Saturday, November 17, 2007


An email from Timo Hameranta [] to Benny Peiser

Glikson & Brook (CCNet, 14 November 2007 [See also p. 2 here]) are concerned about sea level rise and refer to IPCC AR4:
"The IPCC 2007 documents a near doubling of sea level rise from 0.18 ~ 0.05 cm/year in 1961-2003 to 0.31ñ0.07 cm/year in 1993-2003"

Actually, IPCC AR4 WGI SPM states:
"Global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8 [1.3 to 2.3] mm per year over 1961 to 2003. The rate was faster over 1993 to 2003: about 3.1 [2.4 to 3.8]mm per year. Whether the faster rate for 1993 to 2003 reflects decadal variability or an increase in the longer term trend is unclear."

In any case, this is outdated information. In more precise and up-to-date calculations the alleged faster sea level rise has been shown to be SLOWER, reduced to 1.31 ~ 0.30 mm/yr, please see:

Woppelmann, G., B. Martin Miguez, M.-N. Bouin, and Z. Altamimi, 2007. Geocentric sea-level trend estimates from GPS analyses at relevant tide gauges world-wide. Global and Planetary Change Vol. 57, No 3-4, pp. 396-406, June 2007.

Lindzen says Chill out: Global Warming skeptic speaks at Colgate university, NY

Students and faculty crowded into the Henshaw Lecture Room in Lathrop Hall on Thursday afternoon to hear a controversial lecture by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology Richard Lindzen. Colgate Professor of Political Science, Presidential Scholar and Director of the Center for Freedom and Western Civilization Robert Kraynak, who introduced Lindzen, explained that the original title of the lecture had been "Global Warming: Science and Moral Responsibility" but that he and Lindzen had come up with a better one: "Global Warming: Who's to Blame, Human Activities or Natural Causes?"

Lindzen is one of the most noted and prolific detractors from what Kraynak described as the "popular wisdom of global warming." Lindzen began by saying that he had "always assumed that talking about the weather was a source of boredom." He then began to explain his real concern that too much alarmism surrounds the topic of global climate change. His first goal: to debunk Al Gore.

He recalled that all schools in the United Kingdom had recently been required to show Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth. He noted that a judge ruled that all presentations of the movie be accompanied by a presentation of critiques and explanations of some of the movie's scientific exaggerations. Lindzen cited one of Gore's statements in that film that a melting of the icecaps at either Greenland or West Antarctica would result in a sea level rise of 20 feet "in the near future." The judge, according to Lindzen, said, "this remark was distinctly alarmist" and that Gore's predicted result would take millennia to come about. Lindzen called Gore's statement that "warming is real and caused by humans," a "masterful example of creative ambiguity." "The points of agreement [on warming] have no discernable connection to the alarm," Lindzen said. "If it turns out that we don't have warming or that it is not due to man, that has implications that the association of alarm with greenhouse gas emissions is baseless."

His next point questioned both the derivation and meaning of the popular model of the "hockey stick" graph of weather change, which shows a dramatic increase in temperature rise in recent history. "Even if you call that [rise] unprecedented, it is still too small to suggest alarm," Lindzen said.

After bringing up the scientific inaccuracies in inferences Gore drew from a different graph in his book, Lindzen moved to a different argument against the catastrophic consequences that some predict will come as a result of global warming. "Any prediction of catastrophe is extremely unlikely," Lindzen said. He cited the panic in the 1970s over the prediction of catastrophic American famine in the 1980s, which turned out to be false, as well as the infamous prediction of the Y2K disaster. "These predictions of catastrophe come up episodically and they are always wrong because they have wrong linkages," Lindzen said.

He then projected a model of the linkages leading from cause -- carbon dioxide emissions -- to effect -- disastrous warming effects -- in global warming and noted that the likelihood of each affecting the next was tiny, and that, in the end, the probability of any major effect of global warming was "astronomically small."

