Friday, July 22, 2011


I normally put my Australian roundup at the end of the day's postings here but I am leading off with it today because all three articles have general relevance and the first article in particular is about as destructive to Warmism as I can imagine

Pesky! Sea-level rises are SLOWING, tidal gauge records show

Once again, reality defies the so-called "models": Models of what? These findings hit right at the heart of the Warmist scare. The spectre of rising sea levels has been their most dramatic claim

ONE of Australia's foremost experts on the relationship between climate change and sea levels has written a peer-reviewed paper concluding that rises in sea levels are "decelerating".

The analysis, by NSW principal coastal specialist Phil Watson, calls into question one of the key criteria for large-scale inundation around the Australian coast by 2100 -- the assumption of an accelerating rise in sea levels because of climate change.

Based on century-long tide gauge records at Fremantle, Western Australia (from 1897 to present), Auckland Harbour in New Zealand (1903 to present), Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour (1914 to present) and Pilot Station at Newcastle (1925 to present), the analysis finds there was a "consistent trend of weak deceleration" from 1940 to 2000.

Mr Watson's findings, published in the Journal of Coastal Research this year and now attracting broader attention, supports a similar analysis of long-term tide gauges in the US earlier this year. Both raise questions about the CSIRO's sea-level predictions.

Climate change researcher Howard Brady, at Macquarie University, said yesterday the recent research meant sea levels rises accepted by the CSIRO were "already dead in the water as having no sound basis in probability". "In all cases, it is clear that sea-level rise, although occurring, has been decelerating for at least the last half of the 20th century, and so the present trend would only produce sea level rise of around 15cm for the 21st century."

Dr Brady said the divergence between the sea-level trends from models and sea-level trends from the tide gauge records was now so great "it is clear there is a serious problem with the models".

"In a nutshell, this factual information means the high sea-level rises used as precautionary guidelines by the CSIRO in recent years are in essence ridiculous," he said. During the 20th century, there was a measurable global average rise in mean sea level of about 17cm [7"] (plus or minus 5cm).

But scientific projections, led by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have suggested climate change will deliver a much greater global tide rise in mean sea level this century of 80-100cm.

The federal government has published a series of inundation maps based on the panel's predictions showing that large areas of Australia's capital cities, southeast Queensland and the NSW central coast will be under water by 2100.

Without acceleration in sea-level rises, the 20th-century trend of 1.7mm a year would produce a rise of about 0.15m by 2100.

Mr Watson's analysis of the four longest continuous Australian and New Zealand records is consistent with the findings of US researchers Robert Dean and James Houston, who analysed monthly averaged records for 57 tide gauges, covering periods of 60 to 156 years.

The US research concluded there was "no evidence to support positive acceleration over the 20th century as suggested by the IPCC, global climate change models and some researchers".

Mr Watson cautioned in his research and again yesterday that studies of a small number of northern hemisphere records spanning two or three centuries had found a small acceleration in sea-level rises. He said it was possible the rises could be subject to "climate-induced impacts projected to occur over this century".

Mr Watson's research finds that in the 1990s, when sea levels were attracting international attention, although the decadal rates of ocean rise were high, "they are not remarkable or unusual in the context of the historical record at each site over the 20th century".

"What we are seeing in all of the records is there are relatively high rates of sea-level rise evident post-1990, but those sorts of rates of rise have been witnessed at other times in the historical record," he said. "What remains unknown is whether or not these rates are going to persist into the future and indeed increase."

He said further research was required, "to rationalise the difference between the acceleration trend evident in the global sea level time-series reconstructions (models) and the relatively consistent deceleration trend evident in the long-term Australasian tide gauge records".

With an estimated 710,000 Australian homes within 3km and below 6m elevation of the coast, accurate sea-level predictions are vital for planning in coastal areas anticipating predicted sea-level rises of almost a metre by 2100.


Another "secret" Greenie model

Warmists keeping details of their calculations secret is a normal modus operandi for them. That of course tells its own story. And leaked details of the carbon tax modelling show amply WHY they want to keep it all secret. Their assumptions are absurd. Henry Ergas has a few chuckles below

I WAS wrong. Treasury's modelling doesn't assume the US has an emissions trading scheme in place by 2016. It merely assumes its economy operates as if it did. Unnamed government sources have told the Fairfax press that Treasury assumes the US will "reach emission reduction targets at a cost no higher than the international price", that is, at least cost, without having to bother with a market-based mechanism.

