Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Pure evil reported below -- evil that makes even Hitler look humane -- and evil that is arguably even more dangerous. This is merely the most recent and most extreme example of Greenie misanthropy. The slogan of the ZPG movement in the '60s and '70s was "people are pollution"

There is always something special about science meetings. The 109th meeting of the Texas Academy of Science at Lamar University in Beaumont on 3-5 March 2006 was especially exciting for me, because a student and his professor presented the results of a DNA study I suggested to them last year... But there was a gravely disturbing side to that otherwise scientifically significant meeting, for I watched in amazement as a few hundred members of the Texas Academy of Science rose to their feet and gave a standing ovation to a speech that enthusiastically advocated the elimination of 90 percent of Earth's population by airborne Ebola. The speech was given by Dr. Eric R. Pianka, the University of Texas evolutionary ecologist and lizard expert who the Academy named the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.

Something curious occurred a minute before Pianka began speaking. An official of the Academy approached a video camera operator at the front of the auditorium and engaged him in animated conversation. The camera operator did not look pleased as he pointed the lens of the big camera to the ceiling and slowly walked away. This curious incident came to mind a few minutes later when Professor Pianka began his speech by explaining that the general public is not yet ready to hear what he was about to tell us. Because of many years of experience as a writer and editor, Pianka's strange introduction and the TV camera incident raised a red flag in my mind. Suddenly I forgot that I was a member of the Texas Academy of Science and chairman of its Environmental Science Section. Instead, I grabbed a notepad so I could take on the role of science reporter.

One of Pianka's earliest points was a condemnation of anthropocentrism, or the idea that humankind occupies a privileged position in the Universe. He told a story about how a neighbor asked him what good the lizards are that he studies. He answered, "What good are you?" Pianka hammered his point home by exclaiming, "We're no better than bacteria!" Pianka then began laying out his concerns about how human overpopulation is ruining the Earth. He presented a doomsday scenario in which he claimed that the sharp increase in human population since the beginning of the industrial age is devastating the planet. He warned that quick steps must be taken to restore the planet before it's too late.

Professor Pianka said the Earth as we know it will not survive without drastic measures. Then, and without presenting any data to justify this number, he asserted that the only feasible solution to saving the Earth is to reduce the population to 10 percent of the present number. He then showed solutions for reducing the world's population in the form of a slide depicting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. War and famine would not do, he explained. Instead, disease offered the most efficient and fastest way to kill the billions that must soon die if the population crisis is to be solved. Pianka then displayed a slide showing rows of human skulls, one of which had red lights flashing from its eye sockets.

AIDS is not an efficient killer, he explained, because it is too slow. His favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world's population is airborne Ebola ( Ebola Reston ), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years. However, Professor Pianka did not mention that Ebola victims die a slow and torturous death as the virus initiates a cascade of biological calamities inside the victim that eventually liquefy the internal organs. After praising the Ebola virus for its efficiency at killing, Pianka paused, leaned over the lectern, looked at us and carefully said, "We've got airborne 90 percent mortality in humans. Killing humans. Think about that."

With his slide of human skulls towering on the screen behind him, Professor Pianka was deadly serious. The audience that had been applauding some of his statements now sat silent. After a dramatic pause, Pianka returned to politics and environmentalism. But he revisited his call for mass death when he reflected on the oil situation. "And the fossil fuels are running out," he said, "so I think we may have to cut back to two billion, which would be about one-third as many people." So the oil crisis alone may require eliminating two-third's of the world's population.

How soon must the mass dying begin if Earth is to be saved? Apparently fairly soon, for Pianka suggested he might be around when the killer disease goes to work. He was born in 1939, and his lengthy obituary appears on his web site. When Pianka finished his remarks, the audience applauded. It wasn't merely a smattering of polite clapping that audiences diplomatically reserve for poor or boring speakers. It was a loud, vigorous and enthusiastic applause.

