Tuesday, March 31, 2009


An email from David Whitehouse [dr_d_whitehouse@msn.com]

In an exclusive extract from his new book, Nicholas Stern argues that the time for debate on climate change is well and truly over.
"More recently, others have tried to argue that the warming has stopped because 1998 (a so-called El Nino year, with warmer surface temperature of oceans) was a little warmer on average than 2007 (a La Nina year, with cooler surface temperature of oceans). This confuses cycles with trends, peaks with troughs and sea temperatures with land temperatures. Further, it ignores that the last decade was the hottest since records began and that the trend is clearly upwards. But this is the kind of nonsense that some would try to peddle. There are many more half-baked attempts to try to naysay the science, but they always unravel on careful inspection. And the same has been true of more sophisticated attempts, such as those involving changing structures of humidity in the atmosphere."

The recent hiatus in the increase of global temperatures, now no longer contended by most scientists, is nothing to do with El Nino and La Nina, and despite the hiatus nobody denied that the last decade has been warmer than previous ones.

Frankly, if this is the level of scientific rigour in Nicholas Stern's forthcoming book then it is unimpressive and lacking in any basis of critical scientific thinking. It uses cherry picking data and arguments to support a pre-determined view. It pays lip service to the notions of scientific questioning. It could have been written by Cardinal Bellarmine [Who burnt Giordano Bruno and opposed Galileo].


They know it won't happen but it will take the heat off them to cut their emissions. They must be having a quiet laugh to themselves

Finding money to help poor countries pay for new energy technology that doesn't contribute to global warming is the most difficult task facing negotiators as United Nations climate change talks began today, said U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy.

Financing works "hand in glove" with establishing carbon dioxide-emissions cuts for developing countries, which will be responsible for most of the world's output of greenhouse gases in the coming decades, said Todd Stern, the chief U.S. climate negotiator. "The financing issue is extremely important in our judgment," he said. "What's vital in general is that the developing countries leapfrog the carbon intensity path, and for that they'll need help."

Delegates from 175 countries are struggling to close the gap between their positions on financing and other issues, including setting CO2 cutting goals, in Bonn this week. Obama's delegation is participating for the first time in climate talks and promises to work toward a "robust deal" when the talks wind up in Copenhagen at the end of the year. "This is a new start for the U.S. delegation and the start of a new hope to solve the problem of climate change," said Matthias Machnig, Germany's deputy environment minister, during a speech to the 2,600 delegates and participants at the start of talks today.

While Obama has pledged greater emissions cuts than his predecessor, George W. Bush, the reductions fall short of what's needed to tackle the problem, China's lead negotiator, Su Wei, said in an interview before the start of the 10-day talks in Bonn, Germany. "The U.S. has become more positive than the previous administration: I think they are going in the right direction," Su said in a telephone interview. "Still, we're waiting for very firm climate policy from the U.S., including very clear medium-term targets. All of the parties are waiting for that."

A global climate treaty to reduce CO2 emissions and replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol must focus on later targets, not just 2020 goals, said Stern. The U.S. favors slashing emissions of heat-trapping gases to 1990 levels by 2020.


America `can't wave magic wand' on climate change

Expectations of what can be achieved by the United States in fighting global warming are unrealistic, climate change negotiators from more than 170 countries have been told. Hopes raised by a new willingness in the White House to take action to control climate change must be balanced by a realisation that there are limits to what the US can do, they were told.

Todd Stern, President Obama's special envoy on climate change, moved to play down hopes as the US joined UN talks on global warming in Bonn. These are designed to smooth the path to a summit in Copenhagen in December when it is hoped that international agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions can be reached. "The US is going to be powerfully and fervently engaged in this process," Mr Stern said shortly before the talks started. "That doesn't mean that anyone should be thinking that the US can ride in on a white horse and make it work, because it can't. What we can do is return to the table with energy and commitment, and commitment to science and pragmatism to getting a deal that will be doable. We are all going to have to do this together. We don't have a magic wand."

Under President Bush, the US was reluctant to join international efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, but attitudes in the White House have altered dramatically since the inauguration of Mr Obama.

The Bonn talks are the first session of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change since Mr Obama took office, and expectations of US involvement have been high. Such was the relief at the willingness of the US to act on climate change that its delegation was welcomed with applause by negotiators from other countries. The clapping became even more enthusiastic when Mr Stern said: "We are glad to be back, we want to make up for lost time, and we are seized with the urgency of the task before us. The science is clear and the threat is real. The facts are outstripping the worst-case scenarios. The costs of inaction or inadequate actions are unacceptable." [Big talk]

However, hopes that the US would use the opening of the talks to announce measures to cut its own emissions were dashed. Michael Zammit Cutajar, one of the chief UN negotiators, said that in talks before the session it was intimated that Mr Obama's Administration needed more time. "My understanding is they need some more time to get up to speed," he said. The talks in Bonn continue until April 8 and a second session will be held in June, by which time, he said, it should be clearer how much farther the US will go.

Despite the widespread welcome for the US involvement, there remain concerns that it will refuse to make deep enough cuts in emissions. President Obama has already promised to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80 per cent by 2050. While most delegates and scientists agree that the long-term target of 80 per cent matches requirements, they believe that the US needs to do better on the 2020 target if there is to be even a 50-50 chance of limiting temperature rises to 2C (3.6F).



Stavros Dimas, the European commissioner for the environment, insisted that Europe was still a global leader on climate change after a stinging attack on the EU by the campaign group World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) at the European Business Summit in Brussels today (27 March). In a testy exchange, Dimas defended EU policy after WWF said that Europe had broken its promise to developing countries and weakened its own carbon reduction targets.

Stephan Singer, director of global energy policy at WWF's European policy office and a veteran climate change campaigner, said the campaign group was "deeply disappointed" in the EU. He accused EU leaders of breaking an international agreement reached in Bali in 2007, when rich countries promised to transfer funds to developing countries to help them adapt to climate change. Last week, EU leaders agreed that they would do their "fair share" for developing countries, but did not name an amount of money. Singer said this showed that the EU had "empty hands" and was "breaking the Bali mandate".

In an especially painful attack on EU policymakers, Singer said that the US goal to stabilise emissions at 1990 levels by 2020 "on paper could be a more aggressive target" than the EU's efforts.

Visibly irritated, Dimas accused WWF of "politicking" and said that the group was "undermining our ability to negotiate in Copenhagen." He said "everyone accepts that Europe is leading the fight against climate change", adding that "other countries have not even talked about what they are going to do". And he said that the EU would be pressing the US to make comparable emission-reduction targets, going further than a commitment to "stabilise" emissions.



By David Henderson

In this paper I question the characteristic treatment of climate change issues by fellow-economists, as seen in recent articles, books and reports. The focus of the paper, however, is not on economics. My main theme is what I see as the uncritical and over-presumptive way in which these various sources have dealt with the scientific aspects of the subject.

Although I also refer to other illustrative cases, the chief specific targets of criticism are six recent and influential publications. Three of these are by leading and widely respected individual authors. They are:

* William Nordhaus's book, A Question of Balance (Nordhaus, 2008);

* Martin Weitzman's article entitled 'On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change' (Weitzman, 2009); and.

* Dieter Helm's article entitled 'Climate-Change Policy: Why Has So Little Been Achieved?' (Helm, 2008).

Alongside this trio I place two prominent large-scale officially-sponsored though independent reviews:

* The 700-page Stern Review, The Economics of Climate Change, by Nicholas (now Lord) Stern and others, commissioned by the British government and published in 2007; and

* The 600-page Garnaut Climate Change Review, authored by Ross Garnaut, commissioned by the state and territorial governments of Australia with the later participation of the Commonwealth government, and published in 2008.

Last on the list is the special chapter on climate change issues that formed part of the April 2008 issue of the IMF's twice-yearly flagship publication, World Economic Outlook.

It is an unusual procedure for an economist to criticise what fellow-economists have said, or failed to say, about a subject area which is neither his nor theirs. I therefore begin by setting the issues that I raise in the wider context of the current climate change debate.


Hour of no power INCREASES emissions

By Bjorn Lomborg

This Saturday, the World Wildlife Fund wants everybody on the planet to switch off their lights for an hour in a "global election between Earth and global warming", where switching off the lights "is a vote for Earth".

In Australia, where Earth Hour started, it evidently enjoys strong support from politicians, celebrities, corporate backers and the public. The efforts this Saturday certainly will be well-intentioned. Many of us worry about global warming and would like to be part of the solution. Unfortunately, this event - as with many public proposals on climate change - is an entirely symbolic gesture that creates the mistaken impression that there are easy, quick fixes to climate change. One provincial British newspaper wrote this week: "Saving the planet could be as easy as switching off the lights in South Tyneside, green campaigners say."

