Saturday, May 31, 2008


Last week, Dr. Arthur Robinson of Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine announced at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. that over 31,000 American scientists signed a petition rejecting the theory of man-made global warming. So why is the support for this theory evaporating among scientists? Perhaps it might be due to the fact that global temperature trends have remained flat for the past decade while the levels of carbon dioxide have risen 5.5%.

The foundation of the AGW theory is based on rising carbon dioxide levels producing higher temperatures. Perhaps this evaporating consensus might be due to the analysis of paleoclimate data that reach back hundreds of thousands of years through glacial/interglacial transitions. This analysis showed that changes in Earth's temperature always preceded changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide. How can that be? Well the oceans are a vast reservoir of carbon dioxide. As the oceans warm, it release this gas back into the atmosphere. The atmospheric carbon dioxide levels measured today are primarily of a natural origin rather than man-made.

Or perhaps the global warming theory is in trouble because it is based primarily on a complex computer climate model that is more hype than substance. This sophisticated model fails to include the effects of cloud-cover. Clouds are a major factor in modulating Earth's temperature. Clouds block sunlight, reflecting the light back into space thus lowering temperature. The intensity of the sun's magnetic field controls the rate that high energy particles, called galactic cosmic rays, hit the Earth's atmosphere. These particles seed cloud formation through ionization. This process was demonstrated experimentally at the Danish National Space Centre by Dr. Henrik Svensmark and his research team with the results published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society in Great Britain in 2007. Therefore the climate models, without adequately including cloud mechanics, will be poor predictors of future climate on Earth.

So if you set aside these climate models for a moment, what is science trying to tell us about the near-term climate? The sun's magnetic field has been unusually strong for the past century. But the field appears to be weakening. We are at the verge of entering solar cycle 24. Judging by the extent of spotless days (days without sunspots) during this solar minimum, this cycle appears weaker than the 20th century solar cycles.

This will result in greater cloud cover and declining temperatures over the next decade or longer. This process may already be underway since global temperatures as measured from satellites have fallen significantly over the past year. Dr. Noah Keenlyside of Germany's Leipzig Institute of Marine Science, published a paper this month in Nature indicating global warming will stop until 2015 based on an analysis of ocean temperatures and the giant ocean "conveyor belt" known as the meridional overturning circulation. So as I sit near my computer with the heater running during the end of May when it should be warm, I ponder "Where is a little global warming when you really need it!"



By Charles Krauthammer

I'm not a global warming believer. I'm not a global warming denier. I'm a global warming agnostic who believes instinctively that it can't be very good to pump lots of CO2into the atmosphere but is equally convinced that those who presume to know exactly where that leads are talking through their hats.

Predictions of catastrophe depend on models. Models depend on assumptions about complex planetary systems -- from ocean currents to cloud formation -- that no one fully understands. Which is why the models are inherently flawed and forever changing. The doomsday scenarios posit a cascade of events, each with a certain probability. The multiple improbability of their simultaneous occurrence renders all such predictions entirely speculative.

Yet on the basis of this speculation, environmental activists, attended by compliant scientists and opportunistic politicians, are advocating radical economic and social regulation. "The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity," warns Czech President Vaclav Klaus, "is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism."

If you doubt the arrogance, you haven't seen that Newsweek cover story that declared the global warming debate over. Consider: If Newton's laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming -- infinitely more untested, complex and speculative -- is a closed issue.

But declaring it closed has its rewards. It not only dismisses skeptics as the running dogs of reaction, i.e., of Exxon, Cheney and now Klaus. By fiat, it also hugely re-empowers the intellectual left.

For a century, an ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous knowledge class -- social planners, scientists, intellectuals, experts and their left-wing political allies -- arrogated to themselves the right to rule either in the name of the oppressed working class (communism) or, in its more benign form, by virtue of their superior expertise in achieving the highest social progress by means of state planning (socialism).

Two decades ago, however, socialism and communism died rudely, then were buried forever by the empirical demonstration of the superiority of market capitalism everywhere from Thatcher's England to Deng's China, where just the partial abolition of socialism lifted more people out of poverty more rapidly than ever in human history.

Just as the ash heap of history beckoned, the intellectual left was handed the ultimate salvation: environmentalism. Now the experts will regulate your life not in the name of the proletariat or Fabian socialism but -- even better -- in the name of Earth itself.

Environmentalists are Gaia's priests, instructing us in her proper service and casting out those who refuse to genuflect. (See Newsweek above.) And having proclaimed the ultimate commandment -- carbon chastity -- they are preparing the supporting canonical legislation that will tell you how much you can travel, what kind of light you will read by, and at what temperature you may set your bedroom thermostat.

Only Monday, a British parliamentary committee proposed that every citizen be required to carry a carbon card that must be presented, under penalty of law, when buying gasoline, taking an airplane or using electricity. The card contains your yearly carbon ration to be drawn down with every purchase, every trip, every swipe.

There's no greater social power than the power to ration. And, other than rationing food, there is no greater instrument of social control than rationing energy, the currency of just about everything one does and uses in an advanced society.

So what does the global warming agnostic propose as an alternative? First, more research -- untainted and reliable -- to determine (a) whether the carbon footprint of man is or is not lost among the massive natural forces (from sunspot activity to ocean currents) that affect climate, and (b) if the human effect is indeed significant, whether the planetary climate system has the homeostatic mechanisms (like the feedback loops in the human body, for example) with which to compensate.

Second, reduce our carbon footprint in the interim by doing the doable, rather than the economically ruinous and socially destructive. The most obvious step is a major move to nuclear power, which to the atmosphere is the cleanest of the clean. But your would-be masters have foreseen this contingency. The Church of the Environment promulgates secondary dogmas as well. One of these is a strict nuclear taboo. Rather convenient, is it not? Take this major coal-substituting fix off the table, and we will be rationing all the more. Guess who does the rationing.



The Government was struggling to maintain its green taxation agenda on transport this week amid truckers' fuel protests, a media onslaught and a revolt by its own backbenchers.

The unrest continues a miserable few weeks for green transport policy advocates, following on from the election defeat of Ken Livingstone in the London mayoral elections and of Roger Jones, the public face of Greater Manchester's congestion charging plans in the local elections (LTT?16 May).

Ministers, already alarmed at Labour's plummeting poll ratings and stung by this month's byelection defeat in Crewe and Nantwich, this week insisted that they were in listening mode to the protestors, which suggests they may be prepared to abandon policies that are central to their attempts to reduce transport's carbon dioxide emissions.

Truckers took to the streets of London and Cardiff this week to protest at the rocketing price of diesel. The Freight Transport Association says the cost of diesel has risen 34% in the last year and by 15% (14 pence per litre) since the beginning of the year.

As a minimum, the haulage sector wants the Government to commit to abandon the 2p per litre rise in fuel duty planned for the autumn. But the sector also wants a duty cut. "There is nothing to stop the Government, other than political will, reducing the duty on diesel down to EU average levels of 25p per litre from its current level of 50.35p per litre," said Simon Chapman, the FTA's chief economist.

As LTT closed for press, 42 MPs, many of them Labour, had signed an Early Day Motion calling for the Government to reconsider the proposed restructuring of vehicle excise duty from April next year. This will see the owners of vehicles with high carbon dioxide emissions pay considerably more and MPs are particularly unhappy that the new levels of VED?will apply retrospectively to vehicles registered since 2001.

The VED?issue was one of the components of the Tories' Crewe and Nantwich byelection, victory with the party distributing hundreds of campaign leaflets titled 'Grant theft auto' - a play on words from the popular computer game of the same name.

Newspapers have joined in the protests with the Telegraph, Express and Mirror among those running campaigns in support of motorists. The Guardian and Independent were this week urging ministers to stand up to the protestors and keep environmental policies on track.

Opinion polling, however, indicates that a large proportion of the public believes that the environment is being used by the Government as an excuse to raise taxation.

More here


Members of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition remain "miles apart" on a plan to link car taxes to emissions and are unlikely to introduce the change in 2009 as planned, Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee said.

Merkel came under criticism for backtracking on her environmental aims when the government announced last week that approval of the plan to change car tax rules to take exhaust emissions into account would be delayed.

She insisted over the weekend that the "Kfz" tax change, part of a climate protection package agreed by the coalition last year, was not dead despite differences in her government.

But Tiefensee, in an interview with Die Welt newspaper, suggested the plan was doomed and blamed Economy Minister Michael Glos for a "surprising reversal" on the issue.

"The chances of getting the Kfz tax in place from Jan. 1, 2009 are next to nil," Tiefensee told the newspaper in an article to be published in its Thursday edition. "We are miles apart in the coalition on this project."

Tiefensee, a member of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), said Glos and his party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), appeared reluctant to back the plan ahead of elections in their home state of Bavaria later this year.

More here


While the three remaining presidential candidates have touted climate change as a central theme in their campaigns, all of them may miss next week's critical vote when the Senate considers a landmark bill imposing mandatory limits on greenhouse gases.

