Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Distinguished physicist resigns from The American Physical Society After Nearly 70 Years -- and joins skeptical organization

A TOP American professor has quit a prestigious academic body after claiming that global warming has become a “scam” driven by “trillions of dollars” which has “corrupted” scientists.

Professor Harold Lewis, 87, described his “revulsion” at last year’s leaked “Climategate” emails which appeared to show scientists at East Anglia’s world-leading Climate Research Unit rigging evidence in favour of man-made climate change.

He branded man-made climate change “the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud” he has ever seen.

The scientists involved have been cleared of wrongdoing by a series of investigations. But Prof Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has formally resigned from the American Physical Society after nearly 70 years as a member.

He claims that the APS, the society for America’s top physicists, has refused to engage in proper scientific debate about climate change and ignored climate sceptics.

Yesterday Benny Peiser, of the climate-sceptical Global Warming Policy Foundation, said Prof Lewis has agreed to join its advisory council.

Dr Peiser said: “In America they have failed to do what the Royal Society in Britain and the Academy of Sciences in France have done – which is to engage with sceptics and allow them to debate this issue. At least we are making progress here in trying to generate some semblance of scientific debate.”

Prof Lewis’s resignation comes as governments around the world press ahead with costly green policies despite growing controversy about whether climate change is man-made.

The Climategate scandal – which was leaked just before last December’s Copenhagen climate summit – boosted criticism by climate sceptics.


Britons No Longer Worried About Climate Change

Britons are less environmentally conscious than they were five years ago, with twice as many people now "bored" by talk of climate change as in 2005. Four in 10 take no action at all to reduce their household carbon dioxide emissions. Experts warn that green fatigue is a major reason why there are more cars on the roads, more planes in the sky and no reduction in the mountain of packaging waste.

As a new energy report reveals that too few people are making an effort to reduce their household CO2 emissions, environmentalists believe the recession is further undermining public commitment.

The report, by market researchers Mintel, shows that many of Britain's 26 million homes fail to make simple adjustments such as turning down thermostats, switching off lights and switching off appliances rather than leaving them on standby. The findings also reveal people are less willing to spend money on energy-efficient appliances than they were five years ago. Analysts believe the recession together with a backlash against "extreme" environmentalist pressure has reduced people's enthusiasm to combat climate change.

The report also found that resistance to saving the planet was greater among men: one in four said they think there is too much concern over the environment, compared with one in six women.

Other evidence of waning public interest in consumers' carbon footprint includes a rise in air and car travel. The number of cars on UK roads has risen from just over 26 million in 2005 to more than 31 million in 2009. Air travel has also increased, the number of passengers rising from 227 million in 2005 to 235 million in 2008.

New research from the Energy Saving Trust found that climate change has taken a back seat to recession concerns. The authors of the Mintel, blaming the problem partly on consumer ignorance, recommend the Government "help consumers to help themselves" by providing them with more information about energy savings in accessible ways.


British Government In U-turn Over Green Energy

A wail from "The Guardian":

David Cameron has reneged on a pre-election promise to reward early adopters of solar panels and other domestic green energy generation, it has emerged.

Under the "feed-in tariff" scheme introduced in April, owners of solar panels fitted to houses after 15 July 2009 are paid 41.3p per unit of electricity, while householders who put up panels before that date get just 9p.

Green energy campaigners had fought the difference, which they called a "betrayal".

Responding in March to a letter from one of his Witney constituents calling for an increase in payments to such "pioneers", wrote in a letter seen by the Guardian: "I agree with you that the [Labour] government's current proposals for feed-in-tariffs will unfairly penalise the very people who were the early investors in local energy."

He added: "That is why under a Conservative government, any micro-generation technologies that have already been installed … will be eligible for the new higher tariffs once they commence."

Within days of taking power as PM, he also said the coalition would be the "greenest government ever".

But last month, responding to a question from Green MP Caroline Lucas the energy secretary, Chris Huhne, ruled out any such move. "I considered the issue carefully on a value-for-money basis, andI am afraid that the advice from my officials was clearly that we cannot introduce retrospection in such cases because it does not represent value for money," he said.

