Thursday, November 22, 2007

Science Has Spoken, Now Shut Up

Post below lifted from Taranto. See the original for links

"The Scientists Speak," reads the headline of the New York Times editorial, which informs us that there is no question the New York Times editorialists are right:
The world's scientists have done their job. Now it's time for world leaders, starting with President Bush, to do theirs. That is the urgent message at the core of the latest--and the most powerful--report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of 2,500 scientists who collectively constitute the world's most authoritative voice on global warming. Released in Spain over the weekend, the report leaves no doubt that man-made emissions from the burning of fossil fuels (and, to a lesser extent, deforestation) have been responsible for the steady rise in atmospheric temperatures.

There is no doubt! These are scientists, after all, and they're working for the U.N. They don't make mistakes! Or do they? Here's a news story that also appears in the Times today:
The United Nations' AIDS-fighting agency plans to issue a report today acknowledging that it overestimated the size of the epidemic and that new infections with the deadly virus have been dropping each year since they peaked in the late 1990s.

We're so confused. Didn't the scientists speak? How could they have gotten it so wrong? After all, they're scientists! Here's a quote from the Washington Post that may shed some light on the matter:
"There was a tendency toward alarmism, and that fit perhaps a certain fundraising agenda," said Helen Epstein, author of "The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS." "I hope these new numbers will help refocus the response in a more pragmatic way."

Could it be that we are watching the same phenomenon with the whole global-warmist hysteria? Our bet would be yes.

More poor science in Science

Given their global warming evangelism, this is no surprise. Story from Australia:

Federal Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran has welcomed research exonerating Australian honeybees in the demise of hundreds of millions of their tiny American cousins. "Someone owes Australian beekeepers a big apology, but we won't hold our breath waiting for it," Mr McGauran said. According to Mr McGauran, the latest genetic evidence debunks claims that imported Australian bees introduced a virus linked to the mysterious disappearance of US honeybees, a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.

The allegation, made last September in the journal Science, threatened to scupper a burgeoning business worth nearly $5 million to bee exporters because it encouraged Pennsylvania senator Robert Casey to seek a ban on Australian imports. As well, officials with the US Plant Health Inspection Service asked Australian authorities to explain why bans should not be imposed.

CSIRO bee pathologist Denis Anderson said the new findings were solid and should end the looming trade row. "It will take something completely new to get Australian bees back on the hook," he said. The all-clear came from virologist Yanping Chen and geneticist Jay Evans, both with the US Agriculture Department's Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland. In an upcoming issue of American Bee Journal they will report that analysis of honeybee samples collected between 2002 to 2007 showed that the virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus, had been circulating in the US for at least five years.

While US beekeepers reported hive declines as early as 2004, CCD was not identified until the middle of lastyear, prompting imports of Australian bee packages to bolster plummeting populations. Dr Anderson was critical of the damaging Science report, claiming the team misinterpreted its results.

Max Whitten, former head of CSIRO Entomology, added that there was never any evidence that IAPV caused CCD, let alone that it was spread by Australian bees. "It's more likely that stressed hives will succumb to all sorts of benign pathogens, which they could handle if healthy," he suggested. Unlike Australian colonies, US hives are stressed by poor nutrition, pesticides and parasites. As well, hives are trucked long distances to pollinate crops, reducing bee fitness.

Dr Anderson said what the Science paper showed was that CCD was linked to Nosema, a widespread honeybee disease. "But it was overlooked as the cause due to lack of experience and knowledge of general bee pathology on the part of the researchers," Dr Anderson said. "This can't reflect well on a journal such as Science and (its) selection ofreferees."


More Weather Station Shenanigans Media Won't Report

Will a television news magazine like "60 Minutes," "20/20," or "Dateline" ever devote an entire segment exclusively to the horrid state of America's weather stations? Given the incessant reports of rising temperatures threatening to kill us all, wouldn't a lengthy expos‚ into the accuracy of the devices at the heart of the matter be of interest to a population frightened to drive their cars, heat their homes, and - God forbid - exhale? Consider the following information shared by weather station analyst extraordinaire Anthony Watts, published Sunday at Steve McIntyre's Climate Audit, and try to figure out why this isn't one of the hottest stories in town.

I decided to survey one of the hottest and most remote USHCN weather stations in the USA, Death Valley.... The day started out in Baker, California, at the southern entrance to Death Valley. Appropriately, they have a Starbuck's there, as well as what was once billed as "the worlds tallest thermometer" which has sadly been converted from a desert information center into the "worlds tallest mini-market". Given that it's over concrete, asphalt, and the roof of a mini-mart, I've going to give it a CRN rating of "5?. Of course that's what they want here, hotter temperatures, because that's part of the tourist attraction....

I've never seen a pint sized "Stevenson Screen" mounted on a rooftop tower before. It was on an adobe building that looked like it was once a motel. You can see the shadow of the tower on the southernmost rooftop in the Google Earth link. I guess they Like it hot here, and will go to lengths to make new highs. What better way than to put a station on a roof in Death Valley?

