Thursday, August 31, 2006

California: Another enviro-scare campaign

State global-warming bill addresses problem that isn't

Is water vapor is a "pollutant"? Yes, according to the California Climate Action Team Report. Prepared in support of pending state "global warming" legislation, it recommends 45 emission-reduction measures intended to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions toward 1990 levels by 2020.

Amazingly, the report fails to tell us the predicted reduction in future temperatures if 1990-level emissions are achieved. So we have done that analysis here. If California were to achieve the carbon-dioxide reductions, the predicted decline in world temperatures in the year 2100 would be thirteen one-thousandths of a degree Celsius. If the entire U.S. were to achieve those reductions, the decline would be sixteen one-hundredths of a degree Celsius. The figure for the 34 most-developed economies would be one-third of one degree Celsius. If we add China, the figure is forty-five one-hundredths of a degree Celsius. Such changes are far too small to matter.

The global-warming horror stories in the CCAT report - flooding, fires, heat waves, drought, insects - truly are biblical, but its proposals never would be approved for such tiny effects. Moreover, the CCAT free-lunch claim that the regulations would impose no economic costs is preposterous. The real question is: What does the science actually tell us?

A paper published in the journal Science last summer showed that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is losing mass, while the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (three times as large) is gaining mass. Another paper published in Science last fall reported that the ongoing trend for the Greenland ice sheet is an increase of 5.4 centimeter per year, almost all of which is at elevations above 5000 feet. Other research yields different findings because there is great uncertainty about new measurement techniques. But there is no dispute that Greenland was warmer in the 1930s than it is today and was much warmer 1,000 years ago.

Hurricane activity (frequency and wind speeds) has increased over the past decade, but a substantial body of scientific literature shows that this phenomenon is related to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation - water-temperature changes that shift about every decade - around Greenland and the tropical Atlantic. The AMO warmed around 1995. Hurricane activity has increased, and Greenland glaciers below 5,000 feet have been depositing more ice into the ocean. There is little need to invoke SUVs and the other purported sins of mankind to explain this.

There were no small glaciers 5,000 years ago in what would become the Western United States. Surface temperatures 3,000 years ago were about 2 degrees Celsius higher than today, abnormally low 1,500 years ago, and over 1 degree Celsius warmer in places 1,000 years ago. The Earth then entered the so-called Little Ice Age during about 1850-1900. Satellite measurements show an increase in lower tropospheric temperatures of 0.13 degrees Celsius per decade from 1979 through this March, or 1.3 degrees if extrapolated for 100 years.

So much for Gov. Schwarzenegger's argument that "The debate is over." No one disputes that increasing carbon dioxide concentrations will create some warming, but the magnitude is disputed, well, hotly. Will the warming be observed everywhere, or mainly in Siberia in the winter? (Likely answer: the latter.)

More fundamentally, there can be no "consensus" about future emissions because they will be determined largely by world economic growth conditions. There has never been a consensus among economists about economic forecasts even for the United States only five years in the future; is there a forecasting consensus about worldwide economic growth 50, 60, 80 years from now? Please.

The CCAT report fundamentally is a political document far less concerned with environmental quality than enhancing the political power of the Left to subsidize its constituencies. Recall the myriad other environmental scare campaigns. The pesticide Alar. Global cooling. The northern spotted owl. Power lines and childhood cancer. The population bomb and worldwide famine by the 1980s. The worldwide depletion of most natural resources by the year 2000. And so on. It is time to just say no.



The Greenies are gradually discovering methane

Research on ocean sediments near Santa Barbara suggests that climate change could be accelerated by methane gas stored in oil deposits on the seafloor. The work by Tessa Hill, an assistant professor of geology at UC Davis, documents a new source of methane gas that has not yet been factored into previous analyses of historic climate change. The findings are potentially troubling because methane is at least 20 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so it has the potential to make the planet hotter faster if released to the atmosphere.

Hill is the lead author of the research, published online Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed journal. She cautioned, however, that more study is needed before her findings can be applied globally. For instance, it isn't clear how the methane would be released during climate change, and it is far from certain that similar methane stores worldwide would be freed up as sea temperatures rise. "We need to learn more about this process, about how globally widespread it is," said Hill, who did the research for her doctoral dissertation at UC Santa Barbara. "But I think we can certainly say this methane seepage out of this source clearly responds to climate warming."

Climate researchers have long been concerned about methane hydrate, a form of frozen methane widespread on the seafloor. If ocean temperatures rise enough to thaw this methane, it could have devastating effects on the climate. But methane stored as a gas in natural offshore petroleum deposits has not yet been figured into climate change. Hill theorizes that melting methane hydrate could free up the second supply of methane in oil deposits by causing underwater landslides and sinkholes as it melts. But she said this theory requires more research.

Hill and her co-authors looked at ocean sediments in the Santa Barbara Channel, and measured the amount of tar left behind after methane seepage. They compared this with global temperature records, obtained by analyzing oxygen isotopes in the shells of tiny fossilized sea animals. They found that methane emissions from natural offshore petroleum sources peaked between 16,000 and 14,000 years ago, and again between 11,000 and 10,000 years ago. Both were periods when glaciers melted and the ocean became warmer.

Keith Kvenvolden, a retired geochemist for the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, also has studied methane seepage. He praised Hill's work for connecting the phenomenon to periods of historic climate change. But like Hill, he cautioned that more research is needed. "Their basic observations are unique and very interesting," he said. "But I don't think you can tie it into what's happening over the whole world. Maybe in time it will be shown to be true. But right now it's a big leap in faith."

Petroleum deposits and methane gas are locked together in sediments all over the Santa Barbara Channel -- a fact well-known to area surfers and beach lovers. As the oil rises to the ocean surface, it releases methane bubbles locked in the gooey mass. On the surface, the petroleum degrades and leaves behind tar, which falls back to the ocean floor. This happens in many other locations around the world. But the present rate of methane emissions by this natural process is unknown, and it's also unknown how this rate would change if ocean temperatures increased. "It appears as though this source of methane reacts dynamically to climate change in the past, and we would expect that it might in the future as well," Hill said. "I can't tell you how big the problem is, because this is the first time anyone has ever reconstructed petroleum seepage over time."


Leftist Australian State governments are desperate to placate the Greens

When you see a pack of suits in the midday sun on Sydney's Bondi Beach it's safe to assume they are either real estate agents or politicians. Either way, they're selling something. And so it was when NSW Premier Morris Iemma and Victorian Deputy Premier John Thwaites were joined by South Australian Premier Mike Rann to launch a discussion paper on a state-based greenhouse gas emissions-trading scheme. In hindsight, they might have been better off parading their latest green credentials in the grungy inner-west of King Street, Newtown, or its parallel universe on Brunswick Street in Melbourne. Because their carefully weighted support for emissions trading is pitched squarely at the inner-city latte belt of Australia's two biggest cities, where the Greens are eating Labor alive.

Arresting and reversing this urban greenslide without causing collateral damage to their suburban heartland is a tricky but increasingly important objective for the Steve Bracks and Iemma governments as they head to the polls. As social commentator and author Bernard Salt observes, the social, economic and environmental aspirations of the suburban majority and the vocal minority of the progressive inner-city elites are diverging at such a rate that it is becoming impossible for any one political party to appeal to both. "By the next decade I think the divisions would have (become) too big," Salt says. "The weight of numbers over time will mean the two will make uncomfortable bedfellows, and that means there must be divorce. This can only augur well for the Greens."

This divide is no more apparent than on the landmark environmental issue of climate change. However you cut it, reducing greenhouse emissions will increase the cost of energy. Lower-emission energy sources and technologies are all more expensive than existing ones. If they were cheaper we would switch today. The discussion paper estimates the price of capping emissions to 1997 levels will result in higher domestic electricity bills of more than $100 a year. Beyond these household impacts, the national impact of emissions cuts is likely to be uneven: acute in industrial regions such as the La Trobe Valley and Geelong, the Hunter and Illawarra, and less noticeable in the inner cities.

Largely bereft of airconditioners and mostly detached from industrial Australia, the relatively affluent progressives from the inner city are demanding accelerated action on greenhouse gases, among other issues. They are venting at the ballot box and switching their allegiance from Labor to the Greens. As ABC election analyst Antony Green points out, the Greens are hurting Labor in a multitude of ways. Their primary vote in both states is tracking at nearly 10 per cent. In the mortgage belt it is in single digits, but in inner Melbourne and Sydney it is nearly 30 per cent. Labor candidates in these seats are fending off the Greens as their No.1 rival or dependent on Greens preferences to get over the line. Green said that as the Greens devour Labor's inner-city heartland, they are also siphoning active and educated Labor members and campaign workers while delivering a big chunk of the votes needed to establish themselves as a genuine force in each state's upper house.

