Tuesday, November 30, 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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Monday, November 29, 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 here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Sunday, November 28, 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 here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Saturday, November 27, 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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Friday, November 26, 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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Thursday, November 25, 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 here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Wednesday, November 24, 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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Tuesday, November 23, 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 here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Monday, November 22, 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 CNSNews.com 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 CNSNews.com. 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 here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Sunday, November 21, 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 blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Saturday, November 20, 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 2.5øF to 10.4øF 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 (2.5øF) 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 here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Friday, November 19, 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 here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Thursday, November 18, 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 here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Wednesday, November 17, 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 blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here