Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sir John Beddington Finally Sees The Light

The [British] government’s chief scientist has dismissed hopes for a deal at this week’s United Nations climate change conference — and said Britain should start preparing for a warmer world.

Speaking before talks begin in Cancun, Mexico, Sir John Beddington told The Sunday Times: “There is very little chance of reaching a comprehensive agreement in Cancun, and it is not certain if we will get one at next year’s talks in South Africa.”

His stark prediction comes as the United Nations attempts to repair the damage caused by the near-collapse of similar negotiations in Copenhagen last year.

Beddington said it was “very unwise” to think that the UN would achieve its target of limiting global temperature rises to a maximum of 2C.

Britain, he suggested, should press for progress in the talks but should also make preparations for a world that could warm rapidly during the rest of the century.

“If we are in a situation where, over the next 10 years, those decisions are not taken then we have to think about what to do. That means we have to focus on adaptation to climate change. It would be very unwise to think that the 2C goal will happen.”

Britain has one of the best records of any country in addressing climate change, including cutting emissions and passing laws to ensure the decline continues. Beddington warned, however, that Britain and Europe could not continue to take such action alone without putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

More here

At Long Last: The Economist Adapts To Political Reality

See below:

Adapting to climate change: Facing the consequences - Global action is not going to stop climate change. The world needs to look harder at how to live with it.

ON NOVEMBER 29th representatives of countries from around the world will gather in Cancún, Mexico, for the first high-level climate talks since those in Copenhagen last December. The organisers hope the meeting in Mexico, unlike the one in Denmark, will be unshowy but solid, leading to decisions about finance, forestry and technology transfer that will leave the world better placed to do something about global warming. Incremental progress is possible, but continued deadlock is likelier. What is out of reach, as at Copenhagen, is agreement on a plausible programme for keeping climate change in check.

The world warmed by about 0.7°C in the 20th century. Every year in this century has been warmer than all but one in the last (1998, since you ask). If carbon-dioxide levels were magically to stabilise where they are now (almost 390 parts per million, 40% more than before the industrial revolution) the world would probably warm by a further half a degree or so as the ocean, which is slow to change its temperature, caught up. But CO2 levels continue to rise. Despite 20 years of climate negotiation, the world is still on an emissions trajectory that fits pretty easily into the “business as usual” scenarios drawn up by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The Copenhagen accord, a non-binding document which was the best that could be salvaged from the summit, talks of trying to keep the world less than 2°C warmer than in pre-industrial times—a level that is rather arbitrarily seen as the threshold for danger. Many countries have, in signing the accord, promised actions that will or should reduce carbon emissions. In the World Energy Outlook, recently published by the International Energy Agency, an assessment of these promises forms the basis of a “new policies scenario” for the next 25 years (see chart 1). According to the IEA, the scenario puts the world on course to warm by 3.5°C by 2100. For comparison, the difference in global mean temperature between the pre-industrial age and the ice ages was about 6°C.

The IEA also looked at what it might take to hit a two-degree target; the answer, says the agency’s chief economist, Fatih Birol, is “too good to be believed”. Every signatory of the Copenhagen accord would have to hit the top of its range of commitments. That would provide a worldwide rate of decarbonisation (reduction in carbon emitted per unit of GDP) twice as large in the decade to come as in the one just past: 2.8% a year, not 1.4%. Mr Birol notes that the highest annual rate on record is 2.5%, in the wake of the first oil shock.

But for the two-degree scenario 2.8% is just the beginning; from 2020 to 2035 the rate of decarbonisation needs to double again, to 5.5%. Though they are unwilling to say it in public, the sheer improbability of such success has led many climate scientists, campaigners and policymakers to conclude that, in the words of Bob Watson, once the head of the IPCC and now the chief scientist at Britain’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, “Two degrees is a wishful dream.”

The fight to limit global warming to easily tolerated levels is thus over. Analysts who have long worked on adaptation to climate change—finding ways to live with scarcer water, higher peak temperatures, higher sea levels and weather patterns at odds with those under which today’s settled patterns of farming developed—are starting to see their day in the uncomfortably hot sun. That such measures cannot protect everyone from all harm that climate change may bring does not mean that they should be ignored. On the contrary, they are sorely needed.


There Are Black Days Ahead For The Carbon Industry

It might seem mildly entertaining that the media's warmist groupies, led by the BBC, have been so eager to report the latest claims of James Hansen and Phil Jones – of Climategate fame – that 2010 is the hottest year in history, while inches of "global warming" cover Britain with its most extensive November snowfall in 17 years, heralding what promises to be our fourth unusually cold winter in a row. The explanation for the recent renewed spate of warmist scare stories lies, of course, in the fact that several thousand politicians, officials and lobbyists from all over the world are today arriving in the Mexican holiday resort of Cancun, where they hope to salvage a binding UN treaty from the wreckage of last December's fiasco in Copenhagen.

None of the lobbying has been more telling than a statement issued by 259 investment organisations, controlling "collective assets totalling over $15 trillion" – including major banks, insurance companies and pension funds. These are the bodies calling most stridently for "government action on climate change", because they are the ones who hope to make vast sums of money out of it. They are desperate for a treaty of the type they failed to get at Copenhagen – even more so since the collapse of the US cap and trade bill – because they see their chance of turning global warming into the most lucrative fruit machine in history dwindling by the month.

Top of their wish list is "a rapid time-frame" for implementing the UN's REDD scheme, which would enable them to make hundreds of billions of dollars by selling the CO2 locked up in the world's tropical rainforests as "carbon offsets", thus allowing firms from the developed world to continue emitting CO2. Under this scheme, for instance, environmental bodies including the WWF hope to share in the $60 billion which they estimate as the "carbon value" of the Brazilian rainforest.

But nothing better betrays their gloom about any result from Cancun than that they at least want it to give "a clear mandate" for the adoption of "a legally binding agreement" at the UN's next conference, due in South Africa next year. This year, next year, sometime… With so much money at stake, they won't give up. But as the climate scare dies, the sound of whistling in the dark grows ever louder.


Can Environmentalism Be Saved From Itself?

Mercifully, nobody will pay attention to the climate conference at Cancun next week, where a much-reduced group of delegates will go through the motions. The delusional dream of global action to combat climate change is dead. Maybe it was just a bad dream.

Just a year ago, 15,000 of the world’s leaders, diplomats, and UN officials were gearing up to descend on Copenhagen to forge a global treaty that would save the planet. The world’s media delivered massive coverage. Important newspapers printed urgent front-page calls for action, and a popular new U.S. President waded in to put his reputation on the line. The climate talks opened with a video showing a little girl’s nightmare encounter with drought, storms, eruptions, floods and other man-made climate disasters. “Please help the world,” she pleads.

After two weeks of chaos, the talks collapsed in a smouldering heap of wreckage. The only surprise was that this outcome should have come as a surprise to so many intelligent people. These people actually seemed to believe that experts and politicians have supernatural powers to predict the future and control the climate. They believed that experts know how fast temperatures will rise by when, and what the consequences will be, and that we know what to do about it. They believed that despite the recent abject failure of Kyoto (to say nothing of other well-intentioned international treaties), the nations of the world would willingly join hands and sacrifice their sovereignty in order to sign on to a vast scheme of unimaginable scope, untold cost and certain damage to their own interests.

Copenhagen was not a political breakdown. It was an intellectual breakdown so astonishing that future generations will marvel at our blind credulity. Copenhagen was a classic case of the emperor with no clothes.

Mercifully, nobody will pay attention to the climate conference at Cancun next week, where a much-reduced group of delegates will go through the motions. The delusional dream of global action to combat climate change is dead. Barack Obama’s cap-and-trade scheme is dead. Chicago’s carbon-trading market is dead. The European Union’s supposed reduction in carbon emissions has been exposed as a giant fraud. (The EU is actually responsible for 40 per cent more CO2 today than it was in 1990, if you count the goods and services it consumed as opposed to the ones that it produced.) Public interest in climate change has plunged, and the media have radically reduced their climate coverage.

The biggest loser is the environmental movement. For years, its activists neglected almost everything but climate change. They behaved as if they’d cornered the market on wisdom, truth and certainty, and they demonized anyone who dared to disagree. They got a fabulous free ride from politicians and the media, who parroted their claims like Sunday-school children reciting Scripture. No interest group in modern times has been so free from skepticism, scrutiny or simple accountability as the environmental establishment.

Perhaps some good will emerge from the wreckage. (Humility, for example.) Now that global warming has stopped sucking all the oxygen out of the room, some of those who care about the planet will turn to other – and more pressing – problems. There are plenty. Humans are encroaching everywhere on habitats and species. Don’t worry about the polar bears, which have survived hundreds of thousands of years of melting and freezing ice. Worry instead about the lions and tigers, which face extinction within our lifetime. Their problem isn’t climate change. It’s us.

A century ago, there were more than 100,000 wild tigers in Asia. Today there are just 3,200. Civilization is squeezing them, and poachers hunt them for their skin and body parts. This week, the unlikely team of Vladimir Putin and Leonardo DiCaprio headlined a 13-country tiger summit in St. Petersburg that is tackling the challenge of making live tigers worth as much as dead ones.

Then there are the lions. They’re not as scarce as tigers – yet – but their habitats are ideal for ranching, and they face increasing pressure from population growth. Or how about the bluefin tuna? This one is close to home – we catch them and sell them to Japan – and Canada is on the wrong side of the issue. If the World Wildlife Fund could whip up as much alarm over the bluefin tuna as it tried to whip up over fictitious drowning polar bears, I might even be persuaded to send them money again.

Before they were sucked into the giant vortex of global warming, environmentalists did useful things. They protested against massive Third World dams that would ruin both natural and human habitats. They warned about invasive species and diseases that could tear through our forests and wreck our water systems. They fought for national parks and greenbelts and protected areas. They talked about the big things too – such as how the world could feed another three billion people without destroying all the rain forests and running out of water. They believed in conservation – conserving this beautiful planet of ours from the worst of human despoliation – rather than false claims to scientific certainty about the future, unenforceable treaties and radical utopian social reform.

“How high a price must the world pay for green folly?” asked the thinker Walter Russell Mead. “How many years will be lost, how much credibility forfeited, how much money wasted before we have an environmental movement that has the intellectual rigour, political wisdom and mature, sober judgment needed to address the great issues we face?”

The answer is too high, too many and too much. Please grow up, people. You have important work to do.


Climate Change Is Still About Chinese Coal

The climate change conference starting in Cancun Monday is doomed to failure. Many factors contribute to this, such as a healthy skepticism about how much should be spent to remediate climate change, but one alone guarantees failure: Chinese coal production and policy.

When climate change soared up the American agenda with the election of President Obama, those not swept up in blind optimism were doubtful China could be convinced to go along. The debacle of the Copenhagen summit last year finally brought the administration and its supporters back to reality.

Prior to Copenhagen, it was already clear that Chinese coal was an insuperable obstacle to an international agreement on greenhouse gases. The past year has made the situation that much starker.

