Saturday, January 20, 2007

GW just another hysteria outbreak

When near-hysteria takes over the sharemarket (the 1960s nickel boom, the 1987 boom/bust, the 1990s dotcom bubble), fuelled by unrealistic profit projections, older heads know a major turning point is near. Emotions take over, fortunes are made on speculative stocks, and the man in the street is an expert. Anyone who decries the consensus of the day is at best ignored, or at worst vilified. And then the market "naturally" rights itself, order is restored (with much financial damage) and common sense rediscovered.

The parallels with the global warming discussion are unnerving. With Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, stirring emotions, and the Stern report and that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change providing long-range scientific and financial projections from computer models, we are being pressed to believe that inaction on cutting fossil fuel use will bring disaster.

So-called global warming sceptics are referred to as "in denial just like the tobacco industry", or "funded by the oil lobby". The ingredients of emotionalism, computer projections and vilification of contrary views of global warming provide a telling comparison with conditions at a sharemarket cyclic high.

On April 28, 1975, Newsweek published an article stating: "There are ominous signs that the earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically ." and "climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climate change, or even allay its effects".

These are strong words, and equally applicable today. Or maybe not. For the article was entitled "The Cooling World", and shows a graph emphasising how the average temperature had dropped 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit from 1940 to 1970. And so it seems, the media and science-supported climate cycle has fully turned in 30 years, but is still projecting disaster.

We may then ask what the rational, independent observer can do to make sense of the sound and fury around him. The answer is simple - as any seasoned financial adviser would say about the sharemarket - go back to fundamental facts, and learn from history. The fact is the earth has cooled slightly since 1998, showing evidence that a "market peak" has been reached. And this is despite rapid rises in fossil fuel consumption, and increasing carbon dioxide levels, much as happened from 1940 to 1970.

Geological coring data shows that natural rises in carbon dioxide levels follow temperature changes rather than cause them, and that there is no direct correlation between temperature changes and fossil fuel use. The analysis of ice cores shows that past temperatures have been several degrees higher than now due to natural causes, and 11,500 years ago central Greenland temperatures increased by 7 degrees Celsius or more in a few decades, making the estimated 0.6-degree global increase over the past century seem trivial.

It is also a fact that more than 90 per cent of the greenhouse gas effect is caused by water vapour, and the contribution from man-made carbon dioxide is estimated at 0.1 per cent. The focus on carbon dioxide as the major producer of climate change is thus highly contrived. The facts point to natural factors (as evidenced by work on sunspot activity) being behind climate change rather than human influence through carbon dioxide levels.

Climate change, whether warming or cooling, is a complex interaction of many factors, as is the sharemarket. But it suffers because it is not an open market. The source of information is claimed by an exclusive few - government-funded scientists with an array of climate-change models and large computer systems. Government advice, which forms the basis for political decision-making, comes from these same restricted sources.

The contrary view - that climate change is predominantly a natural occurrence - comes largely from independent, diffuse sources seeking to make their views known to a wider audience. Given the limited publication of facts, with the notable exception of Lord Monckton's recent articles in Britain's Daily Telegraph, one might well ask if reasoned debate is being suppressed, as occurs also, of course, at times of financial hysteria.

One thing is certain. Governments in Australia (with some reservations federally) are pressing ahead with plans for a carbon trading system that will have a substantial impact on industry. The system is based on a "consensus" view that urgent action is required because the burning of fossil fuels may cause potentially catastrophic global warming.

This alarmist view urgently needs to be challenged and discussed in an open forum. Senate select committee hearings are held on issues of minor concern compared with this "future of the world" issue. The Government must undertake a serious public discussion of the climate change issue and the impact, if any, of carbon dioxide emissions. We would not like to buy at the top of the sharemarket cycle, nor should we buy into a possible global warming peak without a responsible and wide-ranging debate. The results of both mistakes are certain to be economically painful.


Environmentalists vs NSTA: an inconvenient truth

Post lifted from Lubos Motl

Two months ago, we described a strange lawsuit that the environmentalists filed against the Environmental Protection Agency, the so-called

You might think that a bureaucratic structure whose very name shows that it protects the environment is an unlikely target for the environmentalists who also claim that they want to protect the environment. You would be wrong for the first time.

