Thursday, March 19, 2009

Global Governance of Science

Just WHY does science need to be "governed"? And who is qualified to govern it? If science is not free enquiry, what is? That the governance is said to be "for the common good" identifies it readily with its Fascist and Communist predecessors. "For the common good" is the normal justification for tyranny

The European Commission has just released a new report titled, The Global Governance of Science. It is available here in PDF. Here is the abstract:

This report is the product of an expert group acting under a mandate from the European Commission Directorate General for Research to which legal scholars, sociologists, philosophers and political scientists from Europe, the United States of America, China and South-Africa have contributed. This report seeks to advance a vision of global governance for the common good that invokes European principles of good governance and fundamental rights. It is our belief that the European Union as a political entity situated between the national and global levels, with its principles of good governance, its charter of fundamental rights and commitments to a European Research Area, is ideally placed to encourage critical reflection and undertake practical leadership in relation to the global governance of science and innovation. Our recommendations are addressed not only to policymakers in the European Commission and the Member States of the EU, but equally to those organisations worldwide operating within and around science.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Study: West Antarctic Melt a Slow Affair

By Andrew C. Revkin

How many times have you seen the word "collapse" used lately to describe what could unfold should human-caused global warming, and more particularly warming seas, erode the West Antarctic Ice Sheet? (One metric: A Google search for "West Antarctic Ice Sheet" and "collapse" gets 29,800 hits.)

The word is used again in the headline on one of two new papers in the journal Nature focusing on past comings and goings of that huge expanse of ice. But this paper, by David Pollard at Penn State and Robert M. DeConto of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, provides an estimated time frame for the loss of ice that its authors say should be of some comfort. (If the sheet melted entirely, sea levels worldwide would rise more than 15 feet.)

Dr. Pollard and Dr. DeConto ran a five-million-year computer simulation of the ice sheet's comings and goings, using data on past actual climate and ocean conditions gleaned from seabed samples (the subject of the other paper) to validate the resulting patterns.

The bottom line? In this simulation, the ice sheet does collapse when waters beneath fringing ice shelves warm 7 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit or so, but the process - at its fastest - takes thousands of years. Over all, the pace of sea-level rise from the resulting ice loss doesn't go beyond about 1.5 feet per century, Dr. Pollard said in an interview, a far cry from what was thought possible a couple of decades ago. He, Dr. DeConto and other experts on climate and polar ice stressed that when Greenland's possible contribution to the sea level is added, there's plenty for coastal cities to consider. But for Greenland, too, some influential recent studies have cut against the idea that momentous coastal retreats are likely anytime soon.

Over all, the loss of the West Antarctic ice from warming is appearing "more likely a definite thing to worry about on a thousand-year time scale but not a hundred years," Dr. Pollard said.

Several independent specialists on ice sheets and climate said it was premature to conclude from this simulation that fast-paced ice loss from Antarctica was not possible. Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory cautioned that the new findings were based on a single, fairly simple simulation and said that while the results matched well with the seabed evidence, they lacked the precision needed to know what will happen over short periods. "This new study illustrates once more that the collapse of West Antarctica and parts of East Antarctica is not a myth," he said. "It happened many times before when the Earth was as warm as it is about to be [I think that is assuming what you have to prove. Or maybe he has the gift of prophecy. Religious people do sometimes think they have that gift and there seems no doubt that he is of the Warmist religion. He is certainly dogmatic]. In terms of time scales, I do not think the results of this study are relevant to what will be happening in the next 100 years and beyond. The problem is far more complex. But this is a step forward."


Melting Antarctic Ice Part of Natural Cycle

Historical records for the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) show that it is particularly prone to rapid climate change-change that occurs in cycles of ~200 years and ~2500 years. By studying major transitions in plankton productivity in the western Antarctic, scientists have shown that "spectacular" ice-cover losses have happened many times in the past. In other words, the "unprecedented rapid loss of ice" from parts of Antarctica that global warming alarmists make so much of are a normal part of nature's cycles.

According to the latest report in the journal Science, this is how it works: Less ice in the northern zone causes more cloud cover, reducing the amount of light reaching the plankton. A loss of light, together with less ice-melt freshwater and stronger winds means fewer large plankton blooms. By contrast, in the south, the skies stay cloudless for longer and the Antarctic current increases its flow rate, pulling up more nutrients. Both factors contribute to greater primary productivity. These physical changes explain the striking shifts recently observed in krill and the vertebrate communities of the western Antarctic.

