Sunday, October 31, 2004


Excerpts from a statement by Prof. Zbigniew Jaworowski, Chairman, Scientific Council of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Warsaw, Poland

I am a Professor at the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection (CLOR) in Warsaw, Poland, a governmental institution, involved in environmental studies. CLOR has a "Special Liaison" relationship with the US National Council on Radiological Protection and Measurements (NCRP). In the past, for about ten years, CLOR closely cooperated with the US Environmental Protection Agency, in research on the influence of industry and nuclear explosions on pollution of the global environment and population. I published about 280 scientific papers, among them about 20 on climatic problems. I am the representative of Poland in the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), and in 1980 - 1982 I was the chairman of this Committee.

Great experience with ice-cores

For the past 40 years I was involved in glacier studies, using snow and ice as a matrix for reconstruction of history of man-made pollution of the global atmosphere. A part of these studies was related to the climatic issues. Ice core records of CO2 have been widely used as a proof that, due to man's activity the current atmospheric level of CO2 is about 25% higher than in the pre-industrial period. These records became the basic input parameters in the models of the global carbon cycle and a cornerstone of the man-made climatic warming hypothesis. These records do not represent the atmospheric reality, as I will try to demonstrate in my statement.

Deep ice cores inconclusive

Determinations of CO2 in polar ice cores are commonly used for estimations of the pre-industrial CO2 atmospheric levels. Perusal of these determinations convinced me that glaciological studies are not able to provide a reliable reconstruction of CO2 concentrations in the ancient atmosphere. This is because the ice cores do not fulfill the essential closed system criteria. One of them is a lack of liquid water in ice, which could dramatically change the chemical composition the air bubbles trapped between the ice crystals. This criterion, is not met, as even the coldest Antarctic ice (down to -73oC) contains liquid water[2]. More than 20 physico-chemical processes, mostly related to the presence of liquid water, contribute to the alteration of the original chemical composition of the air inclusions in polar ice.... This is why the records of CO2 concentration in the gas inclusions from deep polar ice show the values lower than in the contemporary atmosphere, even for the epochs when the global surface temperature was higher than now.

Shallow ice-core data fudged

The data from shallow ice cores, such as those from Siple, Antarctica, are widely used as a proof of man-made increase of CO2 content in the global atmosphere, notably by IPCC. These data show a clear inverse correlation between the decreasing CO2 concentrations, and the load-pressure increasing with depth. The problem with Siple data (and with other shallow cores) is that the CO2 concentration found in pre-industrial ice from a depth of 68 meters (i.e. above the depth of clathrate formation) was "too high". This ice was deposited in 1890 AD, and the CO2 concentration was 328 ppmv, not about 290 ppmv, as needed by man-made warming hypothesis. The CO2 atmospheric concentration of about 328 ppmv was measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii as later as in 1973, i.e. 83 years after the ice was deposited at Siple. An ad hoc assumption, not supported by any factual evidence, solved the problem: the average age of air was arbitrary decreed to be exactly 83 years younger than the ice in which it was trapped. The "corrected" ice data were then smoothly aligned with the Mauna Loa record, and reproduced in countless publications as a famous "Siple curve". Only thirteen years later, in 1993, glaciologists attempted to prove experimentally the "age assumption", but they failed.

Other evidence shows HIGH carbon dioxide in pre-modern times

The notion of low pre-industrial CO2 atmospheric level, based on such poor knowledge, became a widely accepted Holy Grail of climate warming models. The modelers ignored the evidence from direct measurements of CO2 in atmospheric air indicating that in 19th century its average concentration was 335 ppmv. In Figure 2 encircled values show a biased selection of data used to demonstrate that in 19th century atmosphere the CO2 level was 292 ppmv. A study of stomatal frequency in fossil leaves from Holocene lake deposits in Denmark, showing that 9400 years ago CO2 atmospheric level was 333 ppmv, and 9600 years ago 348 ppmv, falsify the concept of stabilized and low CO2 air concentration until the advent of industrial revolution.

Improper manipulation of data, and arbitrary rejection of readings that do not fit the pre-conceived idea on man-made global warming is common in many glaciological studies of greenhouse gases. In peer reviewed publications I exposed this misuse of science. Unfortunately, such misuse is not limited to individual publications, but also appears in documents of national and international organizations. For example IPCC not only based its reports on a falsified "Siple curve", but also in its 2001 report used as a flagship the "hockey curve" of temperature, showing that there was no Medieval Warming, and no Little Ice Age, and that the 20th century was unusually warm. The curve was credulously accepted after Mann et al. paper published in NATURE magazine. In a crushing criticism, two independent groups of scientists from disciplines other than climatology (i.e. not supported from the annual pool of many billion "climatic" dollars), convincingly blamed the Mann et al. paper for the improper manipulation and arbitrary rejections of data.

More here


In July, Greens senator Bob Brown proposed dispatching Australian troops to halt the genocide taking place in the Sudanese province of Darfur. In theory, that's fine and dandy. But in practice, a problem may arise from the fact that a Green Australia would have precious little with which to intervene.

The most casual study of the Greens' platform on "Peace and Security" reveals that in essence, the party's senators, Brown and Kerry Nettle (NSW), believe the best defence is no defence at all. The Greens proclaim the "demilitarisation of the South-East Asia-Pacific region" is their "short-term target". And they propose to kick things off by reducing "the level of defence spending and redirecting the savings to vital social and environmental programs". In other words, Brown wants to further squeeze an already modest Australian Defence Force to fund "investigations of options for the regulated supply of social drugs such as ecstasy in controlled environments", as the Greens outlined in their "Drugs, Substance Abuse and Addiction" policy.

Instead of maintaining a highly trained, well-armed military, the Greens would defend Australia through "a comprehensive strategy of non-violent conflict management". Nettle would sooner dispatch the "Love Boat" to deal with a terrorist threat than an RAN frigate. The Greens do not appear to comprehend that there is no such thing as Santa Claus in international affairs.

Moreover, after Nettle got through with the defence budget, whatever remained of the armed forces would be more subservient to the United Nations than to the Commonwealth of Australia. This is what the Greens mean by "maintaining an Australian military defence based upon a wide definition of security". But, while any such definition might be a mile wide, it would only be an inch deep.

And what about the war against al-Qaeda? The Greens "reject the US-led 'war on terrorism' as a cover for the promotion of US interests rather than an effective anti-terrorist strategy". To the extent that they want to combat terrorism at all, Brown and Nettle advocate treating Osama bin Laden as a criminal justice issue rather than a national security problem. Never mind that this was how Bill Clinton tried and failed to handle al-Qaeda during his presidency.

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Saturday, October 30, 2004


Even the BBC is now admitting that there are natural causes of global warming

"Plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions produced by industry are to be scaled back by the government, a move branded by green groups as a "major climbdown". Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will now be capped at 756m tonnes over the next three years - up from of 736m tonnes. Environment secretary Margaret Beckett said the earlier figure, set in May, could have devastated industry.

The targets are part of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme which begins on 1 January 2005. Under the scheme, each EU country is allocated a target for CO2 emissions, and different sectors of industry -for example factories and power plants - are given "pollution permits" for the amount they can emit. These can be bought and sold on the open market.

In May, the government submitted the National Allocation Plan to the European Commission in readiness for 2005. Now the new rules will have to go back to the commission for approval.

Mrs Beckett said the change reflected new forecasts of energy demand, revised once it became clear the UK would need more than detailed in May. The government wanted to make the new emissions trading a success without damaging industrial competitiveness, said Mrs Beckett. "The fact of the matter is that we as a government were faced with a genuine and real dilemma, " she said. "Projections suggested that if we stuck with the original formula, it would have had a devastating effect on our industry. "None of us wanted to do that, but all of us wanted to get the emissions trading scheme off the ground." Mrs Beckett said the UK was still "on course" to meet it carbon dioxide reduction targets set in the Kyoto Protocol, though CO2 levels had "started to go up again", despite a reduction since Labour came into power. "But that has happened all over the Northern Hemisphere, " she said.

The move has angered opposition parties and environmentalists, who have dubbed the move a massive climbdown. Scientists believe carbon dioxide - released through industry, agriculture and the burning of fossil fuels - is exacerbating natural climate change.

