Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ultimate Global Warming Challenge Ups Prize Money to $125,000 for Proving Humans Cause Catastrophic Climate Change

Press release from

The Ultimate Global Warming Challenge announced today that it raised to $125,000 the cash award to the first person to prove in a scientific manner that human emissions of greenhouse gases will cause catastrophic global climate change. (

"Surprisingly no one has entered the contest yet," said Steven Milloy, founder and publisher of and the sponsor of the Ultimate Global Warming Challenge. "I'm surprised since Al Gore, the United Nations and the mainstream media all seem to think that the notion of man made catastrophic global warming is a no-brainer," Milloy added.

The Ultimate Global Warming Challenge was launched on Aug. 7, 2007 with the popular and highly rated YouTube video entitled, "Can You Save Al Gore?" (

"It appears that $100,000 is not enough to spur Al Gore and other climate alarmists to submit their proofs that humans are causing global warming," explained Milloy. "If it's a matter of money, Al Gore and the alarmists should just come out and tell us what sum it will cost the rest of us to see what proof they have."

Greeniness not aesthetic -- even in Oregon

A Bend woman is facing possible legal action for hanging her laundry out to dry. Susan Taylor, who lives in the upscale Awbrey Butte neighborhood, says she's trying to do the right thing for the planet by stringing up her family's clothes. But in doing so she's violating rules meant to keep up appearances in her subdivision, which means she might become a martyr in the so-called right-to-dry movement.

The trouble began last spring after Taylor, 55, decided to do her part to address global warming by stringing up her family's clothes between the pines behind their 2,400-square-foot house. "This is the right thing to do with what's going on with our climate," said the part-time nurse, standing beside her Toyota hybrid sedan.

But neighbors soon complained. In June, Taylor got a letter from the neighborhood's developer, Bend Brooks Resources Corp., saying she was violating Awbrey Butte's covenants, conditions and restrictions. The development's rules require that clotheslines, as well as garbage cans and lawn cuttings, be "screened


Missouri: Ethanol straining aquifer

Nutty Federal policies make a real problem -- water shortage -- worse

The Ogallala Aquifer, which contributes to water supplies in eight states including South Dakota, would be further strained if current trends in ethanol production persist, according to a report released Thursday by an environmental advocacy group. "State agencies that are proposing ethanol plants need to be concerned about water withdrawal," said Timothy D. Male, senior scientist for Environmental Defense. "The direction we're taking is that not all biofuels are created equal, and we need to come up with standards through which we can evaluate all the fuels." State leaders and trade groups, however, defended ethanol as an important component of the rural economy and criticized some of the report's findings.

"I think they're hitting the panic button a little prematurely," said Matt Hartwig, spokesman for the Renewable Fuels Association, a trade group that promotes ethanol. "Our industry is very aware of natural resources, and we're very cautious in how we use those resources." Hartwig said ethanol plants go through a lengthy approval process and have to meet standards that include ensuring adequate water supplies. "We're also working on technologies that will continue to improve ethanol production efficiencies, which include reducing water use," he said.

Ethanol's popularity as an alternative fuel has reached an all-time high. With about 119 plants nationwide and 86 more on the way, the country's ethanol output was about 6 billion gallons last year, according to the RFA. But according to the Environmental Defense report, President Bush's goal of 35 billion gallons of ethanol by 2015 is "almost certain to result in a major increase in corn production." That increase will strain the underground aquifer, as well as grasslands that would be turned into cropland to grow the corn used in most ethanol plants.

The Environmental Defense report said new corn ethanol plants under construction in areas of highest depletion in the aquifer will increase the region's ethanol production by 900 percent. "This dramatic expansion of ethanol production has substantial implications for already strained water and grassland resources in the Ogallala Aquifer region," according to the report.

But Geoff Cooper, spokesman for the National Corn Growers Association in St. Louis, said of the additional 14 million acres of corn planted last year, none came from native grassland or pasture land "or anything like that." "To suggest corn is going to be planted on native grassland is a stretch, and we just don't see it playing out that way," Cooper said.

Water demands from the ethanol plants in areas where the aquifer is depleted "may reach 2.6 billion gallons per year for corn-to-fuel processing alone, and between 59 and 120 billion gallons per year for increased water demand if there are local increases in irrigated corn production," according to the report. The eight Ogallala states are Kansas, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas.

Ethanol production in Kansas, which has nine ethanol plants, with a capacity of more than 270.5 million gallons, was expected to quadruple by 2010. The report said if four new ethanol plants in Kansas lead to any increase in local irrigated corn production, the plants would have an "even larger impact on water pumping demands in one of the most over exploited sections of the Ogallala Aquifer, where a large region of the water table declined by over 40 feet between 1980 and 1996." But Kansas Agriculture Secretary Adrian Polansky said ethanol plants in Kansas do not adversely affect the aquifer.

