Saturday, February 17, 2007


Read the report below and then the skeptical report from India below that. Although it happens all the time, the term "local warming" seems to be entirely absent from the Greenie vocabulary. Note that the central United States experienced local COOLING during the 20th century

The principal glacier of the world's biggest tropical ice-cap could disappear within five years as a result of global warming. The imminent demise of the Qori Kalis glacier, the main component of the Quelccaya ice cap in the Peruvian Andes, offers the starkest evidence yet of the effects of climate change, one of the world's leading glaciologists said today. Although scientists have known for decades that Qori Kalis and the other Quelccaya glaciers are melting, new observations indicate that the rate of retreat is increasing, Lonnie Thompson, of Ohio State University said.

When he visits this northern summer, he expects to find that the glacier has halved in size since last year, and he believes that Qori Kalis will be gone within five years. "This widespread retreat of mountain glaciers may be our clearest evidence of global warming as they integrate many climate variables," Professor Thompson told the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in San Francisco. "Most importantly, they have no political agenda."

The Quelccaya ice-cap, covering 44sq km in the Cordillera Oriental region of the Peruvian Andes, is the world's largest tropical ice mass. Qori Kalis, its biggest glacier, has receded by at least 1.1km since 1963, when the first formal measurements were made from aerial photographs. The rate of retreat has increased: between 1963 and 1978, it shrank by 6m a year, a rate that has now risen tenfold.

Professor Thompson predicted six years ago that the celebrated snows of Kilimanjaro would be gone from Africa's highest mountain by 2015, and he now thinks that that estimate may have been too conservative. He said: "Tropical glaciers are the canaries in the coalmine for our global climate system, as they integrate and respond to most of the key climatological variables - temperature, precipitation, cloudiness, humidity and radiation."

A critical piece of evidence from almost 50 scientific expeditions to seven shrinking tropical ice-caps points to global warming as the reason for their decline. In all but one case, snowfall has increased as ice volume has fallen. More snow should mean advancing glaciers, unless rising temperatures are melting the extra precipitation and the ice tongues themselves. The fate of tropical glaciers globally will have an impact on water supplies relied on by more than 4 billion people.



Believe it or not. There are only about a dozen scientists working on 9,575 glaciers in India under the aegis of the Geological Society of India. Is the available data enough to believe that the glaciers are retreating due to global warming? Some experts have questioned the alarmists theory on global warming leading to shrinkage of Himalayan glaciers.

VK Raina, a leading glaciologist and former ADG of Geological Society of India is one among them. He feels that the research on Indian glaciers is negligible. Nothing but the remote sensing data forms the basis of these alarmists observations and not on the spot research. Raina told the Hindustan Times that out of 9,575 glaciers in India, till date, research has been conducted only on about 50. Nearly 200 years data has shown that nothing abnormal has occurred in any of these glaciers.

It is simple. The issue of glacial retreat is being sensationalised by a few individuals, the septuagenarian Raina claimed. Throwing a gauntlet to the alarmist, he said the issue should be debated threadbare before drawing a conclusion.

However, Dr RK Pachouri, Chairman, Inter-Governmental Panel of Climatic Change said its recently released fourth assessment report has recorded increased glacier retreat since the 1980s. This he said was due to the fact that the carbon dioxide radioactive forcing has increased by 20 per cent particularly after 1995. And also that 11 of the last 12 years were among the warmest 12 years recorded so far.

Surprisingly, Raina, who has been associated with the research and data collection in over 25 glaciers in India and abroad, debunked the theory that Gangotri glacier is retreating alarmingly. Maintaining that the glaciers are undergoing natural changes, witnessed periodically, he said recent studies in the Gangotri and Zanskar areas (Drung- Drung, Kagriz glaciers) have not shown any evidence of major retreat. "Claims of global warming causing glacial melt in the Himalayas are based on wrong assumptions," Raina, a trained mountaineer and skiing expert said.

If he is to be believed, currently only about a dozen scientists are working on Indian glaciers. More alarming is the fact that some of them are above 50. How can one talk about the state of glaciers when not much research is being done on the ground, he wondered. In fact, it is difficult to ascertain the exact state of Himalayan glaciers as these are very dusty as compared to the ones in Alaska and the Alps. The present presumptions are based on the cosmetic study of the glacier surfaces. Nobody knows what is happening beneath the glaciers. What ever is being flaunted about the under surface activity of the glaciers, is merely presumptions, he claimed.

His views were echoed by Dr RK Ganjoo, Director, Regional Centre for Field Operations and Research on Himalayan Glaciology, who is supervising study of glaciers in Ladakh region including one in the Siachen area. He also maintained that nothing abnormal has been found in any of the Himalyan glaciers studied so far by him. Still, he wondered on the Himalayan glaciers being compared with those in Alaska or Europe to lend credence to the melt theory. Indian glaciers are at 3,500-4,000 meter above the sea level whereas those in the Alps are at much lower levels. Certainly, the conditions under which the glaciers in Alaska are retreating, are not prevailing in the Indian sub-continent, he explained.

