Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Nasty one for the "extreme weather" cries of the Warmists

Like the Southern USA, Northern Australia has a lot of very severe wind events -- called hurricanes in the USA and cyclones in Australia. So Northern Australia is a prime place for detecting an increase in "extreme" weather. But it isn't happening. So how do the Warmists respond? Not in a scientific way by deferring to the facts but by saying that extreme weather is like the second coming of Christ or the collapse of capitalism: It will happen "one day"

AUSTRALIAN government climate experts have failed to detect an increase in the intensity of tropical cyclones after analysing 26 years of data since the early 1980s. Climate scientists have warned that Australia should expect to see more intense cyclones in the future fuelled by rising global temperatures caused by greenhouse gases. But this latest research from seven Bureau of Meteorology scientists shows that so far there is no conclusive evidence to suggest this is already happening.

Scientists told The Courier-Mail the findings, which will fuel the debate among skeptics of human-caused climate change, did not mean climate change would not cause an increase in the frequency of powerful cyclones in the future.

Appearing in the prestigious Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres, published by the American Geophysical Union, the scientific paper analysed satellite data and images for all the tropical cyclone seasons in Australia from 1981 to 2007. The research concluded: "In the Australia region, no significant trends in the total numbers of Tropical Cyclones, or in the proportion of the most intense TCs, have been found."

Co-author of the research, Dr John McBride, said: "We still expect more intense cyclones but we are comfortable with the fact that you cannot yet see that in the data." The research did find a positive trend in the numbers of the most intense cyclones in the Southern Indian Ocean region. But the authors said while it was "possible" that the trend could show climate change at work, this finding could instead be down to "changes in data quality".

In theory, scientists say ongoing rises in ocean temperatures should see the numbers of intense cyclones increase. Professor David Karoly, a world-leading climatologist at the University of Melbourne, said the research did not change this expectation. "It's very very difficult with a 20 or 30-year time scale to separate a climate change signal from natural variation. You would not expect to see a signal until about 2030."

Last week Opposition Leader Tony Abbott criticised the Government's proposed emissions trading scheme, saying it should "not politicise events such as floods or cyclones to try to justify a new tax."


Global Warming Fully Covers the UK with Snow and Ice

So NASA does a coverup

ISLAND SNOW: Last week when NASA's Terra satellite orbited over Europe, it saw something very unusual. The normally temperate British Isles were completely covered by snow. On Jan. 7th, from an altitude of 420 miles, Terra's MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) camera snapped this picture:

Quite an embarrassment for the NASA "Global Warming" team, which seems never to cease its efforts to obscure and contort the facts of nature. If you go to their website right now, you'll see they actually have scrubbed this same photo, and replaced it with one showing only part of the UK, so you won't get the "wrong" impression that ALL of the UK was under snow and ice when the photo was made. But it was.

It's not only Britain. Heavy snowfall and record-low temperatures have spread across Europe, closing schools, paralyzing airports, and downing power lines. Much of North America and parts of Asia are experiencing the same brutal cold.


It's 15 below zero as weathermen go witch-hunting

By Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Kent

It is snowing big time in my town in Kent. The family sits in front of the television to discover whether there is more of the white stuff to come. However, instead of an informative weather forecast we are offered a political broadcast.

A dramatic sounding voiceover informs us that David Shukman, who is the BBC's environment and science correspondent, will report "on how one of the longest cold snaps for a generation fits in with theories of a warming planet and global climate change". Adopting a solemn tone that hints at catastrophes to come, Shukman announces that it is minus 15C in the Pennines and five cars are stranded before stating, "No wonder many are asking, `What about global warming?' "

Just in case the cold temperature encourages the British public to assume a degree of scepticism towards climate change alarmism, Shukman reassuringly informs us that the big freeze is not inconsistent with theories of global warming. A swift cut to a chap from Kew Gardens who insists that "snowdrops are already blooming" . Apparently flowering is starting much earlier than previously, which must mean that the world is getting very, very warm.

Concern that the present episode of cold weather might encourage public scepticism towards apocalyptic climate change scenarios is not confined to the BBC: "Britain's cold snap does not prove climate science wrong," argue two climate alarmist journalists in The Guardian. Leo Hickman and George Monbiot helpfully inform their readers that "weather is not the same as climate and single events are not the same as trends".

