Tracking the politics of fear....  

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28 February, 2005


Massachusetts was once a favorite of the national environmental movement, passing some of the country's strongest laws to protect its air, water, and land. But today, after 15 years of budget cuts, it is failing to deliver key services.

Across the state, the results are apparent: almost $800 million in deferred park maintenance, a shortage of rangers and environmental police officers in state parks, and less attention to identifying hazardous waste sites, keeping streams and rivers clean, monitoring mercury contamination, and cutting levels of acid rain.

Spending on the environment has fallen, in inflation-adjusted dollars, from $253 million a year in 1989 to $169 million this year -- a 33 percent drop that "cannot be sustained without significantly increasing risks to public health and the environment," according to an internal state document. The federal government recently fined the state $92,000 for a policy it said encouraged contractors to ignore contaminated waste.

"The message from the governor's office and from the legislative leadership is that environment isn't something to pay attention to anymore," said Jim Gomes, president of the Environmental League of Massachusetts, an environmental advocacy group. "We still have laws that stack up well compared to the rest of the country, but when we fail to fund them, when we fail to enforce them, and when we fail to give them sufficient management to make sure the promises are fulfilled . . . services suffer."

State officials acknowledge budget cuts have been severe -- but say they were necessary during recessions and as other priorities such as healthcare rose to the top. They say Massachusetts has done the best it can with less money and point to more enforcement actions, stricter air-quality laws for dirty power plants, a stepped-up effort to test for drinking water contaminants such as perchlorate, and a push to redevelop old industrial sites.

"Everyone took cuts through the budget crisis, and the environmental agencies are not immune. It forced all of us to do more with less," said Douglas Foy, secretary of the state Office of Commonwealth Development. He said skyrocketing healthcare costs consume the state's discretionary spending. "Times are tight."

Starting in the 1970s, when the environmental movement first took hold nationally, Massachusetts soon became one of the leading states, passing laws to reduce businesses' dependence on toxic chemicals, identifying new hazardous waste sites, and approving some of the most protective wetlands laws in the country. But after an initial push, observers say, the state became complacent.

"Those bursts of enthusiasm in the late '70s and early '80s have diminished," said Christopher Hardy, director of legislative affairs for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. "There has been a bipartisan collapse in state investment of environmental programs, and it's both the Legislature and executive branch."

More here


It might seem obvious that there should be a lot of ice near the North Pole. But scientists have struggled to explain why there is so much. A new study proposes an explanation.

A sudden fall in the average global temperature 2.7 million years ago caused the Arctic Ocean to freeze, researchers have known. Europe and North America got covered in ice, too. The cooling alone is not enough to explain why so much ice built up and has remained to this day in the far North, however.

Back then, another important climate change occurred. The difference between summer and winter temperatures changed by 13 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celsius) within just a few centuries, the new research found.

Summer got warmer, and winter got colder. So more water evaporated from the sea during summer, making the air more humid. In turn, more snow fell in winter, and the enhanced frigidity allowed ice to build up.

More here


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

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


27 February, 2005


But Greenies hate dams anyway

Contrary to popular belief, hydroelectric power can seriously damage the climate. Proposed changes to the way countries' climate budgets are calculated aim to take greenhouse gas emissions from hydropower reservoirs into account, but some experts worry that they will not go far enough.

The green image of hydro power as a benign alternative to fossil fuels is false, says Eric Duchemin, a consultant for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). "Everyone thinks hydro is very clean, but this is not the case," he says.

Hydroelectric dams produce significant amounts of carbon dioxide and methane, and in some cases produce more of these greenhouse gases than power plants running on fossil fuels. Carbon emissions vary from dam to dam, says Philip Fearnside from Brazil's National Institute for Research in the Amazon in Manaus. "But we do know that there are enough emissions to worry about."

In a study to be published in Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Fearnside estimates that in 1990 the greenhouse effect of emissions from the Curuá-Una dam in Pará, Brazil, was more than three-and-a-half times what would have been produced by generating the same amount of electricity from oil.

This is because large amounts of carbon tied up in trees and other plants are released when the reservoir is initially flooded and the plants rot. Then after this first pulse of decay, plant matter settling on the reservoir's bottom decomposes without oxygen, resulting in a build-up of dissolved methane. This is released into the atmosphere when water passes through the dam's turbines.

More here


But it is plain to see that both warming and cooling occurred numerous times before the Industrial Revolution. Similarly, all the dire predictions of global-warming consequences - sea-level rise, for example - have happened in the past. In fact, the greatest warming period was when dinosaurs walked the land (about 70 million to 130 million years ago). There was then five to 10 times as much CO2 in the atmosphere as there is today, and the average temperature was 4-11 degrees Celsius warmer. Those conditions should have been very helpful to life, since they permitted those immense creatures to find an abundance of food and they survived.

The Cretaceous was an intense "greenhouse world" with high surface temperatures. These high temperatures were due to the much higher level of CO2 in the atmosphere at the time - four to 10 times as much as is in our air today. The biota was a mixture of the exotic and familiar - luxuriant green forests of now-extinct trees flourished within the Arctic Circle and dinosaurs roamed. The global sea level was at its highest ever during this period, peaking during the Late Cretaceous around 86 million years ago. It is certain that the global sea level was well over 200 meters higher during this time than it is today. The Earth was immensely hotter, the CO2 vastly more plentiful, and the sea levels much higher than they are today.

The Earth has also been immensely colder, the CO2 much less plentiful, and the sea levels much lower than today. Fifteen thousand years ago, the sea level was at least 90 meters lower than it is today. The land looked bare because it was too cold for beech and oak trees to grow. There were a few fir trees here and there. No grass grew, however, just shrubs, bushes and moss grass. In the northern parts of North America, Europe and Asia there was still tundra. The animals were different from today too. Back then there were woolly mammoth, woolly rhinos, cave bears (the former three now extinct), bison, wolves, horses, and herds of reindeer like modern-day reindeer.

The major "sin" for the global warmists is CO2. The Kyoto treaty is meant to reduce the amount of this gas so as, they say, to reduce the degree of warming and eventually return us to some stable climate system. If we look at the historical situation, however, this is cause for alarm. For one thing, there has never been a stable climate system. For another, the level of CO2 in our atmosphere is near its historic low. In the long run, the greatest danger is too little rather than too much CO2. There has been a long-term reduction of CO2 throughout the 4.5-billion-year history of the Earth. If this tendency continues, eventually our planet may become as lifeless as Mars.

Glaciation has prevailed for 90% of the last several million years. Extreme cold. Biting cold. Cold too intense for bikinis and swimming trunks. No matter what scary scenarios global-warming enthusiasts dream up, they pale in comparison with the conditions another ice age would deliver. Look to our past climate. Fifteen thousand years ago, an ice sheet a kilometer and a half thick covered all of North America north of a line stretching from somewhere around Seattle to Cleveland and New York City.

Instead of reducing CO2, we should, perhaps, be increasing it. We should pay the smokestack industries hard dollars for every kilogram of soot they pump into the atmosphere. Instead of urging Chinese to stop using coal and turn instead to nuclear-generated electricity, we should beg them to continue using coal. Rather than bringing us to the edge of global-warming catastrophe, anthropogenic climate change may have spared us descent into what would be the most serious and far-reaching challenge facing humankind in the 21st century - dealing with a rapidly deteriorating climate that wants to plunge us into an ice age. Let's hope Antarctica and Greenland melt. Let's hope the sea levels rise. All life glorifies warmth. Only death prefers the icy fingers of endless winter.

More here


The constant Greenie panic that we are in danger of running out of basic resources is now an old one. Such panics were equally prevalent 30 years ago when I wrote my book Conservatism as Heresy. I have just got around to putting online two chapters from that book which deal with the panic concerned. There is one chapter by a journalist here (also here) and one by an economist here (also here).


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

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


26 February, 2005


The record rains in Southern California have done heavy damage to the dairy industry, killing or sickening cows and leaving herds udder-deep in mud and cold water. Many farmers are watching their cows die from exhaustion and exposure. Dairy farmers said the drenching has cost the Southern California industry at least $38 million in lost milk production, dead and sickened animals, and damage to holding ponds and other flood-control features on their farms. In many cases, the farmers are unable to do much to remove the standing water, because of strict environmental laws regulating dairy-farm runoff, which is usually fouled with manure. "We have nowhere to go with the water, the ground is soaked. Our dairies aren't designed to deal with this," said Art Marquez, a third-generation dairy farmer in this community about 40 miles east of Los Angeles. Marquez has 2,000 cows at two dairies and said he has lost at least $2,000 a day to the rain over the past few weeks.

Normally, the region receives about 14 inches of rain in the entire winter season, but this year it has registered more than 30 inches since October, he said.

Cows produce less milk when they have to expend so much energy slogging through water. Also, cows resist lying down in standing water and will stand for days in the soggy muck until they collapse — and sometimes die — from exhaustion. In a normal rainy season, each dairy farmer in the region usually loses about two cows a month to exhaustion and disease. The 250 dairies this year in the region are losing about a cow a day.

More here


Some 19,000 of the world's scientists and experts on climatology have signed declarations saying that blaming rising CO2 levels on mankind is garbage – junk science at its worst – and they insist that all the available evidence proves their contention. In fact, the global warmiacs couldn't be further from the truth. As I argued in my January 13 column, Let Eyes See and Ears Hear, and in my 1997 investigative report, "Global Warming or Globaloney," high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are indeed a dire warning that something very unpleasant is about to befall our planet and those of us who reside here, but it has nothing to do with global warming. Precisely the opposite: It is both the harbinger and the cause of a coming new ice age.

Now comes Robert W. Felix, who in his book "Not by Fire but by Ice" argues persuasively that it is not global warming but ocean warming that is pushing CO2 levels through the roof. Moreover, those skyrocketing levels of CO2 are bringing on a new ice age, which is sitting at our front door right now. Here's how he puts it: "If today's rising carbon dioxide levels are caused by humans, then what caused the dramatic rise in CO2 levels at the dinosaur extinction? Research shows that there was 'a sudden and dramatic rise' in carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere at the dinosaur extinction of 65 million years ago. ... [T]oday's rise in CO2 levels can be attributed to our warming oceans. After all, the oceans are known as a carbon dioxide 'sink,' especially when the water is cold. But as the water warms up, it releases CO2 into the atmosphere. This happens in much the same way that a warm bottle of home-brewed root beer will release CO2. And if you give that CO2 no way to escape, the bottle will explode. We've got it backwards. We've got cause and effect in reverse. The CO2 is not causing global warming. Instead, our warming oceans are releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. It's not global warming, it's ocean warming, and it's leading us into an ice age."

According to Felix, the oceans are warming as the result of widespread underwater volcanic activity, which he thoroughly documents. He adds that "We've forgotten that this isn't the first time our seas have warmed. Sea temperatures also shot upward 10º to 18ºF just prior to the last ice age. As the oceans warmed, evaporation increased. The excess moisture then fell to the ground as giant blizzards, giant storms and floods (Noah's Deluge type floods), and a new ice age began." And he warns, "The same thing is happening today. Underwater volcanic activity in the Arctic Ocean far stronger than anyone ever imagined! German-American researchers have discovered more hydrothermal activity at the Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic Ocean than anyone ever imagined. The Gakkel Ridge is a gigantic volcanic mountain chain stretching beneath the Arctic Ocean. With its deep valleys 5,500 meters beneath the sea surface and its 5,000-meter-high summits, Gakkel Ridge is far mightier than the Alps.

Two research icebreakers, the USCGC Healy from USA and the German PFS Polarstern, recently joined forces in the international expedition AMORE (Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge Expedition). In attendance were scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and other international institutions. The scientists had expected that the Gakkel Ridge would exhibit 'anemic' magnetism. Instead, they found 'surprisingly strong magmatic activity in the West and the East of the ridge and one of the strongest hydrothermal activities ever seen at mid-ocean ridges.' The Gakkel Ridge extends about 1,800 kilometers beneath the Arctic Ocean from north of Greenland to Siberia, and is the northernmost portion of the mid-ocean ridge system.

To their surprise, the researchers found high levels of volcanic activity. Indeed, magmatism [blazing hot magma flowing from eruptions] was 'dramatically' higher than expected. Hydrothermal hot springs on the seafloor were also far more abundant than predicted. 'We expected this to be a hydrothermally dead ridge, and almost every time our water measurement instrument came up, they showed evidence of hydrothermal activity, and once we even "saw" an active hot spring on the sea floor,' said Dr. Jonathan Snow, the leader of the research group from Munich's Max Planck Institute in a 2003 press release.

Researchers found that "Naturally occurring bubbles of liquid carbon dioxide were observed rising from the ocean floor," according to the Associated Press. "For the first time ever, scientists using a camera-equipped submarine have been able to witness an undersea volcano during an eruptive episode. Exploring the ocean floor in an area known as the Mariana Trench, last year researchers found bubbles of liquid carbon dioxide being released into the sea, enlarging up to a thousand times and turning to gas as they drifted upward."....

"Worldwide flood activity is the worst since before Christopher Columbus. In Poland, it's the worst in several thousand years. In the U.S., precipitation has increased by more than 20 percent just since 1970. This is no coincidence. When that precipitation begins falling in the winter, you have the makings of an ice age."

Felix emphasizes that the record proves that we are on on the verge of the onset of a new ice age. "Ice ages begin and end abruptly every 11,500 years. First comes an enormous flood, a Noah's Deluge type of flood, which ends the previous ice age. Then comes a period of warmth similar to today's ... which lasts about 11,500 years. Then the next ice age begins – catastrophically. "That 11,500-year cycle of warmth followed by an ice age has returned like clockwork for millions of years. To hope it won't happen again just because humans now inhabit this planet would be wishful thinking."

More here


At a January 28 AEI-Brookings Joint Center event, bestselling author, medical doctor, and Emmy and Oscar recipient Michael Crichton addressed the quality of science employed in environmental policy--a topic he explores in his latest novel, State of Fear.

Crichton discussed how to ensure that unbiased information reaches those responsible for environmental policymaking. He recalled the use of a 1998 study as the foundation for the third environmental assessment by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, despite a lack of independent review. This study estimated temperatures from 1000 A.D. to the present, yet Crichton pointed out that it omitted the so-called medieval warm period and the "little ice age that occurred during the sixteenth century," among other flaws. The public mistakenly perceives that studies of this sort are independently verified. To help ensure better quality information, Crichton recommended that competing theories be openly debated, that multiple laboratories perform research to ensure a range of opinions, and that scientists be held accountable for their research.

Because of the uncertainties of current climate science, Crichton urged makers of environmental policy to pay greater attention to epidemiological studies. Crichton also noted that policymakers must judge the efficiency of preventative methods versus methods of adaptation, arguing that there are cases such as oil slicks, radiation leaks, and exposure to pathogens when prevention works better but that that is not necessarily always the case.

He also highlighted the failures of policymakers to promote desirable technologies, arguing that only two major government-sponsored pushes for technology have proven successful in the United States: the Manhattan Project and efforts to land on the moon. Using California as an example, he contended that, rather than adopting the very expensive goal of making electric cars constitute 10 percent of all new cars by 2004, taxpayers would have been better served by policies to raise the price of gasoline, force older cars from the road, or formulate land policies that discourage long commutes.

Crichton also considered the methods for managing complex natural systems that are inherently resistant to control. He noted that many scientists promoted the now-discredited "balance of nature" theory, which held that natural spaces could only be preserved by preventing human intrusion whenever possible. This is not always the case, however, as he predicted that "if you leave a forest alone, probably what'll happen is, it'll decay, become filled with pests, and burn down." Historically, native peoples in the New World set portions of the plains and entire old-growth forests ablaze, yet today California contains more old-growth forests than in 1850, thereby demonstrating that human contact did not destroy forests and that "imposing intellectual notions on a landscape that, by the way, doesn't care what we think," is often untenable.

Today, according to Crichton, we need to continue gathering information and considering unexpected consequences rather than locking into theories with little or questionable scientific basis. After all, he spoke of science as "a process of discovery that goes on for a very long period of time, over the course of which we should adapt to new information. Ultimately," he declared, "I would really like to get the political psychodrama out of decision making."



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

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


25 February, 2005


Windfarms are great -- for other people. So any excuse will do to stop them when the REAL people (Greenies and Lefties) might have to put up with having them around ruining the view

A report released yesterday by opponents of the proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound claims that nearly 80 percent of the 130 turbines would be in water deep enough to be vulnerable to a strike by a tanker. The result, the group says, could be a spill severely affecting the Nantucket Sound ecosystem. The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound commissioned an oil-spill assessment in response to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Cape Wind Energy Project that was released last November. The oil-spill assessment was conducted by Lighthouse Technical Consultants and The McGowan Group.

The public and other interested parties, such as the Alliance, have until Thursday to submit a response to the DEIS. The Army Corps is then required to investigate all claims and determine if further research is needed before issuing the final Environmental Impact Statement. Alliance assistant executive director Audra Parker said the group expects an approximately 800-page report will be submitted Thursday to the Army Corps that will include their questions on air quality impacts, aesthetics, economics, wildlife and other issues.

The portion of the report released yesterday dealt with oil spill impacts and said that the Corps failed to assess the worst-case scenario in terms of oil spills, as required by law. The report said that the most probable scenario involved the MV Great Gull, which carries up to 1.3 million gallons of fuel oil and petroleum products to Nantucket, striking one or more of the turbines. They estimate that such a collision would rupture two cargo tanks on the vessel, spilling 380,000 gallons of fuel into the sound.

The report estimated that a spill of that magnitude would cover 425 square miles of the sound's surface water and coat 217 miles of coastline. Impacts would be worst on Horseshoe Shoal, site of the wind farm, but would also hit Nantucket Sound communities, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and portions of the Atlantic Ocean and Elizabeth Islands.

Army Corps spokesman Lawrence Rosenberg disputed the claim that the turbines are vulnerable to being hit by any deep-draft vessel such as a tanker. "It's quite impossible for a large-keeled vessel to get close enough to strike one of the towers," he said yesterday. Rosenberg said shoals around most towers protect them. With depths of three to six feet, Rosenberg said a large ship would go aground before reaching any of the turbines.....

Rosenberg said that towers in deeper water are not easily accessible. "Some of the depths go to 20 feet, but you would have to be one hell of a navigator to get to them," he said. "These are not new issues. They have been looked at," said Cape Wind spokesperson Mark Rodgers. "I don't believe there is a recorded instance of oil barges going through that channel having lost control and driving into the shoals."

More here


HOW IMPORTANT to the world's future is the Kyoto global-warming pact that went into effect Wednesday? It can't be that important when Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, told the Washington Post, "The greatest value is symbolic." Symbolic is the word. Kyoto won't reduce emissions in America because this country never ratified Kyoto. What's more, negotiators at Kyoto in 1997 had to know the United States never would ratify the pact. Before Vice President Al Gore left to attend the Kyoto summit, the Senate voted 95-0 in favor of a resolution that warned that the Senate would not support a global- warming pact that exempted developing nations such as China and India. Kyoto won't make a difference in those developing nations because they don't have to reduce emissions, or even agree to curb how much their pollution grows. While 141 countries ratified the pact, Kyoto's emission caps only apply to some 35 countries.

Kyoto won't result in big greenhouse gas reductions in Europe. The Kyoto pact required Europe to reduce its emissions to 8 percent below its 1990 levels by 2012 and the United States by 7 percent below 1990 levels. That makes it seem as if Europe has a tougher mandate, except the baseline year chosen, 1990, was rigged to help Europe. The year 1990 preceded the shutdown of coal-spewing smokestacks in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union. By 1997, many European countries already had met their Kyoto target. When the race started, some European nations were already at the finish line.

Claussen noted on the phone Thursday that some European countries are now exceeding their goals and will have to work to meet them. Allow me to interject that they'll be struggling despite their humongous head start.

President Clinton clearly understood Kyoto was poison. He never asked the Senate to ratify it. More important, Clinton never pushed for meaningful legislation to reduce emissions. When Clinton left office, emissions were on the rise -- they had reached a whopping 14 percent above 1990 levels. As Claussen noted, Team Clinton was "no different in substance than the current administration."

Claussen explained that she believes Kyoto is important because it establishes a global "statement of will" to reduce greenhouse gases. But Kyoto is "symbolic," she added, because it doesn't begin to address by how much emissions would need to be reduced to stop global warming. Greenhouse-gas emissions would need to be as low as 50 percent of 1990 levels to address human-induced global warming, albeit in 50 to 75 years. Other enviros have argued that much steeper reductions are needed -- one science biggie said "40 successful Kyotos" are needed.

The Bush administration estimates Kyoto would cost the United States 5 million jobs and $400 billion annually. Even if that figure is inflated, I don't know many Americans who want to lose their job for a symbol, or a first step. And it doesn't help that the global-warming debate has been distorted by politics. I am a global-warming agnostic. I think that warming may well be human- induced, but I am skeptical of the doomsday scenarios, and I don't trust people who use the issue as a club against America itself (and George W. Bush). I don't trust the zealots (like Gore) to pick the best remedies, after they misrepresent the science. ....

The Kyoto crowd has to get real, however. Be honest with the American people about how much change is involved. Admit that the science is not clear, and even scientists who recognize global warming as human-induced vary widely in what they see as the remedy. While Europe blames President Bush for the demise of Kyoto, I blame Kyoto negotiators for passing a document that wasn't a pact to spread the pain universally, but a pitchfork aimed at the U.S. economy. They call themselves sophisticates, but they negotiated like Madame Defarge.



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

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


24 February, 2005


A major oil spill from a tanker is the main danger to the Arctic environment if oil exploration increases in the region, not drilling which is increasingly clean, the author of an eight-nation survey said. "Shipping has always had risk associated with it, mariners have known that for centuries. There is no such thing as a safe ship -- the Titanic was one," said Dennis Thurston, one of two lead writers of the study, due to be published next year. "The fear is that an increased search for oil is going to impact the Arctic, but the experience we've had is that activity has already peaked," he told Reuters in an interview Friday.

The survey of potential impacts from oil and gas exploration in the Arctic is part of a wider Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, sponsored by the United States, Russia, Canada and the five Nordic nations. Norway has lifted a ban on drilling in the little-explored Barents Sea as oilfields further south have begun to mature, and the U.S. government wants Congress to approve drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to boost oil supplies.

Thurston said the study will recommend that countries improve their plans for coordinating handling of a major oil spill in the Arctic seas. "Three things happen with a big spill: there's a lot of death of animals, there's the long-term effects with oil persisting in the environment and there's the psychological effect," he said. "Seeing a pristine area covered in oil changes policy, people's perceptions, and it's certainly bad for the oil business," he added. Scientists said last month effects still lingered in Alaska from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.

Experts gathered in Helsinki for a three-day working meeting have found that most environmental damage in the Arctic due to oil and gas exploration occurred in previous decades, with new technology now permitting less drilling and low pollution. "The way people act in the Arctic has changed a lot. (Exploration) is a lot cleaner, it's a lot smaller and it's more focused. The activity level is going down even if the search for oil is ramping up," Thurston said. He said he believed Norway's decision to lift the drilling ban in the Barents Sea, which prompted loud protests from environmental groups, was unlikely to cause damage. "The technology is really safe and there's been a tremendous amount of risk assessment done on the Arctic projects. Personally I think they are safe operations," he said. "The question is transportation of the product, especially with tankers, because there's so much more human error potential," he added.



While the entire northeast of the United States was digging out from a huge blizzard-usually a sign of cold weather-a meeting on "the climate challenge" was occurring in London, England and "an independent report" by the Institute for Public Policy Research (Great Britain), The Australia Institute, and the Center for American Progress announced that "an ecological time bomb is ticking away" that will plunge the world into chaos due to the heat said to be generated by greenhouse gas emissions.

This kind of lunacy is intended to impose caps on the use of energy everywhere. It is the goal of the United Nations Kyoto Climate treaty that became international law as of Wednesday, February 16. There is no ecological time bomb. There is no need for urgent action.

To understand what "caps" really are, let me quote from my friend, John Brignell, a British professor emeritus, statistician, and editor of Recalling Martin Luther's rebellion against the Roman Catholic Church over the issue of indulgences, he reminds us, "Chaucer's Pardoner earned one hundred marks a year by selling indulgences, worthless pieces of paper, relics and other valueless items to credulous believers in the religion of the day. Now we have carbon trading, in which new worthless pieces of paper are sold for millions of pounds." That is the essence of the Kyoto protocol, a system by which meaningless trading of forbidden emissions are sold for the right to continue contributing to the dreaded and totally bogus global warming.

While an army of snowplows was at work on the roads of the Garden State, the little Green gnomes in the Department of Environmental Protection were working to reclassify carbon dioxide (CO2) as a "contaminant." If this becomes law, the DEP might as well arrest everyone living in the Garden State because humans generate CO2 every time they exhale. Or perhaps we will just pay for the right to exhale?

To bring about the implementation of the United Nations' Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, something the US Senate unanimously rejected and the President has correctly said is based on "flawed science", New Jersey in concert with other northeastern States has entered into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that would, if enacted, impose a "regional CO2 cap-and-trade program."

To achieve this, CO2 has to be reclassified as a "contaminant", i.e., a form of pollution! This is yet another example of the way environmentalists-Greens-are seeking to do an end-run around the rejection and opposition to their bogus "global warming" claims. Aside from the fact that they use junk science to advance their lies, this is yet one more example of their unrelenting efforts to harm the health and welfare of everyone worldwide who would suffer the consequences of this hoax. And, yes, enough nations have ratified the Kyoto Protocol to theoretically impose its demands to cut back on CO2 emissions, but among those exempt from its mandates are China and India, plus a host of Third World nations, thus rendering it meaningless.

In late January, Dr, Marlo Lewis, Jr., Ph.D., a Senior Fellow in Environmental Policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, wrote to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, exposing the abject lies and idiotic justifications it is offering for its proposed reclassification of CO2 as "an air contaminant." The hearings and written comments on this proposal are under cover. What happens next is up to the DEP.

Dr. Lewis stated his objections more politely than I ever could and I will excerpt them here so you can make up your own mind. "The proposed rule is a conceptual muddle. Logically, DEP cannot classify CO2 as an `air contaminant' unless it is prepared to apply the same designation to water vapor-the atmosphere's main greenhouse gas." In other words, if DEP pulls off this deception, it would presumably also have to designate steam from the State's nuclear power plants or just plain old water evaporation from public green spaces.

DEP is lying through its teeth, citing some of the most dubious junk science available. "The proposed rule lacks a credible scientific rationale," is the nice way Dr. Lewis put it. "There is no solid evidence that CO2 emissions are causing, or are likely to cause, `dangerous interference' with the global climate system. On the contrary, the balance of evidence suggests that CO2 emissions are greening the planet, enhancing biodiversity and making global food available."

In the event no one taught you this fundamental fact about life on planet Earth, all the forests and every form of vegetation, including food crops, is utterly and completely dependent on the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere. More CO2 is good. Less CO2 is bad. More enhances plant growth. Less decreases it.

In brief, the agency's arguments are based on the extremely dubious reports of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is the same UN that is responsible for the now infamous "Oil for Food" program imposed on Saddam Hussein that became a cesspool of corruption.

Suffice it to say, the IPCC has routinely revised its various projections of global warming, each time it was correctly attacked for (1) being based on flawed computer models and (2) its failure to demonstrate any verifiable justification for its claims. "Flawed" is a nice way of saying that, were the IPCC a casino, every slot machine would be rigged to never provide a payoff.

Right now, the NJDEP is claiming that, not only will New Jersey resemble Florida if they can't reclassify CO2, but that the State's beautiful shoreline will sink below a rapidly rising ocean. The only problem is that no observational data, including satellite altimetry, shows any evidence this is occurring. One leading scientist in this field called the IPCC data "untenable" and "impossible." As for air pollution, all the data points to major improvements since 1975 and, of course, there are plenty of laws already in place to insure the continuing reduction of pollution.

Finally, the DEP's regional cap-and-trade program will prove hugely expensive. The US Energy Information Administration estimates that the Kyoto Protocol, if implemented here, would cost the U.S. between $77 billion and $283 billion annually, depending on the extent of international emissions trading. Says Dr. Lewis, "Kyoto is all economic pain for no environmental gain. The same holds for any lesser CO2 regulation program."

