Wednesday, April 18, 2012

You may be green, but you're full of germs

TRYING to save the environment is having an impact none of us can see - the germs are loving it.

Shunning paper towels and adopting green bags, low-impact household chemicals and cold wash cycles is leaving us awash with bacteria, with tests showing "clean" clothes now contain more germs than those worn by our grandparents.

It is also technically safer to make a sandwich on a toilet seat than the average cutting board, such is the amount of bacteria on kitchen surfaces from preparing raw meat.

Global infection control expert Charles Gerba said debate about exposure to dirt being useful for building immunity often confused cleanliness and good hygiene.

"We now share more spaces with more people than ever before - we are a 'touch' generation. "A hundred years ago we didn't have TV remotes, iPhones and shopping carts," Professor Gerba, also known as America's Dr Germ, said. "But everything you touch, 100 people have touched that day before you and left a trail of germs. "You gamble with germs and it is a matter of trying to keep the odds in your favour."

Professor Gerba said bathrooms were often over-cleaned while kitchen surfaces were sanitised and disinfected far less frequently.

"There is far more faecal bacteria in a kitchen sponge and in a kitchen sink than the toilet. The dirtiest thing is the cutting board. "There is about 200 times more faecal bacteria on the average cutting board than the toilet seat."

The germ load in the laundry is no better. Washing machines are silent germ magnets, swimming in E. Coli that can breed in water left in the base of the drum.

Dr Gerba, in Australia to discuss bacteria control for White King, recommends using a bleach tablet to clean the machine weekly. "Your clothes are far germier than your grandparents were because most people use cold water washes and short wash cycles," he said. "The average wash load has 2-3g of faeces in it."

Using warm cycles and clothes dryers may not be very "green" but they do help to kill the germs, he said. Faecal matter can cause illnesses such as salmonella, gastroenteritis and diarrhoea.

Other bacteria found on household surfaces can lead to skin infections or viruses like colds and flu. Dr Gerba is not a fan of face washers and said they need to be changed every few days.

SOURCE




New analysis finds water vapor is a negative feedback

An utterly central part of Warmist theory is that warming will increase cloudiness and cloudiness will in turn create more warming -- leading to "runaway" warming. Sadly for them, there are now multiple lines of evidence to show that increased cloudiness would cause COOLING, not warming. The latest below -- JR

A prior post explains in simple terms why the runaway greenhouse theory is impossible due to the negative feedback from water vapor. A new analysis by physicist Clive Best of the global 5500 station CRUTEM4 database over the past 111 years comes to the same conclusion: feedback from water vapor is negative.

"the IPCC argues that feedbacks from increased water evaporation will lead to enhanced warming. This is not observed in those regions most effected by water vapour. In fact the opposite seems to be the case implying negative feedback."

His analysis compares the most ARID stations [low humidity/water vapor] with the most WET stations [high humidity/water vapor] and finds that

"There is a clear trend in the data that ARID stations cool faster and warm faster than WET stations." ...

"Water Feedback = - 1.8 +- 0.2 W/m2K-1

Remarkably this is the same value as that derived from a simple argument regarding the Faint Sun paradox see here."

SOURCE





Exploring for gas using fracking gets green light in Britain

Exploring for gas using 'fracking' can continue safely even though it is likely to cause further earthquakes, a Government-commissioned report says. The technique of hydraulic fracturing is used to extract gas from shale rocks – potentially easing the country’s energy problems.

Work was suspended a year ago by the firm Cuadrilla Resources following two small earthquakes at its site in Lancashire.

While the report says these quakes were caused by the drilling, it concludes that further tremors would not be big enough to cause damage because they would not exceed three on the Richter Scale.

Cuadrilla believes there could be enough shale gas at the site to meet Britain’s gas needs for the next 50 years. Even if the firm can extract only a fraction of it, it would still have an impact comparable to the exploitation of North Sea oil.

