Friday, June 30, 2006


The German government is about to trigger a new crisis in Europe's flagship climate policy, the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). BBC News understands the German cabinet is likely to agree a deal that will reduce carbon emissions from industry by only 0.6% between 2004 and 2012. The decision is likely to influence other EU countries, including the UK, which still have to set their own caps.

Environmental groups describe the target as "pathetic and shameful". "These figures are unbelievably unambitious," said Regina Gunther from WWF Germany. "It is shameful that our environment minister has agreed to this." Climate analysts now fear a meltdown of EU climate leadership. "I have been a big supporter of the EU ETS, but hearing the German news I feel more depressed than I ever have done about our ability to tackle climate change," said Professor Michael Grubb of the UK Carbon Trust, set up by the British government to help create a low-carbon economy. "I really believed that Europe would lead the way through the EU ETS but now I wonder whether this will ever happen."

The news will offer comfort to US climate sceptics who predicted that Europe would talk big on climate change but fail to impose large carbon cuts on its own industries.

The decision represents a major success for the German business lobby. Last year, German industries were so successful in lobbying that their government handed them 21 million tones of carbon permits more than they actually needed. This pushed down the value of carbon in the EU ETS carbon market and made emissions savings less attractive to businesses across the EU. The carbon price bounced back when carbon traders found that some nations such as the UK had forced unexpectedly large CO2 cuts on their power sectors.

A German environment ministry spokesman, Michael Schroeren, argued that his nation's carbon targets up to 2012 were stricter than they appeared. He said last year's carbon emissions total of 474 million tonnes from big industry might have been anomalously low, so Germany had to allow for that. Mr Schroeren said Germany was still committed to its Kyoto targets, but would achieve carbon cuts through other measures. One plan is to cut three million tonnes of carbon by training motorists to drive more economically.

The normally temperate Professor Grubb poured scorn on the suggestion of an anomaly. "The German position is ridiculous - their emissions had been coming down over a long period of time. Last year's figures are definitely not a blip and this agreement is certainly nothing to do with protecting the climate."

Environmentalists are also angry that the German government has decided to hand companies all their emissions permits free of charge. The EU encourages member states to auction up to 10% of permits in order to create a more genuine market in which firms have to reveal their true intentions. But this has been rejected. The UK says it will auction between 2% and 10% of permits. The UK will cut CO2 between three and eight million tonnes.

At least the Germans will be announcing their EU ETS plans on deadline on Friday. Most other EU nations do not have their plans ready. The UK government is waiting on the German decision because in the last phase of the EU ETS, British firms complained that the Germans had been given too many carbon permits, conferring a competitive advantage. The Swedish government has agreed a lax cap on CO2 and is expected to stick to that unless Germany and the UK impose much stricter caps. This now looks most unlikely, and will badly undercut the EU's position in international negotiations on climate.

The German news comes as the European Environment Agency released figures showing that the EU is badly under-achieving on its Kyoto targets. EU emissions rose by 0.4% in 2004 relative to the previous year. UK emissions rose 0.2 %. In 2004, the combined EU-15 emissions were only 0.9% below 1990. Under the Kyoto Protocol, Germany has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 21% from 1990 levels by the period 2008-2012.

BBC News, 27 June 2006


Dr. Harlan L. Watson is Senior Climate Negotiator and Special Representative at the U.S. Department of State

Washington cannot rule out joining any successor to the UN's Kyoto Protocol for curbing global warming beyond 2012 but such a move would face big legal hurdles, the US chief climate negotiator said on Monday. President George W. Bush withdrew the United States from Kyoto in 2001, saying its caps on greenhouse gases would cost jobs and that poor nations were wrongly excluded until 2012.

"I never rule anything out," Harlan Watson told Reuters during a climate conference at Chatham House, London, when asked if Washington might re-join the 163-nation pact beyond 2012. He noted that many US Democrats and some Republicans favour a Kyoto-style system to cap emissions. Republican "Senator (John) McCain and other potential (presidential) candidates have spoken very favourably for a cap and trade system," he said. Bush will step down in January 2009. "If you're looking beyond 2012 it's all speculation," Watson added. "I can't speak for what the next administration might do."

Kyoto obliges 35 industrial nations to cut emissions of carbon dioxide by an overall 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12. Negotiators from Kyoto nations are discussing new, tougher targets beyond 2012. Watson said there was a "mechanical problem" for joining a second phase after dropping out of the first. "It would require substantial changes in the current rules of the game." Many countries, including developing nations such as China and Brazil, would be reluctant to let an industrial nation join without first meeting its original, albeit dropped, targets. "It doesn't mean something might not work out," Watson said.

Committing to legally binding emissions targets, as likely under Kyoto, would require changes to laws in the United States. "A quantified (emissions) cap would mean changing (US) environmental law, addressing our Clean Air Act. It took nearly 14 years to update our energy legislation. There needs to be a majority in the US Senate and you need a majority in both sides of the Congress."

Watson said he saw no chance that even a pro-Kyoto US president would seek to join the treaty before 2012. Former President Bill Clinton never submitted Kyoto for ratification in the Senate, knowing it would be defeated.

After abandoning Kyoto, Bush has set a goal of cutting the amount of carbon produced per dollar of US gross domestic product by 18 percent in the decade to 2012. That goal will still allow carbon emissions to rise overall.

US emissions grew by 1.7 percent in 2004 because of economic growth and a rising population.

"I wouldn't expect such a dramatic increase in 2005, although I'm not sure if it will actually drop," Watson said. High fuel prices may have discouraged emissions growth in 2005.

Reuters, 27 June 2006


Two years ago, a Danish environmentalist called Bjorn Lomborg had an idea. We all want to make the world a better place but, given finite resources, we should look for the most cost-effective ways of doing so. He persuaded a bunch of economists, including three Nobel laureates, to draw up a list of priorities. They found that efforts to fight malnutrition and disease would save many lives at modest expense, whereas fighting global warming would cost a colossal amount and yield distant and uncertain rewards.

That conclusion upset a lot of environmentalists. This week, another man who upsets a lot of people embraced it. John Bolton, America's ambassador to the United Nations, said that Mr Lomborg's "Copenhagen Consensus" (see articles) provided a useful way for the world body to get its priorities straight. Too often at the UN, said Mr Bolton, "everything is a priority". The secretary-general is charged with carrying out 9,000 mandates, he said, and when you have 9,000 priorities you have none.

So, over the weekend, Mr Bolton sat down with UN diplomats from seven other countries, including China and India but no Europeans, to rank 40 ways of tackling ten global crises. The problems addressed were climate change, communicable diseases, war, education, financial instability, governance, malnutrition, migration, clean water and trade barriers.

Given a notional $50 billion, how would the ambassadors spend it to make the world a better place? Their conclusions were strikingly similar to the Copenhagen Consensus. After hearing presentations from experts on each problem, they drew up a list of priorities. The top four were basic health care, better water and sanitation, more schools and better nutrition for children. Averting climate change came last.

The ambassadors thought it wiser to spend money on things they knew would work. Promoting breast-feeding, for example, costs very little and is proven to save lives. It also helps infants grow up stronger and more intelligent, which means they will earn more as adults. Vitamin A supplements cost as little as $1, save lives and stop people from going blind. And so on.

For climate change, the trouble is that though few dispute that it is occurring, no one knows how severe it will be or what damage it will cause. And the proposed solutions are staggeringly expensive. Mr Lomborg reckons that the benefits of implementing the Kyoto protocol would probably outweigh the costs, but not until 2100. This calculation will not please Al Gore. Nipped at the post by George Bush in 2000, Mr Gore calls global warming an "onrushing catastrophe" and argues vigorously that curbing it is the most urgent moral challenge facing mankind.

Mr Lomborg demurs. "We need to realise that there are many inconvenient truths," he says. But whether he and Mr Bolton can persuade the UN of this remains to be seen. Mark Malloch Brown, the UN's deputy secretary-general, said on June 6th that: "there is currently a perception among many otherwise quite moderate countries that anything the US supports must have a secret agenda...and therefore, put crudely, should be opposed without any real discussion of whether [it makes] sense or not."

The Economist, 22 June 2006

For more on the work and initiatives by Bjorn Lomborg, see

Wind farm claims 'hot air'

Wind farms don't live up to the hype that they're an environmental saviour, [Australian] federal agriculture minister Peter McGauran says. Mr McGauran's first voiced his concerns in a speech to dairy farmers earlier this week, contrasting with federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell's position in support of wind energy. "Wind farms don't live up to the hype that they're the environmental saviour and a serious alternate energy source," Mr McGauran told ABC radio today.

However, Renewable Energy Generators of Australia chief Susan Jeans said Mr McGauran's comments were out of line. "I suspect it's best that we let the environment minister comment on matters relating to renewable energy," Ms Jeans told ABC radio.

Mr McGauran said the giant propellers devalued land. "The deleterious affect they can have on their neighbours is so serious it means that they should not be allowed to get away with the exaggerated claim," he said. "Their claims are fraudulent in regard to the environmental and energy terms." " ... these wind farms are not producing any electricity of any measurable amount and because they are having such an affect on rural communities they should only be permitted where the community is ... accepting of them."



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.