They are, of course, absolutely right, but rather selective in the way they minimise the significance of a single weather event. A few years ago when the temperature was relatively high and there was little rainfall across southeast England, weather forecasters and campaigning journalists ignored the distinction between climate and weather and insisted it was all a symptom of global warming. Indeed, an unexpected rise in temperature is presented as yet more evidence of the disaster to come.

Just in case you are a complacent sceptic, Hickman and Monbiot seize on an announcement made by Australia's Bureau of Meteorology that claims that the past 10 years are officially the hottest since records began. Apparently a rise in temperature in Australia may have direct significance for making sense of harsh wintry conditions in Britain. They speculate that the cold of the north and the warmth of the south "could be related". It could be, and no doubt their alarmist imagination will have no problems in linking the two as different forms of extreme weather.

The term extreme weather speaks for itself and has become the new normal. "Extreme weather on the rise," warns the website of the Australian Weather Channel. It communicates a sense of helplessness: "But our emergency response teams are under stress" so "who is going to help you"? This is a rhetorical question.

Extreme weather is not so much a scientific as a cultural metaphor that expresses the anxieties of our time. The conceptual linkage of weather with extreme symbolises a growing tendency to endow natural phenomena with moral meaning. We can no longer accept that sometimes harsh climatic conditions just happen. As in ancient times when superstition reigned, we interpret bad weather as a symptom of divine displeasure.

Today unexpected weather conditions are blamed on the impact of human beings on the environment. In medieval times unusual climatic episodes were seen as the handiwork of wicked demonic forces. Witchcraft was used to account for virtually every misfortune and unpleasant act. It was the climatic change brought by the so-called Little Ice Age in the 16th century that led to a resurgence of witch-hunting in Europe. From 1380 onwards, accusations of magic and weather-making increased dramatically in inquisitorial trials.

The resurgence of witch-hunting in the late 16th century was influenced by the belief that witches possessed demonic powers that could manipulate the climate in order to undermine the welfare and health of the communities in which they lived.

Throughout history people have sought to blame unusual climatic conditions on demonic forces. What the association of witchcraft with weather-making accomplished was to mobilise people's fears against the evil forces of heretics and non-believers. Scaremongering about witchcraft promoted the idea that its demonic powers could literally dominate nature. Father Friedrich Spee, a Jesuit critic of witch-hunting, noted sarcastically that "God and nature no longer do anything; witches, everything". But such beliefs were no joke. A late winter in the province of Treves in the 15th century led to more than 100 people being burned at the stake.

Since burning witches leaves a big carbon footprint, we are likely to find more environmentally friendly ways of punishing those who transgress society's confusing moral boundaries.


FL: Snow, chill culling unwanted iguanas & pythons

The more pythons gone the better, says a Florida wildlife official. But snow and unusual cold are also straining survival of native species like sea turtles and snook in the tropical Sunshine State. Below: Manatees gather in the warm water discharged from the Florida Power and Light Riviera Beach power plant into the Intracoastal Waterway. The cold weather has threatened native species like manatees and turtles. Don't tell me that one of those evil power stations is doing good!

An extended cold stretch gave way Saturday to what early Floridians called an “extraordinary white rain” – snow to the rest of us – as state wildlife biologists reported frozen iguanas falling out of trees, shallow water fish like snook dying in droves, and a record number of rare sea turtles facing the reptile version of hypothermia in St. Joseph Bay and the Mosquito Lagoon area.

The rare snow fall – only the 17th such event in modern history to ever hit the state in January – only highlighted the unusually long-lasting dip of Arctic air and its impact on both native and invasive species in the largely tropical landmass draping off the southern United States. “A cold-stunning event of this magnitude is very infrequent,” says Jim Squires, general manager of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island, which has taken in 10 cold-stunned sea turtles from Florida in recent days. Turtle rescuers worked around the clock, gathering over 700 passed-out turtles by Saturday and putting them in heated tanks at zoos and wildlife centers around the region to revive.

But if the extended cold threatened rare native species like turtles and the Florida manatee, it may also function as nature’s way of targeting invasive species that Florida wildlife officials, frankly, want to see gone from the state, and which have been causing a political stink for years.

In fact, the cold has given wildlife officials backup in their fight against two species that came uninvited to Florida: the green iguana and the Burmese python. Officials have one message to residents who feel sorry for frozen-stiff iguanas: Don’t try to rescue them by wrapping them in towels and bringing them inside. (As “iguana girl” does.) “We have calls coming in about iguanas dropping from trees and landing on people’s windshields … [but] the best thing to do with the iguanas is let nature take its course, since it’s the only way to help control this population,” says Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Gabriella Ferraro, adding that the iguanas “shouldn’t even be here.”