In 2000, the official figure for Chinese coal production was 880 million tons. In less than a decade, it more than tripled to 2.96 billion tons for 2009. In the first quarter of this year, coal production jumped another 28 percent. China, which was a net exporter of coal as recently as 2008, was the world’s largest importer of coal in the first three quarters of this year and far more in the way of imports are on the way.

China is spending a good deal of money on “green energy” and it is constantly praised for doing so. The praise is somewhat strange: the supposed switch from “black” to “green” has done nothing at all to stop coal: production growth was faster in 2008 than 2007, despite the financial crisis, and steady in 2009 before accelerating early this year. It very well may be that the PRC now accounts for half the world’s coal use.

This is the other facet of Chinese coal policy and is just as disturbing. “It may very well be” that China accounts for half the world’s coal use because there is no longer an easy way to know. China stopped publishing coal production figures in March, possibly because it was about to cross the threshold of half of global consumption and certainly because the coal figures are embarrassing on a number of dimensions.

The PRC has been at odds with the U.S. and other countries about monitoring and enforcement of any international environmental treaty. But how could anyone trust China to monitor itself when it is no longer even willing to provide the most basic and critical piece of information?

The answer is that no sane person could. Cancun will be as useless as Copenhagen was, and for the same principal reason: Chinese coal. This time, however, no one will be surprised.


The Wet Office! Snow and record low November temperatures follow 'mild winter prediction'

Britain is shivering in record-breaking cold weather for November despite data from the Met Office that we could be in for an unusually dry and mild winter.

Parts of the country saw the coldest November night for 25 years over the weekend as forecasters warned the big freeze is likely to continue for at least another week.

However, the Met Office indicated last month that it was probable this winter would be less harsh than the last for London, eastern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Data generated by its new £33 million supercomputer suggested average temperatures could be about 3.4F (2C) higher than last winter when heavy snow and ice paralysed Britain.

The Met Office has insisted that the data was not a forecast but rather one component of the information it provides to researchers, and should not be considered in isolation.

A Met Office spokeswoman said: "We have made it clear that this information was merely a part of the data that goes into long range forecasting.

"It's not a forecast in itself, just one element that we provide to the research community.....



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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Monday, November 29, 2010

The Naomi Oreskes witchhunt comes to Australia

Jo Nova comments below on the professional slanderer and her Australian apostle, Nick Stekete, writing in The Australian. In good Warmist form, Stekete mentions not one scientific fact in support of Warmism. The way Warmists worship authority is positively North Korean

Some people just can’t think. Naomi Oreskes “reasons” by Remarkable Parallels, which is as bogus a way of thinking as any tea-leaf-incantation that we thought we left behind in the caves.

She thinks that because she can find parallels between Tobacco and Climate Skeptics, therefore skeptics are wrong about climate sensitivity due to a trace gas. Go figure why anyone struggles to analyze ice cores when they could have just done a Google search?

I can find remarkable parallels between Lysenko and modern climate science, but I don’t bother writing a book on it. If I want answers about the climate I look at the data from the planet, not data about personalities.

Mike Steketee (Some sceptics make it a habit to be wrong) has learnt a new way to throw names from Oreskes. Nick Minchin (recently retired Senator from the conservative opposition) is just the latest target of this effusion of confusion. Now anyone who raises points against a policy can be called a “doubt-monger” and the Orwellian destruction of our language advances one more notch.

Naomi Oreskes IS the Merchant of Doubt

Ponder the irony of what Oreskes herself is doing. Is she not profiteering from being a doubt-monger about scientist’s reputations? Is she not a conspiracy theorist about webs of vested interests among conservative speakers? Could it be that her entire reasoning dies by its own sword and her claims turn out to be as hypocritical as they are mindless?

Is there any possibility that governments can become too big, too powerful? Not according to Oreskes. Now anyone who even questions the growth of government power can be spat into the box called “conspiracy theorist” or “ideologue”. The mindless vacuity of Oreskes’ reasoning sucks sensible discussion into the black hole of tribal name-calling. Mike Steketee applauds from the sidelines.

Redefining “extreme”

Can governments become too large? Just ask one of the hundred million victims of states where state-power crushed individual rights to speak. Except you won’t get many answers because those victims not only lost their right to speak, they lost their right to breathe. (Think Soviet Russia, Communist China, Communist Cambodia, Nazi Germany,…)

Nothing made by man has killed more people than overbearing government. Yet now, anyone who even questions the creeping growth of government power is dismissed as an “extremist”. There is no balance allowed in this debate.

Attacking reputations to silence a scientific debate

Ad hominem attacks are always a fallacy in science. Fred Singer and Frederick Seitz held esteemed positions for decades of public service, and yet because they were ever involved with anything to do with a program or study that had the words “tobacco” in it (even if it was just a statistical test on the dangers of passive smoke), their views on global warming are therefore wrong. Thus is the great catastrophe “proved” by Oreskes and her ilk.

Nick Minchin has, of course, committed the unforgiveable sin of declaring that smokers have the right to do what they want, and not to be bossed around by the overbearing domineers who want to meddle with other people’s lives. Thus, he’s uttered the word “tobacco” and didn’t chant the right line, comrade!

What Orsekes and Steketee have discovered is merely that people who don’t want to be sock puppet citizens have principles. They don’t want to foist their own non-smoking habit on anyone else, just as they don’t want to foist an unnecessary carbon scheme on the masses. Some people are not gullible.

Why does The Australian think this transparent failure of reasoning is worth publishing in the first place? Every other newspaper in the country has soaked up the smear campaign as if it was science, but we hope The Australian might be the last hold out bastion of reason, where people don’t self-satirize themselves, and journalists don’t mistake a kindergarten name-calling program for an unbiased historical analysis.

The Questions no one can answer

Oreskes is selling doubt mongering, and the skeptics like Nick Minchin are merely asking questions no one in the western climate establishment can answer. Questions like this:

Where are the global records of raw temperature data used to calculate the global warming graphs? No one can find them.

Where are the latest global results from the ARGO oceanic temperature network, and why aren’t they published monthly on a public website?

Where is the empirical evidence for warming greater than 1.2 degrees? No one can name and explain a single paper that shows long term positive feedback that amplifies the warming, as the climate alarmists assert.

Because those who want to alarm us and control us have not got scientific evidence, they resort to the smear campaign to try to diminish the influence of the great independent minds who seek answers we ought to have.

Mankind faces the “greatest threat ever known” — supposedly. So why are the raw data, adjustments, and methods used to study this threat so difficult to find?


Wacky Leftist doctors ignore the obvious

Cold is far more dangerous to health than warmth. There is a lot more illness and death in winter than in summer. And they of all people should know that. They should be CHEERING a warmer climate. Though I suppose that cold weather IS good for business

And while it is true that replacing cow-dung fires in India with electric cookers would be a big health improvement, Greenies do their utmost to PREVENT poor countries generating more electricity -- with bans on lending for dam building and demonstrations against power station construction

It looks like the right hand of the Green/Left doesn't know what the left hand is doing

A network of the world’s leading medical academies on Friday urged nations to adopt policies to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollutants because it would have a salutary effect not just on the planet but on human health.

The InterAcademy Medical Panel said in a report that while addressing climate change by moving to a low-carbon economy might be technically and economically difficult, it will pay substantial dividends in health improvements, particularly in poorer regions of the globe.

It said that global climate change poses large risks to human health through increased spread of disease, large-scale displacement of people, malnutrition, fast-spreading infections, pulmonary disorders and increased heat stress. The effects are expected to be greatest in the areas of the world that have contributed the least to carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere and are most vulnerable to sea-level rise, malnutrition and crop destruction.

The panel said that while mitigating climate change would be costly, some of those expenses might be offset by lower spending on health care. As an example, the report said that replacing inefficient cookstoves or open fires for cooking and heating would substantially reduce emissions of soot and other health-damaging pollutants. Introducing 150 million low-emission cookstoves in India would prevent as many as two million premature deaths from lung disease and infections in women and children.

The report said that switching to mass transit, bicycles or walking in major cities would reduce pollution and improve cardiovascular health. It also suggested that reducing meat consumption would improve human diets and cut down on climate-altering methane emissions from cattle.

The report, signed by health academies from 40 countries, including the United States, was timed to ignite discussion as negotiators gather in Cancún, Mexico, for the annual United Nations climate change conference.


UK shivers in record low temperatures

Obviously caused by global warming. EVERYTHING is caused by global warming

PARTS of Britain have experienced record low temperatures, including minus 17 Celsius in Wales, forecasters say, amid warnings of more heavy snow to come. "You are seeing some ridiculously low temperatures - it has been a bit like it is in the middle of Scandinavia," weather forecaster Michael Dukes said.

The temperature in Llysdinam near Llandrindod Wells in Wales plunged to minus 17.3C at the weekend - the principality's lowest ever temperature for November and Britain's coldest for the month since 1985.

The Met Office, Britain's national forecaster, issued severe weather warnings yesterday for large chunks of eastern and southern Scotland and eastern England, warning of heavy snowfalls.

Ireland also experienced heavy snow and Dublin airport was disrupted, with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan among those delayed as the weather made him late for crucial EU talks in Brussels on an international bailout for his country.

Drivers have been urged to be careful in badly-hit areas, and roadside emergency firms in Britain reported a huge surge in calls for help.

The weather has also disrupted several sporting events - Dundee United's match against Rangers in Scotland's Premier League was abandoned and several FA Cup second round fixtures were postponed.

Parts of Scotland and north-east England have already seen well over 30cm of snow since the start of the cold snap last week, and forecasters say the flurries could reach London in the coming days.


New wisdom from the British Met office: Pollution is good and the sun DOES affect global temperature

The latest figures from more than 20 scientific institutions around the world show that global temperatures are higher than ever.

However the gradual rise in temperatures over the last 30 years is slowing slightly. Global warming since the 1970s has been 0.16C (0.3F) but the rise in the last decade was just 0.05C (0.09F), according to the Met Office. Sceptics claim this as evidence man made global warming is a myth.

But in a new report the Met Office said the reduced rate of warming can be easily explained by a number of factors. And indeed the true rate of warming caused by man made greenhouse gases could be greater than ever.

One of the major factors is pollution over Asia, where the huge growth in coal-fired power stations mean aerosols like sulphur are being pumped into the air. This reflects sunlight, cooling the land surface temperature.

Dr Vicky Pope, Head of Climate Change Advice, said pollution may be causing a cooling effect. “A possible increase in aerosol emissions from Asia in the last decade may have contributed to substantially to the recent slowdown,” she said. “Aerosols cool the climate by reflecting the sunlight.”

Another factor that has reduced the rate of warming is a prolonged minimum in the solar cycle, meaning the Earth is receiving slightly less heat from the sun.

Also short term weather patterns such as the tropical storms El Nino and La Nina.

Dr Pope pointed out that the global temperature is still rising and 2010 is set to be the second warmest year on record, according to the Met Office. Other groups, including Nasa, think it will be the hottest year on record at about 0.5C above the 1961-1990 average of 14C. [More false prophecies. But they know that the media will cover for them when it does not come true]

Dr Pope warned that the world should not be lulled into a false sense of security because the warming trend has recently slowed down. In Britain especially, people have been persuaded that global warming is slowing down because of a run of cold winters, including blizzards this weekend. But this is just a short term trend.

