The fact that the article below is from Australia's national daily is an encouraging sign. Can you imagine the NYT printing the news that 2008 was an unusually cold year and giving perspectives on that from skeptics?
While the official figures are not yet in, 2008 is widely tipped to be declared the coolest year of the century. Whether this is a serious blow to global warming alarmists depends entirely on who you talk to. Anyone looking for a knockout blow in the global warming debate in 2008 were sorely disappointed. The weather refused to co-operate, offering mixed messages from record cold temperatures across North America to heatwaves across Europe and the Middle East earlier in the year. Even in Australia yesterday [midsumnmer] there were flurries of snow on the highest peaks of a shivering Tasmania, while the north of the country sweltered in above-average temperatures.
A cool 2008 may not fit in with doomsday scenarios of some of the more extreme alarmists. But nor, meteorologists point out, does it prove the contrary, that global warming is a myth. In Australia this year, on the most recent figures, the average temperature was 22.18C. Last year it was 22.48C. In 2006 it was 22.28C, and in 2005 22.99C. Senior meteorologist with the National Meteorological Centre Rod Dickson said that based on data from January to November, 2008 might be the coolest this century but it was still Australia's 15th warmest year in the past 100 years. "Since 1990, the Australian annual mean temperature has been warmer than the 1961-1990 average [Hey! That is not the 100 year average. It is the average of a generally cool period] for all but two years, 2008 being one of those years," he said. In Australia overall, 2008 on the most recent date, was 0.37C higher than for the 30-year average to 1990 of 21.81C. Worldwide, 2008 was expected to be about 0.31C higher than the 30-year average to 1990, of 14C.
One of Australia's best-known sceptics of man-made global warming, former head of the National Climate Centre William Kininmonth, said the cool year did not fit in with the greenhouse gas theory that suggests the globe should be continuing to warm. "All the reports from the northern hemisphere of record snows and freezing temperatures would suggest that 2008 will follow the predictions and officially be declared the coolest of the century," he said. "But the only thing we can really deduce is that the warming trend from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s appears to have halted."
Another well-known sceptic, geologist Bob Carter, said critics were jumping on the cold northern hemisphere winter to dismiss global warming, but climate was a long-term phenomenon and there was nothing particularly unusual about present circumstances.
But Don White, of consultancy firm Weatherwatch, said while last year was likely to end up the coolest year this century, this needed to be put into perspective. "If the same temperatures had occurred in the early 1990s it would have been the warmest ever," he said. "The year 2008 may have been colder than the previous seven years, but it was still warmer than most years prior to 1993." Mr White said Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide had well below average rainfall for the calendar year 2008, with just 449mm in Melbourne, compared with an average annual rainfall of 652mm. Hobart received 407mm in 2008 compared with an average of 618mm. Sydney was also slightly below average at 1083 mm, compared with an average of 1213mm. Brisbane, Perth and Darwin were all wetter than normal.
Global cooling hits the USA
Winter storm warnings and plummeting temperatures put a chill on New Year's Eve plans for hundreds of thousands of revelers. Thousands of homes and businesses in the Midwest had no electric lights for the holiday because of wind damage. Temperatures in the teens _ with wind chills below zero _ were forecast for midnight and the annual ball drop in New York's Times Square and for the First Night celebration in Boston. Boston officials canceled the city's traditional midnight display because of a winter storm that brought wind gusts up to 40 mph. Up to 11 inches of snow was also forecast in the region.
Up to a million revelers, jammed tightly together by intense security, were expected to hunker down against the icy wind in Times Square to watch a five-minute blizzard of balloons and more than a ton of confetti. But the weather put a crimp in the festivities for some. New Bedford, Mass., put its fireworks display off until Jan. 8 and Baltimore pushed its show back to Thursday evening because of high winds and rough harbor waters.
The National Weather Service posted winter storm warnings and advisories for parts of New England, upstate New York, northern Ohio, northern Minnesota and North Dakota, and sections of Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. In western New York state, at least 8 inches of snow had fallen by midday in the Buffalo and Rochester areas, and morning rush hour traffic crept at a near standstill on the New York State Thruway south of Albany. "It's really affecting the entire state," said weather service meteorologist Dave Zaff in Buffalo. Single-digit temperatures and sustained wind of up to 20 mph were expected to combine to produce wind chills as low as 25 below zero during the night in parts of New York state, meteorologists said.
A Roman Catholic priest in northern Virginia was killed by a falling tree Wednesday while trying to clear another fallen tree from a road amid wind gusts. Rev. Michael C. Kelly, 53, was pastor at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Purcellville. Power outages in Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia caused by high winds cut electricity to nearly 50,000 homes and businesses Wednesday. Baltimore Gas and Electric Company says new outages are likely as winds of up to 60 mph continue howling into the night. The upper Midwest started the day with temperatures as low as 33 below zero at Wahpeton, N.D., and 24 below at Brainerd, Minn.
