Tracking the politics of fear....  

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30 November, 2004


They want it both ways, of course

Some animal protection groups are howling in anger as Alaska is again allowing hunters to take to the air to hunt wolves. The state began issuing permits for aerial hunts earlier this month in an effort to protect its moose and caribou populations. So far, four wolves have been killed. The state hopes hunters will kill about 500 wolves in various parts of Alaska this winter. However, some animal groups are not pleased with the plans. One is petitioning the interior secretary to halt the program. Another is organizing a tourism boycott of the state and is staging "howl-in" demonstrations in more than two dozen cities. Alaska estimates that it has 7,700 to 11,200 wolves in the state, according to the state Division of Wildlife Conservation


Greenhouse effect 'may benefit man'

Claims by pro-Bush think-tank outrage eco-groups

"Climate change is 'a myth', sea levels are not rising and Britain's chief scientist is 'an embarrassment' for believing catastrophe is inevitable. These are the controversial views of a new London-based think-tank that will publish a report tomorrow attacking the apocalyptic view that man-made greenhouse gases will destroy the planet. The International Policy Network will publish its long-awaited study, claiming that the science warning of an environmental disaster caused by climate change is 'fatally flawed'. It will state that previous predictions of changes in sea level of a metre over the next 100 years were overestimates. Instead, the report will say that sea level rises will reach a maximum of just 20cms during the next century, adding that global warming could, in fact, benefit mankind by increasing fish stocks.

The report's views closely mirror those held by many of President George Bush's senior advisers, who have been accused of derailing attempts to reach international agreement over how to prevent climate change. The report is set to cause controversy. The network, which has links with some of the President's advisers, has received cash donations from the US oil giant ExxonMobil, which has long lobbied against the climate change agenda. Exxon lists the donation as part of its 'climate change outreach' programme.

Environmentalists yesterday said the network report was an attempt by American neo-conservatives to sabotage the Prime Minister's attempts to lead the world in tackling climate change.

Last week, the network's director Julian Morris attacked Britain's highly respected chief scientist. 'David King is an embarrassment to himself and an embarrassment to his country.' He criticised preparations by Tony Blair to use his presidency of the world's most powerful nations next year to lead attempts in tackling climate change. Morris described Blair's plans to use his G8 tenure to halt global warming as 'offensive'. Bush is understood to have objected to Blair placing the issue at the top of the agenda and to the robust tone of his recent speeches on climate change. Blair, however, has garnered considerable international support for describing the issue as 'the single, biggest long-term issue' facing the world. According to the network, however, his passion on the matter is not shared by the British public. A poll it commissioned claims six out of 10 Britons believe Blair should not implement the Kyoto protocol if it will harm the economy.

The executive director of the environment group Greenpeace, Stephen Tindale, said: 'We've been watching how the network employs the same tactics as Washington neo-cons, now we know they employ some of the same people as well. 'For years, the tobacco companies blocked action on smoking by sowing doubt about the science. Esso and its friends have done the same thing in the US on climate change and now they're busy in Britain. Global warming is the biggest threat we face, the science is certain.'

Environmentalists believe this week's report will provoke a similar storm to that inspired by Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg, who maintains climate change is not the greatest threat facing mankind and resources should be spent on more pressing issues, such as tackling HIV. Tomorrow's findings echo a number of Lomborg's themes, as well as maintaining that 'extreme weather' is more likely caused by a natural cycle rather than man-made. It also challenges assumptions that climate change will lead to a rise in malaria along with more positive effects, such as increasing fish stocks in the north Atlantic and reducing the incidence of temperature-related deaths among vulnerable people.

Morris admitted receiving money from a number of companies, including $50,000 from Exxon, but denied the organisation was a front for neo-conservative opinion. 'I have written about these issues for many years. If a company wants to provide money, then I'd be happy to accept it.' He added that his $1 million budget is small compared to those of international groups, such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth".



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

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


29 November, 2004

Louis Hissink's weekly science roundup is out again so I am going to refer people there today rather than put much up myself. Louis does a bit of a demolition of an article on global warming in "The Age", Australia's most Leftist newspaper. The article is of course biased but it is quite long and does overall give quite an extensive coverage of Australia's global warming skeptics so an open-minded reader who was unaware that global warming had been ridiculed by many scientists would probably find much to provoke doubt there. So the article was in my view actually quite good publicity for the skeptical case.

And the fact that, in the usual Leftist way, the article relied mainly on personal attacks for its criticisms of the skeptics gave the article a shrill tone that should have alerted readers to the wobbliness of the case it was making. One example of the rhetoric used was a reference to the skeptics as "hired guns" -- the usual Leftists strategem of claiming that a scientist cannot be believed because he benefits from commercial funding in some way (but funding from a Green-oriented organization leads to perfect objectivity, of course). Yet as the article did also point out, most of the global-warming skeptics are in fact retired academics. It has to be that way. Ever since Galileo, scientists have found it risky to question the orthodoxy and a scientist who needed funding for any work in climate science would usually be very unwise to criticize global warming. It would be like killing the goose that laid the golden egg and his colleagues would jump on him to ensure the continuing health of the goose. So it is only retired scientists who are really free to speak out. So the global-warming skeptics, far from being hired guns are in fact mostly retired guns.

Louis also points to holes in the usual argument that it was mankind who drove to extinction many of the original large animals of North America. The section of mankind so accused is of course the North American Indians -- whom Leftists otherwise claim to have been "in harmony with nature"! Another Leftist self-contradiction, it seems. Anyway, just to support the skeptical case that Louis puts forward, there is an article here which reports on the near extinction of the North American bison that occurred on a number of occasions. It seems that recent studies of Bison DNA let early hunters off the hook: "Prehistoric big-game hunters may be off the hook in the latest twist of a whodunit that tries to explain why bison populations sharply crashed thousands of years ago. Proponents of the overkill theory blamed the first Americans to cross an ice-free corridor -- connecting what is now Alaska and Siberia -- for hunting bison within a whisper of disappearance. ... A team of 27 scientists used ancient DNA to track the hulking herbivore's boom-and-bust population patterns, adding to growing evidence that climate change was to blame. " Note: Climate change in prehistoric times! It must have been all the factories and cars and power stations they had back then!


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

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


28 November, 2004


"With gas prices running around $2 per gallon, our economy is performing a wonderful natural experiment on global warming policy. Proponents of the infamous Kyoto Protocol on global warming argue that this is about the price that is required in order to reduce our emissions of carbon dioxide to 7 percent below where they were in 1990, as mandated by the treaty. This price, they argue, will change behavior. Mainly, people will buy more economical cars.

It's impossible to meet Kyoto's mandates, which start in 2008. There's simply not enough time to ratchet down emissions so quickly. In response, Sens. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and Joe Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, have authored slightly less stringent legislation, dubbed "Kyoto Lite," which sets the emissions targets and timetables back a few years. Well, thanks to the wonders of a tight gas supply (the last oil refinery was built in the United States decades ago) and increasing demand (developing China, for example), in the last year we have seen the price rise advocated by the supporters of Kyoto and Kyoto Lite in order to substantially reduce gasoline use. They were wrong. People are increasing their purchases of gas-hogs and buying relatively fewer of the new gas-electric hybrids.

Trucks use more gas than cars. In September, U.S. truck sales were over 828,147, up 13 percent from last year. 608,424 cars were sold, down 2 percent. (That's right: we buy more trucks than cars, in part because that minivan is a "truck," but that's another story.)

Then there's the green suburban myth about a tremendous demand for hybrid gas-electric vehicles. According to The Washington Post on August 24, "The [hybrid Toyota] Prius has been the fastest-selling car in the country for 10 straight months." The Post cited the prestigious J.D. Power corporation for this data, and this story has been repeated everywhere. I heard it a while back on Clark Howard's popular financial radio show. It isn't true. It's not even close to true. I have no idea where it came from. Toyota sells about 10 times more Camrys a month (35,000) than it does Priuses. Toyota sells over 21,000 pickup trucks a month. They're great vehicles, but their V6 and V8 engines, which are in the majority, will only get you miles per gallon (mpg) in the high teens if driven gingerly. For comparison, September Prius sales were 4,309. Car and Driver got 52 mpg driving theirs around town. The company expects to sell 45,000 in the entire year....

So much for the notion that $2 a gallon will dramatically reduce our consumption of gasoline. When offered hybrid cars and expensive gas, people are buying V8 pickups instead.... Think back to the 1970s. On an inflation-adjusted basis, gas was about $4 a gallon in today's dollar. When the first high-quality Japanese econos hit the U.S., they were snapped up immediately. Now with the advent of high quality hybrids, there's no similar response. Obviously the price of gas is simply not high enough. Years ago, Time Magazine claimed that a majority of Americans were willing to pay 50 cents more (in today's dollars) for a gallon of gas if it would fight global warming. Well, we now know that this is just another environmental myth. Because when the price of gas goes up by that same amount, truck sales go up, car sales down, and hybrid sales are a drop in the gas can.

More here


Theory first: Facts second

The principle that there is a perpetual tendency in the race of man to increase beyond the means of subsistence is usually attributed to Malthus. But he was really just the popularizer of a belief that was (and is) fairly widespread.... The Malthusian population principle is always incorrect, but its proximity to the truth varies.... As Stove put it:

It is . . . a curious irony that the general biological principle which he put forward comes steadily closer to being true, the further one departs from the human case, and is a grotesque falsity only in the one case which really interested Malthus: man.

Human populations, once they reach a certain size and complexity, always develop specialized orders, of priests, doctors, soldiers. To the members of these orders sexual abstinence, either permanent or periodic, or in "business hours" (so to speak), is typically prescribed. Here, then, is [a] fact about our species which is contrary to what one would expect on the principle that population always increases when, and as fast as, the amount of food available permits.

The Malthusian law is the basis of the environmental movement. Its application is often masked by the term "carrying capacity," which is the number of individuals that a unit of area can hold. And, more recently, "ecological footprint," which is a measure of how many units of area an individual uses-literally an inversion of carrying capacity....

Subjective individualism is ignored; uncertainty of the future is ignored; impossibility of quantification of human action is ignored; and government intervention is always put forward as the solution. It is nothing more than the flip side of the free-rider problem: we can exclude others, therefore we should not increase the rate or take more than our fair-i.e., equal-share in which we exclude others; otherwise there will be nothing left for others....

Any numbskull can find statistics to show that if the resource base stays the same and population increases then all hell will break loose. This is the Malthusian mirage. Based on this sophisticated doctrine, believers go around telling people that we should desist from further folly, for the impending threat of doom is ever looming. And government, of course, is our only hope. Another silly use of this method is finding out that the population of Italy is decreasing, hence, they project that after a while there will be no Italians left.

Suicidal environmentalists believe that the human race is a burden on the environment. They claim that for the sake of dolphins, koalas and cockroaches, we should cease to exist. They believe that by existing, humans take up space that other life forms could have used. We also eat other organisms, which would not be eaten-by us-if we did not exist.

We can see how ridiculous this view is when we apply it to any other living thing. To some extent, all life takes up space or other resources that other organisms could have used. Why do environmentalists think that humans are not entitled to do things at the level of other organisms? So much for these environmentalists professed avoidance of treating humans differently than other organisms, of considering humans as part of the environment. This is the misanthropic muddle. Typically, Rothbard gets to the bottom of this absurdity:

It is true that if the American continent had never been populated many millions of miles of square forest would remain intact. But so what? Which are more important, people or trees? For if a flourishing conservation lobby in 1600 had insisted that the existing wilderness would remain intact, the American continent would not have had room for more than a handful of fur trappers. If man had not been allowed to use these forests, then these resources would have been truly wasted, because they could not be used. What good are resources if man is barred from using them to achieve his ends?

Then there is the common argument that at any time a natural resource is used, any time a tree is chopped down, we are depriving future generations of its use. And yet this argument proves far too much. For if we are to be prohibited from felling a tree because some future generation is deprived of doing so, then this future generation, when it becomes "present," also cannot use the tree for fear of itsfuture generations, and so on to prove that the resource can never be used by man at all-surely a profoundly "anti-human" thesis, since man in general is kept in subservience to a resource which he can never use.

More here:


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

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


27 November, 2004


Since the early 1990's Indonesia has been a major target of global anti-mining campaigns. While Indonesia is not a major mining nation, it is very prospective and in the early to mid 1990s experienced a large inflow of investment from global mining firms. With the global miners came their opponents in the NGO sector.

Newmont was an early entrant into the Indonesian mining industry, starting with the development of its PT Newmont Minahasa Raya (NMR) gold mine which began production at Buyat Bay in the province of North Sulawesi in 1996. Like virtually all the foreign owned mining ventures in Indonesia, NMR was from its inception subjected to a campaign by 'local' NGOs backed and funded by western activists. In the case of the campaign against NMR, this included: the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), the Indonesian Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam), the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (Elsham), KELOLA and the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), aka Friends of the Earth Indonesia, just to name a few.

Like virtually all the foreign owned mining ventures in Indonesia, NMR was from its inception subjected to a campaign by teams of local NGOs, including the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), the Indonesian Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam), the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (Elsham), KELOLA and the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), (which is also known as Friends of the Earth Indonesia.) The main line of attack against NMR was that it knowingly polluted Buyat Bay with mercury and arsenic. More recently, the NGOs claimed that pollution was so sever that 30 villagers had died from Minamata disease - a severe form of mercury poisoning which could only be acquired by direct ingestion of mercury. When the appropriate Indonesian government ministers dismissed, on expert advice, the claims of the NGOs, the NGOs filed lawsuits against them.

With the assistance of friendly 'experts', these claims were successfully promoted in the West, such as in a recent New York Times feature story. What the New York Times and its NGO sources ignored was the considerable body of evidence that directly contradicted the NGO line.

Shortly after the New York Times ran the story in September, the Indonesians National Police arrested six of NMR's most senior executives (one was released due to health risks) on charges based on the NGO claims that the NMR and its executives knowingly polluted the Bay and damaged the livelihood and health of the local community, but also because of their own tests; though the police were not forthcoming about discussing the methodology for their own tests. The fact that the action took place only as mining was coming to an end fed rumours that charges had been created to force a pay-out from Newmont before the mine closed.

The main English language newspaper in Indonesia, The Jakarta Post, in an editorial argued that the approach of the police bordered "on the bizarre" and that the speed and haste with which they acted against Newmont contrasted sharply with the their characteristic lack of energy in pursuing corruption and other crimes. The police case (and NGO case) received a setback when the World Health Organization and the Minimata Institute of Japan investigated the area and failed to find any signs of mercury poisoning or related symptoms. More significantly, the Indonesian Government released a report prepared by the Government Integrated Team, which was set up to examine the claims and found that "Buyat Bay was not polluted with mercury","or with arsenic". But also found that "fish from Buyat Bay are fit for human consumption."

Shortly after the inauguration of the new Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Newmont executives were released though the police investigation continues. The action against NMR diminished the already low level of investor confidence in Indonesia generally and specifically in its mining sector. The investment in the mining industry has declined over the last seven years from $2.6 billion to a paltry $177 million. The travails confronting Newmont will contribute to this decline.

More here.

The Florida Panther scam continues. As I pointed out on April 23, there is no such thing as a "Florida panther". All North American panthers are genetically the same and they are far too widespread to be remotely an endangered species. "It is the same cat as the ones shot as varmints in Texas." But the Greenies and animal lovers are still causing enormous disruption in order to "save" them from "extinction". What lying frauds!

Clinton and the Senate also opposed the Kyoto nonsense: "The 1997 Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Proponents hoped that it would help the world avoid catastrophe caused by human induced climate change. However, Kyoto faced long odds of ever coming into effect in the United States. Before it was finalized, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution that said we should not participate in any global warming agreement that would either (1) harm the U.S. economy or (2) fail to require meaningful participation by developing countries. Since the Kyoto Protocol met neither condition, President Clinton refused to submit it to the Senate for ratification. And, shortly after his 2000 election, President Bush announced Kyoto was 'fundamentally flawed' and therefore unacceptable."


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

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


26 November, 2004


The most popular environmental campaign in Australia does not focus on the melting polar ice caps, the hole in the ozone layer or even the imminent collapse of our inland river system under the weight of irrigation, salinity and drought. Even if we have not adopted it ourselves, we see the result each time we go shopping. Indeed, it is almost a mark of social responsibility. After years of talk, retail chains - under considerable Government pressure to reduce the more than 6 billion plastic bags handed out free each year - have gone green and the reusable bag has become ubiquitous at shopping centres across the nation. These bags, mostly bright green polypropylene, have become de rigueur as people swing away from plastic. It is a mark of the campaign's success that they have spread with little debate about their value.

When it comes to the environmental issue that is politically hot, look no further than the federal election. That was the time for Tasmania's old-growth forests. After years in a figurative wilderness, forest activists suddenly found themselves at the heart of debate. Why? When polar ice is imperilled and water is becoming a precious commodity, why do green bags and old-growth forests win? Recently the American writer Malcolm Gladwell introduced a term that found its way into daily use. He traced the phrase to the world of epidemiology. Scientists who study epidemics describe the moment when a virus reaches critical mass, when the graph line suddenly shoots up, as "the tipping point". Gladwell says the tipping point is the key to understanding why change can happen so quickly. "Ideas and behaviour and messages and products sometimes behave just like outbreaks of infectious disease," he wrote. The US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, used the phrase to describe the battle for Falluja, and a Californian venture capitalist said the search for cleaner fuels was now at tipping point.