Election analyst Malcolm Mackerras predicts the Greens will win three seats in the next Victorian Legislative Council and four in NSW. So while Bracks (almost certain) and Iemma (increasingly likely) appear set to be returned to power, both face the uneasy prospect of seeing the Greens holding the balance of power in their upper houses. Green says the Greens are likely to be increasingly prickly customers to deal with because their policy positions are simultaneously unfettered by having to govern and contrary by nature. "They are the party of permanent opposition," he says.

An added concern is the optional preferential voting system in NSW which means that Green preferences do not automatically flow back to Labor, as they tend to in other states. Sustaining sufficient appeal to these dissatisfied Labor voters to hang on to their preferences will be an important part of Labor's election strategy. Former Labor national secretary Bob McMullan observed the best way of marginalising the rise of independents and minor parties was to maximise the difference between the major parties on defining issues, including climate change. "When people say there is no difference between Labor and Liberals then this is a good climate for independents and minor parties," McMullan says. "If the contrast between Labor and Liberal on global warming is so stark then being the third force becomes less relevant."

Which brings us back to Bondi. While implementing a state-based emissions-trading scheme would be complex, dependent on protracted negotiations over a number of years and not without considerable political and economic pain, talking about one is a lot easier. For Iemma and Thwaites, the elegant political theatre of Bondi was all about staging a noble defeat. Without the support of Canberra, implementing such a scheme at the state level would require the unanimous backing of every state government. Even one dissenter would be enough to ensure the discussion would be short. The blueprint of a state-based scheme took the National Emissions Trading Taskforce more than two years to develop, and the two resource-rich fast-growth states of Queensland and Western Australia less than four hours to kill.

Cue WA Premier Alan Carpenter. With the very first dorothy dixer in his parliament's question time that afternoon, he threw the switch. "If it is regarded as disadvantaging Western Australia, we will not be a part of it. I believe there is at least one other state that has the same view," he said. "I would want an assurance that any trading scheme would not negatively affect the state's capacity to rely on energy sources such as coal ... I have not seen that level of support indicated so far."

The other state was, of course, Queensland. Premier Peter Beattie, already a self-confessed troglodyte on the issue, said that afternoon that he supported emissions trading in principle, but only on the impossible proviso that clean coal technology was in place and would mitigate against electricity price increases and therefore job losses for Queenslanders. Beattie neatly sidestepped the practical reality that clean coal technology is still under development, with 2015 touted as its earliest commercial start date possible in Australia. He also carefully ignored the other fundamental about clean coal: that like all other lower-emission technologies, its use would still cost considerably more than Queensland's present electricity supply. As politely as he put it, that was still another no.

The Greens are causing headaches for Labor in the run-up to the September 9 Queensland election. On Sunday they announced they would deny preferences to Labor in key marginal seats because of their displeasure over some headline environmental issues. Optional preferential voting in Queensland means the Greens vote in these seats will not flow to Labor. In 1995, a similar tactic contributed to the defeat of the Wayne Goss government.

Of course, the states had already played their hand at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in July. To ensure the issue wasn't going to awkwardly bind any state government position, the original emissions-trading green paper owned by them had been downgraded to a more theoretical discussion paper owned by the taskforce. Timing was also key. Comments on the paper are due before Christmas, just after the Victorian poll in November and before the NSW election in March. Enough time to have a discussion but nowhere near enough time to make a decision.

The politicisation of emissions trading in Australia has elevated it to watershed status in the present environmental vernacular. Like the Kyoto Protocol before it, there is a perception that support or opposition casts protagonists on to either side of some apparent greenhouse policy divide. This is somewhat overstated. Placing a cap on emissions and trading the right to emit them is widely considered the most efficient and lowest cost method possible to achieve a specified national rate of emissions.

Prime Minister John Howard does not oppose emissions trading in principle. After presenting his energy plan at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch in Sydney last month, he said what he was opposed to was Australia heading down this policy path without the rest of the world. This was echoed by the Allen Consulting Group report in March in its assessment of the impacts of deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions commissioned by the Business Roundtable on Climate Change. The report stated that "any large-scale unilateral action by Australia would constitute bad policy in that it would impose significant costs on the community while having a negligible impact on climate change".

As the European Union has discovered the hard way, getting political support for emissions trading is a snack compared to the operational difficulties of making it work. In 2000 the EU voted to start trading in January 2005. At least, that was the idea. It was hoped trading would help EU member states meet emissions targets, but while it is early days, its scheme has to date proved both expensive and ineffective. In the first three-year phase, national laws have been implemented piecemeal, while the complex regime of registries to track and monitor the emissions and trades are still, at best, partial. Several member countries arbitrarily increased the number of emissions permits to such a degree that allocations exceeded emissions in 2005.

The big loser was Britain, which was silly enough to set tough targets from the outset while its continental neighbours have been far more lenient. As a result, it is estimated Britain will need to spend pound stg. 1.5billion ($3.74billion) over three years to buy surplus permits from across the channel.

Compliance with the administrative and regulatory targets for the second phase, supposed to start in 2008, is also falling behind schedule. There have been further concerns about the high administrative cost of the scheme, particularly for smaller companies, and complaints from all sides about how the emissions permits have been allocated. Architects of the domestic states-based scheme claim they have had the benefit of learning from Europe's many mistakes in drafting their model. Importantly, both industry and environmental groups agree that whatever the political motives behind its release or its likelihood of success, the indigenous discussion paper has served to advance thinking about how Australia might manage its greenhouse gas emissions 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.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Let's look on the sunny side

A comment from "The Times" of London

That round yellow thing in the sky may have more influence on climate change than man’s activities. Writing about the Sun at the end of August this year might seem ironic, even sadistic. As a reminder, especially for readers in the East and South East of England, the Sun is the big round yellow thing in the sky that made a robust appearance in July, but that has largely absconded since.

The Sun will, however, be enjoying some company soon. Next month, Nasa will launch the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (Stereo). This consists of two probes, one just ahead of the Earth’s orbit and the other behind it, which will examine coronal mass ejections, or solar flares. Coronal mass ejections really are, well, massive. The Sun can throw out eruptions consisting of ten billion tons of its atmosphere, measuring six million miles across, or well over five times its own width, at a speed of approximately a million miles an hour. That is one hell of a celestial fireball.

This is all very fascinating, you might respond (a little bemused that there seem to be two Science Notebooks on these pages today), but should Stereo interest me? An awful lot as it happens. For if this £250 million, two-year project produces the evidence that some scientists hope and believe it will, it could transform the raging debate about global warming.

There has long been a minority school of thought that is deeply sceptical about the extent to which rising temperatures on this planet can be explained, and blamed, on human activity. The most persuasive subsection of this community is convinced that the principal cause of climate change on Earth is the intensity of solar activity.

This argument is virtually unknown to the wider public. In part this is because the data required truly to prove the case have not been available, although Stereo should change that. It is also because the control exercised in this area by those who contend that global warming can only be man-made resembles that which the Roman Catholic Church once held over the character of the solar system. Public discussion is dominated by those inclined to the most doom-laden predictions, and this lobby is not that wild on the notion that astronomy may come up with a compelling alternative hypothesis. And it probably has not helped the proponents of solar influence that one of their most prominent advocates rejoiced in the name Harry van Loon.

There are, nonetheless, three sound reasons to be open to this explanation. The first is that the conventional global warming stance has huge limitations. It is widely accepted that the average surface temperature on Earth has risen by about 0.5 degrees centigrade over the past 125 years or so. Yet if man’s activities were driving this warming process then one would expect the rate of that increase to have accelerated in modern times in response to increasing industrialisation, aircraft flights and so on. This evidence has singularly failed to materialise, despite satellites having been available to measure the Earth’s temperature since the late 1970s.

This conundrum is compounded by the knowledge that dramatic climate change on Earth has occurred in the relatively recent past, but well before contemporary inventions came into play. Examinations of ancient tree rings and other data show that temperatures cooled in the 11th century, but rose quite sharply in the 150 years after that, when the Vikings were able to settle in Greenland. Then temperatures slumped again, so much so that the period 1645-1715, when the Thames froze solid most winters in London, is now referred to as “the little ice age”, only to reverse course after 1800. None of this could possibly have been triggered by the deeds of low-cost airlines.

Finally, there is what we can already ascertain about the Sun itself. Solar activity has short-term fluctuations such as the familiar sunspot cycle with a duration of about 11 years, and much longer term patterns of solar flares about which we understand less.

There is little doubt that daily atypical solar activity can have an impact on our climate. That is hardly surprising as total solar irradiance (TSI) can vary as much in a space of time as short as a week as the total energy used by humans beings, globally, for a year. The overall energy output of the Sun is far greater in a single second than all human activity could produce in a million years. To the layman such as myself, the claim that the big round yellow thing in the sky may have more influence on the condition of this planet than the 10.45 easyJet flight from Stansted to Palma does have a kind of logic. We laymen are not alone.