Yesterday's report was rejected by anti-fracking campaigners who fear bigger earthquakes and the contamination of water supplies.

Fracking involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into shale rock down a 9,000ft deep pipeline at high pressure to release gas.

Cuadrilla hopes to establish at least 800 drilling wells on 80 sites in Lancashire.

With a final decision on fracking to be made by the Department of Energy in six weeks, the report is seen as a crucial step toward what would be the biggest gas-drilling operation in Europe. Exploratory drilling licences have also been handed out in South Wales and Cheshire, with Sussex and Kent next in line.

The report recommends one of the strictest monitoring regimes in the world. Any tremor over 0.5 in magnitude would trigger the removal of the fracking fluid while an investigation is held.

The independent report was carried out by experts from Keele University and the British Geological Survey.

SOURCE





Apocalyptic Daze

Secular elites prophesy a doomsday without redemption

As an asteroid hurtles toward Earth, terrified citizens pour into the streets of Brussels to stare at the mammoth object growing before their eyes. Soon, it will pass harmlessly by—but first, a strange old man, Professor Philippulus, dressed in a white sheet and wearing a long beard, appears, beating a gong and crying: “This is a punishment; repent, for the world is ending!”

We smile at the silliness of this scene from the Tintin comic strip L’√Čtoile Myst√©rieuse, published in Belgium in 1941. Yet it is also familiar, since so many people in both Europe and the United States have recently convinced themselves that the End is nigh. This depressing conviction may seem surprising, given that the West continues to enjoy an unparalleled standard of living. But Professor Philippulus has nevertheless managed to achieve power in governments, the media, and high places generally. Constantly, he spreads fear: of progress, of science, of demographics, of global warming, of technology, of food. In five years or in ten years, temperatures will rise, Earth will be uninhabitable, natural disasters will multiply, the climate will bring us to war, and nuclear plants will explode. Man has committed the sin of pride; he has destroyed his habitat and ravaged the planet; he must atone.

Around the turn of the twenty-first century, a paradigm shift in our thinking took place: we decided that the era of revolutions was over and that the era of catastrophes had begun. The former had involved expectation, the hope that the human race would proceed toward some goal. But once the end of history was announced, the Communist enemy vanquished, and, more recently, the War on Terror all but won, the idea of progress lay moribund. What replaced the world’s human future was the future of the world as a material entity. The long list of emblematic victims—Jews, blacks, slaves, proletarians, colonized peoples—was likewise replaced, little by little, with the Planet, the new paragon of all misery. No longer were we summoned to participate in a particular community; rather, we were invited to identify ourselves with the spatial vessel that carried us, groaning.

How did this change happen? Over the last half-century, leftist intellectuals have identified two great scapegoats for the world’s woes. First, Marxism designated capitalism as responsible for human misery. Second, “Third World” ideology, disappointed by the bourgeois indulgences of the working class, targeted the West, supposedly the inventor of slavery, colonialism, and imperialism. The guilty party that environmentalism now accuses—mankind itself, in its will to dominate the planet—is essentially a composite of the previous two, a capitalism invented by a West that oppresses peoples and destroys the earth. Indeed, environmentalism sees itself as the fulfillment of all earlier critiques. “There are only two solutions,” Bolivian president Evo Morales declared in 2009. “Either capitalism dies, or Mother Earth dies.”

So the planet has become the new proletariat that must be saved from exploitation—if necessary, by reducing the number of human beings, as oceanographer Jacques Cousteau said in 1991. The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, a group of people who have decided not to reproduce, has announced: “Each time another one of us decides to not add another one of us to the burgeoning billions already squatting on this ravaged planet, another ray of hope shines through the gloom. When every human chooses to stop breeding, Earth’s biosphere will be allowed to return to its former glory.” The British environmentalist James Lovelock, a chemist by training, regards Earth as a living organism and human beings as an infection within it, proliferating at the expense of the whole, which tries to reject and expel them. Journalist Alan Weisman’s 2007 book The World Without Us envisions in detail a planet from which humanity has disappeared. In France, a Green politician, Yves Cochet, has proposed a “womb strike,” which would be reinforced by penalties against couples who conceive a third child, since each child means, in terms of pollution, the equivalent of 620 round trips between Paris and New York.