It will take more than the metropolitan borough of South Tyneside, population 152,000, to solve global warming. Even if a billion people turn off their lights this Saturday, the entire event will be equivalent to switching off China's emissions for six short seconds. In economic terms, the environmental and humanitarian benefits from the efforts of the entire developed world would add up to just $21,000.

The campaign doesn't ask anybody to do anything difficult, such as coping without heating, air-conditioning, telephones, the internet, hot food or cold drinks. Conceivably, if you or I sat in our houses watching television, with the heater and computer running, we could claim we're part of an answer to global warming, so long as the lights are switched off. The symbolism is almost perverse.

In Australia last year, Earth Hour's organisers required participating businesses to pledge to reduce their emissions by 5 per cent during the following year. This year, that requirement has been dropped. "We decided we'd actually downplay (concrete cuts)this time," the chief executive of WWF Australia told The Sunday Age. There apparently has been no accounting of whether last year's sponsors lived up to their pledge. The Sunday Age reported last week: "An analysis of the key sponsors of Earth Hour reveals that most have reported increased emissions in their most recent figures."

And it gets worse: the event could cause higher overall pollution than if we just left our lights on. When asked to extinguish electricity, people turn to candlelight. Candles seem natural, but are almost 100 times less efficient than incandescent light globes, and more than 300 times less efficient than fluorescent lights. If you use one candle for each extinguished globe, you're essentially not cutting CO2 at all, and with two candles you'll emit more CO2. Moreover, candles produce indoor air pollution 10 to 100 times the level of pollution caused by all cars, industry and electricity production.

No wonder that even committed climate campaigners are sceptical. Clive Hamilton, author of Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change, told The Sunday Age last week that "we are well past the time for feel-good exercises aimed at raising awareness. It's like the band playing on as the Titanic sinks." He said there was a real danger that Earth Hour convinced people we were making progress on climate change when we were not. And it let business and government off the hook.

There is still no cheap replacement for the carbon that we burn. This is the reason many promises of drastic CO2 cuts remain just empty promises and why past global agreements to cut CO2 have gone unfulfilled. A meaningful solution to global warming needs to focus on research into and development of clean energy, instead of fixating on empty promises of carbon emission reductions.

It is vital to make solar and other new technology cheaper than fossil fuels quickly so we can turn off carbon energy sources for a lot longer than one hour and keep the planet running. Every country should agree to spend 0.05 per cent of its gross domestic product on low-carbon energy research and development. The total global cost would be 10 times greater than present spending, yet be 10 times less than the cost of the Kyoto Protocol on carbon emission reductions. This response to global warming is a realistic, achievable one.

Fossil fuels literally gave us an enlightenment, by lighting our world and giving us protection from the fury of the elements. It is ironic that today's pure symbolism should hark back to a darker age.



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.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Earth hour roundup

Comments from various sources:

1). Al Gore certainly didn't shut the lights off

2). I could not help but chuckle at the irony of earth hour's method of getting their message across. By turning off lights around the world they showed people exactly what they want. They want to turn the light out on human civilization. The wish to stop progress, to pull back humans' desire to better our world. Instead of light that allows us to see truth clearly they choose darkness, to hide their true intentions.

3). I will be thinking about the 1.8 billion people on Earth who have no access to electricity, and how insane they must think we are.

4). Earth Hour is a good demonstration of what will happen very soon if energy policy continues to be strangled by futile attempts to control the weather/climate using the harmless, essential, naturally occurring, aerial plant food gas CO2.

5). With reference to the absurd Dearth Hour, JunkScience.com is wondering how many stories we can collect of people injured falling over the cat/furniture in the enviro-induced darkness. Candle fires from unsafe lighting? Anything you or your readers may have heard about can be returned to this email address or preferably posted under this topic on the forum. (It's a self-register arrangement & you can post immediately following registration).

6). An email from Greenland with illustrative picture below: Does it sometimes seem like everything you read, see or do has the word “Green” attached to it? When you are living in Greenland you can't ignore it! But the Earth Hour made a difference here. See www.glar.gl. No more global warming.

7). Comment by Australian cartoonist ZEG:

Keep Your Lights on!

By Alan Caruba

Does it sometimes seem like everything you read, see or do has the word “Green” attached to it? We have a Green President and a Green Congress. More and more products and services tout themselves as Green. We are paying more and more with greenbacks—dollars—that are in danger of losing what value they once had.

Green was not always the great, amorphous dream of achieving oneness with Mother Earth. People still talk about being “Green with envy” or “Turning Green” just before a projectile vomit attack.

We have reached this nauseating time in our society as the result of a vast environmental movement, truly worldwide, that are masters of propaganda and possessed of the millions necessary to brainwash a lot of people into accepting an endless assault on all the advancements in science, engineering, and technology we accept as part of our everyday lives.

So, naturally, the World Wildlife Fund has come up with “Earth Hour”, an event in which at 8:30PM, Saturday night, in everyone’s respective time zone, people will be asked to turn off their lights and, presumably, the use of all electricity to increase awareness of “energy conservation.”

Two questions: What does this have to do with wildlife? And why should anyone bother? What need is there to “conserve energy?” One either uses it or does not. You can’t “conserve” it. You can use more or less of it, but you cannot save it up for later. Electricity is always “now.”

Is the Earth running out of coal? Hardly, the Chinese can’t build coal-fired plants fast enough to generate the electricity to grow their economy. In India, they’re launched on a huge program to build nuclear plants for the same reason. A nation without adequate electricity is strictly Third World.

Nor is the Earth running out of oil. The rumor is that there are vast amounts in the Arctic and both the U.S. and Russia are making nasty noises at one another to ensure that neither one or the other gains control of it. Brazil just struck oil way offshore of its beautiful beaches and you don’t hear them complaining about it.

The U.S., of course, has vast untapped reserves of oil offshore and an estimated 3 to 4.3 BILLION barrels of it in the Bakken Formation under North Dakota and Montana. There’s oil under Utah as well. We’re not running out of oil in the United States. We just can’t drill for it thanks to Congress and the White House.

We can’t build coal-fired plants either because the Greens keep telling us that coal is “dirty.” The electricity it provides—just over half of all that’s used nationwide—isn’t dirty. Soon, though, they’re won’t be enough of it because our Green President thinks that solar and wind can provide it. It can’t and it won’t. Ever.

There’s just one way to “conserve” energy. Don’t use it. Don’t turn on the light. Don’t turn on the computer. Don’t turn on the television. Unplug your refrigerator, your heating and cooling system. Don’t wash and dry your clothes in a machine. Don’t use it.

Otherwise, the next moron that talks about conserving energy should be stuffed in a barrel and allowed to float over the Niagara Falls which, during Earth Hour, will not be lighted.

We will all be treated to the idiotic sight of a darkened Empire State Building and other similar structures around the world such as the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, Las Vegas strip, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the London Eye Ferris wheel, and the Pyramids of Egypt.

For a whole hour they will go dark to remind us to “conserve energy” that does not need conserving. It needs to be expanded into parts of the world where there is no electricity and, as a result, there is no economy which is another way of saying there is a lot of poverty, sickness, and early death.


The C of E (Church of the Environment) is still dribbling

Most of the Anglican episcopacy may not believe in God but they sure believe in Warmism. They are the Pharisees of today. Note the indented straw-man argument

We may all be damned -- in this world and the next -- by our environmental misdeeds and heedlessness, according to a stern warning from the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, last week.

Mankind is rebuffing the divine love of God and, by its refusal to face "doomsday" environmental damage, it is choking, drowning and starving God's creation, Williams said. He ties it all in to salvation season, when thoughts of Easter and forgiveness from sin loom large, saying
...to suggest that God might intervene to protect us from the corporate folly of our practices is as un-Christian and un-biblical as to suggest that he protects us from the results of our individual folly or sin.

Would you agree? Even if we step up our conservation efforts one by one, are we responsible, even eternally, for our group/national actions? What would be "enough" to stay high and dry in heaven?


Climate sensitivity has been grossly overestimated due to a mix up between cause and effect

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

I’ve been receiving a steady stream of e-mails asking when our latest work on feedbacks in the climate system will be published. Since I’ve been trying to fit the material from three (previously rejected) papers into one unified paper, it has taken a bit longer than expected…but we are now very close to submission.

We’ve tentatively decided to submit to Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR) rather than any of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) journals. This is because it appears that JGR editors are somewhat less concerned about a paper’s scientific conclusions supporting the policy goals of the IPCC — regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, JGR’s instructions to reviewers is to not reject a paper simply because the reviewer does not agree with the paper’s scientific conclusions. More on that later.

As those who have been following our work already know, our main conclusion is that climate sensitivity has been grossly overestimated due to a mix up between cause and effect when researchers have observed how global cloud cover varies with temperature.

To use my favorite example, when researchers have observed that global cloud cover decreases with warming, they have assumed that the warming caused the cloud cover to dissipate. This would be a positive feedback since such a response by clouds would let more sunlight in and enhance the warming.

