Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More fun! Gore camp suggests skeptical scientists bought off

A spokeswoman for former Vice President Al Gore has suggested that scientists cited in a new Senate minority report that calls global warming worries "entirely without merit" have been bought off. The U.S. Senate report documents hundreds of prominent scientists - experts in dozens of fields of study worldwide - who say global warming and cooling is a cycle of nature and cannot legitimately be connected to man's activities.

But Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider told the Washington Times that after a quick review, about 25 or 30 of the scientists cited in the report may have received funding from Exxon Mobil Corp. However, Mobil spokesman Gantt H. Walton dismissed the claim, telling the newspaper the company is concerned about climate change reports, and doesn't pay scientists to "bash global-warming theories." "Recycling of that kind of discredited conspiracy theory is nothing more than a distraction from the real challenge facing society and the energy industry," he told the Times. "And that challenge is how are we going to provide the energy needed to support economic and social development while reducing greenhouse-gas emissions."

A spokesman for Gore declined WND requests for additional comment on the issue.

"I find the Doomsday picture Al Gore is painting - a six-meter sea level rise, 15 times the IPCC number - entirely without merit," Hendrik Tennekes, a pioneer at the Netherlands' Royal National Meteorological Institute, said in the report . "I protest vigorously the idea that the climate reacts like a home heating system to a changed setting of the thermostat: just turn the dial, and the desired temperature will soon be reached."

"Of course I believe in global warming, and in global cooling - all part of the natural climate changes that the Earth has experienced for billions of years, caused primarily by the cyclical variations in solar output," said research physicist John W. Brosnahan, who develops remote-sensing instruments for atmospheric science for clients including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA. However, he said, "I have not seen any sort of definitive, scientific link to man-made carbon dioxide as the root cause of the current global warming, only incomplete computer models that suggest that this might be the case.

"Even though these computer climate models do not properly handle a number of important factors, including the role of precipitation as a temperature regulator, they are being (mis-)used to force a political agenda upon the U.S.," he continued. "While there are any number of reasons to reduce carbon dioxide generation, to base any major fiscal policy on the role of carbon dioxide in climate change would be inappropriate and imprudent at best and potentially disastrous economic folly at the worst."

The report from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's office of the GOP ranking member cited more than 400 prominent scientists in dozens of fields of study from more than two dozen nations around the world who voiced objections to the so-called "consensus" on "man-made global warming," the subject of Gore's award-winning film "An Inconvenient Truth."

Gore, of course, has likened skeptics of the global-warming philosophy to "flat Earth society members." As recently as Nov. 5, he said: "But when you're reporting on a story like the one you're covering today, where you have people all around the world, you don't take - you don't search out for someone who still believes the Earth is flat and give them equal time. And the reason the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the thousands of scientists who make up that group, have for almost 20 years now created a very strong scientific consensus that is as strong a consensus as you'll ever see in science, that the climate crisis is real, human beings are responsible for it."

The Senate report, however, noted the scientists who are expressing a dissatisfaction with such generalizations include experts in climatology, geology, oceanography, biology, glaciology, biogeography, meteorology, economics, chemistry, mathematics, environmental sciences, engineering, physics and paleoclimatology. "Some of those profiled have won Nobel Prizes for their outstanding contribution to their field of expertise and many shared a portion of the UN IPCC Nobel Peace Price with Vice President Gore," the report said.

Besides the Nobel Gore shared over the issue of global warming, he also won an Oscar for his work on "An Inconvenient Truth," which proclaims the validity of man-made global warming and advocates urgent action.

And there probably would be many more scientists making such statements, were it not for the fear of retaliation from those aboard the global-warming-is-caused-by-SUVs bandwagon, the report said. "Many of my colleagues with whom I spoke share these views and report on their inability to publish their skepticism in the scientific or public media," noted Nathan Paldor, professor of Dynamical Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He's authored almost 70 peer-reviewed studies, and said, "First, temperature changes, as well as rates of temperature changes (both increase and decrease) of magnitudes similar to that reported by IPCC to have occurred since the Industrial revolution (about 0.8C in 150 years or even 0.4C in the last 35 years) have occurred in Earth's climatic history. There's nothing special about the recent rise!"