Environmentalism has become a global ideology that covers all of existence—not merely modes of production but ways of life as well. We rediscover in it the whole range of Marxist rhetoric, now applied to the environment: ubiquitous scientism, horrifying visions of reality, even admonitions to the guilty parties who misunderstand those who wish them well. Authors, journalists, politicians, and scientists compete in the portrayal of abomination and claim for themselves a hyper-lucidity: they alone see clearly while others vegetate in the darkness.

One consequence of this certainty is that we begin to suspect that the numberless Cassandras who prophesy all around us do not intend to warn us so much as to condemn us. In classical Judaism, the prophet sought to give new life to God’s cause against kings and the powerful. In Christianity, millenarian movements embodied a hope for justice against a Church wallowing in luxury and vice. But in a secular society, a prophet has no function other than indignation. So it happens that he becomes intoxicated with his own words and claims a legitimacy with no basis, calling down the destruction that he pretends to warn against. You’ll get what you’ve got coming!—that is the death wish that our misanthropes address to us. These are not great souls who alert us to troubles but tiny minds who wish us suffering if we have the presumption to refuse to listen to them. Catastrophe is not their fear but their joy. It is a short distance from lucidity to bitterness, from prediction to anathema.

What is surprising is that the mood of catastrophe prevails especially in the West, as if it were particular to privileged peoples. Despite the economic crises of the last few years, people live better in Europe and the United States than anywhere else, which is why migrants the world over want to come to those places. Yet never have we been so inclined to condemn our societies.

Perhaps the new Green puritanism is nothing but the reaction of a West deprived of its supreme competence, the last avatar of an unhappy neocolonialism that preaches to other cultures a wisdom that it has never practiced. For the last 20 years, non-European peoples have become masters of their own futures and have stopped regarding us as infallible models. They are likely to receive our professions of environmentalist faith with polite indifference. Billions of people look to economic growth, with all the pollution that accompanies it, to improve their condition. Who are we to refuse it to them?

Environmental worry is universal; the sickness of the end of the world is purely Western. To counter this pessimism, we might list the good news of the last 20 years: democracy is making slow progress; more than a billion people have escaped absolute poverty; life expectancy has increased in most countries; war is becoming rarer; many serious illnesses have been eradicated. But it would do little good. Our perception is inversely proportional to reality.

More HERE





Australia: Government should re-examine the climate data

(The article below has four very experienced and knowledgeable co-authors: Bob Carter is a geologist specialising in paleontology and marine geology; David Evans is a computer modeller and was a consultant to the Australian Greenhouse Office, 1999-2005; Stewart Franks is an associate professor of environmental engineering at the University of Newcastle; William Kininmonth headed Australia's National Climate Centre at the Bureau of Meteorology, 1986-98)

TWO recent, widely publicised reports by the government's scientific advisory agencies on climate change have sought to raise alarm yet again about global warming.

With the world having warmed slightly during the late 20th century, CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Climate Commission all advocate that this warming was caused mainly by industrial emissions of carbon dioxide, and that the continuation of emissions unchecked will cause dangerous warming of 3C-4C by 2100.

However, these and other climate agencies are now encountering a public that is increasingly aware of the lack of factual evidence for dangerous warming, and of the speculative nature of the arguments advanced in its favour.

For example, many people now understand that there is no direct evidence that 20th-century warming was caused mostly by carbon dioxide increase; that the late 20th-century warming has been followed by a 15-year temperature standstill in the face of continuing increases in carbon dioxide; and that the models that project alarming future warming are inadequate.

