, African agriculture, Amazon rainforests, Dutch geography, and attribution of damages from extreme weather events. More seem to turn up daily. Most of these errors stem from the IPCC’s reliance on non-peer reviewed sources.

The defenders of the IPCC have contended that most of these errors are minor in significance and are confined to the Working Group II Report (the one on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability) of the IPCC which was put together by representatives from various regional interests and that there was not as much hard science available to call upon as there was in the Working Group I report (“The Physical Science Basis”). The IPCC defenders argue that there have been no (or practically no) problems identified in the Working Group I (WGI) report on the science.

We humbly disagree.

In fact, the WGI report is built upon a process which, as revealed by the Climategate emails, is, by its very nature, designed not to produce an accurate view of the state of climate science, but instead to be an “assessment” of the state of climate science—an assessment largely driven by preconceived ideas of the IPCC design team and promulgated by various elite chapter authors. The end result of this “assessment” is to elevate evidence which supports the preconceived ideas and denigrate (or ignore) ideas that run counter to it.

These practices are clearly laid bare in several recent Petitions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—petitions asking the EPA to reconsider its “Endangerment Finding” that anthropogenic greenhouse gases endanger our public health and welfare. The basis of the various petitions is that the process is so flawed that the IPCC cannot be considered a reliable provider of the true state of climate science, something that the EPA heavily relies on the IPCC to be. The most thorough of these petitions contains over 200 pages of descriptions of IPCC problems and it a true eye-opener into how bad things had become.

There is no doubt that the 200+ pages would continue to swell further had the submission deadline not been so tight. New material is being revealed daily.

Just last week, the IPCC’s (and thus EPA’s) primary assertion that “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations” was shown to be wrong. This argument isn’t included in the Petition.

This adds yet another problem to the growing list of errors in the IPCC WGI report, this one concerns Antarctic sea ice trends.

While all the press is about the observed declines in Arctic sea ice extent in recent decades, little attention at all is paid to the fact that the sea ice extent in the Antarctic has been on the increase. No doubt the dearth of press coverage stems from the IPCC treatment of this topic.

In the IPCC AR4 the situation is described like this in Chapter 4, “Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice, and Frozen Ground” (p. 351):

As an example, an updated version of the analysis done by Comiso (2003), spanning the period from November 1978 through December 2005, is shown in Figure 4.8. The annual mean ice extent anomalies are shown. There is a significant decreasing trend in arctic sea ice extent of –33 ± 7.4 × 103 km2 yr–1 (equivalent to –2.7 ± 0.6% per decade), whereas the Antarctic results show a small positive trend of 5.6 ± 9.2 × 103 km2 yr–1 (0.47 ± 0.8% per decade), which is not statistically significant. The uncertainties represent the 90% confidence interval around the trend estimate and the percentages are based on the 1978 to 2005 mean.

Notice that the IPCC states that the Antarctic increase in sea ice extent from November 1979-December 2005 is “not statistically significant” which seems to give them good reason to play it down. For instance, in the Chapter 4, Executive Summary (p. 339), the sea ice bullet reads:

Satellite data indicate a continuation of the 2.7 ± 0.6% per decade decline in annual mean arctic sea ice extent since 1978. The decline for summer extent is larger than for winter, with the summer minimum declining at a rate of 7.4 ± 2.4% per decade since 1979. Other data indicate that the summer decline began around 1970. Similar observations in the Antarctic reveal larger interannual variability but no consistent trends.

Which in the AR4 Summary For Policymakers becomes two separate items:

Satellite data since 1978 show that annual average arctic sea ice extent has shrunk by 2.7 [2.1 to 3.3]% per decade, with larger decreases in summer of 7.4 [5.0 to 9.8]% per decade. These values are consistent with those reported in the TAR. {4.4}


Antarctic sea ice extent continues to show interannual variability and localised changes but no statistically significant average trends, consistent with the lack of warming reflected in atmospheric temperatures averaged across the region. {3.2, 4.4}

“Continues to show…no statistically significant average trends”? Continues?

This is what the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR), released in 2001, had to say about Antarctic sea ice trends (Chapter 3, p. 125):

Over the period 1979 to 1996, the Antarctic (Cavalieri et al., 1997; Parkinson et al., 1999) shows a weak increase of 1.3 ± 0.2%/decade.

By anyone’s reckoning, that is a statistically significant increase.

In the IPCC TAR Chapter 3 Executive Summary is this bullet point:

…Satellite data indicate that after a possible initial decrease in the mid-1970s, Antarctic sea-ice extent has stayed almost stable or even increased since 1978.

So, the IPCC AR4’s contention that sea ice trends in Antarctica “continues” to show “no statistically significant average trends” contrasts with what it had concluded in the TAR.

Interestingly, the AR4 did not include references to any previous study that showed that Antarctic sea ice trends were increasing in a statistically significant way. The AR4 did not include the TAR references of either Cavalieri et al., 1997, or Parkinson et al., 1999. Nor did the IPCC AR4 include a reference to Zwally et al., 2002, which found that:

The derived 20 year trend in sea ice extent from the monthly deviations is 11.18 ± 4.19 x 103 km2yr-1 or 0.98 ± 0.37% (decade)-1 for the entire Antarctic sea ice cover, which is significantly positive. [emphasis added]

and (also from Zwally et al. 2002),

Also, a recent analysis of Antarctic sea ice trends for 1978–1996 by Watkins and Simmonds [2000] found significant increases in both Antarctic sea ice extent and ice area, similar to the results in this paper. [emphasis added]

Watkins and Simmonds (2000) was also not cited by the AR4.

So just what did the IPCC AR4 authors cite in support of their “assessment” that Antarctic sea ice extent was not increasing in a statistically significant manner? The answer is “an updated version of the analysis done by Comiso (2003).” And just what is “Comiso (2003)”? A book chapter!

Comiso, J.C., 2003: Large scale characteristics and variability of the global sea ice cover. In: Sea Ice - An Introduction to its Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Geology [Thomas, D. and G.S. Dieckmann (eds.)]. Blackwell Science, Oxford, UK, pp. 112–142.

And the IPCC didn’t actually even use what was in the book chapter, but instead “an updated version” of the “analysis” that was in the book chapter.

And from this “updated” analysis, the IPCC reported that the increase in Antarctic sea ice extent was an insignificant 5.6 ± 9.2 × 103 km2 yr–1 (0.47 ± 0.8% per decade)—a value that was only about one-half of the increase reported in the peer-reviewed literature.

There are a few more things worth considering.

1) Josefino Comiso (the author of the above mentioned book chapter) was a contributing author of the IPCC AR4 Chapter 4, so the coordinating lead authors probably just turned directly to Comiso to provide an unpeer-reviewed update. (how convenient)

and 2) Comiso published a subsequent paper (along with Fumihiko Nishio) in 2008 that added only one additional year to the IPCC analysis (i.e. through 2006 instead of 2005), and once again found a statistically significant increase in Antarctic sea ice extent, with a value very similar to the value reported in the old TAR, that is:

When updated to 2006, the trends in ice extent and area …in the Antarctic remains slight but positive at 0.9 ± 0.2 and 1.7 ± 0.3% per decade.

These trends are, again, by anyone’s reckoning, statistically significant.

And just in case further evidence is needed, a recent 2009 paper by Turner et al. (on which Comiso was a co-author), concluded that:

Based on a new analysis of passive microwave satellite data, we demonstrate that the annual mean extent of Antarctic sea ice has increased at a statistically significant rate of 0.97% dec-1 since the late 1970s.

This rate of increase is nearly twice as great as the value given in the AR4 (from its non-peer-reviewed source).

So, the peer reviewed literature, both extant at the time of the AR4 as well as published since the release of the AR4, shows that there has been a significant increase in the extent of sea ice around Antarctica since the time of the first satellite observations observed in the late 1970s. And yet the AR4 somehow “assessed” the evidence and determined not only that the increase was only half the rate established in the peer-reviewed literature, but also that it was statistically insignificant as well. And thus, the increase in sea ice in the Antarctic was downplayed in preference to highlighting the observed decline in sea ice in the Arctic.

SOURCE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

AGW -- the Tiger Woods of Science

I was reading this article from Quadrant On Line when I came upon this paragraph: "The weight of evidence is such that modellers are frantically revising their strategies. They are asking for an international climate computing centre and $5 billion (for 2000 times more computing power) to solve this new problem in climate forecasting. The monumental size of the task they have set themselves cannot be exaggerated."

It struck me (not for the first time) just how much the modellers, in fact the entire climate science community, has invested in the AGW theory. We know how much this theory has cost the world but it should not be underestimated how overwhelming the influence of money has had on the science. Prior to the global warming alarm few people even knew there was a branch of science dealing with the climate -- actually is there one now? Now tremendous resources are given to the sciences based solely on the fact that global warming has been sold as a threat to humanity.

As Upton Sinclair so aptly put it, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."

This is a simple truth of human behavior. People are far more likely to favor or disfavor positions based on their vested interest. Isn't this the very argument that alarmist have tried so hard to pin on skeptics in regards to supposed fossil fuel industry funding? The hypocrisy of course is that for many years the funds flowing into the warmist community from governments etc. far outweigh the minuscule amounts that have ever funded skeptical scientist from fossil fuel concerns.

No, the climate science community and many assorted connected scientific disciplines have benefited greatly both financially and in prestige from the promotion of the global warming theory. It could be argued that if suddenly the whole house of cards were to be unequivocally swept away it would cause a virtual depression (emotional and financial) in vast segments of the scientific community.

Not only does this situation corrupt the science it will insure that scientist will be slow to turn on the greenhouse theory even when they may have doubts, it's very difficult to kill the golden goose.

In a way it is like professional golf and Tiger Woods. It is now known that many of his peers and golf journalist were aware,at least in part, of Tiger's behavior over the years. Despite what they may have felt about it or him, they were more than willing to remain silent simply because Tiger Woods to professional golf was the golden goose. He popularized the sport as it never had been before, raising not only the games popularity but more importantly it raised the purses for his fellow competitors. Since Tiger Woods joined the PGA purses have increased by 285%. No wonder nobody was about to run out and tattle on Tiger.

It is reported that the US Government alone has spent $30 billion (and growing)on climate related scientific research since 1989. Although the scientific charade of the "enhanced greenhouse effect" is not so titillating as Tiger Woods' indiscretions, the motives for remaining silent about both are understandable: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."

The difference of course is that despite his moral failings Tiger Woods has always been a great golfer whereas the "enhanced greenhouse theory" has been shown to be a failure, the silence of the scientists only serves to compound their moral failings.


USCAP Statement on Membership Changes Misleads Public

The following is a statement from Tom Borelli, PhD., director of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project:

"Yesterday's press release from the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) misled the public by failing to disclose that in addition to losing BP, Caterpillar and ConocoPhillips, the lobbying group lost Marsh, Inc. and Xerox from its ranks. Marsh and Xerox were listed as members in Congressional testimony in January 2009.

USCAP's effort to put a happy face on its crumbling organization is laughable. While touting new members, USCAP forgot to tell the public that it lost Marsh and Xerox from its lobbying effort.

USCAP is collapsing as fast as the prospects of passing cap-and-trade legislation. USCAP's slanted view of its organization and its inaccurate portrayal of the economic impact of cap-and-trade is as biased as the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Nobel Prize winning report on global warming. Economic studies on cap-and-trade consistently show the legislation will increase energy prices and slow growth both of which are job killers.

General Motors and Chrysler, despite their bankruptcies, remain as USCAP members.

It's outrageous that taxpayer-owned companies such as General Motors and Chrysler are dues-paying members of a lobbying outfit. With GM and Chrysler, we have government-owned companies lobbying the government for policies that will make our country less competitive. It's no wonder everyday Americans are becoming Tea Party activists."


The worst cold snap for 20 years is turning Britain's lawns PINK... and there's more snow to come

Just to prove that the other man's grass isn't always greener, lawns throughout the country are turning pink. The harsh winter has led to the worst outbreak of snow mould for more than 20 years. The fungal disease exists on many lawns without usually causing any problems. But when under a blanket of snow, it starts to thrive. Patches of grass rapidly die, then when the snow melts the characteristic candy-floss pink or grey blotches come to light.

The Fusarium nivale fungus has wrought destruction from Surrey to Scotland, with Northumberland and Yorkshire particularly badly hit. The nationwide blight came to light as forecasters warned of 'another blast' of winter today. Up to two inches of snow will fall across much of the country, with central England and south-east Wales being the worst affected. The wintry weather will continue until late tomorrow and may well cause widespread disruption to commuters returning home in the Friday evening rush-hour.

The Met Office has issued a weather warning for a 60 per cent chance of heavy snow affecting South West England, Wales, western and eastern parts of the Midlands today, with two inches expected widely and up to four inches on higher ground.

A further weather warning has been issued for widespread icy roads across the Midlands, Eastern England, London and the South-East. Tim Thorne, from the Met Office, said: 'It's great news for the kids on half-term. But for everybody else the novelty of snow this winter seems to have worn off. The snow will start off in the south-west and move up over the Midlands where we are expecting it to linger. 'It will then hit eastern parts by Friday and could cause some disruption to roads and rail connections. February is generally the coldest month so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. 'Many parts are likely to see a bitterly cold Friday night. 'We are hoping it will all be over by the weekend when many areas should see some sunshine. It is fair to say it has become something of a nuisance.'

Last month was the coldest January in Britain for 20 years, and February hasn't been a lot better.

Britain's biggest lawn care company, GreenThumb, says the combination of snow and lack of wind have made this year's outbreaks of Fusarium nivale the worst in the firm's 25-year history. Technical manager Steve Taylor said: 'For grass to survive and stay healthy, you need air to keep blowing across the surface of the plant. 'Snow keeps the grass warm but it suffocates the air and it is the catalyst that allows the disease to take hold and blight your lawn. 'We have been called out to treat cases all over Britain but the east side of the country has been particularly badly hit.'


The Green Death

The article below looks at the history of environmentalism with a view to finding continuities in it that reveal the underlying motivations of environmentalists. The author begins his survey only in the 1960s, however, so I have followed the article below with another article that gives some more distant but still highly relevant history -- history that confirms how dismal, authoritarian and misanthropic Greenie motivations are

Who is the worst killer in the long, ugly history of war and extermination? Hitler? Stalin? Pol Pot? Not even close. A single book called Silent Spring killed far more people than all those fiends put together.

Published in 1962, Silent Spring used manipulated data and wildly exaggerated claims (sound familiar?) to push for a worldwide ban on the pesticide known as DDT – which is, to this day, the most effective weapon against malarial mosquitoes. The Environmental Protection Agency held extensive hearings after the uproar produced by this book… and these hearings concluded that DDT should not be banned. A few months after the hearings ended, EPA administrator William Ruckleshaus over-ruled his own agency and banned DDT anyway, in what he later admitted was a “political” decision. Threats to withhold American foreign aid swiftly spread the ban across the world.

The resulting explosion of mosquito-borne malaria in Africa has claimed over sixty million lives. This was not a gradual process – a surge of infection and death happened almost immediately. The use of DDT reduces the spread of mosquito-borne malaria by fifty to eighty percent, so its discontinuation quickly produced an explosion of crippling and fatal illness. The same environmental movement which has been falsifying data, suppressing dissent, and reading tea leaves to support the global-warming fraud has studiously ignored this blood-drenched “hockey stick” for decades.

The motivation behind Silent Spring, the suppression of nuclear power, the global-warming scam, and other outbreaks of environmentalist lunacy is the worship of centralized power and authority. The author, Rachel Carson, didn’t set out to kill sixty million people – she was a fanatical believer in the newly formed religion of radical environmentalism, whose body count comes from callousness, rather than blood thirst. The core belief of the environmental religion is the fundamental uncleanliness of human beings. All forms of human activity are bad for the environment… most especially including the activity of large private corporations. Deaths in faraway Africa barely registered on the radar screen of the growing Green movement, especially when measured against the exhilarating triumph of getting a sinful pesticide banned, at substantial cost to an evil corporation.

Those who were initiated into the higher mysteries of environmentalism saw the reduction of the human population as a benefit, although they’re generally more circumspect about saying so in public these days. As quoted by Walter Williams, the founder of the Malthusian Club of Rome, Alexander King, wrote in 1990: “My own doubts came when DDT was introduced. In Guayana, within two years, it had almost eliminated malaria. So my chief quarrel with DDT, in hindsight, is that it has greatly added to the population problem.” Another charming quote comes from Dr. Charles Wurster, a leading opponent of DDT, who said of malaria deaths: “People are the cause of all the problems. We have too many of them. We need to get rid of some of them, and this is as good a way as any.”

Like the high priests of global warming, Rachel Carson knew what she was doing. She claimed DDT would actually destroy all life on Earth if its use continued – the “silent spring” of the title is a literal description of the epocalypse she forecast. She misused a quote from Albert Schweitzer about atomic warfare, implying the late doctor agreed with her crusade against pesticide by dedicating her book to him… when, in fact, Schweitzer viewed DDT as a “ray of hope” against disease-carrying insects. Some of the scientists attempting to debunk her hysteria went so far as to eat chunks of DDT to prove it was harmless, but she and her allies simply ignored them, making these skeptics the forerunners of today’s “global warming deniers” – absolutely correct and utterly vilified. William Ruckleshaus disregarded nine thousand pages of testimony when he imposed the DDT ban. Then as now, the science was settled… beneath a mass of politics and ideology.

Another way Silent Spring forecast the global-warming fraud was its insistence that readers ignore the simple evidence of reality around them. One of the founding myths of modern environmentalism was Carson’s assertion that bird eggs developed abnormally thin shells due to DDT exposure, leading the chicks to be crushed before they could hatch. As detailed in this American Spectator piece from 2005, no honest experimental attempt to produce this phenomenon has ever succeeded – even when using concentrations of DDT a hundred times greater than anything that could be encountered in nature. Carson claimed thin egg shells were bringing the robin and bald eagle to the edge of extinction… even as the bald eagle population doubled, and robins filled the trees. Today, those eagles and robins shiver in a blanket of snow caused by global warming.

The DDT ban isn’t the only example of environmental extremism coming with a stack of body bags. Mandatory gas mileage standards cause about 2,000 deaths per year, by compelling automakers to produce lighter, more fragile cars. The biofuel mania has led resources to be shifted away from growing food crops, resulting in higher food prices and starvation. Worst of all, the economic damage inflicted by the environmentalist religion directly correlates to life-threatening reductions in the human standard of living. The recent earthquake in Haiti is only the latest reminder that poverty kills, and collectivist politics are the most formidable engine of poverty on Earth.

Environmental extremism is a breathless handmaiden for collectivism. It pours a layer of smooth, creamy science over a relentless hunger for power. Since the boogeymen of the Green movement threaten the very Earth itself with imminent destruction, the environmentalist feels morally justified in suspending democracy and seizing the liberty of others. Of course we can’t put these matters to a vote! The dimwitted hicks in flyover country can’t understand advanced biochemistry or climate science. They might vote the wrong way, and we can’t risk the consequences! The phantom menaces of the Green movement can only be battled by a mighty central State. Talk of representation, property rights, and even free speech is madness when such a threat towers above the fragile ecosphere, wheezing pollutants and coughing out a stream of dead birds and drowned polar bears. You can see why the advocates of Big Government would eagerly race across a field of sustainable, organic grass to sweep environmentalists into their arms, and spin them around in the ozone-screened sunlight.

Green philosophy provides vital nourishment for the intellectual vanity of leftists, who get to pat themselves on the back for saving the world through the control-freak statism they longed to impose anyway. One of the reasons for the slow demise of the climate-change nonsense is that it takes a long time to let so much air out of so many egos. Calling “deniers” stupid and unpatriotic was very fulfilling. Likewise, you’ll find modern college campuses teeming with students – and teachers – who will fiercely insist that DDT thins egg shells and causes cancer. Environmentalism is a primitive religion which thrives by telling its faithful they’re too sophisticated for mere common sense.

The legacy of Silent Spring provides an object lesson in the importance of bringing the global-warming con artists to trial. No one was ever forced to answer for the misery inflicted by that book, or the damage it dealt to serious science. Today Rachel Carson is still celebrated as a hero, the secular saint who transformed superstition and hysteria into a Gospel for the modern god-state. The tactics she deployed against DDT resurfaced a decade later, in the Alar scare. It’s a strategy that offers great reward, and very little risk. We need to increase the risk factor, and frighten the next generation of junk scientists into being more careful with their research. If we don’t, the Church of Global Warming will just reappear in a few years, wearing new vestments and singing new hymns… but still offering the same communion of poverty, tyranny, and death.


Europe's first "Green" party

A small excerpt from a large survey of Nazi "Green" ideas below. Nazi environmental ideas have long been known to historians and get an understated mention in most histories of Nazism. But that aspect of Nazism seems to be getting more detailed attention these days. The full version of the article excerpted below is particularly detailed in showing the link between Nazi Green ideas and antisemitism

Historians have either overlooked or forgotten that sweeping Nazi environmental laws, all signed by Hitler and considered to be his pet projects, preceded the racially charged Nuremberg Laws, reflecting the fact that Nazi racism was rooted in ecology. By the summer of 1935, right before the Nuremberg laws were set up, Nazi Germany was by far the greenest regime on the planet. The Animal Protection laws were followed up by a strong hunting law for Hermann Goering in 1934. In 1935, Hitler also signed the Reich Nature Protection Act, the high water mark for Nazi environmentalism. Here is seen the birth of environmental permits, environmental impact statements and environmental totalitarianism.

The Reich Nature Protection Act even allowed the expropriation of private property without compensation for the sake of the environment. Sustainable forestry practices called Dauerwald, which ironically means "eternal" forest, were also introduced at the federal level.

The change was so remarkable that Aldo Leopold, the famous environmentalist who left America with his "Think like a Mountain" deep ecology legacy long before Rachel Carson, paid Nazi Germany a visit in 1935. While very critical of past German conservation efforts, he lauded the new environmental direction the Nazis were taking. That Leopold would leave the Teddy Roosevelt/Gifford Pinchot style of American utilitarian form of environmental conservationism for deep ecology in the same year is also a curious fact of history that receives little attention. Another disquieting element of Leopold was his criticism of America's "Abrahamic" concept of the land.

While Adolf Hitler's personal commitment to green ideas was somewhat inconsistent and sporadic with regard to environmental preservation practices and the rural agrarian SS "blood and soil" radicalism of Heinrich Himmler and Richard Walther Darre, something which many environmental historians have waxed long and hard on to historically disassociate the Fuhrer from their movement as much as possible, he was much more green with regard to vegetarianism, but especially green with regard to animal rights, both of which he adopted into his life because of the great influence that Richard Wagner had over him.

Richard Wagner of course was the famous opera composer who provided the musical background to the Nazis. His anti-Semitism is specifically quoted in "The Eternal Jew." Less known however is that Wagner was also a strong vegan who preached a racist socialism based on vegetarianism that would cleanse Germany from the corrupting influence of the Jews. Along these radical green lines is that both Hitler and Himmler apparently had plans to make Germany vegan after the war.

It must neither be forgotten that Wagner was also an ardent student of Arthur Schopenhauer, the great German animal rights guru of the 1800's. Wagner wholeheartedly adopted Schopenhauer's thesis that the barbaric treatment of animals in Europe was squarely placed on the shoulders of Judaism. Shockingly, Schopenhauer proclaimed a prophecy which was virtually fulfilled by the Nazis almost a century later: "we owe the animal not mercy but justice, and the debt often remains unpaid in Europe, the continent that is permeated with Foeter Judaicus...It is obviously high time in Europe that Jewish views on nature were brought to an end...the unconscionable treatment of the animal world must, on account of its immorality, be expelled from Europe."

Much more HERE


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 February, 2010

Climategate 2.0 — The NASA Files: U.S. Climate Science as Corrupt as Britain's CRU

Chris Horner filed the FOIA request that NASA didn't comply with for two years. Now we know what took so long

In August 2007, I submitted two Freedom of Information Act requests to NASA and its Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), headed by long-time Gore advisor James Hansen and his right-hand man Gavin Schmidt (and co-founder).

I did this because Canadian businessman Steve McIntyre — a man with professional experience investigating suspect statistical claims in the mining industry and elsewhere, including his exposure of the now-infamous “hockey stick” graph — noticed something unusual with NASA’s claims of an ever-warming first decade of this century. NASA appeared to have inflated its U.S. temperatures beginning in the year 2000. My FOIA request asked NASA about their internal discussions regarding whether and how to correct the temperature error caught by McIntyre.

NASA stonewalled my request for more than two years, until Climategate prompted me to offer notice of intent to sue if NASA did not comply immediately. On New Year’s Eve, NASA finally provided the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) with the documents I requested in August 2007.

The emails show the hypocrisy, dishonesty, and suspect data management and integrity of NASA, wildly spinning in defense of their enterprise. The emails show NASA making off with enormous sums of taxpayer funding doing precisely what they claim only a “skeptic” would do. The emails show NASA attempting to scrub their website of their own documents, and indeed they quietly pulled down numerous press releases grounded in the proven-wrong data. The emails show NASA claiming that their own temperature errors (which they have been caught making and in uncorrected form aggressively promoting) are merely trivial, after years of hysterically trumpeting much smaller warming anomalies.

As you examine the email excerpts below, as well as those which I will discuss in the upcoming three parts of this series, bear in mind that the contents of these emails were intended to prop up the argument for the biggest regulatory intervention in history: the restricting of carbon emissions from all human activity. NASA’s activist scientists leave no doubt in their emails that this was indeed their objective. Also, please note that these documents were responsive to a specific FOIA request from two years ago. Recent developments — combined with admissions contained in these documents — beg further requests, which have both been already filed and with more forthcoming.

Furthermore, on January 29, 2010, CEI filed our appeal of NASA continuing to improperly withhold other documents responsive to our FOIA requests. In this appeal we informed NASA that if they do not comply by the twentieth day, as required by law, we shall exercise our appellate rights in court immediately.

The documents:

Under Dr. James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), NASA shepherds a continuing public campaign claiming clear evidence of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) — climate change induced by human beings. The documents released via the FOIA request, however, contain admissions of data unreliability that are staggering, particularly in light of NASA’s claims to know temperatures and anomalies within hundredths of a degree, and the alarm they helped raise over a mere one degree of claimed warming over more than an entire century.

Dr. Reto Ruedy, a Hansen colleague at GISS, complains in his August 3, 2007, email to his co-worker at GISS and RealClimate blogger Gavin Schmidt:

[The United States Historical Climate Network] data are not routinely kept up-to-date (at this point the (sic) seem to end in 2002).

This lapse led to wild differences in data claimed to be from the same ground stations by USHCN and the Global Climate Network (GHCN). NASA later trumpeted the “adjustments” they made to this data (upward only, of course) in extremely minor amounts — adjustments they are now seen admitting are well within any uncertainty, a fact that received significantly less emphasis in their public media campaign claiming anomalous, man-made warming.

GISS’s Ruedy then wrote:

[NASA’s] assumption that the adjustments made the older data consistent with future data … may not have been correct. … Indeed, in 490 of the 1057 stations the USHCN data were up to 1C colder than the corresponding GHCN data, in 77 stations the data were the same, and in the remaining 490 stations the USHCN data were warmer than the GHCN data.

Ruedy claimed this introduced an estimated warming into the record of 0.1 deg C. Ruedy then described an alternate way of manipulating the temperature data, “a more careful method” they might consider using, instead.

Another document

Although in public he often used his high-profile perch for global warming cheerleading, former New York Times environmental reporter Andrew Revkin privately wrote that he was worried about the integrity of the ground stations. When still at the Times he wrote to Hansen on August 23, 2007:

i never, till today, visited and found it quite amazing. if our stations are that shoddy, what’s it like in Mongolia?

Sadly, although Andy wrote many pieces touting as significant what we now know NASA admits as statistically meaningless temperature claims, he did not find time to write about data so “shoddy” as to reach the point of “amazing.” That is what advocacy often entails: providing only one side, and even a far less compelling side, of a story.

Another document

In an August 14, 2007, email from GISS’s Makiko Sato to Hansen, Sato wrote that his analysis of a one degree warming between 1934 and 1998 might in reality be half that amount:

I am sure I had 1998 warmer than 1934 at least once because on my own temperature web page (which most people never look at), I have [image/information not visible in document]. … I didn’t keep all the data, but some of them are (some data are then listed, with 1934 0.5 deg C warmer than 1998)

As AGW proponents only claim a one degree warming over the past century, the magnitude of a .5 degree Celsius problem in their calculations is tremendous.

Sato continues:

I am sorry, I should have kept more data, but I was not interested in US data after 2001 paper.

Sato is referencing the paper by Hansen, et al., in which Hansen’s colleagues remind him 1934 was indeed listed as being a full half-degree warmer than 1998 — which is shown in their emails as being what the data said as of July 1999 (their paper described 1934 as only “slightly” warmer than 1998, p. 8). Still, throughout these emails Hansen later insists 1934 and 1998 are in a statistical tie with just a 0.02 Celsius difference and even that their relationship has not changed. For example, Hansen claims in an email to a journalist with Bloomberg: “As you will see in our 2001 paper we found 1934 slightly warmer, by an insignificant hair over 1998. We still find that result.” The implication is that things had not changed when in fact NASA had gone from claiming a statistically significant if politically inconvenient warmer 1934 over 1998, to a tie.

Regarding U.S. temperatures, Ruedy confessed to Hansen on August 23, 2007 to say:

I got a copy from a journalist in Brazil, we don’t save the data.

Another document

The Ruedy relationship with a Brazilian journalist raises the matter of the incestuous relationship between NASA’s GISS and like-minded environmental reporters. One can’t help but recall how, recently, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claim of glacier shrinkage in the Himalayas was discredited when found to be the work of a single speculative journalist at a popular magazine, and not strict peer-reviewed scientific data. The emails we obtained include several instances of very close ties and sympathetic relationships with journalists covering them.

The same can be said of NASA’s relationship vis-a-vis the IPCC, whose alarmism NASA enabled. One NASA email implicitly if privately admits that IPCC claims of accelerating warming — such as those by IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri or UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon — are specious. Yet NASA has never publicly challenged such alarmism. Instead, it sat by and benefited from it, with massive taxpayer funding of its rather odd if growing focus on “climate.”

In an August 15, 2007, email from Ruedy to Brazilian journalist Leticia Francisco Sorg, responding to Sorg’s request for Ruedy to say if warming is accelerating, Ruedy replied:

“To observe that the warming accelerates would take even longer observation times” than the past 25 years. In fact, it would take “another 50-100 years.”

This is a damning admission that NASA has been complicit in UN alarmism. This is not science. It is debunked advocacy. The impropriety of such policy advocacy, let alone allowing unsubstantial scientific claims to become part of a media campaign, is self-evident.

SOURCE (More to come)

Lawsuits roll in as EPA “endangerment” deadline looms

Critics of U.S. EPA's climate regulations are lining up to launch legal battles against the agency's "endangerment" finding amid a looming deadline for court challenges. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday petitioned (pdf) a federal appeals court to reconsider EPA's determination that greenhouse gases threaten public health and welfare, a finding that paves the way for broad regulations of the heat-trapping emissions.

The challenge from the industry trade group is the latest of a series of legal attacks against the finding, and observers say more could appear before tomorrow's deadline for critics to file petitions in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. "The U.S. Chamber strongly supports efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, but we believe there's a right way and a wrong way to achieve that goal," the group said in a statement.

EPA's endangerment finding is the wrong way, the chamber said. "Because of the huge potential impact on jobs and local economies, this is an issue that requires careful analysis of all available data and options. Unfortunately, the agency failed to do that and instead overreached." The chamber said its petition was based on lapses in EPA's process in making the decision to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, and not on scientific issues related to climate change or the finding.

Last week, Atlanta-based Southeastern Legal Foundation Inc. filed a separate petition (pdf) with the appeals court. The limited-government advocacy group, which filed the petition on behalf of 13 House Republicans and other business associations, plans to challenge the integrity of the scientific data used to underpin EPA's finding (E&E Daily, Feb. 11).

And last December, groups including the Coalition for Responsible Regulation Inc., coal and mining companies Massey Energy Co. and Alpha Natural Resources Inc., as well as the National Beef Cattlemen's Association, also petitioned (pdf) the court to review the finding. Those groups are also planning to challenge the science behind the determination. A coalition of 16 states and New York City has asked (pdf) to intervene in that case (Greenwire, Jan. 25).

Roger Martella, former EPA general counsel during the George W. Bush administration, said he expects the groups to pursue a variety of strategies to attack the finding. "Many of the petitioner groups take the position that global climate change is a serious issue that warrants action and will want to avoid turning the endangerment litigation into a debate on climate change science itself," Martella said. "Instead, these groups are more likely to focus on the legal and record basis for EPA's endangerment determination -- in other words, whether EPA is asking the right questions, looking at the right information, and meeting its burden in finding endangerment under the standards set forth in the Clean Air Act."

EPA expressed confidence today that the endangerment finding will withstand legal challenge. "The U.S. Supreme Court ordered EPA three years ago to determine whether unchecked greenhouse-gas emissions pose a danger to the American public," EPA said in a statement. "The Agency made an affirmative finding following an exhaustive review of the peer-reviewed science and thousands of public comments submitted in an open and transparent process."

Debate over standing

Experts say the appeals court is likely to lump the industry petitions together within the next couple of weeks. Some observers expect the court to promptly dismiss the case, while others are confident that the panel will ultimately hear oral arguments. Petitioners will likely be required to file briefs within several months, said Jeff Holmstead, an industry attorney and former EPA air chief during the George W. Bush administration. Following that, the administration normally has 60 days to respond, and challengers have another 30 days to submit reply briefs.

"We are certainly going to make every effort to put this before a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals," said Shannon Goessling, executive director and chief legal counsel at the Southeastern Legal Foundation. "I think it's a very good chance" that the court will hear the case, Goessling added. "This is a precursor to an abundant amount of regulation. Between the reporting rule and the tailoring rule and the effect on stationary sources and vehicles that will be coming out in 2012, this will have broad, sweeping effects that will cost upward of a trillion dollars."

But David Bookbinder, chief climate counsel at the Sierra Club, said he expects the court to dismiss the case after the Justice Department argues that the petitioners lack standing. "DOJ will make that motion and the court will grant it," Bookbinder said. Because the endangerment finding does not impose any immediate regulations, Bookbinder said, no injury was done to the petitioners by issuing the determination. "If there's an agency action that doesn't involve actually doing anything to you, there's no standing, there's no injury," he said.


Obama's Cap-and-Trade Policy Takes Another Hit: BP, Caterpillar and ConocoPhillips Exit Global Warming Group

President Obama's cap-and-trade policy took another hit with the announcement that oil companies BP and ConocoPhillips and heavy equipment maker Caterpillar are leaving the high-profile United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) lobbying organization. USCAP played a key role in lobbying for the Obama-supported Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill approved by the House of Representatives last year.

"The companies that bolted USCAP realized the organization was really a front group serving only the interests of GE and utility companies and their environmental allies. This became obvious when the Waxman-Markey bill gave the vast majority of free carbon allowances to the utility industry while GE reaped the reward of its lobbying muscle by securing federal mandates for electricity generation in a way that benefits GE's wind turbine business," said Tom Borelli, PhD, director of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project.

"With the Waxman bill, environmental special interest groups and GE achieved their renewable energy dreams and the utilities took the free carbon allowances, leaving their coalition partners in the oil and heavy industry companies out in the cold," added Borelli.

For years, policy experts at the National Center have been harsh critics of USCAP, saying its lobbying goals are bad for the U.S. economy, low-income Americans, employment and the stockholders of affected companies, including those of several USCAP members.

On the eve of Caterpillar's 2007 stockholder meeting, for example, The National Center organized a letter to Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens signed by 70 organizations, companies and prominent individuals, including a former U.S. Attorney General, urging Owens to immediately withdraw Caterpillar from USCAP. National Center for Public Policy Research Vice President David Ridenour noted when the letter was released that the cap for which USCAP was lobbying would "cost the poorest fifth of Americans nearly double what it would cost the wealthiest fifth of Americans, as a percentage of wages, in added energy costs."

Ridenour also noted that Caterpillar itself would have been adversely affected: "Capping U.S. emissions will accomplish little while hurting the poor and many of the industries upon which Caterpillar has depended for sales. When Caterpillar President James Owens has presided over the destruction of the oil, mining, timber and agricultural industries, what product will it have to sell then? Emissions credits?"

Borelli concurs. "When I challenged Caterpillar's participation in USCAP at the 2007 Caterpillar stockholder meeting, I was outraged to learn that CEO Jim Owens did not conduct a cost-benefit analysis to estimate the impact of cap-and-trade on his business. By adopting the progressive line of 'having a seat at the table' in shaping legislation to justify USCAP membership, Owens embodied the proverbial 'useful idiot' in supporting the left-wing's energy agenda," said Borelli.

At the 2009 Caterpillar shareholder meeting, Owens acknowledged he opposed the Waxman-Markey bill because it could harm his business. This put Owens at odds with coalition partner Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric.

GE secured hundreds of millions of dollars from President Obama's $787 billion "American Reinvestment and Recovery Act" for its utility customers Duke Energy, Exleon and FPL Group - all USCAP members.

"USCAP has always been about GE, the utility industry, and environmental advocacy groups advancing their narrow cause at the cost of the other coalition 'partners' and taxpayers. It's only a matter of time until the other USCAP members, such as John Deere & Co., wake up and recognize that cap-and-trade legislation is toxic to shareholder interests," said Borelli.


Who Doesn't Trust Science Now?

All of you deniers and flat-earthers who are exploiting the glacial temperatures and bizarre snowfall to mock global warming fears are missing the point: Weather isn't the same as climate. Shoddy evidence, bogus fears and a lack of transparency, on the other hand, are worth talking about. Yet the lack of skepticism by those who claim a sacred deference to scientific integrity proves that flat-earthers aren't the only ones susceptible to some faith-based ideology.

Recently, Tim Wirth, who is the president of the U.N. Foundation and a former senator, said the manipulated evidence uncovered by the ClimateGate e-mail scandal was a mere "opening" to attack science that "has to be defended just like evolution has to be defended." Get it? Those unreasonable people who deny evolution -- despite the overwhelming evidence -- are the same brand of illiterate hoi polloi who won't hand over their gas-powered lawn mowers on the word of an oracle weather model and haphazardly placed weather station.

Problems keep popping up for the true believer. Phil Jones, the former director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (and the only one held responsible for ClimateGate), admits that lots of his decades' worth of data were sloppy or missing, i.e., not very scientific. Jones, when recently asked whether the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than the current period, admitted that it had not been proved -- and the importance of this can't be stressed enough. Is Jones just being careful now? Probably. Which is more than can be said for others.

The important Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claimed that Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035. Turns out this was based on the conjecture of a single researcher. The 2007 IPCC report also warned that by 2020, global warming may reduce crop yields in Africa by 50 percent, though there was no real science to back the claim.

We all have heard the average environmentalist get a bit hysterical with tales of impending catastrophes as a way to motivate us. But these reports were edited by scientists. Can we count on them always to be honest and apolitical? The only way to know is transparency.

So let's revisit the case of Kevin Trenberth, who is head of the National Center for Atmospheric Research's Climate Analysis Section. This week on National Public Radio, he blamed the heavy snowfall, in part, on global warming, proving that even very smart experts can use weather to further the cause. Trenberth, who has no problem taking a salary and nearly full funding from taxpayers, is not as keen on complying with Freedom of Information Act requests. He, through NCAR lawyers -- also paid for by you (and doing a wonderful job) -- claims to be immune from such intrusions.

Then there is NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Chris Horner at the free market-advocating Competitive Enterprise Institute has been trying for years to have NASA release information about the inner workings of Goddard. As a government agency without any national security issues to worry about, it has an obligation to comply. Shouldn't NASA want to comply? After all, the science of climate tragedy is irrefutable -- so obvious, in fact, that those who resist can be compared to Holocaust deniers.

It is true that most reasonable people concede there has been warming on the planet and that most concede they can't possibly fully understand the underlying science. I certainly can't, despite my best efforts. The problem is that reasonable people also understand economic trade-offs. Many don't like intrusive legislation. Others can sniff out fear-mongering for what it is. Some even trust in humanity's ability to adapt to any changes in climate trends.

In the end, though, the burden of proof is on the believers. And if they're going to ask a nation -- a world -- to fundamentally alter its economy and ask citizens to alter their lifestyles, the believers' credibility and evidence had better be unassailable.


C. of E. now stand for "Church of the Environment

Saving souls is no longer what the Church of England is about

Today's bishops are always encouraging us to ask "Why?" So let's oblige them. Part of the answer, when it comes to this annual fast-fest, seems to be that the climate-change lobby has hi-jacked Lent and that the Church has wholeheartedly gone along for the ride. It turns out that that the iPod ban is only a one-day contribution – Day 20 – to the Christian relief agency Tearfund's annual Carbon Fast. This also enjoins us to "choose an energy supplier that sources all its energy from renewable sources" (Day 3), ask "what your MP is doing to tackle climate change" (Day 17) and to refrain from flushing the loo (Day 43), which might fill the house with the air of the medieval mystic, but is actually aimed at saving water.

Tearfund describes itself as a bunch of "Christians passionate about the local church bringing justice and transforming lives – overcoming global poverty." Which is fair enough, but tellingly it offers its Carbon Fast as "daily actions that will help people reduce their carbon emissions, become 'greener' and have fun at the same time." There are some Bible passages and prayers thrown in, but the whole thing does appear to be an environmental and quasi-political agenda imposed on the holiest season in the Christian calendar.

Traditionally, the self-denial of Lent, even the foreswearing of life's little pleasures, is meant to remove self-indulgences so that we can concentrate on spiritual preparation for Good Friday and Easter. Spend less time carousing and you might actually read a book, or listen to music that transports the soul. It has to be said that you might even have more "fun at the same time" than you'll get from "sustainable furnishings" (Day 11) or from not flushing the lavatory.

The Rev Joanna Jepson, chaplain to the London School of Fashion, an institution that might be expected to be rooted in some worldly idolatries, encourages her students to give up something "really important to them" for Lent, such as "trash TV and shopping." She goes on the wagon too, but describes that as "dull and boring" compared with removing the real barriers to spiritual reflection.

"Consumerism is meant to fill us today. It's our modern-day daily bread," she says, albeit sipping a fashionista's pink "rhubarb gin and tonic" as it was Shrove Tuesday yesterday. "Consuming is our distraction." She goes on to describe shopping as "the modern stone that we turn into our daily bread" as a hat-tip to Jesus's 40 days of temptation in the desert, which provides the Christian model for Lent.

This rather more scriptural view of Lent and Tearfund's Carbon Fast aren't mutually exclusive. Apostles of the Carbon Fast will argue that turning off the iPod or "blocking unused fireplaces" (Day 23) turn its disciples from selfish and sinful people, who concentrate on themselves and their own needs, into communal creatures who consider the welfare of the planet and the less fortunate who live on it.

Similarly, Rev Jepson's no-retail therapy may have the added benefit of questioning the rampant consumption that allegedly threatens the planet (though if everyone did it, it would also threaten our fragile retail economy).

All that pre-supposes, as the Carbon Fast unquestionably does, that the Lenten priority is to save the planet. That itself may be a distraction from the idea that Lent, or rather the climax at its end which changes human history forever, is about saving people. That's a prospect worth preparing for, which means getting some of the stuff which obscures that vision out of the way.

Again, the Carbon Fast has more to offer in that regard than taking the iPod's soundtrack to your life out of your ear. It suggests (Day 8) eating by candlelight. That suggestion, rather boringly, will have energy-saving at its root. But someone who shares food (and even wine, since you're giving up so much else) by the ethereal light of a candle may find that it illuminates simple human pleasures that go missing in the gluttony of the rest of the year.

And where could that glimpse lead? One destination could be a church like mine, where this evening the choir will sing Allegri's Miserere, its repeated soprano refrain like an angel's wail from heaven and the transcendental beauty and spiritual re-assurance of which moves the undistracted listener to tears. It's certainly worth turning your iPod off for.


A Psychological Profiling of Global Warming

Laying aside for a moment the current discussions over the science of climate change, I have long been interested in what we may term the psychological profiling of ‘global warming’*, that is the differences in personalities that make some people fanatical believers and others bitter sceptics. No one can doubt the violent passions involved. I have personally encountered visceral anger from both camps, and the language employed can be extreme. The whole issue clearly touches raw nerves, and I suspect that ‘global warming’ has become a public metonym for much more deeply-seated differences in personality....

First, it is undoubtedly true that there are more passionate believers in ‘global warming’ on the Left politically than on the Right, but I do not think that this bears a straightforward explanation. After all, policies associated with ‘global warming’ threaten to impose huge additional costs on the poor. I suspect that the reasons lie far more in certain personality traits than in anything else, traits that are expressed in people who naturally associate themselves, if only loosely, with the ‘Left.’

The tropes involved generally focus on a sense of guilt about being relatively pampered and rich; a largely dystopian view of society, thinking that everything must collapse into disorder and chaos - hence the inherent appeal of ‘global warming’ to ‘luvvie’ film makers, poets, and novelists [such as the highly-influential Canadian writer, Margaret Atwood]; a love-hate relationship with the dominant capitalist economy of the moment - in our age the USA; and, a residual sense of religion, mainly, and often sub-consciously, derived from Protestantism, which causes people to feel that they are - indeed that we all are - sinners who have fallen short, and that we must perform sacrifices to make amends, in this instance to Gaia.

The people involved are also folk who wear publicly a ‘religious’, or humanitarian, sympathy for the distant poor in other lands, and who can be persuaded that ‘global warming’ will harm countries like Bangladesh and Kenya the most.

They are also primarily an urban grouping with an often romantic view of both ‘Nature’ and of the agrarian life. For example, they don’t just regard allotments as practical, or a personal hobby, but as a morally-purifying life-style choice.

Lastly, they have a built-in tendency for protest which needs to be fulfilled, and they appear to move from protest to protest, often conflating confusingly the issues involved.


The roots of these complex tropes lie buried in European culture, stretching from the Eclogues (or Bucolics) and the Georgics of Virgil through concepts of ‘Utopia’ to Protestantism and the Arts and Crafts Movement. More radical origins may also be traced to the French Revolution, the ‘Green’ movement having more than its fair share of the Louis Antoine Léon de Saint-Justs of this world. There are also faint echos of many, and I might add highly-varied, non-conformist groupings, such as the Diggers and the Levellers (who wore sea-green favours and ribbons).

This is thus a highly-complex grouping of tropes and of people, who often exhibit ill-defined and over-lapping concerns for which ‘global warming’ has become the over-arching metonym.

This frequently leads to significant incoherence and discontinuity in debate, in which ‘global warming’ is employed to cover and to embrace every form of ill, from the ozone layer to recycling to capitalist exploitation, as well as a wide range of personal commitments, from a Christian sense of stewardship about both the Earth and the poor to a superficially Atheistic Humanitarianism that blames religion both for many of the problems and for preventing corrective action.

‘Global Warming’: The Ultimate Metonym

‘Global warming’ has thus morphed into the ultimate metonym for those members of society who combine a sense of guilt with an internal anger and a dystopian view of the world, and who wish “to do something about it”. Such a grouping represents a far more disparate body of people than more simplistic explanations allow, and ‘belief’ - or indeed ‘non-belief’ - in ‘global warming’ reflects a given set of personality traits, not a naively-constructed, and forced, political dichotomy.

Post-Copenhagen, however, the waters have been considerably muddied. The ‘global warming’ grouping found it relatively easy to accommodate itself internally when it could make out that the USA was the prime villain. Now, it is much more complicated, as China and India, Brazil and South Africa, along with other members of the developing world, become the dominant players, and the whole world economy turns to the East, to the Pacific, and away from ‘Old Europe’. The psychological profiles in these countries possess markedly different origins, and are thus differently constructed. There is, accordingly, a growing challenge to the complex psychology that has so far informed the debate in Europe and around the periphery of the USA.

Indeed, it will no longer be possible for European psychological profiles to hold, internationally, a neo-colonial sway over ‘global warming’. We are about to witness an historic cultural clash.



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 February, 2010

IPCC’s latest great source: a newsletter that doesn’t even back its scare

By Andrew Bolt

The Air Vent discovers another supposedly impeccable, peer-reviewed source for the IPCC’s alarmist claims in its 2007 report. The claim in question:
Climate variability affects many segments of this growing economic sector [Tourism]. For example, wildfires in Colorado (2002) and British Columbia (2003) caused tens of millions of dollars in tourism losses by reducing visitation and destroying infrastructure (Associated Press, 2002; Butler, 2002; BC Stats, 2003).
The Air Vent:
That’s two newspaper articles and one tourism statistics newsletter. I can’t find the first two articles, one is an old AP story and the other was in a newspaper that folded last year.
That doesn’t sound very scientific. And, in fact, the one source able to be checked - and the only one dealing with the impact of fires in British Columbia - shows no evidence for the IPCC claim. Here is the relevant passage from BC Stats, 2003: Tourism Sector Monitor – November 2003, British Columbia Ministry of Management Services, Victoria, 11 pp. [Accessed 09.02.07 here]:
Tourism is a seasonal phenomenon. The wildfires unfortunately burned mostly during July, August and September, the three months of the year when most room revenues are typically generated. More precisely, establishments generated 38% of their annual room revenues in these three months between 1995 and 2001. Moreover, the forest fires were at their peak in August, also the peak month for tourism. Despite this bad timing, the peak of the 2003 season does not appear to be lower than the peak of previous years.
The Air Vent rightly concludes:
Once again, I am not saying that their claim is wrong. I am only underlining that their sources don’t match their claims. This shows that the IPCC already had a point of view, and they simply wanted a source to back up their claims. They found this BC Stats, probably didn’t read it because they figured it must show that fires reduce tourism, and cited it as the source of their claim. The IPCC makes a conclusion, then looks for evidence that supports their claims, and cite it. Sometimes they even cite evidence that doesn’t support their claims. Since no one read it for 2 years, they almost got away with it. This isn’t how a reputable scientific organization works.


