Thursday, June 30, 2005


A radical environmentalist who is one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives told an extradition hearing Monday he was being unfairly targeted by the U.S. government and should be allowed to remain in Canada. Tre Arrow, born Michael Scarpitti, is accused of taking part in the 2001 firebombings of logging and cement trucks in Oregon. The FBI also claims he is associated with the Earth Liberation Front, a group that has claimed responsibility for dozens of acts of destruction over the past few years. "I am being targeted by the U.S. government and the FBI, not because I am guilty but because I have chosen to challenge the status quo," Arrow, and a Green Party candidate for Congress in 2000, said at his extradition hearing.

In order for an extradition to be ordered, the judge must find there is sufficient evidence to convict the accused on the same charges in Canada. Prosecutor Rosellina Patillo said evidence from the federal prosecutor in Oregon indicates Arrow was among four conspirators involved in the bombings of a gravel company and a logging company between April and June of 2001. The evidence comes from statements of Arrow's three coconspirators who have pleaded guilty. The suspects intended to firebomb a U.S. Forest Service office, but abandoned the idea after they found the security system was too tight, Patillo said.

Arrow is seeking refugee status in Canada, his lawyer said. The 30-year-old Arrow - who says the trees told him to change his name - contends he would not get a fair trial in the United States because of the FBI's assertion that his alleged crimes are acts of terrorism. He faces federal charges in Oregon of using fire to commit a felony, destroying vehicles used in interstate commerce and using incendiary devices in a crime of violence. He faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted.



Even subsidies cannot preserve primitive farming practices so European farming villages are emptying out. As a result much land is reverting to the wild. Are the Greeniers happy with that? NO WAY! There is no such thing as a happy farmer or a happy Greenie. The Greenies are trying to STOP the land going back to a more natural state -- Believe it or not! Note that there is not much of a problem in more prosperous Britain, where gentrification is keeping the countryside alive. Lots of prosperous Brits can afford a second home in the country where most Europeans cannot

Home to 22 of the world's 25 lowest-birthrate countries, Europe will lose 41 million people by 2030 even with continued immigration, according to the latest U.N. Population Division report. The biggest decline will hit rural Europe. As Italians, Spaniards, Germans and others produce barely half the children needed to maintain the status quo-and rural flight continues to suck people into Europe's suburbs and cities-the countryside will lose close to a third of its population, say both the United Nations and the EU. "It's a triple time bomb," says University of Lisbon demographer Nuno da Costa. "Too few children, too many old people and too many of the remaining young people still leaving the village."

The implications of this transformation touch on everything from tourism to retirement locales to government conservation and agricultural policies. Our postcard view of Europe, after all, is of a continent where every scrap of land has long been farmed, fenced off and settled, where every tree has been measured, counted and named. But the continent of the future may look rather different. "Big parts of Europe will renaturalize," says Reiner Klingholz, head of the Berlin Institute for Population Development. Bears are back in Austria. In Swiss alpine valleys, farms have been receding and forests are growing back in. In parts of France and Germany, wildcats and ospreys have re-established their range.

This sounds like an eco-environmentalist's dream, inspiring loose talk of a Europe Pastoral-the return of wide-open spaces and primeval wilderness to a densely settled landscape. Yet the truth is more varied, and interesting. While many rural regions of Europe will empty out, others will experience something of a renaissance. Already, attractive areas within striking distance of prosperous cities are seeing robust revivals, driven by urban flight and a rising influx of childless retirees. From Provence to Piedmont, Kent to the Costa del Sol, ex-urbanites are snapping up vacation homes, hobby vineyards and horse farms

Contrast that with less-favored areas-from the Spanish interior across the Alps to Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. These face dying villages, abandoned farmsteads and changes in the land not seen for generations. Both types of regions will have to cope with a steeply aging population and their accompanying health and service needs, says Gunnar Malmberg, a rural geographer at Sweden's Umea University. "Rural Europe is the laboratory for demographic change."

Visit the Greek village of Prastos for an extreme glimpse of what Malmberg might mean. An ancient hill town in the eastern Peloponnese, Prastos once had 1,000 residents, most of them working the land. Now only a dozen are left, most in their 60s and 70s. With no children, the school has been closed since 1988. Sunday church bells no longer ring. "The old people here will die," says visiting ex-resident Petros Litrivis, 60. "Everything will be abandoned." Without farmers to tend the fields, rain has washed away the once fertile soil. Of the 50,000 goats that once grazed the hills, only a fraction remain. As in much of Greece, land that has been orchards and pasture for some 2,000 years is now covered with a parched scrub that, in the summer, frequently catches fire.

Rural depopulation is, of course, not new. Thousands of villages like Prastos dotEurope, the result of a century or more of emigration, industrialization and agricultural mechanization. "But this time it's different because never has the rural birthrate been so low," demographer Costa says. In the past, for example, a farmer could usually find at least one of his offspring to take over the land. Today, chances are he has but a single son or daughter, usually working in the city and rarely willing to return. In Italy, more than 60 percent of the country's 2.6 million farmers are at least 65 years old. Once they die out, many of their farms will join the 6 million hectares (one third of Italian farmland) that has already been abandoned.

Rising economic pressures will amplify the trend. One third of Europe's farmland is marginal, from the cold northern plains to the parched Mediterranean hills. Most of these farmers subsist on EU subsidies, since it's cheaper to import food from abroad. Already, the EU is trying to limit costly overproduction by paying farmers not to farm. "Without subsidies, some of the most scenic European landscapes would not survive," says Jan-Erik Petersen, a landscape biologist at the European Environmental Agency in Copenhagen. Take the Austrian or Swiss Alps. Defined for centuries by orchards, cows and high mountain pastures, those steep valleys are labor-intensive to farm, with subsidies paying up to 90 percent of the cost. The Austrians and Swiss pay up so that the postcard-perfect scenes can continue to exist. Across the border in France and Italy, subsidies have been reduced for mountain-farming. Since then, all across the southern Alps, villages have emptied out and forests have grown back in.

This isn't necessarily the environmentalist's dream it might seem. The scrub brush and forest that grows on abandoned land might be good for deer and wolves, but is vastly less species-rich than traditional farming, with its pastures, ponds and hedges. "Once shrubs cover everything, you lose the meadow habitat. All the flowers, herbs, birds and butterflies disappear," says the EEA's Petersen. "A new forest doesn't get diverse until it's a couple of hundred years old." An odd alliance of farmers and environmentalists have joined to put pressure on the EU to "keep the landscape open," as World Wildlife Fund spokeswoman Catherine Bett calls it. Keeping biodiversity up by preventing the land from going wild is one of the reasons the EU pays farmers to mow fallow land once a year. France and Germany subsidize sheep herds whose grazing keeps scenic heaths from growing in. Outside the range of these subsidies-in Bulgaria, Romania or Ukraine-big tracts of land are returning to the wild.

For governments, the challenge has been to develop policies that slow the demographic decline or attract new residents. In some places, such as Britain and France, large parts of the countryside are reviving more or less on their own as an increasingly wealthy urban middle class in search of second homes recolonizes villages and farms. In southern England, farmland prices have soared, helped along by burned-out investment bankers become hobby farmers, raising organic produce or rare breeds of pigs.....

More here


As an ABC News-Washington Post poll recently found, 59 percent of Americans are "mostly" or "completely" convinced that "global warming or the greenhouse effect is happening." That's not surprising, considering that they have heard little to the contrary for nearly two decades.

Fortunately, Americans are also blessed with an abundance of common sense. By an equally large margin, the respondents expressed the belief that global warming is "a long-term problem that requires more study before government action is taken." They know full well that the weatherman, armed with incredibly powerful computers, has difficulty predicting tomorrow's rain. Why should anybody be confident that computer models can predict the temperature a century from now?

There is a more basic reason for skepticism. Government isn't terrific at solving such complex problems, even when they turn out to be real. After all, a fair chunk of the population can still remember the last time government got itself deeply involved in trying to ration energy. The result was stagflation and the wasteful gas lines of the 1970s. And make no mistake about it, energy rationing -- as well as huge subsidies to the big corporations that make nuclear plants or wind turbines -- is precisely where the environmental hysteria over global warming was leading.

The latest bill rejected by the Senate, sponsored by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz, and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., would have mandated caps on carbon dioxide and a market-oriented system for trading them. Those who needed more energy could theoretically buy credits from those who could make do with less. But government would still have to establish the overall cap on energy use. Aside from the crucial question of whether a government bureaucracy is smart enough to do so, even environmentalists confess that Kyoto or McLieberman measures would have been a small first step in clamping a huge indirect tax on the American and world economy.

The collapse of the latest global warming boomlet is thus more than another bump in the political road. It represented the profound unease of the public about turning so much economic and social power over to Washington

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.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005


I reproduce below a post of 26th from Steve McIntyre

Several people have drawn attention to letters from the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee to Mann, Bradley, Hughes, the director of the U.S. National Science Foundation and the chairman of the IPCC, which were posted up at the Committee website on Friday here.

