Tuesday, June 12, 2007


11/06/2007: Augie Auer has died. The veteran meteorologist and former TV3 weather presenter suffered a heart attack in Melbourne while dining with family members last night. He was on holiday to celebrate his wedding anniversary and 67th birthday. His son Andy is planning to travel to Australia this afternoon to help with plans to bring Mr Auer's body back to New Zealand.

Mr Auer emigrated to New Zealand in 1990 after 22-years at the University of Wyoming as Professor of Atmospheric Science. In New Zealand he became the chief meteorologist for MetService until 1998. He is attributed with improving and updating the technical competence of the MetService weather forecasting staff. In 1998 he became TV3's weekday weather presenter and the network's resident meteorologist in 2002. He recently became involved in the debate over global warming, helping to found the Climate Science Coalition, a group that questions claims humanity is responsible for rising temperatures.

Coalition spokesman Owen McShane says news of his death comes as a terrible shock. He says Mr Auer was simply a good man and despite often being the subject of personal abuse for his stance on climate change, he never let it get to him.

See here for a recent reference to Augie Auer

Bush 1, Greens 0

Just call him George W. Bush, star international diplomat. Don't snicker, don't spit out your coffee. Instead, read over the final document on climate change released yesterday by the Group of Eight. Yes, it ' s a major shift in how the world will address the supposed threat of global warming. It ' s also largely the vision put forth years ago by none other than George W. Bush -- that international cowboy -- even if few European politicians will admit it.

Don't expect anyone to admit it. When Mr. Bush unveiled his new climate framework last week, calling on the world ' s powers to reduce greenhouse emissions, it was portrayed as a capitulation. He ' d removed the last "obstacle" to world unity on this issue, and seen the error of his ways. At this week ' s Democratic presidential debate, every candidate vowed to fix the damage Mr. Bush had done to America ' s international reputation, his Kyoto failure the obvious example.

There ' s been a capitulation on global warming, but it hasn ' t happened in the Oval Office. The Kyoto cheerleaders at the United Nations and the European Union are realizing their government-run experiment in climate control is a mess, one that ' s incidentally failed to reduce carbon emissions. They ' ve also understood that if they want the biggest players on board -- the U.S., China, India -- they need an approach that balances economic growth with feel-good environmentalism. Yesterday ' s G-8 agreement acknowledged those realities and tolled Kyoto ' s death knell. Mr. Bush, 1; sanctimonious greens, 0.

Not that the president ' s handling of the climate issue has been stellar. The science of global warming is still unsettled, yet Mr. Bush in 2002 caved and laid out a voluntary emissions-reduction program. Instead of getting credit, he ' s spent the ensuing years getting shellacked for not doing more. This has laid the groundwork for today ' s calls for mandatory curbs that would harm the economy. It ' s also given Washington an excuse to re-micromanage the energy sector. Think ethanol.

But compared to Kyoto , Mr. Bush ' s vision has been sublime. The basic Kyoto philosophy is this: Set ever lower mandatory targets, ratcheting down energy use, and by extension economic growth. The program was viewed by environmentalists and politicians as a convenient excuse for getting rid of unpopular fossil fuels, such as coal. In Kyoto-world, governments exist to create draconian rules, even if those dictates are disguised by "market" mechanisms such as cap-and-trade.

President Bush ' s approach is opposite: Allow economies to grow, along the way inspiring new technologies and new forms of energy that lower C02 emissions. Implicit is that C02-control technologies should focus on energy sources we use today, including fossil fuels. In Bush-world, the government is there to incentivize industry, coordinate with it, and set broad goals.

Take your pick. Under the vaunted Kyoto, from 2000 to 2004, Europe managed to increase its emissions by 2.3 percentage points over 1995 to 2000. Only two countries are on track to meet targets. There ' s rampant cheating, and endless stories of how select players are self-enriching off the government "market" in C02 credits. Meanwhile, in the U.S., under the president ' s oh-so-unserious plan, U.S. emissions from 2000 to 2004 were eight percentage points lower than in the prior period.