Scandinavian Temperatures 1900 - 2000, IPCC´s Scandinavia-gate

In recent years the Swedish scientist from Stockholm University, Karlén, has tried to create attention to the fact the Scandinavian temperatures when represented by IPCC cannot be recognized in the real data from the Scandinavian temperature stations:

IPCC shows temperatures around year 2000 should be approximately 0,7 K higher than the peak around 1930-50, whereas the actual data collected by Karlen shows that year 2000 temperatures equals the 1930-50 peak, perhaps even lower.

Was Karlen wrong? To evaluate this, lets check out the National meteorological institues of the respective Scandinavian countries: Only Denmark shows slightly higher temperatures around year 2000 than in year 1930-50. 0,1 – 0,3 K warmer? However, the Danish Area around 3% of the overall area. For the vast majority of the Scandinavian area shows year 2000 temperatures just like the 1930-40 peak, Sweden maybe a tiny fall, Norway a tiny increase. Denmark is also the area of Scandinavia with far highest population density, and thus Denmark is likely to show more City heat effects (UHI) than the rest of Scandinavia.

So, With good confidence, we can say that Karlens data from Nordklim matches the opinions of the highest authority on Scandinavian temperatures. The very significant temperature peak around 1930-40 has been reduced almost removed totally. And thus the decline in temperatures after 1940 has been hidden. “Why?” and “How?” IPCC did this is basically up to the IPCC to come forward and explain. Until this happends, their vision of Scandinavian temperatures are for their own use only.

How about Sea temperatures in the Scandinavian are? Could IPCC have based their view on SST? No, because the graphic from IPCC is specifically land temperatures. But lets take a look at temperatures from Scandinavian Islands that to some degree also represents Sea temperatures – and due to their lower populations are more free of any potential City heat (UHI). Here data fom SMHI:

Scandinavian Ocean temperatures indicated from Iceland, Jan Mayen and Faroe Islands actually shows a clear pattern of lower temperatures in year 2000 than in around 1930-40. So never mind how we look at it, no shred of evidence to support the IPCC hockey-stick like warming over Scandinavia. And in general we see: The further from population, the cooler temperature trends.

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

The Continuing Climate Meltdown

More embarrassments for the U.N. and 'settled' science

It has been a bad—make that dreadful—few weeks for what used to be called the "settled science" of global warming, and especially for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that is supposed to be its gold standard.

First it turns out that the Himalayan glaciers are not going to melt anytime soon, notwithstanding dire U.N. predictions. Next came news that an IPCC claim that global warming could destroy 40% of the Amazon was based on a report by an environmental pressure group. Other IPCC sources of scholarly note have included a mountaineering magazine and a student paper.

Since the climategate email story broke in November, the standard defense is that while the scandal may have revealed some all-too-human behavior by a handful of leading climatologists, it made no difference to the underlying science. We think the science is still disputable. But there's no doubt that climategate has spurred at least some reporters to scrutinize the IPCC's headline-grabbing claims in a way they had rarely done previously.

Take the rain forest claim. In its 2007 report, the IPCC wrote that "up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation; this means that the tropical vegetation, hydrology and climate system in South America could change very rapidly to another steady state."

But as Jonathan Leake of London's Sunday Times reported last month, those claims were based on a report from the World Wildlife Fund, which in turn had fundamentally misrepresented a study in the journal Nature. The Nature study, Mr. Leake writes, "did not assess rainfall but in fact looked at the impact on the forest of human activity such as logging and burning."

The IPCC has relied on World Wildlife Fund studies regarding the "transformation of natural coastal areas," the "destruction of more mangroves," "glacial lake outbursts causing mudflows and avalanches," changes in the ecosystem of the "Mesoamerican reef," and so on. The Wildlife Fund is a green lobby that believes in global warming, and its "research" reflects its advocacy, not the scientific method.

The IPCC has also cited a study by British climatologist Nigel Arnell claiming that global warming could deplete water resources for as many as 4.5 billion people by the year 2085. But as our Anne Jolis reported in our European edition, the IPCC neglected to include Mr. Arnell's corollary finding, which is that global warming could also increase water resources for as many as six billion people.

The IPCC report made aggressive claims that "extreme weather-related events" had led to "rapidly rising costs." Never mind that the link between global warming and storms like Hurricane Katrina remains tenuous at best. More astonishing (or, maybe, not so astonishing) is that the IPCC again based its assertion on a single study that was not peer-reviewed. In fact, nobody can reliably establish a quantifiable connection between global warming and increased disaster-related costs. In Holland, there's even a minor uproar over the report's claim that 55% of the country is below sea level. It's 26%.

Meanwhile, one of the scientists at the center of the climategate fiasco has called into question other issues that the climate lobby has claimed are indisputable. Phil Jones, who stepped down as head of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit amid the climate email scandal, told the BBC that the world may well have been warmer during medieval times than it is now.

This raises doubts about how much our current warming is man-made as opposed to merely another of the natural climate shifts that have taken place over the centuries. Mr. Jones also told the BBC there has been no "statistically significant" warming over the past 15 years, though he considers this to be temporary.

All of this matters because the IPCC has been advertised as the last and definitive word on climate science. Its reports are the basis on which Al Gore, President Obama and others have claimed that climate ruin is inevitable unless the world reorganizes its economies with huge new taxes on carbon. Now we are discovering the U.N. reports are sloppy political documents intended to drive the climate lobby's regulatory agenda.

The lesson of climategate and now the IPCC's shoddy sourcing is that the claims of the global warming lobby need far more rigorous scrutiny.


Wind Energy's Ghosts

Can people not learn from even the recent past?

Wiwo...wiwo...wiwo. The sound floats on the winds of Ka Le, this southernmost tip of Hawaii's Big Island, where Polynesian colonists first landed some 1,500 years ago. Some say that Ka Le is haunted -- and it is. But it's haunted not by Hawaii's legendary night marchers. The mysterious sounds are "Na leo o Kamaoa"-- the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm.

The voices of Kamaoa cry out their warning as a new batch of colonists, having looted the taxpayers of Spain, Portugal, and Greece, seeks to expand upon their multi-billion-dollar foothold half a world away on the shores of the distant Potomac River. European wind developers are fleeing the EU's expiring wind subsidies, shuttering factories, laying off workers, and leaving billions of Euros of sovereign debt and a continent-wide financial crisis in their wake. But their game is not over. Already they are tapping a new vein of lucre from the taxpayers and ratepayers of the United States.

The Waxman-Markey Cap-and-Trade Bill appears to be politically dead since Republican Scott Brown's paradigm-shattering Massachusetts Senate victory. But alternative proposals being floated by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and others still promise billions of dollars to wind developers and commit the United States to generate as much as 20% of its electricity from so-called "renewable" sources.

The ghosts of Kamaoa are not alone in warning us. Five other abandoned wind sites dot the Hawaiian Isles -- but it is in California where the impact of past mandates and subsidies is felt most strongly. Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy's California "big three" locations -- Altamont Pass, Tehachapi, and San Gorgonio -- considered among the world's best wind sites.

Built in 1985, at the end of the boom, Kamaoa soon suffered from lack of maintenance. In 1994, the site lease was purchased by Redwood City, CA-based Apollo Energy.

Cannibalizing parts from the original 37 turbines, Apollo personnel kept the declining facility going with outdated equipment. But even in a place where wind-shaped trees grow sideways, maintenance issues were overwhelming. By 2004 Kamaoa accounts began to show up on a Hawaii State Department of Finance list of unclaimed properties. In 2006, transmission was finally cut off by Hawaii Electric Company.

California's wind farms -- then comprising about 80% of the world's wind generation capacity -- ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa. In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills.

The City of Palm Springs was forced to enact an ordinance requiring their removal from San Gorgonio. But California's Kern County, encompassing the Tehachapi area, has no such law. Wind Power advocate Paul Gipe, who got his start as an early 1970s environmental activist at Indiana's Ball State University, describes a 1998 Tehachapi tour thusly:

"Our bus drove directly through the Tehachapi Gorge passing the abandoned Airtricity site with its derelict Storm Master and Wind-Matic turbines and the deserted Wind Source site with its defunct Aeroman machines. We also got a freeway-close glimpse of Zond's wind wall with its 400 Vestas V15 turbines, the former Arbutus site on rugged Pajuela Peak where only the Bonus turbines are still in service, and steep-sided Cameron Ridge topped with FloWind's few remaining Darrieus turbines before reaching SeaWest, our first stop.

"As we approached SeaWest from the desert town of Mojave, the old Micon 108s were spinning merrily, but the Mitsubishis with their higher start-up speed were just coming to life. SeaWest and Fluidyne had done a commendable job of cleaning the Mitsubishis of their infamous oil leaks for the tour's arrival."

Writing in the February, 1999 edition of New Energy, Gipe explains: "From 1981 through 1985 federal and state tax subsidies in California were so great that wealthy investors could recover up to 50 percent of a wind turbine's cost. The lure of quick riches resulted in a flood of development using new and mostly untested wind turbines. By the end of 1986, when projects already underway in 1985 were completed, developers had installed nearly 15,000 wind turbines. These machines represented 1,200 MW of capacity worth US$2.4 billion in 1986 dollars."

It took nearly a decade from the time the first flimsy wind turbines were installed before the performance of California wind projects could dispel the widespread belief among the public and investors that wind energy was just a tax scam. Ben Lieberman, a senior policy analyst focusing on energy and environmental issues for the Heritage Foundation, is not surprised. He asks: "If wind power made sense, why would it need a government subsidy in the first place? It's a bubble which bursts as soon as the government subsidies end."

After the collapse, wind promoters had a solution to their public image problem. Hide the derelict turbines. Gipe in 1993 wrote for the American Wind Energy Association: "Currently most of the older, less productive wind turbines are located within sight of major travel corridors such as I-580 and I-10. Many first generation turbines and some of the second generation designs are inoperative, and all turbines of these generations are more prone to mechanical failure than contemporary designs. Public opinion surveys have consistently found that inoperative wind turbines tarnish the public's perception of wind energy's efficacy."

Gipe then quotes a 1991 UC Davis study, which explains: "Our research and that of others show that turbines' non-operation and public fear of wind farm abandonment is still a critical issue, and it therefore behooves the wind industry to return to the 'big three' wind farm sites (Altamont, San Gorgonio, and Tehachapi) and to ensure that these areas are operating as efficiently as possible, and all turbine arrays which do not contribute significantly and conspicuously to power production are either replaced or, if necessary, removed."

Altamont's turbines have since 2008 been tethered four months of every year in an effort to protect migrating birds after environmentalists filed suit. According to the Golden Gate Audubon Society, 75 to 110 Golden Eagles, 380 Burrowing Owls, 300 Red-tailed Hawks, and 333 American Kestrels (falcons) are killed by Altamont turbines annually. A July, 2008 study by the Alameda County Community Development Agency points to 10,000 annual bird deaths from Altamont Pass wind turbines. Audubon calls Altamont, "probably the worst site ever chosen for a wind energy project." In 2004 the group unsuccessfully challenged renewal applications for 18 of 20 Altamont wind farms.

From its beginnings as a slogan of the anti-nuclear movement, wind energy has always been tied to taxpayer support and government intervention. Wind farms got their first boost with the Carter-era Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) which encouraged states to enact their own tax incentives. PURPA also for the first time allowed non-utility energy producers to sell electricity to utilities -- the first step towards a bungled half-privatization of electricity supply which would come two decades hence.

In the 1985 book "Dynamos and Virgins" a San Francisco based PG&E utility heir tells the story of how he joined forces in the 1970s with lawyers from the Environmental Defense Fund. Together they worked for years to obstruct coal and nuclear power plants until utilities were forced to do business with wind energy suppliers. Protest and litigation remain among the foremost competitive tools used by the now multi-billion dollar "alternative" energy industry. Reviewing the book, Robert Reich, a Kennedy School of Government professor who would later become Clinton's Secretary of Labor, wrote: "The old paradigms of large-scale production, centralized management, and infinite resources are crumbling. We are on the verge of a new political economy."

The new paradigm created by the generation of 1968 is more political and less economy. Without government intervention, utilities normally avoid wind energy. Wind's erratic power feed destabilizes power grids and forces engineers to stand by, always ready to fire up traditional generators. Wind does not fit into an electric supply model made up of steady massive low cost "base load" coal or nuclear plants backed up by on-call natural gas powered "peaker" units which kick in during high demand. No coal or nuclear power plant has ever been replaced by wind energy.

Although carbon credit schemes often assign profitable carbon credits to wind farm operators based on a theoretical displacement of carbon emitted by coal or natural gas producers, in reality these plants must keep burning to be able to quickly add supply every time the wind drops off. The formulae do not take into account carbon emitted by idling coal and natural gas plants nor the excess carbon generated by constant fire-up and shut down cycles necessitated to balance fluctuating wind supplies.


The problem with calling the end of the world

There's a major problem with those who keep telling us that the world is going to end because we're about to run out of something. Doesn't matter all that much what it is, as we know, there's always someone telling us that we're doomed, doomed I tell you, because oil, gas, forests, air, fresh water, is about to run out and then we'll all be sorry. There was even a fashion in the 1890s for the idea that pasture land for the world's horses would run out: the doomsayers entirely ignorant of the horseless carriage and kerosene.

The current one is some combination of gas running out and we'll all be reliant upon foreigners and oil will run out anyway. Well, maybe and maybe not: "The International Energy Agency said in November the world may have an “acute glut” of gas in the next few years because production of so-called unconventional fuel, which includes shale gas, is set to rise 71 percent between 2007 and 2030.......Western Europe may have held 510 trillion cubic feet of shale gas as of 2007, JPMorgan said. That’s adequate to feed Germany for 175 years, based on BP Plc’s data."

That number is, remember, after only a few years of looking for the stuff. You can put this two different ways (you may even think of other ones). The first is that we human beings don't in fact consume resources so much as create them: we create them by developing technology that can take advantage of them.

The second is the gross error that the doomsayers always make: that technology is static. Which, of course, it isn't and hasn't been ever since the first hominid noted the lovely sharp edges you can get from bashing two pieces of flint together.

Advancing technology isn't going to solve everything of course: while it's solved the physical problem of how a middle aged man such as myself might offer and gain enjoyment from having attracted a young popsie it's most unlikely to aid in doing such attraction. But advancing technology is going to solve, as it has done, the problems that we're going to run out of things.



Three articles below

“Fuelling Future Famines”

This generation of pampered westerners is the first tribe in the history of the world that seems determined to destroy its ability to produce food.

The history of the human race has always been a battle for protein in the face of the continual challenge of natural climate change. Nothing has changed for this generation, except the wildfire spread of a destructive new religion that requires the sacrifice of food producers on a global warming altar.

Food creation needs solar energy, land, carbon dioxide and water. All four food resources are under threat.

Eons ago, long before ancient humans learned to use the magic warmth locked in coal, millions of woolly mammoths were snap frozen in the icy wastes of Siberia. They are still being dug out of the ice today.

In the last few weeks, in a mild repeat of this past climate disaster, massive snowstorms have killed millions of domestic animals in Mongolia and China. The capacity to produce and distribute food has been decimated across the top of the world from Northern Europe and Russia to North America. When orange groves in Florida are damaged and Texas gets six snowstorms in a few weeks it is obvious that nature is damaging the world food supply.

Solar energy produces all of our food. Those who follow the sun are already recording a dramatic change in sunspots, which tend to reflect solar energy. This seems to indicate that the current frigid conditions affecting the Northern Hemisphere may not be an isolated weather event but may be a harbinger of natural climate change.

Global warming has never been a problem for mankind. But global cooling is a killer.

Australia can feed itself and is a major food supplier to the world – beef, mutton, cereals, sugar, dairy products, pork, chicken, eggs, seafood, nuts, legumes, fruit, vegetables, beer and wine.

However green extremists, supported by foolish politicians, are gnawing at the foundations of Australia’s food chain. And the biggest threat today is Climate Change Policies.

Land is an essential ingredient to most food production. All over Australia, uncontrolled regrowth of eucalypt scrub is silently reclaiming our vast grazing lands, the source of the lowest cost beef and mutton in the world. Generations of graziers have created and maintain these grasslands against the ever present threat of capture by woody weeds. Now their hands are tied and their land is being stolen by global warming politics. The suffocating scrub will soon pass the tipping point, beyond which grasslands are destroyed and the land is no longer capable of food production.

Land sterilisation is also occurring via the stealth of Wild Rivers, World Heritage and other lock-away-land policies.

Even more food producing land is lost by policies that subsidise people to grow carbon forests in the stupid belief that this will somehow improve the climate by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Trees, grasses, sub-soil critters, grazing animals and carnivores are all part of the same carbon cycle. If one life form gets to monopolise land and carbon resources, it is detrimental to other life.

Still more stupid are market destroying policies that use government mandates and subsidies to convert food producing land to growing ethanol for cars. This has already caused massive dislocations to markets for corn, sugar, soybeans and palm oils. Forcing people to convert food into motor fuel is not a sensible policy and always adds to food shortages.

Carbon dioxide is the breath of life for all food production. Imagine the stupidity of trying to capture this harmless will-o-the-wisp in order to bury it in carbon cemeteries. Luckily for our food capacity, this suicidal policy of carbon capture and burial is unlikely to succeed.

Finally, let’s look at water, the life blood of all food production. Australia probably has access to more water per head of population than most countries in the world. However, decades of government mis-management have made us more vulnerable to every drought. Many government policies have encouraged the waste of water resources.

There are huge unused water resources across the north from the Fitzroy River in the West to the Flinders River in Cape York. Most of this water is untapped and unused because of government anti-development and land sterilisation policies.

In the south, other silly government policies have supplied water for “free” to the cities. Anything free is wasted. Because of urban demand, food producers are now being denied water at any price, but there is no real price rationing in the cities.

When natural climate change in the Northern Hemisphere is combined with political climate change in our southern food baskets, the real crisis creeping up on the world is not global warming caused by industry, but global famine caused by politicians. As Genghis Khan said wisely “Only a foolish horse fights with his feed bag”.


Legal action over failed Greenie scheme

THE Federal Government faces legal action on multiple fronts over its bungled home insulation program as fresh details of repeated warnings of the dangers emerge. Lyndon Hull, the uncle of Rueben Barnes, who received an electric shock in a Rockhampton ceiling in November, revealed yesterday that the family was taking advice from a Melbourne lawyer. Melbourne barrister John Ribbands said: "The Government, in a headlong rush to establish its green credentials . . . threw billions of dollars into this half-arsed program without giving any real thought to the checks and balances needed to make sure it worked efficiently."

It comes as Wendy Sweeney, whose son Mitchell was buried at the weekend, also contemplates legal action, and a Queensland grandfather sues the federal Environment Department after he was nearly electrocuted. Colin Brierley, 63, from Windaroo, south of Brisbane, is suing after he ended up in an induced coma in October after entering his roof cavity days after foil insulation was installed. "The electric shock went in the knee and came out the top of the head," he said. "I'm having difficulty with my memory, mainly short-term and balance and I'm having a bit of trouble with that, if I lift anything reasonably heavy I get pains going through the chest."

The use of foil insulation has been suspended, and Environment Minister Peter Garrett, who is battling to keep his job, has ordered a safety check on 48,000 homes which could be potential death traps. Four young tradespeople have lost their lives working on the program.

On October 16 Master Electricians chief executive Malcolm Richards warned Mr Garrett about serious and deadly dangers associated with his $2.45 billion insulation scheme. The contents of the letter have now emerged. Sixteen weeks ago Mr Richards told the Minister "the potential for further fatalities cannot be dismissed". But Mr Garrett did not ban foil insulation until last week. Mr Richards also raised concerns about metal staples used on foil insulation, and insulation being installed directly over high temperature light fittings which could cause house fires.

Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union national secretary (construction), Lindsay Fraser, called for "an investigation in the unscrupulous employers who put untrained people into these roofs that have resulted in deaths".

Mr Garrett denied he had snubbed an emergency meeting with unions and industry representatives to discuss the dangers of foil insulation. He said he called the meeting which was about technical issues, not to make decisions.


The Prime Minister must dump dead ducks and tackle what really matters

There is something noble about the advocacy of lost causes. Provided it is recognised they are lost. The alternative is self-delusion. There is little chance Kevin Rudd can get his emissions trading scheme through the Senate. To do so would require Labor to obtain seven additional votes. There are five Green senators and two independents but, for various reasons, the Greens and independents have indicated their intention to defeat this legislation.

When the legislation was subjected to a Senate vote last December, two Liberal senators crossed the floor to vote with the Rudd government - the Victorian Judith Troeth (first elected in 1993) and the Queenslander Sue Boyce (appointed in 2007 to fill a casual vacancy). Even if both cross the floor when it is next considered by the Senate, the Rudd government would still be five votes short of a majority - unless five senators from the Greens or independents vote with them.

The lesson is clear. The ETS is a lost cause. In which case, Rudd would be well advised to cut Labor's losses now and junk the legislation. A post-ETS political environment would make it possible for the Prime Minister to reshuffle his ministry and move the Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, and the Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, into different positions.

Rudd is primarily responsible for his government's inability to explain its climate change policies. However, the formal dumping of the ETS could be used as a rationalisation to explain a reshuffle.

Wong was a star performer in the 2007 election campaign and rarely missed making the required political point. It's just that, in her climate-change role, Wong sounds like an automaton who is unwilling to answer questions. Garrett appears to have become a victim of the PS syndrome - he is so committed to Planet Saving, he has not focused on the administration of Labor's environment program.

There was always a case for Australia awaiting the outcome of the Copenhagen summit before deciding on climate-change legislation. This would have suited both sides of politics. But Rudd bet on a more-or-less successful outcome at Copenhagen and the opposition leader, Malcolm Turnbull, went along with him because he is a true-believing eco-catastrophist. Tony Abbott's defeat of Turnbull in the Liberal Party leadership ballot, and the subsequent disaster that was Copenhagen, have changed the political climate.

Few would expect Abbott to win the next election but the Coalition under his leadership is capable of gaining votes and seats. The challenge posed by the new Liberal Party leadership should encourage Labor to change its focus.

* It has become fashionable for commentators to assert that Rudd cannot communicate a simple message. As far as the ETS is concerned, this is harsh. It is not clear if anyone can explain emissions trading in readily understandable terms. Before the 2007 election, Rudd could get across an understandable line. His current problem seems to be engaging in indirect speech. On Meet the Press last Sunday, for example, the Prime Minister prefaced his answer on a dozen occasions with the term: "Can I say?" - or words to this effect. No such question is necessary. He needs to talk directly.

* Since the election, the research capacity of the Prime Minister's office has been downgraded. This should be revamped. Two weeks ago Rudd forgot a commitment he had made about no worker being worse off under the Fair Work legislation. On Q&A last week, he incorrectly said there were three (rather than two) independent senators. His office should be spending time briefing the Prime Minister rather than running lines calculated to embarrass the opposition.

* There is little point attacking Tony Abbott's social conservatism. In the states where the Coalition threatens Labor - NSW and Queensland - social conservatism is not a negative. Some of the inner-city luvvies who dislike Abbott may not admit it, but the next election will not be won, or lost, in Ultimo or Leichhardt.

The Age journalist Katharine Murphy does not present as a prude. Indeed she describes herself as a secular feminist. Last month, Murphy described Abbott's advice to his young daughters about pre-marital sex as "more or less what I would advise my kids". Many parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents would agree - and quite a few would live in marginal seats. One of Rudd's appealing features to many voters in 2007 turned on the fact he is a social conservative himself. Labor should not forget this.

Political change is never easy. The success of the governments led by Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and John Howard is that they were able to implement significant reforms. Hawke and Keating never enjoyed a Senate majority and Howard only had majority support in the upper house in the final years of his government. Rudd needs to get things done.

Rudd's priority was climate change. Yet there was never any sense in Australia going out in front of the world on this issue. So far only the European Union nations have adopted an ETS and their economies are significantly different from that of Australia, Canada or the United States. The sinking of the ETS would make it possible for Rudd to focus on health and the economy. He would be ill-advised to go an election with an ETS in Labor's policy speech.



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 February, 2010

Warming Cooling killing Florida's coral reefs

We have been told ad nauseam by the alarmists that global warming will kill all the coral reefs so I wonder how we account for the story below? Could warming be GOOD for coral? Seeing coral is most abundant in the tropics, it takes a Greenie to get the wrong answer to that

The polar snap enveloping much of the United States in record cold has been killing off coral reefs and causing iguanas to drop out of trees in the normally balmy warm waters off the Florida Keys, experts said today. The unusually chilly weather so far this year has seen sea temperatures plummet in southern Florida - a fatal development for the coral, which dies when exposed for an extended time to temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius. Especially in the lower Keys, "temperatures have been lower ... there is higher mortality", Diego Lirman, a University of Miami expert on coral, said.

Florida's usually mild and sunny winter weather has given way to record low temperatures during the historic cold snap in recent weeks. In Miami, the thermometer in January and February regularly dropped below 1.6 Celsius, the coldest temperatures since 1970. The cold snap also has led to "bleaching", in which the coral loses pigmentation and ultimately dies. [Hey! Alarmists like Hoagy claim that bleaching is caused by WARMING. And Hoagy is an "expert"]

Destruction of coral having a negative effect on delicate tropical ecosystems in the region, Mr Lirman said, with micro-algae living within the coral forced to leave their habitat for lack of a food source. Some of the worst affected species are the large brain and star coral, which can take several hundreds of years to grow into the vibrant underwater colonies. "The Keys have not seen a cold-water bleaching event like this since the winter of 1977-78, when acres of staghorn coral perished," said Billy Causey, southeast regional director of NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

Florida's coral reefs are considered a unique natural heritage area in the United States for their proximity to the coast and their expansiveness, running from north of Miami in the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

The state's myriad of tropical animals also have been impacted by the cold snap so far this year, with iguanas dropping from trees and manatees huddling around waters warmed by power plants. The cold-blooded iguanas' comfort level begins at 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 Celsius) and they positively thrive at 95 degree Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). But when temperatures drop below about 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), they become immobile, and below about 40 degrees Fahrenheit (five degrees Celsius), they become completely immobile due to a lack of blood flow.

Unable to hold on, the helpless mohawked lizards that shelter in tree branches have been seen falling to the ground, and wildlife officials have offered guidelines to revive them.


The Train Wreck Continues: Now UN IPCC hurricane data is questioned?

More trouble looms for the IPCC. The body may need to revise statements made in its Fourth Assessment Report on hurricanes and global warming. A statistical analysis of the raw data shows that the claims that global hurricane activity has increased cannot be supported.

Les Hatton once fixed weather models at the Met Office. Having studied Maths at Cambridge, he completed his PhD as metereologist: his PhD was the study of tornadoes and waterspouts. He's a fellow of the Royal Meterological Society, currently teaches at the University of Kingston, and is well known in the software engineering community - his studies include critical systems analysis.

Hatton has released what he describes as an 'A-level' statistical analysis, which tests six IPCC statements against raw data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) Administration. He's published all the raw data and invites criticism, but warns he is neither "a warmist nor a denialist", but a scientist.

Hatton performed a z-test statistical analysis of the period 1999-2009 against 1946-2009 to test the six conclusions. He also ran the data ending with what the IPCC had available in 2007. He found that North Atlantic hurricane activity increased significantly, but the increase was counterbalanced by diminished activity in the East Pacific, where hurricane-strength storms are 50 per cent more prevalent. The West Pacific showed no significant change. Overall, the declines balance the increases.

"When you average the number of storms and their strength, it almost exactly balances." This isn't indicative of an increase in atmospheric energy manifesting itself in storms.

Even the North Atlantic increase should be treated with caution, Hatton concludes, since the period contains one anomalous year of unusually high hurricane activity - 2005 - the year Al Gore used the Katrina tragedy to advance the case for the manmade global warming theory.

The IPCC does indeed conclude that "there is no clear trend in the annual numbers of tropical cyclones." If only the IPCC had stopped there. Yet it goes on to make more claims, and draw conclusions that the data doesn't support.

Claims and data

The IPCC's WG1 paper states: "There are also suggestions of increased intense tropical cyclone activity in some other regions where concerns over data quality are greater." Hatton points out the data quality is similar in each area.

The IPCC continues: "It is more likely than not (> 50%) that there has been some human contribution to the increases in hurricane intensity." But, as Hatton points out, that conclusion comes from computer climate models, not from the observational data, which show no increase.

"The IPCC goes on to make statements that would never pass peer review," Hatton told us. A more scientifically useful conclusion would have been to ask why there was a disparity. "This differential behaviour to me is very interesting. If it's due to increased warming in one place, and decreased warming in the other - then that's interesting to me."

Hatton has thirty years of experience of getting scientific papers published, but describes this one, available on his personal website, as "unpublishable".

"It's an open invitation to tell me I'm wrong," he says. He was prompted to look more closely by the Climategate emails, and by his years of experience with computer modelling. All code and data on which policy conclusions are made should be open and freely downloadable, he says - preferably with open tools.


The IPCC's AR4 chapter lead was Kevin Trenberth, who features prominently in the Climategate emails. In 2005, the National Hurricane Center's chief scientist Chris Landsea resigned his post in protest at the treatment of the subject by Trenberth.

"I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound. As the IPCC leadership has seen no wrong in Dr. Trenberth’s actions and have retained him as a Lead Author for the AR4, I have decided to no longer participate in the IPCC AR4."

Critics point out that an increase in low-intensity storms being recorded is due to better instrumentation. Most are at sea, and thanks to radar and satellites, more are now observed.


Hitler on global warming

A blizzard of global warming hype

It had to happen. In the midst of the record snowfall in the East, some mainstream media outlet had to try to link this season's unusual weather events to global warming. Time was the first news organization to take the plunge. It published such an article on February 10 — and that very day, Washington, D.C., broke its 1899 seasonal snow record of 54.5 inches with its third official blizzard of the winter. Today, the New York Times joined the party.

Like 2010, winter 1899 was characterized by multiple heavy snowstorms, especially in February. Sometimes the jet stream locks into a position where it is capable of creating such a string. As has been painfully obvious, this is one of those years.

Before 1942, D.C.'s official snow totals were taken downtown. The record since the measurement started being recorded at Reagan National Airport, set in 1996, has been eclipsed by ten inches this year.

The big January 1996 storm put down 17.1 inches at Reagan. The January 22, 1996, Newsweek cover featured a man disappearing in a whiteout with the headline "Blizzards, Floods, and Hurricanes: Blame Global Warming." The cover story, written by the voluble science populist Sharon Begley, claimed that global warming allows more moisture into the air so that snowstorms can become bigger. Her go-to scientist was NASA's James Hansen — who more recently became famous for calling coal drags to your local power plant "death trains" and advocating war-crime trials for the executives who daily force you to put gasoline in your car. (So clearly we should expect no hyperbole from that camp.)

This winter, D.C. has placed two storms in the top ten: The 18.0 inches that fell on February 5–6 ranks number four, and the 16.4 on December 18–19 is number eight. Time's Bryan Walsh, who has a difficult time with the concept that improbable events are not impossible, thought this sufficiently bizarre to root online for any source that could be used to blame it on dreaded greenhouse gases. (Walsh found it in a semi-obscure 2003 study in the Journal of Climate, though he did not actually link to it in his article.)

And so the argument was trotted out again that mid-Atlantic storms can hold more moisture in a warmer world, and therefore can produce more snow. Anyone who would claim this surely does not understand the climatology of snow in Washington, D.C.

There are plenty of storms, usually up to 20 per winter, that are moist enough to produce snow but instead drop rain, or the unaesthetic combination of sleet and freezing rain that I call "sleeze." Why no snow? Because there is simply not enough cold air available. Why so many near-snow events, like sleeze storms? Because there's often almost enough cold air for snow.

To simplify things somewhat, snow requires that the temperature at 5,000 feet be at freezing or below. When a low-pressure system moves up the Atlantic seaboard, warm winds ride on top of it, raising the temperature to the point that it cannot support snow. In order to counter this, there usually has to be a replenishing supply of cold air from New England, which comes in the form of the high-pressure systems that often form ahead of the storm.

Scientists have known for a long time that the modest greenhouse effect we have experienced will have a disproportionate effect on these cold-air masses. So, thanks to climate change, the cold air that's needed for Washington snow is increasingly hard to come by. Moisture is not the problem: Snowflakes fear warm air.

The fact of the matter is that global warming simply hasn't done a darned thing to Washington's snow. The planet was nearly a degree (Celsius) cooler in 1899, when the previous record was set. If you plot out year-to-year snow around here, you'll see no trend whatsoever through the entire history.

But of course, there are those who insist that it snowed more when they were little. That's partially a matter of physical perspective, as 20 inches of snow on the ground looks a lot bigger to a three-foot child than to a six-foot adult. It's also a matter of lack of historical perspective. The three winters from 1977 through 1979 are the coldest in the entire U.S. record, and 1979 included the third-ranking snowstorm, the so-called President's Day Mess.

Did I mention that the popular press back then, including Time and Newsweek, did not hesitate to blame the winters on the climatic bogeyman of that era — global cooling?


But I thought the “science was settled”?

About one third of the way into his State of the Union speech on Jan. 27, President Barack Obama said an astonishing thing. He said: "I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future. ..."

I know my head snapped upright. I can only imagine the kind of head-scratching and quizzical scowling at their neighbors that must have occurred among those who have been lining up at the trough, planning to make millions off government boondoggles justified by the "man-made global warming" scam.

"What the heck did he just say? First they dump 'global warming' for 'climate change,' which can mean anything. Now he claims it's all about 'clean energy' and that you should agree even if you don't buy into 'man-made climate change'?"

What happened? Only a year ago, falling back to such a "last line of defense" would have been unthinkable for a global warming true believer like Mr. Obama. Aren't we taught that "the science is settled; there's no more room for debate"? That to be a global warming denier is little better than a Holocaust denier? That those who refuse to believe our consumption of fossil fuels plays a major role in an ongoing, desperately destructive global warming trend are the equivalent of "flat-earthers"?

Imagine if the president had said, " I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence that the earth is flat. But even if you doubt the evidence ..." Wouldn't that have been weird? What's going on?

I believe what's going on is that, in this age of the Internet, the full-court press of the global collectivist lapdog media -- I'm referring to The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press, ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN -- is failing in its assigned task to keep the lid on the scandal broadly known as "Climategate."

The president is no fool. He also has the benefit of the most thorough available briefings on just what the vast info dump from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia really contains, and -- unfiltered through the Green Religion belief system of The Washington Post et al. -- what it's going to do to the future of all the lying, manipulative, grant-hungry buffoons who spent the past decade feeding the politicians "man-made global warming" hysteria on demand to push through their vast new anti-capitalist, anti-industrial carbon taxes, designed to reduce us all to a state of subservient serfdom, limiting our energy consumption to Third World standards.

Don't take my word for it. Visit here. Visit here and here Or John Lott's latest, here

Need more detail from sober, "mainstream" sources? Try here, here and here.

Of course, "providing incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy" -- which is Washingtonspeak for huge tax handouts to political favorites to fund boondoggles that would never pencil out in the free market -- is another piece of economic idiocy. The "incentive" for efficient, economical energy is that people will happily buy your more efficient, more economical energy as soon as you offer to sell it to them for less. You don't need any big government programs to make that work.

What's the most economical source of energy available? Either coal or nuclear, or both. (Nuclear becomes more affordable only when the government grants the industry what amounts to an exemption from liability insurance premiums at market rates -- which government has been doing for, like, 60 years. If you want to end nuclear energy, just repeal that liability exemption. If you want cheap energy to drive economic growth, don't -- and build a whole bunch of coal plants and new oil refineries, in the meantime.)

Mr. Obama, shockingly enough, did call on Jan. 27 for building new nuclear power plants. Frankly, I don't believe him. I think he had his fingers crossed behind his back, assuming his partners in the Green Extreme will file the lawsuits necessary to keep that from becoming a reality any time in the next 20 years. I certainly don't see any big fanfare for an initiative to slice through the red tape and untie the hands of industry, something destined to get a push equivalent to John F. Kennedy's "race to the moon."

But that doesn't mean Congress shouldn't take Mr. Obama at his word. As soon as possible, Congress should pass a law exempting from the standard "endangered species/environmental review" rigmarole any firm with a reasonable safety record that can set forth a plan to build and bring on line 10 new nuclear reactors in the next decade. And/or 10 new coal-fired power plants.

What's that? I've forgotten the president included the word "clean"? Fine: Keep fighting sulfur dioxide by all means -- though emission levels, compared to 50 years ago, are almost absurdly low already. But (unlike solar power, which can require hugely toxic battery production) what does limiting carbon dioxide emissions have to do with "clean"? Carbon dioxide is as clean as you can get. It's necessary for life on earth. Except when it displaces oxygen entirely, carbon dioxide is not now nor has it ever been a "pollutant."

What we have to worry about is falling carbon dioxide levels, and falling temperatures. That's what starved the Norse out of Greenland, 500 years ago. (Well, that and the fact they refused to eat fish; go figure.) Before that, the ice ages were the biggest challenge our species ever faced. And they are coming back. The only thing we can't be sure of, is when. So maybe we shouldn't build any of those nuclear plants north of the 40th parallel.

Otherwise, the best thing government can do is close down the EPA, not give anybody a dime, slash taxes, and get out of the way.


U.S. city considers surrender to 'green police'

Mayor's panel pushes carbon taxes, subsidies, 'meatless Mondays'

What would life in an American city look like if it required its residents go green to combat climate change? Would it be all trees and gardens and bicycles, or would it look more like oppression under Big Brother's green thumb? Cambridge, Mass., home of Harvard University, may be giving the country a glimpse of the answer.

Last May, the city officially adopted an order recognizing that there is a climate emergency; but after nearly a year, officials discovered the city's carbon footprint was nonetheless growing worse. Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons, therefore, brought together nearly 100 activists and concerned citizens under the endorsement of the city council to convene a "Climate Congress" to make recommendations on how Cambridge can meet its green goals.

The official report of the Climate Congress provides a sneak peek at how life in Cambridge may be about to dramatically change. "This emergency is created by the growth of local greenhouse gas emissions despite the urgent warnings of climate scientists that substantial reductions are needed in order to reduce the risk of disastrous changes to our climate," the Climate Congress reports. "This proposal is made in the belief that an effective local response is, if anything, made more urgent by so far inadequate global agreements and federal policies for emissions reductions. It is made in the belief that our City should lead by example."

Leading by example comes with many suggestions, including dozens of incentives and subsidies for "going green," along with dozens of taxes and penalties for parking, driving SUVs and even using paper and plastic bags at retailers. It also includes several ideas for new restrictions and ratings systems, including posting street signs that advertise a residence's utility bills, banning cars from shopping areas and even requiring restaurants and schools to observe "Meatless or Vegan Mondays."

"It has become clear to me that Cambridge needs to do more," Mayor Simmons told the Cambridge Chronicle. "We can and should be a leader in regional and national efforts to protect the climate. The City Council has already taken some important first steps to recognize the great urgency of this situation."

In September the City Council held a meeting to hear from four scientists about "climate change" and were convinced the city needed to get proactive. "Their testimony made a compelling case for action at all levels to respond to the climate emergency," Simmons said. The Climate Congress proposed many environmentally-friendly programs and changes, including the following:

* Building infrastructure for recharging electric cars

* Providing citizens and businesses with 100-percent renewable energy within 20 years

* Tax breaks for landlords to make efficiency upgrades

* Contests between neighborhoods for climate prizes

* Dozens of workshops, training seminars and even potlucks to teach citizens how to "go green"

* New bike paths, gardens, parks and protected urban forests

* A "solar census" to alert property owners of opportunities to capture sun power

* Subsidies, grants, no-interest loans, internships and incentives in several proposed environmental programs.

To make those changes a reality, the Congress also suggested a number of new taxes and fee increases:

* A carbon tax, perhaps in the form of a supplementary property tax

* Taxing paper and plastic bags at retailers

* Taxing car owners through "congestion pricing" on heavily trafficked roads

* Higher parking meter rates, fines on parking tickets, residential parking permit fees and an extra tax on "SUVs and other gas-guzzling vehicles."

Finally, the Congress proposed a number of new regulations and restrictions, including the following:

* Encouraging building owners to turn off the heat or cooling in the spring and fall

* Rating rental units, allowing greener apartments to rent for more

* Street signs posting residents' yearly energy bills, so more efficient homeowners can publicly boast of their savings

* New mandates for efficiency in building codes on individual units and developments

* Reducing or eliminating curbside parking to compel people to walk or bicycle

* Banning cars from shopping centers

* Zoning ordinances protecting trees from being cut down, whether on public or private property

* Mandates requiring grocers to carry locally grown or produced food options

* "Environmental disincentives" against eating meat

* Mandating restaurants and schools have "Meatless or Vegan Mondays"

* Banning meat from meals provided to the City Council and limiting the amounts of dairy served.

How Cambridge residents will receive this redefinition of life in their city remains to be seen, and none of the proposals have yet been approved by the City Council itself, but opinions on the Climate Congress are already divided.

Richard Rood, a professor of atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences at the University of Michigan, told Fox News he supports several of the measures, such as turning off heat and cooling in the spring and fall, advocating vegetarianism and taking the initiative on a carbon tax, especially if the idea spreads.

"In general, if you look at how policy develops, it often starts on regional and local scales and then advances forward," he said. "Cambridge is full of really smart people, so you know, it has the potential."

Dr. Ken Green, a resident scholar on environment and energy at the American Enterprise Institute, however, told Fox News the multitude of taxes and fees would hit residents from too many directions at once. "That's just a revenue-raiser for the city," said Green. "There's an overall incoherence of having a carbon tax and three or four indirect taxes." He continued, "If they do the [carbon] tax, they should get rid of almost all of the other things. … If you had your carbon tax, you don't need your congestion pricing because people are already paying the tax in their gasoline." Green also said some of the new regulations were as "heavy-handed as government can get."

The Climate Congress, which has met twice already, is planning yet a third summit to finalize its recommendations to city officials.

City Councilor Sam Seidel told Fox News it will take a joint effort of city government and individuals taking ownership to make any of the changes a reality. "The challenge in broadest terms is to figure out what makes sense, what's doable, but all of that in the context of how much ground we have to cover," he said. "We have to be realistic on what we're going to be able to accomplish."



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 February, 2010

IPCC ex-chairman Robert Watson calls for review of climate change mistakes

THE UN body that advises world leaders on climate change must investigate an apparent bias in its report that resulted in several exaggerations of the impact of global warming, according to its former chairman. Robert Watson said that all the errors exposed so far in the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) resulted in overstatements of the severity of the problem.

Professor Watson, currently chief scientific adviser to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that if the errors had just been innocent mistakes, as has been claimed by current chairman Rajendra Pachauri, some would probably have understated the impact of climate change.

The errors have emerged in the past month after simple checking of the sources cited by the 2500 scientists who produced the report. The report falsely claimed that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 when evidence suggests that they will survive for another 300 years. It also claimed that global warming could cut rain-fed North African crop production by up to 50 per cent by 2020. A senior IPCC contributor has since admitted that there is no evidence to support this claim. The Dutch Government has asked the IPCC to correct its claim that more than half the Netherlands is below sea level. The environment ministry said that only 26 per cent of the country was below sea level.

Professor Watson, who served as chairman of the IPCC from 1997-2002, said: "The mistakes all appear to have gone in the direction of making it seem like climate change is more serious by overstating the impact. That is worrying. The IPCC needs to look at this trend in the errors and ask why it happened."

He said that the IPCC should employ graduate science students to check the sources of each claim made in its next report, due in 2013. "Graduate students would love to be involved and they could really dig into the references and see if they really do support what is being said."

He said that the next report should acknowledge that some scientists believed the planet was warming at a much slower rate than has been claimed by the majority of scientists. "We should always be challenged by sceptics," he said. "The IPCC's job is to weigh up the evidence. If it can't be dismissed, it should be included in the report. Point out it's in the minority and, if you can't say why it's wrong, just say it's a different view."

Dr Pachauri has not responded to questions put to him by The Times, despite sending a text message saying that he would do so.

Professor Watson has held discussions with Al Gore, the former US Vice-President, about creating a new climate research group to supplement the work of the IPCC and to help restore the credibility of climate science. He said that the scheme to create what he called a "Wikipedia for climate change" was at an early stage but the intention was to establish an online network of climate science research available to anyone with access to the internet and subject to permanent peer review by other scientists. He said that the project would allow scientists to "synthesise all of the observational record in real-time, not every 5-7 years like the IPCC".

He rejected concerns that the project would undermine the IPCC's authority. "It would have to be done so it was complimentary and not a challenge to the IPCC," he said. A spokesman for Mr Gore's office in Nashville, Tennessee, declined to comment on the project.

Meanwhile, a member of the inquiry team investigating allegations of misconduct by climate scientists has admitted that he holds strong views on climate change and that this contradicts a founding principle of the inquiry. Geoffrey Boulton, who was appointed last week by the inquiry chairman, Sir Muir Russell, said he believed that human activities were causing global warming.

Sir Muir issued a statement last week claiming that the inquiry members, who are investigating leaked e-mails from the University of East Anglia, did not have a "predetermined view on climate change and climate science".

Professor Boulton told The Times: "I may be rapped over the knuckles by Sir Muir for saying this, but I think that statement needs to be clarified. I think the committee needs someone like me who is close to the field of climate change and it would be quite amazing if that person didn't have a view on one side or the other." [These guys don't seem to be able to keep their story straight. The Muir Russell FAQ states: "Professor Geoffrey Boulton has expertise in fields related to climate change and is therefore aware of the scientific approach, through not in the climate change field itself." So is he a climate science expert or is he not? He seems to say he is but Muir-Russell says he is not]


Another laughable appointment to an "impartial" climate inquiry

Only 24 hours after another panel member quit, questions emerged over Professor Geoffrey Boulton because of his previous views that climate change is caused by human activity. The investigation was set up to look into whether scientists at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) covered up flawed data.

But some have cast doubt on whether the inquiry results can be trusted if Prof Boulton, general secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, remains on the panel. The leading geologist was one of five people chosen by former University of Glasgow principal Sir Muir Russell to carry out the high-profile investigation. A statement released at the launch of the inquiry on Thursday said none of the panel members had a "predetermined view on climate change and climate science". It added: "They were selected on the basis they have no prejudicial interest in climate science."

However, The Scotsman can reveal that only a few months ago, Prof Boulton, from the University of Edinburgh, was among a number of scientists who, in the wake of the climategate scandal, signed a petition to show their confidence that global warming was caused by humans. And for at least five years, he has made clear his strong views on global warming. He has given interviews and written articles – including in The Scotsman – that have spelled out his firmly held beliefs.

In one article for Edinburgh University, he wrote: "The argument regarding climate change is over." And for 18 years, he worked at the University of East Anglia (UEA) – the establishment at the centre of the scandal.

Last night, on being questioned by The Scotsman, Prof Boulton insisted he was a "sceptical scientist" prepared to change his views "if the evidence merited".

The controversy follows the resignation of another panel member, Dr Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief of Nature magazine, just six hours after the inquiry launch. He stepped down after it emerged he had given an interview to Chinese radio about the climategate scandal, defending the behaviour of the scientists at the CRU.

Dr Benny Peizer, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think tank which claims the debate on climate change has become distorted, called for Prof Boulton to step down, too. He said: "Prof Boulton obviously is a very distinguished geologist. The problem is, he is a very outspoken campaigner on this issue and he's given talks calling for galvanising public opinion. He also worked at the very institution that he is now going to be investigating. That, we think, is a conflict of interest."

He said he was "speechless" about why Prof Boulton and Dr Campbell had been appointed in the first place. "It looks like a shambles and it looks like the chairman of this panel hasn't really thought this through," he said. "Everyone must have told him (Sir Muir] that it's a very contentious issue and he should make sure the panel members have no bias at all." He added that he thought it was "impossible" that Prof Boulton could remain in post.

The UEA, one of Britain's leading climate-change research centres, helps compile a global temperature record published by the Met Office. This data is used by the government to justify its targets for cuts in carbon emissions. The university appointed Sir Muir in December to head an inquiry into a series of allegations over manipulated data.

Prof Boulton said he had been open about having worked at the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA between 1968 and 1986. "Since then, I have had no professional contact with the University of East Anglia or the Climatic Research Unit," he said. He added that he had "declared my current view of the balance of evidence: that the earth is warming and that human activity is implicated. These remain the views of the vast majority of scientists who research on climate change in its different aspects".

But he added: "As a sceptical scientist, I am prepared to change those views if the evidence merits it. They certainly do not prevent me from being heavily biased against poor scientific practice, wherever it arises."

A spokeswoman for the inquiry said Sir Muir was "completely confident each member has the integrity, expertise and experience to complete the task."


A secretive inquiry

The more things change .... Comment below from Nigel Lawson

As the first person to call for an independent inquiry into 'climategate', I regret that what has been announced today is defective in a number of ways. The inquiry will wholly lack transparency, with the hearings held in private, and no transcripts to be published.

The terms of reference, while better than nothing, are inadequate in a number of ways, not least the failure to include the question of the efforts made by CRU scientists to prevent the publication of papers by dissenting scientists and others, contrary to the canons of scientific integrity. And the objectivity and independence of the inquiry is seriously called into question by the composition of Sir Muir Russell's team, in particular the Editor in Chief of Nature, who has already published an editorial on the matter strongly supportive of the CRU scientists and accusing their critics of being 'paranoid'.


Some big backdowns from Phil Jones

He admits that there has been no global warming since 1995 and that the Medieval warm period may have been worldwide

The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information. Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers. [Rubbish! They are computer files, not papers]

Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be’. The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory.

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon. And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.

The admissions will be seized on by sceptics as fresh evidence that there are serious flaws at the heart of the science of climate change and the orthodoxy that recent rises in temperature are largely man-made.

Professor Jones has been in the spotlight since he stepped down as director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit after the leaking of emails that sceptics claim show scientists were manipulating data. The raw data, collected from hundreds of weather stations around the world and analysed by his unit, has been used for years to bolster efforts by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to press governments to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Following the leak of the emails, Professor Jones has been accused of ‘scientific fraud’ for allegedly deliberately suppressing information and refusing to share vital data with critics.