A study by the Heartland Institute estimates that the DEP proposal would cost consumer and business losses that could reach $12.9 billion if implemented in New Jersey. Indeed, State revenue losses could reach $20.9 billion. Not only is New Jersey already deeply in debt, the NJDEP wants to plunge it even deeper in debt.

Greens, however, don't care about things like that. In fact, anything they can do to harm the economy is part of their statewide and worldwide agenda. Anything they can do to cause the needless deaths of people, denying them DDT or genetically improved seeds for crops, is just fine with them because they think there are too many people living on planet Earth.

Mr. Governor, if you are reading this. Junk the DEP proposal and then fire the Director. If possible, clean house in the DEP and hire some people who aren't certifiably nuts.



When you awoke this morning and looked out the window did you get an exhilarating rush of pride now that the Kyoto Treaty has taken effect? Didn't it make you feel so morally superior to those awful nations who refused to sign on? Did you notice a slight cooling of the ether as the amount of greenhouse gases has begun to shrink, making the world a better, safer place to live? Me neither!

What I did notice was absolutely nothing. Oh, yes, a lot of people were talking, particularly the talking heads in the media, about how exactly the Treaty would benefit mankind. No matter how I look at it, it does not make sense.

Someone please explain to me how we can control greenhouse gases by "purchasing" greenhouse emission credits from countries that have a surplus of these credits. As I understand this Ponzi scheme, if Canadians produced more greenhouse gases than they were allocated under Kyoto, then they could simply "purchase" greenhouse gas credits from another country that has a surplus. Two questions: who decided what a given country's greenhouse gases quota is and how will Canada paying $5 billion to a country like Russia to purchase surplus credit reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere? The country that we are purchasing from surely isn't going to spew them into the atmosphere if we don't purchase them. And us purchasing these credits will actually enable us to spew extra greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Any way I look at it, the Kyoto Treaty appears to be a wealth redistribution scheme dreamed up by Kofi Annan's crew to trim the sails of the West and lend some financial leverage to the Third World. As I see it, we morally superior Canadians are going to lay out billions of dollars to buy--nothing, the perfect Seinfeldian deal.

While climate change has been a bogeyman for the last 40 years, there is at best an array of conflicting claims by scientists that it is indeed happening and at worst, not a shred of evidence to support those claims. Compound this with the assertion that climate change is due to the activities of humans, namely humans living in the Western Hemisphere, and you have what looks to me like an "agenda".

Today every weather anomaly is used to support the claim that catastrophic climate change is in full force. These so-called no-falsifiable hypotheses are rearing their ugly head whenever there is a hurricane or a snowstorm or a flood resulting from a deluge. It's almost as if these phenomena had never occurred before. I recall last fall's Florida hurricanes and how many media commentators claimed that their unusual severity portended evidence of climate change. Obviously these pundits did not know that the 1940s saw the greatest quantity and severity of hurricanes in the past century, which was well before anyone even dreamed about the possibility of catastrophic climate change.

As evidence of global warming, certain scientists are citing today's temperatures being substantially higher than they were 30 years age. True as that may be, it is also true that today's temperature are substantially lower than they were in the 1930s. Does that mean we are now headed for an ice age?

The acronym GIGO, which stands for "garbage in-garbage out", applies equally to all computer-related activities, even those of UN climatologists. Two years ago, two researchers, Ian Castles and David Henderson, both with impeccable credentials in their respective fields, noticed some serious problems with the methodology used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to predict greenhouse gas emissions for the next century. Henderson, a respected economist and Castles a statistician, have challenged the IPCC's predictions as being unrealistic in their severity.

In signing on to the Kyoto accord, the government of Canada has betrayed its ineptitude both in matters of climatology as well as economics. The fact that there is no clear plan being floated by Ottawa, except some more conferences in the future is perfect evidence our political masters do not have a clue. But that isn't going to stop them from plunging headlong into a scheme that could well result in the most severe economic crisis this country has ever experienced.

Like same-sex marriage, the Kyoto Treaty is yet another ill-advised scheme to which the Liberals are committing this country, whether we like it or not, and consequences be damned



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

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


23 February, 2005


Greenie bureaucrats undermining democracy

The Missouri legislators who approved a water law (HB 1433) in the waning moments of last year's session no doubt thought they were creating something to help protect clean water in a nine-county area. That's what they were told by reputable employees of the state agencies and influential lobbyists from environmental organizations.

The new law created a nine-county district in which water policy would be developed and enforced by appointed – not elected – officials. None realized that the law they adopted was, in fact, an important step toward the implementation of a plan conceived more than 15 years ago by government officials and environmental organizations convened by, and systematically working through, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in Gland, Switzerland.

The plan, generically known as "ecosystem management," is designed to manage natural resources on an "ecosystem" basis, rather than on the basis of arbitrarily drawn state and county political boundaries. Equally important is the transfer of management authority from elected officials to appointed officials. The "watershed" is the primary building block of every ecosystem. HB 1433 successfully designated nine Missouri counties as a watershed and created an appointed body to govern water, the essential ingredient in every ecosystem.

Proponents of the ecosystem management plan make strong arguments about the desirability of managing water resources to assure adequate, safe supplies for future generations. It is absolutely true that water flows are not restricted by political boundaries or property lines. It is easy for politicians to swallow these arguments if no one speaks up for costs and consequences that inevitably follow this kind of management scheme.

Local people are speaking up in Missouri. Russell Wood, head of the Ozarks Chapter of the Property Rights Congress, and Ray Cunio, president of Missouri's Citizens for Private Property Rights, are leading an effort to repeal HB 1433. More than 200 local citizens packed a restaurant where a meeting was held to discuss the merits of HB 1433 and the efforts to repeal it. State Rep. Dennis Wood, a proponent of the water district, explained that the legislation provided low-cost loans to people who would be required to upgrade their septic systems. An unidentified lady said in response: "Why can't you understand? We don't want your 'help.' We don't need your law! Why can't you get that?"

Aside from the particular regulations and fines imposed by the water district law, the larger question is one that faces virtually every community in the nation: Who shall govern – elected officials, or appointed professionals? The only way a government of, for and by the people can be controlled by the people is to throw the elected bums out of office when they enact laws or policies the people don't want. When policies that carry the weight of law are enacted and enforced by appointed professionals, the people no longer have the means to control their government.

Across the nation, watershed councils, historic districts, heritage areas, scenic highway commissions, rural development authorities, regional transportation boards, area planning councils and numerous other "multi-jurisdictional" authorities are emerging to diminish or remove policy-making authority from elected officials and transfer that authority to appointed government bureaucrats.

These agency professionals are often members of national associations of agency professionals that regularly participate in conferences convened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Six federal agencies are dues-paying members of this organization, as are most of the national environmental organizations. The IUCN is the source of virtually every international environmental treaty in the last 30 years as well as the author of Agenda 21 and numerous other international environmental agreements and policies.

More here


When the Kyoto Treaty enters into force on February 16, the global warming community will undoubtedly congratulate itself: to do good they have secured the most expensive worldwide treaty ever. They have succeeded in making global warming a central moral test of our time. They were wrong to do so.

Global warming is real and is caused by emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). But existing climate models show we can do little about it. Even if everyone (including the United States) applied the Kyoto rules and stuck to them throughout the century, the change would be almost immeasurable, postponing warming for a mere six years in 2100 while costing at least $150 billion a year.

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

Of course, in the best of all worlds, we would not need to choose our priorities. We could do all good things. We could win the war against hunger, end conflicts, stop communicable diseases, provide clean drinking water, improve education and halt climate change. But we can't do everything. So we must ask the hard question: what should we do first?

Some of the world's top economists - including three Nobel Laureates - answered this question at the Copenhagen Consensus last May. They found that dealing with HIV/AIDS, hunger, free trade, and malaria were the world's top priorities, where we could do the most good for our money. Moreover, they put urgent responses to climate change at the bottom of the list. In fact, the panel called these ventures - including Kyoto - "bad projects," because they cost more than the good they do.

As the economics of climate change has become ever clearer, warnings from the global warming community have become shriller. For example, the head of the UN Climate Panel says, "We are risking the ability of the human race to survive." Such statements make headlines, but they are nonsense. For example: At a recent meeting at Exeter in the UK, some participants warned of a 50-50 chance that the Gulf Stream winds could collapse within a century. Such a scenario looks great in the movie The Day After Tomorrow, but it is unsubstantiated. As one presenter at the conference summarized: "No models have shown a complete shutdown, or a net cooling over land areas. Hence a shutdown during the 21st century is regarded as unlikely."

Recently, a coalition of prominent environmental and development organizations claimed that malaria would increase in a warmer world. This has some theoretical validity, but ignores malaria's dependence on poor infrastructure and health care. Indeed, throughout the cold 1500-1800's, malaria was a major disease in Europe, the US, and far into the Arctic Circle. Malaria infections didn't end because it got colder (it actually got warmer), but because Europe and the US got rich and dealt with the problem. With developing countries getting richer over the century, malaria is similarly likely to decrease rather than increase.

More here


But many liberal environmentalists have complained that even Kyoto is too weak to begin addressing their concerns about "global warming." The treaty will only have "symbolic" effect on the global climate, they concede. "I think that everybody agrees that Kyoto is really, really hopeless in terms of delivering what the planet needs," Peter Roderick of Friends of the Earth International told Cybercast News Service in December during the United Nations climate summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. "It's tiny, it's tiny, tiny, it's tiny," Roderick said. "It is woefully inadequate, woefully. We need huge cuts to protect the planet from climate change."

Even without formal American participation in the treaty, many environmentalists are still seeking fossil fuel emission reductions in the U.S. But skeptics of the Kyoto Protocol, gathered at the recent media briefing on Capitol Hill, took aim at the treaty's scientific premise -- that man is creating greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet. "The science does not support the kind of apocalyptic vision that is offered by Kyoto advocates," said William O'Keefe of the Marshall institute, an organization that, according to its website, "encourages the use of sound science in making public policy." "The basic theory behind trapping gasses and then warming the earth has not been validated by satellite measurements because the lower atmosphere hasn't warmed," O'Keefe said.

U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) added that "the science used to support Kyoto is collapsing." He also criticized the 2004 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, which purports to show Arctic temperatures rising as a result of greenhouse gas emissions. The Arctic report is "a classic case of how to selectively use data," Inhofe charged. "There are numerous scientific problems with the report. It had no footnotes or citations, and worse, it focused only on Arctic climate over the last 30 years. "That's probably because Artic temperatures in the 1930s were higher than they are today," Inhofe said.

He also ridiculed global climate models used to project temperature increases over the next century. "As many in the scientific community know, these models are highly imperfect. They are incapable of replicating the present climate using known climate conditions," Inhofe said.

Ebell noted that while the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in 1997 during the Clinton administration, it is President Bush who is absorbing the attacks by liberal environmentalists. "People blame President Bush for walking away from Kyoto. In fact President Clinton never submitted it to the U.S. Senate for ratification," Ebell said. "Even if President Bush did submit [the protocol] for ratification, it would be defeated overwhelmingly," Ebell added. "This treaty has been dead for a long time in this country."

Chris Horner from the Competitive Enterprise Institute said the reason that approximately 160 countries have joined the U.S. in not supporting the protocol is because the nations fear the treaty more than any potential climate calamity. "Those 160 countries believe that a failure to grow economically is a greater threat than (potential climate change). They believe that the Kyoto Protocol is a greater threat to mankind than climate change," Horner told Cybercast News Service .

Patrick J. Michaels, an environmental sciences professor at the University of Virginia, echoes the criticism of the Kyoto Protocol. Claims of human-caused catastrophic "global warming" are "scientifically unfounded," Michaels wrote in a column in Sunday's Washington Times. He labeled Kyoto "an economic weapon, not a climate instrument. "Kyoto is absurd because it does absolutely nothing measurable within the foreseeable future about planetary temperature, while one nation - the United States - bears almost all the cost," Michaels wrote. Michaels is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of a new book "Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media." Michaels also wrote that "there is no technologically and politically feasible way to reduce emissions enough to dramatically change the current temperature trajectory ... The only method is to make energy (read: fossil fuel energy) unaffordably expensive."

More here


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

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


22 February, 2005


Of course NOTHING is ever safe to the Greens

Nuclear power is the only form of electricity generation that will keep us happy. It does not contribute to global warming. It does not spread itself in ugly swaths across remote hillsides. It is by far the safest form of power generation ever devised. It can satisfy large energy demands from an increasingly energy-hungry world. It reduces dependence on oil supplies from the Middle East. Its own raw material is enormously abundant.

The nub, of course, is the waste. It was waste that got all over Karen Silkwood. It is reprocessing waste that has caused all the problems at Sellafield. It is waste that is focused on by all the anti-nuclearist greens and it is waste that has meant governments have been wary for the past 20 years of doing anything about nuclear power. Waste, though, is not a technical problem, or at least does not need to be. It is a political problem, founded on irrational fears of nuclear power. It is those political fears that have starved research into the technical solutions of the necessary money.

An English geologist has come up with one of the most ingenious ideas yet suggested. Dr Fergus Gibb, a specialist in igneous rocks at Sheffield University who has done mould-breaking research into the beautiful columnar dolerites of the Hebrides, has suggested that the really high-grade nuclear waste should be returned to the earth and allowed, in effect, to melt itself back into the rocks from which the nuclear ores were originally mined.

Gibb's idea has a brilliant circularity about it. The very heat that nuclear material generates, which is at the heart of much of the difficulty of storing the waste at all, could actually be put to use. His idea is to drill enormously deep holes right into the granite of the continental crust, perhaps 5,000 metres down, at the bottom of which it is quite hot anyway: about 900C. Add some canisters of high-level nuclear waste and the whole bottom of the shaft turns molten. The waste is then "engulfed", in Gibb's word, by the surrounding rock, which would resolidify in a matter of weeks. The waste would be entombed for millions of years until erosion would again expose it. By then the nuclear material will have lost its potency. Gibb calls his solution "the granite coffin".

And as for the perennial green wish that people would use less energy: that, more than ever, seems like hoping for rivers to flow uphill. Only nuclear power has the capacity, the responsiveness and the cleanness to address this nest of problems. And Fergus Gibb's granite coffin may well be the key.

More here


SUVs (sports utility vehicles), also known as 4x4s, are big ugly brutes. Politicians are lining up to insult them, to call for more taxes on them and to demand their exclusion from cities. Ken Livingstone thinks that the drivers are "idiots"..... An apparently more soundly-based criticism comes from Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat MP, who is against SUVs because of their oversize "environmental footprint". The Toyota Land Cruiser has one of the biggest "footprints" of them all, spewing out 277 grammes of carbon dioxide every kilometre.

Shocked? You needn't be. It is not much different from what an ordinary big car produced a decade ago. There has been a wondrous reduction in gas emissions from all cars. But let us assume that Mr Baker truly thinks, as he says he does, that these much-reduced emissions are a serious matter. In that case, Mr Baker must be also, if he is logical, deeply concerned about cows.

A single dairy cow belches and farts 114 kilos of methane a year. It is a methane machine. Methane is far more lethal as a greenhouse gas - assuming that one believes in all this - than carbon dioxide. It is 23 times more potent, although it does not last so long in the atmosphere. The methane produced by a single cow is equivalent to 2,622 kilos of carbon dioxide.

A Toyota Land Cruiser, meanwhile, if driven an average mileage, doles out 3,722 kilos a year. So a cow does 70 per cent of the damage of a Toyota - even more if you add on the methane given off by its manure. Given that a cow does so much environmental damage, anyone sincere about greenhouse gases should be demanding that they are banned or, at the very least, heavily taxed.....

Mr Baker and his ilk should also be demanding the draining of Britain's - and the world's - wetlands. Natural wetlands are an even bigger source of methane than cows. He would harangue farmers in the Third World about their badly-maintained rice paddies. They are number three in the league table of methane production.

He should be calling for the killing of the wildebeest. Wildebeest are ruminants, like cows, and as they migrate across East Africa each year they belch and fart unnumbered tonnes of methane. Yet Mr Baker says nothing about incompetent Third World farmers or killing wildebeest. He is rude only about SUVs. Why? Because his agenda is nothing to do with greenhouse gases. He just hates the rich. It is quite normal to hate the rich. But it is posturing to hate the rich and dress it up as righteous concern for the future of the planet.

More here


The United Nations has not had much to celebrate recently. Perhaps that is why it has made such a fanfare about the Kyoto protocol, the UN-brokered treaty on climate change that comes into force on Wednesday. The agreement requires developed countries to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels, which produce the greenhouse gases blamed for causing climate change. The treaty, drawn up in 1997, is widely considered the most important international agreement on environmental issues. But it quickly ran into trouble as developed nations balked at the difficulty of complying with it. The US rejected the treaty as unfair and its future looked in doubt until Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, finally ratified it late last year, after pressure from the European Union. Klaus Toepfer, UN under-secretary general, says: "I'm happy that all these pessimists have been proved wrong. We have proved that in this globalised world there is also the chance of globalised action."

But amid today's celebrations there are signs that key provisions may never work properly. Chief among these is the clean development mechanism, which allows developed countries offset some of their own greenhouse gas emissions by financing projects that cut those in developing nations. In theory, clean development projects cut overall greenhouse gas emissions but there are fears that projects are not gaining approval quickly enough, jeopardising the treaty. Kyoto binds developed nations to cut emission levels by 2012, compared with those of 1990. Recognising that developed countries' emissions are greater than poorer counterparts', the protocol placed reduction targets only on rich countries. But poorer nations are rapidly industrialising, shifting the balance of carbon dioxide output.

The Pew Centre on Global Climate Change, a US-based research organisation, found China was the second-biggest emitter in 2000, responsible for 14.8 per cent of the world's emissions against the US's 20.6 per cent and the EU's 14 per cent. Persuading developing countries to sign up to emissions reduction is difficult. They resent the idea that the developed world grew rich fuelled by coal, oil and gas while they might be denied the chance to do so.

The clean development mechanism allows companies and governments in developed countries to buy emissions reduction "credits" by investing in projects in developing countries that reduce emissions. Curbing the use of fossil fuels requires renewable energy sources--hydroelectricity, wind, wave and tidal power--and in the longer term, developing new power sources, such as hydrogen. Poor countries lack the funds for such investments, so the clean development mechanism helps bring these technologies to the developing world. The World Bank estimates the potential value of clean development investment in the developing world at between $12.5bn and $25bn.

The UN says so few have been approved because companies have been waiting until the Kyoto agreement came into force. Others discern a different reason. Non-governmental organisations feared the clean development mechanism would become a loophole, allowing polluters to continue to pollute at home while claiming credit for foreign projects that would have gone ahead in any case. Hence schemes qualify for clean development status only if their backers can show they would not be viable without the financial investment they will receive as part of the mechanism.

James Cameron, partner at the boutique investment bank Climate Change Capital and a lawyer involved in the protocol negotiations, says everyone failed to recognise that this extra burden vastly reduced the number of projects likely to go ahead. "You are forcing investors in these projects to lie; as they have to tell their financial backers that the projects are going to make lots of money, but you have to tell the [UN] that they wouldn't be financially viable, because then they could have gone ahead anyway," he explains.

He says the clean development mechanism should be redefined at the annual Kyoto meeting in November, likely to be held in Canada, to allow projects that would have been financially viable without the added assistance of the UN. But modifying the protocol is a painful process and time is running out. This stage of Kyoto expires in 2012 but clean development projects need years to come to fruition.

The World Bank estimates it takes about five years to design, finance, gain approval for and build a project, such as a wind farm or geo-thermal plant. Unless many more such projects are rapidly approved, the Kyoto protocol may yet come unstuck.


The new religion is Global Warming

The UN finally got what it wanted. The Kyoto Climate Change treaty becomes international law this month on Wednesday. The treaty went into full effect with the approval by the Russian Federation, even without the support of the United States. Time will tell if and when the treaty will begin to affect the U.S. economy. What is certain is that truth and reason had no part in the process. Global warming has become a new religion. No one is supposed to question whether it is a fact. I did in the December 2004 issue of The DeWeese Report ("There is no man-made global warming," Volume 10, Issue 12). For my trouble I was labeled a "moron," a "liar;" one who wants to "blow up the world," and just plain "evil" to name a few from a mass of mail I received.

In particular, my article stated that there is no scientific evidence to support claims of man-made global warming. I pointed out that there is division among scientists and that there is no "consensus" among them. I also reported that there are scientists who promote political agendas over truth to keep the grants coming in. And I said that the UN's 1996 report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was edited at the last minute to remove two very important paragraphs that specifically said science showed no clear evidence of man-made climate change. Those were all facts.

Apparently I'm a moron for reporting them because as one letter said, "Everyone knows global warming is real." In response to these Luddites, I simply present this: A federal hurricane research scientist named Chris Landsea has resigned from the UN-sponsored climate assessment team because his group's leader had politicized the process. Landsea said there was little evidence to justify Kevin Trenberth's assertion in October that global warming was responsible for the strong hurricanes experienced this past year and that "the North Atlantic hurricane Season of 2004 may well be a harbinger of the future." Said Landsea in his resignation letter, "It is beyond me why my colleagues would utilize the media to push an unsupported agenda that recent hurricane activity had been due to global warming. My view is that when people identify themselves as being associated with the IPCC and then make pronouncements far outside current scientific understandings that this will harm the credibility of climate change science and will in the longer term diminish our role in public policy." Landsea closed his resignation letter by saying, "I personally cannot in good faith contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound."

There you have it. Two kinds of scientists. One standing for true science based on the facts. The other pushing a political agenda that says science be damned, our global religion is at stake. Global Warming has become a religion that the faithful have vowed to follow no matter what the true facts may show. Global Warming is a theory, nothing more, and large numbers of scientists around the world are beginning to question its validity. There is no consensus of support.

The fact is the Kyoto Protocol will have absolutely no effect on climate change, but the faithful demand that it be implemented anyway, because "we have to do something." In 1990, Timothy Wirth, who later became Bill Clinton's Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs said, "We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong we will be doing the right thing."

Global Warming is nothing more than a euphemism for redistribution of wealth from the rich, development nations to jealous dictatorships who refuse to allow their citizens the right to gain their own wealth through free markets. It's about political redistribution from strong, independent sovereign nations into the hands of a power-hungry global elite cowering in the United Nations. These are the same cowardly scoundrels who used to try to rule the world through global communism. Today they pretend that the same lies have something to do with protecting the environment.

The truth is there is no man-made global warming. There's only the scam of an empty global religion designed to condemn human progress and sucker the feeble minded into worldwide human misery. I rest my case. Amen.



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

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


21 February, 2005


There has just been a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that seems to have focused on propping up the faith of true believers in global warming. The participants were presented with a big selection (with "selection" being the relevant word) of evidence to show that the earth has been warming up in recent years. Some excerpts:

Scientists reported Friday they have detected the clearest evidence yet that global warming is real -- and that human industrial activity is largely responsible for it. Researchers at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science cited a range of evidence that the Earth's temperatures are rising:

-- The Arctic regions are losing ice cover.

-- The populations of whales and walrus that Alaskan Eskimo communities depend on for food are crashing.

-- Fresh water draining from ice and snow on land is decreasing the salinity of far northern oceans.

-- Many species of plankton -- the microscopic plants that form the crucial base of the entire marine food web -- are moving north to escape the warming water on the ocean surface off Greenland and Alaska.

Ice ages come and go over millennia, and for the past 8,000 years, the gradual end of the last ice age has seen a natural increase in worldwide temperatures, all scientists agree. Skeptics have expressed doubt that industrial activity is to blame for world's rapidly rising temperatures.

But records show that for the past 50 years or so, the warming trend has sped up -- due, researchers said, to the atmospheric burden of greenhouse gases produced by everything industrial, from power plants burning fossil fuels to gas-guzzling cars -- and the effects are clear. "We were stunned by the similarities between the observations that have been recorded at sea worldwide and the models that climatologists made," said Tim Barnett of the University of California's Scripps Institution of Oceanography. "The debate is over, at least for rational people. And for those who insist that the uncertainties remain too great, their argument is no longer tenable. We've nailed it."

Barnett and other experts marshaled their evidence and presented it to their colleagues for the first time at a symposium here. For the past 40 years, Barnett said, observations by seaborne instruments have shown that the increased warming has penetrated the oceans of the world - - observations, he said, that have proved identical to computer predictions whose accuracy has been challenged by global-warming skeptics. The most recent temperature observations, he said, fit those models with extraordinary accuracy....

"Ice is in decline everywhere on the planet, and especially in the Arctic, " said Ruth Curry, a physical oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, "and there is large-scale drying throughout the Northern Hemisphere."

Ice cores drilled deep into the Greenland ice cap show that salinity of the ice at the upper layers of the cores has decreased sharply due to the incursion of fresh water draining from melting snows on the surface, she reported, and land ice and permafrost are in decline all around the Arctic. In the meantime, she said, measurements show that salinity of the ocean waters nearer the equator has increased as the rate of evaporation of warmer tropical and subtropical oceans quickens.

It may take several centuries for all the ice that covers Greenland to melt, Curry said, "but its release of fresh water will make sea-level rise a very significant issue in this century." In fact, she said, changes in the freshwater balance of the oceans has already caused severe drought conditions in America's Western states and many parts of China and other Asian countries.

But no-one has ever disputed that the earth's temperature rises and falls. The only important question is whether 20th century industry caused any of the current apparent warming. And only one of the above reports appears to offer an answer to that -- the report by oceanographer Barnett. Here is what I said yesterday on "Dissecting Leftism" about the Barnett report:

This report by Tim Barnett, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California -- saying that the recent small rise in the earth's temperature can only be explained by man-made gas emissions -- has got an amazing amount of publicity. But the report has yet to be subjected to peer review, let alone be published in an academic journal. It shows how desperate the global warmers have got for any shred of comfort. The language of the author of the report -- that "rational" people could not doubt his conclusions -- has certainly got more to do with Barnum than science. I suppose the amusing part is that the warmers have finally found some real-world data that their models fit. Most real-world data does not. I guess they had to get lucky eventually.

And what sort of a scientific meeting is it that presents only positive evidence in favour of one point of view? It sounds more like a religious revival meeting than a scientific gathering. Or is it just that all the evidence points one way? Far from it. Just look at the next three stories below for starters.


Three years ago, climate change activists said that a glacier in the deep south of New Zealand was a "global warming casualty," shrinking because of the human impact on global climate patterns. This week, a company that takes visitors over the popular tourist attraction confirmed that the Franz Josef Glacier is in fact advancing, growing several meters by the day, following an unseasonably cool summer in the southern hemisphere.

As the Kyoto Protocol comes into effect around the world on Wednesday, the ebb and flow of the glacier has turned the spotlight once again onto environmentalists' claims. Mark Mellsop, manager of the Franz Josef Glacier Guides company, said the glacier's flow rate in the center was about three meters a day, while the front -- known as the "terminal face" -- was pushing up against a large rockface, spilling over and around it. Within weeks the rock would be completely covered. "We've had a couple of years of very good snowfalls in winter, and we've had a really unusually cold summer -- about the coldest in New Zealand for 60 years, " he said. "Those things have all come together to cause the glacier to push forward. "This isn't particularly unusual; it's just that in general glaciers are retreating around the world. People find this unusual because of the general stories of global warming."

Mellsop said a change in weather had both an immediate and longer-term effect on the glacier, which is visited by 60,000 people a year. In the short term, cooler temperatures slow down melting and snow increases the flow-rate. "Beyond that, there's also a downstream effect. If you have heavy snowfalls one year, you're likely to get increased volumes of ice coming down the glacier three-to-five years later."

Mellsop said the 11 kilometer-long glacier was steeper than most, and was therefore "very, very sensitive to climate change." Until the end of the 20th century the glacier advanced for 15 years. Between 1999 and 2003 it retreated before recently starting to advance again. Asked whether he thought the gloomier predictions of green activists were likely to bear out, Mellsop said "only if the people who are talking about climate are accurate.".....

