Friday, June 13, 2014
Fired for ‘Diverging’ on Climate: Progressive Professor’s fellowship ‘terminated’ after he called global warming ‘unproved science’
Dr. Caleb Rossiter was “terminated” via email as an “Associate Fellow” from the progressive group Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), following his May 4th, 2014 Wall Street Journal OpEd titled “Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change,” in which he called man-made global warming an “unproved science.” Rossiter also championed the expansion of carbon based energy in Africa. Dr. Rossiter is an adjunct professor at American University. Rossiter holds a PhD in policy analysis and a masters degree in mathematics.
In an exclusive interview with Climate Depot, Dr. Rossiter explained: “If people ever say that fears of censorship for ‘climate change’ views are overblown, have them take a look at this: Just two days after I published a piece in the Wall Street Journal calling for Africa to be allowed the ‘all of the above’ energy strategy we have in the U.S., the Institute for Policy Studies terminated my 23-year relationship with them…because my analysis and theirs ‘diverge.’”
“I have tried to get [IPS] to discuss and explain their rejection of my analysis,’ Rossiter told Climate Depot. “When I countered a claim of ‘rapidly accelerating’ temperature change with the [UN] IPCC’s own data’, showing the nearly 20-year temperature pause — the best response I ever got was ‘Caleb, I don’t have time for this.’”
Climate Depot has obtained a copy of a May 7, 2014 email that John Cavanagh, the director of IPS since 1998, sent to Rossiter with the subject “Ending IPS Associate Fellowship.”
“Dear Caleb, We would like to inform you that we are terminating your position as an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies,” Cavanagh wrote in the opening sentence of the email.
“Unfortunately, we now feel that your views on key issues, including climate science, climate justice, and many aspects of U.S. policy to Africa, diverge so significantly from ours that a productive working relationship is untenable. The other project directors of IPS feel the same,” Cavanagh explained.
Rossiter’s May 4, 2014 Wall Street Journal OpEd pulled no punches. Rossiter, who holds a masters in mathematics, wrote: “I started to suspect that the climate-change data were dubious a decade ago while teaching statistics. Computer models used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to determine the cause of the six-tenths of one degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperature from 1980 to 2000 could not statistically separate fossil-fueled and natural trends.”
His Wall Street Journal OpEd continued: “The left wants to stop industrialization—even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false.” He added: “Western policies seem more interested in carbon-dioxide levels than in life expectancy.”
“Each American accounts for 20 times the emissions of each African. We are not rationing our electricity. Why should Africa, which needs electricity for the sort of income-producing enterprises and infrastructure that help improve life expectancy?
The average in Africa is 59 years—in America it’s 79,” he explained.
Rossiter and IPS seemed a natural fit, given Rossiter’s long history as an anti-war activist. IPS describes itself as “a community of public scholars and organizers linking peace, justice, and the environment in the U.S. and globally. We work with social movements to promote true democracy and challenge concentrated wealth, corporate influence, and military power.
But Rossiter’s credentials as a long-time progressive could not trump his growing climate skepticism or his unabashed promotion of carbon based fuels for Africa.
Rossiter’s website describes him as “a progressive activist who has spent four decades fighting against and writing about the U.S. foreign policy of supporting repressive governments in the formerly colonized countries.”
“I’ve spent my life on the foreign-policy left. I opposed the Vietnam War, U.S. intervention in Central America in the 1980s and our invasion of Iraq. I have headed a group trying to block U.S. arms and training for “friendly” dictators, and I have written books about how U.S. policy in the developing world is neocolonial,” Rossiter wrote in the Wall Street Journal on May 4.
Rossiter’s Wall Street Journal OpEd continued: “The left wants to stop industrialization—even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false. John Feffer, my colleague at the Institute for Policy Studies, wrote in the Dec. 8, 2009, Huffington Post that ‘even if the mercury weren’t rising’ we should bring ‘the developing world into the postindustrial age in a sustainable manner.’ He sees the ‘climate crisis [as] precisely the giant lever with which we can, following Archimedes, move the world in a greener, more equitable direction.”
“Then, as now, the computer models simply built in the assumption that fossil fuels are the culprit when temperatures rise, even though a similar warming took place from 1900 to 1940, before fossil fuels could have caused it. The IPCC also claims that the warming, whatever its cause, has slightly increased the length of droughts, the frequency of floods, the intensity of storms, and the rising of sea levels, projecting that these impacts will accelerate disastrously. Yet even the IPCC acknowledges that the average global temperature today remains unchanged since 2000, and did not rise one degree as the models predicted....
