Monday, June 11, 2007


Below is one version of an article that has been in a lot of media lately. Our old friend James Hansen, the "muzzled" NASA scientist, is talking through his muzzle again. Never has any muzzled person talked so much and so misleadingly. That he claims to have been muzzled by the Bush administration tells you a lot about the delusional world he lives in.

What we have below are foolish extrapolations of short term and local trends coupled with more guesswork-intensive "models". You can prove anything with models. If you want to see vividly how dishonest "science" is done, see here. If you want a sober summary of ALL the recent evidence of what is happening in Greenland, see here. And note that even the IPCC says there is no OVERALL melting in Antarctica. Faced with that nasty realism, Greenie scientists obviously HAVE TO find some bits that are melting, irrelevant though that is.

Update: An article by Jim Manzi explains briefly how climate models rely on guesswork.

WHILE world leaders talked about global warming in Germany, scientific reports of melting at the poles continued to flood in. In Antarctica, a satellite study revealed that hundreds of glaciers are speeding up as they flow into the sea. In Greenland, the number of days a year when snow melts is on the rise, NASA has found.

As well, research using a new climate model developed by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York suggests the Earth is close to a tipping point that would start the disintegration of the Western Antarctic ice sheet and Arctic sea ice. A Goddard researcher, James Hansen, said dangerous climate change was likely to occur if the global temperature rose by about 1.7 degrees above the pre-industrial level, which is below the 2 degree upper limit world leaders are aiming for. This was due to natural feedback mechanisms that could amplify the impact of a small temperature rise, he said. "If global emissions of carbon dioxide continue to rise at the rate of the past decade, this research shows there will be disastrous effects," he said.

Published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, the study used a computer model that incorporated more information than previous ones on factors such as changes in solar radiation, volcanic particles, soot, land use and clouds.

In another study, British Antarctic Survey scientists reported this week they had tracked the flow of more than 300 previously unstudied glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula using satellite radar systems. They found the rate at which they slid into the sea increased by 12 per cent between 1993 and 2003. The British team's leader, Hamish Pritchard, said the Antarctic Peninsula had experienced some of the fastest warming on Earth, with a rise of nearly 3 degrees in the past 50 years. "Eighty-seven per cent of its glaciers have been retreating during this period and now we see these glaciers are also speeding up," he said. The cause was meltwater acting as a lubricant between the ice and underlying rocks, said Dr Pritchard, whose study is published in the journal Geophysical Research.

Satellite observations of the Greenland ice sheet, which are made daily, have shown that the period when snow melted during 2006 was 10 days longer than the average for the previous 18 years. A study published in the journal Eos found the melt also occurred at higher altitudes than before.

Dr Marco Tedesco, of NASA's Joint Centre for Earth Systems Technology, said melted and refrozen snow absorbed up to four times more energy from the sun than dry snow, creating a feedback loop that could accelerate melting.


Global cooling?

Early snow in Southern Australia gets ski resorts off to good start. If melting snow and ice in some places proves global warming, surely extra heavy snowfalls in other places proves global cooling? Or am I missing something?

The timing could not have been better. As thousands of holidaymakers made their way yesterday to the NSW and Victorian ski fields for this weekend's opening of the season, that precious white stuff, which went missing for much of last winter, began to fall. With forecasters predicting a winter ofabove-average snowfall, it seems the disappointment of last season will quickly be forgotten.

The NSW town of Thredbo got off to a good start yesterday, with about 5cm of snow falling on the slopes. The resort will start operating lifts from this morning. Perisher Blue had two lifts running yesterday. In Victoria, Mount Hotham and Mount Buller had about 26cm of natural snow, with extra cover from snow-makers.....

Thredbo's businesses spent yesterday preparing for the arrival of the hordes of tourists who descend on the slopes for the opening weekend of the ski season. The town's population has already swelled with the arrival earlier this week of about 700 seasonal workers. Although the slopes open for skiers and snowboarders today, some took advantage of the empty slopes yesterday for more gentle activities. For the Fisher family, from Mackay in Queensland, the sight of snow was a novelty. At the urging of their four children, David and Julie Fisher made a special detour from their round-Australia trip for an afternoon of toboganning.



Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that George W Bush reads The Independent. How would the President have reacted when he read the headline on page 4 of Tuesday's edition? It announced: "Miliband goes to US to deliver ultimatum on climate change". My suspicion is that Bush would have had another choking fit over his pretzels. In fact, he might have died laughing. Miliband? Ultimatum? Our likeable Environment Secretary can't even deliver a respectable ultimatum to his own colleagues: remember how he was squashed like a gnat by Gordon Brown three months ago when he floated the idea of hypothecated carbon taxes?

