Friday, January 29, 2010

Obama's Greenhouse Effect (in his SOTU speech)

Our favorite moment in the State of the Union was when Obama said this: "I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change."

To be sure, this was a "to be sure" sentence: The president went on to say global warming is worth fighting even if imaginary. But we liked this moment for two reasons: First, because the president felt obliged to acknowledge disagreement. Second, because his laughable assertion about "the overwhelming scientific evidence" was greeted with laughter. The climate-change climate has changed.


Americans cooling on climate change, survey says

And that's from a pro-Warmist organization

Public concern about global warming and trust in climate leaders has dropped sharply in the U.S. according to a survey. Fifty-seven percent of Americans polled at the end of 2009 and early 2010 believe climate change is happening compared with a figure of 71 percent in October 2008. The report, "Climate Change in the American Mind" published jointly by Yale University and the George Mason University Wednesday also reveals a picture of falling trust in scientists, politicians and the media concerning climate change.

Anthony Leiserowitz, principal investigator and director of the Yale Project on Climate Change told CNN: "I'm not surprised by the direction of the results but I am surprised at the magnitude of them. "These are steep drop offs and this is despite the fact that, if anything, the climate science is getting stronger and more concerning over the past year."

Over 1000 American adults were interviewed for the report. Respondents answered questions on a range of climate change issues including rating their trust of public institutions and climate leaders as a source of information. Trust in scientists dropped nine percent from 83 to 74 percent, while faith in the mainstream news media slumped from 47 percent in 2008 to 36 percent.

Along with the media, Al Gore experienced the biggest fall in trust according to the survey. In 2008, 58 percent of respondents said they "strongly trust" or "somewhat trust" the former vice president and climate activist. In 2010 that figure has fallen to 47 percent.

Support for President Barack Obama remained largely unchanged at 51 percent compared to 53 percent in October 2008.

Other prominent climate opinion makers faired poorly. 36 percent of people trust the former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin while only 35 percent rate Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger as a reliable source of information on climate change.

Leiserowitz thinks this widespread decline in support is down to two main factors. "Clearly the economy is dominating all issues right now. People in the U.S. are, frankly, afraid and they're angry at Washington, Wall Street and elected officials who don't seem to be responding. As a result the climate has gone down in public priority," Leiserowitz said. "But I think also in the past few weeks and months some really troubling stories have been reported around climate science," he added.

Leiserowitz points to the damage caused first by the so-called "Climategate" scandal in November 2009 which was seized upon by climate skeptics who argued scientists have been suppressing data. And more recently concerns surrounding parts of the Himalayan glacier data published in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. "They [climate skeptics] have taken these as opportunities to drive home their particular message, and I think they've been successful."

What this all underlines, Leiserowitz says, is the need to educate the American people. "There is a real need for improved public education and communication on this critical issue. The science is getting stronger and public opinion is going in the opposite direction."


British scientists in stolen e-mail scandal hid climate data illegally

The university at the centre of the climate change row over stolen e-mails broke the law by refusing to hand over its raw data for public scrutiny. The University of East Anglia breached the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to comply with requests for data concerning claims by its scientists that man-made emissions were causing global warming.

The Information Commissioner’s Office decided that UEA failed in its duties under the Act but said that it could not prosecute those involved because the complaint was made too late, The Times has learnt. The ICO is now seeking to change the law to allow prosecutions if a complaint is made more than six months after a breach.

The stolen e-mails , revealed on the eve of the Copenhagen summit, showed how the university’s Climatic Research Unit attempted to thwart requests for scientific data and other information, and suggest that senior figures at the university were involved in decisions to refuse the requests. It is not known who stole the e-mails. Professor Phil Jones, the unit’s director, stood down while an inquiry took place. The ICO’s decision could make it difficult for him to resume his post.

Details of the breach emerged the day after John Beddington, the Chief Scientific Adviser, warned that there was an urgent need for more honesty about the uncertainty of some predictions. His intervention followed admissions from scientists that the rate of glacial melt in the Himalayas had been grossly exaggerated.

In one e-mail, Professor Jones asked a colleague to delete e-mails relating to the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He also told a colleague that he had persuaded the university authorities to ignore information requests under the act from people linked to a website run by climate sceptics.