The EPA wasn't the last unexpected target of these groups. The environmental movement often says that they support science education. So you would think that they wouldn't attack the National Science Teachers' Association. You would be wrong for the second time.

The National Science Teachers' Association (NSTA) has adopted a very sensible policy back in 2001, namely a policy against product endorsement. Because the ecoactivists often argue that they want the state institutions to remain independent from for-profit organizations and commercial pressures, you might believe that the policy against product endorsement was not the reason why NSTA was attacked. You would be wrong for the third time.

Capitalism is a great gadget to optimize products and to increase the consumers' satisfaction. If the consumers are satisfied, the products sell well which is what the producers want. This mechanism works remarkably well.

However, consumer satisfaction is not quite the same thing as the scientific truth. Unless the consumers are rational people who are familiar with all the required facts and who moreover depend on the validity of a proposed scientific theory, you may be pretty sure that the direction in which the market pressures push a product is different from the direction that would be selected by the scientific method.

If a product depends on science, it is almost inevitable and it must be expected that the underlying science will be selectively presented, biased, twisted, oversimplified, or exaggerated in order to increase the profit of the producers. Sometimes the effect is strong, sometimes it is weaker but all reasonable policymakers must be aware of the fact that this effect exists. This is why it's so sensible for an institution that cares about something like the objective truth to adopt a policy against product endorsement.

I am sure that you don't have to read Money, religion, and science in order to know what I mean.

Example: a DVD

In November 2006, we had the opportunity to see how wise the policy actually is. A producer has offered her DVD to NSTA so that the teachers could advertise it in the classrooms and their students would buy a lot of these DVDs. Because the particular DVD is cheap to produce but it is sold for $19.99, you may guess what it would do with their profits.

The DVD contains a horror movie whose primary market strength is that it claims to be based on science - and perhaps, it is nothing else than science. Is it science? Well, it hasn't been peer-reviewed. More precisely, it has been informally peer-reviewed by many scientists and it has been rejected as an unreliable source of information by most of them. Most scientists have described the movie as one-sided, misleading, exaggerated, speculative, or plain wrong.

The environmentalists often say that they want science to be peer-reviewed so you would guess that they surely agree that NSTA shouldn't become a tool for producers who claim something to be science but couldn't stand a peer review to fill their pockets. You would be wrong for the fourth time. How is it possible that you would be wrong once again?

Well, environmentalists only like science to be peer-reviewed when it suits their agenda. When the producer who has made the shameless suggestion is a self-described "global warming activist" such as Laurie David (indeed, Einstein is turning in his grave because his quote has appeared on her website) who wants to fill her pockets in ways that make the average Philip Morris shareholders look like angels and when the main actor in that movie is a former future president, the rules of the game suddenly undergo a first-order phase transition.

However, NSTA has had its wise rules and therefore the association has, of course, refused to become a tool of these shameless profiteers and it has politely explained its position. You might think that a few arrogant people were simply stopped by the internal regulations of an educational institution and the story is over. You would be wrong for the fifth time: I am sure that at this moment, you must already be tired of being wrong all the time ;-) so I will try to avoid this rhetorical sleight-of-hand from now on.

New pressure

How is it possible that you would be wrong? Well, we live in the early 21st century and the discourse is contaminated by all kinds of lobby groups with no self-consistent moral constraints and with no accountability whatsoever. Eleven of them have written a truly disgraceful text

in which they have attacked NSTA by their usual Goebbelsian methods. This attack includes the standard comment that NSTA are stooges of ExxonMobil. They offer their universal proof of this statement: the money is circulating so NSTA has surely received a dollar from ExxonMobil. As long as NSTA fails to obey every wish that the ecoactivists - and at this moment, it is really more appropriate to call them ecoterrorists - have, it is clear that they must be stooges of ExxonMobil.

Well, I really don't think that NSTA has received enough money from ExxonMobil to grant the company a significant influence on their acts. More importantly, I think that the people who would ever view such an argument - a hypothetical link with ExxonMobil - as evidence for anything are too stupid to deserve any attention. ExxonMobil is a great company that substantially contributes to the well-being of the whole mankind while the ecoactivists mostly belong to the moral bottom of hypocrites who are parasiting on the society and who profit from human stupidity and fear.

