Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Green Tea Party

States' Rights being reasserted to block crazy climate schemes

A revolt against economic hardship imposed by unelected bureaucrats based on junk science is brewing. This Tea Party movement wants the faulty finding on carbon dioxide to be reviewed and dumped. They say you shouldn't mess with Texas, and on Tuesday the state filed suit to overturn the "endangerment" finding by the Environmental Protection Agency that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant that must be regulated.

CO2, the basis for all plant and therefore all animal life, was targeted early by environmental activists as the root cause of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW). But the Earth has cooled over the past decade, and reputable scientists predict the trend will likely continue for decades to come, influenced by natural phenomena such as ocean currents and solar activity.

According to research conducted by professor Don Easterbrook of Western Washington University, for example, the oceans and global temperatures are closely related. They have, he says, a natural cycle of warming and cooling that affects the planet.

The most important ocean cycle is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. "The PDO cool mode," Easterbrook says, "has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of three decades of global cooling."

Such solar and ocean cycles explain why the earth can cool and polar ice thicken even as CO2 levels continue to increase.

The revelations of climate fraud perpetrated by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Climate Research Unit at Britain's University of East Anglia have exposed the global warming "consensus" touted by Al Gore to be a conspiracy of fools and charlatans. Worse, this fraudulent work has formed the basis for U.S. climate policy.

In Texas' suit, state Attorney General Greg Abbott said the IPCC and CRU shenanigans made any policy decisions based on that work flawed and unjustified. Abbott cited several examples in which he said climate scientists engaged in an "ongoing, orchestrated effort to violate freedom of information laws, exclude scientific research and manipulate temperature data."

"With billions of dollars at stake, EPA outsourced the scientific basis for its greenhouse gas regulation to a scandal-plagued international organization (the IPCC) that cannot be considered objective or trustworthy," Abbott argued.

"This legal action," said Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a 10th Amendment champion, "is being taken to protect the Texas economy and the jobs that go with it, as well as defend Texas' freedom to continue our successful environmental strategies free from federal overreach."

Joining the fray are Virginia and Utah. Virginia has filed petitions with the EPA and the federal appeals court in Washington asking for a review of the ruling based on new evidence. Its attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, based his request on the fact that the damning CRU e-mails and the discovery of IPCC fraud were released after the public comment period.

Like most Americans this snow-riddled winter, Cuccinelli is an admitted climate skeptic. In the Feb. 8 edition of the Cuccinelli Compass, his e-mailed newsletter, he noted that residents of Fairfax County were looking "out the window at 30+ inches of global warming." So too were the judges on the federal appeals court.

The Utah House has passed a resolution asking the federal government not to proceed with its plan to regulate carbon dioxide. The resolution claims, among other things, that there's "a well-organized and ongoing effort to manipulate global temperature data in order to produce a global warming outcome."

We couldn't have said it better. As the political climate changes, we hope global warming will be restored to its rightful place as junk science, and the policies derived from it soundly repudiated.


Evidence of Climate Fraud Grows, Media Coverage Doesn't

Newsbusters' Noel Sheppard lets the mainstream media have it for completely ignoring this weekend’s game-changing revelations from Climategate conspirator Phil Jones while jumping all over the ejection of director Kevin Smith from a Southwest Airlines plane for being too fat.

For those who may have taken the three-day weekend off from the blogosphere (and Fox News) -- the BBC released a Q&A and corresponding interview with the embattled erstwhile CRU chief on Friday. In each, the discredited Climategate conspirator revealed a number of surprising insights into his true climate beliefs, the most shocking of which was that 20th-century global warming may not have been unprecedented. As I pointed out in Sunday’s article, Climategate's Phil Jones Confesses to Climate Fraud, as the entire anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory is predicated on correlation with rising CO2 levels, this first-such confession from an IPCC senior scientist is nothing short of earth-shattering.

Noel has dug up some statistics on the major news agencies’ coverage of this vital chapter in what history will likely deem its greatest case of scientific fraud ever:

· No mention by the New York Times
· No mention by the Washington Post
· No mention by USA Today
· No mention by ANY major U.S. newspaper EXCEPT the Washington Times
· No mention by the Associated Press
· No mention by Reuters
· No mention by UPI
· No mention by ABC News
· No mention by CBS News
· No mention by NBC News
· No mention by MSNBC

As well as their treatment of Clerks director Kevin Smith being thrown off an airplane for the alleged crime of donut overindulgence:

· The New York Times reported it
· The Washington Post reported it
· The Associated Press reported it
· UPI reported it
· ABC News reported it
· CBS News reported it
· CNN reported it -- 14 TIMES!