The letters refer to the Wall Street Journal [this would presumably be the article of Feb. 14, 2005, in which Mann said that he would not be "intimidated" into releasing his algorithm, rather than the recent editorial], as well as to our articles. They have directed Mann, among other things, to produce his source code. In our E&E article, we pointed out several areas, where, in our opinion, MBH98 did not meet "full, true and plain disclosure" standards, which are routinely applied to securities offerings and promotions, e.g. the withholding of R2 and other verification statistics, the impact of the presence/absence of bristlecones (the CENSORED directory), the "editing" and misrepresentation of the Gaspe start date. Questions are asked specifically about these matters.

The questions are focussed on process, with particular emphasis on processes for validation and verification, issues which are obviously of interest to readers of this blog. The letters are well worth taking a look at.

And one of the comments on the above post is well worth reproducing too:

Adherence to facts allways pays off. Never mind the outcome of the investigation now launched , it´s of great help and reassurance to lay people like me trying to catch up with what is going on, that people like Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick are not afraid to stand up to the pressure from a sometimes fierce scientific community. And succeed. I´m sure that it will be clear to “both” sides of the debate, that never mind the outcome of the investigation, honest and real science will be the ultimate winner in the future. Once things have settled, I suppose that because such an investigation can be provoked, scientists will be much more careful not to give way to biased research, and that again could happen to be of great relief to ordinary people who might have their life negatively influenced because of bad science adopted by policymakers as the “truth". So from one who is willing to accept whatever the truth is, just it´s the real truth, a big thanks to Steve Mcintyre and Ross McKitrick.


The researcher described below rightly calls into question current usage of ethanol (industrial alcohol) as fuel for cars but what he says is largely irrelevant to how ethanol would be used if its usage was market-driven rather than Greenie driven. Under free trade and under conditions of higher oil prices, ethanol could be produced much more efficiently than it is. For a start, the basic feedstock used for production of ethanol in the USA is sugar extracted from corn. This is lunacy in economic terms as free-market sugar produced from sugarcane is only about a quarter of the price that Americans are forced to pay for their sugar by their government's trade controls. There would be no corn-sugar industry under free trade.

And traditional sugar-mills in countries like Australia are powered almost entirely by burning bagasse -- the pulpy waste that is left over when the cane is crushed to extract the sugar-laden juice. So little or no fossil fuel is needed to drive the process of sugar production. The sugarcane in effect crushes itself. And after the sugar is produced, little bugs (yeast) turn it into alcohol. That's how the alcohol in beer gets there. And the bugs are not powered by fossil fuel either. They do it for us for free, all by their little selves -- as they have been doing for thousands of years. You could in fact feed the cane-juice fresh out of the crusher directly to the bugs if you wanted to be really energy-efficient about it. There is no need for an intermediate stage of sugar production. And you could get good hooch out of doing that as well. If I remember rightly, that is how rum originated

"Ethanol, touted as an alternative fuel of the future, may eat up far more energy during its creation than it winds up giving back, according to research by a UC Berkeley scientist that raises questions about the nation's move toward its widespread use. A clean-burning fuel produced from renewable crops like corn and sugarcane, ethanol has long been a cornerstone of some national lawmakers' efforts to clear the air and curb dependence on foreign oil. California residents use close to a billion gallons of the alcohol-based fuel per year.

But in a recent issue of the journal Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, UC Berkeley geoengineering professor Tad Patzek argued that up to six times more energy is used to make ethanol than the finished fuel actually contains. The fossil energy expended during production alone, he concluded, easily outweighs the consumable energy in the end product. As a result, Patzek believes that those who think using the "green" fuel will reduce fossil fuel consumption are deluding themselves -- and the federal government's practice of subsidizing ethanol by offering tax exemptions to oil refiners who buy it is a waste of money. "People tend to think of ethanol and see an endless cycle: corn is used to produce ethanol, ethanol is burned and gives off carbon dioxide, and corn uses the carbon dioxide as it grows," he said. "But that isn't the case. Fossil fuel actually drives the whole cycle."

Patzek's investigation into the energy dynamics of ethanol production began two years ago, when he had the students in his Berkeley freshman seminar calculate the fuel's energy balance as a class exercise. Once the class took into account little-considered inputs like fossil fuels and other energy sources used to extrude alcohol from corn, produce fertilizers and insecticides, transport crops and dispose of wastewater, they determined that ethanol contains 65 percent less usable energy than is consumed in the process of making it....

Ethanol has long been touted not just for its promise as a renewable fuel, but for its usefulness as a gasoline additive. Fossil fuels blended with it produce fewer carbon monoxide emissions than regular gasoline and have a higher octane rating, meaning they burn more evenly and are less likely to cause engine knocking. While most gasoline sold in the United States now contains approximately 5 percent ethanol, some cars -- such as the Ford Explorer and Chevy Silverado -- can run on fuel blends containing up to 85 percent.

Though his work has been vetted by several peer-reviewed scientific journals, Patzek has had to deflect criticism from a variety of sources. David Morris, an economist and vice president of the Minneapolis-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance, has attacked the Berkeley professor's analysis because he says it is based on farming and production practices that are rapidly becoming obsolete. "His figures (regarding energy consumed in fertilizer production) are accurate for older nitrogen fertilizer plants, but newer plants use only half the energy of those that were built 35 years ago," he said. He also cited the increasing popularity of no-till farming methods, which can reduce a corn farm's diesel usage by 75 percent....

Hosein Shapouri, an economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has also cracked down on Patzek's energy calculations. "It's true that the original ethanol plants in the 1970s went bankrupt. But Patzek doesn't consider the impact new, more efficient production technologies have had on the ethanol industry," he said. Shapouri's most recent analysis, which the USDA published in 2004, comes to the exact opposite conclusion of Patzek's: Ethanol, he said, has a positive energy balance, containing 67 percent more energy than is used to manufacture it.

More here


I mentioned it previously on 14th.

Some Canadian scientists have rejected the so-called "global warming" threat, insisting that climate change is normal and isn't even caused by humans. A new video, produced by the Calgary, Alberta-based group, Friends of Science, is titled, "Climate Catastrophe Cancelled: What you are NOT being told about the science of Climate Change!" In the video, Prof. Ross McKitrick from the University of Guelph in Ontario claims that advocates of the "global warming" theory used flawed computer models to try to prove their case. He describes a study "that appeared in the world's top science journal and yet years went by and they never noticed that the data description that had accompanied the paper was wrong, that there were very important methodological issues that weren't described in the paper."

Climate models, if used accurately, would show that the temperatures from hundreds of years ago were similar to the temperatures of today, adds Dr. Sallie Baliunas, a scientific advisory board member for the Friends of Science. "Past climate researchers have found out that over much of the world between about 1400 and in some places as late as 1900, there was a period of colder than average temperatures over many regions of the world, called the Little Ice Age," Baliunas asserts in the video. "Before that, there was a period of unusual warmth, so warming and cooling are the norm. The 20th century is not out of balance compared to the past," she adds. Baliunas, who is also a research scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., maintains in the video that she has no quarrel with the idea of climate change. "Climate always changes," Baliunas says in the video. "It always has and it always will, no matter what humans are doing.

Speaking at the video's presentation on Capitol Hill June 23, Dr. Tim Ball, a retired professor of climatology from the University of Winnipeg, said the liberal view of climate change or "global warming" ignores some of the most important variables. He compared the investigation of climate change with that of a broken down car. "Ignoring the sun is like ignoring the engine, ignoring water vapor is like ignoring the transmission and focusing on human produced CO2 (carbon dioxide) is like looking at one nut on the right rear wheel," Ball said.

Baliunas agrees, declaring in the video that there is "much new evidence showing the sun has cycles over centuries [and that] the earth has warmings and coolings that follow in step with the sun. The sun's changes [are] one reason why the earth has climate change," she says.

The Friends of Science video describes water vapor as the "main greenhouse gas in the atmosphere," whose effects on the climate have not been sufficiently investigated. As for man-made carbon dioxide, enemy number one of "global warming" activists and the focus of the Kyoto Protocol - the international emissions reduction treaty -- it has not been shown to affect temperature levels, according to Dr. Tim Patterson, professor of geology and paleoclimatology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. "We actually had a decline in temperature from the 1940s through about the late 1970s to 1980. All this while, CO2 levels were increasing like crazy all around the world," he said.

Prof. Ian Clark, from the department of earth sciences at the University of Ottawa, asserts in the Friends of Science video that his research into naturally-occurring CO2, tracked over the earth's history, showed that "CO2 acts as a result of temperature rise and [is] not a cause of temperature rise."

Baliunas defends carbon dioxide in the video, saying that as the level "has increased in the air over the last 50 years, plants have grown better, more vigorously, faster. Farmers have gotten a little extra bounty in their crops for free because there is more carbon dioxide in the air," she adds.

Ball said he has already lived through two climate changes: cooling and warming. But unlike the alarms being raised by liberal environmentalists and their political, academic and media allies, Ball pointed out that "the evidence is we're heading for cooling again."

The Friends of Science website states that its goal is "to encourage and assist the Canadian Federal Government to re-evaluate the Kyoto Protocol ... and to educate the public through dissemination of relevant, balanced and objective technical information on this subject."