When the main actor in a movie is Al Gore, all previous rules must be suppressed because he is apparently our Savior. He can argue that the people shouldn't emit carbon dioxide but he can emit as much as 800 average people do. He can preach that individuals shouldn't earn hundreds of dollars by twisting scientific insights but he can earn millions by doing the same thing.

For many of us including me, he is a rather perverse politician and manipulator who doesn't follow his own principles. Can you imagine the fireworks that would explode if Michael Crichton offered his "State of Fear" as recommended literature for students via NSTA? What is the difference between the real case of Laurie David and the hypothetical case of Michael Crichton? In fact, there are two main differences:

  • Michael Crichton knows more about the climate than Laurie David and her collaborators, by an order of magnitude
  • Al Gore enjoys the political support of a significant portion of the universities and some climate blogs that have become extremely politicized

Sadly enough, the second difference is more consequential in the real world of 2007. Fine: you can see that this is almost the last paragraph. So you might think that the RealClimate.ORG folks will be satisfied with their criticism of NSTA. I don't want to say that you would be wrong for the sixth time but you would be wrong anyway. ;-)

In reality, RealClimate.ORG attempts to create an alternative NSTA whose goal is, on the contrary, to endorse products and spread them through schools and through the most easily manipulable teachers - but only the products that will pour money directly to Al Gore's pocket and indirectly to theirs.

I am sure that every good person in the Academia and beyond is ashamed of the hypocritical and morally defective approach of RealClimate.ORG and others and I am confident that it is only a matter of time before most people figure out how much they're being cheated.

Another boffin jumps off the warming ship

Add another world-renowned scientist to the list of man-made global warming skeptics. Nigel Weiss, professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge's department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics, and past president of the Royal Astronomical Society, is a sunspot guy. He argues that the world will be soon facing a cooling period.

In an interview with Lawrence Solomon of Canada's Energy Probe Research Foundation, a widely-respected Toronto-based environmental and consumer group, Weiss argues that while manmade greenhouse gases have some role, the scale of which is yet unknown, in global climate, the sun if far more important. "Variable behavior of the sun is an obvious explanation" of climate change, he said, adding that "there is increasing evidence that Earth's climate responds to changing patterns of solar magnetic activity."

The interview was published in the National Post, Canada's conservative-oriented national newspaper founded in 1998 by media mogul Conrad Black.

Weiss, 70, a native of South Africa, says sunspots are the markers of changes in solar activity. Typically, sunspots follow a cycle of about 11 years. But that hasn't been the case for the last 50 or so years, he notes. "If you look back into the sun's past," he says in the interview, "you find that we live in a period of abnormally high solar activity."

But these years of hyperactivity don't last, says Weiss. "Perhaps 50-100 years, then you get a crash. It's a boom-bust system, and I would expect a crash soon." According to Weiss, the sun's polar field is now at its weakest since the 1950s. When there is a crash every 200 years or so, sunspots vanish, solar activity declines, and the globe cools dramatically. These phenomena are known as "grand minima," and they have occurred with rough regularity over at least the past 10,000 years.

Notes Weiss, in the 17th century, sunspots almost completely vanished for around 70 years. That coincided with the Little Ice Age, when Viking colonies fled Iceland, Finland lost 50% of its population, and New Yorkers could walk on the ice from Manhattan to Staten Island.

By contrast, says Weiss, long periods of solar activity, such as we have experienced in the last 50 years, can produce dramatic warming. The example was the Medieval Warm Period, which drew the Vikings to Iceland and created a thriving wine industry in England - the source today of much dirty dancing among policymakers looking at the so-called `hockey-stick' climate record of Michael Mann et. al.


Weather Channel Climate Expert Calls for Decertifying Global Warming Skeptics

The Weather Channel's most prominent climatologist is advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming. This latest call to silence skeptics follows a year (2006) in which skeptics were compared to "Holocaust Deniers" and Nuremberg-style war crimes trials were advocated by several climate alarmists.

The Weather Channel's (TWC) Heidi Cullen, who hosts the weekly global warming program "The Climate Code," is advocating that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) revoke their "Seal of Approval" for any television weatherman who expresses skepticism that human activity is creating a climate catastrophe.

