Thursday, July 24, 2008


By the head of Britain's "Channel 4" TV

George Monbiot's claim that "no UK organisation has done more to damage environmental protection than Channel 4" takes the locally sourced, gluten-free biscuit ("Why does Channel 4 seem to be waging a war against the greens?", July 22).

Monbiot alleges this documentary had "a huge impact, persuading many people that man-made climate change is not taking place", but provides no evidence. This film was watched by 2.7 million people - around 5% of British adults. It is difficult to say what "impact" it had on any of them. But it is likely to be the first time some encountered a viewpoint within the mainstream media that went against the prevailing scientific consensus supporting the theory of man-made global warming.

Of more than 100,000 hours of programmes the channel has broadcast since 1990, Monbiot cherry-picks five and a half hours that were critical of the green movement and claims this demonstrates "a recurring antagonism towards environmentalism" on Channel 4's behalf. In fact, the overwhelming majority of our output - and the UK media as a whole - reflects the consensus on climate change. He disregards recent polemics, including his own film Greenwash, Marcel Theroux's The End of the World As We Know It, and our recent transmission of The 11th Hour. He ignores Channel 4 News's high-quality coverage and our planned transmission of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

It is arguable that it is not the Great Global Warming Swindle that has bred public scepticism, but the desire of some environmentalists - evidenced by the identikit complaints orchestrated against the film - to stamp out dissenting voices. This intolerance undermines confidence in the rightness of the cause. As does Monbiot's selective reporting of Ofcom's ruling.

Ofcom found the film did not materially mislead viewers and that we were within our rights to broadcast it. The regulator stressed the importance of broadcasters being able to challenge orthodoxies. This is, in large measure, what the channel is for.

Ofcom scrutinised this film in unprecedented detail and it is now possible to dismiss Monbiot's allegations with authority. He claims that the programme manipulated graphs and fabricated data, but, having acknowledged a few unintentional errors, Channel 4 showed that none of the scientific data was materially misleading and Ofcom agreed. He reports Professor Carl Wunsch's claim that his contribution was "grossly distorted by context". Channel 4 showed his contribution was not unfairly edited and Ofcom agreed.

Channel 4 submitted ample evidence to Ofcom that Martin Durkin is not "a discredited filmmaker", but a respected international director.

The most scurrilous allegation is that "10 of the protagonists have either been funded directly by fossil fuel companies or have received paid employment from lobby groups" and so were compromised in the views they expressed. We have shown this is a gross exaggeration that can be traced to blog gossip.

Global warming may be the biggest danger presently facing humanity. But people are rightly suspicious of broadcasters or newspapers that simply hector and campaign. Channel 4 believes in engaging with the debate in its fullest form, rather than closing it down. That is why this film was a valid contribution.



Former Vice President Al Gore recently took his climate-change show on the road for the benefit of liberal bloggers, Sunday morning TV aficionados and other innocent bystanders. This week he laid out his demand for a miraculous transformation in U.S. energy use over a mere 10 years. As for drilling for more oil? "Absurd," the Nobel Laureate scoffed. "When you're in a hole, stop digging."

The same might be said for Mr. Gore. For while his message hasn't changed, the political realities of the energy debate have. Suddenly, Mr. Gore's inconvenient speechifying only tightens the vice Democrats find themselves in over drilling.

Voters' pocketbooks are now involved, making them more skeptical about climate change -- and about the utility of any policies aimed at influencing climate change. The environmental movement is facing a critical moment. Democrats who support the greenies in their most ambitious goals, and scariest pseudo-scientific rhetoric, suddenly seem woefully out of touch with American voters.

Back in June, Barack Obama made hay of John McCain's comment that while opening lands to drilling might not have a short term direct impact on oil supply and prices, it would have a "psychological impact" by sending a signal to consumers and the market that the country was expanding its own resources. "In case you're wondering," Mr. Obama said, "that's Washington-speak for 'it polls well.'"