In the long term the whole world, including Britain, is warming, according to Dr Pope. “In the grip of a cold spell people find it difficult to understand global warming. But if you look at the long term trends we are in fact experiencing fewer freezing winters and more heatwaves,” she said.

At the moment global temperature rise is 0.8C (1.4F)above pre-industrial levels. [Wow! A fraction of one degree. That's a BIG rise over a couple of hundred years! I'm shaking in my boots!]

More here

Germany shows the way in "Green" folly

It always has. Nature worship goes back a long way in Germany. Even Hitler co-opted it

In Germany, where the government tries to plan pretty much everything, 470,000 people used to work in the Ruhr Valley’s filthy coal mines. That was in 1957, when the country began shoveling billions into an industry it pretty well knew was doomed because (a) its workers regularly command very high salaries, making the product unaffordable and (b) coal mining is practically a guarantor of early death.

A half century later, most of those 140 mines were shut down, and only 34,000 were still working amidst the coal dust. Within four to eight years there will likely be none.

These days unemployment in the area is at 13 percent, although there are cities, most notably in neighborhoods where former Turkish “guest-workers” reside, where it is as high as 25 percent.

CIVIL TOLERANCE! COURAGE! DEMOCRACY! plead large posters slapped onto city walls.

But exhortations from on high aren’t the only means of calming a populace. The Ruhr is trying to go green — forest green: mines have been transformed into mining museums, complete with photographs depicting how awful the mining profession used to be. A beer factory (once owned by mine tycoons to keep workers in a permanent state of stupefication) has been turned into a museum costing $40 million. Wind parks are erected on coal dumps, as are solar panels, and large pieces of modern art.

And how does all this translate into jobs? It just doesn’t. It can’t. It never will. The newest technologies deployed by RWE, a northern German utility company that is designing the charging infrastructure for electric cars manufactured by, among others, Peugeot and Tesla, provide employment for … just 50 people.

And in the US, where, according to Tuesday’s Washington Post, the Obama administration has dropped $90 billion of the economic stimulus package into clean energy technology and training: the same results. The jobs are few — even in Florida, a state where you might think solar energy would have a fairly predictable and easygoing future. The government, any government really, can only do so much with Western economies in their current state: as wild-eyed and skittish as horses fleeing a burning barn.

So right now the United States might as well be the Ruhr Valley, sacrificing one generation, or perhaps two, for the benefit of some vague and indefinite future. Except for one thing: In the Ruhr, all those middle-aged unemployed miners receive a fairly substantial non-working salary until they reach age 60, at which point social security kicks in. In other words, their lives are over, but their existence is cosseted. One can just imagine the results.

I don’t know what to make of Germany’s peculiar resolution to the insoluble. Paying workers not to work is as corrupt as that US specialty, paying farmers not to farm. But I do know that what the US is doing for most of its unemployed right now — i.e., nothing at all — is more indefensible still.


Latest Warmist gabfest unlikely to achieve anything

It's just a way for Warmists to enjoy a vacation in 5 star luxury. That's why they have so many of these conferences -- at least 2 a year -- while achieving nothing

Today, U.N. negotiators will begin two weeks of meetings in Cancun, Mexico, looking for a way to move the climate action agenda forward, impose global carbon emissions caps and compel countries to pay a series of new international taxes to underwrite environmental programs. Maybe they'll get what they want when hell freezes over.

The mood of climate alarmists going into Cancun is decidedly downbeat. The sense of impending doom they had cultivated over the last decade or so has largely evaporated. The Climategate scandal took a severe toll on the credibility of some of the climate theology's leading high priests, and subsequent investigations into some of the more outlandish claims on which their doomsaying was based found them to be either exaggerated or fabricated. The November demise of the Chicago Climate Exchange - which sought to transfer billions of dollars to political insiders trading in government-rigged carbon markets - signaled that there was no money in the game anymore. Last week, even Al Gore admitted his fallibility when he retracted his earlier support for ethanol fuels. The god bleeds.

Last year's Copenhagen confab was intended to seal a comprehensive global climate deal but turned into an exercise in humiliation. The imagined 2009 treaty - originally billed as "the single most important piece of paper in the world today" - would have instituted global governance of carbon emissions enforced by an international body with the power to levy taxes to force countries to impose its will. But the final, hastily written three-page agreement contained none of those controversial proposals and was simply a nonbinding statement regarding voluntary emissions caps. The most significant event at last year's summit was when the leaders of China, India, Brazil and South Africa unceremoniously snubbed President Obama, who was reduced to barging his way into their meeting uninvited. It was a low moment for the president personally, and a poor showing for what is under most circumstances the strongest country in the world.

The principal goal of this year's meeting seems to be to hang on to the meager gains made in 2009 and to discuss what to do about the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire at the end of 2012. The green utopians are up against more immediate problems than their imagined impending climate catastrophe. The debt crisis in Europe will blunt the enthusiasm of countries in the Eurozone to underwrite expensive new international initiatives. China, India, Brazil and South Africa, among others, will be even less willing to agree to cut back growth than they were when they scuttled the Copenhagen deal. The United States delegation will have to accept the fact that whatever schemes they would like to agree to, any treaty language would have to meet the approval of the incoming more conservative Senate, a highly unlikely proposition. Cancun will be dead on arrival.

One benefit of meeting in Mexico is that the conference will avoid the embarrassment last year when the Copenhagen meeting ended in an unexpected blizzard. It's harder to sell global warming to world leaders who have to flee the city before their flights are grounded by an ice storm. The worst the Cancun conferees will have to deal with is the threat of being kidnapped by heavily armed gangs of drug dealers.



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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Sunday, November 28, 2010

British Met office still asserting that hot weather proves man-made global warming

It's an assertion offered without any proof -- because there is no proof. And with breathtaking intellectual dishonesty they always say that cold weather does not prove global cooling. If weather is evidence in one case why is it not evidence in both cases? Don't expect science from the British Met office. The Pope at the Met office (Dr Vicky Pope) is clearly a religious leader too.

And the amusing thing is that with the recent savage onset of a very cold winter in England and elsewhere, 2010 is clearly NOT going to be unusually warm overall anyway

The latest temperature statistics are a sign of man-made global warming, the Met Office says. This year is heading to be the hottest or second hottest on record, according to the Met Office. It says the past 12 months are the warmest recorded by Nasa, and are second in the UK data set, HadCRUT3.

The Met Office says it is very confident that man-made global warming is forcing up temperatures.

Until now, the hottest year on record has been 1998, when temperatures were pushed up by a strong El Nino - a warming event in the Pacific. This year saw a weaker El Nino, and that fizzled out to be replaced by a La Nina cooling event.

So scientists might have expected this year's temperatures to be substantially lower than 1998 - but they are not. Within the bounds of statistical error, the two years are likely to be the same. "It's a sign that we've got man-made global warming," said Dr Vicky Pope, head of climate science advice at the Met Office.

Climate sceptics say that until now, warming has plateaued over the last decade. The Met Office agrees that the rate of warming has slowed - but it maintains that is due to natural variability, not because man-made warming has stopped.

They think factors in the slower warming may have been - a natural downturn in solar radiation; a small reduction in water vapour in the stratosphere; a possible increase in aerosol emissions from Asia; and the fact that strong warming in the Arctic is poorly represented in the way data is collected.

There is a question over how many times the Met Office has forecast a record previously. Dr Pope said they had not done so from her recollection. But a Met Office press release shows a forecast that 2007 would probably beat 1998. And a BBC report implies that they made the same prediction for the other El Nino year of 2003. Sceptics say this could prove the third time they have been wrong.

Professor John Christy, a climate sceptic from the University of Alabama in Hunstville, said global temperature had plunged in the past two weeks, so 2010 was likely to remain in second place.

He challenged the Met Office conviction that greenhouse gases were to blame for the warmth. "The cause of the warmth is speculation. There are numerous feedbacks at work (many of which are poorly modelled if at all), and it seems to me unimaginative to conclude that greenhouse gases are the dominant cause," he said.

"There is no proof of such a cause in classical scientific sense - so we end up with a lot of opinions on the matter. Evidence is strong that centuries in the past 10,000 years were warmer than today without influences from human-related greenhouse gases."


The latest insight from "New Scientist": Melting Antarctic ice will cause the sea level to FALL

The latest wriggle-out from the pesky state of the sea levels? The theories change but they always lead to the same foreordained conclusion: Man-made global warming is happening!

The vast ice sheets of the Antarctic may be more stable than we thought, because a key piece of physics has been overlooked.

Glaciologists have long worried that the West Antarctic ice sheet will collapse over the next few centuries, raising sea levels dramatically. At present the ice sheet is grounded on underwater islands, which insulate some of the ice from the melting effect of the seawater upon which the rest of the sheet floats. But because the ice has started to melt because of climate change, more water is probably flowing underneath the sheet over the surface of the islands, accelerating its destruction.

The ice sheet has a defence mechanism, however. As it melts, sea levels around it will fall, say Natalya Gomez and Jerry Mitrovica of Harvard University and colleagues. That is counterintuitive, because the ice sheet will release extra water into the sea – but because the mass of ice has shrunk, its gravitational pull on the seawater will be weaker. Also, the bedrock will rise up as the weight of ice on it drops.

"You get a fall in sea level within 2000 kilometres of the ice sheet," Mitrovica says. This means there will be less water sloshing around the sheet's base, so it will last longer. "It will slow down the retreat," says Gomez.

The findings need to be included in the models used to predict ice sheet melting, says David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK. But he says the gravitational effect would only make a big difference if the entire sheet were melting at once – which so far it isn't.


Statisticians debunk the proxies behind the "hockey stick"

The divergence of tree ring "proxies" from the thermometer readings in the second half of the 20th century would be enough evidence for me that the alleged proxies are NOT in fact proxies for temperature but the authors below have gone much further than that -- JR

Major doubts have been raised about the reliability of the historical temperature record by two US statisticians in a paper that has yet to be published but has already provoked a strong response from leading US climate scientists.

The paper re-opens the controversy over the so-called hockey stick graph, made famous by Al Gore in “An Inconvenient Truth”, and may re-energise climate change sceptics in the wake of “climategate” and on the eve of the United Nations Cancun climate conference.

The hockey-stick graph, constructed mainly from tree ring “proxy” data by US climate scientist Michael Mann, shows historic temperatures remaining fairly steady and then rising sharply since the industrial revolution. But statisticians Blakeley McShane of Northwestern University in the US and Abraham Wyner of the University of Pennsylvania in the US write in a new paper that “we conclude unequivocally that the evidence for a ”long-handled” hockey stick (where the shaft of the hockey stick extends to the year 1000 AD) is lacking in the data”.

Temperature records reconstructed from tree rings, ice cores and other so called proxies that give indications of ancient temperatures “do not predict temperature significantly better than random series generated independently of temperature”, McShane and Wyner state in their paper which has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Annals of Applied Statistics.