In 2003 a team from Columbia University reported that the Sun’s heat had increased by 0.05 per cent a decade since the 1970s, the point when completely reliable data started to be collected. This would be enough to have a big influence on the Earth’s climate if it were a trend that had continued for many decades. The Columbia team believed that the pattern could be traced back to the mid-19th century at the very least. Others, working with carbon data material, insist that the Sun has been more vigorous in the past six decades than at any time in 8,000 years. It defies reason, surely, to conclude that this would be irrelevant to the climate. Indeed, there is a deep arrogance implicit in the sentiment that if anything on Earth is changing, human beings must be responsible.

A decade ago, H. N. Priem, the Dutch geologist, predicted: “The current and anticipated fleet of spacecraft devoted to the study of solar and solar-terrestrial physics will probably prove to have more bearing on the understanding and forecasting of climate change than the orchestrated assessments by politically motivated international panels biased towards global warming exclusively by the enhanced greenhouse effect.”

Stereo should shed illuminating light, in more ways than one, on this matter. It will provide real fuel for this discussion.


Meat is a global warming issue

An amusing bit of nuttiness from a vegetarian below

There are many human activities that contribute to global warming. Among the biggest contributors are electrical generation, the use of passenger and other vehicles, over-consumption, international shipping, deforestation, smoking and militarism. (The U.S. military, for example, is the world's biggest consumer of oil and the world's biggest polluter.)

What many people do not know, however, is that the production of meat also significantly increases global warming. Cow farms produce millions of tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane per year, the two major greenhouse gases that together account for more than 90 percent of U.S. greenhouse emissions, substantially contributing to "global scorching." According to the United Nations Environment Program's Unit on Climate Change, "There is a strong link between human diet and methane emissions from livestock." The 2004 State of the World is more specific regarding the link between animals raised for meat and global warming: "Belching, flatulent livestock emit 16 percent of the world's annual production of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas." The July 2005 issue of Physics World states: "The animals we eat emit 21 percent of all the CO2 that can be attributed to human activity." Eating meat directly contributes to this environmentally irresponsible industry and the dire threat of global warming.

Additionally, rainforests are being cut down at an extremely rapid rate to both pasture cows and grow soybeans to feed cows. The clear-cutting of trees in the rainforest -- an incredibly bio-diverse area with 90 percent of all species on Earth -- not only creates more greenhouse gases through the process of destruction, but also reduces the amazing benefits that those trees provide. Rainforests have been called the "lungs of the Earth," because they filter our air by absorbing CO2, while emitting life-supporting oxygen. "In a nutshell," according to the Center for International Forestry Research, "cattle ranchers are making mincemeat out of Brazil's Amazon rainforests."

Of course, the U.S. should join the other 163 countries in ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. Of course, we should sharply reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and shift towards renewable sources of energy. Of course, we need to stop destroying the rainforests. Of course, we need to stop the war in Iraq and drastically reduce the U.S. military budget (presently at half of the entire world's total military spending), which would increase, not decrease, national and global security. But as we're struggling and waiting for these and other structural changes, we need to make personal changes.

Geophysicists Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin from the University of Chicago concluded that changing one's eating habits from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a vegetarian diet does more to fight global warming than switching from a gas-guzzling SUV to a fuel-efficient hybrid car. Of course, you can do both. Where the environment is concerned, eating meat is like driving a huge SUV. According to Eshel, eating a vegetarian diet is like driving a mid-sized car or a reasonable sedan, and eating a vegan diet (no dairy, no eggs) is like riding a bicycle or walking. Shifting away from SUVs and SUV-style diets, to much more energy-efficient alternatives, is key to fighting the warming trend.

Global warming is already having grave effects on our planet. Vegetarians help keep the planet cool in more ways than one. Paul McCartney says, "If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. That's the single most important thing you could do." Andrea Gordon, in her article "If You Recycle, Why Are You Eating Meat?" agrees: "There is a direct relationship between eating meat and the environment. Quite simply, you can't be a meat-eating environmentalist. Sorry folks."

Vegetarianism is literally about life and death -- for each of us individually and for all of us together. Eating animals simultaneously contributes to a multitude of tragedies: the animals' suffering and death; the ill-health and early death of people; the unsustainable overuse of oil, water, land, topsoil, grain, labor and other vital resources; environmental destruction, including deforestation, species extinction, mono-cropping and global warming; the legitimacy of force and violence; the mis-allocation of capital, skills, land and other assets; vast inefficiencies in the economy; tremendous waste; massive inequalities in the world; the continuation of world hunger and mass starvation; the transmission and spread of dangerous diseases; and moral failure in so-called civilized societies. Vegetarianism is an antidote to all of these unnecessary tragedies.

The editors of World Watch concluded in the July/August 2004 edition that "the human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future -- deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities and the spread of disease." Lee Hall, the legal director for Friends of Animals, is more succinct: "Behind virtually every great environmental complaint there's milk and meat." Global warming may be the most serious global social problem threatening life on Earth. We need to fight global warming on the governmental and corporate levels, and we also need to fight global warming on the everyday and personal levels. Now we need to fight global warming -- with our forks.



Thousands of wheelie bins have been secretly fitted with bugs as the Government comes under increasing pressure to charge households for collecting non-recyclable waste. The penny-sized electronic chips could be used to fine homeowners who exceed any weight restrictions imposed on rubbish. They have been fitted to about 500,000 bins across England. Their existence was revealed as the Institute for Public Policy Research urged the Government to start billing households according to how much waste they produce. Britain has the third worst recycling rate in the European Union, according to figures published yesterday by the institute, an influential centre-left think-tank.

Its warning was backed by the Local Government Association (LGA), which threatened to increase council tax bills if recycling did not improve. It said that this tariff would be needed to cover EU fines. Councils face penalties of up to 150 pounds per tonne of rubbish if they fail to meet recycling targets set under the EU landfill directive. This could lead to a bill of 230 million pounds.

Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, the LGA chairman, said: "For decades people have been used to being able to throw their rubbish away without worrying about the consequences. Those days are now over. "There needs to be a radical overhaul of the way in which rubbish is thrown away, otherwise there is a real danger that council tax bills will have to rise and the environment will continue to suffer."

The tag is screwed into a recess under the bin's lip. It contains a silicon chip with a serial number identifying the home to which it belongs. This is detected by a sensor on the truck as the bin is lifted for emptying. The weight of the rubbish it contains is calculated by equipment on the truck. This information is then transmitted to a central computer.

Plans to charge for the collection of non-recyclable rubbish have already been mooted. David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, indicated last month that he backed a tax on household rubbish. He said that he was interested in an idea suggested by Sir Michael Lyons, as part of his inquiry into local government finance, which involved a system of variable waste-charging. The research institute said that a "pay as you throw" system was the only way of improving Britain's poor record of recycling - which accounted for only 18 per cent of its municipal waste in 2003-04.



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, August 29, 2006

Russian scientist predicts global cooling

A Russian scientist predicts a period of global cooling in coming decades, followed by a warmer interval. Khabibullo Abdusamatov expects a repeat of the period known as the Little Ice Age. During the 16th century, the Baltic Sea froze so hard that hotels were built on the ice for people crossing the sea in coaches. The Little Ice Age is believed to have contributed to the end of the Norse colony in Greenland, which was founded during an interval of much warmer weather.

Abdusamatov and his colleagues at the Russian Academy of Sciences astronomical observatory said the prediction is based on measurement of solar emissions, Novosti reported. They expect the cooling to begin within a few years and to reach its peak between 2055 and 2060. "The Kyoto initiatives to save the planet from the greenhouse effect should be put off until better times," he said. "The global temperature maximum has been reached on Earth, and Earth's global temperature will decline to a climatic minimum even without the Kyoto protocol."


Global Warming Sickness: The Medicine Will Hurt More

By George Runner, a California State senator

A magazine news article warned of the impending doom of climate change: "There are ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production, with serious political implications for every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. ... The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it."

You might be surprised that this gloomy scenario refers to global cooling, and comes from a 1975 Newsweek cover story that helped give rise to congressional hearings that warned of an impending Ice Age that would result in worldwide famine and poverty. A mere three decades later, climate change is back in the news, and we hear similar predictions of devastation and calamity - yet now the culprit is global warming. In fact, many of the same alarmists who once advocated global cooling now suddenly embrace the theory of man-induced, catastrophic global warming.

There is no doubt that media hysteria is fueling this global warming debate. However, when formulating public policy, it is best to rely on objective science rather than the latest Hollywood movie. It is generally accepted that the Earth is in a warming trend. However, we are led to believe the cause is human behavior - that it's our businesses, our cars and our power plants that are inducing the change, and that immediate action is necessary to save our planet.