Discussing the interview, the BBC’s environmental analyst Roger Harrabin said he had spoken to colleagues of Professor Jones who had told him that his strengths included integrity and doggedness but not record-keeping and office tidying. Mr Harrabin, who conducted the interview for the BBC’s website, said the professor had been collating tens of thousands of pieces of data from around the world to produce a coherent record of temperature change. That material has been used to produce the ‘hockey stick graph’ which is relatively flat for centuries before rising steeply in recent decades.

According to Mr Harrabin, colleagues of Professor Jones said ‘his office is piled high with paper, fragments from over the years, tens of thousands of pieces of paper, and they suspect what happened was he took in the raw data to a central database and then let the pieces of paper go because he never realised that 20 years later he would be held to account over them’.

Asked by Mr Harrabin about these issues, Professor Jones admitted the lack of organisation in the system had contributed to his reluctance to share data with critics, which he regretted. But he denied he had cheated over the data or unfairly influenced the scientific process, and said he still believed recent temperature rises were predominantly man-made.

Asked about whether he lost track of data, Professor Jones said: ‘There is some truth in that. We do have a trail of where the weather stations have come from but it’s probably not as good as it should be. ‘There’s a continual updating of the dataset. Keeping track of everything is difficult. Some countries will do lots of checking on their data then issue improved data, so it can be very difficult. We have improved but we have to improve more.’

He also agreed that there had been two periods which experienced similar warming, from 1910 to 1940 and from 1975 to 1998, but said these could be explained by natural phenomena whereas more recent warming could not.

He further admitted that in the last 15 years there had been no ‘statistically significant’ warming, although he argued this was a blip rather than the long-term trend.

And he said that the debate over whether the world could have been even warmer than now during the medieval period, when there is evidence of high temperatures in northern countries, was far from settled. Sceptics believe there is strong evidence that the world was warmer between about 800 and 1300 AD than now because of evidence of high temperatures in northern countries. But climate change advocates have dismissed this as false or only applying to the northern part of the world.

Professor Jones departed from this consensus when he said: ‘There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia. ‘For it to be global in extent, the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions. ‘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.’

Sceptics said this was the first time a senior scientist working with the IPCC had admitted to the possibility that the Medieval Warming Period could have been global, and therefore the world could have been hotter then than now.

Professor Jones criticised those who complained he had not shared his data with them, saying they could always collate their own from publicly available material in the US. And he said the climate had not cooled ‘until recently – and then barely at all. The trend is a warming trend’.

Mr Harrabin told Radio 4’s Today programme that, despite the controversies, there still appeared to be no fundamental flaws in the majority scientific view that climate change was largely man-made.

But Dr Benny Pieser, director of the sceptical Global Warming Policy Foundation, said Professor Jones’s ‘excuses’ for his failure to share data were hollow as he had shared it with colleagues and ‘mates’. He said that until all the data was released, sceptics could not test it to see if it supported the conclusions claimed by climate change advocates. He added that the professor’s concessions over medieval warming were ‘significant’ because they were his first public admission that the science was not settled.


World may not be warming, say scientists

The significance of this article lies principally in the fact that it was written by Leaky Jonathan and published in "The Times" of London. Journalists are now beginning to smell blood in the water. Are we seeing the beginning of a feeding frenzy?

The United Nations climate panel faces a new challenge with scientists casting doubt on its claim that global temperatures are rising inexorably because of human pollution.

In its last assessment the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the evidence that the world was warming was “unequivocal”. It warned that greenhouse gases had already heated the world by 0.7C and that there could be 5C-6C more warming by 2100, with devastating impacts on humanity and wildlife. However, new research, including work by British scientists, is casting doubt on such claims. Some even suggest the world may not be warming much at all.

“The temperature records cannot be relied on as indicators of global change,” said John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a former lead author on the IPCC. The doubts of Christy and a number of other researchers focus on the thousands of weather stations around the world, which have been used to collect temperature data over the past 150 years. These stations, they believe, have been seriously compromised by factors such as urbanisation, changes in land use and, in many cases, being moved from site to site.

Christy has published research papers looking at these effects in three different regions: east Africa, and the American states of California and Alabama. “The story is the same for each one,” he said. “The popular data sets show a lot of warming but the apparent temperature rise was actually caused by local factors affecting the weather stations, such as land development.”

The IPCC faces similar criticisms from Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph, Canada, who was invited by the panel to review its last report. The experience turned him into a strong critic and he has since published a research paper questioning its methods. “We concluded, with overwhelming statistical significance, that the IPCC’s climate data are contaminated with surface effects from industrialisation and data quality problems. These add up to a large warming bias,” he said.

Such warnings are supported by a study of US weather stations co-written by Anthony Watts, an American meteorologist and climate change sceptic. His study, which has not been peer reviewed, is illustrated with photographs of weather stations in locations where their readings are distorted by heat-generating equipment. Some are next to air-conditioning units or are on waste treatment plants. One of the most infamous shows a weather station next to a waste incinerator. Watts has also found examples overseas, such as the weather station at Rome airport, which catches the hot exhaust fumes emitted by taxiing jets.

In Britain, a weather station at Manchester airport was built when the surrounding land was mainly fields but is now surrounded by heat-generating buildings.

Terry Mills, professor of applied statistics and econometrics at Loughborough University, looked at the same data as the IPCC. He found that the warming trend it reported over the past 30 years or so was just as likely to be due to random fluctuations as to the impacts of greenhouse gases. Mills’s findings are to be published in Climatic Change, an environmental journal. “The earth has gone through warming spells like these at least twice before in the last 1,000 years,” he said.

Kevin Trenberth, a lead author of the chapter of the IPCC report that deals with the observed temperature changes, said he accepted there were problems with the global thermometer record but these had been accounted for in the final report. “It’s not just temperature rises that tell us the world is warming,” he said. “We also have physical changes like the fact that sea levels have risen around five inches since 1972, the Arctic icecap has declined by 40% and snow cover in the northern hemisphere has declined.” [He should look out his window]

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts has recently issued a new set of global temperature readings covering the past 30 years, with thermometer readings augmented by satellite data.

Dr Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, said: “This new set of data confirms the trend towards rising global temperatures and suggest that, if anything, the world is warming even more quickly than we had thought.”


A ride in Big Brother's Audi

THE AUDI MOTOR COMPANY'S IDEA of an environmentally-correct America, to judge from the TV commercial it spent several million dollars to air during the Super Bowl, is one in which homeowners could be arrested for using incandescent light bulbs, customers choosing plastic bags at the supermarket would be mandhandled by the Green Police, and anyone tossing an orange peel into his kitchen garbage pail might suddenly find himself in the beam of a searchlight, hearing a voice bark through a loudspeaker: "Put the rind down, sir! That's a compost infraction!"

It's also a place where highway traffic would back up at an "eco-roadblock," but a motorist driving a "green" car like Audi's A3 TDI would be waved right through the checkpoint.

Of course, the notion of an environmental police state terrorizing citizens for not being sufficiently "green" is just parody meant to be laughed at. Or is it? On its website, Audi USA earnestly describes its Green Police as "caricatures" created to "help" consumers "faced with a myriad of decisions in their quest to become more environmentally responsible citizens." And what better way to "help" them than with scenes of ruthless Greenshirts handcuffing hot-tubbers whose water is too warm, or raiding the home of residents who threw a used battery into the wrong trash bin?

"Green has never felt so right," proclaims Audi's dystopian ad. Others agree. David Roberts, who writes for the environmental webzine Grist (and who has called for putting global warming skeptics on trial like Nazi war criminals), says the "thrill" of the ad "turns on satisfying the green police." The commercial makes sense, he writes, only "if it's aimed at people who acknowledge the moral authority of the green police -- people who may find those [environmental] obligations tiresome and constraining . . . but who recognize that living more sustainably is in fact the moral thing to do."

On Twitter, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom expressed his approval more concisely: "That 'green police' Audi commercial hits home." He would know. Under a composting ordinance Newsom signed last year, throwing orange peels, coffee grounds, or greasy pizza boxes in the trash is now illegal in San Francisco, and carries fines of up to $500 per violation.

There was a time when Americans were thought capable of deciding for themselves what to do with their coffee grounds or whether to carry their groceries home in paper or plastic bags. It isn't only in San Francisco, and it isn't only when it comes to "green" issues, that such mundane or personal choices are being subjected to government coercion. One thin slice at a time, liberties we once took for granted are replaced with mandates from above. Instead of leaving us free to choose, Big Brother increasingly makes the choice for us: on trans fats. On gambling. On smoking. On bicycle helmets. On health insurance.

In Massachusetts, the Boston Globe reported last week, new regulations will soon require thousands of restaurant workers to undergo state-designed training on handling food allergies, and every restaurant menu will have to be revised to include a new message: "Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy." In Pennsylvania, the Reading Eagle notes that it is illegal for volunteers to sell pies or cookies at a charity bake sale unless the treats were "prepared in kitchens inspected and licensed by the state Agriculture Department." In Oregon, an eight-year-old boy was suspended from his public school on Monday because he came to class with a tiny plastic toy gun from his G.I. Joe action figure.

It isn't to evil dictators with a lust for power that Americans have been slowly surrendering their autonomy. It is to well-intentioned authorities who genuinely believe that freedoms must be circumscribed for our own good. At the White House on Tuesday, First Lady Michelle Obama announced what The New York Times called "a sweeping initiative . . . aimed at revamping the way American children eat and play -- reshaping school lunches, playgrounds, and even medical checkups -- with the goal of eliminating childhood obesity."

Nothing in the Constitution allows the federal government to take charge of "revamping the way American children eat and play." It is only our passivity that makes such an encroachment possible. This used to be the land of the free. Is it still?



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 February, 2010

"New Scientist" becomes Non Scientist

In her article below, Joanne Nova appears to be unaware that "New Scientist" has always been Left-leaning and that their present bias is nothing new. It is not a peer-reviewed academic journal. Its editor has described it as "an ideas magazine". It would be more accurate to describe it as a "no idea" magazine. It is in fact neither new nor scientific

You might think journalists at a popular science magazine would be able to investigate and reason. In DenierGate, watch New Scientist closely as it does the unthinkable and tries to defend gross scientific malpractice by saying it’s okay because other people have done other things (that were not related) a little bit wrong and a long time ago. Move along ladies and gentlemen, there’s nothing to see…

The big problem for this formerly good publication is that it has decided already what the answer is to any question on climate change (and the answer could be warm or cold, but it’s always ALARMING). That leaves it clutching for sand-bags to prop up its position as the king-tide sweeps away any journalistic credibility it might have had. I’ve added my own helpful notes into the New Scientist article, just so you get the full picture.
NS (New Scientist): “Climategate” has put scientists on trial in the court of public opinion.

JN (Joanne Nova): Since there’s evidence of falsification, hiding data, artificially altering results, and deleting records, a trial sounds entirely appropriate. How about the Supreme Court kind?

NS: If you believe climate skeptics, a huge body of evidence* involving the work of tens of thousands of scientists over more than a century–

JN: I’d hate to exaggerate, but the IPCC can only name 60 scientists who reviewed the evidence on causation in the Fourth Assessment Report, and most of them were either reviewing their own work, had a vested interest, or are themselves caught up in the Climategate scandal …

NS: –should be thrown out on the basis of the alleged misconduct of a handful of researchers, even though nothing in the hacked emails has been shown to undermine any of the scientific conclusions*.

JN: Nothing? So for New Scientist, it is normal practice to refuse to provide data, refuse FOI’s, and then delete data? Maybe this is the normal practice for a religion, but it sure isn’t normal for science.
And spot the appearance of the mythical “HUGE body of evidence”. Can anyone at New Scientist find that one mystery paper with empirical evidence showing that carbon causes major warming? Just ONE? That’s major warming, not minor. And that’s empirical, i.e., by observation, not by simulation. This is the paragraph where New Scientist proves it has become Non Scientist:
“If we are going to judge the truth of claims on the behavior of those making them, it seems only fair to look at the behavior of a few of those questioning the scientific consensus. There are many similar examples we did not include. We leave readers to draw their own conclusions about who to trust.”
Alarm bells are ringing from Galileo’s grave. We’re trying to figure out if the world is warming due to man-made carbon right? New Scientist’s method is not to look at the evidence, but to look at the behavior of the sceptics. Did you see the black hole of ad hominem that this once esteemed journal just stepped into? Logic and reason were reduced in a flash to a naked singularity. Follow its reasoning through the black hole, and you don’t emerge on the other side.

Who to trust indeed? Let’s trust people who can reason, and scientists who don’t hide their data. It doesn’t matter how “sceptics behave”; it matters whether the data can be independently analyzed and interpreted; whether the conclusions are robust. But, since the data is g-o-n-e , no one can verify anything. So in a way, it does come down to “trust”: In the new quasi-religious form of science, you have to trust those who hold the global data. Isn’t postmodern “science” an awful lot like the old religions?

Did they make the right “adjustments”? Who the heck knows?

So does New Scientist publish the most significant e-mails to let readers make up their own minds, or does it hide the damning lines, and feed in some old distractions it found in a festering mess of bias called the New Scientist Archive? Choose B. Go for an eighteen-year old paper by people not mentioned in the hacked e-mails. Of course. Then have another go at a science documentary that didn’t mention the hacked e-mails, but got part of a graph wrong. (And don’t mention that Al Gore’s movie made nine significant errors as determined by a British Court.)

Then, take another swipe at the unpaid scientists who arranged a petition that attracted thousands of signatures. New Scientist briefly notes the latest version of this petition, but since it really can’t find any flaws with this new version, which has an astounding 31,000 signatures on it, New Scientist spends several paragraphs on the earlier version, which could have been done a bit better, but was obviously mainly right, as shown by the second round… Remember the petition was done by volunteers and done twice. It’s the largest grassroots movement of scientists on any topic anywhere in the world, and New Scientist is attacking the 31,000 volunteer scientists, while it defends the 60 corrupt paid ones.

It’s beyond silly. The mindless irrelevant attacks go on. New Scientist attacks Nigel Lawson for using a misleadingly short time–eight years–to argue that the world is not warming (which is exactly what the satellite data shows). Eight years is too short for New Scientist to announce a flat trend, but in every other article with a single flood, a single cyclone, or a single heat wave, one week is long enough for New Scientist to imply that global warming might be to blame. So a season of hurricanes is significant, but years of cooling is misleading. Righto. (And Amen!)

New Scientist attacks Christopher Monckton’s paper–not because it can summarize why it is in error, but because another group disagrees with it, and there are some technicalities about whether it jumped through the right hoops called peer review. Attack the man and not the message, eh? New Scientist stands up for the bureaucratic details of “peer review” (only certain peers count), but won’t stand up for the independent scientists, the whistleblowers, who want access to data just to make sure those “peer reviewed papers” don’t turn out to be baseless frauds like the Hockey Stick.


The Olympic Global Warming Onslaught is Starting

Snow elsewhere is just "weather" and signifies nothing but lack of snow in Vancouver shows global warming!

One of the low elevation Vancouver skiing venues (Cypress Mountain) is short on snow this year due to El Nino, and the Global Warming machine is soon going to saturate the news with this story. It has already started and is ramping up.
VANCOUVER, B.C. — One morning last week, environmentalist David Suzuki looked across English Bay from his Vancouver home to Cypress Mountain, usually covered in snow this time of year but now left all but bare by a warm winter.

“I’ve watched in horror as the snow has just melted away from Cypress Mountain,” Suzuki said, referring to the 2010 Olympic Games snowboarding and freestyle skiing venue. The view from Vancouver, Suzuki and others say, provides a glimpse into the future for the Winter Olympics.

Never mind that most of the ski areas in the world are having excellent seasons, including other Olympic venues like Whistler – which has already received over 1,000 cm of snow this winter. Arizona Snowbowl has received 238 inches of snow this winter! You read that correctly – Arizona.

Squaw Valley, California (site of the 1960 Winter Olympics) is reporting at least 10 feet of snow on the ground. Ski conditions around Salt Lake City (site of the 2002 Olympics) are excellent. Wolf Creek, Colorado is reporting close to ten feet on the ground. European ski areas are reporting excellent snow. Pajarito Mountain, New Mexico is reporting one of their best ski seasons ever. North Carolina ski areas are reporting some of their best conditions ever. Scotland is reporting the best ski conditions in 50 years. Washington DC is shut down due to snow.

Most of the ski areas in British Columbia have excellent snow, but be assured that the press will highlight the one area which doesn’t – and will not provide a sensible explanation for the cause. They will blame it on global warming, and will intentionally ignore ski conditions in most of the globe.

The glass is 10% empty, not 90% full.


First Time Ever -- Snow on Ground in All 50 States

The storm that just dumped enough snow on the Florida Panhandle to force the closing of the University of West Florida has brought the official count of states with the white-stuff on the ground to a full 50.

Patrick Marsh at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told USA Today that “he's unsure if such a weather phenomenon has ever occurred before.” Others, including Janice Dean at Fox News, have declared the literally nation-wide measurable snow to be unprecedented.

With snowfall records being rewritten around the country (even Dallas reached a single-day record of 12.5 inches falling within 24 hours yesterday), watch for alarmists and their MSM accomplices to join the entire country in its exhaustive shoveling.

Of course, as they desperately cling to their claim that recent ferocious snowstorms somehow prove rather than refute manmade global warming, what they’ll be shoveling will be neither cold nor white.


The Green Jobs Scam Unmasked

I wrote on this issue just last month, making the fundamental point that investing billions in “Green Jobs” had failed to stimulate the economy (or create jobs), and that Barack Obama’s pledge to invest billions more in “Green Jobs” was the wrong answer moving forward.

This month, we’re discovering in detail why that is true. According to a series of new reports, billions of dollars in “stimulus” money that was supposed to go toward creating “Green Jobs” here in America instead went to foreign-owned companies – who “created or saved” the vast majority of their jobs overseas. Obviously there is nothing wrong with America investing in foreign businesses, as protectionism is a recipe for disaster.

According to an ABC News report, though, almost $2 billion in “stimulus” funding has been spent so far on wind power, and yet 80% of that money has gone to foreign-owned companies. “Most of the jobs are going overseas,” researcher Russ Choma told ABC. “According to our estimates, about 6,000 jobs have been created overseas, and maybe a couple hundred have been created in the U.S.”

In fact, despite receiving this windfall of “stimulus” cash, the U.S. wind manufacturing sector actually lost jobs in 2009, according to a year-end report by its professional association. Also, most of the jobs “created or saved” in America have been temporary construction positions, or “management” hires.

The real job creation (or job salvation, to use Obama’s disingenuous math) has taken place beyond our borders. Consider these examples, courtesy of a recent report from The Watchdog Institute:

Eurus Energy America, a subsidiary of a Japanese-owned firm, received $91 million in “stimulus” funds and created only 300 to 400 temporary construction jobs. Permanent jobs created? Less than a dozen.

EnXco, a French-owned firm, received $69.5 million in “stimulus” funds and yet produced only 200 construction jobs and “about a dozen” permanent positions.

A-Power, a Chinese-owned firm, is in line to receive nearly $450 million in “stimulus” funds – for a project that will create thousands of Chinese jobs but only a few dozen American positions.

Cannon Power Group, an American-owned firm, received $19 million in “stimulus” funds but spend most of that on German-made turbines. So far they have created fewer than 300 construction jobs and “20 to 30” permanent positions. Cannon is in line to receive another $150 million in “stimulus” funds, by the way.

In case the trend isn’t clear, America’s massive investment in “Green Jobs” has been a colossal, costly failure – unless you’re looking for work overseas. For all the promises of the Obama administration, here at home these taxpayers billions have amounted to little more than a few thousand temporary construction positions and a few hundred management jobs.

In fact, there’s a good chance that the government employees hired to promote “Green Jobs” outnumber the actual permanent “Green Jobs” created. However you do the math, these positions are obviously a mere drop in the bucket compared to U.S. job losses in the wind manufacturing segment of the energy economy alone, to say nothing of the millions of lost jobs nationwide.

Worse still, the lunacy isn’t stopping. We are continuing to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into this failed framework, which uses American sweat to create permanent positions (and profit) for foreign companies. Frankly, it’s time for Obama to come clean on the “Green Jobs” scam – and to explain why his so-called “transparent and accountable” administration didn’t catch it sooner.


Let’s pick apart this politics of doom

‘Climategate’ confirms what many of us already knew: that claims of future catastrophe are political, not scientific

A sixth of the world’s population – the billion or so people who live downstream of Himalayan glaciers and depend on them for water – must surely be relieved. Just a few months ago, ‘consensus science’ held that these vast tracts of ice would be gone in just a few decades. The implications were stark. Water wars and climate refugees would spread out from the region, consuming society in Gaia’s revenge. If the direct effects of climate change didn’t kill you, the social chaos they unleashed would.

Now that the death of the Himalayan glaciers has been deferred by some three centuries, we can take a sober look at the situation facing people living in the region. The truth is that they have more years ahead of them to find alternatives to relying on Himalayan meltwater than have passed since the Industrial Revolution began to transform our own landscape. That should be plenty of time.

For the furore around ‘Glaciergate’, we didn’t actually need to know that Himalayan glacial retreat was exaggerated to know that the disaster story it seemingly produced was pseudo-scientific bunk. The plots of such disaster stories are written well before any evidence of looming doom emerges from ‘science’. What really underpins the climate change panic is the way in which politicians have justified their own impotence by appealing to catastophe.

This helps to explain the reaction of the political establishment to the various scandals that have beset the IPCC and leading climate scientists in recent weeks. In response to the allegations levelled at individuals and institutions in the climate establishment, the UK climate change secretary, Ed Miliband, has declared war on climate sceptics on both Channel 4 News and in the Observer. But the ironic consequence of Miliband’s intervention has been to acknowledge that disagreement exists. Miliband now recognises an enemy that only a few months ago consisted of a tiny number of ‘flat-earthers’, according to his boss, Gordon Brown. Given that sceptics are not usually engaged, just ignored, a declaration of war is a sure sign that he is on the defensive.

Miliband says, ‘I think the science and the precautionary principle, which says that there’s at the very least a huge risk if we don’t act, mean that we should be acting’. This use of the precautionary principle puts the position of climate alarmists back by a decade. The argument for action on climate change once depended on just the possibility that changes in climate could cause devastating problems for humans. Scientists had not yet produced a consensus. The political stalemate seemingly ended after the infamous ‘Hockey Stick’ graph was published in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (TAR) in 2001. It was held to be, at last, the conclusive evidence that man indeed had altered the climate. Here was the fingerprint on the ‘smoking gun’ that pointed towards our imminent demise.

By retreating to the precautionary principle rather than simply defending the notion of scientific consensus, Miliband concedes a lot. The scientific consensus around climate change has stood as a powerful source of political authority in lieu of democratic legitimacy. In the light of events and arguments which undermine this authority, Miliband is fighting for his government’s credibility, not to save the planet.

He protests that, in spite of the new climate scandals, the ‘overwhelming majority’ of scientists nonetheless still hold with the idea that mankind has altered the climate. The recent revelations are just dents, caused by procedural oversight, in an otherwise robust case, he seems to say. But actually, this does not really get to the heart of the discussion about climate. A scientific consensus about the climate’s sensitivity to greenhouse gas emissions is not equivalent to a scientific consensus about human society’s sensitivity to climate. There is a huge difference between these two ideas, yet Miliband’s argument rests on the idea that they are equivalent. And it is on this point that sceptics have not yet made much progress. While banging away at the science of climate change, they have failed to tackle the wider argument about our capacity to deal with the unexpected. What sceptics need to explain is how climate and society have become so confused.

This confusion has other ramifications, for example in the familiar claim that Miliband makes, that ‘climate change will be worse for the poor’. This in turn depends on the reinvention of ‘social justice’ as ‘environmental justice’, as if inequality is a natural phenomenon as inevitable as wind or rain.

But poverty is not a natural phenomenon. It is a tragic conceit to believe that by not driving our cars we will somehow make life better for those who cannot even dream of owning a car – much less having a road to drive it on. The problem is that people are poor, not that their climate is slightly different. We can see this fact demonstrated in the horrific scale of devastation in Haiti. An event of similar magnitude in a more economically developed country would not have claimed so many lives. It is not enough to say that carbon emissions cost lives, or anything like it, because the principal factors that determine the outcome of natural phenomena relate to an area’s level of development.

However, as Miliband’s words reveal, world leaders have given up on the idea of development as the means through which people can enjoy better protected and more rewarding lives. This can only have the consequence of producing and sustaining poverty, making greater numbers of people vulnerable to nature’s indifferent whims. The way in which the political class has surrendered to climate panic is a comprehensive admission of our leaders’ own impotence. Only if we take their inability to produce domestic or international development for granted can we conceive of changes in weather patterns as inevitably catastrophic.

For example, over the next three centuries, the people living beneath Himalayan glaciers might construct dams to collect the rain or snow that falls there, but which does not remain as ice. It is not inconceivable that Asians might also provide a greater proportion of their water needs through desalination plants. The world has been reorganised around the tenets of environmentalism precisely because the notion of using development to provide protection from natural disaster is now deemed to be impossible.

World leaders have projected their catastrophic sense of impotence on to the world. Just to make sure that politics cannot intervene, they have brought forward the date of the ecopalypse, to render any alternative and any debate impossible. It can’t happen soon enough for them. A failure of imagination has been passed off as the conclusion of ‘climate science’ and as the opinion of ‘the overwhelming majority of scientists’, but as we can see, the premise of impotence and catastrophe is a presupposition that is political in its character and not a conclusion produced by science.

In turn, if the notion of catastrophic climate change is reduced to a mere article of (bad) faith, the institutions of climate politics – all of which have been constructed on the premise of catastrophe/impotence – cease to have a legitimate basis. The IPCC, the Stern Review, the Kyoto treaty, Copenhagen, the Climate Change Committee and the legislation and reorganisation of public life that have followed in their wake have not been created to save the planet from climate catastrophe, but to save politicians from the collapse of their own authority. That is what Miliband’s war is about.

The scandal is not really in the fraud, exaggeration, or deceit – if that is what they were – committed by particular researchers, or the failure of the IPCC process to identify that certain claims were false. The scandal is that politicians seek moral authority in crisis. It was not ‘science’ that produced stories of imminent catastrophe; it was the bleak doom-laden politics of this era. Scientists merely extrapolated from this scenario, into the future, taking the logic of the political premises to their conclusion. The politics exists prior to the science. In reply, sceptics, with a more positive vision, ought to demonstrate the gap that exists between the science and the story, and how it might end differently if we start from more positive ground.

If Miliband wants a war, he can have one. But the battle lines should recognise that the politics of catastrophe is prior to the science of catastophe, and that another outlook that emphasises our ability to control events is possible. Environmental problems will always occur, but it is how they are understood that counts. We cannot understand ‘what science says’ until we understand what it has been told, and what it has really been asked. Science has been put to use to turn the billion people living beneath Himalayan glaciers into political capital by the IPCC to prop up the likes of Ed Miliband. It is only now that he has been deprived of the authority that those billion lives – or deaths – gave him, that he wants a war.

Today’s politicians need catastrophes because they have no other way of creating authority for themselves. But the catastrophe is in politics, not in the atmosphere.


Australia: Greenie home-insulation policy burns houses down and kills workers

Misconceived and ill-thought out like most such schemes

PETER Garrett has admitted his troubled $2.5 billion insulation program has been linked to 86 house fires around the nation as the opposition stepped up calls for him to resign over his handling of the scheme. As opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt called for an investigation into the rise in house ceiling fires, it emerged that the government's program to give homes with foil insulation safety checks has stalled, despite fears 1000 roofs have been electrified by inept installers.

Standards Australia said it would review thermal insulation procedures, adding that the standard for installing insulation was not mandatory, and did not cover foil products.

The government undertook last February to insulate 2.7 million homes as part of its $42bn stimulus package, but the program has been dogged by claims of rorting and safety problems. The Environment Minister has been savaged for his handling of the $2.5bn program. Tony Abbott said Mr Garrett must pay with his job for the lives of four insulation installers lost in the program and resign, otherwise "the Prime Minister has to sack him".

But Kevin Rudd expressed confidence in Mr Garrett, saying safety had been his "No 1 priority". "I have absolute confidence in the minister," the Prime Minister said. "There have been tragedies for people's families. I understand that. But there are also tragedies with industrial accidents across the country in other areas."

A defiant Mr Garrett said: "I am here to do the job. "Let's be clear about the scale of the program. Over a million homes insulated, less than 1 per cent of complaints." The total number of approved suppliers is now 7300. Twenty have been removed for failure to comply with its terms.

Figures obtained by The Weekend Australian show 172 fires have been linked to insulation or reported in ceiling cavities since the start of last year, but Mr Garrett's spokesman said 86 fires had been linked to insulation installed under the program.

NSW Emergency Services Minister Steve Whan said the 67 insulation fires in the state last year and one this year were "concerning enough that an urgent public warning was immediately issued in November following advice from fire brigade statisticians". This compared with 16 insulation fires in 2008.

In Victoria, the number of fires involving insulation in a ceiling space doubled from 19 in 2008 to 38. Queensland reported 43 fires originating in the ceiling or roof space in the last six months of last year, compared with 35 for the 12 months to June 30 last year.

South Australia reported one such fire, down from two the year before, and in Canberra the ACT Coroner will investigate three house fires. Western Australia has reported 20 insulation fires since July.



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 February, 2010

Peak chocolate?

By Professor Helen Hughes

A rapidly developing palm oil shortage is sneaking up on chocolate eaters.

Neither China nor India, with their teeming billions, ate much chocolate in the past. Few people could afford it. In the tropics, and in the hot summers of northern China and India, there was no refrigeration to keep chocolate from melting.

Leading chocolate multinationals are now seizing on these potential markets by introducing small chocolate bars into China and India. They are greatly helped by growing numbers of refrigerators in small shops and cafes. Chinese and Indian masses are taking to chocolate just like Europeans, Americans and Australians have. Sales are through the roof. The producers cannot keep up with the demand. Research on chocolate with a high melting point is in train. Rising living standards are being translated into booming chocolate sales.

The key ingredients of chocolate are sugar, cocoa and fats. Thanks to lunatic sugar subsidies in Europe and the United States, there is no shortage of sugar, but it takes years for cocoa trees to bear, and increases in palm oil supply are seriously threatened. Although palm oil plantations have roughly the same carbon sink properties as forests, and although the trans-fat content of palm oil is far lower than of equivalent ghee, coconut and sesame oil it replaces, a new green ideology is dead set against increases in palm oil production. This is likely to become a critical bottleneck in the production of chocolate.

So enjoy the chocolate Easter egg displays coming into the shops. Prices are going to escalate. Within a few years, a chocolate Easter egg, let alone a box of Lindt Assorted Pralines, is likely to be an unaffordable luxury.

The above is part of a press release from the Centre for Independent Studies, dated February 12. Enquiries to Snail mail: PO Box 92, St Leonards, NSW, Australia 1590.

Pesky finding

Past high temperatures NOT caused by high levels of CO2

Sea-level rises and falls as Earth's giant ice sheets shrink and grow. It has been thought that sea level around 81,000 years ago—well into the last glacial period—was 15 to 20 meters below that of today and, thus, that the ice sheets were more extensive. Dorale et al. (p. 860; see the Perspective by Edwards) now challenge this view. A speleothem that has been intermittently submerged in a cave on the island of Mallorca was dated to show that, historically, sea level was more than a meter above its present height. This data implies that temperatures were as high as or higher than now, even though the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was much lower.

SOURCE (Journal abstract follows)

Sea-Level Highstand 81,000 Years Ago in Mallorca

By Jeffrey A. Dorale et al.


Global sea level and Earth’s climate are closely linked. Using speleothem encrustations from coastal caves on the island of Mallorca, we determined that western Mediterranean relative sea level was ~1 meter above modern sea level ~81,000 years ago during marine isotope stage (MIS) 5a. Although our findings seemingly conflict with the eustatic sea-level curve of far-field sites, they corroborate an alternative view that MIS 5a was at least as ice-free as the present, and they challenge the prevailing view of MIS 5 sea-level history and certain facets of ice-age theory.


Tofu can harm the environment more than meat, finds WWF study

Becoming a vegetarian can do more harm to the environment than continuing to eat red meat, according to a study of the impacts of meat substitutes such as tofu. The findings undermine claims by vegetarians that giving up meat automatically results in lower emissions and that less land is needed to produce food.

The study by Cranfield University, commissioned by the environmental group WWF, found that many meat substitutes were produced from soy, chickpeas and lentils that were grown overseas and imported into Britain. It found that switching from beef and lamb reared in Britain to meat substitutes would result in more foreign land being cultivated and raise the risk of forests being destroyed to create farmland. Meat substitutes also tended to be highly processed and involved energy-intensive production methods.

Lord Stern of Brentford, one of the world’s leading climate change economists, caused uproar among Britain’s livestock farmers last October when he claimed that a vegetarian diet was better for the planet. He told The Times: “Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better.”

However, the Cranfield study found that the environmental benefits of vegetarianism depended heavily on the type of food consumed as an alternative to meat. It concluded: “A switch from beef and milk to highly refined livestock product analogues such as tofu could actually increase the quantity of arable land needed to supply the UK.” A significant increase in vegetarianism in Britain could cause the collapse of the country’s livestock industry and result in production of meat shifting overseas to countries with few regulations to protect forests and other uncultivated land, it added.

Donal Murphy-Bokern, one of the study authors and the former farming and food science co-ordinator at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “For some people, tofu and other meat substitutes symbolise environmental friendliness but they are not necessarily the badge of merit people claim. Simply eating more bread, pasta and potatoes instead of meat is more environmentally friendly.”

Liz O’Neill, spokeswoman for the Vegetarian Society, said: “The figures used in the report are based on a number of questionable assumptions about how vegetarians balance their diet and how the food industry might respond to increased demand. “If you’re aiming to reduce your environmental impact by going vegetarian then it’s obviously not a good idea to rely on highly processed products, but that doesn’t undermine the fact that the livestock industry causes enormous damage and that moving towards a plant-based diet is good for animals, human health and the environment.”

The National Farmers’ Union said the study showed that general statements about the environmental benefits of vegetarianism were too simplistic. Jonathan Scurlock, the NFU’s chief adviser for climate change, said: “The message is that no single option offers a panacea. The report rightly demonstrates the many environment benefits to be had from grazing pasture land with little or no other productive use.”

The study also found that previous estimates of the total emissions of Britain’s food consumption had been flawed because they failed to take account of the impact of changes to the use of land overseas.



Relying on appeals to authority, in the usual Warmist way. Had they been alive in 1930s Germany, most Warmists would no doubt have been walking around giving Nazi salutes and shouting "Heil Hitler"

In light of the recent email scandal at the University of East Anglia, James Hoggan’s new book, Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming, is an amusing read. In the exposé, Hoggan, president of a public relations firm, details the dishonesty and chicanery of global warming skeptics. Aside from accepting money from Exxon, he asserts, skeptics have coerced the mainstream media to portray global warming as controversial among scientists, paying “junk scientists” to appear on Fox and CNN and inflating the list of scientists skeptical of manmade global warming. Oh, and they take money from Exxon.

Hoggan’s greatest fault in Climate Cover-Up is his apparent disdain for evidence. It’s remarkable how many of his arguments turn on a simple appeal to expertise, credentials, or repute. Indeed, the book is liberally peppered with more “experts” and “peer-reviewed journals” than could possibly be claimed to exist. Climate change believers are invariably “leading scientists” with “impressive resumes” and “dozens of scientific papers.”

In a token gesture of fairness, Hoggan shows grudging admiration for Stephen McIntyre, the Canadian statistician who exposed flaws in Michael Mann’s now iconic 1999 “hockey-stick” graph, first published by the International Panel on Climate Change in 2001. Hoggan then inform readers that McIntyre is “not a professional scientist” but has instead shown “dogged professionalism.” Further, he can’t refrain from cheap shots: McIntyre’s work, he says, has corrected a few “very narrow points of climate science” and is published in Energy and Environment, “a less than prestigious journal.” Hoggan’s underlying motive seems to be damage control; his colleague’s research did, after all, find that Mann’s “flawed computer program can even pull out spurious hockey stick shapes from lists of trendless random numbers.” McIntyre aside, the skeptics are a pitiful bunch, Hoggan suggests, with only a handful of scientific papers to their names and nary a true climate scientist among them. Skeptics may be scientists, but they’re over the hill—they are more often weathermen and lobbyists than scientists at all.

Hoggan is keen on reporting bad behavior among the skeptics, but shows little interest in investigating their stories from alternative points of view. It’s true that Exxon pours money into think tanks that spread skepticism about global warming. But by whom are climate scientists funded? Hoggan doesn’t say, but seems to believe their work is done in an apolitical vacuum of pure scientific inquiry. That Exxon merely wants to protect fossil fuels is, to Hoggan, an obvious and sufficient explanation for climate change skepticism. Corporate interests may well drive greed and dishonesty, but do not a good number profit from green technologies as well? Hoggan doesn’t care to investigate. In opposition to hundreds of “peer-reviewed” scientific papers, Mann’s hockey stick graph smoothed out well-established warming and cooling periods from the past millennium. How was that massive revision of climate history accepted so quickly and without opposition? Hoggan is curiously incurious.

Even the most prominent voices in the global warming debate earn little attention from Hoggan. Richard Lindzen, the Albert Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT, earns only passing mention. In his one lonely reference, Hoggan seems to forget Lindzen’s wholly relevant credentials. He is also silent about Lindzen’s long 1992 article revealing the pressures lobbyists exert to drive scientific “consensus.” For that side of the story, we must refer to Christopher Booker’s The Real Global Warming Disaster. A columnist for the Telegraph, Booker quotes this choice bit from Lindzen’s analysis: “these lobbying groups have budgets of several million dollars and employ about 50,000 people” and use “global warming” as a “major battle cry in their fundraising” while “the media unquestioningly accept the pronouncements of these groups.” Lindzen’s article was apparently rejected by Science after editors concluded it would not interest readers. Science readers were, however, interested in a rebuttal to Lindzen’s work published some time later.

Now that the East Anglia emails have given us a glance behind the curtain of the “peer review” process and allowed us to see a bit of the jitterbuggery that goes on among climate scientists, Hoggan’s credibility as an author is more than suspect. Sad that a book has become a relic in the year of its publication.

As it happens, Ian Plimer, another scientist not mentioned in Hoggan’s book, wrote a compelling analysis of the limitations of peer-review before the East Anglia emails were made public. A geologist at the University of Adelaide, Plimer is the author of Heaven and Earth: Global Warming—The Missing Science, the book that serves as the bible of global warming skepticism. Plimer presents the historical evidence for warming and cooling on earth prior to the use of fossil fuels, and notes that global warming and cooling occurs on other planets, where petroleum emissions are presumably not present. The culprit in the climate change trial, Plimer argues in great detail, is the sun. Small variations in solar activity can have major effects on earth’s climate, a piece of evidence largely ignored by IPCC models.

In the final chapter of his book, Plimer examines the sociology of climate science. While “the peer review process of scientific journals is probably the best process we have,” it is “highly flawed. Editors can influence acceptance or rejection by their choice of reviewers, and even impartial reviewers “normally do not ask for the primary data.” Good scientific work is often done outside the peer-review circle, especially when it breaks no new ground. As a case in point, a study from Flinders University in Australia, showing that Pacific Ocean levels are static, was denied publication after scientists concluded that “nothing happened” in the study.

Hoggan’s relentless appeal to expertise is hollow from start to finish. Skepticism about global warming has always been, at its core, skepticism about scientific hubris. If the overreaching claims of global warming inadvertently encourage a climate of skepticism, the movement will have done a service to science, putting a chip in scientism and the cult of the expert—two of modernity’s most cherished idols.


Biased British climate "inquiry" member resigns

A member of the panel set up to investigate claims that climate change scientists covered up flawed data was forced to resign last night, just hours after the inquiry began. Philip Campbell stood down after it was disclosed that he had given an interview in which he defended the conduct of researchers at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), insisting that they had done nothing wrong.

He said in a statement that he was stepping down to ensure that the ability of the review team to carry out its investigation would not be called into question. The inquiry, led by Sir Muir Russell, was set up after stolen e-mails from the CRU scientists prompted accusations that they had been manipulating and concealing the data.

The panel members said in a statement yesterday morning that they did not have a “predetermined view on climate change and climate science”. However, it then emerged that Dr Campbell, the editor-in-chief of the journal Nature, had told Chinese state radio last year that he did not believe that the e-mails had shown any evidence of improper conduct. “The scientists have not hidden the data. If you look at the e-mails there are one or two bits of language that are jargon used between professionals that suggest something to outsiders that is wrong,” he told the station. “In fact, the only problem there has been is on some official restrictions on their ability to disseminate data. Otherwise they have behaved as researchers should.”

In his statement Dr Campbell said that he had made the remarks in good faith on the basis of media reports of the leaked e-mails. “As I have made clear subsequently, I support the need for a full review of the facts behind the leaked e-mails,” he said. “There must be nothing that calls into question the ability of the review to complete this task and, therefore, I have decided to withdraw from the team.”

Sir Muir said: “I have spoken to Philip Campbell and I understand why he has withdrawn. I regret the loss of his expertise but I respect his decision.”

The University of East Anglia announced yesterday a second inquiry that would investigate the validity of the CRU’s reports, which present evidence that man-made emissions are causing global warming.

The decision to hold a second inquiry is an admission that Sir Muir’s investigation will not be sufficient to restore trust in claims that the world is at grave risk from rising temperatures. The university is one of Britain’s leading research centres on climate change and helps to compile the global temperature record published by the Met Office. This record is used by the Government to justify its targets for heavy cuts in carbon emissions.

The Royal Society, a fellowship of leading scientists, has agreed to help the university to choose the team that will conduct the new inquiry. However, the university itself will have the final decision on who is selected. It pledged that the members would have “the requisite expertise, standing and independence”.


Climategate: the official cover-up continues

If there’s one thing that stinks even more than Climategate, it’s the attempts we’re seeing everywhere from the IPCC and Penn State University to the BBC to pretend that nothing seriously bad has happened, that “the science” is still “settled”, and that it’s perfectly OK for the authorities go on throwing loads more of our money at a problem that doesn’t exist.

The latest example of this noisome phenomenon is Sir Muir Russell’s official whitewash – sorry “independent inquiry” into the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) scandal. The inquiry has not even begun and already it has told its first blatant lie – seen here on its official website: "Do any of the Review team members have a predetermined view on climate change and climate science? No. Members of the research team come from a variety of scientific backgrounds. They were selected on the basis they have no prejudicial interest in climate change and climate science and for the contribution they can make to the issues the Review is looking at."

By what bizarre logic, then, did Sir Muir think it a good idea to appoint to his panel the editor of Nature, Dr Philip Campbell? Dr Campbell is hardly neutral: his magazine has for years been arguing aggressively in favour of the AGW, and which published this editorial in the wake of Climategate:
The e-mail archives stolen last month from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA), UK, have been greeted by the climate-change-denialist fringe as a propaganda windfall (see page 551). To these denialists, the scientists’ scathing remarks about certain controversial palaeoclimate reconstructions qualify as the proverbial ’smoking gun’: proof that mainstream climate researchers have systematically conspired to suppress evidence contradicting their doctrine that humans are warming the globe.

This paranoid interpretation would be laughable were it not for the fact that obstructionist politicians in the US Senate will probably use it next year as an excuse to stiffen their opposition to the country’s much needed climate bill. Nothing in the e-mails undermines the scientific case that global warming is real — or that human activities are almost certainly the cause. That case is supported by multiple, robust lines of evidence, including several that are completely independent of the climate reconstructions debated in the e-mails.
Dr Campbell has since resigned his post – and rightly so, as the Global Warming Policy Foundation makes clear. But are we to feel any more confident about the alleged neutrality of another of Sir Muir’s appointments, Professor Geoffrey Boulton?

Bishop Hill certainly doesn’t think so. He notes that Professor Boulton….

* spent 18 years at the school of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia

* works in an office almost next door to a member of the Hockey Team

* says the argument over climate change is over

* tours the country lecturing on the dangers of climate change

* believes the Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2050

* signed up to a statement supporting the consensus in the wake of Climategate, which spoke of scientists adhering to the highest standards of integrity

* could fairly be described as a global warming doommonger

* is quite happy to discuss “denial” in the context of the climate debate.

You wonder, if Sir Muir really is that determined to keep his inquiry totally unbiased, independent, above-board and scrupulously neutral why he just doesn’t go the whole hog and appoint Al Gore, James Hansen and Rajendra Pachauri. I doubt the conclusions they’d reach would be any different.



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 February, 2010

Climategate and United Nations' Controversies Eroding Political Support for Obama's Warmist policies

Corporate and Environmental Special Interests Scramble to Lobby Administration Officials on Global Warming Legislation

Desperation and panic over the imminent failure of cap-and-trade legislation is driving a new White House lobbying push by special interest groups, according to policy experts at the National Center for Public Research.

Corporate and environmental special interest groups are meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Climate Change Czar Carol Browner this week, spurred by comments by President Obama that the politically-unpopular cap-and-trade requirements might be split from the "green jobs" section of the cap-and-trade bill. Such a change would likely doom the chances of a national law mandating reductions in carbon emissions.

President Obama made the remarks at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire last week.

Obama's comments follow a series of highly publicized controversies surrounding the quality of science behind claims that industrial activity is causing global warming. Climategate and politicized material in the United Nations' most recent IPCC report appear to be eroding both political and public support for global warming legislation.

"Elected officials are recognizing that supporting cap-and-trade is a political loser and they are shielding themselves from the shrapnel of the exploding global warming bubble. A recent poll by The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found global warming last on a list of public policy priorities for the president and Congress," said Deneen Borelli, a fellow with National Center's Project 21 black leadership network. "While there are serious questions about the science, there is no doubt that cap-and-trade will lead to higher energy prices, slower economic growth, and additional job losses," added Deneen Borelli.

GE CEO Jeff Immelt and Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, members of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a coalition that supports cap-and-trade, attended the lobbying sessions. "Importantly, only a handful of USCAP CEOs participated in the high-level lobbying pitch. It appears the majority of the USCAP CEOs are abandoning the cap-and-trade gambit leaving a handful of CEOs. Since Immelt and Rogers have bet the fortunes of their respective companies on the bill, it seems they are willing to go down with the cap-and-trade ship," said Tom Borelli, PhD, Director of the National Center's Free Enterprise Project.

"It's clear the political winds are blowing against the few active members of USCAP. Immelt and Rogers are serving as poster children for CEOs who failed the political game and put their shareholders in jeopardy," said Tom Borelli.

Congressional backlash against new global warming laws and/or regulation also includes proposed actions by the EPA. Democratic Congressmen Ike Skelton and Collin Peterson have introduced a bill to strip the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas. Congressional efforts to block the EPA from regulating carbon emissions only adds momentum to the anti-climate change wave moving across the political arena. "The fact that Democrats are rising against EPA's regulatory overreach shows the political tide has turned against global warming alarmism. It's a great sign for liberty," said Deneen Borelli.


Global warming snow job

Record snowfall illustrates the obvious: The global warming fraud is without equal in modern science

The fundamental problems exposed about climate-change theory undermine the very basis of scientific inquiry. Huge numbers of researchers refuse to provide their data to other scientists. Some referenced data is found not to have existed. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007 report that global warming activists continually cite invented a large number of purported facts. Consider a few of the problems with the U.N. report that came to light over the past few weeks.

• The Himalayan glaciers were supposed to disappear as soon as 2035. The United Nations didn't base this hysteria on an academic study. Instead, it relied on a news story that interviewed a single Indian glaciologist in 1999. Syed Hasnain, the glaciologist in question, says he was misquoted and provided no date to the reporter. The doomsday account was simply made up, and the United Nations never bothered to confirm the claim.

• Because of purported global warming, the world supposedly "suffered rapidly rising costs due to extreme weather-related events since the 1970s." The U.N. cited one unpublished study to prove this. When the research eventually was published in 2008 after the IPCC report was released, the authors backpedaled: "We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophe losses."

• Up to 40 percent of the Amazon rain forest was said to be at risk because of rising global temperatures. Again, the U.N. didn't cite any academic studies but merely one non-refereed report authored by two non-scientists, one of whom worked for the World Wildlife Fund, an activist organization.

• The U.N. dramatically claimed that 55 percent of the Netherlands is below sea level when the accurate portion is 26 percent.

Getting facts wrong and citing dubious sources isn't the worst of it. Rajendra K. Pachauri, the U.N.'s climate chief, remained silent when he knew information was false and denied he had been aware of the Himalayan glaciers error before the recent climate-change summit in Copenhagen, which made a big deal about this nonexistent crisis. He only grudgingly came partly clean when Pallava Bagla, a writer for the journal Science, pointed to e-mail correspondence from last autumn showing Mr. Pachauri already knew of the fraud.

Adolescent name-calling further exposes the weakness of the case for man-made global warming and how desperate the leaders of this cult are becoming. On Feb. 3, Mr. Pachauri defended the fudged IPCC report and slandered critics as "people who deny the link between smoking and cancer; they are people who say that asbestos is as good as talcum powder. I hope that they apply [asbestos] to their faces every day." This nasty piece of work tries to redirect attention away from his phony science by blaming skepticism about climate change on "business interests" that "spread a lot of disinformation."

Man-made global warming theory isn't backed up by science; it's a hoax. The fact that the world has been asked to spend tens of trillions of dollars on global warming solutions without being able to evaluate the data upon which the claims were made should have been the first warning that something was seriously wrong. The public and world leaders have been sold expensive snake oil by charlatans like Mr. Pachauri. It's time to admit it's all baloney and move on.


13 years of Climategate emails show tawdry manipulation of science by a powerful cabal at the heart of the global warming campaign

Having now read all the Climategate emails, I can conclusively say they demonstrate a level of scientific chicanery of the most appalling kind that deserves the widest possible public exposure.

The emails reveal that the entire global warming debate and the IPCC process is controlled by a small cabal of climate specialists in England and North America. This cabal, who call themselves “the Team,” bully and smear any critics. They control the “peer review” process for research in the field and use their power to prevent contrary research being published.

