Sunday, November 11, 2007

A self-confessed Greenie liar

Post below lifted from Blue Crab. See the original for links. Amusing that Science magazine, Nature and Reuters all thought the hoax was genuine, at least initially.

Thanks to alert reader Cedric, we now have a confession from David Thorpe that he was , indeed, the person who intentionally put up the fraudulent GEOCLIMATICSTUDIES.INFO website, that he did so with the intent of trying to discredit people he disagrees with and one other very, very important thing for the media to remember. He lies to reporters. Intentionally and directly to their faces.
It's been a busy time. I published a spoof website in an effort to smoke out some climate change sceptics - not genuine ones, but ones who are highly vocal and yet do not understand the science. It consisted of a fake scientific journal, the Journal of Geoclimatic Studies, and a fake editorial and paper, aiming to 'prove' that global warming was caused by bacteria, not humans. It launched Wed. night and achieved notoriety within hours. I was beseiged with calls from Science magazine, Nature and Reuters. Several people were fooled but not for long as it was pretty easy to spot the spoof nature of it - all the names were made up.

From yesterday's Reuters story:
“We’re just the website design company,” said David Thorpe at Cyberium in Wales, listed as the administrator of the site. “I don’t know anything about the content. We were just asked to put the website up.”

He says someone else wrote the copy - but his brag on the linked post proves that he knew precisely what he was publishing and why. The one thing that (at least used to be) unforgivable by a reporter was to be intentionally lied to. Alister Doyle, the Reuters reporter should be furious right now. The fraudulent website has been taken down by the hosting company (TOS violation?). James Lewis was precisely right in calling it a black ops job.

Climate skepticism growing in Europe

Climate scepticism has now gained a firm foothold in various European countries. In Denmark Bjorn Lomborg stands out as the single most important sceptical environmental-ist, defying the political correctness which is such a characteristic feature of his home country, as well as other Nordic countries. But wait! Bjorn Lomborg is not a genuine climate sceptic. Real climate sceptics admire his courage, his scientific rigour and debating skills, but beg to disagree with him on the fundamentals of climate science. Lomborg acknowledges that there is such a thing as man-made global warming, which is quite in line with the mantra of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). He 'only' challenges the cost benefit relationships of the policy measures, which have been proposed to do something about it. Massive expenditures (often euphemistically called 'investments') in exchange for undetectable returns.

Real climate sceptics do not accept the man-made global warming hypothesis. They are of the opinion that the human contribution to global warming over the last century or so is at most insignificant. But, of course, they are happy with the arguments advanced by Bjorn Lomborg to bolster their case against climate hysteria.

In Germany EIKE (Europaeisches Institut fuer Klima und Energie, Jena: has been established - still in its infancy, but nevertheless. Moreover, a group of German climate sceptics has written something which could be called a consensus among many climate sceptics: Climate Manifest of Heiligenroth (See: Furthermore there are many climate sceptical websites in Germany. For those who like visual thrills and possess a basic command of the German language, Konrad Fischer's website might be fun: 'Videos and films concerning the greenhouse swindle and climate terror' (

But the AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) belief is still overwhelming in Germany. In newspapers and on TV, Stefan Rahmstorf, the German climate Torquemada, -- comparable to Al Gore in the US, George Monbiot in the UK and David Suzuki in Canada -- are constantly attacking critics of the AGW hypothesis. Contrary to good scientific practice, he lavishly lards his interventions with ad hominem attacks and insinuations that his opponents lack qualifications and/or are being paid by industry. Although decades of pro AGW indoctrination has left its mark on the German psyche, even true believers are becoming fed up with him.

In Sweden, despite its high standards of political correctness, there is a very vocal group of climate sceptics, which regularly publish in 'Elbranchen'. In September 2006 they organised a seminar: 'Global Warming - Scientific Controversies in Climate Variability'. This meeting was hosted by the Royal Technical High School in Stockholm and chaired by its rector, Peter Stilbs (See: Even Swedish TV has aired a debate on the issue. For those who have some command of the Scandinavian languages, see: Veckans Debatt: Global uppvaerming: Vad saeger vetenskapen?

