Forget pretty much any news reporting you see that attributes disastrous phenomena to global warming, because it's all designed to create a fog surrounding the core issue: is climate change human-caused or not? A most recent example is from Monday's Washington Post, in which alarmist reporter Kari Lydersen (who has a long record of such journalism, in addition to work she does for leftist publications such as In These Times and the Progressive, on topics including "environmental racism") told about how waterborne diseases are expected to multiply due to future climate devastation:
Now, scientists say, it is a near-certainty that global warming will drive significant increases in waterborne diseases around the world. Rainfalls will be heavier, triggering sewage overflows, contaminating drinking water and endangering beachgoers. Higher lake and ocean temperatures will cause bacteria, parasites and algal blooms to flourish. Warmer weather and heavier rains also will mean more mosquitoes, which can carry the West Nile virus, malaria and dengue fever. Fresh produce and shellfish are more likely to become contaminated.
The inevitable devastating consequences, as in so many environmentalist reporter articles, dominate the opening paragraphs of Lydersen's piece. She follows by asserting that a trend of heavier rainfalls "will accelerate," citing the 2007 report of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
I asked Lydersen where in the IPCC report it states with certainty that heavier rainfalls would rapidly increase, and she promised to get back to me on that -- "That was paraphrasing, not a direct quote from the report," she told me in an email.
I'm sure. Regardless, this kind of distractive reporting buttresses the lucrative industry that is global warming alarmism. "It's going to cause sea levels to rise!" cry the coastal scientists and fisheries experts. "It will massively displace wildlife!" scream the biological scientists. "It will prolong droughts and intensify rainfalls," warn the geologists and agricultural scientists. Their wailing fills up their applications for billions of dollars in grants from governments and sympathetic nonprofit foundations.
But these outcries miss the point, because they do not address the core issue of whether the temperature uptick (of one degree Celsius) over the last century is attributable chiefly to man's influence and thus mitigable, or to natural fluctuations and that nothing can be done about it. In other words, the vast majority of research (80 percent? 90 percent? more?) tied to climate change has nothing to do with its cause. Therefore we have a whole derivative economic sector constructed on the foundation of a single premise: that increasing greenhouse gas emissions are having a greater impact on global climate than are other phenomena such as solar activity, cloud cover, ocean temperatures, El Nino/La Nina, etc.
If that single thesis is deemed false, then all these offshoot opportunities for researchers, government, universities, nonprofits, rent seekers, and media goes into a deep chill. Goodbye grants. Adios agency positions. Ciao, charitable contributions. So long, subsidies. And where hast thou gone, writing awards? Just think -- if it's shown beyond the mainstream media's reach that carbon dioxide and its gaseous sisters (methane and a few others) do not jack up the atmospheric temps, we would no longer have to live under the environoia of this collaborative claptrap.
So obviously it's in each of the alarmists' interests to dismiss their dissenters and undermine any evidence that global warming is not a threat to the planet or to mankind. Jim Martin, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, has said, "You could have a convention of all the scientists who dispute climate change in a relatively small phone booth."
There was the classic Newsweek smear job by Sharon Begley last August which labeled some differing-but-credible climate scientists as a fossil fuel industry-funded "denial machine." Meanwhile the green-journalism Society of Environmental Journalists marginalizes the opposers as "skeptics and contrarians." Discourteous folks call 'em "flat-earthers."
But the difficulty of the alarmists' protectionist task only grows. There has been no significant warming since 1995, and none at all since 1997. The numbers of detracting scientists were already sizable and are only continuing to grow (PDF). The oceans are cooling, Antarctic ice grows, current temperature measuring data are biased in favor of heat, and legitimate explanations for Arctic ice loss (by the way, not an unprecedented phenomenon) other than increased greenhouse gases are published.
