Tuesday, March 20, 2007


An amused email below from S. Fred Singer [singer@sepp.org] to Benny Peiser

I have just looked at The Guardian's Climate Summit to be held in London on June 11. What an assembly of Britain's finest! What a wonderful choir - with no dissonant voices to mar the harmony. No climate scientists, of course. After all, isn't the science all settled? But not even a critical observer, like Dr Philip Stott or Melanie Phillips. Only one problem: The lead sponsor of this remarkable celebration is a major oil company. I don't know if one can trust such an assembly if the funds come from Big Oil. Surely, we all realize that such money is tainted. I pray The Guardian will have the good sense to refuse to be bought, to become a lackey to an industry that thrives on bloated profits, etc, etc. Now where did we read this just recently?


The gulf stream in the North Atlantic has not been slowing down so far, despite climate change. This has been confirmed by new long-term measurements published by the German Leibniz-Institute for Oceanic Research, IFM Geomar. Europe owes its mild climate to the warm gulf stream (sic). Contrary to what was expected, flow measurements at the exit of the Labrador sea show large fluctuations over periods of weeks and months, but no dramatic long-term trends which would indicate a reduction of the circulation.

"Until now, almost all climate models assume that the gulf stream will weaken in the future", professor Claus Boening of the IFM Geomar pointed out. Some researchers have claimed to have identified first signs of a slow-down in measuring data. "However, this is not confirmed by our long-term observations." The measurements taken since 1996 "showed strong natural fluctuations in the North Atlantic, but there are no signs for any weakening".

Translation above by Benny Peiser. FULL STORY here


Two leading UK climate researchers have criticised those among their peers who they say are "overplaying" the global warming message. Professors Paul Hardaker and Chris Collier, both Royal Meteorological Society figures, are voicing their concern at a conference in Oxford. They say some researchers make claims about possible future impacts that cannot be justified by the science. The pair believe this damages the credibility of all climate scientists. They think catastrophism and the "Hollywoodisation" of weather and climate only work to create confusion in the public mind. They argue for a more sober and reasoned explanation of the uncertainties about possible future changes in the Earth's climate.

As an example, they point to a recent statement from one of the foremost US science bodies - the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The association released a strongly worded statement at its last annual meeting in San Francisco in February which said: "As expected, intensification of droughts, heatwaves, floods, wildfires, and severe storms is occurring, with a mounting toll on vulnerable ecosystems and societies. "These events are early warning signs of even more devastating damage to come, some of which will be irreversible."

According to Professors Hardaker and Collier, this may well turn out to be true, but convincing evidence to back the claims has not yet emerged. "It's certainly a very strong statement," Professor Collier told BBC News. "I suspect it refers to evidence that hurricanes have increased as a result of global warming; but to make the blanket assumption that all extreme events are increasing is a bit too early yet."

A former president of the Royal Meteorological Society, Professor Collier is concerned that the serious message about the real risks posed by global warming could be undermined by making premature claims. "I think there is a good chance of that," he said. "We must guard against that - it would be very damaging. "I've no doubt that global warming is occurring, but we don't want to undermine that case by crying wolf."

This view is shared by Professor Hardaker, the society's chief executive. "Organisations have been guilty of overplaying the message," he says. "There's no evidence to show we're all due for very short-term devastating impacts as a result of global warming; so I think these statements can be dangerous where you mix in the science with unscientific assumptions."

The AAAS said it would not be commenting directly on the professors' remarks. "We feel that the recent consensus statement of the AAAS Board of Directors speaks for itself and stands on its own," a spokesperson explained. "The AAAS Board statement references (at the end), the scientific basis upon which the conclusions are based, including the joint National Academies' statement and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change."

Professor Hardaker also believes that overblown statements play into the hands of those who say that scientists are wrong on climate change - that global warming is a myth. "I think we do have to be careful as scientists not to overstate the case because it does damage the credibility of the many other things that we have greater certainty about," he said. "We have to stick to what the science is telling us; and I don't think making that sound more sensational, or more sexy, because it gets us more newspaper columns, is the right thing for us to be doing. "We have to let the science argument win out."


The bear necessities of climate change politics

More Greenie deception: A photo of two polar bears seemingly stranded on an ice floe has come to symbolise man’s destruction of nature. But is it all that it seems?