Imagine that: the weather station in the hottest part of America is actually on a roof. Shouldn't this be a wonderful feature in a potentially award-winning television expose? I guess like an inebriated Britney Spears, this would expose too much. Readers are highly encouraged to review the entire piece while they envision Katie Couric traveling around the country uncovering the farce that is our nation's weather stations.or not.


ABC Again Ignores Liberal Connections of Global Warming Alarmists

Sam Champion hyperventilated about the threat of extreme weather on Monday's "Good Morning America" and, once again, ignored the leftist connections of two cited experts. Scientists Michael Oppenheimer and Daniel Schrag, both of whom have vigorously slammed Republicans in the past, appeared in the segment to warn that global warming would only continue to cause unusual weather patterns as long as greenhouse gases keep increasing.

GMA identified Oppenheimer simply by his connection as a scientist for Princeton University. However, he has previously slammed Republican disagreement about climate change as "uniformed rambling." In the piece, Schrag scarily warned, "It's hard to overstate how big a change [climate change] could be in the weather we experience every day." This is same man who, in a Boston Globe column from December 2006, smeared GOP Senator James Inhofe, then the Chair of a Senate environmental committee, for using skeptical witnesses that Schrag derided as "a gathering of liars and charlatans, sponsored by those industries who want to protect their profits." To further make the point, the article is entitled, "On a Swift Boat to a Warmer World."

In October, the ABC program featured Oppenheimer gushing over Al Gore and his Nobel Peace Prize victory. That segment was even more misleading, as GMA provided no identification at all. Later that month, Oppenheimer appeared on NBC's "Nightly News" and claimed climate change could cause disasters such as the California wildfires. (NBC also failed to disclose his liberal connections.) Is it really too much to ask that the networks stop attempting to pass off environmental activists as non-partisan observers?

ABC hyped the segment, which focused on extreme weather around the world, within the context of a new United Nations report on global warming. Co-host Robin Roberts observed that "some" are calling it "definitive." Of course, Champion made no mention of any possibility that these weather events could be cyclical or that some might not be as a result of climate change. Skepticism on this issue is readily available. For instance, Investors Business Daily reported on November 13 that in a new study, NASA researchers found that many changes in the Arctic Ocean are, in fact, cyclical:
From 2002 to 2006, scientists and researchers from NASA and the University of Washington's Polar Science Center at the Applied Physics Laboratory observed a meaningful ongoing reversal in Arctic Ocean circulation. The cause is atmospheric circulation changes that vary in decade-long periods and the effect is, well, let the scientist who led the study explain it: "Our study confirms many changes seen in upper Arctic Ocean circulation in the 1990s were mostly decadal in nature, rather than trends caused by global warming," said the University of Washington's James Morison.

This study, however, went unmentioned by Sam Champion.

More here

The Gore profit machine rumbles on

As NewsBusters readers are well aware, we have for months been chronicling Nobel Laureate Al Gore's profit motive concerning the advancement of climate change hysteria. Last Monday, it was announced that the Global Warmingist-in-Chief had been hired by Silicon Valley's most prestigious venture capital firm. At the time, the implication was that Gore would assist Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in finding new, unknown eco-friendly companies to invest in.

According to Fox News's "The Journal Editorial Report," Gore's position with Kleiner Perkins may be to get a currently stalled energy bill through Congress that would end up helping companies the VC group has already invested in.
Freeman, WSJ Assistant Editorial Page Editor: His timing could be perfect for Kleiner, because the firm has backed more than a dozen of these clean technologies, but they haven't been able to exit any yet. So as they look to cash out, a big, big issue for them is the energy bill, now stalled in Congress, with lots of subsidies and favorable regulations for these companies and their portfolios. So Al Gore--Mr. Gore is showing up at a critical time here for the company.

To put this in simpler terms, the VC group Gore just joined has a number of investments in so-called "green" companies, but has yet to be able to bring any to the market. The primary way such a firm makes money is when companies it owns a significant piece of go public on one of America's stock exchanges or NASDAQ. As Fortune magazine reported last Tuesday, Kleiner Perkins has yet to do this (emphasis added): "Five years after Kleiner Perkins made its first green investment, the firm hasn't had one "exit" -- VC-speak for an IPO or a sale of a company that validates the investment thesis." As such, Kleiner Perkins has money invested that has yet to pan out. And, with Congress currently debating both an energy bill and a global warming bill, the future of KP's investments might be at stake. Enter former Vice President Al Gore:
Paul Gigot, Host: Wait a minute. You're saying that this is not necessarily all about venture capitalism, but it may be about venture politics in Washington?

Freeman: Well, as far as why they make certain investments and how, I'll leave that to experts, but what's absolutely clear is that the stakes are huge for the companies they've invested in, in the green tech space in the Washington energy bill, if it ever happens.

Gigot: What companies are those? Are they in ethanol, solar?

Freeman: Two companies in ethanol. Another company that is biofuels, claiming to be creating something even better than ethanol, which probably won't be hard. Whether it can be better than gasoline is the tough challenge. Then you have two companies in solar, another one in geothermal.

