Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Al Gore, Hansen and the other global warming frauds have a lot to answer for

But even mass-murder doesn't bother Leftists, of course

A baby girl survived three days with a bullet in her chest as she lay alone beside the dead bodies of her parents and toddler brother in Argentina. The Daily Mail reported Francisco Lotero, 56, and Miriam Coletti, 23, shot their seven-month-old daughter and two-year-old son before killing themselves.

The pair allegedly agreed to a suicide pact over fears about global warming.

The couple's son, Francisco, died instantly after being shot in the back, the paper reported. The baby girl, whose name has not been released, escaped the apparent murder attempt after a bullet from her dad's handgun missed her vital organs.

Worried neighbours alerted police three days later, after discovering the bodies. Paramedics then rushed the blood-soaked baby to a hospital. The miraculous survivor is now recovering in a hospital in the town of Goya in northern Argentina and is out of danger, according to the paper.

Police discovered an apparent suicide note by the girl's parents in which they outlined their global warming fears. The New York Daily News reports the letter was found on a table expressing the couple's anger at the government for not responding to the environmental crisis.


Government scientists spread ice melt myths

A good example of why an independent, non-governmental climate science organization is needed as an alternative to government controlled research was provided this week by researchers working for the U.S. and British governments.

Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the British Antarctic Survey reported this week that global warming is causing Antarctic ice shelves to disappear. "The loss of ice shelves is evidence of the effects of global warming," USGS scientist and lead author Jane Ferrigno is quoted in USA Today.

While it is true that some ice shelves in Antarctica are fracturing and falling into the sea, such events are natural occurrences whether the ice sheet is expanding or contracting. And, as objective data report, Antarctic temperatures are cooling and the Antarctic ice sheet as a whole is expanding.

Satellite instruments measuring atmospheric temperatures between latitudes 60 degrees and 90 degrees south show temperatures have been steadily declining since the satellites were first launched in 1979. During the past 30 years, Antarctic temperatures have fallen by 0.3 degrees Celsius, the satellite instruments report.

Similarly, satellite instruments measuring the extent of the Antarctic ice sheet report the sheet has been at record extent for much of the past three years, and has been growing steadily since 1979.

University of Arizona atmospheric science professor William Sprigg, who chaired the International Technical Review Panel for the IPCC’s first report, told an environmental conference in Phoenix earlier this month that a new research body independent of government funding and government control should be created to serve as an alternative voice to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other national climate research programs. The misleading claims regarding Antarctic ice sheets by U.S. and British government scientists perfectly illustrate this point.

Finding isolated instances of ice sheets calving and falling into the sea may help federal agencies justify their enormous and ever-growing climate budgets, but it does not prove that global warming is causing the Antarctic ice sheet to disappear. In the real world the very opposite is happening, and all too often it takes an independent voice to point this out.


UN's climate link to hurricanes in doubt

Research by hurricane scientists may force the UN’s climate panel to reconsider its claims that greenhouse gas emissions have caused an increase in the number of tropical storms. The benchmark report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that a worldwide increase in hurricane-force storms since 1970 was probably linked to global warming. It followed some of the most damaging storms in history such as Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans and Hurricane Dennis which hit Cuba, both in 2005. The IPCC added that humanity could expect a big increase in such storms over the 21st century unless greenhouse gas emissions were controlled.

The warning helped turn hurricanes into one of the most iconic threats of global warming, with politicians including Ed Miliband, the energy secretary, and Al Gore citing them as a growing threat to humanity. The cover of Gore’s newest book, Our Choice, even depicts an artist's impression of a world beset by a series of huge super-hurricanes as a warning of what might happen if carbon emissions continue to rise.

However, the latest research, just published in Nature Geoscience, paints a very different picture. It suggests that the rise in hurricane frequency since 1995 was just part of a natural cycle, and that several similar previous increases have been recorded, each followed by a decline.