Europeans may be slow, but they aren ' t silly, and they ' ve quietly come around to some of Mr. Bush ' s views. Tony Blair has been a leader here, and give him credit for caring enough about his signature issue to evolve. He began picking up Mr. Bush ' s pro-tech themes years ago, as it became clear just how much damage a Kyoto would do to his country ' s competitiveness. By the end of 2005, he admitted at a conference in New York that Kyoto was a problem. "I would say probably I ' m changing my thinking about this in the past two or three years," he said. "The truth is, no country is going to cut its growth or consumption substantially in the light of a long-term environmental problem." He doubted there would be successor to Kyoto , which expires in 2012, and said an alternative might be "incentives" for businesses. Mr. Bush couldn ' t have said it better.

Or consider nuclear plants. President Bush has pushed hard for more nuclear, with its bountiful energy at zero C02 cost. This was long anathema to British and German politicians, whose populations are virulently anti-nuke and who balked at any official recognition of nuclear benefits. As Kyoto has ratcheted down other energy sources, nuclear has looked better. By 2005, the G-8 document out of Gleneagles contained an explicit acknowledgment that nuclear energy mattered. The EU ' s energy pact, signed earlier this year, also contained a nod to nuclear. Europe has also gone from trying to banish coal, to using tech to make it cleaner.

Then there's Mr. Bush ' s insistence that any "global" program must include big emitters such as China and India ( Kyoto doesn ' t). Though it received little press, the U.S. in 2005 started the Asia-Pacific Partnership, a voluntary climate pact between it and Australia, Japan, South Korea, China and India . Unlike Kyoto -- in which a government sets a national target for emissions, and then forces a few unlucky industries to make cuts -- the Partnership gets industry execs from every sector across the table from relevant government ministers, and devises practical approaches to reductions. This parallel diplomatic approach has proved far more acceptable to countries like China , and played a role in that country ' s own recently released climate plan.

Pride is pride, and the Europeans haven't entirely given up on Kyoto principles. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has spearheaded these climate talks, went into this G-8 meeting in Heiligendamm advocating binding reductions. Yet she admitted earlier this week that her plan was off the table, as the U.S. held firm.

Yesterday ' s declaration, far from mandatory targets, instead sets a "global goal" of halving emissions by 2050. It invites the "major emerging economies" to join in this endeavor. It acknowledges that different approaches across the world can "coordinate rather than compete." It reports that "technology is a key to mastering climate change" and lauds government "incentives." It admits that "over the next 25 years, fossil fuels will remain the world ' s dominant source of energy," and talks up the "peaceful use of nuclear energy." It even explains that any program "must be undertaken in a way that supports growth in developing, emerging and industrialized economies." Close your eyes, and you might think this was President Bush in the Rose Garden.

Will congressional Democrats prove as pragmatic? Even as Europeans have wised up, the left has been pushing for a Kyoto here. Should Democrats start to stumble on the difficulties, they could always ask Mr. Bush -- that new international climate ambassador -- for some advice.


Green tyranny turns up the heat

The article below is MOST unusual from a Scottish newspaper. A sign that the tide is turning?

'THERE is very important climatic change going on right now, and it's not merely something of academic interest. It is something that, if it continues, will affect the whole human occupation of the earth - like a billion people starving. The effects are already showing up in a rather drastic way." Wow! Scary, or what?

Well, actually, not very. That apocalyptic warning was conveyed in an article in Fortune magazine in 1974, on the alarming phenomenon of global cooling and an imminent new Ice Age. The American Institute of Physics awarded the magazine a Science Writing Award. By last year, Fortune's doomsday scenario had discernibly altered to: "The media agrees with the majority of scientists: global warming is here. Now, what to do about it?"

So much for expert and media opinion on climate change. If, however, you are tempted to mock these naked emperors, have a care. Scepticism may soon incur severe penalties. David Roberts, an American climate militant, recently wrote of global warming sceptics, "we should have war crimes trials for these bastards - some sort of climate Nuremberg". Mark Lynas, another Green propagandist, mused: "I wonder what sentences judges might hand down at future international criminal tribunals on those who will be partially but directly responsible for millions of deaths from starvation, famine and disease in decades ahead. I put [climate change denial] in a similar moral category to Holocaust denial."