Florida’s big chill also plays into one of the biggest Florida stories last year: The controversy over the explosion of the Burmese python in and around Everglades National Park, and whether it should lead to a national ban on some exotic pets. After Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) brought a massive python hide to Congress to highlight the up to 150,000 large non-native snakes plying the swamps and threatening the ecosystem and even humans, the state last summer introduced its first-ever python bounty hunt, which has had limited success in pushing back the extremely reclusive and hard-to-find snakes. (Read a Monitor article about the python bounty hunt here.)

But Friday the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission put out a press release urging hunters to use the cold to help them find the pythons. The animals are likely to be forced by the cold to come out of their hiding places and find sunny spots – along roads and levees – to bask. The release reads: “All properly licensed and permitted hunters have the authority, if they wish, to harvest pythons and other reptiles of concern (Indian python, reticulated python, northern and southern African rock python, amethystine or scrub python, green anaconda and Nile monitor lizard) on Everglades, Francis S. Taylor, Holey Land and Rotenberger WMAs and Big Cypress National Preserve.” “The more pythons removed, the better,” says Ms. Ferraro.

Whether wanted or unwanted, animals and fish are struggling across Florida, and even revived sea turtles could face further problems since reptile hypothermia can lead to a compromised immune system, says Mr. Squires at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. “Sea turtles are endangered, and with only one out of several thousand hatchlings surviving to reach reproductive age, an event like this obviously takes on significance,” he adds.

In Riviera Beach, north of Miami, and Apollo Beach, near Tampa, manatees and rays are using outflows from nuclear power plants as hot tubs, drawing scores of curious Floridians to watch. In St. Pete Beach and other places around the state, biologists have reported significant cold-related fish kills including snook, catfish, and juvenile lane snapper unable to deal with the region’s big chill.


Hydrogen cars versus hybrids

British motoring writer Jeremy Clarkson plugs an old dream -- and is justly derisive of the Prius

For about a century, there was no real change of direction for the motor industry. While there were experiments in the early days with electric and steam-powered vehicles, petrol was the obvious way forward because nothing else produces quite so much power for so little fuss and expense.

Sure, the cars that clothed the petrol engines evolved bit by bit, with fewer running boards, and indicators instead of trafficators. But then, one day, Margaret Thatcher decided the world was heating up and that Arthur Scargill must be replaced with a cleaner form of energy. As a result, the car industry, for the first time in a hundred years, made an idiotic dogleg turn to the left.

Whether you believe man is responsible for global warming or whether you don’t think there is any such thing is immaterial. One day the oil will run out and the concept of using those last few drops for personal travel is stupid.

It seems to me perfectly clear that hydrogen is the obvious replacement. It is the most abundant gas in the universe. It can be stored on a credit card. And a car that runs on hydrogen produces no noise and only H2O from the tailpipe. What’s more, you could plug such a car into your house at night and even if your house is Blenheim Palace, it will run all the electrical appliances, silently and at no cost to the environment.

Of course, the former trade unionists and CND activists who now bill themselves as eco-mentalists know this and it scares them. They don’t want the world to carry on as before with a new type of power. So they constantly point out that it’s very bothersome to make hydrogen from water.

They’re right. It is bothersome. But what happened to the days when we went to the moon and did the other things because they were hard? Why have we now suddenly decided that actually it’s much better to take the easy option?

Which brings me on to the Prius: a car that has a normal petrol engine and then an electric motor to help it along. Dead simple. But since it has two engines, it is not remotely eco-mental and will do nothing to eke out the planet’s oil reserves. But it is marketed as “green” and because man is now fundamentally lazy, it’s convenient to believe the hype. Demand has therefore been strong, and, as a result, the entire car industry is now engaged in a headlong, blind charge to offer a wide variety of hybrid cars with two engines. And that in turn means no one is doing serious work on hydrogen.

The Pious, then — which went on worldwide sale in 2001 — is far and away the most important car of the past decade. But it is also the worst. It is reckoned by the foolish to be the Pied Piper, but it’s playing the wrong tune. It is the incorrect sat nav instruction that will lead us to a dead end. It bills itself as a “hybrid” but mongrel means much the same thing. And that’s what it is. A flea-infested, built-for-profit mutt that will be the death of us all.