Looking to the future, it also draws on computer modelling to predict that the most likely impact of global warming will be to decrease the frequency of tropical storms, by up to 34% by 2100. It does, however, suggest that when tropical storms do occur they could get slightly stronger, with average windspeeds rising by 2-11% by 2100. A storm is termed a hurricane when wind speeds exceed 74mph, but most are much stronger. A category 4 or 5 hurricane such as Katrina generates speeds in excess of 150mph.

“We have come to substantially different conclusions from the IPCC,” said Chris Landsea, a lead scientist at the American government’s National Hurricane Center, who co-authored the report. He added: ”There are a lot of legitimate concerns about climate change but, in my opinion, hurricanes are not among them. We are looking at a decrease in frequency and a small increase in severity.” Landsea said he regarded the use of hurricane icons on the cover of Gore's book as "misleading".

Although the new report appears to criticise the IPCC it could mark a new start, showing that the beleagured body can recognise its mistakes and correct them as mistakes or new science emerge. The Nature Geosciences study was actually commissioned by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), a UN agency which helps oversee the IPCC, in an attempt to resolve the bitter scientific row that had emerged over the relationship between global warming and tropical storms. That row dates back to the hurricane season of 2004 when four major hurricanes hit north and central America. It prompted senior IPCC scientists to give a press conference at Harvard University warning that global warming would cause many more such storms.

The claims attracted worldwide attention but Landsea pointed out there was no science to substantiate them and was so angry that he resigned his post as a senior IPCC author in January 2005, issuing a letter accusing the IPCC of having become “politicised”. He added in the letter : “All previous and current research in the area of hurricane variability has shown no reliable, long-term trend up in the frequency or intensity of tropical cyclones.”

The following year seemed to have proved him wrong when North and Central America were hit by a series of tropical storms plus seven major hurricanes, including Katrina, which devastated New Orleans. However he and other researchers have spent the years since then gathering historical evidence showing that hurricane frequency and intensity vary according to an entirely natural cycle, each lasting around 50-80 years. The last such surge began around 1925 and lasted until about 1955. Conversely there were declines in frequency between both 1910-1925 and from 1955-1995.

Such findings have generated continuing tension among storm researchers and criticism of the IPCC’s stance, so the WMO brought together 10 leading scientists from all sides of the argument to try to resolve it. Led by Thomas Knutson, a renowned hurricane researcher at Princeton University, the group also included Landsea and Kerry Emanuel, professor of meteorology at MIT. Kerry was a leading proponent of the idea that global warming meant more severe hurricanes.

Julian Heming, an expert in tropical storms at the Met Office, said: “Several of the authors have clashed in the past so the fact that they have co-authored this paper shows they have been prepared to adjust their stance on the basis of the recent research. ”

The IPCC’s reaction to the paper is uncertain but the organisation has confirmed it is reviewing several recent questions raised over its research and considering corrections where appropriate. One senior IPCC scientist, Professor Chris Field, has said he wants the IPCC to bring in new systems for checking and correcting its reports as important mistakes and new findings emerge.

Last Friday environment and climate ministers meeting in Bali also ordered a separate independent review of the IPCC’s leadership under Dr Rajendra Pachauri. It followed articles in The Sunday Times highlighting the IPCC’s false claim that climate change could melt most Himalayan glaciers by 2035.

The ministers — led by Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, and his counterparts from Germany, Norway, Algeria and Antigua and Barbuda — said they were not questioning the basic science behind global warming. Instead, they were concerned with the “aggressive” way in which Dr Pachauri had responded to criticism, including denouncing Indian research suggesting that the glaciers were not melting so rapidly as “voodoo science”.

A spokesman for Gore said the cover of Our Choice was not a scientific diagram but "an artist's rendering of an earth where unchecked global warming has wreaked havoc."


Green fuels cause more harm than fossil fuels

The expansion of plantations has pushed the orang-utan to the brink of extinction in Sumatra, where it takes 840 years for a palm oil plantation to soak up the carbon emitted when rainforest is burnt

Using fossil fuel in vehicles is better for the environment than so-called green fuels made from crops, according to a government study seen by The Times.

