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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31 May, 2010

No global warming processes in Antarctic, says Russian expedition head

(Russia maintains several scientific bases in the Antarctic)

Allegations about global warming processes in the Antarctic have nothing to do with real facts, a Russian polar explorer has said. "They are of opportunistic and time-serving character, and have nothing to do with the real weather and climate on the southern continent," Head of Russia's 54th Antarctic expedition Viktor Venderovich told Itar-Tass.

"The past summer on the south pole was cold and windy, and ice floes in the offshore water failed to melt over the entire season.

"The atmospheric air temperature near the Vostok station deep on the continent reached the customary minus 70 degrees Centigrade in the summer, and near the Novolazarevskaya station it never exceeded minus 6-8 degrees," he said after staying at the Novolazarevskaya station for a year.

The previous winter in the Antarctic, he said, "was remarkable for its unusual severity, with blizzards and snowstorms."

The average air temperature was 0.5 degrees lower than usual, and there were too much snow, he said, adding that a "slight warming was registered only on the Antarctic peninsula, while the rest of the continent has not been affected by the global warning and is not going to be."


Background to the Royal Society climbdown

The UK's Royal Society is reviewing its public statements on climate change after 43 Fellows complained that it had oversimplified its messages. They said the communications did not properly distinguish between what was widely agreed on climate science and what is not fully understood.

The society's ruling council has responded by setting up a panel to produce a consensus document. The panel should report in July and the report is to be published in September. It is chaired by physicist John Pethica, vice-president of the Royal Society. Its deliberations are reviewed by two critical sub-groups, each believed to comprise seven members. Each of these groups contains a number of society Fellows who are doubtful in some way about the received view of the risks of rising CO2 levels.

One panel member told me: "The timetable is very tough - one draft has already been rejected as completely inadequate." The review member said it might not be possible for the document to be agreed at all. "This is a very serious challenge to the way the society operates," I was told.

"In the past we have been able to give advice to governments as a society without having to seek consensus of all the members. "There is very clear evidence that governments are right to be very worried about climate change. But in any society like this there will inevitably be people who disagree about anything - and my fear is that the society may become paralysed on this issue."

Another review member told me: "The sceptics have been very strident and well-organised. It's not clear to me how we are going to get precise agreement on the wording - we are scientists and we're being asked to do a job of public communication that is more like journalism."

But both members said they agreed that some of the previous communications of the organisation in the past were poorly judged.

A Royal Society pamphlet Climate Change Controversies is the main focus of the criticism. A version of it is on the organisation's website. It was written in response to attacks on mainstream science which the Royal Society considered scurrilous.

It reads: "This is not intended to provide exhaustive answers to every contentious argument that has been put forward by those who seek to distort and undermine the science of climate change…"

One Fellow who said he was not absolutely convinced of the dangers of CO2 told me: "This appears to suggest that anyone who questions climate science is malicious. But in science everything is there to be questioned - that should be the very essence of the Royal Society. Some of us were very upset about that.

"I can understand why this has happened - there is so much politically and economically riding on climate science that the society would find it very hard to say 'well, we are still fairly sure that greenhouse gases are changing the climate' but the politicians simply wouldn't accept that level of honest doubt."

Another society protester said he wanted to be called a climate agnostic rather than a sceptic. He said he wanted the society's website to "do more to question the accuracy of the science on climate feedbacks" (in which a warming world is believed to make itself warmer still through natural processes).

"We sent an e-mail round our friends, mainly in physical sciences," he said. "Then when we had got 43 names we approached the council in January asking for the website entry on climate to be re-written. I don't think they were very pleased. I don't think this sort of thing has been done before in the history of the society. "But we won the day, and the work is underway to re-write it. I am very hopeful that we will find a form of words on which we can agree. "I know it looks like a tiny fraction of the total membership (1,314) but remember we only emailed our friends - we didn't raise a general petition."

He said the agnostics were also demanding a "more even-handed" bibliography.

The first "climate agnostic" also said he was angry at previous comments from the previous president Lord May who declared: "The debate on climate change is over." Lord May was once quoted as saying: "'On one hand, you have the entire scientific community and on the other you have a handful of people, half of them crackpots." One source strongly criticised the remarks.

Lord May's comments were made at a time when world scientists were reaching a consensus (not unanimity) that CO2 had warmed the planet and would probably warm it more - maybe dangerously so.

Lobbyists funded by the fossil fuel industry were fighting to undermine that consensus and science academies were concerned that public doubt might deter governments from taking precautionary action to reduce emissions of CO2.

Climate change doubters among the society's Fellows say that in their anxiety to support government action, the academies failed to distinguish between "hired guns" and genuine scientific agnostics wanting to explore other potential causes of climate change.

The remit of the society panel is to produce a new public-facing document on what scientists know, what they think they know and which aspects they do not fully understand. The task is to make the document strong and robust.

It should answer the complaint that previous communications have failed to properly explain uncertainties in climate science.

At the Heartland Institute climate sceptics conference in Chicago, Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), criticised the current society president Lord Rees for what he described as exaggerating the certainty in a joint public letter with Ralph Cicerone, president of the US National Academy of Sciences.

The letter, published by the Financial Times newspaper, states: "Something unprecedented is now happening. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising and climate change is occurring, both due to human actions…. Uncertainties in the future rate of (temperature) rise, stemming largely from the 'feedback' effects on water vapour and clouds, are topics of current research."

Professor Lindzen says the "unprecedented" statement is misleading because neither the current warming nor the CO2 level are unprecedented. He complains that the statement on uncertainties is also misleading because it does not reveal that uncertainties about future climate projections are, in his view, immense.

A spokesman for the society defended the letter, saying that the rise in man-made CO2 was indeed unprecedented. But Professor Lindzen told me: "This is part of an inflation of a scientific position which has sadly become rather routine for spokesmen for scientific bodies."

The forthcoming Royal Society publication - if it can be agreed by the review panel - will be scrutinised closely because the society carries huge weight in global science. Under Lord May it was prime mover of a joint letter of international academies stating that climate change was a major concern.

The comments from the current president Lord Rees in his first Reith lecture next week are rather carefully measured and couched in the language of risk rather than certainty - but even in this speech, critics are likely to say that in some particulars he does not sufficiently distinguish between what is certain and what is very widely believed.


Australian academy members rejecting global warming too

Australia's former chief scientist, Professor Robin Batterham, is embroiled in a bitter dispute over climate change within one of the nation's elite science academies. As president of the peer-elected Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Professor Batterham faces demands by members to drop plans for the academy to issue a policy statement supporting climate sceptics.

Documents obtained by The Canberra Times show Professor Batterham has indicated support for a statement clarifying the academy's position on climate change.

Professor Batterham is overseas, and could not be contacted. The academy's deputy chief executive Bill Mackey refused to comment on the growing rift within the academy over the contentious wording of the statement. "When we have something to say on this matter, we will say it," he said.

A two-page draft, posted on a password-protected section of the academy's website, said the academy "does not believe the science is settled" regarding climate change. It said many scientists believed "climate changes are nothing unusual, based on past geological records".

An exchange of emails shows the statement has sparked anger and alarm among members. More than 50 of Australia's top agricultural and environmental scientists are among those objecting to the statement. A letter signed by 12 climate scientists has also been circulated to members.

An alternative policy statement, drafted by academy member and Melbourne World Climate Research program director Professor Ann Henderson-Sellers, has been emailed to members. It says the academy will "continue to foster open and reasoned debate on all aspects of climate change" but sees "little point in promoting debate based on belief rather than evidence".

In a recent lecture to the University of Western Australia as academy president, Professor Batterham warned of the dangers of a political over-reaction to climate change. He said there was "still much of the science that is uncertain" and used data in an academy-badged slide presentation that claimed investment to create green jobs in Spain had resulted in the destruction of nearly 110,500 jobs, or 2.2 jobs for every "green job" created.

According to a report of the lecture published in a mining newsletter, Professor Batterham said despite scientific uncertainty, "we need to drastically reduce CO2 or face runaway temperature rise".


Warmists desperate for one of their crooked heroes not to be investigated

“Scientific debates should be played out in the academic arena,” insists University of Virginia environmental sciences professor David Carr. “If Michael Mann’s conclusions are unsupported by his data, his scientific critics will eventually demonstrate this.”

Carr and 809 other Virginia scientists and academics signed a petition launched by the activist Union of Concerned Scientists, protesting Commonwealth Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s investigation of former University of Virginia professor Michael Mann. The American Association of University Professors likewise opposes Cuccinelli, who is seeking documents from UVA, to determine whether there are grounds to prosecute Mann for violating the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act, by presenting false or misleading information in support of applications for state-funded research.

Carr claims Cuccinelli is attempting to “drown out” scientific debate.” Others have accused the AG of conducting a “witch hunt,” engaging in “McCarthyite” tactics, and “restricting academic freedom.”

It’s time to clear a few things up. Mann is the former UVA professor, whose “hockey stick” temperature chart was used to promote claims that “sudden” and “unprecedented” manmade global warming “threatens” human civilization and Earth itself. The hockey stick was first broken by climatologists Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas, who demonstrated that a Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age were clearly reflected in historic data across the globe, but redacted by Mann. Analysts Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick later showed that Mann’s computer program generated hockey-stick patterns regardless of what numbers were fed into it – even random telephone numbers; that explained why the global warming and cooling of the last millennium magically disappeared in Mann’s “temperature reconstruction.”

The Climategate emails revealed another deliberate “trick” that Mann used to generate a late twentieth-century temperature jump: he replaced tree ring data with thermometer measurements at the point in his timeline when the tree data no longer fit his climate disaster thesis. During his UVA tenure, he employed other sly statistical tricks to generate a purported, and truly unprecedented, CO2-driven warming of 2-4.5 degrees F per decade (1-2.5 degrees C). That extrapolates to as much as 45 degrees F per century!

Not surprisingly, he refused to share his data, computer codes and methodologies with skeptical scientists. Perhaps worse, Climategate emails indicate that Mann and others conspired to co-opt and corrupt the very scientific process that Carr asserts will ultimately condemn or vindicate them.

This behavior certainly gives Cuccinelli “probable cause” for launching an investigation. As the AG notes, “The same legal standards for fraud apply to the academic setting that apply elsewhere. The same rule of law, the same objective fact-finding process, will take place.” Some witch hunt.

There is simply no room in science, academia or public policy for manipulation, falsification or fraud. Academic freedom does not confer a right to engage in such practices, and both attorneys general and research institutions have a duty to root them out, especially in the case of climate change research.

Work by Mann and other alarmist scientists is not merely some theoretical exercise that can be permitted to “play itself out” over many years, if and when the “academic arena” gets around to it. These assertions of climate crisis are being used right now by Congress, states, courts and the Environmental Protection Agency to justify draconian restrictions on energy use and greenhouse emissions. They would shackle our freedoms and civil rights and hammer our jobs, economy, health, welfare and living standards.

If the science is wrong – or far worse, if it is manipulated, fabricated, fraudulent and covered up – then grave damage will be done to our nation, liberties and families, before the truth gets its boots on.

As to “scientific debate” over global warming, there has been virtually none in the academic arena. The science is viewed as “settled,” debate has been squelched, and those who seek to initiate debate are attacked, vilified, harassed and shipped off to academic Siberia.

Dr. Patrick Michaels, another former UVA climate researcher, was fired as Virginia State Climatologist by then-Governor Tim Kaine for raising inconvenient questions and facts on climate science. When Greenpeace demanded access to Michaels’ emails, UVA promptly acceded – before contesting AG Cuccinelli’s request for Mann’s.

The 810 protesters and their UCS and AAUP consorts were silent. Their principles and objections do not seem to apply to shrill activist groups infringing on the academic and scientific freedom of “politically incorrect” researchers, even when there is no suggestion of dishonesty. Other “skeptical” climate researchers have met with similar fates. The pungent scent of hypocrisy fills the air.

No surprise there. The massive US government climate change research gravy train alone totaled some $9 billion in grants during 2009, courtesy of hardworking taxpayers. IPCC, EU & Company climate grants – plus billions more for renewable energy research – fatten the larder still further. Now that money, prestige and power are threatened.

Climategate and other revelations about the lack of evidence for the “manmade climate disaster” thesis have sent belief in AlGorean gloom and doom plummeting. Global warming consistently comes in dead last on any list of environmental concerns. Three-fourths of Americans are unwilling to spend more than $100 a year to prevent climate change. China, India and other developing nations properly refuse to sign a carbon-cutting economic suicide pact.

The public is rightly concerned that in-house investigations by Penn State University (Mann’s current institution), East Anglia University (home of Phil Jones and the Climategate emails) and the IPCC have the patina of a Tom Sawyer whitewash. Independent investigations like Cuccinelli’s are absolutely essential, to ferret out fraud and misconduct – which may be rare but must be dealt with when it happens.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield falsified studies to create a connection between autism and trace mercury in vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella. Britain stripped him of his right to practice medicine. But meanwhile, a lingering stench remains over double standards; World Wildlife Fund press releases and rank speculation masquerading as peer-reviewed science; computer models enshrined as “proof” of looming climate disasters; and billions being squandered on research purporting to link global warming to nearly every malady and phenomenon known to man.

We the taxpayers are paying for this work. We the people will pay the price – in soaring energy bills, fewer jobs, lower living standards and lost freedoms – for draconian energy and emission laws enacted in the name of saving the planet.

We have a right to insist that the research be honest and aboveboard. That the work products stay in the public domain, available for scrutiny. That researchers share their data, computer codes and analytical methodologies, and engage in robust debate with skeptics and critics. That those who violate these fundamental precepts forfeit their access to future grants. And that our tax dollars no longer fund bogus acne-and-climate-change studies and alarmist propaganda. (Talk about budget cutting opportunities!)

It’s certainly understandable that scientists, academics, eco-activists and the AAUP and UVA would line up behind Mann and against Cuccinelli. There’s a lot of power, prestige and cash on the line. But it is essential that the attorney general and law-abiding citizens insist on transparency, integrity, credibility and accountability in the climate change arena.

We should support what Ken Cuccinelli is doing – and demand that Eric Holder and other state AGs take similar action.


Unhealthy cycling

CYCLING to work may seem the healthy option, but a study has shown that people riding in cities inhale tens of millions of toxic nanoparticles with every breath, at least five times more than drivers or pedestrians.

The research involved fitting cyclists with devices that could count the particles, mostly emitted by car exhausts, in the air they were breathing. It showed that urban concentrations of nanoparticles, which measure just a few millionths of a millimetre, could reach several hundred thousand in a cubic centimetre of air. The particles, when inhaled, have been linked to heart disease and respiratory problems.

Because they are exerting themselves, cyclists breathe harder and faster than other road users. The study found that they suck in about 1,000 cubic cm with each breath, meaning they may inhale tens of millions of the particles each time they fill their lungs, and billions during a whole journey.

“This is the first time anyone has counted the particles while also measuring people’s breathing during city commuting. It showed that cyclists can inhale an astonishing number of pollutant particles in one journey,” said Luc Int Panis of the transport research institute at Hasselt University in Belgium, who led the study.

For the research, just published in the journal Atmospheric Environment, Int Panis and his colleagues asked cyclists to pedal while wearing a mask fitted with instruments that could measure and count the particulates, as such particles are known. All are invisible even in severely polluted air. The researchers found that in Brussels the cyclists inhaled 5.58m nanoparticles for every metre cycled, dropping to about 1.1m when they tried the experiment in Mol, a much smaller town in Belgium.

They also found the cyclists inhaled four to five times more particles than a car passenger driven along the same route.

Int Panis said: “The air pollution figures in a big city like London or Birmingham are the same as or greater than in Brussels so British city cyclists will experience similar effects.”

For cyclists and other road users, the key question is what the health impact might be of inhaling so many particles. This has been one of the hardest questions to answer because the time lag between exposure to pollutants and developing an illness is usually long.

Earlier researchers had the same difficulty when studying whether smoking was linked to lung cancer, and it took decades to confirm the connection.

New techniques for gathering and analysing data mean, however, that the health problems caused by particulates are emerging much more quickly. A study carried out in London, to be published soon in the journal Epidemiology, is expected to show that exposures to high concentrations of nanoparticles are associated with a higher risk of heart disease. It will also show an association between larger particulates and respiratory health.

Other studies have shown that exposure to particulate pollution can have rapid short-term effects too — such as provoking asthma attacks. In a 2007 study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at Imperial College London asked 60 people with mild or moderate asthma to walk along the western end of the busy Oxford Street in central London, where only diesel-powered taxis and buses, plus cyclists, are permitted. The volunteers suffered asthma symptoms such as reduced breathing capacity and lung inflammation. Diesel vehicles emit far higher levels of pollutant nanoparticles than petrol engines.

What alarms health researchers is that such particles are so small that they penetrate the lungs and circulate in the blood. They are then thought to accumulate in organs such as the heart and brain and cause inflammatory reactions. Wearing a mask offers little protection as the particles are so small that they pass straight through any shield.

Earlier this year, such fears prompted the House of Commons environmental audit select committee to publish a report warning that air pollution caused about 50,000 premature deaths a year in Britain.

Int Panis’s research has already annoyed cycling groups. He has decided not to attend Velo-city 2010, a conference on cycling to be held in Copenhagen next month, because of the hostility he faced when announcing preliminary results of his research.

Int Panis and his colleagues point out that cycling still brings many health benefits and hope that it may be healthier than driving a car. Int Panis said: “I am a cyclist and the idea that riding a bike might be less healthy than driving is not pleasant, but I am also a scientist, so I have to look at the data.”


"Clarification" from British energy minister over nukes

Chris Huhne said rising gas and oil prices would make nuclear power more attractive

CHRIS HUHNE, the Liberal Democrat energy secretary, last night signalled a softening of his opposition to nuclear power, insisting he was no “ideological ayatollah”. Huhne, who once described nuclear power as a “failed” technology, claimed that plants would be built despite the government’s refusal to subsidise the industry.

“It is very clear from the coalition agreement that there will be a new generation of nuclear power,” he said in an interview with The Sunday Times. Last year the government identified 10 sites where nuclear reactors could be built.

The arrival of Huhne, the most radical of the five Lib Dem cabinet ministers, at the Department of Energy and Climate Change had sparked concern that the entire civil nuclear programme might be put on hold. But he insisted that despite budgetary restrictions there was an appetite to build plants. “The investors who are most interested in this issue accept the situation where there will be no subsidy,” he said.

He said the likely rise in gas and oil prices over the next few years would make nuclear more attractive to private finance. “They are looking at the likely rise in the carbon price. That will provide an incentive to all low-carbon and zero-carbon forms of energy.”

Huhne, who worked in the City before entering politics, added: “I am not an ideological ayatollah against nuclear power per se. “I am simply a sceptical economist about the record of nuclear power on delivering on time and to budget in a way that can make returns for investors.” ...

While the coalition has been described as an “austerity” or “hairshirt” government, the climate change secretary insisted nobody needed to cancel their bank holiday mini-breaks.

He said that the planned shift in aviation taxation to a “greener” per plane levy would not prompt the demise of the budget airlines. “My guess is airlines like Flybe, Ryanair and easyJet will have relatively little to fear,” he said.

However, he warned that other airlines, such as British Airways, which fly emptier jets, would be hard hit. “The flights which are frankly going to be hit hardest are the ones on scheduled routes which have very low load factors,” he said.

Huhne, although a committed environmentalist, insisted that motorists should not be alarmed by the new government. “We are in a time of transition,” he said. “We will be moving to an economy where pretty much everything you and I enjoy doing — even everything that Jeremy Clarkson enjoys doing — will still be able to be done but can be done in a different way. “Look at the Tesla which is an electric car that does 0-60mph in four seconds.” [But needs a recharge shortly thereafter]

Chris Huhne revealed how his quest to cut his carbon footprint was frequently thwarted by his wife Vicky Pryce. The energy secretary said his Greek-born spouse resisted his attempts to turn down the central heating in their draughty five-storey Georgian house in south London. “Since my wife has Mediterranean blood, our tolerance for cold is slightly different,” he said. “Our London home is more difficult to heat than our Eastleigh home. It is problematic from the point of view of English Heritage, since it is a listed building.”

Huhne cycles into his Whitehall office some days, but he insisted: “I don’t have a car with a red box following me.”



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30 May, 2010

ClimateGate Reconsidered

An Open Letter to Prof Edward Acton, Vice Chancellor, University of East Anglia, UK from S. Fred Singer, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Dear Prof. Acton

After careful study, I have reached the conclusion that the CRU temperature trends published by Prof. Phil Jones of UEA (and used by the IPCC) are spurious and should be corrected. Instead of the major warming that’s been claimed between 1979 and 1996 (the crucial period), the actual warming seems to be minor or even close to zero.

This matter is of extreme importance since international policies concerning climate change are based on the Jones analysis –and equivalent analyses in the US.

I base my conclusion on the following evidence:

**Weather satellites are the most reliable source of global temperature observations, with all data analysis and corrections fully transparent. They show essentially a zero rise in atmospheric temperatures during most of the crucial period (1979-1996). And basic atmospheric physics tells us that the temperature trends at the earth’s surface must be less, roughly only half of the atmospheric trends.

**Furthermore, all proxy data I have seen show no significant temperature rise during this same period. Recall that Michael Mann’s multi-proxy analysis suddenly stops in 1979.

As a scientist, I am mainly concerned with the truth of the data and the consequences for future climate change. Of course, as a member of the public, I cannot ignore the policy consequences – nor should any citizen/voter.

It seems to me that it is your responsibility to investigate whether and to what extent Dr. Jones’ judgment in the selection and in the correction of the raw data was influenced by any desire to see a particular outcome – namely, a strong warming.

In other words, the selection process (i.e., which data to use and which to reject) involved setting explicit or implicit criteria, based on “judgment.” Similarly, deciding on the type and degree of correction (for example, for urban heat island effects or other kinds of contamination) involved setting certain criteria based on the judgment of the analyst.

[Analysts can make different choices in the complex process of choosing input data, adjusting raw station data for known inhomogeneities (such as urbanization effects, changes in instrumentation, site location, and observation time), and gridding procedures.]

On this matter, I confess to certain sympathies for Dr Jones, who has devoted his lifetime career to this important task. Yet the search for scientific truth must be paramount.

I hope you will enlist credible experts to help you and I wish you much success as you undertake this daunting task.


S. Fred Singer (Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia; Former Director of the US Weather Satellite Service)

SEPP SCIENCE EDITORIAL #17-2010 (May 29, 2010)

Global Warming Advocacy Science: A Cross Examination

A legal analysis by Jason Scott Johnston, University of Pennsylvania - Law School


Legal scholarship has come to accept as true the various pronouncements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientists who have been active in the movement for greenhouse gas (ghg) emission reductions to combat global warming. The only criticism that legal scholars have had of the story told by this group of activist scientists - what may be called the climate establishment - is that it is too conservative in not paying enough attention to possible catastrophic harm from potentially very high temperature increases.

This paper departs from such faith in the climate establishment by comparing the picture of climate science presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other global warming scientist advocates with the peer-edited scientific literature on climate change. A review of the peer-edited literature reveals a systematic tendency of the climate establishment to engage in a variety of stylized rhetorical techniques that seem to oversell what is actually known about climate change while concealing fundamental uncertainties and open questions regarding many of the key processes involved in climate change.

Fundamental open questions include not only the size but the direction of feedback effects that are responsible for the bulk of the temperature increase predicted to result from atmospheric greenhouse gas increases: while climate models all presume that such feedback effects are on balance strongly positive, more and more peer-edited scientific papers seem to suggest that feedback effects may be small or even negative.

The cross-examination conducted in this paper reveals many additional areas where the peer-edited literature seems to conflict with the picture painted by establishment climate science, ranging from the magnitude of 20th century surface temperature increases and their relation to past temperatures; the possibility that inherent variability in the earth’s non-linear climate system, and not increases in CO2, may explain observed late 20th century warming; the ability of climate models to actually explain past temperatures; and, finally, substantial doubt about the methodological validity of models used to make highly publicized predictions of global warming impacts such as species loss.

Insofar as establishment climate science has glossed over and minimized such fundamental questions and uncertainties in climate science, it has created widespread misimpressions that have serious consequences for optimal policy design. Such misimpressions uniformly tend to support the case for rapid and costly decarbonization of the American economy, yet they characterize the work of even the most rigorous legal scholars.

A more balanced and nuanced view of the existing state of climate science supports much more gradual and easily reversible policies regarding greenhouse gas emission reduction, and also urges a redirection in public funding of climate science away from the continued subsidization of refinements of computer models and toward increased spending on the development of standardized observational datasets against which existing climate models can be tested.


The Week That Was (May 29, 2010)

By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

EPA has carefully prepared a trap, but will it trap itself? It has played hard ball in its Endangerment Finding that carbon dioxide emissions “endanger human health and welfare.” But faced with the hard reality that Copenhagen was a failure, public enthusiasm for carbon dioxide controls is falling, and that the Kerry-Lieberman cap and tax bill may not pass, EPA came out with a “tailoring rule” to slowly implement carbon dioxide regulation. First, only those emitting 50,000 tons per year will be regulated. Then the regulations will gradually apply to others. But EPA has no legal authority to make this rule because the law states emissions as low as 250 tons (every large building) must be regulated. Thus, EPA is inventing law.

Scores of environmental lawyers stand ready to collect massive legal fees, courtesy of the taxpayer by suing EPA for not fully enforcing the law. No doubt, EPA will do what it usually does, show some resistance and then roll in favor of the environmental lawyers. Herein is the danger to EPA. If cap and tax is not passed, and EPA enforces stringent regulations, the politicians who support EPA may soon be out of their jobs.

Senator Murkowski has proposed a simple, eight line bill that will remove from EPA the responsibility of regulating carbon dioxide. Under the Murkowski bill the responsibility of regulating carbon dioxide emissions will fall on the peoples’ representatives in Congress – where it should be.


Those representing scientific organizations defending Michael Mann continue to misstate the meaning of “hide the decline.” The issue is how well do tree ring measurement techniques approximate temperature measurements by instruments? Is there a solid correspondence between the results of tree ring techniques and the results of instrument measurements? If the correspondence is solid, than tree ring techniques can be used (with caution) to estimate temperatures when no instrument measurements are available. If the correspondence is poor, then the technique is not valid.

The “Nature trick” to “hide the decline” was not to hide temperature measurements by instruments which showed a rise in temperatures. The trick was to hide the divergence between tree ring techniques and instrument measurements after 1979 by removing “unsuitable” tree ring data. The tree rings indicated a no warming while the instruments showed a warming. Had the data been fully presented, then the validity of tree rings as a proxy for instrument measurements would have been questioned. The issue is not, as expressed by the Washington Post and others, allowing the public to better understand the research. The issue is misleading the public.


Students of The Great War (WW I) have long wondered what mania compelled leaders of the great nations of Europe, the most prosperous on earth, to such a disastrous, destructive war. What mania compelled generals who repeatedly witnessed that well prepared defenses annihilated troops in a frontal assault, to order their demoralized, depleted armies to another frontal assault -- One. Last. Time.

Perhaps we are witnessing that mania in the leadership of the European Union.

Many nations of Europe are still suffering from a prolonged recession. Many are experiencing a financial crisis brought on by fiscal irresponsibility, in part from pursuit of prosperity from green jobs which disappear when subsidies stop.

The leaders of the European Union have noticed that due to the recession, resulting in reduced carbon dioxide emissions, some nations are too close to achieving their goals of a 20% reduction by 2020. Apparently this is too easy, so the goal must be raised to 30% by 2020 to lead others on to victory. Depression anyone? Into the breach, men! One. Last. Time.


Another report from Heartland-4

by Bob Carter

The Chicago Heartland-4 International Conference on Climate Change

The 4th Heartland International Conference on Climate Change was held between May 16-18 last week in the Heartland Institute’s home city of Chicago. Previous meetings have been held in New York and Washington, and all have been highly successful. But as conference participant and Euro-MP Roger Helmer pointed out, the Heartland-4 conference marks a turning point, because of the emergence at the meeting of a rapidly maturing counter-consensus on the still topical (if increasingly tiresome to voters) issue of alarmist global warming....

Sure, carbon dioxide is a minor greenhouse gas, and, sure again, a gentle warming occurred over the last part of the 20th century. But hey, climate change happens naturally, both warmings and coolings; second, there is no substantive evidence that the late 20th century warming had a human causation; third, there has been no substantial further warming since 1998 despite a 5% increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide; and, fourth, there is increasingly strong evidence that negative (cooling) feedbacks are a dominant response of the climate system to increased greenhouse gas, as elaborated in papers at Heartland-4 by Dick Lindzen, Roy Spencer and Willis Eschenbach amongst others.

The four Heartland conferences have had a number of features in common, of which perhaps the most surprising has been the general failure of the mainstream press to attend and report on the matters discussed, and this despite the pedigree academic credentials of many of the persons presenting papers. But don’t take my word for the capabilities of the scientists and social scientists concerned: rather, check for yourself by watching some of the plenary and other addresses that have been filmed and made readily available by Pajamas TV.

One interesting exception to the press boycott was the BBC, who sent along their senior environmental reporter, Roger Harrabin. In contrast, nary a glimpse was sighted of any reporters from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and I am informed that the conference has passed almost entirely unnoticed in the Australian press. Given the Labor government’s repeated attempts to introduce carbon dioxide taxation in pursuit of the goal of “stopping global warming” (a policy now deferred until 2013), it is surprising indeed that the Australian media exhibited no interest in a major international conference at which copious evidence was provided that global warming is no longer a threat (if ever it was), and that global cooling may well be underway. Robyn Williams, Tony Jones and the Kerry O’Brien team, where were you?

One explanation for this determined lack of media interest may be the relentless politicisation to which the science of climate change has been subjected. Despite a prevailing conservative atmosphere, it is a matter of fact that attendees at Heartland-4 included persons from the far left to the far right of the political spectrum, with many doubtless representative of the swinging middle also. One might comment that, similarly, attendees at the many regular IPCC-related conferences throughout the world exude an air of left-wing rat-baggery, despite which the world media queue up to give them clamorous coverage. Thus in many people’s minds the IPCC angels and their media supporters are seen as left wing zealots floating on fluffy clouds, whereas the rationalist, independent scientists who are critical of IPCC policy advice appear as right wing deniers who represent the forces of darkness. That such shallow and inaccurate demonisations are prevalent in the public debate is perhaps the major reason why sensible calls for an alternative, prudent, adaptive approach to climate change (part of what Roger Helmer has called the “counter consensus”) – have yet to be heeded.

In contrast to IPCC events, then, and probably because the Heartland Institute makes no secret of being a libertarian organization, the Chicago conference appears to have been dismissed in advance by many media outlets as representing the views of a few, extreme, right-wing “climate deniers”. This is so to the degree that some scientists (and especially those many supporters of the IPCC view who were invited to participate) are reported to have declined to attend the conference because to do so would have resulted in their reputations being tainted by association. Those many independent scientists who did participate in the presentations and vigorous discussions at Heartland-4 were doubtless amused by this silly notion. Indeed, it can be laid to rest by noting the comments of one of the rare scientists present who acknowledged his sympathy to the views of the IPCC, namely Scott Denning from Colorado State University; Dr Denning commented at the closing plenary session that:

I want to thank you very much for inviting me to this conference. I have to say that I’ve learned a lot here. It was very gracious of [Heartland Institute Senior Fellow] James [Taylor] and of the organizers to bring me here. And I actually feel that it’s really too bad that more of my colleagues from the [IPCC] scientific community didn’t attend and haven’t in the past, and I hope that we can remedy that in the future.

One of the most concerning things about the global warming debate, which came up time and again in informal discussions at the Heartland-4 conference, is the degree to which young people today are being given a misleading and unbalanced education in environmental matters in general, and on climate change in particular. The following comment, which was posted as part of a recent online discussion of climate change books at Amazon UK, provides an all too typical example:

Recently, I attended a meeting at York University on this subject, and was interested to see that several students there, when confronted by the overwhelming scientific case for CO2 not being responsible for global warming, simply said "I cannot accept that." When asked why not, they replied along the lines that the newspapers and politicians all agree, so what have scientists to do with it. I was astounded!

It is therefore pleasant to be able to close this article by reporting on the active and intelligent involvement of two quite different groups of young people in the Heartland-4 conference. The first group comprised some lucky senior secondary school pupils from Wisconsin (The Potter’s School) who had been brought along by their energetic teacher Adele Weeks to be exposed to the wide range of views on climate change that were on show. At the same time, and while at the conference, Adele taught an external chemistry class over the internet, thereby setting two stellar examples of good teaching that other teachers should be encouraged to emulate.

The second group of young persons were to be found on the pavement of busy Michigan Avenue, outside the conference hotel’s front door. There, attached to various banners and signs, they were chanting vociferous slogans against the conference demons that their imaginations told them were inside the hotel - all the while being goaded or organized by two busy, older cameramen from major environmental organisations. Not, at first sight, promising material for rational discourse. Happily, however, and as is generally the case for most young people, when approached politely and firmly, and engaged in discussion, they became almost eager participants in their own de-propagandization.

One day soon, the majority of the world’s young people are going to wake up too to the way that they have been deceived about climate change, and come to understand that the high extra taxes and charges that they are going to contribute towards “stopping global warming” will result in precisely no climatic effect and no environmental benefit. Those who hosted and attended the Heartland-4 climate conference should be proud of the part that they are playing in alerting all citizens, the young included, to the need for prudence, caution and balance in the climate debate – all of which are needed in advance of any further large public expenditure on this environmental cause célèbre.


Government Physicist's Book Condemns Global Warming Hype

John O'Sullivan reviews a book briefly referred to on this blog yesterday

New book by long-standing physicist, John M. Quinn disproves carbon dioxide drives Earth's climate; solar forces shown to be the key to climate change

In ‘Global Warming: Geophysical Counterpoints to the Enhanced Greenhouse Theory’ John M. Quinn a 40-year career physicist serving on a variety of national and international committees, disputes that radiative forcing associated with the greenhouse gas effect has any significant role in man-made global warming.

Quinn’s book is a masterly study that traces our planet’s recent heating episodes to determine a climate forcing signal that might be called mini-Milankovitch events. In other words, solar energy is proven to be the key driver of climate change.

Solar Forces and Earth’s Core Motion the Key

Tying together evidence from a wide range of solar-terrestrial phenomena, including the sun’s magnetic storms, the fluctuating solar wind as well as Earth’s core motions, Quinn’s conclusions are most compelling.

Of considerable interest to some analysts will be Quinn’s view of the core motion effect which is supported by the discovery in 2008 of a second inner core to the Earth which climate theorist, Joseph E. Olson has affirmed as another fascinating new line of enquiry in the field of climatology.

Quinn defines clear one-to-one correspondence among these parameters and the Global Temperature Anomaly on three separate time scales.

It appears highly likely that changes in the Sun’s and our planet’s magnetic fields, changes in the Earth’s orientation and rotation rate, as well as the gravitational effects associated with the relative barri-center motions of the Earth, Sun, Moon, and other planets, all play key roles.

Conventional Global Warming Wisdom Disputed

The Colorado physicist’s conclusions are added to a growing weight of dissenting scientific opinion debunking the accepted views of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and a small clique of discredited government climate scientists who have sought to pin the blame of modest warming in the late 20th century on made-made emissions of carbon dioxide.

The author, from Lakewood, Colorado, holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Virginia, a master’s degree from the University of Colorado and has worked for 32 years with the Federal Government.

Quinn’s celestial analysis broadly fits with that of Dr. Tom Segalstad whose work on residence time also has a distinct sun-oriented perspective on the fluctuations in climate.

Indeed, there is much here to support climate scientists once portrayed as mavericks on this matter, such as eminent MIT professor, Richard Lindzen, an IPCC author and Sweden’s Henrik Svensmark who also hold that the Sun is the prime forcer in climate change.

However, even a study of IPCC's own conventionally accepted numbers by Dr. Jeffrey Glassman has now become compelling evidence that the Sun and not greenhouse gases, are the root cause of recent global warming.

Global Interest Aroused in Climate Expert

Aside from this fascinating book, John Quinn has also published several technical reports and articles in scientific journals. In fact, he is held in such high regard that he has given numerous lectures and presentations to scientific and other groups around the world.

Shedding new light on a fascinating subject, the Colorado climate analyst’s new publication is aimed at scientists and non-scientists alike. With a wealth of informative graphics to assist the reader Quinn’s analysis will be readily understood by a broad spectrum of interested groups from politicians, teachers and students right through to the lay public as well.

There is little doubt that Mr. Quinn has added an invaluable contribution to the lively debate as climate science earnestly searches for the true causes of global warming.

SOURCE (See original for references)

Eskimos say that polar bears not at risk

The Nunavut government does not think the polar bear should be classified as a species of special concern under the federal Species at Risk Act, says territorial Environment Minister Daniel Shewchuk. Shewchuk said there is no clear evidence to support assigning that status to the polar bear despite recommendations to the contrary by Environment Canada and a federal scientific panel.

"We live in polar bear country," Shewchuk told reporters in Iqaluit on Friday afternoon. "We understand the polar bears, and we do actually think our polar bear population is very very healthy, with the exception of a couple of populations that we are taking action on."

The polar bear was most recently designated a species of special concern in 2002. "Of special concern" is the least serious "at risk" designation — one level below "threatened" and two levels below "endangered." Currently, the special-concern designation has been suspended while the government reviews the polar bear's status and decides whether to renew the classification or change it.

An arm's length scientific panel, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), reviewed the polar bear's status in 2008 and recommended that it remain in the special-concern category.

Change of position

The recommendation has initiated a long process of hearings and consultations, including a round of hearings in Nunavut in April. Environment Canada is expected to decide in a couple of months whether to renew the special concern status.

Shewchuk said while the Nunavut government originally agreed with the special-concern listing, it changed its position after consulting with Inuit hunters and others on a recent community tour. "Through direct consultation, they are unanimous in their belief that polar bears have not declined," Shewchuk said.

Scientists on the committee have argued that although Canada's polar bear population has improved over the last 50 years, the future of the species could be threatened by climate change and receding sea ice.

"Certainly, we recognize that the Arctic may experience substantial impacts from climate change," Shewchuk said. "But listing polar bears now, based on predicted but unknown future impacts, is not reasonable. "Based on hunter observations, polar bears are presently still healthy and abundant across Nunavut — and for that reason, not a species of special concern."

At-risk designation requires management plan

Being listed as a species of special concern means polar bears must be protected by a management plan that would address the habitat and survival of the species.

But Shewchuk said the Nunavut government already has an "excellent track record" in terms of collaborative wildlife management, using a combination of the best scientific data and Inuit traditional knowledge.

He said appropriate steps are already being taken to conserve two polar bear subpopulations — in western Hudson Bay and Baffin Bay — that have been of most concern to federal authorities.

Those subpopulations have been of concern to scientists who said their numbers are declining. Inuit in those areas have disputed the scientific claims, saying they have seen more bears.

Shewchuk said his new decision has already been sent to federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice. "I'm aware that I will be under tremendous pressure externally for no longer supporting the special-concern proposal," he said. "However, I'm being responsive and listening to Nunavummiut, especially hunters and elders, who have lived all their lives in the North, who have extensive and professional knowledge of the environment and our wildlife in Nunavut," 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


29 May, 2010

Royal Society 'to re-examine climate message'

Britain's national academy of science is to review its messages on climate change after complaints from its Fellows that the publicised views were oversimplified, according to reports

The Royal Society is to create a panel to put together a consensus statement after the assertion by 43 Fellows that its messages failed to draw a line between fact and conjecture, the BBC claimed.

The panel, chaired by John Pethica, vice-president of the Society, will publish the document in September after reviews by two subgroups, who are said to have questions about the popular view of the threat posed by increasing quantities of C02 in the atmosphere.

A panel member told BBC News: "The timetable is very tough – one draft has already been rejected as completely inadequate. "This is a very serious challenge to the way the society operates. In the past we have been able to give advice to governments as a society without having to seek consensus of all the members."

The member reportedly said it may not even be possible for the panel to agree upon a consensus view and added they thought some of the society's public messages had been badly thought out.

Criticism is principally centred on Climate Change Controversies, a document which defends mainstream science from accusations thought by the Society to be improper. It says: "This is not intended to provide exhaustive answers to every contentious argument that has been put forward by those who seek to distort and undermine the science of climate change ..."

One Fellow reportedly said: "This appears to suggest that anyone who questions climate science is malicious. But in science everything is there to be questioned – that should be the very essence of the Royal Society. Some of us were very upset about that."

A spokesman from the Royal Society declined to respond, saying: "We will be issuing a release about this later on. It will be based on fact rather than speculation." [Now THAT'S a departure!]


Uncertain Science

Even Newsweak is executing a slow turn. The heading above is theirs and their subheading is: "Bickering and defensive, climate researchers have lost the public’s trust"

Blame economic worries, another freezing winter, or the cascade of scandals emerging from the world’s leading climate-research body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But concern over global warming has cooled down dramatically. In über-green Germany, only 42 percent of citizens worry about global warming now, down from 62 percent in 2006. In Britain, just 26 percent believe climate change is man-made, down from 41 percent as recently as November 2009. And Americans rank global warming dead last in a list of 21 problems that concern them, according to a January Pew poll.

The shift has left many once celebrated climate researchers feeling like the used-car salesmen of the science world. In Britain, one leading scientist told an interviewer he is taking anti-anxiety pills and considered suicide following the leak of thousands of IPCC-related e-mails and documents suggesting that researchers cherry-picked data and suppressed rival studies to play up global warming. In the U.S., another researcher is under investigation for allegedly using exaggerated climate data to obtain public funds. In an open letter published in the May issue of Science magazine, 255 American climate researchers decry “political assaults” on their work by “deniers” and followers of “dogma” and “special interests.”

This is no dispute between objective scientists and crazed flat-earthers. The lines cut through the profession itself. Very few scientists dispute a link between man-made CO2 and global warming. Where it gets fuzzy is the extent and time frame of the effect. One crucial point of contention is climate “sensitivity”—the mathematical formula that translates changes in CO2 production to changes in temperature. In addition, scientists are not sure how to explain a slowdown in the rise of global temperatures that began about a decade ago.

The backlash against climate science is also about the way in which leading scientists allied themselves with politicians and activists to promote their cause. Some of the IPCC’s most-quoted data and recommendations were taken straight out of unchecked activist brochures, newspaper articles, and corporate reports—including claims of plummeting crop yields in Africa and the rising costs of warming-related natural disasters, both of which have been refuted by academic studies.

Just as damaging, many climate scientists have responded to critiques by questioning the integrity of their critics, rather than by supplying data and reasoned arguments. When other researchers aired doubt about the IPCC’s prediction that Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035, the IPCC’s powerful chief, Rajendra Pachauri, trashed their work as “voodoo science.” Even today, after dozens of IPCC exaggerations have surfaced, leading climate officials like U.N. Environment Program chief Achim Steiner and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research head Joachim Schellnhuber continue to tar-brush critics as “anti-Enlightenment” and engaging in “witch hunts.”

None of this means we should burn fossil fuels with abandon. There are excellent reasons to limit emissions and switch to cleaner fuels—including an estimated 750,000 annual pollution deaths in China, the potential to create jobs at home instead of enriching nasty regimes sitting on oil wells, the need to provide cheap sources of power to the world’s poorest regions, and the still-probable threat that global warming is underway. At the moment, however, certainty about how fast—and how much—global warming changes the earth’s climate does not appear to be one of those reasons.


Where has the Magic Gone?

James Taranto

This lead paragraph from the New York Times is just priceless:
Last month hundreds of environmental activists crammed into an auditorium here to ponder an anguished question: If the scientific consensus on climate change has not changed, why have so many people turned away from the idea that human activity is warming the planet?

Imagine popular children's fables retold by Times reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal: Anguished weavers gathered to ponder the sudden shift in fashion by subjects who only recently thought the emperor was wearing a splendid suit of clothes. If the boy still says there is a wolf, why have so many farmers turned away from the idea that the sheep are in danger?

Rosenthal reports from London, because the "shift in public opinion" has been especially "striking" in Britain, where "climate change" was once a "popular priority":
But since then, the country has evolved into a home base for a thriving group of climate skeptics who have dominated news reports in recent months, apparently convincing many that the threat of warming is vastly exaggerated.

The Times story could be titled "What's the Matter With Many?" Not only do opinion polls in Britain and elsewhere show a significant drop in public credulity about climate alarmism, but newly elected Prime Minister David Cameron "was 'strangely muted' on the issue in a recent pre-election debate, as The Daily Telegraph put it, though it had previously been one of his passions." And then there's this:
London's Science Museum recently announced that a permanent exhibit scheduled to open later this year would be called the Climate Science Gallery--not the Climate Change Gallery as had previously been planned.

That last bit is just an example of the euphemism treadmill at work. We're old enough to remember the "greenhouse effect," which became "global warming," which became "climate change," which now apparently has become "climate science." Just as "retarded" was a clinical term until it developed connotations of mockery and insult, so each term for greenhouseeffectglobalwarmingclimatechangeclimatescience comes to connote dishonest alarmism--because that is what GEGWCCCS is all about.

Savor the plaintive condescension of this passage:
Here in Britain, the change has been driven by the news media's intensive coverage of a series of climate science controversies unearthed and highlighted by skeptics since November. These include the unauthorized release of e-mail messages from prominent British climate scientists at the University of East Anglia that skeptics cited as evidence that researchers were overstating the evidence for global warming and the discovery of errors in a United Nations climate report.

Two independent reviews later found no evidence that the East Anglia researchers had actively distorted climate data, but heavy press coverage had already left an impression that the scientists had schemed to repress data. Then there was the unusually cold winter in Northern Europe and the United States, which may have reinforced a perception that the Earth was not warming.

Skepticism, the Times implies, is a sign that people are foolish and easily misled. But the opposite interpretation is closer to the truth: Those who refuse to accept outlandish claims based merely on an appeal to authority are exercising intelligence and common sense.

Walter Russell Mead, blogging for The American Interest, notes in addition that most of the information in the Times story is old news. The lead, after all, concerns a conference held last month, even though it was almost next month by the time the Times published its report. Mead continues:
It turns out, however, that by Times standards a report on a conference from last month is a late breaking newsflash. The main evidence that ace reporter Elizabeth [sic] Rosenthal has tracked down for her story about changing public sentiment comes from a BBC opinion poll from February.

The last I looked, we were approaching the end of May. This is deliberative journalism at its best: only ninety swift days between a BBC poll and the time that the New York Times thinks you are ready to hear about it.

Mead notes that Rosenthal also cites a German poll from March and a survey of Conservative British political candidates from January. With just a touch of sarcasm, he adds: "Give thanks that you live in the information age, when the news of the day, properly vetted and screened by layers of professional news editors, will be delivered to you as soon as it's safely matured. . . . Stories this big and this rich need to be properly aged."

Oh well, it could be worse. The Associated Press bureau in Katmandu is even further behind the news than the Times is, as evidenced by this dispatch:
A Nepalese Sherpa who climbed Mount Everest for a record 20th time said Tuesday that the melting of glacier ice along its slopes due to global warming is making it increasingly difficult to climb the peak.

Right. Because climbing the world's highest mountain is supposed to get easier as you get older!


Why I keep banging on and on about Global bloody Warming

By James Delingpole

“Can’t you find something else to talk about?” someone (a nice, sympathetic person, not one of my house herd of festering libtard trolls) commented below one of my previous blogs.

So let me explain, briefly, why I rarely can – with reference to the ludicrous story which was given the front page of today’s Times (formerly a newspaper of some note).

The story, enthusiastically headlined EU SETS TOUGHEST TARGETS TO FIGHT GLOBAL WARMING goes like this:
Europe will introduce a surprise new plan today to combat global warming, committing Britain and the rest of the EU to the most ambitious targets in the world. The plan proposes a massive increase in the target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in this decade.

The European Commission is determined to press ahead with the cuts despite the financial turmoil gripping the bloc, even though it would require Britain and other EU member states to impose far tougher financial penalties on their industries than are being considered by other large economies.

The plan, to cut emissions by 30 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020, would cost the EU an extra £33 billion a year by 2020, according to a draft of the Commission’s communication leaked to The Times.

The existing target of a 20 per cent cut is already due to cost £48 billion. The Commission will argue that the lower target has become much easier to meet because of the recession, which resulted in the EU’s emissions falling more than 10 per cent last year as thousands of factories closed or cut production. Emissions last year were already 14 per cent below 1990 levels.

Can you see what’s wrong with this story? Clearly the Environment Correspondent author couldn’t, nor his news editors. If they had they would have reported it in an entirely different way – not, as a largely sensible proposal to deal with a real and serious problem which might nonetheless likely to run into various local difficulties. But as one of the most scandalous outbreaks of hysteria, credulousness and stupidity in the entire history of the human race.

Here’s the problem: the global economy has gone tits up. We are doomed. And nowhere is more doomed than Europe whose Monopoly-money currency is going the way of the Zimbabwe dollar and the Reichsmark, and whose constituent economies are so overburdened by sclerotic regulation and so mired in corruption, waste and the kind of institutionalised socialism which might work just about when the going’s good but definitely not now sir now sirree.

And what, pray, is the European Union’s solution to this REAL problem which has already led to riots and death in one country and which could well lead to many more in the horror years to come? Why, to impose on its already hamstrung, over-regulated, over-taxed businesses yet further arbitrary CO2 emissions reductions targets, which will make not the blindest difference to the health of the planet, but which will most certainly slow down economic recovery and make life harder and more miserable for everybody.

In Britain, David Cameron is wedded to the same suicidal policy – on the one hand brandishing £6.5 billion cuts in government spending as though this were a sign of his maturity and his commitment to reducing Britain’s deficit, while on the other remaining committed to a “low carbon” economy set to destroy what’s left of our industry and cost the taxpayer at least £18 billion (yep – almost THREE times as much as the pathetic cuts announced so far by his pathetic chancellor) a year.

Around the world, in the greatest financial crisis we have faced since the 1930s, our leaders are behaving like imbeciles. And nowhere is this imbecility more painfully manifest than in their approach to the non-existent problem they now call Climate Change.

That’s why I keep banging on about Climate Change. It is, unfortunately, the Key to all Mythologies.


Global Warming Brought to Book

I have just checked on Amazon UK: out of the top five most popular books about ‘global warming’, no fewer than four are by sceptical authors.

And, it is surely about to get even more interesting as four new, highly-critical works hit the virtual and bookshop ‘shelves’ this May:

First, there is a new masterpiece from Matt Ridley, one of our finest exponents of popular science writing, a volume which I predict will become a blockbuster [although embargoed until May 27, it is already 164th in Amazon UK’s best-seller list]: The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves(Fourth Estate: ISBN-10: 0007267118; ISBN-13: 978-0007267118). This will be released tomorrow, and it will be available both online and from all good bookshops, such as Waterstones.

Here is Dominic Lawson’s review for you to savour: “Ridley’s deft demolition of the scaremongering of the organic movement is merely part of a book breathtaking in its sweep and scope. His furious onslaught on the renewable-energy scams, the grotesquely subsidised governmental response to the great global-warming scare, is even more telling.” And here is the official web site for The Rational Optimist. It is a devastating critique of our dystopian Age.

Then, today at lunchtime, Stacey International releases two highly-significant books on the science and the economics of ‘global warming’ in its ‘Independent Minds’ Series.

These are Climate: the Great Delusion by Christian Gerondeau (translated from the French original: ISBN-10: 1906768412; ISBN-13: 9781906768416) and Climate: the Counter Consensus by Professor Robert Carter (ISBN-10: 1906768293; ISBN-13: 9781906768294). Gerondeau’s book has already sold thousands of copies in France, under the title, CO2 Un Mythe Planétaire. He demonstrates sharply the absurdity of the climate measures to which the G8 countries are currently committed. He further observes that these complex and formidably expensive efforts will be nullified by the actions of China and India, where such restrictions are economically and politically unfeasible; will have no discernible effect on the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and climate change; make no sense in the light of the impending exhaustion of hydro-carbon sources within the coming century; and, will come to be viewed as a scarcely-credible response to a global delusion amid harmless shifts in climate. The book is endorsed by two heavy-weight former politicians, Nigel Lawson and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.

Meanwhile, Carter takes a scalpel to the so-called facts of ‘global warming’ that are churned out and unquestioningly accepted, while the scientific and media establishments stifle or deride any legitimate expression of an opposing viewpoint. In doing so, Carter’s book typifies the mission of the ‘Independent Minds’ Series, namely to replace political correctness and received wisdom with common sense and more rational analysis. Both of these books are recommended, and they are available directly from Stacey International and elsewhere.

Finally, there is Melanie Phillip’s challenging, and unquestionably brave, new book, The World Turned Upside Down: the Global Battle over God, Truth and Power, which was released in the UK on May 6 (Encounter Books: ISBN-10: 1594033757; ISBN-13: 978-1594033759). In this mighty essay, Melanie launches a searing attack on how the West has willfully abandoned all sense of reason: “The loss of religious belief has meant the West has replaced reason and truth with ideology and prejudice, which it enforces in the manner of a secular inquisition. The result has been a kind of mass derangement, as truth and lies, right and wrong, victim and aggressor are all turned upside down. In medieval-style witch-hunts, scientists who are skeptical of global warming are hounded from their posts; Israel is ferociously demonized; and the United States is vilified over the war on terror - all on the basis of falsehoods and propaganda that are believed as truth.”

The Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, has written of the book: “With ferocious courage, Melanie Phillips challenges a series of myths and irrationalities that have achieved canonical status in the contemporary world. If civilization depends on the ability to give dissenting voices a hearing, then The World Turned Upside Downmay well be one of the most important tests of Western civilization in our time.”

Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, MIT, comments: "One is disturbed each day by verifiably untrue statements touted as incontrovertible facts about hot-button issues. With cold, perceptive, exhaustive and persistent passion, Melanie Phillips dissects the phenomenon among disparate movements, to reach disturbing but compelling conclusions about the erosion of modern liberal society by ideologies whose surprising interconnections are meticulously identified. One can only hope that her book will penetrate the information cocoon into which many of our intelligentsia have sealed themselves."

I believe the intellectual pendulum is at last starting to swing. It is time that some of our more right-on media and UK politicians [witness the fatuous ‘exclusive’ on The Times front page today - why did The Times waste its front page on this non-story?] woke up to the fact that ‘global warming’ is increasingly an intellectually-discredited, postmodernist trope, but worse, a dangerous economic irrelevancy. Indeed, irrational political belief in ‘global warming’ may be yet another threat to the survival of the UK and the EU as significant economic world powers.

Well, there is your summer beach reading, as author after author brings ‘global warming’ to book. Enjoy them all with your Pimm’s - though even these may not last out an Andy Murray five-setter. “Cheers, indeed!”


Yet another book that dismisses man-made warming

It's called "Global Warming: Geophysical Counterpoints to the Enhanced Greenhouse Theory" and is by John M. Quinn. The following is from the publisher:

"Global Warming" explains why CO2 and other greenhouse gases, either of natural or of anthropogenic origin, cannot be the cause, let alone the primary cause, of global warming. Evidence indicates that global warming is closely related to a wide range of solar-terrestrial phenomenon, from the sun’s magnetic storms and fluctuating solar wind all the way to the Earth’s core motions. Changes in the Solar and Earth magnetic fields, changes in the Earth’s orientation and rotation rate, as well as the gravitational effects associated with the relative barri-center motions of the Earth, Sun, Moon, and other planets, all play key roles. Clear one-to-one correspondence exists among these parameters and the Global Temperature Anomaly on three separate time scales.

This book sheds new light on a fascinating subject. It is intended to be read by scientists and non-scientists alike, including interested politicians, teachers, and students. Taking the view that a picture is worth a thousand words, there are many graphics to assist the reader. Non-scientists as well as uncommitted scientists should come away with an understanding of why, despite claims to the contrary by some environments and political interlopers, there is still honest scientific debate as to the cause of global warming.
About the Author

A physicist and geophysicist from Lakewood, Colorado, John M. Quinn has a B.S. in physics from the University of Virginia and a M.S. from the University of Colorado. John’s 40-year career includes 32 years with the Federal Government. He has also served on a variety of national and international committees. He enjoys gardening raising tropical fish, classic fifties rock-‘n-roll, spy thrillers, and action movies. Mr. Quinn has also published several technical reports and articles in scientific journals and has given numerous lectures and presentations to scientific and other groups around the world.



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


28 May, 2010

Cave data show that temperatures have been systematically FALLING in the last 5,000 years

Excerpt (minus the algebra) only below -- from work by Willis Eschenbach

In my usual peripatetic wandering around the web, I came across an interesting paper called “Millennial- and orbital-scale changes in the East Asian monsoon over the past 224,000 years”, in Nature Magazine (subscription required), 28 Feb. 2008 , with Supplementary Online Information.

The paper uses “speleothems” to estimate past climate conditions. Speleothems are secondary mineral deposits formed in caves. Stalactites and stalgmites are speleothems, and they come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.

What can we learn from the speleothems? The authors used the speleothem data from two caves in China to investigate the climate changes over the last two glacial periods, a quarter million years or so. Being more interested in the recent past, and noticing that one of the datasets extended up to the year 1490, I decided to see what speleothems could tell us about the temperature changes in more recent times. So I got a large group of speleothem records from the NOAA Paleoclimatology web site.

I wasn’t interested in what happened thousands and thousands of years ago, so I got all of the long records that covered all or part of the period from the end of the last ice age to the present. This gave me 20 records.

The speleothems give us a record of what is called the “delta oxygen 18″. This value is related to the temperature. The paper does not give the associated temperature values, so I converted them

So, what does all this mean? Heck, I don’t know, I’m investigating, not drawing conclusions. A few comments, in no particular order:

• As is shown in the Greenland ice core records, we are currently at the cold end of the Holocene (the current interglacial).

• Recent phenomena (Roman Warm Period, Medieval Warm Period, Current Warm Period) are scarcely visible at this scale. So much for the “uprecedented” nature of the recent rise.

• The polar bears are not in any danger from the recent rise.

• What’s up with the big jump and drop about 12 000 years ago? A number of people have pointed out that this is almost certainly the “Younger Dryas” event. I hadn’t noticed it in the Vostok record, but a closeup of that record shows it.


Climategate and the scientific elite

The news that Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who popularized the idea of a link between the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine and autism, has been struck off the register of general practitioners in the United Kingdom testifies to the fact that, in many scientific fields, objectivity still reigns. Britain’s General Medical Council found that Wakefield had used unethical and dishonest research methods and that when his conclusions became common knowledge, the result was that far more children were exposed to the risk of those diseases than would have been the case otherwise. Unfortunately, in other areas, some scientists have been getting away with blatant disregard for the scientific method.

The most prominent example, “Climategate,” highlights how dangerous the politicization of science can be. The public reaction to Climategate should motivate politicians to curb such abuses in the future. Yet it was politicians who facilitated this politicization of science in the first place.

The economic historians Terence Kealey (The Economic Laws of Scientific Research) and Joel Mokyr (The Gifts of Athena) help us understand just how science progresses. Their central insight involves the recursive nature of the scientific process. In Mokyr’s terms, propositional knowledge (what politicians term “basic” science) can inform prescriptive knowledge (“applied” science). However, the reverse happens just as often.

This understanding contradicts the linear model of scientific research, which became prevalent in America in the 1940s and ’50s, following the model of the great scientist Vannevar Bush. Under this model, we must invest in propositional knowledge as a public good, because that’s where our prescriptive knowledge comes from. Yet even as Bush’s model was taking hold, President Eisenhower warned against it. In his farewell address, just after the famous remarks about the military-industrial complex, he said:

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

What Ike warned about has now come to pass. The scientific elite, with the help of its allies in Congress, increasingly dictates public policy and thereby secures the continued flow of research funding. Time and again, scientists have told me how they have to tie their work to global warming in order to obtain funding, and time and again — bar a few brave souls, who are immediately tagged as “deniers” — they tell me it would be career suicide to speak out openly about this.

Moreover, by consciously reinforcing the link between politics and science, the scientific elite is diminishing the role of private innovation, where prescriptive knowledge informed by market demand drives propositional knowledge. Thus, they are driving the market out of the marketplace of ideas.

For that reason, we must challenge the linear model of science. One way to do this is to break the link between political patronage and scientific funding. For example, we could fund basic science by awarding prizes for excellent research results instead of grants before the event. With their patronage powers curtailed, politicians might become less interested in scientific funding, allowing private money to fill the void.

That’s the good news about Climategate. It starkly revealed to the public how many global-warming scientists speak and act like politicians. To those scientists, the message trumped the science. Few members of the public have accepted the findings of the inquiries exonerating the scientists; most dismiss them as whitewashes. This is to the good, for it reinforces awareness of the scientific elite President Eisenhower warned about.

If politicians realize that the public regards them as corrupting science rather than encouraging it, they might become less inclined to continue funding the scientific-political complex. Then scientists would be free to deal with the Andrew Wakefields among them as needed, rather than worry about their funding.


Greenies are up against a "conspiracy of physics"

by John Stossel

I ride my bike to work. It seems so pure. We're constantly urged to "go green" -- use less energy, shrink our carbon footprint, save the Earth. How? We should drive less, use ethanol, recycle plastic and buy things with the government's Energy Star label.

But what if much of going green is just bunk? Al Gore's group, Repower America, claims we can replace all our dirty energy with clean, carbon-free renewables. Gore says we can do it within 10 years.

"It's simply not possible," says Robert Bryce, author of "Power Hungry: The Myths of 'Green' Energy." "Nine out of 10 units of power that we consume are produced by hydrocarbons -- coal, oil and natural gas. Any transition away from those sources is going to be a decades-long, maybe even a century-long process. ... The world consumes 200 million barrels of oil equivalent in hydrocarbons per day. We would have to find the energy equivalent of 23 Saudi Arabias."

Bryce used to be a left-liberal, but then: "I educated myself about math and physics. I'm a liberal who was mugged by the laws of thermodynamics."

Bryce mocked the "green" value of my riding my bike to work: "Let's assume you saved a gallon of oil in your commute (a generous assumption!). Global daily energy consumption is 9.5 billion gallons of oil equivalent. ... So by biking to work, you save the equivalent of one drop in 10 gasoline tanker trucks. Put another way, it's one pinch of salt in a 100-pound bag of potato chips."

How about wind power? "Wind does not replace oil. This is one of the great fallacies, and it's one that the wind energy business continues to promote," Bryce said.

The problem is that windmills cannot provide a constant source of electricity. Wind turbines only achieve 10 percent to 20 percent of their maximum capacity because sometimes the wind doesn't blow. "That means you have to keep conventional power plants up and running. You have to ramp them up to replace the power that disappears from wind turbines and ramp them down when power reappears."

Yet the media rave about Denmark, which gets some power from wind. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman says, "If only we could be as energy smart as Denmark."

"Friedman doesn't fundamentally understand what he's talking about," Bryce said. Bryce's book shows that Denmark uses eight times more coal and 25 times more oil than wind.

If wind and solar power were practical, entrepreneurs would invest in it. There would be no need for government to take money from taxpayers and give it to people pushing green products.

Even with subsidies, "renewable" energy today barely makes a dent on our energy needs. Bryce points out that energy production from every solar panel and windmill in America is less than the production from one coal mine and much less than natural gas production from Oklahoma alone.

But what if we build more windmills? "One nuclear power plant in Texas covers about 19 square miles, an area slightly smaller than Manhattan. To produce the same amount of power from wind turbines would require an area the size of Rhode Island. This is energy sprawl." To produce the same amount of energy with ethanol, another "green" fuel, it would take 24 Rhode Islands to grow enough corn.

Maybe the electric car is the next big thing? "Electric cars are the next big thing, and they always will be."

There have been impressive headlines about electric cars from my brilliant colleagues in the media. The Washington Post said, "Prices on electric cars will continue to drop until they're within reach of the average family."

That was in 1915.

In 1959, The New York Times said, "Electric is the car of the tomorrow."

In 1979, The Washington Post said, "GM has an electric car breakthrough in batteries, now makes them commercially practical."

I'm still waiting.

"The problem is very simple," Bryce said. "It's not political will. It's simple physics. Gasoline has 80 times the energy density of the best lithium ion batteries. There's no conspiracy here of big oil or big auto. It's a conspiracy of physics."


NASA accused of 'Climategate' stalling

The man battling NASA for access to potential "Climategate" e-mails says the agency is still withholding documents and that NASA may be trying to stall long enough to avoid hurting an upcoming Senate debate on global warming.

Nearly three years after his first Freedom of Information Act request, Christopher C. Horner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said he will file a lawsuit Thursday to force NASA to turn over documents the agency has promised but has never delivered.

Mr. Horner said he expects the documents, primarily e-mails from scientists involved with NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), will be yet another blow to the science behind global warming, which has come under fire in recent months after e-mails from a leading British research unit indicated scientists had manipulated some data.

"What we've got is the third leg of the stool here, which is the U.S.-led, NASA-run effort to defend what proved to be indefensible, and that was a manufactured record of aberrant warming," Mr. Horner said. "We assume that we will also see through these e-mails, as we've seen through others, organized efforts to subvert transparency laws like FOIA."

He said with a global warming debate looming in the Senate, NASA may be trying to avoid having embarrassing documents come out at this time, but eventually the e-mails will be released.

"They know time is our friend," said Mr. Horner, author of "Power Grab: How Obama's Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America."

Mark S. Hess, a spokesman for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, which overseas the climate program, said the agency is working as fast as it can, and that Mr. Horner should expect some answers any day. "It looks like the response to his appeal is probably going to happen very soon. I can't tell you it's going to be tomorrow or the next day, but it's just a matter of days," Mr. Hess said.

He said he hasn't seen the response, and doesn't know whether it will authorize any more information to be released.


Erratic and uncertain rise in ocean heat content

The steady rise in atmospheric CO2 has not produced any warming on land in the last decade or so nor has it produced a similar steady rise in ocean heat content.

It is indisputable that the world has warmed in the past 150 years but how that warming relates to man’s activities is debatable given the irregularity of that warming and the influence of natural cycles. The post 2000 global temperature standstill is particularly problematic. It is said by some that a more robust demonstration of global warming will come from the oceans with increasing heat content and sea- levels rise (though see a previous post for a discussion on sea-level changes.)

It is difficult to measure how the heat content of the ocean changes. The problems are everywhere; only in the past few years have we had anything approaching adequate data and coverage, different systems measure different things in different ways, how to select data, how to process it and indentify sources of errors. In reality the scientists concerned select ‘valid’ data and then decide what cyclical periods should be removed so as to smooth out annual variations, how to map data taking into account under and oversampled regions of the ocean and how to harmonise data from different observing systems. It is not surprising then that different teams working on ocean heat changes have produced very different results.

Lyman et al seek to overcome these difficulties by looking at a range of results about the ocean heat content since about 1994. They find, once individual absolute results are removed, that the general shape of the post 1994 ocean heat curves are roughly similar with no change up to 2001, then an increase for two years, followed by another stable period until 2009. See fig 1 and note that the errors are large.

Lyman et al suggest that from 1997 to 1998 – the time of a strong El Nino – that some of the curves show cooling. In fact, only one of them does and that is a very marginal effect given the error bars and the large interannual variability. Lyman also suggests some curves show warming over this period, which is also difficult to justify looking at the data. Overall it is difficult to make any significant conclusions about differences among these curves.

Curiously, Lyman et al point out that ocean temperatures have been statistically constant since about 2000 even though one of the most important features in fig 1 is the 2001 – 2003 rise. They note that during this standstill sea levels have continued to rise which they attribute to melting ice however they comment that it takes less energy to melt ice than to warm the ocean for an equivalent rise in sea level. No great conclusions there.

It is interesting that the flattening of the ocean heat content curve occurs around 2004 which was the time that the Argo array of ocean sensors became the main source of ocean heat data. This is a situation reminiscent to the introduction of satellite-based sea level measurements introduced in the early 1990’s that also resulted in a (as yet unexplained) discontinuity of the data with the previously used tidal gauges. The Argos data is universally regarded as heralding a revolution in monitoring the state of the oceans, but the possibility remains that this abrupt change is due to an as yet unrecognized problem causing a bias in the observing system....


