Wednesday, January 04, 2006


German climate scientist Hans von Storch has a BIG article in Der Spiegel -- a major German newsmagazine -- showing that the global warming scare is more a drama performance than anything else. Below is an excerpt from the article

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

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

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

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

Unfortunately, the corrective mechanisms in science are failing. Public reservations with regard to the standard evidence of climate catastrophe are often viewed as unfortunate within the scientific community, since they harm the "worthy cause," especially because, as scientists claim, they could be "misused by skeptics." Dramatization on a small scale is considered acceptable, whereas correcting exaggeration is viewed as dangerous because it is politically inopportune. This means that doubts are not voiced publicly. Instead, the scientific community creates the impression that the scientific underpinnings of climate change research are solid and only require minor additions and adjustments.

This self-censorship in the minds of scientists ultimately leads to a sort of deafness toward new, surprising insights that compete with or even contradict the conventional explanatory models. Science is deteriorating into a repair shop for conventional, politically opportune scientific claims. Not only does science become impotent; it also loses its ability to objectively inform the public.

An example of this phenomenon is the discussion surrounding the so-called hockey stick, a temperature curve that supposedly portrays developments of the last 1,000 years. The curve derives its name from its hockey stick-like shape. In 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a panel of climate researchers established by the United Nations, rashly institutionalized the hockey stick curve as an iconic symbol of human-induced climate change. In the curve, the upward-tilting blade of the hockey stick that follows decades of stable temperatures represents human influence.

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

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

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


But they are still being built in Queensland

Where a pretty stream flowed and vehicles were once driven, boats now motor as the newly commissioned Paradise Dam starts to fill. The dam is already at 30 per cent capacity, having captured about 70,000 megalitres from the Burnett River system. But conservationists fear the big dam might be the straw that breaks the camel's back as far as the Burnett is concerned. It is believed to be the 32nd water harvesting scheme in the catchment.

Queensland Conservation Council spokesman Henry Boer said scientific advice was that the dam would cause irreversible damage to the Burnett and called on the Government to make the Paradise the state's last publicly-funded agricultural storage. "This should be the last dam in Queensland funded by taxpayers for the benefit of a few select rural industries," Mr Boer said. "The Burnett River (is) a system already stressed from too much water extraction."

Premier Peter Beattie has said the dam has the potential to increase the region's net wealth by up to $800 million a year and create more than 7000 new jobs. It incorporates a state-of-the-art fishway and tough environmental conditions that would see river quality and lungfish habitat monitored during the next decade. Mr Boer said water needs could be met by improving the efficiency of irrigation systems and introducing demand management technology.



Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Dec. 16 made a significant move that will benefit the pocketbooks of his state's consumers and perhaps boost his own Republican presidential prospects. He pulled Massachusetts out of the compact of Northeastern states requiring a reduction in power plant emissions of carbon dioxide. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) would cut the emissions by 10 percent by 2019, forcing up electricity prices because of greater dependence on increasingly expensive natural gas. This Northeastern initiative, spearheaded by a Republican, New York Gov. George Pataki, is viewed by environmentalists as foreshadowing national limits. It is an end run around President Bush's opposition to mandatory reductions. During early December negotiations in Montreal on the Kyoto pact, European Greens praised RGGI as a repudiation of President Bush's dismissal of global warming alarmists.

The defection of Romney, originally inclined to support RGGI, represents a major setback for the Greens. Sen. John McCain, an advocate of national carbon limits, runs far ahead of Romney in early Republican presidential polls. But on this as on tax policy, McCain conflicts with not only Bush but also the Republican consensus. McCain's proposal for national mandatory carbon limits has been rejected by the Republican-controlled Senate, most recently, 60 to 38, in June. In contrast, Romney may have a leg up in coal-producing states. He also is attracting interest from automakers and other industries that oppose mandatory CO2 limits.

The ungreening of Mitt Romney has provoked screams of protest in blue-state Massachusetts. "For those in Congress who have fought the Bush administration," said Democratic Rep. Martin Meehan, "it was heartbreaking to watch the Romney administration attempt to dismantle efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the Northeast." While Meehan called it a "national embarrassment for Massachusetts," both industrial and consumer interests in the state stand to benefit from Romney's apostasy. The governor grew skeptical of RGGI after first showing interest in the compact, and late in September he convened a high-level meeting with industrial and environmental interests in Boston. The industrial representatives told the governor he would face continued economic decline in Massachusetts if he did not reject the compact. The Greens told Romney that RGGI was just the first part of a national plan to fight global warming.

Carbon limits necessarily force greater reliance on natural gas for electric power, applying further pressure to boost prices. The per million BTU price soared to an astronomical $14.80 in Dec. 14 trading, though the price since then has dropped to $11.10 on Dec. 30. Everybody agrees that carbon limits will force up electricity prices steadily far into the future. The disagreement is over how much the costs will go up. A study done for RGGI shows the cost per consumer rising $34 a year every year for 20 years, but business groups call that number laughable in view of how much CO2 caps really will cost. That is unnerving for Massachusetts, which now has the nation's highest electric power bills. However, the bigger impact could be on the cost to industries that threatens the loss of jobs.

Romney's concern over carbon caps is shared by other Northeastern governors. Republican Donald Carcieri of Rhode Island, Republican Robert Ehrlich of Maryland and Democrat Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania also took their states out of RGGI conformity. But the governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont are still in the compact, ready to impose a heavy economic burden on their citizens. Outside the Northeast, the states of California, Oregon and Washington also are moving toward carbon caps.

Green pressure can lead politicians to make promises that they would regret. It happened to George W. Bush at Saginaw, Mich., in September 2000 when he took a position hardly noticed at the time. "We will require all power plants to meet clean air standards in order to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide," he said. That never really was Bush's position, but it led to a misunderstanding between the president and his first Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Christine Whitman, that haunts him to this day. It appears Mitt Romney will avoid that pitfall on his long uphill climb to the White House.



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

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