More here


High prices at the pump are finally giving oil companies the incentive to make long --and expensive-- bets to find new supplies. No one is going deeper than ChevronTexaco. The bad news for oil consumers is that global demand has been growing at 1.5% a year over the past five years, while production capacity has been inching ahead at 0.2%. That squeeze all but wiped out the industry's spare capacity and caused a spike in prices. The good news is that the zooming prices have gotten the attention of oil producers.

Outside the Middle East, West Africa and parts of Russia, most of the easily accessible reservoirs have been sucked nearly dry. Extraction and development costs in North America have rocketed to $11 per barrel from $5 in 1999, and in Europe to $18 per barrel from $11 over the same period. New reserves are much tougher to find and must be pried loose from wily dictators or from deposits deep under the ocean bed or in sandpits--and that costs big bucks. "The prospects are few and far between," says Louis Gagliardi, an oil analyst with John S. Herold Inc. in Norwalk, Conn. "Oil companies have to run hard and run fast just to stay in place."

At $20 a barrel, anyway. The prospects for long bets look a whole lot better at $34, which is where the five-year-out futures contracts are settling. "There's plenty of oil, but the costs of developing major new reserves in hard-to-get-to places are 100% higher than a decade ago," says analyst George Gaspar at Robert W. Baird. "High price is the incentive for these guys to step up to the plate." At the right price, there is a lot of oil. The Department of Energy estimates the amount of fluid hydrocarbons remaining in the Earth's crust is the equivalent of 7.6 trillion barrels of oil. That figure includes natural gas and tar sands. It's enough oil and gas to last 170 years.

Until the spike in prices, the Big Five were spending $47 billion a year on exploration and production--and getting less and less per dollar spent. ExxonMobil, the colossus among titans, shells out $12 billion a year on E&P and hasn't been able to grow beyond 4.2 million barrels a day for five years. At the bottom of the heap, ChevronTexaco of San Ramon, Calif. will invest $6.4 billion this year, but will still suffer a 4% decline in production. "I do worry about supply," says David O'Reilly, ChevronTexaco's chief executive. "I see upward pressure on demand in an economically developing world." In China--at 6.3 million barrels a day now the second-largest consumer of oil on the planet after the U.S.--energy use will probably double by 2020, says O'Reilly. Worldwide energy demand, driven by the population growth and industrialization of the developing world, will expand by 40% in the next 20 years.

How to meet that demand? The industry will enjoy estimated net income of $137 billion this year, up from $46 billion five years ago, according to Herold. The producers can easily, even after distributing $80 billion in dividends and share buybacks, afford the anticipated capital spending of $180 billion in each of the next two years. Tectonic shifts are already under way in their portfolios as they move out of declining fields in North America and the North Sea and push deeper into new regions with new technologies.

No one is pushing harder than ChevronTexaco, which is under tremendous pressure to show results. While it earned $10.4 billion on $130 billion in revenue over the last 12 months, its return on capital employed averaged 13% over the last five years, compared with 17% for ExxonMobil, reports Simmons & Co. That weakness is reflected in ChevronTexaco shares, which recently traded at 10.3 times expected 2004 earnings, compared with ExxonMobil's 14.4 and BP's 13.6.

ChevronTexaco is also a runt in terms of reserves, with 12 billion barrels of oil equivalents. ExxonMobil has 22 billion; BP, 18 billion; and Royal Dutch/Shell, even after its embarrassing 20% haircut, 14 billion. Production, at an average 2.6 million BOE (barrels of oil or the natural gas equivalent) a day, is about where it was three years ago at ChevTex.

Still, over the last five years the company has been the most adventuresome--at least by number of exploratory wells drilled--of the Big Five. Eager for a payoff, ChevronTexaco Vice Chairman Peter Robertson vows that production will hit 2 million barrels a day by 2008. "If I don't do this," he says, "I'm fired."

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Friday, October 29, 2004


I have put up many posts pointing out that radioactivity is actually good for you in moderate doses. Here are some extracts from Jerry Pournelle's site which also point that out:

In 1983 a group of 180 apartment buildings was completed in Taiwan. Somebody had made a serious mistake. They had mixed into the concrete a considerable amount of highly radioactive cobalt 60. This meant that ultimately 10,000 people lived in buildings for from 9 to 20 years so radioactive that they received an average of 74 mSv of radiation per year in 1983, declining thereafter as cobalt 60 has a half life of 5 r years. This compares with a rate of 0.5 mSv above background which is the normal maximum exposure for radiation workers & total of 15 mSv maximum safe limit for land fit for habitation according to US government standards.

According to the linear no threshold (LNT) theory currently in use world-wide for assessing nuclear risks there is no lower limit to the level at which radioactivity kills (hence the term "no threshold") & this, inhabited for a decade & a half before the radioactivity was traced & measured, should be the site of a truly massive cancer death rate.

It isn't.

A thorough & methodical tracing of all the 4,000 families by a team led by W. L Chen of Taiwan's Director of Medical Radiation Technology of Taiwan's National Yang-Ming University (the full report is available in English here ) has resulted in an unequivocal & spectacular result. Cancer rates in that highly radioactive building are down to 3.6% of prevailing Taiwanese rates.

For many years there has been an unfashionable alternative to the LNT theory called hormesis. This is an effect, long observed in plants & cultures, whereby intermediate level radioactivity actually stimulates life & improves health. There has been significant evidence for this (the deaths at Hiroshima did not appear to fit the LNT pattern, there are places in India & Iran with background radiation of 15mSv or higher with no observed increase in cancer & numerous studies of radon in homes have found a reverse correlation between radon levels & cancer). Nonetheless, such has been our fear of all things nuclear that the LNT theory has been absolutely accepted despite the fact that there has NEVER been any actual evidence for it.....

For many years the NRDC and other "pro-environment" groups have insisted that all radiation is dangerous no matter what the level, and cumulative as well, so that the only safe action is to eliminate radiation. Of course there is natural radiation, which varies from place to place; sealing one's house allows radon to accumulate, raising the radiation in the house, sometimes to surprising levels; and going to higher altitudes always results in higher exposures, so much so that airline crews get quite a lot of radiation exposure, enough to be of concern.

The NRDC hasn't quite said that we must evacuate Denver and Colorado Springs as dangerous radiation hazards, but such a policy would be logical, given their "scientific" assumptions. The alternative theories of radiation are the ancient pharmaceutical doctrine "The dose makes the poison," (i.e. that a some low enough level radiation is irrelevant), and "hormesis", which combines the "dose makes the poison" doctrine with the not entirely intuitive discovery that at low enough levels, radiation is actually good for you.

The hormesis hypothesis has been confirmed many times. One study was by the Swedish Army, which accumulated data on conscripts (Sweden has universal manhood conscription) from areas of known high radiation and compared their health statistics to recruits from areas matched in other characteristics. The conclusion was very much in favor of the hormesis theory. One participant in the study was Claes-Gustav Nordquist, the Surgeon Colonel of the Lifeguards Regiment who was until his retirement one of the leading oncologists in Sweden. There have been many others, but Claes is an old friend so I learned a good bit about the details of that study.

Despite the plethora of data confirming hormesis, the "environmental" movement continues to insist on the LNT (Linear, No Threshold) theory and this is one of their reasons for opposition to nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuels.

Activists, not global warming, the third world threat

A coalition of environmental activists called this week for rich countries to do more to control global warming and to help poor nations cope with the alleged effects of climate change

The irony, of course, is their activism, not global warming, is the real threat. The activist groups, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam and ActionAid, issued a report calling for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions far more stringent than those called for by the international global warming treaty known as the "Kyoto protocol". They also want industrialized countries to subsidize poor countries' adaptation to global warming to the tune of $73 billion per year, a sum on par with what industrialized countries now pay in subsidies to their domestic fossil fuel industries, according to the report.

Keep in mind that the Kyoto protocol, rejected by the U.S. Senate, President Bush and even Sen. John Kerry, only called for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. of about 7 percent below 1990 levels - cuts that the Clinton-administration Department of Energy estimated could raise electricity prices 86 percent and gasoline prices 53 percent. Greenpeace and company now want greenhouse gas emissions to be cut by 60-80 percent from 1990 levels - cuts that would probably be economically devastating to the developed world

The activists' recipe for solving global warming thus appears to be, first, to kill off economic development in the developed world and, then, to have the developed world send what money it has left over to the developing world. It's not clear, though, that an economically crippled developed world would be able or willing to subsidize poor countries, leaving those countries forever impoverished.

