Sunday, July 31, 2005


As recently as last month, NASA had been warned that foam insulation on the space shuttle's external fuel tank could sheer off as it did in the 2003 Columbia disaster - a problem that has plagued space shuttle flights since NASA switched to a non-Freon-based type of foam insulation to comply with Clinton administration Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

"Despite exhaustive work and considerable progress over the past 2-1/2 years, NASA has been unable to eliminate the possibility of dangerous pieces of foam and ice from breaking off the external fuel tank and striking the shuttle at liftoff," the agency's Return-to-Flight Task Force said just last month, according to The Associated Press. But instead of returning the much safer, politically incorrect, Freon-based foam for Discovery's launch, the space agency tinkered with the application process, changing "the way the foam was applied to reduce the size and number of air pockets," according to Newsday. "NASA chose to stick with non-Freon-based foam insulation on the booster rockets, despite evidence that this type of foam causes up to 11 times as much damage to thermal tiles as the older, Freon-based foam," warned space expert Robert Garmong just nine months ago.

In fact, though NASA never acknowledged that its environmentally friendly, more brittle foam had anything to do with the foam sheering problem, the link had been well documented within weeks of the Columbia disaster. In February 2003, for instance, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported: "NASA engineers have known for at least five years that insulating foam could peel off the space shuttle's external fuel tanks and damage the vital heat-protecting tiles that the space agency says were the likely 'root cause' of Saturday's shuttle disaster."

In a 1997 report, NASA mechanical systems engineer Greg Katnik "noted that the 1997 mission, STS-87, was the first to use a new method of 'foaming' the tanks, one designed to address NASA's goal of using environmentally friendly products. The shift came as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was ordering many industries to phase out the use of Freon, an aerosol propellant linked to ozone depletion and global warming," the Inquirer said.

Before the environmentally friendly new insulation was used, about 40 of the spacecraft's 26,000 ceramic tiles would sustain damage in missions. However, Katnik reported that NASA engineers found 308 "hits" to Columbia after a 1997 flight. A "massive material loss on the side of the external tank" caused much of the damage, Katnik wrote in an article in Space Team Online. He called the damage "significant." One hundred thirty-two hits were bigger than 1 inch in diameter, and some slashes were as long as 15 inches. "As recently as last September [2002], a retired engineering manager for Lockheed Martin, the contractor that assembles the tanks, told a conference in New Orleans that developing a new foam to meet environmental standards had 'been much more difficult than anticipated,'" the Inquirer said. The engineer, who helped design the thermal protection system, said that switching from the Freon foam "resulted in unanticipated program impacts, such as foam loss during flight."

Source. (Some more choice comments on the matter at Pardon my English)


Some recent history

In the years between the Challenger and Columbia explosions, NASA lent its name and prestige to many green crusades, particularly those of Gore for "spaceship Earth." And ironically, critics say, in the early 1990s the politicians at the agency curried favor with the left by playing a crucial role in hyping the ozone scare that led to actions partly responsible for the predicament it found itself in with the Freon-free foam. In February 1992, for instance, NASA announced that satellite and other measurements showed chlorine-monoxide molecules thought to be derived from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and to destroy ozone were increasing inside the arctic polar vortex. At a press conference, NASA raised the specter of a rapidly approaching hole in the ozone layer, which deflects the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays.

"We believe now that the probability of significant ozone loss taking place in any given year is higher than it has been before," said James Anderson, the NASA project leader. Media stories immediately followed with horrific scenarios predicting hundreds of thousands of cases of new skin cancer resulting from ultraviolet exposure. Then-senator Gore, who chaired a Senate subcommittee responsible for NASA funding, captured the moment to warn that there soon would be an "ozone hole over Kennebunkport," the Maine summer home of then-president George H.W. Bush, if Congress didn't rapidly phase out Freon and other CFCs. Spooked by an international campaign to bless all this as indisputable and scientific, the Senate passed a resolution 95 to zero to phase out CFCs by 1995, five years sooner than the 1987 Montreal Protocol required, and Bush issued an executive order requiring a phaseout by this date.

But, as Micah Morrison documented in Insight [see "The Wizards of Ozone," April 6, 1992], many prudent scientists, including some who worked for NASA, dissented from the dire predictions. They noted that natural factors such as storms, winds and volcanoes affect ozone measurements. When chlorine monoxide went back to normal levels in a few weeks, NASA stood silently by without issuing so much as a press release to put the anomalous "crisis" in perspective. "We aren't going to put out [another] press release until we have a complete picture and a complete story to tell," NASA spokesman Brian Dunbar told Morrison.

In the Insight article, Morrison noted that NASA, which in the early 1990s was "concerned to preserve its share of the federal budget and carve out a new role for itself ... reaped a bonanza of publicity as guardian of the ozone." After Gore became vice president, no doubt with an eye on its appropriations, NASA continued to raise the alarm for various environmental scares. "Earth is a planet on fire! The Earth is burning," proclaimed NASA senior research scientist Joel Levine in a 1995 speech quoted by the the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk.

So when its own foam was declared to be environmentally unfriendly, NASA officials apparently rushed to change it, even minimizing some of the safety consequences, according to some critics. "They wanted to be super-green," says S. Fred Singer, the atmospheric scientist who invented the ozone-meter device to measure the ozone layer in the 1950s. He now is a critic of environmental alarmism as president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project.

More here


Bob Carr, Premier of Australia's most populous State (NSW), has just resigned. (An Australian State Premier is similar to an American State governor)

In the past few days the one area of Bob Carr's premiership that has received almost nothing but praise has been his environmental achievements. It's interesting that Carr was both an environmental and a fiscal conservationist, and that these were two of his strengths. They were also, as is often the way, among his weaknesses. His environmental record is worth a closer look.

In his diary for November 30, 1999, Carr proudly recorded how cabinet had discussed creating more national parks and "how our controversial land-clearing restraints . were now vindicated, with Queensland having to act under pressure". Soon after, a train crashed at Glenbrook, killing seven people. In the subsequent inquiry, Justice Peter McInerney found that train safety had declined since Carr had became Premier.

In January 2003, another train crashed, at Waterfall, also killing seven people. In the same month, a fire that started in the Brindabella National Park in NSW spread to Canberra, killing four people and destroying about 500 houses. Fires in Kosciuszko National Park at the same time burned out three-quarters of the park area, an environmental holocaust that destroyed millions of plants and animals.

These conjunctions raise two interesting questions about the green achievements of Carr's premiership. To what extent did the environmental focus influence - and distract from - his other actions? And, while we now have an enormous number of national parks, how extensive is the damage that's been done to them and their neighbours through poor management of fire and other problems?

Carr's passion for the environment influenced his premiership in more ways than you might think. Consider water: his curious failure to build a new dam. Or housing: his failure to release enough land to meet housing demand, which caused so much suffering for so many people. The dream of the quarter-acre block has been denied many, and the struggle to meet inflated house prices has dramatically affected family life. Carr's reluctance to extend the city into the bush and farmland around Sydney has had profound social and cultural effects.

His environmental policies have had different, but equally disturbing, effects on the country. Carr's last major achievement as Premier was spending an estimated $30 million earlier this month to buy the 80,000-hectare Yanga Station near Hay and turn it into a national park. Yanga is reputedly the largest freehold farm in the state. In May, Carr announced the permanent conservation of 348,000 hectares of woodlands in the Nandewar and Brigalow belt in the state's west, at a cost of about $80 million. This and the Yanga decision will destroy hundreds of jobs. There have been announcements of transition programs and hoped-for income from eco-tourism, but this needs to be compared with what has been destroyed - real jobs and real communities, in some cases going back five generations.

The Government has been uncharacteristically quiet about the purchase of Yanga. One reason for this could be that nationalising the means of production was removed from the ALP platform some time ago. Another might be that the National Parks and Wildlife Service recently released its State of the Parks 2004 report, revealing its failure to care for most parks adequately. Which leads to the obvious question of why the Government has burdened it with new responsibilities. Money desperately needed to look after existing parks has been blown on yet more expansion.

The lack of emphasis on management stems partly from philosophical confusion. Many environmentalists believe, and have persuaded city people to believe, in the notion of pristine wilderness - a state to which nature can be returned by creating national parks. In their excellent book Going Native, Michael Archer and Bob Beale note that the NSW Wilderness Act 1987 (passed when Carr was environment minister) defines wilderness as an area that is "in a state that has not been substantially modified by humans and their works or is capable of being restored to such a state". According to Archer and Beale: "This might apply to the surface of Pluto or the centre of the Earth, perhaps, but it would be arrogance or ignorance to presume that there is any place on Earth that hasn't, at some time in the past, been managed or substantially affected in some way by humans."

The problem with the pristine wilderness concept is that it ignores history. Much of our landscape was managed by Aboriginal people for maybe 60,000 years, through hunting and the use of fire. This management was sufficiently intrusive for it to have affected the distribution and density of many plant and animal populations. After the Aboriginal people were dispossessed, white people continued to manage much of the land that is now national park, with fire and logging. As with Aboriginal use of fire, the aim was to keep the land open, to avoid the vegetation thickening, and also to keep animal populations at certain levels through hunting. So, traditionally, people have been a part of nature, not separate from it.

Creating a national park and then, as this Government has done, largely letting "nature take its course", means this history stops. Gradually the vegetation thickens, the fuel load grows, the animal populations expand, and weeds proliferate. The park becomes a sort of toxic ecological volcano, spewing out fire, kangaroos, weed seeds, and feral animals such as wild dogs into the surrounding countryside. It takes a few decades to reach this point. A lot of our national parks were created in the 1970s and 1980s, which is why these problems started to become acute in the 1990s.