Global Warming as Climastrology

The good news for 2010 is that the climate fraudsters are on the run. The bad news is that they are hoping against hope that the sheriff’s posse won’t catch ‘em. Because the real reason for “global warming” is now clear beyond any reasonable doubt. The reason is ten trillion dollars in taxpayer dough for politicians, transnational bureaucrats, and phony science types. Put away those old world records for the Great Train Robbery and Bernie Madoff. You can junk Bonnie and Clyde. The climate fraudsters have now set the biggest record for massive fraud in human history.

BBC’s climate doom correspondent Paul Hudson asked plaintively a few months ago: “What happened to global warming?” Wrote Mr. Hudson: "This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might the fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998. But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures."

Here’s a guy who built a glittering career on global warming fraud. That BBC headline should have collapsed the whole fraud right there and then. After all, the Bolshie Beeb has been leading this charge for decades. Paul Hudson’s public confession is like Gorbachev finally ‘fessing up that Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Fidel, Kim, Pol Pot (and Obama) had it completely wrong after all. All those 100,000,0000 dead people and nothing to show for it. The Beeb’s Orwellian Ministry of Truth has been pushing global warming every single hour of the day for lo these many years. Now the New York Times actually had to go out and find an honest man to break the news to its readers (John Tierney). Its global frauding correspondent, Andrew Revkin, has resigned and fled the scene of the crime.

Scientists used to be poor but honest, but that was when they slept in garrets and dressed in grungy sweaters. Today they have glittering dollar signs where their eyeballs used to be, like a Vegas slot machine, and their magic number has 13 zeroes: ten trillion dollars for climate fraud. That’s an official estimate from the “Stern Review,” authored by distinguished British fraudocrat Lord Nicholas Stern in 2006. The same number also comes from the skeptical side, from the Marshall Institute, which has done careful economic projections about the cost of “global warming” abatement.

That’ll be ten trillion dollars, please. Cha-ching! Shall I wrap up that planet or do you want to eat it here? Ten trillion buckarooneys is why all those green fraudsters jetted into Copenhagen, and that’s why they kept going for a while even after Climategate ripped open their fraud for all the world to see.

Mr. Obama himself promised in his Democratic Party acceptance speech that “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Just like King Canute. Even before, that same Senator Obama co-sponsored a Senate Global Poverty Act, which

… would force America to adopt the UN’s “Millennium Development Goals” as official U.S. policy. This means outsourcing to the United Nations all important decisions concerning the use of U.S. foreign aid dollars. Not only that, but the fee for allowing the UN to play the “middle man” in our global war on poverty would be a tax of .7 percent of the U.S. Gross National Product … for an estimated $845 billion over the next 13 years.

But that was before Obama became president and the EPA declared CO2 plant nutrition to be a global warming toxin. You can’t breathe out any more, because all the suckers have been convinced that CO2 is killing Mother Earth.

Actually, ten trillion glittering zlotnicks, while a nice round number, was only going to be the start. For example, here’s the National Resources Defense Council estimate of the cost of global warming for the United States alone:

A comprehensive estimate, based on state-of-the-art computer modeling, finds that doing nothing on global warming will cost the United States economy more than 3.6 percent of GDP — or $3.8 trillion annually (in today’s dollars) — by 2100. On the other hand, a detailed, bottom-up analysis finds that just four categories of global warming impacts — hurricane damage, real estate losses, increased energy costs and water costs — will add up to a price tag of 1.8 percent of U.S. GDP, or almost $1.9 trillion annually (in today’s dollars) by 2100.

“The longer we wait, the more painful and expensive the consequences will be. This report’s findings are undeniable – we must act now,” said Dan Lashof, director of NRDC’s Climate Center.”

Tony Blair, whose Labour government in the UK helped put the fraudocrats in place at Hadley CRU, actually had the immortal gall to say in Copenhagen, “The world must take action on climate change even if the science is not correct.” That’s like your plumber telling you, “You know what I told you about ripping out all the pipes in your house? Well, that was wrong, but you owe me the same amount to fix it.”

That’s when Annie got her gun, and so should we. As a newly minted Catholic, I trust Tony Blair will go to his priest for a long, long confession now about telling the biggest whopper of his whole career.



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 is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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