When you think about it, the global warming industry is not dissimilar to the current mortgage-instigated mess the country now faces. We have a planetary heat crisis and an insufficient home ownership crisis. Government demands intervention to remedy both mistaken theories. Media joins in celebrating and promoting the new agenda. A bubbling system of artificial wealth is created. But because both foundations are shaky, they cannot hold up the continued weight placed upon them. One has finally collapsed. When will the other?
Source (See the original for links)
Seeding doubt: how sceptics use new media to delay action on climate change
By Alex Lockwood, University of Sunderland. Paper delivered to the Association for Journalism Education (AJE) annual conference, "New Media, New Democracy?" Sheffield University, 12th September 2008. Some deeply Fascist attitudes from a very dogmatic man. He offers not a single argument in favour of his warmist beliefs. He just asserts their truth
This paper explores the ways in which new media is used to derail action on climate change. Climate change can be a gloomy subject; but in the spirit of this conference I'll attempt to map out some productive coordinates for what is an increasingly urgent question. First I provide a (very) brief summary of the scientific consensus, and examples of where this is undermined online. Then I explore whether this phenomena is of substantive enough importance for our attention. Finally, I address its implications for new media and democratic renewal.
On 3rd August this year, IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri told the Chicago Tribune: "The science about climate change is very clear. There really is no room for doubt at this point."i Since publication of the 4th IPCC report in 2007, the mainstream media has, in general, accepted this position. As Andreadis and Smith (2007) note, UK journalists are no longer required to balance each warning voice. Writing in the Columbia Journalism Review, Cristine Russell concurred, suggesting that for US journalists "the era of `equal time' for sceptics... is largely over."ii
However, the results of a long campaign of disinformation are depressing. In a poll conducted by Ipsos Mori in June this year, 60% of the UK public agreed that "many scientific experts still question if humans are contributing to climate change." A third of Conservative MPsiii and three?quarters of Republicans in Congress think the same.iv
What is new media's role in this? Nearly a quarter of the world's population now use the Internet on a regular basis.v Over 41 million people went online in the UK in March 2008, 67% of the population.vi Yet little research has been conducted into the web's influence on climate consensus. It is interesting to return to Cristine Russell and her claim that "the era of `equal time' for sceptics... is largely over, except," she adds "on talk radio, cable and local television."vii
I have argued in a response to the CJRviii that Russell's list must include new media. My definition here includes what Clay Shirky calls the extra-institutional blogosphere (Shirky, 2008), as well as mainstream media and the multitude comments and links that extend through the web. It is my contention that new media is providing the spatial and temporal freedoms that, when combined with the ability to publish free from peer-review and from journalistic codes, provides the `room for doubt' for which Pachauri says there is no longer any time.
Do we have time for ill-informed scepticism and disinformation? As Oreskes and Renouf revealed just this Sunday on BBC2, we've had 30 years of it now.ix The IPCC warn that we have only 10 years to act to avoid runaway climate change. The question could also be: does our democracy even have time for new media? Such a question is, to quote Raymond Williams, writing in 1974, one of the "extreme social choices" that we have to face as the result of a technology that is "used to affect, to alter, and in some cases control our whole social process" (Williams, 1974).
Anna Notaro argues, convincingly, this is more relevant for the Internet today than TV in the 1970s (Notaro, 2006). At around the same time, writing in 1971, Robert Dahl described societies as `polyarchies' or worlds of competing interests, where contested information is just one facet of that competition. This is a useful way to think about climate change in relation to democratic renewal, as sceptic discourses have been found to sow doubt as a means to protect the economic interests of Western enclaves (McCright and Dunlap, 2003).
What is the contribution made to this contest by new media? The question hangs off three issues: use, volume, and impact. I'll take each in turn. First, in what ways is new media used to spread sceptical discourse? Three examples. In December 2007, the New Statesman published an article by David Whitehouse claiming "global warming has, temporarily or permanently, ceased."x Three weeks later, New Statesman columnist and climate author Mark Lynas wrote: "Whitehouse got it wrong - completely wrong."xi Web editor Ben Davies let the forum debate run five months, attracting 3,004 comments: this could not happen in a letters page.