Thursday, June 29, 2006


The June 27, 2006 Associated Press (AP) article titled "Scientists OK Gore's Movie for Accuracy" by Seth Borenstein raises some serious questions about AP's bias and methodology. AP chose to ignore the scores of scientists who have harshly criticized the science presented in former Vice President Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth."

In the interest of full disclosure, the AP should release the names of the "more than 100 top climate researchers" they attempted to contact to review "An Inconvenient Truth." AP should also name all 19 scientists who gave Gore "five stars for accuracy." AP claims 19 scientists viewed Gore's movie, but it only quotes five of them in its article. AP should also release the names of the so-called scientific "skeptics" they claim to have contacted.

The AP article quotes Robert Correll, the chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment group. It appears from the article that Correll has a personal relationship with Gore, having viewed the film at a private screening at the invitation of the former Vice President. In addition, Correll's reported links as an "affiliate" of a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm that provides "expert testimony" in trials and his reported sponsorship by the left-leaning Packard Foundation, were not disclosed by AP. See

The AP also chose to ignore Gore's reliance on the now-discredited "hockey stick" by Dr. Michael Mann, which claims that temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere remained relatively stable over 900 years, then spiked upward in the 20th century, and that the 1990's were the warmest decade in at least 1000 years. Last week's National Academy of Sciences report dispelled Mann's often cited claims by reaffirming the existence of both the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. See Senator Inhofe's statement on the broken "Hockey Stick."

Gore's claim that global warming is causing the snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro to disappear has also been debunked by scientific reports. For example, a 2004 study in the journal Nature makes clear that Kilimanjaro is experiencing less snowfall because there's less moisture in the air due to deforestation around Kilimanjaro.

Here is a sampling of the views of some of the scientific critics of Gore:

Professor Bob Carter, of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Australia, on Gore's film: "Gore's circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention."

"The man is an embarrassment to US science and its many fine practitioners, a lot of whom know (but feel unable to state publicly) that his propaganda crusade is mostly based on junk science." - Bob Carter as quoted in the Canadian Free Press, June 12, 2006

Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, wrote: "A general characteristic of Mr. Gore's approach is to assiduously ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse." - Lindzen wrote in an op-ed in the June 26, 2006 Wall Street Journal

Gore's film also cites a review of scientific literature by the journal Science which claimed 100% consensus on global warming, but Lindzen pointed out the study was flat out incorrect. "A study in the journal Science by the social scientist Nancy Oreskes claimed that a search of the ISI Web of Knowledge Database for the years 1993 to 2003 under the key words "global climate change" produced 928 articles, all of whose abstracts supported what she referred to as the consensus view.

A British social scientist, Benny Peiser, checked her procedure and found that only 913 of the 928 articles had abstracts at all, and that only 13 of the remaining 913 explicitly endorsed the so-called consensus view. Several actually opposed it."- Lindzen wrote in an op-ed in the June 26, 2006 Wall Street Journal.

Roy Spencer, principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, wrote an open letter to Gore criticizing his presentation of climate science in the film: "Temperature measurements in the arctic suggest that it was just as warm there in the 1930's...before most greenhouse gas emissions. Don't you ever wonder whether sea ice concentrations back then were low, too?"- Roy Spencer wrote in a May 25, 2006 column.

Former University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr. Tim Ball reacted to Gore's claim that there has been a sharp drop-off in the thickness of the Arctic ice cap since 1970. "The survey that Gore cites was a single transect across one part of the Arctic basin in the month of October during the 1960s when we were in the middle of the cooling period. The 1990 runs were done in the warmer month of September, using a wholly different technology," -Tim Ball said, according to the Canadian Free Press.


Are maggots more important than people?

Nobody does a funeral like the rural Irish. Forget mumbled condolences made over cucumber sandwiches, like you might get at a Home Counties cremation. The Irish sing and drink around the open coffin of their loved ones, before wailing as they watch the undertaker nail it shut.

I've been to my fair share of funerals in the west of Ireland, where my parents are from. Once, aged 14, I watched as a relative spilt some whisky on my uncle's body.

Hush descended on the house, before an old aunt cried: "Ah well, he liked a drink in life...I'm sure he won't mind one in death."

Irish funerals can be grand affairs. My grandfather, a farmer, lived a simple life in a small cottage in Galway. Yet his burial earlier this year was like a mini state funeral.

His body - mummified so that it looked and felt like a waxwork dummy - was laid out in the funeral home. Family members formed a kind of guard of honour around him, as pretty much the entire town passed through, touching or kissing his forehead in a final paying of respects.

Now, the traditional Irish funeral is under threat from those bores in the European Union.

Stavros Dimas, the EU environment commissioner, wants a Europe-wide ban on some of the chemicals used by embalmers. He says that the chemicals pose a danger to living organisms.

But they're used on dead people. What living organisms is he worried about, exactly? The maggots and beetles that feast on the deceased?

The Irish Association of Funeral Directors protested: "Viewing the deceased is part of Irish culture and it is recognised that such practice is an important part of bringing closure to bereavement."

How typical of the EU to put the safety of "living organisms" over the personal needs and desires of a population.

How predictable that EU bureaucrats should view the dead as potential pollutants whose disposal must be carefully managed, rather than as loved ones who deserve a decent send-off.

Here, the EU is not alone. It is fashionable now to view dead bodies as a potential threat to the environment. More and more people are opting for funerals designed to have a minimal impact on nature. "Natural burials", as they're known, are the fastest-growing trend in the market. Woodland burials are especially popular. The deceased is placed in a biodegradable casket - made of willow, bamboo or paper - and buried in the unconsecrated earth of a nearby forest. In 1997 there were 52 natural burial sites in Britain; now there are 214, and rising.

From the EU's anti-embalming measures to the rise of "natural burials", the changing shape of funerals reveals much about how we view man today: as a polluter.

Funerals are not only about how we see death, but also about how we value life.

For believers, funerals have traditionally been about celebrating the deceased's earthly life and praying for him to reach the afterlife; for atheists, they were a way to mark an individual's life as important, valuable.

Now, some are using funerals almost as a way of apologising for their existence, opting to have themselves hurried into the earth with a minimum of fuss.

From the cradle to the grave, man is seen as a wicked despoiler. Newborn babies are said to damage the environment with all those disposable nappies they use, and now even our dead bodies are seen as toxic.

And in between, we're chastised for everything from using deodorant to driving cars.

When we see ourselves as a plague on the planet - as the polluters of our surroundings rather than as the makers of history - it's fitting that funerals should be more concerned with disposing of the dead quietly, quickly and efficiently than with giving our loved ones the fanfare exit they deserve. What a sad state of affairs. Previous generations will be turning in their graves.



(A Year after Gleneagles: Tony Blair's speech at King's College London, 26 June 2006)

Professors, alumni, students, ladies, gentlemen, I am delighted to be here tonight and to have been asked to contribute to this new series of commemoration lectures.

King's, of course, is an institution with a long history and a superb reputation at home and across the world. Your students and staff have made a huge contribution over the last 175 years to our knowledge and well-being.

The College was co-founded by one of my predecessors at Downing Street, even though I'll accept that the Duke of Wellington is far more famous for battles won outside Parliament than within...


Achievements at Gleneagles

Let me recap what we actually achieved at Gleneagles.

Six months before the Gleneagles Summit, at the annual UN talks on climate change, in Buenos Aires, the EU and the US were at loggerheads simply about whether we could even talk about tackling climate change after 2012, when the first stage of Kyoto expired. In fact, climate change was not even on the agenda at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2003 in South Africa.

By making climate change a priority for Gleneagles, I wanted to re-start a more meaningful, more practical conversation between the key international players - the G8 plus five other major emerging economies. The aim was to get consensus that we needed urgent action to address climate change, to agree on practical actions we could take now - working with business and consumers - to reduce emissions, and to establish an ongoing dialogue with key countries on a strong international framework for after 2012.

We achieved all three of these objectives. We established a new consensus on the need for action which set the foundation for much more successful UN talks on climate change at the end of 2005 in Montreal, compared to the talks a year before in Buenos Aires. The G8 agreed a wide ranging and very practical Plan of Action on measures we could take now to clean up the way we produce and the way we all use energy, and how to fund in particular developing countries to be able to access this clean technology too. And we established the Gleneagles Climate Change Dialogue, with 20 of the biggest energy using countries. The next meeting of this group will be in Mexico in October to further drive forward the Gleneagles action plan, and to discuss the elements of a future international framework and the outcomes of the Stern review on the economics of climate change.

But we also achieved some practical action.

* The International Energy Agency has developed 4 practical energy efficiency proposals that we are discussing at St Petersburg

* The World Bank has pushed forward planning for an investment framework to lever billions of dollars to help poor countries get access to clean technology

* The EU, under our presidency, agreed to help build a demonstration clean coal power station with China

* The EU agreed a new initiative with India on renewable technology.


Next steps on Climate Change

On climate change, in the next 12 months we need to build a global consensus about the scale of the action we need to take, and the long-term goal we're all working towards. We need to begin agreement on a framework that the major players - US, China, India and Europe - buy into and has at its heart a goal to stabilise temperature and greenhouse gas concentrations. And we need to accelerate discussions - we can't take the 5 years it took Kyoto took to negotiate.