Members of the U.S. Senate earlier had noted an e-mail from a global warming theory supporter to a critic, threatening to "destroy your career . if you produce one more editorial against climate change."

Paleoclimatologist Tim Patterson, professor in the department of Earth sciences at Carleton University in Ottawa, recently converted from a believer in man-made climate change to a skeptic. Patterson noted that the notion of a "consensus" of scientists aligned with United Nations climate change advocates or former is false. "I was at the Geological Society of America meeting in Philadelphia in the fall and I would say that people with my opinion were probably in the majority," he said.

The report was generated after UN IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri implied there were only "about half a dozen" skeptical scientists left in the world. ....

The new study includes opinions from scientists at Harvard, NASA, NOAA, NCAR, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Danish National Space Center, U.S. Department of Energy, Princeton, the EPA, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Pasteur Institute in Paris, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, the University of Helsinki, Notre Dame, Stockholm University and others.

"Even if the concentration of 'greenhouse gases' double man would not perceive the temperature impact," said Russian scientist Oleg Sorochtin, of the Institute of Oceanology at the Russian Academy of Sciences. He's authored more than 300 studies, nine books and a 2006 paper titled, "The Evolution and the Prediction of Global Climate Changes on Earth."

WND earlier reported more than 500 scientists were cited by an analysis of peer-reviewed literature by the Hudson Institute as having published documentation questioning an least one facet of the global-warming agenda.


The usual desperate recourse to "ad hominem" abuse and unreferenced assertions from the Left

Alarmist likens Senate report to 'something the German Parliament would issue during WW2 to tell the people that the Holocaust is not happening'

This report sounds like something the German Parliament would issue during WW2 to tell the people that the Holocaust is not happening, and if it is the Nazis are not responsible for it.

Personally, I have no political biases regarding my views on climate change. I don't support Al Gore's view because I am a "Democrat." I support his view on climate change and that of the PEER REVIEWED scientists across this globe who are actually posting the data and connecting the dots because I have armed myself with the knowledge I need to see with my own eyes...

Senate Report On Climate Skepticism...

the very thing this report aims to stop because of course, to those in Congress an enlightened and informed citizenry is indeed the biggest threat to them.

And unlike them my wallet does not hold sway over my beliefs like it does senators by the name of Inhofe and others who do nothing but issue reports at opportune moments to coincide with their own personal petty political grudges.

The rate of ice melt in the Arctic and Greenland alone is three times faster than ever predicted. It is unprecedented. Again, unprecedented. It has been proven by PEER REVIEWED scientists (not weathermen or Senators with no scientific background) that CO2 forcings on this planet along with other gases and sources together with anthropogenic climate change are changing our relationship with this planet.

Now, we can "debate" all day until we are blue in the face but it doesn't change the reality of what this planet is becoming regardless of what you may personally believe is responsible for it.

It is as if this report is then telling the American people not to care about this planet or their responsibility as stewards to her or to try to understand what is now occurring. I suppose they also believe that air and water pollution are not caused by humans either? Poisoning our water and air thus leading to diseases is not human induced? How about poverty? How about war? We aren't responsible for that either? Water scarcity, deforestation... Who is cutting down all the trees thus exacerbating the effects of this crisis? God?

To me, this report is nothing more than a timed trashing of a man they fear the most. The one man who came out with a movie and a book [But no PEER REVIEWED studies?] that explained what is happening to our planet in a way those whom they wished to keep in the dark for their own selfish reasons understand, and they are more afraid of it hurting their financial bottomlines than anything else.

And in my view, telling people that there is "nothing to worry about" regardless of your belief when we can see otherwise just to protect your wallet and political standing and assuage your political grudges is not only morally bankrupt, it is criminal.