Even supposing that George Bush is a man capable of changing his mind - and there is very little evidence of that - would this be the David to poleaxe the American Goliath? The British media seem to have developed a dangerously Eurocentric view of the global politics of climate change. Another headline, this time over a weekend article by the doyen of British environmentalist writers, Geoffrey Lean, declared: "The world must isolate Bush over climate change."

The truth, as has become clear during the course of the G8 summit at Heiligendamm, is that it is Bush who has isolated Europe over climate change. Canada, China and even Japan have shown enthusiasm for Bush's proposal to bypass the UN and hold a series of multilateral meetings - to be convened by America - which would seek agreement on mutually acceptable targets for CO2 emission reductions.

This ambush, not so much a cold shower as a diplomatic drenching for the summit hostess, Angela Merkel, should have come as no surprise. For some time now, the Americans have involved the major CO2-emitting nations in negotiations quite separate from the Kyoto process. This negotiating process also has a name, rather less well known in this country: it is called the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. Essentially, it adopts the American idea of solutions relying on technology rather than taxes and carbon caps: new forms of energy efficiency, so-called "clean coal" and fuel cells are the sort of things the Asia-Pacific Partnership has been discussing.

It might seem astonishing to Europeans that the country which hosted the original Kyoto conference would entertain the American proposal. The reason is China. If any nation feels threatened by competition from China it is Japan. As the People's Republic has rapidly become an economic colossus, on the verge of becoming the world's biggest emitter of CO2, it is now unimaginable for Japan to handicap itself by subscribing to a policy which imposes much higher energy costs on its own businesses while leaving China free to do whatever it wants - and that was the consequence of Kyoto.

While Tony Blair has presented himself as being devoted to the Kyoto protocol, his remarks in a pre-summit interview on Wednesday show that he knows the real deal: "There are two political realities. One is that America will not sign up to a global deal unless China is in it and the second is that China will not sign up to a deal that impedes its economic progress. Unless you get these key players together sitting round the table and agreed, you will float back into a Kyoto-style process which may end up with a treaty at the end of it but does not include the big emitters."


Members should reconsider energy bill

When the House Natural Resources Committee meets today to markup chairman Nick Rahall's energy bill, members should seriously consider the impact of some of the costly and damaging provisions being offered.

The bill would have the effect of reducing access to domestic energy sources at a time of high international prices and increasing demand. Restricting sources of new oil and gas supplies means higher costs for both consumers and business, which will raise prices throughout the economy and amount to a stealth tax on energy use.

Elements of the bill will also interfere with revenue sharing agreements between States and the federal government over drilling and mining royalties, and delay the construction of vital new energy infrastructure nationwide. Even alternative energy sources like wind and solar facilities would suffer delays.

Chairman Rahall may have put the word "reform" in the title, but his bill displays little to justify the term. Real reform would consist of opening domestic resources to exploration, giving producers more freedom to build and upgrade their facilities and eliminating taxpayer subsidies across the board.


EPA issues new wetlands guidelines

The Bush administration made it harder Tuesday for non-permanent streams and nearby wetlands to be protected under the federal Clean Water Act. The new guidance issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers requires that for such waters to be protected there must be a "significant nexus" shown between the intermittent stream or wetland and a traditional waterway. And the guidance says a determination will be made on a case-by-case basis, analyzing flow and other issues. Environmentalist argued that would negate the broader regional importance of many such waterways in the aggregate on water bodies downstream.

Assistant EPA Administrator Benjamin Grumbles said the new guidance to regional offices and enforcement officials "sends a clear signal we'll use our regulatory tools" to meet President Bush's promise of no net loss of wetlands. He said it "maintains ... the Bush administration's strong commitment to wetlands conservation."

Environmentalists said the new rules will put in jeopardy many of the intermittent streams and headwaters that now fall under the Clean Water Act, and result in less protection of wetlands. "This guidance adds unnecessary and unintended hurdles for agencies and citizens trying to protect our wasters," said Jan Goldman-Carter, an attorney for the National Wildlife Federation, and she called it a "retreat from protecting many important headwaters streams and wetlands."

Under the new guidelines, it will be determined on a case-by-case basis whether such tributaries or adjacent wetlands significantly affect traditionally navigable waterways and, thereby, are subject to the Clean Water Act. John Paul Woodley Jr., the assistant Army secretary who oversees the Corps of Engineers, said the policy "will foster ... predictability and consistency" in determining whether a permit should be issued to conduct activities in an intermittent tributary or adjacent wetland.

Grumbles said the new guidance conforms with a ruling by the Supreme Court a year ago. A divided court said that while the government can block development in a wetland, even miles from a traditional waterway, it can do so only if there is a significant connection shown with the waterway.



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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