While no one knows whether or to what extent humans may or may not be affecting global climate, climate change is a known and natural fact. The advantage that humans have over other species is that we can use our intelligence and wealth to adapt to changes in climate. Air conditioning, irrigation, desalinization are examples of human ingenuity overcoming otherwise inhospitable or uncomfortable climactic conditions. But harnessing technology to overcome climate challenges requires money - something that is often in short supply in poor countries. And, sadly, the environmental activists seem to be doing their best to make sure that poor countries stay poor.

For example, in a Jan. 22 media release, the activist Rainforest Action Network (RAN) "declared victory in its campaign to transform the environmental practices of the world's largest financial institution, Citigroup." Now Citigroup doesn't have the sort of "environmental practices" typically associated with manufacturing and chemical industries. But Citigroup does make loans for economic and industrial development. After a four-year-long campaign, the RAN pressured Citigroup to restrict its lending practices in the developing world, including: not lending to projects that might adversely impact natural habitats; banning logging in tropical forests; avoiding investment in fossil fuel energy projects; and reporting greenhouse gas emissions from power projects in its lending portfolio.

It's an extremely regressive lending policy that, in effect, gives environmental activist groups a veto on Citigroup loans for development in poor countries - and we all know how much environmental activists approve of development. The Rainforest Action Network is not stopping with Citigroup.

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Thursday, October 28, 2004


Sugar-powered plane unveiled

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer today unveiled the world's first mass-produced commercial aircraft that runs on sugar cane ethanol fuel. The Ipanema aircraft is designed to take advantage of Brazil's supplies of the fuel, which is cheaper, burns more cleanly and is more efficient than fuels refined from crude oil, company officials said. Brazil is also a major producer of ethanol fuel, extracted from sugar cane.

Satoshi Yokota, a top Embraer official, said operating the plane on ethanol was three to four times cheaper than using airplane fuel. The Ipanema is designed mainly as a crop duster. Embraer is the world's fourth largest manufacturer of commercial airplanes.


See also my post below of 20th. Excerpt:

"There is now every evidence that oil will never run out and, even if it did, motor fuel from either coal or sugarcane is already proven technology that would cost us a bit more at the pump but that is all. And there is nothing more renewable than sugarcane. You can bring a whole crop from planting to maturity in one year! And as far back as World War II, Australians were running around in cars powered by alcohol derived from sugarcane. And the world has a chronic surplus of sugar. Sugarcane is so easy to grow that America has big tariff barriers up to keep "foreign" sugar out!

The dismal quackery of eco-economics

The notion that economic growth has to be curtailed is tragic when billions still live in dire poverty

The World Wildlife Fund warns that we are consuming 20 per cent more natural resources a year than the planet can provide. Are we living beyond our ecological means?

One of the most striking but least noticed aspects of the rise of environmentalism is the way that it has helped to redefine economics. Economic production and consumption are viewed in a fundamentally different way than they were before environmentalism became central to the dominant worldview. Environmentalist assumptions that, at the very least, should be the subject of debate are unquestioningly accepted. Environmentalism has become central to the mainstream outlook, rather than the particular property of green parties or organisations.

This development isn't just important at the level of ideas. A gloomy view of economic development plays an important role in holding back human potential. At its starkest, the acceptance of the idea that economic growth has to be curtailed is a tragedy in a world where billions of people still live in dire poverty. According to the latest available figures from the World Bank, 2.7 billion were living on less than $2 a day in 2001 of which 1.1 billion lived on less than a dollar.

The discussion of global warming provides a striking example of how this works. Almost everyone accepts that climate change means that the world needs to cut back on emissions of greenhouse gases. Yet this would almost certainly mean holding back economic growth, meaning that a large part of the global population will remain poor. There is hardly any discussion of how to deal with global warming while generating substantial economic growth at the same time. Indeed it will be argued that economic growth, far from being the problem, is central to humanity's capacity to handle climate change.

There are two recurring themes running through the environmentalist approach to economics. First, an obsession with the need for limits. The environmentalist debate, in numerous different ways, assumes that strict limits must be put on economic activity. Such premises ignore or at least downplay the power of human creativity. Economic activity does indeed often throw up problems - such as pollution - but it also, it will be argued, provides the means to overcome them.

Second, the idea of precaution has more recently become more central to the debate. The prevalent assumption is that people need to be cautious about economic development because it could have harmful unintended consequences in the future. Often such fears are expressed in the language of 'sustainability'. The precautionary approach, unlike earlier forms of environmentalism, acknowledges the power of human creativity. But advocates of precaution tend to see such creativity as a source of problems, usually in the form of risk, rather than a positive attribute of human beings.

Underlying both assumptions is a misanthropic view of humanity. Environmentalism can be seen as a counterattack against a key premise of the Enlightenment: that a central part of progress consists of increasing human control over nature. Instead, environmentalists argue that humans should accept their place as a mere subsidiary of the natural world. In practice this means reconciling humanity to poverty, disease and natural disasters.

There is environmentalist confusion between the mastery over nature and the destruction of nature. Control over nature means reshaping the natural world to meet human needs - for example, developing medicines to fight against disease or building dams to prevent flooding or generate electricity. This is not the same as destroying rain forests or making animal species extinct.

Nature has sometimes been destroyed as a side-effect of economic growth. But the aim of economic development is to benefit humanity rather than to destroy the natural world. It is important to remember that richer societies are in a much stronger position to create a positive environment for human beings than poor ones.

The remainder of this essay will examine the key tenets of environmentalist economics in more detail. It will argue that, in addition to being undesirable, the environmentalist worldview is based on fatally flawed assumptions....

More here

For a 30 year-old refutation of Greenie economics that is still relevant today, see here. Greenies have learnt nothing in the interim


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Wednesday, October 27, 2004


"The environment was mentioned only in passing in the Presidential debates and has been raised on the campaign trail rarely. What explains the absence of an issue that was so prominent during the last election cycle? First is that, for Americans, the environment is way down their list of priorities. The attacks of 11 September 2001, the subsequent American involvement in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the associated economic downturn have all pushed the environment away from the forefront of America's collective mind.

This was confirmed by a Missing In Action poll organized by the Gallup organization for Earth Day, America's national day of environmental awareness, which celebrated its 34th anniversary this year. It found that Americans placed the environment 11th out of 12 major issues in terms of importance to them.....

Moreover, the poll found that 44 percent of Americans believed that the economy should take precedence over the environment. This probably explains why the Kerry campaign, which should find the environment a natural issue to focus on, has only seemed to mention the issue in certain areas. The Kerry campaign has made jobs a central issue in the campaign, and so does not want to set itself up for the accusation that its support for environmental policies would cost American workers their jobs.

This can be seen in the Kerry campaign's schizophrenic approach to the global warming issue. On Friday 19 August, the campaign issued a document aimed at keeping the West Virginian coal industry open. It included the words, "John Kerry and John Edwards believe that the Kyoto Protocol is not the answer. The near-term emission reductions it would require of the United States are infeasible, while the long-term obligations imposed on all nations are too little to solve the problem."

But on 24 August, The Journal Times of Racine, Wisconsin, published an account of John Edwards' visit to the town the day before. According to the paper, Edwards "lamented" America's failure to join the Kyoto treaty. It seems the Kerry-Edwards campaign opposes Kyoto when coal miners' votes are at stake but supports it in other areas. The context in which John Kerry raised the issue during the Presidential debates was that of foreign relations, not the environment....

American Enterprise Institute scholar Stephen Hayward points out that, in America at least, environmental spending has followed Gresham's Law, which states that bad money drives out good. He points to a campaign around Earth Day this year that sought to outlaw disposable diapers as a case of the public looking askance at an environmental movement seemingly increasingly divorced from reality.

When Americans vote, it will be literally true that the environment is the last thing on their minds.

