Monday, November 21, 2011

Another heavy-duty coverup

These coverups are a work of desperation. Warmists must know that coverups show them in an extremely bad light. Below is a brief comment by Bishop Hill on some Warmist corruption by the BBC and Cambridge university. You can read the University's desperate attempts to keep the matter under wraps here. They were even willing to break the law if they could get away with it.

Even curiouser is that the Daily Mail article His Grace refers to seems now to have been pulled -- doubtless after threats of legal action. They acted too late however. Copies of the article are all over the blogosphere. For reader convenience I reproduce it immediately below His Grace's comment. I downloaded it direct from the DM within hours of its being published

David Rose at the Mail on Sunday has a long article about the Cambridge Media and Environment Programme, the seminars set up by Roger Harrabin and Joe Smith to inform BBC editorial policy. I get a mention
[Joe Smith's] opinion, which he sets out on his website, is that ‘everyday human activity – moving, eating, keeping warm or cool – is gently stoking a slow-boil apocalypse’. He calls climate change ‘one of the challenges of the age’ and urges the world to take radical action. A Freedom of Information Act disclosure obtained by Andrew Montford, who writes the climate-change blog Bishop Hill, reveals that the Tyndall Centre provided £5,000 a year for three years from 2002.

The BBC has given Rose a response to the article as follows:
‘The BBC is aware of the funding arrangements for the Real World seminars. They have been considered against our editorial guidelines and raised no issues about impartiality for the BBC or its output.

When you think about it, this is pretty amazing.

BBC editorial policy can be decided by a bunch of environmentalists sitting round a table with senior BBC decision-makers and this raises no issues about impartiality?

UEA can fund the private activity of a BBC journalist and this raises no issues about impartiality either?



BBC's Mr Climate Change accepted £15,000 in grants from university rocked by global warning scandal

A senior BBC journalist accepted £15,000 in grants from the university at the heart of the ‘Climategate’ scandal – and later went on to cover the story without declaring an interest to viewers.

Roger Harrabin, the BBC’s ‘environment analyst’, used the money from the University of East Anglia’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research to fund an ‘ad hoc’ partnership he ran with a friend.

Mr Harrabin, an influential figure who both broadcasts and advises other BBC journalists, later reported extensively about Climategate. The scandal erupted two years ago when emails were leaked from the Tyndall Centre’s sister department, the Climatic Research Unit at the same university.

The leaks left the scientific community in dis-array after claims that key data was manipulated in the run-up to a major climate change summit.

An official inquiry later found that although there had been no scientific fraud, there was ‘a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness, both on the part of CRU scientists and on the part of the UEA’.

In none of Mr Harrabin’s reports on the subject were the grants that he and his friend Dr Joe Smith had received from UEA ever mentioned. However, BBC insiders claim that the use to which the money was put – annual Real World seminars for top BBC executives on issues including climate change – had a significant impact on the Corporation’s output.

‘The seminars organised by Roger and his friend were part of a process which has effectively stifled all debate within the BBC about man-made global warming,’ said one senior journalist. ‘As far as the high-ups are concerned, the science is settled.’

Last night, Mr Harrabin insisted he does not derive any personal financial benefit from the grants and that far from making him more sympathetic to UEA, the sponsorship – of which the BBC had been aware – ‘made me doubly determined to investigate Climategate. If I had been misled by UEA I wanted to be among the first to know’.

In none of Mr Harrabin’s reports on the subject were the grants that he and his friend Dr Joe Smith had received from UEA ever mentioned.

He added: ‘The funding from the Tyndall Centre came long before Climategate. And I was forensic in exposing it. So any suggestion that I was biased or soft on Climategate in any way is completely untrue as demonstrated by my reporting.

‘I was praised by the world’s leading climate sceptics for my reporting. Those seminars – for which I received no personal gain – included contributions from sceptics.”

He said his report into the subsequent inquiry into Climategate, led by Lord Oxburgh, was praised for its ‘forensic impartiality’.

Disclosure of the payments to Mr Harrabin’s private partnership comes in the wake of a damning report last week by the BBC Trust Editorial Standards Committee.

It revealed ‘sponsored’ documentaries on environmental issues, whose production costs had been met by ‘non-commercial’ bodies such as the UN Environmental Programme, have been shown frequently on the BBC World news channel without viewers being made properly aware of their funding.