In 2002, Greenpeace declared that Franz Josef was a "global warming casualty." "Warmer temperatures and altered snow and rain patterns from climate change are resulting in the retreat of glaciers the world over," a climate campaigner for the group said at the time. Robbie Kelman made it clear where Greenpeace placed the blame for this: "Increased temperatures brought about by greenhouse polluting gases like methane and the burning of fossil fuels, coal, oil and gas, are destroying glaciers. Unless we break our addiction to fossil fuels, we risk the wholesale destruction of glaciers."

No one denies that the Franz Josef glacier both advances and retreats and that weather patterns play a role, but problems arise when a link is drawn with claims that the world's climate is steadily and dangerously rising. "Glaciers advance and retreat not only because of temperature but also because of precipitation," Prof. Chris de Freitas of the School of Geography and Environmental Science at Auckland University said Wednesday. "Just because a glacier or group of glaciers is doing one thing or another -- whether advancing or retreating -- doesn't mean to say it's an indicator of global climate. It's an indicator of regional climate variability, and to link it to global climate change is absurd."

Pointing to another favorite argument of the activists, de Freitas said there was a small part of the Antarctic Peninsula that showed warming, and the current speculation was that this was a result of warming currents. "But the vast majority of the Antarctic continent is actually cooling. To say that's an indicator of global cooling is as absurd as to say that's an indicator of global warming. "It's an environmental condition that attracts attention, but to link it to global warming is such a leap that is shows what I would consider a naive or simple understanding of events."

He said the whole climate change debate had become "contaminated by speculation" by scientists, campaigners and journalists. "If you stand back, the evidence suggests that we don't have catastrophic change on our hands. If anything, the evidence over the last 10 or 15 years suggests that the global climate system isn't as sensitive as some of us first thought to changes in greenhouse gases.".....

The Auckland academic is one of many around the world whom green campaigners have labeled "skeptics." He prefers to call himself a climate change "agnostic" and has strong words for the other camp. "The whole global warming issue has become very political. Even among scientists, there are people protecting their position ... or their funding, or their ideology. Science should be open-minded. Good science thrives on debate and discussion and not the reverse. What's happened is the reverse - you claim consensus and marginalize anyone who disagrees with the mainstream. That's very unscientific."

Beyond the scientists, de Freitas said, there were other vested interests. "It's not just the scientists. It's everyone involved in the impacts, the policy people, the economists, there are whole bureaucracies .... It's a whole industry, you can't kill it off. "People like myself who utter criticisms that slow this momentum down are considered outrageous. It's very hard for members of the public to get what I consider a useful perspective of the issue."

More here


Historical droughts in the Columbia River Basin were more severe than anything in recent memory, including the drought of 1992-93, scientists said Monday. A study of tree rings found four droughts between 1750 and 1950 that were "much more severe than anything in recent memory" because they persisted for years.

One drought that started in the 1840s lasted 12 years. Flows on the Columbia River were at least 20 percent below long-term averages and might have been much lower, said lead author Ze'ev Gedalof of the University of Guelph in Ontario. Reliable river flow records go back only about 75 years. But tree-ring data reveals how much trees grow each year, a reflection of climate. "Imagine what a drought lasting that long would do to the resources and economy of the region today," says Dave Peterson of the U.S. Forest Service and the University of Washington's College of Forest Resources.

Five other multiyear droughts were identified, around 1775, 1805, 1890, 1925, and one in the 1930s coinciding with the Dust Bowl era. The study was published recently in the Journal of the American Water Resources Association. "This is a wakeup call for the importance of drought planning, and seeking ways to restore some flexibility in Western water supply systems that have a limited ability to respond to multiyear droughts," said co-author Nate Mantua of the Climate Impacts Group based at the University of Washington. "The drought like the one indicated in the 1840s, for instance, simply hasn't been part of the modern water systems experiences."

The study is a microcosmic look at one drainage. But other research has reached similar conclusions. A much broader study covering the western United States and going back 2,000 years suggests that droughts in recent memory are indeed relatively minor.



So what do Greenies do about that inconvenient fact? Ignore it, of course!

Generally understood, but rarely publicized is the fact that 95% of the greenhouse effect is due solely to natural water vapor. Of the remaining 5%, only 0.2% to 0.3% of the greenhouse effect (depending on whose numbers you use) is due to emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases from human sources. If we are in fact in a global warming crisis, even the most aggressive and costly proposals for limiting industrial carbon dioxide emissions would have an undetectable effect on global climate. However, significant efforts to limit the emission of greenhouse gases in the United States are currently underway.

Carbon Dioxide from all coal burning worldwide comprises only 0.013% of the greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere.

In Kyoto, Japan in December 1997 former President Clinton and former Vice President Gore agreed to commit the United States to significant future reductions of carbon dioxide emissions, principally by cutting the use of fossil fuels by as much as 30% over the next 10 years. It is assumed that these drastic proposed measures will have a real effect on protecting Earth's climate-- an assertion that many climate experts are reluctant to support.

While scientists are currently searching for proof that emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are warming the planet, there exists no solid proof at this time. The strongest evidence for a problematic greenhouse effect is data generated from computer models which predict about 1.5 degrees C of warming in the next 50 years unless something is done to change the rate of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere. While computer climate models may eventually be able to predict future climate change, so far the ones we have are very unreliable-- unable even to accurately predict current climate conditions using current climate data.

More here


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

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


20 February, 2005


Since this guy appears not to have used a control group he is a scientist in name only and his results tell us nothing. He is just another publicity-seeker like so many "scientists" today

Lead left in paint, water, soil and elsewhere may not only be affecting children's intelligence but may cause a significant proportion of violent crime, a U.S. researcher argued Friday. He said the U.S. government needs to do more to lower lead levels in the environment and parents need to think more about where their children may be getting exposed to lead. "When environmental lead finds its way into the developing brain, it disturbs neural mechanisms responsible for regulation of impulse. That can lead to antisocial and criminal behavior," said Dr. Herbert Needleman, a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Needleman's team, using a technique called X-ray fluorescence, found very low levels of lead in the bones of children. Needleman cited several studies that associate crime with high levels of lead either in the bodies of those accused or in the environments they came from, including one that showed the average bone lead levels of 190 juvenile delinquents were higher than those of adolescents not charged with crimes. His study suggested that between 18 percent and 38 percent of delinquent crimes in the Pittsburgh area could be attributed to lead toxicity in the adolescents. Another one tested 300 delinquents and found those with higher lead levels reported more aggressive feelings or behavior disorders.

"The brain, particularly the frontal lobes, are important in the regulation of behavior," Needleman told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "Exposure to lead, at doses below those which bring children to medical attention, is associated with increased aggression, disturbed attention and delinquency. A meaningful strategy to reduce crime is to eliminate lead from the environment of children." Taking lead out of most gasoline has contributed to a sharp reduction in the level of lead in the blood of Americans over the past 30 years. But lead is still found in paint, some types of fuel for older vehicles, older water pipes and in the soil.



Any shares they sell will be bought by someone else

Former Vice President Al Gore joined statewide elected officials in predicting that decisions Monday by the nation's largest public pension system will boost worldwide efforts by companies to control gases believed to be contributing to global warming. The actions by the California Public Employees' Retirement System come two days before the Kyoto Protocol takes effect, under which nations not including the United States have agreed to trim so-called "greenhouse gases" generated by industry and vehicles.

Democrat Gore sharply criticized the Republican Bush administration for not endorsing the international treaty, a stance he said gives California's activities "an outsized importance" because of the market impact of the nation's most populous state. "The entire global business community has to sit up and take notice and respond" because of California's actions, Gore said. The $182 billion pension fund has $41 billion invested in foreign companies. "California ... is providing the kind of leadership that the federal government in Washington has for the time being unfortunately abdicated," Gore told reporters during a conference call arranged by Democratic state Treasurer Phil Angelides....

Angelides, a likely challenger to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's re-election next year, had pushed CalPERS to adopt the new "environmental governance program" to promote better corporate environmental practices. The fund now will nudge companies to publicly disclose the financial risks they face from climate change over the coming decades, and the steps they are taking in response. "This is not just an environmental issue, but a significant issue that will begin to show up on the balance sheets of companies in which we invest," Angelides said. He cited projections that adapting to climate change will cost companies hundreds of billions of dollars over decades.

More here


"Just so we're clear, this hockey stick isn't a sports implement; it's a scientific graph. Back in the late 1990s, American geoscientist Michael Mann published a chart that purported to show average surface temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere over the past 1,000 years. The chart showed relatively minor fluctuations in temperature over the first 900 years, then a sharp and continuous rise over the past century, giving it a hockey-stick shape.

Mr. Mann's chart was both a scientific and political sensation. It contradicted a body of scientific work suggesting a warm period early in the second millennium, followed by a "Little Ice Age" starting in the 14th century. It also provided some visually arresting scientific support for the contention that fossil-fuel emissions were the cause of higher temperatures. Little wonder, then, that Mr. Mann's hockey stick appears five times in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's landmark 2001 report on global warming, which paved the way to this week's global ratification--sans the U.S., Australia and China--of the Kyoto Protocol.

Yet there were doubts about Mr. Mann's methods and analysis from the start. In 1998, Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics published a paper in the journal Climate Research, arguing that there really had been a Medieval warm period. The result: Messrs. Soon and Baliunas were treated as heretics and six editors at Climate Research were made to resign.

Still, questions persisted. In 2003, Stephen McIntyre, a Toronto minerals consultant and amateur mathematician, and Ross McKitrick, an economist at Canada's University of Guelph, jointly published a critique of the hockey stick analysis. Their conclusion: Mr. Mann's work was riddled with "collation errors, unjustifiable truncations of extrapolation of source data, obsolete data, geographical location errors, incorrect calculations of principal components, and other quality control defects." Once these were corrected, the Medieval warm period showed up again in the data.

This should have produced a healthy scientific debate. Instead, as the Journal's Antonio Regalado reported Monday, Mr. Mann tried to shut down debate by refusing to disclose the mathematical algorithm by which he arrived at his conclusions. All the same, Mr. Mann was forced to publish a retraction of some of his initial data, and doubts about his statistical methods have since grown. Statistician Francis Zwiers of Environment Canada (a government agency) notes that Mr. Mann's method "preferentially produces hockey sticks when there are none in the data." Other reputable scientists such as Berkeley's Richard Muller and Hans von Storch of Germany's GKSS Center essentially agree.

We realize this may all seem like so much academic nonsense. Yet if there really was a Medieval warm period (we draw no conclusions), it would cast some doubt on the contention that our SUVs and air conditioners, rather than natural causes, are to blame for apparent global warming.

There is also the not-so-small matter of the politicization of science: If climate scientists feel their careers might be put at risk by questioning some orthodoxy, the inevitable result will be bad science. It says something that it took two non-climate scientists to bring Mr. Mann's errors to light.

But the important point is this: The world is being lobbied to place a huge economic bet--as much as $150 billion a year--on the notion that man-made global warming is real. Businesses are gearing up, at considerable cost, to deal with a new regulatory environment; complex carbon-trading schemes are in the making. Shouldn't everyone look very carefully, and honestly, at the science before we jump off this particular cliff?"

How Global Warming Research is Creating a Climate of Fear

Now that the Kyoto treaty is formally in effect, there has been an avalanche of articles by people who feel it is time to speak up and nail the nonsense for what it is. Below are just a few excerpts from a BIG article by two German experts in the widely-circulated German newsmagazine Spiegel ("Mirror").

The polar ice caps are disappearing! The Gulf Stream is soon to reverse! Right? Well, maybe. But calling such apocalyptic theories into question is becoming more and more difficult for skeptical scientists. Meanwhile, the public is getting tired of being fed a diet of fear......

The public statements made by well-known German climate researchers create the impression that the scientific fundamentals of the climate problems have essentially been solved. They claim that the scientific community has already established the conditions for taking concerted action. In this case, concerted action means reducing greenhouse gases as much as possible.

This is a view that in fact does not correspond to the situation in the scientific community. That's because a significant number of climatologists are by no means convinced that the underlying issues have been adequately addressed. Last year, for example, a survey of climate researchers from all over the world revealed that a quarter of respondents still question whether human activity is responsible for the most recent climatic changes.

But most researchers do believe that a shift in global climate caused by human activity is already occurring, and that it will accelerate in the future and become even more apparent. Higher temperatures and higher sea levels will accompany this shift. Scientists predict that in the more distant future, that is, in about 100 years, a substantial rise in greenhouse gas levels in the Earth's atmosphere will lead to more severe precipitation events in the northern hemisphere; some regions could experience more severe and others weaker storms.

But there are always scientists for whom, in keeping with the maxims of the alarmists in Crichton's book, these scenarios are insufficiently dramatic. For this reason, they are increasingly drawing connections between current extreme weather events and the climate shift caused by human activity. They do, it is true, tend to use cautious language in drawing such parallels and interviews become exercises in understatement. When asked such questions as: "Are high water levels on the Elbe River, the hurricanes in Florida and this year's mild winter evidence of climate catastrophe?" they respond that while this cannot be proven scientifically, some believe it to be the case. None of these statements is incorrect, but when combined they lead to the obvious conclusion that of course these weather events are proof of climate catastrophe, a statement so explicit that no one would venture to volunteer it.

The pattern is always the same. The significance of individual events is turned into material suitable for media presentation and is then cleverly dramatized. When the outlook for the future is discussed, the scenario that predicts the highest growth rates for greenhouse gas emissions -- which, of course, comes with the most dramatic climatic consequences -- is always selected from among all possible scenarios. Those predicting significantly smaller increases in greenhouse gas levels are not mentioned

Who benefits from this? The assumption is made that fear compels people to act, but we forget that it also produces a rather short-lived reaction. Climate change, on the other hand, requires a long-term response. The impact on the public may be "better" in the short term, thereby also positively affecting reputations and research funding. But to ensure that the entire system continues to function in the long term, each new claim about the future of our climate and of the planet must be just a little more dramatic than the last. It's difficult to attract the public's attention to the climate-related extinction of animal species following reports on apocalyptic heat waves. The only kind of news that can trump these kinds of reports would be something on the order of a reversal of the Gulf Stream.

All of this leads to a spiral of exaggeration. Each individual step in this process may seem harmless, but on the whole, the knowledge imparted to the public about climate, climatic fluctuations, climate shift and climatic effects is dramatically distorted....

In an article we published in the professional journal "Science" in October 2004, we were able to demonstrate that the underlying methodology that led to this hockey stick curve is flawed. Our intention was to turn back the spiral of exaggerations somewhat, but without calling the core statement into question, which is that human-induced climate change does exist. Prominent members of the climate research community did not respond to the article by engaging use in a dispute over the facts. Instead, they were concerned that the worthy cause of climate protection had been harmed.

Other scientists are succumbing to a form of fanaticism almost reminiscent of the McCarthy era. In their minds, criticism of methodology is nothing but the monstrous product of "conservative think-tanks and misinformation campaigns by the oil and coal lobby," which they believe is their duty to expose. In contrast, dramatization of climate shift is defended as being useful from the standpoint of educating the public.

The principle that drives other branches of science should be equally applicable to climate research: dissent drives continued development, and differences of opinion are not unfortunate matters to be kept within the community. Silencing dissent and uncertainty for the benefit of a politically worthy cause reduces credibility, because the public is more well-informed than generally assumed. In the long term, the supposedly useful dramatizations achieve exactly the opposite of what they are intended to achieve. If this happens, both science and society will have missed an opportunity.

More here


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

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


19 February, 2005

Age of no reason

Australian conservative journalist Andrew Bolt has fun with Greenie deceptions:

WHAT a relief it was, to be given the top 10 reasons to panic about global warming. At last - the list that would save me from doubt! It's been tough, resisting this new faith. I'd ask for proof that humans really have been heating the world up to hell with their exhausts, and believers would stare at me as if I were coal. As a furious green told a weekend paper, sceptics like me are "Holocaust deniers that make themselves look so disgustingly evil".

Even during these latest warnings that the Great Barrier Reef would die in 20 years and polar bears soon after - wild warnings to coincide with the coming into force of the Kyoto protocol - I couldn't find faith. So I thanked The Age, Australia's most Left-wing daily paper, for launching a crusade to convert sinners like me - pages and pages on global warming, starting on Saturday with a huge graphic: "10 Reasons to Start Worrying Now." And a headline screaming: "WAKE UP. THIS IS SERIOUS." Here, then, was a carefully researched list of the 10 clearest signs a serious newspaper could find of the harm already caused by global warming. These 10 Truths had to end all doubt. But - forgive me my sin - I checked this list against the facts. Forgive me again, but is this tosh truly all it takes to panic an entire newspaper - and so many of you, dear readers? Is reason now dead? Let's go through The Age's 10 "reasons to start worrying now", so you can see I do not say all this for the fun of farting in church.

1: Hudson Bay

Claim: "Polar bears have become thinner", as sea ice retreats. Facts: A Canadian Wildlife Service study did say Hudson Bay's bears were thinner - but as polar bear expert Mitch Taylor recently noted: "We're seeing an increase in bears that's really unprecedented." The CWS study also said earlier melting of sea ice may make it harder for bears to catch food - but said this melting affected only western Hudson Bay. Indeed, there was "a gradual cooling trend in eastern Hudson Bay . . . and the Labrador Sea". What's more, Greenland, which also has polar bears, has cooled since 1940. More bears, then. And more cold.

2: Tuvalu

Claim: These Pacific islands are "shrinking with rising sea levels". Facts: Australia's National Tidal Facility monitors Tuvalu's sea levels and found: "The historical record from 1978 through 1999 indicated a sea level rise of 0.07 mm per year", with "no visual evidence of any acceleration". At this rate, Tuvalu's seas will in 100 years rise by the thickness of a pen. "We have never believed these island will go under water," said University of South Pacific oceanographer Than Aung. But our seas have risen - 120 metres in the 17,000 years since the last Ice Age, without human gases to fuel it. Satellites detect almost no rise in the past decade.

3: Antarctica

Claim: Fewer Adelie penguins breed, as seas warm. Facts: The New Zealand Journal of Ecology in 1990 found "the numbers of Adelie penguins in the Ross Sea have increased greatly", and suggested global warming was to blame. Now there are fewer Adelies (in some colonies, but not overall) and that's a sign of warming, too. Yeah, sure, whatever. But several recent studies, including one by NASA, agree Antarctica - with 90 per cent of the world's ice - has grown colder and more ice-bound over the past 20 years or more. Ice-breakers this month had to cut through 80 nautical miles of ice instead of the usual 10 to reach McMurdo station.

4: Glacier National Park, Montana, US

Claim: Montana's glaciers are melting away. Facts: Climatologist Professor Patrick Michaels says these glaciers have melted since the end of the Little Ice Age 150 years ago - well before we were belching all this carbon dioxide - and Montana's temperatures in the past century of growing industrialisation have not risen significantly.

5: China

Claim: Many of China's glaciers are melting. Facts: China has had to thaw out from the Little Ice Age that killed the famous citrus groves of Jiangxi. The Chinese Science Bulletin in 2003 said scientists found evidence in peat deposits in Hongyuan that China had a warm period around 1000 years ago, before the Little Ice Age, "suggesting ... the main driving force of Hongyuan climate change is from solar activities". Fancy - warming being caused by the sun. New studies agree solar activity may indeed be behind some of the surface temperature changes we think we've seen - a 0.6 C warming from 1890 to 1940, followed by a cooling of 0.2 C until 1975, and a 0.4 C warming since.

6: Afghanistan

Claim: A long drought in Afghanistan, and also in Australia, "may be the product of climate change". Facts: Afghanistan's drought seems broken by recent heavy rain and snow. Rainfall over Australia rose slightly over the past century, says the Bureau of Meteorology, and our worst known drought came in the 1890s. But do such inevitable changes to local climates prove anything?

7: Great Barrier Reef

Claim: Warmer seas are turning the reef white. Facts: An El Nino caused coral bleaching in 1998, but the reef recovered, as it did again in 2002 - and from worse events in 1782-1785 and 1817. After all, the reef is 60 million years old, and has survived much hotter times. Dr Andrew Baker, head of America's Coral Research Laboratory, says bleaching may be how a coral adapts - by expelling one of the algaes that help it thrive to make room for a better one. In fact, reefs "could do well in a warmer world", Australian geochemist Professor Malcolm McCulloch has said, since "warmer ocean temperatures allow expansion of reefs to sub-tropical regions".

8: Arctic Ocean

Claim: The ice is melting. Facts: The Arctic warmed until 1938, but then cooled before warming again - so is still no "hotter" now than it was 60 years ago. Greenland, however, is still colder and icier than it was then, says the Danish Meteorological Institute, and was once so warm that Vikings thought it a truly green land.

9: Snowy Mountains and Victorian Alps

Claim: Snow gums have moved up the ranges as they've warmed. Migratory birds are affected too. Facts: One study claims snow gums are now found 30m higher up mountains. Horror - more trees! But does this prove a global warming? No one knows. Another study found four species of migratory birds now arrive a little earlier in spring - but one a little later. Yes, and...?

10: The Netherlands

Claim: Flycatcher birds migrate from Africa to find Europe so warm that the caterpillars they eat have emerged sooner than usual. Facts: Very sad, but is global warming or local warming to blame? And are a few warmer years in one area a trend, or a natural cycle of an Earth that knew warmer times often before?

And that is it. That's The Age's list of the most frightening signs of global warming. See how little there is in it to justify this panic. The truth is that despite the hype, not much about global warming is known for sure, not even how much the Earth has heated, and whether our carbon dioxide (CO2) caused it. So say even lead authors of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose doctored "predictions" are most used to frighten us.

One of them, Professor John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, asks: "Will increases in CO2 affect the climate significantly? Are significant changes occurring now? Climate models suggest the answer is yes. Real data suggests otherwise."

Adds another, Professor Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: "The temperature is always changing for the earth, so it has only two choices - going up or going down. It has done both, and that doesn't say it's due to CO2; it doesn't say it's going to continue; it doesn't say anything beyond that." This is why Lindzen calls the Kyoto accord, which demands expensive cuts to our emissions, "absurd".

But so much is absurd in the global warming hysteria, not least the media's willing surrender of its reason.


Group Using Polar Bear to Force Greenhouse Gas Reduction

The liars fail to mention evidence that polar bears are actually thriving of course

"A conservation group is attempting to use the federal Endangered Species Act to clobber the U.S. government over global warming. The Center for Biological Diversity on Wednesday announced it has filed a formal petition to have the polar bear added to threatened species list. "Polar bears may become extinct by the end of end of this century because their sea-ice habitat is literally melting away due to global warming," the group said in a message on its website.

Listing polar bears under the Endangered Species Act will "provide broad protection to polar bears," the Center said; and it will require federal agencies to "ensure that any action carried out, authorized, or funded by the United States government will not 'jeopardize the continued existence' of polar bears, or adversely modify their critical habitat." So, if global warming is threatening polar bears, the U.S. government would be obliged to do something about greenhouse gas emissions that (some believe) cause global warming.

The Center for Biological Diversity noted that the U.S. currently produces 24 percent of the world's greenhouse gases -- and it says the Bush administration has adopted a climate plan "that will allow emissions to continue to grow rapidly. The United States must quickly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to a small fraction of current levels or polar bears will become extinct," said Kassie Siegel, lead author of the polar bear petition.....

As Cybercast News Service previously has reported, the Endangered Species Act frequently is invoked by activists to stymie landowners, ranchers, farmers, developers, road-builders and the oil, mining and timber industries. For many, it's become more of a "land use" issue than a species protection issue.

A bill introduced in the 108th Congress to reform the Endangered Species Act is expected to be reintroduced in the current 109th Congress. House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) has said he will make ESA reform a priority for his committee. According to Pombo, "Under the mantra of species protection, radical environmental organizations use the ESA to raise funds, block development projects, and prohibit legal land uses of nearly every kind. "By filing inordinate numbers of lawsuits under the ESA, environmental organizations have hand-cuffed the [Fish and Wildlife Service] to courtroom defense tables, draining the time, money, and manpower Congress intended the service to spend on species recovery in the field."

More here


Note: This is from an article NOT specifically concerned with environmentalism but its applicability is obvious

"There is a strange incongruity, observable throughout the intellectual history of man, that never ceases to amaze me. Why is it in the field of ideas that dramatic new visions of truth are so often met with vehement opposition from a society's intellectuals -- the very men of the mind who are most dedicated to the pursuit and demonstration of truth? How can the intellectuals of today's era -- so acutely aware of humanity's bigoted resistance in the past to Galileo, Semmelweis, Pasteur, and other radical discoverers of history -- succumb to the same blind obstinacy in face of the new truths confronting them?

There are several reasons why this propensity for intolerance to new thinking has prevailed throughout history among intellectuals. As the physicist Fred Hoyle tells us, scientists are human. They are, far more often than the lay public perceives, victims of dogmatism and the tendency of all humans to argue from pre-set ideas.

Despite their much-heralded pledge to objective inquiry, scientists are quite capable of bias and suppression in order to preserve their long-standing beliefs. When a large portion of one's life has been passionately devoted to the validation of an idea, it becomes most difficult to accept the invalidity of that idea. Therefore truth, the most highly prized goal of all, is often forsaken to protect fragile egos and support previous convictions.

This tendency of scientists to be obstinate in the face of new truth manifests itself through the paradigm shift. As Thomas S. Kuhn demonstrated in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, all of science is based upon the establishment of paradigms, or what can be termed an overall "way of viewing things" in a particular field. And once a paradigm is established, it becomes difficult for most thinkers to dispute its basic premises even when that paradigm is found to be in error.

For example, the 1st century Egyptian astronomer, Ptolemy, established the Ptolemaic paradigm of the solar system, which depicted the earth as its center with the sun and planets revolving around the earth. Copernicus and Galileo came along and overthrew this way of thinking with a truer paradigm that depicted the sun as the center of the solar system. Newton established the mechanistic paradigm in physics during the early 18th century, and Einstein followed with a much truer relativity paradigm two hundred years later. Pasteur established the germ paradigm in medicine during the 19th century, while Darwin gave us the evolution paradigm in biology.

A paradigm is thus an all-inclusive Big Picture based upon a fundamental premise in a field of study that undergirds the "why of things" in that particular field. Even when false, a paradigm often prevails as accepted truth for a long period of time because the prevailing minds and methodology of the era are inadequate to grasp reality more clearly. But falsity persists as truth also because humans fall prey to inertia. They seek mental comfort and choose paths of least resistance, which leads them to settle into a certain paradigm as if it is inviolable. For example, even after Copernicus made it obvious around 1500 AD that the Ptolemaic concept of the universe was a fallacy, it still prevailed in intellectual circles for another 180 years until Galileo drove the final nails into its coffin.

Herein lies one of the great human dilemmas: Once a "way of viewing things" is entrenched in any given field, even when new knowledge comes along to refute such a paradigm, it becomes practically impossible (because of the flaws of human nature) for most intellectuals to think outside that paradigm's constraints. They will defend the entrenched view even when its basic conception is shown to be foolish and impossible, especially if they have devoted a vital part of their lives to the teaching and promotion of that "way of viewing things."

This is presently our situation in many intellectual fields. Like the medieval dogmatists, today's academic community also clings to irrational paradigms in face of overwhelming evidence that their views are as untenable as the flat earth theories of old......

Sadly, this kind of blindness and dogmatism in face of error is the inevitable nature of the discovery of truth. The great majority of a society's intellectual community becomes locked into its established paradigms even when those paradigms are shown to be as moronic as treating disease with leeches and creating wealth with paper money. The great majority sees only what is established, never new truths to be discovered. Only a select few who are contrarian thinkers can see the truth and are willing to endure the inevitable ostracism to promote it.

It is to such contrarian minds that the world owes its advances (i.e., its paradigm shifts) -- socially, politically, morally and scientifically -- for the contrarian is possessed of the vision to see beyond his fellows and the courage to challenge firmly entrenched error. He has the ability to mentally encompass wider vistas and integrate more profoundly the vast conceptualizations necessary to get at the truth in any given field of inquiry.