On this point, more than 17,000 national and international scientists have signed a petition to demonstrate the lack of scientific consensus on the theory of man-induced, catastrophic global warming. The petition reads, in part: "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of greenhouse gases is causing catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics recently completed a study indicating that a review of more than 200 climate studies determined that the 20th Century is neither the warmest century nor the century with the most extreme weather of the past 1,000 years.

It must also be noted that our planet is subject to natural, periodic shifts in climate. Just in the last century, we have seen three distinct periods of atmospheric climate change: warming in the early 1900s, cooling in the mid 1900s, and warming toward the end of the century. This hasn't deterred the environmental extremists in Sacramento, who have blindly accepted the global warming theory as fact, and put forth a package of legislation ostensibly to solve the problem. The most far-reaching is Assembly Bill 32, grandly titled the "Global Warming Solution Act." It imposes mandatory caps on carbon emissions in California, and gives the Air Resources Board carte-blanche authority to monitor and enforce emission levels.

AB 32 would impose massive costs and burdens on California businesses and devastate our state's competitiveness. The cement manufacturing industry, for example, is poised to experience a surge in production with the Legislature's recent focus on infrastructure. A hard emissions cap will force these businesses to shift their production to neighboring states, most of which are not as energy-efficient as California. When we consider the additional emissions generated to import the product, the net effect will be harmful to the environment.

In fact, a recent report from Gov. Schwarzenegger's Climate Action Team warns of this unintended consequence of California's "go it alone" approach, stating that "emissions may decline in the state, only to increase in neighboring states." Not surprisingly, the bill's proponents have yet to acknowledge or address this glaring problem.

The proposal would also cripple California's energy market and drive gas and electricity prices even higher. Because electricity generation represents about 40 percent of the state's carbon emissions, it would be forced to incur a significant portion of the cuts. The state is already struggling to keep pace with a growing energy demand, and this takes us down the road to another energy crisis.

Unfortunately, the result of such legislation that is not based on science will leave us with a potential energy crisis, higher taxes, and more businesses and jobs leaving California. And what would we get in return? Very little if any change to the environment. This is the wrong proposal for California.


The good old far-Left 9th circuit court stops work on a water conservation project

And Greenies love it!

In a move that surprised water officials and their environmental foes alike this week, a federal court banned all further work on a $251 million canal-lining project expected to bring San Diego County residents billions of gallons of water every year for more than a century. Two judges from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a terse emergency injunction against the long-discussed Imperial Valley canal-lining project, barring all work until the appeals court could hold a formal hearing. The ruling leaves the project in limbo until Dec. 4 at the earliest, according to the court.

Environmentalists and Mexican business groups who sued the project immediately hailed the injunction. They said it proved that there was merit to their twice-rejected arguments that the project would harm the desert's residents and habitat and would steal water from Mexican farmers and wetlands. A Superior Court judge ruled against those arguments in June. "We're happily surprised," said attorney Claire Hervey Collins, a spokeswoman representing an environmental coalition. "We fought hard to achieve this result and we're delighted. ... We thought we were entitled to this all along."

But Imperial Valley and San Diego County water officials just as immediately said they were "surprised and disappointed" ---- and predicted that construction delays would cost taxpayers millions of dollars. "I think we're both surprised and disappointed because of the careful ruling of the trial court judge and because of the significance of this project to Southern California and the Western United States," said Dan Hentschke, general counsel of the San Diego County Water Authority. Hentschke and others said they were confident that the appeals court would eventually rule in their favor.

Serious construction on the All-American canal lining project wasn't expected to start for a couple of weeks, and was scheduled to take up to two years to complete. But Imperial Valley officials said preliminary work that required teams of workers had already begun. Those crews will now be sent home.

The canal-lining project was scheduled to be a concrete-lined replacement for a 23-mile stretch of Imperial Valley's earth-lined, 82-mile All-American Canal. It is one of two canal-lining projects, along with one in Imperial Valley's neighboring Coachella Valley, that the state and San Diego County Water Authority are funding. Discussion about the projects dates nearly 20 years. The two projects are part of a complex series of agreements among San Diego County, Imperial Valley, Coachella, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the state of California, the federal Bureau of Reclamation ---- and, indirectly ---- six other Western states that share the Colorado River.

Lining the canals is expected to save the river water that now seeps from the earthen bed of the two canals. The "saved" water ---- enough to sustain 154,000 households a year ---- would be shipped to San Diego County residents for 110 years. The state, meanwhile, is helping to pay for the projects because they will also slash the amount of Colorado River water that the state uses ---- a condition of a historic deal the state reached with six other Western states at the prodding of the federal government in 2003.

But an unusual coalition of California environmentalists and Mexican businessmen filed a lawsuit against the federal government over the project last year. The coalition argued that the water that has been seeping through the canal bed for decades supplies groundwater that sustains Mexicali farmers, wetlands and endangered animals.

Hervey Collins also said the lawsuit challenged the federal government's environmental study. The suit alleged that the study did not adequately address the argument that dust from digging up 25 million cubic yards of desert in Imperial Valley to build the concrete canals would further harm the valley's already poor air quality.



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, August 28, 2006


Britain has had one of the most volatile climates on earth with up to 10 ice ages forcing early settlers into exile, leaving the land uninhabited for periods of up to 110,000 years, researchers have found. A study - led by the Natural History Museum - of 700,000 years of human attempts to settle in Britain found that the Gulf Stream, which keeps the British Isles warm, kept collapsing, plunging them into Arctic cold. The lurches from temperate to freezing sometimes took as little as 10 years, says Professor Chris Stringer, head of human origins in the museum's paleontology department, in a new book, Homo Britannicus, to be published in October.

After the last ice age humans returned to Britain only 11,500 years ago. Stringer said: "We might think that the roots of the British people lie deep in British soil but they can be traced back less than 12,000 years, far more shallow than those of our continental neighbours."

His book summarises the findings of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain (AHOB) project, a six-year study of thousands of artefacts and other remains left behind by prehistoric man during successive colonisations. Thirty archeologists, paleontologists and geologists from institutes across the country worked together to construct a detailed calendar of early humans' arrivals and departures.

They concluded that the present temperate climate is an anomaly and steamy heat or bitter cold are far more typical. Stringer said: "We have evidence that between 500,000 and 12,000 years ago humans were only in Britain for about 20% of the time. Between 180,000 and 70,000 years ago Britain was abandoned, completely empty of people." Such findings imply a major rewriting of British prehistory. It has long been known that climatic changes forced early humans out of Britain but not so many times.

There were other surprises, too. Until recently it was thought that the first humans arrived in southern Europe about 800,000 years ago but that none made it to Britain until 500,000 years ago. But Stringer says: "We have remarkable new evidence from East Anglia showing that humans arrived here 700,000 years ago, earlier than anyone believed. They lived in an environment with a balmy climate like that of southern Europe."

Their stay was, however, not destined to last because about 470,000 years ago a huge ice cap spread across northern Europe, reaching the outskirts of what is now north London. That glaciation was to be the first of many. By the time it receded, about 400,000 years ago, Neanderthals had evolved in Europe and it was they who recolonised Britain.

However, they too were driven out when the ice returned 380,000 years ago, a pattern that was to be repeated many times. The most prolonged and enigmatic evacuation of Britain began with a new ice age that peaked about 140,000 years ago. When it finished, about 20,000 years later, many animals quickly returned to Britain, including deer, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses and hyenas - but no humans. They remained absent for more than 100,000 years, says Stringer.

Eventually, about 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals did return to Britain, only to become extinct 30,000 years later. Modern humans have proved better than Neanderthals at withstanding climatic changes but they, too, were driven back from Britain as a mile-thick ice-cap built up over Scotland 25,000 years ago, returning only 10,000 years later. The last ice age began 13,000 years ago and lasted 1,500 years.


Should Coke Be Banned in India?

Several provinces in India have recently banned sale of Coca Cola and Pepsi. The reason: they are claimed to contain a higher level of pesticides than is acceptable in Europe. It is as if the cola companies have been adding pesticides to poison Indians.

Here is the story. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a top non-governmental organization, has been in the forefront of the environmental movement in India. When CSE came into existence, smoky chimneys were shown around India - in propaganda and educational material - as a sign of development. How could a factory be in operation if it was not sprinting towards growth taking the nation with it? How could it be sprinting if it was not spewing black soot? In short, India needed environmental education, and CSE did a fabulous job of providing it. Unfortunately, many activist institutions like these have a tendency to lose track completely, particularly when the original founders have passed away and the limousine-liberals have taken over.

Somewhere down the line, CSE intuitively realized that making the poor aware of real environmental concerns was politically incorrect: tell the poor about the dangers of burning wood in tiny one-room houses and the poor would fight for much greener, cheaper, and healthier gas and electricity. Consequently, big power plants would need to be set up. For sure, these plants would produce a lot of pollution, but nothing compared to the gross pollution from burning wood in all those millions of one-room houses, not counting an unnecessary destruction of forests.