The findings show that the Department for Transport’s target for raising the level of biofuel in all fuel sold in Britain will result in millions of acres of forest being logged or burnt down and converted to plantations. The study, likely to force a review of the target, concludes that some of the most commonly-used biofuel crops fail to meet the minimum sustainability standard set by the European Commission.

Under the standard, each litre of biofuel should reduce emissions by at least 35 per cent compared with burning a litre of fossil fuel. Yet the study shows that palm oil increases emissions by 31 per cent because of the carbon released when forest and grassland is turned into plantations. Rape seed and soy also fail to meet the standard.

The Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation this year requires 3¼ per cent of all fuel sold to come from crops. The proportion is due to increase each year and by 2020 is required to be 13 per cent. The DfT commissioned E4tech, a consultancy, to investigate the overall impact of its biofuel target on forests and other undeveloped land.

The EC has conducted its own research, but is refusing to publish the results. A leaked internal memo from the EC’s agriculture directorate reveals its concern that Europe’s entire biofuels industry, which receives almost £3 billion a year in subsidies, would be jeopardised if indirect changes in land use were included in sustainability standards. A senior official added to the memo in handwriting: “An unguided use of ILUC [indirect land use change] would kill biofuels in the EU.”

The EC hopes to protect its biofuel target by issuing revised standards that would give palm plantations the same status as natural forests. Officials appear to have accepted arguments put forward by the palm oil industry that palms are just another type of tree.

A draft of the new rules, obtained by The Times, states that palm oil should be declared sustainable if it comes from a “continuously forested area”, which it defines as areas where trees can reach at least heights of 5m, making up crown cover of more than 30 per cent. “This means, for example, that a change from forest to oil palm plantation would not per se constitute a breach of the criterion,” it adds.

Clearing rainforest for biofuel plantations releases carbon stored in trees and soil. It takes up to 840 years for a palm oil plantation to soak up the carbon emitted when the rainforest it replaced was burnt. The expansion of the palm oil industry in Indonesia has turned it into the third-largest CO2 emitter, after China and the US. Indonesia loses an area of forest the size of Wales every year and the orang-utan is on the brink of extinction in Sumatra.

Last year, 127 million litres of palm oil was added to diesel sold to motorists in Britain, including 64 million litres from Malaysia and 27 million litres from Indonesia. Kenneth Richter, biofuels campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said: “The billions of subsidy for biofuels would be better spent on greener cars and improved public transport.”


Large areas of sub-tropical Australia have just had the heaviest rainfall in 100 years

Warmists have spent years telling us that global warming would bring drought, so ...

A MAN has drowned after falling off his motorcycle into a flooded creek as parts of Queensland receive their heaviest rain in 100 years. The 57-year-old Mirani man was last seen riding his motorcycle on Sunday night. Police were notified he was missing at 7.55pm (AEST) on Sunday and searched the Devereux Creek area near Marian. They located the man's body in the creek.

A police spokesman said it appeared heavy rain may have made the creek area boggy and dangerous. Parts of southwest Queensland have had their best rainfall in 100 years as a monsoon trough squelches over the Northern Territory border. Birdsville, in the state's far southwest corner, has received 168mm over the past 24 hours - its heaviest rain in at least 100 years. Bedourie has recorded 188mm, the best on record since 1938.

The record rain has sparked flood warnings for several rivers across the state, including the Thomson, Paroo, Fitzroy and Barcoo rivers.

Today the trough - dubbed a landphoon by forecasters - is expected to move further into the south-west causing heavy rain as far south as Cunnamulla with the potential for more downpours of 100mm plus. Meteorologist Martin Palmer from Weatherzone said in south-east Queensland the rain was expected to intensify by lunchtime moving in from Toowoomba. "We should pick up around 40mm may be even 50mm in and around Brisbane itself, but tomorrow looks like it's going to be the day for the south-east, "Mr Palmer said.