The two statisticians conclude that climate scientists “have greatly underestimated the uncertainty of proxy based reconstructions and hence have been overconfident in their models”. They comment that the long flat handle of the hockey stick is best understood to be a feature of the data processing and “less a reflection of our knowledge of the truth”.

“The fundamental problem is that there is a limited amount of proxy data which dates back to 1000 AD; what is available is weakly predictive of global annual temperature,” McShane and Wyner comment in their paper which is called “A Statistical Analysis Of Multiple Temperature Proxies: Are Reconstructions Of Surface Temperatures Over The Last 1000 Years Reliable?".

The paper is due to be published early in 2011 but has already met a robust response from climate scientists including hockey stick graph creator Michael Mann, from Pennsylvania State University in the US, and Gavin Schmidt of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Schmidt and Mann have, with Scott Rutherford of Roger Williams University in the US, written a comment paper, accepted for publication by the same journal, in which they contest the methods used by McShane and Wyner. In it Schmidt and colleagues say “the absence of both proper data quality control and appropriate “pseudoproxy” tests” by McShane and Wyner “to assess the performance of their methods invalidate their main conclusions.”

The McShane and Wyner paper is being published as a “discussion paper” and the editor of Annals of Applied Statistics has invited contributions commenting on this work. Reporting Climate Science.Com understands that there are 13 papers “in press” (that is, still to be published) including the piece by Schmidt, Mann and Rutherford, that comment on the original paper.

McShane and Wyner are preparing a response to all the issues raised by these various comment papers. Reporting Climate Science.Com understands that all the papers – the discussion paper, the comments and the response - will be published together in the first 2011 issue of Annals of Applied Statistics. Typically a discussion paper in an academic journal will have three or four other papers commenting on it – the fact that this paper has attracted 13 is a measure of its importance.

McShane and Wyner have told Reporting Climate Science.Com that they did not want to respond to the points raised in the various comment papers on the record until their formal response has been finalised for publication. However, Wyner wanted to stress that they were “not saying that proxies have no value for reconstructing temperatures at all”. He pointed out that their claim is actually much more narrow, and is as follows: that proxies can not reliably reconstruct temperatures over epochs of time that are relatively short (1000 years), nor can they be used to reliably detect rapid changes in temperature over a period of say 30-50 years. And this is the rationale for their view that it can not be said that the modern period is an anomaly with statistical certainty.

A scientific controversy first erupted over the hockey stick in 2003 when Canadian mathematician Stephen McIntyre and Canadian economist Ross McKitrick, from the University of Guelph, questioned the statistical methods used by Michael Mann and colleagues. This was vigorously rebutted by Mann.

It is a complicated process to reconstruct a record of ancient temperatures. There were no thermometer measurements until around 150 years ago. This means that scientists must look at so called proxies such as tree rings, ice cores, corals, plant remains, or sediment cores from lakes, among many others. These all exhibit features that are affected by the temperature and can help scientists to infer what temperatures were in the past.

Scientists must extract the data from the proxy and then convert it into a record of surface temperatures – this enables them to “backcast” or ”reconstruct” historical temperature records. This involves significant statistical analysis and it is this part of the process that McShane and Wyner have criticised. “Our paper is an effort to apply some modern statistical methods to these problems,” they state. “While our results agree with the climate scientists findings in some respects, our methods of estimating model uncertainty and accuracy are in sharp disagreement.“


Tuvalu - the touchstone of global warming and rising sea level

Even frantic and nonsensical "adjustments" to the sea-level record can't save the Warmist case

By Cliff Ollier


I taught an introductory course in Geology at the University of the South Pacific in 1977. Each of the countries that participated in USP was invited to send 2 students. They had varying interests, and it was amusing to watch how they woke up when we were teaching geology relating to their own job. Some were interested in gold mining, others in highways and landslides, some in coastal erosion, others in active volcanoes. It was rather a surprise when the sole student from Tuvalu approached me one day and said "Sir, this is all wasted on me. My island is just made of sand." Any news from Tuvalu always struck a chord from that moment.

Since then, of course, Tuvalu has become "hot news" as the favourite island to be doomed by sea level rise driven by global warming, allegedly caused in turn by anthropogenic carbon dioxide. If you look up Tuvalu on the internet you are inundated with articles about its impending fate. Tuvalu has become the touchstone for alarm about global warming and rising sea level.

The geological background

There may have been good reason to think that Tuvalu was doomed anyway. Charles Darwin, who was a geologist before he became a biologist, gave us the Darwin theory of coral islands which has been largely substantiated since his time. The idea is this: When a new volcano erupts above sea level in the tropical ocean, corals eventually colonise the shore. They can grow upwards and outwards (away from the volcanic island) but they can’t grow above sea level. The coral first forms a fringing reef, in contact with the island. As it grows outwards a lagoon forms between the island and the living reef, which is then a barrier reef. If the original volcano sinks beneath the waves a ring of coral betrays its location as an atoll.

But besides the slow sinking of the volcanic base there are variations of sea level due to many causes such as tectonics (Earth movements) and climate change. If sea level rises the coral has to grow up to the higher sea level. Many reefs have managed this to a remarkable extent. Drilling on the coral islands Bikini and Eniwetok shows about 1500m thickness of limestone and therefore of subsidence. Coral cannot start growing on a deep basement, because it needs sunlight and normally grows down to only 50 m.

If the island is sinking slowly (or relative sea level rising slowly) the growth of coral can keep up with it. In the right circumstances some corals can grow over 2 cm in a year, but growth rate depends on many factors.

Sometimes the relative subsidence is too great for the coral to keep pace. Hundreds of flat-topped sea mountains called guyots, some capped by coral, lie at various depths below sea level. They indicate places where relative sea level rise was too fast for coral growth to keep pace.

Sea level and coral islands in the last twenty years

What about the present day situation? The alarmist view that Tuvalu is drowning has been forced upon us for twenty years, but the island is still there. What about the changes in sea level?

Rather than accept my interpretation, look at the data for yourself. First take a regional view. For a number of well-studied islands it can be located here. The Tuvalu data is provided here.

The results are shown graphically in their Figure 15 and reproduced here.

Graph of sea levels in Tuvalu

These island data have never been published in a "peer reviewed" journal. They are only available on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website in a series of Monthly Reports, as in the examples given above. Some measure of the reliability and responsibility may be gauged from the disclaimer at the start of the document:

"Disclaimer. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)". But the names of the authors are not provided.

As you can see, apart from a low in the early records, which seem to be associated with a tropical cyclone, there seems to be no great change in sea level since the early 1990s.

Explaining it away

Vincent Gray explained in his newsletter, NZCLIMATE AND ENVIRO TRUTH NO 181 13th August 2008, that something had to be done to maintain rising sea level alarm, and it was done by in a paper by John R Hunter here.

Hunter first applies a linear regression to the chart for Tuvalu. He gets -1.0±13.7mm/yr so Tuvalu is actually rising! The inaccuracy is entirely due to the ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) effect at the beginning. He then tries to incorporate old measurements made with inferior equipment and attempts to correct for positioning errors. He gets a "cautious" estimate for Tuvalu of 0.8±1.9mm/yr. He then tries to remove ENSO to his own satisfaction, and now his "less cautious" estimate is 1.2 ± 0.8mm/yr.

Does this show the island is rising? Just look at the inaccuracy. The commonsense interpretation of the sea level graphs is surely that Tuvalu, and 11 other Pacific Islands, are not sinking over the time span concerned. The sea level is virtually constant.

Similar manipulation of sea level data is described in Church and others (2006), who consider the tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean islands. Their best estimate for sea level rise at Tuvalu is 2 ± 1 mm/yr from 1950-2001. They wrote "The analysis clearly indicates that sea-level in this region is rising." Does this square with simple observation of the data in Figure 15? They further comment: "We expect that the continued and increasing rate of sea-level rise and any resulting increase in the frequency or intensity of extreme-sea-level events will cause serious problems for the inhabitants of some of these islands during the 21st century." The data in Figure 15 simply do not support this excessive alarmism.

Models and ground truth

Before getting on to the next part of the story I shall digress on to the topic of "models’ versus "ground truth’. The past twenty years might be seen as the time of the models. Computers abounded, and it was all too easy to make a mathematical model, pump in some numbers, and see what the model predicted. It became evident very early that the models depended on the data that was fed in, and we all know the phrase "Garbage in, Garbage out". But the models themselves do not get the scrutiny they should. Models are invariably simplifications of the natural world, and it is all too easy to leave out vital factors.

"Ground Truth’ is what emerges when the actual situation in a place at the present time, regardless of theories or models. It is a factual base that may help to distinguish between different models that predict different outcomes - just what did happen, and what can we see today.

In the case of Tuvalu’s alleged drowning, we are usually presented with a simple model of a static island and a rising sea level. As Webb and Knetch expressed it: "Typically, these studies treat islands as static landforms". "However, such approaches have not incorporated a full appreciation of the contemporary morphodynamics of landforms nor considered the style and magnitude of changes that may be expected in the future. Reef islands are dynamic landforms that are able to reorganise their sediment reservoir in response to changing boundary conditions (wind, waves and sea-level)".

In simple language we have to include coral growth, erosion, transport and deposition of sediment and many other aspects of coral island evolution. The very fact that we have so many coral islands in the world, despite a rise in sea level of over 100 m since the last ice age, shows that coral islands are resilient - they don’t drown easily.

The actual growth of islands in the past twenty years

Webb and Kench studied the changes in plan of 27 atoll islands located in the central Pacific. They found that the total change in area of reef islands (aggregated for all islands in the study) is an increase in land area of 63 hectares representing 7% of the total land area of all islands studied. The majority of islands appear to have either remained stable or increased in area (86%).

Forty three percent of islands have remained relatively stable (< ±3% change) over the period of analysis. A further 43% of islands (12 in total) have increased in area by more than 3%. The remaining 15% of islands underwent net reduction in island area of more than 3%.

Of the islands that show a net increase in island area six have increased by more than 10% of their original area. Three of these islands were in Funafuti; Funamanu increased by 28.2%, Falefatu 13.3% and Paava Island by 10%. The Funafuti islands exhibited differing physical adjustments over the 19 years of analysis. Six of the islands have undergone little change in area (< ± 3%). Seven islands have increased in area by more than 3%. Maximum increases have occurred on Funamanu (28.2%), Falefatu (13.3%) and Paava (10.1%). In contrast, four islands decreased in area by more than 3%.


In summary Webb and Kench found island area has remained largely stable or increased over the timeframe of their study, and one of the largest increases was the 28.3% on one of the islands of Tuvalu. This destroys the argument that the islands are drowning.

Vincent Gray, an IPCC reviewer from the start, has written SOUTH PACIFIC SEA LEVEL: A REASSESSMENT, which can be seen here

For Tuvalu he comments that "If the depression of the 1998 cyclone is ignored there was no change in sea level at Tuvalu between 1994 and 2008; 14 years. The claim of a trend of + 6.0 mm/yr is without any justification".