With the debate set to begin Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will miss the entire proceedings because he will be campaigning all week. In a press conference Wednesday McCain defended his decision to skip the vote, and outlined his opposition to the bill. "First of all, I have not been there for a number of votes. The same thing happened in the campaign of 2000," he said. "The people of Arizona understand I'm running for president of the United States."

McCain added that even if he did show up he would not back the bill, which is authored by two of his closest allies, Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.). "Second of all, as I have said, I'm very deeply committed to the nuclear component of any legislation that will have a significant effect on greenhouse gas emissions," he said. "And I've been disappointed so far that there has not been a robust and serious addressing of the issue of nuclear power...You're never going to really significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions unless nuclear power is a major component of it. I know that's not a popular position."

Democratic Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) -- both of whom back the Lieberman-Warner bill -- haven't said whether they'll vote on it, but it comes just as their presidential primary is reaching its end. A source close to the Obama campaign said the senator is working on amendments to the bill that he could offer as a co-sponsor even if he cannot return to Washington early next week. "It's going to be difficult during the last few days of the primary season," the source said. Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said he did not know yet whether his boss would vote on the legislation.

Environmentalists warned today that presidential candidates can't claim to be green on the campaign trail when they're ducking the most important environmental vote of the year.

"If you don't come back to vote on the bill, you can't say that you're all that serious about taking action on climate change," said Lexi Shultz, deputy director of the climate program at the advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists.


Australia: Official Warmist guru misrepresents the climate projections that he relies on

Kevin Rudd entrusts Ross Garnaut with Australia's long-term response to global warming, but the economics professor is in a tangle over how climate change will hit his own back yard. In a bid to build a sustainable second house behind his home in inner-Melbourne Princes Hill, Professor Garnaut has told the City of Yarra Council that global warming will lead to more hailstorms in Melbourne - a claim, it now emerges, at odds with those of leading climate change scientists.

In a letter to the council, the economist uses his expertise to argue that heritage traditions, including a slate roof, should not apply to the property when defending what objectors say is an ugly, curving steel roof set to dominate the streetscape at the rear of the property. He points out the greater resilience of a steel roof over slate given the increasing hailstorm threat. He says he has consulted the insurance industry in the course of his climate change work to back up his argument. But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's fourth assessment report, Climate Change 2007 - Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability - says in chapter 11: "Decreases in hail frequency are simulated for Melbourne and Mt Gambier." It does not back up Professor Garnaut's letter, which says: "Severe and more frequent hailstorms will be a feature of this change."

Professor Garnaut was quizzed about the letter at a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Thursday night. Victorian Liberal senator Mitch Fifield asked Professor Garnaut about an article in The Weekend Australian on May 10. Senator Fifield asked Professor Garnaut: "Were you seeking to use your position as a climate change adviser to influence a council decision for your private benefit?"

Professor Garnaut replied: "I should first point out that I did not have any role with the commonwealth at the time of those events. That relates to submissions to the Yarra Council last year. I can assure you and the committee ... that I was not trying to use my position to 'heavy' anyone."

Senator Fifield said: "Professor Garnaut, have you had any progress with the council?"

Professor Garnaut replied: "Senator, so that there will be no suggestion I am seeking to influence anyone, my wife is now handling this matter." The professor went on to tell the committee: "We instructed our architect to design a building that was exemplary in sustainability in every respect."

Ten neighbours in Park Street, Princes Hill - where Professor Garnaut wants to build the new home behind one he owns with his wife Jayne - have objected that the development does not meet heritage and residential codes. The dispute will be resolved in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal next week.

Professor Garnaut, who is due to hand down his final climate change review this year, was not available to comment yesterday, but his spokeswoman said the dispute was "a private matter".



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.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Actress worried her Prius battery will give her cancer

A record of some profound wisdom below recycled from Ecorazzi.

It’s pretty rare to see celebrities actually do little more with paparazzi than say “Hello” and get on with their day. That’s where this video appears to be headed — until Michelle Rodriguez decides to elaborate on the question of “How do you like your hybrid?” Then, the video become legendary. Here is her response:
“I think my car is alright. But you know one thing? I’m researching right now…the battery, bro. The f**king battery now seems to have an issue: causing cancer, brother. It’s some serious s**t. Like, imagine your cell phone, a hundred times fold…that type of s**t going right up your ass. Ok, baby? Ok? So, that’s what I’m researching right now…”

Michelle then goes on to say that nothing is really established in terms of any health-concerns on the topic. While it’s true that hybrid batteries do emit some EMF, studies have found that its certainly nothing different from other sources of EMF (say, your CRT monitor) that we experience on a day-to-day basis.

But Michelle is quick to add: ”Before you go and buy your mother-f**king hybrid, check yo s**t.”

Uh huh

What warming? Most powerful icebreaker stuck in ice at Northwest Passage

I am on the bridge of the massive Russian icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov, and the tension is palpable. We have hit ice - thick ice. We are travelling from the northeastern corner of Russia, across the Bering Sea and the top of Canada to Resolute Bay in Nunavut. At least that's the plan. We haven't even reached Canadian waters and we are already in trouble.

The ice master studies the mountains of white packed around the ship while the 24,000-horsepower diesel engines work at full throttle to open a path. The ship rises slowly onto the barrier of ice, crushes it and tosses aside blocks the size of small cars as if they were ice cubes in a glass. It creeps ahead a few metres, then comes to a halt, its bow firmly wedged in the ice. After doing this for two days, the ship can go no farther.

The ice master confers with the captain, who makes a call to the engine room. The engines are shut down. He turns to those of us watching the drama unfold, and we are shocked by his words: "Now, only nature can help this ship." We are doomed to drift.

That irony. I am a passenger on one of the most powerful icebreakers in the world, travelling through the Northwest Passage - which is supposed to become almost ice-free in a time of global warming, the next shipping route across the top of the world - and here we are, stuck in the ice, engines shut down, bridge deserted. Only time and tide can free us. The first day or two are a novelty. We take photos and enjoy the adventure. After all, isn't this what many polar explorers went through? In the distance, a polar bear, puzzled by this huge intruder in its territory, provides a welcome diversion for an hour.

By the third day, the novelty wears off and conversation at the dinner table is strained. On the fourth day, when the crew tells us we may not be able to complete the entire Northwest Passage journey to Resolute in time, most passengers are deeply disappointed. The Khlebnikov sails to both polar regions but not necessarily via the same routes each season.

By days five and six, the tension is rising. The situation is getting serious. Many of us have deadlines and other commitments. The ship's bar does a brisk business. Then, on the seventh day, just as quickly as the ice had come in at 3 a.m. a week earlier, our captor sets us free. The engines are turned on and soon we are racing to make up time.

The ice master was right: This waterway may look like an easily navigable shortcut across the top of the globe, but we are not in charge of the itinerary. This is still an unpredictable passage.

Source. More details of the ship here

Comment from a correspondent:

Ice breaker ships (all the world's largest are Russian-owned) break ice, simply by riding the bow up on top of ice and their weight breaks through. The Khlebnikov is one of the largest Diesel-powered ice breakers (not the largest ice breaker, which is nuclear powered and Russian owned; and as far as I know, the US doesn't have a nuclear powered ice breaker) - and the Khlebnikov was designed to go through an average of 1.0 meter thickness of ice at about 4 knots if I remember correctly (assuming clear weather, storms can put a big load on the ship). So, they must be looking at some pretty thick ice.

Warmists in Frantic Effort to Save their Failing Theory

In the best Orwell style, they keep revising the past until it fits their theories

The global warmers are becoming increasingly desperate to prop up their failing prophesy in every way possible. Behaving just as Leon Festinger predicted in "When Prophecies Fail". As the earth shows no net warming in a decade and cooling into its 7th year, as new models suggest cooling may continue because of natural ocean cycles, as the sun stays quiet now 12 years since the last solar minimum, usually a signal of cooling, as more and more peer review calls into question the importance of CO2 and of the the accuracy of the models and the entire greenhouse theory because of the failure of fingerprinting, the alarmists begin a frantic effort to save their failing theory. You see so many have won the lottery and want to ensure the annuity checks keep coming.

As we indicated in an earlier blog, they are now busy reinventing old data. NASA and NOAA continually revise old data and make gross assumptions that always result in more warming. The old reliable radiosonde weather balloon data gets challenged because it (and the satellite derived data) do not show the warming the models and theory predict for the high tropical atmophere. A legitimate scientist would trust the data and assume the models are in error (as models so often are) but to these agenda driven alarmists, the models must be right and the data wrong. But because they can't challenge the satellite data which has been quality assured and passed the sniff test, they go after the weather balloon data. They use some of the same unsound tricks that get more warming in the global data and revise the old balloon data to get better agreement with the models. See the ludicrous adusted data in the diagram below.

They don't stop there. They try a left end run by using winds as a proxy for temperatures to show the warming not shown by the balloon temperature measurements was really there (see May 26 Warm Winds Comfort Climate Models). In the same natural Geoscience Journal issue, coincidentally, Peter Thorne of Britain Met Office Hadley Centre in a commentary, also published in Nature Geoscience. The new study "provides ... long-awaited experimental verification of model predictions," Thorne wrote. All these efforts were "fast-tracked" through the Journal of Climate and Nature Geosciences in record time to show the complicity of the AMS and Nature in the whole scam.

