Wednesday, June 18, 2008


An email from Andy Nimmo [] below

The [much cited] 1939 paper, "The Effect Of Interstellar Matter On Climatic Variation" by Fred Hoyle and R.A.Lyttleton, in the Proceedings of The Cambridge Philosophical Society, which showed that when our Solar System passes through an interstellar dust cloud, the percentage of our Sun's radiation increases in direct proportion to the density of the dust and inversely according to the cube of the difference in velocities of the Solar System and the dust cloud, has almost certainly been mentioned in previous messages. Among other things they showed that very slight changes in these effects could bring about changes in radiation of from 1% to a 1,000%. They said whether there is an ice age or a heat age such as the Carboniferous, would depend on the relative velocities, lower velocities giving heat and higher velocities, ice. While there would be mass changes, these would be minimal.

Readers will recall that in 1977 NASA reported that both their Pioneer probes had found hydrogen and helium (10 particles per cc) flowing into our Solar System from ahead of the Sun's path in space at 72,400 kph and I understand the Voyagers also reported this so it hasn't come as much surprise that reports of global climate change have begun to come in since then.

So far as I'm aware, this hydrogen and helium is still flowing into our system - or has it ceased to do so and I've simply missed the report? Apart altogether from hydrogen and helium though, there seem to be some indications from recent analysis of dust captured by various probes in interplanetary space that at least some of this is carbonaceous and much denser than either hydrogen or helium. Do we know for certain that all such has been in our Solar System since its birth and that none of this more dense material is still flowing in?

Some now say our world is warming and some that we are cooling. Perhaps for political reasons born maybe out of jealousy of what they see as wicked industrialists and/or of envy of wealthier folk than themselves flying off to Spain or further for their holidays, rather than for scientific reasons, a large proportion of the warming lobby insist that this is caused by human CO2 emissions and that Earth's own environment has nothing or little to do with it. Clearly though, any such belief must result at least partially from ignorance as Earth's own space environment must scientifically affect our environment on the surface in some manner however small.

Accordingly it seems that Hoyle and Lyttleton have been correct to at least some extent whereby if hydrogen and helium and just maybe something else, are still flowing into our Solar System it must be in our interest to determine how much of what have entered our system, how much is still likely to do so, where in our system this is likely to accumulate and what effects this may have on our future? If our Solar System is entering an interstellar dust or gas cloud, how large is this and how long will we be in it?

While I am in no way trying to maintain that Hoyle's and Lyttleton's thesis is the sole cause of any change that may be taking place it does seem likely to be relevant to at least some extent so the above questions do need to be answered or the effect as more and more accumulates, perhaps between us and the Sun, may be much greater in the future without our having been properly forewarned. In view of this, might the expertise of a number of CCNet readers between them be able to come up with at least some of the necessary knowledge? Perhaps some are already trying to check the answers to these or similar questions?

I would expect that educated sensible Governments have already ordered that such research be undertaken. If not, I do very much wonder why not? It seems strange to me that the media don't seem to have mentioned this aspect of climate change at any time.


An email from Bob Carter []

You will undoubtedly have marvelled over the last few years at the large number of "Climate Conferences" that are held around the world. I would guess that on average they amount to at least one large conference a month - all sponsored and supported by some combination of the IPCC, governments, government science agencies, embassies and industry associations.

The publicity and press treatment that these conferences receive portrays them as if they were "science" conferences. In fact, nearly all are carefully contrived political events, and the scientists who attend them are there for networking and political purposes; presenting or listening to new science is almost never the objective, and known climate rationalist scientists are almost universally excluded from participation.

Knowledgeable, research-active climate scientists understand this conference junkfest phenomenon, and that their own personal professional credibility rests upon delivering papers at genuine science congresses such as the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco every December, or at regional and special-interest group research meeetings.

In 2006, three much publicised climate conferences were held in Australia and New Zealand. Subsequent to the one that was held in Wellington I conducted an appraisal of its nature and outcomes. Muriel Newman has recently posted my review of this conference on her widely read website. An extract follows.

"The Wellington Climate Change and Governance conference succeeded in reinforcing the already strong public impression that dangerous human-caused climate change is occurring, and that this change can be prevented by limiting human emissions of greenhouse gas. However, to the degree that the conference was intended to contribute to a balanced public debate on human-caused global warming, it failed.

The major sponsors of the conference included organisations whose charter includes the disinterested presentation of high-quality science, and civil social responsibility; these organisations failed in their duty of public care.

In addition, media coverage of the conference was "balanced" in only the most superficial way; news reports concentrated heavily on climate alarmism, and failed to follow up on the caveats which were expressed by the more responsible speakers at the conference.

Troublesome ethical issues emerge, the most important of which include the role in society of scientific organisations and universities, and the way in which government-employed and other scientists are today constrained in the public comment that they can make on controversial issues of the day. Another major concern is the way in which scientific results are now routinely deployed into the public domain with a clear propaganda intent.

The Wellington climate conference displayed clearly the unacceptable price that society pays when it allows science to be corrupted by politicization. The future assessment of complex scientific and technological issues like climate change needs to be much more rigorously bias-proofed. At the very least this will require the routine use of counterweight and audit panels for rigorous verification of all major policy recommendations.

These major conclusions about the Wellington climate conference apply also to many other similar climate meetings that are held around the world."

More here

Muriel Newman published an editorial by Ron Smith at about the same time that also deals with the issue of the politicization of climate science.

"In the contemporary world of public financing of intellectual activity, there are also more subtle pressures towards conformity. One of the many baleful consequences of directed or 'performance'-based research funding is the extent to which it privileges the prejudices and paradigms of those holding power in the system at any time. The result is to favor for research support and publication those who follow the party-line. This characteristic, and the dominating connection between this activity and promotion, ensures the production of vast quantities of mediocre and repetitive material in our universities and like establishments and discourages the long-term and more speculative activity that used to be their academic glory. It is to the continuing shame of all the New Zealand universities that this is so. In this connection it is noteworthy that in the UK the panels making these systemic judgments about academic worth have now been instructed to destroy all the notes on which the judgments were made."

More here

Environmental group ties floods to global warming

They would. Floods, droughts, who cares? It's ALL due to global warming. Australia had a bit of a drought a year or so ago and all the pundits said it was an effect of global warming

The disastrous floods that ravaged southern Wisconsin this week are consistent with global warming predictions by Clean Wisconsin in a January 2007 report. The report, "Global Warming Arrives in Wisconsin," forecast that global warming would lead to increased instances of severe droughts, more intense floods and increased snowfall, Clean Wisconsin said in a news release. Clean Wisconsin, the state's largest environmental advocacy organization, was founded as Wisconsin's Environmental Decade.

"In the year and a half since the release of this report, we have seen a summer of extreme drought end with intense flooding, a winter of record snowfall and now a spring ending with some of the worst flooding in recent memory," Keith Reopelle, senior policy director at Clean Wisconsin. "Many of the impacts of global warming are occurring much sooner than predicted."

While no single weather event can be attributed to global warming, the increasing intensity of weather patterns suggests we may be witnessing the first major impacts in Wisconsin, the organization said. Scientists predict that increased temperatures will increase winter precipitation by 15 to 30 percent while decreasing summer precipitation by up to 20 percent. Less frequent but more intense storms explain the increased likelihood of summer droughts and floods. "This week we have all witnessed the economic, environmental and emotional devastation intense weather events can bring," Reopelle said. "These floods demonstrate the terrible risks associated with global warming."

More here

Australia's muddled "Green" policies

By Barry Cohen (Barry Cohen is a former environment minister in the Hawke Labor government)

I'm confused. And I'm not alone. For eons environmentalists have been rabbiting on about our dependence on coal, oil and the carbon emissions they produce. "Let's go solar," was their cry, for the one thing Australia was not short of was sun. And we have the skin cancers to prove it. With our engineers and scientists in the vanguard of solar technology it appeared the way to go. I was convinced to go solar many years ago. While the electricity bill remained unchanged, I gained a psychological advantage over my critics. As environment minister, there was no shortage of those. The introduction by the Howard government of an $8000 rebate on solar panels, had tempted me to try again. The balance of $12,000 was a small price to pay for that feeling of superiority and the warm inner glow.

The dream ended when the budget restricted rebates to those with incomes of under $100,000. Overnight, 90 per cent of orders were cancelled. The industry, unable to sustain that level of cuts was, to put it mildly, thoroughly pissed off while environmentalists are having difficulty recognising the Government that received a standing ovation in Bali.

Environment minister Peter Garrett, asked at Question Time to apologise to the solar industry, had an interesting response. He told the house that the program, "was oversubscribed and would have overheated and produced, in the solar industry, demand fluctuations such that it would have made this industry very difficult to be sustainable. Compressing the plan for five years to three years the industry would have greater sustainability." Having spent a lifetime in business, I had difficulty grasping how an industry going gangbusters could be in trouble. My experience had been the opposite.

The decision, we were told, was an exercise in cutting down on middle-class welfare. However, the rebate was not welfare but an incentive to encourage as many people as possible to go solar to cut carbon emissions. What difference does it make if those that do are rich, poor or middle class? The result is the same. If anything, the more affluent are likely to use more electricity and produce more carbon emissions. Ask Al Gore.

Equally confusing was the decision to whack the rich by pushing up the price of luxury cars. Now, I define the rich as anyone who earns more than me, so I'm all for making them suffer but surely the way to go is to use the tax system to encourage motorists to switch to fuel-efficient cars. Again, it doesn't much matter who cuts down carbon emissions as long as it happens. The rich can afford to pay and think how good they'll feel. The recent budget was the opportune time to abolish the tariff concessions on 4WDs. Introduced originally as a subsidy for farmers, it became a fashion statement for yuppies who rarely, if ever, went off-road. OK, I have one but so would you if you owned a wildlife sanctuary and had to drive up and down cliffs.

