Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Climate scepticism due to ‘genetic disposition’, Warmists claim

Leftists have been "psychologizing" those who disagree with them since at least 1950, but the claims have never stood up to scrutiny

What role does the media play in curbing climate change? That's the question a diverse group of participants will grapple with at Deutsche Welle's annual Global Media Forum in Bonn which opens on June 21....

The annual media conference in Bonn brings together an eclectic mix of environment campaigners, entrepreneurs, journalists, artists, scientists, lawmakers and civil rights activists from around the world. "The Global Media Forum is international, it's interdisciplinary and interactive," said Ralf Nolting, head of Deutsche Welle Media Services, the organizers of the conference.

The aim of the meeting is to get key players from a range of fields at one table to identify problems and come up with solutions – this time the subject is the role of the media in covering climate change.

Countering climate change denial

There's little doubt that it's a timely topic. A recent international study conducted by market research institute Synovate in cooperation with Deutsche Welle, which polled 13,000 people, shows that a rethink of attitudes towards climate change and sustainability is sorely needed.

Deutsche Welle chief Erik Bettermann said he was particularly concerned about the growing denial of the seriousness of the problem. “We've been forced to conclude that knowledge of the effects of climate change is widely accepted, but at the same time the number of those who think 'it's not that bad,' is increasing – it's 10 percent after all," Bettermann said. In 2008, that number was found to be at four percent.

Among others, the former BBC correspondent, now psychotherapist, Mark Brayne will look at some of the psychological reasons for climate change denial.

Ralf Nolting said it was an important trend one couldn't afford to ignore. "It's simply the genetic disposition of people the older they get – that includes most people in key positions," Nolting said."

"In short, if someone has turned coal into energy all his life as an operator of a coal-fired electricity plant, then it's suddenly a psychological problem for him to accept solar cells or wind energy."


Warmists still trying to do science by consensus

They quite ignore the carrots and sticks which ensure that most climate scientists toe the line -- which is why it is always the facts that matter, not opinion of any sort:

Scientists who believe in man-made climate change are more esteemed than those who actively oppose the concept, according to a new paper. The study, which claims scientists who blame man for our changing planet are more highly regarded than those who do not, has been criticised by opponents who question its methods.

The analysis of climate scientists claims the "vast majority" of climate change researchers agree on the issue, and that those who oppose the consensus are "not actually climate researchers or not very productive researchers".

But experts said the paper divides scientists into artificial groups, does not consider a balanced spectrum of scientists, and is inherently biased due to the nature of the peer review process.

Judith Curry, a climate expert at the Georgia Institute of Technology – who was not part of the analysis – called the study "completely unconvincing" while John Christy of University of Alabama claimed he and other climate sceptics included in the survey were simply "being blacklisted" by colleagues.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined 1,372 scientists who had taken part in reviews of climate science or had put their name to statements regarding the key findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Scientists were grouped as "convinced" or "unconvinced", and researchers examined how many times they had published papers on the climate. The results showed that "unconvinced" scientists accounted for just three of the 100 most prolific authors on the subject, while "convinced" scientists also averaged more citations.

Opponents criticised the authors of the report for polarising all scientists into two distinct groups, rather than taking into account different shades of support for theories on climate change. Roger Pielke Jr, of the University of Colorado, told that some scientists were put into a group despite holding a more moderate viewpoint.

In one case a scientist who argued against immediate reductions to greenhouse gas emissions – a political rather than a scientific position – was categorised as "unconvinced", he said.

Critics also said the paper focuses solely on scientists who have made their position on climate change public – failing to consider those "unconvinced" scientists who choose not to speak out – and that the peer review process meant the consensus view was unfairly favoured.


Another comment (excerpt):

It's also hilariously wrong. As Roger Pielke Jr. notes on his weblog, his father, who firmly believes in man's impact on the climate, is rated as a skeptic, while James Hansen, who has repeatedly criticized the IPCC consensus (albeit for being too conservative) is mentioned as a supporter of the IPCC.

This will contribute to the feeding frenzy on climate change and distract (as it is meant to do) from real discussion of climate change issues.

Very much of a piece with the other junk coming out these days. Very much a symptom of a group that can no longer respond to the real arguments.

More HERE. And Roger Pielke Jr. has some detailed criticisms and Marc Morano has a roundup of commentaries on the paper -- commentaries that point out serious methodological weaknesses in it.

Plant Scientists: 'UK Crop Yields Unaffected By Climate Change'

FEARS that climate change will seriously affect crop yields in Britain by encouraging diseases are unfounded, scientists at Harpenden's Rothamsted Research have discovered.

Oil seed rape, the crop which carpets much of Hertfordshire in yellow in the summer, suffers from a disease that affects yield known as phoma stem canker, predicted to spread as the climate warms with with more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

But newly-published research by Rothamsted scientists shows that another disease, light leaf spot, will retreat with climate change, while yield loss from stem canker can be countered by treatment.

Overall, the new research predicts, yield will drop only slightly, and, through the use of disease prediction systems, could even improve.


Federal Judge Blocks Obama's Offshore Drilling Moratorium in Gulf of Mexico

In a victory for drilling proponents, a federal judge struck down President Obama's six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, saying the administration rashly concluded that because one rig failed, the others are in immediate danger, too.

The White House promised an immediate appeal. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president believes strongly that drilling at such depths does not make sense and puts the safety of workers "at a danger that the president does not believe we can afford."

The Interior Department had halted approval of any new permits for deepwater drilling and suspended drilling of 33 exploratory wells in the Gulf.