More here:


It's a good thing someone does

"Defense officials say state and federal environmental agencies have too much power to demand costly and intrusive cleanups on military land. The Pentagon wants to cut its $4 billion a year in environmental costs - less than 1% of defense spending - by gaining more authority over where and how cleanups will be done. "Some of these regulators are doing wrongheaded things based on poor scientific evidence," says Raymond DuBois, deputy undersecretary of Defense for installations and environment. "Shouldn't we, as stewards of the taxpayers' money, decide how we're going to clean up?"

Congress, with support from both Republican and Democratic administrations, reinforced that notion repeatedly over the past two decades. It approved a series of measures to hold the armed services to the same environmental rules as private industry. The Pentagon responded with new efforts to control and clean up pollution, and now the military generally does as well as private industry in making current activities comply with environmental laws.

But the military's big challenge is cleaning up messes from the past, when less was known about the environmental risks associated with building the world's mightiest fighting force. That's where the Pentagon faces the biggest costs. And that's where environmental regulators see the biggest threat to public health.

State environmental regulators are facing military resistance, too. In Colorado, California, Ohio and Minnesota, the services are fighting state efforts to restrict the future use of contaminated military property. In California, Florida, Hawaii and Alaska, the military has challenged the authority of state officials to fine the armed forces for pollution problems.

Administration officials say there is no concerted effort to weaken environmental oversight of the military or to lessen its commitment to cleanups. After 15 years of pressure on the armed services to emphasize conservation and pollution control, they say, that commitment is here to stay. But Pentagon officials acknowledge that they're more aggressive in resisting environmental rules and cleanup demands that they see as misguided. With the services strained by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, they add, it's more important than ever to make sure their missions aren't hampered. "There are two very important national issues here. There's the issue of protecting the environment and the issue of protecting our nation," says Donald Schregardus, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for environment. "We want to make sure that the environmental laws allow us to do both."

Defense officials say cleanup orders from environmental agencies can limit their ability to "train as we fight," a motto of military readiness. They argue that some of the demands could dictate everything from where planes may practice their bombing runs to what sort of ammunition troops may use on artillery ranges. For instance, soldiers at Camp Edwards, an Army National Guard base on Cape Cod, Mass., do their howitzer training on simulators because a 1997 EPA order barred the use of live ammunition that was polluting drinking water supplies. Edwards is the only military installation in the nation where operations have been curtailed as a direct result of orders from an environmental agency.

More often, the services' disputes with state and federal environmental regulators are based on concerns about the scope and cost of cleanups. The services have learned a lot about "what makes sense" in cleaning up pollution, says Maureen Koetz, a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force who oversees environmental matters. So military officials "come to the table with (proposals) that we think are a better menu of options for both us and the regulators."

The fight over the asbestos cleanup in Amy Ford's Lowry neighborhood revolves around a question driving many of the military's clashes with regulators: How much public health risk is acceptable at a polluted site? At the state's direction, workers have removed nearly all the tainted soil at Lowry, where the asbestos was left from building debris and an old steam pipeline bulldozed decades ago by the Air Force. But the Air Force says there wasn't enough danger to warrant the work. The science on asbestos is evolving, and there are no federal or state limits on how much can safely remain in soil. New research suggests that inhaling even a few asbestos fibers may cause lung disease. Other studies say low levels of asbestos are a negligible risk.

An Air Force risk assessment for Lowry concluded in April that residents could have up to a 4-in-100,000 risk of cancer or lung disease linked to asbestos exposure. And it put the risk to construction workers at 2-in-10,000. Those figures are well above the one-in-a-million threshold that health agencies typically deem a significant risk. But absent any legal limits on asbestos contamination, the Air Force report concluded that the threats weren't great enough to warrant a cleanup.

Pentagon officials say the big concern isn't the cost of cleaning up Lowry; it's the costs the services could face if they have to do similar cleanups elsewhere. Asbestos was a common building material for decades, and it would cost the Pentagon billions of dollars if the zero-tolerance cleanup demanded at Lowry became a precedent. "We want them to develop a cleanup goal based on risk," says Doug Karas of the Air Force Real Property Agency. "The state says there's a risk, but we haven't seen data to support that.""

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Tuesday, October 26, 2004


The war against poverty is threatened by friendly fire. A swarm of media-savvy Western activists has descended upon aid agencies, staging protests to block projects that allegedly exploit the developing world. The protests serve professional agitators by keeping their pet causes in the headlines. But they do not always serve the millions of people who live without clean water or electricity.

Last year, I visited Uganda. I wanted to understand how a showcase of African hopelessness turned around, cutting the number of people living below the national poverty line by almost 40 percent during the 1990s. But I wanted to get to the bottom of another issue, too. The World Bank was promoting a dam near the source of the river Nile, at a beautiful spot called Bujagali. Western nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) were in revolt:

The International Rivers Network, based in Berkeley, California, maintained that the Ugandan environmental movement was outraged at the likely damage to waterfalls at the site, and that the poor who lived there would be uprooted from their land for the sake of electricity they couldn't afford. It was surely a clash that went to the heart of the globalization struggle. Was the NGO movement acting as a civilized check on industrialization, standing up for millions of poor people whose views the World Bank ignored? Or was it retarding the battle against poverty by withholding electricity that would fuel economic growth, ultimately benefiting poor citizens?

I called the Berkeley activists and asked for some advice. Who ran this Ugandan environmental movement they claimed was so outraged? Where were the villagers who would be cruelly dislocated by the dam project? NGOs such as the International Rivers Network usually love helping Western journalists, and because these journalists are generally far from the scene of the disputed development project, they sometimes simply report what they are told. But now that I was in Uganda, a few hours' drive from the proposed dam, I got a warier response. Lori Pottinger, the International Rivers activist who led the Bujagali campaign, explained that her Ugandan counterparts were preoccupied just then, and that snooping around the villages at the Bujagali site would get me into trouble with the authorities.

Not wanting to give up right away, I tracked down Pottinger's Ugandan counterparts by other means and telephoned their office. A friendly voice invited me to come over straightaway. When I arrived, the group's young director sat me down and plied me with leaflets and reports that gratefully acknowledged the sponsorship of a group called the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation. After half an hour of conversation, I asked the question that really concerned me: What kind of organization was this?

"This is a membership organization," I was told. "How many members?" I asked. My host kindly stood up and rummaged about in his desk, returning with a blue notebook. "Here is the list," he said triumphantly. Uganda's National Association of Professional Environmentalists had all of 25 members-not exactly a broad platform from which to oppose electricity for millions.

My next move was to visit Bujagali. I met up with a Ugandan sociologist who knew the region well and promised to translate for me. She stopped at a cluster of buildings on the edge of the dam site to check in with the local government representative who, far from threatening to call the cops, greeted us cheerfully. For the next three hours, we interviewed villager after villager and found the same story: The "dam people" had come and promised generous financial terms, and the villagers were happy to accept them and relocate. My sociologist companion said we might have sample bias because we were interviewing men, who might value cash more than the land that women tended. So we interviewed some women, who offered the same pro-project line. The only people who objected to the dam were those living just outside its perimeter. They were angry because the project would not affect them, meaning no generous payout.

This story is a tragedy for Uganda. Clinics and factories are being deprived of electricity by Californians whose idea of an electricity crisis is a handful of summer blackouts. But it is also a tragedy for the fight against poverty worldwide, because projects in dozens of countries are similarly held up for fear of activist resistance. Time after time, feisty Internet-enabled groups make scary claims about the iniquities of development projects. Time after time, Western publics raised on stories of World Bank white elephants believe them. Lawmakers in European parliaments and the U.S. Congress accept NGO arguments at face value, and the government officials who sit on the World Bank's board respond by blocking funding for deserving projects.

The consequences can be preposterously ironic. NGOs claim to campaign on behalf of poor people, yet many of their campaigns harm the poor. They claim to protect the environment, but by forcing the World Bank to pull out of sensitive projects, they cause these schemes to go ahead without the environmental safeguards that the bank would have imposed on them. Likewise, NGOs purport to hold the World Bank accountable, yet the bank is answerable to the governments who are its shareholders; it is the NGOs' accountability that is murky. Furthermore, the offensives mounted by activist groups sometimes have no basis in fact whatsoever.

More here


They HATE tourists!