Why then green bags and old growth? Each appears to be an idea whose time has come: the first to the consumer, the second to the voter. For today's shoppers, reusable bags have the attractions of immediacy and broad appeal. "People can see the impact of the problem, are given an alternative, they test it, and realise it doesn't disrupt their lives," said James Arvanitakis, from the school of humanities and social sciences at the University of Technology, Sydney. "They say: 'I can do something myself.' It reflects the recycling process." The other beauty of the campaign is its wide appeal. It's not just for the acutely environmentally aware. The campaign reaches out past the rich and inner-city people to the suburbs. Woolworths, for example, sold more than 2.2 million green bags in little more than a year.

The green bags are accepted in homes where other issues aren't, says Arvanitakis. "Inner-city hippies are all guilty of being aggressive in the way we campaign. Campaigners haven't learnt to talk to [people in the suburbs], or when we do, [it's] to tell them they're all wrong: their houses aren't environmentally friendly, they have two cars and they don't use public transport enough." Too often the result is the creation of a siege mentality, he says. Sending out the message of plastic bags and pollution is relatively easy. Explaining a link between air-conditioners, energy use and climate change is much harder, even if that connection is more important.

That explanation - and any possible solutions - also lack immediacy, says Arvanitakis. "People get sidetracked with other things. Yes, the environment is important, melting ice caps are important and people are concerned, but it requires a long-term focus," he says.

More here


The elitist eco-hypocrites of San Francisco have a new weapon in their never-ending attack on poor people: Now they want to tax grocery bags at 17 cents a pop. "The measure is primarily being pushed by environmentalists who view plastic grocery bags as a menace, not as a modern marvel of convenience," USA Today reported today.

Of course, 17 cents a bag won't mean anything to the Lexus leftists, but it's just another slap in the face of those who already struggle to scrape by in the expensive city in the expensive state.

"Folks take the free plastic bag for granted," sniffed Mark Murray of Californians Against Waste, which supports the scheme.

However, the fee "is an incredible amount of money to a consumer," noted Paul Smith of California Grocers Association. "Before you know it, that's an extra dollar to your food bill every time you go shopping."



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

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


25 November, 2004


The ABC showed a documentary at 5pm on Sunday Night, 21 November 2004. "Secrets of the Barbarians", in which Richard Rudgley goes in search of evidence for the barbarians of the dark ages. The documentary starts in England just after the Romans left, and noted that a new peoples seemed to have arrived on the east coast of England, a people known as Saxons and Angles - barbarians.

Next we find Richard flying eastwards to Germany, to the northern coastal regions of sourthern Denmark, ancient home of the Saxons. There we see the deserted habitations of the Saxons, large mounds of earth built above the swamps on which they built their settlements. The Saxons were a seafaring peoples, building large well constructed boats.

Next we discover the Angles, and other ancient peoples, living further north - another peoples which deserted their homelands only to settle in England.

Why? Well according to Richard, Europe was experiencing climate change, a change so severe that the Saxons had to flee their homelands because of sea-level rise. Indeed much happened in those times - 5-6th Centuries AD. And climate change was noted all through Europe. It was a time of mass migrations of peoples, in the far east, and elsewhere. Something happened in the 6th Century and we can be fairly certain it wasn't the result of greenhouse gases. And we can be certain of another thing - according to the IPCC it didn't happen, and if it did, it was extremely localised.



Now that Europe has bribed Russia into ratifying the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions, it will come into force early next year. We can expect a swelling chorus of demands that Australia should also ratify. Fortunately, John Howard has no intention of doing so and, even more fortunately, Mark Latham, who had every intention of doing so, lost the election.

The Kyoto Protocol is a deeply flawed approach to dealing with climate change. Even if its targets were adhered to by all the countries signing it, this would have only a minor effect on global warming. In fact, there is little prospect of several European countries, probably Japan and many other signatories meeting their targets.

Some of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases, notably China and India, are not covered by the protocol and the science behind it is subject to a great deal of uncertainty. The climate models that drive the various forecasts of global warming, more modestly called projections or scenarios these days, have widely recognised limitations.

These are all serious problems, but Kyoto's fatal flaw is identified by Warwick McKibbin, one of Australia's leading international economists and an increasingly active participant in global discussions on climate change policy. Behind Kyoto, with its rigid emission targets and timetables, is the assumption that the risks posed by global warming are so serious that emissions have to be reduced no matter what the cost. Given the considerable uncertainty about the causes, the future extent and consequences of global warming, it would be irresponsible for any Australian government to sign up to Kyoto when it is impossible to say if the costs of doing so will exceed the benefits. This is particularly so given Australia's massive natural endowment of energy resources. The Howard Government's white paper, Securing Australia's Energy Future, recognises the threat to domestic industries and employment based on cheap power and to our energy exports from ratifying Kyoto. It also happens to be true, although rarely mentioned, that even if Australia shut down all its greenhouse gas-emitting industries tomorrow, wiping out a large part of its economy in the process, the effect on global emissions would be insignificant.

However, because it has taken the right decision in refusing to sign Kyoto doesn't mean the Howard Government has a sensible domestic climate change policy. It hasn't. Its basic mistake has been to accept the Kyoto framework target even though it hasn't signed the protocol. It has compounded this error by funding a range of schemes designed to subsidise and encourage uneconomic alternative energy technologies. Australia is committed to achieving a Kyoto target of limiting emissions to 108 per cent of their 1990 level by 2008-12. This will be made a lot easier because a substantial part of the target can be achieved by stopping land clearing, but this still leaves substantial problems.

One is that even if Australia were to refuse to accept any further reductions in this target after 2012, it will become increasingly difficult and expensive to achieve. The stopping-land-clearing lurk is a one-off. If Australia continues with its present policies, which amount to trying to solve the problem by throwing taxpayers' money at alternative energy technologies, then greenhouse gas abatement is likely to eat up at least as much of future budgets as health care -- which Treasury estimates will rise by more than four percentage points of gross domestic product by 2040.

The Government has effectively acknowledged this problem in its decision earlier this year not to extend its Mandatory Renewable Energy Target because of its effect on the budget and electricity prices, but its basic approach is still wrong.

More here


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

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


24 November, 2004


"Increases in air pollution caused by cars, power plants and industry can be directly linked to higher death rates in U.S. cities, a study said," reported Reuters this week. The Reuters reporter, I suppose, had no hope of taking the study's results to task (as they beg to be) since she was undoubtedly hypnotized by the ostensible prestige of the journal in which the study was published- the Nov. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association- the seemingly mesmerizing affiliations of the study's authors (Yale University and the Johns Hopkins University), and the sleep-inducing nature of the study's statistical analysis. But had the reporter been able to go beyond simple regurgitation of the study's press release, Reuters' might well have reported "Researchers tried to scare public with statistical malpractice."....

First, if smog is deadly in New York City, then it should be deadly everywhere. But even granting the researchers every benefit of the doubt with respect to the validity of their analysis, among the 95 urban areas included in the study, the correlation between smog and mortality is only statistically meaningful in five of those 95 urban areas (New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, Dallas-Ft. Worth and Chicago). That means in 95 percent of the urban areas studied, there was no meaningful correlation between smog and mortality. It's simply not credible that smog would be a killer in five particular cities, but nowhere else.....

The type of study undertaken - called an "ecologic" type study by epidemiologists - is fundamentally incapable of linking smog with mortality. Not a single death was specifically linked by the researchers to smog. In no case was there a medical finding that anyone's death was, in fact, caused by smog. The researchers have no idea how much smog to which any of the people in the study were exposed.

Rather, the researchers only compared, on a very macro level, urban death rates and urban smog levels. They did not look to see whether individuals exposed to higher levels of smog had greater rates of premature death after ruling out all other likely risk factors for premature death. It is taught in Epidemiology 101 that ecologic studies are very crude tools that, at best, may be used to develop ideas for further research. The smog study's authors know this, too. Jonathan Samet, one of the authors, once discouraged the use of ecologic studies, writing in the journal Health Physics that, "The methodologic limitations inherent in the ecologic method may substantially bias ecologic estimates of risk."

The study's reported increase in risk of 0.52 percent per 10 ppb of smog is laughably small - so small that it probably could not be reliably identified by the researchers..... This study, in reality, reported no association between smog levels typically found in U.S. urban areas and mortality.

What's really going here is yet another example of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-funded ongoing effort to churn out one junk science-fueled alarm after another regarding air quality. The purpose is to grease the skids for the EPA to issue more stringent air quality regulations in the future - standards that provide the agency with more power over states.

More here


The "fuel efficient" cars beloved by Greenies may not save their owners money anyway -- because they don't generate enough tax revenue for California's ever-hungry government:

California drivers are accustomed to paying the highest prices at the gasoline pump in the continental United States, but a proposal that their cars be outfitted with transponders to collect state taxes by the mile has stirred deep-rooted privacy fears. The policy idea is a response to the growing popularity of gas-electric hybrid cars and concern that as more fuel-efficient vehicles clog the California's highways, a tax on gasoline consumption will no longer be the best way to finance road maintenance. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this week nominated Joan Borucki, a proponent of taxing motorists for every mile they drive, to a key position overseeing the state's Department of Motor Vehicles.....

Schwarzenegger was careful to distance himself from the tax by the mile proposal, telling reporters he had not had time to study the idea and so had no comment at present. California charges motorists 18 cents for every gallon of gasoline they purchase to help pay for the state's roads. There is also a state sales tax of 7.25 percent on gasoline but with California deeply in debt, critics say those tax revenues have been "raided" in recent years to pay for other services such as education and health care. "People are driving more miles, putting more wear and tear on the roads, but more fuel efficient cars are starting to erode the gas tax," said Mike Lawson, executive director of Transportation California, a coalition of business and labor groups who back transportation infrastructure improvements.

A pay-per-mile plan involves the installation of a transponder into a car which is able to tell whether the car is within its home state. This is necessary so motorists are not taxed by two states for the same gallon of gas when they are traveling across the country.....

California state Senator Tom McClintock, who is deputy chair of the Transportation Committee, also raised fears that the tax would be more expensive to collect and would also discourage drivers from buying more fuel-efficient cars. "Don't we want to encourage fuel efficient vehicles?" he said, echoing the concerns of some environmentalists.

More here

For some reason, one of Louis Hissink's articles has been taken down from the Henry Thornton website. It must have REALLY trodden on some toes. I have reposted it here


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

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


23 November, 2004


Louis Hissink's latest weekly science roundup is here -- with lots on the gullible press coverage of global warming claims.

Louis has this interesting quote on predicting climatic variation: "The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible."

So who said that? One of those awful Greenie skeptics like me? No. It was the IPCC itself -- the chief source of legitimacy for global warming claims.

Have you hugged a miner today?

Stop demonizing the industries that harvest materials from the Earth.

Your car. Your desk. Your computer. Your pots and pans. The road outside. Your lunch. What do these things have in common? All of them involved disturbing the land and the "exploitation" of natural resources in their creation. Anything around you that contains metal, plastic or rubber comes directly from mining and oil-drilling operations somewhere in the world. Anything that is wood, paper or food was either logged or harvested. Almost everything we have comes from mining, drilling, logging and farming, and yet these industries are increasingly under attack from NIMBYs, regulators and environmentalists.

The public opinion of these industries is now such that if you were to poll people on the least respected careers, you'd wind up with loggers, miners and oil men right down at the bottom of the list with lawyers, telemarketers and, of course, politicians. Farmers and ranchers continue to have a pretty high level of public support as occupations, but their industries are bearing the brunt of some of the newest rounds of regulations and NIMBY attacks.

While nobody wants a repeat of the massive pollution caused by some of the older mining techniques, and nobody likes to look at a clear-cut forest or an oil rig, these industries havedeveloped much less intrusive, much more environmentally sensitive methods of extraction, but are still haunted by attacks based on images from long discarded practices. The regulatory system and local opposition groups have made it nearly impossible for any new mining or logging operations to exist in California, even when our society desperately needs new supplies of wood, gravel, and petroleum-based products. Even when all environmental regulations can be adhered to, local opposition can scare a county or city into rejecting a necessary project.

Even farmers, who have maintained a high level of support amongst the population, have started to feel the pressure of activists and regulators. It always astounds me when people move to a rural area (like much of my district) and then complain about the sights and smells and flies of agricultural operations.

Dairies have been all but chased out of Southern California by angry neighbors and air and water regulations. Other livestock operations are being harassed by similar complaints. What was once a thriving industry in Artesia, Chino and other parts of our area is now virtually non-existent. Even simpler farming operations are under attack for use of compost in the growing process and because of "fugitive dust" concerns caused by the plowing and harvesting of fields. And farmers now fear allowing their lands to fallow out of concern that it will become habitat for some allegedly endangered critter and they'll be forbidden from replanting there in the future.

These are all messy industries, but they are all necessary. We have made great strides over the years in making them less polluting and less impactful on the natural environment and even visually on neighbors nearby. But the increasing costs of the decreasing availability of these resources in our country are costing all of us. High concrete, steel and lumber costs are driving up the prices of new schools, homes and roads by billions of dollars collectively, and will continue to increase as long as we don't start producing more of these products domestically.

It is time to stop attacking loggers and miners and oil drillers and farmers. Stop accusing them of raping the earth. Stop making their livelihoods more difficult. Start appreciating the benefits we enjoy as a result of their labor and their industries. Next time you see a miner walking down the street, don't turn your nose up at him. In fact, I think we'd all be better off if you gave him a hug instead.

Article by RAY HAYNES, Republican assemblyman from Murrieta, California


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


22 November, 2004

John McCain's 'Global Warming' Hearings Blasted by Climatologist

Recent U.S. Senate hearings into alleged global warming, chaired by Arizona Republican John McCain, were among the "most biased" that a noted climatologist has ever seen - "much less balanced than anything I saw in the Clinton administration," he said. Patrick J. Michaels is the author of a new book "Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media." He is an environmental sciences professor at the University of Virginia who believes that claims of human-caused "global warming" are scientifically unfounded.

Michaels spoke with Thursday following a panel discussion sponsored by the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., where Michaels also serves as a senior fellow in environmental studies. "John McCain, a Republican, has probably held the most biased hearing of all," Michaels said. McCain is a big proponent of limiting greenhouse gas emissions, which he believes are causing "global warming." The Arizona senator also "is trying to define himself as an environmental Republican, which he is going to use to differentiate himself from his rivals for the (presidential) nomination in 2008," according to Michaels.

Earlier this week, McCain, the outgoing chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said the Bush administration's views about human-caused climate change were "terribly disappointing." McCain also held a Senate hearing on Tuesday to enlist testimony on the recently released report from an international commission called the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), which warned about rising temperatures in the North Pole.

Citing a visit he had to the Arctic with several U.S. senators last summer, McCain made it clear that he believed human-caused "global warming" was a certainty. "It was remarkable going up on a small ship next to this glacier and seeing where it had been just 10 short years ago and how quickly it's receded," McCain told the New York Times on Monday. McCain also warned about what he saw as the rapid pace of Arctic warming, evidenced by the arrival of wildlife that had never previously been seen in the region. "The Inuit language for 10,000 years never had a word for robin and now there are robins all over their villages," he told the Times.

Michaels refuted McCain's assertions about the North Pole, noting that the Arctic has actually been warmer in the past than it is now. "It was warmer 4 to 7,000 years ago [in the Arctic.] Every climatologist knows that. I saw no mention of that in the Arctic report that was paraded in front of McCain," Michaels said. He added that the past warming of the Arctic couldn't possibly be blamed on greenhouse gas emissions since it occurred long before the industrial era.

Other participants in Thursday's panel discussion also disputed McCain's statements. Harvard Astrophysicist Sallie Baliunas agreed that using the polar ice caps to promote "global warming" did not make sense. "Antarctica has been cooling for the last 50 years. Most of the Arctic has not warmed over long time scales," Baliunas told Baliunas also serves as the enviro-science editor for Tech Central Station. "Temperatures [have] always changed in the past and [they] always will. It can either go up or it goes down. We don't have enough understanding of natural variability and we don't see enormous amounts of temperature change to be alarmed about," Baliunas explained.

She also blasted the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty to limit greenhouse gases which the U.S. does not support. "The Kyoto (Protocol) does not work, no matter what you think of it because Kyoto won't do anything meaningful."

McCain's claims about a robin population explosion in the Arctic were refuted as well. Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), said "Even if it's true that robins are making their first appearance in Arctic areas, what it means is that the robin's habitat is expanding... "I always thought environmentalists liked birds. To me this is good news," Lewis added.

Michaels lamented that the media are allowing certain government-funded scientists to manipulate science for funding advantages. "Scientists are playing the media because they know the media will publish a story that the world is about to end," he said. "What has happened to the editing process? What has happened to fact checking," he wondered. Baliunas noted that the media like to imply that the overwhelming majority of scientists believe in dire "global warming" scenarios. In fact, she said, "The scientific literature is full of skepticism. The only problem is -- one doesn't get the call from the newspapers and those [skeptical] quotes don't get included." Lewis of the CEI added, "The embrace of government and government funding corrupts whatever it touches and that is certainly the case of the scientific process."



But the case for wind power as a serious component of the national grid is collapsing by the month, propped up only by soaring Treasury grants and statutory cross-subsidies. Figures about turbines "generating enough power for x homes" are rubbish. Claimed capacity is not output and output is not a substitute for fossil fuel.

Given the intermittency of wind, no grid can risk switching off its fossil-fuel generators for fear of a collapse in supply when the wind dies. Neither the Germans nor the Scandinavians have been able to close power stations through wind substitution. The conventional power stations must be kept running. The Irish have stopped taking wind power on to their grid because of this risk. Wind power may have local auxiliary uses, but it is irrelevant to the global warming account.