We can expect these problems to occur at Yanga, where (according to the station's website) the environment of two endangered species - the Australian bittern and the southern bell frog - depends on keeping the red-gum forests open by logging, which will now cease. Biodiversity in the Brigalow forest, so attractive to environmentalists, will change substantially now the timber cutters have been removed.

The existence of major problems in national parks is beyond doubt. The State of the Parks 2004 report shows that staff responsible for 87 per cent of the total parks area believe pest animals are so severe as to be a threat to park values. For concern about weeds, the figure is 91 per cent.

The attempts to counter these threats are minuscule, involving just $17 million last year for what was then about 7.5 per cent of the state's land mass. The report notes proudly that this constitutes a 1700 per cent increase in the level of funding over the past 10 years, and the Environment Minister, Bob Debus, is fond of explaining how much the parks budget has increased. But all this means is that spending a decade ago was a joke. It says nothing about the adequacy of the levels now. A recent report by the Institute of Public Affairs estimates that in 2003 NSW had only one ranger for every 22,700 hectares of park - and many of those were involved in non-maintenance activities.

The State of the Parks 2004 report says that in more than 90 per cent of affected parks, attempts to manage weeds and pest animals are non-existent, non-effective, or producing only a slow change. Disturbing as this is, it only covers the impact of poor management in the parks themselves. Many of the animal and plant pests, like the fires, leave the parks and create major problems for neighbours. This has reached crisis point for many farmers, who have been forced to abandon parts of their farms, and has produced an inquiry by Federal Parliament.

Under Carr, the proportion of the state occupied by national parks increased from about 5 per cent to 8 per cent. Much adjacent farming land is unusable for the above reasons. When you add to this all the private land effectively turned into nature reserves by native vegetation laws, the real figure for land taken by government for conservation purposes is probably more than 10 per cent.

Carr's approach seems to have been to lock up as much land as possible, as cheaply as possible, and leave the problems this creates to the premiers of the future. He has demonstrated an emotional blind spot for the immense suffering this has imposed on so many country people. On the whole, this moral blindness is shared by many people who live in our cities, who are better able to empathise with refugees in the outback than farmers whose property rights have been taken and whose lives are being shattered just a few hundred kilometres away.

In his book Thoughtlines, Carr wrote: "The challenge for people who feel the desperate case to save the natural world, to stop the retreat of nature, is to persuade our fellow Australians that we need to make sacrifices to do it." The record suggests Carr and his environmentalist supporters made no sacrifices. Rather, these were imposed on others: on the kids in Sydney growing up without backyards, the parents with massive mortgages, and the farmers who saw parts of their land nationalised and over-run by wild dogs. And then there's what the policies were supposed to help: all the animals and plants destroyed through the mismanagement of our national parks.



The NZ National Business Review has a big wrap up of the new climate pact led by the USA and Australia. I enjoyed this scream of rage from a Greenie:

"Many Kyoto activist groups were livid about the lack of targets and goals in the pact, and the absence of punitive measures. "It doesn't have anything to do with reducing emissions. There are no targets, no cuts, no monitoring of emissions, nothing binding," Steve Sawyer of Greenpeace told Reuters".


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.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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


Saturday, July 30, 2005


Yesterday, the United States and five Asia-Pacific countries; Australia, India, China, South Korea and Japan reached an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which are largely viewed as contributing to global warming. Unlike the Kyoto Protocol this agreement to reduce emissions is purely voluntary. Reached after months of secret negotiations, the six countries agreed to develop technology to cut down on the amount of greenhouse gases that are currently being spewed into the atmosphere.

The major difference between the agreement that was reached on Wednesday and Kyoto is that China and India are part of the new agreement. Both these countries, which are major polluters, were exempted from requirement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol because they are developing nations. The theory was that since the United States and other countries were allowed to pollute as much as possible to achieve first world status, the same rights should be given to China and India.

It didn’t take long for the environmentalists to come out against the six nation agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Sky News in Britain quoted a spokeswoman from Greenpeace Australia as saying, "No doubt the Australian government has been cooking this scheme up for a while to cover up their failure to ratify Kyoto, and to try and prove that developing countries are abandoning Kyoto." Criticisms have also been levelled by environmental groups over the fact that the newly reached agreement is voluntary and that voluntary deals just don’t work.

The reaction of these leftist environmental groups is proof positive that their main objective is not the environment or "saving the planet" as they so lovingly like to claim. The point of the Kyoto Protocol is for developed countries such as Canada to be unable to meet their targets. Countries that cannot meet their Kyoto obligations will then be required to "buy" credits from countries that have met their targets; targets that are either low or non existent. The Kyoto agreement is nothing more than a scheme by the one worlders at the United Nations to redistribute wealth from the developed world to developing countries.

If reversing the global warming trend was really the goal of the environmental left, China and India would have to be included in any plan to reduce emissions. Both China and India are heavy polluters that are in a stage of relative rapid development. The notion that they should be able to pollute as much as is necessary because the United States and other first world nations were allowed to do so when they became heavily industrialized, makes no sense if the number one goal is to save the earth from the dangers of increasing temperatures.

The environmentalists are also in effect saying that China and India should not be reducing their carbon emissions even when both of these countries have now agreed to do so. By taking this position, the enviros are looking down on these backward nations and telling them that they should not be reducing carbon emissions. This elitist attitude is more proof that the main aim of the environmental left is not to reduce emissions; it is to cause economic damage to industrialized nations such as the United States; countries that the left detest for more than just the Iraq war.

There is nothing surprising in the fact that some radical environmentalists were so quick off the mark to condemn the climate pact. After all, to the left, hating countries such as the United States and Australia is a greater priority than protecting the environment.



A fun email from a reader:

"If wetlands are the largest source of methane, which is a "greenhouse gas" several orders of magnitude greater than CO2 in effect, why are wetlands so fervently protected by the same persons who want CO2 emissions regualted and reduced? There are even advocates for massive increases in the size and extent of "wetlands" which would be funded by the US Goverment. In effect-the current "restoration" of the Florida Everglades is nothing more than a "wetlands" project."


Fred is of course a pioneer in the development of rocket and satellite technology, he holds a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton and happens to be the guy who devised the basic instrument for measuring stratospheric ozone. He is the one giving the answers below

Q: Here’s a line from a recent Mother Jones article: "There is overwhelming scientific consensus that greenhouse gases emitted by human activity are causing global average temperatures to rise." Is that true?
A: It’s completely unsupported by any observation, but it’s supported by computer climate models. In other words, the computer models would indicate this. The observations do not.

Q: What’s the best argument or proof that global warming is not happening?
A: The best proof are data taken of atmospheric temperature by two completely different methods. One is from instruments carried in satellites that look down on the atmosphere. The other is from instruments carried in balloons that ascend through the atmosphere and take readings as they go up. These measurements show that the atmospheric warming, such as it is, is extremely slight -- a great deal less than any of the models predicts, and in conflict also with observations of the surface.

Q: An epic New Yorker series said unequivocally that the permafrost, the Arctic sea ice and the Greenland glaciers are all melting. Is that true and is it because of global warming?
A: The Arctic temperatures have been now measured for a long time. They vary cyclically. The warmest years in the Arctic were around 1940. Then it cooled. And it’s warming again, but it hasn’t reached the levels of 1940. It will continue to oscillate. That’s the best prediction.

Q: What is the most dangerous untrue "fact" about global warming that’s out there in the media-sphere?
A: The rise in sea level. Again, the observations show that sea level has risen in the last 18,000 years by about 400 feet and is continuing to rise at a uniform rate, and is not accelerating, irrespective of warming or cooling. In fact, sea level will continue to rise at a slow rate of 8 inches per century, as it has been for the last few thousand years.

Q: If you had a 12-year-old grandkid who was worried about global warming, what would you tell him?
A: I would tell them that there are many more important problems in the world to worry about, such as diseases, pandemics, nuclear war and terrorism. The least important of these is global warming produced by humans, because it will be insignificant compared to natural fluctuations of climate.

Q: How did you become "the godfather of global warming denial"?
A: That’s easy. Age. I organized my first conference on global warming in 1968. At that time I had no position. It was a conference called "The global effects of environmental pollution." At that time I remember some of the experts we had speaking thought the climate was going to warm and some thought it was going to cool. That was the situation.

Q: Climate is extremely complicated -- is that a true statement?
A: Immensely complicated. Which is a reason why the models will never be able to adequately simulate the atmosphere. It’s just too complicated.

Q: Give me a sample of how complicated just one little thing can be.
A: The most complicated thing about the atmosphere that the models cannot capture is clouds. First of all, clouds are small. The resolution of the computer models is about 200 miles; clouds are much smaller than that. Secondly, they don’t know when clouds form. They have to guess what humidity is necessary for a cloud to form. And of course, humidity is not the only factor. You have to have nuclei -- little particles -- on which the water vapor can condense to form droplets. They don’t know that either. And they don’t know at what point the cloud begins to rain out. And they don’t know at what point -- it goes on like this.

Q: Is this debate a scientific fight or a political fight?
A: Both. I much support a scientific fight, because I’m pretty sure we’ll win that -- because the data support us; they don’t support the climate models. Basically it’s a fight of people who believe in data, or who believe in the atmosphere, versus people who believe in models.

Q: Is it not true that CO2 levels have gone up by about a third in the last 100 years?
A: A little more than a third, yes. I accept that.

Q: Do you say that’s irrelevant?
A: It’s relevant, but the effects cannot be clearly seen. The models predict huge effects from this, but we don’t see them.