The dangerous warming hypothesis is embodied in the complex climate models that CSIRO and others use to predict the future climate. But when the model predictions are tested against the latest high-quality data from our best instruments, they are seen to have comprehensively failed.

For example, the models predicted increasing global air temperatures (the measured rises have been much less than predicted), increasing ocean temperatures (there has been no change since 2003, when we started measuring it properly with Argo ocean-diving buoys) and the presence of a hot spot caused by humidity and cloud feedback at heights of 8km-12km in the tropical atmosphere (entirely absent).

The last item is especially important because it shows that the crucial amplification assumed by the modellers and which is responsible for two-thirds of the predicted warming (yes, only one-third is directly due to carbon dioxide) simply does not exist.

Finding that the estimated historic increase in carbon dioxide was not enough to cause dangerous warming on its own, the modellers guessed that atmospheric water vapour would amplify, by a factor of three, any initial carbon dioxide-forced warming. That this assumed amplification is present in the models but not in reality explains why the models consistently overestimate recent warming.

What then should our government be making of all this?

Well, the government appears to take advice on global warming and climate change from a wide range of sources, which include the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Australian government agencies (CSIRO, BOM), state-based greenhouse or climate-change bodies, rent- seekers from many university climate-related research groups, business lobby groups and consultants and, finally, large environmental lobby organisations (Australian Conservation Foundation, Greenpeace, WWF). Phew.

The reality is, though, that all of these groups and organisations take their lead from, and support the views of, the IPCC (a political body that is unaccountable to Australian citizens).

Their starting assumption is therefore that human-caused global warming exists, that it is dangerous and that the way to avert the danger is to "decarbonise" the planet. The many agencies and groups giving advice are, in fact, just providing multiple conduits for the same repetitive, alarmist message, which derives ultimately from the same IPCC source.

Since the government's carbon tax legislative package passed the Senate last October, Australian press coverage of the global warming issue has been muted, doubtless partly signifying that there have been few government media releases that address the topic since the Senate decision.

That situation changed with a jolt during the week starting on March 12, when a wide variety of news media carried stories about CSIRO's Cape Grim air pollution monitoring station in Tasmania, followed later in the week by publicity for new reports on global warming by CSIRO/BOM and the Climate Commission.

In effect, the week revealed a co-ordinated and highly successful public relations campaign by three of the organisations involved in giving advice on climate change in Australia, with support and advance knowledge among some media editors and reporters. The aim was to rekindle the fast-fading fear of global warming alarm among the general public.

Very little scientific balance or analysis was provided during this week-long barrage of tired, speculative and highly controversial assertions about supposedly dangerous global warming.

Rather than being a new state of affairs, this assault in favour of warming alarmism by Australian climate agencies follows many similar propaganda blitzes during the past 10 years.

As experienced scientists, we have just completed a detailed assessment of the recent reports, which has been added to the list of earlier independent audits of IPCC and Australian reports at Quadrant Online (Google "global warming: an essential reference").

Our analysis of the "new" reports finds that they provide no evidence that dangerous global warming is occurring; nor that human carbon dioxide emissions will cause such warming in future; nor that recent Australian climate-related events lie outside normal climate variability; nor that reducing carbon dioxide emissions will have any discernible impact on future climate.

Therefore, Australian public policies regarding dangerous climate change, sea-level rise and other climatic hazards are based on inadequate scientific advice, which is shackled to the shortcomings of inadequate computer model projections.

The climate models are incompatible with the measured data. In recent decades the model predictions have significantly exceeded the measured temperature rise. In science, data trumps theory. If data and theory disagree, as they do here, scientists go with the data and revise their hypothesis.

But in politics the opposite is true, for authority figures and political correctness reign supreme. In which context government climate scientists, Western governments and numerous influential lobby groups all strongly support the idea of dangerous global warming, despite the strong contrary evidence.

We conclude that an obvious and urgent need exists for the government to reassess its climate hazard policies. A good starting point would be to implement an unbiased review of the evidence.