This delivers the promise of what Howard Rheingold saw as "a way of revitalising the open and widespread discussions among citizens that feeds the roots of democratic society" (Rheingold 1993). The important thing here is that the comments were in support of the sceptic Whitehouse, by a ratio of about six to one. Do we believe this ratio is representative, or just mimics the internecine morass afflicting news sites such as the Guardian's Comment is Free?
The same ratio was quoted by Downing and Ballantyne in their 2007 report `Turning Point or Tipping Point?' for comments received after the airing of Channel 4's Great Global Warming Swindle. According to them "Channel 4 anecdotally reported that among the 700 comments it received [including phone, but mainly online], supporters outnumbered critics six to one." Channel 4 Head of Documentaries Hamish Mykura, writing in the Guardian, used this `anecdotal' evidence to shore up its broadcast (to 2.7m viewers).xii
That comment-board rants are used to justify such flawed programming is indicative of the force of new media in promulgating sceptical positions. Andy Revkin, on the New York Times Dot Earth Blog in July, writes of the "whiplash" suffered by the public, "created by blow-by-blow media coverage of scientific findings on global warming." He quotes an expert on risk from Harvard, who explains the dizzying confusion as the result of "flaws in the web of relationships among participants in communication; these tend to amplify overstatements."
Revkin continues: "In the comments below, I'll add ideas and context provided by other experts whose voices didn't fit in the newspaper article-one of the values of a blog is that it provides depth for those seeking it."xiii Revkin handily summarises how his own new media practice-to compensate for the paper's space limitations-is central to the confusion he describes, and prompts us ask: how is it that unlimited new media space a priori has a wider set of parameters for assessing authentic viewpoints?
These examples are illustrative of the myriad ways in which different forms of new media are utilized to support climate disinformation. I have specifically chosen mainstream media sites, and their permeation into other forms of media, rather than individual blogs, to move away from the idea that it is only single issue fanatics (SIFs) that propagate climate denial.
There is presence, but what of the volume? There is very little research in this area, perhaps because as of February this year there were 112m blogs tracked by Technorati.com, not including the 72.8m in China.xiv In research to be published, Neil Gavin argues that few people are searching out climate change information online, and those that are find "an environment that is more digital jungle than `public cyber?sphere'" (Gavin, forthcoming).
However, rather than Googling as Gavin does, turning up 80 million entries for climate change or global warming, another starting point is to look at blog aggregation sites. While this omits traditional media, it is a good measure for extra-institutional influence. On Wikio, four of the top 20 science blogs are sceptics. The most successful, WattsUpWiththat.com, the US-based blog of sceptic and former weatherman Anthony Watts, in July this year posted 646,024 page views (2.8m since launch). It is in the top four of 3.4m blogs using the free online blog authoring tool, Wordpress xv. Using the latest Nielsen Net Ratings data, even the most conservative estimate would give it over 300,000 monthly visits and a readership of over 31,000 users.xvi Compare that to the New Statesman's 12.7% year-on-year decline, to headline sales of just over 26,000.
It is not just individuals. In McCright and Dunlap's 2003 study of the US rejection of Kyoto, they focused on 14 conservative think tanks that used their publishing capacities to "advance science-related positions outside of the peer-reviewed scientific community" (McCright & Dunlap, 2003). Of the 14 think tanks, eight have progressed to using blogs formats, e.g. Cato-at- Liberty, of the Cato Institute singled out for its propaganda in Nick Davies' book (Davies, 2008); the other six all publish daily or weekly updates on their existing sites.
In the UK sceptic sites are fewer, but are well read and bound up with concepts of nationalism. Climate denialist An Englishman's Castle is in Total Politics magazine's Top 20 libertarian blogs. Political sites dominate online, and many libertarian sites such as Newsbusters.com (70th most influential blog, according to Technorati.com) regularly support denialist views. It reminds us of John Armitage's note of warning, that "cybercultural technologies, like all technologies, are innately political" (Armitage, 1999).
