Sunday, April 25, 2010
British science boss wants funding restricted to the existing scientific establishment
Which would be a recipe for complete scientific inertia but very cosy. To encourage innovation, the opposite is needed. Funding should principally be directed towards testing new ideas. Very few scientists have more than one new idea in their lifetime and many do not have even one. They just replough well-worn furrows. The conformity over the wildly speculative global warming theory shows that pressures not to think outside establishment dogma are already alarmingly strong
Public funding of science should become more elitist, says the Nobel laureate nominated as next head of Britain’s national academy of science.
Sir Paul Nurse, named yesterday as the only candidate to succeed Lord Rees of Ludlow as President of the Royal Society, called for reform of the £3.2 billion budget to give more support to the few scientists who can “really move the needle” by making major discoveries.
In an interview with The Times, the geneticist, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2001 and is currently president of the Rockefeller University in New York, said that funders should identify 100 to 150 excellent scientists in all fields, who would get generous long-term support to pursue their interests.
The amount of funding would vary from field to field, and the elite would be assessed for five to seven years to ensure that they still deserved their status. Some money would still have to be available for other scientists to apply for grants to support individual projects, he said.
“I am actually a complete non-elitist in many aspects of my life, including science education up to a certain age, but when it comes to research I am really pretty elitist,” Sir Paul said. “There are not all that many people who can really move the needle.
“It is an interesting paradox, because we have quite a lot of people in the scientific endeavour, but not so many of them are people who are moving things significantly forward. Much of the work is worthybut the question is, do we have enough at that top end who make real discoveries? Are we attracting enough people there, and are we resourcing them enough?
“I think there has probably been too much attention paid to keeping the whole endeavour going in a sensible way, and not enough focus on how you can identify the very, very best, and make sure that they really do perform to their best ability.
“I think this has got to be solved really by having support systems that can reflect the fact that some people are very, very good and we should support them while they are very, very good.
“You need a combination of special systems that attract and support those who are excellent, and rigorous reviews so that when they cease to be excellent, as many often are, they don’t just hang on to those resources ... they can fit into the more general system.”
Sir Paul is a former chief executive of Cancer Research UK. The Royal Society confirmed yesterday that he was its chosen candidate and will ballot its 1,314 fellows to support his nomination.
Why I Am Enlarging My Carbon Footprint
As a psychotherapist, I try my best to calm down my anxious clients. But in this case, I inadvertently triggered a panic attack.
My twenty-something client Emma, a survivor of the Berkeley public schools, had a coughing fit during our session. I helpfully got up to get her some water. When I handed her a cup, she looked at it, incredulous. Her voice quivering, she asked, "Is this Styrofoam?"
I said yes. She stared at the cup, mesmerized by this forbidden fruit. When she finally found her words, she said, "I've never seen Styrofoam before. We learned in school that it kills baby birds."
Worried that Emma would bolt, I quickly defended the contraband, "Actually, I bought the cups years ago, and still have a few left."
When Emma returned the next week (thankfully), I asked about her reaction. She flooded me with stories about indoctrination by teachers. One of her earliest memories was singing songs on Earth Day, prayerfully, when she was five.
A sensitive soul, Emma became terrified that her beloved Earth would perish, and that she'd be culpable. Starting in third grade, she became an environmental fanatic. Emma went ballistic on her disabled grandmother when the old woman threw a bottle in the trash.
After school, she and her friends would sift through other people's garbage to root out recyclables. While Berkeley has plenty of homeless folks going through trash, Emma and her friends were out to save the world.
The poor thing would even sob in her car when she had to drive more than a few miles. She envisioned the pollution burning up the rain forests and asphyxiating polar bears.
A year into our therapy/cult deprogramming, I asked Emma about her fixation with all things ecological. She replied, "I'm over it."
Emma hasn't morphed into a consumer-glutton. But she's not making herself a stress case anymore. Emma even told me, with obvious pride, that for the first time in her life, she took a road trip.
How did I help Emma snap out of her trance? I simply imparted truths that someone should have communicated years ago, like the following:
Emma, you're a wonderful, good-hearted person. You deserve to be here. Your life is a blessing. It's OK to drive your car or to take a bag from the store. You deserve all these things and more. Besides, the earth has been here for millions of years and will be here long after your great grandchildren are gone.