Most importantly the contrarian mind is not plagued with the desire to be popular and acclaimed in his own time. He cares little for establishment acceptance. Not that he will shun acclaim if it happens to come to him, but it is not the primary motivation driving him. Truth is what compels him. Herein lies his strength and one of the important reasons for his acute clarity. The contrarian is not obsessed with popularity, and therefore does not delude himself with the entrenched dogmas of the herd as the more common minds do.

There is a law of life that is identifiable here, and it can be stated thusly: Truth will always reveal itself only to the contrarian, for his is the only mind open enough and creative enough to see it. Not that all contrarians speak truth, for the world is chock full of nuts wading in delirium. But the truth will always come to us only through contrarian minds -- thinkers like Socrates, Galileo, Adam Smith, Pasteur, Einstein, Ludwig von Mises. Establishment intellectuals are needed to solidify and disseminate already confirmed truths, but they are not capable of promoting new truths (or they are not willing to). And because of the flaws in human nature, they invariably become roadblocks to those contrarians that are capable and willing.

Such is the condition of our intellectual fields today. As always, the contrarians are at war with the establishment, and there are profound revolutions going on. Old established paradigms are being shattered. New discoveries and visions in economics, physics, philosophy, biology, medicine, etc. are pouring forth to stir up elemental debates presumed to be settled by those who argue from pre-set ideas.

More here


Measuring past carbon dioxide from deep ice cores (the usual method) has huge problems from ice fracturing under pressure. It means that past levels were much HIGHER than the measurements indicate. But Greenies ignore that, among other things:

A reader writes:

Note from this site that the timeline for all recorded history, apparently begins in 1750. No mention of what CO2 levels might have been in the preceding 5 billion years. Like the carboniferous era, approximately 400 million years ago, when CO2 levels were well over 1,500 ppm - or roughly 4-5 times *higher* than now. Are the Greenies stupid or merely dishonest? According to this link:

"Earth's atmosphere today contains about 370 ppm CO2 (0.037%). Compared to former geologic times, our present atmosphere, like the Late Carboniferous atmosphere, is CO2- impoverished! In the last 600 million years of Earth's history only the Carboniferous Period and our present age, the Quaternary Period, have witnessed CO2 levels less than 400 ppm"

Apparently, the dinosaurs drove a surprising number of SUVs. In celebration of Kyoto's enactment on this day, I shall drive a few extra miles in order to help produce more plant food.


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

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


18 February, 2005


Some excerpts below from a recent article in The Wall St. Journal. An article there will reach a wide and influential audience. Note the report of a coverup.

One of the pillars of the case for man-made global warming is a graph nicknamed the hockey stick. It's a reconstruction of temperatures over the past 1,000 years based on records captured in tree rings, corals and other markers. The stick's shaft shows temperatures oscillating slightly over the ages. Then comes the blade: The mercury swings sharply upward in the 20th century. The eye-catching image has had a big impact. Since it was published four years ago in a United Nations report, hundreds of environmentalists, scientists and policy makers have used the hockey stick in presentations and brochures to make the case that human activity in the industrial era is causing dangerous global warming.

But is the hockey stick true? According to a semi-retired Toronto minerals consultant, it's not. After spending two years and about $5,000 of his own money trying to double-check the influential graphic, Stephen McIntyre says he has found significant oversights and errors. He claims its lead author, climatologist Michael Mann of the University of Virginia, and colleagues used flawed methods that yield meaningless results.

Dr. Mann vigorously disagrees. On a Web site launched with the help of an environmental group, he has sought to debunk the debunking, and counter what he calls a campaign by fossil-fuel interests to discredit his work. "It's a battle of truth versus disinformation," he says.

But some other scientists are now paying attention to Mr. McIntyre. Although a scientific outsider, the 57-year-old has forced Dr. Mann to publish a minor correction. Now a critique by Mr. McIntyre and an ally is being published in a respected scientific journal. Some mainstream scientists who harbored doubts about the hockey stick say its comeuppance is overdue. The clash has grown into an all-out battle involving dueling Web logs, a powerful senator and a score of other scientists. Mr. McIntyre's new paper is circulating inside energy companies and government agencies. Canada's environment ministry has ordered a review.

Mr. McIntyre's critique isn't going to settle the broader global-warming debate. Indeed, he takes no strong position on whether fossil-fuel use is heating the planet or, if so, how to cope. He just says he has found a flaw in a main leg supporting the global-warming consensus, the consensus that led to an international initiative taking effect this week: Kyoto. The Kyoto protocol obligates the 35 industrialized nations that ratified it -- which don't include the U.S. -- to reduce emissions of six gases 5% below 1990 levels by 2012. The thinking behind it is straightforward: Human activity, especially the burning of fossil fuels, generates carbon dioxide, methane and other gases that accumulate in the atmosphere; there they trap the sun's heat the way a greenhouse does; to reduce the heat, reduce the gases.

But that will mean far-reaching industrial changes. Mr. McIntyre's complaint is that supporters of Kyoto pushed for it by wielding a graph, the hockey stick, whose validity they'd never fully scrutinized. "Give me a break -- we are making billion-dollar decisions," he says, noting that businesses, by contrast, must carefully audit their financial statements and projections.

Many skeptics contend that liberal environmental agendas are behind alarming global-warming headlines, though often skeptics bring policy agendas of their own. Think tanks backed with funding from the energy industry have waged a wide campaign to cast doubt on key scientific results. "Climate science today is fully politicized," says Roger Pielke Jr., head of the University of Colorado's Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. Mr. McIntyre says he hasn't received any industry funding......

The problem, says Mr. McIntyre, is that Dr. Mann's mathematical technique in drawing the graph is prone to generating hockey-stick shapes even when applied to random data. Therefore, he argues, it proves nothing. Statistician Francis Zwiers of Environment Canada, a government agency, says he now agrees that Dr. Mann's statistical method "preferentially produces hockey sticks when there are none in the data." Dr. Zwiers, chief of the Canadian agency's Center for Climate Modeling and Analysis, says he hasn't had time to study Dr. Mann's rebuttals in detail and can't say who is right......

Mr. McIntyre first became interested in the hockey stick in late 2002 after seeing the graph in materials distributed by the Canadian government. "What struck me is that it looked very promotional," he says, "and I wanted to see how they made it." As a financial consultant to small minerals-exploration companies, he was mindful of how wrong estimates of the size of Borneo gold deposits lay behind the 1997 Bre-X Minerals scandal. Mr. McIntyre, who won math contests in high school and a math scholarship to the University of Toronto, says he'd always been disappointed in not having any academic accomplishments "despite having a good mind."

Mr. McIntyre e-mailed Dr. Mann requesting the raw data used to build the hockey stick. After initially providing some information, Dr. Mann cut him off. Dr. Mann says his busy schedule didn't permit him to respond to "every frivolous note" from nonscientists. The climate-statistics expert, now 39, gained a big career boost from initial publication of the graph in 1998 and 1999. Although others had sought clues to past temperatures, his team was among the first to stitch many disparate records together to span hundreds of years across the entire Northern Hemisphere.

Scientists already knew that average global temperatures had risen about one degree Fahrenheit since 1900. Now the hockey stick, showing only smaller fluctuations in earlier centuries, was seen as a breakthrough. The IPCC used it to back a striking conclusion: The 1990s were probably the warmest decade in 1,000 years. This conclusion helped shut down skeptics' claim that the 20th century's greater warmth might be due to natural factors such as changes in solar intensity.

Some scientists had doubts, however. The graph gave little emphasis to what's known as the "medieval warm period," the years around 1000 A.D. when the Norse colonized Greenland. It also seemed to smooth over a cold epoch starting in the 15th century called "the little ice age." Others worried that it relied too heavily on growth rings from a small number of ancient trees, such as California bristlecone pines that can live thousands of years clinging to mountainsides.

Some also disliked Dr. Mann's self-confident persuasive style, among them Wallace Broecker of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Yet because the graph so neatly strengthened the case for man-made warming, Dr. Broecker says, "a lot of people grabbed that hockey stick." From the outset, the graph was a target of numerous lobbyists and skeptics. When Mr. McIntyre became interested in it, he quickly teamed up with Ross McKitrick, an economist at Canada's University of Guelph who'd written a book questioning global warming. (The two met on an Internet chat group for climate skeptics.) In October 2003, Energy & Environment, a British social-science journal known for contrarian views, published an initial critique by the pair.

The two were invited to Washington as a vote neared on a bill to cap fossil-fuel emissions. They met with Sen. James Inhofe, who heads the environment committee and has called the threat of catastrophic global warming the "greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." The Oklahoma Republican relied on doubts raised by a variety of skeptics in leading successful opposition to the bill in 2003. Mr. McKitrick says he was paid $1,000 by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market research and lobbying group, and had his travel costs picked up by another lobby group. Mr. McIntyre, who briefed lobbyists with the National Association of Manufacturers, says he has taken no payment.

Dr. Mann and scientists close to him viewed this as a political attack, not science. Dr. Mann offered a strong rebuttal of the Canadians' 2003 journal article, explaining that it didn't correctly apply his techniques. In doing so, however, he revealed details of his data and mathematical methods that hadn't appeared in his original paper. When Messrs. McIntyre and McKitrick pointed this out to Nature, the journal that first published the hockey-stick graph, Dr. Mann and his two co-authors had to publish a partial correction. In it, they acknowledged one wrong date and the use of some tree-ring data that hadn't been cited in the original paper, and they offered some new details of the statistical methods. The correction, however, stated that "none of these errors affect our previously published results."

Mr. McIntyre thinks there are more errors but says his audit is limited because he still doesn't know the exact computer code Dr. Mann used to generate the graph. Dr. Mann refuses to release it. "Giving them the algorithm would be giving in to the intimidation tactics that these people are engaged in," he says.

Mainstream scientists have also been scrutinizing the hockey stick. One, Hans von Storch of Germany's GKSS center, has presented theoretical findings arguing that Dr. Mann's technique could sharply underestimate past temperature swings. Indeed, new research from Stockholm University on historical temperatures suggests past fluctuations were nearly twice as great as the hockey stick shows. That could mean the 20th-century jump isn't quite so anomalous.

Mr. McIntyre says he intends to continue his audit of climate science and has demanded that other researchers send him details of their work. He isn't satisfied with the responses so far. "When I ask them for additional data, you can imagine how cooperative they are," he says.

More here


You can prove anything with secret data and algorithms.

"There is a long piece on the global "hockey stick" in today's Wall Street Journal that explains something I didn't understand: Mann, who generated the "hockey stick" curve purporting to show that the last century was unique in all recorded history with its sharp climb in temperature, has released neither the algorithm that generated his curve nor the data on which it was based.

I had refrained from commenting on the "hockey stick" because I couldn't understand how it was derived. I've done statistical analysis and prediction from uncertainty much of my life. My first job in aerospace was as part of the Human Factors and Reliability Group at Boeing, where we were expected to deal with such matters as predicting component failures, and deriving maintenance schedules (replace it before it fails, but not so long before it fails that the costs including the cost of the maintenance crew and the costs of taking the airplane out of service are prohibitive) and other such matters. I used to live with Incomplete Gamma Functions and other complex integrals; and I could not for the life of me understand how Mann derived his famous curve. Now I know: he hasn't told anyone. He says that telling people how he generated it would be tantamount to giving in to his critics.

More on this after my walk, but the one thing we may conclude for sure is that this is not science. His curve has been distributed as part of the Canadian government's literature on why Canada supports Kyoto, and is said to have been influential in causing the "Kyoto Consensus" so it is certainly effective propaganda; but IT IS NOT SCIENCE. Science deals with repeatability and openness. When I took Philosophy of Science from Gustav Bergmann at the University of Iowa a very long time ago, our seminar came to a one-sentence "practical definition" of science: Science is what you can put in a letter to a colleague and he'll get the same results you did. Now I don't claim that as original for it wasn't even me who came up with it in the seminar; but I do claim Bergmann liked that formulation, and it certainly appealed to me, and I haven't seen a better one-sentence practical definition of science. Mann's work doesn't meet that definition, and those who use Mann's curve in their arguments are not making a scientific argument.

One of Pournelle's Laws states "You can prove anything if you can make up your data." I will now add another Pournelle's Law: "You can prove anything if you can keep your algorithms secret.""


"Global warming has a way of prompting metaphors so bad they destroy a claim to seriousness. This week's prize goes to Klaus Toepfer, head of the Kenya-based United Nations Environment Programme. Climate change could lead to Earth "spinning out of control", he warned, neglecting to describe the time when the planet's climate, or rotation, have been under control.

Africa, he continued, is where "the hammer of global warming will . . . likely hit hardest", using an image of a targetted blow to describe the threat of unpredictable and diffuse change. The "spectre at the feast", he concluded, was the chance that models had underestimated the effect.

It is part of the politics of global warming that there can be no let up in the warnings of catastrophe, in case people think the problem solved. Toepfer's vocabulary perfectly illustrates the genre, with its muddle of inflated expectations and supernatural threats. Such prophesies have poured in this week even though yesterday, the Kyoto Protocol, the most ambitious concerted attempt to combat climate change, finally came into force, seven years after the summit which gave it its name.

The alarm calls are understandable politics, if some have more scientific basis than others. Even though Kyoto is now in force, it has created new headaches. Inflaming public concern may seem like a good way to tackle them. The first is that it has huge gaps, as critics see it. According to the Protocol, the 34 industrialised countries which have ratified the treaty are legally bound now to slash output of greenhouse gases before 2012, with different targets set for each depending on the level of emissions in 1990.

But the US is absent, and there are no binding curbs on the giants of the developing world, China and India. Critics of the Bush Administration find these "flaws" endlessly provocative. They fret about how to bring these rebels within the corral. But this should not be a distraction. There was never any question that the US Congress would sign up to a treaty which would have required the US to make cuts of 7 per cent in its emissions, given the country's dependence on cars.

That is a point which Tony Blair grasped early on. But his notion of a "Kyoto-lite" to include the US - a scheme for rewarding new "green" technology, without binding commitments on emissions - has brought him brickbats within Europe and the Labour party. One of the mysteries of the politics of climate change is why Blair has boxed himself into such an awkward corner. His interest in the subject appears to have sprung from the darkest days of the Iraq row. Whatever his own convictions, the political use was clear.

A commitment to the cause of climate change was a useful offer to those who loathed the war, particularly to those who claimed it was "all about oil", and to young, "green" voters. But it has taken him quickly into difficult territory, otherwise known as the loathing of nuclear power in parts of his party. Britain has no easy way to explain how it will counter the sharp rise in its emissions once existing nuclear stations close, without building more.

Nor, to take the second "flaw", is the dispute with China and India susceptible to a quick burst of pressure. They are resentful that the industrialised world, which grew rich on the unpenalised use of coal and oil, does not want to allow them the same freedom. Their resistance on this point is simply one aspect of a new assertiveness on many fronts. It is helping to stall the current Doha round of global trade talks, among others. But that may be a better forum in which to unpick their objections, offering deals which are more clearly of reciprocal benefit.


Kyoto treaty a pointless exercise

An Australian economist comments:

"Today the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions comes into force. If you believe the climate change propagandists, it is the first step in saving the world from the terrible consequences of global warming. The truth is Kyoto is a joke. It will do next to nothing to lower the rate of global emissions of greenhouse gas and provides no workable framework for future action. By 2012, when ratifying countries' commitments under Kyoto to cut CO2 emissions expire, we will find key countries have failed to comply and global emissions will be rising steadily as the result of world growth.

For this we can all be thankful. The costs of following a Kyoto-style system of emission caps and timetables would, on most available studies, exceed the benefits. This is not, of course, what you will hear from the legion of scientists, bureaucrats, lobbyists, companies and politicians who have taken seats on the Kyoto gravy train. But privately at least the smart ones know Kyoto is a dead duck.

This does not, apparently, include the retreaded Labor leader Kim Beazley and his environment spokesman Anthony Albanese. Boldly undaunted by the disastrous failure of Labor's forest policy and its electorally unproductive alliance with the Greens, they launched a pro-Kyoto stunt for Valentine's Day. Labor's Valentine's Day gift to the Australian people, Beazley told a press conference in Sydney, was Anthony Albanese's Avoid Dangerous Climate Change Bill. This bill would require the Howard Government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol within 60 days of its being carried, which fortunately it won't be.

Urging Australians to make the Protocol their Valentine comes close to advocating national necrophilia. Kyoto has been a corpse since December. That was when the conference of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change held their 10th session in Buenos Aires. The aim of the European Union and its allies among the green non-government organisations and lobby groups was to use Buenos Aires to both celebrate the coming into force of the Protocol and to prepare the way for its extension beyond 2012. Recognising just how limited Kyoto was, the idea was to get agreement to a so-called second commitment period, with tougher emission targets for developed countries and a commitment from the developing countries, particularly China and India, to emission targets.

Instead the European Union was isolated and rebuffed by the developing countries, notably India and China, who joined with the US to reject any move to extend the system of enforceable caps on emissions that is at the heart of the Kyoto approach. So, importantly, did Italy - an EU member. Its environment minister declared there was no point in trying to replace Kyoto with something similar after 2012 when it was unacceptable to the US, India and China. According to a Reuters report last week, even the European Commission is backing off any binding commitment on future emission reductions after 2012. It said any future EU commitments to further reductions should depend on the level and type of participation of other big emitters.

The failure of Kyoto should not come as a surprise. Following a series of attempts in 2002 and 2003 by the Green's Bob Brown and by Labor to introduce a bill to, guess what, force the Government to ratify Kyoto in 60 days, it was finally introduced and was referred to a Senate committee for inquiry and report. One of the witnesses to appear before it was Australia's then ambassador for the environment, Chris Langman, from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. "The question is," Langman told the committee, "how can we engage India and China, where most of the growth in the global emissions will take place over the next several decades, in a way that is effective from an environmental point of view? I have very little sense from the negotiations that the [Kyoto] protocol and its approach of binding quantitative caps on emissions, is feasible in terms of engaging those countries." ....

Attempts to turn every unusual weather event into confirmation of these forecasts by climate change propagandists and politicians, from England's Tony Blair to Australia's Beazley, should be seen for what they are - either misinformed or fraudulent. Rather than let them alarm you, ask yourself this: do you think people who can't tell you whether it will rain next Wednesday are really capable of building models that tell you what the climate will be like 100 years from now? I wouldn't trust any economic modelling that forecast what the world economy would look like a century hence, and climate models are at least as flawed as economists' ones".

More here


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

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


17 February, 2005


From a Pro-Greenie site: "The large spike in global temperature in 1998 was associated with one of the strongest El Ninos of recent centuries, the scientists say, and a weak El Nino contributed to the unusually high 2002-2003 global temperatures."

Figure that one out!

The reader who pointed me to that outstanding example of Greenie logic also has a request:

"I've read that roughly 30% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emmisions are due simply in human respiration. In other words, the world just breathing emits more CO2 than all SUVs and powerplants combined. What I'd love to see compared is the emission rate for CO2 between an average, modern SUV driven a mile and the amount of CO2 exhaled by an average person riding his bicycle one mile. I would not be at all shocked to find out that the bicyclist emits more CO2 per mile than does a new you know of a site listing CO2 emissions per mile?

Can any reader point us to such a site or quote the relevant information from some printed source?

I have also just put up an angry letter about Greenie follies from another reader here

Another briefer email just in:

"There has been a string of ecoterror incidents by the ELF and other environmental extremists in California over recent weeks. An arrest has been made in a case where several incendiary bombs were planted at the construction site of a housing development, but they didn't explode. ELF claimed responsibility in a letter received by a newspaper. The suspect? 21 year-old Ryan Daniel Lewis of Newcastle, CA.

Newcastle is an upscale semi-rural community near Sacramento, the kind that is full of custom homes and ranch retreats nestled between foothills and farms. Lewis lived with his parents in a custom 2-story home on Fox Hill Lane and - get this - Lewis drove an SUV! The home was newly built in 2001, surely on land that at one time was pristine habitat for some poor beetle or mouse. No doubt the home was constructed out of murdered trees.

But I understand that environmentalists are Very Important People, so they don't have to live by the standards they would impose on all us 'little people'. Its not their upscale homes, expansive acres, or polluting personal automobiles that are the problem. Its all those other people! Typical enviro-hypocrites and eco-narcissists.

And an angry email from a Canadian farmer:

"In the last ten years, the strident voices have been those of David Suzuki (apparently THE expert scientist on climatology), and Environment Canada weather people with zero credibility, but fervent views on global warming and the disaster that will befall Canada. They are brazen enough to suggest changes that we must make to adapt. As a farmer, I would not try growing subtropical fruit in Manitoba, as Env. Canada predictions suggest should be possible in a few decades.

Last winter, Environment Canada predicted a warm summer and suggested that farmers should plant corn and other long-season heat-loving crops. The summer was the most frigid, misty and rainy one that I can remember. Old timers concur. The season was marginal even for growing wheat!! If we get even colder weather we might have to start raising Reindeer like Siberian residents.

What kind of SUCKER would trust Environment Canada to accurately predict climate 100 or even 10 years ahead??

'Pollutants' in whale blubber are naturally produced

Noxious chemicals found in whale blubber may not be entirely artificial, research shows. Some of the compounds, which resemble the environmentally polluting chemicals we create as flame retardants, may be produced by sponges and other sea creatures. Scientists have known for years that certain artificial chemicals in the environment can accumulate in animals, especially in predators that eat other contaminated animals. Such tenacious molecules, called halogenated organic compounds, include the toxic pesticide DDT.

Recently, a group of similar compounds was identified in marine animals, but its source was not known. Were these methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-PBDEs) the natural products of slow, soft marine creatures, such as sponges? One sponge in the Indian Ocean had been shown to produce a MeO-PBDE, perhaps to deter predators or parasites. Or were they derived from discarded flame retardants, slightly altered by some biological process on the way? Unaltered flame-retardant molecules have been found in animal and fish tissues, including human breast milk.

Chris Reddy, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, sought to answer this question by looking at the different isotopes of carbon in the molecules. MeO-PBDE that had been produced by plants or animals would contain a consistent percentage of radioactive carbon-14, which is present at low levels throughout the ocean. If, on the other hand, the MeO-PBDE were artificial, it would have been made out of carbons from petroleum that was so old that all the carbon-14 would long since have decayed. "We call it a 'dead or alive' approach," says Reddy.

The idea was simple, but the task was anything but. Reddy's colleague Emma Teuten spent months working with a smelly 10-kilogram sample of blubber from a fatally beached True's beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus). "I cut the skin off, and diced it and blended it, which gave something the consistency of a strawberry smoothie," she recalls. Then she burned off the fat with acid and isolated small amounts of MeO-PBDEs from it.

Carbon-14 was present in levels consistent with the surrounding ocean, the researchers report in Science. This suggests that the MeO-PBDE was a natural creation, and Reddy's team suggests that it accumulated in the whale after it ate some unknown creature, perhaps a squid, that had in turn gobbled up the organic creator of the chemicals.

More here


Alaska's climate seems to be heating up fast, with eroding coastlines, melting glaciers, oozing permafrost and retreating sea ice. Some researchers argue that these changes can definitely be blamed on greenhouse-gas emissions. Not so fast, says atmospheric scientist John Walsh, one of the country's leading investigators into climate change. "I think there's a (human-caused) part to what's going on, but at least as large in my view is the natural variability," Walsh says. "For that reason, I would hesitate to predict that the next 30 years will see a warming comparable to the last 30 years."

Walsh is the chief scientist at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He helped write the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment for the international Arctic Council, to be released later this year.

Q. What is the most dramatic evidence of climate change in Alaska?

A. The most dramatic I would have to say is the sea ice distribution. The last three or four summers, we've had ice really unprecedented distances offshore north of Alaska. And the past few winters, we've had very little ice in the Bering Sea, and this winter is following the pattern very well. There's not much ice out there.

I think the one other area I find impressivein Alaska is the glacier wastage that's been studied by the glaciologists. Alaska's loss of glacial ice over the past several decades is actually larger than anywhere else, in terms of contribution of water to sea level. There's even more fresh water being lost from Alaska glaciers than Greenland. And the photographs tell the story. There is some very impressive evidence there.

Q. Are we losing sea ice because of changing air temperatures or because of changes in ocean currents?

A. That's a really good question. It may be the temperatures, it may also be the wind, and it may also be the ocean current bringing more heat in from the Atlantic, and from the Pacific as well. And I don't think there are real good answers. What does seem clear is that in the early 1990s, actually '90 to '92, there were a few years of wind patterns that did push most of the thick ice away from where it had been found for decades. In a sense, the Arctic Ocean did not recover from those few years, even though the winds have (since) returned to a more normal pattern. So my hunch is that winds are at least part of the story. The oceanography also seems to be finding indications of an inflow of warm water below the surface of the sea ice from the Atlantic Ocean. ... So that's another push toward less ice.

Q. Given all this, is there any doubt that climate change is well under way?

A. There are skeptics, and there are skeptics at a couple of levels. Even if we all agree that there's change going on, there will still be debate as to whether it's anthropogenically driven - greenhouse-gas driven - or whether it's attributed to natural variation or some other factor. There's even some who'd argue that we're just seeing ups and downs, cycles so to speak, that are part of natural variability and that we aren't experiencing a trend. Now the proponents of that argument arebecoming fewer and farther between as time goes on. But even when the (public overview of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment) came out back in November, there was some reaction by some of what I'd call conservative science groups saying that (the report) was overplaying the trend itself and that it was overplaying the human attribution.

Q. Do we know what would be happening to the climate if people stopped releasing greenhouse gases?

A. When they run (supercomputer) models without the greenhouse gases, without the global greenhouse gases increasing, there are ups and downs that last for a decade or two - in temperature and several of the other variables. And these ups and downs do tend to be larger in the Arctic than they are in the global average. So these swings - the ups and downs that last a decade or two - are apparently part of the natural climate system.

Q. So people should understand that the role played by greenhouse gases in recent climate change is not settled yet?

A. Right.

Q. And it's still not absolutely clear that we're launched on a permanent warming trend?

A. Right. There are going to be bumps in the road along the way. Actually, the analogy that I heard that I think is very good is the analogy to the stock market in a bull market situation. The market may be going up, but along the way there are ups and downs, there are corrections.



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

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


16 February, 2005


The fact that in 18 years the Montreal Protocol has made absolutely no difference to earth's ozone hole is not mentioned

"This was to be the last year that strawberry farmers in the United States were to be able to use a biocide known as methyl bromide. Instead, the farmers may end up using record quantities of the gas, which significantly contributes to the depletion of Earth's protective shield, the ozone layer. In 1987, leaders from throughout the world, including President Reagan, agreed in Montreal to a treaty pledging to phase out its use. But the pledge has proved harder to live up to than initially hoped. Research has not found a substitute that is as cheap and effective as methyl bromide. That, however, is an inadequate reason for perpetual dependency. Another political solution - a simultaneous, universal phaseout of its use - is the only fair one.

A problem with the initial solution, stemming from the Montreal Protocol, is that it was the equivalent of unilateral disarmament for the California strawberry farmer. Under the original idea, an emerging competitor to the California farmers - Mexico - would not have to stop using methyl bromide at the same time. Farmers south of the border would have at least two more years to keep using the gas, which kills various weeds and insects in the soil to produce a weed-free field of abundant berries. These varying timetables for methyl bromide created the prospect of an unfair playing field. And it left too much doubt whether Mexico would actually ban methyl bromide's use.

Despite lots of research - much of it at the University of California, Davis - a new, painless solution did not emerge. There are some other chemicals that kill insects and weeds and bugs, but they are quite toxic and not as effective. "Basically, we need to breed strawberries that are resistant to soil pests," UC Davis researcher Steve Fennimore told the San Jose Mercury News. But would consumers swallow such a genetically modified strawberry?

Absent a technological breakthrough, strawberry farming without methyl bromide would mean higher costs for farmers, which means higher costs for consumers. The new costs are a function of more labor and less productivity. If every farmer in every country has to live by these rules, however, it ought to be a price consumers should be willing to live with. Earth can't live without its ozone layer".



At a recent global warming conference in Exeter called by UK prime minister Tony Blair, all the usual fears were aired. Yet real debate about climate change seems to be strictly prohibited.

