Thursday, January 14, 2010

Propaganda lives on

As record setting snows storms and low temperatures continue throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere, Climategate continues to bite deep. With the island covered with snow, the British press is questioning the Climate Research Unit’s (CRU) sister organization – the UK Meteorological Office (Met Office). This fall, the Met Office used its state of the art supercomputer and software programs to predict that this winter in England will be mild. It has been anything but – with bitter consequences. At the UN warmfest in Copenhagen, the Met Office predicted 2010 will be the hottest year ever on record – no doubt based on part from the warming El Nino occurring in the Pacific. The start has not been auspicious.

The US mainstream press seems to be in Climategate denial. Journalists seem to be unaware why the suppression of physical evidence contrary to the global warming hypothesis is so important. Perhaps they should be reminded of the words by the person frequently called the father of modern advertising. Edward Bernays opens his 1928 classic, Propaganda, with these lines: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an import element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”

Yet Bernays dropped tobacco companies as clients when he realized that the companies were suppressing strong statistical evidence of the association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.

Fortunately, others appear to realize the importance of Climategate. A physicist who lectures jurists on science remarked to us that at his last seminar the judges were concerned about Climategate. When asked by a judge how did he as a scientist feel about Climategate, the lecturer’s thoughtful response was: much like every judge in this room would feel if a fellow judge was convicted of corruption.

In science, you do not cut corners.

From "The Week That Was" (January 9, 2010) by SEPP

A refresher on the history of the scam

By S. Fred Singer, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

In line with what seems to be an IPCC plan of claiming increasing confidence in AGW (anthropogenic global warming) with each successive report, the Summary of IPCC Third Assessment Report [IPCC-TAR, 2001] promised new information to support a conclusion of AGW. This new information turned out to be the “Hockeystick,” a dramatic graph that showed temperatures since 1000 AD steadily decreasing – until, suddenly, here was a huge warming in the 20th century. No trace of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the Little Ice Age (LIA), so clearly shown in earlier IPCC reports and supported by both physical and historic data.

The hockeystick (HS) graph was based on the ‘multi-proxy’ (mainly using tree-ring data) analysis of Mann, Bradley, and Hughes (MBH) [Nature 1998]. Strangely, there was little challenge from the paleo-climate community, perhaps because the statistical method used to combine different kinds of proxy data was not familiar. Soon and Baliunas published a paper (with great difficulty) that contradicted MBH but they were shouted down. As I related (in Science Editorial #1-2010), I questioned Mann as to why his proxy analysis did not go beyond 1980. And Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick (MM), in Energy & Environment 2003, found many irregularities in the data that MBH had assembled.

But it was only later that MM and Wegman discovered fatal errors in MBH’s statistical methodology and in their tree-ring calibration. A convincing demonstration of this was that even random data treated with Mann’s methodology would always yield a HS. While I consider it likely that Mann was not fully aware of his statistical problems in 1998, when he first published his analysis, any subsequent use of the HS to support AGW certainly borders on fraud.

The National Academy of Sciences undertook to investigate the HS controversy and produced an ambivalent report that was used by some to ‘whitewash’ MBH. It mildly criticized the MBH analysis but confusingly claimed that the 20th century was the warmest in the past 400 years – without mentioning that the 16th century was near the depth of the LIA. A Congressional investigation (headed by Rep. Joe Barton) pulled no punches and condemned not only the HS analysis but also the clique of scientists that protected it from legitimate criticism by withholding information, misusing the peer-review process, and even pressuring editors of scientific journals to turn down dissenting papers. The ClimateGate e-mails have served to confirm what had been known or suspected.

A final word: The IPCC-TAR’s case for AGW rested on the claim that the 20th century was ‘unusual’ in the past 1000 years. But it was not. See, for example, the paper by Craig Loehle [E&E 2007], who did not use tree-ring data and showed a MWP substantially warmer than the 20th century. (For other examples, see the NIPCC Summary report.) Besides, there is nothing magic about 1000 years; there are many periods in the Holocene that are even warmer than the MWP.

SEPP SCIENCE EDITORIAL #2-2010 (Jan 9, 2010)

The Next Big Hoax: Ocean Acidification

By Alan Caruba

Just when you thought “global warming” has been put to rest by the revelations of how the computer models supporting the hoax had been deliberately falsified to “hide the decline” in the Earth’s temperature, along comes the next Big Lie, focused again on carbon dioxide (CO2).

Wednesday, January 13, has been designated “Wear Blue for Oceans Day” by some coalition calling itself Clean Ocean Action. I don’t even care whose funding this scam, but Friends of the Earth is proudly announcing it is part of it.

