Tuesday, January 30, 2007


The perfectly obvious statement that freaks them: "the Antarctic ice sheet will remain too cold for widespread surface melting and is expected to gain in mass due to increased snowfall". Apparently they don't know that the antarctic temperature is WAY below zero so even BIG global warming would not bring it up to melting point

Serious disagreement has broken out among scientists over a United Nations climate report's contention that the world's greatest wilderness - Antarctica - will be largely unaffected by rising world temperatures.

The report, to be published on Friday, will be one of the most comprehensive on climate change to date, and will paint a grim picture of future changes to the planet's weather patterns. Details of the report were first revealed by The Observer last weekend. However, many researchers believe it does not go far enough. In particular, they say it fails to stress that climate change is already having a severe impact on the continent and will continue to do so for the rest of century. At least a quarter of the sea ice around Antarctica will disappear in that time, say the critics, though this forecast is not mentioned in the study.

One expert denounced the report - by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC - as 'misleading'. Another accused the panel of 'failing to give the right impression' about the impact that rising levels of carbon dioxide will have on Antarctica.

Antarctica possesses the Earth's greatest mass of ice and acts as an engine that drives the globe's weather systems. Disturbances to Antarctica could have wide repercussions. If all its ice were to melt, sea levels round the world would rise by 70 metres. The fate of that continent crucially affects the fate of the planet, and according to scientists at the British Antarctic Survey it is already being affected by global warming. 'The greatest temperature rise on Earth over the past five decades has been found on the Antarctic peninsula, which stretches north from the continent towards South America,' said Dr John Turner. 'Temperatures have risen 5C on the peninsula.' That figure is 10 times the average global temperature rise for the same period. [So it's not a global phenomenon after all??]

In addition, researchers reported last October that in just over a month, an entire Antarctic ice shelf, bigger than Gloucestershire, had disintegrated and disappeared, with its loss directly linked to man-made global warming. [While central antarctica GAINED mass]. Yet there is no mention of these events in the draft version of the panel's report obtained by this newspaper. It paints a broad picture of how carbon emissions will alter global temperatures, which will rise by between 3C to 5C by the end of the century, triggering storms of increasing severity, the acidification of seas and the spreading of deserts.

But when it comes to certain types of climate change, especially those concerned with Antarctica, the report is fairly coy. 'Current global studies project the Antarctic ice sheet will remain too cold for widespread surface melting and is expected to gain in mass due to increased snowfall,' states the draft version of the report.

But this vision is disputed. Last year, Dr Turner and colleagues, using records returned by Russian research balloons that were flown over the whole of Antarctica between 1971 and 2003, discovered that temperatures in the lowest level of the atmosphere over the continent have already risen by about 0.7C. Their paper, in Science, was published in March, too late for inclusion in the IPCC's deliberation. Other factors - including the expected disappearance of the Antarctic ozone hole, which has had a cooling effect on the continent - will lead to a further rise of 5C-6C over parts of the continent over the rest of the century.

Critics point out that the IPCC is a conservative body whose documents are a co-operative effort, with contributions from hundreds of scientists. Only points that are considered indisputable by all of them are included. This consensus deflects potential accusations that the body might be exaggerating the threat to the planet. But the critics say it also means its documents tend to err too much on the side of caution. 'From what I hear of the report, it seems misleading to suggest nothing much is going to happen to the Antarctic over the coming decades,' said Dr Chris Rapley, director of the British Antarctic Survey. 'Some parts of the continents are already losing substantial amounts of ice and others will in future - and that will have direct consequences for the rest of the planet.'



An Inconvenient Truth, the hugely influential documentary starring Al Gore, is a shoo-in for an Oscar. Its riveting depictions of violent storms, collapsing ice mountains and parched deserts have scared millions of people into believing that the world faces a catastrophic fate unless we make dramatic changes to our way of life, starting now. Climate change has made its way onto the agenda of every developed nation, even the United States, where some of the nation's biggest businesses, including energy companies, are pressing the government to take action. It even figured in George W. Bush's State of the Union speech this week. And next week the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will unleash another storm of headlines when it releases its latest consensus of scientific findings, stressing even more emphatically that human activity is causing global temperatures to rise.

