Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Press release below from the Senate Majority Press Office (

Naomi Oreskes, History of Science professor at the University of California at San Diego, in a Los Angeles Times op-ed, "Global Warming -- Signed, Sealed and Delivered," set out to defend the validity of her study titled "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change (Science Magazine, December 3, 2004). The study purportedly shows a 100% consensus on human caused global warming. In today's op-ed, however, Oreskes failed to acknowledge several key criticisms to her analysis of peer reviewed literature allegedly showing there is 100% scientific consensus that human activity is primarily responsible for warming the planet in the last 50 years.

FACT: Oreskes's study contained major flaws. Oreskes did not inform readers in today's commentary that she admitted to making a search term error that excluded about 11,000 papers -more than 90% of the papers- dealing with climate change. Oreskes also failed to inform readers that, according to one critique of her study, less than 2% of the abstracts she analyzed endorsed what she terms the "consensus view" on human activity and climate change and that some of the studies actually doubted that human activity has caused warming in the last 50 years.

Oreskes originally claimed she analyzed the peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003 under the keywords "climate change" and found just 928 articles. It turns out she was not accurate, according to British social scientist Benny Peiser a professor at Liverpool John Moores University.

A search using the terms "climate change" actually turned up almost 12,000 papers that were published during the time frame Oreskes claimed to have researched. In other words, her supposedly comprehensive research excluded about 11,000 papers. Only after Peiser's analysis pointed out this error in her study did Oreskes reportedly admit that her study was not based on the keywords "climate change," but on the far more restrictive phrase "global climate change."

Peiser noted: "These objections were put to Oreskes by science writer David Appell. On 15 December 2004, she admitted that there was indeed a serious mistake in her Science essay. According to Oreskes, her study was not based on the keywords "climate change," but on "global climate change."

Oreskes's 100% "consensus" would potentially be accurate only by excluding well over 90% of the available papers in the time frame she was researching, according to Peiser. Eliminating about 11,000 papers (even if a small portion would not be considered `peer reviewed') in favor of just 928, hardly proves a "consensus." In addition, Peiser found that less than 2% of the studies Oreskes examined supported her "consensus view" and some of the studies actually disagreed with that humans were the chief cause of the past 50 years of climate change.

Peiser also found: ".While the ISI database includes a total of 929 documents for the period in question, it lists only 905 abstracts. It is thus impossible that Oreskes analyzed 928 abstracts." ( "Oreskes entire argument is flawed as the whole ISI data set includes just 13 abstracts (less than 2%) that explicitly endorse what she has called the 'consensus view.'" "In fact, the vast majority of abstracts do not mention anthropogenic climate change. Moreover - and despite attempts to deny this fact - a few abstracts actually doubt the view that human activities are the main driving force of "the observed warming over the last 50 years." (

No "Scientific Consensus"

Furthermore, sixty scientists recently wrote an open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Harper calling for a complete review of the science behind climate alarmism. Additionally, recent scientific analyzes dispute the claims of those promoting human-caused catastrophic global warming. The United Nations media hyped "Hockey Stick" was broken in June by a National Academy of Sciences report reaffirming the existence of the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age. Finally, just last week, three researchers -- Edward J. Wegman of George Mason University, David W. Scott of Rice University and Yasmin H. Said of Johns Hopkins University, further debunked the "Hockey Stick."


Restrictions have pushed land costs so high that middle class people can no longer afford to live in L.A. so they migrate elsewhere or are forced into poor neighborhoods. And, as always, California is the harbinger of insanities to come elsewhere

A growing body of research shows Los Angeles to be a region of extreme polarization, where rich and poor live in separate neighborhoods, surrounded by others like themselves. Demographers at Wayne State University in Detroit recently found Greater Los Angeles to be the most economically segregated region in the country. The study found only about 28% of its neighborhoods to be middle-class or mixedincome, compared with more than half of those in Nashville, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Portland, Ore.

More than two-thirds of L.A.-area residents live in neighborhoods that are solidly rich or poor, according to the analysis, which is based on 2000 census data. That share has been steadily growing for three decades, said one of the study's authors, George Galster, a professor of urban affairs at Wayne State. "The situation in L.A. is certainly at the extreme of American cities," Galster said, adding that every one of the 100 metropolitan regions he looked at has grown more economically segregated over the last 30 years.

The trend parallels a well-documented loss of middleincome jobs in the United States over a generation. But the study found that middle-class neighborhoods are disappearing at a much faster rate than the comparable jobs. Researchers attributed the faster pace to a kind of self-sorting. In other words, people are moving out of economically diverse neighborhoods to live in areas dominated by their own income group. Los Angeles leads the trend. "I think that poses real challenges to any society, politically and socially," Galster said. "The fact that our society is moving to a situation where we don't rub shoulders on a daily basis means that, more and more, people's impressions of others will not be formed by personal experience but by images in the media."