"If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval. Clearly, the AMS doesn't agree that global warming can be blamed on cyclical weather patterns," Cullen wrote in her December 21 weblog on the Weather Channel Website. [Note: It is also worth taking a look at the comments section at the bottom of Cullen's blog, very entertaining.] See: This latest call to silence skeptics of manmade global warming has been the subject of discussion at the annual American Meteorological Society's Annual conference in San Antonio Texas this week. See:

"It's like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather. It's not a political's just an incorrect statement," Cullen added. [Note: Hurricanes (Cyclones) in the Southern Hemisphere do rotate clockwise. Also, Cullen and the media have ignored the growing climate skepticism by prominent scientists see: ]

Cullen's call for decertification of TV weatherman who do not agree with her global warming assessment follows a year (2006) in which the media, Hollywood and environmentalists tried their hardest to demonize scientific skeptics of manmade global warming. Scott Pelley, CBS News 60 Minutes correspondent, compared skeptics of global warming to "Holocaust deniers" and former Vice President turned foreign lobbyist Al Gore has repeatedly referred to skeptics as "global warming deniers." See: &

Cullen Featured Advocate of Nuremberg-Style Trials for Climate Skeptics

In addition, Cullen's December 17, 2006 episode of "The Climate Code" TV show, featured a columnist who openly called for Nuremberg-style Trials for climate skeptics. Cullen featured Grist Magazine's Dave Roberts as an eco-expert opining on energy issues, with no mention of his public call to institute what amounts to the death penalty for scientists who express skepticism about global warming. See:

Cullen's call for suppressing scientific dissent comes at a time when many skeptical scientists affiliated with Universities have essentially been silenced over fears of loss of tenure and the withdrawal of research grant money. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) process has also steadily pushed scientists away who hold inconvenient skeptical views and reject the alarmist conclusions presented in the IPCC's summary for policymakers. See:

Cullen also participated in the New York premiere of the fictional Hollywood global warming disaster film The Day After Tomorrow in 2004 and has routinely promoted celebrity environmental views. See: & The Weather Channel, which has billed itself as itself as the "pre-eminent provider of weather information," also served as a consultant to The Day After Tomorrow and allowed the use of its name and logo in the movie.

Broadcast meteorologists (TV weatherman) skeptical of climate alarmism have -- up until now -- been unburdened to speak out on climate issues. Cullen's call for decertification by the AMS can only serve to intimidate skeptics and further chill free speech in the scientific community. Stripping the "Seal of Approval" from broadcast meteorologists could affect their livelihoods, impact their salaries and prestige. TV weathermen are truly the last of the independent scientists and past surveys have shown many of them to be skeptical of manmade global warming claims. Their independence is being threatened now. For more info on the background of the AMS seal, see:

Intimidating scientists with calls for death trials, name calling and calls for decertification appears to be the accepted tactics of the climate alarmists. The real question is: Why do climate alarmists feel the need to resort to such low brow tactics when they have a compliant media willing to repeat their every assertion without question. See:

The alarmists also enjoy a huge financial advantage over the skeptics with numerous foundations funding climate research, University research money and the United Nations endless promotion of the cause. Just how much money do the climate alarmists have at their disposal? There was a $3 billion donation to the global warming cause from Virgin Air's Richard Branson alone. The well-heeled environmental lobbying groups have massive operating budgets compared to groups that express global warming skepticism. The Sierra Club Foundation 2004 budget was $91 million and the Natural Resources Defense Council had a $57 million budget for the same year. Compare that to the often media derided Competitive Enterprise Institute's small $3.6 million annual budget.

In addition, if a climate skeptic receives any money from industry, the media immediately labels them and attempts to discredit their work. The same media completely ignore the money flow from the environmental lobby to climate alarmists like James Hansen and Michael Oppenheimer. (ie. Hansen received $250,000 from the Heinz Foundation and Oppenheimer is a paid partisan of Environmental Defense Fund)

The alarmists have all of these advantages, yet they still feel the need to resort to desperation tactics to silence the skeptics. Could it be that the alarmists realize that the American public is increasingly rejecting their proposition that the family SUV is destroying the earth and rejecting their shrill calls for "action" to combat their computer model predictions of a "climate emergency?" See

That may be the real Inconvenient Truth. After all, even the UN is reportedly downgrading man's impact on the climate by 25% and now concedes that cow "emissions" are more damaging to the planet than C02 from cars. See:



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 generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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