Trust investigators discovered that of a sample of 60 sponsored programmes broadcast between February and July this year, a total of 15 breached the BBC’s editorial guidelines.

The investigators said some of the breaches involved direct conflicts of interests – with the funders being the subjects of the programmes they were paying for – and that others failed to observe BBC rules on telling viewers where the programme budget had come from.

Two films in the latter category, part of BBC World’s Earth Reporters series, had Dr Smith as their chief scientific adviser. He is a climate change specialist at the Open University.

He said yesterday that the Open University sought to ensure that the programmes they co-produced were factually accurate, but beyond the usual formally agreed acknowledgement of the university, programme credits were the ‘concern of the BBC’. Dr Smith agreed with the Trust’s conclusions on the matter.

However, it is clear that sponsored programmes about the environment of the type the Trust now deplores have been made on a huge scale for years.

Almost all the £1.4 million annual income of TVE, the production company behind the Earth Reporters series, comes from non-commercial bodies, including the EU, UN agencies and campaign groups such as WWF, which co-founded the company 27 years ago. Jenny Richards, TVE’s deputy chief executive, said the firm had made ‘hundreds’ of programmes for the BBC, and described the Trust’s criticisms as a ‘slap on the wrist’.

The Trust has demanded sweeping changes to the BBC’s commissioning process, and the Corporation has agreed that from now on programmes sponsored by non-commercial bodies will be forbidden. Those from independent production companies will be scrutinised for possible conflicts of interest.

Dr Smith has acted as a scientific consultant to dozens of other BBC programmes, including high-profile documentaries about climate change fronted by Sir David Attenborough.

A Trust spokeswoman said: ‘Anything that affects the trust of viewers is a serious matter and the steps we are taking to prevent it from happening in future are very clear.’

Mr Harrabin’s partnership with Dr Smith – the Cambridge Media Environment Programme (CMEP) – began in 1996. That was when Mr Harrabin spent a sabbatical at Cambridge University, where Dr Smith was working at the time.

From then until 2009 they organised their seminars, which Dr Smith described as an ‘ad hoc’ arrangement. ‘It was just a light touch thing. These were occasional seminars held in an academic environment that brought a diverse mix of research, business and policy people together with media people,’ he said.

While Dr Smith was paid less than £5,000 for organising each conference, Mr Harrabin did not benefit financially. Dr Smith added that people with dissenting views on climate change were represented, and the purpose of the events was to encourage reflective thinking away from the pressure of deadlines.

His own opinion, which he sets out on his website, is that ‘everyday human activity – moving, eating, keeping warm or cool – is gently stoking a slow-boil apocalypse’. He calls climate change ‘one of the challenges of the age’ and urges the world to take radical action. A Freedom of Information Act disclosure obtained by Andrew Montford, who writes the climate-change blog Bishop Hill, reveals that the Tyndall Centre provided £5,000 a year for three years from 2002.

The centre’s newsletter said then it was giving CMEP the money ‘because we share its commitment to the effective communication of climate change information to increase knowledge and inspire discussion and debate in society’.

In addition to the Tyndall Centre, the CMEP received funding from energy giant BG, HSBC, Vivendi, the Bowring Trust and the WWF.

Dr Smith has acted as a scientific consultant to dozens of other BBC programmes, including high-profile documentaries about climate change fronted by Sir David Attenborough.

He was also involved in the BBC2 drama series Burn Up, in which a central character argued that the world had only five years to save itself before global warming became irreversible.

A BBC spokeswoman said: ‘The BBC is aware of the funding arrangements for the Real World seminars. They have been considered against our editorial guidelines and raised no issues about impartiality for the BBC or its output.’


Physical analysis shows CO2 is a COOLANT for the atmosphere

The author below, Dr. J. Cao, is an expert on heat measurement. He is Australian Councillor for the International Confederation for Thermal Analysis & Calorimetry and member of the International Advisory Board for the first Beijing International Huaxia Conference on Thermal Analysis & Calorimetry

There is a fallacy dominating the way of our thinking in current climate research that radiative gases such as carbon dioxide and water vapour are regarded greenhouse gases that trap heat and warm up the atmosphere. Physics analysis of carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen molecules, however, tells a different story: carbon dioxide is cooler than, gains heat by molecular collision from, and dissipates heat by radiation for nitrogen and oxygen. Indeed, CO2 is a coolant of the atmosphere, and it is nitrogen and oxygen gases that award the Earth a warm liveable near surface atmosphere.

