Sunday, January 07, 2007


Far-left political ideologies are being promulgated through ever-increasing mediums, and recently I noticed that a once-vaunted American television network, The Weather Channel, had succumbed to the cancerous spread of liberalism. The Weather Channel debuted in 1982 and went on to earn a reputation as a well-known and respected cable network. The explosive success of the cable channel prompted the publication of a book marking the network's 20th anniversary. That success has been based on the fact that weather forecasts are sought after by a vast number of Americans on a near-daily basis.

What had been nice about The Weather Channel is that through most of its history it stayed clear of political propaganda and focused on delivering weather forecasts to the nation, supplemented with riveting live reports from the front lines of hurricanes, winter blizzards and springtime floods. But no more. The Weather Channel is now engaged in a con job on the American people, attempting to scare the public that their actions are destroying the planet by creating a global warming crisis.

The move away from scientific forecasting of the weather to sensationalized leftist political advocacy is in part due to the influence of Wonya Lucas, executive vice president and general manager of The Weather Channel Networks. Lucas admitted in a recent interview with Media Village that the reprogramming of The Weather Channel was influenced by her tenure at CNN when that network shifted from presenting straight news to personality-driven programming. Lucas decided that what was good for CNN was good for The Weather Channel, and the objectivity and respectability of the network has now been thrown out the window. It doesn't matter that CNN's turn to the left has caused their ratings to plummet; The Weather Channel's embraced its model.

Media Village reported that the move by The Weather Channel "is intended to establish a broader perspective on the weather category and, says Lucas, to move the brand from functional to emotional." Emotional weather forecasting?

The Weather Channel is launching a new website and broadband channel dedicated solely to global warming called "One Degree" and has a weekly program called "The Climate Code," devoted almost entirely to liberal advocacy on climate matters. The network is running advertisements showcasing scared and confused Americans, including children and senior citizens, wondering about the coming apocalypse caused by global warming.

The chief martyr for the new "emotional" approach to broadcasting at The Weather Channel is Dr. Heidi Cullen, who serves as the network's cheerleader for global warming hysteria. Cullen's supposed expertise on climatology includes, among other things, earning a bachelor's degree in Near Eastern religions and history from Juniata College. One must indeed have to believe in the mystical to accept anything Ms. Cullen has to say about climatology.

Writing for the One Degree blog, Ms. Cullen recently threw a hissy fit that some meteorologists are openly questioning the conclusions drawn by the Greenpeace crowd about the nature, extent, causes and even existence of global warming. Cullen's diatribe, titled "Junk Controversy Not Junk Science," called on the American Meteorological Society to start requiring all meteorologists to tow the line on liberal interpretation of global warming, or else lose the organization's certification. George Orwell's 1984 couldn't have concocted a better form of thought control. The global warming crowd, led by arrogant hustlers such as Heidi Cullen at The Weather Channel, has set up a no-lose situation for themselves.

Climatology is by definition the study of long-term climate trends, and it will indeed be many decades or longer before any definitive conclusions about even the existence of global warming - let alone its causes - can be determined to be true or false. This means that Cullen and her cohorts can't be held accountable for their erroneous beliefs.

Even still, we can see how foolish it is to allow people like Heidi Cullen to influence decision-makers to impose further restrictions and regulations on the actions of human beings. Global warming scaremongers jumped on the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the busy 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and went on to predict that 2006 would be a potentially devastating year of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean. As it was, not one single hurricane made landfall in the U.S.

If forecasters can't reliably tell us what will happen in two to three months from now, why would anyone trust that they know what will happen with the weather in 50 or 100 years from now and let them tell us how to live our lives accordingly? This is all about Big Brother do-gooders trying to control how you live your life, and stripping away the freedoms and liberties of people to live their lives as they see fit, engage in commerce and raise their families. There's a con job going on at The Weather Channel, and it's time that viewers let the network know it's time to stop the liberal politicization of weather reporting.

More here


Unless you've been hibernating for the winter, you have no doubt heard the many alarms about global warming. Now even the Bush Administration is getting into the act, at least judging from last week's decision by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to recommend that the majestic polar bear be listed as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. The closer you inspect this decision, however, the more it looks like the triumph of politics over science.

"We are concerned," said Mr. Kempthorne, that "the polar bears' habitat may literally be melting" due to warmer Arctic temperatures. However, when we called Interior spokesman Hugh Vickery for some elaboration, he was a lot less categorical, even a tad defensive. The "endangered" designation is based less on the actual number of bears in Alaska than on "projections into the future," Mr. Vickery said, adding that these "projection models" are "tricky business."