Australia: Official climate "experts" can't even spell

A waiver is the voluntary surrender of some right or privilege. Does the big brain below mean "waver"? Spellcheckers are no substitute for knowledge
DSE invites members of the Victorian Public Service to a presentation on: Dealing with climate change denialism with Paul Holper, CSIRO

Popular opinion on climate change often waivers, particularly when the media focus on denialist views and encourage “debates” with climate change scientists. The Victorian Government, along with other governments in Australia and across the world, rely on the scientific community for advice on climate change and its likely impacts. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is recognised as the international authority on climate change science and denialist views often lack rigor and credibility in comparison. Paul Holper (CSIRO) will present on ways to approach climate change denialism in a Victorian context.

Paul Holper Paul manages the CSIRO’s involvement in the Australian Climate Change Science Program, a $15 million program supported by the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. This program undertakes observations of the atmosphere, oceans and terrestrial systems, as well as climate model development, and projections of Australia’s likely future climate. Paul coordinated the most recent climate change projections for Australia (based on IPCC models), announced by BoM and CSIRO in 2007.


Note that Public servants only are invited. Secret knowledge? I'd love to go and ask some awkward questions but I don't have that much time to waste anyway.

It would be fascinating to see a transcript of Mr Holper's lecture but I'm betting that he won't have the balls to release it. He would know that to do so would expose him to ridicule and refutation.


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 May, 2010

Paris, Berlin Join Climate Revolt Over Unilateral Climate Targets

France and Germany yesterday joined the growing ranks of European countries opposed to making further unilateral moves on climate change, as the European Commission today plans to make the case for raising the EU’s greenhouse gas reduction goal from -20% to -30% by 2020.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Brussels on Tuesday (25 May), French industry minister Christian Estrosi and his German colleague Rainer Brüderle said other nations would have to make similar commitments before Europe makes the move.

"We have taken an ambitious commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020," Estrosi explained, adding that Paris and Berlin would back a move to -30% only if other nations made "comparable commitments".

"The conditional offer [to -30%] remains" but "we do not know the offers of other countries," he said, without citing China or the United States.

The common declaration by France and Germany signals a hardening of Europe’s policy on climate change, six months after the failure of UN climate talks in Copenhagen.

It also deals a blow to Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s climate action Commissioner, who is expected to recommend today (26 May) that Europe raises its greenhouse gas reduction target from -20% to -30% by 2020.

Estrosi said industries would move their factories and jobs abroad if Europe made the move unilaterally. "The climate will lose out, industries will lose out and employment policies will lose out," he warned.

Ultimately, he stressed that such a decision would rest on EU heads of states and governments, not on the European Commission.


Climate Fears Turn To Doubts Among Britons

Last month hundreds of environmental activists crammed into an auditorium here to ponder an anguished question: If the scientific consensus on climate change has not changed, why have so many people turned away from the idea that human activity is warming the planet?

Nowhere has this shift in public opinion been more striking than in Britain, where climate change was until this year such a popular priority that in 2008 Parliament enshrined targets for emissions cuts as national law. But since then, the country has evolved into a home base for a thriving group of climate skeptics who have dominated news reports in recent months, apparently convincing many that the threat of warming is vastly exaggerated.

A survey in February by the BBC found that only 26 percent of Britons believed that “climate change is happening and is now established as largely manmade,” down from 41 percent in November 2009. A poll conducted for the German magazine Der Spiegel found that 42 percent of Germans feared global warming, down from 62 percent four years earlier.

And London’s Science Museum recently announced that a permanent exhibit scheduled to open later this year would be called the Climate Science Gallery — not the Climate Change Gallery as had previously been planned.

“Before, I thought, ‘Oh my God, this climate change problem is just dreadful,’ ” said Jillian Leddra, 50, a musician who was shopping in London on a recent lunch hour. “But now I have my doubts, and I’m wondering if it’s been overhyped.”

Perhaps sensing that climate is now a political nonstarter, David Cameron, Britain’s new Conservative prime minister, was “strangely muted” on the issue in a recent pre-election debate, as The Daily Telegraph put it, though it had previously been one of his passions.

And a poll in January of the personal priorities of 141 Conservative Party candidates deemed capable of victory in the recent election found that “reducing Britain’s carbon footprint” was the least important of the 19 issues presented to them.

Politicians and activists say such attitudes will make it harder to pass legislation like a fuel tax increase and to persuade people to make sacrifices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Legitimacy has shifted to the side of the climate skeptics, and that is a big, big problem,” Ben Stewart, a spokesman for Greenpeace, said at the meeting of environmentalists here. “This is happening in the context of overwhelming scientific agreement that climate change is real and a threat. But the poll figures are going through the floor.”

The lack of fervor about climate change is also true of the United States, where action on climate and emissions reduction is still very much a work in progress, and concern about global warming was never as strong as in Europe. A March Gallup poll found that 48 percent of Americans believed that the seriousness of global warming was “generally exaggerated,” up from 41 percent a year ago.

Here in Britain, the change has been driven by the news media’s intensive coverage of a series of climate science controversies unearthed and highlighted by skeptics since November. These include the unauthorized release of e-mail messages from prominent British climate scientists at the University of East Anglia that skeptics cited as evidence that researchers were overstating the evidence for global warming and the discovery of errors in a United Nations climate report.


Apollo Mission: a Giant Leap Discrediting Greenhouse Gas Theory

By John O'Sullivan

Climate sceptic scientists trash the greenhouse gas theory of Earth's climate by applying long-overlooked data collected during the Apollo Moon landings

The paper, ‘A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon’ is a cogently-argued scientific refutation of the basic equations used by global warming theorists. Apparently, climate scientists may have falsely assumed Earth’s "average" temperature all along.

The study refutes the numeric bedrock of the greenhouse gas theory (GHG) by applying data collected by NASA decades ago. It seems during the Apollo Moon landings era NASA devised a whole new set of hitherto unreported equations, more reliable than those relied upon by supporters of the GHG theory, to get Neil Armstrong's carbon boot prints safely planted on that airless Sea of Tranquility.

The paper is co-authored by Martin Hertzberg, PhD, Consultant in Science and Technology, Alan Siddons, a former radiochemist and Hans Schreuder, a retired analytical chemist. The researchers had the bright idea of delving back into NASA’s archives to test the so-called Stefan-Boltzmann equations in fine detail. The three men stumbled on the embarrassing flaws during an online debate on the science behind global warming.

Published online on May 24, 2010, the study argues that the fatal flaw has always lain in Stefan-Boltzmann's equations. The long-trusted formula has been used by climatologists without question-until now. The researchers reveal that the guessed at numbers used in those equations are the“first assumption that climate science makes when predicting the Earth's temperature.”

NASA Abandoned Flawed Climate Calculations in 1960’s

Siddons, Hertzberg and Schreuder were astonished to find that “the principal method for predicting a planet's temperature is surprisingly arbitrary and simplistic.” That was, they believe, why NASA needed to scorn the blackbody equations when doing their own calculations for the Moon landings.

To climate sceptic scientists it seems self-evident that the Earth’s surface should not be treated like a flat, two-dimensional blackbody. It is more properly a complex spinning sphere with large variability in reflectivity and absorption of the Sun’s light and energy. But, despite the U.S. government knowing since the 1960's that the blackbody equations were of no use to real-world science, these facts don't appear to have been passed on to climatologists.

‘A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon’ is a fillip to global warming sceptics because it proves that super-power scientists can and do get their numbers right when it's a matter of life and death.

Lunar Temperatures Disprove Climate Theory

NASA had found that daytime temperatures on the lunar surface were lower than expected because planetary bodies also conduct heat to their inside rather than radiating it all into space -an embarrassing empirical fact for believers of the GHG theory. Their computer models erroneously predicted that such heat energy would be ‘blanketed’ above a planet's surface.

In fact, the Apollo data proves the Moon’s surface temperatures throughout its two-week night were higher than predicted by the blackbody equations because the moon "feeds on" the heat it had previously absorbed-contrary to the accepted GHG theory.

Thus the success of NASA’s moon landings becomes the proof of the unreliability of the Stefan- Boltzmann equations in real world science.

Stefan-Boltzmann Calculations Way Out

The paper tells us how far out Stefan-Boltzmann’s crude equations really are, “the surface of the real moon is roughly 20° cooler than predicted by day and 60° warmer by night, the net result being a surface that is 40° warmer than predicted.”

But it isn’t just Earth’s Moon that refuses to comply with the GHG theory. Other planets don’t conform either. As the paper tells us, “The atmosphere of every planet in our solar system is also 'warmer than predicted.’”

The three scientists pointedly ask GHG believers, “Is it any surprise, then, that even a relatively simple body like the moon would refuse to conform to such a method?”

Other scientists have also come out to refute the greenhouse gas theory. Some even go as far as to say the theory actually contravenes the established laws of physics.

The Earth is not “Unusually” Warm

The paper concludes that the Earth is not “unusually” warm. It is the application of the predictive blackbody equation that is faulty and overly simplistic and should not be applied in a real-world context. The proven ability of common substances (e.g. the Earth’s Moon) to store heat makes a mockery of all such blackbody estimates.

Along with the Climategate revelations these new findings will come as a blow to the beleaguered Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that has placed enormous reliance on catastrophic predictions based on discredited research around greenhouse gas theory. Even some IPCC scientists have denounced the theory.

Are Climate Equations Mere Junk Science?

It appears so, if this analysis of NASA’s Apollo numbers is correct. The Stefan-Boltzmann blackbody equations failed to give NASA the crucial information it required on the Moon’s day and night temperatures. Thus, NASA scientists had to create their own blackbody sun-angle model to chart the lunar surface temperatures astronauts might encounter.

Pointedly, NASA no longer shows any supposed greenhouse gas "backradiation" in its relevant graphic representation of the energy budget of the Earth. In simple terms, GHG theory may have applied an “average temperature” method of no more use than a rule of thumb calculation on the back of a cigarette packet.

The moral of the story is: if guesstimates were not good enough for NASA concerned for the safefy of its astronauts, then why are they good enough for the IPCC or world governments proposing billion-dollar cap and trade taxes on western nations?


Skepticism at the EPA! Their analysis shows that cap 'n trade will have no effect on climate

But the eccentric Steven Chu disagrees, without saying why (but we can guess why, given his record of climate activism. He even wants the world to run on glucose rather than oil. Like a lot of things, it could theoretically be made to happen but the idea is way outside of ANY mainstream)

During a hearing today in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, EPA Administrator Jackson confirmed an EPA analysis showing that unilateral U.S. action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would have no effect on climate. Moreover, when presented with an EPA chart depicting that outcome, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said he disagreed with EPA’s analysis.

“I believe the central parts of the [EPA] chart are that U.S. action alone will not impact world CO2 levels,” Administrator Jackson said.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) presented the chart to both Jackson and Secretary Chu, which shows that meaningful emissions reductions cannot occur without aggressive action by China, India, and other developing countries.

“I am encouraged that Administrator Jackson agrees that unilateral action by the U.S. will be all cost for no climate gain,” Sen. Inhofe said. “With China and India recently issuing statements of defiant opposition to mandatory emissions controls, acting alone through the job-killing Waxman-Markey bill would impose severe economic burdens on American consumers, businesses, and families, all without any impact on climate.”

Along with Administrator Jackson’s statement, Energy Secretary Chu responded with an unequivocal “no” when asked whether he agrees with the analysis depicted in the EPA chart. “No, I don’t’ agree with that [EPA] chart,” Chu asserted.

“I was somewhat surprised that Secretary Chu disagreed with EPA’s analysis of what would happen if the U.S. acts alone to address climate change, which cap-and-trade supporters claim is a global problem,” Sen. Inhofe said. “EPA’s analysis that global greenhouse gas emission levels can only be stabilized with meaningful, mandatory action by China and India is widely accepted. I extend an invitation to the Secretary to see whether he wants to clarify his remarks.”


Reasons Not To Be Fearful

Dominic Lawson reviews a book:

What can the publishers of this book have been thinking? Surely everyone knows that the surest path into the bestseller charts for popular-science writers has always been to prophesy imminent doom for humanity.

Fifty years ago bookshops couldn’t sell enough hysterical potboilers about how we would all starve as a result of overpopulation; then, in the 1970s, the fad was for tomes on how we would run out of energy resources; in the 1980s “acid rain” was the overhyped danger, complete with artists’ impressions of annihilated forests. In the last decade of the 20th century, the “millennium bug” was the publishers’ bogey du jour. Now global warming is the latest apparently existential threat to every man, woman and child on earth, born or unborn.

Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist, in glorious contrast, tells us what we really should want to hear: that the human species, through our unique ability to exchange ideas and thus innovate at the speed of thought, has overcome all the challenges that have ever confronted us, and will do so in future. Ridley’s particular contribution is to combine the insights of Adam Smith (how all benefit through trade and the specialisation of functions) with those of Darwin (how species evolve through breeding). Ridley calls this “ideas having sex” and the characteristic of the modern interconnected world is that ideas are having it away with each other with ever-increasing frequency: “The telephone had sex with the computer and spawned the internet.”

There are many important people who don’t want to hear the good news, who see globalisation and uncontrolled trade as a threat to everything they hold dear. They include our national Eeyore, Prince Charles, and his landowner chums of the Soil Association, who say that what they call “sustainability” can only be achieved through self-sufficiency and a rejection of agricultural science. As Ridley observes, based on a whirlwind tour of every sort of society at every point in history, self-sufficiency is just a posh word for poverty: the two are inseparable. It is, of course, those furthest from starvation who find this fact hardest to appreciate.


We must stop saying ‘The science demands...’

Top climate-change expert Mike Hulme (of the UEA!) tells spiked it is a scandal that scientific claims are increasingly usurping politics and morality. Hulme has long seemed uncomfortable about global warming and he here goes as near as he dares to dissing it. His job would be on the line if he rubbished it altogether

‘To say that the science demands a certain policy response to climate change is just a wrong reading of the relationship between science and policy.’

Mike Hulme, professor of climate change in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, is a passionate advocate of science. Yet, as he tells spiked, when it comes to climate change, too many people expect too much of science. Physics and ethics seem to have become conflated in the climate change debate. We see politicians expecting science to determine policy; we see environmental campaigners, armed with peer-reviewed papers, expecting it to win all the arguments; and, in turn, we see so-called sceptics expecting their science to refute the green vision of society. But for Hulme, author of Why We Disagree About Climate Change, science cannot, and should not, be expected to do these things. It is no substitute, he argues, for politics or for moral judgements.

‘The phraseology that I object to – because it’s inappropriate – is “the science demands this” and “the science demands that”, as though the making of climate policy, or policy in general in fact, is a simple process of translating scientific evidence or scientific knowledge claims directly into policy. In no area of policy is that the case – least of all in climate change, where the making of policy has to bring in a much wider range of pieces of evidence and also political and ethical considerations.’

So how should we grasp the relationship between science and policymaking? ‘I do think that scientific knowledge about climate change is very important’, says Hulme. ‘Science is a unique and very powerful way of bringing understanding to bear on how the physical world works. Scientists have been able to reveal the fact that humans are an influence on the climate system and are likely to continue to be so. And that evidence, that knowledge, should be brought into public and policy deliberations. But it then has to be interpreted alongside these other considerations – political, ethical, moral and so on.’

Hulme is keen to point out the limits to what climate science can tell us about the future: ‘Scientific knowledge around climate change can only speak with large uncertainty margins about what may or may not happen. Yes, climates will continue to change in the future because of human emissions. But putting exact numbers on changes, and therefore predicting what risks lie ahead, is extremely difficult for science to do. So it’s important for scientific knowledge to be adequately hedged in public debate and policy discussion with appropriate caveats and caution about uncertainty.

‘That is not the same as saying that this knowledge is not useful or that it should be ignored. Most scientific knowledge is uncertain. Most scientific insights are hedged with caution or uncertainty. But that’s exactly why judgement – political, ethical, moral judgement – has to be used for making policy.’

He goes further still: just as science cannot make decisions for us, he says, so the arguments about climate change today ought not to be grasped as being scientific in origin: ‘I certainly think politics and ethics explain why people have so many different positions on climate change. I think that deeper-seated issues [inform the arguments]: different cultural perspectives on the relationship between humanity and the natural world; different attitudes to, for example, the responsibilities that humans have as opposed to those of the divinities that people believe in – the role of religion becomes important here.

‘Even in a secular setting, people have very different attitudes that inform their relationship to climate change. For instance, some see nature, and therefore the planet, as something that is fragile and easily dislocated. Others see that nature is actually quite robust and resilient. And then there are different attitudes – secular or religious – to technology. People have very different views on the ability of technology to mitigate against risk and danger. Some people see technology as inherently loaded with further problems and complications and unintended side effects.’

Given evident disagreements about climate change, and climate change-driven policy, how should we understand the meaning of a scientific ‘consensus’? ‘In science’, Hulme says, ‘phrases such as “the scientific consensus” or “the IPCC consensus” are frequently used. I do think it’s important to understand what this process of consensus-making in science is all about. There are criticisms from both sides of the debate around this thing called scientific consensus. Some people criticise it by saying, “Well, science doesn’t work by consensus, science works by testing, by experimentation, by falsification. It’s not a democracy. Ninety-nine per cent of scientists can be wrong and one per cent might be right.” So actually, some people criticise the IPCC process because it’s using an inappropriate method for producing knowledge claims. Other people, meanwhile, actually interpret consensus as meaning certainty. I think it’s important to unpack what is meant by consensus in science.’

Ironically, he says, the search for a consensus on the science of climate change is evidence of deep divisions on this issue. ‘Consensus in science only makes sense if there is disagreement amongst experts’, he says. ‘If all the experts agreed, you wouldn’t need to go through this process of consensus-making. Hence we don’t need to go through a process of consensus-making around the laws of gravity. But a process of consensus-making around climate change is important because there is disagreement. So actually consensus assumes disagreement amongst scientists.

‘But what the process of forming a consensus does do is establish where the centre of opinion lies, given the spectrum of views and judgements. So it’s not just about consensus knowledge, it’s about the spectrum of beliefs. And those two things actually work together: there’s a wide spectrum of beliefs about aspects of climate change, but nevertheless this is where the centre of gravity lies. And that’s a slightly more subtle position than simply saying “the IPCC consensus is this or that”.’

Yet if consensus is predicated upon disagreement, why, politically, is there so much anxiety about anyone appearing to challenge the consensus, with people branded as ‘deniers’ and modern-day heretics if they dare to question what some greens mistakenly consider to be concrete agreement amongst leading experts? ‘One of the reasons for that’, says Hulme, ‘is because of this belief that there is a specific relationship between scientific knowledge and policy. As a result, it is argued that you have to have clear and certain scientific knowledge that will translate into clear and certain policy. And if the science is presented as being not clear and not certain, then the whole argument, or the whole policy, breaks down.

‘And that’s why so many of the battles, so many of the ideological battles, are fought through the proxies of science and scientists – because people think that if you win that battle, then you’ve won the policy battle. This again is an inappropriate understanding. Actually, the ideological battles, the policy battles, have to be held on the territory of politics, ethics, worldviews and beliefs. That’s where the legitimate battle should be held.’

Hulme cites the 2007 Stern Review as an example of the worrying effacement of political and ethical debate in favour of apparent scientific facts: ‘It offered a very powerful economic case for early and urgent action on climate change. But actually what didn’t get debated in the Stern Review – and it should have been – was the ethical dimension that underpinned the economic analysis. There was just so much focus on the numbers. But the argument should have been held around the ethical decisions that Lord Stern’s team made about discounting the future at very low discount rates or using inequality of risk parameters that seemed to give very little weight to the contemporary poor in favour of the unborn poor. Those are not matters of science, they are matters of ethical judgement. And you can get a radically different set of policy pronouncements depending on where you fall on that ethical spectrum.

‘So really, what the Stern Review should have catalysed is a major public debate on how we value the future, how we value the present, how we value the contemporary poor versus the unborn poor. And Stern took a very particular ethical line. And you can agree with it or you can disagree with it, but it should have been centre-stage. Instead, the final arguments were drawn from economics again, as though that provides the one single route for policy development.

‘The battle, the argument, the public debate’, Hulme argues, ‘should be around these matters – values, beliefs and ethics – rather than continually reverting back to the science to try to provide the certainty and the clarity. Because science, particularly in this area of complex systems, like the Earth system, is never going to provide that kind of certainty.’

All of which raises the question: why isn’t the battle, the argument and the public debate about the Good Life, about how we should organise society, being had in its own terms? Why is it being had through the prism of climate science?

‘This question opens up a much bigger set of issues which don’t just pertain to climate change’, he answers. ‘People have been thinking and writing about this in the much wider context of the political, cultural and ideological mood at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. It involves the erasure of ideological difference in political life and the accompanying trivialisation of politics. It involves the unwillingness of Western liberal democracies to engage in debates and arguments about fundamental questions of value, purpose and meaning, because, to an extent, we’ve all bought into the liberal capitalist model which delivers very comfortable lives for most of us.

‘So I think that it’s the wider cultural phenomenon in which climate change sits that helps to explain why we’d rather argue about whether this is good science or bad science or whether a scientist is being influenced by oil companies or by environmental alarmists. We’d rather have those sorts of arguments because they seem more comforting and less challenging than arguments about the scandal of global poverty in a world of affluence, or the question of whether we can really secure unfettered capitalist growth at three per cent of GDP per annum for the next 300 years. Those much more challenging and unsettling arguments we’d rather not have. And so the convenient arguments, the much more narrowly bounded ones about good and bad science, take their place.’



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 May, 2010

Another group of scientists send themselves up

"Small mammals at risk as world warms". Yet they also concede that during the last big warming, small animals were particularly resilient, without the big die-offs observed in other species. All the species the researchers found in their fossils are still around. The big moan is simply that some particular small animals are now thriving more than they used to!

That species become more or less plentiful all the time in response to varying environmental conditions seems not to be considered. Apparently the distribution of 12,000 years ago has somehow been proclaimed as "ideal". That sounds to me more like a Papal Bull (in more ways than one) than science

The biodiversity of small mammals in North America may already be close to a "tipping point" causing impacts "up and down the food chain" according to a new study by U.S. scientists.

Examining fossils excavated from a cave in Northern California, biologists from Stanford University, California uncovered evidence that small mammal populations were severely depleted during the last episode of global warming around 12,000 years ago.

Many species, say researchers, have never recovered their populations leaving them vulnerable to future rises in temperature.....

Unlike some larger animals -- mammoths, mastodons and dire wolves -- small mammals never became extinct during the Pleistocene epoch.

But despite their resilience, Blois says small animal species face an uncertain future. "Even though all of the species survived, small mammal communities as a whole lost a substantial amount of diversity, which may make them less resilient to future change," she said in a statement.


Tax dollars perpetuate global-warming fiction: $6 million study is used to lobby for cap-and-tax

With public faith in the global-warming myth on the wane, leftist zealots are desperate to spin a new tale - and they're spending your tax money to do it. Three years ago, Congress appropriated $5,856,600 for the National Academy of Sciences to complete a climate-change study. This bureaucratic attempt to cook the books, which was completed last week, may be too late to save this dying religion.

The academy now offers the taxpayer-funded research for download in three separate sections for $44 each. The first volume presents the case that human activities are warming the planet and that this "poses significant risks." A second report urges that a cap-and-trade taxing system be implemented to reduce so-called greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The final section of the study explores strategies on adapting to the "reality" of climate change, meaning purported "extreme weather events like heavy precipitation and heat waves."

None of the big-government recommendations are worth the 1,089 pages of presumably recycled paper on which they are to be printed if planetary warming is actually a phenomenon beyond human control, so the first volume is of primary interest. "Advancing the Science of Climate Change" asserts that the Earth's temperature has risen over the past 100 years and that human activities have resulted in sharp increases in carbon dioxide. The coincidence of these facts on their own, of course, proves nothing. The Earth has been as warm or warmer in past periods, such as the medieval and Roman warm periods, long before the internal combustion engine and coal plants were around to take the heat for a particularly sweltering summer day.

"Both the basic physics of the greenhouse effect and more detailed calculations dictate that increases in atmospheric GHGs should lead to warming of Earth's surface and lower atmosphere," the National Academy report goes on to assert. That is to say, the theory that mankind's increased carbon-dioxide output is responsible for warming is true because the theory's calculations say so. "Detailed simulations" of climate provide verification in the eyes of these left-leaning scientists. The same climate models that can't predict tomorrow's weather accurately are supposed to forecast decades into the future.

That this logic is entirely circular is not lost on the public, only a third of whom believe mankind's collective exhalations are about to destroy the planet. A recent Rasmussen survey found that a majority (59 percent) think it's more likely that scientists are falsifying research data to support their own personal theories about global warming.

The overall message of climate alarmists is "Trust us," but the Climategate e-mails exposed these hacks' lack of credibility, as they are willing to manipulate and suppress data to try to prove their point. Science should not be abused to push a political agenda - and here the National Academy is doing the work of Democrats by taking tax dollars to pimp for higher taxes on gasoline, electricity and other essential elements of modern life. In return, these ideological leftists are rewarded with even more of your money to conduct additional "research."

It's time to pull the plug on public funding for these science-fiction writers.


Nonpartisan Proof: Cap-and-Trade Is an Economy-Killer

Last week, in what the National Academy of Sciences declared "the most comprehensive report ever on climate change," three studies requested by Congress were unfurled, providing sweeping proposals for an aggressive federally based strategy to deal with climate change.

Bold actions are necessary because "climate change is occurring, the Earth is warming ... concentrations of carbon dioxide are increasing, and there are very clear fingerprints that link [those effects] to humans," said Pamela A. Matson of Stanford University, co-chair of the studies and the subsequent report to Congress.

The report was ordered by congressional Democrats who want climate change legislation passed and signed into law this year. Both the House climate bill (passed last year) and the pending Senate version call for the trading of carbon credits, as well as heavy taxes on businesses that emit greenhouse gases in order to supposedly cool the planet. The Senate is expected to renew debate on the issue later this summer.

However, a just-released report assembled by the nonpartisan Peterson Institute for International Economics confirms my long-held contention: The pending climate change bill will be an economic bust for America by killing jobs and raising prices for virtually everything.

The Peterson Institute's report focuses on Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman's (I-CT) bill, The American Power Act. Overall, Peterson's eighteen-page synopsis of the bill definitely leans green. For example, the reports states, "Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for -- and in many cases is already affecting -- a broad range of human and natural systems."

Those of you who have read my book Climategate, as well as my multiple missives on American Thinker, know I wholeheartedly disagree with the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.

Besides believing that humans are altering the climate, the Peterson report recommends that a single federal entity or program be given the authority and resources to coordinate a national, multidisciplinary research effort aimed at improving both understanding and responding to climate change.

In other words, the nonpartisan report contends that government is the solution to the problem.

Nonetheless -- and surprisingly -- the report states that if the Kerry-Lieberman bill should become law, there will be net job losses and higher energy and product prices.

The Peterson analysis neatly buries those findings after stating that 203,000 new green jobs will be created each year for a decade. Specifically, the report states the net employment losses will be due to "the jobs lost in fossil fuel production and as a result of higher energy prices between 2011 and 2020. In the second decade of the program [2020-2030], higher energy and product prices offset the employment gains from new investment."

Translation: Yes, there will be new so-called "green" jobs that will include government bureaucrats hired to shuffle papers and enforce new green building codes, construction jobs to retrofit buildings, installers for solar panels, etc. However, there will be more jobs lost than gained should the bill become law.

To review: Both the House and Senate climate change bills plan on scaling back CO2 emissions 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050. According to United States Census figures, the population of the U.S. will increase by thirty million by 2020 and by 100 million by 2050. So where will the cuts come from? From America's coal industry, which will be shuttered; from our manufacturing sector, which will be moved offshore; and from our livestock industry, which will also be sent abroad.

Do you see what's about to occur? Good jobs will be lost. That's why in the House version of the bill, a provision ensures that if your job is shipped overseas, you are eligible for three years of unemployment compensation at 70% of your pay, plus retraining and relocation expenses. The intent is to pacify your anger with a three-year paid vacation. In the Senate version of the bill, the unemployment benefits are cleverly tied into an Internal Revenue Code entitled the "empowerment zone employment credit."

The Peterson reports also notes that by forcing the price of energy upward (which is what both the House and Senate bills will do), Americans will be forced to use less energy:
By placing a price on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, providing incentives for low-carbon sources of energy supply and improving the efficiency of energy use through a range of mechanisms, the American Power Act would substantially alter the way energy is produced and consumed in the United States.

By pricing carbon, the American Power Act raises the cost of fossil fuels, prompting firms and consumers to improve the efficiency with which they use energy or switch to low-carbon sources of energy supply.

Households will also face higher prices for non-energy goods as the firms producing them face higher energy costs.

To compensate for this additional cost of living, both the House and Senate versions of the bill present consumer handouts in the form of direct deposits from Uncle Sam into the bank account of lower wage-earners. In the case of the Senate bill, a family of four making $55,000 a year will receive a monthly cash deposit into their bank account to offset their increased cost of living.

Sounds like socialism to me, but then again, I've never believed this bill was about the environment. It's an attempt to spread the wealth around, allow a few investors to make huge amounts off of money off cap-and-trade, and -- more importantly-- take away the liberty of the American people. When the government is able to control how much energy we consume, they have an additional tool with which to control our lives.


It’s The Sun, Stupid

Solar scientists are finally overcoming their fears and going public about the Sun-climate connection

Four years ago, when I first started profiling scientists who were global warming skeptics, I soon learned two things: Solar scientists were overwhelmingly skeptical that humans caused climate change and, overwhelmingly, they were reluctant to go public with their views. Often, they refused to be quoted at all, saying they feared for their funding, or they feared other recriminations from climate scientists in the doomsayer camp. When the skeptics agreed to be quoted at all, they often hedged their statements, to give themselves wiggle room if accused of being a global warming denier. Scant few were outspoken about their skepticism.

No longer.

Scientists, and especially solar scientists, are becoming assertive. Maybe their newfound confidence stems from the Climategate emails, which cast doomsayer-scientists as frauds and diminished their standing within academia. Maybe their confidence stems from the avalanche of errors recently found in the reports of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, destroying its reputation as a gold standard in climate science. Maybe the solar scientists are becoming assertive because the public no longer buys the doomsayer thesis, as seen in public opinion polls throughout the developed world. Whatever it was, solar scientists are increasingly conveying a clear message on the chief cause of climate change: It’s the Sun, Stupid.

Jeff Kuhn, a rising star at the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy, is one of the most recent scientists to go public, revealing in press releases this month that solar scientists worldwide are on a mission to show that the Sun drives Earth’s climate. “As a scientist who knows the data, I simply can’t accept [the claim that man plays a dominant role in Earth’s climate],” he states.

Kuhn’s team, which includes solar scientists from Stanford University and Brazil as well as from his own institute, last week announced a startling breakthrough — evidence that the Sun does not change much in size, as had previously been believed. This week, in announcing the award of a ¤60,000 Humboldt Prize for Kuhn’s solar excellence, his institute issued a release stating that its research into sunspots “may ultimately help us predict how and when a changing sun affects Earth’s climate.”

Earlier this month, the link between solar activity and climate made headlines throughout Europe after space scientists from the U.K., Germany and South Korea linked the recent paucity of sunspots to the cold weather that Europe has been experiencing. This period of spotlessness, the scientists predicted in a study published in Environmental Research Letters, could augur a repeat of winters comparable to those of the Little Ice Age in the 1600s, during which the Sun was often free of sunspots. By comparing temperatures in Europe since 1659 to highs and lows in solar activity in the same years, the scientists discovered that low solar activity generally corresponded to cold winters. Could this centuries-long link between the Sun and Earth’s climate have been a matter of chance? “There is less than a 1% probability that the result was obtained by chance,” asserts Mike Lockwood of the University of Reading in the U.K., the study’s lead author.

Solar scientists widely consider the link between the Sun and Earth’s climate incontrovertible. When bodies such the IPCC dismiss solar science’s contribution to understanding Earth’s climate out of hand, solar scientists no longer sit on their hands. Danish scientist Henrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Institute stated that the IPCC was “probably totally wrong” to dismiss the significance of the sun, which in 2009 would likely have the most spotless days in a century. As for claims from the IPCC and other global warming doomsayers who argue that periods of extreme heat or cold were regional in scope, not global, Svensmark cites the Medieval Warm Period, a prosperous period of very high solar activity around the year 1000: “It was a time when frosts in May were almost unknown — a matter of great importance for a good harvest. Vikings settled in Greenland and explored the coast of North America. On the whole it was a good time. For example, China’s population doubled in this period.”

The Medieval Warm Period, many solar scientists believe, was warmer than today, and the Roman Warm Period, around the time of Christ, was warmer still. Compelling new evidence to support his view came just in March from the Saskatchewan Isotope Laboratory at the University of Saskatchewan and Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, the authors for the first time document seasonal temperature variations in the North Atlantic over a 2,000-year period, from 360 BC to about 1660 AD. Their technique — involving measurements of oxygen and carbon isotopes captured in mollusk shells — confirmed that the Roman Period was the warmest in the past two millennia.

Among solar scientists, there are a great many theories about how the Sun influences climate. Some will especially point to sunspots, others to the Sun’s magnetic field, others still to the Sun’s influence on cosmic rays which, in turn, affect cloud cover. There is as yet no answer to how the Sun affects Earth’s climate. All that now seems sure is that the Sun does play an outsized role and that the Big Chill on freedom of expression that scientists once faced when discussing global warming is becoming a Big Thaw.


90 Scientists say biofuels no answer to CO2 emissions

Ninety of America's leading scientists today urged U.S. House and Senate leaders to make sure that any climate/energy bill or regulation accurately accounts for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions when it comes to bioenergy, including biofuels such as ethanol.

In the letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Majority Leader Harry Reid, and key Obama Administration officials, the scientists caution that ignoring the carbon impact of bioenergy can actually lead to increases in greenhouse gas emissions because not all forms of bioenergy produce less carbon dioxide pollution than fossil fuels.

They write: "Replacement of fossil fuels with bioenergy does not directly stop carbon dioxide emissions from tailpipes or smokestacks. Although fossil fuel emissions are reduced or eliminated, the combustion of biomass replaces fossil emissions with its own emissions (which may even be higher per unit of energy because of the lower energy to carbon ratio of biomass)."

"There may be a public perception that all biofuels and bioenergy are equally good for the environment and are all lower in carbon emissions than fossil fuels, but that's not true," said Dr. William Schlesinger, president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, one of the scientists who signed the letter. "Many produce just as much or more carbon pollution than oil, gas, and coal. If our laws and regulations treat high-carbon-impact bioenergy sources, like today's corn ethanol, as if they are low-carbon, we're fooling ourselves and undercutting the purpose of those same laws and regulations."

According to the scientists, what the United States decides to do in terms of accounting for bioenergy will have major repercussions around the globe. "U.S. laws will also influence world treatment of bioenergy. A number of studies in distinguished journals have estimated that globally improper accounting of bioenergy could lead to large-scale clearing of the world's forests."

Failure to properly account for bioenergy CO2 emissions could seriously undermine other efforts to address climate change, the scientists warn. "Many international treaties and domestic laws and bills account for bioenergy incorrectly by treating all bioenergy as causing a 100% reduction in emissions regardless of the source of the biomass. ? Under some scenarios, this approach could eliminate most of the expected greenhouse gas reductions during the next several decades ?"

The letter from the scientists cautions decision makers about the basic mistake that biomass is "carbon neutral," explaining: "Clearing or cutting forests for energy, either to burn trees directly in power plants or to replace forests with bioenergy crops, has the net effect of releasing otherwise sequestered carbon into the atmosphere, just like the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. That creates a carbon debt, may reduce ongoing carbon uptake by the forest, and as a result may increase net greenhouse gas emissions for an extended time period and thereby undercut greenhouse gas reductions needed over the next several decades."


Caution urged on biofuel due to health risks from toxicity

This is based on the discredited "free radical" theory but the general point of unexpected side-effects is worth making

BIOFUEL might help reduce carbon emissions, but Queensland scientists warn the health risks should be examined to prevent another lead petrol disaster.

Queensland University of Technology Associate Professor Zoran Ristovski told AAP health risks of biofuels should not be overlooked in the haste to tackle global warming. "It's not only important to look at the environmental impact but we also have to look at the toxicity, if we don't want another lead petrol disaster," he said.

Professor Zoran Ristovski and two PhD students have studied the toxicity of biofuel particles, using special monitoring equipment. "Once the diesel fuel is substituted with more than 20 per cent ethanol, the particles seem to be more toxic," he said.

"We have found that diesel substituted with ethanol levels greater than 20 per cent contain high levels of free radicals and other reactive oxygen species which can be harmful to health."

Professor Zoran Ristovski said excessive exposure to free radicals in the air have been linked to respiratory diseases including asthma. "Australia is the largest producer of ethanol," he said.

"What we're pointing out is that those substitutions should not be large. "Keep it at a smaller percentage... up to 20 per cent seems like the particles are similar to that of pure diesel."



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 May, 2010

Greenhouse effect on the moon?

Neither the earth nor the moon is a "black body". Both the moon and the earth are warmer than they "should be" -- even though one has no CO2 at all

Yes, that’s right, there is a “greenhouse effect” on our moon and it’s even greater than here on earth. The idea of an atmospheric “greenhouse effect” was invented to justify why earth is supposedly “warmer than it should be” if there was no atmosphere.

As we now know from NASA’s research, even our moon is “warmer than it should be”, by a whopping 40 degrees C where earth is a mere 33 degrees “warmer”.

“We’ve been told that the earth’s surface is quite a bit warmer than calculations predict. Theory has it that heat-trapping “greenhouse gases” account for a 33° Celsius disparity. But it turns out that our airless moon is also quite a bit warmer than predicted. Might something be wrong with the prediction method itself, then? It’s a natural question to ask, so let’s look into it.”

“The Earth is not “unusually” warm. It is the application of the predictive equation that is faulty. The ability of common substances to store heat makes a mockery of blackbody estimates. The belief that radiating trace gases explain why earth’s surface temperature deviates from a simple mathematical formula is based on deeply erroneous assumptions about theoretical vs. real bodies.”

The justification for calculating the temperature that earth “should be at” is shown to be incorrect. It’s based on a formula that is used to convert irradiation levels to temperature and vice versa, based on a blackbody. Earth nor any planet that we know of behaves like a blackbody. All planets literally absorb some of the solar heat during daytime and emit some of that during nighttime. Our moon is the perfect example of that: it has no atmosphere and receives as good as the same level of irradiation as earth does.

Our atmosphere is shown to act as a coolant during the day and a retarder of cooling during the nighttime; the amount of retardation depending on the relative humidity of the atmosphere, which in turn determines the total heat content of a given volume of the atmosphere.

But at all times our atmosphere acts as a conveyor of heat, never a creator of heat. This essay puts it into perspective.

It does not matter what our atmosphere is made of, it is the surface, including the oceans, that makes it “warmer than it should be”.

And yes, seeing that carbon dioxide is actually a good radiator, the only possible effect it can have on the atmosphere is to increase its cooling efficiency; it can’t possibly make the atmosphere warmer. Adding a coolant gas to a coolant atmosphere, what else could you expect?

Please spread this paper far and wide, as it clearly proves by means of direct observations that no atmosphere is needed to be “warmer than calculated”. Nothing to do with CO2 after all.

More HERE. (See associated PDF)

Hit Job: ABC News Attempts to Align Climate Change Skeptics with White Supremacists

At first, Michael Mann, a Penn State professor and a central figure in the Climategate scandal, but best known for his discredited "hockey stick graph" didn't like being mocked in a YouTube video. Now Mann is alleging he's a victim of hate groups.

On ABC's May 23 "World News Sunday," a segment from anchor Dan Harris alleged that threatening e-mails Mann received were part of a "spike" in violence aimed at the global warming alarmist community.

"The ongoing oil spill crisis in the Gulf is keeping the debate over climate and energy very much in the headlines and that debate is becoming increasingly venomous with many prominent scientists now saying that they are being severely harassed," Harris said.

Curiously Harris makes no mention of the real violence in the form of eco-terrorism that has come from the environmental left or Greenpeace repeatedly targeting the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Chris Horner, by stealing his garbage on a weekly basis, as his Web site points out. Instead, this "severe harassment" ABC warned about were e-mails from fringe Internet elements sent to Mann.

"The FBI tells ABC News it's looking into a spike in threatening e-mails to climate scientists like Penn State's Michael Mann," Harris said.

And Mann, who has a lawsuit against Minnesotans for Climate Change, a group that publicly mocked him for his discredited hockey stick graph, where he allegedly intentionally hid data to accentuate the argument of global warming alarmism, complained that the e-mailers are trying to trample his free speech rights. "It's an attempt to chill the discourse and I think that's what most disconcerting," Mann said.

But despite overwhelming evidence that Mann's science has some flaws and that there are some bad characters among the global warming alarmists, Harris attempted to link radical fringe elements on the Internet to outspoken climate change alarmism skeptic Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.

"A white supremacist Web site recently posted Mann's picture alongside several other climate scientists, with the word ‘Jew' next to each image," Harris said. "To many scientists, however, the most disturbing recent development was a report released by Republican Sen. James Inhofe, naming 17 climate scientists, some of whom Inhofe says have engaged in potentially illegal behavior."

According to Harris and NASA's Dr. Gavin Schmidt, Inhofe's efforts to highlight the evidence that scientists deliberately manipulated data to mislead the public is "McCarthy-ite."

Harris cited internal investigations at these scientists' respective institutions to assure viewers there was nothing wrong.

"Sen. Inhofe's report was referring to an incident late last year known as ClimateGate, where stolen e-mails gave the impression that climate scientists may have been trying to hide flaws in their research, although several subsequent investigations have exonerated the scientists," Harris said.

ABC News did air a few sentences from Marc Morano of (A news aggregator site Harris called "aggressive.)

"Sen. Inhofe's former spokesman, Marc Morano, who now runs one of the most aggressive climate skeptic Web sites in the country, did agree to an interview, arguing that skeptics have been getting threats for years."

Morano explained that no one was promoting violence, but when so much on the line from a government policy perspective, the public should be engaged.

"No one is advocating violence," Morano said, "but it is refreshing to see these scientists hear from the public. When you go to a used-car salesman and you get conned ... you don't go back to the used-car dealer all happy and pleasant. You have a lot of anger, and that's what these scientists are appropriately feeling."

Nonetheless, at the end of Harris' segment, Schmidt dismissed any challenges on the theory of anthropogenic global warming and said scientists were too "hyper-competitive" to allow that to happen.


(See here for a record of the "McCarthyite" attacks on skeptics. If Mann had attacks like that on him, he would really have something to complain about)

U.N. downgrades global warming

UN says case for saving species 'more powerful than climate change'

The economic case for global action to stop the destruction of the natural world is even more powerful than the argument for tackling climate change, a major report for the United Nations will declare this summer.

The Stern report on climate change, which was prepared for the UK Treasury and published in 2007, famously claimed that the cost of limiting climate change would be around 1%-2% of annual global wealth, but the longer-term economic benefits would be 5-20 times that figure.

The UN's biodiversity report – dubbed the Stern for Nature – is expected to say that the value of saving "natural goods and services", such as pollination, medicines, fertile soils, clean air and water, will be even higher – between 10 and 100 times the cost of saving the habitats and species which provide them.

To mark the UN's International Day for Biological Diversity tomorrow, hundreds of British companies, charities and other organisations have backed an open letter from the Natural History Museum's director Michael Dixon warning that "the diversity of life, so crucial to our security, health, wealth and wellbeing is being eroded".

The UN report's authors go further with their warning on biodiversity, by saying if the goods and services provided by the natural world are not valued and factored into the global economic system, the environment will become more fragile and less resilient to shocks, risking human lives, livelihoods and the global economy.

"We need a sea-change in human thinking and attitudes towards nature: not as something to be vanquished, conquered, but rather something to be cherished and lived within," said the report's author, the economist Pavan Sukhdev.

The changes will involve a wholesale revolution in the way humans do business, consume, and think about their lives, Sukhdev, told The Guardian. He referred to the damage currently being inflicted on the natural world as "a landscape of market failures".

The report will advocate massive changes to the way the global economy is run so that it factors in the value of the natural world. In future, it says, communities should be paid for conserving nature rather than using it; companies given stricter limits on what they can take from the environment and fined or taxed more to limit over-exploitation; subsidies worth more than US$1tn (£696.5bn) a year for industries like agriculture, fisheries, energy and transport reformed; and businesses and national governments asked to publish accounts for their use of natural and human capital alongside their financial results.

And the potential economic benefits are huge. Setting up and running a comprehensive network of protected areas would cost $45bn a year globally, according to one estimate, but the benefits of preserving the species richness within these zones would be worth $4-5tn a year.

The report follows a series of recent studies showing that the world is in the grip of a mass extinction event as pollution, climate change, development and hunting destroys habitats of all types, from rainforests and wetlands to coastal mangroves and open heathland. However, only two of the world's 100 biggest companies believe reducing biodiversity is a strategic threat to their business, according to another report released tomorrow by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is advising the team compiling the UN report.

"Sometimes people describe Earth's economy as a spaceship economy because we are basically isolated, we do have limits to how much we can extract, and why and where," said Sukhdev, who visited the UK WHEN as a guest of science research and education charity, the Earthwatch Institute..

The TEEB report shows that on average one third of Earth's habitats have been damaged by humans – but the problem ranges from zero percent of ice, rock and polar lands to 85% of seas and oceans and more than 70% of Mediterranean shrubland. It also warns that in spite of growing awareness of the dangers, destruction of nature will "still continue on a large scale". The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has previously estimated that species are becoming extinct at a rate 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than it would naturally be without humans.


Wind power does NOT reduce fossil fuel consumption

There is no convincing proof that utility-scale wind plants reduce fossil fuel consumption or CO2 emissions. Although there are are a number of reports claiming gains can be made that will combat climate change, free us from fossil fuel “addiction,” provide energy independence and needed 21st century industrial development, such reports are not substantiated by definitive and comprehensive analyses.

To determine the actual effects will require long-term time series, at intervals significantly less than one hour, of wind production and fuel consumption due to fast ramping of fossil fuel plants to compensate for wind’s volatility in an electricity system where wind represents approximately at least 1-2% of production.

As opposed to wind proponents’ claims, studies based on actual experience with wind integration are emerging that demonstrate the fossil fuel and CO2 emissions gains are not valid. The two reviewed here are examples but are limited by the lack of availability of complete information on operational performance, especially of wind plants. Fortunately, enough information can be gleaned that provides a strong indication of what those who have studied this objectively have long suspected.

Why is more complete information about wind performance and integration not available? Is it because wind proponents, including some policy makers and wind industries, do not want the realities disclosed, or, in the case of many environmentalist organizations, because they would interrupt established agendas? Or is it that these groups believe it unnecessary because they do not understand the realities of utility-scale wind power?

Two New Studies: le Pair/de Groot (Netherlands) and Bentek (Colorado, Texas)

The two studies reviewed were released this year and show increases in fossil fuel or CO2 emissions with the introduction of wind plants. The first is based on the Netherlands experience by C. le Pair and K. de Groot, and the second for Colorado and Texas by Bentek Energy. Their findings will be compared to each other, as well as to results from my fossil fuel and CO2 emissions calculator. The analytical approaches taken by le Pair and de Groot, Bentek and the calculator are different, but the results are very similar. This is therefore a very revealing and instructive exercise.

Le Pair and de Groot take a very analytical path and apply the formulas they derived to published information on the Netherlands system, for which some actual information on fossil fuel inputs for electricity production is available. Bentek uses detailed information on increases in coal-plant cycling since the introduction of wind plants, along with the impact of wind “events” on reported emissions. Because the Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCO) does not publish hourly wind production, Bentek is restricted to a few such events, from which they draw general conclusions for Colorado.

To validate the Colorado findings, Bentek uses the same analysis approach for Texas with information from the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which reports wind production at 15 minute intervals. This not only provides validation of the PSCO analysis, but also conveniently adds experience from a third jurisdiction. The calculator is a general model of the interaction between an amount of wind generation in an electricity system and the fossil fuel plants (coal and gas) involved in balancing wind’s volatility.

Summary of Results

This is the first in a four part series that analyzes and compares the findings of these studies with each other and to the calcualtor. Briefly, the results are:

The Netherlands

Le Pair and de Groot show that when the entire fossil fuel fleet efficiency is reduced by about 2% due to the presence of wind, the fossil fuel consumption saving is zero. This is the calculated efficiency reduction in the fossil fuel fleet for the Netherlands for a wind penetration of about 3% based on the published fossil fuel input and electricity production information. Their conclusions include the following:

The use of wind energy for electricity generation in combination with the requirement for fossil fuel powered stations to compensate for wind fluctuations can easily lead to loss of the expected saving in fuel use and CO2 emission. In addition, the conventional stations will be subject to accelerated wear and tear.

It is recommended to get an accurate and quantitative insight into these extra effects before society sets out to apply wind energy on a large scale. All producers must be required to publish data on the efficiency effects and fuel use when wind energy is added on.

Colorado and Texas

The study by Bentek Energy, aptly named “How Less Became More: Wind, Power and Unintended Consequences in the Colorado Energy Market,” is a ground-breaking analysis of the effects of the introduction of wind power into electricity systems. The study is based on actual results for the PSCO system in Colorado and ERCOT in Texas and their overarching conclusion is that there are unintended consequences to the implementation of Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). One of the key findings is:

Contrary to their stated goals, implementation of RPS in Colorado and Texas appear to be adding to the air pollution problem, especially in areas where older plants are cycled more frequently.


The fossil fuel and CO2 emissions calculator was applied to each of the jurisdictions studied and shows similar results. In each case an explanation of the calculator input parameters is provided.

Comparison of Results

The congruence of results from these three different approaches is a convincing confirmation of the questionable value of new alternative energy sources, especially wind, in an electricity system. RPS programs, and similar initiatives to encourage new renewables, should be withheld until such time as objective and comprehensive evaluations can be made in a completely transparent manner about the real benefits.


Misleading Greenie palm oil/Orangutan propaganda Exacts High Environmental & Economic Costs

New report shows misleading anti-Palm Oil campaigns by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Rainforest Action Network will further endanger Orang-utan and increase poverty, the major threat to the environment

As the International Palm Oil Sustainability Conference (IPOSC) gets underway this week in Malaysia, the NGO World Growth released a new report today revealing the recent campaigns by Western environmental groups against palm oil produced in developing countries are not only bogus but also potentially devastating for the very causes they claim to defend.

The findings of "Caught Red Handed: The Myths, Exaggerations and Distortions of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Rainforest Action Network" offer a false claim / fact analysis that sheds light on the allegations against palm oil made by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and the Rainforest Action Network. The report concludes that activist pressure to boycott palm oil will not only fail to save the Orang-utan; it will deny millions of people the opportunity to get out of poverty and relieve the threat it represents to the environment.

"Eradicating poverty is the key to protecting forests," said World Growth Chairman Alan Oxley. "Strategies to cripple palm oil, an industry which has lifted millions out of poverty in Southeast Asia, work against the ostensible goal of environmental groups.

"The only ‘unsustainable’ feature of the palm oil debate is the falsehoods, misrepresentations, and factual errors propagated by the Greenpeace, FoE, and RAN campaigns. World Growth's new report examines the basis for each of the claim made against palm and finds that, at best, they reflect misunderstandings of facts and, at worst, intentional distortion of the them."

Key Claims and the Facts about Palm Oil:

• Claim: A single palm oil plantation can leave forest communities to face poverty, many for the first time. (Rainforest Action Network)

• Fact: RAN misrepresented independent research which found that the palm oil has rescued at least 6 million people from poverty.

• Claim: 85 percent of palm oil in Southeast Asia is grown on industrial plantations. (Rainforest Action Network)

• Fact: 40 per cent of palm oil is produced by small landholders in both Malaysia and Indonesia, not large scale plantations.

• Claim: Up to 50 Orangutans are killed every week by the palm oil industry. (Friends of the Earth)

• Fact: Studies by reputable international bodies, such as the FAO, have found repeatedly that poverty and illegal forest clearance by the poor are the main threat to forest habitat and thereby the Orang-utan, not the palm oil industry which actively supports conservation programs.

• Claim: A 2007 UNEP report identified palm oil as the leading cause of rainforest destruction in Malaysia and Indonesia. (Greenpeace)

• Fact: The report was not endorsed by UNEP, ignores production methods in Malaysia (no land is allowed to be cleared for palm oil) and Indonesia (only land designated for development can be used) and ignores FAO data that poverty drives clearance of forest.

• Claim: In Southeast Asia alone 300 football fields are deforested every hour for palm oil. (Greenpeace)

• Fact: Most forest clearance is not for palm oil. FAO reports global rates of forest clearance are falling globally (now less one percent of forest land per year), as well as in Southeast Asia and in Asia at large, forest areas are expanding not reducing. It is more relevant that nearly 40 million Indonesians live below the poverty line.


Prominent Princeton Scientist testfies: 'Warming and increased CO2 will be good for mankind'

Selected Highlights of Dr. Happer's May 20, 2010 Congressional Testimony:

The CO2 absorption band is nearly “saturated” at current CO2 levels. Adding more CO2 is like putting an additional ski hat on your head when you already have a nice warm one below it, but you are only wearing a windbreaker. The extra hat makes you a little bit warmer but to really get warm, you need to add a jacket. The IPCC thinks that this jacket is water vapor and clouds. [...]

The climate-change establishment has tried to eliminate any who dare question the science establishment climate scientists and by like-thinking policy-makers – you are either with us or you are a traitor.

Orwellian: I keep hearing about the “pollutant CO2,” or about “poisoning the atmosphere” with CO2, or about minimizing our “carbon footprint.” This brings to mind a comment by George Orwell: “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

CO2 is not a pollutant and it is not a poison and we should not corrupt the English language by depriving “pollutant” and “poison” of their original meaning. Our exhaled breath contains about 4% CO2. That is 40,000 parts per million, or about 100 times the current atmospheric concentration. CO2 is absolutely essential for life on earth.

Commercial greenhouse operators often use CO2 as a fertilizer to improve the health and growth rate of their plants. Plants, and our own primate ancestors evolved when the levels of atmospheric CO2 were at least 1000 ppm, a level that we will probably not reach by burning fossil fuels, and far above our current level of about 380 ppm. We try to keep CO2 levels in our US Navy submarines no higher than 8,000 parts per million, about 20 time current atmospheric levels. Few adverse effects are observed at even higher levels. [...]

That we are (or were) living at the best of all CO2 concentrations seems to be an article of faith for the climate-change establishment. Enormous effort and imagination have gone into showing that increasing concentrations of CO2 will be catastrophic: cities will be flooded by sea-level rises that are ten or more times bigger than even IPCC predicts, there will be mass extinctions of species, billions of people will die, tipping points will render the planet a desert. Any flimsy claim of harm from global warming brings instant fame and many rewards.

Sea Level: The sea level is indeed rising, just as it has for the past 20,000 years since the end of the last ice age. Fairly accurate measurements of sea level have been available since about 1800. These measurements show no sign of any acceleration. The rising sea level can be a serious local problem for heavily-populated, low-lying areas like New Orleans, where land subsidence compounds the problem. But to think that limiting CO2 emissions will stop sea level rise is a dangerous illusion. It is also possible that the warming seas around Antarctica will cause more snowfall over the continent and will counteract the sea-level rise.

Hockey Stick: I was very surprised when I first saw the celebrated “hockey stick curve,” in the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC. Both the little ice age and the medieval warm period were gone, and the newly revised temperature of the world since the year 1000 had suddenly become absolutely flat until the last hundred years when it shot up like the blade on a hockey stick. This was far from an obscure detail, and the hockey stick was trumpeted around the world as evidence that the end was near.

We now know that the hockey stick has nothing to do with reality but was the result of incorrect handling of proxy temperature records and incorrect statistical analysis. There really was a little ice age and there really was a medieval warm period that was as warm or warmer than today. I bring up the hockey stick as a particularly clear example that the IPCC summaries for policy makers are not dispassionate statements of the facts of climate change.

Conclusion: I regret that the climate-change issue has become confused with serious problems like secure energy supplies, protecting our environment, and figuring out where future generations will get energy supplies after we have burned all the fossil fuel we can find. We should not confuse these laudable goals with hysterics about carbon footprints. For example, when weighing pluses and minuses of the continued or increased use of coal, the negative issue should not be increased atmospheric CO2, which is probably good for mankind. We should focus on real issues like damage to the land and waterways by strip mining, inadequate remediation, hazards to miners, the release of real pollutants and poisons like mercury, other heavy metals, organic carcinogens, etc.

Life is about making decisions and decisions are about trade-offs. The Congress can choose to promote investment in technology that addresses real problems and scientific research that will let us cope with real problems more efficiently.

Or they can act on unreasonable fears and suppress energy use, economic growth and the benefits that come from the creation of national wealth.

More HERE (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


24 May, 2010

CO2 as a radiation valve contravenes the laws of thermodynamics

I want to emphasize a point Bob Ashworth has raised, that it's not only the Second Law (heat always flows to a cooler zone) which invalidates trace gas heating theory but the First Law as well (energy can neither be created nor destroyed).

"Heat-trapping gases," you hear, and "Radiation goes in but can’t get out." Well then, what is every explanation of the greenhouse effect pointing at but a radiation valve? Since heat rays are prevented from exiting to space, it is claimed, they have nowhere else to go but back to the earth which, by absorbing them, becomes warmer.

The notion of a radiation valve snaps these concepts into focus: Without such a valve, it is imagined, infrared rays from the earth's solar-heated surface will pass freely into space. For every unit of sunlight going in, therefore, one unit of infrared goes out. Ergo, 1 - 1 = 0, zero referring to the heat gain. But with a proper valve in place no infrared is lost and the trapped rays are absorbed by the emitting surface, so the process goes thusly:

As you see, if the tenets of this theory are valid there can be no outcome other than a doubling of surface energy (a doubling at minimum, that is, since there's no reason to suppose that radiation from the now-warmer surface would not continue to be back-radiated, absorbed, and amplified in a "runaway" heating cascade).

As a real world application, such a valve could be approximated by common window glass or a dichroic filter. The irradiated surface could be anything similar to a blackbody, an ideal absorber-emitter, and a radiative heat gain of something above 0 would be observed. A working model of the greenhouse effect couldn't be made any simpler.

Simple as it is, though, no scientist in the world is able to construct a model that exhibits any radiative gain because the theory's tenets (called "the basic science") are not valid. On a theoretical basis alone, conservation of energy (the First Law) forbids a model like this from working. You can't obtain more energy than you put in. On an empirical basis too, however, as demonstrated by laboratory blackbodies, confined radiation only induces temperatures close to a theoretical blackbody limit, not a degree hotter. (The premise of greenhouse theory, remember, is that radiative confinement raises the earth's temperature above a blackbody limit, yet a laboratory blackbody --which is little more than a light trap -- exemplifies radiative confinement! The premise is self-contradictory.)

I urge you to notice that the valve's efficiency doesn't actually matter, either, because physical laws are violated even in a modest case. In some sense, in fact, the crimes get worse. For instance, let's install a 20% valve, so that 80% of the infrared escapes and 20% back-radiates.

In this case, 0.8 exits while 0.2 is "retained" by the surface. But 0.2 also radiates back to the surface, so it gains 0.4 in total (again, as a minimum: further back-radiation effects must arbitrarily be halted). In other words, even when the oft-mentioned "net flow" favors the outward movement of thermal energy (a modeling effort to satisfy the Second Law), the alleged heating effect still contradicts the First Law because you're getting more energy than you put in. Any furnace manufacturer would eagerly exploit such a loophole in the law if it existed.

But the problems don't stop there. Since the valve allows 80 percent of the infrared to escape, the same applies to the 40 percent that's been gained. So sum up the amount of radiation getting past the valve: 1.12 units -- more energy than is going in!

The whole model is nonsense. Here are two corollaries I can think of.

• Just like temperature, radiant energy flows do not add. Lumping two 70° balls of clay together doesn't result in a single ball that's 140°, nor do 70 watts per square meter beaming back onto a body that's radiating 70 raise it to 140. Frankly, it is stupid to think otherwise.

• Back-radiation cannot be absorbed by the emitter or else the conservation of energy law is meaningless. As I've noted before, the output of a weak battery can't be used as an input to recharge it.

Email from Alan Siddons [], a former radiochemist

The Week That Was 2010-05-22 (May 22, 2010)

By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

The Fourth International Conference on Climate Change held by the Heartland Institute ended Tuesday. The conference featured 74 speakers on a diversity of topics relating to climate change. Perhaps Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT summed up the results of the conference best. He said we should no longer be called skeptics. Skepticism implies an existence of a plausible scientific position. Global warming alarmism is no longer plausible.

Not everyone agrees as to the causes of the recent warming, which is as developing science should be. However, over the four conferences there seems to be a direction of convergence in ideas. One, the IPCC’s assumptions that increasing water vapor will amplify carbon dioxide-caused warming is wrong. The temperature change from a doubling of carbon dioxide is likely to be no more than 1 degree Celsius. Two, the IPCC models likely have causation as related to clouds backwards – lack of clouds causes warming not the other way around. Three, natural variations of the climate system that are ignored by the IPCC are important to climate change. An example is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Also, natural variations may be influenced by changes external to the earth, such as solar activity and cosmic radiation. Not everyone agrees as to the extent of external influences.

Also coming from different directions, the work of Lindzen, Spencer, and others indicates that the climate system has a negative feedback mechanism -- a dampening effect on carbon dioxide-caused warming rather than suggest are suggesting that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide will produce a warming of no more than 0.5 degrees Celsius, well within natural variation.

The work of a number of scientists, such as Don Easterbrook, suggests we are entering into a cold period. If so, there is significant reason to be concerned. The work of climate pioneer HH Lamb demonstrated that cold periods are harmful to mankind and warm periods are generally beneficial.

There is much to be learned, such as what causes El Niños similar to the one that now appears to be ending? The El Niño caused the global temperatures of the first part of the year, as measured from satellites, to be significantly warmer than normal. Of course, alarmists will claim that this warming is “proof” of human-caused global warming. However, the IPCC rejects the idea that El Niños cause warming; thus such claims by alarmists contradict the IPCC. Ian Plimer speculates that El Niños may be caused by undersea volcanoes, which certainly is intriguing.

If governments would only get away from the egocentric view that humans are the cause of climate change, we may begin to understand the actual causes and be able to adapt to changes as Lamb so hoped.

The proceedings of the full conference are being posted on the web site of the Heartland Institute, It is well worth a visit or several visits to listen to illuminating lectures on issues relating to climate change.


MalariaGate now infects More Global Warming Conspirators

by John O'Sullivan

Controversial climate scientist, Michael ‘hockey stick’ Mann is still up to his old tricks; he’s now alleged to have assisted a university colleague in obtaining a cool two million dollars for discredited research into malaria.

Ace skeptic investigator, Barry Woods has unearthed another useful lead in the corrupt and immoral world of climate science-this time linking the breaking Malaria-gate scandal with Penn. State University bad boys, Michael Mann and Matthew Thomas.

We all know the stink of Michael Mann but who is Thomas? He’s Penn. State's Professor of Entomology and like Mann has been doing overtime trying to salvage the remnants of the discredited man-made global warming theory.

No Link Whatsoever between Malaria and Climate

Thomas is under the spotlight because he's just been discredited as an expert in the field due to the recent publication of ground-breaking research on malaria in Nature (Gething et al. (2010)). The new study proves there is no link whatsoever between malaria and climate. In fact, Gething’s data shows the mortality rates from malaria are actually in decline-a body blow to the hype of doomsaying establishment junk scientists.

The Nature study is a gamechanger on climate issues involving malaria so that politicized alarmist advocates like Thomas will soon be classed as ‘sub-prime’ experts in this field. Thomas had steadily built a lucrative business for himself as Professor of Entomology, at Penn State's Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics. He boasts a published exploration of the ecology and evolution of "enemy-victim" interactions (malaria).

IPCC Had Blown Up Worry about Malaria

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ,in Chapter 8 of their 2007 Report, displayed a prominent graphic on malaria (Table 8.1) that makes worrisome reading, especially for the peoples of India, Australia, Portugal and Bolivia. The UN organization had boldly foretold that the worldwide geographical range of malaria “will expand” with a level of confidence that it proclaimed to be “very high.”

Such regions were predicted to be blighted most by malaria; all such alarmist claims are now proven to be bogus by Gething’s findings.

In 2009 Thomas had enjoyed some success in further helping the IPCC to whip up climate concern with the questionable paper; 'Understanding the link between malaria risk and climate.' Paaijmans, KP, Read, AF & Thomas, MB(2009).Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106:13844-13849.

Junk Climate Scientist scooped Cool $2Million

Until Gething came along to spoil the party, Thomas was merrily awash with cash from a very large grant given to him last year, as records show; “2009-2013 Quantifying the influence of environmental temperature on transmission of vector-borne diseases, NSF-EF [Principal Investigator: M. Thomas; Co-Investigators: R.G. Crane, M.E. Mann, A. Read, T. Scott (Penn State Univ.)]. $1,884,991"

Thomas makes a lame defense of his position in the UK's Guardian newspaper.

Michael Mann in yet another Conspiracy to Defraud?

But as we can see, the “investigator” who helped Thomas scoop the two million bucks is none other than his Penn. State University hockey team buddy, Michael E. Mann. Mann is currently under investigation for fraud by Virginia’s Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli.

Many of us fellow critics of the climate scam will no doubt endorse Barry Woods’ point that $1,884,991 is a lot of money to investigate the influence of environmental temperature on malaria when such influence has now been shown to be of little consequence. It’s also worth noting that you could buy a lot medicine and nets with $1.8 million.

Is anyone now going to ask Thomas to give taxpayers their funding back?


Gething, P. W. & D. L. Smith et al. ‘Climate change and the global malaria recession’ NatureVolume:, 465,Pages: 342–345Date published:, (20 May 2010)


Lambert the sheepish lion bleats again

by Don Easterbrook

As some of you may know, my recent paper at the Heartland global climate conference has been attacked by Gareth Renowden and posted by Tim Lambert on his blog. Although I don't normally even read this kind of garbage, I responded to an inquiry by Andy Revkin with the attached:

"When you are losing an argument on the basis of facts and evidence, the oldest trick in the world is to invent some outrageous lie, the more outrageous the better, and while people are reacting to the lie, attention is diverted from the real issue. It is a sure sign of desperation in distracting attention from facts and data. The outrageous charge of fraud made by a self professed "photographer and truffle grower" (Gareth Renowden) is not worthy of response, but because the charge is so easily refuted, I will do so......

According to Mr. Renowden (the "truffle grower), "Looking through Easterbrook's slides, it seems he has taken a graph of Holocene temperature variations prepared by Global Warming Art (used at Wikipedia), and altered it to fraudulently bolster his case. ... Easterbrook has quite deliberately altered the graph to reduce "current temperatures" by 0.75ºC and make the curve fit his storyline.

The data in my paper comes from oxygen isotope analyses of ice cores in Greenland made by Dr. Minze Stuiver and Dr. Peter Grootes, long recognized as the world standard for accurate paleotemperatures over thousands of years and used by thousands of scientists all over the world. This data is readily available for anyone to use so my graphs can be reproduced by anyone.

The charge by 'the truffle grower' that I used a graph "prepared by Global Warming Art" and that I "altered it to fraudulently bolster his case" is an outright, contemptible lie. I have the entire Greenland oxygen isotope data in my computer and use it extensively to plot data, so why would I use anything else?

The data I use has never been altered in any way. According to the 'truffle grower,' "The original suggests that current temperatures are comparable to, perhaps higher than the warmest period of the Holocene, the post-glacial climatic optimum 8000 years ago. Easterbrook's version gives the impression that for most of the last 10,000 years temperature has been warmer than today."

This is totally false--below is the Greenland data for the past 10,000 years (Holocene) from the published paper by Cuffy and Clow (1997), two distinguished US scientists. Note that temperatures for almost all of the past 10,000 years have been warmer than present. Oh, and while you're looking at the data, also note all of the temperature ups and downs that occurred thousands of years before modern increase in CO2, most of which were of greater intensity than recent warming. Perhaps the 'truffle grower' should learn to read a graph...."

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Are Americans Addicted to Oil?

Or is it simply cheap and useful?

The American political elite tell us we are addicted to oil. Whether it’s from former President George W. Bush or the present administration, Americans for years have been admonished to break the oil habit and use alternative fuels that meet Washington’s approval.

An online dictionary defines “addiction” as “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.”

Many commentators see oil usage in our economy in the same manner. Jim Wallis, who runs the leftist religious site Sojourners, writes:
"[O]ur oil addiction is making things not work. The list of consequences is long — from critical climate changes, to the loss of jobs, to supplying money for terrorists, to sacrificing the lives of our young people in wars over oil, to watching an oil spill that nobody seems to know how to stop pour hundreds of thousands of gallons each day into the Gulf of Mexico.

At a deep level, what’s not working in the U.S. is our lifestyle — particularly the consumerist energy habits we showcase to the rest of the world. Moving toward a “clean energy economy” will require more than just a re-wiring of the energy grid; it will also take a re-wiring of ourselves — a conversion, really, of our habits of the heart. We must adjust our expectations, demands, and values.

Are we addicted to oil, or is oil a vital resource that helps advance civilization? I believe it is the latter. Furthermore, is “addiction” an appropriate way to describe the use of petroleum-based products?

It is one thing to engage in such rhetoric, but another to examine Wallis’s message: It is immoral to use petroleum-based fuels and other products. Furthermore, his “solution” of expanded State power to force us to use alternative energy forms provides a sort of “salvation” for all of us.

Much of the harm Wallis claims results from using oil (his publication Sojourners also devotes part of the current issue to the “evils” of coal) is speculative. However, I don’t believe it is a given that oil use is “changing the climate” (and always for the worse, according to Wallis), nor does he explain just how oil use leads to a “loss of jobs.” He just makes the statement, and we are supposed to accept it at face value.

However, we do know that rising standards of living also lead to longer life spans and a higher quality of life. Wallis is forever going on about poverty in the Third World (for which he blames Americans, of course), yet we forget that before entrepreneurs harnessed the power of oil and coal, Americans and Europeans were very poor.

Entrepreneurs found ways to use these resources to create products that consumers willingly purchased. From the advent of kerosene, which allowed ordinary people to have artificial light in their homes, to the development of the internal combustion engine, which helped provide the means of large-scale transportation, oil- and coal-based fuels have changed the lives of individuals.

Unfortunately, the same people who decry poverty elsewhere want the government to make us poorer. Yes, there are some side-effects to extracting and using these fuels, but consumers have made it clear they want to continue using them and are willing to pay for their continued production, for they do not want to be forced into lifestyles they find undesirable.

Markets themselves are neither moral nor immoral. Rather, they reflect our own choices and priorities. One can claim, for example, that we are addicted to food and make the same set of arguments that critics make against oil. Moreover, alternative forms of energy also have their own problems. For example, the “food for fuels” movement drives up the cost of food, which means poor people go hungry.

The critics cannot have it both ways. If they wish to reduce poverty, then oil and coal are an important part of that equation. If they want everyone to be poorer, then they have to admit that poverty has consequences.


Water Sanity For Central California

A federal judge has struck a blow for California's water-deprived Central Valley, ruling that draconian federal water cutbacks violate human rights because — surprise! — people also belong in the ecosystem.

Next time a concept like, say "death panels" from the federal government seems far-fetched, consider the ordeal California's Central Valley has endured for the past two years. Based on a judicial ruling, some of the most prized and productive agricultural land in the country was turned into a wasteland after its water was shut off.

The ruling was derived from an 800-page "biological opinion" put out by regulators enforcing the National Environmental Policy Act, ostensibly to protect a finger-sized fish called the delta smelt and some other wildlife. Regulators complained that smelt were getting ground up in pumping stations that brought river water from California's north to its south, so the water had to stop.

Even the judge was appalled at being forced into the ruling but had no choice, given the law, and tried to cushion the impact. Tuesday, that same judge, District Judge Oliver Wanger declared to federal regulators that they must consider the impact of their "draconian" actions on human communities, something they've never done up until now. "Federal defendants completely abdicated their responsibility to consider alternative remedies," Wanger wrote.

He also ripped into the environmental regulators for their junk science "guesstimates," stating that their shut-off "lacked factual and scientific justification, while effectively ignoring the irreparable harm (their regulations) have inflicted on humans and the human environment," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

It's a landmark ruling that makes a superb use of checks and balances on power, given that up until now, these bureaucrats have never been held accountable for their actions.

It also has a nice symmetry with current laws, given that businesses must examine at great cost the environmental impact of their actions on even the smallest changes to their businesses for the sake of regulators. Now environmentalists are on notice that they'd better start looking at what they do to communities next time they insist on protecting a fly or a fish.

It can't happen too soon. The water shut-off has been a nightmare for California. Huge farms growing the world's finest grapes, peaches, almonds, pistachios, plums and walnuts — as well as cotton, carrots, cantaloupe and the other lush truck crops that come out of California's temperate weather and rich soil — have gone fallow.



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 May, 2010

Greenies: the Red, the Dumb and the Angry

By James Delingpole

Just back from the Oxford Union where, last night, we debated the motion: This House Would Put Economic Growth Before Combatting Climate Change. Though I wouldn’t necessarily say I sucked, my performance definitely wasn’t as strong as the one I gave at Heartland. Luckily I had the benefit of a blindingly good team in the form of Lord Lawson of Blaby, Lord Leach and Viscount Monckton – who temporarily ennobled me to Lord Delingpole of Blogosphere so I didn’t feel too left out.

Much to my surprise the motion carried. (133 Ayes; 110 Noes) I suppose I oughtn’t to be surprised, what with all the arguments so obviously in favour of our side and none in favour of theirs. But you never quite know with undergraduates – even frightfully clever Oxford ones – because, never having inhabited the real world, they can all too easily incline to dreamy idealism combined with an utter failure to grasp economic reality.

What really struck me about the occasion, though, was the unspeakable direness of the opposition. I don’t mean the nice girl from Trinity College: as an officer of the Union, she had to take whatever side of the debate she was given to argue. I mean the three others, who embodied pretty much everything wrong with the green movement: its crypto communism; its woeful ignorance; and its sphincter-popping rage.

Representing the ignorance camp was Lord Whitty – a nice chap with a moustache, but totally out of his depth on science, economics or indeed anything else. When you consider that this man was until quite recently our Environment Minister, this is rather worrying. At one point he tried to claim that Earth’s temperature was the hottest it had been in 14,000 years. “What about the Medieval Warm Period?” I asked. No, what he meant, he said was “If temperatures go on rising then by the end of the century we could be experiencing the hottest temperatures in 14,000 years.” This is such unutterable drivel, it’s not even worth deconstructing. Yet this was the guy – I said it before but it bears repeating – in charge of Britain’s Environment Policy. Still, better him than the lethal Chris Huhne, I suppose.

I shan’t bother describing the young man representing the Red faction. Suffice to say that as he rambled away about equality, injustice, the evils of growth, capitalism etc, I leaned across to Lord Lawson and said:

“Jesus. If this is the **** you had to put up with from the opposite benches I’m bloody glad I was never an MP.”

Finally, we were introduced to a fellow named Mike Mason, founder and managing director of something called ClimateCare. Mike was angry. Very, very angry. He showed this by having a go at us, one by one, dismissing Lord Lawson as a “failed chancellor”, or some such, casting aspersions on Viscount Monckton’s title and describing me as a “right wing hack.” I suppose, yes, “right wing hack” is one way of describing me. But I don’t recall, when I took the floor, referring to Mike Mason as a “typical, ranty green libtard who stands to make loads of money fleecing the gullible something rotten by selling carbon offsets.” Of course I do ad hom, now and again. But not in formal Oxford debates. It’s just rude and unnecessary and exposes – as poor Mike went on most impressively to demonstrate – the abject poverty of your arguments.

Both at Heartland and Oxford we were followed by a film crew who are making a documentary about the war between Warmists and Sceptics. The director, who was a very keen Green when he started the documentary, admitted he’d altered his position quite markedly since talking to both sides. What struck him about deniers/sceptics/realists – or whatever you want to call them – was their courtesy and their thoroughness. What struck him about the warmists was their eye-popping rage.

It’s true. The Warmists really are a malign and spleen-filled bunch. As of course you would be if the science was against you, the public were growing increasingly sceptical, and all you really had left to defend your cause was bullying and bluster.


Would Global Warming Really be Cause for Alarm?

We’re often asked, "What really causes all these alarms about global warming disasters?"

As scientists and policy analysts who’ve studied our ever-changing climate for a combined 65 years and attribute the changes primarily to natural forces, we’ve wondered that ourselves and also asked: Why is warming always framed as bad news? Why does so much “research” claim a warmer planet “may” lead to more childhood insomnia, more juvenile delinquency, war, juvenile delinquency, violent crime and prostitution, death of the Loch Ness Monster – and even more Mongolian cows dying from cold weather?

We’re not making this up. In fact, this is just the tip of the proverbial melting iceberg of climate scare stories chronicled at Number Watch. Clearly, too much money is being spent on one-sided global warming advocacy cloaked as “research,” not enough on natural causes and adaptation. Despite the best of intentions, too much money can corrupt, or at least skew the science.

As they say, follow the money. Remember Indiana Jones’ immortal words: “Fortune and glory.”

Too many people in government, wealthy foundations and activist groups have decided they know what’s best for us, what kind of energy and economic future we should have, and who should be in charge. They intend to implement those policies – and global warming scare stories are key to achieving that objective. They’re pouring tens of billions of dollars into the effort.

A good example of how research money politicizes science is this May 4 headline: “Carbon dioxide effects on plants increase global warming.” The story enthusiastically reported the results of a science journal paper by Long Cao and Ken Caldeira from the Carnegie Institution. Carbon dioxide is not just making the atmosphere trap more heat, they say. It also enables plants to absorb CO2 more efficiently, so they don’t have to open stomata (pores) in their leaves as much, and they evaporate less water.

That should be good news, as it enables plants to survive better under dry conditions, even in desert areas where they couldn’t before. Any botanist or visitor to knows this. Indeed, hundreds of experiments show how growth, water efficiency and drought resistance of crop and wild plants are enhanced by higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. So more CO2 and better plant growth should be celebrated – not serve as another “climate crisis” to further the political goal of ending hydrocarbon use and controlling our factories, jobs, cars, lives and living standards.

But the Carnegie folks turned this good news into bad, ominously saying the reduced evapotranspiration means plants don’t cool down as much, and that supposedly raises global temperatures slightly.

Equally interesting, the researchers based their findings not on actual experiments, but on yet another computer model that allegedly predicts future temperatures. When they tweaked various assumptions about the physiological effects of CO2, global air temperature over land increased 0.7 degrees F (0.4 deg C) above what supposedly would occur just from doubled CO2 levels directly increasing the greenhouse effect. But just six months earlier, the same authors tweaked the same model differently – and got only 0.2F (0.1 deg C) of additional warming. The authors now say this earlier result is “unrealistic.”

However, what guarantee do we have that the new assumptions are “realistic”? Maybe they are but, face it, there’s far less “fortune and glory,” far less headline grabbing, in a mere 0.2 degrees. It’s also far less “realistic” to expect another research grant, if the first one could only come up with 0.2 degrees of crisis. That’s not even 9:00 versus 9:30 on an average summer morning.

Besides fortune and glory, and more research grants and publications in prestigious journals, there’s also the matter of reputation. Dr. Caldeira, besides being a reputable scientist, is also an advisor to billionaire Bill Gates on renewable energy, and in charge of the $4.5 million in geo-engineering research funding that the Gates Foundation has provided over the past 3 years.

How many climate scientists can rub elbows with Bill Gates? Glory indeed. So 0.7 degrees it is.

Of course, this does not mean more robust plant growth can never be harmful. But does it really take five researchers and six funding sources (including the National Environmental Trust, NSF, NASA and NOAA) to model ragweed under doubled CO2 computer scenarios and conclude, “there may be increases in exposure to allergenic pollen under the present scenarios of global warming”?

All this makes us wonder: Why is it a bad thing that more CO2 helps plants tolerate droughts better and revegetate deserts? Should we cut down more forests, to generate even more cooling than the planet has experienced since 2005? Why do “error corrections” always seem to result in more warming than originally predicted, instead of less? And why do taxpayers have to shell out Big Bucks on this stuff?

The United States alone has been spending some $7 billion a year on “climate change research.” That’s a lot of money. But a majority of Americans now say climate change is due to natural forces, not to human CO2 emissions. To alarmists that means more “research” and “education” on the “climate crisis” is clearly needed – but not more on better oversight of questionable research or studying natural causes.

During a March 2009 closed-door meeting, Department of Energy senior advisor Matthew Rogers outlined his “dilemma” over how to comply with his new mandate to quickly spend $36.7 billion in grants and loan guarantees from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka, the Stimulus Act) on renewable energy and climate change. Today, with only $300 million of our taxpayer money and children’s inheritance left to spend, poor Matt says his “popularity continues to decline.”

Nearly $2.4 million dollars of that Stimulus loot may be funding the latest research by Penn State University Professor Michael Mann, father of Mann-made global warming, the debunked hockey stick temperature graph and many infamous Climategate e-mails. In one new project where Mike is the principal instigator, over a half-million dollars in grant money generated only “0.53” jobs in Pennsylvania. We must have missed the headline “Stimulus Creates Millionaire.”

We’re not suggesting fraud or corruption by Caldeira or anyone else. But we do find it curious that the vast bulk of the money goes to research that consistently discovers more “global warming crises.” We find several other phenomena equally curious.

* In an era when ExxonMobil posts all its grants on its website, and we have the “most transparent government in history,” government agencies, liberal foundations and activist groups jealously guard information on who’s getting how much money from whom, to finance all this crisis-oriented research.

* Universities are fighting attorney-general investigations, and insisting that any investigations into alleged misconduct must be conducted in-house and behind closed doors. Yet they are happy to give Greenpeace fishing-expedition access to emails and work product by climate crisis skeptics.

* Despite insisting that their research and findings are completely honest and above-board, climate alarmists still refuse to share their data, computer codes and methodologies, or discuss and debate their tax-funded work with scientists who might “try and find something wrong with it.”

If we didn’t know better, we’d think the operative rules were: Never seek logical or alternative answers, if you can blame a phenomenon or problem (like decreasing frog populations) on global warming. Do whatever it takes and fund whatever research is needed, to advance the goals of ending hydrocarbon use, increasing government control and “transforming” society. And always include the terms “global warming” or “climate change” in any grant application.

It may not be corruption. But it sure skews the research, conclusions and policy recommendations.


Sea Level Rises… What Sea Level Rises?

Another one of the standout presentations at the Heartland Institute’s fourth International Conference on Climate Change was the one by Nils-Axel Morner, former emeritus head of the paleogeophysics and geodynamics department at Stockholm University. His talk focused on sea level increases and the difference between observed data and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) model’s predictions.

Morner was a former reviewer on the IPCC report and when he was first made a reviewer he said he was “astonished to find that not one of their 22 contributing authors on sea levels was a sea level specialist: not one.” Morner discussed the realities of a number of countries and islands claimed to be doomed from climate change. He started with the Maldives, which some reports claim will be submerged in the next fifty years. Morner pointed out that the sea level around the Maldives has been much higher before and actually fell 20 centimeters (7.8 inches) during the 1970s. He also asserted that sea levels have been stable for the past three decades.

The same could be said for Bangladesh, another country threatened by sea level rises. Last year US News reported that “brackish water from the Bay of Bengal is encroaching, surging up Bangladesh’s fresh-water rivers, percolating deep into the soil, fouling ponds and the underground water supply that millions depend on to drink and cultivate their farms.” Morner’s analysis of the data, however, shows that the sea level has been stable for the past 40 to 50 years and may have even decreased. Coastal erosion is unquestionably a problem but it’s not from sea level rise, Morner says. He also reports that there has not been an increase recorded in Tuvalu, Qatar, Vanuatu, Venice and northwest Europe.

Of course, rising sea levels could present problems in the future but so far the hysteria has been unsupported by fact. Furthermore, the policies aimed at reducing sea levels (cap and trade, international carbon dioxide reduction treaties) will have little if any impact. Despite the futility of CO2 cuts, there are many cost-effective, adaptive solutions that efficiently target specific problems and do not require globally adopted treaties. Many of these adaptations are driven by markets. Seed companies develop drought and heat resistant strains that have increased agricultural productivity in the face of global warming. Low tech, but efficient, dams create reservoirs in the Himalayas to provide water supplies and irrigation during dry months. Capping CO2 only hinders the overall economic development of poorer countries and thus puts them in a worse position to adapt to climate change and rising sea levels, if it ever becomes necessary.


More malaria disinformation coming

And guess who is involved? None other than "Hockeystick" Mann!

In the Guardian today there is an article following on about the story of malaria and climate change. I like the quote from Peter Gething of Oxford: "If we were to go back to the 1900s with the correct climate change predictions for the 20th century, modellers would predict expansion and worsening of malaria and they would have been wrong, and we believe they are wrong now." That's because despite global warming for the past 30 years, the geographic extent of malaria has lessened, leading logical thinkers to guess that climate change has not worsened the spread of malaria.

Gething was referring to his study published yesterday in Nature that found that bednets and drugs will influence the spread of malaria far more than will climate change, challenging fears that warming will aggravate the disease in Africa.

Many researchers have predicted that rising temperatures will cause malaria to expand its range and intensify in its current strongholds. But unlike usual models, which aim to predict how climate change will affect malaria in the future, researchers looked at how warming affected the disease throughout the last century.

They used a recent epidemiological map of the global distribution of the major malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, and compared this with historical data on malaria's prevalence in the 1900s.

The researchers — whose work was published in Nature yesterday (20 May) — found that despite global warming, the prevalence of malaria decreased, which they attribute to disease and mosquito control programmes.

Or so you would think. But Matthew Thomas thinks differently. Matthew Thomas said that the study "plays down the potential importance of climate [change]".

Who is Matthew Thomas? He is a researcher at... Penn State. Matthew Thomas is a researcher... at Penn State... who has just won a $1.8 million grant to study the influence of environmental temperature on transmission of vector-borne diseases. Think he has a dog in this hunt?

Ask his co-investigator on the project. Michael Mann... Where do we ask for a refund?

Malaria spread throughout the world, as far north as Siberia before being beaten back in the 20th Century. Bjorn Lomborg dealt with claims that climate change would increase its spread very convincingly in The Skeptical Environmentalist 10 years ago, showing that malaria would not increase past the borders of poverty, and that economic development would increasingly push malaria into smaller and smaller enclaves. Why we need a hockey stick for malaria is beyond me.

I still don't think we need an Attorney General to investigate this, but somebody should pull the plug on this study. Think about it--even if they discover something interesting, who's going to believe it with Mann on board? And that's the most damning thing I could write.

If you want to know what the fuss is about regarding Michael Mann, it is well covered in the book Steve Mosher and I wrote, called Climategate: The CRUtape Letters. It is available on Create Space here, Amazon here, Kindle here and Lulu here.

One Amazon reviewer wrote, "Mosher and Fuller do a good job putting the ClimateGate documents in context, and the book is a riveting read. I received my copy yesterday, and find the book to be faithful to the climate war events that I have followed over a period of years. It reports actual email communications of a small group of paleoclimatologists and their roles in perhaps the biggest scientific hoax since Piltdown Man."

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Deluded dreams of power from the sea in Scotland

A letter published by The Scotsman from Colin McInnes

Jenny Fyall writes that the £4 billion to be invested in wave and tidal schemes in Scottish waters will deliver 1,200 MW of electrical power (your report, 19 May). However, the power output of the scheme is to be split almost equally between wave (capacity factor of 25 per cent) and tidal (capacity factor of 40 per cent) so the average power delivered will be in the order of 400 MW.
If the same £4bn was invested in a 1,650 MW EPR nuclear plant (capacity factor of 90 per cent) the average power delivered would be in the order of 1,480 MW, more than three times greater than the renewables scheme, without the need for back-up.

Moreover, a modern nuclear plant has a design life of 60 years compared with 20 years for marine renewables, so more than 10 times as much energy would be delivered.

In addition, it is proposed that wave schemes are supported by five Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) for every MW-hour of energy produced, while tidal will attract three ROCs.

Each ROC provides £37 per MW-hour to generators (on top of the sale of electricity), so the £4bn scheme will attract renewable obligation costs in the order of £480 million a year. An industrial scale demonstration of wave and tidal power is an exciting development and is to be welcomed. It will allow innovation in engineering design to flourish and will provide real experience of operating costs. However, let's not delude ourselves that we are on the verge of a low-cost energy bonanza.


Follow-up from Neil Craig also published:

Colin McInnes (Letters, 20 May) admirably sets out the nuts and bolts of sea turbine cost and efficiency, showing that the £4 billion to be spent will produce 400MW.

His price comparison of this as being equal to a 1,650MW nuclear plant, excluding greater maintenance costs for turbines, may well be what our government is aiming at. It is not, however, what nuclear need cost.

to be owned by British Nuclear until our government forced it to sell it to Japan) is selling its AP 1000 generator off the shelf for £1,200 per KW for the first reactor, which may fall to £800 per KW for subsequent reactors, so for the same £4bn we could get 4,500MW of electric capacity, 11 times as much.

Of course we won't get that because even self-styled "pro-nuclear" politicians want massive amounts of time and money-consuming regulation which, as can be seen, triples the cost, even though it still leaves nuclear less than a third of the cost of turbines and nearly a tenth of that of windmills. However, it is important that, whatever the final cost, the people are aware of the true options.

All economic experience shows that the formula, economic freedom + cheap power > economic growth, holds true. Britain already has some of the world's most expensive power, which is why we use less power per unit of GNP than any developed countries other than Ireland, Denmark and Singapore.

If our politicians insist on making it worse and increasing the 25,000 deaths a year from fuel poverty we have the right to know that this is what they are doing.


Spanish Report: ‘Green Economy’ a Disaster

Following PJM's exclusive story on a leaked Spanish government report, a newspaper in Spain confirms that the country's "green economy" policies — the model for the Obama administration's "green jobs" efforts — have been a disaster: expensive, ineffective, and unworkable

As predicted was inevitable, today the Spanish newspaper La Gaceta runs with a full-page article fessing up to the truth about Spain’s “green jobs” boondoggle, which happens to be the one naively cited by President Obama no less than eight times as his model for the United States. It is now out there as a bust, a costly disaster that has come undone in Spain to the point that even the Socialists admit it, with the media now in full pursuit.

Breaking the Spanish government’s admission here at Pajamas Media probably didn’t hurt their interest in finally reporting on the leaked admission. Obama’s obvious hope of rushing into place his “fundamental transformation” of America into something more like Europe’s social democracies — where even the most basic freedoms have been moved from individuals and families to the state — before the house of cards collapsed has suffered what we can only hope proves to be its fatal blow. At least on this front.

La Gaceta boldly exposes the failure of the Spanish renewable policy and how Obama has been following it. The headline screams: “Spain admits that the green economy as sold to Obama is a disaster.”

This is now an explosive scandal in Spain, coming on the heels of shabby treatment over there in payback to an academic team for having pointed the disaster out (joined by equally shabby treatment by the Obama administration).

I’d say “I hate to say I told you so,” but I revel in it. My only regret is that they couldn’t have admitted it about three weeks ago to coincide even more perfectly with the release of Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America. In the book, I detail the folly of Obama’s claims about European “green economy” miracles and what cramming them down here means for you, unless you stand up and fight back now.

The man who exposed the disaster, Dr. Gabriel Calzada, kindly praises the dissection of “free ice cream” “green jobs” economics on the jacket. That fight begins anew next week with the likely Senate vote on S.J. Res. 26, the Murkowski resolution to disapprove of the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to impose much of this agenda through the regulatory back door without Congress ever having authorized such an enormous economic intervention. Read Power Grab to get your head around the numerous fallacies and fabrications, and give Washington hell.

(The article below was published in La Gaceta on May 21, 2010.)

Spain admits that the green energy as sold to Obama is a disaster

The Spanish government leaks a report that admits the ominous economic consequences of betting in favor of renewable energies.

by Cristina Blas

The president of the United States, Barack Obama, doesn’t seem to have chosen the right model to copy for his “green economy,” Spain. After the government of José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero demonized a study of different experts about the fatal economic consequences of renewable energies, an internal document from the Spanish cabinet that it is even more negative has just been leaked.

To one of the authors of the first report, Gabriel Calzada, “the government has leaked it intentionally in order to turn the media against renewable energies and to be stronger in negotiations with businesses.”

Because even though Zapatero himself opposes abandoning his grand bet, some voices — such as the minister of Industry, Miguel Sebastián — are beginning to express their worry over the enormous debt that has been generated by the investment in so-called clean energies, which could even delay Spain’s exit from the economic crisis.

On eight occasions, the occupant of the White House referred to the Spanish model as an example to follow. The paradox is that it is a model that Obama himself wants Spain to abandon, as made clear in his call to Zapatero last week in which he asked him to change his strategy on the crisis.

The internal report of the Spanish administration admits that the price of electricity has gone up, as well as the debt, due to the extra costs of solar and wind energy. Even the government numbers indicate that each green job created costs more than 2.2 traditional jobs, as was shown in the report of the Juan de Mariana Institute. Besides that, the official document is almost a copy point by point of the one that led to Calzada being denounced [lit. "vetoed"] by the Spanish Embassy in an act in the U.S. Congress.

The presentation recognizes explicitly that “the increase of the electric bill is principally due to the cost of renewable energies.” In fact, the increase in the extra costs of this industry explains more than 120% of the variation in the bill and has prevented the reduction in the costs of conventional electricity production to be reflected on the bills of the citizens.

If the document indicates that the development of renewable energies has had a positive impact, especially in the reduction of emissions, it has also admitted that the evolution has been too fast, due to subsidies.

“Between 2004 and 2010, the quantity of subsidies has been multiplied by five,”,says the text of the Spanish Ministry. In 2009 alone they were doubled from the previous year to 5,045 million euros, the equivalent of the whole public investment in I+D+i ["Investigación + Desarrollo + Innovación tecnológica", or "research, development, and technological innovation"] in Spain.

The numbers in the long run are even scarier. The government itself says that the alternative energies sector will receive 126 billion euros in the next 25 years. Just an example: The owners of solar plants make 12 times more than what they pay for the energy coming from fossil fuel combustion. The majority are subsidies charged to the consumer.

The conclusion is that with the economy at the point of bankruptcy, it is not possible to keep injecting money in such a costly sector. And the government seems to realize this now.

But aside from all this, Obama’s green energy project might cost him votes. The republican Rand Paul, animated by the tea party movement, won the primary on Tuesday for Kentucky’s U.S. Senate seat owing to, among other things, being a fierce critic of the president’s agenda on climate change.

Obama has made the focus of his economic and environmental politics a change towards a “green economy,” which, to the judgment of some analysts, could be a risk for the recovery of the world’s biggest economy.



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


22 May, 2010

A very anti-American act

But so many of Obama's appointments were America-haters, it is just part of his pattern. Raising fuel economy standards will hurt American car manufacturers only, principally Ford. The new GM can just suck on the taxpayer teat like the hungry baby it is (Note: "more federal support for the development of new-generation cars") -- and Chrysler has been a basket-case for years. Japanese manufacturers are already focused on the fuel-sipping end of the market so they probably won't have to change a thing.

And the only way to meet the standards is to get all passenger car-drivers into smaller, lighter, flimsier cars. The heavy truck fleet will always use lots of fuel. It takes lots of fuel to move heavy loads and nothing will change that. And smaller, lighter, flimsier cars will kill more Americans in road accidents. What's not to like about that for an America-hating President of Muslim origins?

But it's mostly blue sky anyway. His new dictates won't take effect until he is out of office. And even a week is a long time in politics

But what would it mean if it all went into effect? Probably no more 18-wheelers and no more SUVs. Wouldn't that give Greenies a horn?

President Obama has decided to use his executive power to order tougher fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, accelerating the fight against climate change without waiting for Congress, administration officials said Thursday.

Mr. Obama plans to announce on Friday that he is ordering the creation of a new national policy that will result in less greenhouse-gas pollution from medium- and heavy-duty trucks for the first time and will further reduce exhaust from cars and light-duty trucks beyond the requirements he has already put in place.

Under rules that were eventually formalized last month, new cars have to meet a combined city and highway fuel economy average of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. The administration said the new rules would cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases by about 30 percent from 2012 to 2016.

The plan Mr. Obama will announce on Friday will order further improvements in fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks made in 2017 and beyond, and in medium and heavy trucks made in 2014 through 2018.

The initiative comes as the spill in the Gulf of Mexico has underscored the problem with dependence on oil, and officials said the president would cite the problem when he discusses his plan. The order allows Mr. Obama to advance his goals even as Senate Democrats have difficulty trying to pass a comprehensive energy bill that he supports.

Administration officials confirmed the plan after disclosing it to environmental advocates but insisted on anonymity to avoid upstaging the announcement. In addition to the fuel efficiency and pollution standards, Mr. Obama’s directive will order more federal support for the development of new-generation cars like advanced electric vehicles and will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce pollutants from motor vehicles other than greenhouse gases.

Environmentalists hailed the move. “President Obama’s oil savings proposal will reduce our dependence on oil,” said Daniel J. Weiss, director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress, a liberal research organization. “More efficient cars and trucks will help to protect families’ budgets as well as America’s shores.”

Medium and heavy trucks represent only 4 percent of all vehicles on American highways but they consume more than 20 percent of on-road transportation fuels, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental advocacy organization. Improving the average fuel economy of these trucks by 3.7 miles per gallon would reduce American annual oil consumption by 11 billion gallons in 2030, the group said.

Building cleaner cars costs money but may ultimately save consumers more through lower gasoline bills. The policy already enacted will add about $1,000 to the cost of an average new car by 2016, but save about $3,000 in fuel over the life of the vehicle, according to government officials.

The president will be joined Friday by environmental leaders as well as representatives of major automakers and truck manufacturers supporting the new policy, administration officials said. The Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency will jointly develop the policy.

Manufacturers want a single, national standard set over the long term because it is easier to meet than the patchwork quilt of regulations imposed in the past.

Before the president’s initial policy a year ago, car and light-truck makers were facing fuel-efficiency standards being developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in response to Congressional legislation, separate greenhouse gas standards being developed by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act and the possibility of separate standards enacted in California and 13 other states.


Global Warming’s $64 Trillion Question

Despite its relative simplicity, I continue to find myself trying to explain to experts and lay persons alike how scientists made the Great Global Warming Blunder when it comes to predictions of global warming.

On the bright side, this morning I received an e-mail from a chemist who looked at the math of the problem after reading my new book, and then came to the understanding on his own. And that’s great!

For the most part, though, the climate community continues to suffer from a mental block when it comes to the true role of clouds in global warming. All climate models now change clouds with CO2 warming in ways that amplify that warming, some by a catastrophic amount.

As my latest book describes, I contend that they have been fooled by Mother Nature, and that in fact warming alters clouds in ways that mitigate – not amplify — the small amount of direct warming caused by increasing atmospheric CO2.

The difference between clouds magnifying versus mitigating warming could be the difference between global warming being little more than an academic curiosity…or a disaster for life on Earth.

So, once again I find myself trying to explain a concept that I find the public understands better than the climate experts do: when it comes to clouds and temperature, the direction of causation really does matter.

Why Are There Fewer Clouds when it is Warm?

The “scientific consensus” has been that, because unusually warm conditions are observed to be accompanied by less cloud cover, warming obviously causes cloud cover to decrease. This would be bad news, since decreasing cloud cover in response to warming would let more sunlight in, and amplify the initial warming. That’s called positive cloud feedback.

But what they have difficulty understanding is that causation in the opposite direction (cloud changes causing temperature changes) gives the ILLUSION of positive cloud feedback. It turns out that, when less cloud cover causes warmer temperatures, the cloud feedback in response to that warming is almost totally obscured.

Believe it, the experts have not accounted for this effect. I find it bizarre that most are not even aware it is an issue! As far as I know, I am the only one actively researching the issue.

As a result, the experts have fooled themselves into believing cloud feedbacks are positive. We have demonstrated theoretically in our new paper now accepted for publication in JGR that, even if strong negative cloud feedback exists, cloud changes causing temperature change will make it LOOK like positive cloud feedback.

And this indeed happens in the real climate system. The only time cloud feedback can be clearly seen in the real climate system is when temperature changes are caused by something other than clouds. And in those cases, we find that the net feedback is strongly negative (around 6 Watts per sq. meter of extra energy lost by the Earth per deg. C of global-average warming).

Unfortunately, those events only occur on relatively short climate time scales: 1 month or so. Whether this negative feedback also exists for long-term climate warming is less certain.

Do Climate Models Agree With Satellite Observations of Clouds and Temperature?

The fact that all the climate models which produce substantial global warming also approximate what we measure from satellites is NOT a validation of the feedbacks in those models. So far, after analyzing thousands of years of climate model runs, I have found no convincing way to validate the climate models’ long-term feedbacks with short-term (approx. 10 years or so) satellite observations. The reason is the same: all models have cloud variations causing temperature variations, which then obscures the feedback we are trying to measure.

But there’s another test that could be made. The modelers’ case would be stronger if they could demonstrate that 20 additional climate models, all with various amounts of negative – rather than positive — cloud feedback, are less consistent with our satellite observations than the current crop of models, all of which had positive cloud feedback.

I suspect they do not spend much time on that possibility. A climate model that does not produce much climate change is going to have difficult time getting continued funding for its support.

Trivia Question to Illustrate the Point: Assume continually increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is the only source of climate variability, and we experience continuous slow warming as a result. Will the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR, or infrared) being emitted by the Earth increase…or decrease…during this process?

ANSWER: If warming is the result of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, then the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) from the Earth will DECREASE over time. As scientists already know, it is this decrease in OLR that causes the warming in the first place. But because the climate system cannot warm instantly in response (there is a time lag due to the heat capacity of land, ocean, and atmosphere), the increased OLR from warming can never fully make up for the decrease in OLR causing the warming. That warming-induced increase represents the FEEDBACK RESPONSE. But it is forever more than offset by the FORCING from increasing CO2.

Now, If we know the time-history of the forcing, it can be subtracted from the OLR to get the feedback. Indeed, this is how feedbacks are diagnosed from climate model experiments involving transient CO2 forcing. The “blunder” I talk about refers to the fact that climate researchers have not accounted for natural sources of radiative forcing (cloud variations) in their attempts to diagnose feedback in the real climate system.

Technical Note: We have found from modeling studies that if the natural cloud variations were truly random in time, the error in diagnosed feedback would be random, not biased toward positive feedback, and would average out to near zero in the long term. But in the real climate system, these cloud variations have preferred time scales….in other words, they have some degree of autocorrelation in time. When that happens, there ends up being a bias in the direction of positive feedback.


American Physical Society slowly backing away from manmade global warming

The Council of the American Physical Society (APS) has adopted on April 18, 2010 a "Climate Change Commentary" to append to their definitive and "incontrovertible" 2007 policy statement on climate change. The commentary allows considerable backpedaling from the prior policy while appearing to save face.

The commentary removes the word incontrovertible because such words are "rarely used in science because by its very nature science questions prevailing ideas." The statement "While there are factors driving the natural variability of climate (e.g., volcanoes, solar variability, oceanic oscillations), no known natural mechanisms have been proposed that explain all of the observed warming in the past century." is added, and while not true since there are a number of papers which show that ocean oscillations and solar variability can explain all of the 0.7 degree warming of the past century, it is a step in the right direction from the 2007 policy which makes no mention of natural forcing and blames climate change on man-made emissions of CO2.

For the first time there is acknowledgement of the uncertainties associated with models, including the statement "These models have uncertainties associated with radiative response functions, especially clouds and water vapor. However, the models show that water vapor has a net positive feedback effect (in addition to CO2 and other gases) on global temperatures. The impact of clouds is less certain because of their dual role as scatterers of incoming solar radiation and as greenhouse contributors." While it is true the models show net positive feedback, that is only because that is how they were programmed, and no mention is made of the empirical satellite and weather balloon data which show the net feedback is actually negative. At least, the commentary begins to indicate large uncertainties with climate modeling.

The commentary adds "The uncertainty in the estimates from various climate models for doubling CO2-equivalent concentration is in the range of 1°C to 3°C with the probability distributions having long tails out to much larger temperature changes.", without mentioning that 1°C global warming is what is expected from the no feedback model and even less from the negative feedback model as supported by data, which is likely to be beneficial and is hardly cause for alarm or cap & tax schemes.

As Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer have repeatedly pointed out, the real issue to be determined is the sensitivity of the climate to changes in CO2, for which all the empirical data show the models have greatly overestimated sensitivity. If there is low sensitivity, there is no cause for alarm.


Nuclear Power Now Back in Vogue Thanks to the Left's Political Miscalculations (?)

Political miscalculations on the part of global warming alarmists have opened the way for a renewed commitment to nuclear power that will find expression within the next few years, Joe Bast, president and CEO of the Heartland Institute observed just as his organization’s fourth International Conference on Climate Change concluded.

The growing “climategate” scandal that involves emails leaked to the Internet from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in Great Britain has confirmed the skeptical view of man-made global warming theories and “put a stake in the heart” of the pseudoscience that fuels alarmism, Bast said in an interview on the final day of the conference in Chicago, Illinois.

As an added benefit, he expects U.S. policymakers to divorce themselves from “cap and trade” schemes and to move more forcefully in the direction of sensible energy polices, especially after the November elections.

“I think one unintended consequence of this whole debate has been the re-examination and re-legitimization of nuclear energy,” Bast suggested. “I’m sure the left must be kicking itself for allowing this to happen. They should have thought ahead and asked themselves what would happen if they lost on global warming. As it turns out, they have helped to endorse and validate nuclear power. You are going to see a lot more nuke plants built over the next 20 to 30 years.”
Some of the key developments that occurred in the climate debate since last Heartland Conference in Washington D.C. are as follows:

• Last November, emails and other documents from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia revealed a pattern of mismanagement of temperature data, interference with peer review, and overt efforts to suppress academic debate on global warming;

• In December, negotiations in Copenhagen over a successor to the Kyoto Protocol collapsed, leaving the world without a binding international agreement after Kyoto expires in 2012;

• In January, major errors of fact and forecasts in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were acknowledged by the agency’s staff and supporters;

• In February, Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit, admitted there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995 and that “the vast majority of climate scientists” do not believe the debate on climate change is over;

• In March and April, The Christian Science Monitor and many other respected sources uncovered evidence of massive fraud in the operation of cap-and-trade programs, raising doubts about the workability of such programs as well as the ethics and objectivity of Al Gore and others who have made millions of dollars by creating firms that buy and sell carbon credits.

Despite a growing body of scientific evidence that points to natural as opposed to man-made factors that fuel warming and cooling cycles, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced a repacked version of “cap and trade” earlier this month that would impose carbon reductions on industry. However, Bast does not expect the legislation to gain any traction in the U.S. Senate.

“Cap and trade is dead,” he said. “We are finally on the downhill here, we are victors. Now is agreat time to be a skeptic, now is a great time to be a libertarian. The vibe at this conference was fantastic.”


Green versus Green in Britain

Apparently there are at least some Greens who don't like hypocrisy

A decision by a climate-change group to fly leading activists 12,000 miles to a conference threatens to tear the movement apart. The leadership of Climate Camp – which is opposed to flying and airport expansion – have been accused of hypocrisy after they sent two members on a £1,200 round-trip to Bolivia.

The leaders argued it was necessary to attend the ‘transnational protest’ – even though the flights generated eight tons of carbon dioxide greenhouse gases.

Now a furious backlash against the trip threatens to split the group, which in the past has blockaded Heathrow airport and clashed with police at demonstrations against coal-fired power stations. A memo circulated to Climate Camp members claimed the group had been taken over by a ‘clique’ who were manipulating its work. The note claimed ‘the same small group controls all aspects’ of the movement and that a ‘stagnant culture’ ensured the ‘same people always filled the same roles’.

One activist wrote on the group’s Facebook page: ‘If you believe flying halfway around the world is a necessary mission for Climate Camp, I feel you are sadly deluded.’ She added: ‘It is an absolute disgrace that any Climate Camper would even think about going by air.’ [swim?]

The activist later submitted a formal complaint to the group. She said: ‘There was no due process in permitting two Climate Campers to travel to Bolivia by plane. 'There was little discussion on the mode of transport to be used and no consensus to permit it.’

The complaint provoked a furious backlash from Ben Hart, one of the activists who flew to Bolivia. In a series of postings on Facebook under the pseudonym Gringo Ben, he lashed out at opponents of the trip. He wrote: ‘Get over it, if you wanna play this liberal self-denial game...I’ve been vegan for 17 years of my life and gone many years without a car. ‘If I died tomorrow and didn’t take my return flight or any others in the future, the planet would still be being ruined.’

He added: ‘You seem to think Climate Camp is, or should be, purist, but the Camp is not dogmatic but actually quite pragmatic when it comes to the compromises necessary to engage in campaigning. ‘It’s bang out of order to point a finger at us in this way and question our role in the Camp. It was a Camp decision, good or bad.’

Climate Camp describes itself as a grassroots movement and is supposedly controlled by its membership at regular meetings.

But the group of angry members claim they are ‘disillusioned with the process’ and that ‘it is alienating new attendees and undermining the motivation and commitment to the movement’.

They said in their memo: ‘The hierarchical culture that is forming is dishonest and is in contradiction of our non-hierarchical principles and aspirations.’


Canadian Warmists clutching at straws

Tom Pederson, director of British Columbia’s Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, got some cheap laughs at the expense of Rex Murphy and Murphy’s journalistic reputation at a University of Victoria panel on climate and the media in April.

The panel members were Pederson, Lucinda Chodan, editor of the Victoria Times Colonist, Peter Calamai, a science journalist, and James Hoggan, author Climate Cover-up, which claims that unscrupulous right-wing think tanks are trying to brainwash the public against belief in global warming. There was, thanks to Pederson (see why below), no one representing the skeptical side of the issue.

In his 15-minute segment, Pederson accused Murphy of breaching journalistic ethics in a July 24, 2009, Globe and Mail column entitled “So where’s that global cooling alert?” Murphy’s crime? He ignored what Pederson considers the global warming “facts.” Pederson’s point was that a newspaper columnist can have whatever opinions he/she wants, but these opinions must be based on facts, not just ideology. As a former columnist myself, for the Times Colonist, I also believe this is true.

Murphy’s column noted that temperatures in Ontario had been cool in July 2009 and he wondered why nobody had bothered to issue a global cooling alert; if the temperatures had been unusually warm, wouldn’t that have been blamed on global warming? Murphy wrote:

What we do not hear from them [the global warming believers], from any one of them, is the slightest indication of puzzlement over how or why so suddenly, in this age of the greatest emergency our planet has ever faced—global warming—things have gotten cool. Not a furrowed brow among the lot over the consideration that, contrary to the visions of Al Gore and David Suzuki or NASA’s own anti-global warming Nostradamus, James Hansen, the great trend line of an ever-warming world is being contradicted nightly in their own forecasts.

To show how wrong Murphy had been, Pederson presented a PowerPoint slide showing that, contrary to Murphy’s column, July 2009 was quite hot in most of the planet, and suggested—to audience laughter—that Murphy was foolishly guilty of assuming the weather in Toronto represented the world. Below is the map Pederson used, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website.

Pederson also accused Murphy not just of being foolish, but of being unethical as well in spreading climate skeptic lies.

Murphy is anything but foolish—a Rhodes scholar, he’s probably got the finest mind in Canadian journalism. Nor is he wrong or naive about the planetary cooling trend. For example, Murphy is quite aware of the difference between weather and climate, writing in his column: "Not that these studio meteorologists were making the elementary mistake of confounding weather with climate, for this is a distinction familiar now even to kindergartners." [Much less, one might add, to Rhodes scholars.]

And he is quite aware that Ontario’s weather doesn’t represent the globe’s weather. He was making a broader point about the trend toward global cooling in the past decade—a point that Pederson, deliberately or unconsciously, sidestepped.

The U.S. is cooling, not warming

Let’s take a closer look at the average U.S. temperature in July, 2009, also from the NOAA website:

NOAA temperatures July 2009

All that blue indicates that, yes, July was, as Murphy said, colder than normal in the northern and eastern parts of the United States, in some cases record cold. Granted, the planet won’t be uniformly warm (or cold), but record cold? In July? At a time when the planet is supposed to be not only warming, but experiencing (according to IPCC president Rajendra Pachauri) “accelerated” warming? (See Christopher Monckton’s article debunking this claim.)

Also on the NOAA website is a handy gadget that lets users calculate for themselves temperatures and trends over the past 115 years in the continental United States (my thanks to C3 Headlines for bringing this website to my attention). You just put in the date you want to begin, any time from 1895 on, the date you want to end, and a month or the annual average. The U.S. has the world’s best climate records, so the temperatures in the U.S. will mirror, reasonably well, temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere and almost certainly the planet as well.

Here’s what the graph shows if you input the years 1997-2010:

NOAA temperatures 1997-2010

Good heavens! Since 1997 the planet (or at least the U.S. portion of it) has been cooling! Just like Murphy said in his column. And this cooling is not just a 2009 phenomenon.

If you input 1996-2010, the temperature is flat-lined, so the cooling started at least in 1997 in the U.S., and almost certainly everywhere else as well. And, the later you put the end date, the more pronounced is the downward, cooling slant of the temperature line.

Phil Jones: the planet isn’t warming

Murphy’s view fits very well with what Phil Jones, the former head of East Anglia University’s Climatic Research Unit, said in one of his “Climategate” emails (July 5, 2005): "The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only seven years of data and it isn’t statistically significant."

In other words, in 2009 Murphy was writing about a global cooling (not warming) trend that even climate alarmist Phil Jones admitted began in 1998.

Jones further admitted in a Feb. 13, 2010, interview with the BBC that there had been no “statistically significant” warming since 1995, and evidence of cooling (although not “statistically significant” for Jones) since 2002. Here’s what Jones said about the cooling: "BBC: Do you agree that from January 2002 to the present there has been statistically significant global cooling? Jones: No. This period is even shorter than 1995-2009. The trend this time is negative (-0.12C per decade), but this trend is not statistically significant."

But if the temperature “trend” might be toward cooling, that at least means that there was no statistically significant global warming during the years from 2002-2010, does it not? And the planet may well be cooling—NOAA’s U.S. data certainly points that way. Jones argues the timeline isn’t long enough to establish a cooling trend, but 12 years of no warming certainly looks like a trend. It’s also 12 years, or more, during which the public has been relentlessly—and, it appears, falsely—bombarded with the message that the planet is suffering from out-of-control warming.

So let’s summarize: Pederson accused Murphy of being an unethical columnist for claiming that the planet was cooling in 2009. Yet NOAA, which is a strong believer in anthropogenic global warming, says the United States has been cooling since 1997. Phil Jones suggests in his email that the planet—not just the U.S.—has not warmed since 1995 (with the addition that he doesn’t want this news to get out, hence “hide the decline”), and might even have cooled since 2002. So, who’s right? Pederson? Or Murphy, along with both NOAA and Jones?

At the very least, how can Pederson, with a straight face, accuse Murphy of lack of ethics, thereby slandering Murphy’s journalistic reputation, when Murphy is simply basing his opinion on scientific data? In other words, at least in my opinion, Pederson slandered Murphy and owes him an apology.

Ignoring the evidence

But, then, this is what AGW believers do. Evidence that the planet hasn’t warmed since the late 1990s is dismissed as “cherry-picking” because, for warmists, the overall trend is up. It has to be up, because that’s what the computer climate models say, and the models cannot be wrong.

Pederson set up the climate and media panel so there were no skeptics on board because he is a dedicated, one might even say fanatical, believer in human-caused global warming and its catastrophic outcome. How do I know? Because last December, I attended a video streaming, arranged by Pederson in a University of Victoria classroom, of an online debate pitting skeptics Bjorn Lomborg and Nigel Lawson against warmists Elizabeth May and George Monbiot.

Before the debate began, however, Pederson went to the front of the classroom and, for 15 minutes, told those attending that they shouldn’t believe a word of what Lomborg and Lawson said. The idea that a university audience might listen to a debate with an open mind is apparently beyond Pederson’s ability to comprehend because, of course, he believes he is totally right on global warming and any other viewpoint is totally wrong.

(As an aside, philosopher of science Karl Popper has written, in The Logic of Scientific Discovery (p. 281): “The wrong view of science reveals itself as the craving to be right.” Pederson, and global warming alarmists in general, seem to be strongly in the grip of this craving.)

Why warmists can’t admit cooling

During question period at the media and climate panel, I asked Pederson about Jones’s comment on the lack of “statistically significant” warming since 1995 and the possible cooling from 2002 on. Pederson replied that the 1995 non-warming was just that, a statistical artifact, and that the current decade had been the warmest on record. Which may be true, but that doesn’t mean the decade is warming.

However, Pederson refused to answer the second part of my question on Jones’s comment about possible cooling.

Pederson’s refusal to respond made it very clear that warmists don’t want to publicly acknowledge any cooling over the past 12 or 13 years (from 1997 in the U.S. and probably everywhere else, too). And so, they pour scorn on anyone, like Murphy or myself, who dares to mention it.

By why is it so important not to admit that the planet has cooled, at least to the public? I must confess that this question has puzzled me, or did until the media and climate panel.

One reason is, of course, because scientists like Pederson know the public will lose faith in the AGW theory if what it predicts—warming—isn’t occurring. How silly of the public to demand actual evidence of warming before making some very expensive decisions to cope with warming, but there it is.

The main reason, though, is that to acknowledge cooling over the past decade is to admit that the AGW hypothesis is wrong. Why? Jones provides a clue when he says that while the planet isn’t warming and is actually cooling, it hasn’t warmed or cooled for enough years to be “statistically significant.”

So, how many years does it take for a climatologist to accept that climate change, as opposed to weather fluctuation, has occurred (is “statistically significant”)? The generally accepted time is 30 years. How long has the planet been warming? From the mid-1970s to no later than 1998. That’s 23 years of warming, followed by 12 years of non-warming (so far). In other words, this warming that we’re told is so “unequivocal” and “settled” and “certain” has not passed the crucial 30-year mark. The warming of 1975-1998 is therefore not “statistically significant.”

Hence, it is necessary for climatologists like Pederson to assert, at least to the public, that warming has occurred after 1998 and, more recently, that it is actually “accelerating.” Without warming in the 21st century, “global warming” hasn’t reached the crucial 30-year milestone. But if for Pederson there is no statistically significant cooling over the past decade, there was also no statistically significant warming in the late 20th century, either. Warmists like Pederson cannot admit this fact because it utterly destroys their case.

In other words, it’s not Rex Murphy who is misleading the public with ideology and false information. It’s the alarmist climatologists like Pederson who are misleading the public with their smokescreen of “certainty” and “consensus” and “global warming” that not only hasn’t occurred in more than a decade, but wasn’t “statistically significant” before that.



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 May, 2010

Greenie people hatred again

Kevin McCracken says in the article excerpted below that population growth in Africa is a bad thing and that population shrinking in the West can be managed. The first part seems rather racist and I certainly make no judgement on the matter. Africa's problems are for Africa only, as far as I can see. McCracken certainly makes no effort to show otherwise.

McCracken justifies his second assertion with the extraordinarily unscholarly comment that "There is research around that suggests" it to be so. One would certainly hope for some clearer indication of where the research concerned is to be found.

Nonetheless, I don't doubt that population shrinkage in the developed countries can be managed. Japan is already doing a good job with a large elderly population and trivial levels of immigration.

What McCracken simply does not answer is that the developed countries produce most of the innovations that improve people's lives and that it is only a tiny minority of even those populations that do the innovating. And shrinking such populations must surely shrink the numbers of those precious innovators. In some inscrutible way, McCracken seems to think that population growth in Africa answers that argument.

But the point and purpose of McCracken's very unscholarly and illogical article becomes clear if one realises that he is just another Greenie people-hater. He is in fact a former dean of Environmental and Life Sciences at Australia's Macquarie University.

While it is good to see the important issue of global population trends getting attention in the mainstream national press, one would wish for a more accurate and balanced discussion of the topic....

With the global population growth rate now down from the alarming levels of the 1960s and '70s and the apocalyptic demographic prognostications from those days not having come to pass, the "population bomb" is widely seen as having been defused. However, additional billions will still be added to the world's population in coming decades. Next year global population numbers will reach 7 billion, with another 2 billion likely being added by mid-century.

Being concerned about this expansion is not necessarily the "pervasive misanthropism" or the seeing of children as a "nuisance" that Devine alleges, but simply regard for the wellbeing and quality of life of current and future generations.

The reported claim from Feder that the population explosion of the past 200 years has fuelled "every human advance from the Industrial Revolution to the computer age" grandly simplifies the complex causal webs of the developments to which he alludes. Population has certainly been a factor, but far from the whole story.

Almost all of the projected 2 billion or so population increase between now and mid-century will be in less developed countries. For many of these countries Feder's reported "people are the ultimate resource" line is drawing a very long bow. The more than 60 million extra people Pakistan is projected to have by 2025 are certainly not going to make that country's future development any easier; likewise the projected gain of 52 million in Nigeria over the same period, 35 million in Ethiopia, 31 million in Bangladesh, and so on. Less developed countries that have succeeded in reducing their fertility rates are generally in a far better position to realise the potential and wellbeing of their citizens than those still experiencing high population growth rates.

Most developed nations face significant demographic ageing and, in cases, population decline over coming decades, but stronger evidence than that is needed of the article's claimed looming "demographic winter".

For interest groups and individuals wedded to economic expansion driven by population growth the threat is perhaps "self-evident". But not necessarily to others. There is research around that suggests that population ageing need not be a "crisis". More sympathetic attitudes of employers towards older workers, for example, would see workforce participation rates go up. Productivity gains in turn hold scope for covering expanding "grey population" health and welfare needs.


Nero was hotter than Al Gore

National Academy of Science study: Ancient times were warmer

The planet has never been warmer than it is right now, if you believe what global warming alarmists have to say. Mankind's selfishness in producing "excessive" amounts of carbon dioxide has set us on a path toward global cataclysm, they insist. The problem with this tale is that it neither fits with the historical record nor with a growing body of scientific evidence.

The alarmists must imagine that 50 years before the birth of Christ, men like Julius Caesar spent their summers strolling the streets of Rome wearing sweaters to guard against catching a chill - instead of abandoning the sweltering capital in favor of temperate seaside villas. A study published in the March 8 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science casts further doubt on the warmist premise by concluding that the sun beat down more harshly on the Caesars than it did on anyone else in the past 2,000 years.

Instead of using tree rings as a proxy for air temperature, the study's authors extracted data from sea shells preserved in deep sedimentary layers, using them as a proxy for sea temperature in the North Atlantic over the course of two millennia. According to the study, the "reconstructed water temperatures for the Roman Warm Period in Iceland are higher than any temperatures recorded in modern times." The heat lasted from approximately 230 B.C. to 140 A.D. After that, temperatures rose and fell over time with a second peak taking place during the better-known Medieval Warm Period.

The researchers confirmed their temperature estimates against records of human settlement patterns and descriptions found in Norse sagas and other historical writings. People settled in the region when it was warm; cold spells coincided with descriptions of famine.

These facts will not sit well with the climate-change theocracy. In order to sell the notion that global warming is a consequence of industrialized society, the fundamental article of the warmist faith must be that modern times are the hottest on record. Much like the ancient Romans, today's environmentalists believe extreme weather conditions are not a phenomenon with natural causes, but rather a portent of Mother Earth's displeasure with the choices made by the people. Whereas the ancients offered animal sacrifice to appease her wrath, the modern pagan offers carbon credits.

The punishment for failure to render carbon sacrifice is environmental disaster, according to the alarmist movement's high priest, Al Gore. The following easily could be a passage from his book "Earth in the Balance" describing the consequence of failure to act on climate change: "Either the scorching sun burns up your fields, or sudden rains or frosts destroy your harvests, or a violent wind carries away all before it." Inconveniently for Mr. Gore, the Roman poet Lucretius expressed those sentiments around 50 B.C. That's because weather back then was just as hot - or hotter - and as extreme as it is today.

Other studies from around the world confirm the existence of Roman and Medieval warming periods, where no source of "greenhouse gases" existed aside from the horses and cows of the time. For that reason, we encourage our senators to stab their daggers into the heart of cap-and-trade and all other legislation being promoted in the name of climate-change fiction.


The British folly continues

David Cameron last week renewed his promise to cut the U.K. government's carbon emissions by 10% in the next 12 months, and is now taking suggestions on how to achieve that. Here's a thought: How about cutting the central government itself by 10%? That's about the only way the new Prime Minister can simultaneously reduce government emissions and the cost of government.

If, on the other hand, the government's plans for shrinking its emissions involve similar measures as its plans to "green" the private sector, Mr. Cameron might ask himself whether, with a budget deficit of 12% of GDP, he can afford this particular boondoggle.

It's fashionable to profess that "greening" the economy can be accomplished at no cost, so great are the benefits of efficiency gains and renewable energy. But the history of civilization, from start to finish, can be seen as one long drive to make more efficient use of available resources. If something can be done more efficiently, at least outside of the public sector, someone is probably already doing it. And if they're not, it's because the costs outweigh the benefits. This is for the simple reason that "greening" the private economy requires subsidies, or heavy-handed regulation, or both. But government can't subsidize itself, so Mr. Cameron's quest is certain to cost taxpayers more than they get back in the form of more-efficient government energy use.

Take the Government's plans for the private sector. Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats emitted many tons of carbon during their campaign speechifying about reinvigorating British industry and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs with a "green economy." Their proposals include the Lib Dems' promise of a "green, £3.3 billion economic stimulus package that will create 100,000 jobs." But if the past two years of Keynesian stimulus have taught us anything, it's that governments are bad enough at creating jobs, even when not burdened by the additional hurdle of ensuring that those are "green" jobs.

Meanwhile, the Tories and Lib Dems both want to offer handouts to homeowners for "energy improvement measures." Mr. Clegg's Lib Dems, in particular, argue that the U.K. version of "cash for caulkers" will "create jobs and cut carbon emissions." But just as breaking someone's window to make work for the glazier doesn't add to total economic output, a flurry of spending on boilers and windows that don't need replacing is more likely to destroy value than generate it.

The Tories have also touted "Britain's first Green Investment Bank," which would use public funds as seed money to finance "new green technology start-ups." To paraphrase Pee-Wee Herman, these must be the start-ups that are so promising, private financiers forgot to invest.

We would have thought that after Gordon Brown's tenure, Britain had had enough of hiding spending by calling it "investment," regardless of the expected returns. But when it comes to fighting climate change, Westminster isn't alone in ignoring the costs when tallying up the benefits of going green. The U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change inspired such creative bookkeeping in a 2007 report that said industry could cut carbon pollution by up to 14% per year between now and 2030—at a net cost of zero. The fallacy in the IPCC's analysis is to conflate the energy efficiency gains that occur naturally, because they do pay for themselves, and to assume a similar win-win equation for government-mandated "improvements."

Richard Tol, an environmental economist with Dublin's Economic and Social Research Institute [and a member of the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council] and himself a contributor to the IPCC's reports, tells us that this confusion about the costs and benefits of energy efficiency has been known to researchers for decades, and was highlighted to the report's authors prior to publication. "These are big sins of omission—though not commission," says Mr. Tol, who adds that the current trend is for energy efficiency to improve at a rate of about 20% per decade, absent government intervention.

Instead of U.N.-grade accounting, Mr. Cameron & Co. might instead look to Spain, where the government did indeed create thousands of "green jobs" with subsidies to the solar industry that totaled €1.1 billion ($1.4 billion) in 2008. But most of those jobs vanished just as quickly after crisis-hit Madrid slashed the handouts. Spanish taxpayers will never see a return on their "investment."

With all due respect to Chris Huhne, the Government's Energy and Climate Change Secretary, it's not hard to predict a similar fate for many of the British Government's "investments." If Mr. Cameron really wants to improve the government's energy efficiency, it might be easier to start by killing the cabinet department devoted to climate change altogether.


Senate briefing from official U.S. Climate authority (NCDC) is "adjustment"-rich

Well, the Kerry Lieberman cap and trade fiasco has brought Tom Karl to give a Senate briefing last week. Predictably, they couldn’t wait to spring more adjustments du jour on the hapless Senators, claiming once again, everything analysis-wise the government does is ‘robust’ (used several times). But ‘robustness’ just isn’t convincing enough anymore. The new catch phrase is shown below:


What’s the most interesting thing about this PowerPoint? It reads like a skeptics refutation handbook. NCDC reacted.

The key word above is “adjusted”. Comparing adjusted data to adjusted data will almost guarantee an agreement.

Here’s some other slides of interest.

The urbanization signal, easily dispensed with thanks to homogenization.

This slide above is part of the “nothing matters and we can adjust for everything” meme. Now they are using Hansen’s night lights method. Heh. The rural trend they present is different than what I’ve seen.

Of course, airports don’t matter. Naw. Never, even when they don’t bother to remove the base measurement errors at airports, even when pointed out. Like movie directors, I’m sure they are thinking: “we can fix that in post production”.

Yes, I’m being sarcastic here. Yes, I think most of this shown to the Senate is based on self fulfilling adjustments and a need to keep bureaucracy alive.

Much more HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Americans know the drill

The people support offshore oil exploration. The politicians should listen

The amount of energy America's economy consumes is rising, and oil is a significant portion of its generation. But the domestic production of American oil is falling, and that means that imports must increase each year, which is why increasing the amount of our offshore drilling is a critical component of our energy future.

But on April 20 an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico caused a leak of about 210,000 gallons a day--nearly five million gallons by now--into the ocean, and it may be several weeks or longer before it is capped and the leakage controlled. The current Gulf spillage is already almost half of the spillage from the 1989 Exxon-Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska which amounted to about 11 million gallons, so it is a serious pollution problem.

The explosion has emboldened those who want America to stop drilling for oil and other petroleum products. But it is important that policy makers in Washington resist their calls--first, because if we do not obtain oil our economy will suffer, and second, because overall industry spills are kept at a very low amount. The Mineral Management Service two years ago calculated that only about one barrel is spilled for every 157,000 produced, a rate of less than 0.001%.

The cause of the explosion needs to be understood so that we can improve the thousands of other platforms we have off the coast of America, to make sure they do not explode, kill workers and pollute our coastal waters.

But we need to increase the quantity of America's oil production so that we can energize our growing country and reduce the importation of foreign oil. Our nation's total energy requirements--oil, coal, natural gas, electricity--are increasing. From 1980 to 2008, America's annual energy usage increased from 78 quadrillion to 99 quadrillion British thermal units. It is estimated to increase to 111 quadrillion BTUs by 2030.

Yet while energy needs are increasing, annual domestic oil production is declining, from 3.1 billion barrels in 1980 to 1.8 billion in 2008. To make up for these decreases, we have dramatically increased imports, from 483 million barrels in 1970 to 1.9 billion in 1980 and 3.6 billion in 2008. Back in 1970, U.S. oil production accounted for 88% of our consumption, while today it is only 34%. Imports now account for just under two-thirds of the oil we use. More than one-quarter of our foreign oil comes from two potentially unstable countries: Saudi Arabia (15%) and Venezuela (11%).

So there is no question that America needs to drill for more oil, both onshore and offshore. Unfortunately some of environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club and World Wildlife Foundation, want to curtail offshore drilling. Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) is introducing legislation that would halt currently planned offshore drilling expansion on America's Outer Continental Shelf, and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) wants to ban it off of California's coast. The White House is thinking about that sort of policy change too.

Shutting down offshore oil drilling would seriously hurt our economy, and not just from the lost jobs directly and indirectly attached to offshore exploration and production. Oil is the lifeblood of our economy. Limiting or reducing a significant portion of our homegrown oil supply would be both an economic setback and a national security risk.

Our oil situation is analogous to where we stand with electricity, where we are decades away from significant supplies from solar power, wind turbines or totally clean coal. Hybrid and plug-in technology (really battery technology), has vastly improved automobile mileage, and useful transportation alternatives will someday be with us, but not soon enough to immediately diminish our need for further oil production or large enough to reduce the 66% of our oil that comes from foreign countries.

We have to convince our federal government that eliminating offshore oil drilling is the wrong approach, that we do need the oil, since the current drilling limitations are rapidly pushing us into the control and possible limitation of our energy needs by the foreign governments that provide so much of our oil. As USA Today recently editorialized: "Decades of refusal to expand domestic drilling . . . has left the nation addicted to foreign oil. . . . This is an invisible, slow-motion disaster" that transfers our dollars and leaves us vulnerable to political instability overseas.

The American people agree. In a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll last week, 60% of participants support allowing more offshore drilling, while just 34% oppose it. That is the right approach to maintaining America's energy future.


Crisis in New Zealand climatology

The warming that wasn't

The official archivist of New Zealand’s climate records, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), offers top billing to its 147-year-old national mean temperature series (the “NIWA Seven-station Series” or NSS). This series shows that New Zealand experienced a twentieth-century warming trend of 0.92°C.

The official temperature record is wrong. The instrumental raw data correctly show that New Zealand average temperatures have remained remarkably steady at 12.6°C +/- 0.5°C for a century and a half. NIWA’s doctoring of that data is indefensible.

The NSS is the outcome of a subjective data series produced by a single Government scientist, whose work has never been peer-reviewed or subjected to proper quality checking. It was smuggled into the official archive without any formal process. It is undocumented and sans metadata, and it could not be defended in any court of law. Yet the full line-up of NIWA climate scientists has gone to extraordinary lengths to support this falsified warming and to fiercely attack its critics.

For nearly 15 years, the 20th-century warming trend of 0.92°C derived from the NSS has been at the centre of NIWA official advice to all tiers of New Zealand Government – Central, Regional and Local. It informs the NIWA climate model. It is used in sworn expert testimony in Environment Court hearings. Its dramatic graph graces the front page of NIWA’s printed brochures and its website.

Internationally, the NSS 0.92°C trend is a foundation stone for the Australia-New Zealand Chapter in the IPCC’s Third and Fourth Assessment Reports. In 1994, it was submitted to HadleyCRUT, so as to influence the vast expanses of the South Pacific in the calculation of globally-averaged temperatures.

The Minister of Research Science and Technology, the Hon Dr Wayne Mapp, has finally become alarmed at the murky provenance of the NSS. The Government has directed and funded a 6-month project to produce a new national temperature record, with published data and transparent processes. The replacement record is to be the subject of a scientific paper, which is to be peer-reviewed by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Hon Rodney Hide, a climate sceptic who is a Minister in the current Government and leader of the junior coalition partner, the ACT Party, has called upon his ministerial colleagues to formally repudiate the NSS and to withdraw all publications and formal papers which are based on the spurious warming trend of 0.92°C. The Government has not yet responded to this challenge.

New Zealand is a small country, with a strong tradition of open Government, and is not an easy place to keep secrets. The acceptance of the NSS for so long offers evidence of the dictum: “you can fool all of the people some of the time..” But if that can happen in New Zealand, how much greater is the probability that similar shenanigans could be happening in larger, more complex, jurisdictions?


The New Zealand Meteorological Service, with its forebears, has been measuring and recording our weather since 1861. In 1992, it published a booklet containing a detailed history of all its weather stations, along with 140 years of climate data. In that year, NIWA came into being and has now published most of the Met Service data online.

In 2007, the then Prime Minister announced her party’s intention that New Zealand should lead the world in fighting climate change, and aim to be the world’s first carbon-neutral country by 2025.

Earlier in 2007, NIWA produced a web page, followed by a printed brochure, with a graph showing that New Zealand had already warmed by an amount far in excess of global averages. The web page claimed a temperature increase of 1.1C during the 144 years of Met Service records, and a 0.92°C trend during the 20th century.

These are remarkable claims. They came out of the blue and do not accord with any written histories, or the personal impressions of our older generations. They don’t square with “hottest day” records held in provinces and city archives. They were not accompanied by big changes in rainfall or winds or sea levels. In these claims, NIWA is a very lonely orphan.