The physical principle behind the analysis lies in the Kirchhoff’s law of 19th century radiation physics, which can be restated in plain English as: an object that absorbs emits and an object that emits absorbs. Absorption and emission are two inseparable equivalent identities of the same physical essence. Carbon dioxide absorbs infrared therefore it emits as well thermal radiation. Nitrogen and oxygen do not absorb, therefore do not emit. CO2 approaches 0 K because of its emission if there is no radiation source; absorption of the thermal radiation from the earth ground surface rises CO2 temperature from -273.15°C to -78°C only. CO2 gains heat by colliding with warmer nitrogen and oxygen to rise its temperature further, which can be measured by spectroscopy.

We will have a better understanding of the physical principle if one notices that a computer case is often designed black. This is because a black surface emits more heat out so the computer will be cooler. On the other hand, an industrial boiler is usually painted silver to reduce thermal emission to reserve heat.

With this alternative interpretation, we have a better explanation of the temperature-altitude profile of the atmosphere; in particular, a better explanation of the existence of the thermosphere where the molecular temperature of residual oxygen gas is well above 100°C ¾ CO2 gas is sorted out in the thermosphere due to its heavier molecular weight.

A PDF file of the full manuscript entitled “Role of heat reservation of N2 and O2 and the role of heat dissipation of CO2 and water vapour” is available to download if interested.


Acting ‘Green’ Is Now More Important Than Helping Environment

As environmentalism has become more trendy, the value of appearing green is now more important than helping the environment, argues Todd Myers in a new book called “Eco-Fads.” He spoke at Heritage this week and joined us for Scribecast.

Myers cited the Obama administration’s $535 million Solyndra scandal as a high-profile example of how environmentalism is actually harming the environment. Myers noted that solar panels are among the worst performing as far as reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

“Waste of money is waste of resources,” Myers said. “And anybody who believes in the free market … is against the waste of resources. That’s the power of the free market because it does more with less. That is also at the heart of environmentalism — doing more with less. And yet so many environmentalists on the left see those two things at antithetical.”

Myers’ book includes many examples of eco-fads. One of the most egregious is the explosion of green buildings, particularly in his home state of Washington. Politicians there even mandated that construction of new schools be built to “green” standards such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

But after conducting research using the government’s own data, Myers found that the new “green” schools consumed more energy. Those schools cost more to build and have not delivered on the benefits politicians promised.


Prince Philip dismisses wind farms as 'a useless disgrace' and says people who back them believe in a 'fairy tale'

Prince Philip has launched an outspoken attack on wind farms, branding them ‘absolutely useless’. In comments that put him sharply at odds with the Government, the Prince reportedly said the farms were a ‘disgrace’ and they would never work. He also described people who backed them as believing in a ‘fairy tale’.

The Prince’s views will be welcomed by critics who say the wind turbines, which can be up to 300ft tall, are noisy, spoil the countryside and drive up energy bills.

But the Government is determined to increase the proportion of electricity produced by the turbines as part of its environmentally friendly energy policies.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne last month denounced opponents of the plans as ‘curmudgeons and fault-finders’ and praised the turbines as ‘elegant’ and ‘beautiful’.

There are currently 3,421 turbines in Britain – 2,941 of them onshore. A further 4,500 are planned over the next few years. The Prince is said to have voiced his views in a private conversation with an executive for a leading wind farm company at a recent reception in London.

According to today’s Sunday Telegraph, he told Esbjorn Wilmar, managing director of Infinergy, a firm that builds and operates turbines, that they were over-reliant on subsidies.

The newspaper quoted Mr Wilmar as saying: ‘He said they were absolutely useless, completely reliant on subsidies and an absolute disgrace. He said, “You don’t believe in fairy tales, do you?” ‘He said that they would never work as they need back-up capacity. I was surprised by his very frank views.’

It was disclosed last year that electricity customers are paying an average of £90 a year to subsidise wind farms and other forms of renewable energy as part of a Government scheme to meet carbon-reduction targets.

Mr Wilmar said one of the main reasons the Duke thought onshore wind farms to be ‘a very bad idea’ was their reliance on such subsidies.

