Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Famous British Greenie rejects global warming

David Bellamy:

Am I worried about man-made global warming? The answer is "no" and "yes". No, because the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction has come up against an "inconvenient truth". Its research shows that since 1998 the average temperature of the planet has not risen, even though the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has continued to increase.

Yes, because the self-proclaimed consensus among scientists has detached itself from the questioning rigours of hard science and become a political cause. Those of us who dare to question the dogma of the global-warming doomsters who claim that C not only stands for carbon but also for climate catastrophe are vilified as heretics or worse as deniers.

I am happy to be branded a heretic because throughout history heretics have stood up against dogma based on the bigotry of vested interests. But I don't like being smeared as a denier because deniers don't believe in facts. The truth is that there are no facts that link the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide with imminent catastrophic global warming. Instead of facts, the advocates of man-made climate change trade in future scenarios based on complex and often unreliable computer models.

Name-calling may be acceptable in politics but it should have no place in science; indeed, what is happening smacks of McCarthyism, witch-hunts and all. Scientific understanding, however, is advanced by robust, reasoned argument based on well-researched data. So I turn to simple sets of data that are already in the public domain.

The last peak global temperatures were in 1998 and 1934 and the troughs of low temperature were around 1910 and 1970. The second dip caused pop science and the media to cry wolf about an impending, devastating Ice Age. Our end was nigh! Then, when temperatures took an upward swing in the 1980s, the scaremongers changed their tune. Global warming was the new imminent catastrophe. But the computer model - called "hockey stick" - that predicted the catastrophe of a frying planet proved to be so bent that it "disappeared" from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's armoury of argument in 2007. It was bent because the historical data it used to predict the future dated from only the 1850s, when the world was emerging from the Little Ice Age. Little wonder that temperatures showed an upward trend.

In the Sixties I used to discuss climate change with my undergraduates at Durham University. I would point to the plethora of published scientific evidence that showed the cyclical nature of change - and how, for instance, the latest of a string of ice ages had affected the climate, sea levels and tree lines around the world. Thank goodness the latest crop of glaciers and ice sheets began to wane in earnest about 12,000 years ago; this gave Britain a window of opportunity to lead the industrial revolution.

The Romans grew grapes in York and during the worldwide medieval warm period - when civilizations blossomed across the world - Nordic settlers farmed lowland Greenland (hence its name) and then got wiped out by the Little Ice Age that lasted roughly from the 16th century until about 1850.

There is no escaping the fact that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been rising for 150 years - and very uniformly since the 1950s. Yet the temperature has not increased in step with CO2. Not only have there been long periods of little change in temperature, but also the year-to-year oscillations are totally unrelated to CO2 change. What is more, the trend lines of glacial shortening and rise in sea level have shown no marked change since the big increase in the use of fossil fuels since 1950.

How can this be explained unless there are other factors at work overriding the greenhouse effect of CO2? There are, of course, many to be found in the peer-reviewed literature: solar cycles, cosmic rays, cloud control and those little rascals, such as El Nino and La Nina, all of which are played down or even ignored by the global-warming brigade.

Let's turn to Al Gore's doom-laden Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. First, what is the point of scaring the families of the world with tales that polar bears are heading for extinction? Last year Mitchell Taylor, of the US National Biological Service, stated that "of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present."

Why create alarm about a potential increase in the spread of malaria thanks to rising temperatures when this mosquito-borne disease was a major killer of people in Britain and northern Russia throughout the Little Ice Age?

Despite the $50 billion spent on greenwashing propaganda, the sceptics and their inconvenient questions are beginning to make their presence felt. A recent survey of Klaus-Martin Schulte, of Kings College Hospital, of all papers on the subject of climate change that were published between 2004 and February of 2007 found that only 7 per cent explicitly endorsed a "so-called consensus" position that man-made carbon dioxide is causing catastrophic global warming. What is more, James Lovelock, the author and green guru, has changed his mind: he recently stated that neither Earth nor the human race is doomed.