Several companies that ferry people and supplies and provide other services to offshore drilling rigs asked U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans to overturn the moratorium. They argued it was arbitrarily imposed after the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that killed 11 workers and blew out the well 5,000 feet underwater. It has spewed anywhere from 67 million to 127 million gallons of oil into the Gulf.

Feldman sided with the companies, saying in his ruling the Interior Department assumed that because one rig failed, all companies and rigs doing deepwater drilling pose an imminent danger. "The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is an unprecedented, sad, ugly and inhuman disaster," he wrote. "What seems clear is that the federal government has been pressed by what happened on the Deepwater Horizon into an otherwise sweeping confirmation that all Gulf deepwater drilling activities put us all in a universal threat of irreparable harm."

His ruling prohibits federal officials from enforcing the moratorium until a trial is held. He did not set a trial date.

The Interior Department said it needed time to study the risks of deepwater drilling. But the lawsuit filed by Hornbeck Offshore Services of Covington, La., claimed there was no proof the other operations posed a threat. Company CEO Todd Hornbeck said after the ruling that he is looking forward to getting back to work. "It's the right thing for not only the industry but the country," he said.

Earlier in the day, executives at a major oil conference in London warned that the moratorium would cripple world energy supplies. Steven Newman, president and CEO of Transocean Ltd., owner of the rig that exploded, called it an unnecessary overreaction. BP PLC was leasing the rig. "There are things the administration could implement today that would allow the industry to go back to work tomorrow without an arbitrary six-month time limit," Newman told reporters on the sidelines of the conference.

The moratorium was declared May 6 and originally was to last only through the month. Obama announced May 27 that he was extending it for six months.

In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal and corporate leaders said that would force drilling rigs to leave the Gulf of Mexico for lucrative business in foreign waters. They said the loss of business would cost the area thousands of lucrative jobs, most paying more than $50,000 a year. The state's other major economic sector, tourism, is a largely low-wage industry.


Monsanto GM seed ban overturned by SCOTUS

The bio-tech company Monsanto can sell genetically modified seeds before safety tests on them are completed, the US Supreme Court has ruled.

A lower court had barred the sale of the modified alfalfa seeds until an environmental impact study could be carried out. But seven of the nine Supreme Court Justices decided that ruling was unconstitutional.

The seed is modified to be resistant to Monsanto's brand of weedkiller.

The US is the world's largest producer of alfalfa, a grass-like plant used as animal feed. It is the fourth most valuable crop grown in the country.

Environmentalists had argued that there might be a risk of cross-pollination between genetically modified plants and neighbouring crops. They also argued over-use of the company's weedkiller Roundup, the chemical treatment the alfalfa is modified to be resistant to, could cause pollution of ground water and lead to resistant "super-weeds".

But Monsanto says claims its products were dangerous amounted to "bad science fiction with no support on the record".


Can painting a mountain restore a glacier?
It is the first experimental step in an innovative plan to recuperate Peru’s disappearing Andean glaciers. The World Bank clearly believes the idea – the brainchild of 55-year-old Peruvian inventor, Eduardo Gold – has merit as it was one of the 26 winners from around 1,700 submissions in the “100 Ideas to Save the Planet” competition at the end of 2009.

Although he is yet to receive the $200,000 (£135,000) awarded by the World Bank, his pilot project is already underway on the Chalon Sombrero peak, 4,756 metres above sea level, in an area some 100km west of the regional capital of Ayacucho.

There are no paint brushes, the workers use jugs to splash the whitewash onto the loose rocks around the summit. It is a laborious process but they have whitewashed two hectares in two weeks.

“Cold generates more cold, just as heat generates more heat,” says Mr Gold. “I am hopeful that we could re-grow a glacier here because we would be recreating all the climatic conditions necessary for a glacier to form.”

If you had $200,000 to gift to Peru, a place where the GDP per capita is less than $5,000, would you spend it on a program to paint black rocks white in the hope of storing water and changing the local weather?

Reader John P points out that if you check the World Glacier Monitoring Service you will see that the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of glaciers in the Peruvian Cordillera Blanca is above 4900 m, that means that snow falling below that altitude does not remain over the whole year and melts. Even if it falls on the glacier ice, much less on whitewashed rocks. Besides, the impact of a few hectares of rock is minimal when compared with the atmospheric circulation or the impact of surrounding terrain.

You might wonder who in their right mind would spend that kind of money, and the answer is no one — at least no one would spend their own money — but your money, my money, paper money — sure. It’s good advertising for the World Bank, it creates news stories for the cause, and generates another set of vested servants agitating for a carbon credit currency.

The project description hints that as cold begets cold, so money begets money:
The project also will attempt to have the change in albedo over a “unit” surface area equated with carbon credits in order to generate a sustainable source of revenue generation for future project applications

Yet another kind of whitewash that generates revenue. Think about the possibilities? If painting things white “generates” money in carbon credits, then white cars ought to get a pump discount…

The list of Global Winning projects for 2009 refers to the act of pouring buckets of whitewash on rocks as an “Artisanal Industry”. I think the real craftmanship comes in writing grant applications. What will we see in 2010? Here’s a thought: white paint isn’t that marvellous at reflecting light. It has an emissivity of something like 0.9, but polished aluminium has an emissivity of 0.04, (reflecting lots more!). Suggestions for 2010? How about gift wrapping Mt Kilamajaro rocks in Al-Foil?

SOURCE (See the original for links)


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Anonymous said...

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JR said...

Certainly no sign of intelligence above

Just abuse, in the usual Green/Left way