Global warming during the 20th Century was 0.6C, with a margin of error of +/-0.2C. The Southern Hemisphere warming was less than half that level. But New Zealand warming, according to NIWA, was almost twice the global average - and with no error margins mentioned.

Referring to the NIWA web page, one finds that this major warming trend is the product of a single study involving only 7 temperature stations - out of the 238 stations which currently report to NIWA. In response to a request under the Official information Act, NIWA has disclosed that this study was undertaken as part of a student’s thesis some 30 years ago.

NIWA has no record of how the NSS came to be in their computers. The only reasonable inference is that the student himself, one Jim Salinger, must have added it when he became NIWA’s Principal Scientist many years later.

How do we know the NSS is wrong?


First, we know what New Zealand’s average temperature was in 1867. The predecessor of the Royal Society of New Zealand (The New Zealand Institute) made a formal minute in 1868 of:

“Tables, which form the most reliable data for judging of the Climate of New Zealand, are extracted from the Reports of the Inspector of Meteorological Stations, for 1867”. The mean annual temperature was 55.6F - the equivalent of 13.1C.

Now consider this extract from NIWA’s “Climate Summary for 2005”:

The national average temperature of 13.1°C made 2005 the fourth warmest year nationally since reliable records commenced in the 1860s.

No change whatever in 138 years! In fact, if 2005 was warmer than most 21st century years, New Zealand has obviously experienced some cooling during the past century or so.

Secondly, the University of California Libraries has a booklet “Climate and Meteorology of New Zealand” prepared by Lt-Colonel DC Bates for the “New Zealand Official Year Book 1920” (also available on the web). This sets out the mean temperature records for the seven-station series over the 56-year period from 1863 to 1919 - showing the average over that period as being 12.67C.

The author, who was the Dominion Meteorologist, claims that “Wellington, the Capital City, has a mean climate for the whole Dominion”. Wellington?s mean temperature over the period 1863-1919 was 12.94C.

The NSS graph directly contradicts this official contemporary record.

Thirdly, the there are the Met Service records themselves. Their data have been downloaded and graphed in a document by the New Zealand Science Coalition entitled “Are We Feeling Warmer Yet?” Some excerpts from that document:

“Straight away you can see there’s no slope—either up or down. The temperatures are remarkably constant way back to the 1850s. Of course, the temperature still varies from year to year, but the trend stays level—statistically insignificant at 0.06°C per century since 1850.

Putting these two graphs side by side, you can see huge differences. What is going on? Why does NIWA’s graph show strong warming, but graphing their own raw data looks completely different? Their graph shows warming, but the actual temperature readings show none whatsoever!”

It turned out that NIWA had undertaken some internal and undisclosed adjustments to the Met Service data: “About half the adjustments actually created a warming trend where none existed; the other half greatly exaggerated existing warming. All the adjustments increased or even created a warming trend, with only one (Dunedin) going the other way and slightly reducing the original trend.

The shocking truth is that the oldest readings have been cranked way down and later readings artificially lifted to give a false impression of warming..”

So the NIWA warming trend was revealed as entirely man-made, and all within NIWA’s own office. There was no external peer-review. To this day there hasn’t even been an internal review or any form of quantity control. There is no documentation. Since November, the ACT party has been trying to obtain details and/or justification for these extraordinary adjustments - but forty Parliamentary Questions later, we still don’t have that information.

There is a fourth basis for knowing this SSS is wrong. NIWA have said that they regularly send their station data to the compilers of the three international temperature series - HGCN, NASA and HadleyCRUT. These three operate independently and make their own adjustments if they believe any station data is suspect or unrepresentative. Although HadCRUT has followed some of NIWA’s adjustments, none of the international series show New Zealand as having warmed substantially prior to 1975.

In the case of HGCN, whose computer code is publicly available, there is no material New Zealand warming during the last 100 years, except for the increase arising when Campbell Is was dropped from the dataset.

The fifth reason for rejecting this NIWA series is that the Met Service itself had considered but rejected the option of adjusting its own records, at the very time that young Jim Salinger was a student. Mr Jim Hessell, probably New Zealand’s most senior meteorologist, found the raw data from many New Zealand stations to be so flawed as to be quite unreliable. Writing in the New Zealand Journal of Science (1980) Mr Hessell concludes:

“A systematic analysis of all New Zealand climatological stations with sufficient length of record reveals that no important change in annual mean temperatures since 1930 has been found at stations where the above factors [shelter, screenage and urbanization] are negligible. Neighbour station comparisons support these findings.”

When views differ, it is is customary to prefer the judgment of the experienced practitioner over that of the student. It is certainly sensible to prefer a peer-reviewed paper published in a reputable journal (which has never been challenged) over that of an unpublished private document - especially where obvious conflicts of interest arise.

Sixthly, and finally, the notion that New Zealand would suffer global warming at twice the Global rate has been rejected by the Minister of Climate Change Issues himself. In November, the Hon Dr Nick Smith assured Parliament (and I quote from Hansard):

“What Dr Wratt has consistently said is that, because New Zealand is surrounded by oceans, all the modelling indicates that the temperature impacts of climate change are most likely to be less for New Zealand than for other parts of the globe.”

So the NSS claims New Zealand has warmed much more than the global average, while the NIWA climate chief cites the theory that our warming should be one-third less than the global average. They can’t both be right.

If the NSS is right, then not only Nick Smith and David Wratt are wrong. Mr Jim Hessell is wrong, the 1920 Dominion Meteorologist is wrong, the Royal Society is wrong, HGCN, NASA and HadCRUT are wrong, and the Met Service records are wrong.

So we have six very good external reasons why this SSS should be regarded as wrong, and formally repudiated by the Government.



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


20 May, 2010

German physicists point out ways in which the global warming theory ignores the laws of physics

Warmists have endeavoured to answer back but the rejoinder below shows the superficiality of those answers. Journal abstract only below but full paper available at source or from myself --JR


By GERHARD GERLICH (Institut für Mathematische Physik, Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina, Mendelssohnstraße 3, D-38106 Braunschweig, Federal Republic of Germany)


RALF D. TSCHEUSCHNER (Dr. Ralf D. Tscheuschner, Dipl.-Phys.
Postfach 602762, D-22377 Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany)


It is shown that the notorious claim by Halpern et al. recently repeated in their comment that the method, logic, and conclusions of our "Falsification Of The CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics" would be in error has no foundation. Since Halpern et al. communicate our arguments incorrectly, their comment is scientifically vacuous. In particular, it is not true that we are "trying to apply the Clausius statement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics to only one side of a heat transfer process rather than the entire process" and that we are "systematically ignoring most non-radiative heat flows applicable to Earth's surface and atmosphere". Rather, our falsification paper discusses the violation of fundamental physical and mathematical principles in 14 examples of common pseudo-derivations of fictitious greenhouse effects that are all based on simplistic pictures of radiative transfer and their obscure relation to thermodynamics, including but not limited to those descriptions (a) that define a "Perpetuum Mobile Of The 2nd Kind", (b) that rely on incorrectly calculated averages of global temperatures, (c) that refer to incorrectly normalized spectra of electromagnetic radiation. Halpern et al. completely missed an exceptional chance to formulate a scientifically well-founded antithesis. They do not even define a greenhouse effect that they wish to defend. We take the opportunity to clarify some misunderstandings, which are communicated in the current discussion on the non-measurable, i.e., physically non-existing influence of the trace gas CO2 on the climates of the Earth.

International Journal of Modern Physics B (IJMPB), Volume: 24, Issue: 10(2010) pp. 1333-1359

Trained Chimp Can Predict Hurricanes Better Than NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's track record in predicting the number of Atlantic hurricanes is so abysmal that a trained chimp could do better, says The National Center for Public Policy Research, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. The group is putting this claim to the test, issuing a 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast today determined by a chimpanzee, "Dr. James Hansimian."

The forecast is being issued in advance of NOAA's May "Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook," expected to be released next week.

"NOAA's May outlooks have been wrong three out of the last four years - or 75% of the time," said David Ridenour, vice president of The National Center for Public Policy Research. "We think our chimp can do better. He hasn't been wrong so far. Of course, this is his very first hurricane season forecast."

The video isn't intended to needle NOAA for its erroneous forecasts, but to make a larger point about our current understanding of climate.

"NOAA's forecasts have been wrong not because of a lack of dedication or competence of its forecast team, but because climate science is really still its infancy," said Amy Ridenour, president of The National Center for Public Policy Research. "We should remember this as we consider whether to adopt economically-ruinous caps on energy. If we can't rely on 6-month forecasts, how can rely on forecasts of what rising carbon concentrations will do to our climate 25, 50 or even 100 years out?"

The National Center for Public Policy Research is also issuing a challenge to NOAA. "If, at the end of the hurricane season, Dr. Hansimian's forecast turns out to be more accurate than NOAA's, we challenge the agency to make him an honorary member of NOAA's hurricane specialists unit," said David Ridenour. "In return, if NOAA's forecast is more accurate, we'll include a prominently-displayed mea culpa on our website."

Dr. James Hansimian, says the video, is "author of the book, 'The Banana Curve: No Tricks Needed,' published by East Anglia University Press." The video was filmed on location in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 24, 2010 - before the latest predictions by either Colorado State University's forecast team, which is led by Phil Klotzbach, or the forthcoming predictions expected from NOAA.


Climategate Taxpayer Fraud Investigation Draws Ideological Heat

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has used the power of government to seek documents from the University of Virginia regarding its former professor and Climategate figure of "hockey stick" fame, Michael Mann. Mr. Cuccinelli is investigating whether Professor Mann engaged in fraud to obtain taxpayer money to fund his research.

The civil investigation is making some people sweat, and it has raised howls of protest from sources ranging from the liberal Washington Post to the libertarian Reason. Academicians are protesting it as a threat to academic liberty. Daniel Lashof, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate Center, penned a letter calling Cuccinelli's actions "political harassment of climate scientist Michael Mann."

Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, chairman of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee -- which should be investigating Climategate, but isn't -- chimed in: "One can only conclude that [Cuccinelli's] investigation is motivated by the desire to silence those with whom [he] disagree[s]."

Mr. Moran, not known as a defender of the First Amendment, may want to be more circumspect lest he arouse suspicions that he doth protest too much. As Jason Zweig reports at The Wall Street Journal, congressional committee chairs such as Mr. Moran may use "insider information" garnered through their committee positions to direct their personal investments. That would be unlawful for you or me. The issue of global warming has already affected financial markets, making certain members of the political class very wealthy.

As someone who has fought unlawful and abusive government investigations, including ones by state attorneys general, I am more than just a little aware of how government abuses its investigative powers. They are abused for political reasons, and out of sheer incompetence.

I agree, however, with Moe Lane's abbreviated assessment that "the Commonwealth of Virginia can investigate this because Mann took state money to do his research." But the issue is more complex and goes deeper than just taking government money. After all, when government is everywhere, who these days doesn't have some link to government money?

Grant recipients solicit grants by making certain representations. Professor Mann's research was funded through a grant of taxpayer money. An intentional misrepresentation of a material fact to induce the grant would constitute fraud at common law.

Mr. Cuccinelli bases his investigation in statutory authority given him under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act, which provides considerable detail about what the attorney general must do to bring such an investigation. The statute also allows Virginia to intervene on behalf of actions filed by private individuals under what are called qui tam lawsuits. Private citizens in Virginia, therefore, could bring actions under the fraud statute that presumably would allow access to the University of Virginia's records at issue, provided the litigants complied with the criteria in the qui tam statute.

If Mr. Cuccinelli's investigation does not meet the statutory thresholds, then a court could limit his investigation. I doubt that Mr. Cuccinelli, a litigator with an engineering degree, failed to nail it down. Also, academic freedom is not a recognized legal privilege that could be raised to block an investigation into alleged fraud to obtain taxpayer money.

Many state officials with whom I'm familiar often make investigative demands or threats in other contexts without complying with stringent procedures comparable to those found in the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act. They issue demands against private entities that do not receive taxpayer funds. Often, those state officials, including attorney general offices, refuse to even state their grounds or cite to statutory authority when they make their demands or threats.

Besides the statutory authority under which Mr. Cuccinelli is proceeding, another aspect of his investigation involves the doctrine of "visitation" described in the 1819 landmark decision Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward. Visitation involves the authority to control and investigate. The government has far greater visitation power over public entities than over private ones.

Michael Mann was employed by the University of Virginia, which is not a private institution, but a state school. If the University of Virginia were a private school, it would have a stronger argument to oppose a government investigation. However, being a state entity, the University of Virginia has little room to argue that the government may not control and investigate it.

The public-private distinctions under the doctrine of visitation are lost on liberal statists, who often ignore reasonable cause or even lawful authority to investigate private entities and matters, but are guardians at the gate blocking investigations of public institutions and taxpayer-funded left-wing projects.

Professor Mann's work would not only serve as a basis for society-changing legislation such as cap-and-trade, but it would also influence the direction of many hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money and the financial markets. Fortunes and fame are often incentive for fraud.

Contrast, if you will, how The Washington Post took sides against Attorney General Cuccinelli with its much more favorable coverage of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's subpoena of eight banks "focusing on the relationships between the banks and the agencies that rated certain mortgage-related securities packaged by the banks and sold to clients."

We do not, of course, hear outrage from Congressman Moran and others when Democrats engage in show hearings and other investigations of the private sector, even when the private entities were acting or speaking as required by law. The contradictions on the left are startling.

The case for looking into Professor Mann's records for potential fraud to procure taxpayer money looks strong compared to the specious investigations -- unrelated to abuses of taxpayer money -- in which Democrats engage on a regular basis.

Leftists seem to believe that strong rhetoric trumps facts (and isn't science based in facts?) and claim the conservative Mr. Cuccinelli's investigation as an ideologically driven witch hunt. His investigation, however, exposes the prejudice against conservatives using the power of government, and the extent to which liberals are eager to protect even potential fraud if it serves their ideology and their pockets.


EPA claims based on "adjusted" data

EPA scientists say manmade carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are contributing to a warming of the global climate -- and as such represent a threat to human welfare. Officials went so far as to declare the gas a danger to mankind in early December. But a leading climatologist says his research indicates that CO2 poses no threat to human welfare at all, and he says the EPA should revisit its findings.

“There is an overestimation of the environment’s sensitivity to CO2,” said Dr. Patrick Michaels, senior fellow in environmental studies at the CATO Institute and a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists.

Michaels spoke before a group of about 700 scientists and government officials at the fourth International Conference on Climate Change. The conference is presented annually in Chicago by the Heartland Institute, a conservative nonprofit think tank that actively questions the theory of man's role in global warming. Last year the Institute published Climate Change Reconsidered, a comprehensive reply to the United Nations' latest report on climate change.

Michaels described how the U.N. gathers weather information for its computer models, on which the EPA based its ruling. He said data gathering at weather stations in some parts of the world is spotty, and U.N. scientists add new figures to compensate. But in doing so, he said, they also add errors to the final research product.

“There is a systemic bias in the computer models,” said Michaels, whose research suggests that the U.N.’s adjusted computer modeling data, rather than actual observed data, is what connects the rise in temperatures to manmade causes. When one takes away the computerized modeling enhancements, he said, mankind’s contribution to global warming is virtually nil, approximately .03 degrees, rather than .07 degrees, over the last 50 years.

Thus, he said, most of the planet's warming is not from manmade sources. “This idea that most of the warming is due to greenhouse gases caused by man just isn’t right,” he said.

But Catherine C. Milbourn, a spokeswoman for the EPA in Washington, disagreed with Michaels’ conclusions.

“The U.S. Supreme Court ruled three years ago that greenhouse gas emissions constitute air pollution, and EPA set out to determine whether that pollution threatens the health and welfare of Americans," she told, explaining that the EPA ruling was based on a comprehensive review of available science from an array of peer-reviewed sources across the globe.

"The conclusion: The scientific evidence of climate change is overwhelming, and greenhouse gases pose a real threat to the American people. The question of the science is settled,” Milbourn said.

Greg Wiles, an associate professor of geology at The College of Wooster in Ohio, agreed with Milbourn. “Despite the recent attacks on the scientific community and large-scale buy-in by some of the public, the science behind the conclusion that contemporary warming is largely anthropogenic (manmade) still stands,” he told

But others disagree. Former Virginia Gov. George Allen, chairman of the American Energy Freedom Center think tank, said that the U.S. is “at a crossroads in energy policy,” but that the country “cannot stand with pompous elites.”

He noted that a bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to essentially veto the EPA’s “endangerment finding” -- and he said that others, like the legislature of the state of Kansas, have also gone on record against implementing an energy policy based on EPA’s findings.


Computer Models, Climate Forecasts and other Dice Games

Comment from Australia

The Carbon Sense Coalition today called for an investigation into the IPCC/CSIRO computer models relied on for the scare forecasts of drought, floods and rising sea levels.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, challenged the IPCC claims that their computer forecasts have a 90% probability of being correct. “The World Bank computers did not forecast the Global Financial Crisis. “The British Met computers failed to forecast Europe’s frigid winter. “Computers were unable to forecast the spread of swine flu or volcanic ash clouds. “Since the introduction of its new computer program Queensland Health has been unable to pay their own employees properly. “And the Australian Weather Bureau cannot forecast next month’s weather.

“Yet we are asked to believe that the IPCC computers are able to forecast global temperature, sea levels, hurricanes, droughts and diseases for a century ahead. They promise that, if we just stop using coal and oil, everything will be rosy. “That is like betting our jobs, our industry and our energy and food supplies on a roll of the dice in the casino.

“There are about 20 Global Circulation Models using variable assumptions that claim to represent climate processes. “Every model uses suspect or manipulated data and disputed processes, is fudged to fit past data and its forecasts reflect the biases of the builder.

“In twenty or so years of forecasting, not one has yet made a forecast that has proven to be correct. Moreover, no two forecasts agree. “But we hope one gets it right soon so we can scrap the other 19 and so save a lot of money.

“Until then, all IPCC forecasts should be written in pencil. “And we should ignore them.”


Global Warming? Nothing New

Bill Kininmonth (Kininmonth is a meteorologist and was the head of Australia’s National Climate Centre from 1986 to 1998) points out just some of the history that Warmists ignore. Note that Hannibal's transit of the Alps with elephants during the Roman warm period is one of the best known events in ancient history. It is regarded as impossible today

The graph below shows temperatures reconstructed from Greenland ice cores and published in the peer reviewed literature. The data confirm pre-IPCC understanding of the climate history of the Earth: Earth warmed from the last glacial maximum about 15,000 years ago when great ice sheets covered North America and northern Europe and sea level was about 130 m lower than today. By 9,000 years ago Earth had warmed to the Holocene maximum when temperatures were warmer than today; the Holocene maximum lasted until about 4,000 years ago and there has been irregular cooling since.

The IPCC alarmist claim that Earth’s temperature has been steady for the last 10,000 years but this view is at odds with historical and archaeological evidence.

1. Hannibal took his army and elephants across the Alps about 200BC in winter!

2. Julius Caesar, about 50BC conquered Gaul and, after building a bridge across the Rhine River, waged war on the Germanic tribes; he and his army withdrew across the Rhine and dismantled the bridge. The Rhine River acted as a natural barrier for the nearly 500 years but as the Roman Empire in Gaul was disintegrating the Vandals crossed the Rhine in the 5th century AD. The vandals did not build bridges but walked across the frozen Rhine River in winter.

3. Greenland was settled by Vikings and by the 1100s there were more than 3,000 settlements. As the Little Ice Age advanced so the Greenland settlements were disbanded and the last was known to have perished about 1550AD, a century before the coldest of the Little Ice Age.

4. For 300 years Earth has been recovering from the Little Ice Age. Mountain glaciers have retreated and high mountain passes of the Alps have opened. Archaeologists have identified artefacts from various eras corresponding with warming and cooling, and retreat and advance of mountain glaciers.

The arguments of the IPCC alarmists rely on an unchanging temperature record prior to industrialisation (that is, no Greco Roman warm period, no cold of the Dark Ages, no Medieval Warm Period and no Little Ice Age) to support their storyline of anthropogenic global warming. They claim that the warming of the past 100 years is unprecedented and therefore must be due to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide.



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 May, 2010

Katla could bury global warming

Huge Icelandic volcano set to erupt

The Icelandic Met office has indicated that a small earthquake has occurred at the Katla location and, although a single earthquake is not a precursor of an eminent eruption, it could be the first "sigh" of the awakening powerful giant.

Historically – as most readers will now know - Katla invariably erupts after the eruption of its close neighbour on the Eyjafjallajokull, which first erupted on 14 April 2010 and is ongoing. Magma channels beneath the two volcanoes are thought to be interconnected.

A Katla eruption would likely be about ten times as powerful as the Eyjafjallajokull eruption and could cause worldwide disruption while expelling huge volumes of volcanic ash into the stratosphere. This could circle the globe potentially for years, depending upon the magnitude of the eruption, causing climatic upset and serious economic loss.

We could even be looking at another year without a summer (certainly within the next two years), which could make our current economic problems relatively insignificant by comparison.

The only consolation – and it will be a poor one at that – is that such an event would drive into oblivion the ranks of the warmists who, even to this day are still pursuing their creed, tedious and entirely unconvincing though it is. The downside is that, having been looking for so long in the wrong direction, many politicians and even whole nations will be ill-equipped for a period of significant cooling.


At last! A defence of Warmism with some science in it

But the accusatory tone towards skeptics is there too, of course. The article is by Kerry Emanuel, director of the Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. So this would seem to be the best science that Warmism can do. Yet all he succeeds in doing is to show how shaky the whole edifice is.

His claim that temperatures have been rising for a long time is correct but it is not what the Warmists normally say. They trace it back only a few decades.

And he completely ignores or denies denies such well-established facts as the Roman and Medieval warm periods, both of which were clearly warmer than today. See HERE for temperature graphs from all over the world which display such periods.

He is actually quite good at setting out the many uncertainties underlying the model-based forecasts but still in the end holds the models up as "evidence", which they are not. Guesses are not evidence. And one of the crucial guesses involved -- cloud feedback -- is on all the evidence so far the reverse of the truth.

No wonder he adds the footnote: Clarification: An earlier version of this op-ed bore the headline "Climate changes are proven fact," which did not reflect the view of the author.

Quite pathetic. Dick Lindzen thinks so too. In old-fashioned terms, Prof. Emanuel has sold his soul to the Devil. Going along with the current scientific orthodoxy no doubt has many rewards for him.

OUTSIDE SCIENTIFIC forums, contemporary discussions of the phenomenon of global warming are now so heated that one wonders whether they are contributing to the phenomenon itself.

With all the interest in alleged misdeeds of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and hacked email exchanges among climate scientists, it is easy to lose track of the compelling strands of scientific evidence that have led almost all climate scientists to conclude that mankind is altering climate in potentially dangerous ways. Recent suggestions by gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker that the scientific community is split on this issue have unfortunately added fuel to this largely manufactured debate.

A few essential points are undisputed among climate scientists. First, the surface temperature of the Earth is roughly 60 F higher than it would otherwise be thanks to a few greenhouse gasses that collectively make up only about 3 percent of the mass of our atmosphere.

Second, the concentrations of the two most important long-lived greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane, have been increasing since the dawn of the industrial era; carbon dioxide alone has increased by about 40 percent. These increases have been brought about by fossil fuel combustion and changes in land use.

Third, in the absence of any feedbacks except for temperature itself, doubling carbon dioxide would increase the global average surface temperature by about 1.8 F. And fourth, global temperatures have been rising for roughly the past century and have so far increased by about 1.4 F. The rate of rise of surface temperature is consistent with predictions of human-caused global warming that date back to the 19th century and is larger than any natural change we have been able to discern for at least the past 1,000 years.

Disputes within climate science concern the nature and magnitude of feedback processes involving clouds and water vapor, uncertainties about the rate at which the oceans take up heat and carbon dioxide, the effects of air pollution, and the nature and importance of climate change effects such as rising sea level, increasing acidity of the ocean, and the incidence of weather hazards such as floods, droughts, storms, and heat waves. These uncertainties are reflected in divergent predictions of climate change made by computer models. For example, current models predict that a doubling of carbon dioxide should result in global mean temperature increases of anywhere from 2.5 to 7.5 F.

The uncertainties in the models, theory, and observations of climate change and associated risks and the sheer complexity of the problem provide many rounds of ammunition for the agenda-driven, be they apocalyptic or denialist. For the lawyerly, with the ability and will to cherry-pick the evidence, there is much ripe fruit to hurl in the increasingly heated climate wars of our generation.

But when the dust settles, what we are left with is the evidence. And, in spite of all its complexity and uncertainties, we should not lose track of the simple fact that theory, actual observations of the planet, and complex models - however imperfect each is in isolation - all point to ongoing, potentially dangerous human alteration of climate.

It is easy to be critical of the models that are used to make such predictions - and we are - but they represent our best efforts to objectively predict climate; everything else is mere opinion and speculation. That they are uncertain cuts both ways; things might not turn out as badly as the models now suggest, but with equal probability, they could turn out worse. Science cannot now and probably never will be able to do better than to assign probabilities to various outcomes of the uncontrolled experiment we are now performing, and the time lag between emissions and the response of the climate to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations forces us to make decisions sooner than we would like. We do not have the luxury of waiting for scientific certainty, which will never come, nor does it do anyone any good to assassinate science, the messenger.

We have never before dealt with a problem that threatens not us, but our distant descendants. The philosophical, scientific, and political issues are unquestionably tough. We might begin by mustering the courage to confront the problem of climate change in an honest and open way. [You go first, Prof. Emanuel]


Overturning EPA’s endangerment finding is a Constitutional imperative

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is carrying out one of the biggest power grabs in American history. The agency has positioned itself to regulate fuel economy, set climate and energy policy for the nation, and amend the Clean Air Act—powers never delegated to it by Congress. It has done this by:

• Pulling its punches in the Massachusetts v. EPA Supreme Court case;

• Granting California a waiver to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from motor vehicles; and

• Declaring greenhouse gas emissions a danger to public health and welfare, thus triggering a regulatory cascade through multiple provisions of the Clean Air Act, in a decision known as the “endangerment finding.”

To restore the constitutional separation of powers and democratic accountability, Congress must overturn EPA’s endangerment finding. S. J. Res. 26, a resolution of disapproval, introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), provides an appropriate vehicle to accomplish that. (Enacted in 1996, the CRA provides an expedited procedure for Congress to veto a final agency action before it takes effect.)

The resolution, which would nullify the endangerment finding’s legal force and effect, is a referendum not on climate science, but on who shall make climate and energy policy—the people’s elected representatives or politically unaccountable bureaucrats, trial lawyers, and activist judges. Overturning the endangerment finding is a constitutional imperative.

As Senators prepare to debate the resolution, they should ponder four questions:

1. When did Congress authorize the Environmental Protection Agency to license California and other states to adopt their own fuel economy standards within their borders?

2. When did Congress authorize EPA to act as a co-equal—or even senior—partner with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in setting fuel economy standards for the auto industry?

3. When did Congress authorize EPA to control greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources and to establish climate and energy policy for the nation?

4. Finally, when did Congress authorize EPA to “tailor”—that is, amend—the Clean Air Act (CAA) to avoid an administrative debacle of the agency’s own making?

The answers are never, never, never, and never. EPA is flouting federal law and the Constitution, which vests all lawmaking power in Congress.


Paul Ehrlich eat your heart out

Over 4.5 Billion people could die from Global Warming-related causes by 2012 says new disciple. At least Ehrlich put his false prophecies about a decade in the future. This guy is giving himself only two years to look a fool.

The melting Siberian permafrost scare is actually an old one. Trouble is that Russian scientists say it is NOT melting. See HERE, for instance

A recent scientific theory called the "hydrate hypothesis" says that historical global warming cycles have been caused by a feedback loop, where melting permafrost methane clathrates (also known as "hydrates") spur local global warming, leading to further melting of clathrates and bacterial growth.

In other words, like western Siberia, the 400 billion tons of methane in permafrost hydrate will gradually melt, and the released methane will speed the melting. The effect of even a couple of billion tons of methane being emitted into the atmosphere each year would be catastrophic.

The "hydrate hypothesis" (if validated) spells the rapid onset of runaway catastrophic global warming. In fact, you should remember this moment when you learned about this feedback loop-it is an existencial turning point in your life.

By the way, the "hydrate hypothesis" is a weeks old scientific theory, and is only now being discussed by global warming scientists. I suggest you Google the term.

Now that most scientists agree human activity is causing the Earth to warm, the central debate has shifted to when we will pass the tipping point and be helpless to stop the runaway Global Warming.

There are enormous quantities of methane trapped in permafrost and under the oceans in ice-like structures called clathrates. The methane in Arctic permafrost clathrates is estimated at 400 billion tons.

Methane is more than 20 times as strong a greenhouse gas as CO2, and the atmosphere currently contains about 3.5 billion tons of the gas.

The highest temperature increase from global warming is occurring in the arctic regions-an area rich in these unstable clathrates. Simulations from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) show that over half the permafrost will thaw by 2050, and as much as 90 percent by 2100.

Western Siberia is heating up faster than anywhere else in the world, having experienced a rise of some 3C in the past 40 years. The west Siberian peat bog could hold some 70 billion tonnes of methane. Local atmospheric levels of methane on the Siberian shelf are now 25 times higher than global concentrations....

Runaway Global Warming promises to literally burn-up agricultural areas into dust worldwide by 2012, causing global famine, anarchy, diseases, and war on a global scale as military powers including the U.S., Russia, and China, fight for control of the Earth's remaining resources.

Over 4.5 billion people could die from Global Warming related causes by 2012, as planet Earth accelarates into a greed-driven horrific catastrophe.


Green/Left lies never stop

“South Pole experiences warmest year on record in 2009″… NOT!

This is from the Antarctic Sun, a publication of the United States Antarctic Program and the National Science Foundation…
Highs and lows

South Pole experiences warmest year on record in 2009

The average temperature at the South Pole was a bone-chilling minus 47.9 degrees Celsius (minus 54.2 Fahrenheit) in 2009. It was also the warmest year on record since 1957, when temperature records began at South Pole.

Last year beat out the previous record in 2002 by one-tenth of a degree centigrade, according to Tim Markle, senior meteorologist at the South Pole Station…

Why do the Gorebots make this so easy?

Amundsen-Scot Station (90.0S, 0.0E AKA The South Pole)…

All you have to do, is to look up the data… GISS Surface Temperature Analysis, Station List Search: (90.0 S,0.0 E)… More often than not, these people are massaging the data to get the result they want; or just making things up.

The average annual temperature at the South Pole was warmer in 2002 than it was in 2009…

2002: -47.66 C -53.79 F

2009: -47.93 C -54.274 F

The coldest annual average annual temperature at the South Pole was recorded in 1983 (-50.84 F, -59.51 F)....

Here’s another kicker… Not only is the warmest year of record false, but the linear trend-line is negative…

And the Gorebots accuse us of cherry-picking!!!


Britain still on track to get more nuclear power

Fears that the UK's fight against climate change will be lost in the confusion of the Liberal-Conservative coalition were underlined yesterday when divisions between the two parties were exposed over nuclear power, renewable energy, airport expansion and offshore oil drilling.

It emerged that the new Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne – one of the most senior Lib Dems in the Cabinet – is to cede responsibility for civil nuclear energy policy to his Tory deputy, Charles Hendry, who will steer any legislation through Parliament. Mr Huhne is opposed to nuclear power on public spending grounds.

While the Lib Dems and Tories have agreed that there will be no state funding for a new generation of nuclear power stations, the industry's powerful lobby said it expected there would be no "slowing down" in the nuclear programme under Mr Hendry. The Lib Dems agreed to abstain on any Commons votes on nuclear power – meaning any legislation is likely to be passed.

Experts have expressed fears that although there would be no public funding for new power stations, there is a risk of state subsidy "by stealth" to achieve the 2017 target by which the private sector and civil servants want the stations to be operational. Hamish Lal, a partner specialising in nuclear contracts at lawyers Jones Day, said: "There was a concern in the industry that having a Liberal Democrat energy minister whose party is openly opposed to new nuclear would mean that the process was not driven sufficiently hard to meet the 2017 target. With Charles Hendry involved in the process I would not now expect any slowing down in the nuclear programme."



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 May, 2010

Lizard Extinctions Blamed on Global Warming‏

Warmists were equally certain that the big frog die-off of a few years ago was due to global warming. They now admit that it was a fungus that caused the problem. Who knows what the real explanation will be this time? We old guys do have pesky memories, don't we? -- JR

When it comes to the hazards of global warming, it may turn out that lizards in burrows are the canaries in the coal mine.

In a study to be published Friday in the journal Science, an international team of biologists reports that in more than one-tenth of the places in Mexico where lizards flourished in 1975, the reptiles now cannot be found. The researchers predict that by 2080, about 40 percent of local lizard populations worldwide will have died off and 20 percent of lizard species will be extinct.

The reason for the huge die-off appears to be rising temperatures. But it isn't heat that is killing the lizards directly.

Instead, global warming appears to be lengthening the period of the day when lizards must seek shelter or risk fatal overheating. In the breeding season, that sheltering period is now so long that females of many species are unable to eat enough food to produce eggs and offspring.

Springs that start earlier and are warmer than they once were have been noted in many regions of the world in the past three decades. The new study suggests that the phenomenon may be far more important for the survival of some animals than peak summer temperatures, said Barry Sinervo, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz who headed the 26-person research team.

"It is as if something has really happened in world climate and the lizards are telling us that," he said.

The lizard findings also suggest that early stages of global warming may be more than a warning: They may have permanent consequences.

"Many of us have been worried about extinctions in the future," said Raymond B. Huey, a lizard physiologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, who wrote a commentary accompanying the study. "This paper shows that extinctions are already here. I think that will really be surprising to most biologists."

Lizards are cold-blooded. They depend on the environment for the heat necessary to run their bodies -- functions from muscle contraction to digestion and hearing. Some get heat by basking in the sun ("heliotherms"), others by waiting for the air to warm them up ("thermoconformers"). Different species have different optimal temperatures as well as different maximal temperatures they can tolerate.

Several years ago, the research team visited 200 places in Mexico where in 1975 biologists had recorded the presence of basking lizards of the Sceloporus genus, 48 species in all. At 12 percent of the sites, the researchers found no lizards.

The places with none tended to be at southern latitudes and low elevations and in regions where four decades of weather data showed a marked increase in springtime temperatures. Species with lower optimal temperatures -- 90 to 95 degrees, on average -- were also more likely to have gone "locally extinct" than more heat-tolerant ones.

Sinervo hypothesized that springtimes were getting too hot for lizards. He fashioned artificial reptiles out of painted PVC pipe and electronic temperature gauges and put them out in the sun at two places in the Yucatan where the species Sceloporus serrifer survived and two places where it was extinct.

Where the lizards had died out, the average April day had 9.25 hours with temperatures so high that lizards of that species would have had to seek refuge in a cool spot to survive. Where they survived, there were far fewer "hours of restriction."

An analysis of more sites led the scientists to conclude that when Mexican Sceloporus lizards spent more than four daylight hours in burrows out of the sun, extinction was very likely. Females simply wouldn't have enough time to eat.

"The summer maximum [temperature] doesn't matter to them," Sinervo said. "Lizards are fully capable of crawling under a rock and not doing anything for a couple of months. The problem arises for females in the spring who are maximally cranking away for reproduction."

The researchers created a mathematical model linking a lizard's optimal temperature, the maximum outdoor temperature and the hours of restriction to a species' risk of extinction. It correctly "predicted" recent extinctions in South America, Europe, Australia and Africa.

Predictions for 2050 -- local extinction of 16 percent of the world's lizard populations and global extinction of 6 percent of lizard species -- appear unavoidable, the researchers wrote. The more dramatic 2080 die-offs might be avoided if global warming is slowed.


Talking Climate in the Windy City

Roger L. Simon

There must be some irony in holding a climate conference in Chicago, but I’m not sure what it is. Nevertheless, something close to eight hundred people have assembled at the Marriott on the Magnificent Mile to hear more than 70 scientists, economists and other experts opine on whether our globe is heating up. Naturally, since this is a skeptics’ event, most of them think not very much, as do the American people at this point.

Not surprisingly, however, the whole affair has been branded as corrupt by our colleagues at the Huffington Post who claimed the conference was bought and paid for by those nefarious fellows in the energy industry. (Wasn’t BP now supporting AGW? Oh, never mind.) The Heartland Institute, the conference organizers, emphatically deny this support. I leave it to you, dear reader, to decide the truth.

Unlike the HuffPo, I’m more interested in the science (not their long suit). And I have been getting an earful, spending most of my time in a conference room oddly name the “O’Hare” (it in no way resembles an airport), interviewing one scientist and expert after another for PJTV.

On the first day, two, especially, were notable — Lord Christopher Monckton and Richard Lindzen of MIT. I interviewed these gentlemen extensively practically back-to-back. Fortunately, neither of them knew my calculus grade in high school and I was able to slyly avoid being revealed as the scientific nincompoop that I am by sagely nodding my head at the appropriate moments. This was a good strategy because, I must say, I learned a lot.

I spoke first with Monckton who, I’m sure many readers know, has essentially become the verbal spokesman for the climate skeptic movement. Only allowed one witness to the Democrats’ four, ranking Republican Cong. Sensenbrenner chose Monckton, a British politician, not a scientist, to testify on the skeptics’ behalf before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

I asked Monckton why he thought he was chosen and he said it was because he was a politician and could withstand the hectoring from the majority members of the committee. Indeed I think he relished it. Outnumbered as he was, the Viscount evidently gave the Democrats a piece of his mind. I wish I had been there, because there is no question this man has an extraordinary command of the English language. For rhetoric alone, the Democrats should have been taking notes.

But that’s part of the point. This is no longer about science, if it ever was. Listening to Richard Lindzen lay out the whole history of “climate science” for me was fascinating, as he plotted the various motivations for the transition from the global cooling fears of the seventies (remember the Newsweek cover?) to the beginnings of the warming movement in the eighties.

During his interview, Monckton said that Lindzen’s latest research puts the final cap (not a felicitous word choice perhaps) on the global warming movement. Lindzen has studied the actual satellite temperature measurements, which reveal the heat escaping into the void, rather than being trapped in the “greenhouse” that “warmists” so assiduously insist is there.

Lindzen discusses these pesky results in his PJTV interview and I imagine will further reflect on them in his keynote speech, which PJTV will stream. Monckton has the final keynote, which he told me will center on the role the AGW movement played — or was intended to play — in the development of a global government through the UN.

What a relief it is the public is finally turning against this. And we have men like Monckton and Lindzen to thank for it, as well as many others at the conference. Steve McIntyre, whom I will be interviewing Monday, comes quickly to mind.

With any luck, in the near future, a few of our politicians may even wake up to this. But that may be pushing it. I have a suspicion most of them did even more poorly in calculus than I did.


The Heartland Climate Conference Smear Campaign Begins

As ever, the Warmists have only "ad hominem" arguments to bless themselves with

For the fourth time in the past three years scientists, economists and policymakers are gathering to explore both the causes and consequences of “climate change,” and the cost and effectiveness of currently proposed “remedies.” Also for the fourth time in the past three years, the Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change, which commences this Sunday, has been all but ignored by the mainstream media. And as reliable as the MSM have become in evading the event’s purpose, so have the alarmist media become in distorting it.

This year’s early entry appeared on Thursday, when former RFK Jr. Research Associate and onetime EPA “environmental justice advocate” Brendan DeMelle let the green games begin with this hysterically deluded posting at HuffPo.

According to DeMelle, the MSM’s “lack of interest” in what he brands a “non-event” stems not from liberal media bias, but rather “from the fact that this denial-a-palooza fest is dripping with oil money and represents a blatant industry effort to greenwash oil and coal while simultaneously attacking the credibility of climate scientists.”

How strikingly original – even the excruciatingly unclever “denial-a-palooza” was boosted from Greenpeace Research Director Kert Davies, who spread the term around like so much environment-friendly fertilizer during ICCC’s maiden voyage to NY City in 2008. And exactly which “climate scientists’” credibility is DeMelle so deeply concerned about? If perchance those paid to toe the green line for NASA, NOAA, CRU or the IPCC, then, as we’ve reported here, here, here, and here, respectively, there’s not much left of it standing on which to bear down upon. Needless to say, DeMelle’s lame attempt to defend the honor of those discredited entities by referencing last month’s laughable Lord Oxburgh Climategate whitewash falls dreadfully short of the mark.

If, on the other hand, he refers to those true experts who’ll be attending and presenting at next week’s ICCC IV, then I suspect he’d do well to join us in Chicago and learn firsthand that such intellectual ten-rounders are exactly what science is built upon, not blind adherence to single-minded “mainstream” opinion.

But DeMelle’s sparse scientific quiver quickly depleted, compelling him to continue his original thinking theme by reaching for an old familiar green arrow, tipped with the words: “For insight into the underlying aim of the Chicago denier conference, let us take a look at the funding sources for the sponsoring organizations.”

What followed was a lengthy litany of alleged contributions to various ICCC cosponsors from various organizations he coincidentally quotes the slogan-hijacked Kert Davies condemning as “hell-bent on keeping us addicted to dirty oil and coal.” The list was dominated by capitalist villains ExxonMobil, the Koch Foundations and the Scaife Foundations, and I have neither the time nor inclination to verify DeMelle’s figures for one simple reason: They’re irrelevant. Even if accurate to the penny – so what?

For starters, contrary to DeMelle’s implications, ICCC cosponsors don’t contribute dime one to the event. As Heartland Executive Vice President and Publisher Dan Miller explained to me earlier today, theirs is more an honorary title (much like that of freshly ordained Doctor of ecology and evolutionary biology Albert Gore) bestowed in recognition of their promotion of the conference to their members. Accordingly -- whosoever does or does not contribute money to these fabulous organizations that in fact do not in turn contribute money to the ICCC can’t possibly have any bearing on the conference’s objectivity and is therefore a nonissue.

As to ICCC’s sole financial sponsor, Heartland Institute itself, the total amount of funding it receives from all energy companies combined is no more than 5% of its budget, and, according to Dan, “probably much less.” Responding to DeMelle’s bogus insinuations to the contrary, Dan asserts: "Exxon last donated in 2006, and the amount was pocket change. I think the company bought a table for a dinner. The Heartland Institute hasn't received funding from Koch or Scaife for more than a decade."

So Brendan, show me the dripping oil money that’s keeping the oh-so-conscientious MSM at bay. And while you’re at it, perhaps you might explain why it is that the research funding sources of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) contrarians influence MSM newsworthiness decision-making while those of AGW alarmists apparently aren’t worth an editor’s second thought. When was the last time the NY Times, MSNBC or ABC News took a pass on an “unprecedented manmade global warming” story simply because its underlying research came from Britain’s Climate Research Unit (CRU), as is so often the case?

The same CRU whose director, Phil Jones, was discovered through Climategate-related documents (read my report here) to have received 55 endowments since 1990 from agencies ranging from the U.S. Department of Energy to NATO, worth a total of £13,718,547, or approximately $22.6 million. The same CRU whose list of potential funding sources in those same documents included four renewable energy agencies. Three -- the Carbon Trust, the Northern Energy Initiative, and the Energy Saving Trust -- are U.K.-based consultancy and funding specialists promoting "new energy" technologies with the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The fourth -- Renewables North West -- is an American company promoting the expansion of solar, wind, and geothermal energy in the Pacific Northwest.

So while Heartland is as oil-free as acne wash, the CRU is dripping in green-fantasy-power-ooze money, which gives them an undeniably intrinsic financial interest in the promotion of AGW. And yet, MSM articles and reports (not to mention those of the hallowed IPCC) are awash with the manipulated data, charts, and projections generated by this blatantly biased organization. Is anyone really buying our HuffPo hero’s assertion that the “lack of press interest” in the Heartland conference is based primarily on the MSM’s scruples regarding funding conflicts?

Of course, contrary to alarmist-controlled media ranting, funding sources are hardly the measure of scientific theory eminence. Upon completing this entry, I pack for my fourth voyage to the land of climate sanity, from which I will again be reporting to you that which the MSM most certainly will not – climate considered as rational science rather than political instrumentation.

No doubt a few MSM types will ultimately acknowledge the goings on at the Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile Hotel, if only to poke sophomoric fun at what they’ll ignorantly term the “denier’s conference.”

And while the effectively brainwashed “Carbon causes warming -- period” crowd chuckles in self-satisfied accord, AT readers will share in the brilliant yet refreshingly disparate opinions of these amazing luminaries to ponder and discuss. And learn.

Stay tuned.


The Venusian climate is enigmatic

Warmists always tell us that the high temperatures on Venus are the result of a strong Greenhouse effect but that is just speculation. The truth is that no-one so far understands the Venusian climate. Its reality defies all existing theories. The paper after the one below suggests that adiabatic effects may be a large part of the explanation for the high temperatures observed

A new Japanese space probe is poised to launch toward Venus today to help solve the enduring mysteries of the hellish, cloud-covered world, which has been often described as Earth's twin.

The Venus Climate Orbiter Akatsuki, which means "Dawn" in Japanese, is set to launch from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan today on a 2-year mission to study the weather and surface of Venus in unprecedented detail. Liftoff is set for 5:44 p.m. EDT today, though it will be early Tuesday morning local time at the launch site.

"Once we can explain the structure of Venus, we will be able to better understand Earth," said Akatsuki project scientist Takeshi Imamura in a statement released by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). "For example, we may discover the reasons that only Earth has been able to sustain oceans, and why only Earth is abundant in life."

Imamura has called Akatsuki "the world's first interplanetary probe that deserves to be called a meteorological satellite."

The probe carries five different cameras to study Venus' clouds as well as map the planet's weather and peer through its thick atmosphere to view the surface. It will join Europe's Venus Express already in orbit around the planet, and has scientists on that mission eager as well.

"Venus somehow transformed from a more Earth-like place to the alien place it is today, and what's fascinating about the world is figuring out how it diverges from the Earth and the history behind why that happened," said David Grinspoon, curator of astrobiology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and an interdisciplinary scientist on the Venus Express mission. "It could help us understand how things here might change."

Akatsuki will launch atop a Japanese H-2A rocket and won't be alone during blastoff. JAXA is launching several smaller satellite experiments with the mission, including an ambitious solar sail designed to tag along on the trip to Venus. [More on Japan's solar sail mission.]

Secret of Venus' super-rotation

One of Akatsuki's main goals is to understand what may be the biggest mystery of Venus — the "super-rotation" of its atmosphere, where violent winds drive storms and clouds around that planet at speeds of more than 220 mph (360 kph), some 60 times faster than the planet itself rotates.

"There's no consistent model of Venus's climate that can reproduce this super-rotation," Grinspoon explained. "We've been taking general circulation models from Earth and tweaking them for Venus, and they don't work. By understanding better how climate works on Venus, it will make us better understand how climate change on Earth works."

Akatsuki will monitor Venus in the infrared to learn more about the atmosphere and surface under the murky clouds, hopefully revealing what mechanism is driving this super-rotation.

But Imamura has said his team is fully prepared to be surprised by unexpected findings which may uncover more questions than answers.

"We may be pleasantly surprised by the emergence of a greater mystery than super-rotation," he said.

Impossible lightning

The Venus Express spacecraft the European Space Agency launched in 2005 intriguingly found evidence of lightning on the planet, even though none should exist.

"What creates lightning on Earth is water droplets and ice crystals in clouds, which leads to the separation of electric charges that lightning needs, and you don't have that kind of weather on Venus," Grinspoon said.

But Venus is covered with thick clouds of sulfuric acid.

"Maybe there's a kind of weather we haven't seen yet on Venus that causes this lightning, or maybe how we're wrong about the kinds of conditions needed to make lightning," he added.

Akatsuki should help capture vital clues about this lightning with a camera dedicated to photographing it.

Weird stripes on Venus

There are unusual stripes in the upper clouds of Venus dubbed "blue absorbers" because they strongly absorb light in the blue and ultraviolet wavelengths. These are soaking up a huge amount of energy — nearly half of the total solar energy the planet absorbs. As such, they seem to play a major role in keeping Venus as hellish as it is, with surface temperatures of more than 860 degrees F (460 degrees C).

"We don't know what they are," Grinspoon said. "They're probably some kind of sulfur compound, but we haven't been able to nail it down yet."

Akatsuki's ultraviolet imager will focus on inspecting these enigmas.

A bright mystery, and volcanoes?

In 2007, two-thirds of the Venus's southern hemisphere was suddenly covered in a bright haze that disappeared a few days later. It remains uncertain what started this amazing transformation.

"We think it's some kind of dynamic overturning of the atmosphere that injected sulfur dioxide above the clouds briefly, but we're not sure," Grinspoon said.

The clouds may be fueled from sulfur spewed up by volcanoes on Venus, as Grinspoon and his colleagues ran calculations that suggest the sulfur seen in the atmosphere should dissipate after 10 to 30 million years if not otherwise refueled. However, Venus's clouds are so thick that no one has actually seen any volcanoes yet.

"Venus guards her secrets rather tightly, and under forbidding conditions," he said. The scientists behind Akatsuki hope its cameras might be able to spot active volcanoes under her veil.

Double-teaming Venus

When Akatsuki reaches Venus in December, it will find Venus Express there as a partner in orbit, complementing it in a number of ways.

For instance, they will take different orbits over the planet — while Venus Express has an orbit that takes it over both poles, enabling it to see virtually the entire world, Akatsuki will fly an elliptical orbit around the equator, allowing it to concentrate on parts of the atmosphere for hours at a time. The orbit will bring Akatsuki as close as 186 miles (300 km) to Venus and as far away as 49,709 miles (80,000 km).

"Venus Express and Akatsuki are like sister satellites, and a very good cooperative relationship has been built as we have progressed in our missions," Imamura said.

Imamura said that while Venus Express primarily studies the chemical composition of Venus' atmosphere, Akatsuki will focus on the fluid motion of the planet's weather. Together, the two spacecraft should reveal a comprehensive picture of how the planet works.

"If there's one thing we've been learning about Venus, it's that it's a really dynamic planet that's very changeable, so we need as much long-term data as we can to build up an understanding of how things change over time," Grinspoon said. "Having Akatsuki there should help capture more vital clues to understanding Venus's mysteries."


Adiabatic Theory predicts slight cooling from Doubled CO2

IPCC models leave out most of the processes affecting climate. Adiabatic theory looks at the effect of pressure on temperature

Adding to the list (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23...and others) of scientists and mathematicians who have disproven conventional greenhouse gas theory, Russian physicists OG Sorokhtin, GV Chilingar, and LF Khilyuk noted in their book Global warming and global cooling. Evolution of climate on earth. Developments in Earth & Environmental Sciences (Elsevier 2007) that conventional greenhouse theory is not based on sound physical derivation, with most calculations and predictions based on intuitive models using numerous poorly defined parameters and unproven positive feedback forcing from CO2.

Most conventional interpretations and models, such as those of the IPCC, consider only one component of heat transfer- radiation- to create a flat earth radiation budget of the atmosphere, ocean, and land masses, and do not adequately address the impact of e.g. convection and circulation on a rotating sphere. In contrast, the Sorokhtin et al adiabatic theory considers earth as an open, dissipative system that can be described by non-linear equations of mathematical physics, taking into account the formation of stable thermodynamic structures in each compartment, between compartments, and ruled by strong negative feedbacks (e.g. convection, water cycles, clouds).

They devised a model based on well-established relationships among physical ?elds describing the mass and heat transfer in the atmosphere and subsequently published the paper Cooling of Atmosphere Due to CO2 in Energy Sources, Part A: Recovery, Utilization, and Environmental Effects (2008), excerpted below.

This paper and all of the other derivations of atmospheric physics noted in the list above come to essentially the same conclusion: Doubling of CO2 levels will cause insignificant changes in global temperature (<1°C). This prediction is in much better agreement with the five peer-reviewed empirical satellite studies than any of the IPCC models or predictions from conventional greenhouse gas theory.

Basic formulas describe among others, the heat transfer in the atmosphere by radiation, the atmospheric pressure and air density change with elevation, the effect of the angle of the Earth's precession and the adiabatic process. For the adiabatic process the formula considers the partial pressures and speci?c heats of the gases forming the atmosphere, an adiabatic constant and corrective coefficients for the heating caused by water condensation in the wet atmosphere and for the absorption of infrared radiation by the atmosphere. The adiabatic constant and the heat coefficients are estimated using actual experimental data.

This adiabatic model was verified, with a precision of 0.1%, by comparing the results obtained for the temperature distribution in the troposphere of the Earth with the standard model used worldwide for the calibration of the aircraft gauges and which is based on experimental data. The model was additionally verified with a precision of 0.5%–1.0% for elevations up to 40 km, by comparing the results with the measured temperature distribution in the dense troposphere of Venus consisting mainly of CO2.


Traditional anthropogenic theory of currently observed global warming states that release of carbon dioxide into atmosphere (partially as a result of utilization of fossil fuels) leads to an increase in atmospheric temperature because the molecules of CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) absorb the infrared radiation from the Earth’s surface. This statement is based on the Arrhenius hypothesis, which was never verified (Arrhenius, 1896).

The proponents of this theory take into consideration only one component of heat transfer in atmosphere, i.e., radiation. Yet, in the dense Earth’s troposphere with the pressure p > 0:2 atm, the heat from the Earth's surface is mostly transferred by convection (Sorokhtin, 2001a). According to our estimates, convection accounts for 67%, water vapor condensation in troposphere accounts for 25%, and radiation accounts for about 8% of the total heat transfer from the Earth’s surface to troposphere. [IPCC models rely almost entirely upon the radiation budget, which according to the authors accounts for only 8% of atmospheric heat transfer-maybe that's why Trenberth et al can't find the "missing" heat- added comments]


Thus, convection is the dominant process of heat transfer in troposphere, and all the theories of Earth’s atmospheric heating (or cooling) first of all must consider this process of heat (energy) mass redistribution in atmosphere (Sorokhtin, 2001a, 2001b; Khilyuk and Chilingar, 2003, 2004).

Accumulation of large amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to the cooling, and not to warming of climate, as the proponents of traditional anthropogenic global warming theory believe (Aeschbach-Hertig, 2006). This conclusion has a simple physical explanation: when the infrared radiation is absorbed by the molecules of greenhouse gases, its energy is transformed into thermal expansion of air, which causes convective ?uxes of air masses restoring the adiabatic distribution of temperature in the troposphere. Our estimates show that release of small amounts of carbon dioxide (several hundreds ppm), which are typical for the scope of anthropogenic emission, does not influence the global temperature of Earth’s atmosphere.

The Sorokhtin et al model was based on the observation that in the troposphere (the lower and denser layer of the atmosphere, with pressures greater than 0.2 atm) the heat transfer is mostly by convection and the temperature distribution is close to adiabatic. The reasoning for this is that the air masses expand and cool while rising and compress and heat while descending.

The main conclusions of this work are:

1. Convection accounts for approximately 67% of the total amount of heat transfer from the Earth's surface to the troposphere, the condensation of water vapour for 25% and radiation accounts for only 8%. As the heat transfer in the troposphere occurs mostly by convection, accumulation of CO2 in the troposphere intensifies the convective process of heat and mass transfer, because of the intense absorption of infrared radiation, and leads to subsequent cooling and not warming as commonly believed.

2. The analysis indicates that the average surface temperature of the earth is determined by the solar constant, the precession angle of the planet, the mass (pressure) of the atmosphere, and the specific heat of the atmospheric mixture of gases.

3. If the nitrogen–oxygen atmosphere of the earth would be replaced by a CO2 atmosphere with the same pressure of 1 atm, then the average near-surface temperature would decrease by approximately 2.5 °C and not increase as commonly assumed.

4. The opposite will happen by analogy if the CO2 atmosphere of Venus would be replaced by a nitrogen–oxygen atmosphere at a pressure of 90.9 atm. The average near-surface temperature would increase from 462 °C to 657 °C. This is explained easily by observing how the results of the derived formulas are affected, considering that the molecular weight of CO2 is about 1.5 times greater and its speci?c heat 1.2 times smaller than those of the earth's air.

5. If the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere increases from 0.035% to its double value of 0.070%, the atmospheric pressure will increase slightly (by 0.00015 atm). Consequently the temperature at sea level will increase by about 0.01°C and the increase in temperature at an altitude of 10 km will be less than 0.03°C. These amounts are negligible compared to the natural temporal ?uctuations of the global temperature.

6. In evaluating the above consequences of the doubling of the CO2, one has to consider the dissolution of CO2 in oceanic water and also that, together with carbon, a part of atmospheric oxygen is also transferred into carbonates. Therefore instead of a slight increase in the atmospheric pressure one should expect a slight decrease with a corresponding insigni?cant climate cooling.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

The Knowledge Problem

by economist Don Boudreaux

Sen. Bill Nelson claims that “The ultimate answer to America’s energy needs lies not in oil, but in the rapid development of alternative fuels” (“Halt offshore exploration,” May 13).

How in the world does Mr. Nelson divine this alleged fact? Does he have expert insight into the full costs and benefits of developing and producing non-fossil fuels? Has he displayed a unique talent at predicting changes in the technologies that are used to extract petroleum? Hardly.

After a short stint in the Army, Mr. Nelson spent all of one year (1970) in the private sector (where he practiced law). From 1971 until today he has worked exclusively in politics. He has neither experience in the energy industry nor any record of entrepreneurship. For nearly 40 years – well over half of his life – he’s devoted his career to spending other people’s money. In short, he has no basis for making this claim.

Mr. Nelson’s “answer to America’s energy needs” deserves no more attention than does any such prophecy issued by a Ouija board or by a witch doctor reading the entrails of a rooster.



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 May, 2010

Climate Craziness of the Week – New Scientist: The Denial Depot Edition

Note: At the time "New Scientist" was founded, "New" was usually code for "Leftist". Not much has changed since in the magazine, it would seem. One is also reminded of a line in the song of the Hitler Youth: "Uns're Fahne ist die neue Zeit" (Our flag is the new time). Claims that Leftism is new have rather flagged in recent decades, however. Even big lies fail eventually --JR

New Scientist has a barrage of articles on “denialism”, including one from DeSmog Blog misinformer Richard Littlemore, who runs with the tired old comparisons of today’s skeptical public to tobacco industry campaigns. He bashes what he calls “manufactured doubt” while at the same time ignoring the billions poured into the climate industry, including the funding he and his namesake publisher (Hoggan and Associates PR firm, who run DeSmog Blog) receives from that industry. It’s quite the sanctioned hatefest going on there. It is truly sad that like Scientific American, New Scientist has become nothing more that a political science mouthpiece, and a shell of its former self.

Here’s links to all the New Scientist articles on “denial”. They did include one article from Michael Fitzpatrick that is a feeble attempt at balance, but even it too strays into the ugly territory of comparing climate skeptics with AIDS deniers.

* Special report: Living in denial Opinion > Special Report p35 From climate change to vaccines, evolution to flu, denialists are on the march. Why do so many people refuse to accept the evidence?

* Living in denial: When a sceptic isn’t a sceptic Opinion > Special Report pp36-37 There are clear lines between scepticism and denial, but telling them apart can be tricky in the real world, says Michael Shermer

* Living in denial: Why sensible people reject the truth Opinion > Special Report pp38-41 Denialism satisfies deep emotional needs. That makes it easy to encourage and hard to counter, says Debora MacKenzie

* Living in denial: How corporations manufacture doubt Opinion > Special Report p41 If the truth is inconvenient, put up a smokescreen instead. It works wonders for big business, argues Richard Littlemore

* Living in denial: Unleashing a lie Opinion > Special Report pp42-43 It’s easy to send a lie flying around the world, and almost impossible to shoot it down, says Jim Giles

* Living in denial: Questioning science isn’t blasphemyOpinion > Special Report p44 Michael Fitzpatrick argues that calling an opponent a denier is illiberal, intolerant and ineffective

* Living in denial: The truth is our only weapon Opinion > Special Report p45 We must let denialists be heard, and respond with patience, vigilance and tireless rebuttal, says Michael Shermer

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Geologist Declares 'global warming is over'

Warns U.S. Climate Conference of 'Looming Threat of Global Cooling'

A prominent U.S. geologist is urging the world to forget about global warming because global cooling has already begun. Geologist Dr. Don Easterbrook's warning came in the form of a new scientific paper he presented to the 4th International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago on May 16, 2010.

Dr. Easterbrook is an Emeritus Professor at Western Washington University who has authored eight books and 150 journal publications.

Dr. Easterbrook joins many other scientists, peer-reviewed research and scientific societies warning of a coming global cooling. Easterbrook is presenting his findings alongside other man-made global warming skeptics at the three day conference in Chicago.

Dr. Easterbrook's key excerpts:

That global warming is over, at least for a few decades, might seem to be a relief. However, the bad news is that global cooling is even more harmful to humans than global warming and a cause for even greater concern because:

1. A recent study showed that twice as many people are killed by extreme cold than by extreme heat.

2. Global cooling will have an adverse effect on food production because of shorter growing seasons, cooler growing seasons, and bad weather during harvest seasons. This is already happening in the Midwestern U.S., China, India, and other places in the world. Hardest hit will be third world countries where millions are already near starvation levels.

3. Increase in per capita energy demands, especially for heating.

4. Decrease in the ability to cope with problems related to the population explosion. World population is projected to reach more than 9 billion by 2050, an increase of 50%. This means a substantial increase in demand for food and energy at a time when both are decreasing because of the cooling climate.


Numerous, abrupt, short-lived warming and cooling episodes, much more intense than recent warming/cooling, occurred during the last Ice Age, none of which could have been caused by changes in atmospheric CO2. .

Climate changes in the geologic record show a regular pattern of alternate warming and cooling with a 25-30 year period for the past 500 years.

Strong correlation between solar changes, the PDO, glacier advance and retreat, and global climate allow us to project a consistent pattern into the future.

Strong correlation between solar changes, the PDO, glacier advance and retreat, and global climate allow us to project a consistent pattern into the future.

Projected cooling for the next several decades is based on past PDO patterns for the past century and temperature patterns for the past 500 years. Three possible scenarios are shown: (1) global cooling similar to the global cooling of 1945 to 1977, (2) global cooling similar to the cool period from 1880 to 1915, and (3) global cooling similar to the Dalton Minimum from 1790 to 1820.

Expect global cooling for the next 2-3 decades that will be far more damaging than global warming would have been.


Extraterrestrial Global Warming

Alan Siddons writes in an email: "Researching for a paper that Martin Hertzberg, Hans Schreuder and I are writing, I chanced upon a chart that might intrigue or amuse you.

After temperature sensors were planted on the moon, you see, they reported an upward trend year after year. Too much CO2 up there?


Of course this is old data. Apollo 15 landed in summer 1971, so this graph extends to summer 1975. Curious though, what could be the cause? Solar? Sensor Drift? LEM and remnants providing a local energy absorbing MHI of some sorts? Disturbed soil making an albedo change? Or maybe it was the SUV they abandoned on the moon? We’ll probably never know for sure.

But there’s other extraterrestrial places that have hints of warming as well. The Blog Prof writes:

Apparently, man-made global warming has gotten so out of hand because of SUVs and coal-chugging global warming skeptics that even the biggest planet in our solar system – Jupiter – is being affected by our addiction to carbon pollution. And that follows the other solar effects of our dependence on fossil fuels, including Mars losing its polar ice cap (what will Martian polar bears do now?), Neptune changing its reflectivity, Neptune’s moon Triton increasing in temperature by a whopping 5% due to the American energy-intensive lifestyle, and Pluto’s atmospheric pressure tripling due to higher temperatures because of Bushitler.

From Yahoo! News via American Thinker: Jupiter Has Lost a Cloud Stripe, New Photos Reveal

This story was updated at 8:10 a.m. ET. A giant cloud belt in the southern half of Jupiter has apparently disappeared according to new photos of the planet taken by amateur astronomers.

The new Jupiter photos, taken May 9 by Australian astronomer Anthony Wesley, reveal that the huge reddish band of clouds that make up the planet’s Southern Equatorial Belt has faded from view.


Britain's Con-Lib climate change and energy policy is a looming disaster

The Cameron-Clegg axis has demonstrated its lack of critical faculties in united fashion when David Cameron and Chris Huhne visited the Department for Energy and Climate Change. The Cleggerons’ slavish devotion to the creed of climate change has been put before the need to properly tackle environmental problems such as pollution and deforestation.

The focus on reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (despite no evidence that proves it causes global warming) as outlined by Cameron cannot bring about the necessary energy security for this country that he also mentioned. Wind turbines simply cannot and will not deliver the reliable generation of baseload power this country needs. At immense cost it will produce only a fraction of its potential capacity but the huge costs will still be passed on to consumers. We need an energy mix comprising nuclear, gas, coal and efficient renewables. But the kneejerk political class continues to undermine its development.

The Lib Dems will oppose nuclear generated electricity because they feel it isn’t safe or green enough; we don’t have sufficient gas storage and have to increasingly import gas from abroad as our North Sea reserves fall, driving up the cost; coal is plentiful and accessible, but EU interference and the carbon bogeyman see to it that we will reduce coal generation capacity rather than increase it to meet our needs; and we have yet to uncover a widely distributable efficient form of renewable energy as investment solar does not pay for itself, wind fails to produce when it’s needed and tidal power remains on the back burner with only the damaging Severn Barrage under consideration.

People should remember Nick Clegg’s views denying the looming energy gap that will result in rota disconnection to reduce the supply of electricity to a level that can be generated. Cameron is buying into the same idiocy. You can put in all the vastly expensive theoretical generating capacity you like, but if it doesn’t translate into Gigawatts of electricity fed into homes, businesses and the transport network, it is a huge white elephant. The blinkered approach is only made worse by the pursuit of lunatic feed in tarrifs.

We may have a supposedly ‘new politics’ but we are blindly going forward to bygone days of the lights going out and huddling around candles and wondering when the power will be turned back on in our homes and when our offices and factories will be able to resume production essential to our economic well-being. We have dark days ahead that will make the economic crisis look like small beer yet the Cleggerons insanely tinker around the fringes with their thumbs up their bums and their brains in neutral attempting to appear caring and virtuous. On their heads be it.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

The Bootleggers are the Baptists’ last hope for passage of global warming bill

By: Iain Murray

Three separate events late last year knocked the air out of international climate alarmism. Combined, they put the kibosh on global warming legislation in the United States for the foreseeable future. Now the only ones keeping such legislation alive are a handful of powerful special interests. Contrary to what you normally hear, big business is pushing, not opposing, climate legislation.

The first event was the scandal that became known as “Climategate.” A public release of emails between climate scientists, at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, showed clear evidence of collusion to subvert the scientific process for political ends. The emails also showed those scientists engaging in a cover-up in possible violation of Britain’s Freedom of Information laws. Polls following Climategate showed that it shattered public trust in climate science.

Climategate was followed by a series of embarrassing admissions that some conclusions in the reports from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were based on unsupported assertions by some scientists and on claims from non-peer-reviewed (“grey”) literature. As a result, climate alarmists’ main argument—the appeal to scientific authority—no longer carries much weight. Attempts to whitewash Climategate have fallen flat and on deaf ears.

Finally, the U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen ended in failure. After years of touting the talks as the route to a bigger, better Kyoto Protocol, climate alarmists stood by helplessly as the developing world bypassed Europe and forced President Obama to agree to something very similar to the Bush administration’s climate policy. Long before Climategate, major developing countries, including India and China, had rejected binding reductions in emissions as an unjust restriction on their poverty-fighting efforts. Any attempts to sign them up to this agenda were doomed to failure from the start.

The Copenhagen talks were a turning point for international negotiations, but not in the way environmental advocacy groups expected. Previously, negotiations for a new global climate treaty had been driven by Europe, with the U.S. (and Australia in the Howard years) acting as a brake. The Kyoto Protocol was favorable to Europe, because it allowed it to bank emissions reductions that had already happened—as in, for example, Britain’s emissions reductions from its “dash for gas” in the early 1990s—well before Kyoto was signed.

Most developing countries backed the American position. So by the time of the Copenhagen summit, the gap between Europe’s position and that of the major developing countries had grown so large, that President Obama was forced to choose between them. Wisely, he chose the developing world, a decision that leaves Europe marginalized in climate negotiations. French President Nicolas Sarkozy seems to realize this, and figures the only climate policy options he has left is the threat of a carbon tariff—which could lead to a destructive trade war between North and South.

