Saturday, October 13, 2007


An email from Oliver Manuel []

In case the evidence that NASA's James Hansen has presented for anthropologic global warming [AGW] is proven wrong or misleading, NASA's David H. Hathaway will be right on target in showing how cyclic changes in the Sun have caused global warming.

See solar cycles graph by David H. Hathaway [Note the greatly reduced sunspot activity after 1650, which is also when the little ice age began]

Slide 12 of the paper Dr. Hathaway presented at the SPD/AAS [Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society] Meeting on 30 May 2007 shows how solar surface activity has gradually increased since the time of the Maunder solar minimum in 1650-1710 and the Little Ice Age that paralyzed large sections of Europe and North America.

NASA even has a global map that illustrates the chilly temperatures during the Maunder solar minimum:

Seriously Inconvenient Truth: Producers of Gore’s Film Asked to return Oscars

Post below lifted from Newsbusters. See the original for links

As media in America fall all over themselves with glee at the thought of the Global Warmingist-in-Chief winning a Nobel Peace Prize, Wednesday's findings by a British judge that Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" contained nine material falsehoods has prompted a request to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to strip the movie's producers of the Oscars they received in February for "Best Documentary." How delicious. As reported by The West Australian Friday:
A conservative think-tank in New Zealand has written to the president of the America's Academy Awards asking that the Oscar awarded to the director of an Inconvenient Truth be taken back.

Former New Zealand MP Dr Muriel Newman, director of web-based think-tank the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, said she had taken the measure in response to a British High Court ruling Thursday.

This is her actual press release:
"With the release of the British High Court judgement overnight that found that ‘An Inconvenient Truth' was littered with nine inconvenient untruths, it is clear that Al Gore embellished the truth to create dramatic effect (see

"Given that the Oscar Award was presented in the documentary category and not the drama category, the only appropriate action now is for the Academy to rescind the Award as it was clearly inappropriately classed as a documentary. "The truth, as inconvenient as it is to Al Gore, is that his so-called documentary contained critical distortions that are quite contrary to the principles of good documentary journalism. Good documentaries should be factually correct. Clearly this documentary is not.

"This situation is not unlike that confronting sports bodies, when their sports "stars" are found to be drug cheats. In such cases, the sportsmen and women are stripped of their medals and titles, with the next-place getter elevated. While this is an extremely unpleasant duty, it is necessary if the integrity of competitive sport is to be protected. "Just this week Olympic gold medal winner Marion Jones has been stripped of her titles and medals.

"If the integrity of the Academy Awards is to remain intact, is wholly appropriate that Al Gore be stripped of his ‘Best Documentary' film Oscar. "If the Academy wishes to acknowledge the work of people like Al Gore they should form a new category of film called ‘Political Drama'. That's how ‘An Inconvenient Truth' should be categorised", Dr Newman said.

Obviously, I couldn't agree more. As a sidebar, since the British court announcement Wednesday, only Investor's Business Daily and the Washington Times reported the errors in Gore's film to American print readers.

Shockingly, the Associated Press published a piece on this judge's ruling at 4:07PM EST Thursday. It will be interesting to see how many newspapers cover it in their print editions Friday. As for television news outlets, only Fox News found this judge's decision newsworthy. Not one word from CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, or NBC. Color me unsurprised.


Environmentalists are cagey about techno-fixes to climate change because berating mankind for its impact on nature is their raison d'etre

Environmental activists and commentators frequently argue that climate change is the most pressing problem facing humanity, and that if we don't do something about it the planet will burn up. Yet when planet-sized technological solutions to global warming - also known as `geo-engineering solutions' - are put forward, environmentalists are the first to balk. `It will never work', they say. Why are those who are most concerned about climate change also the most hostile to doing something serious to tackle it?

It isn't just because such solutions would be ambitious, costly and distant in time; nor is it only because these solutions would carry risks. Rather, environmentalists tend to dismiss geo-engineering because, at root, they are not interested in halting climate change. For many today, both green activists and leading politicians, climate change is a moral and political issue rather than simply a practical problem. They see the `issue of climate change' as a means to changing people's behaviour and expectations, rather than simply as a byproduct of industrialisation that ought to be tackled by technological know-how. They are resistant to geo-engineering solutions because putting an end to climate change would rob them of their raison d'ˆtre.

