Tuesday, April 11, 2006


An email from F. James Cripwell (jim_jill@ncf.ca) to Benny Peiser

First thank you very much for posting my original query on the Internet. I understand from Albert Jacobs that it caused something of a stir, and you will be addressing the question on CCNet in the future. If this is true, maybe you might be interested in my observations.

To recap, what I asked for, were any graphs showing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere as the independent variable, and some quantitative measure of greenhouse effectiveness as the dependent variable. I suggested that two candidates for the latter could be the percentage of the earth's radiation absorbed by CO2, and radiative forcing.

I received no replies with respect to the earth's radiation absorbed; I myself am retired and have no access to scientific libraries. I am surprised that no-one has calculated the percentage of the earth's radiation absorbed by carbon dioxide, as a function of it's concentration in the atmosphere. The fundamental data must be readily available. One can only assume that this has not been presented because, if it were to be presented, it would show that increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are a most unlikely candidate as the cause of global warming.

I did some work on surface-to-air guided missiles, and the concept of "red spike blue spike" shows conclusively that the 4.2 micron absorption band of CO2 is completely saturated. For anyone unfamiliar with this concept, it relates to the complete absorption of the CO2 radiation at 4.2 microns, emitted by jet aircraft flying in combat, before it reaches the ground. Other absorption bands of CO2 must be nearly saturated, so there is not enough radiation absorbed by increased levels of CO2 to act as a way of increasing the warming of the earth.

With respect to radiative forcing, I did hear from NASA. It took some time to get the exact question to which I required an answer, but I finally asked the question "What is the change in radiative forcing when the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increases from zero ppm to 200 ppm". My idea was that if I could find the way of calculating one point of the required curve, I could get the rest. It would seem that NASA cannot answer the question, as I have had no reply.

The only relationship that there appears to be between concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and radiative forcing, is the claim in IPCC 2001 - The Scientific Basis that a doubling of the concentration of CO2 increases the radiative forcing by a constant amount. There are many problems with this claim.

In the first place it is most unusual for these sorts of natural phenomena to follow nice neat scientific principles, unless there is good reason for this to happen. Several plants, for example, grow in accordance with the Golden Ratio, in order to maximize the amount of sunlight each leaf receives.

In IPCC 2001, on pages 356 and 357, at paragraphs 6.3.1 there is a long discussion of what the value is of the increase in radiative forcing for a doubling of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Despite there being some 400 references in this chapter alone, there is no reference that establishes the physics behind the assertion that doubling the concentration of CO2 results in a linear addition to the radiative forcing.

On page 93, of IPCC 2001, we find in the fourth paragraph, "If the amount of carbon dioxide were doubled instantaneously, with everything else remaining the same, the outgoing infrared radiation would be reduced by 4 Wm-2. In other words, the radiative forcing corresponding to a doubling of the CO2 concentration would be 4 Wm-2". This statement is unreferenced and unsubstantiated. Similarly three paragraphs later we find "It is because of these effects of partial saturation that the radiative forcing is not proportional to the increase in carbon dioxide concentration but shows a logrithmatic dependence. Every further doubling adds an additional 4 Wm-2 to the radiative forcing". Again this statement is unreferenced and unsubstantiated. It would appear that there is no sound scientific basis for the claim that a doubling of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere results in a linear addition to the radiative forcing. If there is, where is it?

Throughout the discussion of doubling the concentration of CO2, there is absolutely no reference to the concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere over which the increased amount of radiative forcing is supposed to increase linearly when the concentration of CO2 doubles. Presumably if you halved the concentration of CO2, you would decrease the radiative forcing by some linear amount. If you go on halving the CO2 concentration, then as the concentration of CO2 approached zero, it would appear that the CO2 was rapidly cooling the earth!! Clearly any claim that the doubling of the CO2 concentration results in a linear increase in the level of radiative forcing, can have no credibility unless the range of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere over which the relationship is claimed to exist, is clearly established from sound scientific principles.

If there is no scientific basis for the claim that doubling the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increases the radiative forcing linearly, then any claim to put a numerical value on this increase has no basis in science. Such a number, e.g. 4 Wm-2, is irrelevant and meaningless. I am reminded of a discussion I had many years ago on the differences between astronomy and astrology. Both use the same data of the relative positions and motions of the earth, sun, moon, planets and stars; both have long complex calculations; both result in numerical answers. In the case of astronomy, the numbers have a scientific meaning; in the case of astrology, they do not. It seems to me that this claim of doubling the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere resulting in a linear addition to the radiative forcing, is more akin to astrology than it is to astronomy.