That would not be a mere accomplishment: it would be a miracle. At least if you take Climate Change Minister Greg Combet seriously who has repeatedly said imposing a carbon tax is "essential" for "achieving emissions reductions at cheapest cost". As have Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan.

But Treasury apparently knows better. If those government sources are to be believed, its officials have discovered a way of getting the benefit of a carbon tax without actually having one.

Yet, oddly, that miracle cure doesn't seem to have been around when Treasury wrote its modelling report. Rather, Treasury assumes that from 2016, under the auspices of a "co-ordinated international policy regime", industrial countries, including the US, would "trade, either bilaterally or through a central market" delivering a "harmonised world carbon price".

How the US will trade if it doesn't have some form of permit system is a mystery worthy of Hercule Poirot. And the mysteries don't end there. If the US can achieve least-cost abatement without an ETS in 2016, why put one in place later? Indeed, why would anyone bother with such a scheme?

Answering these questions would be easier if the government opened the kimono on the actual model. Given access to the model itself, we would know exactly what it assumes. And the implications of changing those assumptions could be tested.

It would be possible to assess the costs to Australia if we adopt a carbon tax and our major competitors don't: the scenario Treasury's report fails to detail. And it would also be possible to examine the effects of other crucial features of Treasury's modelling.

For example, the model does not provide for the mandated decommissioning of the Hazelwood and possibly Yallourn power stations in Victoria. These generators have low operating costs and even with a rising carbon price would operate until at least 2025. Replacing them sooner requires substantial investment in generating plant and transmission. That will need to be paid for. But when?

Although the government is talking of decommissioning those generators now, Treasury's modelling seems to defer the cost until at least 2025 and maybe until 2040. That conveniently reduces the estimated hit to electricity prices.

The model also assumes unlimited access to permits overseas. Those permits provide two-thirds of our mitigation to 2020, "resulting in lower economic costs". But the government has now said it will cap purchases of foreign abatement at far less than that. So here, too, the policy's costs are underestimated.

And the model also unrealistically assumes the government's policy is revenue neutral (so that other taxes don't need to be raised to finance any shortfall), with all revenues returned to taxpayers as lump sum payments, so the compensation does not distort any decisions.

But here's the best bit, tucked away in a technical annex. The modelling assumes emitters can borrow permits from the future. And borrow they do, on a scale that puts Greece to shame.

By 2050, emitters worldwide have borrowed four years' global permit allocations from the future. Using Treasury's estimate of future carbon prices, that is equivalent to a net debt of $10.7 trillion in 2011 dollars, or 10 times Australia's current national output. And the total value of those net borrowings would rise at 6 to 8 per cent a year, far exceeding the growth rate of world incomes.

Why assume debt accumulation on such a plainly unsustainable scale? Because it postpones the pain, shifting emissions reduction to beyond the modelling period. The problem, however, is no current or likely scheme allows such net borrowing, much less on the scale Treasury envisages. So that further underestimates the policy's costs, probably greatly.

But without access to the model no one can say by how much. And that suits the government. For Treasury's modelling presumably reflects assumptions determined by the government, such as that all industrial countries have carbon taxes in place by 2016 or behave as if they did.

The government also presumably determined what was not to be disclosed: most importantly, the consequences if we tax our mineral exports and our competitors don't. Treasury then modelled and explained those scenarios as best it could.

Fair enough; that is the government's prerogative and Treasury's job. But when caught out, spare us the contorted denials. Rather, when the facts come home to roost, have the good grace to make them welcome. Or as Gillard put it: "Don't write crap. It can't be that hard."


Bootleggers hijack climate change debate

Bjorn Lomborg

AUSTRALIA'S carbon tax is being sold to the public with government-funded ads in which representatives from renewable energy companies make the case for the government policy.

Their arguments range from, "it's got to be better to put wind turbines up", to "other countries around the world are doing it". One cites the example of Germany, which has led the world in subsidising solar panels.