But what they have ignored is the possibility that causation is actually working in the opposite direction: That the decrease in cloud cover caused the warming…not the other way around. And as shown by Spencer and Braswell (2008 J. Climate), this can mask the true existence of negative feedback.

All 20 of the IPCC climate models now have positive cloud feedbacks, which amplify the small about of warming from extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But if cloud feedbacks in the climate system are negative, then the climate system does not particularly care how much you drive your SUV. This is an issue of obvious importance to global warming research. Even the IPCC has admitted that cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty in predicting global warming.

Significantly, our new work provides a method for identifying which direction of causation is occurring (forcing or feedback), and for obtaining a more accurate estimate of feedback in the presence of clouds forcing a temperature change. The method involves a new way of analyzing graphs of time filtered satellite observations of the Earth (or even of climate model output).

Well…at least I thought it was new way of analyzing graphs. It turns out that we have simply rediscovered a method used in other physical sciences: phase space analysis. This methodology was first introduced by Willard Gibbs in 1901.

We found that by connecting successively plotted points in graphs of how the global average temperature varies over time versus how global average radiative balance varies over time, one sees two different kinds of structures emerge: linear striations, which are the result of feedback, and spirals which are the result of internal radiative forcing by clouds.

But such a methodology is not new. To quote from Wikipedia on the subject of ‘phase space’: “Often this succession of plotted points is analogous to the system’s state evolving over time. In the end, the phase diagram…can easily elucidate qualities of the system that might not be obvious otherwise.”

Using a simple climate model we show that these two features that show up in the graphs are a direct result of the two directions of causation: temperature causing clouds to change (revealed by ‘feedback stripes’), and clouds causing temperature to change (revealed by ‘radiative forcing spirals’).

The fact that others have found phase space analysis to be a useful methodology is a good thing. It should lend some credibility to our interpretation. Phase space analysis is what has helped us better understand chaos, along with its Lorenz attractor, strange attractor, etc.

And the fact that we find the exact same structures in the output of the IPCC climate models means that the modelers can not claim our interpretation has no physical basis.

And now we can also use some additional buzzwords in the new article…which seems to help from the standpoint of reviewers thinking you know what you are talking about. The new paper title is, “Phase Space Analysis of Forcing and Feedback in Models and Satellite Observations of Climate Variability”. It just rolls of the tongue, doesn’t it?

I am confident the work will get published…. eventually. But even if it didn’t, our original published paper on the issue has laid the groundwork… it would just take awhile before the research community understands the implications of that work.

What amazes me is the resistance there has been to ‘thinking out of the box’ when trying to estimate the sensitivity of the climate system. Especially when it has been considered to be ‘thinking in the box’ by other sciences for over a century now.

And it is truly unfortunate that the AMS, home of Lorenz’s first published work on chaos in 1963, has decided that political correctness is more important than the advancement of science.


The coming nuclear renaissance

by Jeff Jacoby

THIRTY YEARS AGO this month, an accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania inflamed public opposition to nuclear power. The mishap -- a loss of coolant that caused the reactor core to overheat -- caused no known deaths or diseases, and it exposed area residents to only a negligible amount of radiation. But it fueled an anti-nuclear frenzy that soon brought the expansion of the industry to a halt. Dozens of planned reactors were cancelled. In the years since Three Mile Island, not a single nuclear plant has been ordered and built in the United States.

Yet far from being washed up, atomic power seems poised for a renaissance. Consider:

* According to a new Gallup poll, 59 percent of Americans favor nuclear energy -- a new high -- and 27 percent say they strongly favor it. The attitude is bipartisan, with majorities of both Republicans and Democrats supporting nuclear power.

* Other surveys have found even higher levels of support. According to a 2008 Zogby poll, 67 percent of Americans favor the construction of new nuclear facilities, and are much more likely to back a nuclear-powered electric plant over one fueled by natural gas, coal, or oil.

* In the recent presidential campaign, both candidates expressed support for nuclear power. John McCain made a point of praising the French, who derive nearly 80 percent of their electricity from nuclear plants. Though more measured, Barack Obama agreed that "we should explore nuclear power as part of the mix," as he put it in an early Iowa debate.

* While Obama has said little about nuclear power since becoming president, his energy secretary has been unequivocal. "The nuclear industry has to be part of our energy mix," physicist Steven Chu said during his confirmation hearings. "It's 20 percent of our [total] electricity production today, but it's 70 percent of the carbon-free electricity we produce."

* Accenture, the consulting giant, reports growing worldwide support for nuclear energy. In a survey it conducted of more than 10,000 people in 20 nations, 69 percent of respondents wanted their countries to begin or expand the use of nuclear power. Pro-nuclear sentiment was strongest in India (67 percent), China (62 percent), and the United States (57 percent).

* In recent months, Italy and Sweden have reversed anti-nuclear policies; both are now developing plans to construct new plants. Meanwhile, dozens of nuclear reactors are already under construction in other countries, including China, Russia, and Finland. "Among those contemplating building their first ones," reports The Economist, "are Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Belarus."

* In the last two years, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has received 17 applications for 26 nuclear reactors. Proposals for six additional reactors are pending.

There is no small irony in this turnabout. Nuclear power used to be the environmentalist's ultimate pariah, thanks to overblown claims about the dangers of reactor meltdowns and nuclear waste. But now the green movement has a new pariah -- fossil fuels and their carbon-dioxide emissions. To many environmentalists alarmed about global warming, nuclear power has an irresistible appeal: It releases no greenhouse gases. Indeed -- another irony -- nuclear power plants don't even release as much radiation as do coal-fired electric plants, since coal ash is more radioactive than nuclear waste.

As a result, some of the world's most ardent Greens have come around to embracing nuclear power.

"Only nuclear power can now halt global warming," wrote James Lovelock, the father of the celebrated Gaia theory, which regards the Earth and life on the planet as one complex, interacting "organism," in 2004. In Wired magazine the following year, a much-discussed article -- "Nuclear Now!" -- made the case that only "clean, green atomic energy can stop global warming."

To be sure, the problems with nuclear energy have not vanished. To build a nuclear plant is an expensive undertaking, the disposal of spent fuel rods remains politically contentious, and at least some environmental activists will continue to do what they can to exacerbate fear of nuclear power's dangers.

But 30 years after Three Mile Island, the nuclear future looks brighter than it has in a long time. Right now, 104 commercial reactors generate 20 percent of America's electricity. As the war against the atom continues to wind down, expect to see those numbers go up.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

British eco-migrants flee to New Zealand

The 60s all over again. Way back then lots of Brits and Americans moved to NZ to escape "The Bomb". Mostly they eventually went back to Britain and the USA. The present lot of agonizers will likely do the same in time as the prophecies of doom fail. Amusing that they are moving to a country where the government in unusually unsympathetic to Warmism, though!

NEW ZEALAND is seeing its first influx of British eco-migrants, environmental refugees who have quit the UK because they fear the long-term impacts of climate change.

The country’s islands, renowned for their temperate climate, clean environment and low population, have often been put forward by greens as potential “lifeboats” for a world suffering serious warming.

Recently, James Lovelock, the scientist and creator of the Gaia theory, said in his new book, The Vanishing Face of Gaia, that New Zealand could be one of the world’s last havens as climate change fundamentally changes the planet.

Such effects are expected to take years or decades to happen but some families are already trying to anticipate them. Among them are Lizzy and Mike Larmer-Cottle who have moved their family from London to Albany, half an hour north of Auckland on North Island, surrounded by rolling hills and beaches.

Britain’s recent climate of summer droughts and warm, wet winters was becoming alarming, said Lizzy. She added: “England was just having more and more flooding — if that continues, half of it is going to be underwater.”

The couple stress there were other factors too, such as lower traffic, less pollution and cheaper property. Before moving to New Zealand their sons Milo, 10, and Theo, 12, had, for example, never been able to ride their bikes on local roads.

They are, however, part of a rising tide of Britons heading for the New Zealand. Statistics NZ, which collects data for the country’s government, said more than 18,000 British residents moved there last year alone.

Among recent arrivals was John Zamick who also believes climate change will tip Britain into long-term environmental decline. The businessman, who now co-directs a biodiesel company in Nelson, a town on South Island, points to East Anglia, where rainfall is now so low it is classed as semi-arid, while its coasts are threatened by rising sea levels.

What such eco-migrants have in common is not so much a fear of Britain becoming warmer but that climate change could destabilise the global economy, causing shortages of food.

At the Copenhagen climate science conference earlier this month, scientists set out the latest research on how climate change could affect crops. This showed that, as heat and water shortages took hold, many equatorial regions in Africa and Asia would become unable to grow enough food, creating global shortages of staples like wheat and rice.

Zamick said New Zealand's low population density, agricultural independence and availability of farmland were all prime attractions, along with its English-speaking population.