On Sunday, the UK Observer reported that a forthcoming issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society will be devoted to geo-engineering, and that the Science Museum in London is opening an exhibition titled `Can Algae Save The World?' (1). The Observer summarised six geo-engineering solutions that have been mooted, rating the chances of each succeeding from 1 to 5:

Ocean pipes and pumps, bringing life forms from the depths to the surface, where they could absorb CO2. Chance of success: 3/5.

Rocketing enough sulphur into the stratosphere for it to cool the planet by blocking the sun's rays. Chance of success: 1/5.

Doing much the same with giant mirrors, orbiting in space. Chance of success: 1/5.

Seeding clouds to increase overall cloud cover from the sun by four per cent. Chance of success: 2/5.

Building thousands of synthetic trees coated with materials that would absorb CO2. Chance of success: 4/5.

Increasing the production of plankton and algae in the sea, which again would absorb more CO2. Chance of success: 2/5.

For all environmentalists' enthusiasm for peer-reviewed climate science, they are enormously sceptical about human-created technology. The arbitrarily low ratings assigned to approaches 1 to 6 above are based on one-liner dismissals: the impact of ocean pumps on marine life, for example, could `count against' them, and mirrors would be `incredibly expensive'. For sulphur and scheme 6, low ratings emerge, respectively, because the associated risks of acid rain and ozone depletion `will provoke opposition', and because scheme 6 `faces considerable opposition' over `potential' damage to marine life. So, the existence, imagined or real, of opponents to geo-engineering is enough for its chances of success to be derided.

Yet it is not particular technologies that environmentalists hate, so much as the whole idea of human ingenuity - the conscious, designing, problem-solving capabilities that distinguish mankind from naturally occurring species. If, as environmentalists claim, mankind means waste and the reckless destruction of finite natural resources, then artificial constructions can only deserve varying degrees of ridicule - partly for the damage they will bring in tow, but mainly for their creators' outrageous arrogance.

The Observer report began with the idea that geo-engineering technologies `are the ultimate technological fixes'. The phrase `technological fix' has now replaced the earlier one, `technical fix'. `Technical fix' was used to mean work-arounds, or engineering versions of a band-aid, which were used to solve problems but only temporarily. (In the world of software, such work-arounds are still called `patches'.) Today, `technological fix' is uttered with a sneer: it is used to suggest that man-made technology can only `fix' things for a short period of time and will fail to address the underlying problems facing the planet, which apparently are overproduction, overconsumption and too much development. The term `technological fix' is used to denounce geo-engineering as flimsy and also to remind us of the real problem: mankind's arrogance.

Some environmentalists argue that mankind is addicted to technology. As Nature pointed out in an excellent overview of recent debates: `Geo-engineering, many say, is a way to feed society's addiction to fossil fuels. "It's like a junkie figuring out new ways of stealing from his children", says Meinrat Andreae, an atmospheric scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.' (2) Environmentalists love the addiction metaphor for a reason: it portrays human beings in general, and especially male engineers, as unthinking automatons, or zombies. Indeed, as the Observer notes: `Opponents to such schemes [of geo-engineering] point out that it is technology that got mankind in its current fix. An even bigger dose of technology is therefore the last thing the planet needs.' Note the use of the word `dose'.

In recent years, environmentalists have found fault with just about every technology devised or conjectured in the battle against global warming. Carbon-free nuclear fission? Radioactive waste makes it a non-starter. Carbon-free nuclear fusion? Its success has always been, and will forever remain, 30 years away. Biofuels? Growing them will increase food prices, and stomachs must come before cars (3). A tidal barrage for the Severn estuary in the UK or large hydroelectric dams in the Third World? The first will kill wildlife, the second will displace local inhabitants on a shocking scale (4). Wind power done at scale? It has `non-negligible' impacts on climate and destroys the visual appearance of the countryside (5). Clean coal-fired power plants through carbon capture and storage? Clean coal is an oxymoron.

Even green supporters of geo-engineering only go out on a limb because of how badly mankind is supposed to have behaved towards nature in the past. Thus the Observer paraphrases the ecologist James Lovelock by saying that, with geo-engineering, `there are dangers in intervening but the risks posed by doing nothing are worse'. Indeed, some researchers support geo-engineering on the basis that it is now mankind's `only hope' of saving itself from the impact of climate change.