For America, the bottom line to all this is that the two strongest arguments for a global warming bill—scientific authority and international pressure—are gone. All that is left is an unseemly collection of environmental ideologues and their strange bedfellows in large companies hoping to profit from a global warming bill. For these companies and environmental groups—who joined forces in something called the U.S. Climate Action Partnership a few years ago—the various subsidies and other incentives in a global warming bill held the promise of a significant guaranteed income stream.

My organization, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), predicted this back in 2001. Professor Ross McKitrick, in a paper he authored for CEI, demonstrated how a cap-and-trade scheme for greenhouse gas emissions would actually create a “carbon cartel,” which would yield significant economic gains for the members of the cartel at the expense of consumers, taxpayers, and the economy as a whole.

Today, the only major constituency lobbying for greenhouse gas legislation is this cartel, which includes companies like General Electric, Dow Chemical, General Motors and Duke Energy. In the classic formulation of Clemson University economist Bruce Yandle, they represent the self-interested “bootleggers” to the environmental groups’ self-righteous “Baptists”—two groups that lobbied for prohibition, but for very different reasons. Whether the motive is salvation or profit, the practical result is the same.

The bootleggers are now the Baptists’ only hope. Not for nothing did Sen. John Kerry (D.-Mass.) boast that his American Power Act, introduced today, was largely written by the U.S. Climate Action Partnership. That’s worth keeping in mind the next time left-wing environmentalists criticize global warming skeptics for allegedly being backed by big business. In truth, big business is backing global warming legislation and skeptics are doing their best to stop them from inflicting further harm on America’s struggling economy.


Tiny Tim vs. Al Gore?

So Tiny Tim was the father of the global warming movement? Yeah, that fits. Make sure you at least make it to the chorus where he starts screaming "The Icecaps are meltin Oh-oh-oh-oh-OOOOOOOh!"

But you've got to decide who's crazier? Tiny Tim is the obvious kind of bonkers that you see on street corners and cross the street to avoid whereas Al Gore is the more dangerous kind of looney that isn't immediately apparent and you don't know he's flipped until he's sitting in your living room eating your Chinese food and lecturing you that your freezer's running too high.

So compare Gore's performance with Tiny Tim's and tell me who you think is crazier.

Now, you tell me how Tiny Tim's performance is any more embarassing or less looney than this:

Two walk into the cage. Only one walks out. You decide. Who is crazier?

HT to Moonbattery



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 May, 2010

The Week That Was (to May 15, 2010)

By S. Fred Singer

We live in an Orwellian world where myth and propaganda have replaced science and reason even at the highest levels of discourse. As reproduced in TWTW last week, Science ran a letter signed by 255 members of the National Academy of Sciences attacking Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for requesting documents relating to the work of Michael Mann while at the University of Virginia. The letter contained numerous spurious assertions as if they were scientific fact, including that carbon dioxide emissions are making the oceans more acidic. As expressed below, if anything, emissions are making the oceans less alkaline.

This week, Nature ran an editorial attacking Ken Cuccinelli and in the process labeled those who dare question Mr. Mann’s science as climate change deniers. That is, those who recognize that for the past million years the dominate climate has been ice ages interrupted by brief warm periods, that for the past 10,000 years the earth has been warmer and colder than today, and that there was a Medieval Warm Period and a Little Ice Age deny climate change?

On Wednesday of this week, Senators Kerry and Lieberman released their long anticipated cap and tax bill with the Orwellian title of the American Power Act. Among other claims, supposedly, the American Power Act will reduce American dependence on oil; but, the principal target is the coal industry. On May 5, the Congressional Budget Office reported that that coal industry will suffer the greatest job loss from such a bill. The US has massive reserves of coal and most coal burned in the US is used to generate electricity.

Electricity is the miracle of the late 19th and the 20th Centuries. Prosperity grows with it and depends upon it. In his book Power Hungry, Robert Bryce gives a table ranking nations according to Gross Domestic Product and electricity generation. The relationship is unmistakable. Those countries that generate the most electricity have the greatest GNP. This has long been known by anyone who has studied the issue: electricity helps create prosperity.

In the US, coal is the major source of affordable, reliable electric power, generating about 50% of US electric power; oil generates about 1%. Contrary to claims, the American Power Act has little to do with reducing oil dependency and everything to do with destroying coal generation of electric power. Of course, the bill has great allowances for selected industries, called “crony capitalism,” and great subsidies to “alternative energy and green jobs.”

However, even the poster child of “alternative energy and green jobs,” Spain, has backed off. It has found “alternative energy and green jobs” are luxury goods too expensive for the nation and is now attempting to renegotiate prior “deals.”

Yet, during a severe and prolonged recession, our Senators would have us believe that government can create prosperity by requiring Americans to replace affordable and dependable electricity from coal with expensive and unreliable electricity from solar and wind. They might as well declare that families undergoing financial hardship will become more prosperous by replacing their dependable car or SUV with a notoriously expensive and temperamental sports car.

To fully comprehend the perverse nature of the American Power Act one only needs to go to the web site of Senator Kerry and review the summary of the bill presented there:

“First: Consumers will come out on top. The American Power Act sends two-thirds of all revenues not dedicated to reducing our nation’s deficit back to consumers from day one. The rest is spent ensuring a smooth transition for American businesses and investing in projects and technologies to reduce emissions and advance our energy security. In the later years of the program, every penny not spent to reduce the deficit will go directly back to consumers.”

See here

All Federal budget projections show a great black hole of Federal deficits as far as calculations are made. Except for earmarks, all revenues will go to reducing the deficit and the average consumer will never see a penny. This is a tax bill by another name. Few Wall Street “sharpies” would be as blatant with “bait and switch” as this.

The American Power Act is a pernicious tax bill that is highly regressive, hitting lower income groups the hardest. It seeks to destroy the very commodity our prosperity depends upon – reliable, affordable electricity.

If passed, the American Power Act may become as destructive to the American economy as the infamous “Smoot-Hawley Tariff Bill” of 1930 which contributed mightily in turning the severe recession of 1929-30 into the Great Depression.

Also this week, EPA continued its march on carbon dioxide by announcing its new emissions standards while declaring how lenient it is. In addition, public comment on EPA claims that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide causes “ocean acidification” will closes on May 21. Those considering submitting comments may consider the testimony by John Everett, an excerpt of which is reproduced under “Articles” with the full testimony referenced. The claim that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is acidifying the oceans by reducing the pH of the oceans from about 8.0 to 7.9 is Orwellian at best. But the highly questionable, scanty evidence behind the EPA claim is stunning.

In experiments, some researchers added hydrochloric acid into an aquarium to attempt to duplicate what increased dissolved carbon dioxide would do. Perhaps unknown to these researchers, hydrochloric acid kills life and carbon dioxide promotes it. All green plants, whether in the oceans or on the land, require carbon dioxide. The oceans themselves suggest that life is increases where surface carbon dioxide is richest.


Fred Singer said in reply to the Nature editorial:

Your editorial ('Science subpoenaed' May 13) about Attorney-General Cuccinelli of Virginia (my home state) demanding documents and e-mails relating to Prof. Michael Mann from the University of Virginia (my university) has raised my interest. I note first of all your choice of words. You refer to Michael Mann as 'internationally respected'. I would use more neutral language, like 'prominently mentioned in the EAU e-mails, aka a Climategate.'

You state, correctly, that 'no evidence was given of wrongdoing [by Mann].' But isn't that the purpose of the investigation; certainly the references in the UEA e-mails to 'Mike [Mann]'s Nature trick' in order to 'hide the decline [of temperature]' might lead one to think that there has been some skullduggery. It even suggests that you might have a conflict of interest, which has produced a certain amount of bias. Of course, I would never accuse you of that, Heaven forefend.

You then identify Mann with the 'famous' hockeystick graph [Nature 1998], which did away with the Medieval Warm Period and also the Little Ice Age, from which the global climate is just now recovering. It may have escaped your notice that Mann has now discovered the existence of the MWP and LIA (PNAS 2008], which has bent the shaft of the hockeystick all out of shape. Well, who says that the age of miracles has passed'

Fortunately, the blade of the Hockeystick is still there, showing rapidly rising temperatures in the past 30 years, thanks to the valiant efforts of Prof. Phil Jones. We are breathlessly waiting for expert scrutiny of his methods of selecting data from thousands of weather stations to arrive at a single number for 'global temperature.' Perhaps he will reveal the algorithms he devised to 'adjust and correct' the raw data. But unfortunately, he did not save the original temperature records; as the saying goes: 'The dog ate them.'

You then state that the UEA e-mails were 'stolen.' Perhaps they were; but until you have evidence you may be accusing an unknown whistleblower who resented what was being done to the climate data ' and to science. I won't even mention what the resulting climate scares are doing to the economies of nations and the living standards of their populations. We will soon become more aware of these consequences.

I was wondering just how long it would take the editorial to suggest a parallel between climate skepticism and the tobacco lobby. Well done! It's too bad that global warming cannot be shown to cause lung cancer ' not yet, at any rate. But more research money may yet uncover such a connection. There's still hope.

S. Fred Singer, Prof Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia


Kerry's Powerless America Act

Call it cap-and-trade or bait-and-switch, but John Kerry and Joe Lieberman continue to tilt at windmills with a bill to restrain energy growth in the name of saving the planet.

The bill introduced Wednesday and sponsored by the two senators is called the American Power Act, an Orwellian phrase if ever there was one. Like President Obama's offshore drilling program, for every "incentive" there is a restriction. It's as if Hamlet were to be appointed Secretary of Energy.

The legislation has little to do with developing America's vast domestic energy supply. It's cap-and-trade meets pork-barrel spending. It's about regulations, restrictions and research. It does not deal with exploiting America's vast energy reserves but with finding ways to mitigate their alleged harmful effect.

To that end, the bill creates some 60 new agencies and projects to eat up our tax dollars and buy support (see list alongside).

According to a leaked draft summary, there is "$7 billion annually to improve our transportation infrastructure and efficiency" to be paid for by a gas tax that is not called a tax but a "linked fee." There is "$2 billion per year for researching and developing effective carbon capture and sequestration methods and devices." There is even "a new multibillion-dollar revenue stream for agriculture through a domestic offset program." Tilling the soil releases carbon dioxide, don't you know?

Ironically, the draft summary acknowledges the bill will cause energy prices to necessarily skyrocket by promising to "provide assistance to those Americans who may be disproportionately affected by potential increases in energy prices." How about lowering prices and creating jobs by increasing domestic supply?

Somewhere Sen. Lindsey Graham fell off the wagon, disillusioned perhaps by the politics of shifting priorities, and possibly not impressed, as we are not, by the bill's promise to expedite licensing for nuclear reactors "in a way that is guided by sound science and engineering while remaining fully mindful of safety and environmental concerns." That's liberal-speak for study forever, build never.

After coal-mine disasters and oil rig explosions, one would think nuclear power would be celebrated as a non-polluting power source whose casualty rate is zero. According to the Energy Information Administration, electricity from nukes eliminated 26 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2009. Split atoms, baby, split atoms. Enough already with the research.

The proposed legislation mandates reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels via a cap-and-trade system for power plants and, eventually, factories — with strict curbs on the types of trading that could be done. It would require oil companies, for example, to obtain emission permits at a set price not determined by the trading market.

While allegedly providing some incentives to domestic energy development, it would also allow California to implement its draconian energy efficiency standards and other provisions of its signature global warming law, AB 32. "We will not undermine California," Kerry said. Oh, good.

"This bill is a compilation of just about every bad idea that has emerged in the energy debate," said Patrick Creighton, spokesman for the Institute for Energy Research, a free-market think tank. "Two things are certain if this bill becomes law: Energy prices will skyrocket, and jobs will be shipped overseas."

It is a scam built upon a scam, introduced just as the mercury in Chicopee, Mass., dropped to 26 degrees at about 5 a.m., beating the previous record for the chilliest May 11 set back in 1962.

In testimony before Congress on May 6, Britain's Lord Christopher Monckton, a global warming expert, noted that "neither global mean surface temperature nor its rates of change in recent decades have been exceptional, unusual, inexplicable or unprecedented."

Monckton also advised: "There are many urgent priorities that need the attention of Congress, and it is not for me as an invited guest in your country to say what they are. Yet I can say this much: on any view, 'global warming' is not one of them."

We agree. Jobs, energy development and economic growth come first.


A few questions for climate alarmists

The new Kerry-Lieberman climate bill mandates a 17% reduction in US carbon dioxide emissions by 2020. It first targets power plants that provide reliable, affordable electricity for American homes, schools, hospitals, offices and factories. Six years later, it further hobbles the manufacturing sector itself.

Like the House-passed climate bill, Kerry-Lieberman also requires an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. Once population growth and transportation, communication and electrification technologies are taken into account, this translates into requiring US emission levels last seen around 1870!

House Speaker Pelosi says “every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory,” to ensure that America achieves these emission mandates. This means replacing what is left of our free-market economy with an intrusive Green Nanny State, compelling us to switch to unreliable wind and solar power, and imposing skyrocketing energy costs on every company and citizen.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency is implementing its own draconian energy restrictions, in case Congress does not enact punitive legislation.

It’s time to ask these politicians some fundamental questions.

1) Even slashing carbon dioxide emissions to 80% below 2005 levels would reduce projected global average temperatures in 2050 by barely 0.2 degrees F, according to a study that used the UN’s own climate models. That’s because China, India and other developing countries are building new coal-fired power plants every week, even as the United States and Europe shackle their economies and send more jobs overseas. How do you justify such destructive, punitive, meaningless legislation?

2) Reflecting agreement with thousands of scientists, most Americans now say climate change is natural, not manmade. Fully 75% are unwilling to spend more than $100 per year in higher energy bills to “stabilize” Earth’s unpredictable climate. What provision of the Constitution, your oath of office or your duty to the overall health and welfare of this nation permits you to ignore the will of the people, the mounting evidence that “climate disasters” are the product of computer models, manipulated data and falsified UN reports, and the job-killing impacts of the laws and regulations you seek to impose?

3) If carbon dioxide is causing “runaway global warming,” why have average global temperatures not risen since 1995, and why have they been COOLING for the past five years – even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have continued to rise to levels unprecedented in the modern era?

4) What properties does manmade carbon dioxide have that enable it to replace the complex natural forces that clearly caused the Ice Ages, Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, Dust Bowl, ice-free Arctic seas in 1822 and 1922, Alaska’s 100 degree F temperature record in 1915, and all the other climate and weather changes and anomalies, blessings and disasters that our planet has experienced during its long geologic and recorded history?

5) What physical or chemical properties does manmade carbon dioxide have that would enable it to overturn the laws of thermodynamics – and cause temperatures in Antarctica to rise 85 degrees F, from an average of minus 50 F to plus 35 F year-round (or 48 degrees C, from -46 C to +2 C), to melt that continent’s vast ice masses, raise sea levels 20 feet or more, and flood coastal cities?

6) Precisely what chemical, physical and thermodynamic processes would drastic carbon dioxide reductions alter, and how? Precisely what weather and climate improvements would those reductions achieve? Precisely how will CO2 reductions stabilize planetary temperature, climate and weather systems that have been turbulent, unpredictable and anything but stable throughout Earth’s history?

7) Is there ANY direct physical observation or evidence that would falsify your climate crisis thesis, and cause you to admit human greenhouse gas emissions are not causing a planetary climate disaster? Or do you think everything that happens confirms your climate disaster hypothesis: warmer or colder, wetter or drier, more snow and ice or less, more hurricanes and tornadoes or cyclical periods with few such storms?

8) Replacing hydrocarbons with unreliable, subsidized “green” energy will require millions of acres of land for wind turbines, solar panels and transmission lines – plus hundreds of millions of tons of steel, copper, concrete, fiberglass and rare earth minerals for all those facilities.

Do you support delaying wind, solar and transmission projects for years, to protect the rights and property of local communities and private landowners? Or do you favor regulatory edicts and eminent domain actions, so that government can seize people’s property and expedite construction of these projects?

Do you support opening US public lands for renewed exploration and development, so that we can produce these raw materials and create American jobs? Or do you intend to keep US lands off limits, and force us to depend on imports for renewable energy, too?

Do you support relaxing environmental study, endangered species and other laws, to fast-track approval of these projects, despite their obvious impacts on wildlife and habitats? Or do you want them subjected to the same rules that have stymied thousands of other energy projects, so that renewable energy projects cannot be built, either – and we have massive blackouts?

9) Over 1.5 billion people in Africa, Asia and Latin America still do not have electricity, for even a light bulb or tiny refrigerator. Millions die every year from diseases that would be largely eradicated with electricity for refrigeration, sanitation, modern hospitals, and industries that generate greater health and prosperity. How can you justify using taxpayer money to finance UN and environmental activist programs that claim global warming is the biggest threat they face, and they need to get by on wind and solar power, and give up their dreams of better lives, because YOU are worried about global warming? Doesn’t that violate their most basic human rights to improved living standards, and even life itself?

10) If you’re so sure about your data and conclusions – and intend to use climate disaster claims to justify sending our energy costs skyrocketing, killing millions of factory jobs, controlling our lives, and totally overhauling our energy, economic and social structure – why do you refuse to allow fair, open and balanced congressional hearings and debates on climate science and economics? Why do you refuse to debate skeptical experts in a public forum, or even answer questions that challenge your alarmist thinking? Why do you refuse to require that scientists who get taxpayer money for their research must share and discuss climate data, computer codes, methodologies and analyses?

11) How much money and campaign help have you gotten from companies and activist groups that benefit from renewable energy mandates and subsidies, carbon offset and trading schemes, coal mining and oil leasing bans, and other provisions of climate and energy legislation?

12) What if you vote for these job-killing, anti-growth, anti-poor, anti-human-rights “climate disaster prevention” laws – and it turns our you are WRONG on the science or economics? What will you do? Give up your congressional seat, home, pension and worldly wealth – and pledge yourself and your children to an austere life of service to the people you have harmed? Or just say, “Oh I’m so sorry,” and then pass more intrusive, oppressive laws, before retiring to collect a nice government pension – while millions freeze jobless in the dark?

13) If you can’t or won’t answer these questions, then why do you think you have a right to tell anyone on this planet that we have a “climate crisis,” and dictate how they must live their lives – especially when you’ve done so little to slash your own taxpayer-funded air travel, staff, and home and office energy use?


IPCC Cites an Unpublished Journal 39 Times

We read a lot of magazines in our house. Occasionally, an issue arrives in which nearly every article is engaging and (in the case of cooking magazines) every recipe sounds amazing. In short, the issue is a keeper.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had an experience like that. It was so impressed by one edition of the academic journal Climatic Change that it cited 16 of the 21 papers published that month. The journal editors should take a bow. When three-quarters of a single issue of your publication is relied on by a Nobel-winning report, you're doing something right.

Except for one small problem. The issue in question - May 2007 - didn't exist yet when the IPCC wrote its report. Moreover, none of the research papers eventually published in that issue had been finalized prior to the IPCC's cutoff date.

As the IPCC chairman recently reminded us, that organization's 2007 report: "...was based on scientific studies completed before January 2006, and did not include later studies..."

That's what the rules say. And that's what was supposed to have happened. But according to the online abstracts for each of the 16 papers cited by the IPCC and published in the May 2007 issue of Climatic Change (see my working notes here):

* 15 of them weren't accepted by the journal until Oct. 17, 2006

* the other wasn't accepted until May 18, 2006

The first date is highly significant. As the second box on this page makes clear, the IPCC expert review period ended on June 2, 2006 for Working Group 1 and on July 21, 2006 for Working Group 2. This means the expert reviewers had offered their comments on the second draft and had already exited the stage. It means the IPCC had reached the utmost end of a process that represented years of collective labour.

So how could 16 papers, accounting for 39 new citations across fours chapters and two working groups, have made it into this twice vetted, next-to-finalized IPCC report? Those citations don't reference research papers the wider scientific community had already digested. They don't even reference papers that were hot off the press. Instead, in 15 of 16 cases, no expert reviewer could possibly have evaluated these papers since they hadn't yet been accepted for publication by the journal itself.

Where do these 39 citations of the May 2007 issue of Climatic Change turn up in the IPCC report? [working notes here]

* Chapt. 11 by Working Group 1 references ten papers (20 citations in total)

* Chapt. 12 by Working Group 2 references nine papers (15 citations in total)

* Chapt. 2 by Working Group 2 references two papers (2 citations in total)

* Chapt. 3 by Working Group 2 references two papers (2 citations in total)

Among the 10 papers cited in Chapter 11 three were co-authored by Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen. I'm sure it's sheer coincidence that this gentleman served as one of two coordinating lead authors for that chapter.

* see the first abstract here (cited twice as Jacob et al. 2007 on this page of the IPCC report)

* second abstract is here (cited as Déqué et al. 2007 on this page)

* third abstract is here (cited as Christensen et al. 2007 on this page)

I'm equally certain there's no connection whatsoever between the fact that Jørgen E. Olesen was a lead author for the IPCC's Chapter 12 and that a paper he co-authored in the May 2007 issue of Climatic Change got cited four times in that chapter. (That abstract is here. Cited as Olesen et al., 2007 four times on this page.)

Welcome to the strange world of the IPCC. Whenever one turns over a new rock there's something shady beneath.

Coming soon: the research paper that wasn't accepted for publication until May 2008, yet got cited seven times in the IPCC's 2007 report

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Germany's version of James Hansen says that climate skeptics are anti-science

The oily Hans Joachim Schellnhuber again. The article below is a valiant attempt by some German skeptics to communicate the Warmist claims being made in Germany. They speak English a lot better than I do German but I understand German pretty well so I have edited the article a bit for sake of greater clarity

Things have really gotten desperate for the Warmists here in Germany also. That’s what a little Climategate and Germany’s coldest winter in 46 years can do to a junk-science theory.

Dirk Maxeiner brings up a piece appearing in the German online Frankfurter Rundschau titled: Campaign of Lies McCarthy Style.

The piece describes how more than 250 scientists, among them 11 Nobel Prize recipients, have expressed their outrage in a letter published in Science claiming they’ve been the targets of McCarthy-like attacks. The Frankfurter Rundschau says the attacks are coming from “Konservative Think-Tanks” and “Republikaner”, among them the Heartland Institute, and James Inhofe, all designed to “torpedo urgently needed climate protection measures”, and blah blah blah.

The tone of the piece of course is that sceptics are bad and the warmists are good. The piece also heavily bemoans the rapidly eroding public concerns of AGW as an issue, and asks: Who’s behind all that irresponsible scepticism?

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber explains it for them. Here’s the text in German, then followed by the translation in English:

Der Potsdamer Klimaforscher Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, Mitunterzeichner des Science-Briefs, hält den Einfluss der Skeptiker in Deutschland für geringer als in den USA. Es handele sich dabei um sehr unterschiedliche Gruppen, sagte der Präsident des Instituts für Klimafolgen-Forschung der FR. Die meisten operierten ’aus der sicheren Anonymität des Internets heraus. Sie versuchen erst gar nicht, bei einer sachlichen Debatte erfolgreich zu sein, sondern vielmehr grundsätzliche Zweifel an der Wissenschaft als Instrument der Wirklichkeitserklärung zu säen.” Damit fänden sie große Sympathie ”bei vielen antiaufklärerischen Kräften’.

In English:

Potsdam climate researcher Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, a signatory of the scientists' letter, thinks the sceptics in Germany have less influence than in the USA. They involve very different groups, the Director of the Institute for Climate Impact Research told the Frankfurter Rundschau. Most of them ‘operate from the safety of anonymity in the internet. They don’t try at all to do it successfully through a factual debate; rather they attempt to sow scepticism about science being an instrument for explaining reality.’ This is how they gain much sympathy ‘from the many forces of anti-science’.

In Schellnhuber’s world, scepticism is anti-science. And if you doubt their science, then you are anti-science.

Oh, by the way, let’s not forget that reality and science for them are doctored up iStock polar bear photos and manipulated temperature curves. And who are the ones who keep running and hiding from debate?


One would have thought that skepticism is the essence of science. Schellnhuber however is attempting to equate climate skeptics with mystics and the like -- which is just the sort of dishonesty one expects from him. Any reading of the skeptical literature will find it full of well-supported statistics and no mention of spirits and the like at all


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 May, 2010

Did a Secret Climate Deal Launch the Hockey Stick Fakery?

By legal investigator John O'Sullivan

The investigation into the alleged global warming data fraud by Virginia’s Attorney General may soon have a whole new angle. This comes from a previously overlooked connection between discredited tree-ring proxy researcher, Michael Mann and Yale’s now deceased climate professor, Barry Saltzman.

Despite his legacy, outside of climate science few people will have heard of Saltzman. It was only right at the end of his 40-year career that this esteemed analyst produced his greatest achievement: a unified theory of climate that drew worldwide plaudits.

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) and Journal of Climate among others posthumously gave Saltzman the ultimate accolade, “father of modern climate theory” on the publication of his ground breaking ‘Theory of Climate’ (2002).

The AMS tells us, “Barry Saltzman led the revival of the theory that variations of atmospheric CO2 are a significant driver of long-term climate change.”

As Professor of Geophysics, Saltzman served Yale University with distinction from 1968 until his death in 2001. Michael E. Mann’s position in the highly politicized sphere of climatology has since grown to be just as significant-but far more controversial. But we may have stumbled upon a sinister connection between the two researchers.

Bridging the Climate ‘Culture Gap’

Delving into the Prologue of Saltzman’s last and greatest work provides the clue. In his very first pages of ‘Theory of Climate’ Saltzman reveals the importance of certain researchers [Mann] who helped him bridge the climate “cultural gap.” For Saltzman they “have brilliantly and painstakingly been reconstructing the paleoclimatic record.” Saltzman goes on to say, “It is again my hope that this book will help bridge this gap.”

It did: the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change took Saltzman’s unified theory and used it in subsequent Reports as the template to blame the fossil fuel emissions of western nations for changing Earth’s climate.

The “gap” stayed bridged-at least until Climategate when Saltzman’s neat and tidy theory began to unravel. An unsuspecting world merely had to read the leaked emails to see how the Emperor’s Climate Clothes were crudely stitched together by heady tribalism among opportunist cronies.

Climate History Re-written

Tree-ring expert Michael Mann had simply picked up Saltzman’s thread. Mann’s highly dramatic ‘hockey stick’ graph was to dress the scene very nicely for the launch of the 2001 Third Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Overnight Mann re-wrote the paleoclimatic record to the astonishment of solar physicists, geologists and historians worldwide.

Mann No Expert on Tree Proxies

But the deeper we dig the more we uproot our so-called tree-ring expert. In Mann’s lavish 13,465-word online résumé the word ‘tree’ appears only 6 times. By comparison the word ‘ocean’ appears 37 times. Even his doctoral dissertation makes not one reference to trees-its all about oceans. Clearly, our Michael is not a Mann enamored by tree ring research.

It’s in 1996 that this story gets very curious. At that time Mann needed help to “defend” his Ph.D work in a documented but unexplained controversy at Yale. Inexplicably, this ‘controversy’ was peremptorily swept aside and between 1996-98 Mann was named as the Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Fellow (DOE).

Mann’s Ph.D ‘Rushed Through’

All was now well and Yale gave Mann his Ph.D in 1998. One eminent source in my enquiries confirmed Mann’s Ph.D. was, in fact “rushed through.”

Instantly, Mann was then plucked from obscurity and appointed not just a contributing author for Chapters 7,8,12 of the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (1998-00) but also Lead Author for Chapter 2. And with no track record whatsoever in this field, Mann now with tree ring data thrust into his hand, famously carved out his infamous ‘hockey stick’ graph.

So what miracle had turned this problematic researcher’s life around? If miracles ever happened then for Mann they came in the form of Barry Saltzman. You see, this struggling student’s career was transformed the moment Saltzman became his Ph.D advisor. Only after Saltzman applied his influence was Mann’s lofty credentials “rushed through.” Mann then turns himself into a makeshift tree ring counter and overnight becomes the iconic figure in the IPCC Third Report (2001). The rest is history, as they say.

If my name were Ken Cuccinelli I would want to chase down one or two grant and funding sources; with proof of collusion a case for fraud holds water. That’s treble damages and Virginia’s taxpayers will be sitting $1.5 million better off plus expenses.


Cap and Scam

By David Harsanyi

Were you aware that Americans have a collective obligation to stop kicking challenges to the next generation and join the White House in supporting "sweeping" and "transformative" legislation? I thought so.

These days, there are few higher callings in Washington than pretending to save the environment. Authoritative "leadership" is sorely needed in this area -- and quickly, before the three-cornered-hat-wearing Visigoths storm Washington's barricades this midterm election.

Reporting for duty are John Kerry and Joe Lieberman, armed with a new cap-and-trade "energy" bill -- christened the Newspeak-esque "American Power Act" -- that is so inclusive it nearly secured the support of a single radical right-winger (as if there were any other kind) in Republican Lindsey Graham, before he had a temper tantrum.

Praising the legislation, President Barack Obama made his customary case, twinning the fictitious economic benefits of statism with freshman-class utopianism, claiming that "we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced -- jobs building solar panels and wind turbines; constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings; and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain."

Like most parents, I, too, hope my children one day toil in a nonproductive factory assembling taxpayer-subsidized wind turbines rather than turn to imported Canadian fossil fuels and constructive high-income professions. Unlike profits, you see, dreams never can be outsourced.

We are only in the "discussion draft" phase of the bill -- entailing tons of discussions on how to entice Western Democrats and circumvent Republicans -- which would make efficient energy more expensive, put non-energies on the dole and slap a layer of crony capitalism on the entire energy industry.

And seeing as we never waste a crisis, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has given cap-and-trade supporters another hammer to add to the debate. Though, as Newsweek summed it up, "considering that the Kerry-Lieberman bill contains a little something for everyone, it's likely to pass."

A little something for everyone except you, that is. The fabricated cap-and-trade "market" is a well-documented concoction of rent-seeking corporations that will work diligently with Washington to ensure taxpayers always foot the bill. As the legislation stands now, oil companies would also have to pay emissions allowances -- outside the cap-and-trade market -- which are nothing more than another gas tax.

This bill not only is loaded with obvious costs but also features underlying protectionist expenses that would benefit the usual industries (agriculture and steel) and, of course, unions. For example, the legislation would force nations "that have not taken action to limit emissions to pay a comparable amount" -- in other words, to pay for having the good sense not to engage in slow-motion economic suicide. (Hey, I thought we weren't supposed to impose our values on other nations.)

What do we expect from these countries and ourselves? The bill would mandate we reduce emissions by 83 percent by 2050. Roll up your sleeves, because we all will be doing organic farming. Or, as Pat Michaels of the Cato Institute points out, we "will allow the average American the carbon dioxide emissions of the average citizen back in 1867, a mere 39 years from today."

Though an energy breakthrough could make all this possible -- and that would be wonderful -- solar panels, carbon sequestration and the fertile imaginations of political opportunists who make demands before they have solutions will not.

And remember, these legislators were supposed to be the grown-ups.


Warmists circling the wagons to defend "hockeystick" Mann

The American Meteorological Society and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research launch defense of embattled Climategate scientist.Dr. Michael Mann, author of the now infamous 'hockey stick' graph and a key player in the Climategate email scandal, has found himself under investigation on many fronts. As the Virginia attorney general launches its own inquiry into the scientist's actions, the American Meteorological Society and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research came to his defense.

In a letter sent to University of Virginia President John Casteen III, the organizations urge the defense of Mann and academic freedom. The groups say they are "extremely concerned" about the Commonwealth of Virginia's investigation and urge Casteen to "do everything within your power to uphold the tenets of academic freedom."

Mann and other climate scientists that were involved with the Climategate scandal have been under investigation by academic and governmental agencies across the globe. The United Nations conducted its own investigation as much of the work of the scientists was done as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Arguably the one scientist to figure more prominently than Mann was Dr. Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia. His university launched an independent review and the British Parliament conducted a review that absolved him of the most serious charges.

In Mann's case, an investigation by Penn State University largely absolved him of any wrongdoing and some members of Congress have asked for more information about taxpayer funding for his work. Mann has been ridiculed among skeptics of the manmade climate change theory and a parody video of his now infamous phrase 'hide the decline' was a YouTube hit. He has since sued the group that created the video.

The American Meteorological Society's (AMS) stated mission is to promote "development and dissemination of information and education on the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences and the advancement of their professional applications." The group has been a supporter of the manmade climate change theory, a position which has not sat well with many of its members. Renowned scientist Dr. William Gray has deplored what he called the 'hijacking' of the organization and many other members have voiced their objections to the group's actions.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) serves as a repository for various scientific research agencies and universities. Other scientists involved in the Climategate email scandal are employees of UCAR and NCAR including Tom Wigley and Kevin Trenberth.


Despite Spill, Public Still Wants to 'Drill, Baby, Drill!'

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill hasn't stained President Barack Obama nor dimmed the public's desire for offshore energy drilling, according to a new Associated Press-GfK Poll...

...[T]he public still supports the idea of drilling offshore for oil and gas. By 50 percent to 38 percent, more people favor increased coastal drilling for oil and gas than oppose it.

While Republicans favor it by a 3-to-1 margin, Democrats lean toward opposing it, 52 percent to 36 percent. Independents are about evenly split. Groups giving drilling the strongest support include men, middle-aged and older people, whites and residents of rural and suburban areas.

The country is split about evenly over which priority is more important in considering drilling, with 49 percent choosing the need for the U.S. to provide its own energy and 47 percent picking protection of the environment.

Democrats prefer environmental protection by 62 percent to 35 percent. Republicans lean the other way, favoring the need for U.S. energy independence by 68 percent to 28 percent. Independents are about evenly split.


Another splendid display of Green/Left logic: Caterpillar plague on Isle of Wight supposedly caused by global warming

Since Britain has had an exceptionally COLD year so far, how can the infestation be caused by warming??

Global warming was blamed yesterday for an increase in caterpillar infestations which can cause severe allergic reactions. In the latest outbreak, residents of a street in Newport, Isle of Wight, were forced to stay indoors or wear protective body-suits and face-masks to avoid coming into contact with tiny hairs shed by the brown-tail moth caterpillars.

The insects have set up home in an isolated and overgrown plot next to gardens in the street.

Steve Gardner, who has been dealing with the infestation in West Street, said: "In general, these insects are getting worse in this country because the climate is changing and the summers are getting warmer. Normally, these insects settle in fields where they do not do anyone any harm but if they are close to houses they travel from garden to garden causing problems. As the caterpillar grows it sheds its skin and the tiny hairs float in the air and can cause a severe skin reaction."


It’ll be easy being green in Australia after $30m "education" campaign

Brainwashing and propaganda are always described by Leftists as "education"

THE government will embark on a $30 million “education’’ campaign on climate change, following the shifting public opinion on its failed emissions trading scheme. The national campaign will run on radio, print, TV and a dedicated website to “educate the community on climate change, including on climate change science,’’ budget papers said.

The government has also pledged an extra $102.7 million to deliver over 600,000 home sustainability assessments, which provide advice on ways to improve energy and water efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Investment in renewable energy will see an injection of $652 million over four years in a future fund, to leverage private investment in large and small scale renewable energy projects, including wind, solar and biomass.

Additional funding worth $178.2 million over two years for the international Climate Change Adaptation Initiative will go towards helping countries in the Pacific and Caribbean to ``better adapt to the impacts of climate change through improved scientific information, planning and assessment and financing of adaptation measures.’’

Treasurer Wayne Swan said the government ``accepts the science of climate change and the need for combined global and domestic action.’’

“As we continue to work to build the necessary domestic and international consensus for carbon markets, we will roll out the most substantial renewable energy plan this country has seen – consistent with our decision to increase the renewable energy target to 20 per cent by 2020,’’ 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


14 May, 2010

Green Movement Hits Yellow Light on Climate

If a climate scientist falls in the forest, does anybody hear? Not if the old media have anything to do with it. Thankfully, in 2010, their hold on the news has started to weaken. But it’s not like they didn’t try. For more than five months, from Nov. 20, 2009, to April 1, 2010, the broadcast networks did all they could to hide a crisis in the climate alarmist movement.

That first event, now called Climate Gate, has grown into a series of global warming scandals that have shaken faith in both the science we are fed on a regular basis and the scientists who do the feeding.

This week in Chicago, the Heartland Institute is bringing together the Fourth International Conference on Climate Change, a meeting of hundreds of scientists and policy experts who dare to challenge so-called conventional wisdom on global warming.

Instead of having a meeting, they should be having a celebration.

Not that they’ve won. They haven’t. But for the first time in many years, there is a public understanding that our daily diet of climate propaganda might be somewhat or even entirely bogus. That’s due in a large part to the embarrassments that came out of the initial Climate Gate report where e-mails from University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) were leaked to the world.

Those e-mails, and a separate document showing the shoddy data gathering done by those involved, included thousands of messages showing the potential manipulation of temperature data, a willingness to destroy information rather than release it under British Freedom of Information (FOI) law and the intimidation of publications willing to publish skeptical articles.

The most famous of the e-mails included this line for CRU Director Phil Jones to Penn State scientist Michael Mann. Climate geeks know Mann for his hockey stick graph of global warming, which has been key to climate alarmists and even cropped up in Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth.”

Jones wrote Mann, saying: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

An e-mail from Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and lead author of three IPCC climate change reports, said this memorable comment: “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.” Oops.

While Jones had to temporarily step down, the left continues to try and white wash the whole episode.

But skeptics and critics aren’t about to let that happen. A group called Minnesotans for Global Warming (M4GW) created a hilarious parody video mocking Mann called “Hide the Decline.” The video was based on the Tommy James and the Shondells song “Draggin the Line.” Mann screamed bloody murder about the parody and his lawyers claimed it “irreparably harms Dr. Mann’s personal and professional reputation.” The sequel appears on the group’s Web site along with an appeal for donations to a legal defense fund to fend off Mann’s legal attacks.

Mann and other global warming alarmists aren’t just facing video mockery on YouTube. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is “seeking documents related to the work of a former University of Virginia climate scientist, even as the university says it is preparing to comply with Cuccinelli's request,” according to The Washington Post. The former UVA climate scientist is, of course, Mann.

Lefty academics think it unfair that, after decades of suppressing climate skepticism, their own work can be held to some legal standard. Physics Today called the Cuccinelli move “blatantly political.” Science magazine published the complaints of 255 members of the National Academy of Sciences in a letter called “for an end to McCarthy-like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association.” According to the May 8 Virginia Pilot, the American Association of University Professors and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia have “asked U.Va. to fight Cuccinelli's demand.”

The left doesn’t get it. After decades of propaganda, we just don’t trust them anymore. Conservatives aren’t anti-science. They doubt the work of specific scientists who have destroyed data, manipulated their research, bullied those with an opposing view and included outright propaganda in UN reports on the issue.

Despite all this, Al Gore, the patron saint of green wrote on April 27 in the that “Global warming denialists have been re-discredited.” And that lunacy has taken form in Congress. Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., are unleashing their climate bill – the huge new tax of a “cap-and-trade” proposal.

Just as it was with Climate Gate, you can count on the media not telling us everything about this 1,000-page growth-of-government bill. No matter what they report, remember it’s a big green bill. And if it passes, every one of us will be sending big green to Washington.


Climate no longer G20 top priority

Canada brushed aside a direct public demand Wednesday by the visiting United Nations chief and reiterated that it will not make climate change a priority agenda item when it hosts the G20 summit next month. Prime Minister Stephen Harper stuck to his G20 plan to keep the summit's focus squarely on the global economic recovery after he met UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his Parliament Hill office.

Ban said he wanted climate change front and centre on the agenda when Canada hosts the G20 summit next month in Toronto. Ban also exhorted the Conservatives to live up to the greenhouse-gas reduction targets Canada negotiated under the Kyoto Protocol.

"Canada has a special role and special responsibility to play. That is what I am going to emphasize here," Ban told about 500 diplomats, civil society leaders and academics in a packed hotel ballroom before meeting Harper. "I urge Canada to comply fully with the targets set out by the Kyoto Protocol. You can strengthen your mitigation target for the future."

Harper has rejected the Kyoto Protocol, which was negotiated by the previous Liberal government and calls for a six per cent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020 based on 1990 levels. The Conservatives have pledged a 17 per cent reduction by 2020, based on 2005 levels, which is in line with U.S. targets.

An advisory panel has told Harper to play down climate change at the G20, essentially telling him it is too ambitious a topic to tackle now. The prime minister is hosting the G20 in Toronto as well as a G8 leaders' summit in Muskoka, Ont., north of the city.

Harper's spokesman Dimitri Soudas said Ban had a cordial 45-minute conversation with his boss, but the secretary-general failed to convince the prime minister to push climate change to the top of the G20 agenda. Soudas said climate change would be discussed, but not as a priority item.

"Having a discussion of the issue on the margins of the G20 summit is important. But the primary focus of the G20, as per its mandate, is to discuss the economy and that is the government's number one priority," said Soudas.

Soudas said the government is focused on a post-2012 climate framework once Kyoto expires. He said the previous Liberal government "never had a plan to implement it."

Harper's political opponents piled on in the House of Commons, using Ban's comments to push for a greater profile for climate change during next month's talks. "He's right to say that climate change poses an existential threat to all of us," said NDP Leader Jack Layton.

After his own meeting with Ban, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said Harper should make climate the lead issue at the G20 meeting. "There are talks ongoing among G20 and G8 members and I expect further discussion on that very important topic," said Harper.

Ignatieff said Ban told him Canada has a leadership role to play "especially in contributing to mitigating the catastrophic effects of climate change on poorer countries." "This is a leadership issue. Will the prime minister step up and commit today in the House of Commons to lead on the issue of climate change?"

Harper said the G20 will focus on the global economy but climate change won't be ignored. "I anticipate that a range of subject matters will be talked about, including climate change. This government's position is clear. We support the Copenhagen Accord, which for the first time includes all major emitters."

Ban said he asked Harper to press fellow G8 leaders to live up to their previous aid commitments to poor countries and to bring money to the table in Muskoka.

"I'm going to ask the Prime Minister Harper, as chair of the G8, that he must make sure that G8 leaders come . . . with their commitment delivered. I hope Prime Minister Harper will work on the phones before they come."


Window Dressing Cap and Trade Won’t Make the Costs Go Away

Last year Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) rolled out a companion cap and trade bill to the Waxman-Markey version that passed in the House of Representatives. Boxer-Kerry was essentially dead on arrival so Senator Kerry went back to work, this time with Senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Although Senator Graham is urging his colleagues to slow down, Senators Kerry and Lieberman are trudging forward and have introduced the American Power Act – the latest big climate change bill. Subtitled, “A New Start for Clean American Power and a New Economy,” this bill fails when it comes to energy production and job creation. APA is a new climate bill that tells the same old story: corporate handouts that raise energy prices for years to come.

John Kerry made his sales pitch in The Hill today saying, “There’s a reason why people and American businesses that have always opposed and fought against previous legislation – quite successfully! – are standing behind this one.” It’s because they were offered a seat at the table leaving the rest of America to pick up the tab. Take the words of one major electricity CEO who said, “We don’t flinch from the charge that, yes, some of our motivation and enthusiasm comes from the fact that we should make money on it if it happens.” As the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Chris Horner stresses, the handouts will go to the businesses that won the lobbying battle while the costs will be passed onto the consumer. It’s no surprise “influence spending” is up 25 percent for the first quarter of 2010 compared to last year.

Other sections of the bill attempt to win support but are nothing more than gimmicks. Farmers, for example, are exempt from CO2 reductions requirement and have the potential to earn revenue through a domestic carbon offset program where farmers can use cleaner technology, use cleaner insecticides, or even not grow crops. In other words, farmers will be paid to reduce their emissions. But carbon offsets won’t compensate for the lost income farmers incur because of higher energy prices. Farmers use a lot of electricity, a lot of diesel fuel, and a lot of natural gas-derived chemicals and fertilizers to grow crops and maintain their farms. The result could be income losses in the billions. This is merely one section in a nearly 1000-page bill that grants the government more control over our economy and aims to protect certain groups at the expense of others.

For all the Americans who didn’t have a seat at the table, the story is not as glamorous. This is a significant tax on energy that will reduce Americans’ income and destroy jobs. Neither cap and trade nor any of its variations can protect consumers. The whole reason for a cap and trade system is to drive up energy prices high enough for people to use less. Despite claims that consumers will eventually save money and that the will be rebated back to the consumer, the net effect is that consumers still pay more for energy and income and savings will fall. In spite of the best attempts by households and businesses to adjust to CO2 caps, the ensuing higher energy costs impose extraordinary losses on the economy. Even a recent analysis from the Congressional Budget Office shows net job losses from carbon capping policies.

And what’s it all for? Climatologist Chip Knappenberger modeled the environmental benefits and found, “The global temperature “savings” of the Kerry-Lieberman bill is astoundingly small—0.043°C (0.077°F) by 2050 and 0.111°C (0.200°F) by 2100. In other words, by century’s end, reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 83% will only result in global temperatures being one-fifth of one degree Fahrenheit less than they would otherwise be. That is a scientifically meaningless reduction.”

This is not a jobs bill, nor is it an economic stimulus or a pollution reduction bill. Dress it up however you’d like. It’s still an energy tax that will inflict significant damage on the American economy.


Subsidized Green Jobs Still Destroy Jobs Elsewhere

Last month Politico reported that the alternative energy sector had upped its lobbying efforts from $2.4 million in 1998 to $30 million in 2009. So what is the renewable power industry getting for its investment? Studies like this one by Navigant Consulting, Inc. for the Renewable Electricity Standard-Alliance for Jobs. The RES Alliance study found that “that a 25% by 2025 national RES would result in 274,000 more renewable energy jobs over no-national RES policy.”

Which is great news if you own a renewable electricity business. But what if you’re not? What if you manufacture widgets and you need inexpensive power to stay in business? The RES Alliance study tells you nothing about what happens to those jobs. It never even tries.

The reality is that Renewable Electricity Standards will cause energy prices to go up and that those higher energy prices will lead to job losses throughout the economy. Just ho many jobs will RES destroy on net? The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis crunched the numbers and found that an RES would reduce employment by more than 1,000,000 jobs.

The idea that forcing Americans to pay artificially high energy prices thanks to renewable electricity standards is a classic example Frederic Bastiat broken window fallacy. In 1850 Bastiat wrote:
Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son happened to break a pane of glass? … Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier’s trade—that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs—I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.


Insiders Cash In, Consumers Pay Under New Energy Bill

The Energy Costs Al Gore Would Like You to Pay

Major players in Washington cheered the latest version of an energy bill, which tries to buy votes with “something for almost everyone.” But beleaguered consumers will get stuck with skyrocketing bills after others feast on new government benefits.

We can expect any new “green jobs” to be offset by a larger loss of existing jobs, possibly up to 3-million, depending on details of how the bill’s cap-and-trade system is implemented to tax carbon dioxide emissions.

“Climate Plan Aims to Provide Something for Everyone,” headlined Congress Daily about the re-worked legislation from Senators John Kerry (D, MA) and Joe Lieberman (D, CT). That same phrase was echoed by a multitude of media.

But the “something” for everyday Americans is higher utility bills—another hit for struggling families in a sour economy.

If the massive new bill stalls from its own complexity, Sen. Harry Reid says he’ll pursue a simpler-but-still-costly backup plan: Dictating that an ever-increasing portion of electric power must be generated from sources other than fossil fuels—a so-called RES “renewable energy standard” which by itself could cost a million jobs as well as higher electric bills averaging $2,400 a year for a typical family.

Just like the Kerry-Lieberman bill, the RES would force higher bills on unwilling and skeptical Americans.

According to Rasmussen Reports, only 18% of voters are willing to pay even $300 a year for cleaner energy or to fight global warming. And 56% of all voters say they aren’t willing to pay anything more at all in taxes and utility costs. (19% said they’d pay only $100 more a year.)

Consumers would pay as businesses passed along the new costs created by the bill. Many benefited groups gathered to attend and support the Kerry-Lieberman announcement, thanks to the potpourri of billions in federal subsidies, incentives and programs. The New York Times wrote, “The Kerry-Lieberman proposal . . . provid[es] something for every major energy interest — loan guarantees for nuclear plant operators, incentives for use of natural gas in transportation, exemptions from emissions caps for heavy industry, free pollution permits for utilities and modest carbon dioxide limits for oil refiners.” The Times identified the Edison Electric Institute, Nuclear Energy Institute, Duke Energy, and FPL Group as being there; stated that written statements of support were expected from oil giants British Petroleum, ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell; and reported that the bill had bought silence from the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber’s public response was timid: “We thank Senators Kerry and Lieberman, as well as Senator Graham, for their work to constructively engage the business community on these issues. The Kerry-Lieberman bill is a work in progress. Few in Congress or the business community have had a chance to review the entire bill.”

For everyday Americans, the bill is nothing to cheer. Ben Lieberman, senior energy and environment policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, told Talk Radio News Service that the APA amounts to nothing more than a giant energy tax. “The only way to reduce these greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels is to raise the cost of energy,” he said. “They have to raise costs high enough so that people are forced to use less, that’s how this works.”

But according to handouts from Kerry and Lieberman, “roughly two-thirds of the revenues generated by the new law would be passed back to consumers through energy bill discounts or direct rebates”. That sounds like a store that jacks up prices then offers a “discount” that still leaves a 33% price hike.

A major backer of the Tea Party movement, FreedomWorks, quickly condemned the measure as “the largest tax hike in history, and would hit the poor and middleclass, who spend a higher proportion of their income on essentials like electricity and fuel, the hardest.”

They added, “Cap and trade will bring sky high energy prices for consumers and a new government slush fund for Washington. A twenty-seven cent “Fuels’ Fee” on every gallon of gasoline included in the bill means not just higher prices at the pump, but higher prices on shipping and food production. Higher energy costs will put the cost of doing business through the roof and send American jobs overseas at a time of record unemployment.”

As President Obama personally predicted, his own plan will make our electricity rates “skyrocket” as higher costs are passed on to consumers.


Geoscientist says Australian science body should get money to prove that the Medieval Warm Period was global

The writer below is a professor of geoscience but makes his case for funding by omitting a lot of the evidence he should be aware of -- such as the borehole data I mentioned recently. He's got Buckley's chance anyway as skeptical science doesn't get official funding

THE deferral of Australia's emissions trading scheme for three years allows us time for additional scientific studies that may be critical in shaping future legislation.

A touchstone in the debate on causes of global warming is the record of global temperatures of past millennia. Most who follow this debate are familiar with the cooling from the 16th to 18th centuries known as the Little Ice Age; this is generally accepted as a global phenomenon.

Most are also aware of the Medieval Warm Period covering much of the 9th to 15th centuries. This has been the source of greater debate because, while it is clear in anecdotal descriptions from Europe, such as Vikings growing crops in Greenland, it is less clear whether it is a global phenomenon. The debate has high stakes because the rate of warming and temperatures attained in Europe during the MWP are of similar order to the warming of past decades. If the MWP were to be proven to be global, then the basis of present science stating that industrial-era carbon emissions are the dominant cause of today's warming would be significantly undermined.

One of the giants of global warming science, Wally Broecker of Columbia University in New York, wrote a discussion in 2001 of evidence for the MWP being a global phenomenon, concluding tentative support for its global nature. Three years later, Phil Jones, now director of the Climate Research Unit, East Anglia, co-authored a review that concluded the MWP was a regional phenomenon. The IPCC4 report of 2007 concluded similarly; curiously, Broecker's paper did not get a mention.

Proving the MWP or other historic and prehistoric European warm periods to be global is not easy because large-scale atmospheric-ocean interactions are capable of producing either or both of warming in one hemisphere matched by cooling in the other, and warming in high latitudes balanced by cooling in tropical latitudes.

A statistical analysis of all the available temperature records by Michael Mann and colleagues of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, Pennsylvania State University, published in Science last year, also concluded the MWP was regional. However, that study was dominated by northern hemisphere records, leaving open the question of whether more global data may give a more global conclusion.

The ongoing importance of debate over the MWP is underscored by comments by Jones in a recent BBC interview, where he said the MWP was best expressed in records from the northern hemisphere, adding: "If the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today [based on an equivalent coverage over the northern and southern hemispheres] then obviously the late-20th-century warmth would not be unprecedented."

Undoubtedly the truth is contained in temperature records written in terrestrial biological records, ice sheets and rocks. Thus far, however, the process of deciphering those records has been successful at only a couple of dozen sites, distributed unevenly across the globe.

There are climate records from the southern hemisphere, from Cold Air Cave stalagmites in northern South Africa, tree rings in Tasmania and New Zealand, and ice core records in Law Dome, Antarctica, all of which show an imprint of a medieval warming.

One of these localities, the Cold Air Cave stalagmites, has been studied for more than a decade by a team led by Karin Holmgren of Stockholm University, Sweden. A reduction in temperature of about a degree is evident for the Little Ice Age. Before that we see a 700-year stretch of time corresponding to the MWP, which contains perhaps eight approximately 100-year-long cycles, of which five show temperatures similar to or greater than those of the past century. The authors postulate these centennial cycles are driven by variations attributable to the sun. But results from a single site do not prove the warming and cooling to be global.

I am not aware of any comparable published studies in Australia; it would be most instructive if evidence for a MWP and centennial climate cycles were to emerge - or be proved absent - from studies across a range of latitudes on this continent. Indeed, if the centennial cycles noted in South Africa are sun-driven, we may well ask if we have similar cycling in our own climate; the great Federation drought (1895-1902) and the present drought of southeastern Australia might be seen as part of a cyclic continuum rather than the latter being attributed mainly to anthropogenic global warming.

Another tool for documenting climate change in past centuries was announced in March in the journal Nature. William Patterson, an isotope chemist at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, led a team in a study of oxygen isotope data in clam shells recovered from a drill hole in a bay off the coast of Iceland. Unlike tree rings (which yield at best annual temperature variations) growth lines in the clam shells yield weekly or even daily temperature records. Patterson's work affirms evidence for the MWP in Iceland.

This high-resolution method may be applied to clam or other shells in coastal geological records the world over. It has the potential to answer quantitatively the key scientific question of whether the medieval warming was a global phenomenon. If the answer were to be yes, then warming during the past century should be seen as predominantly natural climate change rather than driven by man-made carbon emissions. A legislative response would be no less important but would focus on environmental management of the consequences of change.

There is a huge opportunity for CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology to extend their recent climate assessment, which was based on 1960-2010 data, to incorporate fossil-shell, cave-deposit and tree-ring records from tropical to Antarctic Australia and territories. This would cost a few per cent of the $652 million allocated on Tuesday to the new Renewable Energy Future Fund. It would make Australia a leader in addressing a great scientific challenge of our time.



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 May, 2010

The battle over Senate climate bill begins

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) will unveil a sweeping climate change and energy bill Wednesday that requires greenhouse gas reductions while offering major new incentives for nuclear power, coal, natural gas and offshore drilling.

The bill — which faced several delays en route to Wednesday’s unveiling — faces highly uncertain prospects given the Senate calendar, senators’ election year jitters, the lack of a Republican co-sponsor and outrage over the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

A summary of the bill was obtained by The Hill. The full legislation will be released Wednesday.

In the summary, the authors have included new protections to appease several coastal-state Democrats who ramped up their opposition in the wake of last month’s spill, including a provision that allows states to veto drilling plans under certain conditions.

“Mindful of the accident in the Gulf, we institute important new protections for coastal states by allowing them to opt out of drilling up to 75 miles from their shores. In addition, directly impacted states can veto drilling plans if they stand to suffer significant adverse impacts in the event of an accident,” according to the summary.

The proposal also provides and incentive for states to allow offshore drilling by allowing a 37.5 percent state royalty share. That could upset drilling opponents who see the royalties as an inducement for expanded offshore drilling.

The bill could face lukewarm reactions — or even outright opposition — from some environmental groups if the summaries circulating Tuesday reflect the full proposal.

The measure would block state cap-and-trade programs and creates new limits on the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases. Business groups say such measures are needed to provide regulatory “certainty,” but activists argue they curtail effective tools for limiting heat-trapping gases.

Kerry has expressed optimism the bill can gain traction but acknowledged uncertainties. “[Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wants to do it. The president wants to do it. Whether we can or not, we will wait and see,” he told reporters Tuesday.

The duo are setting sail with the measure despite the defection of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), which leaves them without GOP backing — at least for now.

Graham pulled back from the effort because, he argues, that Democratic plans to move immigration legislation and, more recently, the Gulf spill have made advancing the measure impossible.

“Getting the idea out there and letting people know that it is new and different, that is their belief, that that will help over time. My belief is that the environment has to be right to do something difficult,” he told reporters Tuesday.

But Graham also praised the package, although he cautioned that he didn’t know all the details because he wasn’t involved in the recent negotiations.

“The product is different and the product was a collaborative effort with industry and environmental groups like we have never had before. Now you have environmental groups attacking the drilling provisions. I don’t know what kind of environmental damage that will do,” he said.

Kerry and Lieberman may have made headway with some coastal-state liberal Democrats by adding new drilling protections.

“My objective is to be able to protect the Mid-Atlantic from offshore drilling, and I believe that during our discussions that that may in fact be achieved, but I want to read the language first,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.).

But they nonetheless face major barriers, especially absent any GOP backing.

“I think there is probably too much going on. I think it is probably unlikely,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) when asked about the measure’s prospects. “This is going to be a bill that’s heavy on mandates and heavy on costs, and I just think it is going to be very, very difficult for them to try and move a piece of legislation like that this year.”

The bill breaks in a host of ways with a sweeping climate and energy bill the House approved last year that has not gained momentum in the upper chamber.

The addition of nuclear power and drilling incentives is aimed at corralling support from Republicans and centrist Democrats. Also, the Senate plan would not subject refiners — who strongly oppose the House measure — to carbon trading markets to address emissions from cars and trucks.

Overall, the bill aims to cut nationwide emissions by 17 percent by 2010 and 83 percent by 2050.

The legislation contains a number of provisions designed to attract business support.

For example, it will include a “hard price collar” that will keep carbon prices between $12 and $25 in the trading market created by the legislation, a significant win for electric utilities that sought more assurance the proposal would not lead to huge increases in energy costs.

It creates a cap-and-trade system for power plants and, eventually, large industrial plants. But, in a nod to oil industry concerns, it does not include transportation emissions in the carbon trading program.

It is likely to gain backing from energy companies seeking to build new nuclear plants. It authorizes an additional $54 billion worth of loan guarantees for new plants, aims to further streamline licensing procedures and expands a federal risk insurance program.

The measure also provides billons of dollars to develop carbon capture and storage for coal-fired power plants, a key issue to lawmakers from coal-reliant and coal-producing states.

It includes $2 billion a year to research and develop technologies to capture carbon before it reaches the atmosphere. Coal-fired power plants account for roughly one-third of the country’s annual carbon emissions.

The summary also states the legislation would provide “significant incentives for the commercial deployment of 72 [gigawatts] of carbon capture and sequestration.”

It could appease Democrats from manufacturing states by providing a delay until 2016 before industrial plants face emissions requirements. It also provides so-called energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries with free emissions permits to help keep down compliance costs.

Crucially, it allows “border adjustments” — also called carbon tariffs — on imports from countries that do not take action to limit emissions, which is aimed at protecting U.S. industries and preventing “carbon leakage,” a summary notes.

The measure also provides substantial consumer rebates, which could help blunt GOP allegations that the bill represents a huge new energy tax.

A Senate aide close to the bill declined to comment Tuesday afternoon when asked whether the leaked summaries reflect the plan that will be unveiled Wednesday.

“All I can tell you is that we will have all the final details tomorrow,” the aide said.


Talking Points Against Kerry-Lieberman

Ø It's Cap and Trade: Despite claims to the contrary, it's a Cap and Tax Bill designed to increase the cost of energy, the wrong approach during an economic recession.

Ø Obama Energy Tax: It's an energy tax, hitting the poor and middle-class the hardest, despite President Obama's promises to the contrary.

Ø Gas Tax: The transportation fees are nothing more than a gas tax. Companies must purchase allocations with some of the proceeds going to the Highway Trust Fund. If they are spending money then they must be raising money from increased gasoline prices.

Ø It Hits Everyone: They claim it only impacts the largest facilities, but anyone who purchases electricity or energy will pay more immediately including manufacturers, farmers, steel mills, concrete plants, and chemical facilities. Just because they delay the manufacturing cap for six years doesn’t mean manufacturers won't pay more for their electricity today.

Ø EPA Will Still Regulate: They only preempt certain EPA regulations; the Agency will still move forward. They did not do a blanket exemption of federal regulations which means businesses must comply with the climate law and the EPA regulations.

Ø Take-over of Economy: The Bill directly impacts 18% of the economy through new mandates on the Transportation, Electricity Production, and Manufacturing Industries. Plus it also impacts any business which consumes energy such as agricultural or service-based industries. This is far larger than the healthcare plan.

Ø Wall Street Give Away: While the Democrats are trying to rein in Wall Street, Kerry/Lieberman will create what could end up being a $2 Trillion Dollar Carbon Derivatives Market.

Ø It's Bad Procedure: The Senate Democrats are once again ignoring regular order, by-passing the Committees of jurisdiction and taking this massive Bill straight to the Senate floor.

Ø Jobs Killer: It's a jobs killer in the industrial Midwest and across the country.

Ø Zero Climate Impact: It will not have any impact on global climate temperatures.

Above received by email from Marc Morano []

Chumps at the pump

Liberals maneuver to raise your gas prices

We all remember how painful it was when gasoline prices surged past four bucks a gallon a couple years ago. The price is now around $3 a gallon. That steep sum will seem like chump change if global-warming alarmists in Congress have their way.

Long-anticipated climate-change legislation is scheduled to be unveiled in the Senate today. The ostensible purpose is to clean the air by cutting carbon emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. If the bill becomes law, though, consumers will get smoked as they are forced to pay more for a fill-up.

Backers of this measure are more beholden to ideology than reality. As scientific data shows the Earth is actually cooling, the only thing heating up is alarmist rhetoric. On Friday, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president believes "now more than ever is the time to act," indicating White House complicity in the push for higher gas prices. Attempting to impose new burdens on American families struggling in a buckling economy in hopes of mitigating an unproven climate theory says a lot about the O Force's warped priorities.

The bill's sponsors had a hard time getting this one ready for prime time. Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, planned to introduce their legislation last month but delayed it when co-sponsor Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, dropped out after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to advance amnesty for illegal aliens instead.

Speculation about the costly details to the Senate measure range from adoption of the cap-and-trade provision contained in the House bill passed last summer to cap-and-dividend. Both schemes call for limits on carbon-dioxide emissions and would force companies to purchase or trade emissions permits. The widely reviled cap-and-trade plan would institute a Wall Street-type market for carbon permit exchanges. Cap-and-dividend would prohibit the marketing of carbon permits and instead collect revenues in a government account that would - in theory - be rebated to consumers. (Don't hold your breath waiting for that check.)

Whatever the taxing mechanism is called, the end result would be the same: the imposition of increased costs on all carbon-based energy products, which would be passed on to consumers. Americans would see steeper prices at the gas pump, the recent slide in crude oil prices notwithstanding. They also would pay higher utility bills, and products at the mall would be more expensive. Overall, each family would shell out an extra $800 a year for energy costs, according to a Heritage Foundation estimate.

Polls consistently show that taxpayers are opposed to the higher gas costs a climate-change bill would impose. The upcoming Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer travel season, and the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report currently pegs the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas at $2.91. That's up nearly 68 cents from a year ago. Additional carbon fees on fuel would jack up costs even more.

Politicians would be unwise to exacerbate the pain at the pump for families facing the worst economy in generations. Delegates at Utah's Republican primary convention waved yellow "Do not tread on me" flags as they ousted three-term Sen. Robert F. Bennett Saturday. Congressional incumbents, Democrat or Republican, had best take note.


Don't use oil spill as excuse to deep-six domestic drilling

The easy thing to do after the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico would be to kill President Obama's shiny new plan to expand offshore drilling. Many formerly pro-drilling coastal politicians, from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, are calling for doing just that.

But parochial interests and short-term thinking are the traditional ruin of U.S. energy policy.

Decades of refusal to expand domestic drilling, or make gasoline more expensive, have left the nation addicted to foreign oil. As pretty much everyone knows by now, this is an invisible, slow-motion disaster that transfers tens of billions of dollars a year to unfriendly regimes and leaves the nation vulnerable to wars and oil shocks.

Meanwhile, decades of refusal to build more nuclear plants, or deal with the waste disposal issue, since the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island have left the U.S. overly dependent on electricity from coal that is dangerous to mine and contributes to climate change.

So as nice as it would be to halt oil exploration along the coastline or in the Alaskan wilderness, years of feckless energy policy have forfeited that luxury. The question now isn't whether to drill, but how to do so more safely, particularly in deep water, while developing clean-energy replacements such as wind, solar and biofuels.

If only that were easy or quick. Alternative energy provides about 6% of transportation fuel. The Energy Information Administration forecasts that 25 years from now, it will provide about 15%. Even if that doubled or tripled, the nation would still need substantial quantities of oil.

About one-third of U.S. oil production comes from the Gulf. Curbing or killing the plan to expand offshore drilling would take off the table an estimated 40 billion to 60 billion barrels of economically recoverable oil — about six to eight years of U.S. consumption at current rates. That oil is needed to help reduce imports and bridge to a time when more planes, trains and automobiles can run on alternative fuels. Currently, of the nearly 250 million cars and trucks on American roads, only about 700,000 run on alternative fuels. Phasing out gasoline-powered vehicles is going to be a long, slow process.

Being stuck with petroleum for now, however, doesn't mean pursuing a heedless "drill, baby, drill" policy. The Gulf of Mexico disaster exposed the oil industry's failure to anticipate, and develop a robust response to, a deep-sea blowout.

True, this is the first serious drilling-related spill in U.S. waters since the one off Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969.But when BP executives say they never could have imagined the sort of accident that occurred nearly three weeks ago in the Gulf, an assertion repeated at Tuesday's finger-pointing congressional hearing into the spill, they are either misinformed or ignorant about their business.

An industry study documented more than 100 cases of blowout-preventer failures in just two years in the 1990s— none as serious as this one, but warning signs nonetheless. Worse, a catastrophic failure in foreign waters should have sounded alarm bells. In 1979, a blowout preventer failed to cut the flow of oil at a Mexican offshore well near the Yucatan Peninsula. That one took about 295 days to control and spilled 140 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. (An estimated 4 million gallons have spilled from the Deepwater Horizon accident.)

Before offshore drilling expands, the industry should have to show that it is far better prepared than BP was to deal with accidents, and the government must beef up its oversight. On Tuesday, the administration announced plans to split the Minerals Management Services into one unit to enforce safety rules and a second unit to collect royalties. That would help eliminate the conflict of interest between the agency's dual missions, much as was necessary with federal oversight of the airline industry.

Just as one plane crash doesn't mean that the nation should stop building jetliners and airports, one horrific spill can't be allowed to dictate energy policy for decades. The nation needs the oil. But it can learn from the mess in the Gulf to minimize the chances of anything like it happening again.


Concerns over PG&E Lobbying for Cap-and-Trade Spurred Investor Action

The fate of a Political Contributions Shareholder Proposal being offered by Shelton Ehrich at the PG&E shareholder meeting Wednesday is being carefully monitored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, which applauds efforts to bring greater transparency to corporate political giving.

Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project, says, "All Americans would benefit from greater transparency regarding corporate political giving. According to the proposal, in 2008 alone, PG&E spent over $27 million lobbying for such things as cap-and-trade, an expensive global warming-related policy scheme that would enrich a handful of corporations while raising consumer prices and driving our jobs overseas."

PG&E is a member of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) - a lobbying coalition of corporations and environmental activist groups who are seeking a national law to limit carbon dioxide emissions. USCAP played a key role in passing the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill in the House of Representatives last year. Other USCAP members include troubled companies such as BP, GM and Chrysler.

Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) are expected to introduce a Senate version of a cap-and-trade bill this week.