The week before, another conference organised by the Scientific Alliance at London's Royal Institution raised critical questions about the global warming thesis. This time the Royal Society's president Sir Bob May received frontpage coverage for arguing that the event would be biased and dangerous.

'On one hand we have the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], the rest of the world's major scientific organisations, and the government's chief scientific adviser, all pointing to the need to cut emissions', he wrote. 'On the other we have a small band of sceptics, including lobbyists funded by the US oil industry, a sci-fi writer, and the Daily Mail, who deny the scientists are right. It is reminiscent of the tobacco lobby's attempts to persuade us that smoking does not cause lung cancer. There is no danger this lobby will influence the scientists. But they don't need to. It is the influence on the media that is so poisonous.'

But in fact, those labelled 'sceptics' and those regarded as 'mainstream' actually share much in common. Professor Richard Lindzen of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), usually regarded as a sceptic but also a lead author for the IPCC, agrees that there is consensus among scientists. That consensus is as follows:

1. While there are inconsistencies in the temperature data, it is very likely that the world has got a bit warmer over the past 100 years - 0.6 degrees Celsius, on average, give or take 0.2 degrees either way.

2. That carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. The more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the warmer the world will tend to get.

3. That human activity has led to a significant increase in carbon dioxide levels, from 280 parts per million in the centuries before 1750, to 380 parts per million now.

4. Economic trends will tend to further increase carbon dioxide levels - so it is very plausible that the world will get warmer in the coming decades, all other things being equal.

The big questions in this debate are about the causes, extent and significance of climate change. While carbon dioxide is one potential cause, it is far from alone. The climate has always been in a state of flux, over shorter or longer periods, so it is likely that there are many natural factors at work in addition to any effect humans might be having.

As to the extent of climate change, almost everyone agrees that we simply don't know. It is true that carbon dioxide levels will increase, but a law of diminishing effect applies - so, as more carbon dioxide is pumped into the atmosphere, each extra percentage increase has less and less effect.

If carbon dioxide levels did eventually double from their pre-industrial levels, all other things being equal, it is likely that the temperature would rise by about 1.2 degrees Celsius. That represents a noticeable warming - but nothing that would demand urgent global action.....

We don't even have sufficiently good data to be able to gauge the accuracy of these models. Satellites to measure temperature evenly across the Earth's surface have been operational since 1979. Data prior to 1979 relies on surface weather stations and weather balloons, which are not evenly spread around the world. Good records exist for North America and Europe over a period of about 100 years, but there have never been many stations for the 70 per cent of the Earth covered by water, or the 38 per cent of the rest that is desert or mountains.

This means that scientists cannot say for sure what the average temperature of the Earth was in 1900 - and the problem gets worse the further back we go. If the starting point data for a model is wrong, even slightly wrong, it could have a major impact on the outcome. Worse, it is impossible to test the model. If you want to see how good a model is, perhaps the best way to test it is to start it from as long ago as possible, and see if the results match what really happened. This doesn't work if we don't know what really happened more than two or three decades back.......

The one thing we can be pretty sure about is that, one way or another, the climate will change. Even during the course of the twentieth century, we have seen global temperatures rise in the period up to 1940, decline through to the 1970s (creating fears of a new Ice Age), and rise again thereafter. Only the last stage of this process could plausibly be caused by greenhouse gas emissions, which suggests there are substantial natural variations going on regardless of anything humans do.

The problem is that the scientific debate has been politicised, which distorts the presentation and discussion of the evidence. Environmentalists are particularly to blame here, for they have a moral message to convey: that human beings are screwing up the world. This message has now been taken on board across society, and has almost become common sense. In an atmosphere where every new report is either leapt upon to produce further gloomy conclusions about our future, or prematurely dismiss the case for global warming, it's unlikely that the science remains uncorrupted..... It is likely that we will only be able to understand and cope with climate change through a rigorously critical examination of data, models and theories. But the climate created by this politicised debate may make that impossible.

More here


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

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


15 February, 2005

Wind Power: NYT Gives both sides to the story! (Sort of)

It must be on its way out! Wind power will alway be hugely more costly because you have to duplicate wind generators with conventional generators for the times when the wind is not blowing. Some excerpts:

"With every turn of the giant blades of the 136 windmills here on the edge of a mesa, the stiff desert breeze is replacing expensive natural gas or other fuel that would have been burned in a power plant somewhere else. Wind energy makes up a small fraction of electric generation in this country, but the rising price of natural gas has made wind look like a bargain; in some cases, it is cheaper to build a wind turbine and let existing natural gas generators stand idle. Giant, modern wind farms like the New Mexico Wind Energy Center here may become more common if prices continue to rise.

The center, 150 miles east of Albuquerque, opened in the summer of 2003 and is one of the largest in the country. The power is bought by the state's largest utility, Public Service of New Mexico, and provides about 4 percent of that company's electricity over the course of a year. In March, when demand is low and winds are usually strong, the project generates 10 percent of the electricity the company supplies. The state has established a goal of using 10 percent renewable energy by 2011. The governor, Bill Richardson, a former secretary of energy, has said that New Mexico could become "the Saudi Arabia of renewables."

Across the country, the increase in gas prices has made a fundamental difference in the purchasing decisions of utility companies, said Michael A. O'Sullivan, senior vice president of FPL Energy, which owns and operates the New Mexico center. "Gas prices helped get - pardon the pun - the wind at our backs," he said in a telephone interview from the company headquarters in Juno Beach, Fla. At $6 per million B.T.U.'s, the standard unit in which gas prices are quoted, the fuel needed to produce a kilowatt-hour costs more than 5 cents at an inefficient gas plant, and more than 4 cents at the most efficient plants.

Last fall, Congress restored the Production Tax Credit, worth 1.8 cents per kilowatt-hour after taxes, for wind energy projects completed by the end of 2005. Counting that credit, Mr. O'Sullivan said, his company sells wind energy for 3 to 5 cents a kilowatt-hour. The tax credit and steeper natural gas prices are driving the increased interest in wind energy.

But there are problems, even supporters say. "One of the things the wind folks do not talk about is when the wind blows," said George E. Kehler, manger of alternative and renewable energy at Dow Chemical. West Texas, for example, is notoriously windy, but mostly at night and in the winter, when the electric market is glutted with cheap power from coal and nuclear plants. Peak electric load, and peak use of gas in electricity generators, occurs in summer, during the day.

But most of the year the wind is not blowing nearly hard enough to make 206 megawatts. Mr. Brown said his company was not certain how much more heavily it could depend on wind energy without the threat of blackouts. The variability was obvious here on Thursday morning, with wind that looked to be suitable for kite flying, but which the center's employees said was weak. A control room display showed the wind blowing at 5.5 meters a second (about 12 miles an hour) and the "swooshing" from the 110-foot-long blades was slow, turning at about 16 revolutions a minute instead of the optimum 20. The plant was producing only about 25 megawatts, or one-eighth of its capacity.

More here


The Associated Press has recently run two global warming stories by AP Special Correspondent Charles P. Hanley that misrepresent objective facts about climate, apparently for the purpose of leading readers to believe that human activities are causing the planet to warm significantly.

The AP published the same faulty information in another Hanley article nearly a year ago.... The re-publication of information the AP should know to be faulty falls on the heels of another grossly misleading AP story about a global warming report entitled "Meeting the Climate Challenge." Readers of the AP story about the report would likely conclude the report was issued by scientific research organizations - but the sponsors were liberal activist groups.

The New York Times and CBS News once were considered beyond the reach of public criticism. They are no more. Wire services such as the Associated Press may be less obviously vulnerable because its reporters are less visible personalities while its work product tends to be presented in a low-key manner. Nonetheless, the AP is hugely influential while the accuracy of its reporting is questionable at best. If this volatile mix continues, increased scrutiny is inevitable.

The most recent Haney stories (for examples, see "Glaciers Shrinking in a Warming World," Washington Post, January 29, 2005, and "Antarctica's Ice Seems to be Safe, at Least for Now," USA Today, February 7, 2005) contain the following:

"Temperatures globally rose about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century, most of that attributed by scientific consensus to the accumulation in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other warming "greenhouse gases," mostly from fossil fuel-burning."


"The warming will continue as long as "greenhouse gases," primarily carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, accumulate in the atmosphere, say the U.N. panel and other authoritative scientific organizations."

These sentences are fairly transparent attempts to convince the reader that the global warming hypothesis is true. They go beyond editorializing to provable inaccuracy, however:

Half or more of 20th century global warming occurred in the first few decades of that century, before the widespread burning of fossil fuels (and before 82 percent of the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide observed in the 20th century).

The primary greenhouse gas is water vapor, not carbon dioxide.

Most of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does not come from the burning of fossil fuels. Only about 14 percent of it does.

On the second matter, the AP article on the report "Meeting the Climate Challenge," the AP began its story:

"Global warming is approaching the critical point of no return, after which widespread drought, crop failure and rising sea-levels would be irreversible, an international climate change task force warned Monday.

The report, "Meeting the Climate Challenge," called on the G-8 leading industrial nations to cut carbon emissions, double their research spending on green technology and work with India and China to build on the Kyoto Protocol.

"An ecological time-bomb is ticking away," said Stephen Byers, who co-chaired the task force with U.S. Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, and is a close confidant of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. "World leaders need to recognize that climate change is the single most important long term issue that the planet faces."

The independent report, by the Institute for Public Policy Research in Britain, the Center for American Progress in the United States and The Australia Institute, is timed to coincide with Blair's commitment to advance international climate change policy during Britain's G-8 presidency...

...According to the report, urgent action is needed to stop the global average temperature rising by 2 degrees Celsius above the level in 1750 -- the approximate start of the Industrial Revolution when mankind first started significantly polluting the atmosphere with carbon dioxide.

Beyond a 2 degrees rise, "the risks to human societies and ecosystems grow significantly" the report said, adding there would be a risk of "abrupt, accelerated, or runaway climate change."

It warned of "climatic tipping points" such as the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets melting and the Gulf Stream shutting down.

No accurate temperature readings were available for 1750, the report said, but since 1860, global average temperature had risen by 0.8 percent to 15 degrees Celsius.

The two degrees rise could be avoided by keeping the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere below 400 parts per million (ppm). Current concentrations of 379 ppm "are likely to rise above 400 ppm in coming decades and could rise far higher under a business-as-usual scenario," the report warned...."

Readers could be forgiven for believing the three organizations sponsoring the report are independent, objective scientific research organizations. Certainly nothing in the AP's text tells anyone not already familiar with the groups that they are anything but objective:

The Center for American Progress, in its "What We're About" section on its website, gives one of its four reasons to exist as "responding effectively and rapidly to conservative proposals and rhetoric with a thoughtful critique and clear alternatives." The other three cited reasons are various methods of promoting liberal political ideology.

A publication by The Australia Institute openly revealed that the report's purpose was to influence governmental action, not to provide new scientific information about the climate. Other Australia Institute publications, including press materials about the report, also make this clear. Readers of the AP story, however, are never told this.

Britain's Institute for Public Policy Research says starkly at the top left of its Internet home page "IPPR is the UK's leading progressive think tank." It also says of itself, "IPPR was formed... to act as a dynamic, independent catalyst for progressive thinking on the centre-left... [IPPR's] emergence was crucial in providing an alternative space to rival the thinking of free-market think-tanks."

The three left-of-center organizations were more open about their agenda than the AP was on their behalf.



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

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


14 February, 2005


About time. But a pity such sweeping measures were necessary. The Greenie "stop everything" policy undermines reasonable compromise

The Real ID Act, approved by a 261-to-161 vote, includes a number of anti-terrorism provisions approved last year by the House in response to the 9-11 commission's recommendations but dropped due to Senate opposition. "This unfinished business from last year aims to prevent another 9-11-type attack by disrupting terrorist travel," said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., the bill's chief sponsor.

Section 102 of the REAL ID Act of 2005 seeks to expedite the building of a three-mile fence at the border near San Diego to staunch the flood of illegal aliens that travel through an area known as "smuggler's gulch." Environmental laws have been the project's chief roadblock, but the bill's language appears to provide an unlimited scope, reading, "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section."

Significantly, it also says courts are prohibited from reviewing the secretary's decision.

A spokesman for Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif. -- a supporter of the bill whose district includes the border area -- said he could not comment on the scope of the measure's language. But he emphasized the need to construct the barrier as soon as possible to shut down a potential entry point by terrorists. "There is an urgent priority to finish it," said Joe Kasper. "For several years, we've been going back and forth with the California Coastal Commission to finish up this border fence, with little success." ....

A group called Defenders of Wildlife said it believes that although Sensenbrenner repeatedly has described H.R. 418 as limited only to the San Diego project, it likely would enable the secretary to waive all laws applying to the nearly 7,500 miles of border with Mexico and Canada. Rodger Schlickeisen, president of the group, called the section "extreme and unnecessary."

More here


It costs more than dumping the stuff and uses up more resources so why do it? Some sort of puritan hangover from a poorer era I guess. Brisbane city where I live has had compulsory recycling for years -- complete with separate bins for "recyclables" and special trucks to collect it -- but nobody wanted the "recycled" stuff so it just get dumped too -- as a cost-saving measure

Recycling has been required for more than a decade in communities with progressive reputations, such as Madison, Wis., and several Northeastern states - with varying degrees of success.

Seattle has had ample reason to brag since 1989, when it became one of the first cities in the country to start curbside pickup of newspaper, cardboard, aluminum cans, glass bottles and office paper. But in recent years, its recycling rate has dipped below 40 percent, down from a peak of 44 percent in 1995.

Most cities would probably envy that rate, well above the national average of about 27 percent, according to the State of Garbage in America, a report published last year by the recycling journal Biocycle. But it's far from Seattle's goal of 60 percent by the end of the decade.

So the City Council passed a mandatory recycling law that took effect Jan. 1, but penalties won't be enforced until next year. Starting in 2006, people in single-family homes won't get their trash picked up if they dump "significant amounts" of recyclables in their trash, defined by the city as more than 10 percent by volume. Owners of apartments, condominiums and businesses will face $50 fines. So far, city officials say few people have complained. Most calls have come from people wondering how to comply with the new standards. "When you tell them what the story is, they say, 'Oh, OK,'" said Tim Croll, community services director for Seattle Public Utilities, which runs the city's garbage and recycling systems. The city has budgeted $1.5 million for a three-year education campaign that began last year and includes mailers, how-to kits, a recycling hot line and friendly warning tags that open with "Why waste a good thing?"



Louis Hisskink emails me as follows:

Recently Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick had a peer reviewed paper ( published in Geophysical Research Letters on February 12, 2005. They add further rigorous analysis of the Mann et al temperature reconstruction that resulted in the famous IPCC Hockey Stick Graph which showed unprecedented global warming during the 20th century. This graph has now been proven to be the result of sloppy statistical analysis and is essentially the result of pathological science.

Studying the graphs on McIntyre's blog, as well as other sites, I noticed that all of the graphs invariably are published as temperature anomaly graphs (the difference between a long period average temperature and the mean for a particular year) and that the variation was in the order of a decimal point of the temperature unit, Kelvin, or more widely known as Degrees Celsius.

This representation of data is used to enhance extremely subtle signals hidden in stronger signals. In order to further emphasise this anomalism, the vertical scale is exaggerated. What does this mean practically?

Basically nothing. The variation from the long term mean, being within +/- 0.5 Deg Celsius, is to all intents and purposes within the reading error of a standard thermometer. Furthermore a temperature variation of this magnitude is physically imperceptible. Can you detect a variation of +/- 0.5 deg Celsius in your bath water using the tip of your elbow?

This raises the issue of what accuracy can we read thermometers. As meteorological stations need to record the range of possible temperatures, specifically from -60deg Celsius to + 60 Deg Celsius, we need to construct a glass thermometer at a suitable size. As we cannot physically discern a temperature change of less than 1 degree Celsius, there is no need to calibrate a mercury thermometer in decimal fractions of a degree, hence the measurement limit of such a thermometer would be X +/- 0.5 degrees Celsius, the calibration resolution, or Measurement +/- 0.5 deg Celsius. This measurement resolution is adequate for climate purposes, since diurnal variations generally fall within a range of 45 Degrees Celsius.

The daily fluctuation of the temperature in Perth, for example, varies from a minima of say 10 degrees to almost 40 degrees Celsius in summer - a 30 degree range. Superimposed on this diurnal variation is a subtle signal at the limit of detection of your measuring thermometer - variations less than 0.5 degrees Celsius. In fact variations you cannot actually measure with a standard thermometer.

Strangely, or not so strangely for climate skeptics, the debate about temperatures for the last 10,000 years is a debate over temperature anomalies within the error margin of standard mercury thermometers. This is in addition to the erroneous way in which the surface temperature measurements are collated, in 5x5 degree blocks of latitude/longitude. Vincent Gray, has done an independent analysis of the recorded surface temperatures here (

In other words much ado over nothing. This climate debate is no different from the theological debate over how many angels could be fitted onto a pinhead.

As Colonel Harry Potter of the MASH TV series would have concluded, the global warmers, or climate changers as they now have decided to call themselves, (talk about delusions of grandeur) are spruiking horsehocks.


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

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


13 February, 2005


Theory trumps the facts every time. It's private space that creates safety, not big public spaces

Burras Road was a pleasant cul-de-sac of 21 new homes in Bradford, England. Its residents were blissfully unaware that, just east of the site, approval for a proposed new shopping center required the breaching of their cul-de-sac by a bicycle-pedestrian path. Planners favored this requirement because, they say, cul-de-sacs do not encourage movement and therefore are "auto-dependent" and "anti-urban." Opening up the site would connect residents to local services, and the path would promote walking and cycling.

The path connecting the shopping center to the cul-de-sac opened in 2000. Although there is no evidence that the path has led residents to drive less, it did have a profound effect on their lives. During the next six months, a neighborhood that had been virtually crime-free saw its burglary rate rise to 14 times the national rate, with matching increases in overall crime, including arson, assault, and antisocial behavior.

Because a secondary school was located west of the cul-de-sac, the pedestrian path opened the neighborhood to a constant stream of students and others going between the school and the shopping center. Crime and vandalism became commonplace. "The path turned our piece of paradise into a living hell," one resident complained.

At a late stage, the local police crime prevention officer had tried to prevent the route from opening, predicting it would be a disaster, only to be told that the path was "sacrosanct." Residents' quality of life apparently was less important than the dubious goal of reducing auto dependency.

Architects and urban planners who call themselves New Urbanists say their proposals, including developments that mix residential and commercial uses, have homes with tiny private yards and large common areas, and feature pedestrian paths, will solve all sorts of social problems, including crime. Yet the housing and neighborhood designs they want to substitute for the modern suburb almost invariably increase crime......

With SafeScape, Zelinka and Brennan added one more urban malady to the mix. Their book asserts, without substantial evidence, that mixed uses, pedestrian paths, and interconnected streets (as opposed to cul-de-sacs) reduce crime. The book's publisher, the American Planning Association, has 30,000 members who work for city and county governments throughout the country, many of whom are New Urbanists eager for support for their preconceived notions. Police, lacking their own experts, often assume that planners know what they are doing: At least one police chief, Mark Kroeker of Portland, has taken it seriously.

A teacher of urban design at St. Louis' Washington University, Newman watched the decline of Pruitt-Igoe, an award-winning high-rise housing project that had closely followed Le Corbusier's vision of a Radiant City. Completed in 1956, the project suffered so much crime that it quickly became unlivable. Despite offering essentially free housing for many poor people, its high vacancy rates led to closure, and its 1972 demolition has come to symbolize the failure of government housing projects.

Newman noticed that there was a low-rise housing project across the street from Pruitt-Igoe whose residents were in the same socioeconomic class but that "remained fully occupied and trouble-free throughout construction, occupancy, and decline of Pruitt-Igoe." What, Newman wondered, were "the physical differences that had enabled one to survive while the other fell apart"?

With funding from the National Science Foundation, Newman carefully compared crime rates with the design features of thousands of blocks in hundreds of urban neighborhoods that collectively housed nearly half a million people.

The result was his 1972 book Defensible Space, which showed that the safest neighborhoods maximized private space and minimized common zones. Safe areas also minimized "permeability," that is, the ease of entry to and exit from the neighborhood or housing area. Cul-de-sacs are thus a crime-prevention device, and any breaching of cul-de-sacs will predictably increase crime. Newman didn't include suburbs in his study because they had much lower crime rates than the urban neighborhoods he did examine. This, he believed, was because the suburbs were less permeable and more defensible.

Relying more on mid-rise developments than high rises, New Urbanism claims to have fixed the problems of Le Corbusier's Radiant City. Yet New Urbanism shares many features with Pruitt-Igoe, including the large communal areas and permeability that Newman found caused so many problems.

The authors of SafeScape were familiar with Newman's work, but they chose to misrepresent it. "Newman took the `eyes on the street' concept," Zelinka and Brennan wrote, and "argued that the reason `eyes on the street' provide safety in urban, mixed commercial and residential areas is because there is a visible link between residents and the street." In fact, Newman specifically criticized what he called "the unsupported hypotheses of Jane Jacobs." Newman's work showed that mixed-use development led to significantly higher crime, while he couldn't find any evidence that "eyes on the street" would reduce that crime. "`Natural surveillance' is not automatically created by high-density environments," he wrote, "unless the grounds around each dwelling are assigned to specific families."

One New Urbanist concept built into SafeScape is the idea of maximizing common areas to create "a sense of community." While one of SafeScape's principles is "stewardship and ownership," the authors don't want private areas so much as they want to give people a "sense of ownership" in community property. To that end, say the authors, "Communities should include places that support the coming together of people," such as shops, pedestrian paths, parks, and community gardens. While these things are fine if people want them, when planners impose them on neighborhoods, the results are often disastrous.

Newman took exactly the opposite approach. "The larger the number of people who share a communal space," he found, "the more difficult it is for people to identify it as being in any way theirs or to feel they have a right to control or determine the activity taking place within it." To solve this problem, "`Defensible Space' operates by subdividing large portions of public spaces and assigning them to individuals and small groups to use and control as their own private areas."

Mixed uses vs. separate uses: "Mixed land-use patterns contribute to a safer, more vital public realm," say Zelinka and Brennan. In contrast, Newman found, mixed uses "generate high crime and vandalism rates," and housing units next to commercial areas "suffer proportionally higher crime rates." More recent research in Baltimore and Philadelphia by Temple University criminologist Ralph Taylor and several colleagues confirms that mixed uses increase both crime and the cost of policing.

More here


Scientists who oppose the prevailing views on climate change have been shut out of debate on the Kyoto protocol, the Commons environment committee was told Thursday.

The result is that Canada may be wasting billions of dollars trying to curb emissions of carbon dioxide which is not a pollutant, said Charles Simpson, president of a Calgary-based group called Friends of Science. "The Canadian government has refused to listen to our government's leading experts in the field," said Simpson, a retired oil industry employee.

He was accompanied Carleton University geologist Tim Patterson, one of a handful of scientists across Canada who have become known as outspoken critics of the Kyoto protocol. "It is the first time to my knowledge that an independent climate scientist has addressed a committee such as this," Simpson said before introducing Patterson, whose specialty is paleoclimatology - the study of past climate.

Patterson said rising temperatures in the past century are due to natural changes in the energy of the sun, not to pollution. He mocked the view that carbon dioxide is a pollutant. "It's plant food, it's a natural part of the atmosphere." Much of the science accepted when the Kyoto treaty was negotiated in 1997 has since been disproved, he added. "If during the mid-1990s we knew what we knew today there would be no Kyoto protocol because it would have been considered unnecessary."

Environment Canada scientist Henry Hengeveld said Patterson is commenting on matters outside his field. "If he were to argue with other paleoclimatologists I would say fine, and he may be a leading scientist in that field, but he's talking about the whole gamut - climate modelling and everything else. "That's like a dermatologist commenting on the diagnosis of a neurologist. I think this is an example of someone outside his field of expertise, not having read all the literature out there . . . and really being out of his depth."

Hengeveld said climate science is a complex area with thousands of papers being produced, and it is easy to "cherry-pick" the papers that support a particular view.

Patterson's comments were welcomed by Conservative environment critic Bob Mills, who has long maintained that the Kyoto protocol is a farce. "I'm always amazed when most environmental groups seem to think that most Canadians would like to live in a cave instead of the modern economy that we have," Mills said.

Stephen Guilbeault of Greenpeace said the Kyoto protocol was based on an assessment of the latest research by approximately 1,000 leading experts from around the world, and that assessment is continually updated. Guilbeault said he did not want to live in a cave, but rather to achieve greater efficiency in the use of resources.



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

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


12 February, 2005

ABOUT FLAMING TIME! Endangered Species Act reform

Four leading GOP House members and senators announced a joint effort Thursday to rewrite the Endangered Species Act to toughen up habitat and scientific provisions. Environmentalists immediately criticized the plan as the latest attempt to gut the landmark law. The lawmakers said it was the first time members of the House and Senate had banded together at the beginning of a congressional session to amend the 1973 act. Previous attempts to change the law have failed, but they said this time they hoped to produce a single Endangered Species Act reauthorization bill that could be introduced in both chambers. "We've been working on this issue for a long time," said House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, R-Calif. "And to have the opportunity now to sit down and work across the capital and try to come up with legislation that does move the ball forward and begins to modernize and update the Endangered Species Act is extremely important."

Joining Pombo were Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.; Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; and Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I. Chafee, among the Senate's most moderate Republicans, is a newcomer to the issue who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's subcommittee on fisheries, wildlife and water. The lawmakers said they had no specific legislative language yet, but listed goals including increased involvement by states, more incentives for private landowners, and strengthening scientific reviews before species are listed or critical habitat is designated. They contended the law now creates unreasonable regulatory hurdles for property owners while failing to help many species. "Overall we believe that the Endangered Species Act can be less contentious and more effective," Crapo said.

But environmentalists said the act works as written. "For 30 years the Endangered Species Act has been serving as a safety net for species on the brink of extinction, and there can be absolutely no doubt the act is working, and it's one of the most popular laws in the land," said Susan Holmes, senior legislative representative at Earthjustice. "I think if you look at the efforts that we have seen so far from U.S. Rep. Pombo, from Greg Walden, these efforts have been all-out attacks on the Endangered Species Act," Holmes said.

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"An American television actress is blasting the U.S. news media for failing to report that "endangered forests are being slaughtered for toilet paper." "I think there is a dummy-down bias (in the media) frankly," said Daphne Zuniga, who starred in the television series "Melrose Place." "The press is reporting things that are absolutely irrelevant to any of our lives and they are sensationalistic and it is damaging," Zuniga told Cybercast News Service. She made the comments Wednesday night at the Washington Press Club Foundation's 61st annual congressional dinner, which she attended as a guest of Congressional Quarterly. "We start to think that these things are important, like [the rape trial of NBA star] Kobe Bryant and [the molestation trial of] Michael Jackson and yada, yada, and meanwhile, you know, endangered forests are being slaughtered for toilet paper, you know, sequoias -- whatever it is," Zuniga told Cybercast News Service.

Zuniga is a member of the Creative Coalition, a social and political advocacy organization with roots in the entertainment industry. Other Coalition members at the press dinner included actor Ron Silver of the "The West Wing," actress Fran Drescher from the television series "The Nanny," and Joey Pantoliano of HBO's "The Sopranos." "I met a congressperson today and I am getting interested in coming to the hill to express my issues, which are environmental mostly, but also [First] Amendment," Zuniga said. She said mercury emissions were her key environmental concern.

According to Zuniga, "One out of six women are toxic with mercury. Mercury comes out of coal plants and chlorine plants. I am toxic, I deal with symptoms, children are born with, you know, autism -- there is an epidemic in this country. This is like, the air that we breath," Zuniga said. "Maybe it's not interesting, but it is definitely newsworthy...unless we have to wait for everyone to be drastically sick so we can sensationalize it," she added.

When asked about a series of new scientific studies showing that U.S. coal-fired power plants emit less than one percent of the world's mercury output, Zuniga responded, "That is false, it is not one percent. "We (the U.S.) have a large percentage of the pollution...We have to be more responsible, we have more resources, and we use more and more," she added. But as Cybercast News Service reported last week, several new studies show that if all U.S. coal-fired power plants were shut down -- resulting in zero mercury emissions -- worldwide levels of mercury would be only slightly affected.

