Sunday, April 09, 2006


This guy sounds dangerous enough to lock up. But I suppose that all we can hope for is that Ebola gets him first

A University of Texas biology professor has been targeted by talk radio, bloggers and vitriolic e-mails - including a death threat - after a published report that he advocated death for most of the population as a means of saving the Earth. But Dr. Eric Pianka said Monday his remarks about what he believes is an impending pandemic were taken out of context. "What we really need to do is start thinking about controlling our population before it's too late," he said. "It's already too late, but we're not even thinking about it. We're just mindlessly rushing ahead breeding our brains out."

The public furor began when The Gazette-Enterprise of Seguin, Texas, reported Sunday on two speeches Pianka made last month to groups of scientists and students about vanishing animal habitats and the explosion of the human population. The newspaper's Jamie Mobley attended one of those speeches and also interviewed Forrest Mims, an amateur scientist and author who heard Pianka speak early last month before the Texas Academy of Science. After the newspaper's report appeared, it was circulated widely and posted on "The Drudge Report." It quickly became talk-radio fodder.

The Gazette-Enterprise quoted Pianka as saying disease "will control the scourge of humanity. We're looking forward to a huge collapse." The professor weighed the killing power of various diseases such as bird flu and HIV, insisting neither would yield the needed results. "HIV is too slow. It's no good," he said. He went on to discuss how an Ebola pandemic could wipe out a significant chunk of the human population.

Pianka said he was only trying to warn his audience that disease epidemics have happened before and will happen again if the human population growth isn't contained. He said he believes the Earth would be better off if the human population were smaller because fewer natural resources would be consumed and humans wouldn't continue to destroy animal habitats. But he said that doesn't mean he wants most humans to die.

But Mims, chairman of the academy's environmental science section, told The Associated Press there was no mistaking Pianka's disdain for humans and desire for their elimination. "He wishes for it. He hopes for it. He laughs about it. He jokes about it," Mims said. "It's got to happen because we are the scourge of humanity."

David Marsh, president of the Texas Academy of Science, did not return telephone and e-mail messages seeking comment. No recording or transcript of either that speech or another delivered last Friday at St. Edward's University in Austin was available for review by the AP. The Gazette-Enterprise said it reviewed a transcript of the original speech, which was provided on the condition that it not be distributed.

Allan Hook, a St. Edward's biology professor who heard both speeches, said Pianka "wasn't so perhaps adamant in his own personal views of what he thinks might happen" in his second lecture. But Hook declined to elaborate on what Pianka said in the earlier speech, which Pianka delivered while being honored as the academy's 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.

University of Texas officials don't plan to take any action against Pianka, university spokesman Don Hale said. "Dr. Pianka has First Amendment rights to express his point of view," Hale said. "We have plenty of faculty with a lot of different points of view and they have the right to express that point of view, but they're expressing their personal point of view."



Special to the Financial Post, 6 April 2006

An open letter to [Canada's] Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

Dear Prime Minister:

As accredited experts in climate and related scientific disciplines, we are writing to propose that balanced, comprehensive public-consultation sessions be held so as to examine the scientific foundation of the federal government's climate-change plans. This would be entirely consistent with your recent commitment to conduct a review of the Kyoto Protocol. Although many of us made the same suggestion to then-prime ministers Martin and Chretien, neither responded, and, to date, no formal, independent climate-science review has been conducted in Canada. Much of the billions of dollars earmarked for implementation of the protocol in Canada will be squandered without a proper assessment of recent developments in climate science.

Observational evidence does not support today's computer climate models, so there is little reason to trust model predictions of the future. Yet this is precisely what the United Nations did in creating and promoting Kyoto and still does in the alarmist forecasts on which Canada's climate policies are based. Even if the climate models were realistic, the environmental impact of Canada delaying implementation of Kyoto or other greenhouse-gas reduction schemes, pending completion of consultations, would be insignificant. Directing your government to convene balanced, open hearings as soon as possible would be a most prudent and responsible course of action.

While the confident pronouncements of scientifically unqualified environmental groups may provide for sensational headlines, they are no basis for mature policy formulation. The study of global climate change is, as you have said, an "emerging science," one that is perhaps the most complex ever tackled. It may be many years yet before we properly understand the Earth's climate system. Nevertheless, significant advances have been made since the protocol was created, many of which are taking us away from a concern about increasing greenhouse gases. If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary.

