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Archives - December 2007

December 31, 2007

Asinine activism - Activism can be a good thing. Libertarians and civil rights advocates lobby for constraints on undue government intrusion into our lives, and professional associations further the interests of its members. We all benefit from getting to shop in the marketplace of ideas.

However, all is not good-faith, constructive activism, and some of the goods in the marketplace are shoddy.

A good example is environmental activists' intractable antagonism to the spraying of pesticides to kill insects that carry disease. The spraying of any pesticides — let alone the possible resurrection of the use of DDT, which was banned in the United States several decades ago — has been greeted by near-hysterical resistance.

Since the banning of DDT, insect-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue and West Nile virus have been on the rise. The World Health Organization estimates malaria alone kills about a million people annually, and that there are between 300 million and 500 million new cases each year.

The regulators who banned DDT and the activists who oppose its resurrection ignore the inadequacy of alternatives. Because it persists after spraying, DDT works far better than many pesticides now in use, some of which are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms. (Henry I. Miller, Washington Times)

Ban in first year struggles to raise UN profile - UNITED NATIONS, Dec 30 - Flying 215,000 miles (346,000 km) and visiting 39 countries, Ban Ki-moon has put tireless energy into his first year as U.N. secretary-general but has struggled to raise the profile of the much-criticized body. (Reuters)

Damn their profile! What about stemming corruption, opening the place to scrutiny, eliminating the duplication, disempowering despots, removing qangos and purging all misanthropic greenie ratbags from the establishment?

Seth boringtheme rides again: 2007 a Year of Weather Records in U.S.  - WASHINGTON - When the calendar turned to 2007, the heat went on and the weather just got weirder. January was the warmest first month on record worldwide - 1.53 degrees above normal. It was the first time since record-keeping began in 1880 that the globe's average temperature has been so far above the norm for any month of the year.

And as 2007 drew to a close, it was also shaping up to be the hottest year on record in the Northern Hemisphere. (AP)

Seth loves to parrot Hansen's absurd GISTEMP guesstimations (extrapolated 1200Km, the equivalent of taking New York's temp with a thermometer in 'Hotlanta', Georgia! Note the continued divergence from lower troposphere measures while the continually-improved joint effort from Hadley & CRU converges on same.). For the curious there is little difference between the lower troposphere time series and virtually no mid troposphere warming at all.

Bill's tipsy again: Global warming's tipping point - This month may have been the most important yet in the two-decade history of the fight against global warming. Al Gore got his Nobel in Stockholm; international negotiators made real progress on a treaty in Bali; and in Washington, Congress actually worked up the nerve to raise gas mileage standards for cars.

But what may turn out to be the most crucial development went largely unnoticed. It happened at an academic conclave in San Francisco. A NASA scientist named James Hansen offered a simple, straightforward and mind-blowing bottom line for the planet: 350, as in parts per million carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It's a number that may make what happened in Washington and Bali seem quaint and nearly irrelevant. It's the number that may define our future. (Bill McKibben, The Washington Post)

Oh... With the will, we can save the Earth - The world now understands that climate change is not just an environmental problem. It's also a security, economic, political and migration problem. What are we going to do when people begin fighting not about politics, but about water? What will we do when people start arriving on our shores fleeing not political persecution, but environmental catastrophe? And what will we do when the countries to which we sell goods can't buy them any more because they are having to deal with rising sea levels or crop failure? (Hilary Benn, The Observer)

UPDATE: Cause Versus Effect In Feedback Diagnosis by Roy W. Spencer 12/30/2007 - On August 8, 2007, I posted here a guest blog entry on the possibility that our observational estimates of feedbacks might be biased in the positive direction. Danny Braswell and I built a simple time-dependent energy balance model to demonstrate the effect and its possible magnitude, and submitted a paper to the Journal of Climate for publication.

The two reviewers of the manuscript (rather uncharacteristically) signed their names to their reviews. To my surprise, both of them (Isaac Held and Piers Forster) agreed that we had raised a legitimate issue. While both reviewers suggested changes in the (conditionally accepted) manuscript, they even took the time to develop their own simple models to demonstrate the effect to themselves.

Of special note is the intellectual honesty shown by Piers Forster. Our paper directly challenges an assumption made by Forster in his 2005 J. Climate paper, which provided a nice theoretical treatment of feedback diagnosis from observational data. Forster admitted in his review that they had erred in this part of their analysis, and encouraged us to get the paper published so that others could be made aware of the issue, too.

And the fundamental issue can be demonstrated with this simple example: When we analyze interannual variations in, say, surface temperature and clouds, and we diagnose what we believe to be a positive feedback (say, low cloud coverage decreasing with increasing surface temperature), we are implicitly assuming that the surface temperature change caused the cloud change — and not the other way around.

This issue is critical because, to the extent that non-feedback sources of cloud variability cause surface temperature change, it will always look like a positive feedback using the conventional diagnostic approach. It is even possible to diagnose a positive feedback when, in fact, a negative feedback really exists. (Climate Science)

Scientific evidence builds to counter global warming - Heads of state, government bureaucrats, environmental activists, and the news media -- 15,000 strong -- have just completed a global warming conference in Bali, Indonesia. They intended to force mandated reductions in man-made carbon dioxide emissions (CO2 ) in order to avert the catastrophic consequences of global warming.

But respected and skeptical climate scientists were banned from panel discussions, censored, silenced, and threatened with removal by the police if they tried to present peer-reviewed evidence contradicting the ''prevailing wisdom.'' The message was that, ''the debate is over; don't confuse the issue with facts; it's time to move ahead.''

But, the nations of the world refused to commit to CO2 reductions because the consequences to their economies would have been truly disastrous. Perhaps the scientific evidence that man-made global warming does not exist somehow sneaked into the conference, and caused doubt about the conventional wisdom, the so-called ''scientific consensus'' that humankind causes global warming. Albert Einstein once said that a scientific consensus is undone by one fact. (Morning Call)

Anthropogenic Global Warming is Nonsense - I make an effort to dispel some of the myths surrounding the Global Warming hysteria. (Edward Townes, Nolan Chart)

Not too sure about the accuracy of the described IPCC process (there aren't thousands of contributing authors for a start and lead authors may have an agenda but are unlikely to sit for anyone telling them what to write) but, that aside, just love the graphic :)

WGIII – But is it Science? - Following our breakdown of the expertise comprising the IPCC's WGII, we've now done the same for WGIII, “Mitigation of Climate Change”.

First, the numbers: Of 270 contributors, 66 were from the USA and UK. We haven’t been able to establish the expertise and discipline of 12 of those – yet. 14 contributors had expertise in physics, chemistry or engineering. 4 from other engineering disciplines. 2 were bio/geochemists. 5 were from forestry ecology, or soil science. 2 had expertise in law. There were 7 social scientists, and a whopping 20 economists. (Climate Resistance)

Climate change violates one of Newton’s Laws - The claim that the science debate over cimate change is settled violates the most important of Newton’s Laws. This violation is not of the famous Laws of Motion but of a little known set of derived bylaws, Newton’s Laws of Experts, a major contribution to understanding social dynamics.

Newton’s Laws of Motion may be simply stated as:

  • First Law: every object persists in its state of rest or uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force;
  • Second Law: the rate of change of momentum is directly proportional to the applied force; and
  • Third Law: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

The bylaws, Newton’s Laws of Experts, are as follows:

  • First Law: every expert persists in his state of rest or opinion unless acted upon by an external grant;
  • Second Law: the rate of change of opinion is directly proportional to the applied grant; and
  • Third Law: for every expert there is an equal and opposite expert. (William York, Online Opinion)

Warming may alter shrimp spawning - THIBODAUX, LA. — Besides the delayed appearance of waterfowl to southern climates, droughts and forest fires, shifts in the sexual behavior of shrimp may be added to early signs of global warming.

The jury is still officially out, and so far no authoritative scientific work on the subject exists. The evidence is purely anecdotal. (Daily Comet)

Uh-huh... purely conjectural but that isn't stopping them throwing around warming claims.

Japan to back targets for new climate deal - report - JAPAN will accept numerical targets to cut global warming emissions in a new climate change pact, reversing its stance which came under fire at this month's UN-led talks over the deal, a newspaper reported. (Reuters)

Nuclear power to get green light despite legal challenge - Ministers are expected formally to back a new generation of nuclear power stations in Britain, in defiance of a fresh legal challenge from environmentalists and a damaging revolt from Labour backbenchers. Gordon Brown's first cabinet meeting of the new year is due to nod through the decision next week, and John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business and Enterprise, is expected to confirm it to the House of Commons on 7 January when MPs return from their Christmas break.

But Greenpeace, which overturned the Government's last attempt to usher in a new atomic age when a judge ruled that the decision-making process had been flawed, is confident of repeating the successful tactic. And Britain's top nuclear energy economist, who recently headed a key government advisory committee, has demolished the case for the atom and lent his support to the legal action. (London Independent)

German Biodiesel Forced to Compete - BERLIN - Until a few months ago, the production of crop-based fuels was the best energy business imaginable in Germany, thanks to growing demand supported by the government. That's no longer the case. (IPS/IFEJ)

Part One: What does the evidence reveal? Can diets work? - This two-part post is going to examine the evidence surrounding the question on everyone’s mind with the beginning of each new year: Do diets work? (Junkfood Science)

Part Two: What does the evidence reveal? Can diets work? - There have been multiple reviews of the evidence examining the effectiveness of obesity treatments, dating back to the 1970s. What all of these have consistently demonstrated is that no weight loss intervention has been shown to be effective in producing lasting weight changes. More importantly, no clinical study has ever shown weight loss actually improves life expectancy. In fact, some suggest weight loss increases the risks for premature death. Reviews from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, National Institutes of Health, and Federal Trade Commission have already been discussed at JFS. In part two, we’ll look at three other comprehensive reviews of the evidence. (Junkfood Science)

December 28, 2007

Top 10 Climate Myth-Busters for 2007 - “I’ve made up my mind. Don’t confuse me with the facts.” That saying most appropriately sums up the year in climate science for the fanatic global warming crowd.

As Al Gore, the United Nations, grandstanding politicians and celebrities, taxpayer-dependent climate researchers, socialist-minded Greens, climate profiteers and other members of the alarmist railroad relentlessly continued their drive for greenhouse gas regulation in 2007, the year’s scientific developments actually pointed in the opposite direction. Here’s the round-up: (Steve Milloy, FoxNews.com)

The real Bush tort-ure problem.... DOJ's Free Pass for Tort Fraud - "Over one million potential litigants have been screened by agents for tort lawyers in asbestos, silica, silicone breast implant and diet drug (fen-phen) litigation. The lawyers sponsoring these screenings have paid over $100 million for medical reports to support the 700,000 or more claims generated by these screenings. There is compelling evidence, much of it reviewed in my published writings, that the vast majority of these medical reports, including chest X-ray readings, echocardiograms, pulmonary function tests and diagnoses are bogus." (Lester Brickman, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 26)

Newmont's Vindication - "Last week a Jakarta court cleared the Indonesian unit of Colorado-based Newmont Mining Corp. in a civil suit filed by a local environmental group. The suit alleged that the company illegally polluted Buyat Bay in North Sulawesi province while operating a gold mine there from 1996 to 2004." (Review & Outlook, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 26)

For more on the depths to which Greens will stoop to prevent third-world development, check out the documentary "Mine Your Own Business" -- available on DVD at the DemandDebate.com Store.

Indonesian court clears energy company over mud volcano - An Indonesian court on Thursday rejected a lawsuit brought by environmentalists against an energy company alleged to have caused a mud volcano that has displaced thousands in East Java province. (AFP)

United Nations Causes Child Malnutrition in Darfur: Liberals Stunned - In case anyone picked up The New York Times today, the front cover of the paper had a headline: “Darfur Sees Rise in Malnutrition.” What we learned from this article was that child malnutrition rates have increased sharply in Darfur, even though it is home to the world’s largest aid operation. We are also told that the increase has occurred despite the efforts of more than 13,000 relief workers in Darfur. “Aid officials said they were concerned that even with all these resources, the condition of the people in Darfur seemed worse.”

The head of a branch of Doctors Without Borders in Sudan said, “He was not exactly sure why child malnutrition rates were rising…There are so many hypothesis.”

Well, I could tell you exactly why this is happening: Foreign aid destroys the long-term economy of any country. Allow me to explain. (Copious Dissent)

At Man's Expense - The New York Times blubbers about how Cuba's environment will suffer in a post-U.S. embargo era of increased tourism. Better to preserve a "priceless ecological resource" than to free people from oppression.

It is becoming increasingly more difficult to take the environmental movement, and science and environmental reporters, seriously because of stories such as the Christmas Day hand-wringer "Conserving Cuba, After the Embargo." (IBD)

Meet the new Eco-nezer Scrooges - In the name of scrimping and saving the planet, miserabilism about Xmas has gone mainstream and taken the moral high ground this year. (Mick Hume, sp!ked)

Mankind is more than the janitor of planet Earth - I am avowedly atheist. But listening to the bishops' drab, eco-pious Christmas sermons, I couldn’t help thinking: ‘Bring back God!’ (Brendan O’Neill, sp!ked)

Uh-huh... Natural catastrophes will grow with climate change: re-insurer - Natural catastrophes in 2007 were more frequent and costlier than a year earlier and climate change will make them more expensive still, the world's second-biggest re-insurer, Munich Re, said Thursday.

There were 950 natural catastrophes in 2007 compared with 850 in 2006, the highest number since the group started compiling its closely watched annual report in 1974. (AFP)

Even the patently absurd GISTEMP couldn't show a warming planet over the last 5 years yet the almost 12% increase in natural disasters year on year is supposed to demonstrate the effect of a warming world? Oh puh-lease!

End-of-2007 Hurricane-Global Warming Update - There are a few new papers out on hurricanes (or more generally, tropical cyclones) and global warming that motivate this update. (Prometheus)

Climate rallies and realities - The daily mantra proclaims: There is consensus on climate change. Global warming is real. It will be a disaster. Humans are to blame. We have to do something — immediately.

However, as Albert Einstein observed, the consensus of 100 scientists is undone by one fact. The United Nations and its Climate Cataclysm army of 15,000 in exotic Bali clearly understood that.

They were not about to let even one fact prevent them from promoting climate scares and a successor to Kyoto. Gloom-and-doom scientists and bureaucrats owned Bali's podiums. Radical environmentalists fumed and staged stunts. Al Gore repeated myths that enthralled the Academy and Nobel committees, and demanded sacrifices — by others.

Meanwhile, respected climate scientists were barred from panel discussions, censored, silenced and threatened with physical removal by police if they tried to present peer-reviewed evidence that questioned disaster claims: (Paul Driessen, Washington Times)

Gore Milks Cash Cow - Climate-change skeptics are taking a beating these days even in France, where people long resisted the green creed.

Paris bookstores brim with guidebooks -- including one shaped like a toilet seat -- that tell readers how to help save our planet. Yet the dissidents refuse to shut up, even now that Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize and the U.S. government has agreed to negotiate a new global-warming treaty by 2009.

The most conspicuous doubter in France is Claude Allegre, a former education minister and a physicist by profession. His new book, ``Ma Verite Sur la Planete'' (``My Truth About the Planet''), doesn't mince words.

He calls Gore a ``crook'' presiding over an eco-business that pumps out cash. As for Gore's French followers, the author likens them to religious zealots who, far from saving humanity, are endangering it. Driven by a Judeo-Christian guilt complex, he says, French greens paint worst-case scenarios and attribute little-understood cycles to human misbehavior. (Bloomberg)

Moving Deck Chairs on the Titanic - So-called Global Warming has the potential to destroy 300 years worth of scientific progress and our advanced western civilization along with it. From an economist’s position, it is pure folly. And our worst enemies’ dream come true.

Supporters of so-called global warming tend to fall into one (or more) of three categories: politicians who want to use this latest scare tactic as another means to take more control and power over our lives, corrupt businessmen who want to profit by selling snake oil solutions to a gullible public, or ignorant but well-intentioned people who have bought into another fantasy fable.

Al Gore probably personifies all 3. (Terry Easton, Human Events)

Not So Hot - If a scientific paper appeared in a major journal saying that the planet has warmed twice as much as previously thought, that would be front-page news in every major paper around the planet. But what would happen if a paper was published demonstrating that the planet may have warmed up only half as much as previously thought? (Patrick J. Michaels, American Spectator)

Third Follow Up To Climate Metric Reality Check #3 - Evidence For A Lack Of Water Vapor Feedback On The Regional Scale - There is a paper which adds to the discussion of long term tropospheric water vapor trends. It is Shannon Brown, Shailen Desai, Stephen Keihm, Wenwen Lu and Christopher Ruf; 2007 Ocean water vapor and cloud burden trends derived from the Topex Microwave Radiomoeter. (Climate Science)

SEA LEVELS - TRUTH ABOUT MALDIVES & SRI LANKA - [The Maldives] was by no means undergoing a present sea level rise and we are now able to give the all-clear for the near future" - Dr Nils-Axel Morner & team. link to download large pdf (Climate Science NZ)

Extreme weather plays havoc with UK wildlife - This year's unpredictable and extreme weather has caused chaos for British wildlife, the National Trust have said.

Unseasonably warm weather in the first months of the year and heavy rain and low temperatures over the summer meant that many species emerged and bred earlier, or had food sources or nests washed away.

Ducks, bats, bumblebees, frogspawn, orchids and blue tits were just some of the species affected.

Matthew Oates, the trust's nature conservation adviser, said British wildlife was going to be increasingly affected by unpredictable weather caused by climate change. (London Telegraph)

NOAA Inflating Storm Numbers and Aiding Political Campaign for Carbon Restrictions, Group Says - Washington, D.C. - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is inflating the count of tropical storms and aiding a political campaign to regulate energy use in the process, according to The National Center for Public Policy Research. (David Almasi, Hawaii Reporter)

Is this a joke? Global Warming Will Save America from the Right...Eventually - Say what you will about the looming catastrophe facing the world as the pace of global heating and polar melting accelerates. There is a silver lining.

Look at a map of the US.

The area that will by completely inundated by the rising ocean—and not in a century but in the lifetime of my two cats—are the American southeast, including the most populated area of Texas, almost all of Florida, most of Louisiana, and half of Alabama and Mississippi, as well as goodly portions of eastern Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. While the northeast will also see some coastal flooding, its geography is such that that aside from a few projecting sandbars like Long Island and Cape Cod, the land rises fairly quickly to well above sea level. Sure, Boston, New York and Philadelphia will be threatened, but these are geographically confined areas that could lend themselves to protection by Dutch-style dikes. The West Coast too tends to rise rapidly to well above sea level in most places. Only down in Southern California towards the San Diego area is the ground closer to sea level.

So what we see is that huge swaths of conservative America are set to face a biblical deluge in a few more presidential cycles.

... So the future political map of America is likely to look as different as the much shrunken geographical map, with much of the so-called “red” state region either gone or depopulated.

There is a poetic justice to this of course. It is conservatives who are giving us the candidates who steadfastly refuse to have the nation take steps that could slow the pace of climate change, so it is appropriate that they should bear the brunt of its impact.

The important thing is that we, on the higher ground both actually and figuratively, need to remember that, when they begin their historic migration from their doomed regions, we not give them the keys to the city. They certainly should be offered assistance in their time of need, but we need to keep a firm grip on our political systems, making sure that these guilty throngs who allowed the world to go to hell are gerrymandered into political impotence in their new homes. (Dave Lindorff, The Baltimore Chronicle)

Hairshirt posturing vs everyday reality - After Bali: It ended in stalemate because while everyone poses as an opponent of CO2-emitting technologies, the fact is humanity needs them. (Rob Lyons, sp!ked)

NY to reduce greenhouse emissions - New York City has begun an ambitious project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.

The first symbolic change has already occurred in the lights on the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree - it now has energy-saving bulbs. (BBC)

Clean coal plants mired by cost and delays - Clean coal-fired plants offer a cleaner fuel source but construction costs and increased greenhouse gas standards in the United States hamper their production. (UPI)

US Ethanol's Iron Heel: Researchers of Presently Available Grass Energy Must Bow to Futuristic Fuel - The agribusiness industry's grip on the government of the United States is so powerful that US researchers investigating the energy potential of the nation's prairie grass--which can be burned to produce heat and generate electricity using presently available technologies--must swear allegiance to a nonexistent agrofuel in order to secure federal grants to support their research. (China Confidential)

Solar Energy Firm Says Carbon Credits Don't Work - BANGALORE - A small but successful solar energy company involved in rural electrification in India is complaining that the Kyoto Protocol’s clean development mechanism (CDM) has been of no practical use to it. (IPS/IFEJ)

Action words: One word can change everything - In today’s soundbyte world, blurbs and headlines are often shaved of their accuracy in an attempt to make a health story sound splashier and action-packed. The story may be more likely to grab our attention, but all too often it also reports what the original study did not, and could not, conclude. (Junkfood Science)

Free isn't always a benefit: free bariatric surgery for kids - We now have an idea of what the “or else” might be for fat children in the UK who fail to lose weight. Under a new proposal for the clinical management of fat children under NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) guidelines, bariatric surgery would be provided for free in Norfolk...to children. (Junkfood Science)

December 27, 2007

However virtuous, virtual science is no substitute for the real thing - When I was a member of Greenpeace in the 1980s I received a request for money supported by the claim that about 30,000 species each year were becoming extinct. Until then I'd been an unsceptical environmentalist, but this sounded like an awful lot, so I called Greenpeace to ask how they knew. I made several queries but they didn't seem very interested. Finally they told me they didn't know where the figure came from, and I resigned from the organisation.

I later found the figure almost certainly came from the work of the biologist Edward Wilson, originally an expert on ants. Wilson made his name in the area of conservation biology in the 1960s when he proposed a mathematical model that could be used to calculate species loss due to habitat destruction.

Based on this and his invention of the concept of "biodiversity", he later announced the world was experiencing "one of the great extinction spasms of geological history" and losing up to 100,000 species a year. Wilson's claims are one of the mainstays of the modern environmental movement, and a foundation of government environmental policies around the globe.

This experience with Greenpeace gave me a long-running interest in the way much environmental science involves mathematical formulas or computer models. The most famous recent examples of these are the "general circulation models" used to produce predictions of future climatic conditions. An important book has just been published by an Australian academic that raises the question of whether this should be regarded as science at all. (Michael Duffy, Sydney Morning Herald)

$cience Mag Jumps on Global Moneywagon - Scientists like money. (It's true --- be still, my heart.) Big Science is a Big Business, supporting nearly half the budgets of our major universities. Science professors are only hired if they can swing enough Federal grant money to pay for their labs, hire a gaggle of graduate assistants, and let the universities skim up to forty percent off the top for overhead. And besides, it's nice to get fat salaries. So the professional scientist union, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has ads headed AAA$. They aren't shy about it.

The trouble is that money means politics, and politics means shading the truth. As a result, we get politicized science, which corrupts real science. Any kind of Politically Incorrect science therefore becomes very hard to publish. So the cult of PC has invaded the pristine halls of science.

The past week's Science magazine is a study in the way science can be ruined. The scare cover shouts Reef TROUBLE, to support the idea that our coral reefs are dying. It's like the National Enquirer. (James Lewis, American Thinker)

To the distress of the global warming industry: Inhofe wants to serve more time in Senate - WASHINGTON — Sen. Jim Inhofe never even considered retiring after his current term ends in early 2009.

Though he'll be 74 then and a 22-year veteran of Washington, he said that he isn't close to running out of gas and that his seniority gives Oklahoma influence that it wouldn't have with a new senator.

"I wouldn't consider being here if I wasn't at the top of my game and more active than anyone I know,” Inhofe, a Tulsa Republican, said in a recent interview. (NewsOK)

Cal Thomas: Secular fundamentalists - You don't have to be religious to qualify as a fundamentalist. You can be Al Gore, the messiah figure for the global warming cult, whose followers truly believe their gospel of imminent extermination in a Noah-like flood, if we don't immediately change our carbon polluting ways. (Cal Thomas, Tribune Media Services)

Blatant propaganda from the Nude Socialist: 2007: The year in environment - It is hard to round-up the events of 2007 without leading with climate change. On the scientific and political fronts global warming came to the fore, with the publication of the latest consensus report on climate change science, a Nobel Peace Prize, international commitment to drafting a successor to the Kyoto protocol, a contentious sceptic documentary, and a U-turn on behalf of the Bush administration. (New Scientist)

As Earth Warms Up, Tropical Virus Moves to Italy - CASTIGLIONE DI CERVIA, Italy — Panic was spreading this August through this tidy village of 2,000 as one person after another fell ill with weeks of high fever, exhaustion and excruciating bone pain, just as most of Italy was enjoying Ferragosto, its most important summer holiday.

“At one point, I simply couldn’t stand up to get out of the car,” said Antonio Ciano, 62, an elegant retiree in a pashmina scarf and trendy blue glasses. “I fell. I thought, O.K., my time is up. I’m going to die. It was really that dramatic.”

By midmonth, more than 100 people had come down with the same malady. Although the worst symptoms dissipated after a couple of weeks, no doctor could figure out what was wrong.

People blamed pollution in the river. They denounced the government. But most of all they blamed recent immigrants from tropical Africa for bringing the pestilence to their sleepy settlement of pastel stucco homes. (New York Times)

Oh boy, there has been a single mutation in the virus allowing it to infect a different mosquito -- there is no temperature dependence there.

The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change - The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change is the first major international conference to focus on issues and questions not answered by advocates of the theory of man-made global warming.

Hundreds of scientists, economists, and public policy experts from around the world will gather on March 2-4, 2008, at the Marriott New York Marquis Hotel on Manhattan’s Time Square, to call attention to widespread dissent in the scientific community to the alleged “consensus” that the modern warming is primarily man-made and is a crisis. (The Heartland Institute)

Scientists fear global warming responsible for unprecedented camel deaths in North Africa - An unprecedented number of camels across North Africa and the Middle East died last year, researchers have discovered.

The several thousand deaths have baffled scientists who are probing toxins, antibiotic pollution, viruses and even climate change as possible causes.

In Saudi Arabia alone, between 2,000 and 5,000 perished inexplicably, it was revealed in the journal Science last week. The ships of the desert are being sunk in unusual, and worrying, numbers, the journal warned.

“The numbers of deaths we are seeing at present are unprecedented,” said camel researcher Bernard Faye, who is based at the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD). “A great many animals are dying and it is not at all obvious what is the cause. The problem is that there is a real lack of good epidemiological evidence, and until we can get that we will struggle to find the causes of these deaths and to find ways of stopping them.” (SF Sentinel)

Note that 'climate change' was thrown in as 'and even...' in the body of the piece but still made the hook as far as the headline writer was concerned.

Beyond Bali: Fight Global Warming by Dumping Kyoto - Last week at the UN's global warming meeting in Indonesia, polar bear costumed activists passed out huge pieces of cake. They were celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions. I wonder if they understand how their obsessive focus on Kyoto as the "only solution" hinders progress?

Kyoto is both a technical and a political failure. (If fully implemented, Kyoto will reduce global temperature by only 0.03 degrees Celsius.) Activists demanded that the U.S. sign Kyoto, but it won't. Why? Because it is a terrible deal. The U.S. would have had to bear up to two-thirds, or more, of the cost of Kyoto, likely more than all other nations combined. (Pete Geddes, TCS Daily)

Eco-imperialism at the Bali summit? - More than most scientific questions, the state of the environment has been deeply mixed up with international rivalries. In fact, some nations seem to have politicised environmental claims as a weapon in their economic competition. CO2 emissions mirror industrial output. The agreement in Bali to limit CO2 emissions looks to me like an attempt by the Great Powers to regulate industrial competition. (James Heartfield, sp!ked)

The U.S. Must Be Resolute to Avoid Harmful Consequences of the Bali Global Warming Conference - Earlier this month, representatives of 187 nations and thousands of environmental activists and other participants gathered for the United Nations Climate Change Conference on the resort island of Bali, supposedly to forge a new "consensus" on how to address global warming. In reality, the Bali conference was a carefully orchestrated performance designed to force the U.S. to commit to negotiations for a post-Kyoto Protocol agreement on global warming that includes binding greenhouse gas reductions, despite the evident failure of Kyoto, which embodies a similar strategy, and the prohibitive cost of binding reductions.

Throughout the conference, the U.S. delegation firmly resisted efforts to include binding commitments for developed countries to reduce emissions. It also tried to focus the discussions on flexible strategies to address global warming that would not constrain economic growth and to convince conferees that action by developed countries alone would not be sufficient to address the projected problem of global warming. The U.S. was partially successful: It eliminated binding targets from the operative text and succeeded in getting developing countries to accept some responsibility in resolving global warming. Unfortunately, enormous pressure to agree to a consensus position on the last day led the U.S. delegation to capitulate to demands by developing countries to provide aid to adapt to the consequences of global warming and to subsidize the transfer and development of emissions-reducing technologies.

The Bali outcome is not a complete loss for the Bush Administration. The most worrisome proposal--adopting binding emissions reductions--was avoided. However, by agreeing to two years of negotiations, the Bush Administration has set its negotiators up as punching bags and created an opening for a future administration to capitulate to international pressure to adopt binding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. would have been far better off to have stood by its principles, refused to join consensus on the Bali Action Plan, and pursued more flexible, effective strategies to address global warming such as those advanced at the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change. (Brett D. Schaefer and Ben Lieberman, Hawaii Reporter)

Reasons for hurricanes' intensity can't be pinned on global warming alone - I read with interest the article by Ken Kaye on two scientist's challenge of other scientist's linking warmer oceans to more intense hurricanes (Sun-Sentinel, Dec. 13).

The consensus belief, as reported by the media and the article, is that "global warming eventually will spawn super-strong storms — the warmer the oceans the more powerful the hurricanes." Also stated in the article is that "a large segment of the scientific community say a growing number of studies hold that global warming is steadily increasing the intensity, duration, and number of tropical systems." Those beliefs imply that global warming is the major factor for hurricane intensity and for more, longer lasting storms. To characterize it that way is, at best, overly simplistic. In fact, it is misleading. (David B. Spiegler, Sun Sentinel)

Reality Check #4 Most Societal and Environmental Effects Are Influenced By Regional, Not Global Average, Climate Variability and Change - Climate Science has emphasized that it is regional climate variability and change, both from human and natural effects, that matter the most to society and the environment, rather than global average metrics such as a global average radiative forcing as diagnosed by near surface air temperatures. Important exceptions to this conclusion due occur (such as sea level rise and the increase in atmospheric concentration of well-mixed greenhouse gases), but almost all other climate metrics, such as hurricanes, winter storms, droughts, floods, etc are regional in scale. (Climate Science)

Follow Up #1 To “Reality Check #4 Most Societal and Environmental Effects Are Influenced By Regional, Not Global Average, Climate Variability and Change - This follow up to the Climate Science weblog of December 24th entitled “Reality Check #4 Most Societal and Environmental Effects Are Influenced By Regional, Not Global Average, Climate Variability and Change” is to emphasize the significance of that weblog.

Using the climate metric of a large scale average (for 37 N to 37 S), Matsui, T., and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2006:Measurement-based estimation of the spatial gradient of aerosol radiative forcing. Geophys. Res. Letts., 33, L11813, doi:10.1029/2006GL025974, found that the radiative forcing of the human contribution of well-mixed greenhouse gas and of aerosols were of the same order of magnitude (although of opposite sign). This is what is also concluded in the 2007 IPCC Report for the global average, as given in Figure SPM.2 in the Statement for Policymakers.

However, when evaluating the spatial gradient of these human radiative forcings, the radiative effect of the aerosol forcing is 60 times larger!

Since it is the spatial gradient of diabatic that forces atmospheric circulation patterns, the regional climate forcing metric is a much more valid climate metric to assess most climate impacts due to human activities than is a global, or other very large scale, average.
(Climate Science) [emphasis in original]

Emission Cuts Are `Feel Good,' Won't Save World, Lomborg Says - The world's lawmakers should abandon attempts to set ``optimistic'' targets for greenhouse-gas emissions, said Bjorn Lomborg, the author of the best-selling book ``The Skeptical Environmentalist.''

The U.S. and developing nations on Dec. 15 agreed at United Nations-sponsored talks to negotiate a new global-warming treaty by 2009, after the U.S. accepted a compromise agenda to protect the climate after 2012, when the existing emissions-limiting accord runs out. (Bloomberg)

From CO2 Science this week:

Climate Model Problems: I. Temperature and Humidity: How well do state-of-the-art climate models describe the mean vertical profiles of temperature and water vapor throughout the troposphere? And why do we care?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Lake Lehmilampi, Eastern Finland. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary
Feedback Factors (Biophysical - Iodocompounds): How important can this single biophysical feedback factor be in counteracting global warming due to any phenomenon?

Plant Growth Data
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Adsuki Bean, Annual Ragweed, Garden Bean, and Garden Pea.

Journal Reviews
Does Global Warming Intensify Tropical Cyclones?: Some recent claims that the answer is "yes" are evaluated with data from the western North Pacific.

Holocene Floods and Climate of Northeastern Utah, USA: How are they related?

The Characteristic Thermal Response of C3 Plants to Variations in Atmospheric CO2 Concentration: How do CO2 concentrations typical of the late-Pleistocene, as well as those of our likely long-term future, impact C3 plants in terms of optimum temperatures for photosynthesis and maximum photosynthetic rates at those optimum temperatures?

Peanut Seed Yield and Quality as Influenced by Ozone and Carbon Dioxide: What are the relative strengths of the opposing negative effects of O3 and the positive effects of CO2?

Cryoturbation Effects on Soil Organic Matter in a Warming Arctic: Will they result in more or less soil carbon escaping to the atmosphere as CO2?

Hillsboro, OHTemperature Record of the Week
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Hillsboro, OH. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Hillsboro's mean annual temperature has cooled by 0.30 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

Deforestation Diesel Data: Palm Plantations Will Release 30 Times More Carbon Than Petroleum - The devastation from palm-based biodiesel--also known as deforestation diesel or rainforest diesel--has again been confirmed. EU Research reports new data shows that massive amounts of carbon dioxide are being released from tropical Southeast Asian peatland after the conversion of natural swamp forest to oil palm or pulpwood tree plantations.

The findings are in accordance with other recent reports on the growing negative environmental impacts of planting palm oil and pulpwood forests. (China Confidential)

Sue the EPA for earth's sake - In the 37 years since the Clean Air Act gave smog-plagued California the right to set tougher antipollution standards than the federal government, Washington has granted the state 50 waivers, never flatly rejecting one.

Never, that is, until last week, when the Environmental Protection Agency turned down California's bid to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of cars by requiring higher fuel efficiency. (Boston Globe)

They probably shouldn't have got any of the others either but certainly this one had to be rejected as too absurd.

Science Sunday: Intelligent Design Goes to the Movies - Filmmakers try to insert "intelligent design" back into the scientific debate -- without much success.

According to Of Pandas and People, a textbook outlining the essentials of "intelligent design" as an alternative to evolutionary biology:

"Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency with their distinctive features already intact: Fish with fins and scales; birds with feathers, beaks and wings; etc. Some scientists have arrived at this view since fossil forms first appeared in the record with their distinctive features intact and apparently fully functional rather than gradual development."

But you'll stay awake through the one-hour-and-forty-five-minute film "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" - if you can manage it -- without ever hearing this or any other definition of intelligent design. This seems a curious omission in a movie seeking to poke holes in evolutionary theory and by doing so establish some scientific credentials for ID. (Dan Whipple, Colorado Confidential)

Is this the same Dan Whipple, formerly with UPI? If so it's really great to see Dan doing something useful rather than all that global warming proselytizing (we used to feature the weekly whipple as exemplary junk science). There is absolutely nothing wrong with having faith -- just don't confuse it with science. ID is a strange hybrid critter, basically Creation faith that's too embarrassed to admit it but it has exactly nothing to do with science and should never be confused with same.

Working from beliefs -- Wizards, muggles and squibs - An exemplary study was just published in the issue of the British Journal of Medicine. The authors, led by Dr. Sreerarn V. Ramagopalan of Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, reviewed the literature for evidence on the genetic basis of magical abilities.

Yes, magic, as found in Harry Potter, the schoolboy wizard in the books by J.K. Rowling.

What? You don’t believe? Well, you may after you read the convincing arguments and hypotheses posed by the researchers. (Junkfood Science)

Deserved: Roar — the power of words - Harriet Brown, a wonderful journalist who writes passionately about issues important to women and children, has given JFS a “Roar.” This is a project launched at The Shameless Lions Writing Circle, that celebrates the best and most powerful writing in the blogosphere.

Harriet’s own Roar was well deserved, as she also believes in the power of words to change the world, or at least make a difference in the lives of individuals. Her articles, most focused on eating disorders, have experience and knowledge behind them which make them all the more meaningful.

As part of this honor, I’m to name three things that I believe most important to powerful writing and then pass on the award to five blogs I believe deserve recognition. (Junkfood Science)

A multiple-choice test - “If one parent has a dimple in their chin, there is a 50% chance that the children will also. However, when both parents have dimples in their chins, the children have an 80% chance.”

This proves:

A). chin dimples have a strong genetic component
B). the social networking theory of contagious chin dimples

According to one professor (in essence), the correct answer is B!

While his column has been widely syndicated, how many readers believed a similar claim and didn’t stop to think critically about it? Given the quarter of a million articles that have appeared in print this year supporting this claim, it would appear quite a few fell for it...or at least the publications’ editors did.

We’ll take a critical look at Professor Mohamed Elhashemy’s arguments as we read his article today.

Oh, substitute “chin dimples” for the other physical characteristic used in this piece. (Junkfood Science)

Christmas Gingerbread - Tis the season to enjoy wonderful baked cookies, breads and cakes, and the rich aromas and flavors of roasted coffee and holiday roasts. Gingerbread and spice cakes date back to the eleventh century and have long been part of our most cherished Christmas traditions. Recent news, however, is warning that such foods can increase a woman’s risk for cancer. Behind these stories is the return of a scare about foods cooked to golden brownness: the presence of acrylamide. The new Dutch study behind the headlines, however, found no evidence that women need to worry. (Junkfood Science)

Inquiring minds want to know: when are food and health claims real? - Is healthcare always based on science or are there times when our care and medical advice is founded on myths, beliefs, tradition or anecdotes? In the current issue of the British Medical Journal, two pediatricians took a lighthearted look at seven medical myths they said they’d heard repeated among doctors or in the popular media. The myths, they said, “appear to be ingrained in the popular imagination, including that of physicians.” Regrettably, with their rather unscientific selection process and choice of fairly trivial topics, the serious point they were trying to make was lost, in the media and medical commentary. Here it is, as they wrote: (Junkfood Science)

Answer: horrifying - Please read this powerful article. A teacher not only taught her elementary school class to sing this song, she was apparently so proud of it that she created a U-tube video.

Can you imagine what it must be like for the fat children listening to this concert or for those in the class? Has the war on childhood obesity reached the point where role modeling taunts are seen as acceptable teaching moments? A series of posts at JFS looked at the harm and hurt from the harrassment fat children experience in school, and readers were urged to read their painful stories growing up. (Junkfood Science)

Both Sides Cite Science to Address Altered Corn - BRUSSELS — A proposal that Europe’s top environment official made last month, to ban the planting of a genetically modified corn strain, sets up a bitter war within the European Union, where politicians have done their best to dance around the issue. (New York Times)

December 26, 2007

Latest ethanol casualty: Beer drinkers...Trouble brewing - "Many farmers in the Pacific north-west, where America's hop production is concentrated, have turned to more profitable lines—especially corn, which can be made into ethanol. The decrease in hop production, put at some 50% over the past decade, has sent prices through the roof. Brian Owens, the brewmaster of the O'Fallon Brewery near St Louis, Missouri, says that the variety he once bought for $3 a pound (0.45kg) now costs five times that. Many smaller breweries cannot find what they need at any price. Industry giants like Anheuser-Busch and Miller are better off, thanks to long-term contracts. But even Anheuser-Busch has been forced to raise prices for its six-packs... The hops shortage is only part of the problem. Things are no better for barley, used to make the malt that yeast turns into alcohol. It too has been ploughed under in favour of corn. Crop failures in Australia and Europe, combined with the weak dollar, have made it harder to replace the shortage with imports. Other price increases, of fuel, glass and metal, add to the pressure." (The Economist, Dec. 22).

Return of the plastic bottle scare... Polycarbonate Bottles Raise Questions - "Worries about a hormone-mimicking chemical used in the trendy sports accessory led a major Canadian retailer to remove Nalgene and other polycarbonate plastic containers from store shelves in early December... There is little dispute that the chemical [bisphenol A] can disrupt the hormonal system, but scientists differ markedly on whether very low doses found in food and beverage containers can be harmful. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sides with the plastics industry that BPA-based products do not pose a health risk." (Associated Press)

Oh hogwash... the endocrine disrupter scare was debunked almost a decade ago by the National Academy of Sciences. Here's some suggested reading:

December 22, 2007

Investors Business Daily spotlights JunkScience! Dim Bulbs In D.C. - "Cars aren't the only thing forced to become more efficient in the new energy bill. Congress, in its finite wisdom, has decided that Thomas Edison is to blame for global warming." (Investors Business Daily)

Note: This IBD editorial spotlights JunkScience's calculation that the new energy bill values a human life at 100,000 barrels of oil.

December 21, 2007

Didn't see what you're looking for here? The item you're looking for might be on the blog (if not now then soon -- the blog is updated more frequently than this page's daily schedule).

A Lightbulb Tea Party? - “No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.”

That comment by New York State Surrogate Court Judge Gideon Tucker in 1866 aptly summarizes the so-called “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007,” signed into law this week by President Bush. (Steve Milloy, FoxNews.com)

My ethical ‘heroes’ of 2007 - Our ethical columnist nominates the ‘heroes’ of 2007 (Ethan Greenhart, sp!ked)

Al Gore: enviro-tyrant - After Bali: In aspiring to ‘control the destiny of all generations to come’, Gore has unwittingly unveiled his anti-democratic streak. (Brendan O’Neill, sp!ked)

U.S. Senate Report: Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007

Senate Report Debunks “Consensus”
Complete U.S. Senate Report Now Available: (LINK

Complete Report without Introduction: (LINK)

INTRODUCTION: Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called “consensus” on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore.   

The new report issued by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s office of the GOP Ranking Member details the views of the scientists, the overwhelming majority of whom spoke out in 2007. (EPW)

Has global warming stopped? - 'The fact is that the global temperature of 2007 is statistically the same as 2006 and every year since 2001' (David Whitehouse, New Statesman)

The Hebrew University debate on Global Warming - On Sunday last week, a global warming debate was held at the Hebrew University, in front of a large public audience. The speakers included myself, and Prof. Nathan Paldor from the HU, on the so called sceptic side, and Prof. Dan Yakir (Weizmann) and Prof. Colin Price (Tel-Aviv Univ.) on the anthropogenic greenhouse gas (AGHG) side.

You can watch the debate, in Hebrew at the Authority for Community and Youth of the Hebrew University. Since most of the readers are not from Israel (98% of the visitors to sciencebits.com), here is a short synopsis. (ScienceBits)

North Atlantic was Cooled by African Dust - Evidence from the MODIS instrument on NASA satellites has determined that it was indeed Saharan dust that was responsible for one-third of the drop in North Atlantic sea surface between June 2005 and 2006. This drop in sea surface temperature may have contributed to the difference in hurricane activity between the two seasons. There were 15 hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin in 2005, but only 5 in 2006 as the sea surface temperatures remained relatively cool. By the way, this past season also saw less activity than what was earlier predicted. (AccuWeather)

El Nino affected by global warming - The climatic event El Niño, literally “the Baby Jesus”, was given its name because it generally occurs at Christmas time along the Peruvian coasts. This expression of climatic variability, also called El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), results from a series of interactions between the atmosphere and the tropical ocean. (Institut de Recherche Pour le Développement)

Historic La Nina could be in the making, says Bastardi - This post was taken from AccuWeather.com expert senior meteorologist Joe Bastardi's column, which is available on AccuWeather.com Professional.. Joe specializes in hurricane and long-range forecasting at AccuWeather.com. I thought his post from Tuesday would be of interest to the global warming crowd. Here is the full unedited post... (AccuWeather)

An Important New Paper On The Role of Aerosols Within The Climate System - Limits On Climate Sensitivity Derived From Recent Satellite And Surface Observations - I thank Jos de Laat of the Netherlands for alerting us to this important new paper on the role of aerosols within the climate system. The paper is Chylek, P., U. Lohmann, M. Dubey, M. Mishchenko, R. Kahn, and A. Ohmura (2007), Limits on climate sensitivity derived from recent satellite and surface observations, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S04, doi:10.1029/2007JD008740. (Climate Science)

Man-Made Global Warming: 10 Questions - The subject of man-made global warming is almost impossible to discuss without a descent into virulent name-calling (especially on the Internet, where anonymity breeds a special kind of vicious reaction to almost any social or political question), but I’ll try anyway. I consider myself to be relatively well-read on the matter, and I’ve still come down on the skeptical side, because there are aspects of the issue that don’t make a lot of sense to me. Though I confess to have written none-to-reverentially on the subject, I want to try to put all that aside and ask ten serious questions to which I have been unable to find definitive answers: (Pat Sajak, Human Events)

Group Seeks Protection for Ribbon Seals - ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Frustrated by a lack of regulations to limit global warming, a conservation group is looking to spur action with the aid of Arctic animals.