Now, if the planet is not about to crash and burn, why turn children like Emma into eco-warriors? Why condition them to take three-minute showers and lambaste their elders?
The Left's underlying goal: to convince all of us that we don't matter. Our happiness, our cleanliness, our ease of living, our money, and our time...it's the government's business, not ours. While Marxist theory celebrates the proletarian, in actuality, people become interchangeable cogs in the collective wheel.
With the promotion of environmental hysteria, the government keeps the masses frightened and in survival mode. When you traumatize and terrify people, they're malleable. As stated succinctly by Adolph Hitler himself, "Terror is the best political weapon."
Another potent way to dominate people? Blame and shame them; make them feel defective if they trash a bottle or enjoy a hot bath. Self-hate and shame are unbearable states of mind. People will do almost anything to get out of them.
Simply put, the Green Meanies care about power, not the planet. Does anyone out there really believe that Obama gives a hoot about the spotted owl?
I whimsically entitled this article "Why I'm Enlarging My Carbon Footprint." Truth be told, I'm not really into littering or trashing the streets. But I'm also not obsessing about every little thing I ingest or buy.
I refuse to kowtow to a government that not only wants to control my body and my money and what I eat, but also wants to get into my head and become my Higher Power. Frankly, I'm not interested. I've got a Higher Power already, and His name isn't Barack.
Climategate Investigation Only Fuels Controversy
If the University of East Anglia report set up to investigate the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) was meant to put the Climategate controversy to rest in time for Earth Day, it failed spectacularly.
The panel was led by Ernest Oxburgh, who happens to be the honorary president of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association. Carbon capture and storage is an industry that definitely wouldn’t suffer should CO2 limits be imposed. Also, Oxburgh’s involvement with the wind-energy industry raises further conflict of interest questions. With this in mind, the lack of depth into which the investigation went and the complete acquittal the panel gave the CRU, is not at all surprising.
The supposed investigation lasted a mere three weeks and was only five pages in length. Steve McIntyre, a leading critic of the IPCC report and editor of the Climate Audit blog, pointed out that the panel thought it only regrettable—and in no way acknowledged any sort of cover-up– that key facts and figures were tucked away in obscure scientific journals and omitted from the IPCC report. This is significant because, as he put it, IPCC presentations—and not the journals– “are how the climate science community speaks to the world.” Apparently, these scientists did not want the world to understand that their data did not support their theory. At least according to the well-known “climate-gate” emails which show that the scientists involved saw that these facts would “dilute the message.”
McIntyre isn’t the only one who is not sold by this so-called investigation. The Director of Energy and Global Warming Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Myron Ebel, said, “They don’t even make a minimal effort to rebut the obvious appearance of widespread data manipulation, suppression of dissenting research through improper means and intentional avoidance of complying with Freedom of Information requests.” In the scientific community, where transparency and the ability to replicate results are everything, these charges are severe. And unfortunately, the Obama administration is calling for harmful regulations based upon this faulty science.
The same week the panel gave the CRU a free pass, President Obama made the claim to his Economic Recovery Advisory Board that pending climate legislation from the left is good for business. The board would have been good to tell him otherwise. Spain and other European countries that have tried regulating CO2 emissions have suffered drastic economic results. Heritage experts have done the number-crunching and their results show Obama’s statement to be blatantly false. While the figures for the final bill would be slightly different than those calculated by Heritage experts for the Boxer-Kerry legislation, if CO2 emissions or renewable fuel standards legislation was enacted, you could count on trillions of dollars of losses in U.S. GDP, job losses in excess of a million, and trillions of dollars worth of higher energy costs.
If the American people are going to have to bear the consequences of this bill in a time of economic hardship, we should continue to demand a true investigation into the—shoddy at best, deceptive at worst—findings of the CRU. Allowing those that stand to profit from CO2 regulation to be the ones to investigate the science is like having a polar bear guard the seals.
Confirmed! Global warming is 'settled' – as a scam
'Climategate' author unveils evidence of 'every deception imaginable'
Al Gore's insistence that global warming is "settled science" has been used to defend claims humanity is on the edge of destroying the world. Now author Brian Sussman, whose book "Climategate" is being released Thursday – Earth Day – agrees it's "settled," as a scam.