I am reminded of a quite well known commercial in North America from Wendy's "Where's the beef?". When it comes to the IPCC claim that the increased level of CO2 in the atmosphere is the cause of global warming, where's the science?


Mark Fischer is glad he plunked down $2 million for 144 solar-power systems last year. He beat the Germans to them - and largely defied the ruthless law of supply and demand shadowing the solar market just as it's poised to break out across sunny California. Fischer, vice president of Stockton-based Grupe Development Co., oversees the Sacramento region's largest all-solar subdivision, now rising in Rocklin. It marks the firm's first venture into a solar-energy market that increasingly has found itself squeezed at the same time it has high hopes of becoming a serious option for homeowners.

The problem: There isn't enough polysilicon being manufactured for both the global semiconductor industry that has traditionally been its biggest user and an upstart solar cell industry that's experiencing unprecedented demand. The result is a supply shortage that's unexpectedly driving up prices for an already expensive home addition. Generous new German government subsidies for solar installations in that country have especially pressured supplies just as California has approved its own 10-year, $2.9 billion program giving residents a $7,000 subsidy to add the units to their homes. With developments like Grupe's Carsten Crossings, the state aims to spur thousands more systems that can halve energy demand for an average home and add thousands of megawatts into the energy grid.

For years, solar cell prices gradually fell as demand grew and efficiency improved. But the tug of war between the huge chip industry and the growing solar cell manufacturing sector has pushed costs of solar systems up at least 10 percent, said Howard Wenger, executive vice president of Berkeley-based PowerLight Corp., which calls itself the nation's largest buyer of solar cells. A typical installation of a system that is integrated into the roof now averages about $21,000.

The polysilicon in the cells is the raw material that receives and stores sunlight to convert to electricity. Wenger said that just four years ago, the industry "consumed less than 5 percent of the silicon material" worldwide. But today, said Dick Swanson, founder of SunPower, a Sunnyvale-based solar cell manufacturer, the solar industry "is using as much silicon as the microelectronics industry. There is a shortage and prices have gone up dramatically."

What's not going up is the rate of installations. In California, which boasts 80 percent of the nation's solar energy production, installations, which surged almost 40 percent in each of 2003 and 2004, slowed last year to 22 percent, according to California Energy Commission statistics. The commission has subsidized up to 90 percent of the solar installations statewide since 1998.

Roseville homeowner Anita Mathis bought a new solar-powered home during the recent rush. She typifies homeowners who like the idea of saving money - typically solar systems can pay for themselves in about seven years - as well as the notion of being part of the energy solution. "We lucked into this," she said. "We didn't mean to buy a solar home. But it's nice to know we're not contributing to the energy problem."

Some industry analysts say price increases and shortages are likely temporary. Polysilicon supply shortages may continue until 2008 or 2009, according to Chicago-based Navigant Consulting Inc. "We believe the situation will reverse itself in two years," said PowerLight's Wenger. Solar advocates such as SunPower's Swanson contend that solar cells will become thinner by half each decade and use less silicon raw material to generate the same amount of power. They also point to a rapid expansion in manufacturing capacity in China, Russia and other nations that will ease the polysilicon shortage.

More here


"What's a few niggers less?" seems to be their heartless attitude

Uganda will proceed with the use of the pesticide DDT to control malaria, despite threats by the European Union that it could lead to its agricultural exports being locked out. The head of the Economic, Trade and Social sectors desk at the EU delegation to Uganda, Tom Vens told The EastAfrican that the EU had warned the government against the use of DDT, which scientists claim, can cause cancer among humans if ingested. "We have advised the government that they are taking a risk if they go ahead with this DDT use, he said. "We, however, leave it to the government, of course, to decide. But nothing will happen, at least on the official side, if they decide to use DDT in strict compliance with the Stockholm Convention," he said. The Stockholm Convention is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants.

The EU official, however, said that they would have no control over the consumer organisations in Europe which could pressure supermarkets to stop selling agricultural products from Uganda. Mr Vens said, "If the strict controls that should be put in place when DDT is used are not fully adhered to, and there is a risk of contamination of the food chain. It would not automatically lead to a ban of food products, but it will mean that that particular consignment cannot be sent to Europe."