Then there is that mid century cold period, well established as many cold and snow records were set in the 1960s into the 1970s but a thorn in the side of the alarmists as when combined with the apparent current cooling might imply cyclical behavior which would be hard to explain away without considering natural factors. So the solution - again find fault with the data. NASA and NOAA make adjustments to their "adjustments" to minimize the cooling then and now.

Now they suddenly discover in a paper in the latest Nature that the ocean temperature measurement techniques did not change at once but gradually (something well known for years) and making that slower correction for the ocean changes results in the mid-century cold period become an artifact and not real. This now will allow models to tweak back on the aerosol adjustment they had to use to explain the cooling (since they downplay the sun and don't handle ocean cycles well). Removing the cyclical look will allow them to argue this current cooling is a brief anomaly not totally inconsistent with their models, at least for a while longer. Unfortunately it may be a long enough period to allow congress and the new President to do something stupid. No on further reflection, that would be nothing unusual, I should have said REALLY stupid.


Sacrifices to the Climate Gods: Beware Lieberman-Warner

It is well-established that the ancient Mayan, Aztec, Incan, and Toltec peoples offered human sacrifices, probably in the belief that such rituals would placate the gods who were in charge of nature; for instance, to help bring life-giving rains to their crops.

Although we shudder at the thought of such barbaric practices, I believe that we have unwittingly reinstituted human sacrifice in modern times. But while the list of justifications has grown immensely, our new rituals are still performed in the name of avoiding the wrath of the gods of nature.

Our environmental protection practices have already caused the deaths of millions of people, mainly in poor African countries. By far the most humans - mostly women and children - have been sacrificed in the mistaken belief that the use of any amount of the pesticide DDT would harm the environment. As a result, the preventable disease malaria has continued to decimate Africa.

Only recently has this genocide disguised as environmentalism been partly reversed through the reinstituted practice of twice-yearly DDT treatments of the entryways to homes. While most environmentalists continue to insist that there is no connection between international bans on DDT and human deaths, such protestations really are like denying that the Holocaust ever happened.

Now, the Senate is preparing to debate the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, which aims to limit carbon-dioxide emissions in the belief that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is disrupting the Earth's climate and ecosystems.

Since we now have the scientific method, we rely on computer models to predict these future catastrophes rather than on our fears and prejudices. While this gives the illusion of modern objective precision, the truth is that all we have done is enlisted one of our modern idols - the computer - to justify what we want to believe anyway. And that fundamental belief is that anything mankind does to nature is inherently evil.

To be sure, the scientific method can help us understand the physical world. something the ancients could not do. But global-warming theory, unfortunately, is out of the realm of being a legitimate, testable scientific hypothesis.

For instance, to be a valid scientific hypothesis, there should be some kind of climate behavior observable in nature that would be inconsistent with the theory that mankind is responsible for global warming. But instead, everything we observe has now become consistent with the theory. Floods and droughts. Too much snow and too little snow. More hurricanes and fewer hurricanes. It is sometimes pointed out that a theory that explains everything really explains nothing.

Similarly, there is no experiment we can carry out in the laboratory to test the theory. Yes, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and yes we are adding more of it to the atmosphere. But since weather processes create and control over 90 percent of the Earth's natural greenhouse effect through their continuous adjustments to water vapor and cloud amounts, it is not at all obvious that more CO2 will cause substantial warming. Indeed, it could well be that one of the functions of weather is to maintain a relatively constant greenhouse effect, no matter how much carbon dioxide is present.

Alarmists like Al Gore will use pseudo-scientific justifications and comparisons in their attempt to make a connection between carbon dioxide and global warming. Even though CO2 is necessary for life on Earth, the alarmists insist on calling it a pollutant, referring to our atmosphere as an "open sewer."

For instance, Gore likes to point out that Venus has far more CO2 in its atmosphere than the Earth does, and its surface is hot enough to melt lead. Therefore, more CO2 causes warming.

But we also know that the Martian atmosphere has 15 times as much CO2 as our own atmosphere, and its surface temperature averages about 70 deg. F below zero. So you see, in science a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Why do we love to believe that mankind is a plague upon the Earth? We view anything and everything that happens in nature, no matter how barbaric, bloody, or destructive, as good. Indeed, the word "natural" has no negative connotation at all.

If a volcano like Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines dumps millions of tons of sulfur into the stratosphere, cooling the Earth for two or three years, this is simply Mother Nature at work. If humans did it, we would call it an environmental catastrophe.

And now we are teaching our children to perform their own acts of worship, again hoping to placate the gods of the natural world. Substituting compact fluorescent light bulbs for incandescent ones, and turning the light off when they leave the room, makes them feel good about themselves and their relationship to nature. These rituals being taught in the public schools will help define their still-developing worldviews and religious beliefs.

Lieberman-Warner will, in effect, punish the use of energy by making it more expensive. Yet, energy is necessary for all human activities. We are already causing a food crisis around the world by converting food, such as corn, into liquid fuels for transportation. Now, with the Climate Security Act, we will also be causing additional turmoil at home as the poor struggle to survive in a world where only the middle class and wealthy can afford to live relatively comfortably.

We will, in effect, be sacrificing even more humans at the altar of radical environmentalism in the vain hope that the gods in charge of weather and climate will look favorably upon us, and not destroy us.


Punditry and the reality of environmentalism

Two pundits on one of D.C.'s most enlightened programs, the All Star Panel on Fox's "Special Report," sitting within five feet of the very reasonable Brit Hume and Charles Krauthammer, may have learned something yesterday. Or not.

Nina Easton of Fortune Magazine said with a straight face "to me our biggest freedom issue is our dependence on foreign oil...that's the biggest freedom issue we face, not environmental controls." Was she saying that the two are not related? She was responding to comments by Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus at the National Press Club, where he proclaimed that environmentalism was not about "cleaning a lake" or "using less electricity" but rather "an ideology that wants to control the world." Klaus, who knows totalitariansim when he sees it (living under Soviet control for a few decades will do that) said in broken English what Rush Limbaugh and others have been saying for many years... that the environmental movement is the new home of communist style totalitarianism.

People with real world experience often understand that it is precisely environmental controls that have insured our dependence on foreign oil. But there she was.... on national TV thinking she was being brilliant...going out of her way to separate foreign oil dependence and environmental controls as mutually exclusive and competing factors affecting our freedom.

When you understand this concept and examine the theory (also known as fact) that extreme environmentalism is a totalitarian ideology, it makes sense on many levels. Not the least of which are the resulting effects of totalitarianism or enviromentalism on free markets and more pointedly... the vast "coincidence" of the leftist and green movements' leaders. Apparently, inside The Beltway pundits have never bothered to even examine it. And they admit it. "It's really interesting...I hadn't thought this through before" said Juan Williams in response to Klaus. "He's saying it's beyond the scientists and in fact an ideology that will tell us how to live and what cars to drive and whether or not we can have a refrigerator."

Well no kidding. Where have you been Juan? But better late than never. "It struck me as something different," he added. "I had not heard this line of argument before. I had never felt threatened by an environmentalist before...I just felt my consiousness had been raised."

These folks need to do what George McGovern finally did after his public life ended... try to run a business coping with the messes they make in Washington. It was only then that McGovern "felt threatened by an environmentalist" and had his consciousness raised in a whole new way.


Exxon boss slams Greenies

Rex Tillerson, chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest oil-and-gas company, came out swinging yesterday against the environmental movement, arguing the science of climate change is far from settled and that his company views it as its "corporate social responsibility" to continue to supply the world with fossil fuels.

Speaking to reporters after the annual meeting of shareholders, at which much-publicized proposals by the Rockefeller family calling for new investment in renewable energy received little support, Mr. Tillerson also said he expects little delay in the $8-billion Kearl oilsands project in Alberta, after a court challenge by environmental organizations this month resulted in the withdrawal of a key federal permit, halting important work.

"I am optimistic that the permit will be restored and we'll be able to get back on track with very little loss to the schedule," he said. "My understanding is that the project ? has been given a very high priority by the government of Canada and is moving along at a fairly rapid pace." Exxon Mobil owns Kearl with its Canadian affiliate, Imperial Oil Ltd.

Avoiding the political correctness that many oil executives are now showing on global warming, Mr. Tillerson called for a continuation of the debate, rather than acceptance that it is occurring, with the potential consequence that governments will implement policies that put world economies at risk. "My view is that this is so extraordinarily important to people the world over, that to not have a debate on it is irresponsible," he said. "To suggest that we know everything we need to know about these issues is irresponsible." "And I will take all the criticism that comes with it. Anybody that tells you that they got this figured out is not being truthful. There are too many complexities around climate science for anybody to fully understand all of the causes and effects and consequences of what you may choose to do to attempt to affect that. We have to let scientists to continue their investigative work, unencumbered by political influences. This is too important to be cute with it."