"With California's unemployment rate at 12.5 percent, the state can't afford cap-and-trade. Tragically, PG&E is trying to bring President Obama's cap-and-trade dream to reality, despite the economic cost. Recall Obama said during his presidential campaign, 'Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,'" said Deneen Borelli, full-time fellow of Project 21.

Economic studies on cap-and-trade have consistently found this regulatory regime would result in higher energy prices and slower economic growth.

PG&E's annual shareholder meeting will be held May 12 at 10:00 AM PT at the San Ramon Valley Conference Center, 3301 Crow Canyon Road, San Ramon, California.

Mr. Ehrlich is expected to present the proposal at the meeting.


The wickedness of the climate change deniers

By Roger Helmer, MEP

I have just been reading a Reuter’s report from India, about the suffering endured by poor, honest, hard-working climate scientists, as they seek to warn a careless world of looming climate disaster, only to be attacked, threatened and vilified by the “climate deniers”. My heart bleeds.

Leave aside for a moment the fact that “climate deniers” do not exist — or if they do, I’ve yet to meet one. It is a self-evident fact that the earth’s climate has changed, often rapidly and substantially, over geological time. It is well-known that we have had a series of warm and cool cycles over the last two thousand years. We have all seen the paintings of Ice Fairs on the frozen Thames in the seventeenth century, when oxen were roasted on great fires on the ice. Anyone who denies the clear fact that the climate changes is either ignorant or mad.

There is of course a legitimate debate to be had about why the climate changes. Until recent years, everyone understood that climate was multifactorial, and it was clear that the primary drivers were solar activity and astronomical cycles. It is only in recent years that the good and the great have decided we were wrong, and that the only significant cause of climate change is atmospheric CO2 (which is merely a trace gas in the atmosphere, and is not even the most significant greenhouse gas — which is water vapour). They seem to have lost sight of the fact that there is almost zero correlation over time between atmospheric CO2 levels and temperature, or that over geological time CO2 levels have sometimes been well over ten times higher than today. Or that the highest concentrations of atmospheric CO2 occurred during a major Ice Age.

Two lines from the Reuters report caught my eye. The first was from Michael Mann: “The attacks against climate science represent the most highly coordinated, heavily financed, attack against science that we have ever witnessed”. Michael Mann was, of course, the progenitor of the infamous “Hockey Stick” graph, one of the most discredited artefacts in the history of science. He is the man who resisted scrutiny of his data and his methods, and fought tooth and nail against releasing details of his work, which might have enabled others to check it. He was the man who (in effect) relied on a few rather atypical trees in California to construct climate scenarios that defied reason. He was the man who grafted together two wholly unrelated data series to support his case, because neither series alone supported his hypothesis. But he failed to make it clear that he had done so. He was also a close associate of those splendid guys at the University of East Anglia, those of the e-mails scandal, who worked so hard to “hide the decline” in late twentieth century data. Then he seems hurt when people challenge his findings.

But “heavily financed”? Reuters mention a Greenpeace report released last month, saying that “ExxonMobil gave nearly $9 million to entities linked to the climate denialist camp between 2005 and 2008″. Wow. $9 million. How does that compare to the literally Billions of dollars that have been poured into the Warmist cause? The research funding for people like Michael Mann, and the UEA’s CRU, from governments and foundations and institutions? The vast market created in trading carbon credits, which is being fraudulently used and abused to generate profits on the back of imaginary trades in a virtual commodity, and which is siphoning off vast sums from developed countries to Russia and China and India and developing countries through the UN’s “Clean Development Mechanism”? What about the millions that Al Gore has personally made through his espousal of the Warmist cause?

Look at the companies (including major oil companies) who are profiting from green hysteria, whether through emissions trading schemes, or by becoming rent seekers in heavily-subsidised green energy programmes. In the UK alone climate mitigation measures put in place by this Labour government (which pray heaven will be gone between my typing these words and publishing the piece) will cost tens of billions of pounds. Look at the businesses and scientists and researchers whose jobs depend on Warmism. Look at the environmental journalists, like the odious Geoffrey Lean at the Daily Telegraph, who depend on Warmism for their pay-cheque — never mind the Climate Change Managers and Global Warming Awareness Officers on every local council, that you pay for through your council tax, and the DEFRA advertising campaigns, and the massive propaganda programmes designed to terrify the children in our schools.

The truth is that climate alarmism has become the most expensive, and the most wasteful, project in the history of the world. It is junk economics built on junk science. It amounts to no more than hot air, yet it looks set to beggar our grandchildren.



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 May, 2010

Peer-Reviewed Research: Unprecedented Global Warming During Medieval Period, Boreholes Reveal

Way back in 1997, researchers published a paper that was based on data from 6,000 plus borehole sites from all the continents. The reconstructed temperatures clearly showed a Medieval Period warming that was, and is, unprecedented. The data also makes clear that subsequent warming began well before the growth of human CO2 emissions and this natural rebound would obviously lead to temperatures similar to the Medieval Period.

A year later, the infamous Mann hockey-stick temperature chart was published to wild acclaim by the IPCC and AGW-centric activists. So popular did the Mann chart become, the 6,000+ borehole chart was completely ignored since its data refuted the Mann study. The borehole scientists then decided to re-publish their study with primarily only the blue-side (the typical AGW-favored data cherry-picking) of the chart below. This repackaged borehole study became accepted by the AGW-centric scientists as it seemed to support their cause and the Mann's hockey-stick.

"The authors searched the large database of terrestrial heat flow measurements compiled by the International Heat Flow Commission of the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior for measurements suitable for reconstructing an average ground surface temperature history...Based on a total of 6,144 qualifying sets of heat flow measurements obtained from every continent of the globe, they produced a global climate reconstruction, which, they state, is "independent of other proxy interpretations [and] of any preconceptions or biases as to the nature of the actual climate history."...From their reconstruction of "a global climate history from worldwide observations," the authors found strong evidence that the Medieval Warm Period was indeed warmer than it is now."

"Quite suddenly, the same borehole authors - Pollack, Huang, Shen published a new, two-page-long paper in Nature: it appeared in October 1998. The paper contained a rather different graph than the graph from 1997...The new paper was using temperatures and 358 sites only instead of the 6000 sites used in 1997 (94 percent of sites eliminated) and it has erased 19,500 years out of 20,000 years (97.5 percent of the time interval eliminated) from the paper written in 1997 in order not to contradict Mann et al....That's what they call "independence". Moreover, if someone wanted to extend the record as far as possible while avoiding any hints of a warmer period in the past such as the medieval warm period, he would have made the same cut: 500 years ago. What a coincidence."

SOURCE (See the original for links)

The new Hitler Jugend

The Hitler Youth abused the idealism of children too. So did Stalin's "Young Pioneers". Leftism never changes. They need credulity to get their lame assertions accepted

The Inconvenient Youth website describes the initiative as “a community of teenagers taking action to address the climate crisis.” It’s a new twist on Al Gore's other nonprofit, Climate Project, which has trained thousands of volunteers to present the infamous slideshow featured in An Inconvenient Truth. And in fact, five lucky teens from Inconvenient Youth will be selected to take part in the Climate Project's training program and become certified presenters.

All Inconvenient Youth members (ages 13-18) are encouraged to share ideas about actions they can take to improve the environment. Teens have posted suggestions such as: “Help create gardens which use recycled materials and composters,” and “Picking [sic] up trash along the road. It is disgusting how many bottles and cans there are.” There’s also a big focus on educating others about environmentalism: teens discuss how to use the internet and social networking tools and approach teachers and other school officials about including global warming in their studies.

It’s harmless stuff, except that these teens are getting a very one-sided version of a complicated issue. After all, An Inconvenient Truth is hardly an unbiased documentary. A judge in the United Kingdom found numerous, significant scientific errors in the film, including that it exaggerates even the most dire predictions about global warming’s potential harm. Yet most students have accepted Al Gore’s perspective as undisputed fact: one study reported that three in four kids think global warming is a “a threat to all life on the planet,” and about two in three feel that global warming is “a threat to my future well-being and safety” and “feel afraid of what might happen.”

Kids need to hear the other side of the story so that they can better target their energies, including their environmental passions. Teenagers should know that skeptics aren’t just an evil fringe in the pocket of the oil industry. Many legitimate questions remain about climate change, its causes, and potential solutions.

Inconvenient Youth members should be aware that many scientists believe that the climate was warmer during medieval times than it is today. They should ask themselves, if this is true, doesn’t it suggest that the modern warming trend may be natural, not caused by man?

There are also questions about the data used for global warming models. Much of the original temperature data used to justify claims of unprecedented warming has been destroyed or lost. Additionally, some scientists believe that changes in the environment surrounding weather stations may have contributed to perceived warming.

Some scientists argue that changes in the sun’s activity are primarily responsible for changing temperatures. Others note significant information that’s left out of UN global warming models, such as cloud cover.

Finally, while it’s nice to ride your bike to school, plant gardens, buy local produce, and use environmentally friendly light bulbs and batteries, Inconvenient Youth members should know that the policies being advanced by Al Gore's Climate Project go far beyond such measures. Proposals to curb carbon emissions would raise the cost of just about every good and service. Families would have to spend more to heat the house, get to work, and purchase food and clothing. The higher costs would ripple through the economy, reducing the number of jobs and driving youth unemployment (already about 20 percent) even higher.

Even proponents of cap-and-trade systems acknowledge that current proposals would do little to slow temperature changes, if global warming models are correct. So there would be a lot of sacrifice for little result. Teens might consider if there are more pressing causes—environmental and other—where they can have more of an impact.

It’s great that teens want to make the world a better place. But they should do their homework so they are fully informed about this issue before jumping on the Al Gore environmental bandwagon.


How to Expose Post-Normal Junk Climate Science in Five Steps

By John O’Sullivan

The controversy surrounding Virginia Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli’s investigation of alleged climate science fraudster, Michael Mann, will just not go away. The amount of hot air generated presents more risk of global warming than any greenhouse gas.

But if we take the heat out of the argument for a moment and just ponder the essential legal issues, we may see some plain blue sky rather than the fog of opprobrium currently emanating from some quarters.

What is Fraud?

I would urge readers to be clear in their mind on this, as it is crucial to understanding the significance of Mann’s conduct. Fraud may legally be defined as “A false representation of a matter of fact—concealment of what should have been disclosed—that deceives and is intended to deceive another so that the individual will act upon it to her or his legal injury”

What are the Five Key Elements?

Whether you are warmist or sceptic and whichever legal authorities you refer to on this, you will find that the basic common law requirements in proving fraud must fulfill five separate elements, as follows:

(1)There must be a false statement of a material fact:

(2) Knowledge on the part of the defendant that the statement is untrue;

(3) Intent on the part of the defendant to deceive the alleged victim;

(4) Justifiable reliance by the alleged victim on the statement, and;

(5) Injury to the alleged victim as a result.

How Do The Elements Apply to Michael Mann? Ok, let’s play prosecutor and apply the above to Mann’s case:

(1.) Michael Mann presented his hockey stick graph-a consolidation of various paleoclimatic data-without clarifying that he had not applied such proxy data throughout. Mann had, in fact, secretly grafted onto his graph the actual temperature records from the 1960’s and dispensed with the tree ring proxies. He never admitted to such deceit. This was to ‘hide the decline’ in the reliability of his proxies. Moreover, he claimed to have used a large data sample-he didn’t. Analyst, Steve McIntyre uncovered that the whole scam spins around one tree!

(2.) The leaked Climategate computer folders marked “CENSORED” and “FIXED,” affirm that a 14 bristlecone pine series had been consciously and deliberately excluded by Mann in his calculations and thereafter kept from scrutiny. Thanks to a whistleblower, we now have at least some of the data despite Mann’s best efforts to keep it from independent auditors’ eyes. Despite having seen his methodologies exposed as both unsound and unethical Mann refused to correct his findings. Thus we may infer conscious and deliberate persistence in his deceit (mens rea).

(3.) In numerous interviews and publications Mann may be shown to have made repeated statements that his graph is a robust attempt at a proxy of past GLOBAL temperatures. This is a lie. At best, because he cherry-picked data so vigorously, his graph merely represents a localized proxy of North America.

(4.) Mann’s work is heavily cited by the IPCC. World governments acted on such ‘evidence’ and continue to invest heavily in remedial and unnecessary climate measures because they were persuaded that modern temps were potentially ‘catastrophic’ based on the spurious greenhouse gas thesis of Mann and his colleagues.

(5.) The total cost already paid globally by taxpayers is estimated to be in the tens of billions. Food aid projects have been impacted and hunger and starvation was precipitated by needless enterprises like biofuel farming. Mann may be held accountable for a proportion of that financial and human loss.

‘A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush’

Thus we have sketched out the basics of a case; while a more thorough analysis would no doubt fill a large filing cabinet-similar to that empty one in the corner of Mann’s office marked ‘Proof of My Integrity.’

Dr. Judith Curry has made the point that others may also have been engaged in such egregious conduct. Of course, Mann wasn’t acting alone and this is not a ‘witch-hunt.’ But rather than exonerating Mann, such an apologist argument merely mires him deeper in a conspiracy to defraud. And busting the wider conspiracy is any prosecutor’s goal.

Anti-corruption investigators proceed by pinpointing one fraudster at a time so that others may be more readily fitted into the conspiratorial puzzle; and taxpayers will be glad to see an end to that junk science gravy train.

No More Scientific Dystopia

It’s heartening to find that Dr. Curry shares in the desire of skeptics for improvements in climate science ethics generally. Hopefully, we can find common cause to more quickly rid ourselves of the bogus greenhouse gas theory.

Until that pseudo-science is buried I fear we still risk plunging downward into the spiral of scientific dystopia now more generally referred to as ‘post-normal science.’

Newton and Einstein would be spinning in their graves!


EPA Climate Bill ‘Protects’ Americans From Perrier Water

by John O'Sullivan

While analyzing the federal government’s latest long-winded publication, ‘Climate Action Report, the Fifth National Communication of the United States of America Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’ I stumbled across something buried deep inside that will dismay (or perhaps amuse) many taxpayers.

In the section entitled, ‘Proposed Regulation Facilitating Geologic Sequestration of CO2’ the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has pulled out all the stops to make an even bigger ass of itself. It is introducing a new requirement under the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect U.S. citizens from being ‘poisoned’ from carbon dioxide in drinking water.

The latest cock-eyed federal policy concerns “a new class of injection well—Class VI” (page 44) that at great expense will inject carbon dioxide (CO2) underground by a process that will inhibit drinking water from becoming as carbonated as fizzy Perrier water. The greenies call this process ‘carbon sequestration,’ in case you didn’t know.

A somnolent U.S. administration has completely swallowed the Mickey Finn plied to it by politicized environmentalists so that taxpayers pockets are legally being picked to the tune of tens of billions. All this is due to the encroaching acceptance by certain world political leaders of the unproven hypothesis that human emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, are ‘bad’ for our planet.

Doped up on their great green Mickey, President Obama’s government has opened the financial floodgates and money is fast pouring into various sequestration projects. The “Class VI” system is intended to pump industrially produced carbon emissions deep into the Earth. Here, they believe, it will be ‘less harmful.’ Nonetheless, due to natural forces, it will still eventually seep into the water supply with the passage of time. Nationally, taxpayer funded investment into such ‘green’ schemes is currently overflowing at about $18.6 billion.

The difference here from any offshore oil disaster is when (not if) the underground water supply does eventually become ‘contaminated’ by the sequestered CO2, then the government will have inadvertently created a benefit not a catastrophe: America’s home grown version of France’s famous tipple.

But by their failure to apply any joined up thinking on the issue, the typically profligate EPA will not see the economic benefits from the inadvertent spiking of our tap water. To do so would effectively pull the plug on the whole 'CO2 is poison' scam.

The weird and amoral world of eco-politics would rather taxpayers stay blissfully ignorant about how benign CO2 really is. Marketed for generations in its iconic pear-shaped little green bottle, Perrier has been regarded as a 'chic' and aspirational non-alcoholic beverage among Europe’s middle classes. In fact this ‘Champagne’ of mineral water costs more per barrel than the finest grade gasoline oil.

In Perrier’s manufacturing process the water and CO2 are sourced independently before being mixed in the bottling process. This ensures the gas added in bottled Perrier gives the same fizz as the water from the original source, the Vergèze spring in the Languedoc region of southern France.

Disavowing itself of saner opinion on the matter, the EPA has determined that the ingredient that makes the water’s fizz-that nasty carbon dioxide-is nothing short of an environmental ‘poison.’ But have you ever heard of anyone being poisoned by Perrier?

But if the U.S. government was serious about generating ‘green’ jobs then they have missed a trick by not turning these new ‘Class VI super injectors’ into money-making machines. Any forward-looking government mindful of green economic opportunities should be planning to export America’s very own ‘champagne’ to nations that won’t view it as poison.

Footnote: from 1981 to 2005, the French Perrier company sponsored an annual comedy award in Britain known as "The Perriers.” The EPA would surely scoop their own “Perrier” with this latest joke perpetrated on the American people. Will the EPA yet dig itself an even deeper hole in this climate change fiasco?


Cap-and-Trade: A Scam Based on a Scam

By Alan Caruba

It is almost beyond comprehension that Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) will introduce the Cap-and-Trade Act on Wednesday, May 12th, for consideration by the Senate. It is being passed off as a “climate bill” with provisions for more oil drilling, but it is an assault on reality, on science, on common sense, and on any future economic growth of the nation.

The nation’s prisons are filled with men still claiming to be innocent after trials filled with evidence of their guilt. Denial of the truth is their last resort and this metaphor reflects what is happening in the utterly corrupt community of “global warming” liars and their associates in the U.S. government.

Recently 225 “scientists” wrote a letter defending global warming. It was published in the journal “Science”, one of the many such publications that have become as corrupt as those at the center of the global warming scam.

Based on last November’s leaked emails among those most responsible for the data at the heart of the global warming scam, it was revealed that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had been systematically publishing false climate information and analysis.

Moreover, the photo used to illustrate the “scientists” letter was photo-shopped to show a polar bear on a small piece of ice surrounded by water. The deception included the fact that many of the signatories to the letter lack credibility. Among the first 20 listed, none work in the field of climate science.

As reported by Tony Hake of Climate Change Examiner, “Pediatric surgeons, an expert in the Maya and Olmec civilizations, a chemist that studies bacteria, and a ‘computer pioneer’ with Microsoft, an electrical engineer, the chairman of a biotechnology firm, and even an expert studying corn are but a few of the 225 experts that signed the letter.”

Dr. Gerhard Kramm, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, fired off a letter disputing the usual claim that human activity is causing carbon dioxide emissions that are, in turn, causing global warming. “Until today, there is no scientific evidence that an increase of the globally averaged near-surface temperature by less than one Kelvin during the last 160 years can be linked to the increase of the atmospheric concentrations of so-called greenhouse gases.”

There is no global warming. Whatever warming occurred followed the end of a mini ice age that began around 1350. Around 1850 the Earth’s temperature increased about one degree Fahrenheit to its current level.

The United Nations has been the locus of the greatest hoax perpetrated in the modern era, codified in the bogus Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement that many nations signed onto in1997. The Clinton administration signed the agreement, but did not implement it due to a Senate resolution that unanimously rejected it.

The real aim of the global warming scam is the prospect of selling “carbon credits” in exchanges around the world, in effect selling air!

If the Cap-and-Trade Act is passed at the urging of the Obama administration, it will constitute the greatest tax on energy use in the history of the nation and it will energize exchanges, such as the one in Chicago, set up to buy and sell the carbon credits.

As reported by Investor’s Business Daily on May 7, “The carbon trading system being pushed here has spawned crime and fraud across the pond. Cap-and-Trade is not about saving the planet. It’s about money and power, and absolute power corrupting absolutely.”

The European Emissions Trading System is a warning to America. IBD described it as “a scam built upon a scam.” British and German law enforcement authorities have been busy arresting miscreants “as part of a pan-European crackdown on carbon credit VAT tax fraud.” And VAT, a valued added tax, is being advanced in the United States as a way to raise money to pay off our ever increasing debt.

“Last December,” reported IBD, “Europol, the European criminal intelligence agency, announced that Emissions Trade System fraud had resulted in about five billion euros in lost revenues as Europe’s carbon traders schemed to avoid paying Europe’s VAT and pocket the difference. In announcing the raid, the agency said that as much as 90% of Europe’s carbon trades were the result of fraudulent activity.”

The entire global warming theory has been a scam, a hoax and a fraud from the day it was first put forth. Its advocates, corrupt scientists, corrupted science journals, and all of the environmental organizations are hoping the same Congress that foisted Obamacare on Americans will do the same with Cap-and-Trade.


Greenies want to get us all on to public transport...

With shitheads like the one below driving government buses, it's not going to happen. Anybody who can will drive their kids to school. Can you believe A FOUR YEAR OLD being left by the side of the road?

A four-year-old Tasmanian girl was left distraught when she was thrown off a bus and told to walk by herself to school. Tiarnah Fahey of Gagebrook was thrown off a Metro bus at 8.24am yesterday because her free school bus pass or Greencard didn't work, The Mercury reports.

Her family says the female bus driver told the prep student that she had to walk to school up a hill and across busy double lanes of the East Derwent Highway until she could get her Greencard working.

Her quick-thinking sister Chloe, 13, jumped off the bus to save Tiarnah from being abandoned alone to walk to school. The bus then drove off, leaving the girl in tears.

Ms Watts said Greencards were provided to all her eight children as part of the Government's free school bus travel policy for social-welfare recipients and that Tiarnah's card being out of action had nothing to do with her, or the family's, finances. She said it must have been malfunctioning when placed on the bus-pass validation machine.

"How could anybody, let alone a bus driver who has a duty of care towards these school kids, abandon a little four-year-old by the road and expect her to walk 20 minutes to school?" Ms Watts said. "I'm angry, really angry. She's only four and all she wants to do is to go to school."

Tiarnah finally arrived at Herdsmans Cove Primary with the help of Chloe, who then had to walk for another hour to Bridgewater High.

Ms Watts said she had immediately called the Government-owned Metro company, after talking about the incident with Tiarnah's teachers. Metro chief executive Heather Haselgrove was not available for comment yesterday. However, the company has agreed to immediately send Tiarnah a new school bus pass.

A public relations company hired by Metro confirmed the bus company had received a complaint from Ms Watts, which it was taking seriously. "We are reviewing CC-TV vision from the relevant bus and are investigating," public relations executive Nicholas Turner 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


11 May, 2010

Food and Ethanol shortages Imminent as Earth Enters New Cold Climate Era

Below is a press release from Space and Science Research Center of P.O. Box 607841 Orlando, FL 32860. SSRC are long range weather forecasters who concentrate principally on solar influences.

It should be noted that the crop failures that they predict could be perfectly accurate and yet not lead to actual food shortages. SSRC are not economists. Agricultural productivity worldwide is at the moment severely limited by various government regulations and an easing up of those restrictions should readily correct any shortages.

Note also that the Japanese grow rice (a tropical crop) on Hokkaido (with a climate like Southern Canada) so the production of wheat breeds which will grow in colder climates than they do now would seem to be a doddle by comparison

There is no doubt, however that another little ice age would be very nasty

The Space and Science Research Center (SSRC), the leading independent research organization in the United States on the subject of the next climate change, issues today the following warning of imminent crop damage expected to produce food and ethanol shortages for the US and Canada:

Over the next 30 months, global temperatures are expected to make another dramatic drop even greater than that seen during the 2007-2008 period. As the Earth’s current El Nino dissipates, the planet will return to the long term temperature decline brought on by the Sun’s historic reduction in output, the on-going “solar hibernation.” In follow-up to the specific global temperature forecast posted in SSRC Press Release 4-2009, the SSRC advises that in order to return to the long term decline slope from the current El Nino induced high temperatures, a significant global cold weather re-direction must occur.

According to SSRC Director John Casey, “The Earth typically makes adjustments in major temperature spikes within two to three years. In this case as we cool down from El Nino, we are dealing with the combined effects of this planetary thermodynamic normalization and the influence of the more powerful underlying global temperature downturn brought on by the solar hibernation. Both forces will present the first opportunity since the period of Sun-caused global warming period ended to witness obvious harmful agricultural impacts of the new cold climate.

Analysis shows that food and crop derived fuel will for the first time, become threatened in the next two and a half years. Though the SSRC does not get involved with short term weather prediction, it would not be unusual to see these ill-effects this year much less within the next 30 months.”

The SSRC further adds that the severity of this projected near term decline may be on the order of 0.9 C to 1.1 C from present levels. Surprising cold weather fronts will adversely impact all northern grain crops including of course wheat and the corn used in ethanol for automotive fuel.

In pointing out the importance and reliability of this new temperature forecast and its effects on North American crops, Director Casey adds,” The SSRC has been the only US independent research organization to correctly predict in advance three of the most important events in all of climate science history.

We accurately announced beforehand, the end of global warming, a long term drop in the Earth’s temperatures and most importantly the advent of a historic drop in the Sun’s output, a solar hibernation.

The US government’s leading science organizations, NASA and NOAA have completely missed all three, as of course have United Nations climate change experts. It is only because of the amount of expected criticism we received because of our strong opposition to the Obama administration’s climate change policies and our declaration of the end of global warming, that the SSRC is not more fully accepted for its leadership role in climate change forecasting.

The facts and reliability surrounding our well publicized predictions however stand as testament to the SSRC’s proven ability to understand the nature of global climate change. In view of the importance of this new forecast I have notified the Secretary of Agriculture to take immediate actions to prepare the nation’s agricultural industry for the coming crop damage.”

The SSRC places only one caveat on this forecast. Casey elaborates, “Only a stronger solar cycle with a period longer than the 206 year cycle can cause us to alter our projections. Although more research is needed in this area, none have yet shown themselves. The present hibernation is proceeding in almost lock step as the last one which occurred from 1793 to 1830.

If it continues on present course, while the cold weather impacts on food and fuel announced today are certainly important, they do not compare with what is to follow later. At the bottom of the cold cycle of this hibernation in the late 2020’s and 2030’s there will likely be years with devastating to total crop losses in the Canadian and northern US grain regions.”


Amusing: Congressman Says Climate Science Should Be Simplified to ‘Sixth Grade Level’ Because Americans ‘Don’t Get’ It

A recommendation that should be heartily endorsed. Even 6th graders could be shown that the melting point of ice is zero degrees Celsius and informed that the average temperature of the Antarctic is around 40 degrees below zero -- which means that even the top range of predicted temperature rises (around 6 degrees) would not melt it. So none of the vast sea level rises predicted by Al Gore

Unless scientists can simplify their arguments to the level of newspapers that “print at the sixth grade level,” Cleaver said, the public is “going to get a headache and bail out.”

Cleaver made his comments to a panel of scientists on Capitol Hill at a hearing last Thursday of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. The committee was investigating the “foundation” of climate science after the Climategate scandal saw thousands of damaging e-mails leaked from scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit.

The Missouri Democrat was responding to scientist James McCarthy, who said that science can sometimes be twisted by stakeholders because the conclusions can seem contradictory. One example cited the conclusion that global warming will actually create more snowfall because it will increase the amount of moisture held in the air.

“This is a very complicated subject and one can take one little piece of it and make a headline out of it and find that it’s maybe true but sounds like a contradiction,” said McCarthy, a professor of biological oceanography at Harvard University who contributed the 2001 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate assessment.

“(W)hat limits snowfall in the winter is not temperature but moisture, and that moisture may come off the Atlantic with a nor’easter, it may come up from the Gulf, or it may come off the lakes -- the Great Lakes. So, one of the early projections and climate models was in a warmer world we would have more snow (created) in Greenland and in Antarctica.

“Now that, to many people, sounded like a contradiction,” McCarthy conceded. “But indeed…a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, the air comes off the ocean, over Antarctica, over Greenland.

“Back to where you started with this comment,” he told Cleaver, “one of those short phrases, you can make a headline out of it, and often the public is very confused because they see these fragments of information and don’t understand how they fit together.”

Cleaver responded by suggesting scientists needed to dumb-down their information – and emulate newspapers. “I think the newspapers are supposed to be printed at the sixth grade level and I think with something as important as (global warming), we’ve got to figure out how to simplify the language for the public, because otherwise they’re going to get a headache and bail out because they -- not because they’re not concerned, but because they don’t get it.”

Nearly half of Americans now believe the threat of climate change is not a great as policymakers have characterized it.

“I think all of the denials and all of the talk of Climategate has had an impact, at least in the United States,” he said. “In 1997, Gallup began conducting polls on attitudes in the United States on climate change and, tragically, the number of people who believed that climate change had been exaggerated, according to Gallup, the latest poll is 48 percent, and until the latest poll, the number of those who embraced climate change as being impacted by human activity was on the way up.

“So, the folk who have been fighting this have, unfortunately from my vantage point, been winning.”

The findings Cleaver cited come from the Gallup Social Series Environment poll and were reported on March 11. At that time, Gallup said its annual update on American attitudes toward the environment showed “a public that over the last two years has become less worried about the threat of global warming, less convinced that its effects are already happening, and more likely to believe that scientists themselves are uncertain about its occurrence.”

The pollster said: “In response to one key question, 48 percent of Americans now believe that the seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated, up from 41 percent in 2009 and 31 percent in 1997, when Gallup first asked the question.”


Atmospheric Scientist Slaps Down 255 Warming Scientists

There is 'no scientific evidence that burning of fossil fuel is responsible for climate change'

(Comments by Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Gerhard Kramm of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Dr. Kramm is at the Geophysical Institute and Department of Atmospheric Sciences, College of Natural Science and Mathematics)

The 255 warming scientists stated in their letter: (I) "The planet is warming due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. A snowy winter in Washington does not alter this fact."

Professor Kramm's Response: Until today there is no scientific evidence that the increase of the globally averaged near-surface temperature by less than one Kelvin during the last 160 years (see HadCRUT3 data) can be linked to the increase of the atmospheric concentrations of so-called greenhouse gases. The notion "heat-trapping" is unphysical and does not describe the radiative processes taking place within the atmosphere.

In 1971, Prof. Dr. Heinz Fortak, the Director of the Institute for Theoretical Meteorology at the Free University of Berlin, Germany, and one of the world leading theorists in meteorology stated in his book "Meteorologie": "The 'cycle' of the long-wave radiation between that Earth?s surface and the atmosphere does not contribute to the heating of the system. The outgoing emission of infrared radiation only serves to maintain the radiative equilibrium at the top of the atmosphere."

All explanations of the so-called atmospheric greenhouse effect are linked to a global scale. This means that the global energy budget for the system 'Earth-atmosphere" has to be considered. Based on this global energy budget one can show that Heinz Fortak was right. Note that a "global climate" does not exist. It is a contradiction in terms.

The 255 Scientists Stated: (II) "Most of the increase in the concentration of these gases over the last century is due to human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation."

Prof. Kramm's Response: If the first argument of these 255 scientists is not correct as documented before, no scientific evidence that the burning of fossil fuel is responsible for climate change does exist. Deforestation may alter the planetary albedo of the system 'Earth-atmosphere' in the solar range. To investigate such land-use changes numerically, the so-called GCMs are rather inappropriate for this purpose because their grid increments are too coarse to fit the requirements in simulating the soil-biosphere-atmosphere interactions with a sufficient degree of accuracy. Is one of these 255 scientists able to formulate the stomatal conductance for an area of more the 60,000 km^2, the typical area of a grid element in a GCM?

The 255 Scientists Stated: (III) "Natural causes always play a role in changing Earth's climate, but are now being overwhelmed by human-induced changes."

Professor's Kramm's Response: If the first argument of these 255 scientists is not correct, as documented before, their third argument is so useless like their second argument.

The 255 Scientists Stated: (IV) "Warming the planet will cause many other climatic patterns to change at speeds unprecedented in modern times, including increasing rates of sea-level rise and alterations in the hydrologic cycle. Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are making the oceans more acidic."

Professor's Kramm's Response: The fourth argument of these 255 scientists sounds like chatting about possible injuries while playing soccer. It is based on pure speculation because the arguments (I) to (III) are irrelevant. Speculation is not covered by any scientific standard.

The 255 Scientists Stated: (V) "The combination of these complex climate changes threatens coastal communities and cities, our food and water supplies, marine and freshwater ecosystems, forests, high mountain environments, and far more."

Professor Kramm's Response: If the arguments (I) to (III) are irrelevant, the fifth argument of these 255 scientists is based on pure speculation, too.

Professor Kramm Continues: It seems that some further explanations are indispensable. The projecting of the climate using GCMs (Global circulation models) does not fit scientific standards because any numerical result requires its verification by observation.

In addition, as argued by Kramm and Dlugi (2009), the inherent uncertainty prevents that climate is predictable with a sufficient degree of accuracy. In their conclusion Kramm and Dlugi stated: "It is not surprising to us that the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced solicitation 09-568, Climate Process and Modeling Teams (CPT), where the key aim of the CPT concept is to speed development of global coupled climate models and reduce uncertainties in climate models by bringing together theoreticians, field observationalists, process modelers and the large modeling centers to concentrate on the scientific problems facing climate models today."

Since any change can only be identified with respect to a reference state, climate change can only be identified on the basis of, at least, two non-overlapping climate periods. According to the recommendations of the international meteorological conferences held in1935 and 1957, a climate period should comprise 30 years for statistically describing the weather pattern on a long-term scale. Consequently, at least, 60 years are required to identify climate change.


Taiwan sinking: Subsidence or Global Warming Induced Sea Level Rise?

This news story about Taiwan has been making the rounds with the usual alarming news outlets. My view is clearly on subsidence, caused by poor land use practice. See below for the easily found reasons.
Rising sea levels threaten Taiwan

When worshippers built a temple for the goddess Matsu in south Taiwan 300 years ago, they chose a spot they thought would be at a safe remove from the ocean. They did not count on global warming.

Now, as the island faces rising sea levels, the Tungshih township is forced to set up a new temple nearby, elevated by three metres (10 feet) compared with the original site.

“Right now, the temple is flooded pretty much every year,” said Tsai Chu-wu, the temple’s chief secretary, explaining why the 63-million-dollar project is necessary.

“Once the new temple is completed, we should be able to avoid floods and the threat of the rising sea, at least for many, many years,” he said.

The temple of Matsu, ironically often described as the Goddess of the Sea, is only one example of how global warming is slowly, almost imperceptibly piling pressure on Taiwan.

Now consider this news story about a hi-speed rail system in Taiwan from China Daily that says:
Safety concerns were raised after according to the Taiwan High-Speed Rail Corp. (THSRC) figures revealed that at its worst, the land at one site along the stretch in Yunlin County has sunk 55 centimeters over the past seven years.

Over-pumping of underground water for irrigation has been blamed for the subsidence, and the Water Resources Agency (WRA) has identified 1,115 wells in the area that need to be sealed to stop the sinking.

Seems pretty clear that subsidence is happening quickly in that county. Here’s a paper studying the Yuanlin area, Changhua County. PDF here. Note the mention of Yunlin County, save that for later.
Using Radar Interferometry to Observe Land Subsidence in Yuanlin area, Changhua County, Taiwan

Abstract: The behavior of land subsidence in Yuanlin area, Changhua County, Taiwan has been monitored by the two-pass method of Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (DInSAR) during the period from 1995 to 2002. Our interferometric result has shown that the subsidence behavior is unusual right before and after the Chi-Chi earthquake. Two-month before the earthquake, the pre-seismic differential interferogram detects a substantial increase in land subsidence with a prominent U-shaped pattern of groundwater level change. Two days after the devastating earthquake, our one-month image-pair shows a five-fold increase in land subsidence and an apparent shift of subsidence center. In this study, we suggest mechanisms that contribute to land subsidence in pre-seismic, co-seismic and post-seismic. We tend to believe that the circular/elongated pattern shown in our interferograms are caused by a point-source deformation. Besides, strain also plays a very important role in accelerating land subsidence shown in the post-seismic differential interferogram. It causes a very sudden, step-like surge in groundwater. The shaking of the earthquake as well as the increase of groundwater trigger the occurrence of soil liquefaction, in return, accelerating land subsidence. We propose there are two center of land subsidence right after the Chi-Chi earthquake though only one subsidence center can be observed in our differential interferogram.

Much more HERE

How "Smart Growth" Policies Helped Paulson and Goldman Sachs Short Housing

Everybody now knows that the hedge fund at the center of the Goldman Sachs SEC complaint, Paulson & Co., made a fortune by selecting credit default obligations made up of high risk mortgages. What is less well known is how Paulson picked mortgages. The Wall Street Journal reports: “According to the SEC complaint, [Paulson and Company head John] Paulson especially wanted to find risky subprime adjustable rate mortgages that had been given to borrowers in California, Arizona, Florida, and Nevada—states with big spikes in home prices that he reckoned would crash.”

What do these states have in common? Heritage fellow Ron Utt notes:

Not surprisingly, one key reason for escalating home prices in these four states was their tight regulation of land use, which created artificial shortages of developable land at a time when sales were soaring and credit plentiful. … According to RealtyTrac, by 2008 nine of the 10 areas with the highest foreclosure rates were in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida, while 18 of the top 20 were in urban areas that Brookings includes in its most restrictive category, including California, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida.

By early 2010, foreclosure and delinquency rates compiled and reported by Lender Processing Services revealed that mortgages in Florida, Nevada, and Arizona were the worst three performers in the country and that California was the fifth worst. Nearly a quarter of the residential mortgages in Florida and Nevada were “non-current”as of early 2010.

But don’t worry, President Barack Obama has decided to re inflate the bubble in these five states with $1.5 billion in bailouts for delinquent borrowers. Worse Obama administration Transportation Secretary Roy LaHood wants to create new bubble zones:

Other pending legislation and policies—notably the draft of the transportation reauthorization bill and the many statements by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on the need for greater housing and population densities—will make things worse by pursuing counterproductive policies endorsed by the President’s environmental supporters. As recent Heritage Foundation reports have revealed, both the legislation and the proposed policies have as one of their chief purposes the encouragement of the type of land use regulations that led to the house price inflation in the four states whose mortgages Paulson targeted for opportunity based on potential failure.


Carbon Capture & Burial – all Carbon Cemeteries are already Full.

The Carbon Sense Coalition today called for an end to the colossal waste of community resources and energy on research and development for “Carbon Capture and Burial”.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that billions of dollars are being wasted on sacrifices to the global warming god - endless bureaucracy, politicised research, piddling wind and solar schemes, roof insulation disasters, ethanol subsidies, carbon credit forests, carbon trading frauds and huge compliance costs.

“But perhaps the biggest waste of all is the futile quest to capture carbon dioxide from power stations, separate it, compress it, pump it long distances and force it down specially drilled bore holes, hoping it will never escape.

“The effect of CO2 on global temperature, if it exists, is so small that no one has been able to demonstrate or measure it. The touted effect exists solely in computer models whose forecasts to date have all failed. Therefore there is ZERO proven benefit for mankind in trying to capture harmless CO2 in order to bury it in carbon cemeteries. Worse, it is removing valuable plant food from the biosphere – a step towards global food suicide. Moreover, for every tonne of carbon buried, we bury 2.7 tonnes of the gas of life – oxygen.

“The quantities of gas to be handled just from power stations are enormous. For every tonne of coal burnt, about 11 tonnes of gases are exhausted – 7.5 tonnes of nitrogen, 2.5 tonnes of CO2 and one tonne of water vapour. These are all harmless and valuable natural recycled atmospheric gases. Life on earth would be impossible without them.

“Normally these harmless gases are vented to the atmosphere after filters take out nasties like soot and noxious fumes. To capture the CO2 would require additional energy to collect the 11 tonnes of gases and separate the 2.5 tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of coal burnt. Then even more energy would be required to compress this 2.5 tonnes of CO2 and pump it to the burial site.

“All of this is possible, but the capital and operating costs will be horrendous. It is estimated that 30% - 40% of the power currently generated will be used just on carbon capture, compression and pumping. More energy still is required to produce and erect the steel for all those pumps and pipes and to drill the disposal wells. All this will chew up more coal resources and produce yet more carbon dioxide, for no benefit.

“But the real problem starts at the burial site. “There is no vacuum occurring naturally anywhere on earth – every bit of space is occupied by solids, liquids or gases. Thus to dispose of CO2 underground requires it to be pumped AGAINST the pressure of whatever is in the pore space of the rock formation now – either natural gases or liquids. These pressures can be substantial, especially after more gas is pumped in.

“The natural gases in rock formations are commonly air, CO2, methane or rotten egg gas. The liquids are commonly fresh or salty water or, very rarely, liquid hydrocarbons.

To find a place where you could drive out oil or natural gas in order to make space to bury CO2 would be like winning the Lottery – a profitable but very unlikely event. Pumping air out is costly, pumping CO2 out to make room for CO2 is pointless and releasing large quantities of salty water or rotten egg gas would create a real surface problem, unlike the imaginary threat from CO2.

“In normal times, pumping fresh water out would be seen as a boon for most locals, but these days it is probably prohibited. Naturally, some carbon dioxide will dissolve in groundwater and pressurise it, so that the next water driller in the area could get a real bonus – bubbling Perrier Water on tap, worth more than oil.

“Regulating carbon dioxide is best left to the oceans – they have been doing it for millions of years. It’s time for tax payers and shareholders to protest this gigantic waste of money, energy and coal resources on fantasies like carbon capture and burial.

“Because, no matter where we look for space for carbon dioxide burial, we will find signs saying: “All carbon cemeteries are already full”.



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


10 May, 2010

We need to recognize the complexity and variety of climate influences

‘Researchers first became intrigued by abrupt climate change when they discovered striking evidence of large, abrupt, and widespread changes preserved in paleoclimatic archives. Interpretation of such proxy records of climate - for example, using tree rings to judge occurrence of droughts or gas bubbles in ice cores to study the atmosphere at the time the bubbles were trapped -is a well-established science that has grown much in recent years. This chapter summarizes techniques for studying paleoclimate and highlights research results. The chapter concludes with examples of modern climate change and techniques for observing it. Modern climate records include abrupt changes that are smaller and briefer than in paleoclimate records but show that abrupt climate change is not restricted to the distant past.’

US National Academy of Science (2002), Committee on Abrupt Climate Changes, Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises NAP – p19 ...

Abrupt climate change occurs on all scales from interannual ENSO events, to decades, ice ages and beyond. More important than the detail of specific abrupt climate changes is in understanding the principle in mathematical physics of abrupt change and applying it as a fundamental property of climate.

Abrupt change is not unusual in systems as diverse as the human heart, nervous systems, ant colonies, global economies or whole ecologies. Many physical (and social) systems exhibit abrupt (so called chaotic) changes. Weather has been known to be ‘chaotic’ since the 1960’s. All these systems share properties that are defined in terms of complex systems theory. Chief amongst these commonalities is that the systems are sensitive to small initial changes – the so called butterfly effect. Complex systems theory is a metatheory, a theory of theories, under which umbrella climate science is now to be located along with other dynamic and complex systems....

The classic example of abrupt climate change in the paleoclimatic record is the period of the Younger Dryas occurring around 12,800 to 11,500 years ago.

There was a sudden shift out of glaciation some 15,000 years ago. This was followed by an almost equally rapid cooling that culminated in the extreme cold period of the Younger Dryas lasting for 1300 years. The consequences of a modern descent into a similar climate mode, over as little as a decade, are unthinkable. Surface temperatures drive evaporation over oceans – as temperature cools aridity increases and there is less snow accumulation....

Four abrupt climate shifts can be seen in the past century. The instrumental temperature record itself contains evidence of abrupt shift. Using HadCrut3 data: increasing from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, declining to the late 1970’s, increasing to 1998 and declining since. The shifts are punctuated by extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. Fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold - due perhaps in a decade or two if the recent past is any indication.

Professor Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin -Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to calculate the times of abrupt climate shift. Using ocean and atmospheric indices - the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), (ENSO), and the North Pacific Oscillation (NPO) – to show these also shifted abruptly, in ‘synchronised chaos’ and at the same time as the changes in surface temperature regimes.

Our ‘interest is to understand - first the natural variability of climate - and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

The simple mechanical analogy of Figure 1 has three degrees of freedom. The Earth climate system has hundreds. It must be remembered that all of these subsystems are operating interactively, as in Adams’ ‘cascade of powerful mechanisms.’ It is impossible to imagine yet alone analyse, describe or model with our current capabilities – but all of the changes in climate, warming and cooling, result from a spontaneous reorganisation of internal climate sub-systems when forced by small initial changes.

Anthropogenic carbon emissions add to initial changes (and increase climate instability) but none of the changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide are related in any direct or linear way to climate outcomes - any thinking about climate in terms of simple cause and effect is fundamentally flawed. Climate predictability beyond a decade at best is problematic - essentially because abrupt climate change at decadal scales is guaranteed but also because of the possibility of a larger climate shift.


Feedbacks from the Latest CERES data

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Arguably the single most important scientific issue – and unresolved question – in the global warming debate is climate sensitivity. Will increasing carbon dioxide cause warming that is so small that it can be safely ignored (low climate sensitivity)? Or will it cause a global warming Armageddon (high climate sensitivity)?

The answer depends upon the net radiative feedback: the rate at which the Earth loses extra radiant energy with warming. Climate sensitivity is mostly determined by changes in clouds and water vapor in response to the small, direct warming influence from (for instance) increasing carbon dioxide concentrations.

The net radiative feedback can be estimated from global, satellite-based measurements of natural climate variations in (1) Earth’s radiation budget, and (2) tropospheric temperatures.

These feedback estimates have been mostly constrained by the availability of the first measurement: the best calibrated radiation budget data comes from the NASA CERES instruments, with data now available for 9.5 years from the Terra satellite, and 7 years from the Aqua satellite. Both datasets now extend through September of 2009.

I’ve been slicing and dicing the data different ways, and here I will present 7 years of results for the global (60N to 60S) oceans from NASA’s Aqua satellite. The following plot shows 7 years of monthly variations in the Earth’s net radiation (reflected solar shortwave [SW] plus emitted infrared longwave [LW]) compared to similarly averaged tropospheric temperature from AMSU channel 5.

Simple linear regression yields a net feedback factor of 5.8 Watts per sq. meter per degree C. If this was the feedback operating with global warming, then it would amount to only 0.6 deg. C of human-caused warming by late in this century. (Use of sea surface temperatures instead of tropospheric temperatures yields a value of over 11).

Since we have already experienced 0.6 deg. C in the last 100 years, it would also mean that most of our current global warmth is natural, not anthropogenic.

But, as we show in our new paper (in press) in the Journal of Geophysical Research, these feedbacks can not be estimated through simple linear regression on satellite data, which will almost always result in an underestimate of the net feedback, and thus an overestimate of climate sensitivity....

How Does this Compare to the IPCC Climate Models?

In comparison, we find that none of the 17 IPCC climate models (those that have sufficient data to do the same calculations) exhibit this level of negative feedback when similar statistics are computed from output of either their 20th Century simulations, or their increasing-CO2 simulations. Those model-based values range from around 2 to a little over 4.

These results suggest that the sensitivity of the real climate system is less than that exhibited by ANY of the IPCC climate models. This will end up being a serious problem for global warming predictions. You see, while modelers claim that the models do a reasonably good job of reproducing the average behavior of the climate system, it isn’t the average behavior we are interested in. It is how the average behavior will CHANGE.

And the above results show that not one of the IPCC climate models behaves like the real climate system does when it comes to feedbacks during interannual climate variations…and feedbacks are what determine how serious manmade global warming will be.


Letter signatories were only 12% of NAS

By Luboš Motl

Yesterday, 255 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences - which has 2100 members in total - signed an open but originally paid letter in Science: "Climate Change and the Integrity of Science"

As ABC and other media wrote, the researchers are "deeply disturbed by political assaults on scientists".

"For a problem as potentially catastrophic as climate change, taking no action poses a dangerous risk for our planet," they argue. The first three paragraphs say:
We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular. All citizens should understand some basic scientific facts. There is always some uncertainty associated with scientific conclusions; science never absolutely proves anything. When someone says that society should wait until scientists are absolutely certain before taking any action, it is the same as saying society should never take action. For a problem as potentially catastrophic as climate change, taking no action poses a dangerous risk for our planet.

Scientific conclusions derive from an understanding of basic laws supported by laboratory experiments, observations of nature, and mathematical and computer modeling. Like all human beings, scientists make mistakes, but the scientific process is designed to find and correct them. This process is inherently adversarial - scientists build reputations and gain recognition not only for supporting conventional wisdom, but even more so for demonstrating that the scientific consensus is wrong and that there is a better explanation. That's what Galileo, Pasteur, Darwin, and Einstein did. But when some conclusions have been thoroughly and deeply tested, questioned, and examined, they gain the status of "well-established theories" and are often spoken of as "facts."

For instance, there is compelling scientific evidence that our planet is about 4.5 billion years old (the theory of the origin of Earth), that our universe was born from a single event about 14 billion years ago (the Big Bang theory), and that today's organisms evolved from ones living in the past (the theory of evolution). Even as these are overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, fame still awaits anyone who could show these theories to be wrong. Climate change now falls into this category: There is compelling, comprehensive, and consistent objective evidence that humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which we depend. (p. 689)

That's a set of remarkable misinterpretations of the actual findings. Indeed, science is never certain. But rational actions of the humans should reflect the current ideas about the probabilities of various outcomes rather than unscientific, ideological preconceptions masked as various kinds of "precautionary principles". There is an overwhelming evidence that the climate change in the next decades, century, or two - regardless of its causes - will be harmless while attempts to "phase out" carbon out of our lives would be devastating.

I know almost no one on the list - and it's great not to see most of the NAS members I know well. However, it's still sad to see people like Paul Crutzen, Kerry Emanuel, Wally Gilbert, Carl Wunsch, and others on this blacklist. I have no idea why they haven't managed to convince Rev James Hansen to sign the letter; he's been an NAS member since 1996.

Such letters usually create lots of noise but we shouldn't forget that the signatories represent just a fringe minority of the National Academy of Sciences so this letter doesn't directly imply that the whole academy is rotten.


Let the Sun Set on Solar Subsidies

The country that leads the clean energy economy will lead the global economy. We’ve heard some version of that story a number of times from President Obama, whether it be in his State of the Union address or trying to sell the stimulus at wind and solar manufacturing plants across the country. Countries like Spain and Germany are leading the race in the clean energy; as President Obama says, “they’re making real investments in renewable energy.” But what’s at the finish line? If Spain and Germany provide any indication, it’s a slumping economy, and both countries are cutting back the subsidies:

E&E reports:
Only two years ago, Spanish solar energy companies feasting on generous government subsidies expanded at a feverish pace, investing €18 billion (then worth roughly $28 billion) to blanket rooftops and fields with photovoltaic panels. They briefly turned the country into the top solar market in the world.

Then came a monumental case of sunburn. The market crashed under a wave of subsidy cuts, fears of possible forced tariff paybacks and allegations of fraud involving energy produced at night being sold as solar power to collect super-premium prices.

Spain’s subsidies for solar were four to six times higher than those for wind. Prices charged for solar power were 12 times higher than those for fossil fuel electricity. Germany and Spain received about 75 percent of the world’s photovoltaic panel installations that year.

Spain is not the only European country cutting solar subsidies. On July 1, Germany will cut the price paid for electricity from roof-mounted solar panels by 16 percent and that from larger solar power stations by 15 percent. France cut its solar subsidies in January by 29 percent after the installed capacity more than doubled from 105 megawatts in 2008 to 250 megawatts last year. Italy, considered by analysts the first market where solar is likely to become competitive without subsidies, is considering a gradual decrease in tariffs between 2011 and 2013.”

It would be encouraging to see solar and wind be cost competitive without subsidies and reducing government dependence will determine if that can be the case. Germany’s Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen is taking a more sensible approach, saying, “Our solution is innovation instead of subsidies.” That’s an approach we can support and it should be the approach for all energy sources.


A confused Republican

Today’s Greenwire (subscription required) includes an edited transcript of an interview with Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that recalls Bill Clinton’s famous line, “It all depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

Graham was at pains to explain his position on the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman cap-and-trade bill. On the one hand, he asserted that, “I’m in this to win.” On the other hand, he pulled the rug out from under Kerry and Lieberman two weeks ago when he backed out at the last minute from a press conference at which the bill was to be unveiled, and he is not expected to join them when they introduce the bill next week. Sen. John Cronyn (R-TX) aptly described Graham as the hokey pokey man: “You put your right foot in. You take your right foot out. I’m not sure where he [Graham] is right now.”

Although the bill includes a cap-and-trade program for the electric power sector, which is to be extended over time to other sectors of the economy, Graham is still asserting that it’s neither a cap-and-trade bill nor a global warming bill. He stated: “It’s not a global warming bill to me. Because global warming as a reason to pass legislation doesn’t exist anymore.” He also explained: “There is no bipartisan support for a cap-and-trade bill based on global warming.”

Permit me to translate Graham’s Clintonese: “We want capntrade even if the original and central rationale is no longer credible, and oh, by the way, we’re not calling it capntrade anymore. I’m in this to win but I’ll be a no-show when Kerry and Lieberman introduce the non-global warming, non-capntrade, global warming-capntrade bill.”


Europe's Carbon Mafia, And Ours

Huge corruption

The carbon trading system being pushed here has spawned crime and fraud across the pond. Cap-and-trade is not about saving the planet. It's about money and power, and absolute power corrupting absolutely.

All across Europe authorities have been conducting raids, rounding up individuals involved in a new version of Climate-gate. This time the data aren't corrupted. Europe's Emissions Trading System is. The system is so sick, it's turned out to be a scam built upon a scam.

Twenty-five people have been arrested in raids by British and German authorities as part of a pan-European crackdown on carbon credit VAT tax fraud.

U.K. officials announced raids on 81 offices and homes, nabbing 13 people in England and eight in Scotland. The operation involved 450 investigators from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs office.

German authorities raided 230 locations, including the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt and the offices of RWE, one of the largest energy firms in Europe. The German operation involved 1,000 investigators targeting 50 companies and 150 suspects.

The amount of money involved in carbon trading is huge and the temptations vast. While our Congress demagogues about banks and their "complex financial instruments," they are simple compared to cap-and-trade, which as we have noted involves essentially the buying and selling of air. Throw in an oppressive value-added tax and you have a recipe for corruption and fraud.

Last December, Europol, the European criminal intelligence agency, announced that Emissions Trading System fraud had resulted in about 5 billion euros in lost revenues as Europe's carbon traders schemed to avoid paying Europe's VAT and pocket the difference. In announcing the raids, the agency said that as much as 90% of Europe's carbon trades were the result of fraudulent activity.

"Carbon markets are highly susceptible to fraud, given their complexity and the fact that it's not always clear what is being traded," says Oscar Reyes of Carbon Trade Watch.

Climate change has been found to be a fraud. Now the system to fight it has been. Yet it's that system the administration and others want to establish here through cap-and-trade legislation such as Waxman-Markey and Kerry-Boxer.

As we also have noted, the mechanism for such phantom carbon trading here has already been established in the form of the Chicago Climate Exchange. The Joyce Foundation in 2000 and 2001 provided the seed money to start CCX when Barack Obama sat on its board.



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 May, 2010

More crooked "science"

Faked photo used in a leading science journal

You can read here the wail from Warmist scientists about their being attacked in the same way that they long attacked "deniers".

Note that it is accompanied by a photo apparently designed to convey the urgency of their cause. The photo is of a lone polar bear on an iceberg credited to ISTOCKPHOTO.COM.

The photo is a fake with the following note in the photo caption at Istockphoto: "This image is a photoshop design. Polar bear, ice-floe, ocean and sky are real, they were just not together in the way they are now."

What does the use of a faked photo say about the scientific credibility of the journal in question? I think it says it all. These guys are inveterate frauds. They just don't know HOW to be honest.

They are just evangelists for the latest apocalyptic faith -- a faith that is as poorly-founded as all its predecessors. Perhaps we should in future refer to their publication as The Science Watchtower, though that perhaps defames Jehovah's Witnesses.

A Greenie wet dream

With 2010 action by Congress now uncertain on climate and energy issues, Synapse Energy Economics of Cambridge, MA., will release a new report on May 11, 2010 detailing how the United States could make the transition to a clean electricity future.

The report, prepared for the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (CSI), outlines a transition to a healthier, safer power industry and provides details on what this transition might look like in the various regions of the U.S.

The Synapse report for CSI develops a scenario for 2010- 2050 in which the country:

* Cuts electricity use by 15 percent from today’s requirements through increased energy efficiency, or over 40 percent from a “business as usual” (BAU) scenario.

* Retires the existing fleet of coal-fired power plants and builds no new coal-fired generation, rather than burning more coal. Tens of billions of dollars could be saved in avoided pollution control costs at the coal-fired plants retired between 2010 and 2020.

* Reduces electric sector emissions of carbon dioxide by 82 percent relative to projected 2010 levels, and virtually eliminates emissions of sulfur dioxide and mercury.

* Boosts renewable energy -- including wind, solar, geothermal and biomass -- throughout the nation, eventually providing for half of the nation’s electricity requirements.

* Achieves all of the above with long-term savings relative to a BAU energy future .

The above is a news release received from

Reid Aide Skeptical On Climate Bipartisanship

The chances of a climate and energy bill passing in 2010 -- or even in the next few years -- are diminishing given the lack of strong bipartisan support, a top adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday.

"It's unclear whether there will be bipartisan support," Chris Miller, the Nevada Democrat's senior policy adviser on energy and climate, said at a conference sponsored by the Blue Green Alliance. "The only chance we have to get it done this year is to make sure it's bipartisan."

Miller went on to say that Democrats have "seen little to any real interest in public engagement by very many Republicans." He named only two senators on the other side of the aisle who have been active in the process: Susan Collins, R-Maine, who has introduced a bill with Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.; and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who has withdrawn from climate negotiations with John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I/D-Conn., because of an impasse with Reid over immigration.

Reid indicated last week that Graham's involvement was not essential. "There are 40 other Republicans -- why Lindsey Graham?" he said. But Miller's comments today suggest that bipartisan support from somewhere, if not from Graham himself, is essential -- and elusive.

"We are hopeful given the short time frame that we'll get some support, because if we don't, the chances we're going to be able to legislate on this this year and in the next few years is going to decline significantly," Miller said. "We need all hands on deck to try to convince members of the other side that they should work with us."

He expressed hope that the bill crafted by Kerry, Graham and Lieberman would still be introduced, but he didn't comment on whether or when that could happen. Kerry said earlier today at the conference that he hoped to introduce the bill "very, very soon," but Miller indicated that Reid may not bring a bill to the floor if he is not confident it could pass. Given the current state of Senate politics, it almost always takes a filibuster-proof 60 votes to pass a bill, he said, and "bringing a bill to the floor and failing could be worse than no bill at all."


British electric car drivers fear being stranded with flat battery

The era of carefree motoring may soon be over, according to a study which reveals that drivers of the new generation of electric cars are plagued by nagging fears of being left stranded by a flat battery.

They narrow their horizons and rarely venture far from home, abandoning the old notion of the freedom of the open road.

A six-month trial involving 264 drivers found that almost all experienced “range anxiety” and travelled only short distances.

They were over cautious when planning journeys and allowed themselves a generous safety margin to avoid the need to recharge en route. They tended to avoid using their cars if the battery indicator showed that the charge level was less than 50 per cent.

Even though electric cars such as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV are theoretically capable of travelling 100 miles between charges the drivers appeared not to trust the official figures. The maximum journey undertaken was only a quarter of the official range.

The suitcase-sized batteries take at least six hours to recharge and Britain has only about 300 public charging points, most of which are in London.

The Government-funded trial, involving drivers working for local authorities, private companies and universities in the North East of England, found that the maximum journey length undertaken was only a quarter of the car’s official range.

Cenex, the Centre of Excellence for low carbon vehicle technologies which conducted the trial, concluded: “Range anxiety effects were significant throughout the trial with 93 per cent of journeys commencing with over 50 per cent battery state of charge.

“The under-utilisation of range is undesirable in terms of efficient deployment and acceptance of electric vehicles and highlights a need for more sophisticated on-board range prediction aids.”

The trial also found that drivers altered their driving style, slowing down and avoiding unnecessary acceleration or braking when the charge indicator dropped below 50 per cent.

Neil Butcher, who is leading a Government-sponsored trial of 25 electric cars in the West Midlands, said that drivers tended to think much more carefully about their journeys before setting out.

However, he said that only one family so far had drained the battery and been forced to make an unscheduled stop.

“They were driving at high speed down the motorway on the first day they had the car and they ran out of charge about four miles from home. They stopped at a pub which let them plug in while they sat there for a couple of hours until there was enough to make it home.”

Mr Butcher said that range anxiety increased in cold weather because the battery capacity fell by up to a third. Using the heater also caused the range shown on the dashboard instrument to drop by up to 20 miles.

“It encourages you to wear a coat and gloves in the car,” said Mr Butcher.

He said that drivers would be confident about making long trips once a network of fast-charge points was deployed. These give an 80 per cent charge in as little as 20 minutes. However, these points cost up to £25,000 each to install and using them reduces the life of the battery.

David Jackson, electric vehicle project manager for Nissan UK, said that drivers of the Nissan Leaf, a small family electric car due to go on sale in March next year, would be able to use a mobile phone to monitor the battery level as it was recharging. They would also be able to send the car a message to warm itself up using mains electricity so that they could start at a comfortable temperature without shortening the car’s range.

From January drivers will be able to obtain Government grants of up to £5,000 towards the purchase of an electric car.

The Department for Transport has also given London, Milton Keynes and the North East a total of £8 million for the installation of 11,000 charging points by the end of 2013. The points will mainly be installed in car parks and at leisure centres, railway stations and supermarkets.

However, only 2,000 points will be installed next year and only 79 of those will be fast-charge points.


Was Nashville's flood caused by global warming?

Apparently, head of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Kevin Trenberth thinks so. However, according to the US Climate Extremes Index for precipitation, there has been no trend in US precipitation over the past 100 years:

Above graph from the US Climate Extremes Index shows the sum of the percentage of the United States with a much greater than normal number of days with precipitation plus the percentage with a much greater than normal number of days without precipitation. Five year mean is shown in green.

Climate scientists frequently like to have it both ways, claiming that anthropogenic global warming causes both increased precipitation and increased droughts.

Did anthropogenic global warming also cause the highest recorded flood in Nashville in 1926 & 1927 according to the US Army Corps of Engineers? And severe Nashville flooding in 1937, 1975, and 1977?


Most Australians (2 out of 3) not convinced that climate change is man-made

A huge collapse in faith -- brought on by the crookedness of the "scientists" at the centre of the scare

Two out of three Australians are not convinced climate change is man-made, and even those who do believe it is aren't prepared to pay much to fix it, a new poll shows.

A Galaxy Poll, commissioned by the conservative Institute of Public Affairs, found 35 per cent of respondents blamed humans for global warming. Fully 26 per cent believed it was just part of a natural cycle, while 38 per cent remained uncertain.

Thirty-five per cent said they would not be prepared to pay anything to generate cleaner energy and fight global warming.

Of those who believed climate change to be man-made, 27 per cent said they would be prepared to pay only $100 or less a year in increased tax and utility costs.

The poll shows young people are most convinced that global warming is man-made, and older people are the least worried. Just 27 per cent of those aged over 50 believe climate change to be man-made.

Institute executive director John Roskam said this was the polling Prime Minister Kevin Rudd did not want Australians to see. "This reveals why Kevin Rudd has run away from what he had previously described as the greatest moral challenge of our times," he said in a statement.



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 May, 2010

Good old Leftist projection at work among Warmists

After a decade of abusing skeptics with practically every derogatory epithet in the book, they now accuse skeptics of abusing THEM with practically every derogatory epithet in the book.

They politicized the issue and now accuse skeptics of politicizing the issue.

They wanted "denial" treated as a criminal offence and now complain that skeptics want their deceptions treated as a criminal offence.

They should have read and heeded Matthew 7:12

In a letter published in the journal Science, more than 250 members of the US National Academy of Sciences, including 11 Nobel Prize laureates, condemned the increase in "political assaults" on scientists who argue greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet.

The 'climategate' scandal and mistakes by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have led to a surge in attacks on climate scientists around the world.

In the US politicians have called for a criminal investigation of climate scientists, while in the UK eminent professors have received hate mail and even death threats.

In a strongly worded letter, the group of scientists likened the situation to the 'McCarthy era' in the US where anyone suspected of communist links was threatened with persecution. The period in the 1950s was named after the anti-communist pursuits of Senator Joseph McCarthy.

"We call for an end to McCarthy-like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association, the harassment of scientists by politicians seeking distractions to avoid taking action, and the outright lies being spread about them," the letter read.

The defence of climate science comes after a number of scandals cast doubt on the theory of man-made global warming. Emails stolen from the University of East Anglia (UEA) appeared to show scientists were willing to exaggerate temperature change in a scandal known as 'climategate', although two separate inquiries have found no evidence of misconduct.

Meanwhile the United Nations science body, the IPCC, that advises world governments about climate change was forced to retract a statement that claimed the Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035.

The scientists fear the scandals have led to a witch hunt against those involved.

James Inhofe, a US senator and long-standing climate sceptic, has called for a criminal investigation of climate scientists. Professor Phil Jones, the head of the Climatic Research Unit at the UEA, said he considered suicide after receiving hate mail and death threats.

Worst of all, they fear politicians and interest groups in industry are using doubt over climate science to prevent the world from acting to reduce the threat of global warming.

"Society has two choices: we can ignore the science and hide our heads in the sand and hope we are lucky, or we can act in the public interest to reduce the threat of global climate change quickly and substantively. The good news is that smart and effective actions are possible. But delay must not be an option."

The letter points out that there is uncertainty attached to theory of evolution and the Big Bang. But like these theories, climate change has been "overwhelmingly" accepted by scientists.

"There is compelling, comprehensive and consistent objective evidence that humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which we depend," they said. [For instance...?]

"Many recent assaults on climate science and, more disturbingly, on climate scientists by climate change deniers, are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence."


Warmists hate scrutiny and rage against it

by John O'Sullivan

Since the Climategate scandal establishment figures have relentlessly stymied unwelcome scrutiny by legal experts. The latest wagon-circler is Dr. Judith Curry, an esteemed member of NASA's Climate Research Committee for over three years. Now Curry has become a self-appointed apologist for the unethical and some say, fraudulent, conduct of Penn. State University’s climate professor, Michael Mann.

In an interview with Thomas Fuller of the Environmental Policy Examiner (May 4, 2010) this well-heeled establishment scientist criticizes Virginia Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, for doing his job. Somehow Dr. Curry manages to fudge the line between a deliberate pre-meditated criminal fraud and an honest mistake.

Her tirade was prompted by Cuccinelli’s legal demand for access to Mann’s records from his former employers at Virginia State University where the tree-ring researcher benefited by almost $500,000 in taxpayer funding.

The Evidence Shows Probable Cause

If anyone doubts Cuccinelli’s just cause then I suggest they read the Wegman Report, those leaked Climategate emails plus the British investigation known as the Oxburgh Committee Report.

Much more HERE

Droughts and the unpredictable monsoon

Australia is also prone to droughts and has been as far back as we know. Warmists seized on the last one as caused by rising CO2 but ignored history. In 1900, for instance, Australia's largest river (the Murray) was just a chain of waterholes. In the past, Australians dealt with rainfall variability by extensive dam building but Greenies have now effectively stopped that

Large portions of the globe rely on the seasonal monsoon for water. Across much of Asia, agriculture depends on the coming of the monsoon rains. One scare tactic employed by global warming extremists is to claim that human caused climate change will keep the monsoon from coming, causing drought, failed crops and famine. In truth, science does not fully understand the complex interactions of ocean, atmosphere, and land that influence the monsoon, or how it impacts climate in other parts of the world. Now, a new Monsoon Asia Drought Atlas (MADA) provides reconstructions of summer moisture for the region going back to 1300 AD. It documents a long sequence of droughts so persistent that scientists call them “megadroughts.” These megadrought events, the worst of which may have toppled ancient kingdoms, show that unreliable monsoon seasons have afflicted mankind throughout history—long before the clamor over climate change arose.