Is the sky really falling? How fast and how hard? And if the vast majority of scientists agree, then why don't governments act? After all, nobody wants the world to melt. If you're an average, concerned citizen, no one will blame you for being confused or angry. The global-warming debate has become so shrill, so political and so polarized that it's impossible for even a reasonably well-informed person to figure out who or what to believe. Only one thing is for sure: Science isn't all that is driving this debate. Politics, ideology and scaremongering are too.

Because I'm skeptical by nature, I've always discounted the environmental catastrophists. Their message is religious, not rational. But I've also spoken to enough brainy scientists to conclude that human activity is affecting the climate and that global warming is for real. That's the famous consensus you keep hearing about. But that's where the consensus ends. Beyond that, the science is very far from settled.

Scientists themselves are deeply split about how alarmed we should be, the nature of the threats we face, how imminent those threats are and what to do about them. For apocalyptic predictions, you need only look to the bestseller list. Tim Flannery ( The Weather Makers) and George Monbiot ( Heat) both warn that civilization will collapse if we do nothing. So does Canada's David Suzuki. In Britain, James Lovelock argues that the Earth has already caught a "morbid fever," and that "we are in a fool's climate and before this century is over billions of us will die."

But many scientists are alarmed at the alarmism, and warn that catastrophic scenarios like the ones in Al Gore's film have pushed the science way too far. Kevin Vranes, a climate scientist who specializes in ocean/climate physics and water-resources management, has said, "Some of us are wondering if we have created a monster." Last fall, Professor Mike Hulme, the founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in Britain, wrote a damning condemnation of climate alarmism: "Over the past few years, a new environmental phenomenon has been constructed in this country - the phenomenon of 'catastrophic' climate change," he wrote. "The increasing use of this term and its bedfellow qualifiers 'chaotic,' 'irreversible' and 'rapid' has altered the public discourse, [which] is now characterized by phrases such as 'irreversible tipping in the Earth's climate' and 'we are at the point of no return.' "

Prof. Hulme is no climate skeptic. He was the co-ordinating lead author of the chapter on "climate-change scenarios" for the last IPCC report in 2001. To try to get a grip, I checked in with eight leading climate scientists, climate economists and climate-policy analysts. All believe that man-made climate change is a serious issue that demands action. And all reject the extremists at both ends. They represent the broad middle ground - the people whose voices have been all but drowned out by the shouting. The first thing they stress is that while climate change is certain, what will actually happen is not. For example, scientists are pretty sure that sea levels will rise, and rising seas will pose a threat to coastal areas. But how much will they rise, and how fast, and where will they rise most? Sorry. Science can't tell you that.

More here


If you've been lifting intellectual weights and taking extra runs around the science track to build mental stamina for next Friday's release of the much-hyped 1,600-page science report on climate change, you can now take it easy. There will be no report. You will not need to know about or read any science, because there will be no science. Instead, we are going to get a few ginned-up pages of generalized political scaremongering.

The advance billing for the report has been immense and spectacular. It's the Fourth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, five years in the making and jam-packed with scientific, technical, social and economic research into climate change. According to the usual sources, this latest official United Nations' science project, billions of dollars in the making, is the "smoking gun" that leaves no doubt that humans are the cause of a major wave of climate warming that is set to engulf the world over the next 100 years. "The smoking gun is definitely lying on the table as we speak," said Jerry Mahlman, a U.S. government scientist and long-time proponent of climate change theory. "The evidence ... is compelling." The University of Victoria's Andrew Weaver, official Canadian government climate modeller --and the CBC's go-to scientist for suggestive but unproven links between bad weather and climate change --blew himself right out the galaxy over the Fourth Assessment Report. "This isn't a smoking gun; climate is a battalion of intergalactic smoking missiles." Somebody else said the report to be released in Paris on Friday contained an "explosion of new data."

