Thursday, October 18, 2007

BBC bombs again

Yesterday, I put up an article by Roger Harrabin, BBC "Environment Analyst", in which he claimed that Al Gore was "an environmental science graduate". I raised my eyebrows when I saw that but did not have time to follow it up. The Devil's Kitchen has however done so and it appears that the claim is totally false. Gore graduated in Government, in fact.

I have found the following summary of Gore's science education:

Mr. Gore's high school performance on the college board achievement tests in physics (488 out of 800 "terrible," St. Albans retired teacher and assistant headmaster John Davis told The Post) and chemistry (519 out of 800 "He didn't do too well in chemistry," Mr. Davis observed) suggests that Mr. Gore would have trouble with science for the rest of his life. At Harvard and Vanderbilt, Mr. Gore continued bumbling along.

As a Harvard sophomore, scholar Al "earned" a D in Natural Sciences 6 in a course presciently named "Man's Place in Nature." That was the year he evidently spent more time smoking cannabis than studying its place among other plants within the ecosystem. His senior year, Mr. Gore received a C+ in Natural Sciences 118.

Who'd Buy a Property by the Sea?

Post below lifted from Jennifer Marohasy. See the original for links

It was claimed in 'An Inconvenient Truth' that sea levels could rise by up to 20 feet in the 'near future' due to melting ice sheets. Anyone who believed such a claim wouldn't really be expected to buy a property near San Francisco Bay, would they?

Well, in 2005, Al Gore purchased a multi-million dollar Condominium in the St. Regis Hotel, a 480 foot tower at Third and Mission.

Still, very handy for Apple board meetings, and at 480 feet high there's little chance of getting your feet wet by the Pacific Ocean!

We also read:

Just a few days ago, a condo with the same floor plan as the Gores went on the market a few floors down from them. The three-bedroom, 2027 square foot residence, is listed at $3.75 million, with a monthly HOA fee of $2356.07. It's expected to sell quickly.

"Studies" of humidity a crock

Post below lifted from Climate Skeptic. See the original for links

Today the USA Today announced in a headline: "Studies Link Man-Made Causes to Rise in Humidity". From the article:
One study, published in today's edition of the journal Nature, found that the overall increase in worldwide surface humidity from 1973-99 was 2.2%, which is due "primarily to human-caused global warming," according to study co-author Nathan Gillett of the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, U.K.

Here is what makes me immediately suspicious, even at this point in the article: No one can acurately come up with an empirical proof of how much of the warming from 1973-99 was due to man's activities and how much was due to natural effects (the best you can find are studies that say "most" or "a lot of" or "some". Therefore, it is impossible that anyone was able to attribute a humidity rise just to the man-made portion of the warming, since we don't know how much that was.

Second, there are been a number of good studies that have shown that man can have a substantial effect on air humidity, but that these effects tend to be due to land use (e.g. agriculture, irrigation, urbanization, and even swimming pools) rather than CO2 caused warming. To throw all of the humidity rise only on CO2, and not these other anthropogenic effects, seems facile.

So how did the study author's get to their conclusions? It turns out the only empirical work anyone did was measure humidity. And yes, humidity did seem to go up over the these decades. But this is the end of the empirical work in the studies.
Both studies relied primarily on computer models of the Earth's climate system to reach their conclusions.

Great. For years I have called these computer models scientific money-laundering. They take unproven assumptions, plug them into something they call a model, and then get results they claim to be proven. They are washing garbage unproven assumptions through these black boxes and then calling them clean results on the back end. Garbage In - Scientific Proof Out. It is crazy. The models are built on the assumption that anthropogenic effects drive the climate, and so they therefore spit out the results that... anthropogenic effects drive the climate.
Roy Spencer, principal research scientist at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, says, "The main thing they're trying to show is that the recent warming and moistening in the last 30 years is outside the range of natural variability, and that man is causing the warming. The use of climate models to do this is not convincing. . The idea that you can use climate models as a surrogate for reality is circular reasoning."

