Sunday, November 04, 2007


An email from Hartwig Volz [] referring to this article

Dear Mr. Ollier,

With reference to your recent contribution, THE GREENLAND-ANTARCTICA MELTING PROBLEM DOES NOT EXIST, you may be interested in my correponence with James Hansen some years ago.

best regards
Hartwig Volz

From: Volz, Dr. Hartwig
Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2004 5:16 PM
To: 'James Hansen'
Subject: Slippery Slope

Dear Dr. Hansen,

Thank you for sending me your submitted climate change editorial. Your publications are always interesting reading, though I do not always agree.

One remark: many years ago I did a lot of "adventure travelling", also mountain and ice climbing in Greenland. From this time I vaguely remember the following: the sub-ice geomorphology of Greenland is kind of shaped like a saucer. This is the reason why most of the Greenland glacier can not escape by glacier surge, because of the natural sediment and lava barrier. The same is true for Vatnajokull in Iceland, the third largest glacier in the world. So this situation is different from e.g. the situation of the North American ice shield at the end of the last glacial. The top of the Greenland glacier is far too high and too cold to melt. More details you may find by googling e.g. "Greenland sub-ice geomorphology" or asking an expert directly.

best regards
Hartwig Volz
Celle, Germany

That famous Greenie openness to discussion (NOT)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is America's primary body for recording weather and climate data. What its scientists think about global warming is therefore of some interest. Steven Milloy decided to find out. He emailed the climate experts there a short questionnaire that enabled them to give their views in a few minutes. The reply he got back from Federal scientist Dr. Daniel Schwarzkopf was: "F**k you!" Such a high-powered intellectual! Any guesses about where he comes down on the global warming issue? Full details here (PDF).


Today, I should like to commend an interesting article by James Delingpole writing in The Spectator (October 31): 'Might I be a Marxist?' In this piece, Delingpole, who is, in essence, right wing politically, wonders why he now seems to share so many viewpoints with Claire Fox, who still describes herself as a Marxist, and who, for 20 years, was a core activist of the Revolutionary Communist Party and associated with the magazine, Living Marxism.

Delingpole observes tellingly: "Far more important is the way that global capitalism has won the political argument, rendering the old distinction between left and right almost meaningless. Today, the divisions that count are the ones between libertarianism and statism; between the hard-headed empiricism of the Enlightenment and the (currently more fashionable) touchy-feely romanticism of the New Age."

I could not agree more. This web site stands firmly on the side of libertarianism and the Enlightenment against the authoritarianism and Utopian romanticism of 'the state', both of Old Communism and of Fascism. What Delingpole is really concerned about is a resurgent Neo-Fascism, especially with respect to Islamism and "eco-fascist hysteria", among other issues.

That telling phrase, "eco-fascist hysteria", is not without historical precedent. In the 1930s and early-1940s, we heard such tropes before, and the context was extremely nasty. Although one must never tar with an unfair brush, the "touchy-feely romanticism of the New Age", to repeat Delingpole's neat description, leans too dangerously for my liking towards the language of Hitler's 'Green', Richard-Walther Darre (1895 - 1953), SS-Obergruppenfuehrer, and the leading Nazi 'blood and soil' theoretician, who was Reich Minister of Food and Agriculture between 1933 to 1942 and Reichsbauernfuehrer, National Farmers' Leader, for some twelve years.

In his many publications, including, for example, Das Bauerntum als Lebensquell der Nordischen Rasse (1928), Blut und Boden (1929), and Der Schweinemord (1937), Darre argued that it was the European farmer who had been the creator of European culture, and he proposed the formation of a Germanic 'aristocracy of the soil', rooted in the old agrarian community, which would be protected from, and be a bulwark against, the 'capitalist' (for which, read 'wandering Jewish') world, the "chaos of the market", and industrialisation. The movement was to be 'voelkisch' (nearly impossible to translate), with a romantic focus on folklore, the 'organic', and purity. Provocatively, he even placed the pig at the heart of this cult, a celebration of German peasant life, coupled with unsophisticated racism, and, above all, anti-Semitism. The process was to be progressed through Erbhofgesetz, entail farm legislation, which would tie the peasant to the land. Moreover, the Reich would seek autarky - self-sufficiency.

Inevitably, it didn't work, even in the ugly 'Fairy Tale' that was Nazi Germany, and Darre was soon in conflict with the Reichsbank, with the free market economics of people like Hjalmar Schacht, with the progressive, industrial side of Nazism, but, more importantly, with 'the peasants' themselves, many of whom were more than happy to turn 'capitalist', or who fled the land altogether. By 1939, Darre had lost Hitler's support, and he was sidelined under Himmler, but not before he had ordered Jews to be cut off from German food supplies, a crime for which he was given a five-year prison sentence at Nuremberg.

Does this ring some bells? First, there are resonances in the desperate protection of patently-inefficient 'peasant' agriculture from 'capitalism' by extremely heavy and costly EU subsidies at the expense both of the urban poor in Europe and of developing-world farmers. It is further worth noting that threatening political figures, like Jean-Marie Le Pen, draw much of their support from La France profonde and its ilk. I also think we must be ever-wary of the 'organic' concepts of purity, and of the persistent cry that 'local' farmers are a special 'aristocracy', a 'Country Life' defence against the evils of a globalising world. And one must even be cautious about the incipient autarchy behind such ideas as 'the local', 'food miles', and that dreaded neo-thumb(toe)screw 'carbon footprint'.