“But it is as an Africanist, rather than a statistician, that I object most strongly to ‘climate justice.’ Where is the justice for Africans when universities divest from energy companies and thus weaken their ability to explore for resources in Africa? Where is the justice when the U.S. discourages World Bank funding for electricity-generation projects in Africa that involve fossil fuels, and when the European Union places a ‘global warming’ tax on cargo flights importing perishable African goods?”
Australian academic slams tyranny of the greens
Professor Ian Plimer has never been renowned for moderation in his opinions about the extremist elements of the green movement and in this book he launches on them in a full-blooded, broken-bottle attack.
In his own words: “What started as a laudable movement to prevent the despoilation of certain areas of natural beauty has morphed into an authoritarian, anti-progress, anti-democratic, anti-human monster.” That Plimer should attack the greens is no surprise. More impressive is the book’s foreword, written by Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, who fully supports Plimer.
He congratulates Plimer for a book that provides a “different . . . and extremely rational look at the agenda of the green movement today”. “In many respects, they have become a combination of extreme political ideology and religious fundamentalism rolled into one,” Moore says.
“There is no better example of this than the fervent belief in human-caused catastrophic climate change.” Moore even rejects the core green belief that carbon dioxide emissions are harmful.
Plimer’s thesis is that the real agenda of green groups (often registered as charities) is nothing less than the destruction of modern civilisation and that a key aim is to kneecap the global energy industry which provides society with electricity. It has always seemed odd that greens are so hostile to a gas which is vital for the life of trees. As a trained geologist, Plimer is well aware that the planet’s climate has been changing since its birth 4½ billion years ago. “If the Earth’s climate did not constantly change, then I would be really worried,” he says.
What he contests is that manmade carbon dioxide has anything much to do with such change. It must be comforting for left-wingers to blame evil industrialists for destroying our planet, but in fact carbon dioxide accounts for only 0.04 per cent of the atmosphere and man-made carbon dioxide accounts for maybe 4 per cent of that, so Plimer regards the proposition as nonsense.
Also, carbon dioxide emissions do not accumulate quickly in the atmosphere.
After five to seven years, they are absorbed by the oceans, trees or rocks. Plimer believes that for scientists to argue that traces of a trace gas can be the driving force for climate change is fraudulent.
WHAT CAUSES CLIMATE CHANGE?
Sceptical scientists do not know what causes climate change but it would seem a complex combination of factors. Plimer believes the atmosphere is merely the medium through which climate change manifests itself and the major driver is “that giant fusion reactor we call the sun”.
He says: “It is quite capable of throwing out immense clouds of hot, ionised gases many millions of kilometres into space, sometimes with drastic effects on both the Earth’s atmosphere and on spacecraft travelling outside the lower atmosphere and the Earth’s protective magnetic shield.” Plimer, who is not renowned for pulling his punches, describes green extremists as hypocritical – “a malevolent unelected group attempting to deconstruct healthy societies that have taken thousands of years to build”.
That may sound extreme, but it’s difficult to find an alternative explanation for the change they have forced upon the Drax power station in Yorkshire.
Drax used to boast it was the largest, cleanest and most efficient coal-fired power station in Europe, generating up to 3960 megawatts. Greens demonstrated against it, saying Drax was the largest carbon dioxide emitter in Europe. So Drax is changing from coal to biomass. Plimer says it intends to import timber from North Carolina for fuel. This is madness, both economically and ecologically. A plant which used to burn 36,000 tonnes of coal a day will instead burn 70,000 tonnes of wood.
Forests will have to be chopped down in North Carolina, which must involve some destruction of native habitats of creatures such as otters and woodpeckers. Habitat destruction kills birds and animals more surely than climate change ever will. The timber will be reduced to pellets in factories fuelled by conventional fuels, then shipped across the Atlantic in diesel-burning boats. Over the 20-year life of the power station, that would involve the destruction of 511 million tonnes of wood.
The energy density of wood is about half that of an equivalent weight of coal, so wood will produce more expensive electricity. Burning wood also releases its stored carbon dioxide.