Ho, ho. But oil prices have fallen since President Bush announced his support for more drilling. And polls these days are shifting overwhelmingly in favor of it. More than two-thirds of Americans support expanding drilling along the coasts, and 59% approve of drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge, according to a Reuters-Zogby poll. The worst news for Democrats is that support for drilling is now a majority opinion even in their own constituency.

The quandary for Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi et al. is how to keep irate environmentalists inside the tent while still meeting voter demand for lower prices. Raging against oil companies and Wall Street may get you through a news cycle or two, but it's not a solution.

As recently as April, the environmental agenda was a progressive's happy-clappy laundry list: A windfall profits tax, plans to sue OPEC, and even some price-gouging investigations of the oil-industrial complex. June saw Senate Democrats' embarassing failure to move a cap-and-trade bill. Now they aren't doing much besides fighting for a crackdown on oil speculators. No doubt they will claim that this week's share climbdown in oil prices is the result. But, by their nature, market speculators frequently shift their bets and estimates. That's what's happening now, as almost everybody agrees that whatever the long-term challenges, oil supply is adequate to meet demand at prices equivalent of $4 gallon for gas in the U.S.

Equally empty is Democrats' bright idea for "use it or lose it" legislation, which would presumably punish oil companies so dumb as to be sitting on usable leases at a time of $140 oil. Are they waiting for lower prices? House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer must have drawn the short lot, since he had to go out and shill for the Democratic story to the press: "Democrats are saying let's drill. Let's explore. Let's get energy for Americans from America and have it for Americans."

Such measures are Democrats' first line of defense on drilling, which is to pray for some blind luck. Maybe oil prices will go down on their own and Democrats will no longer have to choose between making the greenies or motorists happy.

Even Mr. Gore, though he pretends no longer to be a politician, falls prey to such triangulation: Consider his unwillingness, no matter how dire his view of the climate situation, to endorse nuclear power as the quickest, cleanest replacement for the coal-fired plants that are a big part of the alleged CO2 problem.

Mr. Obama has been opposed to nuclear power too, but shows more inclination to throw PC positions over the side for the general election. France and Russia have made nuclear power a central part of their energy strategies. Mr. Obama, if he's elected, will inherit a federal establishment that has been moving unsteadily toward licensing the first new nukes in a generation.

None of this is to disparage the long-term prospects of renewables, solar, etc. Such a shift won't come on Mr. Gore's timetable, however, but only when consumers discover new technologies can actually heat their homes and get them to work in the morning at less cost and comparable speed to today's petroleum-based transportation economy.

Early-stage prototypes are neat for science shows. They don't inspire confidence in leaders who put all their stock in them before anyone can say how much it will cost in time and money to hook up your car's battery at the station on the way to work.

In the meantime, ensuring adequate supplies of oil and gas and coal are tantamount to electoral survival. Democrats, after a long holiday from reality occasioned by cheap oil, are beginning to understand that either they have to take up the challenge of meeting America's need for oil, or voters will find someone who will.



I believe that human nature will finally kill off the global warming hoax, delivering a coup de grace to the damage already wrought on the hoaxers schemes by the economy. Let me explain my theory.

After writing last Friday's Weekly Round-Up, I realized that I need to be increasingly selective of what links to include because there is a great deal more information available than there used to be. While the proponents of AGW decry naysayers as 'deniers', there seems to be a lot more skepticism than there used to be. I think I`ve figured out why - it`s about human nature.

For many years now we`ve been bombarded with the increasingly shrill message of the leader of the global warming death cult, Al Gore, telling us that we needed to change our behaviour and save the planet, even while his own behaviour belied the fact that there was any impending planetary emergency. This was all well and good with gas prices at $2/gallon.

People were happy to eat up the climate change message, without really thinking about it, while the required behavioural changes had little real impact on their daily lives. Some examples: If you were to buy a new vehicle, a Prius might make you feel better about yourself than an SUV. You still got a vehicle to get the groceries in or drive the kids around, so the net impact to your life was minimal. So why not do it?

You might switch some trusty incandescent light bulbs to CFL's - no problem - you pay a little more up front but they last longer and you got to feel that you were being kind to the planet. So why not do it?