In Italy the Bruno Leoni Institute has espoused climate scepticism ( In Spain, the foundation Rafael del Pino has paid attention to climate scepticism in the past, but because of social and political pressure it has felt forced to keep a low profile on this issue over the last few years. ( In the French-speaking part of Europe, individual scientists such as as Marcel Leroux could be mentioned. Moreover, the Molinari Institute has joined the cause of climate scepticism ( In the Czech Republic, President Vaclav Havel is single-handedly attempting to instil some common sense into public opinion. In Austria the Hayek Institute carries the torch (, while Estonia is represented by Olavi K„rner (

In my own country, the Netherlands, the situation has markedly improved. In line with the tradition of consensus-seeking, it has been possible to establish something close to a real dialogue between AGW adherents and the climate sceptics. Personally, I have even been invited by the Nether-lands Royal Meteorological Institute (KNMI) to become expert reviewer of the IPCC. As such, I have submitted many fundamental criticisms on the draft texts of the Fourth Assessment Re-port of the Panel (AR4). What happened to my comments? To be honest, I have not the faintest idea. Most probably, nothing at all.

Nevertheless, in my capacity as expert reviewer of the IPCC, I have also received (a tiny) part of the Nobel price, which has been awarded to Al Gore and the IPCC (yes, thanks for your congratulations). Should I be grateful? I don't think so. Both 'An Inconvenient Truth' and the latest IPCC report labour under cherry-picking, spindoctoring and scare-mongering (Al Gore's movie more than the IPCC reports).

Awarding the Nobel price for such flawed science is a disgrace. But it should be recalled that the Nobel Prize for Peace is being awarded by a group of (five) Norwegian politicians and not by the Swedish Academy of Science, which is always scrupulously investigating the merits of the candidates. The Norwegians are piggybacking on the reputation of the Nobel prizes for science and literature. The method of electing the winner of the Peace prize ensures a political outcome reflecting the current strength of Norwegian political parties. Four out of five members of the parliamentary committee that selected Gore are former cabinet members. The fifth, Mjoes, was president of the University of Tromso. So the Democrat Gore owes his prize to a constellation of Progressives, Social and Christian Democrats and Green socialists. Little wonder Francis Sejersted, past chairman of the committee, admits: 'Awarding a peace prize is, to put it bluntly, a political act.'

Russian scientists are criticising very openly the AGW hypothesis. They do it with a frankness which - in this particular field - is still rare in the 'free world'. Usually scientists shroud their statements in clouds of caveats. Even the IPCC follows this tradition to a certain extent. But Russian climatologists do not. They simply state that a new little ice age is imminent. Not so long ago it was astronomer Khabibullo Abdusamatov of the Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in St. Petersburg, who declared that the Earth will experience a 'mini Ice Age' in the middle of this century, caused by low solar activity. Now it is the climatologist Olech Sorochtin, member of the Russian Academy of Physical Science, who joins him. His message was prominently disseminated by the Russian press agency Novosti, which in the period of the Cold War was generally considered to be a mouthpiece of the Kremlin. ( Therefore, it is perhaps not too far-fetched to speculate that this might be a warning signal that the Russians will drop out of Kyoto when its first phase expires in 2012.

But Britannia rules the waves. Stewart Dimmock, a Kent lorry driver and school governor, took the government to court for sending copies of Gore's film to schools. He was backed by a group of campaigners, including Viscount Monckton, a former adviser to Mrs Thatcher. They won a legal victory against 'An Inconvenient Truth'. Mr Justice Burton ruled that the movie contained at least nine scientific errors and said ministers must send new guidance to teachers before it was screened. 'That ruling was a fantastic victory,' said Monckton. 'What we want to do now is send schools material reflecting an alternative point of view so that pupils can make their own minds up.' Monckton has also won support from the maker of 'The Great Global Warming Swindle'. Martin Durkin, managing director of WAG TV, which produced the documentary, said he would be delighted for his film to go to schools. I have become a proselytiser against the so-called consensus on climate change ... people can decide for themselves,' he said.

And what about our kids? Well, they have survived the story of Santa Claus without any visible scars. Wouldn't they survive the nonsense of man-made global warming as well?



So: Nukes? Oh no! We cannot have any realistic solutions!

A massive switch to burning coal will make it harder to limit global warming in the coming 25 years, warns a major report on global energy trends from the International Energy Agency and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. In a "business-as-usual" scenario, the report released on Wednesday predicts that coal demand will increase by 73% between 2005 and 2030, with 80% of the predicted increase in China and India. Already, these two countries account for 45% of all coal burnt, and demand is likely to rise as the relatively cleaner fossil fuels - oil and natural gas - become scarcer and more expensive.

But there is hope that by rapidly introducing "clean-coal" technologies, China, India and other coal-burning countries can keep the lid on emissions of carbon dioxide, the main pollutant raising global temperatures. According to the report, the most promising technology is carbon capture and storage (CCS) - this involves burying carbon dioxide produced by burning coal deep underground, instead of venting it into the atmosphere.

"Government action must focus on curbing the rapid growth in carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power stations," says the report. "CCS could reconcile continued coal burning with the need to cut emissions in the longer term, if the technology can be demonstrated on a large scale and if adequate incentives to invest are in place."

The big question, says the report, is whether the technologies can be deployed fast enough. In India and China, momentum to reduce emissions might come less from the imperative to stop global warming and more from pressure to cut local pollution and to save money through energy efficiency. Globally, the report expects energy needs to grow by 50% by 2030 compared with 2005, with India and China accounting for 45% of the growth. This will raise carbon dioxide levels by 57%, with 67% of the increase shared by the US, China, India, and Russia.



BRAZIL has discovered huge new petroleum reserves in its south that could turn the country into one of the biggest oil producers in the world, the government and its state-controlled oil company has announced. If one of the deposits turns out to be as vast as it appears, Brazil will be in the same league "as the Arab countries, Venezuela and others," the senior minister in charge of the cabinet, Dilma Rousseff, said.

Petrobras, Brazil's national oil company, said in a statement that exploration of its Tupi field, offshore Sao Paulo state, revealed it could produce up to eight billion barrels of light oil and natural gas. It said that find, along with another potential field still being explored farther south, could propel Brazil "among the countries with the biggest oil and gas reserves in the world." The head of Petrobras, Jose Sergio Gabrielli, told a media conference in Rio de Janeiro that Brazil's total reserves could now place it "between Nigeria and Venezuela".

Shares in the company soared on the news, closing 14.57 per cent higher at 93.40 reais ($58) on the Sao Paulo stockmarket. Petrobras' previous stated reserves, given at the end of 2006, were the equivalent of 11.46 billion barrels of oil. The Tupi find alone could boost that by 50 per cent. Petrobras operates the Tupi area, of which it holds 65 per cent.

British energy group BG holds a 25 per cent share in the field and Portugal's Petrogal-Galp Energia holds 10 per cent. Petrobras also holds the lion's share of interest in the other field being tested. The Brazilian government said no more parts of the new field would be licensed out until a full evaluation was in. It said this was in "the public interest."

The discoveries are a significant fillip for Brazil, coming at a time that the price of oil is sitting at a record high and heading towards $US100 per barrel. An analyst at the Brazilian Centre for Infrastructure, Adriano Pires, agreed that "this is good news." But he noted that the Tupi field, 250km offshore, lies in very deep water, which will make extraction "very expensive." At best, he said, production would begin in around four or five years' time. "It's only viable if oil prices stay high," he said.

The Brazilian state holds a 55.7 per cent of the shares with voting rights in Petrobras, giving it effective control of the energy giant, which currently pumps out nearly two million barrels of oil a day.


Carbon Offsets: The New Cure for Enviroguilt

Post below from "Alternet" -- a generally Leftist site

Carbon offset fees may be new, but the underlying notion goes back to the Middle Ages, when the Catholic Church sold wealthy people indulgences to offset the spiritual cost of their sins.

Airlines from Virgin Blue to Qantas have been touting new ecofriendly programs under which passengers paralyzed by enviroguilt over all of those jet-fueled carbon dioxide emissions can pay an extra carbon offset fee for tickets. The money these passengers pay -- sometimes as little as $1 -- is supposed to go to renewable energy or unspecified green causes and therefore make airline travel carbon neutral.

Carbon offset fees may be new, but the underlying notion goes back to the Middle Ages, when the Catholic Church sold wealthy people indulgences to offset the spiritual cost of their sins and assure a place for them in heaven. And yet at least the kids in 1380 knew that indulgences were bullshit. Geoffrey Chaucer's classic work The Canterbury Tales, written in the late 1300s, makes fun of the thoroughly corrupt pardoner character, a bombastic weirdo who constantly tries to sell everybody official-looking papers that would pardon them for their sins. Chaucer was just one of many thinkers at the time who criticized the idea that any sin can be forgiven with a little gold.

Polluting the environment isn't a sin in the Christian sense, and yet carbon offset fees are clearly indulgences for a modern, scientific age. I don't mean to say that money doesn't help ecocauses. But the problem is far more complicated than we want to believe. Our planet is in such sorry shape partly because humans are trying to better themselves. China is industrializing in order to make its citizens richer, but last week the Chinese National Population and Family Planning Commission published a report showing that environmental pollution from coal mining has caused the incidence of birth defects to jump 40 percent in the past six years.

There's no carbon offset price you could pay to fix that. Nor is there an easy way to prevent such disasters from happening in the future if most of the world agrees that industrialization is the road to wealth. Do we use our carbon indulgence money to fund Chinese populations' return to preindustrial life, thus dooming that nation to a second-class economic status?

Perhaps we could use our money to fund education that teaches Chinese kids about alternative energy. But what kind of energy will they use in their classrooms while waiting for scientists to invent something that combusts cleanly and renewably forever?

Preservationist Marc Ancrenaz and his colleagues get it right in a recent article for PloS Biology in which they argue that preserving biodiversity must go hand in hand with eradicating poverty. "Most traditional conservation efforts were typically designed to exclude human residents," Ancrenaz's group writes. "This failure to consider the interests of local communities has resulted in a general lack of support for conservation and subsequent degradation of protected areas." In other words, if you don't help the people in a region, it doesn't matter how many carbon offsets you buy -- the area will still suffer. Ancrenaz discusses two novel preservation programs that incorporate community development in their biodiversity agendas: the Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project in Borneo and the Tree Kangaroo Preservation Program in Papua New Guinea.

Both programs train and hire locals as researchers who can help preserve the habitats of orangutans and tree kangaroos, respectively. I don't want to offer programs like these as panaceas. Improperly used, they are no better than carbon indulgences. But at least they aim to address the deep connection between human poverty and environmental suffering. Even better would be programs that help locals develop new sources of wealth without requiring them to engage in logging or factory farming to earn money.

I'm not saying you should quit buying your carbon offsets, because maybe some of that money will make it into the right hands. But you should recognize your actions for what they are: guilt-inspired payouts that assuage your conscience rather than thoughtful remedies for problems that won't be solved with indulgences alone.


Three Texas Weathermen reject AGW

It's a movement that's gained momentum and has become mainstream, especially in political and media circles. Even major television networks these days are promoting Going Green, to stop Global Warming. One of the things you're not hearing in the national media is a voice like John Coleman, founder of The Weather Channel. In a recent article, Coleman calls Global Warming the greatest scam in history. "There is no runaway climate change," said Coleman. "The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious."

KLTV 7 has three meteorologist on staff. It's their job to analyze weather patterns both in the short term, and the long term. When it comes to Global Warming, all three have a lot to say. It's being blamed for almost every major catastrophe, hurricanes, tornados, flooding and even droughts. More and more people are now on the Global Warming bandwagon.

"Any idea can become mainstream if you just hear one side of the argument," said KLTV 7 Meteorologist Morgan Palmer. For those who study the weather everyday, the idea of man-made Global Warming is a scientific theory, and Palmer says it has now become political. "It is because of money," said Palmer. "Folks that are writing these papers, that a lot of institutions are going after, grant money and grant money is given by folks who might have very good intentions, but unfortunately the papers that are being written are heavily weighed on man-made Global Warming."

Now, Meteorologist Mark Scirto and Grant Dade want the other side of the argument to be heard. "I think it is about time we see the other side of the Global Warming debate come out," said Dade. "Is the Earth warming? Yes, I think it is. But is man causing that? No. It's a simple climate cycle our climate goes through over thousands of years." "The late 1800's, early 1900's, we were so cold parts of Galveston Bay froze over," said Scirto. "In parts of the 20th century it was one of the warmest ever, then we cooled off again and then it was the drought."

Dramatic pictures float the Internet and are seen all over T. V. that seem to show Global Warming taking place, but Dade said there are things we don't hear. "Did you hear about the Arctic ice melting? But you didn't hear in Antarctica last winter was the most ice ever recorded," said Dade. "You don't hear that." "Eventually, what is going to happen 20, 30 years from now, this is all going to be gone because we will not be warming anymore," said Scirto.



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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