It is worth recalling that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for what that body is worth, believes that the world faces a rise of sea levels of between 18 and 59 centimetres by the year 2100 - and that if the Greenland ice sheet should ever melt, it will be in hundreds of years' time (6). So is global warming really so bad, and the world doing so little about it already, that geo-engineering is our `only hope'? On both sides of the geo-engineering divide, green sentiment begins and ends with the idea that mankind is a risky disaster waiting to happen.

To its credit, the Observer did recognise that carbon capture and storage is likely to play a major role in the world's battle against climate change, `though perhaps not in the form of synthetic trees'. But the argument it cited against such trees is technically very poor. Critics of synthetic trees, the Observer tells us, suggest that `engineers could end up expending more energy in capturing carbon dioxide than they would save'. In the same way, environmentalists always point out how much energy is needed to build a carbon-free nuclear power station, distribute biofuels around a country, or put up a carbon-free hydroelectric dam.

This argument - that trying to prevent climate change through technology will lead to more energy use - is skewed. The Earth's unlimited supply of energy in a chaotic form contrasts strongly with human beings' desire, need and ability to order energy to pursue tasks that are more and more intricate - tasks that include cutting pollutants such as CO2 (7). The main use of energy is to extract, refine, process and purify energy itself. In the same way, mankind will most probably need to expend a lot of energy, and even generate a lot of carbon, to build the low- or zero-carbon power sources, and also the carbon traps, of tomorrow.

For environmentalists, however, all technological initiatives against global warming that are large in scale - geo-engineering schemes and big-league renewable energy apparatus emphatically included - can only add to our problems: they use up energy, generate carbon, and, above all, speak of our refusal to bow down to nature in the humility that is required. As Ralph Cicerone, president of the US National Academy of Sciences and a Nobel Prize-winner, points out in a seminal issue of the journal Climatic Change devoted to geo-engineering: `A commonly held view is that commitment to geo-engineering would undercut human resolve to deal with the cause of the original problem, greenhouse gases in the case of climate change.' (8) But why must geo-engineering necessarily add to the sum-total of human laziness? And why does Cicerone go on not just to advocate more research into it, which is fair enough, but also to recommend that scientists meet to call a moratorium on large scale experiments in it - a moratorium that, `in the minds of many', could only end if `humans had done enough to limit greenhouse gas emissions'? The implication is that humans must first suffer, by cutting back on consumption and energy-use, before we can at least try to fix the problems of pollution. This gets to the nub of environmentalists' hostility towards geo-engineering.

Environmentalists instinctively reject or ignore technological solutions to global warming because they are bent on making people atone for their sins. Their ridicule of geo-engineering reveals that, for them, climate change is a moral tale about humanity's greed and arrogance, where the happy ending is a much-reduced human population where everyone lives simply and meekly. As one contributor to Climatic Change puts it: `I feel we would be taking on the ultimate state of hubris to believe we can control Earth.' (9) However, even without inadvertent, man-made climate change, and even without complete knowledge of how the Earth's climate works, the aspiration to control the weather consciously, for the betterment of humanity, is a noble one. Moreover though technological experiments - of any sort - can always be dangerous, they will be required if climate control is ever to get anywhere.

Geo-engineering should not be a last-ditch bid for survival, but rather an expression of humanising the Earth. And tests of geo-engineering technologies will be essential, one day, if the potential of these technologies is ever to move from the world of research to the world of practical benefits. Those of us who see pollution as a problem to be solved, rather than as a stick with which to beat down people's horizons, should call for more grand experimentation in the area of climate control.



By Meteorologist Anthony Watts. Excerpt:

A science blogger named Tamino, in a post he made here, challenged me to "explain it or shut up" related to the loss of northern hemisphere Arctic ice this season which he claimed was ." undeniable, that it's not natural variation" in contrast to the southern hemisphere Antarctic setting a new record for ice extent.....

