Monday, July 09, 2007


If it has survived really BIG warming in the past, the trivial warming of today is no threat to it

An international team of scientists, drilling deep into the ice layers of Greenland, has found DNA from ancient spiders and trees, evidence that suggests the frozen shield covering the immense island survived the earth's last period of global warming. The findings, published today in the journal Science, indicate Greenland's ice may be less susceptible to the massive meltdown predicted by computer models of climate change, the article's main author said in an interview. "If our data is correct, and I believe it is, then this means the southern Greenland ice cap is more stable than previously thought," said Eske Willerslev, research leader and professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Copenhagen. "This may have implications for how the ice sheets respond to global warming. They may withstand rising temperatures."

Scientists not involved in the study cautioned, however, that current climate change is so driven by pollution from power plants, industry, and other human activity that it is nearly impossible to draw a meaningful conclusion about the durability of Greenland's ice. "Whatever occurred in the past almost surely occurred much more slowly," said Raymond S. Bradley, director of the Climate System Research Center at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. "Human activity is pushing warming at a much faster rate than in the past. Change is occurring in decades or centuries, not over millennia."

A painstaking analysis of surviving genetic fragments locked in the ice of southern Greenland shows that somewhere between 450,000 and 800,000 years ago, the world's largest island had a climate much like that of Northern New England, the researchers said. Butterflies fluttered over lush meadows interspersed with stands of pine, spruce, and alder. Greenland really was green, before Ice Age glaciers enshrouded vast swaths of the Northern Hemisphere.

More controversially -- and as an example of how research in one realm of science can unexpectedly affect assumptions in another -- the discovery of microscopic bits of organic matter retrieved from ice 1.2 miles beneath the surface indicates that the ice fields of southern Greenland may be more resilient to rising global temperatures than has been forecast. The DNA could have been preserved only if the ice layers remained largely intact.

A scenario often raised by global warming specialists is that Greenland's ice trove will turn liquid in the rising temperatures of coming decades, with hundreds of trillions of gallons of water spilling into the Atlantic. This could cause ocean levels worldwide to rise anywhere from 3 to 20 feet, according to computer projections -- bad news for seaport cities like Boston [Rubbish! 91% of the earth's frozen water is in Antarctica and most of the rest is sea ice so what happens in Greenland never was very important anyway].

But the discovery of organic matter in ice dating from half-a-million years ago offers evidence that the Greenland ice shield remained frozen even during the earth's last "interglacial period" -- some 120,000 years ago -- when average temperatures were 9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than they are now. That's slightly higher than the average temperatures foreseen by most scientists for the end of this century, although some environmentalists warn it might get even higher. [They would]


Live Earth's Gross Groupies

(There is also an amusing "Biblical" interprtetation of the concert here)

Why is NBC airing Al Gore's Live Earth concert this weekend? Why are Democrats, who claim to support the Fairness Doctrine, not objecting to this outright gift of unequal broadcast time to just one side (theirs) of a controversial political issue? Those are the terrific questions asked by FOX News' John Gibson this week.

Here are some answers, John. First, the parent company of NBC is the General Electric Company, a corporation that is aggressively lobbying for global warming regulation. GE belongs to a lobbying group called U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) - a group of regulation- and congressional pork-loving companies that have joined with radical environmentalists to push for mandatory reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and a so-called cap-and-trade system under which companies could buy and sell rights to emit greenhouse gases.

The corporate members of USCAP have different reasons for wanting global warming regulation. Oil company BP-America, for example, is owned by its British parent, BP. European governments and companies expect that global warming regulation will give them a competitive advantage over U.S. businesses. Global warming regulation, for example, would force the U.S. to use less coal and more natural gas in the production of electricity. This would increase natural gas prices, which would not only hamper U.S. growth but also profit the UK-based BP, which derives most of its revenues from gas sales.

Companies like Alcoa and Dupont expect that, in return for their support of global warming regulation, Congress will reward them by giving them free, but valuable emissions permits which the companies could then sell in the open market for huge profits. As USCAP says on its web site, its members want "rewards for early action." But these rewards amount to nothing more than taxpayer-funded pork-barrel spending and global warming "earmarks."

Electric utilities that belong to USCAP, like Duke Energy and PG&E Corp., expect to benefit from higher energy prices, which tend to be associated with higher profit margins. Additionally, these higher energy prices and profits - because they will be based in government-sanctioned environmental policies - will likely be politically protected (unlike the ratepayers who will foot the higher bills).