Gigot: Wow. So 60 votes in the Senate may be Al Gore's real game here if can he do something in Washington to get that energy bill through the Senate.

Unfortunately, this was not a side of this issue prominently discussed by the mainstream media that not only adore the former Vice President, but have fallen hook, line, and sinker for his charade.

In a related matter, it was indeed fascinating to see how many press outlets last week shared with their patrons that Gore was donating his Kleiner Perkins salary to his climate change awareness foundation. At the time, NewsBusters noted that Gore's salary would end up representing a small portion of his actual compensation. Surprisingly, one of the versions of this announcement published by the Associated Press last Monday actually addressed this inconvenient truth (emphasis added):
Gore promised to donate 100 percent of his salary as a Kleiner Perkins partner to the Alliance for Climate Protection, the Palo Alto-based think tank he founded to focus on accelerating policy solutions to the climate crisis.
The donation does not include stock options. Typically, a tiny fraction of a venture capitalist's compensation is salary; the vast majority of wealth comes from sale of stock options when the companies the firm invests in are sold to the public.
"It's one of the benefits of not being in the public sector anymore," Gore said with a laugh.

I guess this got passed most media outlets, including Oliver Willis of Media Matters. Color me unsurprised.

In the end, this leads to one question: When will members of the press - who are always skeptical about the motives of businessmen, CEOs, and folks on Wall Street - begin to seriously examine the financial ties that folks like Gore have to inciting climate hysteria? Is this just too complex an issue for these people, or is it impossible for them to do anything that might undermine their political agendas?

More here


Well, UK PM, Gordon Brown, has at last shared with us his thoughts on climate change: ‘PM outlines climate action plan’ (BBC Online Politics News, November 19). One doesn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. It is truly pathetic. I, for once, feel quite sorry (crocodile tears, of course) for those who genuinely fear ‘global warming’ - Brown’s words are full of waffling warmth, while the proposed action is either ludicrous or non-existent:

A ‘Green hotline’ and web site to advise people on how to be ‘good’; A ban on one-use plastic bags. As it happens, I am in favour of this, but what it has to do with climate change beats me; And some help to improve energy efficiency in poorer areas. Er, that’s it!

In the meantime, the Government department dealing with the environment (Defra) is to suffer an urgent budget cut of £270 million (see: ‘Reality, Rhetoric, And Risk’, November 17), and there have been recent cuts to the New Millennium Grants for installing energy-saving measures in homes.

The rest of Brown’s rhetoric is just crowd-conning hot air (lots of classic Brownian targets, but no action), with a hint that new nuclear power may lurk somewhere as a hidden ‘renewable’ - how else is the UK going to meet its daft ‘renewable’ targets? Even the Beeb’s Roger Harrabin describes Brown’s comments on ‘renewables’ as "staggering"!

The words ‘smokescreen’ (I first typed a Freudian ‘smokesgreen’) and ‘mirrors’ cross one’s mind.

Yet, I have sensed this all along. Brown will do nothing to harm the British economy nor to hurt the disadvantaged. Indeed, in the end, he may prove to be the man for us climate realists. In practice, he is the least mad of all UK politicians over climate. I don’t think, at heart, he is really interested.

By contrast, who knows what Tory toff, ‘Dave’ ‘Notting-Hill-Green’ Cameron, will do, while the Liberal Democrats are simply dire and dangerous wet amateurs, who should be kept as far away from power as possible. Liberal is the last thing they are, and they are hyper-hysterical over climate change.

What a happy choice faces us! The real question is: “Who will do the least damage economically and politically in pursuing mad climate-change policies?”



Am email from Prof. Bob Carter [], Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

David Whitehouse has contributed another insightful essay [See immediately below], and I am confident that most of your readers will agree with the thoughts that he expresses. However, I must take exception to one sentence, which is:

"Clearly the Earth’s natural state is not to have so much CO2 in its atmosphere and it would be prudent to reduce it".

The Earth has no "natural" level of CO2 for Earth's atmosphere. It is estimated that past CO2 levels have varied up to 20 times the present level, and there is no evidence that higher levels (and especially moderately higher levels such as doubling) have been ecologically "damaging".

Quite the contrary, in fact. As you and David will be well aware, atmospheric CO2 is a stimulant to plant growth and to more efficient plant use of water. Additionally, extra CO2 probably has a mild (NOT dangerous) warming effect, which on the precautionary principle is a definite benefit at this stage of the natural climate cycle.

In summary, (i) there is no such a thing as a "natural" level of CO2 in the atmosphere, and (ii) while no one can predict exactly all the consequences of increasing atmospheric CO2, the odds strongly favour it being beneficial. From which it follows that claims that reducing human CO2 emissions would be "prudent" are false.

Finally, anyone with doubts as to the benefit of mild warming might like to consult the views of the people in the southern hemisphere who have just experienced an extremely harsh winter, or those persons in the northern hemisphere who appear to be about to receive the same.


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