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.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005


An email to Benny Peiser from Will Alexander, Professor Emeritus, Department of Civil and Biosystems Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Email

"Coming from Africa, I have followed the Academies of Science/G8 issue with a great deal of concern. I fully understand and appreciate the anxiety of the 12 northern hemisphere academies, but I fear that their conclusions are altogether wrong. The fundamental mistake that both the pro- and anti-climate change theorists have made and continue to make, is their reliance on unprovable process theory, instead of applying observational theory to the huge volume (thousands of station years) of routinely recorded data, where the linkage between the hydrometeorological processes (rainfall, river flow, floods and droughts) and climatic perturbations is abundantly clear.

These are the principal results from my three-year study of what appears to be the largest and most comprehensive climate-related database studied anywhere. My search was for climate-related signals that occurred concurrently in most data sets of most processes. This is what I found.

* There has been a 9% increase in rainfall over South Africa as a whole since the commencement of district rainfall records in 1922.

* This increase consists of an increase in the frequency of beneficial widespread rainfall events, with an acceleration from the middle of the last century.

* Corresponding changes in river flow and floods, if present, were undetectable against the background of high natural variability.

* The natural variability is directly related to statistically significant (95% level) 21-year periodicity in all processes other than open water surface evaporation.

* This periodicity in turn is directly related to, and occurs concurrently with, the double sunspot cycle. The linkage is clearly apparent and unequivocal. It has been well documented and reported in South Africa for more than a century.

* The commencement of the periodicity in the hydrometeorological responses is characterised by sudden changes from drought conditions to high rainfall conditions and floods. These are directly (but not precisely) related to corresponding sudden changes in sunspot activity that are associated with the occurrence of the sunspot minima. (We have just entered such a period.)

* The two independent sunspot cycles have fundamentally different effects on the hydrometeorological processes. These alternating sequences of wet and dry years are well recorded in the early hydrological literature. This is probably why efforts to correlate the 11-year cycles, instead of the double cycles, with climatic responses have been unsuccessful.

* There is some evidence of a linkage between increases in sunspot activity during the past century with corresponding increases in the South African surface air temperature and the frequency of widespread rainfall events.

* There is no linkage between climate and the occurrence of malaria in Africa.

In summary, if the consequences of human activity on the scale identified in the joint statement of the academies of science are so large, they should be readily identifiable in the large volume of data that I studied. Despite a diligent search and without any preconceived ideas or intentions, I was unable to find any evidence of the adverse effects of climate change that could not be explained by natural variability, including the effects of solar activity. Such changes that I was able to identify were all beneficial to both humanity and the natural environment.

If any of your readers have an interest, I can provide references and more information.


"When I fly, I always insist on taking the window seat. Maybe it's the 12-year-old boy in me - I like seeing the world as Matchbox cars and ants-as-people scurrying about. Even as an adult and a resident of a large metropolis, I'm always curious about exactly what this modern expanse of planned communities and shopping meccas really looks like from above. I recently took a flight from New Orleans, across the center of the country, into Chicago. Upon the flight's descent, about 50 miles outside of Chicago, I had a revelation; or, more apt, a bit of confusion: I'd flown 800-plus miles, most of it unobstructed by clouds, and all along I was asking myself - where exactly is this supposedly overwhelming urban sprawl? Certainly there were splotches of it here and there. Certainly there were rare specks of civilization within a virtual universe of green and brown. But sprawl? I just didn't see it.

All of this was little more than an interesting observation until the next day, when I read about the release of the United Nations atlas entitled "One Planet Many People" - comparing decades-old satellite photos of certain areas with modern ones, supposedly showing the global devastation of man. Interesting. I assumed the UN project had more resources for statistical analysis than I did during my few cross-country trips. But when I dug into the book, what I found wasn't actually a shocking exposé on how mankind is destroying the planet. Instead, I found an excellent exposé of the flaws of the fundamental environmentalist argument.

While environmentalist causes are often born anecdotally, they're certainly not always lacking in statistics - and the pages of this UN atlas have just enough, as they say, to be dangerous. The facts and figures sprinkled throughout this UN atlas are not necessarily invalid, but they always seem to be missing one concept - the context of the global calculus. X number of acres of rain forest have been cut down. OK, but X acres of how many total? Cities have grown X amount per year, on average. I believe you, but how much of our space is left? Carbon dioxide emissions for the decade were X tons. Great, that seems like a lot, but what specific events will happen because of this? Unfortunately, these questions often elicit a lot of "I don't knows", "maybes", and "possiblys".

Unless you're one who believes the end result must be dire merely because of a statistic in print, the numbers presented by traditional environmentalist arguments are rarely meaningful. Fine, so people don't like math - math is boring, I get it. People do like pretty pictures - hence, the UN is releasing an atlas rather than volumes of statistical analysis to prove its point. Now, I love nifty satellite photos as much as the next guy, but any search for true significance in them will yield far less than the proverbial thousand words. Looking at photo after photo comparing specific areas over decades, you can't deny that humans have had some effect on the planet. But how much? The majority of photos are close-ups of specific cities, so all that's evident is that coastlines are colored differently, a few trees are now buildings, and cities are growing.

After millenniums of seemingly massive population growth, humans take up only a minuscule amount of the planet. Even given our current growth rate, the human effect will still remain basically infinitesimal. Environmentalists would have you believe that we're inhabiting the lone, rare pockets of land that can sustain human life, and any damage to those are, indeed, globally devastating. However, when one zooms out, so to speak, from the areas we inhabit now what we see is ample land, ripe for our inevitable technological advancements to make inhabitable.

The collection of photographs in this book - and most photographic environmental evidence, in reality - proves only one thing: Our effects on the planet are really evident only when zoomed in on. Beyond the admittedly neat pictures, this attempt at an atlas of man's destruction crystallizes but one thing: Environmentalists love microcosms. Any situation they can prove to be gravely perilous in a 40-square-mile area, they tend to extrapolate globally. It's been the linchpin of the environmental movement forever: coal smoke in a few large cities during the early 1900s, a few miles of coastline destroyed by an oil tanker crash, the mere existence of pollutants in relatively tiny metropolitan areas - all these were heralded as environmental disasters.

Despite constant warnings, global devastation never quite seems to happen. We've been safe thus far - throughout industrial revolutions, oil landgrabs, and periods of rampant consumption - and there has yet to be any solid, fact-based rationale to explain how we won't always find a way to grow beyond microcosmic environmental problems. It appears environmentalists can't see the forest because they're zoomed in on one or two ailing trees.

Excerpt from The Christian Science Monitor, 23 June 2005


Global warming could trigger an Ice Age in the northern hemisphere as seen in a recent Hollywood disaster movie, a groundbreaking study suggested today. British scientists have analysed climate patterns at the end of the last Ice Age and believe that as the southern regions of the world heat up, northern parts could grow colder.

The findings by experts from the universities of Edinburgh, Stirling and Durham contradict the widely-held view that global warming will impact across the world. Their findings are more like something out of blockbuster film The Day After Tomorrow, in which global warming causes the Gulf Stream to be switched off.

The 11,400 years of climatic stability since the last Ice Age have resulted in a warm Europe and cold southern ocean because the Gulf Stream takes warm water north across the equator. But the study found global warming could prompt major cooling of the north Atlantic as ice caps melt, cooling the north Atlantic and transforming wind patterns around a warming Antarctica. The researchers say a bipolar climatic "seesaw" effect - last triggered when the Earth heated up after the Ice Age - could happen again.

The team spent 14 years analysing radiocarbon and isotope samples from Patagonia in South America - the most southerly land mass outside of Antarctica - where they built up a picture of glacier changes in the past 25,000 years. After comparing their results with data on north Atlantic glaciers over the same time period, they found that during periods of major climate change the Patagonian ice rivers expanded while those in the north shrank, and vice versa. The data shows the seesaw effect last happened during the transition from the last Ice Age, 17,500 years ago, to our present climate, 11,400 years ago.

With the Earth now appearing to move out of a settled climate period, the experts believe the time could be ripe for the seesaw effect to happen again. Project leader Professor David Sugden, of Edinburgh University's School of GeoSciences, said: "Our discoveries raise interesting questions for our present warming world. How stable is our present climate system? "How far can it be pushed before we inadvertently switch the bipolar seesaw on or off? Can it be switched on by changes in the southern hemisphere, for example by changes in Antarctica?

"The study confirms that we may be closer to Ice Age conditions in the northern hemisphere than many previously thought." Their research has been published in the Swedish journal Geografiska Annaler.

From The Scotsman, 23 June 2005


The controversial idea that global warming could trigger a sudden drop in temperatures - maybe not in a matter of days as portrayed in the recent disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow, but possibly within a century - has finally been put to rest. The latest ice core drilled from northern Greenland is showing that the last interglacial period, despite being warmer than today, did not end in a sudden freeze. Rather, it took thousands of years for the warm temperatures to give way to the next ice age.

The Greenland ice sheet is made from layers of snow that have compacted into ice over millennia. By drilling a core of ice, researchers can look back in time and determine the temperature when the snow fell by analysing the ratio of oxygen isotopes in the ice. Two previous Greenland ice cores, one known as GRIP extracted by European scientists in 1992, and another called GISP2 retrieved by Americans a year later, gave climatologists their best ever records of temperatures going far back in time. The two cores agreed almost perfectly all the way back to 113,000 years ago, but then diverged dramatically.