The Team’s members are the heart of the IPCC process, many of them the lead authors of its reports.

They falsely claim there is a scientific “consensus” that the “science is settled,” by getting lists of scientists to sign petitions claiming there is such a consensus. They have fought for years to conceal the actual shonky data they have used to wrongly claim there has been unprecedented global warming this past 50 years. Their emailed discussions among each other show they have concocted their data by matching analyses of tree rings from around 1000 AD to 1960, then actual temperatures from 1960 to make it look temperatures have shot up alarmingly since then, after the tree rings from 1960 on inconveniently failed to match observed temperatures.

The emails show that some of them at least concede in private that the world was warmer 1000 years ago (in the Medieval Warm Period) than it is today, but the emails also show they had to get rid of the MWP from the records to claim today’s temperatures are unprecedented.

They show Team members becoming alarmed and despondent at global temperatures peaking in 1998, then slowly falling to the present, while publicly trying to hide the fact that there was a peak and now a decline.

Revealingly, they show them even smugly nominating each other for prestigious awards, using factually wrong details in the information sent in nominating letters in support of the awards.

The Climategate emails (and accompanying computer data) were almost certainly leaked by a whistleblower inside the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (the “CRU” — the supplier of much key IPCC historic climate data), not hacked from there by an outsider, as initially thought. Their sheer volume and content makes that clear, as do postings to some websites made by the still anonymous leaker. They are a treasure trove that begins on March 7 1996 and runs to November 12 2009, just before they were released and first publicised in an incredulous post on the Watts Up With That blog, which had been sent a link to them.

Don’t take my word for what their contents reveal. Read the emails for yourselves. They have been conveniently posted online in full and in date order. My article here looks at a range of them to back up the assertions I have made about what they reveal. It would take a book to discuss all of them, and you can be sure several books are already being written.

Much more HERE

Snow totals for the season are at record levels in places like Washington and Baltimore

On Wednesday in Alexandria, Va., D.J. Nordquist was looking out her second-floor window when she saw three men on the roof next door, trying to shovel off the snow in the howling blizzard. “We did it yesterday before the snow hit,” Ms. Nordquist says. “The newspapers say all the snow on the roof is like having an elephant up there.” Indeed, snow totals for the season are at record levels in places like Washington and Baltimore. And now, many residents are worrying about the cumulative weight of the snow.

It can be a serious matter. On Wednesday, for example, part of a roof for a storage building owned by the Smithsonian Institution collapsed. People who market products to remove the snow from rooftops are quick to warn about ice dams, which can lead to water rolling down the inside of a structure. It can also lead to gutters ripping out – not something cheap to fix.

“The heavier the snow, the more compacting you get and the more damage you end up with,” says Todd Miller, who has a website that answers questions about roofing issues.

Replacing the roof on an average 2,000-square-foot house can run from $9,000 to $12,000, says Mr. Miller, who also owns a roofing company in Piqua, Ohio (near Dayton). If some shingles get cracked by the ice buildup, he says, a homeowner may not be able to match them. “About all you can do is replace the entire roof,” Miller says. “And if you don’t do something about it this summer, next winter you could have major problems.”

In the mid-Atlantic region, contractors are offering to remove the snow for about $50 an hour. A typical roof takes four hours or more. However, experts caution, homeowners should be careful, because a lot of people are offering to clean roofs but are not doing the job properly. “It is a ripe time for scammers,” warns Pat Katauskas, owner of MinnSNOWta Inc. in Ely, Minn., which sells a product called a Roof Razor. Ms. Katauskas’s phone has been ringing off the hook. According to her, people in areas that aren’t usually snowy, such as Virginia and Maryland, are “clueless” about the dangers of ice dams and snow loads.

In addition, she says, many homeowners are climbing out on their roof to try to remove the snow. “You don’t belong up there,” she warns, referring to the potential for injury. Even when contractors get on the roof, there could be a problem. “If you already have 30 inches of snow, then you add a 200-pound man. Just the weight of the man and the snow may mean you have your roof and a man in the middle of your family room,” says Cheryl Rotole, who sells a product called a Roof Rake.

Ms. Rotole, in Rochester Hills, Mich., says she is fielding 20 calls an hour from people desperate to get the snow off their roof. “I’ve gotten calls from people who hold their cellphone up so I can hear the roof creaking, and I tell them, ‘You need to get out of the house,’ ” she says.

In Nordquist’s case, she was having work done on her house already and asked her contractor about the snow on the roof. “He said, ‘To replace the gutters will cost you $4,000. To get the snow shoveled off will cost you $300,’ ” says Nordquist, who hired him to do the job. “Right now, anyone with a shovel is getting a kiss.”



Three current articles below

Australiagate: Now NASA caught in trick over Aussie climate data

In this article we look at the findings of two independent climate researchers who analyse climatic data used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to show warming of two degrees per century for Australia without explanation. We find that an earlier study by Willis Eschenbach in an article on What’s up with That (WUWT) is wholly substantiated by Kens Kingdom’slatest analysis of Ken Stewart at his ‘kenskingdom’ blog. As a consequence, absent any other justification from NASA, we must conclude that the NASA data has been fraudulently cooked.

GISS, based at Columbia University in New York City, has adjusted over a century’s worth of temperature records from the vast Queensland State (the Sunshine State) to reverse a cooling trend in one ground weather station and increase a warming trend in another to skew the overall data set.

Independent analysis by Aussie blogger Ken Stewart exposes a deplorable smoking gun of cynical manipulation of raw temperature data.

The process of adjusting raw data to create a “homogenised” final global temperature chart is standard practice by climatologists whose work is relied upon by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and world governments. This homogenisation process of temperature data has fallen into disrepute since the Climategate scandal where scientists were proven to have unlawfully used a “trick” to fake climate data and then destroyed their calculations rendering it impossible for independent auditors to examine and justify the methodologies used.

Ken Stewart has his own take on these latest findings from Down Under: “Wow- when they adjust, they don’t muck around!”

GISS combines GHCN data from all urban stations applying the same inexplicable two degree temperature increase as shown below to reveal the shocking disparity between ‘raw’ data and the ‘cooked’ GISS data:

Ken proves that the GISS homogenised older data to make the climate appear cooler a hundred years ago and then ramped up modern data to artificially make recent years appear warmer. Thus climate scientists have artificially created a steep trend line to falsely give an impression of a 2 degrees rise in Australian temperatures over a 100 year period. Ken found that if climatologists had stuck to the raw data the trendline would have been as low as 0.2 degrees per 100 years – thus the overall temperature rise has been magnified by a factor of ten for no apparent reason other than to cause alarm.

Ken explains how he undertook his research: "I decided to have a look at the temperature records of the weather stations closest to where I live, near Mackay in North Queensland. The Bureau of Meteorology lists 3 current stations: Mackay MO, Mackay Aero, and Te Kowai Exp Station, plus the closed station Mackay Post Office. GISS has a list of nearby stations… Te Kowai is an experimental farm for developing new varieties of sugar cane, run by scientists and technicians since 1889. It has a temperature record of over 100 years with only a couple of gaps. So in fact it’s an ideal rural station for referencing a nearby urban station, as it should have a similar climate."

Ken found that the “Mackay Sugar Mill Station” was far hotter in the 1920’s and 30’s but GISS “disappeared” this data. However, if we add the warming period back in we find that the warming trend almost disappears to become less then 0.2 degrees per 100 years! Ken concludes, “How can GISS justify their manipulation of the data, which they claim not to do?”

Upon closer examination of GISS methodology it appears that accidentally on purpose they used a “trick” whereby they turned “Mackay Sugar Mill Station” into a small town rather than a rural station even though it’s been nothing much more than cane fields for the last 130 years. There are different procedures applied to homogenising data between urban and rural weather stations.

I have examined Ken’s findings and can concur with him that there exists inexplicable anomalies that, without exception, appear concocted (homogenized) to create a warming trend when no evidence in changes in the local environmental conditions warrants any such manipulation. Moreover, GISS does not publish any explanations of why they chose to make cooler those temperatures in the first 40 years of their sample and then ramp up the temperatures for recent years. Absent any explanation from them, we may draw our own conclusions that the GISS lowered the older temperature records and raised the temperatures of recent years to create a fictitiously steeper homogenised warming slope to fit a pre-conceived warmist agenda.

Ken says this is fraud, “And it’s happening in my own backyard! I’m furious!”

This finding, when compared to those from other independent observers shows further attempts by government and government-funded agencies to fraudulent create a man made warming signal in Australia from natural events and data.

Ken’s findings tie in really well with the anomaly exposed by WUWT where Willis Eschenbach found similar dodgy data for Darwin, in the Northern Territory ( a vast Aussie state of 1,349,129 square kilometres (520,902 sq mi):

Here is Eschenbach’s comment on the data about Darwin: "YIKES! Before getting homogenized, temperatures in Darwin were falling at 0.7 Celcius per century … but after the homogenization, they were warming at 1.2 Celsius per century. And the adjustment that they made was over two degrees per century … when those guys “adjust”, they don’t mess around. And the adjustment is an odd shape, with the adjustment first going stepwise, then climbing roughly to stop at 2.4C."

The similarities in degree and extent of fakery found separately by Eschenbach and Stewart proves a consistent fraudulent objective: make older temperatures appear artificially cooler and exagerrate recent temperature data. has built up a close affinity with Australian skeptics who have worked tirelessly to expose the climate scam still being brainlessly plugged by Aussie Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. Further similar contributions submitted to us for publication are most welcome. We intend to continue to expose such fraud relying on the technical and analytical skills of gifted amateur bloggers to fully expose the greatest scam in the history of science. Our aim is to bring forth criminal and civil proceedings against all those involved.


Top science body 'in denial' over policy debate

THE CSIRO and the Rudd government are in "a state of denial" if they believe science can be separated from public policy, says eminent economist Clive Spash. He's hit back at criticisms his controversial paper on emissions trading read like "weak polemical journalism" and that the quality of his writing was substandard.

Professor Spash resigned in December following a long-running and bitter dispute over his report - The Brave New World of Carbon Trading. In the paper, Prof Spash suggests emission trading schemes, like the one the federal government hopes to introduce, are not the answer to climate change. It could even exacerbate the problem of human-induced global warming.

But the CSIRO blocked the paper's publication, arguing employees are restricted from commenting on public policy. CSIRO boss Megan Clark told a Senate estimates committee today she stood by the company charter. "I make no apologies for maintaining the standards of the CSIRO." She again defended the CSIRO's treatment of Prof Spash, saying she made every effort to convince him to make changes and thereby ensure its publication.

But Prof Spash was quick to return fire, and in a long list of grievances accused the CSIRO of harassment, intimidation and censorship over the course of several months. He was also gagged from talking publicly about his situation, he said. "My co-author withdrew from the paper feeling their job was under threat and I myself was harassed," he said in an email to AAP.

"Inappropriate mention of disciplinary action and implied dismissal were cited. "I was promised senior management would work with me. "Instead, I was given a substantially altered document without any input on my part. "I was then given an ultimatum to accept the changes or have the paper banned."

Prof Spash, a leading ecological economist originally head-hunted by the CSIRO, resigned two weeks later. He savaged the new charter as an attempt to micromanage CSIRO researchers, leading to self-censorship and preventing them from having any personal views made public. That was an infringement on free speech.

The CSIRO was wrong to think science could remain separate from public policy, Prof Spash said. "Open debate amongst researchers and in society is required to inform public policy, not manipulation of results due to fear of annoying political paymasters. "New information changes society in unpredictable ways and requires open public debate. "Management seems to be in a state of denial as to (this) reality."

He also took aim at Science Minister Kim Carr, who referred the Senate committee to an external review which labelled the paper "weak polemical journalism". "As a former school teacher I really wondered whether or not this was the sort of thing we were employing people to write on behalf of the CSIRO," Senator Carr also said. "The quality was just not there."

But journal New Political Economy, which was prevented from publishing the report, agreed the CSIRO was trying to censor it. It was "clearly improper" for the CSIRO to browbeat employees into changes which alter its conclusions, an editor wrote to Senator Carr in November. The unamended report was released publicly two days later.


PM left alone and exposed as big business backs away from Warmist laws

THE Rudd government has lost the last fig leaf on an emissions trading scheme that starts ahead of the rest of the world: "business certainty". The Business Council of Australia no longer considers the introduction of an ETS as providing business certainty and has put a caveat on support for an Australian scheme that cannot be met.

Given the fiasco of Copenhagen, the BCA has urged the government to change its scheme "in line with other international responses". Further, it has demanded the unconditional target of cutting greenhouse gases by 5 per cent by 2020, the same target as the Coalition's, not be lifted "before we have clear and credible commitments, and actions, from both developed and developing countries that are verifiable and monitored". That's impossible for nations such as China and India to meet: the BCA may as well have urged an ETS be set up on the moon before Australia lifts its target.

For more than two years, Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong have argued that there needed to be an early start for an ETS in Australia -- not just because climate change was the greatest moral challenge of our time but also to give business certainty for planning. That's why Labor originally argued for a 2010 start date and pushed it back only one year. It's also why the Prime Minister argued passionately for ETS legislation to pass last year when the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme bill first went to parliament and why he said it had to be passed before the climate change conference in Copenhagen .

Yet business and industry were not united on this need for "certainty"; even Malcolm Turnbull, as a Liberal leader supporting an ETS, argued for Australia to wait until after the UN conference.

Rudd consistently quoted the BCA as supporting his position. While some individual members were alarmed at Labor's plan, the BCA continued to support the government's position. That support's no longer there: the infant ETS is exposed on a hillside.



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 February, 2010

The final humiliation from Climategate

When the Climategate material was made public the warming crowd circled the wagons, insisted they meant nothing, and claimed they were the victims of climate skeptics acting as criminals who "hacked" into their sites. As the material made the rounds of the media, reports defending the warming advocates were replaced with more skeptical reports. Media outlets now saw a pattern of abuse. While the media was still on-board about warming panic the top warming scientists had lost their luster in the ideas of the press. The result has been more skepticism about the entire process and how material is being reported, as this blog has reported on recently.

When the material first materialized the scientists, whose actions were exposed, screamed criminal conspiracy. They were sure they were the victims of some sophisticated hacking effort. Recently the David King, a political appointee and a scientist, claimed that some foreign intelligence agency must have been behind the exposure. The hints were that it was the Russians.

But the U.K.'s left-0f-center Guardian newspaper, says that police investigations aren't turning up evidence of a hack job at all: "So far, the police investigation has got nowhere. It is not even clear whether the crime of computer data interception has actually occurred." The Guardian says that the University of East Anglia "has confirmed that all of this material was simply sitting in an archive on single backup CRU server, available to be copied."

The article notes that previously a warming skeptic had posted some data from the Climate Research Unit, which had been denied to him by the CRU. It was assumed that he, or someone helping him, had hacked the data. It later turned out that the data was on-line but that the CRU had deleted the links but leaving the data up for anyone to browse through if they stumbled upon it. In other wrods, there was no hacking, just the CRU was as careful with storing data as they appear to be with analyzing it.

One of the nasty skeptics stumbled across something similar. In an attempt to go to the CRU's site he came to the directory of all material on the site istead. This was due to an error at the CRU. This horrible skeptic then called the CRU and informed them that their own site was basically leaking information that they were hiding from the public. The Guardian says that after that warning the "CRU failed to batten down the hatches."

The Guardian quotes one skeptic on how such things happen. He said that files get put "in an ftp directory which was on the same central processing unit as the external webserve, or even worse, was on a shared driver somewhere to which the webserver had permissions to access. In other words, if you knew where to look, it was publicly available."

If true that is the final humiliation for the warmers from Climategate. As the warming loyalists at the Guardian put it, if this proves to be the case, as it is increasingly starting to look like, then "UEA may end up looking foolish. For there will be no one to arrest." This is precisely the reason this blog refused to call the release "hacking" as the mainstream media rushed to do. I stated that all we knew was that the data was out there. We had no proof it was hacked. It could have been intentionally leaked as well. We just didn't know. But since the media was quite anxious to make the warmers look good, and skeptics look villianous, they rushed to an unwarranted jugment—and not for the first time either. As a final precaution, we STILL DON'T KNOW.


A letter that is unlikely to be answered

Recently, NASA Director James Hansen was challenged by Hungarian Physicist Dr. Miklos Zagoni and Dianna Cotter, a Contributing Editor to, to release the raw numbers data Hansen used to report that 2009 was the warmest year on record. NASA incorrectly states that our surface atmosphere can hold infinite amounts of heat. Instead, the discovery of Atmospheric Equilibrium by Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi proves Global Warming by CO2 emissions a hoax.

The challenge can be found in this open letter to Dr. Hansen, made public by the authors for the first time.
Open Letter to:Dr. James Hansen (NASA GISS)

Dear Dr. Hansen:

On January 22, 2010 you published a statement: “2009: Second warmest year on record.”

As we all know, the global average surface temperature is a sum of two quantities. One is the so-called effective temperature, determined by the available incoming energy (depending on the solar constant, planetary albedo [reflectivity] and internal heat sources as ocean-atmosphere heat exchange, industrial heat generation and so on), now about 255 Kelvin or minus 18 Celsius.

The other is the greenhouse temperature, coming from the presence of infrared-active gases (H2O, CO2, methane, ozone, etc.) and clouds in the atmosphere, generally accepted as about 33 degrees Celsius. These two give up the known 288 K (+15 C) global average surface temperature.

Would you be so kind as to produce a separation of your temperature data, year by year, into the above mentioned two parts? This would show us whether Global Warming is happening in the effective, or in the greenhouse part of the global temperature.

After the results of Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi, former NASA Langley Research Center senior research scientist, stated that the observed warming is happening in the effective temperature while the greenhouse addition fluctuates around its 33C equilibrium value, this shows no growing trend in the past half century.

The opportunity for such a project is given, as the White House said NASA will be directed to concentrate on Earth-science projects – principally, researching and monitoring climate change. We suggest here not to research and monitor the conventional climate change issue, but greenhouse effect itself.

Looking forward your answer,

Dr. Miklos Zagoni, Dianna C. Cotter -- Budapest, Hungary; Portland, Oregon USA

Little Robby the Weatherboy

Suppose you were trudging through (or, worse yet, shoveling out of) two-to-three feet of a record-setting snowfall (for the second time in ten weeks), and some idiot told you that it never snowed anymore in your neck of the woods – and worse yet, he knew the real reason: global warming.

Well, if you live in the Washington, D.C., area, you’re the guy (or gal) knee-deep in white stuff. And that idiot is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. That’s right, the snot-nose, spoiled-brat little know-it-all spawn of Bobby and Ethel who spent his childhood cascading down the snow-covered slopes of Hickory Hill -- so the nanny or butler could pull his sleigh back up the snow-covered crest, with him perched imperiously upon it, no doubt.

Here’s Little Bobby’s own account, written just 15 months ago, of his much-lamented marshmellow world of yesteryear. I’ve bold-faced my favorite paragraph to make sure you don’t miss the trust-fund bantling’s afflatus (or, would that be effluvia?) as to what caused an end to his idyllic winter wonderland:
“In Virginia, the weather also has changed dramatically. Recently arrived residents in the northern suburbs, accustomed to today's anemic winters, might find it astonishing to learn that there were once ski runs on Ballantrae Hill in McLean, with a rope tow and local ski club. Snow is so scarce today that most Virginia children probably don't own a sled. But neighbors came to our home at Hickory Hill nearly every winter weekend to ride saucers and Flexible Flyers.

“In those days, I recall my uncle, President Kennedy, standing erect as he rode a toboggan in his top coat, never faltering until he slid into the boxwood at the bottom of the hill. Once, my father, Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy, brought a delegation of visiting Eskimos home from the Justice Department for lunch at our house. They spent the afternoon building a great igloo in the deep snow in our backyard. My brothers and sisters played in the structure for several weeks before it began to melt. On weekend afternoons, we commonly joined hundreds of Georgetown residents for ice skating on Washington's C&O Canal, which these days rarely freezes enough to safely skate.

“Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil and its carbon cronies continue to pour money into think tanks whose purpose is to deceive the American public into believing that global warming is a fantasy.”
Now, I’ll let you pause a second to contemplate Little Robby’s revelry – including the highly unlikely imagery of Uncle President “standing erect” as he rode a toboggan (which can reach speeds of 15 to 20 miles per hour on an average slope) whilst “never faltering.” Really, Robby, not even an occasional shift of weight or bended knee? Sounds like brother David wasn’t the only member of the RFK clan snorting the white stuff.

But, let’s get back to the bottom line. Just think, were it not for those big nasty meanies at Exxon Mobil – and their “carbon cronies” (a catchy alliteration no doubt supplied by one of Little Robby’s highly paid ghost writers) – there would still be snow at Hickory Hill, Ballantrae Hill, and all of the other in-crowd hot spots where Little Robby, Uncle President, Daddy Attorney General, and the inevitable Eskimos used to frolic in the fresh-fallen cover. (All of this while we gloveless waifs watched in envy, longing for the days when global warming would prevent us from freezing our keisters off.)

Let’s face it: Robert Kennedy is an idiot. When he is not cutting backroom deals with El Dictador Supremo Hugo Chavez to make millions on phony oil-for-the-oiless scams, he is flying around the world in his private jet to admonish us all for wasting energy. But, wherever he is, you can be sure there is one place he isn’t: out in the parking lot with you shoveling out from under two-to-three feet of snow he assures us all doesn’t really exist. Punk.


Weatherboy says you can only use anecdotes if they support global warming

He repudiates his own method of argument -- quite eloquently! And doesn't seem to be aware that he is doing so!

A record 32.4 inches of snow fell on northern Virginia over the weekend, with a second wallop expected tonight. David Freddoso of the Washington Examiner used the blizzard as an opportunity to question an old Robert F. Kennedy Jr. column that cites personal anecdotes to make a broader argument about global warming:
In Virginia, the weather also has changed dramatically. Recently arrived residents in the northern suburbs, accustomed to today's anemic winters, might find it astonishing to learn that there were once ski runs on Ballantrae Hill in McLean, with a rope tow and local ski club. Snow is so scarce today that most Virginia children probably don't own a sled. But neighbors came to our home at Hickory Hill nearly every winter weekend to ride saucers and Flexible Flyers.

In those days, I recall my uncle, President Kennedy, standing erect as he rode a toboggan in his top coat, never faltering until he slid into the boxwood at the bottom of the hill. Once, my father, Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy, brought a delegation of visiting Eskimos home from the Justice Department for lunch at our house. They spent the afternoon building a great igloo in the deep snow in our backyard. My brothers and sisters played in the structure for several weeks before it began to melt. On weekend afternoons, we commonly joined hundreds of Georgetown residents for ice skating on Washington's C&O Canal, which these days rarely freezes enough to safely skate.
Freddoso cracks that Kennedy’s “anecdotal evidence seems to be falling flat this year.” He also gibes that Kennedy — a man “who flies around on private plane so as to tell larger numbers of people how they must live their lives in order to save the planet” — should “leave weather analysis to the meteorologists instead of trying to attribute every global phenomenon to anthropogenic climate change.” Freddoso’s post was quickly picked up by numerous blogs, including the Drudge Report, where, as of midnight Monday, it was ranked as the number-one most-read story on the popular news-aggregator site.

Kennedy tells National Review Online that all of this attention over one of his old columns is “ridiculous.”

“Idiots on the right like Rush [Limbaugh] like to point to any cold-weather anomalies as proof that global warming doesn’t exist,” Kennedy says. “They are either deliberately blind to science or trying to protect their corporatist interests.” Kennedy also sticks by the anecdotes from his childhood in Virginia. “It used to snow consistently in McLean — enough to have a ski hill,” he says. “It wasn’t just a single season.”

“Climate change is occurring,” Kennedy says. “A single snowstorm doesn’t change that. Let me put it this way: If you sit on a beach for a few minutes and watch the waves come in, you’ll see lots of waves of different sizes. If you sit there for six hours, you’ll see the tides going in and out. The same is true with global warming: A weather anomaly doesn’t tell the whole story of what is happening. Sometimes you’ll see thicker snowstorms in places you’d never expect, often due to an increase in coastal precipitation and greater evaporation.” RFK Jr. concludes: “It’s like if you hear that a person didn’t die from smoking, now you want to believe that smoking doesn’t cause cancer?”


"Time" magazine spinning like a top

They still think that they can persuade people that blizzards are caused by global warming. See below. Amusing that they too now say that you can't use weather events as information about climate

As the blizzard-bound residents of the mid-Atlantic region get ready to dig themselves out of the third major storm of the season, they may stop to wonder two things: Why haven't we bothered to invest in a snow blower, and what happened to climate change? After all, it stands to reason that if the world is getting warmer — and the past decade was the hottest on record — major snowstorms should become a thing of the past, like PalmPilots and majority rule in the Senate. Certainly that's what the Virginia state Republican Party thinks: the GOP aired an ad last weekend that attacked two Democratic members of Congress for supporting the 2009 carbon-cap-and-trade bill, using the recent storms to cast doubt on global warming.

Brace yourselves now — this may be a case of politicians twisting the facts. There is some evidence that climate change could in fact make such massive snowstorms more common, even as the world continues to warm. As the meteorologist Jeff Masters points out in his excellent blog at Weather Underground, the two major storms that hit Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., this winter — in December and during the first weekend of February — are already among the 10 heaviest snowfalls those cities have ever recorded. The chance of that happening in the same winter is incredibly unlikely.

But there have been hints that it was coming. The 2009 U.S. Climate Impacts Report found that large-scale cold-weather storm systems have gradually tracked to the north in the U.S. over the past 50 years [i.e. BEFORE the alleged CO2 disaster of the late 20th century]. While the frequency of storms in the middle latitudes has decreased as the climate has warmed, [I live in the middle latitudes and I can assure the writer that there is no lack of storms here. We are having them just about daily at the moment. Where is the writer's evidence for his claim? I suspect that he is talking theory, not evidence] the intensity of those storms has increased. That's in part because of global warming — hotter air can hold more moisture, so when a storm gathers it can unleash massive amounts of snow. Colder air, by contrast, is drier; if we were in a truly vicious cold snap, like the one that occurred over much of the East Coast during parts of January, we would be unlikely to see heavy snowfall.

Climate models also suggest that while global warming may not make hurricanes more common, it could well intensify the storms that do occur and make them more destructive. [The models do suggest that -- but the evidence doesn't]

But as far as winter storms go, shouldn't climate change make it too warm for snow to fall? Eventually that is likely to happen — but probably not for a while. In the meantime, warmer air could be supercharged with moisture and, as long as the temperature remains below 32°F, it will result in blizzards rather than drenching winter rainstorms. And while the mid-Atlantic has borne the brunt of the snowfall so far this winter, areas near lakes may get hit even worse. As global temperatures have risen, the winter ice cover over the Great Lakes has shrunk, which has led to even more moisture in the atmosphere and more snow in the already hard-hit Great Lakes region, according to a 2003 study in the Journal of Climate.

Ultimately, however, it's a mistake to use any one storm — or even a season's worth of storms — to disprove climate change (or to prove it; some environmentalists have wrongly tied the lack of snow in Vancouver, the site of the Winter Olympic Games, which begin this week, to global warming). Weather is what will happen next weekend; climate is what will happen over the next decades and centuries. And while our ability to predict the former has become reasonably reliable, scientists are still a long way from being able to make accurate projections about the future of the global climate. Of course, that doesn't help you much when you're trying to locate your car under a foot of powder.


Government’s New Climate Service Shouldn’t Be Used as Doomsday Device

The Washington Post reports that The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has proposed to create a new climate service and website that would provide the public with information and predictions about the impact of global warming. If this turns out to be yet one more source of apocalyptic government press releases and other such hype, it’s the last thing we need. Just look at the cover of NOAA’s already-existing National Climate Data Center report showing a photoshopped house under water to get a sense of how much are tax dollars are already being wasted on NOAA scares, not to mention those from NASA, EPA and other bureaucracies with a piece of the climate action.

What we really need is more scrutiny of such scary claims. Climategate – the release of emails showing exaggerated temperature increases and other misconduct among key contributors to the UN’s major global warming report, may well implicate some of NOAA’s work. But don’t expect to hear too much of that on the new website. Recent revelations show that claims of Himayalan glaciers melting and hurricane damage increasing due to global warming are also suspect, but again this is the kind of thing federal global warming researchers are busy trying to ignore. Rather than focus on bringing truth and transparency to the scientific debate on climate change, the government officials continually push that the science is settled and to save the planet we need resembling the actions of Audi’s “Green Police” commercial.

For those who haven’t seen the ad, (available here), green cops arrest average citizens for small environmental infractions. The ad even includes a super-sniffing anteater and Cheap Trick rerecording “Dream Police” into “Green Police” as the theme song. Some of the infractions are quite over the top but many are either punishable by fine today or are currently being proposed. Some cities, including Washington D.C., have implemented a plastic bag tax. The phase-out of incandescent light bulb will commence in 2012. There are some who want to ban bottled water because it creates too much waste and uses too much energy. San Francisco passed a law that says if residents or businesses do not recycle properly, they would be hit with fines and could have their garbage collection stopped. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said, “We don’t want to find people. We want to change their behavior.” And that’s the legitimate problem with overreaching environmental policies that limit personal freedoms.

Jonah Goldberg said of the green police ad: “The commercials arrive at precisely the moment when that inevitability is unraveling like an old pair of hemp socks. The global warming industry is imploding from scientific scandals, inconvenient weather, economic anxiety and surging popular skepticism.” Let’s hope NOAA’s new climate service isn’t another avenue to reignite the doomsday scenarios to protect the government’s iron grip on the scientific consensus.

SOURCE. See also comment by Sen. Inhofe

Drivers of "green" cars let down by yet another British government policy change

Drivers who took the Government’s advice and chose a low-emission car could be left with a white elephant after a U-turn by ministers. Britain’s biggest supplier of biofuels will announce today that it is closing its pumps because the Government is ending financial support from April.

It is the second time in five years that the Government has changed its mind and cancelled subsidies after encouraging motorists to invest in a particular type of green car. In 2005 it withdrew grants for drivers to convert their cars to LPG. Now motoring groups are advising drivers to think very carefully before accepting Government grants for electric cars because ministers’ current enthusiasm for them may not last.

Morrisons will withdraw pumps at 144 filling stations that dispense B30, a blend of 30 per cent biodiesel and 70 per cent ordinary diesel, which is used in 5,000 vehicles.

The supermarket group is also considering withdrawing E85, a blend of 15 per cent normal petrol and 85 per cent ethanol. Businesses and individuals which have adapted their vehicles to use the high blends of biofuels will find that their investment has been wasted. They will have to revert to using ordinary petrol and diesel and will no longer be able to claim any environmental advantage.

Avon & Somerset Police, Somerset County Council, Wessex Water, Wessex Grain and the Environment Agency all bought fleets of flexible-fuel vehicles on the assumption that the Government would continue its 20p a litre duty discount on ethanol. This will be withdrawn on April 1.

Edmund King, the president of the AA, said: “People who invested in these vehicles capable of taking these high blends of biofuel are being left high and dry.”



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10 February, 2010


Andrew Bolt notes another incompetent IPCC claim -- this one about Australia

Melbourne University alarmist David Karoly once claimed a rise in the Murray Darling Basin’s temperatures was “likely due to the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from human acitivity” and: "This is the first drought in Australia where the impact of human-induced global warming can be clearly observed."

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd grabbed the scare and exploited it:
BRENDAN Nelson was yesterday accused of being “blissfully immune” to the effects of climate change after he said the crisis in the Murray-Darling Basin was not linked to global warming…

In parliament yesterday, Kevin Rudd attacked Dr Nelson, accusing him of ignoring scientific facts.

“You need to get with the science on this,” the Prime Minister said. “Look at the technical report put together by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology.”
But now comes the latest evidence that Rudd and Karoly were wrong: in fact, there’s no evidence in the Murray Darling drought of man-made warming, says a new study in Geophysical Research Letters:
Previous studies of the recent drought in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) have noted that low rainfall totals have been accompanied by anomalously high air temperatures. Subsequent studies have interpreted an identified trend in the residual timeseries of non-rainfall related temperature variability as a signal of anthropogenic change, further speculating that increased air temperature has exacerbated the drought through increasing evapotranspiration rates. In this study, we explore an alternative explanation of the recent increases in air temperature. This study demonstrates that significant misunderstanding of known processes of land surface – atmosphere interactions has led to the incorrect attribution of the causes of the anomalous temperatures, as well as significant misunderstanding of their impact on evaporation within the Murray-Darling Basin…

However, to accept the correlation [between temperature and rainfall] as the sole basis for the attribution of cause to human emissions is to implicitly assume that the correlation represents an entirely correct model of the sole driver of maximum air temperature. This is clearly not the case.
What’s causing the evaporation and temperatures is not (man-made) warming. It’s kind of the other way around: more sunshine, through lack of cloud cover, and lack of rain and therefore evaporation is causing higher temperatures.

And guess which scandal-ridden and alarmist IPCC report relied on Karoly’s claims? Reader Baa Humbug:
Karoly was cited very extensively in the AR4 WG1 paper.e.g. Chapter 9 Studies Based on Indices of Temperature Change and Temperature-Precipitation Relationships."Studies based on indices of temperature change support the robust detection of human influence on continental-scale land areas. Observed trends in indices of North American continental scale temperature change, (including the regional mean, the mean land-ocean temperature contrast and the annual cycle) were found by Karoly et al. (2003) to be generally consistent with simulated trends under historical forcing from greenhouse gases and sulphate aerosols during the second half of the 20th century. In contrast, they find only a small likelihood of agreement with trends driven by natural forcing only during this period.


Strange that we are not hearing cries of 'denier', 'holocaust denier', 'sceptic', 'flat-earther' against this guy. Where is Al Gore now? It looks like the uncovering of climate fraud has gone beyond the tipping point

GLOBAL warming is set to become global cooling this century, a leading analyst claimed yesterday. Professor Michael Beenstock said theories of climate change are wrong. He warned climatologists have misused statistics, leading them to the mistaken conclusion global warming is evidence of the greenhouse effect. He told London’s Cass Business School that the link between rising greenhouse gas emissions and rising temperatures is “spurious”, adding: “The greenhouse effect is an illusion.”

The economics professor from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem said that just because greenhouse gases and temperatures have risen together does not mean they are linked. He claims that the real cause of rising temperatures is the sun, which he says is at its hottest for over 1,000 years but is “beginning to stabilise”.

Professor Beenstock said: “If the sun’s heat continues to remain stable, and if carbon emissions continue to grow with the rate of growth of the world economy, global temperatures will fall by about 0.5C by 2050.”

Citing predictions by climatologists in the 1970s of a new Ice Age, Professor Beenstock said: “I predict that climatologists will look equally foolish in the years to come. Indeed, it may be already happening.”

The Met Office said the first decade of this century is the warmest since records began 160 years ago, and 2009 the fifth warmest year. It maintains that rising carbon dioxide levels increase temperatures. Since the Industrial Revolution CO2 levels have risen 37 per cent.

Meanwhile, Professor Phil Jones from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit – the expert at the centre of the Climategate scandal – said he had considered suicide and had death threats over leaked emails which appeared to show scientists rigging the data.


Even the NYT has deigned to take notice of doubts about the IPCC

The following was published under the headline "Skeptics Find Fault With U.N. Climate Panel". Viscount Monckton even gets a mention

Just over two years ago, Rajendra K. Pachauri seemed destined for a scientist’s version of sainthood: A vegetarian economist-engineer who leads the United Nations’ climate change panel, he accepted the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the panel, sharing the honor with former Vice President Al Gore.

But Dr. Pachauri and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are now under intense scrutiny, facing accusations of scientific sloppiness and potential financial conflicts of interest from climate skeptics, right-leaning politicians and even some mainstream scientists. Senator John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, called for Dr. Pachauri’s resignation last week.

Critics, writing in Britain’s Sunday Telegraph and elsewhere, have accused Dr. Pachauri of profiting from his work as an adviser to businesses, including Deutsche Bank and Pegasus Capital Advisors, a New York investment firm — a claim he denies.

They have also unearthed and publicized problems with the intergovernmental panel’s landmark 2007 report on climate change, which concluded that the planet was warming and that humans were likely to blame.

The report, they contend, misrepresents the state of scientific knowledge about diverse topics — including the rate of melting of Himalayan glaciers and the rise in severe storms — in a way that exaggerates the evidence for climate change.

With a global climate treaty under negotiation and legislation pending in the United States, the climate panel has found itself in the political cross hairs, its judgments provoking passions normally reserved for issues like abortion and guns. The panel is charged by the United Nations with reviewing research to create periodic reports on climate risks, documents that are often used by governments to guide decisions, and its every conclusion is being dissected under a microscope.

Several of the recent accusations have proved to be half-truths: While Dr. Pachauri does act as a paid consultant and adviser to many companies, he makes no money from these activities, he said. The payments go to the Energy and Resources Institute, the prestigious nonprofit research center based in Delhi that he founded in 1982 and still leads, where the money finances charitable projects like Lighting a Billion Lives, which provides solar lanterns in rural India. “My conscience is clear,” Dr. Pachauri said in a lengthy telephone interview.

The panel, in reviewing complaints about possible errors in its report, has so far found that one was justified and another was “baseless.” The general consensus among mainstream scientists is that the errors are in any case minor and do not undermine the report’s conclusions.

Still, the escalating controversy has led even many of them to conclude that the Nobel-winning panel needs improved scientific standards as well as a policy about what kinds of other work its officers may pursue. “When I look at Dr. Pachauri’s case I see obvious and egregious problems,” said Dr. Roger A. Pielke Jr., a political scientist and professor of environmental science at the University of Colorado. He said that serving as an adviser to financial companies was inappropriate for the chairman of the United Nations’ panel, whether Dr. Pachauri received payment directly or not.

Dr. Pachauri bristles at the accusations, which he says are “lies” or “distortions” promulgated by groups hoping to undermine climate legislation and a treaty. “These people want to distort the picture for their own ends,” Dr. Pachauri said, noting that the report was released two years ago and that the criticisms were only now coming into the limelight. “What we’re doing is not only above-board, but laudable,” he said. “These guys want me to resign, but I won’t.”

Dr. Pachauri, 69, said the only work income he received was a salary from the Energy and Resources Institute: about $49,000, according to his 2009 Indian tax return, which he provided to The New York Times. The return also lists $16,000 in other income, most of it interest on accounts in Indian banks. Dr. Pachauri acknowledged his role as an adviser and consultant to businesses, but he said that it was his responsibility as the panel’s chairman to disseminate its findings to industry.

Nonetheless, Christopher Monckton, a leading climate skeptic, called the panel corrupt, adding: “The chair is an Indian railroad engineer with very substantial direct and indirect financial vested interests in the matters covered in the climate panel’s report. What on earth is he doing there?” A former adviser to Margaret Thatcher who also assailed Dr. Pachauri in a critique in Copenhagen that has since been widely circulated, Lord Monckton is now the chief policy adviser to the Science and Public Policy Institute, a Washington-based research and education institute that states on its Web site: “Proved: There is no climate crisis.”

As the accusations have snowballed in the last six weeks, Dr. Pachauri remains widely admired for his work on the intergovernmental panel, which relies on the collaborative work of hundreds of volunteer scientists to sift through current scientific evidence for its reports. He has served in an elected, unpaid position as chairman of the panel, often known by its initials, I.P.C.C., since 2002. “There is no evidence that outside interests affected Pachauri’s leadership of the I.P.C.C. at all,” said Hal Harvey, chief executive of ClimateWorks, a foundation based in San Francisco that focuses on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The panel’s process is so “robust and transparent” that it could not be undercut by “personalities or errors,” he said.

He added, “Anyone who is qualified to chair the I.P.C.C. will have interests in academics, science, politics or business; there are thousands of scientists on the I.P.C.C., and you need their expertise and they all have to come from somewhere.”

Many government panels in the United States tolerate overt conflicts of interest in order to get expert advice, Mr. Harvey said, noting that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase on its board.

But most scientific agencies have explicit conflict-of-interest policies to ensure that expert advice is impartial. The Food and Drug Administration, for example, asks doctors who serve on drug advisory panels to disclose payments from pharmaceutical companies and can disqualify those whose financial involvement is too great.


America's Global Warming Terrorists

Alan Caruba comments on Obama's new climate "service"

It should tell you something about the federal government’s puerile efforts to advance the global warming (now called climate change) fraud that it had to cancel a scheduled press conference at the National Press Club on February 8th because a huge blizzard had shut down the entire city. Instead, the announcement of a proposed new bureaucracy, a “Climate Service”, had to be made via a telephone conference call to those reporters either too stupid or too determined to maintain the hoax.

The fact that the Obama administration would attempt to set up a NOAA Climate Service reveals that the same cabal of warmists within the administration are determined to keep the global warming fraud alive and to make U.S. taxpayers pick up the tab. These people constitute a relentless enemy of scientific truth.

Joe D’Aleo, a respected meteorologist, reacted to the news saying, “This was expected. A climate super agency was talked about for years. Could NOAA and NASA have been competing by seeing who could be warmest and take home the prize? NOAA’s statements showed how this whole climate nonsense is politically driven…”

NOAA, for example, is warning of “earlier snowmelt and extended ice-free seasons”, but Steven Goddard points out that “what NOAA isn’t saying is that snow is falling earlier and heavier in the Northern Hemisphere. Rutgers University Global Snow Lab has reported that January was the sixth snowiest on record, and that six of the last eight Januaries were above normal snowfall.” February is set to break former record snowfalls.

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is, according to Jane Lubchenco, PhD, an administrator, “committed to scientific integrity and transparency; we seek to advance science and strengthen product development and delivery through user engagement.” That is hogwash! A visit to NOAA’s new website,, reveals how the same old lies about global warming are being trotted out to scare the heck out of a public that has long since concluded it is a vast pile of steaming hot lies.

It’s worth asking why a new climate bureaucracy is needed when, if you think about it, climate trends are measured in centuries! Do we need a “Climate Service” to tell us that the climate will change a thousand years from now? The proposal is absurd, but not if you see if from the point of view of an administration desperate to expand the federal government until it literally implodes.

The proposed agency would be led by Thomas Karl, the director of the current National Climatic Data Center, headquartered in Washington, D.C., and would have six regional directors across the country. All this to predict what the climate will be in 3010 and beyond! Consider that we already have a National Weather Service that has the best computer models available and a vast array of satellites with which to analyze the weather. At best it can only accurately predict what will likely occur over the next four days. Predicting next week’s weather is a roll of the weather dice.

Given the reports of how the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change devoted decades to fudging and jiggering the data on “global warming”, why would Congress even consider authorizing such a “climate service”? Some of those involved included IPCC scientists from academic meteorological centers in the U.S. and some are already under investigation for their role in the fraud, both here and in England.

NOAA and NASA consistently issued statements and reports intended to support the global warming hoax. Leading the effort was James Hansen, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute, who kicked off the entire hoax back in the 1980s by warning Congress of a completely invented scenario of an Earth endangered by human beings using energy resources from oil to coal.

Al Gore, a former Vice President, has massively enriched himself by scare mongering of the worst kind, aided and abetted by NASA and NOAA, along with determined effort to foist the worst kind of energy sources, wind and solar, on the nation with billion dollar subsidies to these and other “clean” energy entrepreneurs. He is part of an international cabal selling worthless “carbon credits.”

The “Cap-and-Trade” Act, still waiting action in the Senate, would impose a massive tax on Americans for the crime of using energy for any reason. It would destroy what’s left of our economy.

The Climate Service demonstrates that the most thoroughly discredited information and individuals within our government are still determined to push ahead with the global warming fraud. It not only needs to be stopped, but all those involved with it need to be investigated by Congress.


Al Gore got it exactly backwards with his warnings, in the usual Leftist way

Al Gore is responsible for this. He taunted Mother Nature. Consider this her memo: Don't Presume To Know What I Have in Store. Here in Fairfax County, we thought we were prepared. I had purchased enough milk to last our family of five for a week. We had plenty of food. As the blizzard raged Friday night, we were tucked comfortably in the family room under blankets alternately watching a movie and observing the snow blowing sideways past the windows. The only interruptions to our comfort were the obligatory trips to the (decreasingly visible) driveway for Cali, our 10-week-old puppy.

It was around the 3 a.m. outing that the power went out. I hadn't really worried enough about that possibility. Though we often lose power due to summer storms, and occasionally if there's ice, snow has never before left us dark. But this is no ordinary storm. This is Al Gore's blizzard. My husband opened the garage door manually. We fumbled with flashlights to find Cali's leash and get her safely in and out. Back under the covers until 6 a.m., by which time the house was pretty cold and Cali needed to go out again. One of the kids did this trip. The snow was about 10 inches deep but the storm showed no signs of abating.

When the ambient temperature drops below 50 degrees, door handles send a chill down the spine, and we won't speak of bathroom experiences. A warm drink can make all the difference. But our cook top is electric, as is the oven. All was dark and inert. In good pioneer spirit, we lit a fire in the fireplace and used a stainless steel pan to boil water. Those silicon oven mitts have never done more useful service! Pour the boiling water over the (thankfully previously ground beans) et voila -- hot coffee. Slightly smoky tasting, but hot. The world is righted. Repeat procedure for the kids (yes, my teenagers drink coffee).

Our hot water heater uses gas, so we could at least wash our hands and faces in warm water. And unlike our less fortunate neighbors, we have county, not well, water so the lack of electricity doesn't shut down our water supply. But actually taking a shower, only to emerge into near freezing air, didn't seem appealing. We plugged in the one corded phone we keep for such emergencies. Dominion Virginia Power estimated restoration by 11 a.m. Thinking of Sisyphus, we started shoveling. Now there were 13 or 14 inches. We helped the stranded cars near our house dig out.

At 12:30, the power did jump to life, then faltered, then came back on. Rejoice! There was a rush to power up everything we could -- laptops, cell phones, BlackBerries. You could read by the light of the charge brigade. I threw a turkey breast and some potatoes into the oven -- and dashed upstairs for the shower and (bless you, Dominion Power!) the hair dryer.

As the inside temperature climbed, we noticed that our supply of firewood was getting unexpectedly low. Did you dig all around the rack? Some may have fallen and might be covered with snow. Yes. We were nearly out. Well, no problem. We had power. Until 4 p.m. -- that sickening sound of buzzing when your computer backup needlessly tells you what you already know. And the outside temperature was plunging into the teens. Now we had 34 inches of snow, just a few logs left, and approaching darkness.

We ate the turkey and potatoes by candlelight, and played a game around the kitchen table. The mood was giddy. We had warm food, two dogs, two cats, shelter, and one another. We had to dig a path for Cali. The snow was way over her head. She thought it was grand, though. A frolic. Her golden fur wore a halo of white.

The boys bedded down in the family room in front of the fireplace. My husband and I slept in our room under four blankets. Only my face was cold. But in the morning, it was getting harder to be cheerful. Almost out of firewood, we burned an old table that had been in the storage room. If we could get out of our street, we could go to a hotel. Oh, but not with a puppy who doesn't yet distinguish between the outside and the kitchen floor. More fireplace coffee, less fun this time.

For now, the power has returned. But the forecast is for another 8 to 12 inches starting tomorrow. A little snow is beautiful, but this is getting to be bad taste. We're grinding coffee and praying that the firewood will be delivered in the morning, as promised. Otherwise, I'm eyeing the kitchen chairs sadly.


Super Bowl Ad Pokes Fun at "Green Police"

I don't know if Audi intended to make any kind of political statement with this Super Bowl ad, but I found it highly effective and exceedingly entertaining:



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 February, 2010

Alaskan Glacier Melt Overestimated for Last 40 years

But now they have got it right, they tell us. But didn't they tell us that before?

Glaciologists at the Laboratory for Space Studies in Geophysics and Oceanography (LEGOS -- CNRS/CNES/IRD/Université Toulouse 3) and their US and Canadian colleagues (1) have shown that previous studies have largely overestimated mass loss from Alaskan glaciers over the past 40 years. Recent data from the SPOT 5 and ASTER satellites have enabled researchers to extensively map mass loss in these glaciers, which contributed 0.12 mm/year to sea-level rise between 1962 and 2006, rather than 0.17 mm/year as previously estimated.

Mountain glaciers cover between 500 000 and 600 000 km2 of the Earth's surface (around the size of France), which is little compared to the area of the Greenland (1.6 million km2) and Antarctic (12.3 million km2) ice sheets. Despite their small size, mountain glaciers have played a major role in recent sea-level rise due to their rapid melting in response to global climate warming.

Of all the ice-covered regions of the planet, ice loss has been the greatest in Alaska and northwestern Canada, where glaciers cover 90 000 km2. Results from the LEGOS glaciologists and their US and Canadian colleagues, published in the February issue of Nature Geoscience, lead them to conclude that these glaciers have contributed 0.12 mm/year to sea-level rise over the period 1962-2006, rather than 0.17 mm/year as previously estimated by a team at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska (Fairbanks). The new estimate was obtained by comparing recent topographies, derived from Spot 5-HRS (SPIRIT project (2) funded by CNES) and ASTER (GLIMS/NASA project), with maps from the 1950-60s, which enabled loss from three quarters of the Alaskan glaciers to be measured.

How did the team from the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska estimate that the contribution of these glaciers to sea-level rise was 0.17 mm/year? In 1995, and then again in 2001, the researchers used an airborne laser to measure the surface elevation of 67 glaciers along longitudinal profiles. These elevations were then compared with those mapped in the 1950s and 1960s. From this, the researchers inferred elevation changes and then extrapolated this to other glaciers. Their results, published in Science (3), pointed to a major contribution to sea-level rise for the 1950-1995 period (0.14 mm/year sea-level rise), which then doubled in the recent period (after 1995).