Yes, Germany has spent more than $75 billion on inefficient solar technology delivering a mere 0.1 per cent of its total energy supply. And this will postpone global warming by how much? A whole seven hours by the end of the century.

The ads give the impression that solar and wind are ready to take over from fossil fuels. Yet, even in a very optimistic scenario, the International Energy Agency estimates that by 2035, solar and energy will contribute only about 1.6 per cent of global energy.

They also suggest that carbon pricing will lead to new green jobs popping up, as if by magic.

Yet the most comprehensive research into "green jobs" shows that a similar number of people are put out of work because of increased energy costs.

The Australian government is not alone in touting renewable energy as a solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In May, the UN's International Panel on Climate Change made media waves with a new report on renewable energy. As in the past, the IPCC first issued a short summary; only later would it reveal all of the data.

The IPCC press release declared, "Close to 80 per cent of the world's energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies." That story was repeated by media organisations worldwide.

Last month the IPCC released the full report, together with the data behind this startlingly optimistic claim. Only then did it emerge that it was based solely on the most optimistic of 164 modelling scenarios researchers investigated. And this single scenario stemmed from a single study that was traced back to a report by the environmental organisation Greenpeace. The author of that report, a Greenpeace staff member, was one of the IPCC lead authors.

The claim rested on the assumption of a large reduction in global energy use. Given the number of people climbing out of poverty in China and India, that is a deeply implausible scenario.

When the IPCC first made the claim, global-warming activists and renewable-energy companies cheered. "The report clearly demonstrates that renewable technologies could supply the world with more energy than it would ever need," boasted Steve Sawyer, secretary-general of the Global Wind Energy Council.

This sort of behaviour, with activists and big energy companies uniting to applaud anything that suggests a need for increased subsidies to alternative energy, was famously captured by the so-called "bootleggers and baptists" theory of politics.

The theory grew out of the experience of the southern US, where many jurisdictions required stores to close on Sunday, thus preventing the sale of alcohol. The regulation was supported by religious groups for moral reasons, but also by bootleggers, because they had the market to themselves on Sundays. Politicians would adopt the Baptists' pious rhetoric, while quietly taking campaign contributions from the criminals.

Of course, today's climate-change "bootleggers" are not engaged in any illegal behaviour.

But the self-interest of energy companies, biofuel producers, insurance firms, lobbyists, and others in supporting "green" policies is a point that is often missed.

Indeed, the "bootleggers and Baptists" theory helps to account for other developments in global warming policy over the past decade or so. For example, the Kyoto Protocol would have cost trillions of dollars, but would have achieved a practically indiscernible difference in stemming the rise in global temperature. Yet activists claimed that there was a moral obligation to cut carbon-dioxide emissions, and were cheered on by businesses that stood to gain.

During the ill-fated Copenhagen climate summit in December 2009, Denmark's capital city was plastered with slick ads urging the delegates to make a strong deal. They were paid for by Vestas, the world's largest windmill producer.

Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, a famous convert to environmentalism, drafted a "plan" (which he named after himself) to increase America's reliance on renewables. Of course, he would also have been one of the main investors in the wind-power and natural-gas companies that would benefit from government subsidies.

Traditional energy giants like BP and Shell have championed their "green" credentials, while standing to profit from selling oil or gas instead of environmentally "unfriendly" coal. Even US electricity giant Duke Energy, a big coal consumer, won green kudos for promoting a US cap-and-trade scheme. But the firm ended up opposing the draft legislation to create such a scheme, because it did not provide sufficient free carbon-emission permits for coal companies.

Elsewhere in the world, dubious claims by faithful activists gave rise to the biofuels industry (with supporting lobbyists).

Biofuel production likely increases atmospheric carbon, owing to the massive deforestation that it requires, while crop diversion increases food prices and contributes to global hunger. While environmentalists have started to acknowledge this, the industry received a lot of activist support when it began, and neither agribusiness nor green-energy producers have any interest in changing course now.

Obviously, private firms are motivated by self-interest, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. But too often we hear commentators suggest that when Greenpeace and big business agree on something, it must be a sensible option. Business support for expensive policies such as the Kyoto Protocol, which would have done very little for climate change, indicate otherwise.