Americans have also spotted New Zealand’s potential. Adam Fier and his wife Misbah Sadat moved their family from Maryland in the United States to New Zealand late last month. Fier, a computer security expert who used to work at Nasa, told the Washington Post the decision was made because of his two girls. “I am not going to predict how the climate might change and how it might affect New Zealand,” Fier said. “But quite honestly, I feel in 100 years, one of my daughters is still going to be alive and this planet is going to be a mess.”

Scientists agree that New Zealand is likely to be more resilient to any global warming than many other countries — but that could lead to problems with immigration. Dr Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at Britain’s Met Office, said: “A lot of countries in temperate zones could come under pressure to take eco-migrants.”

Immigration specialists say climate is an increasingly important issue for Britons trying to emigrate. Liam Clifford, a director of the British-based GlobalVisas, described how clients increasingly wanted to move to “a temperate country that will escape extreme climate.”

James Hardy shared such views. He used to live in lush Buckinghamshire but became increasingly concerned at how he and his family might cope on such a crowded island if the global climate underwent sharp changes. Three years ago he moved to New Zealand with his wife and their three children. “New Zealand has land, New Zealand has wind, New Zealand has a far more sustainable climate,” he said.



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.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Joe Romm: Chief Warmist censor -- attacks Freeman Dyson

As usual with the Green/Left, Romm substitutes abuse for rational argument. He has to. It would in fact be amusing to see him debate the facts with Freeman Dyson. He wouldn't last 5 minutes. Dyson has forgotten more science than Romm ever knew -- making the whole attack rather amusing, on the whole: The midget attacks the mountain. Many critics of Warmism are in fact eminent scientists -- against whom mere propagandists like Romm and Al Gore make a sorry contrast. As far as I can see, Romm has NO scientific achievements to his credit. His life after graduating has been wholly political

A profile of Freeman Dyson has attracted the wrath of Joe Romm. Follow the bolded words below to see what passes for intelligent discourse on Climate Progress, Joe Romm’s allegedly “indispensable blog” (as Tom Friedman inexplicably put it several weeks back):
Shame on the New York Times Magazine for publishing an extended, largely favorable profile of Freeman Dyson, a true climate crackpot …”

Shame on them for printing his scientifically unjustifiable slanders of the country’s leading climate scientist, James Hansen …”

“And shame on the NYT’s top climate science reporter, Andy Revkin for promoting this piece on his blog with not a single criticism of Dyson’s numerous anti-scientific statements and smears . . . I call on Revkin to retract his absurdly indefensible assertion that, ‘On climate, Mr. Dyson may be right . . . (see full quote at end)’”

Romm betrays himself with the editing of Revkin’s sentence; more about that in a minute. But first… Romm aims his wrath at the New York Times for publishing a profile of Freeman Dyson in this coming Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, and, of course, at one of his favorite whipping boys, Andy Revkin, for writing about the profile dispassionately in his DotEarth blog.

In Joe Romm’s logic, anyone who disagrees with him is guilty of “smears” and “slander,” as opposed to simply offering an opinion, which, well, may be right or wrong. It’s not good enough for Romm to argue passionately against a point of view. For anyone with the chutzpah to advance an argument he disagrees with, Romm seems compelled to use taunts and epithets. He also frequently ties this tactic with the demand that a writer or publication “retract” what they’ve published. One gets the sense that honest debate is not Romm’s goal, but quite the opposite: the shutting down of free expression. And in my opinion, this makes him the entirely dispensable censor.

Romm reveals just how dispensable his blog really is with his editing of Revkin’s sentence — editing that was clearly intended to twist Andy’s original meaning to leave his readers with a false impression. Here is the full sentence, minus Romm’s excisions: “On climate, Mr. Dyson may be right or wrong, and pretty much admits that.”

Yes, Romm did direct his readers to Revkin’s blog to see the “full quote at end.” But how many will actually take the extra steps to do that? Not many. If Romm really was interested in truth he would have have included the six extra words in that sentence.

I suspect that something other than a pursuit of the truth and healthy debate is at work here. What might that be? Let’s string together the strong words from his post, one after the other: shame; slanders; shame; shame; smears; absurdly indefensible; loopy; famous crackpot camp; outlandish; crackpot; rant and rave; loopiness; slander-fest; uncivil, unjustified ravings; crackpots. (Did I catch them all?)

And then this: “Shame on the NYT, shame on the reporter, Nicholas Dawidoff, for publishing this crackpot’s crap for millions to read and possibly think is credible”

I believe psychologists have a word for Romm’s unseemly behavior: “projection.” (Or possibly ”transference“?)


Some scientists are cool to the warming idea

For some people the global warming debate has gone as cold as these late March days; there isn’t one anymore. But for two scientists scheduled to speak in Racine next week, it might as well be the heat of August. Willie Soon, a physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and David Legates, an associate professor of climatology at the University of Delaware, don’t buy into the prevailing hypothesis that all the carbon dioxide we’re adding to the atmosphere will in just a few decades warm the earth and cause drastic changes in the weather.

For the first 14 of his 19 years in science, Soon said he conducted research on the sun without thinking about the role of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, quietly publishing scientific papers that opposed mainstream thought on global warming. In the last five years, he said, his conscience drove him to start speaking out. His work has led him to the conclusion that solar radiation, the sun shining on the earth, is the driving force in what other scientists believe is global warming. He suggests that the waxing and waning of the sun’s power, as reflected in sunspot cycles, can account for changes in the global climate history.

Legates’ objection to human-caused global warming lies with the lack of warming in the last decade. That suggests that some other force is acting on the climate, he said. He is troubled by the computer models which don’t reflect the real world, and he said that some of those predictive models assume extraordinary amounts of carbon dioxide because that’s the only way the model will produce a trend.

Soon and Legates also take issue with the current scientific system. No one will truly engage him in discussion of the science, Soon said; everything descends into personal attacks. “They’re not willing to criticize my work and point out the errors. That’s the problem. I don’t know what is wrong with my argument,” he said.

Legates said many scientists who don’t necessarily agree with human-caused warming remain silent because it keeps research money flowing and because most want quiet lives. Both suggested there is a problem of group-think in climate science. As the editor of a journal, Legates said, he could publish just about anything by picking the reviewers carefully. “You can’t simply can’t declare the debate’s over,” Legates said. “We’re not anywhere close to that point.”

“I think that skepticism is healthy in the scientific process,” said Steve Vavrus, a senior scientist for climatic research at the Gaylord Nelson Institute of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “I think it would be very dangerous if everyone had the same view and didn’t question each other.”

Although not an expert in solar radiation, he said he does keep up on the field and everything he’s read discounts the sun as a force in global warming. Computer climate models are necessarily simplifications, and the large amounts of carbon dioxide used in them are not to find a trend but to account for all the other greenhouse gases, Vavrus said. As to recent ups and downs, he said, there is always natural variability in the climate system.

If one just reads the science in the reports from the International Panel on Climate Change, he said, it’s overwhelming. Likewise there are few naysayers at conferences because most scientists have come to the conclusion that carbon dioxide generated by humans is the major factor in global warming, he said.

What Soon describes as personal attacks are unfortunate, Vavrus said. “You know, I’d be interested in getting together with the two of them and having a beer and chatting about some of these things if we could keep it from getting personal, because I’m interested in their experiences in sticking their necks out and being such skeptics because I know it’s such a tough road for them.”

“On the other hand, scientists love to prove each other wrong,” he said. That is so ingrained in scientists that it serves as a check on pressures to conform, he said.


Indiana governor critical of new environmental laws

Gov. Mitch Daniels said in a Friday morning stop in Linton that he is proud that the state has stepped up and passed historic coal legislation that he says is good news for the economy in Greene, Sullivan and other southern Indiana communities. Daniels signed a bill into law Tuesday that allows the state's finance authority to negotiate long-term contracts to buy and sell synthetic natural gas from a planned southern Indiana coal-gasification plant.

The governor said the law will save Indiana's natural gas users billions of dollars by ensuring a steady supply of synthetic natural gas free of the price fluctuations of the natural gas market.... Much of the coal will come from the new Peabody Coal Company Bear Pit surface mine that will open later this year south of Dugger....

"These plants will deliver savings to rate payers over time because the long-term cost of coal will be less than the long term cost of natural gas. So what do you get -- a ton of jobs and we pay ourselves instead of someone else for the coal. It's essentially as clean as nuclear and wind power and all of these other things and it's savings to rate payers. It's a really good deal. I've been working on this for three years, so if I sound fired up, I am."

The governor urged Hoosiers to pay attention to a federal movement originating with the current administration in Washington D.C. of what is being suggested in the name of "climate controls" is what he called a "horrible threat to Greene County (and) to all of Indiana."

"The way it is being suggested is this carbon tax will be paid on your utility bills and would more than double utility bills in this state," Daniels said, and pointed out this would hurt the state's ability to attract new business and hinder jobs creation.