Q: Why is it important that global warming be studied in a balanced, scientific, depoliticized way?
A: It’s a scientific problem. The climate is something we live with, and we need to know what effect human activities are having on climate. I don’t deny that there’s some effect of human activities on climate. We need to learn how important they are.

Q: Why is it important that global warming be studied in a balanced, scientific, depoliticized way?
A: It’s a scientific problem. The climate is something we live with and we need to know what effect human activities are having on climate. I don’t deny that there’s some affect of human activities on climate. Cities are warmer now than they used to be. We have changed forests into agricultural fields. That has some affect on climate. We irrigate much of the Earth. That affects climate. And so on. We are having some influence on climate, at least on a small scale. So we need to know these things. We need to how important they are.

Q: And global warming is something we should study but not get panicky about?
A: The thing to keep in mind always is that the natural fluctuations of climate are very much larger than anything we can ascribe – so far – to any human activity. Much larger. We lived through a Little Ice Age just a few hundred years ago. During the Middle Ages the climate was much warmer than it is today. So the climate does change all the time. We need to understand the scientific reasons for natural climate change. Most of us now think it’s the sun that is the real driver of climate. It has something to do with sun spots, but the mechanism is not quite clear. That’s what’s being studied now.


Foreign Policy has now made the debate between Bjorn Lomborg and the Green Pope freely available. I commented on the debate on 22nd.


"We heard earlier this week that a short paper we had started on during last year's hurricane season has now been accepted for publication in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society after successfully completing peer review. With the paper we seek to provide a concise, largely non-technical, scientifically rigorous, globally inclusive, and interdisciplinary perspective on the state of current understandings of hurricanes and global warming that is explicitly discussed in the context of policy. As new research findings are reported in peer-reviewed journals on tropical cyclones (hurricanes) and climate change (global warming), and a corresponding public debate undoubtedly continues on this subject, we thought that it may be useful to provide a forest-level perspective on the issue to help place new research findings into a broader context.

The paper can be found here: Pielke, Jr., R. A., C. Landsea, K. Emanuel, M. Mayfield, J. Laver and R. Pasch (2005) "Hurricanes and global warming" Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. (PDF). Below is an excerpt:

"... claims of linkages between global warming and hurricanes are misguided for three reasons. First, no connection has been established between greenhouse gas emissions and the observed behavior of hurricanes (IPCC 2001; Walsh 2004). Yet such a connection may be made in the future as metrics of tropical cyclone intensity and duration remain to be closely examined. Second, a scientific consensus exists that any future changes in hurricane intensities will likely be small in the context of observed variability (Knutson and Tuleya 2004, Henderson-Sellers et al 1998), while the scientific problem of tropical cyclogenesis is so far from being solved that little can be said about possible changes in frequency. And third, under the assumptions of the IPCC, expected future damages to society of its projected changes in the behavior of hurricanes are dwarfed by the influence of its own projections of growing wealth and population (Pielke at al. 2000). While future research or experience may yet overturn these conclusions, the state of knowledge today is such that while there are good reasons to expect that any connection between global warming and hurricanes is not going to be significant from the perspective of event risk, but particularly so from the perspective of outcome risk as measured by economic impacts.""



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.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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


Friday, July 29, 2005


Field evidence shows that sea levels in the low-lying Maldive Islands of the Indian Ocean have been FALLING in recent years. Because the scientific establishment cannot explain that, they are denying the existence of the fall. Immediately below is the abstract of the establishment response followed by comments from one of the team who discovered the fall:

Have there been large recent sea level changes in the Maldive Islands?

By: Philip L. Woodworth

(Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Joseph Proudman Building, 6 Brownlow Street, Liverpool L3 5DA, UK)


The Maldive Islands are often used as case studies within research into the impacts of potential future sea level change. Therefore, if such studies are to be realistic, it is important that the past and future variations of sea level in the islands are understood as well as possible. That objective led a fieldwork team to the Maldives, and resulted in a conclusion that sea level in the islands fell by approximately 30 cm during the past few decades.

In the present paper, the suggestion of such a fall has been examined from meteorological and oceanographic perspectives and found to be implausible. A number of met-ocean data sets and regional climate indices have been examined, at least one of which would have been expected to reflect a large sea level fall, without any supporting evidence being found. In particular, a suggestion that an increase in evaporation could have caused the fall has been demonstrated to be incorrect. Without any real evidence for a hitherto-unrecognised process which could lead to a sea level change as significant as that proposed by the fieldwork team, one concludes that a rise in sea level of approximately half a metre during the 21st century, as suggested by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report, remains the most reliable scenario to employ in future studies of the islands.

Doi (permanent) address for the above paper here

Emailed comment by Nils-Axel Moerner (

In 2004, we published a short paper on our new findings with regard to recent sea level changes in the Maldives (Moerner et al., 2004). We said: (1) sea level is not rising at present, and (2) in the 1970s there even was a sea level fall.Our short report generated (1) a visit to some of our sites by an Australian team (Kench et al., 2004), (2) the active destruction of one of our field evidence by "some persons", and (3) a long report trying to neutralise our sea level fall (Woodworth, 2005).

It is quite remarkable what our 6-page article could set up. It is also remarkable that this 6-page article could give rise to a 30-page discussion of climatic-oceanographic variables in the region, and that this paper could be accepted, especially as our major presentation is still in preparation. What Woodworth (2005) writes is one thing, what we recorded is something completely different. Our findings stay untouched by his criticisms, which apply to surrounding climatic-oceanographic variables, not our field evidence. And why can he not wait for our full scientific presentation?

With respect to sea level changes in general (A) and our Maldives record in particular (B), I refer to a number of papers; viz A: Moerner, 2002, 2004a, 2005a, B: Moerner et al. 2004, Moerner, 2004b, 2004c, Moerner & Tooley, 2004 and C (climate and sea level): Moerner, 2005b.

Finally I quote the below paragraphs (from Moerner, 2005b).

"In the global warming concept, it has been constantly claimed that there will be a causal rise in sea level; a rise that already is in the accelerating mode, in the near future to cause extensive and disastrous flooding of low-lying coastal areas and islands. "It will be the death of our nation", says the President of the Maldives, and the people of Tuvalu in the Pacific claim that the flooding has already commenced. Is this fact or fiction? It is true that we are flooded by this information. But what lies behind this idea? And, especially, what do the true international specialists think? The recording and understanding of past changes in sea level, and its relation to other changes (climate, glacial volume, gravity potential variations, rotational changes, ocean current variability, evaporation/precipitation changes, etc.) is the key to sound estimates of future changes in sea level.

The international organisations hosting the true specialists on sea level changes are to be found with the INQUA commission on sea level changes and the IGCP special projects on sea level changes. When I was president of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, 1999-2003, we paid special attention just to this question; i.e. proposed rise in sea level and its relation to observational reality. We discussed the issue at five international meetings and by Web-networking. Our opinion is illustrated in Fig. 1.


In view of the Fig. 1 prediction, I have later revised the estimate for year 2100 to: +5 cm +15 cm. Fig. 1. The sea level rise by year 2100 according to IPCC and its evaluation by INQUA.


Kench, P.S., Nichol, S.L., McLean, R.F., 2004. Letter to the Editor. Global Planet. Change.
Moerner, N.-A., 2005b. Facts and Fiction about Sea Level Changes. House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, Report, 6 pp.
Moerner, N.-A., 2005a. Sea level changes and crustal movements with special reference to the eastern Mediterranean. Z. Geomorphology, N.F., Suppl.Vol. 137: 91-102.
Moerner, N.-A., 2004d. Changing Sea Levels. In: Encyclopedia of Coastal Science (M. Schwartz, Ed.), p. 284-288.
Moerner, N.-A., 2004c. Sea level change: Are low-lying islands and coastal areas are under threat? In: "The impacts of climate changes. An appraisal for the future", p. 29-35. International Policy Press.
Moerner, N.-A., 2004b. The Maldives Project: a future free from sea level flooding. Contemprary South Asia, 13 (2), p. 149-155.
Moerner, N.-A., 2004a. Estimating future sea level changes. Global Planet. Change, 40, 49-54.
Moerner, N.-A., 2000b. Sea level changes in western Europe. Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Autumn 2000 Ed., p. 31-36, ICG Publ. Ltd.
Moerner, N.-A., 2000a. Sea level changes and coastal dynamics in the Indian Ocean. Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Spring 2000 Ed., p. 17-20, ICG Publ. Ltd.
Moerner, N.-A. & Tooley, M., 2004. Reply. Global Planet. Change.
Moerner, N.-A., Tooley, M. & Possnert, G., 2004. New perspectives for the future of the Maldives. Global Planet. Change, 40, 177-182.


The first snowfall on this part of the world has claimed one life and caused extensive damage to properties. Puntland, northeastern part of Somalia has never recorded snowfall before last night when snow storms with high winds destroyed homes in Rako town. The storm left a blanket of snow on the ground, something residents had never seen in their lives before. Aside from this unexplained snowfall on this tropical land, Somalia has experienced very strange weather in the past few months. Floods killed people and forced rivers to overflow banks in almost all parts of the country. Many cities from Hargeisa in the north to Baladweyn in central were affected badly by heavy rains and floods. Many people were killed and thousands of livestock washed away by this strange weather. The country is still struggling to recover from last month's killer weather. With no effective central government, Somalia doesn't have weather prediction or climate monitoring systems in place. Somalis think this unusual weather and last night's previously unheard of snowfall are part of the global warming phenomena.