"There's a massive amount of rain showing up towards the Sunshine Coast, up towards Hervey Bay and Bundaberg. Down towards Brisbane and the Gold Coast, were looking at between 60 and 80mm over the 24 hours." The falls are expected to ease from tomorrow night into Wednesday morning but would not completely dry out.

With localised flash flooding expected over much of southern Queensland later today, Emergency Services are reminding us of the dangers, especially for children....

The Weather Bureau warns that the southeast, Channel Country, Maranoa and Warrego, southern Central West, Central Highlands, Coalfields, Darling Downs and southeast could get heavy rain due to an intense monsoonal low.


Shale oil now a commercial reality

You're not a real American if stories like this don't make you happy, and excited. As you read this fascinating WSJ piece on the North Dakota oil boom, notice how:

**Aggressive oil exploration has brought prosperity to a lagging state--where unemployment is now 4.3%. "Booming Bakken oil production has helped North Dakota escape the worst of the economic downturn. The state's unemployment rate was 4.3% in December—more than five percentage points below the national level—and the state government projects a surplus for the current budget cycle."

**The REAL oil experts--those whose livelihood depends on PRODUCING OIL AT COMMERCIALLY VIABLE PRICES--sure as hell haven't given up on finding oil here on the good old North American landmass. "'It's a true game-changer,' said Jim Volker, chairman and CEO of Whiting Petroleum Corp. a Bakken oil producer. 'We still think there's a significant amount of oil reserves in the United States left to be discovered.'" And I LOVE this quote from Harold Hamm, chairman of Continental Resources: "Most people felt like they could kind of write off the oil industry in the U.S., and that's just a long way from the truth. The fact of the matter is that a lot of people quit looking for oil."

**Those bad old greedy oil companies have taken the time to build their own rail-line to transport the shale oil. Isn't this what we call the "multiplier effect" of private industry growth?

**Those bad old greedy oil companies have within a few short years developed new production techniques that have converted essentially worthless rocks to valuable engines of petro-industry growth...even as oil prices have slumped from $80/barrel to $50/barrel.

**At $78/barrel, North Dakota's oil production will be worth $6.24 billion, with a B, per year. Not bad for a state with less than 1 million people.

**Mark Papa, the chairman of EOG Resources, almost casually describes why his company decided to risk "$20 to $40 million" after a string of early failures: "The first three or four wells, it was not clear that there would be a viable economic solution. But we just felt like, well, it's worth investing $20 to $40 million in this because if it works there's a huge upside." IOW: the promise of POTENTIAL huge profits DOES encourage expensive investment, including LABOR.

**The sheer technological advances spun off from this aggressive oil exploration have made it profitable to extract Bakken oil when prices are above $50/barrel, when just a couple of years ago it required $80/barrel, and shortened the time to drill a well from 56 days to 24. Plus these same advances promise to increase production in other parts of the world. "Marathon Oil Corp. hopes to use what they learn in North Dakota to produce oil and gas overseas. 'It's been a great laboratory for us," said Dave Roberts, who heads exploration and production for Marathon.'"

So we can all agree that no real American wouldn't be thrilled by a story like this, especially in hard times when unemployment is bumping the 10% mark, right? Good news, right?

But can you imagine even one member of the Obama Cabinet being happy with this story? Just imagine how they would spin it against the bad old greedy oil companies, capitalists, exploiters, save the shales, Cheney, Haliburton, Bush, Blahblahblaaahhhhh...

Whatta gang of phonies they are. Claim to be focused on jobsjobsjobs, yet they do everything they can to crush energy production of oil (and coal) right here, huge and strategic industries that could expand by millions of high-paying jobs.

Well, they will ultimately, and epically, FAIL miserably. Because one Harold Hamm is worth a thousand Barack Haman Obamas. [The middle name there is not a mistake. It is an allusion to the Book of Esther -- JR]



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 are mirrors of this site here and here


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