Lindzen also brought up how the media has manipulated scientific fact and consensus to promote global warming. He then went into a very scientific debunking of the sensitivity of climate to greenhouse gases, concluding that, "from a religious point-of-view, the Earth is well-designed." He compared the attribution of global warming to greenhouse gases to the intelligent design theory. "We can't think of anything else, so there must be an intelligent designer," he said.

"There is nothing happening in nature that suggests anything urgent," Lindzen said. He then described all of the agendas of people who would be harmed "if you suddenly heard that there was no such thing as harmful global warming," including the Nobel Prize Committee, which recently gave the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore, the environmental movement and science, alternative energy, the United Nations, trial lawyers "looking to make carbon the next tobacco" and individuals who have adopted this issue as a personal cause. "The alarmist dogmas of the past 20 years are almost certainly false or misleading," Lindzen said in conclusion.

A panel of three Colgate professors, Professor of Geography Adam Burnett, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Ephraim Woods and Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies Bob Turner were then allowed to ask Lindzen questions, followed by a question-and-answer session for students. "I think it's good to have folks on campus that have a strong point of view," Woods said. "But [Lindzen] doesn't engage in a discussion very well. He is very quick to reject some pieces of data as bad science or somehow contrived when they don't meet with his point of view."

"I thought that he made a very compelling argument," first-year Mike Abrahamson, who attended the lecture on suggestion from a professor, said. "I would say as someone who knows very little about the science on either side that it was very convincing." "It's nice that we now have viewpoints from both extreme sides of the issue," first-year Alyssa Perez said, referring to the lecture and to The Weather Makers, the required reading for incoming first-years. "Now I'd like to hear from someone more in the middle of the issue." "I think this lecture helped a lot,"

Director of Summer Programs and Lecturer in University Studies Matt Leone, who suggested the lecture to his students, including Abrahamson and Perez, said. "Lindzen is an extraordinarily adept meteorologist. He is clearly very knowledgeable and passionate about his subject...This is the kind of thing that matters a lot.I can't be convinced one way or another because I'm not a scientist, but I do feel as a citizen that I should do my best to understand the subject as best I can."


Gore's Deceptive Rolling Stone Interview

Post below lifted from American Thinker. See the original for links

In case any doubt remains as to who deserves the title of undisputed Globaloney Champion of the World, Al Gore's Rolling Stone interview should put the question to rest. Interviewed in the magazine's third 40th Anniversary Issue of the year, self-proclaimed planet savior Al Gore warns that:
"It is a mistake to think of the Climate Crisis as one in a list of issues that will define our future. It is the issue. Everything else must be viewed through that lens."

That's right -- The issue. Not the all too real, ongoing struggle against radical Islamic madmen. Not nuclear proliferation. Not even the truly apocalyptic potential fusion of the two, a prospect which recent events in Pakistan have chillingly served to advance. No - the issue, insists Gore, is his completely conjectural Climate Crisis. As though to support such an absurd declaration, he then offered these keen observations:
"The north polar ice cap is melting, the fires are burning, the sea level is rising, living species are going extinct. These and many other manifestations, including half the U.S. being in drought last year, are visible to the naked eye. We have got to recognize that even though it's never happened before, it is happening right now."

Now, virtually every claim in his first two sentences is technically truthful. Until, that is, augmented by the catastrophe-implying qualification of the third. And it is just that dishonest inference -- that these occurrences are without precedent -- that exposes the true measure of this man in oh so many ways. So, with apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, let me count the ways.

Yes, the northern polar ice cap is melting. For the most part, it's been alternately retreating and advancing in reaction to seasonal changes for as long as there have existed seasons. And, while it's true that its dimensions may now be at a record low, Gore somehow failed to mention that the southern polar ice cap recently reached ice levels higher than we've encountered in 30 years. If global warming is alleged, you have to look at the Southern Hemisphere too when talking about polar ice caps. Nothing new here -- 1 down.