GRIP showed that temperatures in Greenland, and presumably worldwide, underwent many sudden fluctuations between 113,000 to 125,000 years ago. In one instance, temperatures appeared to plummet by up to 14 °C within 70 years. This sparked alarm because the last interglacial period, known as the Eemian, lasted from about 130,000 to 115,000 years ago, and conditions then are thought to closely parallel today's climate. Scientists worried that warm temperatures during the Eemian could have shut down the Gulf Stream, which keeps the north-eastern US and northern Europe relatively warm for their latitudes.

But controversy erupted when GISP2 found no record of such fluctuations. It soon became clear that at least one team, and possibly both, had drilled in a region where the underlying rock is very hilly, potentially jumbling the bottom 10 per cent of the ice. To resolve the debate, European researchers went back to northern Greenland in 1996 and started drilling in a region with flat bedrock, which they reached in July 2003. The new core, known as NGRIP, goes back 123,000 years, and at ~3085 metres it is the longest ice core recovered from Greenland. Besides analysing the oxygen isotopes in the ice, the Europeans also looked at levels of methane trapped in air bubbles. Methane levels rise during warm periods and fall when it gets cold, and the variations back up the oxygen-isotope data.

"This time we are 100 per cent certain that the ice core is reliable:' says team member Jurgen Peder Steffensen of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. "The new analysis also shows that the two older ice cores are only reliable to 105.000 years." The NGRIP core reaches into the final 8000 years of the Eemian. The team found that Greenland was then about five degrees warmer on average than today, [All those prehistoric SUVs at work, no doubt] and that the climate was stable. The warm period ended with a slow cooling over 5000 years"

Excerpt from New Scientist, 11 September 2004


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.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Monday, June 27, 2005


It may well get dearer, in which case we will use one or several of the many alternatives -- though nukes and ethanol are the obvious alternatives. At the moment a large slice of what you pay at the pump is tax anyway

For decades environmentalists have been warning that we are "running out of resources." The 1960s Club of Rome Report was the classic document of this genre. The authors were computer jocks at MIT who tried to build the first model of the world economy. They programmed in dozens of factors - resource supplies, technology improvements, pollution outputs - and then tried to project the whole thing forward 40 years to see how the world would make out.

The model kept collapsing. Try as they might, they couldn't program a "stable world environment." They decided that because they couldn't build a prosperous, pollution-free world on their MIT computer, the world itself wouldn't be able to produce one, either. So they wrote a book predicting disaster. It was an absurd exercise, yet it captured the imagination of millions of people eager to believe the worst.

The great Julian Simon refuted this kind of thinking. He proved, without doubt, resources are constantly growing more plentiful and human ingenuity is "the ultimate resource." Putting his money on the line, he won his famous bet with Paul Ehrlich about future commodity prices. Simon proved what economists since Adam Smith had been saying all along - certain activities are "profitable" only because they save people time, effort and energy. Left unhindered, the market will take us where we want to go.

Peter Huber and Mark Mills have reiterated Simon's argument in The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, The Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy. Sticking it right in the face of environmentalists, Huber and Mills argue the more energy we consume, the better off we are. The world is awash with low-level energy. "What is scarce is not raw energy but the drive and the logic that is able to locate, purify, and channel it to our own ends." Waste - i.e., low-grade energy - is good because it means we are creating greater order somewhere else. That's the trade-off in the Law of Thermodynamics. The high-level order created by computerized seismological imaging, for example, enables us to hunt more and more inaccessible oil, which gives us more energy to hunt even more oil, and so on.

Now contrast this unbridled optimism with the book party at the National Press Club last week for Matthew Simmons Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy.

Simmons is not an environmentalist. He's a Houston investment banker with a degree from Harvard Business School who has been intensely involved in the oil business for thirty years. He thinks environmentalists are a bit kooky. "They seem to relish the idea that world oil production may peak and are gleefully looking forward to it," he says. Yet Simmons' argument is not terribly different from that of the Club of Rome.

Thoroughly versed in the geology of oil exploration, Simmons makes one simple point that is beginning to reverberate around the oil world these days: We may be running up against the limits of easy oil. Sure, there will still be trillions of barrels of oil in the tar sands of Alberta -Huber and Mills' point - but it will not be easy to access. For the last thirty years, we've been living off Middle Eastern oil that essentially rose to the surface when you stuck a pipe in the ground. Now those fields are aging. Simmons thinks the Saudis and Aramco damaged them considerably by pumping too hard in the 1970s and early 1980s so that extensive water and gas injection will be required to access what's left.

The example that Simmons and others use to make their case is the United States of America. In 1970, we passed "Hubbert's Peak," the point where oil production leveled off. Looking at the rate of new discovery in 1956, Shell Oil geologist M. King Hubbert predicted domestic oil production would peak in 1969. He missed by one year. Sure, we have discovered new oil in Prudhoe Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. And new technology allows us to extract more oil than previously possible. Still, domestic production has never gotten back above the 10 million barrels per day we pumped briefly in 1970. We now produce 8 billion bbd - while demand has nearly doubled. That's why we imported 15 percent of our oil in 1970, as opposed to 60 percent today.

That the entire globe will eventually reach its own "Hubbert's Peak" now seems inevitable. It may happen in 2040, or it may happen in 2010. (Simmons thinks it's even closer due to vast overestimations of Saudi capacity.) Once again, this doesn't mean we're "running out of oil" - only easy oil. The 500,000 wells operating in America still produce oil. Every last one. They just don't produce as much as they did in 1970.

And so the question arises, where will the world go to "import" more oil? Economic theory has a simple answer - substitution. Whale oil ran out around 1850 but "petroleum" took its place. We'll think of something else. Nuclear power is the obvious answer - unless you prefer the idea that we'll all ferment "biodiesel" in our backyards like hillbillies brewing their own whiskey. Or maybe we'll just cover North and South Dakota with windmills.

Nuclear power seems the obvious scientific solution. Yet it is still having a terrible time getting past political and environmental objections. And that's the one thing that enthusiasts of the "bottomless well" of human ingenuity commonly miss. Human beings also have a seemingly bottomless capacity to make a mess out of issues that, on paper at least, seem like they should be the easiest things in the world to resolve.

More here


There aren't too many places where you can celebrate the 4th of July weekend by hitting the slopes, but Utah is one of them, thanks to a record amount of snowfall. Typically, skiing and snowboarding ends by mid-to-late April. One area, the Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, often stretches it to late May. But on Thursday, Snowbird announced it will be open weekends until Independence Day. That has happened only once before, in 1995. "This is awesome," said Greg Sperry, a 33-year-old snowboarder from Salt Lake City. "If anyone would have told me I would be here skiing in summer, I wouldn't have believed it. It's like a bonus round."

July will mark the ninth consecutive month of skiing at the resort, located about a half-hour south of Salt Lake City. A combination of early and consistent snowfall, a lack of powder in the Northwest and a residual tourism bounce from the 2002 Winter Olympics have combined to make this the longest and busiest season in Utah history. Attendance is up 12 percent over last season's record of 3.4 million, according to Nathan Rafferty, a spokesman for Ski Utah, a marketing association that promotes the state's skiing industry. "It's just one of those seasons where all the pieces fell into place," Rafferty said. "You would have to go to Mt. Hood, which is on a glacier, or Saasfee in Switzerland to be skiing this late in the year."

The season got off to a rousing start on Nov. 5, when Snowbird had its earliest opening ever. The most recent dump--a half-foot--fell June 12. In between, storms regularly blanketed the Wasatch Range, and a chilly spring has insulated the snow that was already on the ground, maintaining the base. From start to finish, the mountain received 633 inches--a whopping 52 feet of snow. The result? A scene that is eerily out of sync with the calendar: jammed parking lots, long lines for food and a bustling singles scene. "I was here on Memorial Day . . . and I plan to celebrate July 4th here, too, " said Julie Williams, 25, of Los Angeles, relaxing before she took the tram up to the top of Hidden Peak, which is 11,000 feet high. "This is where all the guys are . . . which is why I took up snowboarding. You can't ask for much better odds than this.".....

More here


DDT came to be seen as an enemy of the environment following the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962. My younger brother - who despite his denials is an out-and-out green (if it quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck, it's a duck) - recently sent me a new copy of Carson's book, published by Penguin Classics. And after re-reading it for the first time in years, I am amazed that so many people found it credible.

We used to have a slogan in the Royal Navy: 'Bullshit Baffles Brains.' In her book, Carson lumps together chemicals used for fighting weeds and insects that were proven to have sometimes terrible side effects - such as 2,4-D, DDD, DDE, BHC, aldrin, lindane and heptachlor - with DDT, for which there was little proof of such side effects. Even her dedication to Albert Schweitzer is a distortion. She quotes him saying: 'Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the Earth.' The implication is that Schweitzer was opposed to insecticides; in fact, he was talking about the dangers of nuclear warfare, not DDT. Indeed, in his autobiography Schweitzer wrote: 'How much labour and waste of time these wicked insects do cause us…but a ray of hope, in the use of DDT, is now held out to us.'

