Thursday, October 07, 2010

Legal Defeat for Global Warming in Kiwigate Scandal

By John O'Sullivan

New Zealand’s government via its National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has announced it has nothing to do with the country’s “official” climate record in what commentators are calling a capitulation from the tainted climate reconstruction.

NIWA’s statement claims they were never responsible for the national temperature record (NZTR).The climb down is seen as a dramatic legal triumph for skeptics of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition (NZCSC) who had initiated their challenge last August when petitioning the high court of New Zealand to invalidate the weather service’s reconstruction of antipodean temperatures.

According to NZCSC, climate scientists cooked the books by using the same alleged ‘trick’ employed by British and American doomsaying scientists. This involves subtly imposing a warming bias during what is known as the ‘homogenisation’ process that occurs when climate data needs to be adjusted.

The specific charge brought against the Kiwi government was that it’s climate scientists had taken the raw temperature records of the country and then adjusted them artificially with the result that a steeper warming trend was created than would otherwise exist by examination of the raw data alone.

Indeed, the original Kiwi records shows no warming during the 20th century, but after government sponsored climatologists had manipulated the data a warming trend of 1C appeared....

In circumstances strangely similar to those witnessed in the Climategate controversy Kiwigate appears to match Climategate in three key three facets. First, climate scientists declined to submit their data for independent analysis. Second, when backed into a corner the scientists claimed their adjustments had been ‘lost’. Third, the raw data itself proves no warming trend.

More HERE (See the original for references)

Satellitegate US Agency Faces Courtroom Climate Showdown

Note: The points made below reflect on the secretive attitudes of a major U.S. government climate agency: NOAA. It is this ethical malfeasance that is of concern. Like everything else, satellites break down eventually so it is not the breakdown that is of concern; It is the attempt to cover up the matter. Why the culture of secrecy? One guess.

Note that the temperature measurements reported by UAH under the guidance of Roy Spencer come from an entirely different satellite and are thus not impacted in any way by any of the matters mentioned below -- JR

by legal writer John O'Sullivan

The controversy over ‘Satellitegate’ hots up as NOAA faces a court appearance for refusing to release evidence that would show whether one or more US satellites exaggerated global warming temperatures

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a federal agency focused on reporting the condition of the oceans and the atmosphere. When the story first broke NOAA bizarrely announced it would withdraw satellite ‘images’ from its archives but failed to state whether reams of cooked data had also been withdrawn.

An official US Government statement last July confirmed that the NOAA-16 earth orbiting satellite used to measure surface temperatures suffered failure due to a “degraded” sensor system. But skeptics now fear that because government climate scientists won’t answer any more questions or reveal the discredited data archives they may be guilty of fraudulently cooking the books to show super boiling temperatures.

The story broke after an anonymous member of the public contacted a skeptic blog when he stumbled across thousands of alarming readings on a government website. The website showed thousands of surface temperatures of over 400 degrees fahrenheit. Dubbed Satellitegate the shocking revelations proved that all such bogus data had been fed automatically into data banks that the US Government then sold all over the world.

As proprietary temperature data products the junk numbers were used by domestic and international weather and climate researchers. Fears are growing that the junk data may have contaminated scores of climate models worldwide and artificially increased average global warming records by several degrees.

In the three months since the story hit the news NOAA still hasn’t come clean as to the true extent of the data contamination. Now it may be necessary for lawyers to file an official Freedom of Information request (FOIA) to compel the government, under federal legislation, to stop the cover up and reveal the truth.

What makes the Satellitegate controversy so intriguing are three simple questions:

1.Why do the thousands of high temperature “errors” favor the alarmist (thus government) case?

2.Why were such “errors” only acknowledged by the US government when the story became big news?

3.Why won’t NOAA answer my follow-on questions and release all the facts?

So how do anti-corruption specialists prove malfeasance/fraud under the civil burden of “the preponderance of the evidence?” Well, ultimately we need to demonstrate a good probability that X , Y or Z are unlikely to be merely incompetent time after time when their repeated errors favor only one outcome as opposed to a random one. When it becomes statistically improbable that such “errors” could be down to chance alone, that’s when a jury convicts.

What those without legal training also often fail to grasp are two key concepts that courts must address that may be fatal for those implicated parties:

(i)Omission-conscious failure to positively remedy a known error is malfeasance and may thus constitute conspiracy to commit fraud;

(ii)Loss or destruction of evidence by any party subject to an FOIA constitutes evidence abuse which is dealt with by the spoliation doctrine (i.e. the offending party is sanctioned under law because the law states that a party shall be punished when it ought to anticipate legal proceedings-thus securing conviction by default judgment).[1.]

The worst evidence of hyper-inflated global warming data that I found was on a web page entitled, ‘Michigan State University Remote Sensing & GIS Research and Outreach Services.’ When I contacted NOAA for further information I was denied by their lawyers. Is this necessary if we are talking about a non-problem over trivial errors of data no one uses? Does that smell of negligence or more of fraud? Taxpayers have a right to know what evidence has now become conveniently “lost” or destroyed.

NOAA and MSU have effectively blocked further access to all associated data preventing my associates and me from analyzing it to identify if there is any case to answer.

As any competent government corruption attorney will tell you, repeated errors constitute malfeasance when a continuous and unrelenting omission to address a known sequence of data ‘degradations’ can be judged to be nothing short of a conscious and willful act.

Moreover, when there is also the intentional failure to divulge the evidence that would prove conscious intent not to correct a fault in your favor then that is also proof of fraud. Thus, a group of those who knew of the errors and collectively and consciously failed to act are as guilty of conspiracy to defraud as those who perpretrated the original wrong. Bankers have been jailed for less, why aren’t climate scientists?


Climate Change: The data just isn't there

Add political bias to already shaky data and you get whatever you want -- anything but objective truth

By Dr. Tim Ball

Science must have accurate and adequate data. It’s the basis for producing or testing theories; without it results are meaningless. Inadequate data seriously limits climate research, but scientists and governments who manipulate it for political goals make it impossible. This occurs because most government weather and climate agencies work to create and confirm results of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

On Oct 14, 2009 Kevin Trenberth, member of the IPCC and leading member of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) group, wrote one of the leaked emails that exposed climate science corruption. He said, “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 BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.” He made similar comments back in 1999 on the release of the National Research Council (NRC) report on weather data. The press release reported, “Deficiencies in the accuracy, quality and continuity of the record….place serious limitations on the confidence in the research results.” Trenberth commented “It’s very clear we do not have a climate observing system…This may be a shock to many people who assume that we do know adequately what’s gong on with climate, but we don’t.” This didn’t stop him participating in IPCC and CRU research.

Data collection is expensive and requires continuity – it’s a major role for government. They fail with weather data because money goes to political climate research. A positive outcome of corrupted climate science exposed by Climategate, is re-examination beginning with raw data by the UK Met Office (UKMO). This is impossible because much is lost, thrown out after modification or conveniently lost, as in the case of records held by Phil Jones, director of Climategate. (Here and Here)

Evidence of manipulation and misrepresentation of data is everywhere. Countries maintain weather stations and adjust the data before it’s submitted through the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to the central agencies including the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN), the Hadley Center associated with CRU now called CRUTEM3, and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

They make further adjustments before selecting stations to produce their global annual average temperature. This is why they produce different measures each year from supposedly similar data.

There are serious concerns about data quality. The US spends more than others on weather stations, yet their condition and reliability is simply atrocious. Anthony Watts has documented the condition of US weather stations; it is one of governments failures.

A US election candidate said electing her opponent was like hiring Count Dracula to run the blood bank. Putting a person who is fanatically opposed to CO2 production from fossil fuels in charge of climate data is similar. James Hansen is Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), a major source of global temperature data. He was arrested for protesting again recently right outside the White House. It’s another in a list of protests and arrests directed against CO2 from fossil fuels, with a special focus on coal.

Part of his political activity included a claim he was being muzzled. His former boss Dr. John Theon exposed the lie. “Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress.”

Theon was even more pointed. “Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it.”

GISS results are derived GHCN data and are consistently different from those of other agencies. Under Hansen’s control GISS ‘adjustments’ and errors always produce higher temperatures.


Britain needs more nuclear plants, not wind farms

By Nigel Farage a Ukip South East MEP,

Britain faces a power crisis of unimaginable proportions. Our generating capacity is degrading at a rapid pace, and according to energy minister Chris Huhne, we face power blackouts in a few years.

Indeed, we are looking at a shortfall of at least 40 per cent as our elderly nuclear and conventional gas, coal and oil power stations reach their dotage. As they close, the spectre of fuel poverty will continue to raise its head.

During last winter, that coldest of cold snaps, according to official statistics, thousands of pensioners died because they were unable to afford to heat their homes. Sadly this is just the beginning.

Our economy runs on power. After wages, the biggest cost to most businesses is energy. We have all seen domestic bills soar in recent years, cutting into our disposable income and making life much less pleasant. How can this be?

It is not as if we don't know that we need power, it is not as if siren voices haven't been warning us for at least a decade that unless we seriously invest in energy generation we will be back to candles and watermills.

Only last week, Mr Huhne was bobbing self-importantly around in the midst of the Great Thanet wind farm. He, too, is worried about the shortfall in our energy supply, and he, like so many of our political and social elite, sees developments like the Swedish Vattenfall's wind farm as the only way forward. It isn't, and here is why.

They need back-up power (read conventional power stations - the ones that are closing down) running continuously in case the wind stops blowing. Even if they did work as we are told, to supply the UK's energy needs of 78GW we would require at least 78,000 5MW turbines.

The Government boasts that we have 4,500 of them. They are not self-funding like other kinds of power, and can only survive with subsidies such as the upwards of 14 per cent secretly added to everybody's electricity bill to pay for our EU-inspired Renewable Energy Obligation.

And you thought the wind was free? They are unreliable and the power from them is unpredictable. The Government talks about full capacity - at best they run at 26 per cent, which means you can only expect to get 1MW from a 4MW turbine.

They fail to provide jobs. Vattenfall boasts that East Kent will get 21 jobs in Ramsgate, but the company will get £1.2 billion in subsidy over the next 20 years, if they last that long. We have no idea how much maintenance will cost. Anybody who lives near the sea will tell you about the ability of salt to gum up the works. These precision instruments will break down.

If we are worried about power then sadly these ornaments, these vanity projects will never provide the power we need. According to figures released this week by the Government's own UK Energy Research Centre, the energy produced at Thanet over the projected 25 year lifespan of the farm, measured in megawatt hours, is expected to be £149 a pop. That compares with £80 for coal and gas, and £97 for nuclear power. Costs have increased for all generation, but offshore wind farms are way the most expensive.

This is, of course, madness but it is the collective lunacy of our political class. Two years ago, Parliament near unanimously supported the Climate Change Act. This forces us to cut our CO2 emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, at a cost of up to £18 billion a year, or £734 billion in total. They have done this to apply EU rules.

What they don't tell you is that they are slowly seeing through the climate scam themselves. Only in June at the Bilderburg conference of world leaders the agenda read: "The conference will deal mainly with financial reform, security, cyber technology, energy, Pakistan, Afghanistan, world food problem, global cooling, social networking, medical science, EU-US relations."


An Escape clause from California's global warming law

If Proposition 23 on the Nov. 2 ballot doesn't pass, your lives, livelihoods and liberties will come inescapably under the thumb of the Administrative State.

Prop. 23 would merely delay – mind you, not repeal – implementation of the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act, perhaps the most arrogantly misnamed law the California Legislature ever passed.

The Act, also known as Assembly Bill 32, set in motion an army of unelected, unaccountable Air Resources Board bureaucrats to write restrictive regulations and concoct an arbitrary cap-and-trade program to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, principally carbon dioxide. In effect, AB32 imposes a onerous energy tax to transfer wealth from innocent taxpayers and politically out-of-favor industries to endeavors that can't pay for themselves without taxpayer subsidies, things like windmill farms.

For perspective, carbon dioxide is the stuff you exhale. It's essential for plant growth, making it necessary for human existence. It's also a byproduct of virtually every human commercial activity, from pouring concrete to driving a car to flipping the light switch. What CO2 isn't, is a pollutant, even though the Supreme Court was persuaded to declare it one in 2007.

If government can regulate, tax and ration CO2, government can control just about everything. That's not hype.

Prop. 23 would delay this army of bureaucrats from inflicting who-knows-what economy-killing policies yet to be drafted. That's obviously prudent, considering unemployment in this state persistently hovers above 12 percent, and state government already is dysfunctional and out of control. The delay would prevent the state from rewarding friends and punishing enemies until unemployment drops to 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters, which has occurred three times in the past 40 years.

AB32 is wrong in at least two significant ways. It's based on bad science and will result in bad economics.

The Science

The first thing to understand is that the only place manmade CO2 ever created catastrophe is in computer models. In fact, the presumed cause-and-effect relationship of CO2 and higher temperatures also exists only in theory.