However, Uganda's Health Minister Jim Muhwezi told The EastAfrican that the government was going ahead with plans to use DDT to control malaria. "What we plan to do is within the agreed framework of the World Health Organisation and there is nothing new in this," said Mr Muhwezi. "We shall use Indoors Residual Spraying and this means it will not come into contact with the exports." He said the government does not plan massive spraying outside buildings and was educating the public on the use of the pesticide, which kills mosquitoes that transmit malaria. "We have to kill malaria using DDT and the matter has been settled that DDT is not harmful to humans and if used for indoor-insecticide spraying. It's the most effective and cheapest way to fight malaria," Mr Muhwezi said. He said a study released in November 2005 found no link between DDT and conditions such as impotence, infertility, neurological damage, congenital abnormalities and cancer.

Malaria kills more people than any other disease in Uganda each year and is responsible for 21 per cent of hospital deaths and 40 per cent of illness in the country's health facilities. The minister said the government will scrap taxes on mosquito nets starting next financial year and make treated mosquito nets available to vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, children below five years and people living with HIV/Aids.

The EU concerns are likely to cause some fears in Uganda's agricultural sector, which contributes about 36 per cent of the growth domestic product, and for which Europe is an important export destination for fish, coffee, fresh flowers, bananas and cotton. A few years ago, the EU banned fish imports from Uganda citing poor sanitation and substandard processing methods. The ban was later lifted after reforms in the fish sector.

DDT was used extensively in the 1950s and early 1960s to fight malaria and other pests across the world but was stopped after scientists raised questions about its effects on humans - although no fatalities have been reported. A 2001 World Health Organisation report put hospital deaths due to malaria in Uganda at 38 per cent and the percentage of households using insecticide-treated mosquito nets at 6 per cent.



N.B. What the British call a hosepipe, Australians would call a "garden hose". I don't know what Americans call it but it's what you use to water your garden. Though why damp Britain needs its gardens watered is something of a mystery

Britain appears to be suffering from an outbreak of water on the brain. A shower of wet greens are apparently attacking golf-course greens in an attempt to make the clubs cut their water use. Such rabid hydrophobia is little wonder, really, when the dry sticks who run the Environment Agency and water companies are telling consumers to grass up our neighbours for daring to water the grass.

We are being deluged with demands to spy on one another. The Metropolitan Police's anti-terrorism adverts ask: "Are you suspicious of your tenants or neighbours?" A television campaign tells us to turn in any dodgy-looking tradesmen who might not be paying enough income tax. Leaflets advise Edinburgh householders how to inform on "rogue" pubs that flout Scotland's smoking ban. When the ban comes to England, the Government plans to plaster the shop-a-smoker phoneline number on public buildings and bus stops.

Now seven water companies in southern England are encouraging customers to report any of their 13 million consumers suspected of breaking hosepipe bans. Neighbourhood-watchers who have spotted a gardener armed with a hose can leave an anonymous telephone message for Thames Water or e-mail an anonymous "Report a Waterhog!" form to Three Valleys Water.

There are good arguments that hosepipe bans are ineffective and would be unnecessary if more investment had been made in building reservoirs, replacing pipes and desalination.

But then these campaigns are less about saving water than changing behaviour. They are backyard moral crusades to make us renounce our prodigal ways, with the hosepipe cast as the serpent in the garden. The companies are even asking consumers to sign "the pledge" to use less water - something traditionally associated with temperance campaigns against alcohol. As with all re-education programmes, we are expected to police one another's deviant behaviour.

Who wants to be a water rat or part of a nation of narks? These shop-a-neighbour campaigns feed the climate of suspicion already corroding trust. Civil liberties campaigners invoke the "Big Brother nightmare" at the drop of an ID card. But let's not forget the more insidious aspects of surveillance in Nineteen Eighty-Four, which meant that "everyone could be surrounded day and night by informers who knew him intimately".

This week Harraj Mann, a salesman from Hartlepool, was reportedly taken off a plane by anti-terrorist police and grilled for three hours because a sharp-eared taxi driver heard him play an old Clash song with the lyrics "war is declared and battle come down" en route to Teesside airport. You can't be too careful. He might have had a hosepipe in his bag.

The Times, 7 April 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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