WIND AND SOLAR POWER UNRELIABLE
The European Environment Agency has ruled that burning wood is carbon neutral because the carbon dioxide will be absorbed over time by the oceans or other trees.
That leaves the EEA in the odd position of believing that a molecule of carbon dioxide emanating from wood behaves differently to a molecule emanating from coal.
The greens, having achieved their aim, have stopped demonstrating although there is a strong argument that the conversion of Drax will make it more, not less, harmful to the planet.
Wind farms and solar power stations are unreliable and totally unable to provide base load electricity.
Plimer gives calculations which show that wind turbines are barely able to generate as much electricity in their lifetime as it takes to make them.
. Even more bizarre was the Spanish solar plant which enjoyed such large subsidies that it could make profits generating electricity at night by shining floodlights on the panels. The floodlights were powered by a diesel generator. These are only three examples of green illogic from a book crammed with them. Plimer has assembled a massive case which needs answers.
Even more bizarre was the Spanish solar plant which enjoyed such large subsidies that it could make profits generating electricity at night by shining floodlights on the panels. The floodlights were powered by a diesel generator. These are only three examples of green illogic from a book crammed with them
It’s Real: GlobalChange.Gov
CS Lewis warned us about men without chests. That is, technocrats who use what Winston Churchill called “the lights of perverted science” to play God without ethics, without morality, without responsibility.
And now they have a website. It's called globalchange.gov.
And they have a legal mandate too, not just to investigate so-called climate change, but to investigate “global change” in general.
“The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP,)” says the website, “was established by Presidential Initiative in 1989 and mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 to ‘assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.’”
And whatever else that open-ended mission statement means, one thing you can be sure of is that the USGCRP will get shriller, more strident and more partisan as the science behind so-called “global change” becomes more damning to their hypothesis.
“Researchers have issued the ‘loudest and clearest alarm bell to date,’” reports Bloomberg, “signaling the need for urgent actions to combat climate change in the U.S., the president's science adviser said May 6. The third and most comprehensive installment of the National Climate Assessment shows that evidence of human-induced climate change is growing stronger as its impacts are increasingly felt across the country.”
Most comprehensive? Yes, and so was Tolstoy’s War and Peace. But then both are only works of fiction.
Still, mainstream media is using globalchange.gov's latest position paper as more thin scientific evidence-- and I use the term sarcastically-- that global warming is already causing great harm to the United States.
The rest of us, they believe, are just too stupid to know it without a website.
The report catalogs a litany of hypotheses, fantasy, wishful thinking and poor science to bolster claims about so-called climate change that have already been proven scientifically incorrect.
For example, the report states that since 1980 hurricanes have become more prevalent, more intense, and probably--it's implied--much more racist.
In fact, scientific evidence and history show just the opposite.
While the so-called climate change models have predicted a vast number of killer hurricanes, and the hurricane predictors year after year have predicted a vast number of killer hurricanes, the predictions have been so far off base that hurricane predictions are even less reliable than NFL draft projections.
This most popularized predicted effect of global warming from the models given us by the climate change clowns-- increased hurricane and tropical storm activity-- was shown conclusively to be without merit in 2011 by a paper produced by the science and operations officer at the National Hurricane Center, Dr. Chris Landsea.
In a work published in late November of 2011 and carefully labeled an “opinion” piece on the site for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration- which is quick to distance itself from the conclusions reached by Landsea-- concludes that “the overall impact of global warming on hurricanes is currently negligible and likely to remain quite tiny even a century from now.”
Landsea is a supporter of the theory of man-caused global warming, but says the models for hurricanes are wrong.
In the rarefied atmosphere of climate politics this deviation was enough to get him labeled as a "climate skeptic," perhaps enough to get him excommunicated as a "climate denier." Landsea resigned from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2005 because he felt it had become politicized and was ignoring the science.
Yet somehow he remains the leading hurricane expert in the US, despite his "shoddy" science.
Landsea attacked three specific datasets that are often used by global warming alarmists to show that the warming of the earth will have terrible consequences for human-kind: 1) the frequency of storms; 2) the intensity of storms and; 3) the economic damage of storms.
In each data subset he showed that apparent increases in storm activity or effect can be ascribed to advances in technology or development that skew the data rather than a real increased frequency or effect of storms.
And that's exactly what you'd expect from CS Lewis's “Men without Chests”-- that is, men without hearts.