Carson focused much of her attention on the apparent harm caused to birds by DDT. She wrote about robins at Michigan State University that were apparently dropping dead as a result of DDT. Michigan ornithologist George Wallace theorised that the robins were dying because they had eaten earthworms contaminated by DDT. Neither Wallace nor Carson bothered to mention that there were high levels of mercury at Michigan, as a result of soil fungicide treatments on campus, and that the dead robins displayed symptoms of mercury poisoning. At the EPA hearings on DDT in the late 1960s, Joseph Hickey of the University of Wisconsin said that, in tests, he had been unable to overdose robins with DDT because they passed it through their digestive tracts and eliminated it in their faeces.

Carson also wrote of Dr James DeWitt's 'now classic experiments' which showed that, while DDT may cause no observable harm to birds themselves, it may seriously affect their reproduction and reduce the number of eggs that hatch successfully. In fact, DeWitt came to a very different conclusion. He reported no significant difference in egg hatching between birds fed DDT and birds not fed DDT. Carson also omitted to mention DeWitt's report that DDT-fed pheasants hatched about 50 per cent more eggs than 'control' pheasants.

In the late 60s, Dr Joel Bitman and his associates at the US Department of Agriculture found that Japanese quail fed DDT produced eggs with thinner shells and lower calcium content. Yet further examination of Dr Bitman's study revealed that the quails under experiment had been fed a diet with a calcium content of only 0.56 per cent, where a normal quail diet consists of 2.7 per cent calcium. And calcium deficiency is known to cause thin eggshells.

After much criticism, Bitman repeated the test, this time with sufficient calcium levels, and the birds produced eggs without thinned shells. Following years of feeding experiments, scientists at the Department of Poultry Science at Cornell University 'found no tremors, no mortality, no thinning of eggshells and no interference with reproduction caused by levels of DDT which were as high as those reported to be present in most of the wild birds where "catastrophic" decreases in shell quality and reproduction have been claimed'.

Various things cause thinning eggshells, including season of the year, nutrition (in particular insufficient calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and manganese), temperature rise, type of soil, and breeding conditions (for example, sunlight and crowding). But environmentalists, it seems, rarely let scientific evidence get in the way of their campaigns against DDT and other 'modern evils'.

Carson died in 1964, two years after her book was published. So she missed the demolishing of her theories by the scientific community. Yet her book became the bible of the greens and Carson their Holy Mother.

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.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Sunday, June 26, 2005


The Endangered Species Act (ESA) has failed and will continue to fail so long as private property owners are penalized for good environmental stewardship, The National Center for Public Policy Research and 52 other leading national and grassroots organizations say in a letter sent to House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo.

The ESA, which is on the fast track for reform and reauthorization this year, has by most accounts been a stunning failure.

Since it became law over 30 years ago, only nine of the close to 1,300 species given special protection under the ESA - or 0.6 percent of the total - have recovered.

Despite its poor performance, some on Capitol Hill are calling for more of the same.

Signatories to the letter to Chairman Pombo, however, strongly disagree.

"You can not fix an already poisonous law by increasing its dosage," said David Ridenour, vice president of The National Center for Public Policy Research and one of the coalition letter's organizers. "The ESA hasn't failed because it isn't strong enough. It has failed because it has the incentives all wrong."

Today, private landowners live in fear of the ESA. Those who harbor endangered species on their property or merely own land suitable for them often find themselves subject to severe land use restrictions. To avoid such restrictions and the losses in property values that accompany them, many have been forced to preemptively sterilize their land to keep rare species away.

"Such pre-emptive sterilization benefits no one - least of all the species the ESA was meant to protect. The good news is that this practice can be stopped by compensating landowners for their losses," said Ridenour. "But make no mistake: If Americans continue to be penalized for good stewardship practices, they will cease such practices and even more rare species will be condemned to extinction.


A longer article on the same subject is here. Excerpt:

"The Endangered Species Act has been a remarkable failure since its inception in 1973. According to the House Resources Committee, in its 32-year existence the law has failed to recover over 99% of the roughly 1,300 species it lists as threatened or endangered.

The cost of this failure to Americans has been enormous. For example, when the Spotted Owl was dubiously listed under the ESA in 1990, tens of thousands of Americans lost their jobs and their livelihoods. In 2001, four firefighters in the state of Washington lost their lives due to bureaucratic fumbling over the Act. And all across America, countless property owners have fallen victim to the menace of radicals who use the ESA to pillage property.

"How many more lives must be ruined before Congress finally stops cowering before the radical green lobby?" asked DeWeese. "Congress should not reauthorize the ESA unless complete and total property rights protections are given to landowners."

In a 2003 critique of the ESA, Congressman Pombo wrote: "It is no secret the ESA has been used by extremists to restrict, seize and devalue property rights, as well as halt important government projects. In fact, this is what most ‘green’ obstructionists groups relish most about the Act.""


They have their snouts in just about every trough imaginable

Too often the media portrays environmental groups as selfless do-gooders and their opponents as greedy corporate polluters and the Bush Administration. But the press rarely mentions that moneyed interests are also behind environmental groups. Just take a look at who's funding the environmental groups that are trying to attach global warming regulations to the energy bill now before Congress.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Environmental Defense are two of the noisiest groups that want the U.S. Senate to adopt what's called the McCain-Lieberman bill, named after its two sponsors. In a stream of seemingly endless emails, they are imploring their members to pressure Congress to support McCain-Lieberman. This bill, officially called the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act, would seriously harm our economy by requiring American businesses to cut their current output of carbon dioxide to 2000 levels by the year 2010. Yet none of the news stories about this bill mentions how much money the NRDC and Environmental Defense have raised -- much of it from government -- to promote this job-destroying legislation.

From 2000-2002 the NRDC and Environmental Defense were among the top recipients of almost $125 million in grants that federal government agencies gave for climate change-related projects. According to a recent report from the George C. Marshall Institute, NRDC took in $6.7 million in grants from left-leaning foundations and government agencies. Environmental Defense garnered just over $5 million.

Does the Bush Administration know that its agencies are spending taxpayer money to fund groups opposed to its own policies? In 2004 the NRDC received over $390,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency to study how to reduce gas emissions. So not only does the NRDC lobby for legislation that will hurt American taxpayers, but the American taxpayer gets the pleasure of helping it do so.

The NRDC and Environmental Defense also raise money from a Who's Who of private U.S. foundations. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation gave $300,000 to both groups to maintain the "momentum" for imposing global warming regulations. Ted Turner's foundation handed the NRDC $800,000 and Environmental Defense $100,000. The Public Welfare Foundation gave the NRDC a cool $1 million, while a more reticent Energy Foundation gave a mere $970,000 to Environmental Defense for global warming.

To get around the Administration's opposition to taxing Americans for an unproven theory, many foundations also fund state-level climate change initiatives. Last year, the Pew Charitable Trusts -- one of the most aggressive foundations on climate change -- gave $550,000 to the NRDC to promote global warming initiatives in the West and Northeast. Environmental Defense received grants from the Dyson Foundation ($25,000 in 2002) and the Wallace Global Fund ($10,000 in 2002) for state climate-change campaigns; The NRDC got money from the Bullit Foundation for this effort ($110,000 in 2001). The Energy Foundation of San Francisco is a cash cow for state-level climate change. Since 2001 it has given five grants totaling more than $610,000 to NRDC and four grants worth $520,000 to Environmental Defense for climate-change programs in places like California.

The NRDC raises money by playing the national security card on global warming, and then raises more money by opposing other national security measures. On global warming, the NRDC raises the specter of Middle East oil. "Global warming pollution and dependence on foreign oil are urgent problems," the NRDC's website warns. Yet the group opposes a national missile defense and has raised money fighting it: $50,000 from the John Merck Fund and $400,000 from the Turner Foundation.

Grants to environmental groups like the NRDC and Environmental Defense would soar if global warming regulations were added to the current energy bill. Green groups would go hat-in-hand to private foundations and the federal government requesting money to "study implementation" of the regulation and "monitor compliance" with its provisions for reducing so-called greenhouse gases.

Climate change regulation is potentially a huge economic burden on the United States (but not on India, Russia or Brazil). The debate should not go forward without acknowledging that the environmental lobby has a financial stake in promoting global warming hype.



It is almost impossible to overstate how radically different the Jewish Bible thought was from the thought of the rest of its contemporary world. And it continues to be, given how few societies affirm Judeo-Christian values and how much opposition to them exists in American society, the society that has most incorporated these values. Among the most radical of these differences was the incredible declaration that G-d is outside of nature and is its creator.

In every society on earth, people venerated nature and worshipped nature gods. There were gods of thunder and gods of rain. Mountains were worshipped, as were rivers, animals and every natural force known to man. In ancient Egypt, for example, gods included the Nile River, the frog, sun, wind, gazelle, bull, cow, serpent, moon and crocodile. Then came Genesis, which announced that a supernatural G-d, i.e., a g-d who existed outside of nature, created nature. Nothing about nature was divine.

Professor Nahum Sarna, the author of what I consider one of the two most important commentaries on Genesis and Exodus, puts it this way: "The revolutionary Israelite concept of G-d entails His being wholly separate from the world of His creation and wholly other than what the human mind can conceive or the human imagination depict."

The other magisterial commentary on Genesis was written by the late Italian Jewish scholar Umberto Cassuto, professor of Bible at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: "Relative to the ideas prevailing among the peoples of the ancient East, we are confronted here with a basically new conception and a spiritual revolution . . . The basically new conception consists in the completely transcendental view of the Godhead . . . the G-d of Israel is outside and above nature, and the whole of nature, the sun, and the moon, and all the hosts of heaven, and the earth beneath, and the sea that is under the earth, and all that is in them - they are all His creatures which He created according to His will."