I often tell my friends that when you really flay away all the bullshit, the main argument by climate catastrophists for anthropogenic origens of climate change is that scientists "can't think of anything else it can be." In other words, having exhausted all the natural causes the current state of the science knows about, they assume the cause must be man. My friends never believe me when I say this, but here is a climate scientist in his own words:
"Natural variability in climate just can't explain this moisture change. The most plausible explanation is that it's due to the human-caused increase in greenhouse gases," Santer says. His study also discounted influences from solar activity and the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo.

This is the heart of the "link" trumpeted in the article's headline -- that scientists can't imagine that the cause is natural varaiblity and that it is plausible man is the cause. Wow, that's good science. And by the way, can you imagine if, say, astrophysics took the same approach? "We don't know of any natural phenomenon that would cause pulsars so they must be man-made." This is science Percival Lowell would have loved.

Coming Cooling?

Frigid Southern Hemisphere Winter A Preview Of A Cold Winter Coming In The Northern Hemisphere? Excerpt:

It was an outstanding winter for us in part of South America. Buenos Aires in Argentina had its first snow since 1918. Southern Brazil experienced 4 consecutive months of cold and below average temperature with daily and all-time records." "Our winter here in the southern hemisphere raised serious questions among people concerned on global warming. Scientists were predicting warmer winters. So, what happened, people asked.

I believe questions will be raised in the next months also in the US. The climate behavior here is this part of the Southern Hemisphere is somewhat connected to the trend in the Midwest and Northeast United States year after year and may anticipate the trend from season to season. So, first of all, NOAA released this week its winter outlook, but I don't' buy it. No way !! I strongly suspect this marked cooling trend in the Pacific will result in below average temperature months in larger areas of the US."

By the way, much of Australia, too had a cold winter, with a record cold June.


Colorado gets blasted with foot of snow


DENVER - A rambling storm delivered up to a foot of snow in the mountains and rain at lower elevations Sunday, threatening to swipe at the Colorado Rockies playoff series as it headed out of the state. The snow caused some fender-bender vehicle mishaps but no injuries along Interstate 70 at the Eisenhower Tunnel because motorists were unfamiliar with driving in winter-like weather conditions, Colorado State Patrol Master Trooper Ron Watkins said. Chain laws were in effect on a number of mountain passes. The storm brought the first notable snowcover of the season to Boulder County's higher-elevation communities. Kyle Fredin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder, said communities like Allenspark and Nederland ended up with accumulations of around 3 to 6 inches. "It's on," he said of the snow season. Below 8,000 feet, Fredin said, it mostly rained, with around an inch falling in Boulder over the weekend.


Pesky Mont Blanc

Western Europe's highest mountain, Mont Blanc, is taller than ever due to snow piled atop its summit, in what experts meeting in France have described as a climate change-related phenomenon. The Alps' tallest peak was measured at 4810.9 metres on September 15 and 16 - a 2.15-metre increase in two years, surveyors from France's Haute-Savoie region said on Saturday. "The height as well as the volume of Mont Blanc has increased considerably, because the snow has massed on the summit over the last two years," Philippe Borel said at a meeting in the Alpine town Chamonix.

The volume of ice on Mont Blanc's slopes over 4800 metres high was first calculated at 14,600 cubic metres in 2003. It dropped to 14,300 cubic metres two years later, but then almost doubled to 24,100 cubic metres in 2007. "There is generally no increase in the amount of precipitation in the Alps, but the climate changes," said a meteorologist, Yan Giezendanner. "We're registering a greater frequency of winds from the west which bring rain and higher temperatures."

In summer precipitation translates into snow in regions over 4000 metres that increases Mont Blanc's volume and height, Mr Giezendanner said. In the winter, however, the icy snow is swept around by the winds and has no influence on the mountain's height or volume. Warmer alpine weather has also caused glaciers in higher altitudes to swell even as those in medium altitudes melt, recede and threaten to disappear, Mr Giezendanner said. Surveyors have topographic missions every two years to study Mont Blanc's evolution.


Be wary of climate process Osama endorses, doctor argues

Osama bin Laden's recent endorsement of the international Kyoto Protocol on climate change is proof that government policies to slash greenhouse gas emissions could be more dangerous for industrialized countries than terrorism itself, says a well-known Canadian global warming skeptic. "What's going on with the whole global warming issue, and particularly the focus on CO2 (carbon dioxide emissions) is that it's undermining the economies of the western world in particular, but the world in general, and ultimately could do far more damage than what Osama bin Laden is doing," Dr. Tim Ball said in an interview.