Why did they overestimate ice loss from these glaciers by 50%? The impact of rock debris that covers certain glacier tongues (4) and protects them from solar radiation (and thus from melting) was not taken into account in the previous work. Moreover, their sampling was limited to longitudinal profiles along the center of a few glaciers, which geometrically led to overestimation of ice loss. This new study confirms that the thinning of Alaskan glaciers is very uneven, and shows that it is difficult to sample such complex spatial variability on the basis of a few field measurements or altimetry profiles. Thanks to their regional coverage, satellite data make it possible to improve observations of glacial response to climate change and to specify the contribution of glaciers to sea-level rise.

Ice loss from Alaskan glaciers since 1962 is evidently smaller than previously thought. However, thinning (sometimes over 10 m/year, as in the Columbia glacier) and glacial retreat remain considerable. Moreover, the spectacular acceleration in mass loss since the mid-1990s, corresponding to a contribution of 0.25 to 0.30 mm/year to sea-level rise, is not in question and proves to be a worrying indication of future sea-level rise.


The Great IPCC Meltdown Continues

It’s not just the threat of Himalayan glaciers disappearing by 2035. Now another headline grabbing IPCC scare story is melting away. A report in Sunday’s London Times highlights new humiliations for the IPCC: "The most important is a claim that global warming could cut rain-fed north African crop production by up to 50% by 2020, a remarkably short time for such a dramatic change. The claim has been quoted in speeches by Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, and by Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general."

There is however one teensy-weensy little problem. As Professor Chris Field, the lead author of the IPCC’s climate impact team has now told reporters that he can find “no evidence” to support the claim in the IPCC’s 2007 report.

There’s more. When the glacier story broke, IPCC apologists returned over and over again to a saving grace. The bogus glacier report appeared in the body of the IPCC document, but not in the much more carefully vetted Synthesis Report, in which the IPCC’s senior leadership made its specific recommendations to world leaders. So it didn’t matter that much, the apologists told us, and we can still trust the rigorously checked and reviewed Synthesis Report.

But that’s where the African rain crisis prediction is found — in the supposedly sacrosanct Synthesis Report. So: the Synthesis Report contains a major scare prediction — 50% shortfall in North African food production just ten years from now — and there is no serious, peer-reviewed evidence that the prediction is true.

But there’s more. Much, much more. Readers of the Times and the Telegraph are watching the IPCC’s credibility disappear before their eyes. The former head of IPCC has publicly said the IPCC risks losing all credibility if it can’t clean up its act. The head of the largest British funder of environmental research has joined the head of Greenpeace UK in criticizing the IPCC. (At Greenpeace, they want Pachauri to resign.) The Dutch government has demanded that the IPCC correct its erroneous assertion that half of the Netherlands is below sea level. Actually, it’s only about a quarter. A prediction about the impact of sea level increases on people living in the Nile Delta was taken from an unpublished student dissertation. The report contained inaccurate data about generating energy from waves and about the cost of nuclear power (this information was apparently taken without being checked directly from a website supported by the nuclear power industry). The deeply environmentalist Guardian carries a story documenting the decline in both public and Conservative Party confidence in need to address global warming.

More significantly, there’s an editorial in today’s Guardian that criticizes shortcomings at the IPCC and calls for a wholesale change in the way climate scientists do their work and communicate with the public.

In my February 1 post on The Death of Global Warming, I said that the movement had been killed by two things: bad science and bad politics. The Guardian hopes that the parrot isn’t dead yet, but it seems to agree with my basic diagnosis: “It is bad science and bad politics to counter scepticism with righteous indignation. In the long run, public confidence will be inspired more by frankness about what science cannot explain,” write the editors.

The editors pick up another theme that is familiar to readers of this blog: "In trying to avert dangerous climate change, governments are aiming for something extraordinary. They want to transform the global economy because of a hypothesis for which the evidence is mostly inaccessible to the layman. It is the biggest pre-emption in history, and it relies on collective trust in science."

When the IPCC has its former chief, the Guardian newspaper and the Dutch government demanding change, something has got to give.

I just wish all these stories were a little easier to find in the US press. These stories have been and continue to be on the front pages of UK newspapers; American newspapers by and large aren’t, yet, taking them as seriously and the growing numbers of Americans who are following the scandals are mostly tracking them from internet reports like this one or directly in the British press. This too needs to change, and the sooner the better.


Climate scepticism grows among Britain's Conservative politicians

Most Conservative MPs, including at least six members of the shadow cabinet, are sceptical about their party's continued focus on climate change policies, it has been claimed. The recent furore around "Climategate" has hardened the views of Tory MPs, many of whom were already unconvinced by the scientific consensus, and has led to increasing calls for the issue to be pushed down the priority list.

Tim Montgomerie, founder and editor of the ConservativeHome website, said climate change had the potential to be as divisive for the party as Europe once was. "You have got 80% or 90% of the party just not signed up to this. No one minded at the beginning, but people are starting to realise this could be quite expensive, so opinion is hardening."

Montgomerie said that while some MPs simply did not believe the science, others felt it would harm the economy too much to focus on policies to reduce emissions. "Some think, 'What is the point in taking all these decisions if India and China and others row ahead?' Nigel Lawson makes the point that 30% of Indian people have no electricity and the Indian government has to give that to them. The cheapest way to do that is fossil fuels."

Lord Lawson chairs the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a thinktank that claims the climate debate has been distorted by exaggeration. On pages 28 and 29, Benny Peiser, director of the foundation, debates the issue with the Observer's science editor, Robin McKie. A recent BBC poll found that 25% of people did not think global warming was happening – compared with 15% in November – and a similar trend is taking place among Conservative MPs. "You scratch almost any backbencher and you find they are sceptical and I know of six shadow cabinet ministers who are sceptical about the economic consequences of a low-carbon policy," said Montgomerie. He said the leadership was "recalibrating" its message.

Last week, representatives of 50 Tory councils gathered in London for a "Lean and Green" conference where Nick Herbert and Greg Clark – the shadow environment and energy secretaries – argued that green policies could save money and improve Britain's energy security. Clark rejected the notion that it was a change in direction. "There is a real threat to our energy security and there is a risk of a black-out," he said. Green policies that developed alternatives to fossil fuels and persuaded people to reduce energy consumption were "win-win" because they saved money, provided energy security and reduced carbon emissions.

One MP said the party was much more likely to respond to economic arguments: "There is a large group in the party – probably the majority – who are sceptical. That ranges from those who don't believe any of it to those that think the climate is changing but are not sure how much it is down to human beings, to those who accept the science but think we could act, but then in one year China and India could wipe out that effort. "

There are fears that the issue could flare up after the election if the Conservatives win power – particularly around plans for a third runway at Heathrow, which the party has said it will scrap.

Tim Yeo, the Tory MP who chairs the environmental audit select ­committee, said the shift had come about because of scientific mistakes, and a "backwash" from Copenhagen. "That has created a context in which it is easy for sceptics to build momentum and that is influencing a good number of politicians. "What people have lost sight of is that serious climate-change scientists have always argued that the climate is changing gradually, that temperatures are rising and that one factor – and probably the main one – is the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But they have never argued that it is easy to know how quickly that is happening.

The scientist at the centre of "Climate­gate" last night revealed he was so traumatised by the scandal that he considered killing himself. Professor Phil Jones told the Sunday Times the support of his family, especially the love of his five-year-old granddaughter, had helped him to shake off suicidal thoughts.


Why "The Observer" is Wrong

By Prof. Philip Stott

Today, The Observer hosts a vitriolic ‘Debate’ [pp.28 - 29] between its long-standing Science Editor, Robin McKie, and Dr. Benny Peiser, Director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). The fact that this newspaper is now holding a debate is in itself indicative of the media change with respect to ‘global warming’, and I congratulate Dr. Peiser on being willing to enter the lion’s den. However, and perhaps inevitably, the debate is then followed by a highly-predictable Observer ‘Comment’ [p.34].

Nevertheless, this ‘Comment’ is more intriguing than Robin McKie’s aggressive debating stance, because, unfortunately for The Observer, it inadvertently reveals precisely why its arguments are fallacious: “But deniers deal not in the balance of risk but the exposure of uncertainty. Tiny doubts on the periphery of the case, they say, undermine the whole story, banishing the threat.”

This could not be farther from the truth. Indeed, it is somewhat ironic that The Observer should claim this when Dr. Peiser, Mr. McKie’s nemesis, is, in part, a social anthropologist of risk, who wisely responds in one of his exchanges as follows: “You ask whether I doubt that global warming poses a potential risk. Of course it does. So do asteroid impacts, nuclear warfare and ice ages, to name just a few. What these potential risks have in common is that they have a low probability but a high impact. Just because we cannot rule out any of these risks doesn't mean that there is a need for panic measures.”

The Attempt To Make Global Warming A Cost-Benefit Zero Has Failed

Part of the visceral anger of people like Robin McKie is that their goose has been cooked. For some 20 years now, there has been a ruthless, and at times disgraceful, attempt to make ‘global warming’ a zero in any cost-benefit analysis with regards to political and economic actions relating to climate change, which would mean that there is no balancing of risks at all, but simply the one risk of ‘global warming’. This fundamental flaw was first brilliantly exposed by none other than Bjørn Lomborg [right] in his devastating The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World, which appeared as early as 2001. The fury heaped on Lomborg was inevitably proportional to the threat that his arguments posed to the ‘Green’ agenda over this key issue. He had exposed the true agenda for what it was.

Today, many more people are fully aware of this fatal weakness, and newspapers like The Observer, despite their continued bluster, can no longer hide the fact that the ‘global warming’ risk has to be balanced against many other competing risks, not to mention against the serious risk to the world economy, and to the poor, posed by precipitate and ill-judged political and economic actions. This is why Robin McKie, The Observer, and their ilk are growing increasingly desperate to maintain a zero status for ‘global warming’. It is also precisely why Dr. Peiser - “the sceptic” - presents a far more reasoned and nuanced analysis of risk: “I am not advocating political inaction. Far from it. While I reject economically damaging and, for that reason, politically unattainable climate policies, I am in favour of adapting to a changing climate and making our societies more resilient, as mankind has throughout its existence.”

Risk And Science

The Observer and Robin McKie are just plain wrong. They are also wrong with respect to risk when we specifically address the science. There can be no predictable outcomes for fiddling at the margins with one single human factor in a system such as climate, the most complex, coupled, non-linear, semi-chaotic known. What climate will Mr. McKie and The Observer produce for us? And, won’t it change when we get there, in any case? They can have no idea.

No, The Observer and Robin McKie are deeply, even naively, misguided. Scepticism and risk assessment go together naturally; faith, by contrast, is an absolute definition of risk, and one appropriate in neither science nor economics.


The Hottest Hoax in the World

The climate change fraud that is now unravelling is unprecedented in its deceit, unmatched in scope—and for the liberal elite, akin to 9 on the Richter scale. Never have so few fooled so many for so long, ever.

The entire world was being asked to change the way it lives on the basis of pure hyperbole. Propriety, probity and transparency were routinely sacrificed.

The truth is: the world is not heating up in any significant way. Neither are the Himalayan glaciers going to melt as claimed by 2035. Nor is there any link at all between natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and global warming. All that was pure nonsense, or if you like, ‘no-science’!

The climate change mafia, led by Dr Rajendra K Pachauri, chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), almost pulled off the heist of the century through fraudulent data and suppression of procedure. All the while, they were cornering millions of dollars in research grants that heaped one convenient untruth upon another. And as if the money wasn’t enough, the Nobel Committee decided they should have the coveted Peace Prize.

But let’s begin at the beginning. Mr Pachauri has no training whatsoever in climate science. This was known all the time, yet he heads the pontification panel which proliferates the new gospel of a hotter world. How come? Why did the United Nations not choose someone who was competent? After all, this man is presumably incapable of differentiating between ocean sediments and coral terrestrial deposits, nor can he go about analysing tree ring records and so on. That’s not jargon; these are essential elements of a syllabus in any basic course on climatology.

You cannot blame him. His degree and training is in railroad engineering. You read it right. This man was educated to make railroads from point A to point B.


There are many casualties in this sad story of greed and hubris. The big victim is the scientific method. This was pointed out in great detail by John P Costella of the Virginia-based Science and Public Policy Institute. Science is based on three fundamental pillars. The first is fallibility. The fact that you can be wrong, and if so proven by experimental input, any hypothesis can be—indeed, must be—corrected.

This was systematically stymied as early as 2004 by the scientific in-charge of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Change Unit. This university was at the epicentre of the ‘research’ on global warming. It is here that Professor Phil Jones kept inconvenient details that contradicted climate change claims out of reports.

The second pillar of science is that by its very nature, science is impersonal. There is no ‘us’, there is no ‘them’. There is only the quest. However, in the entire murky non-scientific global warming episode, if anyone was a sceptic he was labelled as one of ‘them’. At the very apex, before his humiliating retraction, Pachauri had dismissed a report by Indian scientists on glaciers as “voodoo science”.

The third pillar of science is peer group assessment. This allows for validation of your thesis by fellow scientists and is usually done in confidence. However, the entire process was set aside by the IPCC while preparing the report. Thus, it has zero scientific value.

The fact that there was dissent within the climate science teams, that some people objected to the very basis of the grand claims of global warming, did not come out through the due process. It came to light when emails at the Climate Research Centre at East Anglia were hacked in November 2009. It is from the hacked conversations that a pattern of conspiracy and deceit emerge. It is a peek into the world of global warming scaremongering—amplify the impact of CO2, stick to dramatic timelines on destruction of forests, and never ask for a referral or raise a contrary point. You were either a believer in a hotter world or not welcome in this ‘scientific fold’.


So we have the fact that a non-expert heads the IPCC. We have the fact that glaciers are not melting by 2035; this major scaremongering is now being defended as a minor error (it was originally meant to be 2350, some have clarified). The date was spouted first by Syed Hasnain, an Indian glacier expert, in an interview to a magazine. It had no scientific validity, and, as Hasnain has himself said, was speculative.

On the basis of that assertion, The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri) that Pachauri heads and where Hasnain works in the glaciology team, got two massive chunks of funding. The first was estimated to be a $300,000 grant from Carnegie Corporation and the second was a part of the $2 million funding from the European Union. So you write a report that is false on glaciers melting and get millions to study the impact of a meltdown which will not be happening in the first place. Now if this is not a neat one, what is?

The same goes for dire predictions on Amazon rain forests. The IPCC maintained that there would be a huge depletion in Amazon rain forests because of lack of precipitation. Needless to add, no Amazon rain forest expert could be trusted to back this claim. They depended on a report by a freelance journalist and activist, instead, and now it has blown up in their faces.

There’s plenty more in this sordid tale. For one thing, there is no scientific consensus at all that man-made CO2 emissions cause global warming, as claimed by the IPCC. In a recent paper, Lord Monckton of Brenchley, who has worked extensively on climate change models, argues: ‘There is no scientific consensus on how much the world has warmed or will warm; how much of the warming is natural; how much impact greenhouse gases have had or will have on temperature; how sea level, storms, droughts, floods, flora, and fauna will respond to warmer temperature; what mitigative steps—if any—we should take; whether (if at all) such steps would have sufficient (or any) climatic effect; or even whether we should take any steps at all.’

An investigation by Dr Benny Peiser, director, Global Warming Policy Foundation, has revealed that only 13 of the 1,117, or a mere 1 per cent of the scientific papers crosschecked by him, explicitly endorse the consensus as defined by the IPCC. Thus the very basis of the claim of consensus on global warming is false. And so deeply entrenched is the global warming lobby, the prestigious journal Science did not publish a letter that Dr Peiser wrote pointing out the lack of consensus.

Speaking to Open, says Dr Peiser, “The IPCC process by which it arrives at its conclusions lacks balance, transparency and due diligence. It is controlled by a tightly knit group of individuals who are completely convinced that they are right. As a result, conflicting data and evidence, even if published in peer-reviewed journals, are regularly ignored, while exaggerated claims, even if contentious or not peer-reviewed, are often highlighted in IPCC reports. Not surprisingly, the IPCC has lost a lot of credibility in recent years. It is also losing the trust of more and more governments who are no longer following its advice. Until it agrees to undergo a root and branch reform, it will continue to haemorrhage credibility and trust. The time has come for a complete overhaul of its structure and workings.”

Another fraud is in the very chart central to Pachauri’s speech at the Copenhagen summit. As Lord Monckton has pointed out, ‘The graph is bogus not only because it relies on made-up data from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, but also because it is overlain by four separate trendlines, each with a start-date carefully selected to give the entirely false impression that the rate of warming over the past 150 years has itself been accelerating, especially between 1975 and 1998. The truth, however—neatly obscured by an ingenious rescaling of the graph and the superimposition of the four bogus trend lines on it—is that from 1860 to 1880 and again from 1910 to 1940 the warming rate was exactly the same as the warming rate from 1975 to 1998.’


This chart, tracking mean global temperature over the past 150 years, was central to the presentation that IPCC Chairman Rajendra K. Pachauri made at the Copenhagen environment summit. Many scientists believe that the graph is fraudulent. First, there are strong allegations that the data, collected from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, is a tissue of lies. Plus, as British climate change expert Lord Christopher Monckton puts it: “(The main graph, in darker blue) is overlain by four separate lines, each carefully selected to give the entirely false im•pression that the rate of warming over the past 150 years has itself been accelerating, especially between 1975 and 1998. The truth, however... is that from 1860 to 1880 and again from 1910 to 1940, the warming rate was exactly the same as the warming rate from 1975 to 1998.” In other words, the graph has been drawn with a motive to prove one’s point, and not to show the truth.

Thus the earth has warmed at this rate at least twice in the last 100 years and no major catastrophe has occurred. What is more, the earth has cooled after that warming. Why is the IPCC not willing to explore this startling point?

Another total lie has been that the Sunderbans in Bangladesh are sinking on account of the rise in sea level. The IPCC claimed that one-fifth of Bangladesh will be under water by 2050. Well, it turns out this is an absurd, unscientific and outrageous claim. According to scientists at the Centre for Environmental and Geographical Information Services (Cegis) in Dhaka, its surface area appears to be growing by 20 sq km annually. Cegis has based its results on more than 30 years of satellite imagery. IPCC has not retracted this claim. As far as they are concerned, Bangladesh is a goner by 2050, submerged forever in the Bay of Bengal.


The fallout of Climategate is slowly but surely unfolding right where it hurts a large number of special interests—in the field of business. Yes, the carbon trading business is now in the line of fire. Under a cap-and-trade system, a government authority first sets a limit on emissions, deciding how much pollution will be allowed in all. Next, companies are issued credits, essentially licences to pollute, based on how large they are, and what industries they work in. If a company comes in below its cap, it has extra credits which it may trade with other companies, globally.

Post Climategate, this worldwide trade, estimated at about $30 billion in 2006, is finding few takers. It is under attack following the renewed uncertainty over the role of human-generated CO2 in global warming. In the US, which never adopted any of this to begin with, there is a serious move now to finish off the cap-and-trade regime globally. It’s a revolt of sorts. Six leading Democrats in the US Congress have joined hands with many Republicans to urge the Obama Administration to back off from the regime.

The collapse of the international market for carbon credits, a direct fallout of Climategate, has already sent shudders down many spines in parts of the world that were looking forward to making gains from it. It was big business, after all, and Indian businesses were eyeing it as well. In fact, Indian firms were expected to trade some $1 billion worth of carbon credits this year, and with the market going poof, they stand to lose quite some money (notional or otherwise).

Besides the commercial aspect, there is also the issue of wider public credibility. There have been signs of scepticism all along. In a 2009 Gallup poll, a record number of people—41 per cent—elected to say that global warming was an exaggerated threat. This slackening of public support is in sync with a coordinated political movement that is seeking to re-examine the entire issue of global warming from scratch. The movement is led by increasingly vocal Republicans in the US Senate and packs considerable political power.

Pachauri’s position is also becoming increasingly untenable with demands for his resignation becoming louder by the day. In an interview to Open, Pat Michaels of the Cato Institute, a noted US think-tank, who has followed the debate for years, says, “Dr Pachauri should resign because he has a consistent record of mixing his political views with climate science, because of his intolerance of legitimate scientific views that he does not agree with, because of his disparagement of India’s glacier scientists as practising ‘voodoo science’, and because of his incomprehension of the serious nature of what was in the East Anglia emails.”

Richard North, the professor who brought to light the financial irregularities in a write-up co-authored with Christopher Booker, has also said in a TV interview that, “If Dr Pachauri does not resign voluntarily, he will be forced to do so.”


The world awaits answers, based not on writings of sundry freelance journalists and non-experts, but on actual verifiable data on whether the globe is warming at all, and if so by how much. Only then can policy options be calibrated. As things stand, there is little doubt that the IPCC will need to be reconstituted with a limited mandate. This mess needs investigation and questions need to be answered as to why absurd claims were taken as gospel truth. The future of everything we know as ‘normal’ depends on this. The real danger is that the general public is now weary of the whole thing, a little tired of the debate, and may not really care for the truth, convenient or otherwise.


Understanding the futile Australian climate scheme

The Carbon Sense Coalition today claimed that the Emissions Trading Scheme proposed for Australia and now before the Australian Parliament was far more than “A Great Big New Tax”. The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that PM Rudd’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme combined a Big New Tax with a War-Time Rationing scheme and an Income redistributing compensation scheme, all to be run by a regulatory army probably bigger than our real army.

He continued: “Let’s try to understand this Ruddy ETS. “To simplify things, let’s look at just the electricity industry.

“If Rudd’s ETS ever rules Australia, companies producing electricity from carbon fuels must beg, buy or borrow a permit to burn coal, gas or diesel. “They can beg a free permit from some mate in Canberra; they can buy a permit from some lucky sod who managed to get more permits than he needs; they can borrow a permit by entering into some tricky derivative trade with a speculator in Chicago; or they can pay carbon credit penance to a shifty land owner in some foreign land who promises solemnly not to clear his trees. “No matter which option is chosen, power costs will go up and companies must pass the extra cost (plus GST) onto their customers or go broke. “There will be no effect on climate.

“Now look at consumers. “The ETS must push up the cost of all goods and services using carbon fuel. It will boost the cost of electricity, food, transport and travel. When this happens, consumers will suddenly understand the ETS Tax and politicians who voted for it will feel their anger.

“But there is a plan: “Let’s compensate all those likely to vote for us”. “If these subsidies work properly, the lucky consumers will be in the same position as they were before ETS, except for the extra bureaucracy. For these consumers, there is no signal to reduce their consumption of carbon fuels. The ETS will do nothing except create a tangle of red tape which consumes and redistributes wealth.

“But for the un-subsidised consumers, the ETS is an extra tax on everything. “And for the power companies, the ETS will produce nothing except a heap of angry customers, and lots of red tape.

Mr Forbes claimed that Tony Abbott was wrong about the ETS. “It is not just a Great Big Tax. “It’s a Great Big Tax PLUS a mountain of Red Tape. “And it will have absolutely no effect on world climate.”

Press release from Carbon Sense above


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 February, 2010

BBC's billions that fund a green agenda

How amusing! This has made my day. The BBC is betting its employees' retirement money on global warming being right. It's literally putting its money where its mouth is -- but it is backing the wrong horse. Its employees will be frothing mad about it in the not too distant future. Those responsible will undoubtedly answer for it in court one day. What right have they got to gamble with other people's money? Most racegoers think their horse is a "cert" when they back it. The BBC has gambled on such a prophecy too. The money should have gone into blue chip stocks -- real present-day assets. As for ethics, what ethics? But skeptics will be laughing about it for years. "He laughs loudest ...."

STRIKING parallels between the BBC’s coverage of the global warming debate and the activities of its pension fund can be revealed today. The corporation is under investigation after being inundated with complaints that its editorial coverage of climate change is biased in favour of those who say it is a man-made phenomenon.

The £8billion pension fund is likely to come under close scrutiny over its commitment to promote a low-carbon economy while struggling to reverse an estimated £2billion deficit.

Concerns are growing that BBC journalists and their bosses regard disputed scientific theory that climate change is caused by mankind as “mainstream” while huge sums of employees’ money is invested in companies whose success depends on the theory being widely accepted. The fund, which has 58,744 members, accounts for about £8 of the £142.50 licence fee and the proportion looks likely to rise while programme budgets may have to be cut to help reduce the deficit.

The BBC is the only media organisation in Britain whose pension fund is a member of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, which has more than 50 members across Europe. Its chairman is Peter Dunscombe, also the BBC’s Head of Pensions Investment.

Prominent among its recent campaigns was a call for a “strong and binding” global agreement on climate change – one that fell on deaf ears after the UN climate summit in Copenhagen failed to reach agreement on emissions targets and a cut in greenhouse gases.

Veteran journalist and former BBC newsreader Peter Sissons is unhappy with the corporation’s coverage. He said recently: “The corporation’s most famous interrogators invariably begin by accepting that ‘the science is settled’ when there are countless reputable scientists and climatologists producing work that says it isn’t. It is, in effect, BBC policy, enthusiastically carried out by the BBC’s environment correspondents, that those views should not be heard. “I was not proud to be working for an organisation with a corporate mind so closed on such an important issue.”

Official BBC editorial policy governing how its correspondents should cover global warming was revealed after a member of the public wrote in: “I have heard reports that the BBC has decided not to broadcast any news or reports which disprove, disagree, or cast doubt on global warming theory. Could you provide some form of justification for this?”

In a reply dated October 26 last year, Stephanie Harris, Head of Accountability at BBC News, said: “BBC News takes the view that our reporting needs to be calibrated to take into account the scientific consensus that global warming is man-made.” She went on to quote from a BBC-commissioned report published in June 2007, which said: “There may be now a broad scientific consensus that climate change is definitely happening and that it is at least predominantly man-made. The weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to opponents of the consensus.”

Last month the BBC Trust announced an investigation after a string of complaints that the corporation was promoting the theory that climate change was a man-made phenomenon.


Some wisdom from the year 2002


Official coverup! How Britain's Met Office blocked questions on its own man's role in 'hockey stick' climate row

The Meteorological Office is blocking public scrutiny of the central role played by its top climate scientist in a highly controversial report by the beleaguered United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Professor John Mitchell, the Met Office’s Director of Climate Science, shared responsibility for the most worrying headline in the 2007 Nobel Prize-winning IPCC report – that the Earth is now hotter than at any time in the past 1,300 years. And he approved the inclusion in the report of the famous ‘hockey stick’ graph, showing centuries of level or declining temperatures until a steep 20th Century rise.

By the time the 2007 report was being written, the graph had been heavily criticised by climate sceptics who had shown it minimised the ‘medieval warm period’ around 1000AD, when the Vikings established farming settlements in Greenland. In fact, according to some scientists, the planet was then as warm, or even warmer, than it is today. Early drafts of the report were fiercely contested by official IPCC reviewers, who cited other scientific papers stating that the 1,300-year claim and the graph were inaccurate. But the final version, approved by Prof Mitchell, the relevant chapter’s review editor, swept aside these concerns.

Now, the Met Office is refusing to disclose Prof Mitchell’s working papers and correspondence with his IPCC colleagues in response to requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act. The block has been endorsed in writing by Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth – whose department has responsibility for the Met Office.

Documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday reveal that the Met Office’s stonewalling was part of a co-ordinated, legally questionable strategy by climate change academics linked with the IPCC to block access to outsiders. Last month, the Information Commissioner ruled that scientists from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia – the source of the leaked ‘Warmergate’ emails – acted unlawfully in refusing FOI requests to share their data.

Some of the FOI requests made to them came from the same person who has made requests to the Met Office. He is David Holland, an electrical engineer familiar with advanced statistics who has written several papers questioning orthodox thinking on global warming. The Met Office’s first response to Mr Holland was a claim that Prof Mitchell’s records had been ‘deleted’ from its computers. Later, officials admitted they did exist after all, but could not be disclosed because they were ‘personal’, and had nothing to do with the professor’s Met Office job. Finally, they conceded that this too was misleading because Prof Mitchell had been paid by the Met Office for his IPCC work and had received Government expenses to travel to IPCC meetings. The Met Office had even boasted of his role in a Press release when the report first came out.

But disclosure, they added, was still rejected on the grounds it would ‘inhibit the free and frank provision of advice or the free and frank provision of views’. It would also ‘prejudice Britain’s relationship with an international organisation’ and thus be contrary to UK interests. In a written response justifying the refusal dated August 20, 2008, Mr Ainsworth – then MoD Minister of State – used exactly the same language.

Mr Holland also filed a request for the papers kept by Sir Brian Hoskins of Reading University, who was the review editor of a different chapter of the IPCC report. When this too was refused, Mr Holland used the Data Protection Act to obtain a copy of an email from Sir Brian to the university’s information officer. The email, dated July 17, 2008 – when Mr Holland was also trying to get material from the Met Office and the CRU – provides clear evidence of a co-ordinated effort to hide data. Sir Brian wrote: ‘I have made enquiries and found that both the Met Office/MOD and UEA are resisting the FOI requests made by Holland. The latter are very relevant to us, as UK universities should speak with the same voice on this. I gather that they are using academic freedom as their reason.’

At the CRU, as the Warmergate emails reveal, its director, Dr Phil Jones (who is currently suspended), wrote to an American colleague: ‘[We are] still getting FOI requests as well as Reading. All our FOI officers have been in discussions and are now using the same exceptions – not to respond.’

Last night Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said the affair further undermined the credibility of the IPCC and those associated with it. He said: ‘It’s of critical importance that data such as this should be open. More importantly, the questions being raised about the hockey stick mean that we may have to reassess the climate history of the past 2,000 years. ‘The attempt to make the medieval warm period disappear is being seriously weakened, and the claim that now is the warmest time for 1,300 years is no longer based on reliable evidence.’

Despite repeated requests, the MoD and Met Office failed to comment.


New errors in IPCC climate change report

The United Nations panel on climate change is facing fresh criticism today as The Sunday Telegraph reveals new factual errors and poor sources of evidence in its influential report to government leaders. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report is supposed to be the world’s most authoritative scientific account of the scale of global warming. But this paper has discovered a series of new flaws in it including:

* The publication of inaccurate data on the potential of wave power to produce electricity around the world, which was wrongly attributed to the website of a commercial wave-energy company.

* Claims based on information in press releases and newsletters.

* New examples of statements based on student dissertations, two of which were unpublished.

* More claims which were based on reports produced by environmental pressure groups.

They are the latest in a series of damaging revelations about the IPCC’s most recent report, published in 2007. Last month, the panel was forced to issue a humiliating retraction after it emerged statements about the melting of Himalayan glaciers were inaccurate. Last weekend, this paper revealed that the panel had based claims about disappearing mountain ice on anecdotal evidence in a student’s dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine. And on Friday, it emerged that the IPCC’s panel had wrongly reported that more than half of the Netherlands was below sea level because it had failed to check information supplied by a Dutch government agency.

Researchers insist the errors are minor and do not impact on the overall conclusions about climate change. However, senior scientists are now expressing concern at the way the IPCC compiles its reports and have hit out at the panel’s use of so-called “grey literature” — evidence from sources that have not been subjected to scientific ­scrutiny.

A new poll has revealed that public belief in climate change is weakening. The panel’s controversial chair, Rajendra Pachauri, pictured right, is facing pressure to resign over the affair.

The IPCC attempted to counter growing criticism by releasing a statement insisting that authors who contribute to its 3,000-page report are required to “critically assess and review the quality and validity of each source” when they use material from unpublished or non-peer-reviewed sources. Drafts of the reports are checked by scientific reviewers before they are subjected to line-by-line approval by the 130 member countries of the IPCC.

Despite these checks, a diagram used to demonstrate the potential for generating electricity from wave power has been found to contain numerous errors. The source of information for the diagram was cited as the website of UK-based wave-energy company Wavegen. Yet the diagram on Wavegen’s website contains dramatically different figures for energy potential off Britain and Alaska and in the Bering Sea. When contacted by The Sunday Telegraph, Wavegen insisted that the diagram on its website had not been changed. It added that it was not the original source of the data and had simply reproduced it on its website.

The diagram is widely cited in other literature as having come from a paper on wave energy produced by the Institute of Mechanical Engineering in 1991 along with data from the European Directory of Renewable Energy. Experts claim that, had the IPCC checked the citation properly, it would have spotted the discrepancies.

It can also be revealed that claims made by the IPCC about the effects of global warming, and suggestions about ways it could be avoided, were partly based on information from ten dissertations by Masters students. One unpublished dissertation was used to support the claim that sea-level rise could impact on people living in the Nile delta and other African coastal areas, although the main focus of the thesis, by a student at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, appears to have been the impact of computer software on environmental development.

The IPCC also made use of a report by US conservation group Defenders of Wildlife to state that salmon in US streams have been affected by rising temperatures. The panel has already come under fire for using information in reports by conservation charity the WWF.

Estimates of carbon-dioxide emissions from nuclear power stations and claims that suggested they were cheaper than coal or gas power stations were also taken from the website of the World Nuclear Association, rather than using independent scientific calculations.

Such revelations are creating growing public confusion over climate change. A poll by Ipsos on behalf of environmental consultancy firm Euro RSCG revealed that the proportion of the public who believe in the reality of climate change has dropped from 44 per cent to 31per cent in the past year. The proportion of people who believe that climate change is a bit over-exaggerated rose from 22 per cent to 31per cent.

Climate scientists have expressed frustration with the IPCC’s use of unreliable evidence. Alan Thorpe, chief executive of the Natural Environment Research Council, the biggest funder of climate science in the UK, said: “We should only be dealing with peer-reviewed literature. We open ourselves up to trouble if we start getting into hearsay and grey literature. We have enough research that has been peer-reviewed to provide evidence for climate change, so it is concerning that the IPCC has strayed from that.”

Professor Bob Watson, who chaired the IPCC before Dr Pachauri and is now chief scientist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, insisted that despite the errors there was little doubt that human-induced climate change was a reality. But he called for changes in the way the IPCC compiles future reports. “It is concerning that these mistakes have appeared in the IPCC report, but there is no doubt the earth’s climate is changing and the only way we can explain those changes is primarily human activity,” he said.

Mr Watson said that Dr Pachauri “cannot be personally blamed for one or two incorrect sentences in the IPCC report”, but stressed that the chairman must take responsibility for correcting errors.

Another row over the IPCC report emerged last night after Professor Roger Pielke Jnr, from Colorado University’s Centre for Science and Technology Policy Research, claimed its authors deliberately ignored a paper he wrote that contradicted the panel’s claims about the cost of climate-related natural disasters. A document included a statement from an anonymous IPCC author saying that they believed Dr Pielke had changed his mind on the matter, when he had not.


Top British scientist says UN panel is losing credibility

Now it's "Africa-gate"!

A LEADING British government scientist has warned the United Nations’ climate panel to tackle its blunders or lose all credibility. Robert Watson, chief scientist at Defra, the environment ministry, who chaired the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 1997 to 2002, was speaking after more potential inaccuracies emerged in the IPCC’s 2007 benchmark report on global warming.

The most important is a claim that global warming could cut rain-fed north African crop production by up to 50% by 2020, a remarkably short time for such a dramatic change. The claim has been quoted in speeches by Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, and by Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general. This weekend Professor Chris Field, the new lead author of the IPCC’s climate impacts team, told The Sunday Times that he could find nothing in the report to support the claim. The revelation follows the IPCC’s retraction of a claim that the Himalayan glaciers might all melt by 2035.

The African claims could be even more embarrassing for the IPCC because they appear not only in its report on climate change impacts but, unlike the glaciers claim, are also repeated in its Synthesis Report.

This report is the IPCC’s most politically sensitive publication, distilling its most important science into a form accessible to politicians and policy makers. Its lead authors include Pachauri himself. In it he wrote: “By 2020, in some countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50%. Agricultural production, including access to food, in many African countries is projected to be severely compromised.” The same claims have since been cited in speeches to world leaders by Pachauri and Ban. Speaking at the 2008 global climate talks in Poznan, Poland, Pachauri said: “In some countries of Africa, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by 50% by 2020.” In a speech last July, Ban said: “Yields from rain-fed agriculture could fall by half in some African countries over the next 10 years.”

Speaking this weekend, Field said: “I was not an author on the Synthesis Report but on reading it I cannot find support for the statement about African crop yield declines.”

Watson said such claims should be based on hard evidence. “Any such projection should be based on peer-reviewed literature from computer modelling of how agricultural yields would respond to climate change. I can see no such data supporting the IPCC report,” he said.

The claims in the Synthesis Report go back to the IPCC’s report on the global impacts of climate change. It warns that all Africa faces a long-term threat from farmland turning to desert and then says of north Africa, “additional risks that could be exacerbated by climate change include greater erosion, deficiencies in yields from rain-fed agriculture of up to 50% during the 2000-20 period, and reductions in crop growth period (Agoumi, 2003)”. “Agoumi” refers to a 2003 policy paper written for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, a Canadian think tank. The paper was not peer-reviewed.

Its author was Professor Ali Agoumi, a Moroccan climate expert who looked at the potential impacts of climate change on Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. His report refers to the risk of “deficient yields from rain-based agriculture of up to 50% during the 2000–20 period”. These claims refer to other reports prepared by civil servants in each of the three countries as submissions to the UN. These do not appear to have been peer-reviewed either.

The IPCC is also facing criticism over its reports on how sea level rise might affect Holland. Dutch ministers have demanded that it correct a claim that more than half of the Netherlands lies below sea level when, in reality, it is about a quarter.

The errors seem likely to bring about change at the IPCC. Field said: “The IPCC needs to investigate a more sophisticated approach for dealing with emerging errors.”


Virginia storm may set records

A historic winter storm left some parts of Virginia under nearly 3 feet of snow Saturday, knocking out power to 175,000 utility customers and collapsing buildings. "The accumulations that have been reported now have been historic," Gov. Bob McDonnell said during a teleconference with state emergency officials. He cited a high snowfall of 33 inches in Loudoun County, in northern Virginia, and 2 feet along the Interstate 81 corridor in western Virginia.

Snow depths are "fast approaching the highest accumulations in the 103 years that these statistics have been kept," said McDonnell, who declared a snow emergency on Wednesday.

Virginia State Police, which had 75 percent of its uniformed officers on duty, had responded to 1,323 traffic accidents in the last 36 hours. Two crash deaths Friday in southwest Virginia were blamed on the weather.

The power outages were down from a high of 200,000, with the majority being customers of Dominion Virginia Power, the state's largest utility. Most of the outages were in northern Virginia.

Appalachian Power reported nearly 40,000 customers without power, primarily in the southwest corner of the state, and small electric cooperatives were reporting power failures in the northern and western portions of the state....

The Virginia National Guard put 500 troops on active duty and positioned them in the hardest-hit areas, such as Fredericksburg, Waynesboro, Charlottesville and in northern Virginia. They were assisting local emergency crews.

The National Weather Service said runoff from snow and rain had caused a rapid rise of the Dan River near South Boston. Residents were advised to monitor local conditions.

The Virginia Department of Transportation said crews worked through the night to clear Interstates 81, 77 and 581. While clear of snow, road surfaces remain slick, VDOT said. Along some roads, plows were piling snow so high, trucks had to be called in to haul the snow away so plowing could continue.

Heavy snow had brought down trees and limbs on roads in Henry, Patrick, Roanoke and Bedford counties. Crews are working to remove them.


Time to scrap the Australian government's climate plan - academics

A COALITION of academics who doubt the science on the causes of climate change has called on the Rudd Government to dump plans for an emissions trading scheme and consider alternatives.

Their call comes as a Nielsen poll, published in Fairfax newspapers today, shows Australians prefer the federal coalition's climate action policy. Of those polled, 45 per cent favoured the Opposition's direct action emissions fund over the 39 per cent who backed Labor's carbon pollution reduction scheme.

The Australian Climate Science Coalition believes the Government is losing the political high ground on global warming. "The debacle in Copenhagen demonstrated the futility of Australia adopting a go-it-alone strategy,'' executive director Max Rheese said in a statement. Public faith in the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had been shaken following revelations about some of its information-gathering processes, 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


7 February, 2010

Global cooling paralyses US East coast

A RECORD-breaking blizzard dumped thick snow across the US east coast overnight, paralysing the region and snapping power to hundreds of thousands of people, as two people were killed on the roads. The monster storm, dubbed "Snowpocalypse" and "Snowmageddon," stretched hundreds of miles from eastern Indiana across into Pennsylvania and then down through Maryland as far south as North Carolina. With winds gusting at almost 90 kilometers an hour, meteorologists said they had recorded snowfall as high as 96 centimeters in parts of northern Maryland - a historic high for the state.

The heavy, sticky snow toppled trees and sagged power lines, leaving more than 350,000 people without electricity in Maryland and neighboring Virginia, officials said. "Snowmageddon here in DC," President Barack Obama told Democrats in a speech, only a year after chiding the capital city for its cautious response to small snowfalls.

Forecasters warned residents to hunker down, with no let-up in the weather for most of the day, and said chilly temperatures on Sunday would mean the wet snow would swiftly turn icy. "It's hanging on, and hanging on," Paul Kochin, an expert in northeast weather systems with the National Weather Service, said. "Officially this won't break records in DC, but unofficially, you bet it will. It's very rare to have two such big storms in one season," he said, after the capital region was already crippled by a smaller storm in December.

Maryland, followed by neighboring Virginia, were bearing the brunt of the storm and seeing the highest snowfalls, he said. "It's pretty rough out there," agreed Ed McDonough from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. "The roads are very difficult to travel... and we are seeing a spike in power outages. We are telling local residents to stay home, enjoy the time with their families and let the highway crews do their work."

Emergency crews struggled to repair the power outages hampered by the miserable weather. "We have a lot of scattered outages and the road conditions are not really working with us," admitted Pepco spokesman Andre Francis, pleading for patience as some customers were told the blackouts could last days.

Some 200 National Guardsmen had been deployed across Maryland, while in Virginia police confirmed that a father and son were killed Friday when they stopped to help a stranded car. Police in the state had responded to some 3167 calls for help, more than two-thirds of which were due to car accidents or stranded vehicles. Three state troopers were also injured in storm-related accidents. Virginia was also opening up public shelters in local schools for those without power.

In the normally bustling capital, sight-seers were walking thigh-deep in the snow along the famous national mall. Alix Lawe, who works with the US Air Force, was out for a run in the snow, and said: "It's so fun. I'm from Florida, I've never seen so much snow."

Snow plows were out trying to keep emergency routes and main highways clear, but most officials said it would take days to reach the smaller streets, and warned of a difficult Monday morning commute. The National Weather Service (NWS) has put the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area under a rare 24-hour blizzard warning until 10pm (local time).

All flights out of the capital's Reagan National airport were canceled, along with most flights out of Dulles International Airport in Virginia, while there was a limited service at Baltimore. A hangar roof collapsed at the Dulles Jet Center early Saturday according to Rob Yengling, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesman. Five people spending the night inside to shelter from the storm escaped without injuries.

The capital's subway system has shut down 40 above ground stations, meaning transport links between Washington and its heavily-populated suburbs were snapped with most major roads impassable, knocking out bus services.

But some people were determined to enjoy the winter's second biggest storm in the area, with 5000 turning out for a mass snowball fight in central Washington.


Disclosing the Real Risks on Climate Change

We are not weighing in on the climate debate. We are not opining on whether the world’s climate is changing, at what pace or due to what causes, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Shapiro insisted on announcing the SEC’s new “interpretive guidance” on climate change.

The Commission’s two Republican members objected that the Obama Administration was using the Commission to promote its global warming and renewable energy agenda (along with the EPA, NASA, Defense and Interior Departments and others). It’s true, but irrelevant.

Environmentalists and “ethical investing” groups had pressured the Commission for years to require corporate disclosure on climate matters. Now, as the SEC steps in, the Copenhagen treaty negotiations have collapsed in disarray. Cap-and-trade has bogged down over senators’ fears of further damage to the economy and their reelection chances. The Environmental Protection Agency has decreed that plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide is a “dangerous pollutant,” because senators are increasingly reluctant to micromanage the economy, companies and families, but the regs are likely to go nowhere.

Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” graph and ClimateGate email scandals have metastasized into a tsunami of revelations that have besmirched the IPCC’s credibility and its role as dominant arbiter on matters of energy and climate. Manipulated and missing temperature data. Doctored computer models and disaster scenarios. Alarmist scientists rejecting any studies that dissent from climate catastrophe claims. Headline-grabbing disaster “studies” about melting glaciers and parched rainforests based on rank speculation or written by World Wildlife Fund activists. “Mann-made” climate change, indeed.

Investors certainly do have a “fundamental right to know” which companies are well positioned to address future crises and opportunities, and which are not – as we are frequently reminded by activist investor groups like Institutional Shareholder Services and CALPERS. However, these groups want to use the SEC decision to drive cap-and-trade laws and “endangerment” rulings forward, and drive hydrocarbon use and users into oblivion.

Many companies have been cowed into going along with this agenda. They seek to gain “a seat at the negotiating table,” curry favorable PR through “greenwashing” and “green-nosing,” protect themselves against lawsuits over CO2 emissions and global warming, or profit from renewable energy mandates, subsidies and stimulus grants.

But the “right to know” extends far beyond the activists’ narrow agenda. Indeed the lesson may be that this SEC guidance offers a tremendous opportunity for any company or investor wise enough to seize it. For the new guidance does not say companies must disclose only alleged risks from climate change.

It says they should also address impacts from legislation, regulation, international accords and their effects on business trends. This creates valuable opportunities for educating investors, customers, employees and voters about climate change issues.

Some 2,400 lobbyists are working on energy and climate issues in Washington. General Electric alone spent $7.6 million lobbying in the second quarter 2009, to secure stimulus, climate change and renewable energy dollars from US taxpayers. GE hopes to garner up to $192 billion over the next several years from projects funded by governments worldwide, including renewables and electricity grid modernization.

Wind turbine and solar panel sales are high on GE’s list, and will play a growing role. However, their electricity is 3-5 times more expensive than coal-based power, which translates into big taxpayer subsidies and more factory layoffs. Moreover, generating just 20% of US electricity with wind power would require some 186,000 turbines, 19,000 miles of new transmission lines, 18,000,000 acres of land (half of Illinois), and 270,000,000 tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earth minerals (the equivalent of 180,000,000 Toyota Priuses). Even worse, a West Texas wind farm now under construction created 2,800 jobs – but 2,400 of them are in China. Solar power issues are similar.

Insurance companies and reinsurers may want to “disclose” alleged 20-foot higher sea levels and more violent hurricanes conjured up by computer models. These Gore and IPCC scare stories can translate into “increased risk,” higher premiums and additional profits. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says carbon permits could be a “boon” for the Big Apple’s financial sector, creating a commodities market of “as much as $3 trillion by 2020.”

Other members of the climate-industrial-government-activist-scientist complex likewise have a big stake in global warming disasters and massive government spending to “prevent a cataclysm” and terminate our “perilous dependence on fossil fuels.” Exelon, Duke Energy, Penn State (Mike Mann again), NASA and other institutions all see huge potential returns on “investments” in climate alarmism and lobbying.

But 38 states depend on coal for 35-98% of their electricity and a sizable portion of their jobs and tax revenues. While others get rich, they will pay dearly. While a few members left the US Chamber, because it opposes cap-and-trade legislation – most recognize the risks in laws and regs that will send energy costs skyrocketing, ship millions of jobs overseas, and shackle living standards and civil rights across America.

Carbon emissions trading on the Chicago Climate Exchange began at $1 per metric ton in January 2004. Prices then fluctuated wildly, reaching a $7 peak value in May 2008, before crashing to $0.10 in October 2009. Speculators who entered the carbon market on 5/30/08 lost 98.6% of their investment.

Imagine how they might have fared if SEC rules had compelled utility companies, the Chicago Climate Exchange, and Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management firm to truthfully disclose what was going on in the IPCC, Climate Research Unit and NASA. Imagine the roller coaster ride that GE, Exelon and Munich RE investors could take, as more sordid details come out of the IPCC, concerns soar about US deficits and credit ratings, and taxpayer anger rises over climate fraud, subsidies, and sweetheart deals that corporate lobbyists have negotiated with Congress and the Administration.

(Pfizer and Big Pharma’s recent experience with Congress over Obamacare should serve as a cautionary tale. See Kimberly Strassel, “Pfizer’s bad political bet,” Wall Street Journal, February 5, 2009.)

Investors have right to know all of this. That’s where the SEC guidance offers vital opportunities for intelligent investors and socially responsible companies. They should carefully consider how to comply with the Commission’s ruling in the areas it has identified.

Physical impacts of climate change: Are the impacts real, or generated by computers and activists? What is the current state of climate science and its integrity, transparency and accountability?

Impacts of legislation, regulation and international accords: Are purported future profits based on current and reliable vote counts? Realistic assessments that a binding climate treaty will be agreed to? As Climategate unfolds and 2010 elections approach, will wind turbine makers and carbon traders benefit – or will it be hydrocarbon-based industries like chemicals, manufacturing, airlines and tourism?

Indirect impacts on business trends: Are profit projections based on melting glaciers and other Climategate fraud, greenwashing, backroom lobbyist deals, or wishful carbon trading? How will new laws affect demand for goods in industries that have recently been extolled – or vilified?

It is becoming increasingly clear that the real risks to businesses, investors, employees, and low-income, minority and elderly families are not due to climate change. They are the result of policies enacted in the name of preventing climate change. The SEC guidance can help identify risks and opportunities – and advise people about them in a timely, accurate, responsible manner. Socially responsible companies will seize the opportunity.


Warming advocates feel the heat

The beware-of-warming crowd is starting to feel the heat. And it isn’t because of a warming planet either. It almost seems as if everything that could go wrong for them, is going wrong.

Now, I would never be one to claim that weather anomaly is proof that anthropogenic warming is wrong. I know that particular weather disproves climate change. We all know that such things can only prove that warming exists. In the realm of warming activism weather is a one way street. So Katrina was proof of warming. That 1998 was a particularly warm year was proof of warming. That California experiences droughts is all part of warming. Ditto for droughts in the UK, or floods, either will do. But still those nasty cold winters that seem worse than usual are never proof of anything but they do cause the public to wonder.

