Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Junk Science: Time to Retire 'Denier'

In Charles Krauthammer's May 30 must-read column, "Carbon Chastity," he rightly lambastes environmentalists as resurrected communists/socialists who have latched on to the environment and climate change as a means to advance their anti-people social agenda. The specific occasion for his justifiable outrage is a recent proposal by a British parliamentary committee to institute a personal carbon ration card for every citizen. The plan would place limits on food and energy consumption in the form of credits not to be exceeded - except through the potential for heavy-carbon users, often the wealthy, to purchase credits from lower-carbon users, often the less wealthy. In other words, their answer to global warming is wealth redistribution.

Though I thoroughly endorse Krauthammer's condemnation of the plan, I have to take issue with his adoption of loaded terms straight out of the green lexicon to argue his point. In trying to position his agnosticism on whether man-made CO2 emissions are actually cause for concern, his column begins: "I am not a global warming believer. I am not a global warming denier."

The term "denier" is the environmentalists' preferred means of tar-and-feathering anyone who dares question climate alarmism - a key tactic in their effort to dupe the nation into consuming the green Kool-Aid. Environmentalists have convinced many in the mainstream media that skepticism toward the very shaky science behind global warming alarmism is akin to the indescribeably creepy views of anti-Semitics who deny that the Holocaust occurred.

One event is an indisputable historical fact of hideous dimensions; the prophesied specter of catastrophic global warming, however, is just a politically driven fear scenario based on unreliable computer models and the wishful bending of the laws of climate physics. There is no comparison. Can anyone reasonably equate, say, the 31,000 U.S. scientists, engineers and physicians who recently signed a petition against global warming alarmism - including Princeton theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson and Massachusetts Institute of Technology climatologist Richard Lindzen - with the likes of neo-Nazis and Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who constantly calls for Israel's destruction?

Surely Krauthammer doesn't intend to make any such equation, but his adoption of the greens' most effective word weaponry nonetheless plays into their thought-shaping rhetoric. Even when embedded in an argument contrary to green policies, the word "denier" still demonizes by summoning the vile immorality of those who would deny crimes against humanity.

One also could build a case against man's "carbon footprint," another fiendishly effective green-sponsored image and a term Krauthammer uses matter-of-factly even as he logically details the possibility that Earth's own massive outpouring of CO2 very well may dwarf man-made carbon output into total irrelevance.

Let's consider a few facts. CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas in the atmosphere that is measured in parts per million, or ppm. The vast majority of CO2 emissions, about 97 percent, comes from Mother Nature. CO2 is nowhere near the most important greenhouse gas; water vapor holds that distinction. An astounding 99.9 percent of Earth's greenhouse gas effect has nothing to do with manmade CO2 emissions.

If that's not enough, we can look at graphs of the historical relationship between carbon dioxide and global temperature. Ice core data going back 650,000 years show that global temperatures increase before CO2 levels. Data from the 20th century indicate no particular relationship between CO2 emissions and global temperature.

Finally, there is no scientific proof that the current level of atmospheric CO2 or that levels projected by the United Nations - about 700 ppm by 2095 if no greenhouse gas regulations are put in place - has or will cause any harm to the environment. Alarmist gloom-and-doom forecasts also are based on nothing more than the rankest speculation dressed up as computer models that remain wholly unverifiable.

Yet, despite all this lack of evidence, the solitary term "man's carbon footprint" manages to concretize the notion of mankind producing indelible damage upon the Earth while in the process of stampeding its flora and fauna. For any effective critique of global warming hysteria, we have to move beyond these powerful yet baseless buzz words that undermine any rational case in which they are found.



THE Department of Finance does not believe the Government can meet its climate change targets. In a private memo, department officials admitted: "We have doubts about the likelihood of success." The National Climate Change Strategy 2007-2012, published in April last year, outlined how the Government would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 13% on 1990 levels to meet the targets set down in the Kyoto protocol. The target date to achieve these reductions is 2012.

Shortly after entering coalition last summer, Green Party leader and Environment Minister John Gormley promised: "This government will deliver on Ireland's Kyoto protocol commitments and will prepare Ireland for the further emissions reductions that lie ahead."

But in the private briefing paper prepared for Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, his officials are pessimistic about the chances of success. The paper, prepared for the incoming minister in advance of the appointment of the new government was released to the Irish Examiner under the Freedom of Information Act. "We are obliged to meet certain climate change targets under the current Kyoto agreement. A National Climate Change Strategy published last year outlines how this will be done. We have doubts about the likelihood of success, but D/EHLG (Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government) is doing work at present that will better inform us," it states.