This was extremely difficult for men to assimilate then. And as society drifts from Judeo-Christian values, it is becoming difficult to assimilate again today. Major elements in secular Western society are returning to a form of nature worship. Animals are elevated to equality with people, and the natural environment is increasingly regarded as sacred. The most extreme expressions of nature worship actually view human beings as essentially blights on nature.

Even among some who consider themselves religious, and especially among those who consider themselves "spiritual" rather than religious, nature is regarded as divine, and G-d is deemed as dwelling within it.

It is quite understandable that people who rely on feelings more than reason to form their spiritual beliefs would deify nature. It is easier - indeed more natural - to worship natural beauty than an invisible and morally demanding G-d.

What is puzzling is that many people who claim to rely more on reason would do so. Nature is unworthy of worship. Nature, after all, is always amoral and usually cruel. Nature has no moral laws, only the amoral law of survival of the fittest.

Why would people who value compassion, kindness or justice venerate nature? The notions of justice and caring for the weak are unique to humanity. In the rest of nature, the weak are to be killed. The individual means nothing in nature; the individual is everything to humans. A hospital, for example, is a profoundly unnatural, indeed antinatural, creation; to expend precious resources on keeping the most frail alive is simply against nature.

The romanticizing of nature, let alone the ascribing of divinity to it, involves ignoring what really happens in nature. I doubt that those American schoolchildren who conducted a campaign on behalf of freeing a killer whale (the whale in the film "Free Willy") ever saw films of actual killer whale behavior. There are National Geographic videos that show, among other things, killer whales tossing a terrified baby seal back and forth before finally killing it. Perhaps American schoolchildren should see those films and then petition killer whales not to treat baby seals sadistically. If you care about good and evil, you cannot worship nature. And since that is what G-d most cares about, nature worship is antithetical to Judeo-Christian values



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.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Saturday, June 25, 2005


It looks like a consensus IS emerging -- but not the one the Greenies claim. The IPCC is of course Mecca for the global warming religion -- if not the Kaaba itself. The article below is by Yury Izrael, Director, Global Climate and Ecology Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences and IPCC Vice President

One issue on the table at the G8 summit at Gleneagles in early July is global climate change. As I see it, this problem is overshadowed by many fallacies and misconceptions that often form the basis for important political decisions. G8 leaders should pay attention to them. There is no proven link between human activity and global warming.

According to 10,000 meteorological stations, average temperatures have increased by just 0.6 degrees in the last 100 years. But there is no scientifically sound evidence of the negative processes that allegedly begin to take place at such temperatures. Global temperatures increased throughout the 1940s, declined in the 1970s and subsequently began to rise again. Present-day global warming resembles the 1940s, when ships could easily navigate Arctic passages. However, man's impact was much smaller at that time. A Russian expedition that recently returned from the central Antarctic says that temperatures are now starting to decrease. These sensational findings are one of Mother Nature's surprises.

Experts compiling climate-change reports every five years mention the possible influence of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, freons, etc. Atmospheric carbon dioxide was 280 PPM (parts per million air mollecules) in 1880, and now stands at 378 PPM. It has increased by 31% since the pre-industrial era. This is quite a lot, but temperatures have increased by only 0.6 degrees. Paradoxically, temperatures tended to rise by one to 12 degrees at peak intervals, with carbon-dioxide fluctuations totaling not more than 300 PPM. This contradiction is rather baffling. Therefore I believe that the link between man's activities and rising temperatures has not been proved completely. Natural factors and the impact of man seem to be interlinked.

The European Union has established by fiat that a two-degree rise in global temperatures would be quite dangerous. However, this data is not scientifically sound. Many specialists estimate the peak atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration at 400 PPM. Our calculations show that carbon-dioxide concentrations would increase by just 800 PPM if all known and produced fuel were incinerated in the space of a few hours. But we will never reach this ceiling. In ancient times the Earth had periods when maximum CO2 concentrations were 6,000 PPM (in Carboniferous period). But life still goes on.

In other words, we must comprehend what will happen while the carbon-dioxide levels will grow from the current 378 PPM to 800 PPM, that will hypothetically occur when all the fuel on earth is burned. Global temperatures will likely rise by 1.4-5.8 degrees during the next 100 years. The average increase will be three degrees. I do not think that this threatens mankind. Sea levels, due to rise by 47 cm in the 21st century, will not threaten port cities.

It is said that the sea may rise significantly because of additional carbon dioxide and higher temperatures. The sea has risen by 10-20 cm in the last 100 years. The port of London, not the entire city, would face a disaster if this trend persists. However, the situation can be rectified by building new piers. The Far Eastern city of Magadan has multi-level piers for coping with eight-meter high tides.

The people of Bangladesh, who live at sea level, may face problems if the Indian Ocean rises. Still, their resettlement would be much cheaper than projected Kyoto Protocol expenses.

Some academics claim that the slowly melting Greenland ice cap threatens the entire world because it will melt in 3,000 years, if annual global temperatures rise by three degrees. Still, we should understand that sea level will rise by just 1-2 cm in the first several hundred years.

The G8 can adopt some effective climate-related decisions. In my opinion, academics, politicians and governments should assess maximum permissible temperatures and carbon-dioxide levels. Quite possibly, the world would have to sacrifice something in the face of a common threat. Scientists should comprehend the needs of politicians, and vice versa. I think this concept is quite effective. Unfortunately, some political decisions disregard the opinion of science. G8 summits would prove effective if the G8 maintained close-knit ties with academics.


("Curses!" say the sugarcane farmers and ethanol producers)

According to the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas, the end is near - when the earth's oil reserves start to run dry and scarce petroleum will go to the highest bidder. Seers have written books detailing that time, and websites such as forecast a steady rise in prices - such as Tuesday's oil price of more than $59 a barrel.

Not so fast, maintains a new report issued Tuesday by the widely respected group Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA). Instead of the wells running dry, CERA says petroleum supplies will be expanding faster than demand over the next five years, according to an analysis oil field by oil field. In good news for the SUV set, the new oil will be light, sweet crude - ideal for making gasoline. And since supply will grow, CERA forecasts prices will fall, possibly below $40 a barrel "We expect supply to outpace demand growth in the next few years, which would take the pressure off prices around 2007-2008 or thereafter and even lead to a period of price weakness," says Peter Jackson, a coauthor of the report.

Kjell Aleklett, a professor of physics in Sweden and president of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas, says the CERA report is overly optimistic. In addition, he says, one of his students looked at a draft of the report and concluded that CERA double-counted. "I'm not worried about this report," he said from a cellphone in Madrid. "Over the next several years, they will find new oil fields, but then it will be hard to do it."

Still, CERA maintains that higher prices are encouraging production and that technology is helping to capture oil from older fields. It foresees non-OPEC production expanding rapidly through the rest of the decade, particularly as new supplies come onstream from Russia, the Caspian, Brazil, Angola, and Canada. Much of the production increase is already starting to happen as oil-rich nations begin to dig deeper and produce faster. According to the report, there are approximately 20 to 30 new major projects (producing more than 75,000 barrels per day) coming onstream every year until 2010. These will add 3 million to 4 million barrels of oil per day each year.

Over the next five years, there will be 10 million barrels per day of new light or medium crude and 3 million barrels per day of new heavy crude. Altogether, supply will exceed demand by 6 million to 7.5 million barrels per day later in the decade, according to CERA. While many of the oil-depletion theories claim that Saudi production will falter, CERA predicts that the oil-rich nation will expand its production by as much as 2 million barrels of oil per day by 2010. In fact, the CERA analysis concludes that OPEC production will expand the fastest - to 45.6 million barrels per day, up from 36.8 million last year. But because of political uncertainty, it has shaved its estimates for oil production from Russia. Any decline of Russian crude production would also be mirrored by a continued decline in production from other non-OPEC countries, such as the United States.

CERA does not foresee an actual "peak" in oil production. Instead, with huge projects coming onstream on a regular basis, it predicts an "undulating plateau" in terms of supply and demand for decades. An "inflexion" point will come in the third or fourth decade of the century, according to CERA. "There is no indication to suggest peak oil is imminent," says Daniel Yergin, CERA chairman and author of several books on petroleum. The main risks to its forecast, says Mr. Yergin, are political and operating changes that could delay expansion. If that happens, CERA predicts that oil production will increase by only 11.5 million barrels of oil per day between 2004 and 2010.



Comment from a reader on my post of 21st:

You are right, there is a greenie war on Australian farmers, and governments have been persuaded by conservation interests to position themselves very nicely to wage it.

First, property rights are a package of rights of use that landowners have. In Australia they all come from the Crown (ie State of Federal Governments). In the past, if a landowner had a property right diminished or extinguished in the public interest, he could expect compensation. But the conservation 'public good' shopping list was too expensive for govenments to pay for.

So the broad stragegy, rignt across Australia has been as follows: First, a property right is extinguished by legislation -- ie right to clear vegetation, right to water falling on land, etc, making it necessary for a landowner to obtain permission to carry on or continue with a past right or activity.