I believe a clear goal and a strong framework would help spur the technology revolution we need. It is vital to give business the certainty it needs to invest in cleaner technology and reduce emissions, so that they can produce the clean products consumers want to buy.

You need goals whether you are planning a government programme for developing technologies or setting targets for the private sector. I happen to believe in such targets because I have seen them work. The EU emissions trading scheme has already been shown to be an incredibly powerful incentive for private sector action, involving around 12,000 installations across 25 countries. This market is already estimated to be worth ?5.4 (sic) billion. And the investment decisions that are being made now, both within Europe and across the world, will determine what happens to global emissions in the next 15-20 years. But this also need to go further. That's why, within the EU, I believe we need to give a clear, strong signal to business that the emissions trading scheme should be extended and strengthened, after 2012 and made the heart of a global carbon market.

We also need more investment in research into cleaner technology, to bring that technology from design to manufacture, and to enable it to be used by households in both developed and developing countries. The OECD already estimates that the market for cleaner investment in developing countries through the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism is worth about $10billion. But we know this won't be enough on its own. And we will need stronger action to help the poorest countries adapt to climate change, both now and in the future.

Finally, we need to back all this up with real action to reduce UK domestic emissions. The UK has already reached its target under the Kyoto Protocol, 7 years ahead of schedule. We will be doing twice as much as we have to by 2012. A track record very few can better.

Regarding our much more ambitious 20% target on CO2 we are getting closer but are not there yet. The energy review will be critical in setting out new measures to help us go further, including on renewables and energy efficiency.

We also need to recognise that taking action on climate change is not just a matter for Governments. Yes, Government needs to give a lead. But ultimately each of us also has a responsibility to act in our daily lives. In the choices we make - whether it's in the energy we use at home, or how we move around - we also can each make a contribution towards tackling this global challenge. ...



The Supreme Court plunged on Monday into the acrimonious debate over global warming and whether the government should regulate "greenhouse" gases, especially carbon dioxide from cars. The ruling could be one of the court's most important ever on the environment. Spurred by states in a pollution battle with the Bush administration, the court said it would decide whether the Environmental Protection Agency is required under the federal clean air law to treat carbon dioxide from automobiles as a pollutant harmful to health. The decision could determine how the nation addresses global warming.

President Bush has rejected calls by environmentalists and some lawmakers in Congress to regulate carbon dioxide, the leading heat-trapping "greenhouse'' gas going into the atmosphere. Bush favors voluntary actions and development of new technologies to curtail such emissions.

But a dozen states argued that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping chemicals from automobile tailpipes should be treated as unhealthy pollutants. They filed a lawsuit in an effort to force the EPA to curtail such emissions just as it does cancer-causing lead and chemicals that produce smog and acid rain.

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to take the case after a divided lower court sided with the administration. Arguments will be late this year, with a ruling by next June.

"This is going to be the first major statement by the Supreme Court on climate change. ... This is the whole ball of wax,'' said David Bookbinder, an attorney for the Sierra Club, one of a number of environmental groups that joined the states in their appeal to the high court.

While the case doesn't specifically involve carbon releases from power plants, environmentalists said a court decision declaring carbon dioxide a harmful pollutant would make it hard for the agency to avoid action involving power plants which account for 40 percent or the carbon dioxide released into the air.

Cars and trucks account for about half that amount.

The EPA said in a statement that the agency "is confident in its decision'' not to regulate the chemical under the federal Clean Air Act and plans to argue its case vigorously before the high court

Recently, Bush told reporters he views global warming as a serious problem and has "a plan to be able to deal with greenhouse gases'' short of regulating their use. It includes developing new technologies for cleaner burning coal, using alternative motor fuels such as ethanol as substitutes for gasoline and expanding nuclear power to produce electricity.

Critics argue that carbon emissions have continued to increase-though the rate of increase has declined-and only regulation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will stem the amount going into the atmosphere.

"It is encouraging that the high court feels this case needs to be reviewed,'' said Sen. Jim Jeffords, I-Vt., who has campaigned in Congress to regulate carbon dioxide. "It is high time to stop relying on technicalities and finger pointing to avoid action on climate change.''

The states involved, which together account for more than a third of the car market, say the Clean Air Act makes clear carbon dioxide is a pollutant that should be regulated if it poses a danger to public health and welfare. They argue it does so by causing a warming of the earth.

The administration maintains that unlike other chemicals that must be controlled to ensure healthy air, carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is not a dangerous pollutant under the federal law. And, officials argue, even if it is, the EPA has discretion over whether to regulate it, considering the economic costs involved.

The agency should not be required to "embark on the extraordinarily complex and scientifically uncertain task of addressing the global issue of greenhouse gas emissions'' when voluntary ways to address climate change are available, the administration argued in its filing with the high court.

While a federal appeals court sided with the administration, its ruling was mixed.

One judge said the states and other plaintiffs had no standing because they had not proven harm. A second judge said even if the law gave the EPA authority to regulate carbon dioxide, the agency was not obligated to do so. A third judge, in the minority, said the EPA was violating the law by not regulating the chemical.

In their appeal, the states maintained the case "goes to the heart of the EPA's statutory responsibilities to deal with the most pressing environmental problem of our time''-the threat of global warming.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit were California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. They were joined by a number of cities including Baltimore, New York City and Washington D.C., the Pacific island of America Samoa, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace, and Friends of the Earth.

Associated Press, 26 June 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.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Press release:

Washington, D.C. - Senator. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works commented on today's announcement by the U.S. Supreme Court to agree to hear the case of whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must regulate carbon dioxide to fight global warming under the Clean Air Act.

"It is my hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will bring finality to this issue by rejecting this meritless lawsuit," Senator Inhofe said. "For the past 30 years, Congress has addressed and legislated extensively on the highly controversial and complex subject of global climate change. It has always been clear, however, that the Clean Air Act was intended to regulate pollution, not emissions of carbon dioxide. "Unfortunately, those who have failed to impose their draconian ideology through legislation are now trying to use the courts to overturn the will of Congress."

Senator Inhofe has been active in climate change litigation, having most recently filed an amicus brief earlier this year urging the dismissal of a nuisance lawsuit that was brought against American Electric Power Co., Southern Co., Xcel Energy Inc., Cinergy Corp. and Tennessee Valley Authority.


Post lifted from Taranto

Parade magazine, the Sunday newspaper supplement, has joined the global-warming alarmists with a cover story titled "Why You Can't Ignore the Changing Climate." Author Eugene Linden writes:

From the Fertile Crescent to the Yucatan peninsula, past civilizations made the fatal mistake of assuming that good weather would continue. An abrupt shift to drought in Mesopotamia 4,200 years ago probably spelled the doom of the Akkadian culture, which united city-states into the first known empire. Others see the fingerprints of climate in the collapse of the Mayans around 900 A.D., the disappearance of the Anasazi from the American Southwest a few centuries later and the end of Norse expansion into the New World in the 14th century. A recurrent pattern of history has been for civilizations to take root and flourish while the weather is good, only to fall when the weather suddenly changes.

You'd think that this history would put things in some perspective, reminding us that weather and climate have never been constant and are beyond human control. Quite the contrary. As reader Gayle Trotter notes:

These ancient civilizations did not assume good weather would continue. In fact, they had elaborate religious rituals (sometimes involving human sacrifice and infanticide) to attempt to influence the weather. I would argue that our current environmental policy is about as effective at influencing the weather as their ancient religious ceremonies, and indeed, environmentalism has become a new religion in our age.

Sure enough, Linden advises that you can help stop "warming the globe" by engaging in various rituals: "buy a fuel-efficient car; take mass transit; and, when you can, bicycle or walk to work."

Drinking sewage unpopular

So it's an unlikely alternative to the dams that Greenies hate

The first Australian mayor to be dumped from office for backing recycled drinking water has warned Toowoomba Mayor Di Thorley she risks the same fate. Ten years ago Caboolture Shire residents ditched their mayor, John White, after he had served for 16 years on the council. He blamed his demise on a plan to recycle purified sewage from the local wastewater treatment plant. "I didn't see it as an election issue but very emotive terms were used and the topic was used to divide the public," he said. "One day I was the rooster, the next I was a feather duster."

Cr Thorley, who plans to contest the 2008 council election, is backing a similar plan for drought-stricken Toowoomba, where residents are facing a July 29 referendum on water recycling. Mr White warned she risked a similar fate and he called for a co-ordinated approach from the State Government instead of allowing individual councils to cop the flak. "If (her) opposition chooses to use this as an issue then she will become a feather duster as well," he said.

He admitted that if he had been able to foresee the deep divisions the debate caused he would have advocated recycling for uses other than drinking. Cr Thorley said that although she did not underestimate how concerned some residents were about the issue she would not back down. "I've acknowledged that people take this seriously but I have not seen that as a reason to make me lose courage," she said. "I think 1997 in Caboolture was a very different time. "They weren't faced with running out of water, no one thought Wivenhoe Dam could run dry and you didn't have climate change in the media day after day."

Mr White said he was pleased the debate had led Caboolture to spend millions of dollars to improve its water treatment facilities and to embrace recycling of water for parks, gardens and sporting fields. "It defies logic to treat millions of litres of water and then dump it into the ocean," he said. In 1999 Caboolture upgraded its sewage treatment works, treating the effluent to A-class standard rather than building an outfall pipeline to Moreton Bay. The recycled effluent is now used for new housing and industrial developments and major water users including school grounds, the town's showgrounds and sporting fields, parks and gardens, roadworks and building sites.



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.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006


The 2008 Beijing Olympics is being billed as one of those glorious defining moments in history that will signal China's arrival as an economic power. But what if the global media pack and the millions of tourists who descend on China two years from now take away a less-than-flattering impression of the Middle Kingdom?

Yes, China is a remarkable growth story. But it is also fast becoming an ecological wasteland, home to world-class smog, acid rain, polluted rivers and lakes, and deforestation. Environmental problems play a role in the death of some 300,000 Chinese people each year, according to World Bank estimates.

China's torrid growth statisticsthe mainland clocked 10%-plus growth in the first quarteralso mask the huge economic costs of this evolving environmental crisis. On June 5, China's State Environmental Protection Administration [SEPA] issued a report that the mainland's pollution scourge costs the country roughly $200 billion a year, or some 10% in gross domestic product, from lost work productivity, health problems, and government outlays. That is a staggering admission.


China, of course, isn't the first high-speed developing economy to grapple with the tradeoffs between prosperity that lifts millions out of poverty and environmental damage that degrades living standards [see, 2/27/06, "Is Beijing Greedy for Oil?"]. Think of Japan in the 1960s. What's different is China's outsized impact on the global environment.

China's economy is only about one-fifth the size of the U.S, but is already the second biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, second only to the U.S. China's emissions jumped 33% during a 10-year period ended in 2002, according to the latest World Bank figures. A miasma of dirty air from China is spreading across East Asia and even reaching the West Coast of the U.S.

There is no denying that Chinese President Hu Jintao's government takes the problem seriously. Not only is it bad for the mainland's international image, but it could be an explosive political issue later in the decade if left unresolved.


Pan Yue, vice-minister of SEPA, predicted last summer at an environmental conference in Beijing that "the pollution load of China will quadruple by 2020" if nothing is done. Some 20% of the population lives in "severely polluted" areas, according to SEPA estimates, and 70% of the country's rivers and lakes are in grim shape, figures the World Bank.

Changing all this will require a tremendous amount of political focus by Beijing. It will need to crack down on environmental renegades inside Chinese industry, encourage a move from high-sulfur coal as the mainland's primary energy source, and push to secure the most environmentally friendly technologies from abroad [see, 8/22/05, "A Big Dirty Growth Engine"].

The "policy elite has realized that China, with its huge scale of economic development and emissions, cannot consume energy and pollute the earth the way traditional economies have done in the past," says Wenran Jiang, director of the China Institute at the University of Alberta, Canada, who made a presentation on climate change in early June to Chinese and World Bank officials....


While China can't do much about its ravenous energy demand, it could do a far better job of shifting to cleaner technologies and using its power more efficiently. China consumes more than three times the world energy average to produce one dollar of gross domestic product4.7 times the average for the U.S., 7.7 times the average for Germany, and 11.5 times the average for Japan [see, 4/11/05, "China's Wasteful Ways"].

Beijing has mapped out a plan that calls for hiking reliance on natural gas from 3% to 10% by 2020. Plants fired by gas burn fuel twice as efficiently as turbines fired by coal, which now accounts for two-thirds of China's fuel. The plan also calls for building 30 new nuclear reactors. Cummins (CMI) imports and makes diesel engines for mainland buses that are 30% more efficient than gas engines.

Royal Dutch Shell Group (RD) is licensing technology to fertilizer plants that converts coal into synthetic gas, which burns more efficiently. General Electric (GE) is making a killing selling gas turbines. And both GE and Veolia, of France, are marketing technologies that will harness the methane gas produced from decomposing garbage and sewage, as well as the huge amounts of gas that escape from China's coal mines.

MSNBC, 19 June 2006


The Greenies won't like it. Deserts are "natural"

China's deserts are shrinking annually at a rate of about 3,000 square miles. A senior forestry official said that the new finding sharply contrasts with the 4,000 square mile annual expansion at the end of the 20th century, the official news agency Xinhua reported. Zhu Lieke, deputy director of the State Forestry Administration said data showed the desertification that started in China in the late 1990s has been "primarily brought under control." Addressing the Beijing International Conference on Women and Desertification, Zhu said that although China is much more aware of the problem than in the past, "the work in this regard remains tough." Chinese officials say desertification affects the lives of 400 million people and causes annual economic losses of 54 billion yuan ($6.75 billion). The Chinese government spends about 2 billion yuan ($250 million) a year fighting desertification.



Global emissions of the heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide will rise 75 percent from 2003 to 2030, with much of the growth coming from coal burning in developing countries, the U.S. government forecast on Tuesday. Developing countries are growing more quickly than industrialized economies, whose growth "tends to be in less energy-intensive sectors," the report said. While the United States is the world's leading emitter of CO2, its emissions growth rate will soon be surpassed by China and India.

Global emissions of CO2 will hit 43.7 billion tonnes in 2030, up from 25 billion tonnes in 2003, the Energy Information Administration said in its annual forecast. By 2025 global CO2 emissions could hit 40.05 billion tonnes annually, up 0.03 percent from the forecast issued last year, said the EIA, the statistics arm of the Department of Energy. Last year's report did not look as far ahead as 2030.....

Humans cause much of the buildup of CO2 by burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and the most CO2-intensive fuel, coal. Coal burning, which is growing in China and India, and to a lesser extent in the United States, could overtake oil as the largest fuel source of CO2 emissions after 2015, the EIA said.

The forecast did not include potential effects of CO2 reduction plans, including the international pact known as the Kyoto Protocol, saying the long-term impact of such plans are not yet known....


The report said that in four years, CO2 emissions in rapidly developing countries in Asia, such as China and India, will surpass those from North America. In 2003, CO2 emissions of 6.8 billion tonnes from North America were about 12 percent higher than those in developing Asia, a far more populous region, according to the EIA. By 2010, that changes. Developing Asian countries will emit about 9.1 billion tonnes of CO2, surpassing North American emissions by about 21 percent, according to the EIA.

Emissions from North America should average 1.3 percent growth per year from 2003 to 2030 and hit 9.7 billion tonnes by 2030, the EIA said. In developing Asian countries, emissions should average 3.6 percent growth to reach 16 billion tonnes by 2030, the report said. Total U.S. emissions have risen by 15.8 percent from 1990 to 2004, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said.

In Russia and eastern Europe, which experienced an economic downturn late last century, CO2 emissions won't return to 1990 levels until after 2025, according to the EIA. Emissions of CO2 in developed Asian countries will rise an average 0.9 percent per year from 2003 to 2030 to 2.6 billion tonnes, while developed European countries will build an average 0.7 percent per year to 5.1 billion tonnes over the same time, the EIA said.

More here

Australia: Business helps preserve the natural environment

Recruitment king Geoff Morgan is one of growing number of millionaires who are helping to bankroll a fund that's at the forefront of an environmental putsch. But unlike past environmental battles where activists take on bulldozers and police, the Australian Bush Heritage Fund relies on suits and big business to quietly buy up large tracts of land and establish environmental reserves.

Donors such as Morgan, the managing director of Talent2 and co-founder of the recruitment company Morgan & Banks, have helped Bush Heritage become the most active and largest land conservancy group in Australia. It now owns 24 reserves tallying almost 700,000ha and worth $14million across Australia. Collectively, these acquisitions protect more than 158 species of threatened plants and animals and more than 63 threatened vegetation communities. Its latest acquisition is a 63,000ha reserve called Boolcoomatta, five hours from Adelaide and adjacent to the newly formed Bimbowrie National Park.

Bush Heritage chief executive Doug Humann won't divulge the names of his donors but the list includes some leading names in Australian business. Among the influential cohort are Carol Schwartz, a director of Highpoint Property Group and president of the Melbourne International Arts Festival board; Simon Mordant, joint chief executive of Caliburn Partnership; Graham Turner, founder and managing director of Flight Centre; Louise Sylvan, chief executive of the Australian Consumers' Association and deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission; and Helen Lynch, deputy chairwoman of Pacific Brands, former chairwoman of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and a non-executive director of Southcorp and Westpac Bank.

Corporations that support Bush Heritage through payroll donations are Allens Arthur Robinson, BlueScope Steel, Goldman Sachs JBWere, Integral Energy, Perpetual Trustees, UBS and Westpac. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible, property gifts valued at more than $5000 are deductible. Humann says the fund relies on "a lot of people who give us smallish sums of money or regular sums". "We've got a few people, foundations and trusts who give us quite substantial one-off sums and there are others who have pledged over a number of years," he says. "Their pledge might be for hundreds of thousands of dollars a year."

Bush Heritage is also finalising a gift of $1million a year over the next three years. "That's the largest donation I've been associated with." Humann says. "It is the result of an individual who has established a private fund."

Morgan says his financial contribution to Bush Heritage has been substantial but adds "giving is not just a financial thing. I'd like to think that with Bush Heritage I've come up with ideas, as I know other people have, to help them be more successful." Morgan, together with business partner Andrew Banks, formed recruitment powerhouse Morgan & Banks in 1985 and pushed sales growth to more than $700 million a year. It became Australia's most successful recruitment firm before being sold, bought back, floated and then sold again, with the pair pocketing an estimated $1 billion.

Morgan says his five-year involvement with Bush Heritage is not about fertilising his own business opportunities but "helping this organisation become as good as they can be". "People give money and they think that's great," he says. "They wash their hands of it and then move on and, you know, start standing under the shower for 15 minutes. It is about who you want to be as a person. It is not how other people measure you. It is how you measure yourself when you look in the mirror every day. I'm not worried about what other people think of me, I'm worried about what I think of me."

Morgan says he is not like his former neighbour, HIH boss Ray Williams, who "used all of the public company money to make himself look good. For Andrew (Banks) and I, every dollar we give is our own money, not anybody else's. "I think the Australian approach is about getting on and doing it. It is not a personal marketing campaign. That's making you out to be bigger than the cause. I don't like that sort of philosophy. "I think you need to have a mentality where you have a gift bank in your mind. And I like to make sure that I'm in credit all the time on the giving side."

Morgan says he agrees with Bush Heritage's pragmatic approach. "The more private enterprise leads the way rather than just relying on government departments, the better off we'd be, particularly in environmental terms. "It's a negative and small view that we have to worry about the economy. If the environment is stuffed we won't worry about the economy. I'm scared about the lack of action in this country. We lead the world in many areas, why don't we lead the world in the environment? More people need to get angry about it."

Morgan's entree into Bush Heritage came via Schwartz who donates both time and money. "Our support is financial and I guess my support is in the context of introducing Doug Humann to people like myself who have an awareness of what the issues are," Morgan says. "I wouldn't say that it (her financial commitment) is major in the context of the sorts of donations that Bush Heritage receives but from my point of view it was substantial. I always give according to what my means are and what my priorities are and there are lots of competing priorities. "For me it is a lot harder to give hours as opposed to writing a cheque. I can write a cheque for $500 easier than giving an afternoon of my time. What I have done is facilitated many meetings and introductions. That, I think, is more valuable than my financial contribution."

Schwartz riles at the suggestion she is helping to establish an influential business network that will enhance personal business opportunities via the environment. "I hate the word networking," Schwartz says. "I prefer the word facilitation because networking has connotations that people want something out of the relationship. All I'm doing is facilitating an introduction for them to be able to develop that interest that I think is waiting there just to be ignited."

Schwartz, like Morgan, says the people she introduces to Bush Heritage are not "looking for an opportunity other than having a real interest in the Australian environment and in creating a sustainable Australian environment. They really want to know how they can do that. "I actually don't think that with an organisation like Bush Heritage and the sort of people one introduces to that organisation, that those alternative motives are there. It is just too easy to go along to a pure business lunch and have that sort of opportunity."

Schwartz describes her first visit to a reserve in western Queensland called Carnarvon Station as "remarkable". "I have never been in that part of Queensland before. As you drive to Carnarvon Station you actually go through this area where forests have been felled for grazing. I've never seen that before. I thought I was driving through a nuclear wasteland. It was just horrible. It is really scary stuff. Then we get to Carnarvon Station which is actually like an oasis in the middle of this nuclear desert." Schwartz says she will remain committed to Bush Heritage because "they are involved in an issue that is really important for my children and grandchildren, and that they are effective and will be able to deliver outcomes".

In the past 15 years landcare groups have grown from an estimated 200 community-based groups to more than 4000, involving about 120,000 volunteers across Australia. There are now more than 20 million hectares in conservation reserves. Increasingly, these reserves are private holdings. Green senator Bob Brown started the trend by establishing Bush Heritage in 1990 with the purchase of two small parcels of land, Liffey River and Drys Bluff, adjacent to the Tasmanian World Heritage area. Brown modelled Bush Heritage on the US's The Nature Conservancy, one of the world's biggest environmental organisations. The Nature Conservancy is the richest conservation group in the world, with total revenue in 2000 of more than $US784 million ($1.070million) and assets of about $US2.8billion. Then as now, Bush Heritage relied on a network of influential people to raise funds for its first two purchases. Brown called on friends including Judy Henderson, John Williamson, Phillip Adams, Jenny Kee, Jo Vallentine and Roger Woodward. More often than not, Bush Heritage donors never see the reserves. Morgan says he trusts the fund to manage and preserve its reserves and hopes to visit in the future.



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.


Monday, June 26, 2006

A useful chart from The Locker Room


Environment Minister Rona Ambrose is daring opposition parties to bring down the minority Conservative government and fight an election campaign on the issue of climate change. "I say, 'Bring it on,'" Ambrose said Thursday in the House of Commons, responding to a question from the Bloc Quebecois. "Our government, in four months, is miles better than the 13-year Liberal record and the non-record of the Bloc."

While the New Democrats have accused her of ducking her responsibilities and giving up on the international Kyoto protocol on climate change, Ambrose said her government is working on reducing greenhouse emissions. "This government has never rejected Kyoto. We have never pulled out of Kyoto. We are working within the Kyoto protocol," she said before the House rose for its summer break. "What we are doing is putting a reasonable, achievable, affordable domestic plan in place that will ensure that the mess that the Liberals made out of Kyoto over the last 13 years will be addressed and we will make a success out of our made-in-Canada plan."

Minutes later, Prime Minister Stephen Harper pointed out that the Kyoto protocol had an important shortcoming. "If Kyoto were fully implemented by all the countries of the world tomorrow, it would do absolutely nothing to control smog which is one of the reasons why this government and this environment minister have been working hard to develop a plan to deal with just that," Harper said.

The New Democrats and the Bloc attempted to table a motion calling for Ambrose's resignation in the Commons environment committee, earlier this week, but the Liberals blocked it from going through after the Conservatives threatened to make it a confidence vote that could trigger a fall election.

The government has been criticized by environmentalists and opposition parties for saying Canada cannot honour its commitment under Kyoto to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by six per cent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. The NDP said it will spend the summer touring Canada explaining its own strategy to meet the targets through new energy efficient policies for homes, communities, transportation, industry, government operations and international co-operation. "This is a set of realistic proposals," said NDP environment critic Nathan Cullen at a news conference. "This is a set of proposals that demands finally that the government step up to the plate, join with industry leader, join with every day Canadians to make the environment a better place."

The latest proposals from the NDP call for a retrofit of 75 per cent of federal government and crown corporation facilities, and new directives forcing them to use renewable sources of energy and more efficient goods and equipment. Overall the five-point plan would permanently reduce greenhouse gases by 209 megatonnes per year at an annual cost of $940 million, NDP energy critic Dennis Bevington said.

Harper said he was pleased to see the new NDP ideas on the table and would look at them carefully. Ambrose is expected to deliver her own plan on climate change and clean air in the fall.

CanWest News Service, 22 June 2006


In their political heart-of-hearts, all Governments (including those in Europe) know that there is absolutely nothing we can do predictably about climate change, and, indeed, extremely little practically to curb the rise of 'greenhouse gas' emissions. Unfortunately, through a type of tabloid-hysteria in the old broadsheet world, including the BBC, the politicians have been persuaded to adopt knee-jerk reactions and to lecture people that they can, and that they must, "do something" about climate. They are now in a bind of their own making. Whatever they do, they will be damned. They can have no predictable effect on climate, and there is no way, even, that they will manage a significant reduction in gas emissions. Yet, they must continue to speak as if they are cutting, and can cut, emissions, and to argue that they will, miraculously, control climate. At some point, a lot of little boys and girls are going to spot the deception and to cry out: "The Emperors have no clothes!"

Here are the stark political realities:

(a) First, no country is reporting its true emissions of 'greenhouse gases'. Indeed, new research shows that Britain, for example, may be emitting 92% more methane (CH4) than declared under the Kyoto Protocol; Germany 62% (Germany has now acknowledged this fact and has raised its original estimates by 70%); France 47% [see: 'Kyoto promises are nothing but hot air' (New Scientist, June 21) and 'Methane emissions twice official level - study', (The Guardian, June 22)]. Further, the New Scientist makes the following telling observations:

"The most alarming failure of greenhouse gas emissions reporting is thought to have occurred in China, the world's second largest emitter. In the late 1990s, when its economy was growing by 10 per cent a year, the Chinese government reported a dramatic fall in CO2 emissions to the UN climate change convention. It declared that, after a long period of steep increases, emissions had fallen from 911 million tonnes of carbon a year in 1996 to 757 million tonnes in 2000, a drop of 17 per cent.

China said the fall in emissions was achieved by burning less coal, an assessment it based on a decline in coal production. Some analysts praised the country for using coal more efficiently, but that picture was called into doubt when declared coal production and emissions estimates resumed their fast rise. Estimates for 2004 put China's CO2 emissions above 1200 million tonnes.

Most analysts now conclude that the drop in emissions was entirely illusory [my italic]. It coincided with major changes in the organisation of the Chinese coal industry, which replaced state targets with a market system. 'Emissions figures before 1996 were inflated because mine officials had production targets to meet, and declared they had met them when they had not,' one analyst told New Scientist. By 2000, this effect had gone, and 'subsequent figures for CO2 emissions are probably more accurate as a result.' While the Chinese government may not have intentionally misled the international community over its emissions at the time, the incident reveals how easy it could be to fiddle official figures."