In simpler terms, polar wind patterns changed and blew sea ice further south to warmer waters than it normally would. Sea ice can easily be wind driven. I wonder if that's the same mechanism that caused loss of Arctic sea ice in the 1920-30's? The Arctic is almost as warm now as it was seventy years ago. Unsurprisingly, Arctic ice has diminished. But, as Polyakov et, the long-term changes are "generally statistically insignificant". But there's more ice in Antarctica now. It seems that points more to a natural, cyclical variation on a global scale when one pole diminishes while another gains.

Then there's area to consider, as commenter Aaron wells writes: On the other hand, the South Pole normal area is about 15 million km^2, with current amounts amounting to a positive anomaly of 1 million km^2, for a current total of about 16 million km^2.

Now, it is easy to get alarmed about the North Pole numbers, because they have gotten so close to zero. But the truth is about 2/3rd of total North Pole ice always melts by the end of the northern summer. This summer it got down to about 1/4 of the winter amount. It is much less alarming if you consider the total between the 2 poles. Using the Cryosphere Today normals and current ice areas, there is normally about 20 million km^2, and currently there is only 19 million km^2. When you realize that the total taken together only represents about a 5% reduction from normal, then it does not seem nearly as alarming.

It appears that there is precedent for what we are observing today, and a strong suggestion of a cyclical nature that points to a natural variability mechanism. Plus, the most important thing to note is that we only have satellite measured sea ice data from about 1979. A 30 year trend isn't enough to conclude much upon, especially when there is clear evidence of a larger period cycle. Of course, I don't expect Tamino will pay any attention to any of this, since he's made it clear that he's no longer going to listen to anything "deniers" (as he's labeled those with contrasting views) have to say. That's OK, I enjoyed the research.


Arctic Ice reduction blamed on Artic Oscillation


But another factor was probably involved, one with roots going back to about 1989. At that time, a periodic flip in winds and pressure patterns over the Arctic Ocean, called the Arctic Oscillation, settled into a phase that tended to stop ice from drifting in a gyre for years, so it could thicken, and instead carried it out to the North Atlantic. The new NASA study of expelled old ice builds on previous measurements showing that the proportion of thick, durable floes that were at least 10 years old dropped to 2 percent this spring from 80 percent in the spring of 1987, said Ignatius G. Rigor, an ice expert at the University of Washington and an author of the new NASA-led study.


Greenpeace urges kangaroo consumption to fight global warming

Kangaroos are a huge pest in Australia so this is a good idea but the animal rights people will go bananas

MORE kangaroos should be slaughtered and eaten to help save the world from global warming, environmental activists say. The controversial call to cut down on beef and serve more of the national symbol on our dinner plates follows a report on curbing greenhouse gas emissions damaging the planet.

Greenpeace energy campaigner Mark Wakeham urged Aussies to substitute some red meat for roo to help reduce land clearing and the release of methane gas. "It is one of the lifestyle changes we can make," Mr Wakeham said. "Changing our meat consumption habits is a small way to make an impact." The eat roo recommendation is contained in a report, Paths to a Low-Carbon Future, commissioned by Greenpeace and released today.

It also coincides with recent calls from climate change experts for people in rich countries to reduce red meat and switch to chicken and fish because land-clearing and burping and farting cattle and sheep were damaging the environment. They said nearly a quarter of the planet's greenhouse gases came from agriculture, which releases the potent heat-trapping gas methane.

Roughly three million kangaroos are killed and harvested for meat each year. They are shot with high-powered guns between the eyes at night. Australians eat about a third of the 30 million kilograms of roo meat produced annually. The delicacy is exported to dozens of countries and is most popular in Germany, France and Belgium.

The Greenpeace report has renewed calls for Victoria to lift a ban on harvesting roos for food. Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia spokesman John Kelly said roos invading farmers' crops were already being illegally shot. "They are being culled and left to rot," Mr Kelly said. Kangaroo meat sold in Victoria is imported from interstate.

Australia's kangaroo population has halved to 25 million in the past five years as the drought has taken a toll on breeding and the animals' food sources, Mr Kelly said. Under a quota system, 10 to 12 per cent can be killed for the meat and leather industry. Aerial surveys estimate their numbers.



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1 comment:

Woody said...

Since Al Gore was caught cheating on his film, he is the political equivalent of U.S. ballplayer and steroid user Barry Bonds and, thus, should have an asterisk by his name, too.