Sunday, April 30, 2006


China is going to be pumping oil out of the Gulf of Mexico - at the same time the United States cannot. What? How's that again? Here's how it works, information courtesy Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho who made a speech on the House floor about this Wednesday.

China is bidding on, and will win, rights to explore oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico, which are offered for development by Cuba. By the way, Mexico just hit a huge offshore oil find in the Gulf of Mexico and expects to be frolicking in oil cash as a result. The United States will not be participating in these hot, new finds because offshore of Florida is off limits to oil exploration.

Why is that? Because enviros have managed to put such a stranglehold on Florida that even Gov. Jeb Bush is calling his brother, President George Bush, to say, "Just say no to oil off Florida." We have to save the everglades, the keys, the bone fishing, the manatee, the whatever. We certainly cannot give up precious environmental resources just to make certain someone gets another day of oil for their big, fat, piggish SUV and its oil-sucking V8 engine and it's bottomless tub of a gas tank.

So, the end result? We're paying through the nose for gas. Oil hit through the roof. Cuba is exploiting the situation. China is cashing in. Mexico is singing, "Happy days are here again." And the U.S. will be buying oil from those guys while forsaking its own untapped Florida oil fields. This same thing is happening offshore in California and in Alaska, ANWR in particular.

I've always said this makes no sense. The United States enforces the strictest oil production environmental regulations in the world. And for what? So we can say to the oil companies: "Don't worry, you won't have to obey these regulations anyway because we're not going to let you drill here. Instead, go drill in Azerbaijan and Nigeria where you will have to obey virtually no regulations at all." If you're a real environmentalist, don't you want oil development in places where real environmental regulations will be enforced? And if we really want to help ourselves out of our own oil problem, shouldn't we drill our own oil before China gets to it first?



Even primitive man coped well with climate change

(From Journal of Archaeological Science. Article in Press)

Climate deterioration and land-use change in the first millennium BC: perspectives from the British palynological record

By: Petra Dark

Department of Archaeology, University of Reading


Climate deterioration at around the time of the Bronze Age/Iron Age transition has for long been argued to have resulted in upland abandonment in northern and western Britain, and recent research has provided evidence that a major climate downturn from 850 cal BC caused settlement abandonment in western Europe and potentially worldwide. It is, however, unclear to what extent only 'marginal' sites were affected, due to the lack of any systematic attempt to view the evidence for settlement and land-use change across a range of landscape types with differing sensitivities to environmental change. This paper addresses this issue by an evaluation of 75 pollen sequences spanning the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age in Britain to assess whether climatic deterioration was sufficient to cause widespread land abandonment. The results provide no evidence for wholesale land-use change at this time; the overall picture is one of continuity of land use or even increased agricultural activity. There are, however, hints of regional variability, with a greater tendency to abandonment of upland areas in Wales, and signs of woodland regeneration in agriculturally productive areas of lowland central southern England. The latter pattern may reflect a combination of rising ground-water levels affecting local land-use in the immediate vicinity of the mires which provide the source of the pollen data, against a backdrop of regional-scale social and economic changes at the Bronze Age-Iron Age transition.

1. Introduction

The Bronze Age/Iron Age transition in north-west Europe has long been recognised as a period of climate deterioration, corresponding approximately to changes in peat sequences defining the Sub-Boreal/Sub-Atlantic transition of the Blytt-Sernander scheme for division of the Holocene [89], and the recurrence surface known as the Grenzhorizont [115], reflecting a shift from warm/dry to relatively cool/wet conditions. In his 1982 review of evidence for climate change from mires, Barber concluded that there was 'a catastrophic decline to a cooler and/or wetter climate around 2850-2550 BP' [3, p. 110]. Subsequent research on mires, and other sources of proxy climate data, has continued to provide evidence for a substantial downturn in climate at about this time (see below).

Climate deterioration has often played a role in explanations of settlement and land-use change apparent from the archaeological record of the late Bronze Age in Britain, especially in 'marginal' upland areas such as Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor and parts of Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. Burgess [28] and [29] argued the case particularly forcefully for settlement abandonment and population collapse ca. 1300-1000 BC, suggesting that 'evidence of this disaster is seen in upland and lowland alike in the abandonment of agricultural systems and a dislocation of settlement, cultural and burial traditions' [29, p. 195]. Subsequently a more 'catastrophic' explanation for upland settlement abandonment was suggested, linked to an eruption of the Icelandic volcano, Hekla [1] and [30]. Most recently, van Geel and co-workers have identified a period of rapid climatic deterioration at ca. 850 cal BC (2750 BP), apparently attributable to a decline in solar activity, argued to have triggered settlement abandonment in marginal areas in The Netherlands (at sites susceptible to water-table rise) and more widely [65], [108], [109], [110], [111], [112] and [113].