Questions for Dr. Doom

Then came the question and answer session, in which Professor Pianka stated that other diseases are also efficient killers. The audience laughed when he said, "You know, the bird flu's good, too." They laughed again when he proposed, with a discernable note of glee in his voice that, "We need to sterilize everybody on the Earth."

After noting that the audience did not represent the general population, a questioner asked, "What kind of reception have you received as you have presented these ideas to other audiences that are not representative of us?" Pianka replied, "I speak to the converted!"

Pianka responded to more questions by condemning politicians in general and Al Gore by name, because they do not address the population problem and "...because they deceive the public in every way they can to stay in power." He spoke glowingly of the police state in China that enforces their one-child policy. He said, "Smarter people have fewer kids." He said those who don't have a conscience about the Earth will inherit the Earth, "...because those who care make fewer babies and those that didn't care made more babies." He said we will evolve as uncaring people, and "I think IQs are falling for the same reason, too."

With this, the questioning was over. Immediately almost every scientist, professor and college student present stood to their feet and vigorously applauded the man who had enthusiastically endorsed the elimination of 90 percent of the human population. Some even cheered. Dozens then mobbed the professor at the lectern to extend greetings and ask questions. It was necessary to wait a while before I could get close enough to take some photographs.

I was assigned to judge a paper in a grad student competition after the speech. On the way, three professors dismissed Pianka as a crank. While waiting to enter the competition room, a group of a dozen Lamar University students expressed outrage over the Pianka speech. Yet five hours later, the distinguished leaders of the Texas Academy of Science presented Pianka with a plaque in recognition of his being named 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist. When the banquet hall filled with more than 400 people responded with enthusiastic applause, I walked out in protest.

Corresponding with Dr. Doom

Recently I exchanged a number of e-mails with Pianka. I pointed out to him that one might infer his death wish was really aimed at Africans, for Ebola is found only in Central Africa. He replied that Ebola does not discriminate, kills everyone and could spread to Europe and the the Americas by a single infected airplane passenger.

In his last e-mail, Pianka wrote that I completely fail to understand his arguments. So I did a check and found verification of my interpretation of his remarks on his own web site. In a student evaluation of a 2004 course he taught, one of Professor Pianka's students wrote, "Though I agree that convervation [sic] biology is of utmost importance to the world, I do not think that preaching that 90% of the human population should die of ebola [sic] is the most effective means of encouraging conservation awareness." (Go here and scroll down to just before the Fall 2005 evaluation section near the end.)

Yet the majority of his student reviews were favorable, with one even saying, " I worship Dr. Pianka." The 45-minute lecture before the Texas Academy of Science converted a university biology senior into a Pianka disciple, who then published a blog that seriously supports Pianka's mass death wish.

Dangerous Times

Let me now remove my reporter's hat for a moment and tell you what I think. We live in dangerous times. The national security of many countries is at risk. Science has become tainted by highly publicized cases of misconduct and fraud.

Must now we worry that a Pianka-worshipping former student might someday become a professional biologist or physician with access to the most deadly strains of viruses and bacteria? I believe that airborne Ebola is unlikely to threaten the world outside of Central Africa. But scientists have regenerated the 1918 Spanish flu virus that killed 50 million people. There is concern that smallpox might someday return. And what other terrible plagues are waiting out there in the natural world to cross the species barrier and to which scientists will one day have access?

Meanwhile, I still can't get out of my mind the pleasant spring day in Texas when a few hundred scientists of the Texas Academy of Science gave a standing ovation for a speaker who they heard advocate for the slow and torturous death of over five billion human beings.



In our student days, a few of us used to get together, rather self-consciously, to debate philosophical questions. One topic that interested us was how language could mean something and yet, at the same time, mean nothing. Thus, you could frame an English sentence in which the grammar was correct, and every word made sense, but the whole thing was nonsense. A well-known example was the sentence "Green ideas sleep furiously". At that time the word "green" referred solely to the colour: "Green" meaning ecological came a bit later, so the sentence was perfectly meaningless.

Today, though, it has acquired significance. It seems to me an almost precise description of the mental attitudes of large parts of the Green movement. Tremendous rage is combined with tremendous lack of inquiry: Green ideas do indeed sleep furiously. In New Zealand this week, in remarks which, in some respects, showed signs of mental life (and were therefore immediately attacked by Greens), Tony Blair began with the great piety of current Green thought. "In terms of the long-term future," he said, "there is no issue more important than climate change."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, went further. He told the BBC's Today programme that we must support government "coercion" over enforcing "international protocols" and speed limits on motorways "if we want the global economy not to collapse and millions, billions of people to die".

The evidence for claims like the above is based on one or two generally accepted facts. One is that average temperatures since the 1860s have risen by 0.6 degrees centigrade. Another is that some of this change (though how much is disputed) is man-made. Upon these rather modest foundations is erected a whole edifice of theory which purports to show not only that change is happening, but also that such change will be disastrous, and that life as we know it will be all but destroyed in the coming century unless we do something dramatic now.

I am not a scientist, so I do not know whether any of the arguments about climate change are sound, but then nor does Mr Blair or Dr Williams, although obviously they are more expensively briefed by experts than I am.

This article can therefore form no judgment on the relative importance of the factors in climate change. Is it true, for example, that the "albedo" of the surface of the Earth is a more vital factor than carbon emissions because of the way the Earth reflects incoming solar radiation? I don't know. What about the changing cycles of the Sun, the Milankovitch cycles of the Earth, volcanoes? Again, I don't know, and nor do they.

What one can ask, though, is why it is so important for so many people to believe that this disaster is coming upon us.

Once upon a time, pollution was something the Left almost approved of. New dams and factories and mines gave more power to the organised working class, and had to be rushed forward to replace the feudal societies which socialism overthrew. Worker control of the means of production was good; therefore production itself was good, and pollution was ignored on the you-can't-make-an-omelette-without-breaking-eggs principle.

In the Eighties, it was Margaret Thatcher, of all people, who was attracted to the theory of global warming. She saw it as a justification for the development of nuclear power. Her experience with the oil crises of the 1970s and the coal strikes of the 1970s and 1980s made her keen to get away from fossil fuels.

But with the end of the Cold War, and therefore the collapse of heavy-industry-for-socialism, the Left began to find in Green issues a new unifying theme. If the workers were not going to get their hands on the means of production, the theory had to shift. Now those means themselves were wicked. Capitalist greed, especially American greed, was destroying the planet, they decided.

Once this wickedness was established, the Left could advance another of its causes - the need for the government to take control of the private and the international to squash the national. And the beauty of it is that everything can come under the rubric of "saving the planet". Whether it's speed limits or disposable nappies or second homes or cheap flights or old fridges or how many babies you have, you can be told not to do whatever it is you are doing. And if you complain, you can be marked out as a selfish pig, one who has what the archbishop calls a "lifestyle that doesn't consider those people who don't happen to share the present moment with us".

To those who like the idea that the state can control everything, it must have been a constant source of irritation that the weather could not be subject to five-year plans and government targets. If you accept climate change theories, it can be, indeed it must be. Without global governmental action, the doctrine teaches, we shall all perish.

At this point, the religious impulse forms an unholy - or rather, a holier-than-thou - alliance with the political. In every age, religions have tended to relate extremes of climate to sin. It was because the people were bad that God sent floods upon the earth, and it was because Noah was a just man that he was allowed to build the Ark, and put the leading representatives of creation into it.

Today, rising sea levels threaten to punish our greed and selfishness, say the Greens. Frightened by this sort of thing, rich men with uneasy consciences who, in the Middle Ages, would have endowed monasteries, today spend fortunes on sacrifices to the goddess Gaia. Johan Eliasch, whose success in life (selling sporting equipment) has been all to do with activity, movement, velocity, has just bought 400,000 acres of rainforest with the intention of doing nothing with it. The modern equivalent of the Ark is the Kyoto Conference.