In August Australia's ABC TV ran a news item where bloggers, not politicians, were the key sources. Australia's Herald Sun blogger Andrew Bolt was an interviewee. This his blog warning to a "lazy media": Many politicians tell me they've drawn on the blog for evidence to get their party to get tougher in resisting the global warming hysteria... But more than that, blogs like mine have given frustrated academics, even from India and Canada, a place to send dissenting material on global warming that much of the media prefers to ignore. A debate the media often says is "over" is on again. Thanks to blogs.xvii
Analysis of online does need some healthy, well, scepticism. As Mathew Nisbet argues, the fragmentation of media has meant information rich science enthusiasts get richer, while the lay citizen becomes even further excluded from the debate (Nisbet, forthcoming). And in his book Zero Comments, Geert Lovink critiques blogs for their `nihilist impulse' to undermine traditional media values through their in-crowd dynamic in which social ranking is the primary concern (Lovink, 2006). The rise of the issue enthusiast and lay expert is part of the `citizen journalism' revolution and is providing, to quote online journalism blogger Paul Bradshaw, "more boots on the ground than any commercial news operation... more background, savvy and commitment to the case."xviii
This has been rightly celebrated. But ascribing a "technological idealism" to the democratic potential of the Internet risks holding it apart from history and politics (Notaro, 2006). Anthony Watts and A Englishman's Castle are boots on the ground, but ones leaving heavy footprints.
So there is volume, but what of its impact? In research to be published, Krosnick found that including a sceptical perspective in a news story about global warming reduced the proportion of those who perceived scientific consensus from 58 to 47 percent.xix It is perhaps a question of amplification, the ways in which message multipliers use the web to not only publish but proliferate.xx In one of the few pieces of research addressing the issue, Ladle et al. tracked one climate science report published in the journal Nature, and found considerable misrepresentation of the report across the Internet from "self-styled `not forprofit' foundations with an explicit right-leaning political agenda" (Ladle et al., 2005). They found that "though there are relatively few anti-environmentalist sites on the Internet, they tend to rank high on search engines" due to optimization and in-crowd linking. The dangers of the amplification could result in, "web-literate laypersons [being] easily misled or polarised, undermining the considered public debate that underpins effective environmental policy" (Ibid.).
Perhaps the best known example of political impact has been the work of sceptical blogger Steve McIntyre, whose criticisms of the hockey stick graph used in the IPCC reports led to a US Congressional Committee to examine its validity. And politicians are beginning to engage further with online. In June, Liberal Democrat MP and environment spokesperson Steve Webb launched a campaign with `ten green bloggers' to influence the government to increase emissions reductions targets in the Climate Change Bill to 80%.xxi He may have been following Al Gore's recent surprise visit to the bloggers assembled at the Netroots Nation conference, telling them they "were on the leading edge of reclaiming American democracy."xxii And as Andreas Ytterstad says in his study of Norwegian blogger influence on government climate policy, misquoting H.G. Wells, it is surely the shape of things to come (Ytterstad 2008). According to Ofcom, UK use of online increased fourfold between 2002 and 2007.xxiii
So what does this mean for new media's democratic value? There is clearly a need for research into the ways in which climate scepticism online is free to contest scientific fact. But there is enough here already to put forward some of the ideas in circulation. One of the founders of the Internet Vint Cerf, and lead for Google's Internet for Everyone project, made a recent suggestion that the Internet should be nationalised as a public utility .xxiv As tech policy blogger Jim Harper argues, "giving power over the Internet to well-heeled interests and self-interested politicians" is, and I quote, "a bad idea."xxv Or in the UK every new online publication could be required to register with the recently announced Internet watchdog: from which at least the ownership and political economy of the web could be assessed.