But being pro-development is suicidal for activist organizations! They survive on the lethargic pseudo-intellectualism of those who have no interest or capacity to understand a situation in any real detail. Alas, it is such people who have mostly hijacked the environmental and charity organizations in the West. Pro-development activism would be at odds with warm-hearted Western environmentalism. And this would mean that tons of money that flow to organizations like CSE would dry up.

Conveniently, CSE dumped its basic purpose of working for the environment and the poor - and started to work against them, instead.

In the past, whenever we traveled, we made sure we knew someone wherever we went, to ensure that we had access to relatively safe food and water. Serious sicknesses from water-borne diseases are very common in India, as any one who has ever been there would attest. When multinational companies brought bottled water to India, they took it to the furthest of places, even hundreds of miles from decent roads. They made it possible for people like me to travel and be confident we wouldn't die from water poisoning and that we had access to packaged food products. Pepsi and Coca Cola set up distribution systems in India, literally in months, something that is a supreme case of efficiency and human capabilities. As a businessman, I am still amazed.

Many decades of substantially subsidized pesticides and fertilizer have led to their heavy usage, completely polluting Indian water systems. You never see clear water in India. It comes in all kinds of colors and viscosities. It stinks of rot. You drink water from ponds that serve as bathing places for buffaloes, and rivers that get sewage discharge. Really, I would not be surprised if colas made from Indian water did contain pesticides. But who in his right mind would want Indian colas to adhere to European standards? At least these colas were made from filtered water and were reasonable well processed, something much healthier than what we had been accustomed to. Not everyone can afford imported mineral water from Switzerland and Canada.

But the crooked Indian politicians, after a news release from CSE, saw a cause and started banning the colas, bypassing the judiciary. (Really, I can imagine big money exchanging hands.) Instead of fighting CSE on moral grounds, Pepsi and Coca Cola challenged the position of CSE by saying that their colas did meet European standards. This way of working, unfortunately, is so much easier for the masses to digest. Also, the cola companies apparently used some Indian politicians to fight for reinstating the sale of their products. They even used the US government to pressure the Indian government to comply.

Two years ago, I wrote an article for the Fraser Institute on how McDonalds was making a significant contribution to India, on how they were challenging the caste system there by offering food with a smile to the lower castes, by making upper-caste employees clean the toilets, and by showing Indians that food did not need to be covered with flies. A Canadian national newspaper wanted me to write a more extensive story. I contacted the Indian offices of McDonalds, Pepsi, and Coke. To my surprise, they did not want to touch me, even with a barge pole.

The people who work there are not entrepreneurs. They have a tendency to accommodate and please the activists. They freely provide money for anti-development activism. They lobby with politicians. The world's hypocrisy continues and builds. No one here is fighting for the right causes. Apart from the saving grace that the companies are adding value to the society, it is a jamboree of politically correct, anti-development, guilty, and dishonest people - those who have no concept of how wealth is created. They have no interest in the environment or the poor. It is not misguided idealism; it is plain crookedness. Anyone who has ever been to India - someone with eyes and a heart and some sort of brain - would take no time to understand what I am saying.


Environmental what ifs

One of the most dangerous trends today, as far as our right to liberty is concerned, is the environmental movement. I am not talking about their worries, of which some are surely justified. But like so many zealous people, environmentalists tend, in the main, to urge greater government powers and invasion of individual rights, especially the right to private property, in support of dealing with their concerns. But if we think about this a bit, it becomes clear that the greatest friend of the environment, including endangered species, is the principle of private property rights. One way to appreciate this fact is by considering what would have happened if in the past the principle had been firmly adhered to.

For one, road building would have been curtailed. Indeed, all transportation that had expanded by leaps and bounds relied on the taking of private property, something that the U.S. Constitution permits if it concerns some public use. Had it been strictly implemented, the takings clause of the Constitution would never have permitted the violation of the right to private property since "public use," properly understood in a free country, means only whatever is required for the administration of the legal system, such as a court house or police -- or military -- station. Every other purpose would have had to be achieved without violating anyone's property rights.

This constraint would have required virtually all road and rail building, as well as all building of dams, sports stadiums and similar massive projects, to be carried out on a relatively smaller scale than what government sponsored projects that violate private property rights involve. Sure, some of them could have been carried out by the benign means of purchasing land from those who owned them. But the cost in many cases would have been prohibitive and would probably have induced those embarking on these projects to pursue alternatives.

Take, for example, the expansion of the use of the automobile and of airplanes. Without the government's power to take land so as to build, for example, the Interstate Highway system and huge airports, some alternative modes of transportation might have developed because entrepreneurs would have sought out less expensive ways to proceed with their projects.

Counterfactual history is always highly speculative but not impossible. It is often the stuff of science fiction, as when an author imagines what would have happened had Hitler won World War II or had we had to go without penicillin. In one's personal life, too, one can speculate, often enough, about what might have happened had one driven more carefully when one had an accident or stayed in school instead of rushed into family life.

The exercise I am recommending shouldn't be all that different from such "rational reconstruction." In other words, had the political system that held sway in a country been more strictly consistent with the principles of justice, including the principle of private property rights, we would probably not face many of the environmental problems we do face now.

Consider, as another case in point, pollution. One of the main causes of it is dumping -- manufacturing firms or even individuals disposing of their waste without respecting private property rights and legal authorities failing to step in when this happens. Those "negative externalities" that so many refer to as they badmouth capitalism would be, in fact, systematically prohibited in a fully free, capitalist economic system because they involve the violation of private property rights. Instead of reasoning on the basis of some pseudo-utilitarian calculation, according to which it is OK to violate our rights if only some great project is helped by it, a strict adherence to a system of individual rights would have served as a powerful restraint against irrational development, namely, development that encroached upon the rights of people who did not want the kind of development in question.

So what's the lesson here? I suggest that it is "better late than never." If one wishes to organize human communities sensibly and justly, respecting and protecting individual, including private property, rights is still the right approach.



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, August 27, 2006


How often have we seen melting glaciers pointed to as evidence of global warming? So what if lots of glaciers are actually growing (which has been long known)? Does that DISPROVE global warming? No way!

Global warming could be causing some glaciers to grow, a new study claims. Researchers at Newcastle University looked at temperature trends in the western Himalaya over the past century. They found warmer winters and cooler summers, combined with more snow and rainfall, could be causing some mountain glaciers to increase in size.

The findings are significant, because temperature and rain and snow trends in the area impact on water availability for more than 50 million Pakistanis. Researchers focussed on the Upper Indus Basin, which is the mainstay of the national economy of Pakistan and has 170,000 sq km of irrigated land - an area two-thirds the size of the UK. Dr Hayley Fowler, senior research associate at the university's school of civil engineering and geosciences, said: "Very little research of this kind has been carried out in this region and yet the findings from our work have implications for the water supplies of around 50 million people in Pakistan." Co-researcher David Archer added: "Our research is concerned with both climate change and the climate variability that is happening from year to year. "Information on variability is more important for the management of the water system as it will help to forecast the inflow into reservoirs and allow for better planning of water use for irrigation. "However, information on the impacts of climatic change is important for the longer term management of water resources and to help us understand what is happening in the mountains under global warming."

The findings are published in the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate.


Sea Change in Global Warming?

For years now, we have been deluged with the news that the earth's oceans are warming as a result of atmospheric changes due to the combustion of fossil fuels. Typical of these was a 2005 story titled "Where's The Heat? Think Deep Blue," from United Press International, describing a recent paper in Science by NASA climate modeler James Hansen. UPI's "Space Daily" wrote that "Over the past ten years, the heat content of the ocean has grown dramatically."

Hansen's study covered more than just the ocean surface temperature, which can fluctuate considerably from year to year. Rather, by considering a much deeper layer of water (the top 2,500 feet), Hansen actually calculated the increasing amount of heat being stored. According to the UPI story, this provided "a match" with computer model projections of global warming.

The ocean is a huge tub that integrates and stores long-term climate changes. Consequently, when computer models are based on ever-increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, the deep oceans warm, warm, and warm. Like a big pot on a small burner, it takes time to start up, but once the process starts, nothing should be able to stop it.

That's the conventional wisdom of our climate models, but like the conventional wisdom on so many other aspects of life, it's not true to nature. In the next few weeks, John Lyman of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will publish a paper in the refereed journal Geophysical Research Letters showing that, globally, the top 2,500 feet of the ocean lost a tremendous amount of heat between 2003 and 2005 -- in fact, about 20% of all the heat gained in the last half-century.

Needless to say, Lyman's figures have climate scientists scratching their heads. No computer model predicts such behavior. And further, the changes in surface temperatures haven't corresponded (yet?) to the average changes at depth, although deep-water temperatures have also dropped some. Nor has the sea level dropped by an amount commensurate with the cooling (water volume varies slightly with temperature).