For those who take their science straight, here is the abstract of the paper titled "Recent Changes in Phytoplankton Communities Associated with Rapid Regional Climate Change Along the Western Antarctic Peninsula," by Martin Montes-Hugo, et al, as it appears in Science:
"The climate of the western shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is undergoing a transition from a cold-dry polar-type climate to a warm-humid sub-Antarctic-type climate. Using three decades of satellite and field data, we document that ocean biological productivity, inferred from chlorophyll a concentration (Chl a), has significantly changed along the WAP shelf. Summertime surface Chl a (summer integrated Chl a ~63% of annually integrated Chl a) declined by 12% along the WAP over the past 30 years, with the largest decreases equatorward of 63øS and with substantial increases in Chl a occurring farther south. The latitudinal variation in Chl a trends reflects shifting patterns of ice cover, cloud formation, and windiness affecting water-column mixing. Regional changes in phytoplankton coincide with observed changes in krill (Euphausia superba) and penguin populations."

What this means is that, by measuring amounts of the chemical chlorophyll-a, scientitsts can figure out living conditions in the Antarctic ocean, from which they can infer what was going on with ice cover and other climate conditions. What they found was that the recent period of rapid ice melting in the WAP fits normal climate cycles that have been detected by other scientists. Previous studies have reported similar oscillations in sea ice extent and rate of change during the Holocene-the relatively warm interglacial period we have been in for the past 15,000 years. One such study was by Amy Leventer, et al, reported in the Geological Society of America Bulletin, in December 1996.

In a paper titled "Productivity cycles of 200-300 years in the Antarctic Peninsula region: Understanding linkages among the sun, atmosphere, oceans, sea ice, and biota," Leventer and colleagues report the results of a multiproxy record from a sediment core retrieved from a deep basin on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. The report reveals "a dramatic perspective on paleoclimatic changes over the past 3700 yr. Analyses completed include measurement of magnetic susceptibility and granulometry, bed thickness, particle size, percent organic carbon, bulk density, and microscopic evaluation of diatom and benthic foraminiferal assemblages and abundances." Their conclusion was that "variability of these parameters demonstrates the significance of both short-term cycles, which recur approximately every 200 yr, and longer term events (~2500 yr cycles) that are most likely related to global climatic fluctuations."

In other words, ice in the Antarctic region undergoes periodic episodes of rapid melting-and it is all entirely natural, not because of human activity. The new paper echos these findings: "Paleo-records show that analogous climate variations have occurred in the past 200 to 300 years, and over longer 2500-year cycles, with rapid (decadal) transitions between warm and cool phases in the WAP. In this study (~30 years), the Chl a trend evidenced in the southern subregion of the WAP presented similar characteristics to those trends detected during typical interneoglacial periods (~200 to 300 years) (i.e., high phytoplankton biomass, and presumably productivity, due to less area covered by permanent sea ice)."

Science is marvelous, it never rests and never accepts any simple answer at face value. Here we see confirmation of an alternate explanation for rapid ice melting in Antarctica. The latest paper cites thirty supporting references and cross referencing the older paper provides links to eighteen others-this paper's conclusions are not from a single group of "fringe" scientists. Yet have you heard this well documented explanation for rapid ice melting from any media outlet reporting on global warming? Of Course not! What is reported is "more unprecedented melting!"

To have reported that the melting ice could be explained more accurately by a scientific theory other than anthropogenic global warming would muddy the water, not to mention confuse the news anchor doing the reporting. This is what makes other scientists, myself included, so angry about the climate change clique-their lack of open mindedness, their willful disregard for any facts counter to their preconceived ideas, their out right lies. When the dust finally settles on the great global warming debate there will be a number of climate scientist with much to account for.

Meanwhile, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical.


A Dozen Reasons Why a Former CNN Executive Producer for Science Doesn't Understand Doubters of Manmade Global Warming

By Dr Roy Spencer

The following editorial appeared on the Huffington Post website today (italicized entries, below).and I couldn't help but give the writer some of his own medicine (my responses not italicized, & in parentheses).


By Peter Dykstra

A dozen reasons why climate change deniers are the way they are: No, there aren’t only a dozen reasons, but some are bigger than others. Scientists and climate change advocates are constantly amazed and appalled at how durable the climate change denial machine is. Here are some of the varied reasons.

1) Compassion fatigue: No one really denies world hunger, but we sure are good at turning away from it. People have been hearing about climate for two decades now, and they’d really not think any more about it.

(Americans give more to charity than any country in the world, and they are perfectly willing to help out.when there is a REAL crisis. They are not so crazy about supporting those who profit off of imaginary ones.)

2) Stigma: Pick one guy and stick with him as the personification of evil. That would be Al Gore, who plays the same role for climate that Jane Fonda did, and still does nearly 40 years later, for Vietnam. Jane has admitted that she made a huge mistake by posing with the North Vietnamese, and neither her multiple apologies, the fact that she was right about the war, nor the otherwise-accepted concept of Christian Forgiveness will ever let her off the hook for millions of Americans.

(Stigma? You mean like labeling us "deniers"? Or "flat-Earthers"? Or "corporate toadies?" Or "Holocaust deniers"?)

3) Dogma: Those who talk about climate change are the same ones who occupy the tenth circle of Hell for many Americans: Politicians, the Media, Scientists, Educators, Hippies, and Showbiz types. So it’s a moral imperative to be agin what they’re for.

(If the shoe fits..)

4) Fear Factor: Losing your SUV, or ATV, is more of a fright than phenology (the effect of climatic changes on the seasons), or melting permafrost, or polar bears.

(Losing liberty over a theoretical threat is the main concern here (no one has ever been killed by manmade global warming.because there is no way to distinguish manmade warming from natural).

5) Manufactured denial: Marc Morano is a Senate staffer for James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who’s said that climate change is a “hoax.” In that role, Morano’s been the Drum Major of the denial parade. The Marc Moranos of the world function for climate the way that Johnnie Cochran functioned for OJ Simpson: Raise enough shreds of doubt, even if you do it in reckless and theatrical ways, and climate change can win an acquittal, or at least a mistrial no matter how strong the rest of the evidence is. (It was reported last week that Morano’s career as a public servant will soon end, and he’ll take the denial machine to the private sector).

(I think a better analogy is one person, Marc Morano posting information.maybe with some spin.versus hundreds or thousands of journalists who are doing the same thing on the other side. Are those odds still not good enough for you?)

6) Devotion: The corollary to not believing anything Al Gore and his ilk is that you must believe everything that a crackpot like Glenn Beck says. [Blogger's Note: The word "ilk" is a very special one. A nonscientific Googling of the terms "Al Gore" and "Ilk" yielded 705 results. "Al Gore" and "Antichrist" got 693 hits, but that's misleading, since the "Antichrist" in question in many of those hits was either Hillary or Obama, and Gore was just mentioned as a henchman.]

(Actually, WE are the ones who tolerate a variety of theories for what causes climate change. We just don't believe the first place you should look is in the tailpipe of an SUV, or up some bovine orifice.)

7) Lack of backbone in Senior Editorial Management: A long-gone CNN boss of mine once told me that he hesitated about climate change stories. If he had his doubts about a diplomacy story, he said, he could get Henry Kissinger or Madeleine Albright on the phone to explain it to him. But for climate, he said he was “stuck” with only me.

(WHAT? You mean there are MORE ways to be killed by global warming than the 37 that we've already heard about??)

8 ) Current events: The Gallup poll just released that shows an increase in the number of Americans who think that climate fears are “exaggerated” also points out that this always happens with many secondary issues when the merde hits the fan –9/11 or Depression tend to make issues like climate seem less important. They also get covered less.

(Yes, there is something about real death and suffering that concerns reasonable people somewhat more than science fiction documentaries.)

9) Credentials: Peer review means nothing to the general public. And it’s unreasonable to expect a casual reader to make a huge distinction between a respected and peer-reviewed climate scientist like Steve Schneider, and the “coal monkeys” (Schneider’s term) who staff the Denial Labs.

(We have peer reviewed science, too, but it is you journalists who don't have the backbone to report on it. How convenient.)

10) Frank Luntz: Go to and read the 2003 memo from the peerless Republican consultant. It counsels that manufacturing doubt is the only way to avoid losing the battle. In an interview at last year’s Heartland Institute’s Deny-a-Palooza, Morano claims he’s never read the Luntz memo. Which, if true, means that a superstar political consultant wrote a memo for his party on the environment, and the party’s most prominent environmental spokesman has managed to ignore it for six years?

(Tell me again.who is Frank Luntz, and what does he have to do with me?)

11) Ideology: Environmentalists often make the mistake of tarring all skeptics with the same brush. Not everyone’s on the take from Exxon and Peabody Coal. Not by along shot. But policy fixes to climate change are absolutely toxic to many freemarketers and libertarians.

("Policy fixes to climate change" is like saying, "let’s outlaw gravity".)

12) Ossified science: William Gray, the hurricane guy, is the best example of an old-line scientist who has complete contempt for any science that’s not generated in a lab or on a chalkboard. He’ll go to his grave not believing in any global warming, nor anything else that relies on computer models for its science. Chris Mooney’s book “Storm World” tells this story very well.