The Center for Biological Diversity on Thursday filed a 91-page petition with the National Marine Fisheries Service to list ribbon seals as threatened or endangered because the seals' habitat - sea ice - is disappearing due to climate change brought on by humans.

"The Arctic is in crisis state from global warming," said biologist Shaye Wolf, lead author of the petition. "An entire ecosystem is rapidly melting away and the ribbon seal is poised to become the first victim of our failure to address global warming." (AP)

As heavy industry moves East, China becomes the world's smokestack - HANDAN, China: When residents of this northern Chinese city hang their clothes out to dry, the black fallout from nearby Handan Iron and Steel often sends them back to the wash.

Half a world away, neighbors of ThyssenKrupp's former steel mill in the Ruhr Valley of Germany once had a similar problem. The white shirts men wore to church on Sundays turned gray by the time they got home.

These two steel towns have an unusual kinship, spanning 5,000 miles and a decade of economic upheaval. They have shared the same hulking blast furnace, dismantled and shipped piece by piece from Germany's old industrial heartland to Hebei Province, China's new Ruhr Valley.

The transfer, one of dozens since the late 1990s, contributed to a burst in China's steel production, which now exceeds that of Germany, Japan and the United States combined. It left Germany with lost jobs and a bad case of postindustrial angst.

But steel mills spewing particulates into the air and sucking electricity from China's coal-fired power plants account for a big chunk of the country's surging emissions of sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide. Germany, in contrast, has cleaned its skies and is now leading the fight against global warming. (IHT)

Mayor Pushes Rooftop Gardens - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A roof may be one of the last places you would think to put a garden, but a new plan could make it a normal thing in Albuquerque. Mayor Martin Chavez has submitted a proposal to the city council that would give grants to home owners and business owners to landscape their roofs for a trial period that the city would study.

They mayor said it would help the environment and save home owners money in energy costs. "Were going to find out through the pilot program whether it works or not. I think it will and I think it's exciting. It's just one more tool available to the public," Chavez said.

The mayor said the city council should vote on it in February and if they pass it, they will start the program immediately. (KOAT)

Isn't this the same chucklehead wanting people to tear up their gardens and put down xeriscape (rocks, basically)? So, ground-level gardens bad, rooftop gardens good? What about the watering of roofs during their incessant water restrictions due to shortages? And why would cooling the roof alone be better than cooling the surrounding gardens this same mayor wants converted to stone?

Scientists Find Good News About Methane Bubbling Up From the Ocean Floor Near Santa Barbara - Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is emitted in great quantities as bubbles from seeps on the ocean floor near Santa Barbara. About half of these bubbles dissolve into the ocean, but the fate of this dissolved methane remains uncertain. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have discovered that only one percent of this dissolved methane escapes into the air –– good news for the Earth's atmosphere. (University of California, Santa Barbara)

As For Oil — Shale, Yeah! - First, Congress comes up with legislation that has no provisions for developing new sources of domestic energy. Then, the House passes a bill that cuts off a potential oil bonanza. When does rationing begin? (IBD)

EU member states call for increased industrial use of biomass - Germany, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France and Luxembourg are calling for a new EU action plan to promote the use of biomass for the chemicals, construction and packaging industries, which are concerned that excessive biofuels production may undermine their raw materials base. (EurActiv)

On the rebound: Energy pleas ignore an important bit of economics - ENERGY efficiency is probably the most popular environmental panacea. While politicians discuss complicated global climate-change deals, economists tinker with intricate emissions-trading schemes and engineers design a new generation of nuclear-power plants, many greens advocate simpler steps: buying more efficient cars, replacing wasteful incandescent bulbs with efficient fluorescent ones and installing proper insulation. The International Energy Agency reckons that more efficient manufacturing, cosier houses and frugal transport could reduce energy demand worldwide by a third by 2050.

With that in mind, governments are prodding businesses to make their products more efficient. A voluntary agreement between the European Union and big carmakers has helped boost fuel economy 12% above its 1995 level, although the target of 25% by 2009 will not be met. (Economist.com)

California to sue over emissions snub in weeks: Schwarzenegger - California will sue the US government within weeks over its failure to give the green light to the state's tough new vehicle emissions standards, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said Thursday. (AFP)

Collision course - New European Union emission rules are bad news for Germany’s carmakers (The Economist)

Commission in turmoil over car emission proposals - The EU's controversial plans to force car makers to make greener cars from 2012 or face fines have caused strong division within the European Commission itself, with industry commissioner Guenter Verheugen said to have boycotted the press conference to announce the proposals on Wednesday (19 December). (EUobserver)

Germany's Glos says EU's CO2 reduction plans for cars may cost industry billions - FRANKFURT - German economy minister Michael Glos said the EU Commission's proposal for reducing carbon dioxide emissions in new cars from 2012 is 'unsatisfactory' and will cost the industry billions of euros, according to Handelsblatt. (Thomson Financial)

Germany cries foul on EU car emissions proposals - (BERLIN) - Chancellor Angela Merkel and the powerful German auto industry slammed a European Commission proposal Wednesday to slap heavy fines on car-makers that fail to meet emissions targets.

They argued that the measures would unfairly burden German auto manufacturers, a major component of Europe's biggest economy employing more than 740,000 people.

"This is industrial policy at Germany's expense," Merkel fumed after a meeting with leaders of major international lending institutions.

"It is senseless to impose a penalty that bears no relation to the actual cost of carbon dioxide emissions." (EUbusiness)

Consensus hides cracks in deforestation plan - It is the one thing that everyone at the climate conference in Bali last week - greens, governments and corporations alike - could agree on.

Tropical countries should be compensated if they agreed to protect their rainforests, and the huge amounts of carbon they contain. (Fred Pearce, London Telegraph)

Malaria's return: Researchers strive for a vaccine - In the 1950s, health workers in rubber boots tramped through swamps, river bottoms and rain pools with bug-killing spray guns. Their quest was stamping out malaria by eradicating disease-bearing mosquitoes.

The slow, steady slog eliminated the deadly illness in this country. But the anti-malaria drive turned out to be too successful.

When the infection rates tailed off to near-zero here and in other major nations, the disease was largely forgotten. The fight was further hobbled when DDT, used in the mosquito spray, was banned as an environmental danger.

Now the disease has surged back, more lethal than ever but just as stoppable. It claims a million victims per year, mostly children, in small villages in poor countries. A malaria map would take in more than 100 warm-weather countries in sub- Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. Those who don't die are often left with recurring fevers and headaches that last a lifetime. A World Health Organization estimate says the disease costs Africa $12 billion per year in lost productivity. (SF Chronicle)

Sea cucumbers 'new malaria weapon' - Sea cucumbers could provide a new weapon against malaria, research suggests.

The slug-like creatures which live on the sea floor have a gene that can be used to stop the malaria parasite developing in the bodies of mosquitoes.

One day this approach might help prevent the biting insects infecting humans and spreading the disease, say scientists. (PA News)

An 'Imperial' Congress Endangers Pipeline Of Drugs To U.S. Market - The framers of the U.S. Constitution purposefully distributed the essential business of government among three separate but interdependent branches, intending to ensure that the principal powers — legislative, executive and judicial — were not concentrated in the hands of any single branch. (Henry I Miller, IBD)

Parents know best when it comes to their kids — The experts weigh in to convince us otherwise - Do parents really need a reality check? Are they actually in denial and blind to their children’s obesity? And do most parents truly not care about the health of their children and fail to take responsibility to help them? While those were the message points we heard in the news and medical literature last week, let’s go directly to the source for the facts. What it reveals is a much bigger story. (Junkfood Science)

Blaming the Generous - The LA Times has a good article on how aid money to treat diseases with sophisticated medical care ends up hitting the reality of lack of an infrastructure.

Been there, done that….

However, the headline “Unintended victims of Gates Foundation generosity” is misleading.

The implication is that the Gates foundation is making things worse. It is not. But like most limited programs, it isn’t able to cure all of the problems faced by those with malaria or HIV. (Nancy Reyes, BNN)

Science chief: Press fixation with health risk stories is killing children - The Government’s chief scientific advisor has accused journalists reporting scientific issues of risking the lives of up to 100 children and a loss to the country of billions of pounds.

Professor Sir David King, a Cambridge professor who steps down from his Government role in January, singled out the Daily Mail for reporting warnings against parents giving children the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and the BBC Radio 4 Today programme for what he sees as an overly sceptical editorial line on genetically modified foods.

Speaking to Press Gazette, King stood by his views made at the innovation, universities and skills Commons select committee meeting earlier this month, where he accused both organisations of running irresponsible and dangerous campaigns on those issues. (Press Gazette)

Ministers to authorise GM potato and maize - The European Commission said it has transmitted proposals to ministers for the authorisation of four GM maize and potato products.

This is the next step in procedure following the failure of the commission's standing committee on the food chain and animal health - which comprises officials from all EU member states - to reach a definitive opinion either for or against the proposed authorisations on Oct 10. (All About feed)

EU decision on GMO testing opens door for U.S. rice - CHICAGO, Dec 20 - A decision to stop testing U.S. rice for genetically modified traits when it arrives at its destination should help restore trade with the European Union, which has virtually stopped since August 2006, said U.S. rice traders on Thursday. (Reuters)

Don't look for biotech wheat anytime soon - GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Although there is the possibility of great economic return for wheat producers from the development of biotech wheat, don't expect to see that option available anytime soon. That was the basic message Dr. Bill Wilson brought to those attending the Prairie Grains Conference in Grand Forks on Dec. 13. (Farm & Ranch Guide)

December 20, 2007

Warmer Seas But No Change in Hurricane Intensity? - We have visited this topic repeatedly over the past five years (e.g., here and here), and here we go again given the latest news. Every sell-respecting presentation about global warming includes a claim that hurricanes are becoming more intense, and if you don’t believe it, you will be treated to images of the Katrina disaster as the final proof. Gore’s film clearly makes the case that burning fossil fuel equals higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration which equals higher atmospheric and oceanic temperatures. He claims in the film and during every stop on his global circuit that the warmer sea surface in the tropics clearly means more intense hurricanes and BANG … the Katrina horrors are unveiled. It seems to work every time, and despite a lot of research that suggests the relationship is not so clear, people have bought the intense hurricane pillar of the global warming scare. If you suggest that there is some debate on the subject, you will undoubtedly be told that the climate deniers are few in number, well financed from industry, and discredited by scientists the world over. (WCR)

Year of global cooling - Al Gore says global warming is a planetary emergency. It is difficult to see how this can be so when record low temperatures are being set all over the world. In 2007, hundreds of people died, not from global warming, but from cold weather hazards. (David Deming, Washington Times)

Alarmists wrong on global warming - It seems that polar bears and penguins are not the only victims of global warming. After climate talks wrapped up in Bali, we heard from the World Health Organisation that rising temperatures are also making humans less healthy as malaria spreads northwards and heat waves become more common.

The relationship between climate and disease is less marked than is often claimed. Margaret Chan, the head of WHO, on Monday stated that rising temperatures could lead to the re-emergence of malaria in the USA. But this fails to take into account the vast range of human and ecological factors that determine the incidence of this disease. (Business Day)

Economist examines costs of extreme cold weather - BERKELEY – Fatalities in the continental United States tend to climb for several weeks after severe cold spells, ultimately numbering 360 per chilly day and 14,380 per year, according to a new study co-authored by a University of California, Berkeley, economist.

Deaths linked to extreme cold account for 0.8 percent of the nation's annual death rate and outnumber those attributed to leukemia, murder and chronic liver disease combined, the study reports. Cold-related deaths also reduce the average life expectancy of Americans by at least a decade, it says.

The numbers are "remarkably large," said Enrico Moretti, a UC Berkeley associate professor of economics, and Oliver Deschenes, an associate professor of economics at UC Santa Barbara, in a December 2007 working paper, "Extreme Weather Events, Mortality and Migration."

The study also says that demographic shifts from colder climes to warmer ones - for reasons such as better jobs, cheaper housing and sunshine - appear to delay an estimated 4,600 deaths a year. The researchers also said that over the past 30 years, longevity gains associated with geographic mobility accounted for between 4 and 7 percent of the increases in life expectancy in the United States. (UC Berkeley) | Their report is online.

The Pope vs. Global Warming - London’s Daily Mail reported on December 12 that the Vatican released the remarks the pope will make in his annual January 1 address, “The Human Family, A Community of Peace.” The release coincided with the December 11 opening of the United Nations’ conference on climate change in the Indonesian resort of Bali.

“We need to care for the environment,” Benedict writes. “It has been entrusted to men and women to be protected and cultivated with responsible freedom, with the good of all as a constant guiding criterion.”

That responsible freedom rejects both the panic motivating global warming activists and a radical environmentalism that demands humanity’s subjugation to ecology.

“Human beings, obviously, are of supreme worth vis-à-vis creation as a whole,” Benedict continues. “Respecting the environment does not mean considering material or animal nature more important than man. (Joseph D'Hippolito, FrontPageMagazine.com)

Elevated carbon dioxide changes soil microbe mix below plants - A detailed analysis of soil samples taken from a forest ecosystem with artificially elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) reveals distinct changes in the mix of microorganisms living in the soil below trembling aspen. These changes could increase the availability of essential soil nutrients, thereby supporting increased plant growth and the plants' ability to "lock up," or sequester, excess carbon from the atmosphere. The research will be published online this week in the journal Environmental Microbiology. (Brookhaven National Laboratory)

No... Ancient Warming Caused Huge Spike in Temps, Study Says  - What started out as a moderate global warm-up about 55 million years ago triggered a massive injection of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that sent temperatures skyrocketing, a new study says.

The finding suggests that today's temperature rise may just be priming the planet for a carbon belch of epic proportions. (National Geographic News)

What they actually said was:

The start of the Palaeocene/Eocene thermal maximum—a period of exceptional global warming about 55 million years ago—is marked by a prominent negative carbon isotope excursion that reflects a massive input of 13C-depleted (‘light’) carbon to the ocean–atmosphere system1. It is often assumed2 that this carbon injection initiated the rapid increase in global surface temperatures and environmental change that characterize the climate perturbation3–7, but the exact sequence of events remains uncertain. Here we present chemical and biotic records of environmental change across the Palaeocene/Eocene boundary from two sediment sections in New Jersey that have high sediment accumulation rates. We show that the onsets of environmental change (as recorded by the abundant occurrence (‘acme’) of the dinoflagellate cyst Apectodinium) and of surface-ocean warming (as evidenced by the palaeothermometer TEX86) preceded the light carbon injection by several thousand years. The onset of the Apectodinium acme also precedes the carbon isotope excursion in sections from the southwest Pacific Ocean8 and the North Sea, indicating that the early onset of environmental change was not confined to the New Jersey shelf. The lag of ~3,000 years between the onset of warming in New Jersey shelf waters and the carbon isotope excursion is consistent with the hypothesis that bottom water warming caused the injection of 13C-depleted carbon by triggering the dissociation of submarine methane hydrates1,9,10, but the cause of the early warming remains uncertain.

Let's see: 'about 3,000 years after an apparent warming of unknown cause there was an influx of carbon with a relatively low proportion of 13C isotope' and 'ancient warming caused huge spike in temps' -- not the same at all, is it?

Sunshine duration accounts for 93% of all warming since 1951 - Abstract: Using twenty two weather stations across Australia, the variable sunshine duration is shown to have significantly increased since 1951. Its correlation with maximum temperature anomalies is highly statistically significant. By eliminating the influence of sunshine duration from the maximum temperature dataset, maximum temperature trends were shown to drop from an average of 1.4 to 0.1 degrees increase per 100 years. Hence the variable sunshine duration accounts for 93% of all positive trends in maximum temperature since 1951 in Australia. Implications of these findings and the relationship of the variable sunshine duration with respect to cloud cover trends and how they is measured will be discussed. (Gust of Hot Air)

The carbon cost of Christmas cherries - It is really not that long ago that the seasons dictated what fresh fruit we ate and when we ate it.

But go into any of our UK supermarkets today and you will see a huge selection of "out of season" produce.

Take cherries for instance. Britain's freezing orchards are bare at this time of year. But still you will have no problem finding delicious fresh cherries on the shelves.

The trouble is that the cherries we enjoy in December have to be shipped from the southern hemisphere. Many come from Chile which is some seven and a half thousand miles from the UK.

And some environmentalists insist it is plain madness that, in a time of global warming, we transport a non-essential luxury-food item half way across the world. (BBC)

'Carbon cost'... Sheesh!

Satire: Gore Sues Time for ‘Person of the Year’ Recount - In a stunning announcement Wednesday, Time magazine has named Russian President Vladimir Putin its Person of the Year for 2007.

Obviously, this must have come as a great shock to Nobel Laureate Al Gore who was the odds on favorite to win another dubious honor for becoming a multi-millionaire selling the gullible on the manmade global warming myth.

With that in mind, Pat Sajak penned the following satirical piece depicting how Gore – ever the sore-loser – might respond to this announcement (NewsBusters)

Ever wondered what it was all about? Bali climate change : what is at stake for our future? - ... Nevertheless we have a historic opportunity to establish mechanisms for an ecofriendly transformation of the global economy. (L'express)

Industry welcomes U.N. climate accord - Japan's industrial sector welcomed the agreement reached at the U.N. climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia, as it did not specify numerical targets for industrialized nations.

The European Union still wants to impose clear and specific targets for developed countries, but Japanese companies are wary of this idea gaining ground in the run-up to the summit meeting of the Group of Eight major countries set for July at the Lake Toya hot-spring resort in Hokkaido. (Yomiuri Shimbun)

Peter Lyons: Me first - big obstacle to unity on the climate - The climate change debate seldom explicitly examines the interesting human psychology that underlies the problem. This psychology features two conundrums of human interaction that play out in a variety of contexts both globally and locally. They are called the Tragedy of the Commons and the Prisoner's Dilemma. Understanding the nature of these riddles of human behaviour is essential to appreciating the difficulties of addressing climate change. (New Zealand Herald)

It takes a world to fight climate change - Monitoring the progress of the United Nations climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia, was a bit like watching a battle unfolding in front of me.

No, this was not a war between rich countries - particularly the United States, which has been polluting our sky for the past 300 years and continues to do so on a large and escalating scale - and poor countries - with China as a glaring example, though it has entered the polluting game late and committed much lesser crimes per capita, but is seen to be making its best effort to clear up the mess. This is all about mankind confronting a common problem, one that might put us out of existence. It is our common war. (China Daily)

Following the Cold War all these "hot war" analogies were probably inevitable, although that makes them no less tedious.

Follow Up To Question To Real Climate - With respect to the question raised by Climate Science on Figure SPM.2 in the IPCC Statement for Policymakers (see), I have decided to elevate the last comment from Gavin Schmidt (from Real Climate) and the Climate Science response to a weblog (with a couple of minor edits), as the issue that Climate Science is raising is not being clearly understood. Climate Science will also present a more detailed weblog on this subject soon in order to further clarify. (Climate Science)

Solar Panels Continue to Go Up Despite No Drop in Prices - Eleven solar panels went up on Robert Offord's La Mesa roof Tuesday, adding him to the region's slowly growing number of homeowners and businesses who rely on the sun for their electricity.

Across the region, Offord and others like him benefit from two subsidies that cut solar power's cost. The retired teacher will get a tax break from the federal government and a rebate from the state. Together, the subsidies cut the cost of Offord's $16,000 system by about $6,000.

"It'll never pay for itself, but the sun is there, and it's free," Offord said. "I might as well use it." (Voice)

Tax credit expiry endangers wind, solar expansion - WASHINGTON - Growth of a nascent U.S. industry to build and install clean energy sources, like windmills and solar cells, could be stunted if Congress doesn't extend tax incentives set to expire next year, industry officials and lawmakers said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Ministers 'to reject airline cap' - EU ministers are poised to agree a deal on aviation that would see aircraft emissions continue to rise and possibly hand a cash windfall to the airlines.

BBC News understands the industry will be allowed to increase emissions as much as it wants by the European environment council. (BBC)

Emissions law a breath of fresh air for luxury car makers - LUXURY car makers Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and BMW will be thrown a lifeline when the European Union releases its stringent exhaust emissions law tomorrow.

The EU Commission has refused to budge on its plan to limit emissions to 120 grams of carbon dioxide a kilometre from 2012, but it has indicated that car makers will be allowed to trade carbon dioxide credits between themselves.

This give makers of larger, more powerful cars a chance to reach the 120-gram limit by buying credits from makers of smaller, more economical cars. (The Age)

Greens attack EU 'hypocrisy' over car emissions deal after climate change boast - A European crackdown on car pollution was attacked yesterday as a "hypocritical compromise" which contradicted the EU's claim to be leading the way on climate change.

Days after Brussels boasted of its leading role at the Bali environment talks last week, it emerged that its new proposals on cutting CO2 emissions have been drastically weakened after months of intense lobbying by car makers. (Daily Mail)

Germany calls EU CO2 plan "wrong", "harmful" - BERLIN, Dec 19 - Germany said on Wednesday that European Commission proposals to force down emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by cars were "wrong" and "harmful" as they put a one-sided burden on German makers of larger cars. (Reuters)

Loons... Groups sue to protect Alaska's rare loon - ANCHORAGE, Alaska—Three conservation groups sued the federal government Wednesday to block development and protect a rare loon that breeds in Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve.

The groups claim yellow-billed loons are threatened by industrialization in the 23 million-acre reserve, which covers much of Alaska's western North Slope. (Associated Press)

Grow More Food in Cities, UN Agency Tells Asia - GENEVA - Asian nations, many at risk from climate change, must invest more in urban and indoor farming to help feed the hundreds of millions of people in their growing cities, the World Meteorological Organisation said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

France Says to Extend GMO Ban Unless Proven Safe - PARIS - France will extend its ban on the use and sale of the only genetically modified crop grown in the country unless a newly set-up committee on GMOs can prove it is safe, senior government officials said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

FDA asked to delay ruling on cloned foods - WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration should delay a decision on whether milk and meat from some cloned animals are safe to eat until additional safety studies can be conducted, a Democratic lawmaker and consumer groups said in separate statements on Tuesday. (Reuters)

High lysine corn gazetted - High lysine corn is being gazetted today at 1pm. This corn is used as an animal feed, but it has had its safety assessed as if for human consumption. Food containing this GM variety can now be imported and sold in New Zealand, although such products would have to adhere to GM labelling requirements, says NZFSA Director (Joint Food Standards), Carole Inkster. (NZFSA)

December 19, 2007

China previews the future of environmental regulation... - An article in today's Wall Street Journal ("China Eco-Watchdog Gets Teeth," Dec. 18) reports that China uses environmental regulation as a means to control economic development. Describing how approval of a new steel mill was refused because of "concerns that included inappropriate land use and possible water pollution," the article reported:

The Anyang rejection also reflects how China's government is using environmental regulation to achieve broader economic goals, such as reining in corporate investment that threatens to lead to excess capacity. Official statistics recorded 6.67 trillion yuan of new investment projects in the first 10 months of 2007, up 26.5% from a year earlier. The projects stopped by the tougher environmental-approval process would have contributed to even greater acceleration.

There can be little doubt that the West's communists (now colored Green) intend to use climate regulation toward the same end -- except, perhaps, more so. After all, to the Greens, any industrial capacity is excess capacity.

Bali documents available on JunkScience... - Below are links to the final documents from the Bali climate conference to which the U.S. agreed:

Real Winter - When the snow stopped falling here in the Northeast, it was like looking out upon a collective memory of winters past — farther past than last winter, that is, when crocuses were pushing out of the earth in early January. It was hardly a surprising storm, yet it demonstrated how easily our idea of normal can be subverted. We are every bit as mercurial as the weather itself.

Last year, the abnormal felt like a surprise — shirt-sleeve days in New Year’s week. And now, this year, the normal feels unusual. Sleet, freezing rain, snow, wind, power outages, icy highways, canceled flights — this is what we used to expect from mid-December.

A real winter, like the one we’re having this week, means capitulating to the weather. (New York Times)

The Crone realizes people are fickle and "normal" is a mercurial concept -- good. Why then do they want to make people subservient to inconvenient weather? Why do they want to make life saving heating prohibitively expensive? Why the terror campaign over the possibility (however remote) of a slightly less-cold climate? Post your thoughts on the JunkScience.com blog.

This rubbish, again: The world's first climate change refugees to leave island due to rising sea levels - Within a few weeks a boat filled with wide-eyed children and tearful adults will pull out from a Pacific lagoon to escape the slow death of their island home.

The group will become the world's first refugees from the effects of global warming, leaving behind a tiny speck of land that is being slowly swallowed by the rising ocean.

Ironically, the Carteret Islanders have made what is possibly the smallest carbon footprint on the planet, yet they are the first to suffer the devastating effects of a wider, polluted world they know nothing about. (Daily Mail)

Not so, the islands are certainly sinking but it has everything to do with tectonics and nothing to do with greenhouse.

Not too good on their history... World Meteorological Organization: Last Decade Warmest on Record - A new report says the last decade is the warmest on record. The Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization says data from around the world shows extreme weather patterns increasing in every region. It says the data supports scientific claims that global warming is occurring.

The World Meteorological Organization says 2007 is shaping up to be the fifth-warmest year on record. It says this past year has seen, what it calls, a number of remarkable global climatic events.

These include the record melting of the Arctic Sea ice, which opened the Canadian Northwest Passage for the first time in recorded history. The year was also notable for the relatively small Antarctic ozone hole, the development of La Nina in the central and eastern Equatorial Pacific and devastating tropical storms. (VOA)

... Roald Amundsen did so in the 70' sloop Gjøa and a six man crew in 1905 while Robert McClure proved the route in 1854 (McClure and his crew were awarded the £10,000 prize for finding the Passage.). So many have done so that there is a 'typical' route and at least a half-dozen others.

Paul's telling porkies: Bare necessities - Over the last 25 years, the polar bear population throughout the Arctic has declined to 25,000. The four polar bears found drowned in a storm off the coast of Alaska this year illustrated that thinner adults are less able to cope with the harsh conditions. A report by the Canadian Wildlife Service predicts that if trends continue, polar bears will soon be extinct. (Paul Evans, The Guardian)

Oh boy... that should read "increased to 25,000" and no, the four known drownings were the result of rough weather, not "thinner adults". Paul's either shockingly ignorant or dreadfully cavalier with the truth.

What? New crippling virus spreading worldwide: Scientists link rise of mosquito-borned Chikungunya to global warming - WASHINGTON - A new virus called the Chikungunya virus, which causes painful and sometimes crippling symptoms, has spread to several new countries in the past year because it has found a new species of mosquito to carry it, researchers said on Friday.

A single mutation allowed the virus to infect the Asian tiger mosquito — which itself is spreading to many more countries in Europe and North America, the researchers said.

“This mutation increases the potential for Chikungunya virus to permanently extend its range into Europe and the Americas,” Stephen Higgs and colleagues at the University of Texas Medical Branch wrote in their report, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Pathogens. (Reuters)

Another case of "global warming" simply being thrown in for the heck of it. Read it, there has been a single mutation in the virus allowing it to infect a different mosquito -- there is no temperature dependence there. -- h/t Scott Plouse

Trouble ferments in Beaujolais country - Winemakers in the Beaujolais region have been accused of illegally adding sugar to fortify their wines or increase volume.

They are also suspected of exceeding wine volume quotas and selling the extra bottles on the black market. (London Telegraph)

If they did manage some warming they wouldn't need to add sugar (which is why new world wines do so well -- they are grown in regions actually warm enough to support and ripen grapes virtually every year while Europe competes by adding anti-freeze and other sweetening agents for flavor and/or sugars to help fermentation).

Bizarre: Back from the brink - How did the human race get on in 2007? On an evolutionary level, you could argue the species had a fabulously successful year. It increased its numbers by more than 80 million people, dominated all other lifeforms, and suffered no major setbacks. Most of its 6.5bn members lived longer than they could have expected only 30 years ago, moved around and traded with each other more than ever, and mostly survived whatever the natural world chucked at them.

But history will look back on 2007 and see a species in transition. In the next few months, the UN will declare that we have transmuted to an urban species, with more people in cities than the countryside. Only 100 years ago, nearly all humanity was made up of people who worked and lived close to where they grew or collected food, and who adapted their lives to the resources they had to hand. Homo sapiens - or urbanus - is now increasingly grouping together and engineering environments for its sole use. (John Vidal, The Guardian)

Vidal recognizes humanity is thriving... and thinks that's a bad thing. What weird critters watermelons are.

Handy ideas to make us green and mouldy - BY now you'll be in a panic, wondering how to save yourself from the apocalypse to come.

After all, when the Profit of Doom, Al Gore, says global warming risks "ending all human civilisation" you'll have figured it will take more than a few low-energy light bulbs to save us.

Too right, so I've collected the best and most original tips of many experts on how to slash the gases they say are killing the planet. Follow this advice and we'll be, um . . . safe? (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

Clouds and Global Warming - Recently when questioning embers of the CSIRO as to why north-west Australia has seen a cooling trend in the last 50 years, he replied that it was due an increase in clouds in that area, possibly, due to an increase in aerosol usage in Asia.

And increase in clouds in that area made sense. IT has, after all, seen a massive increase in rainfall in the last 20 years, so one would also expect an increase in cloud activity. I asked him if eastern Australia is warming up due to less clouds, as the east also, has received less rain. His response was it could have a small minor effect, but that greenhouse gases were shown through models to be the major cause. (Gust of Hot Air)

Request to the IPCC - Syun Akasofu
International Arctic Research Center
University of Alaska Fairbanks

We encounter scientific terms, such as climate change, global warming, the greenhouse effect, and carbon dioxide a few times every day in newspapers, radio broadcasts, TV news, as well as in conversations among people. It must be the first time in the history of science that a specific scientific field has gotten so much attention from the public. As a scientist, I am pleased about the public's interest in science. Unfortunately, however, I am afraid that this great interest by the public in climatology is largely the result of a proliferating number of confusing stories in the media that are based on misinterpreted information about the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide.

If the IPCC wants to represent this particular scientific field to the world, they are responsible for rectifying the great confusion and misinterpretation of scientific facts in the mind of the public. Some of the items that need clarification and action are: (Klima)

Climate Metric Reality Check #3 - Evidence For A Lack Of Water Vapor Feedback On The Regional Scale - An essential component of the IPCC perspective of global warming is that atmospheric water vapor must increase in order to amplify the radiative warming effect of carbon dioxide. Without this amplification, the global warming that would be due to just carbon dioxide would be quite modest. The multi-decadal global models predict such an amplification, with the claim that the relative humidity remains nearly constant as the atmosphere warms. The atmospheric depth total column water vapor (called “precipitable water”) is a useful metric for this purpose. (Climate Science)

Kyoto? Bali? They're miles from here - In the part of Georgia where I live, there is no way Americans will be converted to the green cause (Carol Sarler, London Times)

Kyotophiles doing wonders: Norway's emissions soar - Just as Norwegian delegates to the UN's conference on climate change started heading home from Bali, came news that Norway's own carbon emissions rose 80 percent from 1990 to 2004. (Aftenposten)

Did the US Delegation Go Behind Bush's Back? - Delegates at the Bali climate change conference reached a modest deal after the US dramatically abandoned its opposition. However, the White House almost immediately distanced itself from the negotiations. Did the US delegation make a deal without consulting Bush? (Der Spiegel)

Bali Who? - Under cover of fighting global warming, developing countries try to slow America's economy. (Pete du Pont, Wall Street Journal)

Climate alarmism hits a brick wall - The success of the major Anglosphere nations at last week's United Nations climate conference in Bali marks the beginning of the end of the age of climate hysteria. It also symbolizes a significant shift of political leadership in international climate diplomacy from the once-dominating European continent to North America and its Western allies. (Benny Peiser, Financial Post)

Bali Exposes US, Canada And Australian Climate Racism, Climate Terrorism, Climate Criminals And Climate Genocide - The Bali Climate Change Conference has ended in a FARCE due to the US veto of greenhouse gas emission targets for developed countries. The Bush US position - in clear opposition to the IPCC, the world's scientists, Green groups, Developing nations and the EU - was backed by climate criminal, climate racist, climate terrorist neo-Bush-ite Rudd Australia, Bush-ite Harper Canada and other climate criminal US allies such as Bush-ite Japan and US satrap and carbon dioxide (CO2) polluter extraordinaire Saudi Arabia. (Dr Gideon Polya, Countercurrents.org)

Poor newly-minted Australian PM Kevin Rudd is likely to be upset. Despite the most questionable of authority to do so he submitted Australia's instrument of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, insulted key ally the United States along the way, yapping like some little dog from the safety of a policy-free zone (political realities soon intruded) and still he's labeled "climate terrorist neo-Bush-ite". Just don't get it ,do you Kevni? There's absolutely nothing to be gained by yielding to misanthropic greenies. And no matter what you do the welfare-addicted socialists want more, until no one has anything.

Tax And Wane - Big news from the United Nations global warming conference was the last-second agreement on a pact for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. But a more ominous development went largely unnoticed. (IBD)

Viscount Monckton's Inside Story On The Bali Conference  - A readable but revealing summary of what really happened at the UNFCC meeting on climate change in Bali. And why the ordinary people of the world should be very, very afraid. (Climate Science NZ)

NGOs Regroup Around Climate Change After Bali - BALI, Indonesia - This resort island, better known for drawing foreign tourists due to its tropical splendour and its deep spiritual traditions, is poised to enter the vocabulary of another international set -- the rapidly expanding global civil society movement. (IPS)

Bali Global Warming Conference: 2027 - The tenth global warming conference in Bali (Bali-X) concluded today with a new agreement to negotiate a roadmap for future talks on eventually reducing greenhouse gas emissions. United Nations delegates hailed the agreement as an historic step to prevent future global warming.

(Bali - Dec. 18, 2027) Twenty years after the first Bali global warming conference, delegates from around the world attending the tenth Bali conference (Bali-X) today put the finishing touches on a new agreement to negotiate future reductions in manmade greenhouse gas emissions. According to all UN-certified scientists, those emissions are predicted to once again cause global warming, just as was experienced thirty years ago. (ecoEnquirer)

Meanwhile, it does seem to be unraveling: Japan Omits Carbon Tax, Trading From Latest Pollution Measures - Japan's government omitted a proposed carbon tax from its latest list of measures to curb pollution and will instead intensify appeals for voluntary reductions from homes, utilities and factories.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's Cabinet today reviewed alternative strategies to meet the nation's Kyoto Protocol target on carbon emissions, Hiroshi Kamagata, a counsellor in the Cabinet Secretariat, told reporters in Tokyo. Media handouts omitted earlier proposals for a carbon tax on fossil fuel use and the creation of an emissions trading system. (Bloomberg)

Concern over Government’s sale of CO2 emission permits - An environmental “stealth tax” on business could raise hundreds of million of pounds for the taxman over the next five years through the auction of a large chunk of the next round of carbon emission permits. (London Times)

Hilary Benn called to explain Defra response to environment report - MPs have called Environment Secretary Hilary Benn to appear before them to explain why the Government is failing to involve the public in battling the effects of climate change. (London Telegraph)

Vuitton's new "Dissonance" line - It seems that we’ve all been had in a bit of fun, involving a good old campaign of commercial build-up. Who doesn’t remember the enigmatic advertising blitz for “Gabbo” in the Simpsons’ “Krusty gets Kancelled” episode?

Well, “the day has finally arrived at which Gabbo’s identity will be revealed” or, in this case, the line of luxury products that apparently were the point all along of the global warming hype are rolled out. (Chris Horner, CEI, posted on PlanetGore)

From CO2 Science this week:

The Biological Atmosphere: Too Long Ignored by the IPCC?: A large fraction of the atmosphere's aerosol burden is composed of particles that either once were or still are alive.

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Naychhudwari Bog, Himachal Pradesh, India. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Evolution (Terrestrial Plants - Agricultural Crops): We normally think of evolution as acting very slowly over long spans of time. Is there anything we can do to "speed up the process" for the crops that support our species in ways that will enable them to become more productive in response to earth's changing environment?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Common Buckwheat, Douglas Fir, Soybean, and Sunflower.

Journal Reviews:
Antarctic Temperatures: 1958-2002: How did the mean annual surface air temperature of the Southern Hemisphere between latitudes 60 and 90°S, which includes the entire continent of Antarctica and much of the surrounding Southern Ocean, vary over the 45-year period?

The Climatic Consequences of Permafrost Degradation in Boreal Peatlands: Will the phenomenon exacerbate or mitigate greenhouse-gas-induced global warming?

100-Plus Years of Thunderstorms in Poland: How have they responded to the "unprecedented" warming of the 20th century?

Amazon Forest Response to the Drought of 2005: How much "browning" did the region experience?

Does Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment Enhance the Negative Effects of Invasive Plants on Native Plant Assemblages?: What one recent studied revealed about the important question.

Binghamton, NYTemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Binghamton, NY. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Binghamton's mean annual temperature has cooled by 2.67 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

How Long Will Siberia's Gas Last? - Europe depends on Russia for its natural gas, but, as Gazprom begins production at the last major field, it is unclear how much gas is left in Siberia. Developed fields are almost exhausted, and tapping new reserves involves huge technical difficulties. (Der Spiegel)

Europe divided over targets for cutting car CO2 emissions - Emergency talks aimed at setting EU targets to reduce CO2 car emissions are being held today amid fears that bitter wrangling between car manufacturing countries could delay or even derail the process entirely. (London Independent)

From the 'you couldn't make this stuff up' file: Chief scientist in sports cars warning to women - Women must stop admiring men who drive sports cars if they want to join the fight against global warming, the Government's chief scientist has urged.

Professor Sir David King said governments could only do so much to control greenhouse gas emissions and it was time for a cultural change among the British public.

And he singled out women who find supercar drivers "sexy", adding that they should divert their affections to men who live more environmentally-friendly lives. (London Telegraph)

As Ethanol Takes Its First Steps, Congress Proposes a Giant Leap - Congress is on the verge of telling American business to create a huge new industry capable of converting agricultural wastes and other plant material into automotive fuel. (New York Times)

Food and Fuel Compete for Land - For years, cheap food and feed were taken for granted in the United States. Now the price of some foods is rising sharply, and a blame alert is under way. (New York Times)

The Buzz on Biofuels: Worse Than Dickensian - And you thought a lump of coal in a stocking was a cruel Christmas gift.... The coal could at least be burned to help heat a house. If Big Agribusiness and a handful of so-called clean energy companies have their way, you won't be able to afford heat--or food to eat--in a future holiday season.

Well, maybe not you--the reader--but for millions of the world's poorest people, acute hunger, preceded by even worse poverty, best describes the fate that awaits them. Of course, it is all for a good, clean cause, according to biofuels-backing politicians. (China Confidential)

New policy puts climate change at the heart of planning - The government will today publish a new planning policy designed to boost the use of renewable energy and community heating schemes in new buildings as it gears up for the introduction of carbon-free homes from 2016. (The Guardian)

Extra cash has not improved flood defences, MPs say - Flood defences in England and Wales have "not greatly improved" and some remain in a poor condition despite a 40% increase in funding for the Environment Agency over five years, a Commons committee claimed today. (Guardian Unlimited)

Canucks Against Malaria - Canada should look to its southern neighbor for tips on how to fight the insect-borne disease in Africa, writes RICHARD TREN. (The American)

[Lack of] Sunlight link to lung cancer risk - Lack of sunlight may increase the risk of lung cancer, according to a new study.

While smoking was most strongly associated with lung cancer rates, exposure to sunlight, especially ultraviolet B light, also seemed to have an impact, according to a report published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The researchers looked at the association between latitude, exposure to UVB light, and rates of lung cancer according to age in 111 countries across several continents.

Smoking accounted for between 75% and 85% of lung cancer cases although exposure to sunlight and UVB light, the principal source of vitamin D for the body, had an impact.

The amount of UVB light increases as you move closer to the equator and analyses showed lung cancer rates were highest in those countries furthest away from the equator and lowest in those nearest. Higher cloud cover and airborne aerosol levels were also associated with higher rates of the disease. (AOL Lifestyle)

The world has officially gone fat mad - This Op-Ed by David McFadden of Australia needs no comment: (Junkfood Science)

Stop the presses! Bariatric surgeons admit obesity does not increase risk of dying or risks for heart disease - Today brought another unbelievable example of ad-hoc reasoning, as well as a remarkable admission that the war on obesity is without scientific merit. It appeared in a paper published in the journal for the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (now called the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery), which is edited by the Society’s president, Dr. Harvey Sugerman, M.D. FACS. (Junkfood Science)

Information is power — what you need to know about the newest source of your health information - There is a major new provider of health information for you, your employer and healthcare provider. An introduction is warranted. (Junkfood Science)

Our Children Should Not be Poisoned by our Food - CHURCHVILLE, VA—Buying “organic” or “natural” or “local” meats won’t protect us from the deadly food-borne bacteria E. coli O157. The life-threatening bacterium sickens thousands of people every year, and kills hundreds—too many of them children. (Dennis T. Avery, CGFI)

Science: The GM crop that will sow less bitterness - Researchers in Germany have developed a way of engineering plants so they can flourish in difficult conditions without raising an ethical storm. Ed Yong reports (London Telegraph)

December 18, 2007

Only slightly off topic... - That Hillary Clinton once libeled the Junkman a "threat to women's health" -- she didn't like his May 17, 2001 column in the New York Post -- is not why we're running the photo comparison below.

The photo on the left is from today's New York Times showing Bill Clinton speaking at a Hillary rally last week below her image, while the photo on the right comes from today's DrudgeReport and presumably shows what Hillary actually looks like.


Will the Pope be wearing this nifty DemandDebate T-shirt when he delivers his annual World Peace Day message on Jan. 1? - Get yours at the DemandDebate.com Store! For your holiday convenience, priority mail and overnight delivery available.

"It is important for assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently, in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure to draw hasty conclusions, and above all with the aim of reaching agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of all while respecting environmental balances."

Pope Benedict XVI, from his World Peace Day address, as reported by the Daily Mail(London).


Hurricanes have not increased in the North Atlantic - My paper on this subject will finally appear in the Journal of Climate soon. You can see it’s status (temporarily, anyway) at this link.

You can download the paper here.

The gist is that the evidence shows that hurricanes have not increased in either number of intensity in the North Atlantic. I’ve only used data through 2006; which is to say, not this year’s. But if I were to, then, since the number and intensity of storms this past year were nothing special, the evidence would be even more conclusive that not much is going on. (William M. Briggs)

This twaddle again: Looming threat to the world climate: The warming of the west Siberian bog threatens our future - When the sun rises in Yakutsk this morning, about an hour before lunch, it will be minus 38C. Tomorrow it's forecast to be minus 45, which is about as cold as it gets in the inhabited northern hemisphere - cold enough, as Siberians love to tell you, to freeze the moisture on your eyeballs if you forget to blink.

This may be why Siberia got so little play in Bali. With the best will in the world, and all the glacial earnestness of the UN climate change mitigation process, it can be hard to focus on global warming's projected impact on the deep-frozen Russian hinterland when Tuvalu is already slipping beneath the South Pacific. But this is about to change. Between now and the Copenhagen climate change conference in 2009 on which the habitability of the planet we bequeath to our children may depend, Siberia will race up the global eco-worry list. (The Times)

This old chestnut should have been laid to rest long ago. Even if the top of the permafrost layer were to melt that still doesn't release gas held below the melt line (duh!) and so the change is really quite trivial. The chances of cooling are just as high as warming.

Hot air and human health - It seems that polar bears and penguins are not the only victims of global warming. As climate talks wrap up in Bali, we heard from the World Health Organization that rising temperatures are also making humans less healthy as malaria spreads northward and heatwaves become more common.

The WHO is using such claims to justify stinging cuts in carbon emissions in order to stabilize global temperatures. But if the aim is actually to improve health - particularly in poor countries - they would be hard pushed to get it more wrong. (Philip Stevens, CFD)

“A Solemn and Prolonged Farce” - Winston Churchill’s famous description of disarmament negotiations — “a solemn and prolonged farce” — now applies equally well to the U.N.’s endless climate-change talks. The not-so-hidden agenda of the U.N. climate conference in Bali was clear for months — beat the United States into submission — and the long run-up to Bali was carefully choreographed, with no fewer than four major reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). All of them said the same thing: Doom awaits unless we take drastic action now. The climate campaigners’ goal is a 25 to 40 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020. Having failed to come anywhere near the more modest Kyoto targets, they apparently feel that now is the time for an even less realistic goal. (NRO)

For Kyoto's champions, the meetings never end - If you want an indication of just how utterly meaningless the "historic" Bali global warming deal was, consider this: The UN climate change meeting that concluded on Friday was officially the 13th conference of the parties (COP) to the Kyoto accords. It was the 10th since the international greenhouse gas treaty was created more than a decade ago.