They are still smarting over the December debacle in Copenhagen despite being “one of the main groups organizing a December 12 march that attracted more than 100,000 participants…” The FOE neglected to mention they all stood out in a snow storm to make their voices heard on the way the Earth was warming.

Perhaps sensing that people might begin to wonder where all the global warming had gone since a global cooling cycle began in 1998, these perpetrators of the fraud turned their attention to the fact that the same CO2 that was supposed to “cause” global warming was nonetheless building in the atmosphere and that means in the oceans as well.

At far back as February 2009, these scare mongers organized an international symposium, the second one actually, on “The Ocean in a High-CO2 World.” It brought together “150 marine scientists from 26 countries” who allegedly are “calling for immediate action by policy-makers to sharply reduce CO2 emissions so as to avoid widespread and severe damage to marine ecosystems from ocean acidification.”

An article in Science Daily reported that “The scientists note that ocean acidification is already detectable and is accelerating.”

What these scientists are more interested in detecting is where the next wasted billions in government and foundation grants can be found.

The oceans of the world comprise some 70% of the Earth’s surface. They are like the lungs of the Earth, absorbing and releasing carbon dioxide. They have been doing this for billions of years and a rise in the amount of CO2 is essentially meaningless.

“It is well established among researchers that the uptake of increased amounts of carbon dioxide will make ocean water more acidic as the gas dissolves to create carbonic acid,” said the Science Daily article and, to scare you just a bit more, “Ocean chemistry is changing 100 times more rapidly than in the 650,000 years that preceded the modern industrial era…”

The global warming fraud was based on the assertion that, as the Earth encountered greater industrialization, the increased use of oil, natural gas, and coal as sources of energy, the CO2 released was “causing” the Earth to warm exponentially.

The only problem with that “theory” is that it was (1) based on phony computer models and other false interpretations of data, and (2) the latest, perfectly natural climate cycle, is causing havoc around the world by dumping mountains of snow everywhere along with breaking cold temperature records faster than new readings can be taken.

So, please, do not “Wear Blue for Oceans Day” on Wednesday because it will only indicate you are one of the idiots who still believe in global warming and that you are now prepared to further confirm that by thinking the oceans cannot handle a rise in CO2 in the same fashion they have for eons.


The Congressional Junket to Copenhagen

"CBS had only half the story"

Statement of National Center for Public Policy Research vice president David A. Ridenour: "Thanks to CBS's Sharyl Attkisson, we have an idea of the size of the carbon footprint left by Nancy Pelosi's delegation to the global warming conference in Copenhagen last month. It was big -- so big that it would take more than 1,300 Bangledeshis a year to produce as much carbon.

Attkisson reported that the delegation consisted of at least 101 people, including 20 members of Congress. The delegation was so large, she reports, that it required three military aircraft to transport them. The aircraft were two 737s (presumably, 737-700s) and one Gulfstream V (presumably, a Gulfstream 500 or 550).

Assuming the highest possible performance for these models, the Gulfstream V spewed about 60 metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere for the 8,100 mile round-trip journey while the 737s together produced an additional 262 metric tons of the greenhouse gas. But the three aircraft weren't enough. Due to space limitations, at least 37 of the attendees had to fly a somewhat longer commercial flight. That added perhaps another 56 metric tons in emissions (based on a CarbonFund calculator and assuming a stop at Heathrow), so the delegation produced at least 378 metric tons of CO2 and probably considerably more.

It takes 1,303 Bangladeshis to produce that amount of carbon over an entire year. It takes 326 Indians to do the same thing. Here at home, we produce less than 20 tons of carbon per capita per year. On average, members of Pelosi's group produced about 19% of that in just two days.

But that's only the tip of the iceberg. An estimated 45,000 people flocked to Copenhagen to participate in the conference, most of them self-avowed environmentalists who didn't have any official function in the negotiations. Assuming an average of a half ton a head -- a third of that used by commercial passengers traveling from D.C. – over 22,000 were burned in this pointless exercise. That's enough to run St. Helena and the Caicos Islands for a year, with change to spare.

No one expected a new binding agreement to come out of Copenhagen and that fact had been known for weeks in advance of the meeting. The effort was not only spectacularly hypocritical, but stupid.

Attkisson says one Democrat told her that the large American presence in Copenhagen shows the world how serious the U.S. is about climate change. It certainly does: We're not at all serious. But judging by the enormous numbers of attendees traveling from the far corners of the earth, neither is anyone else.