"Ethanol plants being put in place in western Kansas in the Ogallala Aquifer area have no impact on the water use in that area," Polansky said. "The Ogallala Aquifer area is basically closed to new appropriation." Polansky also said the increased demand for corn did not have a major effect on corn production in Kansas last year. Kansas farmers planted about 3.65 million acres of corn last year, and this year they planted 3.7 million acres. "That's hardly a significant change," he said. "I think it's very oversimplistic to try to make conclusions about what farmers' decisions will be because of ethanol."



"The increase in global temperatures has been in the last years, decades and centuries very small in historical comparisons and practically negligible in its actual impact upon human beings and their activities," Czech President Vaclav Klaus said at the world politicians' meeting on global warming today. The conference in New York has been organised by U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon.

Klaus said "the hypothetical threat connected with future global warming depends exclusively upon very speculative forecasts, not upon undeniable past experience and upon its trends and tendencies. These forecasts are based on relatively short-time series of relevant variables and on forecasting models that have not been proved very reliable when attempting to explain past developments."

No scientific consensus exists, "contrary to many self-assured and self-serving proclamations" about the causes of the ongoing climate changes, Klaus said. The arguments of both parties in dispute - i.e. those believing in "man's dominant role in recent climate changes" and those who support the hypothesis about "its mostly natural origin" - are so strong that they must be listened to carefully, Klaus continued. "To prematurely proclaim the victory of one group over another would be a tragic mistake and I am afraid we are making it," Klaus continued.

"Different levels of development, income and wealth in different places of the world make worldwide, overall and universal solutions costly, unfair and to a great extent discriminatory. The already-developed countries do not have the right to impose any additional burden on the less developed countries. Dictating ambitious and for them entirely inappropriate environmental standards is wrong and should be excluded from the menu of recommended policy measures."

He proposed that the U.N. organise two parallel inter-government discussion panels and issue two competing reports on climate changes. "To get rid of a one-sided monopoly is a condition sine qua non for an efficient and rational debate. Providing the same or comparable financial backing to both groups of scientists is a necessary starting point," Klaus said.

Commenting on the issue for public Czech Radio (CRo) later today, Klaus said "Let's not create a false illusion that we share a single expected opinion. This is simply just the huge cheat and trick ... the gentlemen such as [Al] Gore and [Martin] Bursik have created." He alluded to former U.S. vice-president and to the Czech Green Party (SZ) chairman, respectively....

In his New York speech Klaus said that "as a result of the scientific dispute there are those who call for an imminent action and those who warn against it. Rational behaviour should depend on the size of the probability of the risk and on the magnitude of the costs of its avoidance." "As as a responsible politician, as an economist, as an author of a book on the economic of climate changes, with all available data and arguments in mind, I have to conclude that the risk is too small, the costs of eliminating it too big and the application of a fundamentally-interpreted precautionary principle a wrong strategy," Klaus stated.

More here

Climate promises so much hot air

Comment from Australia

What is it about climate change that attracts charlatans? While the focus has been on the Howard Government these past few days, what about the political snake-oil salesmen who would have you believe that we can reduce carbon emissions and fix global warming in the near term? That we can pull it off without noticeable economic or political pain and without worrying about what developing countries do. All bunkum. But you wouldn’t know that just by listening to the siren songs of the federal ALP or the Greens. They tell us breezily we can have it all, no worries. Where is the probing, sceptical media when these sorts of porkies are told?

Labor’s climate change policy represents the sort of brazen deception that Hugh Mackay would have no hesitation labelling “shameless mendacity” had it been offered up by the Liberal Party. But because Mackay and his progressive friends are barracking for Kevin 07, they have gone missing in action on the issue of what an ALP government can, and will, deliver on climate change.

A couple of striking recent developments in NSW tell us what a real live ALP government would be forced to do if it got its hands on the levers of power. It doesn’t bear any resemblance to the cuddly, idealistic promises of the Kevin 07 campaign. Federal Labor is hoping nobody will notice the yawning gap between what can be delivered on climate change without passing through the public’s pain barrier and what Peter Garrett and co are holding out to us.

Which is why we ought to take a close look at NSW, where this problem is writ large. The NSW Iemma Government is acutely aware of the chasm between reality and spin because it actually holds the reins of government.

Exhibit one from the NSW Government reality file is Moolarben. A few weeks ago, the NSW Government approved the development of a massive new coal mine at Moolarben near Mudgee despite loud protests from environmental and residents groups. Moolarben is huge. The Sydney Morning Herald reported it would produce 504 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to 168 million more cars on the roads and almost as much climate change pollution as Australia generates in a year. If you’re a climate change purist, this is surely a disaster. But the iron law of political reality meant it had to be approved. A cleaner environment tomorrow is no substitute, electorally speaking, for jobs and prosperity today.

As Tasmanian forestry unions taught us at the previous election, the first duty of any Labor government is to preserve and enhance the jobs of union members. Utopian promises of a clean, green environment free of coal mines and timber workers must always surrender to reality.

This is one reason that those telling you it is possible to have meaningful and binding international targets on carbon emission in the near term are practising a fraud. If the NSW Government cannot say no to the jobs generated by the coal industry, can we realistically expect developing countries such as China to do so?

And any scheme that imposes real and effective targets on developed countries but not on developing countries is no more than a scheme to export jobs from Australia to China. Now, Bob Brown and Garrett may have no objection to that. But the hard heads in the ALP know better.

Exhibit two from the NSW school of practical political reality. The NSW Labor Government realises that NSW needs at least one large new power station to “keep the lights on”, to quote Premier Morris Iemma. But as Tony Owen told the Government in his report, it cannot afford to have one without privatising the NSW electricity retailing sector at a minimum, and probably also the generation sector as well.

Herein lies not one but two delicious ironies. Privatising the power industry in order to fund a new power station, inevitably coal-fired, shatters two sacred tenets of the left-wing faith. Thou shalt not privatise. Thou shalt not build more coal-fired power stations.

The need to preserve the jobs of electricity workers, no matter what the cost, will likely mean privatisation will fail because the unions will oppose it, just as they did when former premier Bob Carr and his treasurer Michael Egan went down that path in 1997. Already the unions who pull the NSW Government’s strings have vetoed privatisation.

Interestingly, according to reports in The Daily Telegraph, they have done an unholy deal with the NSW Government to keep any dispute between them quiet until after the federal election. Similarly, if NSW needs a coal-fired power station to keep the lights on, they will get one. At public expense. No matter what climate change commandments are broken in the process. Union jobs will always outrank the cost to the public and certainly trump a clean atmosphere.

The hard men from Labor’s NSW Right faction learned those lessons of practical politics along with their two-times tables. And the key lesson for voters is that federal ALP is run by such practical men today. Men such as Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan. They know, though they are not saying, that Garrett, Anthony Albanese and ALP promises of a clean, green tomorrow are all just flim-flam election material. They know that, pre-election, the vast gap between what they promise on climate change and what an ALP government can actually deliver needs to be filled with a combination of smoke, mirrors and lies.

Should Labor win the federal election, these childish stunts will stop and the real business of governing will begin. Perhaps we should be grateful: adhering to idealistic targets, butchering the coal industry and banning electric hot-water systems will simply impoverish Australians and send jobs offshore without making a jot of difference to world carbon levels or global warming.

If we think the Chinese are going to stop opening new coal-fired power stations because we veto new Moolarbens and won’t sell them coal, we have a shaky grip on reality. So the realpolitik of the ALP hard heads is infinitely to be preferred to the Pollyanna-type views of the dreamers who write the campaign ads and the jingles about clean green futures.

But it would be nice to think that when this inevitable deceit is practised upon us, it would be fearlessly exposed. To think that the left-wing faithful, the artists, poets, actors and playwrights will complain about a lack of public decency in public life, led by Mackay, excoriating the mendacious in public office. To think the intelligentsia will moan about being lied to and write books titled, Not Happy, Kev.



The Lockwood paper was designed to rebut Durkin's "Great Global Warming Swindle" film. It is a rather confused paper -- acknowledging yet failing to account fully for the damping effect of the oceans, for instance -- but it is nonetheless valuable to climate atheists. The concession from a Greenie source that fluctuations in the output of the sun have driven climate change for all but the last 20 years (See the first sentence of the paper) really is invaluable. And the basic fact presented in the paper -- that solar output has in general been on the downturn in recent years -- is also amusing to see. Surely even a crazed Greenie mind must see that the sun's influence has not stopped and that reduced solar output will soon start COOLING the earth! Unprecedented July 2007 cold weather throughout the Southern hemisphere might even be the first sign that the cooling is happening. And the fact that warming plateaued in 1998 is also a good sign that we are moving into a cooling phase. As is so often the case, the Greenies have got the danger exactly backwards. See my post of 7.14.07 and a very detailed critique here for more on the Lockwood paper

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.


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