Yes, melting sea ice around Greenland has recently opened up the fabled North West passage. And, yes, the years 2006 and 2007 have seen massive flooding in Europe. However, a quick dip into the records of the Royal Society - which ranked alongside Dr Lovelock as arch doomsters, before his change of mind - shows that dramatic fluctuations happened long before the infernal combustion engine began spewing out carbon dioxide.

The year 1816 went down in history as the "year without a summer", thanks to the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia that veiled much of the world with dust, screening out the Sun. Yet in 1817, while still in the grip of the Little Ice Age, the Royal Society was so worried that 2,000 square leagues of sea ice around Greenland had disappeared within two years, and massive flooding was taking place in Germany, that its president wrote to the Admiralty advising of the necessity of an expedition to find out what was the source of this new heat. Perhaps, when similar things are happening 190 years later, the Royal Society should accept that anthropogenic carbon dioxide is unlikely to be the main - or only - driver of "global warming".


CNN give some coverage to global warming atheists

Still biased but improving

On Friday night, CNN viewers were treated to the special "Keeping Them Honest: The Truth About Global Warming," which took time to examine nine "alleged inconsistencies or exaggerations" in Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," as enumerated in a ruling by a British judge. Host Miles O'Brien also interviewed a member of the IPCC, the group which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Gore, in the form of a scientist who has challenged Gore's views on global warming. O'Brien, who a week earlier had tagged dissenters with such labels as "dead-enders" and "a very small fringe," this time suggested that people who are "skeptical" about global warming are "in the dark," and presented what he called "surprising" polling data showing a substantial number of Americans have doubts about global warming theory.

Notably, beginning at 1:00 p.m. earlier in the day, CNN started displaying its logo in green, and, for a while, used a clock counting down how long it will be until the upcoming series "Planet in Peril" begins on Tuesday October 23. This special two-part series, which is part of CNN's regular "Anderson Cooper 360" series, will examine environmental issues.

On Friday's special, Gore's claim that global warming has had effects on the frequency and intensity of hurricanes and tornadoes was the first of the nine points examined, as O'Brien brought aboard CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano to discuss the subject. A few weeks ago, on CNN's "American Morning," Marciano had notably exclaimed that he was happy to hear about the judge's skeptical view of "An Inconvenient Truth," as he commented about the movie's inaccuracies, prompting email complaints from CNN viewers.

On Friday's special, Marciano relayed that there are no studies that show "an increase in tornadoes due to global warming," and contended that there is still debate about hurricanes. He related the theory that hurricane intensity has increased because of a multi-decade cycle, and pointed to difficulties in accurately measuring hurricane intensities worldwide. He also suggested that any effects on hurricanes by global warming would likely be small. But Marciano ended his discussion by suggested that if you "go green," that "everybody wins." Marciano: "As for who's right and who's wrong, we may not know the answer until it's actually happening. Until then, I think most would agree that, if you do your part and you go green, well, everybody wins."

O'Brien soon brought aboard Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama, a member of the ICPP who was also featured on "20/20" the same night on ABC. Christy took exception with Gore's willingness to "speak with certainty" about an issue as unpredictable as climate change, and suggested the Nobel committee was trying to "influence American elections." He also pointed out the absence of media coverage when a recent study showed that "Antarctic sea ice extent reached its all-time maximum." Christy: "I suppose CNN did not announce two weeks ago when the Antarctic sea ice extent reached its all-time maximum, even though, in the Arctic in the North Pole, it reached its all-time minimum." Christy also contended that even if the world constructed nuclear plants to replace carbon-producing energy sources, that global temperature would only be affected by "one-hundredth of a degree per decade."

About halfway through the show, O'Brien brought aboard political analyst Bill Schneider to discuss poll numbers on the public's views of global warming. O'Brien had earlier plugged the segment by suggesting that those who do not agree with the more liberal view of global warming are "in the dark." O'Brien: "And what do you believe about global warming? See whether Americans are getting greener or whether they're still in the dark. That's coming up."