"What this is beginning to smell like is a plan that will tax the living day lights out of the Midwest so they can spend money on whatever (Speaker of the House) Nancy Pelosi has in mind in California," Daniels stressed. "I'm hoping that this whole climate change freight train is slowing down a little bit. They (the administration) is determined to do this thing. I've talked to (Senators) Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar about this and I think they are aware of the dangers."

The governor pointed out that jobs and the economy continue to be a concern. He noted that the state is among the leaders in the Midwest in creating new jobs, but are losing far too many other manufacturing jobs as the recession tightens.


Texas education board's global warming standards irk Green Fascists

Must not question them! Textbook requirements question whether AGW exists but also push students to explore its implications

The State Board of Education on Friday adopted standards on the teaching of global warming that appear to both question its existence and prod students to explore its implications.

Language that instructed students to "analyze and evaluate different views on the existence of global warming," which had been offered as an amendment and was adopted unanimously in an initial vote Thursday, led to outrage among environmental groups. "In a last-minute assault on science and sensibility, the board appears to be supporting its own ideological views rather than those of proven science," said Ramon Alvarez, a senior scientist with Environmental Defense Fund.

The chairman of the state board, Don McLeroy, called the standards "perfectly good." "Conservatives like me think the evidence (for human contributions to global warming) is a bunch of hooey," McLeroy said.

But the state board approved standards that engage some of the underlying causes and effects of global warming, including one that calls on students to "analyze the empirical relationship between the emissions of carbon dioxide, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and the average global temperature trends over the past 150 years" and another to "describe the effect of pollution on global warming, glacial and ice cap melting, greenhouse effect, ozone layer, and aquatic viability."

The current standards, which were adopted about a decade ago, barely touch on climate change.

"Asking students to independently discover the relationship between ice melting and global warming is important," said James Canup, executive director of the Texas League of Conservation Voters. "But the main message coming out of there is that Texas is setting a bad standard by putting question marks next to global warming in the textbooks."


Alaska: Drowning in the snows of Kotzebue

It's March now, how March should be-blue and sunny, twenty to thirty below in the morning with daytime highs rising to zero. Winter is slipping into memory, but we still have the drifts around Kotzebue to remind us.

January brought a longer-than-usual stretch of 30 and 40 below weather. We got restless, on the verge of cabin fever. We thought we deserved a break. Then the storms came, blizzards after blizzard--so often that we might as well have painted our windows white. Not that the paint would have stayed on.

Kotzebue is supposed to be stormy, but this year was more like drowning-we'd get a blow, and if we were lucky have a day to come up for air and shovel out, and then get hit with it again.

Much more HERE

Australia: 'Extinct' possums back from the dead

There are MILLIONS of possums in Australia and New Zealand. "Brushtail" possums commonly live in the roof spaces of older houses in Brisbane, where they make a considerable racket. It is hard to imagine how noisy such small animals can be. They sound like a thundering herd of elephants when they run about on my ceiling at times. Visitors from South are often greatly alarmed by the noise they make there and look dubious when you tell them that it is "just possums". Most Brisbane people are used to them, however. Nonetheless possum removal experts do a good trade. The fact that the slightly different species described below is so rare almost certainly indicates that it has been out-competed by the more adaptable common "brushtail" species and was headed for extinction anyway.

Although they are only about the size of a small cat, Australia's possums (a different but related species to the American opossum) are remarkably fearless of humans, which is rather endearing and gives rise to the Australia expression of "Stir the possum". If you disturb them they will often snap back rather than run away. That fearlessness is probably bad for them in New Zealand, however. New Zealanders hate them and do all they can to kill them. The fact that there are probably more possums in New Zealand than there are people might have something to do with that. But I certainly enjoy it when I am having an evening meal on my verandah and a possum comes strolling past along the telecoms cable that runs above the street in front of my house. They are remarkably confident little animals and seem to do a high wire act with total ease

And I can vouch for the fact that Australia's "brushtail" possums are marsupials. I got quite a clear view of the marsupium of a female possum while sitting at my dinner table recently. There is a mulberry tree that abuts onto my verandah and possums often leap about in it quite unconcerned about the nearby human presence. It is always a great pleasure to see them there. And I live in an old inner-city area, not in any kind of rural setting. But Australian inner city areas tend to be pleasant, leafy places. I also see wild turkeys about the place a lot

A POSSUM population believed to have been wiped out by climate change is in fact clinging to survival, scientists say. Researchers say they have discovered three living brown lemuroid ringtail possums in the Daintree National Park, on Cape York, although the Daintree possums were believed to have been killed off during a heat wave in 2005.

No white lemuroid possums - which once accounted for 40 per cent of the lemuroid possum population in the area - have been located so far.

But Associate Professor Steve Williams of James Cook University said there was no reason to believe they wouldn't have survived alongside their brown relatives. "I don't think there is any reason to believe the white ones are harder hit than the brown ones," he said.

Lemuroid ringtail possums are found in just two locations, at the Carbine Tablelands in the Daintree and in the Atherton Tablelands, west of Cairns, though white lemuroids are extremely rare in the latter location.

Prof Williams said the Daintree possums had not been spotted since an extended heatwave in 2005, leading to the belief that they had been pushed to extinction by climate change. He said the species could not cope with extended periods of temperatures over 27 degrees.

"Over the last 50 years, the number of days where you get that temperature has been steadily increasing, to the point that in 2005 there were 27 consecutive days where the temperature went above that threshold," he said. "That seems to have really knocked them down."

Prof Williams said the species still hadn't been found in locations where they had been common and his research team would try to identify why they had survived in the current location.

He said the possums remained extremely vulnerable and another heatwave could wipe them out. "I don't think they are out of danger in any shape or form. It is very clear that these heatwaves are steadily increasing," he said. [And where is the evidence for that? It is just a creed he is uttering]



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.


Saturday, March 28, 2009


An email from Paul Stevens [pstevens2@gmail.com]:

I have been struck, recently, by what I think is a significant shift observable in the public media. I don't mean that suddenly all newspaper, television and internet outlets are suddenly printing anti-global warming pieces. Rather, it is in the comment sections under most internet blog and news items and in letters to the editors of hard copy news journals.

There now seems to be a preponderance of public comment that rejects the wilder claims of the AGW proponents and that recommend nuclear power as a clear and reasonable alternative to windmills and solar photovoltaic as primary generators of electricity. I would say this turnaround has occurred within the last year. It is now common to see more than five comments rejecting alternate energy solutions to every one supporting it. And an even higher ratio rejecting wild claims of doom for inevitable global warming for every one saying it is natural, or slight or something that can easily be accomodated in a world whose people are growing more prosperous.

This has been happening gradually for years, but in he last twelve months public opinon (as expressed in the available media) seems to have reached a tipping point. Maybe the climate change cheerleading squads are just tired, after hyping it for so long, with so little actual change. I wouldn't call this a rout just yet, as long as Obama feels he has to mouth platitudes about how the US will soon be leading the charge, but it is starting to take on the odour of one.

Hansen admits to guesswork about basic climate model inputs

On Mar. 11, Dr. James E. Hansen gave a talk at the Climate Change Congress in Copenhagen. It was titled "Air Pollutant Climate Forcings within the Big Climate Picture" It is available online here [PDF].

As Tom Nelson observes: "The stuff on pages 6-8 of the PDF really has to be seen to be believed. Hansen actually admits [Chart 9] that the IPCC aerosol estimate was "pretty much pulled out of a hat""

The commentary for Chart 8 is also a rather revealing admission:

"We do not have measurements of aerosols going back to the 1800s – we don’t even have global measurements today. Any measurements that exist incorporate both forcing and feedback. Aerosol effects on clouds are very uncertain"


[...] Formed in a heretical and broad-thinking tradition of British public intellectuals, Dyson left behind a brooding England still stricken by two bloody world wars to become an optimistic American immigrant with tremendous faith in the creative imagination's ability to invent technologies that would overcome any predicament. And according to the physicist and former Caltech president Marvin Goldberger, Dyson is himself the living embodiment of that kind of ingenuity. "You point Freeman at a problem and he'll solve it," Goldberger says. "He's extraordinarily powerful." Dyson seems to see the world as an interdisciplinary set of problems out there for him to evaluate. Climate change is the big scientific issue of our time, so naturally he finds it irresistible. But to Dyson this is really only one more charged conundrum attracting his interest just as nuclear weapons and rural poverty have. That is to say, he is a great problem-solver who is not convinced that climate change is a great problem.