A spokesman for the ICO said: “The legislation prevents us from taking any action but from looking at the emails it’s clear to us a breach has occurred.” Breaches of the act are punishable by an unlimited fine.

The complaint to the ICO was made by David Holland, a retired engineer from Northampton. He had been seeking information to support his theory that the unit broke the IPCC’s rules to discredit sceptic scientists.

In a statement, Graham Smith, Deputy Commissioner at the ICO, said: “The e-mails which are now public reveal that Mr Holland’s requests under the Freedom of Information Act were not dealt with as they should have been under the legislation. Section 77 of the Act makes it an offence for public authorities to act so as to prevent intentionally the disclosure of requested information.”

He added: “The ICO is gathering evidence from this and other time-barred cases to support the case for a change in the law. We will be advising the university about the importance of effective records management and their legal obligations in respect of future requests for information.”

Mr Holland said: “There is an apparent Catch-22 here. The prosecution has to be initiated within six months but you have to exhaust the university’s complaints procedure before the commission will look at your complaint. That process can take longer than six months.”

The university said: “The way freedom of information requests have been handled is one of the main areas being explored by Sir Muir Russell’s independent review. The findings will be made public and we will act as appropriate on its recommendations.”


The scandal deepens – IPCC AR4 riddled with non peer reviewed WWF papers

All the years I’ve been in TV news, I’ve observed that every story has a tipping point. In news, we know when it has reached that point when we say it “has legs” and the story takes on a life of its own. The story may have been ignored or glossed over for weeks, months, or years until some new piece of information is posted and starts to galvanize people. The IPCC glacier melt scandal was the one that galvanized the collective voice that has been saying that the IPCC report was seriously flawed and represented a political rather than scientific view. Now people are seriously looking at AR4 with a critical eye and finding things everywhere.

Remember our friends at World Wildlife Fund? Those schlockmeisters that produced the video of planes flying into New York with explicit comparisons to 9/11?

Well it turns out that the WWF is cited all over the IPCC AR4 report, and as you know, WWF does not produce peer reviewed science, they produce opinion papers in line with their vision. Yet IPCC’s rules are such that they are supposed to rely on peer reviewed science only. It appears they’ve violated that rule dozens of times, all under Pachauri’s watch.

A new posting authored by Donna Laframboise, the creator of (Toronto, Canada) shows what one can find in just one day of looking. Here’s an extensive list of documents created or co-authored by the WWF and cited by this Nobel-winning IPCC AR4 report:

* Allianz and World Wildlife Fund, 2006: Climate change and the financial sector: an agenda for action, 59 pp. [Accessed 03.05.07: filelibrary/pdf/allianz_rep_0605.pdf]

* Austin, G., A. Williams, G. Morris, R. Spalding-Feche, and R. Worthington, 2003: Employment potential of renewable energy in South Africa. Earthlife Africa, Johannesburg and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Denmark, November, 104 pp.

* Baker, T., 2005: Vulnerability Assessment of the North-East Atlantic Shelf Marine Ecoregion to Climate Change, Workshop Project Report, WWF, Godalming, Surrey, 79 pp.

* Coleman, T., O. Hoegh-Guldberg, D. Karoly, I. Lowe, T. McMichael, C.D. Mitchell, G.I. Pearman, P. Scaife and J. Reynolds, 2004: Climate Change: Solutions for Australia. Australian Climate Group, 35 pp. publications/acg_solutions.pdf

* Dlugolecki, A. and S. Lafeld, 2005: Climate change – agenda for action: the financial sector’s perspective. Allianz Group and WWF, Munich [may be the same document as "Allianz" above, except that one is dated 2006 and the other 2005]

* Fritsche, U.R., K. Hünecke, A. Hermann, F. Schulze, and K. Wiegmann, 2006: Sustainability standards for bioenergy. Öko-Institut e.V., Darmstadt, WWF Germany, Frankfurt am Main, November

* Giannakopoulos, C., M. Bindi, M. Moriondo, P. LeSager and T. Tin, 2005: Climate Change Impacts in the Mediterranean Resulting from a 2oC Global Temperature Rise. WWF report, Gland Switzerland. Accessed 01.10.2006 at

* Hansen, L.J., J.L. Biringer and J.R. Hoffmann, 2003: Buying Time: A User’s Manual for Building Resistance and Resilience to Climate Change in Natural Systems. WWF Climate Change Program, Berlin, 246 pp.