And this winter has been another very nasty one. Consider the poor people on Hiddensee, an island just off the German mainland. This resort island is completely ice bound. The German military has been flying in to rescue tourists on the island. Resident of the island rely on trade with the mainland for their food supplies and so shelves were getting bare. The military also flew in food. According to Spiegel the sea between Hiddensee and the island of Rügen “is now an ice sheet around 30 centimeters (12 inches) thick. An icebreaker failed to make it through to Hiddensee on Monday forcing the authorities to use helicopters to supply the island and pick up trapped vacationers.” Spiegel says that the ice “is not expected to melt until the end of February” which seems to imply that regular helicopter food deliveries will be required. Some tourists, trapped on the island when ferry service as shut down due to the ice, didn't heed the advice of authorities and walked across the Baltic Sea in order to get home.

Like the awful cold that gripped North American and the UK, this weather front is bringing record snows as well. Roofs have collapsed due to the weight of snow and “hundreds of drivers were forced to spend the night in their cars and truces on the A45 and A5 highways due to heavy snowfall.”

Floridians might also be wondering where the warming went. The L.A. Times reports “January’s bitter cold may have wiped out many of the shallow-water corals in the Florida Keys.” The paper reports that “given the depth and duration of the frigid weather” some damage was expected. But Meaghan Johnson of Nature Conservancy reported widespread, severe damage. “Star and brain corals, large species that can take hundreds of years to grow, were as white and lifeless as bones, frozen to death, she said. Dead sea turtles, eels and parrotfish also littered the bottom.”

The paper says that Florida Fish and Wildlife reported “that a record number of endangered manatees had succumbed to the cold this year—77, according to a preliminary review. The previous record, 56, was set last year.”

Meanwhile the scientists who have led the campaign to convince the world of the dangers of warming are under scrutiny as never before. Major media sources, for the first time in memory, are starting to investigate the InterGOVERNMENTAL Panel on Climate Change and the tiny band of warming advocates who make up the elite in that field. The New Zealand Herald, the largest newspaper in the country, recently editorialized about the need for “facts, not anecdotes” from the IPCC.

The editors at the Herald, previously staunch warmers themselves, noted that they way to discredit a report is to find one mistake. But when it comes to the IPCC: “more than one mistake had been found” and the errors (if unintentional) “are hardly peripheral.” The editors listed claims regarding the Himalayan glaciers as one example and said that the IPCC was “notified of this [error] in 2006 and yet the claim appeared in the 2007 report.” They also lament the IPCC using “a student dissertation and an article in a climbing magazine” as evidence for “disappearing ice in the Andes, the European Alps and Africa.”

The Herald editors then refer to the IPCC claims about “extreme weather” which “turns out to have been based on a paper that had not been peer-reviewed or published at the time.” The paper even “included a caveat that the evidence was insufficient” but the IPCC deleted all such caveats from their report. The Herald, while not yet ready to abandon the comforting fear of warming, says:
The IPCC's reputation is not helped now by the argument of authority its supporters have employed for so long. Criticism was dismissed as conceit in the face of a "scientific consensus" that by implication could not be wrong.
The editors note that “the consensus has been wrong, or at least careless on several points” and that the IPCC “urgently needs new leadership and a return to strict scientific rigour if it hopes to be taken seriously again.”

Even one the staunchest media allies of the warmers, the left-wing Guardian newspaper in the UK, has started investigating claims of the warmers and finds them wanting. They report the scientists at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, the home of climategate “’hid’ data flaws.” The report says:
Phil Jones, the beleaguered British climate scientist at the centre of the leaked emails controversy, is facing fresh claims that he sought to hide problems in key temperature data on which some of his work was based.

A Guardian investigation of thousands of emails and documents apparently hacked from the University of East Anglia's climatic research unit has found evidence that a series of measurements from Chinese weather stations were seriously flawed and that documents relating to them could not be produced.

Jones and a collaborator have been accused by a climate change sceptic and researcher of scientific fraud for attempting to suppress data that could cast doubt on a key 1990 study on the effect of cities on warming – a hotly contested issue.

Today the Guardian reveals how Jones withheld the information requested under freedom of information laws. Subsequently a senior colleague told him he feared that Jones's collaborator, Wei- Chyung Wang of the University at Albany, had "screwed up."
The Guardian, of course, is not willing to question warming orthodoxy itself, but they do say their investigation does “call into question the probity of some climate change science.” To be precise it doesn’t call climate change science into question, but climate change theory.

In particular the Guardian investigate the date used to show warming in China and says there were “apparent attempts to cover up problems with data from Chinese weather stations…” The Guardian explains the problem:
The history of where the weather stations were sited was crucial to Jones and Wang's 1990 study, as it concluded the rising temperatures recorded in China were the result of global climate changes rather the warming effects of expanding cities.

The IPCC's 2007 report used the study to justify the claim that "any urban-related trend" in global temperatures was small. Jones was one of two "coordinating lead authors" for the relevant chapter.

The leaked emails from the CRU reveal that the former director of the unit, Tom Wigley, harboured grave doubts about the cover-up of the shortcomings in Jones and Wang's work. Wigley was in charge of CRU when the original paper was published. "Were you taking W-CW [Wang] on trust?" he asked Jones. He continued: "Why, why, why did you and W-CW not simply say this right at the start?"
Already London’s Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph have been exposing IPCC errors and distortions fairly regularly. But it isn’t a small feat to have shaken the confidence the editors at the New Zealand Herald had previously shown for the IPCC. And it is a huge step when the very left Guardian starts exposing some of the antics of leading warming advocates.

It’s bad enough that nature is not cooperating with warming theory. But, if more main steam media outlets starting turning a critical eye on the IPCC and its core group of scientist/activists, the whole political agenda at work here could unravel.


Environmentalism as self-glorification for airheads

These days when I hear the words “ethical” and “sustainable” applied to objects as unaffordable or bizarre as £1,000 designer bark chairs or frocks made of milk — a fibre from an industrial process of dubious eco-merit — I feel like knitting a scarf from endangered butterflies or buying some conflict-diamond bling. While the ethical fashion cause is undeniably sound — it is a disgrace that developing-world sweatshops make one-season wonders for jaded Western trollops — it is not enhanced by rich celebrities using it as a means to buy indulgences and entry into eco-Heaven.

Yet celebrities who purport to be “ethical” can never see how funny they are. Or how likely we are to point out the shortfall between their noble intent and personal practice. And when we do they get huffy, like Sting did when Jeremy Paxman queried how owning several homes could be helping the rainforest.

Gwyneth Paltrow, creator of the Goop website, which encourages you to “nourish your inner aspect” with organic seeds and ayurvedic unguents, seems to believe — as many stars do — that the worst thing about pollution or global warming is that it frizzes her hair, clogs her complexion and toxes up her temple-like bod. Ecological change can be achieved, she suggests, through the sheer force of her vanity.

And, meanwhile, Gwynnie has bought half her London street and, to the horror of her neighbours, wants to enclose it in a huge metal fence. She drives her children to school in a monster 4x4. Can she not see this is hysterical? And Livia, jetting between Venice, New York, London and LA on her “green-carpet” quest: unless the plane is also fuelled with milk, how sustainable is that?

In a largely secular society, we are still trying to figure out the practicalities of our ethical code. Too often, what is done in the name of our new god, The Planet, is steeped in self-glorification. At Christmas, when someone announces that, instead of buying you a present, he has given money to Oxfam to buy Africans a goat, what should one say? “Oh you shouldn’t have! Yes, if you want to make a charitable donation, do it with money you planned to spend on yourself, not on me.” Instead, the goat-giver enjoys both a virtuous glow and the lovely gift you bought for him. You, meanwhile, have nothing.

Similarly, the stars who can afford to wear organic cotton, eat lavishly raised poultry or buy a wood in Pembrokeshire as offset penance for their transatlantic commutes, lord it on the green high ground. Meanwhile, the poor wander far below, clad in unsustainable clothing, surviving on cheap factory protein, taking budget flights to the sun. Green celebrities have so much, we so little. Yet somehow they are saintly and we the damned.

Ethical fashion is, anyway, almost an oxymoron. The very nature of the industry is to instill a cycle of perpetual dissatisfaction and consumption. Buying less is the only way to confound its purpose, and the eco-WAGs certainly won’t do that. Like Livia, they just ditch Gucci for dresses made of “sasawashi, bamboo, sea cell and soya”. And next season they will be bored, just as Peta-supporting supermodels stopped caring about critters once fur was back in style. The dogged, unglamorous work of groups such as Behind the Label, who have championed garment workers, hassled greedy high street stores into paying a living wage and guilt-tripped brands such as Nike and Gap into weeding out child labour, have made a difference. Not the shopping fancies of the rich.

Fashion itself has no soul; cares only about surfaces and stuff. Tom Ford, the designer who directs the Oscar-nominated A Single Man, styles it into sterility. The camera lingers on the gorgeous Frank Lloyd Wright house and exquisite clothes, and a bathroom drawer opens to show toiletries prissily arranged like a magazine still life. It is a movie of cold edges and empty silences: thankfully, Ford chose Julianne Moore and Firth to fill them.



Four current articles below:

Reality dawns: The Greenest of the Greenies suddenly want factories -- but nice ones, of course

A factory owner would need to have a lot of heart to risk locating himself among such intolerant loonies

It's the Queensland town renowned for a postcard setting, caring community and laidback lifestyle ... but has Maleny become too green for its own good? As the children of a generation of tree-changers begin their working lives, Maleny is discovering that being green is no protection against that scourge of rural communities: youth unemployment. While other towns can rely on mining or agriculture to provide job opportunities, Maleny's young people are increasingly forced to desert the Sunshine Coast hinterland to find work, leaving behind an ageing population.

Community concern has become so acute that even local greenies are calling for drastic action and putting out the welcome mat for new industry. In the town that famously opposed Woolworths, business leaders, families and greenies are now united in their calls for a light industrial precinct to boost employment. Such a precinct could attract anything from brick making to glass fabrication but would have to meet local environmental guidelines. However, under existing council plans, there is no land set aside for industrial growth in Maleny.

Young job seekers currently have to compete for the few jobs at the town's biggest employers, Supa IGA and Woolworths, which both have workforces of about 100.

Latest census figures show Maleny has a median age of 42, compared to 36 for the whole of Queensland.

Hinterland Employment Service owner Jenny Jones said families who moved to Maleny in search of an idyllic lifestyle were often disappointed. "It's a great place to live and bring up children but when the kids leave school, there's just not a lot up here," she said.

Maleny Commerce president Stephen Dittmann said green activists had traditionally held sway in the town but there was now recognition that some development was necessary. "We need measured growth, we can't stand still," Mr Dittmann said.

Paul Gilmour-Walsh, president of local environmental group Green Hills, said even so-called greenies could see the need to grow the town. "There's definitely a need for an area, to put aside land for something like that up here," Mr Gilmour-Walsh said. "We need a balanced community so kids leaving school have somewhere to work; it's as simple as that."

David Schaumberg, 19, loves Maleny, his home since the family left Brisbane for a better lifestyle 16 years ago, but he cannot find a steady job. David recently worked for four months as a jackaroo in Kingaroy to earn some cash but is back in Maleny looking for a job. His friends are in the same situation, with many leaving town. "I actually think an industry precinct would be good for variety . . . as long as they do it the right way and not impact on the environment," he said.

Mother of five Maria Dodd said her eldest son Andrew, 19, held little hope of attaining his goal of a local electrical apprenticeship. The family moved from Brisbane about 10 years ago. "He keeps getting bit jobs. He's a hard worker but there's not much around," she said.


Costs of the greenhouse gas scheme remain a mystery to the party behind it

The Rudd government has failed its first GST-style test over the details of its emissions trading scheme and the compensation being offered to Australians for rising prices. Lulled into a sense of false security through Coalition support for an ETS last year and a largely sympathetic media, Kevin Rudd and his ministers have found themselves ill-equipped and under-prepared to answer basic questions people want answered, whether they are climate change believers or sceptics. After three years of Labor being formally committed to an ETS, ministers can't answer simple questions. The Prime Minister himself has conceded the government has failed to address the "complexity" of the ETS.

In parliamentary question time and in interviews, ministers, including Rudd, have blathered and blustered, dissembled and distracted when asked simple questions. Tony Abbott, once an adviser to John Hewson in his failed campaign to introduce a GST, knows how to run an aggressive retail political campaign on rising food and energy prices and to exploit complexity in policy.

As the treasurer who introduced a GST, Peter Costello rehearsed offsets and compensation for almost three years. He declared later it "scarred my life". But that drab work equipped Costello to answer the thousands of questions he received about the price of Coca-Cola and even the Hockey Bear pyjamas from Korea that Labor's Simon Crean produced in parliament one day, without falter.

This week in parliament, Rudd was unable to answer questions about what compensation a single person earning $45,000 a year would get or what a double-income couple on $65,000 each -- a NSW policeman and teacher -- would get.

Small Business Minister Craig Emerson blustered about the "most stupid question" he had heard when a dairy farmer's concerns were raised about electricity price rises from the introduction of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme being added to price rises everyone was already feeling now.

Aged Care Minister Justine Elliott could not address a concern that had been raised for months about pensioners in nursing homes facing increased living costs because of higher energy bills and not getting compensation. Some opposition frontbenchers actually won a bet that Elliott would read her set- piece answer to everything that didn't mention the ETS.

Yesterday, Assistant Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said "low- and middle-income earners are fully compensated" for prices rises passed on by power stations. In fact, half of all households will be "fully compensated".

When a government has not laid the groundwork for a major policy, when it can't explain it and makes mistakes about the costs to families it's on the back foot and in the wrong argument.


More Greenie-inflicted costs on the whole Australian community

ALL Australian homes will soon have to undergo a mandatory energy-efficiency assessment costing up to $1500 per property. The assessment has to be done before any property can be sold or rented under new laws to tackle carbon emissions.

The mandatory assessment - being drafted into law by the federal and state governments - will rate homes by an energy efficiency star system, similar to the ratings given to fridges and washing machines. It will apply to all commercial properties from later this year and to all residential properties from May 2011, Adelaide Now reports.

A spokesman for State Energy Minister Pat Conlon said the ratings would inform prospective owners or tenants of a building's energy use, so they could factor it in to their buying or rental decision. The spokesman said details of the "Mandatory Disclosure" scheme - including who would carry out the assessments and how much they would cost - were yet to be decided.

Energy efficiency expert Arthur Grammatopoulos, of Helica Architecture, said rating properties could cost up to $1500 per house. "I think this is a positive move for the industry but the question has to be asked, will there be enough experts to cope with demand when the law is introduced?" he said. A similar scheme with a six-star rating has been operating in the Australian Capital Territory's property market for several years.

Queensland's State Government introduced a mandatory Sustainability Declaration form on January 1, requiring homeowners to declare their property's green credentials to prospective buyers or risk a $2000 fine.

Mandatory disclosure has been criticised by property experts as an unwarranted expense that will not influence purchasing decisions or cut household pollution. The Real Estate Institute of SA said governments were playing environmentally "popular politics" by introducing a law that they say will simply add to the cost of selling and renting a home. "I think they are patronising people who are making the biggest purchase decision of their life by thinking a rating system will influence that decision," REISA chief executive Greg Troughton said. "It's already hard enough to buy and sell a home and this is just another financial impost that also has the potential to delay the sale of a property."

While Mr Troughton said vendors would bear the cost of having their home rated by a licensed expert, independent SA MLC and former Valuer-General John Darley said landlords would look to pass the cost on to tenants. "This will be an extra cost to working families who have to rent because they can't afford a mortgage," he said. "And we need this like a hole in the head unless the governments can convince us there is a definite benefit, like a reduction in household pollution."

The Council of Australian Government's National Strategy on Energy Efficiency says Mandatory Disclosure will "help households and businesses prepare for the introduction of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme".


A professor of baseless insults

(Professor Andrew Pitman is Co-Director, Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) at the University of NSW)

Last week a paid public servant spoke untruths, but instead of being exposed by the media, he was aided by our taxpayer-funded public broadcast network. Andy Pitman spoke about the socio-economic position of a group he avoids, and let down UNSW, abused the title “Professor”, and misled the public.

The journalists allowed the baseless smears to be broadcast without question, not just once, but twice. Professor Andy Pitman on ABC Radio: Sarah Clark interviews Andy Pitman on glaciers. Robin Williams thought it was so “useful” he rebroadcast the same factually incorrect, irrelevant material on his “science” show. Oops. It’s hard to cram more anti-truths into one declaration:
“My personal view is that climate scientists are losing the fight with climate sceptics. That the sceptics are so well funded, so well organized, have nothing else to do, they kind of don’t have day jobs, they can put all of their efforts into misinforming and miscommunicating climate science to the public, whereas the climate scientists have day jobs and this isn’t one of them. All of the efforts you do in an IPCC report is done out of hours, voluntarily, for no funding and no pay, whereas the sceptics are being funded to put out full scale misinformation campaigns…”
Let’s correct the six seven-delusion paragraph

1. Skeptics are well funded?

Let’s put a perspective on just how spectacularly wrong these claims on ABC radio are. ExxonMobil paid all of $23 million to skeptics worldwide in total, over ten years. In the same period, the US government alone was spending around $2 billion a year on climate scientists. And if you include other climate industry players, from 1989-2009, the total funding is $79 billion dollars. Hence believers of the big-scare could dip into a pot that was at least 3,500 times as large as anything the skeptics of the same scare could draw from. (All this info comes from my Climate Money paper).

If there was any equivalent funding for skeptics, Greenpeace would have found that paper trail and the scare-friendly press would have told you all about it. Big-Oil could hardly hide $79 billion now could they?

Andy Pitman earns far more from his beliefs than this skeptical advocate and infinitely more than most skeptics (who earn nothing) while he postulates on things he has done no research on and misleads the public. (Take me to court Andy. I don’t mind discovery of documents, but I don’t pander to bullies’ requests in public.) Most skeptical scientists are those no longer in the pay of government or other alarmist organizations, free to speak up without losing their jobs. They are mainly retired.

In reality it can cost money to be an active skeptic. To print out handouts, to organize speeches at local community halls, to do mail outs to our representatives, or to pay for transcripts of interviews that misrepresent the science. It says a lot that there are so many people willing to put themselves out, money and time-wise, in order to save us from the scare with no evidence.

Pitman has received over $6 million in grants – obviously not paid to him personally, but paid into accounts he controls–for research he directs. Presumably he also earns at least the base salary of a UNSW Professor, I gather, $190,000 a year. For a science PhD that’s not bad, especially if you throw in multiple overseas trips with all expenses paid, and the odd-rock-star-radio interview with no hard questions. It’s a wicket worth defending.

2. Skeptics are “well” organized?

Organized how exactly? With no PR department, no union, no association, no office, no UN agency, usually no budget, and … though you can see how we fund national multi-million dollar televised Ad campaigns like “Think Climate, Think Fraud”, oh that’s right … that was Kevin Rudd: “Think Climate, Think Change” (give us your money). That cost Australian taxpayers $13.9 million dollars.

Pitman cries poor while his scare campaign team includes the major western governments, the UN, the banks, big oil (they always funded alarmism more, and now don’t fund skeptics), the green movement, the alternative energy suppliers, the reinsurance industry, and many businesses. About all the skeptics have is donors on blogs and a few dedicated organizations of like minded people, such as the indefatigable Heartland (which is in turn funded mostly by private donations, with no more than 5% from any single corporation). Skeptics are tiny voices against vast machines.

Pitman wouldn’t recognize a genuine grassroots movement if it mowed him down.

3. Skeptics are misleading the public?

Misleading? You mean like climate scientists who are using tricks to “hide the decline”, removing data from 75% of worldwide temperature stations, ignoring the best ocean temperature network data, colluding to keep contrary papers out of publication, avoiding FOI requests, abusing statistics to make scary hockey sticks no matter what data you feed them, and ignoring the masses of data and analysis (much of it peer-reviewed) that undermines the carbon dioxide theory of global warming? Or, how about putting most “official” thermometers next to airport-tarmac or air conditioner outlets, or pretending that one tree in far north Russia can measure global temperatures?

Strangely, it’s not skeptics who howl that “only peer review counts” while at the same time pretending that speculative information from the WWF, Greenpeace and a student’s paper of mountaineering anecdotes were peer-reviewed research by hundreds of experts.

4. “Explaining science is not my job”.

According to the UNSW Guidelines, it is. It’s what Professors are paid to do: to foster leadership and excellence in their academic area within the university and the community. As it happens, over the last 18 months, I’ve asked Pitman in writing to publicly name any misleading points from the Skeptics Handbook. He has refused.

5. I, Andy Pitman, volunteer to help the IPCC

As Andrew Bolt so aptly pointed out, Andy Pitman’s grants list includes around $60,000 in funding “for costs incurred as lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”. That’s not most people’s idea of volunteer work.

6. Skeptics don’t have day jobs

Pitman, contradicting himself suddenly, claims many “fully funded” climate skeptics don’t have day jobs, and for once he’s half-right, but scores an own goal by using the truth. Most active skeptics don’t have day jobs, precisely because there aren’t any paid climate skeptic positions to have. Many skeptics are retired, because no one else has time to audit the IPCC “for fun”.

As far as I know (correct me if I’m wrong), total ARC grants specifically available for research aiming to disprove the theory of AGW in 2010 are exactly $0.00, as has been the case since time began. (That’s another scandal, for another day.)

Who should be protecting Australia from paying reparations based on bogus science? When the bogus science is climate science, Andy Pitman ought be high on that list. Instead, he helps to sell out the nation that supports him to a corrupt unaudited foreign committee whose recommendations will mainly end up profiting large financial houses.

7. An ad hominem attack is “scientific”?

Notice how we’re not talking about climate science? Why, on a planet that goes around the sun, is a professor of science launching ad hominem attacks? A science undergraduate should grovel with embarrassment for making this mistake. High school debaters have stronger reasoning skills. Yet, the science reporters on the ABC don’t even blink.

So what if I was paid, oh, let’s say, $190,000 a year, by… an oil sheik (I’m not). But if I was, how would that change the satellite recordings that I write about from Universities on the other side of the world from me? What kind of conspiracy theory do you have to hold in your head to nullify the evidence with any information about funding? I’m a commentator forgoodnesssake, I don’t even collect, hold or publish results from the sediments, corals, ice cores, pollen, diatoms, boreholes, or tree rings that I talk about.

Aren’t we all grown up enough now to attack the ball and not the man? (Which goes for Penny Sackett too, our Chief Scientist, who said that exact thing tonight on The 7.30 Report. Where was Sackett last week? Did she miss the chance to admonish Pitman for attacking skeptical scientists?)

Look Mum. No logical errors here: Lest anyone think I’m committing the same logical error as Pitman by pointing at his vested interests, let’s put a razor fine point on it. He claims we are winning the debate because we have so much funding. We claim he’s losing because he has no evidence. At no point have I ever said his science is wrong because he is paid. So why post about his funding?

One: To show that he’s not only illogical, but spectacularly wrong as well. It’s a baseless smear campaign.

Two: The $6 million in research grants vs the $0 in skeptical grants tells us nothing about the atmospheric climate, but shows that there is a Gravy Train, and he is on it. And he’s the one who suggested that people’s opinions were affected by funding. Go soak in that irony.

Three: If people are going to try to bully and smear us, it helps to make it painful for them, by pouring the truth right back at them.

Since he effectively said “follow the money”, I just said, “ok”. And did I mention that the carbon market was worth $130 billion last year?

Speaking of money, who is paid to audit the IPCC? Officially, no one is. No agency, no institution, no government department. Information from that UN conglomerate committee controls global markets, and yet answers to no elected government, no ASIC, no SEC, no ACCC. Nothing. There ought to be teams of skeptical scientists paid to check on the alarmists, but no one at all is checking, except a few unpaid scientists and bloggers.

The bottom line: Pitman peddles misinformation about science and misinformation about skeptics. He could start by apologizing to the Australian people who pay his salary. Then he could say thanks to the Australian scientists working pro bono to do part of his job for him.

What a sad week for Australian science, a dismal day for Australian universities, and a low point for the ABC. It’s not so hot for taxpayers either, we’re funding someone who throws baseless speculation and insults back at the same Australian citizens he’s supposed to serve.

SOURCE (See the original for links)


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 February, 2010

BBC: 'Dramatic shift' -- Climate skepticism 'on the rise' -- AGW believers in minority

The number of British people who are sceptical about climate change is rising, a poll for BBC News suggests. The Populus poll of 1,001 adults found 25% did not think global warming was happening, a rise of 8% since a similar poll was conducted in November. The percentage of respondents who said climate change was a reality had fallen from 83% in November to 75% this month. And only 26% of those asked believed climate change was happening and "now established as largely man-made". The findings are based on interviews carried out on 3-4 February.

In November 2009, a similar poll by Populus - commissioned by the Times newspaper - showed that 41% agreed that climate change was happening and it was largely the result of human activities. "It is very unusual indeed to see such a dramatic shift in opinion in such a short period," Populus managing director Michael Simmonds told BBC News. "The British public are sceptical about man's contribution to climate change - and becoming more so," he added. "More people are now doubters than firm believers."

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' (Defra) chief scientific adviser, Professor Bob Watson, called the findings "very disappointing". "The fact that there has been a very significant drop in the number of people that believe that we humans are changing the Earth's climate is serious," he told BBC News. "Action is urgently needed," Professor Watson warned. "We need the public to understand that climate change is serious so they will change their habits and help us move towards a low carbon economy."

Of the 75% of respondents who agreed that climate change was happening, one-in-three people felt that the potential consequences of living in a warming world had been exaggerated, up from one-in-five people in November. The number of people who felt the risks of climate change had been understated dropped from 38% in November to 25% in the latest poll.

During the intervening period between the two polls, there was a series of high profile climate-related stories, some of which made grim reading for climate scientists and policymakers. In November, the contents of emails stolen from a leading climate science unit led to accusations that a number of researchers had manipulated data. And in January, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admitted that it had made a mistake in asserting that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035.

All of this happened against the backdrop of many parts of the northern hemisphere being gripped by a prolonged period of sub-zero temperatures.

However, 73% of the people who said that they were aware of the "science flaws" stories stated that the media coverage had not changed their views about the risks of climate change. "People tend to make judgements over time based on a whole range of different sources," Mr Simmonds explained. He added that it was very unusual for single events to have a dramatic impact on public opinion. "Normally, people make their minds up over a longer period and are influenced by all the voices they hear, what they read and what people they know are talking about."

SOURCE (See the original for graphics)

Former IPCC Leader Says Climategate Scientists “Manipulated data.”

Dr. William Sprigg is research professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona and was head of the International Technical Review Panel for IPCC’s first report. The distinguished doctor slams the conduct of some of his global warming colleagues and accuses fellow IPCC scientists of “too much hubris.” He also told the Arizona conference, “climate data has been withheld and manipulated ”and that it is clear that “someone took out information.”

Here is a newly released video from the Heartland Institute, of Sprigg’s presentation to a packed audience of scientists at the 13th Annual Energy and Environment Conference, Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday February 2, 2010

Although a non-skeptic, the esteemed former IPCC man is now on the campaign trail to restore the credibility of his profession. Still adamant that human carbon dioxide emissions are impacting the climate, the professor is deeply disturbed by what he has read in the leaked Climategate emails and calls for more respect to be shown to scientists who hold sceptical viewpoints.

Sprigg bemoans the fact that the IPCC has scorned any further reviews, and is unimpressed with the computer forecasts of climatologists calling their scenarios “tentative models.”

All scientists should applaud Sprigg for a clear show of honest principles so wanting of late at the IPCC. We commend Professor Sprigg’s honorable example and we hope that this leads to open sharing of data that needs to be placed in the public domain.

SOURCE (See the original for video)

Climategate Necessary to Cover Incorrect Climate Basics of IPCC

By Dr. Tim Ball

Canada and the US announced new targets for carbon reduction that are completely unnecessary. It is madness and ultimately destructive to western society but what the perpetrators want. Despite exposure of the complete corruption of the science they continue to assume CO2 is a problem. UN Climate chief Yves De Boer said, “what’s happened, it’s unfortunate, it’s bad, it’s wrong, but I don’t think it has damaged the basic science.”

British Climate Secretary Ed Miliband said, “It’s right that there’s rigour applied to all the reports about climate change, but I think it would be wrong that when a mistake is made it’s somehow used to undermine the overwhelming picture that’s there,” It’s not one mistake but a complete fabrication of every aspect of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports. In addition, science is only correct when accurate predictions are made and the IPCC have been wrong in every single one. Miliband’s thinking helps explain why the UK is on the brink of economic disaster and needs a diversion. It is said, despite the disclosures, because the objective of eliminating fossil fuels and destroying industrial economies is still pursued.

What they don’t understand or choose to ignore is that the basic science was wrong from the start.

The corruption disclosed was necessary because the science and the evidence didn’t fit what they wanted. They made the science fit the political goals and stopped at nothing to achieve the end. They succeeded, because beyond manipulations that duped politicians, media and most of the public, they knew many scientists who participated did not understand climate science. Blinded by career ambitions and large funding they ignored what was going on or lacked the expertise to know. Now some scientists incorrectly claim the basic evidence is still valid.

Politicians and political leaders worldwide accepted and adopted these reports as their political Bible. Most of them still don’t understand what went on and therefore failed to react properly. Scientists in political positions support them in their chosen ignorance manifest in inappropriate reactions.

John Beddington, science advisor to the UK government and professor of applied population biology demonstrates his lack of understanding of climate science. He says, “It’s unchallengeable that CO2 traps heat and warms the Earth and that burning fossil fuels shoves billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. But where you can get challenges is on the speed of change.”

There are serious questions about the role of CO2 as a greenhouse gas. For example, the IPCC claimed CO2 stays in the atmosphere for up to 100 years but we know that this residency time is wrong. It is between five and six years. The duration was an essential part of the political game to increase pressure for action: even if we stopped CO2 production right now the impact would be felt for decades. There’s also the troubling fact that in every record of any duration for any time in the Earth’s history temperature change precedes CO2 change. We have little idea of the greenhouse effect when we have no understanding of the role of water vapor. His argument about the speed of change is not an issue either. They made it one by claiming current change is faster than in the past. It isn’t.

Beddington’s comments show he doesn’t understand the scientific method. He said, “I don’t think it’s healthy to dismiss proper skepticism.” How does he distinguish between skepticisms? What is “proper”? All scientists are skeptics and all of their questions and inputs are healthy. The CRU gang and government agencies actively excluded skeptics and skepticism. The use of the term is dismissive and in a backhanded way acknowledges their behavior.

Complaints about the control, typified by CRU Director Phil Jones’s statement he would keep certain papers out even if it meant changing the peer-reviewed process, led to an external review process. It was a sham, a public relations exercise allowing them to say they were inclusive of skeptics, when they changed virtually nothing. I could never discover who chose the reviewers. Virtually none of the corrections amendments and additions proposed by the external reviewers were included. One review editor claimed he had eliminated files when pushed for an accounting.

Recently a paper published in Science announces, “climate scientists have overlooked a major cause of global warming and cooling, a new study reveals today.” No they haven’t, only the scientists involved in the IPCC have overlooked it. We then have a quote from Dr. Susan Solomon of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “current climate models do a remarkable job on water vapor near the surface but this is different it’s a thin wedge of the upper atmosphere that packs a wallop from one decade to the next in a way we didn’t expect.”

No, the current climate models do not do a remarkable job. In fact the entire issue of water vapor as a greenhouse gas is essentially ignored and badly handled. Dr. Solomon was a co-chair of the Working Group 1, the Scientific Group of the IPCC. This means responsibility for the content of their report. Solomon was in direct communication with the people at CRU. Dr. Solomon failed to identify the serious problems now being disclosed. How does the certainty of the Reports and especially the Summary for Policymakers fit with this statement by Solomon? “We call this the 10/10/10 paper, 10 miles above your head, there is 10% less water vapor than there was 10 years ago. Why did the water vapor decrease? We really don’t know, we don’t have enough information yet.”

Despite this Solomon must play down the limitations the findings imply saying, “this isn’t an indication that predictions on global warming are overstated”. Yes it is, and the cooling trend since 2002 while CO2 levels increased is another. “This doesn’t mean there isn’t global warming.” “There’s no significant debate that it is warmer now than it was 100 years ago, due to anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gases.”

The only place were that statement is true is in the computer models of the IPCC and we know they are useless. As CRU and IPCC member Trenberth said on October 12 2009, “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.” Solomon apparently found an answer by claiming the upper level water vapor, “very likely made substantial contributions to the flattening of the global warming trend since about 2000.” And that is probably what the research is all about.

Dr. Solomon was also involved in the claim that CFCs were destroying the ozone when there was never any evidence. In fact, UV interacting with oxygen creates ozone but they incorrectly assumed UV was constant. We now know it varies by up to 200%.

The hypothesis that CO2 was causing warming was accepted as fact before scientific testing began. They blocked most testing and challenges, but it never was the cause. As the evidence accumulated this was the case Climategate became necessary to corrupt and falsify. Now dismissal of Climategate ignores how the fundamental science is wrong. Climategate became necessary to achieve the political objective. Politicians and scientists who bought into the objectives don’t want to believe Climategate or abandon the benefits of appearing green, advancing careers, making money, or imposing taxes and political control on everybody to destroy western economies and democracy.


The IPCC, a would-be Vatican

THE recent climate science scandals have been revealing. For those of us who have had the experience of environmentalists accusing us of being "deniers" and "doubters of The Science", as if science is a gospel truth that you question or ignore at your peril, they have also been enjoyable.

Take the revelations that academics at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia bent over backwards to keep "deniers" out of respected journals, and tried desperately to wriggle out of Freedom of Information demands on their work, or the expose of the bizarre story of the Himalayan glaciers melting by the year 2035, which turned out to be the flighty speculation of a single scientist.

The scandals have revealed that leading lights in the climate change story sought to suppress debate and demonise their opponents, and allowed their moral conviction about humanity's hubris bringing about the end of the world to sprint ahead of the "scientific facts".

The scandals reveal that many climate change alarmists are intolerant and censorious. Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has attacked the sceptics who are asking entirely rational questions about some of the IPCC's claims, accusing them of indulging in "skulduggery of the worst kind".

Behaving more like a secular Vatican than a genuinely enlightened, open-minded, inquisitive gathering of investigative scientists, the IPCC's overlords treat dissent as something disgusting.

Of course it is a serious problem when wrong or skewed or speculative science is promoted as "the truth" to the public. And what the recent climate-science scandals reveal is that such dodgy science becomes more likely as science is politicised and used to motor social policy and social-control initiatives.

The elite flattering of scientists as oracles of wisdom whose work can help both to illuminate and possibly offset what is allegedly the worst crisis mankind has ever faced - global warming - must inevitably pollute and distort the scientific process.

Some now claim, disingenuously, that the melting glacier thing was just one little claim in the IPCC's 3000-page report. This slyly overlooks how that one little claim became one of the most widely cited pieces of climate-change evidence among both green-leaning journalists and world leaders.

Why did that happen? Not because it was scientifically airtight - it was no such thing - but because it chimed perfectly with the ridiculous biblical prophecies of a future doom brought about by mankind's sinful behaviour that underpin green thinking today. The glacier claim suggested that millions of people in Asia would run out of water and die of thirst or spread around the world like crazy, politically destabilising environmental refugees.

The various climategate scandals suggest that the most alarming-sounding science tends to get bigged up, and that peer review has become an increasingly politicised, back-patting exercise where science that is "politically right" gets elevated over science that is "politically wrong".

But it is not enough to pick apart the bad science of the politics of environmentalism, and to call for the IPCC either to apologise for that bad science or to expunge it in the interests of putting its documents once more "beyond criticism". The bigger, more profound problem is the elevation of science itself to such a sacred, esteemed position in politics, society and international debate. In many ways it doesn't matter if that science is airtight or flimsy, its sanctification is deeply problematic either way.

Fundamentally, the IPCC is a scientific crutch for elites that are bereft of political vision and stunningly lacking in an inspiring or human-based morality. Science has become one of the only sources of authority for politically exhausted and morally bankrupt governments and institutions.

The politicians and green activists desperately calling for the IPCC to get its house in order, to get rid of the crap science and only keep the allegedly good stuff, know which side their bread is buttered. They know that the IPCC is the emperor's last shred of clothing, providing otherwise denuded rulers and campaigners with a form of unquestionable authority for their backward, killjoy, misanthropic agendas.

They are really demanding the preservation of the IPCC by any means necessary because they value the way it provides them with a God-like authority for Orwellian action at a time when serious democratic debate is notable by its absence. And perhaps we should call for the abolition of the IPCC, not because some of its science is daft, but for precisely those same reasons.


Climate alarmists out in the cold

Comment from Miranda Devine in Australia

As the wheels keep falling off the climate alarmist bandwagon, it's suddenly become fashionable to be a sceptic. Out of the woodwork have crawled all sorts of fair-weather friends. But where were they when the going was tough, when we were being hammered as Holocaust deniers, planet wreckers, in the pay of the "Big Polluters", bad parents, pariahs, equivalent to murderers? It was pure McCarthyism.

But now, even the most aggressive alarmists have gone quiet or softened their rhetoric and people who sat on the fence have morphed into wise owls. They still think it's acceptable to mock touring British sceptic Lord Christopher Monckton's protruding eyes, a distressing symptom of his thyroid disease, in an effort to marginalise him as a lunatic, rather than address his criticisms. But, when even the British left-leaning, warmist-friendly Guardian newspaper has begun to investigate the fraud involved in "sexing up" climate change science, it's clear the collapse of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's credibility and the holes in the case for catastrophic man-made climate change can no longer be ignored.

We are witnessing an outbreak of neo-open-mindedness and face-saving from people who brooked no nuance. The formerly alarmist British chief scientific adviser, John Beddington, has said: "I don't think it's healthy to dismiss proper scepticism." Hallelujah.

Australia's Chief Scientist, Professor Penny Sackett, who just three months ago was telling us that we had only five years to stop catastrophic global warming, is similarly less gung-ho these days. On ABC television's 7.30 Report this week she expressed concern about "a confusion" between the science and the politics of climate change. "I think that we're seeing more and more a confusion between a political debate, a political debate that needs to happen, it's important to happen, and the discussion of the science. I feel that these two things are being confused and it worries me, actually."

Funny, proponents of the theory of catastrophic man-made climate change never expressed concern about the "confusion", aka politicisation of science, when it was running their way.

Blows to the climate alarm case keep coming, from fraudulent claims about melting glaciers, increased hurricanes and drought, dying Amazon rainforest, disappearing polar bears and the flooding of half of Holland.

The latest, most serious, blow was the revelation this week that an influential paper discounting the so-called urban heat island effect was based on vanished and perhaps fraudulent data from remote Chinese weather stations. The 1990 paper was co-authored by the besieged director of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, Phil Jones and a US colleague, who are now accused of a "cover-up".

Jones, of course, and other leading scientists, have been exposed by their leaked "Climategate" emails, as political partisans who tried to suppress data, subvert freedom of information laws, and blackball journals and scientists who didn't toe the alarmist line.

Meanwhile, revelations pile up about shoddy references used to sex up the IPCC's Nobel Prize-winning Fourth Assessment Report of 2007. Among them is the bogus claim that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035, based on a speculative interview in a popular science magazine. The IPCC lead author of the chapter that contained the reference, Murari Lal, told Britain's Mail on Sunday last week that he knew the glacier claim was wrong but included it to put political pressure on world leaders to cut emissions. "We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policymakers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action."

Because it was in a good cause it was somehow OK for the United Nations' lead climate change body to slant science, cherry-pick data, and base claims on such flimsy references as Greenpeace and WWF propaganda, a student's master's thesis and anecdotes in Climber magazine.

This sort of "noble cause" corruption appears to have permeated climate change science, and set back the legitimate cause of fighting pollution. The dishonesty will have only ensured a generation of people will no longer trust environmental warnings.

One of the most significant recent revelations is how influential and embedded were environmental activists such as WWF and Greenpeace. Not only were their publications cited in the 2007 report in at last 24 instances as if they were proper peer-reviewed science, but their staffers were in familiar communication with East Anglia climate researchers, and were regarded apparently as "honest brokers" rather than political lobbyists. In one email, Alan Markham from WWF writes to climate scientists urging a paper on climate change in Australia be "beefed up".

WWF "would like to see the section on a variability and extreme events beefed up, if possible," Markham wrote in 1999. "I guess the bottom line is that if they are going to go with a big public splash on this they need something that will get good support from CSIRO scientists."

In another email to East Anglia scientists, WWF's Stephan Singer offers "a few thousand euros" to write a paper about the economic cost of Europe's 2003 heatwave.

They got away with it for a very long time. Today, the bankruptcy of the climate alarm cause is demonstrated by the fact its highest profile champion is Osama bin Laden. "Boycott [America] to save yourselves … and your children from climate change", he said in an audiotape released last week.

Rising in the opinion polls, the opposition leader, Tony Abbott, has found himself on the right side of history. He was even able this week to utter the former heresy that "carbon dioxide is an essential trace gas" and "these so-called nasty big polluters are the people who keep the lights on". But in the game of musical chairs that politics often is Kevin Rudd has found himself with no place to sit.


Costly Proposed Air Standards Lack Scientific Basis

In testimony delivered in Houston today, officials with the American Petroleum Institute said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed new ozone pollution standards would exact significant costs on consumers, jobs and the economy without delivering commensurate benefits. Furthermore, they said there was no solid scientific justification for imposing the more stringent standards.

“Without a clear certain scientific basis for selecting a different numeric standard, the ozone standard need not be changed now. We urge the Administrator not to pursue this proposal,” said policy advisor Ted Steichen, who presented API’s testimony. He said EPA’s own studies failed to support a lowering of the ozone standards.

Steichen emphasized that tremendous progress has been made improving the nation’s air quality, in large part through oil and natural gas industry efforts, and said more improvements will follow – under the existing ozone standards – because of pollution controls in place or soon to be implemented.

EPA’s trends data (Figure 1 above), according ot API, shows that the emissions from six criteria air pollutants dropped by 60 percent between 1970 and 2008, while vehicle miles traveled (VMT) went up 163 percent.

“Thanks to implementation of the Clean Air Act,” Steichen testified, “our air quality has demonstrably improved. Since 1990, the oil and gas industry invested more than $175 billion – that’s billion, with a ‘B’ – towards improving the environmental performance of its products, facilities, and operations.”

Both cleaner vehicles and cleaner fuels will contribute to further improvement, he explained, with “annual emission reductions from the use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel with cleaner technology engines … equivalent to removing the pollution from more than 90% of today’s trucks and buses by 2030.”

Steichen said moving forward with the proposed new standards could “impact citizens while they are still suffering from a severe recession, in the very communities where we need to be creating jobs.”

SOURCE. (See the original for graphics)


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5 February, 2010

Is the ozone "hole" really shrinking?

It's just fluctuating wildly from year to year as it always has done but by making some complex "allowances", climate statisticians claim to find a declining trend. But since climate statisticians are in the same class as used-car salesmen these days, it would be safer to stick with the raw data -- discouraging to Greenies though that might be

Further: As I read it, the research concerns only overall ozone levels in the atmosphere and has not in fact used measurements of the Antarctic "hole". There's many a slip twixt cup and lip there. It will be interesting to see what is in the relevant journal article when -- and if -- it has passed peer review

THE first hard evidence is in that global action under the Montreal Protocol to mend the hole in the ozone layer is starting to work. In the first accurate assessment of the impact of the treaty, Macquarie University climate dynamicist Murry Salby and his colleague Lilia Deschamps from the Bureau of Meteorology found that the ozone layer was about 10 per cent along the road to recovery. The rebound follows cuts to global emissions of chlorofluorocarbons and halons, which have been destroying the gaseous shield that blocks ultraviolet radiation and which is critical to life on Earth.

The scientists announced their results at the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society conference at the Australian National University in Canberra last Friday .

The ozone layer is in the stratosphere, the zone 10km to 50km above the Earth's surface. The ozone hole is a region where ozone concentrations can drop to only 30 per cent of their natural values. First observed in the late 1970s, it develops over Antarctica each spring and expands to cover the polar cap.

In early summer the Antarctic vortex, an atmospheric circulation pattern that isolates the column of air above the ice continent, breaks down. Released, the ozone-depleted air mixes with air across the southern hemisphere, diluting ozone at mid-latitudes during summer.

The atmospheric concentration of ozone-depleting CFCs and halons has been falling since the adoption of the Montreal Protocol in 1987. But even as these chemicals have been phased out of aerosol cans, refrigerators, fire extinguishers and factories, ozone levels have been fluctuating wildly between years. "These large changes mask the more gradual recovery of the ozone layer that is due to the decrease of ozone-depleting pollutants," Professor Salby told the HES.

He and Dr Deschamps confirmed that the erratic changes between years were due mainly to global atmospheric perturbations called planetary waves. "We showed there was a very strong relationship between planetary waves and changes of the ozone hole from one year to the next," he said. The changes introduced by planetary waves, which controlled the temperature of the stratosphere, at present dominated the evolution of the ozone hole, he said. "Temperature over Antarctica is a very strong determinant of the polar stratospheric cloud, which forms mainly over Antarctica. [This] cloud is at the heart of ozone depletion. It's responsible for the formation of the ozone hole each spring."

Particles in stratospheric clouds are sites where CFCs and halons launch their chemical attack on ozone molecules. Highly reactive forms of chlorine are the most damaging. The scientists compensated for the effect of planetary waves in the 30-year ozone record collected by NASA satellites. "This unmasked the slowly varying anthropogenic contribution," Professor Salby said. "It gives a fairly clear picture of ozone recovery. In it, you can see the rebound of ozone now.

"The signature of recovery is visible over the last decade and extends back into the late 1990s. We compared it against the evolution of chlorine, especially since the Montreal Protocol. "Once planetary waves are accounted for, the ozone graph closely tracks the chlorine graph."

Without the scientists' analysis, it would have taken 20 years for chlorine concentrations to have decreased enough for scientists to make a statistically valid assessment of the Montreal treaty.

Professor Salby said the anthropogenic component of ozone recovery - the gradual rebound over the past decade - amounted to about 10 per cent of a full return to pre-1980 levels. Ozone concentrations were at their lowest in the late 90s and were not expected to recover fully for about 50 years, he said.

The results correlating planetary waves and the ozone hole would clear the way for seasonal forecasts of ozone and the UV index.


IPCC: International Pack of Climate Crooks

Unquestionably the world's final authority on the subject, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's findings and recommendations have formed the bedrock of literally every climate-related initiative worldwide for more than a decade. Likewise, virtually all such future endeavors -- be they Kyoto II, domestic cap-and-tax, or EPA carbon regulation, would inexorably be built upon the credibility of the same U.N. panel's "expert" counsel. But a glut of ongoing recent discoveries of systemic fraud has rocked that foundation, and the entire man-made global warming house of cards is now teetering on the verge of complete collapse.

Simply stated, we've been swindled. We've been set up as marks by a gang of opportunistic hucksters who have exploited the naïvely altruistic intentions of the environmental movement in an effort to control international energy consumption while redistributing global wealth and (in many cases) greedily lining their own pockets in the process.

Perhaps now, more people will finally understand what many have known for years: Man-made climate change was never really a problem -- but rather, a solution.

For just as the science of the IPCC has been exposed as fraudulent, so have its apparent motives. The true ones became strikingly evident when the negotiating text for the "last chance to save the planet" International Climate Accord [PDF], put forth in Copenhagen in December, was found to contain as many paragraphs outlining the payment of "climate debt" reparations by Western nations under the watchful eye of a U.N.-controlled global government as it did emission reduction schemes.

Then again, neither stratagem should come as any real surprise to those who've paid attention. Here's a recap for those who have, and a long-overdue wake-up call for those who haven't. [See also The CFC Ban: Global Warming's Pilot Episode]

The Perfect Problem to the Imperfect Solution

The U.N. signaled its intent to politicize science as far back as 1972 at its Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE) in Stockholm, Sweden. There, an unlikely mélange of legitimate environmental activists, dyed-in-the-wool Marxists, and assorted anti-establishment '60s leftovers were delighted to hear not only the usual complaints about "industrialized" environmental problems, but also a long list of international inequities. Among the many human responsibilities condemned were overpopulation, misuse of resources and technology, unbalanced development, and the worldwide dilemma of urbanization. And from that marriage of global, environmental, and social justice concerns was born the IPCC's parent organization -- the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) -- and the fortune-cookie like prose of its socialist-environmentalist manifesto, the Stockholm Declaration.

It was seven years later that UNEP was handed the ideal villain to fuel its counterfeit crusade. That was the year (1979) in which NASA's James Hansen's team of climate modelers convinced a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel to report [PDF] that doubling atmospheric CO2 -- which had risen from 280 ppmv in the pre-industrial 1800s to over 335 ppmv -- would cause nearly 3°C of global warming. And although the figure was wildly speculative, many funding-minded scientists -- including some previously predicting that aerosols and orbital shifts would lead to catastrophic global cooling -- suddenly embraced greenhouse gas theory and the inevitability of global warming.

It was at that moment that it became clear that the long-held scientific position that the Earth's ecosystem has always and will always maintain CO2 equilibrium could be easily swayed toward a more exploitable belief system. And the UNEP now had the perfect problem to its solution: anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

After all, both its abatement and adaptation require huge expansion of government controls and taxation. Furthermore, it makes industry and capitalism look bad while affording endless visuals of animals and third-world humans suffering at the hands of wealthy Westerners. And most importantly, by fomenting accusations that "rich" countries have effectively violated the human rights of hundreds of millions of the world's poorest people by selfishly causing climate-based global suffering, it helps promote the promise of international wealth redistribution to help less fortunate nations adapt to its consequences.

Best of all, being driven by junk-science that easily metamorphoses as required, it appeared to be endlessly self-sustaining.

But it needed to be packaged for widespread consumption. And packaged it they surely have. Here's an early classic.

The year was 1988, and Colorado Senator Tim Wirth had arranged for Hansen to testify on the subject before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to help sell the dire need to enact national environmental legislation. As Wirth has since admitted, he intentionally scheduled Hansen's appearance on what was forecasted to be the hottest day of the hearings. And in a brilliantly underhanded marketing ploy, he and his cohorts actually snuck into the hearing room the night before and opened the windows, rendering the air conditioning all but useless.