"We are trying to introduce new schemes in future, and therefore, sadly, the only incentive and payback that people such as the Hon Lady and I will get is the warm glow of being pioneers."

Charles Hendry, the Conservative MP who is now minister of state at the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), also wrote pre-election letters to campaigners, saying a Tory government would pay higher rates to those who had installed early. Many Lib Dem MPs pledged it too, signing an early-day motion on the issue.

Julie Davenport, chief executive of renewable energy supplier Good Energy, said Cameron's U-turn showed he was failing on his promise of a "big society": "Good Energy is extremely disappointed that the government has not met its own pre-election promise to support early adopters of renewable technologies. We urge David Cameron to ensure that there is no further reduction to the feed-in tariffs in any way."

"Feed-in tariffs encourage new, local investment in green energy, are a catalyst to break up traditional energy markets and help many ordinary people make a difference to climate change. Isn't that what a "big society" really means – taking control from the few and giving it back to the many?"

In addition to Huhne's comments, recent speculation that the 41.3p feed-in-tariff rate will be cut as part of spending review annoucements on 20 October mean it is now highly unlikely that early adopters will get the redress they hoped for.


Environmentalist Stewart Brand: ‘By Second Half of the Century the Population Crisis Will Be Seen As Not Enough People’

Environmentalist and author Stewart Brand, an advocate of geoengineering to combat climate change, told that “human technology” has been “disturbing the atmosphere and climate” for the last “10,000 years,” but also rejected the prescription of some environmentalists who have argued that economic development needs to be stopped, an idea Brand called “unjust.”

Brand also predicted that a declining, not an increasing, human population will be seen as the problem of the future, saying that "by the second half of the century the population crisis will be seen as not enough people."

“Human technology is disturbing the atmosphere and the climate, but we’ve been doing that for about 10,000 years since we started doing agriculture and have been affecting the climate in a big way all that time and it’s gotten a lot more significant in the last 200 years and even more significant than that in the last 50 years and so on,” Brand told on Monday after a panel discussion on geoengineering at the New America Foundation.

“Right now, you’re getting a lot of economic take off in the developing world. They are going to be using a lot more energy. So far a lot is being used in coal," said Brand. "Greenhouse gases are multiplying and the climate is responding, pretty much as predicted it would. So now the question is: Can we move technology ahead to offset what the previous technology acceleration has unleashed? And I think we can.”

When asked if curbing technological advancement will prohibit the development of the United States, Brand, who was editor of “Whole Earth Catalog,” rejected the prescription of some environmentalists who believe stopping economic growth is necessary to protect the environment.

“No, not even remotely," said Brand. "Stopping economic development is, I know, an agenda of some of my fellow environmentalists and I think, one, it’s actually unjust because a lot of people are getting out of poverty for the first time and to say, 'No stay in poverty, because poverty is so green,' is not something we can say.”

Brand most recent book, Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto, explains his unique approach to environmentalism.

“Furthermore, attempts to stop economic growth in the past have all failed," he said. "So, economic growth will continue unless and until we have a disaster and we may have disasters from climate change and so the much greater economic threat comes from bad things happening with the climate than bad things happening from attempts at mitigation.”

White House science adviser John Holdren, an early and highly influential leader of the environmentalist movement, called in the 1973 book he co-authored with Paul and Anne Ehrlich for a “massive campaign” to “de-develop." Holdren, Ehrlich and Gretchen Daily of Stanford University also wrote in a 1995 essay published by the World Bank that mankind must face up to a “world of zero net physical growth” and reduce “material consumption” and limit population growth. asked Brand if he agreed with Holdren’s ideas.

“All of that’s happening anyway," Brand said. "We’re doing more with less all the time. Everything that is in the information technology domain gets lots more done with a lot less energy and materials than it was back in the strictly mechanical industrial period.

“Population is leveling off rapidly and by the second half of the century the population crisis will be seen as not enough people, as we’re already seeing in many European countries," said Brand. "So, in a sense, what John Holdren was saying should be a program back 30 years ago has actually come to pass without it actually even being a program.”