Sussman unveils in his book evidence that the move to restrict carbon-dioxide emissions, tax a multitude of energy programs and create a "Big Brother" that would limit household energy use, among other programs, is a move to give government unlimited control over people.
National Public Radio reported in 2007 how Gore took his "climate-change crusade" to Congress and said the science on the issue was "settled." Then in 2009 the Environmental Protection Agency declared carbon dioxide and other emissions are endangering the future of the world.
Sussman's book, the newest title by WND Books, has been charting for several weeks already among Amazon's top 10 preordered titles. It warns that believing global warming is "settled science" is a danger itself.
He writes that the now-notorious intercepted e-mails that reveal leading global-warming supporters exchanging plans to squelch critics and falsify data are just the tip of the iceberg.
If you thought the record cold winter, expanding polar ice and other factors would make global-warming supporters "chill out," guess again, he writes.
"These people have a plan and they intend to control much more than your thermostat," the book says.
In "Climategate," he explains the science of the subject and how politics have taken control of the data. Further, he explains how many of the global-warming promoters are out to make a buck for themselves.
"It's obvious to everyone that this global-warming facade is in meltdown mode," said Joseph Farah, publisher of WND Books and founder and CEO of WorldNetDaily.com. "Now Brian's important book comes along just in time to reveal exactly why this Big Lie was foisted on us to begin with and what we can do to stop it cold."
Among other things, "Climategate" reveals the underlying fraud of environmentalism in America. It also depicts the myth that global warming is the consensus of the scientific community.
The book traces the origins of a "climate-scare" agenda to the "diabolical minds of Marx and Engels in the 1800s – down the ages to the global governance of the United Nations today."
On the issue of carbon dioxide, the book points out that nature needs carbon dioxide and generates it through multiple natural processes to ensure its availability.
"Decomposing vegetation, the carcasses of dead animals, forest fires, smoldering peat bogs, volcanoes, plowed soil, weathering rocks, human utilization of fossil fuels, and even termites and crustacean shells – all exude carbon dioxide beneficial to the plant kingdom," he writes. "And the more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the more content the plants become – just ask anyone who has worked in a greenhouse.
"In fact, that is a portion of the carbon-dioxide debate no one bothers to address – the plant kingdom would abound if carbon-dioxide levels were to increase in the global atmosphere," he writes.
WND previously reported among the topics discussed in the book is whether there soon could be "Green Goon Squads" at your door, checking your energy usage.
The author explains federal legislation includes a set of regulations for energy efficiency that will be enforced "by a national, green goon squad."
"The legislation also authorizes the Secretary of Energy to 'enhance compliance by conducting training and education of builders and other professionals in the jurisdiction concerning the national energy-efficiency building code.'"
Sussman warns the focus is not to save energy and money. "It's a social-engineering scheme, designed and promoted by the federal government to change your behavior," he said.
Pollution actually has been decreasing, significantly, he documents. From 1980 to 2005, for example, he wrote, "Fine particulate matter declined 40 percent. Ozone levels declined 20 percent, and days per year exceeding the 8-hour ozone standard fell seventy-nine percent. Nitrogen-dioxide levels decreased 37 percent, sulfur dioxide dropped 63 percent and carbon-monoxide concentrations were reduced by 74 percent. Lead levels were lowered by 96 percent."
Neither are temperatures rising, he documents: "Since 2007, global temperatures are engaged in a significant downward spiral, with government data illustrating a 1°F (.65°C) drop in temperature between 2007 and 2008 alone," he reports.
He reports on e-mails that were hacked from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, which contain references to "hiding" information.
"The Climatic Research Unit had been regarded by many as one of the most credible atmospheric institutions in the world, but with the revelation of the e-mail exchanges, their supposed credibility was reduced to junk science," Sussman writes.
"The e-mails reveal that the world's leading climate scientists were working together to block Freedom of Information requests to review their data, marginalize dissenting scientists, manipulate the peer-review process, and obscure, massage or delete inconvenient temperature readings. One certainly wonders, why? Especially since Al Gore has assured the world that 'the science is settled.'"