The climate-change "Baptists" provide the moral cover that politicians can use to sell regulation, along with scary stories that the media can use to attract readers or viewers.

Businesses see opportunities for taxpayer-funded subsidies, and to pass on inevitable cost growth to consumers.

Unfortunately, this convergence of interests can push us to focus on ineffective, expensive responses to climate change. Whenever opposite political forces attract, as activists and big business have in the case of global warming, there is a high risk that the public interest will be caught in the middle.


Show us the bodies, EPA

Green agency uses phony death statistics to justify job-killing rules

By Steve Milloy

The House will soon vote to (slightly) rein in the Obama Environmental Protection Agency. But this much-needed baby step by Congress will only happen if Republicans have the knowledge and muster the courage to withstand a final bare-knuckles assault by EPA’s enviro allies.

The House Appropriations Committee passed last week the fiscal 2012 EPA budget that would cut the agency’s budget by $1.7 billion - 18 percent - and delay for one year several of its new and/or planned regulatory programs targeting coal-fired electric utilities. It’s hardly landmark legislation but it’s a start.

Troubled by the agency’s high-cost-for-imaginary benefit programs covering emissions of greenhouse gases, mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides, the committee’s bill calls for a timeout on the EPA’s rules pending a study of their impacts.

But the EPA and its allies aren’t taking such reasonableness lying down. Leading their pushback is the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which is making utility giant American Electric Power (AEP) the whipping boy example for Republicans and businesses that dare question - let alone rise against - EPA oppression.

The EDF is running a billboard and TV ad campaign accusing AEP and, by extension, anyone else that opposes EPA overregulation, of pushing a “dirty air bill” that will kill 17,000 people per year in the name of “polluter profits.”

The TV ad for this theme features a young girl in a hospital bed supposedly having an asthma attack. She’s wearing a nebulizer face mask and chest compression device that is rhythmically but disturbingly squeezing the child, giving the appearance that she is in severe respiratory distress, by implication from air pollution.

But like the EPA’s 17,000-lives-saved statistical fabrication, the ad is a fake.

If you look closely at the girl, as opposed to what is being done to her, she is, in fact, calmly sitting up in bed and not in any respiratory distress whatsoever. The ad is a total put-on. Moreover, asthma attacks aren’t treated with chest-compression devices, which are instead more typically used for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The apparent reason the EDF used the chest compression device in the commercial was to fabricate pulsating drama for its false message that efforts to rein in the EPA threaten children’s health.

Another EDF commercial features a sonogram of a fetus with beating heart and a voiceover that asserts, “The developing fetus and young children are thought to be disproportionately affected by mercury exposure. …” The voiceover then asks, “How many lives will be damaged? How many lives is OK?” by AEP’s effort to block EPA regulation.

But there is no evidence that ambient levels of mercury or mercury emissions from U.S. power plants have harmed anyone. In any event, nature is responsible for the vast majority of mercury emissions (70 percent), while U.S. power plants are responsible for less than 1 percent of global emissions.

So what can Republicans and industry do to defend themselves from these groundless and scurrilous attack ads?

To paraphrase cinematic sports agent Jerry McGuire, “Show me the bodies.”

While that may sound harsh, given that the EPA is about to kill hundreds of thousands of jobs and cost our crippled economy countless billions of dollars, Republicans must demand some sort of proof that the alleged harms are indeed happening.

The EPA says air pollution kills tens of thousands of people annually. This is on a par with traffic accident fatalities. While we can identify traffic accident victims, air pollution victims are unknown, unidentified and as far as anyone can tell, figments of EPA’s statistical imagination.

It ought not to be too much to ask the EPA to produce some tangible evidence that air pollution is causing actual harm to real people. The EPA should have to demonstrate that its ever-tightening air quality and emissions standards are producing actual benefits.

Consider that the EPA and its enviro-buddies are essentially accusing coal-fired utilities of killing and injuring hundreds of thousands of people annually. Have you ever wondered why there are no class-action lawsuits against utilities for billions of dollars in damages?

Apparently, even trial lawyers have no confidence that EPA science holds up to scrutiny.