The financial incentives being offered to green energy developers have led landowners – including the Duke of Gloucester, the Queen’s cousin – to look to build wind farms on their estates.

Prince Philip said he would never consider allowing his land to be used for turbines and complained about their impact on the countryside.

Mr Wilmar said: ‘He said he thought that they’re not nice at all for the landscape.’

The Duke’s comments echo the views of his son Prince Charles, who has refused to have any built on his Duchy of Cornwall land.

However, while they are opposed to onshore wind farms, the Royal Family stands to earn millions of pounds from those placed offshore.

Last year, the Crown Estate, the £7 billion land and property portfolio, approved an increase in the number of sites around the coast of England. The Crown Estate owns almost all of the seabed off Britain’s 7,700-mile coastline. Experts predict the growth in offshore wind farms could be worth £250 million a year.

Buckingham Palace said it did not comment on private conversations.


Left/Big-Green Agenda Abuses Working Poor

Democrats and their progressive allies claim to be champions of both the working poor and the environment. But that is impossible because the Big Green agenda isn’t compatible with the needs of the least among us.

Current state and national energy policy is simply cruel. It reflects an emotionally and financially abusive relationship where the left tells those at the lowest end of socioeconomic spectrum that “we are the only ones who love you” while favoring wealthy environmentalists, crony capitalists, and crony philanthropists at the expense of the impoverished.

The infamous Department of Energy loan program has provided nearly $36 billion in taxpayer guaranteed loans for the purpose of mitigating “the financing risks associated with building out commercial-scale clean energy projects” for some of the world’s wealthiest corporations including Goldman Sachs, Ford, and Nissan.

Let’s face it; the Big Green industry has a lot more money to donate to political campaigns than the poor. The relationship between political donations on the left and taxpayer subsidized loans to wealthy Big Green investors such as Pat Stryker (Abound Solar) and George Kaiser (Solyndra) has been well documented.

Add in renewable energy mandates and ask what do taxpayers and electricity consumers get for their “investment” in the Big Green agenda? While wealthy Big Green investors get richer, the rest of us get more debt, failing companies, and higher energy costs, which certainly doesn’t help the unemployed or the working poor.

Poverty rates rising

Several weeks ago the U.S. Census Bureau released data showing an additional 2.6 million Americans fell below the poverty line last year, forcing up the poverty rate from 14.3 percent in 2009 to 15.1 percent in 2010.

Currently, more than 46 million Americans live below the government-defined poverty line of $22,314 in income per year for a family of four and $11,139 for an individual.

CNN Money quoted Paul Osterman, author of "Good Jobs America," and a labor economist at MIT, “The results are not surprising given the economy. You would expect with so many people unemployed, the poverty rate would go up. It's just another sign of what a difficult time this is for so many people.”

A recent study from the liberal Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute titled “The State of Working Colorado” sounded the alarm bells reporting that from 2000 to 2009 “experienced the fasted growth in child poverty in the country…nearly on in five kids in Colorado are in poor families, and more than one-third live in families with incomes of less than twice the Federal Poverty Level.”

In addition, Colorado, home of the New Energy Economy and an aggressive renewable energy mandate, now has 40,000 fewer jobs than in 2000 with 900,000 more residents, the highest rates of unemployment in 28 years, and the median salary remains at the same level it was in 2000. The wage gap is considerable between black and Hispanic households, which make $20,000 less than the state’s median household income of $54,000.

The Big Green agenda obviously hasn’t helped job creation in Colorado.

Set aside for a moment arguments about whether or not the “war on poverty” is an effective way to help the poor and consider this: Why advance energy policy that makes it more difficult for Americans to make ends meet?

The Cost of Renewable Portfolio Standards

As Michael Sandoval and I reported last week on these pages, 24 states and the District of Columbia have Renewable Portfolios Standards (RPS) that mandate a percentage of electric power come from “renewable” sources such as wind and solar by a certain date. Maine claims the highest standard at 40 percent followed closely by California at 33 percent and Colorado at 30 percent.

Despite the claims of green advocates, Renewable Portfolio Standards are costly to consumers, taxpayers, and the economy. Taxpayer subsidies to uber-rich corporations such as Goldman Sachs and billionaire investors such as Pat Stryker are one thing, but most devastating is what they do to energy costs and the economy.