I've previously 'fessed up to being a climate-change sceptic which, these days, is marginally better than being a pedophile but I will support any measure that reduces pollution and congestion. If the Government is serious about climate change, then they should use the taxation system to lower the cost of fuel-efficient cars and increase the price of gas-guzzlers. There will never be a better time.

The most surprising omission from this, and past budgets, was the failure to end the financial advantage given to those who drive to work over those who use public transport. The former can claim all car expenses against their taxable income while the latter can't claim anything. Work vehicles aside, it should be the other way around.

Soaring fuel prices have already caused hundreds of thousands to switch to public transport but isn't that what we wanted? Reverse tax deductibility and it will snowball. Cities will become livable again and our transport system will be profitable.

Finally to an obsession that has been with me since I entered parliament 40 years ago: controlling our population growth. I was stunned at the recent news that next year Australia will bring in 300,000 immigrants. That's about double the average over the past 50 years, so we can expect to have 30 million within 20 years. Guess where most will live? In our capital cities, of course. Imagine Sydney and Melbourne each with about an extra three million. It's madness. As global warming and climate change are the direct result of individual demand for more and more energy then surely we should be trying to contain our population growth?

"We need more skilled workers," the pro-migration lobby cries. Fine, bring in skilled workers and limit the other categories.

I'm reluctant to give prime ministers advice, mainly because they don't take kindly to advice from feather dusters. Let me make an exception. Prime Minister, there is, at the moment, an extraordinary amount of goodwill in the nation towards you and your Government. Australians understand there is a crisis and are prepared to make sacrifices and suffer pain providing you take them into your confidence and the pain is fairly and evenly distributed. They also want consistency. At the moment there are too many contradictions.

At the risk of being melodramatic this is the time for you to go Churchillian and call for "blood, toil, tears and sweat", not palliatives and cosmetics.



A group of real estate developers and property owners in La Manga del Mar Menor - a spit of sandy, low-lying coastal land and Murcia's premier beach resort - are threatening to take Greenpeace to court over its graphic predictions of what global warming may do to the area, which they say have caused house prices to plummet. The lawsuit, which the plaintiffs plan to present unless Greenpeace agrees to an out of court settlement of almost EUR 30 million in damages, comes more than six months after La Manga featured prominently in a photo book published by the environmental organisation that was intended to shock Spain into action on climate change.

Along with photos of a dried up Ebro River in Zaragoza and a desert in an area of Valencia now filled with lemon and orange groves, the book, Photoclima, shows digitally modified photos of La Manga submerged in water with only the tops of hotels, apartment blocks and palm trees emerging from the blue Mediterranean. Greenpeace says the book is a graphic portrayal of the conclusions of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has predicted that global warming will cause sea levels to rise around the world over the coming decades. "We want to create alarm and a call to action," Juan Lopez de Uralde, Greenpeace's director in Spain, said when the book was published.

The photographs certainly caused alarm in La Manga. According to Jose Angel Abad, a lawyer who has taken up the case of the area's aggrieved developers and home owners, prices have plunged by "50 percent" in recent months - a dramatic fall even in light of the end of a nationwide house price boom. "Greenpeace manipulated the expected rise in sea levels of half a metre to cause alarm. It has sunk the real estate market: no one is buying and everyone has put their apartments up for sale," Abad claims. He says his clients are seeking EUR 27 million in damages to cover the decrease in the value of their properties.

However, Greenpeace has no intention of settling out of court, arguing that the La Manga property owners are trying to "blackmail" it into footing the bill for their speculation in the real estate market. "They're trying to blame Greenpeace and its campaign for the problems they have encountered in a market saturated thanks to real estate speculation," Uralde said this week. "We are not going to be intimidated."


Monsoon rains arrive early in India

Global cooling?

India's annual monsoon rains have swept across the country about two weeks ahead of schedule, their earliest for over a century. The rains are essential for the farms that provide a livelihood for 60 per cent of India's 1.1 billion people. Rainfall over the first two weeks of June was more than 40 per cent above average for the time of year, good news for consumer hit by rising food prices. But officials said that at least 23 people had died in floods, landslides and building collapses caused by the monsoon.

Subhash Chander Bhan, the director of the India Meteorological Department, said that widespread rainfall cooled northern India, with the region's high temperature today pegged at 93F (34F), 11F (5C) below normal. He said that the monsoon hit New Delhi yesterday - the earliest arrival of the rains in the city since recordkeeping began 108 years ago - and would soon cover almost the entire country, Bhan said. The early monsoon is not being linked to climate change.

The monsoon usually begins sweeping across the subcontinent in early June, but rarely reaches New Delhi and the rest of northern India before the beginning of July. In one district of Assam, at least 50,000 people had be taken to higher ground by rescuers in motorboats and rowing boats.



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