The finance paper also casts doubt about the possibility of meeting separate, more severe targets laid down by the EU for 2020.

More here


For months, Democrats and the environmental lobby promoted last week's Senate global-warming debate as a political watershed. It was going to be the historic turning point in U.S. climate change policy. In the event, their bill collapsed in a little more than three days.

Democrats failed to secure a majority, much less the 60 Senators necessary, for a procedural vote on Friday morning that would have allowed the real work of amending the bill to begin. By that point, Majority Leader Harry Reid had already made it plain that he wanted the bill off the floor as quickly as possible - despite calling climate change "the most critical issue of our time." But not critical enough, apparently, even to let his Members vote on the merits, much less amendments.

The strange death of this year's cap-and-trade movement was so unexpected that some are already predicting a shift in the politics of global warming. That's premature. Still, the postmortem holds lessons for the next time this issue emerges.

Until last week, the Democratic M.O. on climate change was to lash the Bush Administration for its supposed inaction and then pass responsibility onto regulators and the courts. Proponents thought they had the whip hand. Yet this time they had to defend an actual piece of legislation - and once it was subjected to even preliminary scrutiny, the Democrats crumpled faster than you can say $4 gas.

Bad timing was the least of it. Republicans methodically dismantled the cost and complexity of "cap and trade," which sounds harmless but would inflict collateral damage on the wider economy in lost GDP and higher prices up and down the energy chain. Conveniently, the Democrats would also bestow unto Congress (read: themselves) some $6.7 trillion in new tax revenues and carbon welfare handouts over the next four decades. Some of the most effective opponents - like freshman GOP Senator Bob Corker - support climate regulation but view the current scheme as frivolous, dishonest or both.

Their task was helped along by the incompetence of the Democrats, especially floor manager Barbara Boxer. Environmentalists deemed it blasphemy that anyone would oppose their grand ambitions, instead of trying to persuade. "I resent the Senator from Tennessee saying our bill is a slush fund," Ms. Boxer said at one point, apparently serious.

After Mr. Corker called the bill "the mother of all earmarks" and "a huge unnecessary transference of wealth," Ms. Boxer was reduced to arguing that it's really "a huge tax cut for the American people" and "will not increase gas prices." These are delusions, or worse. Cap and trade is designed to raise energy prices, which are supposed to spur the investments and behavior changes needed for a less carbon-intensive economy.

Such realities are beginning to seep into liberal precincts. After the bill bottomed out, no fewer than 10 Democrats from the Midwest and South - whose economies rely on coal-fired power or heavy industry and thus will be disproportionately affected - registered their displeasure with Mr. Reid and Ms. Boxer. Including Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Carl Levin (Michigan), Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia) and Jim Webb (Virginia), the Senators said they could not support cap and trade "in its current form" because it would cause "undue hardship on our states, key industrial sectors and consumers."

Even Barack Obama and John McCain backed away from a bill they claim to favor. Mr. McCain said he opposed it because it didn't do enough for nuclear power, while Mr. Obama blamed the failure on Republicans. But the word on Capitol Hill is that both Presidential candidates urged Mr. Reid to yank the bill, lest they get trapped into voting for higher energy prices.

Maybe a vast reordering of the American economy in the name of solving a speculative problem isn't as popular as the greens believe. And perhaps President Bush's approach to climate change - voluntary reductions and subsidies for alternative technology - will seem a lot more realistic once the partisan fevers of the moment have passed.

That's not to say that cap and trade won't return in a more politically potent form next year. The greens will regroup and try to do a better job of buying off their adversaries, especially businesses that could profit from carbon regulation. Nonetheless, this past week has shown that the more transparent any cap and trade debate is, the less chance this tax and spend idea will become law.



There is something comically forlo rn about the BBC's continued efforts to promote its frenetically one-sided belief in global warming. It was inevitably quick, for instance, to pick up on that bishop who suggested anyone who refuses to save the planet from global warming was morally comparable with Josef Fritzl, the Austrian who fathered seven children on the daughter he kept for 24 years in a dungeon. But how about these headlines?

"Globally, 2008 significantly cooler than last year", "Global temperatures dive in May". Not a word about this on the BBC, although they summarised two items on the Watts Up With That website run by the US meteorologist Anthony Watts, reporting the latest data from Dr Roy Spencer, formerly head of climate studies for Nasa.

Based on satellite and balloon temperature readings taken at various levels up to 135,000ft, the first item showed that global temperatures in the first months of 2008 were on average between 0.4 and 0.5 degrees Celsius lower than they were at the same time in 2007. The second said that temperatures in May again fell sharply, by nearly 0.2 of a degree, bringing the drop since January 2007 to 0.77 degrees.

In other words, in just 16 months we have seen global cooling greater than the 0.7 degrees net warming recorded by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the whole of the 20th century. Yet it was on this figure more than anything else that the whole warmist theory has been based. Those IPCC computer models never predicted anything like this recent drop in temperatures.

We can be sure that if the data showed a jump of that magnitude in warming rather than cooling, it would have been top of the BBC news. But it no more earned a mention than the truly unimaginable costs envisaged in the "carbon reduction" bill put before the US Senate last week.

This solemnly proposed that the US should spend $6.7 trillion to achieve a cut in carbon emissions of 66 per cent by 2050 (even more than the target adopted by the EU). It was described as heralding the most massive shock to the US economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Even if there is no chance of this bill succeeding until George Bush is out of the White House, it may well get a fairer wind under Obama or McCain. Before the world commits economic suicide, it might be an idea to look at the theory again in the light of those latest temperature figures.


Planet getting Greener

Planet Earth is on a roll! GPP is way up. NPP is way up. To the surprise of those who have been bearish on the planet, the data shows global production has been steadily climbing to record levels, ones not seen since these measurements began.

GPP is Gross Primary Production, a measure of the daily output of the global biosphere --the amount of new plant matter on land. NPP is Net Primary Production, an annual tally of the globe's production. Biomass is booming. The planet is the greenest it's been in decades, perhaps in centuries.

Until the 1980s, ecologists had no way to systematically track growth in plant matter in every corner of the Earth -- the best they could do was analyze small plots of one-tenth of a hectare or less. The notion of continuously tracking global production to discover the true state of the globe's biota was not even considered.

Then, in the 1980s, ecologists realized that satellites could track production, and enlisted NASA to collect the data. For the first time, ecologists did not need to rely on rough estimates or anecdotal evidence of the health of the ecology: They could objectively measure the land's output and soon did -- on a daily basis and down to the last kilometre.

The results surprised Steven Running of the University of Montana and Ramakrishna Nemani of NASA, scientists involved in analyzing the NASA data. They found that over a period of almost two decades, the Earth as a whole became more bountiful by a whopping 6.2%. About 25% of the Earth's vegetated landmass -- almost 110 million square kilometres -- enjoyed significant increases and only 7% showed significant declines. When the satellite data zooms in, it finds that each square metre of land, on average, now produces almost 500 grams of greenery per year.

Why the increase? Their 2004 study, and other more recent ones, point to the warming of the planet and the presence of CO2, a gas indispensable to plant life. CO2 is nature's fertilizer, bathing the biota with its life-giving nutrients. Plants take the carbon from CO2 to bulk themselves up -- carbon is the building block of life -- and release the oxygen, which along with the plants, then sustain animal life. As summarized in a report last month, released along with a petition signed by 32,000 U. S. scientists who vouched for the benefits of CO2: "Higher CO2 enables plants to grow faster and larger and to live in drier climates. Plants provide food for animals, which are thereby also enhanced. The extent and diversity of plant and animal life have both increased substantially during the past half-century."

Lush as the planet may now be, it is as nothing compared to earlier times, when levels of CO2 and Earth temperatures were far higher. In the age of the dinosaur, for example, CO2 levels may have been five to 10 times higher than today, spurring a luxuriantly fertile planet whose plant life sated the immense animals of that era. Planet Earth is also much cooler today than during the hothouse era of the dinosaur, and cooler than it was 1,000 years ago during the Medieval Warming Period, when the Vikings colonized a verdant Greenland. Greenland lost its colonies and its farmland during the Little Ice Age that followed, and only recently started to become green again.

This blossoming Earth could now be in jeopardy, for reasons both natural and man-made. According to a growing number of scientists, the period of global warming that we have experienced over the past few centuries as Earth climbed out of the Little Ice Age is about to end. The oceans, which have been releasing their vast store of carbon dioxide as the planet has warmed -- CO2 is released from oceans as they warm and dissolves in them when they cool -- will start to take the carbon dioxide back. With less heat and less carbon dioxide, the planet could become less hospitable and less green, especially in areas such as Canada's Boreal forests, which have been major beneficiaries of the increase in GPP and NPP.

