Tuesday, January 02, 2007

2006: a bad year for climate fearmongers

Lubos Motl has some fun below

If you think that the format and logic of this text is childish, I tend to agree. But it was invented by RealClimate.ORG, not your humble correspondent... ;-)

The worst temperature news for the alarmists:

The worst hurricane news for the catastrophic global warming theorists:

The worst legal news for the environmental activists:

The #1 event in the climate science according to RealClimate.ORG:

The most inconvenient extraterrestrial news:

The most inconvenient news from the United Nations:

The event that has divided the ecofanatics most visibly:

The new insight that has divided climate fearmongers and other tree-huggers most profoundly:

The worst software of the year:

The brightest new celebrity contributing to the climate change analyses:

The most famous new French scientific climate skeptic:

The most distinguished scholar who became, on the contrary, a new global warming convert:

The most relevant climate policy report by a left-wing think tank:

The most honest statement by a director of an alarmist institute:

The oldest eminent physicist who has been a climate skeptic:

The most professional climate blog:

The best sold book by a student of John Wheeler:

The most "dangerous" technological idea that could mean that even the hypothetical global agreement that it is wise to cool down the Earth won't be enough to establish the world government and to cripple the world's economy:

The worst news for the proponents of the idea that the current warming was unprecedented:

The second worst news for the proponents of the idea that the current warming was unprecedented:

The insight of elementary school biology that is most inaccessible to the environmental believers and the best as well as the most irritating slogan of the year:

The most visible single emitter of carbon dioxide:

The most reproducible climate effect:

The most candid CEO:

The most inconvenient number about the attribution of the greenhouse effect:

The second most inconvenient number about the attribution:

The worst new pre-historical insight for climate fearmongers:

The most devastating finding falsifying the climate models that is 55 million years old:

The most unpleasant discovery that is more than 250 million years old:

The most deadly event killing citizens of a civilized country, similar to a heat wave:

The best athlete who hasn't yet been brainwashed:

The most inconvenient weather events:

The country with the highest number of record cold temperatures:

The most inconvenient news from cold regions:

The president with the most reasonable opinions about the climate:

The most interesting "alternative" framework to explain the weather patterns:

The hemisphere whose temperatures make it the most outspoken climate skeptic among the hemispheres:

The worst investment of a billionaire:

The worst news from the Roman empire:

The most influential propagandistic movie & the movie coining the most popular new adjective:

The most awkward assumption one must believe in order to think that it presents a strong argument:

The most educative fiction novel:

Too bad if the author has already seen the list without his entry. Thanks, Rafa, but this entry was really missing just because the book has already appeared in 2004. ;-)

The most cited old newspaper article whose lesson shouldn't be forgotten:

More seriously: these battles may be fun and indeed, they are fun. But unlike RealClimate.ORG, I don't believe that everything that happens always supports one direction of thinking and ridicules the opposite direction. There exist cool days as well as hot days, dangerous events as well as safe events, and no one should think that everything is just white and not black. Happy New Year!

UCI says burning trees cause cooling

So should we burn down all the trees?? Lubos Motl again draws attention to some pesky findings

What do you think that forest fires do with the temperature? If you were influenced by the recent massive wave of brainwashing, I think that you would guess that you obtain warming. The fire is hot and moreover, you release huge amounts of carbon dioxide that causes global warming, doesn't it?

James Randerson et al. from UCI have looked at this question using the scientific method. There have been previous papers about the subject that came to a different conclusion because they essentially neglected the albedo. Randerson and his collaborators have made the analysis a bit more carefully.

Their answer is that the forest fires increase the amount of snow and the reflectivity of the surface. If you take the average over Earth, this effect roughly cancels the greenhouse effect. If you're further from the equator where snow is common, the albedo wins and cooling is what you get.

The study printed in Nov 17th issue of Science also implies that some policies meant to prevent fires were actually contributing to warming: see e.g. this activity in Canada. Well, such things occur constantly whenever politicians and zealots become more powerful than scientists and reasonable people


Some of the loudest cries about global warming come from Churchill on Hudson Bay, whose economy is heavily dependent on planeloads of tourists intent on seeing the 900 local polar bears. Due to Churchill's proximity to international airline hubs, it's a more convenient and cheaper place to study and film bears, so it has become the de facto polar bear capital of the north. Most of the images we see of polar bears are from Hudson Bay.

This gives the misleading impression that the region's bears are typical. But in two respects they are quite distinct. The town lies at the southern edge of the polar bears' range and therefore the effects of climate change are different from the High Arctic, where most polar bears live. The Hudson Bay bears are unique in another way: they fast during six to eight months in a state of "walking hibernation".