If you do not accept this, you cannot be part of what in Genesis is called the covenant of the rainbow. You are Bad. Today's servile interviewer asked Dr Williams: "President Bush is a Christian; are his actions compatible with Christian ethics?" Dr Williams thought not.

Under this huge moral blackmail, the prudent politician, particularly the politician who does not have to make actual decisions, bows the knee. David Cameron sticks a solar panel on his roof, just as a New York mayoral candidate wears a shamrock on St Patrick's Day. It is presumably only because Mr Blair knows that he is leaving his job that he dares to point out that China, India and Brazil, which are not bound by the Kyoto targets, are committing sins of emission beside which our modest transgressions hardly trouble the scorer. (China has 30,000 coal mines and car sales are rising by 80 per cent a year.)

If I am right, the politics of climate change are bad. They attract the self-righteous and the self-flagellating, the controlling, the life-denying, the people who don't like people, the people who, like Private Fraser in Dad's Army, think we're "all DOOMED". And when I listen to many of the scientists who join in the argument, I often hear in what they say not the voice of science itself, but of the bad politics, thinly disguised by a white coat. When people talk about "saving the planet", I think of the old graffito: "Jesus saves, but Moses invests." Salvation is not within human gift, but modest improvement is.

The Daily Telegraph, 1 April 2006


Dyson is a physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum mechanics and nuclear weapons design

The first of my heresies says that all the fluff about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of twilight model experts and the crowd of diluted citizens that believe the numbers predicted by their models.

Of course they say I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied their climate models and know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics and do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields, farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in.

The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That's why the climate model experts end up believing their own models.

There's no doubt that parts of the world are getting warmer, but the warming is not global. The warming happens in places and times where it is cold, in the arctic more than the tropics, in the winter more than the summer, at night more than the daytime.

I'm not saying the warming doesn't cause problems, obviously it does. Obviously we should be trying to understand it. I'm saying that the problems are being grossly exaggerated. They take away money and attention from other problems that are much more urgent and important. Poverty, infectious diseases, public education and public health. Not to mention the preservation of living creatures on land and in the oceans.


Trends of 20th-Century River Flow

Analysing: Svensson, C., Kundzewicz, Z.W. and Maurer, T. 2005. Trend detection in river flow series: 2. Flood and low-flow index series. Hydrological Sciences Journal 50: 811-824.


Climate models predict that one of the potential consequences of CO2-induced global warming is an enhancement of the world's hydrologic cycle, which is projected to result in increased precipitation and floods. At the same time, however, the models also predict longer and more severe droughts due to increased evapotranspiration driven by rising temperatures. Given such predictions, recent major floods and droughts in Europe and North America have led climate alarmists to proclaim they are due to global warming. But is this attribution correct?

What was done

In an effort to evaluate model projections of increased floods and droughts as a result of global warming, the authors examined 20th-century river flow data for a group of 21 stations distributed about the globe that they obtained from the Global Runoff Data Centre in Koblenz, Germany. Individual record lengths of the 21 stations varied from 44 to 100 years, with an average of 68 years. Analyses of the data consisted of computing trends in flood magnitude, flood frequency, and low-flow index series using Mann-Kendall and linear regression methods.

What was learned

In terms of flood magnitude and frequency, the analysis revealed there were slightly more stations exhibiting significant negative trends (reduced flooding) than significant positive trends (increased flooding). With respect to low-flow trends, nearly all stations showed increasing trends, approximately half of which were significant at the 90% level.

What it means

The results of this analysis, according to Svensson et al., indicate "there is no general pattern of increasing or decreasing numbers or magnitudes of floods, but there are significant increases in half of the low-flow series." These real-world observations are not consistent with model predictions of river flow response to global warming, since the world's climate alarmists claim that the planet experienced a warming over the latter part of the 20th century that was unprecedented over the past two millennia. If anything, therefore, and if the warming was truly as great as they claim, the data tend to support just the opposite relationship between warming and flood and drought occurrences.



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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