(Actually, I think Bill Gray has the best answer to ultimately what causes most climate fluctuations, including global warming (and cooling): changes in ocean circulation. In fact, we now have satellite evidence that a major mode of this kind of change - the Pacific Decadal Oscillation - has caused most of the warming we've seen in the last century. But don't look for it in the news when it finally gets published.)

So there’s a dozen reasons for denying climate change, and I didn’t even mention Creationists.

(So, there's a dozen reasons why a journalist can be misinformed on climate science, and I didn't even mention Atheists.)


I mentioned a previous pathetic smear attempt by the dick-headed Dykstra on 15th.. The insinuation that skeptics are creationists is slimy. He offers no proof of it. I am sure I am not the only atheist who is a skeptic. I think in fact that atheism is skeptical per se

Warmist Challenged to Debate

NBC 4 Chief Meteorologist Bob Ryan, who recently wrote a lengthy online series of articles on global climate change that was covered here, has earned praise from a prominent environmentalist, and scorn from a Department of Energy worker who challenged Ryan to a climate science debate in a forum of his choosing.

Department of Energy engineer Brian Valentine, who according to the Department's web site works with the Industrial Technologies Program, where he helps the petroleum industry use energy more efficiently, is seeking to debate Ryan on the subject of climate science. Valentine's challenge was distributed by Marc Morano, spokesman for Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who has called climate change a "hoax."

"Ryan may or may not be aware that that ALL phenomena he discusses have different scientific interpretations with regard to the relationship of 'cause' and 'effect'; in any case no viewer of the Series would be aware of such differing scientific interpretations - and this remains a disservice to the viewers of the Series," Valentine wrote (apparently not realizing that the series consists of articles and not videos).

"As a matter of enlightenment and fairness to viewers of the Series, I cordially, and respectfully, invite Bob Ryan to consider discussion of the subject matters of the six-part Series in a public forum that would invite audience participation. The venue could be any that Bob considers appropriate within the DC area and could be as public as he chooses with televised coverage. These matters weigh heavily on proposed legislation in these United States, and the public has the complete right to understand all sides of issues that will influence their lives so greatly."

Ryan is aware of the challenge, although it's not clear if he will take the bait, or in what form he may decide to do so. We at CWG have offered to provide a forum at our web site if so desired.

A blog post in support of Ryan's discussion of climate science escaped our attention earlier this month. Laurie David [Whose only real talent is big tits], who was a producer of Al Gore's climate change documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" and serves as a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), wrote on Huffington Post that Ryan did a very "brave" thing by discussing climate science in an apolitical manner.

"Don't underestimate how brave this is," she wrote, "There are hundreds of meteorologists on TV and very few ever mention the words global warming." In an interview with CWG on March 5, Ryan had criticized some TV meteorologists for covering climate science from their personal political perspectives, rather than basing reports on scientific research.


Australia: Federal Labor party Reps. keep quiet on proposed Warmist laws

They represent blue-collar workers and mums and dads who face the greatest job losses under an emissions trading scheme, but three Queensland federal Labor MPs are publicly remaining silent about the risk. Chris Trevor, Kirsten Livermore and James Bidgood -- who represent parts of central Queensland and north Queensland -- have repeatedly refused to talk about the concerns of industries and workers in their electorates.

Fears of thousands of job losses in the mining sectors have intensified in the past week as resource giants warn of massive job cuts under an ETS. Mayors in Mt Isa and Gladstone are demanding the measure be delayed from 2010 to 2012. Queensland representatives from the coal and mining sectors yesterday held protracted meetings with advisers from the offices of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson. Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche and mining giants also held a private dinner with about seven Queensland MPs, calling for the coal sector to receive at least 60 per cent in free permits under the ETS.

But Climate Change Minister Penny Wong has repeatedly refused to budge on the matter, saying the coal industry would have to pay to pollute. "We are not letting up on this. It is too important," Mr Roche told The Courier-Mail yesterday. "It's fair to say that the Government underestimated the concerns of the coal sector under the white paper. "One of the MPs we met with . . . said if there isn't (policy) change, 'I'll lose my seat'."

For the past two days, The Courier-Mail has asked the three MPs to explain how the ETS will affect their electorates and what they were telling their constituents. But staff in their offices said the MPs were either unavailable or too busy.

Mr Roche said he had no complaints dealing with Labor MPs even though they were publicly toeing the party line. However, he said he was told Queensland MPs were strongly advising Caucus about the concerns of the industry. The Courier-Mail understands Caucus is split on the starting date of an ETS because of the continuing global economic uncertainty.

Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull said it was time Queensland Labor MPs stood up for their electorates. "He (Mr Trevor) represents thousands of people involved in the coal mining industry and yet where is he speaking up for them?" he said. "Where is Chris Trevor standing up for the miners of Central Queensland?"



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