Mr. Tillerson said Exxon Mobil, despite its reputation as a staunch climate change denier, is in fact close to the issue as the only oil company that is a member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Exxon Mobil came under repeated attack during the rowdy meeting for not showing leadership to combat global warming, with some arguing it is putting shareholders' capital at risk by not moving into greener energy. Among the many critics who stood up in the city's Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Centre, where the meeting was held, was Neva Rockefeller Goodwin, the great-granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller, who founded Exxon's predecessor 125 years ago. But her proposal to have Exxon Mobil prepare a report on the impact of climate change on emerging countries and to embrace greener energy was backed by only 10.4% of shareholders.

Another proposal, also supported by the family, to split the role of chairman and CEO in the hope it will encourage a more favourable view of energy alternatives was supported by 39.5%.

Mr. Tillerson said Exxon Mobil, with 14,000 engineers and scientists on the payroll, is already investing billions to manage the environmental impact of its operations, become more energy-efficient and support research to help consumers use less energy. Looking out 25 to 30 years, "everyone agrees that notwithstanding the growth in all other options for supplying energy, renewables, nuclear, biomass alternatives, you are still going to require substantial fossil fuels to meet energy needs, and two-thirds is going to come from oil and natural gas."

Mr. Tillerson said he is encouraged by efforts to move forward the $16.2-billion Mackenzie Gas Project in Canada's Arctic. Those involved are still investigating ways it can be structured to better manage upfront risk, he said.



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.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

There are food shortages now? It will get worse as the climate cools

An email from Paul Stevens [] warns of a REAL climate danger

I haven't yet seen many articles in the popular media linking the expected cooling, or current stasis in temperature rise to the biofuels mania, and then predicting the "perfect storm" for reduced food production that will lead to widespread starvation in the developing world. Numerous articles about crop diversion for energy use, of course. But not many speculating on what happens if worsening weather conditions also occur.

In the US, corn and soybean planting has already been much delayed by the weather and there is now widespread doubt about the size of the potential harvest. I am reminded of the days in the mid to late sixties when my own relatives in Saskatchewan, Canada suffered through year after year of early frost, too much rain, not enough rain and then late frost, all affecting growing conditions and essentially destroying or reducing their wheat crops.

We have had relatively benign conditions for food crops world-wide, over the last 4-5 years. With the diversion to biofuels, continued increase in population and continued demand from the rising middle class in China and India, it only takes a couple of years of bad weather in the worlds bread or rice baskets to equal millions of deaths. From what I read, wheat stocks are reduced around the globe. There won't be any warehoused grain to go to for aid shipments. It's all being sold off to the ethanol folks. A dark day could be coming.


An email from Donn Dears []

We were clarifying the CO2 emission reductions required by the Warner-Lieberman Bill as compared with the Boxer-Sanders Bill (which requires the U.S. to achieve an 80% reduction) when we decided to look at some historical data. (The Warner-Lieberman bill requires a 70% reduction from 1990 levels by 2050 vs 80% as mandated by the UN. We posted this on our web site .

While making this comparison we located a graph prepared by Princeton University showing CO2 levels in the United States dating back to 1850. It was interesting to note how far back in history we would need to go to find CO2 emissions at the same level as required by Warner-Lieberman.

The year was approximately 1922 when America's population was 110 million. Per capita levels were approximately 14.2 Metric Tons.

It's stunning to realize that the Warner-Lieberman Bill requires reaching the 1922 level of CO2 emissions when the population of the United States is forecast to be around 440 million. In 2050 the per capita levels will need to be be around 3.5 Metric Tons. And this is below China's current CO2 emissions.

We have posted this on


It's shaping up to be a Dickensian summer on the Hill. What seemed just a few months ago like the best of times to pass ambitious climate-change legislation has suddenly turned into the worst of times. Nobel-prize momentum has given way to hand-wringing over the economy.

That makes the difficult balancing act of crafting politically palatable but still effective climate laws even tougher. The big worry now? By trying to sugarcoat the Lieberman-Warner bill enough to garner a fillibuster-proof majority in the Senate, proponents of climate-legislation run the risk of making the new law a paper tiger. That could mean plenty of costs with few environmental benefits-and ensures nobody's happy. Conservatives fret over the former; environmentalists are livid over the latter.

What's the problem now? Joe Romm at Climate Progress points up some new analysis of the revised Lieberman-Warner bill, fresh off a massive amendment from California senator Barbara Boxer. Provisions included to allay concerns over the bill's future cost, some analysts say, could undo much of the bill's plans to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.

The problem is two-fold. The revised bill would let U.S. companies meet part (15%) of their obligation by using "offsets"-that is, they could "cut" emissions by preserving forests somewhere or helping fund clean-energy development abroad. Bad timing, that: New research suggest offsets used by the rest of the world are a bust, as well.

At the same time, by making the bill as flexible as possible for the companies that will have to clean up their act, the revised version could end up putting off the real heavy lifting for a decade or two. That, says the World Resources Institute, means that over the next dozen years-despite all the cost and complexity of implementing a big program to regulate the whole economy-the net result would be the same as having no new program at all.

Not everybody is quite so pessimistic; Joe Romm himself figures the bill, as designed, would mean U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions in 2020 would be higher than they are now, but lower than they'd be if the country did nothing. But he figures the bill is already dead-on-arrival in Congress anyway.

Conservative commentators, from the American Enterprise Institute to the WSJ editorial page, are grabbing their silver bullets and wooden stakes, just in case. They figure the legislation would achieve the trifecta of raising energy prices, damaging the U.S. economy, and doing little to help the environment. Newt Gingrich told Fox News that Lieberman-Warner should be called the "China and India Full Employment Act" because it will ship American industry overseas (even though most serious studies find little risk of large-scale "carbon leakage," as that kind of outsourcing is known.)

Congress is just preparing to sink its teeth into America's first big foray into climate politics. Even if it doesn't take a whole month, expect plenty of fireworks.


Winter Weather Cancels Iron Horse Classic

Organizers of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic road race called off the event for the first time in 37 years as winter weather persisted over Memorial Day weekend in southwest Colorado.

"The race goes over two 11,000-foot mountain passes and there was a between a foot and 15 inches of snow on those passes and it was completely snowpacked," said Ed Zink, owner of Durango's Mountain Bike Specialists and chairman of the race committee. "There was absolutely no way to proceed."

The 2,500-rider race was scheduled on Saturday morning, but with the snow and temperatures forecasted into the teens, the decision to call it off practically made itself, Zink said.

The only other year the race hasn't been held since its inception in 1972 was 1997 when bad weather forced riders to turn around after they'd begun.


Error Growth in climate prediction

An excerpt from Netherlands Atmospheric scientist Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, a scientific pioneer in the development of numerical weather prediction and former director of research at The Netherlands' Royal National Meteorological Institute, and an internationally recognized expert in atmospheric boundary layer processes

Climate forecasting is far from being mature. No systematic work on the admittedly very complicated dynamics of error growth has been done. Even the relatively straightforward matter of estimating the prediction horizon of climate models has received no attention to speak of. If a reliable method for calculating the effective prediction horizon exists anywhere, it must have slipped past me unawares, though I have been anxiously waiting for it these past twenty years.

In view of the manifestly chaotic behavior of the weather, one should be suspicious of claims about the stability of the climate system. The idea that the climate might be well-behaved, even if the weather is not, is not supported by any investigations that I am aware of. The very claim that there exist no processes in the climate system that may exhibit sensitive dependence on initial conditions, or on misrepresentations of the large-scale environment in which these processes occur, is ludicrous. Just think of the many factors that promote the birth of a hurricane. It is not just the sea water temperature that may trip such an event, but also the presence or absence of wind shear, the upper atmosphere temperature field, and so on. In short, the climate would be stable if there exists not a single potential "tipping point". I consider that inconceivable.

In the absence of a theoretical framework, one has to investigate all possible causes of error growth. Data assimilation and initialization errors are but one source of trouble. What to think of errors caused by the unavoidable shortcomings in the parameterization of the "physics"? Parameterization always involves simplification and smoothing; in a complex nonlinear system like the climate one cannot assume offhand that these tricks will not lead to unexpected kinds of error growth. Also, any error in this category is not triggered by a single impulse at startup time. Instead, it is aggravated by new impulses at each time step in the calculations.

Let me illustrate this with the simple model Ed Lorenz used to popularize nonlinear behavior. The repeated iteration

x(n + 1) = x(n)^2 - 1.8

is sensitive to initial errors, but it is also sensitive to other kinds of mistakes. One might imagine that the exact value of the coefficient in front of x-squared is unknown, or that the additive term 1.8 is subject to a small parameterization defect, so that it is taken to be 1.82, a mere 1% off the "true" value 1.8. Now determine what will happen. If the iteration is started with x(0) = 1 and the additive constant equals 1.8, we obtain the sequence

1, -0.8, -1.16, -0.4544, -1.59352, 0.73931, and so on.

But if the additive constant is 1% off, we get

1, -0.82, -1.1476, -0.50301, -1.56698, 0.63542, and so on.

In just five steps, the 1% "parameterization error" has grown a factor of sixteen!