This last observation has led scientists to speculate that much more ice must be melting into the ocean than they normally assume -- but no one has been able to find it, and it's not for a lack of looking.

There's another hypothesis out there that has received very little attention. It has to do with the amount of carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere. If carbon dioxide increases at a constant rate, basic physics -- as understood since the 1860s -- says that surface temperature will rise, but that the rate of heating will become lower and lower. In other words, in order for temperatures to increase at a constant rate, as has been observed since 1975, carbon dioxide would have to go up at an ever-increasing rate.

But the ocean is so vast and slow to change that it takes several decades to realize the heating caused by carbon dioxide. Consequently, a change in the rate of carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere wouldn't be noticed for 30 to 60 years, depending upon whose calculations one believes.

Between the time atmospheric carbon dioxide was first directly measured, at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, in 1957, and 1975, it clearly increased exponentially. And once the ocean temperature began to rise, it did so at a constant rate.

Then, about 30 years ago, something very peculiar began to occur. Since 1975, it has been impossible to tell whether the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide is increasing at an exponential or simply a constant rate.

Because of the lag time required for the oceans to register the change in carbon dioxide, it may not be a surprise that an interval of cooling has been detected. The timing is about right: around 30 years.

But that's just another climate change hypothesis that time will test. Be forewarned, though. As we've learned from the completely unexpected cooling of the deep ocean that began in 2003, we know a lot less about climate change than we think.


Open letter urges action

Dear Congressman:

Rising energy costs are taking their toll on millions of American households. Price increases for natural gas in particular have created an enormous burden on the over 60 million American homes that depend on natural gas for heating, as well as the 90 percent of new power plants that depend on natural gas.

Increased energy production in the Outer-Continental Shelf would lead to lower energy prices and help strengthen the American economy. These are goals that every member of Congress should be fighting to achieve.

According to the U.S. Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service, the offshore areas currently banned from development likely contain a mean estimate of 18.92 billion barrels of oil and 85.79 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that are technically recoverable. Yet the United States is the only developed country in the world that bans development of most of its offshore gas resources.

This self-imposed ban has put our nation at a competitive disadvantage with Cuba and China. Cuba recently announced that it has negotiated lease agreements with China to explore oil and gas production just 50 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida. The United States can't develop resources in the Florida Straits, yet Cuba and China can.

For too long the federal government has tied the hands of state governments that wish to permit oil and natural gas leasing in their adjacent offshore zones. Congress should remove the moratoria on offshore gas production and share the federal royalties with the States that decide to allow offshore production, just as they share the royalties from production on federal lands with the States.



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, August 26, 2006

More pesky research results for the Greenies

Researchers working at a Duke University outdoor test facility found commercially important loblolly pines, growing under carbon-dioxide levels mimicking those predicted for the year 2050 -- roughly one and a half times today's levels -- fared somewhat better during and after a major ice storm than did loblollies growing under current concentrations of the gas.

The results came as a surprise, the researchers said. "Before the storm, I was absolutely certain the pines would be more susceptible to ice damage under elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide," said Ram Oren, a Duke ecology professor. "My impressions were absolutely wrong. Instead of increasing the sensitivity to ice-storm damage, carbon dioxide decreased the sensitivity."

The scientists cautioned, however, they were not able to identify the actual mechanisms that helped to protect the trees grown under elevated carbon-dioxide conditions. "We just couldn't tease out anything obvious," McCarthy said. The findings are reported in the Journal of Geophysical Research.



Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas but there is still no solid explanation for its natural fluctuations -- or why it was higher BEFORE the modern era. Journal abstract below

Ice Record of delta 13C for Atmospheric CH4 Across the Younger Dryas-Preboreal Transition

By: Hinrich Schaefer et al.

We report atmospheric methane carbon isotope ratios of delta 13CH4 from the Western Greenland ice margin spanning the Younger Dryas-to-Preboreal (YD-PB) transition. Over the recorded ~800 years, delta 13CH4 was around -46 per mil (%); that is, ~5% higher than would be expected from budgets without 13C-rich anthropogenic emissions. This requires higher natural 13C-rich emissions or stronger sink fractionation than conventionally assumed. Constant delta 13CH4 during the rise in methane concentration at the YD-PB transition is consistent with additional emissions from tropical wetlands, or aerobic plant CH4 production, or with a multisource scenario. A marine clathrate source is unlikely.

Science 25 August 2006: Vol. 313. no. 5790, pp. 1109 - 1112

Cooler heads on global warming

There's a storm brewing over global warming--or, more accurately, storms aren't brewing, and that's causing a storm in itself. People preaching the dangers of global warming predicted that warmer air meant more and bigger hurricanes, and pointed to 2005's record-breaking number of storms as evidence of their theory. But now it's 2006, and there hasn't even been a single hurricane in the Atlantic yet. We're below the historical average since 1944. Our chances of another year like 2005, or even 2004, are practically nil. The big storm is turning into a big bust.

Even more interesting, the current explanation for the lack of storms is ocean cooling, as in the surface temperature of the Atlantic is too low to create and sustain hurricanes. This would be truly inconvenient for Florida State University geography professor James B. Elsner, who is about to publish a study this week in the Geophysical Research Letters journal predicting that warmer air creates warmer oceanic temperatures, which is central to the theory that global warming will mean more storms.

So, is the air cooling? Is Elsner's theory wrong? Are melting polar icecaps lowering the Atlantic's temperature? What's the deal? As a lay person, my guess is no better than anybody else's. But one thing that seems pretty consistent so far is that our ability to predict the weather hasn't improved much since the Farmer's Almanac. The science of global warming isn't nearly as settled or simple as the alarmists would like to believe, and cooler heads are needed to counter the overheated claims of a global apocalypse.

The simplicity of the global warming theory is in itself deceptive. Greenhouse gasses, primarily carbon dioxide, help trap the sun's warmth to keep the temperature of the Earth tolerable for life. Since the rise of modern industry, humans have been adding these gasses to the atmosphere, mostly through the burning of fossil fuels, thereby increasing the greenhouse effect and further warming the Earth. All of this is quite true. And yet, it's not the whole truth. These greenhouse gasses are responsible for a small percentage of the overall reason for the Earth's temperature. The lion's share is caused by water vapor--cloud cover, in other words. So even though carbon dioxide levels have increased roughly 20 percent over the last 45 years, according to some measurements, relatively minor changes in water vapor levels could easily negate or overpower that effect, without any human action at all.

It's true that the Earth's temperature has been rising recently. But it's also true that for millions of years during the time of the dinosaurs, the Earth was about 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than today, and was about 4 degrees warmer a mere 5,000 years ago. The Earth has also been through crippling Ice Ages with much cooler temperatures, with the last ice age abating roughly 10,000 years ago. We'll be due for another ice age eventually as the Earth naturally shifts in its tilt and orbit, in what are called "Milankovitch cycles," that greatly affect how much sunlight reaches the planet. All without human involvement.

Simply put, humans are putting greenhouse gasses into the air, which causes warming, but that's not the end of the matter. Natural events also cause warming and cooling, and on far greater scales than what human activity affects. And our understanding of these natural events is still spotty. After all, there was significant global cooling from the 1950s to the 1970s, enough so that people predicted an oncoming ice age, despite steady increases in greenhouse gas production during that period. This is why apocalyptic predictions of rampant global warming always fall short: they assume human action within a stable environment. But nature is not stable.

Predictions of the dire effects of global warming also fall short in that they neglect another crucial piece of information: the dire effects of global cooling. After all, the alternative to global warming is not global "room temperature." If global warming is supposed to give us bigger and more plentiful hurricanes, what would cooling give us? Shorter growing seasons resulting in less food, for one. More illness from longer winters. Less farmable land as glaciers advance. Ecosystems would still change, just like with warming, only in opposite directions. Instead of polar bears facing shrinking habitats, fennec foxes would suffer. There are tradeoffs either way.

What doesn't help is the storm of morality-driven condemnation peddled by activists like Al Gore who preach that the human sin of economic success is causing a backlash of nature's justice. If we're better off with cooler weather, then let's do something about it. But is that the case, or are alarmists merely taking advantage of climate change to push their agenda?

We will continue to strive to understand what makes the weather change, but the fact that it is changing doesn't mean that human involvement alone is to blame. The Earth could be warming regardless of human action, or it could be that we're helping stave off the next ice age. But one way or the other, looking into the quiet Atlantic, it's certain that the Earth isn't sitting on its heels while we play with the controls.



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.


Friday, August 25, 2006


Drivers are to be offered a new fuel made from crops grown in Britain that will be less harmful to the environment - but there will be no need for them to modify their engines. Sugar beet grown in East Anglia will be fermented to produce butanol, which will be blended with petrol and sold at more than 1,200 filling stations.