All of this, however, is just the usual stage-managed showmanship that surrounds all climate science. First of all, what we are going to get on Friday is not the smoking gun, but the smoke without the gun, an explosion of data without the data, an intergalactic blast that never gets off the ground, the proof without the evidence. Despite all the advance promotion, the full 1,600-page report will remain in quarantine, embargoed and locked up in secrecy for another two months. While the science remains shrouded in secrecy and subject to leaks and speculation, the IPCC will stage a major event, webcast to a world that's been whipped into a frenzy of anticipation. Live on the Web, officials will produce a brief 12-page document called the "Summary for Policymakers." Everything else, including the official summary of the science in the assessment report, will be kept under wraps.

Here's the official IPCC release plan: Next week in Paris, behind closed doors, the IPCC will give final approval to the 1,600-page report. At the end of the sessions on Friday, the panel will release the brief "Summary for Policymakers." Then, for the next two months, the IPCC will subject the 1,600 pages of heavy science to "the final stages of review and revision to be carried out in a balanced way." This will take two months, with the final report to be released in May. What do they review and balance? The words in the IPCC process document are not encouraging. "Changes ... made after acceptance by the working group or the panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the 'Summary for Policymakers' or the overview chapter."

Steve McIntyre, the Canadian statistics expert who blew the whistle on the IPCC's junk-science creation -- the 1,000-year-old climate record, the infamous hockey stick -- reads those words to mean the IPCC will go through the science to get the science to back up the summary. "IPCC insiders should not be allowed to change a comma of the [final] report after Feb. 2," he says. We have, therefore, an extraordinary operating scheme in which brief sensational summary statements are produced, while the basis for the summary is kept confidential so they can get the science to correspond to the summary.

More here

Why America's big businesses are warming to Kyoto

Washington this week officially welcomed the newest industry on the hunt for financial and regulatory favors. Big CarbonCap may have the same dollar-sign agenda as Big Oil or Big Pharma, but don't expect Nancy Pelosi to admit to it. Democrats want to flog the global warming theme through 2008 and they'll take what help they can get, even if it means cozying up to executives whose goal is to enrich their firms. Right now, the corporate giants calling for a mandatory carbon cap serve too useful a political purpose for anyone to delve into their baser motives.

The Climate Action Partnership, a group of 10 major companies that made headlines this week with its call for a national limit on carbon dioxide emissions, would surely feign shock at such an accusation. After all, their plea was carefully timed to coincide with President Bush's State of the Union capitulation on global warming, and it had the desired PR effect. The media dutifully declared that "even" business now recognized the climate threat. Sen. Barbara Boxer, who begins marathon hearings on warming next week, lauded the corporate angels for thinking of the "common good."

There was a time when the financial press understood that companies exist to make money. And it happens that the cap-and-trade climate program these 10 jolly green giants are now calling for is a regulatory device designed to financially reward companies that reduce CO2 emissions, and punish those that don't. Four of the affiliates--Duke, PG&E, FPL and PNM Resources--are utilities that have made big bets on wind, hydroelectric and nuclear power. So a Kyoto program would reward them for simply enacting their business plan, and simultaneously sock it to their competitors. Duke also owns Cinergy, which relies heavily on dirty, CO2-emitting coal plants. But Cinergy will soon have to replace those plants with cleaner equipment. Under a Kyoto, it'll get paid for its trouble.

DuPont has been plunging into biofuels, the use of which would soar under a cap. Somebody has to cobble together all these complex trading deals, so say hello to Lehman Brothers. Caterpillar has invested heavily in new engines that generate "clean energy." British Petroleum is mostly doing public penance for its dirty oil habit, but also gets a plug for its own biofuels venture.

Finally, there's General Electric, whose CEO Jeffrey Immelt these days spends as much time in Washington as Connecticut. GE makes all the solar equipment and wind turbines (at $2 million a pop) that utilities would have to buy under a climate regime. GE's revenue from environmental products long ago passed the $10 billion mark, and it doesn't take much "ecomagination" to see why Mr. Immelt is leading the pack of climate profiteers.

CEOs are quick learners, and even those who would get smacked by a carbon cap are now devising ways to make warming work to their political advantage. The "most creative" prize goes to steel giant Nucor. Steven Rowlan, the company's environmental director, doesn't want carbon caps in the U.S.--oh, no. The smarter answer, he explains, would be for the U.S. to impose trade restrictions on foreign firms that aren't environmentally clean. Global warming as foil for trade protectionism: Chuck Schumer's dream.

What makes this lobby worse than the usual K-Street crowd is that it offers no upside. At least when Big Pharma self-interestedly asks for fewer regulations, the economy benefits. There's nothing capitalist about lobbying for a program that foists its debilitating costs on taxpayers and consumers while redistributing the wealth to a few corporate players.

This is what comes from Washington steadily backstepping energy policy into the interventionist 1970s, picking winners and losers. In ethanol, in biodiesel, in wind farms, success isn't a function of supply or demand. The champs are the ones that coax out of Washington the best subsidies and regulations. Global warming is simply the biggest trough yet.

Both Republicans and Democrats understand this debate is increasingly about home-state economics, even as they publicly joust about environmental rights or wrongs. The softening Republican stance on a mandatory program is one result. New Mexico's Pete Domenici appeared to undergo an epiphany about global warming in 2005, voting for a Senate resolution supporting caps. The switch might have more to do with remembering that his state is nuclear-power central, and will win big under a new program. Just ask his fellow New Mexican, Jeff Bingaman, who introduced the resolution.

Economic interests also motivate those Democrats who won't play nice. The senators who have voted against previous bills represent those industries that will suffer most under Mr. Immelt's agenda. Louisiana's Mary Landrieu (oil); Montana's Max Baucus (coal); West Virginia's Robert Byrd (ditto). House Energy & Commerce Chair John Dingell remains a skeptic, since the last thing his Michigan auto makers need is yet another reason for people to not buy their cars. Which is fine with Ms. Pelosi. The Democratic leadership ran out of the winner's circle last November promising to tackle climate. And much was made this week of Madam Speaker's decision to wrest control of the debate away from Mr. Dingell's purview, handing it instead to a new "select" committee on climate change.

But read the fine print. The new vaunted committee will have no legislative authority, but exists solely to hold hearings and to "communicate with the American people." Ms. Pelosi and Harry Reid want to talk about this issue . . . and talk, and talk and talk. But not necessarily anything more. That's because Democrats want global warming as an issue through 2008. With Al Gore getting his Oscar nod, they've got a "problem" that captures the public imagination, as well as an endless supply of cash from thrilled environmental groups. No need to spoil it with a solution. And a Democratic president in 2009 would be more open to any ultimate legislation. Best yet, they've got the "support" of the business community, or at least the savvier elements of it. Welcome, Big CarbonCap; we're likely to be hearing a lot from you.



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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1 comment:

Anonymous said...


If I understand this correctly, the flea that spreads Y. Pestis does so more effectively below 30 DEG C (86 DEG F), because above that the plague bacteria doesn't cause "blockage" of the flea's stomach. When it's stomach is blocked, it feels starved (because it is) and bites whatever it can as often as it can, and that means leaving it's natural host, the rat, for other animals and humans, which it normally wouldn't do. Another factor is that the blockage causes regurgitation which is what results in innoculating the victim. But, above 30 DEG C, the blockage doesn't form, the flea stays with it's host, and regurgitation doesn't occur which results in no plague being spread.

I can live with that.

Interrestingly, the plague that devestated Europe did so during the mini ice-age, i.e., it was colder then, presumably due to the massive eruption of Krakatoa.

As we read, here . . .
"Bubonic plague occurred due to the cooler temperatures."

Oh, and here's another problem I found while researching that one . . .
"Cooler temperatures would be more favorable for ergot formation on Rye"

So, it looks like ergotism as well as plaque are both reduced by elevated temperatures.

You don't suppose those climate fanatics are withholding information from us, now, do you?