Drought is not an unusual occurrence. For several years, the American South had suffered under a long-lasting severe drought, until this year's wet El Niño driven winter and spring. Half a world away, the southwestern corner of Australia was in the grip of a devastating drought since the 1970s. These events have naturally been blamed on global warming by publicity seeking researchers.

In the April 23, 2010, edition of Science, Edward R. Cook et al. present a large-scale, spatially explicit, long-term data set they are calling the Monsoon Asia Drought Atlas (MADA). Based on tree rings from more than 300 sites across the forested areas of Asia, the authors claim the long-term perspective it provides is essential for comparisons with other proxy, historical, and archaeological data. It is also needed to help validate those notoriously inaccurate computer models that climate scientists are so fond of. In an accompanying perspective article, “Toward Understanding and Predicting Monsoon Patterns,” Eugene R. Wahl and Carrie Morrill place the complexity of the monsoon this way:

"It results from an interplay between the ocean, atmosphere, and land surface (see the figure). Many factors thus affect its strength, including sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Indian and Pacific Oceans; variations in solar output; land snow cover and soil moisture over the Asian continent; and the position and strength of prevailing winds. The links between these factors and the monsoon appear to wax and wane over time, and the observational record is too short to explain this longer-term variability."


Pro-Cap-and-Trade CEOs on Hot Seat

Duke Energy CEO Asked to Disclose Amount of Company Support for Global Warming Activist Groups and Dollar Amount It Expects from Cap-and-Trade. Shareholder Activists Now Set to Attend Goldman Sachs Stockholder Meeting Friday in New York

The National Center for Public Policy Research's Tom Borelli, Ph.D. and Deneen Borelli will continue their barnstorming tour of Fortune 500 shareholder meetings Friday when they attend the annual shareholder meeting of Goldman Sachs in New York to warn the company's CEO of the danger to America posed by the creation of a new "carbon bubble" through cap-and-trade legislation.

On Thursday the Borellis had three lengthy rounds with Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers in Charlotte, beginning when Tom Borelli presented a shareholder proposal on behalf of Shelton Ehrlich, an individual shareholder, to require Duke Energy to disclose to shareholders the extent to which it works with, and provides financial support to, non-profit organizations lobbying for restrictive and expensive global warming-related policies.

Duke Energy CEO Rogers appeared in an TV ad produced by the liberal green group "Environmental Defense" calling for global warming regulation.

Both Tom Borelli and Deneen Borelli also pressed Rogers to disclose the amount of money Duke Energy expects to receive if cap-and-trade becomes law.

"Originally Obama was going to auction off carbon credits for cap-and-trade," Deneen Borelli asked Rogers, "and the revenue would have gone to the government, but under the Waxman-Markey legislation, the utilities sector stands to gain 35-40 percent of carbon credits. Can you explain to me what the dollar value means to Duke?"

Tom Borelli further pressed the question, saying, "The Heritage Foundation... says the electric utilities, just in the year 2012, is going to get almost $50 billion dollars. So my question is, out of that fifty billion, how much is Duke Energy going to get?"

The National Center for Public Policy believes the adoption of cap-and-trade would not only push jobs overseas and raise domestic energy prices, but could cause yet another bubble, like the recent housing and tech bubbles, that cause significant economic harm when they burst.
"CEOs haven't learned their lesson [from those bubbles]," Tom Borelli wrote last year. "Instead of returning to selling good products at market prices, they want to go back to the craps table. They're lobbying Congress to create yet another 'bubble' in which government regulatory policy creates artificial value in a ubiquitous gas, carbon dioxide. Call this forthcoming disaster the 'Green Bubble,' for it's based on the notion that fortunes can be made buying and selling something for which there is no real-world market: greenhouse gas emissions credits."

"A business plan built on a carbon dioxide bubble will surely burst," Tom Borelli warned Rogers Thursday, adding, "We're dealing with a high degree of uncertainty, which is frightening, not only from a shareholder perspective, but a political perspective. My God, how can you trust those people in Washington? Look what they're doing to Goldman Sachs. Do you think you're going to be any different? Really, do you think you're going to be any different when energy prices go up?"

Rogers' response to these and the other questions posed by the Borellis can be heard on YouTube at, and

Throughout April, jointly with FreedomWorks, the National Center for Public Policy Research ran a "Backroom Deal" TV ad campaign in Moline, Illinois and Waterloo, Iowa on Fox, CNN, HLN and the History Channel to warn John Deere employees there that passage of cap-and-trade would likely result in the export of their jobs abroad. John Deere has lobbied heavily for cap-and-trade's passage.

Tom and Deneen Borelli have in recent weeks personally pressed the CEOs of GE (joined by National Center Vice President David A. Ridenour), Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and John Deere over the cap-and-trade issue, in addition to Duke Energy and Goldman Sachs as described above.


Australian conservative leader uses Roman and Medieval warm periods to discredit Warmism

And on the most recent polls, he will be the Prime Minister in less than a year

TONY Abbott has urged primary school students to be sceptical about man-made climate change, saying it was warmer during the time of Julius Caesar and Jesus than it is now.

The Opposition Leader, wrapping up a two-day visit to South Australia yesterday, told Year 5 and 6 students that climate change had always happened and, historically, humans had not been responsible.

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said it was "irresponsible and disappointing" for the Liberal leader to encourage climate-change scepticism in the classroom.

Mr Abbott's impromptu history lesson came in a question-and-answer session with students during a visit to the Trinity Gardens Primary School in the marginal federal seat of Sturt, held by Liberal Chris Pyne.

Mr Abbott asked the students if they knew about the Ice Age and if it "was caused by human beings".

"OK, so the climate has changed over the eons and we know from history, at the time of Julius Caesar and Jesus of Nazareth the climate was considerably warmer than it is now," Mr Abbott said.

"And then during what they called the Dark Ages it was colder. Then there was the medieval warm period. Climate change happens all the time and it is not man that drives those climate changes back in history. "It is an open question how much the climate changes today and what role man plays."


Australian government knew of probable deaths under Greenie scheme but still went ahead

They've got blood on their hands -- but that never seems to bother Greenies -- witness the deaths caused by the ban on DDT

OFFICIALS in Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett's departments assessed the risk of death or injury under the government's insulation program to be "extreme" three times in the three months before the first of four young workers was killed.

The officials, who were in charge of the rollout of the botched $2.45 billion insulation scheme, believed that, even if steps were taken to address their safety concerns, the risks would still remain "high".

The risk assessments were made on July 31, September 17 and October 1, and concluded that unsafe or incorrectly installed ceiling batts could lead to "fire/damage, injury or death".

The assessments were prepared by the Project Control Group set up to oversee the program, which included officials from the Department of Environment, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and other agencies, including Medicare and the Australian Taxation Office.

The documents were released only after a request from Liberal senator Simon Birmingham during a Senate inquiry into the scheme.

Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt last night accused the government of deliberately covering up the documents. "This is a smoking gun that shows the Prime Minister and those around him at the highest levels of government were aware of the risks," Mr Hunt said. "It's clear there was no action to deal with the risk of fatalities. "The government has deliberately kept these documents hidden. It is an unforgivable cover-up."

The first installer to die was 25-year-old Matthew Fuller, who was electrocuted on October 14, on his sixth day on the job.

By the time the insulation program was suspended on February 19, four installers had died and up to 1000 roofs had been electrified.

The program has also been linked to 120 house fires and widespread allegations of rorting.

The officials also concluded that the risk of fraud, including the prospect of installers charging for jobs not carried out, was extreme. They warned that even commonwealth public servants could try to rort the scheme by registering and processing fictitious payments.

A later Project Control Group document, prepared in December, assessed the ongoing risk of fraud to be "extreme" and of poor-quality materials and installations to be "high"....

A review by former public servant Allan Hawke, which led to the program being axed last month, said environment officials regularly briefed the minister on the safety risks. The review found the minister responded in a timely way but said this was "largely reactive" and there had been no proper senior oversight.

The release of the documents came after Assistant Energy Efficiency Minister Greg Combet announced details of the government's foil safety program. The program will cost taxpayers $90 million and brings to more than $155m the cost of putting in and cleaning up the foil insulation program.

The collapse has destroyed many legitimate businesses in the foil insulation industry. Mr Combet was yesterday forced to defend a $15m industry rescue package that insulation installers and manufacturers have said is woefully inadequate.



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 May, 2010

Important Warmist feedback theory contrary to the facts

Global warming scenarios from CO2 increases are envisioned to bring about rainfall enhancement and resulting upper tropospheric water vapor rise. This initial water vapor enhancement has been hypothesized and programmed in climate models to develop yet additional rainfall and water vapor increase. This causes an extra blockage of IR energy to space (a positive feedback warming mechanism). This additional rainfall and IR blockage is modeled to be approximately twice as large as the additional rainfall needed to balance the increased CO2 by itself. The reality of this additional warming and extra IR blockage has been questioned by many of us. This study analyzes a wide variety of infrared (IR) radiation differences which are associated with rainfall differences on different space and time scales. Our goal is to determine the extent to which the positive rainfall feedbacks as are included in the climate model simulations are realistic.

We have analyzed 21 years (1984-2004) of ISCCP (International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project) outgoing solar (albedo) and outgoing longwave infrared (IR) radiation (often referred to as OLR) on various distance (local to global) and time scales (1 day to decadal). We have investigated how radiation measurements change with variations in precipitation as determined from NCEP-NCAR Reanalysis data on a wide variety of space and time scales (Figure 1). We have stratified our radiation and rainfall data into three latitudinal sections and six distinctive longitudinal areas (Figure 2). Infrared and albedo changes associated with rainfall variations by month (January to December) and by yearly periods for the globe (70oN-70oS; 0-360o) as a whole and separately for the tropics (30oN-30oS; 0-360o) have been studied. This analysis shows they are not realistic.

More HERE (See the original for full PDF)

Climate policy propaganda in alleged science publications

By Roger Pielke Sr.

Dick Lindzen has succinctly summarized how climate science has deteriorated into a tool for political action. As I reported in my post

Comments On Numerical Modeling As The New Climate Science Paradigm

Dick has written
"In brief, we have the new paradigm where simulation and programs have replaced theory and observation, where government largely determines the nature of scientific activity, and where the primary role of professional societies is the lobbying of the government for special advantage."

Today I present a clear example of the use of the National Academy of Sciences [as represented by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences- PNAS] to promote a particular set of policy actions, where climate science, as percieved by the authors of the PNAS, is used as the reasoning.

The article is Ramanathan, Veerabhadran and Yangyang Xu, 2010: The Copenhagen Accord for limiting global warming: Criteria, constraints, and available avenues. PNAS.
The abstract reads
“At last, all the major emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs) have agreed under the Copenhagen Accord that global average temperature increase should be kept below 2 øC. This study develops the criteria for limiting the warming below 2 øC, identifies the constraints imposed on policy makers, and explores available mitigation avenues. One important criterion is that the radiant energy added by human activities should not exceed 2.5 (range: 1.7-4) watts per square meter (Wm?2) of the Earth's surface. The blanket of man-made GHGs has already added 3 (range: 2.6-3.5) Wm?2. Even if GHG emissions peak in 2015, the radiant energy barrier will be exceeded by 100%, requiring simultaneous pursuit of three avenues: (i) reduce the rate of thickening of the blanket by stabilizing CO2 concentration below 441 ppm during this century (a massive decarbonization of the energy sector is necessary to accomplish this Herculean task), (ii) ensure that air pollution laws that reduce the masking effect of cooling aerosols be made radiant energy-neutral by reductions in black carbon and ozone, and (iii) thin the blanket by reducing emissions of short-lived GHGs. Methane and hydrofluorocarbons emerge as the prime targets. These actions, even if we are restricted to available technologies for avenues ii and iii, can reduce the probability of exceeding the 2 øC barrier before 2050 to less than 10%, and before 2100 to less than 50%. With such actions, the four decades we have until 2050 should be exploited to develop and scale-up revolutionary technologies to restrict the warming to less than 1.5 øC.”

The text in the abstract highlights the advocacy nature of this article; i.e.
“This study……… identifies the constraints imposed on policy makers”

The authors present the problem with the climate system as a result of the human emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols, and then discusses the “Policy Makers' Dilemma”.

The next section in the paper, titled “Challenges for Policy Makers”, further illustrates that the two authors recommend policy. This section reads in part
The planet is very likely to experience warming in excess of 2 øC if policy makers stringently enforce existing air pollution laws and remove reflecting aerosols without concomitant actions for thinning the GHG blanket…”

I have posted on this recommendation by Dr. Ramanthan in the past and conclude that ANY attempt not to enforce existing air pollution laws is a serious mistake with respect to human health; e.g.

Misconception And Oversimplification Of the Concept Of Global Warming By V. Ramanthan and Y. Feng

Health Benefits Of Air Quality Control Should Never Be Sacrificed By Delaying The Clean-Up Of Aerosol Emissions For Climate Reasons

However, regardless of the merits of the policy recommendations of Ramanathan and Xu, 2010, the National Academy of Sciences publication is being used to lobby for a particular set of policy actions, which they justify by their presentation of the climate science issue. Since Dr. Ramanthan is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, he is able to straightforwardly publish in this journal.

Readers of my weblog can decide for themselves if this is the proper use of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. However, it is clear that advocacy is being framed using climate science, as the authors perceive it, as the justification for their policy prescriptions.

The confirmation of Dick Lindzen’s issues with respect to the lack of scientific objectivity also is evident in the news release on the Ramanathan and Xu,2010 paper. The news release by Brian Moore of Scripps is titled

Scripps researchers outline strategy to limit global warming and has the text
“The ‘low-hanging fruits’ approach to one of mankind’s great challenges is very appealing because it is a win-win approach,” said Jay Fein, program director in NSF’s Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, which funds much of Ramanathan’s research. “It cleans up the environment, protects human health and helps to sustain the 2-degree C threshold.”

Thus, as Dick Lindzen wrote
”….we have the new paradigm where ….. government largely determines the nature of scientific activity.”

Clearly, NSF itself has become an advocate for particular policy actions. I will have more examples of how the NSF is limiting research in upcoming posts on my weblog.


Testimony of The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley Before Congress May 6, 2010

The Select Committee, in its letter inviting testimony for the present hearing, cites various scientific bodies as having concluded that

1. The global climate has warmed;

2. Human activities account for most of the warming since the mid-20th century;

3. Climate change is already causing a broad range of impacts in the United States;

4. The impacts of climate change are expected to grow in the coming decades.

The first statement requires heavy qualification and, since the second is wrong, the third and fourth are without foundation and must fall. The Select Committee has requested answers to the following questions:

1. What are the observed changes to the climate system?
Carbon dioxide concentration: In the Neoproterozoic Era, ~750 million years ago, dolomitic rocks, containing ~40% CO2 bonded not only with calcium ions but also with magnesium, were precipitated from the oceans worldwide by a reaction that could not have occurred unless the atmospheric concentration of CO2 had been ~300,000 parts per million by volume. Yet in that era equatorial glaciers came and went twice at sea level.

Today, the concentration is ~773 times less, at ~388 ppmv: yet there are no equatorial glaciers at sea level. If the warming effect of CO2 were anything like as great as the vested-interest groups now seek to maintain, then, even after allowing for greater surface albedo and 5% less solar radiation, those glaciers could not possibly have existed (personal communication from Professor Ian Plimer, confirmed by on-site inspection of dolomitic and tillite deposits at Arkaroola Northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia).

In the Cambrian Era, ~550 million years ago, limestones, containing some 44% CO2 bonded with calcium ions, were precipitated from the oceans. At that time, atmospheric CO2 concentration was ~7000 ppmv, or ~18 times today’s (IPCC, 2001): yet it was at that time that the calcite corals first achieved algal symbiosis. In the Jurassic era, ~175 million years ago, atmospheric CO2 concentration was ~6000 ppmv, or ~15 times today’s (IPCC, 2001): yet it was then that the delicate aragonite corals came into being.

Therefore, today’s CO2 concentration, though perhaps the highest in 20 million years, is by no means exceptional or damaging. Indeed, it has been argued that trees and plants have been part-starved of CO2 throughout that period (Senate testimony of Professor Will Happer, Princeton University, 2009). It is also known that a doubling of today’s CO2 concentration, projected to occur later this century (IPCC, 2007), would increase the yield of some staple crops by up to 40% (lecture by Dr. Leighton Steward, Parliament Chamber, Copenhagen, December 2009).

Global mean surface temperature: Throughout most of the past 550 million years, global temperatures were ~7 K (13 F) warmer than the present. In each of the past four interglacial warm periods over the past 650,000 years, temperatures were warmer than the present by several degrees (A.A. Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, 2006).

In the current or Holocene warm period, which began 11,400 years ago at the abrupt termination of the Younger Dryas cooling event, some 7500 years were warmer than the present (Cuffey & Clow, 1997), and, in particular, the medieval, Roman, Minoan, and Holocene Climate Optima were warmer than the present (Cuffey & Clow, 1997). The “global warming” that ceased late in 2001 (since when there has been a global cooling trend for eight full years) had begun in 1695, towards the end of the Maunder Minimum, a period of 70 years from 1645-1715 when the Sun was less active than at any time in the past 11,400 years (Hathaway, 2004). Solar activity increased with a rapidity unprecedented in the Holocene, reaching a Grand Solar Maximum during a period of 70 years from 1925-1995 when the Sun was very nearly as active as it had been at any time in the past 11,400 years (Hathaway, 2004; Usoskin, 2003; Solanki, 2005).

The first instrumental record of global temperatures was kept in Central England from 1659. From 1695-1735, a period of 40 years preceding the onset of the Industrial Revolution in 1750, temperatures in central England, which are a respectable proxy for global temperatures, rose by 2.2 K (4 F). Yet global temperatures have risen by only 0.65 K (1.2 F) since 1950, and 0.7 K (1.3 F) in the whole of the 20th century. Throughout the 21st century, global temperatures have followed a declining trend.

Accordingly, neither global mean surface temperature nor its rates of change in recent decades have been exceptional, unusual, inexplicable, or unprecedented.

Ocean “acidification”: It has been suggested that the oceans have “acidified” - or, more correctly, become less alkaline - by 0.1 acid-base units in recent decades. However, the fact of a movement towards neutrality in ocean chemistry, if such a movement has occurred, tells us nothing of the cause, which cannot be attributed to increases in CO2 concentration. There is 70 times as much CO2 dissolved in the oceans as there is in the atmosphere, and some 30% of any CO2 we add to the atmosphere will eventually dissolve into the oceans. Accordingly, a doubling of CO2 concentration, expected later this century, would raise the oceanic partial pressure of CO2 by 30% of one-seventieth of what is already there. And that is an increase of 0.4% at most. Even
this minuscule and chemically-irrelevant perturbation is probably overstated, since any “global warming” that resulted from the doubling of CO2 concentration would warm the oceans and cause them to outgas CO2, reducing the oceanic partial pressure.

Seawater is a highly buffered solution - it can take up a huge amount of dissolved inorganic carbon without significant effect on pH. There is not the slightest possibility that the oceans could approach the neutral pH of pure water (pH 7.0), even if all the fossil fuel reserves in the world were burned. A change in pH of 0.2 units this century, from its present 8.2 to 8.0, even if it were possible, would leave the sea containing no more than 10% of the “acidic” positively-charged hydrogen ions that occur in pure water. If ocean “acidification” is happening, then CO2 is not and will not be the culprit.

2. What evidence provides attribution of these changes to human activities?

In the global instrumental record, which commenced in 1850, the three supradecadal periods of most rapid warming were 1860-1880, 1910-1940, and 1975-2001. Warming rates in all three periods were identical at ~0.16 K (0.3 F) per decade. During the first two of these three periods, observations were insufficient to establish the causes of the warming: however, the principal cause cannot have been atmospheric CO2 enrichment, because, on any view, mankind’s emissions of CO2 had not increased enough to cause any measurable warming on a global scale during those short periods.

In fact, the third period of rapid global warming, 1975-2001, was the only period of warming since 1950. From 1950-1975, and again from 2001-2010, global temperatures fell slightly (HadCRUTv3, cited in IPCC, 2007). What, then, caused the third period of warming? Most of that third and most recent
period of rapid warming fell within the satellite era, and the satellites confirmed measurements from ground stations showing a considerable, and naturally-occurring, global brightening from 1983-2001 (Pinker et al., 2005).

Allowing for the fact that Dr. Pinker’s result depended in part on the datasets of outgoing radiative flux from the ERBE satellite that had not been corrected at that time for orbital decay, it is possible to infer a net increase in surface radiative flux amounting to 0.106 Wm2year over the period, compared with the 0.16 W m-2 year-1 found by Dr. Pinker. Elementary radiative-transfer calculations demonstrate that a natural surface global brightening amounting to ~1.9 W m-2 over the 18-year period of study would be expected - using the IPCC’s own methodology - to have caused a transient warming of 1K (1.8 F). To put this naturally-occurring global brightening into perspective, the IPCC’s estimated total of all the anthropogenic influences on climate combined in the 256 years 1750-2005 is only 1.6 W m-2. Taking into account a further projected warming, using IPCC methods, of ~0.5 K (0.9F) from CO2 and other anthropogenic sources, projected warming of 1.5 K (2.7 F) should have occurred.

However, only a quarter of this projected warming was observed, suggesting the possibility that the IPCC may have overestimated the warming effect of greenhouse gases fourfold. This result is in line with similar result obtained by other methods: for instance, Lindzen & Choi (2009, 2010 submitted) find that the warming rate to be expected as a result of anthropogenic activities is one-quarter to one-fifth of the IPCC’s central estimate. There is no consensus on how much warming a given increase in CO2 will cause.

3. Assuming ad argumentum that the IPCC’s projections of future warming are correct, what policy measures should be taken?
Warming at the very much reduced rate that measured (as opposed to merely modeled) results suggest would be 0.7-0.8 K (1.3-1.4 F) at CO2 doubling. That would be harmless and beneficial - a doubling of CO2 concentration would increase yields of some staple crops by 40%. Therefore, one need not anticipate any significant adverse impact from CO2-induced “global warming”. “Global warming” is a non-problem, and the correct policy response to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing.

However, ad argumentum, let us assume that the IPCC is correct in finding that a warming of 3.26 plus/minus 0.69 K (5.9 plus/minus 1.2 F: IPCC, 2007, ch.10, box 10.2) might occur at CO2 doubling. We generalize this central prediction, deriving a simple equation to tell us how much warming the IPCC would predict for any given change in CO2 concentration - ?TS ≈ (8.5 ± 1.8) ln(C/Co) F.

Thus, the change in surface temperature in Fahrenheit degrees, as predicted by the IPCC, would be 6.7 to 10.3 (with a central estimate of 8.5) times the logarithm of the proportionate increase in CO2 concentration. We check the equation by using it to work out the warming the IPCC would predict at CO2 doubling: 8.5 ln 2 ≈ 5.9 F. Using this equation, we can determine just how much “global warming” would be forestalled if the entire world were to shut down its economies and emit no carbon dioxide at all for an entire year. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 is 388 parts per million by volume. Our emissions of 30 bn tons of CO2 a year are causing this concentration to rise at 2 ppmv/year, and this ratio of 15 bn tons of emissions to each additional ppmv of CO2 concentration has remained constant for 30 years.

Then the “global warming” that we might forestall if we shut down the entire global carbon economy for a full year would be 8.5 ln[(388+2)/388] = 0.044 F. At that rate, almost a quarter of a century of global zero-carbon activity would be needed in order to forestall just one Fahrenheit degree of “global warming”. Two conclusions ineluctably follow. First, it would be orders of magnitude more cost effective to adapt to any “global warming” that might occur than to try to prevent it from occurring by trying to tax or regulate emissions of carbon dioxide in any way.

Secondly, there is no hurry. Even after 23 years doing nothing to address the imagined problem, and even if the IPCC has not exaggerated CO2’s warming effect fourfold, the world will be just 1 F warmer than it is today. If the IPCC has exaggerated fourfold, the world can do nothing for almost a century before global temperature rises by 1 F. There are many urgent priorities that need the attention of Congress, and it is not for me as an invited guest in your country to say what they are. Yet I can say this much: on any view, “global warming” is not one of them. See PDF.


Cap and trade — taxing our way to bankruptcy

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has declared (April 28) that he is making global warming the Senate's top priority. With legislation likely to impose monumental costs on the nation's economy while accomplishing no real-world climate benefits, this is a fitting conclusion for a Congress intent on bankrupting the nation through sheer clumsiness and ignorance.

Global temperatures have not risen for more than a decade, confounding alarmists' computer models. During the entire 20th century, as the planet recovered from the abnormally cold Little Ice Age, temperatures rose only 0.6 degrees Celsius. Current temperatures remain abnormally cool when compared with the Earth's average temperature over the past 10,000 years.

Even if we had reasons to fear the current temperature trends, legislation would still accomplish no real-world climate benefits. U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions have declined since the year 2000, while global carbon-dioxide emissions have risen by roughly 30 percent. Clearly the United States is not responsible for rising carbon-dioxide emissions.

Even if we immediately eliminated all our carbon-dioxide emissions, it would have little impact on global carbon-dioxide emissions. In less than a decade, the growth in Chinese emissions would completely negate our effort. Nations such as China and India, which are leading the surge in global carbon-dioxide emissions, have made it clear they will not restrict their emissions regardless of whether we do so.

In addition to having no impact on the climate, U.S. carbon-dioxide restrictions would paralyze the economy. The reason U.S. consumers and businesses use coal, oil and natural gas is because these power sources are significantly less expensive to produce than solar and wind power. As Barack Obama acknowledged on the 2008 campaign trail, "Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."

Obama's acknowledgment that it will be extremely costly to restrict carbon-dioxide emissions was not a misstatement. CBS News reported last fall that the Obama administration has concluded carbon-dioxide restrictions would cost the American economy up to $200 billion each year. This translates to each U.S. household paying an extra $2,000 every year in energy costs.

The Obama Treasury Department is even more pessimistic, concluding that carbon-dioxide offsets would cost U.S. consumers $300 billion each year. This means each U.S. household would pay an extra $3,000 every year in energy costs.

In a normal political environment, legislators would not dare to consider slapping a $3,000 annual fee on American households, even if doing so could accomplish some real-world benefits. But this is not a normal political environment:

-- Congress gave billions of dollars to banks under the premise of easing tight lending conditions. The banks pocketed the taxpayer funds, paid record bonuses to top management and kept lending conditions tight.

-- Congress spent $800 billion on a stimulus plan that was supposed to keep unemployment below 8 percent. Unemployment now hovers near 10 percent; the federal deficit has taken on nightmare proportions; and the "shovel-ready projects" promised by Congress turned out to be art sculptures in the middle of nowhere and studies on how often and under what circumstances college students have sex.

-- Congress passed a $940 billion health care reform bill that was supposed to reduce insurance costs, but now Obama's own Department of Health and Human Services reports the bill will raise overall medical costs and jeopardize the ability of seniors to access health care services.

Harry Reid apparently believes Congress has successfully numbed the American public to economy-busting programs that increase government power while delivering no real-world benefits. As the political spotlight now turns to costly, ineffectual global-warming legislation, we will soon learn whether Americans will finally stand up to a Congress intent on bankrupting the nation for no good reason.


Duke Energy's Support of President Obama's Cap-and-Trade Policy to Be Challenged by Stockholders

Policy experts from the National Center for Public Policy Research are attending Duke Energy's annual shareholder meeting Thursday to challenge the company's aggressive support of President Obama's cap-and-trade policy.

Duke Energy is a member of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) – a lobbying coalition of corporations and environmental activist groups who are seeking a national law to limit carbon dioxide emissions. USCAP played a key role in passing the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill in the House of Representatives last year. Other USCAP members include troubled companies such as BP, GM and Chrysler.

Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center's Free Enterprise Project, will be presenting shareholder proposal 4: "Shareholder Proposal Related to Preparation of a Report on Duke Energy Corporation's Global Warming-Related Lobbying Activities," on behalf of Shelton Ehrlich, an individual shareholder.

"Shareholders have a right to know how much of company assets are being dedicated to lobbying efforts for a law that will result in higher energy prices and slower economic growth. Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers has gone all in – that is – put all of the company's chips on passing cap-and-trade," said Tom.

"It's special interest politics at its worst. It seems Duke Energy will be rewarded with potentially billions of dollars of carbon credits in exchange for the company's lobbying effort. However, gambling Duke's future on the value of carbon dioxide – a naturally occurring gas with no intrinsic value – exposes shareholders to significant risk," added Tom.

"Duke Energy is trying to bring President Obama's cap-and-trade dream to reality, despite the economic cost. Recall Obama said during his presidential campaign, 'Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,'" said Deneen Borelli, full-time fellow of Project 21.

"Cap-and-trade is an example of the coordinated effort of big business and big government pursuing their agendas. Obama establishes a massive government program to control energy and big business hopes to make a quick buck while Americans pay for it all in terms of higher energy prices," added Deneen.

Deneen and Tom Borelli will be representing the National Center for Public Policy Research, which owns Duke Energy stock, at its annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.


One in three Australian voters against paying for climate change 'myth'

AUSTRALIANS are rebelling against the idea they should pay to fight global warming, entrenching the Federal Government's woes on the issue.

A new survey showed more than a third of voters don't want to pay for climate-change bills. The authoritative Galaxy opinion survey also found that those who buy the family groceries and low-income earners are in the forefront of the new resistance. It is a sign much of the electorate accept Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's ETS description as "a great big new tax".

The Government's abrupt, three-year pause in introducing an emissions trading scheme angered many of the 35 per cent of voters who believe human activity is changing the climate. Now even some of those believers are refusing to pay the rises in power bills and other household costs which would be caused by an ETS, the survey has found.

About 35 per cent of all voters told Galaxy they did not want to pay a cent, and that group included 15 per cent of people who agreed with the concept of man-made climate change.

Of the change believers, 27 per cent would not pay more than $100 a year extra. Almost half - 47 per cent - would not pay more than $100 a year to combat climate change, the poll commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs showed. About 60 per cent would not pay more than $300 a year.

If you buy the family groceries, you strongly oppose paying much if anything for an ETS.

The survey found 37 per cent of those who bought family supplies would not pay anything, and just over half would not pay more than $100 a year.

The survey showed two-thirds of respondents were not convinced by man-made climate change, despite "billions of dollars of government propaganda," said John Roskam of the Institute of Public Affairs. "These polls also show Australians won't pay huge amounts of money to fix a problem they are not sure exists," said Mr Roskam.

The lower your income, the less you are likely to want higher bills, which is why nearly half the unemployed oppose the idea. The greatest opposition to paying even a cent extra came from Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.



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 May, 2010

Another Warmist fantasy that ignores the facts

"Earth Could Become Too Hot for Humans" under "worst case scenario". But what are the "too hot" temperatures he lists below? Temperatures in the 90+ (F) range. He says that humans can endure such temperatues only in areas of low humidity. But my memory of a NYC summer is of temperatures in that range and it seemed pretty humid too.

I was born and bred in a place in the Australian tropics where we had such temperatures for most of the year. And the fact that we measured our annual rainfall in YARDS tells you how humid it is there. And, far from fleeing, people are moving there at a steady rate. It is even an international tourist destination. You have to get used to such a climate but once you do it is perfectly pleasant -- certainly not "Too Hot for Humans"!

A new study that looked at reasonable worst-case scenarios for global warming found that if greenhouse gases continue to be emitted at their current rate, temperatures could become deadly in coming centuries.

Researchers calculated the highest tolerable "wet-bulb" temperature - equivalent to what is felt when wet skin is exposed to moving air - and found that this temperature could be exceeded for the first time in human history if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate and future climate models are correct. Temperatures this unbearable for humans haven't been seen during the existence of hominids - the primate family that includes ancient humans - but they did occur about 50 million years ago.

Exposure to wet-bulb temperatures above 95 degrees for six hours or more will create lethal stress levels in humans and other mammals, said study team member Matthew Huber of Purdue University's earth and atmospheric sciences.

Huber said that while areas of the world regularly see temperatures above 100 degrees, really high wet-bulb temperatures are rare because the hottest areas of the planet normally have low humidity - think Arizona's dry heat. Areas of the world such as Saudi Arabia have the highest wet-bulb temperatures near the coast where winds occasionally bring extremely hot, humid ocean air over hot land leading to unbearably stifling conditions.

"The wet-bulb limit is basically the point at which one would overheat even if they were naked in the shade, soaking wet and standing in front of a large fan," said Steven Sherwood of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, Australia and the study's lead author. "Although we are very unlikely to reach such temperatures this century, they could happen in the next."

The study did not address how likely this worst-case scenario is, only that it is possible based on so-called business-as-usual warming models, which make projections assuming that greenhouse gases continue to be emitted at the rate they are today.

"We found that a warming of 12 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly 7 degrees Celsius) would cause some areas of the world to surpass the wet-bulb temperature limit, and a 21-degree warming would put half of the world's population in an uninhabitable environment," Huber said.

"Whole countries would intermittently be subject to severe heat stress requiring large-scale adaptation efforts," Huber added. "One can imagine that such efforts, for example the wider adoption of air conditioning, would cause the power requirements to soar, and the affordability of such approaches is in question for much of the Third World that would bear the brunt of these impacts. In addition, the livestock on which we rely would still be exposed, and it would make any form of outside work hazardous."

The results of the study are detailed in the May 6 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Global Warming Alarm Based on Faulty Forecasting Procedures

Comments on the United States Department of State's U.S. Climate Action Report 2010. 5th ed.

Submitted by:

J. Scott Armstrong (Ph.D., MIT, 1968), a Professor at the Wharton School of Management, University of Pennsylvania, is the author of Long-range Forecasting, the creator of, and editor of Principles of Forecasting (Kluwer 2001), an evidence-based summary of knowledge on forecasting methods. He is a founder of the Journal of Forecasting, the International Journal of Forecasting, and the International Symposium on Forecasting, and he has spent 50 years doing research and consulting on forecasting. (

Kesten C. Green of the International Graduate School of Business at the University of South Australia is a Director of the International Institute of Forecasters and is co-director with Scott Armstrong of the Forecasting Principles public service Internet site ( He has been responsible for the development of two forecasting methods that provide forecasts that are substantially more accurate than commonly used methods. (

Willie Soon is an astrophysicist and a geoscientist at the Solar, Stellar, and Planetary Sciences division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He is also the receiving editor in the area of solar and stellar physics for the journal New Astronomy. He has 20 years of active researching and publishing in the area of climate change and all views expressed are strictly his own. (


Our research findings challenge the basic assumptions of the State Department's Fifth U.S. Climate Action Report (CAR 2010). The alarming forecasts of dangerous manmade global warming are not the product of proper scientific evidence-based forecasting methods. Furthermore, there have been no validation studies to support a belief that the forecasting procedures used were nevertheless appropriate for the situation. As a consequence, alarming forecasts of global warming are merely the opinions of some scientists and, for a situation as complicated and poorly understood as global climate, such opinions are unlikely to be as accurate as forecasts that global temperatures will remain much the same as they have been over recent years. Using proper forecasting procedures we predict that the global warming alarm will prove false and that government actions in response to the alarm will be shown to have been harmful.

Whether climate will change over the 21st Century, by how much, in what direction, to what effect, and what if anything people could and should do about any changes are all forecasting problems. Given that policy makers currently do not have access to scientific forecasts for any of these, the policies that have been proposed with the avowed purpose of reducing dangerous manmade global warming—such as are described in CAR 2010 Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7—are likely to cause serious and unnecessary harm.

In this comment on CAR 2010, we summarize findings from our research on forecasting climate. Most of our findings have been published in the peer-reviewed literature and all have been presented at scientific meetings. They are easily accessible on the Internet and we provide links to them.

1. There are no scientific forecasts to support claims that there will be dangerous global warming over the 21st Century.

a) Faulty selection of forecasting methods

Based on scientific research on forecasting, the most appropriate method for forecasting climate over the 21st Century would be a naïve no-trend extrapolation. Due to the substantial uncertainty about climate, it is not possible to forecast even the direction of change and one should not, therefore, forecast changes. As with many conclusions from scientific research on forecasting, this conclusion derives from a finding that is not intuitive: in complex situations with high uncertainty, one should use methods that are conservative and simple (Armstrong 1985; Armstrong 2001).

While much has been made of the climate models used to support forecasts of dangerous manmade global warming, these were used in effect only as tools to present forecasts. The actual forecasts were made by unaided judgment; that is, by judgment unaided by forecasting principles. A substantial body of research has shown that unaided judgment cannot provide useful forecasts in complex situations with high uncertainty (Armstrong 1980; Tetlock 2005), such as is the case with climate.

In other words, if one were to recruit the cleverest climate scientists in the world and give them access to all of the available facts about climate, and ensured that all facts were true and all data were valid and accurate, the experts could do no better at forecasting climate than people with only minimal expertise. And their forecasts would even be less accurate than those from a simple heuristic. This finding is astonishing to those who are not familiar with the eight decades of evidence in the peer-reviewed research literature, and nearly all who learn of it believe that while the finding might apply to others, it does not apply to them.

b) Errors in implementation of forecasting methods

The forecasting procedures described in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report violated 81% of the 89 principles relevant to climate forecasting. For example, the methods and data were neither fully disclosed nor were they easy for independent researcher to access, no reasonable alternative forecasting methods were assessed, and prediction intervals were not assessed objectively (see “Global warming: Forecasts by scientists versus scientific forecasts”).

Those who were responsible for making the forecasts had no training or experience in the proper use of scientific forecasting methods. Furthermore, we were unable to find any indication that they made an effort to look for evidence from scientific research on forecasting. It is perhaps not surprising then that their implementation of their forecasting method was inappropriate.

c) Failure in validation testing

The forecasting procedures used by global warming alarmists were not validated for the situation. To address this oversight, we conducted an ex ante forecasting simulation of the IPCC forecasts (from the organization's 1992 report) of a .03°C per year increase in global average temperature.

We used the period from 1850 through 2007, a period of industrialization and exponential growth in human emissions of carbon dioxide. In a head-to-head competition involving 10,750 forecasts, the forecast errors from the IPCC model were more than 7 times larger than the errors from a model more appropriate to the situation, the aforementioned naïve extrapolation. More importantly, the errors were 12.6 times larger for the long-term (91 to 100-year forecast horizons). (See “Validity of climate change forecasting for public policy decision making.”)

2. There are no scientific forecasts to support the actions advocated by global warming alarmists.

a) Our findings apply not only to the alarming forecasts of dangerous manmade global warming, but also to the unsupported claims that various actions (e.g., “buying local,” carbon taxes, subsidies for alternative sources of energy) would be beneficial

To assess actions properly, one would need to forecast all the costs and benefits. For example, we examined the procedures used to support the claim that polar bears are in danger of extinction and should therefore be listed as an endangered species. The claim was made in the face of evidence that the polar bear population has been growing in recent decades. (See “Polar bear population forecasts: A public-policy forecasting audit.”) As with the IPCC's climate forecasts, we found faulty forecasting procedures. Indeed, only 15% of relevant forecasting principles were properly applied. An example of a faulty procedure is the construction of 45-, 75-, and 100-year forecasts based on an analysis that used only 5 years (2001-2005) of calibration data on polar bears and ice.

We judged that the polar bear population forecasting process to have been affected by political biases. See also Dr. Armstrong's testimony on this issue to a U.S. Senate Committee in January 2008.

b) A failure to consider the costs and benefits of reasonable alternatives

For responsible and rational policy making, it is necessary to obtain forecasts for a set of alternative decisions. One alternative would be to take no action, and another would be to monitor the situation until there is scientific evidence on actions that would lead to beneficial outcomes. On this matter, basic economic rationality in the form of cost/benefit analysis aligns with basic science: reasonable alternative hypotheses must be tested in order to have a good chance of identifying the truth.


Californians will vote on suspending economy-crippling junk science carbon rationing law

We’ll find out in November whether enough voters in über-liberal California have been deprogrammed from the carbon cult:
“Leaders of a drive to suspend California’s … greenhouse gas emissions law claim they will submit enough voter signatures Monday to place the issue before voters.

The California Jobs Initiative Campaign will submit more than the required 435,000 voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot, spokeswoman Anita Mangels said.

“We’re headed to the ballot,” she said.

The campaign targets Assembly Bill 32, pushed four years ago by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic legislative leaders to require California to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

The proposed initiative would suspend AB 32 until the state’s unemployment level drops to 5.5 percent for at least a year. …

“Voters have a right to have a say in whether the the state is going to risk a million jobs, or more, and to spend billions of dollars on programs that will not have any impact on global warming,” Mangels said.” “Drive to Suspend AB32 will submit voter signatures Monday“


Eliminating all Man-Made CO2 -- Earth gets Warmer?

By chemical engineer Bob Ashworth

Do you realize that CO2 emissions created by man's activities, combustion of fuels, etc. (called anthropogenic emissions) is miniscule compared to the emissions of CO2 from nature? Table 1 was developed by the IPCC. It shows annual CO2 emissions to the atmosphere from both nature and man and how much of the CO2 emitted is re-absorbed by nature.

Using the table above in combination with a total concentration of 385 ppmv of CO2 seen in the atmosphere in January 2008, one sees that the increase in CO2 caused by all of man's activities amounted to only 11.5 ppmv. The amount of CO2 from man is a mouse milk quantity compared to nature's emissions. If we eliminated all anthropogenic CO2 emissions, we would go back to the level we had in January 2003. Oh yes, when it was warmer then than it is now. Isn't this the first thing one would look at when evaluating the effect of man-made CO2; that is if they had any common sense? It is clear that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has nothing to do with the earth temperature. If there is an effect it is so small it is not worthy of discussion.

Global warming advocates say that CO2 builds up in the atmosphere over a 50 to 250 year period, but this is not true. Figure 1 below shows that the CO2 concentration oscillates based on the growing season in the Northern Hemisphere. The ratio of land to ocean in the Northern Hemisphere is about 1 to 1.5 and in the Southern Hemisphere is 1 to 4. Therefore, the Northern Hemisphere with much more land mass has a growing season that dominates the Southern Hemisphere growing season with respect to absorption of CO2.

Does a correlation exist between the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and the earth's temperature? No! Does an increase in CO2 cause the earth's temperature to increase? No! Figure 1 below was developed by Joseph D'Aleo, certified meteorologist. Even a non-scientist can see there is absolutely no correlation between CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and the earth's temperature. If there were a correlation, they both would rise and fall together. The CO2 has been on a continuous upward trend - not true for the earth's temperature.

In Figure 1, each year around April, increased CO2 absorption by plants in the Northern Hemisphere starts reducing the CO2 in the atmosphere and the reduction continues until around mid to late August when plants start to go dormant. The cycles occur on a regular yearly basis and the swing in CO2 concentration is in the 5 to 8 ppmv range. If CO2 stayed in the atmosphere for long periods before being consumed, the season to season cyclic effect would not be seen. It is clear that nature reacts very fast in its consumption of carbon dioxide.

The atmospheric concentrations of CO2 were taken at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. Two sets of temperature measurements are shown, one set by NASA's Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) for the troposphere and the other by the UK's Hadley Climate Research Unit for the land and sea. Both show declining temperatures over time even as CO2 has increased from 366 ppmv in January 1998 to 385 ppmv by January 2008. Note that the land-sea and lower troposphere temperatures in January 2008 were some 0.7 Degrees C cooler than in January 1998.


Real Toxin is Runaway Government

Climate zealots, Ivy League-led panel, will now publicly whitewash the IPCC for us

After six months of uninterrupted bad news, a logical person would seek compromise with their opponents. Not so the climate zealots. It has just been announced that a newly formed, Ivy League-led panel, will now publicly whitewash the IPCC for us. These disoriented warmists must be first pointed and then chased to the tall grass.

History is again repeating itself. Prior to the last peoples’ uprising, the masses were ruled over by an unelected group of tone deaf czars. Surprise, our fearless/clueless leader has surrounded himself with equally impaired czars, who intend an end run on the democratic process. Currently pending is implementation of Climate Czar Carol Browner’s 18,000-page long manifesto to eliminate a large portion of your rights.
Julius Genachowski, the FCC Czar, ‘free’ speech is a ‘right’ only if it is limited to ‘left’ speech

To insure that you can no longer be informed or organize against state control of everything, that Czar’s efforts are now joined with Julius Genachowski, the FCC Czar, who intends to place his boot on the throat of the internet. Apparently, ‘free’ speech is a ‘right’ only if it is limited to ‘left’ speech, viewed through the ‘left’ portal. Ignorance is bliss and tyranny is peace. New think always takes time to absorb.

Large portions of the masses have finally awakened and the roll back has begun. In the greenest of greenest land, California, there is a ballot initiative to rescind AB 32, the Golden State Cap and Trade bill passed in 2006. To be placed on the ballot required just 435,000 signatures. Proponents easily got over 800,000 and a left coast reality check appears imminent.
Effort to derail Czar Browner’s power grab

There is also an effort to derail Czar Browner’s power grab. Due for a vote in May, 2010 (like NOW) is a Senate action, S. J. Res 26, which would prohibit the EPA’s draconian actions. The IPCC whitewash is not due until August, 2010, but the maxim is one that every card-buff knows. When your house of cards starts falling, you gotta’ play the hand that you’ve got.

The IPCC Whitewash Committee has the international gravitas, Ivy League pedigree and limited climate science knowledge to perform flawlessly. The chairman is Harold T Shapiro, an economist from Princeton. The twelve member committee, from twelve countries, actually includes ten members with SCIENTIFIC background. The two economists are there to emphasize the ‘economic’ impact of a carbon laden atmosphere.
Dr Roy Spencer, The Great Global Warming Blunder

Former NASA scientist, Dr Roy Spencer has a new book titled, The Great Global Warming Blunder, in which he states that “CO2 has almost nothing to do with global warming”. ‘Blunder’ is in this case, a euphemism for FRAUD. This is a century old con game that has been intentionally resurrected and intentionally promoted, to create a new, false commodity market. When you are NOT a government payroll scientist, you need not be so polite.

The reason that science and scientists have enjoyed such a high level of respect from the public is from required empirical purity. Even the most difficult of ‘real’ science can be explained to the average layman. The ‘Moment of Inertia’ may not mean much to a carpenter, but intuitively he knows that a floor joist can bear more weight standing on edge than lying on its side.

A layman also knows something about heat transfer. It is obvious that you will get cold standing in just your shorts in 60 F temperature air. It is obvious that you will get cold a lot quicker, if you jump into 60 F water in just those same shorts. Water transfers heat, or energy, faster than air.

Training for a degree in Meteorology or Climatology does not require study of this basic phenomena, called Thermodynamics. Students at Dr. Mann’s, Penn State, are required to have 8 semester hours of lecture/lab in chemistry and 8 semester hours of calculus based physics. The required Thermodynamic concept should be easy for them to understand.

The entire Earth is an energy transfer system. Heat flows through the land, oceans and atmosphere, from a core of at least 8,000 F to outer space with a temperature of -270 F. It is alternatively heated by radiant energy from the sun and cooled as that energy is re-radiated back into space at night. The atmosphere is just a heat transfer media composed mainly of four simple gas molecules.

Those gases are the two atom Oxygen and Nitrogen molecules and the three atom Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen Dioxide (water vapor) molecules. These molecules have limited mass and limited thermal storage capacity. That storage capacity is further limited by their concentrations in the atmosphere. Carbon Dioxide is only 380 parts per million of that mix and the human contribution is 10 to 20 parts per million of that.

Relative to the rest of the atmosphere, that small amount of human caused CO2 has no heat storage capacity. Relative to the oceans, the atmosphere has no heat storage capacity. Relative to the mass of the Earth, the atmosphere and the oceans combined have only a negligible amount of heat storage capacity. Any layman understands that there is a lot more rock on this planet than water. There is more weight in the water of the oceans than in the weight of the atmosphere. The exact relationship is based on ‘Specific Heat’ factors, but gross volume and gross density convey the general concept.
The real ‘toxin’ in our environment is not coming from exhaled breath, our tailpipes or our smokestacks.

President Obama is standing on his magic Kenyan birth certificate trap door. If he becomes totally unpopular, or fails to deliver the maximum state controlled society, then he’s off to Tahiti. If you’ve had enough of Obamacare, Obamamotors, Obamabank and Obama wins American Idol, then here is your chance for ‘real’ change. Hone your long knives on your Rolodex of congressional phone numbers. Do all that you can to promote S.J. Res 26 in Washington, and in California, to overturn AB 26. The real ‘toxin’ in our environment is not coming from exhaled breath, our tailpipes or our smokestacks. The real toxin is runaway government. It is time to demand the constitutional balance of power government that we have fought and paid for.



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


5 May, 2010

Global Warming Showdown on Capitol Hill: Hearing to address climate ‘deniers’ head on — Lord Monckton Set to Square off with Warmists

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) will seek to further restore the public credibility of climate science this Thursday by hosting several top American researchers in an explanatory hearing that, his office promises, “will address the claims of deniers head-on.”

The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming hearing follows news yesterday that the InterAcademy Council, an alliance of many of the world’s science academies, had chosen its panel to review the methods of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Flaws and typos revealed in the IPCC’s influential 2007 report, particularly an error exaggerating the risk global warming poses to Himalayan glaciers, have damaged the panel’s standing and given ammunition to those critical of science underlying climate change.

The IPCC review, requested by the United Nations, will be led by Harold Shapiro, an economist and former president of Princeton University. The peer-review report will examine, among other topics, the literature that may be cited in IPCC reports — several errors stemmed from NGO or government reports that were not peer-reviewed — and data quality control. The panel expects to deliver its findings by the end of August. (See related story in today’s ClimateWire.)

Markey, the committee’s chairman and sponsor of the House-passed climate bill (H.R. 2454), will hear from three past and future American contributors to the IPCC, who will be tasked with laying out the fundamental science behind climate change.

The panel will also hear from Lisa Graumlich, the director of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona, who served on a British panel investigating the conduct of scientists at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. Intemperate e-mails leaked from the unit last winter gave rise to allegations that climate scientists sought to squash dissent and manipulate temperature data (ClimateWire, April 15).

Last month, the panel cleared the unit and its researchers of any malpractice.

“We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it,” the reviewers said. “Rather we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganized researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention.”

Also testifying to the panel will be another Briton, Lord Christopher Monckton, a hereditary peer in the House of Lords and prominent critic of the scientific consensus supporting anthropogenic climate change.


The truth behind green jobs

In his State of the Union speech President Obama claimed that, "Jobs must be our number one focus in 2010." No surprise, since for months the Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown the unemployment rate to be hovering dangerously close to 10 percent. Revised BLS numbers to show additional jobs losses in December and January with 363 out of 372 metropolitan areas in the U.S. reporting that they lost jobs in January.

Thus, it is with some dismay that we find the administration, as recently as Earth Day, continuing to push "green jobs," as the solution to the country's unemployment woes. This is a problem because research shows that every green job created through government mandates or subsidies, actually cost more jobs than it creates.

This should not come as a surprise. After all, if green jobs were cost effective, industries and companies would have adopted them absent government prodding. They haven't because green technologies are usually more expensive than existing technologies, or they are untested, experimental, or unreliable, and thus they are by and large rejected by consumers in the marketplace.

For instance, Spain was lauded by President Obama as a model for a new economy driven by green jobs. Yet Spain's example isn't one to be emulated if one is trying to boost employment. A 2009 study from Madrid's King Juan Carlos University found that for every green job the government "creates," 2.2 jobs are lost in competing industries or as factories lay off workers to cover the higher energy costs of the green technology. In addition, only 10 percent of those green jobs were permanent with the average green job adding nearly $750,000 in costs to consumers' bills.

Germany and Denmark have had similar green job experiences. Both countries are far ahead of the U.S. in forcing consumers to choose expensive green energy. In Germany, green job mandates increase the average consumers electricity prices by 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour to for an average subsidy per green job created in the solar power industry of more than $240,000. In Denmark, About 28,400 people were employed in the Danish wind industry, but only about 1 in 10 were new jobs - the remaining 90 percent were simply positions shifted from one industry to another. Worse, Danish gross domestic product was about $270 million less than it would have been if the wind industry work force were employed in other sectors.

In the U.S. the story is the same. In a Washington Post column, Sunil Sharan, director of the Smart Grid Initiative, pointed argued that green job initiatives will actually increase unemployment. Sharan estimated that President Obama's goal of increasing America's energy efficiency by installing 20 million smart meters in the next five years would create about 1,600 jobs. Unfortunately, Sharan estimated that 28,000 jobs would be lost just among meter readers. Untold more workers will also lose their employment as they will no longer be needed to input the readings back at the office - it's all done automatically. As Sharan put it, "Automation by definition obviates the need for people."

There are good reasons for installing smart meters and updating the power grid. Accordingly, the private sector, even without federal intervention, was already moving to improve the power system through the use of these technologies. But one shouldn't be fooled, green technologies are not a force for short-term job creation.

Environmental lobbyists have sold the Obama administration a green bill of goods. The recently signed HIRE Act provides billions in subsidies for Clean Renewable Energy Bonds and Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds. As a beginning, $150 billion has been pledged to move America towards a green economy over the next decade. This kind of investment will undoubtedly create some jobs, but overall the director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office notes that, "the net effect [of a green jobs policy] would likely be some decline in employment."

Our political leaders are right to focus on jobs like a laser beam. But government bureaucrats aren't usually thought of as innovators, and have a poor history of picking worthwhile technologies. The green job boondoggle is no exception to this truth. By contrast, innovations in the private sector will undoubtedly be critical in the energy sector as global energy demand is forecast to increase by 44 percent by 2030. Technological improvements proven through competition, not through the political patronage process, will ensure that the energy will be cleaner as efficiency increases.


Whoops! CO2 has almost nothing to do with global warming, discovers top US meteorologist

The other night I had a nightmare in which a general election was approaching and all three main competing parties had the same suicidal policy. They all believed in this thing called the Big Bad Fairy and were convinced that the only way to drive off the BBF and her evil hordes was by spending huge sums of taxpayers’ money – £18 billion a year was, I believe, the figure quoted in the nightmare – and by ruining the country with ugly, spinning Fairy Towers for the bad fairy hordes to nest in.

Then I woke up and found…

Seriously, though, what do we do? How we can possibly stop the environmental and energy policy of our next government being based on what US meteorologist Dr Roy Spencer calls “the worst case of mass hysteria the world has known.”?

Dr Spencer, formerly senior scientist for climate studies at NASA, now leads the US science team for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSRE) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He co-developed the original satellite method for precise monitoring of global temperatures from Earth-orbiting satellites. He’s just the kind of egghead the IPCC claims to represent when it tells us the world is getting dangerously warmer, it’s man’s fault – the result of CO2 emissions – and it must be urgently addressed.

Except Dr Spencer doesn’t agree with any of that. He thinks it’s all nonsense, based on a very elementary error he describes in his new book The Great Global Warming Blunder. I summarise his arguments in this article.
Climate change, he shows, is an almost entirely natural process on which human influence is negligible.

Of course, sceptics have been making this point for years, arguing that the quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by man are so tiny that even if they were to double there would still be no dangerous Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).

What they have been unable to answer convincingly until now, though, is the alarmists’ counterargument that CO2 emissions are exaggerated by “positive feedbacks”.

One type of positive feedback often cited by alarmists is cloud cover. When CO2 causes the world to warm, they argue, it reduces the number of clouds. Clouds are what help protect our planet from the burning heat of the sun, by reflecting solar radiation.

So even if the effect on climate of CO2 is relatively small, the potential knock-on effect is vast. This is why the predictions of temperature rises made by the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports are so large and terrifying.

But according to Spencer, these alarmists have got completely the wrong end of the stick. The mistake they have made is to confuse cause with effect. It’s not man-made global warming that is causing cloud cover to grow thinner, leading to a spiral of ever-rising temperatures. Rather, it’s natural variations in cloud cover that are helping to cause global warming.

This is what’s so annoying about the drivel produced by people like the Conservatives’ Shadow Secretary for Energy and Climate Change Greg Clark. I mention him because the likelihood is that this ill-informed buffoon will, this time next week, be in charge of arguably the most important sector of our economy: making decisions on how we power our industry, how much our utility bills are inflated through “green taxes”, how much money we waste on windfarms, and so on.

Yet this man’s entire ecological world view – his Weltanschauung, if you prefer, because I know how much some of you love it when I come over all German on you – is based on an urban myth.

I’m not necessarily saying “Don’t vote Conservative?” But “Don’t vote Greg Clark” might be a good start.

PS Telegraph blogs has been having a bit of trouble with the system, so you may need to be patient trying to get your comments in. My guess is that the trolls will be unusually active on this post, and that one of the things they’ll rush gleefully to point out is that Roy Spencer is a proponent of Intelligent Design. As if, somehow, that killer fact is so damning it utterly nullifies Dr Spencer’s meteorological expertise.


The Ultimate in Stupidity-Computer Model shows Plants causing Global Warming

Pull out all plants!

Adding to the Everything-Causes-Global -Warming file comes the nuttiest idea yet! Researchers have used computer modelling to show plants actually cause global warming. The research shows surprise,surprise,that the contribution of CO2 to Global Warming is "worse than we thought". I think that alarmist keyboards have those four words on a function key for fast retrieval.
Plants take carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere to do photosynthesis, and thus help reduce the greenhouse gases warming the planet. At least, that’s how the story went before researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science (CIS) realized that the today’s carbon dioxide levels cause the plants to behave in a way that actually contributes to global warming.

Writing in the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the CIS scientists unveiled new research that shows increased carbon levels cause plants to retain water that otherwise would have evaporated from their leaves, entered theatmosphere and helped cool the planet. At local levels, this effect can increase the temperature to be 25 percent more than what the greenhouse effect would have done on its own.

“There is no longer any doubt that carbon dioxide decreases evaporative cooling by plants and that this decreased cooling adds to global warming,” said Long Cao, a CIS scientist and study coauthor . “This effect would cause significant warming even if carbon dioxide were not a greenhouse gas.”

Of course we now need and have been given a new climate computer model to rectify any minute inaccuracies in the old ones.
Most climate models don’t take the cooling effect of this escaped plant water into account, so the CIS researchers generated new climate models based on their understanding of this phenomenon.

The new model showed that, averaged over the entire globe, the loss of released plant water accounts for 16 percent of warming of the land surface, with greenhouse effects accounting for the rest. But in some regions, such as parts of North America and eastern Asia, the effect can account for more than 25 percent of the total warming.

Unfortunately, these results don’t just confirm that the contribution of CO2 to global warming is worse than scientists previously thought, but also greatly complicate any attempts to reverse the warming process.

Somewhere,sometime' these loons in white coats will have to learn that not every single natural process in this world has to be related to Global Warming and some things just are!


April 2010 cooler than April 1998

News: the RSS AMSU data for April 2010 are out. The anomaly, 0.546, is the lowest one for 2010 so far. It is the second warmest April on their record but it's more than 0.3 °C cooler than April 1998 and April 2005 was just a bit cooler than April 2010.

When you look at the daily UAH AMSU temperatures for April 2009 and April 2010, you will find out that the near-surface average brightness temperature for April 2010, -15.50 °C, was 0.4 °C warmer than that of April 2009, which was -15.90 °C.

That's a substantial year-on-year warming. However, with the anomaly around 0.55 °C using these centidegree conventions, as well as with the anomaly around 0.48 °C using these millidegree conventions, April 2009 will be the coolest month of 2010 so far.

It will be calculated to be the second warmest April on the UAH record, after April 1998 which remains the hottest month since 1978 when the UAH records began (and probably for a few centuries, too). The UAH anomaly in April 1998 was 0.76 or 0.77 °C, respectively, so the April 2010 anomaly will still be a whopping 0.2 or 0.3 °C cooler than April 1998.

The El Nino has weakened but the El Nino conditions continue and will continue through the summer. The year 2010 is likely to end up pretty close to 1998, the warmest year on the UAH record so far.

Note: the daily data contain some systematic error - because they use a "wrong" satellite - so they're not the best ones that the UAH team uses for their official figures now. But they're the best data that are instantly available on the daily basis. Sorry for the mess with the multiple datasets, it's not my fault. Because of these and various errors and confusions, my estimates must be understood as figures with a 0.05 °C error margin.


The smell of money

Thanks to Glenn Beck, we get bit more insight into the tangled web that The House of Global Warming was built on.

Who would have thought? Goldman Sachs has been working hard to save the environment for years.

Generation Investment Management (GIM) was founded by Al Gore, and a few friends, which included David Blood (former Goldman executive), Mark Ferguson (Goldman) and Peter Harris (Goldman). They are the fifth largest shareholder in the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). Then in 2006, when the CCX needed some extra funding, who should step up to buy 10% of the company – Goldman Sachs.

CCX is an exchange that won’t be doing a heck of a lot if carbon trading doesn’t become mandatory. All of these players have a vested interest in Cap N Trade legislation.

But it’s not just Goldman Sachs getting in on the deal to make money out of the trading-scheme-based-on-thin-air.

In 2001, a man was apparently working on a device (?) to make carbon trading possible. He filed a patent, then died. His wife onsold this patent application — to Franklin Raines, the CEO of … wait for it, Fannie Mae. The same CEO who has committed massive accounting fraud.

Now the story gets more slippery: In 2000 the Chicago Climate Exchange was helped to get started by the Joyce Foundation. It’s a charity set up years ago, that now manages around a billion in funds. Here’s how Beck tells it:
The Joyce Foundation is like the George Soros’ TIDES Foundation. In fact, it’s actually bigger than TIDES and even funds TIDES. Think of it as a place where uber-rich and powerful liberals like to dump their money into, so the cash can be spread around to their pet projects without a direct link.

There was one influential member on the board of the Joyce Foundation at the time the Chicago Climate Exchange got its seed money; someone instrumental in steering the funds towards the creation of the Chicago Climate Exchange. They were on the board from 1994-2002. The founder of the Chicago Climate Exchange, Richard Sandor, said that he “knew (this person) well,” which is perhaps how the money was awarded to the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where Sandor was a research professor. I’ll get back to that person in a minute.

Who could it be — that one influential member of the board, who was active in getting the CCX started? Apparently it was a man named Barack Obama.

And that patent application owned by the Fannie Mae CEO? It was finally approved by the patent office on Nov. 7, 2006. Coincidentally the day after the Democrats took control of Congress.
So now, Fannie Mae, who is congressionally mandated to “make housing more affordable,” is poised to reap billions on a system that has nothing to do with housing except for that it would make housing costs go up.



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 May, 2010

Your sex life 'hit by global warming'

You won't believe the U.S. government's new claims about climate change. Having been born and bred in the tropics, however, I can assure one and all that a warmer climate is in fact VERY GOOD for people's sex lives.

The official report lists about every ailment imaginable as worsened by global warming but I have excerpted below only the most amusing bit.

Northern Australia is one of the few tropical locales inhabited mostly by white people living at a Western standard of living so it is an excellent test of what a warmer climate would do to other white people living at a Western standard of living. I concede that the inhabitants of our far North may sometimes be a little eccentric but their physical health is fine. None of us die from the cold, that's for sure.

What utter bulldust government scientists can be dragooned into uttering! The reality of Northern Australia completely trumps all their far-fetched theories

I could go on and on about this but the lickspittle government scientists claim that extreme weather event cause sexual dysfunction. As it happens, Australia's Far North is in fact rather prone to VERY extreme weather events: cyclones. And right after the last big blow there was an upsurge of pregnancies! Again, facts trump theory -- JR

Global warming may make the world's inhabitants cranky and stressed, drive them crazy, give them cancer and even worsen their suffering from sexual dysfunction, according to a new government report on climate change – but the scientists say more money is needed before they can be certain.

Government scientists from several taxpayer-funded agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Environmental Health Science, the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, compiled an 80-page report titled, "A Human Health Perspective on Climate Change: A Report Outlining the Research Needs on the Human Health Effects of Climate Change." ....

Mental health and stress

"Psychological impacts of climate change, ranging from mild stress to chronic stress or other mental disorders, are generally indirect and have only recently been considered among the collection of health impacts of climate change," the report warns. "Mental health concerns are among some of the most potentially devastating effects in terms of human suffering, and among the most difficult to quantify and address."

The scientists claim extreme weather events such as hurricanes, wildfires and flooding may cause anxiety and emotional stress and an increase in post-traumatic stress disorder, complicated grief, depression, poor concentration, sleep difficulties, sexual dysfunction, social avoidance, irritability and drug and alcohol abuse.


Is the Climate Bill Frozen?

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is increasingly frustrated. He is hot to trot. He wants action on the climate. But he seems to be getting the cold shoulder. Not so much from his fellow Republicans as from his Democratic partners across the aisle.

No one seems to be paying much mind to Graham’s feverish efforts at bi-partisanship. Or, might it be because global warming passions have cooled? Last week’s Earth Day was a tepid affair. Gone was the hot passion that stoked the fires of environmental activism in years past.

“Where are the snows of yesterday,” asked the French poet Francois Villon in the Middle Ages. Do we now think this Gallic green was really lamenting the Medieval Warming Period?

Maybe Sen. Graham’s colleagues have had their ardor chilled by the latest Gallup polls. A March poll said Americans’ concern about global warming have dipped to their lowest point since 1997. Since 2007, the saliency of the global warming issue has dropped precipitously. In that last year of economic prosperity, 41% of Americans told pollsters they were “very concerned” about global warming. Today, those who “worry a great deal” about climate change has dropped to 28% of the nation. Of eight environmental issues, Americans are most concerned about the purity of drinking water and least about global warming.

Much of this cooling has been the result of the meltdown of the economy, to be sure. But ClimateGate hasn’t helped. We learned last year, just before President Obama jetted off to a world climate summit in Copenhagen, that climate scientists had been faking their data, pulling “tricks” to make warming seem more alarming than it is. The leaked emails from climate scientists at Britain’s University of East Anglia and from some stateside institutions showed a willingness of the climate science clique to try to blackball any reputable scientist who happened to dissent from their Doomsday scenarios.

Britains’ Nigel Lawson is no climate scientist, he readily admits. But he did deal with many of the issues of how governments respond to such crises when he served as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Chancellor of the Exchequer. That’s a top post. Lord Lawson has written: An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming. In this short book, the former Secretary of State for Energy lays out a calm and carefully modulated response to climate hot air.

Will an increase over 100 years of between 4.5º C. and 7.5º C. really mean the end of civilization as we know it? Lawson asks if humans have adapted to living in Singapore (average annual temperature of 84º F) and Helsinki (average annual temperature of 41º F)? Is the gradual northerly creep of wine-producing vineyards necessarily a bad thing?

He explains how carbon dioxide must not be considered a pollutant. It is essential to life on earth.

If environmentalists really insist on a climate bill, Lord Lawson argues, then it should be a simple carbon tax. Tax gasoline. Tax heating oil. Tax electricity. This carbon tax would, of course, hit lower income folks hardest. But, he says, their carbon tax could be offset by corresponding cuts in their income tax.

I should emphasize that I do not agree with this proposal of this distinguished British writer. That’s because I think the increasing taxes on carbon would never be offset by tax cuts on lower income families. Government is simply too voracious for new revenue.

Still, I see the force of Nigel Lawson’s reasoning. The Cap and Trade Bill is really a Cap and Tax Bill. And if Lindsey Graham succeeds in passing this, it will create a huge and cumbersome new bureaucracy which itself eats up vast revenues—and—worst of all—becomes the source for untold corruption of government. You will see corporations lining up to get favored treatment from government. Cap and Tax is really Cap, Tax, and Plunder. Washington, D.C.’s famous K Street would become home to hundreds of new lobbyists, each angling for bonanzas from government for his bosses. The infamous “K Street strut” would give way to a K Street glut.

I hope Sen. Graham does not find any dance partners on the Hill. This bill is ill-timed and ill-advised. It’s time the lawmakers started listening more to those who have to live under the laws they pass.


Climate Scientist Faces Knockout Punch in Virginia Court

Climategate's discredited scientist, Michael E. Mann, is set to be pummeled to defeat under Virginia law if he persists in hiding data from the courts. Virginia Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, is seeking return of half a million dollars allegedly purloined from taxpayers by the proxy researcher during his stint of tree ring counting at the University of Virginia.