To listen for two minutes to a global warming zealot is to appreciate how open-minded Osama bin Laden is. The derogatory term 'climate change denier' is part of a massive propaganda exercise to demonise those who dissent from an imposed orthodoxy. The leftist think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has advised supporters, "at least for popular communications, interested agencies now need to treat the argument as having been won. This means simply behaving as if climate change exists and is real, and that individual actions are effective... The 'facts' need to be treated as being so taken-for-granted that they need not be spoken."

In classic totalitarian style, indoctrination of children is a priority. Last March, pupils at Prestonpans Infant and Nursery School, East Lothian, earned plaudits by objecting to a fund-raising balloon race, on the grounds that balloons might harm dolphins and turtles. They insisted a ban on balloon races be written into the school's 'green constitution'. A promising beginning: with further education, these Young Pioneers [a reference to Soviet youth groups] may eventually be trained to denounce their parents for eco-crimes.

Suppression of dissent is made necessary by the inconsistencies between the Greens' propaganda and observed reality. Their claim that the polar ice-caps are melting and sea levels rising was contradicted even by the recent fourth report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which unobtrusively reduced its 2001 prediction of sea level rises by 52.7%, to preserve a minimal scientific credibility. As for the Arctic ice-cap, shrinkage has been observed - it happens seasonally - but its depth increased as it bunched up close to the Canadian land-mass. At the opposite pole, despite much-hyped film of the Larsen ice shelf fragmenting, the ice mass has increased by 8%. Temperatures in East Antarctica have fallen, which is what one would expect if the sun is the principal agent in climate change.

Al Gore, the Greens' answer to Sergei Eisenstein, has made an ironically entitled film, An Inconvenient Truth, denouncing man-made global warming. It proved an own-goal when the core ice samples featured in it demonstrated that increased CO2 emissions have historically followed 800 years after periods of warming, rather than preceding them. The UN's team of tame scientists is often invoked as definitively authoritative. They are chosen for their compliance with the climate agenda. In this instance, the normal scientific discipline is reversed: the conclusion is preordained and the men in white coats are expected to construct the evidence - a convenient untruth.

The CO2 hysteria is absurd, considering the minute contribution made by human beings. Of course the climate is changing - it always has done, hence the thriving vineyards of Northumberland in the 12th century and the Thames frozen three feet deep in the 19th - but human activity is largely irrelevant. The world's climate is controlled by solar activity, by variations in the earth's rotation and orbit, by external factors in space and, terrestrially, by clouds and volcanic activity. If the Canutes of the IPCC imagine they can control those elements, they are even more infatuated than they appear.

This is not a scientific but a political issue. Fear is the instrument used by governments to increase their power over citizens: the 'War on Terror' is an example. The grand peur orchestrated over climate change affords governments an opportunity to impose unimaginable restrictions on their populations. The UN - the most ambitious criminal enterprise in history - is the instrument of supra-national authority that will rubber-stamp the new tyranny. That assembly of dictators, genocides and thieves cut its teeth on scams such as the Oil for Food programme in Iraq. Now it is casting its net wider.

There is a bad time coming. Life in the developed world will be made a misery with compulsory recycling, statutory imposition of mercury-based light bulbs that damage the eyesight, escalating eco-taxes and myriad regulations that will reduce us to environmental servitude. The Scottish landscape is being raped by hideous, non-productive (but highly profitable) wind turbines. The amoral concept of 'carbon trading' will freeze economic advance in the developing world, as governments trade their populations' access to technology for hard cash destined to repose in Swiss banks. Crooks, both institutional and individual, will make billions.

Dr Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, claimed that, if the Kyoto programme is implemented, "millions of lives will be lost that could otherwise be saved and the eventual impact of climate change on the Third World will be much worse as countries will be less equipped to adapt". The real 'bastards' who will kill millions are the Greens. Nuremberg trials, anyone?


Global warming as fashion

The climate debate is reaching a crisis. When I hear the words "global warming", my temperature rises to the point where I want to reach for a gun. Back in 1976 BCCC (Before Catastrophic Climate Change), Peter Cook and Dudley Moore did a Derek and Clive sketch called Cancer, tut-tutting over everything as a symptom of the big C. "I heard that George Stit had moved away from the Willesden area and gone up round Chadwell Heath." "Cancer?" "Yeah." "Tch, Christ. You remember the Nolan twins? . . . They've taken up darts." "Cancer?" "Yep." "Tch." If they were around to remake that sketch in AD (Anno Doom-ini) 2007 it might be called Global Warming.