“It’s not a question of it being done. It’s just happening," said Brand. "We are using less material for any economic event. We are using less energy for any economic event. There are fewer and fewer people to where over half of the nations of the world now have a below-replacement birth rate. So, we’ll level off probably below 9 billion and then head down from there. I think it’s great that the program John Holdren was pushing back then didn’t have to be pushed it actually was a window into the future.”


Greenie electricity nonsense causing hardship to families in Victoria

Greenie "smart" meters etc. are behind it. Because of its large and conveniently located suppies of brown coal, Victoria used to have very cheap eletricity -- in the days before Greenie obsessions

MELBOURNE residents are paying up to $285 a year for power before they turn on a single light or appliance. Hundreds of thousands of households are being stung with the highest supply charges in Australia as new smart meters are rolled out and distributors pass on increased costs. Soaring fees for some customers are almost double those in Sydney and Brisbane, a review by fee broker reveals.

Homes in Broadmeadows, Sunbury and Preston are among the worst hit.

The finding comes as some distraught customers say they are going to bed early to save money in the face of crippling electricity bills. EnergyWatch national sales manager David Perry said anxious pensioners and struggling families were restricting movements to one room with one light on at night, or going to bed earlier. "For some people it's not only too expensive to go out, it's becoming too expensive to stay at home," Mr Perry said.

EnergyWatch general manager Ben Polis said smart meter rollout costs, electricity network upgrades and higher generation costs were to blame for surging power bills. "It's a bucket with a hole in it," Mr Polis said.

The price study examined charges for customers on combined electricity and gas who have never signed up for a market offer. About 30 per cent of Victorian homes - 800,000 households - are still on default energy prices, which tend to be the dearest on the market.

Even customers who had signed up to competitive deals were paying the most of any major capital city for fixed supply charges, Mr Polis said.

Generators had factored in higher prices since an emissions trading scheme designed to reduce pollution and encourage green energy was first mooted by former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

The Herald Sun last week revealed Victorians were already paying an average $900 more for electricity, gas and water compared with five years ago. Power prices are expected to rise again in January.


Germany's major socialist party has lost its way

It represents the workers in name only now

"Those who turn themselves green will be eaten by goats," says a German folk saying. Once in a while, Germany's "Labour" Party is finding out that one should listen to what common people think. The Green Party, according to opinion polls, has caught up with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and, in some places, are set to overtake them. Instead of a future Red-Green coalition government, there could be a Green-Red one.

How could it have come to that? The decline of the SPD can be explained in large part by the fact that its party manifesto, to a significant extent, is a pirated carbon copy of green beliefs. The idea of progress, which once distinguished the SPD, as a party of skilled workers, engineers and technicians, was thrown overboard and replaced by a green-coloured pessimism about the future. The SPD is against nuclear power, against genetic engineering, against coal power plants, yes, most recently, even against railway stations. The SPD is generally opposed to any "big technology" and is now in favor of a society which looks like Tolkien's Hobbit land: a pastoral idyll full of windmills.

Apparently, leading Social Democrats believe this strategy will score points with green high earners. What a mistake: These people continue to choose the original, if only for biographical reasons. For a good part of the green electorate, voting for the Green Party is a confirmation of one's own goodness. Choose green is the easiest way to soothe the guilty conscience that plagues some because of their spoiled lifestyle. Socialist world views look quite different.

Traditional labour voters have almost nothing to do with the green elites. They often work in an industrial plant, are more likely engaged in the trade union than in the local citizens' initiative against the construction of a bypass route. The common SPD voter experiences in his daily work the absurd mismanagement due to green eco-dogma and the resulting laws and regulations.

And there is another thing that he has understood: the green electorate puts solar panels on the roofs of their houses, and the Labour voter in the apartment building must pay for it - by a levy on electricity costs. Unfortunately the SPD leaders do not understand that this is a rather one-sided redistribution in favour of green property owners. Similarly as in the Sarrazin debate, the gentlemen on the bridge do not realize that the mood has turned on the lower deck a long ago. Many SPD supporters are tired of constantly being lectured to be green by their leadership: Whether the holiday flight to Majorca or the food from discount stores - just about every facet of their lifestyle is under attack from their own party - Pardon: their former own party.

SOURCE. [translation Philipp Mueller]. See also here on the same topic.


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