Wednesday, March 29, 2006


(Comment by Iain Murray)

There's a definite whiff of a co-ordinated scare campaign over global warming at the moment. There have been some questionable doomsday papers in the major science journals Science and Nature, complete with policy recommendations in the body of the science, front page articles in the Washington Post, cover stories from Time magazine, and a major new advertising campaign from Environmental Defense and, shame on them, the Ad Council. All these attacks seem dedicated to scaring Congress into some sort of action to force Americans to cut back on their economy-sustaining use of energy.

First of all, there is nothing new in the science to justify such alarmism. Pat Michaels has the lowdown on that here.

As for the reality of cutting greenhouse emissions, the sort of things that are being talked about on the Hill would do virtually nothing to reduce warming, even accepting the alarmist projections (note, not predictions - the science is too uncertain to allow that), as my colleague Marlo Lewis has pointed out. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is about to publish its much delayed review of climate change policy tomorrow. It seems it will recognize that the sort of policies that green groups want adopted just aren't feasible, although it will spin away the fact the the UK is unlikely to meet its Kyoto targets any more. The UK Environment Secretary has even been quoted as saying that tackling global warming is "more complicated" than they thought as recently as 2000.

We could have told her that. If you fall for exaggeration, hype and alarmism, you're probably going to get yourself into trouble.


Next week's government review of climate change programmes will not impose the kind of targets on industry to cut greenhouse gas emissions that green groups are calling for, the Environment Secretary indicated yesterday. But Margaret Beckett insisted the government would not drop its overall target of cutting the UK emissions by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2010, despite recent figures showing carbon dioxide levels have actually increased since Labour came to power.

Friends of the Earth describes the Climate Change Programme Review which Mrs Beckett will publish tomorrow as the "acid test" of the government's credibility on global warming. It has urged the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to adopt a series of solutions to cut global warming gases from transport and industry and get Britain back on track to meet its commitments.

Since Mr Blair came to power in 1997, the UK's emissions of CO2 have risen by 1.9 per cent, leaving the country just 5.6 per cent below 1990 levels. Experts suggest that Britain will struggle even to meet its Kyoto Protocol commitment of a 12.5 per cent cut by 2010, let alone its more ambitious self-imposed targets. Environmentalists claim that a row with the Department of Trade and Industry has stopped Mrs Beckett from imposing a three million tonne ceiling on annual CO2 emissions by industry. Alan Johnson's DTI has reportedly argued for a nine million tonne cap, to avoid harming competitiveness.

Mrs Beckett said: "We are not abandoning our 20 per cent. "We do believe that that is something we can achieve. "We are not necessarily going to give the kind of specific targets for each sector that some people might want to see at this moment." Mrs Beckett said she hoped the review would get across the message that tackling climate change was a matter not just for government, but for individuals, communities and businesses. The review would "certainly move us very much in the right direction", but was "very much not the last word" on climate change, she said. Mrs Beckett denied that a delay of about a year in the publication of the review was due to rows with the DTI. "We did postpone publishing the review because we hoped we could draw all the strands together, but it hasn't been possible to quite do that," she said.

The Scotsman, 27 March 2006


The amount of sunshine reaching earth is increasing but that only explains PART of global warming, of course

A series of independent studies around the world show a significant rise in the amount of sunshine penetrating the atmosphere to be absorbed by the earth's surface and turned into heat. The research will concern climate researchers who are already predicting a rapid rise in global temperatures due to man-made emissions of so-called greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. "The enhanced warming we have seen since the 1990s along with phenomena such as the widespread melting of glaciers could well be due to this increased intensity of sunlight compounding the effect of greenhouse gases," said Professor Martin Wild of the Institute of Atmospheric and Climate Science in Zurich, Switzerland.

Researchers will present their findings to the European Geophysical Union conference in Vienna next week. They reverse a 30-year trend. Measurements of sunshine levels between 1960 and 1990 had shown a decrease in the amount of sunshine reaching the earth, a phenomenon known as global dimming. This was thought to have been caused by dust, smog and other pollutants, mainly from industrialised western countries.The pollutants, known as aerosols, reduced sunshine levels by absorbing and scattering solar radiation and promoting the formation of clouds that reflected radiation back into space.