Church, J.A., White, N.J. and Hunter, J.R., 2006. Sea-level rise at tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean islands. Global and Planetary Change, v. 53, p. 155-168.

Webb, A. P., Kench, P. S. 2010. The dynamic response of reef islands to sea level rise: evidence from multi-decadal analysis of island change in the central pacific, Global and Planetary Change, v. 72, p. 234-246.


An amusing false prophecy from Warmists in the year 2000

See below:

Britain's winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.

Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain's culture, as warmer winters - which scientists are attributing to global climate change - produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.

The first two months of 2000 were virtually free of significant snowfall in much of lowland Britain, and December brought only moderate snowfall in the South-east. It is the continuation of a trend that has been increasingly visible in the past 15 years: in the south of England, for instance, from 1970 to 1995 snow and sleet fell for an average of 3.7 days, while from 1988 to 1995 the average was 0.7 days. London's last substantial snowfall was in February 1991.

Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community. Average temperatures in Britain were nearly 0.6°C higher in the Nineties than in 1960-90, and it is estimated that they will increase by 0.2C every decade over the coming century. Eight of the 10 hottest years on record occurred in the Nineties.

However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event". "Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said.

More stupidity HERE

Growing opposition to Australia's windmill lunacy

Australia is not nearly as far down the windmill road as Britain and there seems a good chance that it never will be

JOHN Coombs, the former maritime union heavyweight who refused to let radioactive waste cross the nation's docks, has experienced a change of heart.

He reckons it's time Australia went nuclear. And that's the message he wants to send to the man who stood beside him during the waterfront dispute - former ACTU secretary, now Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet.

His conversion is part of a new world of climate change politics, in which unlikely alliances are being formed and long-held positions being revised.

Mr Coombs, long retired as national secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, now finds himself in the same camp as ABC chairman and former Australian Securities Exchange chair Maurice Newman.

Both own property at Crookwell on the NSW southern tablelands, a couple of hours southwest of Sydney. And both have serious doubts about the wisdom of a planned explosion of wind-power developments in the area. "There is a view that wind power will turn out to be for electricity generation what the Zeppelin was for air transportation," Mr Newman said. "It looked promising but was not the answer."

The concerns expressed by Mr Coombs and Mr Newman mirror doubts being expressed in South Australia and southwest Victoria about the cost, efficiency, social impacts and health effects of the new-generation wind turbines that cost more than $2 million each and are as tall as a 45-storey building with blades that take up more than 1ha of sky and create enough turbulence to tear apart any bird that strays too close. Since Australia's first large-scale wind turbine was installed at Breamlea, near Geelong in Victoria, in 1987, more than 1000 have sprung up in wind farms built in every state, with almost half in South Australia. Together they generate about 1.5 per cent of the nation's electricity needs - enough to power 770,000 homes. But there are plans for a multi-billion-dollar, 10-fold increase in the amount of power generated from wind as the federal government pursues a target of generating 20 per cent of our power needs from renewable resources by 2020 as part of its carbon reduction plans. It is estimated that about 40 per cent of the renewable energy target will come from wind.

Yet there is a growing tide of concern that Australia is tying too much of its energy future on a technology that is less efficient, less carbon-friendly and ultimately more expensive for consumers than alternative electricity sources, such as natural gas, coal-fired power with carbon capture and storage technology and nuclear.

Then there are the side-effects of wind turbines - their visual impact, the way they divide rural neighbours when a farm springs up on one property, their effect on wildlife and, potentially, on the health of nearby communities.

Family First senator Steve Fielding has established a Senate inquiry to investigate the health impacts of living near windmills, including concerns over noise and vibrations and the effect of rural wind farms on property values.

Submissions are rolling in and calls are growing for a re-evaluation of nuclear energy.

In Canberra this week, International Energy Agency executive director Nobuo Tanaka said it would be "very difficult" for Australia to meet its target of a 60 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 if its gamble on carbon capture and storage - the burial of carbon emissions in deep underground reservoirs - failed and it did not have nuclear power as a back-up. His comments came as a review of international studies, published by Australian researchers in the journal Energy, identified nuclear energy as the cheapest technology to help tackle global warming.

With the billions of dollars earmarked for wind power, which costs more than twice as much as electricity from coal or gas, Mr Coombs said the sensible thing was to consider nuclear energy.

"Of course if you were to mention me (politicians) could say, 'That bloke fought against nuclear waste going out of this country for 20 years', and I did.

"For 20 years I . . . stopped any ship coming in to pick (nuclear waste) up because we refused to let it go to Third World countries.

"Politically, a lot of members were opposed to nuclear energy but it was a long time ago and I gave up the fight . . . to try to stop the use of nuclear power in this country. Of course nuclear power is a reasonable thing to consider."



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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Saturday, November 27, 2010

New book

The book is written by the most skeptical scientists of all: Those who think that the Greenhouse theory runs contrary to basic physics and hence a greenhouse effect CANNOT exist. I agree. The book is called "Slaying the Sky Dragon - Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory". The blurb at Amazon below:

Even before publication, Slaying the Sky Dragon was destined to be the benchmark for future generations of climate researchers. This is the world's first and only full volume refutation of the greenhouse gas theory of man-made global warming.

Nine leading international experts methodically expose how willful fakery and outright incompetence were hidden within the politicized realm of government climatology. Applying a thoughtful and sympathetic writing style, the authors help even the untrained mind to navigate the maze of atmospheric thermodynamics. Step-by-step the reader is shown why the so-called greenhouse effect cannot possibly exist in nature.

By deft statistical analysis the cornerstones of climate equations – incorrectly calculated by an incredible factor of three - are exposed then shattered.

This volume is a scientific tour de force and the game-changer for international environmental policymakers as well as being a joy to read for hard-pressed taxpayers everywhere.

Only the Kindle edition seems to be out so far but a paperback edition is due in a few weeks

Global cooling hits Britain again

The worst November snow for 17 years hit Britain yesterday shutting dozens of schools, ­closing roads and bringing chaos for millions of drivers.

Up to six inches fell in parts of the country as bitter Arctic winds brought an early taste of winter.

Last night forecasters warned the Big Chill could last for at least a fortnight and that more snow and ice were on the way over the next few days. ‘This is the most widespread November snow since 1993,’ said Met Office spokesman Dave Britton. ‘The snow will spread south over the next few days and we could get ten inches on high ground.

‘Next week it’s going to turn colder and it will stay cold. The winds will be picking up and will come from the east so it will feel very raw.’

In icy conditions last night, a plane with 196 passengers overshot its landing position at Newcastle airport. No-one on board the Thomsonfly Boeing 737-800 from Lanzarote was injured, but the airport was closed for a time after the incident.

Temperatures could drop to -6c (21f) over the next few days, far lower than normal for November. The mercury is unlikely to rise much above 2c to 5c (36f to 41f) during the day, and could be lower in exposed areas.

Millions woke to wintry scenes and freezing temperatures yesterday as snow ploughs and gritters were out in force.

Scotland saw the worst of the snow, with six inches falling overnight in Aberdeenshire, while ­Durham and Newcastle had four inches. Although the North and East were worst hit, there were wintery showers as far apart as Cornwall, Wales and the Midlands.

Children in Northumbria and North Yorkshire got an unexpected holiday as 50 schools were forced to shut for the day.

And the ice and snow brought havoc to the roads. The AA said it was called to around 14,000 breakdowns – a 50 per cent increase on a normal November working day. Spokesman Paul Leather said motorists should carry warm clothing and a fully charged mobile phone. He added: ‘Our concern is black ice. If possible, people should stick to the gritted main roads and keep their speed down.’

The charity Living Streets urged councils to use volunteers to keep pavements gritted after last year’s icy conditions caused 7,000 hospital admissions.

Chief executive Tony Armstrong said: ‘We are issuing an ice warning to local authorities to take the needs of people on foot seriously. Last winter, we were shocked to hear a number of stories from older people who did not leave their house for days for fear of slipping.’

Last night, the Met Office issued weather warnings for icy roads and heavy snow across the North-East, Yorkshire, East Midlands, the East and South West of England – as well as parts of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Snow is forecast to spread south by Saturday, when it could reach Kent and London. Higher ground could see ten inches by the weekend.

According to the Met Office, nine of the past 50 Novembers have had snowfall of at least 11.8in. In 1993, the Highlands had around 12in, while North Yorkshire had 10.5in.

The big chill is being caused by a ridge of high pressure over Greenland which has brought cold air down from Scandinavia.

And the Met Office’s long-range forecast says the cold conditions are likely to continue in the run up to Christmas – with a risk of more sleet, snow and hard frosts.


Bubble has burst: 'Carbon jobs are dying': U.S. Carbon Trading Goes Up in Smoke‏

Buying and selling carbon permits in the emerging market designed to control global-warming pollution is no longer a career prospect in the U.S., though California is moving ahead with its own program

Just three years ago, George H. Stein, a managing director at New York-based recruiter Commodity Talent, was seeing a brisk volume in calls from Wall Streeters looking to make a career switch. While oil traders were getting pilloried on Capitol Hill, a new line of work promised to deliver wealth and social benefits: buying and selling carbon permits in the emerging market designed to control global warming pollution. "There was such a great deal of interest in carbon trading," recalls Stein.

U.S. states were uniting to go on low-carbon diets. Companies were stepping up their own with targets. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that under a cap-and-trade plan, the U.S. market for the permits, which companies would need in order to emit CO2, could be worth as much as $300 billion by 2020. Today, with prospects for a federal cap-and-trade program dead and prices in voluntary carbon markets in the U.S. collapsing, "Carbon traders are calling to ask me what they should do now," says Stein.

Energy trading consultant Peter Fusaro says he recently counseled a college grad looking to get into emissions trading to find a job on an oil and gas desk and bide his time until carbon comes back. "Carbon trading in the U.S.," says Fusaro—"there's no there there."

The European Union's carbon market, which has been operating since 2005, continues to grow. Trading volumes were up 8 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period last year. In the U.S., what activity there was is withering. The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCS), once billed as a Nasdaq for CO2, saw carbon prices drop to a nickel per ton before announcing on Nov. 17 that it would cease operations at the end of the year. CCS was founded in 2003 by Richard L. Sandor, an economist who's been called the father of financial futures. Some 450 companies, including DuPont (DD), Honeywell (HON), and several utilities, signed legally binding contracts to reduce their emissions. Those who succeeded in cutting CO2 could sell their credits to others that were having a harder time complying with CCS emission targets.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported on Oct. 1 on the "collapse" of trading in another U.S. market, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a consortium of ten Northeastern states that joined together to cap and trade greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The RGGI's stated goal: cutting utility emissions by 10 percent by 2018.

Carbon jobs are dying, too: Last year JPMorgan Chase (JPM) acquired carbon brokerage EcoSecurities for $206 million. It has since cut staff and pulled out of projects. "There's not enough clarity to continue to be able to invest in the market robustly," EcoSecurities Chief Executive Officer Paul M. Kelly said at a conference in May.


A carbon tax will be good for you, even if climate change theory is wrong (?)