Despite the abundant evidence for widespread climate change in the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age, and archaeological indications of settlement abandonment at some sites, it is unclear how significant this change was for human settlement and land use. Were only 'marginal' sites affected, e.g. those prone to flooding or at the altitudinal limits of cultivation, or was climatic deterioration of sufficient magnitude to cause a wholesale shift in subsistence strategies across substantial areas of the landscape? The aim of this paper is to address this question by a systematic examination of pollen sequences for a large area (Britain), representing a range of 'marginal' and 'optimal' sites for settlement and agriculture.


7. Conclusions

* Climate deterioration in the late Bronze Age and Iron Age did not cause widespread settlement abandonment and long-term land-use change across Britain. More sites show an increase than decline of agricultural activity/woodland clearance in this period.

* 'Marginal' upland landscapes were not generally preferentially abandoned, and in some areas underwent increased levels of agricultural activity. In Wales, however, there may have been a shift away from the uplands.

* There is no evidence for a general shift from arable to pastoral agriculture as a response to climate deterioration, but more extensive agriculture, requiring additional woodland clearance, may have been practiced in some areas as a means of dealing with the increased risk of crop failure.

* In central southern England consistent evidence for woodland regeneration phases may reflect local land abandonment resulting from water-table rise and need not be indicative of major landscape-scale events away from sites prone to waterlogging.

* Pollen sequences provide no evidence that Icelandic volcanic eruptions had a significant impact on land use in Britain in the first millennium BC.


(By Licia Corbella in The Calgary Sun, 27 April 2006)

Exactly 31 years ago tomorrow Newsweek carried a story that predicted a rapidly cooling world that would result in a "drastic decline in food production -- with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth." Hmmmm? It's the same doom and gloom scenario we hear today except turned on its ear -- now, however, it's not about devastation caused by cooling but rather by global warming. Confused? Well, you need not be much longer.

Today, just one day prior to the anniversary of that April 28, 1975, Newsweek article about global cooling, Dr. Chris de Freitas, a world-renowned climatologist, geographer and environmentalist from the University of Auckland in New Zealand will help decipher all the hype and pseudo-science surrounding global warming during a lunchtime lecture at the Metropolitan Conference Centre, 333 4 Ave. S.W., ($40 tickets can be purchased at the door.) "Recently, media and politicians have virtually stopped talking about global warming and are now referring to climate change instead," states de Freitas. "That's because predictions of doom and gloom from warming just aren't coming true. But with 'climate change,' Kyoto advocates can now cite any change or phenomenon as proof that CO2 emissions have upset the global apple cart."

It's the old 'heads-I-win, tails-you-lose' trick played on a massive scale by "the global warming industry" who want to keep their hundreds of millions of research dollars flowing when their dire predictions of catastrophic warming are proven false, if not completely fraudulent. In the Newsweek piece about cooling it states: "In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually."

De Freitas points out that predicting the weather for the next two weeks, let alone the climate for the next 100 years or so, is impossible. What he can safely predict is the Earth will cool again one day and it will warm again, too. "There certainly isn't any evidence that there's going to be dramatic climate change because of human activity," says de Freitas over a glass of wine at a downtown restaurant. "The fear-mongering about more droughts and more floods is pure hype and pure speculation and is not based on science," he adds.

De Freitas says in the 1930s it was warmer in the Arctic than it is now -- before there was massive industrialization and man-made greenhouse gasses -- and between 1600-1800, Greenland actually lived up to its name -- it was green.

Currently, Greenland is losing ice on its southern margins but is gaining ice in its interior -- a measurable fact. Meanwhile, the Antarctic is cooling, with the exception of a small Antarctic peninsula as a result of currents. "There's been global cooling since 1998 because 1998 was the hottest year in the last 150 years," says de Freitas, adding "10,000 years ago it was much warmer than it is now." "From 1900 to 1940 there was global warming," he says, even though large scale industrialization didn't start until 1948. "Then, from 1940 to 1979 there was global cooling and that happened when we were putting heaps of carbon into the air."

De Freitas says today he will urge the Canadian government to scrap the Kyoto protocol and embrace the Asia-Pacific Partnership, something federal Environment Minister Rona Ambrose announced on Tuesday the government is considering. "If you do consult the facts, have an unbiased, open mind and you don't have an agenda, you can't help but be at least an agnostic on this," he adds.

De Freitas then cracks a smile and challenges Canadians who believe the unsubstantiated hypothesis of human-created global warming by saying it's "environmentally irresponsible to live in Canada where it's cold and large amounts of energy are needed to survive." He facetiously suggests the pro global warming crowd all move to Florida. Then again, if the scientists quoted in that Newsweek piece were right, Florida would be downright chilly, too.


(By Dr. Roy Spencer)

As part of the current media frenzy over the imminent demise of the Earth from global warming, it has become fashionable to demonize global warming skeptics through a variety of tactics. This has recently been accomplished by comparing scientists who don't believe in a global climate catastrophe to those who deny the Holocaust, to those who denied cigarettes cause cancer, or to 'flat-Earthers'.