Turning off old appliances in the basement to save electricity actually saves you real money on your monthly bill. You got to feel good about the planet, if not your reduced access to a cold one, so why not do it?

You might buy re-usable grocery bags, and if you remember to take them with you to the store then the shopping makes it home OK and you can feel good about yourself too. So why not do it? Turn the thermostat down a little in winter, wear a sweater indoors and save cash and feel good. So why not do it?

Each of these Gore-approved activities enable the average Joe to feel good about themselves 'saving the planet', yet without tangible inconvenience or cost. These behaviours are reinforced by major media outlets (Canada's weather network is like a 24/7 global warming propaganda channel).

So it was we arrived at a place and time where everyone that watched An Inconvenient Truth became a climate expert and anyone with a question about the science was demonized as an uncaring capitalist 'denier'.

However, I no longer believe this to be the case. Now questions are being asked by increasingly prominent voices, with increasing regularity. Major media is asking questions about both the science and the motivations of the people driving the global warming agenda. Al Gore controls access to his public appearances to eliminate any chance that he might get an awkward question. He recently committed $300 million to advertise the global warming agenda. Two years ago he wouldn't have believed such a spend would have been needed, such was the ruthless efficiency of the pro-warming activists.

The real difference between these times that for convenience I will call 'then' and 'now' is that the global warmers have made adherence to their code inconvenient for the average person. Behaving in a green manner now comes at a real, often imposed, cost. Some examples: Ethanol, the biofuel that Al Gore went to the mat to protect as Vice-President, has increased global food costs that affect everyone's pocket book. Governments, keen to adopt 'green' policies that they see as vote winners, are starting to tax 'bad' behaviour'. This pushes up fuel costs even higher and the daily cost of living normally.

Communities and activists are pushing for bans on everything from drive-thru's to plastic bags, making life inconvenient and taking away your choice. This strips away the feel good factor of buying re-usable bags because now it feels like you've been bullied into a behaviour.

When you have no choice but to forgo the SUV because gas costs too much, it is no longer a 'feel-good' decision, it's an inconvenience and an annoyance to not be able to get what you want. If you are forced to turn down the thermostat because the cost of heating your home is too high, you resent wearing a sweater indoors. You don't feel good about being unable to heat your home comfortably because suddenly you have no choice about how to behave.

When people are inconvenienced or have choices stripped away by necessity then it is human nature to ask why these sacrifices are needed. Curiosity and the instant availability of a wide range of information leads people to the real inconvenient truth about global warming, that there isn't any and that much of the 'science' is not reliable, or real. Deniers get a voice in the media and global warming claims are viewed with a renewed sense of realism. When governments start ripping more cash from their citizens, their motives are questioned, often for good reason.

Human nature is not to go quietly into the night, at least not without good reason. And the more people look into the cult of global warming, they see fewer reasons to comply with the notion that we must change the way we live. The planet is not in peril; the polar bears are breeding like rabbits, arctic ice tends to melt in the summertime and there is a lot more Antarctic ice than there used to be. The climate's changing, sure - but that's what climate does, live with it and enjoy the sunshine.

Global warming has crossed a line in the mind of many; the increasingly totalitarian voice of the the warmers combined with the real costs and inconveniences delivered by their policies and demands are causing people to ask awkward questions of the warmers. When they see what the real answers are, they will reject the hoax and continue on as before, but with a wary eye on the next generation of alarmists and social engineers. It's human nature, and it might just save us.


More Bad News for the Global Warmers

By Michael R. Fox Ph.D.

The issue of global warming rages on is some minds. Remarkably, there really hasn't been much of a debate, not a serious science debate anyway. There have been shouting and screaming, predictions of doom, and the willingness to destroy our energy sources and our economy to "save the planet". But as P.J. O'Rourke noted, there are a lot of people who would do anything to "save the planet", except take a science course.

While there hasn't been a true debate, there has been a hugely one-sided angry monologue, heaping scorn upon those who dare ask for evidence. The one side has been heavily funded by the government, foundations, and individual contributions. The so-called "warmers" have enjoyed the unstinting support of a scientifically illiterate media, the movie industry, and many institutions that have been on the receiving end of an estimated $5 billion annually for nearly 2 decades. That will buy a lot of supporters, Ph.Ds or not.