Next up -- fires are burning? Might the Goreacle be alluding to the recent arson, environmental-case-backlash- and Santa Ana wind-induced southern California blazes? Nice try, but wildfires have raged there for hundreds of years. Even the true believers at the LA Times reported that "global warming was not a factor" in the infernos, citing a Science journal study which found that the region suffered "no increase in the frequency of fire as temperatures rose." Strike 2.

But sea levels are rising, cautions Gore. And that's quite accurate, although not by measures even remotely approaching the map-redrawing 20 feet by the year 2100 he repeatedly portends. Indeed, even his overly hysterical co-awardees at the IPCC have projected a far less catastrophic global mean sea level rise of between 0.09 and 0.88 meters from 1990 to 2100. And once again, it has happened before -- oceans have been ascending at varying rates since the end of the last ice age -- over 10,000 years ago. That's 0 for 3.

And, what of these alleged extinctions? Are "living species" truly "going extinct," as Al maintains? Of course they are, just as they have throughout history. The cold truth is that The World Conservation Union lists 698 animal species extinctions since 1500 A.D. And, at Peter Maas's Extinction site, he lists 62 extinctions in the 19th century and 86 in the 20th which he attributes primarily to invasive alien species, habitat loss and overexploitation. Implying that this unfortunate yet essential component of natural selection is somehow unprecedented is nothing short of imbecilic. Surely Gore believes in evolution, of which natural selection is the driving force.

Four deeply deceptive assertions in a single sentence certainly do nothing to smooth Gore's reputation for exaggerating. But implying in the very next breath that last year's drought was an unparalleled prognosticator of doom verges on incitement to panic. According to the National Climatic Data Center's U.S. National Percent Area Moderately to Extremely Dry and Moderately to Extremely Wet chart, nascent dryness is far from unprecedented. True - 2000, 2002, and 2006 each had at least one month with over 50% of the country experiencing drought conditions. But the same can be said of 1977, 1981, and 1988. And beginning in 1954 there were 4 such consecutive drought years.

Furthermore, the 1930's were a truly devastating period, enveloped in what the NCDC declares the "most widespread national drought in the last 300 years." For 5 of those years, over 50% of the country was hit, and for 5 months during 1934 that figure climbed to almost 80%. The misery these conditions brought to the Great Plains region -- parched for virtually the entire decade -- made refugees of large numbers of Americans, as chronicled in the classic American tale of dispossessed dust bowl migrants, The Grapes of Wrath.

Ironically, getting reacquainted with Steinbeck's patently pro-socialist masterpiece might afford the alarmist-in-chief a valuable perspective on demagoguery. Casy the Preacher man vowed never to sermonize again until he learned the truth himself: "Preachers gotta know [what they're preaching about]," he confided to Tom Joad, confessing that he did not.

Not a single one of Gore's five examples of what's "happening right now" has, as he persists, "never happened before." Not one. So in how many ways does Gore deceive? Given five deceptions in three sentences in one paragraph in just one interview, who can possibly keep count?


Sen. Barbara Boxer agreed on Tuesday to take more time to work through complex global warming legislation amid concerns over the possible economic impact of mandating sharp cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. At a hearing of the Environment Committee, which Boxer chairs, the California Democrat said she will not try to push through a vote on a bill, as she had once planned, before a major United Nations climate change conference begins in Indonesia on Dec. 3. She still hopes to attend that two-week session in Bali, which may set an international framework for carbon reductions.

Republicans had derided the "Bali or bust" fast-track timetable and promised dozens of amendments to the bill, sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman and John Warner, which would establish a cap-and-trade program affecting all industries that emit greenhouse gases, from cement to autos. The goal of the bill is to use mandatory limits on emissions and marketplace forces to encourage cleaner technology, efficiency and conservation. Industries would receive carbon emissions credits, and those that stay under the caps could trade or sell them.

"We'll work on this as long as it takes," Boxer said during the hearing. After the session, she said she wants the committee to work through the massive, 200-plus-page bill on Dec. 5 and 6, "even if it takes all night," and then vote on the legislation. She promised Republicans on the committee to consider all amendments "in an open and transparent process." If the committee passes the bill, the full Senate would probably not take it up until February, Boxer said, right in the middle of presidential primary season. "The issue of global warming is rapidly barreling at us," Boxer said after the hearing, "and we can't let this slip to the next administration or the next generation."