Every year, these same signatories meet. Every year, they go over (and over) the same territory. Every year, they dicker, blather, preach, assail, negotiate, draft and redraft (not to mention flying from one exotic location to another eating, drinking and living off fat publicly funded expense accounts). And every year, they leave claiming to have reached an historic consensus to save the UN climate change process.

There is never any "final" deal. The goalposts move at every conference, and often three or four times during the pre-negotiations that occur between COPs. Don't like a COP agreement? Wait a few months. It'll change. (Lorne Gunter, National Post)

Panic the big threat to planet - IT looks as if the global warming issue will largely determine the fate of the Rudd Government. It has a climate policy based on unproven scientific claims and carrying putative commitments during the next several years that would savage the economy and our way of life.

At stake are billions of dollars in new taxes and costs, reduced export income, the disabling of whole industries and investment in them, and fortunes made by the promoters of horrendously expensive energy substitutes. There will be large-scale net costs imposed on the rest of us. More than $3 billion worth of programs are already committed, with additional plans for trashing household hot water systems and billions for renewable energy. (Barry Maley, The Australian)

Limits on climate sensitivity derived from recent satellite and surface observations - Abstract: An analysis of satellite and surface measurements of aerosol optical depth suggests that global average of aerosol optical depth has been recently decreasing at the rate of around 0.0014/a. This decrease is nonuniform with the fastest decrease observed over the United States and Europe. The observed rate of decreasing aerosol optical depth produces the top of the atmosphere radiative forcing that is comparable to forcing due to the current rate of increasing atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Consequently, both increasing atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases and decreasing loading of atmospheric aerosols are major contributors to the top-of-atmosphere radiative forcing. We find that the climate sensitivity is reduced by at least a factor of 2 when direct and indirect effects of decreasing aerosols are included, compared to the case where the radiative forcing is ascribed only to increases in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. We find the empirical climate sensitivity to be between 0.29 and 0.48 K/Wm−2 when aerosol direct and indirect radiative forcing is included. (JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 112, D24S04)

The climate sensitivity of 0.29 to 0.48 K/Wm-2 translates to warming between 1.1 and 1.8 deg C for doubling of CO2, supporting values close to the lower end of the IPCC range of 2 to 4.5 deg C. -- Petr Chylek

Significantly less than the 0.75 ± 0.25 K/Wm-2 used in climate models and a little more than we calculate here.

Climate Metric Reality Check #2 Long Term Sea Surface Temperature Trend Anomalies and Ocean Heat Content Trends - Evidence For No Recent Global Warming - Thomas Chase and Eungul Lee of the University of Colorado in Boulder have recently prepared an analysis of multi-year sea surface temperature and upper ocean heat content trends, and their results are presented below. (Climate Science)

China's Growing Emissions - According to this paper by two researchers at the University of California carbon dioxide emissions in China are projected to grow between 11.05% and 13.19% per year for the period 2000-2010. What does this mean? I hope you are sitting down because you won’t believe this. (Prometheus)

Greenflation – hush! (Number Watch)

John Sauven: Agreeing to Kingsnorth will signal surrender on targets - In the proposed coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth, Gordon Brown is facing his first test since pledging to put Britain at the forefront of efforts to combat climate change. A proposal to build the UK's first coal-fired power station in more than 30 years will land on his desk in the next few weeks.

New coal would fly in the face of advice from the UN's top climate scientists, who warn that global emissions must peak and then fall dramatically within the next 100 months to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change. Even Mr Brown's "special adviser" on climate change, Al Gore, said in August: "I can't understand why there aren't rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power stations." Greenpeace couldn't have put it better. The only question remaining is if the Prime Minister is listening. | Britain's carbon strategy 'up in smoke' | Leading article: Coal is the past, not the future (London Independent)

A study of contrasts: Reporting the myths of obesity - First prize to the newspaper article of the weekend promoting the greatest number of obesity myths in a single feature goes to “A Nation Consumed,” which appeared in the Times Union of Albany, New York. See how many you can find in that article. (Junkfood Science)

IMF and FAO Blame Biofuels for Food Inflation - Alarming news about biofuels--the menace masked in green--keeps on coming, even as American and European politicians press for still more mandates for the unsustainable, unclean energy alternatives. (China Confidential)


Look for more in the new JunkScience.com Blog!

December 17, 2007

Whoops! Nobel Peace Prize? No Connection Between Environmental Crises And Armed Conflict, According To New Study - Climate advocate Al Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize this December 10th. New Norwegian research suggests, however, that there is no connection between environmental crises and armed conflict. (ScienceDaily)

Discuss this with other readers on the new JunkScience.com Blog

Easing Kids Fears on Global Warming - SAN FRANCISCO -- A new book aims to soothe children’s fears over global warming. Holly Fretwell wrote, “The Sky’s Not Falling: Why it’s Ok to Chill About Global Warming,” because she says today's environmental hysteria was scaring her two kids.

”I really wanted to provide something for kids that gave them the whole gambit. Something that gave them the full piece of information, and not just a little tiny piece of it to try to distort their view of the world,” said Fretwell, a natural resources policy expert, and economics college professor.

”It’s a great book for kids, as well as parents, as well as just adults who want to get some kind of a primer on what’s actually happening out there, and what global warming really is,” said Fretwell. “It says what the policy recommendations are, what the costs of some of those recommendations are, and what some alternatives are for us.”

No matter where parents stand on global warming, Fretwell says the best thing we can do for our kids is to encourage them to be critical thinkers. (KCBS)

Some want to ease kids' fears by encouraging critical thinking and some really want to see kids indoctrinated and fearful. Check the wide disparity in reviews of this book on Amazon. Better yet, help JunkScience.com Demand Debate by buying the book from our store, reading it and then see if it's the sort of thing your kids should know.

Floods of tears as climate change 'hard man' breaks down at summit - He is known as the "hard man" of climate-change negotiation.

But after 12 exhausting days of trying to reach a worldwide agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it was suddenly all too much for Yvo de Boer.

As the 200-nation Bali conference wrangled over a minor procedural matter, the Dutch diplomat in charge of the talks burst into tears and had to be led away by colleagues. (Daily Mail)

We warned you this'd all end in tears, although this is not quite what we had in mind. Do you suppose some of these guys actually believe the hype and nonsense spouted about climate and carbon dioxide? The Daily Mail is running a poll: Is climate change a real threat to the world or is it over-hyped?, at time of writing "over-hyped" was up 2:1.

Readers Skeptical of Climate Change - With this week's climate talks in Bali wrapping up, readers responded to our many articles covering the event with a degree of uncertainty about the human role in climate change. (Deutsche Welle)

Delegates depart Bali talks on a lot of hot air - As those 10,000 weary delegates were at last able to jet off home from 10 days on their holiday isle, perhaps the best summing up of what they had achieved came from Humberto Rosa, head of the delegation representing the European Union.

"It is exactly what we wanted," he said. "We are very pleased. We will now have two tremendously demanding years, starting in January. Many meetings, many discussions, many people passing many hours doing things."

The basic purpose of Bali, as we were tirelessly reminded by the BBC, Al Gore, old Uncle Ban Ki-moon and pretty well everyone else, was that this vast assemblage of people should gather together to vilify George Bush.

It was he alone who stood in the way of saving the planet, by refusing even to sign Kyoto into law, let alone participate in the new historic agreement which is to follow, and to discuss which Bali was all about.

(It is conveniently forgotten that it was the US Senate which unanimously voted not to ratify Kyoto in 1998, when the vice-president of the USA was Al Gore).

In the end, as in all good comedies, the "baddies" came round to the side of light, the US representative made her "climbdown" by saying that her country was now ready to join the "consensus", and everyone could go home happy.

The reality of Bali, however, was that all this vilification of America as the "world's worst polluter" was only displacement activity - to disguise the fact that, when it comes to the crunch, no one is really prepared to step off the bandwagon of economic growth, by making the unthinkable sacrifices which would be required if any of them actually meant what they said. (Christopher Booker, London Telegraph)

Why the CoP was in Bali rather than Manhattan: Canada, US hit by major snowstorm - A major snowstorm tore through eastern Canada and northeastern United States Sunday killing at least one person, making driving conditions treacherous and forcing airports to cancel numerous flights. (AFP)

Post-Bali Manic Depression - Following Bali, as with all such climate-change meetings, we have now entered the post-summit manic depressive phrase, where participants and reporters swing between despair and delight.

While UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, is reported as being “delighted”, Christian Aid is “dismayed”, and, according to The Sunday Times, Bali has left the “greens in despair”. Individuals and newspaper editorials internally move from bright optimism to realistic pessimism, and then back to facile optimism. We have seen it all before, classically following the Montreal summit in 2005. Accordingly, there is little objective reporting and comment. Some newspapers, like the Independent on Sunday and The Observer, just appear to want to engage in naive America-bashing, while others try to prescribe rose-tinted spectacles for us all.

The only decent analysis of Bali has been provided by Environment Correspondent, Richard Black, at BBC Online (‘Analysis’, December 15). Here, for example, is an excellent and realistic passage from Richard: (Global Warming Politics)

Bali: Breakthrough or breakdown? - World leaders and senior UN officials involved in the Bali conference are talking up the “roadmap” agreed on Saturday as a breakthrough towards a new global climate agreement for action beyond 2012.

As usual at these annual meetings, negotiations had to stretch well past their scheduled conclusion before delegates could reach agreement, under the pressure of the ticking clock and physical and emotional exhaustion. But compared to expectations just a few years ago that by now we would need to have in place a full agreement the world is still well behind schedule on the steps needed to take place beyond Kyoto.

What we have is an agreement to negotiate an agreement. (Carbon Positive)

DR GRAY'S REPORT ON BALI CLIMATE CONFERENCE - Almost everybody seemed to be greenwashed with the view that science has proved that emissions of carbon dioxide are harming the climate and need to be reduced, but there are many reservations about the sort of measures that are being so frequently trumpeted as necessary by every leaflet, newspaper, radio and TV programme. (Climate Science NZ)

Why Didn’t the US Media Report This? - As on Sunday morning, just about 60% of the United States in now under a cover of snow and ice. You’d think pushing an extremist view of global warming would be a tough sell at this time. So where did the UN decide to hold its latest climate conference? Not at the headquarters in New York City but in a very warm location just south of the Equator on the Indonesian Island of Bali. While at that conference, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, received a letter from 100 of the world’s prominent scientists. Apparently the media in Canada and Great Britain have found this a significant enough event to give it plenty of coverage but I’ll bet you haven’t heard about this in the US media. (Craig James, WOOD TV)

Contrarians vs. Bali - It’s good to see a few scientists raising questions about the established wisdom at the Bali conference on climate. (Tierney Lab)

The great climate debate: Ball v. Dessler - Bali may have beaches and sun, but only this blog will allow you direct access to a climate scientist and a leading skeptic next week.

By popular request, I present the Great Climate Debate.

The participants in the debate are Dr. Andrew Dessler, a professor of atmospheric science at Texas A&M University, and Dr. Timothy Ball, a retired professor from the University of Winnipeg. They will conduct their debate online next Monday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. Central Time.

You will be able to listen online through BlogTalkRadio's service. (SciGuy)

Bolton Bashes Gore's Bali Buffoonery - As NewsBusters reported, Nobel Laureate Al Gore made a fool out of himself at the United Nations climate change meeting in Bali Thursday by chastising America for having the exact same global warming policy the Clinton administration had when he was vice president in 1997.

Marvelously, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton was on Fox News the following day speaking inconvenient truths about the Global Warmingist-in-Chief that sycophantic media members disgracefully refuse to share with the citizenry. (News Busters)

Finally, climate changes for India - NEW DELHI: After two weeks of diplomatic dogfights at Bali, India, led by Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal, clinched an almost impossible deal at the UN conference on climate change.

It successfully defended itself against imposition of binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And, just as significantly, it isolated an obstinate US, cornered other rich countries - such as the EU member states - and made them accept the responsibility of funding and supporting transfer of clean technologies to developing countries.

The 'Bali Roadmap', as finalised by 190 countries on Saturday after negotiations that stretched far beyond the stipulated time, may not have pushed rich countries enough to act and stave off a climate change crisis. But timely intervention by India ensured that the industrialized countries didn't get away by shifting the onus on to developing nations. (TNN)

In Bali climate deal, US appears to backtrack - The United States appeared to backtrack on the spirit of the historic Bali agreement on climate change last night, voicing "serious concerns" about future negotiations to fight global warming. (London Telegraph) | Statement by the Press Secretary (The White House)

Moonbat's upset: We've been suckered again by the US. So far the Bali deal is worse than Kyoto - America will keep on wrecking climate talks as long as those with vested interests in oil and gas fund its political system (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

The Crone's still clueless: Disappointments on Climate - A week that could have brought important progress on climate change ended in disappointment. (New York Times)

US pours cold water on Bali optimism - The US backtracked yesterday on the climate change agreement reached after marathon talks in Bali, saying it had "serious concerns" about the new global consensus and that developing countries had to do far more if there was to be any pact in two years' time. (John Vidal, The Guardian)

Climate Plan Looks Beyond Bush’s Tenure - An agreement reached Saturday pushes debates on U.S. participation into the administration of a new president. (New York Times)

WashPost Set Bush Up as Reason Kyoto Not Followed by US - A long and carefully-worded December 14 Washington Post article about this week's climate change conference in Bali portrayed President Bush as the reason that the United States is not following Kyoto and the sole roadblock to saving Mother Earth.

On top of that, even while presenting the eco-blame-game's backstory, the reporter never mentioned the Clinton/Gore administration's involvement or that they set the standard for how America handles Kyoto. (News Busters)

Nations Agree on Steps to Revive Climate Treaty - In a dramatic turnaround, the U.S. agreed to a compromise that sets a two-year timetable for reviving an ailing, aging climate treaty. (New York Times)

Oh, so that's what did it: Visiting Antarctic, Amazon Helped Climate Case - Ban - JAKARTA - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday that visiting Antarctica and the Amazon had brought home to him personally the critical need to tackle climate change. (Reuters)

Move Over Kyoto — Here Comes a 'Copenhagen Protocol' - The world has agreed to a two-year road trip for avoiding dangerous climate change. (Dot Earth)

As China Goes, So Goes Global Warming - Can the emerging superpower fast-forward through the most carbon-intense phase of nation building? (New York Times)

Nonsense! What enhanced greenhouse effect is available to us has just about run its course and the temperature of the planet depends on solar activity and whether various cycles are in phase or anti-phase (whether the affects are complimentary or contradictory), whether they are positive or negative, etc.. There is not now and never has been any possibility of us knowingly and predictably controlling the temperature of the planet by tweaking a few trivial peripheral variables.

Bali: The Dog That Didn’t Bark - Gregory (Scotland Yard): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”
[From: ‘Silver Blaze’ (1892) in ‘The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle]

Just as I predicted, Bali went on through the night and well into an extra day; there were the inevitable tears, and a final tantrum from China; and then the blandest of deals (‘Climate deal sealed by US U-turn’, BBC Online Science/Nature News, December 15): (Global Warming Politics)

Well done: Model Gets Bali Right - I am delighted to be able to report that my General Circulation Model for International Conferences on Climate Change (GCMfICCC) appears to be far more reliable than any ‘Disneyland’ climate GCM.

Here is what I predicted on December 3, when the current Bali jamboree began (boy does it seem an eon ago) [‘GW, Bali, and Mass Sociogenic Illness’, December 3]: (Global Warming Politics)

Oh boy... Sea level rise could be double - warning - THE world's sea levels could rise twice as high this century as UN climate scientists have predicted, according to researchers who looked at what happened more than 100,000 years ago, the last time Earth got this hot. (The Australian)

... except we have no real reason to expect the planet to warm and all these claims are founded on the output of really crappy models.

The pitter patter of tiny carbon footprints  - Monty Python could not have dreamt up a sharper caricature of Australian intellectuals. Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, two academics made world headlines this week by endorsing a Chinese model of population control to reduce the human carbon footprint. Barry Walters, a professor of obstetrics at the University of Western Australia, has called for a carbon tax on newborns. (Michael Cook, ScienceAlert)

Is a New Solar Cycle Beginning? - Dec. 14, 2007: The solar physics community is abuzz this week. No, there haven't been any great eruptions or solar storms. The source of the excitement is a modest knot of magnetism that popped over the sun's eastern limb on Dec. 11th, pictured below in a pair of images from the orbiting Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).

It may not look like much, but "this patch of magnetism could be a sign of the next solar cycle," says solar physicist David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center. (Science @ NASA)

From AGU - the cause of Aurora Borealis and TSI questions - Scientists think they have discovered the energy source of auroras borealis and australis, the spectacular upper atmospheric color displays seen in the highest latitudes of the our planet. At the same time, this discovery raises questions about our understanding of Total Solar Irradiance (TSI). (Watts Up With That?)

Tropical Trends Stir Warming Debate - Over and over, we hear that the global warming debate is over, the science is settled, and it is time to move past the science and turn the focus onto the policy side of the issue. Anyone who suggests that the science is not settled and the debate is still alive is immediately accused of being heavily funded by industry and discredited by the mainstream scientific community. Who could forget the August 13, 2007 Newsweek issue with its cover suggesting “naysayers” are well-funded by industry and apparently unaware that the Earth is becoming the red planet.

Anyone who reads World Climate Report regularly is aware that the debate is very much alive and well in the major scientific journals related to global warming. We find numerous articles each year presenting results that are clearly at odds with the popular predictions and claims of the global warming advocates. A recent article has appeared in the prestigious International Journal of Climatology, and the last two sentences of the piece state “Yet the models are seen to disagree with the observations. We suggest, therefore, that projections of future climate based on these models be viewed with much caution.” To say the least, we wanted to examine this one in far more detail. (WCR)

September 12 - 13, 2007 Climate Changes Spatial Planning Conference Presentations In the Hague, the Netherlands - On the 12th and 13th of September, 2007, the Climate Changes Spatial Planning Conference was held in The Hague, the Netherlands. The presentations and report of the conference can be found at http://www.klimaatvoorruimte.nl/pro1/general/start.asp?i=3&j=1&k=0&p=0&itemid=337.

While there are presentations that differ significantly in their views on climate change (with all worth viewing), I was also provided this opportunity to present the Climate Science viewpoint. We need more such inclusive meetings. (Climate Science)

Spending to stop climate change flunks the common sense test - Al Gore's recent Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change has intensified the calls for drastic measures in the United States and abroad to suppress carbon emissions and to slow what he and others call "global warming." His supporters propose a litany of taxes and regulations to achieve this end. But before governments reach into taxpayers' wallets to fund these proposals, they should consider a few common-sense conditions necessary for Gore's costly proposals to make sense. (Anthony Stinton, Statesman Journal)

What nonsense... Adaptable Aussies are put to the test by Earth's changing climate - Records indicate that the current Australian dry spell is the most severe since Europeans first colonized this island continent. For the past 100 years, many regions of Australia have suffered increasing instances of drought. The lack of rainfall has led to more frequent bush fires, increased health issues linked to heatstroke, greater loss of wildlife, and decreased agricultural capacity, leading to creative, but tough, water conservation regulations. The proverbial Australian watering hole or billabong, made famous in Banjo Paterson's lyrics, has almost dried up. (Herald Tribune)

... you guys have bought into the propaganda. The simple fact is politicians have paid far too much attention to stupid enviros and avoided keeping infrastructure up with rapidly urbanizing populations (hint: three times the number of people using a stored resource are more likely to deplete that storage unless you [drum roll please] increase the storage [ta-da!]).

Correction To A News Article On Drought In Colorado - In today’s news, there is an article entitled “Climate science boils down to hot, dry” by Joe Hanel of the Herald Denver Bureau. The article is, in general, very good, however, my views on this issue are erroneously presented (I was not interviewed for this article). (Climate Science)

Measuring emissions – New break in the standards fog - New global standards for measuring carbon emissions are yet to be widely accepted. Is that because too many issues remain unresolved? (EthicalCorp)

No, it's because there is absolutely no value in measuring them.

Climate column – Investors still don’t get carbon risk - Investors are not rewarding companies that tackle climate change, says Emily Farnworth (EthicalCorp)

Rightly so, any company distracted by the mythical menace should be severely discounted.

A Carbon Cap That Starts in Washington - While a binding global agreement would be the best way to cut back on carbon emissions, a more limited approach is wending its way through Congress. (New York Times)

Concern over CO2 emission permits - An environmental 'stealth tax' on business could raise hundreds of millions of pounds for the taxman over the next five years (London Times)

Poland Sees EU Flexibility on CO2 Emission Quota - BRUSSELS - Poland said on Friday that the European Commission is increasingly open towards its demand for a higher carbon dioxide release quota under the European Union's emissions trading scheme. (Reuters)

Largest Carbon Exchange Caught in Crossfire - LONDON - The world's largest exchange for carbon emissions trading is caught in the crossfire of a battle between two of its business partners that could result in it losing a substantial portion of its trade to rivals. (Reuters)

Nuclear technology to significantly impact climate change: Scientist - MUMBAI: Nuclear power is one of the major mitigating technologies in the world affecting climate change, provided a "closed fuel technology" is used, a top nuclear scientist said on Saturday. (PTI)

Coal Likely to Boost US 2007 Carbon Emissions - NEW YORK - US emissions of the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide will likely rise this year as power plants turn to cheap and plentiful coal, which could add pressure on the government to regulate the gases scientists blame for global warming. (Reuters)

EU emissions row may stall green campaign - EU plans to slash carbon dioxide emissions from all new cars and impose savage penalties on manufacturers failing to meet binding targets are in disarray, it emerged at the weekend. (The Guardian)

Carmakers Can Pool CO2 Emissions - EU Draft - BRUSSELS - Carmakers will be allowed to team up and form pools to spread the burden of meeting tough new limits on carbon dioxide emissions in the European Union, a draft EU document obtained by Reuters showed on Friday. (Reuters)

Germany Backs Away from EU CO2 Target for Cars - BRUSSELS - Germany, a major manufacturer of heavy luxury automobiles, backed away on Friday from a key European Union target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from cars, part of the bloc's fight against global warming. (Reuters)

Comment: New US Energy Bill Boosts Biofuels to Benefit Agribusiness at Everyone Else's Expense - Again, America is out of step and at odds with most of humanity.

If that seems harsh and unfair, so be it. There is no other way to characterize the obscene energy bill that the United States Senate passed late Thursday--a boon to biofuels even as delegates to the Bali climate change conference were waking up to the unclean alternative's threat to the Earth and its inhabitants. (China Confidential)

uh-huh... Al Gore Gets Gold On Tennessee Digs - What's new is that Gore has gotten LEED gold certification from the Green Building Council - the 10,000-square-foot home is one of only 14 in the U.S. to achieve this rating, and the only home in Tennessee that's gotten any certification at all, according to the Associated Press. (There is also a platinum standard) Solar panels, solar roof fans, a rainwater collection system, and geothermal heating were all installed at the house. All incandescent lights - including those on the Christmas tree! - were replaced with either compact fluorescents or light-emitting diodes. (Tree Hugger)

... and your indoor pool is heated by compact fluorescents, eh Al?

Hutton warns on politicisation of energy supplies - Britain needs to produce more home-grown energy to end its vulnerability to supplies suddenly being denied from abroad, the business secretary, John Hutton, warns today. (The Guardian)

Ethanol’s Issue: Getting Acquainted With Drivers - The industry is experiencing a historic boom, yet ethanol remains a mystery to the motoring public, even in states that have pushed it hardest. (New York Times)

German ship fights climate change with high-tech kite - HAMBURG, Germany - Turning ocean winds into gold while cutting greenhouse emissions in the process might sound like some sort of alchemy for the 21st century.

But unlike futile earlier efforts to convert ordinary metals to gold, two fast-growing German companies have worked together developing a high-tech kite system to pull enormous ships across the oceans -- and save enormous amounts of money.

The 132 meter (433 ft) long MV "Beluga SkySails" will make its maiden voyage in January across the Atlantic to Venezuela, up to Boston and back to Europe. It will be pulled by a giant computer-guided 500,000-euro ($725,000) kite tethered to a 15-metre high mast. (Reuters)

Clause and Effect - LAST month, the Supreme Court agreed to consider District of Columbia v. Heller, which struck down Washington’s strict gun ordinance as a violation of the Second Amendment’s “right to keep and bear arms.”

This will be the first time in nearly 70 years that the court has considered the Second Amendment. The outcome of the case is difficult to handicap, mainly because so little is known about the justices’ views on the lethal device at the center of the controversy: the comma. That’s right, the “small crooked point,” as Richard Mulcaster described this punctuation upstart in 1582. The official version of the Second Amendment has three of the little blighters:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. (New York Times)

From the rubber room: Q&A: "Where Has All the Water Gone?" Interview with author and activist Maude Barlow - HALIFAX, Canada - Imagine a planet where nuclear-powered desalination plants ring the world's oceans; corporate nanotechnology cleans up sewage water so private utilities can sell it back to consumers in plastic bottles at huge profit; and the poor who lack access to clean water die in increased numbers. (IPS)

USA Today Won't Take Back Claim Fish Poison Babies - Newspaper makes outrageous claim 600,000 born annually with brain damage due to fish-eating mothers. Despite industry evidence, USA Today won't correct. (Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute)

Where are all the nurses and doctors going? - Have you had trouble getting an office appointment with your doctor? When you finally get an appointment, how often do you actually get to see your doctor? And when you do, does your doctor seem increasingly stressed? (Junkfood Science)

Trying to have a baby? - For most of human history, fat has been life-sustaining — seen as security against scarcity, and a sign of fertility in women and of their ability to bear and nurture children. Nowadays, every month seems to bring another scare about women’s fat. This week, headlines warned women that being fat hurts their chances of conceiving. It undoubtedly worried countless women. It needn’t have. The study behind the headlines didn’t support such a warning at all. (Junkfood Science)

Update: Fat dissolvers dissolve - Sadly, countless people have learned the hard way that youthful, thin appearances are not worth the costs. This past summer, JFS first reviewed the medical concerns surrounding lipolysis (also called lipodissolve), those injections promising to melt fat. Even though they lacked scientific efficacy, didn’t have FDA approval and were not recommended by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, they’ve swept the country in popularity, making about $2,000 per treatment for the cosmetic clinics. Many people believed that the bad outcomes wouldn’t happen to them. (Junkfood Science)

More proposals to regulate and license bloggers because we’re “too risky” :) - Internet bloggers should be monitored and regulated — said another mainstream journalist yesterday. Calling us “citizen journalists,” the reporter said that what bloggers do isn’t journalism and that we don’t have the “education, skill and standards” that make them the “trusted professionals.” The information provided by internet journalists, he said, is nothing short of gossip and is dangerous.

Uh-oh. Them’s fighting words and internet writers are firing back. (Junkfood Science)

Killer trees: How forests wiped out woolly mammoths - Woolly mammoths were among the biggest mammals to have walked the earth, but it appears they were driven into extinction by nothing more dangerous than trees.

A leading expert on the ice age will claim this week that, rather than being wiped out by human hunters, the giant creatures were doomed by the spread of forests around the world at the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago. (London Telegraph)

The contrarian – NGO openness is a two-way street - Greenpeace should beware of glass houses when throwing stones, says Jon Entine

“NGOs ‘lead by example’.” That was the headline last June when Greenpeace and ten other campaigning non-governmental organisations announced, with self-congratulatory fanfare, the creation of an “accountability charter” to demonstrate their commitment to transparency, governance and disclosure. Then reality intervened. (EthicalCorp.)

Corporate responsibility – An industry that has lost its way - The CSR “industry” should go back to basics, says Chandran Nair (EthicalCorp.)

CSR is not "an industry" but is anti-industry. It shouldn't exist at all.

US Food Inflation Parallels 70s on Ethanol Boom - CHICAGO - Rising US food inflation, now a 25-year high, is reminiscent of the 1970s and will continue for the next five years due to growing world economies, increased food demand and a sharp expansion of corn-based ethanol production, a top food economist said Friday. (Reuters)

December 14, 2007

Will Al Gore Make Peace With Reality? - Accepting his share of the Nobel Peace prize this week, Al Gore said that ". . . we have begun to wage war on the Earth itself. It is time to make peace with the planet."

A new study published this week, however, provides more evidence that Mr. Gore is, in fact, at war with reality and that he would do well to make peace with the science. (Steve Milloy, FoxNews.com)

Gore speaks to Bali delegates...
Yeah... he looks normal...

'Fire and brimstone' Al? Is America the Villain in Bali? - For Al Gore, it was time to utter a new inconvenient truth that diplomatic niceties precluded others from telling: "My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here," he told a packed audience at the U.N. climate change summit in Bali. "We all know that." (Time)

Actually it's good to see some are keeping their heads despite the massive effort to stampede the herd.

Can the Planet be Saved in Bali? Time Magazine December 10 2007 - There are numerous gross overstatements in the media of the role of the radiative forcing of added carbon dioxide in the climate system, but the headline to the article in the December 10 issue of Time magazine is a really egregious example. (Climate Science)

or maybe traitor Al: Gore hits at US over climate change - Al Gore savaged the US government’s “obstructing” attitude and urged delegates at the UN conference on climate change to ignore Washington if necessary to pursue the “moral imperative” of a new global regime.

“My country is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali,” the former US vice-president told 2,000 of the 12,000 people attending the conference on Thursday. “[But] over the next two years the United States is going to be somewhere it is not now.” (Financial Times)

Gore urges Bali talks to go ahead without US - Condemning his own nation while hailing Australia for acting on climate change, former United States Vice President Al Gore received a rockstar reception delivering an his impassioned plea for a breakthrough to the Bali conference last night. (Sydney Morning Herald)

'Gore wrong' on climate change obstacle - THE White House has slapped back at Nobel laureate Al Gore saying he was wrong to call the United States the obstacle to success at the Bali climate change conference. (The Australian)

Bitter Divisions at Climate Talks - NUSA DUA, Indonesia — Amid growing frustration with the United States in deadlocked negotiations at a United Nations conference on global warming, the European Union threatened Thursday to boycott separate talks proposed by the Bush administration in Hawaii next month. (New York Times)

Good idea! Everyone should boycott all climate talks.

Let The Debate End - Environment: While Al Gore trashes the United States for the stalled climate-change talks at the U.N. conference in Bali, science that contradicts his global warming theory continues to roll out. (IBD)

Let Them Eat Cake! - Climate conference forgets the world’s poor

Some development organisations, journalists and government officials celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol with a giant birthday cake. Spirits were high as many seemed content with the progress made since COP-12, and the potential for a post-2012 treaty.

But though the cake may have been sweet for COP-13 attendants, life will remain bitter for the majority of the world’s poor who are set to lose heavily from a post-2012 deal.

As Barun Mitra of India’s Liberty Institute, one of the 42 members of the Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change, explains:

“The problem facing hundreds of millions of poor people throughout the world is not that they consume too much, but that they hardly have any reliable and efficient sources of energy, clean water or a secure supply of food. All of these will be jeopardized in a world that is made much poorer through a post-2012 agreement which essentially inhibits economic growth.

To expect or ask that the poor sacrifice today for the sake of the rich tomorrow is not only immoral, but it also ignores the plight of poverty faced by millions today”. (CSCCC)

Over 100 Prominent Scientists Warn UN: Attempting To Control Climate Is 'Futile' - The UN climate conference met strong opposition Thursday from a team of over 100 prominent international scientists, who warned the UN, that attempting to control the Earth's climate was "ultimately futile."

The scientists, many of whom are current and former UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) scientists, released an open letter to the UN Secretary-General questioning the scientific basis for climate fears and the UN's so-called "solutions."

"Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity's real and pressing problems," the letter signed by the scientists read. The December 13 letter was released to the public late Thursday.

Skeptical Scientists Kicked Off UN Press Schedule in Bali ... Again: Lone Voice of Dissent Censored by United Nations - CHICAGO, Dec. 13 -- For the second time this week, the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) was kicked off the press schedule for the United Nations' climate conference in Bali, Indonesia.

The ICSC is a group of scientists from Africa, Australia, Europe, India, New Zealand, and the U.S. who contend sound science does not support the outrageous claims and draconian regulations proposed in Bali.

The ICSC team leader, Bryan Leyland, an expert in carbon and energy trading, reported, "This morning I confirmed we had the main conference hall for 9:00 AM tomorrow. At 4:30 PM today, I found that Barbara Black bumped us off the schedule and closed further bookings. I'm fuming."

Black is NGO liaison officer for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bali.

Earlier in the week, UN officials in Bali closed down the ICSC's first press conference there. Black interrupted the press conference and demanded the scientists immediately cease. She threatened to have the police physically remove them from the premises.

Black's efforts are part of the United Nations' ongoing censorship of dissenting voices at Bali. ICSC scientists have been prevented from participating in panel discussions, side events, and exhibits. (PRNewswire-USNewswire)

Climate Skeptics Say Debate Stifled - COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- The head of the U.N. panel on climate change compared him to Hitler. Another leading scientist called him a parasite. A third described his latest book as a "stealth attack" on mankind.

The list of allegations against Bjoern Lomborg, one of the world's leading climate change skeptics, almost reads like an indictment for war crimes.

As Al Gore shows off his Nobel Peace Prize and world policy-makers hammer out a new strategy for saving the planet, climate change contrarians say they have been elbowed out of the debate. They say mainstream scientists have stifled healthy intellectual discourse by demonizing dissenters as oil industry lobbyists or lunatics. (Associated Press)

What it's really about... Global Carbon Tax Urged at UN Climate Conference - BALI, Indonesia – A global tax on carbon dioxide emissions was urged to help save the Earth from catastrophic man-made global warming at the United Nations climate conference. A panel of UN participants on Thursday urged the adoption of a tax that would represent “a global burden sharing system, fair, with solidarity, and legally binding to all nations.”

“Finally someone will pay for these [climate related] costs,” Othmar Schwank, a global tax advocate, told Inhofe EPW Press Blog following the panel discussion titled “A Global CO2 Tax.” Schwank is a consultant with the Switzerland based Mauch Consulting firm

Schwank said at least “$10-$40 billion dollars per year” could be generated by the tax, and wealthy nations like the U.S. would bear the biggest burden based on the “polluters pay principle.”

The U.S. and other wealthy nations need to “contribute significantly more to this global fund,” Schwank explained. He also added, “It is very essential to tax coal.”  (EPW)

... the old socialist dream of establishing global "government" (but only according to their rules and without bothersome elections) and establishing guaranteed revenue through global taxation.

Socialists march against climate change in London - From a Socialist Party web site:

Members and supporters of International Socialist Resistance, Socialist Students and the Socialist Party formed a very loud and political bloc on a relatively quiet demonstration, attracting many youth to join our chants and our campaigns.

Our chants called for the nationalisation of big business and public services and for fundamental change in how society is run to address the risk posed to the planet. Throughout the demonstration people could be seen reading the ISR and Socialist Students "Our planet not their profit" leaflet. (Tom Nelson)

California businesses start to sweat state global warming programs - California businesses petitioned the state’s energy regulator (California Public Utilities Commission) to review current and proposed state greenhouse gas-reduction programs. The businesses fear that greenhouse gas reduction programs may cause energy bills to skyrocket and may also be duplicative.

EU leader criticises Rudd on climate change - A EUROPEAN Union leader has accused Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of not doing enough to fight global warming despite signing the Kyoto Protocol. (The Australian)

That's funny, in Australia all the criticism is because he ratified (without authority, which could prove interesting in the longer term).

India agrees to join big emitters at US climate change meet - NEW DELHI: Into the second day of the stalemate at the UN conference on climate change in Bali, India had to walk a tightrope opposing US's position yet not wanting to offend it.

With India still engaged on the nuclear deal with the US, officials kept at their deft game of standing up to the rich countries' demands on developing nations and yet agreeing to attend the US-hosted meeting of the "biggest emitters" - referred to officially as the meeting of 17 major economies on climate change. (Times of India)

Land use and global warming - Global warming has rapidly become the hottest point of conflict in debates over land-use planning and real estate development, raising fundamental questions. For instance, how can the city of San Diego, or any other public agency, know it is doing all that is required to address global warming concerns, when it approves a land-use plan or a development permit? Conversely, how can any landowner know whether he or she is doing enough to deal with global warming impacts of a proposed development project? (Union-Tribune)

In two senses "nothing" will suffice -- on one hand appeasement never works and nothing will ever be sufficient for misanthropic "global warming" zealots while, in the real world, doing absolutely nothing is perfectly sufficient to "address" anthropogenic global warming while "coping" with anthropogenic change is a matter of adaptation. In both senses then "nothing" will suffice.

Counterproductive, overwrought hand-wringing of the moment: Barrier Reef's future clouded - IT is probably too late to save the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs from global warming.

Even if governments implement far-reaching measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions, they will not prevent the annihilation of coral reefs around the world. (The Australian)

So, how do people react to "The Reef is doomed!" prognostications? By fishing it out because the fish are supposedly going to die anyway and by tearing chunks of the reef for everything from souvenirs to building materials and roadbase. "Why not?" the thinking goes "It's buggered anyway!" These hysterical ratbags do nothing but harm.

And Jonathon Lowe asks: What warming?

Good grief! Producers and Victims of Fossil Fuels - DUBAI - As main exporters of greenhouse gas (GhG) producing fossil fuels and potential victims of climate change, the countries of the Middle East find themselves caught in a bind. (IPS)

"Victims of fossil fuels", what are these fools thinking?

Dateline Dubai: a man was injured today when attacked by a gang of briquettes. Witnesses say there had been ongoing tension regarding global warming. Others suggested he was caught in the crossfire of an ongoing turf war between the Coalies and the Oilies, two notorious fossil fuel gangs.

Oh puh-lease! "Victims of fossil fuels" is like "victims of progress" -- a nostalgic nonsense of those wishing to trap people in poverty like some sort of interesting exhibit.

Inventing The Whirlwind? - Is one of our most respected federal agencies guilty of inflating the number of named tropical storms in recent years? So writes Eric Berger in a recent Houston Chronicle article that got hyped around the world, thanks to Matt Drudge.

First, some unfaint praise: Throughout the years, the National Hurricane Center has probably saved more lives than just about any other federal entity. Yes, NHC has had a lot of technological help -- satellites, radar, hurricane-hunter aircraft -- but it's easy to imagine what could happen without it.

Just go to Galveston, Texas, where in 1900, locals were hit by a Category 4 hurricane that remains the single most costly disaster in U.S. history in terms of human life. The storm killed between 6,000 and 10,000 people. By the time it was apparent that the city was about to be drowned, there was no exit.

Or consider last summer's Hurricane Dean, probably the first Category 5 storm in human history to hit a populated shore without killing a single person at landfall. A similar storm, Janet, hit the same spot in the Yucatan in 1955 and killed over 600. Thank NHC and Mexican economic development for the difference.

NHC does one heck of a lot of good, but it is inflating the number of tropical storms. (Patrick J. Michaels, American Spectator)

Here's a brave (and public) attempt: On Local Warming and Climate - I learned how to develop and test nonlinear models as part of my work in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. I have absolutely no formal background in climate science, but I can at least ask and attempt to answer very simple questions using the tools and data at my disposal. In fact, you could consider this a "pharmacodynamic" climate model, with the sun as drug, the sunspots as dose, and the temperature as a "drug" effect. If you are a climate model expert reading this and have some time and pity, feel free to contact me to let me know the features and flaws of the following exercise. Even if I am completely wrong, I can learn from the exchange. We start with Haskell, TX. Though if you want a quick run down, go over to the Wichita, KS station, where I have put in the most work so far. It had the most complete data over the past hundred years or so. (Paolo B. DePetrillo)

Paolo is trying to detect warming signals in rural time series and would probably appreciate some interaction. He seems to be doing a fair job of emulating the available time series (we haven't checked the likely accuracy of the measured data) and is doing so with solar influences and recognized cycles.

NY Times Acknowledges GW Alarmism - Breaking News? New York Times acknowledges the possibility that global warmists exaggerate stuff. (Sam Kazman, CEI)

Uh-huh... Carbon cuts a must to halt warming-US scientists - SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 13 - There is already enough carbon in Earth's atmosphere to ensure that sea levels will rise several feet (meters) in coming decades and summertime ice will vanish from the North Pole, scientists warned on Thursday.

To mitigate global warming's worst effects, including severe drought and flooding, people must not only cut current carbon emissions but also remove some carbon that has collected in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution, they said.

"We're a lot closer to climate tipping points than we thought we were," said James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. "If we are to have any chance in avoiding the points of no return, we're going to have to make some changes." (Reuters)

... didn't think Jimmy could let Bali pass without saying something really stupid to get his name in print. Just as his GISTEMP is increasingly psychotic, reading roughly 0.5 K high (about as much as the total estimate of warming), so Jimmy seems to be confusing his virtual world of model output with actual data.

All 11 hottest years were in last 13: UK Met Office - LONDON - The 11 warmest years on record have all occurred in the last 13 years, with 2007 set to be the seventh hottest since 1950, according to provisional global data from the UK's Met Office and the University of East Anglia.

The top eight hottest years since global records began are all this century, except the hottest of all, 1998, when the mean global temperature was 0.52 degrees Celsius above the long-term average for 1961-1990. (Reuters)

Notwithstanding that we don't know the Earth's surface temperature with a precision that exceeds estimated warming since 1750, or that we don't even have an agreement on what we are trying to measure or how to go about it, why should we be even mildly surprised warmer years are believed to occur as we get further from the depths of the Little Ice Age, in which our thermometric histories commence? Sol has been pretty active over the last century, so warming would be the anticipated outcome. Unfortunately, solar cycle 24, which might be starting now, shows ominous indications of quiescence. Global cooling is not something to wish for but it is unfortunately what we might get.

We've had a look at UK claims before and found the difference to be minimal between current and previous Central England Temperatures (perhaps the longest available thermometric time series). We see no reason to change that view.

Here's some really confused coverage: 11 Hottest Years Occurred in Past 13 - The top 10 hottest years globally, based on average temperatures, include:
1998 – 32.94 degrees Fahrenheit (0.52 degrees Celsius)
2005 – 32.86 degrees Fahrenheit (0.48 degrees Celsius)
2003 – 32.83 degrees Fahrenheit (0.46 degrees Celsius)
2002 – 32.83 degrees Fahrenheit (0.46 degrees Celsius)
2004 – 32.77 degrees Fahrenheit (0.43 degrees Celsius)
2006 – 32.76 degrees Fahrenheit (0.42 degrees Celsius)
2007 – 32.74 degrees Fahrenheit (0.41 degrees Celsius)
2001 – 32.72 degrees Fahrenheit (0.40 degrees Celsius)
1997 – 32.65 degrees Fahrenheit (0.36 degrees Celsius)
1995 – 32.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.28 degrees Celsius) (LiveScience)

What idiot wrote that? While reading across a thermometer certainly yields such figures the relative temperature change is less 32 °F (0.52 °C above average is not +32.94 °F but +0.94 °F) -- no wonder people think it's getting hot when they're being told we have increases of 18.3 K!

Even if the globe's mean temperature is 14.5 °C (the guesstimated base plus the anomaly) that's still only 287.65 K when the calculated expectation is 288 K -- making the planet cold? Stupid game! And someone at LiveScience needs to lay off the eggnog 'til Christmas.

Japan Report Says 2007 Warmest for World Land Areas - TOKYO - The average global land surface temperature this year will be the highest since records began in 1880, partly due to greenhouse gas emissions, Japan's weather agency said on Thursday. (Reuters)

And since well-mixed GHGs don't selectively affect land areas (but are more effective in a cold, dry atmosphere) this suggests corruption of the progressively urbanized dataset rather than enhanced greenhouse.

Penguins and Climate Change - The press out of Bali today includes coverage of a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report about the fate of penguin species under climate change. The press reports draw heavily from the press release put out by the WWF to draw attention to their report on penguins, but more importantly, the WWF’s desire for large and immediate carbon dioxide emissions restrictions. From the press reports and the WWF release, things seem bad for Antarctica’s penguin species. But, as is the case with nearly every alarmist issue, the truth reveals quite a different story. In this case, a review of the literature on penguins, climate change, and ecosystem disturbances, reveals a large variety of penguin responses to changing conditions, changes that include in addition to climate fluctuations, a large-scale alteration to the local and regional food chain as industrial whaling and fishery operations over the course of the past several decades have significantly reduced the number of many species, including both predators and prey. This perturbation to the foodweb has likely had large impacts on the resident penguin species and makes isolating or even correctly identifying impacts from a changing climate quite difficult (Ainley et al., 2007). (Robert Ferguson, SPPI)

Socialized Oil Can't Replace Market Sense - The Bush administration, with support from the Energy Department, is building up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve at a rate of some 50,000 barrels a day. Sen. Hillary Clinton and other critics want the administration to reverse this buildup. A better response would be to take the government's current stockpile of 700 million barrels and sell it off into private hands.