More snow fell Wednesday in parts of Michigan as utility crews endured morning temperatures in the teens to restore power to customers still without service since a weekend wind storm knocked down trees and power lines. The state's major utilities said about 11,000 homes and businesses were still blacked out Wednesday afternoon. In the Ohio Valley, Duke Energy said nearly 11,700 homes and business were blacked out by wind damage during the night in southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky, but most were back on line Wednesday morning.
Up to 5 inches of snow was likely Wednesday in northern sections of North Dakota and Minnesota, on top of the foot or more that fell Tuesday, the weather service said. December was already a record month for snow in North Dakota, with 33.3 inches at Bismarck. In Minnesota, Tuesday was the 16th day in December in which measurable snow had fallen at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Juanita Grosz didn't even bother to measure the snow at her home in Garrison, N.D., northwest of Bismarck. "It doesn't matter _ I just know that it's a lot," Grosz said Tuesday. "Everything is solid white; there isn't a track anywhere."
The Warm Turns
Climate Change: The Earth has been warming ever since the end of the Little Ice Age. But guess what: Researchers say mankind is to blame for that, too.
As we've noted, 2008 has been a year of records for cold and snowfall and may indeed be the coldest year of the 21st century thus far. In the U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month of October. Global thermometers stopped rising after 1998, and have plummeted in the last two years by more than 0.5 degrees Celsius. The 2007-2008 temperature drop was not predicted by global climate models. But it was predictable by a decline in sunspot activity since 2000.
When the sun is active, it's not uncommon to see sunspot numbers of 100 or more in a single month. Every 11 years, activity slows, and numbers briefly drop near zero. Normally sunspots return very quickly, as a new cycle begins. But this year, the start of a new cycle, the sun has been eerily quiet. The first seven months averaged a sunspot count of only three and in August there were no sunspots at all - zero - something that has not occurred since 1913.
According to the publication Daily Tech, in the past 1,000 years, three previous such events - what are called the Dalton, Maunder and Sporer Minimums - have all led to rapid cooling. One was large enough to be called the Little Ice Age (1500-1750). The Little Ice Age has been a problem for global warmers because it serves as a reminder of how the earth warms and cools naturally over time. It had to be ignored in the calculations that produced the infamous and since-discredited hockey stick graph that showed a sharp rise in warming alleged to be caused by man.
The answer to this dilemma has supposedly been found by two Stanford researchers, Richard Nevle and Dennis Bird, who announced their "findings" at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. According to them, man not only is causing contemporary warming. He also caused the cooling that preceded it. According to Bird and Nevle, before Columbus ruined paradise, native Americans had deforested a significant portion of the continent and converted the land to agricultural purposes. Less CO2 was then absorbed from the atmosphere, and the earth was toasty.
Then a bunch of nasty old white guys arrived and depopulated the native populations through war and the diseases they brought with them. This led to the large-scale abandonment of agricultural lands. The subsequent reforestation of the continent caused temperatures to drop enough to bring on the Little Ice Age. Implicit in this research is that the world would be fine if man wasn't in the way. We either make the world too cold or too hot, a view held by many in high places.
In a speech at Harvard last November, Harvard physicist John Holden, President-elect Obama's choice to be his science adviser as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, presented a "top 10" list of warming solutions. Topping the list was "limiting population," as if man was a plague upon the earth. This is a major tenet of green dogma that bemoans the fact that the pestilence called mankind comes with cars, factories and overconsumption of fossil fuels and other resources.
R. Timothy Patterson, professor of geology and director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre of Canada's Carleton University, says: "I and the first-class scientists I work with are consistently finding excellent correlations between the regular fluctuations of the sun and earthly climate. This is not surprising. The sun and the stars are the ultimate source of energy on this planet." Indeed, a look at a graph of solar irradiance from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows little solar activity during the Little Ice Age and significant activity during recent times. Don't blame Dick and Jane - blame sunspots.
The Innate Problems With the Australian Labor Party's Emissions Trading Scheme
By Australian Senator Barnaby Joyce
I'm going to be serious and quite frank with you here as the issues I am about to raise will be contentious not only amongst coalition MP's but also my own party. Every age comes up with a witch to burn, a sect that apparently if it is not succumbed will bring about the destruction of an empire, an issue that occupies the rigours of the day. It is almost as if those in the position of power and their surrounding Illuminati with time to spare are terrified of the banality of daily existence and so search for an issue that demands blind obedience to conquer it.
The most dangerous place to be in these times of immense fervour is in the counter position that calls in to question the logic of the euphoria. Those who dare to question are held as heretics. There is a communal life fest in being part of the pack or staying silent. It is hard for them to separate from the reality that the world is fairly constant and predictable and that things of the greater nature of the universe have remained beyond our control in the past and generally shall remain so into the future.