One can vary this theme in many ways. Imagine, for example, that one cannot be sure of the exponent in the algorithm. It is taken as two, but what would happen if one has to accept a 10% uncertainty because of inadequate knowledge of the "physics"? In climate modeling, several processes are modeled with parameterizations of questionable accuracy. The difference between clouds in the atmosphere and cloudiness in a model involves several conceptual simplifications of dubious reliability, including the lack of attention to the difference between the behavior of ensembles ("cloudiness" is an ensemble) and that of the clouds that pass my window at this moment. The standard trick of making models behave "realistically" by adding an overdose of numerical viscosity is, to put it mildly, unprofessional. The viscosity dampens unwanted behavior, but decisions as to what is wanted and what is not are made subjectively. If such choices are not open to public scrutiny, the science involved is probably substandard. I maintain, as I have for many years, that it is up to climate modelers to demonstrate by which methods the accuracy, reliability, and forecast horizons of their model runs can be assessed. Good intentions aren't good enough.

The climate attractor is incredibly complex; its multidimensional landscape of hills, valleys and "tipping points" has not yet been charted with any accuracy. Future generations of climate scientists will have to study the possible sensitive dependence of each feature in that landscape on assimilation, initialization, and parameterization errors. I dare to venture that they will find so many conceivable "tipping points" that they may decide to throw their hats in the ring and give up on the idea of climate forecasting altogether. I did so many years ago, when I realized that sensitive dependence on initial conditions is not nearly as dangerous as the unwillingness to explore possible sensitive dependence on shortcomings in the codes employed and in the data assimilation software.

Let me conclude. I adhere to the Lorenz paradigm because I do not want to forget for a moment that small mistakes of whatever kind on occasion have large consequences. As far as I am concerned, the climate of our planet continuously balances on the verge of chaos. In my opinion, optimistic pronouncements about the stability of the climate system are unwarranted and unprofessional. I prefer modesty.


Environmentalism is a fading fashion in Britain

As long-predicted on GWP, the environment - more correctly, perhaps, environmentalism - is on the way out. The signs of organic decay are everywhere, even in bien pensant newspapers like The Observer. And the reaction to a decade of being lectured to about `global warming', `organic' food, set-aside, and pretty birdies can be surprisingly angry, as I recently witnessed at an agricultural conference where the speaker from the RSPB was attacked with quite extraordinary venom.

Today, the papers are full of it, from Guardianista, Catherine Bennett, twittering in The Observer [`Green politics, like all fashions, has proved sadly transient', The Observer, May 25] to libertarian, James Delingpole, blasting off in The Sunday Telegraph [`Credit crunch means organic food is toast', The Sunday Telegraph, May 25].

Ms Bennett is scathing about her liberal readers and their Anya Hindmarch `I'm Not a Plastic Bag' fashionet(h)ics: "The credit crunch is already known to have had an impact on bag fever. And one which is likely to be exaggerated when the bag in question is, like the INAPB, so plainly last year's model ... But Anya prices might also have suffered from widespread consumer disillusion. Some ethical shoppers are minded, apparently, to return bags which have conspicuously failed, even after a whole year of regular use, to save the world."

Mr. Delingpole is even more trenchant about "the organic craze": "In times of rising food prices (partly the result of eco-fanatics obsessing about organic and biofuels, and rejecting genuinely productive technologies like GM) and falling incomes, the last thing a hard-pressed family wants to spend money on is the warm glow of ecological righteousness. All it wants is a full stomach, and the more cheaply-filled that stomach the happier it will be. Organic will be off the menu for some time to come."

And then there is Senior Royal Disapproval (poor Old Charlie), "Sir!": "The first blow was struck this month by the Duke of Edinburgh who - with a fearless disregard for his elder son's Christmas card list - said in an interview: `It is not an absolute certainty that [organic farming] is as useful as it sounds.'"

Ms Bennett further reminds us that our politicians are likewise rowing back from the green algae: "So Brown won't make himself more unpopular by reducing airline emissions or introducing personal carbon allowances. Neither he nor Cameron nor Clegg will ... unite behind an effective carbon policy which, appearing identically in every manifesto like the nasty nougat in every box of chocolates, may put the interests of future generations before contemporary self-pity. And when Cameron, versatile friend of both glacier and motorist, finally prevails, his strategy for `green growth' has as much chance of holding back the rising seas as did the Anya Hindmarch bag."

Brava! "Versatile friend of both glacier and motorist" - wonderful stuff on `Our Dave', Catherine. Meanwhile, the reasons for this change in fashion are superbly encapsulated in another piece today by the ever-excellent Nick Cohen [`People loathe Labour's elitists, not toffs', The Observer, May 25]: "Labour would do better to realise that millions of working- and middle-class people who can't see the subtle social differences between Ed Balls's private school and George Osborne's are lying awake and wondering if the ground is shifting from under them. They are sweating about debt, unemployment, repossession, pensions and inflation. Old Etonians are the least of their problems."

As are `organic' elitism, `global warming' hot air, and the pretty birdies. They are all going to be set-aside, not just the bags



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.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Feather-brained climate reporting in the Financial Times

An email below from Chris Horner [], who has just caught up with a choice piece of Greenie nonsense. I commented on the nonsense concerned myself on 16th.

Imagine my surprise to read Fiona Harvey's absurd -- even for this context -- reportage of a NASA study that she purports found an association between human activity and observed climate change (ok, "proved", for all intents and purposes). Fiona is a lovely lady and I am sorry to have to say this, but this is an utterly incredible example of how little beat-journalists care for and/or grap the relevant substance, or simply how deep in the tank they are for the agenda.

She writes, "Scientists have been able to say with virtual certainty for the first time that the climate change observed over the past four decades is man made and not the result of natural phenomena....[raising] the likelihood of 'unnatural' causes of global warming to near certainty.'" Oh, dear.

In truth the study "found" no such thing, but instead assumed that observed changes were largely man-made; it then identified changes which it found "consistent with warming" - which, again, they assumed for these purposes...and certainly didn't *find*...was man-made - and said they're quite confident then that man caused the climate change-induced changes. This was facially apparent: "Given the conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely to be due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, and furthermore that it is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent except Antarctica, we conclude that anthropogenic climate change is having a significant impact on physical and biological systems globally and in some continents."

Further, in the words of a scientist-colleague, "It's a meta analysis and is purely associational. There is no data on causality of the temperature variation whatever. The bottom line is that causality of temperature increases is never put at issue. They assume all temperature variation is due exclusively to greenhouse gases. They don't factor in ENSO or PDO, much less variations in solar radiation."

Patrick Moore finds feather-brained reporting in "Discover" magazine

His unpublished letter to the editor below. His email:

Re: Sliced: Leaves at Work, page 17, April 2008, by Jocelyn Rice

As soon as I read this article I knew it was wrong. I have no idea how Jocelyn Rice came up with the idea of a "stomata effect" in which she claims, with reference to the UK Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, that increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere are resulting in reduced CO2 uptake by plants due to the stomata closing because the plants are "full" of CO2. (Stomata are the openings in the leaves of plants that allow CO2 into the interior of the leaf where it is converted into sugars by photosynthesis).

She also claims that this has resulted in a "3 percent increase in river runoff seen over the past century". Are we to believe that anyone has figures so accurate for global river runoff over the past century that a 3 percent change could be detected? This was my first clue that something was seriously amiss with this article. No citation is given to back up the 3 percent claim.

Then Ms. Rice goes on to report that "runoff within the next 100 years could increase by as much as 24 percent above preindustrial levels."

Contrary to these claims it is a known fact that increases in CO2 above present atmospheric levels greatly increases CO2 uptake, water uptake, and plant growth. CO2 is presently about 380 ppm in the global atmosphere. Controlled experiments have demonstrated conclusively that the optimum CO2 level for plant growth is between 1500 - 1800 ppm, more than four times the present level. Increases in growth of up to 40 percent are not uncommon.

This is why greenhouse growers routinely inject the exhaust gases from their fossil-fuel or wood-fired heaters into the greenhouse to enhance growth. This is a widely known fact and flies in the face of the so-called "stomata effect". Many papers have been written on the "fertilizer effect" of increasing CO2 concentrations.

It is not surprising that plants prefer higher CO2 levels than the present levels. CO2 has been much higher for most of the history of life than it is today. See the following graph of global temperature and CO2 levels for the past 600 million years. Note that during the Cambrian, when large life-forms first evolved, CO2 was at 7,000 ppm, nearly 20 times present levels.

Here are a few websites obtained by Googling "Optimum CO2 level for plant growth"

It troubles me that such an erroneous piece of reporting could get past the editors at a popular science magazine. I hope you will correct this serious piece of misinformation by publishing this letter or publishing an article on the true relationship between CO2 levels and plant growth.


The centre-left's influence is falling as it abandons progressive optimism for environmental zealousness

A series of disastrous election defeats have plunged Britain's Labour government into disarray. As Prime Minister Gordon Brown fights for survival, a political drama with momentous consequences is unfolding before our eyes. One of the last centre-left governments in Europe looks set to fall.