That would likely net at least $56 billion that could be used for tax relief, argues David Henderson, a fellow at the Hoover Institution. The move would also push down the world price of oil, helping American consumers far more than the government's current policy of, as Henderson wrote, "stupidly buying $90 oil to fill the SPR." (Robert P Murphy, IBD)

Energy: the answer is not blowing in the wind - Ministers calling for a massive expansion of wind generation in Britain are full of hot air. The rational solution to the energy issue is to go nuclear. (Rob Johnston, sp!ked)

Knocking the wind out of the energy debate - The UK government department in charge of energy is strangling urgently needed generation schemes in red tape, precaution and ceaseless consultation. (James Woudhuysen, sp!ked)

Biofuels Scarce on Bali Menu - NUSA DUA, Bali, Indonesia - Green groups hoping that the social and environmental cost of biofuels would get an airing at the United Nations climate change conference here are a disappointed lot. (IPS)

Rwanda: Eradicate Malaria With Growth, Not Nets - This month, the World Health Organization (WHO) will give four brands of Long-Lasting Insecticide-Treated mosquito net its seal of approval, increasing the total to seven.

This is good news. The market for these anti-malarial bed-nets is mainly foreign aid agencies which only buy WHO-approved nets, so more authorised products will increase competition, drive prices down a bit and should, in theory, make them more available to those in need. But aid donors' single-minded determination to give everyone nets is just not going to eradicate malaria. (New Times)

It’s time to unwrap ‘Oxfam Unwrapped’ - Celebs want us to give ‘funusual’ Xmas gifts to Africans, like goats, cans of worms and dung. A new film says the recipients are not impressed. (Nathalie Rothschild, sp!ked)

December 13, 2007

A Slick Response To Bali - Listening to some of the comments from the Bali climate-change jamboree, one can only surmise that being ensconced for two weeks on an idyllic tropical island must soften Hercule Poirot’s ‘little grey cells’ somewhat. The gap between the real world and fantasy-island fanaticism grows ever wider by the day, as is perfectly exemplified by the following Guardian (December 11) report: ‘Big Oil lets sun set on renewables’:

... Boy are we going to witness a gush of carbon clap trap over the next two or three days. I suspect the BBC will be spectacularly bad. But just remember what is happening in real-world politics and real-world economics. There will be some very bumpy landings as the ‘climate campaigners’ jet off back from their tropical paradise.... (Global Warming Politics)

The American Gap between Words and Deeds - It sounds good -- at first. The US says it wants to be part of a climate treaty and looks forward to a new chapter in climate policy. But a closer look reveals that Washington continues to torpedo any concrete agreement. (Der Spiegel)

D'oh! Germany Pushes Greenhouse Gas Cuts as RWE Increases Coal Plants - Dec. 12 -- German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel is promoting a plan to cut emissions blamed for global warming by 40 percent at this week's climate talks in Bali, Indonesia. At home, RWE AG is building three power plants fired by coal, the fuel that produces the most greenhouse gases.

While Germany proposes to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by encouraging the use of renewable energy such as biofuels and windfarms, more than half the new power stations planned for Germany will be fueled by coal, according to Essen-based RWE, the nation's second-biggest utility.

Power companies are choosing coal, which produces twice as much carbon-dioxide as natural gas, over cleaner fuels because world leaders have failed to agree on a strategy for reducing emissions. Without incentives to build less-polluting plants, utilities are guessing about which fuels will be most profitable and delaying investments until an agreement is reached. (Bloomberg)

UN Suggests Bali Targets Too Ambitious - In the face of U.S. opposition, the U.N. chief said Wednesday guidelines on greenhouse gas emissions cuts favored by Europe and developing countries may be "too ambitious" to include in a final statement on climate change. (AP) | Rich nation's CO2 cuts may be 'too ambitious' (London Telegraph)

We may not get carbon deal, warns Benn - A stand-off between the United States and Europe over carbon reduction targets should not overshadow the "significant" progress made on a new climate deal, Hilary Benn said yesterday. The environment secretary said the so-called Bali roadmap, which negotiators hope to produce tomorrow as the first step towards a new treaty, did not need a fixed target to be considered a success. He said: "Of course there are people who hoped it would all be sorted out this week. But the roadmap will give us the means to get where we want to go, and we haven't had that previously, and that's a significant step." (The Guardian)

US rejects climate guidelines at Bali conference - European leaders and environmental campaigners reacted angrily yesterday after the United States rejected guidelines for reducing greenhouse gas emissions intended to check global warming.

The proposal, supported by the members of the European Union as well as Brazil, would have set out in writing an ambition to cut greenhouse gases produced by industrialised countries by up to two fifths in the next 13 years. The emissions cut would have been non-binding and subject to future negotiation, but even this was too much for the US, which opposes any reference to specific numerical goals in advance of more detailed negotiations next year.

The row has undermined the hopes of environmentalists for a strong and detailed statement of agreement among the 190 governments attending the United Nations climate change conference on the Indonesian island of Bali. They fear that without a reference to percentage targets, however non-committal, the “road map” to be agreed by environment ministers will amount to little more than an agenda and a broad timetable for negotiation. (London Times)

Targets to be taken out of pact - A REFERENCE to non-binding targets is likely to be stripped from the road map for global climate change negotiations to be launched by the UN conference at Bali.

The US, Japan and Russia are reported to be pushing hard for the removal of any reference to developed countries needing to make cuts of between 25 and 40per cent by 2020.

The US is also opposing any quantified national emission commitments by developing countries, saying this could turn the new global deal after 2012 into another Kyoto Protocol, which it refuses to ratify.

Opening the high-level talks yesterday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said any agreement on targets would need further negotiation beyond Bali, indicating he did not want the current impasse to impede work on a new post-2012 climate deal. (The Australian)

Hard Choices on Climate Can Wait for Next President, Aides Indicate - BALI, Indonesia, Dec. 11 -- U.S. officials at U.N. climate negotiations here said Tuesday that they would not embrace any overall binding goals for cutting global greenhouse gas emissions before President Bush leaves office, essentially putting off specific U.S. commitments until a new administration assumes power in 2009, according to several participants. (Washington Post)

Usual jockeying for advantage: Joint efforts urged on climate change - BALI, Indonesia: China Wednesday called for joint global efforts to combat climate change under the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities". (China Daily)

India urges rich to walk the talk on climate change - NUSA DUA: India urged rich countries on Wednesday to take the lead in cutting greenhouse gases, saying it cannot accept binding targets in any UN deal on combating climate change because of its economic needs. India, with more than a billion people, is the world’s fourth-largest emitter behind the US, China and Russia, and is projected to account for a rising share of global carbon emissions as it burns more fuel to try to end poverty. (Reuters)

NGOs Frustrated in Bali - NUSA DUA, Indonesia - Representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) called for greater accountability on the part of industrialised countries and a firmer stance by developing nations in order to avert failure at the current conference on climate change in Indonesia. (IPS)

Hot air, hypocrisy and a revolution in Bali - Charles Clover wonders why, given that climate change is so important, a dozen people can't just be locked in a room until they have decided on a masterplan. (London Telegraph)

For one thing, Charlie, is there is nothing genuine for them to do -- no catastrophic warming, no climate levers to pull or knobs to twist, no idea of what constitutes the 'correct' climate or means of achieving it. That make it any clearer for you?

Focus of Climate Talks Shifts to Helping Poor Countries Cope - With little progress on the primary goal of United Nations climate talks, a secondary quest to help poor countries cope with global warming has now become a central theme of the gathering. (New York Times)

Heads of govts meet as opposition mounts on climate change science - Eyes of the world is on Ministers and Heads of State meeting at United Nations climate change conference in Bali as groups now emerge that are opposed to science of climate change. (Africa Science News Service)

Letter of the moment: Most global warming a result of solar activity changes - To the editor:

This newspaper’s Dec. 9 “Our View” exhorts readers to “Use facts to form opinions.” The editorial responds to a reader’s letter that questioned the integrity of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Someone on the editorial staff, in an attempt to gather facts on the IPCC’s methodology, took the time to contact one scientist.

KPC Media Group may have decided facts support the integrity of IPCC, that its published conclusions aren’t prejudiced by a pre-existing political agenda. If that’s true, I wonder what became of the questioning mind responsible for publishing an opposing view I read in the Herald-Republican — a March 1, 2007, commentary by Dr. Mark Hendrickson. After reading that piece, I thought this paper may actually have courage enough to keep an open mind on the global warming issue. Dr. Hendrickson, whose grasp of facts apparently passed the editorial staff’s critique, had this to say: (Herald Republican)

Really? Global warming causes record disasters - GENEVA: Global warming caused a record number of natural disasters across the world in 2007, up nearly 20 per cent from the previous year, the Red Cross said.

“As of 10 October 2007, the federation had already recorded 410 disasters, 56 per cent of which were weather-related, which is consistent with the trend of rising numbers of climate change-related disasters,” said its World Disasters Report.

In 2006, the International Federation of the Red Cross recorded 427 natural disasters, a rise of 70 per cent in the two years since 2004. (AFP)

But surface and satellite measures show that the world has cooled since 2004, so cooling causes a 70% increase in natural disasters over just 2 years? (No e-mails please, to extrapolate a few years or even decades as a trend is absurd we know, we are merely highlight the abuse of numbers above.)

Climate's remote control on hurricanes - Natural climate variations, which tend to involve localized changes in sea surface temperature, may have a larger effect on hurricane activity than the more uniform patterns of global warming, a report in this week's Nature suggests. (University of Miami)

Gosh, they've rediscovered that it's the difference in temperatures between regions that affects wind strength and that a more uniform-temperature world would have lower wind strengths to contend with.

2 scientists dispute global warming's storm link - They find natural climate variations have bigger effect on hurricane activity. (Houston Chronicle)

Not quite... Africa: More Extreme Weather in Poorer Countries - Developing countries top a 2008 Climate Risk Index released in the Indonesian island of Bali, where the United Nations climate change conference is taking place.

The index shows that less developed countries often suffer more from storms, floods and extreme weather than industrialised countries, according to Germanwatch, the development non-governmental organisation that produced the study. (IRIN)

... what they really meant to tell you is that people in poorer regions suffer more from extreme events, which is the "No? Duh!" of the moment. The correct response, of course, is to help poorer regions develop and get reliable access to the cheapest possible electricity so they can begin the climb away from vulnerable poverty.

Oops: Morbidity and mortality during heatwaves in metropolitan Adelaide - Total mortality, disease- and age-specific mortality did not increase, apart from a small increase in mental health-related mortality in people aged 65–74 years. Significant decreases were observed in cardiovascular-related mortality. (Medical Journal of Australia)

Global Warming Health Fears Are Unsupported by Science - University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Jonathan Patz published a paper in the November 12 issue of the journal EcoHealth asserting carbon dioxide emissions from the United States are causing great harm in the world’s poorest nations.

The paper claims global warming is devastating the world’s poorest children with the negative impacts of “climate-sensitive diseases, such as malaria, malnutrition, and diarrhea.”

In fact, however, science has proven none of these diseases has any significant link to global warming. (James M. Taylor, Environment News)

Green on the outside, red on the inside - Excerpt from this blog post:

A common theme was that the “solutions” to climate change that are being posed by many governments, such as nuclear power, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and biofuels are false and are not rooted in justice. Another point was that as this current economic system got us here in the first place, a climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources.

The post is by Emma Brindal, "Climate Justice Campaign Coordinator" for Friends of the Earth Australia. (Tom Nelson)

More evidence we are not in the warmest part of the current interglacial: Holocene optimum events inferred from subglacial sediments at Tschierva Glacier, Eastern Swiss Alps - Abstract: This study investigates the subglacial sedimentary archive at Tschierva Glacier, Eastern Swiss Alps. Subfossil wood remains found at the retreating glacier tongue indicate that their emergence results from recent transport from an upvalley basin. A confluence-basin-like structure was found to exist by georadar measurements underneath the present glacier. In combination with high resolution age determinations based on dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating it is implied that a retreated Tschierva Glacier allowed vegetation growth and sediment accumulation in that basin. Three periods of glacier recession were detected, which occurred around 9200 cal yr BP, from 7450 to 6650 cal yr BP and from 6200 to 5650 cal yr BP. These periods are called Holocene optimum events (HOE). Accordingly, an equilibrium line rise >220 m compared to the reference period from 1960 to 1985 was inferred from digital elevation models of former glacier extents. Since glacier mass balance depends on summer (June–July–August) temperature and precipitation, an equilibrium line altitude (ELA) rise of 220 m implies a summer temperature increase of about 1.8 °C assuming unchanged precipitation during the dated HOE. Alternative calculations point to probable temperature increase in a broad interval between +1.0 °C taking into account a precipitation change of −250 mm/a to +2.5 °C with +250 mm/a precipitation change, supporting earlier paleotemperature estimates. It is proposed that higher mean summer insolation caused a stronger seasonality during the mid-Holocene as compared to late Holocene conditions. (Quaternary Science Reviews)

It's almost like the sun had something to do with it: A geochronological approach to understanding the role of solar activity on Holocene glacier length variability in the Swiss Alps - ABSTRACT: We present a radiocarbon data set of 71 samples of wood and peat material that melted out or sheared out from underneath eight presentday mid-latitude glaciers in the Central Swiss Alps. Results indicated that in the past several glaciers have been repeatedly less extensive than they were in the 1990s. The periods when glaciers had a smaller volume and shorter length persisted between 320 and 2500 years. This data set provides greater insight into glacier variability than previously possible, especially for the early and middle Holocene. The radiocarbon-dated periods defined with less extensive glaciers coincide with periods of reduced radio-production, pointing to a connection between solar activity and glacier melting processes. Measured long-term series of glacier length variations show significant correlation with the total solar irradiance. Incoming solar irradiance and changing albedo can account for a direct forcing of the glacier mass balances. Long-term investigations of atmospheric processes that are in interaction with changing solar activity are needed in order to understand the feedback mechanisms with glacier mass balances. (Geografiska Annaler)

But wait! CO2 may have saved us! THE PEATLAND/ICE AGE HYPOTHESIS REVISED, ADDING A POSSIBLE GLACIAL PULSE TRIGGER - Carbon sequestering in peatlands is believed to be a major climate-regulating mechanism throughout the late Phanerozoic. Since plant life first evolved on land, peatlands have been significant carbon sinks, which could explain significant parts of the large variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide observed in various records. The result is peat in different degrees of metamorphosis, i.e. lignite, hard coal and graphite. During phases of extensive glaciations such as the 330–240 Ma Pangea Ice Age, atmospheric carbon dioxide was critically low. This pattern repeats itself during the Pleistocene when carbon dioxide oscillates with an amplitude of c. 200–300 ppmv. This paper suggests that the ice age cycles during the Pleistocene are generated by the interglacial growth of peatlands and the subsequent sequestering of carbon into this terrestrial pool. The final initiation of ice age pulses towards the end of inter-glacials, on the other hand, is attributed to the cyclic influx of cosmic dust to the Earth surface, which in turn regulates cloud formation and the incoming shortwave radiation. These shorter cycles have a frequency of c. 1000-1250 years and might be connected to sunspot or other low frequency solar variations. In a wider context the ice age cycling could be regarded as an interplay between terrestrial life on the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere and the marine subsurface life in the southeast.

If the results presented here are correct, the present global warming might just be the early part of a new warm period such as the Bronze Age and the Roman and Medieval Warm periods. This could be caused by entry into another phase of decreasing influx rates of cosmic dust. The increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide might have contributed to this warming but, most important of all, it might temporarily have saved us from a new ice age pulse. (Geografiska Annaler)

Earth's heat adds to climate change to melt Greenland ice - Scientists have discovered what they think may be another reason why Greenland 's ice is melting: a thin spot in Earth's crust is enabling underground magma to heat the ice. (Ohio State University)

Constant assertion about climate change and Greenland ice melt doesn't make it so. Funny how media omit all mention of Greenland researchers pointing out there has been no observed trend change in glaciers studied throughout the 20th Century. Nor do they mention that model-massaged GRACE data, said to show Greenland ice mass loss (raw data actually indicates increase), also indicates 'holes' in the open ocean where there is also alleged mass loss. Granted, no one actually thinks the sea is really disappearing in those regions but it does tell us the model is making something of a mess of GRACE data and allegations of Greenland meltdown viewed with some skepticism.

More on Polar Bears - We’ve been talking ‘til we’re blue in the face about how the very existence of polar bears today is the strongest evidence possible that they should manage, as a species (although some individual populations may struggle), to hold their own in a warming climate. Why is this? Because their existence today is proof that they survived long periods of time (many thousands of years on end), when the climate of their Arctic habitat was warmer (and thus likely more ice-free) than conditions are now, and will be into the future. (WCR)

Ancient polar bear jawbone found - What may be the oldest known remains of a polar bear have been uncovered on the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic.

The jawbone was pulled from sediments that suggest the specimen is perhaps 110,000 or 130,000 years old.

Professor Olafur Ingolfsson from the University of Iceland says tests show it was an adult, possibly a female.

The find is a surprise because polar bears are a relatively new species, with one study claiming they evolved less than 100,000 years ago.

If the Svalbard jawbone's status is confirmed, and further discoveries can show the iconic Arctic beasts have a deeper evolutionary heritage, then the outlook for the animals may be more positive than some believe. (BBC)

Without its insulating ice cap, Arctic surface waters warm to as much as 5 C above average - Record-breaking amounts of ice-free water have deprived the Arctic of more of its natural "sunscreen" than ever in recent summers. The effect is so pronounced that sea surface temperatures rose to 5 C above average in one place this year, a high never before observed, says the oceanographer who has compiled the first-ever look at average sea surface temperatures for the region. (University of Washington)

Alright, I'll ask: if this is a "first-ever look", how hard was it to "set a record" with a high "never before observed"? No? Oh well, how deep did anomalous warming go (solar longwave penetrates about 100 meters but infrared -- the kind of radiation you get from greenhouse gases -- is fully absorbed in the first millimeter or so and has negligible effect on the water column)? What effect did the reversal of circumpolar winds have and which direction are they blowing now? Finally, how long did these conditions persist (has the ice extent stayed low, recovered, advanced)? There doesn't seem to be much meat in this sandwich.

Uh-huh... Arctic ice 'could be gone in five years' - The hot Northern Hemisphere summer sharply increased the rate at which Arctic ice is melting and scientists now believe summer ice could be gone completely within five years. (London Telegraph)

... and there's a whole mess o' porcine aviators holding at the end of the runway.

Today's Play Station® climatology: Climate change linked to declining snowpack, scientists say - Dwindling snowpack, earlier stream flow and rising temperatures in the Western U.S. can be attributed directly to human activity and will seriously affect California's water supply, perhaps in a matter of decades, according to new research.

... By scaling down global climate models to bring greater detail of the region, a team of scientists led by Barnett and atmospheric scientist Ben Santer of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory projected these trends into the future and found a grim picture for the West. By about 2040, the Colorado Rockies will be nearly barren of snow as early as April 1 each year. And a similar story will play out in the Sierra. (Mercury News)

Trouble is, Benny, that we all know models are rubbish at predictions, even at global levels and they are less value than a table of random numbers at regional scales.

Potential Impacts Of Aerosol-Land-Atmosphere Interactions On The Indian Monsoonal Rainfall Characteristics - An important 2007 paper on the role of aerosols and landscape processes is in the journal Natural Hazards:

Niyogi, D., H.-I. Chang, F. Chen, L. Gu, A. Kumar, S. Menon, and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2007: Potential impacts of aerosol-land-atmosphere interactions on the Indian monsoonal rainfall characteristics. Natural Hazards, Special Issue on Monsoons, Invited Contribution, DOI 10.1007/s11069-006-9085-y. (Climate Science)

Chilled By The Heat - The Midwest is frozen stiff, but global warming alarmists won't cool off. Not bound by clear thinking, they can aver that blistering hot and bitter cold are both caused by man burning fossil fuels. (IBD)

More evidence that the U.S. public is not swallowing the climate hype - Over the last 20 or so years, when Gallup has asked Americans "What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?", 1-5% of the people have consistently answered "Environment/pollution".

In the most recent poll last month, the number of responses in that category was 3%.

I think that number is remarkably low, considering how very hard the media has pushed catastrophic climate alarmism. I think that if the general public was ever going to buy the climate alarmist story, they would have done so by now. (Tom Nelson)

Global climate change: The impact of El Nino on Galapagos marine iguanas - “Since global warming is expected to cause an increase in the strength and frequency of El Niño events, it is important to evaluate the impact of El Niño on natural populations and their capacity to respond to environmental stresses,” said Gisella Caccone, senior research scientist in ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale, and senior author of the paper published this week in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) One. (Yale University)

Actually sediment records show that the ENSO cycle is much more pronounced during cooler periods, so "global warming" would be expected to suppress El Niños.

Another believer: Science chief calls for green technologies - The government must develop green technologies, such as clean-burning coal and renewable energy sources, to combat the worst effects of climate change, the incoming chief science adviser told an influential group of MPs yesterday.

Professor John Beddington, who will take over from Sir David King as the government's chief scientist in January, said there was now a global acceptance that climate change was a serious threat and urged ministers to explore technological fixes to lessen its impact. (The Guardian)

Global Wallet Warming - On his way to pick up his Nobel Prize, Algore stopped off in London to deliver an address to The Fortune Forum. His back-up group of global warmies included The Prince of Brunei, Bob Geldorf, David Frost, Darryl Hannah and Jerry Hall (the ex Mrs. Mick Jagger).

In case the name of the host organization glanced too lightly off your intellectual windscreen, go back one sentence and read the name of Algore’s hosts. They are “The Fortune Forum,” a self-proclaimed multi-issue global group devoted to the red-hot issues of the day. This includes fighting poverty.

The Fortune Forum does appear to live up to its title. In 2006, Bill Clinton became the highest paid public speaker in the world when he made three speeches. When combined, the fees for these three talks helped him pay off his legal fees and buy the Clinton homes in both Chappaqua, NY, and Georgetown, D.C. One of these speeches was to help launch the Fortune Forum Summit in London for that year. His cohort for the evening was Mr. “Greed is Good,” Michael Douglas. Tickets for that FF event were 1,000 pounds a head or about $1850 at the 2006 pound to dollar conversion rate.

We shall now defer to the Fortune Forum website for an explanation of the scope of global poverty: (Susan Easton, Human Events)

After centuries of keeping water out, the Dutch now letting it in - For centuries the low-lying Netherlands has fought to reclaim land from water by creating polders. Now, with flood risk increasing thanks to climate change, it is giving the land back. (AFP)

Appropriately titled: Carbon myths - Recycling and banning plastic bags are all very well, but they won't save the planet. Instead, we should fly less, go vegan and insulate the loft, says Chris Goodall (The Guardian)

Saudi Says No Need to Cut Oil Use to Fight Warming - NUSA DUA, Indonesia - Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday the world does not need to shift away from fossil fuels to combat global warming, suggesting pilot technology and greater efficiency as better options. (Reuters)

World Bank Touts Funds, Critics Smell Hot Air - WASHINGTON - The World Bank is seeking money for a scheme aimed at making it more lucrative to preserve the world's forests than to fell them. (IPS)

State can regulate greenhouse gases from autos, judge rules - California won a major legal battle Wednesday in its fight to implement a global-warming law that would lead to steep increases in motor vehicle fuel economy.

A federal judge in Fresno tossed out a lawsuit filed by the world's major automakers that tried to overturn AB 1493, a law that requires a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2016.

The automakers had said the law was unconstitutional because it mandated a big jump in mileage standards - a matter that is under the authority of the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They further argued that the California standards would raise vehicle prices by as much as $6,000 per vhicle, leading to fewer sales and tens of thousands of auto-plant layoffs.

But U.S. District Judge Anthony Ishii rejected those claims, ruling that the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and arresting climate change must go forward.

The judge's decision doesn't mean the law automatically takes effect. California still needs a waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement AB 1493. (Sacramento Bee)

"Arresting climate change"? On what charge?

US Senate Bill Drops Renewable Electricity Plan - WASHINGTON - A controversial plan to require US utilities to generate more of their electricity from wind and solar power will be dropped from a broad energy bill in the Senate to win passage of the legislation, Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday. (Reuters)

Climate Change: Airline pollution – Last call for emissions trading - Budget airlines are best placed to deal with the aviation industry’s entry into the EU carbon trading scheme (EthicalCorp)

Bass-ackward way of saying budget airlines are more efficient.

Nippon Steel Says Mandatory CO2 Caps Not Effective - TOKYO - The chief of Nippon Steel Corp on Wednesday countered growing calls on Japan to adopt mandatory caps on industrial emissions of greenhouse gases, saying such steps are not effective in fighting global warming. (Reuters)

Ship Switch to Diesel Fuels Uneconomic - EUROPIA - LONDON - A ship industry proposal to switch the world's merchant fleet to cleaner-burning distillate fuels will drive up fuel costs at sea and on land and will generate more carbon emissions, an oil industry group said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Nuclear Power's "Green" Credentials Under Fire - SINGAPORE - Nuclear power's claim to be the answer to global warming is being questioned by reports suggesting mining and processing of uranium is carbon intensive.

While nuclear power produces only one 50th of the carbon produced by many fossil fuels, its carbon footprint is rising, making wind power and other renewable energies increasingly attractive, according to environmental groups and some official reports. (Reuters)

Chernobyl: Lost world - Two decades after disaster struck, Chernobyl's wastelands are now teeming with wildlife. Should they become a nature reserve? (London Independent)

What wastelands?

Activists dig in to stave off gold mine plan in Romania - A plan to exploit Europe's biggest gold deposit by flattening part of Romania's oldest recorded village is foundering amid legal setbacks and growing support for a law that would ban the use of cyanide in mining.

Gabriel Resources, a Canadian firm, has already spent £150m in the Transylvanian village of Rosia Montana, buying houses and land that would be pulverised to get at 330 tonnes of gold and 1,600 tonnes of silver that lie beneath.

Gabriel pledges to clean up pollution from the existing Communist-era mine and bring 6,000 jobs and £1.25bn to Romania but the planned open-cast, cyanide-leaching mine has become the bête noire of the country's fledgling environmental movement. (London Independent)

Green Hypocrisy's Gold Standard

The Health of the Nation — Scaring people isn’t healthful - The just released report on the health of the nation, Health, United States, 2007, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, brought lots of good news. The trouble is, most Americans didn’t hear it. Instead, we continue to be inundated by a continual drumbeat of negative, and worrying reports about the frightful state of our health. We’re told of an “obesogenic” environment, our unhealthy diets and lifestyles, and weights that threaten to shorten our lives and give us and our children chronic diseases. Yet, the facts certainly don’t support these warnings.

Can all of this fear-driven news possibly be good for us? (Junkfood Science)

P4P - 2  - The question posed earlier this week asked how doctors felt about having their clinical practices — the tests they must do, the clinical guidelines they must follow for everyone, the prescriptions they must write, and the reporting and billing they must do — determined by the government and third party interests. Those determinations are called “pay-for-performance” measures. P4P are used to determine the compensation doctors receive from insurers, including for Medicare and Medicaid, with rewards and penalties to impel compliance.

Dr. James Gaulte at MDredux gave the answer today.

They don’t like it one bit. (Junkfood Science)

Building disease-beating wheat - Pioneered by CSIRO researchers, in collaboration with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and Sydney University, the research illustrates the major genetic improvements possible without genetic modification (GM) technology. (CSIRO Australia)

December 12, 2007

"New study increases concerns about climate model reliability" - "A new study comparing the composite output of 22 leading global climate models with actual climate data finds that the models do an unsatisfactory job of mimicking climate change in key portions of the atmosphere.

This research, published on-line Wednesday in the Royal Meteorological Society’s International Journal of Climatology, raises new concerns about the reliability of models used to forecast global warming." (Wiley-Blackwell)

"Guilt and Global Warming" - "The most awful, thing about man-made global warming is that it’s our own fault. It’s our own greedy materialism that has the planet’s climate headed toward disaster. Or so we’re told." (CGFI)

False Prophets - The Kyoto Protocol has failed on every conceivable level. Its prophets are proved false, as this simple article in the American Thinker (December 11) reveals so painfully: ‘Kyoto Schmyoto’. How can the EU, and other parties, at Bali argue for a ‘Kyoto 2’ when faced with the following basic facts? Remember Christ’s devastating words concerning false prophets - “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”. ‘Global warming’ has truly become a prime example of a faith without works, of rhetoric without reality. (Global Warming Politics)

"How to deal with Poseur Policymakers" - "Some citizens have inquired of me what they can do to force debate with towns, cities and states whose elected officials are seeking to fill a supposed vacuum of “action” to address climate change, in the absence of U.S. ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. My response to them may be of help to others, so consider the following." (Chris Horner, CEI)

"Another warming story doesn't hold up." - "I have long argued that when the mainstream media reports on global warming that they play fast and loose with their facts. And the New York Times is certainly no exception." (From Classically Liberal Blog)

"Skeptical Scientists Urge World To ‘Have the Courage to Do Nothing' At UN Conference" - "BALI, Indonesia - An international team of scientists skeptical of man-made climate fears promoted by the UN and former Vice President Al Gore, descended on Bali this week to urge the world to "have the courage to do nothing" in response to UN demands." (EPW)

Say what? "Remembering Kyoto: Bali negotiators consider changing world since last global warming pact" - "BALI, Indonesia - The American vice president was an environmentalist and the U.S. Congress was conservative. China and India were on the fringes of the climate change debate. And big business said going green would strangle industry.

The Kyoto global warming pact, signed 10 years ago on Tuesday, was brokered under vastly different circumstances from those facing negotiators at a U.N. climate conference this week in Bali as they map out the agenda for a successor agreement.

Those changing circumstances, from China's rise as a top polluter to the rapidly mounting evidence that global warming is a threat, are certain to leave their imprint on a new pact to go into force in 2012, when Kyoto expires." (AP)

What "rapidly mounting evidence"? What evidence at all? Beyond a suite of dodgy models with no known prognostic ability they have nothing.

Laughable: "U.N. chief: Human race faces 'oblivion' from climate change" - "BALI, Indonesia — Delegates at the U.N. climate conference struggled to agree Tuesday on whether they will call on rich nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions by specific amounts, and the U.N. chief warned that the human race faces oblivion if it fails to confront global warming." (Associated Press)

Laudable: "The Pope condemns the climate change prophets" - "Pope Benedict XVI has launched a surprise attack on climate change prophets of doom, warning them that any solutions to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology.

The leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics suggested that fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of unprecedented disasters were nothing more than scare-mongering.

The German-born Pontiff said that while some concerns may be valid it was vital that the international community based its policies on science rather than the dogma of the environmentalist movement." (Daily Mail)

Pope Challenges Climate Doomsters - In what appears to be a remarkable speech ("The Human Family, A Community of Peace") to be given on January 1, 2008, for World Peace Day, but released early to coincide with the Bali climate-change jamboree, the Pope has, according to reports, challenged the ‘global warming’ doomsters: ‘The Pope condemns the climate-change scaremongers’ (Daily Mail, December 11): (Global Warming Politics)

"Deadlock Stymies Global Climate Talks" - "The U.S. and Europe remained deadlocked on whether countries should commit now to specific emissions cuts." (New York Times)

Tin Tin at pledge week: "Rudd pledges 'real' climate action" - "PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has told world leaders in Bali that climate change is the defining challenge of this generation, and Australia stands ready to respond.

He told delegates at the United Nations climate change conference in Bali today that Australia would commit to "real" and "robust" short- and medium- term targets to slash greenhouse gases, after the Garnaut review is finished next year." (AAP)

"EU Might Cut Greenhouse Gases Beyond 30 Pct - Dimas" - "BALI, Indonesia - The European Union might be willing to cut greenhouse gas emissions deeper than 30 percent by 2020 if other rich nations join a broad fight against global warming, EU Commissioner Stavros Dimas said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

Yeah, like they've cut 'em so much so far, right?

"Norway floats idea of 'carbon auction' to fight global warming" - "Norway's finance minister on Tuesday proposed a fresh plan to battle climate change by auctioning off permits to emit CO2 and using the profits to help poor nations cope with global warming." (AFP)

"Merkel's Climate Change Vision Doomed to Fail" - "The German government's position at the UN Climate Change Conference on Bali is the most radical out of all the major industrial nations. But there's little hope of Berlin persuading other countries to accept its ambitious vision." (Der Spiegel)

Yep, real worried: "Environment MEP 'didn't think about offsetting'" - "The Czech chairman of the European Parliament's environment committee, who has travelled to Bali as part of a 15-strong group of MEPs, has admitted that he had not offset the carbon emissions of his long-haul flights.

Miroslav Ouzky, a member of the Conservative grouping in the Parliament, was asked whether he or any of the other 15 members of the European Parliament who have travelled there at public expense had offset their carbon emissions.

Mr Ouzky said: "Maybe it would have been a positive example to set. I didn't think about it. Next time we do so." (London Telegraph)

Yeah, hurrah... "Progress on protecting forests raises climate hopes" - "Negotiators working to agree a new global climate deal scored their first success yesterday, with progress agreed on deforestation and how to help poor countries adapt to climate change." (The Guardian)

"Finance chiefs end first climate forum but with few commitments" - "Finance ministers and officials wrapped up a maiden forum on climate change Tuesday with a pledge to step up efforts to fight global warming, but few concrete commitments emerged.

Financial representatives from 36 countries issued a statement recognising the severity of global warming and promising to make it a priority." (AFP)

Two interesting points: "New Tibetan Ice Cores Missing A-Bomb Blast Markers; Suggest Himalayan Ice Fields Haven't Grown In Last 50 Years" - "That missing radioactivity, originating as fallout from atmospheric nuclear tests during the 1950s and 1960s, routinely provides researchers with a benchmark against which they can gauge how much new ice has accumulated on a glacier or ice field." (Ohio State University)

Firstly, that would suggest there was no precipitation occurring back when global cooling and a looming ice age was scare du jour (it surely hasn't since melted since it's sub-zero at that altitude). So recent estimated warming would not appear determinate.

Secondly, there's supposed to be more atmospheric water vapor in a warmer atmosphere (the infamous feedback) which should theoretically precipitate out as more snow on high altitude snowfields. Where's that in this supposedly hot, hot world?

Gasp! "Norway's Arctic islands at their hottest since Viking era: scientists" - "Norway's Arctic archipelago of Svalbard recently experienced its highest temperatures since the end of the Viking Age around 800 years ago, the Norwegian Polar Institute said Tuesday.

Analysis of ice taken from Lomonosovfonna, one of the highest glaciers on Svalbard, confirms that recent local temperatures have been at their highest since the 13th century, the institute said in a statement." (AFP)

Oh my... "Animals, Plants Need Help Adapting to Climate Change" - "NUSA DUA, Indonesia - Humans must help animals and plants adapt to a warmer world, environmentalists said on Thursday, because it is too expensive to rebuild entire ecosystems and their loss makes people even more vulnerable." (Reuters)

... critters and plants have been adapting to climate changes since long before there were panicking enviros and we see no reason they will not continue to do so in the future.

Twaddle... "Penguins feel the heat of climate change" - "ANTARCTICA'S penguin population has slumped because of global warming as melting ice has destroyed nesting sites and reduced their sources of food, a WWF report says.

The Antarctic peninsula was warming five times faster than the average in the rest of the world, affecting four penguin species - the emperor penguin, the largest and the grandest in the world, the gentoo, chinstrap and adelie, the report said." (The Australian)

... the Antarctic generally is not warming, although there has been some localized effects in the section not actually in the Antarctic, the Peninsula extending towards South America. Well-mixed gases such as carbon dioxide cannot affect one small area and not the surrounding continent and ocean so we have to assume the tiny area affected is subject to small changes in ocean currents or something else. Not long ago too much ice was causing penguin colonies significant difficulties and the Antarctic has just set a record high for sea ice extent (while people have been watching). Also in the past year we have seen work published pointing out that penguins and sea lions are moving south along the Peninsula to reclaim rookeries and breeding grounds they had been forced to abandon due to excessive icing during the Little Ice Age. There is actually nothing going on in the warming front over virtually the entire southern hemisphere.

"Comments On Bjørn Lomborg’s New Book 'Cool It'” - "Bjørn Lomborg new book “Cool Its” continues his effort to communicate that a broader perspective on environmental issues is needed if effective policy action is to be undertaken to reduce threats to society and the environment through an effective mix of mitigation and adaptation." (Climate Science)

In the virtual realm: "New model revises estimates of terrestrial carbon dioxide uptake" - "Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new model of global carbon and nitrogen cycling that will fundamentally transform the understanding of how plants and soils interact with a changing atmosphere and climate." (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

More Play Station® climatology: "Rising CO2 signals wetter storms for Northern Hemisphere" - "While two new studies by researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences predict wetter storms for the Arctic and for the Northern Hemisphere because of global warming, whether or not this means more net precipitation depends on the latitude." (University of Colorado at Boulder)

"Arctic Impact Crater Lake Reveals Interglacial Cycles in Sediments" - "A University of Arkansas researcher and a team of international scientists have taken cores from the sediments of a Canadian Arctic lake and found an interglacial record indicating two ice-free periods that could pre-date the Holocene Epoch." (University of Arkansas)

Relative to when? "Greenland melt accelerating, according to CU-Boulder study" - "The 2007 melt extent on the Greenland ice sheet broke the 2005 summer melt record by 10 percent, making it the largest ever recorded there since satellite measurements began in 1979, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder climate scientist.

The melting increased by about 30 percent for the western part of Greenland from 1979 to 2006, with record melt years in 1987, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2005 and 2007, said CU-Boulder Professor Konrad Steffen, director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. Air temperatures on the Greenland ice sheet have increased by about 7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1991, primarily a result of the build-up of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere, according to scientists." (University of Colorado at Boulder)

More hysterical assertions: "The winds of climate change" - "Bangladesh has always suffered more than its share of natural disasters, but the recent cyclone is only part of worsening climatic instability that is threatening ordinary people's ability to survive. Annie Kelly reports." (The Guardian)

"The Impact of America’s Climate Security Act of 2007 (S. 2191) on the U.S. Economy and on Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions" - "Executive Summary: Impact of S. 2191 on U.S. Energy Use: A major stumbling block to the U.S.’s meeting the S. 2191 targets is projected increases in covered emissions and population growth over the next several decades. Forecasts of baseline covered emissions show emissions growing by 30 percent from 2012 to 2030, from 5,995 to 7,783 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e). Sharp cutbacks in U.S. energy use would be necessary to close the 55 percent gap (4,311 /MMTCO2e) in 2030 between projected emissions and the S. 2191 target.

Impact of S. 2191 on U.S. Per Capita Emissions: The projected 18 percent increase in U.S. population from 2010 to 2030 will make GHG emission reductions very challenging since more people means more energy is needed for home heating and cooling, job growth and transportation. Over the entire decade between 1990-2000, per capita emissions in the U.S. fell by only 0.8 percent and they are projected to decline by only 0.6 percent between 2000 and 2012. To meet the emission reduction targets in S. 2191, U.S. per capita emissions would have to fall by 50 percent from 2000 to 2030. S. 2191’s required reductions in per capita emissions are about 25 to 35 times greater than what occurred from 1990 to 2000. The technologies simply do not exist to reduce emissions over the next 17 years by the amounts mandated in S. 2191 without severely reducing the growth in the U.S. economy and in employment.

The European Union’s Emission Trading System: Many policymakers, the media and the public believe that the European Union’s Emission Trading System (ETS) has produced reductions in GHG emissions and that their system could serve as a model for the U.S. Projections show that the major EU countries will be 7 percent above 1990 levels of emissions in 2010 (instead of 8 percent below). The mandatory ETS system as currently structured is not providing the desired results and much stronger measures will be required to meet the Kyoto Protocol target as well as the new post-2012 target.

Strategies to Reduce Global and U.S. GHG Emission Growth: Slowing the growth of global GHG emissions will depend on factors such as increased energy efficiency, technology developments in both fossil fuels (carbon capture and storage, for example) and renewable fuels (wind and solar, in particular) and on increased reliance on nuclear power for electricity generation. In addition to reducing GHG growth in the developed countries, it will be necessary to increase energy efficiency and reduce the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in the developing world since that is where the strong growth in emissions is coming from. Initiatives like the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate and reforms to the U.S. federal tax code to reduce the cost of capital for new energy investments as well as programs designed for non-profit energy service providers could accelerate the uptake of cleaner, less-emitting technologies as well as strengthen U.S. economic growth." (Margo Thorning, Ph.D., American Council for Capital Formation)

From CO2 Science this week:

Effects of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment on N2-Fixing Oceanic Cyanobacteria: How does atmospheric CO2 enrichment affect the abilities of these minute organisms to produce the nitrogen that is needed to support much of the world's oceanic productivity.

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Effingham Inlet, West Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Weather Extremes (Hail): As the world has warmed and the air's CO2 content risen to values not seen for who knows how long, have hail storms changed in any substantial way?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Douglas Fir, Eelgrass, Peat Community , and Teak.

Journal Reviews:
Swiss Alps Glacier Lengths During the Holocene: How do they compare with the lengths they exhibited in the 1990s?

The Impact of Oceanic Ship Emissions on Marine Stratus Cloud Properties: What are they? ... and what is their impact on the shortwave radiative balance at the surface of the sea and the top of the atmosphere?

Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment Effects on Collembolan Communities in a Field Planted to Winter Wheat: What are they? ... and are they positive or negative?

The Role of Fungi in the Production of Biogenic Aerosols: How significant are they in the global scheme of things? What do they do for earth's climate? And how are they affected by rising air temperatures and CO2 concentrations?

The Photosynthetic Response of Pine Trees to Ultra-High CO2 Concentrations: Does it approach an asymptotic upper limit?

Duquoin, ILTemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Fairfield, IA. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Duquoin's mean annual temperature has experienced no net change. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

"Energy non-economics" - "What do you think would happen if the 1,000-plus page energy bill before the Senate did not pass? Would your lights go out? Would you be unable to buy fuel for your car?

If the energy bill that passed the House on Dec. 6 is now passed in the Senate, American taxpayers will be burdened with $21 billion in new taxes and have less freedom to drive the cars that they want.

You may be thinking, why would members of Congress want to increase my taxes and reduce my freedom? For all too many, being in government is a power trip, and being able to micromanage the lives of others gives them a kick — the proposed energy bill being Exhibit I." (Richard W. Rahn, Washington Times)

"Veto of Energy Measure Is Raised as a Possibility" - "The White House has raised last-minute concerns over regulation of automobile emissions and fuel economy that aides said Tuesday could lead to a presidential veto of the energy bill now before Congress." (New York Times)

Oh great! A carbon zealot is doing Tin Tin's strategy... "Carbon capture key for coal: Garnaut" - "COAL-FIRED power has no future in Australia unless ways are found to reduce its carbon emissions, while nuclear energy will be too expensive, according to the man drawing up a climate change strategy for the Rudd Government and the states.

On the eve of departing for the Bali conference, economist Ross Garnaut said it could be three years before Australia knew what post-Kyoto emission targets it would have to meet beyond 2012. Professor Garnaut also indicated he believed China and India should agree to mandatory emission-reduction targets.

He said the future of coal-fired power in Australia depended on the success of carbon sequestration - the extraction and storage of carbon monoxide. "If we can make it work at a reasonable cost, then coal has an expanding future," he said in Brisbane." (The Australian)

Hopefully it's only the reporter stupid enough to specify carbon monoxide rather than dioxide...

"Coal power potential" - "We often hear that clean, free, inexhaustible renewable energy can replace the "dirty" fossil fuels that sustain our economy. A healthy dose of Energy Reality is needed.

More than half of our electricity comes from coal. Gas and nuclear generate 36 percent of our electricity. Barely 1 percent comes from wind and solar. Coal-generated power typically costs less per kilowatt-hour than alternatives — leaving families with more money for food, housing, transportation and health care." (Roy Innis, Washington Times)

Better sense prevails: "Big Oil lets sun set on renewables" - "Shell, the oil company that recently trumpeted its commitment to a low carbon future by signing a pre-Bali conference communique, has quietly sold off most of its solar business.

The move, taken with rival BP's decision last week to invest in the world's dirtiest oil production in Canada's tar sands, indicates that Big Oil might be giving up its flirtation with renewables and going back to its roots.

Shell and BP are among the biggest producers of greenhouse gases in the world, but both have been keen to paint themselves green through a series of clean fuel initiatives." (The Guardian)

"UK Govt Wind Plan Costly, Misguided - Ecotricity" - "LONDON - The British government's latest plan to power every UK home with offshore turbines is a costly fantasy and ignores the potential of onshore wind, the CEO of green power company Ecotricity said in an interview." (Reuters)

"British Energy to Extend Life of 2 Nuclear Reactors" - "LONDON - Nuclear operator British Energy has reached a long-awaited decision to extend the lives of two reactors by an extra five years to 2016, helping Britain towards ambitious climate-change goals." (Reuters)

"World Shipping Must Act on Air Emissions - ICS" - "LONDON - The trillion-dollar shipping industry must set global targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants by the end of 2008 or risk having regional solutions imposed on it, the International Chamber of Shipping said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Shell plans to take on greener tinge by growing algae" - "Shell is going to grow marine algae to convert into biofuel, the oil company announced yesterday.