The arguments for more government control are getting ever more desperate. The claim below that a carbon tax will make "alternative energy more competitive" is the flaw in the argument. It's just pie in the sky. The wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine

Just because nobody knows the future is no excuse to do nothing in the face of worrisome possibilities, says Dan Gardner, the author of a solidly researched new book that makes it clear just how shaky – if not dead wrong – expert predictions usually are.

Good policy, Gardner writes in Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail – and Why We Believe Them Anyway, stands up as worthwhile even if the forecast that prompted it turns out to be wrong.

He cites as an example “a stiff carbon tax with the revenues returned to the economy in the form of cuts to other taxes” – which is what we have in B.C., except our carbon tax isn’t so stiff.

“Would it deliver even if climate change turns out to be bunk?” he asks.

“Absolutely. Carbon taxes raise the effective cost of fossil fuels, making alternative energy more competitive and spurring research and development. And reducing the use of fossil fuels while increasing the diversity of our energy sources would be wonderful for a whole host of reasons aside from climate change. It would reduce local air pollution, reduce the risk of catastrophic oil spills, buffer economies against the massive shocks inflicted by oil price spikes, and lessen the world’s vulnerability to instability in the Middle East and elsewhere. It would also reduce the torrent of cash flowing from the developed world to the thuggish governments that control most oil-producing nations, including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia. And of course there’s peak oil. If the peaksters turn out to be right, finally, how much of our economy is fuelled by oil will determine how badly we will suffer – so carbon taxes would steadily reduce that threat, too.”


Big Brother Is Watching You Recycle

In 2009, after four years of controversial and piecemeal policies intended to enforce recycling, England imposed a complex and compulsory system of garbage-sorting on homeowners.

Citing the British model, Cleveland, Ohio, is taking a giant step toward a similar scheme of compulsory recycling. In 2011 some 25,000 households will be required to use recycling bins fitted with radio-frequency identification tags (RFIDs)—tiny computer chips that can remotely provide information such as the weight of the bin’s contents and that allow passing garbage trucks to verify their presence. If a household does not put its recycle bin out on the curb, an inspector could check its garbage for improperly discarded recyclables and fine the scofflaws $100. Moreover, if a bin is put out in a tardy manner or left out too long, the household could be fined. Cleveland plans to implement the system citywide within six years.

Extreme recycling programs are nothing new, even in American cities. In San Francisco recycling and composting are mandatory; trash is sorted into three different bins with compliance enforced through fines. New York City has a similar program.

Neither are RFID bins new. They were introduced on London streets in 2005 ostensibly to track the amount of trash households produced and to discourage “overproduction,” but they have also had trials in American cities. Earlier this year, Alexandria, Virginia, approved such bins, which were to be placed with households this autumn.

Cleveland is particularly important, however, because of its size. Cash-starved local governments will be watching to see if an American city as big as Cleveland can use RFID bins to increase revenues. The revenues would flow from three basic sources: a trash-collection fee that could be increased, as in Alexandria; the imposition of fines; and the profit, if any, from selling recyclables. The last source should not be dismissed. Recycling programs are not generally cost-efficient, but much of the reason is that collections need to be cleaned and re-sorted at their destination.

If households can be forced to assume these labor-intensive tasks, then selling recyclables—especially such goods as aluminum cans—is more likely to be profitable. (Perversely, the demand for volume recycling may hit the poor the hardest; in the wake of recession, it is becoming increasingly common for people to hoard their aluminum cans in order to turn them in for cash.)

The British Model

Since the British system is praised as a model, it is useful to examine its specifics.

An estimated 2.6 million Britons now have RFID bins monitoring how and when they sort garbage from recyclables. Implementation varies from borough to borough since trash collection, as in America, is under local jurisdiction. But the basics of the scheme are the same, with fines for noncompliance ranging up to £1,000 (over $1,500).

Councils routinely employ “rubbish police,” who fine households that commit offenses such as producing “excessive” trash. For example, Oxford employs “waste education officers” who go through household bins and instruct the owners on proper sorting and disposal; the officers also fine residents 80 pounds if the trash overflows the 240-litre bin, which is emptied fortnightly. Of course, this makes trash from a large party or other events like Christmas problematic. (Such a fine differs from a fee for additional service in at least two ways. The “customer” is unable to cancel the service and go to a competitor, and the fine is absurdly high, especially given the extremely low service provided.)

The policing of trash bins is also enforced by surveillance cameras; this practice became evident in a recent controversy when a Coventry woman was captured on video throwing a cat in a trash bin.

The British system also mandates how trash is to be sorted. The U.K. website Green Launches explained gleefully:

"The next time you dump your garbage in a bin, make sure you have it sorted well and dropped in the correct bin. Or else, you’ll probably burn a £1,000 fine in your pocket. Household waste like food scraps, tea bags etc in the wrong bin will have the family penalized. This forces families to use up to five different types of bins for waste separation and encourages picking up of recyclable products. This will also include the compulsory use of slop buckets to get rid of food waste".

The Orwellian intrusion into the lives of peaceful Britons is justified primarily on the same grounds used by Cleveland: It is a “green” measure to preserve the environment. Green Launches continued, “Environment secretary, Hilary Benn came up with this idea that will help reduce green house gas emissions. These strict and hefty rules are sure to raise a cry amongst taxpayers and residents. But these rules will also help increase the production and use of greener energy resources and at the same time, decrease those mounting piles in landfills.”

Cleveland echoes the environmental justification.

In It for the Money

The British also justify the draconian trash system on financial grounds. Benn once exclaimed to the press, “What sort of a society would throw away aluminium cans worth £500 a ton when producers are crying out for the raw material?” Generally speaking, however, the Brits downplay the government’s financial motives.

Here Cleveland parts company with its British counterparts and makes it abundantly clear that money is a driving factor. City waste-collection commissioner Ronnie Owens, who perhaps remembers the municipal bankruptcy of the 1980s, says, “The Division of Waste Collection is on track to meet its goal of issuing 4,000 citations this year.” In short the goal is revenue enhancement not perfect compliance. Indeed, the two stand in conflict with each other. Bloggers have widely speculated that the recycling scheme is an excuse to create noncompliance and thus maximize the payment of fines.

Bankrupt cities across North America will be watching the Cleveland experiment. At the first indication of success—that is, of revenue enhancement—debates on mandatory recycling will break out in a multitude of city council chambers. It is not enough to hope that the Cleveland experiment will be a debacle; it almost certainly will be one but, nonetheless, debacles are often profitable to those who conduct them.

Perhaps, unlike the British, Americans will object to an RFID chip monitoring their garbage on privacy grounds. This objection may well be valid but it does not touch on the motives of local governments that consider mandatory recycling schemes. Nevertheless, it may well be the strongest defense that can be mounted.


Australia: No one fired or demoted over disastrous Greenie scheme

Isn't it grand to be a bureaucrat or a politician?

NO POLITICIAN, nor any bureaucrat, has been held responsible for Kevin Rudd's disastrous home insulation scheme.

Even as police continue to investigate whether a series of house fires, some involving fatalities, were linked to the scheme, the Government admitted no one had been sacked or demoted over the program, under which taxpayers funded the installation of insulation material in tens of thousands of homes.

Earlier this year, Julia Gillard described the home insulation scheme as "a mess" after confirmation that shoddy installers attracted to the subsidies had improperly installed the insulation, leaving some homes live with electricity.

Despite this, the Prime Minister defied opposition demands that she sack former environment minister Peter Garrett, arguing he had been poorly served by his department and reappointing him to cabinet as Schools Minister.

However, despite Ms Gillard blaming the department, no one has been held accountable in the bureaucracy.

When The Australian recently asked Climate Change Minister Greg Combet where the buck had stopped, he referred the inquiry to his parliamentary secretary, Mark Dreyfus.

Yesterday Mr Dreyfus produced a short statement suggesting no one had been sacked or demoted but insisting the government had "learnt the lessons" of the program.

Opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt said Ms Gillard had attempted to blame the bureaucracy when she should have simply sacked Mr Garrett. "The department from the outset recognised the risk, warned about the risk and was overridden for political reasons," Mr Hunt said. "Responsibility rests with the then minister and the current prime minister."

Mr Hunt said the government had whitewashed what was "arguably the greatest failing of ministerial accountability" since World War II. "Peter Garrett should not be a minister," he said. "The Prime Minister owns this issue now because she was part of the gang of four that overrode the department's advice. She promoted Peter Garrett and she is complicit."



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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Friday, November 26, 2010

Warmists get desperate: Trash their own measurement methods to explain why the seas are not warming

But the measurement methods were fine while they supported Warmism

Claims that global warming has slowed down over the past decade were partly based on faulty data. Instead, the change in the rate of global warming was underestimated because of a new way of measuring sea-surface temperatures, suggests a new study.

Since the 1970s average global temperatures have risen by 0.16 °C per decade, but over the past decade they seemed to rise by only 0.09 °C, an apparent slowdown of 0.07 °C. John Kennedy and colleagues at the UK Met Office have now found that the real slowdown was smaller.

Over the past decade, sea-surface temperature has mostly been measured by thermometers on buoys, whereas previously it was measured aboard ships. Ship measurements tend to be too high because the water warms up as it is taken on board.

So although the newer buoy measurements are more accurate, the switch in method has erroneously shown sea-surface temperatures appearing to level off. "Compared with ships, buoys show cooler temperatures," says Vicky Pope at the Met Office. "You have to be careful of false signals."

Kennedy says the underestimation of the change in sea-surface temperature could account for up to 0.03 °C of the apparent slowdown in global temperatures. The correction could mean that 2010 will be the warmest year on record, surpassing 1998 and 2005.

Part of the apparent slowdown in temperature rise does appear to be genuine, however. Earlier this year, Susan Solomon of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colorado, and colleagues found there was less water vapour in the stratosphere after 2000, weakening the greenhouse effect and taking 0.04 °C off the temperature in the past decade.

Taken together, the mismatch in sea-surface temperature data and the fall in water vapour levels account for almost all of the slowdown that earlier studies had suggested.

From now on climate measurements from the buoys will be "corrected" [Won't that be fun?] so that they can be compared with the decades of data from ship measurements, and vice versa. It's not the first time measurements have had to be corrected: a change in how ships measured sea temperatures caused the apparent cooling in the 1940s.


Hansen And Jones Need To Sharpen Up Their Maths

I think it’s too close to call. Based on these numbers it’ll be second, but it depends on how warm November and December are,” said Dr Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), at the University of East Anglia, which says 1998 was the record year so far.

The graph above shows how HadCRUT 2010 compares to 1998 through the end of October. The 1998 average through October is 0.56, and the 2010 average is 0.49. In order to beat 1998, November and December would have to average more than 0.38 above the same months in 1998. The graph below shows what would have to happen the remainder of the year to make Hansen an honest man.

“I would not be surprised if most or all groups found that 2010 was tied for the warmest year,” said Nasa’s Dr James Hansen.

Are Hansen and Jones both unaware that we are having a near record La Niña event, and that temperatures are plummeting?