* index.cfm

* Lechtenbohmer, S., V. Grimm, D. Mitze, S. Thomas, M. Wissner, 2005: Target 2020: Policies and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. WWF European Policy Office, Wuppertal

* Malcolm, J.R., C. Liu, L. Miller, T. Allnut and L. Hansen, Eds., 2002a: Habitats at Risk: Global Warming and Species Loss in Globally Significant Terrestrial Ecosystems. WWF World Wide Fund for Nature, Gland, 40 pp.

* Rowell, A. and P.F. Moore, 2000: Global Review of Forest Fires. WWF/IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, 66 pp. /files/global_review_forest_fires.pdf

* WWF, 2004: Deforestation threatens the cradle of reef diversity. World Wide Fund for Nature, 2 December 2004.

* WWF, 2004: Living Planet Report 2004. WWF- World Wide Fund for Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund), Gland, Switzerland, 44 pp.

* WWF (World Wildlife Fund), 2005: An overview of glaciers, glacier retreat, and subsequent impacts in Nepal, India and China. World Wildlife Fund, Nepal Programme, 79 pp.

* Zarsky, L. and K. Gallagher, 2003: Searching for the Holy Grail? Making FDI Work for Sustainable Development. Analytical Paper, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Switzerland

Finally, there are these authoritative sources cited by the IPCC – publications with names such as Leisure and Event Management:

* Jones, B. and D. Scott, 2007: Implications of climate change to Ontario’s provincial parks. Leisure, (in press)

* Jones, B., D. Scott and H. Abi Khaled, 2006: Implications of climate change for outdoor event planning: a case study of three special events in Canada’s National Capital region. Event Management, 10, 63-76

Not only should Pachauri resign, the Nobel committee should be deluged by world citizenry demanding they revoke the Nobel prize granted to the body that produced this document.


Climate agency going up in flames

Exit of Canada's expert a sure sign IPCC in trouble

A catastrophic heat wave appears to be closing in on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. How hot is it getting in the scientific kitchen where they've been cooking the books and spicing up the stew pots? So hot, apparently, that Andrew Weaver, probably Canada's leading climate scientist, is calling for replacement of IPCC leadership and institutional reform.

If Andrew Weaver is heading for the exits, it's a pretty sure sign that the United Nations agency is under monumental stress. Mr. Weaver, after all, has been a major IPCC science insider for years. He is Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis at the University of Victoria, mastermind of one of the most sophisticated climate modelling systems on the planet, and lead author on two recent landmark IPCC reports.

For him to say, as he told Canwest News yesterday, that there has been some "dangerous crossing" of the line between climate advocacy and science at the IPCC is stunning in itself.

Not only is Mr. Weaver an IPCC insider. He has also, over the years, generated his own volume of climate advocacy that often seemed to have crossed that dangerous line between hype and science.

It is Mr. Weaver, for example, who said the IPCC's 2007 science report -- the one now subject to some scrutiny -- "isn't a smoking gun; climate is a battalion of intergalactic smoking missiles."

He has also made numerous television appearances linking current weather and temperature events with global warming, painting sensational pictures and dramatic links.

"When you see these [temperature] numbers, it's screaming out at you: 'This is global warming!"

Mr. Weaver is also one of the authors of The Copenhagen Diagnosis, an IPCC-related piece of agit-prop issued just before the recent Copenhagen meeting.

The Copenhagen Diagnosis is as manipulative a piece of policy advocacy as can be found, filled with foreboding and alarming assessments. Described as "an interim evaluation of the evolving science," it was an attempt to jump-start decision-making at Copenhagen. It failed, perhaps in part because one of the authors was U.S. climate scientist Michael Mann, who plays a big role in the Climategate emails.

That Mr. Weaver now thinks it necessary to set himself up as the voice of scientific reason, and as a moderate guardian of appropriate and measured commentary on the state of the world's climate, is firm evidence that the IPCC is in deep trouble. He's getting out while the getting's good, and blaming the IPCC's upper echelon for the looming crisis.

In the language typical of an IPCC report, one might say that the radiative forcing created by Climategate and Glaciergate strongly suggest this is very likely to bring about cataclysmic melting of the organization within the next portion of the current decadal period. The words "very likely" in IPCC risk assessment terms mean a 90% or greater probability that something will happen. As it looks now, the IPCC is burnt toast and unless it is overhauled fast there's a 90% probability the climate-change political machine is going to come crashing down.