Taking on the EPA directly, Sussman says, "Carbon dioxide only accounts for thirty-eight-thousandths of a percent of our planet's atmosphere. It is known as a variable gas, because, like water vapor, it has historically fluctuated. And what percentage of the minuscule amount of CO2 is produced by the activities of man, including the utilization of fossil fuels? According to a thorough analysis by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, a research wing of the U.S. Department of Energy, it is only 3.207 percent. All of this hoopla over an atmospheric component so minute, it is difficult to comprehend."
What could be driving the agenda of global warming? Dollars, he suggests.
"It's widely reported that Al Gore is worth at least $100 million, although my well-connected [source] believes it may be closer to $500 million. Quite a success story for a guy, who, according to financial-disclosure records released just prior to his bid for the presidency, had a net worth near $2 million," he writes.
Last December, the EPA signed two findings that concluded greenhouse gases in the atmosphere "threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations." The EPA's rulings could mean thousands of dollars in additional taxes for individual consumers.
Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Joe Barton, R-Texas, then cited the doubts about the integrity of "climate change" science in a letter and asked for an accounting of U.S. taxpayer support for the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The U.S. since 1994 has given some $50 million to the panel, and contributions under President Obama now have doubled.
Sussman, formerly a highly acclaimed San Francisco meteorologist, also is the newest morning host at KSFO Radio (560 AM), the highest-rated talk show in the San Francisco Bay Area and the fourth-largest radio market in the country.
In the original scandal that spawned the name Climategate, the hacked e-mails of Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit in Norwich, England, and others uncovered schemes to employ "tricks" with warming trends, squelch skeptics and defame journals that published them.
Earth Day is all the evidence of deception needed, said Sussman. First celebrated in 1970 on the 100th anniversary of the birth of communist leader Vladimir Lenin, it was founded by Sen. Gaylord Nelson, D-Wis.; former Stanford student-body president Denis Hayes; and author and Stanford professor Paul Ehrlich.
"Lenin's core political philosophy was linked at the hip with these newly fangled environmentalists who maintained that America's government must be altered, its economy planned and regulated, and its citizens better controlled," writes Sussman. "The environment would be the perfect tool to force these changes, and the most efficient way to gain converts would be through the public-school system – the earlier the better."
Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., has suggested the Justice Department investigate scientists for potentially falsifying data. And the Orange County Register has posted a chart for consumers to try to keep up with all the scandals developing in the "global warming" community. Among the scandals listed are:
* ClimateGate: The scandal over the Climatic Research Unit e-mails from East Anglia.
* FOIGate: In which British officials are investigating whether East Anglia scientists refused to follow that nation's freedom-of-information law about their work.
* ChinaGate: In which dozens of weather monitoring stations in rural China apparently have simply disappeared. This would lead to higher temperature averages since city levels frequently are warmer.
* HimalayaGate: In which an Indian climate official admitted in January that he falsely claimed Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035 to prod governments into action.
* And PachauriGates I and II, SternGates I and II, AmazonGate (in which a claim that global warming would wipe out rain forests was exposed as a fraud), PeerReviewGate, RussianGate I and II and nearly a dozen others.
WND also reported recently when the St. Louis–based Peabody Energy, the largest private coal company in the world, petitioned the EPA to re-examine its decisions in light of the controversy over the scientists' e-mails. The company noted the "seriousness of the flaws" in the work.
Given the EPA's "extensive reliance" on those reports, "the agency has no legal option but to re-examine the Endangerment Finding in light of this new information," the petition said.
On its website, the company said the EPA's earlier ruling "could mean regulation of hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of buildings, farms, businesses and other facilities in the U.S."
Texas officials also have filed a lawsuit accusing the federal government of using "tainted" information to arrive at the EPA conclusion and it asks that the EPA's decisions be set aside. Virginia's attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, also filed a petition demanding the EPA reconsider its greenhouse-gas finding.
The scientific community actually is anything but unanimous on climate change.
The disunity is documented by the Petition Project, launched some 10 years ago when the first few thousand signatures were gathered. The effort by Art Robinson, a research professor of chemistry and cofounder of the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine in 1973, now lists tens of thousands of qualified scientists who endorse the following statement:
"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."
Among the original e-mails hacked from East Anglia and posted online was, "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. The CERES data published in the August (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society) 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate."