The decision to build an experimental plant came as another clean-fuel pioneer, D1 Oils, called on environmentalists to end their "generic" condemnation of biofuels and support those pursuing sustainable products not in competition with food.

Shell has formed a joint venture company with HR Biopetroleum under which they will construct a demonstration facility on the Kona coast of Hawaii Island to harvest algae, which grows very rapidly and, they claim, can provide 15 times more oil a hectare than alternatives such as rape." (The Guardian)

"Food vs. Fuel" - "If people can't eat, they can't do much else. One of the great achievements of the past century has been the enormous expansion of food production, which has virtually eliminated starvation in advanced countries and has made huge gains against it in poor countries. Since 1961, world population has increased 112 percent; meanwhile, global production is up 164 percent for grains and almost 700 percent for meats. We owe this mainly to better seed varieties, more fertilizer, more mechanization and better farm practices. Food in most developed countries is so plentiful and inexpensive that obesity -- partly caused by overeating -- is a major social problem.

But the world food system may now be undergoing a radical break with this past. "The end of cheap food" is how the Economist magazine recently described it. During the past year, prices of basic grains (wheat, corn) and oilseeds (soybeans) have soared. Corn that had been selling at about $2 a bushel is now more than $3; wheat that had been averaging $3 to $4 a bushel has recently hovered around $9. Because feed grains are a major cost in meat, dairy and poultry production, retail prices have also risen. In the United States, dairy prices are up 13 percent in 2007; egg prices have risen 42 percent in the past year. Other countries are also experiencing increases." (Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post)

"Going green – going where?" - "A small college I know is “going green.” Paper goods in its cafeteria and coffee shops will now be made from recycled paper. Theoretically, this saves some trees. Who could object? Not I, but I do like to know why we're doing things — and where we'll end up. Let's look at it.

Are we running short of trees? By all accounts, certainly not. Large tracts of land used for farming in the last century have reverted to forest cover. It is difficult to find statistics on how much land is forested now, versus 1900, 1800, etc. Perhaps the data are scarce because they serve no useful purpose (as in government funding). If forestation had fallen radically since 1900, the data might be available. We hear “save the trees” but no data. This should tell us something.

So if not about a tree-scarcity, exactly what is the green “thing” about? Well, we're trying to stop climate change. Why? Because we like the climate we have. But isn't change considered “good” in most instances? — culture, religion, education, politics, etc. Why is climate change so bad we must make radical changes in our lifestyles to prevent it?" (Washington Times)

Another one: "Obesity may harm immune system" - "Obesity can weaken the body's immune system and reduce its ability to fight off infections, according to scientists." (The Guardian)

"Government obesity tests for 4-year-olds" - "How will parents feel when they learn that their child’s doctor is doing tests on their youngster and turning the results over to the government, not because the tests are evidence-based or medically necessary, but because the doctor is being paid $45 apiece? How will doctors feel about politicians determining their clinical practice?

Australians will soon find out." (Junkfood Science)

"AgResearch in GE milk bid" - "A state-owned science company wants to use milk from genetically engineered cattle in its commercial products. AgResearch, which keeps about 90 GE cows at Ruakura, also wants to be able to hold the cattle and other transgenic animals anywhere in the country." (New Zealand Herald)

December 11, 2007

"The US President's Malaria Initiative: 2 years on" - "Improving public health is about more than technical know-how and money. The real struggle is in creating efficient systems, working with local governments, and making sure that programmes are fully implemented. None of this happens without the political will to do so. Even with the best intentions, massive, multination health efforts have had a troubled history. These range from, at best, huge wastes of money, and at worst, unintended side-effects as severe as the problems they had set out to solve." (The Lancet)

"The Soul of a New Vaccine" - "A controversial effort to stop malaria zeroes in on mosquitoes and the parasites that live inside them." (New York Times)

"Defending legitimate epidemiologic research: combating Lysenko pseudoscience" - "Abstract: This analysis presents a detailed defense of my epidemiologic research in the May 17, 2003 British Medical Journal that found no significant relationship between environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and tobacco-related mortality. In order to defend the honesty and scientific integrity of my research, I have identified and addressed in a detailed manner several unethical and erroneous attacks on this research. Specifically, I have demonstrated that this research is not “fatally flawed,” that I have not made “inappropriate use” of the underlying database, and that my findings agree with other United States results on this relationship. My research suggests, contrary to popular claims, that there is not a causal relationship between ETS and mortality in the U.S. responsible for 50,000 excess annual deaths, but rather there is a weak and inconsistent relationship. The popular claims tend to damage the credibility of epidemiology.

In addition, I address the omission of my research from the 2006 Surgeon General’s Report on Involuntary Smoking and the inclusion of it in a massive U.S. Department of Justice racketeering lawsuit. I refute erroneous statements made by powerful U.S. epidemiologists and activists about me and my research and I defend the funding used to conduct this research. Finally, I compare current ETS epidemiology in the U.S. with pseudoscience in the Soviet Union during the period of Trofim Devisovich Lysenko. Overall, this paper is intended to defend legitimate research against illegitimate criticism by those who have attempted to suppress and discredit it because it does not support their ideological and political agendas. Hopefully, this defense will help other scientists defend their legitimate research and combat “Lysenko pseudoscience.”" (James E. Enstrom, Epidemiologic Perspectives & Innovations 2007, 4:11 doi:10.1186/1742-5573-4-11)

"The Health of the Nation — Did you hear the good news?" - "The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released its 31st report on the health of the nation ... last week. This long-awaited report is always big news and dominates headlines ... but no longer. It seems the news is too good and we’re just too darn healthy to stir up much excitement. Nor do the facts support the need for another report issued by the HHS this past week: it’s latest budget." (Junkfood Science)

"Save Santa! — “Keep Santa Fat!” campaign" - "The hand wringing began months ago as anti-obesity interests began calling for slimmer Santas “to set a good example for children.” In Britain, shopping center Santas are even being sent to gyms, with Bluewater shopping center in Greenhithe, Kent, going so far as to establish a Santa boot camp.

People have had enough of this insanity." (Junkfood Science)

"Weedkiller shows up in high levels in streams" - "WASHINGTON — Atrazine, the second most widely used weedkiller in the country, is showing up in some streams and rivers at levels high enough to potentially harm amphibians, fish and aquatic ecosystems, according to the findings of an extensive Environmental Protection Agency database that has not been made public." (Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post)

Freaky-Frog Fraud; Studies Conflict on Common Herbicide's Effects on Frogs

Gore blimey! "Gore to U.S., China: Fix climate or else" - "OSLO, Norway -- Al Gore received his Nobel Peace Prize on Monday and urged the United States and China to make the boldest moves on climate change or "stand accountable before history for their failure to act."

Al Gore, left, and Rajendra Pachauri hold their awards at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony Monday.

In accepting the prize he shared with the U.N. climate panel, the former vice president said humanity risks sliding down a path of "mutually assured destruction."

"It is time to make peace with the planet," Gore said in his acceptance speech that evoked Churchill, Gandhi and the Bible. "We must quickly mobilize our civilization with the urgency and resolve that has previously been seen only when nations mobilized for war." (AP)

Albert chooses a war metaphor for human/nature interaction... that's probably more appropriate than Ozone Man intended. Invoking the Bible? I'm not so sure that's where he meant to go, either: Alfred Lord Tennyson pondered such things at length

Are God and Nature then at strife,
That Nature lends such evil dreams?
So careful of the type she seems,
So careless of the single life;


Who trusted God was love indeed
And love Creation’s final law–
Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek’d against his creed–
(In Memoriam A.H.H.)

So yes, Man and Nature have long been at war and peace such as is achieved between these combatants is only through superior firepower -- we build infrastructure and shelter from the ravages of the murderous "Earth Mother", stockpile foodstuffs and water against her pernicious whim and, when the old cow unleashes some of her main armament in the form of destructive storms, we use our warning systems and infrastructure to seek adequate shelter until her lust for deadly mayhem abates. In reality we are in a state of armed wariness, punctuated by brief incursions by Nature's raiding parties.

Gandhi is not an appropriate role model here since his antagonist operated under the rule of Westminster Law, a structure wholly directed at the support of people while Nature operates under no such restraint. Passive resistance is the path to wholesale slaughter of humanity.

Churchill, however, is much more appropriate:

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender...

Indeed, that is the way to engage Nature, an "entity" more murderously indifferent than the illusionary "mother" nurture figure. To protect people we need development, infrastructure, wealth generation for underwrite it and above all, we need abundant affordable energy -- the very things Al and his nonsense gorebull warming scam seek to deny us. For this he gets a "peace prize"? Go figure...

What a stupid conclusion! "Current melting of Greenland's ice mimicks 1920s-1940s event" - "Two researchers spent months scouring through old expedition logs and reports, and reviewing 70-year-old maps and photos before making a surprising discovery.

They found that the effects of the current warming and melting of Greenland 's glaciers that has alarmed the world's climate scientists occurred in the decades following an abrupt warming in the 1920s." (Ohio State University)

Of all the politically correct nonsense! What kind of bizarre mindset does it take to observe two similar events, one preceding and one subsequent to significant change in atmospheric trace gas constituents (~300 and ~380 ppmv, respectively) and conclude that the earlier event, not possibly forced by the subsequent boom in fossil fuel use, lends support to the contention some future event will be so forced? Back in the day when science relied on method rather than politics similar observations under different values of given variables used to indicate the change in variable values had no observable effect. To have a similar result after an increase in atmospheric CO2 of almost 27% (remembering that the Arctic sea ice recovered and become even more extensive during at least the first 20% rise) pretty much eliminates said gas as a controlling variable. The undergrad we can understand (just) but to have an associate professor of geography put his name to this crap? Sheesh!

Oh, that high latitude warming... "How not to measure temperature, part 45" - "I’ve covered California’s temperature stations and their exposure problems extensively, now it’s time to head north to Alaska. When you think of Alaska, you think of cold, snowy, pristine remote wilderness, right? Surely there are no worries about urbanization affecting thermometers in the great white north. Well as I’ve said before, the NOAA MMTS system used to measure temperature for climate has two fatal flaws that keep it close to human influences: 1) a need for a person to read the display and write it down 2) A cable from the display to the sensor.

So it’s no surprise to find that in Cordova, AK the official NOAA thermometer (COOP Number 502173 60.55611°N -145.75306°W) is right next to the diesel power facility and it’s outdoor transformer. The display is inside where it’s warm and can be comfortably read." (Watts Up With That?)

"Chinese Scientists Skeptical About Global Warming" - "China Confidential has learned that a number of scientists in China are still surprisingly skeptical about the importance of anthropogenic global warming, despite the country's commitment to clean energy development and official endorsement of the widely accepted theory that man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are causing the Earth's temperature to rise to threatening levels.

In fact, several Chinese experts are said to secretly subscribe to the opposite view--namely, that rather than the rising levels of carbon dioxide driving up the temperature, it is the naturally rising temperature that is driving up the CO2 level. They privately accuse Western countries of promoting fear of global warming for political purposes--to keep China from reaching its full economic and political potential." (China Confidential)

Significant Summer/Winter effect in evening points towards sun induced global warming (Gust of Hot Air)

"Nitrous oxide from ocean microbes" - "A large amount of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide is produced by bacteria in the oxygen poor parts of the ocean using nitrites, Dr Mark Trimmer told journalists at a Science Media Centre press briefing today." (Society for General Microbiology)

Last week it was dredging: "Declining water levels in the Great Lakes may signal global warming" - "Researchers in Michigan report new evidence that water levels in the Great Lakes, which are near record low levels, may be shrinking due to global warming. Their study, which examines water level data for Lakes Michigan and Huron over more than a century, is scheduled for the Dec. 15 issue of ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology." (ES&T)

"Democrats accuse White House of cooking climate-change testimony" - "WASHINGTON - The White House censored climate scientists and edited their testimony on global warming before Congress, Democrats charged Monday after a 16-month investigation into allegations of political interference with scientific inquiries.

The Bush administration was "particularly active in stifling discussions" of a potential link between climate change and the intensity of hurricanes, according to the findings in a draft report issued Monday by Democrats on the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Climate scientists are divided about whether the storms that hit the U.S. in 2004 and 2005 were part of a cyclical weather pattern or attributable to higher global temperatures." (McClatchy Newspapers)

"Marketing global warming" - "One disputed issue remains fundamental to concerns over global warming. It is whether 20th century warming is so exceptional that it can only be explained by changes to the atmosphere caused by burning fossil fuels. It, and with it the theory of human causation, is incapable of absolute proof and is at best a matter of judgment, or if the arguments are not fully considered, simply a matter of belief.

How the IPCC has dealt with this issue exposes poor process, bias and concealment that make the IPCC assessments unreliable as the monopoly authority on the science." (David Holland, Online Opinion)

Fittingly, with AGW being a mass sociogenic illness: "Scientists develop new measure of 'socioclimactic' risk" - "As the United Nations climate negotiations proceed in Bali, Indonesia, researchers have taken a first step toward quantifying the "socioclimatic" exposure of different countries to future climate change." (Purdue University)

"Here Come the Climate-Change Lawsuits" - "Now here's an unexpected beneficiary of the building consensus regarding global warming: the plaintiffs' bar.

Known to its detractors as Trial Lawyers, Inc., the plaintiffs' bar makes serious bucks by launching mass tort and class action suits. The bigger the damages, the bigger the contingency fees, so high-profile harm is how these litigation firms make hay -- and it doesn't get much more high-profile than climate change." (Toby Shute, Motley Fool)

What do you mean "unexpected", Toby? The global warming industry has had them salivating over this for years. Why does anyone think Trial Layers, Inc.-funded Democrats are so keen to get the U.S. to sign onto the fallacy that people have replaced all natural climate variability?

Rightly: "Top executives not adopting climate-change strategies" - "VANCOUVER -- Most top executives of major Canadian businesses have not bought into greenhouse gas emissions strategies, according to a survey released Monday by the management services firm Deloitte." (Gordon Hamilton, Vancouver Sun)

This old chestnut, again: "WHO: Health sector needs to wake up to effects of climate change" - "BALI, Indonesia - The world must prepare now for the serious impact climate change will have on health, from a jump in waterborne diseases to heart attacks and heat-wave deaths, the World Health Organization said Monday." (AP)

"Climate change goal 'unreachable'" - "In public, climate scientists and European politicians are generally optimistic that rising carbon dioxide levels and temperatures can be curbed.

In private, some are less sanguine; but there has been a widespread unwritten code of optimism to avoid being accused of scaremongering or creating despair." (BBC)

We'd agree that controlling, even predicting climate is an unreachable goal but the +2 kelvins thing is a nonsense. The world has an equal chance of cooling as warming and given the signals coming from the sun, probably more worrying is a significant cooling.

"New Study Explodes Human-Global Warming Story" - "As much of the U.S. is being blasted by vicious ice storms, a blockbuster report published in a prestigious scientific journal insists that the evidence shows that climate warming is both natural and unstoppable and that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant." (Philip V. Brennan, NewsMax)

"Out Of This World" - "A professor wants a carbon tax levied on babies and favors state population controls. The day nears when environmentalists will no longer be able to pass off cranks as radicals outside their circle." (IBD)

"Climate Bill Will Devastate American Families and Jobs" - "For the first time in history, a fatally flawed global-warming cap-and-trade bill passed out of the United States Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. Democrats, led by Chairman Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.), approved the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2007 (S 2191) by a vote of 11 to eight December 5.

While the outcome of the vote in committee was never in question -- since Democrats hold the majority -- it did provide Republicans the opportunity to expose many of the serious flaws of this bill. The fact is this bill is simply all economic pain for no climate gain: Numerous analyses have placed the costs at trillions of dollars. Even if one accepts the dire claims of man-made global warming, this bill will not have a measurable impact on the climate." (Sen. James Inhofe, Human Events)

Moonbattery: "The real answer to climate change is to leave fossil fuels in the ground" - "All the talk in Bali about cutting carbon means nothing while ever more oil and coal is being extracted and burned." (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

So, how's the book sales going, George? (George makes quid out of global warming hysteria.)

The Tower Of Bali - As predicted many times on ‘Global Warming Politics’ (e.g. ‘The Battle of Bali Begins’, December 4), the Bali Conference is ascending into a confusion of noise and babble, a veritable ‘Tower of Bali’ [see: ‘No unity yet at UN climate talks’, BBC Online Science/Nature News, December 10]: (Global Warming Politics)

"Negotiation dismay at UN climate talks" - "ON the eve of the Kyoto protocol's 10th anniversary, campaigners voiced joy in Bali overnight as the Nobel peace award nailed climate change to the top of the political agenda.

But at the same time there was also dismay over setbacks towards a new pact to tackle global warming as new disputes emerged." (The Australian)

"Freedom, Not Climate, is Under Threat - Czech Leader" - "BERLIN - The movement against global warming has turned into a new religion, an ideology that threatens to undermine freedom and the world's economic and social order, Czech President Vaclav Klaus said on Monday." (Reuters)

"AP Interview: Kerry says US Senate wouldn't pass climate deal without developing countries" - "BALI, Indonesia: If China and other emerging economies don't contribute to reining in greenhouse gases, "it would be very difficult" to get a new global climate deal through the U.S. Senate, even under a Democratic president, Sen. John Kerry said Monday." (Associated Press)

Now his name is KRudd... "Rudd rules out emissions targets at Bali" - "Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has ruled out endorsing proposed short-term greenhouse gas emission targets of up to 40 per cent by 2020 but says that does not mean the Bali climate change conference will be a failure." (The Age)

How fleeting were the accolades for boy blunder as he applied his John Hancock with such flourish and now finds he cannot do what was so easily said.

"Results of Bali to take 'years'" - "KEVIN Rudd has further distanced Australia from scientific calls for deep greenhouse gas emission cuts and declared that the results of the UN climate conference in Bali would not be felt for at least two years.

As the Prime Minister prepared to fly out this morning to the conference, he said the purpose of the Bali summit was to agree "on a road map for the next couple of years, within which countries then embark upon long-term commitment".

Mr Rudd said yesterday there were a range of issues to address before agreeing to international targets, including considering a report by Ross Garnaut on the impacts of emission cuts." (The Australian)

"UN climate talks under pressure to drop 2020 goals" - "NUSA DUA, Indonesia, Dec 10 - The United States urged a U.N. climate meeting on Monday to drop a 2020 target for deep cuts in greenhouse gases by rich nations from guidelines for a new pact to slow global warming beyond 2012." (Reuters)

"Environmentalists, minister exchange climate change blame" - "NUSA DUA, Indonesia - As Canadian and international critics attacked Canada's commitment to fighting climate change on Monday, Environment Minister John Baird took his own swipe at Canadian green groups, blaming them for the country's dismal reputation on fighting global warming." (Mike De Souza, CanWest News Service)

"Japan business chief opposes Kyoto-style emission targets" - "TOKYO - The head of Japan's biggest business lobby warned Monday that another set of 'irrational' greenhouse gas emission targets like those in the Kyoto Protocol would weaken Japan Inc's competitiveness.

'If irrational regulations of total emissions are set, as it was the case under the Kyoto Protocol, we cannot avoid a weakening of our international competitiveness,' said Fujio Mitarai, who is the head of the Japan Business Federation and also chairman of Canon Inc." (Thomson Financial)

"China, India, U.S. Must Have Greenhouse Gas Limits, Canada Says" - "Dec. 10 -- China, India and the U.S. all must have targets on greenhouse-gas emissions under any new treaty to fight global warming, Canadian Environment Minister John Baird said, putting his country at odds with three major emitters who reject binding cuts in the gases." (Bloomberg)

"Climate conference directs fire at US and EU" - "Proposals by rich nations that poor countries should remove their trade barriers on environmental goods to combat global warming on Sunday raised a storm at the United Nations’ climate change talks in Bali.

The US and the European Union found a rare common cause when they combined to ask developing nations to cut or remove tariffs on imports of environmental goods and services.

Poor countries pointed out, however, that the US and EU retained import tariffs on biofuels.

The dispute rocked the first meeting at which the world’s trade ministers have discussed climate change. It was intended to persuade governments that climate change should be regarded as an economic as well as an environmental issue." (Financial Times)

"Kevin Myers: So have your luxury love-in, but spare us the Bali humbug" - "Rio. Kyoto. Bali. That's environmental conferences for you. They always occur in sunlit places ending in vowels, and with a consonantal component of no more than 50%.

They're never in vowel-light locations like Nitvinggen or Bblarrgh or Quivdansk, where summer lasts a few hours some time in June, and where the locals spend their long winters rummaging through their clothing of animal pelts, popping lice with gnarled, nutshell fingernails, and musing vowellessly.

For, there is almost a defined UN Green Meridian, where conferences To Save The World must always be held; and where there are not miles of beaches, and galaxies of near-naked lovelies, each one sporting a tiny Ronnie Coleman beneath her wispy thong as she plays beach volley- ball, then there are either some of the greatest palaces in the world, or the most wonderful tropical islands." (Belfast Telegraph)

Our Modern CO2 Illusionists - Harry Kellar (1849 - 1922) was a famous American illusionist who presented impressive stage shows during the late 1800s and early 1900s. One of his most memorable illusions was ‘The Vanishing Bird Cage’, a classic ‘parlour magic’ effect invented by a French magician, one Buatier De Kolta. The magician displays a bird cage, holding it between both hands. Often there is a bird (fake in these more sensitive times) inside. The magician offers the cage for inspection by a member of the audience, but the illusionist never releases his grip. Then, without covering the cage, he makes a sudden motion, and the cage (bird and all) vanishes from sight. Of course, the cage is built to collapse, and to run, hidden, up the illusionist’s capacious sleeve.

Today, our politicians are pulling off an equally tacky illusion, as carbon dioxide emissions vanish in their capacious rhetoric: ‘UK’s official CO2 figures an illusion - study’ [The Guardian, December 10 (see also: ‘UK’s greenhouse gas emissions “up by a fifth”’, The Daily Telegraph, December 10)]: (Global Warming Politics)

Talking up his scam return? "Nobel Winner Gore Sees CO2 Prices Rising" - "OSLO - Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore said on Monday he expects the price of carbon dioxide emission permits to rise from current levels as the drive to prevent climate change picks up pace." (Reuters)

Check out the following advertisement (from The Economist, Dec. 8-14). Zero emissions? Zero greenhouse gases? Not even close!

In the troposphere (the part of the atmosphere of interest to people since it's where we live and where our experienced weather occurs) 95% of greenhouse warming comes from water vapor -- the very greenhouse gas emitted by this "zero emission" "zero greenhouse" GM "promomobile". And then there's the attendant problems of free hydrogen (not "environmentally friendly" if you worry about ozone layer, for example). Let's not even bother with the absurdities of hydrogen supply (either by energy intensive steam reformation of gas, releasing the more energy-useful carbon as carbon dioxide or by fractionation of water -- plain stupid!). So, this inefficient and largely useless concept is being sold with a blatant lie ("zero greenhouse" indeed!) to "address" a problem which does not exist, at great expense and with minimal energy efficiency!

<chuckle> "The biggest environmental crime in history'" - "BP, the British oil giant that pledged to move "Beyond Petroleum" by finding cleaner ways to produce fossil fuels, is being accused of abandoning its "green sheen" by investing nearly £1.5bn to extract oil from the Canadian wilderness using methods which environmentalists say are part of the "biggest global warming crime" in history.

The multinational oil and gas producer, which last year made a profit of £11bn, is facing a head-on confrontation with the green lobby in the pristine forests of North America after Greenpeace pledged a direct action campaign against BP following its decision to reverse a long-standing policy and invest heavily in extracting so-called "oil sands" that lie beneath the Canadian province of Alberta and form the world's second-largest proven oil reserves after Saudi Arabia." (London Independent)

Looks like BP's new boss has decided they're an oil company after all. It's about time!

Reality belatedly intrudes: "Climate change should not be considered under RMA - Appeal court" - "The Court of Appeal today overturned a High Court ruling which said climate change and greenhouse gas emissions should be a consideration under the Resource Management Act.

Greenpeace won the original High Court ruling that climate change could be considered in RMA consents for such projects.

But today, the appeal court ruled: "In considering the application by Genesis Power for a discharge permit into the air of greenhouse gases associated with the proposed Rodney power station, the Auckland Regional Council must not have regard to the effects of that discharge on climate change." (NZPA)

"Climate survey pooh-poohs biofuels" - "BIOFUELS may be rising in popularity worldwide but policymakers largely reject them as a way to fight global warming, a survey said overnight.

A poll of 1000 climate change "decision makers" from 105 countries, including government and industry officials, listed solar energy as the technology with the top potential to cut carbon emissions.

Wind farms also ranked highly in the World Bank-supported poll. But biofuels derived from crops, such as corn-based ethanol, placed last, with only 21 per cent saying it was the best option when considering the side effects. (The Australian)

"Finnish Reactor Delays Slow Nuclear Renaissance" - "HELSINKI - Finland is pressing ahead with construction of its fifth nuclear reactor but the plant has faced long delays and seems unlikely to herald a quick revival of Europe's atomic industry." (Reuters)

"UK's Huge Push for Wind Power Gets Cool Response" - "LONDON - Britain said every UK home could be supplied by wind power alone by 2020 by making full use of its wind-swept seas but denied it was backing away from thoughts of more nuclear power.

The target was greeted with wide scepticism, including from the Renewable Energy Foundation, which accused the government of "green exhibitionism".

Britain has some of the best wind conditions in the world for generating carbon-free electricity, but high construction costs and a sluggish planning process have curbed growth." (Reuters)

December 10, 2007

"Climate warming is naturally caused and shows no human influence: Carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant." - "Climate scientists at the University of Rochester, the University of Alabama, and the University of Virginia report that observed patterns of temperature changes (‘fingerprints’) over the last thirty years are not in accord with what greenhouse models predict and can better be explained by natural factors, such as solar variability. Therefore, climate change is ‘unstoppable’ and cannot be affected or modified by controlling the emission of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, as is proposed in current legislation.

These results are in conflict with the conclusions of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and also with some recent research publications based on essentially the same data. However, they are supported by the results of the US-sponsored Climate Change Science Program (CCSP).

The report is published in the December 2007 issue of the International Journal of Climatology of the Royal Meteorological Society [DOI: 10.1002/joc.1651]. The authors are Prof. David H. Douglass (Univ. of Rochester), Prof. John R. Christy (Univ. of Alabama), Benjamin D. Pearson (graduate student), and Prof. S. Fred Singer (Univ. of Virginia).

The fundamental question is whether the observed warming is natural or anthropogenic (human-caused). Lead author David Douglass said: “The observed pattern of warming, comparing surface and atmospheric temperature trends, does not show the characteristic fingerprint associated with greenhouse warming. The inescapable conclusion is that the human contribution is not significant and that observed increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases make only a negligible contribution to climate warming.”

Co-author John Christy said: “Satellite data and independent balloon data agree that atmospheric warming trends do not exceed those of the surface. Greenhouse models, on the other hand, demand that atmospheric trend values be 2-3 times greater. We have good reason, therefore, to believe that current climate models greatly overestimate the effects of greenhouse gases. Satellite observations suggest that GH models ignore negative feedbacks, produced by clouds and by water vapor, that diminish the warming effects of carbon dioxide.”

Co-author S. Fred Singer said: “The current warming trend is simply part of a natural cycle of climate warming and cooling that has been seen in ice cores, deep-sea sediments, stalagmites, etc., and published in hundreds of papers in peer-reviewed journals. The mechanism for producing such cyclical climate changes is still under discussion; but they are most likely caused by variations in the solar wind and associated magnetic fields that affect the flux of cosmic rays incident on the earth’s atmosphere. In turn, such cosmic rays are believed to influence cloudiness and thereby control the amount of sunlight reaching the earth’s surface—and thus the climate.” Our research demonstrates that the ongoing rise of atmospheric CO2 has only a minor influence on climate change. We must conclude, therefore, that attempts to control CO2 emissions are ineffective and pointless. – but very costly." (Press Release)

"Climate reconstructions: Loehle vs Schmidt" - "Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate.ORG tries to criticize the recent article by Craig Loehle (PDF).

Loehle's article was the first published climate reconstruction that has only used proxies that had already been independently calibrated in peer-reviewed literature. It has eliminated tree rings because they don't seem to be good temperature proxies: it seems that the growth of trees is more affected by humidity, precipitation, and directly by the concentration of carbon dioxide, the food for trees. The main result of Loehle's paper was that the Medieval Warm Period did exist, after all." (The Reference Frame)

"Sign of the Times" - "In the Wednesday December 5th, 2007 issue of the New York Times appeared a story by Felicity Barringer titled “Precipitation Across U.S. Intensifies Over 50 Years.” In it, Ms. Barringer reports on a new study released by an organization called Environment America that she described as “a national group that advocates new laws and policies to mitigate the effects of climate change.” (WCR)

"Noted US Forecasters See 7 Hurricanes Next Year" - "MIAMI - The noted Colorado State University hurricane research team predicted on Friday that 13 tropical storms will develop in the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season, of which seven would strengthen into hurricanes." (Reuters)

"New Research May Lead To Better Climate Models For Global Warming, El Nino" - "One hundred fifty scientists from more than 40 universities in nine countries are starting a coordinated program aimed at gaining new insights about the Earth's climate and the complex, interconnected system involving the oceans, the atmosphere and the land. The program will study the southeastern Pacific Ocean, the marine area off South America's west coast - a region where the interplay among low clouds, strong low-level winds, coastal ocean currents, surfacing of deep water, the Andes Mountains, aerosols and other factors shape the regional climate and affect global weather in ways that are poorly understood." (SPX)

Granted, it's hard to see how they could make the models any worse.

Oh... "Scientists: Seaweed Could Stem Warming" - "Slimy, green and unsightly, seaweed and algae are among the humblest of plants. A group of scientists at a climate conference in Bali say they could also be a potent weapon against global warming, capable of sucking damaging carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere at rates comparable to the mightiest rain forests." (Associated Press)

... it's not "damaging carbon dioxide", at least as far as the biosphere is concerned, it's the essential trace gas supporting it.

"Al Gore is criticised for lining his own pockets after £3,300-per-minute green speech" - "Al Gore has come under fire for making personal gain from his mission to save the planet – after charging £3,300 a minute to deliver a poorly received speech.

The former American Vice-President was also accused of being "precious" at the London event, demanding his own VIP room and ejecting journalists, despite hopes the star-studded gathering would generate publicity for the fight against global warming." (Daily Mail)

"Gore Takes Train From Oslo Airport, Luggage Takes Mercedes" - "Friday's adoring Associated Press piece concerning Nobel Laureate Al Gore's noble decision to take the train from the Oslo airport rather than the traditional motorcade to his hotel neglected something else besides the huge amount of carbon dioxide being emitted by the Global Warmingist-in-Chief: his luggage!

After all, Gore and wife Tipper aren't going to wear the same clothes this entire trip they wore on the plane, right?

So, where was all their baggage as the couple took the train?

Well, according to the Norwegian website VG Nett, Gore's luggage went by Mercedes van." (NewsBusters)

Dream: "Eco-protest 'to swamp London'" - "Activists are hoping to bring central London to a standstill on Saturday with what is being billed as Britain's biggest climate-change march.

The campaigners will call on ministers to impose tough rules on carbon emissions by law.

Organisers say they hope up to 40,000 people could attend the rally.

"Last year we attracted 35,000 people and we hope this will be bigger," said Phil Thornhill of the Campaign Against Climate Change, which is organising the event." (Evening News)

Reality: "London, Stockholm climate marchers demand action" - "LONDON, Dec 8 - Several thousand climate campaigners marched through London and Stockholm on Saturday calling on governments around the world to take urgent action to tackle global warming." (Reuters)

Complete with media spin: In "biting cold", disappointing attendance at London global warming protest (Tom Nelson)

Wonder if residents of central United States are particularly worried about gorebull warming right now?  "Ice storm grounds flights" - "An ice storm slickened roads and sidewalks, grounded hundreds of flights, and cut power to tens of thousands in a swath across the central United States as even colder weather threatened.

The wintry weather was expected to continue through midweek and ice storm warnings stretched from Texas to Pennsylvania." (AP)

"Is global warming just the latest Salem witch hunt?" - "The advent of a new ice age, scientists say, appears to be guaranteed. The devastation will be astonishing." — Gregg Easterbrook in Newsweek, Nov. 23, 1992

Global warming skeptics look on in wonder and amazement at the daily barrage of environmental doom and gloom featured in these pages and elsewhere. How is it possible that so many people — journalists, scientists and politicians alike — could be so gullible? History and sociology may prove instructive.

In 1691, a phenomenon sociologists call a "collective delusion" swept the enclave of Salem Village, Mass. As a consequence of social paranoia, hundreds of people were accused of practicing witchcraft, and perhaps two dozen lost their lives. Of course, we enlightened moderns would never succumb to superstition and mass hysteria.

Or would we? According to sociologists Robert Bartholomew and Erich Goode, collective delusions have taken place with surprising frequency, and the phenomenon's long and shameful history includes several episodes from the recent past. A relic of the Dark Ages it is not. In fact, global warming could be described as a collective delusion, a modern equivalent to the Salem witch hunt." (Charles Davenport Jr., News & Record)

Nota bene: "Real Action on Climate Change" - "I caught a snippet of a speech at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Bali, long enough to hear the speaker say: “We need real action.” Real action. Not promises, not hopes for new technologies, not high-minded rhetoric, but action.

When I was in Japan last month, I saw real action in action. After a day of meetings at the Foreign Ministry, a young diplomat escorted me to the entrance just after 5:00. We walked through a darkened hallway; I assumed that we were in a part of the building under renovation. Not so – my guide explained to me that all non-essential lights were turned off “to save energy and the environment.” We came to the elevator bank, where 5-6 people were waiting in front of an elevator even though the elevator next to it was there and empty. I gestured toward it, and my guide again explained that after 5:00 only one elevator ran – the others were blocked." (Anne-Marie Slaughter, New York Times)

Isn't it interesting that 'real action' always involves reducing your standard of living, convenience and access to energy?

Really concerned about flying and emissions: "Google founder weds girlfriend on Branson's Caribbean island in web of secrecy" - "Google co-founder Larry Page has married his girlfriend on Sir Richard Branson's Necker Island in a secret ceremony.

And more than 600 guests attend the nuptials, including U2 frontman Bono, Bill and Hillary Clinton and a host of fellow computing and technology billionaires.

An insider said: "They rented all of Virgin Gorda. They took over the island. "Boats and ferries for hundreds of guests were ordered to ship them from Little Dix Bay to the ceremony."

Another source said that Page is also providing private planes to fly in guests from around the globe. "Planes left from all over," said the insider." (Daily Mail)

"Polars bears on the brink? Don't you believe it" - "With the clamour over global warming, it has become a magnet for an army of environmentalists and climatologists who have given Churchill an air of impending doom." (Daily Mail)

Getting to the stage of throwing in every panic measure: "Greenland Ice Could be Next Puzzle for UN Panel" - "BALI, Indonesia - A thaw of Greenland ice that could raise world sea levels may be the next puzzle for the UN climate panel that won the Nobel Peace Prize, a senior member of the group said." (Reuters)

"Southern Hemisphere Ice Cover Remains Well Above Normal" - "Southern Hemisphere’s ice cover now is at the same level as last June, i.e., a level seen during the last winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Besides, there are two more millions square kilometers of ice now compared to December 2006. And the large positive anomaly has persisted since September.

Icecap note: In the Northern Hemisphere, the ice and snow cover have recovered to within 1% (one snowstorm) of normal with the official start of winter still more than 12 days away." (Alexandre Aguiar, MetSul Weather Center, Brazil -- via Icecap)

Perhaps... "Families and firms warned of rising temperatures" - "Climate change is already hitting the UK, with temperatures in central England rising by around 1C since the 1970s thanks in part to human activity, a government- funded report has warned." (The Guardian)

... or not. You see the differences between contemporary and previous highs are truly trivial (and likely from urbanization, but never mind that). If they want to cherry pick dates for their time series here's some that arrive at a rather different conclusion. Nothing interesting in the England & Wales Precipitation series, either.

"Why the Himalayas might not look like this for much longer" - "China's economic growth, underpinned by a lack of political accountability, will have a devastating environmental impact." (Will Hutton, The Observer)

Hug a Himalaya? Doesn't have the same kind of personal appeal that tree hugging thing, does it?

Oh boy... "Forests Could Cool or Cook the Planet" - "BROOKLIN, Canada - A two-degree Celsius rise in global temperatures could flip the Amazon forest from being the Earth's vital air conditioner to a flamethrower that cooks the planet, warns a new report released at the climate talks in Bali, Indonesia Friday." (IPS)

... now we're supposed to be afraid of trees, too? Have we really gone from 'hug a tree' to 'get the trees before they get us'?

"Amazon still faces threats old and new" - "MANAUS, Brazil—In the 1980s, scientists sounded the alarm: The Amazon was burning and would be gone by the end of the century.

Two decades later, the dire predictions have not come to pass. (Associated Press)

Right... "Giant tulip may save nation" - "THE Netherlands wants to redraw the map of Europe - literally. Dubai has built Palm Island. Now the world leaders in land reclamation are considering an island in the shape of a tulip to fight overcrowding and shield the coastline from the rising sea." (Reuters))

"Dissenters Are Left High And Dry In Bali" - "While global warming alarmists revel in self-importance at their 11-day forum in Bali, dissenting scientists are being shut out and credible charges are leveled that the U.N. has doctored sea-level data." (IBD)

"Out On A Limb - The 2007 Bali Climate Declaration By Scientists" - "A number of climate scientists have elected to take an advocacy position on policy actions with respect to climate change. It is titled the 2007 Bali Climate Declaration by Scientists." (Climate Science)

The BS is really flying: "UN Climate Chief Says Science Clear, Move On" - "OSLO - The science on climate change is indisputable so the world must now act to limit greenhouse gas emissions or face "abrupt and irreversible" change, the head of the Nobel prize-winning UN climate panel said on Sunday." (Reuters)

"Climate talks run into carbon conundrum" - "Bicycles, a solar taxi, recycled garbage and even tie-less meetings to help reduce air-conditioning costs -- you name it, the world climate forum is using every trick in the green book to reduce its own contribution to global warming.

But even these and other thoughtful tricks to scale back greenhouse gas emissions will not help the December 3-14 marathon on climate change avoid a horrible fact: it's going to generate carbon. Lots of it.

According to the organisers, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks on the Indonesian resort island of Bali will result in an average "carbon footprint" of 4.7 tonnes per person of carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal greenhouse gas." (AFP)

"Breakthrough sought at global climate talks" - "Climate change campaigners called Sunday for greater effort in the fight against global warming, saying the world was waiting for a crunch UN conference in Bali to produce a breakthrough.

Prominent figures including Nobel-winning former US vice president Al Gore and UN chief Ban Ki-moon are due to arrive on the Indonesian resport island in the coming days as the climate change summit enters its crucial final week." (AFP)

"Carbon stand-off puts climate talks at risk" - "Environment ministers from more than 180 countries were arriving in Bali this weekend for a second week of climate change talks as a stand-off emerged between the main negotiating blocs.

The UN-sponsored talks are a vital first stage in drawing up a new agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions after the Kyoto protocol expires in 2012.

But Europe and America are at loggerheads over carbon trading, China and India disagree with both Europe and America over making any cuts in their soaring carbon emissions and the US is flatly refusing to contemplate initiatives that could help Russia become a superpower once again." (Jonathan Leake, Sunday Times)

"U.S. ‘Not Ready’ to Commit at Bali" - "The United States will come up with its own plan to cut global-warming gases by mid-2008 and won’t commit to mandatory caps at the U.N. climate conference." (AP)

"Baird says no climate deal without U.S." - "BALI, Indonesia — Canada's environment minister has dismissed the notion of signing a climate-change treaty without the United States, saying it would handicap the economy without reversing greenhouse gases.

As the world gathers in Bali to work toward a successor treaty to the Kyoto accord, the Americans are already making it clear they will not submit to binding emissions targets.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, John Baird said Canada hopes to reach a deal within two years but only if it applies targets for the first time to all major polluters." (Canadian Press)

Rudderless On Climate Change - “G’Day!” Well, I didn’t quite expect the new man in charge of Oz, Prime Minster Kevin Rudd, to be brought down from his climate-change cloud cuckoo-land quite so abruptly. He appears to have about-turned as fast as Skippy facing a pack of hunters: ‘Kevin Rudd recoils from climate change pledge’ (Herald Sun, December 7):" (Global Warming Politics)

"Rudd pledges leadership on climate change" - "PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd says he is determined to show leadership on climate change, but will not be setting emissions targets without careful consideration.

Mr Rudd goes to the Indonesian island of Bali tomorrow for a UN climate change conference, and he is hoping for a new agreement once the Kyoto Protocol commitment period ends in 2012.

In Brisbane today, Mr Rudd denied the conference would be a failure if no agreement was reached on emission targets, and said Australia was a leader on climate change despite the government not setting any targets." (AAP)

"Australia says poor nations must help stop climate change" - "NUSA DUA, Indonesia - Both rich and poor nations must commit to slashing greenhouse gas emissions if the world wants to solve global warming, Australia's trade minister said Saturday at a landmark climate change summit." (AFP)

Imagine that... "Rich-poor divide on climate costs" - "A DRAFT road map for a new global climate change deal after 2012 has revealed key divisions between rich and poor countries over who should bear the cost of making deep cuts in greenhouse emissions." (The Australian)

Wonderfully schizophrenic coverage from the MSM, although the above piece does acknowledge the real world situation that someone has to "bear the cost" if stupid enough to make deep emission cuts. This indeed is where gorebull warming costs lie rather than the absurd hysteria that a less-cold world would be more costly.

"India, China team up to tackle West bullying" - "NEW DELHI: India and China along with other G-77 countries have in the past two days begun a strong campaign against the pressure mounted at Bali by the industrialised countries to trash the existing global climate change treaty called the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

If the industrialised countries have their way, it could see India taking on greenhouse gas emissions which it contends would slow down the country's economic growth.

"While they (industrialised countries) speak in general terms of a future treaty, we are sceptical that what they intend is to throw the existing treaty into the bin and throw up fresh principles that would end up demanding cuts from India," a senior Indian delegate said.

The principle of equity and differentiated responsibility is enshrined in the existing treaty. De-jargonised it implies that the rich countries, which historically have emitted more than 70% of the greenhouse gases since the beginning of the industrial age, should undertake cuts." (TNN)

"All nations 'need emission goals'" - "Developing countries will need targets for greenhouse gas emissions, Britain's Trade and Development Minister Gareth Thomas has said.

Rich nations had to lead emissions cuts, he said, but developing countries such as China should have targets too." (BBC)

"Climate Talks Moving Toward No Rules for China, India" - "Dec. 7 -- China, India and other developing countries probably won't be required to take on legally binding commitments to cut their greenhouse-gas emissions under a new climate-change treaty, a United Nations official said today.

``The debate about binding commitments for developing countries is not off the table, but it's crawling towards the edge,'' said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is overseeing the negotiations." (Bloomberg)

"Warming and the Right" - "Jim Manzi, a longtime software executive, says that economically speaking, carbon taxes could be worse than global warming itself." (New York Times)

"UK's official CO2 figures an illusion - study" - "Britain is responsible for hundreds of millions more tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions than official figures admit, according to a new report that undermines UK claims to lead the world on action against global warming." (The Guardian)

"UK's greenhouse gas emissions 'up by a fifth'" - "Britain's emissions of greenhouse gases have risen by nearly a fifth over the past two decades, rather than falling as the Government claims, a new report has revealed.

The United Nations leaves out aviation, shipping and the carbon content of imports when it adds up greenhouse gas emissions, according to experts from Oxford University.

If these factors are included, it is claimed, Britons' lifestyles have a much greater effect upon the climate than the modest decline in emissions recorded by the Government.

The report says the implications are stark. Britain has not yet - as ministers claim - broken the link between economic growth and emissions." (London Telegraph)

"EU Ups Slovakia CO2 Limit, Lawsuit May be Dropped" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission said on Friday it had increased Slovakia's carbon emissions limit for 2008-2012 by 1.7 million tonnes, prompting Bratislava to consider dropping a lawsuit against Brussels over the case." (Reuters)

Scammers' prayer: "Carbon Traders Bet on Bali Climate Talks' Success" - "NUSA DUA, Indonesia - Traders are already betting on a new global climate deal to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, as talks in Bali on Friday inched towards a two-year negotiating agenda for an expanded global climate pact.

Financiers are buying rights to emit planet-warming greenhouses gases after present Kyoto commitments expire in 2012, hoping that countries will agree new, tougher emissions limits -- and drive demand for such permits.

"It's a great bet," said one trader attending the talks on the tropical Indonesian island. The new, more speculative offsets came at a substantial discount, the trader, who declined to be named, added." (Reuters)

Rudd awakening looms: "Kyoto turnaround 'worth billions'" - "Australian clean energy businesses are leaving the embarrassment of the past behind as they prepare to inject an additional $A20 billion into new projects over the next decade, following the Rudd government's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

Until now, the Australian renewable energy industry has lagged the rest of the developed world, and even some developing countries like China and India, due to a lack of political will and regulatory support.

