Saturday, July 16, 2005


For years, Sir David King, science advisor to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, has stated that "climate change is a far greater threat to the world than international terrorism." In fact, King has been so effective with this hysteria that Blair has repeatedly said that global warming and terrorism are the two most important issues confronting mankind. In doing, so, he has espoused the United Nations' Kyoto Protocol on global warming, which does nothing measurable about planetary temperature, but would cost the U.S. 1-2% of its GDP per year.

Last week, the London Telegraph reported that Blair's environment ministers are proposing an individual personal allotment of energy, because of global warming, which would make Cuba, North Korea, and England the only nations on earth that ration fuel. Each personal allotment would take the form of an "energy card" against which a withdrawal would be made everytime someone purchases energy, such as buying gasoline or an airplane ticket. When you use your allotment, the price increases (hopefully) inducing you to use less.

One would hope that recent events in London might add some needed perspective. Compare and contrast global warming and terrorism.

* Terrorism kills innocent people. It makes no one live longer.

* As the earth warmed in the last 100 years, life expectancy in developed nations doubled.

* Terrorism consumes enormous amounts of private capital. 9/11 trimmed 20% off the value of the Dow. People who cleansed their 401-K's in that free-fall have never recovered.

* The planetary warming since 1900 has seen per capita real GDP increase from $4,310 to $35,790, or 830%.

* Terrorism imposes a substantial and continuing cost, in the form of increased security, lost productivity, and allocation of finite tax resources and public service personnel.

It's not known whether global warming even extracts a net cost. Carbon dioxide, the emission that many think is the main cause for warming in recent decades, makes most agricultural plants grow better. There are literally thousands of experiments documenting this in the refereed scientific literature. It a reasonable estimate that between 5 and 10% of the global increase in agricultural yield in the last half of the 20th century was a direct result of industrial carbon dioxide emissions.

Terrorism is specifically targeted at rich nations because that gets worldwide attention. Global warming does little if anything to the rich, while it may (emphasize "may") be a net-negative in poor societies. Consider the slight rise in sea level, a few inches at best, concurrent with the warming of the last 100 years. There are now few (if any) deaths from oceanic surges in affluent and hurricane-prone North Carolina, while a mere tropical storm will kill tens of thousands in Bangladesh.

Finally, one can mitigate (but not entirely stop) terrorism. It has not been lost on the citizens of the United States that there has been no serious incident since 9/11, and there hasn't been a single suicide bomber. But one can't do a measurable thing about global warming. If every nation on earth met the Kyoto protocol, the amount of warming that would be prevented is too small to measure on the time scale of fifty years. These futile attempts to diminish warming cost society dearly. In general, the European nations that are most vocal about Kyoto have the worst economies. In addition, devoting bureaucratic attention to warming takes political support from agencies and institutions whose roles are to combat terrorism.

Finally, there's the social cost of those energy rationing cards, issued because global warming is such a threat. Make no mistake: when people can't afford energy, they will use less. Their urban homes will be warmer, and harder (and more expensive) to cool in the next summer heat wave. Power for air conditioning was unavailable because of a thunderstorm in Chicago's 1995 heat wave, and hundreds died. In France, two years ago, a cultural distaste for air conditioning in Paris cost thousands. Overall, in the United States, heat-related mortality in cities has declined dramatically because of abundant energy powering ubiquitous air conditioning.

Let's get it straight. Terrorism costs innocent lives, and massive amounts of social and individual capital. Global warming can't even be demonstrated as a net negative, and putting it on the same plane as terrorism only serves to wastefully divert resources. That analysis could have been made prior to July 7, but should seem painfully obvious now.

From World Climate Report, 12 July 2005


Extract from an academic journal article appearing in "Quaternary Research". Volume 64, Issue 1 , July 2005, Pages 83-99 and showing that the Antarctic is COOLER now than it once was

Late Quaternary climate-driven environmental change in the Larsemann Hills, East Antarctica, multi-proxy evidence from a lake sediment core

By: Dominic A. Hodgsona, , , Elie Verleyenb, Koen Sabbeb, Angela H. Squierc, Brendan J. Keelyc, Melanie J. Lengd, Krystyna M. Saunderse and Wim Vyvermanb a) British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK b) Lab. Protistology and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281-S8, Ghent B-9000, Belgium c) Department of Chemistry, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK d) Natural Environment Research Council, Isotope Geosciences Laboratory, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, UK e) Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 77, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia


Little is known about the response of terrestrial East Antarctica to climate changes during the last glacial-interglacial cycle. Here we present a continuous sediment record from a lake in the Larsemann Hills, situated on a peninsula believed to have been ice-free for at least 40,000 yr. A mutli-proxy data set including geochronology, diatoms, pigments and carbonate stable isotopes indicates warmer and wetter conditions than present in the early part of the record. We interpret this as Marine Isotope Stage 5e after application of a chronological age-depth model and similar ice core evidence. Dry and cold conditions are inferred during the last glacial, with lake-level minima, floristic changes towards a shallow water algal community, and a greater biological receipt of ultraviolet radiation. During the Last Glacial Maximum and Termination I the lake was perennially ice-covered, with minimal snowmelt in the catchment. After ca. 10,500 cal yr B.P., the lake became seasonally moated or ice-free during summer. Despite a low accumulation rate, the sediments document some Holocene environmental changes including neoglacial cooling after ca. 2450 cal yr B.P., and a gradual increase in aridity and salinity to the present.