It was interesting to hear the recent discussion between Freeman Dyson, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, with Robyn Williams, on The Science Show on ABC Radio National, when he rightly stated that the world has many problems but global warming is not one of the biggest ones. As Dyson said:
"Sea level rise has been going on much longer, long before global warming, and it probably has very little to do with human activities. All we know for sure is that sea level has been rising steadily for about 10,000 years and we'll have to do something about that."
I don't pretend for one moment to be a scientist but in my role in the Senate it is implicit in my job to be a sceptic , to question and to consider all sides and be open to the views of many rather than one view.
My current concern with the emissions trading scheme is that a religious fervour has built up around the altar of global warming. Those who serve at the altar have become ruthless in their denigration of alternate views. This fervour has now received its imprimatur by reason of a new tax, or should it be tithe to be paid to the Rudd Labor Government. The similarity in this newest forte of socialism can be defined by the ultimate purpose of divesting the individual of their asset or income stream on the premise of an apparent greater moral good. But who becomes the benefactors of this divestment? The administrators and the traders. Their pockets are lined with the property and income of others.
I don't remember anybody paying rural Australia for the vegetation that was divested from their asset, rural land, during the tree-clearing legislation so we could meet our Kyoto target and unfortunately I don't hear any chorus of questioning as to why in the future rural producers, after trying to feed the nation and others, will have to be dragged into an emissions trading scheme that could make many of them unviable.
Where is all this heading?
The National Party has been at the forefront of saying this is all getting beyond ridiculous and becoming dangerous. They are also being supported by unlikely allies such as the Australian Workers Union who see their own members, who have been part of the process of delivering wealth to our nation from their labours have had their industries now termed `dirty' by the new environmental high priests. In this new Orwellian frenzy everyone is looking over their shoulder.
Australia is going down a path of an ETS without the co-operation of the major emitting countries. It says that it is morally right to do so. The Rudd Labor Government and others say that unilateral action is a moral imperative. I look forward to that same fervour of moralistic rectitude as they approach the Mugabe issue in Zimbabwe. He is certainly in the wrong and it is on this new platform of morals that we await our dear leader to launch an attack in a very worthwhile and immediate practice of ridding our planet of this tyrant, Mugabe. That is something that would be of an exceptional benefit.
The government is currently honey-coating the fact that it will be collecting a vast amount of money from the Australian people. The ETS will collect $11.5 billion in its first year, $12 billion in its second, it will force up the price of goods and services, it will encourage industries to move to where an ETS is not present. Australia generates 1.5 per cent of global greenhouse emissions and this ETS will reduce world levels by the smallest sliver, which self-evidently will have nil effect on global climate whether you believe in climate warming or not.
People will lose their job or their business because of the ETS. They will be the modern-day witches burning on the environmentalist fanatical pyre because their role in this new dynamic was unacceptable. For regional Australia we look forward to the ridiculous prospect of 34 million possible hectares of forest to take the place of farming land, formerly the backbone of so many regional towns and generations of good, honest working Australians' lives.
The history of human civilisations has the disturbing trait of devising ways to put themselves out of business, sometimes through no more than their own excesses and belief structures of their governing bureaucracies. The only protection against these excesses is the capacity of the general population to question, to doubt and to disagree.
I have no doubt that as a world we must become efficient with the utilisation of our resources. We must give the greatest number of people the greatest access to the highest standard of living, it is only fair. Efficiency, more than emissions, must become the trading scheme that brings a cleaner, fairer future. Encourage efficiency and keep the government's hands out of people's pockets and off their assets and that will bring a greater propensity to a long-term broad-based better world for all of us.
Global Warming Is Killing Australia's Great Barrier Reef and Other Bulldust
The Australian Greens and Eco-Fundamentalist have declared that Australia's ETS reduction target of 5% means we will lose the Great Barrier Reef. Ask any green and they will swear that's the truth even though they have never visited one square inch of The Great Barrier Reef which includes over 2900 reefs, around 940 islands and cays, and stretches 2300 kms along the Queensland coastline. Heres what a couple of guys who dive the reef most days have to say:.
Shark expert Ben Cropp said yesterday the outer reef was more or less the same as when he started diving 50 years ago... I've got a gut feeling the reef will cope with climate change, if it exists, but that's just a gut feeling. Scientists say you aren't allowed to have a gut feeling, but my gut feeling is based on diving the reef for half a century. But then again, I'm not their kind of expert.
And Patrick Ligthart, is a volunteer with the Low Isles Preservation Society and cleans away rubbish and maintains the reefs around the Low Isles.
. said his section of the reef had never looked better, and he was sceptical about predictions of its demise. I come out to the reef all the time, and the reef's in good shape.. even old timers say the reef here has never looked better. I don't know why these fear-mongers keep making these claims
Yet Bob Brown and The Greens continue unabated with their fear mongering claims that Climate Change is killing the iconic Great Barrier Reef. It follows then that Brown and the Greens would lie to the Australian public about other things too.
Source (See the original for links)
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, 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.