But the cloud has been lifted.

"Australia's back in the game," Clean Energy Council head Dominique La Fontaine has said at a UN climate change conference in Bali, which new Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will attend with five senior ministers this week.

"Europe, the US and even China have all been booming and Australia's been lagging, but were going to see massive growth now as we play catch-up." (Brisbane Times)

"China Chemical Plant Reaps "Green" UN Profit" - "CHANGSHU, China - 3F is one of China's top chemical firms with a plant outside the city of Changshu, which translates as constant harvest, that sends ingredients for everything from aerosols to fire-extinguishers around the world.

But the financial harvest the plant is reaping from its smallest, shiniest unit comes not from making a chemical, but destroying one." (Reuters)

"China Expects US$1.5 Billion for Climate Fund by 2012" - "BEIJING - China expects to raise US$1.5 billion by 2012 from a levy on sales of carbon credits, which it will channel into a government fund to raise awareness of climate change and cut emissions, the head of the fund said." (Reuters)

Malthusian nitwits pop up at every excuse, don't they? "Baby tax needed to save planet, claims expert" - "A WEST Australian medical expert wants families to pay a $5000-plus "baby levy" at birth and an annual carbon tax of up to $800 a child." (The Advertiser)

"Nations bicker in Bali over "green" goods trade" - "JIMBARAN, Indonesia - Rich and poor countries failed on Sunday to agree on a plan to open up trade in green goods, with Brazil fearing a major U.S.-EU proposal raised on the fringes of climate talks in Bali was a protectionist ruse.

At the end of two days of talks involving officials from 32 nations, including 12 trade ministers, a final news conference descended into farce as Brazil and the United States swapped recriminations." (Reuters)

"A Low-Carbon Diet From Fossil Fools" - "The House and Senate have put a lot of energy into legislation that develops no new energy. The only thing it'll produce is higher prices for everything we eat and make." (IBD)

"US Senate Blocks Speedy Vote on House Energy Bill" - "WASHINGTON - A sweeping energy bill that would boost fuel mileage for cars stalled in the US Senate on Friday as Republicans objected to new taxes and regulations on industry, but an aide said Democrats would modify the bill." (Reuters)

"CAFE hike: The fine print" - "If the 30 years of experience proves anything, it is that the House’s increase in fuel economy standards (this time by 40 percent) won’t make a dent in global temperatures or oil dependence. But the fact that so-called CAFÉ is a textbook case of bad liberal public policy and unintended consequences is widely known. Once Democrats took over Congress, the question was not whether CAFÉ – but what it would look like.

Underreported is the fact that the new mandate looks quite a bit different than the old, 1970-era mandate. Specifically, it protects Detroit automakers by making the 35 mpg mandate an “industry-wide” average rather than a “manufacturer fleet” average." (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

"EU may go easier on CO2 curbs for big cars -paper" - "FRANKFURT, Dec 8 - The European Commission may shift the burden of cutting average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions more onto small cars than heavier and more powerful models, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported.

The paper, which quoted an internal EU paper, said on Saturday the Commission was requiring manufacturers of the smaller models to cut CO2 emissions at a higher rate in order for the bloc to achieve its average target by 2012.

The plan, if implemented, could benefit German car makers like BMW, Mercedes and Porsche known for their power and high speed." (Reuters)

"Barroso Seeks to End EU Row Over Car Emissions" - "BRUSSELS - European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has stepped in to try to resolve a row between industry and environment commissioners over fining carmakers who fail to meet EU pollution limits." (Reuters)

"Oil-Rich Nations Use More Energy, Cutting Exports" - "Several nations that are large suppliers may start importing oil within a decade, adding strains to the global market." (New York Times)

"Adventures in African Agriculture: Chinese Farmers Risk All, European Biofuel Barons Risk All of Africa" - "The contrast could not be sharper and more revealing." (China Confidential)

"Civil Rights Leader Slams Biofuel Mandates" - "Roy Innis says the US Congressional Black Caucus is shortchanging poor and minority energy consumers by backing questionable corn-based ethanol and other controversial biofuels at the expense of the nation's traditional energy industry. Innis is national chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, one of America's oldest and most respected civil rights groups." (China Confidential)

Freddy's catching on, a little -- Kyoto causes problems: "Biofuels - a solution worse than the problem?" - "Are biofuels turning into the Frankenstein's monster of climate change? Will this apparently clever solution to the fossil fuel problem end up being worse that the original problem? I fear so.

The check list of problems raised by the current boom in growing corn and palm oil, sugar cane and rape seed, for biofuels is growing impressively long.

It turns out that growing corn in the American Midwest takes about as much energy - for making fertilisers and processing the crop - as is saved by replacing petrol on the forecourt. And there is worse.

I was on the Indonesian island of Sumatra a couple of weeks ago, watching them drain peat bogs and clear rainforest so they can grow more palm oil for us to burn in our car engines.

Trashing rainforests is bad enough. But peat bogs are the accumulated, unrotted remains of thousands of years of forest growth. Draining them causes all that concentrated carbon to oxidise, releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the air.

Bog boffins I spoke to - like Jack Rieley at the University of Nottingham - say the drained bogs will release 30 times more carbon dioxide than will ever be recouped by burning the palm oil back in Europe.

This is madness. Sheer madness. It is also a perverse incentive created by the Kyoto Protocol, which measures the emissions cuts from car engines in Europe, but not the bog emissions in Indonesia." (Fred Pearce, London Telegraph)

If Freddy ever really catches on and realizes that carbon dioxide is strictly an imaginary problem we imaging he's going to be quite upset. Fervent worshippers of such false gods as gorebull warming can get pretty testy when eventually enlightened.

"The Power Grid Game: Choose a Catastrophe" - "Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York wants to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant. But doing so raises some vexing questions. (New York Times)

"Giant offshore wind farms to supply half of UK power" - "Britain is to launch a huge expansion of offshore wind-power with plans for thousands of turbines in the North Sea, Irish Sea and around the coast of Scotland." (Jonathan Leake, Sunday Times)

"Efforts to Harvest Ocean’s Energy Open New Debate Front" - "In the coastal Northwest, the dispute over plans to use waves to generate electricity has become intense before the first megawatt has been transmitted to shore." (New York Times)

More Bis-A nonsense: "Canadian Retailer Bans Some Plastic Bottles" - "A line of water bottles that had become a symbol of environmental responsibility has been removed from the shelves of Canada’s leading outdoor gear retailer over concerns about a chemical used in its manufacture." (New York Times)

"Our healthiest weight is not what we think" - "It is increasingly evidenced in the medical literature that being ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ offer a survival advantage for seniors and that “encouraging weight loss at older ages can even have an adverse effect, resulting in shorter life span,” said researchers at the Center for Population Health and Aging at Duke University at Durham, North Carolina. A new study sought to look more closely at this and how disability might impact mortality at various sizes." (Junkfood Science)

"Electronic health records — we have ways of making you...." - "When HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was passed in 1996, outlining how government and healthcare providers can use our personal health information without our consent, most of us didn't hear of the ramifications. As the government works to create a national electronic health information network (NHIN) and enact policies for how the government and third party interests can collect, use and sell our personal health information without our consent, few of us are hearing of those ramifications, either. This week brought major developments in the government’s push for a national health information database that we will want to hear about. It’s been a busy week!" (Junkfood Science)

"What is the greatest risk factor for mobility limitations as we age?" - "It is widely reported that obesity is the biggest risk factor for disability as we age. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society examined this hypothesis. The findings were not what some might have anticipated. Since this study didn’t make the news, let’s take a look." (Junkfood Science)

"EU Caught in Quandary Over GMO Animal Feed Imports" - "BRUSSELS - Europe faces a stark choice between empty supermarket shelves or feeding its animals so long as it keeps up a slow rate of approving new genetically modified (GMO) crops suitable for feed use, industry sources warn." (Reuters)

December 7, 2007

"The Greenest Hypocrites of 2007" - "Green has traditionally been the color of the deadly sin of envy. But this year, a trendy upstart mounted a serious challenge to envy’s claim." (Steve Milloy, FoxNews.com)

'Science In A Postmodern World' - Extract: ... Moreover, this works both ways. The grand narrative of ‘global warming’ has sucked in, and garnered in, scientists through its unquestioned power. The best defence against the ‘global warming’ grand narrative has accordingly itself to be postmodern in character, namely: political; economic; myth-making; but, above all, about alternative languages, about competing words of power. Scientific argument alone will not suffice to overthrow the social bond. We must create an alternative social bond, one that is just as powerful, but for growth, for development, for the poor, for trade, for cautious science, and for optimism.

Language is everything. One mythical phrase employed by one clever media outlet can overthrow the whole edifice of science at the press of a computer key.

Hence this web site; hence why the BBC’s Environment Correspondent, Richard Black, was wrong when he argued (November 16) that we ‘sceptics’ should get back into the science in order to fight (“So that is point one of my plan; scientifically credible sceptics need to get back inside the institutions of science”).

In the postmodern world, the precise opposite is true. The battle ground is the social bond, not science. That is where I am fighting.

And, paradoxically, and perhaps amusingly, this is something that ‘global warming’ scientists are about to learn to their cost at Bali, where a different, but equally powerful grand narrative from the developing world, could well topple the ‘global warming’ grand narrative of a rich and ecochondriac North. (Global Warming Politics)

"EU 'wasting' cash on lobby groups" - "The European Commission is giving millions of pounds of taxpayers' money to environmental campaigners to run lobbying operations in Brussels, the BBC has learned.

Among the organisations to benefit is Friends of the Earth Europe (FoE), which received almost half of its funding from the EU in 2007." (BBC)

"Let’s ditch this ‘nostalgia for mud’" - "While subsistence life is hopelessly romanticised in the West, it is the city that has become a symbol of hope for millions of Ghanaians." (Rob Harris, sp!ked)

"Andrew Bolt: Welcome to my nightmare" - "NUCLEAR winter, mega-famines, global cooling, acid rain, bird flu, death by fluoride, Chernobyl. I've seen it all and nothing scares me now.

I can't remember exactly what I wrote that was so evil. So much to choose from.

Was it that I refused to be freaked by this latest panic attack that global warming was blasting in and . . . Oh, God, WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!

Or was it that I wouldn't listen to that frenzy of activists insisting the genetically modified canola oil I use to fry my chops would nuke us all into an explosion of pustulating tumours?

Anyway, one young reader was furious that I'd yet again stood snobbily apart, while his mob ululated warnings of some fresh horror.

"You'd be on your own," he sneered in an angry email.

True enough, my young critic, I do often feel lonely in this astonishing age when to panic is a sign of virtue and to reason a sign of a cold heart.

But you know my problem?" (Herald Sun)

"Drought-breaker La Nina kicks in" - "THE drought-breaking La Nina weather pattern has finally kicked in, bringing flooding rains along the eastern coast and filling the tributaries that feed into the dying Murray-Darling river system." (The Australian)

Oh boy... "Climate change is about to come home to roost" - "Whatever you think of it, there's no question that global warming has been making a lot of news lately. Just this year, thousands of scientists working with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change surveyed a vast body of science literature and concluded that there was a 90 percent probability that humans were a major cause of global warming.

Then there is the report on “National Security and the Threat of Climate Change” written by a who's who of former military brass. For them, global warming – in my view, more properly called “global instability” – is a “threat multiplier” poised to fire up the terrorists when droughts, spreading disease and extreme heat further destabilize already unstable Third World governments. The military leaders warn that our current problems with illegal immigration are only going to get worse as people flee deteriorating conditions at home.

Business interests have also caught on since many industries – particularly insurance firms – have made forecasting climate change a big deal. You know climate change is real when companies start throwing bundles of cash at predicting it." (Richard Norris, Union-Tribune)

... we've been warning for a decade that cooling is the thing to worry about and it is beginning to look unfortunately like we are going to get a demonstration of that. Oh well, we'll just have to muddle through as best we can, as always. To return to the above piece, you have to wonder how anyone can draw so many invalid conclusions. The alleged authorities exist purely to promote global warming -- it's their raison d'être. And businesses haven't "caught on" but are striking defensive or exploitative positions due to distortions introduced by gorebull warming hysteria. Governments and pressure groups have been throwing billions into this particular propaganda exercise since the '80s but that hasn't made the alleged problem any more real.

"RSS MSU: November 2007 was the coldest month since January 2000" - "RSS MSU satellite data for the lower troposphere show that November 2007 was the coldest month since January 2000. Other major teams that measure the global mean temperature have not yet published their November data.

The temperature anomaly was -0.014 °C. It means that the whole month was actually cooler than the the average recorded November. It was the first month in this century that was cooler than average." (The Reference Frame)

Beyond Global Warming - Noted climate scientist Roger Pielke Sr. rejects the notion that elevated CO2 levels are the sole culprits of climate change. (EcoWorld)

"USHCN National Weather Station Quality Plot" - "One of the criticisms heard against the surfacestations.org project is that there had been “cherry picking” going on in the selections of stations to survey, and that the project wasn’t reaching a wide area. In this first map of it’s kind, one can clearly see the how the quality distribution of the 460 out of 1221 stations surveyed so far looks. The results clearly show that the majority of USHCN stations surveyed have compromised measurement environments. The question then is this; have these mircosite biases been adequately accounted for in the surface temperature record?

As you can see below, there appears to be some clustering near population areas, and some east coast/west coast volume bias. There are sparse areas in the midwest that I hope can be surveyed soon. The thing that really stands out though is that there are few sites that are CRN1/2 and many more that are CRN 3/4/5. This speaks to the concerns that our measurement network is broadly affected by microsite biases and urbanization encroachment." (Watts Up With That?)

Really? "British Climate Impact Report Sets Scene For Future" - "LONDON - Land and sea temperatures around Britain have risen sharply under the influence of climate change and more is on the way, a government report said on Friday.

The Central England land temperature -- the national benchmark -- has risen by one degree Celsius since the 1970s." (Reuters)

And why choose "since the 1970s" unless cherry picking the coolest period in the last 100-odd years? And this last year was a dud, wasn't it? Coolest summer in about 15 years, eh?

"It is All in the Timing – Another Cherry Picking Data Study" - "A new study funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and conducted by the Vermont Public Research and Education Fund purports to show increased extreme precipitation events—rain and snow—in the United States over the last 59 years, perhaps linked to global warming. It has gained a lot of attention in the states where frequency of such events is reported to have increased substantially, including Vermont, with news stories noting that it was reviewed by two climate scientists, Kenneth Kunkel of the Illinois State Water Survey, and David Easterling of the U.S. Climatic Data Center." (Joseph D’Aleo, CCM)

"Dishonest political tampering with the science on global warming" - "As a contributor to the IPCC's 2007 report, I share the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. Yet I and many of my peers in the British House of Lords - through our hereditary element the most independent-minded of lawmakers - profoundly disagree on fundamental scientific grounds with both the IPCC and my co-laureate's alarmist movie An Inconvenient Truth, which won this year's Oscar for Best Sci-Fi Comedy Horror.

Two detailed investigations by Committees of the House confirm that the IPCC has deliberately, persistently and prodigiously exaggerated not only the effect of greenhouse gases on temperature but also the environmental consequences of warmer weather." (Christopher Monckton, Jakarta Post)

"Politics Posing as Science: A Preliminary Assessment of the IPCC’s Latest Climate Change Report" - "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) new Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of its Synthesis Report (SR) should be taken with several chunks of salt. The summary itself is a political document that downplays assessments of uncertainty from the scientific reports written by the main body of the IPCC, which themselves are far more subjective than the IPCC would have one believe. Equally important, both the IPCC’s summaries and main reports omit much contrary evidence. In several cases, the SR disagrees with the reports on which it is based, and it fails to take account of cautionary publications in the scientific literature that were available early enough to have been incorporated into the SR. Climate change and climate policy are key issues for future human welfare, but that concern should translate into sober analysis and actions that are likely to do more good than harm. The people of the world should not let themselves be steamrolled by a report that reflects the IPCC’s interest in promoting climate change fears, rather than in conveying the weight of the scientific evidence." (Steven F. Hayward, Kenneth P. Green, and Joel Schwartz, AEI)

Reality is causing our naïf a few problems already: "Kevin Rudd recoils from climate change pledge" - "PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd last night did an about-face on deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, days after Australia's delegation backed the plan at the climate talks in Bali.

A government representative at the talks this week said Australia backed a 25-40 per cent cut on 1990 emission levels by 2020.

But after warnings it would lead to huge rises in electricity prices, Mr Rudd said the Government would not support the target.

The repudiation of the delegate's position represents the first stumble by the new Government's in its approach to climate change." (Herald Sun) | Just warming up, but Rudd already feels Bali heat (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Road to Bali" - "The fate of the Earth hangs in the balance in Bali, but the issue is not whether humanity will succumb to a "climate crisis," or how the international community might craft a successor to the tattered Kyoto Accord (Let's call it KyoTwo). The real theme of this United Nations gabfest -- like that of its 12 predecessors, and of the hundreds, if not thousands, of related meetings --is whether globalization and trade liberalization will be allowed to continue, with a corresponding increase in wealth, health and welfare, or whether the authoritarian enemies of freedom (who rarely if ever recognize themselves as such) will succeed in using environmental hysteria to undermine capitalism and increase their Majesterium. Any successor to Kyoto will be rooted in hobbling rich economies, increasing the poor world's resentment, unleashing environmental trade warfare, and blanketing the globe with rules and regulations that benefit only rulers and regulators. Bali is not about climate; it symbolizes the continued assault on freedom by those who seek -- or pander to -- political power under the guise of concern for humanity." (Peter Foster, Financial Post)

As dumb as it gets? "Bali Conference: Diplomats warned that climate change is security issue, not a green dilemma" - "Foreign policy-makers are waking up to the impact of climate change on conflict zones worldwide, and will add their voice to those calling on governments at the UN conference in Bali to act urgently.

An internal presentation to senior diplomats at the Foreign Office listed every recent, serious breakdown of civil order around the world and mapped it against those countries hardest hit by climate change. The fit was almost perfect. One of the diplomats present said there was an "audible intake of breath" from the audience when the slide was shown.

As the scientific debate has been unequivocally settled by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this year, it has become increasingly apparent that its effects will have major implications for foreign policy. (London Independent)

So, what makes regions exceptionally vulnerable to stresses like changes in local climate? Well, political instability and the resultant lack of infrastructure, poverty, famine and lack of health care spring to mind. And mapping these regions of greater vulnerability happens to significantly overlap plots of conflict (also known as political instability)? How amazing is that? We'd hope that foreign policy wonks and wallahs would be able to figure that out but...

Then there's the mythical "scientific debate has been unequivocally settled by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change". Not sure whether that's The Indy's wishful thinking or part of the organized propaganda but it's laughable just the same.

But, but, the greens promised you'd be stupid enough to pay us not to develop: "Indonesia says West stingy" - "INDONESIA has struck out at developed countries for presenting "empty propaganda" during climate change negotiations in Bali and stalling proposals to pay to protect the world's forests.

The head of the Indonesian delegation, Emil Salim, launched the attack yesterday, when Indonesia released its proposal to reduce its emissions from forestry, which account for about 8 per cent of the world's greenhouse emissions.

"When it comes to the negotiating table here in Bali, they only come with promises," Mr Salim said. "When it comes to the negotiating table here in Bali, developed countries are stingy.

"Where are you?" Mr Salim asked of Australia, the United States and Britain." (Sydney Morning Herald)

Nope! "US Farms Could Earn $4 to $6 Billion/Year For CO2 - CCX" - "NEW YORK - US farmers could earn $4 to $6 billion annually by selling carbon credits -- if prices for greenhouse gas reductions in the states catch up to what they sell for in Europe, an official at a voluntary climate market said on Thursday." (Reuters)

Market's already vastly oversupplied:

No? Duh! "Japan Sees CO2 Credit Supply Far Outweighing Demand" - "TOKYO - Tradable surplus allowances for greenhouse gas emissions between 2008 and 2012 under the Kyoto Protocol will likely far outweigh demand by industrialised countries, a Japanese study shows, a finding that could dim the long-term outlook for emissions credits markets." (Reuters)

"China, U.S. Spar at Climate Talks" - "The U.S. and China, long at odds over protecting intellectual property, are facing off in a new arena at the U.N. conference on climate change in Bali, Indonesia.

China wants developed nations like the U.S. to share cutting-edge renewable-energy technology with the developing world at reduced costs, in order to help poor nations cut their dependence on fossil fuels.

But the idea is generating tensions with U.S. officials, because American companies don't want to sell this new technology at cut-rate prices. The officials also worry that innovative technologies could be illegally copied if they are deployed in China.

As the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, both China and the U.S. loom large on this Indonesian resort island where government delegates from nearly 200 countries have gathered to begin hammering out a global climate pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012." (Wall Street Journal)

"India, China may win battle for climate fund" - "NEW DELHI: India and China are close to bringing a half-dead idea — an international fund to help developing and poor countries adapt to climate change — back to life.

The two emerging economies, along with other developing and poor nations, have forced the agenda onto the table at the UN global meet on climate change in Bali." (Times of India)

<chuckle> "Blame climate change on China?" - "When the UK’s carbon emissions include imports from China, the average UK citizen’s carbon footprint increases by 10% according to new research released today, by the World Development Movement.

A World Development Movement report, released in Bali, rejects the ‘blame China for climate change’ culture and reveals a new and more accurate picture of the UK’s responsibility for climate change by accounting for the carbon emissions caused by our massive consumption of products from overseas.

The report also shows that when global trade is taken into account, the average UK citizen is responsible for four times the emissions of an average person in China." (WDM)

I love these imaginative gotta-be-the-west's-fault pieces. So, China's emissions for and on behalf of others don't count? Let's see... Australia is a whopping exporter of coal, iron ore, bauxite, steel, aluminum, grains, meat, fruit, dairy, natural gas, wool, textiles, cotton, citrus, timber... you get the picture. Those Aussies are absolute carbon angels then, eh? After all, the majority of their emissions are on world consumer's behalf so they should have loads of carbon credits to flog the world.

Then there's the US, the world's economic engine still, all that activity on the world's behalf should make them carbon credit holders of the first order, too! :-)

"A tussle over link of warming, disease: Scientists' debate on climate could influence policies" - "WASHINGTON - As world leaders meet in Bali this week to find new ways to battle global warming, some of the nation's top climate change scientists yesterday argued that there's little concrete evidence connecting global warming to the spread of infectious diseases, while others said the link is crystal clear.

The debate before an Institute of Medicine panel on global health, occurring less than a mile from the US Capitol building, was far from an academic exercise. A similar review in 2001, which found little conclusive data that climate change is adversely affecting human health, was among the arguments the Environmental Protection Agency used in denying states the ability to curb emissions from new motor vehicles." (Boston Globe)

Someone still listens to Pauley Epstein? Go figure...

"Climate Change Pressure on US" - "American climate negotiators refused to back down in their opposition to mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas emissions Thursday, even as a U.S. Senate panel endorsed sharp reductions in pollution blamed for global warming." (AP)

Atmospheric carbon dioxide is an essential trace gas, it is not "pollution". CO2 underpins the biosphere and without it all higher life forms on this planet will die. Not just people but all the big-eyed, fur-bearing poster critters of enviro-campaign fame, too.

"Intellectual Property Rights Stripped to Stop Global Warming?" - "Capitalist democracies around the world should be very concerned about the level of socialism being discussed at the United Nations' climate change meeting in Bali.

Not only are international hands being extended to collect funds from countries like the United States in order to help poorer nations deal with a problem that might actually be disappearing since global temperatures peaked in 1998, but climate change is also being used as a means of stripping intellectual property rights from companies that have created new more eco-friendly energy technologies.

If such a power-grab for the so-called benefit of the downtrodden actually comes to pass, capitalism as we know it will cease to exist." (News Busters)

"US Invites Big Economies to Hawaii Climate Talks" - "NUSA DUA, Indonesia - The United States has invited major economies to Hawaii next month for a new round of talks about setting goals to curb greenhouse gas emissions, a senior US official said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Environment Agency: £1bn for flood defences" - "The vulnerability of crucial public services such as power and water plants as well as road and rail links were exposed by last summer's floods, a new report claims.

It was vital that action was taken to protect key installations if Britain is to deal with extraordinary weather events brought by climate change such as the devastating floods." (London Telegraph)

That they need to look after their infrastructure is certainly true, although the populist concept of "climate change" is irrelevant.

"Ireland Goes Green With Light Bulb Rules, Car Tax" - "DUBLIN - Ireland will ban traditional light bulbs in favour of energy-saving alternatives from 2009 and penalise high-emission vehicles from July 2008, Environment Minister John Gormley said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"'Green jobs' to outweigh losses from climate change" - "NUSA DUA, Indonesia – Climate change is creating millions of “green jobs” in sectors from solar power to biofuels that will slightly exceed layoffs elsewhere in the economy, a U.N. report said on Thursday.

Union experts at U.N. climate talks in Bali, Indonesia, said the findings might ease worries among many workers that tougher environmental standards could mean an overall loss of jobs for many countries." (Reuters)

But who wants to be a mud brick maker or a treadle pump operator? We use energy to release people from menial tasks and there's no way people want to go back to them.

"Storm 2006 linked to global warming?" - "EL PASO -- Results of a new study suggest global warming may have been responsible for Storm 2006. Some experts believe that and some do not." (KVIA)

"Global Warming Saps Hurricane Strength*" - "In June, as the 2007 hurricane season began, the predictions were dire. There were to be 16 named storms. Nine hurricanes. Five “intense hurricanes.” A 74 percent-chance of a storm hitting the U.S. coastline — all above the historical average. And numerous news stories cited Global Warming as the culprit for what was about to happen.

Hurricane season just ended over the weekend. The results? There have been six hurricanes (the historic average), two of them “intense hurricanes” (below average). Not one hit the United States (below average). Floridian business owners are so upset over the inaccurate forecasts that they are considering a lawsuit. Not only has “hurricane hype” cut back on their tourism industry, it has also sent their insurance rates skyrocketing." (David Freddoso, NRO)

* Read all of the article!

"White House Says Will Veto US House Energy Bill" - "WASHINGTON - The White House said on Thursday it would veto a House energy bill that would require the first congressionally-mandated increase in US car and truck fuel efficiency standards in over three decades." (Reuters)

"Nuclear energy key to India's role in climate change: US" - "WASHINGTON: As the world discusses a new agreement to fight global warming, the US says nuclear energy will be a "key piece of the equation" for the future of India's contribution to adjusting climate change." (IANS)

"Cattle Fed Byproducts Of Ethanol Production Harbor Dangerous E. Coli Bacteria" - "Ethanol plants and livestock producers have created a symbiotic relationship. Cattle producers feed their livestock distiller's grains, a byproduct of the ethanol distilling process, giving ethanol producers have an added source of income.

But recent research at Kansas State University has found that cattle fed distiller's grain have an increased prevalence of E. coli 0157 in their hindgut. This particular type of E. coli is present in healthy cattle but poses a health risk to humans, who can acquire it through undercooked meat, raw dairy products and produce contaminated with cattle manure." (ScienceDaily)

"Homeopathic remedies 'put lives at risk'" - "The Government's chief scientific adviser gave warning yesterday that people who use homeopathic medicines could be putting their lives at risk.

Sir David King said homeopathy was of no medical use whatsoever and that those who trusted it to cure serious health problems could be causing themselves more harm than good.

He also told MPs that the Department of Health was wrong to support the use of the alternative medicine and said there was no evidence that it worked.

Sir David, who was speaking to MPs on the innovation, universities and skills select committee, said: "There is not one jot of evidence supporting the notion that homeopathic medicines are of any assistance whatsoever." (London Telegraph)

Oh... "Controversial chemical found in infant formula" - "First it was in plastic baby bottles. Now, it's in the baby formula itself.

New research from a U.S. environmental group reveals the potentially carcinogenic chemical bisphenol A is in the lining of most cans of liquid baby formula and often leaches into the liquid at what they say are dangerous levels for babies.

"Because they eat so much relative to their small size, their exposure is intense," said Sonya Lunder, lead researcher on bisphenol A for the Environmental Working Group, a research agency based in Washington. "We can't use endocrine-disrupting chemicals in a baby's first food. The formula companies need to take action." (Toronto Star)

... EWG again. Actually there is nothing controversial about bis-A and the endocrine disrupter farce is nothing but a neo-Luddite's wet dream. EWG? Sheesh!

"International edition of Skeptic’s Circle" - "The 75th Anniversary edition of Skeptics’ Circle has just been released from Copenhagen, Denmark, with host Kristjan Wager. This issue brings an interesting diversity of articles from skeptics around the world." (Junkfood Science)

"Botox for teens?" - "Insecurities and self-consciousness have always been parts of adolescence, but another story, this one from Australia, reveals that younger and younger girls are being bombarded with images leaving them more anxious than ever about their bodies and going to new extremes to fit in. The article in The Australian News opens with a portrayal of Lily, an active and healthy six year old who wouldn’t go swimming for fear everyone would laugh at her and say she was fat." (Junkfood Science)

"Brown’s got a brand new bag" - "The UK prime minister’s latest ‘big idea’ is to get rid of plastic carrier bags - the petty contemporary symbol of human wastefulness." (Angus Kennedy, sp!ked)

"France Suspends Commercial GMO Seed Use, Studies Safety" - "PARIS - France formally suspended on Thursday the commercial use of genetically modified (GMO) seeds in the country until early February and ordered a biotech safety study." (Reuters)

"Germany Ends Ban on Monsanto GMO Maize Type" - "HAMBURG - A temporary sales ban on US biotech giant Monsanto Co.'s genetically modified (GMO) MON810 maize was lifted after the company agreed to extra crop monitoring in Germany, German authorities said on Thursday." (Reuters)

December 6, 2007

No! NO! NO! "Ray of hope: Can the sun save us from global warming?" - "Could the Sun's inactivity save us from global warming? David Whitehouse explains why solar disempower may be the key to combating climate change." (London Independent)

There is no 'catastrophic warming' for a solar minimum to 'save' us from and the trivial amount of warming from enhanced greenhouse will not be anything like sufficient to protect us from the downside of a quiescent sun. Cooling is inevitable and it is something to worry about, unlike gorebull warming.

In ways not well understood solar changes are amplified in our climate -- Sol has been active and the planet has warmed a little but that appears to be over. Now Sol is going quiet and that could result in our cooling far more than will be comfortable trying to feed our now-larger population.

PREDICTION: reduced solar activity will result in oceanic cooling and increased absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Rate of increase will fall, possibly even go negative and carbon scammers will claim this as evidence of the success of the UNFCCC & IPCC, regardless of most parties' failure to implement any of the self-destructive actions required under various iterations of The Protocols.

PROMISE: carbon scammers will need to hang on to their ill-gotten gains because JunkScience.com is investigating ways of suing the "global warming" and carbon reduction industry collectively and individually for crop losses, hunger, storm damage, disease and loss of life in a cooler world. From offsetters to junket bunnies, we intend to nail all the frauds' hides to the wall -- but not until we've made sure they haven't kept one thin dime extracted from politicians and a frightened public through this absurd scare.

"Stuck on Coal, and Stuck for Words in a High-Tech World" - "Human progress, Loren Eiseley wrote in 1954, has largely been a climb up “the heat ladder” from one energy source to the next. Each has been more convenient or potent or economical than the last. No one lugs firewood to warm a high-rise apartment building in Chicago.

But the climb has stalled. The potential of the atom has been sharply limited by safety and security questions and fusion’s persistent hurdles. Sunlight, identified as far back as Thomas Edison’s time as the ultimate energy source, is still costly to transform into electricity on a large scale.

As a result, 21st-century civilization is still stuck on a 19th-century rung — the coal step on that heat ladder — while two billion people in Africa and other struggling regions still cook meals on smoldering dung and sticks, with a million-plus dying young each year from lung ailments as a result. Many in such places would love nothing more than a lump of coal.

And now science says we can’t afford to stay where we are much longer.

The huge projected expansion in coal burning over the next few decades, mainly in China and India but also in the United States and parts of Europe, will (without new technology) produce a buildup of long-lived carbon dioxide sufficient to warm the atmosphere, erode ice sheets and raise and acidify seas for many centuries. (Burning oil matters too, of course, but that is seen as a more tractable issue by many experts.)

It’s no wonder that scientists immersed for decades in this problem are running out of metaphors in pressing the public to act — whether the choice is a surge of research on nonpolluting energy technologies, a rising “tipping fee” for continued greenhouse-gas emissions, or a combination of these and other steps." (Andy Revkin, New York Times)

Andy is partly right, energy-starved third worlders would (and will) love nothing better than cheap, abundant coal-fired electricity. The problem with the piece stems from the totally-wrong idea that atmospheric carbon dioxide presents a problem that must be addressed. This is true only in the virtual world of Play Station® Climatology and has exactly no bearing on the real world. The real motivation for many in the global warming industry has always been the suppression of human activity and the global warming scare represents their greatest success, far greater than their anti-nuclear activities.

In their own words:

"Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialised civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?" -- Maurice Strong, head of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and Executive Officer for Reform in the Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations.

A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-development means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.” -- Paul Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich, “Population, Resources, Environment” (W.H. Freeman, San Francisco, 1970, 323)

"If you ask me, it'd be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it. We ought to be looking for energy sources that are adequate for our needs, but that won't give us the excesses of concentrated energy with which we could do mischief to the earth or to each other." -- Amory Lovins, The Mother Earth - Plowboy Interview, Nov/Dec 1977, p. 22

"Giving society cheap, abundant energy ... would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun." -- Paul Ehrlich, "An Ecologist's Perspective on Nuclear Power", May/June 1978 issue of Federation of American Scientists Public Issue Report

"We can't let other countries have the same number of cars, the same industrialization, we have in the U.S. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are." -- Michael Oppenheimer. Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton University. He joined the Princeton faculty after more than two decades with Environmental Defense, is a long-time participant in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), serving most recently as a lead author of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report.

"We've already had too much economic growth in the US. Economic growth in rich countries like ours is the disease, not the cure." -- Ehrlich again.

"The planet is about to break out with fever, indeed it may already have, and we [human beings] are the disease. We should be at war with ourselves and our lifestyles." -- Thomas Lovejoy, assistant secretary to the Smithsonian Institution.

"The only real good technology is no technology at all. Technology is taxation without representation, imposed by our elitist species (man) upon the rest of the natural world." -- John Shuttleworth, FoE manual writer.

"People are the cause of all the problems; we have too many of them; we need to get rid of some of them, and this (ban of DDT) is as good a way as any." Charles Wurster, Environmental Defense Fund.

"We can and should seize upon the energy crisis as a good excuse and great opportunity for making some very fundamental changes that we should be making anyhow for other reasons." -- Russell Train (EPA Administrator at the time, and soon thereafter became head of the World Wildlife Fund), Science 184 p. 1050, 7 June 1974

The world has a cancer, and that cancer is man. -- Alan Gregg, former longtime official of the Rockerfeller Foundation

Man is always and everywhere a blight on the landscape. -- John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club

Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental. -- Dave Forman, Earth First! and Sierra Club director (1995-1997)

Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs. -- John Davis, editor of Earth First! journal

These people aren't trying to 'save' you, they devote their effort to making sure your lives are brutish and short.

"IPCC Falsifies Sea Level Data" - "The IPCC falsified data showing a sea level rise from 1992-2002 according to Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, former head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden. In an interview by George Murphy, Morner cites various examples of falsification of evidence claiming sea level rises." (ReasonMcLucus)

"Like it or not, uncertainty and climate change go hand in hand" - "Seattle - Despite decades of ever more-exacting science projecting Earth's warming climate, there remains large uncertainty about just how much warming will actually occur. (ENN)

Actually, we don't even have a standard definition of what we are talking about when discussing global mean temperature, nor any standard means of attempting to derive it.

"Science reading for Bali's beach" - "As this week's Bali climate circus gets underway, the science of climate change has long been left behind, presumably "settled" in thousands of pages of reports produced over the past year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The proof is solid, they say, and the risks are real. There's nothing left to do but get on with the business of controlling carbon emissions.

But as we've shown on this page in the past, the IPCC -- a United Nations bureaucracy that literally dictates the world view on climate change--may not be the most reliable or trustworthy of agencies. It is, above all, a government-controlled body with a political mission that IPCC officials pursue with religious and dogmatic fervour. The IPCC distorts, exaggerates and manipulates its science, producing conclusions that are aimed at generating a political response and raising public awareness.

To doubt IPCC science is considered sacrilegious. We are required to "believe" anthropomorphic climate change is real, or otherwise face ridicule. For scientists, it can mean excommunication." (Terence Corcoran, Financial Post)

"Contaminated data: Hot cities, not CO2, cause urban thermometers to rise" - "Below is the famous graph of "global average surface temperature," or "global temperature" for short. The data come from thermometers around the world, but between the thermometer readings and the final, famous, warming ramp, a lot of statistical modelling aims at removing known sources of exaggeration in the warming trend. In a new article just published in the Journal of Geophysical Research -- Atmospheres, a co-author and I have concluded that the manipulations for the steep post-1980 period are inadequate, and the above graph is an exaggeration. Along the way, I have also found that the United Nations agency promoting the global temperature graph has made false claims about the quality of its data." (Ross McKitrick, Financial Post)

The Wrong Wolf Story - Today, we have a confusion of wolves. I should like you to read carefully an interesting piece from the Commentariat, one by Martin Wolf writing in the Financial Times (December 4): ‘Why the climate change wolf is so hard to kill off’:

“The point of the story of the boy who cried wolf is that, finally, a wolf did appear. I feel the same way about the intellectual heirs of Thomas Malthus. Malthusians have finally found a wolf called climate change.”

But have they? Or, more importantly, is it the wrong wolf? Most certainly, Malthusians and Neo-Malthusians have been crying wolf for over 200 years, and with lots of different wolves too (especially population-control wolves, which are frequently disguised in sheep’s clothing). What commentators like Mr. Wolf (this is getting confusing) fail to grasp, however, is that an economic wolf may have eaten up granny well before Little Green Riding Hood comes along with her ‘global warming’ organic basket. In other words, Mr. Wolf fails to ask (which is a tad surprising in the FT): “Are the proposed economic remedy wolves much worse than any computer games-generated ‘global warming’ wolf?”

Overall, therefore, I found Mr. Wolf’s piece somewhat frustrating, because it is, at one and the same time, both realistic and totally unrealistic, although I think he does capture well the dilemma of those who fear a ‘climate-change wolf’, but who understand the nature of ‘global warming’ politics. (Global Warming Politics)

Desperately trying to lock in income streams: "Scientists: 'No Time to Lose' Against Climate Change" - "WASHINGTON — For the first time, more than 200 of the world's leading climate scientists, losing their patience, urged government leaders to take radical action to slow global warming because "there is no time to lose."

A petition from at least 215 climate scientists calls for the world to cut in half greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It is directed at a conference of diplomats meeting in Bali, Indonesia, to negotiate the next global warming treaty. (Associated Press)

"Luxury For Them, Serfdom For You" - "15,000 politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, activists, journalists and other assorted celebrities, hangers-on and others have descended on Nusa Dua, Bali in Indonesia to discuss global warming." (Blue Crab Boulevard)

"Bali Climate Talks Throw Focus On Kyoto Offsets" - "NUSA DUA - Rich nations have less than a month to go before they must start meeting emissions caps under the Kyoto Protocol that aims to fight global warming.

Yet 16 of the 36 industrialised nations bound by Kyoto limits are over their targets set for 2008-2012 and may have to buy carbon offsets to meet these, drawing criticism at a UN meeting in Bali.

"There's this quite strong feeling (among poorer countries) that a number of commitments in those areas, commitments from the past, have not been met and will be conveniently forgotten when we switch to a new agenda item called the future," said Yvo de Boer, the UN's head of climate change." (Reuters)

"Saving Rainforests A Thorny Issue At Bali Talks" - "NUSA DUA - Protecting tropical rainforests, which soak up vast amounts of greenhouse gases, is proving a real headache at UN-led climate talks in Bali, where delegates are trying to sort out a pay-and-preserve scheme." (Reuters)

"Time for change? Climate conference should find new song" - "Another U.N. conference began Monday in Bali to contrive another worldwide governmental “solution” for global warming. Beware when government wants to help. Be frightened when it’s a bunch of governments. Most will assume as true the fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scare story that human-induced global warming is a certainty and poses catastrophic consequences — unless governments do something.

Never mind that the IPCC watered down its even scarier previous report from 2001. Instead of computer predictions of 35-inch sea-level rises, the latest report says only 17 inches. Rather than 2.5 to 10.4-degree temperature increases, computers now say 3.2 to 7.2 degrees.

Never mind the report is compiled by government-appointed editors. And governments never have an agenda, right? Never mind as IPCC predictions have gotten less scary, rhetoric has gotten more so. And never mind that Draconian Kyoto Protocol Treaty mandates to drastically reduce greenhouse gases have failed. In fact, expect more stringent, economy-retarding mandates from Bali." (The Gazette)

"Green Activists Fear Countries May Be Losing Zeal for Kyoto" - "Environmental activists at the U.N. climate conference in Bali are characterizing the United States as "isolated" over its continuing rejection of the Kyoto Protocol, yet at the same time, there are signs that other key countries may be losing enthusiasm." (Patrick Goodenough, CNSNews.com)

"Japan proposal stirs environmentalist ire at Bali; 'Trying to please U.S.?'" - "BALI, Indonesia: In an opening gambit, Japan has proposed that the Bali climate conference pursue a broad "least common denominator" approach to negotiating new controls on global-warming gases. Environmentalists couldn't think less of it.

The proposal says nothing about making future targets for emission reductions legally binding — the principle underlying the current Kyoto Protocol.

"Is Japan scrapping the Kyoto Protocol on its 10th birthday?" asked Japanese environmentalist Kyoko Kawasaka. A Canadian colleague spoke of a "plot" by Japan and the United States to block a new Kyoto-style global agreement." (Associated Press)

"Son of Kyoto" - "There is a growing consensus that the Kyoto environmental accord has failed. Regardless of whether one agrees with its underlying premise that man-made CO2 is putting our climate at risk, it is hard to dispute that the treaty's command-and-control emissions targets and its overreliance on just a few countries to make the bulk of the cuts has been a recipe for failure. When the deal runs out in four years, world carbon emissions will be at least 20% higher than they were in the accord's baseline year of 1990.

The UN is hosting a major conference this week and next in Bali, Indonesia, to negotiate a successor agreement to Kyoto. What lessons have the delegates drawn from the first treaty's flaws? None, apparently. If anything, their proposals for a Kyoto II suggest an accord that would be worse than the original." (National Post)

The Manchurian PM? "Rudd backs deep cuts by 2020" - "THE Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, signalled his support for developed countries, including Australia, agreeing to making deep cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions in the next 12 years.

In a significant move last night the Australian delegation to the UN climate talks stated it "fully supports" the proposal that developed countries need to cut their greenhouse gas emission by 25 to 40 per cent by 2020.

Mr Rudd told the Herald on Monday he wanted to be able to act as a bridge between the developed and developing nations at the Bali talks. But China, Indonesia, India and most of the poorer nations speaking at the Bali conference yesterday made their views clear that rich countries, including Australia, must commit to deep cuts to their greenhouse gases within 12 years, by 2020 and keep the model of the Kyoto Protocol in the new climate agreement.

"It is a successful model and we should persist with it," the Chinese delegate told the talks." (Sydney Morning Herald)

Yeah, very successful... for China. In whose interests is Rudd acting anyway? He does appear determined to sell out Australia's national interests and he's in a hurry to do it.

"China's desert is shrinking: government" - "China's desert area is shrinking as a result of years of forest restoration efforts, but it still accounts for more than a quarter of the country's territory, the government said Tuesday.

Desertified area decreases by 1,283 square kilometres (510 square miles) a year now, compared with an annual expansion of 3,436 square kilometres in the late 1990s, said Zhu Lieke, vice minister of the State Forestry Administration." (AFP)

Another way China is warming the northern hemisphere, by reducing planetary albedo and polluting the temperate zone with forests.

"Global warming" suppresses 'flu? "Study Shows Why the Flu Likes Winter" - "Researchers believe the flu virus is more stable and stays in the air longer when air is cold and dry." (Gina Kolata, New York Times)

"Climate change could mean more massive downpours" - "That sump pump you rented to suck out the standing water in your basement? You might want to ask Santa to leave you one under the tree this year. Record-setting storms like the one Sunday and Monday that flooded the Northwest could become more of the norm as climate change skews our region's rainfall patterns and leads to more of these massive deluges as compared to the typical drizzle.

It's not guaranteed, but scientists said that multiple computer climate models predict an increased likelihood of more rain -- and more episodes of heavier rainfall -- in fall and winter, less in the summer." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

"Not guaranteed", now there's an understatement.