But Tuesday's hearing showed how much work remains, and how many obstacles may block passage. Environmental groups worry that too many carbon credits would be given away to heavy polluters, and want more credits to be auctioned, with the proceeds paying for clean technology and helping low-income consumers.

Some utilities, industries and unions said the bill may be setting policy goals ahead of technology and that businesses relying on cheap coal would see their costs jump because of requirements to capture and store carbon dioxide from coal-fired plants. "This bill will encourage fuel switching from coal to natural gas, further escalating natural gas prices," said Andrew Sharkey, chief executive of the American Iron and Steel Institute. He predicted that even more U.S. manufacturing could move to countries that did not have stringent carbon controls.

The complexity of a cap-and-trade system - affecting almost every sector of the economy - "may very well result in the most far-reaching re-engineering of modern society ever attempted by Congress," added Donald Rowlett, an official with OGE Energy, an Oklahoma utility. Republican senators such as George Voinovich of Ohio said that electricity prices could jump 38 to 45 percent under the bill's restrictions, based on analysis by the Energy Information Administration. "This bill is not ready for prime time, even if the advertising for it has been top of the line," complained Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, who told Boxer he planned to offer 25 to 30 amendments.

The bill has an important political advantage in its sponsors. Warner, a Virginia Republican, has the respect of GOP senators and Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, has been working on the issue for years. Lieberman warned that "the economic cost of doing nothing on global warming will be grievous," and that sacrifices now will be less onerous than in the future. Further briefings and hearings will be held today and Thursday on the economic impacts of the bill.

Some Republicans suggested that the committee shape the bill in a way to attract the eventual support of 60 senators, the threshold needed for passage. But Boxer said her immediate goal is simpler: "My job is to get a good bill as far as I can get it, and that's out of committee."


Aren't we lucky to have Greenie wisdom to guide us?

They don't even know how to grow trees! An amusing story of gross design incompetence from Australia

Trees are mysteriously dying in front of the new Brisbane City Council executive tower -- hailed as one of Australia's most environmentally sustainable buildings. Six of the native subtropical waterhousea floribunda trees planted at the precinct this year are dead and about 15 others are in visible distress. The Brisbane Square is the largest high-rise office building in Australia to receive a five-star green rating from the Green Building Council of Australia and has been praised by Brisbane City Council for its green credentials. But Reddacliff Place at Brisbane Square, intended to be one of Brisbane's most beautiful and tree-shrouded public spaces, may have to be torn up for remedial work to solve the tree problem.

An investigation by arborist Peter Bishop has found possible problems with drainage design. "The pits for the trees have gravel in the bottom of them and the drainage line is above that," Mr Bishop said. "In effect, you've got a bath tub where the plug is up the side of the tub. The water sits in the bottom of these pits and turns stagnant because it can't get away." Mr Bishop believes the pits need to be re-engineered.

The mature trees are worth $2000 each to replace, while any work to solve the drainage problem is likely to run into six figures.. Brisbane City Council declined to comment on why the trees were dying. A spokeswoman said it did not own the building or the square and only leased space there.

Mr Bishop said the live trees should be removed immediately if they were to be saved. "The drainage issues need to be rectified and new trees will need to be planted and fixed in such a fashion that they can withstand the wind loads that are placed upon them," he said. He predicted if nothing was done, every tree in the square would be dead within a year.

Brisbane City Council has claimed credit for demanding environmentally friendly principles be used in the development, which also houses the Brisbane City Library and Suncorp offices. Some of the features that enabled the $198 million highrise to achieve its five-star green rating include using materials such as goat hair, wool, cotton and hemp in parts of the construction. The building's water-saving features include using river water in airconditioning, on-site rainwater tanks and a sewerage treatment plant.



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