Doubling the jeopardy for Earth is man. Unlike the many scientists who welcome CO2 for its benefits, many other scientists and most governments believe carbon dioxide to be a dangerous pollutant that must be removed from the atmosphere at all costs. Governments around the world are now enacting massive programs in an effort to remove as much as 80% of the carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere.

If these governments are right, they will have done us all a service. If they are wrong, the service could be all ill, with food production dropping world wide, and the countless ecological niches on which living creatures depend stressed. The second order effects could be dire, too. To bolster food production, humans will likely turn to energy intensive manufactured fertilizers, depleting our store of non-renewable resources. Techniques to remove carbon from the atmosphere also sound alarms. Carbon sequestration, a darling of many who would mitigate climate change, could become a top inducer of earthquakes, according to Christian Klose, a geohazards researcher at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Because the carbon sequestration schemes tend to be located near cities, he notes, carbon-sequestration-caused earthquakes could exact an unusually high toll.

Amazingly, although the risks of action are arguably at least as real as the risks of inaction, Canada and other countries are rushing into Earth-altering carbon schemes with nary a doubt. Environmentalists, who ordinarily would demand a full-fledged environmental assessment before a highway or a power plant can be built, are silent on the need to question proponents or examine alternatives.

Earth is on a roll. Governments are too. We will know soon enough if we're rolled off a cliff.



[...] Lovelock assures us that he does not agree with the "totalitarian greens, sometimes called eco-fascists," who want to see most of the human race "eliminated" by genocide so as to leave a "perfect Earth for them alone." That's a relief. But wait -- he then tells us that if we survive the current crisis, our next goal must be to forcibly reduce our numbers: "If we are to continue as a civilization that successfully avoids natural catastrophes, we have to make our own constraints on growth and make them strong and make them now." As it is, we are unintentionally at war with Gaia and must agree to "wartime" rationing and temporary "loss of freedom." Strong constraints? Loss of freedom? What's the difference between this and ecofascism? And how far down will our population have to plummet to satisfy Gaia? Actually, Lovelock states that something like nine-tenths of our population must vanish: "Personally I think we would be wise to aim at a stabilized population of about half to one billion." To accomplish this goal, both the birth rate and death rate would have to be "regulated" as "part of population control." So we are to be bred, managed, and put down just like a herd of animals on a farm. If this isn't totalitarianism, what is?

[...] How could such a misanthropic ecofascism have spread so far, so fast? Very likely the decline of Christianity in the West has led to the rise of this neo-pagan abjection before the material world. Lovelock believes that all the traditional religions of the world are out of date, for they were all founded when we were few in number and when we "lived in a way that was no burden to the Earth." Past teachings on morality no longer apply now that we have become "six billion hungry and greedy individuals." He reserves a special animus for Christianity, where man is seen as the steward of creation: "The idea that humans are yet intelligent enough to serve as stewards of the Earth is among the most hubristic ever." What Christians need, he sneers, is "a new Sermon on the Mount" to tell us how to live "decently with the Earth." He finds fault with "secular humanists," too, for he thinks they need to turn to Gaia and "recognize that human rights and needs are not enough."

Gaia Theory and Deep Ecology are two handmaids of the Culture of Death. Their precursor was the eugenics movement of a century ago that imposed birth control and forced sterilization on the supposedly "unfit." Today an artificially created panic about ecological catastrophe, derived from Gaia Theory and Deep Ecology, lies behind a seemingly unstoppable movement for sterile sex by way of birth control, sterilization, chemical and surgical abortions, homosexuality, and the infanticide of newborns (called "infant euthanasia"). Deep ecologists and Gaia theorists try to terrify us with environmental degradation in order to pursue their main program -- population control. For even when their prophecies of doom prove to be false or exaggerated, these zealots immediately point to another imminent disaster and call for man to reduce his numbers.

We should understand that when the leaders of the Culture of Death look at us, they don't see so many individuals with immortal souls and eternal destinies, each one having an incalculable value in the eyes of God, since the divine Word saved us with His own blood. Rather they see a plague of alien creatures infesting an imagined divinity. History shows that none are more fanatical than those on the march to Utopia. The Gaia theorists and the Deep Ecology zealots are certainly marching lockstep right now toward their imagined paradise. The mirage they have in view is one with so few people left on the planet that their great goal will finally be achieved -- the total "noninterference" of man with the wilderness of the Earth. What a dismal, misanthropic idea of paradise!