"Another Day, another California Global Warming Scare" - "An editorial in today's Sacramento Bee tells Californians to expect their great-grandchildren to be submerged by sea level rise due to human greenhouse-gas emissions:" (Joel Schwartz, Planet Gore)

"Global warming melting Arctic Ice: Manipulation of public perceptions" - "Exploitation of fear by environmental groups was explained well in Crichton’s book, State of Fear. He could also have written a book titled, State of Knowledge. Most people know very little about the natural world and how it works. This lack of knowledge is easily exploited and coupled with fear makes it an even more powerful manipulative tool. The idea that knowledge is power isn’t new, but that is the positive side. Lack of knowledge is the negative side and makes you very vulnerable. As Derek Bok said, “If you think education is expensive - try ignorance.” Ignorance allows presentation of natural events as unnatural or normal events as abnormal." (Dr. Tim Ball, CFP)

AP recycling hysterical garbage: "Global warming already threatening world's plants and animals" - "BALI, Indonesia — More than 3,000 flying foxes dropped dead, falling from trees in Australia. Giant squid migrated north to commercial fishing grounds off California, gobbling anchovy and hake. Butterflies have gone extinct in the Alps.

While humans debate at U.N. climate change talks in Bali, global warming is already wreaking havoc with nature. Most plants and animals are affected, and the change is occurring too quickly for them to evolve.

"A hell of a lot of species are in big trouble," said Stephen E. Williams, the director of the Centre for Tropical Biodiversity & Climate Change at James Cook University in Australia." (Associated Press)

This flying fox thing is getting a lot of undeserved attention with the gorebull warming thing so we'd better remind people that Australia is a harsh land of extremes. Heat and drought kill off millions of Australian critters in every ENSO cycle. For example kangaroos have evolved to exploit the occasional plenty following flooding rains by being perpetually pregnant (does are unique in that they can suspend fetal development until it rains, that barely developed fetus will soon migrate to the pouch and attach to a nipple for further fully-supported development while the doe mates again and she can have 3 joeys on the go within months of the rains). Of course, six years out of seven there are no flooding rains and 30-50 million boom-time bouncers will starve or die of thirst, leaving only a nucleus population in pockets of relative plenty to kick the next cycle off again. Sometimes local heatwaves create unlivable conditions and colonies of bats, billabongs of fish, flocks of birds and whole lists of indigenous critters die. That's Australia and so it has been for a very long time.

What has been the effect of "climate change" on Australia? It has become slightly wetter during the 20th Century. And that major city water restriction thing? The entirely predictable result of utterly stupid greenie appeasement as we failed to keep water storage development in line with massively urbanizing Australian populations. Someone is surprised that trebling city and urban populations while not adding any storage capacity over four decades resulted in storages not being sufficient between rainy periods? Oh puh-lease! Development and carbon dioxide aren't problems, greenies are.

"Eco-friendly kangaroo farts could help global warming: scientists" - "SYDNEY - Australian scientists are trying to give kangaroo-style stomachs to cattle and sheep in a bid to cut the emission of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, researchers say.

Thanks to special bacteria in their stomachs, kangaroo flatulence contains no methane and scientists want to transfer that bacteria to cattle and sheep who emit large quantities of the harmful gas.

While the usual image of greenhouse gas pollution is a billowing smokestack pushing out carbon dioxide, livestock passing wind contribute a surprisingly high percentage of total emissions in some countries." (AFP)

Wouldn't help to point out that methane has returned to atmospheric equilibrium (neither rising nor falling), we suppose? Never mind...

"We would be fools to banish global business from the great climate battle" - "Capitalism alone won't save the planet, but it has a critical, innovative role to play. The alternative is to rely on a revolution." (Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian)

And businesses are fools if they join the 'battle' against the phantom menace.

"Crossing a Threshold on Energy Legislation" - "Congress is poised to act on the first bill to increase vehicle fuel efficiency significantly since 1975 and on the first economywide bill to address global warming since scientists raised the alarm in the late 1980s." (New York Times)

"Committee Mark-Up Exposes Serious Flaws in Lieberman-Warner Bill" - "WASHINGTON, DC - Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today commented on the Committee’s passage of Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2007, S. 2191.

“For the first time in history, a fatally flawed global warming cap-and-trade bill was passed out of committee,” Senator Inhofe said. “Not only is the entire cap-and-trade approach fatally flawed, but the Lieberman-Warner bill failed to improve today, as Democrat amendments were added. Instead of engaging in substantive debate, the Democrats’ chose to simply reject all serious efforts to mitigate the unintended consequences of this bill and ensure adequate future energy supplies for this nation.

“The rejection of key amendments has guaranteed an enormous floor fight as many major issues were side-stepped. While the vote today was never in question, it did provide an opportunity for Republicans to expose the serious deficiencies of this bill. The full Senate now needs to look at a cost-benefit analysis of this bill. It is simply all economic pain for no climate gain. Numerous analyses have placed the costs at trillions of dollars. Even if you accept the dire claims of man-made global warming, this bill would not have a measurable impact on the climate." (EPW)

"Let's Play the Carbon Money-Go-Round" - "As the Senate EPW Committee marks up the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act today, kudos is due to Sen. Kit Bond (R.-Missouri) for drawing up a chart that explains just how complex the system is. It makes Hillarycare look like the model of simplicity by comparison." (Iain Murray, NRO)

"Miles to Go" - "How many vehicles actually meet Speaker Pelosi’s 35-mpg fuel-economy standard?" (Marlo Lewis, NRO)

"Bad CAFE brew" - Imagine if Congress mandated a “tree economy standard” for newspapers requiring them to decrease their newsprint by 40 percent by 2020 in order to save trees, fight global warming, and force readers to use “alternatives” like the Internet. The industry might protest that many readers still prefer the print edition and that it would unfairly benefit TV and Internet at a time when newspapers are struggling.

Clearly, the news media couldn’t imagine such absurd legislation applied to themselves – yet they have consistently aided Washington’s push for similar “fuel economy standards” on the auto industry." (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

"Solar power? Just pave over 11 states" - "As government steps in to dictate energy choices – rather than markets - the inevitable jockeying for the spoils has begun among various special interest players." (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

"Moratorium on thermal power stations will lead to rotating blackouts" - "The moratorium on the building of thermal power stations announced by the Government this week will lead to rotating blackouts. This is the view of Auckland energy consultant, Bryan Leyland, who is also chair of the economic panel of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition." (New Zealand Climate Science Coalition)

"Germany Outlines Laws On Reducing CO2 Emissions" - "BERLIN - Germany outlined a legislation package on Wednesday aimed at reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, but environmental groups said it shirked problems with its record on climate protection." (Reuters)

"France Starts Car CO2 Penalty System" - "PARIS - France on Wednesday started a system of CO2 penalties and discounts on the price of new cars in a bid to boost sales of vehicles with low greenhouse gas emissions.

The Ministry of Ecology said the penalties range from 200 to 2,600 euros (US$3,826) for more polluting passenger cars and the discounts from 200 to 5,000 euros for cleaner cars." (ReutersO

"Fuel poverty will hit 500,000 households" - "Analysts have warned that householders' energy bills may soar by up to a fifth in the New Year as suppliers pass on a rise in wholesale gas prices. Russian firm Gazprom, which is responsible for supplying a quarter of Europe's gas, said that it expects suppliers to raise charges by February 2008.

Karen Darby from SimplySwitch, the price comparison and switching service, said: "Wholesale prices have been creeping up for some time now and several analysts are predicting gas bills to rise by at least 15 per cent.

"Almost three quarters of UK homes are connected to the gas mains, so this will affect millions of people directly. However, it's not just gas bills that are likely to soar. With 40 per cent of the UK's electricity generated by burning gas, a rise in wholesale gas prices means that electricity bills will rise too." (Swindon Advertiser)

"Malaria Making a Comeback" - "The voice override of the public service announcement implies mosquito netting should be placed over all of Africa. The announcement is addressing the principal means for the prevention of malaria on the continent most affected with the disease." (E. Ralph Hostetter, NewsMax)

"Scientists strike blow in superbugs struggle" - "Scientists from The University of Manchester have pioneered new ways of tweaking the molecular structure of antibiotics – an innovation that could be crucial in the fight against powerful super bugs." (University of Manchester)

"Organic food not all it's cracked up to be" - "Go ahead, tear up your Sierra Club membership. Grocery shopping is the new environmentalism. Every trip to the supermarket is yet another chance to prove your environmentalist credentials. Gone are the days when grocery stores were merely purveyors of bland commercialism at cutthroat prices. Today, hypermarkets are on the frontline in the crusade to save the planet.

How do grocery stores plan on saving the earth, you ask? Through the divine power of the new Holy Trinity: organic, fair trade and local products. Advocates claim that this trio is capable of halting climate change, ending the obesity epidemic and eradicating poverty. Those are momentous claims. If only they were true." (Matteo Jensen, Daily Utah Chronicle)

"Reality check — Saving mothers’ lives" - "The new government report on maternal deaths in Britain from 2003 to 2005, “Saving Mothers’ Lives,” has just been released. It is an intense and heartbreaking look at the suffering that nearly 300 women of childbearing age endured before they died. Although not all of the findings are grievous, the documentation and disturbing case histories in this investigation point to real needs for improving maternity care.

What has been appalling is the media coverage. It is difficult to imagine how it’s possible to read the 296-page report and arrive at such portrayals. Before we look at the report’s other findings, it’s important to address what’s most on the minds of millions of women around the world frightened by the headlines." (Junkfood Science)

"Province set to ban trans fats in schools" - "Legislation aims to cut amount of junk food consumed by students amid obesity crisis." (Toronto Star)

"Abolish thick sliced bread!" - "The award for the most inane government initiative being debated by politicians to address the “obesity epidemic” goes to the House of Lords. Thick bread slices, they believe, contribute to obesity. A Baroness has actually proposed mandating thinner sliced bread to trim waistlines." (Junkfood Science)

"I’ll have a double espresso" - "How often have we secretly feared that our love of Italian espresso might give us a heart attack? Leave it to Italian cardiologists to get to the bottom of this!" (Junkfood Science)

"Chief scientist attacks health reporting by Today and Daily Mail" - "The government's chief scientific adviser criticised the BBC's Today programme and the Daily Mail yesterday over what he called their "campaigns" against GM food and the MMR vaccine. Sir David King said Britain's failure to adopt GM crops had cost the economy between £2bn and £4bn and that falling measles vaccination rates as a result of negative publicity about MMR would lead to between 50 and 100 child deaths." (James Randerson, The Guardian)

"Frankenstein food beats starvation" - "AS we eat our chips, hamburgers and milkshakes for lunch today, let's put the debate about genetically modified food into perspective. We eat food laden in fats and preservatives largely without debate or complaint. Yet the prospect of producing GM foods that could be drought resistant, grown without being heavily treated with pesticide and made more nutritious has caused a huge outcry. (The Australian)

December 5, 2007

Thomas Sowell's Random Thoughts -- "Now that the British television documentary, 'The Great Global Warming Swindle' is available on DVD, will those schools that forced their students to watch Al Gore's movie, 'An Inconvenient Truth" also show them the other side? Ask them."(Townhall.com)

Send your local school a copy of The Great Global Warming Swindle.

So, it's all Al's fault: "Your Computer is Causing Global Warming" - "Did you know that you're causing global warming just by reading this article on your computer screen?

Or that a medium-sized server has the same annual carbon footprint of an SUV that gets 15 miles to the gallon?

Well, shame on you for not being aware of just how harmful to the environment your laptop is, because according to an English environmental organization called Global Action Plan, the Information and Computer Technology industry is about to surpass the aviation industry in annual carbon dioxide emissions.

I kid you not." (News Busters)

If Al hadn't invented the internet then you lot wouldn't be spending all that energy on 'puters and browsing and we'd have "saved" the equivalent of the airline industry's emissions. Lucky some dill is offsetting this site's emissions to you can graze JunkScience.com with the moral glow of carbon neutrality :-D

"The Science of Gore's Nobel" - "What if everyone believes in global warmism only because everyone believes in global warmism?" (Holman W. Jenkins Jr., Wall Street Journal)

This nonsense, again: "Islanders seek climate summit help" - "KILU, Papua New Guinea -- Squealing pigs lit out for the bush and Filomena Taroa herded the grandkids to higher ground last week when the sea rolled in deeper than anyone had ever seen.

What was happening? "I don't know," the sturdy, barefoot grandmother told a visitor. "I'd never experienced it before."

As scientists warn of rising seas from global warming, more and more reports are coming in from villages like this one on Papua New Guinea's New Britain island of flooding from unprecedented high tides. It's happening not only to low-lying atolls, but to shorelines from Alaska to India." (AP)

The islands are sinking due to tectonic activity and associated volcanism because the Pacific Plate is sliding into the Bismarck and Solomon Plates, some of the islands in the associated Duke of York group are sinking 30 centimetres (11.8 inches) a year. This has nothing to do with global mean surface temperature or gorebull warming.

"Kansas Climate Profile" - "Summary for Policy Makers

On October 18, 2007, The Kansas Department of Health and Environment rejected a request to build two new 700-megawatt coal-fired electricity generating power plants, citing concerns over the contribution of the proposed plants’ carbon dioxide emissions to climate change and “the potential harm to our environment and health.”

In making this finding, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment had to ignore all of the known climate history of the state of Kansas, established climate science as well as the climate model projections for the future climate of the state of Kansas. Both observations and projections clearly demonstrate that:

  • Kansans have neither experienced nor are predicted to experience negative effects from climate variations and trends
  • There have been no overall changes in temperatures during the past 75 years
  • Total precipitation has increased slightly, making more water available for all to use
  • The frequency and severity of drought has decreased
  • Kansan’s sensitivity to heat-waves has declined
  • The number of severe storms, such as tornadoes is relatively unchanged
  • “Tropical” diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, or West Nile Virus have been erroneously predicted to spread due to global warming
  • Future projections indicate that Kansas will be less impacted by rising global temperatures than any other state in the country

China alone opens a new coal-fired plant every 4 - 7 days, any Kansas-derived “savings” of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere will be made up in a matter of days, effectively exporting emissions and jobs overseas.

These facts make it inconceivable that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment would, on spurious grounds of “climate change,” deny the application to add more generating power aimed towards reducing the cost and insuring an abundant future supply of electricity, prosperity and general well-being to Kansans." (Robert Ferguson, SPPI)

"How not to measure temperature, part 43" - "Continuing our tour of California climate monitoring stations, we visit the Portola train yard, where they not only switch freight, but measure the temperature too. This station is # 04-7085 and is part of the COOP climate monitoring network operated by the NWS.

The wealth of roadbed ballast gravel and vehicles makes this location almost an urban setting." (Watts Up With That?)

"Model Simulations Of the Summer Weather Over The USA and Mexico - Implications For Dynamic Downscaling Using Regional Climate Models" - "Two papers appeared recently that evaluate in depth the ability of regional models to skillfully simulate and predict weather patterns on a seasonal timescale. These two very important papers are:" (Climate Science)

"Carbon Footprints Along The Road To Bali" - "As the U.S. shows economic growth and greenhouse gas reductions are not mutually exclusive, greenies convene in a tropical paradise to write Kyoto II. How much carbon did they emit to get there?" (IBD)

"Skeptics Denied Press Credentials at UN Climate Meeting in Bali" - "Want more proof of just how biased the United Nations is?

A group of reporters representing the conservative newspaper Environment & Climate News were refused press credentials to attend the U.N.'s climate change meeting in Bali this week." (News Busters)

The Battle Of Bali Begins - The Battle of Bali is underway, as The Times of India (December 4) reports: ‘India teams up with China, Pak[istan] at climate change meet’:

“At Bali ... battling for its right to development, India has found its best friends across the borders - China and Pakistan.”

Long-standing political problems are clearly being laid aside to oppose the blandishments of the bullying Neo-Colonial North:

So, anybody expecting India and China to play differently were disappointed - through the day there was a frantic to-ing and fro-ing between the officials to make sure the two countries were on the same page. (Global Warming Politics)

"Squabbling slows Bali climate change conference" - "NUSA DUA, Indonesia -- A 190-nation climate meeting in Bali took small steps towards a new global deal to fight global warming by 2009 on Tuesday amid disputes about how far China and India should curb rising greenhouse gas emissions." (Reuters)

D'oh! "China's draft energy law to up reserves, boost controls; scant mention of climate change" - "SHANGHAI, China: China has released a draft of a long-awaited energy law that calls for the country to keep larger reserves of oil, uranium and other key resources and to set up a new government department.

But the draft law makes scant mention of measures needed to counter soaring emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global climate change." (Associated Press)

"China urges major powers to cut CO2 by 25-40%" - "An unofficial document prepared by China demands that leading industrialized nations significantly cut their greenhouse gas emissions as part of an international framework on ways to reduce such emissions after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012, The Yomiuri Shimbun learned Monday.

According to the document, compiled in preparation for the 13th session of the Conference of the Parties to Climate Change Convention (COP13), which opened Monday on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, China has demanded that in 2020, the world's major industrialized countries increase the level of emission cuts to between 25 percent and 40 precent of 1990 levels." (Yomiuri Shimbun)

"Coal clouds over climate change talks" - "SINGAPORE - As industrialists, environmentalists and government officials open discussions in Bali, Indonesia, about the importance of combating global climate change, there is still clearly a long way to go before the rhetoric translates into substantial change in carbon-intensive energy consumption patterns.

Underlining the gap between the environmental talk and commercial action is Asia's increasing reliance on coal to fuel large electricity generation expansion plans. Coal combustion

power generation is by far the largest volume emitter of carbon dioxide per megawatt (mw) of any fossil fuel - much higher than both natural gas and oil. Yet it is coal that is increasingly being turned to for base load power generation in most major Asian power systems, particularly in Southeast Asia." (Asia Times)

"India to gain as Australia signs Kyoto pact" - "NEW DELHI: Australia's move to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on Monday would augur well for Indian industry and, at best, would push its case in global negotiations.

"It will be to India's advantage. Australia will have to meet reduction targets. They will want to offset some of these targets by buying carbon credits. India Inc will be only too happy to find another market for its growing carbon supply," an official told TOI from Bali." (Times of India)

"Countries split over stance on emission goals" - "CONCERNS are growing at the UN climate conference in Bali that Japan and Canada could throw their weight behind the US to resist a new climate change agreement that includes binding emissions targets for developed countries.

Environmental groups yesterday expressed alarm at the prospect, but European and UN officials warned that key countries were staking positions before final negotiations next week.

The Japanese delegation notably failed to mention the need for binding targets in its opening statement to the crucial Bali conference, while Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, last week attacked the Kyoto Protocol, the first climate agreement to set binding targets for cuts in emissions." (Sydney Morning Herald)

Social engineering not proceeding apace? "At Bali conference, climate change victims say aid falls short" - "BALI, Indonesia — Victims of climate change, real and potential, appealed Tuesday for a vast increase in international aid to protect them from and compensate them for rising seas, crop-killing drought and other likely impacts of global warming.

"We cannot wait. We need to do something now," said climatologist Rizaldi Boer of Indonesia, some of whose farmers are already suffering from unusual dry spells blamed on climate change.

The "Adaptation Fund," being developed under U.N. climate agreements to enable poorer countries to adjust to a warmer world, has thus far drawn a mere $67 million for a task the World Bank estimates will cost tens of billions of dollars a year." (AP)

"Bali Talks Won't Agree Carbon Capture - UN Official" - "NUSA DUA, Indonesia - Current talks in Bali on climate change will not decide to include support for the burying of greenhouse gases as part of a successor deal to the Kyoto Protocol, the UN's top climate official said.

But the talks may put the so-far unproven technology, carbon capture and storage, on the agenda for future backing, Yvo de Boer told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Of course not, no money to be extorted from developed countries if they can just bury the 'problem' -- they need to buy permits from the underdeveloped world!

"Notes from Congressional Briefing--Emission Trading: The EU Experience" - "The Cooler Heads Coalition hosted Neil O’Brien, Director of Open Europe and author of “Europe’s Dirty Secret: Why the Emissions Trading Scheme isn’t Working” on December 3rd in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. This is his handout/notes for the briefing." (Neil O'Brien, Director of Open Europe, London)

Wow! Even the AP's noticed: "Climate change meeting adds to emissions" - "BALI, Indonesia - Never before have so many people converged to try to save the planet from global warming, with more than 10,000 jetting into this Indonesian resort island, from government ministers to Nobel laureates to drought-stricken farmers.

But critics say they are contributing to the very problem they aim to solve.

"Nobody denies this is an important event, but huge numbers of people are going, and their emissions are probably going to be greater than a small African country," said Chris Goodall, author of the book "How to Live a Low-Carbon Life." (Associated Press)

Newly-minted PM with an inflated view of self-importance: "I can unite the world on climate, says Rudd" - "AUSTRALIA will take on a highly ambitious and activist role on the international stage under the new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, who has unveiled a grand plan for uniting the world on climate change.

Heralding a significant shift in foreign policy from the Howard era, Mr Rudd - former diplomat and China expert - told the Herald yesterday he intended to use Australia's new position as a member of the Kyoto club to "bridge the gap" between developed and developing countries on future emissions controls.

In his first newspaper interview as Prime Minister, Mr Rudd admitted it was an enormous challenge but said Australia had a "national and international responsibility to the next generation" to do everything it could to counter the threat of climate change." (Sydney Morning Herald)

You might have a guest seat at the table Kevni but you might want to just watch a few hands played by the big boys before shooting off your mouth too much :)

"No point in panicking, or in taking the lead" - "WHAT are 10,000 climate change junketeers going to achieve at the UN conference in Bali? Not much apart from an impressive carbon footprint, if the history of multilateral negotiations is any guide." (Alan Wood, The Australian)

"Andrew Bolt: Global warmers set a hot pace at Bali" - "THE instant Kevin Rudd signed the paper on Monday to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, he signed away $150 million of your money.

Or possibly as much as $2.5 billion, if reported leaks from senior government figures are right.

If that's what we lost on just day one of our new Kyoto future, imagine what this will cost us in the years ahead. Apart from our sanity, I mean.

You see, the problem with Kyoto isn't just that it's a sweet symbol that will actually do little to cut emissions, and nothing at all to stop the planet warming. (In fact, the planet has stopped warming already, in 1998.)

The real problem is it's a money pit, and we've fallen right in, facing huge fines from the very first day for emitting too much gas.

You didn't know? Oh, dear. Well, I'm sure the media will mention it once they've finished praising our new Prime Minister as a saint of their great global-warming faith.

After all, the bill for signing Kyoto is already landing with an unmissably big bang on desks in Japan ($15 billion), Italy ($15 billion), Spain ($9 billion), Ireland ($450 million) and even little New Zealand ($600 million).

And now Rudd has signed us up for some of the same, and in the same month the Brumby Government jacked up power bills by up to 17 per cent, claiming greenhouse policies were to blame." (Herald Sun)

Deliberate propaganda or dumb as a doorknob? "Politics aside, Bali is about harmful gas molecules and those who emit them" - "Stripping away the drama of the politics, the Bali talks are essentially about two things: harmful gas molecules, and their emitters.

There are six gases released by human activity that drive global warming, and six states, considering the European Union as a single entity, responsible for the bulk of the releases, making for a climate-change dirty dozen.

Among the gases, carbon dioxide, emitted from burning of fossil fuels such as coal and gasoline, and from deforestation, is the cause of most of the warming." (Martin Mittelstaedt, Globe and Mail)

"Dominic Lawson: A load of hot air in the face of recession" - "If unemployment suddenly goes up, the prevailing fear of the majority will not be whether the polar icecaps melt." (London Independent)

Ol' 'night soil gagged already: "Garrett as support act: minister sidelined on global warming" - "THE federal Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, has in effect been gagged from talking about climate change in Parliament because the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has been appointed to answer questions on the topic during question time.

The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has appointed Mr Garrett to the environment, heritage and arts portfolio and created a portfolio of climate change and water, which he gave to Penny Wong. But she is a senator, which means the Government has had to appoint someone to answer questions on her portfolio in the lower house." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Gillard defends decision to gag Garrett" - "Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has defended a decision to have the treasurer and not the environment minister Peter Garrett answer questions on climate change in the lower house." (AAP)

"Researchers suspect kudzu could contribute to climate change" - "CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Kudzu, the Southern vine that makes Chia Pets of trees and telephone poles, has another unpleasant aspect: It pollutes. Researchers believe kudzu is releasing ground-level ozone, contributing to smog, breathing difficulties and global climate change." (AP)

"Duelling Videos Focus on US Climate Change Bill" - "WASHINGTON - Duelling videos -- one starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, the other featuring a "typical" US family shivering in an underheated house -- are focusing debate on a Senate bill aimed at cutting climate-warming pollution." (Reuters)

"ANALYSIS - State Carbon Plans May Stall US Climate Bill" - "NEW YORK - Rapidly emerging US state laws to cut output of greenhouse gases may delay the formation of federal regulation to fight climate change -- the opposite of what the states had hoped." (Reuters)

From CO2 Science this week:

Ozone-Induced Forest Damage in a CO2-Enriched World of the Future: Will it be better or worse than it is currently?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from East-Central Tibet, China. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Evolution (Terrestrial Plants: Natural Vegetation): We normally think of evolution as acting over very long spans of time. So can it do anything to help plants cope with the major climatic changes the IPCC predicts will follow continued rapid increases in the air's CO2 content?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Black Cutch, Indian Rosewood, Mountain Ebony, and Prickly Pear Cactus.

Journal Reviews:
The Statistics of Record-Breaking Temperatures: Can record-breaking high temperatures of individual cities be attributed to CO2-induced global warming?

31 Centuries of Drought in North-Central Minnesota, USA: How did the 20th century compare with the rest of the record?

20th-Century Streamflow in Canada's Winnipeg River Basin: What does it suggest about the region's likely ability to produce hydroelectricity throughout the 21st century?

Flies and Global Warming: How might the former respond to the latter?

Conversion of Tropical Australian Savanna to Closed Forest: How has it progressed, or regressed, over the 20th century?

Duquoin, ILTemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Duquoin, IL. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Duquoin's mean annual temperature has cooled by 1.26 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

Dimwits - Q. How many Green dimwits does it take to change a light bulb? A. Just a few, but millions to mop up the mercury.

I have been meaning to write about the madness of switching to so-called ‘low-energy bulbs’ - low energy compact fluorescent bulbs or lamps (CFLs) - for some time now. The idea that such a switch is ‘green’ can only have been thought up by a chandelier of dimwits hanging in a darkened room. So, while the Bali Conference is just warming up [“Go, Go, the G-77”, I cry], I think I have a moment to shed a little enlightenment on this incandescent issue, doubly encouraged by an excellent article just published in World Net Daily (December 1): ‘Fluorescent vs. incandescent? Environmentalists can't decide’: (Global Warming Politics)

"China's coal output predicted to reach 3 bln tons in 2010" - "BEIJING, Dec 4, 2007 -- China's coal output is predicted to reach 2.55 billion tons and 3 billion tons in 2007 and 2010 respectively, according to Guo Yuntao, managing director of China Development Research Center of Coal. China's coal production would peak between 2020 and 2030 at about 4 billion ton/year, said Guo at the ongoing Coal Tech Asia 2007 in Beijing.

* By 2010, China would produce over 40 per cent of world coal output, compared to 38 per cent in 2006.

* From 2002 to 2006, China's coal production saw average annual growth of 13 per cent, reaching 2.38 billion tons in 2006." (Asia In Focus via COMTEX)

We've created an artificial 'crisis', now pay us to 'solve' it: "Big Boost in Energy Science Sought in Letter to Elected (and Aspiring) Leaders" - "About three dozen experts on energy and climate, along with prominent figures in other fields, have sent a letter to all members of Congress, President Bush and the presidential candidates, proposing a roughly tenfold increase in federal spending on energy research." (New York Times)

From fantasy island: "An antidote to the black poison" - "We are still too afraid to imagine a world no longer dependent on oil. A real effort to move to renewables could challenge tyranny and save the environment." (AC Grayling, The Guardian)

"A follow-up for caregivers of young type 1 diabetics" - "Some medical professionals have hesitated to talk about this publicly not wanting to unintentionally promote it among young people, but the findings of a recent study are so disturbing, they need to be known. The information could perhaps help healthcare professionals and parents save a young life.

Surrounded by incessant anti-obesity messages, young people have learned that it’s important to be thin at all costs. Young type 1 diabetics, however, have discovered an especially dangerous weight control technique: skipping their insulin doses. While this practice has been noted in the medical literature for decades, a study presented at this year’s meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Amsterdam, found that it’s much more common than doctors or parents realized. Even more startling to learn is that it’s not just among girls — almost as many males are skipping insulin specifically to avoid gaining weight as females. The costs for young diabetics could be tragic." (Junkfood Science)

"Study: Being fit may outweigh being fat" - "If you are over 60, go take a hike or at least a brisk walk on a regular basis. It may help you live a few more years, even if you are a bit overweight or even obese, says a study out Wednesday.

This adds to the evidence that there are benefits to being fit even if you're a little too fat." (USA TODAY)

December 4, 2007

Divorce, Global Warming-Style - Will lawyers soon be working out green divorces? They may need to since divorce causes global warming, according to a new study published Dec. 3 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Michigan State University researchers Eunice Yu and Jianguo Liu report that divorce results in more households that use more water, energy and land resources and that generate more solid and liquid waste, including more greenhouse gases. The study was edited by Paul "Population Bomb" Ehrlich who, in 1967, predicted that the world was running out of food and that hundreds of millions would die of starvation as a result in the 1970s and 1980s.

Remarriage helps reduce environmental damage. "The results suggest that mitigating the impacts of resource-inefficient lifestyles such as divorce helps to achieve global environmental sustainability," the study concludes.

"The personal life is over," is what a Bolshevik apparatchik told Boris Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago. Soon we'll all be living for the Left's twisted idea of what's good for Comrade Earth -- that is, until someone comes up with a no-carbon divorce. (JunkScience.com)

"Greenhouse Effect Disproved in 1909" - "I was rereading the essay by Dr, Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner and found this account of an experiment R.W. Wood conducted in 1909 that disproved the claim about greenhouses being hotter because they trapped radiation." (ReasonMcLucus)

We have covered this many times and inevitably some twit will dispute it -- the fact remains that greenhouses work by constraining convection and their radiative properties are largely irrelevant. This is the reason we say "so-called" or "misnamed" greenhouse gases because GHGs simply do not constrain convection and thus have a very limited role to play in any current or future climate change. This basic misconception is the very first point addressed in The Real Inconvenient Truth: Some Facts About Greenhouse and Global Warming. Readers should also see "Global warming," also known as "enhanced greenhouse" will not cause catastrophe and the somewhat heavier This "global warming" thing... what Watt is what? if they are actually worried about gorebull warming to understand why enhanced greenhouse is the problem that never was.

Quantifying the Influence of Surface Processes and Inhomogeneities On Global Climate Data

By Ross McKitrick and Pat Michaels

In a new article just published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, Pat Michaels and I have concluded that the manipulations for the steep post-1980 period are inadequate, and the global temperature graph showing warming is an exaggeration, at least in the past few decades. Along the way I have also found that the UN agency promoting the global temperature graph has made false claims about the quality of their data. The graph comes from data collected in weather stations around the world. Other graphs come from weather satellites and from networks of weather balloons that monitor layers of the atmosphere. These other graphs didn’t show as much warming as the weather station data, even though they measure at heights where there is supposed to be even more greenhouse gas-induced warming than at the surface. The discrepancy is especially clear in the tropics.

The surface-measured data has many well-known problems. Over the post-war era, equipment has changed, station sites have been moved, and the time of day at which the data are collected has changed. Many long-term weather records come from in or near cities, which have gotten warmer as they grow. Many poor countries have sparse weather station records, and few resources to ensure data quality. Fewer than one-third of the weather stations operating in the 1970s remain in operation. When the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, more than half the world’s weather stations were closed in a four year span, which means that we can’t really compare today’s average to that from the 1980s.  Read a background summary here and a technical paper published in the JGR December 2007 here.

McKitrick is an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph. Michaels contributed to this research while a member of the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, and while a visiting lecturer at Virginia Tech. He is now with the Cato Institute (Icecap)

“Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May…”

Commentary by Alan Siddons

It’s so ironic. The “science” of global warming is only as strong as the evidence that supports it. Yet alarmists have shown themselves increasingly willing to discard that evidence in order to promote hysteria. Thus they knock the legs out from under their own advantage. It’s perverse.

All four previous interglacial periods were as warm or warmer than the present. Were these brief periods catastrophic?


If so, then were the far longer periods of bitter cold somehow beneficial? Maybe they were for some species, but not for human beings, as even a microcosm within the present cycle shows.


One can almost read the ups and downs as a tug of war between abundance and scarcity, with human civilization as the rope. We ought to be grateful for the summer we’re living in. As was written in the Maunder Minimum:  “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying: And this same flower that smiles to-day, Tomorrow will be dying...” Yet rather than praise the gods for our present good fortune, in our selfishness we disparage it, expecting better, and even teach children to fear it. Read more here. (Icecap)

"Climate Change Personalities: Which one are you?" - "We’ve observed many different types of people arguing the toss over climate change. Here is our summary of the major personality types. Which one are you?" (Talk Climate Change)

They seem to have forgotten some -- where are the fear profiteers (eco-scammers), ecotheists and misanthropes? Surely these are key classes to understand in the whole global warming farce.

"Climate bill big test for Boxer" - "WASHINGTON - An ambitious effort to tackle global warming gets its biggest test in Congress this week, and it's also a major test of Sen. Barbara Boxer's ability to legislate effectively and move beyond her reputation as a sharp-tongued partisan.

Chairing the Committee on Environment and Public Works, Boxer will preside over what could be lengthy, contentious meetings, starting Wednesday, as senators work through a complicated climate-change bill designed to force deep reductions in greenhouse gas pollution." (Mercury News)

The Media Begin To Rumble Bali - At last, the media appear to be rumbling the sheer nonsense and hypocrisy that is the 13th U.N. Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which began today in beautiful Bali. Nice conference if you can get it! (Global Warming Politics)

Well, some of the media, anyway: "In Bali, new urgency for a climate change accord" - "As negotiators prepare to discuss a new emissions framework in Bali, environmental damage continues to exceed expectations." (The Christian Science Monitor)

ForTheChildren™, naturally: "Warmageddon" - "The discourse of catastrophe about global warming must be accountable for its impact on children." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Wen's Challenge on Climate Change Raises Stakes for Bali Talks" - "Dec. 3 -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's complaint that developed nations must do more to combat climate change highlights a central conflict confronting delegates at Bali talks on global warming that begin today.

Industrialized countries ``must bear more responsibility'' on harmful emissions, Wen said in Singapore on Nov. 21. His comments indicate the position China, by some measures the biggest source of carbon dioxide discharges, will take at the United Nations Climate Change Conference." (Bloomberg)

"UN does not expect emission caps from developing countries" - "Bali (Indonesia), Dec 2 - The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that is organising a two-week global summit here from Monday does not expect developing countries to commit to legally binding caps on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions." (Indo-Asian News Service)

"Bali – reasons to be disappointed" - "With some irony, between 15,000 and 20,000 politicians, officials, activists and journalists will have flown this weekend to Bali, putting serious strain on the islands resources to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

All expectations are that nothing tangible will result beyond making some vague agreements over future plans. Many people will be disappointed on many different levels." (Talk Climate Change)

While expressing a desire to talk climate change TCC does give the impression of being believers and of writing from that perspective. This will probably not encourage anyone to engage but perhaps you should give them the benefit of the doubt and go play in their yard for a while. Who knows, maybe you can show them the error of their beliefs?

"Bali Conference 'Not Discussing Whether Climate Change Is Happening'" - "NUSA DUA, Indonesia, Dec 3 - This will be news to the millions -- probably billions -- of people who don't think about climate change or to whom it is unproven conjecture, but the United Nations conference that started in Bali, Indonesia, this week is not discussing whether climate change is taking place." (Daniel Nelson, OneWorld)

No Daniel, that's not news because the IPCC was formed specifically to "address climate change" rather than to investigate it. Granted this panel has installed itself as gatekeeper and ultimate authority but it has never performed any research nor investigated whether it has any real-world purpose. It merely operates on the premise that change is real, it's a problem and it's their remit to control our lives in order to "address" it. Investigation or doubt is not to be tolerated.

"How not to measure temperature, part 42" - "Continuing our tour of some of the worst climate monitoring stations in California, we come to San Jose. In previous posts we’ve seen stations put next to parking lots. In this case we have not only that, but also a station next to a major city intersection. It never ceases to amaze me when I find another station that flagrantly violates NOAA’s own published siting standards." (Watts Up With That?)

"EU Calls for 50-Percent Cut in Greenhouse Emissions" - "Leaders from the major world governments are meeting in Bali to draft a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. The EU delegation kicked off the conference by saying it will seek an international commitment to reduce emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050." (Der Spiegel)

Uncommon sense: "Let policy follow science: Tie a carbon tax to actual warming" - "The temperature of the troposphere above the tropics has changed little." (Ross McKitrick, The Christian Science Monitor)

"US Seeks Alliance with China and India to Block Climate Protection" - "Officially, the US government says it wants to push in Bali for a climate protection "road map." But SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that this may not be true. US government officials are already attempting to coordinate with China and India to prevent binding emissions limits." (Der Spiegel)

"Rudd's warm Kyoto reception" - "KEVIN Rudd has ratified the Kyoto Protocol as the first formal act of his Government, ending Australia's international isolation on climate change.

Within hours of being officially sworn in as the nation's 26th prime minister, Mr Rudd held his first executive council meeting with Governor-General Michael Jeffery, who agreed with his request that Australia ratify the decade-old protocol.

Australia had already been on target to deliver its obligation under the Kyoto pact, which will require it to limit growth in CO2 emissions to an 8 per cent increase above 1990 levels over the period from 2008-12.

But the ratification, which will become formal 90 days after the documents are lodged with the UN, will strengthen Mr Rudd's hand when he joins delegates from 189 nations at the Bali summit, which will hammer out emissions arrangements for the post-Kyoto period." (The Australian)

Hmm... if he actually submits the instrument of ratification it will be very interesting to see how he handles a hostile Senate and how quickly the Australian people realize they have been betrayed. Interesting times.

Further to yesterday's comments about Billy the Cannolo we received quite a few emails raising Billy and Wikipedia, where the Cannolo has established himself as gatekeeper of all things climate change, allowing nothing but the zealots' dogma to survive. Nothing surprising there but readers must be aware: Wikipedia is not really a reference or resource of record but a great big echo chamber for the motivated (read: zealot) posters. You've been warned, again.

"More on New York Hurricanes" - "Back in October, we reviewed an article dealing with hurricanes in New York over the past four centuries, and the researchers found that intense Big Apple hurricanes were more common during the much-colder Little Ice Age than today. We noted at the time that any hurricane striking New York will be greeted by the global warming advocates as the final nail in the coffin of the greenhouse scare, when in reality, such storms are relatively common and are possibly more frequent in cold periods, not warm ones.

Another article on New York hurricanes has appeared in Natural Hazards, and once again, we doubt the greenhouse crusade will be pleased with the results." (WCR)

"Guest post: Climate Change - Science or Religion?" - "Matthew Sann of the GloWarming Skeptics blog asks whether the science has been lost in the climate change debate?" (Talk Climate Change)

Oh... "Smoking ban poses new climate threat" - "Pubs are likely to pump hundreds of thousands of tons of additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as a result of the smoking ban.

Policy advisers predict that emissions from patio heaters in pubs and restaurants will increase from 22,200 tons of greenhouse gases a year to up to 282,000 tons - the equivalent of flying a jumbo jet 171 times around the Earth.

Heaters will be used for more than 237 days a year, when outdoor temperatures are lower than 15C, says the report, from Market Transformation. A further 80,000 tons of carbon dioxide will be produced next year by patio heaters in private gardens, according to an earlier study by the Energy Saving Trust.

Environmentalists say the heaters must now be banned if Britain is to meet carbon dioxide emission targets." (London Telegraph)

"Roll Call: Look Closer at Global Warming ‘Solutions’" - "Just in time for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has scheduled a business meeting to consider legislation that seeks to impose mandatory global warming “solutions” on the American people. The global warming cap-and-trade bill (S. 2191) introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) seeks to regulate carbon dioxide by creating a whole new federal bureaucracy. In moving the bill out of committee, supporters of the bill are anxious for a symbolic “victory” just in time for their U.N. trip to Bali.

There is a better way for Congress to legislate. The American people deserve an open and honest debate on the merits of any proposed climate change legislation, especially considering that mandatory carbon cap-and-trade legislation will impose the largest tax increase ever in the U.S. without any measurable climate benefits. Consideration of the Lieberman-Warner bill, The Wall Street Journal reported in a Nov. 5 article, comes at a time when a “winter-heating crisis looms.”

The consequences of higher fuel bills for poor Americans can be devastating. High energy bills were cited as one of the two main reasons for homelessness, according to a 2006 survey of Colorado homeless families with children. Because of the significant economic harm imposed on our country by this bill, I joined Sens. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) in requesting a full economic analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Information Administration before we proceed to a vote. Not knowing the extent of the economic damage resulting from this bill before we vote would be irresponsible." (Sen. James Inhofe, EPW)

"Internet hoax raises pressure over emissions" - "Environmentalists opened up a new front for climate change yesterday, by establishing a bogus website and sending a press release committing BP, Shell and other oil majors to a 90% cut in carbon outputs by 2050 with no strings attached.

The internet portal looked identical to that run by the US Climate Action Partnership, or USCAP, a consortium of 33 prominent corporations and organisations, except that the news section of the copycat site had a release proclaiming "major businesses announce commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions by 90%".

Supposedly from Washington but also with the phone number of a London public relations firm, the release went on: "In an effort to encourage decisive action [at the climate change talks] in Bali this week, USCAP's members have committed to a 90% reduction in their greenhouse gas emissions by 2050," said Matt Leopard, a spokesperson for the consortium. "This commitment should send a strong message to the assembled countries and businesses about the type of reductions needed to stop global warming."

The release listed USCAP's members Alcoa, BP, Caterpillar, ConocoPhillips, Dow, DuPont, Ford, General Electric, General Motors Corp, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, and Shell, adding that "USCAP's goal is to further public policy that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the climate." (The Guardian)

Probably no more stupid than these companies being a party to USCAP in the first place.

Well, blimey... "Shares in carbon offset business dive after collapse of crucial deal" - "The fledgling carbon-offset market was undermined yesterday when AgCert International, a producer and seller of certified emission reductions (CERs), said a key deal had collapsed leaving it with an overhang of uncovered liabilities.

Shares in the Dublin-based firm, which gains its credits by working with farmers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, dived 80% before rallying to end the day down 62% at 1.58p.

Problems at AgCert emerged shortly after one of its rivals, EcoSecurities, saw its shares slump by nearly 50% when it said it was suffering delays in the offset project approval process being run by the United Nations." (The Guardian)

... who'd a thought hot air sellers would be unable to deliver?

"New Research Discredits 100 Billion Dollar Global Warming Fix" - "Scientists have revealed an important discovery that raises doubts concerning the viability of plans to fertilize the ocean to solve global warming, a projected $100 billion venture. Research performed at Stanford and Oregon State Universities, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, suggests that ocean fertilization may not be an effective method of reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a major contributor to global warming." (SPX)

Wait a minute! "Developing countries to cause 'climate crisis'" - "Carbon emissions from developing countries will result in a climate crisis within a generation, according to new research.

Within 20 years they will be producing more CO2 than the rich industrialised countries based mainly in the northern hemisphere.

And even if the 'North' - Europe, North America, the former Soviet Union (FSU) Japan, Australia and New Zealand - eliminated all its emissions immediately it wouldn't be enough to stop severe climate change.

The 'South' - Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific islands - faced an environmental disaster.

The shock claims are made by the Centre for Global Development (CGD), an American independent, think tank that works to reduce global poverty and inequality. It says its research has been empirically reviewed.

The CGD said it was a dangerous fallacy to believe that the North was responsible for climate change and should dramatically cut its emissions while the South should be given the time to catch up with more prosperous countries through economic expansion powered by fossil fuels." (London Telegraph)

So, the "climate crisis" has gone from "in 10 years" to "happening now", to "in 7 years", from "in 20 years" time and now back to "in 20 years"? Can't agree which numbers to put into the hat, eh fellas?

Here's something else that won't matter then, carbon dioxide is unlikely to have any measurable influence on global climate over the next century, although it might help crops a bit more through aerial fertilization.

Stupid game...

Predictably, from the Dearth Institute: "Toll of climate change on world food supply could be worse than thought" - "Global agriculture, already predicted to be stressed by climate change in coming decades, could go into steep, unanticipated declines in some regions due to complications that scientists have so far inadequately considered, say three new scientific reports." (The Earth Institute at Columbia University)

"Riots and hunger feared as demand for grain sends food costs soaring" - "The risks of food riots and malnutrition will surge in the next two years as the global supply of grain comes under more pressure than at any time in 50 years, according to one of the world's leading agricultural researchers.

Recent pasta protests in Italy, tortilla rallies in Mexico and onion demonstrations in India are just the start of the social instability to come unless there is a fundamental shift to boost production of staple foods, Joachim von Braun, the head of the International Food Policy Research Institute, warned in an interview with the Guardian." (The Guardian)

Gosh! Maybe it's time to ignore the watermelons and get busy with biotech crop enhancement, dams for irrigation and  development and scrap such stupid ideas as inefficient fuels from food crops produced to appease the gorebots.