More here

ABC's Stossel Takes on Gore Movie, Talks to Dissenting Scientists

On Friday's "20/20," ABC's John Stossel presented the views of scientists who dissent from the Al Gore view of global warming, including two former members of the IPCC - the committee which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Gore. These scientists disagreed with the selection process of the committee's members and some of its conclusions. The ABC host disputed some of the claims in "An Inconvenient Truth," and even presented the view that increased carbon dioxide levels are the result of global warming, rather than the cause, as he took on Gore's famous graph from the movie. Stossel: "But the real inconvenient truth is that carbon increases came after temperature rose -- usually hundreds of years later. Temperature went up first. I wanted to ask Mr. Gore about that and other things, but he wouldn't agree to talk about this." Video of the segment can be seen here. (Transcript follows)

The ABC host introduced his regular "Give Me a Break" segment: "You've heard the reports. The globe is warming. And it's our fault. And the consequences will be terrible. But you should know there is another side to this story. And scientists who've tried to tell it are often threatened. Which makes me say, 'Give Me a Break.'"

Then came a number of clips of journalists relaying the purported danger of global warming, and clips of children expressing their fears of the future. After arguing that "An Inconvenient Truth" was incorrect or misleading in the way it presented the dangers of rising sea levels and the plight of polar bears in the Arctic, the ABC host then got to the movie's famous graph that the former Vice President used to argue that higher carbon dioxide levels cause temperatures to increase. Stossel: "I knew that carbon dioxide's thought to amplify temperature increases, but this shows a clear cause an effect. For 600,000 years, when carbon rose, so did temperature. It suggests that carbon levels control temperature. But the real inconvenient truth is that carbon increases came after temperature rose -- usually hundreds of years later. Temperature went up first. I wanted to ask Mr. Gore about that and other things, but he wouldn't agree to talk about this."

Stossel presented several scientists who dispute contentions by Gore and others that "the debate is over" on global warming. These scientists included Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute, Tim Ball of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project, and John Christy and Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama. Stossel relayed their contentions that global warming and cooling trends have happened in the past, and related that the media had "fretted about that then, too."

Stossel: "Climate changes, they point out. It always has -- with or without man. Early last century, even without today's big output of carbon dioxide, the Arctic went through a warm period. The media fretted about that then, too. And Greenland's temperatures rose 50 percent faster in the 1920s than they're rising now. Some scientists say the warming may be caused by changes in the sun or ocean currents or changes in cloud cover. Or other things we don't understand. The debate is not over."

More on the media's history of reporting on warming and cooling trends over the last century can be found in a May 2005 report by the MRC's Business and Media Institute.

Reiter and Christy had notably been members of the IPCC, and they were critical of the way governments chose the members of the committee, some of whom were merely activists instead of scientists, suggesting that politics had played too great a role.

More here

35 Inconvenient Truths: The errors in Al Gore's movie

A spokesman for Al Gore has issued a questionable response to the news that in October 2007 the High Court in London had identified nine "errors" in his movie An Inconvenient Truth. The judge had stated that, if the UK Government had not agreed to send to every secondary school in England a corrected guidance note making clear the mainstream scientific position on these nine "errors", he would have made a finding that the Government's distribution of the film and the first draft of the guidance note earlier in 2007 to all English secondary schools had been an unlawful contravention of an Act of Parliament prohibiting the political indoctrination of children.

Al Gore's spokesman and "environment advisor," Ms. Kalee Kreider, begins by saying that the film presented "thousands and thousands of facts." It did not: just 2,000 "facts" in 93 minutes would have been one fact every three seconds. The film contained only a few dozen points, most of which will be seen to have been substantially inaccurate. The judge concentrated only on nine points which even the UK Government, to which Gore is a climate-change advisor, had to admit did not represent mainstream scientific opinion.

Ms. Kreider then states, incorrectly, that the judge himself had never used the term "errors." In fact, the judge used the term "errors," in inverted commas, throughout his judgment.

Next, Ms. Kreider makes some unjustifiable ad hominem attacks on Mr. Stewart Dimmock, the lorry driver, school governor and father of two school-age children who was the plaintiff in the case. This memorandum, however, will eschew any ad hominem response, and will concentrate exclusively on the 35 scientific inaccuracies and exaggerations in Gore's movie.