Then a statutory obligation is placed on landowners to preserve or maintain the resources they are longer able to use. The State is not obliged to assist people to meet their statutory obligations. So no compensation. These statutory obligations are often portrayed as a 'duty of care', opening up the way for moralising at farmers to mask the legislative swindle. But under common law, a duty of care can only be owed to people or their property. It cannot be owed to 'the environment'.

The Australian system is conservation on the cheap - cost shifting the cost of 'public good' conservation onto landowners. My source for the above is the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment and Heritage report into Public Good Conservation, September 2001.

As the public (or government) can exempt themselves from compensating landowners, then the shopping list is unlimited! These laws are speeding up the depopulation of the country, while at the same time increasing the statutory environmental obligations placed on those who remain.

Bans on offshore drilling split coastal-state senators: "Senators from five coastal states are working to lift state moratoriums on offshore drilling and require the states to provide an inventory of promising oil deposits along their coastlines, an issue the Senate will vote on today. Some coastal states fear that taking an inventory would be the first step toward a federal mandate to lift state bans on offshore drilling in the outer continental shelf -- the section of the ocean beyond the seabed of the continental United States. Sen. Mary L. Landrieu [D-LA] was able to get the mandatory inventory provision into the stalled energy package while it was in committee, and she is expected to push for lifting current bans on oil and gas drilling in a deal that also would allow her state to reap more revenue royalties."


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.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Friday, June 24, 2005



Amazingly, some Senate Republicans are seriously considering cosponsoring an amendment to the energy bill offered by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D., N.M.), which incredibly almost got the backing of Energy Committee Chairman Sen. Pete Domenici (R., N.M.). This amendment seeks to tackle global warming by controlling and limiting the use of fossil fuels. Like Kyoto, it would set caps on energy use and set in place a vast bureaucracy to manage the new centrally planned economy. The amendment even assumes that jobs will be lost as a result, as it includes language aimed at increasing unemployment assistance.

So why on earth would Senate Republicans consider backing a growth-destroying, job-wrecking, welfare-creating measure? It cannot be because of its effect on global warming, as its effect would be unmeasurably small. The proposal is opposed vehemently by House Republicans, and as such if the Senate were to insist on the measure it would kill the energy bill outright. So the only plausible explanation is that it is being considered as a bargaining chip, to give the Senate conferees something to drop in exchange for the House dropping something the Senate doesn't like when the bill enters conference - most likely the liability protection the House bill gives to manufacturers of gasoline additive MTBE, now banned but once the darling of the environmental movement.

If this is what senators are thinking, it is the height of irresponsibility. Not only would Senate approval of the measure, even in the knowledge that it will never be enacted, establish the principle that Kyoto-like measures are acceptable to the U.S. Senate, but it gives the President's European foes a chance to wreck the Gleneagles agreement and to revive a dying Kyoto treaty that Europeans are currently helping to kill. Former British Foreign Secretary Nye Bevan famously said that the Labor party approving of unilateral nuclear disarmament would send him "naked into the conference chamber." It is no surprise that Democrats want to see an embarrassed president, but it is a galling sight to see leading Senate Republicans ready to tear the clothes off the president's back.

After (?)

Attempts to require US industries to cut carbon dioxide emissions as a way to address global warming appear to be headed for defeat in the Senate after a key Republican withdrew his support amid White House lobbying to keep greenhouse gas control programs voluntary. Senator Pete V. Domenici, the New Mexico Republican who chairs the Senate Energy Committee, had indicated he would support a proposal to cap industrial carbon dioxide emissions, an attempt to address climate change. That left environmental groups hopeful that the Senate would defy the Bush administration and for the first time force companies to cut the emissions, which many scientists have tied to global warming. But after meeting late last week with Vice President Dick Cheney -- and huddling Monday with about 10 GOP Senate colleagues -- Domenici opted out of supporting the amendment that was being prepared by his fellow New Mexico senator, Democrat Jeff Bingaman.

That meant Bingaman's amendment apparently lacks enough Republican votes to pass, and he is considering withdrawing it today. Another proposal with stricter emissions caps by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, will be voted on today, but it is widely expected to fail.

Democrats accused President Bush of blocking lawmakers from addressing what some scientists say is a leading cause of global warming. Senate minority leader Harry Reid said Bush and Cheney have convinced Republican senators to join them in bowing to energy companies. ''The White House is the administration of the oil companies," said Reid, a Nevada Democrat. Both President Bush and Vice President Cheney worked for oil companies, and it's obvious that global warming [legislation] is something the oil companies don't want."

Domenici said he chose not to support the amendment because he was concerned there wasn't a sensible way to enforce the caps, not because of White House lobbying. He said it would be unfair to require nuclear power plants, which are relatively clean, to cut their emissions as much as aging coal-burning plants, which are major producers of carbon dioxide. ''If everyone gets the same dose of medicine, it would never work," Domenici said. Domenici said he will hold hearings in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to work on what he said would be a fairer emissions-cap proposal.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 66-29 to expand tax credits and incentives for private-sector companies that find new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The amendment, introduced by Senator Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, includes no mandatory caps and parallels existing Bush administration policies. It passed primarily with Republican votes. ''Innovation and technology are the building blocks for an effective and sustainable climate policy," Hagel said. ''There are viable policy options for protecting the environment without sacrificing economic performance in the manufacturing and other sectors.".....


For 70 years, the federal government has regulated - or tried to, anyway - the cow herds that graze across millions of acres of public land in the West. It's been a political struggle between preserving a rural way of life that epitomizes the nation's mythical pioneering history, supporting a slice of a regional economy that's dwindled in comparison to recreation and high-tech corridors, and responding to a growing environmental ethic that cares more about watersheds and biodiversity. As it has done with other social and economic sectors dealing with natural resources, such as mining, oil drilling, and logging, the Bush administration is tugging that difficult balance back toward ranchers.

The just-issued federal lands regulations make it easier for cowboys to go about their business. The new rules give ranchers more time, up to five years, to reduce the size of their herds if the cattle are damaging the environment, as well as shared ownership in the water rights and some structures on federal land. The regulations also lessen the current requirements for public input in deciding grazing issues. Government officials say they're simply "adjusting rather than conducting a major overhaul" of such regulations. Left in place will be the $1.79 per month that ranchers pay to graze a cow and its calf, a horse, or five sheep on federal land.

Kathleen Clarke, director of the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which oversees 261 million acres of federal land in the West, says the new regulations "will produce long-term rangeland health benefits." These include more vegetation along stream banks, which will reduce soil erosion and provide more wildlife habitat, says Ms. Clarke. This is in line with claims of representatives of the beef cattle industry, who assert that cows are good for the land.

But environmentalists point to government reports over the years showing that federal lands have been degraded where cattle roam, and they say the losers are wildlife, water quality, and the condition of the fragile arid Western range that supports them. "Almost nothing in these rules benefits the public lands or the millions of Americans who use them for purposes other than raising cattle," says Tom Lustig, senior counsel for the National Wildlife Federation.

Other critics note that, like the logging of timber on federal lands, the federal grazing program is a money loser for Uncle Sam. That may be true, comes the rebuttal, but help for Western ranchers - even though they produce a very small fraction of US beef - sustains rural communities and a way of life that's worth preserving in the face of residential subdivisions and strip malls.

Meanwhile, some government biologists say the administration is fiddling with the science of range management - mainly biology and hydrology - in order to promote its pro-ranching agenda.

An internal report by BLM scientists warned that the proposed regulations would be bad for the environment. "The cumulative effects ... will be significant and adverse for wildlife and biological diversity in the long-term," the scientists wrote. "The numbers of special status species [those listed or proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act] will continue to increase in the future under this alternative." That language was removed from the scientific analysis that accompanied the new grazing regulations. As first reported in the Los Angeles Times, two scientists involved in the original analysis - both now retired - complained that their work had been "watered down."

Some observers note government efforts to help cattle ranching come at a time when those same agencies - principally the BLM - have been trying to reduce the number of another iconic animal: wild horses. Descended from domestic stock (some from as far back as Spanish explorers), such horses actually are feral rather than truly wild, and they do compete with cattle for forage and water in the Great Basin and other parts of the West. Until recently, the BLM was allowing them to be sold for slaughter and export as horsemeat.

BLM director Kathleen Clarke notes that "grazing is a proud heritage of the West." Ever since passage of the Taylor Grazing Act in 1934 - the first governmental effort to regulate cattle ranching on federal public lands - how to maintain that heritage without destroying the resource on which it is based has been a continuing political struggle.



The EU failed to cut emissions because it was COLDER. But isn't it supposed to be getting WARMER?

"Emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide rose in the European Union by 1.5% in 2003 after falling in 2002, the European Environment Agency reports. Italy, Finland and the UK were named as the worst offenders while cold weather was blamed for a rise in the use of fossil fuels to heat homes and offices.

Some commentators now doubt the EU can meet its promise to cut emissions by 8% of 1990 levels by 2012. A spokesman for Friends of the Earth called the new figures "shocking". "The blame goes mostly to national economy and industry ministers, who constantly block any attempts to introduce mandatory targets for renewable energies, energy efficiency rules or fuel consumption standards for cars," Jan Kowalzig said. Carbon dioxide emissions have risen by 3.4% since 1990, according to the EEA figures. The Copenhagen-based EEA said emissions in the 15 old EU member states increased by 53 million tonnes, or 1.3%, in 2003, after a drop in 2002. According to its figures, between 2002 and 2003, Italy, Finland and the UK saw the largest emission increases in absolute terms - 15m tonnes, 8m tonnes and 7m tonnes respectively. EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas called on member-states to meet their commitments.