Apparently so, because there are in fact more polar bears in the world now than there were 40 years ago, as the nearby chart shows. The main threat to polar bears in recent decades has been from hunting, with estimates as low as 5,000 to 10,000 bears in the 1950s and 1960s. But thanks to conservation efforts, and some cross-border cooperation among the U.S., Canada and Russia, the best estimate today is that the polar bear population is 20,000 to 25,000.

It also turns out that most of the alarm over the polar bear's future stems from a single, peer-reviewed study, which found that the bear population had declined by some 250, or 25%, in Western Hudson Bay in the last decade. But the polar bear's range is far more extensive than Hudson Bay. A 2002 U.S. Geological Survey of wildlife in the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain concluded that the ice bear populations "may now be near historic highs." One of the leading experts on the polar bear, Mitchell Taylor, the manager of wildlife resources for the Nunavut territory in Canada, has found that the Canadian polar bear population has actually increased by 25% -- to 15,000 from 12,000 over the past decade.

Mr. Taylor tells us that in many parts of Canada, "polar bears are very abundant and productive. In some areas, they are overly abundant. I understand that people not living in the North generally have difficulty grasping the concept of too many polar bears, but those who live here have a pretty good grasp of what that is like." Those cuddly white bears are the Earth's largest land carnivores.

There is no doubt that higher temperatures threaten polar bear habitat by melting sea ice. Mr. Kempthorne also says he had little choice because the threshold for triggering a study under the Endangered Species Act is low. The Bush Administration was sued by the usual environmental suspects to make this decision, which means that Interior will now conduct a year-long review before any formal listing decision is made.

Nonetheless, the bears seem to have survived despite many other severe warming and cooling periods over the last few thousands of years. Polar bears are also protected from poaching and environmental damage by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, so there is little extra advantage to the bears themselves from an "endangered" classification.

All of which suggests that the real story here is a human one, namely about the politics of global warming. Once a plant or animal is listed under the Endangered Species Act, the government must also come up with an elaborate plan to protect its habitat. If the polar bear is endangered by warmer temperatures, then the environmentalist demand will be that the government do something to address that climate change. Faster than you can say Al Gore, this would lead to lawsuits and cries in Congress demanding federal mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Think we're exaggerating? No sooner had Mr. Kempthorne announced his study than Kassie Siegel of something called the Center for Biological Diversity told the New York Times that "even this Administration" would not be able to "write this proposal without acknowledging that the primary threat to polar bears is global warming and without acknowledging the science of global warming." Her outfit was one of those who had sued the feds in the first place over the polar bears, notwithstanding its location in the frozen tundra of Arizona. But no matter. For want of a few hundred polar bears, the entire U.S. economy could be vulnerable to judicial dictation.

With that much at stake, Mr. Kempthorne could have shown a stiffer backbone in resisting this political pressure. At the very least he now has an obligation to ensure that Interior's year-long study be based on real science and the actual polar bear population, rather than rely on computer projections. Any government decision to limit greenhouse gases deserves to be debated in the open, where the public can understand the consequences, not legislated by the back door via the Endangered Species Act.

The Wall Street Journal, 3 January 2007


Another stupid prophet of doom

In 10 years time it will be too late to reverse the effects of global warming, a climate change expert warned yesterday. Scientist Jim Hansen - one of the first to start alarm bells ringing in 1988 - said that unless cuts in pollution started happening within the next decade we would reach the "tipping point" where the damage could not be undone. He added: "Half the people in the world live within 15 miles of a coastline. A large fraction of the major cities are on coastlines. "Once you get the process started and well on the way, it's impossible to prevent it.

"That's why we need to address the issue before it gets out of control. We just cannot burn all the fossil fuels in the ground.

"If we do, we will end up with a planet with no ice in the Arctic and where warming is so large that it's going to have a large effect in terms of sea level rises and the extinction of species."

Dr Hansen, director of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, said: "If we go another 10 years, by 2015, at the current rate of growth of CO2 emissions, the emissions in 2015 will be 35 per cent larger than they were in 2000.

"But if we want to get on a scenario that keeps global temperature in the range that it has been in for the last million years, we would need to decrease the emissions by something of the order of 25 per cent."

Britain's chief scientist, Sir David King, said: "We need to remember: Action is affordable, inaction is not. Only heads of state working together can provide the new level of global leadership we need."



OFFICIALS from the Government agency championing the fight against climate chaos have taken 60 gas-guzzling domestic flights in the last year. Environment Agency Wales (EAW) have been sending its staff on an air trip less than every two weeks - at the same time as urging everyone else to use other means of transport.

The revelation has provoked a series of attacks from shocked environmental groups, who say EAW needs to "get its house in order." But this week EAW hit back, insisting meetings flown to were "business-crucial" and staff could not have attended otherwise......

More here


Authorities will not take the necessary measures to prevent bush fires for fear of offending radical environmentalists

With dismaying predictability, bushfires in south-eastern Australia have devastated some of the country's state forests and national parks, put at risk the lives of thousands of firefighters who have heroically sought to contain them, and caused substantial loss of property, particularly in Victoria and Tasmania.

What is most alarming about the recent outbreaks is that they come at the beginning of summer, and their intensity can only be expected to grow as the weather gets hotter, drier and more windy.

Undoubtedly, the current drought has aggravated the problem; but the almost total absence of fuel-reduction burns - now part of the policy pursued by bodies such as the National Parks and Wildlife Service in New South Wales and the Department of Sustainability and Environment in Victoria - has contributed to the crisis.

In Victoria, bushfires consumed over 300,000 hectares early in December. For the first time in living memory, the fire-fighting organisations, the Country Fire Authority and the Department of Sustainability and Environment, conceded that they could not put the fires out, and they would burn for weeks until rain extinguished them.

Fire-reduction strategy

By contrast, the Department of Sustainability's Chief Fire Officer admitted that only 7,000 hectares was burned between last autumn and spring in low-intensity fires designed to get rid of the forest litter which turns bushfires into wildfires. (SBS News, December 8, 2006).

This is just one thousandth of the 8 million hectares of forest land which the department has responsibility to manage. They might as well have stayed at home.

According to the Victorian Association of Forest Industries, this compares to a yearly average of 225,000 hectares burnt in fuel-reduction burns in the decade from 1974-75 to 1983-84. Until about five years ago, the figure had averaged just 80,000 hectares, which fell to 40,000 hectares by 2003, still over five times the area subject to controlled burn-offs this year.

The reason why government departments have effectively abandoned fuel reduction strategies is that they have accepted the greenies' argument that their job is to minimise human activity (particularly logging) and preserve "biodiversity". They have accepted the greenies' claim that periodic low-intensity burn-offs reduce biodiversity.

In fact, low-intensity fires are far kinder to both flora and fauna than wildfires which inevitably devastate everything in their path and put human lives in grave danger.

It is curious that environmental groups, so vociferous about the effect of CO2 on climate change, have remained completely silent over the millions of tonnes of CO2 released by the bushfires which have cut a swathe through south-eastern Australia in recent weeks.

Peter Garrett, newly appointed shadow minister for climate change, has said nothing on the issue, nor has the environmental group Greenpeace, which has opposed fuel-reduction burn-offs and staged several spectacular stunts in an effort to save "ancient forests" threatened by logging.

The Wilderness Society, which first grabbed the spotlight 30 years ago in its campaign to save the Franklin River, and still raises money on the basis that it is saving the forests, has also been silent as some of Australia's old growth forests have literally gone up in smoke.

The Australian Greens, who led the campaign to prevent the timber industry getting access to timber from native forests, have also remained completely silent in the face of the bushfire crisis.

Since 2002, Australia has faced an escalating problem from bushfires, owing to an unwillingness by governments to take the necessary actions to minimise the bushfire threat.

After every forest conflagration, there have been state and federal inquiries into the causes of the bushfires, and what needs to be done to address them.

Every one of these inquiries has recommended - sometimes in muted language, for fear of offending radical environmentalists who have set the agenda for forest policy - a program of what are sometimes called "cold fires", fuel-reduction burn-offs through bush land in the wetter months of the year, to get rid of dead trees, branches and leaf litter which fuel forest fires.

It has been known for many years that such fires, if carried out every six to eight years, prevent the build-up of forest litter which turns bushfires into wildfires.

In Western Australia, the only state where successive governments rigorously conducted widespread fuel-reduction burns until recent years, there have been no comparable disasters. Studies conducted in Western Australia have shown that regular burn-offs of 10-15 per cent of forests reduce the amount of forest litter to a level where bushfires can be controlled, and do not develop into wildfires.

Until governments introduce mandatory legislated targets for fuel-reduction burns in both National Parks and State Forests, as a means of preventing further wildfires, the present problems will simply get worse.



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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