However, a tale from Belarus, where a law requiring registration with the national government of every new blog has just been signed into force. Rightly, Reporters Without Borders called the law "repressive" and predict that censorship will increase.xxvi Suppressing debate where it legitimately exists risks leaving the mainstream agenda open to dismissal. `Green bully' and `religious environmentalist' personas are invoked as evidence of hysteria at the heart of environmental commitment.
In April this year, blogger Jo Abbess urged her readers to "challenge any piece of media that seems like it's been subject to spin or scepticism" after successfully petitioning the BBC's Roger Harrabin to correct an error on the news website.xxvii This was picked up by online magazine The Register, under the headline "Blog bully crows over BBC Climate Victory."xxviii
Ladle et al. advocate for "a clear, definitive, authoritative and realistic web resource written in accessible language that is explicit about the assumptions and limitations of the work... [and] a framework within which people can access information about new science, allowing them to access and judge information and its implications" (Ladle et al., 2005). While perhaps a utopian view, this does fit with the Habermasian [Juergen Habermas, a prominent Marxist theoretician] "electronic agora" promoted by Rheingold and others, and almost describes Yale University's new climate project, Yale 360.xxix
Finally, in his book The Future of the Internet: and How to Stop It, Jonathan Zittrain builds on his idea of a `generative Internet' that, borrowing from Chomsky, is predicated on the idea that finite tools-a PC, some code, enthusiasm-will lead to infinite new media freedoms. But Zittrain warns this is under threat from spam, viruses and malware, which for Becky Hogge, Founder of the Open Rights Group, are "turning people away from the Internet" into the arms of single networks tethered to corporate providers, such as Apple's iPhone or Microsoft's Xbox.xxx
I would argue that climate disinformation online is a form of cultural and political malware every bit as threatening to our new media freedoms, used not to foster a forum for open politics but to create, in Nancy Fraser's term, a "multiplicity of fragmented publics" that harms not only our democracy, but our planet (Fraser, 1993).
I promised I wouldn't be too miserable, so I'll leave you with: last month, a two-part article in the Columbia Journalism Review was written solely in response to not even a blog writer, but a blog commenter, Jeff Huggins, who has relentlessly challenged the ways in which climate change has been represented.xxxi As the scientists at RealClimate.org stated, these articles were "proof (if such were needed) that commenting on blogs can make a difference."xxxii
Should Greenies love hurricanes?
The torrential rains of a single typhoon can bury tons of carbon in the ocean, two new studies suggest. It's Nature's way of healing itself.
The findings help determine how much carbon that big storms have historically taken from the atmosphere and buried for thousands of years beneath the sea. More carbon could be buried by these storms if global warming increases their intensity and frequency, as some scientists have predicted.
Scientists have been looking at ways to store carbon to lower the levels of carbon dioxide building up in Earth's atmosphere. Scientists have long suspected that hurricanes and typhoons (along with cyclones and tropical depressions, these are all versions of storm systems called tropical cyclones) can cleanse the environment of a lot of carbon, because their rains sweep soil and plant material into rivers and then out to sea. This effect is particularly significant for mountainous islands prone to frequent hits from tropical cyclones.
Two different groups of researchers took samples of the sediment in rushing river waters on Taiwan during Typhoon Mindulle, which hit the island in July 2004.
One group, whose findings are detailed in the Oct. 19 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, took sediment samples from the LiWu River, while the other group, whose work is detailed in the June 2008 issue of the journal Geology, sampled the Chosui River.
The Nature Geoscience study, funded by The Cambridge Trusts and the U.K. National Environmental Research Council, found that 80 to 90 percent of the organic carbon (in the form of soil and plants) eroded by the storms around the LiWu were transported along the river to the ocean. By dangling one-liter plastic bottles over the Chosui River during the typhoon, the researchers of the Geology study found that 61 million tons of sediment washed out to sea from the river. The amount of carbon contained in that sediment is about 95 percent as much as the river transports during normal rains over the entire year. That works out to more than 400 tons of carbon washing away during the storm for each square mile of the watershed, the researchers reported. Their work was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
The carbon in the soil and plants came from carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When the storm washes the sediment out to sea, it can sink down to the deep ocean, where it will eventually compact and form rocks that can store that carbon for millions of years.