80 degrees F in a NYC summer! Wow!

An attempt to raise the world's largest ice pop in a city square ended with a scene straight out of a disaster film - but much stickier. The 25-foot-tall, 17 1/2-ton treat of frozen Snapple juice melted faster than expected Tuesday, flooding Union Square in downtown Manhattan with kiwi-strawberry-flavored fluid that sent pedestrians scurrying for higher ground. Firefighters closed off several streets and used hoses to wash away the sugary goo. Some passers-by slipped in the puddles, but no serious injuries were reported.

Snapple had been trying to promote a new line of frozen treats by setting a record for the world's largest ice pop, but called off the stunt before it was pulled fully upright by a construction crane. Officials said they were worried the thing would collapse in the 80-degree, first-day-of-summer heat. "We planned for this. ... We just didn't expect for it to happen so fast," said Snapple spokeswoman Lauren Radcliffe. She said the company would offer to pay the city for the cleanup costs.

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.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

German Government Study Questions Value of Wind Power

The German government's energy agency has released a study that concludes wind farms are an expensive and inefficient way of generating sustainable energy. The study, released in February, suggests that joining Germany's existing wind farm to the national supply grid in order to meet the government's target of producing 20 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2015 would cost 1.1 billion Marks ($1.3 billion). About 800 miles of cables would need to be laid or modified. Power plants would have to be upgraded or replaced so the system would be able to cope with the large fluctuations associated with wind-based energy.

The report concludes, "Instead of spending billions on building new wind turbines, the emphasis should be on making houses more energy efficient." Opposition spokesmen such as Klaus Lippold MP agreed. Lippold told the Guardian, "The problem with wind farms is that you have to build them in places where you don't need electricity. The electricity then has to be moved somewhere else. There is growing resistance in Germany to wind farms, not least because of the disastrous effect on our landscape."

Environment Minister Juergen Trittin of the Green Party disagreed, telling the Guardian the "central parts" of the report supported his claim that wind energy could be expanded quickly and cheaply. "There are no grounds for pessimism," he said. Nevertheless, the head of the environment agency, Stephan Kohler, admitted, "Wind energy is expensive. That's true. You can't dispute it. Conventional methods are cheaper."

One revealing comment on the German study came from Greenpeace UK chief executive Stephen Tindale, who acknowledged problems in those parts of Germany where wind power is already supplying 20 percent of the electricity. "Everyone accepts that when you get to that level it is much more of a problem because of the fact that wind is intermittent," conceded Tindale. The UK government aims to provide 20 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. "There is simply no getting around the intermittency problem of wind power," Sterling Burnett, senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, said. "The wind does not always blow, and its variability cannot be predicted on even a minute-by-minute basis. Even after constructing large wind-turbine complexes, one must have sufficient backup power generated by conventional power plants. This redundancy raises overall electricity prices. Moreover, wind farms harm the environment in their own right, and are horribly prolific killers of aviary wildlife."

"Unfortunately, most governments look through rose-colored glasses at these `green power' projects that are supposed to provide power and improve the environment," said Burnett. "Initial opponents to such projects are immediately labeled shills for industry. But once governments start implementing these plans, problems appear. "It is not surprising that the German government is finally learning, the hard way, about problems with so-called green power, and is finally beginning to take its blinders off," said Burnett. "The German study sheds light on the European illusion that the so-called `renewables' may be a viable alternative to fossil fuels," Carlo Stagnaro, director of Italy's Istituto Bruno Leoni, said. "In fact, the wind lobby has been able so far to push a lot of programs all across the Old Continent. The result? Expensive, unreliable energy, waste of taxpayers' money, and environmental degradation due to wind farms and miles and miles of cables to move electricity from windy zones to the places where real people live. At the present state of knowledge, wind power, as well as solar power, is unsustainable."

More here

Britain Considers Energy Rationing because of Kyoto Mania

British residents could face a form of energy rationing within the next decade under proposals currently being studied to reduce the U.K.'s carbon dioxide emissions to comply with the Kyoto Protocol. Under the proposals, known as Domestic Tradable Quotas (DTQs), every individual would be issued a "carbon card," from which points would be deducted every time the cardholder purchased fossil fuel, for example, by filling up a car or taking a flight. Over time, the number of points allotted to each card would decline. High-energy users would be able to purchase points from low-energy users, with the end result being a trading market in carbon similar to the one already in place in the U.K. for industrial users.

A report set to be released this week by the Sustainable Development Commission, which advises Prime Minister Tony Blair on environmental issues, will recommend that by 2007, the British government should seriously consider introducing DTQs. The report, a draft copy of which was obtained by Cybercast News Service, calls for more research into how the proposals would work in practice.

British Environment Minister Elliott Morley said in a telephone interview that the DTQ plan, also called personal carbon allowances, is one of several being considered by the government. "Personal carbon allowances are a very attractive intellectual idea," he said. "The implementation would potentially be very expensive, but that shouldn't stop us from looking at the arguments," he said. Morley said the government was also considering a straightforward carbon tax, and acknowledged that the complexity of a centrally run system could be a major barrier. "There is a big job involved in explaining the idea of carbon allowances to the public (but) we shouldn't rule any idea out just on this basis," he said.

One of Britain's leading scientists looking into the proposals characterized DTQs as a form of rationing and said the project would start from a point of strict equality in the allocation of "carbon points," despite wide current disparities in individual energy usage. "Every individual, whether you're the Queen or someone living in a poor neighborhood, will get the same carbon allocation," said Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Center at the University of Manchester.

A bill to establish DTQs and a trading system was introduced in the last parliamentary session by MP Colin Challen, a member of Blair's Labor Party. Challen's legislation was introduced as a private members bill, where debate is limited to ten minutes, and it stood virtually no chance of passing. Challen said that some sort of compulsory energy program would be necessary to meet Blair's environmental promises. Under the Kyoto accord, which the U.S. has backed out of, the U.K. will need to reduce its emissions by 12.5 percent by 2012.

Washington withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. President George W. Bush said limits on greenhouse gas emissions would be too expensive to implement, harming the U.S. economy -- with adverse effects on American workers. President Bush also argued that the agreement did require developing countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, even though some of those countries -- such as China and India -- are among the world's heaviest polluters.

Some scientists question whether global warming is taking place to begin with -- and whether the Kyoto Protocol is an effective solution. The Blair government, however, has unilaterally pledged to reduce U.K. carbon emissions by 60 percent by 2050. Scientists say more research is needed to understand how DTQs and other proposals designed to meet such goals would affect the British economy. "We have to get far more personal in the ways we tackle carbon emissions," Challen said in a phone interview. "A voluntary approach will only get through to about 20 percent of the population." Challen said his proposals have support among senior government officials in the U.K.'s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, but said that some ministers were "understandably wary" of a mandatory plan with potentially sweeping economic consequences.

Researchers also have suggested that the plan could be linked to the Blair administration's proposed mandatory ID card, a controversial bill that is scheduled to be reconsidered in Parliament later this month. A proposal to issue every U.K. resident with a card containing biometric information such as fingerprints and an iris scan was opposed by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties in the last legislative term, and the bill failed after time ran out. Anti-card campaigners have expressed worries about the possibility that the vast majority of U.K. energy transactions would be logged in a central database. "There's clearly many other ways such a (carbon trading) scheme could be offered without adding the massive bureaucracy of an ID card system," said Michael Parker, spokesman for the NO2ID group. However, the plan's proponents suggest that the rationing system could be implemented within the decade. "I'm not a betting man, but I think this could realistically be up and running within four to ten years," Anderson said.



But wait! Were we supposed to have global warming in 1945?

India's capital Monday recorded its hottest day of the season at 45 degrees Celsius [113 degrees Fahrenheit] as a severe heat wave continued to sweep parts of the country. The previous high of the season was recorded Sunday at 44.2 degrees Celsius. Monday's temperature was six degrees Celsius above normal, the weather department said. The highest temperature ever recorded in the capital in June was 46.7 degrees Celsius in 1945.

There was no respite from the searing heat, which added to the Monday morning blues of the people. Many office-goers had not stepped out of home during the weekend, but there was no escaping the blazing sun Monday. "Travelling by bus is a nightmare. (While walking) It almost feels like it is the earth that is radiating the heat and not the sun," said Anju Dhawani, a primary school teacher from Lajpat Nagar in south Delhi. "There is practically no difference between shaded and sunny areas. There is no relief unless one is indoors."

Two-wheeler riders and pedestrians were the worst affected. Housewives said even water coolers were of little help by early afternoon. "I was scared I would faint today. If I had any option I would quit my job and go back home rather than roast in this sun," said B. Anbuvel, a security guard at a restaurant.

If the heat was deadly, the 59 percent humidity was no consolation either. An official of the Indian Meteorological Department told IANS the situation would not be improving anytime soon. Even the minimum temperature has been hovering around 30 degrees Celsius for the past few days....

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.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.