In a recent online article, Dr. Ball and his colleague, Tom Harris, argued against government policies to restrict human activity from causing excessive greenhouse gas emissions, noting that bin Laden had recently endorsed cutting pollution in a September video message in which he accused the United States of ignoring the Kyoto Protocol to protect the profits of corporate America. "The next round of UN negotiations starting in December in Bali, Indonesia will undoubtedly formalize new emission restrictions only for the one fifth of the world's population who live in the developed world," wrote Dr. Ball in an article that was co-authored with engineer and communications specialist Tom Harris, and published on the Canada Free Press website. "Is it any wonder Osama bin Laden promotes a UN climate process that threatens to cripple the West, but no one else?"

The references to bin Laden have left some critics speechless. "I think this is so effective for them," said Richard Littlemore, a lead writer on the website. "How can you react to that? It is so over the top. It's so outrageous. It takes you so far away from a sane or rational discussion about climate change, that it leaves you dumbstruck." Leading scientists, who have assessed the latest peer-reviewed research in a report for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, concluded that there was "unequivocal" evidence that the earth was getting hotter. They also concluded that it was "very likely" human activity was causing potentially dangerous changes to the climate that would lead to an increase in extreme weather events, droughts, rising sea levels, the spread of infectious diseases and the disappearance of many species.

But while writers at say that skeptics are using political arguments to undermine the science, Ball argued that the opposite was true, noting that many environmentalists often accuse him of being on the payroll of the oil patch. "I've said to audiences (in speeches that) Osama bin Laden's right. We've lost our moral and ethical direction. The problem is I don't want his morality or his ethics either," Ball said. "We're in a world where basically you need to know, unfortunately the motives of anyone saying anything... People immediately ask me, 'Who's paying you? What's your agenda?' No one ever asks Al Gore that."


Australia: "Green" water supply is filthy and unhealthy

Tank water is often so contaminated with bird and possum poo that it does not pass minimally acceptable standards for consumption, a new study has revealed. Research presented in Queensland suggests about 40 per cent of rainwater tanks contained "heavy amounts" of animal faeces contamination that could lead to gastrointestinal disease. The findings, from a study of 560 homes tracked over five years, originated from New Zealand but Australian experts say the data, the first of its kind, would be an accurate reflection of contamination rates here. It comes as authorities encourage more Australian households to take advantage of tank subsidies to cope with drought and be more environmentally sustainable.

Microbiologist Stan Abbott, director of the Roof Water Research Centre at Massey University in New Zealand, analysed samples of roof-collected rainwater and found 41 per cent were heavily contaminated with faeces. "This contamination can lead to gastrointestinal diseases such as salmonella, campylobacter, giardia and cryptosporidium," Mr Abbott said. At least half the rainwater samples would not have passed the minimally acceptable standards for drinking water, he said. "The likely sources of the faecal contamination were faecal material deposited by birds, rodents, possums and frogs either on the roof, in the gutters or in the water tank," Mr Abbott said.

Relatively few disease outbreaks linked to contaminated roof-collected rainwater have been reported, but specialists in the field believe there is massive under-reporting of such illnesses. Professor Ted Gardner, an expert in water-wise strategies at Queensland Institute of Technology where the research was presented, said more than two million Australians depended on roof-collected rainwater for their drinking water. Most lived rurally with the exception of Adelaide, where well over a third of residents had opted to use rain water. "People love rain water because it's soft and apparently pure, but clearly it comes with more risks than many people realise," Prof Gardner said.

He said authorities nationwide were actively encouraging more Australians to use rainwater, with the Queensland government offering up subsidies for 147,000 tanks in the past 18 months. While these tanks were designed for garden irrigation only, there was a risk that people will decide to drink it too, he said. Experts recommended householders use downpipe debris screens, a first-flush diverter and regularly disinfect their tank to reduce the risk of contracting waterborne diseases. "The risk of disease from roof-collected rainwater can be low if the water is visibly clear, has little taste or smell, and the collection of the rainwater is via a properly maintained tank and roof catchment system," Mr Abbott said.



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 is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


No comments: