Thursday, November 11, 2010

A response to some credulous comments on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show

An email sent on 10th. by Dr. Martin Hertzberg [] below. Dr. Hertzberg is sure the email will be ignored but at least it is made public by my posting it here

Dear Rachel:

Your reference last night to the investigations that "cleared" those involved in the climategate scandal ignores the fact that those investigations were complete "whitewashes" conducted by those same institutions who profited from the research contracts that the climategate scientists brought to their institutions. Those involved in the Parliamentary inquiry into the matter were similarly steeped in conflicts of interest. Those investigations are about as credible as a BP investigation of its explosion and oil spill in the Gulf.

I have studied the theory that human emission of CO2 is causing "global warming/climate change" for years, and the overwhelming evidence proves rather convincingly that the theory is completely false. Although I am a lifelong liberal Democrat, if the Republicans actually hold hearings on the issue, I would feel that it is my public duty to testify at such hearings and summarize the wealth of data available that proves the falsity of that theory.

But if the Republicans actually hold such hearings, they would be making fools of themselves because they would be "beating a dead horse".

You, on the other hand, are making a bigger fool of yourself, by trying to prop up the dead horse on its four legs so that you can ride it! Please, both of you, do the public a great favor and arrange for its decent burial.

Received via email

The vast imprecision of IPCC "science" renders it absurd

By geologist Marc Hendrickx, commenting from Australia

ABC Unleashed’s favourite psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky once again takes aim at those suggesting it might be prudent to wait for the facts to come in, before turning society on its head. All to combat a climate crisis that has been manufactured up by activists with a poor appreciation of what constitutes a hazard; generally inner city folk. [In Australia, inner city areas tend to be prestigious, due to the lack of crime-prone minorities]

This time round in a piece titled “Climate change: are you willing to take the risk?” Lewandowsky suggests the level of certainty in climate science is similar to other well founded scientific principles like gravity. He contends that if climate science has the same veracity as evolution for example, who wouldn’t be prepared to sell their children and prepare for climate Armageddon? However, if we apply the same level of uncertainty inherent in climate science concepts to other disciplines it seems there is little to justify Lewandowsky’s level of confidence.

If IPCC Climate scientists were Physicists: The IPCC has found that the total net anthropogenic forcing is 1.6 W.m-2 with an error range of 0.6 to 2.4 W.m-2. If the IPCC’s same errors for Radiative Forcing Components were applied to the universal gravitational constant, IPCC climate scientists would tell us that the UGC is 6.67 × 10-11 N·m2/kg2 with a range of 2.5-10 N·m2/kg2. They would then assure us there is 90% certainty that acceleration due to gravity on Earth at sea level is in the range 3.7 to 14.7 m.s-2. IPCC climate scientists would tell us apples may be as light as a feather or as heavy as a brick. They would tell us apples fall down, but they’d be unable to tell us how fast, and occasionally they may actually fall upwards. As a result of their endeavours, Newtonian physics and Relativity would be tossed on its head. Quantum physics, built on the uncertainty principal, would have no place in a world where the science is settled. Speaking about gravity IPCC climate scientists would say things like: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of gravity at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." They would earnestly explain that there was no statistically significant gravity from 1995, and suggest that anyone disagreeing with their assessment must be a gravity denier.

If IPCC Climate Scientists were engineers: If IPCC climate scientists were engineers they wouldn’t use rulers to measure distance, they’d use the wind. IPCC climate models predict a hot-spot over the tropics but thermometers attached to weather balloons show no sign of it, the hotspot is missing. So with no warming in the thermometers IPCC climate modelers looked elsewhere and claimed to have found it in wind shear. Throw away your calculators, they would tell the engineers the answer is blowing in the wind. So how would IPCC climate scientists go at engineering? Early attempts at engineering by IPCC climate scientists are documented in the image to accompany this piece above; the effect of wind shear not accounted for in this case: Would you trust an IPCC climate scientist to build your building?

If IPCC Climate scientists were laser eye surgeons. In a report titled "Draft Water Sharing Plan Greater Metropolitan Region unregulated river water sources.", the NSW Office of Water has forecast rainfall and runoff across NSW using 15 global climate models for the IPCC SRES A1B climate scenario; finding:
For the Greater Metropolitan Region the worst case forecast is a 5-10 per cent reduction in mean annual rainfall by 2030, while the best case is a 5-10 per cent increase in mean annual rainfall. 7 of 15 models predict that mean annual rainfall would decrease by between 2 and 10 per cent, while 8 of 15 models predict that rainfall would increase by between 2 and 10 per cent by 2030.

Half of these models are wrong! What other science happily promotes incorrect models and expects politicians to make decisions based on spurious outputs? And Lewandowsky suggests that IPCC climate science has the same precision as laser surgery!

Applying the same laser like precision of the climate models to eye surgery in 7 out of 15 cases IPCC climate scientists as laser surgeons would blind the left eye, while in 8 out of 15 cases they would blind the right.

If IPCC climate scientists were historians. The palaeo-temperature study that gave the world the Hockey Stick Graph has now been debunked so many times that even the Australian Academy of Sciences concedes the existence of the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age. Based on the mess they made of the last 1000 years of climate, if IPCC climate scientists were historians they’d find no evidence for the French and Russian Revolutions. Copernicus, Galileo and Einstein would be cast into the dustbin denounced as deniers of prevailing authority. They would ignore Napoleon’s defeat in Russia because the weather could never have been so cold in the 19th century. There’d be no Renaissance, the authorities would not allow it. Aristotelian philosophy would rule supreme over the scientific method. If IPCC climate scientists were historians, history would only record those events officially sanctioned by governments, queen and kings. Only those facts that supported the prevailing view would be recorded for posterity; inconvenient truths have no place in the official accounts. Thankfully IPCC climate scientists are hopeless at history.

If IPCC Climate scientists were climate scientists: With current warming trends at about 0.1 degrees C per decade, well short of the warming required to lend credence to IPCC climate models that forecast rates of 0.3 to 0.7 degrees C per decade it seems climate scientists are not even capable of doing their own job let alone anyone else’s.

And if IPCC climate scientists were fruit pickers: they would obviously pick the cherry. They appear so used to cherry picking data to fit the models there simply is no other fruit, except perhaps the Durian, which is a nice metaphor for the current state of the IPCC.

IPCC science: are you willing to take the risk?


Big G20 talk about Fossil Fuel Subsidy Phase-out comes to nothing

Politicians just can't get past the fact that people NEED those hated fossil fuels

This report, prepared by Oil Change International and Earth Track, is the first independent evaluation of the success of the G20 Pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. The report reveals large gaps in the reporting of subsidies and that no new actions have been taken by G20 nations as a result of their commitment in Pittsburgh to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.

In Pittsburgh in September 2009, G20 leaders pledged to “rationalize and phase out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption.” Reports and country submissions documenting G20 progress were released publicly in August 2010. Oil Change International and Earth Track examined and evaluated these public documents to conduct the study.

“The G20 is neither revealing nor removing fossil fuel subsidies,” said Steve Kretzmann of Oil Change International. “Each G20 country has defined ‘inefficient fossil fuel subsidy’ as they like, reported on what they want, and then listed either no subsidies, or things that they had already said they were doing.”

“There is no accountability, no oversight and review, no actual mechanism to hold these leaders to their words. Some of the analysis coming out of the OECD and IEA is quite helpful, but so far, in the process itself, there’s just no action behind the words of the G20,” said Kretzmann.

The report evaluates the quality of the reporting on subsidies by comparing G20 data with other available sets of data on subsidies. It also analyzes the reasons given for excluding subsidies from phase out and provides recommendations for ways forward on subsidy reform with the G20, or another institution such as the World Trade Organization or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.


Greenwashing America

Alan Caruba

Every time you see some product being sold as “Green”, allegedly safer or beneficial for the environment, you can be sure that it is more expensive than a comparable product that does the same thing without making this claim.

Everything you eat, drink, wear or use begins as a “natural” product. It is absurd to think that calling it “Green” improves it in any fashion. Countless inspections before anything reaches the marketplace ensure product safety. To put it another way, a carrot is a carrot is a carrot.

Recently I received a news release from a public relations firm touting clients selling Green products such as “Parsley Plus All-Purpose Cleaner”, along with “stylish organic bed linens, “natural and organic clothing”, a “99.6% natural line” of shampoos, and, “100% Bamboo towels.”

In a similar fashion, every time you hear a corporation claiming it is concerned about the environment you can be sure that it is trying to protect itself against lawsuits from environmental groups or Environmental Protection Agency action that will eat into its profits and dividends.

A recent Wall Street Journal article, “Misleading Claims on ‘Green’ Labeling” cited a study asserting that “more than 95% of consumer products examined committed at least one offense of ‘greenwashing’, a term used to describe unproven environmental claims, according to TerraChoice, a North American environmental-marketing company that issued the report.”

“Environmental-marketing company”? By reading further down in the article, one learns that “TerraChoice was recently acquired by Underwriters Laboratories, an independent product-safety certification organization”, adding that both companies “could benefit if more manufacturers seek third-party verification of the eco-claims.” You think?

Consumers Union, an independent testing company, has built its reputation on its review of various products. Underwriters Laboratories has done the same, but there is no reason to believe any Green product claim, particularly since TerraChoice has announced it is probably a scam. Not surprisingly, third party certification has been offered by some major environmental organizations as yet another way to raise a few bucks.

It is no accident that the term “greenwashing” is akin to “brainwashing”, a term that came out of the Korean War when it was learned that American prisoners of war were subjected to “re-education” by their captors.

Communists have always been big on re-education, a practice of nations such as China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cambodia, and others where you were expected change your mind and learn to love Big Brother. The alternative was that you either stayed in their concentration camps or were systematically murdered for the crime of having been an intellectual, a landowner, or a bourgeois capitalist.

Communism murdered more people in the last century than all its wars combined.

Environmental organizations, in league with an unquestioning mainstream media, have been greenwashing and brainwashing the public for decades. It usually takes the form of scare campaigns and, in the case of supermarket products, it is directed a chemicals, plastics, how livestock is raised, or some other totally superfluous “issue” that has nothing to do with the quality, price or safety of the product. The object is always the same, to lay a guilt trip on the consumer, i.e., to greenwash them.

Green product claims go hand-in-hand with the metastasizing Green regulations whose bottom line raises the costs of everything in America these days. Angela Logomasini of the Competitive Enterprise Institute is an expert on regulatory affairs. When it comes to the environment, Congress passed 1,163 new laws between 1973 and 2006. Ms. Logomasini found that only 85 of those statutes reduced government regulation, while 795 increased it. The remaining were deemed to lack significant regulatory impact.

Five of the fifty volumes containing the federal regulatory code are devoted exclusively to environmental regulation and an additional twelve also address environmental regulation in some respect. The Small Business Administration concluded that environmental regulation is the leading regulatory expense for businesses with fewer than 20 employees, averaging $3,296 per worker.

Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency that generates the new laws and regulations is totally out of control. It has been on a regulatory binge anticipating a Congress controlled by Republicans. Nothing rational explains President Obama’s continued reference to greenhouse gas emissions, Green cars, and, especially, Green jobs when so many Americans are out of work..

The EPA, created by Richard Nixon with an executive order in 1970, has to be downsized to its original mandate, ensuring clean air and clean water. When it began to define rain puddles as navigable waters and ordinary dust as a pollutant, you have to know just how crazed and dangerous it has become.

It will take a generation or two for Americans to shake loose of the insanity that is environmentalism. Long seen as a religion, it seeks total control over every aspect of your life.


Tree Hugger Hypocrisy

Tibor R. Machan

I live in Silverado Canyon, about 7 miles east of Irvine Lake in Orange County, California, and it is a very pleasant place except for the fact that there is a small group of residents who want to dominate the place with their personal life style. They are bent on imposing their private preferences and policies on everyone else without, however, footing the cost of doing so.

Like most canyon communities, Silverado Canyon, an unincorporated part of Orange County located on the edge of the Cleveland National Forest, is populated by a highly diverse group of residents. Rich and poor, professional and amateur, nature lover and hermit, and so forth, there are all kinds of people who live there. And most of them confine their influence to the region they rightfully occupy and for which they paid and keep paying good money. So long as they do not dump any harmful activities or their results on their neighbors, this is just as it should be.

By all rights and common sense, if I want to start managing my neighbors’ lands, I must buy it from them. I do not get to select the TV programs they watch, the garden they wish to cultivate, the stuff they store in their garage, etc., etc. unless I obtain permission from them. That is what property rights mean–you get to decide what you do with or to your property, not others around you unless you gave them permission to butt in.

But the people who are intent on forcing their ideas on everyone else in Silverado Canyon do not have any respect for human rights. One may wonder whether they also believe that women have no rights over their own bodies, or newspapers over the content of their editorials, or authors over the plots of their novels. It makes sense that if they think they are authorized to determine the use of my property in Silverad Canyon, they would also believe they are authorized to determine the use of whatever else is mine, including my body, my novel, my column, etc. I have to assume, then, that they pose a serious hazard to our freedom on all fronts since they believe others’ freedom to make use of their land is open to them to violate just because they feel like it.

Yes, sometimes one’s neighbors engage in undesirable activities on their property but unless this intrudes on others, violates other people’s rights, they must use friendly persuasion to dissuade them, not coercive force. At one time a neighbor of mine across the street from my home in Santa Barbara kept filling up his front yard with a lot of junk auto parts and I finally had enough, so I wrote to him, a friendly but pretty firm letter imploring him to clean up the mess. But I also acknowledged that the front yard belongs to him, not to me, so I need to ask his cooperation and not simply impose my will on him–maybe sneak over in the middle of the night and clear it of the mess on my own. I did not have this authority, not by any reasonable morality and certainly not by any just law. So I asked, implored, urged, and did not demand! And I did actually manage to convince my neighbor and the front yard got cleaned up in no time. And I expressed my sincere appreciation and we remained cordial neighbors for years thereafter.

Alas, the group in Silverado Canyon, members of which refer to themselves as Tree Huggers, does not possess the kind of civility that my Santa Barbara neighbor and I did. Instead of going through the proper process of buying up the land they wish to control or persuading their neighbors to fall in line with their plans, they just make use of all kinds of legal technicalities and pressures that circumvent the rights of their neighbors so as to get their way.

That is the method of an unruly mob, not of citizens of a free society. That is how barbarians behave, not people who have an awareness of the rights of their fellow human beings. And since they refuse to move away from the lands they wish to preserve, keep rural, they are rank hypocrites to boot.


The Green/Left Alliance in the Australian parliament

Senator Chris Back

A year is a long time in politics. Barack Obama has learned this as he counts the Democrats' loss of control in the US House of Representatives during the mid-term election. The Republicans have come in from the wilderness.

In December 2009, many respected Australian political commentators dismissed the Liberal/National Coalition as rabble. Most confidently predicted we could not win government for at least three more terms (nine years).

Nine months later, in the August 2010 federal election, the newly elected Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott ran a conservative campaign which not only improved party support, but finished with more seats and 700,000 more primary votes than its centre-left Labor rival.

In that time, then Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, still in his first term, descended from the height of popularity to be knifed by his deputy and her "gang of four" and was removed from office. It created Australian political history.

On 24th June, then Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard led the coup to oust Rudd because in her own words, "the government had lost its way". A strange admission from one who was at the centre of every decision it made.

Rudd's sin? The likelihood of losing the upcoming Australian federal election. Why? Because he abandoned his much trumpeted Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (Emissions Trading Scheme or ETS) so soon after the disastrous Copenhagen Climate Change conference in December 2009. As a result, the focus groups caned him. In Australian Labor language, that spells death.

Tuesday 1st December 2009 was significant for both major political parties in Australia. The Liberal (Conservative) Party changed its leader from Malcolm Turnbull, who supported Emissions Trading and a price on carbon, to Tony Abbott who did not. Later that day, with the support of the Greens and Independents, the Coalition voted down Labor's ETS in the Australian Senate.

Rudd went to Copenhagen without his prize and came home empty handed. He had earlier claimed that increased carbon emissions, caused by humans, were the "greatest economic and moral challenges of our time". When his support reversed in the opinion polls, he dropped climate change like a hot coal. He never recovered.

Gillard promptly called the federal election for 21st August and ruled out a tax on carbon. She wasn’t about to repeat Rudd's mistake. "There will be no tax on carbon in any government I lead", was the mantra.

But even a week is a long time in politics. Early in the election battle, Labor's campaign unravelled. Cabinet leaks abounded. To shore up her support, Labor and the far-left wing party the "Greens" signed a preference deal. Gillard and Greens’ leader Senator Bob Brown denied knowledge of its details.

Pigs were flying over Parliament House. It worked. Seventy five percent of Greens preferences went to Labor. Eight Labor MP's are in the Lower House (the House of Representatives) on Greens preferences and each can thank the other for a new Senator when the Senate changes in July 2011.

There was no policy change on carbon taxing revealed in the deal. Instead Gillard announced that she would establish a 150 member citizens’ assembly to engage the community and discuss issues relating to climate change.

That was strange! Most Australians actually thought we had a House of Representatives of 150 members, and 76 Senators, to undertake this task. Politicians get elected by the populace to perform the role. That is what everyone goes to the polls for. Voting is compulsory in Australia. Gillard's citizens' assembly was widely derided. The idea was quietly dropped after the election and a climate change committee, made up of politicians, took its place.

By the way, the principal criterion for selection to this august body is to pledge your allegiance to the religious mantra of climate change caused by increased carbon dioxide, caused by humans! No heretics allowed.

Want to place a bet on the outcome? The 21st August election resulted in a hung parliament. There were no winners and certainly, no party earned a mandate to govern. The horse trading commenced in earnest.

On September 1st, still awaiting the final result of the election, Gillard signed a formal deal with the Greens to boost her chances of forming government.

On 7th September, ending two weeks of speculation and stalemate, two Independents leant their support to Gillard to form a minority government. This cacophony of convenience cobbled together everyone from far left communist/socialists to far right rural independents, including a past military whistleblower.

During the election campaign Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan, her deputy and treasurer consistently denied they would introduce a tax on carbon. Post election, with the Greens now calling the tune, Gillard immediately announced circumstances had changed and a "price on carbon" must now be considered!

Climate change is not the only battleground on which the Greens are now driving the Australian political agenda. Gillard and her Labor mates have already been neutered although the Greens will not hold the balance of power in the Senate until mid 2011.

At the insistence of Greens’ leader Senator Bob Brown, the Australian Parliament has already debated our military commitment in Afghanistan and euthanasia. Furthermore they are dictating Labor's failing policy on the tsunami of asylum seekers heading to Australia's shores. Changing the law for same sex relationships is next on their agenda. How predictable.

The key battleground for Labor and the Greens is now the Murray-Darling basin. This consists of two major rivers impacting on the four eastern mainland states (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia). It is the food bowl of Australia but is a wasteland politically for Labor and the Greens.

Management of the system has been fragmented. Disputes between irrigators, environmentalists and governments are endless. Severe drought over the last eight years had reduced the once majestic rivers to trickles. Interstate rivalries overflowed in direct proportion to declining water supplies.

South Australia, at the end of the Murray, was in a desperate way. Ironically, now the drought has been broken and the rivers are returning to health, the political storm about water rights is now unleashed. Climate change, global warming and long-term mismanagement count amongst the accused.

The Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) was established to investigate the issues and advise governments on solutions. The obvious environmental preference is to limit irrigation and return more water to meet environmental goals.

The Greens are in this corner. However, it is argued by the many thousands of Riverland residents attending recent protest meetings that the MDBA failed to adequately consider massive social and economic impacts along the river catchments. Where Labor lands on this will be a litmus test of Prime Minister Gillard's mettle. It may well point to how long she holds the job she so desperately coveted.

Whose voice will sound the loudest?



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, 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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