Man-made global warming has become the new Act of God, to be blamed for everything people fear or loathe. The numberwatch website has an impressive list ranging from A for allergies to W for world bankruptcy. Global warming is now the default argument for putting your pet cause on the side of the angels. The path to the moral high ground is apparently monopolised by those leaving smaller carbon footprints.

Worse, man-made global warming always seems to be the ethical argument for cooling or even freezing man-made development. An Inuit from Greenland shipped in to tell a public inquiry why Stansted airport should not damage Essex woodlands summed up the case. He conceded it wouldn't make much difference to climate change, but "everyone can say that about almost everything they do. It is an excuse for doing nothing". Yet most things we are told to do - from scrabbling in compost to cancelling holiday flights - will not make much difference to anything.

More to the point, the crusade against global warming is now the biggest "excuse for doing nothing", an all-purpose argument that airport expansions must be grounded, road proposals parked, housing schemes demolished and the lights put out on new power stations.

It is hard to see how anybody can be sure of "the truth about climate change", given the highly politicised state of this ostensibly scientific discussion. But we can be pretty certain that there is no history of solving problems through standing still or turning the meter backwards. The farther ahead humanity moves, the better equipped we are to cope with anything.

Not everything that emits more carbon is evil, and treading on a flower is not necessarily a matter of planetary life and death. There's a good reason, for example, why London is the biggest sinner on the new map of UK carbon emissions: it is where more people live, and lead productive lives. Let us all pledge to try to cut emissions of climate hysteria - "before", as they say, "it's too late!" and civilisation freezes over.


Horrors! The slight global warming during the 20th century has been good for trees!

For more than two decades, northern hemisphere vegetation has become gradually more lush, according to new research based on NASA satellite data. Researchers confirm that plant life seen above 40 degrees north latitude, which represents a line stretching from New York to Madrid to Beijing, has been growing more vigorously since 1981. One possible cause is rising temperatures, linked perhaps to the buildup of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

The area of northern vegetation has not actually expanded, but it has increased in density. The growing season has also increased by several days. Furthermore, Eurasia appears to be greening more than North America, with more lush vegetation for longer periods of time. "When we looked at temperature and satellite vegetation data, we saw that year-to-year changes in growth and the duration of the growing season were tightly linked to year-to-year changes in temperature," said Liming Zhou of Boston University.

Zhou and colleagues also examined the differences in vegetation growth between North America and Eurasia, because the patterns and magnitudes of warming on the two continents are different.

The greenness data from satellites were strongly correlated with temperature data from thousands of meteorological stations on both sides of the world. The Eurasian greening was especially persistent over a broad area from central Europe through Siberia to far-east Russia, where most of the vegetation is forests and woodlands. North America, in comparison, shows a fragmented pattern of change notable only in the forests of the East and grasslands of the upper Midwest.

Dramatic changes in the timing of both the appearance and fall of leaves are recorded in these two decades of satellite data. The researchers reported a growing season in Eurasia that is now nearly 18 days longer than it was before. Spring arrives a week early and autumn is delayed by 10 days. In North America, the growing season appears to be as much as 12 days longer.

The researchers used a temperature data set developed from the Global Historical Climate Network. Dr. James Hansen, of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, developed this data set and said, "The data were compiled from several thousand meteorological stations in the United States and around the world. The stations also include many rural sites where the data are collected by cooperative private observers."

Scientists believe the results indicate a greener planetary greenhouse. "This is an important finding because of possible implications to the global carbon cycle," said Ranga Myneni of Boston University. "However, more research is needed to determine how much carbon is being absorbed, and how much longer it will continue." Carbon dioxide is a main greenhouse gas, and scientists suspect it plays an important role in rising global temperatures. If the northern forests are greening, they may already be absorbing carbon -- a process that can impact global temperature changes.

The greening trend revealed by this research provides an important piece of the puzzle of global climate change, and will help scientists produce more accurate predictions of how greenhouse gases will affect our climate in the decades to come.



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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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