Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Not much doubt what it will be, though. Politics trumps science -- an email from F. James Cripwell [] below explains. (F. James Cripwell now lives in Ottawa, Canada but started his scientific career working in the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge under Sir Gordon Sutherland, the UK's if not the world's leading expert in infra red spectroscopy and the various interactions between infra red (heat) radiation and other substances)

I downloaded an unofficial, not to be quoted, copy of the scientific papers for the IPCC AR4. In Chapter 2, subparagraph 7, there appears the following statement;

"Empirical associations have been reported between globally averaged low-level cloud cover and cosmic ray fluxes during 1984-1990 (Marsh and Svensmark, 2000a, 2000b). Hypothesized to result from changing ionization of the atmosphere from solar-modulated cosmic ray fluxes, this empirical association of cloud cover variations and the solar cycle remains controversial because of uncertainties about the reality of the decadal signal itself, the phasing or anti-phasing with solar activity, and its separate dependence for low, mid and high clouds, and alternative explanations such as ENSO. In particular, the cosmic ray time series does not correspond to global total cloud cover after 1991 or to global low-level cloud cover after 1994 (Kristjansson and Kristiansen, 2000; Sun and Bradley, 2002). Furthermore, the correlation is significant with low-level cloud cover based only on infrared (not visible) detection. Nor do multidecadal(1952-1997) time series of cloud cover from ship synoptic reports exhibit a relationship to cosmic ray flux. But cloud cover anomalies from 1900-1987 over the United States do have a signal at 11-years that is in phase (rather than anit-phased, as the GCRs are) with solar variability (Udelhofen and Cess, 2001). In this case the cloud variations are hypothesized to result from modulation of the atmospheric circulation by variations of the solar-UV-ozone-induced heating of the atmosphere."

When this was written, prior to October 2006, it, arguably, represented the science with respect to the effect of cosmic rays on climate change. However, in October 2006, Henrik Svensmark published his paper on the effect of cosmic rays on the earth's climate in Proceeding of the Royal Society A, and subsequently, with Nigel Calder, his book, The Chilling Stars. What I would suggest is that the current paragraph about cosmic rays in AR4, quoted above, is totally out of date, and scientifically incomplete. It might have passed a peer review process in September 2006 , but surely any proper peer review process done in February 2007 could not possibly agree with it's contents. By it's peculiar process, the IPCC first gets it's Summary for Policy Makers approved; a purely political document. This occurred on 2 Feb 2007. It then ensures that the so-called "scientific" document agrees with the conclusions that the politicians came to. So the "scientific" document of AR4 will not be published until May 2007.

It seems to me that the true scientists on the IPCC have a decision to make. Are they going to publish the sort of paragraph which I have quoted above, and which is clearly scientifically incorrect and out of date? Or are they going to update the scientific content of their AR4, and publish something that has scientific credibility, but does not agree with what the politicians agreed?

Al Gore’s Personal Energy Use Is His Own “Inconvenient Truth”

Gore’s home uses more than 20 times the national average. But a as a member of the elite he is "entitled" to, of course. It is only the saps who listen to him who have to cut back. And being a hypocrite doesn't bother Leftists anyway

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy. Gore’s mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home. The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average. Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006. Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson. In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.


Virginia lawmaker wants U.S. to start using liquid fuel from coal

This makes slightly more sense than ethanol from corn so the Greenies will hate it. Coal=evil, for a start.

Rep. Rick Boucher believes liquid fuel derived from coal can help the U.S. break its dependence on foreign oil, and as the new chairman of a House Energy subcommittee he hopes to jump-start the process. Boucher is renewing legislation he first introduced last year that would provide price guarantees to investors to encourage construction of coal-to-liquids conversion plants. "The greatest challenge that we face in terms of a national energy policy is defining a strategy to move the country away from petroleum as the primary fuel," the southwest Virginia Democrat said in a telephone interview. An energy policy that reduces dependence on oil is necessary, he said, "both for economic and national security reasons."

Other nations, such as China and South Africa, use motor fuel derived from coal, but so far there are no coal-to-liquids plants in the U.S. More than a dozen are in the planning stages, according to information provided by Michael Karmis, director of the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research at Virginia Tech. Boucher, whose 9th District includes Virginia's coal region, noted that the nation has the largest coal reserves of any in the world.

The technology to convert coal into diesel fuel or gasoline has existed for decades. The Germans used liquefied coal during World War II after the Allies bombed their oil refineries. Nearly 30 percent of South Africa's fuel today is extracted from coal, but the conversion process is expensive. It can cost up $1 billion to get a coal-to-liquids plant up and running, Karmis said....

A study last year by the Southern States Energy Board called for coal-to-liquids to supply the greatest share - 29 percent - of alternative fuels needed to erase the nation's dependence on foreign oil by 2030. Alternative fuels would have to supply 60 percent of the fuel that now comes from imported oil. A greater amount of fuel could be produced from the high-quality coal mined in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky than the mineral found in other parts of the country, Karmis said. So far, the only conversion plant planned in the region is in Mingo County, W.Va.



Some of the effects of global warming will be positive, says Sean Thomas

Belief in global warming is nowadays almost universal, and for a good reason. The evidence exists. But there is another widespread belief which is less justifiable: that global warming will have only negative effects. Consider the distant past. Two hundred million years ago the earth was much warmer than it is now: dinosaurs roamed the Antarctic, which was then lush and tropical. No one claims that this warming was terrible for velociraptors. So why is a warmer earth seen as a disaster for man?

Of course, we all know global warming is going to cause dislocation. Increased storminess, desertification, and inundation from raised sea-levels are serious and understandable fears. There will inevitably be major costs as we adapt to our new environment.