If typhoons and hurricanes do become more intense or frequent, as some models have indicated, the burial of carbon in the ocean from storm runoff could counteract some part of the warming, by locking the carbon away in the deep ocean, the researchers of the Nature Geoscience study said.
But typhoon runoff is not a cure-all for the carbon dioxide that's been building up in the Earth's atmosphere. Not enough carbon is washed down either as plant material and soil or by chemical weathering of rocks (where carbon dioxide and water disintegrate rock) to get rid of all the extra carbon dioxide that has built up in the atmosphere. "You'd have to weather [and erode] all the volcanic rocks in the world to reduce the CO2 back to pre-industrial times," said Anne Carey of Ohio State University and a member of the Geology study team.
Understanding how typhoon runoff fits into the Earth's carbon cycle could help sharpen climate change models, though.
Green Drivel, Green Deceit
We are all so besieged by the drivel that Greens put out daily that it is easy to forget how idiotic it is and, in many cases, how deceitful it is.
I recently received an emailed news release with the following headline: "If you don't know what to buy for the holidays, the Better World Shopping Guide will help you decide." The Guide is described as "a must-have guide for the socially and environmentally responsible consumer or those who want to improve their awareness."
The guide purports to evaluate 1,000 companies and 75 product categories to determine "a product's value by price point and its cost to society." This, my friends, is bull feathers! When you are buying Christmas gifts this year, buy something the recipients will actually enjoy. If you're in the mall trying to figure out which product threatens all life on Earth, you are certifiably insane.
Slowly, but surely, people are beginning to realize that the environmental movement is not about saving the Earth, but about destroying everything that passes for industry, business, and the enhancement of human life through the use of every kind of energy for transportation and other purposes.
An example of this is a recent editorial in New Scientist magazine titled, "The Folly of Growth: How to stop the economy killing the planet." Using the "environment" to hide behind, all manner of lies are put forth to justify everything from preposterous schemes such as "cap and trade" of "greenhouse gas emissions", also sometimes called "pollution credits", to the claim that we have to scrap the most effective means of generating electricity, coal and nuclear, for wind turbines and solar panels.
The famous line from the movie about the Watergate scandal was "Follow the money." Who will get rich selling "carbon/pollution credits"? Al Gore and his friends. Who benefits from efforts such as a proposition on the ballot in San Francisco to require that only "clean" energy be used? The owners and investors in wind and solar energy.
The bonus for the Greens is that these and other schemes will impoverish the economy worse than any sub-prime mortgage meltdown. If you have to pay out millions for "carbon credits", as utilities around the nation are already doing, the person who gets socked with the cost is ultimately to consumer.
Making energy expensive is the single most effective way of wrecking the economy.
To achieve this goal, the nation's environmental organizations are pouring millions into getting Barack Obama elected. The trade publication, Greenwire, has published an article that affirms the findings of Sen. James Inhofe's (R-OK) investigation into the multi-million dollar funding and partisan political activities of environmental groups. They are non-profits that are not supposed to engage in partisan political activities, but as the article points out, "In every instance, the environmental groups are backing the Democrat."
Whether it's what to buy for Christmas, the increased cost of the electricity from your utility or national politics, the Greens are involved via propaganda, bizarre schemes to undermine the nation's energy needs, or who gets elected.
You are being played for a chump while the Greens pick your pockets.
Less Ice In Arctic Ocean 6000-7000 Years Ago
I guess it was all those SUVs the cavemen were driving
Recent mapping of a number of raised beach ridges on the north coast of Greenland suggests that the ice cover in the Arctic Ocean was greatly reduced some 6000-7000 years ago. The Arctic Ocean may have been periodically ice free.