We appreciate the difficulty any government has formulating sensible science-based policy when the loudest voices always seem to be pushing in the opposite direction. However, by convening open, unbiased consultations, Canadians will be permitted to hear from experts on both sides of the debate in the climate-science community. When the public comes to understand that there is no "consensus" among climate scientists about the relative importance of the various causes of global climate change, the government will be in a far better position to develop plans that reflect reality and so benefit both the environment and the economy.

"Climate change is real" is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural "noise." The new Canadian government's commitment to reducing air, land and water pollution is commendable, but allocating funds to "stopping climate change" would be irrational. We need to continue intensive research into the real causes of climate change and help our most vulnerable citizens adapt to whatever nature throws at us next.

We believe the Canadian public and government decision-makers need and deserve to hear the whole story concerning this very complex issue. It was only 30 years ago that many of today's global-warming alarmists were telling us that the world was in the midst of a global-cooling catastrophe. But the science continued to evolve, and still does, even though so many choose to ignore it when it does not fit with predetermined political agendas.

We hope that you will examine our proposal carefully and we stand willing and able to furnish you with more information on this crucially important topic.


Since one or two bristlecone pine trees is about all Michael "hockeystick" Mann has to hang his hat on these days, this paper should in a reality-focused world blow him out of the water. It won't of course

(From Paleobiology; September 2005; v. 31; no. 3; p. 434-444)

Global climate analysis of growth rings in woods, and its implications for deep-time paleoclimate studies

By Howard J. Falcon-Lang

Quantitative analysis of growth rings in pre-Quaternary fossil woods is commonly used as a paleoclimatic indicator. In this paper, a global analysis of the relationship between climate and growth ring parameters in modern trees is presented that, in part, invalidates the use of fossil woods in this way. Data reprocessed from the International Tree-Ring Data Bank are used to analyze three parameters, mean ring width, mean sensitivity, and percentage latewood, from 727 sites across a global climatic range. Results allow the complex relationship between climate and growth ring parameters to be quantified at the global scale for the first time. They reveal the enormous variability in tree response to climate-forcing, which is influenced by disparate factors such as taxonomy, ontogeny, ecology, and environment. Quantitative analysis of fossil growth ring data in light of the modern results indicates that even the largest and most detailed fossil studies conducted to date are probably inadequate in distinguishing a paleoclimate signal from the background noise of variability. The validity of using quantitative growth ring parameters as indicators of Pre-Quaternary climates is therefore questionable. Only in well-constrained studies where paleoclimatic, ontogenetic, and taxonomic sources of variability can be controlled, and data sets are very large, may fossil growth ring analysis provide useful paleoecological data. The findings of this paper do not invalidate in any way the use of growth rings in fossil woods as qualitative paleoclimatic indicators.


1. Quantitative climate analysis of growth ring characteristics (mean ring width, mean sensitivity, percentage latewood) of modern trees was undertaken at the global scale. Results help quantify, for the first time, the enormous variability in tree growth response to present-day climatic forcing.

2. Modern data allow the quality of growth ring data in pre-Quaternary fossil wood to be assessed. In light of such analyses fossil data are found to be inadequate in distinguishing paleoclimate signals from the background noise of variability.

3. Quantitative growth ring analysis of fossil woods may be used only in well-constrained paleoecological studies where taxonomic and climatic sources of variability can be controlled, and additionally, of course, as a qualitative tool in paleoclimatic and paleoecological analyses. [...]


Forty per cent of this year's budget for climate change programs has been slashed from the departments of Natural Resources and Environment, CBC News has learned. The cuts include the much-advertised One Tonne Challenge, 40 public information offices across the country and several scientific and research programs on climate change. "If it's not in the taxpayers' interest to fund programs that are not effective, then we are not going to," said Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn. Lunn would only confirm funding has been cut to some environmental groups, but did not provide details.

David Layzell, who runs BIOCAP, a research program that looks at how agricultural and forest waste can be turned into fuel, said the program gets 80 per cent of its money from the federal government. He said it's now in limbo with millions of dollars in research at stake. "We will lose researchers, we will lose funding partners, we will lose a number of industries that have been looking at opportunities to move to, for example, new energy sources," said Layzell.

Environmental groups are furious at the cuts, pointing out the longer Canada takes to form a climate change plan the less likely Canada will keep its Kyoto promises. "We're the only country that's ratified Kyoto that's cutting back on its spending on climate change," said John Bennett of the Sierra Club of Canada.

The government said it will come up with its own new climate change plan within the next few months.

CBC News, 5 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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