But maybe there will be swift and enormous gains as well. One look at a world map shows that vast tracts of land - in Siberia and Canada, in Tibet and elsewhere - are at present too cold for widespread cultivation and settlement. With global warming these regions of the earth will, presumably, become fruitful. But you wouldn't know it by listening to the doomsayers of climate change. The way some people speak about global warming, and the damage it will wreak on the status quo, it's almost as if tundra and glaciers are intrinsically good things.

These global warming benefits might stretch further south. In Britain, areas that are now windy and cold - highland Scotland, the Pennines, Dartmoor - should become more hospitable. Intriguingly, Dartmoor was once fertile and widely settled, so this won't be the first time. Farmers will probably have longer growing periods, British summers will be drier and brighter, and so forth.

We are also told that many species will die out because of global warming. But can we know this for sure? It is arguable that many species will adapt, and previously threatened species may thrive. That, after all, is the theory of evolution. What is bad for snowgeese could be great for hummingbirds. Such claims may sound like wishful thinking. But many experts are ready to think along similar lines.

One of the most prominent is Thomas Moore, an economist at Stanford University. He's studied the potential impact of global warning and shown that death rates might actually decrease - as bronchitis, influenza, and other cold-weather ailments decline.

A warmer world will also need less fuel for heating. And crop failures might become a thing of the past at higher latitudes. Likewise, Bjorn Lomberg has talked about the upside, when those vast northerly areas (Canada and Siberia, etc) become cultivatable.

Benny Peiser, a social anthropologist at Liverpool John Moores University, takes an even broader perspective: "From a purely evolutionary point of view, warm periods have been exceptionally good to mankind. Cold periods have been the troublesome ages."

The Arctic Council is another authority seeing benefits in a warmer planet. Oil and gas deposits hidden under ice will become accessible. Previously frozen sea lanes will open up: it is estimated that the sea-journey from Tokyo to London will be reduced by twelve days. The fabled Northwest passage, over the top of Canada, will finally be a reality. Grass has already started growing in the Antarctic, for the first time in many thousands of years.

There's more. Storms may become more widespread, but extra rainfall could benefit drought-stricken areas. In other regions, marshes will dry out and become lucrative farmland. As for the threatened spread of malaria, and other diseases, this may be an overblown problem. Singapore is in the tropics yet has low malaria rates: it's all about hygiene and sanitation, says Moore. Will global warming ultimately be good or bad? The truthful answer is: no one knows. But 'The end of the world is nigh' makes a much better headline


The train drain

The Brookings Institution is America's oldest public policy think tank. Based in Washington, DC, it is well-respected and generally considered to be moderate-liberal in orientation. As American Enterprise Institute is informally considered a place for Republican office-holders to reside when out of power, so Brookings is regarded for Democratic icons.

One of Brookings Institution's leading transportation policy experts is Clifford Winston, a well-respected economist and author of numerous books and papers dealing with transportation issues. His most recent paper is "On the Social Desirability of Urban Rail Systems," co-authored with Vikram Maheshri, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley. It appears in the Journal of Urban Economics and is available online at

The purpose of the paper is to estimate the contribution of U.S. urban rail systems to social welfare. The authors define the net benefit of a rail transit system as the difference between its benefits, broadly measured, and its net cost to taxpayers. If this difference is positive, it means that the dollar value of the rail system's benefits is greater than its net cost to taxpayers (i.e., the difference between what the rail system's customers pay as fares and the total cost to build, operate, and maintain the rail system).

On average, rail transit systems cover about 40 percent of their operating costs from farebox revenues and none of their capital costs, according to figures in the National Transit Database. That means their net taxpayer subsidy is large.

Winston and Maheshri construct an elaborate econometric model to estimate the "consumer surplus" of 25 rail transit systems. This is economists' term for the benefits to users, over and above the fares they pay. The large systems (New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco's BART, etc.) all produce significant consumer surpluses. But most of the smaller ones do not.

Next, the authors compare the consumer surplus of each system with its net taxpayer cost. On this measure, every single one of the 25 systems has negative net benefits—i.e., the annual value of the benefits to users is much less than the annual cost to taxpayers. Surprisingly, this is true even for the massive New York City rail transit system, which by itself accounts for two-thirds of the nation's rail transit passenger miles.

But what about larger benefits to the metro area? Rail systems are advocated not just to benefit their riders, but because they are expected to reduce traffic congestion, reduce air pollution, save energy, etc. So the final step in Winston and Maheshri's analysis was to estimate the value of these "externality" benefits.

They first conclude that the only one of these purported benefits large enough to make any difference is congestion relief. Adding the congestion savings to road users to the consumer surplus gives the total benefits of rail transit. When this total is compared with the net taxpayer costs, only San Francisco's BART produces net social benefits. Each year the system improves social welfare by an estimated $36 million. All 23 other U.S. rail transit systems are net losers. This means that each of those urban areas is made poorer by many millions of dollars each year.

Winston and Maheshri anticipate that some advocates of rail transit will protest that these systems offer other benefits that are not accounted for in their calculations. For example, rail supposedly stimulates development around rail stations: "But case studies have yet to show that after their construction transit systems have had a significant effect on employment or land use close to stations and that such benefits greatly exceed the benefits from commercial development that would have occurred elsewhere in the absence of rail construction."

And there is also the claim that rail systems increase the mobility of low-income residents. But the authors point out that the median annual income of rail users in 2001 exceeded $50,000, which was greater than the median income of the general population in that year. So rail's primary market is not the poor (unlike bus transit).

Overall, then, the authors conclude that rail transit is erroneously believed by the public to be socially desirable, because "supporters have sold [rail systems] as an antidote to the social costs associated with automobile travel, in spite of strong evidence to the contrary." They conclude that, in fact, rail transit is "an increasing drain on social welfare."



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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