It is interesting that it is not the scientists who are making the comparisons to Holocaust-deniers, but members of the media. For instance, Scott Pelley, who recently interviewed NASA's James Hansen for CBS's '60 Minutes', has been quoted on the CBS News PublicEye blog: "There is virtually no disagreement in the scientific community any longer about 'global warming'....the science that has been done in the last three to five years has been conclusive."

Pelley posted this quote to the same blog: "If I do an interview with [Holocaust survivor] Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?"

This comparison between global warming skeptics and Holocaust-deniers illustrates the upside-down worldview that makes the public increasingly distrustful of the media. The Holocaust has mounds of documented evidence: survivors, eye witnesses, photographs, movie footage, concentration camps, artifacts, death showers, ovens, human bones. What does manmade global warming have? The theory that mankind has caused the globally averaged temperature to be 1 degree F warmer than it was a century ago. (I'm sure holocaust survivors appreciate the minimization of their ordeal through use of this analogy.)

In stark contrast, what we do have as a direct result of the environmentalist-led restrictions on the use of DDT is tens of millions of deaths, and hundreds of millions of cases of severe illness, from malaria in Africa. The silence from scientists on this is remarkable. Thankfully, the trend against DDT bans is finally changing, with countries like South Africa virtually eliminating malaria with DDT. Is mankind really ready for another major policy catastrophe based upon environmentalist (and media) rhetoric?

Whenever you see any media statement that "the science is settled" on global warming, note that exactly what is settled about global warming goes unmentioned. If it were stated, the statement would either be false, or at least it would not convey the necessary urgency to 'do something about global warming'. Or maybe today's journalists can not deal with that level of complexity...but for the time being I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.

So, just what part of, "the science is settled on global warming", is really settled? Well, I would say that our current period of globally-averaged warmth is pretty indisputable, though possibly over-estimated. I say "globally-averaged" because some areas have actually cooled in the last 100 years. Furthermore, the majority of climate scientists would probably agree that some part of that warmth is manmade. But in contrast to the warmth itself, which has actually been measured with thermometers, its attribution to mankind's greenhouse gas emissions is only one possible explanation among many.

A minority of us would suggest that we really don't know how much of the current warmth is manmade versus natural. I suspect we are the Holocaust-denying, cancer-ignoring, flat-Earthers who still think the Moon landing was staged.

Marc Morano of Cybercast News Service recently reported on a curious teleconference where environmental group representatives, members of the media, and a Democratic congressional staffer joined in bashing those who would stand in the way of convincing the public that we should all "be afraid, be very afraid". One of those participating was Mark Hertsgaard, author of an article in the recent Earth Day issue of Vanity Fair, which had a (literally) green cover that included environmental experts such as Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and (of course) Al Gore.

In his article, Morano related some of Hertsgaard's comments: "People in the American media in the last six weeks have begun to say 'the debate is over'. [There is] a lot more coverage than we have ever seen of 'global warming'; a lot more pointed coverage than we have ever seen. It is very striking that it is years behind the coverage in Europe," Hertsgaard said. "People in Europe talked about the 'the climate loonies in the United States.' The Brits do not understand why people pay attention [to skeptics]", he added.

So, once again, we apparently need to look to Europe for our cues on what we should believe about global warming and climate policy, just as we should rely on their judicial rulings.

Further, the teleconference group derided "free-market think tanks". Reporter Paul Thacker offered, "I have often felt that these think tanks are kinda there just to dissuade journalists from covering these issues effectively...". Yes, and you know it's a well kept secret that free-market advocates only exist to keep everyone from learning how well socialism has worked throughout history. (Note the free-market comfort from which a free speech-loving journalist in a free-market economy can so freely bite the invisible hand that feeds him.)

Even Dr. Global Warming himself, James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies -- who participated in the same teleconference -- cautioned the others against pushing the rhetoric too far: "I am a little concerned about this, in the sense that we are still at a point where the natural fluctuations of climate are still large -- at least, the natural fluctuations of weather compared to long-term climate change." This is a much more moderate musing than some of his recent views, which include the warning that we might have only ten years left to turn things around, global warming-wise.

Dr. Hansen's advice might be too late. With upcoming movies, books, and the inevitable continuing stream of news stories about global warming science being settled, the tone of the debate does not appear to be ready to moderate any time soon. Despite the recent Gallup Poll results which indicated that, even though Americans believe that global warming will probably be worse than the media coverage suggests, on the environmental worries scale, global warming still only rates a 2.

Still, I'm left wondering...why does the global warming issue seem so much more important to the media than to the public -- to the point where they have do demonize skeptics with ad hominem attacks? Do they know something we don't know? I suspect it is more the reverse.

And how, exactly, do the media make the jump from "global warming being real", to the warming being entirely manmade, to the warming being catastrophic, to the faulting of the U.S. government for not implementing policy changes (Kyoto, Domenici-Bingaman) that won't help the problem anyway? That wasn't a rhetorical question...I really do want to know the answer. Send me an e-mail if you happen to know.

TCS Daily, 27 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

Comments? Email me here. My Home Page is here or here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


No comments: