Tuesday, April 18, 2006


From a chronic attention-seeker

One of the country's leading climate scientists says there is "a good chance" for a "super El Nino" next winter, a powerful warming in the Pacific Ocean linked to wet winters in the Southwest. In a draft paper circulated to colleagues, NASA climate researcher James Hansen blames global warming for increasing the chance of extreme El Ninos. When they happen, such extreme El Ninos can wreak weather havoc worldwide, from deep drought in Australia to flooding in California.

Hansen's new paper drew a flurry of attention among scientists because of his standing as one of the nation's most prominent climate scientists. But the most common reaction was caution. "The graveyard is filled with missed El Nino forecasts," said Mickey Glantz at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. Scientists also questioned Hansen's El Nino-global warming link, noting researchers' predictions on the subject vary widely. "There is no consensus," said University of New Mexico climate researcher Dave Gutzler.

One of the strongest reactions came from Mark Cane, at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York. "I strongly believe that most of what Jim Hansen writes about El Nino there is incorrect," Cane said in a phone interview Friday.

Hansen, head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, sent a March 29 e-mail to a list of colleagues describing "a draft paper that I intend to submit for publication within a few days" and including a link to the paper on a public Web site. University of Colorado science policy researcher Roger Pielke Jr. made it public late Thursday afternoon on his blog. Hansen could not be reached for comment Friday.

El Nino and its counterpart, La Nina, act like a global climate seesaw, tipping back and forth every few years as temperatures and winds across the equatorial Pacific shift. When the seesaw tips to the warm side- El Nino- New Mexico and the Southwest generally have wet winters. When the seesaw tips to the cool side- La Nina, which we are experiencing now- things here tend to be dry. Similar patterns of extreme wet weather or drought follow La Nina and El Nino over large parts of the globe, which makes forecasting the phenomena of critical importance. "Predicting El Nino ... both on the seasonal time scale and for the next century is a key societal need," French climate researcher Eric Guilyardi recently wrote.

In his draft paper, Hansen argues that ocean conditions now, including a significant warming off the coast of Peru, are similar to those that preceded the extreme El Nino in the winter 1997-98- the strongest in the 20th century.

The 1997-98 event brought, in Cane's words, "worldwide notoriety" to El Nino, including a famous "Saturday Night Live" sketch in which the late Chris Farley played a bombastic professional wrestler known as "El Nino." In the United States, California felt the brunt of El Nino's wrath, suffering massive flooding. New Mexico received above-average precipitation.

Hansen's prediction is at odds with a forecast issued Thursday by the federal government's Climate Prediction Center, which noted significant uncertainty in the computer climate models used to forecast what will happen next winter. None of the 20 models surveyed by federal forecasters are predicting as strong an El Nino as Hansen suggests.

Gutzler urged patience, saying that there is no need for a 2006-07 El Nino forecast now anyway, and by September the forecast will be more clear. "Let's wait till the end of summer," he said.


A Greenie archbishop with a remarkably non-Christian agenda

The Easter sermon of His Grace, as reported below, shows no awareness that the man he claims to follow declared: "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36)

The Anglican primate, Brisbane archbishop Phillip Aspinall, said the significance of Jesus rising from the dead had been reduced to "an other-worldly concern to do with going to heaven when you die". He told the congregation at Brisbane's St John's Cathedral the resurrection was instead a call to be involved in "the re-creation of the Earth, and human society being put to rights".

Archbishop Aspinall said among issues modern society should address were acid rain, global warming, salination, water conservation, poverty, personal, corporate and sexual ethics, and the obsession with affluence. "What we do to support the people of Innisfail in the wake of Cyclone Larry matters," he said. "Making peace in our world matters. The Christian view doesn't see this life as something to escape from, that the material world is bad, that real existence is a spiritual one divorced from this world. That kind of thinking leads to abandoning the Earth to its dismal fate because the material world, in the end, doesn't matter. "The New Testament pictures the end not as us going up to heaven, but a new Jerusalem coming out of heaven because the home of God is among mortals."

So, according to the Church of England, you no longer go to Heaven when you die. Remarkable! I think most of his flock would be surprised. But I guess they weren't listening.

More here


April 26 marks the 20th anniversary of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Anti-nuclear activists are still trying to turn Chernobyl into a bigger disaster than it really was. Although the Number Four nuclear reactor at Chernobyl exploded just before dawn on April 26, 1986, Soviet secrecy prevented the world from learning about the accident for days. Once details began to emerge, however, the anti-nuclear scare machine swung into action. Three days after the accident Greenpeace "scientists" predicted the accident would cause 10,000 people to get cancer over a 20-year period within a 625-mile radius of the plant. Greenpeace also estimated that 2,000 to 4,000 people in Sweden would develop cancer over a 30-year period from the radioactive fallout.

At the same time, Helen Caldicott, president emeritus of the anti-nuclear Physicians for Social Responsibility, predicted the accident would cause almost 300,000 cancers in 5 to 50 years and cause almost 1 million people either to be rendered sterile or mentally retarded, or to develop radiation sickness, menstrual problems and other health problems. University of California-Berkeley medical physicist and nuclear power critic Dr. John Gofman made the most dire forecast. He predicted at an American Chemical Society meeting that the Chernobyl accident would cause 1 million cancers worldwide, half of them fatal.

But the reality of the health consequences of the Chernobyl accident seems to be quite different than predicted by the anti-nuke crowd. As of mid-2005, fewer than 50 deaths were attributed to radiation from the accident - that's according to a report, entitled "Chernobyl's Legacy: Health Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts," produced by an international team of 100 scientists working under the auspices of the United Nations. Almost all of those 50 deaths were rescue workers who were highly exposed to radiation and died within months of the accident. So far, there have been about 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer, mainly in children. But except for nine deaths, all of those with thyroid cancer have recovered, according to the report.

Despite the UN report, the anti-nuclear mob hasn't given up on Chernobyl scaremongering. According to a March 25 report in The Guardian (UK), Greenpeace and others are set to issue a report around the 20th anniversary of the accident claiming that at least 500,000 people may have already died as a result of the accident. Ukraine's government appears to be on board with the casualty inflation game, perhaps looking for more international aid for the economically-struggling former Soviet republic. The Guardian article quoted the deputy head of the Ukraine National Commission for Radiation Protection as touting the 500,000-deaths figure. A spokesman for the Ukraine government's Scientific Center for Radiation Medicine told The Guardian, "We're overwhelmed by thyroid cancers, leukemias and genetic mutations that are not recorded in the [UN] data and which were practically unknown 20 years ago."

Putting aside the anti-nuclear movement's track record of making wild claims and predictions in order advance its political agenda, I put more credence in the UN's estimates because it squares with what we know about real-life exposures to high levels of radiation. Among the more than 86,000 survivors of the atomic bomb blasts that ended World War II, for example, "only" about 500 or so "extra" cancers have occurred since 1950. Exposure to high-levels of radiation does increase cancer risk, but only slightly.

There is no doubt that Chernobyl was a disaster, but it was not one of mythical proportions. Chernobyl and Three Mile Island - the U.S. nuclear plant that accidentally released a small amount radiation in 1979 - are examples of how the anti-nuclear lobby takes every available opportunity to scare the public about nuclear power. But no one was harmed by the incident at Three Mile Island. The Chernobyl accident can be chalked up to deficiencies in its Soviet-era design and operation. Neither reflect poorly on the track record of safety demonstrated by nuclear power plants designed, built and operated in countries like the U.S., U.K., France and Japan.

It's quite ironic that while Greenpeace squawks about the need to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in order to avert the much-dreaded global warming, the group continues spreading fear about greenhouse gas-free nuclear power plants - the only practical alternative to burning fossil fuels for producing electricity. Apparently, Greenpeace's solution to our energy problems is simply to turn the lights off - for good.



From Science Notes


What is the contribution of anthropogenic carbon dioxide to global warming? This question has been the subject of many heated arguments. In this article, we will consider a simple calculation, based on well-accepted facts, that shows that the expected global temperature increase caused by doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide levels is bounded by an upper limit of 1.4-2.7 degrees centigrade. This result contrasts with the results of the IPCC's climate models, whose projections are shown to be unrealistically high.



Although carbon dioxide is capable of raising the Earth's overall temperature, the IPCC's predictions of catastrophic temperature increases produced by carbon dioxide have been challenged by many scientists. In particular, the importance of water vapor is frequently overlooked by environmental activists and by the media. The above discussion shows that the large temperature increases predicted by many computer models are unphysical and inconsistent with results obtained by basic measurements. Skepticism is warranted when considering computer-generated projections of global warming that cannot even predict existing observations.


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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