Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Warmist fools never learn
TOM Smitheringale wanted to prove the world was warming. Now he's another alarmist with frostbite.
The 40-year-old from Perth planned to be the first Australian to trek unassisted to the North Pole, but announced he'd raise some consciousness along the way.
As he wrote on his website: "Part of the reason Tom's One Man Epic is taking place now is because of the effect that global warming is having on the polar ice caps."
Indeed, he wanted to see the North Pole while it was still there: "Some scientists have even estimated that the polar ice cap will have entirely melted away by 2014!"
But Antarctica isn't melting away, and Arctic ice has slowly increased since its big low in 1997. But no one seems to have told Tom, who soon found his extremities freezing.
Two weeks ago he nearly called off his trek after suffering excruciating pain in his fingers and thumbs, forcing him to call in emergency help.
And last week he had to be rescued by Canadian soldiers after falling through the ice sheet. "(I) came very close to the grave," he said, on being flown out.
This is actually now the fourth year running that warming alarmists have had to be rescued from expeditions to prove the Arctic is warmer than it actually is. It's a metaphor.
Last year it was British eco-explorer Pen Hadow and his two-person team who had to be flown out mid-stunt, after battling brutal sub-zero weather conditions that gave the team's photographer frostbite.
The year before, eco-adventurer Lewis Gordon Pugh was similarly thwarted.
He'd planned to kayak 1200km to the North Pole to raise awareness of how global warming had allegedly melted the ice sheet so badly that scientists warned the North Pole that summer could be ice-free.
No such luck. Pugh had to pull out, still 1000km from the finish, when a great barrier of sea ice blocked his route.
The year before gave even more farcical entertainment: "Explorers and educators" Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen said they were off on what reporters described as "a historic 75-day expedition to the North Pole and beyond to raise awareness of global warming's impact on the fragile Arctic".
It turned out that what was fragile was not the Arctic but the alarmists, who had to call off their big trip not long after it started, when Arnesen suffered frostbite in three of her toes, and extreme cold drained their batteries.
Explained a spokesman: "They were experiencing temperatures that weren't expected with global warming." Like the globe, really.
The fact is that when Arctic rescuers must save more people from global warming stunts than from global warming itself, it's time to heed again the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
"We have nothing to fear but fear itself." So if alarmists settled down, they might just live longer, and keep their toes.
And the rest of us might not be put to so much needless expense. Like rescues, for instance.
Carbon offsets: How a Vatican forest failed to reduce global warming
Russ George described himself as a man of vision. He certainly envisioned making money. The San Francisco promoter saw the profit of promising to remove carbon dioxide from the air, and selling that promise as carbon offsets to polluters, a plan he touted in interviews, press releases, and even to a congressional committee.
He just needed seed money. Nelson Skalbania, a high-profile Canadian real estate trader who had spent a year wearing a court-supervised electronic bracelet for a conviction in Canada of misappropriating $100,000 in investor funds, was just the kind of “green angel” – as Mr. George called him – who would put up the money.
With Mr. Skalbania’s backing, George bought the 152-foot research vessel Weatherbird II, repainted it with his new company name – Planktos – and hired a crew to sail for the Galapagos Islands in summer 2007.
His plan was to enlist one of nature’s carbon sponges, algae. He’d scatter a fertilizer of iron dust on 2.4 million acres of the South Pacific, he announced. In three weeks, it would produce a massive bloom of phytoplankton algae, which would inhale carbon dioxide, then sink with the carbon. George would sell his estimate of the absorbed carbon as “carbon offsets” at $5 a ton and make millions.
The Weatherbird II was under sail preparing to scatter 50 to 100 tons of iron dust when an outcry stopped it. Scientists said there was no way to tell what the iron or algae would do to the ocean environment. Diplomats cited treaties against dumping at sea. The captain of a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship threatened to ram the vessel. The Weatherbird II diverted to the Atlantic.