(b) Secondly, all emissions continue to rise, even according to official figures. The latest statistics show that 'greenhouse gas' emissions in the EU increased by 0.4% between 2003 and 2004, and even grew in the ever-pious UK by 0.2% (and these statistics exclude emissions from aircraft and shipping). On a world scale, CO2 emissions are now predicted to augment by 75% between 2003 and 2030, mainly because of exponential growth in the developing world [see: 'World CO2 emissions to rise 75 pct by 2030' (Planet Ark, June 21)]:

"Global emissions of CO2 will hit 43.7 billion tonnes in 2030, up from 25 billion tonnes in 2003, the Energy Information Administration [US] said in its annual forecast. By 2025 global CO2 emissions could hit 40.05 billion tonnes annually, up 0.03 percent from the forecast issued last year, said the EIA, the statistics arm of the Department of Energy. Last year's report did not look as far ahead as 2030."

By 2010, developing Asian countries will surpass North American emissions by some 21%.

(c) Thirdly, most efforts to curb emissions will be gobbled up by: (i) the significant return to coal that is currently taking place; (ii) the fact that more efficient energy buildings are still new, and additional, build; (iii) the continued growth in transport and free trade; (iv) the fact that most people, underneath, remain largely unmoved by the 'global warming' hype (just look at the 'EnviroSpin' Mini Poll, opposite); and, we hope, (v) continued world economic growth.

So, what can we expect? Much more of this hot air: 'EU, US to agree "urgent" action on climate change' (Planet Ark, June 21). Which means, being deconstructed?

+ A great deal of international talk about 'new technology' solving the crisis, while allowing growth to continue unchecked;

+ Increasingly ludicrous carbon-trading schemes;

+ A sudden, and rising, interest in 'adaptation' to climate change;

+ An awful lot of gibberish about YOU doing your bit with your light bulbs and your rubbish (largely a waste of time);

+ A load of waffle from young, eager, fresh-faced political hopefuls, like David Cameron and David Miliband, not to mention from all the soppy Lib Dems (you can shoot snipe off their backs); and,

+ Increasingly angry Greens, who will, nevertheless, continue to employ the 'global warming' hype to try to change your evil ways of living;

+ Meanwhile, world emissions will continue to rise, and, as ever, climate will change - but in what directions? Who knows?

Sometimes one really does wish one lived on another planet where the only strains came from a Schubert Quartet. I don't think I can stand it. It'll have to be Radio 3 from now on in the morning.

Philip Stott, 22 June 2006


Over the last few weeks, several good, even excellent articles have been published on the vicissitudes of the EU's Emissions Trading System. However, many of them overlook one crucial factor: In the bewildering array of technicalities, the original, and ostensibly only, purpose of the scheme -- the reduction of putative man-made global warming-- has been forgotten.

The recent crash of the CO2 emission market shows it is a very special market, indeed. Revelations in April that some EU member states had granted their companies an excess of permits more than halved the carbon price from EUR30 per ton to EUR11 in just a few days. Subsequently the price rebounded to about EUR14 per ton now.

Carbon trading has been presented as a "market-based", cost-effective solution to mitigate the effect of man-made global warming. Governments set limits to carbon emissions and then permit trading in credits. Companies in energy-intensive industries receive permits for each ton of carbon dioxide they are allowed to emit. If they want to emit more they must buy them from companies with a surplus. The aim of the market is to ensure companies have an incentive to invest in new technology or other efficiency measures to reduce their CO2 emissions.

There is a two-tier allocation procedure. First, international agreement must be reached on the total volume of emissions, and on the burden sharing, which sets emission ceilings for each country. Subsequently, big energy-intensive companies in each country receive their share of the national allocation of emission permits. But here countries face a dilemma. On the one hand they want to do something about global warming. But they also do not want their national industries to suffer. Therefore, they are tempted to give them far too many pollution-permitting carbon credits, which risks undermining Europe's drive to cut emissions. This dilemma manifests itself in a tug-of-war between national ministries of economic affairs and environment ministries. Apparently, the economic ministries have carried the day so far.

What about the "progress" on the international stage? At last July's G-8 Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, world leaders failed to reach agreement on a follow-up to Kyoto after 2012. Nor was there any support at December's climate conference in Montreal for such a follow-up. As a matter of fact, Europe remained isolated in pushing for an extension of its system of binding caps on carbon dioxide emissions in conjunction with tradable emission rights. And Europe's climate policy suffered another setback at last month's climate meeting in Bonn, which ended in a deadlock. There, the developed countries reached a consensus that they would not take on further commitments until the developing world also considered emission targets. The developing nations, on the other hand, reached consensus as well, holding firmly to the position they will not take on such commitments.

The proponents of Kyoto have always argued that the agreement was only the first step towards a far more comprehensive scheme which would ultimately include all countries in the world and would aim at greenhouse gas emission cuts of around 60 percent by 2050. But it has become clear there will be no "son of Kyoto" after 2012. So the question arises: what useful purpose could be served by continuing Europe's current emission trading system, given the fact that its impact, if any, will be undetectable, even with the most sophisticated thermometers? The only rational policy decision would be to abandon it as soon as possible. However, rationality is in short supply on the climate question.

TCS Daily, 19 June 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.


Sunday, June 25, 2006


By Steve McIntyre

The early rumors on the NAS Panel was that it was "two handed" - on the one hand, ..., on the other hand, ... with something for everyone. I'd characterize it more as schizophrenic. It's got two completely distinct personalities. On the one hand, they pretty much concede that every criticism of MBH is correct. They disown MBH claims to statistical skill for individual decades and especially individual years.

However, they nevertheless conclude that it is "plausible" - whatever that means - that the "Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium". Here, the devil is in the details, as the other studies relied on for this conclusion themselves suffer from the methodological and data problems conceded by the panel. The panel recommendations on methodology are very important; when applied to MBH and the other studies (as they will be in short order), it is my view that they will have major impact and little will be left standing from the cited multiproxy studies.

Update: Eduardo Zorita's take posted up below was:

In my opinion the Panel adopted the most critical position to MBH nowadays possible. I agree with you that it is in many parts ambivalent and some parts are inconsistent with others. It would have been unrealistic to expect a report with a summary stating that MBH98 and MBH99 were wrong (and therefore the IPC TAR had serious problems) when the Fourth Report is in the making. I was indeed surprised by the extensive and deep criticism of the MBH methodology in Chapters 9 and 11

I thought that the tone of the question period showed that some reporters were pretty unsettled - there were questions about the "over-selling" of MBH with the panel taking pains to suggest that IPCC would be responsible rather than MBH (conveniently omitting that Mann was section author of the section promoting MBH and in his capacity of IPCC author, ratcheted up the statistical claims); there was discussion of what "plausible" meant, with a reporter wondering if this was "damning with faint praise".


In the preface, North summarizes the criticisms:

Critics of the original papers have argued that the statistical methods were flawed, that the choice of data was biased, and that the data and procedures used were not shared so others could verify the work. (ix)

He left out the criticism that concerned the Barton Committee and launched the entire matter - that adverse results were withheld or even misrepresented. In its text, the panel concedes every one of our criticisms of the statistical methods, providing some useful new guidelines. However, they do not apply these guidelines to either to MBH or to other studies.

They do not clearly discuss biased data selection, but concede that strip-bark samples, such as bristlecones, which we had strongly criticized, "should be avoided in temperature reconstructions". However, they then proceed to rely on studies that rely on strip-bark bristlecones (and foxtails) and even the criticized MBH PC1 (which is even illustrated in an alter ego in Figure 11-2.)

They do not grasp the nettle of reporting on previous data and method availability, but do endorse the principle that sharing data and methods is a good thing in paleoclimate. Schizophrenically, their graphics and conclusions rely heavily on studies where data and/or methods are not available.

They stay well away from grasping the nettle of providing an opinion on whether adverse MBH results were withheld or misrepresented. However, they report factual findings that MBH failed cross-validation tests and was not robust to presence/absence of all dendroclimatic indicators, contrary to prior claims of Mann et al.

Flawed Statistical Methods

On p 107, the panel reports our two principal criticisms of MBH statistical methods, finding

"Some of these criticisms are more relevant than others, but taken together, they are an important aspect of a more general finding of this committee, which is that uncertainties of the published reconstructions have been underestimated. Methods for evaluation of uncertainties are discussed in Chapter 9."

Chapter 9 then sets out some important guidelines, dealing with several critical issues that we raised in our presentation: that it is inadequate to just consider one statistic in assessing a statistical model; that confidence interval calculations should use verification period residuals rather than calibration period residuals; that autocorrelation should be considered in calculating confidence intervals.

The panel's schizophrenia is very evident here, because, having set out these methods, they do not apply these methods to the models in front of them. D'Arrigo et al 2006 report that their model does not verify after 1985 during the period of warming of most direct interest. The panel was aware of this, the matter came up in presentations, but did not directly report or discuss this.

The panel recommends the use of a Durbin-Watson statistic for calibration, but do not report the failure of the various models under this statistic, even though they were aware of this failure. (We presented this information to them in our presentation. ...