The studies by the Center for Science and Public Policy (CSPP) also revealed that mercury emissions from Yellowstone National Park and other natural sources are significantly higher than the amount coming from the 1,100 coal-fired power plants in the U.S. In addition, mercury levels in the atmosphere may have been higher before the advent of coal fired power plants. "This hypothesis appears supported by the presence of higher levels of mercury in 550-year-old Alaskan mummies than levels in a recent sample of pregnant native Alaskan women," said Robert Ferguson, in an interview with Cybercast News Service . Ferguson is the executive director of the CSPP, a public policy research group based in Washington, D.C.

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Jolly hockey sticks....

Post lifted from Envirospin, noting that several recently published scientific papers have shown that the earth has a history of NATURAL rises and falls in temperature

Published this week:

Moberg, Anders, Wibjorn Karlen et al., 2005. 'Highly variable Northern Hemisphere temperatures reconstructed from low- and high-resolution proxy data.' Nature 433, No. 7026, pp. 613-617, February 10, 2005:

"A number of reconstructions of millennial-scale climate variability have been carried out in order to understand patterns of natural climate variability, on decade to century timescales, and the role of anthropogenic forcing. These reconstructions have mainly used tree-ring data and other data sets of annual to decadal resolution. Lake and ocean sediments have a lower time resolution, but provide climate information at multicentennial timescales that may not be captured by tree-ring data. Here we reconstruct Northern Hemisphere temperatures for the past 2,000 years by combining low-resolution proxies with tree-ring data, using a wavelet transform technique to achieve timescale-dependent processing of the data. Our reconstruction shows larger multicentennial variability than most previous multi-proxy reconstructions, but agrees well with temperatures reconstructed from borehole measurements and with temperatures obtained with a general circulation model. According to our reconstruction, high temperatures-similar to those observed in the twentieth century before 1990-occurred around AD 1000 to 1100, and minimum temperatures that are about 0.7 K below the average of 1961-90 occurred around AD 1600. This large natural variability in the past suggests an important role of natural multicentennial variability that is likely to continue." [my italic]

Precisely. And this excellent work comes after these:

McIntyre, Stephen and Ross McKitrick, 2005. 'Hockey sticks, principal components and spurious significnace.' Geophysical Research Letters (in press);

Loehle, Craig, 2004a. 'Climate change: detection and attribution of trends from long-term geologic data.' Ecological Modelling 171, No. 4, pp. 433-450, February 1, 2004;

Loehle, Craig, 2004b. 'Using Historical climate data to evaluate climate trends: issues of statistical inference.' Energy & Environment 15, No. 1, pp. 1-10, 2004;

McIntyre, Stephen and Ross McKitrick, 2003. 'Corrections to the Mann et. al. (1998) 'Proxy Data Base and Northern Hemispheric Average Temperature Series.'' Energy & Environment 14, No. 6, pp. 751-771, October 28, 2003;

Soon, Willie and Baliunas, Sallie, 2003a. 'Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years.' Climate Research 23, pp.89-110, January 31, 2003;

Soon, Willie, Sallie Baliunas, Craig Idso, Sherwood Idso and David R. Legates, 2003b. 'Reconstructing climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 Years: a reappraisal.' Energy & Environment 14, Nos 2 & 3, pp. 233-289, April 11, 2003.


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

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


11 February, 2005


It costs more and uses more resources than dumping them of course. The benefits? Who knows?

While it’s quite an exaggeration to say that every bad idea comes out of California, one unbelievably foolish idea, diaper recycling, has recently been enacted into law in one California city. The Santa Clarita, California municipal government has instituted a mandatory diaper recycling program in which garbage collectors gather bags of discarded diapers and transport them to a recycling plant modeled after a facility in Arnhem, the Netherlands, which has been in operation since 1999.

Knowaste, the industry leader in diaper recycling, successfully lobbied Santa Clarita politicians to have a pilot program and then the current citywide program instituted. In both cases, Knowaste’s lobbying campaign gained it an exclusive contract in which all of the diapers collected in Santa Clarita are processed in Knowaste’s facility. Knowaste had previously expended $282,000 in a failed effort to have mandatory diaper recycling implemented throughout California. When taxes are excluded, lobbying and campaign contributions account for the majority of Knowaste’s expenses.

In a pilot program that began in November, the Santa Clarita government passed an ordinance which compelled residents in preselected areas of the city to place discarded diapers in plastic bags and place them outside for recycling; during the 6 month pilot program, residents in other areas of Santa Clarita did not recycle diapers. In May, when the pilot program was complete, the municipal government implemented the diaper recycling ordinance that is binding on all 143,000 of the city’s residents. During the pilot phase, Knowaste spent $20,000 on propaganda designed to raise popular support for diaper recycling in Santa Clarita.

A municipal press release issued during the pilot phase states that the pilot program was free to the approximately 500 families living in the designated area, but then goes on to explain that it was financed with $500,000 of government money, half of which came from the municipality and half of which is a state grant Gov. Gray Davis included in the 2000-2001 budget. The $250,000 state expenditure came early in the California government’s budget crisis. Because government money ultimately comes from taxpayers, the pilot program participants, along with their fellow Santa Clarita and California taxpayers, really do pay for the program, despite the fact that Santa Clarita’s elected officials are too beholden to Knowaste to allow municipal agencies to openly make this connection. Blue Barrel Recycling also contributed money to the pilot program, but government money played a key role.

The Santa Clarita program cost $1800 per ton of diapers collected and processed, far in excess of Knowaste’s estimate of $60 per ton. $1800 per ton is approximately $.30 per diaper. It costs approximately $28 to discard one ton of trash in a landfill.

The inefficiency of the Santa Clarita program may be extreme, but it is hardly unique. Recycling of office paper and copper goods are less expensive than use of their nonrecycled alternatives, but recycling of other goods is more expensive. Were it not for laws establishing minimum percentages of recycled paper in newspapers, demand for recycled paper would be considerably lower. Aluminum soda can recycling was less expensive than first-use aluminum in the past, but in recent years the costs of factors of production have changed, and this is no longer the case. If the cost of recycling a waste product is more expensive than simply throwing away the waste product and using original raw materials in manufacturing instead of the recycled material, it is an indication that recycling the waste product in question is a waste of resources.

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Climate of panic

By Australian journalist, Andrew Bolt, commenting on the unusually cool summer Australia is having

Hotter, colder, wetter, drier. It's all the same to green scaremongers who use any change in the weather to push their dubious agenda. Man-made global warming is a theory believed so religiously that even snow in February can't kill it. Melbourne last week had its coldest February day on record, and its wettest day, which should surprise those still naive enough to believe our green gurus. After all, it was only last August that Environment Victoria warned global warming would make us not cold and damp, but fried and dried. "Victoria – like the rest of the world – should adapt to global warming," it said, and see "in what ways we can prepare for the inevitability of a hotter, drier state". Ditto the Australian Conservation Foundation, which in January 2003 blamed our drought on "human-induced global warming", and warned: "Victoria will be hotter... Victoria will be drier." No word then about freezing in February or boating over the Kooyong Tennis Club.

But stopping only to pull a parka over their boardshorts, the same green scaremongers rushed out press releases last week claiming global warming was actually making us colder. Honest. Environment Victoria insisted that our "record-breaking freeze and flood is a sign of things to come", and demanded "urgent action if we are to avert climate change". The Australian Conservation Foundation likewise claimed this wild weather was "a taste of tomorrow's world" and demanded we fight "climate change". Wow. Nimble footwork for guys in koala costumes.

Note, in particular, how both groups talked this time not of "global warming", but of "climate change" – which makes their pet theory much easier to sell to shivering sceptics here, or in the deep snows of northern United States, buried last month by massive blizzards. What a great marketing move. With it, global warming morphs into a gimme-cash theory about climate change that can never be proved wrong, come heat or hail, rain or dust. How useful this name-switch has been, particularly given the growing debate over just how much the world is in fact warming, and whether man is really to blame for what seems to be largely natural phenomena.

So Greenpeace no longer uses "global warming" in the headlines of press releases on, er, global warming. For three years its headings have used "climate change" instead, as in: "US just being climate change `moron'." The ACF, so frantic to exploit any freak of nature for propaganda that it even issued a statement headed "Tsunami an environmental warning", has likewise referred only to "climate change" in its press release headlines over the past year. The pro-green Age got the wink. Last year, for the first time, it ran more items on "climate change" than on "global warming". Just in time, given last week's floods washed up yet more signs that predictions of super-heated doom may be overheated themselves.

In 2002, for instance, the federal Health Department published Human Health and Climate Change in Oceania, a typically alarmist "risk assessment" of this deadly global warming. Compiled by researchers from the CSIRO, Australian National University and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, it predicted a very different climate for Melbourne than these floods and freezes we're told are a "taste of tomorrow's world". The report claimed instead that Melbourne would become such a furnace in summer that by 2050 more than 1300 of our elderly would each year drop dead of the pitiless heat. And bye-bye to rain by 2020, according to the weather models the researchers used to compute our heat-stricken fate. "Of the two models used for this study, CSIROMk2 simulates wetter conditions in central Australia and the Top End, but drier conditions elsewhere," their report revealed. Their other model predicted "wetter conditions north of a diagonal line from Broome to Hobart, and much drier conditions in the west". Bad luck for our draining dams, it seemed.

But, as you see, greenhouse theory means always having a bet each way, and so this report also warned there could be more floods in our parched state – but with one exception: "The risk of flood events in parts of south-western Victoria, where drying has also been predicted, may be reduced by -35 per cent." Warrnambool's citizens should demand a recount, after unusually heavy rains in the south-west two weeks ago sent a flash flood through their city.

Of course, one bit of wild weather in our ever-changing climate doesn't disprove the holy theory of global warming. But nor should green groups claim the odd cold snap proves it, either – especially not if it's the polar opposite to what they and their booga-booga theory so stridently predicted just the other day.



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

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


10 February, 2005


And loads people with big prices for motor fuel too!

After more than four years of stalling tactics by the Environmental Protection Agency, a federal appellate court just might finally consider the matter of whether the agency used junk science to force both gas prices and smog levels higher. I say "just might" because it looks like the court is about to sweep the matter under the rug in favor of the EPA. On Feb. 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is scheduled to hear arguments in National Alternative Fuels Association (NAFA) vs. EPA. The lawsuit centers around EPA regulations issued in 2000 mandating lower levels of ground-level ozone in urban areas by reducing the amount of sulfur in gasoline, called the "Tier 2 standards."

By way of background, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 directed the EPA to issue regulations reducing emissions from motor vehicles, including those contributing to ozone such as volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOCs) and nitrogen oxide (NOx). These standards resulted in reformulated gasoline, which has been in the market place for some time.

The law also directed the EPA to study whether further emission reductions would be required following implementation of the reformulated gasoline rules. This study was then used by the EPA to justify issuing the "Tier 2" standards -- here's where the controversy begins. The EPA claimed that, unless low-sulfur gasoline was mandated nationwide, the emissions reduction accomplished under the Tier 2 rules might be nullified -- citing auto makers' dubious concerns that conventional gasoline might harm the new emissions control equipment required by the rules.

This claim was tested and validated in its study, according to the EPA. According to NAFA's lawsuit, however, a report prepared for NAFA by an independent emissions testing laboratory indicates the EPA rigged the test to achieve a pre-ordained result. "It was concluded that [the] methodology used by EPA was faulty and that the data used did not support the conclusion that emissions from Tier 2 vehicles [caused harm to emissions equipment]. Emissions data from only four vehicles were used... an SUV, a pickup and two minivans.. The SUV [vehicle] emissions were weighted to represent 2/3 of the final estimate.," concluded the laboratory. Adding insult to injury, the EPA's tests were then introduced into the public rulemaking record after it was too late for the public to comment on them, according to the NAFA lawsuit.

Four years later, the public may now be paying a real price both in terms of higher gas costs and increased pollution as a result of the EPA's actions. When asked about rising gas prices in an August 2004 interview on National Public Radio, economist Philip Verleger of the Institute for International Economics attributed the $0.50 increase occurring between March-July on the EPA's low sulfur regulations and limitations on gasoline refinery capacity.

NAFA estimates the costs of the low sulfur rules are in the $0.20-0.25 range. But the ultimate irony -- as pointed out by the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Dr. Kay Jones in 1999 using the EPA's own data -- is that the agency's Tier 2 rules may actually worsen air pollution. Although the EPA characterizes NOx as a precursor to ozone, NOx reductions can actually increase or decrease ozone concentrations depending on the locations and emission rates of NOx and other air pollutants, says Dr. Jones, citing work done by the National Academy of Sciences. "Smog in many urban areas increases when NOx concentrations are further reduced, while declines generally occur in less heavily populated downwind areas," says Dr. Jones. His prediction has come true according to some leading atmospheric scientists -- NOx reductions may, in fact, be increasing urban ozone levels around the country.

More here


Good to see some self-doubts among the Greenies but environmentalism is rooted in hatred of other people so it is not going to go away any time soon. All the wars mankind has had should tell us plenty about human hatreds for one-another

The leaders of the environmental movement were livid last fall when Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, two little-known, earnest environmentalists in their 30's, presented a 12,000-word thesis arguing that environmentalism was dead. It did not help that the pair first distributed their paper, "The Death of Environmentalism," at the annual meeting of deep-pocketed foundation executives who underwrite the environmental establishment. But few outside the movement's inner councils paid much attention at first.

Then came the November election, into which groups like the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters poured at least $15 million, much of it to defeat President Bush, whose support for oil drilling and logging, and opposition to regulating greenhouse gases have made him anathema to environmental groups. Instead, Mr. Bush and Congressional champions of his agenda cemented their control in Washington at a time when battles loom over clean air and oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Now a debate about the future of environmentalism is ricocheting around the Internet about the authors' notion of, in Mr. Shellenberger's words, "abolishing the category" of environmentalism and embracing a wider spectrum of liberal issues to "release the power of progressivism." Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, began things in the fall with a bristling 6,000-word denunciation of Mr. Shellenberger's and Mr. Nordhaus's paper. An online magazine,, has started a forum to debate their ideas and their assertions that environmentalism has become "just another special interest."

One writer called the paper "ridiculous and self-serving." Another wrote simply, "I'm not dead." Others have embraced the paper. "The article articulates exactly my feelings about the environmental movement," one enthusiast wrote.

Mr. Nordhaus, 38, is a pollster, and Mr. Shellenberger, 33, is a strategist and the executive director of the Breakthrough Institute, a new organization that advocates putting progressive values to work to solve problems. They are receiving an increasing number of speaking invitations like the one that brought them here to Middlebury College in central Vermont recently, where they spoke at a conference on rethinking the politics of climate.

The election results may not have been the only reason they have struck a nerve. Other nagging concerns abound, like worries about the effect of repeated defeats on morale and concerns about image; a recent survey conducted for the Nature Conservancy suggested that the group use the term "conservationist" rather than "environmentalist." .... "To a large extent, most of us in the environmental movement think most people agree with us," said Bill McKibben, a scholar in residence at Middlebury College and the author of "The End of Nature," a 1989 book on global warming. But Mr. McKibben, who called Mr. Shellenberger and Mr. Nordhaus "the bad boys of American environmentalism," said their data showed that the kind of political support the movement had in the late 1970's had come and gone. "The political ecosystem is as real as the physical ecosystem so we might as well deal with it," he said.

Their paper asserts that the movement's senior leadership was blinded by its early successes and has become short-sighted and "just another special interest." Its gloomy warnings and geeky, technocentric policy prescriptions are profoundly out of step with the electorate, Mr. Shellenberger and Mr. Nordhaus say. "We have become convinced that modern environmentalism, with all of its unexamined assumptions, outdated concepts and exhausted strategies, must die so that something new can live," they wrote. As proof, they cite the debate on global warming and the largely unsuccessful push for federal regulation of industrial and automobile emissions.

They avoided making tactical prescriptions, but they did chide the movement for its limited efforts to find common ground with other groups, like labor and urged their compatriots to tap into the country's optimism. Mr. Nordhaus, who works at Evans/McDonough, an opinion research company, told the student-dominated conference at Middlebury College that environmentalists "have spent the last 25 or 30 years telling people what they cannot aspire to." Given the can-do spirit of the country, "that isn't going to get you very far," he said.

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

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


9 February, 2005


The dose makes the poison

The main rule in toxicology is that 'the dose makes the poison'. At some level, every chemical becomes toxic, but there are safe levels below that.

In contrast to that rule, a scientific consensus evolved in the 1970s that we should treat carcinogens differently, that we should assume that even low doses might cause cancer, even though we lacked the methods for measuring carcinogenic effects at low levels. In large part, this assumption was based on the idea that mutagens - chemicals that cause changes in DNA - are carcinogens and that the risk of mutations was directly related to the number of mutagens introduced into a cell. It was also assumed that: 1. only a small proportion of chemicals would have carcinogenic potential; 2. testing at a high dose would not produce a carcinogenic effect unique to the high dose; and 3. carcinogens were likely to be synthetic industrial chemicals. It is time to take account of information indicating that all three assumptions are wrong.

Laws and regulations directed at synthetic chemicals got a big push from the widely publicised 'cancer epidemic', which supposedly stemmed from exposures to those chemicals. In fact, there is not now and there never was a cancer epidemic, and cancer mortality, excluding lung cancer mortality, has declined by 19 percent since 1950. Lung cancer mortality began dropping around 1990 as a result of reduced smoking rates, and that trend is likely to continue. Regardless of the absence of evidence for a cancer epidemic, the 'epidemic' has left a long-lasting legacy - a regulatory focus on synthetic chemicals.

The average American eats about 2,000 mg of burnt material, which is produced in usual cooking practices, each day. That burnt material contains many rodent carcinogens and mutagens, swamping, again, the 0.09 mg of 200 synthetic chemicals, primarily synthetic pesticides, that are ingested each day and that are classified as rodent carcinogens.

The natural chemicals that are known rodent carcinogens in a single cup of coffee are about equal in weight to a year's worth of ingested synthetic pesticide residues that are rodent carcinogens. This is so, even though only three percent of the natural chemicals in roasted coffee have been adequately tested for carcinogenicity. This does not mean that coffee or natural pesticides are dangerous; rather, assumptions about high-dose animal cancer tests for assessing human risk at low doses need re-examination.

The real problem

Inadequate diets, with too few fruits and vegetables, are common. Fully 80 percent of children and adolescents (26) and 68 percent of adults do not eat the five servings of fruits and vegetables per day recommended by the US National Cancer Institute and the National Research Council. Publicity about hundreds of minor hypothetical risks, such as pesticide residues, can cause a loss of perspective about what is important. In a survey, half the US public did not name fruit and vegetable consumption as protective against cancer.

Laboratory studies of vitamin and mineral inadequacy associate such deficiencies with DNA damage, which indicates that the vitamin and mineral content of fruits and vegetables may explain the observed association between fruit and vegetable intake and cancer risk. Antioxidants such as vitamin C (whose dietary source is fruits and vegetables), vitamin E, and selenium protect against oxidative damage caused by normal metabolism, smoking, and inflammation.

Laboratory evidence ranging from likely to compelling indicates that deficiency of some vitamins and minerals - folic acid, vitamins B12, B6, C, and E, niacin, iron, and zinc - causes damage to DNA that mimics the damage caused by radiation. In the USA, the percentage of the population that consumes less than half the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) in the diet (that is, ignoring supplement use) for five of these eight vitamins or minerals is estimated to be: zinc (10 percent of women/men older than 50), iron (25 percent of menstruating women, and 5 percent of women over 50), vitamin C (25 percent of women/men), folate (50 percent of women; 25 percent of men), vitamin B6 (10 percent of women/men), vitamin B12 (10 percent of women; 5 percent of men).....

The strongest effect in clinical trials was for a protective effect of vitamin E against cancers of the prostate and colon. More well-done trials will increase the information about the usefulness of supplements in cancer prevention. In the meantime, it is clear that intake of adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals may have a major effect on health, and the costs and risks of a daily multivitamin/mineral pill are low. More research in this area, as well as efforts to improve diets, should be high priorities for public policy.

Damage by distraction: Regulating low hypothetical risks

Synthetic chemicals that mimic hormones - 'environmental estrogens' or 'endocrine disruptors' - arose as a major environmental issue in the 1990s. Environmental concerns have focused on exposures to estrogenic organochlorine residues (largely plastics and pesticides) that are tiny compared to the normal dietary intake of naturally occurring endocrine-active chemicals in fruits and vegetables. These low levels of human exposure to the synthetic chemicals seem toxicologically implausible as a significant cause of cancer or of reproductive abnormalities.

Recent epidemiological studies have found no association between organochlorine pesticides and breast cancer, including one in which DDT, DDE, dieldrin, and chlordane were measured in blood of women on Long Island. Synthetic hormone mimics have been proposed as a cause of declining sperm counts, even though it has not been shown that sperm counts are declining. An analysis of US data about sperm counts found distinct geographical differences, with the highest concentrations in New York City. When geographic differences were taken into account, there was no significant change in sperm counts for the past 50 years.

Some recent studies have compared estrogenic equivalents (EQ) of dietary intake of synthetic chemicals v phytoestrogens (estrogens of plant origin) in the normal diet, by considering both the amounts consumed by humans and estrogenic potency. Results support the idea that synthetic residues are orders of magnitude lower in EQ and are generally weaker in potency. Scientists using a series of in vitro assays calculated the EQs in 200 ml of Cabernet Sauvignon wine and the EQs from average daily intake of organochlorine pesticides. EQs in a single glass of wine were about 1,000 times higher.


Because there is no risk-free world and resources are limited, society must set priorities based on cost-effectiveness in order to save the most lives. The EPA projected in 1991 that the cost to society of US environmental regulations in 1997 would be about US$140 billion per year (about 2.6 percent of gross national product). Most of this cost is borne by the private sector, which passes much of it along to consumers in higher prices.

Regulatory efforts to reduce low-level human exposures to synthetic chemicals because they are rodent carcinogens are expensive, can do nothing but reduce already minuscule chemical concentrations, and are unlikely to have any effect on cancer rates. Moreover, they distract from the major task of improving public health through increasing scientific understanding about how to prevent cancer, and increasing public understanding of how lifestyle influences health.

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See the original here for links. The original hockey-stick team now seem to be ignoring most of the data and hanging their whole case on a single sample of long-lived desert trees -- bristlecone pines. That what happens in one desert might not represent the whole climate of the earth is obvious to anyone who knows how great regional climate variations can be. Due to local effects, one place can be cooling while the other is warming and vice versa

There is a lot of material to wade through, and we appreciate that readers may be feeling somewhat buried by it all. Mann et al. are blogging away at, adding to the list of things experts need to consider. We would like to highlight the following points for those trying to keep up:

* While most attention is focusing on our GRL paper, since it is the more prominent journal, it is essential that people also read the Environment and Energy paper which rebuts (or 'pre-buts') a lot of the comments now issuing from the hockey team over at realclimate.

* We have prepared a pdf "backgrounder", available here. This provides a nontechnical overview of our work. See also BACKGROUND MATERIAL below for links to FAQs and a rebuttal of the responses made to our work.

* The argument that our work "doesn't matter" hinges on 2 points: (a) if MBH use 5 (instead of 2) PCs, they can salvage a hockey stick, and (b) there are many independent studies that also yield a hockey stick. Point (a) is treated in our Environment and Energy paper. The issue is robustness. If a low-order PC, representing less than 8% of the explained variance in a single regional proxy network, is going to be allowed to overturn the conclusion that would be indicated by the entire rest of the data set, why even include the rest of the data? In MBH98 it is just there for show, to create the illusion of a hemispheric data base, while the final results are simply the imprint of a sample of bristlecones (dubious as temperature proxies) from western USA. Point (b) is also discussed in our E&E article, but Steve is also demolishing it at greater length at his New Weblog--which by the way is well worth visiting regularly.

* Mann has recently boasted that our 2003 paper in E&E has been completely discredited. In that paper we made 10 claims. Steve has written up a scorecard that goes over the public record and, not surprisingly, reveals Mann's claim to be wishful thinking.


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

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


8 February, 2005


The more affluent we become, the less faith we place on scientific, reasoned approaches to our decisions. Those struggling every day to feed their children and stay alive, for example, must, of necessity, make decisions about what to eat based on evaluations balancing the benefits and risks. Only the well-to-do can afford the luxury of fretting over intangible concerns or moralizing about romantic ideals. Hence, Western developed nations are increasingly abandoning science-based assessments of risks. In their place is a growing "absolute safety at all costs" perspective that's been skillfully fueled by scares and misinformation from special interests. As a result, foods and technological developments that can and are bettering our lives and can save lives, are being maligned, feared and resisted far out of proportion to their potential risks.

The result of overly-cautious, inaccurate tenets is regulatory policies rife with blunders and inconsistencies that hurt consumers, most of all the poor and disadvantaged. We not only deny ourselves better choices, as well as perfectly safe foods, we deny them to others who may more desperately need them. Virtually every food and health fear today fits this description: the "obesity crisis," pesticides in fruits and vegetables, mercury in fish, mad cow from beef, hormones in milk, "bad" fats in snacks, refined sugars in treats, arsenic in water, and the countless other unfounded scares bombarding us. But understanding how fears take hold, what's behind them, and what they're doing to us, is the first step towards helping ourselves.

Henry I. Miller and Greg Conko give us some of those insights in a chilling cautionary expos, that bravely counters today's emotionally-charged insanity over what we eat. In The Frankenfood Myth: How Protest and Politics Threaten the Biotech Revolution (Praeger Publishers 2004), they reveal the story of genetically-engineered foods which have been targeted so vehemently, activists have ominously named them "Frankenfoods." While the authors touch on the misconceptions being spread about biotechnology, that's not their primary focus or this book's greatest value. It's a powerful wake-up call for scientists, policy makers and consumers on how all of today's food myths are invented and used, and the importance of returning to rational, science-based discussions and decisions.

The scientific community views the risks of genetically-modified crops to be no different, and even less, than those from conventional plant breeding. Their calm approach to the safety of biotechnology is due in part from the comfort that comes from understanding the research and scientific nuances of biotechnology; along with an excitement of its current and future possibilities to improve our foods and medicines and alleviate human suffering, enable farmers to grow more foods on less land using fewer chemicals and hence strengthen environmental stewardship, minimize food spoilage losses, and help -- especially subsistence farmers in developing countries -- produce food on inhospitable soils that are salty, acidic or drought-ridden, in harsh climates or in locales ravaged by pests and diseases which claim up to 40 percent of crops each year.

But the reality of food and health risks has nothing to do with how safe the public feels or how risks are regulated. The disparity between risk assessments by scientists and those by regulators and consumers is a source for considerable rancor and accusations of irrationality and ulterior motives. But while it may be easy for the scientific community to conclude that consumers who believe food scares or who view biotech as dangerous are being stupid, I think the public is actually responding in a very predictable way to the information they hear in the media and to their government's special attention in regulating apparent health concerns.

Consumers are being expertly played by those who usually do know exactly where the weight of scientific evidence lies concerning risks, and know exactly how to exploit people and the system for political, economic and social advantage, reveal Miller and Conko. They largely ascribe the unsound regulations surrounding biotechnology to those who are using fear to take advantage of the public -- namely special interest groups, regulators themselves, and the media.

A key part of fear-based marketing is the promotion of the Precautionary Principle -- that's the belief that if something might go wrong, then we must do whatever possible to ensure that it doesn't. Of course, since everything in life entails risks, this makes it possible for fear mongers to object to and impose regulations on anything, especially new advancements in science, health and technology. Supporters of the Precautionary Principle believe that people are too dumb or ill-equipped to manage risky things safely and it's best to control access to them. This concurrently means rejecting the benefits such things might offer. Yet we safely use and benefit from potentially dangerous things every day, from chain saws, cars, hot water to aspirin.