"The current British hysteria over global warming, which has seen party leaders Tony Blair, Michael Howard, and Charles Kennedy all vying to see which one could sign up to the most of Greenpeace's economy-destroying agenda, has stalled in one important area. The UK's Department for Transport (where I used to work when it was simply a Department of Transport) has decided that if it is supposed to be for transport, it cannot, in all good conscience, urge people not to fly.

That would be the result if one of the more foolish ideas of the green lobby were to be adopted. Aviation accounts for some 3 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions worldwide and is therefore a major contributor to concerns over global warming. However, with aviation increasingly important to the worldwide economy, and to Britain's economy in particular (according to the DfT, one fifth of all air passengers worldwide are going to or from a British airport), reducing the number of flights is an undesirable step to take......

There is another scheme that might suppress aviation use even more effectively than a tax. The UK's Hadley Centre, a scientific organization, has proposed that everyone should have, in essence, a ration of carbon use, and people who need more will be able to buy the excess they need from people who don't need it. In practice, this will mean working families buying allowances from students, a nice little earner for the greens' biggest constituency, but it will also impact foreign travel considerably. For instance, the average Briton contributes about 11 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere every year from her lifestyle. One trip to Australia to see the grandkids would take up almost 4 tons-about a third of the allowance. Even a trip from Birmingham to Cyprus for the Summer holiday would use up three quarters of a tonne, one fifteenth of all the carbon the typical Briton contributes each year. The individual carbon allowance would simply destroy the foreign holiday industry."

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Monday, October 25, 2004


The carbon dioxide 'footprint'

Personal Independence Day has added some worthwhile comments to my 'ecological footprint' post of 23rd. He expands on a point that I made at the very end of my post -- that the Greenies look only at the amount of carbon dioxide PRODUCED and then act as if that were the end of the matter. So they say that because the USA produces a lot of carbon dioxide therefore it must be a big "polluter" (though calling "pollution" a gas that we all produce in our bodies and breathe out of our mouths every minute of our lives has always been distinctly weird). As I pointed out, what the Greenies tightly close their eyes to is that carbon dioxide is also ABSORBED by plants, so what is produced is not at all the end of the story.

Personal Independence Day goes on to note that because of the huge expanses of America's farms, grasslands and forests, America is not only a big PRODUCER of carbon dioxide but also a big ABSORBER of it -- so much so that America appears to soak up more than it produces. On balance, the USA is not a polluter at all!

So Europe, which is more densely populated and absorbs less carbon dioxide, is actually a much BIGGER polluter (on balance) than the USA is! What fun!

Supersonic "transports"

Personal Independence Day also notes, quite rightly, that Europeans and others do on some occasions make cynical use of Greenie scares. If you can use a Greenie scare to turn customers away from one of your commercial rivals, it is tempting to do so.

I don't think the example given in Personal Independence Day is a good one, though. Personal Independence Day suggests that the U.S. aircraft industry may have exploited Greenie paranoia about the ozone layer to put people off using the "Concorde" supersonic aircraft produced by their Anglo/French rivals. In fact, however, the Greenie opposition to supersonic passenger planes started whilst both the Europeans and Boeing had such aircraft on the drawing boards and Boeing quite wisely decided that their project was not likely to be commercially viable in the face of such opposition. The Europeans, on the other hand, had the bottomless pockets of taxpayers to draw upon so were not much concerned about commercial viability. So the Europeans went ahead, built the aircraft and lost billions, in the customary socialist way.

What is true, however, is that the Greenie opposition to supersonic passenger planes was a lot of codswallop -- as you can read here (alternative site here).

Water shortages in Australian capitals

Louis Hissink takes up the issue of water shortages in Australian capital cities that I addressed in my post immediately below. He notes that rainfall has not changed significantly over the years so the problem is one of governments not building any new dams to provide for the expanding population. And we know why the politicians have not built any new dams, don't we? Greenies HATE dams and go quite hysterical over them. So Greenie-sympathizing politicans like New South Wales Premier Bob Carr are reduced to little more than hand-wringing.

If Sydney people get harassed enough by water-shortages, however, Bob Carr might find himself on the losing side of a future election. At the Federal level, Australian conservative politicians thumbed a nose at the Greenies with great success recently so one would hope that that lesson would not be lost on the rather spineless conservative State politicians who at present sit in opposition to Bob Carr.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Sunday, October 24, 2004


"Sydney's water monopoly has to be broken open to solve the crisis facing Australia's largest city. Water efficiency expert Peter Coombes said the NSW Government's 25-year water plan looked like an attempt to protect the revenue of Sydney Water, a state monopoly, when what was needed was more private sector innovation.

NSW Premier Bob Carr announced new details of his water plan yesterday. By July 2007 all houses for sale would have to be certified water-efficient. This might cost as little as $22 for subsidised devices such as water-saving shower heads. Mr Carr said big commercial water users, government agencies and local councils would have to come up with water conservation plans.

But Dr Coombes, of Newcastle University, said Sydney's water strategy needed to draw on wider expertise and enterprise. "We have to let the private industry in. We might have to highly regulate them, but we have to have incentive for innovation," he said yesterday. Dr Coombes said energy-intensive desalination (a government research option) and wastewater treatment, Sydney Water-style, would favour the flow of utility dividend payments to the Government. He said it was easier for the private sector to mount efficient smaller-scale wastewater projects in Melbourne, where utilities were more enlightened."

More here


ADELAIDE carrot and onion farmer Morris Nicol shakes his head when he thinks of all the good drinking water going down the drain in Sydney. "If they're using mains water for any sort of garden or irrigation work, then they're wasting it," said Mr Nicol, working on his market garden on the outer northern fringe of Australia's driest state capital. Adelaide gets an average 575mm of rain a year, mostly in the winter months, while Sydney is second only to Darwin in rainfall, receiving 1230mm throughout the year.

Because South Australia is so dry, farmers like Mr Nicol have been forced to innovate, and in the past six years he and almost 285 other irrigators have received about 20gigalitres of water recycled from a nearby sewage treatment plant. The scheme cost big money - $55million to upgrade the water treatment plant to produce germ-free class A water - but has taken pressure off underground supplies, and cut the amount of nutrients released into the sea in sewage. "They tell you not to drink it, but you could," said Mr Nicol. "Because of this we've been able to extend our operation and grow a bit more produce." The overall volume of treated wastewater reused in the state has increased by nearly 400 per cent in the past six years, from 3691 megalitres in 1998 to 19,205 in 2003-04.

John Bingham, chief operating officer of SA Water, said this was made possible by a state government investment of $30million in a filtration and disinfection plant to treat effluent from the Bolivar wastewater treatment plant. So while Sydney households have to cut back on water use, arid area farmers in South Australia are expanding their land under irrigation.

CSIRO head of water reclamation research Peter Dillon said Sydney had not investigated water recycling and preservation in the past because it had approximately four times the storage capacity relative to demand that Adelaide had.

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Saturday, October 23, 2004


A few excerpts from a comprehensive article

Now the amount of CO2 in the earth's atmosphere is rather a small amount, with current estimates from the data at Moana Loa in the Hawaiian Islands as some 378 ppmv (Parts per million by volume). This looks like a big number but in reality it isn't.

However the CO2 Centre reckons it is a much ado about nothing, and as usual the data points emphasised by the press are right at the end of the data series, which statistically place an undue emphasis on the trend. Mask the end points and the spectacular trend disappears...... What our hysterical scientists did was to use the last three values (these are not measurements by the way - just averages from many stations) and interpret this as the real CO2 increase. It is otherwise known as junk-science.

Now the most often quoted source of measurement of CO2 is the measuring station on the Hawaiian Islands. Except there is a small detail which only a geologist would recognise - Hawaii is also a rather large volcano and a significant source of CO2 - 49% ! One would as much place a CO2 monitoring station on an active volcano as one would near a coal fired electricity generating plant. This is problematical to say the least.

But there is even more complexity to the problem as William Kininmonth writes here in Tech Station Central writes:

"Monthly and annual values of carbon dioxide concentration for ten global sites are available from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA. Two sites are in close proximity at Hawaii. The difficulty of maintaining an ongoing observation program can be judged from the three sites that have seriously incomplete records and not suitable for intercomparison. Nevertheless, there are six well-distributed sites extending from the Arctic to the Antarctic with long and nearly complete records of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.