Noel points out that the same complicit media entities were similarly asleep-at-the-wheel when the Climategate scandal broke last November. Indeed, with the notable exceptions of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, it was exclusively new media outlets such as this one reporting and analyzing the facts uncovered concerning the fraud-suggesting-emails, the data-manipulating computer source code, the funding hypocrisies, and exactly which “decline” the scoundrels were hiding.

Of course, I must add that the blackout didn’t end with Britain’s Climategate. The MSM have been equally silent about the complicit conspirators on this side of the Atlantic. As we reported last month, a report by three Americans (Joe D’Aleo, Anthony Watts and E.M Smith) has uncovered intentional global temperature misrepresentations by the two premiere U.S. climate agencies: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

The ramifications of this doctoring of the temperature records used by policy-influencing agencies worldwide – including the green-guidelines-granddaddy of them all -- the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- to analyze temperature anomalies are staggering. And yet – where was the MSM?

And speaking of the Nobel Prize winning IPCC, the seemingly never-ending number of “facts” in their most recent Assessment Report found to be utterly false and/or of questionable origin -- See IPCC: International Pack of Climate Crooks -- should be front page news. After all, this is the green bible on which every crazy and economy destroying scheme from domestic cap-and-tax to EPA chief Lisa Jackson’s sinister carbon regulation plot to international “climate debt” reparations is based.

Yet – the complicit media continue to speak of fantasy “green jobs” and the failings of Copenhagen and big-oil-paid-for Republicans and the need to pass President Obama’s so-called climate bill rather than doing the job they signed on for and unequivocally owe the American public: Asking questions.

I think Noel’s choice of closing words and punctuation expresses it perfectly: Shame on them!!!


British Council gets in on the climate act

Why is the British Council spending taxpayers' money on the recruiting of 100,000 "international climate champions"?

Last December, our television screens were filled with scenes of young demonstrators from all over the world parading through the streets of Copenhagen to call for action to halt global warming. Few people will have been aware, though, that they were being funded with the aid of millions of pounds from British taxpayers. What makes this even more curious is that the money was provided by a body set up to promote British culture internationally.

Last Sunday, when I reported on some of the ways in which an array of British ministries have poured hundreds of millions of pounds into projects related to climate change, I overlooked one branch of government which has been as active in the cause of saving the planet as any – the British Council, created more than 70 years ago to stage lectures on Shakespeare and Jane Austen, and to spread the use of the English language.

In recent years, however, on the initiative of Lord Kinnock when he was its chairman, the British Council has been hijacked to promote the need for action on climate change. In answer to a Freedom of Information request, we can now see some of the curious ways in which the British Council has been spending our money.

More than £3.5 million has gone on recruiting a worldwide network of young "climate activists" in over 70 countries to engage in climate change propaganda – what Marxists used to call agitprop – and to pressure their politicians to join the worldwide struggle. Under a programme called Challenge Europe, £1.1 million has been paid out to fund young "climate advocates" in 17 countries across Europe, including Britain itself. But £2.5 million has been spent on a more ambitious project to recruit a global network of 100,000 activists in 60 countries across the world, led by 1,300 young "International Climate Champions", to participate in "international peer networks, both in person and online, to share ideas, projects and experiences".

Of this sum, £303,093.24 went to China; £71,262.91 to Brazil; £53,006.25 to Japan; £70,132.88 to India (including £11,000 to Dr Pachauri's Teri institute); £77,507.89 to oil-rich Qatar; and £50,000 to the US. There was £120,000 for a dozen different countries in Africa, including £14,000 to fund climate champions in starving Zimbabwe.

All this, it is comforting to know, is being led by the climate-change activist Dr David Viner, formerly employed by East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (the focus of the "Climategate" emails scandal), who is most famous for the prediction he made in 2001, that within a few years winter snow would become "a very rare and exciting event". No doubt the climate champions we are funding in the eastern US will have been grateful for our support last week as they tried to explain the several feet of snow across the region which broke records established in the 1880s. What it all has to do with Macbeth or Pride and Prejudice is something of a mystery.