But George already was working on another plan: to plant millions of trees in rural Hungary and sell the carbon dioxide those trees could be expected to absorb.
He formed a Hungarian company, KlimaFa – “Climate Trees.” His publicity strategy: Present the Vatican with carbon offsets to make the Holy See carbon neutral based on the trees he’d plant. The photo of George handing Cardinal Paul Poupard the offset certificates at the Vatican on July 5, 2007, went worldwide.
In the glow of that publicity coup, George offered offsets for sale on his Planktos website. There are no public records of how much he sold. But with the growing outcry over the sea-seeding scheme, Planktos abruptly closed in December 2007.
KlimaFa – and the Vatican’s still unfulfilled offsets – were left in the hands of a Budapest partner, David Gazdag. He blogged a few times about the project, occasionally stopped by government offices to talk, but planted no trees.
“This is a problem,” Gyorgy Dallos, a World Wildlife Federation official, said in Budapest. Carbon offsets create “false hope” if they’re not real. The Vatican’s emissions, he noted, are not neutralized.
Few of the players want to talk about that problem. Mr. Gazdag agreed to an interview in Budapest, then canceled. A Vatican spokesman says “the case is being studied to take legal action in order to defend the Vatican’s reputation.”
The Hungarian government, once an enthusiastic supporter of the project, now wants no part of it. Erika Hasznos, Hungary’s chief climate policy officer, walked out of an interview when asked if KlimaFa had submitted applications for the project.
George created another website in 2008, announcing a new business, Planktos-Science. He did not agree to an interview. He replied by e-mail that this story seemed a “potentially hostile piece” and insisted his new company is “no longer affiliated with the now defunct” old company he ran.
In the impoverished village of Tiszakeszi, where KlimaFa trees were to be planted, Mayor Kiss Lajos looks forlornly over the empty space along the Tisza River where George had promised to plant “the Vatican Forest” and create hundreds of jobs. “We felt honored because the Vatican chose our village,” he said. “Now we feel sorry.”
More on the Greening of Islam
Muslims recognize the Qu’ran has a lot to teach about ecology. A critical mass of Muslims are now working to make the annual Hajj pilgrimage greener. Green was, after all, Mohammad’s favorite color. Image via jonathangill
Ask around in Egypt and the environment is usually not on the top of most people’s agenda, especially considering the vast number of people living in poverty, unemployment rising, sexual harassment burgeoning and a government that constantly pushes its people toward oblivion. But that is not stopping a number of Muslim activists from speaking out on environmental issues, with calls in Jakarta recently at an environmental conference to turn the Islamic pilgrimage, or the Hajj, green.
The movement sees no qualms in combining faith with environmental protection. They argue that global warming does not discriminate between religion or region, activists said at the Jakarta meeting of the international Islamic green movement’s meeting.
Leading activist Mahmoud Akef of the Earth Mates Dialogue Center was one of nearly 200 Muslim delegates from across the world to call for a greener Hajj: “Because we are all living on this Earth and what is happening, or what’s affecting with regard to the climate change, affecting Americans, affects the Muslims here in Indonesia, affects Egypt, Muslims in Africa and Asia anywhere,” Akef said at the conference.
While the West has had lobbyists calling for environmental reform and a push toward ending carbon emissions to curtail global warming and climate change, for the post part, Muslim leaders and activists have shied away from the discussion. This is changing, and Akef is leading the charge.
He said that Muslim environmentalists want to have the message about climate change and global warming heard around the world, in the Middle East, in Islamic countries and in the mosques.
At the conference, the leaders announced a desire to implement a greener Hajj, where some three million Muslims participate in annually in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. They argued that it is the ideal location to raise awareness of global warming and the environmental impact individuals have.
The plan includes a ban on plastic bottles at Hajj sites and workshops about the link between environmental stewardship and the teaching of Islam.