What's GE's particular interest? GE's ostensible rationale is that it hopes to profit by selling high-priced global warming-related and alternative energy products, ranging from solar panels and wind turbines to compact fluorescent lightbulbs and nuclear power plant technologies. But the problem with the profit-motive for GE, of course, is that the company is a highly-diversified conglomerate - its other business interests include medical technology, financial services, advanced materials, aircraft engines and security technology. GE is so diversified, in fact, that its overall business performance tends to track that of the general economy.

So if global warming regulation harms economic growth - as is near-universally expected - it likely will also harm GE's business prospects, especially since the Ecomagination product line represents a very small part (about 7 percent) of GE's total revenues. So there must be more to GE's lobbying for global warming regulation than profit. That additional motivation may be the self-promotion of GE's CEO, Jeff Immelt. Immelt inherited the CEO job from the legendary Jack Welsh. But while Welsh famously grew GE into a financial colossus, GE has been treading water under Immelt's leadership. GE's stock has mostly traded in a relatively narrow range since Immelt took over and has significantly underperformed the broader market.

So, in 2005, Immelt adopted image-building as his key to success - hence the re-branding of regular GE products into trendy "Ecomagination" products. The idea for GE's Ecomagination marketing strategy came not from engineers who had new product ideas, but from PR consultants hired to burnish GE's brand. Immelt then became a global warming regulation advocate, one of the first CEOs to do so. Immelt has been feted by environmentalists and the media ever since, even being honored earlier this year by the World Resources Institute - a gloom-and-doom eco-advocacy organization that GE supports. At WRI's 25th anniversary dinner in February, Live Earth concert organizer Al Gore personally presented Immelt with the WRI's "Courage to Lead" award.

Also in attendance at the dinner was New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman who stated, "We are in a political season and the rules governing columnists at The New York Times is that we are not allowed to endorse presidential candidates. But I'm going to break that rule tonight if you promise not to tell anybody: I'd like to nominate Al Gore and Jeff Immelt as the geo-green candidates for 2008!" Immelt hasn't been good for GE's stock price but he's been quite adept at assuming the pose of a corporate eco-hero. So there is no need to wonder why a GE subsidiary (NBC) is so heavily promoting Live Earth.

As to Gibson's second question relating to why the Democrats aren't eager to apply the Fairness Doctrine that they've recently been promoting to NBC's broadcast of the one-sided Live Earth global warming rally, the answer is pretty straightforward. Democrats plan on making global warming a major campaign issue in 2008. The Live Earth concert represents a great way for them to market the issue to young people. Why would they want to spoil Gore's global warming propaganda-fest by complaining about the lack of equal time for opposing viewpoints?

That said, I'm all for the Live Earth concerts. Between Al Gore and rock stars in private jets and limos, $300 tickets, the global warmers' intolerance of dissenting views, and the concert's wanton energy use, mass consumerism and trash generation, I can't think of a better stage for displaying the over-the-top absurdity of Gore and his gross Green groupies.


Greenpeace doesn't like small cars either

There's no such thing as a happy Greenie or a happy farmer

Live Aid, Live 8 and now Live Earth: Benefit concerts are certainly in vogue these days. The declared aim of the organizers has been to raise public awareness -- for Africa, for a just globalization and now for the fight against global warming. But this well-meaning spectacle could be in danger of being misused as advertising space. In the past the organizers of big benefit concerts, people like Bob Geldof and Bono, have been accused (more...) of abusing their roles as saviors of the world to up their status and lure their target audiences. Now the sponsoring debate has given rise to another focus of criticism. At first glance it would appear that Live Earth's goals would have little in common with those of big business. But it seems that cooperation with multinationals is not seen as contradictory, but indeed something that actually might help the organizers to turn their ideals into a reality.

In a message on DaimlerChrysler's Web site, SOS founder, music producer Kevin Wall, welcomes the Smart brand as an official sponsor. "I'm pleased that we've got a strong partner in Smart, which has already taken major steps forward in the battle to stop global warming. Together, we can demonstrate to billions of people that there are technologies on the road today with low CO2 emissions, which is an important contribution to achieving global climate protection goals."