The Science (Fiction) of the Greenhouse Effect

I have mentioned this work before but below is a good layperson's explanation of it

Two German physicists have written a paper debunking the "theory" of the greenhouse gas effect by demonstrating how it violates basic laws of physics. Their paper, Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within the Frame of Physics, was published last year in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Modern Physics.

The authors are Gerhard Gerlich, a professor of mathematical physics at the Technical University Carolo-Wilhelmina in Braunschweig, and Ralf Tscheuchner, a retired professor of theoretical physics and freelance lecturer and researcher in physics and applied informatics.

Gerlich and Tscheuschner first define carbon dioxide as a trace gas accounting for less than one percent of air's volume and mass. They say even a doubling of the concentration of atmospheric CO2 would hardly change the thermal conductivity of air. If it did, the change would be well within margins of error currently in place.

From this short tutorial, the scientists go on to show the vast difference in physical laws between real greenhouses and Earth's atmosphere. They expose the fallacies in accepted definitions of greenhouse effect from several popular sources. "It is not 'trapped' infrared radiation which explains the warming phenomenon in a real greenhouse but the suppression of air cooling." Gerlich and Tscheuschner explain Earth's atmosphere does not function in the same way, nor does it function in the way global-warming alarmists describe as "transparent for visible light but opaque for infrared radiation."

Then they make the point that climate models used to predict catastrophic global warming violate the second law of thermodynamics. The law states any closed system left to itself will continually deteriorate toward a more chaotic state. The German scientists illustrate how the idea of heat flow from atmospheric greenhouse gases to the warmer ground violates this principle. There would have to be a heat pump mechanism in perpetual motion in the atmosphere to transfer heat from a low to a high temperature reservoir, and such a machine cannot exist. They call the greenhouse effect a fictitious mechanism. "The claim that CO2 emissions give rise to anthropogenic [man-made] climate changes has no physical basis."

Throughout the paper the authors show that those who advocate the greenhouse gas theory use faulty calculations and guesstimates to arrive at their catastrophic conjectures, and though Gerlich and Tscheuschner make no specific accusation, they point out how many respected scientists have blamed alarmists for intentional fraud rather than mere scientific error. They also reveal that the idea of a greenhouse effect is modern and never mentioned in any fundamental work of thermodynamics, physical kinetics, or radiation theory. According to them, it is impossible to replicate forecasts made by climate modelers' computer simulations with any known scientific formulae.

Though their 115-page paper includes clear explanations, nearly 200 equations, tables and graphs, and 205 references, it should come as no surprise that Gerlich and Tscheuschner have been blacklisted by the climate-change community. "Stupidity," "crackpot," "dross," and "bunkum" are several of the descriptives used in online blogs blasting the paper.

The first edition of the Gerlich/Tscheuschner paper released in 2007 caused enough of a stir to prompt Arthur P. Smith with the American Physical Society to issue a 2008 rebuttal, "Proof of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect." Yet in his nine-page article, Smith cited only five sources, one of which was the Gerlich/Tscheuschner work, and failed to address most of the points raised in it. The 2009 update of the original Gerlich/Tscheuschner piece has yet to be disproved, though for the most part alarmists continue to ignore it in their mad rush toward global eco-government and a world-wide carbon trading market worth billions.


Warmists discover water vapour

The slowdown in global warming in the last few years may have been caused by a decline in water vapor in the stratosphere, a new report suggests.

While climate warming is continuing — the decade of 2000 to 2009 was the hottest on record worldwide — the increase in temperatures was not as rapid as in the 1990s.

Balloon and satellite observations show the amount of water vapor in a layer about 10 miles high declined after 2000. The stratosphere extends from about eight to 30 miles above the Earth's surface.

The reason for the decline is unknown [Could it be that a COOLING ocean gives off less water vapour?], according to researchers led by Susan Solomon of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They report their findings in Thursday's online edition of the journal Science.

Water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas, and its decline in the stratosphere would reduce the rate of global warming expected from other gases such as carbon dioxide, the researchers said. According to the researchers, water vapor enters the stratosphere primary from air rising in the tropics.



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