I live on a small portion of the Earth in North Kent, England, with one of the longest archaeological records in the world exhibiting continuous human occupation and industrial development. The internationally-famous skull of 'Swanscombe Man' (actually a woman), dating from 400,000 BC, was discovered in Thames gravels just four miles away, associated with working flint tools. Industry was already with us then. At Baker's Hole, some 2 miles away, there are the flint axes of 'hunter-gatherers' who inhabited the area around 180,000-200,000 BC. Other finds tell us of late-Palaeolithic and Mesolithic peoples (c.10,000 BC).

Then, from around 3,000 BC, we have the remains of a Neolithic agricultural settlement, which produced a distinctive decorated-pottery known as 'Ebbsfleet Ware'. Bronze Age and Iron Age ditches and enclosures finally give way to the remains of an important Roman religious settlement, Vagniacis, which flourished at Springhead on the local river between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD. Large burial grounds, many temples, mosaics, and a villa give testimony to the thriving economy of this Romano-British centre. Then, from Saxon times, there are the remains of a water mill, and so on, and so on. There is even a very special link with the New World, with North America, the high Algonquin princess, Pocohontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan of the Algonquin Nation, lying buried with great honour beneath my local parish church in Gravesend. And the story progresses - the site now carries the exciting, brand new and rather beautiful Channel Tunnel Rail Link to Paris and to Brussels.

Throughout this long, long, long tale, climate and sea-levels have changed over and over again, sometimes slowly, sometimes dramatically, with sub-tropical interludes, ice ages, permafrost, temperate floods, and drought. The vegetation has swung between forest and heath, open meadow, swamp land and sea, between chilly tundra, boreal forests, mixed deciduous forests, and grassland.

And, of course, the Earth never came to a crunching halt. Of course, humans have gone on, adapting and altering their lives, growing stronger, healthier, and older throughout. Today we live longer and with less hardship than any of these, our doughty ancestors.

I find it pathetic - I am ashamed - when we go into a funk over a little climate change - currently, at most, 0.7 degrees Celsius over 200 years! It is nearly obscene, with all our resources, to think that we shall not be able to adapt once again - unless, that is, we have lost our evolutionary dynamism and drive. Going back in time has never been an option, or part of the great story.

Just as Swanscombe woman could have no possible idea of the Roman wonder that was Vagniacis, neither have we about Virtualia, the city of the next 400,000 years.

Our present funk over climate is an insult to the men and women of our past.



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.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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


Thursday, July 28, 2005


Never one to avoid leaping on a bandwagon I am going to tell you about Harry Potter. Or rather, how others who cannot see a passing wagon without similarly leaping aboard have managed to get their facts a little, umm, confused. The perpetrators are our old friends, Greenpeace International, who have decided that US readers should boycott the local edition of the latest Harry Potter and buy the Canadian one instead. The reason is, you see, that the US version is not printed on recycled paper:

"The US publisher Scholastic is one of the largest Harry Potter publishers globally," said our resident book wizard Judy Rodrigues. "If they had printed the book on 100 percent recycled paper, like Raincoast, its 10.8 million print run could have saved 217,475 mature trees."

We can leave aside all those inconvenient little facts about the paper industry, like people go out and plant the trees that they later turn into books, that paper recycling itself produces waste (including, it is said, dioxins) and that the collection of paper to be recycled is highly energy intensive. Indeed, if we try and pick our way through the claims and counterclaims of which is best for the environment or the economy, virgin or reused, we will no doubt end up as deranged as a Greenpeace member.

Fortunately we don't have to. We already have a simple and convenient system for measuring whether one process or another uses more or less resources. It's called the price. This is exactly what markets do, they aggregate all the costs of production into one single set of digits. A lower number means less resources used, a higher one more.

The National Geographic report on this matter tells us that: Markets Initiative says that it cost Raincoast some 5 percent more in production costs to use recycled paper-a cost that may be reflected in the Canadian edition's higher cover price.

Total production costs are of course a great deal more than just the costs of paper. So we can see that recycled paper costs substantially more than virgin, and thus must be using more resources. As Greenpeace goes on to say: Haven't bought Harry Potter yet? Consider buying a Canadian edition of the book, printed by Raincoast books, which is on 100 percent Ancient Forest Friendly paper.

Well, yes, why not? Let's promote the idea of copyright theft (Scholastic having paid a very large sum for the rights to sell the book in the US), and the wasting of resources eh? Great ways to save the planet!

One might even go a little further on this. Bulk transport is undoubtedly more fuel efficient than piecemeal. So our bearded loons are actually suggesting that instead of buying a book from the mountain inside every bookshop in the country, it would be better for a three pound brick of paper to be sent individually from another nation. Genius, eh?

I have to admit that my own seven volume, 3,000 page magnum opus is still mouldering in the slush piles of various publishers in London. Everyone agrees that the basic idea is sound, even desirable: that there should be a school where environmentalists go to learn economics. But no one is quite willing to believe that there is sufficient magic in the world to make it actually work. My premise is, therefore, not sufficiently believable. Evidence of this can be seen in this decade old report on paper recycling from Friends of the Earth:

The recent report from Coopers & Lybrand and CSERGE gives further support to the economic benefits that paper recycling can provide [55]. And by actively promoting a UK paper recycling industry, jobs will be created in collection schemes, sorting plants, recycled paper mills, and the design, marketing, advertising and distribution of recycled paper products.

Sigh. The creation of jobs in this manner is not an economic benefit. It is an economic loss. If we do not recycle paper then these people will go off and do something else, perhaps invent the cure for AIDS, build houses for the homeless or bake the perfect apple pie. The very fact that a process "creates new jobs" means that it is more inefficient than the previous method of doing the same thing and therefore makes us poorer.

I'm told that the next book will be the last in the series. A pity really, as it would be interesting to see if Ms. Rowling could be prevailed upon to write something called Harry Potter and the Half-Wit Prigs. (* prig, n, a sanctimonious person, certain of his or her blamelessness and critical of other's failings).


Hot Volcanic Eruptions Could Lead To A Cooler Earth

So let's get some real global warming going to counteract it!

Volcanic eruptions may be an agent of rapid and long-term climate change, according to new research by British scientists. Vincent Gauci and co-authors Nancy Dise and Steve Blake of the Open University simulated the volcanic acid rain from one of Europe's largest historical eruptions, the Icelandic Laki eruption of 1783, which caused widespread crop damage and deaths around Europe. Their findings are scheduled for publication in the American Geophysical Union journal, Geophysical Research Letters, later this month.

Gauci says, "we know that volcanic aerosol [airborne] particles reflect the Sun's rays back out to space and also create more clouds that have the same effect. It all helps to cool the planet for a year or two. These simple physical relationships have been known for a while. "Our findings show that volcanic eruptions have another, more indirect, effect: the resulting sulfuric acid from the volcano helps to biologically reduce an important source of atmospheric greenhouse gases. At the extreme, this effect could cause significant cooling for up to 10 years or more."

Blake says, "The amount of sulfur dioxide put out by Laki in nine months was ten times more than the amount that now comes from all of western European industrial sources in a year. That would have caused a major natural pollution event."

The researchers found that such eruptions create a microbial battleground in wetlands, with sulfate-reducing bacteria suppressing the microbes that would normally produce the powerful greenhouse gas methane. In other words, the sulfate-loving bacteria are victorious over the microbes producing methane, leading to a cooling effect. "We did the simulation on a peat bog in Moray in northeast Scotland, an area we know was affected by the volcanic fallout from the Laki eruption," adds Gauci, "and found that the reduced methane emission lasts several years beyond the end of the acid rain. Our calculations show that the emissions would take many years to recover - far longer than volcanoes are currently understood to impact on the atmosphere."

The researchers now think that volcanoes may exert a more powerful influence over Earth's atmosphere than was thought. Volcanoes may even be a more important regulator of wetland greenhouse gases than modern industrial sources of acid rain. "Wetland ecosystems are the biggest source of methane and for the most part are located in areas of the world that are remote from industrial activity. But many of Earth's wetlands seem to be located in volcanically active regions such as Indonesia, Patagonia, Kamchatka, and Alaska. Even some wetlands that are quite far away from volcanoes, such as those in Scandinavia or Siberia, will be regularly affected by Laki-like pollution events from Icelandic eruptions" says Gauci.

Gauci adds that there was a period of Earth's pre-history when this effect may have created important climate changes. "This interaction may have been particularly important 50 million years ago, when the warm greenhouse climate of the day was due, in large part, to methane from the extensive wetlands that covered the Earth at that time. During that time, large volcanic eruptions could have been real agents of rapid climate change due to this mechanism."



Would you take medications that could cause anemia, nausea, diarrhea, hair loss - even increased risk of infection and fetal defects? Most people with terminal cancer would jump at the chance to take such risks. And if an activist "stakeholder" tried to prevent them from undergoing chemotherapy - because of "ethical" concerns about its "dangers" or a preference for "more appropriate" alternatives like surgery, broccoli or hospice care - their response would be fast and furious.

Africa faces a similar situation. Only instead of cancer, the killer is malaria. Instead of chemotherapy drugs, the interventions are insecticides. And in addition to activists, patients must contend with healthcare agencies that often oppose insecticides and promote largely ineffective alternatives.

Malaria infects up to 500,000,000 people a year - more men, women and children than live in the United States, Canada and Mexico combined! It kills 2,000,000 every year - the population of Houston, Texas. The vast majority live in sub-Saharan Africa, and nearly 90% are children and pregnant women. In 2002, malaria killed 150,000 Ethiopians, 100,000 Ugandans and 34,000 Kenyan children. Victims become so weak they cannot work for weeks on end. Many are left with permanent brain damage - and immune systems so enfeebled that they die of AIDS, typhus, dysentery or tuberculosis. Malaria costs impoverished Africa $12 billion in lost productivity every year.

However, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, U.S. Agency for International Development, wealthy foundations and environmental activists still insist that African nations rely on inadequate bed net, drug and "integrated vector management" programs - and avoid pesticides, especially DDT.

If the United States had rates akin to Africa's, 100,000,000 Americans would get malaria every year and 250,000 children would die. Its hospitals would be overwhelmed, its economy devastated, and citizens would demand immediate action - using every pesticide and other weapon in existence. But the United States and Europe (over)used DDT to eradicate malaria. They then banned the pesticide and now generally oppose its use. Nevertheless, a few African nations still spray DDT in tiny amounts on the walls and eaves of cinderblock or mud-and-thatch houses. For six months, it repels mosquitoes, kills any that land on walls and irritates the rest, so they don't bite. No other pesticide, at any price, is this effective, and even mosquitoes resistant to DDT's killer talents succumb to its repellent properties. Used this way, virtually no DDT gets into the environment. Most important, it's safe for humans. Hundreds of millions of people - American GIs, Holocaust survivors, and parents and children all over the USA, Europe and Asia - were sprayed with DDT, with no significant ill effects.

Indeed, the worst thing Greenpeace and other activists can say is that "measurable quantities" of DDT and its DDE metabolite are "present" in human fatty tissue, blood and mother's breast milk. Some researchers, they claim, "think" DDE "could" be inhibiting lactation and "may" therefore be "contributing" to "lactation failure" around the world. In fact, lactation failure results mostly from malnutrition and disease. The problem is minor compared to the effects of chemotherapy - and irrelevant compared to the risk of losing more children to malaria. "African mothers would be overjoyed if DDT in our bodies was their biggest worry," says Ugandan farmer and businesswoman Fiona Kobusingye. They'd be thrilled if Greenpeace and others would show greater concern for the lives of African mothers and children, by supporting insecticide use.

South Africa's DDT household spraying program cut malaria rates by 80% in 18 months. The country was then able to treat a much smaller number of seriously ill patients with new artemisinin-based drugs, and slash malaria rates by over 90% in just three years!

Mozambique trains a few people in each community, and sends them out to spray every house twice a year, in a successful and inexpensive program. Zambia has a similar program. However, when Uganda announced earlier this year that it was going to use DDT to control malaria, the EU warned that it might ban all agricultural exports from the country, if even a trace of DDT was found on them!

Last year, USAID spent $80 million "on malaria." But 85 percent of this went to consultants, and 5 percent to promoting the use of insecticide-treated nets. It spent nothing on actually buying nets, drugs or pesticides. Too often, USAID, WHO and UNICEF emphasize ultra precaution about alleged risks from pesticides - at the expense of millions of deaths from diseases that pesticides could prevent. They proclaim insecticide-treated bed nets a success for reducing malaria rates by 20% - but say DDT was a failure because it did not completely eradicate the disease. Worst, until just a year ago, they were providing Africans with anti-malarial drugs that they had known for years fail 50 to 80% of the time. No wonder malaria rates have risen 10% in the seven years since their Roll Back Malaria campaign promised to cut rates in half by 2010.

DDT will never control malaria by itself. However, it is a vital weapon against a disease carried by different parasites and many species of mosquitoes, some of which can breed in hoof prints during the rainy season. Decisions about which weapons to use, where and when, should be made by health ministers in countries with malaria problems - not by anti-pesticide activists and bureaucrats in air-conditioned, malaria-free offices in Washington, Geneva or Brussels. These health ministers need a precautionary principle that safeguards families from real, immediate, life-threatening risks - instead of condemning them to poverty, disease and premature death, to prevent minor, conjectural risks from pesticides.

Most important, African and other malaria-endemic countries need progress NOW - not 20 or 50 years from now, when (hopefully) a vaccine has finally been developed, sufficient artemisinin drugs are available for every victim, mosquito breeding areas are controlled, and communities have modern homes and hospitals (with electricity, window screens and running water). Access to life-saving pesticides is a basic human right. We wouldn't ban chemotherapy because those potent drugs present risks, or prohibit Florida and New York from using insecticides to protect people, horses and birds against West Nile virus. We must stop preventing African nations from using DDT and other insecticides to control diseases that kill millions of their citizens annually.

President Bush and many members of Congress support major funding increases to combat malaria and break Africa's perpetual cycle of disease, famine and poverty. However, this money will do little to reduce disease if it is spent on more consultants, conferences, reports and bed nets - and only insignificant amounts are directed to pesticide and other programs that actually work. The President and Congress need to ensure that health agencies' financial practices are open to scrutiny, their misguided policies and priorities are corrected, and they are held accountable for the success or failure of their programs. They need to ensure that insecticides and household spraying with DDT are restored to the world's arsenal for combating malaria. Otherwise millions will continue to die on the altar of politically correct ideologies.



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.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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


Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Critics of Rep. Richard Pombo's Endangered Species Act reform initiative -- critics such as the Center for Biological Diversity -- are simply wrong when they claim it would gut the Endangered Species Act, says The National Center for Public Policy Research. "Richard Pombo's bill, if unchanged, could give the ESA alarming new powers," said David Ridenour, vice president of The National Center and a long-time activist on land issues.

Pombo's proposal is called "The Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005" and, until recently, was expected to sail quickly through the House Resources Committee. Rep. Pombo chairs the Committee. "Property rights advocates are voicing concern about a provision that would extend the ESA's reach into so-called 'invasive species' -- never before regulated under the law," said Ridenour. Under an Executive Order signed by President Clinton, invasive species are "any species, including seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological material capable of propagating that species, that is not native to that ecosystem." "By this definition," says Ridenour, "almost any living thing could be considered an 'invasive species,' thereby giving federal bureaucrats broad new powers to regulate human activity -- where we live, what we plant in our yards, and where and how we vacation. Rep. Pombo may have been attempting to create a more narrow definition of invasive species," he said, "in an attempt to pre-empt more onerous regulations. If so, he should be applauded for his good intentions. But good intentions or not, such regulations could do more harm than good."

"Extending regulations to cover invasive species is a Pandora's Box that once opened may never be closed," Ridenour continued. "We won't need to wait for its ill-effects: Since equestrians, dirt bikers and ATV enthusiasts can carry seeds on or in their clothing, equipment and horses, these regulations can immediately be used as a pretext for kicking recreationists out of our national parks and other public lands."

The draft legislation also includes a compensation provision for property rights losses due to the ESA. But it would only kick in after a landowner loses 50 percent or more of the affected portion of his/her property value. Many small landowners can't afford a 25 percent loss of their farmlands, homes, ranches and investment property, much less 49.9 percent. And even those who hit that magic 50 percent trigger may never see any money, as property owners would still be required to jump through costly and time-consuming bureaucratic hoops that can make it uneconomic to file a claim.....

More here


Dear Students of Middlebury College: I thank you for nominating me for the Flat Earth Award, along with Michael Crichton and Rush Limbaugh. I am truly honored to be in the company of these two gentlemen who are able to communicate the truth about global warming to millions of people. According to your website (, you created the award as a humorous effort "to highlight the denial of global warming by prominent public figures." You claim that "despite an overwhelming scientific consensus that human-induced carbon-dioxide emissions are altering the global climate, some deniers remain. They are trying to convince the public and our government that a massive peer-reviewed international research project conducted by thousands of scientific researchers is bogus!"

Well now. As you undoubtedly realize, there is no consensus within the scientific community about global warming. And even if there were such a consensus, this is not how science progresses. Remember: There was once a consensus that the sun revolves about the earth, that humans could not travel faster than 25 m.p.h., that manned flight was technically impossible, and that rockets could not operate in the vacuum of space.

What matters are facts based on actual observations. And as long as weather satellites show that the atmosphere is not warming, I cannot put much faith into theoretical computer models that claim to represent the atmosphere but contradict what the atmosphere tells us. A computer model is only as good as the assumptions fed into it. I hope that this does not come as too much of a shock for you. As for the claimed consensus - as published by Naomi Oreskes in the Dec. 3, 2004, issue of Science: A colleague of mine completed an audit of the material used by Professor Oreskes but did not duplicate her result. I expect that her paper will be withdrawn. You may want to drop the link to her article on your website.

And while we are at it, here are other corrections for your website. I continue to publish in peer-reviewed journals; there were two papers in the July 9, 2004, issue of Geophysical Research Letters. Also, The Science and Environmental Policy Project is certainly not industry-funded (not that this would matter). But as a matter of policy, we rely on private donations and do not solicit support from either industry or government. And finally, get rid of that awful picture in my bio.

So what's the real scoop on global warming? I do not deny the principle of global warming. As I told the Rutland (Vt.) Herald, "I believe that the climate is currently warming as a result of the increase of greenhouse gases. "The greenhouse effect is real. However, the effect is minute, insignificant, and very difficult to detect. There is a discrepancy between what we expect from theory and the facts, and we need to explain that. That's what we're all working on."

And beyond this, competent economists conclude that a modest global warming is good for you - and agriculturists know that more CO2 is good for crops and forest growth. And now, an announcement, inspired by your efforts: The Science and Environmental Policy Project will sponsor the prestigious Chicken Little Award. The award will include some tangible benefits, consisting of a sculpture or painting of a chicken, a certificate, and a voucher for dinner at Kentucky Fried Chicken. I invite you and anyone else to send your nominations to and our Selection Board will announce the winning nominees. So again, thank you - and may the next Ice Age be long in coming.