A study from the American Tradition Institute (ATI), which is legally challenging Colorado’s RPS, found that the RPS costs to both the economy and consumers are enormous. Using economic modeling, ATI estimated a low, average, and high cost for the state’s RPS and found:

* From 2011 to 2020, the RPS “will cost Colorado citizens an additional $11.78 billion over conventional power.”

* By 2020, the RPS will force working families to an average of $337 more per year.

* By 2020, the RPS will cost commercial businesses an average of $2,360 per year.

* By 2020, the RPS will cost industrial businesses an average of $43,367 per year.

And the increased energy prices will have a huge impact on the economy.

* By 2020 “Colorado will lose an average of 18,380 jobs.”

* Wages will be reduced by an average of $1,269 per worker.

* Total “annual real disposable income will fall by $1.87 billion.

(Full disclosure: I am a media fellow with American Tradition Institute)

Jobs will be harder to find, wages will decline, and the cost of energy will go up. The cost for goods and services that use electricity for production (just about everything) will also increase. The result, Coloradans will have less money to spend on everything from groceries to child care to school supplies. Those on the lowest end of the socioeconomic spectrum, including minorities and female-headed households, will feel this most acutely.

Colorado is just one of 24 states and the District of Columbia that have an RPS. ATI has done cost studies on other states as well including Montana, New Mexico, and Delaware. Depending on the level of RPS, your state could fare better or worse.

Make no mistake; the Big Green lobby would love nothing more than a national renewable energy standard. The New York Times reported in February 2009, that after getting the “stimulus package of their dreams, packed with tax credits and grants and loan programs intended to restart their industry,” environmentalists were turning their attention to a national RPS of 25 percent by 2025.

According to the Big Green lobby, “in spite of the new tax credits, some renewable sources, especially solar, still cost more than conventional sources of electricity like coal or natural gas. So a mandate to build more solar arrays and wind farms in theory would speed things along.”

So they acknowledge that even with all the taxpayer subsidies, renewables are still too expensive. Why should wealthy environmentalists care about the working poor? If it only saved one Arapahoe snowfly, wouldn’t it be worth it?

Big Philanthropy versus working poor

The Renewable Portfolio Standard is crucial to the Big Green agenda, which blames man made global warming for destroying the planet. The only way to save it is to rid the world of fossil fuels and replace them with renewables, thereby reducing the amount of carbon emissions.

Global warming alarmists have employed animated images of polar bears drowning and fake “hockey stick” graphs to advance their pet energy sources such as solar and wind, which are neither green nor clean, but that’s not important.

The poster child for wealthy environmentalists is the non-profit World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and it’s cute panda bear logo. The global warming alarmist behemoth boasts operating funds of $224.2 million, a 1.3 percent increase over the prior year. WWF spent $300,000 in 2009 lobbying Congress to address global warming and support renewable energy according to Open Secrets.

WWF pays it’s top 15 employees $3,652,220 in total compensation; that’s an average of $243,481, more than ten times the U.S. poverty level for a family of four.

Global warming critic Christopher Booker exposed WWF’s real agenda (hint: not necessarily the environment) in a March 2010 column. Regarding a program to preserve the Amazon rain forest, Booker wrote:

“[A] hidden agenda of the scheme to preserve this chunk of the forest was to allow the WWF and its partners to share the selling of carbon credits worth $60 billion, to enable firms in the industrial world to carry on emitting CO2 just as before, more than a few eyebrows might be raised. The idea is that credits representing the CO2 locked into this particular area of jungle – so remote that it is not under any threat – should be sold on the international market, allowing thousands of companies in the developed world to buy their way out of having to restrict their carbon emissions. The net effect would simply be to make the WWF and its partners much richer while making no contribution to lowering overall CO2 emissions.”


The relationship between the left and the Big Green lobby has served both very well, as the money has flowed freely between them.

But how does the left successfully lays claim to champion of the downtrodden at the same time? The Big Green agenda energy policy enriches the wealthiest non-profits, investors, and corporations at the expense of taxpayers, consumers, and those at the lowest end of the socioeconomic spectrum.

The obvious hypocrisy leaves me wondering why the working poor, minorities, or female head of households would ever cast a vote for such a cruel policy that perpetuates their own economic challenges.

When the abusive relationship is exposed, we can’t even get an apology from Energy Secretary Steven Chu.



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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