A Global Warming Snow Job

This winter, white is the new black

“More than two-thirds of the nation’s land mass had snow on the ground,” the Associated Press reported last week, “and then it snowed ever so slightly in Florida to make it 49 states out of 50.” Only Hawaii remained snow free. So far, anyway.

While shoveling, then, Americans could be forgiven for mumbling, “bring on some global warming.” Ah, but we won’t be forgiven by the likes of Thomas Friedman, globe-trotting environmentalist columnist at The New York Times. “Of the festivals of nonsense that periodically overtake American politics, surely the silliest is the argument that because Washington is having a particularly snowy winter it proves that climate change is a hoax,” Friedman wrote on Feb. 17. “You really wonder if we can have a serious discussion about the climate-energy issue anymore.”

Yes, you do. Mostly because the folks who want us to believe that humans are changing the planet’s climate insist the “science” is “settled” and so there’s nothing to talk about. Of course, many of these folks then get caught making up their data and behaving like hypocrites.

For example, Friedman’s Times Web page features video of a CNBC interview with him, “at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.” Hum. Wonder how Mr. Alternative Energy got to the Alps for that meeting. Did he peddle himself across the Atlantic in a carbon-neutral paddleboat, glide across the continent on efficient mass transit and then ascend the mountain on a dogsled? It’s impossible to believe he’d go the old-fashioned way: via carbon-belching plane and car.

In any event, “the climate-science community should convene its top experts -- from places like NASA, America’s national laboratories, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, the California Institute of Technology and the U.K. Met Office Hadley Centre -- and produce a simple 50-page report,” Friedman advises. “They could call it ‘What We Know,’ summarizing everything we already know about climate change in language that a sixth grader could understand, with unimpeachable peer-reviewed footnotes.”

Wait -- didn’t they already do that? In 2007, a United Nations outfit known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced the definitive report on “what we know” about climate change. This report was so iron-clad it won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Except -- the report was wrong about so many things. It claimed that the probability of Himalayan glaciers “disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high.” That bold statement wasn’t based on science, it was based on one interview with one expert 10 years earlier in an obscure magazine. Oh, and it’s not correct. Oops. “We slipped up on one number. I don’t think it takes anything away from the overwhelming scientific evidence of what’s happening with the climate of this Earth,” Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the U.N. panel, later told reporters.

If only it was one mistake. Climate-change believers also have been rocked by the release of thousands of documents from the Climate Research Unit at Britain’s University of East Anglia. These papers show climate scientists withholding information, fudging data, even interfering with the peer-review process that Friedman and others celebrate.

As for Pachauri, he too seems less than willing to live a carbon-free lifestyle. Three years ago a newspaper in India reported he once flew from New York to New Delhi to participate in a cricket practice. Days later, he made the round-trip again to play in a match.

And while skeptics of global warming aren’t supposed to cite this winter’s weather, proponents of man-made climate change are, apparently, free to do so. “One of the consequences of a warming ocean near a coastline like the East Coast and Washington, D.C., for instance, is that you can get dumped on with more snow partly as a consequence of global warming,” announced atmospheric researcher Kevin Trenberth on NPR last week. If snow is caused by warming, it’s little wonder that just about everything can purportedly be.

Friedman ends his column with his all-too-common celebration of China’s leadership. “It is investing heavily in clean-tech, efficiency and high-speed rail. It sees the future trends and is betting on them. Indeed, I suspect China is quietly laughing at us right now.”

Indeed, laughing that an American columnist would cite it -- the world’s most polluted nation -- as a paragon of environmental virtue. China burns more coal than the United States, Europe and Japan. Combined. Its cities are blanketed in smog. While it may lead the way into a cleaner 22nd century (after we’re all dead), its environment will look pretty messy for decades as China tries to get there.

Before we get worked up about climate change, let’s recall that’s what climate does, regardless of human behavior: change. This winter’s snows will melt away, fueling the growth of flowers and plants. There will never be a “Silent Spring.” Or, unfortunately, a silent global-warming fanatic.


It's the hype, not global warming, that is the problem

Q: As the controversy swirling around the IPCC deepens at the same time some are questioning the significance of global warming now that large portions of the U.S. are buried under record-breaking snow, what kind of information do policymakers need to make decisions about climate change?