Imagine the devious beauty of the scene that unfolded in front of the cameras the next day -- a NASA scientist preaching fire and brimstone, warning of "unprecedented global warming" and a potential "runaway greenhouse effect," all the while wiping the dripping sweat off his brow. No wonder the resultant NY Times headline screamed, "Global Warming Has Begun, Expert Tells Senate."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how climate hysteria and not one, but two of its shining stars were born. For coincidentally, that was the same year the IPCC was established by the U.N. Its mandate: to assess "the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change."

How perfect: an organization formed not to prove or disprove AGW, but merely to assess its risks and recommend an appropriate response.....

The Dawn of Outright Climate Fraud

Back in 1989, future Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) Working Group 2 (WG2) lead author Stephen Schneider disclosed several tricks of the trade to Discover magazine: " To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest."

And according to MIT's Richard Lindzen's 2001 Senate subcommittee testimony, that's precisely what he witnessed as a Third Assessment Report (TAR) lead author. Among the atmospheric physicist's revelations was the fact that contributing TAR scientists -- already facing the threat of disappearing grant funds and derision as industry stooges -- were also met with ad hominem attacks from IPCC "coordinators" if they refused to tone down criticism of faulty climate models or otherwise questioned AGW dogma. I suppose that's one way to achieve the "consensus" the IPCC loudly boasts of.

As previously discussed here and here, it was in the same 2001 TAR that the IPCC suddenly and inexplicably scrapped its long-held position that global temperatures had fluctuated drastically over the previous millennium and replaced it with a chart depicting relatively flat temperatures prior to a sharp rise beginning in 1900. This, of course, removed the pesky higher-than-present-day temperatures of the Medieval Warm Period of 900-1300 AD, the existence of which obstructed the unprecedented-warming sales pitch.

Truth be told, this little bit of hocus-pocus alone should have marked the end of the panel's scientific credibility, particularly after Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick uncovered the corruption behind it. But thanks to a hugely successful campaign to demonize all critics as big-oil shills, the "Hockey Stick Graph" (aka MBH98) not only survived, but -- after receiving a prominent role in Al Gore's 2006 grossly exaggerated "scary scenarios" sci-fi movie -- actually went on to become a global warming icon. Even after McIntyre finally got his hands on one scientist's data last September and proved that Keith Briffa had cherry-picked data to create his MBH98-supporting series, the MSM paid McIntyre and others reporting the hoax little heed.

Consequently, TAR's false declaration of the 20th as the hottest century of the millennium was widely accepted as fact, right along with its proclamation that the 1990's were the hottest decade and 1998 the hottest year since measurements began in was the replacement of "discernible human influence" described six years earlier with the claim of "new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities."

So by the time AR4 rolled out in 2007, in which they significantly raised not only the threat level, but also the degree of anthropogenic certitude (to 90%), the IPCC's word was all but gospel to the MSM, left-leaning policymakers, and an increasingly large portion of the population. Indeed, everywhere you turned, you'd hear that "the IPCC said this" or "the IPCC said that." The need to address "climate change" had quickly become a foregone and inarguable conclusion in most public discourse.

At that moment, Kyoto II seemed as inevitable as the next insufferable NBC Green is Universal week, and with it, the U.N.'s place as steward of the planet, which would surely be ratified at the pending 2009 Climate Conference in Copenhagen. ...Until, that is, the mind-boggling magnitude of AR4's deception became glaringly apparent.

Caught with their Green Thumbs on the Scale

Most readers are likely aware that in November of last year, a folder containing documents, source code, data, and e-mails was somehow misappropriated from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU). The so-called "Climategate" emails disclosed an arrogant mockery of the peer review process as well a widespread complicity in and acceptance among climate researchers to hiding and manipulating data unfriendly to the global warming agenda. The modeling source code -- as I reported here -- contained routines which employed a number of "fudge factors" to modify the results of data series -- again, to bias results to the desired outcome. And this, coupled with the disclosure of the Jones "hide the decline" e-mail, provided more evidence that MBH98 -- and ergo unprecedented 20th-century warming -- is a fraud.

The following month, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change had probably tampered with Russian climate data. Apparently, Hadley ignored data submitted by 75% of Russian stations, effectively omitting over 40% of Russian territory from global temperature calculations -- not coincidentally, areas that didn’t "show any substantial warming in the late 20th-century and the early 21st-century."

But Climategate was only the tip of the iceberg. An AR4 warning that unchecked climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 was found to be lifted from an erroneous World Wildlife Federation (WWF) report and misrepresented as peer-reviewed science. IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri attempted to parry this "mistake" by accusing the accusers at the Indian environment ministry of "arrogance" and practicing "voodoo science" in issuing a report [PDF] disputing the IPCC. But one in his own ranks, Dr Murari Lal, the coordinating lead author of the chapter making the claim, had the astoundingly bad manners to admit that he knew all along that it "did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research." Apparently, so had Pachauri, who continued to lie about it for months so as not to sully the exalted AR4 immediately prior to Copenhagen.

And "Glaciergate" opened the floodgates to other serious misrepresentations in AR4, including a boatload of additional non-peer-reviewed projections pulled directly from WWF reports. These included discussions on the effects of melting glaciers on mudflows and avalanches, the significant damages climate change will have on selected marine fish and shellfish, and even assessing global-average per-capita "ecological footprints." It should be noted here that IPCC rules specifically disqualify all non-peer-reviewed primary sources.

Nonetheless, Chapter 13 of the WG2 report stated that forty percent of Amazonian forests are threatened by climate change. And it also cited a WWF piece as its source -- this one by two so-called "experts," who incidentally are actually environmental activists. What's more, the WWF study dealt with anthropogenic forest fires, not global warming, and barely made mention of Amazonian forests at all. Additionally, the WWF's figures were themselves based on a Nature paper [PDF] studying neither global warming nor forest fires, but rather the effects of logging on rain forests. So the IPCC predicted climate change-caused 40% forest destruction based on a report two steps upstream which concluded that "[l]ogging companies in Amazonia kill or damage 10-40% of the living biomass of forests through the harvest process."

Adding to the glacial egg on the AR4 authors' faces was the statement that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps, and Africa were being caused by global warming. It turns out that one of the two source papers cited was actually a mountain-climbers' magazine. Actually, this is a relatively authoritative source compared to the other: a dissertation from a Swiss college student based on his interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.

The 2007 green bible also contained a gross exaggeration in its citation of Muir-Wood et al., 2006's study on global warming and natural disasters. The original stated that "a small statistically significant trend was found for an increase in annual catastrophe loss since 1970 of 2% per year." But the AR4 synthesis report stated that more "heavy precipitation" is "very likely" and that an "increase in tropical cyclone intensity" is "likely" as temperatures rise.

Perhaps the most dumbfounding AR4 citation (so far) was recently discovered by It appears that a WG2 warning that "[t]he multiple stresses of climate change and increasing human activity on the Antarctic Peninsula represent a clear vulnerability and have necessitated the implementation of stringent clothing decontamination guidelines for tourist landings on the Antarctic Peninsula" originated from and was attributed to a guide for Antarctica tour operators on decontaminating boots and clothing. Really.

And here's one you may not have heard yet. A paper published last December by Lockart, Kavetski, and Franks rebuts the AR4 WG1 assertion that CO2-driven higher temperatures drive higher evaporation and thereby cause droughts. The study claims they got it backwards, as higher air temperatures are in fact driven by the lack of evaporation (as occurs during drought). I smell another "-gate" in the works.

And yet, perhaps the greatest undermining of IPCC integrity comes from a recent study, which I’ve summarized here, challenging the global temperature data reported by its two most important American allies: NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As these represent the readings used by most climate analysis agencies, including the IPCC, the discovery by meteorologist Joe D'Aleo and computer expert E.M. Smith that they've been intentionally biased to the warm side since 1990 puts literally every temperature-related climate report released since then into question.

...Along with, of course, any policy decisions based on their content.

More HERE (See the original for links)

IPCC goofs again: now Holland is drowned

Comment and roundup from Andrew Bolt in Australia below

Yet another blunder in that IPCC 2007 report which Kevin Rudd uses to justify his great green tax to “stop” global warming:
A United Nations report wrongly claimed that more than half of the Netherlands is currently below sea level.

In fact, just twenty percent of the country consists of polders that are pumped dry, and which are at risk of flooding if global warming causes rising sea levels. Dutch Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer has ordered a thorough investigation into the quality of the climate reports which she uses to base her policies on.
Funny how every mistake now coming to light is of the kind that tended to make global warming scarier. You know, that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035, the Amazonian rain forests were extremely vulnerable, the Antarctica would become too fragile even for dirty shoes. And funny, too, how the IPCC boss cadged so many grants, directorships and business deals as his IPCC hyped the dangers. (Just read a fuller list of IPCC controversies here.)

Nor is that the only sceptical news from the Netherlands:
Dutch researchers reporting to Minister Cramer on Wednesday said that global warming appears to be slower than had been assumed.
Surely Cramer’s demand now for a review of the climate science by her scientists is exactly what’s needed here, too. I mean, shouldn’t Climate Change Minister Penny Wong be saying exactly this sort of thing herself:
Dutch Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer says she will no longer tolerate errors by climate researchers. She expressed her anger to Dutch researchers who presented their annual report on the state of the climate on Wednesday.
Here’s Tony Abbott’s way out of the pinch of claiming to still believe in dangerous man-made warming, yet blocking Rudd’s emissions trading scheme. Surely there’s now so many scandals engulging the IPCC and its science, that it’s mad for us to spend a single dollar more until an inquiry - with sceptical scientists on board too - reviews all the science we were once falsely told was “settled”.

Demand an inquiry now.


India goes even further:
India has threatened to pull out of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and set up its on climate change body because it “cannot rely” on the group headed by its own Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr R K Pachauri…

In India the (IPCC’s) false claims (on the Himalayas) have heightened tensions between Dr Pachauri and the government… In Autumn, its environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, said that while glacial melting in the Himalayas was a real concern, there was evidence that some were actually advancing despite global warming…

(L)ast night Mr Ramesh effectively marginalised the IPC chairman even further. He announced that the Indian government will establish a separate National Institute of Himalayan Glaciology to monitor the effects of climate change on the world’s “third ice cap”, and an “Indian IPCC” to use “climate science” to assess the impact of global warming throughout the country.

“There is a fine line between climate science and climate evangelism. I am for climate science. ...” he said.


Steve Milloy Reacts to Penn State ‘ClimateGate’ News, Says Investigation ‘Not Thorough At All’

Steve Milloy responded to news about Penn State University’s investigation into Dr. Michael Mann’s alleged involvement in the “ClimateGate” e-mails scandal, saying the review appeared to have been “not thorough at all.”

Milloy, publisher of and author of Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them, issued a statement after a panel at the university determined an investigation is warranted in one of four ‘possible allegations’ related to Dr. Mann:

1. The review apparently extended little further than the Climategate e-mails themselves, an interview with Mann, materials submitted by Mann and whatever e-mails and comments floated in over the transom. Not thorough at all.

2. Comically, the report explains at length how the use of the word “trick” can mean a “clever device.” The report ignores that it was a “trick… to hide the decline.” There is no mention of “hide the decline” in the report.

3. The report concludes there is no evidence to indicate that Mann intended to delete e-mails. But this is contradicted by the plain language and circumstances surrounding Mann’s e-mail exchange with Phil Jones — See page 9 of Climategate & Penn State: The Case for an Independent Investigation;

4. The report dismisses the accusation that Mann conspired to silence skeptics by stating, “one finds enormous confusion has been caused by interpretations of the e-mails and their content.” Maybe there wouldn’t be so much “confusion” if PSU actually did a thorough investigation rather than just relying on the word of Michael Mann.

5. Although PSU is continuing the investigation, its reason is not to investigate Mann so much as it is to exonerate climate alarmism. On page 9 of the report, it says that “questions in the public’s mind about Dr. Mann’s conduct… may be undermining confidence in his findings as a scientist… and public trust in science in general and climate science specifically.”

“There needs to be a thorough and independent investigation of Climategate. PSU’s report is a primer for a whitewash,” concluded Milloy.


Time Magazine Has a Problem with the Truth about Global Warming

By Alan Caruba

Bryan Walsh has a great career in public relations awaiting him. Unfortunately he is currently passing himself off as a journalist for Time Magazine. PR, a profession I have enjoyed for several decades, is widely seen to “spin” facts to a client’s advantage and this is frequently the case. PR is advocacy. Journalism is supposed to be something else, i.e., the unbiased, objective reporting of the facts. Someone needs to explain this to Bryan.

In an article titled “Explaining a Global Climate Panel’s Key Missteps”, Bryan barely pretends to be a journalist as he engages in whitewashing some widely known facts about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations' scam for the propagation of the huge global warming hoax. Bryan correctly notes that the IPCC was “one of the most respected organizations in the world” and, in October 2007, had shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, a famed global warming blowhard and fabulist best known for predicting the end of the world next Tuesday.

Bryan noted that the Norwegian Nobel committee had “lauded the IPCC’s fourth assessment report in 2007 as creating an ever broader consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming.” Note that these are stated as facts, but in truth there never was a “consensus” in the worldwide community of climatologists and meteorologists, and other scientists.

Indeed, there have been three international conferences to debunk global warming, all sponsored by the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based non-profit, free market think tank that brought together some of the world’s leading scientists who participated in seminars and gave addresses that were illustrated by graphs and other data that debunked global warming. A fourth conference is scheduled in May and, who knows, some members of the U.S. media might actually attend and report the truth this time?

The assertion that there is a connection between human activities and the non-existent global warming doesn’t even meet the lowest standard of journalistic accuracy. There is no connection. None has ever been proven despite the claims. In general terms, the Earth’s climate is determined by the sun, the oceans, and other factors of such magnitude as to suggest that an ant hill poses a threat to a skyscraper.

Bryan finally got around to mentioning that “over the past week or two, the IPCC has seen its reputation for impartiality and accuracy take serious hits.” Hello! Those hits have been around for years, but the leak of emails in November 2009 between the key players in the global warming fraud unleashed a tsunami of revelations about the way the IPCC relied on deliberately distorted “facts” and strove to suppress the publication of the truth in leading science publications. It wasn’t over the past week or two unless Bryan has been in a deep comma for three months.

Calls for the resignation of IPCC chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, were noted. He has been under fire because he knew in advance of the Copenhagen conference that claims about melting Himalayan glaciers were bogus. Plaintively, Bryan asked, “What’s wrong with the IPCC?” and then answered saying, “To some degree, it’s a victim of its own size.”

Wrong again. The IPCC may have claimed that it had some 2,500 scientists participating, but the real “work” of the IPCC was undertaken by a close knit group of global warming fraudsters, several of whom are under investigation. They include Prof. Phil Jones of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) that provided key data regarding the planet’s temperatures---which always seemed to be rising exponentially.

Others included Prof. Michael Mann of Penn State University, a paleoclimatologist famed for his “hockey stick” graph of temperatures over the past 1,000 years that managed to overlook the Little Ice Age from 1300 to 1850. Joining the merry pranksters was Prof. Keith Briffa, another CRU researcher, who dished up a tree ring theory that confirmed global warming.

Dr. Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, linked increased hurricane activity to global warming, but was probably hard pressed to explain those years when it did not increase. There are others like Dr. James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute that got the whole ball rolling in 1986 when he told Congress that global warming would destroy the Earth if we didn’t put an end to all energy use that generated greenhouse gas emissions.

Instead of noting the misdeeds of these and others closely affiliated with the IPCC, Bryan quoted a scientist from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a “lead author on the 2007 IPCC report.” And we know how eager Richard Somerville must have been to suggest it might have been a thousand pages of nonsense. Bryan also quoted Peter Frumhoff of the left-learning Union of Concerned Scientists who repeated the tired IPCC message that “there is no debate about the core urgency” of global warming.

No debate? The debate has been raging for decades. Bryan, however, just plowed on, offering one excuse after another to cover the IPCC’s serious breach of ethics and accuracy, concluding that its “self-assessment” after each report and “the pressure…to be flawless” is the problem,but not the lies it has been putting forth since 1988. “But that’s exactly the sort of information policymakers will need to prepare for climate change going forward,” said Bryan.

No, policymakers need is real science, proven science. And the IPCC “science” about global warming, now rebranded as "climate change", is an insult to all real scientists and, beyond them, to a worldwide public that was consistently led to believe a massive hoax. Time, Newsweek, and countless others in the mainstream media have been co-conspirators in the global warming fraud. It is time to end this shameful blot on journalism and begin to report facts, not apocalyptic fantasy.


Global Warming Naysayers Find Support From Science

Article below from the newspaper of UCSB

In most areas of science, it is considered noble to be a skeptic of a given theory, unless that theory is man-made climate change. According to Al Gore, “The debate [about climate change] in the scientific community is over,” yet the debate curiously rages on. English Prime Minister Gordon Brown, frustrated by those pesky second-guessers, proclaimed, “we mustn’t be distracted by … flat-earth climate skeptics.” Yet while those who reject the climate change orthodoxy are portrayed as denying scientific fact, the facts are overwhelmingly supporting that skeptical view.

The theory of global warming states that greenhouse gasses, like carbon dioxide, trap the sun’s heat in the atmosphere, therefore an increase in human carbon dioxide emissions could potentially cause a steady rise in temperature. Indeed, Earth’s temperature over the past century of industrialization has risen by about .5 degrees Celsius, but the theory holds that greenhouse warming should be highest in the troposphere, the place where the greenhouse warming effect begins. Utterly confounding global warming temperature models, weather balloon data has shown the opposite; the troposphere has been consistently cooler than surface temperatures. When faced with real atmospheric data, one of the most fundamental assumptions behind climate change due to greenhouse warming absolutely breaks down.

Global warming proponents use data from ice core surveys to show that there is an intimate correlation between carbon dioxide and temperature. However, as the 2007 BBC documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle reveals, the alleged correlation is backward. Professor Ian Clark from the University of Ottawa has demonstrated from several ice core surveys that changes in the level of carbon dioxide lag behind corresponding changes in temperature by hundreds of years.

Carl Wunsch, professor of oceanography at M.I.T., described the phenomenon thus: “The ocean is the major reservoir [of] carbon dioxide … if you heat the surface of the ocean, it tends to emit carbon dioxide.” As the sun becomes increasingly active, it warms the vast oceans which, over a process that takes hundreds of years, release massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. “The sun is driving climate change,” explains Solar Physicist Piers Corbyn. “Carbon dioxide is irrelevant.”

It is easy for climate change advocates to dismiss skeptics as irrational and avoid a debate that threatens their primitive ideology. Their emotional argument consists of pointing to the thermometer in self-righteous indignation, but while temperature has been increasing, so has solar activity. The intensity of the sun’s magnetic field more than doubled during the twentieth century.

That is why the Left must silence skeptics and maintain a facade of scientific consensus, for if man-made climate change were to be revealed as junk science, their radical, anti-capitalist agenda would be utterly rejected by most Americans. Government regulations, such as caps on carbon emissions, have the potential to destroy both the economic prosperity of western civilization and the industrial progress of the third world. Only global warming skeptics, armed with scientific evidence and a willingness to question authority, have a chance of stopping 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


4 February, 2010

Even Greenpeace wants Pachauri to go

So they obviously think that the IPCC has damaged its case

The head of the UN’s climate change body is under pressure to resign after one of his strongest allies in the environmental movement said his judgment was flawed and called for a new leader to restore confidence in climatic science.

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has insisted that he will remain in post for another four years despite having failed to act on a serious error in the body’s 2007 report.

John Sauven, director of Greenpeace UK , said that Dr Pachauri should have acted as soon as he had been informed of the error, even though issuing a correction would have embarrassed the IPCC on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit.

A journalist working for Science had told Dr Pachauri several times late last year that glaciologists had refuted the IPCC claim that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. Dr Pachauri refused to address the problem, saying: “I don’t have anything to add on glaciers.” He suggested that the error would not be corrected until 2013 or 2014, when the IPCC next reported.

The IPCC issued a correction and apology on January 20, three days after the error had made global headlines. Mr Sauven said: “Mistakes will always be made but it’s how you handle those mistakes which affects the credibility of the institution. Pachauri should have put his hand up and said ‘we made a mistake’. It’s in these situations that your character and judgment is tested. Do you make the right judgment call? He clearly didn’t.”

The IPCC needed a new chairman who would hold public confidence by introducing more rigorous procedures, Mr Sauven said. “The IPCC needs to regain credibility. Is that going to happen with Pachauri [as chairman]? I don’t think so. We need someone held in high regard who has extremely good judgment and is seen by the global public as someone on their side.

“If we get a new person in with an open mind, prepared to fundamentally review how the IPCC works, we would regain confidence in the organisation.”

Dr Pachauri did not return calls yesterday but he told Indian television at the weekend that he believed attacks on him were being orchestrated by companies facing lower profits because of actions against climate change recommended by the IPCC.He added: “My credibility has been established because I was re-elected chairman in 2008 by all the countries of the world. They must have been satisfied with what I did in terms of the fourth assessment report [published in 2007] because they have given me the mandate of completing the fifth assessment report [[to be released over 2013 and 2014] which I intend doing.”

Bob Ward, of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, said the countries that had appointed Dr Pachauri should consider his handling of the glacier issue when the IPCC plenary meeting is held in October. “That issue ought to be dealt with by them. It would depend on how he responds to the crisis facing the IPCC.

“He has made mistakes but I don’t think those mistakes are so serious that you would automatically get rid of him. If you changed the head, I don’t think that would necessarily restore the credibility of the IPCC.”


Green math is bad math

On the front page of the New York Times' online edition Sunday was an artist's rendering of the pride and joy of the federal General Services Administration: a renovated federal building in Portland, Ore., that features plants growing up all 18 stories of one side. "They will bloom in the spring and summer when you want the shade, and then they will go away in the winter when you want to let the light in," Bob Peck, commissioner of public buildings for the G.S.A., told the Times, adding, "Don't ask me how you get them irrigated."

Don't ask how much they cost, either. I told you not to ask. OK, I'll tell you: The entire renovation costs $133 million. The plants are only one component, but the G.S.A. admits that the renovation is being undertaken for the purpose of making the building "green." Done as a project of the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, the renovation is Oregon's largest federal stimulus project.

The Obama administration proudly boasts that the effort will dramatically reduce the building's energy use, thereby saving federal taxpayers $280,000 a year in energy costs.

Now here comes the fun part. Nowhere in the article did The New York Times bother to do the math. So I did. (It wasn't hard, I did it on my Blackberry while setting out for a winter hike.) To recoup its investment in this renovation, the government will have to keep the building running for the next 475 years. Look on the bright side. Everything after year 476 is gravy!

As Joe Vaughan, a Portland commercial real estate developer, told The Times, "As a taxpayer, I think it's a horrible waste of money that no private developer would undertake."

The G.S.A response? "The idea is that the cost savings are in the energy efficiency," Caren Auchman, a spokeswoman for the G.S.A., uselessly told the Times, which did not question the validity, or sanity, of that statement.

To provide a little perspective, the taxpayers are going to shell out $133 million -- more than half the cost of the nearby Rose Garden Arena, where the Portland Trailblazers play -- so the government can annually save the taxpayers $68,000 less than the combined yearly salaries of Oregon's two U.S. senators.

This is what passes for a good "green" investment in Washington these days. This is only one tiny example of the type of cost-benefit analysis being promoted in Washington in the name of saving the planet.

More here

The Scientific Collapse of Man-made Global Warming

By Michael R. Fox, Ph.D., a nuclear scientist

The underlying science of man-made global warming has always been quite thin and tenuous, with little hard measurable evidence to support the hypothesis. In fact many temperature stations have shown either no warming or actual cooling over the past 80 years or more.

Similarly exaggerations by many UN nations of sea level changes have flourished and in turn blamed the United States for imagined damages. These are alleged by many nations, even when actual sea level measurements show little changes from the estimated 8 inches per century which has gone on for millennia (

Even though the man-made global warming theory is now collapsing scientifically, it is utterly amazing to realize that many of the most powerful leaders and governments in the world had bought into fiction. Now named Climategate, this was aided and abetted by most (but not all) of the media, the greens, Hollywood, even the educational system.

Skeptics have been pointing to the dearth of such evidence which, if it had been widely understood, would have ended the exaggerations. Actual measured scientific evidence often does that.

The UN and its many sub-organizations have led the charge in promoting the scare around the world, with most of their members subscribing to it. The billions that have been spent for global warming research also suggests that these billions actually helped promote the failed science involved.

After all, the goal of the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was not a better understanding of the climate. It was intended only to find any man-made influences on the climate. International politics ruled the effort, not the pursuit of science. It was no coincidence that only the wealthy nations, especially the capitalist US, were found to be the villains.

Near the end of November 2009 a huge global warming eruption occurred when thousand emails, documents, and computer codes were release from the files of one of he world’s major institutes in global warming. This was the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (CRU).

These findings were stunning to anyone familiar with the rules of science and the scientific method. Climate data manipulation, massaging, modification, and even omissions were common as indicated from the texts of the emails exchanged among world experts. Even worse, much of the original temperature data has now been lost. This means that that no replication of these studies starting with original data in the IPCC Assessment Reports is now possible. Such replications always begin with the raw data which are no longer available. To attempt replication with contaminated and corrupted data is simply not possible.

It’s been 60 days since the release of this information, with little it being reported in the US media. See link ( However, a lot of information about the man-made global warming collapse is being reported in the foreign media.

The head of the CRU has taken a leave of absence and now may be facing charges of fraud by the British government ( More members of the CRU team as well as American instigators may be charged since so many were involved.

Others are writing excellent analyses of the released CRU findings, given the short time for such important efforts. One of them is a 149 page analysis is called “Climategate Analysis” by John P. Costella ( Costella is both a mathematical and statistical expert. He writes about the impact of Climategate fraud on the exacting and rigorous nature of honest science (p.5):

“Climategate has shattered that myth (of scientific rigor). It gives us a peephole into the work of the scientists investigating possibly the most important issue ever to face mankind. Instead of seeing large collaborations of meticulous, careful, critical scientists, we instead see a small team of incompetent cowboys, abusing almost every aspect of the framework of science to build a fortress around their “old boys’ club”, to prevent real scientists from seeing the shambles of their “research”. Most people are aghast that this could have happened; and it is only because “climate science” exploded from a relatively tiny corner of academia into a hugely funded industry in a matter of mere years that the perpetrators were able to get away with it for so long.”

Another excellent analysis of Climategate has been performed by Joseph D’Aleo and Anthony Watts. It is titled “Surface Temperature Records: Policy Driven Deception?” and is 111 pages of detailed analyses ( These two analyses (and there are others) literally destroy nearly all of the scientific nature of the IPCC reports and pronouncements. They show that man-made CO2 still has little or nothing to do with climate, and most importantly has a great deal to do with international politics of the UN and allies.

D’Aleo and Watts provide 15 amazing summary points for policy makers describing the scientific malpractice among the UN, the IPCC and the rest of the global warming movement:

* 1. Instrumental temperature data for the pre-satellite era (1850-1980) have been so widely, systematically, and unidirectionally tampered with that it cannot be credibly asserted there has been any significant “global warming” in the 20th century. MF---Such tampering with data is utterly unprofessional.

* 2. All terrestrial surface-temperature databases exhibit very serious problems that render them useless for determining accurate long-term temperature trends. MF---Little mention has ever been made regarding the actual quality of temperature data and the need for control of high quality data.

* 3. All of the problems have skewed the data so as greatly to overstate observed warming both regionally and globally. MF---It now seems clear that the global warming movement was hell-bent in producing a man-made global warming scare by a variety of data manipulations.

* 4. Global terrestrial temperature data are gravely compromised because more than three-quarters of the 6,000 stations that once existed are no longer reporting. MF--- This is stunning. Try to imagine adult scientists trying to show climate warming by excluding temperature data from thousands of the world’s coldest stations. Amazing and dreadfully unethical.

* 5. There has been a severe bias towards removing higher-altitude, higher-latitude, and rural stations, leading to a further serious overstatement of warming.

* 6. Contamination by urbanization, changes in land use, improper siting, and inadequately-calibrated instrument upgrades further overstates warming.

* 7. Numerous peer-reviewed papers in recent years have shown the overstatement of observed longer term warming is 30-50% from heat-island contamination alone.

* 8. Cherry-picking of observing sites combined with interpolation to vacant data grids may make heat-island bias greater than 50% of 20th-century warming.

* 9. In the oceans, data are missing and uncertainties are substantial. Comprehensive coverage has only been available since 2003, and shows no warming.

* 10. Satellite temperature monitoring has provided an alternative to terrestrial stations in compiling the global lower-troposphere temperature record. Their findings are increasingly diverging from the station-based constructions in a manner consistent with evidence of a warm bias in the surface temperature record.

* 11. NOAA and NASA, along with CRU, were the driving forces behind the systematic hyping of 20th-century “global warming”. MF---This is important to understanding that these United States climate agencies were also very much involved with the climate deceptions.

* 12. Changes have been made to alter the historical record to mask cyclical changes that could be readily explained by natural factors like multidecadal ocean and solar changes.

* 13. Global terrestrial data bases are seriously flawed and can no longer be trusted to assess climate trends or VALIDATE model forecasts.

* 14. An inclusive external assessment is essential of the surface temperature record of CRU, GISS and NCDC “chaired and paneled by mutually agreed to climate scientists who do not have a vested interest in the outcome of the evaluations.”

* 15. Reliance on the global data by both the UNIPCC and the US GCRP/CCSP also requires a full investigation and audit.

The main stream media of the US have scarcely reported any of these skullduggeries, which means that the American public is essentially uninformed. We also learned during President Obama’s recent speech that even he has not been informed about the man-made global warming collapse.

This does not speak well of the wisdom of the president and especially of his vaunted science advisors. Obama’s NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, for example, is still under the belief that the IPCC is "the gold standard for authoritative scientific information on climate change because of the rigorous way in which they are prepared, reviewed, and approved." Unfortunately for some, the "gold standard" is at the heart of Climategate. (


A falling out among proxies

To estimate temperature and CO2 in the geological past "proxies" (e.g. Tree rings, ice cores) have to be used. And how good they are as proxies is far from agreed. But what if the proxies disagree in what they tell us? That is pretty nasty for the proxy users. In the article below is one look at such a disagreement in estimating CO2 levels
Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels for the last 500 million years

By Daniel H. Rothman


The last 500 million years of the strontium-isotope record are shown to correlate significantly with the concurrent record of isotopic fractionation between inorganic and organic carbon after the effects of recycled sediment are removed from the strontium signal. The correlation is shown to result from the common dependence of both signals on weathering and magmatic processes. Because the long-term evolution of carbon dioxide levels depends similarly on weathering and magmatism, the relative fluctuations of CO2 levels are inferred from the shared fluctuations of the isotopic records. The resulting CO2 signal exhibits no systematic correspondence with the geologic record of climatic variations at tectonic time scales.

The long-term carbon cycle is controlled by chemical weathering, volcanic and metamorphic degassing, and the burial of organic carbon (1, 2). Ancient atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are reflected in the isotopic content of organic carbon (3) and, less directly, strontium (4) in marine sedimentary rocks; the former because photosynthetic carbon isotope fractionation is sensitive to CO2 levels, and the latter because weathering and degassing are associated with extreme values of the abundance ratio 87Sr/86Sr. However, attempts to use these geochemical signals to estimate past CO2 levels (5–8) are hindered by the signals' additional relationships to various tectonic (9, 10) and biological (11) effects. Moreover, the strontium signal has proven especially difficult to parse (12–15).

Here, I attempt to resolve these ambiguities in the isotopic signals of carbon and strontium. First, it is shown that the last 500 million years of the strontium signal, after transformation to remove the effects of recycled sediment (16, 17), correlate significantly with the concurrent record of isotopic fractionation between inorganic and organic carbon (3). This empirical result is supplemented by the theoretical deduction that the two records are linked by their common dependence on rates of continental weathering and magmatic activity. The assumption that CO2 levels fall with the former and rise with the latter then indicates that an appropriate average of the two records should reflect the long-term fluctuations of the partial pressure of atmospheric CO2. The CO2 signal derived from this analysis represents fluctuations at time scales greater than about 10 million years (My). Comparison with the geologic record of climatic variations (18) reveals no obvious correspondence.

Take-home message: Be wary of proxies -- JR

Are green power programs a scam?

A touch of skepticism below from the Leftist "Mother Jones" -- asking: Are you paying for renewable energy, or just a bunch of hot air?

THE TWISTING TURBINES on the Columbia River Gorge ridges were one of the first things my husband and I noticed en route from Baltimore to our new house in Oregon. So a few weeks later, when a hawker at the farmers market urged me-with a $5 token for free veggies and a postcard with pictures of children lounging in front of local windmills-to sign up for a renewable energy program called Blue Sky, I didn't hesitate. For less than an extra $10 a month, my utility, Pacific Power, would supply our home with electricity from wind turbines instead of coal.

But it turns out ditching dirty energy is more complicated than that hawker would have me believe. From the windmill postcard, you'd think my premium would go straight to local projects. Not quite: True, Pacific Power operates one wind farm in Oregon, but that's largely because the state mandates that utilities get 25 percent of their power from renewables by 2025. My well-meaning purchase has little to do with those windmills. Instead, Pacific Power hands my Blue Sky money over to companies that buy renewable energy certificates (RECs) from wind farms, mostly in other states, and other renewable projects like methane-burning landfills. Consumers need to understand that the electricity "is not going from the windmill on the ridge to your toaster," says Pacific Power spokesman Tom Gauntt. Michael Gillenwater, a Princeton researcher who codeveloped the EPA's carbon emissions tracking system, says it's more like donating to a cause. "What you are doing is subsidizing the market for renewable energy."

Pacific Power says our premium "avoided the release of 897 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions into the air...equivalent to not driving 909 miles." But it's hard to verify those numbers, says Stanford professor Michael Wara, who studies carbon markets. "You don't have an overseeing regulator ensuring that the claims made are backed up." Green-e, a third-party certification program, ensures that my RECs come from relatively new projects and aren't double-counted to meet state mandates. But Gillenwater says its "additionality" test isn't thorough enough to prove I paid for an emission reduction that wouldn't have happened anyway.

Experts say that RECs like mine can make renewable projects more profitable, but they play a much smaller role than government subsidies. (Disclosure: My father recently invested in a wood-chip-fueled electricity plant in Florida, and he said RECs sweetened that deal.) Gillenwater says most projects would have produced the energy regardless of whether consumers like me pitched in-in 2008, for example, Pacific Power bought a third of my RECs from two Puget Sound Energy wind farms built in 2005. (A spokesman says the projects' planners didn't count on revenue from residential RECs in their budget.) The remaining two-thirds were purchased from other projects, including a landfill-gas plant in Utah. Only 1 percent came from solar.

RECs, mandates, additionality-my head was spinning like those windmills, which were seeming further away. To make matters worse, in 2008, only 67 percent of my Blue Sky bucks purchased RECs; the remaining 33 percent was spent on staff and publicity. On average, 19 percent of green programs' revenues go to marketing, but at small utilities that percentage is far greater.

Utilities insist that the promotion is necessary, since voluntary green power programs work better when lots of people participate. Nationwide, only about a million customers shell out for green power-with corporations, governments, and universities buying the bulk of it. In 2008, residential customers made up only one-quarter of green power purchases.

So what's a consumer to do? Even with their problems, RECs are "one of the simplest and most direct ways to support renewable technologies," says Jeff Deyette, a senior analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Premiums can provide that extra profit margin to make renewable projects competitive with fossil fuels. And some utilities are experimenting with other models. If I had enrolled in Pacific Power's Blue Sky Block program, for twice what I pay now, 41 percent of my money would have funded local solar arrays and a geothermal test project-and only 25 percent would have gone to overhead. Or instead, I could spend my premium on efficiency upgrades in my new home: sealing leaks, insulating, and replacing drafty windows. It would just take more time and elbow grease than checking a box.



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 February, 2010


An email from Norm Kalmanovitch []

In 1971, Rasool and Schneider published an article with the following abstract:
Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate

Effects on the global temperature of large increases in carbon dioxide and aerosol densities in the atmosphere of Earth have been computed. It is found that, although the addition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does increase the surface temperature, the rate of temperature increase diminishes with increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For aerosols, however, the net effect of increase in density is to reduce the surface temperature of Earth. Because of the exponential dependence of the backscattering, the rate of temperature decrease is augmented with increasing aerosol content. An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 ø K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.
While there is speculation as to whether James Hansen contributed to this article with verification from his climate models; it is without question that Hansen was aware that the Earth had stopped warming in 1942 and that the world had been cooling up to the time of the publishing of this 1971 paper.

In April 1975 Newsweek published an article "The Cooling World" which gives a fascinating look at the climate issue from a perspective before politics and distortion of facts became involved. There was no questioning of the cooling in 1975 so one must assume that Hansen was fully aware that the world cooled from 1942 to 1975 before global warming returned in 1976.

This simple fact is somewhat problematic for Hansen and the entire global warming industry, because the physical record shows that the rapid increase in CO2 emissions did not start until after the Second World War (with the rapid increase in post war industrialization), and prior to that, as the world warmed rapidly from 1910 to 1942, there was only a minor increase in CO2 emissions.

In 1910 CO2 emissions from fossil fuels were 3.5gt/year and increased to only 4.0gt/year by 1942. By 1975, as the world cooled, CO2 emissions jumped to 20.0gt/year. (And emissions have been increasing ever since). For sixty five years from 1910 to 1975 there was absolutely no correlation of global temperature with increasing CO2 emissions, yet in 1988 after just 13 years of concurrent increases in both global temperature and CO2 emissions, Hansen created a forcing parameter for his climate models that was based firstly on the assumption that CO2 emissions were the prime source for the observed increase in atmospheric CO2, and secondly that there was a direct causal relationship between these emissions driven increases and global warming. Essentially the climate model projections are based on a correlation that is only valid for thirteen of the seventy eight years from 1910 to 1988.

The Hadley CRU record shows that the Earth cooled from about 1880 to 1910 as CO2 emissions first started to increase from industrial activity, adding another thirty years to the time when the correlation of CO2 emissions and global warming was not valid. In essence the so called "overwhelming evidence" that global warming is caused by CO2 emissions from fossil fuels has no basis in reality, as there was no correlation of emissions with global warming from 1880 to 1975, and only correlation for 13 years from 1975 to 1988 when this correlation formed the basis for the forcing parameter of the climate models which projected catastrophic global warming from the increasing CO2 emissions.

This is the sum total of the "overwhelming evidence" that has created the Kyoto Protocol with its economically destructive initiatives, that are not only killing the economy but killing people as their food is being converted to biofuels for carbon credits as part of these Kyoto Initiatives.

All that was needed to prevent this calamity was for the peer review committee to demand verification for the derivation of the forcing parameter used in the climate models before allowing publication in 1988. Without this single article published in the Journal of Geophysical Research global warming would never have become an issue and the IPCC would never have been formed.


(Below is a sequel to a note by Pierre Jutras entitled "Carbon dioxide isn't the villain it's made out to be", which was published as a web-exclusive comment in Canada's "Globe and Mail" on December 7th of 2006. The sequel was not published, unsurprisingly, but is now reproduced here. Pierre Jutras is Associate Professor, Department of Geology, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada)

The deep geological record is quite clear: the global ecosystem thrives when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are high, and suffers when they are low. Because these now infamous gas molecules stood out as the good guys throughout geological history, saving the day each time they show up in large numbers, and because today's low CO2 budget is reminiscent of the worst page in life's history (the late Palaeozoic), reasonable doubt should be given to the alarmist scenarios that are currently provided by most climate modelers. Apart from obvious effects such as sea-level rise, current predictions for a CO2-induced greenhouse effect are not well supported by the geological record, which casts serious doubt on their overall accuracy.

It is wrong to believe that CO2-induced global warming will result in a temperature increase for all regions of the globe. The absence of desert conditions during greenhouse ages (a fact provided by the geological record that is poorly known outside of geology circles) suggests that profound changes occur in sub-tropical latitudes due to CO2-induced global warming, which may in fact result in substantial cooling for this specific latitudinal range. Due to the dynamics of the Hadley cells, moisture is currently conveyed from sub-tropical (10ø to 30ø) to equatorial latitudes (0ø to 10ø), which explains why the former is mainly characterized by deserts while the latter hosts rain forest. Due to this, sub-tropical latitudes are currently much warmer than equatorial latitudes due to the greater cloud cover in the latter region, which allows less solar radiation to reach the ground.

Somehow (perhaps due to the establishment of a less steep vertical gradient in temperature, which would effectively change the dynamics of Hadley cells), moisture and heat become better distributed during greenhouse ages and sub-tropical deserts cease to exist. It is very likely that tropical storms would subside as well, as they are also the products of excessive heat in the dry, sub-tropical latitudes, whereas equatorial areas are devoid of them. The equatorial region is in effect a "shelter from the storm", as suggested by data compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In other words, although alarmist research on global warming pictures a greenhouse Earth as Dante's Hell, the geological record rather presents it as a worldwide Garden of Eden, with no temperature extremes.

It is somewhat disconcerting that the rise of carbon dioxide levels has been somehow established as the greatest environmental threat faced by humanity, although the pros and cons of this rise have never been properly assessed. Most scientific assessments on the issue of global warming only bring into focus its negative aspects and are therefore biased. As a result of this biased propaganda, which portrays carbon dioxide as the main evil of modern times, it is now considered by most as a blasphemy to dare bring forward any data that happen to place the accused in a good light.

It is well-known and non-controversial that the biosphere was in much better shape during the Cretaceous, when carbon dioxide levels were several times higher than today. Of course, whenever there is a change in external conditions, there are winners and losers. If crop species are doing better, chances are that pest species are not doing so well, and vice-versa. During the Cretaceous greenhouse age, benthic (bottom-dwelling) species were the main losers, as the oceans became permanently stratified, bringing anaerobic conditions on the deep seafloor. However, the hardships of benthic fauna, a minute fraction of the world's biomass and biodiversity, were largely outdone by sheer happiness in the pelagic (water-column-dwelling) and terrestrial realms.

Most agree that, whether or not it is true that the current rise in atmospheric CO2 is detrimental, "better be safe than sorry" and work at curbing down emissions. Not necessarily. It all depends on what method is used to curb down emissions. For instance, many environmentalists are turning to biodiesel fuels to lower their contribution to global warming. It is sad to say that such environmentally-responsible people may in fact pollute more than less concerned citizens. However, if you remove carbon dioxide from the equation, they certainly do. Biodiesel is a very impure fuel that doesn't burn nearly as well as refined gasoline. As a result, it emits much greater amounts of particulates, volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide, which are "true" pollutants. If everyone switched to biodiesel fuel, cities would soon become unlivable due to a quick rise in these atmospheric pollutants. In contrast, carbon dioxide is "not" a pollutant. All it does is feed plants and help to maintain solar heat in the lower atmosphere. While so much international effort is put forward to deal with the "carbon dioxide case", less notorious environmental threats get a chance to stay out of the spotlight and thrive on the diversion (when did you last hear about acid rain?).

Another reason why we should give carbon dioxide a fair trial and a chance to revoke itself as public enemy #1 is the fact that it is a very strong opponent to tackle. The economic drawbacks of the ongoing climate war are astronomic, especially for developing countries. The widespread switch to "biofuel" farming is also creating a food crisis.

Finally, before putting in place enormous international efforts such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Copenhagen Accord, it would have been preferable to derive proper estimates on which prospect is to be most feared, global warming or global cooling? Ice sheets have been intermittently covering most of North America and northern Europe over the past 2.5 million years. Just as winter and summer, glacial advances and retreats are clocked with orbital cycles. The "summer solstice" of this interglacial cycle (warm eccentricity peak in the Milankovitch cycles) is already five thousand years behind us, and we are now heading towards the next winter. The current human-induced rise in atmospheric CO2 may be slowing down global cooling, but it is very unlikely that temperatures in the "Milankovitch winter" (we are now in the "Milankovitch autumn") will ever exceed those of the "Milankovitch summer".

In conclusion, with the parallel threat of orbitally-induced global cooling, a more sophisticated and less biased assessment of climate evolution and its consequences for the global ecosystem is needed to better guide intervention strategies. In other words, the Kyoto Protocol and Copenhagen Accord may be premature and possibly misguided international interventions, however well-intentioned their initiators and promoters might be.

Crooked "scientist" hid flaws in Chinese data

Now the dodgy Chinese data is finally getting a bit of attention -- even from "The Guardian" (below)

It is difficult to imagine a more bizarre academic dispute. Where exactly are 42 weather monitoring stations in remote parts of rural China? But the argument over the weather stations, and how it affects an important set of data on global warming, has led to accusations of scientific fraud and may yet result in a significant revision of a scientific paper that is still cited by the UN's top climate science body.

It also further calls into question the integrity of the scientist at the centre of the scandal over hacked climate emails, the director of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU), Dr Phil Jones. The emails suggest that he helped to cover up flaws in temperature data from China that underpinned his research on the strength of recent global warming.

The Guardian has learned that crucial data obtained by American scientists from Chinese collaborators cannot be verified because documents containing them no longer exist. And what data is available suggests that the findings are fundamentally flawed.

Jones and his Chinese-American colleague Wei-Chyung Wang, of the University at Albany in New York, are being accused of scientific fraud by an independent British researcher over the contents of a research paper back in 1990. That paper, which was published in the prestigious journal Nature, claimed to answer an important question in climate change science: how much of the warming seen in recent decades is due to the local effects of spreading cities, rather than global warming?

It is well-known that the concrete, bricks and asphalt of urban areas absorb more heat than the countryside. They result in cities being warmer than the countryside, especially at night. So the question is whether rising mercury is simply a result of thermometers once in the countryside gradually finding themselves in expanding urban areas.

The pair, with four fellow researchers, concluded that the urban influence was negligible. Some of their most compelling evidence came from a study of temperature data from eastern China, a region urbanising fast even then.

The paper became a key reference source for the conclusions of succeeding reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - including a chapter in the 2007 one co-authored by Jones. It said that globally "the urbanisation influence . is, at most, an order of magnitude less than the warming seen on a century timescale". In other words, it is tiny.

But many climate sceptics did not believe the claim. They were convinced that the urban effect was much bigger, even though it might not change the overall story of global warming too much. After all, two-thirds of the planet is covered by ocean, and the oceans are warming, too.

But when Jones turned down requests from them to reveal details about the location of the 84 Chinese weather stations used in the study, arguing that it would be "unduly burdensome", they concluded that he was covering up the error.

And when, in 2007, Jones finally released what location data he had, British amateur climate analyst and former City banker Doug Keenan accused Jones and Wang of fraud. He pointed out that the data showed that 49 of the Chinese meteorological stations had no histories of their location or other details. These mysterious stations included 40 of the 42 rural stations. Of the rest, 18 had certainly been moved during the story period, perhaps invalidating their data.

Keenan told the Guardian: "The worst case was a station that moved five times over a distance of 41 kilometres"; hence, for those stations, the claim made in the paper that "there were 'few if any changes' to locations is a fabrication". He demanded that Jones retract his claims about the Chinese data.

The emails, which first emerged online in November last year following a hack of the university's computer systems that is being investigated by police, reveal that Jones was hurt, angry and uncertain about the allegations. "It is all malicious . I seem to be a marked man now," he wrote in April 2007.

Another email from him said: "My problem is I don't know the best course of action. I know I'm on the right side and honest, but I seem to be telling myself this more often recently!" An American colleague, and frequent contributor to the leaked emails, Dr Mike Mann at Pennsylvania State University, advised him: "This crowd of charlatans look for one little thing they can say is wrong, and thus generalise that the science is entirely compromised. The last thing you want to do is help them by feeding the fire. Best thing is to ignore them completely."

Another colleague, Kevin Trenberth at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, urged a fightback. "The response should try to somehow label these guys and [sic] lazy and incompetent and unable to do the huge amount of work it takes to construct such a database."

In August 2007, Keenan submitted a formal complaint about Wang to Wang's employers. The university launched an inquiry. Reporting in May 2008, it found "no evidence of the alleged fabrication of results" and exonerated him. But it did not publish its detailed findings, and refused to give a copy to Keenan.

By then, Keenan had published his charges in Energy & Environment, a peer-reviewed journal edited by a Hull University geographer, Dr Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen. The paper was largely ignored at the time, but Guardian investigations of the hacked emails now reveal that there was concern among Jones's colleagues about Wang's missing data - and the apparent efforts by Jones and Wang over several years to cover this up.

Those concerns were most cogently expressed to Jones by his ex-boss, and former head of the CRU, Dr Tom Wigley. In August 2007, Wigley warned Jones by email: "It seems to me that Keenan has a valid point. The statements in the papers that he quotes seem to be incorrect statements, and that someone (W-C W at the very least) must have known at the time that they were incorrect."

Wigley was concerned partly because he had been director of the CRU when the original paper was published in 1990. As he told Jones later, in 2009: "The buck should eventually stop with me."

Wigley put to Jones the allegations made by the sceptics. "Wang had been claiming the existence of such exonerating documents for nearly a year, but he has not been able to produce them. Additionally, there was a report published in 1991 (with a second version in 1997) explicitly stating that no such documents exist." This is believed to be a report from the US department of energy, which obtained the original Chinese temperature data.

Wang's defence to the university inquiry says that he had got the Chinese temperature data from a Chinese colleague, although she is not an author on the 1990 Nature paper. Wang's defence explains that the colleague had lost her notes on many station locations during a series of office moves. Nonetheless, "based on her recollections", she could provide information on 41 of the 49 stations. In all, that meant that no fewer than 51 of the 84 stations had been moved during the 30-year study period, 25 had not moved, and eight she could not recollect.

Wang, however, maintained to the university that the 1990 paper's claim that "few, if any" stations had moved was true. The inquiry apparently agreed.

Wigley, in his May 2009 email to Jones, said of Wang: "I have always thought W-C W was a rather sloppy scientist. I would .not be surprised if he screwed up here . Were you taking W-C W on trust? Why, why, why did you and W-C W not simply say this right at the start? Perhaps it's not too late." There is no evidence of any doubts being raised over Wang's previous work.