Dyson is well aware that "most consider me wrong about global warming." That educated Americans tend to agree with the conclusion about global warming reached earlier this month at the International Scientific Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen ("inaction is inexcusable") only increases Dyson's resistance. Dyson may be an Obama-loving, Bush-loathing liberal who has spent his life opposing American wars and fighting for the protection of natural resources, but he brooks no ideology and has a withering aversion to scientific consensus. The Nobel physics laureate Steven Weinberg admires Dyson's physics - he says he thinks the Nobel committee fleeced him by not awarding his work on quantum electrodynamics with the prize - but Weinberg parts ways with his sensibility: "I have the sense that when consensus is forming like ice hardening on a lake, Dyson will do his best to chip at the ice."

Much more HERE


The erstwhile chief organ of the old Soviet leadership still has some ideas in common with the past. But this time they make more sense. Or they should to Leftists anyway

I think that the CO2-caused Global Warming theory is false and unproven junk science.

But let's suppose for a moment that the CO2 equals Global Warming equation is real. The wealthy elitists James Hansen, Al Gore, Tony Blair, Barack Obama, and the other high-profile cheerleaders for CO2 reduction are asking the poor and middle classes to suffer the consequences of a radical shutdown of global commerce and energy production in order to 'save the planet' from Global Warming. They want to make serfs of the masses of working people, while a privileged elite will be permitted to continue living in high style with a much larger 'carbon footprint' than the un-entitled lower classes.

We should never let that happen. The only way that 'carbon rationing' should be allowed is by assigning the exact same carbon limit to all people everywhere. Al Gore, Barack Obama, a London cabbie, and a Kalahari Bushman should all be assigned exactly the same number of 'carbon credits', period. Let them trade their credits with each other, but everyone should be restricted to the same limited 'carbon credit' allowance. The long-term ultimate effect of this would be an economic leveling of society; essentially global Communism. Under such a system, no one would be able to accumulate an excess of personal property or wealth because they could never accumulate enough 'carbon credits' to do so.

When Hansen, Gore, Blair, and Obama give up their patrician incomes and lifestyles and restrict their own 'carbon footprint' to the level of the common labourer or office worker, I will begin to believe that they are sincere about preventing Global Warming. Their obvious unwillingness to do what they are asking the rest of us to do proves that they are not sincere. They want the common people to sacrifice their lives to prevent Global Warming, while the wealthy retain their high-carbon consuming and producing privileges.

We cannot permit a privileged elite to enjoy a 'high-carbon' lifestyle while the poor are restricted by law to a 'low-carbon' lifestyle. Any effort by any government to impose carbon rationing with preferential treatment to any class of people should be seen as sufficient reason for an all-out French-style revolution in which the majority population dispossess the elitists of their wealth, their positions of power, and their privilege. In a world that is constantly threatened by Global Warming, we cannot allow a greedy few to consume or produce in excess of the average 'carbon footprint' of the world's population as a whole.

Barack Obama keeps the temperature at 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the Oval Office while telling the rest of us to turn our thermostats down. James Hansen has received grants amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote the Global Warming theory. Al Gore has invested heavily in the 'carbon trading' brokerage business. All of these men jet around the world, live in oversized houses, and ride in limousines. If the common people are to be required by law to reduce our 'carbon footprint', we need to demand that our leaders and the wealthy elite be restricted to exactly the same carbon allowance as everyone else.

We are not all together in the fight against Global Warming unless everyone is required to make the same sacrifices by sharing an equal 'carbon footprint' and an equal 'carbon ration', which should be assigned equally to every living person in the entire world. We need to hold the elitists' feet to the fire and require them to make exactly the same sacrifices as the rest of humanity.

Individual carbon limits and carbon rationing? Bring them on. Viva la Revolucion!


The Greatest Scam in History

Are you one of the victims of the "greatest scam in history"? I'm not referring to the scam conducted by Bernie Mad[e]off. I'm referring to what veteran meteorologist John Coleman calls the "greatest scam in history".

The victims of Mad[e]off's scam are typical of scam victims. They allowed their greed to override their common sense. They failed to consider the advice of the police that if some opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Victims of the global warming scam have done nothing to make themselves victims, particularly those who are unemployed through no actions they have taken.

Those who could have been employed constructing clean coal powered electric plants are unemployed because the perpetrators of the global warming scam have stopped construction of those plants. The need to supply equipment for such plants and goods and services to construction workers would have created more jobs.

According to the perpetrators of the global warming scam, there is supposed to be a total consensus that what they call "global warming" is a major threat to earth's future. Coleman is one of many meteorlogists who disagree with some or all of their claims. S. Fred Singer is another who questions such claims. The two of them together have over 100 years of experience studying weather. Coleman founded the Weather Channel. Singer was the first head of the National Weather Satellite Service.

The claim that the minor atmospheric gas carbon dioxide (CO2) can determine atmospheric temperature sounds so absurd that it is hard to understand how anyone with a logical scientific mind could believe it. Supposedly CO2 which comprises less than 400 parts per million of the atmosphere can cause higher temperatures by absorbing and reemitting low energy infrared radiation (IR) from earth's surface. They make this claim in spite of the fact that physicist R.W. Wood proved a century ago that trapping IR couldn't even cause heating in an enclosed greenhouse much less the atmosphere.

The equation they use to predict catastrophic warming contains a major flaw that NASA covered up until Ferenc Miskolczi left NASA and blew the whistle on them. The equation Arthur Milne developed in 1922 contains a serious flaw. Milne mistakenly solved the differential equation involved by assuming an infinitely thick atmosphere. NASA is a major player in the global warming scam. Some of its employees may have acted illegally.

Those who believe in global warming claim that a 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.5 degree Celsius) increase in what they call a global average temperature during the 20th Century indicates global warming. The fact is that even if the number they use had any mathematical value it would amount to only a 0.16 % change which would more likely be due to changes or deficiencies in equipment or changes in the area surrounding the equipment. Much of that equipment is in areas where maintenance is likely to be unavailable, but even the equipment in developed countries may be unreliable. There are documented problems with equipment and locations used to measure temperatures in the U.S.

Believers in global warming act more like religious fanatics than scientists. For them consensus is more important than facts. They call those who question their beliefs names like "contrarians" or "deniers" much like those who believed the earth was the center of the universe called Galileo and Copernicus "heretics'.

Those who question global warming have something else in common with Galileo and Copernicus. Galileo and Copernicus challenged the belief that the human inhabited earth must be the center of the universe the sun. Their persecutors believed the sun must revolve around the earth because the consensus view considered humans so important.

Those who claim humans are causing global warming believe humans are so powerful they can magically control earth's climate by manipulating a very minor atmospheric gas. They ignore the fact that earth's heat comes from the sun.

The so-called "deniers" believe that changes in the sun's output determine whether earth warms or cools. Some astrophysicists, who study the sun, believe that thousands of years of observation of the sun indicate the sun is about to enter a part of its cycle in which it will produce less heat as was the case in the 18th Century when Gen. George Washington's troops spent an extremely cold winter at Valley Forge.

The corrupt United Nations and other political organizations are pushing the scam. This is the same U.N. that was behind the oil for food scandals and scandals in UNESCO and UNICEF. The same U.N. that approved the U.S. invasion of Iraq to look for Weapons of Mass Destruction. There was more evidence for WMD in Iraq than there is for global warming caused by CO2.

Some financial interests, including the bankrupt Lehman Brothers, have been pushing the scam as means of increasing the value of a financial instrument they call "carbon credits". These carbon credits potentialty allow financial parasites to cut themselves in for a portion of the revenue of various companies. Carbon credits inflate the cost of goods and services and may force companies to lay off people who would otherwise not lose their jobs.

Supporters of the global warming scam claim they want to protect the environment, but they call CO2 a polutant even though it is essential to biological life. Plants need CO2 to produce the food we eat.

The scammers by emphasizing a non-threat to the environment divert attention from ways humans actually affect the environment such as the production of black soot in China's dirty coal electrical plants. Black soot mixing with snow in the Arctic converts sunlight into heat that melts the snow. Without the soot the snow would reflect the sunlight back into space.



A United Nations document on "climate change" that will be distributed to a major environmental conclave next week envisions a huge reordering of the world economy, likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses and gains, new taxes, industrial relocations, new tariffs and subsidies, and complicated payments for greenhouse gas abatement schemes and carbon taxes - all under the supervision of the world body.

Those and other results are blandly discussed in a discreetly worded United Nations "information note" on potential consequences of the measures that industrialized countries will likely have to take to implement the Copenhagen Accord, the successor to the Kyoto Treaty, after it is negotiated and signed by December 2009. The Obama administration has said it supports the treaty process if, in the words of a U.S. State Department spokesman, it can come up with an "effective framework" for dealing with global warming.

The 16-page note, obtained by FOX News, will be distributed to participants at a mammoth negotiating session that starts on March 29 in Bonn, Germany, the first of three sessions intended to hammer out the actual commitments involved in the new deal.

In the stultifying language that is normal for important U.N. conclaves, the negotiators are known as the "Ad Hoc Working Group On Further Commitments For Annex I Parties Under the Kyoto Protocol." Yet the consequences of their negotiations, if enacted, would be nothing short of world-changing.