But where is the outrage? Where are all the Gore supporters on other sites who claim to "support" him in refuting this garbage? Where are all those who signed his Capitol Hill letter last March, and his petition to Bali? This is exactly the time we need a palpable response to show the world that we do care and will not fall for the false choices.

We sat by and allowed them to take our Democracy from us...are we going to sit and allow them to take our planet too?


Greenland prior eras as warm or warmer than today

I was forwarded a slide show presentation done by Thomas Lowell et al of the University of Cincinnati titled: Organic Remains from the Istorvet Ice Cap, Liverpool Land, East Greenland: A Record of Late Holocene Climate Change. It was presented last week at AGU's Greenland Climate Change Past and Present session. It has some very interesting data in it. In summary it has a report on occurrence of subfossil organic remains, with organics recovered in locations presently void of plant growth.

The preliminary conclusion from the data collected in the field work is that presently the small ice caps at high latitudes in Greenland are retracting to locations where they were at 1000 years ago. The presence of subfossil vegetation was found within 280 vertical meters of ice cap summit and where comparable modern assemblages do not exist. The implication seems to be that there were warmer periods in these areas prior to today, warm enough for plant growth. According to the study, the organic material in Liverpool Land radiocarbon dates from 400 to 1015 AD. It is interesting to note that the Vikings settled in Greenland around 974 AD and the study indicates that ice cap expansion began around 1015 AD.

While the UC team that did the field work still has more work to do to reconstruct temperatures from this data, the study lends support to the idea that Greenland's climate was warmer approximately 1000 years ago. One of the organic samples recovered at another location was dated to 910BC. This makes one wonder just how often shifts in Greenland's climate occurs. More study is needed, but this is certainly interesting.


Environmental Policy: More Science and Less Religion Please

Environmental policy must be based on the good science and not emotion

In Brief:

Environmentalists can be divided into a number of categories ranging from "conservationists" who advocate a policy of "wise use" to the "deep ecologists" who tend to "humanize" nature.

The public at large demands clear and unambiguous statements from environmental scientists while the scientists themselves are dealing with uncertainty and ever-changing information flows.

Science has been described as the "self-correcting process of discovery" which means that what is the received wisdom of today may need to be discarded or modified based on new information.

Policy makers must be aware of the flux inherent in environmental science and ensure that environmental policies must reflect the best science.

Environmentalists can be divided into many categories. There is the wise use conservation type (like me). There is the scientific ecologist. There is the committed activist, and then there is the deep ecologist. This latter group, largely, believes there is a spiritual dimension to Mother Nature. This leads to a philosophy whereby environmental policy decisions are based as much on the "rights" of the natural world as on the needs of humanity. In addition, it is often a case of symbolic acts taking the place of real and scientifically verifiable environmental outcomes. For example, most urban recycling programs have failed utterly, especially when attempting to recycle low value and environmentally benign products such as glass. Of course, when those of us with a scientific bent are mildly critical of such wasteful programs, the charge of "Don't you care??!!" is flung back at us in an orgy of political correctness. Actually, I do care. So much so that I demand real environmental results for real environmental expenditures.

The eminent physicist Freeman Dyson wrote a paper titled "Heretical Thoughts about Science and Society" where he makes an eloquent case for a proper understanding of the uncertainties of science. He takes aim at the often uncritical public acceptance of any statement made by any scientist no matter that he or she may be making statements outside his or her field of expertise, or that the field is a hotbed of controversy. A Scientist said it, so it must be true. But, as Dyson so eloquently explains: "The politicians and the public expect science to provide answers to the problems. Scientific experts are paid and encouraged to provide answers. The public does not have much use for a scientist who says, `Sorry, but we don't know.' The public prefers to listen to scientists who give confident answers to questions and make confident predictions of what will happen as a result of human activities."