If polar bears disappear, the tragedy will impact most on Inuit communities, where they play an important cultural, spiritual and economic role. Inuit and bears, the world's two pre-eminent hunters, are in competition for seals, whose birthing lairs can be found in pressure ridges that comprise only 2% of the sea ice. Drawn together by necessity, encounters between the predators are inevitable. Men hunt bears and bears hunt men.

Bears are also a source of food and clothing - the meat tastes like pork and polar bear storm trousers are significantly more durable than caribou furs. Each springtime, Inuit settlements allocate part of their bear quota to rich trophy-hunters whose fees boost the subsistence economy.

Polar bears might be more adaptable to climate change than supposed. Their almost-human intelligence and ingenuity has astonished observers. Glenn Williams, a former wildlife officer who monitored 2,500 bears in the vicinity at Arctic Bay on Baffin Island, recalled: "You can see them thinking all the time, like people. When you follow a bear's tracks along a ridge, he's always on the downwind side. Every time there's something higher, like rough ice or an iceberg, he always goes up it to look around. They use maybe eight different methods to catch ringed seals. They're just amazing animals." So perhaps we shouldn't write them off just yet.

More here

There's a bureaucrat in your trash

Once again, my hometown is raising the bar for nanny statism. Hopkinton, Massachusetts, home of the starting line for the Boston Marathon, apparently is very concerned about what its residents are throwing away.

Hopkinton made headlines in 2001, when the principal of my high school attempted to implement a tough new anti-smoking policy. It would have given teachers the power to suspend students for smoking - without catching them in the act - simply by testifying that the students smelled of smoke. I hope that I needn't explain why this is a bad idea. I can just imagine a non-smoking kid getting on the bad side of a teacher; is that a hint of cigarette smoke the teacher just detected on her pupil's jacket? How about a non-smoking student with parents or siblings who smoke, whose clothes have all been permeated with smoke in his home environment? He, too, could be suspended under this policy. Hey, the Supreme Court had it all wrong in Tinker v. Des Moines. Students do leave their constitutional rights at the door when they enter the school house, at least in Hopkinton!

Even though I was a student at Hopkinton High School at the time, I found out about this new smoking crackdown when a friend from Louisiana called to inform me that Rush Limbaugh had somehow found out about it, and was proceeding to have a field day making fun of my hometown. (I'm not really a fan of Rush, but I do have him to thank for nipping this draconian smoking policy in the bud when I was in high school. After he called my school principal a Nazi on his nationally syndicated radio show, she decided it was time to get a different job.)

Now, upon arriving home for the holidays, I was greeted with the news that Hopkinton now employs an Official Trash Bureaucrat! That's right, the Hopkinton Board of Selectpeople is very concerned. Hopkinton has mandatory curbside recycling. But the town government still worries that you might be throwing away things that you should be placing into that oh-so-earth-friendly green bin. So to address this pressing issue, they have commissioned the Hopkinton Recycling Officer to pick through your trash, just to make sure you're on the straight and narrow. What's the problem with that? You don't have anything to hide, now do you?

A little bit of history: originally, the recycling program in Hopkinton was a voluntary one. Residents voted to make curbside recycling services available along with their trash pickup, and were told it would only cost each household an extra $1 per year. "Great idea!" they exclaimed, and enthusiastically adopted the new service. Little did they know that the program would eventually become mandatory, with its own enforcer to give the ordinance some teeth! According to a police report I found online:

Thursday, August 24, 2006

7:19 am A caller from B Street reported that an older white male was going through her trash and when he was questioned he stated that he was the town recycling inspector and then left in a maroon Jeep Liberty. Officer Patrick O'Brien stopped the vehicle on Cedar Street and he was the town recycling monitor.

I'm left with some burning questions. How exactly did this ordinance get passed? Were people just oblivious as to what their town government was doing, or was it approved by Hopkinton's governors at some closed-door, midnight session, as congress is so fond of doing? Do those who appointed the recycling enforcer get their trash scrutinized, too? How much does it cost the townspeople in property taxes (putting aside, for a moment, the cost in personal liberty) to employ the trash police? And if this is a volunteer position, who would seek out this type of job? I think the B Street resident above was rightly worried about privacy, especially given the prevalence of identity theft.

It seems that Hopkinton wants to keep its trashpicking bureaucrat hush-hush. Looking through this eleven-page list of town officials, I can't find a listing for Chief Trashpicker. Something smells rotten about this whole situation, but please, refrain from looking in any trash cans to find the source of the odor. Maybe you should instead turn your attention toward the Hopkinton town hall.



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 generally 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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