If higher levels of CO2 were an absolute cause of hotter temperatures, we would have seen temperatures soar over the past dozen years because CO2 levels dramatically shot up. Instead, temperatures have been level or declining.

Then there's the inconvenient truth that the Earth has been at least as warm, or even much warmer than it is today, long before man began spewing CO2 into the air anywhere near the rate we do now.

Some of the same climate alarmists who demand we implement Draconian controls like AB32 are the same people who insisted in the 1970s the Earth was headed into a new Ice Age that would kill millions and cripple civilization. That catastrophe didn't happen, but we are to trust that this one will. Chicken Little comes to mind.

Not incidentally, the motive in the '70s was the same as today: control. Whether we're going to freeze or roast, the argument is that government must have greater control to save us.

Speaking of ice ages, the planet has been coming out of the most recent one for a few hundred years, quite a while before the uptick in industrial CO2 emissions of the past half century. One might reasonably surmise that we should be getting a tad warmer. If there's any increased warming in the past century, it's as likely a natural cycle as any other explanation.

Then there's this: Even by alarmists' calculations, temperatures over the past century increased less than 1 degree Celsius. If that sounds tiny, it's because it is. Is it conceivable when dealing with literally a fraction of a degree that the margin of error in measuring temperatures might come into play? You decide.

After the Soviet Union fell, more than 100 surface climate-data stations in the eastern portion of the nation, including Siberia, stopped recording temperatures. Russians had more important things to do. About that time, the so-called average global temperature began increasing.

Measuring stations that record surface temperatures "are disappearing worldwide at an alarming rate," says meteorologist Anthony Watts. Some have been closed, including many in Canada and Russia. Others simply disappeared. Those remaining can be problematic. Many once were located in placid pastoral settings but today are on heat-reflecting concrete and asphalt.

Watts' documented 1,003 of the 1,221 U.S. measuring stations and found many "located next to the exhaust fans of air conditioning units, surrounded by asphalt parking lots and roads, on blistering-hot rooftops and near sidewalks and buildings that absorb and radiate heat. We found 68 stations located at wastewater treatment plants, where the process of waste digestion causes temperatures to be higher than in surrounding areas. In fact, we found that 89 percent of the stations – nearly 9 of every 10 – fail to meet the National Weather Service's own siting requirements."

Those measurements, probably a better yardstick for how hot concrete can get than atmosphere, are included when calculating the so-called global temperature.

"How do we know global warming is a problem if we can't trust the U.S. temperature record?" Watts asks. By the way, the U.S. measuring stations are universally regarded to be far more reliable than the rest of the world's.

When climate researchers' e-mails were leaked last year, it was apparent that they consistently resisted challenges to their practices. One practice is "adjusting" temperature readings to align them with what "should" be expected – at least what is expected by researchers, whose grants hinge on defining global warming as a problem. A Russian think tank charged that measurements still being collected in that country were cherry-picked, discarding lower temperatures.

Let's sum up: Incomplete, questionable, perhaps cherry-picked temperatures that are "adjusted." Did we mention margin of error?

It is this hodgepodge of sporadic, questionable temperature data that's fed into the touted computer models to project the future. Garbage in, garbage out?

One more point: climatologists on both sides agree that they haven't a clue whether or how much clouds increase, decrease or do both to global temperatures. They generally agree, however, clouds have far greater influence than CO2.

The Economics

If AB32 isn't stopped, by the time it is fully implemented it will have cost California about 1 million lost jobs, according to a Cal State Sacramento study. It also will increase costs for anything produced by energy. Electricity rates will go up as much as 60 percent, according to the Southern California Public Power Authority, and gasoline, diesel and natural gas prices will increase.

Opponents of Prop. 23 say the global warming law will offset this harm by creating "green" jobs. They promise these "clean-energy" jobs will sprout within renewable-energy industries, such as solar and wind power.

Next time you drive past windmill farms in the hinterlands, count how many "workers" you see toiling away. I've never see one. Ask yourself how many times you'll need to hire a "green" installer to put that outdoor plumbing on your roof to rig your house with solar panels.

Well, there's always the manufacturing jobs AB32 will create. In China.

To become windmill-reliant, whatever manufacturing jobs are created, there won't be many in California because of its burdensome, costly regulations. China, which doesn't have a cap-and-trade scheme that inhibits manufacturers, builds windmills for places like California, which we are told must have a cap-and-trade scheme. What's wrong with this picture?