The study defined neighborhoods by residential census tracts, and defined middle income as between 80% and 120% of the metropolitan area's median. Los Angeles' spot on the list can be explained, in part, by two factors that create bulges at each end of the economic spectrum: Large numbers of low-skilled immigrants earning low wages and a rarefied club of wealthy entertainment and business moguls. Los Angeles County "has more billionaires than any other part of the country. It's also the capital of the working poor," said Peter Dreier, chairman of the Urban and Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College.

That wasn't always the case. A generation ago, the region was a model for the post-World War II, middle-class lifestyle. High-wage manufacturing jobs were abundant, particularly in the aerospace industry. When the industry collapsed in the early 1990s, many middle-class residents left the region. In the meantime, large numbers of immigrants arrived seeking work. Other changes mirrored national trends, including the development of large, similarly priced housing tracts outside city cores.

Now even the suburbs are growing apart. In a study conducted two years ago, Dreier and three colleagues found an increasing polarization of the rings surrounding U.S. cities. "There are a growing number of wealthy suburbs, a growing number of poverty suburbs and an absolute decline in the number of middle-class suburbs," he said. Los Angeles' suburbs also were among the nation's most extreme. Only suburbs of Phoenix and Palm Beach, Fla., were more polarized, the researchers found. Both reports on geographic polarization were released by the Washington, D.C.,-based Brookings Institution.

Alan Berube, a Brookings urban affairs specialist, said the pulling apart of rich and poor has immediate and tangible effects. For one thing, it can diminish choices and raise prices for everyone. "The retailers in the two neighborhoods are very different," he said. "It's the difference between a Whole Foods and a corner grocer, or Citibank and the local check casher. They're not competing, and in the end, you have higher prices for all basic goods and services." More broadly, Berube maintained, the shrinking of mixed or middle-income neighborhoods limits the ability of low-income residents to move up economically without leaving the region. It can even contribute to civic instability.

More here

Convoluted study finds residential water crisis where none exists

By Dan Walters -- Sacramento Bee and Modesto Bee Columnist

California has no shortage of critical political and public issues -- public education, traffic congestion, housing costs and medical care, to name but a few. Too much green grass isn't one of them, despite the assertions of a new think-tank study. Ellen Hanak, an economist at the Public Policy Institute of California, would have us believe that as population grows, lawns and other residential greenery will consume inordinately high amounts of water. "Do the math," Hanak said in a statement accompanying release of her study. "We're facing the prospect of many more people, with more lawns and gardens, in the state's hottest, driest regions; that adds up to a lot of water."

Hanak's math, framed in complex equations based on assumptions about population growth, housing patterns and water use, works like this: Urban water use in 2000 was about 9 million acre-feet, a fifth of the water devoted to human use in the state, with 6 million acre-feet of that consumed in residential households and perhaps half of the household use outdoors. Bottom line: somewhere between 2.5 million and 3 million acre-feet used to maintain residential greenery each year.

Hanak then expostulates that population growth -- 11 million more Californians over the next quarter- century -- higher-than-average growth in hot and dry inland areas, and the tendency for inland growth to be single-family homes rather than apartments or condominiums will increase demand for outdoor water, but never calculates how much that demand will be in the aggregate other than "a lot of water."

Despite the dearth of quantification, Hanak launches into a series of policy suggestions to curb the demand, clearly intimating that inlanders are water hogs whose thirst needs to be curbed. She disparages the large lots found in inland residential tracts, approvingly cites denser multifamily housing in the coastal areas, and even suggests that California follow Las Vegas' water conservation model.

"A lot of water" is a less than satisfactory basis for policy decisions (at another point Hanak refers to her calculations as "only a guesstimate"), so let's round out the water numbers. Let's assume that the population growth she assumes is accurate, a little less than a one-third increase in 25 years. Let's also assume that over half of that growth is in single-family homes with lawns and gardens in inland areas, a very generous estimate, so that the amount of water needed for lawns and shrubs increases by 40 percent over that period, another generous figure. That would indicate that outdoor water use would increase from 3 million acre-feet a year (still another generous number) to 4.2 million acre-feet.

If the issue is 1.2 million acre-feet a year (and it's probably much less), we should put it into some context other than "a lot of water." All human uses of water in California -- residential, commercial, industrial and, most of all, agricultural -- amount to an estimated 43 million acre-feet a year, a fifth of the estimated 200 million-acre feet that flow through the state. So watering the additional greenery would amount to perhaps one-half of 1 percent of the total.

Here's the supposed problem from another standpoint: During the height of last winter's storms, the Sacramento River alone was carrying two acre-feet of water each second to the sea, or 1.2 million acre-feet each week. Funny how those numbers work out. It illustrates how California's water situation is often distorted by those pushing other agendas, such as discouraging people from living in single-family homes and pushing them into multifamily complexes simply because of some ideological bias against personal property and for communal living. Hanak may not personally hold that bias, but her misleading numbers will be used by those who do.

There's nothing wrong with a family living in a single-family home with a cool green yard and a flower garden; it reflects the legitimate desire of most people to own property they can enjoy as they see fit and build estates for their families. And California doesn't have a water shortage; it has a conflict over how water should be distributed and priced that could be settled quickly were ideological agendas set aside and rational economics applied.



But it's UNESCO research so it must be right

A Sydney conference has heard that climate change led to the fall of the ancient Cambodian city of Angkor. The theory has been presented to an international gathering under the patronage of UNESCO. Sydney University's Roland Fletcher says the famous temples were the medium-size constructions of Angkor. From the 8th century 1,000 square kilometres of rainforest made way for the low density city. "The magnitude of the place is an important factor in how it ultimately collapsed," he said. "It also had a gigantic infrastructure nearly the equivalent of freeways that you get in a modern city except that these are canals and embankments."

Associate Professor Fletcher believes the medieval mini ice age caused climatic instability that lead to water and sediment overwhelming Angkor's delicately balanced infrastructure. "Our field work is leading us to conclude the city was abandoned when destabilised river flows, due to land clearing, and new monsoon patterns, due to climate change, made the site unsustainable," he said in a statement. "As the canals filled with sand, it appears water broke through their embankments, badly damaging this essential infrastructure."

People attending the conference have been able to see a new three dimensional simulation of the city and what the daily life of its citizens was like during its heyday in the 12th century.


Australian Left slowly going nuclear too

Kim Beazley has withdrawn his support for Labor's long-standing ban on new uranium mines in Australia, staking his leadership on a policy of more mining and exports. As part of his efforts to appear decisive, the Labor leader has set out an alternative to John Howard's plans for Australia to become "an energy superpower". The Opposition Leader said last night his change of position was aimed at lifting prosperity but he remained totally opposed to nuclear power in Australia because it was "not in our national interest". In the Sydney Institute speech, Mr Beazley also said he did not believe uranium enrichment would happen in Australia for years -- and not if he became prime minister.

His declaration brings forward the debate on one of Labor's most divisive issues, which threatens to split the ALP conference in April next year, only months before an election. "I believe the real issue is what we do with the uranium we mine -- not how many places we mine it," Mr Beazley said. "I will seek a change to my party's platform to replace the 'no new mines' policy with a new approach based on the strongest safeguards in the world. "Banning new uranium mines would not limit the export of Australian uranium to the world -- it would simply favour incumbent producers."

Mr Beazley's public position was immediately opposed by his frontbench environment spokesman and left-wing factional leader, Anthony Albanese. "I will be opposing this all the way to the national conference next year for all the reasons I have opposed it all along," Mr Albanese told The Australian last night. "I was consulted on this decision, I counselled against it and said I thought it was wrong."

Mr Beazley said Labor's new policy should focus on export controls rather than the mines themselves, because Australia was already the world's second biggest supplier of mined uranium and the expansion of South Australia's Olympic Dam mine would make us the biggest. He is proposing three tests for countries wanting to buy Australian uranium: accept the nuclear non-proliferation treaty; accept the world's strictest safeguards on the peaceful use of uranium; and join Australia's new diplomatic initiative against nuclear proliferation.

Environment Minister Ian Campbell said Mr Beazley had taken 20 years to do a backflip on uranium mining and it highlighted Labor confusion over a comprehensive energy and environment plan. Industry and Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane said Mr Beazley could not wait months before setting out the policy, but had to do it now. "If this is Mr Beazley's position, then we need to see the policy now and the West Australian and Queensland Labor Governments can act on it," Mr Macfarlane said.

But Labor's resources spokesman, Martin Ferguson, another left-winger, supports the Beazley decision. Australian Workers Union leader and Labor candidate Bill Shorten said yesterday Mr Beazley's change of position showed that the party was serious about winning the next election. Mr Shorten said Mr Beazley's intervention was significant and the policy would be changed at the ALP conference next year. "The policy of no new mines was a 'half-pregnant' policy and people got around it in South Australia by linking any number of mines with a road and calling it one mine," Mr Shorten said. "Kim's calling a spade a spade. The no new mines policy was an economic ball and chain around Labor's leg and doing away with it makes economic sense." Acting South Australian Premier Kevin Foley said the decision was sensible and "will give great confidence to the mining industry in South Australia". Mr Foley said: "We're on the verge of a mining boom, this is a great leadership decision by Kim Beazley supporting that shown by Mike Rann."

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

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