In the past two weeks, EPA chief Lisa Jackson and the chairman of EPA’s clean air advisory committee have both indicated that there is no limit to EPA’s clean air regulatory authority. In the name of public health, for example, the EPA could regulate ground-level ozone to below naturally occurring levels without regard to cost.

That situation, as well as what the EPA is doing today, are not what Congress intended when it amended the Clean Air Act in 1970, 1977 and 1990. We can no longer afford the EPA’s clean air charade. The EPA has no clothes - if only congressional Republicans would open their eyes and notice.


Global warming causing poor education, forced marriage, forced labor, and sexual violence

Amazing what a 0.7C change in temperature over the past 161 years can do. Some more items to add to the list:

Plan International’s Weathering the Storm: Adolescent Girls and Climate Change highlights the need to better integrate the specific needs of adolescent girls in climate change and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.

The findings presented in the report are based on interviews with girls involved in Plan International’s programmes in Ethiopia and Bangladesh. We were particularly keen to hear stories from girls themselves in relation to how climate change is impacting on their lives and what they feel that policy makers should do differently. [what specific qualifications do adolescent girls have to assess impacts of climate change and determine policy?]

The impacts of climate change, whether they are gradual changes in agriculture and living conditions or the more cataclysmic effects of a cyclone or flood, are different for different populations. Whilst inevitably children everywhere are badly affected we illustrate how girls, in particular, bear the greater burden. The report evidences how, as a result of climate change, adolescent girls face increases in household responsibilities and are more likely to be forced into work resulting in less time for them to attend school or study at home.

It also emphasises the policy and funding gap to address these issues by policy makers. The girls themselves were clear on where they felt that policy priorities should be targeted. They wanted greater access to quality education where they can learn skills to improve their adaptive capacity; greater protection from violence especially early forced marriage, sexual violence and forced labour and they wanted their concerns to be heard and acted upon by policy makers.


Uproar As BBC says it will not cover Climate Sceptics

So what else is new?

THE BBC was criticised by climate change sceptics yesterday after it emerged that their views will get less coverage because they differ from mainline scientific opinion.

In a report by its governing body, the BBC Trust, the corporation was urged to focus less on opponents of the “majority consensus” in its programmes. It said coverage should not be tailored to represent a “false balance” of opinion if one side came from a minority group.

The report was partly based on an independent review of coverage by Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics at University College, London.

Although he found no evidence of bias in BBC output, he suggested where there is a “scientific consensus” it should not hunt out opponents purely to balance the story. He highlighted climate change as an example along with the controversy over the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine potentially leading to autism.

On climate change, Professor Jones said there had been a “drizzle of criticism of BBC coverage” arising from “a handful of journalists who have taken it upon themselves to keep disbelief alive”.

The report says: “In its early days, two decades ago, there was a genuine scientific debate about the reality of climate change. Now, there is general agreement that warming is a fact even if there remain uncertainties about how fast, and how much, the temperature might rise.”

But critics accused Professor Jones of using the report as a cover to “push the BBC’s green agenda”. Among them are former Tory Chancellor Lord Lawson, who was accused by the Government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir John Beddington, of making “incorrect” claims in An Appeal To Reason, the peer’s book on climate change.

Lord Lawson, chairman of the sceptical Global Warming Policy Foundation, said the fact that carbon dioxide levels were rising leading to global warming was not under dispute. However, he added, its extent and effect could not be explained by majority scientific opinion alone.

He said: “The BBC is already extremely one-sided on this issue. They have a settled view which is politically correct. “The idea that because scientific opinion falls largely on one side you can’t have a debate is outrageous. Because there’s a strong majority in basic science doesn’t mean the issue is off the table, yet the BBC says it should be.”

The foundation’s director, Dr Benny Peiser, said the report would lead to biased coverage of climate change and stifle any real debate. He said: “This is nothing the BBC has not been doing for the past 10 years, however. They are completely biased on the issue of climate change and this is nothing more than an effort to push their green agenda.”

Dr David Whitehouse, the foundation’s editor and a former BBC science correspondent, said the corporation had “lost the plot” when it came to science journalism. He said the corporation was “grouping sceptics with deniers” which would result in a lack of valid scientific input to its reports. He said: “A sceptic is not a denier, all good scientists should be sceptics. The BBC has got itself into a complete muddle. “In seeking to get the science right it has missed the journalism which is about asking awkward questions and shaking the tree.”

But the BBC Trust defended the report. A spokesman said: “The report is not suggesting that climate change sceptics will not have a place on the BBC in future. “The point Professor Jones makes is that the scientific consensus is that it is caused by human activity. Therefore the BBC’s coverage needs to give less weight to those who oppose this view, and reflect the fact that the debate has moved on to how to deal with climate change.”


NASA’s Inconvenient Ruse: The Goddard Institute For Space Studies

The next time you read that NASA declares this or that day, month or year the hottest since yadda, yadda, yadda — you might want to check the source. It’s a pretty safe bet that it came from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies and probably quotes its director, James Hansen.

One would imagine that if you can trust any organization regarding reliable climate information, it would be NASA, right? Particularly a NASA organization named after Dr. Robert H. Goddard, widely recognized as the “father of American rocketry.” Think how important it is to get weather information right when launching people into space, and consider all those satellites and other high-tech stuff they have at their disposal. One would certainly believe that they could be relied on to give us the real scoop. Unfortunately, one might be very wrong, at least regarding the Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

First of all, GISS is actually only a climate modeling shop that relies on surface (not satellite) data that is mostly supplied by others. And even some top NASA scientists consider the dataset produced by GISS inferior to data provided by two other principal organizations, the National Climate Data Center’s Global Historical Climatology Network and the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) — home of the “ClimateGate” scandal.

As reported in a NASA memo to USA Today’s weather editor from Reto Ruedy at GISS: “My recommendation to you is to continue using NCRDC [NOAA] data for U.S. mean [temperatures] and Phil Jones’ [CRU] data for the global mean…We are basically a modeling group…for that purpose what we do is more than accurate enough [to assess model results]. But we have no intention to compete with either of the other two organizations in what they do best.” He clarified this point, saying, “…the National Climate Center’s procedure of only using the best stations is more accurate.”

And just how good is that CRU data? One ClimateGate log posted by database programmer Ian “Harry” Harris doesn’t provide much public confidence, reporting: “[The] hopeless state of their [CRU] database. No uniform data integrity. It’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found…There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations…and duplicates…Aarrggghh! There truly is no end in sight. This project is such a MESS. No wonder I needed therapy!!”

CRU Director Phil Jones, in an interview with BBC, admitted to big problems, confessing that “…surface temperature data are in such disarray they probably cannot be verified or replicated.”

Jones also acknowledged that CRU mirrors U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data. “Almost all the data we have in the CRU archive is exactly the same as in the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) archive used by the NOAA National Climate Data Center.” NASA GISS also uses NOAA data, applying its own adjustments. While all three databases suffer from the same flaws, NASA “tuning” tends to show the warmest trend anomalies, with CRU’s generally the lowest. Such differences result from various assumptions regarding unknowns such as changing urbanization and other land use influences that contaminate surface temperature recordings.

Dr. Ruedy of GISS confessed in an email that “[the United States Historical Climate Network] data are not routinely kept up-to-date, and in another that NASA had inflated its temperature data since 2000 on a questionable basis. “NASA’s assumption that the adjustments made the older data consistent with future data…may not have been correct”, he said. “Indeed, in 490 of the 1,057 stations the USHCN data was up to 1 C degree colder than the corresponding GHCN data, in 77 stations the data was the same, and in the remaining 490 stations the USHCN data was warmer than the GHCN data.”

Anthony Watts, a meteorologist who has conducted extensive surveys of NOAA temperature recording posts, told in February 2010 that “…90 % of them [surface stations] don’t meet the [government's] old, simple rule called the ’100-foot rule for keeping thermometers 100 feet or more from biasing influence… and we’ve got documentation”.

NOAA and NASA have both received legal Freedom of Information Act requests for unadjusted data and documentation of all adjustments they have made in order to assess the reliability of their reports in keeping with a Data Quality Act requiring that any published data must be able to be replicated by independent audits. And both have resisted these requests despite promises of transparency and the fact that together they receive nearly a billion dollars in direct annual government climate research funding. They are to also receive up to $600 million more from the Recovery Act of 2009.

Christopher Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute has sought NASA GISS records through the FOIA for three years, including documents related to human-caused global climate crisis theory promotions undertaken by federal employees such as those of Gavin Schmidt, a principal blogger with the aggressively global warming activist website. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in August of 2007 and January of 2008, the CEI vs. NASA suit specifically seeks documents related to temperature records that NASA was forced to correct in response to criticism from a leading climate watchdog and nemesis Steve McIntyre. NASA released some documents, arguing that those associated with were “agency records”, and then ceased to comply after admitting that 3,500 emails had been found on Schmidt’s computer.

The American Tradition Institute’s Environmental Law Center also filed a FOIA lawsuit in the federal district court in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. on June 21, 2011 to force NASA to release records that pertain to James Hansen’s outside income-producing activities which have brought him at least $1.2 million in the past four years alone. ATI is seeking documents revealing possible noncompliance with applicable federal ethics and disclosure regulations, and with NASA Rules of Behavior. Hansen’s high profile global warming alarmism and related energy policy statements fall far outside his official Civil Service job role.

Hansen first gained worldwide attention in 1988 following testimony before then-Senator Al Gore’s Committee on Science, Technology and Space when he stated with 99 % certainty that temperatures had in fact increased, and that there had been some greenhouse warming, although he then made no direct connection between the two. This observation was consistent with concerns about a particularly warm summer that year in some U.S. regions.

Over time Hansen’s pronouncements became ever more dramatic. In a Dec. 6, 2005 presentation to the American Geophysical Union he stated that the Earth’s climate was already reaching a tipping point that will result in the loss of Arctic ice as we know it, with sea levels rising as much as 80 feet during this century (40 times higher than even the upper end of the most recent alarmist U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change summary report has projected), thus flooding coastal areas. He warned that this could be halted only if greenhouse gas emissions were reduced within the next 25 years.

In a Jan. 29, 2006, New York Times interview Hansen charged that NASA public relations people had pressured him to allow them to review future public lectures, papers and postings on the GISS website. Yet in January 15, 2009 testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works-Minority Committee, his former boss John S. Theon, retired chief of NASA’s Climate Processes Research Program, took issue with the interference charge, stating: “Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen has embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claim of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress.”

Dr. Theon also testified that: “My own belief concerning anthropogenic [man-made] climate change is that models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit”. He observed: “Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modeled in the observations, nor explain how they did it…this is contrary to the way science should be done.” He then went on to say “Thus, there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy”.

Many members of the newly reconstituted U.S. Congress who are determined to cut non-essential government spending are very likely to agree. Perhaps this circumstance will substantially chill the overheated atmosphere surrounding NASA GISS operations.


Not buying it

By Walter Cunningham, astronaut, Apollo VII, Houston. He has degrees in physics

Regarding "Texas is vulnerable to warming climate" (Page B8, July 10), some opinions are just too over-the-top to resist responding. Professor Andrew Dessler's essay falls in that category.

He makes the point that we had better begin to accept that we are responsible for Texas' very hot summer, and we should get our legislators to begin taking steps to control our temperature.

Typical of these alarmists of human-caused global warming, he cites the opinions of those colleagues who agree with him while not citing one bit of data to support this unproven and unaccepted hypothesis of global warming, first dreamed up about 20 years ago.

Dessler would like for us to stop arguing about the science. That is because the "science" does not support this hypothesis of humans causing global warming. Dessler would rather restrict discussion to the political arena.

One of the strategies climate alarmists now use in their attempt to gain acceptance for an unproven hypothesis is semantics. They have usurped a term that has been used and accepted by everyone for millennia: "climate change." Yes, the climate has been changing forever, sometimes up and sometimes down, and life on our planet has been adjusting to those changes for billions of years, with varying degrees of success.

Dessler maintains "the uniformity of expert opinion that reductions of emissions make sense." What uniformity of opinion? As the historical record shows, our climate is always changing, and on many occasions more than it is today.

Those interested in the truth about human-caused global warming should not just accept the opinions of others (including mine); they should look at the historical data themselves. We can either adjust to the climate as it changes, as we have always done, or we can adjust after wasting billions — no, trillions — of dollars in a hopeless attempt to control the temperature of the Earth.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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