Notwithstanding the media claim, the increase in concentration from 2001 to 2002 exceeded 2.0 ppm at only two of the six stations. The average of all stations exceeded 2.0 ppm but only because of an unexplained large increase at the South Pole site, far from centres of industrialisation".

Just one elevated measurement of CO2 at the South Pole has the ability to skew the average! And on this skew much ado is made by Sir David King, Britain's Chief Scientist.

Clearly the CO2 content of the atmosphere varies from place to place, and one suspects that the large increase of CO2 at the South Pole site might well be due to Mt Erebus, another active volcano. The geology of this volcano is interesting because "during the last year ash eruptions and even a small lava flow have been observed", so if Erebus is increasing its volcanic activity, this could easily explain the increased CO2 at the South Pole.

Yet this localised natural increase in CO2 that has nothing to do with the burning of coal or gas or petroleum forms the basis of a panic scare by the climate scientists, and of course faithfully reported by the news media, that we have a runaway greenhouse effect......

More here

Our 'ecological footprint'

Just for once I will do a little bit of fisking -- on the Greenie preachment below, which appeared here, among other places

"Humanity's reliance on fossil fuels, the spread of cities, the destruction of natural habitats for farmland and the exploitation of the oceans are outstripping the planet's capacity to cope, the conservation group WWF said. They would The biggest culprits are residents of Australia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Kuwait and Sweden, who leave the biggest "ecological footprint," the World Wide Fund for Nature said in its regular Living Planet Report. China and India and Russia don't pollute, of course. Humans currently consume 20 per cent more natural resources than the Earth can produce, the report said. Huh? So where did the resources come from?. "We are spending nature's capital faster than it can regenerate," said WWF chief Claude Martin, launching the 40-page study. "We are running up an ecological debt which we won't be able to pay off unless governments restore the balance between our consumption of natural resources and the Earth's ability to renew them." He does not seem to have noticed that Saudi oil reserves keep increasing

But Fred Smith, president of the US-based Competitive Enterprise Institute and a former official of the US Environmental Protection Agency during the Nixon and Ford administrations, said he was skeptical. In a telephone interview, Smith claimed the WWF view is "static" and fails to take into account the benefits many people get from resource use. Wow! The opposition got only two sentences in

Use of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil increased by almost 700 per cent between 1961 and 2001, the study said. And the reserves have increased faster than consumption. Burning fossil fuels - in power plants and cars, for example - releases carbon dioxide, which experts say contributes to global warming. The planet is unable to keep pace and absorb the emissions, WWF said. What an outright lie! Carbon dioxide is plant food. It just makes trees and crops grow faster. The more there is around the more lushly they will grow

Populations of land, freshwater and marine species fell on average by 40 per cent between 1970 and 2000. The report cited urbanisation, forest clearance, pollution, overfishing and the introduction by humans of non-native animals, such as cats and rats, which often drive out indigenous species. Species counts are almost entirely guesswork "The question is how the world's entire population can live with the resources of one planet," said Jonathan Loh, one of the report's authors. We seem to be doing fine, with the prices for most natural resources continually dropping -- reflecting supply that keeps ahead of demand

The study, WWF's fifth since 1998, examined the "ecological footprint" Just a weird dreamed-up metaphor of the planet's entire population. Most of a person's footprint is caused by the space needed to absorb the waste from energy consumption, including carbon dioxide. WWF also measured the total area of cities, roads and other infrastructure and the space required to produce food and fibre - for clothing, for example. The land area "used" by each person seems to be what they are getting at. But that reflects availability. The inhabitants of Holland use only a fraction of the land that Australians do but still live well.

"We don't just live on local resources," so the footprint isn't confined to the country where consumers live, said Mathis Wacknagel, head of the Global Footprint Network, which includes WWF. Aha! They want to hide national differences by averaging! No wonder. Those national differences would reveal what a silly sermon their land-per-person story is. And if you think land is scarce, you should spend a few days driving across Australia from East to West. There is no sign of human life and not much sign of any life for 95% of the time (spinifex excepted, of course). It's not the amount of land that counts. It's what you do with it For example, Western demand for of Asia's palm oil and South America's soybeans has wrecked natural habitats in those regions, so the destruction is considered part of the footprint of importing nations. The same applies to Arab oil consumed in the United States. And planting wheat and grazing cattle sure has destroyed a lot of habitat too. Poison all wheat! Wipe out all cattle!

The findings are similar to those in WWF's 2002 report, which covered the period up to 1999. But the latest study contains more detailed data stretching to 2001. It shows the situation has changed little in most countries, and is now more worrying in fast-growing China and India. The world's 6.1 billion-strong population leaves a collective footprint of 13.5 billion hectares, or 2.2 hectares per person. To allow the earth to regenerate, the average should be no more than 1.8 hectares, said WWF. A totally made-up number. It depends on what you want to regenerate and to what extent.........

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has been a frequent critic of what it calls "environmental alarmism" from organisations like WWF. Smith said the footprint idea is wrongheaded. "It's sort of like saying, 'General Motors must be much more wasteful than the local laundromat because General Motors spends more resources.' Yes, but they are producing more product too," he told the AP. "The real question is not whether the United States is a wealthy place but rather whether it's producing more wealth than it's consuming. Obviously we are. We're using a lot of the world's resources but we're producing far more of the world's resources." Wow! The opposition gets a few more sentences in

Loh said governments, businesses and consumers should switch to energy efficient technology, such as solar power. Efficient? Solar is the least efficient of all if you count in all the costs "We can consume energy in a way that's harmful or in a way that's sustainable," he told reporters. The technologies are available to enable the world's population to live within the capacity of one planet." They sure are. We do so already

High oil prices may help focus their minds. "But it's not a question of how much oil is left," he said. "The question we should be asking is how much fossil fuel consumption the Earth can sustain. The Earth has a limited capacity."" Aha! So they DO know that oil is not running out. So now it is using oil that is bad! -- in some mysterious way. I guess it might produce more of that lovely carbon dioxide for plants to soak up. Greenies seem to totally ignore the fact that just PRODUCING carbon dioxide means nothing. It could perhaps be a problem if plants did not grab it to make themselves grow faster -- but they do. Greenies seem to think that any extra carbon dioxide produced just hangs around. Nobody told the plant kingdom that! Greenies really are pathetic. You would think that they of all people would have some clue about what plants do


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Friday, October 22, 2004


And only censorship of contradictory findings is keeping it in play

Von Storch et al (ScienceExpress, Sept. 30) first looked at the likelihood of being able to get an accurate climate signal from historical proxy data (tree rings, boreholes, ice cores etc.) by estimating the amount of statistical "noise" inherent in such data. They discovered that the amount of noise was such that it was likely that hockey-stick like reconstructions had severely underestimated past climate variability. This would explain why the hockey stick failed to show evidence of the Medieval Climate Optimum and Little Ice Age, for which there is plenty of historical evidence.

In a commentary on Von Storch et al's paper, Osborn and Briffa, prominent paleo-climatologists from the University of East Anglia, stress the importance of the findings. They say, "The message of the study by von Storch et al. is that existing reconstructions of the NH temperature of recent centuries may systematically underestimate the true centennial variability of climate" and, "If the true natural variability of NH temperature is indeed greater than is currently accepted, the extent to which recent warming can be viewed as "unusual" would need to be reassessed."

In an interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel, Von Storch commented, "We were able to show in a publication in `Science' that this graph contains assumptions that are not permissible. Methodologically it is wrong: rubbish." Von Storch also pointed out the IPCC's role in cutting off questioning on the subject: "It remains important for science to point out the erroneous nature of the Mann curve. In recent years it has been elevated to the status of truth by the UN appointed science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This handicapped all that research which strives to make a realistic distinction between human influences and climate and natural variability."

Von Storch also commented on Mann's defense of his now discredited graph. "His influence in the community of climate researchers is great," he said. "And Mann rejects any reproach most forcefully. His defensiveness is understandable. Nobody likes to see his own child die. But we must respect our credibility as research scientists. Otherwise we play into the hands of those skeptics of global climate change who imagine a conspiracy between science and politics."



Global warming computer models have inbuilt biases towards extreme results

Computerized models of the Earth's climate are at the heart of the debate over how policymakers should respond to climate change. Global climate models (GCMs)--also called general circulation models--attempt to predict future climate conditions by starting with a set of assumptions about how the climate works and making guesses about what a future world might look like in terms of such factors as population, energy use, and technological development.

Numerous analysts have pointed out, however, that many of the assumptions used in modeling the climate are of dubious merit, with biases that tend to project catastrophic warming. As a consequence, these analysts argue, climate models have many limitations that make them unsuitable as the basis for developing public policy.

Computerized climate models have very little usefulness in the formation of public policy toward climate change, particularly for policy decisions as critical as ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, according to a July 7 study, "The Science Isn't Settled: The Limitations of Global Climate Models," released by The Fraser Institute.

The study notes current global climate models have two significant limitations. They rely on observed data, including surface station readings, weather balloons, and satellites, which are of uncertain value and accuracy due to the short length of the record and the need for adjustments to correct for artificial discontinuities such as instrument and satellite changes. Moreover, the models project future climate trends not only by extrapolating from observed data, but by including "fudge factors" and other complex adjustments that make the projections very unreliable.

"Climate models oversimplify many poorly understood climate processes, and results from the models can be contradictory," said Dr. Kenneth Green, author of the paper and director of risk, regulation, and environment studies at The Fraser Institute. "Clearly, the data generated do not provide a meaningful foundation on which to base sound public policy decisions, especially something as significant as the decision to ratify Kyoto."

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Thursday, October 21, 2004


All over the country, particularly in the West, wildlife habitat is being fractured by what has become the American dream of a half-acre and a house. Much of this can be traced to cheap fuel and/or high-mileage automobiles that have put outlying "bedroom communities'' within economic reach of millions of Americans.

Nevertheless, the 40-mile-per-gallon automobile remains the darling of the environmentalists who claim it will free America from its dependence on foreign oil, save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling and help stop global warming. In this month's issue of Outside magazine, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. chastises U.S. automakers for their failures to build cars that get even better gas mileage as well as the government for not forcing automakers to build such cars. The editors ask Kennedy if "spoiled" Americans unwilling to make sacrifices are part of the problem. No, says the lead attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. The problem is all big business.

That might be the politically correct answer for an environmentalist, but it is wrong. I have met the problem, and it is us. Let's face it, we don't want to make personal sacrifices -- not for the environment, not for our communities, not even for our health. We're the fattest people in the world, and we drive the most. The two are related.... It's all about economics. Better gas mileage has the same effect as cheap gasoline. It drives down the cost of travel and makes other life choices affordable. Instead of settling for a condominium in the city, one can spring for the house in the Valley where you can burn up even more gas in the lawn mower.

This is the dirty underbelly of the technological solution to our energy problems that the environmental community ignores. Improving automobile fuel economy only makes a difference on oil imports if people limit themselves to driving the same distances tomorrow that they drive today. History suggests the opposite is more likely. The mushrooming bedroom community springing up here is only one case in point. Small towns and cities once separated by large expanses of open land have been sprawling together for years across America. Urban areas are spreading, too.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says these city-states expand into the open space around them at about twice the rate of population growth. As they do, they bury the land in pavement and buildings. Wildlife habitats disappear. Streams grow turbid and polluted with parking lot run-off. Natural areas become weed infested plots. Homeowners unhappy with weeds wage chemical warfare. In Alaska, these changes are magnified by steady population growth. But even where populations hold steady, Cornell professor Rolf Pendall has found sprawl. He looked at 282 metropolitan areas in the 1980s and discovered that even where there was no growth, the amount of urbanized land still increased by an average of 18 percent.

Why? Cheap transportation. We're an automobile society. The family dinner has given way to drive-through dining. Cellular telephones and computers have put the office in the front seat, while the DVD player is promising to make the back seat the entertainment center. Cars are such an integral part of the American lifestyle it takes a real effort to break free. The desire to stay fit is the only thing that keeps my truck at home while I ride the bike -- even if the municipality would prefer I drive....

Instead of pushing for a fat gas tax to make Americans reconsider driving so much, the Sierra Club joined the Natural Resources Defense Council and other conservation groups in pushing for federal rules to require cars to go farther on each gallon of gas. The inevitable outcome: Americans won't have to think of the costs -- economic or environmental -- of driving. This is the sort of environmental ethic that has helped to pave the foothills of the Cascade Mountains outside of Seattle, carve good parts of the Midwest up into five-acre "ranchettes'' and cut the wide-open spaces of the Susitna Valley up into ever smaller lots sporting "No Trespassing" signs with no place to walk between.

More here


"The global-warming alarmists haven't managed (yet) to bring on the worldwide economic paralysis that would result from implementation of the Kyoto Treaty, but they are about to score a lesser victory that will result in the loss of thousands of human lives.

The California Air Resources Board has approved a plan that would sharply reduce, over the next 11 years, vehicular emissions of carbon dioxide, which some scientists contend is partly responsible for what they believe is a recent rise in global temperatures. (Other scientists disagree that world temperatures are rising, let alone that increases in carbon dioxide caused by human activity are responsible; but the media, feeding the same public anxiety that not long ago fastened on nuclear winter, acid rain and the ozone hole, has turned "global warming" into a worldwide cause celebre.)

The regulation, which would phase in from 2009 to 2016, would force each year's new cars and trucks to meet increasingly stricter limitations on emission of carbon dioxide and other gases supposedly linked to global warming. The board's own staff estimates this will add about $1,000 to the cost of each new vehicle, but contends that savings on gasoline would, in the long run, more than make up for this. (Would, that is, if the initial buyer drove the vehicle for more than 100,000 miles, which few do.)

Industry spokesmen disagree with the cost estimate, putting it at from $2,000 to $3,000 - far more than any gasoline savings. If so, car manufacturers will do the only thing they currently can to keep prices at an affordable level: downsize new vehicles. (Hybrid cars won't solve the affordability problem because they cost, at least currently, up to $4,000 more than similar conventional cars.)

Well, what's so bad about downsizing? Do Americans really need the mid- and larger-sized passenger cars that clog the roads today? Mightn't we all be better off if forced to drive smaller and lighter vehicles?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. While sport-utility vehicle rollover deaths have increased (up by 200 deaths between 2002 and 2003), a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that vehicle downsizing in the 1970s and 80s, in the name of fuel economy, resulted in 2,000 deaths and 20,000 serious injuries. The National Academy of Sciences confirmed the finding, and USA Today, extrapolating the results to all years in which fuel economy standards have been in effect, found that vehicle downsizing caused 46,000 deaths. The increased risk run by people in small cars is one of the best-established statistics in the whole field of car safety. As Ralph Nader himself put it in 1989, "Larger cars are safer."

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Fossil fuel may not require fossils, as the pressure of deep Earth has been found capable of creating hydrocarbons from inorganic matter. The findings, by an American team of researchers, suggest that hydrocarbons, the main constituents of fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and natural gas, could be extracted from a virtually endless source. "These experiments point to the possibility of an inorganic source of hydrocarbons at great depth in the Earth-that is, hydrocarbons that come from simple reactions between water and rock and not just from the decomposition of living organisms," says researcher Russell Hemley of the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Geophysical Laboratory in DC.

There are two theories on the origin of fossil fuels, the biogenic theory and the abiogenic theory. According to the biogenic theory, fossil fuels are the remnants of ancient plant and animal life deposited in sedimentary rocks. According to the abiogenic theory, hydrocarbon deposits are primordial, being part of the Earth as it formed. The abiogenic theory holds that petroleum is produced by nonbiological processes deep in the Earth's crust.

For their experiments, the researchers created laboratory conditions mimicking the Earth's upper mantle, which underlies the crust at depths of about 20 to 60 kilometers (12 to 37 miles). The researchers squeezed materials common at the Earth's surface-iron oxide, calcite and water-to pressures ranging from 50,000 to 110,000 times the pressure at sea level. They then heated the samples to temperatures up to 1,500øC (2,700øF). They were able to get methane to form by reducing the carbon in calcite over a wide range of temperatures and pressures, supporting the possibility that the deep Earth may produce abiogenic hydrocarbons.

"This paper is important," says physicist Freeman Dyson at Princeton University in New Jersey. "Not because it settles the question whether the origin of natural gas and petroleum is organic or inorganic, but because it gives us tools to attack the question experimentally. If the answer turns out to be inorganic, this has huge implications for the ecology and economy of our planet as well as for the chemistry of other planets."

More here


There is a new Greenie film out called: The End of Suburbia - Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream. Below are some excerpts from a review of it by a true believer:

"A simple fact of life is that any system based on the use of nonrenewable resources is unsustainable. Despite all the warnings that we are headed for an ecological and environmental perfect storm, many Americans are oblivious to the flashing red light on the earth's fuel gauge. Many feel the "American way of life" is an entitlement that operates outside the laws of nature. At the Earth Summit in 1992, George H.W. Bush forcefully declared, "The American way of life is not negotiable." That way of life requires a highly disproportionate use of the world's nonrenewable resources. While only containing 4% of the world population, the United States consumes 25% of the world's oil. The centerpiece of that way of life is suburbia. And massive amounts of nonrenewable fuels are required to maintain the project of suburbia".

Where do you start with such a steaming heap of old-fashioned credulity? Paul Ehrlich said much the same in the 60's and concluded that the "population bomb" would explode by 1975 -- ending civilization as we know it. Instead, of course, we had more resources and wealth than ever by 1975. And by 2004 we have even more.

Take the sentence: "A simple fact of life is that any system based on the use of nonrenewable resources is unsustainable". Of course it is. The statement is what philosophers call analytically true -- i.e. it is true by definition. What is NOT true is its assumption that the resources we rely on are nonrenewable. There is now every evidence that oil will never run out and, even if it did, motor fuel from either coal or sugarcane is already proven technology that would cost us a bit more at the pump but that is all.

And there is nothing more renewable than sugarcane. You can bring a whole crop from planting to maturity in one year! And as far back as World War II, Australians were running around in cars powered by alcohol derived from sugarcane. And the world has a chronic surplus of sugar. Sugarcane is so easy to grow that America has big tariff barriers up to keep "foreign" sugar out!

I could go on but you don't argue with a hot-Gospeller -- especially if the gospel is a Greenie one.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Big bang theory based on an assumption now known to be wrong

"But the same text-books that extoll the magnificence of scientific achievement and discovery fail to mention the numerous black eyes of science. Many are unaware that below the visible exterior of this noble endeavor lies a dark underbelly of corruption, greed, and political warfare. Everyone is familiar with the travails and injustices suffered by some of history's great scientific pioneers, the most famous being Copernicus and Galileo. These "dangerous" mavericks paid an enormous price for challenging traditional assumptions. Unbeknownst to many, this pattern of suppression and censorship, directed at those who "think outside the box," has continued into the modern era.

In the field of cosmology - the study of how the universe began, how it works, and where it is going - a number of popular theories are considered so "obviously true" that few dare to challenge them. The big bang, black holes, dark matter, and the fundamental theory of gravitational dominance in the Universe are widely presented as FACTS by the scientific mainstream. But what if I told you that a key underpinning of these popular THEORIES has already been disproved by Space Age discoveries?

The big bang, or rather the reasoning behind the theory, has been shattered by recent images from space. This may seem like a bold assertion, but it's not. It's an indisputable fact. The most fundamental assumption behind the big bang has been proven wrong. I will explain why in plain English. The entire rationale for the big bang rests on an interpretation of a well-known phenomenon called REDSHIFT. The light from distant objects in space is shifted towards the RED. What does this mean?

Many years ago, it was concluded that redshift could only mean that the space objects were moving away from the observer, stretching out the lightwaves emanating from the objects. This enabled astronomers, based on the degree of redshift, to calculate both the distances and velocities of the objects. It was from these calculations that they were driven to a pre-ordained conclusion: if all of the objects are moving farther away, it must mean that the universe is EXPANDING. If the universe is expanding, it could not be traced back indefinitely - it must have had a STARTING POINT. This required an unimaginable EXPLOSION capable of producing the expansion of the entire universe. In 2003, a team of scientists placed this event at between 11.2 billion and 20 billion years ago.

One reason for the ambivalence as to the size and age of the universe is the discovery of QUASARS - a revelation that shattered the previous picture of the heavens. Quasars are highly energetic stars that are the most "redshifted" objects in the universe. In fact, they are so strongly shifted towards the red that the astronomers' scale put them outside the previously imagined boundaries of the universe. Moreover, at that distance, they must be more GIGANTIC than any star previously imagined by astronomers. These conclusions were, by the astronomers' own admissions, inescapable. And they became the foundation for modern cosmology - the so-called Queen of the Sciences.

This picture CANNOT BE CORRECT. It can now be shown indisputably that quasars are not super giants at the outer edges of the universe. They are physically and energetically connected to the CLOSEST galaxies. For years, this observation has been made by Halton Arp, the leading authority on peculiar galaxies, who has amassed direct evidence that the universe is not expanding, and there never was a big bang.

Most recently, on October 3, 2003, the Hubble telescope photographed a galaxy (NGC 7319) known for its dense clouds obstructing all objects behind its core. In front or close to the front of the galaxy's core is a strongly redshifted QUASAR. This means that the quasar is NOT at the outer regions of the universe...but NEARBY. Its redshift has nothing to do with velocity or distance - it is just an intrinsic, and yet unexplained, QUALITY of the quasar. And that means that the astronomers' assumptions about redshift, and everything that logically followed, are FALSE.

There is more to this story, and the facts grow increasingly unsettling. Halton Arp has been delivering critical information to astronomers for many years, and has paid a heavy price. Eventually, the astronomical community DENIED Arp further telescope time, forcing him to leave the United States to carry on his work (he is now affiliated with the Max Planck Institute in Germany.) The people responsible for these actions no doubt felt they were justified in ostracizing Arp for the "greater good." But the evidence is becoming clear that this is yet another black mark on science that will not be easily removed.

Recently, dozens of top scientists, including Arp, Eric J. Lerner, and Michael Ibison authored an open letter to the scientific community, arguing that the dominance of big bang theory "rests more on funding decision than on the scientific method." They write: "Today, virtually all financial and experimental resources in cosmology are devoted to big bang studies. Funding comes from only a few sources, and all the peer-review committees that control them are dominated by supporters of the big bang. As a result, the dominance of the big bang within the field has become self-sustaining, irrespective of the scientific validity of the theory. "Giving support only to projects within the big bang framework undermines a fundamental element of the scientific method -- the constant testing of theory against observation. Such a restriction makes unbiased discussion and research impossible..." "

More here. See also here.

Other examples

Astronomy is a bit outside the focus of this blog but I have reproduced the excerpts above to show that scientific dishonesty is not confined to climate science and that scientists generally are not the little tin Gods of popular imagination. Like other people, they find it hard to overcome their prejudices and preconceptions. I found the same myself in my scientific field -- which is psychology. See here, for instance. Evidence is just ignored that conflicts with the conventional theory.

Astronomy is in fact replete with prejudice and refusal to face facts. Nothing has changed in that regard since Galileo. It takes many years for false theories to be seen as what they are. Another good example of astronomers clinging on to myths in the face of the evidence is the case of comets. Current astronomical dogma is that astronomical bodies are not electrically charged -- so how do we account for how bright comets seem in the sky? The orthodox theory is that comets are "dirty snowballs" -- composed of mush that flares out as a gas in the heat of the sun. BIG PROBLEM: We now have seen a number of comets close up and they are in fact just lumps of rock! See here. But is the orthodox theory being abandoned? No way! That would require a re-think of the whole subject of electical charges to astronomical bodies. MUCH easier to ignore the evidence and carry on with conventional thinking.

And note the treatment of Andrew Prentice by other astronomical physicists. His comprehensive theory of how the solar system was formed was always either ignored or mocked by his colleagues -- until various satellite flybys of the outer planets kept confirming his predictions. Now that his theories have even accounted for the findings of the recent Cassini flyby, I think a lot of backpedalling is to be expected from the orthodox theorists. The space-probe findings are too big and important a body of data for even orthodoxy to ignore.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Comments? Email me or here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here