Getting that deal done has become the United Nations' highest priority, and the Bonn meeting is seen as a critical step along the path to what the U.N. calls an "ambitious and effective international response to climate change," which is intended to culminate at the later gathering in Copenhagen.

Just how ambitious the U.N.'s goals are can be seen, but only dimly, in the note obtained by FOX News, which offers in sparse detail both positive and negative consequences of the tools that industrial nations will most likely use to enforce the greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The paper makes no effort to calculate the magnitude of the costs and disruption involved, but despite the discreet presentation, makes clear that they will reverberate across the entire global economic system.

Among the tools that are considered are the cap-and-trade system for controlling carbon emissions that has been espoused by the Obama administration; "carbon taxes" on imported fuels and energy-intensive goods and industries, including airline transportation; and lower subsidies for those same goods, as well as new or higher subsidies for goods that are considered "environmentally sound."

Other tools are referred to only vaguely, including "energy policy reform," which the report indicates could affect "large-scale transportation infrastructure such as roads, rail and airports." When it comes to the results of such reform, the note says only that it could have "positive consequences for alternative transportation providers and producers of alternative fuels."

In the same bland manner, the note informs negotiators without going into details that cap-and-trade schemes "may induce some industrial relocation" to "less regulated host countries." Cap-and-trade functions by creating decreasing numbers of pollution-emission permits to be traded by industrial users, and thus pay more for each unit of carbon-based pollution, a market-driven system that aims to drive manufacturers toward less polluting technologies.

The note adds only that industrial relocation "would involve negative consequences for the implementing country, which loses employment and investment." But at the same time it "would involve indeterminate consequences for the countries that would host the relocated industries."

There are also entirely new kinds of tariffs and trade protectionist barriers such as those termed in the note as "border carbon adjustment"- which, the note says, can impose "a levy on imported goods equal to that which would have been imposed had they been produced domestically" under more strict environmental regimes.

Another form of "adjustment" would require exporters to "buy [carbon] offsets at the border equal to that which the producer would have been forced to purchase had the good been produced domestically."

The impact of both schemes, the note says, "would be functionally equivalent to an increased tariff: decreased market share for covered foreign producers." (There is no definition in the report of who, exactly, is "foreign.") The note adds that "If they were implemented fairly, such schemes would leave trade and investment patterns unchanged." Nothing is said about the consequences if such fairness was not achieved.

Indeed, only rarely does the "information note" attempt to inform readers in dollar terms of the impact of "spillover effects" from the potential policy changes it discusses. In a brief mention of consumer subsidies for fossil fuels, the note remarks that such subsidies in advanced economies exceed $60 billion a year, while they exceed $90 billion a year in developing economies."

But calculations of the impact of tariffs, offsets, or other subsidies is rare. In a reference to the impact of declining oil exports, the report says that Saudi Arabia has determined the loss to its economy at between $100 billion and $200 billion by 2030, but said nothing about other oil exporters.

One reason for the lack of detail, the note indicates, is that impact would vary widely depending on the nature and scope of the policies adopted (and, although the note does not mention it, on the severity of the greenhouse reduction targets).

But even when it does hazard a guess at specific impacts, the report seems curiously hazy. A "climate change levy on aviation" for example, is described as having undetermined "negative impacts on exporters of goods that rely on air transport, such as cut flowers and premium perishable produce," as well as "tourism services." But no mention is made in the note of the impact on the aerospace industry, an industry that had revenues in 2008 of $208 billion in the U.S. alone, or the losses the levy would impose on airlines for ordinary passenger transportation. (Global commercial airline revenues in 2008 were about $530 billion, and were already forecast to drop to an estimated $467 billion this year.)

In other cases, as when discussing the "increased costs of traditional exports" under a new environmental regime, the report confines itself to terse description. Changes in standards and labeling for exported goods, for example, "may demand costly changes to the production process." If subsidies and tariffs affect exports, the note says, the "economic and social consequences of dampening their viability may, for some countries and sectors, be significant."

Much depends, of course, on the extent to which harsher or more lenient greenhouse gas reduction targets demand more or less drastic policies for their achievement.

And, precisely because the Bonn meeting is a stage for negotiating those targets, the note is silent. Instead it suggests that more bureaucratic work is needed "to deepen the understanding of the full nature and scale of such impacts."

But outside the Bonn process, other experts have been much more blunt about the draconian nature of the measures they deem necessary to make "effective" greenhouse gas reductions.

In an influential but highly controversial paper called "Key Elements of a Global Deal on Climate Change," British economist Nicholas Lord Stern, formerly a high British Treasury official, has declared that industrial economies would need to cut their per capita carbon dioxide emissions by "at least 80% by 2050," while the biggest economies, like the U.S.'s, would have to make cuts of 90 percent.

Stern also calls for "immediate and binding" reduction targets for developed nations of 20 percent to 40 percent by 2020.

To meet Stern's 2050 goals, he says, among other things, "most of the world's electricity production will need to have been decarbonized."

By way of comparison, according to the U.S. Department Of Energy, roughly 72 percent of U.S. electrical power generation in 2007 was derived from burning fossil fuels, with just 6 percent coming from hydro-power and less than 3 percent from non-nuclear renewable and "other" sources. And even then, those "other" non-fossil sources included wood and biomass - which, when burned, are major emitters of carbon.



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.


Friday, March 27, 2009


The early Pliocene is a bit pesky for Warmists. As far as we can tell, it was much like today in terms of CO2 levels and solar activity. Yet it was much warmer and so sea levels were much higher. But nobody knows why. It is not explained by the "forcings" usually discussed today. Does not that imply that there is much about earth's temperature that we do not understand? If so, should we not be leery of models which claim to predict earth's temperature from a state of such imperfect knowledge? Surely so!

A recent paper does not help much. It claims to explain the phenomernon but the explanation is pathetic. It concludes that in the larger and warmer ocean of the early Pliocene the warm water stetched closer to the pole. Big surprise! In good Greenie fashion, it would seem to be confusing an effect of warming with the cause of it.

Popular summary of the finding below followed by journal abstract

The early Pliocene epoch from 5.3 to about 3 million years ago was much warmer than today. Despite this difference, the early Pliocene climate was very much like the preindustrial present in many important ways--including the amount of solar radiation Earth received, the concentration of atmospheric CO2, and a nearly identical geographic environment. However, there was no permanent ice sheet in the Northern Hemisphere, and global sea level was 25 meters higher. Why then was the world so different? Brierly et al. analyze new and published data about sea surface temperatures 4 million years ago that show that the meridional temperature gradient between the equator and the subtropics was much shallower than it is today, implying that the ocean tropical warm pool was much larger. An atmospheric general circulation model shows what major atmospheric circulation changes such a sea surface temperature field implies, with relevance for how climate warming may affect the future.


Greatly Expanded Tropical Warm Pool and Weakened Hadley Circulation in the Early Pliocene

By Chris M. Brierley et al.

The Pliocene warm interval has been difficult to explain. We reconstructed the latitudinal distribution of sea surface temperature around 4 million years ago, during the early Pliocene. Our reconstruction shows that the meridional temperature gradient between the equator and subtropics was greatly reduced, implying a vast poleward expansion of the ocean tropical warm pool. Corroborating evidence indicates that the Pacific temperature contrast between the equator and 32°N has evolved from 2°C 4 million years ago to 8°C today. The meridional warm pool expansion evidently had enormous impacts on the Pliocene climate, including a slowdown of the atmospheric Hadley circulation and El NiƱo–like conditions in the equatorial region. Ultimately, sustaining a climate state with weak tropical sea surface temperature gradients may require additional mechanisms of ocean heat uptake (such as enhanced ocean vertical mixing).

Science 27 March 2009. Vol. 323. no. 5922, pp. 1714 - 1718


Barack Obama may be forced to delay signing up to a new international agreement on climate change in Copenhagen at the end of the year because of the scale of opposition in the US Congress, it emerged today. Senior figures in the Obama administration have been warning Labour counterparts that the president may need at least another six months to win domestic support for any proposal. Such a delay could derail the securing of a tough global agreement in time for countries and markets to adopt it before the Kyoto treaty runs out in 2012.

American officials would prefer to have the approval of Congress for any international agreement and fear that if the US signed up without it there would be a serious domestic backlash.

Stephen Byers, co-chairman of the International Climate Change Taskforce, said: "The Copenhagen climate change talks in December will come at a difficult moment. The timing couldn't really be worse for the Obama administration. It is vital that this is recognised by the international community. If need be, we should be prepared to give them more time - not to let them off the hook and escape their responsibilities, but ensure they are politically able to sign up to effective international action which reflects the scale of the challenge we face." Byers, a former cabinet minister who has close contacts with senior Democrats in the Obama team, added: "The practical reality is that a delay into 2010 will still leave time for a new international structure to be put in place for 2012 to follow from Kyoto. Such a delay would be a price worth paying to bring the United States into the global effort to tackle climate change."