Science may one day find ways of storing energy from the restless elements, from wind and waves, and render their contribution to carbon reduction significant. As with offshore turbine parks, the cost would be astronomical. The Trade Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, said on Tuesday that "no one is coming forward with plans for nuclear power stations". But that is because she will not subsidise them. No one applied to build wind turbines until the government threw money at them, now o300m a year. It is the most senseless investment ever approved by the Treasury. Farmers and manufacturers with lobbyists in tow may be tumbling over themselves to invest in wind. But the return is not commercial, it is subsidy.

If Britain is sincere about wanting to reduce carbon emissions it must build nuclear power plants. This is not revolutionary. A third of Europe's energy is now nuclear, while Britain is heading towards zero. Nuclear investment is taking place across the world. Even America, which stopped such commissioning in the 1980s, is starting to extend nuclear capacity and plan new plants. Twenty per cent of American power generation is nuclear. If increased, this would do more for global warming than signing the Kyoto Protocol. For Blair to lecture George Bush on this at the G8 summit, when he has not the courage to renew his own nuclear capacity, would be the height of hypocrisy.

I remain unconvinced that global warming is the apocalyptic threat that Blair proclaims. But if it is, Blair cannot prance onstage clad in nothing but a few turbine blades in an intermittent breeze. He will have covered the coasts and hills of Britain in expensive follies. Otherwise he will be naked.

Nuclear power is expensive and problematic. But all power is problematic and only fossil fuel is cheap. Nuclear power may be hated by the green lobby, now thick as thieves with the turbine builders, but at least it works. It generates power that is plentiful and eco-friendly. If Blair believes that the future of the world is at stake, he cannot start counting pennies, any more than he does the cost of wind turbines. He certainly cannot quake before the Friends - or Foes - of the Earth.

More here


The great and the good of the health world, along with at least four African presidents, have descended on Tanzania for the United Nations' Global Fund meeting. The fund, established in 2000 to combat AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, has so far received over $3 billion from the wealthy nations.

Unfortunately, many health indicators are still moving in the wrong direction. The most dangerous diseases are less controlled today than at any time in the past 50 years. Malaria and AIDS are rampant; tuberculosis is increasing from an already high rate. Much of the blame for this lies with the inadequate attention paid to health by African leaders, some of whom have continued to deny that HIV causes AIDS, and many of whom have preferred to bolster their armies against non-existent enemies. A fair bit of the blame can also be heaped on aid and health agencies that have promoted the wrong policies: notably, advocating bed nets for malaria control at the expense of the more effective indoor DDT-spraying. As a result, over the past five years, malaria rates have increased by more than 10 percent at a time when funding for malaria has increased by over 200 percent.

Most of the fund's money is spent on AIDS prevention and treatment, and a lot of this money may be well spent. Unfortunately, we just don't know. If, in the first round of disbursements in 2002, significant health outcome statistics (morbidity and mortality changes in particular) had been collected, then we could know. But unfortunately they weren't, and so we don't. Add to this the fact that the fund was procuring anti-malarial drugs that were useless - and Indian generic AIDS drugs that may be useless and have now been recalled - and its track record is rather a mess. To its credit, however, the fund has listened to criticism, and appears to be building in outcome measurements and buying the right drugs.

And when it comes to malaria, in fact, the fund is doing the best job of all aid agencies. It is actually procuring DDT for countries that ask for it, such as Zambia. Other agencies continue to promote only bed nets and are doing everything they can to obstruct the use of DDT in Uganda. A decision was made over the summer by the Ugandan Ministry of Health to use DDT procured by the fund. But insiders I spoke with, who wish not to be named, say that overseas pressure to drop DDT use means the decision is on hold.

More here


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


21 November, 2004


"The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, despite its recent release, has already generated analysis pointing out numerous flaws and distortions. Widely accepted data records show Arctic temperatures that are roughly the same as in the 1930s and part of a slight cooling trend over the last few thousands years, and that the Greenland ice sheet is also cooling, all in opposition to the unsourced data sets contained in the Assessment.

Launching the Counteroffensive takes on the misleading Arctic scenarios: "As for the Arctic Sea, satellite photos show that ice cover has contracted since 1979, a period when the region warmed. However, the Arctic has not warmed faster than the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, contrary to what we would expect if the polar warming were due to an intensification of the greenhouse effect," writes Lewis. "Moreover, the Arctic was warmer during the late 1930s and early 1940s, before the rapid rise in CO2 levels, than it is today. For all we know-satellite photography did not exist 65 years ago-the Arctic then looked pretty much as it does now."

In order to generate the predictions of massive dislocation and disaster in the Arctic, the authors of the Impact Assessment had to use warming scenarios from a previous report - the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Third Assessment Report - which scientists and economists consider extreme and among the least likely to actually come to pass. Even the evidence for one of its most widely cited predictions, that polar bears may become extinct due to regional warming, is actually consistent with a larger population of bears competing for a naturally limited food supply.

More here


The gas mileage gains for properly inflated tires may be more significant that you would think. Some state and federal studies have shown that motorists often are driving with tires 8 to 18 pounds under proper inflation pressure. One study showed that in a car running with tires at 24 pounds per square inch (psi), increasing tire pressure to 32 psi increased gas mileage by 3 miles a gallon. At today's prices that's pretty good. Although, as I have mentioned, I'm a little recalcitrant, I do try to keep my tires inflated to the maximum pressure listed on the tire (you'll see it in raised numbers somewhere on the sidewall of your tires).

Expert drivers in fuel economy runs have always known this and they superinflate their tires, running at 100 pounds per square inch or more. Don't do this! It's mucho dangerous. These guys are usually using special tires under special conditions. Just follow the "max pressure" readings on your tires and, more important, keep checking them. And here's something that can help you. An old technological fix, known to the experts but not very well known to the public, can keep your tires running for long periods at ideal pressure.

It's nitrogen. Yep. Good old nitrogen -- that unglamorous inert gas that constitutes about 78 percent of the air we breathe. For years, over the road truckers, auto racers and the U.S. military have been filling tires on their vehicles with pure nitrogen. Here's why. In a tire filled with compressed air, the oxygen molecules tend to "migrate" through the wall of the tire over time. That's why, when you open the garage to check on your aunt's dust-covered 1980 Pontiac the tires are often flat. But nitrogen molecules migrate 3 to 4 times more slowly than oxygen, so tires stay properly inflated longer. There are other benefits. Nitrogen retains less heat than oxygen and therefore allows tires to run cooler.

While nitrogen is dry and benign and will not combine chemically with other materials (the metal in tire rims, for instance), compressed air contains trace amounts of water and the oxygen tends to combine with other materials, causing rust and corrosion. If you were to see the inner face (the part enclosing and sealing the inside of the tire) of some fancy aluminum wheels you would be surprised at how corroded they become due to oxidation.

Tour de France bicyclists fill their tires with nitrogen. So do NASCAR, Indy and Formula One racing teams, over-the-road truckers, some fire departments and the U.S. military.

And now, in a typical example of the confluence of technology and markets, high gasoline prices and continuing concerns about tire safety are bringing about a growing interest in nitrogen. Big discounter Costco has begun offering nitrogen fill-ups on new tires in some of its tire centers. Pep Boys has been test marketing nitro at some of its tire shops in the south. Several small tire chains in Florida, New York and Ohio are doing the same.

Branick Industries, of Fargo, N.D., one of the nation's leading suppliers of equipment for tire, wheel and suspension services, builds a nitrogen inflation system that takes air from a garage or service center's air compressor and passes it through an internal membrane that separates out the abundant nitrogen molecules. The pure nitrogen is compressed and stored in this "nitrogen generator" and or a back-up tank next to it, from which tires are filled. Costco is filling new tires with nitrogen for free. Some dealers charge $2 per tire and up to $5 apiece on tires not sold by them.

It's a safe bet you'll be hearing more about nitro and seeing an increased availability of nitrogen fill-ups as you shop for tires or maintain your present ones. In the greater scheme of things this is no big deal. But like the improvements that have been made in the inner workings of automatic transmissions over the past 50 years it is one of those gains in efficiency that we often take for granted. It is one of those little refinements and improvements that are routine in a vigorous, free and therefore infinitely articulate market.

More here


A conservative legal group has threatened to sue the federal government over its plans to protect four dozen endangered species in California ranging from peninsular bighorn sheep to the tiny robust spineflower. The Pacific Legal Foundation notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service on Monday that it would file suit in 60 days, claiming the agencies failed to meet requirements of the Endangered Species Act when they set out to protect 16 animal and 32 plant species. Advance notice is required before filing endangered species lawsuits.

Based on a favorable ruling in U.S. District Court in Fresno that overturned habitat protection for the Alameda whipsnake last year, the foundation said the agencies underestimated the economic impact of protection and didn't properly follow the rules to protect habitat. "They speculated instead of determining what areas are essential to the conservation of the species," said attorney Reed Hopper.

The legal foundation, representing business groups, farmers and developers in the case, said its lawsuit would ultimately bring back jeopardized plants and animals, a claim dismissed by environmentalists. "Only the Pacific Legal Foundation is cynical enough to argue that taking away habitat protection will help endangered species," said Kieran Suckling, of the Center for Biological Diversity, which has appealed the whipsnake case. "This lawsuit is all about paving California and clearing the way for massive development."

Under the Endangered Species Act, the federal government is required to map out land that is essential to a plant or animal's survival and recovery. The so-called critical habitat designation has been a hot topic for business interests, environmentalists and the federal government. Environmentalists have sued to force the government to identify habitat to protect species while developers and farmers have sued to remove or alter the designation, which can crimp logging, mining and large-scale development projects.

The government, meanwhile, has said habitat designation pales in comparison to the protection afforded once a species is listed as endangered or threatened. The Fish and Wildlife Service has blamed litigation for creating a backlog of petitions to protect other species and for diverting funds that could be used for other protection efforts. "We could put more resources into recovery if we didn't have to spend those resources on critical habitat," said spokesman Al Donner.

More here


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


20 November, 2004


"Global warming could cause polar bears to go extinct by the end of the century by eroding the sea ice that sustains them," is the dire warning contained in a new report from an international group of "researchers" called the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. I'm not quite sure what the future holds for polar bears, but it doesn't appear that any alleged manmade global warming has anything to do with it.

The report, entitled "Impacts of a Warming Arctic," pretty much debunks itself on page 23 in the graph labeled, "Observed Arctic Temperature, 1900 to Present. The graph shows that Arctic temperatures fluctuate naturally in regular cycles that are roughly 40 years long. The Arctic seems currently to be undergoing a warming phase - similar to one experienced between 1920-1950 - which will likely be followed by a cooling phase - similar to the one experienced between 1950-1990.

The report's claim that increased manmade emissions of greenhouse gases are causing Arctic temperatures to rise is debunked by the same graph, which indicates that the near surface Arctic air temperature was higher around 1940 than now, despite all the greenhouse gas emissions since that time.

Also self-debunking is the report's statement, "Since the start of the industrial revolution, the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has increased by about 35 percent and the global average temperature has risen by about 0.6 degrees Centigrade." So despite all the greenhouse gases emitted by human activity over a period of 200 years - we're supposed to worry, and even panic, about a measly 0.6 degree Centrigrade rise in average global temperature during that time? Even if such a slight temperature change could credibly be estimated, it would seem to be well within the natural variation in average global temperature, which in the case of the Arctic, for example, is a range of about 3 degrees Centigrade. Remember, global climate isn't static - it's always either cooling or warming.

Even though manmade greenhouse gas emissions and warmer temperatures don't seem to be a problem in the Arctic according to their own data, the researchers nevertheless blamed them for causing supposed 15 percent declines in both the average weight of adult polar bears and number of cubs born between 1981 and 1998 in the Hudson Bay region.

The 1999 study in the science journal Arctic that first reported apparent problems among the Hudson Bay polar bear population suggested that their condition may be related to the earlier seasonal break-up of sea ice on western Hudson Bay -a phenomenon that seems to correlate with the 1950-1990 Arctic warm-up. But, as mention previously, the 1950-1990 Arctic warming period seems to be part of a natural cycle and not due to manmade emissions of greenhouse gases.

Moreover, the notion of a declining polar bear population doesn't square well available information. A Canadian Press Newswire story earlier this year reported that, in three Arctic villages, polar bears "are so abundant there's a public safety issue." The local polar bear population reportedly increased from about 2,100 in 1997 to as many as 2,600 in 2004. Inuit hunters wanted to be able to kill more bears because they are "fearsome predators." An aerial survey of Alaskan polar bears published in "Arctic" (December 2003) reported a greater polar bear density than previous survey estimates dating back to 1987.

More here

You've got to read THIS about Greenies in Tasmania protesting against the cutting down of trees.


"On September 24, California's Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted a plan to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new cars and trucks starting in 2009. To sell cars in California, automakers will have to reduce fleet average GHG emissions by 22 percent in 2012 and 30 percent in 2016. CARB's rulemaking is a raw deal for auto dealers in California and any other state that mimics California's plan. To justify its rule, CARB cites the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) scary forecast of a 2.5F to 10.4F warming over the next 100 years. However, the IPCC forecast is junk science. The IPCC's warming estimates presuppose ridiculous economic growth rates in developing countries (i.e., most of the world). For example, even the IPCC's low-end (2.5F) forecast assumes that underachievers like North Korea, Libya, and Argentina grow so rapidly their per capita incomes will surpass U.S. per capita income in 2100! CARB's rule has no credible scientific rationale.

Sierra Research, Inc., in a report written for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, finds multiple problems in CARB's cost-effectiveness calculation. CARB inflated vehicle costs in the 2009 baseline (no regulation) case by assuming general adoption of expensive technologies such as 5- and 6-speed automatic transmissions. CARB knocked down by 30 percent its own contract researcher's cost estimates based on nothing more specific than staff's "experience" and the potential for "unforeseen innovations." CARB assumed that consumers benefit from fuel savings years after most cars are sold or scrapped. Whereas CARB projects a net lifetime consumer saving of $1,703, Sierra estimates a net loss of $3,357. The rule will reduce vehicle sales and put the brakes on the chief source of air quality improvement-replacement of older vehicles with newer, cleaner models. CARB's rule is bad for the environment!

If implemented, CARB's plan will hammer California auto dealers. The rule applies to automakers, not auto owners or operators. Unless CARB is prepared to build a wall around California, it cannot stop people from importing less regulated, more affordable cars from out of state.

More here


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


19 November, 2004


"Modernization, the replacement of muscle by machines, is a universal social solvent. Even when resisted, it erodes established social and economic patterns, and threatens ecosystems. The reason is compelling and pervasive; peasants and tribal members ultimately succumb to mechanisms yielding enhanced productivity. They rapidly scrap traditional practices in favor of those more materially productive. Many Greens argue the market process fosters these changes. They're correct. Hence, they insist, it must be stifled.

Here they are wrong. Given strong, nearly universal propensities toward improving material conditions, solutions to many environmental problems lie in fostering responsible wealth creation and broad distribution. Rich societies are cleaner, healthier, and ultimately greener.

This transition toward modernity disturbs many people, especially deep Greens. They are annoyed that so many people want what they consider the "wrong things", e.g. radios, motorized vehicles, refrigeration, hot water on demand, and TV. Thilo Bode, former executive director of Greenpeace Germany, exemplified this position when he wrote that the modern economy is "a fire-breathing vampire of petroleum which is slowly cooking our planet." He challenged the assertion that greater prosperity leads to environmental improvement. "The industrial revolution left London choking and buried beneath waste."

In the short run, he is often correct. Over the long term, however, his argument is both misanthropic and factually wrong. Modernization encourages international trade and trade fosters wealth. The logic of improving one's circumstances applies universally, even to Third World peasants. But Greenpeace, et al., want to deny opportunities. Those poor souls in impoverished areas presumably should continue their lives enmeshed in involuntary simplicity, high infant mortality, disease, and constrained opportunities to improve their well-being.

Modernization, however, is a glacial force. It produces massive dislocations and much sorrow among those displaced. Alas, not all good things go together. Recognizing this fact is a mark of maturity and sanity. But it would be folly to pretend away the inevitability of the forces producing modernization. Substantial change will occur regardless of the efforts of impassioned Greens.

The practical challenge is to recognize these forces and reform political institutions. The responsible goal is to channel predictable human desires into paths less destructive to things we value. Constructive reform increases people's freedom to act while holding them accountable for results of their actions. The refusal to recognize progress and act responsibly to foster it plagues many Greens. This problem is theirs to address. Until they do so, they will generate mischief and great suffering among the world's most poor and cause Third World practices to produce much unnecessary ecological damage."

(Post lifted from the Adam Smith blog)


THEY politicize what should be scientific issues and THEN blame GWB for politicizing things. Like all Leftists, they are great at psychological "projection" (seeing your own faults in others)

"Why is science seemingly at war with President Bush?" That's the question recently asked by a New York Times reporter in an article that begs for some perspective. The premise of Andrew Revkin's article ("Bush vs. the Laureates: How Science Became a Partisan Issue," Oct. 19) is that supposedly nonpartisan scientists are "bitter" toward the Bush administration for allegedly politicizing science - and the scientists have taken action with 48 Nobel laureates signing a letter this summer endorsing Sen. John Kerry for president. "Political action by scientists has not been so forceful since 1964," Revkin writes.

That may be true - although I would limit that statement to "some scientists." There are plenty of scientists who think that President Bush has not done enough to reverse the federal government's proclivity for junk science. But to the extent there is any uprising by some vocal scientists against President Bush, it's had little to do with science and everything to do with politics.