More here


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The name 'Lovelock' is a sign that the creator is toying with us, letting wolves in sheep costumes become intellectual celebrities. 'Lovelock' is a name like 'DoctorPayne'.

The creator wants to leave little clues here and there that he is allowing the anti-creators airtime. In the late 50s he allowed the anti-creator to offer us spiritual-revelation creating drugs, creating a world-changing youth movement. It created the personal computer and the Net (the first commercial transaction on DARPANET being an innocent drug deal). Steve Jobs asked original members of the Mac computer project about their prior use of LSD, as one of his main questions, for instance.

But the rest, the liberal arts types, grew up to become the Yuppies and the Clintons (the letters rearrange to: 'I No Clit Sin"). Having never grown up, the generation now called the Boomers, and they, in an infantile sense, want free medicine and a nanny state. Occam's Razor alone proves my point, for other explanations are simply multi-node conspiracy theories.

'Al Gore' rings of 'Vlad the Impaler'.

'Michael Moore' (who wanting so much more cake is digging his own grave bite by bite).

It's Hillarious!

Last century (citation: 'Hitler's Willing Executioners' book) he allowed an entire Western nation to go berzerk, to show how stupid intellectuals were, as monkey brains manipulated anti-creator inspired language and abstract thought to allow us some creation/destruction power of their own. But world wars suddenly ended via the Bomb, being based on pure mathematics contained a Love Bomb character.

In a real sense, Humanity passed a test. The world did not end. It was a physical test that involved technologists wedded with leaders. The anti-creator's plan to turn Earth to charcoal backfired in a policy of Mutually Assured Destruction. Children no longer learn to "duck and cover" in the middle Kansas.

The creator gave man free will. The anti-creator continues to try to sabotage this curse and gift, backfiring most of the time. That was the creator's point, to instill vice and never-satisfied status craving. His point is that hatred is a survival emotion, merely, but the love exists in pure mathematics, outside of time (and during time too thus).

The creator failed to trip us up last century, like he did so easily with the Romans, by allowing his anti-creator friend to give them geometry and writing and thus architecture and organization.

Now a more sophisticated test has been put in motion. It weds intellectuals with leaders WHO WERE TRAINED AS LAWYERS, to destroy civilization. The Net is the old technologists' contribution to our salvation, but anti-creators have done worse than hippies going into stock trading. They are not infantile this time. They are reincarnations of the archetype of the lawyer/intellectual/financier/propagandizer. They are not democratic, but barbarian. No 10K people rallies are involved. It's the creator's old tricks of a snake in the branches, telling people how to hide their corruption, with the fake promise that the UFOs will choose them alone as war heroes.

Are they evil in the dictionary sense? Without them to fight against, could we survive a new century, having no fight to fight? I suspect they are not evil as much as self-destructive and suicidal, people who want to create a boom and bust in the world economy and go down with it, ten times worse than normal folk. The mathematically pure love in them, coupled with brain-based personality disorders, makes them want to self-destruct, and since war is now too deadly, that means they have to destroy their entire culture and economy to avoid failure producing detection. Even seeing themselves in the mirror, clearly, would be horrifying. This explains the use of lawyers to draft treaties in "law speak" which forces creators of wealth to welfare-corrupt even the middle class, since the lower classes are already ruined (30% in jail and 40% HIV positive).

But the time between cause and effect has become to short, and the media (except in Canada) is free to show cause-and-effect in motion.

Our gods are no more immortal than those of the Greeks, and unlike the world of ignorance they kept us in for centuries, their main tool of mathematics is now unrestricted to us. Oops, one day, while napping, our creator neglected a mutation or two that gave us monkeys as many neurons in their brain as there literally are stars in the sky (100 billion) and these neurons reorganized, spontaneously, to make trillions of flexible connection instead of the mere billions of fixed connections that exist in other primates.

So in some sense we, really, are not meant to be here, at least not so soon after God fired his original staff of mortal Greek Gods.

This essay is not meant to be taken literally, but its point is that good intentions often backfire and that we know very little, so far, about what is really going on upon this blue speck of dust hurling 'round a star that prefers gray and orange neighbors.