The White House's new chief science adviser, John Holden, was a member of the climate change taskforce and Todd Stern, one of its advisers, is working with Hillary Clinton at the State Department and will lead negotiations for the US in Copenhagen. Stern has warned it will be a tall order to get congressional approval before Copenhagen.

Obama has committed the US to reducing its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, but scientists and European governments insist deeper cuts are needed. Obama has suggested that the US could compensate with swifter reductions in the years beyond 2020. His recent budget proposal calls for reducing US emissions roughly 80% by 2050 over 2005 levels.

The British government view, including that of the energy secretary, Ed Miliband, is that the Obama administration can and will strike a deal at Copenhagen, but officials in Washington fear America may be running out of time. They have even been looking at whether an agreement would be seen as an international treaty requiring a two-thirds majority in Congress, or whether it could be forced through as a presidential executive order. But the opposition within America is potentially substantial, and might be hardened if Obama looks like he is presenting Congress with a fait accompli.

There are thought to be as many as 15 Democratic senators who represent "rust-belt" states dependent on coal mining, steel production and heavy manufacturing, all big emitters of carbon. There have also been suggestions that the cost of any climate change legislation may be higher than the $646bn suggested by the Obama administration.

On Tuesday, Obama recommited himself and America to the principle of a "cap and trade" scheme, but said he would try to introduce a regional scheme that would ensure energy prices did not rise uniformly across America.

Stern would prefer to see the US go to Copenhagen with congressional approval, telling a recent symposium: "The optimum would be [climate] legislation that is signed, sealed and delivered. It has been a long time now that countries have been looking for the United States to lead and take action. I think nothing would give a more powerful signal to other countries in the world than to see a significant, major, mandatory American plan."



President Obama was huddled in talks yesterday with congressional Democrats over proposals that would pare his $3.6 trillion budget, raising question marks over how he would fund promises on healthcare, climate change and tax cuts.

Although the President was braced for ferocious opposition from Republicans, who warn that his spending plans will bankrupt America, he also faces growing hostility from a group of fiscally conservative Democrats alarmed by forecasts of a $9.3 trillion (£6.3 trillion) deficit over ten years.

Kent Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, outlined a spending plan on Tuesday that would eventually cut annual deficits by two thirds but severely weaken the President's ability to extend health coverage to the uninsured or introduce measures designed to combat global warming.

While Mr Obama had sought a $634 billion "down-payment" for healthcare reform over the next decade, the Senate plan says that this must be paid for through savings elsewhere or tax increases at a later date.

Neither the Senate version - nor the slightly less severe proposal suggested yesterday by the House of Representatives Budget Committee - would include Mr Obama's scheme for a $15 billion a year "cap-and-trade" system on carbon use. This has encountered stiff resistance from Democrats in coalmining states such as the key electoral battlegrounds of Ohio and Pennsylvania, who say that 85 per cent of their energy comes from such fossil fuels and that it could have a devastating effect on a manufacturing sector already stricken by the recession.

Eric Cantor, a member of the Republican leadership in the House, claimed yesterday that Mr Obama's budget was "so far out of the mainstream" that even Democrats were reluctant to support it.



It is gradually dawning on Washington that cap-and-trade legislation won't pass anytime soon--certainly not this year, and probably not next year either. One reason is public opinion: a Gallup survey released last week revealed that "for the first time in Gallup's 25-year history of asking Americans about the trade-off between environmental protection and economic growth, a majority of Americans say economic growth should be given the priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent." Just four years ago, protecting the environment enjoyed a 17-point edge; today, the advantage goes to the economy, 51-42.

The second reason is regional politics. Support for environmental legislation is strongest on the coasts, weakest in the interior areas that depend more heavily on coal-fired power plants. The Midwest, which has already been hit hard by the collapse of manufacturing, would take a second blow. This matters because the Democratic Party is an uneasy coalition between the coasts and the interior, symbolized by bitter fight between Henry Waxman and John Dingell for the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It is hard to imagine Midwestern Democrats voting for cap-and-trade in current economic circumstances, and perhaps not in any economic circumstances--that is, unless they receive credible assurances of dollar-for-dollar offsets against the higher costs their constituents would have to bear.

This reality creates two difficulties for the Obama administration. On the fiscal front, the administration is counting on $629 billion in revenues from cap-and-trade to pay for the Making Work Pay tax credit and its proposed spending on clear energy technology. Failure to pass cap-and-trade would force the administration to choose between cherished programs and an even higher budget deficit, already estimated by the CBO at $9.3 trillion over the next decade. On the diplomatic front, when the Copenhagen Climate Conference convenes this December, the administration faces the prospect of showing up empty-handed. Senior officials acknowledge the potential embarrassment for a president so clearly determined to assert American global leadership on energy and environmental issues but see no easy way out.

In the face of these inconvenient developments, the administration's options are limited. If the president remains committed to Making Work Pay and clean energy investment, he will probably have to agree to equivalent spending reductions elsewhere, because fiscal moderates within his own party will insist. Internationally, the president's team would be wise to prepare other key participants in the Copenhagen conference for the near-certainty that the stance of the United States on emissions reductions will be based mostly on good intentions rather than settled policy. The administration, quite simply, won't be close to meeting its own standards of success on environmental issues--and it is hard to erect credibility on a foundation of overpromising and underperforming.



One by one, the energy giants that hoisted green flags and trumpeted their conversion to renewables are ducking and diving and hiding behind the curtains. Iberdrola, a big investor in wind farms in Spain and the owner of ScottishPower, is slashing its spending on renewables by 40 per cent. Shell said recently it would no longer invest in wind turbines, preferring to focus its efforts on new biofuel technology, while BP has opted out of the UK renewables market, deeming it to be a poor bet.

It is tempting to see the great push for renewable energy in Europe as a fair-weather phenomenon. The performance of Britain's turbines is a case in point - for much of January they were operating at about 10 per cent of capacity.

That should be no surprise, given that periods of severe cold (or heat) coincide with lack of wind, but it doesn't help when a utility is trying to deliver power into the grid, not to mention returns to its shareholders. These issues are critical, because we need to begin building more power capacity today if we are to avoid blackouts by 2015 when we are committed to closing old coal-fired power stations.

All of this is embarrassing for a Government that likes to portray itself as the champion of green causes. But it is pointless for Ed Miliband, the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, to berate utilities for not building stuff that is uneconomic and, anyway, cannot be relied upon to deliver the power we need at the flick of a switch.


Australian interest in environment issues wanes as Facebook group urges Earth Hour power ON

An anti-Earth Hour group urging Australians to keep their lights blazing this weekend is a sign of waning interest in environmentalism, experts say. The global Earth Hour movement – founded in Australia in 2007 – is asking people to switch off their lights for one hour on Saturday night. But a Facebook group is urging people to "keep every light you own running during Earth Hour".

The group urges people to protest by switching lights on "if you think turning the lights out for an hour is completely ridiculous and will change nothing". "Or if you just think people who really believe global warming is a giant threat are dumb, join this group to keep every light you own running during Earth Hour."

Group member Alexander Woodhouse says: "The Earth Hour makes people feel like they've done their share and makes them sleep better... that's nice for them but it doesn't really help the earth." Another member wrote: "I don't believe the vast majority of those participating have given it enough thought to get to that point. ‘It's helping! I don't know how, but it's helping! I'm helping! I don't have to do anything else because I'm doing this now! Go me!'"

Australians have been losing interest in environmentalism for years, says social analyst David Chalke, who leads the annual AustraliaSCAN survey, a cultural change monitor established in 1992. "Absolutely the GFC (global financial crisis) has accelerated a decline in interest in environmentalism that was already going on,” Mr Chalke said. "Environmentalism has been in decline among the Australian public for the last five or six years. "The notion that we’re all becoming more environmentally concerned is not true. We get concerned occasionally when (global warming activist) Tim Flannery tells us we’re all going to die – but it’s not a genuine fundamental shift in values. "The impending recession has focussed people’s minds and priorities and clearly they are much more focussed of my job, my family, my house, rather than the more distant and esoteric idea of climate change. The attitude is: if the climate changes we’ll live with it."

Earth Hour will see lights go out in 82 countries and more than 2400 towns between 8.30pm and 9.30pm (local time) tomorrow night. Organisers hope one billion people will switch off. But practical measures – like demand for candles - suggest interest in the initiative has dipped this year. Last year, nearly 10,000 candles were ordered by a Caulfield candle business in Melbourne to cope with the demand during Earth Hour, but shop owner Roy Merrington said demand had dropped markedly, The Age reported. "I would like to think we would do the same (trade), but we will probably do half that," Mr Merrington said. "People's attention is elsewhere … the conversation about the health of the planet is on the back burner, because people are paranoid about money — and quite rightly."



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.