The company's commitment to the more environmentally friendly car seems genuine: "Why use two liters of gas to go buy a liter of milk?" is DaimlerChrysler's message on the Live Earth Web site. The ad is for the smart fortwo -- which, according to the company, at only 88 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer -- boasts the lowest emissions in the world.

"The Smart car isn't even environmentally friendly," counters Greenpeace climate expert Thomas Breuer, talking to SPIEGEL ONLINE. He points out that it can only transport a maximum of two people and a water tank. He thinks the benefit concert could end up being somewhat farcical: When the activist stars peel themselves out of the tiny car, instead of glamorous hybrid vehicles, they will probably end up just looking ridiculous, he says. At the same time he insists that he is justified in accusing the company of exploiting the event for advertising gains.


Hostages to a hoax

So you think I'm defying the scientific facts on climate change? Well, think again, says film-producer Martin Durkin

I could not have upset the soft-left, soft-green middle classes more if I had crept in their kitchens and snuck genetically modified tomatoes in their paninis. Why did I make the film The Great Global Warming Swindle? The head of science programs at Britain's Channel 4, Hamish Mykura (who has a PhD in environmental science), asked me to. He suspected the global warming alarm was not based on solid science. So did his predecessor, Sara Ramsden, who was also eager to make a film in this area. I was an experienced science documentary producer used to handling complex subjects.

So what was our conclusion, after months of research that involved talking to hundreds of scientists and wading through mountains of science papers? It's all codswallop. The notion of man-made global warming started life as a wild, eccentric theory and, despite throwing billions of dollars at it, scientists have failed to stand it up. Man-made global warming is unmitigated nonsense.

This is not the first time scientists have talked rubbish. Absurd theories come and go in science all the time. A few years ago an ostensible consensus of scientists said one-third of the British population were about to pop their clogs because they had eaten dodgy hamburgers (the mad cow disease scare). Many scientists build whole careers talking out of their hats. But usually it goes unnoticed. There is no real harm done. But global warming theory is different. It cannot be ignored. It is intruding into our lives to an extraordinary extent, shaping domestic and international policy in profound ways.

I urge readers to look at the evidence themselves. (We have assembled many relevant papers on a dedicated website, The global warmers try to discourage a close examination of the data. They say the time for debate is over, that there's a consensus of scientists who say it's definitely true. But this is rubbish. Check out and find an extraordinary petition carrying the names of 17,000 scientists who disagree.

The basic facts are as follows. There is nothing unusual about the present climate. The Earth has been far, far warmer than today and far, far colder. Our present interglacial (the mild bit between ice ages) is not nearly as warm as previous interglacials. Nor are we in a particularly warm part of the interglacial.

The recent warming, such as it is, represents a mild, welcome recovery from an exceptionally cold period in Earth's recent climate history, known to climatologists as the Little Ice Age. How mild is the recent warming? During the past 150 years global temperature has increased by a little more than 0.5C. But most of this rise occurred before 1940, when carbon dioxide emissions were relatively insignificant. After 1940, during the post-war economic boom, when human emissions of CO2 took off, the temperature fell, causing (you may remember) in the mid-1970s a consensus among scientists that we were about to enter another ice age. As Lowell Ponte warned in 1976: "This cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people. If it continues and no strong action is taken, it will cause world famine, world chaos and world war, and this could all come about before the year 2000." Cripes. After that temperatures rose again (though not as steeply or as much as before) and peaked in 1998. Since then they have declined slightly.

Why do we suppose that CO2 is responsible for any of this? CO2 occupies a tiny proportion of the gases in the atmosphere. It is only a secondary greenhouse gas - water vapour is the main one - and greenhouse gases themselves form only one small part of the Earth's climate system. CO2 has demonstrably never driven climate in the past. (Examine the ice core data at

If greenhouse gases were causing the temperature to rise, according to classic greenhouse theory, the rate of warming should be higher in the Earth's troposphere (at least 10km up) than at the surface. But the opposite is true. All our satellite and balloon data tells us that the rate of warming was higher at the surface. In other words, observational data tells us, beyond any reasonable doubt, that greenhouse gas did not cause the recent warming.

But the present alarm is not based on observational data. It is based on models. These models attempt to forecast what will happen in the future, based on a set of assumptions. If your assumptions are wrong, so is your forecast. If you assume that CO2 is driving the Earth's climate and that CO2 will increase, then you will, as sure as eggs is eggs, produce a forecast that the temperature will rise. But this falls well short of sound science. So why are certain scientists so passionately attached to this theory?

Scientists are not above the prejudices of their age. Global warming is a political theory. It's rarely stated, but we all know it. People on the Left tend to believe it. People on the Right tend not to. The media and academe (as those of us on the inside know very well) are, in the main, soft left and soft green. We like things that are natural, we think the market is cruel, and we recycle not because it's logical but because it feels right. In these circles global warming has become part of social etiquette. It is as unacceptable to question it as it is to say that you admire George W. Bush or think organic food is a con. This is the real strength of global warming theory. It taps into the middle-class aesthetic revulsion of consumer, industrial society.

The whole global warming alarm, I believe, raises serious issues about the way science functions in the real world, about the political bias of scientists, about censorship and intimidation within the scientific community, about the routine practice of scientists drawing false or inflated conclusions from ambiguous or uncertain data, about the manifest failure of the peer review process, about the extraordinary unwillingness of scientists who have invested time and reputation in a particular theory to consider evidence that directly contradicts it and about the elevation of speculation (models) to the level of solid data.

Who should you believe? There is nothing for it but to be grown up about it and look at the evidence yourself. Here's some to get you going: the two graphs on this page, published in Geophysical Research Letters Volume 32, 2005 by a leading astrophysicist from Harvard University. The one below compares temperature change in the Arctic during the 20th century with levels of CO2. The one on the top compares the same temperature record to variations in solar activity as recorded, independently, by scientists from NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The question posed by the astrophysicist is a simple one. What is driving the Earth's climate? Is it CO2 or is it the sun?



Dog poo matters more than climate change!

The public believes the effects of global warming on the climate are not as bad as politicians and scientists claim, a poll has suggested. The Ipsos Mori poll of 2,032 adults - interviewed between 14 and 20 June - found 56% believed scientists were still questioning climate change. There was a feeling the problem was exaggerated to make money, it found.

The Royal Society said most climate scientists believed humans were having an "unprecedented" effect on climate. The survey suggested that terrorism, graffiti, crime and dog mess were all of more concern than climate change. Ipsos Mori's head of environmental research, Phil Downing, said the research showed there was "still a lot to do" in encouraging "low-carbon lifestyles". "We are alive to climate change and very few people actually reject out of hand the idea the climate is changing or that humans have had at least some part to play in this," he added. "However, a significant number have many doubts about exactly how serious it really is and believe it has been over-hyped." People had been influenced by counter-arguments, he said.

Royal Society vice-president Sir David Read said: "People should not be misled by those that exploit the complexity of the issue, seeking to distort the science and deny the seriousness of the potential consequences of climate change. "The science very clearly points towards the need for us all - nations, businesses and individuals - to do as much as possible, as soon as possible, to avoid the worst consequences of a changing climate."


A comment on the above sent to the BBC by John A [] of Climate Audit:

Your latest piece of alarmist propaganda will be added to the dossier that I will be sending to the BBC Trust, detailing the ways in which the BBC still seeks to distort climate science, demonize scientists who question the Greenhouse dogma, suppresses evidence showing that the effect of carbon dioxide rise is very small, deletes comments that the BBC doesn't like to admit exist, and repeatedly seek to propgandize in favour of a thoroughly Marxist solution of higher taxes, massive State intervention of the commanding heights of the economy and most of all, the continued promotion of scientific frauds like the Mann Hockey Stick principally through suppression of news stories which show it in its proper (bad) light.

It is to the credit of the British people that despite salting nearly every weather related story with references to "climate change" and "global warming", people are more worried by dog mess than the environmental obsessions of a small cadre of environmental propagandists working at the BBC. Your journalism is a disgrace and I am determined to make sure that everyone knows how you distort your reporting in such a gratuitously partisan way.


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


1 comment:

Philip said...

Hi, Congratulations on a thought-provoking website. I wanted to follow up on the reference below. Do you have more detail; eg, an authour or issue number?

Thanks in anticipation.


Here's some to get you going: the two graphs on this page, published in Geophysical Research Letters Volume 32, 2005 by a leading astrophysicist from Harvard University. The one below compares temperature change in the Arctic during the 20th century with levels of CO2. The one on the top compares the same temperature record to variations in solar activity as recorded, independently, by scientists from NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The question posed by the astrophysicist is a simple one. What is driving the Earth's climate? Is it CO2 or is it the sun?