Just like anything being sold to us, what's at the root of scares isn't altruism. While portraying themselves as moral defenders of the little people, say Miller and Conko, the environmental groups and nongovernment organizations behind today's food and health fears are actually a collection of well-financed professionals set out to shape public opinion and deceive people for their own benefit. "No one should mistake the anti-biotech [groups'] misdemeanors for naive exuberance or excessive zeal in a good cause," said Miller and Conko. "Their motives are self-serving and their tactics vicious." They not only don't hesitate to terrify consumers by twisting the truth and exaggerating risks, they intimidate policy makers with the threat of lawsuits, and threaten shakedowns on the food and biotech industries in what Dr. Alan McHughen calls "economic terrorism." Businesses acquiesce and buy their products, while policy makers grant them the regulations that shield them from national and global competitors, especially those in developing countries.

"The major beneficiaries from these unscientific policies are activist groups that have raked in hundreds of millions of dollars from gullible donors; the natural and organic food industry, which has exploited the surfeit of misinformation; and the regulators themselves," write Miller and Conko. Policy makers "use the blandishments and demands of activists as cover for their own overregulatory tendencies," according to the authors. Regulators' own desires are for more responsibilities, larger budgets, and grander bureaucratic empires. Claiming an obligation to regulate anything the public believes is a concern, regulators use fears to spawn the growth of government agencies, leaving the public to foot the bill. Worse, say the authors, government involvement endorses the activists' claims and raises consumers' fears because people view things that are regulated as being the most dangerous. "Pandering to near-superstitious hysteria only serves to enhance anti-biotech mythology," said Miller and Conko.

More here


Green activists have given "environmentalism" a bad name. Tsunami waters had barely receded, before Tony Juniper, spokesman for Friends of the Earth, told the press that the tragedy was "...consistent with climate change predictions." Hogwash! Climate change predictions are all over the yard, and all are based on computer models. None are supported by the actual scientific record. What is known is that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by about 100 parts per million during the last century, some of which is likely to be the result of using fossil fuel.

The BBC is touting a 2001 study by English scientist, Gerry Stanhill, which says the sun's radiation reaching the earth is diminishing, as a result of particulate matter in fossil fuel emissions. Does this mean that fossil fuel emissions may actually cause the earth to cool? Or does this mean that the earth would be warming much faster, were it not for the particulates?

The article goes on to say that "during the ice age, a similar rise in CO2 led to a temperature rise of six degrees Celsius." What was that? A similar rise in carbon dioxide during the ice age? How can that be? There were no SUVs. There were no factories or power plants belching out columns of pollution. There weren't even any people around to breathe out.

The fact is that science cannot predict the weather accurately more than a few days in advance. Any prediction of what the climate may be 100 years from now is, at best, a SWAG (the "S" is for sophisticated, the rest you know).

Of course, facts rarely matter to green activists. Was it not the Natural Resources Defense Council that produced a "scientific" study on which CBS based its now infamous alar report which claimed the chemical was a deadly toxin? Well after the report had aired, real scientists revealed that to match the dosage of alar fed to rats in the study, a human would have to eat 28,000 pounds of apples, each day, for 70 years. And that, when fed the equivalent of only 14,000 pounds of apples per day, the rats developed no tumors at all.

Louis J. Guillette told a Congressional Committee that "There is not a man in this room that is half the man his grandfather was," because a study conducted by Theo Colburn, a scientist for the World Wide Fund for Nature, said that man-made chlorine caused alligator penises to shrink.

To green activists, science is nothing more than a way to give credence to what otherwise would be ignored as an outlandish claim. If the science does not support the claim, they have no reluctance to fudge, or alter the science. Consider the case of the federal employees who wanted to lock up portions of the Northwest so badly that they planted lynx hairs in a study area so the area would be designated as critical habitat.

In their quest to abuse science, green activists regularly demean and ridicule scientists whose work produces results that disagree with the outcome desired by the activists. Their ridicule, through willing media, has produced a chilling effect among scientists who would prefer to stay out of the negative spotlight.

These antics have become so numerous over such a long period of time, that the word "environmentalist" has taken on a negative connotation. Focus groups conducted by expensive public relations firms have led to recommendations that environmental organizations abandon the use of the word, and to use the word "conservationist" instead.

Green activists created environmental organizations to increase the effectiveness of their efforts to clean up the environment. They did good work--in the beginning. The organizations, however, have long ago forgotten their original mission, and are now dedicated to building their financial and political empires. Having achieved most of their original goals, of cleaning up rivers and streams, reducing air pollution, and the like, they needed bigger goals, and scarier scenarios, to keep people digging deeper and deeper into their pockets to fund the ever-expanding bureaucracies of the environmental organizations.

Global warming is the granddaddy of all scary scenarios. It cannot be proved, nor disproved, so whatever symptom a green activist chooses to blame on global warming is fair game. Whether it's a tsunami in Sumatra, a mudslide in California, 19-feet of snow in Tahoe, or a heat wave in Europe--all of it is said to be caused by global warming. And everyone knows that humans--especially American humans--cause global warming. Such is the logic of green activists.



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

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


7 February, 2005


The environazis dispense this myth about peasant farmers being at one with nature. Sometimes the myth is so idyllic that I think they want us all to become peasant farmers. Anyway, the idea is that while big, grasping corporations are ruining the planet, if we just thought smaller and more rustic we could turn things round.

Wrong, says Matthew Parris in this week's Spectator. A former Conservative MP, he is now a journalist who derives much of his output from his long travels to developing countries all over the world. He is just back from Ethiopia, and says the idea that peasant farmers manage the land well is just risible. That is why he want to rid the planet of goats.

Goats? Yes, indeed. A herd of goats is a great asset for a family. They provide milk and meat, and more goats, which you can sell. The trouble is they eat anything that grows, and, wandering for miles in search of it, they don't care much whose land it's on. So if your neighbours are trying to raise crops, their best course would be to forget it before every last seedling has gone, down hoes, and get some goats of their own.

This, says Parris, has contributed to the desertification of many of the poorer countries he has visited. It utterly destroys the ecological balance across tens of millions of square miles. In his words:

The degradation of our planet owes as much to the poor as to the rich... A million small-scale farming operations satisfying individually modest needs can wreck a landscape and extinguish every competing variety of bird, animal, insect and plant life. Hunger is no steward of river, land and forest, and the poor may ravage their environment more cruelly than those of us who enjoy the luxury of treating outdoors as a kind of garden. Thus have the poor and their goats teemed beneath the radar of our environmental surveillance systems, and daily destroy more land than rising sea-levels will ever do.

Worth the urban romantics reflecting on. The environment is a luxury that the world's poorest can't afford to bother about. The only solution is to make the world's poor farmers rich. And - Bush is right - the only way to do that is to spread democracy, the free economy, and trade across the planet.

Post lifted from the Adam Smith blog


I am often asked why I broke ranks with Greenpeace after 15 years as a founder and full-time environmental activist. I had my personal reasons, but it was on issues of policy that I found it necessary to move on. By the mid-1980s, the environmental movement had abandoned science and logic in favor of emotion and sensationalism. I became aware of the emerging concept of sustainable development: balancing environmental, social and economic priorities. Converted to the idea that win-win solutions could be found by bringing all interests together, I made the move from confrontation to consensus.

Since then, I have worked under the banner of Greenspirit to develop an environmental policy platform based on science, logic and the recognition that more than six billion people need to survive and prosper every day of the year. The environmental movement has lost its way, favoring political correctness over factual accuracy, stooping to scare tactics to garner support.

We're faced with environmental policies that ignore science and result in increased risk to human health and ecology. To borrow from the vernacular, how sick is that?

Genetic enhancement: Activists persist in their zero-tolerance campaign against genetically enhanced food crops. There is no evidence of harm to human health or the environment, and benefits are measurable and significant. Genetically enhanced (GE) food crops reduce chemical pesticides, boost yield and reduce soil erosion. Enriched with Vitamin A, Golden Rice could prevent blindness in 500,000 children per year in Asia and Africa if activists would stop blocking its introduction. Other food crops contain iron, Vitamin E, enhanced protein and better oils. The anti-GE campaign seeks to deny these environmental and nutritional advances by using ''Frankenfood'' scare tactics and misinformation campaigns.

Salmon farming: The campaign against salmon farming, based on erroneous and exaggerated claims of environmental damage and chemical contamination, scares us into avoiding one of the most nutritious, heart-friendly foods available. The World Health Organization, the American Heart Association and the Food and Drug Administration say that eating salmon reduces the risk of heart disease and fatal heart attack. Salmon farming takes pressure off wild stocks, yet activists tell us to eat only wild fish. Is this how we save them, by eating more?

Vinyl: Greenpeace wants to ban the use of chlorine in all industrial processes. The addition of chlorine to drinking water has been the greatest public-health advance in history, and 75 percent of our medicines are based on chlorine chemistry. Greenpeace calls for a ban on polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl), claiming it is the ''poison plastic.'' There is not a shred of evidence that vinyl damages human health or the environment. Apart from lowering construction costs and delivering safe drinking water, vinyl's ease of maintenance and its ability to incorporate anti-microbial properties is critical to fighting germs in hospitals. Banning vinyl would raise the cost of an already struggling healthcare system, denying healthcare to those who can least afford it.

Hydroelectricity: International activists boast to have blocked more than 200 hydroelectric dams in the developing world and are campaigning to tear down existing dams. Hydro is the largest source of renewable electricity, providing about 12 percent of the global supply. Do activists prefer coal plants? Would they rather ignore the needs of billions of people?

Wind power: Wind power is commercially feasible, yet activists argue that the turbines kill birds and ruin landscapes. A million times more birds are killed by cats, windows and cars than by all the windmills in the world. As for aesthetics, wind turbines are works of art compared to some of our urban environments.

Nuclear power: A significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions seems unlikely given our continued heavy reliance on fossil fuel consumption. Even UK environmentalist James Lovelock, who posited the Gaia theory that the Earth operates as a giant, self-regulating super-organism, now sees nuclear energy as key to our planet's future health. ''Civilization is in imminent danger,'' he warns, ``and has to use nuclear -- the one safe, available energy source -- or suffer the pain soon to be inflicted by our outraged planet.'' Yet environmental activists, notably Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, continue lobbying against clean nuclear energy and for the Band-Aid Kyoto Treaty. Renewable energies, such as wind, geothermal and hydro are part of the solution. Nuclear energy is the only nongreenhouse gas-emitting power source that can effectively replace fossil fuels and satisfy global demand.

Forestry: Activists tell us to stop cutting trees and to reduce our use of wood. Deforestation is caused by clearing forests for farms and cities. Forestry operations are geared toward reforestation and the maintenance of forest cover. Forests are stable and growing where people use the most wood and are diminishing where they use less. Using wood sends a signal to the marketplace to plant more trees and produce more wood. North Americans use more wood per capita than any other continent, yet there is about the same forest area in North America as there was 100 years ago. Trees are the most abundant, renewable and biodegradable resource in the world. If we want to retain healthy forests, we should be growing more trees and using more wood, not less. This logic seems lost on activists who use chilling rhetoric and apocalyptic images to drive us in the wrong direction.

Prognosis: Environmentalism has become anti-globalization and anti-industry. Activists have abandoned science in favor of sensationalism. Their zero-tolerance, fear-mongering campaigns would ultimately prevent a cure for Vitamin A deficiency blindness, increase pesticide use, increase heart disease, deplete wild salmon stocks, raise the cost and reduce the safety of healthcare, raise construction costs, deprive developing nations of clean electricity, stop renewable wind energy, block a solution to global warming and contribute to deforestation. How sick is that?



The waves of the tsunami had hardly receded before environmental alarmists linked the tragedy to . . . global warming! One newspaper, the Independent, quoted a British environmental activist saying that "here again are yet more events in the real world that are consistent with climate-change predictions." On New Year's Eve, Sir David King, Britain's chief science adviser and top climate-change fanatic, told the BBC, "What is happening in the Indian Ocean underlines the importance of the Earth's system to our ability to live safely. And what we are talking about in terms of climate change is something that is really driven by our own use of fossil fuels." It was almost as if environmentalists were trying to vindicate Michael Crichton's scenario in State of Fear, where eco-terrorists attempt to start a tsunami in the Pacific to scare people about global warming.

Although a few environmental activists have attempted to back away from these ludicrous and embarrassing statements, the predictability with which climate change was linked to a geological event shows the difficulty of taking climate change seriously. Climate change is a legitimate issue, but between the shabby way environmentalists and the Left exploit it, and the faulty record of so many past predictions of the eco-apocalypse, deep skepticism remains the sensible default position.

For climate alarmists, climate change has become what logicians call a "non-falsifiable hypothesis." Every weather anomaly is said to be a sign of climate change. After the near-record January 1996 blizzard hit the northeastern U.S., Newsweek ran a cover story attributing the storm to climate change. A year later, when an unusually warm winter led to early snow melt and floods in the upper Midwest, Vice President Al Gore and others attributed it to climate change. And the three hurricanes that struck Florida in close succession last summer were a bonanza for the climate-change chorus, even though serious climate scientists readily admit that ascribing today's extreme weather events to global warming is scientifically insupportable. In fact, the intensity of hurricanes and cyclones has diminished slightly over the past 30 years.

Even the catastrophic scenarios painted by enthusiasts clash. In one extreme case, the Greenland ice sheet and much of the polar ice caps could melt, raising the global sea level by as much as 30 feet, inundating billions in coastal areas. (Keep in mind, though, that such a scenario would take decades to play out, unlike a tsunami.) But hold on: A variant of catastrophe theory holds that warming might cause the Greenland and polar ice sheets to thicken and bring on a new ice age - the scenario of the movie The Day After Tomorrow. Incidentally, the sea level would fall by several feet, creating new opportunities for beachfront development.

These competing scenarios have some theoretical plausibility, but the inability of the scientific community to assign a probability estimate to either a temperature increase or the effects of such an increase - regionally as well as globally - shows how limited our climate knowledge remains. Although computer climate models are being constantly refined and improved, their compound uncertainties and blind spots make it impossible to know the probability of any future outcome. For all their sophistication, the models have not even been able to "backcast" - i.e., match up greenhouse-gas emissions with the climate record - for the last 30 years.



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

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


6 February, 2005


But it won't

According to several new studies on mercury levels in the United States, any reduction of such emissions at American power plants would have minimal impact since the factories currently produce less than 1 percent of the total mercury that ends up in our air, land and water. The studies by the Center for Science and Public Policy (CSPP) also reveal that the mercury emissions from Yellowstone National Park and other natural sources dwarf the amount coming from the 1,100 coal-fired power plants in the U.S.

In the Jan. 21 study entitled "Fish, Mercury and Cardiac Health: A Review of the Current Literature," the CSPP reported the latest scientific data show curbing power plant mercury emissions would have no significant impact on atmospheric levels of mercury. "This hypothesis appears supported by the presence of higher levels of mercury in 550-year-old Alaskan mummies than levels in a recent sample of pregnant native Alaskan women," said Robert Ferguson, executive director of the CSPP, a public policy research group based in Washington, D.C.

The CSPP findings come as the Bush administration prepares to implement a component of the Clear Skies initiative which calls for reducing mercury emissions from U.S. power plants by 70 percent by 2018. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states the agency is "committed to regulating and reducing power plant mercury emissions for the first time ever" beginning March 15, while some environmentalists and members of Congress have called for even greater reductions in mercury emissions -- up to 90 percent.

But according to the CSPP, the scale of these reductions wouldn't have any practical effect on the environment. "Current levels of methyl mercury production ... could simply continue unchanged even if all U.S. coal-powered plants were shut down, resulting in zero emissions," Ferguson told the Cybercast News Service. Aside from airborne mercury emissions, a companion study released by CSPP also noted: "Strong scientific evidence does suggest that most, if not all, of the trace amounts of methyl mercury contained in ocean fish are not connected to the inorganic form of mercury emitted by power plants."

The CSPP reports also observe that, "mercury is ubiquitous in our environment, the oceans alone containing tens of million of tons of mercury." One major source of natural mercury emissions noted in the studies is Yellowstone National Park; the CSPP cited an Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Lab report showing that Yellowstone "could emit or exceed as much mercury as all of Wyoming's eight coal-fired power plants combined."

The Idaho study stressed that emissions from Yellowstone National Park, with its network of geothermal features, do not pose a health threat to visitors or park employees but added, "since Yellowstone is the headwaters of important tributaries to the Missouri (Yellowstone River) and Columbia (Snake River), no one knows how far the natural contamination carries through the Earth's air and water systems."

In addition, the CSPP reports state that forests and peat lands in the U.S. also produce more mercury than U.S. power plants.

More here


Questioning these Torquemada wannabes is seen as heresy, not reasonable enquiry

When it comes to climate change, "sceptic" is a dirty word. Scientists who dissent from the strict orthodoxy on man-made global warming have been shouted down, labelled dupes of the US oil industry, even branded "climate change deniers" - a label with obvious historical connotations. Instead of taking up the sceptics' case, the accepted response of our illiberal age is to yell: "You can't say that!"

But is not scepticism crucial to scientific inquiry? Timothy Ball, a leading climatologist, says that those trying to test the theory of anthropogenic climate change - "a normal course of action in any real scientific endeavour" - are now being "chastised for not being in agreement with some sort of scientific consensus, as if a worldwide poll of climate experts had been taken, and as if such a consensus would represent scientific fact. Nothing could be farther from the truth; science advances by questioning, probing and re-examining existing beliefs."

We need to separate the science from the politics. Let the experts thrash out the evidence. But let them do so free from the pressures of a political climate in which human intervention is always seen as the problem rather than the solution, precaution is always privileged over risk, and the worst possible outcome is always assumed to be the best bet.

Perhaps those commanding us to "face up to what we have done" to the world might first face up to the dangers of reducing complex scientific issues to a simplistic political message, and presenting moralistic sermons as scientific laws. Whatever the true impact on the environment of burning fossil fuels, there seems a real risk of damaging the atmosphere of scientific inquiry by burning sceptics at the stake.

More here



A report in November from a group of students of the Arctic, "Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) 2004," projects that warming of the Arctic will lead to disastrous results for indigenous people and animals.

Unfortunately, the report and its press release are internally inconsistent and based on false assumptions and previously identified inaccurate research.........

While data of Canada and the United States may be of good quality and internally consistent, there is question about the data quality of the former Soviet Union. The closing of weather stations there and the degradation of data consistency -- and possibly quality -- raises concerns about the surface station database used to determine recent temperature changes.

Temperature data compiled for the Mys Smidta station on Russia's east Arctic coast illustrates the nature of data reported and used for some Arctic locations in the last decade. In addition, although the ACIA report concludes that there is general warming, the report illustrates for the central and eastern Canadian Arctic, Greenland and the adjacent seas (Sub-Region IV) that temperatures have cooled by 2 degrees Celsius over the last 50 years. This suggests that the temperature variability does not reflect a global or polar trend, but rather can be related to data issues and redistribution of heat.

Adverse impact projections for these areas that data indicate cooling are based solely on computer models that predict warming of 4-7 degrees Celsius.

All of the ACIA projections are based on forward computer models, and therefore the accuracy and reliability of these models are crucial to conclusions drawn from their projections. Global Circulation Models have not yet been successful in back modeling of recorded climate history through the Little Ice Age and into the Medieval Climate Optimum (to about A.D. 900). This inability to model pre-industrial revolution climate change probably is a result of not recognizing that solar and orbital variability, not human emissions, drive climate change (for instance, see Bond et al, 2001; and Zahn, 2002; also Fischer et al, 1999).

Models empirically fit to parameters in which greenhouse gases are the primary drivers of climate change and will not be successful in modeling past climates. In an effort to counter this argument, Mann et al (1999) claimed that there was no global medieval warm period prior to the Little Ice Age -- a claim now discredited by both restudy of their database and by new studies (Esper et al 2002; Soon et al, 2003; McIntyre and McKitrick, 2004).

The ACIA report presents a projection of impacts that would result if temperature increases occur as projected by the modeled warming trend they adopted from the IPCC. The understanding of potential impacts provides some utility for planning possible response to global warming. However, the computer models for predicting temperature increase, the amount of temperature increase and the cause for temperature increase are beyond the scope of the impact assessment and data and are still very much involved in scientific examination, testing and debate.

Arctic and Northern Hemisphere civilization has arisen in the last 10,000 years in response to natural global warming. Trying to project where further warming will change conditions provides utility but would be more useful if it more thoroughly examined impacts presented by a range of temperature change conditions -- including cooling, moderate warming and even extreme warming. For example, the study did not address the impacts of continued cooling in the Canadian Arctic sub-region if the cooling trends exhibited over the last 50 years continue.


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

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


5 February, 2005


And trees are a highly renewable resource! But the Greenies really don't want us to have ANY resources

After years of battling the U.S. Forest Service, environmental groups and fierce international competition, Jim Hurst announced Thursday that Eureka's Owens & Hurst Lumber Co. will permanently close in May. "For our company, the hill has become too steep to climb and the path continues to be littered with obstacles," Hurst said in a statement released to media. "Pure and simple, the anemic Forest Service timber sale program is the overriding factor in our decision to close." Hurst told employees Wednesday of his decision "to fold up the tent." Hurst said the mill's 90 employees "could see the handwriting on the wall. They just thought we could hold out for a bit longer, maybe two or three years."

Others in the community were caught off-guard by the announcement. "Needless to say, we're stunned," Lincoln County Commissioner Rita Windom said. "It will have a significant impact on Lincoln County, and I'm just heartsick, because we just went through this two years ago with the Stimson mill." The Stimson plywood plant in Libby closed at the end of 2002, putting 200 people out of work. When Owens & Hurst closes, just two small wood-products facilities will remain in Lincoln County, considered Montana's timber basket for the last century.

The Owens & Hurst sawmill -- Eureka's largest employer -- generated a gross payroll of $3.6 million last year. But that number doesn't adequately reflect the mill's significance to the community, said Marianne Roose, the county commissioner who represents the north end of Lincoln County. "It's not only the 90 families that are employed there, but what it means to the community as a whole," she said. Owens & Hurst sponsored a collegiate scholarship at the local high school, it purchased 4-H animals at the county fair, it provided summer jobs that allowed college students to return home and it sponsored countless community events and causes.

Hurst said the mill has been financially sound recently, but the outlook for improved timber availability from the Kootenai National Forest is "dismal." The mill has relied heavily on importing burned timber from Canada in recent years, but that source of wood is now drying up, he added.

Hurst said the mill currently has enough Forest Service timber under contract to operate the mill until next winter, but he would prefer to avoid layoffs at Christmas, leaving workers unemployed throughout the winter..... He said the U.S. Forest Service is "dysfunctional and leaderless," responding mostly to the threat of lawsuits from environmental groups rather than the needs of rural communities that have historically relied on national forest lands...... But the main problem has been a lack of predictability in the available timber supply on the Kootenai Forest in recent years, he said.

Kootenai National Forest Supervisor Bob Castaneda acknowledged the problem. "They are entirely right. The ideal situation is for us to be able to provide a steady amount of timber," he said. "We can do our part on that, but if [timber sales are] held up by litigation, then it's out of our control and it's in the courts' hands."

Just two years ago, the bulk of the Kootenai timber program -- and most of the Eureka mill's contracted sales -- were stopped by litigation from the Missoula-based Ecology Center and the Lands Council of Spokane. Hurst and other community leaders organized a bus trip to Missoula and personally appealed for the Ecology Center leadership to back off on the litigation. The group did not, and last year, a federal judge ruled that the timber sales could proceed.

More here


I mentioned on 3rd. the demolition by Australian earth scientist Warwick Hughes of the recently upgraded climate scare put out by the Greenies in a last ditch attempt to shore up their tottering global warming theory. Below are some further comments on the latest nonsense by Anthony Lupo, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He likens the latest scare to a cartoon

A new study published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature late last week, made headlines with the claim that the climate of our world may be more sensitive than we previously thought. The study, authored by a group based at Britain's Oxford University, indicated the Earth's climate might -- itself too strong a term -- warm as much as 11 degree Celsius (about 20 degree Fahrenheit) under certain scenarios with a doubling of the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2). Coming on the heels of a another report from Britain, Meeting the Climate Challenge, stating that the "point of no return" for forestalling disastrous climate change would be reached in 10 years, the mainstream media made the sensational 11 degree C warming scenario the lead subject.

What to make of this? As the author Michael Crichton (whose recent book State of Fear pillories undue environmental alarmism) jokingly told a Washington audience last week, "The mass media's dictum is to simplify and exaggerate; the same thing Walt Disney told his cartoonists." The unfunny thing is that is exactly what is going on with the study in Nature. Indeed, the authors of the study, more than likely, did not intend to highlight the extreme scenario, which almost doubled a high-end estimate of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Third Assessment Report (TAR) of 6 degrees C (about 11 degree F) by the year 2100.

The real point of the Nature article was more boring. The study created a database involving more computer generated General Circulation Model (GCM) climate simulations than ever before. The authors refer to this collection as a "super-ensemble." They accomplished the task of creating it by allowing volunteers to download a computer program that: 1) brought in the GCM to the volunteer's computer, 2) generated a model simulation and 3) uploaded the results back to Oxford. This procedure allowed the scientists to take advantage of unused computing power available worldwide in order to advance science. That is the newsworthy fact -- the ability to take advantage of unused computer power worldwide -- not the results of running the model simulations.

Indeed, the results actually bolster a point made by scientists who are more skeptical of an impending climate disaster. Prominent "skeptics" have pointed out that the large majority of model-generated climate change scenarios point to a more modest warming on the order of 1.4 - 2.8 degrees C (2 - 5o F) by 2100.

In the Nature article, too, the overwhelming majority of the "super-ensemble" simulations show a global warming of 2-4 degrees C within 15 years of doubling the atmospheric concentration of CO2. This tendency for the majority of the simulations to fall into the lower portion of the projected climate change range is consistent with the critique of the skeptics. What's more, despite the extreme range for future warming (1.9 - 11.5 degree C) reported in the article, the global temperatures in the model stabilize after these 15 years

So, the real news of this study published in Nature consists of those things which generally have gone unreported - that the study was able to make use of unused computer power worldwide, that most model simulations showed somewhat modest temperature changes and that the models showed temperature stability after the warming took place. Those things are a little more complicated to report than a cartoonish 20 degree F warming, thus validating what Crichton jokingly called the media's prime dictum -- to simplify and exaggerate.

More here


There is a good survey of some choice idiocy here. He summarizes the Greenie message as follows: "You are all too dim to know how much income and wealth you want to trade off against quality of life or whatever. You need us to do it for you. We have the answers for we are those endowed with the special insight lacking in you mere mortals. Sit back and relax, we will put everything in order and you need not worry about a thing, not a thing".


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

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


4 February, 2005


In the Third World the hostility against ecoimperialism from the West is growing. This ecoimperialism in practised both by western governments and western NGOs. In international trade negotiations, for instance, western governments urge the developing countries to adopt high environmental standards, based on the argument that the playing field of worldwide competition must be level. Developing countries reject these standards as a luxury they cannot afford. In their current stage of economic development, growth comes first.

But besides governments, NGOs play an important role. Deepak Lal, an economist of Indian descent, who teaches development studies in the US, compares the behaviour of western NGOs, such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund, with the proselytic zeal of western missionaries in the past. He sees environmental radicalism as a modern secular Christian crusade, which has replaced the saving of souls for the saving of spaceship Earth. In his view, their primary goal is to prevent the economic development. Therefore, he argues that green radicalism needs to be fiercely resisted, because only economic development offers the world's poor any chance of escaping their age old poverty.

Green radicalism may be very harmful. It can even be a mortal threat. A dramatic example was the murder of the Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn, in May of this year, by an animal rights activist. But, however tragic this has been, it was 'just' a single event. More serious is the systemic and less visible menace of green radicalism, which puts the livelihood and even lives of millions of people at risk. In term of numbers of victims, the megaterror of al-Qaeda looks pale compared with the impact of green fundamentalism.

Examples abound. Lal points, for instance, at the shipbreaking at Alang in Gujarat. India is a signatory to the Basel Convention, which by defining various metals as 'hazardous,' controls trade in waste, scrap and recyclable materials. Greenpeace is using the treaty to organise a total embargo on trade with developing countries, excluding them from global scrap metal markets. This is already having deleterious effects. It may threaten the livelihood of one million people, who are directly or indirectly involved in this industry.