No... "Carbon trading 'key to stopping deforestation'" - "Carbon trading could be the key to stopping the destruction of the rainforests, a new report claims.

In the past deforestation has been driven by the belief that a forest was worth more dead than alive.

But new research shows that the forests have the potential to earn substantially more from carbon offsetting if they are left intact.

Research for the Partnership for Tropical Forest Margins showed that forests torn down to make way for agriculture earned between $1-$5 per ton of carbon they released." (London Telegraph)

... it's actually key to stopping development.

"Lack of development: that's the real disaster" - "An Oxfam report suggests climate change has led to a quadrupling of weather-related disasters. It pays to interrogate such heated claims." (Rob Lyons, sp!ked)

"Improving Drought Forecasts" - "From the deserts of the American southwest to the pine forests of the Deep South, drought-weary residents have one thing on their minds: "I wish it would rain!" Technically, what they should be wishing for is "more streamflow," says Dr. Ashutosh Limaye, a hydrologist at the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) in Huntsville, Alabama.

Streamflow is a term used by water management specialists to mean, very simply, the amount of water in streams and rivers. Areas of drought have reduced streamflow, and experts believe they can better forecast droughts by studying this key indicator of dry conditions." (SPX)

"Climate change predicted to drive trees northward" - "The most extensive and detailed study to date of 130 North American tree species concludes that expected climate change this century could shift their ranges northward by hundreds of kilometers and shrink the ranges by more than half. The study, by Daniel W. McKenney of the Canadian Forest Service and his colleagues, is reported in the December issue of BioScience." (American Institute of Biological Sciences)

Expected climate change? We guess that's model output, meaning virtual-world trees might be stressed.

"Fluorescent vs. incandescent? Environmentalists can't decide" - "New concerns over mercury hazards split green activists on switch to CFLs" (WND)

Moonbattery: "This crisis demands a reappraisal of who we are and what progress means" - "Outdated figures have been hiding the full extent of climate change. But I am still advocating action, and not despair." (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

"California Grapples With Emissions Law" - "SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- For all the praise and attention California has received for its landmark emissions-reduction plan, it's becoming clear that signing the legislation was the easy part." (Associated Press)

Classical scaremongering nonsense (Number Watch)

"New pasteurization regulations have raw food growers heated" - "SAN FRANCISCO - Vinicio Penate crunches down on a piece of dehydrated almond bread at Cafe Gratitude's central kitchen in San Francisco, on a break from his shift as manager. He is deliberate, working over each bite.

Penate says that for him, eating a raw almond is like eating the almond tree.

``All that strength, all that force, all that information, all the genetics,'' he said, staring at a container of almonds. ``They're all there. They're just untouched.''

Why then, Penate wonders, would the United States Department of Agriculture want to change that?

Penate, farmers and food specialists are all heated up over the USDA's recent ruling requiring nearly all almonds grown in the United States to go through a pasteurization process before they are passed on to consumers.

Pasteurization, or the act of heating a food enough to kill potentially hazardous bacteria, is usually reserved for juice and dairy products. But after two salmonella outbreaks in 2001 and 2004 were traced to almonds from California farms, the Almond Board of California, the marketing agency for California's largest tree crop, decided to push for the regulation." (InsideBayArea.com)

Well duh! You've got people so frightened of everything including their food and demanding absolute "safety", what do you expect?

"Blame hurts" - "Blame is one of the most tragic and hurtful consequences of today’s popular belief that by eating and living ‘right’ we can stay healthy and prevent diseases, such as cancers. Today’s culture promotes the idea that “wellness” and disease are under our control and even a matter of mind over matter. So, those who get sick, naturally blame themselves for having not done something right or are blamed by others.

Many people believe that diet, obesity and mental outlook can make a real difference in their chances for getting or surviving cancer, but can they?" (Junkfood Science)

"Body image youth's biggest worry" - "THE danger of unhealthily obsessing about not having the perfect body is a message that should by now be percolating through the minds of Australia's young people -- but instead the problem is getting worse.

Concern about how their body looks is now the biggest worry for the nation's 11- to 24-year-olds, male and female, an annual survey of 29,000 young Australians will reveal today." (The Australian)

"Genetically Modified crops could be accepted in Europe within 10 years" - "Genetically Modified (GM) crops could be accepted across Europe in less than 10 years, despite the UK government’s “shameful” reluctance at present.

That was the prediction of Cranfield University’s Sean Rickard, speaking at the British Potato 2007 conference in Harrogate (28 November).

“Biotechnology is the next big technology driver in the world and the only way we can respond to the challenges of climate change is through GM. It is shameful of our government that we now lag behind the rest of the world.”

But the government had not dismissed the technology completely and public acceptance was increasing, he said. “In the next two or three years consumers will be prepared to experiment with GM. Once consumers and supermarkets stances’ change, things will move very quickly.” (Farmers Weekly

"Barley gene transfer technique ready" - "MTT Agrifood Research Finland has introduced an Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer technique for barley. Genetically modified barley is at the same time the main opening in plant gene transfer research at MTT." (Science Centric)

December 3, 2007

Weathering ‘Global Warming’ - A superb analysis of weather-related deaths has just been published, the ‘Society Report on Climate Change’ (produced by the Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change, November 2007). I would encourage everybody to read this document immediately. It places the forthcoming Bali jamboree in the reality spotlight. The full .pdf version can be downloaded free here (direct .pdf download), or from here, or from here [bottom of page].

This well-researched report throws a gigantic snowball at the claims that ‘global warming’ is causing more weather-related deaths. As I have long suspected, precisely the opposite is the case, with the number of people killed each year by weather-related disasters declining dramatically.

It appears that weather-related deaths peaked in the 1920s, at around 500,000 per annum. In stark contrast, the death toll during the period 2000-2006 averaged only 19,900 (thank goodness, one might add). Indeed, the average annual number of deaths from weather-related events during the period 1990-2006 (when ‘global warming’ is supposed to have been at its most severe) is down by the staggering figure of 87% on the 1900-89 average. Moreover, the mortality rate from catastrophes, measured in deaths per million people, dropped by no less than 93%.

These simple statistics demonstrate all too clearly the nonsensical claims that have been made about the likely impacts of ‘global warming’. The study also shows that the richer a country, the fewer the weather-related deaths. Development, not emission caps, is the way ahead. (Global Warming Politics)

"Fall in weather deaths dents climate warnings" - "GREEN scientists have been accused of overstating the dangers of climate change by researchers who found that the number of people killed each year by weather-related disasters is falling.

Their report suggests that a central plank in the global warming argument – that it will result in a big increase in deaths from weather-related disasters – is undermined by the facts. It shows deaths in such disasters peaked in the 1920s and have been declining ever since.

Average annual deaths from weather-related events in the period 1990-2006 – considered by scientists to be when global warming has been most intense – were down by 87% on the 1900-89 average. The mortality rate from catastrophes, measured in deaths per million people, dropped by 93%." (Sunday Times)

"Warmer Days and Longer Lives" - "History demonstrates that warmer is healthier. Since the end of the last Ice Age, the earth has enjoyed two periods that were warmer than the twentieth century. Archaeological evidence shows that people lived longer, enjoyed better nutrition, and multiplied more rapidly than during epochs of cold." (Thomas Gale Moore, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University)

GW, Bali, And Mass Sociogenic Illness - Will the U.N. Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) [COP 13/MOP 3, Bali, Indonesia, December 3-14] follow the now well-established pattern of manic-depression that has characterised nearly all such previous mass meetings, including those in The Hague (2000), in Marrakesh, Morocco (2001), in Edinburgh around the G8 Summit (2005), in Montreal (2005), and in Nairobi, Kenya (2006)? (Global Warming Politics)

Rolling out the hysteria: "Rich countries blamed as greenhouse gas emissions hit record: Bali conference is the world's last chance to avoid 'catastrophic' global warming, experts warn" - "Rich countries are rapidly increasing the pollution that causes global warming to record levels – despite having solemnly undertaken to reduce it, three devastating new official reports reveal. Emissions of greenhouse gases and their accumulation in the atmosphere are higher than they have ever been, and unless policies are urgently reversed "catastrophic" climate change is inevitable, they warn.

The reports – from three separate UN organisations – form the strongest and most authoritative condemnation of Western climate policies yet." (Geoffrey Lean, London Independent)

"50 years on: The Keeling Curve legacy" - "It is a scientific icon, which belongs, some claim, alongside E=mc2 and the double helix.

Its name - the Keeling Curve - may be scarcely known outside scientific circles, but the jagged upward slope showing rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere has become one of the most famous graphs in science, and a potent symbol of our times." (BBC News)

One of the most interesting facets is that people neither understand the Keeling Curve nor its significance. The following text recycled from October of this year, when we had more fairytales about accelerating atmospheric accumulation:

[CO2] levels aren't rising anywhere near as fast as the IPCC's absurd 1%/yr, nor any of their alarmist 'storylines'. This despite humans mining and using carbon at record rates for the last 5 years or so. Something to which the atmosphere and temperatures have been strangely unresponsive. Using Mauna Loa as our global proxy (and even the South Pole remains within a couple of ppm of this number) then the peak year increment was 1998 (3 ppmv, probably due to warm ocean outgassing during the impressive El Niño), followed by 2003, 1988, 2005, 1973 (2.2, although 1974 was a mere 0.5)...

While there is some inter-annual variation of a ppm or two, the Keeling Curve (KC) provides an easy way for us to check what's going on. Still using Mauna Loa's figures (as befits a nod to Keeling), we derive the KC value 1959-1999 as (368/316)^(1/40)-1 or ~0.38%. To derive current expectation from the 1999 value then it is merely a case of calculating 368(1.003816^8) = 379.4, we were looking for an observed value of about 380 and calculated a value well within observed variability -- a tribute to Keeling's observations and the robustness of the Keeling Curve. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are pretty much exactly where they were expected to be and are certainly not showing any dramatic acceleration when they can be comfortably predicted with the KC.

That's the problem with simply taking the anthropogenic portion of emission estimates and extrapolating, isn't it, the world just doesn't cooperate.

For the curious, because someone always asks rather than calculating for themselves, according to Keeling (provided the sun doesn't decide to deliver another Maunder-style Minimum, which would mean the KC will dramatically overestimate), in 20 years the atmospheric CO2 level is likely to be ~410ppmv, in 50 years, ~460ppmv and 100 years from now ~555ppmv -- regardless of how successful Al's carbon scam should be and despite the worst machinations of the EU.

"Kiehl (2007) on Tuning GCMs" - "Eduardo Zorita sent me an interesting paper today from Kiehl, a prominent climate modeler, analyzes the paradox of how GCMs with very different climate sensitivities nonetheless all more or less agree in their simulations of 20th century climate. Kiehl found that the high sensitivity models had low aerosol forcing history and vice versa. Kiehl observed:

These results explain to a large degree why models with such diverse climate sensitivities can all simulate the global anomaly in surface temperature. The magnitude of applied anthropogenic total forcing compensates for the model sensitivity.

Eduardo’s take was as follows:

surprisingly the attached paper, from a main stream climate scientist, seems to admit that the anthropogenic forcings in the 20th century used to drive the IPCC simulations were chosen to fit the observed temperature trend. It seems to me a quite important admission.

Here are some excerpts from Kiehl 2007 together with his key graphics." (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

"For US, Carbon Dioxide Ranks Last Among Climate Factors and is Decreasing" - "The now familiar plot of the US climate network since 1895 shows a cyclical pattern with a rise from 1895 to a peak near 1930 and decline into the 1970s and then another rise with an apparent peak around 2000. Note the minor warming from the peak in 1930 to the peak in 2000.

The short term fluctuations are driven by factors such as ENSO and volcanic eruptions. The longer term cycles are mainly driven by cycles in the sun and oceans although changes in the last half century have been increasingly blamed on anthropogenic factors. Let’s look at the three longer term factors mentioned and how well they actually correlated with the observed temperatures." (Joseph D’Aleo, CCM)

"How not to measure temperature, part 41" - "Lately we’ve been touring COOP weather stations in California to illustrate how they are prone to biases in their siting. This problem is documented in the recent paper LaDochy, S., R. Medina, and W. Patzert. Recent California climate variability: spatial and temporal patterns in temperature trends which is available for review in my post here." (Watts Up With That?)

"Hotel Mogul Threatens Lawsuit Over Hurricane Expert's Gloomy Forecasts" - "ORLANDO, Fla. -- Central Florida's most famous hotel owner, Harris Rosen, lashed out at hurricane expert Dr. William Gray for his gloomy storm predictions saying they have damaged state tourism." (local6.com)

"Sue the Weatherman" - "If Rosen wants to sue someone he should consider sueing someone with more money than a college professor. Florida's real problem may not be the guesses of Dr. Gray, but the fear mongering of Al Gore and friends who keep claiming that hurricanes will keep getting worse because of global warming." (ReasonMcLucus)

"One cost of global warming hype?" - "Did public officials' acceptance of erroneous global warming hype about hurricanes delay imposition of water rationing in the South? All during September and October a common refrain in the Southeast was "I know this is not nice to say for those living on the coast, but could we ever use a big hurricane about now."

The climate change hype has very real costs. In late October news of the extreme drought in the Southeast seemed to burst upon the nation. This was despite the fact an exceptionally severe drought had been a year in the making. It seemed many government officials had been silently counting upon one or more of those hurricanes the experts had predicted earlier in the year to bring soaking rains to the region. Water restrictions are extremely unpopular. As long as their remained the hope of hurricanes, I suspect many officials tried not to impose them even as their reservoirs shrunk drastically in the summer's heat." (Rosslyn Smith, American Thinker)

"NOAA Inflating Storm Numbers and Aiding Political Campaign for Carbon Restrictions, Group Says" - "Washington, D.C. - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is inflating the count of tropical storms and aiding a political campaign to regulate energy use in the process, according to The National Center for Public Policy Research.

Today marks the official end of the 2007 hurricane season, and for the second year in a row the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's forecast for the season was wrong. NOAA had predicted there would be seven to nine hurricanes, three to five major hurricanes and 13-17 "named storms." The season ended with just five hurricanes, two of which were major (category three or above) and 14 named storms.

"NOAA correctly predicted the number of named storms, but it's not clear this statistic has any meaning, as the agency is inflating today's storm numbers relative to storms in the past," said David A. Ridenour, vice president of The National Center for Public Policy Research and author of a forthcoming new report on this year's hurricane season. "NOAA is doing so both by changing the criteria for naming storms and by failing to account for changes in technology that make detection of storms much easier." (Press Release)

"US Upgrades Storm Karen As Hurricane Season Ends" - "MIAMI - US weather experts posthumously upgraded Tropical Storm Karen to a hurricane as the 2007 Atlantic storm season drew to a close on Friday, making the year a near-average one for hurricane activity." (Reuters)

"Tiny Tim Storms" - "David Smith, a regular commenter on hurricanes, writes.

Tiny Tim is a Charles Dickens character. Tiny was a young lad, small, very weak, in a struggle to survive and of little notice in the hustle-bustle streets of London. Later, of course, his fortunes improved and he and Scrooge became “part of the record” of Victorian England.

In a similar vein (OK, it’s a stretch) there is a type of Atlantic tropical cyclone that is like Tiny Tim: generally of short duration, weak winds, small aerial extent and often in a remote part of the ocean. Its impact on its environment is tiny (a very small “footprint” in the Atlantic).

My operational definition of “Tiny Tim storms” are those that were so minimal that the NHC end-of-season reports do not report a single ship or single shore report of storm-force winds. This is not a matter of report oversights - storm analysts consider surface verification of wind estimates to be an important matter and list shore weather reports and ship reports in their reports.

And, the lack of ship or shore reports is quite significant if someone is looking at storm climatology. Storms lacking ship or shore reports of storm-force winds would, prior to 1945 (the start of recon), not have been classified as a tropical storm/hurricane. Why? Because, prior to 1945, all the meteorologists had were ship and shore reports. No aircraft recon, no satellites, no buoys and no Doppler radar - just ship and shore reports.

So, in this era of strong and many ships, rapid reporting and (US) shores lined with windspeed devices like onshore CMAN stations, a seeming plethora of data, are there still Tiny Tim storms, ones that modern technology sees but which lack storm-strength impact on ships and shores and which would have been ignored in the past?" (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

"Canadians should brace for coldest winter in almost 15 years: forecast" - "TORONTO - After years of warmer-than-normal winters that spurred constant talk of global warming, winter this year is expected to be the coldest in almost 15 years and should remind everyone of what real Canadian cold feels like, Environment Canada said Friday.

With the exception of only small pockets of northern Canada and southwestern Ontario, this December through February is forecast to be one of the harshest winters in recent memory across the country, said senior climatologist David Phillips." (Canadian Press)

Well, maybe... just bear in mind that this is model output and we aren't too flash at seasonal forecasts.

"Global Warmists Exploit the Holocaust" - "When Ellen Goodman likened climate skeptics to holocaust deniers last February, she raised more than a few eyebrows. Yet, hers was not the first reprehensible use of that fetid analogy, nor, unfortunately, would it be the last. In truth, environmentalists' deplorable trivialization of Hitler's genocide can be traced as far back as the late 1980's (by an ambitious senator from Tennessee) and as recently as last month by the scientist considered to be the world's premiere global warming researcher." (Marc Sheppard, American Thinker)

Uh-huh... "Meteorologists Shape Fashion Trends" - "In the capricious world of fashion, where hemlines, fabrics and colors fall in and out of favor with breathtaking speed, designers and retailers have always relied on one constant — the orderly changing of the seasons.

But now it seems the seasons have become as fickle as fashion.

Two consecutive years of volatile weather — last November and this October were the warmest on record for the New York City area, a retail Mecca — have proved disastrous for companies that rely on predictable temperatures to sell cold-weather clothing like sweaters and coats.

So the $200 billion American apparel industry, which is filled with esoteric job titles like visual merchandiser and fabric assistant, is adding a more familiar one: weather forecaster.

Liz Claiborne, the apparel company, has hired a climatologist from Columbia University to predict weather for its designers to better time the shipments of seasonal garments to retailers." (New York Times)

Uh-huh, again... "Expanding Tropics Could Spur Storms – Study" - "WASHINGTON - Earth's tropical belt is expanding much faster than expected, and that could bring more storms to the temperate zone and drier weather to parts of the world that are already dry, climate scientists reported on Sunday." (Reuters)

"Are polar bears endangered? It is all about the forecasts" - "A forecasting audit conducted by Scott Armstrong, Kesten Green and Willie Soon has concluded that the government's administrative reports do not rely on scientific forecasting procedures. Thus, it would be irresponsible to classify polar bears as an endangered species. The authors are seeking additional peer review for their paper." (Forecasting Principles)

From the "You can't make this stuff up" file: "Planet feels heat of divorce" - "UNHAPPY couples used to stick together for the sake of the kids. Now they can make the best of a bad marriage in the name of being environmentally friendly.

Scientists have quantified for the first time the extent to which divorce damages the environment. The researchers found that the combined use of electricity across the two new households created rose 53% while water use was up by 42%.

Across America – one of 12 countries studied – divorced households used 73 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2005 that could have been saved if the families had not split up. That is equivalent to about a fifth of Britain’s consumption.

Broken couples also increase demand for housebuilding and infrastructure such as new roads. “The global trend of soaring divorce rates has created more households with fewer people, has taken up more space and has gobbled up more energy and water,” said Jianguo Liu of Michigan University, who carried out the latest research." (Roger Waite, Sunday Times)

A fridge too far? "'Beer fridges' present a gassy problem" - "Getting rid of vintage “beer fridges” – secondary fridges which many North American and Australian homes boast – could have a significant impact on household greenhouse gas emissions, suggests a new study.

Beer fridges are additional fridges that are generally used to keep beer and other drinks cold on top of a household’s primary fridge for food. One in three Canadian households has a second fridge, many of which are ageing, energy-guzzling models, according to Denise Young, a researcher at the University of Alberta, Canada.

"People need to understand the impact of their lifestyles," says Joanna Yarrow, director of Beyond Green, a sustainable development consultancy in the UK. "Clearly the environmental implications of having a frivolous luxury like a beer fridge are not hitting home. This research helps inform people – let's hope it has an effect"" (NewScientist.com news service)

Is there no depth to which these warming whacks will not stoop? Plasma TVs, now beer fridges, what next, the sporting events that encourage people to gather and watch? Or maybe they'll let us have events so long as we only listen on radios and don't drink as we gather and cheer? It can't be long before the ecotheologists go after competing religions and try to ban religious celebrations (goodbye Christmas?), pilgrimages and anything but Gaia-worship. Good luck stopping the usual crowd gathering at my place again this year for the three Bs (beer, barbie and Boxing Day Test -- that's a cricket match, for readers in as yet unenlightened nations).

More propaganda: "Can We Save the World by 2015?" - "If international leaders were as united as the scientific community on climate change, warming might be a thing of the past. This year the UN's Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a series of reports that laid to rest any doubts that global warming is real — and outlined the frightening consequences of continued inaction. At the release of the IPCC's final summary last month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon — who has made climate change a top priority of his administration — laid out the threat in stark terms. "The world's scientists have spoken clearly, and with one voice," he said. "I expect the world's policymakers to act the same." (Time Magazine)

"What comes next for the IPCC?" - "Now their fourth assessment is complete, should this climate-science advisory panel change?" (Jeff Tollefson, Nature)

What next for the IPCC? Ignominy.

"Global Warming: The Social Construction Of A Quasi-Reality?" - "Abstract: The pressure to prove that anthropogenic global warming is real, and happening now has become so strong, that in spite of major and irresolvable uncertainties in climate models, there is a daily renewal and reinforcement of the idea of scientific certainty in the mainstream media. Whilst uncertainties are often acknowledged in the body of scientific reports, they are rarely seen in press releases and executive summaries.

This paper examines how an almost mass acceptance of imminent and potentially catastrophic global warming by politicians, the media and the public, has come about and highlights the role of various UK agencies such as the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and the Met Office in producing this result." (Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Number 6, November 2007 , pp. 805-813(9))

"The Other Side of Global Warming Alarmism" - "Thank you for the invitation and the opportunity to address this distinguished audience. I would like to start by stressing how glad I am to be for the first time in the well-known Chatham House which has been the place of so many important talks and discussions in the whole 87 years of its existence.

My speeches here in London have been in the past years connected with two topics. The first one was the end of communism and our way of getting rid of its legacy. The second one was the European integration." (Václav Klaus, EUportal)

"An Inconvenient Reduction" - "Thousands of government officials, diplomats, NGO folks and journalists are in Bali this week for the United Nations' global warming powwow. While they try to outline an even tougher set of restrictions on so-called greenhouse gases to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, we'll venture that little will be said about America's record on curbing emissions without such caps. It's too big an embarrassment to the assembled worthies.

The Bush Administration announced last week that U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide fell by 1.8% from 2005 to 2006. Output of all greenhouse gases was down 1.5% last year. All this while the American economy grew by 2.9%. It's the first time since 1990, when the U.N. began counting these things, that the U.S. has reduced emissions without also suffering a recession.

Critics immediately pointed to the Energy Department's acknowledgment that the reductions were in part due to higher energy prices and favorable weather. But greater use of lower-carbon energy sources, including natural gas, also played a big role. The U.S. reduction also suggests that letting markets work through higher prices will reduce carbon emissions more than the cap and trade mandates favored by environmental lobbies and most Democrats.

The EU hasn't yet released figures for 2006. But from 2000 to 2005, the U.S. outperformed Western Europe. Carbon emissions were up 3.8% in the so-called EU-15 during those years, versus 2.5% in the U.S. Over the same period, there has been virtually no difference between the increase in all greenhouse emissions in the U.S. and EU-15.

We refer back to 2000 instead of 1990 because the real agenda of those who blame America's role in global warming seems to be to blame President Bush for not signing Kyoto. It's true that U.S. emissions have grown more than Europe's since 1990, but how can this Administration be held responsible for what happened on Al Gore's watch?

For all the unproven claims about mankind's contribution to global warming, here's something that can be said with authority: If curbing emissions really is the goal, then the heavy-handed approach promoted by the U.N. and Europe isn't the best way to do so." (Wall Street Journal)

"Kyoto's Caps on Emissions Hit Snag in Marketplace" - "The Kyoto Protocol was supposed to harness market forces to solve global warming. It slapped caps on greenhouse-gas emissions and set up a complex market for companies to trade permits to pollute.

But it hasn't yet ignited the green-energy revolution its architects were expecting. The cap-and-trade system has brought about useful projects targeting a few especially potent greenhouse gases. It hasn't, however, forced the industrialized world to meaningfully curb what scientists say is the biggest problem of all -- the growing consumption of fossil fuels.

Today, diplomats at a big United Nations global-warming conference in Bali, Indonesia, will begin looking for a fix as they open debate on a new global-warming agreement. Also this week, a Senate committee in Washington is scheduled to debate a proposed cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases in the U.S., which opted not to ratify the Kyoto treaty." (Wall Street Journal)

"Global Warming and the Tax the Rich Scheme" - "Have you noticed the genie concerning the real modus operandi behind climate alarmism beginning to peek its head out of the bottle lately?" (News Busters)

"SPPI Fact sheet: West Nile Virus in Kansas" - "West Nile Virus was introduced to the United States through the port of New York City in the summer of 1999. Since its introduction, it has spread rapidly across the country, reaching the West Coast by 2002 and has now been documented in every state as well as most provinces of Canada. This is not a sign that the U.S. and Canada are progressively warming. Rather, it is a sign that the existing environment is naturally primed for the virus.

The vector for West Nile is mosquitoes; wherever there is a suitable host mosquito population, an outpost for West Nile virus can be established. And it is not just one mosquito species that is involved. Instead, the disease has been isolated in over 40 mosquito species. So the simplistic argument that climate change is allowing West Nile-carrying mosquito species to move into Kansas is simply wrong. The already-resident mosquito populations of Kansas are appropriate hosts for the West Nile virus—as they are in every other state." (Robert Ferguson, SPPI)

Same old social engineering fantasy: "Q&A: 'Emissions Trading Can Raise Billions To Combat Climate Change'" - "BERLIN, Nov 30 - Developed countries have a "moral duty" to help the world's poorest countries combat the consequences of climate change to which they have contributed the least, says German Development Cooperation Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul." (IPS)

"DEROY MURDOCK: Al Gore, global warming and convenient untruths" - "When Nobel laureate Al Gore collects his peace prize in Oslo on Dec. 10, he should tell the gathered Norwegians exactly what he meant when he remarked about global warming:

"I believe it is appropriate to have an overrepresentation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are," Gore said in the May 9, 2006, issue of Grist magazine.

"Overrepresentation"? Is that anything like "misrepresentation"?

Gore's approach infects the debate and even the methodology of so-called global warming. From the former vice president to unseen academics, some who clamor for statist answers to this alleged climate crisis employ dodgy measurement techniques, while others embrace hype and fear-mongering to promote massive government intervention to combat an entirely questionable challenge. Worse yet, this applies to reputedly objective researchers, not just opinionated activists." (The Press of Atlantic City)

Bali eye-roller sampler (there's lots of these out there): "Hope and fear in Bali" - "The science of climate change is clear. The politics of the world's response are still murky, as the Bali summit, which begins today, will show. Even the most optimistic bets as to the outcome of the two-week meeting fall short of what scientists say is needed. There will be no transforming Bali protocol at the end of it, no sudden conversion of the United States to deep cuts in its own emissions and no binding agreement to cap pollution from rapidly growing economies such as China and India. Instead, 10,000 officials and ministers from around 190 countries will battle for advantage at the start of a process that will take at least two years to complete. The aim is to come up with a successor to the 1997 Kyoto protocol. No one can be sure yet what form it will take." (The Guardian)

"Carbon footprint fears for UN climate summit" - "The United Nations climate change conference that begins on the tropical island of Bali tomorrow is likely itself to be a significant contributor to global warming, despite attempts to “offset” its emissions." (London Telegraph)

"A blast of hot air at Bali's climate conference" - "It's not the waste that rankles so much as the hypocrisy. Some 15,000 politicians, officials, quangocrats and assorted busybodies are descending on Bali for a jamboree that will produce more than 100,000 tons of CO2 emissions. The purpose of their trip? To discuss how to reduce CO2 emissions.

We wonder whether there would be so many observers and hangers-on if the venue were, say, Düsseldorf. For many of those attending have no direct involvement in the talks.

For example, 19 MEPs, accompanied by advisers and staff, are in Bali, staying at a luxurious spa hotel. Not only will their fares, meals and accommodation be paid for by the rest of us, but they will also claim a further £95 per day." (London Telegraph)

Clearly demonstrating foreign affairs bureaucrats make lousy climate scientists: "Foreign Affairs documents warned Harper on climate change" - "The Harper government is opening the door to "wide-reaching" and "large scale" impacts to the earth's ecosystems because of its refusal to recognize a tipping point in the battle against global warming as it heads into major United Nations climate change summit that begins on Monday, warns a newly-released federal document.

Foreign Affairs officials who prepared the internal research paper suggested that the government could improve its environmental policies if it recognized the dangers associated with allowing human activity to contribute to warming the planet's average temperature by more than two degrees Celsius." (Mike DeSouza, CanWest News Service)

Good, give him some support: "Harper sabotaging climate-change effort: Dion" - "Prime Minister Stephen Harper is deliberately sabotaging the Kyoto accord, Liberal leader Stéphane Dion charged yesterday, as he drew the battle lines for an election many Liberals expect could take place early in the new year.

"We've gone from leader to laggard," Dion said. "Canada is no longer leading the way, we are standing in the way." (The Gazette)

"Climate change critics fear Canada's influence" - "What we will do in the next two, three years will determine our future. This is the defining challenge."

This call to action came last month from Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, after that group of global scientists warned "humanity's very survival" is at stake if we don't apply a cold compress to Earth's increasingly sweaty brow." (Toronto Star)

Pardon our cynicism but we can't get over the feeling the "future" of most concern to Pachauri is his own -- on the perpetual globe trotting climate Mardi Gras (it's always the last day of Carnival in the Global Warming industry).

"CHRONOLOGY - From LiveEarth To Bali: A Year Of Climate Gatherings" - "BALI - About 190 nations meet on the Indonesian island of Bali from Monday to build on a "fragile understanding" that the fight against global warming needs to be expanded to all nations with a deal in 2009." (Reuters)

Just about all the usual suspects: What breakthrough would best advance the fight against climate change? - As delegates gather in Indonesia to seek a new deal, leading thinkers nominate the big boost needed in the face of a rapidly warming planet (The Guardian)

Kyoto Cant - Every day one contemplates ‘global warming’ and the Kyoto Protocol, the more the hypocrisy hits you. I am increasingly angry at the political nonsense we have to witness, year in, year out, especially from the countries of the E.U. The forthcoming Bali Conference (see: ‘Bali Hoo Is Calling’, November 25) will be yet another depressing spectacle. I must ask: “Is ‘global warming’ the ultimate example of a faith without works?” Here are two new reports which would indicate precisely so. (Global Warming Politics)

They shouldn't feel too badly... "Climate change advisers in the dark" - "ADVISERS to the Australian delegation at key UN climate change negotiations opening today were last night still in the dark on the incoming government's objectives at the Bali conference." (The Australian)

... even the incoming government has no clue what they are going to do, about anything.

This could get interesting: "Australia ratifies Kyoto Protocol" - "AUSTRALIA has ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd signed the instrument of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol in his first act after being sworn in this morning.

The ratification will come into force in 90 days.

"This is the first official act of the new Australian Government, demonstrating my Government's commitment to tackling climate change," Mr Rudd said." (AAP)

Now if Rudd fails to get this through a hostile Senate he must withdraw from the Protocol -- a most embarrassing position for a new Prime Minister. What is unclear is whether he has made Australia liable for penalties for so doing, which unhappy taxpayers could potentially sue him for personally. Then again, it's not unlikely that this is merely another piece of window dressing with a "show signing" with no subsequent submission of an instrument of ratification to the UN. Pending...

Oh my: "Greenhouse gas cuts won't hurt economy" - "DEEP and prompt cuts to carbon emissions would not damage the economy, an Australian delegation will tell the United Nations climate change talks starting in Bali today.

The Climate Institute will present fresh research showing that if emissions are reduced sooner rather than later, the cost of energy will be more affordable in years to come than it was in 2005.

Economic momentum, jobs and investments would be safeguarded even with greenhouse gas cuts as high as 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.

The "Climate Institute" is kind of a branch office of the [anti-]Australia Institute. Erwin Jackson is a lad of many hats, Greenpeace, Australian Conservation Foundation, Climate Destitute...

"Bush Wrongly Blamed for America’s Non-participation in Kyoto" - "As climate alarmists around the world gather at a tropical resort in Bali to discuss the liberal bogeyman known as global warming, it is a metaphysical certitude green media will cheerlead the event while distorting science and history to blame all the planet's supposed ills on George W. Bush." (News Busters)

"FEATURE - Germany Shows Contradictions On Climate Change" - "BERLIN - Germany is the world's sixth-largest emitter of greenhouses gases, builds some of the fastest and most polluting cars on the road, rejects speed limits to cut CO2 and is replacing its nuclear power with coal-burning plants.

Yet the world's third-largest industrial nation nevertheless enjoys an improbable reputation as a leader in the fight against climate change -- and will be a key, if controversial, player at the UN Climate Conference in Bali starting on Monday." (Reuters)

"INTERVIEW - German Minister Warns Of Climate Change Perils" - "BERLIN - Climate change is already causing friction and international instability in some parts of the world but looms as an even greater threat to peace in the future, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.

In an interview with Reuters before Monday's start of the UN Conference on Climate Change in Bali, Steinmeier said those talks need to move the issue of global warming beyond the melting glaciers to more immediate, if less photogenic, perils.

He said it was time to look at tensions already being caused by the dwindling of natural resources, diminishing access to fresh water, shifts in vegetation and mass migration as well as the future conflicts that loom because of climate change." (Reuters)

"Emissions target that fails to bind" - "When world leaders gather tomorrow at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, they will be discussing the very future of this planet. The roadmap they develop – or fail to set out – will affect weather patterns, sea levels, economic growth, water and food security in the second half of this century, and the very survival of people living in the most vulnerable and poorest regions of the world.

In many ways, Bali, the "island of the Gods," is a poignant symbol of what is at stake. Rising sea temperatures are bleaching the island's once magnificent coral reefs. Moreover, Indonesia has already felt the cruel effects of the extreme weather caused by climate change, and its many coastal communities could be inundated by rising seas.

Bali is not alone in feeling the effects of the changes in climate that will continue to worsen, regardless of what the conference achieves." (Toronto Star)

"Spotlight on China and India as delegates gather for U.N. global warming summit in Bali" - "BALI, Indonesia: Coal-burning power plants belch pollutants into the air in China, contributing to global warming that experts say has destroyed billions of dollars in crops. In India, melting Himalayan glaciers cause floods, while raising a more daunting long-term prospect: the drying up of life-sustaining rivers.

The two economic giants are becoming increasingly aware of the effects of rising temperatures. But though they are among the biggest contributors to the problem, both say they will not sign any climate change treaty that would slow the pace of their development.

Meanwhile, the United States, which has pumped more carbon into the atmosphere over time than any other country, says it will continue to oppose mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, especially if China and India refuse to budge." (Associated Press)

"India to tell West to shoulder climate change burden" - "NEW DELHI - India is likely to stick by its pledge to keep its carbon emissions per person lower than those of the rich world at next week's climate change talks in Indonesia, according to policy advisers.

It might seem like an easy promise to make for now: the average American emits 20 times more carbon than the average Indian, not least because more than 600 million Indians still live in homes without so much as a lightbulb, according to government data.

But the pledge is the closest India has come -- and is likely to come for now -- to agreeing to measurable targets, underlining its emphasis on the idea that polluting, industrialized nations must shoulder the greater burden in reducing emissions." (Reuters)

"Bangladesh Says Needs Aid To Adapt To Warmer World" - "DHAKA - Disaster-prone Bangladesh, battered just weeks ago by a cyclone that devastated its low-lying coast, needs aid from big polluting nations to help it adapt to powerful storms, floods and rising seas, a government adviser says." (Reuters)

Granted, they certainly need to develop and probably qualify for aid. The rising seas thing, however...

Number of the month: 400 for November (Number Watch)

"Airlines to make billions from CO2 trade" - "Airlines stand to make billions of pounds in “windfall profits” from an emissions trading scheme that was supposed to make them pay for the environmental damage they cause, according to a government-commissioned report.

They will take advantage of the scheme to raise fares substantially, even though their costs will hardly change. The windfall will be highly embarrassing for the Government because it has heavily promoted the trading of aviation emissions to justify its plans to allow air travel to double by 2030." (The Times)

At least partly right: "Plants’ CO2 would help crops, lawmaker says" - "Topeka — A state legislator Wednesday criticized rejection of two coal-fired power plants in western Kansas, saying carbon dioxide emissions were good for crops.

“One of the really good things about CO2 is that plants perform better under stress (drought, etc.) with increased levels of CO2,” Rep. Larry Powell, R-Garden City, said in a letter disseminated to the media.

Powell said a recent study shows that over the next 50 years, “atmospheric CO2 enrichment will boost world agricultural output by about 50 percent.” (Lawrence Journal-World)

I think the +50% claim might be overly ambitious and simplistic. Granted, optimal yields for cost of boosting diurnal CO2 in greenhouses occurs usually in the range of 800-1200 ppmv, depending on the crop but there is certainly no guarantee we are looking at anywhere near sufficient atmospheric CO2 increase in the next 50 years to achieve the quoted increase in yields (probably just extrapolated from nonsense IPCC 'storylines'). Using the Keeling Curve to extrapolate 50 years (with the caveat that reduced solar activity would cause an over estimate) then we are looking at perhaps 460 ppmv, sufficient for perhaps 1 W/m-2 increase in radiative forcing (from the IPCC's current simplified formula, although that is probably due yet another significant downward revision). We note the latest IPCC potboiler cites roughly 3.2 W/m-2 in anthropogenic increases in radiative forcing but a net of just half that due to negative feedbacks (despite this the modeling fraternity continue to use a multiplier of 2.5 for positive feedback while empirical measure shows 0.5 to be more useful).

So, yes, there is a wealth of literature regarding the yield benefit of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide although it is highly unlikely that we'll see as much as claimed above simply because we will not have the required gain in CO2.

Climate Metric Reality Check #1 - The Sum Of Climate Forcings and Feedbacks Is Less Than The 2007 IPCC Best Estimate Of Human Climate Forcing Of Global Warming - Climate Science is going to present observational data and other information in coming web postings that raises questions about the validity of claims in the 2007 IPCC report. One of the issues is whether climate feedbacks amplify or mute radiative forcings caused by human activities. The IPCC asserts that climate feedbacks in fact amplify the human effect. We can test this assertion using observational data.

If the magnitude of the IPCC estimates of radiative forcings from human causes are greater than or equal to the sum of the total observed radiative forcings and feedbacks (i.e. the total climate system radiative imbalance), then the feedbacks have actually reduced the effect of radiative forcings caused by human activities. By contrast, if the magnitude of radiative forcing caused by humans is less than the sum of the total observed radiative forcings and feedbacks than the feedbacks have amplified the human radiative forcings. (Climate Science)

Misinterpretation of Reality Check #1 by William M. Connolley On the Weblog Stoat - The weblog Stoat has made a significant erroneous statement on the November 30 2007 Climate Science web posting

Climate Metric Reality Check #1 - The Sum Of Climate Forcings and Feedbacks Is Less Than The 2007 IPCC Best Estimate Of Human Climate Forcing Of Global Warming

This Climate Science web posting corrects William M. Connolley’s scientific comments (I do appreciate, of course, that he is open-minded enough to read Climate Science!). (Climate Science)

Professor Pielke is very generous in his interpretation since Billy the Cannolo habitually misrepresents climate science. He is either one of the most ignorant and rude climate modelers at BAS (and RealClimate) or he is deliberately deceptive. An habitual troll on sites failing to parrot the party line he is at least a dedicated organizer of nuisance posters and prevaricators -- to the extent that many wonder whether that isn't the purpose for which he is employed. Complete crank.

Why Billy the Cannolo? Because a cannolo is a little tube -- just a little empty vessel and we all know empty vessels make the most noise.

Um, no... "Kansas Rejection Of Coal Plant Fires Up Backlash" - "OVERLAND PARK - If there is one lesson Kansas officials have learned by rejecting a proposed expansion of a coal-fired power plant last month, it is this: Hell hath no fury like business interests scorned.

Six weeks ago Kansas Secretary of Health and Environment Rod Bremby made Kansas the first US state to reject a coal-fired power plant solely because of health risks associated with carbon dioxide emissions. Since then, the state has become ground zero for a nationwide battle pitting environmental concerns against powerful economic and political interests." (Reuters)

... it's actually enviro-nonsense versus human interests.

"INTERVIEW - British Power Prices May Rise as Green Laws Bite" - "LONDON - British power prices will probably be more volatile and could rise from next year as new European Union environmental controls bite, the director of markets at UK energy regulator Ofgem said." (Reuters)

"Power firms accused of emissions trade cheating" - "The global exchange system designed to cut greenhouse gases through traded carbon credits is being gatecrashed by hundreds of projects that will actually increase the net amount of carbon going into the atmosphere, a report published today finds." (The Guardian)

"Parties unite to stop government backsliding over renewables rule" - "A group of MPs led by the Conservative Michael Fallon will introduce a private member's bill to parliament this week in a bid to prevent the government back-pedalling on rules that require construction companies to fit renewable energy sources to new buildings." (The Guardian)

"UK to seek pact on shipping and aviation pollution at climate talks" - "Europe to put forward eight-point plan at meeting on replacing Kyoto protocol" (The Guardian)

"FEATURE - Wind Power Sets Sail From Crowded Germany" - "BERLIN - Nearly 19,000 wind turbines cover Germany: dotted across the countryside, nudging to the edge of cities and whirring alongside motorways.

They generate 5 percent of Germany's electricity -- more than in any other country in the world. But with the best plots already taken, there are now few spaces left where companies are allowed to build more. And it's not just a German problem.

"There's not that much empty land space," said Steve Sawyer, secretary-general of the Global Wind Energy Council, which represents the industry. "Northern Europe is this little, crowded peninsula on the western tip of Asia with an awful lot of people." (Reuters)

Superfund Sites Yield New Drugs/Tourist Attractions/Physics Laboratory (FactOrFiction?)

"The Repace Follies of 2007: from Conjury to Comedy" - "You knew anti-smoking was dishonest. There is no limit to its dishonesty. You knew it was dumb too. You may not have known it could be this dumb. This is one for the scrapbook." (Forces)

Desperately trying to maintain the cholesterol myth: "Experts baffled by cholesterol study" - "Researchers aiming to establish whether high cholesterol raises the risk of stroke are baffled by findings indicating lower cholesterol levels were not linked to reduced stroke deaths." (Reuters)

"Is It Healthy? Food Rating Systems Battle It Out" - "Suddenly, after years of chaotic, conflicting health claims on food, various groups are rushing to create systems that are supposed to make sense of it all. And grocery chains are starting to line up behind one system or another. Within months, shoppers across the country may find numerical ratings, star ratings or letter grades plastered on the shelf next to virtually every product in a store." (New York Times)

From the 'Here we go again' files: "Study finds acrylamide link to cancer in women" - "Fresh fears have been raised over the safety of cooked foods as a wide-ranging study found for the first time that a common chemical caused by frying, roasting or grilling can double the risk of cancer in women." (London Telegraph)

"Effort to Limit Junk Food in Schools Faces Hurdles" - "Federal lawmakers are considering the broadest effort ever to limit what children eat: a national ban on selling candy, sugary soda and salty, fatty food in school snack bars, vending machines and a la carte cafeteria lines.

Whether the measure, an amendment to the farm bill, can survive the convoluted politics that have bogged down that legislation in the Senate is one issue. Whether it can survive the battle among factions in the fight to improve school food is another." (New York Times)

"Quest for ‘thinner-ness’" - "Neither the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery condone it, nor does it have FDA approval, but lipolysis is the one of the fastest-growing cosmetic procedures in the country. According to the sales literature, with just few injections, fat is magically melted away. JFS first examined this phenomenon, including the science and safety concerns, in Lunchtime Lipo." (Junkfood Science)

"More on medical records privacy" - "News this past week is giving more hints of possible abuses and misuses of government electronic medical record databases and of our personal health information ... in the name of public health and safety." (Junkfood Science)

"Bagpipes a threat to the environment (and we're not talking noise pollution)" - "THEY were once outlawed for being used as seditious weapons of war. Now, bagpipes have been blasted as an environmental menace.

Over-intensive logging means that the African wood used to make Scotland's national instrument faces being wiped out.

Conservation groups are letting out skirls of protest, urging musicians and instrument manufacturers to make sure their pipes come from eco-friendly sources.

As part of the campaign, Scots are being asked to fund the planting of "bagpipe trees" in a bid to atone for the environmental damage." (Scotland on Sunday)