Above all, however, environmentalism, in its more eco-fascistic forms, clearly represents a new attempt to curb both liberty and capitalism. This is why its proponents are so desperate to terrify people about 'global warming', the ultimate "eco-fascist hysteria" (see: 'The Politics of Fear', October 31). 'Global warming' is the new 'evil', the scapegoat, the conjured excuse for increasing intervention into people's lives. As such, it is dangerous. In his book, Heat, George Monbiot is quite open about the aims, calling for "a campaign not for more freedom but for less."

Climate sceptics and realists, far from being 'Holocaust deniers' (a disgraceful hijacking of true horror and wickedness), could well be the precise opposite, a vital bastion against the iron fists of statism and Neo-Fascism.

Lastly, I must draw your attention to how Delingpole approaches 'Enlightenment values', a phrase much used by Claire Fox and her colleagues: "What they mean by this is what others among us might call 'good old-fashioned common sense': looking at the world as it really is, rather than as it ought to be; forming policies on the basis of what will actually work, rather than by trying to force square pegs into round holes; working with human nature, not against it."

As readers of this blog know well, I am all for down-to-earth common sense. A good read, Mr. Delingpole.



While it seems some leaders in Congress are willing to compromise with the White House on an energy bill, back-door wrangling could grind the measure to a halt, a prospect many conservatives and business groups wouldn't mind in the least.

The pending bills, approved with significant differences between the House and Senate, would put in place a number of unsavory regulatory measures that the White House has indicated the president would veto.

Particularly repugnant is a proposal passed by the House that would impose billions in new taxes on the oil and gas industry all in the name of developing more eco-friendly renewable energy resources. This harmful measure would repeal $16 billion in tax breaks for U.S. oil companies over 10 years, a move that will further drive up the cost of gasoline. While Democrats claim to support reducing U.S. reliance on foreign oil production, this proposal would handicap U.S. domestic companies against their foreign competitors by essentially double-taxing them beyond the substantial foreign taxes they already pay.

The Senate's energy bill would increase the corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, standards for vehicle mileage for the first time in more than two decades. It would also quadruple the use of energy alternatives like ethanol. Unfortunately, the average CAFE standard passed by the House is 35 mpg by 2020 for both cars and trucks, a stipulation that fails to take into consideration the vast physical differences among cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles. A much more sensible proposal has been offered by Reps. Baron Hill, Indiana Democrat, and Lee Terry, Nebraska Republican, that would create separate standards for different types of vehicles, acknowledging that trucks and cars require varying levels of fuel for operation. The Hill-Terry compromise was not adopted in the original House bill, but should a measure emerge out of conference, legislators should include this provision.

An additional measure further complicating matters is a provision in the Senate bill that would exponentially increase loan guarantees offered to companies seeking to build new nuclear power facilities. Wall Street is unwilling to grant these significant loans to a underdeveloped industry that has not seen a new plant constructed since the 1970s. Perhaps this controversial measure should be considered on its own merits in a separate bill, rather than further entangling the complicated negotiations surrounding these two bills.

Some analysts say the energy bill itself could wither this year, perhaps giving Democrats an opportunity for electoral grandstanding in 2008 if the bill dies. However, President Bush is willing to work with Democrats - energy policy was a major component of his State of the Union address - and congressional leaders should be willing to compromise as well.



Global cooling should be much more in evidence by then, anyway. So that will be a good excuse. Comment below from Australia -- discussing the vagueness of both major parties on the issue

THERE's one of two things happening out there on climate change. Either the Coalition and Labor are combining to pull the wool over our eyes on what we want from a Kyoto II global agreement - or they are positioning Australia yet again to walk out on a global deal. If you've been listening casually to this week's claims and counter-claims on climate change, you might well think that both sides have pledged that they will not sign up to any post-Kyoto agreement unless it requires developing countries to cut emissions. But it's not so simple. Listen closely to what they're saying, and it's far more vague than that.

Mr Rudd says Labor will insist on "commitments" by developing countries as part of Kyoto II. Mr Howard says developing countries must be "part of the agreement" so it "applies in an appropriate way to all the world's major emitters". A bit vague? Let's try their ministers. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says Kyoto II must "include obligations by developing countries". Fran Kelly on Tuesday on the ABC tried to get him to specify those obligations. "You have to take into consideration a number of factors here, but if everybody makes a reasonably equitable contribution to addressing the issue of greenhouse gas emissions - developing countries argue for a differentiated commitment - but if they all make a commitment nevertheless, then we should be able to get the balance right."

What did that mean? Kelly pressed on, and Downer kept fluttering away. "Well, there will be different approaches," he said. "The central point here is the challenge to get them to make a contribution ... We would not agree to an agreement where developing countries didn't make any contribution."

Why are they all so vague? Because they all know that the key developing countries are not going to agree to cut their greenhouse gas emissions for years, until they are approaching the levels the Western countries are at.

Look at the panel accompanying our news report. The US in 2004 pumped 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere for each of its 300 million people. Australia pumped out 19.4 tonnes - yet China produced only 3.6 tonnes per head, Indonesia 1.4 tonnes (excluding forest fires), India one tonne and Bangladesh just 270 kilograms. Does anyone (apart from The Australian and the odd ABC interviewer) seriously think that China, India and Bangladesh are going to agree to reduce their emissions from these levels?

That's why their "commitments" will be token things. China's President Hu Jintao made that clear when he visited Australia for the recent APEC summit. China, he pointed out, has made commitments to reduce its energy intensity (the amount of energy used for each unit of output) by 20 per cent, to increase its use of renewable energy, to increase forest coverage to 20 per cent of its land mass, and so on.

That's all good if it happens. But as Professor Ross Garnaut has pointed out, China is growing so fast that it could reduce its energy intensity by 40 per cent by 2020 and its emissions would still more than double. Keep listening carefully, and hope that Howard and Rudd stay vague. Otherwise there will be no Kyoto II at all.



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.


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