They have also received a great deal of support from the public school systems, many of which require the student viewing of the latest, mostly discredited, "warmists" scare stories. These are the organized educators of two generations of citizens who have been crippling the citizenry with declining math. and science skills. Too many educators regard the scare stories as received wisdom making the videos required viewing. Too few of the educators are apparently disposed to challenge the scare stories, utterly incapable of asking any hard questions, like "where is the evidence?"

The world of science is moving quickly past these questionable events in an expanding universe of new evidence, which is showing that the current state of the global warming theory is in serious decline.

For example, the recent summary by Fred Singer and 22 expert contributors to "Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate" makes some extraordinary statements about computer models. (In addition to the many excellent contributors, this summary also contains 167 references to the scientific literature). This is important since computer models are being improperly, yet extensively, used by state legislatures as the basis of policies for greenhouse gas mitigation, rather than using actual climate data taken from the real world. These statements include:

Computer models do not consider variations of irradiance and magnetic fields of the sun

Computer models do not accurately model the role of clouds

Computer models do not simulate a possible negative feedback from water vapor

Computer models do not explain many features of the Earth's observed climate.

Computer models cannot produce reliable predictions of regional climate change

We must conclude that climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), do not accurately depict our chaotic, open-ended, climate system. They cannot make reliable predictions and should not be used to formulate government policy. As Christopher Monckton recently admonished, "We must get the science right, or we will get the policy wrong". Many states such as Hawaii and Washington are well along the way of doing just that.

As a Washington State citizen who was born, raised, and educated in Olympia, with very strong scientific credentials, I am disheartened to see the state, as a matter of policy, muzzle science, terminate debate, and pretend "the science has spoken". I am also frightened that State leaders would rely so heavily on such dubious computer models to formulate state environmental policies. Atmospheric physicist Jim Peden recently observed "Climate modeling is not science, it is computerized tinkertoys". This doesn't inspire confidence or respect in our state officials to formulate the best policies they can. They clearly are not.

In fact, state sponsored repression of science is reminiscent of the sacking of the Library of Alexandria in ancient Egypt. It is reminiscent of the Burning of the Books of Nazi Germany in 1933. It is reminiscent of some of those killed in the "Killing Fields" of Cambodia for the sin of wearing glasses, the user being perceived as being capable of reading, and perhaps, even thinking, unapproved thoughts.

What is the state of Washington trying to hide, trying to accomplish by suppressing science? Stopping science when it is politically convenient? Why teach science if it going to be ignored? Yes, I am ashamed of this type of leadership in my state. There is nothing to be proud of in such repression. As Dennis Avery recently said, "Let's have a real debate of the climate evidence. We've heard enough from the computers."



In a huge document released last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lays out the thousands of carbon controls with which they'd like to shackle the whole economy. Thankfully none of it has the force of law -- yet, says the Wall Street Journal.

The mess began in 2007, when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Mass. v. EPA that greenhouse gases are "air pollutants" under current environmental laws, despite the fact that the laws were written decades before the climate-change panic. The EPA's 588-page "advance notice of proposed rulemaking" lays out new mandates for everything with an engine:

There's a slew of auto regulations, especially jacking up fuel-efficiency standards well beyond their current levels, and even controlling the weight and performance of cars and trucks.

Carbon rules are even offered for dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and lawnmowers.

The EPA does not neglect planes and trains either, and includes rules for how aircraft can taxi on the runway.

Guidelines are also proposed for boat design such as hulls and propellers.

The limits are so low that they would apply to hundreds of thousands of sources, as the EPA itself notes.

The report also says the EPA expects that the entire country would be in nonattainment. That's why the global warmists have so much invested in the EPA's final ruling, which will come in the next Administration, says the Journal. Any climate tax involves arguments about costs and benefits; voting to raise energy prices is not conducive to re-election. But if liberals can outsource their policies to the EPA, they can take credit while avoiding any accountability for the huge economic costs they impose.