‘They cling precariously to the top of what is left of the ice floe, their fragile grip the perfect symbol of the tragedy of global warming. Captured on film by Canadian environmentalists, the pair of polar bears look stranded on chunks of broken ice….’

That is how an article in Australia’s Daily Telegraph, entitled ‘A planet on the edge’, chose to open a discussion of the latest climate report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (1). To view the article, and the photo of the polar bears, click here. The student who took the photograph, however, gives a slightly different account: ‘They were on the ice when we found them and on the ice when we left. They were healthy, fat and seemed comfortable on their iceberg.’

Amanda Byrd, an Australian graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), says she took the picture around three years ago - in the summer. The photograph was not ‘taken by environmentalists’ but as part of a field trip with the university.

Over the past few months the photo has been published widely as a snapshot of the dangers of global warming. Byrd, however, is wary of seeing the photo as direct evidence of manmade climate change. ‘I believe in the climate change phenomena, but for me to say that the image is a direct link, I would be speculating’, she tells spiked. ‘The ice in the Arctic is definitely growing less, and the bears in the migratory route in the Beaufort Sea (where this image was taken, 90 miles off Barrow) have to swim further.’ Byrd is clearly a little miffed that ‘the image you have seen around the world was distributed without my consent, and [with] the wrong byline’.

That hasn’t stopped others from using the image to back up stories about climate change. Science Panel Calls Global Warming ‘Unequivocal’ declared the New York Times recently, in an article illustrated by the polar-bear photo. (The NYT, like others before it, also attributed the photo to the wrong person). Such is the controversy over the photo that getting permission to republish it is very difficult now, hence our provision of the link above for those who want to see it.

It seems that facts such as who took the photo, when it was taken and what it really shows do not matter so long as a Greater Truth is revealed in its republication. And polar bears have become the ‘poster species’ for revealing that truth. As Simon Garfield noted in the UK Observer Magazine: ‘In the past few weeks it has become difficult to open a newspaper or webpage without seeing photographs of the beautiful yellowy-white animals leaping, or lying on sea ice in the Arctic, the newly helpless emblem of climate change.’ (2)

‘Helpless’ is a strange way to describe a half-tonne predator. As the BBC website notes: ‘The polar bear is the largest land carnivore and has a reputation as the only animal that actively hunts humans.’ Stranger still is the transformation of polar bears into the fluffy victims of our age: ‘Polar bears are predominantly carnivorous, and mainly feed on ringed seals and less so on bearded seals. A small part of their diet includes beluga, narwhal, walrus, fish, seabirds, reindeer and carrion.’ (3) It wasn’t so long ago that seals were every green’s favourite victim animal. Now it seems that seals are out, and seal-scoffing bears are in.

While Byrd’s photo has been doing the rounds, the photographic stock libraries of the world have been heavily raided for other ‘polar bear, sea ice’ pictures. Consider the leaflet that fell out of my newspaper, and maybe yours too, on Sunday. ‘THE BIG HEAT: a story of greed, broken promises and wilful ignorance - and you get to write the ending’, it said, leading up to an invitation to join Friends of the Earth (see a section of the leaflet below). The leaflet continues: ‘The warmer climate is killing wildlife and the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, threatening already endangered species like polar bears.’ It’s all accompanied, of course, by a photo of a polar bear alone on broken-up sea ice, looking longingly up towards, well, presumably a helicopter in which the photographer was probably perched.

For all the polar bear stories, it is far from clear that these bears are an endangered species. Even if a warming world did make things more difficult for them, Arctic temperatures have been considerably warmer in the past – and polar bears survived those periods. It’s not even clear that polar bear numbers are in decline.

In January, Kassie Siegel from the conservation lobby group the Center for Biological Diversity wrote in the Los Angeles Times: ‘The bear is entirely dependent on sea ice, using it as a platform on which to travel, hunt and give birth. Yet each year, as the Arctic warms, the sea ice shrinks. Polar bear populations are already suffering from drowning, starvation and lower cub survival. Absent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, the summer sea ice, and the polar bear, may disappear entirely in less than 40 years.’ (4) Yet others disagree – including Mitchell Taylor, a Canadian polar bear biologist.