Doi (permanent) address for the paper here

Left-Leaning Donors Skewing Climate Change Research

In the climate change debate, or more generally for any environmental issue, there exists a widespread assumption that funds provided by "big business" are used to promote falsehoods, while funds going to environmental organizations represent the grassroots will of the people. The people are like David going up against an industrial Goliath, hoping to spread truth in the face of insurmountable odds. There is little doubt that the vast majority of the citizens who donate to environmental causes view the situation in this way.

But a report released on April 1 by the George C. Marshall Institute, a Washington-based science policy group, looks at the major donors to environmental groups for climate-related activities. It finds the vast majority of those donors represent and promote left-leaning causes. Historically, those causes often involve lobbying Congress to promote a specific agenda. A startling example of this is the recent report of a former officer of the Pew Charitable Trusts admitting Pew heavily funded a number of private interests to make it look like there was a grassroots movement in favor of campaign finance reform, which was later passed by Congress.

A wide variety of charitable foundations fund organizations whose very existence depends upon a belief in environmental crises. Does anyone really believe that organizations such as Environmental Defense, Natural Resources Defense Council, and World Resources Institute would breathe a collective sigh of relief if the balance of evidence were to show that global warming was going to be relatively small, benign, and even beneficial? I know at least two climate scientists that have received MacArthur Fellowship "genius grants"--large, no-strings-attached monetary awards--for their work on raising awareness of the threat posed by climate change. I wonder if there will ever be a MacArthur Fellowship for any researcher who finds evidence for a much reduced threat to humanity from human-induced climate change.

While new environmental regulations might be an annoyance for private industry, the fact is that the bulk of any new environmental-related costs to those industries are simply passed on to the public through more expensive goods and services. By contrast, spearheading environmental issues is the only reason for the existence of environmental organizations. Since all organizations have self-preservation as their number one priority, it is the environmental groups that are the most vulnerable to a loss of public interest, and thus funding. Environmental awareness is a luxury of the world's wealthiest countries, and its funding depends on (often apocalyptic) fear. An electric utility, by contrast, will continue to experience a demand for electricity (even from the homes of environmentalists) no matter what environmental regulations are passed by Congress that affect that utility.

In my experience, industry is reluctant to fund environmental research in support of its views, deferring instead to the federal government to fund what is, one hopes, a balanced and impartial environmental research program. The U.S. government funds a whopping $2 billion per year in climate-related research. While the distribution of these funds to universities and private companies might be expected to be policy-neutral, the real situation isn't quite so simple. Government agencies that disperse research funds have an infrastructure that depends upon congressional support for their existence. Their level of continued support depends upon the level of the threat perceived by the public, which then justifies the expenditure of tax dollars.

I'm not questioning the potential threat that climate change presents--it is indeed an issue worthy of the investment in research. I am questioning, however, the perception that environmental organizations, and federal funding, are policy- and politically neutral. Someone once said it's not a matter of who is biased (because everyone is); the real question is, which bias is the best bias to be biased with? The more money we spend on specific environmental threats, the less there is to devote to other issues. Funding decisions will be best when made by well-informed citizens and policymakers. But let's not be naive about unbiased motives. They simply do not exist.



Blair has just said that more research is the way to go with global warming so this one should get him in the goolies

Britain's oil giants should get cash help from the Government so they can work towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the chief executive of BP said today. Lord Browne said his firm was working on a pioneering reduction technology, but argued that companies would need the lure of subsidies to take up on the technique, called "carbon capture", which experts claim can reduce greenhouse gases significantly.

The call is likely to anger motorists, who are facing increasing petrol costs on the forecourt, and MPs, many of whom have been urging the Government to slap a windfall tax on the oil companies which have seen profits soar on the escalating prices of oil, which has risen by about 40 per cent a barrel this year.

"If carbon capture and storage is to succeed, we are going to need subsidies to encourage companies to take up this technology," Lord Brown said. He said that given the investment needed and the higher costs involved, a subsidy was needed "in order to be able to compete". Lord Browne justified his claim by saying that other renewable energy projects, such as wind, attract a subsidy. The call puts the Government on the back foot, since it has signed up to the Kyoto agreement - which came into force last year - to reduce greenhouse gases. ...

From The Scotsman, 12 July 2005


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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