The Government plans to accelerate the introduction of butanol and other biofuels by setting oil companies tough targets for producing renewable fuels that have much less impact on the environment. Ministers are considering doubling the target for biofuels from the current requirement for 5 per cent of all fuel sold by 2010 to 10 per cent by 2015. Companies will pay a penalty for failing to hit the target.

The Energy Saving Trust, the government-funded environmental body, said butanol was more promising than other biofuels, such as ethanol or biodiesel, because it does not rely on drivers buying special cars or spending hundreds of pounds adapting their engines. Car manufacturers currently permit drivers to fill up with fuel that contains a maximum of 5 per cent biofuel and 95 per cent ordinary petrol or diesel. They impose the limit because of concerns that biofuels can corrode tubes and gaskets in engines. But butanol has a less corrosive effect than other biofuels, allowing suppliers to create a blend that contains only 80 per cent petrol. Butanol also has a much higher energy content than other biofuels, delivering 10 per cent fewer miles per gallon than conventional fuel, compared with 30 per cent for ethanol.

Richard Tarboton, the trust's head of transport, said: "Butanol is a big step forward because motorists won't need to worry about what is going into the tank. They can fill up their cars as normal." He said that some biofuels were struggling to make an impact on the market because they were more expensive. He added that drivers who bought specially adapted cars, such as the Saab 9-5 BioPower, which can run on 85 per cent ethanol and 15 per cent petrol, also paid a penalty in company car tax and vehicle excise duty. This is because both these taxes are based on tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions, not on the whole life cycle of the raw material making up the fuel. Biofuels reduce total CO2 emissions because the crops that they come from reabsorb the gas as they grow.

British Sugar, which is building Britain's first butanol plant near Downham Market in Norfolk, plans to produce 70 million litres of the fuel a year. Testing will begin at the end of next year and butanol is expected to be introduced in all 1,250 BP filling stations by 2010. BP and British Sugar are also undertaking a feasibility study into building several more butanol plants with a capacity of 300 million litres a year. Phil New, BP's head of biofuels, said the Norfolk plant would use surplus sugar beet that can no longer be sold abroad under EU rules. He admitted that Britain did not have enough spare agricultural land to supply all vehicles, but BP is experimenting with other crops that could produce much more of the fuel...

Biofuels have been granted a 20p per litre discount on fuel duty, but this does not cover all the extra production costs, meaning that they are slightly more expensive at the pump than conventional fuels



Post lifted from Cheat-Seeking Missiles

So they found some tritium in water samples under the San Onofre nuclear power plant in the very pretty beach town of San Clemente.


San Clemente officials shut down a water well because "we owe it to our residents" reports a breathless LA Times, which goes on to report:
Tritium, an isotope of hydrogen that can cause not only cancer but also miscarriages and birth defects, is increasingly stoking fears in communities near nuclear plants across the country.
Yeah, stoked by irresponsible reporting.

Let's see ... we have to amble our way through 15 paragraphs until we get to the tritium concentrations, past tales of sea lions and endangered sea turtles caught in San Onofre's intakes and the "fact" that "nearby residents also have grown wary of the plant as a potential terrorist target that stores highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel." Prove it, Bubba. Where's your data?

Oh, and that tritium? Samples of groundwater contained 50,000 to 330,000 picocuries (pCi) per liter. Picocuries, you ask? My friend Neil fills us in:
Millicurie: 0.001 Ci - one thousandth of a Curie
Microcurie: 0.000001 Ci
Nanocurie: 0.000000001 Ci
Picocurie: 0.000000000001 Ci
So 330,000 picocuries ain't a whole lot of curies. Curie-ous, isn't it? Neil goes on:
Just because more energetic ionizing radiation can cause [miscarriages and birth defects], it does not follow that the exceedingly low beta energy from tritium can do the same. Tritium as tritiated water by itself does not come in natural or manmade concentrations high enough to cause the general public to achieve the cancers and birth defects, even if they drank the stuff.
OK, we get it, but it's kind of dry, Neil, even with that "drink the stuff" line. Can you give us something a bit more real-life for those of us who have never been certified by the NRC to handle radioactive materials?

Being of exceptional (and decidedly weird) good humor, Neil provides:
Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa) contain Radium-226 (a radioactive material that is 10,000 times more hazardous) at concentrations up to 7,000 picocuries/kilogram. Put on an equal-hazard scale, the liter of tritiated water would have to contain 70,000,000 picocuries to be as hazardous as the same weight of Brazil nuts.

During the holiday season, I used to keep a sack of Brazil nuts on my gamma spectral analyzer. When people noticed the rapid accumulation of gamma "counts" on the computer screen, they would ask what was in the sample. I would open up the shielded door, pick out some nuts, and eat them. Sometimes people went into conniptions of cognitive dissonance.
Heh. Good stuff. Too bad more people read the LATimes than C-SM.

Crocodile Tears, Tuna Edition

Post lifted from Cheat-Seeking Missiles

The law-breaking environmental group Greenpeace got a taste of its own medicine -- thanks to a gang of French fishermen. Agence France Presse reports (via Nexis):
Fishermen in the southern French port city of Marseille on Wednesday used Greenpeace's own tactics against it by preventing the environmental activist group's flagship from docking.

An AFP journalist saw 21 tuna fishing vessels circling Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior II and stopping it from moving into Marseille's harbour.

The fishermen oppose Greenpeace's plans to campaign in Marseille against overfishing of bluefin tuna. [That would be "alleged overfishing," please!]

Rainbow Warrior II initially obtained permission to dock in Marseille's historic port close to the centre of the city, but that was retracted on security grounds. ...

[Greenpeace] said the blockade was preventing the Rainbow Warrior II from making a an authorised brief stop in the port to fill its water tanks and obtain equipment.

But Mourad Kahoul, a municipal councillor and the head of a tuna fishermen's union involved in the protest, said they would give the Greenpeace vessel just "two hours" to get out those provisions.

"And then -- happy sailing for its next propaganda port of call," he said.
Here's the juicy part: Greenpeace's director of campaigns Pierre Ramel told AFP, "This is an illegal act, breaking several laws."

Boo hoo. Welcome to your own game, Pierre. Try to take it like a man.

Oh and by the way, that study showing bluefin tuna is being overfished? It was by the French Research Instititue on Exploitation of the Sea. No agenda there, eh?


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, August 24, 2006


If you live in any state but California, this might be a good time to prepare for the arrival of new businesses. The Golden State's politicians think they're going to lead the world again. All they think they need to do from Sacramento is command the planet's climate to cease that infernal warming we've heard so much about. What they'll end up doing is command people to live in much more primitive ways.

Unless these politicians actually want to expel entrepreneurs, most businesses are expected to stay home and perform obediently under a new regulatory regime. Some even expect that, under new legislation known as Assembly Bill 32, now destined for passage in the state Senate, a new generation of small, green businesses will multiply. Why, they might even bring Big Oil to its knees. The thinking, endorsed by the state's political class, its ever-trendy academics and its leading media, goes like this: Global warming is a crisis demanding emergency action. The Bush administration, having rejected the Kyoto agreement to reduce fuel emissions to Third World levels, simply won't do the enlightened thing. So it's time for California, being the font of popular culture and political wisdom, to seize the initiative and do to the world's sixth-largest economy exactly what its lagging competitors want it to do.

And if you're thinking all these overheated Democrats might be thwarted by a cooler Republican governor, think again. Arnold Schwarzenegger already has approved of the general objective. Offering modest modifications in a bill by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, he's agreed that the state must enforce the emissions standards of 1990 by 2020. Basically, it means California will join with the other Kyoto signatories even if the U.S. will not.

The hardship to consumers and small businesses, to which the political class and the state's dominant media remain unfazed, could be dismal by Golden State conventions. The state chamber of commerce figures the legislation could reduce energy supplies by 17%. Even allowing for some business lobby alarmism, the obvious direction of energy costs under this plan will be dizzying. This is a state where often a citizen commutes more than 100 miles a day. The Nunez-Schwarzenegger plan - and we might as well affix the governor's name to it - will likely send businesses fleeing to other states. Or even other countries where pollution standards are lax. It's reasonable to expect measurably more global pollution as a result. We doubt the Golden State's green leadership is prepared for that.

Some small businesses around San Francisco do expect to benefit from the new emissions-saving technologies they envision developing as legislators wave their magic wands. It's their chance to set themselves apart from Big Oil and the chamber. But theirs is a fool's errand, a wager on illusory hopes. The more direct impact: higher energy costs, a grinding economy and a more Spartan lifestyle.