In his assault the ambitious attorney general will likely make his case from three heavy body blows: first, will surely be the 2005 study of Mann’s tree ring samples by two Canadian data analysts; the second, those leaked data files from the November 2009 Climategate scandal; while the third, and perhaps the most damaging, is a section of Virginia’s legal code that punishes litigants who refuse to disclose evidence.

Having been turned into a metaphorical climate science punch bag by his skeptical critics, Mann has threatened to sue his detractors for defamation. Like others from an elite clique of climatologists, he has refused to allow independent examination of his calculations.

Canadians Expose Data Cherry-picking

In 2005 the eminent scientific journal, Geophysical Research Letters landed the first big punch by publishing a debunk of Mann’s findings by Canadian statistical analysts, Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick.

In an interview with Marcel Crok of Canada News (January 28, 2005) McIntyre explained he was shocked to uncover that Mann had based his entire conclusions on only one tree. McIntyre clarified that, “Dendrochronologists (tree ring researchers) generally do not use data based on one or two trees.”

Climategate Proves Willful Data Tampering

Climate skeptics then landed a flurry of effective punches in November 2009 with the Climategate data leak. This gave auditors a chance to see some of the withheld files. Leaked files labeled "CENSORED" and "FIXED" affirm that a 14 bristlecone pine series had been deliberately excluded by Mann in his calculations and thereafter kept from public view.

But even more disturbing, McIntyre could now accurately identify that Mann had ‘flipped’ or consciously turned upside down his tree ring data to make the temperature proxy say the opposite of what was recorded. Thus a cooling trend would appear to show warming.

Virginia’s Law For Non-disclosure

The knock out blow for a punch-drunk Mann will likely come from Virginia’s own laws relating to the intentional withholding of evidence. Legal statutes provide that “[w]here one party has within his control material evidence and does not offer it, there is [an inference] that the evidence, if it had been offered, would have been unfavorable to that party.” Charles E. Friend, The Law of Evidence in Virginia § 10-17, at 338 (5th ed.1999).

In July 15, 2005 the Penn. State professor rebuffed Joe Barton, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations who sought access to Mann’s numbers. He stated, “I have made available all of the research data that I am required to under United States policy as set by the National Science Foundation…. I maintain the right to decline to release any computer codes, which are my intellectual property...”

Finally, Mann further implicated himself on October 27, 2009 in his leaked email, ”As we all know, this isn't about truth at all, its about plausibly deniable accusations.”

More HERE (See the original for links & references)

AR4 on “1998 was the warmest year”

As most CA readers know, a few years ago, I wondered how they knew that 1998 was the warmest year in a millennium – a claim that you don’t see in AR4. Nor, at first (second or even fifth) glance does the assertion, once so prominent, even seem to be addressed in AR4.

The Climategate letters offer an interesting vignette. Chapter 6 authors were not unaware of the matter and worked over language on the issue like New York or London lawyers, eventually inserting a clause deep in the chapter that gave them cover, intentionally leaving the issue out of the chapter Executive Summary.

On July 28, 2006, Chapter 6 Coordinating Lead Author Overpeck (1154090231.txt) wrote to Briffa (copy Jansen) passing along a question from WG1 Chairman Susan Solomon, asking the reasonable question about what happened to claimes that 1998 was the warmest year, 1990s the warmest decade.
Hi Keith – in our TS/SPM discussions, Susan has raised this question:

“In the TAR they spoke of 1998 being the warmest year in the millennium and the 1990s the warmest decade. I don’t see that chapter 6 addresses any of these time scales. I am not saying you should do so – but are you planning to say anything about it and why you aren’t doing so? and if you’re not planning to say anything at all, can you please tell me what you think about it, just for my own info?”

Would you please give me your feedback on this, with enough thoughtful detail to hopefully make me/Susan fully informed (a para should be enough).

Thanks, Peck

On Aug 1, 2006, Briffa replied (728. 1154484340.txt) with a comment that would not be out of place at Climate Audit (one of the interesting things about Climategate letters is how often they express views in private that are expressed publicly at CA). Briffa:

The TAR was, in my opinion, wrong to say anything about the precedence (or lack thereof) of the warmth of the individual year 1998. The reason is that all reconstructions have very wide uncertainty ranges bracketing individual-year estimates of part temperature.
Given this, it is hard to dismiss the possibility that individual years in the past did exceed the measured 1998 value. These errors on the individual years are so wide as to make any comparison with the 1998 measured value very problematic, especially when you consider that most reconstructions do not include it in their calibration range (curtailed predictor network in recent times) and the usual estimates of uncertainty calculated from calibration (or verification) residual variances would not provide a good estimate of the likely error associated with it even if data did exist.

Now Briffa didn’t leave it quite like that. He continued with the opinion that confidence could be attached to decadal averages that could not be attached to individual years:
I suspect that many/most reconstructions of NH annual mean temperature have greater fidelity at decadal to multidecadal timescales (based on examination of the covariance spectrum of the actual and estimated data over the calibration period. This is the reason many studies implicitly (Hegerl et al.,) or explicitly (Esper et a;., Cook et al.) choose to calibrate directly against decadally-smoothed data.
The exception is the Briffa et al (tree-ring density network based) reconstruction back to 1400. This has probably the best year-to-year fidelity – but for summer land only and does not go back anyway to the MWP.
We are on much safer grounds focusing on decadal/multi-decadal timescales and so this is where we place the emphasis. As for the warmest decade’ – this is likely to be the 1990s or the last 10 years – but again, the proxies do not cover this period, and we do anyway state that post 1980 is the warmest period – which I think is fair enough.

Overpeck (728. 1154484340.txt) acknowledged this message the next day, passing it on to Solomon and Jansen:
Hi Keith – thanks. This makes sense to me. I’ll cc Susan so she understands the issue better, and also can advise on any strategy we should adopt to make sure we communicate effectively.

thanks again

best, peck

On Sep 1, 2006 (739. 1157138720.txt), Overpeck and Jansen adopted the strategy of inserting some protective language in the chapter text, while leaving it out of the Executive Summary, and urgently requested Briffa to write some language on the matter (it had not been specifically addressed in the drafts sent to reviewers).
As for the 1998/2005 warmest in last 1000 years issue, we suggest adding nothing new to the ES, in line with our chapter policy from Bergen, BUT adding something in the chapter along the lines of: ” There is currently insufficient knowledge to form a consensus on the issue of how the warmth of individual years of the last 100 years compare with individual years of the last 1000 years” Keith, would you like to make a suggestion on the wording and placement?

On Sep 13 (744. 1158180188.txt), Briffa reverted with some language that was carefully crafted to say the least.
Eystein and Peck

I have thought about this and spent some time discussing it with Tim. I have come up with the following
Greater uncertainty associated with proxy-based temperature estimates for individual years means that it is more difficult to gauge the significance, or precedence, of the extreme warm years observed in the recent instrumental record. However, there is no new evidence to challenge the statement made in the TAR that 1998 (or the subsequent near-equivalent 2005) was likely the warmest in the last 1000 years.

This should best go after the paragraph that concludes section I believe we might best omit the second sentence of the suggested new paragraph – but you might consider this too subtle (or negative) then. I think the second sentence is very subtle also though – because it does not exclude the possibility that the same old evidence that challenges the veracity of the TAR statement exists now , as then!

I think this could go in the text where suggested , but I think it best NOT to have a bullet about this point. We need to check exactly what was said in the TAR . Perhaps a reference to the Academy Report could also be inserted here?

Anyway, you asked for a straw-man statement for all to argue about so I suggest we send this to Stefan, David , Betty and whoever else you think.



Overpeck wrote back the same day ( 744. 1158180188.txt):
Keith – thanks for this and the earlier updates. Stefan is not around this week, but hopefully the others on this email can weight in. My thoughts…
1) We MUST say something about individual years (and by extension the 1998 TAR statement) – do we support it, or not, and why.

2) a paragraph would be nice, but I doubt we can do that, so..

3) I suggest putting the first sentence that Keith provides below as the last sentence, in the last (summary) para of To make a stand alone para seems like a bad way to end the very meaty section.

4) I think the second sentence could be more controversial – I don’t think our team feels it is valid to say, as they did in TAR, that “It is also likely that, in the Northern Hemisphere,… 1998 was the warmest year” in the last 1000 years. But, it you think about it for a while, Keith has come up with a clever 2nd sentence (when you insert “Northern Hemisphere” language as I suggest below). At first, my reaction was leave it out, but it grows on you, especially if you acknowledge that many readers will want more explicit prose on the 1998 (2005) issue.
Greater uncertainty associated with proxy-based temperature estimates for individual years means that it is more difficult to gauge the significance, or precedence, of the extreme warm years observed in the recent instrumental record. However, there is no new evidence to challenge the statement made in the TAR that 1998 (or the subsequent near-equivalent 2005) was likely the warmest of Northern Hemisphere year over the last 1000 years.

5) I strongly agree we can’t add anything to the Exec Summary.

6) so, if no one disagrees or edits, I suggest we insert the above 2 sentences to end the last (summary) para of Or should we make it a separate, last para – see point #3 above why I don’t favor that idea as much. But, it’s not a clear cut issue.
Thoughts? Thanks all, Peck

David Rind weighed in (744. 1158180188.txt) as follows (copies to other Lead Authors)::
Leaving aside for the moment the resolution issue, the statement should at least be consistent with our figures. Fig. 6-10 looks like there were years around 1000 AD that could have been just as warm – if one wants to make this statement, one needs to expand the vertical scale in Fig. 6-10 to show that the current warm period is ‘warmer’. Now getting back to the resolution issue: given what we know about the ability to reconstruct global or NH temperatures in the past – could we really in good conscience say we have the precision from tree rings and the very sparse other data to make any definitive statement of this nature (let alone accuracy)? While I appreciate the cleverness of the second sentence, the problem is everybody will recognize that we are ‘being clever’ – at what point does one come out looking aggressively defensive?
I agree that leaving the first sentence as the only sentence suggests that one is somehow doubting the significance of the recent warm years, which is probably not something we want to do. What I would suggest is to forget about making ‘one year’ assessments; what Fig. 6-10 shows is that the recent warm period is highly anomalous with respect to the record of the last 1000 years. That would be what I think we can safely conclude the last 1000 years really tells us.


Jansen (745. 1158204073.txt) suggested a version without Briffa’s casuistic second sentence:
Hi all,

My take on this is similar to what Peck wrote. My suggestion is to write:
Greater uncertainty associated with proxy-based temperature estimates for individual years means that it is more difficult to gauge the significance, or precedence, of the extreme warm individual years observed in the recent instrumental record, such as 1998 and 2005, in the context of the last millennium.

think this is scientifically correct, and in essence means that we, as did the NAS panel say, feel the TAR statement was not what we would have said. I sympatise with those who say that it is not likely that any individual years were warmer, as Stefan has stated, but I don´t think we have enough data to qualify this on the hemispheric mean.

Best wishes,


On Sep 15, 2006, Fortunat Joos wrote that if there isn’t enough evidence to say whether 1998 was the warmest year or not, they should say so.
I support Eystein’s suggestion and agree with David.

If there is not sufficient evidence to support or dismis claims whether 1998 or 2005 was the warmest year of the millennium than we should indeed say so. It is the nature and the strenght of the IPCC process that points from the TAR and earlier reports get reconsidered and reassessed. It is normal that earlier statements get revised. Often statements can be strenghtened, but sometimes statements can not be supported anymore. Our job is to present the current understanding of science as balanced as possible.
With best wishes,


A little later, Briffa signed off on the revision, noting his own reservations about the original “too clever” language, expressing a slight worry that they had “inserted this late with no refereeing and no justification in the text” – (a scruple that he and Jones didn’t worry about when it came to matters MM):
I do not disagree either – in fact I preferred not to make the “too clever” second statement in my “straw man” as I said at the time. If this is the consensus (and I believe it is the scientifically correct one) then I would be happy with Eystein’s sentence. The worry is that we have inserted this late with no refereeing and no justification in the text. I would also suggest dropping the second “!individual” in the sentence.

On Sep 15 (746. 1158324958.txt), Overpeck decided to go with Jansen’t language on the “all important 1998 sentence”.
Thanks Keith, Tim and Fortunat for your input. We’ll go with what we have then – Eystein’s suggestion minus the second “individual”. Eystein and Oyvind – just want to double check that you’ve deleted that 2nd “individual” in the all important 1998 sentence??

Thanks, Peck

In the AR4 Final Version, section ended as follows;
Greater uncertainty associated with proxy-based temperature estimates for individual years means that it is more difficult to gauge the significance, or precedence, of the extreme warm years observed in the recent instrumental record, such as 1998 and 2005, in the context of the last millennium.

AR4 agreed with MM on the “warmest year in 100 years”. Who would have known?

Which leads to another question. What caused the WG1 authors to have a more guarded opinion in AR4 about “1998 is the warmest year” than in AR3? What was their justification for modifying the opinion of AR3 (relying on the statistical analysis of MB98-99) that they knew with statistical confidence that 1998 was the “warmest year”?

In the penultimate comment above, Briffa observed that there was “no justification in the text” for introducing this more guarded opinion in the conclusion to the section.

The obvious location in the text for justifying this more guarded opinion was in the discussion of the MM papers, which had, after all, raised this issue. After the MM papers observed the abject failure of MBH verification r2 statistics in the early segments, even MBH supporters abandoned any pretence that the reconstruction had any “inter-annual skill”. This point is conceded in a couple of Climategate letters though not publicly.

But Briffa, as the author of the relevant section, did not concede even this point in the text on MBH vs MM – a point would have provided a small bit of credit to MM. Worse, between the Second Draft (submitted to reviewers) and the Final Draft, during surreptitious correspondence with Briffa, Eugene Wahl, neither an IPCC author or reviewer, inserted a statement that our analysis had a negligible impact – a statement that was contrary to the corresponding Second Draft statement and a statement that was never submitted to reviewers.

Ironically, Chapter 6 Lead Authors adopted a key position of the MM papers in respect to individual years (though not yet individual decades) – a position that clearly contradicted MBH98-99 and AR4 – but failed, as Briffa observed, to document the changed view in the running text.


NYT: Review of U.N. Climate Panel Begins

The Interacademy Council has named the 12-member panel that will assess the activities and approach of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and issue a report by October. The committee, led by Harold Shapiro, a past president of Princeton and the University of Michigan, contains some scientific luminaries, including the Nobelist Mario Molina and Syukuro Manabe, one of the pioneers in efforts to simulate the climate system using computers.

At the request of the United Nations, the InterAcademy Council is conducting an independent review of the polices and procedures of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Based on this review, the IAC will issue a report to the Secretary-General, with recommended measures and actions...
Continue on to

But the committee lacks specialists in social sciences, the history of science or science-based policy making. I see this as a gap given that some of the most important issues related to the past performance of the climate panel and its utility going forward concern the interface between its scientific assessments, the governments that have final say over the reports and the wider audience.

Overall, the panel’s reports have never focused much on research examining how humans respond ( or fail to respond) to certain kinds of risk, particularly “ super wicked” problems such global warming, which is imbued with persistent uncertainty on key points (the pace of sea-level rise, the extent of warming from a certain buildup of greenhouse gases), dispersed and delayed risks, and a variegated menu of possible responses.

Another question unrelated to the process of scientific assessment is how the leadership of the climate panel should comport itself and weigh the responsibility — written into the panel’s charter — to be “neutral with respect to policy.”

The current chairman, Rajendra K. Pachauri, has frequently spoken out aggressively in favor of particular policies on emissions, while the panel is constrained to laying out “what if” scenarios. He defended this practice to me last year as his right and responsibility as an individual, but doesn’t stress the difference between his personal and official stances when giving speeches largely under the mantle of the panel. I’m less concerned with whether he’s wrong under the letter of the existing bylaws as whether such a communication approach is useful in getting countries to seriously consider the science pointing to a human-disrupted climate. Hopefully the committee will explore such questions.

Presumably the committee will be able to draw on others to navigate such questions. I vote, among others, for Mike Hulme, the climate scientist who wrote “ Why We Disagree About Climate Change,” and Spencer Weart, the physicist and historian who wrote “ The Discovery of Global Warming.”

There are other important questions about the path forward, related to how to handle reasoned minority views on particular science and policy questions, how to deal speedily with errors and how to break down barriers among the three main “working groups” — on the basic science pointing to warming, the range of impacts and possible responses.


Taxing the Heart out of Australia

Most of the destructiveness outlined below is Greenie-inspired

The Carbon Sense Coalition today claimed that the Rudd Resource tax was just another in a long line of taxes helping to depopulate rural Australia.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that depopulation of the outback started with the fringe benefits tax and the removal of accelerated depreciation, both of which penalise companies who provide housing for employees.

“Every government since then has accelerated the drift to the coastal and capital cities.

“The heavy burdens of excessive fuel taxes, coal royalties, rail freights and infrastructure bottlenecks have for years restricted the development of the outback resource industry. Only deposits that are rich or close to the coast can pay their way, which is why the Galilee Basin has been undeveloped for so long.

“The vegetation control bans, water mismanagement and growth of carbon credit forests are depressing agriculture and will depopulate rural towns.

“Humans and their industries are also prohibited from vast areas of our land and sea sterilised by a confusing mixture of exclusion zones. And the lack and high cost of outback infrastructure has fed the fly-in mentality of industry and governments.

“Had the money wasted just on roof insulation been spent on new infrastructure, Australia would be a more decentralised and productive place.

“The climate alarmists urge still more carbon taxes and force the usage of expensive alternative energy. All outback industry relies almost totally on carbon fuels for motive power. None of our quad bikes, cars, trucks, road trains, tractors, dozers, trains, planes or ships are powered by solar panels or wind turbines – they need diesel, petrol, gas and electricity (from coal). And our biggest outback industries are focussed on exploring, developing, supplying or transporting carbon products. Coal, gas, oil, beef, sheep, dairy and timber are all threatened by more carbon taxes.

“The Rudd Resource tax is yet another centralising force, depressing outback industry and stimulating the population of drones around the government honey pots in Canberra. It increases the risk that the belated rush to build infrastructure will leave new trains without freight and new ports without ships.

“Taxes are creating ‘A Nation without a Heart’.”



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 May, 2010

The week that was

By S. Fred Singer, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is launching a new web site, It is now going through its shakedown cruise. The objective will be to post the latest scientific literature that is of interest to the climate change community, particularly those who question IPCC claims.

This week, politics are tumultuous. Facing election, Prime Minister Rudd of Australia punted on “cap and tax” until 2013 showing that to him political survival is more important and the greatest moral imperative facing the world. New Zealand’s Environmental Trading Scheme (cap and tax) is facing opposition with the business community up in arms. Germany’s Chancellor Merkel is moving away from any binding international agreements on cap and tax.

The British government is in the middle of an election campaign and thus far the parties are all ignoring environmental schemes and their costs to the citizens. And at this moment, the Democrats in the US Senate are schizophrenic. Should they pass a sweeping immigration law giving citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants in hopes of picking up additional voters? Or should they address the cap and tax bill disguised under any other name? It appears that politicians are beginning to realize that the citizens, “the great unwashed,” are becoming aware that the science is shoddy and the schemes are extremely costly.

ClimateGate continues but the great deference shown to those involved by the investigating organizations may be over. Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has demanded that the University of Virginia produce a swath of documents relating to Michael Mann’s receipt of nearly half a million dollars in state grant-funded climate research conducted while Mann was at UVA between 1999 and 2005. To most, it may not be illegal to manipulate data thereby falsify science. However to receive Virginia taxpayer money by doing so may be a violation of the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayer Act. The caterwauling by the academic community should be most interesting.

In the interim, the US EPA continues its relentless march to control the US economy by demanding control of carbon dioxide emissions. In the name of ocean acidification, EPA is insisting on regulations to further control the run-off of water from rain. The logic is incredible. According to EPA, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide will increase carbon dioxide in the oceans – thus lower the pH. Yet, EPA claims that atmospheric carbon dioxide causes warming. As shown by the Vostok ice cores, warming results in increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, from ocean outgassing – warm water cannot hold as much dissolved gas as cold water. To EPA power and control take precedence over logical consistency.

A tour of the southwestern part of California’s San Joaquin Valley, once some of the most productive farmland in the world, reveals the triumph of Federal policy by such agencies. Last year the Federal government cut off 90 percent of the irrigation water to about 500,000 acres, about the size of Rhode Island. This killed tens of thousands of acres of crops and thousands of acres of orchards. Unemployment in thriving farming communities went up to 40%. For thousands of years, a hallmark of civilizations has been irrigating arid lands to make them bountiful. These agencies are engaged in a campaign against civilization and the American citizen.

The leaking oil well and the resulting oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico are terrible news for those who have been supporting offshore drilling. No doubt, extremists will seize upon this unfortunate event to try to prevent drilling everywhere.


Virginia Attorney General targets UVA papers in Climategate salvo

No one can accuse Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli of shying from controversy. In his first four months in office, Cuccinelli directed public universities to remove sexual orientation from their anti-discrimination policies, attacked the Environmental Protection Agency, and filed a lawsuit challenging federal health care reform. Now, it appears, he may be preparing a legal assault on an embattled proponent of global warming theory who used to teach at the University of Virginia, Michael Mann.

In papers sent to UVA April 23, Cuccinelli’s office commands the university to produce a sweeping swath of documents relating to Mann’s receipt of nearly half a million dollars in state grant-funded climate research conducted while Mann— now director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State— was at UVA between 1999 and 2005.

If Cuccinelli succeeds in finding a smoking gun like the purloined emails that led to the international scandal dubbed Climategate, Cuccinelli could seek the return of all the research money, legal fees, and trebled damages.

“Since it’s public money, there’s enough controversy to look in to the possible manipulation of data,” says Dr. Charles Battig, president of the nonprofit Piedmont Chapter Virginia Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment, a group that doubts the underpinnings of climate change theory.

Mann is one of the lead authors of the controversial “hockey stick graph,” which contends that global temperatures have experienced a sudden and unprecedented upward spike (like the shape of a hockey stick).

UVA spokesperson Carol Wood says the school will fulfill its legal obligation, noting that the scope of the documents requested mean it could take some time. Mann had not returned a reporter’s calls at posting time, but Mann— whose research remains under investigation at Penn State— recently defended his work in a front page story in USA Today saying while there could be “minor” errors in his work there’s nothing that would amount to fraud or change his ultimate conclusions that the earth is warming as a result of human activities, particularly the burning of fossil fuels.

“Mike is an outstanding and extremely reputable climate scientist,” says UVA climate faculty member Howie Epstein. “And I don’t really know what they’re looking for or expecting to find.”

Among the documents Cuccinelli demands are any and all emailed or written correspondence between or relating to Mann and more than 40 climate scientists, documents supporting any of five applications for the $484,875 in grants, and evidence of any documents that no longer exist along with proof of why, when, and how they were destroyed or disappeared...

The Attorney General has the right to make such demands for documents under the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act, a 2002 law designed to keep government workers honest.


Some Serious Questions about Nuclear Energy

By S. Fred Singer, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

The White House has announced the termination of the Yucca Mountain project to provide a long-term and safe ‘engineered disposal site’ for spent nuclear reactor fuel (what many enviros refer to as a ‘nuclear waste dump’). Presumably, the WH action will help Senator Harry Reid (Dem–Nevada) as he seeks re-election in November 2010 (or am I just being cynical?).

A 1983 law calls for such disposal by the US government, so here are some questions for Secretary of Energy Dr Steven Chu:

1. Is Yucca now irrevocably dead? Y/N

2. If YES, do you see another 20-yr search shaping up to qualify another site? Y/N

3. If NO, does DOE just ignore the law; can nuclear utilities stop paying fees to DOE, and claim a refund (approaching $20 billion)?

4. Do you have any clue what this WH plans to do?

5. Do you see this EPA ever approving any kind of disposal of spent fuel (aside from the status quo of on-site storage) – in view of exaggerated fears of minute amounts of radioactivity?

6. Is this lack of a permanent disposal site likely to result in lawsuits that can stop nuclear energy --- or seriously delay it or drive up costs prohibitively?

7. In other words: Does cancelation of Yucca spell the end for a nuclear future for the US?

SEPP SCIENCE EDITORIAL #14-2010 (May 1, 2010)

Phil Jones finally admits that The Medieval Warm Period in Greenland was warmer than today

Discussing: Vinther, B.M., Jones, P.D., Briffa, K.R., Clausen, H.B., Andersen, K.K., Dahl-Jensen, D. and Johnsen, S.J. 2010. "Climatic signals in multiple highly resolved stable isotope records from Greenland". Quaternary Science Reviews 29: 522-538.


The authors introduce the report of their new study by writing that "during the past 10 years studies of seasonal ice core ?18O records from the Greenland ice sheet have indicated, that in order to gain a firm understanding of the relationships between Greenland ?18O and climatic conditions in the North Atlantic region, it is important to have not only annually resolved, but seasonally resolved ice core ?18O data."

What was done

Working with 20 ice core records from 14 different sites, all of which stretched at least 200 years back in time, as well as near-surface air temperature data from 13 locations along the southern and western coasts of Greenland that covered approximately the same time interval (1784-2005), plus a similar temperature data set from northwest Iceland (said by the authors to be employed "in order to have some data indicative of climate east of the Greenland ice sheet"), Vinther et al. proceeded to demonstrate that winter ?18O was "the best proxy for Greenland temperatures." Then, based on that determination and working with three longer ice core ?18O records (DYE-3, Crete and GRIP), they developed a temperature history that extended more than 1400 years back in time.

What was learned

In the words of the seven scientists, "temperatures during the warmest intervals of the Medieval Warm Period," which they defined as occurring "some 900 to 1300 years ago, "were as warm as or slightly warmer than present day Greenland temperatures."

What it means

As for what this result implies, the researchers conditionally -- and rather amusingly -- state that further warming of present day Greenland climate "will result in temperature conditions that are warmer than anything seen in the past 1400 years."

But, of course, their work more directly and unconditionally implies that late 20th-century and early 21st-century weather has not yet been warm enough to confer "unprecedented" status upon Greenland air temperatures. What is more, Vinther et al. readily admit that the independent "GRIP borehole temperature inversion suggests that central Greenland temperatures are still somewhat below the high temperatures that existed during the Medieval Warm Period."


Young British eco warriors interrogate shoppers

Green heirs of the Hitler Youth and Stalin's Young Pioneers

SHOPPERS were bombarded with eco-friendly advice by green-minded school pupils. Eco warriors, from Grove Primary School, Consett, County Durham, quizzed customers at the town’s Co-operative food store and came to the conclusion they are doing a good job in combating climate change.

The majority of shoppers were found to show a strong commitment to green issues, and were given a ‘good’ overall rating. Shoppers who took part in the survey were rewarded with a fridge magnet featuring The Co-operative’s top tips for being a greener citizen.

The Eco Warriors project builds on climate change work studied by children at the school, and follows the installation of £20,000 solar panels in February 2008. It was backed by funding from The Co-operative’s £2m Green Energy for Schools programme.

The Grove is one of now more than 180 schools nationally to have benefited since the programme was launched in 2007, in partnership with the Government’s Low Carbon Building Programme.

Other schools have installed wind turbines, bio-mass boilers and ground source heat pumps.

Store manager Joan Nicholson said: "As a community retailer and one of the world’s leading businesses in the global fight against climate change, we’re delighted the people of Consett have shown such commitment to saving the planet.

"The ‘eco warriors’ from the Grove Primary School have done a fantastic job in challenging shoppers and inspiring them to keep up the good work."

One of the group involved in the quizzing of shoppers, nine-year-old Harry Stocker, said: "Everyone I spoke to said they recycle and use their bottle and recycling bins."

But fellow ‘eco warrior’ Alex Larkin, 8, said, although respondents told them what they try to do to save energy: "Some people need to try harder."


Australia: Greenies as colonialists

They see themselves as the new aristocracy who can tell blacks what to do. Cape York Peninsula is roughly the size of England but the Greenies want it untouched by any development -- thus shafting the blacks who live there and who would profit from development

Throughout our exploration of the Queensland government's Wild Rivers legislation, it has dawned on me that colonisation of indigenous lands is a current process, not just something from the history books.

Until this point of realisation, my commonsense understanding of history held that colonisation was a process completed in my great-grandfather's day.

I do know about the forced removal and demolition of the Mapoon community on northern Cape York in the 1960s, but I guess I took that as an aberration - the aberrant behaviour of a now-discredited government - that could not happen today. The shotguns and bulldozers of the Mapoon case don't occur today, but colonisation of a more pernicious kind is still a reality.

Today it's happening under the banner of land management law driven by a political constituency for environmental protection.

It's about creation without consent of an ever-expanding body of land management law that has as its overall effect reduction in the level of autonomy indigenous people are able to exercise when managing their land.

The overall effect of non-consensual reduction of autonomy is denial of the established cultural processes of indigenous land management, and devaluation of the property rights of those indigenous land holders who have had their land management autonomy stripped away.

Given the outcomes of legal cases such as Mabo and Wik, which confirmed in certain places the continuous existence, not gracious reinstatement by the court or a government of the day, of native title over indigenous lands, does not the imposition of new land management law that denies traditional land management processes and reduces the underlying value of title constitute a colonial act? I think it does, and in this day and age that strikes me as a shameful thing for our society to accept.

I mentioned earlier the existence of a powerful political constituency for legislation protecting the environmental values of indigenous lands.

The Queensland government has its political allies for the Wild Rivers laws.

During the course of our research on Wild Rivers, we met some of the environmental groups engaged on this issue.

The passion, commitment, erudition, knowledge and political skill of these groups are undeniably attractive.

It's easy to understand how members are attracted to the cause.

But when they deploy these enviable skills to the project of legislating away, without consent, the property rights of indigenous people, they are partners in a new wave of colonisation of the cape.

Indigenous property rights are subordinated to an environmental aesthetic that is supported by sophisticated political clout, and so is successful.

Where historically indigenous property was taken so the colonisers could put the land to economic use, now it is taken to save the planet; to make up for the harm done to the planet through urban industrialisation and agriculture.

Indigenous communities can pay the price for our environmental miscreance.

Again, it shames me to think we find this tolerable.

As a consequence of working these things through, I've come to thinking about indigenous land management sovereignty. I wonder what we could come up with if we tried, in partnership with indigenous landholders on the cape and their leaders, to truly give authority over land management matters back to those people.



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 May, 2010

(Desperately) Looking for Arctic warming

First American Ann Bancroft and Norwegian Liv Arnesen trekked off across the Arctic in the dead of the 2007 winter, “to raise awareness about global warming,” by showcasing the wide expanses of open water they were certain they would encounter. Instead, icy blasts drove temperatures inside their tent to -58 F, while outside the nighttime air plunged to -103 F.

Open water is rare at those temperatures, the intrepid explorers discovered. Facing frostbite, amputated toes and even death, the two were airlifted out 18 miles into their 530-mile expedition.

Next winter it was British swimmer and ecologist Lewis Gordon Pugh, who planned to breast-stroke across open Arctic seas. Same story. Then fellow Brit Pen Hadow gave it a go, but it was another no-go.

This year Aussie Tom Smitheringale set off to demonstrate “the effect that global warming is having on the polar ice caps.” He was rescued and flown out, after coming “very close to the grave,” he confessed.

Hopefully, all these rescue helicopters were solar-powered. Even hardened climate disaster deniers wouldn’t want these brave (if misguided) adventurers to be relegated to choppers fueled by hated hydrocarbons. They may be guilty of believing their own alarmist press releases – and the likes of Al Gore, James Hansen, the IPCC and Michael Mann, father of broken hockey sticks and Mann-made global warming. But missing digits or ideological impurity is a high price to pay.

Nonetheless, it’s easy to envision them dreaming of stoking up the boiler from the wreck of the “Alice May” over yonder on Lake Lebarge and chattering in their sleep: “Since I left Plumtree down in Tennessee, it’s the first time I’ve been warm.”

The explorers tried to put the best spin on their failures. “One of the things we see with global warming is unpredictability,” Bancroft-Arnesen expedition coordinator Anne Atwood said helpfully. “But please know global warming is real, and with it can come extreme unpredictable changes in temperature,” added Arnesen.

“Global warming can mean colder. It can mean wetter. It can mean drier. That’s what we’re talking about,” Greenpeace activist Stephen Guilbeault chimed in.

Who was it that defined insanity as hitting your thumb repeatedly with a hammer, expecting it won’t hurt the next time? And who’s paying for all these rescue operations? Mostly the same taxpayers who are also paying for the junk science that insists the entire ice cap will melt away by 2014.

Actually, the Arctic ice has been rebounding since its latest low ebb around September 2007. And despite steadily rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels – from 0.0285% or 285 ppm in 1870 to 0.0388% or 388 ppm today – average global temperatures have been stable or declining since 1995.

Even UK Climate Research Unit chief Phil Jones and other Climategate emailers acknowledge that now. “We can’t account for the lack of warming, and it’s a travesty that we can’t,” Kevin Trenberth moaned in one of the infamous Climategate emails.

Instead of sleds and snowshoes, the explorers should have rented Doc Brown’s “Back to the Future” time machine. They would have found plenty of the global warming and open waters they so desperately seek.

Vikings built homes, grew crops and raised cattle in Greenland in 950-1300, before they were frozen out by the Little Ice Age and encroaching pack ice and ice sheets.

Many warm periods followed, marked by open seas and minimal southward extent of Arctic sea ice, as noted in ships’ logs and discussed in scientific papers by Torgny Vinje and other experts. The warm periods of 1690-1710, 1750-1780 and 1918-1940, for instance, were often preceded and followed by colder temperatures, severe ice conditions and maximum southward ice packs, as during 1630-1660 and 1790-1830.

“Not only in the summer, but in the winter the ocean [in the Bering Sea region] was free of ice, sometimes with a wide strip of water up to at least 200 miles away from the shore,” Swedish explorer Oscar Nordkvist reported in 1822.

“We were astonished by the total absence of ice in Barrow Strait,” Francis McClintock, captain of the “Fox,” wrote in 1860. “I was here at this time in 1854 – still frozen up – and doubts were entertained as to the possibility of escape.”

In 1903, during the first year of his three-year crossing of the Northwest Passage, Roald Amundsen noted that his party “had made headway with ease,” because ice conditions had been “unusually favorable.”

The 1918-1940 warming also resulted in Atlantic cod increasing in population and expanding their range some 800 miles, to the Upernavik area of Greenland, fisheries biologist Ken Drinkwater has reported.

Global warming and climate change are certainly real. They’ve been real throughout Earth’s history, from the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods, Little Ice Age and Dust Bowl – to countless other cycles of warming and cooling, flood and drought, storm and calm, open Arctic seas and impassable ice.

Humans clearly influence weather and climate – at least on a local scale – through heat and emissions from cities and cars, our clearing of forests and grasslands, our diversion of rivers.

But that is not the issue. Nor is it enough to say – as EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson often does – that “the climate is changing and mankind is responsible in part for that change.” The assertion is simplistic and misleading. It skews the debate, stigmatizes fossil fuel use, and preordains public policy responses that are excessive, costly and unjust. The fundamental issue is this:

Are humans causing imminent, unprecedented, global climate change disasters? And can we prevent those alleged disasters, by dramatically increasing the price of carbon, drastically curtailing hydrocarbon use, slashing living standards, and imposing government control over industries and people’s lives?

On that, the evidence simply is not there – a reality underscored by the glaring fact that the headline-grabbing disasters and nearly one-third of all the citations in the IPCC’s massive 2007 climate report were not peer-reviewed studies. They were newspaper articles, student papers, and even press releases from climate activists and lobbyists.

That leaves us with crisis scenarios conjured up by computer models that reflect CO2-centric assumptions, presume clouds exert only warming influences, and rely on temperature data that come from urban heat islands or have been manipulated by the modelers. In short, the climate models are little better than Farmville or Sim Earth.

They help scientists visualize how climate systems work. But they’re useless for predicting the future. They create virtual realities and virtual crises, and then “solve” them with virtual solutions. We need reality-based science and public policy.

No wonder most Americans now blame climate change on natural forces, not human activity – and 75% are unwilling to spend more than $100 per year in higher energy bills to “stabilize” Earth’s turbulent and unpredictable climate (Rasmussen polls). These citizens display a refreshing dose of commonsense.


California's Man-Made Drought

Would France rip out its storied vineyards? Would Juan Valdez scorch Colombia's coffee crop? Sri Lanka its black pepper harvest? China its tea? With global markets won by nations specializing in doing what they do best, and with regional reputations important enough to drive some nations to protectionism, it's almost unthinkable.

But then there's California.

On a springtime drive through the Central Valley, it's hard not to notice how federal and state governments are hell-bent on destroying the state's top export — almonds — and everything else in the nation's most productive farmland.

Instead of pink blossoms and green shoots along Highway 5 in April, vast spans from Bakersfield to Fresno sit bone-dry. Brown grass, dead orchards and lifeless grapevine skeletons stretch for miles for lack of water. For every fallow field, there's a sign that farmers have placed alongside the highway: "No Water = No Food," "No Water = No Jobs," "Congress Created Dust Bowl."

Locals say it's been like this for two years now, as Congress and bureaucrats cite "drought," "global warming" and "endangered species" to deny water to this $37 billion breadbasket through arbitrary "environmental" quotas.

It started with a 2008 federal court order that stopped water flowing from northern tributaries on a supposed need to protect a small fish — the delta smelt — that was getting ground up in the turbines of pump stations that divert the water south. The court knew it was bad law, but Congress refused to exempt the fish from the Endangered Species Act and the diversion didn't help the fish.

After that, the water cutoff was blamed on "drought," though northern reservoirs are currently full. Now the cry is "save the salmon," a reference to water needs of the state's northern fisheries.

Whatever the excuse, 75% of the fresh water that has historically irrigated California is now being washed to the open sea. For farmers in the southwest part of the valley, last year's cutoff amounted to 90%.

"It's pretty hard to keep crops alive at 10%," says Jim Jasper, who runs a 62-year-old almond farm in Newman that employs 170. "That's one irrigation, and trees take 10 to 12 over the growing season from March to October." Almond trees cost $8,000 per acre and take six years to start producing, so farmers reserved their 10% allocation for mature trees first.

The cutoff didn't kill just trees, however. It also devastated the area's economy. Unemployment in some valley towns has shot up to 45%. Mortgage defaults are on the rise, and food lines are lengthening.


Melting sea ice would cause sea levels to rise by 'hair's breadth'

Melting icebergs are causing sea levels to rise, scientists have discovered, but only by a hair's breadth every year. Researchers at the University of Leeds calculate that around 1.5 million Titanic-sized icebergs each year are melting into the sea every year in the Arctic and Antarctic. This is causing sea level to rise by just 49 micrometers per year - around a hair's breadth.

At that rate it would take 200 years for the oceans to rise by 1cm as a result of melting sea ice. If all the floating ice in the world melted it would cause sea levels to rise by just 4cm. In comparison if all the ice on land melted it would cause a rise of 70m. Sea levels will also rise as the oceans get warmer because of thermal expansion.

But Professor Andrew Shepherd, one of the authors of the study published in Geophysical Research Letters, said the tiny rise caused by melting ice was still significant.

He said it will be important to factor in the small changes caused by melting sea ice in judging sea level rise in the future, especially if global warming accelerates. Melting ice caps also accelerate climate change as seawater absorbs more sunlight, therefore it will warm quicker than when the sea is covered in ice.

"Over recent decades there have been dramatic reductions in the quantity of Earth's floating ice, including collapses of Antarctic ice shelves and the retreat of Arctic sea ice," he said.

"These changes have had major impacts on regional climate and, because oceans are expected to warm considerably over the course of the 21st century, the melting of floating ice should be considered in future assessments of sea level rise."



There have been many examples of 'scientific consensus'. A useful illustration is the former fear of Global Cooling that gained momentum in the 1960s. The first paragraph of a New York Times article, from 30th January 1961, entitled SCIENTISTS AGREE WORLD IS COLDER; But Climate Experts Meeting Here Fail to Agree on Reasons for Change, read: "After a week of discussions on the causes of climate change, an assembly of specialists from several continents seems to have reached unanimous agreement on only one point: it is getting colder."

We can claim a consensus of sorts, whether it is regarding global warming or cooling, by simply pointing to an article such as this. But this idea is terribly skewed for several reasons. By appointing a group of scientists to find evidence of something, the patron of this group will always receive reward; just as a different patron who demands his own scientists disprove this conclusion will similarly receive reward. Thus the danger of climate change science is that there is only one patron.

This is not how science works; instead, theories should be disproved in order to be proved - only by having free and balanced discussion will we enjoy progress. The failure of such groups as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is that they are heavily politicised.

There are a growing number of cries that the IPCC has negated the traditional scientific method. The climatologist Roger Pielke, despite believing in anthropogenic climate change, has criticised the IPCC for its ill-gotten conclusions and has accused the scientific body of subjectively choosing data to support a selective view of climate change science.

Pielke points out the systematic conflict of interest that is present in the IPCC assessment process: "The same individuals who are doing primary research in the role of humans on the climate system are then permitted to lead the assessment... Assessment Committees should not be an opportunity for members to highlight their own research."

Furthermore, the House of Lords Economics Committee has recently stated that, "We have some concerns about the objectivity of the IPCC process, with some of its emissions scenarios and summary documentation apparently influenced by political considerations."

The IPCC has not just become a body of political scientists, but scientific politicians as well. These people’s professions have become adulterated with the idealism of environmental morality.

The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change in New York brought to light the "absolute horror stories" about how some scientific journals and political bodies have engaged in the suppression of climate-sceptic scientists trying to publish their work in peer-reviewed journals. This conference included many afflicted current and former IPCC scientists from all over the globe.

The IPCC is not the only culprit, but indeed, virtually all of the governmental and intergovernmental scientific bodies. Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi, an atmospheric physicist at NASA, resigned because of the agency’s lack of scientific freedom.

Miskolczi said he wanted to publish and discuss his new research that showed "runaway greenhouse theories contradict energy balance equations," but he claims that NASA refused to allow him. He recently said that, "Unfortunately, my working relationship with my NASA supervisors eroded to a level that I am not able to tolerate. My idea of the freedom of science cannot coexist with the recent NASA practice of handling new climate change related scientific results."

A consensus in one branch of science does not mean a consensus across all branches. For example, a recent survey of 51,000 scientists in Canada from the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists found that 68% of them disagreed with the statement that “the debate on the scientific causes of recent climate change is settled.” The survey also stated that only 26% of scientists attributed global warming to "human activity such as burning fossil fuels."

And so most importantly, science is not a numbers game; rather it is the manifestation of debate and the imperative to allow dissent. There are too many examples in the history of scientific thought of a single scientist working against a 'consensus' only to have his theories ultimately being accepted.

While there is no clear indication either way that this might be the case with climate change science, it becomes only too apparent that there is a desperate need for such free debate, given the drastic choices that Governments are prepared to make. Whether such decisions involve the complete overhaul of our energy sources, or the (ethically questionable) prevention of industrialisation in developing countries, the need to end scientific censorship is vitally important.

The problem with climate science is not actually the science itself, as so often stated by sceptics, but it is the politics and ethics. The University of York Freedom Society's 'Climate Week' will not try to cover the complicated and vast subject of the science itself; instead it will highlight the dangers of academic suppression and weigh the ethical questions involved when dealing with such proscription.

More here

Australian farmers not sold on climate change

AUSTRALIAN farmers are sceptical about climate change and many do not believe it will affect agriculture during their lifetimes, a report says.

But the CSIRO research is calling on rural producers to increase their knowledge of the implications of global warming so they can make their farms more resistant to changing climatic conditions.

The report, A Participatory Approach to Developing Climate Change Adaption Options for NSW Farming Systems, identifies ways farmers can protect their livelihoods, such as by planting crops that can withstand hotter and drier weather, identifying ways to manage fertiliser, and maximising water use through efficient harvesting.

The report confirmed there was significant scepticism and misunderstanding among farmers on climate change and the impact it would have on agriculture. Farmers must also prepare for a future carbon emissions trading scheme.

CSIRO research team leader Steven Crimp said the need for improved climate change knowledge was paramount. "There is a lot of information about climate change and climate projections but there isn't a lot of information on how to make changes within farm management," he said. "Many farmers don't believe that climate change will affect them in their lifetime but we are already starting to see the effects of climate change and variation on the land." [There has always been climate change and variation on the land and farmers know it. Knowing what the weather is likely to do is central to their livelihoods. They are great climate watchers and many keep diaries of weather events]

A spokeswoman for NSW Climate Change minister Frank Sartor said the government was working with farmers to assess regional areas for climate change vulnerability. "The impacts of climate change pose a considerable risk to farmers," she said. "Probable effects include hotter, drier conditions, which will put crops under greater heat and water stress."

Agricultural business workshops for young farmers have been established by the food and agribusiness specialist bank Rabobank to deal with emerging challenges for Australian producers. They cover leadership strategies, business planning and economic management.


Greenies still believe in Malthusian Hells. So is living longer in an overcrowded world better than the alternative?

"How dare you do this research? The earth is already being raped by too many people, there is so much garbage, so much pollution."

Ten years ago, an anti-aging researcher described this hostile reaction to her work in the pages of The New York Times. Not much has changed since then. The first objection one hears when one advocates radical life extension is that it will produce a Malthusian Hell of overpopulation and resource depletion. Objectors clearly believe it would be immoral to make it possible for lots of people to live to be, say, 150 years old. But is that so? Two newish papers from two controversial philosophers take on that reasoning, and tear it apart—with the help of their pocket calculators.

Philosopher John Davis from the University of Tennessee takes a direct approach, arguing that pursuing life extension—even if it results in a Malthusian Hell—is the moral thing to do. In his article, “Life-Extension and the Malthusian Objection,” Davis accepts for purposes of argument that the moral goal is to maximize total human welfare over time. To illustrate how one might decide whether or not a society should permit research and deployment of life extension technologies, Davis assumes a population of two types of people: Lees and Seans. Lees who want to live a long time are 17 percent of the population and Seans who prefer shorter lives are 83 percent. Seans live an average of 100 years, while Lees using life extension treatments live an average of 600 years. Then you add up the life years of a population of 100 Lees and Seans, and find that 17 Lees would enjoy a total of 8,500 life years while 83 Seans enjoy only 8,300 life years. Treatment prohibition would result in the loss of 200 life-years, thus reducing the total human welfare possible. So Davis concludes that counting aggregate life-years rather than individual lives is the way to decide whether or not to go with life extension treatments.

Davis then considers what might happen in situations where people are forced to choose between life extension and reproduction, as opposed to a world where they can opt for both. Davis divides a hypothetical population of 100 people into three policy categories: Free Choice; Forced Choice/Treatment; Forced Choice/Reproduce. Free Choice allows everyone to choose life extension no matter how many children they have. Under a Forced Choice policy, people must choose between having children and receiving the treatments. Davis assumes a population of 100 will contain 31 Free Choicers, who take both the treatments and reproduce, 19 Forced Choicers who take the treatments and do not reproduce, and 50 Forced Choicers who refuse the treatments and choose to reproduce. The numbers reflect his own rough intuitions about how human preferences would play out. Adding up the life-years at stake:

Free Choicers 31 x 500 years = 15,500 life-years

Forced Choice/Treatment 19 x 500 years = 9,500 life-years

Forced Choice/Reproduce 50 x 100 = 5,000 life-years

In this scenario, the Free Choicers' preferences that would result in a Malthusian world trump the combined preferences of those who choose long lives over reproduction and short lives in favor of reproduction.

What drives Davis’ calculations is the concept of total utilitarianism which aims to maximize utility across a population based on adding all the separate utilities of each individual together. “So far as the total net good for humans is concerned, the most justified social policy is the one that satisfies preferences over the greatest number of life-years, all else being equal,” argues Davis. One implication of total utilitarianism is that “we should create as many people as possible in order to maximize the total amount of desirable experiences.” Total utilitarianism might result in Malthusian consequences because a large, relatively miserable population might well have a greater total amount of utility than a smaller, happier population.

Davis’ allocation of preferences among Free and Forced Choicers is based on his own guesswork, and tweaking the numbers could produce different outcomes. But no matter how you slice the numbers, it would be immoral to stop research on life extension technologies simply because of fears that they would result in a Malthusian Hell. As Davis notes, people who choose the treatments would obviously not consider living in an increasingly Malthusian world a fate worse than death, and “therefore they would probably not consider it a fate worse than non-existence for their children either.” And Malthusian Hells may be self-limiting. “Will there come a time when the Malthusian conditions reach a level of such crisis that people are better off not extending their lives?,” asks Davis. “Perhaps so; if they see it that way, they will stop choosing life-extension.”

Is there any way to break out of this dismal total utilitarian calculation? Bioethicist Russell Blackford argues yes.

In the second new paper, Russell Blackford from Monash University in Australia specifically addresses Princeton University bioethicist Peter Singer's claim that it is immoral to want to live longer, say by doubling one’s life expectancy to 150 years. Why does Singer think this? Singer begins by setting up a thought experiment in which researchers develop a pill that will double life expectancy to 150 years. He assumes that people have an average happiness level of 5 out of a possible 10 during the first 75 years. The life extension pill maintains its users at about the same level of health and mental acuity as a healthy 60-year-old for the next 75 years, reducing their happiness level to 4 for that period. This yields an average happiness level of 4.5 over the course of their 150 year life spans. Imagine Singer's pill as a kind of Fountain of Prolonged Middle Age.

Singer also assumes population control measures stabilizing population at replacement levels. As we shall see, the population stabilization assumption is a bit of a contradiction for Singer. Ultimately in the Singer scenario, the total number of people who would be born will be half of what they otherwise would have been during any specific time period without the age-retarding drug. So a long lived society might constitute 1 billion individuals and a normal life expectancy society would number 2 billion at any one time.

To illustrate Singer’s calculus, Blackford does a little happiness math in his recent article “Moral Pluralism Versus the Total View: Why Singer is wrong about radical life extension.” The hedonic calculation for long lifers would be:

4.5 units of happiness x 150 years of life x 1 billion individuals = 675 billion happiness years.

The computation of pleasure for short lifers:

5 units of happiness x 75 years of life x 2 billion = 750 billion happiness years.

Singer acknowledges that individual long lifers would have better lives (4.5 hedonic units x 150 years = 675 total units) than individual short lifers (5 hedonic units x 75 year = 375 units). But the total sum of happiness over any specific period of time is higher in the society without the life extension treatment. So Singer concludes that the moral thing to do is to stop research on life prolonging drugs.

But imposing population control measures should be morally suspect to someone who advocates maximizing total utility over time. Why? As Blackford points out, Singer’s utility logic leads to the irresistible “conclusion that a sufficiently large population with people whose lives are barely worth living would be a better outcome than a much smaller population of people who are very happy.” This is what philosopher Derek Parfit called the “repugnant conclusion.” Parfit never believed that he had resolved the paradox at the heart of a total utilitarian calculus that leads to the repugnant conclusion. One consequence of this line of argument is that people should have as many children as possible in order to maximize the total amount of happiness just so long as they could eke out some minimal amount of pleasure. In fact, it would be immoral for people to restrict the number of children they bear because they would be reducing the overall amount of possible happiness in the world.

To counter the total utility logic, Blackford offers another thought experiment in which a benevolent, but not omnipotent deity has the choice between creating a world with 1 billion happy people (6 hedonic units on average out of 10 possible) versus another world with 6 billion fairly miserable inhabitants (1.5 hedonic units on average). Total average happiness on the second miserable planet would exceed that of the first by a ratio of 3 to 2 over time (9 billion units versus 6 billion units in any given year). Singer, if he followed the logic of his argument, would advise the deity to create the second world rather than the first. Blackford counters, “We expect a benevolent god to be concerned about how well lives go, rather than about the sheer number of them.” The upshot of this analysis, according to Blackford, is that “what we value…is that whatever actual lives come into existence should go well.”

Blackford’s benevolence scenario, like Singer’s original set-up, implies that the maximization of utility under Malthusian conditions will be avoided because population growth will be kept in check. However, Blackford, unlike Singer, is morally consistent, because advocating benevolence does not require maximizing total utility, but rather the goal is to attempt to maximize the utilities of individuals. As Blackford concludes, “Since I see no doubt that the lives in the pro-drug scenario would be better—something that Singer also thinks—then we should develop the drug.” Of course, if one accepts Blackford’s conclusions, the question of how will population be controlled comes to the fore. Will some “benevolent decision-maker” impose something like a replacement fertility requirement in order to make sure that the Methuselahs are not overcrowded thus enabling their lives to go well? Perhaps such “benevolent decision-makers” are unnecessary.

Turning from philosophy to the empirical, it is noteworthy that the societies with the longest life expectancies now are already experiencing below replacement fertility largely without the interference of “benevolent decision-makers.” In addition, human ingenuity can avoid producing a Malthusian Hell by expanding available resources to more comfortably support a larger, more prosperous, and happier human population.

At one point Davis acknowledges, “Of course, if the Malthusian consequences of total utilitarianism are a reason to reject total utilitarianism, then one can argue that Malthusian consequences are a reason to reject Free Choice.” Blackford implicitly accepts this analysis and rejects Free Choice. In any case, the conclusion from either analysis—Davis’ dismal total utility calculus and Blackford’s benevolence argument—is that pursuing radical life extension is the moral thing to do.


Malthusianism is zero-sum nonsense of course. What we most have to fear is something that is already happening in many parts of the world: Population decline. Why fear it? Because rising population tends to go with INCREASED standards of living, not the reverse. The ultimate resource is brains -- very smart brains in particular -- and the more people we have the more great brains we are likely to have -- JR


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 May, 2010

Oil Spill May Kill Climate Bill’s Chances

As the spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico oozes it way toward Louisiana, Democrats are rapidly backing away from their prior support for new off-shore drilling as part of a compromise clean energy bill. Both the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Friday they were re-examining the need for such drilling, citing the April 20 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that killed 11 and began spilling crude oil into the waters as a reason.

Together, the statements deal a severe blow to the already dimming chances for a climate bill this year. The effort was hanging by a thread after a blowup between Reid and the bill’s lone Republican co-author, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., over whether the Senate would tackle that bill or immigration first.

Offshore drilling is crucial to the climate and energy bill’s chances in Congress. Without it, it may not win over enough Republicans and moderate Democrats for passage. Democratic leaders had opposed drilling as anti-green, but their opposition began to cool last year as political realities set in. In an October New York Times op-ed, Graham and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., co-authors of the climate bill, wrote:

We are committed to seeking compromise on additional onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration — work that was started by a bipartisan group in the Senate last Congress. Any exploration must be conducted in an environmentally sensitive manner and protect the rights and interests of our coastal states.

By spring the White House made a qualified endorsement of drilling. “We’re announcing the expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration, but in ways that balance the need to harness domestic energy resources and the need to protect America’s natural resources,” President Obama told an audience at Andrews Air Force Base on March 31.

The oil rig accident has changed that. On ABC’s “Good Morning American” on Friday, White House adviser David Axelrod said:

What the president has said — all he has said — is he’s not gonna continue the moratorium on drilling. But he hasn’t — no additional drilling has been authorized and none will (be) until we find out what happened here and whether there was something unique and preventable here.

Reid weighed in Friday, issuing a press release (not online at the time of this posting) that said: “This terrible event will, undoubtedly, require us to re-examine how we extract our nation’s offshore energy resources and will have to be taken into consideration with any legislation that proposes to open new areas to development.”


Is Michael Mann Seriously Off his Head?

by John O'Sullivan

The infamous Madoff Ponzi scheme cost $50 billion. Now put this into context with what the U.S. government has blown on policies related to climate change - over $79 billion since 1989. Madoff is in jail, Michael Mann isn’t-yet. So let's look at the latest legal hullabaloo.

The Climategate scandal is a Ponzi scheme with far greater global ramifications for us all. But how are we dealing with the willfully corrupt acts of a few key individuals in the most senior posts?

The two lead scientists in this most grotesque scam, Michael Mann of Penn. State University and British Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia's Climate Research (CRU), discussed manipulation of data to 'hide the decline' in global temperatures. Both men and their employers benefited to the tune of tens of millions of dollars for their complicity in this scam.

Jones, rather than be convicted of fraud, stymied Freedom of Information requests then destroyed his data. He avoided criminal prosecution on a mere technicality- the British government conceded the statute of limitations had expired.

Jones is remorseful, broken and discredited; Mann stubbornly refuses to quit his shenanigans. His hubris remains intact. An expedient American government, just like the British, has stalled in implementing the most serious of fraud charges. Their likely embarrassment is just too great to even contemplate action.

The facts are well documented: according to Mann’s fudged graph, the hottest period in modern history was NOT the generally balmy era between 900 and 1300 but the late 20th century. The world’s skeptical community diligently sought access to Mann’s calculations to check how he came to his incongruous conclusions. His conclusions were swallowed whole by world leaders intent on pursuing an international cap and trade strategy. Almost overnight he had succeeded in re-writing a wealth of historical peer-reviewed studies.

Thus Mann was instrumental in getting the fear-machine cranked up so that pro-green political advocates were able to ‘Create A Crisis, Alert the people, Offer a Solution.’

In 2008 Mann published another paper to bolster his 'hockey stick' claims in response to all the controversy surrounding his first graph. A Mann co-author and source of tree ring data (Professor Keith Briffa of CRU) used one of the tree ring data series (Yamal in Russia) in a paper published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 2008, which has a strict data archiving policy. Thanks to that policy, acclaimed climate analyst, Steve McIntyre fought and won access to that data.

On his Climate Audit website Mcintyre broke the story that Mann’s graph was bogus.

The graph portrayed an ominous scary red line shooting upwards. The black one, heading downwards, represents the less worrisome scientific reality.

Because of these facts, I say in my own words, not anyone else’s, Michael Mann is a crooked junk scientist and is rightly derided as a charlatan.

Mann, full of bitterness and frustration laments the failure of that Grand Plan to conspire in the dismantling of western economies. Now constantly taunted by ridicule, he has threatened to sue the makers of a video mocking him

Here are my thoughts on this:

Any supposed civil lawsuit brought by Mann against the Minnesotan makers of the YouTube ‘Hide the Decline’ video would prove most disadvantageous to our puffed up plaintiff.

In fact, such a foolhardy venture is perhaps the best way of publicly exposing Mann’s alleged data fraud.

If Mann takes a punt in the courts then his meta data and source codes used in his graphs are germane. The rules of discovery are clear; the respondents will be entitled to full disclosure of any and all evidence pertaining to the issues so that the trier of fact may determine the credibility of the allegations. But Mann is ever so touchy about who sees his dubious tree ring numbers. In response to his critics he has stated:

“I have made available all of the research data that I am required to under United States policy as set by the National Science Foundation…. I maintain the right to decline to release any computer codes, which are my intellectual property...”

See here

This gambit won’t fly for Mann in a defamation suit. The gravamen of this controversy is that Mann has persisted in refusing any other scientists to validate his computer codes. Insofar as Mann, a supposed scientist, refuses to permit other scientists to verify his results via independent analysis of such codes, he has thereby fueled public doubt about his integrity. He is thus the architect of his own misfortune.

As legal scholar Susan Kuzma (1992) tells us:

“In the long run, the more corrosive force [of scientific misconduct] is the undermining of public confidence in an important public institution and the engendering of a cynical perception that the reporting and the funding of scientific research is a rigged game. Criminal prosecution plays a valuable role in demonstrating a commitment to absolute integrity in this important arena.” (1.)

Unless the dodgy Penn. State professor divulges his computer codes that underpin his junk science no civil court will entertain him. Barking out his toothless threats scares no one. This fraudster is now a figure of ridicule and is set to go down in history is one of science’s worst abominations.

I’ll call Mann a climate crook all day long: let him sue me, I’m game.

(1.) Sovacool, B. K., ‘Criminalization and Due Process to Reduce Scientific Misconduct,’ The American Journal of Bioethics, Volume 5, Issue 5 September 2005


Obama's Dreamy Green Economy Laying Off Workers

Hmm... there doesn't seem to be that overwhelming demand for "clean energy" wind farms like the Obama administration and congressional Democrats hoped for when they poured billions of taxpayer dollars into America's "green economy" over the last year and a half. The AP is sad to report:

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A company that makes and repairs wind turbine blades said Wednesday it is laying off about one-third of the work force at its plant in the eastern South Dakota town of Howard.

Knight & Carver Wind Group Inc. is laying off 16 of the Howard plant’s 55 workers this week, and the firm might temporarily close the plant in about a month, said Gary Kanaby, a company vice president in San Diego.

The company, which has operated in Howard for about three years, is having to slow down production to deal with a lull in the wind energy industry. More layoffs could be possible if the situation doesn’t improve, Kanaby said…


Some economic logic from Australia

The Carbon Sense Coalition today called for Sunset Clauses to be inserted in all past and future Global Warming legislation.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that even though the Ration-N-Tax Scheme is on ice, Governments are still wasting billions of dollars to create an artificial global warming industry.

“As an example, the Australian government is spending $800 million per year on climate change research and probably more on carbon geo-sequestration. And every state has its own bloated climate change and energy bureaucracies.

“Next we are promised the “Mother of all Renewable Energy Schemes” to cost untold billions.

“There is no doubt that some enlightened or distressed future government will have the distasteful job of taking the well chewed subsidy bones off these greedy and unstainable industry dogs.

“There is no evidence that man is causing global warming, no evidence that the natural warming we have experienced is dangerous or even unusual, and no chance that politicians can control the climate.

“It is thus essential that every piece of global warming legislation is subjected to an annual cost-benefit analysis and a sunset clause which triggers repeal within five years, or sooner once it becomes obvious to all that man-made global warming is not a problem.

“Such a cautionary clause is needed to warn investors and promoters relying on subsidies, market mandates, tax benefits, ethanol subsidies, carbon credits, renewable energy targets or research grants that unsustainable industries are high risk and can only create sub-prime assets.


A short history of climate propaganda in Australia

Urgency gives way to Manana

In my article “More Climate Change Propaganda in Australia .. ”on 15th April (Note 9) I talked about how Penny Wrong, the Australian Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, used her skills in Hitler-style propaganda to push the UN-sponsored scare about catastrophic climate change from our use of fossil fuels.

She did this with the whole-hearted support of Australian Premier Kevin Rudd who only five months earlier on 6th November had presented QUOTE: .. one of the strongest statements seen from a Head of Government of a ‘developed’ nation on climate change .. UNQUOTE (Note 1) to The Lowy Institute.

In this lead up to the UN’s COP15 fiasco in Copenhagen Rudd blustered:
My message to the climate change skeptics, to the big betters and the big risk takers is this:

- You are betting our children’s future and the future of our grandchildren.

- You are betting our jobs, our houses, our farms, our reefs, our economy and our future on an intuition - on a gut feeling; on a political prejudice you have about science.

- That is too big a risk, too radical a departure from the basic conservative principles of public policy.

- Malcolm, Barnaby, Andrew, Janet - stop gambling with our future.

- You’ve got to know when to fold ‘em - and for the skeptics, that time has come.

- The Government I lead will act.

On 29th April, only five months later, following the damning revelations of Climategate and all of the subsequent IPCC-gates, the Brisbane Times reports (Note 2) of Penny Wong that
.. the government would not try to legislate the ETS even by its new delayed start year of 2013 unless there is ‘‘credible action’’ by the end of 2012 from countries such as China, India and the US. .. ‘‘We will only [legislate] if there is sufficient international action,’’ ..

When the Coalition proposed the same ‘‘wait and see’’ policy, the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, described it as an ‘‘absolute failure of leadership’‘. Yesterday he said it was ‘‘a reasonable … and responsible course of action’’ in response to slower than expected progress at the United Nations Copenhagen talks

So what was then gambling with all aspects of our future now is a responsible course that the Australian Government, under the leadership of Kevin Rudd, will take. How’s that for a political about turn! Give me a used car salesman any day.

Rudd and his climate change team under Wong must be feeling extremely frustrated about the way the tide has turned since the Climategate scandal first broke as well as being very worried about their job security.

This frustration was clearly evident from the reaction of Rudd’s chief advisor on climate sciences, Professor Barry Brook of Adelaide Uiversity (Note 3). Barry is a determined critic of his sceptical Adelaide University associate, Professor Ian Plimer (Note 4) and Plimer’s book “Heaven and Earth”.

After being banned from his site in June for questioning him repeatedly about his comment QUOTE: .. There are a lot of uncertainties in science, and it is indeed likely that the current consensus on some points of climate science is wrong, or at least sufficiently uncertain that we don’t know anything much useful about processes or drivers. ..UNQUOTE (Note 5)

I looked in again on 3rd March. I was delighted to see that others had taken up the sceptical side of the debate with increased vigour, especially after “Climategate”. In the end Barry Brook (who had been unusually quiet) commented on 29th November
.. Anyway, no more time on this thread for me. You’re nothing more than a conspiratorial looney, “John Berns”, so begone with you and the rest of the foetid trolls who have infested this thread. I edit morons, not data. Vangel, Berns, PeterW, JeffT, gianmarco, Wick: you’re all on moderation.

Eventually Brook childishly resorted to QUOTE: Shorter Denis Maclaine: “Blah, di blah blah blah” UNQUOTE (13th December) and QUOTE: Bob Thomas: “Blah di blah blah blah. Go away, you conspiratorial crank. This blog is for serious discussion. UNQUOTE (18th Dec). Finally on 19th QUOTE: This thread has degenerated to the point where comments here are no longer serving any useful purpose. It has become infested by trolls and delusionists who are more interested in pushing ideology than discussing matters of science or evidence. Comments closed. UNQUOTE.

People like Rudd, Wong and Brook obviously welcome open and intelligent debate – just so long as it supports their own opinions. Anything that contradicts these is taboo. There are very good reasons why open debate is abhorred. “Climategate”, “Pacahurigate”, “Glaciergate”, Amazongate” and “Disastergate” (AKA “IPCCgate”) has exposed the UN-inspired propaganda about DAGW as a lie as potentially damaging to global democracy as were the lies of Hitler’s Third Reich.

Let’s now look at those to whom Rudd addressed his emphatic QUOTE: The Government I lead will act UNQUOTE. The Lowy Institute includes on its Board of Directors (Note 6) Mr Frank Lowy, Mr David H. Lowy, Mr Peter S. Lowy and Mr Steven M. Lowy. All of these are also on the Board of Directors of The Westfield Group (Note 7) QUOTE: .. which is the largest retail property group in the world by equity market capitalisation and one of the largest entities listed on the Australian Securities Exchange .. UNQUOTE. For someone looking no further than that there might appear to be no vested interest in climate change other than a natural concern for its impact upon human existence, but let’s look a little deeper.

More relevant to the UN’s climate change propaganda, QUOTE: Westfield also manages assets on behalf of institutional and other investors. This investment is undertaken .. with partners such as AMP Capital Investors, Australian Prime Property Fund (APPF), DEXUS Property Group, Forest City Enterprises, JP Morgan Asset Management Real Estate Investment Management, Morgan Stanley Real Estate Management, the Perron Group and Prudential Plc, or as an investor in other forms of property-owning vehicles such as limited partnership arrangements in the United Kingdom with the Possfund and BT Pension Scheme, which are managed by the Hermes Group UNQUOTE.

That is where the alarm bells should start to ring. What is it that those investors consider worth ploughing their money into in order to get the best return? Could it be anything to do with climate change – perhaps renewable energy generation (like wind turbines, solar mirrors, solar panels), distribution (like cable, towers and other “green” investments? Well, if the UN has anything to do with it – Yes.

Pension Funds Online said in 2008 in its “The Future of Pension Funds: Sustainable Investment” article (Note 8)
The Board members of the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative (PRI) represent some of the world’s largest pension funds from five different continents including France’s Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites, PREVI in Brazil and the UK’s BT Pension Scheme. They take a similar view. Donald MacDonald, Chair of the PRI Board, has said ““As clients and part owners of the financial institutions at the core of this crisis, institutional investors should accept some shared responsibility for the behaviours that led to the crisis.” and “We believe this current crisis could have a catalytic effect of shifting the mainstream investment sector towards more responsible investment practices.”

Now there is an interesting area of research for the UN and its supporters to put a little of those enormous funds they have available and I’m sure that the findings would be much more revealing than the research into global climate processes and drivers has been so far.


1) see here

2) see here

3) see here

4) see here

5) see here

6) see here

7) see here

8) 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



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."