Jones told the Guardian he was not able to comment on the allegations. Wang said: "I have been exonerated by my university on all the charges. When we started on the paper we had all the station location details in order to identify our network, but we cannot find them any more. Some of the location changes were probably only a few metres, and where they were more we corrected for them."

The story has a startling postscript. In 2008, Jones prepared a paper for the Journal of Geophysical Research re-examining temperatures in eastern China. It found that, far from being negligible, the urban heat phenomenon was responsible for 40% of the warming seen in eastern China between 1951 and 2004.

This does not flatly contradict Jones's 1990 paper. The timeframe for the new analysis is different. But it raises serious new questions about one of the most widely referenced papers on global warming, and about the IPCC's reliance on its conclusions.



It was the Russians. Or possibly the Chinese. No, wait, it was the Americans. Yes, our very own version of Inspector Clouseau is on the case of the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit. Yesterday Sir David King, Tony Blair's former chief scientific advisor, told this newspaper: "It was an extraordinarily sophisticated operation. There are several bodies of people who could do this sort of work. These are national intelligence agencies... there is the possibility that it could be the Russian intelligence agency." However, King goes on to suggest that the expense of such an operation would be too great for the entire Russian state to undertake: "In terms of the expense, there is the American lobby system, which is a very likely source of finance, so the finger must point to them."

And why is it that Sir David thinks that the Kremlin joined forces with unspecified "American agencies" to leak emails from the UEA's Climatic Research Unit? He claims it was to undermine the UN's Copenhagen climate Conference (as if it hadn't been doomed anyway). The more interesting question is why the content of the emails might have been thought to have such an effect, as King apparently believes they did.

Perhaps - let's make a wild stab - it was because they revealed that the unit described as the world's most authoritative source of evidence for the threat of man-made climate change had been trying to prevent the methodology behind its predictions from being made public via the Freedom of Information Act.

Perhaps it was also because the emails showed how some members of the UEA team had lobbied scientific journals to block the publishing of papers that dissented from their own opinion about the entirely anthropogenic cause of allegedly unprecedented global temperatures; and perhaps it was also because it contained such emails as this one, from the head of climate analysis of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it's a travesty that we can't... we cannot account for what is happening in the climate system."

For Sir David King, clearly, the travesty is that the public should be allowed to have a glimpse of the true level of uncertainty within climate science. It is astonishing arrogance on his part. His intervention is on the same moral level as any MP who declared that the most important issue about the expenses claims within the Palace of Westminster was how it came to be that the disc on which they were stored was passed to the press. In fact, no MP was that arrogant - or that stupid.

As it happens, we now know that disc was leaked by someone legitimately in possession of it - a whistleblower who was appalled by what he saw, and thought that the public should know. For some reason, it has not occurred to Sir David King that the UEA emails might have been accessed and then leaked by an insider shocked at what he had discovered. Remember also that they were in any case all being collated following a request under the Freedom of Information Act; perhaps this insider became aware that the now suspended head of the Climate Research Unit, Phil Jones, had asked colleagues to delete certain emails, and was determined that Jones should not be allowed to get away with it.

Even if the leak were not the work of a whistleblower from inside the UEA, it is still ludicrous scaremongering on Sir David's part to declare that this must have been a concerted operation by one or more foreign intelligence services. Is he unaware that an autistic loner, Gary McKinnon, is facing extradition to the US, after he hacked into some of the Pentagon's most sensitive codes using nothing more than a domestic dial-up internet connection? Yet, according to Sir David King, such a non-secure academic database as the University of East Anglia's could only have been penetrated by SMERSH, sorry, the FSB, sorry, the CIA....oh, whatever.

On the wider issue of climate change, Sir David has form for scaremongering. In 2004 he declared that if the world did not act to reduce its Co2 emissions, by the end of the century Antarctica would be the planet's only inhabitable continent. It is, by the way, most welcome that his successor as chief scientist, John Beddington, has an altogether more...well, scientific approach. Last week Beddington said: "I don't think it's healthy to dismiss proper [climate] scepticism...there is a fundamental uncertainty about climate change prediction...there are uncertainties both in terms of empirical evidence and the climate models themselves."

Beddington was speaking in the wake of a number of damaging revelations about the whole process by which the International Panel On Climate Change comes up with its terrifying forecasts. The most notable was the admission by the IPCC that its 2007 report's claim that the Himalayan glaciers would "disappear by the year 2035" was based on a misunderstanding (let's not be cynical) by the World Wildlife Fund, which was itself citing a magazine article, which was in turn quoting a single Indian glaciologist, who in his turn subsequently claimed that he hadn't said any such thing.

Yet when a number of the IPCC's critics questioned the astonishing claim that the Himalayas would be free of ice by 2035, the IPCC's chairman dismissed them as "voodoo scientists." Among those alleged "voodoo" practitioners was the Indian Government. Last week the Indian Environment Minister, Jairiam Ramesh, welcomed the IPCC's retraction of its most headline-grabbing claim: "The IPCC's claim that [Himalayan] glaciers will vanish by 2035 was not based on an iota of scientific evidence." One can understand Mr Ramesh's fury. About two billion people depend on meltwater from Himalayan glaciers. If they had believed what the IPCC said, then we could have witnessed a panic movement of population of unprecedented scale.

And where does our own climate change minister, Ed Miliband, stand on this? Last month he harrumphed that "We must not let the sceptics pass off political opinion as scientific fact... the melting of the Himalayan glaciers that feed the great rivers of South Asia could put hundreds of millions of people at risk of drought. Our security is at stake."

Now that Miliband stands revealed as someone who passed off political opinion as scientific fact, what does he say? Under the headline "Miliband declares war on climate change sceptics", the minister was reported this weekend as follows:" I think it would be wrong that when a mistake is made it's somehow used to undermine the overwhelming picture... when the next IPCC report comes out it will suggest that there have been areas where things have been happening more dramatically than the 2007 report implied."

A mistake? The single most significant and newsworthy claim in the IPCC's report is shown to be complete garbage, undermining confidence in the whole process, and it's just "a mistake"? One is reminded of Tony Blair's response to the Chilcot committee last week, when asked about his utterly discredited claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that would take just 45 minutes to launch. A mere detail, said Blair: it was the media's fault for overstating its significance within the wider picture.

After non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the British Government now wants to terrify us - and the world - with scaremongering about "man-made" weather of mass destruction. That's the scandal - not whether someone has hacked into an East Anglian computer.


Junkscience: Climategate Distortion of Temperature Data

By S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist

We discuss here in some detail the way in which warming trends were introduced into the IPCC Report-when in fact they did not exist or were extremely small. We focus on the period 1979 to 1997. There was cooling up to 1976; in 1998 there was a super-El-Nino and no subsequent warming. Our discussion is in three parts: (1) a `bottoms-up' approach; (2) the `top-down' approach; and next week I shall discuss (3) the treatment of sea surface temperatures (SST).

Bottoms-Up Distortion of Temperature Data

The Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (CRU-UEA), under the direction of Dr. Philip Jones, collected data from weather stations from around the world. These are almost all land-based stations, showing a high concentration in the United States and Western Europe and a lower concentration elsewhere-with many parts of the globe hardly covered by reliable stations.

There are a variety of problems with such data, and the investigators were aware of most of them. Many stations produce useless data, either because of inadequate maintenance, or because of their location. Anthony Watts (in his WUWT blog) has shown that even stations in the USA were badly placed and subject to local warming influences that were not adequately corrected.

The surface of the earth is then divided into grid boxes, usually five degrees by five degrees. When there are several stations in a grid box, the investigators would choose those they considered most reliable-which in many cases meant urban stations, or stations at airports, that are well maintained. However, because of their location, they generally are subject to `urban heat-island' (UHI) effects, a local warming that increases with population and urban growth over time and suggests a temperature trend of a global nature. The investigators tried various ways to eliminate such local UHI trends, but were not very successful.

The problem was greatly exacerbated by the closing of over half the world's weather stations between 1970 and 2000 (see NIPCC Summary, Fig 12-which in most cases removed rural stations but also stations from higher latitudes and altitudes that tended to show a lower warming trend or no warming trend at all. It should be obvious therefore that this drastic change in the sampling population would introduce a fictitious warming trend which is an artifact of the change. E. Michael Smith and Joseph D'Aleo have documented in some detail how such artificial temperature trends could be produced even when there was no global trend.

The Top-Down (TD) Approach

In many ways, the `Top-Down' (TD) approach to derive the Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST) is to be preferred over `bottom-up' (deriving GMST by collecting data from weather stations and sea surface readings). The TD approach relies primarily on the data from weather satellites, the only truly global measuring system, using a single microwave sounding (MSU) instrument and therefore independent of the vagaries of individual weather stations and their thermometers.

There are of course certain disadvantages: The MSU cannot measure temperatures at different levels of the atmosphere but derives instead a `weighted mean ` of the vertical temperature profile; the times of observation are fixed by the orbit of the satellite; a change of satellite, and MSU instrument, requires an overlap in operating time to permit a recalibration. Nevertheless, by comparing different view angles, one can change the weight factors and obtain a temperature value for `Lower Troposphere.' The University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH) group has shown good agreement of UAH results with those of radiosondes from weather balloons.

As early as 1997, I noticed a disparity between temperature trends of satellites and surface trends, esp. in the tropics. (See Fig 9 in Hot Talk, Cold Science, 1997) The troposphere trends (between 1979 and 1995) were close to zero or even slightly negative, while surface trends showed a warming of about 0.05 deg per decade. This disparity is just the reverse of what one would expect from GH models [see IPCC-SAR]-namely a positive (warming) troposphere trend up to twice as large as the surface trend.

In addition, I noticed that the proxy data to which I had access showed no surface warming (tree-ring data of Jacoby et al (Fig 16 in HTCS) and ice core data of Dahl-Jensen et al]. I tried very hard to obtain more proxy data but was not successful. For example, I noticed that Michael Mann's infamous hockeystick graph did not extend beyond 1979 and suspected that his proxy temperatures diverged from the instrumented surface results. Yet when I wrote to Mann about post-1980 proxy data, I received only a brusque negative reply. Thanks to `Climategate' we now know, what I had then suspected, i.e., that Mann and Jones were engaged in a scheme to "hide the decline [in post-1979 proxy temperatures]."

To sum up: Both the satellite results and the proxy data tell us that the claimed rise of surface temperature between 1979 and 1997, shown by IPCC, is probably much smaller or even non-existent.


Brazil to give the Greenies a black eye?

Renewable energy? No thanks, say the Greenies

Brazil has approved the controversial construction of a giant hydroelectric dam in the heart of the Amazon, defying a 20-year protest by indigenous and environmental campaigners who say that the project will devastate the surrounding rainforest and threaten the survival of local tribes. The Belo Monte project on the Xingu river, an Amazon tributary, was started in the 1990s but abandoned amid widespread protests at home and abroad. The rock star Sting led a campaign against the plan with tribal leaders, and revisited Brazil in November last year to urge the Government to consider the impact of deforestation on greenhouse gas levels and global warming.

The $17billion dam in the northern state of Par  will be the world's third-largest and could provide electricity to 23million homes, a supply that the Government says is vital to the country's economic growth. Critics argue that the flooding of 500 sq km of rainforest will damage fish stocks and wildlife and force the displacement of indigenous peoples.

Carlos Minc, the Environment Minister, said on Monday that the land flooded would be a fraction of the 5,000 sq km originally planned. "The environmental impact exists but it has been weighed up, calculated and reduced," he said. "Not one Indian on indigenous land will be displaced." However, groups on land not demarcated as tribal territory - a distinction often labelled a get-out clause by indigenous campaigners - still stand to lose their homes.

Mr Minc said that they would be compensated. Indigenous groups complain that they were not properly consulted over the project, which Megaron Tuxucumarrae, a chief of the Kayapo tribe, said would destroy the environment that his people had taken care of for millennia. "We are opposed to dams on the Xingu, and will fight to protect our river," he said.

The state-run company Eletrobras is said to be eyeing the project, but a contract has not yet been awarded. The winning company will have to spend $803million on measures to minimise its impact and resettle an estimated 12,000 people.

Critics said that the Government had underestimated the potential impact in its attempt to meet political ends in an election year. Even within the Government, the project has been so contentious that in November two senior officials from Ibama, Brazil's environmental agency, resigned, citing political pressure.

With general elections looming in October, the Government is under pressure to deal with energy infrastructure problems that resulted in large swathes of the country, including Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, being plunged into darkness in November.

Engineering experts have questioned the efficiency of the 11-gigawatt dam, which would be outstripped in size only by China's Three Gorges and Itaipu on the Brazil-Paraguay border.

Francisco Hernandez, an electrical engineer and joint co-ordinator of a group of 40 specialists who analysed the project, said that the dam would generate little electricity during the three to four-month dry season. Describing it as a scheme of "doubtful engineering viability", he said Belo Monte was an extremely complex project "that would interrupt the flow of water courses over an enormous area, requiring excavation of earth and rocks on the scale of that carried out for digging the Panama Canal". Up to 70 dams, roads, gas pipelines and power grids worth more than $30billion are to be built to tap the region's raw materials and transport agricultural products.

The announcement drew a furious reaction from environmental groups around the world. Aviva Imhof, the campaigns director of International Rivers, described it as a "foolish investment", and said that by investing in energy efficiency, Brazil could cut demand by 40 per cent over the nextdecade and save $19billion. "The amount of energy saved would be equivalent to 14 Belo Monte dams," she said. Fiona Watson, research director of the UK-based Survival International, said the dam would be a catastrophe for indigenous people. "The Brazilian Government has driven through the dam with a cavalier disregard to indigenous peoples' rights," she said. "Development in Brazil comes at an unacceptable price - the destruction of whole tribes."



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 February, 2010

Now that Obama has taken most of their space funding away, NASA has found a new role

Funding info here. New role below: Brainwashing children with lies

For a long time, experts trying to raise awareness on the whole issue of global warming and climate change have failed to explain to children why it's important to save the planet. Reducing the most complex natural phenomena and interconnections down to a simple level, where most kids can make sense of them, is something incredibly difficult to do. A new website recently launched by the American space agency NASA finally provides children and adults alike with all the materials they need in order to understand how climate is changing, why, and what can be done about this.

The new website, which can be accessed here, is a companion to the agency's award-winning Global Climate Change site. But the new portal is a lot easier for kids to digest, in the sense that it contains fun games, age-appropriate language, as well as interesting animations that break down the most difficult aspects of global warming and climate change, allowing the little ones to follow them. This is of tremendous importance for the future of our race. If the next generation is not well-educated in these issues, then we could risk developing one that is just as careless and reckless as the current one. And nobody in their right mind wants that.

There are a number of features that visitors to the new site can take advantage of, including commandeering an interactive Climate Time Machine. This is a very powerful tool, because it has the ability to carry kids into the future, in worlds that were modeled based on the most accurate climate simulations in the world today. In addition to this, children also have the possibility to play a number of “green games,” including selecting the best possible scenario for the planet. Another section of the site gives children advice from climate-change scientists, who have been working almost non-stop over the past decades to raise awareness on the issue.

“The climate our children inherit will be different from what we as adults know today. Climate Kids aims to answer some of the big questions about global climate change using simple, fun illustrations and language kids can relate to, helping them become better stewards of our fragile planet. Students will learn basic Earth science concepts such as what the difference is between weather and climate, how we know Earth's climate is changing and what the greenhouse effect is,” the developer of the website's contents, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) expert Diane Fisher, explains. The site itself is a collaboration between the JPL Earth Science Communications Team, and the NASA's award-winning Space Place website.


“Climategate” Ignored in Coverage of SEC Ruling

Global warming alarmism took some big hits toward the end of the last year with “climategate” and the collapse of treaty talks in Copenhagen. This might explain why front page coverage of the topic has fallen off quite dramatically in recent weeks. But there’s an interesting New York Times piece in the business section concerning “interpretitive guidance” the Securities and Exchange Council (SEC) issued to help companies determine when they should disclose potential risks related to climate change.

Mary Shapiro, the SEC chairwoman, was very measured in her comments on the decision saying that there was no new legal requirement and that the agency was not staking out a position on the science. Might that have something do with the exposure of emails that show scientists with the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in Great Britain had doctored and manipulated their research?

The report is straightforward and appropriately detached from any policy stance as far as it goes. But there’s rub. Unlike their liberal counterparts overseas, The New York Times, has gone out of their way to avoid any acknowledgment of the email scandal that reveals who global warming science has been doctored and manipulated. This is the same science that has been so often cited as justification for new regulations.

An editor could argue that the scientific dispute over climate change is peripheral to this story and that the email scandal should be handled separately. But anytime The Times saw fit to recognize a scientist or policy expert who questioned the premise of man-made global warming theories in the past they were quick to identify this individual as an “industry-funded, corporate-backed” shrill of some kind, while giving the alarmist side carte blanche.

Kathleen Casey, a Republican appointee, is quoted in the final paragraphs and the reporter deserves credit for allowing her to highlight scientific disputes. But the entire tone of the article suggests that the SEC is engaged in a harmless administrative maneuver that will have little impact on business. In reality, the SEC appears to be opening the way to green activists who are determined to constrain and restrict potentially profitable exercises.

The article ends where new questions should be raised about shareholder activism and the political motivations of advocacy groups that place a greater premium on environmental dogma than they do on scientific data.


Bizarre Climategate Update: Prince Charles Supports Lawbreaking Science Unit

After the British government's Information Commissioner's Office concluded the Climate Research Center at the University of East Anglia violated Britain's Freedom of Information Act law, Prince Charles visited to show his support...

...that is, he showed support for the Climate Research Unit, not the Information Commissioner (the report starts at 4:16 in the video).

Surprising to me, the prince specifically met with Phil Jones (reported at 5:21 in the video), the head of the unit (on leave since the scandal broke) and the man most under fire for the FOIA violation.

Typically in these bad-PR situations an institution will get rid of problem-causers first, and then bring the bigwigs in for a photo op expressing support for the replacement team. Fresh start, break with the past, that kind of message.

Seems Prince Charles doesn't see a need for a fresh start.

John O'Sullivan on has another detail about the prince's visit. Reportedly, the prince told the Climategate team: "Well done all of you. Many, many congratulations on your work. I wish you great success in the future. Don't get downhearted by these little blips here and there!"

Well done? Blips?


Warmists chickening out of debate -- as usual

If you Google “global warming” and “climate change” you’ll get more than 100 million combined hits. And just about every hit yields an opinion. But what are the facts? That’s what science is supposed to find out, and there’s no consensus on climate change among the experts. But who says science is about consensus? If you could, ask Galileo, Newton and Einstein, to name a few of science’s luminaries who dissented from popular views and paved new paths toward understanding the mysteries of the universe.

Two learned men came to Eagle River over the weekend to give presentations in an event billed as the “Northwoods Climate Change Debate,” sponsored by the Northwoods Patriots, an area group whose motto is “Standing up for Faith, Family, Country.” A couple hundred people turned out at the Northland Pines High School field house in Eagle River on Saturday, Jan. 30 to take part.

Astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., and climatologist Dr. David Legates of the University of Delaware comprised the one-sided panel, representing the skeptical view of global warming, while John McCaughn, a retired chaplain and long-time Northwoods resident, played moderator and devil’s advocate.


Event organizer Kim Simac spent weeks organizing the debate and was clearly frustrated by her failed attempts to get some balance into the discussion. “I invited scientists from all over the country — even some from around the world — to a fair and balanced event,” she said. “I was amazed at the lack of response to the many invitations that went out, but more interesting were the insulting, mocking, sarcastic replies I received from scientists who seem to share a similar belief that a debate is ridiculous on such a settled science.”

On this bitterly cold day in late January, McCaughn, who graduated from Eagle River High School and the University of Wisconsin-Superior, noted wryly that he had woken up at 5:30 a.m. and the temperature outside his Conover home was 27 below. “They didn’t have anyone to represent the global warming side,” said McCaughn, who had refereed previous forums.

Deflecting criticism that they tour the country on behalf of industry giants such as ExxonMobil and others that have special interests to protect, Drs. Legates and Soon were quick to defend their integrity. “I maintain my objectivity and speak around the country to anyone,” said Dr. Legates, when asked whether he was funded by any particular group. “I don’t charge honorariums. If they pay my way I’ll be glad to speak. I haven’t received any money from oil and gas interests.”

Dr. Soon, also in response to the same question, said his scientific findings would be the same whether he gave them to Greenpeace or ExxonMobil, which had paid him from time to time to conduct research along with other corporations. “My condition is very simple; that there is no condition,” he said. “No amount of money could corrupt me. If CO2 is as bad as they say it is, I would be far ahead of Al Gore and say we must take action. But much of what is being said is based on false arguments. Science is not about he said, she said, but all about the data and evidence. I keep an open mind always.”


Dr. Legates said there is no question that humans have an impact on the environment, especially when it comes to land disturbances and changing the surface of the landscape. Such activity, for example, affects the possibility of flooding because vast expanses of grasslands and other porous soils have been replaced by parking lots and other impervious surfaces, causing water runoff. “Urbanization is definitely a factor in environmental changes, but the climate effects are almost negligible,” he said.

Chuck Boyd, a retired physicist who lives in the Northwoods, decried the efforts by vast segments of “the administration, Congress, media, industrial complex, and academia” to paint a distorted picture of the global warming debate. “All combined, they are willing to sacrifice the economic future of our country in the name of what I call a monumental anthropogenic global warming hoax.”

Spurred by former Vice President Al Gore’s 2006 documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth,” which asserted global warming is largely man-made and warned of dire consequences for the planet unless steps are taken to stem carbon emissions, proponents of this argument say evidence is indisputable. In his narration, Gore said climate change “is really not a political issue, so much as a moral one.” Many climate researchers found few faults with Gore’s thesis but some labeled it “junk science” and it caused one U.S. Republican Senator to call it “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” Others said that while Gore was right about many of his claims, he was went too far with his predictions of doom.

Just before Saturday's discussion, a series of short films, pro and con, were shown, one of which was produced by National Geographic propounding the warming theory. McCaughn, as moderator and taking the Gore side, summed up the global warming position by quoting several dire outcomes from the movie and asked the panelists to respond.

Drs. Soon and Legates, both of whom have PhD’s after their names and a long list of published papers and honors in their resumes, have not bought into the increasingly popular premise that the earth is getting hotter because of human activity such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestration. Instead, they postulate that climate change is inevitable and that global warming is mainly due to natural causes such as solar activity and other phenomena.


Asked about Gore’s movie, Dr. Legates called it “very much of a staged show with little substance.”

Dr. Soon likewise poked fun at the former Veep by interrupting his slide slow Saturday by pretending to take a cell phone call from Gore and finding out that he was delayed in his travel plans by a snowstorm in Nashville, Tennessee (Gore’s home state). The audience got a big laugh out of that.

Dr. Soon concedes that scientific data has never been and is not now perfect. “The difference, though, is there is a tendency to make some sort of claim that is so exaggerated and so disproportionate that it amounts to an alarmist approach. The theme is all about scare. Michael Crichton wrote about this in his book, ‘State of Fear.’ It’s a big tragedy.”

Quoting Albert Einstein, who said, “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong,” Dr. Soon said conventional thinking about gases such as carbon dioxide is often wrong. “CO2 is not an air pollutant. It is food for plants and marine life,” he said. Atmospheric CO2 levels are controlled by temperature and other biological/chemical variables and not the other way around, he added.

Gore’s claims that polar ice melting is another proof of global warming brings this response from Dr. Soon: “Who says that the ice was not melting before?” Weather records before around 1850, when the last ice age is said to have ended, are unreliable, calling into question the accuracy of old data, he added.

Global warming proponents took a hit when it was revealed that last November, someone hacked into computers at a climate research unit located at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, and released thousands of emails that showed scientists may have distorted or withheld key data. The episode became known as "Climate Gate" in the mass media and raised a firestorm over whether some scientists were slanting some information to buttress their global warming claims while deliberately suppressing or downplaying other data that undermined their position.


Dr. Legates said climate change is both constant and variable in that no one day and no one year is like another and while trends are discernible for short periods of time climates are anything but stable. Looking at average temperatures, a case could be made that one year is hotter than another or cooler, but that over time, nature has a way of stabilizing herself. “From 2000 to the present, there has been no increase in global temperatures,” he said pointing to a graph supporting his remark.

On the other side of the question, however, fears mount that an increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and alter the amount and pattern of precipitation, changing green areas to subtropical deserts. Warming in the Arctic would coincide with the retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice, and other threats include species extinctions and reductions in crop yields.

All conjecture at best, say Drs. Soon and Legates, the latter producing another slide that showed a U.S. Weather Bureau report stating: “The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot. Reports all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic Zone. Expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.” The dire report was made in 1922.

Dr. Soon says any global warming is more the result of solar cycle variations that cause temperature fluctuations rather than man-made CO2 emissions, which represent a tiny fraction of the earth’s atmosphere made up of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, with only 0.038 percent carbon dioxide and the rest small amounts of other gases.


As the author of many papers on solar and stellar behavior, Dr. Soon and co-author Sallie Baliunas shook things up with a review paper in the journal Climate Research that concluded “the 20th century is probably not the warmest nor a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millennium.”

In another controversial area, Dr. Soon and others in an article disputed claims that polar bear survival was not so much a result of global warming, but possibly because of more human-bear interaction. Dr. Soon also maintains that the ozone layer that surrounds the earth, which protects the planet from the sun’s potentially damaging ultraviolet rays, even while depleted, can fully replenish itself in a matter of 150 days rather than hundreds or thousands of years as some have contended.

While nothing was settled during Saturday’s session, it provided much food for thought. There will always be people who are persuaded that man is chiefly responsible for warming the planet and people who remain skeptical of the idea, and ask for concrete proof. Perhaps the late Bishop Fulton J. Sheen had insight into the matter when he wrote, “The scientist does not tell nature its laws; nature tells the scientist.”


Britain shivers through coldest January since 1987... and February starts with more snow and temperatures of -7c

More sun and less rain - what's to complain about? Quite a lot, actually. For January this year turned out to be perishingly cold.

The sunnier and drier than usual combination is normally ideal for most of us. But the usual rules were turned on their head in the first half of January when heavy snow meant it was also the coldest for 20 years, according to a monthly review by climatologist Philip Eden. He said: 'Although the second half of the month was unremarkable temperature-wise, the severity of the cold period during the first half was such that January turned out to be the coldest since 1987, and the ninth coldest in the past 100 years.

'Snow fell frequently and sometimes heavily during the first fortnight, notably on the 4th/5th when depths of 25-35cm (10-14ins) were measured across a large area from the Cotswolds to the Weald. 'Accumulated depths of 40-60cm (16-24ins) were noted in upland parts of eastern Scotland and North-East England and here snow on the ground lasted throughout the month. 'Overall it was both drier and sunnier than an average January although most of the sunshine came during the first and last weeks.'

Temperatures dropped to minus 22.3c (minus 8f) at Altnaharra, Sutherland, overnight on January 7-8 - the lowest temperature recorded in the UK since late December 1995, Mr Eden said. The lowest daytime maximum occurred on January 10 when the temperature failed to climb higher than minus 13.5c (8f) at Altnaharra. A peak daytime high of 12.4c (54f) was recorded in Exeter on January 16 while the warmest night was 9.2c (49f) at St Mary's in the Isles of Scilly on January 14-15.

According to Mr Eden, the Central England Temperature of 1.1c (34f) was 3.1c (38f) below the 1971-2000 mean, the lowest since 1987. The CET in January 1987 was 0.8c (33f). The month started off as normal, but within a week virtually the whole country was covered in snow with temperatures below zero. Up to two inches could settle in northern Scotland and in northern and western Wales, with lighter snow showers expected in Merseyside, Shropshire and Derbyshire. Temperatures dropped well below freezing over the weekend with a low of -7c recorded in Benson, Oxfordshire.

The Met Office warned of widespread icy roads in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, north-west and south-west England and the West Midlands. But the chilly spell will be replaced by warmer weather as bands of rain move in from the West, forecasters said.

Heavy snow in some parts over the weekend caused disruption to motorists and forced the cancellation of several sports fixtures. The worst-hit areas were the east and west coasts of England, northern Scotland and south-west Wales. Drivers had to battle icy conditions and road closures as snow hit parts of the North East on Friday night.

There were five separate crashes on Bonemill Lane in Sunderland on Saturday morning and police were forced to close the road for an hour-and-a-half. And an icy road surface led to a three-vehicle collision at a roundabout near Crowther Road in the city. Nobody was injured in any of the incidents, police said.


Australian pro-liberty thinktank vindicated on climate

By Greg Lindsay, Executive Director

Eighteen months ago in Tokyo, my two year term as President of the Mont Pelerin Society, founded by F.A. Hayek in the wake of World War II, came to an end. I was succeeded by development economist Professor Deepak Lal.

In my Presidential address, I traced the history and intellectual lineage of that famous Society back to the great thinkers of the Enlightenment and speculated about some of the problems and threats to freedom that modern-day liberals faced.

What I singled out in particular was the so-called ‘debate’ about the theory that man-made carbon emissions are responsible for causing potentially catastrophic increases in global temperatures. My concern wasn’t the evidence for this theory, per se, but what I described as ‘the regrettable features of the climate change debate, which I believe has descended into anything but a reasoned and scientific discussion judged by Enlightenment standards.’

My point was that scepticism – the rigorous evaluation of evidence – a fundamental building block of intellectual and scientific progress, was in danger of being swept away by a new form of pre-enlightenment quasi-religious belief and rent seeking:
'What is disquieting, and should be disquieting to all who cherish the principles of the Enlightenment, is the certainty of belief displayed by some of the believers . . . The politics of climate change have become intensely ideological, and far distant from a rational debate which allows for a free exchange of ideas. The debate, such as it is, has struggled to rise above the ridiculous, at its worst demonstrated by the morally offensive use of the labels ‘denier’ or ‘delusionist’ to discredit all who are so ‘unsound’ as to question the dominant interpretation of the science . . .

There is no question that we should apply the best scientific techniques to discover the truth about this issue and then deal with it appropriately. Unfortunately, one has to question the integrity of a great deal of climate research. This is because climate research has become an industry which is heavily reliant on the steady drip of government funding. Competing and challenging research is too often swept away . . .'
Just a year after that speech, a torrent of disclosures about dubious climate science practices has underlined my concerns. Popular tags such as Climategate have been applied and will stick; reputations have been tarnished and many will most likely be trashed. It seems that key scientists have allowed questionable objectives to politicise their science and have put at risk the standard procedures of the scientific method including peer review.

If the disclosures of the past few months do anything, they should restore some balance to this debate and allow competing ideas, theories and evidence to be tested. Apocalyptic visions distilled from the propaganda of climate activists that ended up in official reports should be seen for what they are. That international bureaucracies such as the IPCC should be taken in by such material should come as no surprise.

If anything good comes out of all this it should be to question the increasing dependence by scientists in all fields on government funding. Hopefully, policymakers will also pause to think through the implications of the dirigiste policies they plan to combat ‘global warming’.

The above is a press release from the Centre for Independent Studies, dated February 1. Enquiries to Snail mail: PO Box 92, St Leonards, NSW, Australia 1590.


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 February, 2010

Another IPCC meltdown: They based Alpine claims on a hearsay student dissertation and magazine article

The United Nations' expert panel on climate change based claims about ice disappearing from the world's mountain tops on a student's dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine. The revelation will cause fresh embarrassment for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which had to issue a humiliating apology earlier this month over inaccurate statements about global warming. The IPCC's remit is to provide an authoritative assessment of scientific evidence on climate change.

In its most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information. However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them. The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master's degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.

The revelations, uncovered by The Sunday Telegraph, have raised fresh questions about the quality of the information contained in the report, which was published in 2007. It comes after officials for the panel were forced earlier this month to retract inaccurate claims in the IPCC's report about the melting of Himalayan glaciers. Sceptics have seized upon the mistakes to cast doubt over the validity of the IPCC and have called for the panel to be disbanded.

This week scientists from around the world leapt to the defence of the IPCC, insisting that despite the errors, which they describe as minor, the majority of the science presented in the IPCC report is sound and its conclusions are unaffected.

But some researchers have expressed exasperation at the IPCC's use of unsubstantiated claims and sources outside of the scientific literature. Professor Richard Tol, one of the report's authors who is based at the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin, Ireland, said: "These are essentially a collection of anecdotes. "Why did they do this? It is quite astounding. Although there have probably been no policy decisions made on the basis of this, it is illustrative of how sloppy Working Group Two (the panel of experts within the IPCC responsible for drawing up this section of the report) has been. "There is no way current climbers and mountain guides can give anecdotal evidence back to the 1900s, so what they claim is complete nonsense."

The IPCC report, which is published every six years, is used by government's worldwide to inform policy decisions that affect billions of people. The claims about disappearing mountain ice were contained within a table entitled "Selected observed effects due to changes in the cryosphere produced by warming". It states that reductions in mountain ice have been observed from the loss of ice climbs in the Andes, Alps and in Africa between 1900 and 2000. The report also states that the section is intended to "assess studies that have been published since the TAR (Third Assessment Report) of observed changes and their effects".

But neither the dissertation or the magazine article cited as sources for this information were ever subject to the rigorous scientific review process that research published in scientific journals must undergo. The magazine article, which was written by Mark Bowen, a climber and author of two books on climate change, appeared in Climbing magazine in 2002. It quoted anecdotal evidence from climbers of retreating glaciers and the loss of ice from climbs since the 1970s. Mr Bowen said: "I am surprised that they have cited an article from a climbing magazine, but there is no reason why anecdotal evidence from climbers should be disregarded as they are spending a great deal of time in places that other people rarely go and so notice the changes."

The dissertation paper, written by professional mountain guide and climate change campaigner Dario-Andri Schworer while he was studying for a geography degree, quotes observations from interviews with around 80 mountain guides in the Bernina region of the Swiss Alps. Experts claim that loss of ice climbs are a poor indicator of a reduction in mountain ice as climbers can knock ice down and damage ice falls with their axes and crampons.

The IPCC has faced growing criticism over the sources it used in its last report after it emerged the panel had used unsubstantiated figures on glacial melting in the Himalayas that were contained within a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report. It can be revealed that the IPCC report made use of 16 non-peer reviewed WWF reports.

One claim, which stated that coral reefs near mangrove forests contained up to 25 times more fish numbers than those without mangroves nearby, quoted a feature article on the WWF website. In fact the data contained within the WWF article originated from a paper published in 2004 in the respected journal Nature. In another example a WWF paper on forest fires was used to illustrate the impact of reduced rainfall in the Amazon rainforest, but the data was from another Nature paper published in 1999. When The Sunday Telegraph contacted the lead scientists behind the two papers in Nature, they expressed surprise that their research was not cited directly but said the IPCC had accurately represented their work.

The chair of the IPCC Rajendra Pachauri has faced mounting pressure and calls for his resignation amid the growing controversy over the error on glacier melting and use of unreliable sources of information. A survey of 400 authors and contributors to the IPCC report showed, however, that the majority still support Mr Pachauri and the panel's vice chairs. They also insisted the overall findings of the report are robust despite the minor errors. But many expressed concern at the use of non-peer reviewed information in the reports and called for a tightening of the guidelines on how information can be used.

The Met Office, which has seven researchers who contributed to the report including Professor Martin Parry who was co-chair of the working group responsible for the part of the report that contained the glacier errors, said: "The IPCC should continue to ensure that its review process is as robust and transparent as possible, that it draws only from the peer-reviewed literature, and that uncertainties in the science and projections are clearly expressed."

Roger Sedjo, a senior research fellow at the US research organisation Resources for the Future who also contributed to the IPCC's latest report, added: "The IPCC is, unfortunately, a highly political organisation with most of the secretariat bordering on climate advocacy. "It needs to develop a more balanced and indeed scientifically sceptical behaviour pattern. The organisation tend to select the most negative studies ignoring more positive alternatives."

The IPCC failed to respond to questions about the inclusion of unreliable sources in its report but it has insisted over the past week that despite minor errors, the findings of the report are still robust and consistent with the underlying science.


Ten facts conveniently brushed over by the global warming fanatics

The following article appeared in a Left-leaning major Australian newspaper -- replying in part to some dishonest smears against Viscount Monckton elsewhere

1. The pin-up species of global warming, the polar bear, is increasing in number, not decreasing.

2. The US President, Barack Obama, supports building nuclear power plants. Last week, in his State of the Union address, he said: To create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.

3. The Copenhagen climate conference descended into farce. The low point of the gridlock and posturing at Copenhagen came with the appearance by the socialist dictator of Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez, whose anti-capitalist diatribe drew a cheering ovation from thousands of left-wing ideologues.

4. The reputation of the chief United Nations scientist on global warming is in disrepair. Dr Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is being investigated for financial irregularities, conflicts of interest and scientific distortion. He has already admitted publishing false data.

5. The supposed scientific consensus of the IPCC has been challenged by numerous distinguished scientists.

6. The politicisation of science leads to a heavy price being paid in poor countries. After Western environmentalists succeeded in banning or suppressing the use of the pesticide DDT, the rate of death by malaria rose into the millions. Some scholars estimate the death toll at 20 million or more, most of them children.

7. The biofuels industry has exacerbated world hunger. Diverting huge amounts of grain crops (as distinct from sugar cane) to biofuels has contributed to a rise in world food prices, felt acutely in the poorest nations.

8. The Kyoto Protocol has proved meaningless. Global carbon emissions are significantly higher today than they were when the Kyoto Protocol was introduced.

9. The United Nations global carbon emissions reduction target is a massively costly mirage.

10. Kevin Rudd's political bluff on emissions trading has been exposed. The Prime Minister intimated he would go to the people in an early election if his carbon emissions trading legislation was rejected. He won't. The electorate has shifted.

None of these anti-commandments question the salient negative link between humanity and the environment: that we are an omnivorous, rapacious species which has done enormous damage to the world's environment. Nor do they question the warming of the planet.

What they do question is the morphing of science with ideology, the most pernicious byproduct of the global warming debate. All these anti-commandments were brought into focus this past week by the visit of the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, better known as Lord Christopher Monckton, journalist by trade, mathematician by training, provocateur by inclination.

Last Wednesday a conference room at the Sheraton on the Park was filled to overflowing, all 800 seats sold with a standing-room only crowd at the back, to see the Sydney public appearance of Monckton, a former science adviser to Margaret Thatcher. At the end of his presentation he received a sustained standing ovation.

Monckton is the embodiment of English aristocratic eccentricity. His presentations are a combination of stand-up comedy, evangelical preaching and fierce debating. Almost every argument he makes can be contested, but given the enormity of the multi-trillion-dollars that governments expect taxpayers to expend on combating global warming, the process needs to be subject to brutal interrogation, scrutiny and scepticism. And Monckton was brutal, especially about the media, referring to all this bed-wetting stuff on the ABC and the BBC.

There has also been a monumental political failure surrounding the global warming debate. Those who would have to pay for most of the massive government expenditures proposed, the taxpayers of the West, are beginning to go into open revolt at the prospect.

Last week the Herald reported that Monckton told a large lie while in Sydney. On Tuesday it reported: He said with a straight face on the Alan Jones radio program that he had been awarded the Nobel, a claim Jones did not question. The Herald repeated the accusation on Thursday. It was repeated a third time in a commentary in Saturday's Herald.

In 2007 the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the former US vice-president Al Gore. The prize committee, in citing its selection of the IPCC, said: Through the IPCC … thousands of scientists and officials from over 100 countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of [global] warming. Thousands of people were thus collectively and anonymously part of the prize process.

So what lie did Monckton tell about the prize? Despite the gravity of the accusation, the Herald never published the offending remark. Here, for the record, is what he actually said:

Monckton: I found out on the day of publication of the 2007 [IPCC report] that they'd multiplied, by 10, the observed contribution to sea-level rise of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet. By 10! I got in touch with them and said, 'You will correct this.' And two days later, furtively, on the website, no publicity, they simply relabelled, recalculated and corrected the table they'd got wrong.

Alan Jones: But this report won a Nobel Prize!

Monckton: Yes. Exactly. And I am also a Nobel Prize winner because I made a correction. I'm part of the process that got the Nobel Prize. Do I deserve it? No. Do they deserve it? No. The thing is a joke.


IPCC ignored scientists in favour of Greenie hysterics

And the Greenie misrepresentation of the facts was deliberate too. They too knew what the science really showed

THE United Nations climate panel ignored warnings by leading scientists not to publish false claims that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035. One warning, in 2006, a year before the report was published, came from Georg Kaser, an Austrian glaciologist who was a lead author on another section of the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He said: “I sent warnings to the IPCC telling them the claim about Himalayan glaciers melting by 2035 was false.”

Another warning came from Gwyn Rees, a British hydrologist who oversaw a £300,000 study funded by the UK government in 2001 to assess the claims about rapid melt. His findings were published in 2004 — three years before the IPCC report — and also showed there was no risk of rapid melt. Rees said: “The sheer size and altitude of these glaciers made it highly unlikely they would melt by 2035.”

The new revelations follow a report in The Sunday Times this month which forced the IPCC to retract its claim that the glaciers in the Himalayas might be gone by 2035.

They raise more questions about why the IPCC ever took the claim seriously. It means the UN panel ignored scientific publications rejecting the rapid-melt theory in favour of claims that had been reported only in the non-scientific media and in a report by WWF, a conservation pressure group.

The saga began with Syed Hasnain, the Indian glaciologist who issued the first warnings about rapid glacier melt in media interviews in 1999. He now works for The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Delhi, which is run by Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC. It was those claims that prompted Britain to fund the study by Rees — who recruited Hasnain to help lead it. Rees, a water resource scientist at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, a government research centre, said Hasnain had signed up to the study’s conclusions. These stated that any suggestions the region’s glaciers might soon melt “would seem unfounded”.

Hasnain was also in the audience at a seminar sponsored by the EU in 2004 where Rees gave a presentation suggesting there would be some glacial melt, but nothing on the scale suggested by Hasnain. His closing slide read: “It is unlikely that all glaciers will vanish by 2035!”

That same audience also included representatives from WWF who were compiling their own report on glacier melt. Despite Rees’s warnings, they later decided to include Hasnain’s claims in their report, published in 2005, from where they were picked up by the IPCC.


IPCC outdid the Greenies in its extravagant and unfounded claims about the Amazon

A STARTLING report by the United Nations climate watchdog that global warming might wipe out 40% of the Amazon rainforest was based on an unsubstantiated claim by green campaigners who had little scientific expertise. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in its 2007 benchmark report that even a slight change in rainfall could see swathes of the rainforest rapidly replaced by savanna grassland.

The source for its claim was a report from WWF, an environmental pressure group, which was authored by two green activists. They had based their “research” on a study published in Nature, the science journal, which did not assess rainfall but in fact looked at the impact on the forest of human activity such as logging and burning. This weekend WWF said it was launching an internal inquiry into the study.

This is the third time in as many weeks that serious doubts have been raised over the IPCC’s conclusions on climate change. Two weeks ago, after reports in The Sunday Times, it was forced to retract a warning that climate change was likely to melt the Himalayan glaciers by 2035. That warning was also based on claims in a WWF report.

The IPCC has been put on the defensive as well over its claims that climate change may be increasing the severity and frequency of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. This weekend Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, was fighting to keep his job after a barrage of criticism.

Scientists fear the controversies will be used by climate change sceptics to sway public opinion to ignore global warming — even though the fundamental science, that greenhouse gases can heat the world, remains strong.

The latest controversy originates in a report called A Global Review of Forest Fires, which WWF published in 2000. It was commissioned from Andrew Rowell, a freelance journalist and green campaigner who has worked for Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and anti-smoking organisations. The second author was Peter Moore, a campaigner and policy analyst with WWF. In their report they suggested that “up to 40% of Brazilian rainforest was extremely sensitive to small reductions in the amount of rainfall” but made clear that this was because drier forests were more likely to catch fire.

The IPCC report picked up this reference but expanded it to cover the whole Amazon. It also suggested that a slight reduction in rainfall would kill many trees directly, not just by contributing to more fires. It said: “Up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation; this means that the tropical vegetation, hydrology and climate system in South America could change very rapidly to another steady state. It is more probable that forests will be replaced by ecosystems that have more resistance to multiple stresses caused by temperature increase, droughts and fires, such as tropical savannas.”

Simon Lewis, a Royal Society research fellow at Leeds University who specialises in tropical forest ecology, described the section of Rowell and Moore’s report predicting the potential destruction of large swathes of rainforest as “a mess”. “The Nature paper is about the interactions of logging damage, fire and periodic droughts, all extremely important in understanding the vulnerability of Amazon forest to drought, but is not related to the vulnerability of these forests to reductions in rainfall,” he said. “In my opinion the Rowell and Moore report should not have been cited; it contains no primary research data.”

WWF said it prided itself on the accuracy of its reports and was investigating the latest concerns. “We have a team of people looking at this internationally,” said Keith Allott, its climate change campaigner.

Scientists such as Lewis are demanding that the IPCC ban the use of reports from pressure groups. They fear that environmental campaign groups are bound to cherry-pick the scientific literature that confirms their beliefs and ignore the rest. It was exactly this process that lay behind the bogus claim that the Himalayan glaciers were likely to melt by 2035 — a suggestion that got into another WWF report and was then used by the IPCC.

Georg Kaser, a glaciologist who was a lead author on the last IPCC report, said: “Groups like WWF are not scientists and they are not professionally trained to manage data. They may have good intentions but it opens the way to mistakes.”


Muir-Wood's climate change study was ‘misused’ in the Stern report

This weakness in the Stern report has been noted elsewhere but it is interesting to see Muir-Wood saying the same. The response from Stern is astounding, however

LORD STERN’S report on climate change, which underpins [British] government policy, has come under fire from a disaster analyst who says the research he contributed was misused.

Robert Muir-Wood, head of research at Risk Management Solutions, a US-based consultancy, said the Stern report misquoted his work to suggest a firm link between global warming and the frequency and severity of disasters such as floods and hurricanes.

The Stern report, citing Muir-Wood, said: “New analysis based on insurance industry data has shown that weather-related catastrophe losses have increased by 2% each year since the 1970s over and above changes in wealth, inflation and population growth/movement. “If this trend continued or intensified with rising global temperatures, losses from extreme weather could reach 0.5%-1% of world GDP by the middle of the century.”

Muir-Wood said his research showed no such thing and accused Stern of “going far beyond what was an acceptable extrapolation of the evidence”.

The criticism is among the strongest made of the Stern report, which, since its publication in 2006, has influenced policy, including green taxes.

Muir-Wood’s study did show an association between global warming and the impact and frequency of disasters. But he said this was caused by exceptionally strong hurricanes in the final two years of his study.

A spokesman for Stern said: “Muir-Wood may have been deceived by his own observations.” [Whaaaat???]


Green/Left dream of global government not likely to happen

EVERYONE is blaming everyone else for the failure of the Copenhagen climate conference but British Prime Minister Gordon Brown blames something else: "The lack of a global body with the sole responsibility for environmental stewardship." This idea for getting around pesky governments and voters is shared by many European and some developing countries. Last September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy wrote to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying: "We must make use of the momentum provided by Copenhagen to make further progress toward the creation of a world environmental organisation."

But the momentum stopped dead at Copenhagen because not all nations have the same priorities. Those struggling to fight poverty are unsympathetic to green nagging from Europeans. Before proposing yet another huge international bureaucracy, fans of a WEO should look at the present one. The UN Environment Program was set up as "the environmental conscience of the UN system" after the first UN Conference on the Human Environment, in Stockholm in 1972, to publicise problems and co-ordinate policy globally, regionally and within the UN.

But UNEP is a weak institution, with a small staff and budget - just over US$270 million in 2006-07. That may sound a lot but by UN standards it is paltry. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation gets about US$900m ($1.01 billion) a year and the UN Development Program about US$5 billion.

Governments do not want an autonomous international body to interfere in politically sensitive national issues. A great deal of that resistance comes from the developing world, starting at the Stockholm meeting in 1972.

Developing countries demanded that the Earth Summit in 1992 shift from focusing on the environment to "sustainable development", a concept that includes economic growth.

The proliferation of multilateral environmental agreements introduced by rich countries in past decades - with more than 700 in force today - has put an increasing economic burden on developing countries while they have made clear they want more emphasis on economic and social goals.

A world environmental organisation would be modelled on the World Health Organisation. But the US, Russia, India and China have already made clear they will not join such a body, while Canada is keeping an eye on things in a UN working group without making any commitment.

Most developing countries jumped on the Copenhagen bandwagon knowing that a successful deal would grant them more foreign aid and technology-transfer without requiring emission cuts from them. They had everything to gain and little to lose. But for economies just escaping mass poverty, such as China and India, the story is different: they faced demands for huge cuts and refused a deal.

British climate change minister Ed Miliband denounced the "impossible resistance from a small number of developing countries, including China, who did not want a legal agreement". But that "small number" will only grow as more developing countries follow China and India down the road of economic growth, the single best defence against climate threats.

Under a WEO, these few defiant nations would multiply into dozens. For example, South American nations want credits for forest conservation under a climate treaty but they have always rejected demands to sign a global treaty against deforestation. Environmental problems are so diverse that any global diktat will generate endless grounds for complaints, exceptions and disputes, especially from poor countries desperate for growth.

A good thing too. It is not clear why rich nations should have a right over Amazonian rainforests or Pacific coral reefs.

Brown says: "Never again should we face the deadlock that threatened to pull down those talks." But what he calls deadlock is national sovereignty.

No global bureaucracy will overcome the basic problem haunting UNEP, Copenhagen and international co-operation today: political hostility to top-down, one-size-fits-all solutions. As US delegate to Copenhagen Jonathan Pershing said: "The UN didn't manage the conference that well," adding diplomatically, "I am not sure that any of us are particularly confident that the UN managing the near-term financing is the right way to go."

The failure of Copenhagen shows that rich countries need to respect poor nations' need for growth if they want co-operation for a greener planet. The rich must replace their posturing and restrictions with positive policies for growth and adaptation to climate change.



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."