First, as far as the 48 Nobel Prize-winners supporting Kerry are concerned, none of them have any noted expertise in any of the particular public policy issues on which they criticize the Bush administration. Their views on public policy issues, in fact, are often no more informed than those held among the general public. So there is little meaning in highlighting the views of Nobel laureates.

Rockefeller University energy expert Jesse Ausbel told Revkin that researchers were angry with the Bush administration because they were excluded from policy circles that were open to them under previous administrations. "So these people who believe themselves important feel themselves belittled," Ausbel said.

Moving past the apparent rampant narcissism among these scientists, it's not clear why President Bush should have been saddled with scientists who may have advised President Clinton. Such scientists were often egregiously wrong on major scientific controversies - global warming, air quality and pesticides, to name a few. Global warming fretter-in-chief Dr. James Hansen told Revkin, "Under the Clinton-Gore administration, you did have occasions when Al Gore knew the answer he wanted, and he got annoyed if you presented something that wasn't consistent with that. I got a little fed up with him, but it was not institutionalized the way it is now."

Now let's see about that. There was the Clinton EPA's report claiming that secondhand smoke causes 3,000 lung cancer deaths annually - a report that was trashed by a federal judge who said that the Clinton EPA cheated on the science to reach a predetermined result.

Then there were the dubious air quality rules that the Clinton EPA rammed through in 1997. When Congress asked the Clinton EPA to provide the raw data from a key study to independent experts for verification, the agency shockingly refused, saying such a review would not accomplish anything.

And how could we forget the Clinton EPA's infamous program addressing chemicals in the environment that supposedly adversely affect hormonal systems (so-called endocrine disrupters?) That multibillion-dollar program survives (even under the Bush administration) despite the fact that the study that launched the program was withdrawn from publication because it was determined by federal investigators to be the product of scientific fraud.

There's also the Clinton EPA's baseless campaign to scare parents about alleged threats to children posed by chemicals in the environment, its senseless vilification of General Electric over PCBs in the Hudson River, and the agency's effort to scare us about allegedly cancer-causing dioxin in the food supply.

Those are just some of the examples of politicized science at the Clinton EPA - and it seems pretty institutional to me. This is not new. Politically correct science has been with us since at least the time of Galileo Galilei in the 16th century. It will be a difficult task to de-politicize science given that the federal government plays such a large role in funding scientific research and interpreting the scientific data that is used as the basis for law and regulation. President Bush inherited this inherently political process - he did not invent it.


Cool summer throws ice on global warming alarmists: "It's been a disappointing summer for global warming alarmists. Hollywood, Mother Nature, and the media just haven't cooperated. Even with the unusual situation of four successive hurricanes pounding Florida, global warming hysteria seems to be on ice for now. The summer began with so much promise for the climate control crowd, with the release of the global warming disaster movie 'The Day After Tomorrow.' Although the movie made plenty of money, global warming activists wanted much more than that."


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


18 November, 2004


"Swarms of locusts that have devastated crops and pastures across West Africa may hit countries as far away as Pakistan, a U.N. agency said yesterday as it announced an intensified control campaign. The desert locusts are moving into southwest Libya, southern Algeria and the borders of Morocco, the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said. Other swarms were reported in the south of the Western Sahara. The worst-affected countries include Senegal, Mauritania, Niger and Mali.

FAO Secretary-General Jacques Diouf said the FAO stepped up its campaign last month, but resources, including planes and ground vehicles, were tied up with other problems - such as hurricane damage in the Caribbean and the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan.

Almost a year after the FAO launched its first appeal for help with the locust problem, the agency has received just less than $20 million out of a total target of $100 million, Diouf said, with $43 million more pledged. He said environmental concerns about using pesticides had held up FAO efforts, and that the agency was studying alternatives. The FAO must use products registered in the countries affected by the swarms. It must also take into account that pesticides can become obsolete if they are overused. Of 7,413,000 acres of land affected, about 2,162,000 have been treated with pesticides.

Locusts are present every year in Africa, but this year's swarms are especially large because of prolonged periods of heavy rainfall. The insects eat their weight in crops every day, and group together in swarms that are dozens of miles long."



"Green groups like LCV pump up their political reps by ostentatiously targeting vulnerable Republicans. Their so-called "Dirty Dozen" are not, as you would expect, the congressmen with the worst environmental ratings. Rep. Steve Kuykendall (R-CA) had an LCV rating of 33, as did John Ensign (R-Nevada). GOP moderate Mark Neumann (R-WI) had a score of 29, much higher than dozens of congressman left alone by LCV. These vulnerable moderate Republicans were defeated. But when the LCV actually targeted a hard-core environmentally incorrect congressman-Helen Chenoweth of Idaho, with a rating of zero-she won easily in 1996 and 1998.

On the other hand, the Bush-Gore race should have been gold for the greens. Gore ran as Mr. Save-the-Earth, pummeling Bush and Dick Cheney for their oil industry ties. Yet even in a time of prosperity, the environment was at best a wash for Democrats. The 46 percent of voters in Fox News exit polls who said the environment was more important than growth voted 59-36 for Gore. But the 48 percent who identified themselves as pro-growth voted 58-39 for Bush. It was West Virginia's electoral votes that put Bush over the top-thanks to coal miners threatened by Kyoto. One can argue that in West Virginia Kyoto cost Gore the entire election.

When environmental issues were put directly to the American people in November 2000 as state initiatives, the greens lost two efforts in Arizona to limit growth, one anti-sprawl measure in Colorado, an anti-logging measure in Maine and a ban on billboards in Missouri. Oregon voters passed a property rights initiative opposed by the greens.

Why do greens have so few confirmed kills? Several reasons. First, the polling can be deceptive. If you ask Americans if they are in favor of clean water, of course they say yes. Mom and apple pie, too. But when pollster Kellyanne Conway asked actual voters on election day 2000: "What is the most important issue facing the country, the one you yourself are most concerned about?" the environment came in at two percent. In March of 2001, Gallup also asked an open-ended question: "What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?" Once again, the environment came in at two percent, or sixteenth.

So pro-growth candidates running scared should think again. Instead of caving into bad science and perverse plans, the Coalition of Republican Environmental Advocates argues that the GOP should master the art of turning environmental pieties into sound policies. Stay on the right side of the local issues, and, on the national level, take the case to voters that property rights and free-market solutions make for a better environment, just as they make better products and services. You can log trees, as long as you love 'em too.

Not convinced? Remember the GOP's long-standing anti-welfare sentiment went nowhere until voters were convinced that welfare was bad not only for taxpayers, but for poor people too. A similar political jujitsu is needed on the environment, persuading city-dwelling Americans that government mismanagement is as dangerous to the environment as any chemical. What good is it to stop timber harvesting if it leads to three times as many trees destroyed by forest fires? Why destroy the Hudson in order to save it?"

More here


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


17 November, 2004

More Greenie exhibitionists: Greenpeace on the cheap: "A luncheon meeting of The Scripps Research Institute board of directors at The Breakers resort was stripped of all decorum Monday when two topless women surprised the diners in the Seafood Bar with a 30-second chant to protest the science center's planned expansion to a Palm Beach County wetlands area. 'Nature yes, biotech no,' sang out Lynne Purvis and Veronica Robleto, both 24, who described themselves as environmental activists from Lake Worth. Those words also were painted on their bodies."


From USA Today

"The resurrection of Kyoto creates an opportunity for the U.S., which emits 25% of the world's greenhouse gases, to tackle an issue that soon will be much harder to ignore. Much of the world is setting emissions standards that U.S. companies operating abroad will have to meet. And U.S.-based plants risk being left behind in adopting new technologies that not only cut emissions but also boost efficiency and lower business costs. That wasn't the case in 2001, when President Bush declared that the U.S. wouldn't join the treaty. His reasoning was that U.S. companies would have the toughest time meeting the standards and would have to spend billions to comply, at a cost of jobs.

Another problem: Europeans and other nations opposed a U.S. plan to let polluting countries or factories buy credits to emit greenhouse gases from those cleaner than required - as long as the emissions on balance were reduced. The concept already is working in the U.S.

In a third rub, developing countries with burgeoning industries and pollution - such as China, India, Brazil and even neighboring Mexico - would be exempt from the treaty, since they hadn't created the problem. They could continue to spew, gaining a competitive edge over U.S. products and jobs.

Even if the next president refuses to join Kyoto, he still can voluntary abide by its goals and give a boost to U.S. businesses in:

* Flexibility. The treaty now includes the U.S. trading idea. A potentially lucrative commodity market in "hot air" credits is booming. U.S.-based firms are missing out.

* New technologies. Scores of U.S. companies, such as DuPont and Alcoa, have already begun adopting clean-air technologies. Many are finding that they're saving money by becoming more efficient, and they want to find markets for selling their technology, along with excess "hot air" credits. An extra benefit: reduced reliance on foreign oil.

* Developing countries' compliance. The U.S. could join a drive to impose limits on China, India and other emerging industrial giants, narrowing their competitive edge.

What has become clear since the last presidential campaign is that the debate over whether the Earth is warming has evaporated, replaced by one about how to cope with its looming effects. The potential economic costs of doing nothing - devastated farming, rising sea levels and severe weather patterns - would far outweigh those required to address the problem.

Several states consider global warming so serious that they've stepped into the vacuum. California, for one, wants a 30% cut in vehicle-tailpipe emissions by 2015. The rest of the world, in other words, has moved on. The Day after Tomorrow may only be a nightmare dreamed up by Hollywood, but the U.S. can create its own pragmatic scenario for attacking a real-life threat."

And it deserves an even more mini reply:

"USA TODAY's editorial fails to make an economic case for U.S. ratification of the Kyoto Protocol ("Global warming shift gets cold shoulder," Our view, Greenhouse gas emissions debate, Oct. 21).

It argues that, unlike businesses in Kyoto-ratifying countries, U.S.-based plants "risk being left behind in adopting new technologies that not only cut emissions but also boost efficiency and lower business costs."

Not so. In a global marketplace, U.S. firms will adopt whatever technologies "boost efficiency and lower business costs," whether the USA ratifies Kyoto or not. Besides, the editorial seems to confuse energy efficiency with economic efficiency. Kyoto's emission caps are a stealth energy tax, and energy taxes raise firms' production costs, not lower them.

Finally, Kyoto's emission-trading scheme is not a new feature that somehow renders obsolete President Bush's reasons for rejecting Kyoto in 2001. Kyoto has emphasized emissions trading since its inception in December 1997. Kyoto was and remains an expensive, non-solution to an unproven problem."



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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


16 November, 2004


This bit of shallow scare-mongering continues to get press attention here and there. Both I (on 3rd.) and Louis Hissink have already pointed out many flaws in it but I thought I might reproduce below the contrary evidence in "The Economist's" article on the subject:

While acknowledging that disintegration this century is still an unlikely outcome, Dr Oppenheimer argues that the evidence of the past few years suggests it is more likely to happen over the next few centuries if the world does not reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. He worries that an accelerating Arctic warming trend may yet push the ice melt beyond an "irreversible on/off switch".

That is scary stuff, but some scientists remain unimpressed. Patrick Michaels, a climatologist at the University of Virginia, complains about the ACIA's data selection, which he believes may have produced evidence of "spurious warming". He also points out, in a new book*, that even if Arctic temperatures are rising, that need not lead directly to the ice melting. As he puts it, "Under global warming, Greenland's ice indeed might grow, especially if the warming occurs mostly in winter. After all, warming the air ten degrees when the temperature is dozens of degrees below freezing is likely to increase snowfall, since warmer air is generally moister and precipitates more water."

Nils-Axel Morner, a Swedish climate expert based at Stockholm University, points out that observed rises in sea levels have not matched the IPCC's forecasts. Since this week's report relies on many such IPCC assumptions, he concludes it must be wrong. Others acknowledge that there is a warming trend in the Arctic, but insist that the cause is natural variability and not the burning of fossil fuels. Such folk point to the extraordinarily volatile history of Arctic temperatures. These varied, often suddenly, long before sport-utility vehicles were invented (see chart). However, the chart also shows that the past few millennia have been a period of unusual stability in the Arctic. It is just possible that the current period of warming could tip the delicate Arctic climate system out of balance, and so drag the rest of the planet with it.


"Bailey then wonders why the authors of a Greenland Ice Cap is melting scenario did not cite a recent paper showing that average temperatures in Greenland have been falling at the rather steep rate of 2.2 degrees Celsius since 1987? Facts suggest temperatures are dropping, but fantasy asserts that the Greenland ice cap is melting....

Which brings me to an interesting remark made by a scientist in the plasma physics field in answer to a question I posed on a restricted discussion group, concerning greenhouse and temperatures. I repeat it here verbatim:

"The fallacy with this (LH - Greenhouse effect) is the confusion of the visible-light radiation surface with the infrared-light radiation surface. The first is the ground, the second is the top of the atmosphere. Reducing "radiation loss" at the ground-with-atmosphere can't be compared with the radiation loss of the ground-without-atmosphere. The proper comparison would be radiation-plus-convection loss (with atm) against radiation loss (without atm), or, equivalently, radiation-from-atmosphere-top (with atm) against radiation-from- ground (without atm). The atmosphere doesn't "trap" heat, it just adds a "convection" step in the transfer process. To get "global warming" from that, some mechanism would have to slow down convection- -a true greenhouse (glass roof) effect. The amount of atmospheric absorption (amount of "greenhouse gasses") would be irrelevant.

Of course, the primary fallacy is the assumption that total energy input is known--exclusively from insolation. The presence of plasma circuits--and the evidence of most planets radiating more than they receive from the sun--renders the entire argument frivolous."

And that, like all Green Assertions, makes human induced global warming from the burning of fossil fuels entirely frivolous. The reason a greenhouse works is because it stops circulation of the air - but the earth's atmosphere circulates and as John Christie shows with his satellite data, the earth is not warming up, so the Greenhouse effect so beloved of our fact-challenged Greens does not exist. The excess energy trapped in CO2 is simply radiated out to space by convection.

One other factor which seems not well understood is that, apart from fossil fuels not being based on fossils, it is clear that under present day climatic conditions, organic matter is continually recycled in the biosphere. There are no fossils being formed at present, so ancient fossil accumulations, whether brown coal or fossilised dinosaurs, represents carbon that has been accidentally removed from the biosphere, resulting in a significant reduction in carbon levels. So burning fossil fuels merely returns the accidentally removed carbon back to the biosphere.... "

More here


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


15 November, 2004

TV Networks Tout Alleged Harm of Global Warming But Hide Massive Costs of Kyoto Treaty

Peddling a "Cure" Worse than the Disease

The 2004 election is over and defeated liberals are urging President Bush to pander to them, not the conservative majority that re-elected him. One issue liberal activists have pushed since Election Day is global warming, and network reporters are again ringing alarm bells about the climate catastrophe that supposedly awaits. "Severe climate change is accelerating," ABC's Bill Blakemore warned on Monday's World News Tonight as he quoted a pair of alarmist reports. "Polar bears are starving as the ice they hunt on vanishes, along with the seals they eat. Millions of birds are affected as spring comes too early and the fish they eat [have] gone to seek cooler waters."

ABC directly attributed global warming to "the increase in man-made gases since the Industrial Revolution," and passed along advice that "cutting back emissions from burning fossil fuels should eventually stop the warming, but will still take many decades." But ABC was silent on the high costs associated with such a severe cutback, and ignored the fact that many scientists doubt liberals' alarmist predictions. ABC's one-sided approach is all too typical, according to a new study by the MRC's Free Market Project. Researchers looked at coverage of global warming on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and the Fox News Channel on each network's evening newscast from January 20, 2001 through September 30, 2004. They found the coverage reinforced liberal theories about a dangerous man-made global warming, while all but ignoring the dangers of enacting liberals' solution:

* No Debate Over the Science. Of the 107 stories that discussed the causes of global warming, the vast majority (83 percent) failed to mention scientific doubts about the truth of environmental activists' claims of an impending global warming catastrophe. No story was biased against the liberal view, and only one out of six (17 percent) offered a glimpse of the conservative position alongside liberal theories. But doubts abound: One flaw in liberal arguments: Satellite and weather balloon data show none of the warming found by land-based thermometers.

* Hyping the Harm. TV reporters tried to link specific weather events to global climate change. On August 6, 2003, NBC's Patricia Sabga blamed a European heat wave on global warming. "Learning to live with blistering heat may prove a long-term strategy," she counseled. But that same week, the eastern United States was experiencing much cooler than normal temperatures.

* Little Coverage of Kyoto's Costs. Environmentalists got their wish in 1998 when the Clinton administration signed the Kyoto treaty, agreeing to a sharp reduction in carbon emissions. The U.S. got the worst of that deal - other countries were assigned lower reductions or completely exempted. The Senate voted 95-0 to reject those terms, but liberals still insist Kyoto is the model for "solving" the global warming problem.

But while network coverage stressed the need to reduce emissions, only ABC and Fox - just once each - gave viewers statistics summarizing the conservative point that Kyoto would cost millions of jobs and punish families to the tune of $2,700 a year. In 1998, the Clinton administration also estimated the high costs of complying with Kyoto, but those numbers never made it on the airwaves. During Bush's first term, the networks aligned themselves with activists hoping that America would punish itself by accepting something like the onerous Kyoto treaty. Coverage since November 2 indicates more of the same awaits.



It's all those factories and power stations they've got up there

"Mars' distinctive personality is finally emerging. After five successful Mars missions launched in the past seven years, planetary scientists no longer describe the fourth planet from the sun in terms of its better-known relatives - Mars as the moon with an atmosphere, as Earth with craters. Today, scientists know far more about the salty sea that once washed across Mars' face and the volcanoes that erupted billions of years ago, experts said Tuesday night at a free public Mars forum.