Another example relates to the ban on DDT. According to Lal, this substance is still the most cost-effective controller of diseases spread by bugs like flies and mosquitoes that has ever been produced. The US National Academy of Sciences estimated it had saved 500 million lives from malaria by 1970. In India, DDT spraying had reduced the number of malaria cases from 75 million in 1951 to around 50,000 in 1961, and the number of malaria deaths from nearly a million in the 1940s to a few thousand in the 1960s. But in the 1970s, foreign aid agencies and various UN organisations began to take a jaundiced view of DDT, and the use of DDT declined. Not surprisingly, the mosquitoes hit back and endemic malaria returned to India. By 1997 the UNDP's Human Development Report 2000 estimates there were about 2.6 million malaria cases.

GM (genetically modified) foods offer still another example. The recent scare about GM food equally needs to be resisted, argues Lal. The Green Revolution having disproved the doomsters predictions that the world would not be able to feed a burgeoning population, they are now attempting to stop the next stage in the agricultural revolution offered by bio-technology. GM crops provide major economic benefits as they have reduced pesticide applications, higher yields and lower consumer prices. Yet, particularly in Europe, the Greens - again led by Greenpeace - have created mass hysteria about these crops, labeling them as Frankenstein foods. But if GM crops are the creation of a Frankenstein, so is virtually everything we eat. Any method that uses life forms to make or modify a product is biotechnology: brewing beer or making leavened bread is a 'traditional' biotechnology application. There is no danger to health or the environment from GM food. Since 1994, more than 300 million North Americans have been eating several dozen GM foods, but not one problem with health or the environment has been noted. Yet the hysteria continues.

In all these cases Third World governments have yielded to, or weakly defended them, against green pressures. Yet at the at the recent World Summit in Johannesburg, they showed growing resistance. It was, for instance, expected that Johannesburg would canonize the Kyoto Treaty on the reduction of man-made greenhouse gasses, especially CO2. But with the support of the Third World the opponents of Kyoto succeeded to prevent this, just as they did at the recent climate talks in New Delhi. This has been a most fortunate outcome, because Kyoto's scientific base is fatally flawed. It will cost hundreds of billions of dollars annually. It represents a frontal attack to our system of free enterprise, because it legitimizes all kinds of government intervention in the economy. And it is utterly ineffective in terms of cooling (only 0.02 degrees Celsius in 2050). Against this background it is no exaggeration to qualify Kyoto as a serious case of collective insanity. Or, to put it in other words, an exercise in modern day rain dancing ... and equally effective. The Third World emphasised that it wanted access to cheap energy. In their view, renewable energy sources, which are two to three times as expensive, are something which only the rich countries can afford.



Some excerpts from the article by Prof. Lal referred to above

Among the two other treaties currently under negotiation, which India should have nothing to do with, are the POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) Treaty and the Biodiversity convention. These are attempts to ban DDT and GM food. As both are of vital interest to India's future, it maybe worth saying something more on these.

The Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Framework Convention is being negotiated under pressure from environmental groups, who want a binding treaty to ban `persistent organic pollutants': defined as pesticides, industrial chemicals and their by-products. DDT is sought to be banned under the treaty. If India foolishly signs this convention it will seriously damage the nation's health. For DDT is the most cost-effective controller of diseases spread by bugs like flies and mosquitoes that has ever been produced. The US National Academy of Sciences estimated it had saved 500 million lives from malaria by 1970. In India, effective spraying had virtually eliminated the disease by the 1960s, so much so that the mosquito nets which were ubiquitous in my childhood had disappeared from urban houses by the time I was at University in the late 1950s. DDT spraying had reduced the number of malaria cases from 75 million in 1951 to around 50,000 in 1961, and the number of malaria deaths from nearly a million in the 1940s to a few thousand in the 1960s.

But then in the 1970s largely as a result of an environmental scare promoted by Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring, foreign aid agencies and various UN organisations began to take a jaundiced view of DDT, and the use of DDT declined. Not surprisingly, the mosquitoes hit back and endemic malaria returned to India. By 1997 the UNDP's Human Development Report 2000 estimates there were about 2.6 million malaria cases.

The same story of a decline and rise in disease with the increase and decrease in DDT spraying can be told about kala-azar, which is spread by the sand fly. DDT largely rid India of kala-azar in the 1950s and 1960s. But, with the subsequent decline in DDT use it has come back. The State Minister of Health in Bihar recently informed the Assembly that, 408 people had died, and 12,000 were afflicted with the disease in 30 districts of Northern Bihar.

So why did DDT fall out of disfavour despite its demonstrated merits? It was Rachel Carson in 1962 who started the DDT scare with her claim that its use had devastating effects on bird life, particularly those higher up the food chain. It was also claimed it caused hepatitis in humans. Numerous scientific studies showed these fears to be baseless. It was shown to be safe to humans, causing death only if eaten like pancakes! In 1971 the distinguished biologist Philip Handler as President of the US National Academy of Science said, "DDT is the greatest chemical that has ever been discovered." Commission after commission, expert after Nobel Prize-winning expert has given DDT a clean bill of health (see E.M. Whelan, 1985: Toxic Terror).....

Once again, the environmentalists are willing to ban DDT because they are willing to sacrifice human lives for those of birds. This underlying misanthropy of the environmentalists is explicitly brought out by the following statement by Ehrlich about India: "I came to understand the population explosion emotionally one stinking hot night in Delhi. . . . The streets seemed alive with people. People eating, people washing, people sleeping, people visiting, arguing, and screaming. People thrusting their hands through the taxi window, begging. People defecating and urinating. People clinging to buses. People herding animals. People, people, people."

The recent scare about GM (genetically modified) food equally needs to be resisted. The Green Revolution having disproved the doomsters predictions that the world would not be able to feed a burgeoning population, they are now attempting to stop the next stage in the agricultural revolution offered by bio-technology. As the father of the Green Revolution Norman Borlaug, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, has recently noted: though "the Green Revolution is [not] over, as increases in crop management productivity can be made all along the line: in tillage, water use, fertilisation, weed and pest control and harvesting, however, for the genetic improvement of food crops to continue at a pace sufficient to meet the needs of the 8.3 billion people projected to be on this planet at the end of the quarter century both conventional technology and biotechnology are needed" (Borlaug, 2000).

In 1995 there were 4 million acres of biotech crops planted, which had risen to 100 million in 1999. In the US 50 per cent of the soybean crop and more than one-third of the corn crop were transgenic in 1999. These GM crops provide major economic benefits as they have reduced pesticide applications, higher yields and lower consumer prices. (Krattiger (2000). They have been readily adopted where they have been introduced. Yet, particularly in Europe, the Greens - again led by Greenpeace - have created mass hysteria about these crops, labelling them as Frankenstein foods.

But if GM crops are the creation of a Frankenstein, so is virtually everything we eat. Any method that uses life forms to make or modify a product is biotechnology: brewing beer or making leavened bread is a `traditional' biotechnology application. As Borlaug states: "The fact is that genetic modification started long before humankind started altering crops by artificial selection. "Mother Nature" did it, often in a big way. For example, the wheat groups we rely on for much of our food supply are the result of unusual (but natural) crosses between different species of grasses. Today's bread wheat is the result of the hybridisation of three different plant genomes, each containing a set of seven chromosomes, and thus could easily be classified as transgenic....

Nor is there any danger to health or the environment from GM food as has been repeatedly noted: by a 2100 signatory declaration in support of biotechnology by scientists worldwide, by the US National Academy of Science, by the US House of Representatives Committee on Science and by a Nuffield Foundation study in the UK. Since 1994, more than 300 million North Americans have been eating several dozen GM foods grown on more than 100 million acres, but not one problem with health or the environment has been noted. (Whelan, 2000). Yet the hysteria continues. To see the misanthropy at its heart, there is no better example than that of the miracle `golden rice'.

Scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Zurich) and the International Rice Research Institute (Philippines) have successfully transferred genes producing beta-carotene, a precursor of Vitamin A, into rice to increase the quantities of vitamin A, iron and other micronutrients. As the GM rice produces beta carotene it has a bronze-orange appearance, hence its name `golden rice'. It promises to have a profound effect on the lives of millions suffering from Vitamin A and iron deficiencies which lead to blindness and anemia respectively. It has been estimated that more than 180 million children, mostly in developing countries suffer from Vitamin A deficiency, of whom two million die from it each year. About a billion people suffer anemia from iron deficiency. The new golden rice is being distributed free of charge to public rice breeding institutions around the world. Millions will be able to reduce their risks of these disabling costs at little or no cost.

Yet as the inventor of `golden rice' Professor Ingo Portykus has noted, though it satisfies all the demands of the Greens they still oppose it. As he notes, the new rice has not been developed by or for industry; benefits the poor and disadvantaged; provides a sustainable, cost free solution, not requiring other resources; is given free of charge and restrictions to subsistence farmers; can be resown each year from the saved harvest; does not reduce agricultural biodiversity; does not affect natural biodiversity; has no negative effect on the environment; has no conceivable risk to consumer health and could not have been developed with traditional methods.

But, notes Prof. Potrykus: "The GMO opposition is doing everything to prevent `golden rice' reaching the subsistence farmer. We have learned that the GMO opposition has a hidden, political agenda. It is not so much the concern about the environ-ment, or the health of the consumer, or the help for the disadvantaged. It is a radical fight against technology and for political success" (Potrykus, 2000).

There we have it. The Green movement is a modern secular religious movement engaged in a worldwide crusade to impose its `habits of the heart' on the world. Its primary target is to prevent the economic development which alone offers the world's poor any chance of escaping their age old poverty. This modern-day secular Christian crusade has exchanged the saving of souls for saving Spaceship Earth. It needs to be fiercely resisted.

First, by standing up to the local converts - the modern day descendants of what the Chinese called `rice Christians' and `secondary barbarians' - the Arundhati Roys, Vandana Shivas and Medha Patkars of this world. Their argument that their views are in consonance with Hindu cosmology are reminiscent of those used by the proselytising Christians promoting a syncretised Christianity in the nineteenth century, and are equally derisory.

Second, by refusing to accept the transnational treaties and conventions which the Greens are promoting to legislate their ends. As many of the environmental ministries have become outposts of their local converts, the economic ministries must play a central role in resisting this Green imperialism, by insisting on having the last say on any transnational treaty India signs. As China has shown, through its continuing production and use of DDT and continuing development of GM technology, there is no need to give into this latest manifestation of western cultural imperialism, and in this fight, as the shining example of Julian Simon shows, there are still many in the West itself, who have not been infected with this secular Christian religion, and will join in showing up the Greens and their agenda as paper tigers, much as the Christian missionaries found in the last phase of western imperialism.

More here

Kyoto treaty opposed in Japan: "One of the reasons the U.S. Senate unanimously rejected the Kyoto Protocol was the treaty's disproportionate punishment of the U.S. economy relative to other nations. The economies of nations with a lighter burden than the United States are nevertheless beginning to feel the economic pains associated with Kyoto. The Asahi Shimbun reported on October 4 that Japanese companies are beginning to flex their muscles in opposition to environmental taxes connected with the Kyoto Protocol. Industry has reacted negatively to suggestions from the agriculture and environment ministries that some form of carbon tax is needed."


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

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


3 February, 2005


Fires are the major destroyer of forests these days so it actually looks like Greenies hate forests. Their attacks on fire prevention activities caused great destruction at Yellowstone. But preventing anybody making a profit out of forests is a higher priority for Greenies than the forests themselves

Environmentalists sued the federal government Thursday over plans to log in central California's Giant Sequoia National Monument, home to two-thirds of the world's largest trees. The Sierra Club and four other environmental groups called the U.S. Forest Service's decision to include widespread logging in its plan for managing the 327,769-acre monument a scientifically suspect strategy meant to satisfy timber interests under the guise of wildfire prevention. "This plan opens up huge areas to logging and specifically targets trees big enough to sell, undermining the whole purpose of the monument," said Carla Cloer of the Tule River Conservancy, one of the organizations challenging the federal plan. The lawsuit filed Thursday in San Francisco federal court seeks to block the plan and have it vacated.

Forest Service spokesman Matt Mathes said the agency's plan to allow "thinning" of some trees in Sequoia was motivated by fire prevention goals and does not permit commercial logging. Only trees with diameters of up to 30 inches can be cut under the rules. The giant sequoia commonly grows to 30 feet in diameter, Mathes noted. Timber companies will pay the government for the right to remove some of the larger trees that fall within the 30-inch limit, which will provide money for removing brush and smaller trees that could pose a fire danger, he said.

President Clinton created the monument in April 2003. Logging interests, recreational groups and Tulare County unsuccessfully sued to eliminate the designation, contending Clinton exceeded his authority when he acted to protect 38 ancient groves of the giant trees within the 1.1 million-acre Sequoia National Forest. The groves account for about 20,000 acres, or roughly 6 percent, of the monument's total acreage.



Opposition to forest floor clean up, any type of clear cuts, and the let burn policies of the Sierra Club and other radical environmentalist groups are destroying our National Forests. Environmentalist and bureaucratic policies have rendered federal agencies ineffective in managing our wildland (all land under federal agencies). National forests in the West are in deplorable condition, and the advocacy of letting natural fires burn, or in some cases to correct decades of fire-fuel buildup with prescribed burns, is destroying our forestlands. Examples of the catastrophic damage done to our National Parks and National Forests from advocating these policies are the Yellowstone National Park forest fires of 1988, the Mesa Verde forest fire of 2000, both of which were caused by lightning, and the prescribed burn that resulted in the Cerro Grande forest fire near Los Alamos, New Mexico in 2000. And now, there is the Colorado Hayman Fire and the Oregon Biscuit Fire of 2002 followed by the California Forest Fires of 2003 and 2004. As long as some environmental and conservation groups fight every change in forest management policy or cleanup efforts this pattern will an example, three environmental groups have filed lawsuits to prevent removal of burned trees from the Oregon Biscuit Fire area....

Until observing the effectiveness of a clear cut strip in stopping a forest fire, I would have agreed that clear cut forest areas are bad, and still do, if the clear cut is a whole mountainside. However, one-fourth to one-half mile wide clear-cut bands, are beneficial to the forest and to wildlife. These clear-cut bands are the single most effective means of stopping a forest fire. Within a year after being clear cut, these clear cut areas have newly planted trees, grasses, abundant flowers, and are full of game signs. For several years after a forest fire there is nothing but black ground. Proper forest management, which includes prescribed burns and areas of strip clear cuts, increases the habitat for all types of wildlife, whereas hot burning forest fires sterilizes the soil and nothing grows, or lives there, for many years.

More here


There has been a lot of press lately reporting a big ratcheting up of the Greenie climate scare. Quite contrary to what they have been saying for years, they are now suddenly saying that we are in for big temperature rises soon. Australian earth scientist Warwick Hughes looks in great detail at the justifications for the new scare -- in particular the claim that an 11 degree temperature rise is indicated by the latest models. "Models" are of course all speculation anyway but Warwick finds that even their own models don't support the 11 degree claim. The claim is in other words driven by a hunger for publicity and nothing else. If you doubt it, Warwick goes into all the details.


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

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


2 February, 2005


Sunset Cottage is Peter Hart's dream home. Isolated and peaceful, it looks out across the sweeping expanse of Thorne Moors, an internationally protected moorland in South Yorkshire. The tranquillity is broken only by the cries of the rare nightjar, and marsh and hen harriers. In the evening, the sun dips below the horizon in a blaze of yellow and orange. The sun is also setting, however, on Mr Hart's idyllic existence. Soon the view from his cottage will be of 28 giant wind turbines, each 410ft tall, six of them less than 1,000 yards away. The turbines are part of a series of wind farms planned for the Humberhead Levels, between South Yorkshire and Humberside. Six planning applications have been submitted; 13 more are proposed. If they are all successful, more than 300 turbines will dominate the landscape. "We've had a lot of sleepless nights," said Mr Hart, 47. "It's hard to believe that somebody would want to ruin this beautiful area with dozens of metal windmills."

Conservationists say, however, that the threat posed by the wind farms to some of Britain's finest wet moorland is even greater than the threat to the residents' quality of life. The wind farms will form a "ring of steel" around the sites, they say, blighting the landscape, damaging the habitat and leading to rare birds being killed by the turbines' propellers. The biggest fear is for the nightjar, whose population has been falling for several years and which is listed as a "priority bird" in the Government's bio-diversity action plan. Campaigners say that it could be extinct in the area within five years if the wind turbines are built.

Thorne and the nearby Hatfield Moor contain thousands of rare plants and animals. Thorne Moors has more than 5,000 invertebrates and plants, including cotton grass, cranberry, bog rosemary and sundew. The two sites cover almost 9,000 acres and are protected by European Union laws. They are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Areas under the EU Birds Directive and Special Areas of Conservation under the Habitats Directive.

Helen Kirk, the forum's executive secretary, criticised the Government for "a lack of joined-up thinking". In 2002, the Government paid Scotts, an American company, £17.3 million to end peat extraction on the moorland. Last week, Elliott Morley, the environment minister, visited the area to launch the Humberhead Levels and Moors Partnership, a scheme to restore the moors and develop them for tourism. Yet, Mrs Kirk says, the Government is encouraging wind farms, even in environmentally sensitive areas, as part of its plans to increase "green energy" and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. "There is no proper government strategy," Mrs Kirk said. "It's all done on an ad hoc, piecemeal basis and this could have serious consequences for some of our most important landscapes. It looks like this area is going to see an absolute saturation by wind turbines. "We worked hard to get the money to secure this site and now it looks like it is going to be surrounded by a ring of steel. One of the applications suggests the turbines will only be 250 metres from the boundary, which is ludicrous."

More here


And windmill freaks are among the worst enemies of the world's poor

"I would promote wind for power, not damming more rivers," says actor Ed Begley, Jr. It’s low-cost, renewable, inexhaustible, eco-friendly and emits no greenhouse gases. If banks and energy companies financed wind energy projects, they’d help protect wildlife and habitats, "instead of hurting the Earth for oil," intones the Rainforest Action Network. If America devoted a mere 1 percent of its land area to wind turbine farms, it could generate 20 percent of its electricity from wind, asserts the American Wind Energy Association.

And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Sadly, equine mirages don’t make sound energy policy. They may generate good sound bites, political polemics and fund-raising appeals. But they don’t generate much electricity. In the United States, wind power accounts for less than 0.1 percent of the electricity produced by renewable sources. The hydroelectric projects Mr. Begley opposes generate 99 percent of all U.S. electricity from renewables and 11 percent of all U.S. electricity. It’s easy to see why. Wind energy is unreliable. Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate, and electricity produced on windy days cannot be stored for use during calm periods.

That means expensive gas-fired power plants must serve as backup, standing idle most of the time, but ready to kick in whenever the wind dies down. Otherwise brownouts and blackouts disrupt whatever depends on the wind-generated electricity: homes, schools, hospitals, assembly lines, offices, shops, traffic lights. Wind can supplement nuclear, hydro, coal, gas or oil power--but it’s not an alternative.

Wind energy is expensive. England’s Royal Academy of Engineering and Scotland’s David Hume Institute found that wind farm electricity costs twice as much as nuclear or fossil fuel power (including facility decommissioning costs). Similar cost imbalances apply in the U.S., but subsidies, special tax treatment and laws requiring utilities to purchase wind-generated electricity mask its true costs, notes energy consultant Glenn Schleede.

Wind power is land-hungry. A single 555-megawatt gas-fired power plant in California generates more electricity in a year than do all 13,000 of the state’s wind turbines, journalist Ron Bailey has calculated. The gas-fired plant requires a mere 15 acres. The turbine forest impacts 105,000 acres. Generating 20 percent of America’s electricity with wind (what it currently gets from nuclear power) makes for good PR or barroom banter. But 1 percent of the United States is the state of Virginia--23,000,000 acres--whereas all the nuclear plants in the USA take up only 73,000 acres.

Wind farms ruin habitats and scenic vistas. Because most are located along escarpments and mountaintops, monstrous turbines the height of the Statue of Liberty destroy aesthetic values. Even wind energy advocates like Senator Ted Kennedy morph into vocal opponents when wind farms are proposed for Cape Cod or other sites in their own backyards.

Wind turbines kill. The growth of wind power represents "an imminent threat" to hundreds of bird species, to millions of birds and bats along West Virginia’s Allegheny Front, says Congressman Alan Mollohan (D-WV). His concerns are echoed by the Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy, Bat Conservation International and Center for Biological Diversity. Just in Northern California’s Altamont Pass, wind turbines kill thousands of birds every year, including 1,000 eagles, hawks, owls and other birds of prey, in violation of bird protection laws, they stress.

Now wonder wind plays a near-zero role in the United States and Europe. To impose this energy mirage on Kenya, Uganda, India, Bolivia and other impoverished nations would be a human and ecological disaster. In those destitute lands, 2 billion people still don’t have electricity. Nearly a billion struggle to survive on less than a dollar a day. In India alone, 150 million households rely on firewood, dung and agriculture waste for cooking, analyst Barun Mitra points out. These fuels are 20 times less efficient, 20 times more polluting, than electricity or natural gas. As a result, four million children and mothers worldwide die every year from lung infections. Millions more perish from unsafe water, malnutrition and disease, in regions where clinics and hospitals are few and often have electricity only intermittently, if at all.

These communities desperately need abundant, reliable, affordable electricity--for basic necessities that wealthy countries take for granted, to create economic opportunities and jobs, and help them end the vicious cycle of foreign aid, corruption, poverty, disease and early death. But in the name of protecting the planet from dams, fossil fuels, global warming and development that might lure people away from "indigenous lifestyles," Western activists continue to block energy projects. In their view, wind and solar are the only "appropriate" sources for these nations.

The Rainforest Action Network and International Rivers Network pressure banks and energy companies to abandon hydroelectric and fossil fuel projects, and support only renewables. Friends of the Earth is "proud" that it’s stopped over 300 hydroelectric projects. The Earth Island Institute longs for the day when Africa’s poor made clothing for their neighbors "on foot-pedal-powered sewing machines," and says "once they get electricity, they spend too much time watching television and listening to the radio."

More here


To me, it is almost a crime when uninformed people write letters of propaganda without having done any research to learn the truth. Such is the case of recent letters in the media attacking President Bush and CHEERS (Children's Environmental Exposure Research Study) for supposedly using children as test subjects for toxic pesticide exposure.

Let's look at facts instead of propaganda-facts that are readily available at -facts that should have caused an alarm at any publication and so stopped the dissemination of such lies.

Under President Clinton, not President Bush, the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA) required EPA to change the risk assessment procedures used for setting pesticide residue tolerances in food by considering the potential susceptibility of infants and children to aggregate and cumulative exposures to pesticides.

What this meant was NOT a study using children, but for inspectors to go into homes, after being requested to do so by an application from the parents, and measure the absorption of toxins by children due to the use of cleaners and pesticides in these homes in the past. Many parents have been naively using new pesticides, chemically treated clothing for infants, and contaminated baby food without knowing of their possible dangers.

The government, via CHEERS, has been studying a sample of homes (not children) and the exposure from these homes to infants who lived in them. Children wore sensors to find out if their homes were harming them. The government was not exposing them to any new poisons as indicated by these letters of propaganda, but rather doing what it could to protect children from everyday poisons found in their homes and to inform parents about how they could avoid having their children harmed in the future.

More here


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

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


1 February, 2005


A major European science magazine published in The Netherlands recently had a look at the now well-known demonstration by McIntyre and McKitrick which showed that the original global warming paper produced a "hockey stick" picture of earth's temperature history only by way of mathematical shenanigans. The magazine concluded that the hockey stick story (implying recent global warming) is indeed no more than a mathematical artifact. The article has now been translated into English. See here. The translation was published in Canada's "National Post". I reproduce the opening paragraphs below:

Few people dispute that the earth is getting warmer, but there are people -- so-called "climate skeptics" -- who question whether the change is historically unique and whether it is the result of human activity. These skeptics are generally outsiders, reviled by "true" climate researchers.

On the one hand, Michael Mann, the first author of the two noted hockey-stick papers (in Nature in 1998 and in Geophysical Research Letters in 1999), is the unofficial king of climate research. In 2002, Scientific American included him as one of the top 50 visionaries in science. On the other hand, the two Canadian skeptics are outsiders: Ross McKitrick is a professor of economics and Stephen McIntyre is a mineral exploration consultant -- which Mann likes to call a conflict of interest.

Climate skeptics are most prolific on the Internet, a platform for novices, the scatterbrained and the experienced alike. Not surprisingly, the climate researchers whom we consulted (predominantly Dutch) presumed the work of the two Canadians to be unconvincing. We at Natuurwetenschap & Techniek were initially skeptical about these skeptics as well. However, McIntyre and McKitrick have recently had an article accepted by Geophysical Research Letters -- the same journal that published Mann's 1999 article. This, together with the positive responses of the referees to that article, quickly brought us around.

Even Geophysical Research Letters, an eminent scientific journal, now acknowledges a serious problem with the prevailing climate reconstruction by Mann and his colleagues. This undercuts both Mann's supposed proof that human activity has been responsible for the warming of the earth's atmosphere in the 20th century and the ability to place confidence in the findings and recommendations of the influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The political implication is a serious undermining of the Kyoto Protocol with its worldwide agreements on reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.


Below is part of the introduction to the above translation of the Dutch article:

The hockey-stick image has appeared in countless documents and hundreds of speeches. The opening graphic in the recently-published Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report reproduces the Mann chart as the main springboard to hundreds of pages on climate risks in the Arctic. It is also the core justification for the Kyoto Protocol, which comes into effect on Feb. 16.

Until now, criticisms of the hockey stick have been dismissed as fringe reports from marginal global warming skeptics. Today, however, the critical work of two Canadian researchers, Ross McKitrick, an economics professor at Guelph University, and Toronto consultant Stephen McIntyre, will be published by Geophysical Research Letters, the prestigious journal that published one of the early versions of Michael Mann's 1,000-year tracking of Northern Hemisphere temperatures,

Publication in Geophysical Research sets McIntyre and McKitrick's analysis and conclusions in direct opposition to the Mann research. Their criticism can no longer be dismissed as if it were untested research posted on obscure Web sites by crank outsiders. Their work is now a full challenge to the dominant theme of the entire climate and global warming movement.

The story of McIntyre and McKitrick's research, and their attempt to recreate the hockey stick, is the subject of the special two-part commentary that begins today. Written by Marcel Crok, an editor with the Dutch science magazine Natuurwetenschap & Techniek, the article chronicles the mystery behind the unraveling of the hockey stick.

It is a story filled with intrigue, conflict and amazing facts about how science is made, especially climate science. It's also a story about the inner workings of science journals and, especially, the UN panel on climate change that is at the heart of climate politics and the economics of the Kyoto Protocol. Above all, the story threatens to rock the foundations of climate science.

Rob van Dorland of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute believes the McIntyre and McKitrick paper in Geophysical Research justifies an investigation by the UN's International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Van Dorland is a lead author on the next IPCC report due in 2007. "It is strange," he said, "that the climate reconstruction of Mann has passed both peer review rounds of the IPCC without anyone ever really having checked it. I think this issue will be on the agenda of the next IPCC meeting in Peking in May."

Other scientists around the world have yet to weigh in on the Geophysical Research paper and another work just published by McIntyre and McKitrick in another science magazine, Environment and Energy. In that paper, posted yesterday at, McIntyre and McKitrick also raise important questions about the methods and practices of scientists and science journals whose material becomes the basis for public policy.


Here is the personal website of Stephen McIntyre, the courageous Canadian scientist who first blew the whistle on the fake "hockey stick". He announces that more publications on the story are forthcoming. The global warming story will be kept up now mainly because a lot of people don't want to lose face.

The commonest response of Michael "hockeystick" Mann to the demolition of his dodgy work is truly pathetic. Rather than answer the criticisms, he abuses his critics -- saying that they are in the pay of "business" etc. -- the classic ad hominem fallacy. He is not an honest man.


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

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