Neal Boortz comments:

What bad news? The hurricane season. Things aren't quite going the way the global warming crowd predicted. There have only been three tropical storms thus far. This is about average for the short term, but if you average it out over multiple years this would be below average. Hurricanes? Thanks for asking, but there hasn't been one as of yet. None. Nada. Zip. Nunca. Averaging between 19044 and 2005 we would have seen about 1.5 hurricanes thus far. Again ... we've seen none.

According to the National Weather Service predicted 12 to 15 named storms by December of this year. There were 27 last year. Now it looks like the 12 to 15 prediction may be a bit high. OK ... so the global warming nuts were wrong. They predicted a horrible hurricane season. It isn't happening. So ... what's different? What happened? Here's where you global warmistas need to sit down. Surface temperatures on the world's oceans are getting ...... cooler. According to a paper to be published next month in Geophysical Research Letters, between 2003 and 2005 globally averaged temperatures in the upper levels of the ocean have cooled. They've cooled not just a little ... but dramatically. Sea surface temperatures in the western Atlantic .. where hurricanes are fueled ... are now slightly below normal.

Oh well. Whatchagonna do! There's always the glaciers you can go to in order to prove your global warming scenario. More news. A soon-to-be released study by a Danish university says that Greenland's glaciers have been shrinking for most the past 100 years. The study of 247 of the 350 glaciers on Disko island shows that 70% of these glaciers have been retreating at a rate of about 8 meters a year since the end of the 1880s. There was apparently a real surge in glacier melting caused by a warming of the earth's atmosphere during the 1920s. Damned SUVs. The 1920 General Motors Yukon is being cited as a significant cause.

OK you global warmistas. Back to the drawing boards. Surely you'll find something new to use in your efforts to slow down the economy of the United States.

Source. The research Boortz refers to is reported below:

New data shows ocean cooling

The world's oceans cooled suddenly between 2003 and 2005, losing more than 20 percent of the global-warming heat they'd absorbed over the previous 50 years. That's a vast amount of heat, since the oceans hold 1,000 times as heat as the atmosphere. The ocean-cooling researchers say the heat was likely vented into space, since it hasn't been found stored anywhere on Earth.

John Lyman, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, says the startling news of ocean cooling comes courtesy of the new ARGO ocean temperature floats being distributed worldwide. ARGOs are filling in former blank spots on the world's ocean monitoring system - and vastly narrowing our past uncertainty about sparsely measured ocean temperatures.

Lyman says the discovery of the sudden ocean coolings undercuts faith in global-warming forecasts because coolings randomly interrupt the trends laid out by the global circulation models. As Lyman puts it, "The cooling reflects interannual variability that is not well represented by a linear trend."

The new ocean cooling also recalls several NASA studies in the past five years that found a huge natural heat vent over the Pacific ocean's so-called warm pool, a band of water thousands of miles wide, roughly astride the equator. Studies coordinated by Bruce Weilicki, of NASA's Langley Research Center, found that when sea surface temperatures rise above 28 degrees C, Pacific rainfall becomes more efficient. More of the cloud droplets form raindrops, so fewer are left to form high, icy, cirrus clouds that seal in heat. As a result, the area of cirrus clouds is reduced, and far more heat passes out into space. This cools the surface of the warm pool, the world's warmest ocean water.

Weilicki's research teams say that the huge natural heat vent emitted about as much heat during the 1980s and 90s as would be expected from a redoubling of the carbon dioxide content in the air. They used satellites to measure cloud cover and long-range aircraft to monitor sea temperatures.

Layman says the sudden ocean coolings particularly complicate the problem of separating natural temperature changes from man-made impacts on the Earth's temperature. The impact of human-emitted CO2 has been assumed to accumulate in a straight-line trend over many decades.

Meanwhile, since the 1980s, the Earth's ice cores, seabed sediments and cave stalagmites have been revealing a moderate, natural 1,500-year climate cycle linked to solar irradiance. Temperatures jump suddenly and erratically 1 to 2 degrees C above the mean at the latitude of Washington, D.C., and New York City for centuries at a time, and more than that at the Earth's poles.

Temperatures vary hardly at all at the equator during the 1,500-year cycle, and Bruce Weilicki's NASA heat-vent findings seem to indicate why. The warm pool of the Pacific acts like a cooking pot, with its "lid" popping open to emit steam when the water gets too hot. The more we look, the more we learn about the Earth's complex climate forces - though not much of the new knowledge comes from the huge, unverified global circulation models favored by the man-made warming activists.

Source. (Hat Tip to Cheat-Seeking Missiles)


It was a protest that could have flared up in thousands of streets across the country. Fed up with rubbish not being collected because of baffling rules that dictate what they can and cannot recycle, the residents of Davy Avenue decided to confront their binmen. But as the bin lorry turned into the street, their demonstration mushroomed. "We wanted a silent protest, but more frustrated people from neighbouring streets arrived with black bin bags full of rubbish and threw them in the back of the truck," said father of three Mark O'Keefe, 27. "Then the lorry pulled away, leaving behind the waste from our street."

The incident in Scunthorpe last Friday reflects the growing frustration of millions of householders as council recycling schemes become ever more confusing and draconian, as highlighted last week on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. Examples of recycling madness include:

* North Lincolnshire council asking residents to cut the sticky strip from envelopes and remove the plastic 'windows'. It says that these 'contaminate the recycling process'.

* Ipswich council workers leaving behind a bin full of recyclable waste because it contained a single supermarket bag.

* Confusing rules for recycling plain cardboard and printed cardboard in St Edmundsbury, Suffolk. The plain sort can either go in the brown bin for composting or the blue bin for dry recyclables. But printed cardboard can go only in the blue bin.

* Reading Borough Council refusing to take glass in case it gets broken in the back of the collection lorry.

* People in Lichfield, Staffordshire, who leave the 'wrong rubbish' in a recycling bin risk having the entire contents left behind or simply buried in a landfill site, ruining their recycling efforts.

North Lincolnshire Council responded to the Davy Avenue protest by calling the police. A spokesman claimed that refuse workers had been intimidated, and threatened to take legal action against residents for fly-tipping. But this is the same council that cut the collections of normal rubbish from weekly to fortnightly in June to meet the costs of its recycling scheme. Since then residents have complained about rubbish piling up in their gardens, attracting flies and rats.

Samuel Dent, 70, of Scunthorpe, said: "This is the first time in 36 years living here that I have had maggots in my bin. I have disinfected it many times and I recycle everything I can, but I still have this problem." Mother-of-seven Joanne Pollock, 45, said: "The rubbish is only collected every two weeks and within days the recycling bin is full, creating problems with flies and maggots. It is disgusting."

The situation has been made worse by the council's refusal to empty overflowing bins because the lids can't be closed. Scunthorpe resident Tracey Hunter, 34, said: "They said they wouldn't empty my bin because the lid was not down properly and that it was dangerous. I am registered disabled and can't empty it myself." Hayley Marsden, 33, said: "The bins are often full well before collection day. But if we put out extra bags on top of the bins, the binmen just leave them on the street." The proportion of rubbish recycled varies dramatically across Britain, from 51 per cent in St Edmundsbury to six per cent in Newham, London.

Councils are left footing the bill for the schemes. A survey by The Mail on Sunday found costs ranging from Reading Council's 412,000 pounds to Kensington and Chelsea's 2.3 million. Often the money made from selling the scrap paper, glass, metal or plastic is not passed back to the council but is kept by the recycling contractor. Two of the biggest firms are owned by French industrial giants Groupe Tiru and Suez Environment. Recyclable material is reused in the UK or sold on the global market and shipped as far afield as Pakistan, Argentina and China.

Despite the huge profits that recycling generates, in Reading, Berkshire, the council bans yoghurt pots from its plastic collection for being too light and rejects bins if they are contaminated with other rubbish and will visit the offending household. Local resident Elizabeth Day, 58, said the system needed to be simplified. "I agree that we should all do our part, but I do have to keep asking myself what can be recycled and what cannot. "We are not supposed to recycle microwave meal packaging, for example, but we can put out plastic bottles. It would be much easier if you could put out all plastic."

If people put their rubbish in the wrong containers, all of it may be left behind. Lichfield District Council will only remove rubbish left in bins and refuses to take extra bags placed at the side. Even more worryingly, people can face hefty fines for oversights or mistakes. Several councils, including Barnet, Harrow, Hackney and Bromley have introduced 'compulsory schemes', threatening to fine people up to 1,000 pounds for putting recyclable waste in their normal bin.

Donna Challice of Exeter, the only person to be prosecuted for putting the wrong rubbish in her recycling bin, was acquitted after a 6,000 pound court case because the council could not show she was responsible. The push for recycling comes from a 1999 EU ruling that set a limit on how much waste each country could bury in landfill. In turn the Government set councils the target of recycling one quarter of the 25 million tons of household waste they collect each year. Other European countries are far ahead of the UK. Germany recycles 57 per cent of its waste, the Netherlands 64 per cent and Denmark 41 per cent.



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.