A few billion years ago, Mars sported liquid water and temperatures balmy enough that life could have been possible, the scientists concluded. "It had habitable environments," said Steven Squyres, a Cornell University planetary scientist. "Now the question becomes, 'Were they actually inhabited?"'

Michael Malin, president of Malin Space Science Systems, talked about gullies that may have been sculpted recently by liquid water; evidence of ancient seas; and the discovery that the planet's south polar cap of dry ice is losing weight. "Mars is experiencing global warming," Malin said. "And we don't know why.""

There seems to be general agreement that there has been a slight global warming on earth in recent years but it is only theory to say that the warming has been caused by human activity. One of several alternative explanations is that the output of the sun has gone up fractionally in that time. Solar variability has, of course, been known since Galileo. Since there are no people on Mars and Mars is also undergoing recent global warming, variability in solar output becomes the obvious explanation for what is happening to both planets. Were the Greenies not involved, the "anthropogenic" theory of terrestrial global warming would be universally dismissed as bunk.

More here


This past week has seen significant media coverage of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's 'global warming' fears.... We might wonder what makes him so fearful.... The most impressive warming evident occurred from the 1690s through 1730s with the running mean climbing almost 2C! We imagine that was a significant relief in the depths of the Little Ice Age although 1740 was obviously a bummer. Abrupt warmings also occurred in the 1770s; 1810s/20s; 1890s and 1990s. Abrupt coolings are evident and a relatively sustained warming in the first half of the Twentieth Century. With our 10-year running mean showing warmer than the series mean for almost the entire Twentieth Century it is fair to say there has been a net warming over the record period. Some argue that warming is a problem and we will not dwell on our contention that warming is distinctly preferable to cooling.

Having established that there has been a warming and avoided the question of whether this constitutes a problem, the next and obvious question is: "why has this occurred?" Tony Blair appears convinced by the enhanced greenhouse hypothesis but atmospheric CO2 levels do not fit changes in the CET at all well. For example, from 1695 to 1733, the annual mean temperature rose from 7.25C to 10.47C at a time when there was negligible change in atmospheric CO2 - the running mean did not return to such readings until the 1990s. On the other hand, annual mean temperatures fell from 10.62C in 1949 to 8.47C by 1963, a period when atmospheric CO2 levels were measurably rising. Greenhouse does not appear to be exerting a strong influence on the CET.

If not greenhouse then what? Certainly there has been significant urbanization - with the English population rising from about 9 million in 1800 to almost 50 million now that is inevitable. Urbanization or at least population growth, however, has been continuously positive since the mid-17th century and that does not really suit our mean temperature track either. Or does it? Consider the effect of so many more urbanites and their fuel sources of the day - see how Roehampton University writes it up:

What is the urban effect on sunshine? This is one aspect of the region's climate that has dramatically changed over the late 19th and 20th centuries. At the height of the Industrial Revolution in the latter half of the 19th century, vast amounts of smoke and soot were emitted into the atmosphere in London. This led to the absorption or blocking of a remarkable proportion of the incoming radiation from the sunshine and hence sunshine amounts were curtailed.

It is difficult to believe today how profound this effect was and how quickly it has changed. In the 1880s, it was estimated that London was 'losing' up to 80% of its winter sunshine. In December 1890 no sunshine was recorded at Westminster. As recently as 1921-50, central London averaged only 50% of the winter sunshine as surrounding rural areas. The effect was concentrated in winter because of the increased emission of smoke and soot associated with the greater use of coal burning to heat houses and offices and also because of the low angle of the sun.

The situation is quite different today - emissions of pollutants that cause a shading effect have dropped dramatically with the switch away from coal as the prime source of energy in industry and in the home, a change well under way before the passing of the Clean Air Acts in the 1950s and 1960s. Not only has this led to a reduction in the frequency of winter smogs and fog (possibly assisted by more mobile, changeable winters in recent decades) but on occasions, central London is now sunnier than the outlying areas because of the urban heating effect evaporating low cloud or fog.

Seems plausible, a lot more people, all using what would currently be abhorred as "dirty" fuels, could conceivably generate enough smoke to interfere with solar warming, at least regionally. We are not aware that anyone seriously disputes the dramatic improvement in urban air quality over the Twentieth Century so increased solar radiation penetration to surface must at least be entertained as a probable result. Here is a mechanism by which increasing populations could influence both increase and decrease of regional temperatures and specifically where near-surface temperature readings are recorded. Importantly, it is not merely current urban heat island effect, which datasets try to address (with varying and, we think, limited success) that is affected by urbanization but, through earlier regional sunshine suppression, prior cooling (not addressed in any dataset to our knowledge) that gives the impression of current warming within the dataset. While merely an assertion rather than any form of cause and effect explanation for recorded temperature trends, the differing effect of urbanization over time highlights some of the problems with simplistic associations like enhanced greenhouse - it is not as simple as: atmospheric greenhouse gas levels have risen; recorded temperatures have risen - therefore greenhouse gases drive temperature......

Tony Blair seems to have fallen into the old post hoc, ergo propter hoc (it happened after, so it was caused by) trap. Do global temperatures react to recent increases in atmospheric greenhouse gasses? Quite possibly but temperatures obviously respond to other influences, possibly much more so than atmospheric CO2. From what we can see, GHGs are a poor fit with measured global near-surface temperatures, so, too, are simple urbanization and sunspot numbers, although length of solar cycle appears to have promise as a primary driver.

Whatever is finally discovered to be the case, simplistic notions about greenhouse gasses appear to fit the post hoc fallacy far better than they do global temperature. Some of the things so briefly discussed here might be drivers of global temperature but hardly in isolation. As the source of global warmth, the sun, and its various phases, looks a likely culprit as a primary driver of global climate, as do the Earth's orbital eccentricities.

On reflection, having the CET show the 1990s just barely eclipse annual mean temperature recorded in 1733 (a 266 year-old record following a temperature climb of ~3.25C in under 4 decades, a rise which would cause pandemonium today), suggests negligible warming over two and one-half centuries, despite massive population increase, urbanization and clearer skies allowing greater solar radiation penetration to ground. We freely admit cherry picking some of the dates used for comparison here - and why not, the greenhouse industry is shameless in their selective use of data - our purpose is to demonstrate that there's really nothing new under the sun.

A favorite comparison is the temperature increase since 1880 (roughly the end of the Little Ice Age) and that's fine. The CET above certainly indicates an annual mean increase of ~1.6C 1880-1999 - half that observed 1695-1733. Twice the warming occurred over one-third the time and this was before humanity could possibly have significantly influenced the greenhouse gas balance in the atmosphere, so why the current panic over possible warming and specifically over atmospheric CO2?

To return to our original point, Tony Blair has made much of enhanced greenhouse and global warming - the Central England Temperature record suggests his fears are groundless. You can either believe a 340-year temperature record or a politician - suit yourself.

More (much more) here


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


14 November, 2004


You may remember the early computer game called "Spy versus Spy". Truth is stranger than fiction

"The Center for Biological Diversity ("CBD") filed a lawsuit today against Florida energy producer FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE symbol: FPL) and Danish wind power company NEG Micon A/S for their part in the illegal ongoing killing of tens of thousands of protected birds by wind turbines at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area ("APWRA") in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Through their subsidiaries and associated entities, FPL Group and NEG Micon own or operate roughly half of the approximately 5,400 wind turbines at the APWRA. Each year, wind turbines at the APWRA kill up to 60 or more golden eagles and hundreds of other hawks, owls, and other protected raptors. These bird kills have continued for 20 years in flagrant violation of the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and several California Fish and Game Code provisions. The lawsuit alleges that these violations and bird kills are unlawful and unfair business practices under the California Business and Professions Code.

"Altamont Pass wind turbines are causing extremely high levels of bird mortality along a major raptor migration route and are likely depleting eagle, hawk, and owl populations not only locally but throughout the western U. S.," said Jeff Miller, spokesperson for CBD. "We absolutely support wind power, but it is past time for the primary turbine owners, FPL Energy and NEG Micon, to address this problem.... "Altamont Pass has become a death zone for eagles and other magnificent and imperiled birds of prey. Recent studies have proposed numerous recommendations for mitigating the devastating effect of Altamont Pass wind turbines on birds, yet the industry is blindly charging ahead replacing existing turbines with new and much larger turbines without any requirement of effective preventative measures or remediation for ongoing bird kills," said Richard Wiebe, attorney for the plaintiffs....

The extraordinary numbers of raptor deaths continue unabated, due in part to the complete regulatory failure by federal, state, and local officials to enforce wildlife protection laws. "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U. S. Attorney's Office, California Department of Fish and Game, and Alameda and Contra Costa Counties bear equal responsibility for the ongoing bird atrocity at Altamont for their failure to impose any meaningful mitigation requirements or protective measures on the Altamont Pass wind power industry," stated Miller.

To add insult to injury, the Altamont Pass wind power industry has been receiving massive tax credits as well as government cash grants funded by surcharges imposed on California's electricity consumers as part of the state's flawed deregulation plan, all of which serve to subsidize the killing of birds. "The wind power industry receives tens of millions of dollars in revenue from California's consumers, as well as enormous tax credits and government subsidies, based on the perception that it provides `green' energy, yet continues to kill thousands of protected birds annually," said Miller. "The Altamont companies routinely kill rare birds that are the natural heritage of all Californians, and take taxpayer subsidies home to Florida and Denmark." According to wind industry reports, the Altamont Pass fiasco has tainted public perception of wind energy and hampered wind power development, as concerns about bird impacts has delayed or discontinued other wind facilities."

More here


It's slowly happening

A Brisbane wind-farm company has bowed to community protest and withdrawn from a controversial $100 million project on Victoria's picturesque western coastline. The move comes as the Victorian parliament this week prepares to debate a new bill on wind energy development.

However, the Bracks Government denied the scrapping of Nirranda Wind Farm, 20km east of Warnambool, was a setback to its plans to have 1000 megawatts of wind generating capacity installed in Victoria by 2006. Energy Minister Theo Theophanous said the decision not to go ahead with Nirranda was in keeping with the Government's "appropriate and sustainable development of the Great Ocean Road" area. Mr Theophanous said the Government preferred wind farms to be located inland and Brisbane company Stanwell's decision meant there was now only one coastal farm among nine proposals before the state Government. However, of the three wind farms already operating, two are on the coast and another three have been approved for coastal areas.

The decision to abandon the Nirranda plant, at the scenic Bay of Islands, is believed to be the first time the company has withdrawn a wind farm application. Geelong Ocean Road Marketing chairman Roger Grant led the community campaign against the Nirranda development. He said the decision was "a victory for common sense and for the protection of one of the most beautiful places in the world". It is the second proposed wind farm to be axed in Victoria this year. Plans for a wind farm being built by a different company at nearby Nirranda South were scrapped in September.

Another coastal wind farm at Bald Hills, in South Gippsland, is embroiled in a wave of protest that became an election issue in the federal seat of McMillan and helped the Coalition's Russell Broadbent oust the sitting member. At the height of the campaign, British environmentalist David Bellamy visited Bald Hills and spoke out against wind farms.

More here


But they're not rushing to buy. How surprising.

There are tall, thick alders and gargantuan maples on John Henrikson's land that could line his pockets handsomely if he cut them for timber, but he leaves most of them standing - cutting only the ones nearing the end of their life span. "I'm not going to touch this," he said, admiring one of the red alders on his 100 acres in this tiny town in southwestern Washington. "This is an unbelievably healthy tree." That attitude goes along with his desire to get "green certification" - sort of like an "organically grown" label on produce - for his trees.

He's thought about trying to do that through the environmentally strict Forest Stewardship Council, an independent group based in Germany that promotes environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial use of forests, but he can't afford it. It can cost thousands of dollars just to get a tract of land checked out for that organization. Soon, though, Henrikson and several other western Washington forest owners will band together in their own certification group. At most a five-year contract will cost him $1,000, and he he'll get help marketing his eco-friendly wood to mills. "This is a good opportunity for me," Henrikson said. "The alternative prior to this was doing it on my own, which would be too expensive and a difficult process trying to figure out by myself."

Green certification of forest products is an emerging market that's gaining ground in places like Washington state that encourage environmentally sound building techniques for big public projects. In addition, major retailers including Home Depot and Lowe's have buying policies that favor certified wood. Most of the flooring Starbucks buys is green certified, and Swedish furniture retailer IKEA is a big buyer, said Michael Washburn, vice president of forestry and marketing for the U.S. chapter of the Forest Stewardship Council.

Landowners aren't expecting to make a quick buck because most mills aren't yet clamoring for green-certified wood. They see green certification as more of a rewarding seal of approval for the extra care they take logging their land than any sure economic bet. "Making forestry profitable is a lot tougher than it used to be, but this program gives landowners a new opportunity to connect with consumers that value their work," said Ian Hanna, who will run the group certification program Henrikson plans to join when it launches early next year. Homeowners planning do-it-yourself projects are not likely to find a neat stack of certified 2-by-4s at the local lumber yard. In most cases, it has to be specially ordered. It's often around 10 percent more expensive, industry experts say.

Eric Fritch, a mill owner in Snohomish, has been buying and selling certified wood for about three years and sees it as a promising product - especially in a region as eco-friendly as the Pacific Northwest. He's already told the Northwest Natural Resource Group he's eager to buy more certified wood and will pay an extra $25 for every 1,000 board feet over what he pays for noncertified wood. As long as he breaks even, he said he's willing to give the market time to mature.

More here


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


13 November, 2004


The Bush administration today unveils its energy policy, one that will rightfully put energy supply, and better ways of delivering that supply, at the center of our nation's energy efforts. The howls have already begun, with environmental groups, Democrats and a few misguided Republican "moderates" furious that conservation policies haven't been given a leading role.

For the past decade, U.S. energy policy has followed the conservationist agenda like a bible. Bill Clinton came to office promising to put policies that stifled demand for energy ahead of those that actually produced the stuff. Federal and state governments have spent hundreds of millions on tax rebates and programs that "encouraged" people to use less; consumers have shelled out as much complying with regulations that mandated greater efficiency in everything from cars to air conditioners.

Today, we see the results. Energy consumption hasn't gone down; rather, it has stubbornly risen by an average of about 1.7% a year since the early 1980s, despite the increasing weight of conservation policies. And now, after years of neglect, the supply side is a wreck. Environmental regulations have stifled exploration, as well as power-plant and refinery construction; electrical lines and gas pipes are bottlenecked. The entire West, as well as states like New York, faces energy crises and blackouts.

Clearly, demand management is not the answer. That's because it serves mainly to distort supply and demand--like all government policies that meddle in markets. In fact, economists show that government-led demand reduction often produces an effect that is the exact opposite of the one intended: to wit, that enforced conservation actually causes people to use more energy, not less. The idea is simple: Making a product more efficient makes it cheaper to use. This, in turn, causes people to use a product more. Also known as the "rebound effect," it's an idea that has been around a long time...

Conservationists are aware of these economic arguments, and of the fact that they have little or nothing to show after decades of enforced demand reduction. They also know that from a pure supply standpoint, they face a losing battle to convince people to conserve. After all, the world continues to experience an increase, rather than a decrease, in proved energy reserves. Today's proved oil reserves around the world are twice what they were in 1970. In this country alone, we have 300 years' worth of known coal reserves.

More here


"White man speak with forked tongue"

"Louisiana electricity customers could be seeing more green -- both in their wallets and in their power -- as more companies look to develop cheaper renewable energy sources. AEP-SWEPCO recently began soliciting proposals for the generation of up to 250 megawatts of wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass or biomass-based waste energy like landfill gas. The New Iberia company Wind Energy Systems Technologies wants to equip abandoned oil platforms with turbines that will transform wind into power. And earlier this year, General Motors announced it is using landfill gas generated at Shreveport's Woolworth Road Landfill instead of natural gas.

"Any company that can diversify their energy sources has got to be good for Louisiana, it's good for the environment," said Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, who introduced a resolution earlier this year that encourages companies to consider producing wind energy in the Gulf of Mexico. "This is something unique to Louisiana. We ought to do everything possible to make this a reality in our state. The greatest thing is it lessens the dependency on foreign oil and gas."

SWEPCO's parent company AEP has long used renewable energy, but it will be the first time that customers in SWEPCO's system would benefit. Coal- and lignite-fired generating plants provide a majority of power for customers in northwest Louisiana. "If you have cheaper fuel on your system, then those savings are passed on to customers," said SWEPCO spokesman Scott McCloud. The savings generated would depend on the proposals received from the companies that could place new generating facilities into service by the end of next year.

"We're only going to look for the type of energy that will be economically feasible for us and our customers," McCloud said.

[Is he serious? "Alternative" energy is always dearer. If it were cheaper it would already be in use!]

At GM, the use of landfill gas saves the plant approximately $500,000. The gas is captured and processed by Renovar Shreveport LLC, then transported to GM's facility via a seven-mile pipeline. The landfill gas represents one-third of total energy used at the plant.

AEP decided to pursue renewable energy generation for SWEPCO following the recent extension of a 10-year federal tax credit for renewable energy resources".

[Now we're talking! It's only cheaper because of a tax break -- meaning that taxes elsewhere will go up -- so the consumer still loses]

More here


'Pylons "double child cancer risk",' says BBC News, reporting on research from the Childhood Cancer Research Group at Oxford University. 70,000 children under 15 were studied for the report, half of whom had cancer of various types. For most types of cancer, whether children had lived near power lines had no effect. However, the rate of leukaemia for those relatively few children born or living near power lines was 1.7 times higher than for other children. The report author, Dr Gerald Draper, believes that power lines may be responsible for 20-30 cases per year that would not otherwise have occurred.