Christopher Horner, author of "Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed," notes that advocates for laws like AB32 say we must not let China win the windmill race. The fact is, the U.S. already has installed 33 percent more windmills than China, which apparently prefers selling them to saps like us. Incidentally, every three weeks China brings online a new, CO2-spewing, coal-fired power plant to meet its energy needs.

Let's allow, for argument's sake, that green jobs should be encouraged. Here's the problem: They are economic losers. Ask Germany, the Netherlands or Spain. In Spain, where green jobs are heavily subsidized by taxes, for every green job created, two normal jobs were lost. Moreover, those thrown out of work required unemployment aid.

Does it make sense to create a new economic model based on a product, whether windmills, solar panels or biofuels, that must be subsidized by taxpayers? Even if we disregard the viable jobs and profitable industries destroyed by such a policy, what of the tax-subsidized new ones we create?

"The very presence of subsidies and targeted favors for a particular good means that the real value of the resources being used to create that good is greater than the value of the good itself," William L. Anderson, associate professor of economics at Frostburg State University, writes in the Freeman. "No economy can grow under such circumstances. The reality is that 'green energy' actually causes the economy to contract."


God isn't dead – he has just turned green

The young don't need religion, as the environment gives them all the certainty they need, says Robert Colvile in Britain

First, the good news: Richard Dawkins's campaign to turn Britain's children against organised religion seems to have failed. Unfortunately, it hasn't done so because of the depth of Christian belief in this country, but because kids, by and large, can't be bothered with religion at all.

According to The Faith of Generation Y, a study of 300 people born after 1982 who have been involved in the Church's youth and community projects, hostility towards Christianity has faded into brute indifference. True, only 12 per cent denied the existence of a higher power, while 23 per cent were relatively traditional believers. But by far the most popular answer, collecting approximately 43 per cent of the vote, essentially amounted to "Dunno, really".

The explanation is simple: for those of us born in the Eighties and later, religion just doesn't impinge on our lives. My education was unusually traditional – as well as the statutory RE classes, there were daily chapel services and Bible readings, and I even served my time in the school choir as a warbling, off-key alto.

But as soon as we had the chance, even those brought up in the faith ditched religion as quickly as the Prodigal Son ditched his dear old dad. At university, theology was for the weirdos who were actually interested in the stuff, or for the dossers who thought it was an easy route to Oxbridge. The only visible religiosity came from the evangelical, Christian Union types – a weird, cultish sub-sect who just seemed too damned happy. In the 2001 census, a majority of my yearmates gave their religion as "Jedi", just because we thought it was funny.

So the new study does have a point when it claims that the "chain of Christian memory" has become "eroded", that Britons are no longer sustained by a common store of religious knowledge. But it comes a cropper when it paints a picture of an apathetic generation, slouching through life with its gaze fixed on the here-and-now, "not looking for answers to ultimate questions" and relying – when consolation is needed – on "a very faded, inherited cultural memory of Christianity in the absence of anything else".

For this generation is not, as the report says, "unstoried and memoryless" – it has turned to another story altogether. A couple of years ago, the Government sent every state school in England a copy of Teach Your Granny to Text, and Other Ways to Change the World – the result of an exercise in which more than 4,300 schoolchildren were asked to suggest ways to make the planet a better place. The majority of the published suggestions were about the environment: ask your dad to stop singing in the shower, so he wastes less water; don't waste electricity by leaving the charger connected to your mobile phone.

Greenery, as a secular religion, has come to dominate not just the curriculum, but the imagination. It's Blue Peter's recycled bottle tops on a grand scale: lessons on the dangers of global warming, projects on endangered species, litter-picking exercises. As any parent will testify, pester power is as often employed these days to guilt Dad into separating out the recyclables as to beg for the latest Transformer. Colleagues who have suffered their children's eco-scorn assure me that no member of the Inquisition was ever so ruthless, ever so certain of his faith, as their tiny Torquemadas.

For the Church, the problem is clear. Environmentalism can offer all the upsides of faith – the sense of community, of certainty, of moral superiority – with none of the nagging doubts. The idea that Jesus died for your sins can be hard to get your head around. How much simpler, and how much more appropriate for our age, is the idea that you can save your soul, and the world, simply by shopping in the organic aisle.



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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