Australian labor union voices fears on carbon trade

AUSTRALIA'S biggest blue-collar union has raised concerns about the Rudd Government introducing a carbon emissions trading system without considering the likelihood of other nations lowering their emissions. The 130,000-strong Australian Workers Union yesterday cast doubt on Kevin Rudd's "go-it-alone" strategy, after convening a special meeting with executives from high-emitting companies in Sydney to canvass a joint approach to climate change policy.

AWU secretary Paul Howes said his union remained deeply worried about the impact of an emissions trading scheme on local jobs if the response of companies facing financial penalties under a carbon reduction scheme was to shift their operations offshore. Mr Howes said any scheme introduced for Australia should provide a special place for workers, even allowing valuable carbon permits to transfer to them if they were left unemployed after companies quit Australia. He said the union regarded its proposal as "carbon insurance" to allow displaced workers to sell permits to provide economic support or to be retrained for other occupations.

The AWU and its Queensland patriarch, Bill Ludwig, have provided key political support to Treasurer Wayne Swan over many years. Mr Rudd, who also draws his support from Queensland, will be keen to maintain the union's co-operation as well.

The union is worried about an arbitrary deadline of 2010 under Mr Rudd's policy for the introduction of a carbon trading system. While the union accepts an overall need to tackle carbon leakage and is careful not to directly criticise the Government at this stage, the AWU believes any Australian scheme must be compared with the international response. Of particular concern is the position of China, where carbon emissions are expected to jump from 19per cent to 37 per cent of global output by 2030 as a product of high economic growth.

In an official response to the Rudd Government's green paper on carbon reduction released last week, a position paper issued yesterday by Mr Howes urges the Rudd Government to "harness major emitters such as China" and only proceed with more ambitious carbon reduction targets in co-operation with other nations.

The AWU says it wants the Rudd Government to address concerns as a priority, and pointedly questions the purpose of proceeding and how emissions can be reduced globally if other nations do not take part. "No assessment has been made on how to (achieve), and the likelihood of achieving, a binding international agreement on lower carbon emissions including the major developing emitter nations, when that is precisely what is required to lower global emissions, whether or not an (emissions trading scheme) is implemented in Australia. "What are the strategies for engaging with China in particular on these issues?"

Mr Howes yesterday met business executives from exposed companies in steel, airlines, petrol refineries, cement, aluminium, plastics and packaging, in what is hoped to become a co-ordinated approach. Company executives leaving the AWU's headquarters were tight-lipped about discussions, but sources told The Australian they were deeply worried about the impact of a carbon trading system for businesses that were high emitters.

Mr Howes said afterwards his union had broad support for an emissions trading scheme, but was worried about the impact on trade-exposed and emissions-intensive industries. The experience of carbon schemes in the European Union, he said, showed that some companies took their free permits and still decided to operate offshore. No companies yesterday indicated plans to move offshore, but they also gave no undertakings.



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1 comment:

OBloodyHell said...

> Mr. Obama has been opposed to nuclear power too, but shows more inclination to throw PC positions over the side for the general election.

Yeah, but that is mere tapdancing to the middle on his part. He's been trying desperately to cover up the fact that he is the most liberal twit in the entire US Senate (YES, even left of Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid, John Edwards, and John Kerry), so that he can appear "middle of the road", and thus have appeal to the swing voters, who otherwise are guaranteed to vote for McCain, who is actually left of center but still far more middle of the road than Obama would be on average if he suddenly started taking his voting cues from Rush Limbaugh for the next 5 years.

In short, you cannot, at this time, take ONE SINGLE WORD that he says as truth of any kind. Not in the least It's all BS -- you have to look at his voting record and history of behavior, which includes association with racist lunatics like Wright and ex-Weathermen Professors Ayers and Ayers. None of that is any surprise given that his mother was a complete socialist fool, too.

Assume the man is as anti-nuke, as anti-industry, and, frankly, as anti-humanity as the most radical fans of Ralph Nader. This is the most accurate target available to you.

My own opinion is that if Obama gets elected it will be the kind of presidency that will make people appreciate Jimmy Carters'.

I hope I don't get a chance to get proven right.