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.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Where are the Greenies when you need them? Another "Planning" disaster is underway in Britain

Shouldn't people who believe in conservation be furiously protesting this wanton destruction of hundreds of thousands of perfectly good homes in Britain? They don't seem to be. I think it shows that harassing ordinary people is their real agenda -- not conservation. The policy of the present British government is appalling. Our only hope is that the Prince of Wales may be able to do something. When I was in Glasgow in the 70s I could not believe that the beautiful old stone buildings of "slum" suburbs like the Gorbals had been bulldozed. When I was there, there were enough of them left to see what had been lost. The same buildings in Australia would have been snapped up for gentrification and sold at an enormous profit. The former workingmen's terrace houses of Paddington in Sydney and Carlton in Melbourne are now regarded as enormously desirable and change hands for enormous sums. And the present British government wants to bulldoze hundreds of thousands of the same sort of houses!

"John Prescott has had a busy month. Ten days ago, at a symposium in a hotel near Accrington, his department reaffirmed its determination to flatten thousands of Victorian houses in northern England. On Monday Prescott announced changes to the planning system that would nullify local democracy and accelerate the building of 1.1m homes in London and the southeast. On Wednesday, against the opposition of his own advisers, he gave permission for the tallest block of flats in Europe to be built over shadowing Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

Even by his own standards this has been a virtuoso performance of sustained insensitivity. As an arbiter of taste Prescott ranks alongside an East German municipal planner of the 1950s. As a guardian of the environment he has the discrimination of an earthquake. Not since the ill-starred slum clearances and march of the tower blocks in the 1960s have English towns and villages lived in such fear. The north has had the worst of it. Prescott's now notorious "Pathfinder" regeneration schemes threatened the demolition of 400,000 homes in working-class areas across the land from Liverpool to Newcastle.

In prospect it sounded like a new age of enlightenment: investment in run-down urban areas; new administrative networks; consultation with local people; replacement of unsafe or unwanted buildings; new infrastructure. All this, and more, was promised.

However, there was a snag. To earn their Pathfinder grants, local authorities would have to "deliver" demolition quotas. To meet Prescott's aim of creating "sustainable communities", people would have to have their homes knocked down. The more typically northern a street - terrace houses, corner shops, pubs - the more certainly it faced the wrecking ball.

Cash-hungry councils immediately issued compulsory purchase orders on grids of historic Victorian terraces. This blighted local markets and created the very conditions - rock-bottom property prices and zero demand - that were supposed to trigger the clearances in the first place. Owners were offered compensation at current market rates which, being depressed by the threat of demolition, gave them no hope of affording another house.

At Nelson in Lancashire it took two public inquiries and the concerted opposition of English Heritage, the Prince's Foundation, Save Britain's Heritage, the Victorian Society and others before Prescott backed off and local people felt secure in their homes again.

At nearby Darwen, owners of recently refurbished properties, some of them newly mortgaged with unblemished structural surveys, were informed that their homes were unfit for habitation. It made no difference that English Heritage, the government's own official adviser, suggested that in general it was more cost- efficient to restore Victorian houses than to replace them; or that Brian Clancy, a past president of the Institution of Structural Engineers, examined in detail a sample of eight condemned Darwen houses and could find nothing wrong with them. One was "an ideal little first-time buyer house"; others were "an absolute palace" and "an absolutely wonderful property"."

More here

Greenie fanatics in the Federal bureaucracy say that land is a waterway!

Don't mow your lawn without calling a lawyer first - the Army Corps of Engineers might come after you

Developer John Rapanos should be a classic example of the American Dream. Instead, he became the target of a government vendetta that dragged him through a dozen years of litigation and pushed him to the brink of bankruptcy. His story is a cautionary tale about how the Clean Water Act really works.

Rapanos is the son of Greek immigrants who escaped war-torn, socialist Europe to make a better life in Depression-era America. As a boy, John Rapanos played in a hallway spattered with blood and bullet holes. Broke and struggling, the family finally fled from their rough Chicago neighborhood to Midland, Mich., two hours from Detroit. Though they arrived with nothing more than a carload of possessions and their own wits, the Rapanos family prospered, despite anti-immigrant sentiment.

Rapanos' entrepreneurship began at an early age, when he set up a candy stand outside the town's largest employer, Dow Chemical Company. The business succeeded until one of Dow's employees attacked him for being a "dirty Greek" and overturned his stand. Rather than slinking away, Rapanos sought out the chief of police and demanded that the worker apologize. He did.

As a young man, John scraped together all the money he could find in order to buy some real estate. After preparing the property for development, he sold it at a profit, and Rapanos Investments was born. Since then, Rapanos has married, raised six children, and made a fortune, all the while helping Midland grow from a factory town to a "City of Science and Culture." His sons are also developers, but they don't work for him; Rapanos has made them earn their own way.

Unfortunately, the story doesn't stop there. In the 1980s, Rapanos bought a 175-acre cornfield across from the old Dow plant and prepared it for development by leveling the property. When his grading equipment hit the concrete foundation of an old farmhouse that had been on the site, he took a natural sand pile and spread it over the concrete. That incident 20 years ago is why John Rapanos now faces jail time; that's why his family and companies face bankruptcy, and why the property remains undeveloped.

This startling story is just another chapter in Clean Water Act (CWA) enforcement. Passed over President Nixon's veto in 1972, the CWA prohibits the "discharge of any pollutant into navigable water" without a federal permit. The language seems reasonable enough, but the statute has become a charter for federal control over the most local of decisions: real estate development, road building, driveway construction, even farming operations. The law doesn't seem to apply to John Rapanos' land, which consists of cornrows and a damp forest 20 miles from the nearest navigable waterway. But contorted interpretations of terms like pollutant and navigable water have made Rapanos' property as "navigable" as the mighty Mississippi.

The pollutant Rapanos discharged wasn't oil, or nuclear waste, or chemical sludge: just sand. But the Clean Water Act doesn't distinguish between "pollutants," and it covers everything from solid waste to rock, sand, and even heat. In one case, federal regulators required Oregon ranchers to plant trees to block sunlight - which is a pollutant under the CWA.

You might figure that Rapanos' cornfield is not "a water." But, under the CWA, it's not necessary for property to contain any water on its surface to qualify as "a water." A piece of ground need merely meet the definition of "wetland" in the Army Corps of Engineers' "1987 Wetlands Delineation Manual." Legally speaking, if the soil one foot below your property is "saturated" with water for 5% of the growing season - usually eight or ten days between spring and fall - you own "water," not land.

By discharging a "pollutant" into "water," you've taken two steps towards becoming a felon. The third step is whether the "water" is "navigable." Here, the legal issue is more complicated. In the 1824 case Gibbons v. Ogden, the Supreme Court held that Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce extended to ferries providing transportation between New York and New Jersey. In keeping with Gibbons' reasoning that the federal government's power over navigation derives from the Constitution's commerce clause, federal power over American waterways in the 19th century was limited to those used (or capable of being used) as "highways for commerce, over which trade and travel are or may be conducted."

This continued until the 1890s, when Congress passed a series of Rivers and Harbors Acts, making it unlawful to "cast, throw, empty, or unlade" anything into a navigable waterway that might obstruct navigation. Despite these small steps toward federal suzerainty, the government stayed focused on commercial navigation throughout the late 19th and most of the 20th century. But beginning in the 1960s, the focus shifted from protecting waters for navigation's sake to protecting waters for their own sake. This change started with public officials touting rivers as national scenic treasures, and soon took off with an aggressive wave of legislation in the late 1960s and early 1970s. One of these laws was the Clean Water Act.

But even this new rush of laws - aimed at pollution instead of navigation - was limited to "navigable waters," which the law defined simply (if vaguely) as "waters of the United States." In keeping with 150 years of law and tradition, the Army Corps of Engineers, which enforces the CWA, initially applied it to the same waters that the Rivers and Harbors Act covered: waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, and waters that were being used or could be used for interstate or foreign commerce. As late as 1974, federal regulations emphasized that federal jurisdiction was determined by "the water body's capability of use by the public for purposes of transportation or commerce."

It was only when environmental fanatics at the Natural Resources Defense Council sued the government, complaining that this definition was too narrow, that things really changed. Judge Aubrey Robinson, Jr., an unabashedly liberal Johnson-appointee, sided with the NRDC and struck down the rules, finding that the term navigable waters "is not limited to the traditional tests of navigability" but requires "federal jurisdiction over the nation's waters to the maximum extent permissible under the Commerce Clause."

Rather than appeal this ruling, the Army Corps of Engineers adopted new rules in 1975, asserting a breathtaking federal authority over everything from "traditionally navigable waters" and "tributaries of navigable waters" to "intrastate waters from which fish were removed and sold in interstate commerce" and any other waters the Corps "determines necessitate regulation" to protect water quality. Efforts to turn back this regulation passed the House of Representatives, but died in the Senate, and the modern age of federal regulation over virtually all water in the nation began.

In 1985, the Supreme Court removed what few limits were left when it ruled in United States v. Riverside Bayview Homes that the CWA could control wetlands "adjacent to" and "bound up with" any navigable river. With the Supreme Court seeming to confirm the "anything goes" version of the law, the Corps pushed its interpretation even further, adopting a new "clarifying" rule extending jurisdiction over any "waters" that might be used by traveling migratory birds, or that might provide habitats for endangered species. These new rules even hinted that the CWA might extend federal control to irrigation ponds, ditches, and swimming pools.