One of the best definitions of science I have come across states, "Science is the self-correcting process of discovery." Science is a process that lurches toward truth, backtracking from time to time, going sideways, standing still but is rarely, if ever, static. While the outcome is often in doubt, the process of evidence-based conclusions must be immutable.

The field of environmental science is suffering from growing pains as an energized public, demanding that governments "do something, anything about the environment," collides with the growing realization that we do not yet have all the answers, and what appears as a truth today may be on tomorrow's ash heap of failed hypotheses.

We are all familiar with the notion of climate change, and we have been told repeatedly that the science is settled. Well, as Yogi Berra once said, "It ain't over till it's over." And to prove Berra right, along came Steve McIntyre, a Canadian scientist and co-author, with Ross McKitrick, of the climate book, Taken by Storm. McIntyre, in the best scientific tradition, decided to do the math regarding the assumptions and calculations that went into the famous these are the hottest years in history hypothesis. The earlier NASA calculations concluded that 1998 was the hottest year on record, but McIntyre's corrected calculations show that 1934 was the hottest. It must be noted that NASA accepted McIntyre's numbers and issued a correction, although with no fanfare.

While this may seem like a bit of scientific trivia, policymakers are basing many decisions on the incorrect assumption that we are living in the hottest time in history. Of course, measuring past temperature trends on Earth is relatively simple, but one needs only to imagine the uncertainty that must exist when we try to predict the Earth's climate trends over the next 100 years.

I am reminded of a 1967 must-read paper by environmental scientist Paul Ehrlich titled "Paying the Piper." The paper concludes quite definitively that "the battle to feed humanity is over" and that "sometime between 1970 and 1985 the world will undergo vast famines--hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death."

It obviously did not happen and during that time, food production actually rose dramatically. Any people who are starving today are in that predicament due to bad governments and corruption and certainly not a lack of food. Ehrlich was dead wrong.

There is no sin in being wrong; the only sin is when mistakes are not corrected based on new evidence. Or as one wag [Lord Keynes] put it, "When I'm presented with new information I change my mind; what do you do?"



The EU's controversial plans to force car makers to make greener cars from 2012 or face fines have caused strong division within the European Commission itself, with industry commissioner Guenter Verheugen said to have boycotted the press conference to announce the proposals on Wednesday (19 December). Under the plans, cars should emit an average of 130 grammes of carbon dioxide in four years time or be subject to fines rising to _95 per gramme over the limit in 2015.

Practically it is expected to mean that big gas-guzzling cars will become more expensive while smaller more efficient cars will be relatively cheaper. Subject to intense lobbying and causing unusually deep divisions in the commission, the proposals have been worked on jointly by officials in the environment and industry unit of the Brussels executive since early this year. But only environment commissioner Stavros Dimas presented them on Wednesday although his industry colleague was scheduled to take part as well.

According to Spiegel Online, Mr Verheugen, who comes from Germany where powerful car manufacturers such as BMW say they will be most adversely affected by the plans, deliberately chose not to take part in the announcement.

Meanwhile, transport commissioner Jacques Barrot (French) and Justice commissioner Franco Frattini (Italian) also rejected the blueprint. Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso is reportedly standing behind Mr Dimas who presented the outline on behalf of the whole commission yesterday.

Germany has already strongly criticised the plans with chancellor Angela Merkel saying "I believe this is industrial policy at the expense of German auto producers." "We are not satisfied," the chancellor said, with her economy minister Michael Glos even accusing the commission of staging a "war of destruction" against German car-makers.

FT Deutschland reports German centre-right MEPs are also threatening not to support Mr Barroso in his likely bid for a second term as head of the commission from 2009. "The question of whether Barroso is taking into account the legitimate interests of the German industry will help decide whether we back him for a second term in office," Christian Democrat MEP Werner Langen, told the paper. The German MEP threat is being presented as a counterpoint to French president Nicolas Sarkozy who has being lobbying the commission president for proposals that would favour small car makers such as Peugeot.



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