In the last two decades, however, there have been significant decreases in such pollutants, partly due to industry becoming cleaner but largely because of the collapse of the Soviet Union and much of its heavy industry. Wild said: "Sunshine levels had been decreasing by 2% a decade between 1960 and 1980 - a total decline of about 6%. Now they are going up again. Perhaps this is why our Swiss glaciers are melting."

A 6% increase in the amount of solar radiation reaching earth would have a powerful impact on climate, especially when added to the warming effect of greenhouse gases which have already raised global temperatures by about 0.6C. Researchers predict an additional rise of at least 1.5C by 2050. Such rises could be disastrous for agriculture [Why? Rather the reverse], wildlife and human settlements in many regions, especially the tropics. But scientists warn they may have to revise these calculations sharply upwards if the impact of "global brightening" has to be factored in.

Atsumu Ohmura, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, has collated measurements from 400 sites worldwide and found an increase in sunshine at 300 of them, sited mainly in Eurasia and the Polar regions. Some showed a decline in sunshine since 1990, largely in fast-developing countries such as China and India. "A widespread brightening has been observed since the 1980s. This may substantially affect surface climate, the water cycle, glaciers and ecosystems," said Ohmura.

The Sunday Times, 26 March 2006


(By Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow for Hudson Institute in Washington, DC and the Director for Global Food Issues ( He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State)

Humans now control Earth's climate, James Hansen of NASA told CBS' "60 Minutes" last week. His evidence: the edges of the Greenland ice sheet are melting rapidly. Hansen says the speed of this melting proves that man-made greenhouse gases are responsible.

Sorry, Dr. Hansen, but the melting edges of the Greenland ice sheet don't prove your point. Melting around the edges is exactly what the Vikings saw on Greenland 1000 years ago when they named the island-for its green coastal meadows. They moved in with their cattle, and thrived for 300 years, during what we now call the Medieval Warming. The Vikings' mistake was thinking that Greenland would stay warm, that the Earth's climate was stable. Greenland was then warmer than today, and the summers were longer. There was ample grass and hay for the Vikings' dairy cows. The Norse settlement grew to 3000 people.

Then Greenland's climate suddenly got colder. The Little Ice Age had begun. Sea ice moved south, and the Vikings' sailing ships could no longer get through to trade wood for seal furs. Shorter summers produced less hay to feed the Viking cows through longer, colder winters. The last written record found in the abandoned Viking colonies was dated 1408.

Our panic-prone scientists seem to have forgotten their own ice cores, drilled deep into the Greenland ice sheet in the 1980s. These ice cores document a natural, sudden-but-moderate 1500-year global warming cycle. Oxygen isotopes in the ice layers show 300 worldwide warmings over the past 500,000 years. The ice cores tell us that variations in the sun are constantly warming and cooling our planet. The big Ice Ages come about every 100,000 years. The warm interglacial periods like our own last about 10,000 to 12,000 years.

Through it all, however, runs the moderate, natural 1500-year climate cycle that raises temperatures about 2 degrees C above the mean for 750 years or so-and then abruptly drops the temperatures 2 degrees C below the mean (at the latitude of northern Europe).

Man's climate impacts are puny compared to the million-degree heat of the sun. There's no evidence that human-emitted CO2 has added much to the current temperatures. Our moderate warming to date-0.8 degree C-virtually all occurred before 1940, and thus before much industrial development.

If you want to talk about sudden, ice cores from the Freemont Glacier in Wyoming show it went from Little Ice Age cold to Modern Warming warm in the ten years between 1845 and 1855. Naturally.

Greenland today has 20,000 people, 50,000 sheep and a sizeable fishing industry. But the climate cycle will turn in a few more centuries. Then Greenland's sheep will be in serious trouble and its fishermen will need icebreakers to reach the fishing grounds. (There were no fish bones in the Norse colonies' trash heaps).

As for melting ice from Greenland flooding London, remember that it didn't happen during the Medieval Warming, so it's unlikely to happen in the Modern Warming. The melting of 100 cubic kilometers of Greenland ice would raise sea levels by only 0.01 inch. Dr. Hansen should know that recent satellite research shows Greenland's interior ice sheet has thickened 2 inches in the past 11 years, because warmer temperatures are evaporating more seawater to make more snow.

The Vikings can be forgiven for missing the 1500-year climate cycle. They didn't have thermometers, written records or the ice core histories. NASA's Dr. Hansen cannot be let off the hook so easily., 26 March, 2006


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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