Last May, Taylor wrote: ‘Climate change is having an effect on the West Hudson population of polar bears, but really, there is no need to panic. Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present. It is noteworthy that the neighbouring population of southern Hudson Bay does not appear to have declined, and another southern population (Davis Strait) may actually be over-abundant.’ (5)

Counting polar bears must in any event be a rather difficult process. They are well-camouflaged beasts (their fur is actually translucent) and are generally solitary, except when breeding, spending most of their time wandering around a very large, white barren wilderness. Saying anything for certain about them must be pretty tricky.

Yet the recent elevation of the polar bear into a victim of mankind’s recklessness isn’t really based on the facts or figures of polar bear life. Rather, these bears have become a big blank white canvas on to which any fairytale of human destructiveness can be written. To return to the Friends of the Earth leaflet – it says: ‘There are some voices, including slippery politicians and greedy commercial interests, who will tell you there is nothing to worry about.’ Its picture of the polar bear demonstrates otherwise, apparently. This is the Disneyfication of politics: bad, greedy people on one side, and ‘cuddly’, helpless polar bears on the other. How long till we get an animated fable about polar bears to sit alongside the penguin eco-flick Happy Feet?

Whatever the truth about climate change, we need to get beyond these childish tales of two legs bad, four legs good – of wicked man, and innocent beast. If the world is getting warmer due to human action, it may still make perfect sense to continue burning fossil fuels. What we need is a cool-headed and balanced discussion about the costs and benefits of different courses of action, from Kyoto-style emissions cuts and new, non-carbon technologies, to adaptive measures and the promotion of economic growth as a means of coping with problems. And we need to start putting the interests of human beings first.

The debate we’re getting – simple but cynical tales of human greed, backed by cute photos of cuddly creatures – is the polar opposite of the debate we need.


Sun's pulse a good predictor of weather outlook in Australia

Cough! Splutter! Choke! I live in an area of pretty average rainfall in Eastern Australia (Brisbane) and it rains nearly every second day here so do take the "DROUGHT-BREAKING rains across eastern Australia" below with a grain of salt. And I suppose it would be churlish of me to mention that there has recently been flooding right up and down the Eastern seaboard of Australia -- from North Queensland to Tasmania. Journalistic silliness does not however detract from the research reported below

DROUGHT-BREAKING rains across eastern Australia have been predicted in new modelling by a scientist who believes massive pulses in the sun's magnetic field are helping to drive the Earth's climate systems. If proven, the research will make the prediction of floods and droughts in Australia far more reliable and influence models projecting future climate change.

Robert Baker, from the University of New England, claims to have found a strong relationship between the rhythmic pulsing of the sun's magnetic field and weather systems, particularly in the southern hemisphere. The sun's magnetic emissions are known to peak every 11 years, a phenomenon demonstrated by increased sunspot activity. The sun also switches poles every 11 years. It last flipped in 2001. Associate Professor Baker said modelling of the sun's magnetic activity showed high rainfall during times of high activity and drought when the sun was stable. This suggested the fluctuations impacted on the upper atmosphere, which was in turn reflected in changes in the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), the measure of air pressure over the Pacific Ocean used as a reliable indicator of drought and flood.

Dr Baker said the most intense droughts in eastern Australia, including the Federation drought, tended to occur every 22 years, about a year after the southern pole of the sun flipped and became positively charged. In a paper, which has been submitted to the journal Solar Terrestrial Physics for peer review, he claims changes in solar magnetic fields can explain about 50 per cent of the variation in the SOI. The impact of solar magnetism is more noticeable in the southern hemisphere and in regions such as eastern Australia because more variable climate is driven by proximity to large oceans.

He said this relationship between the sun and climate required further research because it might help to explain an important but little understood natural cycle influencing the Earth's climate systems. "The sun drives the whole system," he said. "There is a natural impact that the sun has in terms of weather patterns maybe over a century." Dr Baker said the sun appeared to follow a longer-term magnetic cycle of about 80 years, meaning it might be possible to predict floods and droughts for the next 30 years based on historical records from the mid-1920s.

Dr Baker said the SOI was currently following a similar pattern to that recorded after 1924 when eastern Australia enjoyed heavy falls after a period of prolonged drought. Dr Baker's model puts a more scientific and transparent theory to the concepts first developed by long-range weather forecasters Lennox Walker and Inigo Jones. It also suggests there may be a longer 500-year solar cycle, which may help explain climate variability over the past centuries, including periods of unexplained climate variability such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.

Dr Baker said he was concerned about the welfare of rural communities amid unfounded speculation the current drought might continue for decades.



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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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