Fear of nuclear power and global warming

The article below is heavily supported by graphed data but I have reproduced the text only. Link to the original at the end of the article for those who want to see more

As is commonly known, about 20% of the US Electrical supply comes from Nuclear power. Let us imagine that the US never built any nuclear power plants, but instead built more coal plants to generate the electricity those nuclear plants would have generated. According to the Energy Information Administration (1) since 1971, 18.6 billion MWh (Mega Watt Hours) of electrical power have been generated by nuclear sources. Had this power been generated by Coal plants, an additional 4,428 million metric tons of Carbon would have been released into the atmosphere. What would this have made our Carbon emissions record look like?

In all, Carbon emission would have been significantly higher. This is why many leading environmentalists, such as James Lovelock (author of the Gaia Hypothesis) are ardent supporters of Nuclear power. But this chart is not entirely fair to Nuclear power, because the growth of nuclear power was severely derailed by environmentalist hyperbole and outright scare mongering. Because of the attacks by environmentalists on Nuclear power, many planned power plants were cancelled, and many existing plants licenses were not renewed. The result, according to Al Gore himself was:

“Of the 253 nuclear power reactors originally ordered in the United States from 1953 to 2008, 48 percent were canceled, 11 percent were prematurely shut down, 14 percent experienced at least a one-year-or-more outage…Thus, only about one fourth of those ordered, or about half of those completed, are still operating”

Let us take a look at US Carbon emissions if the US had simply built and operated the power plants that were originally planned. Yup, that’s right people, if the US had simply built and operated the Nuclear power plants it had planned and licensed, it would today be producing not only less Carbon emissions than it did in 1972, but would in fact be emitting almost half the Carbon emissions it is now.

But lets not forget that the very planning and licensing of Nuclear power plants was drastically affected by the anti-scientific opposition. Looking again at the Energy Information Administrations figures, the average sustained growth for Nuclear generating capacity was increasing by about 26 million Megawatt-hours for a 20 year period of heightened growth.

Here we see a chart taken from the EIA data which shows the growth of Nuclear generating capacity in blue, and the projected growth in red, had the growth of the previous 20 year period been sustained (remember, this is still only about a quarter of the intended capacity)

Now lets take this projected growth and imagine the US had actually built a nuclear infrastructure at this level, what would our Carbon emissions look like? Incredibly, our Carbon emissions today would be almost a quarter of what they are currently. In case you think my numbers are fanciful, lets see if there are any countries out there that did not get entirely persuaded by the anti-nuclear hysteria, and how that affected their carbon emissions.

After the energy crisis of the 70’s, France, which was highly dependant on imported oil for electricity production, decided to divest themselves of Middle Eastern oil dependence. Lacking significant fossil fuel deposits they opted for a nuclear infrastructure. Today Nuclear Power generates about 78% of France’s electrical power supply, and it is today the world’s largest exporter of electrical energy.

While we do not see the production in France dropping to half it’s 1970’s levels as we would have in the US had it continued the transition to a nuclear infrastructure, the 40% reductions are tremendously significant.

Extrapolating this to the global climate, let’s take a look at the global Carbon emissions levels and compare them against a world where the US sustained the first two decades of it’s nuclear infrastructure growth. In green, we see the existing carbon emissions levels and in purple is the US carbon emission levels if it continued to adopt a nuclear infrastructure. In red then, as a result, we see the global carbon levels are almost 15% lower than current levels.

I invite readers to extrapolate then where the total global carbon emissions would be if all the post industrialized nations had adopted nuclear power – as their natural technological progressions would have dictated – if it were not for the hi-jacking of this process by anti-scientific hyperbolic scare mongering by extremist environmental activists. Many organizations – such as green peace, still ardently oppose nuclear power. And these levels, mind you, are only about 1/10th of what the Atomic Energy Commission was projecting based on demand during the 60’s, where at it’s height 25 new nuclear power plants were being built every year, and the AEC anticipated that by 2000 over 1,000 nuclear power plants would be in operation in the US. Today only about 120 operate.

This is why I frequently say that if Anthropogenic Global Warming is a real problem, then it was in fact caused by environmental alarmism. That is not to say that some environmentalism has been good, but this atrocious abandonment of reason hangs as an ominous cloud over everything environmentalists advocate. Rational environmentalists who want a high standard of living for humans and a clean planet are quick to change their minds about Nuclear power. Irrational environmentalists who actually do NOT desire wealthy comfortable lives for all people on the planet as well as a clean planet actively oppose nuclear power. Nuclear power is a litmus test for integrity within the environmentalist community.

If you want to spur the economy, stop global warming, and undermine the oil fueled terrorist breeding murderous theocracies in the world, the solution is simple – build nuclear power plants.


