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

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