Don't panic: Even the report author believes caution is required in interpreting these figures. 'The findings have been surprising, it has made us want to figure out the reasons for these results, and whether power lines might be to blame. But I feel strongly that we have not yet found out conclusively that this is the case,' said Dr Draper.

There are around 500 cases of leukaemia per year in children in the UK, so the risk for any particular household is low. Doubling a tiny risk is still a tiny risk. Even if this new report were accurate, it would suggest an increase in the risk of leukaemia from about 1 in 1400 to around 1 in 700 for the relatively small number of families who actually live near power lines. According to John Brignell, discussing a similar finding in 2001 elsewhere on spiked, that amounts to an extra case of leukaemia every other year.

In any event, the overall risk is so small that it is very possible that this figure is just a statistical artefact and there is no real effect at all. Moreover, no-one has yet managed to put forward a convincing mechanism for how the fields created by power lines might cause cancer.

Other research has shown no link. For example, in 1999, UK Childhood Cancer Survey found no link between the strength of electromagnetic fields in the home and cancer. This would seem to be a superior study in that the strength of such fields was actually measured, rather than simply assuming that fields were higher in homes near pylons. Families may very well not want to live near pylons because they tend to spoil the view, but there is little evidence they will cause cancer.



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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


12 November, 2004


I suppose there is a certain bitter irony in a Greenie school costing the earth!

The new T.C. Williams High School, scheduled for construction next month, is expected to cost $92 million, the most expensive in the history of the Alexandria public school system. "People are starting to worry," said Frank Putzu, president of the Seminary Hill Association, a local civic organization. "When you start talking about $90 million, that's a lot of money. Nobody really understands why this is so expensive or what they're doing that is costing so much." The high school is for students in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades. Most area ninth-graders attend the Minnie Howard School.

Mr. Putzu said renovations at Minnie Howard have been delayed to help pay for the increasing cost of the new high school, which some people call "T.C. Green." "I don't think we have a clear idea yet just how much this is really going to cost," Mr. Putzu said. "That's what's causing the uneasiness. [The cost] started at $81 million, it creeped up to $87 million, and now it's at $92 million. These projects never come in at cost."

Moseley Architects designed the new school at a cost estimated to be about 1.5 percent more than a conventional school building. The average cost of construction per square foot is $199.57, more than $50 higher than the average construction costs for Virginia high schools built in the past seven years, according to the Virginia Department of Education. "We know of [no other schools] in that league," said Charles Pyle, the department's director of communications. Supporters of the project acknowledge an environmentally friendly school is expensive, but say the energy-efficient equipment and other features will reduce the cost of everyday operations. David Peabody, a member of Alexandrians for a Green T.C. group, said the higher price will be repaid in three years because the cost of operating the new school will be less.

The existing school is of a 1950s design, "and its life expectancy has expired," he said. The school will be built on the existing school's football field, and construction is scheduled to begin Dec. 4. Student athletes will play at other schools while the new school is built.

Recycled building materials, energy-efficient lighting and a system that converts rainwater into water for toilets and irrigation are among the environmentally friendly features.... The building is expected to look like most other new schools, but will have ceramic tile instead of paint in the hallway. Some of the building materials also will be nontoxic and nonallergenic, and the building will have an advanced air-filtration system.

More here


New data from Patagonia:

In our many reviews of recently-published studies that reveal the existence of a widespread millennial-scale oscillation of climate, we routinely draw attention to evidence for the worldwide occurrence of the Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period, Dark Ages Cold Period, Roman Warm Period, etc. We here continue in this vein in reviewing a study that identifies all of the above climatic intervals -- plus others -- in the Patagonian ice fields of South America.

Glasser et al. (2004) describe a large body of evidence related to glacier fluctuations in the two major ice fields of Patagonia: the Hielo Patagonico Norte (47o00'S, 73o39'W) and the Hielo Patagonico Sur (between 48o50'S and 51o30'S). This evidence indicates that the most recent glacial advances in Patagonia occurred during the Little Ice Age, out of which serious cold spell the earth has been gradually emerging for the past two centuries, causing many glaciers to retreat. Prior to the Little Ice Age, however, there was an interval of higher temperatures known as the Medieval Warm Period, when glaciers also decreased in size and extent; and this warm interlude was in turn preceded by a still earlier era of pronounced glacial activity that is designated the Dark Ages Cold Period, which was also preceded by a period of higher temperatures and retreating glaciers that is denoted the Roman Warm Period.

Prior to the Roman Warm Period, Glasser et al.'s presentation of the pertinent evidence suggests there was another period of significant glacial advance that also lasted several hundred years, which was preceded by a several-century interval when glaciers once again lost ground, which was preceded by yet another multi-century period of glacial advance, which was preceded by yet another long interval of glacier retrenchment, which was preceded by still another full cycle of such temperature-related glacial activity, which at this point brings us all the way back to sometime between 6000 and 5000 14C years before the present (BP).

Glasser et al. additionally cite the works of a number of other scientists that reveal a similar pattern of cyclical glacial activity over the preceding millennia in several other locations. Immediately to the east of the Hielo Patagonico Sur in the Rio Guanaco region of the Precordillera, for example, they report that Wenzens (1999) detected five distinct periods of glacial advancement: "4500-4200, 3600-3300, 2300-2000, 1300-1000 14C years BP and AD 1600-1850." With respect to the glacial advancements that occurred during the cold interval that preceded the Roman Warm Period, they say they are "part of a body of evidence for global climatic change around this time (e.g., Grosjean et al., 1998; Wasson and Claussen, 2002), which coincides with an abrupt decrease in solar activity," adding that this observation "led van Geel et al. (2000) to suggest that variations in solar irradiance are more important as a driving force in variations in climate than previously believed." Finally, with respect to the most recent recession of Hielo Patogonico Norte outlet glaciers from their late historic moraine limits at the end of the 19th century, Glasser et al. say that "a similar pattern can be observed in other parts of southern Chile (e.g., Kuylenstierna et al., 1996; Koch and Kilian, 2001)." Likewise, they note that "in areas peripheral to the North Atlantic and in central Asia the available evidence shows that glaciers underwent significant recession at this time (cf. Grove, 1988; Savoskul, 1997)," which again suggests the operation of a globally-distributed forcing factor such as cyclically-variable solar activity.

In concluding their study, Glasser et al. consider a number of "possible explanations for the patterns of observed glacier fluctuations." Since so many factors come into play in this regard, however, and since a good percentage of glaciers refuse to respond as their neighbors do, it is difficult to provide a "one size fits all" explanation for their behavior. Nevertheless, in as close as one can come to framing a general conclusion on this point, Glasser et al. state that "proxy climate data indicate that many of these broad regional trends can be explained by changes in precipitation and atmospheric temperature rather than systematic changes related to the internal characteristics of the ice fields."

In light of this body of evidence, and Glasser et al.'s analysis of it, it would appear that the history of glacial activity they describe does indeed suggest the existence of a millennial-scale oscillation of climate that operates on a broad scale . perhaps, in fact, over all the earth. Viewed in this light, the current recession of many of earth's glaciers is seen to be but the most recent phase of a naturally-recurring phenomenon that has been "doing its thing," over and over, without any help from variable greenhouse gas concentrations, throughout the entire last half of the Holocene.

So what's new?



Remote Australia becoming wetter

How awful! According to the global warmers it should be getting drier, I think. It should definitely not be getting better, anyway!

"Australia's dry heart is getting wetter. The changes do not mean we will all soon be rushing to live in a lush jungle that was once desert, but a CSIRO scientist said today the changes were significant enough to be noticeable. Climate scientist Ian Smith said research on Bureau of Meteorology records for the past 50 years showed average rainfall nationwide had risen. Dr Smith said the wetter conditions had occurred mostly in sparsely populated regions, which was unfortunate for the drought-affected parts of Australia. The wetter areas included almost all of Western Australia and parts of central Australia. "It almost goes all the way from the northern parts of the north-west tropics all the way down to the Great Australian Bight," Dr Smith said. "They have been getting wetter, and significantly wetter according to the statistics. It's in the order of about 10 per cent a decade.... Where it's normally dry, that 10 per cent a decade doesn't necessarily mean a great deal of rainfall in terms of millimetres, but in the far north that translates into a lot more rain."

Dr Smith said computer climate modelling had shown that the wetter conditions were possibly the result of complex changes to monsoon circulation which carried moist air from the ocean over the land during summer. He said the changes involved monsoon areas becoming wetter and cooler in summer while dry regions became wetter and warmer. This caused the monsoon circulation to carry moisture further inland before it fell as rain, he said. Dr Smith said he couldn't comment on the long term outcome and whether dry regions would become more productive as they got more rain. "I'd be very interested to know what the impacts are throughout that part of the country and that's the next phase of our research," Dr Smith said.



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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


11 November, 2004


The vastly corrupt entity that is Russia will not of course make the slightest attempt to comply with the Kyoto obligations it has undertaken but it will take years for that to become clear and Russia will reap the advantages it wants from the EU in the meantime. And the EU is happy because the Russian agreement makes good window-dressing for their own folly. The report below pretends to take the matter seriously, however:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed the federal law "On the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change", the presidential press service reported on Friday. The bill was passed by the State Duma on October 22, 2004, and it was approved by the Federation Council on October 27.

The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international agreement setting targets for industrialized countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions in 2008-2012. This is a pilot project aimed at introducing new economic mechanisms - tradable quotas and joint implementation - to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within a five-year period.

To come into force, the protocol must be ratified by at least 55 countries representing 55 percent of the total emissions in 1990. After the United States and a number of other countries refused to ratify the treaty, Russia's support became crucial. As of now, 124 countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, but they only represent 44.2 percent of the total emissions. The treaty comes into force automatically after it is ratified by Russia, accounting for 17.4 percent of the total emissions.

At the same time, the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol will lead to additional costs for Russia. The bulk of measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions will be included in the government program "Energy effective economy" for 2002-2005 and through 2010.

Meanwhile, according to forecasts for Russia's economic performance, carbon dioxide emissions in Russia will exceed 1990 levels before the end of the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol in 2008-2012. Russia's financial losses resulting from the ratification of the treaty could total tens of billions of dollars during the first phase of the treaty, and in further periods - hundreds of billions of dollars.

Additional funds will be needed to implement preventive measures to adapt the country's economy to climate change and create a system for emission monitoring and control, including RUR 20m in one-time expenses in the first two years after ratification, RUR 20m in annual expenses, and an additional RUR 20m a year starting in 2008. Russia will pay another $150,000 to the Kyoto Protocol's budget, for administrative costs.

The Bush administration refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. Australia did not hurry to join the treaty, either. Both countries are actively involved in the settlement of the Iraqi crisis, sidelining other international problems. However, thanks to Russia, the Kyoto Protocol came to the foreground again.

After the treaty comes into force, many national governments will find themselves in an awkward position. Countries that will fail to meet their obligations will face international sanctions in 2010. According to the protocol, the European Union countries will have to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent, which is hardly realistic, according to the Western media. However, the United States and Australia, which will find themselves in isolation once the Kyoto treaty comes into force, will face the greatest difficulties.

It is difficult to say how beneficial the treaty will be for Russia. Western analysts say the ratification of the document will bring economic benefits to Russia, and it will help Russia join the WTO. But Russian analysts expect significant financial losses and economic slowdown.



S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia -- yet another retired man, funnily enough

After much flip-flopping that even a certain presidential candidate cannot match, the Russian cabinet has decided to submit the Kyoto Protocol for ratification. At least, that's what's been reported.

We shall have to see now what further economic and political concessions the Russian Duma (parliamant) can extract from the European Community in return. It is worth noting, however, that President Putin has labelled Kyoto as "scientifically flawed" and that the Russian Academy of Sciences concluded that there is no scientific basis for the Protocol (RAS Council Statement of May 14, 2004). So, clearly, the motivation is not an altruistic desire to "save the global climate" (whatever that may mean) but a shrewd political and economic calculation, with rather short-term objectives.

Because once Russia ratifies the Protocol, it will become legally binding on industrial nations (except the US and Australia, who have opted out so far), and Russia can start selling their unused emission credits to Europe - as permitted under the Protocol's trading scheme. There are still a few gambits that Russia might spring on the much-too-eager Europeans before ratification - like claiming credit for the absorption of carbon dioxide by the vast and growing Siberian forests. Another gambit may be to insist on a guaranteed minimum purchase of emission certificates. But basically, Russia can look forward to getting something like an estimated $5 billion per year. This income transfer will be from European ratepayers - households and industries that consume electricity - all on top of rising eco-taxes and rising subsidies for "sustainable" wind energy and similar boondoggles.

The delicious irony in all this - never advertised but quite easily grasped - is that there will be no benefits whatsoever to the atmosphere or the climate. As long as Europe and Japan buy sufficient unused emission rights, their emissions can continue to grow - as if they never signed Kyoto. Not that this matters too much. It is useful to recall that even if Kyoto were to be punctiliously enforced - with no cheating and with no emission trading - and if emissions were really to be reduced to 5 per cent below the 1990 level, the calculated temperature effect would only be 0.05C by 2050 - and only 0.02C if the US does not ratify....

It is often claimed that Bush withdrew from Kyoto in 2001, but this is not true. It is worth noting that Clinton never submitted Kyoto for ratification from 1997 to 2000. Bush, of course, has announced a voluntary plan of reducing the emission of carbon dioxide as a percentage of rising GNP - essentially a program of increasing energy efficiency.

More here


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


10 November, 2004


A reader has sent me a probable explanation of why halfwitted Greenies often get the halflife of DU so wrong. As my post of 7th below notes, Greenies and their media allies often give the halflife as 109 years:

"U-238 has a half-life on the order of 4.5 x 10 to the 9th power years; the mathematically illiterate seem unable to comprehend the way the number is written. 10 superscript 9 gets reduced to 109 and they lose the 4.5 x completely. Clueless, but that's where that number comes from, I'll bet.


Or, more precisely, the ONLY Greenie country in the Middle East

Israelis have a tradition of nature conservation and rehabilitation going back over a hundred years. Rishon-Rishon has the details. You would think that the Green/Left would be great supporters of Israel in that case, wouldn't you. No such luck! It once again shows that the real Greenie agenda is anti-people rather than pro-nature.


There is not much that is funny about a windmill but the windfarm industry can be very funny indeed. There is a skit here (or here) on the subject written by someone involved in the Australian windfarm industry.


Arctic sea ice not melting: new research

By BOB WEBER-- The Canadian Press

IQALUIT, Nunavut (CP) -- A Canadian scientist is pouring cold, unfrozen water on the notion that global warming is melting arctic sea ice like a Popsicle at the beach. Greg Holloway galvanized an international meeting of arctic scientists Tuesday by saying there is little evidence of a rapid decline of the volume of ice in the northern oceans. Despite breathless media reports and speculation of an ice-free Northwest Passage, he suggests that it's far more likely that the ice has just been moved around in the cycles of Arctic winds. "It's more complicated than we thought," said Holloway, a scientist with the Institute of Ocean Science in Victoria.

The original theory was based on declassified records from the trips of U.S. submarines under the ice. Satellite pictures have clearly shown that the surface area of the ice has decreased about three per cent a year for the last 20 years. But the question was, How thick was it? The submarine data generated headlines and cover stories from the New York Times to Time Magazine when it seemed to indicate that ice volume had decreased by 43 per cent between 1958 and 1997. The evidence seemed good. There were only eight different voyages, but they had generated 29 different locations across the central Arctic where there were enough readings to make comparisons.

Holloway, however, couldn't make that conclusion jibe with any of his computer models. "We couldn't understand how the reduction could be so rapid," he said. "My first thought was, What is it we don't understand?" Holloway knew that there was a regular pattern of sea ice being blown into the North Atlantic. He decided to examine if the wind patterns across the circumpolar North could have had something to do with the missing ice. Wind patterns blow across the Arctic in a 50-year cycle. At different points in the cycle, ice tends to cluster in the centre of the Arctic. At other points, the ice is blown out to the margins along the Canadian shorelines, where the subs were not allowed to go because of sovereignty concerns.

When Holloway lined up the submarine visits with what he knew about the wind cycles, the explanation for the missing ice became clear: "The submarine sampled ice during a time of oscillation of ice toward the centre of the Arctic. They went back during a time when ice was oscillating to the Canadian side."

Holloway had found the missing ice. "I believe it is most probably explained with the shifting ice within the Arctic locations," he said to applause from scientific delegates from Norway to China. If the submarines had made their first visit one year earlier and their return one year later, Holloway says they would have found no change in the thickness of the sea ice at all.

Holloway cautions that his research doesn't force a total re-evaluation of the theory of global warming. Temperatures on average are rising around the world, he says. It does, however, deflate excitement about the possibility of an ice-free Northwest Passage. The chance of a year-round northern shipping route has thrilled commercial shippers, worried environmentalists, and concerned those worried about Canada's ability to enforce sovereignty in those waters. "At this time, we do not have the basis to predict an open Northwest Passage," said Holloway.

It also calls into question some of the findings and recommendations of the International Panel on Climate Change, which accepted the 43 per cent hypothesis in its report to various governments. More data is coming in as further reports from American and British submarines are released. But the furore over the first results contains a lesson for both scientists and the public, Holloway says. "It's a very small amount of time and a very limited number of places those submarines could go," he said. "The cautionary tale to all this is the undersimplifying of a big and complex system."

"Who knows what's going on out there?"

The above article is reproduced in full from Canoe because Canoe advise that: "information on CANOE is changed frequently. In some sections, such as our newspapers, content is removed after 24 hours."


Below is an excerpt from the latest "news" report about the recent ludicrous Arctic study. I have already dealt with this study on 3rd and so has Louis Hissink. Briefly: The Greenland ice is NOT melting; Arctic ice is sea ice so if it all melted sea-levels would not change; Because it is sea-ice there are NO glaciers there; and if the Arctic is melting twice as fast as elsewhere and the Antarctic is not melting at all the effect is not a GLOBAL warming effect but a local effect of some kind

"Global warming is melting the Arctic ice faster than expected, and the world's oceans could rise by about a meter (3 feet) by 2100, swamping homes from Bangladesh to Florida, the head of a study said on Tuesday. Robert Corell, chairman of the eight-nation Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), also told a news conference there were some hints of greater willingness by the United States, the world's top polluter, to take firmer action to slow climate change. Speaking at the start of a four-day scientific conference in Reykjavik, Corell said global warming was melting the Greenland ice sheet and Arctic glaciers from Alaska to Norway quicker than previously thought. "Greenland will play a much bigger role in sea level rise than anticipated," said Corell, a scientist at the American Meteorological Society. He said a 2001 U.N. report forecast world ocean levels would rise by 20-90 cms by 2100. He said some U.N. forecasts assumed melting Greenland ice would cause just 4 mm of the rise.

At the other end of the globe from the Arctic, the thicker Antarctic ice is expected to stay more stable, like a deep freeze

The ACIA report was funded by Arctic nations the United States, Canada, Russia, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland and is the biggest survey to date of the Arctic climate, by 250 scientists. It says Arctic temperatures are rising by twice the global average and are set to rise by a further 4-7 Celsius (7-13 Fahrenheit) by 2100".

UN rejects population doom fears

If the UN says it, then it MUST be right!

United Nations figures just released challenge fears that the human race may drive itself to extinction through over-population. The figures suggest an eventual equilibrium as people in poorer countries come to understand the need for smaller families. If fertility levels continue to fall, global population will stabilise three centuries from now at about 9 billion - a far less alarming figure than many have predicted. The latest calculation is based on "medium-level" expectations that fertility rates will decline significantly - to about two children per woman - even in developing nations, and then rise again slightly.....

The 300-year period covered by the report is twice as long as any previously attempted by the UN. Figures are not forecasts but extrapolations of what would happen if current trends continued. Given continued progress in extending life expectancy, the report says people could expect, on average, to live more than 95 years by 2300. Japan, the global leader in life expectancy today, is projected to have a life expectancy of more than 106. Longer lives could greatly extend retirement periods, with dire implications for pension schemes....

China, India and the United States are projected to remain the world's three most populous countries for the next three centuries, although India will have overtaken China by 2050, with a population of 1.53 billion. Pakistan, now seventh, could move up to fourth place by 2050, while Russia, sixth today, may drop to 18th. Two smaller countries expected to enter the population top 20 are Uganda and Yemen which, by 2300, are shown to occupy 11th and 12th places....

The report suggests the world's population will always grow slightly over time because life expectancy will continue to rise, but by smaller and smaller margins.

More here


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


9 November, 2004

A really dumb Greenie: "A French anti-nuclear protester was fatally injured yesterday when his leg was severed by a train carrying radioactive waste to Germany. Paramedics quickly attended to Sebastien Briat, 21, after the incident near the town of Avricourt, but he died on the way to a nearby hospital. He had been caught by surprise by the train while trying to chain himself to the tracks. At least one other demonstrator was injured. The death prompted an outpouring of grief in Germany, where an anti-nuclear group abandoned calls for similar protests. Dozens of French police had been patrolling the tracks to keep protesters off but about 10, including those in a group with Briat, had slipped by".


Another retired guy, of course. It's too risky to dissent if you need a job. I am a retired academic myself

"William Kininmonth, Melbourne-based meteorologist and former head of the National Climate Centre, offers a warning in his new book, Climate Change: A Natural Hazard. As the title implies, Kininmonth believes that the threat posed by humans and their carbon economy has been overstated. The official overstater is the International Panel on Climate Change, an outgrowth of the UN that brings together bureaucrats and scientists. In its 1990 report the IPCC confirmed the greenhouse effect: we pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; less radiant heat is able to escape into space; the surface temperature of the Earth rises. The report did venture a forecast -- average temperature could rise three degrees by 2100 -- but caution was expressed and uncertainties were underlined.

Kininmonth has no great quarrel with the 1990 report, although he thinks climate change has more to do with natural cycles than with industrial production lines. But for him the tone of the crucial 2001 IPCC report is altogether more confident and the forecasts more dramatic: temperature could rise as much as 5.8 degrees by 2100. What changed? It's not as if the science had dramatically improved, Kininmonth says. But climate change had gained political momentum. To give the right results, the greenhouse theory had to dumb down climate in all its complexity.

The IPCC, Kininmonth says, reduces climate to a one-dimensional mock-up in which radiation is given too great a part to play. Little weight is given to oceans, vast reservoirs of heat. "The one-dimensional [hypothesis] is a prescription for flat-earth physics whose application leads to erroneous conclusions," he writes. "Those who ascribe to it have been seduced to forget elementary school geography; Earth is a globe with seasonal patterns of solar heating that generate temperature differences between the tropics and the poles."

Nor, says Kininmonth, are these shortcomings made good by the IPCC's much-vaunted computer models. True, the models show rapid improvement and the new wave of ocean research holds great promise. But as things stand, he says, the IPCC models simply cannot give a realistic picture of how atmosphere and oceans interact in our climate system. And that fatally undermines the IPCC forecasts. A flimsy basis, it would seem, for global policy that would constrain carbon industries and cause economic upheaval. Why, then, isn't there a storm of scientific protest? "My personal view is that the majority of scientists don't fully understand the complexities of the climate system, they're following the lead of the IPCC," says Kininmonth. He believes the greenhouse campaign also benefited from lucky timing; the severe El Nino drought of 1982-83 created a thirst for a simple explanation......

More here


You guessed it: Another retired man. Philip Stott is Professor Emeritus of Biogeography in the University of London

"The Republican tornado has rained on Europe's ecochondriacs. Hand-wringing supporters of the battered Kyoto treaty are overcast as Myron Ebell, one of George Bush's senior climate change advisers, accused Sir David King, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the British Government, of being "alarmist". Ebell stated that there would be no change in America's environmental policy after Mr Bush's re-election, and the reasons are clear.

In both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Republicans have been returned with strengthened majorities and any measures seen to hinder the economy will be treated with disdain. And following the letter of the Kyoto Protocol would be expensive. Clamping down on carbon emissions could drain $1 trillion from the world economy, hit production and raise energy prices punitively.

Congress will have no truck with Europe's whining over American withdrawal from the protocol. The electoral map reveals a swath of Republican red from Nevada to Virginia, from Texas to North Dakota - the heartland of the car and GM crops. The more snooty old Europe rattles on about these issues, the more it will drive a wedge between America and itself.

Tony Blair's addiction to the Kyoto Protocol is dangerous. It is an assault on different cultural values which have been honed by history and the wider horizons of geography. Moreover, we know that the Kyoto Protocol will do nothing about climate change: at the most it will delay changes by two years over the next century. To declare otherwise is to mislead.

More embarrassingly, most European countries are far from attaining their own emission targets, although they freely lecture the good folk of Ohio and Oklahoma. Moreover, future energy demand does not lie in the West, but in the East, in China, India, Indonesia and Russia, most of which are not bound to make emission cuts by the Kyoto treaty. China will happily support Kyoto in theory, knowing that it can benefit economically as Western economies make themselves uncompetitive by donning the eco-hairshirt.

Like the vice-presidency, the Kyoto Protocol isn't worth "a pitcher of warm spit" and the Republicans know it."



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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


8 November, 2004

Louis Hissink's weekly science roundup is mostly about Greenie issues this week. He starts out with some good laughs about the scientific illiteracy of the latest "Arctic melting" scare. I had my laughs about it on 3rd (below). He adds this interesting comment about the Arctic, though:

"It might be interesting to look at a recent world map drawn by the Chinese in the late 14th Century (or early 15th). It is the Di Virga Map recently discovered by the team at 1421 which clearly shows the northern coastline of Siberia from Norway to the Bering Straights. It is a map compiled before any of the European maritime Nations started discovering the world, so one is immediately intrigued by the fact that in order to map this northern Siberian coast, ships must have add easy access to that coast. This suggests that perhaps the Arctic ice cover was far less than what it is now."

So there was a been a big Arctic melting hundreds of years ago, long before industrialization -- suggesting that any current changes are natural too. Louis has lots more, including of course, a debunking of the egregious BBC .....

I will post no more today as Louis has enough fun information for us both. Go read....


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


7 November, 2004


Ever since the first Gulf war, various Green/Left people (such as the notorious propagandist John Pilger) have been getting their knickers in a knot over depleted uranium -- the uranium that is left after the radioactive part has been extracted. Just the name "uranium" must be thought to sound bad as the Green/Left produce much apparent hysteria about it from time to time -- even claiming that it is dangerously radioactive -- which is precisely what it is not.

The hysteria seems to have died down in recent years but a recent announcement from Italy has revived some far Left passions. The announcement is reproduced below:

According to the Italian Military Health Observatory a total of 109 Italian soldiers have died thus far due to exposure to depleted uranium. The observatory stressed the fact that 41 pct of active personnel casualties relate to disease. According to Domenico Leggiero at the Military Health Observatory, "The total of 109 casualties exceeds the total number of persons dying as a consequence of road accidents. Anyone denying the significance of such data is purely acting out of ill faith, and the truth is that our soldiers are dying out there due to a lack of adequate protection against depleted uranium". Leggiero pointed out the fact that the Senate has to date failed to establish a probe committee on this matter: "it is proof of a worrying lack of oversight on matters which are frankly dramatic". Members of the Observatory have petitioned a urgent hearing "in order to study effective prevention and safeguard measures aimed at reducing the death-toll amongst our serving soldiers".

Just in case there are some people who might wonder what is behind the announcement (one-word answer: Politics), Wayne Lusvardi has prepared a few brief notes on the subject:

Depleted Uranium or Depleted Cranium?

One of the better online sources summarizing the science dealing with this issue is "Depleted Uranium - The Science" by Michael McNeil ( Depleted uranium is a heavy metal that is 40% less radioactive than natural uranium. It is used in the manufacture of armor-piercing bullets and anti-tank shells, as well as in the U.S. Abrams tank armor to protect it from such armament. Neither soldiers nor those who work in the munitions industry have shown any adverse medical affects from exposure to depleted uranium. As scientist Robert L. Park has facetiously stated: "I always figured it would be a lot better to be shot with a uranium bullet than a dum-dum -- it should make a good clean hole."

Neither is there any evidence to support that depleted uranium leads to higher incidence of cancer, larger than normal infiltration of uranium into the food chain, or other health problems for civilians or soldiers. Moreover, the infinitesimal amount of depleted uranium in bullets or armor flies in the face of all of what science knows about radiation -- low levels of radiation are beneficial to humans. Hot springs and mineral water resorts have elevated amounts of radioactivity. The city of Ramsar, Iran is on top of a natural radioactive hot spot many, many times more powerful than that of depleted uranium and the populace is no less healthy than in normal areas. A single coast-to-coast vacation airplane flight subjects its passengers to much more radiation than could ever be emitted from constant exposure to depleted uranium. The reported half-life of depleted uranium is one billion years, not 109 years as erroneously reported in many news pieces. The anti-war Left seems fixated with the number 109 when it comes to the issue of depleted uranium (109 deaths, 109 year half life). It makes you wonder if they know the difference.

Those anti-war activists on the political Left who are continually decrying the reasons for the Iraq War as propaganda should look at the their own exaggeration of the facts and junk science before they lay any claim to any moral or scientific high ground on the issue of the war. The problem may be more in a depleted cranium than with depleted uranium. As Mark Twain once wrote: "It isn't what we don't know that causes problems; it's what we think we know that just isn't so."


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


6 November, 2004


The "skeptical environmentalist" gives the Guardianistas the facts

In a world where we cannot deal with all the problems at the same time, we need to ask: what should we do first? This was the question answered by the Copenhagen Consensus, a project that brought together 38 of the world's top economists to set up a list of the global priorities. They looked at the main challenges to humanity, and the many solutions that we already have, analysing both their benefits but also their price tag. By using cost-benefit analysis the expert panel of economists found that HIV/Aids, hunger, free trade and malaria were the world's top priorities. Equally, the experts rated urgent responses to climate change extremely low. In fact, the panel called these ventures "bad projects", simply because they cost more than the good they do.

Last week, a coalition of environmental and development organisations published a report stating the Kyoto protocol and even stricter policies should be our first priority. Not surprisingly, they criticised the Copenhagen Consensus as "intellectually corrupt" with "bizarre conclusions" reached through "intellectual illiteracy". Such language is often used instead of strong arguments. If you read the coalition's report, it does not show that global warming is where we can do the most good. It simply points out that climate change can have serious, negative impacts. The real question remains: where can we do the most good for our efforts?

Here the coalition goes overboard on its claims about global warming. It says climate stability holds absolute precedence over all other is sues, stating: "A stable climate is something we might now call a system condition for civilisation." Without it, "civilisation is impossible". Such a gambit is politically savvy - but also incorrect. Let us agree that human activity is changing our climate and that global warming will have serious, negative impacts. Nonetheless, all the information from the UN climate panel, the IPCC, tells us that it will not end civilisation.

The coalition tells us that the proportion of hungry people may actually go up by 2015. Yet the fact is that the UN expects the proportion to decline from 17% to less than 12% of the developing world. By 2015, only a very small portion of global warming will have taken hold, and even by 2080, the IPCC expects that the global food production will have increased by about as much as it would in an unwarmed world.

It worries that malaria will rise in a warmer world. This claim has some theoretical validity, but forgets that malaria only persists with poor infrastructure and health care. Actually, throughout the 1500-1800s, malaria was a major epidemic disease in Europe, the US and far into the Arctic Circle. It didn't end because it got colder, but because Europe and the US became richer and dealt with the problem.

The coalition tells us that sea levels will rise by some 50cm by 2100 in the highest scenarios. This will clearly cause problems in low-lying countries such as Bangladesh. Yet what it forgets to tell us is that sea levels rose in the 20th century by up to 25cm. Sea level rise in the 21st century will be worse and should not be trivialised, but the IPCC estimates that the total cost of adaptation will be around 0.1% of gross domestic product.

The end-of-civilisation argument is counterproductive to a serious public discourse on our actions. We do have a choice. We can make climate change our first priority, or choose to do other good first.

If we go ahead with Kyoto, the cost will be more than $150bn (80bn) each year, yet the effect will first be in 2100, and will be only marginal. This should be compared with spending the $150bn each year on the most effective measures outlined in the Copenhagen Consensus, saving millions of lives. The UN estimates that for just half the cost of Kyoto we could give all third world inhabitants access to the basics like health, education and sanitation.

Global warming is a problem. But we need to ask if we can do more for the world if we tackle other issues first. This question addresses the pressing problem of prioritisation head-on. Why did thousands die in Haiti during the recent hurricanes and not in Florida? Because Haitians are poor and cannot take preventive measures. Addressing the most pressing issues will not only do obvious good, but also make people less vulnerable to the effects of climate change. We need to do the best things first.



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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


5 November, 2004


They're sure to hate Coke but they hate insecticides too. So which to choose?

"Indian farmers are reportedly spraying their cotton and chilli fields with Coca-Cola to protect them from pests.They say it's much cheaper than chemical pesticides and just as effective at controlling bugs, reports the Guardian. Hundreds of farmers are reported to have switched to cola in Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh states. Gotu Laxmaiah, a farmer from Ramakrishnapuram, said he was delighted after spraying cola on his cotton crops."I observed that the pests began to die after the soft drink was sprayed on my cotton," he told the Deccan Herald newspaper."


The perennial Bush-bashing target has been the climate issue - with the enthusiastic participation of UK chief science adviser Sir David King ("Global Warming is a greater threat than terrorism"). Now the New York Times has arranged to interview a notorious global warmer, Dr James E. Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in Manhattan. He criticizes White House climate policy, claiming the "Bush administration has ignored growing evidence that sea levels could rise significantly unless prompt action is taken."

He apparently bases this assertion on his own publication [Proc Nat'l Acad Sci 2004] that to preserve global coastlines, global warming must not exceed one degree celsius. As sole support for this unusual claim, he cites there his recent article in the popular Scientific American vol 290, pp 68-77, 2004. But all evidence shows sea levels rising steadily - by about 400 feet in the past 18,000 years, since the peak of the most recent ice age. Significantly, the measured rate of rise did not accelerate during the substantial warming of the early 20th century.

In addition, as is well known, prompt policy action (by cutting emissions of greenhouse gases in accord with the Kyoto Protocol) would lower the calculated temperature rise for 2050 by at most a tiny one-twentieth of a degree C - too small to even measure.

Further, Bush did not "withdraw" from Kyoto - as his critics claim. While he has not submitted Kyoto for ratification, neither did Clinton - probably because the US Senate in 1997 had voted unanimously against such a treaty - including also Senator Kerry.

(Dr S. Fred Singer is an atmospheric physicist, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, and former director of the US Weather Satellite Service. The evidence on sea-level rise is summarized in his book "Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate".)



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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


4 November, 2004


Prof. Derr outlines the reasons why normal scientific caution is taking a back seat. He first outlines the flaws in the scientific claims that mankind is causing global warming and then goes on to say:

"There is much more, in more detail, to the argument of those scientists who are skeptical about the threat of global warming. On the whole, their case is, I think, quite persuasive. The question, then, is why so few people believe it.

Part of the answer is that bad news is good news-for the news media. The media report arresting and frightening items, for that is what draws listeners, viewers, and readers. The purveyors of climate disaster theories have exploited this journalistic habit quite brilliantly, releasing steadily more frightening scenarios without much significant data to back them up. Consider the unguarded admission of Steven Schneider of Stanford, a leading proponent of the global warming theory. In a now notorious comment, printed in Discover in 1989 and, surely to his discomfort, often cited by his opponents, Schneider admitted:

To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

This sort of willingness to place the cause above the truth has exasperated Richard Lindzen, Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT, who is one of the authors of the science sections of the report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the body responsible for an increasing crescendo of dire warnings. In testimony before the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee, he called the IPCC's Summary for Policymakers, which loudly sounds the warming alarm, "very much a child's exercise of what might possibly happen . . . [which] conjures up some scary scenarios for which there is no evidence."

This brings us to the second part of the answer, which concerns the political and economic consequences of the policy argument. The IPCC is a UN body and reflects UN politics, which are consistently favorable to developing countries, the majority of its members. Those politics are very supportive of the Kyoto treaty, which not only exempts the developing countries from emissions standards but also requires compensatory treatment from the wealthier nations for any economic restraints that new climate management policies may impose on these developing countries. Were Kyoto to be implemented as written, the developing countries would gain lots of money and free technology. One need not be a cynic to grasp that a UN body will do obeisance to these political realities wherever possible.

The Kyoto treaty would not make a measurable difference in the climate-by 2050, a temperature reduction of maybe two-hundredths of a degree Celsius, or at most six-hundredths of a degree-but the sacrifices it would impose on the United States would be quite large. It would require us to reduce our projected 2012 energy use by 25 percent, a catastrophic economic hit. Small wonder that the Senate in 1997 passed a bipartisan resolution, the Byrd-Hagel anti-Kyoto resolution, by 95-0 (a fact rarely recalled by those who claim that America's refusal to sign on to the treaty was the result of the Bush administration's thralldom to corporate interests).

Most of the European countries that have ratified Kyoto are falling behind already on targets, despite having stagnant economies and falling populations. It is highly unlikely they will meet the goals they have signed on for, and they know it. Neither will Japan, for that matter. The European Union has committed itself to an eight percent reduction in energy use (from 1990 levels) by 2012, but the European Environment Agency admits that current trends project only a 4.7 percent reduction. When Kyoto signers lecture non-signers for not doing enough for the environment, they invite the charge of hypocrisy. There is also the obvious fact that adherence to the treaty will hurt the U.S. economy much more than the European, which suggests that old-fashioned economic competitiveness is in the mix of motives at play here. The absurdity of the treaty becomes obvious when we recognize that it does not impose emissions requirements on developing countries, including economic giants such as China, India, and Brazil. (China will become the world's biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions in just a few years.)

A third reason why global warming fears seem to be carrying the day goes beyond these political interests; it involves intellectual pride. Academics are a touchy tribe (I'm one of them); they do not take it kindly when their theories, often the result of hard work, are contradicted. And sure enough, the struggle for the truth in this matter is anything but polite. It is intellectual warfare, entangled with politics, reputations, and ideology; and most of the anger comes from the side of the alarmists. People lose their tempers and hurl insults-"junk science," "willful ignorance," "diatribe," "arrogant," "stupid," "incompetent," "bias," "bad faith," "deplorable misinformation," and more. Consider the fiercely hateful reaction to Bjorn Lomborg's 2001 book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist". He challenged the entrenched and politically powerful orthodoxy and did so with maddeningly thorough data. His critics, unable to refute his statistics, seem to have been enraged by their own weakness-a familiar phenomenon, after all. Or perhaps, with their reputations and their fund-raising ability tied to the disaster scenarios, they felt their livelihoods threatened. In any case, the shrillness of their voices has helped to drown out the skeptics.

Finally, there is a fourth cause: a somewhat murky antipathy to modern technological civilization as the destroyer of a purer, cleaner, more "natural" life, a life where virtue dwelt before the great degeneration set in. The global warming campaign is the leading edge of an environmentalism which goes far beyond mere pollution control and indicts the global economy for its machines, its agribusiness, its massive movements of goods, and above all its growing population. Picking apart this argument to show the weakness of its pieces does not go to the heart of the fear and loathing that motivate it. The revulsion shows in the prescriptions advanced by the global warming alarmists: roll back emissions to earlier levels; reduce production and consumption of goods; lower birth rates. Our material ease and the freedoms it has spawned are dangerous illusions, bargains with the devil, and now comes the reckoning. A major apocalypse looms, either to destroy or, paradoxically, to save us-if we come to our senses in the nick of time.

It is clear, then, given the deep roots of the scare, that it is likely to be pretty durable. It has the added advantage of not being readily falsifiable in our lifetimes; only future humans, who will have the perspective of centuries, will know for certain whether the current warming trend is abnormal. In the meantime, the sanest course for us would be to gain what limited perspective we can (remembering the global cooling alarm of a generation ago) and to proceed cautiously. We are going through a scare with many causes, and we need to step back from it, take a long second look at the scientific evidence, and not do anything rash. Though the alarmists claim otherwise, the science concerning global warming is certainly not settled. It is probable that the case for anthropogenic warming will not hold up, and that the earth is behaving as it has for millennia, with natural climate swings that have little to do with human activity".


Despite their alleged "non-interventionist" or "pro-peace" stance, they have been fairly noisy advocates of international intervention in Sudan, based on much less intelligence and national interest than was available in the run up to Iraq. Indeed their position seems to be based on the idea that foreign policy decision making power should be outsourced to NGOs who are portrayed as completely altruistic, impeccably honest and with no special interest agenda.

At the same time they have been unwilling to acknowledge that the terrorist blowback Australia experienced in Bali and more recently in Jakarta may have more to do with Indonesian Islamists annoyance at our support for East Timorese independence than our minor role in the Afghan War, or the Iraq War, that came later. The captured Bali terrorists have publicly stated that East Timor policy was their motivation.

To the Greens, and the left in general, the idea that a policy they support as just and proper may generate blowback is something they cannot handle, as it would require them to rethink their Vietnam era assumptions about Third World insurgents as humble patriots. The paradox of their noisy support for intervention in some instances and noisy opposition elsewhere is best explained by a famous poet. Robert Frost said that "a liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in an argument". There seems to be a belief that military action in your own interests is inherently wrong, but it's okay if it doesn't benefit you."

(The above comments are from a reader who has more on the subject on his own blog here)


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


3 November, 2004


Some comments by Louis Hissink:

We are all familiar with the continued emphasis by the UK's chief Scientist Sir David King that Global Warming is a greater threat than another September 11 and and many plagues will be inflicted on us by global warming if we don't immediately cut CO2 emissions to (at economically disastrous) levels. Well it looks like the UK has decided to officially increase mandatory CO2 levels produced by industry. So much for Sir David's Position, as Chief Scientist of the UK, on global warming.

The move has angered opposition parties and environmentalists, who have dubbed the move a massive climb-down. Scientists "believe" carbon dioxide - released through industry, agriculture and the burning of fossil fuels - is exacerbating natural climate change.

Scientists BELIEVE ?? Scientists don't believe anything, either the facts support the theory or they don't. Only the religious believe, and that is why many scientists continue to criticise the "Belief -Science" associated with the Anthropogenic Global Warming concepts. But some media quotes -

"Factories and power plants will be able to pour more carbon dioxide - the chief greenhouse gas - into the atmosphere under allowances announced by the government today". --The Guardian, 27 October 2004"

"Projections suggested that if we stuck with the original formula, it would have had a devastating effect on our industry". --Margaret Beckett, British Environment Secretary, 27 October 2004"

"If current government policies stay as they are, emissions of carbon dioxide from energy production activities will grow by about 60 percent between now and 2030", a report released by the International Energy Agency on Tuesday said. --Investor's Business Daily, 26 October 2004

The British Guardian reported "Factories and power plants will be able to pour more carbon dioxide - the chief greenhouse gas - into the atmosphere under allowances announced by the government today. The move, part of the EU emissions trading scheme, was unveiled by the environment secretary, Margaret Beckett, amid complaints from green groups and MPs that the prime minister has bowed to demands from industry at the expense of the environment and the fight against climate change. The new rules on industrial pollution permits must be submitted to the European commission for approval".

And finally a perceptive editorial comment by Benny Peisner of the CCNet Cambridge Conference network:

"The outcry by Britain's political parties and large sections of the media over the Government's decision to increase CO2 emissions only goes to show that most observers and pundits simply fail to understand Europe's Kyoto agenda. As I pointed out two weeks ago, the EU has devised a clever plan which allows European countries to increase CO2 emissions by more than 10% in the next few years (on 2000 levels). A recent report suggests that the EU Emissions Trading Scheme won't force European companies to meet emission targets set out under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The report estimates that allowances allocated to European industries will allowed the EU to increase annual CO2 emissions by up to 11% (and that's just the start. After all, CO2 emissions are expected to rise by more than 60% in the next three decades; see below). Sorry Russia, but if you thought that Europe would pay real Kyoto money into your coffers - you'd better think again."

More here


Though the report does save the best for the very last paragraph

"Due for publication on Nov. 8, an eight-nation report compiled by 250 scientists says the Arctic is warming almost twice as fast as the rest of the planet due to a buildup of heat-trapping gases and the trend is set to continue. "We are taking a risk with the global climate," said Paal Prestrud, vice-chair of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) report, which says emissions of gases from cars, factories and power plants are mostly to blame. The Arctic icecap has shrunk by 15-20 percent in the past 30 years and the contraction is likely to accelerate, Prestrud said. The Arctic Ocean could be almost ice-free in summer by the end of the century.

Inuit hunters are falling through ice, permafrost is thawing and destabilizing foundations of buildings and vital winter roads while the habitat of creatures from polar bears to seals is literally melting away. The report says that the thaw will have some positive side-effects. Oil and gas deposits will be easier to reach, more farming may be possible and short-cut trans-Arctic shipping lanes may open.

"The big melt has begun," Jennifer Morgan, director of the WWF's global climate change campaign, said in a statement. She said industrialized nations were using the Arctic as a guinea pig in an uncontrolled experiment on climate change.

The report projects that temperatures in the Arctic will rise by 4 to 7 degrees Celsius (8 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit) in the next 100 years. If temperatures then stayed stable, the Greenland icecap would melt altogether in 1,000 years and raise global sea levels by about seven meters (23 ft).

The thaw of the icecap floating on the Arctic Ocean does not affect sea levels, in the same way that a full glass of water with an ice cube jutting above the brim does not spill when the ice melts since ice takes up more space than water."

More here

Note the total illogic of the second last paragraph. It implicitly acknowledges the well-known fact that the nearby Greenland icecap is NOT melting and then infers from that that it will in 100 years! Greenland is in fact getting cooler! What the contrasting Greenland (and Antarctic) results show is that the Arctic warming is a local, not a global phenomenon which we do not as yet fully understand. And even within the Arctic temperature change is very uneven -- again suggesting local rather than global processes


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


2 November, 2004


Another Greenie dilemma. It's awkward when you're against everything!

"A desalination plant may help solve Sydney's water shortage but it would produce about the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as more than 50,000 extra cars on the road each year. Figures produced by the NSW Government when it was preparing its water policy suggest the climate may be sacrificed for the sake of guaranteeing future water supplies. The water produced by the Government's plant would be less than amount saved by two-tiered pricing system to penalise heavy water-users, permanent low-level restrictions and minimum performance standards for water appliances.

The decision to embrace desalination, which turns saltwater into drinkable water, shows the Government is serious about Sydney's long-term water future and that it recognises people are not necessarily willing to use less water on a permanent basis. The 25-year plan for Sydney's water supply, which was released last month, includes a pipeline to transport extra water from the Shoalhaven, tapping ground-water, accessing deep water at the bottom of dams and a $4 million desalination study.

The size of desalination plant the Government is considering would be able to produce about 100 million litres of water a day and about 255,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, about the same as adding 53,000 cars to the roads. It would be the world's largest desalination plant and could be built within two years. The current largest plant, being built south of Perth, is set to produce 45 billion litres of water and about 230,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, according to figures from the West Australian Government. Environmental groups and water experts have urged the NSW Government to exhaust all other options before considering desalination.

The Premier, Bob Carr, described desalination earlier this year as "bottled electricity" because of the high amount of greenhouse gases it produces. However, at the water policy launch last month, Mr Carr said desalination was becoming cheaper and less greenhouse-intensive. The emissions could be offset by investing in renewable energy and creating plantations".

Is this a breakthrough? A Greenie recognizing that any "excess" carbon dioxide can be soaked up by trees and plants? He'll find himself on a slippery slope if he even thinks about that for long. Instead of stupid attacks on industry, Greenies might actually plant trees! What a strange thing for a Greenie to do! A Greenie doing something constructive really would be a revolution


What happens when a service is provided by a bureaucracy rather than by business

Mackay is a small Australian coastal city with a good annual rainfall (20") and a huge underground water table. So there would be no problems with water-supply there -- right? Wrong! They are run by a local council who think that a proliferation of bureaucratic rules is better than providing an adequate water supply to the citizens. From the rules you would think Mackay was in the middle of a desert. Get a load of this crap from the site of the local council:

"A summary of the Level 3 Water Restrictions that will apply from November 15 follows:

Lawn and Grassed Areas

Sprinklers are not permitted at any time

Lawn and grassed areas can only be watered using a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger device that shuts off water supply when released, between 6am and 7am and 6pm and 7pm on any day.

Private Gardens

Private gardens (excluding grass and lawns) can only be watered using:

A micro-spray and drip irrigation system that has a manual or electronic timer on alternate days* between 8pm that night and 6am the following morning

* (Properties with an odd street number or properties without a street number on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and properties with an even street number on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. No watering is allowed on Mondays)


A hose fitted with a trigger device that automatically shuts off water when released, between 6am and 7am and 6pm and 7pm on any day. The hose must be under the control of, or the supervision of, a person aged 16 years and older.

Watering cans and buckets can be used at any time.

Pools & Water Toys

New spas and pools must not be filled for the first time without Council's written approval
Existing swimming pools or spas must not be topped up
Portable wading pools must not be filled or topped up
Water toys must not be used unless water is re-circulated
Fountains and water ornaments must not operate except with the written approval of Council

Cleaning and Private Vehicle Washing

Privately owned cars, boats and other vehicles can only be washed on Sundays using a hand-held trigger hose, watering can, commercial car wash facility or high-pressure low-volume water blaster. Water must be used only to wet and rinse the vehicle. Water must not be used to clean paved or concreted areas, except for health or safety reasons. Water must not be used to clean windows except by means of a watering can or buckets filled directly from a tap.

Note: These water restrictions only relate to the private residential use of water. For details of the restrictions that apply to all commercial gardens including sports grounds and nurseries, and motor vehicle and boat dealers and detailers, please contact Council's Customer Service Centre."


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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


1 November, 2004

Kerry's energy plan

"Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) energy plan promises to reduce energy prices, maintain diversity of supply while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improve our domestic energy security. However, his goals are contradictory and implementation will be expensive. His plan would result in less energy security and higher fuel costs, says H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis and research assistant Todd Gabel.

Sen. Kerry proposes steps to reduce the cost of gasoline -- while pursuing initiatives that experience has shown will raise prices.

** He proposes to reduce gasoline and other fuel prices by halting the filling of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which is designed to provide a 90-day fuel supply in the event of a national emergency; the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that diverting oil from the SPR is not enough to affect prices significantly.

** He has rejected exploration and production of oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) stating that it would have little or no effect on gas prices; however, ANWR contains 10 to 23 times more oil than the SPR can hold when it is completely filled.

** He also proposes increasing ethanol use in motor fuel by five billion gallons by 2012 -- this is nearly triple the amount currently produced; but this shift would also increase fuel prices because ethanol is twice as expensive to produce as conventional gasoline.

Candidate Kerry's energy plan presents some laudable goals, but if enacted, would have the opposite of its intended effects. It would raise energy prices and reduce energy security. As such, it is a plan that no politician concerned about America's future prosperity should support, say Burnett and Gabel."


Ignorant EPA official predicts regulation of greenhouse emissions

"On the same day Vice President Cheney reminded us of the jobs saved by the Administration's brave stance in rejecting artificial restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions, another administration official yesterday pulled the rug from under his feet by suggesting such restrictions are inevitable. Those remarks by Jeff Holmstead are a slap in the face for coal miners and auto workers across the nation. Greenhouse gas restrictions will mean seniors pay more for their heat in the winter, families pay more for transportation and business owners pay more in energy costs. Not only that, but they will do virtually nothing to abate a rise in temperature which may prove beneficial anyway.

Rather than waving a white flag to the energy suppression lobby (whose former standard bearer was Enron, we should not forget), Holmstead should have focused on ways to strengthen the world economy. That way, if global warming does prove to be a problem, we will have little to worry about. We've seen how resilient America has been to four hurricanes this year. We should be trying to make the rest of the world as strong as America rather than weakening America by engaging in futile attempts to change the weather.

Holmstead's remarks are simply incompatible with the correct approach the current Administration has taken on this issue. The American economy doesn't need the poison pill he's prescribed. For the sake of American jobs, human wealth and global prosperity, Holmstead should be fired. He can no doubt look forward to a high-paying job with one of the companies that hopes to profit from impoverishing Americans through energy rationing.



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

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here