Qu’ran as book of ecology
“The Qu’ran is kind of ecology book. A lot of verses tell about the environment and how to deal with the environment and how to protect the environment,” Akef said.
They are also looking into designating eco-friendly mosques and publish Islam’s Holy Book with paper from sustainable forests.
Muhammad Sembiring, part of the Indonesian environmental organization Kehati, says Muslim activists see no conflict between science and faith on the issue of the environment. “It is proven there is totally no conflict, it is really [a] complement and it is shaking hands, it is matching,” Sembiring said.
The conference agreed that the meeting was a good starting point, but they added that a new approach to educating the larger population is needed in the near future.
BOOK REVIEW: The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World's Top Climate Scientists -- by Roy W Spencer
Roy W. Spencer is a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
The Great Global Warming Blunder unveils new evidence from major scientific findings that explode the conventional wisdom on climate change and reshape the global warming debate as we know it. Roy W. Spencer, a former senior NASA climatologist, reveals how climate researchers have mistaken cause and effect when analyzing cloud behavior and have been duped by Mother Nature into believing the Earth’s climate system is far more sensitive to human activities and carbon dioxide than it really is.
In fact, Spencer presents astonishing new evidence that recent warming is not the fault of humans, but the result of chaotic, internal natural cycles that have been causing periods of warming and cooling for millennia. More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not necessarily to be feared; The Great Global Warming Blunder explains that burning of fossil fuels may actually be beneficial for life on Earth.
As group-think behavior and misguided global warming policy proposals threaten the lives of millions of the world’s poorest, most vulnerable citizens, The Great Global Warming Blunder is a scintillating exposé and much-needed call for debate.
“Gambling our Future on Sunbeams and Sea Breezes”
A Statement by Mr Viv Forbes, Chairman, The Carbon Sense Coalition, Australia
The Carbon Sense Coalition today accused Australian politicians of risking Australian jobs and industry on a quixotic scheme to generate 20% of 2020 electricity from sunbeams and sea breezes.
The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that even if this were possible, it could only be achieved by tripling power costs to industry and consumers.
“The proposed Renewable Energy Target Scheme would legislate that 20% of Australia’s electricity must come from “renewable” sources. They tell us this will reduce our production of carbon dioxide and thus reduce global warming.
“This is a foolish gamble.
“Firstly, there is no evidence that man’s production of carbon dioxide controls climate. The pulsating sun, the churning cosmos, the restless oceans, the changing clouds, the swirling jet streams and the erupting volcanoes on land and under-sea are the real climate controllers. Man’s effect on global climate is insignificant.
“Secondly, there is extensive evidence that a warmer world with more carbon dioxide plant food in the air would be a cleaner, greener and more abundant place for most people.
“Thirdly, the only non-carbon fuel that can reliably supply the legislated 20% of Australia’s grid power by 2020 is nuclear fuel. But that is currently prohibited, and there is not enough time for development.
“Man has been using wind and solar power for centuries. They were invaluable for the cottages and cottage industries of yesteryear. They are not suitable to supply large modern cities and industries – they are very dilute energy sources needing large areas of land for collection, and they can never supply continuous power. Every large solar/wind facility in the world has to be backed up 100% by a reliable power source – coal, gas, nuclear, geothermal, hydro or some not-yet-invented large capacity storage unit. Of these, only gas is immediately available and politically acceptable in Australia.
“Compulsory development of wind & solar energy will thus force the wasteful construction of backup gas-fired power plants. Soaring capital and operating costs will then force Australia’s electricity prices to at least treble by 2020.
“But, alas, burning gas also generates the dreaded CO2. And it is not “renewable”.
“Every producer and consumer should be free to use wind and solar power at their own expense, but Canberra should not enforce such job-killing and job-exporting silliness onto every consumer and industry in the land.
“Abolish Renewable Energy Targets – Australia and its climate will be better without them.”
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Posted by JR at 8:04 PM