These guys are supposed to be the world’s best climatologists, yet they seem to be out of touch with the fundamentals of both climate science and mathematics

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Climate Change Idiocy and The Economist

By Alan Caruba

For a brief period I subscribed to The Economist, the London-based internationally distributed magazine, but I stopped as it became obvious that its editors are idiots and the general purpose of the magazine is to ignore any and all facts that might contradict their obsession with “global warming” and now “climate change.”

Last year, The Economist had a cover that said, “Stop Climate Change.” That’s like saying stop the Earth from circumnavigating the Sun. The issue came out about the same time as the entire fictitious infrastructure of “global warming” came undone and resulted in the collapse of the last United Nations conference of liars who had gathered in Copenhagen to impose the purchase, sale and trade of “carbon credits” on the world.

A year later, the Chicago Exchange that had been set up to cash in on the scam had closed its doors. The one in Europe is selling carbon credits for pennies these days. Naturally, California, besotted with global warming idiocy, is preparing to have its own exchanges.

Apparently, despite glaring headlines in British newspapers, no one at The Economist was aware that the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of East Anglia University had been found to be rigging the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change data for years. Having collected millions of pounds for its dubious research, we look forward to its director, Phil Jones, facing whatever legal proceedings may be appropriate in the circumstances.

Did the Economist’s editors learn anything in the past year? No. Indeed, its latest issue sports a cover that says “How to Live with Climate Change.” In a year’s time, they have gone from saying stop climate change to learn to live with it. Is there a choice?

This is not the most original idea given the fact that human beings have been living with climate change since we climbed down from the trees and began walking upright, developing language, and spreading across the face of the Earth.

Eskimos found ways to survive in the Arctic. Polynesians learned to travel among Pacific islands. Everywhere civilizations came and went while agriculture was introduced to feed more and more people who, in turn, preferred living in cities as opposed to plowing the soil. The art and science of war flourished.

The Economist focused its attention on next week’s “meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change”, the subject of a conference to be held in Cancun, Mexico.

You may recall that President Obama attended last year’s conference in Copenhagen that foundered on the news that there never was any dramatic increase in the Earth’s temperature.

Leaked emails revealed that the only “proof” of “global warming” could be found in corrupt, falsified computer models churned out by the CRU and a coordinated climate scam out of Pennsylvania State University, the recipient of comparable “climate research” funding.

The President had to depart early because of a massive blizzard that enveloped Copenhagen.

Even the Economist had to admit that “in the wake of the Copenhagen summit, there is a growing acceptance that the effort to avert serious climate change has run out of steam.” That’s also likely due to the fact that there is no way to “avert serious climate change.”

The Economist, however, held out hope that “a few climatic disasters” might get the scam going again.

It is an act of journalistic criminality to publish outright lies, but The Economist is not deterred by anything resembling the truth. It asserts a “likelihood “ that “the Earth will be at least 3 degrees Celsius warmer at the end of this century than it was at the beginning of the industrial revolution, less warming is possible, but so is more, and quicker.” So there could be less, but there could be more

This is utter rot.

It is typical of the way “global warming” was always predicted to arrive twenty, fifty or a hundred years from now; all based on manipulated and mendacious computer models. The usual predictions of heat waves, droughts, along with melting poles and glaciers are cited in its cover editorial.

Just as the Cancun festival of climate lies will do, The Economist rhapsodizes about a massive redistribution of wealth from industrialized developed nations to those in the grip of despots, Islam, communism or other systems that keep them poor. When interviewed recently, IPCC official, Ottmar Edenhofer, a German economist, bluntly said that “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy,”

So what is climate change policy really about? It is about how “we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth….” If this sounds like the usual communist claptrap, it is.


The Lomborg alternative

Intellectual honesty is a very rare commodity, especially in areas where there is great political pressure to conform to some Received View.

Such is the case with the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). The majority of climate scientists think that AGW, as represented in theory, is a well-established phenomenon; but a fairly large minority apparently doesn’t. Enter the activists, who react to the theory of AGW in one of two ways. The True Believers take the theory of AGW as proven beyond all doubt and use it to argue for massively costly and disruptive policies, such as cap-and-trade laws and Green energy schemes. The True Deniers deny AGW altogether, dismissing the ever-increasing amounts of burned fossil fuel as having no effect whatsoever on the planet, and viewing the scientists who believe in AGW as deluded fools, or part of some pseudo-scientific cult.

Rare are moderate voices. Perhaps the best known voice of this kind is Bjorn Lomborg, the author of a number of books, including The Skeptical Environmentalist and Smart Solutions to Climate Change, and the subject of a great little documentary, Cool It, playing now in limited release.

Lomborg is a Danish economist and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, a policy thinktank based in Denmark that specializes in formulating economically sound policies for private and governmental aid programs. He grew up as a devout Green and a member of Greenpeace but was awakened from his dogmatic environmentalist slumbers when he read the work of economist Julian Simon. Simon was an iconoclast who argued that the world’s environment is getting better and that human beings are the planet’s greatest resource. Lomborg set out to refute Simon but after doing the research was forced to admit that he was largely correct. It dawned on Lomborg that much of the environmentalist agenda was counterproductive and driven by inaccurate propaganda.

Cool It, co-written by Lomborg and directed by well-known documentary film maker Ondi Timoner, surveys Lomborg’s works and thoughts, but focuses on refuting Al Gore’s classic of environmentalist propaganda, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Lomborg believes that AGW is real, but that it doesn’t pose the profound and immediate threat to the ecosystem that Gore and his ilk claim it does. Lomborg also holds that the vast amount of money being spent to combat AGW would be better spent on more immediate human needs, while we develop better solutions.

For this, Lomborg is reviled. For example: in one scene of the movie we see Stephen Schneider, long-time proponent of the theory of AGW, waxing furious as he discusses Lomborg’s perspective. This fanatical, venomous creature stands in stark contrast with the optimistic, sincere, and decent Lomborg — as does the ever-pompous Al Gore. In another scene, we listen to Lomborg recount how he was hauled before the Danish Committee on Scientific Discovery, where his political enemies tried to destroy his career for his outrageous view that the world is not headed for an ecological Armageddon. He survived that Kafkaesque Star Chamber, but it took its toll on the poor fellow.

Besides being an introduction to Lomborg and his work, Cool It is meant to be a counter to Al Gore’s undeservedly famous movie. In one powerful sequence, Lomborg interacts with some British schoolchildren who have obviously been indoctrinated, very thoroughly, with the theory of AGW in its most extreme, apocalyptic version.

These pathetic kids are convinced that they are all but doomed, by Evil Man’s Hideous Works, to melt beneath an unrelenting, merciless sun. It turns your stomach to watch this. In my view, the people who manipulate children to further their policy agenda deserve to melt in an unrelenting, merciless Hell.

Cool It specifically refutes four major contentions of Gore’s movie: that the seas are going to rise over 20 feet and inundate vast portions of land, that AGW has increased the amount of malaria (because of increased mosquito populations), that AGW is threatening the polar bear population, and that AGW is causing increasingly severe hurricanes.

The essence of Lomborg’s thinking is neatly summarized by one of his lines: “If we only listen to worst-case scenarios, that’s unlikely to make good public priorities.” I would add that it is even less likely to make good public priorities if those worst-case scenarios are based on highly politicized, agenda driven science.

To give a flavor of Lomborg’s views, consider his analysis of the EU’s proposed carbon-cutting eco-regimen, projected to cost the citizens of Europe about $250 billion a year, while producing only slight effects in terms of slowing AGW. Lomborg would rather the EU spend $100 billion on R&D on non-fossil-fuel power (including — gasp! — nuclear power, something that Gore abhors), about a billion dollars on geoengineering solutions to AGW (such as putting more white clouds in the sky to reflect the solar rays), and $48 billion on projects to mitigate flooding (such as building decent levees to protect New Orleans) and reduce the “heat-island” effects of cities, and the remaining money (on the order of a $100 billion) to lessen malnourishment, broaden access to healthcare, and ameliorate under-education among the world’s poor.

The scene in which we see him talking to kids in Africa about what they fear — fears quite different from those that afflict the upper-middle class British kids — brings home his honest desire to see those poor kids helped.

I have two areas of disagreement with Lomborg, whom I esteem highly as a paragon of Enlightenment thinking in our postmodern era. Both are areas in which I fear that he is rather too naïve, sincere as he surely is.

The first area has to do with his idea that if we (as we should) eschew harsh measures to stop AGW, we could effectively spend the money saved to alleviate the underdeveloped world’s problems — lack of food, potable water, and education. In reality, international aid money gets channeled through either third-world governments or various NGOs (supposedly neutral aid organizations); the former are notoriously corrupt and incompetent — which is why their citizens languish in poverty to begin with — and the latter are notoriously inefficient and contaminated by political agendas.

Would it not be better economics just to let taxpayers keep the money saved by killing the more outré environmentalist schemes, money that the taxpayers would spend more productively, and push for free trade agreements with all the underdeveloped countries so that they could, well, you know, develop?

Proceeding to the second area of disagreement: Lomborg doesn’t seem to understand that a large faction of the environmentalist community views Homo sapiens as the plague of the planet, and wants to see the world’s population decline dramatically, from the present 7 billion to perhaps 400,000 in the dreams of some of the “environmentalists.” The most zealous crusaders, whose thinking drives the movement, despise the very idea of using natural resources to make people better off materially. They want monstrously costly “solutions” to environmental “catastrophes” (both real and imagined) precisely because those “solutions” will impoverish Evil Humankind.

Put in another way: in the environmentalist eschatology, human flourishing is cardinally sinful per se, and deserves the most lethal punishment. Instead of the old Christian idea, “in Adam’s fall, we sinned all,” these theologians of the environmentalist faith believe that “in Adam’s exaltation, the world suffered degradation.”


Media Rush to Defend LSU “Blood Will Be on Your Hands” Prof

What do the higher ed media do when a professor is caught blustering and biased—on camera? They scramble to defend him, of course.

A few weeks ago after getting a tip from a student at Louisiana State University, Campus Reform, a web-based organization that fights political correctness in higher education, sent a cameraman into class. The course, intended for freshmen, was Astronomy 1101 “The Solar System,” and the class was devoted entirely to the discussion of global warming.

Nothing in the terse description in LSU’s course catalog indicated that the professor would focus on terrestrial politics. The course description simply says that “The Solar System” will deal with “fundamental principles of the solar system.”

This week, Campus Reform released three video excerpts from that class (part 1, part 2, part 3). The videos show the professor, Bradley E. Schaefer, denouncing students for their views on global warming. He asks the class to sit according to actions they think the government should take, ranging from “U.S. should do nothing” to “Mandatory birth control” and “Eliminate all engines.”

To students who take their seats on the right side of the room (the “U.S. should do nothing” side), Professor Schaefer scoffs: “Oh boy, that’s really good for you, at least for the next decade or two. And then you will remember having sat on that corner, because you will not want to tell your children, if they live, why you’re sitting on that corner, that you were part of the trouble, right? Do you realize that?”