Many analysts of Labour's disintegration attribute the collapse of support to the current economic downturn, a perfect storm of global credit crunch combined with falling house and rising oil prices. In reality, the defeats Labour has suffered in recent elections mirror the deepening crisis now affecting almost every social democratic party in Europe. New Labour's pledge to evade the burden of high taxation has been broken.

In recent years, almost all of Europe's social democratic parties have lost in national elections. The collapse of support for Gordon Brown and his policies reveals a general decline of Europe's social democracy as a whole.

There are many good reasons for the deterioration of the centre-left's political influence and power. But perhaps one of the most crucial is the abandonment of their traditional core value of progressive optimism. After all, the left used to derive large amounts of its popular appeal from a firm belief in social and technological advancement, a political philosophy of societal optimism and hope. During the last couple of decades, however, it has eagerly adopted a green ideology that has replaced its confidence in future progress with the ever more intimidating prediction of climate catastrophe and environmental disaster, culminating in calls for economic sacrifices and collective belt-tightening.

In short, Britain's Labour Party has discarded its "progressive" principles for environmental fear-mongering and salvationist rhetoric in the expectation that voters would accept that only government control, central planning and higher taxes could prevent global disaster.

At the core of Labour's environmental philosophy and polity-making stands the notion that people in Britain and other industrialized countries consume too much energy derived from the burning of fossil fuels. For many years, Labour has chanted the green mantra that in order to prevent disastrous climate change caused by excessive energy consumption, Britons must make personal sacrifices in their lifestyle and behaviour. No other government in the world has employed the spectre of climate catastrophe as forcefully as Britain; no other administration has saddled taxpayers with a heavier burden of green taxation.

Eighteen months ago, Labour's David Miliband proposed the introduction of carbon "credit cards" that would be issued as part of a nationwide carbon rationing scheme. He suggested the allocation of an annual allowance for basic needs such as travel, energy or food. Two days after Labour's disastrous defeat in the local elections, the whole scheme was hastily abandoned.

Motorists in the UK are paying the highest fuel taxes in Europe, an average of almost œ900 annually. In the name of climate change mitigation, the government has progressively increased fuel, road and car taxes. It has burdened companies with a so-called Climate Change Levy and introduced an emissions trading scheme - costly policies that have had damaging effects on British competitiveness, energy prices and living standards. As a direct result, a record number of people, particularly Britain's poorest, oldest and most vulnerable, are increasingly falling on hard times. As many as five million households, more than 20% of the UK's population, are today living in "fuel poverty."

It is estimated that the economic burden of green taxes in Britain accounts for more than œ20-billion annually. British companies have lost one million manufacturing jobs since the levy was introduced in 2001. And a recent government report has warned that any attempt to meet Britain's renewable energy targets would cost taxpayers some œ75-billion, a price tag that would mean extra costs of more than œ3,000 for every family in the UK.

Fundamental to the multi-billion government subsidies for solar and wind energy companies is a direct transfer of wealth and money from the poor to the well-off. By subsidizing green companies and their uncompetitive products, ordinary taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for green gadgets that have little if any effect on the climate but are making green businessmen richer at the expense of ordinary families.

Labour's foolhardy policies are shaped by the conviction that, in the words of Miliband, tackling climate change is "the mass mobilizing movement of our age." The principles of fairness and equality used to stand at the heart of centre-left governments. Protecting the interests of poor and disadvantaged members of society was essential to the popular appeal of left and labour parties. Those parties have substituted these ideals with an environmental program in which saving the planet for the generations of the future has taken priority over the principle of liberating the underprivileged and disadvantaged from poverty and restitution today.

In effect, the Labour Party is gradually pricing the working and lower-middle classes out of their comfort zone. With these core voters counting the rising cost of green taxes, tariffs and restrictions, the Labour Party's chances of re-election are dwindling.

Labour's fundamental miscalculation has been to bank on the strength of the environmental movement and climate change anxiety in an attempt to "modernize" its agenda. Labour's climate policy, however, is now backfiring, turning into one of its biggest political liabilities. A recent survey suggests that more than 70% of British voters are no longer willing to pay higher taxes to fund climate change initiatives. In fact, two-thirds of those surveyed believe that the green agenda has been exploited in order to increase taxes.

Britain's Labour government may believe that its climate policies are saving the planet. But in the process they are destroying the foundations of the party.



Comment from Mick Hume in Britain

Get out your gas masks and tin hats. We are under attack from a noxious army of doom-troopers demanding that we treat climate change as a rerun of the Second World War. In the latest move to militarise everyday life, the Environmental Audit Committee of MPs has seriously proposed energy rationing, aka "personal carbon credits".

What next? Little (green) Hitlers patrolling the streets yelling "Put that high-energy light out!"? Or a campaign to bring back rickets? Everybody from the Prince of Wales to liberal newspapers and former Labour ministers now compares climate change to the war. Baroness Young of Old Scone, head of the Environment Agency, says this is "World War Three". If it's not breaking the Official Secrets Act, could somebody explain what on earth they are on about? The notion of a "war on carbon" makes even less sense than the glorious "wars" on terror/drugs/crime/whatever.

No, these evocations of the past appear political rather than practical. The aim is to create an ersatz Blitz Spirit that could bring people together behind a phoney war on global warming. Governments desperate for a unifying cause are naturally sympathetic. But they are also aware that hard-up Brits who see few bombs falling are unlikely to be too keen on making wartime sacrifices. Thus new Labour, which previously admitted it might "need to go back to rationing", has retreated from the carbon credits proposal, fearful of further voter desertions.

What solution do the doom-troopers propose to the problem of public resistance? Let's suspend democracy, like we did in the good old days! While one leading liberal writer insists that all the main parties must include identical austerity measures in their manifestos (not much change there then), another feminist veteran, Rosie Boycott, demands that they dump party politics altogether and form a national coalition based on Churchill's wartime Government. Altogether now: "We will fight them in the recycling bins..."

The most depressing thing for me is that the Left is leading this retreat into wartime bunkers with relish, claiming that sharing out the misery is "progressive". Whatever happened to raising people's living standards and tackling serious social problems by moving forwards rather than back? That's why it was called "progress". And if you do want a lesson from history, note that the US economy met the challenge of the Second World War by doubling its output.

When the misery of rationing finally ended in 1954, people held ceremonies to celebrate and the power minister publicly burnt a big replica ration book. No doubt today he would be dragged over the coals for the war crime of carbon emission.



The global warming debate arrives in the Senate next week, and it's about time. Finally, the Members will have to vote on something real, as opposed to their buck-passing to courts and regulators, and their easy trashing of President Bush. The vehicle is a bill that principal sponsors Joe Lieberman and John Warner are calling "landmark legislation." They're too modest. Warner-Lieberman would impose the most extensive government reorganization of the American economy since the 1930s.

Thankfully, the American system makes it hard for colossal tax and regulatory burdens to foxtrot into law without scrutiny. So we hope our politicians will take responsibility for the global-warming policies they say they favor. Or even begin to understand what they say they favor. For a bill as grandly ambitious as Warner-Lieberman, very few staff, much less Senators, even know what's in it. The press corps mainly cheerleads this political fad, without examining how it would work or what it would cost. So allow us to fill in some of the details.

Almost all economic activity requires energy, and about 85% of U.S. energy generates carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. For centuries, these emissions were considered the natural byproduct of combustion. As recently as the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments, they were consciously not even described as a "pollutant." But now that the politicians want to decrease those emissions, the government must create a new commodity - the right to create CO2 - and put a price on it. This is an unprecedented tax that would profoundly touch every corner of American life.

The policy preferred by the environmental lobby is called cap and trade. The government would set a limit on emissions that declines every year. The goal of Warner-Lieberman is to return to 2005 levels by 2012, and to reduce that by 30% by 2030.

"Allowances" for emissions would be distributed to covered businesses - power, oil, gas, heavy industry, manufacturing, etc. If they produced less than their allotment, the companies could sell the allowances, or trade them. Cap and trade limits on energy are thus sometimes misleadingly described as a "free market" policy that would create the flexibility for CO2 reductions how and where they are least expensive. But the limits are still a huge tax.

And for the most part, the politicians favor cap and trade because it is an indirect tax. A direct tax - say, on gasoline - would be far more transparent, but it would also be unpopular. Cap and trade is a tax imposed on business, disguising the true costs and thus making it more politically palatable. In reality, firms will merely pass on these costs to customers, and ultimately down the energy chain to all Americans. Higher prices are what are supposed to motivate the investments and behavioral changes required to use less carbon.

The other reason politicians like cap and trade is because it gives them a cut of the action and the ability to pick winners and losers. Some of the allowances would be given away, at least at the start, while the rest would be auctioned off, with the share of auctions increasing over time. This is a giant revenue grab. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that these auctions would net $304 billion by 2013 and $1.19 trillion over the next decade. Since the government controls the number and distribution of allowances, it is also handing itself the political right to influence the price of every good and service in the economy.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that this meddling would cause a cumulative reduction in the growth of GDP by between 0.9% and 3.8% by 2030. Add 20 years, and the reduction is between 2.4% and 6.9% - that is, from $1 trillion to $2.8 trillion.

These estimates assume that electricity prices will increase by 44% above what they would otherwise be by 2030. They also assume that existing coal-fired power plants, which currently provide about 50% of U.S. electric power, will be shut down - to be replaced with at least 150% growth in new nuclear facilities, plus other "alternatives." Yet there are only 104 current U.S. nuclear plants, and the industry itself says it's optimistic to think even 30 more can be built by 2020.

In fact, it is pointless to project so far out over multiple decades, since no one knows how markets and consumers would respond, whether the rules would remain constant, or what new technologies might come along. While moralizing about America, most of Europe has failed to meet its mandatory cap and trade goals under the Kyoto Protocol. But the U.S. isn't Italy; we will enforce our laws. So our guess is that these cost estimates are invariably far too low.

In a bow to this reality, California Democrat Barbara Boxer last week introduced 157 pages of amendments to Warner-Lieberman. Most notably, she sets aside at least $800 billion through 2050 for consumer tax relief. So while imposing a huge new tax on all Americans, she vouchsafes to return some of the money to some people. Needless to say, the Senator will be the judge of who receives her dispensation.

Ms. Boxer's amendment shows that cap and trade is also a massive wealth redistribution scheme - all mediated by her and her fellow Platonic rulers. Oh, and she also includes an "emergency off-ramp," should costs prove too onerous. This is really a political "off-ramp" to make Warner-Lieberman seem less dangerous, but you can imagine her reaction if some future Republican President decided to take it.

The upshot is that trillions in assets and millions of jobs would be at the mercy of Congress and the bureaucracy, all for greenhouse gas reductions that would have a meaningless impact on global carbon emissions if China and India don't participate. And only somewhat less meaningless if they do.

Warner-Lieberman has no chance of becoming law this year with President Bush in the White House. But the goal of this Senate exercise is political - to get Members on the record early, preferably before the burdens of cap and trade become more widely understood; to give Democrats a campaign issue; and to pour the legislative foundation that the next Administration could cite as it attempts to regulate carbon limits while waiting for Congress to act.

So by all means let's have this debate amid $4 gasoline, and not only on C-Span. If Americans are going to cede this much power to the political class, they at least ought to do it knowing the price they will pay.


Australia's public broadcaster lets its Greenie contempt for ordinary people show a little more clearly than usual

The average Australian is said to be a "pig". The fact that most Australians watch commercial channels most of the time must rile these elitists

An ABC website has been accused of portraying farmers and forestry workers as evil, and telling kids how much carbon they can produce before they die. The Planet Slayer website, which can be accessed via the science section on the ABC home page, also demonises people who eat meat and those involved in the nuclear industry, a Senate estimates committee heard.

The site has several features including a cartoon series, Adventures of Greena, and a tool called Prof Schpinkee's Greenhouse Calculator to help kids work out their carbon footprint. The calculator lets users compare their own carbon output to the "average Aussie greenhouse pig" and estimates at what age a person should die so they don't use more than their fair share of the Earth's resources. Too much carbon production causes a cartoon pig to explode, leaving behind a pool of blood.

Victorian Liberal senator Mitch Fifield today questioned the accuracy and appropriateness of some of the imagery and content on the website. "I know there's a little bit of goth in all of us, but this might be taking it just a little too far," Senator Fifield said of the quasi life-expectancy calculator. "Do you think it's appropriate that the ABC portray the average Australian as a pig and is it appropriate for a website obviously geared towards kids to depict people who are average Australians as massive overweight ugly pigs, oozing slime from their mouths, and then to have these pigs blow up in a mass of blood and guts?"

Senator Fifield said the Adventures of Greena cartoon series, which follows the exploits of a young female activist, also raised questions. He said episode two of the 12-part series, Fistful of Woodchips, portrayed a logger as "rough and evil". "I don't think that it's a particularly helpful way of depicting hard-working Australians who are trying to go about making an honest living, as though they're these rough and evil dudes out to do bad."

Senator Fifield said other episodes in the series portrayed people who eat meat, those involved in the nuclear industry and farmers who grow GM crops as evil. "I'm not sure if it's helpful to portray struggling farmers who are looking at GM technology to help them improve their yield in a period of drought as some sort of evil promoters of (these) products."

ABC managing director Mark Scott said the site was not designed to offend certain quarters of the community but to engage children in environmental issues. "The site has been developed to appeal to children and its been done in an irreverent way ... to make it engaging," Mr Scott said. "It's not an attempt to write public policy ... it's an attempt to educate school students on the impact of the modern Western lifestyle on carbon emissions and the whole issue that we are dealing with." Mr Scott said the ABC would review the content on the site.



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.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008


It has now got to the point where the politicians have got to make hard decisions to back their big Greenie talk but they can't face it, knowing how the voters will respond to the costs involved. So they are just waffling. Nettles are remain ungrasped. The recent huge turn by the voters against the very Green British government is no doubt top of mind for many. Amusing, though, that the British government is being blamed for something it didn't do (increased fuel prices) rather than things it did do (increased electricity costs, for instance). Three recent reports below:

G8 talks

Environment ministers from the world's top industrial powers called Monday for more effort to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but little headway was seen in setting more immediate goals. Ministers from the Group of Eight held three days of talks here in a bid to set the tone for a summit involving the G8 leaders, which opens July 7 in the northern Japanese resort of Toyako and is expected to focus on climate change.

The ministers in a statement said they hoped the summit would "go beyond" the agreement set by last year's summit in Germany to "seriously consider" halving the world's output of greenhouse gases by 2050. But to the dismay of some, the talks in the Japanese city of Kobe did not signal a direction on the more immediate goal -- coming up with commitments on slashing greenhouse gas emissions once Kyoto's obligations expire in 2012.

More than 180 countries agreed in December on the Indonesian island of Bali to reach a post-Kyoto deal at a conference in late 2009 in Copenhagen. "I think it's very clear that without a mid-term target, a mandatory mid-term target for developed countries, it's going to be very complicated to get an agreement in Copenhagen," said Matthias Machnig, Germany's secretary of state for the environment.

But Japan's Environment Minister Ichiro Kamoshita defended the outcome of the meeting here, saying that all sides had shown a "strong will" to move forward with an agreement. "In terms of mid-term targets, that is an issue negotiated at multinational meetings," Kamoshita told reporters. "This environmental meeting was meaningful in accelerating the efforts by developed countries and raising the momentum," he said.

More here


Part two of Chancellor Merkel's ambitious package of measures aimed at reducing German greenhouse gas emissions may be in trouble. Originally set for passage on Tuesday, many of the law proposals are under attack. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has managed to develop quite a reputation on the international stage for her efforts to combat climate change. Back home in Germany, however, important pieces of her climate protection package threaten to fall through.

On Friday, with just days to go before the cabinet planned approve a second package of environmental laws, the item was suddenly removed from the Tuesday agenda. It now won't be considered by the Merkel government until the middle of June. And on Saturday, a number of dailies indicate that the problems facing the proposed measures are many.

Perhaps most serious are disagreements regarding a proposal to base automobile registration and tax fees on vehicle CO2 emissions instead of, as has been the practice until now, on engine size. Such a change was agreed upon last December, when the government pushed through its first major package of laws aimed at reducing German CO2 emissions. The Economics Ministry under Michael Glos made it clear that the goal must be that of "preventing higher taxes on automobiles" in Germany. The point of the law was to provide a financial incentive for Germans to buy cars that emit less greenhouse gases.

Disagreement, however, is also rampant when it comes to rules relating to the remodelling of buildings and the expansion of Germany's power line network. A proposal to tie truck tolls to the amount of CO2 emitted by the vehicles has also run into difficulties.

Merkel's government has committed to reducing Germany's greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent relative to 1990 levels by 2020. Last December, her cabinet approved a package of laws, representing a 3.3 billion euro commitment, designed to encourage businesses to conserve energy and to expand Germany's reliance on renewable energy sources. A recent study commissioned by the Green Party, however, has found that Merkel's goals could be unrealistic. The study warned that a reduction of just 28 percent is achievable.



Anger over Gordon Brown's failure to deal with rising fuel prices will boil over tomorrow in the first major new protest against sky-high petrol and diesel costs. Hundreds of truckers will descend on the capital for a mass rally to draw attention to a crisis that is hurting millions of motorists. With fuel prices going up every day, protesters will demand the Prime Minister cuts duty after having raked in millions in additional tax.

In scenes reminiscent of the 2000 fuel protests, demonstrators will gather at Marble Arch before a delegation marches on Downing Street to demand talks with Mr Brown. They hope to exploit his vulnerability in the wake of Labour's meltdown in the local elections and last week's humiliating by-election defeat in Crewe.

Motorists are already facing record fuel prices after crude oil last week hit 135 US dollars a barrel - its highest ever level. The pressure on motorists is underlined by a study showing that the cost of fuel for a typical bank holiday weekend away has soared by up to 74 per cent in just five years.

More here


Billions of pounds are being wasted in paying industries in developing countries to reduce climate change emissions, according to two analyses of the UN's carbon offsetting programme. Leading academics and watchdog groups allege that the UN's main offset fund is being routinely abused by chemical, wind, gas and hydro companies who are claiming emission reduction credits for projects that should not qualify. The result is that no genuine pollution cuts are being made, undermining assurances by the UK government and others that carbon markets are dramatically reducing greenhouse gases, the researchers say.

The criticism centres on the UN's clean development mechanism (CDM), an international system established by the Kyoto process that allows rich countries to meet emissions targets by funding clean energy projects in developing nations.

Credits from the project are being bought by European companies and governments who are unable to meet their carbon reduction targets. The market for CDM credits is growing fast. At present it is worth nearly $20bn a year, but this is expected to grow to over $100bn within four years. More than 1,000 projects have so far been approved, and 2,000 more are making their way through the process.

A working paper from two senior Stanford University academics examined more than 3,000 projects applying for or already granted up to $10bn of credits from the UN's CDM funds over the next four years, and concluded that the majority should not be considered for assistance. "They would be built anyway," says David Victor, law professor at the Californian university. "It looks like between one and two thirds of all the total CDM offsets do not represent actual emission cuts."

More here

The Unholy Alliance that manufactured Global Warming

By Dr. Tim Ball

In previous parts of this series (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) I've shown how a political agenda took over climate science primarily through the UN and specifically the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The agenda was spread to the world at the 1992 Rio Conference. Periodic Reports from the IPCC maintained the focus on CO2 and increased the political pressure. Please understand I am not claiming a conspiracy, but rather a cabal, which is defined as a secret political clique pushing a political agenda; in this case, designed by Maurice Strong.

Although the IPCC was the major vehicle other agencies got caught up quickly as governments became more involved. Results of the IPCC reports were skillfully propagandized so the issue took hold with the media and the public. It was also due to bureaucrats in each country carefully selected from weather related offices to serve on the IPCC. As MIT professor Richard Lindzen, former member of the IPCC said, "It is no small matter that routine weather service functionaries from New Zealand to Tanzania are referred to as `the world's leading climate scientists.' It should come as no surprise that they will be determinedly supportive of the process." A political bias made a few of them especially supportive. The pattern of their machinations emerged early and continues. A measure of this was how long many of them kept the Hockey Stick graph on official government web sites.

Contrary to popular belief politicians do listen. The problem is they usually hear if they think there is a consensus, whether right or wrong, or if the issue can garner votes. Both these situations existed in the claims of global warming. In addition, most politicians don't understand climate science and were forced to rely on the bureaucrats.

The most notorious was the Hockey Stick (HS) in the IPCC 2001 Third Assessment Report (TAR). Despite its destruction by McIntyre and McKitrick confirmed by the Wegman committee reporting to the National Academy of Sciences, Michael Mann and his associates continue to claim their work was legitimate. Its omission from the 2007 IPCC Report told the real story.

While the Hockey Stick was exposed and rejected it drew attention away from a more insidious piece of `human signal' evidence in the 2001 IPCC (TAR). This was the claim by P.D. Jones, Director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that the global average annual temperature increased 0.6øC ~ 0.2øC in some 130 years. It was claimed the increase was beyond any natural increase with the strong implication it was caused by humans. The data is simply not adequate to make this conclusion. The first problem is the huge error factor of ~ 0.2øC or 66%, which essentially makes the number meaningless. Imagine a political poll saying it was accurate plus or minus 33%. Besides, there are so many problems with the global data many consider it impossible to calculate the global temperature. Some of the problems explain why.

There are very few records of 130 years, indeed, few over 100 years.

The number of these stations is not representative of the world; they were even less so as you go back in history. Most stations are still concentrated in eastern North America and Western Europe as the Global Historical Climate Network shows (see map). This was even truer as you go back in time. Then, whole continents were excluded or at best represented by a single station. There are virtually no measurements for the oceans, the forests, deserts, mountains or Polar Regions.

Most of the older stations are the ones most affected by the Urban Heat Island Effect. This is an artificial increase in temperatures as a city expands around a weather station. There is considerable disagreement over how much adjustment is necessary. There are serious questions and proven limitations of many of the stations..

Two US authorities, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA GISS) produced different global annual averages for the year 2007. GISS claimed it was the second warmest year on record while NOAA said it was the seventh warmest year, both ostensibly using the same data.

In 1999 the US National Research Council Report, expressed serious concern about the data "Deficiencies in the accuracy, quality and continuity of the records place serious limitations on the confidence that can be placed in the research results." In response to the report Kevin Trenberth said, "It's very clear we do not have a climate observing system...This may be a shock to many people who assume that we do know adequately what's going on with the climate, but we don't." It has not improved. In fact, there are fewer global weather stations now than in 1960.

Roger Pielke Sr and Dallas Staley tested the 2007 Report, "To evaluate the IPCC's claim to be comprehensive, we cross-compared IPCC WG1 references on near-surface air temperature trends with the peer-reviewed citations that have been given in Climate Science. We selected only papers that appeared before about May 2006 so they were readily available to the IPCC Lead authors."(Author's note; The IPCC used this cutoff date argument to ignore research such as the relationship between sunspots and global temperature. In that case they did it even though the research was in the literature as early as 1991).

They found, The IPCC WG1 Chapter 3 Report clearly cherrypicked (sic) information on the robustness of the land near-surface air temperature to bolster their advocacy of a particular perspective on the role of humans within the climate system. As a result, policymakers and the public have been given a false (or at best an incomplete) assessment of the multi-decadal global average near-surface air temperature trends."

Gore's movie trumpeted that 1998 was the warmest year on record. This is wrong. An error was found in the NASA GISS data and when corrected made 1934 hottest year on record, not 1998; 1921, became the third hottest year on record not 2006; three of the five hottest years on record occurred before 1940; Six of the top 10 hottest years occurred prior to 90 percent of the growth in human produced greenhouse gas emissions during the last century. If it was a genuine error then somebody should be fired, if it wasn't there are more serious implications. Suspicions are raised by a pattern of `adjustments' that make earlier years cooler thus making more recent years warmer. The procedures that cause this are explained in an article titled, "Rewriting History, Time and time again."

The pattern of adjustments and failure to disclose methods is deeply disturbing and requires much more investigation. It parallels too closely what has happened at the IPCC and makes a mockery of their claim that, "Eleven of the last twelve years (1995-2006) rank among the twelve warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature (since 1850)."

The 66% error factor is sufficient in itself to reject the argument that Jones' figure represents an unusual increase. It is definitely inadequate to serve as the basis for a global climate and energy policy. But there is a more serious problem.

We can't reproduce Jones' results because he refuses to disclose which stations he used and how the data was adjusted. To a request for information from Warwick Hughes, an Australian climate researcher who has long studied the global temperature record, Jones wrote, "We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it." (Jones' reply to Warwick Hughes, 21. February 2005; P. Jones later confirmed this to Alex von Storch.)

Jones was not alone in the practice of non-disclosure or denial of access to climate data. A series of attempts to obtain information from the University of East Anglia and from the joint enterprise of the Hadley Centre and the Climate Research Unit are well documented on the Blog site Other people involved in the reconstructions have also ignored requests to post their data and methods, even though much of it is paid for by taxpayers and is the required practice in all other areas of scientific research. For example, it appears NASA GISS doesn't provide all the computer source code, formulae, or the correction used for the final temperature data. Scientists must be able to validate the work and claims of others for science to advance. It is even more important if your work is the basis for global climate and energy policies. But you may consider it unnecessary if you claim the science is settled and have a political rather than a scientific agenda.

Professor Wegman's Committee for the National Academy of Science arbitrated the hockey stick debate and identified problems in one segment of climate science, namely paleoclimate. However his remarks identified problems that plague all of climate science and especially the IPCC.

It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community. Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent. Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility. Overall, our committee believes that Mann's assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis.

These are devastating remarks for any committee to make, but especially a science committee. They illustrate the fine line so far drawn between culpability and incompetence. They appear to illustrate behavior patterns more in line with proving a theory than disproving it, which underlines political rather than scientific objectives. It is no coincidence that it was a child who observed that the Emperor had no clothes.


Update: Tanzania official now declares ice caps on Mt Kilimanjaro 'increasing'

In his film "An Inconvenient Truth" Gore says: "Within the decade, there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaro." See here

A Cabinet minister has allayed fears that ice caps on Mt Kilimanjaro that is a big tourist attraction in the region could disappear permanently. The minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Ms Shamsa Mwangunga, says contrary to reports that the ice caps were decreasing owing to effects of global warming, indications were that the snow cover on Africa's highest mountain were now increasing. "Among the signs of more snow is the decrease in temperatures in areas surrounding the mountain, heavy rainfall this year and increased precipitation and spring water flow on the slopes of the mountain," she pointed out.

The minister toured the mountain last week as part of activities to mark the African Travel Association's annual meeting held in Arusha. She said reports that the ice caps at the 5,895 metres high mountain would disappear in the next 20 years were overblown because there were signs that the snow cover had increased in recent years.

Ms Mwangunga explained that initiatives have been taken to minimise the effects of global warming and preserve the mountain's environment among other natural tourism attraction features.

More here


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.