"The climate in the northern regions has never been milder since the last Ice Age than it was about 6000-7000 years ago. We still don't know whether the Arctic Ocean was completely ice free, but there was more open water in the area north of Greenland than there is today," says Astrid Lys†, a geologist and researcher at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU).
Together with her NGU colleague, Eiliv Larsen, she has worked on the north coast of Greenland with a group of scientists from the University of Copenhagen, mapping sea-level changes and studying a number of shore features. She has also collected samples of driftwood that originated from Siberia or Alaska and had these dated, and has collected shells and microfossils from shore sediments.
"The architecture of a sandy shore depends partly on whether wave activity or pack ice has influenced its formation. Beach ridges, which are generally distinct, very long, broad features running parallel to the shoreline, form when there is wave activity and occasional storms. This requires periodically open water," Astrid Lysa explains.
Pack-ice ridges which form when drift ice is pressed onto the seashore piling up shore sediments that lie in its path, have a completely different character. They are generally shorter, narrower and more irregular in shape.
"The beach ridges which we have had dated to about 6000-7000 years ago were shaped by wave activity," says Astrid Lys†. They are located at the mouth of Independence Fjord in North Greenland, on an open, flat plain facing directly onto the Arctic Ocean. Today, drift ice forms a continuous cover from the land here.
Astrid Lysa says that such old beach formations require that the sea all the way to the North Pole was periodically ice free for a long time. "This stands in sharp contrast to the present-day situation where only ridges piled up by pack ice are being formed," she says.
However, the scientists are very careful about drawing parallels with the present-day trend in the Arctic Ocean where the cover of sea ice seems to be decreasing. "Changes that took place 6000-7000 years ago were controlled by other climatic forces than those which seem to dominate today," Astrid Lysa believes. [Injecting belief into science??]
The mapping at 82 degrees North took place in summer 2007 as part of the LongTerm project, a sub-project of the major International Polar Year project, SciencePub. The scientists also studied ruined settlements dating from the first Inuit immigration to these desolate coasts.
The first people from Alaska and Canada, called the Independence I Culture, travelled north-east as far as they could go on land as long ago as 4000-4500 years ago. The scientists have found out that drift ice had formed on the sea again in this period, which was essential for the Inuit in connection with their hunting. No beach ridges have been formed since then.
"Seals and driftwood were absolutely vital if they were to survive. They needed seals for food and clothing, and driftwood for fuel when the temperature crept towards minus 50 degrees. For us, it is inconceivable and extremely impressive," says Eiliv Larsen, the NGU scientist and geologist.
Australia: More climate correctness
First "global warming" became "climate change". Now we have ....
Government experts say the word "drought" is making farmers feel bad and want people to use the word "dryness" instead. Farmers also needed to accept that drier weather was here to stay, said a report by the Government's hand-picked Drought Policy Review Expert Social Panel.
"Words like drought ... have negative connotations for farm families," the report said. "There needs to be a new national approach to living with dryness, as we prefer to call it, rather than dealing with drought."
The report criticised the Government's $1 billion annual drought program, under which drought-stricken farmers are paid Exceptional Circumstances (EC) funding. "For all the assistance provided, farm families, rural businesses and communities currently living with dryness in rural Australia do not feel or perceive they are measurably better off," the report said. Farming families in drought-declared areas can get an EC payment of up to $21,000 a year. The report quoted some farmers as saying EC payments rewarded unproductive and irresponsible farmers and were of no help to good operators.
Panel chairman Peter Kenny said dryness was tough for farmers. "We wonder why people have got so much pressure on them out there and they are blowing their brains out and there is a lot of them doing that," he said. "It is clear that drought is having an impact on the wellbeing of farming families and rural communities."
Agriculture Minister Tony Burke said the report showed rural families were not communicating with each other about their hardships. The Government had not got the policy right on tackling drought, he said. "Significant funds have gone to try and help rural communities, but you can't have these sorts of social outcomes and say that we've got it right," he said.
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 readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.