He goes on, “The more you’re sitting over here, the more you’re wanting to keep your hedonistic luxury at the cost of your children.” To one student he says, “Too little, too late. Blood will be on your hands.”

Campus Reform’s videos are short, 1-3 minute clips that highlight Schaefer’s most vigorous statements. When the organization published the first installment of the series, it wrote that this “shows what happens when a professor brings his politics into the classroom.”

Campus Reform has provided one of the clearest examples ever documented of liberal bias in academe. Defenders of the status quo saw its potential for serious damage and immediately set out to discredit it.

Both the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed published articles that essentially say: Who are you going to believe, us or your lying eyes? It’s not what it looks like. It was taken out of context. He yelled at liberal students too. The Chronicle article, “Video Seems to Catch Professor in a Liberal Rant, But There’s More to the Story,” paraphrases Schaefer: “He was actually challenging all of his students, both liberal and conservative, he says, and not chastising any of them for their beliefs.”

Indeed, Professor Schaefer did mock the “Eliminate all engines” segment of the class as well. He said, “The other side – they’re just as bad also.” When students asked him where he would sit, he said he didn’t know but that “I would not sit on either of the two edges. I think those are insane.”

What Schaefer doesn’t realize is that he shouldn’t be jeering at students on either side of a debate he has staged with an invitation to take positions that he believes to be extreme. When he asks students to sit according to their beliefs, then ridicules them for doing so—no matter what their politics are, he is in the wrong. As a professor, his job is not to belittle both sides equally but to instruct impartially.

At the request of the Chronicle, Campus Reform published the full, unedited, 40-minute long video of the class. It doesn’t help Schaeffer’s case. Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle probably bet that most people would read their headlines, accept the notion that Campus Reform deviously and “selectively edited,” and not take the time to watch the longer version.

Those who do watch the full video will see that there’s nothing in it to exonerate Schaefer or prove that he was unfairly treated by Campus Reform. After his first round of deriding students for their views, he gives a melodramatic lecture on global warming, comprised mostly of his avowals that global warming exists and will cause untold deaths. He declares, “Global warming is real; it’s caused by humanity,” and repeatedly says, “It’s only going to get worse.”

Schaefer says “About fifteen years ago Exxon suddenly decided, ‘Oh geez, this is going to be bad for our bottom line,’ and they started pouring vast sums of money into saying, ‘Oh, global warming doesn’t exist.’ That’s completely false.”

“There is universal agreement among scientists,” he proclaims, echoing Al Gore’s “The debate is over.”

Professor Schaefer fails to mention the many respected scientists who have made public their skepticism of anthropogenic global warming. Among them is Richard Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and finds evidence that global warming alarmism has been greatly exaggerated for political purposes.

Another is Australian geologist Ian Plimer, who writes in his book Heaven and Earth: Global Warming - The Missing Science, “Climate has always changed. It always has and always will [...] If we humans, in a fit of ego, think we can change these normal planetary processes, then we need stronger medication.” Saying “there is universal agreement among scientists” is an outright lie.

Another lie is recorded in the Chronicle, where Schaefer is quoted defending himself, “I put forth no opinions on how humanity should respond to global warming.” No opinions on how we should respond? Try:

"The solution has to come with some combination of not having as many people and not being as luxurious. So you can have a smaller population of high luxury or, you know, take your choice. If we go on as we are, you’ll have deaths in the billions, and that will solve the problem for you. That is not a good solution."

Later, a student asks about volcanoes, and Schaefer replies, “There are all sorts of natural catastrophes. This is one we made ourselves, and this is one we can control.”

At the end of the class he has the students do a group exercise and gives each section different questions for which they must present an answer to the class. The group on the right side of the room is given a piece of paper that says:

"Your professed policies have a substantial likelihood of leading to the death of a billion people or more. (A) Estimate the probability that you personally will be killed in an ugly way because of your decision? (B) What is the probability that any children of yours will die in ugly ways due to your current decision."

Die in ugly ways? This professor has decided to try to weed out anyone who disagrees with him by using scare and guilt tactics. He sustains the violent imagery through the entire class, telling students, “Blood will be on your hands,” and pooh-poohing deaths from September 11th (“3,000? Whatever.”) in light of the toll global warming would take. Toward the end of his lecture he indicts the students who prefer no new legislation on climate change:

"So, you see, the trouble here is the people on that corner [points at right side of room]. They’re wanting to do nothing. They’re wanting to let global warming take its toll. People decades from now will have deaths in the billions if we do nothing, and that will solve the problem."

Campus Reform’s video #2 points out that when the spokesman from that side stands up to share his group’s answers to the “die in ugly ways” questions, Schaefer repeatedly interrupts him. Several students ask the professor to let the spokesman talk, which Schaefer does, collapsing into a theatrical fit of laughter, holding his sides, bobbing his head, and gesturing to imply that he thinks the student is spouting idiocy.

The mockery, of course, does far more to discredit the integrity of the teacher than the opinions of the students. But the most chilling moment in the class wasn’t included in the shorter Campus Reform videos. It’s what the group on the other side of the room has to say.

The young woman speaking for her section reads the question, “Would you personally aim to have no more than 2 children?” Out of about 50 students, 45 said yes, she reports. “So I think that’s a pretty good number, and if, I mean, if the whole country decided to do that it would make a big impact.”

Forty-five students make a verbal pledge not to have more than two children. And they hope the whole country will do the same. If these students are in earnest, they have drunk the Kool-Aid. If they are bluffing, Schaefer was successful in his intimidation tactics. He is so bold as to guide students to limit the size of their future families—and they readily go along in the direction he nudges them.

As for the students over on the right side of the room, Schaefer continues to denounce them as unethical and foolish: “Screwing with the science is WRONG. You’re an ostrich putting your head in the sand.” After the spokesman says, “We personally don’t believe that we will be killed due to our current position because—” Schaefer cuts him off, shouting, “Remember that you gave that answer, okay? You’re going to be accountable for this!”

What about Professor Schaefer? Will he be held accountable? Not likely. The LSU department chair told the Chronicle he did not think any action would be taken to punish or even reprimand Schaeffer. He did say that he would take seriously any student complaints if he hears any.

But why wait to hear from students, who may not complain if they want to preserve their grades, when all the evidence is in? The footage from this class is a smoking gun, and LSU is too deeply invested in maintaining the politically correct system to take responsibility and do the right thing.

Cary Nelson, of course, defended Professor Schaefer. The president of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), Nelson believes that academic freedom is essentially a professor’s ability to say whatever he wants in the classroom. He told Inside Higher Ed that:

"academic freedom and completely honest communication in the classroom requires a certain degree of privacy for all the people there, that they need to be able to be frank, that they need to express their emotions honestly, that the classroom is not a stage, that it’s not designed to be a public performance".

Perhaps Nelson should communicate this directly with Schaefer, who used his authority to put on what amounted to a big performance.

What is truly amazing about this story is the ease with which Schaefer’s defenders can turn a blind eye to his totally unprofessional behavior and point the blame at the messengers. In this way, it resembles the episode at Wesleyan University in which students and faculty were enraged by an affirmative action bake sale because it was “offensive,” but they failed to see the inherent offensiveness of racial preferences portrayed by the bake sale. Once again, blame is shifted to those holding up the mirror.

A year ago “Climategate” exposed the secret steps researchers at East Anglia University had taken to suppress views that did not support climate change orthodoxy. Hundreds of emails came to the surface, undeniable evidence of a conspiracy propping up the supposed “scientific consensus.” Then, as now, the guilty party exonerated itself simply by playing the martyr and repeating declarations of its own innocence.

So what, ideally, should LSU do to assure students, their parents, and the public that Astronomy 1101 isn’t just an occasion for Professor Schaefer to rant about global warming and attempt to humiliate students who disagree with him? How can this be handled without violating the principle of academic freedom? Well, first of all, the University needs to recognize that students have academic freedom too – freedom to be taught by scholars who do not engage in propagandistic bombast, but instead provide a conscientious account of the relevant facts – in this case, about “The Solar System.” The AAUP laid this out definitively in its 1915 Declaration of Principles:

"The liberty of the scholar within the university to set forth his conclusions, be they what they may, is conditioned by their being conclusions gained by a scholar’s method and held in a scholar’s spirit; that is to say, they must be the fruits of competent and patient and sincere inquiry, and they should be set forth with dignity, courtesy, and temperateness of language".

Professor Schaefer appears to have violated these principles as vividly as it might be possible to do. He deserves, at the least, a suspension from teaching until such time as he shows himself ready to teach in a manner appropriate to his position.


Australian newspaper editor to sue over Warmist lies

As is normal with Murdoch media properties, "The Australian" tries to give both sides of politics a run. But ANY covering of climate skepticism evokes rage and abuse from devotees of the Warmist religion. Warmism and Islam have a lot in common

The Australian's editor-in-chief, Chris Mitchell, said he will sue journalism academic and prolific twitter user Julie Posetti for defamation.

This follows Posetti’s tweet yesterday from a journalism conference at the University of Technology Sydney in which Posetti quoted The Australian’s former rural reporter Asa Walhquist as allegedly saying "in the lead up to the election the Ed in Chief was increasingly telling me what to write".

Mitchell rejects the allegation and Walhquist has also denied it, saying she has never spoken to Mitchell about climate change.

Mitchell said his lawyers were given a brief yesterday. Posetti is a journalism lecturer at the University of Canberra. "I am not one who believes new media should be exempt from the normal laws of the land," Mitchell said. "Asa may or may not have said what the tweeter alleges. She denies to me that she did. But either way the allegations are a lie and Asa has admitted as much.

"There is not protection from the law in repeating accurately allegations falsely made. Asa works from home and I have neither seen her nor spoken to her in years, as anyone on the paper would attest."

The legal action comes after Mitchell contacted Walhquist yesterday after seeing the reported comments, also saying in an email to her that he had "never spoken" to her about climate change and “have never stood over you about ANY of your stories". "Indeed, I have not spoken to you in at least eight years. And I have never stood over people writing stories in 19 years as an editor."

Mitchell adds he is proud of the paper's environmental coverage. He said The Australian's editorials on climate change "would make it clear that for several years the paper has accepted man-made climate change as fact".

"It has supported market mechanisms to reduce carbon output for the best part of a decade. What people do not like is that I publish people such as Bjorn Lomborg. I will continue to do so, but would suggest my environment writer, Graham Lloyd, who is a passionate environmentalist, gets a very good run in the paper."

The tweets from Posetti yesterday included her quoting Walhquist as saying that writing on climate change for The Australian was "absolutely excruciating. It was torture".

Walhquist responded to Mitchell she had been quoted inaccurately and taken out of context and adding that "I do not think twitters from unnamed third parties should be regarded as an accurate news source. As a journalist I would never rely on information from such a source." "I would like to place on record the fact I have never had a conversation with the Editor-in-Chief of The Australian, Chris Mitchell, about climate change," Walhquist wrote. "In fact I have not had any conversations with Mr Mitchell on any subject for a number of years."

SOURCE. The tweets concerned are at the moment here


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