A: Any risks of global warming need to be weighed against the risks of global warming policies. Policymakers must have accurate information on both sides of the equation in order to avoid measures that do more harm than good. Most of the recent proposals -- the Senate's Boxer-Kerry cap-and-trade bill, a new UN treaty, EPA's regulatory scheme -- fail to accurately weigh the risks because they are based on the false premise that climate change is a dire threat.

Simply put, global warming is not a crisis and should not be addressed as one. The recent wave of climate science scandals -- climategate, glaciergate, hurricanegate, amazongate, others -- have exposed a number of efforts initially crafted to hype the issue into something far scarier than the underlying science actually shows. Climategate -- the release of internal emails from scientists with key roles in the UN's 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report -- largely centered around the strained attempt to portray temperatures in recent decades as unprecedented throughout recorded history. The researchers had to go to extreme lengths to create this impression -- grafting one data set onto another to manufacture the desired "hockey stick" effect, using computer programs that add warming to the underlying temperature data and then destroying that data before others could see it -- which speaks volumes about the weakness of their case.

To his credit, Phil Jones, the head of the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit who had to step down pending the climategate investigation, recently conceded that temperatures have been statistically flat since 1995 and that the Medieval Warm Period may have been as warm as modern times. Slowly but surely, the hype and false certainty is being replaced by a more accurate picture of what the science really tells us about the earth's temperature history.

Similarly, most of the IPCC Report's apocalyptic claims about the consequences of global warming - that Himalayan glaciers would completely melt by 2035, that damage from hurricanes and other extreme weather events has increased, that African agricultural production is poised to plummet, and that the Amazon rainforest is under grave threat - have been shown to be far-fetched speculation devoid of scientific support. Yvo de Boer, the UN's top climate official, has just announced his resignation, in part due to the fact that so much so much alarmist junk made its way into the IPCC Report.

There is a reason proponents of costly measures to address global warming have so exaggerated the risks - they essentially had to for there to be any chance the public would accept the high price tag for action to ratchet down carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Once the gloom and doom is replaced by a more accurate assessment of the risk, such measures as the Senate's Boxer-Kerry bill, a new UN treaty, or EPA regulations look like an especially bad deal.


Nuclear’s global renaissance

By economist Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich, commenting from Australia

The announcement by US President Barack Obama this week to provide federal loans for new nuclear power stations signals a revival of this technology. This may have implications for Australia, too.

For the United States, the President’s push for a new generation of nuclear power plants did not come a day too early. There are about 100 nuclear plants operating in the United States. Yet, the last one was built more than 30 years ago. Originally constructed for operating periods of just over 40 years, most of the existing plants had already been approved for a total of 60 years. Experts have been discussing a further extension to 80 years.

However, at some stage such lifecycle extensions will reach a limit and, thus, the Americans urgently had to make a decision in principle whether to continue with nuclear power. Nuclear contributes about 19% to US electricity production. It’s a substantial amount of energy, and the Obama administration has apparently concluded that currently there is no viable, let alone a better, alternative than building a new generation of nuclear stations.

Predictably, environmentalists have criticised the Obama’s decision. Yet, it is precisely the green lobby that should welcome the drive towards nuclear power if they are concerned about the use of fossil fuels. Despite all the talk about renewable energies such as solar and wind, it will take decades until these alternatives would be able to provide reliable and affordable base load power. In the meantime, nuclear power can be the bridge towards the age of renewable power.

Of course, environmentalists never tire to warn of the dangers of nuclear power generation. However, the risks are overstated. The two worst accidents in nuclear power’s history happened at Three Mile Island and at Chernobyl. Fortunately, no one was killed at Three Mile Island, whereas at Chernobyl an estimated 56 people died. Tragic as this had been, there are other industries with far worse safety records. Yet nobody would shut down road transport, coal mining, or the chemical industry. In any case, today’s generation of nuclear reactors simply cannot be compared with the shoddy standards used by the then Soviet Union.

More and more countries are re-embracing nuclear power. In China alone, 21 new nuclear plants are being built. Worldwide, the figure of new reactors in the pipeline is 56, so there is a good chance that the nuclear industry will enjoy a global renaissance over the next decades.

With giant uranium reserves under our feet, Australia should seriously consider whether it wants to be part of the new nuclear age or content itself with just providing nuclear fuel to others.

The above is a press release from the Centre for Independent Studies, dated February 19. Enquiries to Snail mail: PO Box 92, St Leonards, NSW, Australia 1590.


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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