The nine-bin nightmare in Britain: Families forced to follow green zealots' new recycling diktats
Families are facing a nightmare future of recycling confusion. In a regime set to spread across the country, residents are being forced to juggle an astonishing nine separate bins.
There has already been a storm of protest with warnings that the scheme is too complex and homes simply don't have the space to deal with the myriad bins, bags and boxes.
The containers include a silver slopbucket for food waste, which is then tipped in to a larger, green outdoor food bin, a pink bag for plastic bottles, a green bag for cardboard, and a white bag for clothing and textiles.
Paper and magazines go in blue bags, garden waste in a wheelie bin with a brown lid, while glass, foil, tins and empty aerosols should go in a blue box, with a grey wheelie bin for non-recyclable waste.
The strict regulations have been introduced as councils come under growing pressure to cut the amount of household rubbish they send to landfill. However, they go far beyond anything previously expected from householders and families.
Retired teacher Sylvia Butler is already being forced to follow the new rules. She said: 'I'm all for recycling and used to help educate the kids about it during my geography classes but expecting us to cope with nine different bins and bags is asking too much.'
Pressure on councils to enforce recycling schemes includes rising taxes on everything they send to landfill and the threat of European Union fines if they fail to hit EU targets from 2013 onwards.
Compulsory recycling is commonly enforced by bin police who can impose £100 on-the-spot fines for breaches like overfilled wheelie bins, extra rubbish left out, or bins put out at the wrong time. If people do not pay the fines, they can be taken to court, where they face increased penalties of £1,000 and criminal records.
Officials in Newcastle-under-Lyme in North Staffordshire anticipated trouble when they introduced the nine-bin system last month. They had to publish step-by-step instructions on how to fold down a cardboard box so that it fits into the green bag.
The council also put a film on its web-site in which a recycling officer demonstrates how to put a tenth container - a biodegradable liner - into the slopbucket.
Mrs Butler, 58, who is secretary of her local residents' association in Newcastle and a former councillor, said the terrace homes in her street had no gardens, yet were expected to accommodate bulky bins for garden waste.
Mrs Butler, who lives with husband Nick, 59, a retired lab worker, said: 'I have had to take my brown bin down to my allotment - there simply isn't room in my back yard to house it.'
Under the previous recycling system in the borough, householders had to juggle with the five containers that have become common in compulsory recycling and fortnightly collection schemes throughout the country.
The new system was introduced by the local council to help boost recycling rates from 26 per cent in 2008 to a target of 50 per cent by 2015.
It means only food waste is now taken each week. All other rubbish has to be stored for a fortnight before it is collected.
Mrs Butler said that whereas previously, only one wagon would collect their recycling, now up to three different lorries and crews do the job.
Samantha Dudley, 34, an office administrator from Newcastle, said recycling bags and their contents blowing in the street were a 'constant problem'. She said: 'This scheme is supposed to increase recycling but the irony is it is creating more rubbish.
'We are on high ground and although you can tie the plastic bags up, the ones full of plastic bottles simply blow away up the street - even when they are full - if they are not weighed down.'
She added: 'I'm used to organising things with two children but even I find juggling nine different recycling bags and bins difficult. I dread to think how elderly people get on.'
Around half the country now has fortnightly collection systems imposed by town halls that prefer to compel their residents to carry out complex recycling than either organise recycling themselves in waste plants or absorb the cost of landfill taxes.
A report for the Environment Department last week revealed that the burning of household rubbish by those trying to evade recycling rules has now become the greatest source of highly poisonous and cancer-causing dioxins in the environment.
Binmen also frequently refuse to take rubbish containers they view as contaminated. Last week in Andover in Hampshire dustmen refused to take away a bin they said was contaminated with a handful of fruit pips.
A spokesman for Newcastle-under-Lyme council, which is ruled by a coalition of Tories and Liberal Democrats, said: 'If residents report litter problems to us our crews will pick it up that day.'
Some Tory-controlled authorities have been among the cheerleaders for compulsory recycling and fortnightly collections despite criticism from their own party's shadow ministers who have accused Labour of forcing councils to behave like 'bin bullies'.
A number of Tory councils are expected to continue to be among the front-runners in enforcing recycling.
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Posted by JR at 2:05 PM