Only in 2001 did the Supreme Court again wade into these muddy waters to restore some limits, in Solid Waste Authority of Northern Cook County v. Army Corps of Engineers. There, the Court struck down the "Migratory Bird Rule," and definitively declared that the CWA does not "extend to ponds that are not adjacent to open water." Anything else, the Court said, would probably render the CWA unconstitutionally broad under the Commerce Clause. The ruling was a relief, but in the four years since, federal courts have sharply disagreed over its meaning. Today, the CWA means one thing in Michigan and Maryland but another thing in Mississippi. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals had held that the CWA is limited to "navigable-in-fact" waters and immediately adjacent ponds, but the 4th, 6th, and 9th Circuits are ready to allow the federal government control over any body of water from which a single molecule of H2O might end up in a navigable-in-fact water. If a water molecule can seep from your backyard and eventually reach a navigable waterway, then mowing your lawn could be a federal crime. Walking, biking, or driving a vehicle through a protected wetland is considered a felony.

People have no way to tell which interpretation of the law will apply to them; they must either cross the government and risk prosecution, or take federal bureaucrats at their word and submit to what is probably an illegal application of the CWA. Neither is particularly appealing. For a project like leveling a cornfield, it takes a little over two years and costs more than $270,000 to get a permit - assuming no delays. But proceeding without a permit can be even more expensive: a criminal violation of the Clean Water Act brings with it a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail and a $1 million fine; a civil violation means a fine of $32,500 per day of violation, which the government counts as every day that the "pollutant" remains in the "navigable water." Anything left in a wetland for one year could cost an offender almost $12 million - and ignorance is not a defense.

So, when John Rapanos covered the troublesome farmhouse foundation by moving sand from one end of his land to the other, state and federal environmental officials accused him of filling dozens of acres of wetlands with more than 300,000 yards of sand. Former Michigan environmental chief Russ Harding says he's walked every inch of the property and drilled dozens of holes at least five feet deep without finding any evidence that wetlands ever existed there or that fill was brought in, and 300,000 yards of fill would require thousands of truckloads of dirt, something the employees across the street at Dow Chemical would probably have noticed. What's more, the evidence in the government's criminal and civil charges against Rapanos, filed in two separate cases, shows that the government doesn't even agree with itself about where the wetlands are or what portions of the property were filled.

None of this mattered to the federal courts. After 13 years of criminal litigation and 12 years of civil litigation - which has included four appeals to the Supreme Court and more than a half-dozen trips to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals - John Rapanos was convicted of CWA violations and sentenced to 10-16 months in federal prison for polluting his so-called wetlands, which connect to a 100-year-old man-made drain, which flows into a non-navigable creek, which, finally, flows into the navigable Kawkawlin River, 20 miles away.

How did events ever get this far? In the opinion of at least one Sixth Circuit judge who heard Rapanos' case, the government engaged in "prosecutorial overkill," in which federal prosecutors compared him to "the devil" and compared "his treeless property . . . to the Warsaw ghetto without Jews." According to federal District Judge Lawrence Zatkoff, who presided over Rapanos' trial, the government came after him because he is "easy to dislike, [and] had the audacity and the temerity to insist upon his constitutional rights."

Judge Zatkoff found that "the average U.S. citizen is incredulous that it can be a crime for which the government demands prison for a person to move dirt or sand from one end of their property to the other end of their property and not impact the public in any way whatsoever," and noted with irritation that prosecutors had claimed Rapanos' act was worse than the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The judge sentenced Rapanos to probation - but the government has asked the Supreme Court to intervene and increase his sentence.

As former Supreme Court Justice Byron White put it,"[o]n a purely linguistic level, it may appear unreasonable to classify 'lands,' wet or otherwise, as 'waters.'" It's even more unreasonable to ruin John Rapanos. A less principled man would have backed off long ago to close the deal, putting expediency ahead of property rights. But Rapanos didn't build a successful life by giving in. The Supreme Court is now considering whether to take his case. For John Rapanos, the case represents an opportunity to win justice and avoid financial ruin and, as with the candy stand from his youth, he won't stop until he's vindicated. For the rest of us, this case is an opportunity to restore sanity to federal power, clarify the meaning of the Clean Water Act, and end absurd federal meddling in local land use.


MTBE: A Regulatory Pitfall or Cause for Legal Action?

See also my post of 19th

While the gasoline additive MTBE was a relatively small element of the federal government's efforts to address air pollution more than a decade ago, it now occupies center stage as a key issue related to our energy policies, environmental protection, and the fairness of our legal system. MTBE, or methyl tertiary butyl ether, was originally put in use in 1979 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved it as a way to replace lead content and promote cleaner-burning gasoline.

Despite MTBE's role in fighting smog in traffic-congested cities, the chemical has a downside that EPA recognized long ago: When spilled, its water-soluble properties can cause it to seep into groundwater. Use of MTBE expanded greatly in the 1990s after EPA named MTBE one of several gasoline additives approved for use in meeting Clean Air Act mandates. At that time, both EPA and members of Congress recognized that cost and availability factors meant MTBE would be selected to comply with the clean air regulations. Regrettably, as use of MTBE increased in recent years, so did detections of the substance in water supplies.

Let's be clear: No one wants to see MTBE causing problems with water resources. Significant contaminations, which can affect the smell and taste of water and can affect property values, need to be cleaned up by the responsible parties. But companies that merely produced and used MTBE in compliance with the federal laws and regulations should not be dragged into court on the issue.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a provision in its 2005 energy bill that protects energy producers from lawsuits that are being filed over adding MTBE to gasoline, because the producers' actions were taken to comply with federal law. The Senate should pass the same provision. We are seeing too many exaggerated claims in the media about MTBE today--about the extent of the problem, health impacts, the purpose of the House safe harbor provision, and the ability of responsible parties to clean up spills.

How big is the problem? A January 2005 EPA study found only 16--less than one-half of 1 percent (0.4%)--of 3,776 public water systems in the U.S. have MTBE levels that may require corrective action. How harmful is MTBE to humans? The World Health Organization and National Toxicology Program are among those to report MTBE is not a known or probable carcinogen.

Does the House safe harbor provision of the energy bill take away the responsibility to clean up spills? Absolutely not. Nothing in the House energy bill prevents lawsuits seeking to force responsible parties to clean up MTBE spills. Moreover, a 1999 study by EPA found more than 95 percent of spills are being cleaned up by the responsible parties, often service station owners with underground storage tanks that leaked.

Plaintiffs' lawyers and water suppliers are pinning their legal hopes on having MTBE declared a defective product in court. If they succeed, this fuel additive may become the subject of the next wave of massive litigation reminiscent of the asbestos and tobacco lawsuits. In fact, it's not surprising the MTBE lawsuits are being led by some of the same plaintiffs' lawyers who profited handsomely from asbestos and tobacco lawsuits.

Forging a national policy solution to MTBE would be better than unleashing a flood of MTBE-related lawsuits focusing on details of specific legal claims rather than broad national interests. As lawsuits drag on, policy issues, spills, and clean-up might languish for years.

Important issues surrounding our energy supplies and the environment, including MTBE, need to be addressed. Clearly, the solution should not be found through filing myriad lawsuits against those who were complying with the law.



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.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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


Monday, July 25, 2005

Noctilucent Clouds and Global Warming

A "Letter to the Editor" of a British newspaper (Daily Post, Wales):

Your correspondent suggests that noctilucent clouds (NLC's) over N Wales are a sign of "man-made" global warming. NLC's were first noticed in 1885 following the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa: spectacular sunsets and NLC's were seen globally and NASA scientists now tell us links with global warming are "speculative"

When carbon dioxide (CO2) levels began rising again early last century, the planet cooled. This led to anti-capitalist claims in the Seventies that industrial pollution was precipitating the next Ice Age, though CO2 levels are currently very low historically. If NLC's were seen when the planet was cooling, it is difficult to see how they are only associated with warming. Man-made global warming was a theory supported by flawed virtual-world computer models and is now discredited by hard climate science.

Earth needs vegetation for survival; every molecule of CO2 removed by plants during vital photosynthesis is converted into sugars and oxygen, yet politicians and others have convinced the gullible it is a pollutant which must be taxed. A tax on air? What a silly and dangerous game this man-made global warming nonsense is.

(From the current Junk Science front page)

Revealing quotes from Environmentalists

They cannot help admitting their deep misanthropy at times. Most of the quotes below are well-documented but there may be one or two exceptions. As they say: "You can't make this stuff up". There are more here. I have picked out only a few of them. I end my selection with the most amusing ones -- from Paul Ehrlich, of course. Rather amazingly, he is still a great hero to Greenies. Being hopelessly wrong clearly does not matter to them as long as you hate people enough

"The right to have children should be a marketable commodity, bought and traded by individuals but absolutely limited by the state. -Kenneth Boulding, originator of the "Spaceship Earth" concept (as quoted by William Tucker in Progress and Privilege, 1982)

We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion-guilt-free at last! -Stewart Brand (writing in the Whole Earth Catalogue).

Free Enterprise really means rich people get richer. They have the freedom to exploit and psychologically rape their fellow human beings in the process.. Capitalism is destroying the earth. -Helen Caldicott, Union of Concerned Scientists

We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects.. We must reclaim the roads and plowed land, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of tens of millions of acres of presently settled land. -David Foreman, Earth First!

Everything we have developed over the last 100 years should be destroyed. -Pentti Linkola

If you ask me, it'd be a little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it. We ought to be looking for energy sources that are adequate for our needs, but that won't give us the excesses of concentrated energy with which we could do mischief to the earth or to each other. -Amory Lovins in The Mother Earth-Plowboy Interview, Nov/Dec 1977, p.22

The only real good technology is no technology at all. Technology is taxation without representation, imposed by our elitist species (man) upon the rest of the natural world. -John Shuttleworth

What we've got to do in energy conservation is try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming as if it is real means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy. -Timothy Wirth, former U.S. Senator (D-Colorado)

I suspect that eradicating smallpox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems. -John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs. -John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing....This is not to say that the rise of human civilization is insignificant, but there is no way of showing that it will be much help to the world in the long run. -Economist editorial

We advocate biodiversity for biodiversity's sake. It may take our extinction to set things straight. -David Foreman, Earth First!

Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental. -Dave Forman, Founder of Earth First!

If radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human populations back to sanity, it would probably be something like AIDS -Earth First! Newsletter

Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, is not as important as a wild and healthy planets.Some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along. -David Graber, biologist, National Park Service

Cannibalism is a "radical but realistic solution to the problem of overpopulation." -Lyall Watson, The Financial Times, 15 July 1995, Poverty For "Those People"

Every time you turn on an electric light, you are making another brainless baby. -Helen Caldicott, Union of Concerned Scientists

To feed a starving child is to exacerbate the world population problem. -Lamont Cole

The continued rapid cooling of the earth since WWII is in accord with the increase in global air pollution associated with industrialization, mechanization, urbanization and exploding population. -Reid Bryson, "Global Ecology; Readings towards a rational strategy for Man", (1971)

The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. Population control is the only answer. -Paul Ehrlich, in The Population Bomb (1968)

I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000. -Paul Ehrlich in (1969)

In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish. -Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day (1970)

How humanity is to defend itself against eco-swindlers and believers in supernatural phenomena

Polish scientist, Przemyslaw Mastalerz takes on a whole range of eco-myths and "alternative" beliefs:

They are not many, those swindlers who cheat by spreading falsehoods disguised as scientifically proven facts. There are perhaps not more than several thousands of them, or a few millions at most if we count also those of the tiniest caliber, but they are noisy and, eagerly supported by the media, they are very well heard everywhere. There are two categories of scientific swindlers. One category includes all sorts of doomsayers who insist that something very bad is going to happen if we disregard their warnings. To this category belong those who warn against global warming, genetically modified food, cell phones and other electric appliances, pesticides, waste incineration, mineral fertilizers, atomic power plants and other alleged dangers. It is convenient to call them eco-swindlers because in their teaching they always refer to the environment. They are a rather new phenomenon, which appeared only about 50 years ago, together with the growing public awareness of environmental issues.

The second category includes astrologists, dowsers, homeopathic doctors and other kinds of healers. It is an ancient category. There were always astrologists and all kinds of shamans.

Swindlers of both categories claim that all their teachings have a strong base in physical sciences. This is their biggest lie, which needs to be opposed very strongly by scientific community. My purpose is twofold. The first is to argue that all the claims propagated by scientific swindlers have long ago been disproved by science, although only few people seem to be aware of that fact. My second purpose is to propose measures which we should take to defend ourselves against the avalanche of falsehoods coming from newspapers, radio and television.

"Global warming"

The claims that global warming is coming and will have dire consequences to all mankind are based on the unquestionable facts that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising and that carbon dioxide is able to warm the atmosphere by preventing infrared radiation to escape into space. These facts are true but the environmentalists are making the grave error of assuming that carbon dioxide is the most important factor governing the temperature on our planet. With that assumption, they totally disregard other powerful factors, which were shaping the climate in the past. There is no reason to assume that these factors ceased to operate.

The history of the planet Earth is divided into periods of glaciations with permanent icecaps in polar regions and much warmer periods with no permanent ice cover. It follows that some powerful factors were always changing the climate on Earth. We are now living in a cold period of glaciation which begun about two million years ago. During that time there were fluctuations of temperature and of the size of polar icecaps but no evidence was found for a corresponding variation of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. By accident we are living in one of the warmer periods which is about to end with a new ice age as did similar periods in the past two million years.

The last ice age ended about 15 thousand years ago when ice cover retreated from Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since then there was a series of alternating warmer and colder periods. The weather was cold when the Roman empire was collapsing but later, during the Middle Ages, the climate was warm with vineyards growing in England. Later the weather cooled so much that the period between 15th and 18th centuries is known as the Little Ice Age.

It thus appears that it does not make much sense to invoke carbon dioxide as the most important factor of climate change as do the proponents of global warming. Nevertheless, the environmentalists were extremely successful in convincing the general public and state administrators in most countries that the threat of global warming is real, imminent and serious and that nations must undertake urgent actions to decrease the emission of carbon dioxide. The infamous Kyoto agreement demonstrates the strength of eco-swindlers and the weakness of the scientific community.

The dangers of global warming are now widely believed because of incessant propaganda in numerous internet papers and in all media. Even the textbooks for all levels of education are infected with false stories of what will happen if we do not limit the combustion of fossil fuels.

Genetically modified foods

Foods produced from genetically modified plants are being met with heavy opposition in Europe. The reasons of European opposition are purely political. There are no scientific reasons for stopping genetic modification of plants or animals.

Cell phones and other electric appliances

The environmentalists claim that electromagnetic radiation emitted by electric appliances may cause cancers and other diseases. This is a particularly silly claim because billions of people were exposed to such radiation for many years and no single case of any disease related to electric appliances was ever found. It is impossible to explain why articles warning about the danger of radiation emitted from electric power lines, cell phones or TV sets continue to appear in scientific journals. Perhaps it is a case of dishonesty of some scientists.


The pesticides are chemicals used to exterminate crop-damaging animals and plants. The weed killers are known as herbicides while the insecticides are used to exterminate insects. The herbicides were never seriously attacked by environmentalists while strong attacks were directed against many insecticides. For reasons which are difficult to explain without referring to historical details, the most vehemently opposed is DDT, which is the most efficient and the safest of all insecticides. DDT was banned after a long campaign involving evidently false claims that it is toxic to humans. The number of lies related to DDT is truly amazing.....

Municipal waste incineration

Very few industrial procedures were opposed with such vehemence as the incineration of municipal waste. Several years ago the eco-swindlers were able to achieve the closure of many existing incineration plants and to prevent building of new ones but lately the common sense together with the economics are prevailing and incineration is becoming the method of choice for getting rid of garbage. However, the environmentalists still insist that segregation, recycling and composting are more friendly to the environment. They do not accept the fact that nothing is more friendly then clean combustion which produces only carbon dioxide, water vapor and harmless ash.

Mineral fertilizers

One of the most frequent manifestations of chemophobia is the claim that mineral fertilizers are dangerous to our health and that the only way to grow healthy food is through organic farming, which permits only the use of manure. It is difficult to understand why animal feces should be more healthy to humans than the phosphates and nitrates present in mineral fertilizers. Phosphates and, to lesser extent, also nitrates are natural components of human bodies. It follows that it does not make sense to try to eliminate phosphates and nitrates from our food by abstaining from the use of mineral fertilizers. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with organic farming except for the fact that the high yields necessary to feed the growing population can be achieved only through intensive farming with heavy application of mineral fertilizers.

Atomic power plants

The heavy opposition against electric power generation in atomic plants appears to be fading away with growing realization that atomic plants are safer than plants fired with coal because of the high death rate in coal mines. In addition, electricity from atomic plants is cheaper and its supply is more reliable than in the case of wind turbines and solar cells. In the past decades, when the fear of radiation prevailed, no new atomic power plants were built and the demolition of existing ones was considered but this seems to be over now. The fear of radiation is also decreasing with growing realization that low radiation doses are harmless or even beneficial to living creatures.


Aggressive and fraudulent advertising persuaded millions of sick people that homeopathic drugs bring relief or even heal all diseases even when the drug is pure water and nothing more. The homeopaths developed their trade into a semblance of science and thus increased the confidence of patients who willingly pay dearly for nothing but false hope. A law is needed which would force homeopaths to provide unequivocal evidence that their drugs are more effective than placebos.


Dowsing is the procedure of searching for water, oil and lost persons or things using a rod, pendulum or other devices which by their movements indicate the presence of the sought objects. Dowsing is a very old trade with millions of ardent believers in the whole world. The facts is, however, that no dowser was ever able to demonstrate his talents under controlled conditions. The most convincing evidence against dowsing is the fact that a prize of over one million dollars is offered to anybody who will demonstrate his or her ability to detect underground water by dowsing and the prize is not yet taken. Other arguments provide the dowsers themselves who claim to be able to detect underground water or oil by letting pendulums swing over maps. It is an evidence against dowsing because such ridiculous claims cannot be accepted as true unless we believe in miracles.


Astrology is the study of the positions of stars in the belief that they affect human fate. It is difficult to understand why astrology is believed by many even now in the era of science. It would be very easy to show that the stars are not able to tell anything about our affairs but nobody seems to care and astrological swindle will be with us for many years to come. Astrology is not very harmful but the fact of cheating for money should not be tolerated.

How to oppose the frauds disguised as science

The scientist are not able to provide successful opposition because most of them do not care enough to voice their protest whenever they see a publication which is against science and reason. In addition, even if they wanted to speak up they would have problems with finding an opportunity to publish their protests because the media prefer to publish scaremongering enunciations rather than cool scientific statements.

To counteract the spread of falsehoods presented in a scientific disguise we need a better educated society. The scientists should pressure the educators to change the science curricula at all levels of education by introducing topics related to scientific swindles and insuring that the new topics are taught in accord with science and reason and not in accord with pseudoscientific beliefs. The changes need not be many but the new topics should be repeated many times at all levels. Here we should follow the example of eco-swindlers who owe their successes in convincing the public only to endless repetition of their claims.... I am fully aware that the attempts to introduce the new teaching would be met with a vehement opposition of eco-swindlers and that their protests would be very difficult to overcome but one has to try.

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.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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