The Climate is Changing

Comment on Australia from the Wall Street Journal: "The rise of Tony Abbott is part of a worldwide reconsideration of the costs of cap-and-trade"

When I say the climate is changing, I do not mean, as many people do, that man-made global warming is destroying Planet Earth. I mean that the politics of climate change is changing rapidly all over the globe. Al Gore's moment has come and gone.

In the United States, Democrats, nervously facing midterm elections, are calling on President Obama to jettison the cap-and-trade bills before the Senate. In Canada, the emissions-trading scheme—another term for cap-and-trade—is stalled in legislative limbo. In Britain, Tories are coming out against David Cameron's green stance. In the European Union, cap-and-trade has been the victim of fraudulent traders and the carbon price has more than halved to $18.50 per ton. In France, the Constitutional Council has blocked President Nicolas Sarkozy's tax on carbon emissions that was set to take effect in the New Year.

In Copenhagen, meanwhile, the United Nations' climate-change summit went up in smoke. And in Mexico City later this year hopes for any verifiable, enforceable and legally binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gases—and to bring in developing nations such as China and India that were, insanely, omitted from the Kyoto protocol in 1997—are a chimera.

Add to this that Washington was buried by record-breaking snowfalls last month, that hurricane activity is at a 30-year low in the U.S., that London is bracing itself for its coldest winter in decades, and that there has still been no recorded global warming this century, and it is no wonder public skepticism is rising across the world.

Nowhere is the changing climate more evident than in Australia. Last month, the Senate voted down the Labor Government's legislation to implement an emissions-trading scheme. Polls show most Aussies oppose the complicated cap-and-trade system if China and India continue to chug along the smoky path to prosperity. The center-right Liberal-led opposition, moreover, is now led by Tony Abbott, a culture warrior who has described man-made global warming in language unfit to print in a family newspaper and cap-and-trade as "a great big tax to create a great big slush fund to provide politicized handouts, run by a giant bureaucracy."

Until Mr. Abbott's election as opposition leader last month, the climate debate in Australia had been conducted in a heretic-hunting, anti-intellectual atmosphere. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd claimed that climate change is the "greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time." In clear breach of the great liberal anti-communist Sidney Hook's rule of controversy—"Before impugning an opponent's motives, answer his arguments"—Mr. Rudd linked "world government conspiracy theorists" and "climate-change deniers" to "vested interests." Much of the media, business and scientific establishment deemed it blasphemy that anyone dare question his Labor Party's grand ambitions.

Australians had heard a lot of science, much of it poorly explained. But the "dismal science" had been conspicuously absent from the climate debate. There was very little serious analysis of the economic consequences of climate change: What choices did we have to mitigate its effects, and how much would these choices cost us? Labor ministers had emitted a lot of hot air about global warming and the urgency with which resource-rich Australia (which accounts for only 1.4% of global emissions) must act.

All of this has now utterly changed: Australia's debate has entered a new phase, one that goes beyond the religious fervor and feel-good gestures that had held sway all too often. Suddenly, political strategists are thinking the unthinkable: far from presaging an electoral debacle that was inevitable under Mr. Abbott's green predecessor Malcolm Turnbull, the issue could be a godsend for conservatives Down Under.

Already, Mr. Abbott—an Anglophile, Rhodes scholar, patron saint of Australian conservatives and protégé of former Prime Minister John Howard—is gaining ground in the polls. In their first test at the ballot box since they killed the government's climate legislation last month, his Liberal Party recorded impressive victories in by-elections in Sydney and Melbourne—confounding the conventional wisdom that opposition to cap-and-trade will damage a center-right party in metropolitan seats.

In this environment, Mr. Abbott deserves praise for persuading Australia's conservatives to fight Labor on climate change—even when the liberal wing of his own party would happily bow to Mr. Rudd. Not only will he raise the temperature over the inevitable higher costs in energy, transport and groceries under the next tax—and thus appeal to Labor's working-class and coal mining and other energy-intensive constituencies—Mr. Abbott will also radiate the technological optimism that has characterized the human species since time immemorial. His case is not an appeal to do nothing, but to avoid doing something stupid. And unilateral Australian action in a post-Copenhagen world would be stupid: Economic Pain For No Environmental Gain. Not a bad slogan during an election scare campaign.

To be sure, Mr. Rudd remains politically popular on the back of a strong local economy that has weathered the global financial storm. But as the changing climate shows, Mr. Abbott is tapping into a more skeptical mood about climate change. If he wins the federal election later this year, Australia's opposition leader will be a role model to conservative skeptics around the world.



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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