You'd expect them to skew the data by using technology and development, and then shining the light of perverted science upon it, with an assist by perverted media, to institute global change, whatever that ‘change’ happens to entail.
But you don’t need to worry about that, they say. They'll tell you what you need to know and when you need to know it,
Because now they have a website, just like they do for all of their other programs. They still, however, don't have hearts.
GM crops in England as soon as next year: Outrage as ministers back first commercial planting
Anti-GM campaigners reacted with fury last night after the Government backed an EU vote that could lead to weedkiller-resistant maize being sowed in England next year.
Other European countries can ban the so-called Frankenstein food after EU ministers said members could opt out of GM planting.
Critics said England’s first commercial GM crops would spell disaster for wildlife and contaminate conventional and organic crops, with ‘catastrophic’ consequences for farmers.
The Government position is also at odds with those of the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, which have opted for a ban.
The EU vote allowing the planting of two types of maize resistant to the weedkiller Roundup was passed by agriculture ministers in Luxembourg, although the European Parliament must approve it.
Dr Helen Wallace, of the campaign group GeneWatch UK, said: ‘The Government has colluded with commercial lobbyists to fast track Roundup Ready GM maize into England, despite the expected harm to British wildlife such as birds and butterflies caused by blanket spraying of these crops.
‘If some farmers in England press ahead with GM cultivation, conventional and organic farmers across the country will face the unnecessary risk of loss of markets due to contamination with GM.’
The Government’s pro-GM stance also flies in the face of public opinion, with most consumers saying they are concerned about the impact of the crops on the countryside, wildlife and their health.
The approval of commercial GM planting has been stalled for ten years because the EU needed all member states to vote for it.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson – the Government’s cheerleader for genetically-modified crops – has been pressing for regulations that allow individual member states to plant them once they have been declared safe by Brussels.
He said the EU decision will fast-track them into farms and supermarkets, adding: ‘This is a real step forward in unblocking the dysfunctional EU process for approving GM crops, which is letting down farmers and stopping scientific development.
‘Farmers will have more power in deciding whether to grow GM crops that have passed a robust, independent safety assessment.’
But Peter Melchett, of organic industry body the Soil Association, said: ‘In future, a committed, pro-GM Secretary of State like Owen Paterson could take the decision to make England a “GM country”, and once that is taken it will be difficult for a future Government to adopt a different position. This will lead to farmers losing export markets to the rest of Europe and most of the rest of the world, which would be catastrophic.’
The EU vote is a victory for multi-national biotech firms, which have spent millions lobbying British ministers and officials to speed up the approval of GM crops. The Government claims there is no risk to humans or the environment.
But European and US research suggests there are health concerns and a threat to wildlife, and warns of the damage from ‘superweeds’ that develop a natural resistance to the pesticides used on GM crops.
Liz O’Neill, director of GM Freeze, said: ‘Even if a country or region does establish a ban, they will find it very difficult to protect their fields and food from contamination if neighbours start growing GM.’
However, the Government said safeguards would be put in place to protect conventional crops from GM contamination.
False Alarms in the Frigid Zone
By Viv Forbes
Alarmists see a man-made calamity in every change in the Antarctic ice cap.
There is nothing unusual about ice caps melting, ice sheets splitting, icebergs calving or glaciers and sea-ice advancing or retreating. This has been happening naturally for eons.
The Antarctic ice comes and goes. In 1513, a Turkish sea captain, Piri Reis, using ancient maps, produced an accurate chart of the coastline of Antarctica which is now covered by a kilometre of ice. Geological evidence suggests it was ice-free just 6,000 years ago. Several past eras of icing and melting follow the natural cycles of the solar system, totally ignoring man’s puny activities.
It is not surprising that most glaciers and ice sheets show melting and calving at sea level while snow is being added at their source. If this did not occur, much of Earth’s water would eventually become tied up in the ever-growing ice sheets (as happened in the Ice Ages). And when land-based ice caps melt during periodic warm eras, the sea level inevitably rises and all life-forms must adapt to the new shoreline.
Sea levels rose swiftly by some 130 metres as ice sheets melted at the end of the latest ice age just 13,000 years ago. This made islands out of many coastal hills. We are all descendants of a long line of survivors who had the sense to adapt to these dramatic sea level changes without needing edicts from climate witch-doctors prohibiting camp fires and ordering villagers to abandon their seaside settlements.
