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

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