SOURCE





Earth Day and the Great "Sustainability" Lie

By Alan Caruba

Americans are paying the hangman for the rope.

It is estimated that since the origin of the global warming hoax in the late 1980s, Americans have seen $50 billion of their dollars thrown down the climate change rat hole.

In a January CNSnews commentary, Elizabeth Harrington noted that “A study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) determined that the United States (has been) funding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations’ authority on alleged man-made global warming, with $31.1 million since 2001, nearly half of the panel’s annual budget.”

“In a Nov. 17, 2011 report, ‘International Climate Change Assessments: Federal Agencies Should Improve Reporting and Oversight of U.S. Funding’, the GAO found that the State Department provided $19 million for administrative and other expenses, while the United States Global Change Research Program provided $12.1 million in technical support through the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSP), averaging an annual $3.1 million to the IPCC over 10 years--$31.1 million so far.”

The forthcoming UN Rio+20 IPCC international conference in June will switch course from the discredited global warming hoax in favor if its fundamental agenda, the imposition of a global government that reflects the UN’s goal of a worldwide socialist economy. The sovereignty of individual nations will be subject to the dictates of a small group of UN bureaucrats.

The theme will be “sustainability.”

There is a reason that the upcoming Earth Day, April 22nd, falls on the birthday of Vladimir Lenin, the former Soviet Union’s first dictator. Everything associated with the environmental movement has communism as its basis.

In February, KPMG, a Swiss entity and “a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services” operating in 152 countries, held a conference that attracted “more than 600 top CEOs and senior business leaders from many of the world’s major corporations.” It was held in cooperation with the United Nations Global Compact, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the United Nationals Environmental Programme. Among those attending were former President Bill Clinton and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

It issued a report, “Business Perspective on Sustainable Growth: Preparing for Rio+20 and offered recommendations “to scale-up investment in sustainable development, provide strong price signals on resource scarcity and environmental impacts” and “deliver new platforms for public-private collaboration at the international and national levels.”

In other words, the UN is laying the groundwork to ensure that its bogus sustainability agenda will offer enough inducements to the global business community to ensnare them in its control.

In an article by Terence Corcoran in the Financial Post, he characterized Rio+20 saying, “It’s as if the high priests of Occupy the Planet and the Green Apocalypse—having run their old socialist and environmental engines into the ground—have stumbled across a new set of rationalizations and slogans.”

As if the Obama administration hasn’t wasted billions on its green energy agenda, funding one failed renewable energy company after another, the White House Council on Environmental Quality announced in March that it will sponsor its third annual “GreenGov” Symposium September 24-26 in Washington, D.C.

“The Symposium will bring together leaders from government, the private sector, non-profits and academia to identify opportunities to create jobs, grow clean energy industries, and curb pollution by incorporating sustainable practices into the Federal Government’s operations.” If this wasn't so ludicrous, I'd laugh, but these are the lies the Obama administration wants you to believe.

And people wonder why President Obama killed the Keystone XL pipeline, imposed an illegal moratorium on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and his administration has issued fewer leases for the exploration and extraction of oil on federal lands than any other.

Throw in the Environmental Protection Agency’s war on the coal industry, and the Interior Department’s limits on access to federal land known to contain uranium deposits for the nuclear energy industry, and you begin to see how our own government is conspiring to leave the United States of America bereft of the energy reserves that we have in abundance!

The nation’s energy needs and its dollar are being weakened in order to eliminate it as the only real deterrent to the United Nation’s, Russia’s and China’s global ambitions.

The Earth has not warmed in fourteen years and it is not running out of energy reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas.

As the global warming hoax is shelved, the sustainability hoax is being rolled out and will be on full display June 20-22 in Rio de Janeiro conference when the usual suspects and charlatans gather to plot the continuation of their socialist revolution.

There is not one single reason why the U.S. taxpayer should be contributing to this communist cabal and conference.

SOURCE

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