There is no evidence that man’s production of carbon dioxide is having any effect in Antarctica. Despite rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, global surface temperatures are steady, global sea levels are rising very gently and the Antarctic Ocean must be cold because the sea-ice surrounding Antarctica has increased to record levels.
Examination of ice cores suggests that it takes several hundred years for Earth’s vast oceans to fully adjust to cycles of global warming and cooling. Thus today’s oceans may be still warming, expanding and degassing in gradual adjustment to the medieval warm era which peaked about 700 years ago.
Ice caps grow and shrink naturally, depending mainly on the relative temperatures of the atmosphere and the surrounding oceans. A warm ocean with a cold atmosphere is a recipe for rapid accumulation of snow and ice on adjacent land. Moisture evaporates rapidly from the warm ocean, and then the cold air over the land triggers precipitation. A warm atmosphere and a cool ocean will reverse that process and see the ice caps melt and return to the ocean. It is all about the ratio of precipitation vs outflow and melting.
The Arctic is a totally different story, because here, there is no land – just the Arctic Ocean. Floating sea-ice comes and goes, depending on the temperature and direction of winds and ocean currents. However, the melting of floating sea-ice has no effect whatsoever on global sea levels.
The amount of Arctic Sea ice trended down for the 15 years ending 2008, but seems to have stabilised since then. However, it has disappeared in the past and will probably disappear again.
Undersea vulcanism is adding warmth to oceans at both poles and under-ice volcanoes may well be melting and undermining ice sheets in the West Antarctic.
Someday the huge Antarctic ice cap may melt, or large slabs of ice may slip off the continent into the sea. When that happens, the seaside homes of Al Gore and Tim Flannery will be submerged and other shore-dwelling humans must evacuate or drown.
These are all un-stoppable natural events. There is no chance that polar ice will be affected in the slightest by carbon taxes in Australia, wind turbines in the North Sea, or solar panels plastered all over California.
Abolition of Australia's carbon tax now looks set to pass the Australian Senate
There is no doubt that it will pass the lower house and that it will gain Royal assent
Prime Minister Tony Abbott's ''pledge in blood'' to repeal the carbon tax seems all but assured after Clive Palmer put a single condition on his party's support: that all energy savings flow back to consumers.
The government has already tasked the consumer watchdog, with ensuring that energy companies pass on the estimated 9 per cent saving on electricity bills and 7 per cent on gas bills that should result from abolition of the carbon tax.
The Abbott government has promised a $550 a year saving for each household if the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission delivers.
After a tense few weeks in which he has threatened to stymy the government's agenda, Mr Palmer released a statement outlining the price of his party's support.
"If the Palmer United Party senators are to support a repeal of the carbon tax it will be under the proviso that the savings, by law, are transferred into lower energy costs for everyday Australians,'' he said.
"Only on these terms would we support repealing the carbon tax because of the benefits it would offer the people as well as the economy through the abolition of an artificial cost on business which was hampering our international competitiveness."
Mr Palmer's statement made no mention of his previous demand that the carbon tax be repealed retrospectively. Under that scenario, the mining magnate would potentially have been let off the hook for a disputed carbon tax bill of more than $6 million.
The Coalition needs six votes of eight votes from the crossbench to pass legislation through the new Senate from July 1.
Senator-elect Ricky Muir has pledged to vote in tandem with the three members of Palmer United.
NSW senator-elect David Leyonhjelm and Family First's Bob Day are economic dries who have already pledged to back the repeal of the tax, giving the government has the numbers if Mr Palmer is good to his word and satisfied consumers will benefit to the full extent promised.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt welcomed the news saying the government was legislating to guarantee price relief.
A spokesman for Mr Hunt said: ''The independent regulatory authorities are already showing two prices for energy - one with a carbon tax and one without - we know the relief will be there. As [ACCC chairman] Rod Sims said what goes up will come down.''
Greens leader Christine Milne renewed her call for all PUP members to abstain from any vote on the carbon tax due to the potential conflict of interest posed by Mr Palmer's mining riches.
In his statement, Mr Palmer restated his party's opposition to a repeal of the mining tax unless the Abbott government backed down on plans to cut welfare payments to orphans of soldiers killed or badly injured during service.
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
Preserving the graphics: Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere. But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases. After that they no longer come up. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here or here
Posted by JR at 7:25 PM