Another leading geologist MN Koul of Jammu University, who is actively engaged in studying glacier dynamics in J&K and Himachal holds similar views. Referring to his research on Kol glacier ( Paddar, J&K) and Naradu (HP), he said both the glaciers have not changed much in the past two decades.


Unsustainable Environmentalism

Environmental activists use the term "sustainable development" to convey the notion that they're not merely knee-jerk anti-business zealots and that they are all in favor of eco-friendly economic development. That term is put to the test in a new documentary entitled "Mine Your Own Business." Made by Phelim McAleer, a former Financial Times correspondent, and wife Ann McElhinney, a fellow at the nonprofit Moving Pictures Institute, the film spotlights the efforts of environmentalists to block economic development projects in Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America.

The film starts out in the remote and desolate Romanian village of Rosia Montana, home to a most eco-unfriendly state-run mine. Gabriel Resources, a Canadian Mining Company, is trying to open a new gold mine that meets or exceeds strict European Union standards, but it runs into opposition, not from local villagers, but from first-world non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Greenpeace. The NGOs, who don't seem particularly bothered by the poorly-operated state-owned mine, take the position in the film that the poverty-stricken residents of Rosia Montana don't need any economic opportunity and, instead, are willing to settle for being "poor but happy."

The film then moves to Madagascar where another development project is opposed by the World Wildlife Fund. In an interview that must be seen to be believed, the WWF spokesman defends his opposition to the project by noting that it would only bring stress to the lives of the local population. According to the WWF spokesman, the locals would rather sit around and smile than be burdened with economic progress, or in the alternative, would simply fritter their newfound wealth away on first-world decadence like beer, stereos and jeans.

The film winds up in Chile where NGO activists point to local opposition to a proposed mining project. But "Mine Your Own Business" exposes this local opposition as nothing more than nearby landowners who don't want to lose their employees to the higher-paying jobs created by the mining company.

The power of the movie's message is such that Greenpeace tried to block its Washington, DC premiere by pressuring the National Geographic Society to deny the Motion Picture Institute use of the Society's movie auditorium. Environmentalists have criticized the movie as being a propaganda film funded by Gabriel Resources. But while the idea to do a movie about sustainable development was the brainchild of Gabriel Resources CEO Alan Hill, filmmakers McAleer and McElhinney only agreed to do the movie if the company had no editorial control over the film.

If anything, "Mine Your Own Business" only scratches the surface of the problem; the film depicts but a microcosm of the tyranny exercised by NGOs over the developing world. NGOs, for example, have recently acquired the ability to veto third-world development through their influence over first-world banks. Many banks have signed on to the environmentalist-promoted Equator Principles, which ostensibly are guidelines to ensure that third-world development projects occur in an "eco-friendly" manner. In practice, however, the Equator Principles, serve more as a means for NGOs to stop most economic development projects.

Banking giant Citigroup, for example, has implemented the Equator Principles, much to the detriment of the developing world. According to a 2005 Citigroup report, the bank denied financing to 54 of the 74 projects reviewed according to the Equator Principles - projects worth as much as $75 billion in financing and that are economically sound.

Not only do the Equator Principles deny first-world funding to developing nations, they also drive desperately poor nations to seek financing from alternative (and less desirable) sources like China - which is not known to apply first-world environmental standards to the projects it finances.

In another example, NGOs stopped what would have been the largest-ever sustainable forestry project in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. The Washington state-based timber company Trillium Corporation purchased 800,000 acres in Chile and Argentina in 1993. Although Trillium could have clear-cut the forest at the time, it instead tried to work with NGOs to develop its sustainable forestry project of which it was rightfully proud.

The NGOs spent the next nine years blocking the project. One of Trillium's key lenders fell into financial difficulty and had to auction the loans that were secured by Trillium's land, allowing Goldman Sachs to swoop in and buy the notes, foreclose Trillium's mortgage and then donate the land to the Wildlife Conservation Society - a controversial use of shareholder assets that has been criticized by myself and others.

Needless to say, the Tierra del Fuego land won't be developed, Chileans won't be employed and the world was deprived of a much needed example of the ever-elusive "sustainable development." Though I have looked, I have yet to find a significant development project anywhere in the world that environmentalists and their NGO allies support as "sustainable." "Mine Your Own Business" is a terrific effort at documenting that fact.


Global Warming - It's How You Say It

Post lifted from Hall of Record. An amusing demonstration of how you can mislead by altering the scale of a graph

Sometimes it's not what you say, it's how you say it. Sometimes it's not what you show, it's how you show it.

I've retired from corporate America, but I've given a lot of presentations to a lot of people and one thing is clear: you can say something to someone, but what you show can tell a much different story... even if you show exactly what you said.

Here are three graphs with data spanning 120 years. All three show the temperature trending upward approximately 1 degree C over that time.

The first comes from a website by Dr. Richard A. Muller of the University of California, Berkeley.

Notice the dramatic increase in temperature over the recent 3 decades.

The next graph is adapted from a website by Dr. Richard A. Muller of the University of California, Berkeley.

Notice the moderate increase in temperature over the past 3 decades.