Ms. Kreider then says, "The process of creating a 90-minute documentary from the original peer-reviewed science for an audience of moviegoers in the U.S. and around the world is complex." However, the single web-page entitled "The Science" on the movie's official website contains only two references to articles in the peer-reviewed scientific journals. There is also a reference to a document of the IPCC, but its documents are not independently peer-reviewed in the usual understanding of the term.

Ms. Kreider then says, "The judge stated clearly that he was not attempting to perform an analysis of the scientific questions in his ruling." He did not need to. Each of the nine "errors" which he identified had been admitted by the UK Government to be inconsistent with the mainstream of scientific opinion.

Ms. Kreider says the IPCC's results are sometimes "conservative," and continues: "Vice President Gore tried to convey in good faith those threats that he views as the most serious." Readers of the long list of errors described in this memorandum will decide for themselves whether Mr. Gore was acting in good faith. However, in this connection it is significant that each of the 35 errors listed below misstates the conclusions of the scientific literature or states that there is a threat where there is none or exaggerates the threat where there may be one. All of the errors point in one direction - towards undue alarmism. Not one of the errors falls in the direction of underestimating the degree of concern in the scientific community. The likelihood that all 35 of the errors listed below could have fallen in one direction purely by inadvertence is less than 1 in 34 billion.

We now itemize 35 of the scientific errors and exaggerations in Al Gore's movie. The first nine were listed by the judge in the High Court in London in October 2007 as being "errors." The remaining 26 errors are just as inaccurate or exaggerated as the nine spelt out by the judge, who made it plain during the proceedings that the Court had not had time to consider more than these few errors. The judge found these errors serious enough to require the UK Government to pay substantial costs to the plaintiff.

Much more here

Britain: Carbon health warnings for all new cars

All advertising for new cars will have to carry cigarette-style "health warnings" about their environmental impact, under a European plan to force manufacturers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Companies that produce the most polluting cars will also have to pay penalties of up to œ5,000 per vehicle, with the proceeds used to reduce the cost of the most efficient cars.Advertisements in newspapers and magazines, will have to devote at least 20 per cent of the space to details about fuel economy and CO2 emissions. At the moment manufacturers have to include only basic mpg and CO2 figures in the small print. They do not have to explain what the numbers mean or provide any comparison.

Car advertisements will have to carry colour-coded emissions labels such as those already displayed on new fridges and washing machines, with bands ranging from dark green to red. The plan, expected to be approved by the European Parliament on Wednesday, has been drawn up in response to the car industry's failure to meet its own voluntary target on reducing CO2 emissions.

The industry agreed in 1998 that the 18 million new cars expected to be sold in Europe in 2008 should emit an average of no more than 140g of CO2 per kilometre. The average last year was 160g/km and emissions fell only 0.2 per cent on the previous year, the lowest reduction on record. Privately manufacturers admit that they have no hope of meeting the target.

A fifth of the European Union's CO2 emissions come from cars and road transport accounts for 60 per cent of all the oil used by member states.

Chris Davies, the Liberal Democrat MEP for the North West of England, who was appointed by the European Parliament to draw up the plan, said that the car industry had grossly exaggerated the cost of making cars more efficient to avoid taking action.

He said that the German car industry had been particularly obstructive because it was dominated by manufacturers such as Mercedes and BMW, which specialised in larger, more polluting cars. Mr Davies has agreed a compromise, which he expects to be supported by the majority of MEPs, under which manufacturers would be given until 2015 to achieve an average of 125g/km for new cars. He said: "I accept it takes seven years from the design stage to vehicles rolling off the production line. But the new target would be made wiggle-proof and manufacturers who failed to achieve it would pay penalties."

He predicted that some companies would prefer to pay the penalty rather than reduce emissions because they would not want to reduce the power or weight of their cars.He said that the proceeds would be used to reward companies that beat their emissions targets and a grant system to encourage people to trade in their cars for more efficient new ones.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders opposes the idea of giving more space to environmental information. A spokesman said the basic details were already in advertisements: "There's no point in giving this sop to the environmental lobby because most people will ignore it."



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