More here


They will need lots more trailer parks for the poor in future

New Mexico is spearheading a national effort to redefine building standards so that they reduce emissions linked to global warming. The "2030 Challenge" is a national initiative backed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The challenge seeks to immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new buildings and to make all buildings completely independent of fossil-fuel energy by the year 2030. It has so far been embraced by the mayors of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Chicago, Miami and Seattle, all of whom have ordered that new city-owned buildings adhere to the standards.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson issued an executive order earlier this year requiring that all new state buildings and major renovations meet the challenge's call for a 50 percent reduction in fossil fuel energy consumption from what traditional buildings use. The New Mexico Environment Department tracks state emissions and reports them as a member of the Chicago Climate Exchange, a voluntary, legally binding program whose members agree to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one percent each year. The 2030 Challenge calls for new building standards to go into place every five years, with each new round of standards further reducing energy use in new buildings by another 10 percent. By 2030, the challenge calls for new buildings to be completely free from a dependence on fossil fuels and to not release greenhouse gasses....

Bruce Milne, a biology professor and director of the Sustainability Studies Program at the University of New Mexico, says of the 2030 plan, "in my mind, it's the only strategy that is designed to work," explaining that the plan sets a specific goal for states to meet in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Milne was recently appointed to serve on Gov. Richardson's climate change advisory group. He says the group has come up with 70 ideas on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and possible incentives to make it work. One of those ideas, he says, includes a tax break for businesses that adopt clean energy policies and for farmers who convert manure into renewable energy. He says any tax incentive would have to be passed by the state Legislature and that the group hopes to propose such incentives to the 2007 session.

More here


There's lots of talk about nasty-sounding "chemicals" ("liquid fluoride"!) below so a Greenie would froth just to read it

The generation and use of energy is central to the maintenance of organization. Life itself is a state of organization maintained by the continual use of sources of energy. Human civilization has reached the state it has by the widespread use of energy, and for the large fraction of the world that aspires to a higher standard of living, more energy will be required for them to achieve it.

Therefore, I embrace the idea that we need energy, and probably need much more of it than we currently have. We should never waste energy, and should always seek to use energy efficiently as possible and practical, but energy itself will always be needed.

This weblog is about the use of thorium as an energy source of sufficient magnitude for thousands of years of future energy needs. Thorium, if used efficiently, can be converted to energy far more easily and safely than any other energy source of comparable magnitude, including nuclear fusion and uranium fission.

Briefly, my basic principles are:

1. Nuclear reactions (changes in the binding energy of nuclei) release about a million times more energy than chemical reactions (changes in the binding energy of electrons), therefore, it is logical to pursue nuclear reactions as dense sources of energy.

2. Changing the binding energy of the nucleus with uncharged particles (neutrons inducing fission) is much easier than changing the nuclear state with charged particles (fusion), because fission does not contend with electrostatic repulsion as fusion does.

3. Naturally occuring fissile material (uranium-235) will not sustain us for millennia due to its scarcity. We must fission fertile isotopes (uranium-238, thorium-232) which are abundant in order to sustain energy production for millenia. Fertile isotopes such as U-238 and Th-232 basically require 2 neutrons to fission (one to convert, one to fission), and require fission reactions that generate more than 2 neutrons per absorption in a fissile nucleus.

3. For maximum safety, nuclear reactions should proceed in a thermal (slowed-down) neutron spectrum because only thermal reactors can be designed to be in their most critical configuration, where any alteration to the reactor configuration (whether through accident or intention) leads to less nuclear reactions, not more. Thermal reactors also afford more options for achieving negative temperature coefficients of reactivity (which are the basic measurement of the safety of a nuclear reactor). Reactors that require neutrons that have not been slowed significantly from their initial energy (fast-spectrum reactors) can always be altered in some fashion, either through accident or intention, into a more critical configuration that could be dangerously uncontrollable because of the increased reactivity of the fuel. Basically, any fast-spectrum reactor that is barely critical will be extremely supercritical if its neutrons are moderated in some way.

4. "Burning" uranium-238 produces a fissile isotope (plutonium-239) that "burns" inefficiently in a thermal (slowed-down) neutron spectrum and does not produce enough neutrons to sustain the consumption of uranium-238. "Burning" thorium-232 produces a fissile isotope (uranium-233) that burns efficiently in a thermal neutron spectrum and produces enough neutrons to sustain the consumption of thorium. Therefore, thorium is a preferable fuel, if used in a neutronically efficient reactor.

5. Achieving high neutronic efficiency in solid-fueled nuclear reactors is difficult because the fuel sustains radiation damage, the fuel retains gaseous xenon (which is a strong neutron poison), and solid fuel is difficult to reprocess because it must be converted to a liquid stream before it is reprocessed.

6. Fluid-fuel reactors can continuously strip xenon and adjust the concentration of fuel and fission products while operating. More importantly, they have an inherently strong negative temperature coefficient of reactivity which leads to inherent safety and vastly simplified control. Furthermore, decay heat from fission products can be passively removed (in case of an accident) by draining the core fluid into a passively cooled configuration.

7. Liquid-fluoride reactors have all the advantages of a fluid-fueled reactor plus they are chemically stable across a large temperature range, are impervious to radiation damage due to the ionic nature of their chemical bond. They can dissolve sufficient amounts of nuclear fuel (thorium, uranium) in the form of tetrafluorides in a neutronically inert carrier salt (lithium7 fluoride-beryllium fluoride). This leads to the capability for high-temperature, low-pressure operation, no fuel damage, and no danger of fuel precipitation and concentration.

8. The liquid-fluoride reactor is very neutronically efficient due to its lack of core internals and neutron absorbers; it does not need "burnable poisons" to control reactivity because reactivity can continuously be added. The reactor can achieve the conversion ratio (1.0) to "burn" thorium, and has superior operational, safety, and development characteristics.

9. Liquid-fluoride reactors can retain actinides while discharging only fission products, which will decay to background levels of radiation in ~300 years and do not require long duration (>10,000 year) geologic burial.

10. A liquid-fluoride reactor operating only on thorium and using a "start charge" of pure U-233 will produce almost no transuranic isotopes. This is because neutron capture in U-233 (which occurs about 10% of the time) will produce U-234, which will further absorb another neutron to produce U-235, which is fissile. U-235 will fission about 85% of the time in a thermal-neutron spectrum, and when it doesn't it will produce U-236. U-236 will further absorb another neutron to produce Np-237, which will be removed by the fluorination system. But the production rate of Np-237 will be exceedingly low because of all the fission "off-ramps" in its production.

11. We must build thousands of thorium reactors to displace coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium as energy sources. This would be impractical if liquid-fluoride reactors were as difficult to build as pressurized water reactors. But they will be much simpler and smaller for several reasons. They will operate at a higher power density (leading to a smaller core), they will not need refueling shutdowns (eliminating the complicated refueling equipment), they will operate at ambient pressure and have no pressurized water in the core (shrinking the containment vessel dramatically), they will not require the complicated emergency core cooling systems and their backups that solid-core reactors require (because of their passive approach to decay heat removal), and their power conversion system will be much smaller and power-dense (since in a closed-cycle gas turbine you can vary both initial cycle pressure and overall pressure ratio). In short, these plants will be much smaller, much simpler, much, much safer, and more secure.

More here


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.


Saturday, June 24, 2006


Many countries may be grossly underestimating the quantity of greenhouse gases they emit according to a new method of monitoring output, scientists said on Wednesday. The new "top-down" system measures the actual amount of gases such as carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere, compared with the traditional "bottom-up" method which estimates what is likely to be produced on the ground. The findings, still the subject of scientific debate, could destabilise the European Union's fledgling carbon trading system and have implications for the Kyoto treaty.

"Work at the (European Commission's) Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Italy suggests huge under-reporting of many national CH4 (methane) emissions," said Euan Nisbet of London's Royal Holloway University. "Top-down science is still somewhat in its infancy. But the gas they measure is there, not an estimate of what they think should be there," he told Reuters.

According to work by Peter Bergamaschi at the JRC in Ispra, Italy, top-down science suggests that Britain may be reporting only half its actual methane emissions and France only two-thirds, the magazine New Scientist said on Wednesday. By contrast, Ireland and Finland may be over-reporting the methane coming from their peat bogs.

Britain defended its estimates on Wednesday, saying they were calculated in line with international guidelines reviewed each year by independent international experts. The government's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said in a statement that it believed Bergamaschi overestimated British methane emissions by at least half. "Bergamaschi's work cannot separate natural methane emissions from man-made ones. There is significant uncertainty in how much natural methane is produced in the UK, which is carried into Bergamaschi's model," DEFRA said.

Nisbet said making the same calculations for carbon dioxide, more plentiful but less damaging, was more complicated. The world needed a chain of monitoring stations, similar to the seismic system set up in the 1950s to monitor nuclear bomb tests, he said. Nisbet said China, which is building a coal-fired power station a week to fuel its booming economy, had good monitoring as had Canada, as well as Kyoto refuseniks the United States and Australia. There was virtually no monitoring in South Asia, very little in Africa and the tropical oceans were scantily covered.

Reuters, 22 June 2006


Global-warming alarmists take it for granted that they have the "scientific consensus" on their side. The truth is that their views can be as much an article of faith that avoids or elides basic facts. I was reminded of this recently after suggesting on our weekly television show--"The Journal Editorial Report" on Fox News Channel--that "everyone agrees there has been some warming over the past century, but most of it happened before 1940."

"Not true," declared a subsequent editorial in the New Republic magazine. "The last three decades have seen the sharpest rise." TNR suggested I was what they've dubbed an "Exx-Con"--that is, a conservative whose views on climate change are so unmoored from reality that they can only be explained by a slavish devotion to Exxon and other big oil firms.

But it is TNR that's having trouble with the facts here. I'll grant that my off-the-cuff remarks could have been worded a bit more precisely. I probably should have said "more than half" instead of "most." But that doesn't change the fact--as the NASA charts nearby illustrate--that the early 20th century saw a rise in global and U.S. temperature, followed by about three decades of declining or stable temperatures that global-warming alarmists have a hard time trying to explain. (Don't let the slope of the chart scare you either; we're looking at small variations here.)

The relevant part of TNR's May 25 piece seems to be based on an innumerate May 16 attack on me at the far-left Web site Mediamatters said almost identically that "the last three decades (1976-2005) have seen a sharper rise in global air temperature." But rather than fess up to its source, TNR responded to my complaint with the pretense of assigning a fact-checker to the case before deciding there would be no correction.

The Mediamatters attack suggests I'm wrong because the difference between the coldest early-20th-century year and the warmest mid-century year is very slightly smaller that the difference between 1976 and 2005. But if the issue is by what date "most" of the warming occurred, there are three relevant data points, not four--the 1970s trough doesn't matter. And the difference between 1907 (the coldest year) and 1944 (the warmest mid-century) is .59 degrees Celsius, while the difference between 1944 and 2005 is .42 degrees. "Most" of the warming that has taken place over the last century had indeed occurred by about 1940.

One could leave it at that. But I want to avoid the other mistake my critics make, which is thinking that long-term temperature trends should be measured by the difference between single, and possibly anomalous, years. That's why the NASA graphs contain a line representing the five-year rolling average. Looking at things this way still supports my point, admittedly a bit less so.

In any case, the graph at issue presents a challenge to those who claim that the recent warming trend is primarily caused by carbon dioxide and is not part of a natural rebound from a cool 19th century. The early 20th century saw a rise in temperature rise at least as great. And far, far more CO2 has been pumped into the atmosphere in the years following 1940 than the years before.

What's more, there's a debate over whether recent global data is biased upward by the fact that many measuring stations are located in or near cities around the world that have grown rapidly over the past half-century. Anyone who's ever crossed the George Washington Bridge can understand the concept of the urban "heat island" effect.

In that regard, a recent study of Greenland--where allegedly melting glaciers are allegedly threatening a catastrophic sea-level rise--published in Geophysical Research Letters is fascinating. It finds that Greenland is no warmer today than it was in the 1920s, and that "although there has been a considerable temperature increase during the last decade (1995-2005) a similar increase occurred during the early part of the 20th century (1920-1930) when carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases could not be a cause." The U.S. temperature graph shows much the same. The U.S. inarguably produces more reliable data than most other countries, or the sparsely sampled oceans that cover most of the globe, and we've seen very little warming since the 1930s.

Finally, a word about motive. Why wouldn't I want to be on the safe side and embrace the Kyoto Protocol? Not because of an attachment to oil companies, but because meaningful CO2 cutbacks would entail drastic reductions in energy use by billions of people in places like China and India who are finally getting a chance at a better life. The New Republic doesn't seem to have addressed such consequences in any serious way. Attempting to wave someone out of the argument by calling them an Exx-con is much easier than confronting the difficult facts beneath the global warming debate.

The Wall Street Journal, 21 June 2006

Wind farm 'hits eagle numbers'

Wind farm turbine blades are killing a key population of Europe's largest bird of prey, UK wildlife campaigners warn. The RSPB says nine white tailed eagles have been killed on the Smola islands off the Norwegian coast in 10 months, including all of last year's chicks. Chick numbers at the species' former stronghold have plummeted since the wind farm was built, with breeding pairs at the site down from 19 to one. Scientists fear wind farms planned elsewhere could also harm birds. And there are fears Britain's small population of the birds could be adversely affected.

The number of chicks born each year at the site has fallen from at least 10 to three last year, with births outside the borders of the site falling too. Only one chick is expected to fledge from the site this year. Smola, a set of islands six miles off the north-west coast of Norway, was designated an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International in 1989 because it had one of the highest densities of white tailed eagles in the world.

Scientists now fear wind farms planned for the rest of Norway could have a similar impact on the birds. RSPB conservation director Mark Avery told BBC News more care needed to be taken when choosing a site for wind farms. He said: "The problem is if wind farms are put in stupid places where there are lots of vulnerable birds and lots of vulnerable rare birds." He said most wind farms would not cause any harm to birds but that the Smola wind farm had been badly sited in a place where it put white tailed eagles at risk. He said: "It seems these birds are flying around a lot of the time and they're colliding with the wind turbines and being killed in big numbers. "So this colony that is very important - was very important - has been practically wiped out because this wind farm was built in exactly the wrong place."

The RSPB says it supports renewable energy, including wind farms, as a way of tackling climate change, which it sees as the biggest threat to wildlife. But it is urging developers and governments to take the potential impact on wildlife such as eagles properly into consideration when planning new wind farms in future.

Researchers are now running weekly checks for dead birds at the 68-turbine Smola site, with both conservationists and the wind farm operator calling on the Norwegian government to improve its environmental impact assessments of such sites. And the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research has launched a four-year study at the site to assess the impact of the turbines on various species of birds and the ability of white tailed eagles to adapt to them. Meanwhile, Statkraft, which operates the Smola site, says it is doing everything it can to find a solution to the problem


Leftist radiation hysteria in Australia

Deputy Opposition Leader Jenny Macklin's workout with the dog whistle on nuclear issues would put a bull elephant to shame. Macklin has found a pliant media open to her bellowing and willing to run the sort of nuclear scare campaign which could have brought the Cold War to boiling point. Mischievously, she has made a series of accusations about incidents at the Lucas Heights nuclear facility which bear little relation to the scope or magnitude and, too frequently, the press has not checked the facts before publishing her overblown claims.

In the past week, headlines have ranged from "Safety scare for nuclear workforce" to "Radioactive gas leak -- Lucas Heights worker contaminated in pipe rupture" but, before donning safety suits, it is worth looking at the facts and determining who actually poses the greater threat to public safety, Lucas Heights or Macklin. With her insinuations and accusations, she is not dissimilar to the menace who dangerously encourages panic by calling "fire" in a crowded cinema. Her exaggerated concern about the few incidents at Lucas Heights is ludicrous as not one has been of the level necessary to be reported to the regulator, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Authority (ARPANSA). Not one.

The terms of the Act and the licences issued by ARPANSA require details of any significance -- the exposure of a worker beyond regulatory limits -- to be provided in 24 hours. Other less significant events are reported to ARPANSA during routine quarterly reporting. There were three incidents in the past week in addition to a pipe rupture the previous week, which released very low levels of radioactive gas (common in radiopharmaceutical production), which again were not reportable to ARPANSA. Each was of a minor nature and there are no continuing concerns for the health of the workers. Not one of the incidents occurred in the reactor but in places well removed from its vicinity.

According to ANSTO, in the first of the three incidents on June 14, a worker received a low radiation dose of iodine-123, used in the diagnosis of thyroid cancer, while packaging the product for patient use. He received 4 per cent of the annual limit for radiation workers and significantly less than a patient would in a nuclear medicine scan. He did not need any treatment and continued to work.

In the next incident, a worker's trousers and shoes were contaminated on June 15 when he dropped a vial with a small amount of technetium-99m. His skin was not contaminated and his clothing was cleaned. He did not receive radiation above that associated with normal work.

The day after, a worker at the National Medical Cyclotron in Camperdown was cleaning up waste in a thallium-201 production area when a pack of radioactive material burst. A small splash found its way beneath his safety glasses and into his eye. He had his eye washed at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital next door. He received less than 1 per cent of the annual radiation dose for an eye, but as chemicals were involved, he was also seen by an eye specialist.

For all Macklin's blustering, such incidents would not normally be reported outside ANSTO because the dose levels were significantly less than the reportable amount and there were no releases of radioactivity outside the laboratories. But she is blowing the dog whistle for all she is worth because of the need for Labor to corral the green, anti-nuclear, anti-development vote.

More here


Dozens of motorists have been stranded by blizzard conditions in New Zealand's North Island as heavy snowfall closes all main roads through the region. Temperatures in the central North Island plummeted to -10 degrees Celsius overnight and it is still snowing. Until crews can clear roads the only way to travel between Auckland and Wellington is via the west coast state highway through Taranaki. Motorists and semi-trailers have been stranded by the snow and landslides, and schools in the worst affected areas are likely to be closed again today. Civil defence authorities are also bracing themselves for flooding in Gisborne and Hawkes Bay after forecasts that they are in for another 150 millimetres of rain. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Helen Clark today will visit parts of the South Island that are still without power, 12 days after a severe snow storm.



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.