The last graph is adapted from a website by Dr. Richard A. Muller of the University of California, Berkeley.

Notice the negligible increase in temperature over the past 3 decades.

What vertical scale would you use to show temperature change over 120 years? Sometimes when something is very small, you have to exaggerate in order to display it in a way that grabs the attention of your audience.

Do your eyes tell you that you are looking at the same data... even though you were told that ahead of time?

What is 1 degree C? Dramatic? Moderate? Negligible?

If you didn't have graphs shown to you, what would you say?

Here's a frame of reference for you. Orlando, Florida has an average annual temperature of 72.4 degrees F (22.4 degrees C) and Detroit, Michigan has an average annual temperature of 48.6 degrees F (9.2 degrees C). If Detroit's annual average temperature increased by 1 degree C, it would still be 12.2 degrees C colder than Orlando.

So, I ask again: What is 1 degree C? Dramatic? Moderate? Negligible?

LET THE GREAT DEBATE ON CLIMATE CONTINUE: Science must not become a slave to its own orthodoxies

An editorial in "The Australian" below:

There is every indication that rather than being over, the real debate over climate change is only now getting started. On the one hand, the Australian Labor Party is once again high-stepping away from its greener elements, promising that if elected, Labor would not pull the plug on Australia's $23 billion coal export industry and would be tolerant of new coal explorations - so long as high standards are met.

What exactly such standards will be is not yet entirely clear. But there are foreshadowings in the revelation that the NSW Government is forcing Centennial Coal to factor into its costs $109 per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted when the coal from its proposed Anvil Hill mine is burned. This price, based on the rate proposed by the widely criticised Stern Review, would make the mine financially unviable.

But on the other hand there is a growing chorus of murmurs against the received orthodoxy of climate change - and especially the dogmatic attempts by some scientists and politicians to shut down debate. While the recent IPCC report was held up as the last word on the subject, many scientists have pointed out that the 90 per cent certainty ascribed to the report's findings is in scientific terms not very certain at all.

Meanwhile, more attention is being paid to other levers that may influence the weather. For example, at the Danish National Space Centre in 2005 an experiment successfully linked cosmic rays to the formation of clouds. The discovery was significant because it adds weight to the link between cyclical sunspot activity and the climate here on Earth. At the same time it provides a more satisfactory explanation for contradictory Antarctic temperature trends that cannot be explained by conventional greenhouse global warming models.

Whatever the ultimate validity of the Danish experiment, it is worth applauding the determined scepticism in the face of orthodoxy demonstrated by the scientists behind it. For while there are many valid reasons to cut unhealthy smog-creating carbon emissions, there are also many reasons to be sceptical about the near-religious fervour with which the simplistic carbon-equals-warming equation is too often defended.

It is profoundly unscientific to say the debate is over and that sceptics are not only wrong on the facts but morally unhinged - as demonstrated by the unsubtle and offensive epithet "denier". It was scepticism that led Copernicus to challenge contemporary orthodoxy and assert that the Earth is not the centre of the universe. Today's scepticism could well prove that man-made carbon emissions are not the sole, or even primary, driver of climate change - a conclusion radically unsettling to those who believe that humanity is a destroyer rather than an improver of the Earth.

The fact is that our climate is infinitely complex. The models climatologists use to predict the future are incredibly sophisticated, yet blunt instruments. Scientists can never account for all the variables involved - indeed, no one has successfully come up with a mathematical equation to describe the formation of a single cloud. And scientists are often woefully out of their depth in the real world.

History is littered with lives and regimes that were wrecked when science was allowed to drive policy with no thought to humanity. Tearing down the global carbon-based economy to - in theory - replace it at a later date with unproven and undeveloped technologies would be a similar folly. It is only by tempering science with economics and the market, which is the most efficient arbiter of humanity's wants and needs, that smart climate policy can be made. Thus the old bumper sticker's exhortation to "Think locally, act globally" becomes a practical guidepost: think locally, by preserving jobs and investing time and money in creating a new complementary export industry around clean coal technology. And think globally by exporting our clean-burning, high-energy content anthracite coal and the technologies to ameliorate the effects of power generation to countries such as China, allowing them to develop their economies, improving air quality along with the quality of life.

It will be interesting, decades from now, to look back on the climate change debate. There is every chance we will regard today's headlines with the same bemusement with which we view the apocalyptic predictions of Thomas Malthus or the Club of Rome. Bob Brown's economically illiterate calls to shut the export coal industry and Tim Flannery's attempt to use two scant years' worth of data to predict the demise of the Arctic ice cap already look silly.

And for all the disasters predicted at the extreme ends of the climate change models, the developing world is suffering daily disasters in the form of preventable disease that stem not from too much growth, but too little, and which cost millions of lives a year. Here it will be economic growth, not carbon restrictions, that ends the tragedy. To say there are "limits to growth", as the Club of Rome's old saw goes, is to say there are limits to human potential and imagination. By all means let us take care of the planet and work to cut carbon emissions. But in the process let us not kick the ladder of development out from under us and consign the world to the sort of misery predicted by the doomsayers.


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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